American Holistic Health Association (AHHA)
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Special Updates e-Reports from the American Holistic Health Association with items of interest to those actively enhancing their health and well-being are periodically sent out to e-mail addresses provided by the individual or organization. AHHA President, Suzan Walter, is the Editor. You can have these Special Updates sent to you personally by signing up online.


Special Updates Archives for 2007
December 5, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Does your stress go up this time of year? Consider using music and aromatherapy to help you relax and really enjoy this special holiday season. "Common 'Scents' for Holiday Stress" reminds us that there is a scientific basis for how music and aromatherapy can reduce anxiety and improve our mood. We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration for compiling this article.

FEATURED ISSUE
What is really in the milk you purchase at your local grocery store? Recent hot news stories are about whether or not what is in your milk can be revealed to you the consumer.

To boost milk production, at least a third of U.S. dairies (some say this figure is much higher) administer a genetically engineered artificial bovine hormone (known as rBGH or rBST) to their cows.
FOX-TV Frequently Asked Questions - What is BGH?

Currently, it is voluntary to label milk products that come from cows that were injected with this hormone. Many dairies understand the public's interest in knowing that they do not use any artificial bovine hormones, so they are labeling their milk and milk products free of rBGH or rBST. Monsanto, the only company that makes the artificial bovine hormone products, has been trying to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and local states to prohibit dairies from identifying rBGH-free and rBST-free milk products. When such a label restriction was announced in Pennsylvania in October, public outcry caused the governor to initiate a review of the decision.
The Center for Food Safety - Pennsylvania Restricts rBGH-Free Dairy Labels
Post-Gazette Now News article by Daniel Malloy - Pennsylvania Dairy Label Rule Shelved

Monsanto does not appear to be only relying on the governmental regulation approach. It is bringing private suits against dairies using the rBGH-free and rBST-free labels. The Monsanto case is that the dairies are “marketing a perception that one milk product is safer or of higher quality than other milk." This brings up a very controversial issue: Are the artificial bovine hormones safe? Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and all European Union countries do not allow cows to be injected with rBGH or rBST. The FDA does allow injection of cows in the U.S.
Monsanto position on Bovine somatotropin (bST)
Food and Water Watch article Say No to rBGH!

Even now, with labeling currently allowed, it is difficult to determine which milk and milk products do or do not have rBGH or rBST.
The Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility - Consumers' Guide to rBGH (rBST) - Free Dairy Products

And in case you were thinking about switching to raw milk so you could be sure to have milk free of rBGH or rBST, that supply appears to be about to be reduced. As of January 1, 2008 a new California requirement for raw milk will limit the quantity of milk that will qualify for sale in your local stores. It is anticipated that other states will follow this precedent setting law.
NewsTarget.com - California's Life-Giving Raw Milk Will Become Illegal March 2008

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
AHHA sends you these monthly eReports throughout the year as our special gifts to you. This month our warmth wishes come to you as we select several articles from our Self-Help Articles collection to inspire you to remember the magic of keeping balance and perspective in your daily life in whatever way works best for you. Happy Holidays!

A Simplified Explanation of Holistic Health by Greg Anderson
The Ten Tenents of Wellness by Michael Arloski, Ph.D., PCC
Living in Faith by Laurie Leah Levine
Principles of Good Health by Susana Belen Lombardi
Tickling Our Funny Bone by Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D.


November 7, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Eczema, or dermatitis as it is sometimes called, is a group of skin conditions, the severity of which varies from mild dry, hot, and itchy skin to severe raw and bleeding skin. Treatment is typically a topical therapy. Those interested in a non-drug approach will want to check out "The Most Effective Way To Get Herbal Eczema Relief Right Where You Need It Most" by Kerry Bone, which presents a number of safe and effective herbal options. Be sure you have a correct diagnosis by a qualified healthcare professional and have him/her track your healing progress. Bone's article appeared in the November, 2007, issue of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's Nutrition & Healing newsletter.

FEATURED ISSUE
Santa, parents, grandparents, and others selecting holiday gift toys for small children face quite a dilemma this year. A visit to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website section for recalled toys shows a significant number of recalls due to lead paint. But that's not the only danger. You need to also consider what materials the toy is made of.

