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See BBC News report. Michelle Mitchell, from Age UK, says, "Not enough is being done to ensure that words are transferring into action on the wards."
Given that patient and consumer groups are increasingly involved in as stakeholders and experts in management and scientific committees at the European Medicines Agency, one activist group decided to survey corporate sponsorship and compliance with disclosure requirements. Health Action International canvassed 23 groups, including those concerned with AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and diabetes, to gauge financial ties between 2006 and 2008. Here is the study and this is what was found: Two-thirds of the groups working with the EMA received partial or significant funding from drugmakers or industry associations. All in all, 15 organizations received between 0.2 percent and 99 percent of their annual income from corporate sources, while seven were funded entirely from alternative sources.
Read article at pharmalot.com
See this Telegraph report. It's a bit sneaky making salads salty, because people tend to expect salad to be a healthy choice of meal. High salt intake can increase your risk of a stroke or a heart attack, especially if you are in one of the vulnerable groups. And if you have high blood pressure or if you are overweight, then salty food is extra damaging to you. See Sodium in foods.
BBC News reports a record increase in complaints about the NHS. As I have written several times in this blog, since nothing is ever done about NHS Complaints (see
Cruelty, Clinical Negligence and the Abuse of Power in the NHS,
Complaints in Hospitals,
NHS Complaints Procedures Exposed and
The politics of salt consumption and powerful vested interests)
it is almost inevitable that complaints will continue to increase. If you read the individual comments beneath the BBC report you will see further examples of the futility of making a complaint about the NHS. Doctors and dentists are a law unto themselves and consider themselves inviolate against complaints made by patients. I sincerely believe that they and the rest of the NHS do far, far, far more harm than good.
My grandfather lived into his nineties, when he died in bed of pneumonia. He never went to a doctor or dentist in his life and he still had all his teeth when he died. Good food was his physician: three meals a day. He grew some vegetables and had a few raspberry and gooseberry bushes in the back garden, and he ate plenty of animal fat: none of this foolish modern practice of cutting off all visible fat from the meat on one's plate. My grandparents reached and passed their diamond wedding anniversary. Over 60 happy years together.
I believe that two of the major causes of ill-health today in the developed world are 1) the adverse side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs, which are wantonly over-prescribed, often in high dose, by a medical profession too influenced by drugs reps, too ill-informed about drug side-effects, and too little interested in the therapeutic possibilities of improved nutrition, and 2) the dire effects of processed foods, produced by a food industry intent on profits and to hell with the damage done to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their customers.
New evidence linking the use of acetaminophen to development of asthma and eczema suggests that even monthly use of the drug in adolescents may more than double risk of asthma in adolescents compared to those who used none at all; yearly use was associated with a 50 percent increase in the risk of asthma.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment by Dr Rath Foundation: Based upon research involving more than 300,000 13- and 14 year old children in 113 centers throughout 50 countries, the results of this study follow hot on the heels of independent research that links acetaminophen (Paracetamol) not only to asthma but also to hearing loss and adverse vision events. As such, as the leading cause of liver failure in the United States and carrying a much increased risk of stroke and heart attack, it is becoming increasingly clear that the dangers of acetaminophen are far higher, and more numerous, than the business with disease and its friends in the drug regulatory agencies would have you believe.
The US Department of Justice is scrutinising payments by leading pharmaceuticals companies for hospitality, consultants, licensing agreements and charitable donations in markets around the world as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, among others, have disclosed being contacted by the DoJ and Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the investigation. Merck, the US drugs group, announced that it had also been contacted and was co-operating with investigators.
Read article at yahoo.com
An investigation is long overdue, surely?
He pointed out that people in such great distress need our help and that they should not be, in effect, 'punished' by having help withheld because there are extremists in Pakistan, or because the president of Pakistan chose to remain in Britain so long before returning to flood-hit Pakistan, or because sometimes donated moneys get into the wrong hands, or because of any other reasons which are nothing at all to do with the people who are suffering the consequences of the catastrophic floods. By urging us to donate again he reminds us that the relief of such terrible suffering is urgent and should be unconditional.
