Natural remedies may also be effective against high cholesterol

Natural remedies may be effective against high cholesterol These days, it is all too easy to rely on potent drugs to reduce cholesterol levels, but one analysis has pointed out that pharmaceutical companies do not always have all the answers.

Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins have been shown to cause serious side effects and adverse drug interactions in some people. They include muscle fiber or liver damage as well as neurological and cognitive disruptions.

That research has prompted editors of Natural Solutions magazine to explore healthy lifestyle choices and alternatives therapies.

"Medical experts agree that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and whole grains is the key to keeping cholesterol low," says the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Linda Sparrowe.

She adds that although challenging at first, lifestyle changes such as exercise and healthy diet that includes supplements should be the first choice of patients facing high cholesterol problems.

The article concludes with suggestions for natural sources of low cholesterol and for cholesterol-lowering supplements, including niacin, omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and red yeast rice extract, many of which have the dual benefit of reducing LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, and increasingly the levels of the healthy HDL.

Human studies to explore vitamin link to hearing loss prevention

Scientists will conduct tests on humans to explore the link between hearing loss prevention and vitamin supplementsScientists have demonstrated that antioxidants may shield animals from hearing loss due to noise exposure. Now they are trying to establish if this would also work in humans.

Researchers from the universities of Florida and Michigan have been building on earlier findings that hearing loss is caused not only by loud noises that tear the structures of the inner ear, but also by the presence of free radicals.

That is why they fed animals beta carotene, vitamins C and E as well as mineral magnesium, the latter used to preserve blood flow to the inner ear and aid healing.

They theorized that the antioxidants will prevent hearing damage by neutralizing the free radicals, and their theory was fully confirmed by subsequent results.

Now they have set out to study the effect of supplements in college students at UF who wear MP3 music players and noise-exposed military troops and factory workers in Sweden and Spain.

Positive results would enable researchers to produce a pill supplement for factory workers or a nutritional bar included in soldiers’ rations.

According to Colleen Le Prell, a researchers at UF, "ear plugs [are the best protection against] noise-induced hearing loss, but in those populations who don’t or can’t wear [them]… supplements could provide an opportunity for additional protection."

Foundation criticizes government for gun control plans

National Shooting Sports Foundation has criticized the government for gun control plansIn response to a recent statement by Attorney General Eric Holder that the administration would consider banning semi-automatic rifles, an industry association has said a ban would be counterproductive and illegal.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation believes a ban would cause jobs to be lost, and have no effect on reducing crime. It would also violate gun owners’ constitutional right to own the firearm of their choice.

"These semi-automatic rifles are the most popular rifle in America today and they are largely behind the recent increase in firearms sales," said Steve Sanetti, president of NSSF. "This is a bright spot in our economy and has helped save jobs in our industry."

He also blasted Holder for erroneously calling this type of rifle an "assault weapon," and said that it is used by millions of law-abiding Americans for hunting, sport and personal defense.

On February 26, Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that the Obama Administration intended to reinstate a semi-automatic gun ban in the U.S.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association of the firearms industry and promotes, protects and preserves the shooting sports.

Vitamin D deficiency ‘a major epidemic’

Health association sees vitamin D deficiency as a major epidemicThe American Public Health Association (APHA) has set out to raise awareness of vitamin D deficiency among children and adults alike, a phenomenon that it sees as a top public health issue in the U.S.

According to the association, 30-40 percent of American children and 40-50 percent of adults are at risk of the deficiency which stems mainly from low sunlight exposure, age-related decreases in vitamin D formation through the skin and a diet low in vitamin D.

"Maximal vitamin D production occurs in the summer months, and depending on the latitude, little or no vitamin D may be generated in winter months," says an APHA informational paper.

It adds that clothes can also play a big role, and gives an example of Saudi women who suffer from rampant vitamin D deficiency because traditional clothes completely cover their skin.

Vitamin D is essential for bone health, especially in children and older people, and various studies have linked it to lower risks of cancer and heart disease.

In addition to direct sunlight, other natural sources of the nutrient include butter, eggs, orange juice, and fish liver oils as well as milk and cereal.

Consumers who might be at risk of vitamin D deficiency may consider enriching their diet with supplements.


Father sues utility in lead poisoning case

Father sues utility in lead poisoning caseA father of twins has filed a lawsuit against the Washington DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) accusing it of providing lead-tainted water that resulted in developmental problems in his children.

In the suit, filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, John Parkhurst of Capitol Hill is demanding $200 million in damages for the alleged poisoning.