While lobbying for better control will obviously not help in the short run, you can avoid unnecessarily exposing children to toxins right now by opting for cloth and wooden toys, switching to bottles made of polypropylene, and buying only domestically made products. This approach is recommended by parental consumer groups such as "Toxic Toys? No Thank You!" by Pamela Lundquist.

In the long run, you can also let retailers and manufacturers know you are concerned about toxic chemicals in children's toys and products and/or get involved with consumer activist groups lobbying legislators to improve the government's oversight of imports.

Need more specific shopping guidelines? Check out the Healthy Child Healthy World list.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
How can you give a gift to promote good health this year? Consider a book, CD, DVD, or video that presents everyday wellness-enhancing lifestyle options. AHHA's website offers an interesting variety of creations by AHHA members. Check out the LIFESTYLE CHOICES section and the BOOKS/ OTHER MEDIA section.


October 4, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
An increasing number of people are searching for ways to wean themselves off prescribed medications. There is good news for those who have Crohn's disease. A recently released German study successfully used the Chinese herb wormwood (also called Artemisia or "Sweet Annie") to reduce the dose of the steroid prednisone. There was an almost complete remission in those of the group of Crohn's patients receiving the wormwood compared to none in the placebo group. Review "Ancient Folk Remedy Reduces Steroid Dosage"at and determine if this is something you should discuss with your physician. We thank The Health Resource for bringing this to our attention.

FEATURED ISSUE
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a naturally occurring hormone that is reported to have a wide range of benefits. It is most frequently used by elderly consumers and others with deficient hormone levels.

These consumers are concerned about bills currently being considered by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, which would classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, add it to the list of controlled substances, and remove it from the store shelves.

DHEA dietary supplements have been on the market for over 20 years. Some feel that the legislators who introduced these bills are acting on false information and concern about the public outrage over the abuse of steroids.

What is DHEA?
"DHEA Report: Facilitates Anti-Aging, Enhances Libido, Rejuvenates the Immune System, Prevents Heart Disease, Reduces Body Fat, Tames Stress, Restores Memory, Fights Cancer" Vitality Research Institute

Natural Products Association comments about the bills may be reviewed online.

It is interesting that we were not able to locate any websites supporting Senate bill 762 or House of Representatives bill 1249.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Most of you reading this Special Updates issue are signed up for our free monthly Special Updates e-Report and enjoy the convenience of having the issues and research data e-mailed directly to you. You can also sign up to receive a weekly e-Alert with the Featured Article of the Week. Each week, we select an article from our Self-Help articles collection, post it on the website home page, and also e-mail it to those who are signed up for this additional free service. You can sign up for our free e-mail reports at ahha.org/freestuff.asp or in the left menu column on most site pages. Enter your e-mail address, click GO, and check the boxes for BOTH e-reports.


September 3, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Post-menopausal women with low bone density have a new dietary option to discuss with their physicians. Italian research published in the June 2007 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine presents the positive effects of genistein on bone metabolism. For more information, see "Phytoestrogens for Bone Health". We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration (http://naturalstandards.com) for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
The fluoridation of public drinking water is back in the news. On August 9, a statement signed by over 600 professionals was released. It urged Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted. The signers say that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicates that dental fluorosis, which is caused by fluoride over-exposure, now impacts one third of American children. New American Dental Association policy recommends infant formula not be prepared with fluoridated water and notes that the CDC's concession that the predominant benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic. However, the CDC continues to strongly support community water fluoridation as a safe and effective public health measure to prevent and control tooth decay and to improve overall health.

Fluoride Action Network "Professionals' Statement Calling for an End to Water Fluoridation"

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States"

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
This AHHA Special Updates eReport has been including research segments since December of 2005. All of this research has now been compiled into a new section of the AHHA website at ahha.org/research.asp. This "Evidence-based Research" section indicates related conditions and treatments for each segment.


August 10, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
A natural cure for a deadly form of cancer has NOT made news in the U.S.

