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BETTER HEALTH NEWS ARCHIVE INDEX         CURRENT NEWSLETTER INDEX

Better Health Store - Health Dispatch Archives
High Hopes for Treating Low Back Pain
Compared with single treatment approaches, combinations of psychological and physical treatments were found more effective at reducing pain and restoring function . . .

Folic Acid Fortification of U.S. Food Supply Decreases Neural Tube Defects — But Is It Enough?
The government-mandated addition of folic acid to enriched grain products in the United States, which began in 1998, has led to a significant decrease in the prevalence of neural tube defects . . .

High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
People with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels in midlife are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in later life than are people with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels . . .

Brassica Vegetables May Decrease Risk of Breast Cancer
Postmenopausal women consuming 1 to 2 servings (1 to 2 cups) of brassica vegetables (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage) per day were found to have a 20 to 40% decrease in the risk of breast cancer . . .

Parasites in the Pool: CDC Report Highlights Summer Safety Issues
Outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness associated with swimming pool use are on the rise . . .

A Special Report - Alleged Danger of Vitamin C Questioned
Taking high doses of vitamin C may increase the risk of developing cancer, according to an article published today in the journal Science. However, the study was done in test tubes, and the relevance of its findings to humans and other living organisms is far from clear . . .

Quitting Smoking Improves Crohn's Disease
Smokers with Crohn’s disease who quit smoking for more than one year can significantly improve the course of their disease . . .

How to Grow Old: New Study Shows That Lifestyle Choices Predict “Successful” Aging in Men
Men may have greater personal control over their physical and mental health as they age than previously thought . . .

Dietary Fatty Acids May Influence the Development of Childhood Allergic Diseases
Children consuming higher amounts of margarine in their diets may be more likely to develop allergic diseases, such as eczema, asthma, and hay fever, according to a study published in the current issue of the medical journal Allergy . . .

Psychosocial Predictors for Hypertension Differ for Men and Women
Job-related stressors, including a low-status job and the threat of unemployment, are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure—particularly in men—according to a study published in this week’s issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. . . .

Exercise Prevents Falls Among the Elderly
Elderly people who exercise at home with a trained nurse are less likely to suffer debilitating falls, according to two studies published earlier this year in the British Medical Journal . . .

Smoking Increases Stomach Cancer Risk in People With Ulcers
Smoking more than a pack of cigarettes per day is linked to a four-fold increase in the risk of a pre-cancerous stomach condition in people with stomach ulcers, according to a study published in this month’s edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology . . .

High Homocysteine Linked to Poor Memory
A high level of homocysteine in the blood has been linked with poor memory among Americans over 60 years old, according to data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey . . .

Antioxidants Improve Results of Corrective Eye Surgery
Supplementation with vitamins A and E improves the outcome of laser eye surgery to correct nearsightedness, according to a study published in the current issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology. . . .

Grape Seed (Not Juice) Protective Against Heart Disease
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

How Much Exercise is Necessary to Prevent Heart Disease?
Doctors have long been aware that women who exercise are less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who do not. The only question has been: how much exercise is necessary to achieve this benefit? According to a study published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association,1 the answer is not much . . .

Relationship Between Nutrients and Age-Related Vision Loss: The Picture is Blurry
Lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, do not offer significant protection against early age-related vision loss, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology . . .

Ipriflavone Fails to Prevent Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women
According to a clinical trial published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), ipriflavone supplementation failed to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who took the product for three years . . .

Promising Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Low-Salt Diet Cuts Need for Blood Pressure Drugs in Elderly
A reduced salt intake can lower blood pressure and the need for blood pressure-lowering drugs among older people with hypertension (high blood pressure), according to a study published in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine . . .

Preventing Heart Disease with Folic Acid — How Much Is Enough?
Many cardiologists and researchers believe that lowering homocysteine, a piece of protein manufactured within the body, will reduce the risk of heart disease. And while folic acid is the most important vitamin needed by the body to convert homocysteine into other substances, the optimal dose of folic acid has been unknown . . .

