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Going on antidepressants? Well, break a leg (or hip, or arm)!

A new study shows that women who take antidepressant drugs have an even greater risk for bone fractures.

For over four years, researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis followed a group of more than 8,000 women over the age of 65 who were taking any one of four categories of medications. They found a significant increase in the risk of hip, arm, rib, and skull fractures in the groups taking pain-relief narcotics and those using antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil. When the statistics were isolated for antidepressants alone, they revealed a 70 percent increased risk of hip fractures.

The more I find out about the dark side of antidepressants, the more convinced I am that there’s just no place for them in responsible medicine.

Action to take:

If your doctor recommends antidepressants, give St. John’s wort a try instead. It’s a proven, safe herbal treatment available in almost every supermarket.

References:

“Central nervous system active medications and risk for fracture in older women,” Archives of Internal Medicine 2003; 163: 949-957

“Antidepressants raise bone fracture risk,” WebMD Medical News (www.webmd.com), 4/28/03.

The heart/brain/ stomach connection you need to know before bypass surgery

A friend of mine almost committed suicide after bypass surgery. He had lost some of his mental acuity–enough that this proud man no longer wanted to live. After two attempts at suicide, he decided to try to fix the situation instead of escape it. After a few years of chelation therapy, he regained his old brain.

It’s been an open “secret” among doctors for 20 years that “bypass” means “bye-bye” to brainpower, especially for older patients. But it is not generally known to the victims until they realize: “Today is Thursday, not Tuesday–and what happened to Wednesday?”

Duke University researchers now have evidence that the gut is to blame–well, not exactly the gut, but what happens to it during bypass surgery.

When the heart is stopped so the surgeons can operate, the heart-lung machine circulates blood throughout the body. This reduces the blood flow to the intestines, which weakens the natural barrier between the bacteria in the gut and the blood vessels in the gut wall, allowing bacteria to enter the blood-stream. This bypass- induced blood poisoning causes inflammation of the brain and consequent injury to the brain tissue.

The Duke doctors reported that six months after bypass surgery, 24 percent of the patients had suffered declines in mental ability; after five years, 42 percent had mental decline. This contrasts dramatically with my friend: Five years post surgery, he was feeling and thinking great.

The Duke researchers think improving immunity to endotoxins might reduce the decline of mental ability, so they’re planning a trial using what they call “antagonists” “designed to block the effects of endo-toxins before surgery.” They’re also considering vaccines.

I guess they never heard of photoluminescence, which will neutralize the toxins and kill the bacteria as well. And there’s always chelation therapy too. It worked wonders for my friend. For more information on chelation, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine (949-583-7666; www.acam.org).

References:

“Lower endotoxin immunity predicts increased cognitive dysfunction in elderly patients after cardiac surgery,” Stroke 2003; 34(2): 508-513

“Bacteria may cause mental decline in bypass patients,” Health Day (www.healthday.com), 02/11/03

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