For today some quick hits on the latest in health news:
As many of you know one of the dietary supplements that we are constantly reminding our patients of the importance of is Fish Oil – Omega 3 Fatty Acids. A number of new studies have come out that re-enforce this view (my comments in italics):
• “Fish oil may help prevent onset of psychosis” – Archives of General Psychiatry
Omega-3 fatty acids make up a large portion of your nervous system including your brain and the coverings of your nerves. It makes complete sense that people who are lacking in Omega 3, and thus need supplementation, are prone to psychotic disorders.
• “Mercury, Fish Oils, and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction” – New England Journal of Medicine,
Conclusions: The toenail mercury level was directly associated with the risk of myocardial infarction, and the adipose-tissue DHA level was inversely associated with the risk. High mercury content may diminish the cardioprotective effect of fish intake.
• Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease – Journal of American Medical Association
Conclusion: Among this cohort of patients with coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening over 5 years.
• Cholesterol Drug Lowers LDL-C Levels But Again Fails to Show Clinical Benefit – Journal of American Medical Association
These studies support the idea that cholesterol levels do not determine risk for heart disease – the inflammatory state of the body does. People with high levels of blood Omega 3 fatty acids benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties – they prevent damage to blood vessel walls. If those walls aren’t getting damaged then cholesterol deposition and plaqueing doesn’t occur. While people with heart disease tend to have high cholesterol, that correlation doesn’t equal causation. This is the reason that the drug doesn’t affect heart disease rates even though it lowers cholesterol levels, yet the fish oil supplements work – the fish oil addresses the true cause, a pro-inflammatory state in the body, while the drug doesn’t. Be sure to comment or talk to us in the office if you have any questions on how to pick the right fish oil supplement for you!
• Antipsychotics, Nursing Homes and the Feds’ Case Against J&J from WSJ.com: Health Blog
The feds say J&J paid kickbacks to a big nursing-home pharmacy company to get the company to prescribe more of its drugs, including the antipsychotic Risperdal. The allegation isn’t a huge surprise: The pharmacy company, Omnicare, paid $98 million last year to settle allegations that it had solicited and received kickbacks from J&J in exchange recommending the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
• “FDA More Pro Industry Than Any Time in 35 Years” By MERRILL GOOZNER, THE HEALTH CARE BLOG
So says Jim Dickinson, editor of FDAWebview, an industry newsletter that closely follows enforcement issues at the agency.
• Feds Accuse Doc of Faking Research On Pfizer & Merck Drugs by Wall Street Journal Blog
Federal prosecutors accused Reuben of health-care fraud for allegedly faking data that suggested after-surgery benefits from painkillers including Merck’s Vioxx and Pfizer’s Bextra and Celebrex, the Justice Department said yesterday. The Justice announcement said he faces as much as a 10-year sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Remember, health care is big business, in fact it is the biggest business. While most doctors want the best for their patients, corporations such as health insurance companies and big pharmaceutical firms have as their sole motivator the bottom line. The ties between government and these businesses run deep. For example, as we talked about in our Good, Bad, Ugly workshop, the most recent head of the CDC, the person who spearheaded the effort to mass vaccinate against the swine flu, recently left to take a position as the head of vaccination for Merck. Is she being rewarded for her efforts? Efforts that made vaccine companies billions as governments were scared into buying vaccines for a “pandemic” that never really materialized. This is why it is best to take your health into your own hands, be proactive, and live a healthy lifestyle so you don’t need to take Vioxx, or Celebrex, or Phen-Phen, or any of the hundreds of other drugs that we find out are ultimately not safe.
Finally to end on a positive note: Here’s a link to five healthy salad recipes to start you on your way! (Note: Those of you on detox/purification will need to modify these to meet your program parameters)