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Losing A Little Weight Is Beneficial For Your Health

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 @ 02:18 AM

Tags: Maintaining Good Health, Weight Loss

   Alternative medicine is not a cure all to all health problems.  Alternative medicines such as homeopathy work best on healthy people with a strong immune system.  Most people do not realize the potential benefits of just losing a few pounds of weight.  This article is done by our guest blogger, Bryan Joseph King, will help show you how just losing a little bit of weight can go a long ways toward improving your overall health.

Losing Weight For Your Health.
 
It is very clear that gaining even a bit of weight is not good for our health. The same cannot be true for the reverse because losing a little weight is good for our health. You only need to at least loss 5% to gain health benefits so for example your weight is 200 pounds then you only need to loss just 10 pounds.
 
Losing weight plays a big role in treating and preventing heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. With just losing a weight of 5% of body weight can eliminate, reduce, or prevent these conditions in many people that are overweight. It is even better if you can maintain a loss of 10% of your original body weight because it improves the reponse of our body to insulin, controls or prevents high blood pressure, aids blood sugar, and improve triglyceride, LDL cholesterol levels, and HDL cholesterol. The health benefits are better when you lose excess abdominal fat.
 
Here is a list of some benefits of losing a modest amount of weight, which is loss of 5% to 10% of initial body weight:
 
- If weight is lost before age 45 then reduce risk of breast cancer.
 
- Increase in HDL cholesterol incrementally for every BMI change downward of one unit
 
- Lesser chance of diabetes by 58%.

- Drop blood pressure by 10 points for lost of weight of 20 pounds.

Losing weight is a very big help in preventing diabetes. In a program to prevent diabetes, they recommended weight loss and physical activity components that will dramatically reduce their risk of developing diabetes with a weight loss of just 7%.

Article by: Bryan Joseph King
Health and Fitness Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Bach Flower Remedies May Help Ease Stress And Anxiety

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 @ 04:32 PM

Tags: Rescue Remedy, Bach Flower Remedies

   This is a stressful time for many people around the world.  There is a global credit crunch, skyrocketing food prices and many home foreclosures in the US.  Are there any effective ways to help deal with these situational stesses? 

  In this article, we are going to look at Bach Flower Remedies effectiveness.  Many people take these type of remedies when dealing with anxiety, panic attacks and other stressful situations. 

  Bach flower remedies were created by Dr. Edward Bach.  He thought that negative emotionals were the cause of illness.  He devised 38 negative feelings that people have.  Dr. Bach matched a flower remedy to each of emotions.  The Bach Flower remedies are each used for a different type of emotional state.  

  Contary to popular belief, Bach flower remedies are not homeopathic.  It is true that both forms of medicines are diluted and create no side effects.  Homeopathy and Bach Flower essences are both diluted but in a totally different manner.  Flower remedies are diluted via the sun method for some essences.  For plants that bloom when there is limited sunlight, these remedies are diluted by boiling method.  Bach remedies do not follow the homeopathy laws of similars or successive dilutions.  Bach flowers try to create a positive energy to negate a negative energy.

  In the sun method, the flowers are placed in a container with fresh water.  The container is left in the sun for several hours.  Bach believes the sun rays would transfer energy to the medicine.  After the flowers are taken out of the water, they are put into a container.  Alcohol is added to preserve the flower.  An equal amount of water is also added to dilute the remedy.  The final product is a liquid based flower essence.  The dilutions can also be made into a cream or spray.

   In the boling method, flower essences are put into a pot of water.  They are boiled in water.  The remedies are boiled several times with the water being replenished after each boiling interval.  After several boiling intervals, the remedy is mixed with an equal amount of alcohol and water.  The boiling method is necesary due to the fact that many flowers bloom when the sun is not shining.  This is really the only way to create the essence without the sun.

  The most popular flower remedy is called rescue remedy.  Rescue remedy is a combination of 5 flower essences which are  Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum.  There is also a rescue remedy cream that contains these 5 flowers plus Crab Apple.  Rescue remedy is suppose to be used during anxiety and panic attacks.  

