Medical and drug industry motivated to push vaccines

By Terry A. Rondberg, DC

The medical and pharmaceutical industries are highly motivated to push for vaccine usage to gain more power and earn more money. But they are equally motivated to pressure the chiropractic profession, by dictating to doctors of chiropractic how they can and cannot practice, and making it difficult (if not impossible) for patients to choose chiropractic care.

Dangers of VaccinesWe’ve been in denial too long, convinced that this cannot happen, but we must face reality NOW. It is happening and the situation is deteriorating. Unless the trend reverses, chiropractors can face criminal charges and jail time for providing subluxation correction, caring for asymptomatic patients, and adjusting anyone under age 18.

Let’s be honest! I am unsure if we can act at this point because it may be too late. But I certainly will continue trying to stop this train until I take my last breath.

The first item on our agenda is to dig deep inside ourselves and find the courage to take a stand and act. This isn’t easy or without risk. The World Chiropractic Alliance has discovered this during its two decades of taking bold stands. But we’re not here to win popularity contests with the medical industry or acceptance by the pharmaceutical companies. We’re here to fight for our right to practice chiropractic. We can accomplish this by conducting the following:

  • Educate the public. Tell the chiropractic story loudly and often. Write letters to your newspaper editors explaining why people should protest forced vaccines. Get the facts from the World Chiropractic Alliance (www.worldchiropracticalliance.org) or NVIC (www.nvic.org) websites and widely distribute the information. Include vaccine facts in your office newsletters.
  • Fund the NVIC. Provide a generous donation to the National Vaccine Information Center (www.nvic.org). They are the most valuable resource we have for educating the public and fighting mandatory vaccines.
  • Support chiropractic research. The lack of scientific evidence is the top criticism against chiropractic. Support research journals like the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (www.jvsr.com) or research and clinical science projects. If we can prove that chiropractic helps strengthen the immune system, we can offer it as a scientifically proven natural alternative to vaccines.
  • Donate to the Chiropractic Anti Defamation Fund. Help pay for efforts to raise awareness about chiropractic and fight attacks directed towards the profession. Visit the CADF online donation page.
  • Join the WCA. If you’re a member of another chiropractic organization, ask if it’s doing enough to fight for you and your patients’ rights. If you are not a member of any group then it’s time to take a stand on the issues and become a chiropractic “freedom fighter.”

Take action NOW. You will not be able to do so once you are behind bars.

Off-label Use of Cancer Drugs Risks Potentially Fatal Toxicities

By Terry A Rondberg, DC

PharmaceutcialsFood & Drug Administration policies prevent pharmaceutical manufacturers from informing patients about potentially fatal toxicities that occur with some cancer drugs – policies that should be revised immediately, according to Andrew M. Evens, DO, instructor in medicine, and Charles L. Bennett, MD, professor of medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, division of hematology/oncology.

The doctors, researchers at Northwestern’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, have called for an immediate revision of these FDA policies, particularly since the drug thalidomide, which was approved by the FDA as an off-label cancer treatment in 1998, has been reported to have caused potentially fatal blood clots in the legs and the lungs in more than 190 cancer patients.

Thalidomide, banned initially in 1962, has had a remarkable resurgence since FDA approval for cancer, although its formal FDA approval is as a treatment of skin complication of the rare illness, leprosy. Virtually all patients who have received thalidomide over the past six years have received the drug for cancer, making this drug the only one in the country used exclusively off-label.

The FDA restricts discussion or dissemination of information to physicians and patients to “on label” indications, thus preventing the pharmaceutical manufacturer from advising cancer patients about the side effects of thalidomide when it’s used to treat cancer.

And, despite an FDA mandate that all health care personnel and patients involved with thalidomide treatments participate in the preventive System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (STEPS) program, that program does not provide patients, pharmacists or health care providers with information on thromboembolisms.

The Research on Adverse Drug Events and Reports (RADAR) project, led by Bennett, is supported by a $5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. Evens presented the RADAR data on the thalidomide-associated blood clots at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in early December.

The Northwestern study identified the occurrence of potential fatal blood clots in the legs and the lungs in up to 20% or more of cancer patients who received thalidomide. The highest rates of thromboembolism occurred in patients who received concurrent treatment with thalidomide plus chemotherapy (18%), versus blood clots associated with thalidomide-corticosteroid combinations (13%), and single-drug treatment (5 percent).

