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Med, Food, Vaccine Alert
August 31, 2011
Dear Valued Subscriber,
Our next issue will publish on Tuesday, September 6th.

Have a happy, healthy Labor Day weekend, Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Celexa's Heart Complications

fdaFederal health regulators are warning doctors not to prescribe high doses of the antidepressant Celexa, because of the risk of fatal heart complications.The Food and Drug Administration said that the drug can interfere with the heart's electrical activity at doses above 40 milligrams.The label for Celexa previously stated that some patients should receive 60 milligrams, but the FDA has eliminated that language. The new label will emphasize that Celexa should not be used in patients with congestive heart failure and other conditions that affect the heart's pumping action.  


Newest Pharmaceutical-Free Alternatives for Depression. 

Exercise can be as effective as a second medication for as many as half of depressed patients whose condition have not been cured by a single antidepressant medication. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that both moderate and intense levels of daily exercise can work as well as administering a second antidepressant drug, which is often used when initial medications don't move patients to remission.

Leptin Testing
According to a recent study by Harvard researchers, those with higher serum levels of the appetite-controlling hormone leptin have fewer symptoms of depression. Larger trials are currently being performed to repeat these findings.

Research demonstrates that S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), a naturally occurring methyl donor, can play a role in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Preliminary research also indicates that SAMe can be used concomitantly with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in cases of major depressive disorder. Natural Medicine Journal 2011


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been cleared by the FDA to treat major depression since 2008 and is completely non-invasive. An Archives of General Psychiatry found it to be three times more effective than a placebo in easing depression.

Vitamin D
Findings from the August issue of American Journal Clinical Nutrition supports a potential inverse association of vitamin D, primarily from food sources, and depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women. Additional prospective studies and randomized trials are essential in establishing whether the improvement of vitamin D status holds promise for the prevention of depression, the treatment of depression, or both. 


For self-help, refer to our Improve Your Mood Action Plan. For individualized care, please make an appointment with Bonnie. 


Papaya Recall

fdaHealth regulators said they will block all Mexican papayas at the border unless importers can prove they are not contaminated with salmonella, following an outbreak of the foodborne illness that sickened 100 people. The Food and Drug Administration said the outbreak, which spread to 23 U.S. states, was linked to fresh papayas from nearly all the major papaya-growing regions in Mexico.

From May to August, 15.6 percent of the Mexican papayas the FDA inspected were contaminated with salmonella. U.S. and Mexican officials are working together to find the cause of the outbreak, and improve food safety and testing for salmonella in the future. The move follows a July recall from Texas-based Agromod Produce, which distributes Mexican papayas across the United States and to Canada.Salmonella infection commonly causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps in the first few days after eating a contaminated product.


Downside to Organic Milk and New Alternative?

Organic milk is free of pesticides and hormone byproducts, but when compared with its conventional counterpart, there is one beneficial nutrient in which it is woefully lower.


Downside to Organic Milk and New Alternative.
(to read the rest of this article, you must be a NCI Well Connect subscriber)


Vaccine Safety: What to Believe?

 If you go by the media's reaction to the Institute of Medicine's new report on vaccine safety, the case is closed. Beyond several side effects, none are considered so catastrophic that the CDC should look seriously into revising the program. However, if you really evaluate the report, how can you close the book on vaccine safety? Overall, the committee made 158 conclusions that fell into one of four categories:

  • The evidence supports a causal relationship between the vaccine and the adverse event.
  • The evidence seems to favor a causal relationship, but isn't as convincing yet.
  • The evidence in inadequate to either accept or reject a causal relationship.
  • The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of their decisions - 133 - fell into the inadequate category. That category encompasses cases in which studies show both a potential connection or no connection between vaccines and an adverse event. It also includes cases in which the information simply doesn't exist to make a sound scientific conclusion. They evaluated data from over the last 20 years and almost all of their decisions were inadequate?

Moreover, when you see studies like the ones we cite below, there is even more doubt.

A Positive Association found between Autism Prevalence and Childhood Vaccination uptake across the U.S. Population; Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, May 2011
The reason for the rapid rise of autism in the United States that began in the 1990s is a mystery. Although individuals probably have a genetic predisposition to develop autism, researchers suspect that one or more environmental triggers are also needed. One of those triggers might be the battery of vaccinations that young children receive. Using regression analysis and controlling for family income and ethnicity, the relationship between the proportion of children who received the recommended vaccines by age 2 years and the prevalence of autism (AUT) or speech or language impairment (SLI) in each U.S. state from 2001 and 2007 was determined. A positive and statistically significant relationship was found: The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of AUT or SLI. A 1% increase in vaccination was associated with an additional 680 children having AUT or SLI. Neither parental behavior nor access to care affected the results, since vaccination proportions were not significantly related (statistically) to any other disability or to the number of pediatricians in a U.S. state. The results suggest that although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism. Further study into the relationship between vaccines and autism is warranted.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Influenzalike Illnesses, and Influenza Vaccination During Seasons With and Without Circulating A/H1N1 Viruses;
American Journal of Epidemiology, August 2011

The role of influenzalike illnesses and influenza vaccination in the development of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), particularly the role of A/H1N1 epidemics and A/H1N1 vaccination, is debated. Data on all incident GBS cases meeting the Brighton Collaboration criteria that were diagnosed at 25 neurology centers in France were prospectively collected between March 2007 and June 2010, covering 3 influenza virus seasons, including the 2009-2010 A/H1N1 outbreak. A total of 457 general practitioners provided a registry of patients from which 1,080 controls were matched by age, gender, index date (calendar month), and region to 145 cases. Causal relations were assessed by multivariate case-control analysis with adjustment for risk factors (personal and family history of autoimmune disorders, among others), while matching on age, gender, and calendar time. Influenza (seasonal or A/H1N1) or influenzalike symptoms in the 2 months preceding the index date was associated with GBS, with a matched odds ratio of 2.3 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7, 8.2). The difference in the rates of GBS occurring between influenza virus circulation periods and noncirculation periods was highly statistically significant (P = 0.004). Adjusted odds ratios for GBS occurrence within 6 weeks after seasonal and A/H1N1 vaccination were 1.3 (95% CI: 0.4, 4.1) and 0.9 (95% CI: 0.1, 7.6), respectively. Study results confirm that influenza virus is a likely risk factor for GBS.