  Research on the bach flower remedies is limited.  These flower remedies were tested in a few double blind placebo trials. The results of these studies are given below.

  In one trial, 100 university students in England were recruited.  The trial examined whether rescue remedy could help relieve stress and anxiety as compared to a placebo.  The students were given questionnaires to fill out so researchers knew of their mental state.  After 8 days, the students were reevaluated.  The bach remedies show no better effect than a placebo.[1]

  In a second trial, children with ADHD were given bach rescue remedy.  In the three month study, bach flower remedies showed no better effect than a placebo.  Although, both the placebo and the flower remedies reduced the symptoms with ADHD.[2]

  The final trial is the most recent trial with Bach Rescue Remedy.  This trial observed 111 people between ages 18-49 in a double blind clinical trial.  The standard mean to evaluate anxiety was used before and after administering the rescue remedy and the placebo.  The study suggest that rescue remedy may be able to reduce high level of situational anxiety as compared to the placebo.[3]

   Bach flowers have not been research extensively.  Some studies suggest the remedies are no better than a placebo.  Other study suggest that these remedies may help in stressful situations.  More research using well conducted placebo based trials needs to be done to give a definite conclusion on how effective these remedies can be.

  What has the audience experience been with the Bach Flower Remedies.  Did you find any remedy more effective than another?  

 

 References

1)  E. Ernst (December 30 2002). ""Flower remedies": a systematic review of the clinical evidence". Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift 114 (23-24): 963–966. PMID 12635462.

2)   H. Walach, C. Rilling, U. Engelke (July 2001). "Efficacy of Bach-flower remedies in test anxiety: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial with partial crossover". Journal of Anxiety Disorders 15 (4): 359–366. doi:10.1016/S0887-6185(01)00069-

3)  University of Miami School of Nursing in conjunction with The Sirkin Creative Living Center (SCLC) research study on Bach Flower Remedies.   

Crystal Links Information on Bach Flower Remedies

Intellihealth Information on Bach Flower Remedies

Homeopathy Links Blog

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Mon, Oct 20, 2008 @ 05:45 PM

Tags: homeopathy links

  We are introducing our brand new homeopathy links blog.  The blog will contain various links on homeopathy and alternative medicine.  Blog subscribers may vote and comment on their favorite links.  You can also vote for links that you do not like by clicking the vote down button.  Readers may also suggest links by emailing [email protected] 

Homeopathy Links Blog

Examples of the links included are as follows:

 

Oscillococcinum Tested By A Series Of Homeopathy Flu Trials

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Fri, Oct 17, 2008 @ 01:56 PM

Tags: Cold and Flu Medicine, Cold and Flu Remedies, Oscillococcinum

  In this article, we are going to examine a series of flu trials with the Boiron homeopathic product oscillococcinum.

  Oscillococcinum is the homeopathic remedy Anas Barbariae 200C.  This remedy basically consists of a combination of wild duck heart and duck liver.  It is diluted in a session of 200 times.  The remedy is so dilute that it pass Avagardo's number.  Critics claim there is no substance to this remedy because of the high level of dilution.  Oscillococcinum remedies needs only one duck to produce enough of this homeopathic remedy to supply the entire world.  This remedy is extremely popular which can be found in 52 countries around the world.

   Oscillococcinum is marketed as a product that can prevent the flu if taken regularly.  The medicine also says that once you get the flu, taking this remedy may shorten the time that you have the flu.  Several trials have been done to examine these theories.  

  The first trials were done by Vickers and Smith.  They examined whether Oscillococcinum can prevent flu and shorten the duration of the flu compared to a placebo.  Theses trials had 3 preventions trials totalling 2265 people and 4 treatment trials of 1194 people.  Only 2 of these 7 trials had good enough data to finish the trial.  There is no evidence that Oscillococcinum can prevent the flu from the trials.  The second trial with 700 participants showed that Oscillococcinum can shorten the duration of the flu by about .28 days.  This amounts to be about 7 hours. 

