A Common Antibiotic May Blind You
A push by the World Health Organization to eliminate trachoma -- the second leading cause of blindness worldwide -- may have hit a standstill, thanks once again to a toxic drug worsening a condition rather than improving it.
Previous research had found patients given the antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin) one or two times annually reduced the rate of inflammation associated with trachoma that can become so severe the eyelid can become inflamed, forcing eyelashes to stick onto the eyeball.
Researchers tested the antibiotic once again on three villages in Vietnam, two of which received the popular Pfizer antibiotic and the third merely an ointment applied to the eye. In the villages that received Zithromax, however, new cases of trachoma increased and the incidence of re-infections quadrupled.
And, if you think the problem is only one of geography, Canadian researchers discovered a similar surge in re-infections when chlamydia was treated with Zithromax, likely explaining the link to age-related macular degeneration. Cases like these demonstrate why you should be doing all you can to boost your immune system more naturally.
Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 296, No. 12, September 27, 2006
New Scientist September 26, 2006
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Friday, September 29, 2006
A Common Antibiotic May Blind You
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Considering one soft drink maker's very deceptive ploy to promote 7-Up as 100 percent natural, companies will do anything to grab the attention of consumers, particularly teens. So much so, a Las Vegas firm has labeled its newest energy drink Cocaine, even though it contains absolutely none of the ingredients of the illegal drug.
Although a visit to the product's Web site reminds people to consume Cocaine responsibly (along with the expected legal disclaimers warning children and pregnant moms not to drink it), various news accounts say the energy drink is being advertised as a "legal alternative" to the real thing. Far from the "real thing," however, the only kick in a can of Cocaine is 280 milligrams of caffeine, still less than you'd ever get after drinking an expresso.
Understanding its main competition is Red Bull, Redux Beverages claims their new and improved energy drink is "350 percent stronger," hence, I suspect, where the origin of that ridiculous name came from... In my mind, even more dangerous than consuming this misnamed energy drink -- fortunately only available in New York and Southern California -- is a page on its Web site showing some suggested combinations of concoctions with alcohol, a toxic cocktail indeed. And, it's sweetened with dextrose, a component of that anything but natural sugar, Splenda too.
Thankfully, products in a can like Cocaine are transitory, and your health, if you make the right lifestyle choices, can last a very long time. Make an impact on your health that'll last a lifetime by staying away from specialty drinks and soft drinks.
Daily Mail September 21, 2006
ABC News September 18, 2006
MSN Video September 18, 2006 Free Video Link
Not only are the toxic compounds used to make cigarettes more addictive than reported, smoking "light" cigarettes with allegedly fewer contaminants are at least as deadly as the "real thing," and tobacco manufacturers knew about it too, thanks to a ruling from a Brooklyn federal judge.
Unlike other class-action lawsuits against Big Tobacco citing personal injury, however, this one differed in that it wanted to prove light cigarettes were fraudulent products dating 35 years back to when Philip Morris introduced Marlboro Lights. This could be a huge setback for the tobacco industry, as 45 percent of its customers smoke "light" cigarettes.
The response from the general counsel representing Altria, the reformed, renamed Philip Morris that produces 50 percent of America's cigarettes: The federal government -- not Big Tobacco -- was to blame for the belief "light" cigarettes were any safer than the real ones.
Light or not, cutting back on cigarettes -- even down to one a day -- won't lower your risk of cancer. Your best bet is to go cold turkey, with the help of an effective tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.
New York Times September 26, 2006 Registration Required
Spartanburg Herald-Journal September 26, 2006
If you thought using an artificial sweetener like aspartame or Splenda as an insecticide was a bit far-fetched, consider this study about eliminating malaria using a sugar solution spiked with the deadly Spinosad.
Scientists used a combined solution of sucrose and Spinosad (an oral insecticide) to virtually eliminate the entire mosquito population in an oasis located in southern Israel. The few insects left after the initial spraying were new adults whose growth was controlled by the sucrose/insecticide mix.
Although this article doesn't explore the possibility, obviously, one could use Splenda to address the deadly problem of malaria, responsible for the deaths of an estimated 2 million people every year. (Some experts believe malaria may have killed half the people who ever lived!)
The major conventional approach for malaria is to kill mosquitoes with DDT. In many ways, however, Splenda is similar to DDT as it is a chlorinated hydrocarbon. Also, many do not realize Splenda was discovered by accident when researchers were working with compounds that were insecticides. One of the Indian researchers misunderstood his instructions and thought he heard taste the chemical, when it was test the chemical.
And, as they say, the rest is history...
Still, it would make a lot more sense to use Splenda rather than DDT as the anything but sugar concoction is clearly less toxic.
International Journal for Parasitology, Vol. 36, Nos. 10-11, September 2006: 1077-1080
Science Blog September 25, 2006
The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger September 22, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Stay Away From the Birth Control Patch!
Earlier this month, I warned you about an avalanche of lawsuits filed in recent years against four drugs -- one of them being Johnson and Johnson's birth control patch Ortho Evra -- a huge reason a warning, issued yesterday by the FDA, concerning an elevated risk of blood clots in a woman's legs and lungs was way, way overdue.
The FDA claims the warning was issued based on the results of a single study that found women using the patch doubled their risks of blood clots compared to those taking the pill, with, perhaps, six out of 10,000 being at risk.
Those paltry numbers are embarrassingly low, however, compared to previous news reports, including ones by the Associated Press in which the rate in which patients suffer from blood clots or die is actually three times higher than taking the pill. In 2004 alone, a dozen deaths were linked to the patch and many more to strokes and clots.
Even more damning is Johnson and Johnson's recent second quarter filing that reports the company faces 500 lawsuits due to deaths and injuries caused by the Ortho Evra patch (only on the consumer market since 2002). Unlike Merck's ridiculous legal strategy of fighting Vioxx publicly and one case at a time, however, Johnson and Johnson has already settled a dozen lawsuits privately and approached attorneys representing other plaintiffs.
Sounds like Johnson and Johnson is quietly doing damage control to keep women in the dark about a product they should never use, particularly when there are safer birth control alternatives available.