Beta-Glucan May Boost Immune System
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

DHEA Improves Well-Being and Sex-Drive in Women with Adrenal Insufficiency
The hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) improves feelings of well-being, including sexual interest and satisfaction . . .

Should Healthy People Take Vitamin E Supplements?
A new study, published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), casts doubt on vitamin E’s reputation as an antioxidant for the masses. . . .

Natural Ways to Improve Liver Function
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Eating to Beat High Blood Pressure
A diet low in salt, protein, and alcohol, and rich in potassium and calcium is associated with lower blood pressure . . .

Vitamin C Intake Linked to Lower Death Rates
People who consume the most vitamin C from their diets may only have half the death rate of people who consume the least vitamin C . . .

Green Tea May Not Lower Risk of Stomach Cancer
Consumption of green tea does not lower the risk of stomach cancer, according to the findings of a large Japanese study . . .

Sleep Needs Decline with Age
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

A New Link Between Alcohol and Prevention of Heart Attacks
Genes can determine who benefits the most from drinking alcohol, according to a new Physicians’ Health Study report in today’s New England Journal of Medicine . . .

Sugary Drinks Linked to Obesity in Kids
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with obesity in children . . .

Tea Tree Oil: Skin’s Natural Antiseptic
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Breast vs. Bottled Milk: The Pressure Is On
Are breast-fed infants less prone to high blood pressure or heart disease later in life than are formula-fed infants? A new study suggests the answer may be yes . . .

Lactobacillus Reduces Antibiotic Side Effects in Helicobacter Infections
Lactobacillus supplements quell the side effects of antibiotics used to treat Helicobacter pylori . . .

Flaxseed May Help Prevent Breast Cancer
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

GHB: What You Don’t Know Can Kill You
An illicit supplement is responsible for severe withdrawal symptoms, sending its users to emergency rooms nationwide in increasing numbers. . . .

FDA Attempt at Restricting Folic Acid Labeling Ruled Unconstitutional
In a blow to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., has ruled as unconstitutional the FDA’s attempt to prohibit a health claim proposed by the American Preventive Medical Association . . .

Aloe vera: A Popular Remedy Despite Few Studies
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Zinc Lozenges Get a Thumbs-Up For Treating the Common Cold
. . . clinical trials, including one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, conclude that zinc acetate lozenges may reduce the duration of cold symptoms. . . .

Secondhand Smoke Increases Risk of Childhood Ear Infections
Children of parents who smoke are more likely to get recurrent ear infections than are children of nonsmoking parents . . .

Making Sense of Gugulipid
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Glucosamine Sulfate is Proven Effective in Fight Against Osteoarthritis
Conventional medicine has considered GS unproven -— in part because no trials were long term, and most of them used imperfect scientific methodology. All that is about to end . . .

Presence of Toxins Leads to Recall of Cold and Flu Remedy
The Chinese herbal cold and flu remedy Neo-Concept® Aller Relief was recalled last week by its manufacturer due to the presence of an herbal toxin linked to kidney failure and cancer . . .

Finding the Right Weight-Loss Formula: Pills vs. Lifestyle Change
Many doctors give overweight patients a pill, a pep talk, and a pamphlet about diet and exercise. But that combination leads only to minor weight loss . . .

Herbal Extract Alleviates PMS Symptoms
According to a clinical trial published in this week’s edition of BMJ, the journal of the British Medical Association, an herbal extract from the berry of the chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus) safely and effectively reduces symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) . . .

Herbal Alternatives to Viagra®
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Ginkgo Ineffective for Treating Tinnitus
According to a large clinical trial published in this week’s British Medical Journal (BMJ), the popular herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba is not an effective treatment for people suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) . . .

Vitamin E: Controversial at Heart
Does vitamin E supplementation prevent heart disease? Researchers continue to struggle with this question . . .

Fish Intake Protects Against Stroke in Women
New data from the Nurses’ Health Study show that women who eat the most fish have a decreased risk of some types of stroke . . .

Vitamin E, No Caffeine Key in Preventing Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Solvent Marketed as Dietary Supplement Responsible for Deaths
An industrial solvent, marketed as a dietary supplement to enhance bodybuilding and to treat depression or insomnia, is responsible for nine episodes of toxic effects, including two deaths . . .

