New Natural Alternative Significantly Reduces Herpes Outbreaks

Herpes affects a majority of Americans and genital Herpes (HSV-2) infects about 1 in 5 or about 60 million Americans1. It is this form of Herpes virus that gets most attention for obvious reasons. A far more potent and safe alternative to treating outbreaks can be found in an herbal-based natural products like H-Control by Organic Health Labs.
For those suffering from painful outbreaks, H-Control provides Herpes relief and prevents sores. Keys to this formulation are found two main ingredients; Prunella vulgaris and EpiCor. However, there are over 20 assisting in this formulation.
Chinese medical researchers Chuen-lung Cheng and Hongxi Xu report in the "Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines." Extract of P. vulgaris has been successfully used to control herpes infections in clinical settings2.
The Research by Dr. Lee and colleagues presented during the 103rd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (2003). Dr. Lee said: "Given the high incidence of herpes infection and the emergence of acyclovir-resistant strains of herpes viruses, the Prunella lignin-carbohydrate complex may prove to be a useful new-anti-herpes drug."

Source  - PR web

Combining Mainstream and Alternative Medicine

Our readers already have an interest in natural therapies and this article is to perhaps prompt you to become more proactive in combining natural health and mainstream medicine. Often the age old herbal remedies and systems are pushed aside by those which are enmeshed in ways of thinking regarding drugs to be more effective for controlling illness.
This is not always the case and it is time that it was recognised that depending on a person’s health there are times in their life when medical drugs are essential and other times when natural therapies would perhaps do a gentler, more effective job.
Who decides which to use needs to be very much the decision of the person affected. It is important that we always have the freedom of choice to decide what to do about our health and it is heartening that many innovative mainstream doctors out there are now looking at alternative treatments of integrated care for many of the big diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It’s not just a matter of chemo or radiation therapy anymore. Many doctors are now sending their clients to natural therapists to work in conjunction with them in terms of treating their patients biologically, psychologically, spiritually and in terms of lifestyle.
Practitioners are now combining conventional treatments with alternative treatments such as yoga, nutrition, meditation, acupuncture, energy healing and herbal therapies which leads to less stress, fatigue, depression and pain for their patients.

Source  - Wellbeing

Should Women Take Calcium and Vitamin D or Not?

One of my patients recently brought in a magazine article whereby a popular mainstream magazine article was citing an article from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) from April 2011 regarding calcium increasing risk for heart attacks.
She was concerned that taking her usual low dosage -- 400-800mg of calcium supplement per day -- would put her at higher risk of heart attacks. This incident spurred me to write this article to clarify this issue for all women who were concerned about their bones, but are now concerned about their heart as well as their bones.
The article, published in BMJ in 2011, was one in which the authors re-evaluated the data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study on calcium supplementation where 36,282 women were looked at in a seven-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study as to how calcium and vitamin D supplementation affected them.[1]
In the initial study meta-analysis, there was no increased risk of heart disease seen in the study for women on calcium and vitamin D. But in the re-evaluation of a sub-group of the study (about 16,718 women), which then was published as the 2011 article in BMJ, the women who were not taking any personal calcium supplements were lower in risk of heart attacks then those women who were taking the treatment dosages of calcium and vitamin D.[2]

Source  - Huffington post

Homeopathic St. John's Wort: Good for More Than Just Depression

In this age of antidepressant overprescribing, popular herbal preparations of St. John's Wort have become an excellent first line of defense in mild depression for those concerned about pharmaceutical side effects.
 But did you know that a diluted homeopathic form of St. John's Wort is highly useful for a wide variety of additional health-related problems? Homeopathic Hypericum perforatum, named for the Latin genus and species of the plant, is effective for many conditions that involve nerve injuries and puncture wounds.
I remember my first experience with Hypericum in medical school. A woman with chronic arm pain resulting from a severe injury to her "funny bone" (a large nerve exposed at the elbow called the ulnar nerve) consulted the physician with whom I was doing a preceptorship. Previously an accomplished guitar player, she had endured years of pain and, in spite of surgery to the nerve, was no longer able to perform. The doctor prescribed several doses of homeopathic Hypericum and, within a few weeks, she experienced a 50 percent reduction in pain. This simple case example illustrates the most common indication for Hypericum -- injuries to nerves.