Five of the 15 experts that advised the World Health Organisation about swine flu pandemic alerts had received support from the drugs industry, including for flu vaccine research, the WHO has revealed .
Read article at physorg.com
Comment by Dr Rath Foundation: The list of the WHO's influenza pandemic advisors with conflicts includes, amongst others, people with current and past grants and funding from GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Baxter, Sanofi Pasteur and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).
Green vegetables have long been considered to be good for our health, and many people will remember as children being exhorted to: 'Eat your greens!' - The latest dietary suggestion is that eating about 4 ounces of green, leafy vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, etc) a day may significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. See BBC News report.
The Telegraph carries two articles about this: here and here. - Donald Light, a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, US, slated drug companies in a paper he presented today, in which he explained that the ""toxic side effects" of prescription drugs" made them "a significant cause of death."
I note the comment that, "When patients complained of adverse reactions, studies showed doctors were likely to dismiss them, he said." This has been my own experience as a patient harmed by the devastating side-effects of certain prescription drugs and the colossal ignorance of doctors about the side-effects. I also welcome the professor's scathing remarks about statins, which are surely very high on the list of drugs about which the public and the medical profession are being conned.
My advice is to avoid prescription drugs if you possibly can, because on the whole they assuredly do a great deal more harm than good. Improving your nutrition is the safest way to improve your health. For example, avoiding salt and salty food will lower your cholesterol levels and improve your heart health without any side-effects at all.
International experts have again called out for an increase in daily recommendations for Vitamin D, which they say is crucial to reduce the risk of a host of diseases. The latest call comes from scientists in Europe and the US, who say that higher intake levels of the vitamin could help protect against conditions such as childhood rickets, adult osteomalacia, cancer, autoimmune type-1 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity and muscle weakness. Writing in the July 28 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, the authors propose worldwide policy changes to increase recommended intake levels of the sunshine vitamin. This, they said, would reduce the frequency of certain diseases, increase longevity and reduce medical costs.
Read article at nutraingredients.com
AstraZeneca is moving closer to resolving the large number of lawsuits filed in the US over claims that the risks of its Seroquel antipsychotic were not properly disclosed. In this disclosure, AstraZeneca has agreed to pay about $198 million to settle 17,500, or roughly two-thirds of the outstanding lawsuits, according to a statement.
Read article at pharmalot.com
BBC News reports that Dr Darrel Francis et al are recommending this measure to reduce the harm to health caused by eating junk food. Statins are pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed for the purpose of lowering cholesterol levels and are claimed by this means to be drugs that benefit heart health. But as these researchers must certainly know, statins only rarely reduce health problems. Much more commonly they damage the health of the innocent patients who take them. Evidence for this - from reputable sources - abounds on the internet. Click on the statins link beneath this blogpost to see some of the evidence. Click here and here and here for a few more examples, and look up Dr Malcolm Kendrick's strong views on the subject of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Anyone who wants to lower their cholesterol levels can do so without drugs. Simply cutting down on salt/sodium and salty food lowers cholesterol and also, much more importantly, lowers high blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, heart attack, dementia, type 2 diabetes and many other degenerative illnesses, and reduces overweight by reducing fluid retention. And there are no adverse side-effects to cutting down on salt.
Government and retailers are under pressure to impose a ban on sale of pesticides linked to bee population decline following new research which groups call a 'growing body of evidence'
Environmental groups including the Soil Association and Buglife are making a renewed call for an end to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are among the most commonly used pesticides worldwide, after a new study linked them to a decline in bee in bee populations.
Read article in The Guardian (UK)
BBC News carries this report. As you will see, the regulatory bodies respond with their usual complacency, but "There can be no excuse for trusts continuing to put lives at unnecessary risk," said chief executive of the charity, Action Against Medical Accidents, Peter Walsh.
I suggest that the highest-paid member of the NHS Trust management team be made specifically responsible for the Patient Safety Alerts being implemented, and implemented on time, with a clause in his/her contract of employment that they will be sacked without pension/testimonial/reference/right of appeal the first time they fail to do this. This, I think, would ensure that an appropriate level of importance and urgency be accorded to this measure upon which, after all, patient lives depend.
