Prescriptions for Health "Fastrack" on Demand, June 2011
Prescriptions for Health "Fastrack" on Demand, June 2011
Wednesday June 1, 2011
Brisk Walking Helps Prostate Cancer
Men with prostate cancer that is localized to the prostate can improve their outcomes if they walk briskly for at least 3 hours a week. This high-intensity exercise delayed and possibly even prevented the progression of their disease as they were found to have a 57% lower rate of progression of disease than men walking at a slower pace. They also found that brisk exercise lowered the risk of dying from the disease. Previous studies show that vigorous physical exercise reduced the risk of getting prostate cancer
Thursday June 2, 2011
How Much Calcium Does Your Body Need
Increasing daily calcium does not reduce the risk of fractures beyond a certain amount, which is 750 mg per day. Most MDs in the US overdose supplementation, thinking that more is better to prevent or stop the progression of low bone mass...osteopenia and osteoporosis. Studies on more than 60,000 women showed that women had the lowest risk of having a fracture when they consumed about 750 mg of calcium per day. Higher levels of calcium intake had no additional benefit. We know that in women with osteoporosis who we treat with large doses of calcium, especially without sufficient vitamin D, are prone to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Friday June 3, 2011
Bill Gates on Vaccines
Bill Gates is donating millions of dollars for immunization program development through the World Health Organization to prevent polio, AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. While this is part of a good program to prevent infections, it is still important to treat the underlying reasons for suppressed immunity such as sanitation, clean water, and nutritious food. Just because immunizations could be very helpful for third world countries, doesn't mean that our kids need in the range of 70 immunizations by the time they are 18 years old. It also does not justify the continued use of thimerosal in vaccines.
Monday June 6, 2011
Breast Thermography: Is It Underutilized?
The FDA published information in Journal Watch in June of 2011 that is packed with presumptive and incorrect information about breast thermography and they have to know it! Breast thermography was approved in 1982 as an adjunct to mammography to evaluate for breast cancer. In 2004 the FDA rejected breast thermography as a stand alone test for breast cancer screening by a vote of 5-4. Three of the members voting against it had a conflict of interest because of ties to the mammography industry.
Nonetheless Helen Barr, MD, the director of the Division of Mammography Quality and Radiation Programs in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health stated, "While there is plenty of evidence that mammography is effective in breast cancer detection, there is simply no evidence that thermography can take its place." Come on, Dr. Barr, keep up with the current and the old literature on this much needed test
Tuesday June 7, 2011
Big Pharma Marketing to Medical Students
US medical students are exposed to big pharma marketing as early as their preclinical years. The extent of their exposure with industry is associated with positive attitudes about marketing. Students feel they are immune to bias. Many medical schools prohibit drug companies from marketing to students, but most do not. At the very least we need to have rules limiting Big Pharma's contact with medical students.
Wednesday June 8, 2011
Does Aspirin Save Lives?
Despite a lot of excitement about aspirin, scientists can't seem to agree on whether it helps healthy people live longer and suffer from fewer heart attacks and strokes. Published studies in the mainstream medical journals on the same nine studies included in a metaanalysis differ. The study published by the Bayer Aspirin people showed a benefit. The study published by independent researches did not. Who can you trust?
Thursday June 9, 2011
A New Ultra Bad Cholesterol
A new ultra-bad very sticky form of LDL cholesterol that is small and dense has been identified and found to be present in both type 2 diabetes and in the elderly. It may be the reason why the risk of heart attack and stroke is eleveated in these groups. The cause is suspected to be related to glycation (damage to proteins by high levels of glucose) and is more likely to occur when blood sugar levels are above 170, as these levels activate an enzyme called aldolase reductase that speeds the conversion of glucose to toxic sorbitol.
Friday June 10, 2011
Financial Conflicts of Interest Affect Medical Research
Research has documented that 91% of randomized clinical trials that have a financial conflict of interest (FCOI) have a positive outcome compared to those that do not. The most common FCOIs include research grants, employment, honorariums, and share ownership. Of the more than 100 studies reviewed, FCOIs were present more than 50% of the time!
This data confirms that much of the research published in major mainstream medical journals is not reliable and would not be safe to use in clinical practice. This is what happens when money becomes more important than service. Of course, this raises serious ethical questions.
Monday June 13, 2011
Should Medical Research Forgo Placebo Testing
The results of a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial re-opened debate on whether it is ethical to conduct placebo-controlled studies because it puts those in the placebo group at the disadvantage of not being in the treatment arm. One could make the point that placebo is not really necessary because all that needs to be done is to see if patients get better than the rest of the patients who are not yet on treatment. However, this has not been the standard of practice in medical research. We do need to consider conducting clinical trials that are outcome studies, where we only look at whether or not the people in the clinical trial get better or not and whether or not the treatment is safe.
At the same time, the effect of placebo should be considered as well...does it matter if someone gets better from placebo or from a treatment that costs money, may not be safe, and may not work?
Tuesday June 14, 2011
AstraZenica Pulls Plug on Free Trips for Doctors
As a pharmaceutical industry first, AstraZenica is stopping payments to doctors for attending international medical conferences. They are making it sound like they are leaders who want to do the right thing...it only took them half a century to figure this out. Do you think this is a move pressured by something other than their benevolence? Their commenton this topic is that, "we start from the position that our products stand on their own merits." I wonder how they explain that the Big Pharma paid $15 billion in penalties to the US government alone for violations of laws and regulation that helped them sell more product.
Big Pharma spends about $61,000 per doctor per year for a wide range of reasons and also spends twice as much on advertising and promotion than for research studies. They also spend in excess of $5 billion a year on direct to consumer ads. Who are they trying to fool!
