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FDA on Dental Fillings, Repeat Bone Scans

From eNewsletter 10/12/2020

DID YOU KNOW that exposing teeth to excessive fluoride alters calcium signaling, mitochondrial function, and gene expression in the cells forming tooth enamel, an explanation for how dental fluorosis, a condition caused by overexposure to fluoride during childhood, arises? According to the study in Science Signaling, while low levels of fluoride help strengthen and protect tooth enamel, too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, a discoloration of teeth, usually with opaque white marks, lines, or mottled enamel and poor mineralization. The CDC found that roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population examined (ages 6 to 49) show some degree of dental fluorosis. WE ARE OPEN FOR COLUMBUS DAY! VIRUS PREVENTION Continue with extra immune support until at least summer of 2021. SARS-CoV-2 knows no boundaries and does not discriminate. Besides, SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus we fight. There is influenza (flu), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Prevent and Fight Coronavirus 2.0 is our must-read protocol. For detailed advice about conventional, as well as integrative treatments, read Steve Minsky's COVID-19 Condition Monograph.


PUBLIC HEALTH ALERTS


Steve and Bonnie: Believe it or not, there are public health developments since our last alert (July) that do not concern COVID-19!


Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

According to a study from the September issue of JAMA Pediatrics, there are adverse neurodevelopments associated with prenatal acetaminophen exposure. Caution should be used in administering acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Acid Reflux Medication

Regular use of acid reflux drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), is linked to a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research in Gut. The longer they are taken, the greater the risk seems to be, prompting the researchers to advise that people taking these drugs for 2 or more years should have regular blood glucose check-ups to screen for diabetes.


A study in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics states that the use of PPI was associated with increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women, with a higher risk observed in individuals with a longer duration of use.


Anticholinergics

A study from Neurology reports that anticholinergics, a class of drugs used for a broad array of conditions, from allergies and colds to hypertension and urinary incontinence, may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, particularly in older adults at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease. Anticholinergic drugs work by blocking acetylcholine, a type of neurotransmitter or chemical messenger known to be critical for memory function, from binding to receptors on certain nerve cells.


Antidepressants

Use of venlafaxine (Effexor) is associated with more birth defects than any other antidepressant taken in the first months of pregnancy, new research in JAMA Psychiatry suggests. Several others, including sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) were each associated with a small number of different birth defects.


Aspirin

Adults 70 years and older who take daily low-dose aspirin may be more likely than those who don't to be diagnosed with advanced cancers and to die from these malignancies, a study from the August issue of Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests.


Blood Pressure Medication

Blood pressure medications in the ACE inhibitor or Angiotensin II receptor blocker categories have a protective effect not only against COVID-19 mortality, but influenza and pneumonia mortality, according to a new study from the Journal of the American Heart Association. This should put those taking these medications more at ease because, until recently, the opposite was purported.


Bone Density

Repeat bone mineral density testing via DXA scan did not improve fracture-risk prediction in a large group of postmenopausal women, according to new 12-year study from JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors recommend against routine repeat testing in postmenopausal women. This was the first study that addressed the issue in a group of postmenopausal women 65 years or less.

Dental Fillings

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised against the use of dental amalgam (filling) that contains mercury for certain groups of people who may be at high risk for potentially harmful health effects as a result of mercury being released from the fillings.


These groups are pregnant women and their developing fetuses; women who are planning to become pregnant; nursing women and their newborns and infants; children, especially those younger than 6 years of age; people with preexisting neurologic disease, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, or Parkinson's disease; people with impaired kidney function; and those who are known to have heightened sensitivity to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.


This is a huge development because for decades, the FDA refused to acknowledge the issue. We expect within a decade, they will eliminate mercury fillings altogether. Mercury has no place in one's mouth.

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

Health care providers may unintentionally expose patients to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by prescribing certain medications and using medical supplies, according to research in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


Exposure to EDCs, chemicals that disrupt the body's natural hormones, is most often associated with industrial pollution, contaminated food and water, or personal and home care products. Less appreciated is the fact that some medications and medical devices also contain these harmful chemicals. This includes both prescribed and over-the-counter medications as well as medical equipment used in the hospital. Unfortunately, most healthcare providers are unaware of these risks, and patients are unaware of their exposure. The authors are calling on physicians to become educated about their role in exposing patients to these chemicals.

Male Infertility

Infertility affects 10% to 15% of couples globally, and while often viewed as a women's health problem, men contribute to around half of the cases. Now, a male fertility test could help predict which men might need treatment and which couples might have success with different forms of assisted reproduction. The "Cap-Score" test is designed to provide information on the man's fertility that they never had before, according to a study from Reproductive BioMedicine Online.


"Other Ingredients" in Medication

Screening hundreds of drug excipients reveal that some can interact with biological targets, contradicting their FDA categorization as inert. According to the study from Science, the success of a drug often depends not simply on the active ingredients it contains, but on how it is formulated. The inactive components may stabilize the drug, prevent contamination, control the drug's metabolism, or improve its taste or identification. But there is a sort of "toxicological ignorance" about these substances in part because they are largely considered safe and because to screen them is an "enormous burden" and costly. For example, an excipient may be harmless at the recommended dose, but if a patient is taking multiple drugs at once that contain the same substance, or is taking a drug daily for many years, doses of the excipient may reach levels that were not anticipated. That is why we work with our clients to limit polypharmacy as much as possible.


Overscreening for Cancer

In a JAMA Network Open study, overscreening for cancer among older adults was high, particularly for women living in metropolitan areas. Additional research on why overscreening persists and how to reduce overscreening is needed to minimize risks associated with cancer screening among older adults.

Statins

Yet another study, this from the August issue of Journal of the Endocrine Society, linked the class of cholesterol medication called statins with worsening insulin, thus leading to worse blood glucose levels.

WHERE ARE THE POSITIVES?


While the majority of the aforementioned is negative, there have been positive developments. We always have to delve a bit deeper because it usually doesn't come from public health officials or the media.


Gluten-Free for Nonmedical Reasons

The first study ever performed on healthy subjects who went on a gluten-free diet for nonmedical reasons, significant improvement was demonstrated in red blood cell count, hemoglobin, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein levels. The one downside of the Journal of Clinical Nutrition study was a reduction of vitamin B12 and magnesium levels. Our clients who are GF always are recommended to take these, however.


Wellness Should Be a Holistic Approach

In the keynote address during the  2020 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), members are clamoring for doctors to see wellness holistically, not just on modifying single behaviors. They urge that the concept of wellness involves physical and mental health, with the approach of achieving a lifestyle that maximizes health and happiness. We can say categorically that this is a major departure from the norm at NAMS!

No Sugar for Kids Under 2

The subcommittee for next iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans proposed that children under the age of 2 years should avoid all added sugars in order to better make "every bite count." We hope this language makes it into the final guidelines!

Pandemic Positive

It has to be our heightened interest in taking greater ownership of our health. Whether because of limited healthcare access, or the sobering realization that nobody can do a better job of maintaining your health than you, we have seen exponential growth in those trying to get back to the fundamentals of what it takes to be optimally healthy: eating well, sleeping optimally, exercising consistently, managing stress, creating a less toxic environment, filling in the cracks with dietary supplements, trying to wean off unnecessary medication, among others. While it has not gone as planned for everyone, there are many more of us pulling in the right direction than there were before the pandemic.


BREAKING DOWN SELENIUM'S BENEFITS

This article is reserved for NCI Well Connect Members. You can get this article by signing up here. You can get our free eNewsletter by signing up at the top of our website.

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