“The current compendia [of chemotherapy] lack transparency, cite little current evidence, lack systematic methods to review and update evidence, and are replete with conflict-of-interest issues… The findings would seem to matter. Up to 75% of all uses of cancer therapies are off label, according to a 2005 estimate by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network”; J. Nat’l Cancer Institute.
Could it be that a significant amount of chemotherapy prescribing, particularly in the last weeks/months of a dying patient, is not based on solid evidence? Could it be that money may be a motivating factor?
Corruption in our country’s money sector has most people I talk to quite upset. Perhaps we are close to “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization”. This is the book by Tom Greco, Jr. I have picked as “book of the month”. It is by far the best book I have read to understand MONEY.
John Adams said that our main problem is not failing to understand the Constitution, but failing to understand money. What is happening to our country is a consequence of allowing usury and greed to manufacture and control our money supply. This trick is pretty old; it is the way aristocracies, plutocracies or the “elite” keep us “peons” from joining the party. Hugo Rodier, MD
As Chairman of the Utah Medical Associations’ Environmental/Public Health Committee I am regularly scanning the literature for studies that show what now seems obvious to almost everyone: a toxic environment affects our health. Recently, the EPA made it official; this opens the door for the Federal government to implement regulations to curve pollution, thereby making Congress unnecessary in this respect. In my opinion, it would be better iflegislation by Congress directed the EPA; then, the voice of the people would count for something. But, can we afford to wait for Congress to act on our polluted foods, water and air? Don’t hold your breath, although we may have to with our air quality being what it is.
BPA (chemical in plastic) exposure before birth may be associated with behavioral problems in 2 year-olds, especially girls
J.Environmental Health Perspectives 2009; 117:1945
Asthma worse with phthalates (another chemical in plastic) in vinyl
J. EHP 2008;116:845
Genetic tendency to asthma worsened by a lack of antioxidants and pollution
J. EHP 2009; 117:1919
Higher risk of ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) with paint strippers; cutting, cooling, or lubricating oils ; antifreeze or coolants ; mineral or white spirits; dry cleaning agents, aliphatic chlorinated hydrocarbons, glycols, glycol ethers, and hexane.
J. EHP 2009;117:1387
“Pesticide Exposure and Hypertensive Disorders during Pregnancy”,
J. EHP 2009;117:1393
“The Precautionary Principle in the Context of Mobile Phone and Base Station Radiofrequency Exposures”; use speaker phone as much as possible
J. EHP 2009;117:1329
“Association of Tobacco and Lead Exposures With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder”,
J. Pediatrics 2009; 124: e1054
Confused about iodine?
Have you been told that you need iodine by someone, only to have someone else tell you that it is not good for the thyroid? We finally have a good study that explains why there are conflicting reports. It turns out that the relationship between iodine and the risk for the occurrence of diffuse goiter shows a U-shaped curve. Nodular goiters are more prevalent in iodine-deficient areas. This means that you need iodine for your thyroid IF you live in areas where the diet doesn’t have adequate amounts; inland and mountainous regions are the main examples, since seafood is the main source of iodine.
Also, atomic fallout from testing in the 40s was not contained in Nevada and Utah; it went all over the United States. Atomic radiation and excessive X-rays have been shown to compromise thyroid function; this is made worse by the 500+ chemicals known to be toxic for thyroid function.
Kelp iodine salt and iodaral are good choices for supplementing iodine. Your doctor may order a urine test to make sure you are deficient.
The Journal of Nutrition published a series of articles on the benefit of grapes. The main antioxidant in grapes, resveratrol, is scheduled to become a pharmaceutical product this year. It has been shown to have multiple and diverse benefits, ranging from cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory, insulin sensitizer, lower blood pressure, weight loss, etc. The common denominator is that grapes improve our metabolism. Here are the main articles in the report:
“Unraveling the Relationship between Grapes and Health”,
J. Nutr. 2009 139: 1783S
“Grapes and Cardiovascular Disease”,
J. Nutr. 2009 139: 1788S
“Type 2 Diabetes and Glycemic Response to Grapes or Grape Products”,
J. Nutr. 2009 139: 1794S
“Grape Consumption Supports Immunity in Animals and Humans”,
J. Nutr. 2009 139: 1801S
“Anticancer and Cancer Chemopreventive Potential of Grape Seed Extract and Other Grape-Based Products”,
J. Nutr. 2009 139: 1806S
“Grape Products and Oral Health”,
J. Nutr. 2009 139: 1818S
Food for thought
The evidence continues to mount that poor diets make us more depressed and fail to optimize brain function. Yet, we are bombarded by TV ads with smiling, happy people whose depression is cured by just popping a pill. These ads are disingenuous and potentially harmful. “[They] can generate exaggerated beliefs about drug efficacy and encourage the medicalization of ordinary experiences”. But, if you are reading this newsletter you already know that. While prescription drugs help 45% of those who take it, a significant number of those patients could avoid drugs with good nutrition, cleaner environments and smaller egos in our relationships.
