Thursday, November 22, 2012

Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the most common form of noncutaneous cancer diagnosed in Western men, and was expected to account for approximately 25% of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer among men during 2008 (1). Among American men, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death and the most common cancer-related cause of death in European men. The American Cancer Society 2009 estimates include 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer and 27,360 deaths in the US resulting from this disease. Annually more than 670,000 men are newly diagnosed worldwide each year (2).   
Currently only 4 types of chemotherapies are approved in the United States for prostate cancer, although other therapies are used worldwide. Some of  the other therapies world wide include natural remedies and prevention and are arguably better than what is used in the U.S.  
For the prevention of prostate cancer, consider some of these natural herbs and micronutrients.  
Lycopene, a micronutrient found in red fruits, is a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain normal prostate function.  Watermelon, tomatoes, chili's, cherries, peppers, and other red fruits are filled with lycopene.  
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Pumpkin seeds have also been used for the treatment of urinary tract problems and enlarged prostates.
Saw palmetto (Sernoa repens) is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States and is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols that has shown promise in treating enlarged prostates.  Native Americans used the berries to treat problems of the urinary/genital systems. Today, studies suggest that saw palmetto may be effective for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and other prostatic diseases (3).  Even the American Cancer Society agrees that saw palmetto may be useful in relieving symptoms of BPH after reviewing eighteen scientific studies on saw palmetto published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Citrus pectin, found in the peel and pulp of citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines, is a complex polysaccharide with abundant galactosyl (sugar carbohydrate) residues (4). In its natural form, it cannot be absorbed by the body and is considered a soluble dietary fiber. Research indicates that cell-to-cell interactions are mediated by cell surface molecules called carbohydrate-binding proteins (CBP) or lectins. One such lectin, galectin-3, has been implicated in the metastatic process and appears to be expressed more by metastatic cells than by the primary tumor cells (5,6). 
Selenium is a mineral that is found in seafood, skullcap, licorice, Panax ginseng, garlic, eggs, and some whole grains (7).  It has been shown is some studies to help maintain a healthy prostate and neutralize free radicals.
Supplementation may be the best way of ensuring maximum consumption of these herbs and micronutrients. One such effective supplement is called ProstAvan made exclusively by Melaleuca, The Wellness Company. It is a scientifically developed blend of lycopene, saw palmetto berry extract, pumpkin seed extract, selenium, vitamin E, and zinc.  All natural-source ingredients that support prostate health without unwanted side effects.  Taking just one supplement daily could improve prostate health in men substantially.
1. Jemal, A., Siegel, R., Ward, E., et al: Cancer statistics, 2008. CA Cancer J Clin, 58: 71, 2008
2. Cancer Research UK (2006).
4. Eliaz I. The potential role of modified citrus pectin in the prevention of cancer metastasis. Clin Pract Altern Med 2002;2:177–179.
5. Raz A, Lotan R. Endogenous galactoside-binding lectins: a new class of functional tumor cell surface molecules related to metastasis. Cancer Metast Rev 1987; 6: 433–452. 
6. Bresalier RS et al. Expression of the endogenous galactose-binding protein galectin-3 correlates with the malignant potential of tumors in the central nervous system. Cancer 1997; 80: 776–787. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Homeopathy: The Good, Bad, and Healed!

