A Year of Good Health
In yesterday’s e-Alert I reviewed the top outrages of 2007. Today we’ll put aside the outrages that drive us up a wall and look at the e-Alerts that featured the most important health tips of the year.
Into the wild
This past August, a report broadcast on a local Fox News station in Tampa featured graviola, the powerful cancer-fighting rainforest herb. And we were pleasantly surprised to find that HSI was referenced in the brief report. But there’s quite a bit more to the graviola story, and it begins with a risky act by a drug company insider who felt compelled to reveal a lifesaving secret hidden in the wildest place on earth.
“In the Jungle, the Quiet Jungle” http://www.hsionline.com/ealerts/ea200708/ea20070815a.html
Carrying the ball
“Astounding.” That’s how one epidemiologist described a study that recently received quite a bit of media attention. She could have added, “terrifying,” because according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research, your chances of falling prey to an unusually aggressive and life-threatening bacterium are much higher than previously thought. But after the news anchors shared this grim report, they immediately moved on to other news, traffic, weather, etc., leaving many viewers to wonder – How do I protect myself? You’ll find the answer in this e-Alert.
An inside look
Computed tomography (CT) is a powerful tool that allows doctors to examine the inner workings of the body. But there’s a downside. Just one CT body scan creates a 1 in 1,000 chance that the patient will develop cancer as a direct result of the scan. Multiple scans drive the risk even higher. Richard C. Semelka, M.D., is perhaps the leading voice in warning medical professionals about the dangers of computed tomography. And while he respects CT’s usefulness, he offers a four-point plan to protect patients from exposure to CT radiation.
Folate’s favorite year
2007 at times seemed like the year of folate, with multiple studies springing up left and right. In February, a three-year intervention study demonstrated how folic acid supplements may help keep cognitive function sharp. This was followed by a July study that showed how depressed patients may metabolize folate inefficiently. Just a few days later, the link between high folate levels and reduced stroke risk was confirmed. And then in September a Swedish study showed that high folate intake may be one of the key ways for postmenopausal women to reduce breast cancer risk.
“Feels Like Summer”
Help, when you need it most
In yesterday’s e-Alert I told you about the surprising revlation from the FDA that there is no evidence that Procrit reduces fatigue or increases energy for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. So what’s a cancer patient to do? In two different e-Alerts this year I looked at a couple of non-drug treatments that have been shown to improve vitality and muscle strength in cancer patients: ginseng and L-carnitine (an amino acid produced in the kidneys and liver).
“Down Not Out”
The case of the missing vitamin
Schizophrenia is a daunting neurological disorder, but most conventional physicians are unaware that in many patients a vitamin deficiency may be at the root of the problem. In the e-Alert “Getting Played” (1/2/07), I told you about Dr. Abram Hoffer who pioneered the treatment of schizophrenia with high doses of niacin. In response to that e-Alert I received a remarkable e-mail from HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., detailing his family’s personal experience with schizophrenia, with treatment from Dr. Hoffer himself.
“Green Eggs and Strange Ham”