“Given the current controversies about the FDA and pharmaceutical safety, our findings provide additional evidence that dramatic changes in the way the FDA address patient safety are needed,” Evens said.

SOURCE: Northwestern University Media Advisory

Use of NSAIDs Suspended in Large Alzheimer’s Prevention Trial

By Terry A Rondberg, DC

Aleve is an NSAIDThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that research investigators suspended, until further notice, the use of two drugs, naproxen (220 mg twice a day) and celecoxib (200 mg twice a day), in a large national Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a part of the NIH. The principal investigator for the study is John Breitner, MD, of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Puget Sound and the University of Washington.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Anti-Inflammatory Prevention Trial (or ADAPT) began in 2001 and was conducted at six sites: Tampa, FL; Rochester, NY; Sun City, AZ; Baltimore; Seattle; and Boston. It was designed to assess potential benefit of long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — naproxen (Aleve) and the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) —  in  decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in people 70 years of age or older who, while not exhibiting symptoms of the disease, were considered to be at increased risk because of family history. Approximately 2,400 volunteers were randomly assigned to receive naproxen, celecoxib, or placebo for periods of time up to three years.

Although no significant increase in risk for celecoxib was found in this trial, the use of these drugs in the study was suspended in part because of findings reported from a National Cancer Institute trial to test the effectiveness of celecoxib in preventing colon cancer. Additionally, data from the ADAPT trial indicated an apparent increase in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events among the participants taking naproxen when compared with those on placebo.

The NIH noted that the cancer prevention trials and the ADAPT study were among the first long-term, clinical trials to test these classes of drugs, with the compounds being examined for uses very different from those for which the medications are currently approved.

“This step is being taken as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the study’s participants,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD. “The investigators made their decision based on the risk/benefit analysis specific to this trial,” he added.

In light of the findings, investigators and NIH scientists have stated they will continue to review this and other NIH-sponsored NSAIDs studies and that the NIH and the FDA will work together to provide the public with the information required to make informed health decisions.

SOURCE: NIH, National Institute on Aging, Media Advisory

Study Finds Soy Could Be Good for Premenopausal Women

By Terry A Rondberg, DC

New research suggests that a diet high in soy could be good for the hearts and bones of premenopausal women. The findings from two separate studies conducted at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center were reported at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society in Washington, D.C.

The results suggest that for cholesterol and bone density, the natural plant estrogens in soy may be most effective in conjunction with the body’s own estrogen — which would make it especially potent in women who haven’t reached menopause. They also point to the possibility the estrogen-soy synergy could have other benefits as well.

In one study, Jay Kaplan, Ph.D., found that monkeys fed a soy-based diet had improved cholesterol levels compared to monkeys who ate a diet of milk and animal protein. The improvement was most pronounced in monkeys who were at highest risk for heart vessel disease.

The researchers measured the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or “good” cholesterol. A lower ratio is considered healthier. In monkeys who were at highest risk for heart disease, the cholesterol ratio decreased by 48 percent compared to the monkeys who didn’t eat soy. The lower-risk monkeys that consumed soy had a 33 percent decrease.

Kaplan said a 48 percent drop in the cholesterol ratio would likely equate to a 50 percent reduction in the size of fatty deposits in the arteries, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

The monkeys deemed at highest risk for heart disease were those with impaired ovarian function because they are the low-status or “subordinate” animals in their group. Monkeys naturally form social hierarchies when they live in groups. In previous research, Kaplan found that the stress of being subordinate impairs ovarian function, which means that lower levels of estrogen are produced. In both monkeys and people, reduced levels of estrogen are associated with increased risk for heart vessel disease.

Kaplan had already shown that providing additional estrogen in the form of birth control pills was effective at reducing atherosclerosis in subordinate monkeys. The current study was to see if soy can serve as a natural alternative to estrogen.

Kaplan said the work could be important to women in several ways.

“Studies have shown that heart vessel disease, or atherosclerosis, begins in the 30s and 40s in women,” said Kaplan. “From our work in monkeys, we believe that the time to prevent cardiovascular disease in women is before menopause, not after. Soy seems to provide a potent protection in monkeys, in terms of cholesterol levels, which is a good marker for general cardiovascular risk. We presume the benefit would apply to premenopausal women as well.”

