Friday, August 24, 2012

Harold's Knee Pain

I received another e-mail from Harold, a 50 year carpenter-home repair specialist who I have been talking to about his bad knees and his health in general. Harold said ”I wanted to tell you that after two months of adding the Omega 3’s I feel better than ever. No doubt the Glucosamine helped greatly as my pain going downstairs is gone, but somehow I think the Omega 3’s is helping my knees too. I haven't got my cholesterol level yet, but will let you know. Thanks”

When I first started talking to Harold I suggested trying pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine that is optimized with Vitamin C and a highly bioavailable complex from Curcumin, before he gave in and tried a prescription drug or pain killer. He tried it for two months and found significant pain relief. 

Back and forth with Harold uncovered that he was an unabashed red meat eater,...almost every day.  I told Harold that he may want to add a Omega 3 supplement and try to reduce the large amount of Omega 6's he was getting in his diet, which he told me also consisted of alot of eggs and nuts.  He did not try an Omega 3 supplement at first until I mentioned that a quality Omega 3 supplement shows promise in clinical trials in reducing cholesterol levels and Harold had a cholesterol level of 240.     

Red meat, walnuts, cashews, eggs, vegetable oil and almonds are high in Omega 6 Fatty Acids which combined with our low intake of Omega 3 foods (normal in the Western diet) will increase our Omega 6 to 3 ratios well past the recommended 2:1 ratio to sometimes as high as 40:1.

This imbalance of Omega 6 to 3 Fatty Acids is thought to increase oxidative stress and therefore free radical damage and resulting in inflammation which of course can affect the body anywhere and can as joint pain and a host of other symptoms.  

So even though Harold tried the Omega 3 supplement primarily for his cholesterol, he found out that it seems to also be helping with his knee pain which was his primary concern. 

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Nutrient Depletion from Prescription Drugs

MyAchingKnees has been saying for the last couple of years that there are side effects, some severe, some not that affect people differently. One of the ways prescriptions drugs as well as some OTC medications affect our health is to bleach nutrients from our bodies. Not good when you consider that almost everyone does not get the required amount of nutrients they require for optimal health anyway. We were happy to see an article published to express this view. The excellent article below was written by Melissa A. Bartoszewski, DC, on

(NaturalNews) Many people do not realize that the medications they take on a daily basis can negatively affect the amount of nutrients stored in the body. Numerous drugs actually deplete specific vitamins and minerals, causing a whole host of additional problems. Being aware of what is being depleted by the prescription you are taking can help you to choose what to supplement with. Vitamins and minerals are vital for the everyday cellular processes in your body; inadequate amounts may lead to decreased immunity, digestive issues and much more.

What you are losing

Below are a few examples of some commonly prescribed drugs and a list of the nutrients that are automatically depleted.

Anti-inflammatory drugs deplete: Calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, Vitamins B6, C, D, K, folic acid, chromium, glutathione, Vitamins B6, C, D, and K

NSAIDs: Folic acid, melatonin Aspirin/Salicylates: Vitamins C, K, B5, folic acid, calcium, iron and sodium

Corticosteroids: Vitamins A, C, D, B6, B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc

Cochicine (used for gout): Vitamin B12, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, Beta-carotene

Statins (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor,etc.): Coenzyme Q10

ACE Inhibitors for hypertension (Lisinopril, etc.): Zinc

What's the big deal?

Zinc is a master mineral necessary in hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body and plays a vital role in immune function. Zinc is not stored in the body and must be ingested through diet or supplementation. If you are chronically sick, you may be deficient in zinc due to poor dietary intake or from drug induced nutrient depletion. A good way to see if you are zinc deficient is to buy organic zinc lozenges, hold in your mouth, if it tastes sweet, you are deficient, if it tastes bitter, you are not. Once the sweetness wears off and there is no taste/bitter, discard the lozenge.

Coenzyme Q10 is a very powerful vitamin and antioxidant, also known as ubiquinone ("found everywhere"), because it is found in every cell of the body. Energy and ATP production are the main functions of this important vitamin. Research has shown that people with heart failure have lower levels of coenzyme Q10 and the vitamin may help to increase the energy production, pumping action and strength of the heart muscle.

Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, helps convert food into energy, assist with proper brain function, DNA/RNA synthesis, red blood cell production and iron functions. This vitamin may also aid in the prevention of heart disease, although further studies are still needed. Folic acid deficiencies may occur due to drug induced nutrient depletion, Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and alcoholism, just to name a few.

These are only a few examples of very important vitamins and minerals that are automatically depleted when taking certain medications. Zinc, coenzyme Q10, folic acid and the other vitamins and minerals are essential for good health and the processes that go on inside of our bodies on a constant basis.

Take control of your health

What's important to remember is that no drug is 100% percent safe and side effect free. Researching any drug your doctor prescribes is vital to being your own health advocate. Question your health care provider as to why the medication that he/she is prescribing is necessary. A list of side effects is now given with each prescription at the pharmacy; a list of vitamins and minerals that are automatically depleted as a direct result of the medication should also be supplied to every patient, with every prescription. You only have one body and should do everything in your power to protect it and keep it functioning optimally.


About the author: Dr. Melissa Bartoszewski is a chiropractor at Estramonte Chiropractic & Wellness Center. She is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. Dr. Bartoszewski is also a raw food and natural healthcare advocate.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements

I came across this article by the Editors of Consumer Reports,........ More than half of American adults take vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other nutritional supplements. Some of those products aren’t especially helpful, readers told us in a recent survey, but that aside, don’t assume they’re safe because they’re “all natural.” They may be neither. Here are 10 hazards that we’ve distilled from interviews with experts, published research, and our own analysis of reports of serious adverse events submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, which we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Read and be warned. MyAchingKnees advises "Read and use some critical thinking".

1. Supplements are not risk-free
More than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events associated with dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs, streamed into the FDA from supplement companies, consumers, health-care providers, and others between 2007 and mid-April of 2012. The reports by themselves don’t prove the supplements caused the problems, but the raw numbers are cause for some concern. Symptoms included signs of heart, kidney, or liver problems, aches, allergic reactions, fatigue, nausea, pains, and vomiting. The reports described more than 10,300 serious outcomes (some included more than one), including 115 deaths and more than 2,100 hospitalizations, 1,000 serious injuries or illnesses, 900 emergency-room visits, and some 4,000 other important medical events.

The FDA gets far more reports about serious problems with prescription medication than about supplements. But there’s a big difference between the two, notes Pieter Cohen, M.D., an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts with a special interest in supplements. “These powerful medications with powerful side effects are actually saving lives when used appropriately,” he says of prescription drugs. “But when healthy consumers use supplements, there’s rarely, if ever, a powerful lifesaving effect.”

The FDA suspects most supplement problems never come to its attention, says Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., director of the agency’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs. But those that do are still useful because they can raise red flags about a developing problem. For instance, last year the agency noted seven reports of serious health problems regarding consumers who took Soladek vitamin solution, marketed by Indo Pharma of the Dominican Republic.

When the FDA learned that tested samples contained vitamins A and D at concentrations many times the recommended daily allowances, it issued a consumer warning. Why not simply order a problem product off the market? Current laws make that so difficult for the FDA that to date it has banned only one ingredient, ephedrine alkaloids. That effort dragged on for a decade, during which ephedra weight-loss products were implicated in thousands of adverse events, including deaths.

Type the name of the supplement you’re interested in into the search box at to see whether it has been subject to warnings, alerts, or voluntary recalls. If you suspect you’re having a bad reaction to a supplement, tell your doctor. You can also report your problem to the FDA at 800-332-1088 or

I have a hard time believing that supplements cause some much problems, but given the fact that the vast majority of supplements are manufactured using food grade manufacturing processes rather than much higher standard of pharmaceutical grade manufacturing process, some of the issues with off the shelf supplements have to stem from toxins or impurities from the manufacturing.