Source  - Huffington post

Achieving Balance With Ayurveda

Life has four characteristics -- it exists, evolves, expresses and extinguishes. For this, it depends on five elements, namely earth, water, air, ether and fire. To make it easier to understand we can bring in the five senses and its objects, namely sight, smell, taste, sound and touch.
Ayurveda is the study of life. Ayur is life and Ved means to know. According to Ayurveda, life or existence is not a rigid compartment, but a harmonious flow. Even the five elements of which the whole universe is made of are not tight compartments of defined objects. They flow into one another. Each one of the elements contains the other four.
The subtlest element in us is space, which the mind is made up of, and the grossest is the earth element, which our bones, marrow, the skin and the structure are made of. This is further divided into three Doshas -- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This is a way to understand our physiology, its characteristics and its reflection on the mind.

Source  - Huffington post

How eating oranges and grapefruit can cut the risk of a stroke

Eating oranges and grapefruit could cut your risk of stroke, claim researchers.
Both the whole fruit and breakfast juices appear to protect against having a ‘brain attack’, probably due to their high content of a certain type of antioxidant.
A new study looked at citrus fruit for the first time, rather than a range of fruit and vegetables which have been linked to stroke protection.
The study involved thousands of women taking part in the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study in the US, but experts believe the benefits may also apply to men.
Every year in the UK, approximately 120,000 people have a stroke and 20-30 per cent die within a month, while 300,000 people are living with disabilities as a result.
A research team based at Norwich Medical School in the University of East Anglia investigated the strength of protection from flavonoids, a class of antioxidant compounds present in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.

Source  - Daily Mail 

A needle in my ankle beat my incontinence

Around ten years ago I started needing to go to the toilet all the time — it felt as if something was  constantly pressing down on my bladder.
My life started to revolve around the bathroom. When I went out to the theatre, for example, with my husband Tom, I’d go before I left home, then at the station, before the show and during the interval. I tried drinking less so I wouldn’t feel so desperate, but I just ended up incredibly thirsty and with a headache.

After about a year of this I went to my GP — he said the problem was that my bladder muscles were contracting too readily. He prescribed drugs to relax the muscles and that helped a bit. I was also referred to a physiotherapist, who taught me daily exercises to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles. But I still had a constant urge for the bathroom and it was making my life miserable.

Then last March I saw an article in the Daily Mail about a new procedure where they stimulate a nerve in the ankle, which leads to the bladder, to get the bladder acting normally again. My GP agreed to refer me to North Middlesex University Hospital where they were doing the surgery.

Source  - Daily Mail 

New proof daily dose of fish oil does help keep your brain young

Eating fish helps keep your brain young, claim scientists.
They found diets lacking an essential nutrient in oily fish may hasten brain shrinkage and mental decline. People eating the least amount of omega-3 fatty acids had less brain mass - equivalent to about two years of chronological ageing.
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids were also associated with poor test scores for visual memory, problem solving, multi-tasking and abstract thinking. It is thought that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils may reduce inflammation of the brain and play a part in brain development and nerve cell regeneration. Britons are currently advised to eat fish at least twice a week, including one portion of oily fish.
In a new study, brain scans carried out on 1,575 people with an average age of 67 showed a greater rate of brain shrinkage in those who lacked docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is thought to help nerve cells communicate with each other. The richest source of the nutrient is oily fish, such as herring, mackerel and sardines.

Source  - Daily Mail

Alternative treatment helps Michigan doctor beat infertility

Family practice doctor Erin Murfey never imagined she would have trouble conceiving a baby.  Like many women, she delayed having children until she completed her education and was established in her career.
"I was about 32 or 33 when we first started, decided to start trying," said Murfey.  "There was no fertility issues in my family.  I wasn't thinking that was going to be an issue. We tried for about 6 months, were unsuccessful, and then we went to my personal OB/GYN," said Murfey.
Murfey and her husband tried medications for a couple more months, then decided to visit a reproductive endocrinologist.
"We didn't want to waste any more time," said Murfey.
Doctors did a battery of tests to see if Murfey and her husband were physically able to conceive.  A blood test revealed Murfey had a very high FSH level, a hormone that usually indicates becoming pregnant would be nearly impossible.
"They told me I wasn't going to be able to have children, so I figured we were done and that we had no other options," said Murfey.  "We were just devastated."

