The People's Perspective on Medicine

761 Health News Update

Diet has a powerful impact on health. A new study of 34,000 Chinese women in Singapore found that diet can offer significant protection from breast cancer. What should you be eating?
Herbs are popular for treating minor ailments, but many physicians worry about herb-drug interactions. A recent review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that many herbs are dangerous with cardiovascular medicines. A prominent herbal expert disagrees.
Cardiac catheterization provides an image of the coronary arteries and can show if they are blocked. A surprising number of these tests show no blocked arteries at all. How can we cut down on unnecessary cost and the risk?
Guests: Mark Blumenthal is Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council. He discusses an article that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Feb. 9, 2010. The photo is of Mark Blumenthal.
Manesh Patel, MD, is a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. His article appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, March 11, 2010.

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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    I was both surprised and disappointed to here you say that “herbs are not regulated” at 15:50 in the audio file. This is a myth that’s being perpetuated by the medical and drug industry, by the news media, and now by you. Herbs and other dietary supplements are indeed regulated by FDA under the authority of the Dietary Supplement, Health & Education Act (DSHEA) which gives FDA full authority to regulate herb manufacturing and distribution companies, and to remove any herb product from the market that they know to be dangerous or life threatening.
    Several years ago a former director of FDA … I forget her name … was asked by a member of a congressional committee if DSHEA gave her ample authority and power to regulate dietary supplements. Her answer was, yes it does.
    Three times within the last twelve months FDA inspectors have visited my GMP-compliant herbal-products manufacturing facility for routine inspections … and, believe me, they do a very thorough inspection. We passed them all without even one noted infringement of FDA standards and regulations.
    I respectfully implore you to correct your statement that “herbs are not regulated” because this is simply not true.

    I think that grapefruit, other juices and fruits and some herbs interfere with some medicines making them stronger (increasing) or lowering effects. In general, many pharmacist know this (many doctors don’t, at least a few years ago). There are some websites in the Internet have this information (I can’t remember where I read this information a few months ago).

    Can you please provide some more information about Grapefruit and how it effects medicines? Today’s story was very interesting. I had seen the warnings on medicines to not eat or drink grapefuit juice, but never understood why until today. However, I would like some more information about the reasons.
    Thank you,
    M. Holm

    Hi Joe! I’m sorry you don’t enjoy Brussels sprouts, but I have a tip that may change that — I cook them in chicken broth. It takes out the bitterness. I steam them on the stove in some olive oil & broth (about an inch deep in the pan) until they’re nice & tender. I fix asparagus and fresh green beans the same way. Here’s another secret — I use Better Than Bouillon, an organic chicken base in a jar, so I can make as little as I need without opening any cans. I hope this changes how you feel about Brussels sprouts; it turned my taste buds around. I’m going to run to the market and get some! Mmmmm!

    * Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^