Shipping | Basket / Checkout | Login / Account | Order Status | Contact Us | Store Locator   
Need Help Shopping? Call (877) 876-8247   
   


Acai Juice
Getting ready to try and
buy acai juice?
Watch this informative video about this popular new health drink.
FIND OUT MORE.


red yeast rice
Discover natural cholesterol control with red yeast rice extract. Don't put up with the side effects of syntheic drugs any longer.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RED YEAST RICE EXTRACT.


Subscribe to the Better Health News

keep up with Better Health News (and special offers) on Facebook

TOP PICKS
• Acai Juice
• Almased Synergy Diet
• Alpha-Fibe FBCx
• Astragalus
• Atkins Advantage Bars
• Atkins Day Break Bars
• Atkins Endulge
   Chocolate Bars

• Atkins Ready-To-Drink
   Shakes

• BetaGen
• Clif Bars
• Clif Luna Bars
• Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
• Coral Calcium
• CoQ10
• EAS Myoplex Bars
• Enzymedica
• The Fiber 35 Diet
   - FitSmart Shakes
   - FitSmart Bars
   - Fiber Complex
• FruitaBu
• Fruit Leather
• Full Bar
• Gluten Free Cookies
• Gluten Free Pasta
• Kashi GoLean Cereal
• Konjac Root (Glucomannan)
• Krill Oil
• Larabar Food Bars
• The Maker's Diet
   - Primal Defense
   - Digestive Enzymes
      Complex

   - Green Food
   - Nutrition Bars
• Herbal Viagra
• Mangosteen Juice
• MET-Rx
• New Chapter
• Odwalla Energy Bars
• Organic Food Bars
• Pamelas Cookies
• Pure Protein Bars
• Red Yeast Rice Extract
• Resveratrol
• Stevia Rebaudiana
• Tom's of Maine
• Tri-O-Plex Bars
• Vitamin Code
• The Weight Loss Cure
• Wondercocoa
• Wrinkle Care Products
• Zone Perfect Bars

buy resveratrol
Before you
buy resveratrol,
be sure to watch this informative 60 minutes report about this supplement created from red wine.
FIND OUT MORE.


organic extra virgin coconut oil
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil can actually prevent heart disease and does not raise cholesterol levels.
Find out more about Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.


Stevia Rebaudiana
Stevia Rebaudiana has shown to help balance blood sugar, lower high blood pressure, reduce one's craving for sweets and fats, and "turn off" hunger sensations.
Find out more about Stevia - Stevia Rebaudiana.


Better Health News and Comment
BETTER HEALTH NEWS ARCHIVE INDEX         CURRENT NEWSLETTER INDEX

Herbs and Surgery Don't Mix: New Study Highlights the Importance of Better Doctor-Patient Communication
By Jeremy Appleton, ND

Healthnotes Newswire —Doctors should obtain detailed information about their patients’ use of herbal medicines well in advance of surgery, according to a study published in yesterday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.1 Supplementation with herbal medicines has the potential to create complications in and around surgery, unless the herbs are discontinued far enough in advance. The new study attempts to establish a "rational strategy," based on the existing herbal research, for when to discontinue the use of eight of the most important herbs currently used by consumers.

Although no controlled trials have evaluated the effects of herbal medicine use on surgery outcomes, the new JAMA review compiles and interprets the results of various studies and case reports on the drug-like actions of popular herbal remedies. Based on this review, the authors make specific recommendations for the appropriate presurgical discontinuation of echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St. John’s wort, and valerian. These herbs account for more than 50% of all single-herb preparations used by the American public.2

The following is a summary of the authors’ cautions and recommendations:

• Echinacea (E. angustifolia, E. purpurea, E. pallida): May interfere with drugs used to suppress the immune system. No recommendation on when to discontinue.
• Ephedra (Ephedra sinica): May increase risk of heart attack and stroke. Discontinue at least 24 hours before surgery.
• Garlic (Allium sativum): May increase risk of bleeding. Discontinue at least seven days before surgery.
• Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): May increase risk of bleeding. Discontinue at least 36 hours before surgery.
• Ginseng (Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius): May increase risk of low blood sugar or postsurgical bleeding. Discontinue at least seven days before surgery.
• Kava (Piper methysticum): May increase sedative effects of anesthetics. Discontinue at least 24 hours before surgery.
• St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): May interfere with metabolism of many drugs. Discontinue at least five days before surgery.
• Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): May increase sedative effects of anesthetics. No recommendation on when to discontinue.

Taken as a whole, these recommendations are a "safe", but perhaps less than optimal, approach to preventing drug-herb interactions in surgery. In the case of herbs that increase the risk of bleeding (e.g., garlic, ginkgo), temporarily discontinuing the herb is probably the most rational strategy. However, the drug interactions of St. John’s wort are not dissimilar to those of many prescription medications. Surgeons and anesthesiologists have routinely addressed such interactions by increasing or decreasing the doses, as appropriate. Critics question the wisdom of withdrawing an effective antidepressant herb to prevent interactions that might otherwise be dealt with by dose modifications.3 If a physician recommends discontinuing effective medication for a bona fide medical condition (e.g., St. John’s wort extract for clinical depression4 5), should they not also ensure that the condition continues to be effectively managed, while reducing surgical risks?

Many patients are wary of medical doctors’ attitudes and knowledge about dietary supplements.6 This may explain why half of patients in one study failed to report use of herbal medicines unless specifically asked about them.7 On the other hand, about the same proportion of these patients also failed to report use of other nonprescription medications, like aspirin, that should similarly be avoided before surgery. Herbs are generally safe in the nonsurgical setting and, with appropriate communication between doctors and patients, any potential risk associated with surgery could easily be eliminated. A more challenging problem to address is the poor communication between doctors and patients that results in widespread nondisclosure of herb, supplement, and over-the-counter medication use by surgical patients.

The new study was written by three anesthesiologists who admit that they often do not meet a surgical patient until the day of surgery. In the conclusion of their study, they urge other doctors to have their patients bring their herbal medications and dietary supplements with them to their preoperative consultation.

References
1. Ang-Lee MK, Moss J, Yuan C-S. Herbal medicines and perioperative care. JAMA 2001;286:208–16.
2. Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels. Report of the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels, Report to the President, Congress, and The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1997.
3. Alan R. Gaby, MD. Personal communication.
4. Harrer G, Sommer H. Treatment of mild/moderate depressions with Hypericum. Phytomedicine 1994;1:3–8.
5. Ernst E. St. John’s wort, an antidepressant? A systemic, criteria-based review. Phytomedicine 1995;2:67–71.
6. Blendon RJ, DesRoches CM, Benson JM, et al. Americans’ views on the use and regulation of dietary supplements. Arch Intern Med 2001;161:805–10.
7. Hensrud DD, Engle DD, Scheitel SM. Underreporting the use of dietary supplements and nonprescription medications among patients undergoing a periodic health examination. Mayo Clin Proc 1999;74:443–7.

Jeremy Appleton, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician, writer, and educator in the field of evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. Dr. Appleton is Chair of Nutrition at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Senior Science Editor at Healthnotes.




SITE INDEX | BRAND SITE INDEX | CATEGORIES | SPECIALS | BASKET | SHIPPING | ACCOUNT

POWERED BY: WWW.THEBETTERHEALTHSTORE.COM
Information presented at theBetterHealthStore.com is for educational purposes only; statements about products and health conditions have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Copyright ©2007 theBetterHealthStore.com Inc.