Archive for January, 2011


Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

New study shows placebos have positive effects

It’s the miracle cure Big Pharma hopes you never hear about – proven to beat antidepressants, painkillers, anxiety meds and more.

This amazing pill can stop headaches cold, end stomach problems, beat arthritis pain and even give you the bedroom boost you’ve been looking for (and that goes for the ladies, too).

It’s cheap, comes with no side effects, has withstood the test of time and regularly destroys some of the world’s best-selling drugs in gold-standard studies.

So what are you waiting for? Ask you doctor about placebo – and as soon as he stops laughing, tell him you’re serious… because a new study proves you don’t even have to duped into taking one to enjoy its benefits.

It can even work if it says “placebo” right on the bottle!

Researchers divided 80 irritable bowel patients into two groups: One got zippo, the other got a placebo.

These patients were told up front that they were getting a placebo, and docs didn’t hype it with any New Age mumbo- jumbo – they told the patients that it didn’t matter if they “believed” or any of the other hokum that’s often associated with the placebo effect.

After three weeks, 59 percent of the placebo patients showed significant symptom relief, versus just 39 percent of the do-nothings. The placebo patients also had double the rate of overall improvement, according to the study in PLoS ONE.

That means placebo isn’t just “right” for irritable bowel syndrome – it’s actually on par with some of the most powerful drugs that have been approved for the condition.

Since those meds come with some awful side effects – including a possible worsening of IBS symptoms – the question has to be asked: When will the FDA pull those meds and replace them with this new wonder drug, placebo?

Answer: Never.

Of course, placebos work for far more than IBS – they’ve been proven to be effective for all the conditions I mentioned earlier and then some. In fact, short of a flesh wound, broken bone or bout with deadly bacteria, there’s no reason not to consider a placebo.

After all, what’ve you got to lose?

And if your doc isn’t interested in playing along, show him the wallet effect – and take your business elsewhere.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Patients who have money are cancer targets

Cancer doesn’t care how much money you have –

but cancer doctors sure as hell do.

Once they know you have some cash, they’ll run you through the wringer to squeeze out every last dollar from you, and a new study makes that point clear.

Western world researchers have found that people in the country’s wealthier areas are between 15 and 20 percent more likely to “get” breast, prostate and skin cancers than those who live in poorer areas.

The experts are already blabbing about longer life expectancies for wealthy people, but that’s a load of hooey. Age does play a role in these cancers, but the western worlds poor live nearly as long as the wealthy – within two or three years of each other, a little fact these “experts” didn’t bother to mention.

Good thing some of us keep ’em honest!

So let’s blow this thing open right now and let them know the jig is up: The real reason – the only reason – for the difference in cancer rates is that wealthy people are more likely to get screened and treated.

They have the $$$ money and the insurance, so they have the cancer.

In reality, rich and poor alike suffer from these cancers – almost certainly at close-to-identical rates. You might even have one of these cancers inside you right now.

Scary, huh?

Don’t be afraid – you’d have to live to Methuselah’s age before most of these cancers would ever harm you.

Here’s my advice: Don’t waste your time with most cancer screenings (the one exception is the colonoscopy, and here’s why).

And if you ever are forced into one, be sure to show up in some ratty, worn-out clothes – and keep asking the doc if this is going to cost much. Better yet, mention that you’re on a fixed income. And definitely don’t tell him you’re insured.

Trust me, he won’t find anything. In fact, he probably won’t be able to show you the door fast enough.

Wealth doesn’t always mean health,

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, January 24th, 2011

Teeth pulled out & being saved for their stem cells

MIAMI (UPI) — A new medical movement has U.S. dentists extracting teeth for their stem cells they believe can someday be used to cure any number of ailments, experts say.

Stem cells are spun out of extracted baby teeth, wisdom teeth and even healthy adult teeth, frozen to 100 degrees below zero and stored for possible future use, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Florida resident Naidelys Montoya is one of those taking advantage of the process.

The Hialeah woman didn’t wait for her son’s baby teeth to fall out but took the boy to an oral surgeon to have two of the loose ones extracted for their stem cells in case her son Raul Estrada, 6, might need them for a future illness, she says.

“I believe in this,” Montoya said. “I did as a precaution against things that could happen in the future.”

Many question the procedure.

It’s expensive, costing $590 upfront and $100 a year to store stem cells from up to four teeth for up to 20 years.

And it’s speculative, with the first FDA-approved practical use of such stem cells likely years away.

Still, supporters are confident in the worth of the process.

“I can’t help but feel excitement for their potential use in regenerating different tissues in the human body,” Dr. Jeremy Mao, director of the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at Columbia University, said.

Mao also is chief science adviser to StemSave, a New York City company that freezes the stem cells and stores them for later use, the Herald reported.

The American Dental Association, while cautiously optimistic about the potential of dental stem cells, urges parents to consider both the cost and the rarity of use.

“That’s the question people have to ask themselves,” said Dr. Jeffrey Blum, the Miami Beach oral surgeon who pulled Raul Estrada’s teeth.

“Am I saving this for no reason? Is it worth what I’m paying? Essentially it’s an insurance policy.”