It has left his 8-year-old twins suffering from a range of behavioral problems which adversely impact their attention, learning and executive functioning. The estimated costs of their therapy and medication are currently in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

According to the complaint, one independent expert has investigated the water contamination and WASA’s efforts to withhold the information from its customers and has called it perhaps "the largest environmental crime in U.S. history."

The lawsuit in Washington comes shortly after researchers identified a cluster of a rare blood cancer, called polycythemia vera, in the Tamaqua area of Pennsylvania and have found a potential link between the disease and environmental pollution.

The doctors confirmed that a large number of their patients live within close proximity to areas containing hazardous waste materials coming from waste-coal power plants and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites.


No agreement on privacy implications of stimulus package

No agreement on privacy implications of the stimulus packageLike any piece of legislation the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was always going to provoke mixed reactions, and medical advocacy groups are it finding it hard to agree on the implications of its privacy provisions.

In a newly released statement, the American Psychological Association praises the part of the ARRA which deals with health information technology regulations, known as the HITECH Act. The organization stresses the bill will mandate standards for better privacy and security protection in the health care system.

"The HITECH Act is the most comprehensive HIT legislation introduced by Congress and represents a giant leap forward for psychologists and their patients, achieving strong patient records privacy and security protections," it says.

Meanwhile, according to the Washington-based Institute for Health Freedom, the stimulus package permits personal health information to be exchanged and sold for research and public-health purposes without patient consent.

The institute is also critical of the plan to convert the health records of each American into an electronic version by 2014 without allowing an opt-out.

Congress passed the economic stimulus package worth $787 billion on February 13. It includes $19 billion in spending on health IT as well as $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health.


Are You Ready for the Golden Revival?

Congress has passed a $787 billion spending bill aimed at—congressional Democrats said—stimulating the U.S. economy. But it won’t stimulate anything other than the green ink and paper industry. Because it is an excuse for the Federal Government to turn its money-printing presses on full speed and keep them running 24/7.

This type of stimulus package is doomed to fail. The French tried something similar in the 18th Century when John Law was retained to advise the government in economic policy. He advocated that money was credit and credit was determined by the needs of trade. Therefore, the money in existence is determined by the supply of credit in the economy rather than the imports of gold or in trade balances. So Law proposed the establishment of a state-chartered bank with the power to issue unbacked paper currency. Sound familiar?

Within four years France’s Banque Générale collapsed following a run on the bank, and France and the rest of Europe were plunged into a severe economic recession. The result of Law’s banking schemes so traumatized the French people that until recently the very word “banque” was anathema to the French financial community.

A similar experience hit Germany in the early part of the 20th Century. From 1918 to 1923, the Weimar Republic began printing money at a dizzying rate, setting off hyperinflation. Prices were rising so fast that workers receiving their pay would immediately run to the store to buy foodstuffs before prices climbed again. In trying to keep up with the falling currency rate, Reichsbank printed a 1,000-billion Mark note that was so worthless that when it was spent few bothered to collect the change. By 1923, with one dollar equal to one trillion Marks, the collapse of German currency was complete.

Fast forward to 2009 in the United States. Less than a year after the Fed authorized spending $850 billion to spur the economy the Congress is already doubling the spending. Where does the money come from? Thin air.

It is fiat money, based on nothing. And it dooms the country to an economic collapse.

There’s one way to prepare yourself, and you need to begin immediately. Buy gold, as its value is about to soar! How do we know? We use history as our guide.

At the peak of the bull market in the 1920s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was more than 20 times higher than the price of gold. When the market crashed it bottomed out at about 36, roughly a 1-1 ratio with the price of one ounce of gold. The next boom came in 1966, and again the Dow was worth 20 times the price of one ounce of gold. When the bottom of the next recession hit the Dow was worth about 850 points and gold was about $850 per ounce.

Next came the bull market that began in 2003. The Dow peaked at 14,164.53 on Oct. 9, 2007. That month gold hit $750 per ounce, which was Dow-to-gold ratio of almost 19-1. Since then the Dow has lost almost half its value and gold is climbing. Look what gold can do as it approaches a 1-1 ratio.

Gold doesn’t even have to reach a 1-1 ratio to give spectacular returns. Consider, with gold at $940 and Dow at 7,000, the ratio is at 7-1. Even if the Dow contracts another 1,000 points, gold at 3-1 would more than double in price to $2,000.

It’s difficult to argue with history, but if you’re still afraid to go with gold you have an alternative. Buy stock in green ink.