Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Diabetes Drug Banned in Europe for Causing 83,000 Heart Attacks

Avandia, the Type 2 Diabetes drug, hit the market in 1999 and quickly became a blockbuster drug. By 2006 its annual revenue in USA was $3.2 billion. By 2009, sales had dropped to $1.2 billion following a damning study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2007, which linked Avandia to a 43% increased risk of heart attack and a 64% higher risk of cardiovascular death than patients treated with other methods.

A September 23, 2010 article in the NEJM announced that, finally, the US FDA has stepped forward and decided on regulatory action for Avandia, a diabetes drug that last year claimed 1,354 lives as a result of cardiac-associated problems in USA.

British regulators have ruled that GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia could lead to heart attacks or strokes, and benefits no longer outweigh the risks and removed it from the market. However, it is still available in Australia!!

Evidence linking Avandia to an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke has been building since 2007, and GSK has agreed to pay $460 million in damages to settle about 10,000 lawsuits in USA linking its use to patients suffering serious medical setbacks.

The drug in question here, rosiglitazone, is sold under the names of Avandia, Avandamet and Avaglim. Avandia alone is used by 2 million people worldwide.

The only thing rosiglitazone drugs like Avandia do is to help lower blood glucose, which has virtually no influence on the long-term damage due to Type 2 Diabetes. Most of the damage is caused by elevated insulin levels, which can be remedied with an optimal diet and exercise program.

GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Avandia, hid damaging information about the drug for over ten years, as it would adversely affect their sales. Between 1999 and 2007, Avandia is estimated to have caused 83,000 unnecessary heart attacks. This is 20,000 more deaths than Merck caused when they sold Vioxx which has now been recalled worldwide.

If you, or anyone you know, is still taking this drug, warn them of this danger.


Book Review: The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

The discovery of neuroplasticity, that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains, even into old age, is the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in 400 years. Dr. Norman Doidge introduces principles we can all use to overcome brain limitations and explores the profound brain implications of the changing brain in an immensely moving book that will permanently alter the way we look at human possibility and human nature.


Book Review: Knockout by Suzanne Somers

In KNOCKOUT, Suzanne Somers has interviewed doctors and medical professionals using everything from alternative to integrative to conventional methods to combat cancer. Whichever path you choose, this is a must-have resource to navigate the life and death world of cancer and increase your odds of survival, plus vital information on how to prevent what will soon become the world's No.1 killer. Suzanne Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and now wants to share her cancer story to help others.


Economic Report Finds Complementary Medicine Could Ease Health Budget

A study into the cost effectiveness of complementary medicine in Australia has found the nation could potentially save millions of dollars in healthcare costs without compromising patient outcomes if complementary medicine is more widely used.

The research conducted by Access Economics for the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney examined the cost effectiveness of selected complementary medicine treatments.

The study found taking fish oil supplements was a highly cost effective intervention to prevent heart disease for those who already had a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Clinical trials have shown St John’s wort is an effective as standard drug treatments for mild-moderate depression.

Acupuncture for chronic non-specific low back pain as a complement to standard care resulted in significantly better pain outcomes compared to standard care alone.

Several clinical trials have shown Phytodolor, a herbal treatment for osteoarthritis, can help some osteoarthritis patients manage pain and control inflammation.

Complementary medicines could defray the high costs of modern health care by offering better disease prevention and more effective management of chronic conditions.


Dangers of Non-stick (Teflon) Cookware

The dangers of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are becoming increasingly evident. The most common sources of these chemicals include:
  • non-stick cookware
  • microwave popcorn bags
  • packaging for greasy foods
  • stain-proof clothing
  • carpet and fabric protectors
  • flame retardants, and products that contain them
Although it may be quite difficult to eliminate all sources of these toxins since they are so pervasive, at least ged rid of your non-stick cookware, considering you use your pots and pans to cook almost every day of the week.

Studies have shown that PFC's can cause:
  • infertility (Human Reproduction Journal, 2009)
  • Thyroid disease (Environmental Health Perspectives Journal, May 2010)
  • cancer (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats) and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers
  • immune system problems - several studies by scientists in Sweden indicate that PFC's have an adverse effect on your immune system
  • increased LDL cholesterol levels (Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Sept 2010)
Children and teens who have high blood levels of chemicals used in the production of non-stick cookware may be more likely to have elevated LDL cholesterol levels and have been associated with cancer.
Source: Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine (September 2010)

Coconut Oil Reduces Alzheimer's Disease

With Alzheimer's disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty utilizing glucose (made from the carbohydrates we eat), the brain's principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. There is an alternative energy source for brain cells - fats known as ketones. If deprived of carbohydrates, the body produces ketones naturally.

