Protect Yourself from Diseases – Issue 30

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

I’m sure you want to increase your odds of staying healthy. That’s why I’m going to share more health news and advice to help you stay in tip-top shape!

You’ll find out how to protect yourself from killer diseases that can keep you from enjoying life. And you’ll discover many safe and practical tips you can put to use RIGHT AWAY! So if you’re ready… let’s get started!

Prostate Cancer Quadruples Hip Fracture
Risk for Men Over 50!

Layne Lowery

If you’re a man over age 50 with prostate cancer—you’re almost four times more likely to suffer a hip fracture. What’s worse, this ratio shoots up to eight times for early baby boomers and other older men!

The report in the October issue of the urology journal BJU International says Danish researchers examined 62,865 men aged 50 and over. They found an alarmingly high number of hip fractures in those aged 50 to 65 that had prostate cancer.

They discovered that prostate cancer made men 1.8 times more likely overall to suffer a fracture and 3.7 times as likely to suffer from a hip fracture.

But the hip fracture risk was eight times higher in men from 50 to 65 years of age.

“Our study showed that more than three percent of hip fractures in men aged 50 and over can be attributed to prostate cancer,” says lead researcher Dr. Bo Abrahamsen from Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte.

The study showed men who received androgen deprivation hormone therapy (ADT) or had their testicles surgically removed to slow the progression of the disease were 1.7 times more likely to suffer a fracture.

The authors said the research only covered the 15% of ADT doses issued on prescription. Hospitals issue a majority of prescriptions, which means they can’t be traced to individual patients. So the actual impact of ADT on national fracture levels could be even greater.

“Medical advances are improving survival rates, but the downside is that treatment can lead to osteoporosis, where the bone loses density and becomes more fragile. This in turn increases the risk of fractures,” Dr. Abrahamsen added.

The researchers are urologists and endocrinologists from Danish hospitals attached to the University of Southern Denmark and Copenhagen University. They plan to establish a multi-center initiative focusing on the early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in men with prostate cancer.

Government Watchdog Agency May Ease
Rules for Prescription Drug Sales

Roz Roscoe, Staff Writer

The Food and Drug Administration may soon allow more drugs that currently require a prescription to be sold without one.

According to a notice published in the October 4 Federal Register, the agency announced a November 14 hearing to explore “the public health benefit of drugs being available without a prescription but only after intervention by a pharmacist.”

This “behind-the counter” status could require a pharmacist to make sure a patient meets certain criteria to get a particular drug—and to instruct the patient how to use it properly.

Currently, most drugs are sold either with a prescription or over the counter in retail stores and pharmacies.

Some groups that have called for a behind-the-counter status for drugs have said it might allow certain drugs sold with a prescription to be safely sold without one.

In 2005, an FDA panel of outside medical experts turned down a bid by Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson to sell the cholesterol-lowering drug Mevacor® without a prescription.

Several panel members said the FDA should consider establishing a behind-the-counter system that would allow consumers to purchase Mevacor from pharmacists—much like the British can purchase Merck’s Zocor®, another cholesterol-lowering drug.

Most panel members said if such a system existed in the U.S., they would have voted to allow Mevacor to be sold without a prescription.

Along with a November 14 meeting to solicit public comments on the issue, the FDA said it is also seeking written or electronic comments on the issue until November 28.

The agency said it wants input on such issues as:

  • Whether there should be a behind-the-counter status for certain drugs.
  • If such a status should be a transition to over-the-counter sales for some prescription drugs.
  • The potential impact on patient safety.
  • Whether these measures improve access to medications.

The agency said certain logistical questions would need to be addressed, including pharmacy storage and dispensing of the medications along with questions about whether and how pharmacists might be reimbursed.

Fast Fact

Iron is one of the most critical nutrients your body needs. It helps produce hemoglobin—the molecule that binds and carries oxygen in the red blood cells to all your body tissues.

Some iron-rich foods include eggs… fish… red meat… poultry, leafy green vegetables, whole grains and breads.

Bone Up on Calcium for Breast Cancer Protection!

Tonia Beverly, Contributing Editor

A Reuters Health report said Australian researchers conducted dietary studies in a mouse model of breast cancer growth in bone.

Researchers implanted breast cancer tumors into the animals. They fed the mice a diet containing only 0.1 percent calcium.

According to results published in the journal Cancer Research, these mice showed signs of high bone turnover compared to animals fed a normal diet with 0.6-percent calcium content.

By day 17, the mice on the low-calcium diet had a 43-percent increase in bone destruction, a 24% increase in tumor area. They also showed a 24% increase in the spreading of cancer cells when compared with the mice on a normal diet.

Lead researcher Dr. Colin R. Dunstan of the ANZAC Research Institute in Concord said calcium deficiency is common in older women. This can be due to either low dietary calcium or to vitamin D deficiency.

Dunstan said this puts older women at higher risk for breast cancer and for the spreading of cancerous cells to other areas of the body.

Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can be easily assessed and corrected. Dunstan said more research of women at high risk for breast cancer metastasis is urgently required. He said this could help determine if calcium or vitamin D deficiencies are risk factors for disease progression.

Health E-Hints

An Apple a Day May Keep Excess Calories Away!

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University say eating an apple a day may help you eat less.

The study included 59 normal weight men and women who visited a research lab for five weeks to eat breakfast and lunch.

Before lunch, the participants were given either 1? medium peeled and cut apples (about 125 calories), or a similar caloric amount of applesauce. Other participants received apple juice with added fiber, apple juice without fiber or nothing before lunch.

According to findings presented at a recent meeting of the Obesity Society, people who ate an apple about 15 minutes before lunch consumed almost 190 fewer calories!

The new findings support knowledge that eating low calorie foods—such as soup, salad or fruit—before a meal makes you feel full faster.

So look out South Beach®, Atkins® and other diet plans—the new “apple diet” may steal some of your thunder!