Fad Diets Put to the Test
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of evaluating the existing scientific evidence with regard to weight loss diets . . .

Constipation Unrelated to Precancerous Changes in the Colon
Women who suffer from constipation have no higher risk of forming precancerous colon polyps than do other women . . .

Modest Weight Loss Leads to Significant Reduction In Blood Pressure
Reducing body weight by as little as ten pounds can lead to a significant reduction in blood pressure . . .

Good News for Children With Asthma
Supplementation with fish oil capsules improves the symptoms of asthma in children . . .

Natural Treatments for Age Spots
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

An Ancient Herbal Remedy Gets Modern Acclaim: Willow Bark Extracts May Calm Low Back Flare-Ups
A traditional treatment for a variety of aches and pains that predates the invention of aspirin has largely been ignored in recent years due to a lack of clinical evidence supporting its ability to relieve pain. But a randomized, double-blind trial now shows that this ancient herbal remedy, willow bark, may be helpful for acute flare-ups of low back pain . . .

Dietary Changes are Key to Lowering High Blood Pressure
Both a low-salt diet and a diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy products have been shown to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension (elevated blood pressure) and in those with normal blood pressure . . .

Herbal Remedies Help PMS
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Weight Loss Associated with Decreased Breathing Problems During Sleep
Moderate weight loss may be the best prescription for reducing sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), according to a report published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. . . .

St. John’s Wort: Sorting Through the Facts Regarding Its Benefits and Potential Risks
Widely touted by the media as “Nature’s Prozac,” has the popular herbal antidepressant St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) suddenly fallen from grace? . . .

Obese Men More Likely to Get Cataracts
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of cataracts, according to a new analysis of data from the Physicians’ Health Study . . .

Marital Strife Triples the Risk of Heart Attacks in Women
Women with a history of heart disease who report stressful relationships with their husbands or significant others have almost triple the risk of suffering a heart attack, dying from heart disease, or requiring bypass surgery or angioplasty . . .

Caffeine Associated with Increased Risk of Miscarriage
Drinking beverages containing caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage among non-smoking women, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine . . .

Cranberry Effective in Preventing, Treating Bladder Infections
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Butcher’s Broom Helpful for Post-Mastectomy Lymphedema
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Ephedra-Containing Dietary Supplements Linked to Heart and Nervous System Problems
The New England Journal of Medicine has released a paper linking the herbal supplement ephedra to medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and stroke . . .

Does Zinc Nasal Spray Trump Zinc Lozenges for the Common Cold?
A nasal spray containing zinc reduces the duration of symptoms of the common cold, according to a study published in the Ear, Nose and Throat Journal . . .

Herbal Combo PC-SPES Shows Promise for Men with Prostate Cancer
The herbal formula PC-SPES has pronounced anticancer activity, according to a new report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology . . .

Ear Candling is No Match for Wax
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Prudent Diet Prevents Heart Disease
A “prudent” diet—high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and poultry—has been linked with protection against cardiovascular disease in women and men, according to two new studies published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.. . . .

Ginkgo biloba for Memory Loss in the Elderly
A new clinical trial suggests that the popular herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) may be no more effective than a placebo in treating memory loss associated with aging or Alzheimer’s disease. . . .

Does Fiber Increase the Risk of Colon Cancer?
. . . studies revealed that consumption of meat -— not a lack of fiber -— was the main dietary component responsible for an increased risk of colon cancer. . . .

ID Your Food Allergy
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Water Fluoridation: New Information on Risks and Benefits
Two studies published in this week’s British Medical Journal provide new information about the risks and benefits of adding fluoride to the water . . .

Vitamin E Cuts the Risk of Heart Attack
People taking vitamin E supplements have a dramatically reduced risk of suffering heart attacks, according to a report in the current issue of The Lancet. . . .

Can Cayenne Aid Weight Loss?
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

Eating Whole Grains Reduces Risk of Stroke
Women who eat more whole grains are at low risk of suffering a stroke, according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) . . .