Source  - WDIV

Brushing teeth could prevent meningitis

Researchers in Zurich found the newly-identified bacterium Streptococcus tigurinus in the blood of patients with meningitis.
They also found it in those with spondylodiscitis, or inflammation of the spine, and a type of heart disease called endocarditis.
Dr Andrea Zbinden, who led the study, said the bacterium "seems to have a natural potential to cause severe disease".
It could get into the bloodstream through bleeding gums, she added, although she noted its "specific risk" had yet to be determined. The study is published today (Wednesday) in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
Meningitis, the swelling of the tissue around the brain, can be caused by bacteria, viruses or other micro-organisms. It can be fatal.

Source  - Telegraph

Super avocado could help combat antibiotic-resistant infections in hospitals

A Chilean avocado may contain the secret to fighting aggressive, antibiotic-resistant infections in hospitals all over the world.
A natural substance found in the Chilean rainforest fruit blocks yellow staphylococci bacteria's ability to reject antibiotics. These specific bacteria are the most common cause of infection in wounds from an operation. They develop a resistance particularly quickly - strains that do not respond to treatment have already been found in the USA and Greece.
PhD student Jes Gitz Holler, from the University of Copenhagen, worked with the Mapuche people  in Chile to make the discovery.

He said: 'I have discovered a natural substance in a Chilean avocado plant that is active in combination treatment with traditional antibiotics. Resistant bacteria have an efflux pump in their bacterial membrane that efficiently pumps out antibiotics as soon as they have gained access.  I have identified a natural substance that inhibits the pumping action, so that the bacteria's defence mechanisms are broken down and the antibiotic treatment allowed to work,' explains Jes Gitz Holler.

Source  - Daily Mail

The doctors who think conquering hot flushes may be all in the mind

Lynne Collins wasn’t too concerned when she hit 50 and realised she was beginning the menopause.
‘I just thought your periods stopped, which would be rather nice,’ says Lynne. ‘I wasn’t really sure what to expect.’
But over the next few years she started to suffer increasingly from symptoms — most notably hot flushes and night sweats — which affected every aspect of her life.
‘By the time I was 54 I was having several flushes a day,’ she says. ‘They would creep up on me, starting in my chest and then go up to the neck and skull until I was overheating, and my skin would go red and blotchy. Even the smallest thing — someone pulling out in front of me while driving or putting a laptop on my lap — would set one off.  At night, as soon as I got under the duvet I’d instantly feel too hot. I’d wake in the night with sweat trickling down my neck and my back and have to go and have a wash.
My husband Clive was getting more and more worried, and of course it would disturb him too.  There wasn’t a single night I slept all the way through and often I’d go off and sleep in another room.’

Source  - Daily Mail

Scientists Find New Dangers in Tiny but Pervasive Particles in Air Pollution

Fine atmospheric particles — smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair — were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States.
 Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill  an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood.
A batch of new scientific findings is helping sort out the discrepancy, including, most recently, a study led by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., that is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. It indicates that the compounds’ persistence in the atmosphere was under-represented in older scientific models.
“If the authors’ analysis is correct, the public is now facing a false sense of security in knowing whether the air they breathe is indeed safe,” said Bill Becker, of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies

Brain scans prove Eastern philosophies can be effective in treating mental illness

Meditation is sitting around trying to think about nothing and letting out the occasional ‘ommmm’. They do lots of it in India and in parts of Islington where they eat granola, too. OK, those are sweeping statements but you catch my drift.
I’m open-minded, but if you had asked me a few years ago whether I believed meditation could be an effective treatment for serious mental illness, I would have laughed. However, that is exactly what some of Britain’s mental health experts now believe.
It has been almost a decade since I was first diagnosed with paranoid psychosis, a type of schizophrenia. It’s not as dramatic it sounds – I’ve seen a psychiatrist about once every three months since I became ill, and my medication is managed by the GP. 

