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Posts Tagged ‘supplements’

FDA Alert – Public Notification: Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules – Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Posted by 4love2love on July 24, 2011

July 8, 2011

ISSUE
: FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules. FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that these products contain sibutramine. Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 for safety reasons. These products pose a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. These products may also interact in life threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking.

BACKGROUND: Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules are products marketed for weight loss, sold on various websites and distributed by LA Beauty Store, Inc. This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers should stop using these products immediately and throw them away. Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[07/08/2011 – Public Notification – FDA]

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WebMD – Sunscreen: Are You Really Covered?

Posted by 4love2love on June 25, 2011

Our experts debunk sunscreen myths — plus a top dermatologist reveals her favorite sunscreens.
By Ayren Jackson-Cannady
WebMD the Magazine – Feature
Reviewed by Karyn Grossman, MD

Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s time to make sure you’re fully protected from sun. But what kind of sunscreen should you buy? How long should you keep it? And just what are the factors for skin cancer anyway? In this special feature, we answer the top myths about sunscreen, bring you a top dermatologist’s sunscreen recommendations, and offer a quick way for you to assess your own chances of getting skin cancer.

Top Sunscreen Myths

1. The higher the SPF, the better the protection.

FALSE. It sounds right — a sun protection factor of 100 should be twice as protective as SPF 50. But it’s only a few percentage points more effective. An SPF of 15 screens 93% of the sun’s rays and an SPF of 30 screens 97%. “But the number becomes irrelevant if you aren’t applying enough in the first place,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist in Danbury, Conn., and an assistant clinical professor at Yale University Department of Dermatology. Studies show the average person slaps on one-seventh to one-tenth of the amount of SPF needed to reach the number that’s on the bottle.

“For better protection apply 1 to 2 ounces (the size of a Ping-Pong ball) of sunscreen on your body 30 minutes before going outdoors [so your skin can absorb it completely], and every two hours to any exposed skin after that,” Gohara says. For your face, apply a dollop the size of a silver dollar every day, no matter what the weather. Note, too, that SPF refers to protection from UVB (the burning rays) only, not UVA (the aging rays). You need to guard against both, since both can lead to skin cancer.

2. It’s OK to use last year’s bottle of SPF.

TRUE. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of about two years, says Jordana Gilman, MD, a New York City dermatologist. If you are using sunscreen properly, however, you shouldn’t have any left, since it takes about 1 to 2 ounces of sunscreen to cover the entire body, so a 4-ounce bottle should last for only four applications.

3. Sunscreen only needs to be applied to exposed skin.

FALSE. The average T-shirt offers an SPF of about 7, notes Gilman. Darker fabrics and tighter weaves provide more protection, but it is much safer to apply sunscreen to your entire body before you get dressed. Or better yet, wear clothing made of UV protective fabrics. These have been specially treated with colorless UV-absorbing dyes, and most offer an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50, which blocks both UVA and UVB.

Don’t want to invest in a whole new summer wardrobe? Spike your detergent with a wash-in SPF product you can toss in with your laundry.

4. Using makeup with SPF is just like wearing regular facial sunscreen.

FALSE. Certainly, applying makeup that contains SPF is better than skipping it altogether, but it’s not as effective as wearing a facial lotion with sunscreen underneath. Generally, most makeup cracks on skin, allowing UV rays through. “For makeup to provide adequate ultraviolet protection, it would need to be applied in a really thick layer, which most women do not do,” Gilman says. So unless you plan to spackle on your foundation, smooth on a layer of lotion with sunscreen first, and then apply your makeup.

5. Sunscreen can cause cancer.

FALSE. The only way sunscreen could be hazardous to your health is if it is absorbed into the body, which does not happen, says Amy Wechsler, MD, dermatologist and author of The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Reverse Stress Aging and Reveal More Youthful, Beautiful Skin. “UV rays break down the chemical molecules in some sunscreens relatively quickly, long before they can seep into skin.”

Still concerned? Use a sunscreen containing physical blocking ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which stay on the surface of the skin as a protective barrier. Don’t be tempted to use babies’ or children’s sunscreens, which don’t necessarily contain physical blocks. And make sure to check the “active ingredients” section on the label to see what the bottle contains. Even the same product can vary from year to year. Some dermatologists believe people should wear physical blocks only. They might be safer than a mix but are harder to find and not as easy to wear since they tend to be thicker and goopier products. Try a few to find one you like.

6. “Waterproof” sunscreen doesn’t need to be reapplied after swimming.

FALSE. It’s no surprise researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health recently found that vacations near the water were associated with a 5% increase in small skin moles, which in turn boosts a person’s risk of melanoma. While the FDA recognizes the term “water resistant” (which means a sunscreen offers SPF protection after 40 minutes of exposure to water), it does not acknowledge the term “waterproof.” “No sunscreen is truly waterproof,” Wechsler confirms. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two to three hours — and every time you get out of the water if you’re doing laps in the pool or splashing around in the ocean.

