Dr. Alan Inglis' BestHealth Nutritionals

Nutritional Supplements and natural formulas from Dr. Alan Inglis, M.D.

  1. Science proves mom right again…

    by Dr. Alan Inglis

    Once again, it turns out mom knew best. I'm sure plenty of us grew up with a mother who insisted on operating a clunky humidifier in our bedrooms during cold and flu season. Our mothers swore the little puffs of steam helped ward off illness – and they were right.

    A new study demonstrates how the flu jumps from one person to another through dry air. This explains why the flu season gets more intense in those calendar months when we are all indoors, where we breathe drier air.

    Turns out, when the air is dry, the virus survives for a longer period. A group of Oregon researchers found strong links between absolutely humidity and trends in how the flu virus was transmitted and how long it lived. In short, by keeping your home and work space from getting too dry, you can cut down on flu transmission.

    But if you're getting ready to haul out the trusty humidifier, don't go nuts. A little bit of moisture will allow you to reduce flu transmission, while too much moisture (especially in a small space) can lead to mold growth.

  2. Prescription drug abuse finally on FDA's radar

    by Dr. Alan Inglis

    I swear, sometimes I think if the FDA moved any slower, it would be going backwards. I told you earlier this week about the FDA finally getting around to establishing new testing guidelines for the blood thinner heparin, a year and a half after it was linked to hundreds of deaths.

    Now, the organization charged with protecting our health has finally decided to do something about the abuse of prescription opioids, such as Vicodin and OxyContin. I don't know if anyone from the FDA has picked up a newspaper in the past several years, but abuse of these painkiller drugs has become rampant, and they're even being sold as street drugs.

    To help curb the problem, the FDA says this March it will meet with officials from more than a dozen Big Pharma companies to work up some "risk-management plans." The goal will be to avoid hundreds of deaths caused every year by patients' misusing and doctors mis-prescribing opioids.

    In very limited defense of the FDA, Congress only gave it the authority to order risk- management plans in 2007. Of course, there were plenty of other actions the FDA could have taken, particularly as it became evident that these highly addictive drugs were being widely abused.

    Part of the problem is that doctors are prescribing these very serious drugs for conditions that don't call for them. For example, many doctors prescribe opioids for migraine headaches – problem is, opioids have never been approved for this use.

    This over-prescribing is a big part of the reason that nearly 4 million Americans are currently taking an opioid drug. Many folks will become needlessly addicted to these drugs. Others will have their lives ended by opioids.

    Hopefully, the FDA's meeting with Big Pharma will bear some fruit. There could even be public hearings later in the year. But I've been down this road too many times to have a ton of confidence that any real difference will be made.

    In the meantime, there are things you can do to prevent opioid abuse. If you take one of these prescriptions, lock it up and never share it. Even better, look into some of the safer, natural alternatives for managing your pain.

  3. Bad eating habits, courtesy of mom and dad

    Good dietary habits begin at home, according to a new study from the University of California at Los Angeles. And if you don't eat well, don't expect your kids to, either.
  4. FDA finally announces new heparin guidelines

    Case in point, the FDA announced with much fanfare recently that it was implementing new measures to prevent the contamination of the blood thinner heparin.
  5. America's seniors have plenty to smile about

    A recent survey found that the older people get, the happier they are-America's seniors are even happier than young folks.
  6. Hamburger, kidney disease and fries

    A new study has found that these foods are often loaded with phosphorous, which can be deadly if you have advanced kidney disease.
  7. Don't turn spring cleaning into a germ-fest

    If you think you're doing a healthy thing wiping down your counters, doorknobs and appliances with those antibacterial wipes, research shows you need to reconsider.
  8. Doctors ignoring drug interaction alerts when writing prescriptions

    According to a new study, doctors are ignoring electronic drug interaction alerts up to 90 percent of the time!
  9. Skip the gym… and get a sponge

    New research is recognizing the benefits of a good sweat-which means at least 20 minutes of sustained exercise-and housework can be a source.
  10. Gardasil's European tour off to a rocky start

    Spanish authorities recently recalled the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil after two girls had to be hospitalized shortly after getting injections.
  11. Straighten out your wrinkles with these natural cures

    Free radicals hurt more than just your heart and eyes. They can also do a lot of damage to your skin.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.