Source  - Daily Mail

The secret to long life?

Starving yourself on alternate days can make you live longer, according to scientists.
A group of Americans have said that fasting on and off can boost brain power and help to lose weight at the same time.
The National Institutes for Aging said their research was based on giving animals the bare minimum of calories required to keep them alive and results showed they lived up to twice as long.
The diet has since been tested on humans and appears to protect the heart, circulatory system and brain against age-related diseases like Alzheimer's.
'Dietery energy restriction extends lifespan and protects the brain and cardiovascular system against age-related disease,' said Mark Mattson, head of the laboratory of neurosciences at the NIA and professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Source  - Daily Mail

The Swiss Government's Remarkable Report on Homeopathic Medicine

The Swiss government has a long and widely-respected history of neutrality, and therefore, reports from this government on controversial subjects need to be taken more seriously than other reports from countries that are more strongly influenced by present economic and political constituencies. When one considers that two of the top five largest drug companies in the world have their headquarters in Switzerland, one might assume that this country would have a heavy interest in and bias toward conventional medicine, but such assumptions would be wrong.
In late 2011, the Swiss government's report on homeopathic medicine represents the most comprehensive evaluation of homeopathic medicine ever written by a government and was just published in book form in English (Bornhoft and Matthiessen, 2011). This breakthrough report affirmed that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost-effective and that homeopathic treatment should be reimbursed by Switzerland's national health insurance program.
 The Swiss government's inquiry into homeopathy and complementary and alternative (CAM) treatments resulted from the high demand and widespread use of alternatives to conventional medicine in Switzerland, not only from consumers but from physicians as well. Approximately half of the Swiss population have used CAM treatments and value them. Further, about half of Swiss physicians consider CAM treatments to be effective. Perhaps most significantly, 85 percent of the Swiss population wants CAM therapies to be a part of their country's health insurance program.

Source  - Huffpost

'Homeopathy works!'

Homeopathy really does work and doctors should recognise its healing effects, say researchers.
A study found that allergy sufferers who were given homeopathic treatment were ten times more likely to be cured than those given a dummy pill instead. Doctors should be more positive about the alternative medicine, which is the only complementary therapy available on the NHS, the researchers said.
Their study attempts to settle the controversy over homeopathic treatment, which critics say is not effective because of the tiny level of active substance used in most remedies. It works on the principle that a substance which in large doses will cause the symptoms of an illness can be used in minute doses to relieve the same symptoms. Critics argue that the active substance is so diluted that homeopathic remedies have no more effect than placebo or dummy treatment.
The study put homeopathy to the test in 50 patients suffering from nasal allergies. They were given either a homeopathic preparation or a placebo.
Each day for four weeks patients recruited from general practices and a hospital in London measured their nasal air flow and recorded symptoms such as blocked, runny or itchy nose, sneezing or eye irritation. Both groups reported that they got better - but on average patients who received homeopathy had a 28 per cent improvement in nasal air flow compared with 3 per cent among those in the placebo group.

Source  - Daily Mail

Zinc supplements 'can triple the survival chances of young children with pneumonia'

Zinc supplements can triple the survival chances of young children with pneumonia who are deficient in the mineral, a study has found.
Taking zinc had a dramatic effect on death rates - even though it did not shorten the time severely ill children took to recover. The metal is found in shellfish, meat, egg yolks and seeds and supports a wide range of functions in the body and is vital to the immune system.
However, many people are deficient in the mineral, both in rich and poor countries. The new research, involving young children aged six months to five years, was conducted in Uganda where zinc deficiency is rife. Scientists studied 352 children with severe pneumonia who were all being treated with antibiotics.

Source  - Daily Mail

Can yoga classes kill you?

Downward dog for back pain, sun salutations for an energy boost - yoga has become the workout for a healthy mind and body, and is the exercise of choice for endless celebrities including Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. But is the ancient art form as healthy as we’d like to think?
On yesterday’s Today programme on Radio 4, New York Times science writer William Broad, the author of a controversial new book, The Science Of Yoga: The Risks And Rewards, asked whether yoga - when taught incorrectly - might actually have the potential to kill.
During his research Broad - who himself practised yoga for many years before getting injured doing it in 2007 - uncovered endless documented examples of injuries to backs and limbs such as strains, broken bones and trapped sciatic nerves. He also found to his ‘horror’ that while some poses were low risk others could have extremely serious consequences. These risks, he says, occur as a result of hyper-extension - over-stretching - of the head and neck.