The Telegraph reports that GP Navin Shankar, who had dismissed Nicola Sams' 6 years of irregular bleeding and abdominal pain, which turned out to be the symptoms of terminal cancer, as 'nothing to worry about', has not been removed from the Medical Register. This is despite the GMC's earlier leniency toward this this lamentably sub-standard doctor when he failed to recognise the seriousness of the illness of a nine-day old baby.
Here's a suggestion for the Coalition Government: save a load of money by abolishing the GMC, the partisan Watchdog/Lapdog that routinely protects the interests of its doctor members, rather than the interests and health of patients, which is ostensibly its raison d'être.
Well, almost unbelievably now we are living in the 21st Century, he said, "You're a big girl, aren't you?" - This is the language of the Carry On films. It should not be the language of a health professional to a woman patient in her fifties, especially one trying to come to terms with a diagnosis of a serious illness, with particularly sensitive emotional overtones for a woman.
I heard from my friend, Jane, recently, telling me of the breast cancer. She already has a bad back problem she was born with and a bad leg from a motor accident years ago, and osteoporosis, and has been a wheelchair user for many years. But despite her usual brave struggle with the daily difficulties experienced by a disabled person in our country, this casual, uncalled-for impertinence had upset her very greatly and she dreads the prospect of seeing this guy again. She has made a complaint about his rudeness, but the NHS is notorious for not taking complaints seriously and for doing nothing about them.
Fortunately I was, at any rate, able to offer some positive suggestions for her. I've been reading from several sources recently that sugar feeds cancer, and of course it has no nutritional value anyway, so I suggested that she try cutting down on sugar. I also suggested that she change to using pastured butter (see my previous entry about this, posted on Sunday, 8 August 2010) and that she get hold of some delicious probiotic whole milk organic yoghurt so that these healthy dairy products can improve her bone health at any rate. She already avoids salt and takes calcium and vitamin D3 as a result of my recommending them to her in the past.
Well, I must confess that I hadn't thought about which is the healthiest butter, apart from knowing that unsalted is much healthier than salted. But my friend, Bill, got me thinking about it. He pointed out that butter that is made from the milk of cows that eat outdoors, grazing on grass, the natural food of cows, will be healthier than that made from cows that live unnatural lives in barns and eat grain instead of grass, with also the possibility that the grain will be polluted with pesticides. - Once you think about it, it's a no-brainer, isn't it? - So now I buy unsalted, pastured butter. - The word 'pastured' is the word used to describe this sort of butter.
You may think that this delicious, healthy butter is more expensive than the less healthy sort, but it doesn't always seem to be the case. The last butter I bought was unsalted Anchor butter from Tesco and it was only £1 a pack. Anchor butter is from New Zealand, where the cows graze in the fields all year round. This is the only pastured butter I have tried so far. There are other pastured butters. I look forward to trying Président pastured butter next.
Another good thing about pastured butter is that it contains higher levels of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is one of the key fat-soluble vitamins (along with A and D) responsible for transporting the minerals into our bones and teeth and for helping our bodies to absorb calcium well.
And just in case you didn't know, butter is much better for your health than margarine! Avoid margarine if you value your health!
See BBC News item about how tongue piercings can damage teeth and cause other health problems too.
The European Commission authorized six genetically modified (GM) maize varieties for food and feed use after member states failed to return majority decisions for or against on three occasions.
Read article at foodnavigator.com
The Independent reports on a review of the pros and cons of Breast Cancer Screening which highlights the need for more honesty from the NHS about the scientific uncertainties involved in this screening.
Extract from the report:
"Professor McPherson, citing US evidence, says that breast screening reduces the death rate by 14 per cent in the under-60s, which is of "marginal statistical significance", and by 32 per cent in the under-70s. But even this is a small benefit because at age 60 the risk of death from breast cancer over the next 15 years is just 1.2 per cent – 259 women in the UK would have to be screened to avoid one death.
"Individual benefit from mammography is thus very small, but this is not widely understood. In part this is due to obfuscation from organisers of mammography services assuming that a positive emphasis is needed to ensure reasonable compliance," Professor McPherson says.