PRO’s of Homeopathy
CON’s of Homeopathy
 Case studies show dramatic improvements in well being following homeopathic treatments.1,2
Lack of clinical trials supporting homeopathy and non-systematic gathering of evidence.5
There are over two centuries of clinical observation and trials to support homeopathic medicine.1,2
There is not a clear understanding/explanation of how homeopathy works based on current knowledge of chemistry and physiology.1,2,5,6,7
There is an extensive data-base of clinical treatments build on patient treatment successes, and clinical and toxicological research.1
Dilution rates of remedies are so high that it is unlikely the original ingredient is left in the final remedy. 2, 4
Holistic system of medicine, treating the individual and their specific symptoms.1,2
Meta-Analysis published in Lancet 2005 indicated that homeopathic remedies were consistent with placebo. 4,  According to Dr. Shalt’s lecture
Utilizes natural medicines, some which have been used for over 200 years.1
Pharmacists have concern about having homeopathic remedies in pharmacies due to the violation of ethical boundaries, bound to practicing evidenced based medicine. 4
Studies show improved quality of life and patient satisfaction with care in homeopathic treatment when compared with allopathic treatments.1
Low profit.1
Homeopathic treatment cost are cheaper than allopathic treatment cost.1
Consistent standards and academic rigor are lacking in most homeopathic schools and training programs  and there is no centrally designated authority governing these programs in the U.S.1
Homeopathic medicines are regulated by the FDA.2
There are a limited number of Homeopathic Practitioners.1 
Fewer adverse events with better patient satisfaction has been seen in several studies comparing homeopathic treatment with both placebo and allopathic treatments.2
Lack of regulation of practitioners may result in improper use and non-homeopathic use of reputable homeopathic products, increasing the risk of adverse drug reactions.2
Homeopathy, like other CAM treatments does not see a need to be explained by Western medicine standards.5
Low quality effectiveness for the for homeopathy.5
When you are ill, your body becomes hypersensitive to homeopathic preparations.5
Scientists believe that it cannot have curative effects since it is chemically identical from water.5
Homeopaths believe that we do not understand the biological mechanism behind some allopathic medications so it shouldn’t be necessary with homeopathy either.5
Scientists do not support that homeopathic remedies that are chemically identical from each other can have different effects in the body.5
Effectiveness is incredibly strong.5
Scientists believe homeopathic solutions will have trace impurities beyond those of the active ingredient.5
Patients exhibit sudden and sometimes astounding improvements after receiving a homeopathic remedy.5

The placebo effect.5
Patients tend to improve regardless of treatment.5
Due to the enormous amount of unexplained mysteries with homeopathy,  answering those mysteries would require massive revision of standard chemistry and physiology.5
Homeopathy is more than just a placebo effect.6
Homeopathic uses need to be more thoroughly evaluated.6
Homeopathic treatment appears to have clinical pathways to a specific prescription that exist.6
Homeopathic products may be legally recognized as “drugs” but that does not mean that the FDA recognizes them as effective.7
Patients consulting  a physician using homeopathy cited the fact that the physician incorporated homeopathy into their medical practice as the main reason for seeing that physician.6
Since many homeopathic remedies contain no detectable amount of active ingredient, it is impossible to test whether or not they contain what their label says it does.7
Suggests that homeopathy can be evaluated in clinical trials.1,2,6
Unlike most drugs, they have not been proven effective against disease by double-blind clinical testing.7
Homeopathic philosophy emphasizes self-healing and patients using homeopathy appear to regard their practitioners and the treatments they prescribe as having less of an influence on their health than the patients treated  with  conventional  medicine.6

Use of homeopathy is rapidly growing in the US and Europe.6

The U.S. Congress passed a law in 1938 declaring that homeopathic remedies are to be regulated by the U.S. FDA and can be purchased without a physician’s prescription.7

Homeopathic remedies are required to meet certain legal standards for strength, quality, purity, and packaging.7

Used worldwide.7

The remedies work by stimulating the body’s immune system, rather than by suppressing it.7

The remedies work by stimulating the body’s immune system, rather than by suppressing it.7

1.      Whitmont R. The Science of Homeopathy: Part I. American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine [serial online]. Winter2009 2009;102(4):177-185. Available from: Alt HealthWatch, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 13, 2011.
2.       Sehon S, Stanley D. Evidence and simplicity: why we should reject homeopathy. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice [serial online]. April 2010;16(2):276-281. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 13, 2011.
3.       Whitmont R. The science of homeopathy, part II. American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine [serial online]. March 2010;103(1):12-21. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 13, 2011.
4.       Johnson T, Boon H. Where does homeopathy fit in pharmacy practice?. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. February 2007; 71(1): Article 07. Accessed October 12, 2011.
5.    Sehon S, Stanley D. Evidence and simplicity: why we should reject homeopathy. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice [serial online]. April 2010;16(2):276-281. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 13, 2011.
6.    Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, Haidvogl M, Heger M. Homeopathy and conventional medicine: an outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine [serial online]. April 2001;7(2):149-159. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 13, 2011.
7.       Valverde J. Homeopathy: The lost of credibility of the Institutions. Pharmaceuticals Policy & Law [serial online]. January 2011;13(1/2):79-90. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 13, 2011.