CAM Conferences 2015 kick off with focus on Alzheimer’s breakthrough

The 2015 series of CAM Conferences began last Saturday in London.  Run in partnership with the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), one of ANH-Intl’s collaborating practitioner associations, the conferences have now taken centre stage in the ongoing professional development of nutritional practitioners.  Preceded by the BANT annual general meeting, the afternoon’s single keynote presentation was devoted to the subject of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Presented by Dr Dale Bredesen from the US-based Buck Institute for Research on Aging, delegates were inspired by the Institute’s promising and innovative work on the reversal of cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr Bredeson described the novel and personalised therapeutic approach designed to target the underlying causes of Alzheimer's disease, based on multiple interventions designed to achieve metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND).  Their early results are reassuringly positive, but it’s early days and their research continues.

Statins should be binned

Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, has warned that those who take statins are more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease (PD) in later life than those who do not. His warning came after research was published in the journal Movement Disorders where lead researcher, Xuemei Huang MD, cautioned, “Statin use may be associated with a higher PD risk, whereas higher total cholesterol may be associated with lower risk.” He expressed concerns about the widespread prescription of statins, and Dr Chand commented, “The risks of side-effects of these drugs are far greater than any potential benefits and it is high time these drugs were restricted in the low-risk population and only given to people with existing heart disease.” The cholesterol-lowering drug has also been linked to diabetes.

Re-shaping 21st Century healthcare

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) published a report entitled “Accredited Registers – Ensuring that health and care practitioners are competent and safe.” The report supports the NHS’ re-examination into the way it delivers services, as well as exploring new models of integrated care better suited to the diverse needs of patients today. It calls for, “health professionals like Medical Doctors and Nurses to look beyond the confines of the health and care system they’ve been used to, and to create broader multidisciplinary teams that engage the 63,000 practitioners on 17 Accredited Registers covering 25 occupations, one of which is Nutritional Therapy.” Harry Cayton OBE, Chief Executive of the PSA, exhorts that “we must invest in prevention and wellbeing to deliver healthcare for the 21st Century.”

Sophie’s choice - there’s no such thing as false hope

Sophie Sabbage, writes passionately about her journey with cancer and why hope is not a myth.  “The myth of false hope” is a powerful counterbalance to the argument often used by the cancer establishment to attack non-conventional treatments – that they will encourage “false hope”.  Written by Sophie, a mother with terminal cancer, she explains how hope is never certain; that’s its nature, but it is hope that carries [her] through dark days when [she is] exhausted with grief. The government and GPs regularly reiterate that patients in a vulnerable state are open to being taken advantage of by those practicing so-called “quackery”.  On the contrary, Sophie makes the point that her, “vulnerability is also being used to score political points and justify a medical perspective that too easily discounts valid treatments that don’t conform to conventional paradigms.”  In the end, all Sophie, and so many other sufferers of chronic disease, are asking for, is the freedom to choose the most appropriate method of healthcare, conventional or otherwise.

Bees win against Bayer in pesticide harm claims

Bayer has failed in its attempt to sue Friends of the Earth Germany over its claims that thiacloprid, a pesticide manufactured by the chemical giant, harms bees. On the 11th March 2015 a judge in Dusseldorf ruled that the environmental group had a right to voice its concerns and although thiacloprid is not banned there is evidence that it can make bees more likely to die from common diseases and can impair their navigational abilities. The environmental charity will be contacting retailers in the UK asking them to stop selling products containing Thiacloprid. Friends of the Earth campaigner Dave Timms said, “The ruling is a victory for Friends of the Earth Germany, freedom of speech and for the many thousands of people who have taken action to protect bees across Europe. Now we want to see action from the European Commission to ensure that any pesticides with evidence of harm to bees are taken off our shelves and out of our fields for good.”

Fluoride linked to ADHD

A new study published in the Environmental Health Journal has linked exposure to fluoridated water with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children and adolescents. The study looked at the prevalence of fluoridation by US state in 1992 and rates of ADHD diagnoses in subsequent years. It concluded that, “parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies.” It also states “the relationship between fluoride exposure and ADHD warrants future study.” This  relationship remained statistically significant for the six different years examined.  Although researchers have identified some limitations of the study, independent researchers, such as former risk assessment scientist from the Environmental Protection Agency, William Hirzy, concur that, “The numbers of extra cases associated with a one percent increase in the 1992 artificial fluoridation [figures] are huge. In short, it clearly shows that as artificial water fluoridation increases, so does the incidence of ADHD.”

EFSA ignores cocktail effect of multiple pesticide residues in food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a 169-page report entitled, ‘The 2013 European Union report on pesticides in food’. The report, regarding pesticide residues found in food, “includes the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway”. EFSA’s Press Release of 12th March 2015 reports that “a combined total of 80,967 samples of a wide variety of processed and unprocessed food products were tested for the presence of 685 pesticides”. It continues, “97.4% of the samples analysed fell within legal limits” and adds that, “Residues of more than one pesticide (multiple residues) were found in 27.3% of samples”. Euractive echo the concerns of multiple health and environmental NGOs in their report, that EFSA does not examine the ‘cocktail effect’ of these residues on humans. Martin Dermine of Pesticide Action Network told Euractive, “Providing statistics of single residue level in food is too simplistic”.


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