OpEdNews.com September 20, 2006
Yahoo News September 20, 2006
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006
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Not only do present-day pesticides harm you and increase your risks of Parkinson's disease, so does previous exposure to low levels of banned chemicals -- DDT and dieldrin -- that still hang around in our soil, putting more Americans than ever at risk and earlier than expected, according to new studies.
Based on comparisons of Parkinson's patients and those who didn't have the degenerative disease, the brain tissue of Parkinson's sufferers contained three times more dieldrin and high levels of a chemical by-product of DDT.
More research showed the devastating effects of small amounts of dieldrin on the brains of mice. Dieldrin alone boosted the activity of free radicals, not only increasing the amount of brain damage after just a month, but harming the cells that produce dopamine a key Parkinson's catalyst.
Things you can do today to reduce further exposure to pesticides and potentially lower your Parkinson's risks:
Buy organic foods.
Avoid processed meats.
Stay away from spraying insect repellants on your body and find safer options.
USA Today September 18, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Everything You've Been Told About Exercise Might be Wrong ...Quatro Fitness IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH,SAVE YOUR TIME AND EARN MONEY
Vioxx Cousin, Celebrex, Also Found to Cause Heart Attacks
New research shows that Pfizer-made Celebrex, the only COX-2 painkiller still on the market, may pose heart risks, just like its more notorious cousin Vioxx.
Celebrex has been touted not only as a pain reliever but also as a method to prevent colorectal polyps, which can lead to cancer.
And a pair of Pfizer-funded studies, which together included almost 3,600 patients, did in fact find that Celebrex reduced the risk of recurrent polyps. But an analysis of the two studies in the journal Circulation demonstrated that Celebrex also doubles the risk of serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and death.
Celebrex elevated blood pressure in patients who took it twice a day, but not in those who took it only once a day, which suggests that the dose may affect safety. But an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, which published the Pfizer studies, still deemed Celebrex too risky to use for polyp prevention.
Many doctors stopped prescribing Celebrex to patients upon learning of the potential heart risks. Because of the potential side effects, the FDA has placed a "black box warning" on Celebrex.
New England Journal of Medicine August 31, 2006
Circulation August 30, 2006 Free Full-Text PDF
USA Today August 30, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
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Hormone-Replacement Therapy Harms Hearing
Women who take the most common form of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) -- the type that includes progestin -- had 10-30 percent more hearing loss than women who did not have the therapy, according to the largest study to date on the topic.
In the 124-women study, those whose HRT included progestin had worse hearing than those who were taking estrogen alone or no HRT. The women on the progestin HRT had hearing of women five to 10 years older, and tests showed problems existed both in their inner ears and in the portions of the brain used for hearing. Other risks of HRT found by past studies include:
Heart attack, stroke and blood clots
The researchers have plans to study women who have gone off HRT, to see if the hearing loss might be reversible, and they say that women on the birth control pill, which includes progesterone, should also be studied.
Science Daily September 6, 2006
Major Concerns Surround Meningitis Vaccine for College Students
If you are the parent of a college student, or are one yourself, it's important to know the facts about the meningococcal vaccine, which some colleges are making a requirement for incoming students (there are ways around this, though). First, meningitis affects less than one in 100,000 people in the United States each year, and half of these are in infants. O f those who are infected, most recover fully.
The vaccine itself, however, has not been tested to see if it causes cancer or infertility, and it does not protect against at least one-third of the strains of the meningococcal disease, according to the package insert! Before opting for this vaccine, also know that college students who have received it have experienced side effects, including:
Serious symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), a condition with similarities to multiple sclerosis
Headaches, fatigue and malaise
Aches and pain in their joints
Past studies have also found that the meningitis vaccine can cause diabetes. For more information on vaccines, including how to exercise your right to decline one, check out my vaccine links page, as well as the site below
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Tobacco Industry Increased Addictive Nicotine in Cigarettes
While public health campaigns to discourage smoking have increased, so has the amount of nicotine in cigarettes -- a sly move by the tobacco industry to keep chronic smokers addicted, and get new smokers hooked. In fact, from 1998 to 2004, the manufacturers increased the amount of nicotine that each average smoker receives by 10 percent.
And a test by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that 166 cigarette brands (out of 179) fell into the state's highest nicotine yield range -- including 59 described as "light" and 14 as "ultra-light." Almost all the brands delivered enough nicotine to cause heavy dependence.
While I still believe that sugar is more dangerous than cigarettes, it is obviously beneficial to not smoke. If you're trying to stop smoking the best route is to go cold turkey and not gradual reduction. Why? Because simply cutting back, even down to as little as one cigarette a day, does virtually nothing to change the risk of cancer.
New York Times August 31, 2006
Older Fathers May be More Likely to Have Autistic Children
Men who wait to have children until they're in their 40s may be more likely to have autistic children than younger men, a study of 130,000 people found. Participants whose fathers were older were almost six times more likely to have autism or related disorders than those who were fathered by men younger than 30, and 1.5 times more likely than children fathered by men aged 30-39.
The study lends some support to the theory that impaired genes may cause or trigger autism, but there are many other correlations to autism as well, including mercury-containing vaccines -- studies have found that children who receive thimerosal-containing vaccinations are 27 times more likely to develop autism than children who do not and -- pasteurized milk.
But, whatever the cause, there are many strategies that typically provide enormous improvement in children with autism, such as adopting not only a gluten- and casein-free diet, but also restricting other grains like rice, corn and potatoes.
Archives of General Psychiatry September 2006;63:1026-1032
USA Today September 4, 2006
Sunscreens Can Generate Harmful Compounds in Your Skin
A new study has found more evidence of what I've been saying for some time: Sunscreens are dangerous and can cause more harm than good. A team of chemists found that three UV filters widely used in sunscreens -- octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3 and octocrylene -- penetrate the skin below the surface of the epidermis. This leaves the skin vulnerable to UV radiation, while allowing the sunscreens themselves to generate harmful compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the skin.