2. Some supplements are really prescription drugs
Fabricant has said that dietary supplements spiked with prescription drugs are “the largest threat” to consumer safety. Since 2008 there have been recalls of more than 400 such products, mostly those marketed for bodybuilding, sexual enhancement, and weight loss, according to the FDA. We’ve seen many recalled products that have contained the same or similar active ingredients as prescription drugs, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and sibutramine (Meridia, a weight-loss drug that was withdrawn from the market in 2010 because of evidence that it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes). Others contained synthetic steroids.

Those adulterated products can cause some of the same side effects and interactions that consumers may have been trying to avoid by choosing supplements over drugs. The FDA has received reports of strokes, acute liver injury, kidney failure, pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung), and death associated with drug-tainted supplements. “A number of the spiked sexual enhancement products claim to work within 20 to 45 minutes,” Fabricant said on the FDA’s website. “When we see a product that makes claims above and beyond what a dietary supplement might do—above supporting health—and within a time frame of a few minutes, it tips us off that we might have a spiked product.” Slim down with diet and exercise.

Build muscles by weight training. And consult a doctor if you need help in the bedroom, since it could indicate an underlying health problem. If you suspect you’ve purchased a product that is tainted with undeclared prescription drugs or steroids, send an e-mail about it to the FDA, at

More than half of American adults take vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other nutritional supplements. Some of those products aren’t especially helpful, readers told us in a recent survey, but that aside, don’t assume they’re safe because they’re “all natural.” They may be neither. Here are 10 hazards that we’ve distilled from interviews with experts, published research, and our own analysis of reports of serious adverse events submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, which we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Read and be warned.

There it is again, the low, non regulated food grade manufacturing process. Ask the Olympic Committee why they don't recommend their athletes taking OTC supplements. Ask the Olympic Committee which Pharmaceutical grade supplements sponsors many of their athletes. Plus there are certainly many professional athletes coming up "hot" on banned substances who claim to be taking OTC supplements.

3. You can overdose on vitamins and minerals
Unless your health-care provider tells you that you need more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of a particular nutrient, you probably don’t. “It doesn’t make sense to me to take huge doses of vitamins and minerals unless there’s a diagnosed problem, because there is so little evidence that they do good and sometimes a possibility that they might do harm,” says Marion Nestle, M.P.H., Ph.D., a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University.

I know who I won't be asking nutritional advice from. The proof's in the pudding Marion, that 1- you cannot get all your required nutrients from today's food supply and 2 - there is an undenible link of nutritional deficiencies to the long list of degenerative diseases affecting us. And these degenerative diseases are hitting us when we are younger and younger, that because we are producing weaker humans? It is much more likley to be linked to terrible foods that we commonly consume today.

4. You can’t depend on warning labels
For one thing, the FDA doesn’t require them on supplements. There is an exception: Supplements that contain iron must warn about accidental overdosing and fatal poisoning in children.

Not only does the FDA not require warning labels on supplements, they donlt require food grade supplements to be produced to any guaranteed quality.

5. None are proved to cure major diseases
If you’re surfing the Internet for dietary supplements and find a site that claims its products can diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease, surf right off to another site. Such claims are off-limits to supplements, according to the FDA. “We’d like to see those things go away,” Fabricant says. “Those are a direct threat to public health.” Since 2007, the agency has sent dozens of warning letters to companies telling them to stop making those types of claims about their supplement products.

Earlier this year, for instance, the FDA sent a warning letter to BioAnue Laboratories of Rochelle, Ga., when these statements and others were spotted on websites: “Formula CX will reverse wasting disease,” and “Bovine cartilage stops tumor growth.” (The FDA said it’s still reviewing the company’s response. The president of BioAnue Laboratories told us it “complies with all U.S. laws.”)

We're not going to see any FDA sponsored or approved message concerning supplements and degenerative disease. If they did it would put a whole in the wallets of the drug companies. 

6. Buy with caution from botánicas
???? I'm only buying pharmaceutical grade products. I'm not buying from Botanicas, the local Vitamin Shop, nor from the Voodoo lady on the corner.

7. Heart and cancer protection are not proved
Omega-3 pills and antioxidants are widely thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, respectively, and millions of women take calcium to protect their bones. But recent evidence casts doubt on whether those supplements are as safe or effective as assumed. Calcium.

