Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Gene for Depression?

Your DNA provides powerful clues to understanding disease, but genes aren’t destiny-- particularly when it comes to mental illness.

Researchers report that a particular gene may increase the risk of depression, but only in combination with an added, nongenetic factor--a stressful life event.

The scientists found that people with one form of a protein that ferries serotonin, a mood-related neurotransmitter, are especially prone to depression when faced with traumatic events, such as being diagnosed with a medical illness or being a victim of childhood abuse. The version of the gene that these individuals carry prevents nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, which leads to feelings of sadness and negative mood and may make it harder for them to recover emotionally from a crisis.

The results confirm earlier work that had linked the serotonin-transporter gene to depression under stressful circumstances, a connection that subsequent studies had questioned. The current analysis includes a broader range of study date, however, and appears to confirm the association.

To your Health, Leigh

This article is from: Time Magazine, Jan 17, 2011, Lab Report by Alice Park

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I’ve heard garlic is good for you, but what exactly does it do?

Are there any specific health benefits that come from eating a lot of garlic?

Ethnobotanist James Duke, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in medicinal plants, places garlic among the best all-around plant medicines in the world. According to Dr. Duke’s seminal book, The Green Pharmacy, garlic is effective for alleviating conditions ranging from high cholesterol and high blood pressure to yeast infections and clotting disorders. Garlic compounds have the potential to help treat more than 200 ailments, Dr. Duke says. It’s the best overall plant for stimulating the immune system, the best anti-clotting herb, one of the best anti-fungals, and potentially useful for preventing heart disease and cancer.

How long has garlic been in the human medicine cabinet and what were its uses through the ages? Cultures throughout the world have recognized garlic’s healing abilities. The first-century Roman scholar Pliny the Elder cited uses for it from treating snakebites to dealing with dizziness and intestinal parasites. In China, records show garlic was used as early as the sixth century to treat conditions such as colds and digestive ailments.

For specific information on how much garlic is recommended for a particular condition, check out the articles at The Herb Companion, or read about garlic in The Green Pharmacy, a welcome addition to any home library.

Note: Because garlic is a powerful anti-coagulant (prevents blood clotting), don’t take it in large amounts if you have a clotting disorder, and consult with your health care practitioner if you take anti-coagulants, such as Coumadin, or therapeutic doses of aspirin. Stop using garlic two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

Even if garlic wasn’t healthy for you, my diet would still be full of the stuff considering that great aroma and flavor are part of what makes life worth living. Eat your garlic for health and enjoyment!

To you health and wealth, Leigh
Based on an article by K C Compton
Mother Earth News, 5-31-2011
Photo Credit: Fotolia

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cancer Drug Woes! Femara goes Generic, What Now?

If you have been getting Femara from the Novartis Oncology Patient Assistance Program you have probably received a letter letting you know that it will no longer be available through their PAP program.

Their reasoning is that there is now a generic alternative available in the marketplace. Letrozole

I called my oncologist and they confirmed this is the case.

In the letter Novartis recommended checking with the following programs to see if they could help with cost coverage:

Rx Outreach, a generic Patient Assistance Program - or 1-877-837-9896
Cancer Care - or 1-800-813-HOPE
Partnership for Prescription Assistance - or 1-888-477-2669

My oncologist office told me they have had some success at Cancer Care with help for other medications and suggested I start there.

I went to my local Walmart pharmacy to find out how much the generic will cost and was shocked to find out that the cost was $446.42 for a 30 day supply. Femara was only (ha, ha) $564.00. I do not see a great savings with the generic.

I will let everyone know as I do more research and see where I can find help or the lowest prices.

Since the Protocols say you have to take Femara for 5 years I guess the drug companies feel they have a captive group to force paying the high prices.

Bookmark and come back for more info.

To your health (can’t say “and wealth” at these prices)

PS: If you have any information that would help my readers please let us know. Thanks.