Sunscreens generate ROS when UV filters have penetrated into the skin, and when new sunscreen has not been applied to prevent ultraviolet radiation from reaching these filters. The solution they recommend is to reapply sunscreen often (so UV light cannot reach the sunscreen that's penetrated more deeply into your skin, and produce dangerous compounds), but my advice is to not use sunscreens, unless there is absolutely no alternative (and then choose a natural version).
Sensible sunlight exposure is beneficial, and necessary, for you, and you can avoid the sun's potentially negative effects by not getting burned. This means, go out in the sun gradually until you're able to stay out longer without getting burned, and when you want to cover up, grab a wide-brimmed hat or a light jacket to cover your skin.
Science Blog August 29, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Vioxx Cousin, Celebrex, Also Found to Cause Heart Attacks
Celebrex is the only COX-2 painkiller still on the market, since the similar drugs Vioxx and Bextra were pulled because of the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Celebrex has been touted not only as a pain reliever but also as a method to prevent colorectal polyps, which can lead to cancer.
A new study did, in fact, find that Celebrex reduced the risk of recurrent polyps, however, a separate analysis found that Celebrex doubled the risk of serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and death. This makes it way too risky to be used for polyp prevention, and, in my opinion, too risky to be used at all.
Unfortunately, Celebrex is making a comeback, with sales expected to exceed $2 billion this year, and its maker, Pfizer, resuming consumer advertising for the drug. If you're taking Celebrex for arthritis, I strongly urge you to read my article about the seven ways to protect your heart using anti-inflammatory alternatives for some tips to relieve chronic pain and inflammation.
New England Journal of Medicine August 31, 2006
Circulation August 30, 2006 (Free Full-Text PDF)
USA Today August 30, 2006
USA Today August 30, 2006
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Mad Cow Disease: Another Reason to Stay Away From Unnecessary Surgeries
Five years ago, I warned you about the more uncommon ways Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, better known as mad cow disease, may spread through the use of tainted blood and improperly sterilized surgical instruments. Perhaps, the possibilities aren't as remote as you'd think, according to a new study.
The key contributors to spreading mad cow disease from infected patients to others depends on the number of times a single surgical instrument is used and the cleaning regimen, which we've seen can be problematic even in the best hospitals.
Applying a mathematical framework, researchers concluded the possibility of spreading mad cow from infected patients through surgical instruments was indeed real, and further research was needed to assess the potential risk. At a minimum, the tracking of surgical instruments needed improvement so tools used on infected patients wouldn't be reused.
Even that could be problematic, considering mad cow may have a longer incubation period, lasting more than 50 years. All the more reason to stay away from hospitals and needless medical procedures by making some sensible lifestyle changes.
Journal of The Royal Society Interface August 22, 2006 Free Full Text Study
Science Daily August 21, 2006
ADHD Drug Harms Your Child's Heart
A few months ago, it was the risk of hallucinations being added to the warning labels of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs. Earlier this week, the FDA asked GlaxoSmithKline to include a new warning on its ADHD stimulant Dexedrine for heart problems.
In addition to alerting users about psychological side effects (delusions and hallucinations) of Dexedrine, the warning cites incidents of sudden death in kids and heart problems among teenagers with structural cardiac abnormalities. Unfortunately, as before, it's not a black box advisory.
Considering all the other advisories for side effects since the ones issued in the spring for hallucinations -- suppressing a child's growth and elevated risks of psychosis, aggression and bipolar disorder -- some health officials are concerned people will avoid being treated for ADHD altogether. And could you blame them?
A safer, better option among many for treating ADHD without the side effects of a potentially toxic drug: Taking a high quality fish or krill oil daily.
Forbes.com August 22, 2006
Avoid NSAIDs Early in Your Pregnancy
With all the problems connected to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drugs, I'm not surprised to learn how much harm they can do in the womb early in a pregnancy.
Researchers tracked the health of more than 36,000 pregnant Quebec women to identify women who had taken prescription NSAIDs during their first trimester and had babies suffering from congenital problems during their first year.
Of the more than 1,000 women who took NSAIDs early in their pregnancies, almost 9 percent had children with problems versus 7 percent among the remainder of the study group. Even worse, the number of children with multiple congenital problems was higher among mothers who took NSAIDs (16 percent) versus those who didn't (14 percent).
A reminder: If you're searching for safer alternatives to treat your pain, stay away from non-prescription NSAIDs, and look toward more natural treatments.
Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology August 23, 2006
EurekAlert August 24, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Merck's Newest Pain-Killing Alternative to Vioxx
With the number of Vioxx lawsuits -- and courtoom defeats -- climbing, Merck may be setting the stage to pay for them, crowing about the "positive results" of Arcoxia, another worthless painkiller they hope the FDA will approve very soon.
Based on three clinical trials encompassing some 34,000 patients, the Arcoxia's reduced risk of heart problems were similar to those Voltaren (diclofenac) and it caused fewer stomach problems too.
But that doesn't mean Arcoxia is a risk-free drug (an oxymoron if there ever was one) either. Some patients suffered congestive heart failure while taking Arcoxia, and others stopped using it altogether, complaining of high blood pressure. What's more, Merck has kept a tight control on the data and has yet to submit their study to any external review board.
The few details Merck has released may have been enough to whet the appetites of Wall Street for a little while, but not nearly enough to satisfy medical experts including the American College of Cardiology that called the findings a very carefully crafted press release.
When it comes to treating your pain, are you willing to take a chance on a drug -- sold behind the counter or in front of it -- that can cripple or kill you? Following the Total Health Program, while paying special attention to rebalancing your intake of omega-3 fats, can radically reduce your need for any anti-inflammatory drug.
New York Times August 24, 2006 Registration Required
Amherst Times August 24, 2006
Forbes.com August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Accutane Harms Your Liver, Increases Your Cholesterol
With this latest study regarding more toxic side effects of Accutane, this time, at least, drugmaker Roche can claim users were warned about them.
In the largest population-based study to date, researchers reviewed the medical records of some 14,000 patients (ages 13-50) before, during and after they were treated with Accutane for seven years to track any abnormalities.
