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Caution: Drugs and Botanicals Don't Always Play Well Together 
In This Issue
Drugs and Botanicals Don't Play Well Together
Safety of Prescription Drugs
Heartburn Drugs Increase Risk of Bone Fractures
Heartburn Drugs Increase Risk of Dementia
Red Yeast Rice vs. Statin Drugs
Turmeric (Curcumin) Outshines Celebrex for Relief of Arthritis
FDA Allows Company to Market Product for Unapproved Use
Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction
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April 22, 2016  

Seems like everyone is viewed as some strange kind of creature when entering a doctor's office without a lengthy list of prescription medications - especially those over 50,.

I met a lady this week, 72 YO, that was on more than sixteen prescription medications. When asked what they were for, she recited a list of organs and conditions. She had been to see several different doctors over the years and it seems like each doctor added another one or two.

Folks, here's a fact -- there is NO medication that does not have side effects. Some are minimal, but others can be life threatening. While patients are rarely offered a choice between natural medications (botanicals) and prescription medications (synthetics), choosing a botanical with proven efficacy for a  specific condition, is almost always the better move.

Unfortunately, few patients are offered the choice. I hope this newsletter will help make people more aware that there are other treatments aside from synthetic medications.

As always, feel free to slam or praise me with comments.

Drugs and Botanicals Don't Always Play Well Together
For a pharmaceutical company to produce a drug from a botanical source, it is first necessary to identify what is believed to be the  active plant ingredient, process it into a synthetic substance, patent it, and test it to confirm it works and does not cause excessive harm. Unfortunately, the harm caused by side effects doesn't always show up immediately, as evidenced by multiple recalls of dangerous drugs.
Read More    
The Safety of Prescription Drugs
Below is the first paragraph of an editorial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July 2015

Drug safety challenges have bedeviled the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many years, and for good reason. The phased approach to drug development is primarily geared to establishing evidence of efficacy. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of patients are exposed to an investigational drug in clinical trials. However, it may not be until after approval, when the medication is used by as many as hundreds of thousands of patients, that rare but serious adverse events appear or there is sufficient statistical power to determine whether the drug increases rates of more common potential adverse outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. 

 Read More  
Proton Pump Inhibitors Used to Control Heartburn Increase Risk of Osteoporosis-Related Fractures
Use of proton pump inhibitors for 7 or more years is associated with a significantly increased risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture. There is an increased risk of hip fracture after 5 or more years exposure. (Also see next article)
Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Risk of Dementia.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) widely used for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases have also been shown to be potentially involved in cognitive decline. Patients receiving regular PPI medication had a significantly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (or incident dementia) compared with the patients not receiving the medication  
Read More
Red Yeast Rice vs. Statin Drugs
Statin drugs, used to lower cholesterol are among the most popular (and profitable) drugs produced today. Common names include: Zocor (simvastatin, Baycol (cerivastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Altocor, Altoprev, Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin) and some others. All of them carry well-known and potentially serious side effects.

According to many recent studies,  red yeast rice can be effective at lowering cholesterol levels including LDL. It has been safely used for thousands of years. Recent studies in a group of patients.indicate that a red rice yeast supplement worked as well as a prescription statin drug to lower cholesterol levels with few side effects

Turmeric (Curcumin) Outshines Celebrex for Relief of Arthritis and Joint Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory based disease. Physicians  have typically relied on NSAIDS medications to treat it in spite of the fact that these medications have serious life-threatening side effects, including liver damage and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Turmeric has been used for many years to help relieve arthritic pain and joint stiffness. The herb contains several vitamins and antioxidants as well as cycloxygenase inhibitors similar to those contained in the side effect laden prescription medication, Celebrex.

Interesting Tidbits
FDA Allows Omega-3 Company to Market Product for Unapproved Use

The omega-3 pill, Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) has recently been brought to market (with FDA agreement) for an unapproved use - to lower triglycerides in patients with high levels.  

Common side effects of Vascepa include joint pain or sore throat. Omega-3 in natural form (such as in fish oil) is known to lower triglycerides and has virtually no side effects.

The NY Times reports that -- a federal judge said the agency "could not prohibit the company from using truthful information to promote its drug, even for unapproved uses, because doing so would violate the company's right to free speech," the Times reports.

Wow! How come providers of numerous natural foods and supplements and natural health providers cannot even hint about a supplement, herb or food helping with a condition
without the FDA's sledgehammer smashing them?

AND, -- who wants to take a drug with known (and possibly some unknown) side effects when regular old fish oil would probably do the job?

Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Multiple studies have shown that statins can deplete coenzyme Q10 levels. Coenzyme Q10 is an integral part of mitochondrial function and crucial to proper heart function. Deficiencies are associated with cardiac problems, statin-induced myopathy, and several other serious related conditions. If you MUST take a statin medication, it is important that you supplement with at least 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily. Senior citizens and those taking statin doses at the higher end, are more susceptible to deficiencies and should consider 200 mg daily.


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As always, if you enjoy this newsletter (or hate it), feel free to contact me with your comments. You can Email me at:   Feel free to forward the Newsletter to a friend using the "Forward Email" link below.

Jim Occhiogrosso
Health Naturally, L.L.C. 

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Newsletter - Drugs and botanicals don't always play well together