House Calls

  1. Gardasil's European tour off to a rocky start

    by Dr. Alan Inglis

    It's nice to know that there's a government out there that takes drug risks seriously… that puts the health of its citizens above the profits of Big Pharma.

    It's just too bad it's not our government.

    Spanish authorities recently recalled the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil after two girls had to be hospitalized shortly after getting injections. As I'm writing this, one of the girls is still in intensive care.

    The Spanish government acted quickly pulling 76,000 doses out of circulation – and that's after just two girls became ill. By contrast, our FDA admitted that by June 30, 2008 is had already received 20 reports of girls who died after being administered Gardasil. Those are old figures that have undoubtedly increased – but, according to the FDA Web site, "FDA and CDC continue to find that the benefits of Gardasil outweigh the risks."

    That's our government… but before you start looking into buying a villa in Spain, I should point out that the two Spanish girls who were hospitalized were vaccinated under a government-sponsored program that was promoting Gardasil.

    Why anyone would want to unleash this vaccine on their citizens is beyond me. While Gardasil has been linked to several deaths, girls also have had seizures and other neurological problems after receiving the vaccine.

    And what everyone seems to forget is that, even before Gardasil became the new sliced bread, Pap smear screening in Western countries had already significantly reduced cervical cancer deaths.

    I, for one, am glad to know that tens of thousands of Spanish girls will not be subjected to this medication. Maybe next we can focus on keeping American girls safe, too.

  2. Straighten out your wrinkles with these natural cures

    by Dr. Alan Inglis

    You've heard me talk about how free radicals can attack your vision and cause inflammation throughout your body. Well, those free radicals hurt more than just your heart and eyes. They can also do a lot of damage to your skin.

    When that happens, it can cause wrinkling, age spots, roughness, and scaling. But it doesn't have to stay that way. In fact, it doesn't have to happen at all.

    In one particular study, researchers investigated how free radical damage could be prevented or reversed in patients who took antioxidants. Antioxidants actually neutralize free radicals and reduce the oxidative damage they can cause.

    In this study, the researchers monitored 39 volunteers with healthy, normal skin, dividing them into three groups. The first group received a supplement of antioxidant carotenoids, including lycopene (3 mg), lutein (3 mg), beta-carotene (4.8 mg), vitamin E (10 mg), and selenium (75 mcg) every day. Group two received a slightly different mixture of lycopene (6 mg), beta-carotene (4.8 mg), vitamin E (10 mg), and selenium (75 mcg). Group three received only a placebo.

    By the end of the study, the groups taking the antioxidants had seen a significant improvement in their skin, including less roughness and scaling. The placebo group, on the other hand, didn't see any improvement.

    If you want to go the whole-food route, you can load up on the antioxidants used in the study by eating tomatoes, peppers, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and kale.

    Unfortunately, most of us just don't get enough antioxidants from food sources. So make sure you're taking a multivitamin with about 200 to 400 units of vitamin E with mixed tocopherols, 250 mg of vitamin C, and at least 5,000 units of beta- carotene with mixed carotenoids.

  3. Banning popular painkillers proving to be an ugly process

    An FDA panel recently recommended that the painkillers Darvon and Darvocet be pulled from the market. And it's about time.
  4. Good news, bad news with new online salmonella resource

    The FDA has created a pretty useful online tool where you can see exactly which products have been recalled because of the salmonella scare.
  5. Steroid inhalers not a breath of fresh air for asthmatic kids

    A recent study from the University of Leicester in England reexamined the protocol at many hospitals, where children who are admitted with sudden wheezing attacks often are given steroid inhalers.
  6. Keeping your brain sharp may be easier than you think

    You can get a sneak peek at an elderly person's future mental health if you know something about their lifestyle, outlook and exercise habits.
  7. Air Force policy gives wings to alternative health treatment

    The Air Force announced recently that it is going to train more doctors to use acupuncture to treat injuries in the field.
  8. The secret weapon against breast cancer

    If you're a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, all the more reason to have your vitamin-D level checked: research suggests a link between low levels and recurrence of, or death from, the cancer.
  9. FDA helped unleash salmonella-laced peanuts on public

    The FDA played a larger role than we thought in allowing a salmonella outbreak to sweep through the nation, sickening hundreds and possibly killing 8 people.

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