Fat and Fatter: On the Continuing Epidemic of Obesity in the United States
It’s not just a cosmetic issue. Fat kills. The United States is in the midst of the worst epidemic of obesity in its history . . .

Ginseng Reduces Stress
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

More Dangers to Children of Smoking Mothers
Women who smoke during and after pregnancy increase the risk of their children having problems with wheezing and colic during infancy . . .

Dietary Factors Affect Survival of Stomach Cancer Patients
According to a study published this month in the journal Cancer, certain dietary factors and a vitamin may influence the survival rate of people with stomach cancer . . .

Glandular Extracts Effective When Taken Orally
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray . . .

American Ginseng For Post-Meal Rise In Blood Sugar
American ginseng has again been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics . . .

Restriction of Pacifier Use Reduces Incidence of Ear Infections in Children
Counseling parents to limit their children’s use of pacifiers can reduce the incidence of ear infections, according to a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Pediatrics. . . .

Soy Protein May Prevent Bone Loss After Menopause
Eating soy products may help prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women, according to a study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition . . .

Smoking During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Children born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more than three times as likely to die from the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) . . .

Lead in Calcium Supplements: Much Ado About Nothing?
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has found that a majority of calcium supplements sampled contained no detectable levels of lead . . .

Popular Herbal Antidepressant Implicated in Drug Interactions
While clinical trials continue to demonstrate the success of St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) in treating mild to moderate cases of depression,1 2 growing evidence suggests that consumers wishing to use the herbal antidepressant should be aware of potential drug interactions. . . .

Pancreatic Enzymes Ease Indigestion
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Running For Your Life
Men who were joggers at both ends of a five-year period had a 63% lower risk of dying during the next 15–17 years of the study compared with men who did not jog, according to a Danish study published in the current issue of the British Medical Journal. . . .

Echinacea Tea Shortens Duration and Severity of Cold Symptoms
As cold and flu season approaches, good news may await those preparing to brave the bitter taste of liquid echinacea preparations . . .

AIDS Patients are Using Complementary Therapies Without Discarding Conventional Treatment
A large proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS are using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, according to a survey published in this month’s Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. . . .

Osteopathic Manipulation Gets Patients Moving After Surgery
Patients get back on their feet sooner following surgery to the knee or hip if given osteopathic manipulation, according to a study published in the current issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. . . .

Boost Muscle-Building with Gamma-Oryzanol
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

St. John’s Wort — First Line of Defense Against Mild Depression
A study published in the current issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that the herbal product St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) may be among the most effective and safest initial treatments for mild to moderate depression . . .

Testosterone Improves Sexual Function in Women After “Surgical Menopause”
Women who experience impaired sexual function following surgical menopause (removal of the uterus and ovaries) have a new treatment option published in New England Journal of Medicine. . . .

Vegetable Extract Prevents Cervical Cancer
An extract from broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may reverse precancerous changes of the cervix, according to a trial published in the August edition of Gynecologic Oncology . . .

Banish Brittle Nails with B Vitamin Biotin
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Attention Deficit: Therapies Exist Beyond the Quick Fix
. . . 3–4% of children between 5 and 14 years according to a recent estimate1—back-to-school time also includes a trip to the pediatrician to treat attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder. . . .

Cancer Patients Seek Alternatives to Complement Conventional Care
Cancer patients who use complementary and alternative medicine are not any less likely to undergo conventional medical therapies, according to a study published this month in the journal Cancer . . .

Cancer-Conscious? Eat Your Veggies
Chinese men who eat more cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choy, are at a lower risk of developing lung cancer, according to a new study in this week’s edition of The Lancet . . .

Are Low-Fat Diets Helpful or Harmful for Young Children?
Reducing saturated-fat and cholesterol intake during early childhood may decrease the risk of subsequent heart disease without adversely affecting neurological development . . .

Obesity Increases Mortality
Men between the ages of 40 and 65 years have an increased death rate if they are obese, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology. . . .

Natural Remedies For Peptic Ulcer
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Impossible But True: Science Validates Homeopathy
An exceptionally well-designed clinical trial,1 published in Saturday’s British Medical Journal, has again validated the effectiveness of homeopathy . . .