Standard Accutane package inserts warn only about 25 percent of patients experience higher triglyceride levels and 15 percent have high liver enzymes. Although liver enzyme levels were lower (11 percent), 44 percent of patients participating in the study had higher trigylcerides. And, as a bonus, almost a third of patients experienced higher cholesterol readings while taking Accutane too.
Unfortunately, many patients believe all these side effects are a bargain when compared to dealing with acne problems. Of course, the average dermatologist won't tell you approaches like Accutane invariably kill the beneficial bacteria in the colon and set the stage for medical problems down the road with chronic yeast infections. And, there's that pesky problem with suicides too...
The best ways to control acne without a potentially toxic drug:
Optimize your insulin levels by reducing, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from your daily diet.
Address the stress that exacerbates your acne and harms your overall health by learning an energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Archives of Dermatology, Vol. 142, No. 8, August 2006: 1016-1022
Science Daily August 21, 2006
USA Today August 21, 2006
FDA Approves a Spray-on Virus to Keep Processed Meats ''Safe''
In its infinite wisdom, the FDA has approved the use of bacteriophages, a mixture of six bacteria-destroying viruses developed to be sprayed on various lunch meats, sausages and hot dogs, potentially making processed meats an even more dangerous food choice than before.
The FDA gave the go-ahead for the spray -- developed by Baltimore-based Intralytix -- to be applied to sliced ham and turkey, hot dogs and other processed meats as a means to prevent listeriosis in adults, children and pregnant women with weakened immune systems.
If you haven't been scared away from processed meats yet, here's one more reason: At one point, the FDA had concerns this spray-on concoction might contain some toxic residue from the bacterial mix of sprays. The agency claims human contact with these residues in small quantities doesn't cause health problems, but are you willing to bet they won't?
By the way, this isn't the last you've heard of Intralytix: The company will soon seek FDA approval for another spray-on bacteriophage made to kill E. coli bacteria on beef. All the more reason to stay away from grain-fed meats, laced with health-harming nitrites, pesticides and antibiotics.
Yahoo News August 19, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Use Accutane and Risk Bowel Disease
Here's just another reason among many, you shouldn't be treating your acne problems with Accutane: Doing so elevates your risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
After reviewing 85 cases filed with the FDA related to the toxic acne drug between 1997-2002, researchers earmarked Accutane in only 23 cases as a possible cause of IBD. Of the remaining reports, Accutane was judged to be a probable cause in 58 cases and highly probable in 4 others. That means no cases were ever graded as being doubtful ones either.
Despite all the restrictions in place to safeguard child-bearing women -- not to mention the risk of depression and suicide -- researchers flinched, however, when it came to recommending patients avoid Accutane altogether.
Just another reminder, optimizing your insulin levels is the real answer to controlling acne, and reducing, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from your daily diet is the best way to do that.
And because, stress worsens nearly every disease we encounter, including acne, relying on a safe and effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique to treat it naturally is a far better alternative than a toxic antidepressant.
American Journal of Gastroenterology, Volume 101, No. 7, July 2006: 1569
Scientific American.com August 15, 2006
Reuters.com August 15, 2006
More Evidence Vaccines Worsen the Avian Flu
Edinburgh University researchers have uncovered another huge hole in the fear-mongering scam that is the avian flu epidemic: Vaccinating chickens against the H5N1 strain may have the opposite effect of worsening the spread of the disease, making all that stockpiling of useless vaccines in America seem even more pointless.
Using mathematical simulations to calculate the spread of the avian flu among flocks of 10,000 caged birds, a minimum 90 percent of the birds would need to be vaccinated just to cut down the risk of an outbreak in half, at best. But that doesn't guarantee some birds won't be infected "silently" anyway.
Scientists believe vaccinating 95 percent would offer a flock enough protection, yett that percentage is difficult to achieve in the real world, which is why Thailand and the UK have ruled out such a program.
Remember, those flu shots being squirreled away in your state to "protect" your health expose you to potent neurotoxins like aluminum and mercury along with other goodies that weaken your immune system, making you far more susceptible to the flu. Safe, natural treatments are always your best defense against the flu.
The Herald August 17, 2006
AllAfrica.com August 16, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Free Drug Giveaways: Marketing Trumps Safety
Drugmakers are so desperate to beat all the negative headlines -- think the blinding power of Viagra -- some heavy hitters aren't hesitating to reach into their bag of evil marketing tricks to pull out another insidious maneuver to push their toxic, useless products: When in doubt give them away...
Unfortunately, the drug giveaway is working. Drug wholesaler McKesson Corp. has processed coupons/vouchers from more than 10 million patients for free drugs over the past 12 years alone, even though an embarrassing side effect of one of the giveaway drugs -- Ambien -- can make you eat in your sleep.
Or, what about the obscene practice of giving freebies to children (free music downloads) whose parents buy the useless acne drug Differin? At least in that case, Nestle and L'Oreal felt the heat and promptly dropped the campaign.
Just don't expect the hobbled, fatally compromised FDA to ever take on the drug companies, even though support for a ban is growing. In fact, the FDA considered a study measuring the wisdom of hawking free samples of a bogus drug, but withdrew it.
Remember, as it's currently configured, the FDA works in the best interests of the mega-drug manufacturers, and not you!
Yahoo News August 14, 2006
Western Diet Promotes Toxic Foods That Poison Your Children
www.freewebs.com/mcurcija/- Childhood obesity
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Kids Don't Need Suicidal Antidepressants
The recent story I posted about pushing antidepressants on kids in state foster care systems feels all the more tragic and pointless to me, based on new research that found these toxic drugs elevate their risk of suicide.
Researchers reviewed the medical records of some 5,500 Medicare patients (both adults and children) from all over the country who were treated for depression, then separated them into groups who had or hadn't received antidepressants. Among children (ages 6-18), antidepressants raised their risk of attempting suicide by an amazing 150 percent and their chances of dying by a factor of 15.