  The Vickers flu trials are the largest trials in homeopathy to date.  Some other trials also came to similar conclusions with this homeopathic remedy.  These other trials also examined factors such as chills, fever, stiffness and nasal discharge.  

  Two trials by the researcher Cassonova tested Oscillococcinum at the onset of flu like symptoms.  The first trial with 100 patients tested this remedy within 48 hours of catching the flu.  The homeopathic medicine group showed a reduction of chills, stiffness, fever and reported a more successful outcome.  The homeopathy group showed no improvement in nasal discharge as compared with the placebo group.  

  In the second Cassonova trial with 300 patients, Oscillococcinum was tested upon the onset of flu like symtoms without the 48 hour waiting time.  In day two, the fever was lower for the homeopathy group compared to the placebo group.  By day four of treatment, the Oscillococcinum group reported fewer chills and less aches and pains then the placebo group.

  Researcher Ferley with 478 patients tested Oscillococcinum within 24 hours of flu like symptoms. The results from this trial was within 48 hours, 66% greater chance of full recovery from the homeopathy group compared to the placebo group.  The homeopathy group also had a more favorable opinion of the medicine as compared to the placebo group.

  The final research study that we will examine in this article is by researcher Papp with 372 patients.  This is a followup study to the previous study.  This study examined pretty much the same criteria as the Ferly study.  Twenty four hours of catching the flu, the homeopathy group showed a shorter duration of the flu and less severe symptoms as compared to the placebo group with in 48 hours.

  In conclusion, Oscillococcinum shows no evidence that it can prevent people from catching the flu.  Studies have shown that Oscillococcinum seems to shorten the duration of the flu.  Most of the researchers in these trials say that more research with larger groups are needed to confirm that this homeopathy remedy does shorten the duration of the flu.  However, many of these trials do have a fairly large amount of partcipants as the researchers have noted.  

  How come there have not been larger studies with Oscillococcinum?  How much evidence is going to be needed before main stream medicine will accept this homeopathy remedy as being effective in treating the flu?  Why are these trials not out on the news as they are readily available on the Internet?  I look forward to hearing your comments. 

References

1)  Vickers A, Smith C. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001957. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001957.pub3.

 
2)  Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Technique,
University of Marseilles, France.
  
3)  Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Technique,
University of Marseilles, France.
  
4)  Ferley JP, Zmirou, D'Adhemar D, Balducci E,
"A Controlled evaluation of a homeopathic preparation
in the treatment of influenza-like syndromes".
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1989, 27; 329-335.
  
5)  Papp R, Shuback G, Beck E, Burjard G, Bengel J,
 Lehri S, Belon P
"Oscillococcinum in patients with influenza like  syndromes
: a palcebo controlled double-blind evaluation."
 British Homeopathic Journal. April 1998, Vol. 87, pp 69-76.

Is The Influenza Flu Vaccine For You???

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Thu, Oct 09, 2008 @ 04:46 PM

Tags: Influenza, Influenzium, Flu Vaccine

  The flu vaccine is produced every year form the US.  This flu vaccine is commonly know as influenza vaccine.  Influenza vaccine contains a small amount of flu virus which helps your body produce antibodies to help fight off the flu.  So how well does the vaccine work?  That really depends on a close a match the influenza is to the current strains of flu in the year.  Years where the vaccine has had a close match the vaccine is quite effective.  Studies show around 70 to 90% effective.  Some other years the match was not close and the vaccines were not very effective.  The influenza shot has to be taken every year because the flu strain changes every year.

  The groups that are recommended to take the flu vaccine are people generally in closed environments where the flu can spread rapidly through out the facility.  Places such as nursing homes and jails are places where influenza shots should be given.  Elderly adults of age 65+ and adults with weakend immune systems benefits the most form the vaccine since their own immune system is not as strong. Caregivers of nursing homes, hospitals and jails should also get the flu shot.  Younger adults with healthy immune systems have really no medical need of taking the influenza vaccine.