Source  - Daily Mail

An hour of tai chi twice a week helps people with Parkinson's disease to walk

People with Parkinson's disease often suffer from shaking limbs and stiff muscles, which makes moving increasingly difficult.
Now scientists have found practising an ancient Chinese martial art could help both their balance and ability to walk. A team from the Oregon Research Institute assigned nearly 200 patients twice weekly sessions of 60 minutes each in either tai chi, resistance-training or stretching. Those who did the gentle martial art outperformed the stretching and resistance-training groups in tests of balance and length of stride when walking. Those in the tai chi group also experienced fewer falls than the stretchers, and just as many falls as the resistance-trainers.
'These results are clinically significant because they suggest that tai chi, a low-to-moderate impact exercise, may be used, as an add-on to current physical therapies, to address some of the key clinical problems in Parkinson's disease' said lead author Fuzhong Li.
'The improvements in the balance and gait measures that we demonstrated highlight the potential of tai chi-based movements in rehabilitating patients with these types of problems.'

Source  - Daily Mail

How a potato can improve blood supply

As temperatures plummeted over the weekend, I – and many others like me – had a tough decision to make: how high shall we turn up the heating? The answer affects not just my bank balance but, more importantly, my health.
I suffer from Raynaud’s phenomenon, in which the small blood vessels in the fingers and toes dramatically contract in response to cold. It’s not just outside temperatures that affect me: just stepping from a warm room into a chilly one can cause my fingers to turn from a healthy pink to an unnatural white and even, in a bad case, a ghastly blue. A few minutes of vigorous arm waving and physical jerks will bring the blood rushing back, but that return of feeling can be eye-wateringly painful.
This is no ordinary response to the cold. Raynaud’s, named after the French medic who first described it, is a debilitating syndrome that is thought to affect as many as 10 million people in the UK; I was diagnosed 10 years ago when I was 33. During an attack, the blood supply to fingers and toes (and sometimes ears and nose) is interrupted, causing not only vivid colour change but also numbness and discomfort. The cause of Raynaud’s is not known, but it may occur spontaneously without any other condition being present (primary Raynaud’s) or, less commonly, be associated with an underlying condition such as scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder affecting the skin (secondary Raynaud’s).

Source  - Telegraph

Can sugar really be toxic? Sadly, yes

By the time you have finished reading this sentence, one person in the world will have died from type 2 diabetes. Two more will have been newly diagnosed with it. Yet it is a condition that rarely excites or interests the public. It has a slow, insidious progression that is interlinked with obesity, and as a result this disease is considered an abstract, boring and largely self-inflicted condition. While it’s a killer, it’s not a killer in the dramatic and attention-grabbing way that other conditions such as cancer and infectious diseases can be. But given the huge personal and economic impact it has, we should be taking type 2 diabetes much more seriously.

According to a startling commentary in the journal Nature, by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, sugar poses such a health risk – contributing to around 35 million deaths globally each year – that it should now be considered a potentially toxic substance like alcohol and tobacco. Its link with the onset of diabetes is such that punitive regulations, such as a tax on all foods and drinks that contain ''added’’ sugar, are now warranted, the researchers say. They also recommend banning sales in or near schools, as well as placing age limits on the sale of such products.

Source  - Telegraph

Green tea helps elderly stay more agile

Elderly people who regularly drink green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers as they age, according to a Japanese study.
Green tea is known to contain antioxidant chemicals that may help ward off the cell damage that can lead to disease. So researchers have been studying drink's effect on everything from cholesterol to the risk of certain cancers - with mixed results.
For this new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers decided to examine the question of whether green tea drinkers have a lower risk of frailty and disability as they grow older.    
Yasutake Tomata of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and his colleagues followed nearly 14,000 adults aged 65 or older for three years.  They found those who drank the most green tea were the least likely to develop 'functional disability', or problems with daily activities and basic needs, such as dressing or bathing.

