Links of Interest

Below are a series of links, grouped by subject. Click on the subject bar to see the links inside.

Health Freedom

There's only one way we can retain our ability to maintain our health with vitamins and supplements: fight for it. There some powerful interests that would like us to only be able to use their chemicals to suppress symptoms. After all, if people get better, they lose money.
Please educate yourself and your contacts by following these links. Support the work financially, too: there's huge sums of money working to restrict our freedoms, so we need to fight back!

Here are some places that are working to help us keep out right to control our own health:

The
Alliance for Natural Health is working here in the USA to ensure our continued access to supplements and alternative treatments. There have been many absurd attacks on licensed health care providers who dare to use therapies that (while supported by scientific literature) aren't considered conventional. I have met the executive director as well as know people on the board and they are knowledgeable and reasonable. They are one of the most responsible and honest sources of information on developments in Washington DC related to health.

Compounded medications and hormones are a key part of our armamentarium for helping patients with individualized medications. However, making bioidentical hormones cuts into the profits of big pharma, so they're always trying to cook up ways to cut down on the use of compounding pharmacies.
SaveMyMedicine.org is working hard to help us keep our access to these helpful therapies. Give them a visit and see what you can do to help.

Codex Alimentarius is a big issue coming up and there's a lot of debate about what's the best way to keep it from infringing our rights. Here are some places that are dealing with it:
The National Health Federation is the only health freedom organization that is an actual delegate to Codex.
The
Alliance for Natural Health is working on Codex and the European Food Supplements Directive. The EU is at risk for losing access to supplements right now and this organization is trying to fix it. They can use any support you can give them.
Health Freedom USA (a.k.a. Natural Solutions Foundation) claims to be working to prevent Codex from taking away not only our right to supplements, but the whole world's. In particular, one physician, Rima E. Laibow MD, claims to have closed her practice to work full time on fighting the supplement restrictions in Codex and is keeping a blog about what's going on. It is both exhilarating and chilling reading. However, while the prose is exciting and breathless, there is some question about weather they really understand what is going on. Here is a page criticizing the ideas put forward by Health Freedom USA. Further problems crop up in articles like this and this and this. Unfortunately, since I have little experience with the issues and little time to physically go interview the experts, all I have to go with is what gets published. At least they seem to be making headway in getting other countries on board, though they do seem to have chosen their name and URL (awful close to the established and respected American Association for Health Freedom- now the ANH, above) to confuse people and muddy the waters.

Professional Organizations

Here are some of the professional organizations I am a member of:

The American College for the Advancement of Medicine: this organization has turned out to be an amazing resource for effective therapies for my practice. The first conference I attended was talking about so many things I had never heard of as old hat, and I was quite skeptical. However, seeing the high standard of research and my own clinical experience backed up the therapies, so I joined. This is also one of the organizations that certifies chelation therapists.

The American Board of Holistic Medicine maintains standards for practitioners of holistic medicine.

The American Holistic Medical Association is an alternative to the AMA and helps physicians recover from their medical training.

The American Holistic Health Association is handy for patients, with a variety of resources for finding therapies and practitioners. I joined because I like the support they offer and I want to support them.

The American Academy of Family Medicine is the umbrella organization for family physicians nationwide. However, I stopped renewing my membership when they started taking money from Coca-Cola to fund a "nutrition" program. When they stop working for the interests of patients and their doctors and get bought by purveyors of sugar syrup, I see no need to support them.

Find Other Doctors

Here are some of the places I recommend when someone is looking for a physician closer to them (or who might take their insurance, though in general many docs like me don't take insurance). Many of these are through organizations I am a member of.

ACAM's Find a Doctor
Board-certified Holistic Physicians
ICIM's find a practitioner
AHMA's Doctor Finder
ANH's Find a Practitioner
AHHA's Member Database
Ann Arbor Alternative Medicine Directory
Find Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) certified physicians
Crazy Wisdom's Health and Healing Resources/Ann Arbor Holistic

Useful Health Resources

Here are some interesting sites for health information. I come across a zillion things in my daily research and these are some of the things that might be interesting to the general public.