7. Wearing sunscreen can lead to vitamin D deficiency.

FALSE. There’s no denying that our bodies need vitamin D (which can be obtained though sun exposure) to function — without it, the body can’t use calcium or phosphorus (minerals necessary for healthy bones). And according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, three-quarters of Americans are deficient in the crucial vitamin. But that doesn’t give you a no-SPF pass. “You still get enough sun to make plenty of vitamin D through the sunscreen,” says Brett Coldiron, MD, a dermatologist at the University of Cincinnati. If you’re worried about vitamin D deficiency leading to brittle bones, Wechsler says, ask your doctor about taking a supplement. The Institute of Medicine’s recently revised guidelines recommend most adults get 600 international units of vitamin D a day; some people may need more.

8. Sunscreen with antioxidants provides better UVA/UVB protection.

TRUE. While they aren’t necessarily active sunscreen ingredients, antioxidants are great SPF supplements. Sunscreen alone does not block all of the damaging rays from the sun — even an SPF of 50 blocks out only 98% of UV rays. “Antioxidants are a good way to catch the UV radiation that ‘sneaks’ past the sunscreen,” Gohara says. Sunscreens infused with antioxidants such as skin-loving green tea extract or polyphenols from tomatoes and berries are proven to reduce the formation of free radicals (small chemical particles that wreak havoc on skin and can cause skin cancer) in the presence of UV light.

To read entire post, please go to Sunscreen : Are you really covered?

© 2011 WebMD, LLC.

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Something New Under the Sun – UV Protective Clothing

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Lifescript.com – Managing Fibromyalgia – How Alternative Therapies Help with Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

Posted by 4love2love on June 15, 2011

To view entire information about fibromyalgia and other conditions, or to read about other information available, please visit Lifescript.com
By Linda Melone, Special to Lifescript 
Reviewed By Edward C. Geehr, M.D.
Published March 5, 2011

Looking for new tools to fight fibromyalgia? Natural remedies – from exercise to acupuncture – can treat symptoms and ease pain. Here are 6 techniques to try…. 

When fibromyalgia stiffens limbs and makes muscles and joints tender and sore, you may assume pain medication is your only bet.

Fortunately, there’s new evidence that natural solutions – including breathing techniques, exercise and supplements – may assist your treatment of fibromyalgia’s symptoms and reduce stress, a common pain trigger.

The potential for natural treatments is great, says Howard Schubiner, M.D., director of the Mind Body Medicine Center at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich. 

“In our research [a combination of mind-body approaches], 25% of patients were symptom-free after six months.” 

However, these treatments do require participation from the patient, Schubiner notes. 

“Some people like being an active part of their own healing, while others feel it’s too much work. Much of the successfulness of a program depends on what you think will be effective,” Schubiner says.

Read on to find out which science-backed alternative approaches are best for you.

1. Yoga
How it works: Besides lowering stress, yoga helps reduce chronic inflammation, which many researchers believe is a main cause of fibromyalgia-related discomfort.

In fact, women who practice yoga have lower blood levels of cytokine interleukin-6 – a protein causing inflammation that’s also linked to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes – according to a 2010 Ohio State University study.

Danielle Miller, 45, of Lancaster, Pa., tried “every medication on the market” to treat her fibromyalgia pain. When a friend suggested a yoga class, she was reluctant at first but soon became hooked. 

The meditation, breathing and stretching exercises increased her flexibility, improved sleep and even eased her irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder often associated with fibromyalgia. 

“After 6-8 sessions, I began feeling better,” she says.

How to get started: Look for a yoga instructor experienced with fibromyalgia. (Your physician may be able to refer you.) 

Start slowly and build to a regular routine you can stick with. 

“When I attended classes randomly, I was in more pain,” Miller says. 

2. Nutritional supplements
How they work: 
Supplements can decrease chronic inflammation, which in turn may reduce pain, says Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., research director for Supplement Watch, an organization that evaluates scientific evidence for nutritional supplements. 

Anti-inflammatory supplements include grape seed extract, resveratrol (a chemical found in red wine and grape juice), bromelain (an enzyme obtained from pineapples), ginger, turmeric (the yellow spice used in Indian food), boswellia (an herb common in Ayurvedic medicine), decaffeinated green tea and purified fish oil. 

How to get started: Supplements can vary in quality, cause stomach upset or interact with medications, so consult your rheumatologist about which brands are best.

Also, check labels for information on purity and strength of active ingredients.

Changing your diet is another way to reduce inflammation.

Eat lots of colorful fruits and veggies. Trade refined carbohydrates for moderate amounts of whole grains. Lower consumption of saturated fats and increase the amount of “good fats” (including monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids) you eat with foods such as nuts, avocados, olive oil and fish.

3. Acupuncture
How it works: Acupuncture has been used in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years to relieve pain related to a variety of conditions. New research shows it may also be effective for fibromyalgia.