The latest blow against calcium supplements was a report by German and Swiss researchers who followed almost 24,000 adults for an average of 11 years. They found that regular users of calcium supplements had an 86 percent increased heart-attack risk compared with those who didn’t use supplements, as reported in the June 2012 issue of the journal Heart. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant 30 percent reduction of heart-attack risk among adults with a moderately high intake of calcium from food itself.

Omega-3 fish oil. The widely held view that fish-oil pills help prevent cardiovascular disease hit a snag when a study of 12,500 people with diabetes or prediabetes and a high risk of heart attack or stroke found no difference in the death rate from cardiovascular disease or other outcomes between those given a 1-gram fish-oil pill every day and those given a placebo, according to a June 11, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine online report. But the results may be clouded by the fact that participants were already taking other heart medication. Most people can get enough omega-3s by eating fatty fish at least twice a week.

The American Heart Association says that people who have coronary artery disease may want to talk to their doctor about omega-3 supplementation. Antioxidants. Far from reducing cancer risk, as a lot of people believe, high doses of some antioxidant supplements may actually increase it, evidence suggests. The discouraging news appeared in the May 16, 2012, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Based on current evidence, vitamins C and E haven’t been found to shield people from cancer; vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C don’t seem to protect against getting or dying from cancer; selenium doesn’t prevent prostate cancer; and there’s no convincing evidence that beta-carotene or vitamin A, C, or E supplements prevent gastrointestinal cancers. Still worse, the researchers wrote, “Some clinical trials show that some of these antioxidant nutrients may increase cancer risk.”

What skews these reports is the facts that people are consuming real crappy supplements. There is no doubt in my mind there would be a vastly different outcome reported if the testing and consuming was with quality supplements.

8. Pills can irritate the esophagus
Really? Then take them with water.

9. Some ‘natural’ products are anything but
Vitamin pills can be synthetically, and legally, produced in a lab. Synthetic ingredients are even allowed in multivitamins that bear the Department of Agriculture’s “Organic” seal. But the FDA has said that synthetic copies of botanicals don’t qualify as dietary-supplement ingredients at all. “Vitamins can be synthetic because, by definition, a vitamin doesn’t have to come from nature,” says Fabricant at the FDA. They just have to perform the biological activity of vitamins, he added, whereas a “botanical” means that it was alive at some point. In other words, botanicals and their extracts must come from actual living plants, not a test tube.

Some nutrients are best in a synthetic form. And there are some, like Melatonin for instance, which the body produces, but the form we take as a sleeping aid is synthetic. This reminds me of a gent I was talking to about his sleeping problems. He said he never gets more than 3 hours at night. He also drank three Monster Energy drinks through the day. He could not see the link between his energy drink consumption and his lack of ability to sleep, so he was seeking a sleeping aid. I told him about a pharmaceutical grade Melatonin that worked for several of my clients. He asked me if it was "natural" because we would not take anything "synthetic" (although he could pump massive amounts of Monster!). I told him "No, this Melatonin was farmed from dead bodies,......just kidding, of course, it is synthetic." He ended up declining to try it. Last thing I heard is that he went to a tarot card reader to see what his sleeping problem was all about.

10. You may not need supplements at all
If you are already getting the recommended amount of nutrients by eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, cereals, dairy, and protein, there’s little if any additional benefit from ingesting nutritional supplements.

Ok, I'll take Consumer Reports word that they may not need supplements, but at 53 years old with no more knee and back pain, 140 cholesterol level, BP at 118/82, fasting blood sugar at 80 or less, I'll stick to taking quality supplements.

Read the original, and long, Consumer Reports article here.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

American Medical Association's opinion on Obamacare

The American Medical Association has weighed in on Obama's new health care package.

The Allergists were in favor of scratching it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

Meanwhile, Obstetricians felt certain everyone was laboring under a misconception, while the Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.

Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Pediatricians said, "Oh, grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing and the Internists claimed it would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow.

The Plastic Surgeons opined that this proposal would "put a whole new face on the matter". The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.

Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and those lofty Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no. In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the butt clowns in Washington.

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