An interesting caveat: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), except for Zoloft, generally weren't the problem. The serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) Effexor, however, did raise the risk of suicide, along with tricyclic antidepressants.
All this bad news about antidepressants should make it perfectly clear that there is no safe one-pill-cure for depression. Yet, there are many safer things you can do to tame your emotions.
Get to the heart of your emotional pain by learning how to use a safe, effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Start an exercise program today.
Take a high quality fish or krill oil daily.
Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 8, August 2006:
iVillage.com August 7, 2006
The Next Statin Scam: Preventing Strokes
Funny how, not too long after lawsuits against Lipitor surfaced, a new study -- funded by Pfizer -- appears in this week's New England Journal of Medicine that shows how statin drugs may prevent the incidence of a stroke.
The study tracked more than 4,700 patients treated mostly for ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks, and almost all of them were taking a useless drug like aspirin for blood clotting.
Although there was virtually no difference in the mortality rate between patients who did or didn't take Lipitor after a stroke, patients without a history of heart disease reduced their risks of a second stroke by 16 percent.
Considering studies funded by drug companies, more often than not, favor the drug being tested it should come as no surprise Pfizer found a silver lining in this study to keep the attention off future legal battles that could detract from the reputation of its prized cash cow on track to make $13 billion in 2006.
Fact is, taking a fish oil chock full of omega-3 fats can do more for your cholesterol and your heart than taking a drug like Lipitor that can harm your immune system.
New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 355, No. 6, August 10, 2006: 549-559
Yahoo News August 9, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Vaccines for an Imaginary Pandemic
States Still Reserving Vaccines for an Imaginary Pandemic
As you know, a group of states had been backing away from buying their complete allotments of useless avian flu drugs, amid concerns about the cost and their debatable effectiveness. Apparently, not even state governments are immune to flawed logic born of fear mongering: Forty-three states say they will buy the maximum amount of vaccines for a pandemic that never arrived, and at a discount.
That purchasing "power" depends on their funding ability, however. Take the case of North Carolina that originally asked the feds to reserve its full allotment of almost 900,000 vaccines, although a late July letter from the state said it couldn't be sure how much they would actually buy and how they would pay for it. Sounds like a non-committal commitment to me...
Some states made wiser choices by choosing not to buy the full amount of vaccines allotted to them citing limited resources. Wisely, Colorado state officials remain dubious that a vaccine will work if the phantom pandemic actually does come.
And, the rush to buy a toxic, useless vaccine like Tamiflu just to get it cheaper makes about as much sense as justifying buying something you don't need because it's on sale. Unless it is free, it is more than you should have spent because you don't need it. In the case of North Carolina, that's about 900,000 more than will be needed.
Some safe, natural ways to strengthen your immune system so you'll never need a flu vaccine:
Wash your hands regularly.
Eliminate sugar from your diet.
Eat garlic regularly.
USA Today August 8, 2006
Are You Addicted to Antidepressants?
With all the research mounting against the reflexive use of dangerous antidepressants, it's no wonder patients are looking for safer, more natural ways to treat their emotional pain. But the physical pain some patients experience when trying to taper off their antidepressant medications often can be just as devastating.
In one case, a young woman tried to taper off Paxil a year ago under her doctor's guidance, but couldn't after suffering overwhelming bouts of uncontrollable crying and nausea.
The sad fact, according to a 1997 British study, few doctors know how to manage the weaning process carefully and there is no agreement on how hard or easy it really is to quit taking an antidepressant. Taking an antidepressant can be so problematic after the fact, some doctors won't even prescribe Paxil or Effexor.
The take-home lesson here is to avoid taking depressants altogether and use safer options like the ones listed below to treat the real problem:
Start an exercise plan today!
Learn a safe and effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Take a high quality fish or krill oil daily.
Yahoo News August 6, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Getting Prepared For a Disease That Will Never Come
Despite decisions by a number of states to cap their spending on avian flu drugs, hundreds of hospitals in the United States have been equipped with a medical database to help them identify a disease it's likely they haven't seen before, or ever will.
Designers of the Visual DX software system, used in some 350 hospitals in America, a handful of other countries and various health departments, recently added an Acute Pulmonary Infections program intended to help medical professionals identify and differentiate between 40 infectious diseases ranging from a typical case of the flu to the dreaded -- and so far imaginary -- bird flu epidemic.
The system was initially created by dermatologists five years ago to help emergency room physicians make medical diagnoses on the run for rashes and fevers caused by allergic reactions or bug bites. More recently, the program has been beefed up to include information about oral diseases, chemical and radiation injuries, bioterrorism and, now, the so far non-existent avian flu.
Using a medical database as a guide for more information about a disease is one thing, but using it to diagnose patients is quite another. And besides, would you want to put your health in the hands of a fatally flawed, mistake-prone system anyway?
Just a reminder, your best defense against the flu is to treat it safely and naturally without resorting to a dangerous, useless vaccine.
USA Today August 8, 2006
For the Health of Your Baby, Stay Away From Unnecessary Ultrasounds
Seven years ago, I warned you about the cellular damage ultrasound scans can do to your body and unborn infant based on just a 15-minute scan of mice. A new study on the prolonged, frequent use of ultrasounds on pregnant mice damaged the brains of developing mouse fetuses.
Scientists studied the effect ultrasounds have on the typical neural migration of nerve cells that extend to the cerebral cortex at a stage of development in which their pathways may be at their most vulnerable. On the 16th day of embryonic growth, more than 300 mice were injected with special biomarkers, then were exposed to ultrasounds for at least a half-hour.
Ultrasound treatments had the effect of dispersing a significant number of neurons in layers of the brain they didn't belong. Although they were careful not to scare families into avoiding ultrasounds, Yale researchers plan to study the brains of developing primates.
The moral of the study, no surprise, is to avoid all unnecessary ultrasounds and give a great deal of thought about having one at all, should the need ever arise.