In a 2009 University of Michigan study, women with the disorder were treated with either acupuncture or a “sham” (fake) version, in which their skin was pricked with a sharp device to simulate acupuncture sensations. 

Brain imaging showed that those who received real treatments got more relief from pain-killers with codeine and morphine (opiates). 

“We’ve seen a drop in 5-10 points on the pain scale [a 1-10 scale doctors use to assess discomfort levels] from fibromyalgia patients who’ve used acupuncture,” Harris says.

Annette Poizner, a 47-year-old psychotherapist in Toronto, Canada, says acupuncture reduced her discomfort. But those results took a long time, and she warns against looking at the ancient Chinese treatment as a quick fix. 

“It’s a gradual recovery, not a 10-session miracle,” she says.

How to get started: Find a licensed practitioner. 

Ask your doctor or look online for local clinics. The website for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine maintains a list of qualified acupuncture practitioners

4. Mindfulness meditation
How it works: Mindfulness – defined as a calm, nonjudgmental focus on the present moment – can be a powerful stress-reduction method. When combined with meditation, it may reduce fibromyalgia pain and other physical complaints, according to a recent University of Basel, Switzerland study. 

Researchers found that it helped patients cope better with the anxiety and depression that often go along with the disorder.

When women with fibromyalgia enrolled in an eight-week program of mindfulness-based stress reduction, they had significantly more relief from symtoms than those who received only physical or emotional support from loved ones and peers.

A follow-up found they were still benefiting from the mindfulness program three years later.

Because high stress levels can trigger or worsen fibromyalgia symptoms, it makes sense that reducing it brings relief, says Schubiner.

Still, he adds, meditation alone may not be enough. 

“Results depend on how you incorporate these practices into your life,” he says. “If you have a lot of stress at home, for example, you can reduce it with meditation. But you’ll need to address root problems too.”

How to get started: Some hospitals and medical clinics offer mindfulness programs for patients. 

You can also buy meditation CDs (such as those by Jon Kabat-Zinn) in stores and online, or find free downloads from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center

5. Breathing exercises
How they work: Deep-breathing exercises have been shown to lower stress, thereby easing symptoms. 

Even slowing down breathing can reduce fibromyalgia pain, according to 2010 research at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz. 

Patients with fibromyalgia were subjected to moderately painful heat pulses on their palms. When they slowed their breathing rates by 50%, some reported a reduction in pain intensity.

The patients’ attitude was a contributing factor: Those with a positive mindset saw results. 

But those who said they felt overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and depression weren’t helped by the breathing exercises.

Researchers suggest that people with fibromyalgia have a stronger connection between pain and emotion.

How to get started: If chronic depression is part of your disorder, talk to your doctor about treatments.

For mindful breathing, Schubiner recommends a daily session in which you take long, slow breaths and pay attention to each one. 

“You simply notice each breath, and then let it go,” he says.

Many yoga classes incorporate breathing exercises, and many books and CDs on breathing are available.

Try this simple technique by Dennis Lewis, from his book Free Your Breath, Free Your Life (Shambhala Publications): 

The Smiling Breath
1. Sit comfortably on a chair or cushion and smile, even if it feels forced at first.

2. Imagine directing this smile inwardly throughout your whole body.

3. As you inhale, sense yourself inhaling through your smile, allowing the energy of the smile to combine with the energy of your breath, and direct this energy down to the painful area.

4. Exhale through pursed but relaxed lips (as if gently blowing on a candle without blowing it out). Do this for a minimum of five minutes.

6. Exercise
How it works: Physical activity is an important fibromyalgia treatment, but don’t dive right in to an intensive exercise program. 

“Too much too soon can have a rebound effect, where you’re worse off than before you started,” Harris says. “The key lies in finding the right amount.”

The proper dose is moderate bursts of exercise that add up to 30 minutes a day, 5-7 times a week, according to a 2010 Johns Hopkins University study that found that patients following this regimen had reduced pain and less trouble functioning after 12 weeks.

How to get started: Begin slowly, exercising for as little as three minutes at a time. 

Gradually increase activity level to 20-30 minutes a day, recommends Rae Marie Gleason, executive director of the National Fibromyalgia Association.

“Exercising helps you gain some control over your life, something often missing in those with fibromyalgia,” Gleason says. 

How Much Do You Know About Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is one of the world’s oldest medical mysteries. How much do you know about the illness? Find out now

Check out Health Bistro for more healthy food for thought. See what Lifescript editors are talking about and get the skinny on latest news. Share it with your friends (it’s free to sign up!), and bookmark it so you don’t miss a single juicy post!

The information contained on www.lifescript.com (the “Site”) is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for advice from your doctor or healthcare professional. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition. Information and statements provided by the site about dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Lifescript does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, third-party products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by Lifescript is solely at your own risk.

 

© 2011 –  www.LifeScript.com

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