Sunday, March 27, 2011

American Council on Science and Health, 2011: Week Eleven

Posted by Rich Kozlovich

Kool: ACSH on controversial menthol ban in WebMD
Following a report issued by the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) last week claiming that a menthol cigarette ban would be beneficial to public health, journalist Denise Mann revisits the issue in her article for WebMD, "Are Menthol Cigarettes Riskier Than Non-Menthol?"

FDA has a fractured bone to pick with long-term ulcer drugs
For those over the age of 50 taking prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the FDA warns that using these medications for over a year increases the risk of bone fractures.

Report: Nothing Fishy About Mercury
It's time to hit the seafood buffet as a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms what we knew all along: exposure to mercury in fish has no clinically adverse effect on cardiovascular disease.

Simply preventing a million diarrhea deaths

Though not an endemic problem in the U.S., diarrhea remains a common life-threatening event in third-world countries, killing about 1.4 million children under the age of five every year.

My Take - The greenies are always howling about how we have to go back to nature and get all of these terrible chemicals out of our water if we really want good health. Baloney! If that was so great....why don't they live there and take their children with them. Chlorine in the water supply has been one of the greatest health benefits the world has ever known, and the greenies keep proving it over and over again.  When they convinced leaders in South American to eliminate chlorine from the public water supplies hundreds died and tens of thousands were sickened. And they weren't prosecuted.  That is one solution to this diarrhea problem. Prosecute these activists that are preventing modern advancements in these countries. Or better yet. Prosecute then and make them live there under the same conditions they have imposed on these people.

Will rationing supercede America’s healthcare legacy?
Is the U.S. moving towards health care rationing?  Dr. Gil Ross states; "We all like to think of America as a land of opportunity, a place where people are free to make their own choices in matters large and small. That's why it's so disturbing to see American regulators moving to restrict the treatment options of women suffering from advanced-stage "triple-negative" breast cancer, the most difficult type to treat - and doing so at the same time European regulators are reinforcing the choices available for treatment."

Study linking PFCs and early menopause doesn’t pan out
Some West Virginia University researchers are frying up a skillet of fear for pre-menopausal women.

Hormone therapy for men…with locally advanced prostate cancer, that is
Patients with locally advanced prostate cancer may benefit from a six month hormone treatment, according to a new Lancet Oncology study.

Acupuncture means pain without gain
Back pain sufferers unable to find relief from physical therapy or pain medications may look to alternative therapies for a solution, particularly acupuncture. If you are considering acupuncture, you may want to consider the results of a new meta-analysis showing that the procedure may pose more risks than benefits.

My Take - There are a couple of things that bother me about this. First, I don't place a great deal of confidence in 'meta-analysis'.  It has a place, but that place shouldn't be in the first seat.  Another thing that desturbs me are all the reports about how this works on infants and animals, which would not constitute a 'placebo effect'.  Are those reports false? I don't know! But I never heard contrary comments when this has been discussed. 

The last thing that disturbs me is that an entire area of the world  (about 25% of the worlds population) buys into this and has done so for centuries.  China isn't a singular nation. It is as varied as its food.  There is a substantial difference in languages in China also, although I do think they can all speak Mandarin.  How do you convince such a varied population that something that doesn't work..... works? I have never had acupuncture performed on me, and I don't intend to start, in spite of the continuous pain I am in. I don't embrace it because it just seems too voodooish to me and I put it much in the same category as faith healers.  However, in this case….  I don't dismiss it out of hand either.

If there is a health scare today, the American Council on Science and Health will most likely have the answer by tomorrow; and for members it will appear in your e-mail. No effort on your part, except to read the answer. All that the ACSH is interested in are the facts and they are prepared to follow them wherever they lead. Who can ask for more?  Please Donate Now!


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