Wednesday June 15, 2011
Chiropractic Care Superior to Medical Treatment and Physical Therapy
A recent study conducted by medical professionals outside the chiropractic profession concluded that chiropractic care is more effective for common, work-related, low back pain when compard to treatment by a physical therapist of physician. Overall chiropractic patients had lower medical expenses, fewer disability recurrences, and shorter initial periods of disability. It also uses less medication and results in fewer surgeries.
Thursday June 16, 2011
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder vs Post Tramatic Stress Disorder
New research shows that children's risk for learning and behavior problems and obesity rises in correlation to their level or trauma exposure. These findings should encourage physicians to consider diagnosing PTSD rather than ADD/ADHD, which has similar symptoms to PTSD but very different treatment.
The Stanford University study examined kids living in a violent, low-income environment and showed a strong link between abuse, trauma, and neglect and the children's mental and physical health. Some types of trauma were associated with 30 times more behavior and learning problems than those not exposed ot trauma.
This may help cut back on the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of ADD/ADHD.
Friday June 17, 2011
FDA Warns of Prostate Cancer Risk with Avodart and Proscar
The FDA is requiring that Avodart and Proscar manufacturers disclose that there is an approximately 50% increased incidence of high grade prostate cancer with their usage. It also pointed out that they are not approved for prostate cancer prevention. These drugs block the conversion of testosterone to dihydro-testosterone, which is believed to be one the causes of BPH and low grade prostate cancer
Monday June 20, 2011
FDA Restricts Use of High Dose Statins
The FDA is recommending that physicians restrict prescibing high-dose Zocor because of an increased risk of muscle damage that can lead to pain and also the release of large amounts of myoglobin from muscle from a process called rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to renal failure and death. They also warned that the use of several anti-fungal agents such as Sporonox, Nizoral, and Noxafil or of erythromycin, Biaxin, Ketek, HIV protease inhibitors, gemfibrozil, cyclosporine and danazol. They went on to warn the patients taking amiodarone, verapamil, diltiazem, or Norvasc, should not take higher dose Zocor.
Tuesday June 22, 2011
Fear of Dying During Heart Attack Linked to Increased
Intense distress and fear of dying, as with a heart attack, is common and associated with biological changes of inflammation that can cause worse outcomes. About 20% of people having an MI have this intense fear. Intense fear of dying has a four fold increase in inflammatory markers such as TNF alpha and cortisol. Heart rate variability is also worsened by this inflammation.
Wednesday June 22, 2011
Sleep Loss Lowers Testosterone Levels
Cutting back on sleep drastically lowers testosterone levels in young male adults. Less than five hours a night of sleep had significantly lower levels of testosterone than controls. After just one week of less than five hours a night of sleep resulted in a 10-15% decrease in testosterone levels.
Low levels of testosterone lead to low energy, reduced libido, poor concentration, and fatigue. Prolonged low levels lead to osteoporosis, loss of muscle volume and strength, and increased risk for heart disease.
Thursday June 23, 2011
Hypnosis and Local Anesthesia is Safer and Better
Using a combination of hypnosis and local anesthesia can aid in healing and reduce drug use and time spent in the hospital. It could also help avoid cancer recurrences and metastases. Two clinical studies showed these results.
It appears that hypnosis works by reducing the perception of pain as suggested by functional MRI studies and PET scans.
Friday June 24, 2011
Actos and Bladder Cancer
Both Germany and France have taken Actos off the market because of an increased risk of getting bladder cancer. TheUS is taking no action. Global sales of Actos are in the vicinity of $5 billion annually. All three "glitazone" drugs for type 2 diabetes have a poor track record. Rezulin was taken off the market more than a decade ago because it caused liver failure. Avandia remains on the market despite the fact that it increases the incidence of heart attack by 43% and the risk of dying from a heart attack by more than 60%. In theory this class of drugs increases insulin sensitivity, which is good, but their side effects outweigh the benefits of lowered insulin resistance.
The US FDA has been very slow to even look at problems with Avandia or Actos in any serious way.
Monday June 27, 2011
Does Chiropractic Help with Cervical Headaches?
There is a clear bias against chiropractic manipulation by most of mainstream medicine. Yet, there is a substantial evidence that it works for low back pain and for relieving headaches in people with cervical disc disease. In a meta-analysis of 9 studies, 6 showed a positive benefit from chiropractic. The dangers of cervical manipulation include the development of a stroke, but the literature shows that this is in the range of 3 per two million adjustments. There would be far more morbidity and mortality from just using NSAIDS, which are first line therapy in mainstream medical practice. It is very disappointing that chiropractic manipulation is discouraged by mainstream medical physicians.
Tuesday June 28, 2011
Heart Monitoring During Anesthesia
Data shows that when all these three parameters are measured there are fewer post-op complications, hospital stays are shorter, and there are fewer deaths. 14% of all surgeries are high-risk surgeries.
Wednesday June 29, 2011
Is Chantix Safe to Help Quit Smoking?
Pfizer's Drug Chantix has already been linked to psychiatric side effects, but now has been found to increase the risk of heart attack in people with a history of heart disease. The risk in the placebo group was 0.9% and in the group on Chantix the risk was 200% higher with a percentage of 2.0. 2.3% needed coronary bypass procedures compared to 0.9% in the control group.
It appears that smokers are sufficiently desperate that they are often willing to take risk of these problems to get help in quitting smoking.
Thursday June 30, 2011
MDs too Quick to Reach for Prescription Pad
Prescriptions for Health Radio Show: Fastrack Archives
This archive is a work in progress. At the end of every week, the most recent editions of Prescriptions for Health, Fastrack edition, will be posted on the DoctorSaputo.com Radio page. Shows from the previous week are then archived. There can be as many as 40 shows archived for a month.
All "Fastrack" Archives starting in June are in video!