Source  - Daily Mail

Stinging Nettle is effective in treating BPH, arthritis, and aids post-partum mothers

Many people can relate to the experience of brushing up against a stinging nettle plant in a pasture or meadow. The unforgettable chemical burn creates mean welts which can sting for a week. However, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has such healing capabilities that many of the newer green super-food manufacturers add it to their compounds. Nettle is high in vitamin A and C, and is chock full of minerals, especially calcium and iron. Research indicates that nettle is beneficial for benign prostate hyperplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Midwives love stinging nettle as a pregnancy herb.

Stinging nettle heals benign prostatic hyperplasia in vitro

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, affects many older men. It is not cancer, but physicians sometimes recommend pharmaceuticals or surgery. Nettle has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation associated with enlarged prostates. Scientists used stinging nettle root extract in vitro in a 2007 clinical study. Researchers observed anti-inflammatory activity, a reduction in cell growth, and antiviral properties. They concluded that stinging nettle looks very promising for healing BPH. However, before nettles could be recommended as a part of mainstream medical protocol, more studies would have to be conducted.

Source  - Natural news

Top 5 best herbs for treating the flu

There are no known cures for the common flu but there are many natural flu remedies that are highly effective at easing flu symptoms and reducing the duration of the illness. Certain herbs have been used as natural flu remedies for generations and can provide both protection from the flu and relief of symptoms. Here are the top five anti-flu herbs to keep around.


Results of archeological digs indicate that Native Americans may have used echinacea (echinacea purpurea) for more than 400 years to treat infections, snake bites and wounds, as well as a general "cure-all."

Scientific research has shown that the herb can keep immune systems healthy and strong, protecting it from common pathogens like the influenza virus. Research shows that echinacea extract works against an enzyme called hyaluronidase that destroys the body's defenses against diseases. Studies also suggest that echinacea may be helpful in not only destroying viruses like certain strains of influenza but slowing tumor growth.

Omega-3 foods essential to treat nerve damage after traumatic injury

People that have suffered a traumatic injury face an uphill battle as they attempt to regain their health and fight the risk of depression as a long term consequence of the event. British researchers from Queen Mary at the University of London have published the result of a study in the Journal of Neuroscience that explains how omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in preventing and protecting nerves from injury. The research focused on peripheral nerve cells which transmit signals between the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Omega-3 fats from food sources including sardines, salmon, walnuts and flax seeds provide for decreased cell death from injury and may offer significant protection against future damage.

Current research indicates that our nerves do have a limited capacity to regenerate, but recovery is severely limited depending on the extent of the injury. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the body's normal growth and development and have been well researched for their health benefits, largely focused on brain and heart health. The body is unable to manufacture its own Omega-3 fat supply, so it is necessary to obtain sufficient intake from foods such as oily fish, nuts and seeds or through supplementation.

Maple syrup compounds help fight diabetes, cancer

Put down the corn syrup-laden Aunt Jemima and reach for some 100 percent pure maple syrup. New research recently presented at the 241st annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, Calif., highlights the amazing health benefits of maple syrup, including its ability to help treat diabetes and prevent the onset of cancer.

Navindra Seeram and her colleagues from the University of Rhode Island last year discovered that maple syrup contains 20 unique health-promoting compounds, 13 of which have never before been identified in maple syrup. And according to a release from United Press International, five of the compounds identified have never been previously identified in nature at all.

Why I'm off for some vitamin D

Vitamin D is in the news again, and while the experts squabble over it, I'm off to buy myself some supplements. The chief medical officer for England has told GPs like me to advise those at risk to take supplements. And since half the adult population of the UK is lacking vitamin D in the winter months and deficiency is being linked to a growing list of health problems, I can't see a good reason not to take a small multivitamin a day – at least until the sun comes out. I'll stick to the recommended daily amount as you can have too much of a good thing, even vitamins.
Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and health, and deficiency can cause rickets in the young and a condition called chondromalacia in adults. You wouldn't think rickets still existed in the UK but it probably never went away and is increasingly recognised as a cause of fractures in susceptible children.

