September 29th 2008, 12:42
Nobody has anything nice to say about NICE - so, being a contrarian, I will! As you may know, NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) determines the drugs that should be made available on the National Health Service based upon their effectiveness and price.
Invariably it makes decisions that upset some groups, and is seen as a skinflint denying life-saving pharmaceuticals to people in desperate need. That's the rub, of course. People in desperate need a magic bullet, and are more than willing to swallow any drug company hype, whereas NICE has to take a more considered view.
September 22nd 2008, 11:00
One of the central messages of our site is that you have to take responsibility for your own health. There's no such thing as the free lunch when it comes to your health (and, if you happen to be a 'free lunch' believer, you probably also cling to the notion of the 'magic bullet' antidote, which keeps the drug company coffers full).
While taking responsibility includes all the usual suspects of diet, nutrition and general lifestyle, there's a real possibility that it has an even deeper significance.
September 12th 2008, 21:20
Let's get down to the real nitty-gritty of what medicine is all about - money. As stock watchers amongst you may know, Big Pharma is being marked down by City (and Wall Street) slickers, who are putting up 'Sell' notes wherever they are seeing a pharmaceutical company.
Why? Haven't drug companies found a cure for cancer yet? Or perhaps they're not getting the rapid recovery rate for their patients?
September 4th 2008, 11:32
Vitamin D, essential for human health, is more a hormone than a vitamin, and you can indeed get it for free - as it is secreted by the body under the influence of sunlight. This activity involves the skin, the liver, and the kidneys, and about 36 hours after the sun exposure the synthesized vitamin D (known as cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3)is available in the bloodstream. It has multiple effects, one of major ones being that of helping the absorption of calcium from the intestines. The body can store this "vitamin" for several months, so that we can survive the winter with little or no sunshine. Latitude has a lot to do with the availability of sunlight - people below the 40th parallel get better exposure.
Surprising amounts of research are now showing that a deficiency of that vitamin is associated with a large number of disease states, including osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and many different kinds of cancers including those of the breast, colon, ovary and kidney. Studies have also found that lack of vitamin D is implicated in the tendency of older people to fall. While most people believe that the sun causes cancer, a number of studies have found that there is an inverse relationship between the incidence of cancer and the exposure to sunlight - that is, the more cancer, the less sunlight, and viceversa. Hospital patients who are put in sunny rooms recuperate a lot faster than those in rooms with little daylight.. Sunlight is a nutrient much like food, and the lack of it can give us many problems, both physical (as we just saw) and psychological - lack of sunlight is associated with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and possibly depression.
September 1st 2008, 15:48
The struggle between the Sons of the Enlightenment and medical quackery - as they view any therapy that doesn't involve powerful pharmaceuticals - is getting more bitter by the day.
In the past week, the University of Central Lancashire has closed its BSc course in homeopathy following what the lecturers describe as a relentless campaign by David Colquhoun, one of the Sons of the Enlightenment. But another SoE has been at the receiving end; Simon Singh, co-author of the recent book Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine On Trial, is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association over claims he makes about the therapy in the book.