USA Today August 7, 2006
ABC News August 8, 2006
Bayer Sells AIDS-Infected Drug Banned in U.S. in Europe, Asia
Recently unearthed documents show that the drug company Bayer sold millions of dollars worth of an injectable blood-clotting medicine -- Factor VIII concentrate, intended for hemophiliacs -- to Asian, Latin American, and some European countries in the mid-1980s, although they knew that it was tainted with AIDS.
The company stopped selling the drug in the United States in 1984, but continued to sell it overseas for an additional year.
The medicine was made using combined plasma from large numbers of donors; at the time, there was no screening test for the AIDS virus, so a tiny number of donors with AIDS could inadvertently contaminate a large batch.
Unloading the Drug on the Unknowing
Records show that the company continued to sell the medicine overseas in an attempt to avoid being left with a large stock of a drug that was no longer marketable in the United States. The dangers of the drug had become well-known domestically, but the news was slower to reach other parts of the world.
However, Bayer also continued to manufacture the medicine for several months after pulling it from the market in the United States, because it was cheaper to produce than the new, safer product they were introducing as a replacement.
Although worldwide numbers are difficult to calculate, in Hong Kong and Taiwan alone, more than 100 hemophiliacs contracted HIV after using the medicine, and most have died.
FDA CollusionFDA regulators helped to keep the continued sales hidden, asking the company that the problem be ''quietly solved without alerting the Congress, the medical community and the public,'' according to the minutes of a 1985 meeting.
YouTube.com April 2, 2006
New York Times May 22, 2003
The Most Deadly Poisons Ingested or Inhaled
Wired magazine has released a list of the 10 deadliest poisons that work either by ingestion of inhalation. They include:
Cyanide: Cyanide exposure leads to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death within minutes.
Sarin: A deadly nerve gas hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide.
Botulinum: Several orders of magnitude deadlier than sarin, this poison causes your nervous system to fail, resulting in an extremely painful death.
Mercury: Inhaled mercury vapor attacks the brain and lungs, and shuts down the central nervous system. Mercury starts turning into a gas at room temperature.
Compound 1080: This poison is odorless, tasteless, and has no antidote. The bodies of those killed with 1080 remain poisonous for a year.
Wired August 2006
Deadly Mold Poisons Pet Foods
Poison for Profit -- What A Business Plan!
Mercury, Vaccines and Medicine
Toxic Contact Lens Cleaner a Long-Term Problem
Several months ago, Bausch and Lomb recalled their multipurpose contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc after it was connected to eye infections caused by the fusarium fungus.
Researchers had warned of the risks of solutions such as ReNu as many as nine years ago, but manufacturers of contact lens cleaners, particularly Bausch and Lomb, downplayed the concerns.
In the late '90s, a study showed that Bausch and Lomb's ReNu MultiPlus did not kill potentially dangerous bacteria as well as other brands. Bausch and Lomb contested the research, pointing to research they had conducted themselves that contradicted the study's results.
Some researchers are now worried that some solution brands may damage the surface of the eye, in a process called corneal staining. Studies have also shown that multipurpose solutions can increase the binding of bacteria to the cells of the cornea. And a 2005 study found that lenses left soaking in ReNu with MoistureLoc could end up "covered with what appeared to be fungus."The FDA has promised to re-evaluate its testing methods for contact lens solutions.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette July 26, 2006
You can fix your vision forever for about the cost of just one eye doctor appointment and new glasses. I strongly encourage you to learn more about the Secrets of Regaining Your Vision Naturally Program now.
Eye Fungus Was No Surprise After All
New Contact Lens Material Reduces Infection Risk
Got Fungus in Your Eyes?
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Ketek drug scandal reveals pattern of scientific fraud at the FDA
The FDA has once again been caught red-handed ignoring the dangers of a widely-prescribed drug and compromising the health of millions. Internal email messages have now surfaced about how the FDA pushed the antibiotic drug Ketek despite urgent warnings from its senior drug safety scientists. The details of this scandal further highlight the dubious operations of the Food and Drug Administration, which consistently places the profits of drug companies as a higher priority than public health.
Ketek was approved under suspicious circumstances in the first place. A key clinical trial for the drug, involving 24,000 patients, was repeatedly found to be fraudulent, according to FDA investigators. One FDA document concluded that Sanofi-Aventis hid safety dangers from the FDA -- dangers the FDA later discovered on its own.
One FDA safety scientist, Dr. Cooper, wrote, “I tried to argue that given Aventis’s track record in which they have proven themselves to be nontrustworthy that we have to consider the possibility that they are intentionally doing a poor job of collecting the postmarketing data to protect their drug sales.”
Dr. David Graham added, “For F.D.A. to refer to its being reassured by postmarketing data from Latin America and Europe as a basis for declaring ‘Ketek is safe’ is in my opinion a great abuse of such surveillance data.”
Yet the drug was approved anyway, and the FDA now cites a known fraudulent study to defend the drug and argue against its withdrawal.
Four FDA safety officials (Dr. Charles Cooper, Dr. David Ross, Dr. Rosemary Johann-Liang and Dr. David Graham) ultimately sounded the alarm over Ketek's safety in internal emails. As now seems routine at the FDA, they were ignored. (See The Rise and Fall of Rezulin to see another such example.)
A drug that can killMore than five million prescriptions have been written for Ketek since its approval in the United States. Ketek can cause loss of consciousness, blurred vision, and in rare circumstances, even death. It has so far been linked to liver failure in fourteen adults, four of which have died. Twenty-three more suffered serious liver injury. Given that the reporting of drug side effects remains voluntary in the United States, it is possible that the actual number of people harmed by Ketek is ten to twenty times larger.
Related articleFDA admits children's antibiotic could cause liver failure, but allows its sale anyway
Related articleFDA accused of suppressing drug safety information (commentary)
The FDA's power is based on censorship and intimidation, not education and empowerment. On numerous occasions, the agency has attempted to censor and / or intimidate its own scientists, including Dr. David Graham who was nearly silenced before he could testify to Congress about the dangers of Vioxx.