He calls for a "full examination of all the data" and more honesty from the NHS about the scientific uncertainties. He also suggests that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) should review the evidence.
"There is no doubt that screening for breast cancer has limited benefit and some possibility of harm for an individual woman and is of marginal cost-effectiveness for the community... The NHS screening programme needs to be really clear about the uncertainties when communicating with women... More importantly we all need to understand better how a national programme of such importance could exist for so long with so many unanswered questions.""I have always considered routine mammography screening as an expensive political pretence of concern for women's health, that actually does far more harm than good to the women screened. Screening is not prevention, though it seems to be promoted as though it is prevention. Prevention should be the primary aim where cancer is concerned, but the Cancer Research industry accords little effort to prevention.
Why the Stone Age Diet is Good for You
There’s a certain irony in the fact that even though we’re far more advanced than our ancestors of yore, the quality of our life, especially when it comes to health, is not much better than what Paleolithic man used to lead. They did not have as many diseases as we do today, illnesses that are caused partly because of our sedentary and hedonistic lifestyles. Diabetes, cardiac disease, alcoholism, gout, asthma, some forms of cancer, allergies, depression, and other psychological disorders are caused partly because we eat the wrong kind of food, we use convenient ways to travel, and we lead easy and comfortable lives.
Exercise is a perpetual absentee in such lives; compound this with the fact that food is always present and in large and unhealthy quantities, and you have the perfect recipe for disease. One way to effect a change in your lifestyle and prevent diseases that are caused by affluence is to go back to the way of life that our ancestors followed, not by choice, but through necessity. They ate healthier food because it was the only food available – fruits and vegetables that were available locally, animals that they killed in the wild, and roots and other plant parts that were edible. Their diet was free of artificial substances and additives because they had not invented ways of processing and refining food and so gained every bit of nutrition from the food they ate.
If you were to follow the Stone Age diet today, you would probably have to give up foods that are cultivated and manufactured – grains, legumes, oils, dairy products, juices, coffee, tea, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sugar, salt, and processed meat. What you can include in your diet are unprocessed meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables (exclude some root vegetables that cannot be eaten raw), fruits, nuts, herbs, and naturally occurring sweeteners like honey and maple sugar.
The advantages of the Paleolithic diet include:
· Fewer carbohydrates in your meals and so rapid and effective weight loss.
· Zero additives and preservatives which boost your natural health quotient.
· No sugar and salt which again helps you lose weight and avoid various diseases including hypertension and diabetes.
· Lower incidence of food allergies and less exposure to toxins in food.
An added benefit of this diet is that some people who follow it also tend to adopt the Paleolithic way of life – they eschew modern conveniences and prefer to work out outdoors; sprinting, climbing and other activities that help them to stay fit add to their overall health and keep them free of disease. Besides which, a study conducted at the Department of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden, has found that the Stone Age diet is good for people with or prone to contract diabetes.
On the downside, there are critics who say that the Stone Age diet is a fad diet and is not suitable for the long term. However, they fail to take into consideration the fact that every diet requires self control for it to be effective. If you’re willing to effect the change, then the change provides improvement in all aspects of your life.
This article is contributed by Susan White, who regularly writes on the subject of surgical technician schools. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: email@example.com
Read these warnings about the pharmaceutical drugs that cause cognitive impairment, higher risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other adverse side effects while providing little significant benefit to the patient.
Many years ago I was duped into taking anti-depressants and sleeping tablets to try to cope with the agonising pain of acute dental abscesses and other serious dental problems caused by negligent dental treatment. Dentists and doctors sought to cover up the sustained negligence by claiming that I was not in pain, but simply 'depressed'! Read more detail about this here. I well remember the adverse effects of these harmful drugs and how extremely addictive the sleeping tablets were. - They provided me with 14 nights of heavy, unrefreshing sleep but it took me eight months of gruelling determination to wean myself off them. Under no circumstances would I ever take any psychotropic drugs again.
The brain is not infinitely elastic. Protect it by saying no to pharmaceutical junk.
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