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, January 21st, 2011

Axolotl eggs could provide a potent

weapon in fight against cancer tumours

A common cause of cancer is when cells are altered or mutated and the body’s tumor suppressor genes are switched off. Scientists at the University of Nottingham have managed to bring cancer cells back under control by reactivating the cells’ cancer suppressor genes using an extract from axolotl oocytes. The scientists say the discovery could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of a variety of cancers.

The process of cell division is controlled by specific genes and these are turned “on” or “off” depending on their function. Among the most important of these genes are tumor suppressor genes. These genes repress the development of cancers and normally act as a control point in the cell division cycle. Therefore, the switching off of tumor suppressor genes is a common cause of cancers.

The on/off switch in genes is controlled by the modification of proteins that are bound to the DNA in a cell, which are known as epigenetic modifications. Tumour suppressor genes in many cancers are switched off by epigenetic marks, which is the underlying cause of tumors.

In an effort to reverse this process the researchers looked to the axolotl salamander – an animal well known for its ability to regenerate most of its body parts. The scientists found that humans evolved from animals that closely resemble axolotls and therefore, proteins in axolotls are very similar to those in humans. Axolotl oocytes – eggs prior to ovulation – are also packed with molecules that have very powerful epigenetic modifying activity and a powerful capacity to change epigenetic marks on the DNA of human cells.

By treating the cancerous cells with axolotl oocyte extract, the researchers were able to reactivate the tumor suppressor genes and stop the cancer from growing. After 60 days there was still no evidence of cancerous growth.

The researchers say the identification of the proteins in axolotl oocytes responsible for this tumor reversing activity is a major goal of future research, and could form a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer.

The University of Nottingham team’s research appears in the journal Molecular Cancer.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, January 21st, 2011

Love bite

partially paralyses woman

January 21, 2011 – 10:49AM

A woman was partially paralysed by a love bite from her amorous partner, a New Zealand doctor has reported.

Teddy Wu said he believed it was the first time someone had been admitted to hospital as a result of a “hickey”.

An article on the case has appeared in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

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Dr Wu said he saw the woman over a year ago while he was working in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

The 44-year-old Maori woman went to the emergency department after experiencing loss of movement in her left arm.

It happened while she was sitting watching television.

Her only injury was a love bite on the right of her neck near an artery.

“Because it was a love bite there would be a lot of suction, said Dr Wu, who now works in the neurology department at Christchurch Hospital.

“Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel.

“There was a clot in the artery underneath where the hickey was.”

The clot had gone into the woman’s heart and caused a minor stroke that led to the loss of movement, he said.

She was treated with warfarin, an anticoagulant.

That treatment made the clot disappear almost entirely within a week, he said.

“We looked around the medical literature and that example of having a love bite causing something like that hasn’t been described before,” he said.

If it had not been treated quickly the woman could have suffered more strokes.

“Strokes have different levels of severity. But possibly patients can become paralysed.”

The woman was fine at a one-month follow-up appointment, the Journal reported.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Semen ‘killer flu’

found to be an allergy

Thomas Maugh
January 20, 2011

LOS ANGELES: Some males seem to be allergic to their own semen, developing a mysterious flu-like illness after they have ejaculated, Dutch researchers say.

The condition, known as post-orgasmic illness syndrome or POIS, has been documented since 2002. Symptoms include feverishness, runny nose, extreme fatigue and burning eyes, which can last for up to a week.

Some doctors had suggested the disorder was psychosomatic, but Marcel Waldinger, a professor of sexual psychopharmacology at Utrecht University, and colleagues demonstrated in two papers in The Journal of Sexual Medicine that the syndrome was allergic in nature and that it might be possible to desensitise men to the problem.

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Dr Waldinger and his colleagues studied 45 men with POIS. Thirty-three agreed to undergo a standard skin allergy test using a diluted form of their own semen; 29 of the 33, or 88 per cent, showed a positive allergic reaction, indicating an autoimmune response.

It is not clear, however, why they exhibited a response to the semen only when it was released from the testicles.

”They didn’t feel ill when they masturbated without ejaculating,” Dr Waldinger said. ”But as soon as the semen came from the testes … they became ill, sometimes within a few minutes.”

In a second study in the journal, Dr Waldinger used what is known as hyposensitisation therapy on two of the men, injecting them with steadily stronger solutions of their semen. The team found that after one and three years, the men showed significantly less POIS symptoms.

Los Angeles Times

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, January 20th, 2011

‘Kermit the killer’:

doctor stands accused of

eight murders in

‘house of horrors’

January 20, 2011 – 4:35PM
The "house of horrors"... The Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia, where Dr Kermit Gosnell allegedly made millions from abortions.The “house of horrors”… The Women’s Medical Society in Philadelphia, where Dr Kermit Gosnell allegedly made millions from abortions. Photo: AP

A US doctor, who gave abortions to minorities, immigrants and poor women in a “house of horrors” clinic, has been charged with eight counts of murder over the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors say.

Dr Kermit Gosnell, 69, made millions of dollars over 30 years, performing as many illegal, late-term abortions as he could, prosecutors said.

