Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flu Plan Scandal Ahead – An Urgent Warning

I don't really have a better way of saying this or presenting this information, so I'll just put the video and link on here - it's fantastic information regarding the upcoming flu vaccine and the controversy surrounding it...right from the mouth of Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D. and the National Vaccine Information Center.

Click here to go to Dr. Mercola's page to view the commentary in full!

As usual, if you have questions or comments about this, please feel free to call our office, send me an email, or stop by for an appointment. I'd love to speak with you about this!

In Health,
Dr. Scott

Hilltop Wellness & Chiropractic

Thursday, June 24, 2010

'Unintended' statin side-effect risks uncovered

What? "Unintended?" It's headlines like these that make me wonder just how long ago the risks were 'uncovered,' ya know? Did they know about them after the first long-term trial? Did they know about these risks after 5 years? After 10 years?

I like this quote, "
On the positive side, the analysis also showed no significant association between the use of statins and the risk of Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, blood clot, dementia, osteoporotic fracture, or many cancers including gastric, colon, lung, renal, breast or prostate."

It basically says they haven't seen a significant risk of parkinsons, R.A, clots, dementia, fracture, or cancers...YET! 6 years is not a very long 'long term study,' especially when you consider that we have patients who have been on statins for 15-20 years (the first FDA approved statin was Mevacor, in 1987).

But what I think is the most interesting is the ratio of benefit to side-effects: In women, there was a reduction of 279 events (esophageal cancer and cardiovascular disease) BUT an INCREASE of 442 side-effects, many causing death. THE MEN FARED MUCH WORSE, with 552 side-effects!

I don't know, do you think I'm off-base in presenting this information? Please don't read me incorrectly - I'm not saying statins are the bane of civilized healthcare, but I am saying that statins are a horrible alternative to simply taking control of your health and diet.

If you have questions about this, please feel free to contact me.

In Health,
Dr. Scott

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Warning: FDA Says Heartburn Meds Can Increase Your Fracture Risk

So a new "review of studies" has been released by the FDA and it finally reports 'breaking news' on some of the negative side effects I've been talking to patients about for the last 3-5 years! It seems every day there's one new medication in the spotlight receiving its own 'black box' label, or at least increasing the size of their already-lengthy list of additional unintentional side effects.

What's interesting to me, is that most people taking antacids are actually doing the exact OPPOSITE of what would be best for them. That's right. Most people taking antacids are actually acid-depleted. They are making too LITTLE acid and that lack of acid in the stomach is allowing the food to putrify and essentially rot. This rotting food is not pleasant and off-gases quite a bit, which forces air - and usually stomach acid - into the esophagus, giving the individual the sensation of 'heartburn.'

This is self-induced heartburn, though. In taking an acidic supplement, most people would then have enough stomach acid to properly break down the food that is entering the stomach, thereby avoiding the heartburn!

So, onto the FDA's 'scoop:'

The FDA has mandated that proton pump inhibitor heartburn medications must carry a label warning of increased fracture risk. This group of drugs include Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium.

The FDA suggests those taking these drugs should consult with their doctors, and those using such drugs over-the-counter limit their use to no more than three 14-day periods a year.

According to the FDA website:

"... [The decision is] based on the Agency's review of several epidemiological studies that reported an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine in patients using proton pump inhibitors."

If you or someone you know is taking the damaging medications and would like help in getting off of them, please give our office a call. We'd love to help you, just as we have helped so many others!

In Health,
Dr. Scott

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Arthritis Powerhouses Even Stronger Together

New research shows that omega-3 fats and glucosamine work together to provide additional benefits for people with osteoarthritis.

Scientists gave 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate to the study participants, but some also received 200 mg of omega-3 fats. Both groups had about the same number of participants who reported a 20 percent or less reduction in pain.

But according to Dr. Christiane Northrup:

“However, when researchers asked those who experienced an 80 percent reduction in pain, those in [the glucosamine plus omega-3 group] reported reduced morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees by between 48.5 and 55.6 percent, compared to 41.7 to 55.3 percent for those in [the glucosamine only group].”

