Tamiflu Effectiveness Overstated, & Other News of Note
Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011
Tamiflu Effectiveness Overstated (CBC News)
A University of British Columbia professor who specializes in researching publicly approved medicines is casting doubt on the effectiveness of the anti-pandemic drug Tamiflu.
Dr. Barbara Mintzes says she’s looked at the manufacturer’s own clinical research and found that Tamiflu’s beneficial effects have been significantly overstated by the manufacturer Roche.
“You get the impression it’s effective against complications of the flu,” Mintzes said. “Really, it’s a case of cherry-picking some of the results.”
Mintzes said her analysis of the manufacturer’s research shows the drug has no effect on flu complications — one of the main reason governments stockpile it.
At best, she said, Tamiflu only shortens flu symptoms by a day…More…
Denture Adhesives Can Cause Zinc Overdose (LA Times)
The simple act of trying to keep dentures in place can trigger serious health problems, including neurological damage, a new study by University of Maryland researchers warns.
Preliminary studies link the zinc in some adhesives to neurological damage and blood abnormalities, at least among patients who squeeze out too much denture cream, too often, trying to keep their teeth anchored.
A review of the scientific literature by faculty members at the University of Maryland Dental School has concluded that these health risks “should be a matter of concern for all dentists caring for denture patients….Dentists should admonish their patients to limit their use of denture adhesives in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.”
The paper, “What Every Dentist Should Know about Zinc,” appears in the April 1 edition of the journal General Dentistry. It cites cases in which patients have been exposed to as much as 200 times the recommended daily allowance of zinc from their abuse of denture adhesives…More…
Strokes – Gum Disease More Harmful than Diabetes (Medical News Today)
New research suggests that gum disease carries a higher risk of causing a stroke than diabetes, and its impact is nearly the equivalent of high blood pressure as a major cause of strokes.
High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes (diabetes mellitus) are widely recognised as major risks which contribute to non-fatal strokes (ischemic strokes). In recent years there has been growing evidence of the link between gum disease (periodontitis) and strokes. The latest research indicates that people are twice as likely to suffer a non-fatal stroke as a result of gum disease, compared to diabetes. The data also suggests its impact is equivalent to people with high blood pressure.
The research, presented at the 89th International Association for Dental Research (IADR) General Session and Exhibition in San Diego last month, is another reminder of the serious impact that poor oral health poses to general health and wellbeing…More…
A new study out of the University of Washington analyzed more than two dozen common household products which were scented, and came up with some troubling results.
“All of them emitted chemicals that are classified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws,” said Professor Anne Steinemann, the study’s author.
More than a third of the products, some of which were labeled organic, emitted at least one carcinogenic chemical, such as formaldehyde.
“These chemicals are ones that can damage the brain, the lungs, the central nervous system,” said Steinemann….More…
Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the April 6 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.
“This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., lead author of the study and post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“We found a big effect – about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent”…More…