   Children under 6 months are too young to be given a flu shot.  Flu shots from young children have shown questionable benefits.  Most children have a strong immune system so they should be able to fight off the flu themselves. Caregivers to new born infants should take the flu shot to help prevent the flu reaching new borns.

Side effects from the flu vaccine are generally not too severe.  Side effects include redness, soreness, aches and possibly a minor fever.  On rare occasion, a person may be allergic to the flu vaccine.  In these cases, the person must be taken to the hospital immediately for treatment.

  Homeopathic influenzium is basically the influenza vaccine in a diluted form.  Just like the vaccine, this homeopathic medicine should be bought every year.  Classical homeopaths sometimes recommend this medicine to fight or prevent the flu.  However, since classical homeopathy is individualized not all homeopaths will recommend this type of remedy based on their condition.  Homeopathic doctors may recommend other single remedies to help fight the flu.  No clinical trials are available on homeopathic influenzium on whether it can prevent the flu or if it may shorten the duration of the flu.  The pills should be taken regularly throughout the flu season to help prevent or lessen the flu.

 Please enter your comments on who should take the flu vaccine.  Is the flu vaccine given to too many people who really do not need it?  Is the homeopathic infiuenzium a good substitute for the flu shot?  What potencies of influenzium are generally good to prevent or lessen the flu?

The Placebo Effect

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Wed, Oct 01, 2008 @ 11:37 AM

Tags: Homeopathy, placebo

  The placebo effect is a mechanism where someone is taking a medicine that contains really nothing.  They think the medicine that they are taking helps them to get rid of their ailment.  The person automatically becomes better even though the medicine contained no real substance.

  Many critics point out that homeopathy works because of the placebo effect.  Many homeopathic medicines contain no active substance so any benefits realized with homeopathy must be due to a placebo effect.  So much does the placebo effect actually help is brought into question?

  Some research studies have shown that inactive substances made with sugar or water can help patients approximately 1/3 of the time.  Patients psychologically believe that this type of medicial treatment is helping them.   These are small research studies and they are certainly not conclusive.

  The placebo effect can also be difficult to measure due to the fact that many people can cure their illness just on their own.  The body's own immune system helps to fight diesease and taking the placebo pills really would not speed up that process.  However, the placebo pill may make the person feel better since they are inclined in thinking the medicine given has helped them.

Another interesting question is how do dogs, cats and babies respond to a placebo?  These groups are not aware that they are taking medicine so the placebo effect does not really exist within these groups.  However, the placebo effect may exist with the person giving the medication.  The person giving the medication may feel an improvement in the condition within these groups because they had provided a remedy.   How much a dog, cat or baby would get better on their own is not know if they had not taken a placebo.

   The effects of placebo in allopathic or western medicine has not been studied extensively.  A large percentage of allopathic medicine has never  been properly research and tested.  Most people are not sure how western medicine works.  The exact way aspirin cures headaches is unknown today.  However, many people take aspirin even though they have no idea how it works.

  Homeopathic trials comparing homeopathy versus allopathic medicine usually have come out quite favorable to homeopathy.  Most trials generally show that the homeopathic medicine works as well as the allopathic medicine.   Examples of this would be a trial of 146 people that showed homeopathic nasal spray treated hayfever as well as the allopathic spray. 

  Homeopathic trials with placebos are much more of a mix bag of trials.  Some of the research studies come out quite positive but others have not show too much difference than the placebo. Certainly many of these trials did not follow procedures as homeopaths would practice.  It would interesting to see how some of the untested allopathic medicine compare to a placebo.

  A placebo effect may exist in all forms of medicine just not homeopathy.  How much a placebo effect can help a patient is unknown?  Research does suggest that placebo can be help patients cure their ailments but this is far from conclusive.  

How much does the placebo effect play in homeopathy?

How big a role does the placebo effect play in allopathic or western medicine? 

Are people taking too much medication when they may just get better by themselves?