Advances in Therapy September 2009; 26(9):858-71

If you are one of the millions who suffer from arthritis, please give our office a call - I won't promise that we will cure you of arthritis, but we can help you get back to living a much more pain-free and productive life, and with that comes the ability to participate in hobbies and recreational activities, playing with children and grandchildren, and even going back to work, which may have not been an option because of pain. Please don't settle on taking poisonous drugs to mask the pain - get to the source of the problem.

In Health,
Dr. Scott

Monday, May 10, 2010

Five Ways to Help Beat Depression Without Antidepressants

Twenty-plus years of research on antidepressants, from the old tricyclics to the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) show that their benefit is hardly more than what patients get when they take a placebo.

More and more scientists who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding that antidepressants are basically expensive Tic Tacs.

Research has found that patients do improve, often substantially, on SSRIs, tricyclics, and even MAO inhibitors. This improvement is the basis for the ubiquitous claim that antidepressants work.

But when researchers compare the improvement in patients taking the drugs with the improvement in those taking dummy pills, they find that the difference is minuscule.

Nonetheless, the number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled in a decade, from 13.3 million in 1996 to 27 million in 2005.

This is a very important point, folks. In many cases, your beliefs are as or more effective than pills when it comes to achieving health.

The second article linked below frowns on the notion of homeopathy, because some people think it may work as a placebo. But the article shouldn't be so dismissive. The placebo effect is very powerful. Thousands of clinical studies have found that the placebo effect can aid in healing or even cure disease.

What it comes down to is the crucial mind-body connection. Those who have hope and belief in the solutions they try will likely find them working. That's why it is so key to keep your health freedom, and pay attention to the huge corporations that continually discredit alternative methods.

Typically, more natural healing techniques won't harm you, and many of the drugs will. In time, energy medicine will be better understood, and perhaps this placebo element will be utilized in such a way that no pill will ever be necessary -- your mind will be stimulated to heal on its own. Similarly, those who pray or meditate for healing should not be ridiculed either.

Simply labeling something as a placebo and not pursuing it any further misses a key point. The so-called "placebo effect" may very well point the way to the future or medicine.

Newsweek January 29, 2010

New Scientist February 1, 2010

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) January 6, 2010; 303(1):47-53

Depression is tough, and I don't think you will find a reputable doctor arguing that it doesn't exist. There's a lot that goes into being depressed, and, quite honestly, I believe many of the subtle details are overlooked. With that said, I firmly believe there is a way out of all depression, it's just a matter of finding the correct key to the puzzle - it might be more exercise, might be more omega-3s, might be working on less addictive behavior, dealing with the death of a loved one, or it might be coming to grips with abuse you'd rather not could be as simple as realizing there's a greater plan out there - just knowing there is a loving and caring God looking after you and wanting the best for you - that could be your key. Whatever the issue, I urge the struggling to continue the quest and solve the puzzle -

In Health,
Dr. Scott

Why Coke’s New ‘Healthy Front’ Could Be Just a Big Bluff…

Diet Coke and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health have joined forces to raise awareness about women’s risk of heart disease. Diet Coke’s Red Dress Program will take center stage at high-profile events.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that Coca-Cola, whose products are not exactly heart healthy, is a strange partner for the NHLBI.

Are such partnerships a benign win-win? History suggests otherwise.

In 1984, Kellogg cooked up a partnership with the National Cancer Institute to put health claims for fiber on the boxes of All-Bran cereals. In doing so, Kellogg (and NCI) went around the FDA and undermined that agency’s control over health claims on food packages -- leading to problems that the agency is still struggling to fix.

If you are struggling with addiction to pop, or sugar in general, please give our office a call - I would love to help counsel you toward your nutritional goals!

In health,

Dr. Scott

From Dr. Mercola's blog:

Diet Coke teaming up with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to raise awareness for women’s heart health programs is laughable … if it weren’t such a sad testimony to the cozy relationships between corporate giants and U.S. public health organizations

The irony here is that Coke is one of the main retailers of sugar in the U.S. and it is very clear that sugar, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which provides the most food calories in the U.S., is actually leading the charge for increasing heart disease.