Source  - Guardian

Complementary medicine courses in universities

What would you think if your child went off to university to be taught that amethyst crystals “emit high yin energy”? Or that cancer can be cured by squirting coffee up the fundament? What if they were told in a lecture that the heart is not, as medical science has believed for centuries, a pump for circulating blood around the body but instead “the governor of our rational thought and behaviour”? Well, you’d probably want your tuition fees back for a start.
For more than a decade, “facts” such as these have been peddled by more than a dozen fully accredited, state-funded British universities: the above examples come from the University of Westminster and Edinburgh Napier University. Indeed, since the mid-1990s, such ideas have been presented and taught as if they were real medicine.
The teaching of “complementary” (that is, non-evidence-based) medicine is something about which scientists and rationalist campaign groups have been raising havoc for years. It may seem harmless and even a welcome alternative to traditional perspectives. But teaching people that homoeopathy is evidence-based when it isn’t, and encouraging students to distrust the scientific method, not only runs counter to reason, but can be dangerous.

Source  - Telegraph

Cancer 'slowed by cooked tomatoes'

Dr Mridula Chopra and colleagues at the University of Portsmouth tested the effect of the nutrient lycopene on the simple mechanism through which cancer cells hijack a body's healthy blood supply to grow and spread.
They found that lycopene, which is what gives tomatoes their red colour, intercepts cancer's ability to make the connections it needs to attach to a healthy blood supply. The researchers, from the university's School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, are now calling for tests to check if the same reaction occurs in the human body.
Director of the research Dr Chopra said: ''This simple chemical reaction was shown to occur at lycopene concentrations that can easily be achieved by eating processed tomatoes.''
Lycopene is present in all red fruits and vegetables, but its concentrations are highest in tomatoes and it becomes more readily available and biologically active when it comes from processed tomatoes with a small amount of cooking oil added.

Source  - Telegraph

Experts warn herbal remedy butterbur can cause liver damage

Most of us see herbal remedies as a safe way to medicate, with few side effects.
But if they contain an unlicensed ingredient called butterbur, they could cause serious liver damage or even organ failure, experts have warned.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has urged British herbal shops to remove products containing butterbur - also called Petasites hybridus - from their shelves.
Butterbur is normally used to treat migraines, but it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which studies have shown can cause serious liver damage and organ failure. Currently, no products containing the ingredient have been sanctioned for use in Britain under the Traditional Herbal Registration Scheme. Several other European countries have also banned it.
However, the MHRA said products containing butterbur are currently being marketed in the UK. And while no adverse reactions to it have been reported here, cases of liver toxicity have been reported elsewhere in Europe.

Source  - Daily Mail

Sugar 'is toxic

Sugar is a poison and its sale should be as tightly regulated as cigarettes and alcohol, scientists say.
They warn that sugary foods and drinks are responsible for illnesses including obesity, heart disease, cancer and liver problems. And they claim it contributes to 35million deaths a year worldwide and is so dangerous it should be controlled through taxation and legislation.
In an article entitled The Toxic Truth About Sugar, published in the journal  Nature, the scientists add: ‘A little is not a problem but a lot kills – slowly.’ The U.S. authors warn obesity is now a bigger problem than malnourishment across the world, and that sugar not only makes people fat but also changes the body’s metabolism, raises blood pressure, throws hormones off balance and harms the liver.
The damage done mirrors the effects of drinking too much alcohol – which the scientists point out is made from distilling sugar.

Source  - Daily Mail

Silver bullet for cancer

Silver can kill some cancers as effectively as chemotherapy and with potentially fewer side effects, new research claims.
Scientists say that old wives tales about the precious metal being a ‘silver bullet’ to beat the Big C could be true.
The metal already has a wide range of medicinal uses and is a common antiseptic, antibiotic and means of purifying water in the third world. And British researchers now say that silver compounds are as effective at killing certain cancer cells as a leading chemotherapy drug, but with potentially far fewer side-effects.
They compared it to Cisplatin, currently used to treat a wide variety of cancers, but known to have harsh side effects including nausea, vomiting and even kidney damage.
Silver is used already in everyday products such as deodorant with no known side-effects, and could make for a potentially cheaper alternative to platinum-based Cisplatin.

Source  - Daily Mail