The greatest threat to our safety isn't terrorismAs I have stated many times, I believe the Food and Drug Administration is currently the greatest threat to the health and safety of the American people, far outweighing the threat of terrorism or violent crime. Over one hundred thousand Americans are killed each year by FDA-approved prescription drugs, and well over two million are harmed. Each year, FDA-approved drugs kill more Americans than died in the Vietnam War plus the 9/11 terrorism events combined.
The Ketek fiasco is merely the latest in a long history of FDA negligence and fraud that makes the agency a genuine threat to the health and safety of the American people.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Popular Cancer Drug Linked to Heart Failure
The cancer drug Gleevec could damage the heart. A study confirming this was conducted following reports that 10 leukemia patients taking Gleevec developed severe congestive heart failure. The study found that the drug kills heart muscle cells.
Novartis: More Studies Needed
Gleevec (also sold under the name Glivec) had worldwide sales of $1.2 billion in the first six months of 2006. The manufacturer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., argued that further research was needed to fully understand the potential dangers.
Doctors Need to be AwareThe author of the study stated that he wanted to call attention to the dangers of Gleevec and similar drugs, so that doctors would be alerted to the possible problems.
Nature.com July 23, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times July 24, 2006
Conventional Health ''Experts'' Now Recommend Cervical Cancer Vaccine for Boys
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently recommended all young teen girls undergo a costly and needless three-stage vaccine regimen to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer.
Now, some health "experts" want to include young boys in that HPV vaccine roundup too. In fact, a medical journal editorial claims the "best use" of the vaccine may include inoculating all men and women in addition to young teens, despite individual risk factors.
What really made my blood boil was a horrible comment in the editorial about the "real" need for this latest vaccine: We need to move toward a paradigm where this is a universal vaccine.
If the early estimates commit the federal government to a $2 billion price tag to pay for and immunize as many as 7 million girls alone, imagine the demand and payout for that totally unnecessary, useless vaccine should the CDC agree young boys and adults be included.
That's sure to be a sweet payoff for Merck, on the heels of its HPV vaccine Gardasil approved for use by the FDA in June. Still, the New Jersey drugmaker will need all the cash it can generate to pay for all the lawsuits tied to Vioxx and Fosamax.
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 108, No. 2, August 1, 2006: 420-424
Kaiser Network.org July 31, 2006
Washington Post July 31, 2006
Fighting Colon Cancer With Spices, Onions
Previous studies have uncovered the powerful benefits of consuming onions, rich in the antioxidant quercetin, and curcumin, the yellow spice found in turmeric and curry powders, in fighting the spread of osteoporosis and cancer. A dosage combining the chemicals of both can also limit the size and number precancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract, according to Johns Hopkins scientists.
To test the viability of quercetin and tumeric, researchers treated five colon cancer patients, all of whom had at least five adenomas in their lower intestinal tracts, with 480 mgs. of curcumin and 20 mgs. of quercetin orally three times a day for six months.
No surprise, the number of future polyps decreased in four patients by an average of some 60 percent, plus their average size fell by more than half. Even better, the side effects were limited to slight nausea, sour taste and mild, short-term diarrhea.
Curcumin may be the more potent key, however. The amount of quercetin prescribed matches what patients typically eat every day, whereas the amount of curcumin consumed is many times what one may consume daily.
Although scientists believe eating onions and curry alone may not help, it certainly can't hurt you. Just remember, your body may not react well to consuming spices like curcumin, as it is a far better barometer of your health than anything you'll ever read.
You can fight and prevent colon cancer by following a number of safe, natural tips, none of which have anything to do with taking a drug.
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vol. 4, No. 8, August 2006: 1035-1038
EurekAlert August 1, 2006
The Safety of Inert Components in Pesticides Questioned
Evidence is mounting in regard to the toxicity of pesticides to our health, especially among farmers we rely on for our food. Fourteen states (including California, New York and Illinois) asked the EPA earlier this week to require all ingredients -- both active and inactive -- be listed on the product labels of pesticides.
Currently, the EPA merely requires pesticide manufacturers list active ingredients that eradicate weeds and insects. State representatives, on the other hand, want the EPA to mandate a listing of all inactive and inert chemicals be listed too which can encompass as much as 99 percent of a given pesticide. Makes sense, considering the agency already requires prescription drugs, foods and cosmetics to list inert substances.
The request comes at an end of the EPA's decade-long review of 237 pesticide ingredients. One pesticide -- lindane (still used to treat head lice and scabies) -- will get the boot when its current license ends.
Some EPA staff scientists worry nothing will change -- think the sorry state of affairs going on at the corrupted and compromised FDA -- as the agency bends to pressure from big business interests.
While all the political wrangling is going on, please take responsibility for your own health by following some simple steps that can reduce your exposure to pesticides.
Forbes.com August 2, 2006
Boston Globe August 1, 2006
Los Angeles Times August 2, 2006 Registration Required
Monday, July 31, 2006
DEATHS LINKED TO ZYBAN anti-smoking drug
UK and Australia 76 deaths, 8737 reports of adverse reactions linked to Zyban the anti-smoking drug!
MERCURY -AUTISM SCANDAL
Vaccines - Deadly Immunity. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal
Why are the pharmaceutical companies trying to stop our access to vitamins?
Codex, the facts and the fiction
Codex & Australia
MORE ARTICLES : www.freewebs.com/mcurcija
Keeping Up With Complex, Unsafe Vaccine Requirements for Kids
With the new school year just around the corner, districts are recommending your children submit to a longer, more complex list of needless vaccines than ever before. These days, it's a dozen at an estimated cost of more than $1,200, even though vaccines may do nothing to protect them from the diseases to which they're being inoculated.
In fact, some children have received vaccines for mumps and whooping cough this year and still caught both anyway. Unfortunately, that's been enough justification for the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to schedule a new round of vaccinations for kids before they reach puberty.
And, when vaccine supplies get low, the CDC arbitrarily suspend their vaccine rules for a time, like those for meningitis, now recommended for high school and college students.
By the way, that same CDC committee recently recommended a new round of vaccines for pre-pubescent girls to protect them from human papillomavirus (HPV). The cost for this worthless three-stage vaccine regimen concocted by Merck called Gardasil: In excess of $2 billion and all of it for a worthless vaccine.
