Drug lawsuits, fluoride, prostate disease, hours worked and hypertension

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A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

Pills…since 2000, there have been more than 65,000 product liability lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical manufacturers, the most of any industry? More than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed in recent years against four drugs: hormone replacement drug Prempro, birth control patch Ortho Evera, anti-psychotic Seroquel and the anti-seizure drug Neurotin. Unlike Vioxx, which also has thousands of lawsuits filed, these drugs are still on the market. The FDA feels the benefits are worth the risks. The FDA is supposed to protect us. It looks like they’re more interested in helping the drug manufacturers turn profits. (“More drugs get slapped with lawsuits”. USAtoday.com. August 23, 2006)

…that some scientists have spent years questioning fluoride's safety and believe Americans are ingesting toxic levels? Fluoride is a poison. Before it was used to fight tooth decay, it was used as a rat and insect poison. Even our tubes of toothpaste have the warning, “Keep out of reach of children 6 years of age. If more than is used for brushing is swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” (Prevention Magazine. 2006, August.)

…that the three most common types of prostate disease are benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and prostate cancer? Although they have very different causes, their symptoms are surprisingly similar. According to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, this is why it is important for men to make checking for prostate cancer part of their yearly physical. Some of the similar symptoms include: a need to frequently urinate at night, difficulty urinating, and painful or burning urination.
(http://www.webmd.com/content/article/45/1688_50843.htm)

…that Americans work longer and harder than any other industrialized nation, including Japan? Unfortunately, according to a new study, the more hours you work during the week, the higher your risk of developing hypertension. Researchers from the University of Southern California surveyed 24,205 working adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Compared with those who worked between 11 and 39 hours per week, individuals who worked 40 hours per week were 14% more likely to report hypertension. Those who worked between 41 and 50 hours per week were 17% more likely to report hypertension. Those who work 51 or more hours per week were 29% more likely to report hypertension. The data from this survey should not be a surprise. We’ve known for years that stress increases your risk of hypertension, and the more you work the higher your stress level. (Hypertension. 2006;48: 744-750)

…prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, and more than 200,000 men are affected each year. A Harvard study examined approximately 73,000 men age 66 or older diagnosed with prostate cancer and has raised the question whether men with less advanced cancer should receive treatment. The standard accepted treatment for prostate cancer is reducing testosterone levels by removing the testes or with drugs. The problem with such treatments is that it puts men at higher risks for other serious diseases. The Harvard studies’ author, Nancy Keating, M.D. explains: “Men receiving treatment for prostate cancer had a 44 percent higher risk for developing diabetes and a 16 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than men who are not receiving therapy.”

The bottom line is that these treatments have not been shown to improve mortality rates. I have always found it interesting that men get prostate cancer at the time in their lives when their testosterone levels are at their lowest. Yet, the common/standard treatment is to lower their testosterone levels by castration or drug therapy. How about estrogen levels? We know that estrogen can be a carcinogen and is elevated in elderly men. (www.newsmax.com’s Health Alerts)


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