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Health Headlines 6/1/07

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In This Issue:

This Week on PeoplesPharmacy.com
Featured Q&A
Featured Home Remedy
Serious Slip-Ups For TB Traveler
Drug-Resistant Infections Spreading
Death Penalty For Chinese FDA Official
Counterfeit Plavix In Europe
Coffee Reduces The Risk Of Gout
Soy Nuts For Hypertension?
Exercise Works To Raise Good HDL


Best Choices from The People's Pharmacy

We are pleased to announce our new book, Best Choices from The People's Pharmacy. Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy is a how-to for consumers trying to work out which treatments, including diet, home remedies, dietary supplements and drugs, are best for what ails them. Click the link below to purchase a copy at a discount of $21.95 plus $5 shipping and handling!

Note: We are shipping single book orders Media Mail with an expected transit time of 3-9 days from shipment, and orders for two or more books by FedEx Ground. Shipping and handling is $5 per book. We also include a FREE copy of Chocolate without Guilt, regularly $14.95, autographed by Terry, with orders for three of more copies of Best Choices shipped to the same address.

http://ppcart.fountainshosting.com/p-249-best-choices-from-the-peoples-pharmacy.aspx


This Week on PeoplesPharmacy.com:

Thank you for sharing!
Thanks to all our readers who have posted comments to our website! You can post comments and feedback about a home remedy, Q&A, or any article on our site. Visit the page of any article or home remedy and use the form provided to share your experiences. Your comments will be displayed on the page below the article. You can also read and respond to the comments of other readers.

This Week's Radio Show:
An analysis of studies of the popular diabetes drug Avandia suggests that it may be doing more harm than good. Steve Nissen, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic describes his concerns with this drug. Dr. Nissen's study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It was accompanied by an editorial. Curt Furberg, MD, one of the editorialists, tells us how the Avandia issue highlights problems at the FDA.
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/radio_shows/635_health_news_update.asp

Cancer is one of the scariest words in medicine. Decades ago the diagnosis seemed like a death sentence. Many doctors didn't even tell the patient because they didn't want to deliver such bad news.Today, cancer is still not good news...
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/editorial/cancer_patients_thrive_online.asp

Americans love being #1. Just watch any sporting event--high school, college or pro--and you will see team members and fans flashing the big #1 sign with their forefinger whenever the camera zooms past them. Obviously, not every team in...
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/joe_and_terrys_blog/are_we_really_1.asp

Q. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I was taking Synthroid for an underactive thyroid, but I just didn't feel well. I found a doctor who prescribed Armour Thyroid instead and now I feel great! A. An...
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/pharmacy_qa/armour_thyroid_helps_some_patients.asp

Q. I think I remember reading about some simple remedies for nail fungus in your column. At the time I didn't need the information but now my toenails are discolored and ugly. They want to remove the nails, but that...
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/herb_home_remedy_qa/many_options_for_treating_nail_fungus.asp

Q. What is the best thing to do for daily, frustrating, embarrassing gas? I eat high-fiber foods during the week, but I eat various things on the weekends and it doesn't seem to make a difference. I have continuous gas...
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/herb_home_remedy_qa/solutions_for_smelly_gas.asp


Featured Q & A

Remember The Alamo With Apple Cider Vinegar
Q. Is it true that apple cider vinegar is good for arthritis? I am a letter carrier and my knees are acting up. I remember reading something a while ago about a juice drink with vinegar. Please tell me the formula.

A. There are a number of popular formulas that combine vinegar with honey or fruit juices. This has been touted as an arthritis remedy for a long time: Dr. D. C. Jarvis popularized it 40 years ago in his book, Folk Medicine, but he claimed he learned it from the farm families he took care of.

Because this is a folk remedy and there is no medical research on its effectiveness, no one formula is "right." Someone sent us a recipe that, they claimed, was used by Sam Houston: five parts grape juice, three parts apple juice and one part cider vinegar. Whether Sam Houston had any special expertise in relieving arthritis, we don't know.


Featured Home Remedy

Epsom Salts For Nail Fungus
You have offered a lot of suggestions about toenail fungus, but you left one out. Soaking feet in warm water with epsom salts makes tired feet feel better, but also improves nail quality and discourages foot fungus. It even controls foot odor. This is a very cheap solution to a nasty problem, and we discovered the benefits by accident.

