Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Food Health Dangers

You've probably already heard of the growing concern over the chemical BPA in our food supply but a new study raises the level substantially. A coalition of 17 public and environmental health groups analyzed can from 19 states and Ontario, Canaca and found 92% of them contained the chemical. BPA has been associated with several different damaging health effects and there is a growing chorus of people asking for it to be banned from our food supply.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D. California) has already called for a ban on BPA in food and beverage containers saying "Nearly 200 scientific studies show that exposures to low doses of BPA, particularly during pregnancy and early infancy, are associated with a wide range of adverse health effects later in life."

In my most popular speech on complementary and alternative therapies (Secrets of New Science & Old Medicine) the handout has a picture of the Agouti mice at Duke University. The photo is about epigenetics but the environmental factor producing obesity in the mice was exposure to BPA. You can hear a podcast of this presentation at www.unbreakyourhealth.com.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Failing Health Care for Mothers

I've often written how the U.S. spends more on health care than an other nation on earth with poor results. It is especially clear on maternal mortality where we spend more per birth than any other nation yet we rank #41 in the world. For all of the money we spend there are 40 other industrialized countries that have better survival rates. This includes countries like Croatia, Hungary and Macedonia. Our rate is double that of Canada and most of Western Europe!

Deaths from obstetrical causes within one year of giving birth rose nationally from 7.6 per 100,000 births to 13.3 from 1996 to 2006. In California the rate tripled from 5.6 deaths to 16.9. How can so many American women die from childbirth when we spend more money per birth than anyone else on the planet?

Some people within the medical community point the finger at the increase in the number of cesarean sections which now account for 1/3 of all births, an increase from 20% of births in 1997. But there may are other possible causes.

During the recent health care debate it was often heard that America has the best health care system in the world. Try explaining that to all of the women who died from childbirth. Something is wrong in our health care system and it needs to be changed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cancer Costs

Yes, cancer costs in the U.S. have doubled in the past 20 years from $25 billion to $48 billion according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Surprisingly it's not due to all of those expensive new cancer drugs and treatments but instead by the increase in the number of cancer patients.

Perhaps modern medicine should be investigating cancer prevention instead of expensive treatments? Oh, sorry, that would be a complete paradigm shift in the medical industry in this country.

Prevention is one of the key features of complementary and alternative therapies. Never getting sick is a lot cheaper in the long run than treating an illness or disease!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Record Drug Fine

I simply couldn't let the news of a record fine by the FDA pass without at least a mention. AstraZeneca agreed to pay $520 million in fines over its illegal marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel. The FDA approved the drug only for short-term treatment of acute manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

The company marketed the drug for unapproved uses aggressively including paying doctors to "advise" on how to market the drug for other uses. It then billed the government for the drug even though it was not approved for the condition.

The company agreed to pay the record fine without admitting wrongdoing saying it's best to move forward.

Isn't it amazing how the drug companies that say complementary and alternative medicine isn't properly tested or researched have no problem selling their prescription drugs for anything under the sun so long as it makes them a buck?