In the second study, Cynthia Lees, D.V.M., Ph.D., found that monkeys that consumed soy had an increase in bone mass over the monkeys that didn’t consume soy.

“The increase was small, but this is an exciting finding,” said Lees, an assistant professor of comparative medicine. “Previous studies in postmenopausal monkeys and women found either no increase or bone loss.”

The study raises the question of whether exposure to soy before menopause could help maintain bone mass after menopause. The loss of bone mass that occurs naturally after menopause can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.

Lees said that Japanese women, who consume a diet high in soy throughout life, seem to preserve bone mass better than American women.

“This suggests the possibility that if women consumed soy on a regular basis before menopause, it could benefit their health after menopause,” said Lees.

Kaplan said that because the soy-estrogen combination resulted in improvements in both cholesterol and bone, it might also positively affect others areas of the body that estrogen targets, including the brain and arteries.

For both studies, the monkeys were selected to represent women in their 30s and 40s. Half of the monkeys consumed soy with isoflavone levels equal to human intake of about 129 milligrams a day. These levels of isoflavones, which are the plant estrogens in soy, are about two times higher than amounts consumed by many Asians, who typically eat more soy than other populations.

The researchers hope to study whether lower levels of isoflavones, consumed over a longer period of time, would be as effective as the high levels that were taken for 12 months in this study.

SOURCE: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

U.S. Rate of Cesareans Exceeds WHO Standards

By Terry A Rondberg, DC

Because of increased dangers and risks to the mother and baby, cesarean procedures (C-sections) are supposed to be reserved for cases in which normal births may be impossible or dangerous. Yet, according to a research report published in the British Medical Journal, the United States has seen a steep rise in cesareans to women with no reported medical risk.

Researchers analyzed information on four million births per year between 1991 and 2001, identifying mothers with no medical risk or labor and delivery complications noted on the birth certificate. From this group of
mothers, they examined those cases where mothers had a first-time cesarean.

Results showed that cesarean rates increased by 67% among these mothers. First-time mothers aged 34 and over were the most likely to have a ‘no indicated risk’ cesarean, with almost 1 in 5 giving birth by cesarean in
2001.

Cesarean births also rose steeply for ‘no indicated risk’ mothers under 30, increasing by 58% between 1991 and 2001. For first-time mothers over 40, the odds of having a ‘no indicated risk’ cesarean were over 5 times that for mothers aged 20-24.

In the U.S., 24 % of births are cesarean — double the rate of many European countries. The World Health Organization says no country’s C-section rate should be higher than 10 to 15 percent.

Undergoing cesareans where there is no reported medical indication raises serious questions, say the authors, not least for younger mothers who plan to have further children. Previous research has indicated that women who have vaginal birth after having cesarean deliveries are at increased risk for maternal morbidity and such serious complications as uterine rupture, endometriosis, transfusion or newborns who suffer brain injury from lack of oxygen.

According to the International Cesarean Awareness Network, “a cesarean section is major abdominal surgery with all that entails. The surgery itself, as opposed to medical problems that might lead to a cesarean increases the risk of maternal death, hysterectomy, hemorrhage, infection, blood clots, damage to blood vessels, urinary bladder and other organs, postpartum depression, post traumatic stress syndrome, and rehospitalization for complications. Potential chronic complications from scar tissue adhesions include pelvic pain, bowel problems, and pain during sexual intercourse. Scar tissue makes subsequent cesareans more difficult to perform, increasing the risk of injury to other organs as well as placenta previa, placenta accreta, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, uterine rupture in subsequent pregnancies and the risk of chronic problems from adhesions.

There are also risks to the baby such as respiratory distress syndrome, prematurity, lower birth weights, jaundice, lower APGAR scores (APGAR is the means of assessing the health status of a newborn), and finally in 1 to 9 percent of cases the baby is scarred or even maimed by the scalpel.”

Other studies show that women are 5 to 7 times more likely to die when undergoing a C-section, and are at greater risk for bladder or uterus problems, hemorrhage, infection and hysterectomy. Some mothers experience long-term side effects such as hip pain, bowel problems and pain during sex.

SOURCES: “Rise in ‘no indicated risk’ primary caesareans in the United States,”
1991-2001: cross sectional analysis, British Medical Journal, November 19, 2004

“Caesareans Have Drawbacks for Future Pregnancies,” British Medical Journal / International Cesarean Awareness Network, online FAQ