Drinking diet soda has been clearly linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors such as excessive fat around your waist, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, all of which can raise your risk of heart disease, not to mention diabetes.

Diet soda, like most all diet foods, also increases your chances of becoming obese, and we all know that obesity in turn raises your risk of heart disease!

And, again, this doesn’t even take into account Coca-Cola’s other mainstay product, regular Coke, which is loaded with high fructose corn syrup --­ the major cause of the obesity epidemic.

Can You Say “Sell-Out”?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is the parent organization to NHLBI, is seen by many Americans as a group of neutral government experts who set out to provide the public with honest, reliable, unbiased health information.

In reality, NIH scientists have long been open to partnerships with the “enemy,” so long as the pay-off was lucrative enough. According to records, at least 530 government scientists at the NIH have taken fees, stock or stock options from biomedical companies in recent years.

Sad to say, but I’ve come to expect these kind of underhanded dealings when it comes to federal agencies … but I expected better of the Olympics.

Olympics Sells Out to Coke, McDonald’s

If you watched this year’s winter Olympics, you’ve surely seen the ads from companies like Coke and McDonald’s, both of which were among the most highly visible Olympic sponsors.

Now kids and adults alike have the pleasure of seeing two of the world’s biggest junk-food brands side-by-side with some of the world’s greatest athletes … and are left with the impression that to win Olympic Gold they need only grab a Big Mac and fries, and wash it down with a long swig of Coke.

It’s really incredible that Coke is the official “Beverage of Choice” for the Olympics, while McDonald’s is the “Restaurant of Choice.” You can rest assured that the U.S. would not have topped the world in total medals won if their athletes subsisted on a diet of Coke and McDonald’s!

McDonald’s has even been promoting shameless games encouraging people to guess how certain Olympic athletes eat their McNuggets, while running commercials showing athletes celebrating a victory with McDonald’s value meal!

For an event that prides itself on physical fitness and athletic greatness, what are they teaching the world’s children? Surely we can do better than this.

The Major Cause of the Obesity Epidemic

Getting back to Coca-Cola’s partnership with women’s heart health … it has to be pointed out that soda is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is actually the number one source of calories in the United States, and it is very clear that it is the primary cause of the obesity epidemic.

If you received most of your carbs from vegetables and fruits as most people did a century ago, you’d only consume about 15 grams per day -- a far cry from the 73 grams per day the typical person receives from their diets today. Sadly another 25% of people consume more than 130 grams of fructose per day.

It isn’t that fructose itself is bad -- it is the MASSIVE DOSES you’re exposed to that make it dangerous.

There are two reasons fructose is so damaging:

  • Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver.

  • People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound.

The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.

And where as glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite, fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin. The result is overeating, weight gain and ultimately obesity.

If you’re obese, you’re also at an increased risk of heart disease, which is another glaring reason why Coca-Cola’s partnership with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is so absurd.

I strongly recommend you keep your fructose consumption to below 25 grams per day, and you view some sample fructose contents in fruits here. There are about 40 grams of HFCS per can of soda, so if you drink one a day you’re already way over the limit.

And please don’t be fooled by the myth that diet soda is somehow better than regular. Drinking diet soda is clearly linked to obesity as well!

Keep Your Eyes Wide Open

Deceptive marketing practices, such as those being used by Diet Coke and McDonald’s, can lead you to subconsciously prefer certain foods. If you see enough Olympians with a Coke in hand, for instance, suddenly your daily habit may not seem so bad.

Children, of course, are especially vulnerable to these messages.

So please make an effort to seek out the ulterior motives that are present when health agencies join forces with junk food manufacturers. And, if you’re a parent or teacher, please take the time to explain the realities to your children as well.

We don’t need a generation of kids aspiring to become Olympic athletes by making Coke and McDonald’s their “foods of choice.” And we don’t need to set women up with the false knowledge that drinking Diet Coke is a smart choice for a healthy heart.

If you want REAL tips to keep your heart healthy, I’ve compiled many of them here -- and you’ll notice that not one involves sipping on an artificially sweetened soda of any kind.