If you are a patient dealing with either of the two most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (CSS), then you and your physician may want to read about the work of Dr. Bill Cham in Australia as presented in "The skin cancer cure...yes, cure...that works every time," by Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. This article appeared in the July, 2007, issue of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's Nutrition & Healing newsletter. A related article "Researchers find a groundbreaking skin cancer cure," by Dr. Wright from the December, 2005, issue is also included.

FEATURED ISSUE
"Raw" almonds will soon no longer be available in most areas. As of September 1, 2007, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a new mandatory regulation going into effect that requires "sterilization" of raw almonds.

An August 6, 2007, press release by The Cornupocpia Institute gives an overview of the situation: "USDA Demand That Raw Almonds Be Pasteurized Drives Consumers Nuts." The Institute has formally asked the USDA to re-open the regulatory proceeding to allow for additional public input and review and to delay implementation until spring 2008.

Those wishing to influence this situation can contact the USDA at:
Secretary Mike Johanns
United States Department of Agriculture
EMAIL: agsec@usda.gov
FAX: (202) 720-2166
RE: (7 CFR Part 981, Docket No. FV06-981-1 FR) final ruling

For additional facts, check out "The Authentic Almond Project."

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Come and visit the dramatically upgraded AHHA website! Same address: ahha.org. New design. Find things more easily with the fly-out/drop-down menus. Enjoy the bright new photos. The Site Index shows the dozens of resources you can explore.

SHARE YOUR STORY
You can share your story of how AHHA helped you connect with the wellness resource you needed. Send your brief summary, along with permission to share on our website, of how this worked for you to mail@ahha.org.


July 7, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Do you have a child with chronic headaches? A new study demonstrates that self-hypnosis training in children and adolescents can result in reducing frequency, intensity, and average duration. You and your physician may wish to review the research, which is outlined in "Self-Hypnosis for Headaches." We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
Normally, nothing uncomplimentary to the pharmaceutical industry shows up in the major media. Recently, however, there has been some unflattering press. First, the New York Times published a report about Big Pharma's marketing strategy of paying influential doctors to pitch their drugs to other doctors and consumers. Second, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article, "Pharmaceutical Company Payments to Physicians." Third, on June 27, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on "Paid to Prescribe? Exploring the Relationship Between Doctors and the Drug Industry." All of this attention has raised awareness of the patient's need to consider possible conflicts of interest when a physician prescribes a drug treatment.

As finding facts about this issue can prove challenging, we have compiled the following list for those of you who are interested in learning more about this hot topic.

The Alliance for Human Research Protection offers a general overview in article "Pharma Payments to Doctors--Integrity--Sold to Highest Bidder"

At the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging June 27, 2007 hearing "Paid to Prescribe? Exploring the Relationship Between Doctors and the Drug Industry" the Senators heard testimony provided by a variety of witnesses:
Dr. Jerome Kassirer, Distinguished Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine; former Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine; author, On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health

Dr. Greg Rosenthal, retinal eye specialist; founding member, Physicians for Clinical Responsibility

Dr. Peter Lurie, Deputy Director, Public Citizen's Health Research Group

Maine State Representative Sharon Treat, Executive Director, National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices

Dr. Robert Sade, Chair, American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs

Marjorie Powell, Senior Assistant General Counsel, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Have you expanded your personal health-enhancement program lately? There are dozens of healing modalities available with new lifestyle and treatment offerings to support your journey to a higher level of wellness. Our Practitioner Referral Sources list has close to 100 organizations that provide healthcare referrals to a wide variety of healing approaches. Check to see if something new catches your eye.


June 11, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
New integrative therapies are augmenting treatment options for serious burns with exciting results. In one recent study, adding trace element supplementation reduced infection, speeded up wound healing, and reduced the need for regrafting. Your physician can review the details. See "Supplements for Burn Injuries. We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
If you don't want to eat food that had been irradiated, all you have to do is find the "irradiated" symbol on a product. But now the government is considering allowing food to be irradiated and labeled with an alternative term, such as "electronically pasteurized" or "cold pasteurized." The comment period for public input about this matter expires July 3.