State regulators ignored complaints about him and failed to inspect his clinic since 1993, but no charges were warranted against them given time limits and existing law, District Attorney Seth Williams said. 

Nine of Gosnell’s employees were also charged.

Gosnell “induced labour, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord”, Williams said.

Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said. He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labour during the day, they said.

Early last year, authorities went to investigate drug-related complaints at the clinic and stumbled on what Williams called a “house of horrors”.

Bags and bottles holding aborted foetuses “were scattered throughout the building,” Williams said. “There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose.”

The clinic was shut down and Gosnell’s medical licence was suspended after the raid.

Gosnell and four workers were charged with murder, while five others were charged with controlled drug violations and other crimes. None of the employees had any medical training, and one, a high school student, performed intravenous anaesthesia with potentially lethal narcotics, Williams said.

All 10 defendants were taken into custody, authorities said.

Two listed numbers for Gosnell in Philadelphia have been disconnected. Defence lawyer William J. Brennan, who represented Gosnell during the investigation, noted that the doctor served patients in a low-income city neighbourhood for decades.

“Obviously, these allegations are very, very serious,” Brennan said.

The grand jury said the woman who died was a patient who came to Gosnell’s clinic for an abortion and died of cardiac arrest because she was given too much Demerol. Gosnell wasn’t at the clinic at the time, but directed his staff to administer the drug to keep the woman, a healthy 41-year-old, sedated until he arrived, prosecutors said.

Gosnell has been named in at least 46 malpractice suits, including one over the death of a 22-year-old mother who died of sepsis and a perforated uterus in 2000. Many others also involve perforated uteruses. Gosnell sometimes sewed up the injury without telling women their uteruses had been perforated, prosecutors said.

Gosnell charged $325 for first-trimester abortions and $1600 to $3000 for abortions up to 30 weeks. Abortions are legal up to 24 weeks gestation in Pennsylvania, although most doctors won’t perform them after 20 weeks, prosecutors said.

Some women came from across the mid-Atlantic for the illegal late-term abortions, authorities said. White women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area because Gosnell believed they were more likely to file complaints, Williams said.

“People knew near and far that if you needed a late-term abortion you could go see Dr Gosnell,” Williams said.

Few if any of the sedated women knew their babies were born alive and then killed, prosecutors said. Many were first-time mothers who were told they were 24 weeks pregnant, even if they were further along, authorities said.

Gosnell got his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and is board certified in family practice. He started, but did not finish, a residency in obstetrics-gynaecologic, authorities said.

“He does not know how to do an abortion. He’s not board certified,” Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said. “Once he got them there, he saw dollar signs and did abortions that other people wouldn’t do.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Red wine battles cavities

Any reason to drink is a good one as far as I’m concerned, so here’s one more for the list: Red wine is good for your teeth.

No, I’m not drunk and I haven’t gone crazy – I know wine can darken your pearly whites if you’re not careful.

But the polyphenols in a good red can also stop the process that leads to cavities and tooth decay.

As you learned in kindergarten, sugar kicks this party off. But the sugar alone doesn’t do all the damage – it gets help from Streptococcus mutans, bacteria that basically eat the sugar and poop out glucans.

The glucans form a film on your teeth that then allow the bacteria to cling and cause decay and rot – and next thing you know, you’re screaming 7 kicking in a dentist’s chair.

But researchers have found that the polyphenols in fermented grape stems, skins, and seeds actually render S. mutans impotent, at least when it comes to all that glucan- making.

The researchers also found a similar effect with cranberries. And if you can eat or cook with plain cranberries, more power to you. But since most people have never seen a cranberry that wasn’t drowned in sugar and then sauced or juiced, let’s stick to the wine.

Researchers say the two best wines for bacteria-blocking polyphenols are Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. But they don’t recommend actually drinking those wines – oh no. That would be too easy.

These killjoys point out that wine can stain teeth, so instead they want to isolate the polyphenols and add them to toothpaste and mouthwash.

And that’s where this turns into hogwash – because you just know that rinse will be loaded with fluoride, too.

Since the benefits of wine go far beyond cavity prevention, don’t be afraid to drink up. And if you’re worried about stains, be sure to rinse with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide at the end of your evening.

Just remember to swallow your wine and spit your peroxide, and you’ll do just fine.

Wining and dining,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Japanese Physician’s Proven “Herb Cure”
for Poor Memory

Hundreds of patients can’t be wrong! “Our research on memory remedies led us to a Japanese doctor,” say the Wilen Sisters. “His records show he successfully treated more than 500 patients with memory problems – all with the common herb eyebright. We’d always thought of it as a remedy for eye problems, until now!”

Dirt cheap. Eyebright isn’t costly or rare — it often grows by the side of the road. It’s available at most health food stores or you can grow your own.

The secret formula. Add 15 grams eyebright and 1 tablespoon clover honey to 1 ½ cups of just-boiled water. When it’s cool, strain the mixture and store in a bottle


Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Smoking habit erased by famed scientist’s “orange cure.”

Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling came up with this odd-sounding natural remedy, and it was soundly retested by a British research group. In just 3 short weeks, the folks who used oranges were smoking an average of 79% less — and many had kicked the habit completely!

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha