PROSTATE FOCUS

JANUARY  2009

JANUARY  2009

 

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QUERCETIN

 

 

A powerful anti-inflammatory

plant extract.

 

 

A COMPILATION OF ARTICLES FROM ‘PROSTATE FOCUS’.

 

 

 

 

Part Two.

 

 

 DOUBLE  STANDARDS.

 

 

 

No retailer of Quercetin or beta-sitosterol can advertise their products to potential customers. Yet the pharmaceutical companies advertise drugs blatantly in the medical press and send representatives to their customers, the GP’s and hospital medics, to persuade, cajole and offer incentives to prescribe drugs.

 

Not withstanding the indirect way that large pharma’s can drum up ‘customers’ as noted in the final paragraphs of the previous article, what is not generally known is that there are strict guidelines about advertising ‘cures’ and ‘treatments’.

 

VENDOR

 ‘Even fruit and vegetable vendors cannot claim their products can help prevent cancer’. 

(Tesco was ordered to withdraw such information from their fruit displays by trading standards officers.)

 

 

The PHA, for instance, cannot advertise in the press, or elsewhere for that matter, that Quercetin can help many men with prostatitis, (or, that it is an excellent anti-inflammatory for asthma and hayfever),  nor that beta-sitosterol can help with BPH or cholesterol problems.  It is advised that such claims would not be supported by certified medical clinical trials to prove the claim. The strange thing is that it appears that pharmaceutical companies claims are equally uncertified and unverified.

 

Anyone reading a medical journal will be aware of one predominant fact.  That, like any glossy magazine, the publishers rely almost exclusively on advertising revenue and not from subscriptions.

 

The advertisements, of course, are not meant for you as a layman, but directed at the medics who would normally read the publication.  The vast majority indeed, almost all, are directly from the pharmaceutical industry and not only do they declare in bold language the superb benefits of the drug be it capsule, tablet or injections but make it plain that the reader should prescribe the drug to their patients.

 

What concerns me as a consumer of the pharmaceutical companies products is that a study of the drug advertising market has found that although the adverts are making such bold claims, virtually none of the claims are substantiated by clinical trials and studies. A recent issue of the British Medical Association Journal states that a mere 6% of the claims made in drug information leaflets issued by pharmaceutical companies (and on which doctors rely for prescribing) have any scientific basis whatsoever.  It appears that the copy writers are left to dream their own interpretation of the facts, which the study shows is 94% wide of the target.

 

 

 

 

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I wonder if the Medicine Control Agency (MCA) are advising the pharma’s to cease such advertising as the PHA would certainly be told. It does not appear to be the case. I recall attempting to place an advert in the Daily Telegraph a couple of years back and being told they could not run it without some authorisation from the MCA.  How is that for big brother ensuring that the public does not have information to form an opinion, other than that derived from the pharma monopoly ?

 

Drug company representatives are up to similar tricks. A hospital doctor recently wrote the following report.  “At this week’s surgical meeting, we were subjected to a 15 minute barrage of cleverly altered statistics by an obsequious drug rep.  The new drug he was peddling is twice as expensive as the current one and, when you look closely at the evidence, can’t even be proved to be as effective.  The research is funded by the drug company so is hardly objective.  It is somewhat suspicious, too, that this new drug arrived just as the patent runs out on the companies current big earner.  But no one seemed to feel this worthy of note.  The company is paying for my consultant and some of the other surgeons to have dinner at a swanky restaurant.”

 

Currently the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has agreed to pay more than US$430 million to settle claims relating to a governmental investigation into the marketing and promotion of its US$2 billion epilepsy drug, Neurontin (gabapentin).

The agreement brings to an end a 1996 lawsuit against Warner-Lambert’s Parke-Davis subsidiary – which was subsequently acquired by Pfizer – which claimed the company illegally promoted Neurontin for conditions the drug was not approved to treat. Parke-Davis is said to have used illegal cash gifts for doctors, as well as other ploys, to buoy sales of the drug for these non-approved uses.

Under the terms of the settlement, Pfizer has agreed to pay US$25 million to Dr David Franklin who originally blew the whistle on the case, US$240 million in criminal fines and a further US$190 million allocated to settle civil liabilities. The company had already taken a US$427 million pre-tax charge in the fourth quarter relating to the case (PT News Online 23/01/04).

 

 

 

As doctors are prescribing these drugs based on such tenuous evidence this should be of concern to the public as a whole.  Bearing in mind the first paragraph in which I indicated that the controls on the advertising of ‘alternative’ products such as Quercetin and Beta-sitosterol are so strict that to advertise their benefits is likely to bring down upon you the full force of the Medicine Control Agency.  This in spite of the many trials that have shown them to be effective for a great many men.

 

An important point. So far as I have seen no reports that one alternative product has caused serious side effects.  Yet millions suffer following the use of pharmaceutical drugs, this does not count, of course, those who have birth defects as a result of them being administered to pregnant mothers.

 

 

 

Only three weeks ago GlaxoSmithKline found themselves facing allegations in regards to its anti-depressant Seroxat. After investing 10 years and almost £500 million in research and development, any company would quite rightly wish to avoid any negative publicity.  However, when studies revealed that teenagers taking Seroxat faced an increased risk of suicidal thoughts Glaxo advised its executives to “effectively manage the dissemination of this data in order to minimise any potential negative impact.”

 

 

 

A fully referenced report from the USA shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year. The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed for viral infections is 20 million per year. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million.  And the number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million.

 

The most stunning statistic, however, is that in the USA the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury ! (By contrast, the number of deaths from heart disease was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.) Maybe someone should begin a charity to help find a ‘cure’ for the U.S. medical system !  I don’t think that because statistics are not to hand for similar problems within the NHS we should be too complacent.

 

People spend money on alternatives because they work when conventional medicine fails them. Given the same genuine freedom of choice that exists in food, housing, and clothing, then there could be an enormous increase in the use of alternatives and a reduction of allopathic usage. Conventional medical resources would then be released for what they do best.  Something is wrong when regulatory agencies pretend that vitamins are dangerous; yet ignore published statistics showing that government-sanctioned medicine is the real hazard. (PD)


                                                                                                                BUY QUERCETIN

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Statins.

 

Sorry to re introduce statins but before you begin a course or if you are taking a statin for your cholesterol levels and need a broader picture about the drug I suggest you check out http://www.statinalert.org

AstraZeneca has changed the European label for its cholesterol-lowering drug, Crestor (rosuvastatin), following concerns about rare cases of rhabdomyolysis or severe muscle weakness that can lead to kidney damage. See earlier editions of Prostate Focus for detail of this.

The company has sent a letter to all doctors and pharmacists saying that all patients must start treatment on the initial 10mg dose and that the highest 40mg dose should only be given under specialist supervision.

A spokeswoman for the company explained that the move has no bearing on the product’s safety or efficacy. However, it is likely to raise concerns about the product’s safety. Crestor has been hit with a number of concerns over its safety – in the USA, influential consumer group, Public Citizen, is petitioning for the drug to be banned, while The Lancet last year launched a scathing attack on the drug, questioning its safety.

The UK government is 'privatising the prevention of heart disease' by allowing over-the-counter sales of statins, a leading medical journal has claimed. The Lancet said in an editorial there was insufficient clinical data to justify self-medication with the drugs, which are widely used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Last week's move makes Britain the first country in the world to allow over-the-counter sales of so-called statin drugs.

 

Merck & Co Inc's Zocor, or simvastatin, will be the first statin to go over-the-counter this summer.  It will be sold in a low dose of 10 milligrams and should cost between £10 and £15 per 28-day pack.

'In the absence of evidence of the overall mortality benefits of OTC simvastatin, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the motive behind the Government's decision is saving money. Statins are currently prescribed to about 1·8 million people in the
UK, costing the NHS £700 million a year.

With the NHS bill for statins predicted to be more than £2 billion a year by 2010, transferring costs to patients might seem timely,' says the editorial. (PD)

The following is from the web site ‘statin alert’  it includes much advice from U.S. medics and others in relation to the dangers of this method of combating cholesterol.

-statins can cause severe muscle weakness and pain, even at low doses;
-statins can cause cognitive impairment and memory loss;
-cholesterol-lowering drugs routinely cause cancer in laboratory animals, and there is valid concern that they may do the same in humans;
-statins have been linked to increased risk of heart failure;
-statins may cause birth defects;
-a large percentage of doctors remain astonishingly ignorant of the adverse effects of statins!

 

 

Enzymes:

Nature’s Little Knives.

 

I appreciate not everyone has my problems !  But in many ways, as we age, we all have the same minor discomforts. So I share some of mine with you from time to time.  This one is indigestion !

 

It’s bedtime and my last meal does not want to stay down.  This was a regular occurrence until a month or two ago.  What I did was sleep on three pillows and made it through the night, only waking occasionally with a nauseous feeling.  It was not a cure but a solution to the problem.

 

NL42004hotel

Tramp. “Sir could you spare a couple of  h’indigestion tablets.  That beef pie your missus gave us for supper ‘as given us both a lot of pain”.

But then – “Eureka!” – (or words to that effect).  Trawling through the mass of information on the Internet, I came across an article about enzymes.   For those who don’t know, enzymes are nature’s little knives.  They ‘cut up’ our food and help us to digest it. One problem is that as we get older our enzyme population decreases. That on top of any loss we may experience due to our diet of cooked food over the years.

 

The first lesson in enzyme theory is that if you cook food you lose the enzymes  it contains.  No enzymes results in inadequate digestion. Inadequate digestion leads to indigestion and laying awake half the night or chewing disgusting peppermint !

 

It is, however, a lot more complicated than this, in that the body can become depleted of enzymes and this, in turn, encourages disease.  But for the purpose of this exercise let us solely concentrate on indigestion.

 

It appears that you have a choice. You either stop eating cooked food or you supplement your enzymes.  I ordered a tub but, whilst waiting for it, realised that I already had tubs of enzyme in the house.  The quercetin capsules, which the PHA sell, have bromelain in them. Bromelain is a powerful, digestive enzyme. 

 

 Now, after a meal I have a quercetin tablet.  Since I began taking them my indigestion has virtually disappeared.  I no longer experience nausea and never wake up during the night with that feeling.  There are no guarantees of course but if it works for me then I see no reason why it should not help you as well.

 

NOTE....  December 2008.  I have discovered that is much better to take Quecetin just prior to eating.  Although if I have fried food I sometimes find that one prior does not help and I will need to take a second a hour or so later.

 

(PD)

Why are ‘Sticky Platelets’

so Dangerous?

Indigestion, prostatitis, DVT, and hayfever.

I notice that a major player in the alternative health market began selling bromelain for indigestion from December 2004.  It supports my article last October that bromelain is a powerful digestive enzyme, and one of the most efficient aids to digesting proteins, promoting their absorption and relieving indigestion.

flight

Peter always takes a couple of quercetin tablets before a flight !

The company notes that the product is particularly useful for older people, or anyone who wants to maintain optimum digestion and absorption.  Bromelain is a pineapple extract.

In case you feel that your usual indigestion treatment is the way to go I noticed this in the press last month.

‘Current indigestion treatments reduce gastric acid secretion, this can allow bacteria and viruses to move into the respiratory tract, possibly leading to pneumonia.  The researchers believe that people who take antacids are nearly twice as likely to develop pneumonia as those who rarely, if ever, take them. The research during a seven-year period involved over 350,000 people.’

The quercetin component in a quercetin and bromelain tablet combination also maintains a healthy cardiovascular system and normal, dispersed, blood platelets (i.e.  platelets which do not stick or clump together).  This is ideal for anyone contemplating long distance air travel as it protects against DVT,  (Deep Vein Thrombosis) which received a great deal of publicity a year or so ago following travellers sitting for long periods. Such inactivity often, subsequently, produced blood clots. 

Following the above publicity I dug around for any other facts on quercetin and much to my surprise found details of further studies and trials that are all relevant.

As you know we sourced a combination quercetin/bromelain tablet because it helped men with prostatitis symptoms.  Some excellent trials in the USA showed that this combination made a big difference to men by reducing the pain caused by this dis-ease, and allowed them to return to work and live a reasonable lifestyle again.  Not a cure I would hasten to add, but certainly in most cases an excellent treatment. 

The U.S. trials by Shoskes and Rajfer used a combination of quercetin with bromelain. Bromelain is known to increase the body’s absorption of quercetin. As medics don’t have a cure or even a method of effectively reducing the pain of prostatitis, this has been a boon to sufferers.  As the inflammation is reduced this, in turn, reduces the size of the prostate, that allows an improved urine flow and cuts down on urinary symptoms.

Quercetin is also an antioxidant, and as such may help fight cell-damaging free radicals. Further studies also show that quercetin helps to prevent heart disease by reducing the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.  Long-term studies have already confirmed that people who have high intakes of foods containing quercetin and other flavonoids have lower rates of heart disease and lung cancer. So this combination of quercetin and bromelain seems to be an excellent combination to maintain more than one of our bodily systems.  