You can read more home remedies on our website:
http://www.peoplespharmacy.org/archives/home_remedies/index.asp


Health Headlines:

Serious Slip-Ups For TB Traveler
The traveler with TB should have known better. He captured international attention when it was learned that he had flown to Europe and back again despite being infected with a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. Airline officials and infectious disease experts are trying to track down other passengers who might have been exposed.
Andrew Speaker, the patient in question, is a personal injury lawyer who presumably knows that people can be prosecuted for recklessly endangering others. He had been warned that he had TB and shouldn't travel. He went to Europe to get married and go on his honeymoon. His wife's father works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a microbiologist who specializes in tuberculosis.
Mr. Speaker has apologized to his fellow passengers for putting them at risk. Although he appears healthy and is not considered highly infectious, the strain of XDR TB that he has is considered extensively drug resistant and is therefore very hard to treat.

Drug-Resistant Infections Spreading
Tuberculosis is not the only infection developing resistance to drugs. Researchers at a Chicago hospital report that drug-resistant staph infections have become seven times more common over the past five years. While such infections have long been seen in hospitals, public health officials are concerned that methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is now showing up in people who contract it in places like public housing or prison. Because these bacteria have developed resistance to the usual antibiotics, they are difficult and expensive to treat and dangerous if left untreated.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, May 28, 2007]
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/10/1026

Death Penalty For Chinese FDA Official
The former head of China's food and drug administration has been sentenced to death. This harsh punishment was meted out because he took more than $800,000 in bribes and gifts from drug companies. As a result, more than 170,000 drug approvals are now under question. Counterfeit drugs are a big problem in China. Corruption at the regulatory agency has cast a cloud over the entire Chinese approval process.
This affects both food and drugs, not only in China but in other countries as well. Melamine in pet food caused thousands of deaths in cats and dogs in this country earlier this spring. Tainted cough syrup killed many Panamanians. The chemical in that syrup, diethylene glycol or antifreeze, has also been detected in toothpaste shipped to Australia, the Dominican Republic and Panama. The FDA says it is now checking toothpaste shipments from China to make sure Americans have not been exposed to this dangerous chemical.

Counterfeit Plavix In Europe
Europe is reeling from a different counterfeiting problem. Regulators have discovered counterfeit Plavix. This is drug is highly advertised in the U.S. to prevent blood clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. The British equivalent of the FDA discovered some of the Plavix coming into the country in French packaging only contained 80 percent or less of the active ingredient. Some lots of the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa were also found to be counterfeit.

Coffee Reduces The Risk Of Gout
Coffee lovers have been getting a lot of good news lately. Researchers have reported that java junkies are less likely to develop type-2 diabetes. Now, scientist report that men who drink 4 to 5 cups of coffee daily are 40 percent less likely to come down with gout. This painful inflammatory condition occurs when uric crystals precipitate into joints. The study included 50,000 men and followed them for up to 12 years. Those who drank six or more cups of coffee daily cut their risk of gout even more...50 to 60 percent. Decaffeinated coffee also seemed to be beneficial, so caffeine does not appear to be the magic ingredient.
[Arthritis & Rheumatism]
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/114269884/ABSTRACT

Soy Nuts For Hypertension?
Soy nuts daily may lower blood pressure almost as much as some drugs. Investigators gave postmenopausal women with moderately high blood pressure half a cup of unsalted soy nuts daily for 8 weeks. Those with hypertension saw their systolic blood pressure drop by almost 10 percent. Their diastolic blood pressure decreased by nearly 7 percent. That is as good as many medications. Even women with normal blood pressure to start with saw a modest reduction after eating soy nuts. Bad LDL cholesterol also came down.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, May 28, 2007]
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/10/1060

Exercise Works To Raise Good HDL
Raising good HDL cholesterol is notoriously difficult. A drug that was supposed to do that very thing flamed out in clinical trials a few months ago and was abandoned by the manufacturer. High levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Now, an analysis of 25 studies shows that two hours or more of vigorous physical activity every week help raise HDL.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, May 28, 2007]
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/10/999

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