FDA SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to revise its labeling regulations for irradiated foods to require that only those irradiated foods in which the irradiation causes a material change in the food or a change in the consequences that may result from use of the food, bear the radura logo and the term "irradiated," or a derivative thereof, in conjunction with explicit language describing the change in the food or its conditions of use. FDA also is proposing to allow a firm to petition FDA for use of an alternate term to "irradiation" (other than "pasteurized"). In addition, FDA is proposing to permit a firm to use the term "pasteurized" in lieu of "irradiated," provided it notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified for use of the term "pasteurized" in section 403(h)(3) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the agency does not object to the notification. This proposed action is in response to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA) and, if finalized, will provide consumers with more useful information than the current regulation.

Official notice in Federal Register Volume 72, Number 64, states you must submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule by July 3, 2007, and includes a mailing address.

To submit your comments online
FDA Docket: 2005N-0272 - Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food

Here are some sources from which to learn about both sides of this issue:
PRO
"Food Irradiation: A Safe Measure"
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

"Food Safety and Irradiation: Protecting the Public from Foodborne Infections"
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CON
"Tell FDA Not to Weaken Labeling for Irradiated Foods!"
The Center for Food Safety

"Will Dietary Supplements be "cold pasteurized" with x-rays and will it be labeled?"
American Association for Health Freedom

"Food Irradiation"
Organic Consumers Association

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
There are thousands of health-related books that cover all aspects of health and wellness. Those of you who are avid readers will have fun looking for some you might have missed. Check out our list of Health Book Catalogs. These are publishers and book distributors who offer free catalogs of their health-related publications


May 7, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Like it or not, the older we get, the more likely we are to develop poor digestion and problems with assimilation. The standard medical approach has been to use patent medications specifically designed to suppress stomach acid production. This could be changing in the near future. Doctors are slowly becoming aware of the fact that low or no stomach acid can influence the health of the entire body. You may want to review the article "Age and Antiacids: A Double Whammy Against Your Body's Optimal Health" with your family physician. This article appeared in the March, 2007 issue of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's Nutrition & Healing newsletter. We thank Dr. Wright for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
One intense health advocacy activity these days is tracking what is being included in U.S. Senate Bill 1082. Understand that this bill will be passed. Every five years the funding for the Food and Drug Association (FDA) program to screen new drugs needs to be renewed. The political enticement to a politician to get his/her pet program added onto this bill is very strong, and has resulted in this bill being expanded to almost 300 pages, and amendments continue to be submitted. As what is included in the bill changes, the name of the bill changes, so "Senate Bill 1082" is the best way to identify. Some of the names that you may find include... Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act
Prescription Drug User Fee Amendment of 2007
Enhancing Drug Safety and Innovation Act of 2007
You can review the bill at help.senate.gov/Hearings/2007_04_18_E/S1082.pdf

Those advocacy groups wanting to protect access to dietary supplements were relieved that Senator Durbin's amendment did not touch DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994). Those in favor of legalizing importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries were pleased with the provision to allow this. Health freedom groups continue to monitor what is moving into and out of this bill. A Senate vote is expected in May. After that, attention will shift to a related bill in the House. No one knows what will end up being included.

Here are a couple of health freedom group reports. Remember that by the time you read this, everything may have drastically changed. Check with the website of your favorite advocacy group for ongoing updates.
"Senate bill 1082 (PDUFA): Read the latest - Sen. Durbin's Food Amendment"
American Association for Health Freedom

"Why Senate Bill 1082 is a Danger To Supplements"
National Health Federation

Most advocacy groups are asking supporters to contact the Senators from their district for now. Later they will be shifting to the Congressmen from their local district.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
We are excited to announce that our booklet, Wellness From Within: The First Step, is now available in MP3 format. When you go to www.ahha.org/MP3.htm you will have the option to download the MP3 file to your computer OR listen to the audio presentation online. The wonderful message of this booklet is very special when read, but even more powerful when listened to. Our gift to you.