We already have members who use quercetin for its anti inflammatory properties to help with their hay fever and asthma so we know it helps those problems.

If you don’t wish to take tablets then I suggest you seriously consider a major diet change.  Apples, onions, raspberries, tea (black, green, and redbush), red wine, red grapes, citrus fruit, cherries, broccoli, and leafy greens all contain quercetin.  Could it be that many children’s fast food diets and lack of the foods listed, are among the reasons for the asthma that seems to afflict so many ?

I must admit that I am a little wary of studies which ‘suggest’ or state that the product ‘may’ help, as above in some instances, but a study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which ‘suggests’ that quercetin "contributes significantly" to the protection of brain cells from free radicals in conditions like Alzheimer's disease ties in well with other studies. One I mentioned in the past which stated:- “Doctors have long suspected a link between Alzheimers and inflammation.  The research so far has been observing patients who are using pharmaceutical drugs for their inflammatory condition, such drugs unfortunately have side effects say researchers”. 

Thankfully I have seen no such comment about side effects for the anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin. (PD)

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Oh dear, more cholesterol words.

Sticky platelets and cancer metastasis.

I always thought that a journalist, not that I class myself as one, (well alright then, I do !), looked for something topical or likely to be so, and then wrote their article.  I wrote the bulk of this wordage below early in December and then low and behold on the 16th. Of December I awoke to Radio Five at 5.20 a.m. explaining that many heart attacks can be brought on by chronic inflammation, and one of the infections mentioned was cystitis. 

Now one of the current theories is that cystitis and prostatitis could be the same dis-ease.  Cystitis is normally, but not always, contracted by women and of course not having a prostate they are excluded from prostatitis !  

I have since noticed that although the BBC said cystitis, the wording in the New England Journal of Medicine was “The risks were raised significantly but to a lesser degree after a diagnosis of urinary tract infection.”  A case of topicality catching up with the article!

New members need to be advised that I strayed from the subject of prostates to cholesterol some months ago and we had one or two articles about it and about the side effects of the statin drugs which are used to treat it.  I had no intention of returning to the subject as we are not a general health publication, but researching quercetin to gather more information for prostate sufferers I stumbled on words which the world ought to know about (the world will not know but you will ! Ed.). The basics appear to have been known for 40 years without the general public being fully aware of them so I assume they will continue to be hidden. 

Like, incidentally, the study in Scandinavia of MMR vaccine that showed that there definitely was a connection between this jab and the higher numbers of autistic children. (I have only seen this mentioned in WDTTY (What Doctors Don’t Tell You) emails).  This is another vast survey that has remained hidden from the British public and for some reason has not appeared in any press reports that I have seen.

But I digress. If you have water overflowing from a sink as a result of a defective tap washer it is obvious to most people that the key thing to do is to turn off the stop-cock and not spend time attempting to deal with the tap. So why spend millions on educating the public about cholesterol and a similar amount on statin drugs to medicate the population when the major cause of heart attacks is not cholesterol. 

Now there, I’ve said it !  Your GP and specialist will probably ban you from reading the Focus from this day on.  It will become a proscribed publication and I will be raided by the health authorities and have my mind wiped clean !

What do I say to the chief inquisitor, “Sir, I didn’t mean to find out this fact, it just came to me as I trawled for information about quercetin and cholesterol.  God must have wanted me to find it or he would never have put it there in the first place.”  No -  probably better not bring God into it, God didn’t give Galileo much help did he ?

So what is it that the majority of us don’t know, yet has been known to the medical establishment for some forty years. The fact is that cholesterol is not the chief cause of heart attacks !  The main cause is platelet aggregation.  So why are the medical authorities not turning off the stopcock, i.e. dealing with platelet aggregation ?  Search me I really cannot imagine ?

For decades now the ‘word’ has been that a diet high in saturated fat/cholesterol together with a high blood cholesterol level is the primary cause of heart disease.  The theory is that high blood cholesterol, the norm in the majority of anyone who eats a Western diet causes a ‘furring’ up of the arteries, (atheroma) which in time closes them off, hence death by heart attack.

 

 

 

 

The majority of the worlds population has atheroma, a blocking up of the arteries. Yet there are certain population groups who do not have heart attacks.  It appears that it is abnormal blood clots that cause the majority of heart attacks not  narrowing of the arteries. Cholesterol is not the number one cause of heart attacks.