Like the flu, HPV is almost completely avoidable without a vaccine. Fact is, maintaining a high level of immune integrity is the key through the basics of emotional balancing, optimized nutrition, avoidance of toxins, proper sleep, exercise and hydration.
Yahoo News July 30, 2006
Why Soy Can Damage Your Health
Newest Research On Why You Should Avoid Soy - by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. - What was once a minor crop, listed in the 1913 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) handbook not as a food but as an industrial product, now covers 72 million acres of American farmland.
The Whole Soy Story
In The Whole Soy Story, you'll find:
The real reasons why soy is NOT a health food
Shocking personal accounts of real people whose healthand lives were put at risk from eating soy products
Hard evidence linking soy to malnutrition, digestiveproblems, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline,reproductive disorders, immune system breakdowns--evenheart disease and cancer
That soy has NEVER been proven safe, and learn thetruth about how misleading propaganda played a hugerole in how it became so popular in America
Get more critical advice about the dangers of soy as author Dr. Kaayla Daniel shares her insights in this exclusive interview with Dr. Mercola.
Read More About The Whole Soy Story Now!
Soy May Cause Cancer and Brain Damage - Two senior US government scientists have revealed that chemicals in soy could increase the risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants.
The Trouble With Tofu: Soy and the Brain -by John D. MacArthur - "Tofu Shrinks Brain!" Not a science fiction scenario, this sobering soybean revelation is for real. But how did the "poster bean" of the '90s go wrong? Apparently, in many ways -- none of which bode well for the brain.
Soy: Too Good to be True - by Brandon Finucan & Charlotte Gerson - While even in 1966 there was considerable research on the harmful substances within soybeans, you'll be hard pressed to find articles today that claim soy is anything short of a miracle-food. As soy gains more and more popularity through industry advertising, we are moved once again to raise our voice of concern.
Learn The Truth About The Historical Use Of Soy - Just How Much Soy Did Asians Eat? In short, not that much, and contrary to what the industry may claim, soy has never been a staple in Asia. A study of the history of soy use in Asia shows that the poor used it during times of extreme food shortage, and only when the soybeans were carefully prepared (e.g. by lengthy fermentation) to destroy the soy toxins. Yes, the Asians understood soy all right! High Soy Diet During Pregnancy And Nursing May Cause Developmental Changes In Children - Two separate studies -- one in animals and the other in humans, suggest that a diet high in soybeans and other legumes during pregnancy and breastfeeding may have a subtle but long-term impact on the development of children.
Concerns Regarding Soybeans - Some good information abstracted from an article written by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D. for Health Freedom News in September of 1995.
Soy Can Cause Severe Allergic Reactions - Soy, like its botanically-related cousin the peanut, could be responsible for severe, potentially fatal, cases of food allergy, particularly in children with asthma who are also very sensitive to peanuts.
Soy Supplements Fail to Help Menopause Symptoms - Supplements that contain concentrated phytoestrogens -- plant-based estrogens found in soy -- do not appear to improve mood, memory or menopause symptoms in women over age 45.
20/20 Feature on the Dangers of Soy - The ABC television news program 20/20 aired a feature story Friday June 8, 2000 on the dangers of soy.
Soy Formulas and the Effects of Isoflavones on the Thyroid - Environmental scientist and long-time campaigner against soy-based infant formulas, Dr Mike Fitzpatrick, warns about the risk of thyroid disease in infants fed soy formulas, high soy consumers and users of isoflavone supplements.
Pregnant Women Should Not Eat Soy Products - In-utero exposure to genistein increases the incidence of breast tumors.
Soybean Crisis - Jane Phillimore of The Observer addresses some of the concerns raised by new research about the safety of soy.
Response To Those Who Believe Soy Is Healthy - In a recent Letter to the Editor of the Townsend Letter, Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig make the case that soy is not the health food that it is claimed to be. The soy campaign is, in fact, a case study in the use of propaganda to promote commercial interests, they allege.
Soy Can Lead to Kidney Stones - Those who are prone to the painful condition known as kidney stones may become more vulnerable to it through the consumption of soy.
Chemical in Soybeans Causes Sexual Dysfunction in Male Rats - Exposure to genistein, a chemical found in soybeans, led to abnormal reproductive organs and sexual dysfunction in rats. Take a hint and avoid all but fermented soy products if you want to decrease your chances of having fertility problems.
Experts Dispute JAMA Soy Infant Formula Study - The results of study on soy formula are being disputed for several reasons, including the omission of negative findings regarding the product.
Medical ProblemsCaused by Soy:Legal Action Request
Soy Milk Is Safe! That Is What the Formula Industry Says - A biased study funded by the formula industry attempts to polish the image of their product. Don't be deceived though, as soy formula remains one of the worst foods you can feed your child.
Australian Pediatric Soy Protein Formula Policy - Read about the abundance of reasons why conventional milk infant formula is preferred over soy formula, as well as the dangers of feeding soy formulas to infants.
Soy Baby Formula Linked to Behavioral Problems - Elevated levels of manganese in soy infant formula may be related to attention-related disorders.
How Safe is Soy Infant Formula? - New research suggests high concentrations of manganese found in soybean-based baby formula can lead to brain damage in infants and altered behaviors in adolescents.
Soy Formula Exposes Infants To High Hormone Levels - The daily exposure of infants to phyto-estrogens (chemicals that possess wide ranges of hormonal and non-hormonal activities) who consume soy formulas was 6-11 times higher than adults consuming soy foods.
Soy Weakens Your Immune System - There is one thing that is quite clear, soy formula should never be administered to an infant. Find out why.
Soy Milk is Gaining Popularity in America - Soy milk, once a niche market, is now making its way into mainstream America. Find out why soy is not the health food it is promoted to be.
Links to More Information on Soy
Soy Online Service - "Uncovering the truth about soy"
Institute of Food Research - Information sheet on soy.
The Weston A. Price Foundation - Great source of quality diet information.