Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study

Source: New York Times Health

A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.

The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients.

The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

“This has been a controversial subject for a long time,” said Dr. Andrew J. Vickers, attending research methodologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the lead author of the study. “But when you try to answer the question the right way, as we did, you get very clear answers.

“We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”

Acupuncture, which involves inserting needles at various places on the body to stimulate so-called acupoints, is among the most widely practiced forms of alternative medicine in the country and is offered by many hospitals. Most commonly the treatment is sought by adults looking for relief from chronic pain, though it is also used with growing frequency in children. According to government estimates, about 150,000 children in the United States underwent acupuncture in 2007.

But for all its popularity, questions about its efficacy have long been commonplace. Are those who swear by it experiencing true relief or the psychological balm of the placebo effect?Continue Reading

Protect Your Right to Take Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed restrictions on the use of nutritional supplements that may go into effect on October 1, 2011, unless sufficient opposition is offered. The plan is to classify supplements introduced after October, 1994, as “new dietary ingredients”, subject to expensive and prolonged testing and verification.
These restrictions would apply to resveratrol, GABA, ubiquinol, curcumin, and other products introduced in recent years, and make them no longer available to consumers, except at great expense.

Only wealthy pharmaceutical companies have the assets to undertake such testing and approval processes, which would cost in the tens of millions of dollars per item. The result would be to eliminate supplement manufacturers from competition, and raise the cost of these items astronomically. A supplement now available for $50 dollars would cost $250-$500. Some items would be financially out of reach for most people.

We have already seen this strategy in action. Patients have entered the office with bottles of omega 3 fatty acids and folic acid/B12 combinations, prescribed by physicians and obtained as pharmaceutical products, costing 5-10 times more than similar items made by reputable producers of supplements.Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton’s Fracture May Serve as Osteoporosis Warning

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unfortunate fall last week  meant a fracture and subsequent surgery Friday to repair the break in her right elbow.

It’s not clear if this was just a nasty fall or if Clinton has any underlying conditions such as osteoporosis that contributed to the fracture. Her spokesperson declined to comment about whether she’d received any such diagnosis after the accident.

Regardless, for many women who are roughly the same age as Clinton this is the kind of accident that often serves as a wake-up call that they should get themselves screened for the bone-weakening condition osteoporosis and its precursor, osteopenia.

Clinton, 61, reportedly fell in the State Department basement as she was on the way to a meeting and heading to her car.

But for about 10 million Americans who have osteoporosis in this country — roughly 8 million of whom are older women — a broken bone is often the first, and only, warning of osteoporosis.

“There are no symptoms until the first break, so you’ll know if you get a simple fracture from a simple fall,” ABC News medical contributor Dr. Marie Savard said this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” And she added that the drop in hormone production that accompanies menopause signals an increased risk for the condition.

“All post-menopausal women are at risk,” Savard said. “The older you are, the more at risk you are.”

But not everyone who is at risk for osteoporosis knows it — possibly due to the incorrect stereotype that only frail, old women experience the condition. As a result, only about 20 percent of women who have a telltale fracture from osteoporosis — most often in the spine, hip or wrist — ever get properly diagnosed and treated.

Click here to read the rest of this story at ABC News.

For more information about integrative treatment of osteoporosis and DXA bone densitometry testing at IPM, Click here.

EWG to discuss toxins on CNN

Recently, EWG President Ken Cook met with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Mossville, Louisiana, where they talked about the impacts of toxic chemicals on human health.

You can watch this interview on Sanjay Gupta MD this Saturday or when it re-airs Sunday (April 10th and 11th) at 7:30am ET.

We hope you can tune in to hear this interesting conversation.

Jamie Oliver Receives TED Award

Chef and activist against childhood obesity, Jamie Oliver, recently received the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Award and gave a very inspirational speech.

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