Another way to produce ketones is by consuming oils that have medium-chain triglycerides. When MCT oil is digested, the liver converts it into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 25 % of the energy newborn babies need to survive.

MCT oil derived from coconut oil at a dose of 20 grams (about 20 ml or 4 teaspoons), according to the latest research, not only protects against the incidence of Alzheimer's, but may actually reverse it. Moreover, this is also a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and type II (insulin-resistant) diabetes.

Make sure you buy non-hydrogenated (no trans-fat) virgin organic coconut oil available from health food stores.
Source: ANH-USA (October 5, 2010)

Chemicals in Indoor Swimming Pools Increase Cancer Risk

A new study is the first to provide a comprehensive characterization of the effects of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in an indoor pool environment. It found that swimming in indoor chlorinated pools for 40 minutes may induce DNA damage that can lead to cancer.

Previous studies have found an association between DBPs in drinking water and bladder cancer.
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives (September 12,2010)

Toxic Moisturisers

Most of the beauty industry moisturisers contain chemicals that are toxic to your skin and actually leave your pores clogged. Some of the misnomers include:
  • "For Professional Use Only" -- This phrase allows cosmetic companies to remove harmful chemicals from their labels.

  • "Hypoallergenic" -- No actual testing is necessary to claim that a product is "hypoallergenic", "allergy-free" or "safe for sensitive skin".

  • Harmful Chemicals -- Unless they are intentionally placed in the product, harmful chemicals are not required to be listed.

  • Some ingredients to avoid:
  • Ingredient Use Dangers
    Parabens Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry; used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products. Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.

    Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum
    These petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. They’re implicated as a suspected cause of cancer. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin…
    Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) Found in over 90% of personal care products! They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature aging. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access. SLS combined with other chemicals may become a "nitrosamine" – a potent carcinogen.
    Acrylamide Found in many facial creams. Linked to mammary tumors.
    Propylene glycol Common cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils. May cause dermatitis and skin irritation. May inhibit skin cell growth. Linked to kidney and liver problems.
    Phenol carbolic acid Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and even death from respiratory failure.
    Dioxane Hidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Very common in personal care products. These chemicals are often contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane that’s easily absorbed through the skin. Its carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965, and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages are considered extremely vulnerable, making it, in my opinion, a really bad idea to use these things on your face.
    Toluene May be very poisonous! Made from petroleum and coal tar… found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage…May affect a developing fetus.
4 tips for healthy clear youthful skin:
  1. Hydrate your entire system with lots of water.
  2. Eat a healthy diet of mostly raw foods (salads, vegetables, fruit) foods high in omega-3 fatty acids which produce a hydrating effect from the inside out, and antioxidants which help fight signs of aging.
  3. Take a revitalizing bath – in warm water, not hot! Himalayan salt baths are rejuvenating, and help dry skin to slough off. Hot water is damaging to your skin, so stick with warm water.
  4. Moisturize daily and every evening with non-clogging organic moisturizers. There are many brands available now eg. Akin, Dr Hauschka, jojoba oil, coconut oil. These nourish your skin instead of clogging it, as many toxin-impaired moisturizers do.

Study Links Voltaren and Neurofen to Strokes

Commonly sold as Voltaren, but available in a number of brands, it is one of a class of drugs all found to increase the risk of stroke, an extensive Danish study found.

Diclofenac, the key ingredient in Voltaren, is as dangerous as the arthritis drug Vioxx, said an international expert. Vioxx was withdrawn in Australia in 2004 because it was found to increase the risk of heart attack.

A spokeswoman from Novartis Australia, which makes Voltaren, said it should be used at the lowest possible dose for the shortest duration of time.

Last financial year almost 656,000 prescriptions for higher strength Voltaren and 246,000 prescriptions of high-dose Ibuprofen were covered under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. The study co-author and senior cardiologist at Gentofte University Hospital, Gunnar Gislason, told the Herald ibuprofen should be prescription-only and diclofenac should be banned.

Ric Day, a professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of NSW and St Vincent's Hospital, said that while the study analysed healthy people it was particularly relevant for people at risk of heart attack and stroke, such as those with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Source: SMH, September 14, 2010

Detox Heavy Metals with Chlorella

Chlorella, a single-celled fresh water algae, is perhaps most well known for its ability to detox your body by binding to toxins, such as mercury and carrying them out of your system.

Chlorella is about 60 % protein, and is considered to be a "complete protein" source because it contains all the essential amino acids.

Spirulina is another algae that is frequently confused with chlorella, as it has many of the same characteristics. One major difference is that spirulina does not have the ability to draw out heavy metal toxins like chlorella does.

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