See the levels of pollution in your local area at
Clear The Air. Recent research shows that nearly 70% of mercury deposition can come from local sources. Update: this whole section seems to have disappeared, but the PDF of the report can still be found here.

Here's
an interesting article about additives in tobacco, including how Philip Morris manipulated pH levels in Marlboro so that smokers are freebasing nicotine.

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment came up with a
great spreadsheet of links between environmental exposures and human diseases. It also indicates the strength of the evidence for each connection.

Here's an
article on the loss of nutrients in produce over the past 20 years. And this one is about the general loss in nutrients due to agribusiness' practices. This one is about the loss of nutrients in meat and dairy over the past 60 years.

The
Organic Consumers Association is always good for some interesting information, particularly on the connection between health and food. They have a nice article on socially responsible investing, the original source for the article is a .PDF here.

Wondering what you should drink? The U of M has an
article about how beverages affect your weight. Except for endorsing diet drinks (with artificial sweeteners that can be neurotoxic and carry the same risk of metabolic syndrome), it's pretty good.

How about a handy guide to help you decide if you should buy a particular vegetable organic or not based on pesticide residue? This page has a chart with
pesticide residues on the veggies. Remember, however, that organic produce has consistently shown higher levels of nutrients, too, so there's still reasons to get organic stuff that isn't at risk for pesticides.

Here a couple interesting articles on lead: both say that levels below the old "safe" cutoff (10 mcg/dL) have pronounced health implications: higher incidence of stroke, heart attack and other heart disease. Here's the study
on adults (from WebMD) and on kids (from The Australian) (and the original pages: adults kids)

Wonder why women have more thyroid problems than men?
Recent research found that perchlorate has significant effects of the thyroids of women and this is worse in women who are pregnant or have lower urinary iodine levels. Unfortunately, the article there says that a half teaspoon of salt is enough to give adequate iodide, but the chloride in salt also competes with iodide. (Original research) This is one reason why I often use iodine/iodide in my patients.

Hey, look:
cardiologists in Europe have noticed the mountains of data on the benefits of omega-3s for heart attacks. Too bad US cardiologists aren't doing it. I do appreciate that they are starting to catch on to some of the things I've been doing for years.

Ever wonder why reporting on medical research appears so contradictory?
Here's one reason: lack of statistical significance doesn't mean no benefit, a point the writers of articles don't appreciate. The article gives a very useful analogy about shooting baskets with Michael Jordan to illustrate this point.

Looking for
another way to screen for breast cancer and other cancers? Thermography uses an infrared camera to detect the physiological changes that occur with cancer growth as well as other inflammatory and vascular changes. Thermography may even detect these changes well before they could be picked up by conventional screening methods like mammograms. All this without smashing anything between panes of glass! We would recommend using this is conjunction with conventional screening methods.

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is more common than generally thought and troublesome for people when we discover they have it. I just came across
a gluten-free source of oats and GFCO: the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which has a listing of places that make gluten-free stuff.

Ever wonder why the flu strikes during the winter? More travel? People closer together? How about lower levels of vitamin D! Here's
a nice article about vitamin D and its impact on influenza (you can get a PDF version here).

Here's a nice
health-related blog a guy down in Ohio writes. He's pretty good at putting a little research into his articles.

The NRDC has a
nice list of safer fish to eat, but it's not so good looking compared to the Monterey Bay aquarium's or the Blue Ocean Institute's, though the Environmental Defense Fund's may be the most user-friendly (with a pocket guide and mobile phone version of the guide).

Think medicine costs too much?
Money-Driven Medicine discusses the reasons why and what might be done about it.

Here's a book by Arthur Coca MD, founder of the Journal of Immunology, on
pulse diagnosis of food allergies.