1. Missing data on Tamiflu side effects

    The flu 'cure' that's worse than the disease

    I can tell you everything that's wrong with the drug approval process in one word: Tamiflu.

    That's the prescription medication often given to flu patients despite the fact that studies have shown it does little in many cases and Tamiflu side effects can cause even more problems.

    But the biggest problem with the drug isn't what we know from the research. It's what we don't know -- because the company that makes the drug, Roche, has refused to release some of the most important details on patient outcomes and Tamiflu side effects.

    Now, they're taking some big-time heat for it. The editor of BMJ, Fiona Godlee, published a scathing editorial practically demanding the data. And one leading researcher went even further.

    Peter Gotzsche, head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, called on the European Union to sue Roche to get back every penny -- or every euro -- of the billions spent stockpiling the drug based on those half-released studies.

    But why would those health officials sue for that data when they didn't demand it in the first place, before they actually approved the drug?

    And that's exactly the problem here, because this approve-first, ask-questions-later approach isn't limited to Tamiflu. Drugs for everything from cancer to cholesterol are often given the OK based on limited and conflicted data, and long before we know everything we need to know about them.

    In Tamiflu's case, even what we know so far from those partially released studies is thoroughly unimpressive: The drug may shorten the duration of the flu by as much as a day or so, but only if the flu patient takes the drug within 36- 48 hours of the onset of illness.

    And who does that?

    Most people spend the first 24 hours thinking they just have a cold, and the next 24 hours wondering if they should call the doctor.

    By the time they get into the clinic, two or three days have passed -- and by then, it's too late for Tamiflu (although that little detail hasn't stopped doctors from prescribing it anyway).

    There's no other benefit to the drug, by the way. There's no evidence that it stops the spread of the disease, and some researchers have even concluded it doesn't lower the risk of flu complications, hospitalization, or pneumonia.

    And Tamiflu side effects can make you even sicker, from the just plain nasty -- think stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting -- to serious psychological problems and bizarre behavior, especially in kids.

    That's why I've never prescribed this drug to my patients. I've never even been tempted to, since there are already safer and more proven ways to limit the damage of the flu without Tamiflu side effects.

    Start with N-acetylcysteine. With a name like that, it almost has to be abbreviated -- so expect to find it sold under the name "NAC."

    Take 600 mg twice a day during flu season to avoid the disease. If you manage to get sick anyway, up the dose to between 2,000 mg and 3,000 mg a day for a week. Unlike meds, studies have shown NAC really can reduce both the duration and severity of the flu.

    And for more on how to beat the flu without a drug or vaccine, read my free special report, "Beat the flu without a shot." And if you're in the Southern California area, visit my clinic for a personalized regiment that can give your immune system the power it needs to fight off just about anything that might come its way.

  2. Boost your weak immune system

    Beat the flu without a shot

    I'm exposed to flu all the time -- it's an occupational hazard -- but I never get it. In fact, I haven't even had so much as a sniffle in years.

    No, I'm not immune. But I do have a pretty good immune system -- and you can train yours to be every bit as strong as mine even if you have a week immune system.

    You can laugh in the face of the flu when you don't have a weak immune system, and you don't need a flu shot or any other vaccine to do it either.

    Start with Influenzinum. Think of it as the homeopathic equivalent of a flu shot, minus the mystery particles (and minus the needle, too, for that matter). Like the flu shot, it's reformulated each year. Unlike the flu shot, it's both risk-free and effective at strengthening your week immune system,

    I recommend 200c once a month for adults and children.

    In addition, be sure to get plenty of vitamin D -- up to 5,000 IU a day for adults and 2,000 IU a day for children, since studies have shown the sunshine vitamin can cut the risk of flu in half.

    As a bonus, vitamin D can also help prevent colds.

    Finally, be sure to add N-acetylcysteine (aka NAC) to your regimen. One study out of Italy found that people who take it are much less likely to get the flu even when blood tests show that they've been exposed to the virus that causes it. NAC can also help reduce the duration and severity of the flu if you do get it.

    I recommend 600 mg twice a day for healthy adults, and half that amount for kids. And if you happen to get the flu despite your turbo-charged immune system, increase that dose to between 2,000 mg and 3,000 mg a day for up to a week.

  3. Autism linked to toxins in the water

    New research shows that common drug residues found in drinking water may cause autism in at-risk kids.

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