Garlic Repels Ticks
Garlic capsules reduce the chance of receiving tick bites, according to a study published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. . . .

Plummeting Risk of Heart Disease in American Nurses Linked to Changes in Diet and Lifestyle
Improvements in diet and a reduction in smoking are the primary factors responsible for a significant decrease in heart disease risk during a 14-year period . . .

Iron Supplements: Which Form Is Best?
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

ABC News: Anti-organic research did not exist - Stossel to apologize.
ABC News was cited as saying yesterday that a report challenging the assumed benefits of organic food was partly based on research that did not exist and that it would make a correction on Friday night's "20/20" program . . .

Acupuncture Helps People Dependent on Cocaine
Acupuncture to the ear—also known as auricular acupuncture —- is significantly more effective in treating cocaine dependency . . . according to a new report published in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine . . .

Protecting Against the Harmful Effects of Alcohol
Dietary Recent nutritional research suggests that some people may now be able to have their glass of wine and drink it too . . .

Mineral May Aid the Sulfite-Sensitive
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Weight Loss: A Matter of Life and Death
Fighting the battle of the bulge is more important than ever, and may have gotten a little easier, judging from a series of articles recently published in Archives of Internal Medicine . . .

Gout and the Zone Diet
Dietary modifications can provide significant therapeutic benefit for people with gout, according to the findings of a recent clinical trial . . .

Ginkgo Increases Circulation
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Coping with Migraine: Understanding the Causes and Consequences
It begins with an aura: perhaps a shimmering halo around the headlights in your review mirror, a feeling of restlessness, or maybe you just can’t find the right word to say what you mean. Within an hour, you are swept up in waves of nausea, and then slammed with blinding, throbbing pain . . .

Does Ginkgo Improve Mental Sharpness and Memory in Healthy Adults?
Can Ginkgo biloba improve mental function in healthy adults? . . .

Suggestions for Seborrhea: Supplement the Bs
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

The Furor Over Functional Foods: A Special Report
The debate on the merits and safety of functional foods has been rekindled, creating confusion among consumers regarding the legitimacy of including herbs in foods and dietary supplements . . .

Antioxidants Fail to Treat or Prevent Lung Cancer
A new study in the June 21, 2000, edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that supplementation with the antioxidants vitamin A and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) failed to decrease the risk of lung or head and neck cancer recurrence. . . .

Exercise and Weight Loss Lower Blood Pressure In People With Hypertension
The combination of exercise plus weight loss significantly lowers blood pressure, according to a report in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. . . .

Natural Alternatives Lower Cholesterol Levels.
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Diet and Lifestyle Changes Correlate With Dramatic Reduction in Heart Disease
Women who follow very basic diet and lifestyle recommendations have a greatly reduced risk of heart attack, according to a study published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.. . .

U.S. Public Health Service Takes on Big Tobacco
Healthcare professionals now have new evidence and tools to help patients quit smoking tobacco, according to a report issued last week by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) . . .

What You Can Do To Quit Smoking

B3 Improves Type 1 In Recent-Onset Studies.
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Depression Hastens Early Death
Does Depression Kill? This question was asked this week in an editorial in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The author concluded that depression does appear to increase death rates independent of other known risk factors . . .

Cigarette Smoke’s Latest Hazard: Breast Cancer
The growing list of hazards from cigarette smoke has a tentative new entry: breast cancer . . .

Daily Intake of Vitamin C: How Much is Too Much?
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray

Ginkgo Supplementation and Insulin Resistance
New research on Ginkgo biloba suggests that the popular herb could be associated with resistance to insulin in healthy individuals . . .

Chiropractic Outperforms Conventional Medicine for Chronic Low Back Pain
Patients with chronic low back pain had greater improvement and satisfaction when treated by chiropractors compared to family physicians, according to a community-based, observational study . . .

Achieving a Healthy Heart: Soy May Protect Against Heart Disease
Evidence suggests that phytoestrogens from soy confer protection against a wide array of conditions, including heart disease, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, and some symptoms of menopause . . .

Manage Menorrhagia with Good Nutrition
Question and Answer with Dr. Murray






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