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HealthNews Bytes

A Quick Guide For Evaluating Health Studies In The Media

lavender

My purpose here is not to simply jump on the “blame the media” bandwagon. And, of course there are some problems with how they report health studies that everyone should know about. Reporting on health study results is a mainstay for many news organizations. In fact, most people learn about such studies from news reports on television news, talk shows and newsprint. In my 30 years as a health practitioner, I have rarely seen a

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Media Is Misleading the Public Again with Flawed “Study” about Calcium

Italy cactus and full lake

First of all, this “new report” is not new at all. It’s a revisiting of an article published in the British Medical Journal in July of 2010. Secondly, it was not a “study”, but a meta-analysis. So what is a meta-analysis? It is a conclusion drawn as a result of reviewing a group of previous studies. And the conclusion is not drawn by original authorsof the studies, but by another group of people altogether. Oh

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Can Coffee Consumption Actually Boost Your Health?

You may be surprised to learn that coffee can reduce your risk of disease! I’ll bet you didn’t expect to hear this from your health consultant…but some of the research is stunning. There have been an impressive number of studies that found decreased risk of cancer (including breast and prostate), diabetes, liver disease, cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s disease. For some of these diseases, those who drank the most coffee

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New FDA Warning: Risk of Infections with Stomach Acid Blocker Drugs

Billions of dollars a year are spent on medications designed to get rid of stomach acid. Or more accurately stated, to stop the uncomfortable symptoms of stomach acid backing up into the esophagus where it doesn’t belong. These symptoms include burning, cramping, bloating, nausea, coughing, sore throat and even back pain. They are typically referred to as acid reflux, GERD or heartburn. The most commonly used drugs to minimize these symptoms are the PPIs (proton-pump

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Statin Drugs in the News Again…Increasing Risk of Diabetes in Women

Stunning new study findings from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) were released in January 2012 linking Statin drug use with an almost 50% increased risk of type II Diabetes in post-menopausal women. 6.4% of post-menopausal women who were not taking statin drugs developed diabetes, while it rose to 9.9% for those taking statins, a 48% increase. Statin drugs were the number one prescribed drug in 2011, with Americans spending $19 billion on this class of

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Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season… The Holistic Approach

apples+oranges

The cold and flu season is already upon us. It started early this year. Typically, December, January, and February tend to be the worst months. We have all been bombarded with the message to “get flu shots” as if that is the way to avoid getting sick. Although flu shots may be a good idea for a small number of people, there is a downside to them. By getting yearly flu shots, we actually weaken

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Common Antibiotics, like CIPRO, May Cause Tendonitis

glacier

CIPRO is the workhorse of antibiotics. Why? It is very effective for fighting many types of bacteria. Great, but is there a downside? Yes! There are lots of side effects and some quite serious. For example, back in July, 2008, the FDA issued a “black box warning” on Cipro and other antibiotics of the Fluoroquinolone drug class. What is a black-box warning? It is the strongest warning the FDA requires on pharmaceuticals. It is named

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New Study: Effectiveness of Popular Cholesterol Drug Questioned

mountain reflection

The New England Journal of Medicine, in November of 2009, published a study that questioned the effectiveness of Zetia (brand name for ezetimibe) and Vytorin (a combination of a statin drug and Zetia) in lowering cholesterol, reducing plaque, and reducing heart attacks and strokes. Both drugs are marketed by Merck. These drugs have a different mechanism for lowering cholesterol than statin drugs. They work by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from food in the intestines,

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Beating the Flu: A Holistic Approach

apples+oranges

With children back in school, we are gearing up for the cold and flu season. There are many more concerns this season because of the H1N1 (swine) flu and fears of a pandemic. All the more reason to keep ourselves healthy and our immune systems strong. The prevailing mythology is that we get a cold or flu because we’ve been “exposed”. Of course it’s true that exposure to a virus is necessary but that’s not

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WORST to BEST: Pesticide Residues in Our Food

tomatoes

Everyone is trying to save money these days. And while I always recommend buying organic foods, some of my clients have found that due to costs, they can’t always buy everything organic. So if you are making choices based on costs, it might be helpful to know with which foods you can be more lenient and which to be more careful to purchase only organic. I have previously published the “Dirty Dozen” list of the

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