FOLLOW UP ON FDA GUIDELINE ISSUE
In our April 2007 e-Report we alerted you to the short advanced notice for the FDA to receive public comments on the document "Guidance for Industry: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration." While the document is dated December 2006, it was not listed in the Federal Register until February 27, 2007. The end of the comment period was set at April 30, less than the usual 90-day period. In response to requests from numerous advocacy groups, on April 25 the FDA announced that the comment period was extended to May 29 - to allow the 90 days. Then, on May 1 the FDA reversed this position and closed down the online electronic comments for this issue -- docket number [DOCID:fr27fe07-95]. If you still wish to submit your comments, we understand that you would need to fax or mail to the FDA. The document in pdf format at www.fda.gov/cber/gdlns/altmed.pdf includes the FDA address. Advocacy groups are requesting that when you send your letter to the FDA, you copy your local Congressman and Senators. Only legislators can actually facilitate change.


April 7, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Your body is loaded with immune cells known as natural killer cells. These cells are part of your body's front line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells. In "My favorite herb has just been declared a miracle" Kerry Bone summarizes research using the root of the herb echinacea to enhance the functioning of the immune system. This is information for you and your healthcare team to consider. This article appeared in the April, 2007, issue of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's Nutrition & Healing newsletter. We thank Dr. Wright for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
In researching potential issues to highlight for this issue, I happened on a federal document that appears to have significant ramifications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a notice in the Federal Register that outlines how that agency could bring a number of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) products under FDA jurisdiction. The deadline for comments to the FDA on this document is the end of April.

To review full documentation on this matter, go to www.fda.gov/cber/gdlns/altmed.pdf and read the 14 pages of "Guidance for Industry: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration."

You can review the official notice in the Federal Register February 27, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 38) [Docket No. 2006D-0480], online "Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration"

The FDA statement includes this statement: "In recent years, the practice of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased in the United States, and we have seen increased confusion as to whether certain products used in CAM are subject to regulation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) or Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). We have also seen an increase in the number of CAM products imported into the United States. Therefore, the draft guidance discusses when a CAM product is subject to the act or the PHS Act."

You can submit electronic comments to www.fda.gov/dockets/ ecomments through April 30, 2007. Do Docket Search using 2006D-0480. Your comments must be identified with the docket number [Docket No. 2006D-0480].

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
The companies and organizations who are AHHA Organizational Members offer you, the health-conscious consumer, many beneficial options. You are invited this month to review those in the PRODUCTS category.


March 6, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
In addition to all that is involved with the physical treatment of a life threatening disease like cancer, the emotional stress is significant. Several research studies have experimented with expressive writing or journal therapy to help patients cope with the fears and challenges the illness brings. This alternative to antidepressant drugs has demonstrated promising results. For details, review "Expressive Writing Therapy." We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration (naturalstandards.com) for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
Recent media headlines tout that the AMA declares that antioxidants increase mortality. If you wish to check into this further, here are a few differing perspectives to get you started.

AMA article claims: "Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality":
"Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention Systematic Review and Meta-analysis" by Goran Bjelakovic, MD, DrMedSci; Dimitrinka Nikolova, MA; Lise Lotte Gluud, MD, DrMedSci; Rosa G. Simonetti, MD; Christian Gluud, MD, DrMedSci JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association). 2007;297:842-857.

NPA claims study flawed:
"Natural Products Association Says Medical Journal Study On Vitamins And Mortality Is Flawed; Points To Research Showing Health Benefits And Urges People To Continue Proper Antioxidant Use"

Media source claims discrediting of nutritional supplements motivated by financial interests:
"The big vitamin scare: American Medical Association claims vitamins may kill you (opinion)" by Mike Adams at NewsTarget.com

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Are you one of the increasing numbers of people who appreciates the value of integrating multiple healing options? Wouldn't it be convenient to have these under one roof? Our Healing Centers in North America list introduces you to AHHA Institutional Members who are centers or clinics that have gathered several healing approaches within one facility.


