Acupuncture Associates

News News News

December 2006

A TOO - FAMILIAR TALE

Americans struggling to pay for the extravagant lives of a permanent parasite class of rich men and women at the top of the “medical insurance” food chain will not be surprised to learn that the system is tilted to the benefit of these overpaid bureaucrats.

William McGuire, M.D., has been forced to step down as CEO of UnitedHealth Group as a result of ongoing investigations by the Security and Exchange Commission, federal prosecutors in New York and the Minnesota attorney general.

Dr. McGuire, whose unexercised stock options are valued at 1.8 billion dollars and who commanded yearly compensation of 8.3 million dollars in 2005, resigned earlier this year as a result of an investigation into illegal backdating of corporate options to make them more profitable.

Forty other top executives at UnitedHealth also lost their posts as a result of this investigation.

In the late 1990’s Dr. McGuire was allowed to structure his stock options – contracts that allow their holder to buy stock at a certain price, no matter its true market price – so they were always profitable for him.

No investment skills required when the game is fixed, as it is for all the fat cats of the medical “insurance” industry.  UnitedHealth group’s antagonistic attitude towards physicians has already made them one of “the most disliked health plans” according to American Medical News. (American Medical News, November 6, 2006, page 25)

CANNABIS FOR BRAIN TUMORS

Cannabinoids appear to block the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which causes blood vessel growth in glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer. Experiments on mice and on two human patients with brain tumors appear to show that the cannabinoids suppress VEGF production by stimulating the activity of ceramide which controls cell death. {Cancer Research 64, 5617-5623, August 15, 2004).

BAREFOOT IS BEST

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have found that walking barefoot places less stress and pressure on the joints and bones of the lower extremity, when compared with “walking”-type sport shoes. Researchers also found that the cadence, stride, and range of motion differed significantly between barefoot and shoed participants, all of whom had the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee.  (Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54:2923-2927)  

LEECHES

The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has approved the application of leeches as a medical device. Leeches are widely used to restore blood circulation by resolving blood stagnation, and have important applications in surgery to reattach body parts such as severed fingers, and to remove pooled blood after skin grafts. (Reuters, June 30, 2004). The approval of leeches follows an earlier approval of live maggots as a medical device. Maggots, which are used for chronic non-healing wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, not only clean out dead and dying tissue, but also produce substances that kill bacteria and stimulate growth of healthy tissue. (Associated Press)

FITNESS & FATNESS

Women who are unfit are at greater risk of heart disease than women who are fat. In a study of 906 women, those who were overweight were not significantly more likely to suffer obstructive coronary artery disease or adverse cardiovascular events after adjusting for other risk factors. However, women who were unfit and took little exercise were significantly more likely to suffer from heart disease.(JAMA 2004;292:1179-87).

YES, SMOKING DEFINITELY KILLS

50-year results from the landmark 1954 study that first confirmed the link between smoking and lung cancer, now show that a lifetime of smoking will result in an average of 10 years reduction in life expectancy. In comparison, those who stop smoking at 60, 50, 40 or 30 years of age, will gain respectively 3, 6, 9 or 10 years of that loss back. (BMJ, Jun 2004; 328: 1519-0).

HOLD THE TONSILLECTOMY

Surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids (adenotonsillectomy) in children with mild symptoms of throat infections or enlarged tonsils and adenoids has no major benefits over watchful waiting. In a Dutch study of over 300 children, those who had undergone surgery were marginally less likely to suffer fever, throat infections and upper respiratory tract infections in the six months following the surgery, compared to untreated children, but between 6 and 24 months there were no differences. (http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/bmj.38210.827917.7C).

SOYA & ENDOMETRIAL CANCER

The regular consumption of soya foods is associated with a reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer, according to a study of over 800 Shanghai women. (http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7451/1285 ).

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DRIVING & OBESITY

According to the Spiritual Pivot, the nearly two-thousand year old classic of Chinese medicine, “too much sitting injures the flesh”. This has been borne out by research into over 10,000 residents of Atlanta, which shows that the longer people spend in their cars, the more likely they are to be obese. Hours spent driving has a greater influence on overweight than income, education, gender and ethnicity. (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 27, Issue 2, August 2004, Pages 87-96).

MORE GOOD NEWS ON CHOCOLATE

Stiff arteries are a predictor of cardiovascular risk, but a Greek study has found that dark chocolate can relax arteries and thus increase the surge of blood ejected from the heart. Separately, a Harvard Medical School study has found that cocoa nearly doubled blood flow to the finger in subjects over 50 years of age. (American Society of Hypertension annual meeting 2004).

PESTICIDES, PREGNANCY & INFERTILITY

Common chemicals (including pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) used on domestic lawns may cause injury to developing embryos, even before a woman knows she is pregnant, according to research observations made on mouse embryos. The substances were tested at concentrations equivalent to those previously thought too low to affect humans. (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2004/6774/6774.html ).

Previous research by Anne Greenlee, the study author, had found that women exposed to herbicides as long as two years before attempted conception, were significantly more likely to suffer from infertility. (Epidemiology. 14(4):429-436, July 2003).

CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA & BENZENE EXPOSURE

Exposure to benzene and other hydrocarbons from living close to a petrol station or car repair garage appears to increase fourfold the incidence of acute childhood leukemia, especially acute non-lymphocytic leukemia.(Occup Environ Med 2004; 61: 773-778).

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS IN IRAQ

17.1% of the members of three US army units and one Marine Corps unit who had served in the current conflict in Iraq suffered major depression, general anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder on their return to the US. However even this figure is likely to be an underestimate as many military personnel feel stigmatized and do not seek treatment for mental disorders.(N Engl J Med 351: 13-22).

DENTAL X-RAYS IN PREGNANCY

Pregnant women would be advised to avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy after research has indicated that they may be twice as likely to have a low birth weight baby. (JAMA. 2004;291:1987-1993).

TALK TO YOUR DYING CHILD

No parents who discussed death with their terminally ill children later regretted having done so, whilst 27% of those who did not talk to their child later regretted not having done so, especially when they felt that their child had realized they were dying. (New England Journal of Medicine, 2004;351:1175-1186).

MORE BAD NEWS FOR HRT

Women taking estrogen only hormone replacement therapy appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia. (JAMA. 2004;291:2947-2958). However research shows that for post menopausal women, exercise can counter some of the effects of the menopause. Women with osteoporosis, aged 55 on average, who exercised regularly (four times a week for two years) were 36% fitter and had maintained relatively stable bone density, compared to similar women who did not exercise and whose bone density declined during the same period. The exercise group also showed reduced back pain and lipid levels. Both groups of women took calcium and vitamin D supplements. (Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1084-1091).

PROSTATE CANCER TEST USELESS

The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has long been used as a test for prostate cancer, and raised levels of PSA have led to numerous men having radical surgery or radiotherapy, leaving many incontinent or impotent. Now a study of prostate tissues collected over 20 years has found the test to be “all but useless”. The authors of the study found that the PSA test can only indicate enlargement of the prostate and say “The PSA era is over”. The majority of men develop prostate cancer with age and in many cases can be monitored and left untreated, since most men will eventually die from other causes. (The Journal of Urology, October 2004, 172:4). In a separate study, it has been reported that a significant number of older men whose PSA tests appeared to be within the normal range were in fact found to have prostate cancer.(N Engl J Med 2004; 350:2239-2246, May 27, 2004).

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