 

 

Yet study after study over the past forty years has apparently shown that atheroma is not the prime cause of heart attacks.  Keely and Higginson in 1957 reported widespread atheroma among the Bantus, even though they seemed to be free from heart attacks. The suggestion that abnormal blood clots rather than atheroma may be the major cause of heart attacks seems to have been ignored.  In 1960 Thomas et al reported on a study in pathology, showing the black population of Uganda to be free from heart attacks; however they did note that they had atheroma. In 1968 Strong et al reported on a world-wide study showing that all populations of the world suffer from atheroma to about the same degree, yet many population groups do not have heart attacks.

Keeley and Higginson, said that it was high time more concern should be shown over the danger of abnormal blood clots (thrombi) and less concern about atheroma. Continued studies comparing atheroma in the USA and Japan, found that in America, with a high heart attack rate, there was virtually no difference in the amount of atheroma compared to Japanese males, among whom heart attacks are much less common.

So overall there is a stack of evidence that the population of the world is afflicted with atheroma but that in many areas local populations co-exist with it without having heart attacks.

So what exactly is the number one cause of a heart attack ?  It is the sticking together of platelets in the blood that clump together and block off the artery.  This appears to be fatal in more than 90% of coronary heart disease.

A French study in 1992 compared the annual mortality rate per 100,000 population from coronary heart disease at 78 in Toulouse, compared to 380 in Glasgow. Yet the saturated fat intake is about the same for these groups. Renaud and de Lorgeril report that analysis shows that in the 17 countries that report wine consumption, only wine and dairy fat correlate significantly with mortality. They presented evidence that it is through a decrease in the tendency of platelets to aggregate that wine provided a method of reducing thrombosis.

It is not alcohol which is the key but the composition of red wine. Red wine led to a fall in [platelet] aggregation and increased HDL-cholesterol.  The problem is that this statement might cause everyman and his dog to consume quantities of red wine when by so doing the alcohol imbibed would seriously damage their liver.  So what is the answer.?

The answer is flavonoids which are contained in red wine. There is another way to obtain your daily fix of flavonoides.  Studies have shown that quercetin, found in tea, onions and apples etc., seemed to provide significant protection against death from myocardial infarction among elderly people consuming these 3 foods, compared to those not consuming them.  In other words quercetin stops the platelets in the blood sticking together.

Bearing in mind the latest findings on bacterial infection and heart attack risks, increasing the diet intake of quercetin would seem a worthwhile idea for anyone who may suffer from recurrent infection due to prostatitis or anyone in an older age group who may get with flu or cold virus infection which can be accompanied or followed by bacterial infection as well.

I think I will dash for the stop-cock, take two quercetin/bromelain tablets per day a.m. and p.m. and ignore the leaking tap !

-------------------------

 

Prostate cancer.

 

 

Hoffman et al in 1988 related both quercetin's direct anti-cancer activity, as well as its synergistic effect with several standard anti-cancer drugs. They also noted that quercetin "...is a licensed [anti-cancer] drug in many countries, and is non-toxic at the required dose range”.

J. Boik’s textbook Cancer & Natural Medicine, reports the importance of platelet aggregation in cancer. "The importance of platelet aggregation in cancer metastasis is more widely accepted. Activated platelets are sticky and may enhance the adhesion ability of tumour cells”.

I was taken aback by the 1988 advice that not only did quercetin have anti-cancer activity and helped to increase the activity of standard anti-cancer drugs but that it was a licensed anti-cancer drug in many countries.  For something that costs pence per tablet you would have thought that the UK cancer charities would have been yelling this out from the rooftops and would have been funding trials. It has been known about for seventeen years, so why are we not told there is a connection between platelet aggregation and cancer metastasis ?

I cannot recall one member of the PHA ever telling me that he had been advised to take quercetin either to prevent or treat his prostate cancer or to cut down the chances of metastasis. But then it has never been suggested, to my knowledge, that it should be taken for any other medical problem!

So these two sets of research have remained hidden from view for some forty and seventeen years respectively. I find it hard to believe that at least some researchers, oncologists, surgeons, and urologists have not read these same trials and advices over such a long period of time.  It appears they have remained silent and ignored this research.  I have so far been unable to locate any place to find out just which countries have licensed quercetin as an anti-cancer drug. (PD)

 

 

 

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