risk of death

  1. How supplements can save you from cancer

    I was just about to celebrate the American Cancer Society's new common sense guidelines for disease survivors on the role of exercise and nutrition in preventing a recurrence -- until they started taking potshots at supplements.

    It's like they can't help themselves.

    "There is no good evidence that supplements reduce recurrence risk and increasing evidence that they may be harmful in some cases," the society's director of nutrition and physical activity, Colleen Doyle, told WebMD in a feature about the new guidelines.

    That's so much nonsense I don't know where to begin -- because there IS plenty of evidence that poor nutrition can increase the risk of cancer recurrence... that proper levels of vitamins and minerals can prevent it... and that supplements in particular can play a critical role in raising those levels.

    No less than three studies last year, for example, found that breast cancer survivors have a lower risk of recurrence when they take supplements.

    In one, women who took multivitamins with minerals in the year before their diagnosis and for the five years afterwards were 31 percent less likely to have a recurrence than women who didn't take them. They also had a lower risk of death from the disease as well as death from all causes.

    In the second, women who took vitamin E, vitamin C, or multivitamins in the six months after a breast cancer diagnosis had a 22 percent lower risk of recurrence and an 18 percent lower risk of death.

    And in the third, fish oil supplements reduced the risk of both recurrence and death.

    In a randomized trial of 1,200 healthy, postmenopausal women from Nebraska, the ones given calcium and vitamin D supplements had a 60 percent lower risk of all cancers than those given a placebo.

    I could go on with these all day. Here's another: In a 10-year study, patients who underwent colon cancer surgery who were given supplements of coriolus -- a type of mushroom -- were twice as likely to remain disease free compared to those given a placebo.

    And let's not forget that repeated studies on vitamin D have consistently found that people with the highest blood levels have the lowest risk of recurrence of lung, breast, and colon cancer -- not to mention a lower rate of death.

    There's only two ways to raise those blood levels -- sunbathe, or take supplements.

    Don't believe mainstream medicine's mantra that "chemotherapy" and "radiation" are the only "supplements" that can prevent cancer.

  2. Dementia patients are being drugged to death

    It's bad enough that up to a third of all dementia patients in nursing homes are given powerful antipsychotic meds despite the fact that they're not approved for dementia.

    But what makes this one far worse -- what makes it a crime in my book -- is that doctors know these drugs can dramatically boost the risk of death in these patients, and they keep giving them out anyway.

    Now, a new look at data on more than 75,000 nursing home patients finds that one antipsychotic drug in particular is even worse than the rest.

    Researchers say Haldol -- aka haloperidol -- can more than double the risk of death in dementia patients, a risk that's even higher when you realize that's not compared to a control group of patients who were given no meds at all.

    It's compared to patients given risperidone, part of a class of meds called atypical antipsychotics. And as a class, these meds are known to increase the risk of death in dementia patients by up to a staggering 70 percent.

    It's like one death risk piled on top of another.

    The researchers behind the new study claim the "safest" drug is Seroquel, but that doesn't make it "safe." None of these drugs are 100% "safe," and there's a reason they haven't been approved for dementia care: They don't work, either.

    There's no evidence these drugs lead to better outcomes or improved symptoms, but nursing homes rely on them anyway because they're great for one thing: Silence.

    These drugs are used almost as tranquilizers for dementia patients that are simply too much to handle or even patients who complain too much.

    Some of the stories I've heard on how these meds are used are outrageous, and you can read more about dementia overmedication abuses here.

    In reality, even the most hard-to-handle dementia patients don't need these drugs, because studies have shown there's a much simpler way to keep them calm and happy.

    It starts with giving them a little more attention, care and sympathy. It might sound basic, but caregivers who pay attention can learn which objects and events trigger certain reactions in dementia patients -- and then learn to minimize them or avoid them completely.

    Combine that approach with a comfortable routine and a calm environment, and you can give dementia patients everything they need without the risks of dangerous and unapproved meds.

    Don't they deserve at least that much?

  3. Walk faster, beat death

    It turns out the slowest walkers have the highest risk of death.

3 Item(s)