One could supplement antioxidants; “Green tea consumption is associated with lower psychological distress”. We have already talked about tryptophan, omega oils, vitamin D, DHEA, B vitamins, folic acid MTHFR, SAMe and St John’s wort.
Also, cultivate “food for the soul”. There is nothing better than companionship. Loneliness is even contagious. It may lead to depression, sleep problems and other chronic conditions. Exercise also helps depression, as much as antidepressants do. It is also relaxing and calming, due to its effect on reducing oxidative stress and generating new neurons.
Gut and nutrition update
“Inflammatory bowel disease (Chron’s, Ulcerative colitis) results from an inappropriate inflammatory response to intestinal microbes in a genetically susceptible host. Genetic studies highlight the importance of host–microbe interactions in the pathogenesis of these diseases”. New England J. of Medicine
Now that the New England J. of Medicine is writing about it, you can expect your neighborhood doctor to start paying more attention to your diet and its effect on the micro-organisms in the intestines. Read other recent studies on this concept:
“Gut microbiota fermentation of prebiotics [fiber] increases satietogenic and incretin gut peptide production with consequences for appetite sensation and glucose response after a meal”; this means that probiotics ferment fiber; this helps you feel full after eating.
Am J Clin Nutr 2009 90: 1236
“Prescribing an Antibiotic? Do Not Forget the Probiotic”,
J. Gastroenterology 2009;137:1846
“Products of the Colonic Microbiota Mediate Effects of Diet on Colon Cancer Risk”,
J. Nutrition. 2009 139: 2044
“Potential Roles and Clinical Utility of Prebiotics in Newborns, Infants, and Children”,
J. Pediatrics 2009;155:603
“Linoleic acid (n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid), and the etiology of ulcerative colitis”,
J. Gut 2009; 58: 1606
“High-Fat Diet Determines the Composition of the Murine Gut Microbiome Independently of Obesity”. Bad diets mess with your intestinal organisms, even if you are not obese.
J. Gastroenterology 2009;137:1716
“Serotonin Has a Critical Role in the Pathogenesis of Experimental Colitis”.
I included this study to remind you that 95% of serotonin is found in the intestines; as you heal the gut your cognitive and emotional issues will improve.
J. Gastroenterology 2009;137:1562
That means “I am wrong” in Spanish, kind of.
It also means that soy-haters need to acknowledge they have been wrong.
The data continue to pile up that soy is beneficial. The last articles I have read again support its use to lower cholesterol, and even recommend it for women WITH breast cancer. Read my blog on “the religion of soy-haters”. Despite all the evidence, soy-haters will not accept that soy is an “adaptogen”; it provides what the body needs at the time, that is, more or less natural estrogen activity.
 “Drug Compendia in Oncology: are they flawed?” J. National Cancer Institute 2009;101:1604
 No more boring blogs on bad books; only the best one out of each month’s reading
 EPA December 7th 2009
 “A five-year follow-up study of goiter and thyroid nodules in three regions with different iodine intakes in China”, J Endocrinology Investigation 2008 Mar;31(3):243
 “Environmental and Nutritional Interactions”, special issue of the J. Toxicology 2002;180#2
 “Environmental Chemicals and Thyroid Function”, European J. Endocrinology 2006;154:599
 “Effect of Grape Seed Extract on Blood Pressure in Subjects with the Metabolic Syndrome”,
J. Metabolism; Clinical and Experimental 2009;58:1743
 The British Journal of Psychiatry 2009 v. 195, p. 408
 FASEB J. 2009 23: 4353 & JAMA 2009;302:627
 “Does Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising Do More Harm Than Good?” J. Ann Intern Med 2009;151:824
 Am J Clin Nutr 2009 90:1390
 J. of Personality and Social Psychology, December 2009
 British J. Sports Medicine 2001;35:114. J. Archives of Internal Med. 1999;159:2349
 NYT magazine Nov 22nd 2009, page16. Annual Meeting Society for Neuroscience, Chicago 2009
 “Inflammatory Bowel Disease”, NEJM 2009;361:2066
 J. Nutrition 2009 139: 2237
 JAMA 2009;302:2437
 “Targeted Metabolomics Identifies Glucuronides of Dietary Phytoestrogens as a Major Class of MRP3 Substrates In Vivo”, J. Gastroenterology 2009;137:1725 & “Cosupplementation of Isoflavones, Prenylflavonoids, and Lignans Alters Human Exposure to Phytoestrogen-Derived 17β-Estradiol Equivalents”, J. Nutrition 2009 139: 2293