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Food and Nutrition Police

As you know, I like to stay on the side of offering healthy alternatives to you, rather than rant about the political messes that are taking place with our health.  But in two cases today, I must at least inform you about what is going on.  First of all, vitamin C (intravenous) is being threatened.  Here’s the link that gives you more information.  I use intravenous vitamin C often in my practice and find that it is superbly effective in numerous conditions.  To lose the ability to administer IV vitamin C would be a great loss in our nation’s health options.

Secondly, on a rather humorous note, this blogger takes on First Lady Michelle Obama’s health approach to childhood obesity.  It’s a good read:

What to do?  I believe we need to be more focused than ever on our personal health: and be aware of what is happening in our government to legislate our choice to be healthy.  Make your voice be heard.

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True Evaluations and Treatments of High Blood Pressure

Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

U.S. Neglects High Blood Pressure

The Institute of Medicine said that nearly one in three adults have hypertension recently, and feels that doctors are not treating it aggressively.  “If you live long enough, you’re almost guaranteed to get hypertension,” said Dr. Corinne Husten of Partnership for Prevention, a co-author of this report.  Normal blood pressure is now defined as below 120 over 80, with pre-hypertension up to 140 over 90, and various levels of hypertension above that.  Treatment is simple-cut the salt, eat more potassium, get some exercise, lose 10 pounds.  Anti-hypertensive medications could have the co-payments eliminated and simplify patient-assistance programs for the poor, declares the article.

Dr. Gardner’s comments: When I went to medical school, the cardiovascular disease and heart attack rates were lower, and hypertension was defined as a blood pressure above 160 over 95.

In the 1950s, a study was released about a town named Framingham in Massachusetts. The results of this study, demonstrated on a graph, showed the medical and scientific communities that there was a direct correlation between higher blood pressure levels and higher risk of mortality (death).   Unfortunately, this graph did not show patient data points, but spurious boxes drawn in the computer to make a straight line on the graph. When the correct patient data was inserted into the graph, there was no correlation between blood pressure levels and higher risk of mortality.  In fact, the study demonstrated no increase in mortality until the blood pressure levels were greater than 165 to 185 over 95 to 100.

Based on many subsequent randomized studies, mortality does go up when blood pressures below that level are treated with medications.  You have healthy alternatives to drugs for blood pressure support:

  • 1. Good diet, no sugar or processed food
  • 2. Basic potent multi-vitamin and essential fatty acids
  • 3. Relaxation, yoga, energy work, meditation
  • 4.  Specific supplements-magnesium 600 to 1,000 mg per day, CoQ10 100 mg per day, Hawthorne (or the berry), L-arginine
  • 5. Life-style changes-reduce salt (if you are in the 20% that is salt-sensitive), lose weight if overweight, stop smoking, increase potassium intake, exercise.

I have greater concern over the apparent U.S. neglect over alerting the public to, and protecting us from, the potential side effects of medications, than I do over the constantly changing criteria for high blood pressure.  The blood pressure meds have no long-term (30-year) studies to assure their safety, or the safety in using more than one medication at a time.

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Beware of the ‘Science’ in Published Studies

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

John P. A. Ioannidis, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece; Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Department of Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center; Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

This abstract proves that most published research findings are false. This is based on some of the following proofs:

1) Bias introduces factors that tend to produce research findings that should not be true.

a) Manipulation of data, either with analysis or with reporting

b) ‘Bury’ significant findings because they do not fit the intended result

c) Pre-select individuals that will give the intended result

2) When testing is done by several independent teams, only the team with the positive result gets attention

Several corollaries are discussed: Continue reading Beware of the ‘Science’ in Published Studies

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Our Intestinal Bacteria and Weight Gain

Our Germs, Ourselves

Forbes reports that our bodies have 100 trillion bacteria in the intestinal tract. Recent studies imply that the type of bacteria in the gut may decide whether food is burned as energy or stored as fat. Obese people had a different Continue reading Our Intestinal Bacteria and Weight Gain

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Calories Count? Or Carbs? Or What?

Calorie Counters Have it Right, Diet Study Says

Recently released information in the Wall Street Journal shows that calories do count—that it isn’t what you eat, but how much. Participants were put in one of four diet groups—2 low-fat groups and 2 high-fat groups, with a high-protein and normal-protein groups being the other parameter. All diets were Continue reading Calories Count? Or Carbs? Or What?

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Dangers in Approved Drugs

A series of recent articles in various newspapers and magazines bring to light some issues that concern me, and may be of concern to you. Read on for a synopsis and my thoughts:

Injected Wrinkle Fillers Need Stronger Warnings, FDA Says

The FDA panel is debating if there should be stronger Continue reading Dangers in Approved Drugs