February 6, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Experiencing soreness on the soles of your feet? Here is some information you will definitely want to share with your podiatrist before embarking on invasive treatment. Research indicates that special exercises can dramatically improve your sore feet if the cause is plantar fasciitis, a painful condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot. Note that most of the study's participants improved enough not to need medical treatment. For details, review "Stretching for Foot Pain." We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration (naturalstandards.com) for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
The California assemblywoman who planed to submit legislation to make it a crime for parents to spank their young children has withdrawn her bill. However, the lively discussion resulting from the nationwide media coverage about this proposed bill has created a forum for discussing the disciplining of infants and very young children. Child psychologists used this opportunity to remind parents that children under four generally don't get the message that parents aim to convey with a swat on the behind.

This might be a good time to talk about this in your family. Here are a couple of articles to get things started.

"Does spanking work? Yes, it does, on a young child. But only in the short term" by Jim Barber

"Should I spank my child? The short answer is no." by Rob Waters

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Are you thinking about reducing or eliminating a prescription drug you are taking, perhaps due to unpleasant or dangerous side effects? If you want to do this, in addition to being under the care of a knowledgeable healthcare professional, you also need to have identified other options for dealing with your original condition. There are organizations that can serve as your personal medical researcher. These organizations are on the Health Information Health Services list. They can research for your unique situation and locate other treatment options for your consideration. Be a well-informed health care consumer. Take advantage of this opportunity to know ALL your options.


January 8, 2007

FEATURED RESEARCH
Popeye was right. Eating your spinach is good for you. Swedish research shows that the nitrates in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and beetroot, help to lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels healthy. For details, review "Nitrates for Blood Pressure". We thank the Natural Standards Research Collaboration (naturalstandards.com) for alerting us to this finding.

FEATURED ISSUE
In October, 2005, we alerted you that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was implementing plans for a national system for electronic health records. Groups like the Institute for Health Freedom (forhealthfreedom.org) were documenting concerns that this would bring about the loss of personal control of your private medical records.

In December, 2006, survey results were released that indicate Americans are interested in accessing personal health information electronically and in ensuring that their healthcare providers have access to their information. However, this interest is contingent on the extent to which the government and others establish sufficient privacy and confidentiality protections. For more information, see the following article: "Survey Finds Americans Want Electronic Personal Health Information to Improve Own Health Care," Markle Foundation, December 7, 2006:

A November, 2006 court decision demonstrates that this protection may not be possible. Other than filing a complaint with HHS, you have no legal recourse if your records are shared or made public without your consent. See the following article: "About Health Care (HIPAA Privacy Rules)," Mcglinchey Stafford PLLC, December 5, 2006:

What can you do?

You have an opportunity to share your ideas and concerns with HHS, the government agency in charge of this project. HHS has posted a request for public input on their "plans for developing and using resources involving health information technology (IT) and genetic and molecular medicine, with specific reference to incorporating these capacities in evidence-based clinical practice, health outcomes evaluations, and research." Responses must reach HHS on or before 5 pm, February 5, 2007. NOTE: The original deadline, January 2, 2007, was extended. HHS prefers electronic responses. Send your response to PHCRFI@hhs.gov. Please be aware that anything you submit can be made public. The official Federal Register notice is available for review at "Request for Information (RFI): Improving Health and Accelerating Personalized Health Care Through Health Information Technology and Genomic Information in Population and Community-Based Health Care Delivery Systems," Federal Registers (Vol. 71, No. 211), November 1, 2006, pp. 64282-4:

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Who is on your healthcare team? Most people have at least a medical doctor and a dentist. Many have added a nutritionist, a massage therapist, and/or a psychologist. If you are really into prevention, consider the number of other valuable options available to enrich the support you receive for improving the quality of your health–and your life. Discover the AHHA Practitioner Members in your area by referring to the list at ahha.org/ahhasearch.asp. You may find someone right around the corner who may have some effective suggestions for changes you can incorporate into your everyday life.

FOLLOW-UP ON ADVERSE EVENT REPORTING BILL
In our July, 2006, e-Report (archived at ahha.org/updates.htm), we alerted you to a proposed federal bill that will require manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and over-the-counter drugs to disclose all serious adverse event reports to the Food and Drug Administration. This bill passed the House and Senate and in December was signed by President Bush. The dietary supplement industry was generally supportive of this bill. Groups concerned about individual health freedoms are very concerned about possible misuse of this regulation.


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