miércoles, 29 de junio de 2011

Anemia and Nutrition: The Importance of Essential Vitamins

(Extraído de National Anemia Action Council)

NAAC Article Published: October 9, 2008

Vitamins are the nutrients that are found in foods we eat. Your body needs them to grow, develop and work properly. When it comes to vitamins, each one has a special role to play. For example, folic acid is necessary for DNA synthesis and very important in the making of red and white blood cell production.1 Vitamin B12 is also needed for blood cell production as well as for maintaining healthy nerves.2 B vitamins in general help your body make protein and energy.

In addition to vitamin B12 and folic acid, you also need iron in order to produce healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body. Without enough vitamin B12 and folic acid, your red blood cells become large and underdeveloped. This causes your body to produce fewer cells, and the cells die earlier than the 120-day life expectancy.3 Consequently, your blood can become low on red blood cells; a condition called vitamin deficiency anemia.4

The most common types of vitamin deficiency anemia are vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folic acid (folate) deficiency anemia.4 Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folate deficiency anemia usually develop when your body is unable to absorb enough of these vitamins from the food you eat. Elderly people and pregnant women run the greatest risk of developing these anemias. People can develop low levels of these important vitamins in several different ways. Some of these causes are outlined in the list below.5

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia:

  • Lack of vitamin B12 – Not enough vitamin B12 in your diet can occur if you are on a strict vegetarian diet.
  • Intestinal disorders – Some disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and intestinal infections, can inhibit the absorption of vitamin B12.
  • Lack of intrinsic factor – Lacking the stomach protein intrinsic factor is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. It helps receptors absorb vitamin B12, but the cells that produce it can be destroyed by your immune system or from stomach surgery.

Causes of Folate Deficiency Anemia:
  • Lack of folic acid – Not enough folic acid in your diet can occur if your diet lacks fresh fruits and vegetables, you consistently overcook your food, or drink too much alcohol.
  • Intestinal disorders – Some disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and intestinal infections, can interfere with the absorption of folic acid.
  • Prescription medications – Certain medications, such as some anti-seizure drugs, can block absorption of folic acid.

People suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency anemia or folate deficiency anemia feel tired and weak and can have a bright red, smooth tongue. Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect your nerves and you may experience tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. It can also cause confusion, depression, poor concentration and forgetfulness. Without treatment, these symptoms will develop slowly and become more severe over time.5

Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency

  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Having a bright red, smooth tongue
  • Possible tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • Confusion, poor concentration, forgetfulness or depression

It is important to note that with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, it is much more difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food or pills. Fortunately, your doctor can easily treat both vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folate deficiency with the proper supplements, and most if not all of these symptoms will disappear when the vitamin deficiency is corrected.

Doctors diagnose vitamin deficiency anemias through blood tests. These tests measure the level and appearance of red blood cells. When you are anemic, you have fewer red blood cells. If you have a vitamin deficiency anemia, your red blood cells can be large and oval instead of being round and disc-shaped. Blood tests also include a check of the amount of folic acid and vitamin B12 in your blood.

Preventing Vitamin Deficiencies

You can prevent some forms of vitamin deficiency anemia by eating a balanced diet and taking a multivitamin every day. According to Valerie Reynolds MS, RD, LDN, a registered dietician at the University of Chicago Hospital, “ The American Medical Association recommends that everyone take a daily multivitamin. Multivitamins help bridge the gap between the nutrients we get from food, and what your body actually needs on a daily basis. This practice is probably the best form of prevention against the development of a vitamin deficiency anemia.”

Folate-Rich Foods

  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Enriched breads, cereals & grains
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
Vitamin B12-Rich Foods
  • Fish, meat, poultry & eggs
  • Milk and milk products

Daily Vitamin Requirements

Vitamin Adults Pregnant
Women
Vitamin B12 2.4 mcg 2.4 mcg
Folate (Folic Acid) 400 mcg 600 mcg
Most adults need these amounts in micrograms.
NIH. Dietary Fact Sheets: Folate,1 Vitamin B122
Mayo Clinic: Vitamin Deficiency Anemia.4

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in foods that come from animals, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Fortified breakfast cereals are a particularly valuable source of vitamin B12.2 Foods rich in folate include citrus fruits and juices and dark green leafy vegetables. In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published regulations requiring the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products. These products are a major source of folic acid in our diet.1 A healthy balanced diet will provide adequate amounts of these vitamins for most people. Pregnant women however, require more folic acid than most healthy diets contain.

Pregnant women need an adequate supply of folic acid in order for the baby to develop properly. Since it is most important to have the folate in your system at the time of conception, women in their childbearing years should take a multivitamin containing folic acid (400 micrograms) because most women only receive 200 micrograms daily from their diet. Folic acid reduces the chance for certain birth defects to occur (such as spina bifida and cleft lip/palate) when taken before and during the early part of pregnancy.1

If left untreated, vitamin deficiency anemia can lead to other health problems. You can usually correct vitamin deficiency anemia with supplements and dietary changes. If you think you may have anemia, we recommend you see your healthcare professional. Close communication with your doctor will help him or her provide the treatment that is best for you based on what is causing the anemia.

References
  1. National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Folate. Link.
  2. National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12. Link.
  3. New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Health Library: Anemia of Folate Deficiency. Link.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Health Information: Vitamin Deficiency Anemia. Link.
  5. Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Diseases and Conditions Index: Pernicious Anemia. Link.

Centro de Formación Holística y Naturopática de América Central (CEFHONAC)

http://es.scribd.com/doc/58933723/CEFHONAC

Easing Menopause Symptoms With Food

(Extraído de Huffington Post)

Cathy Margolin, L.Ac. Dipl. OM

Posted: 06/28/11 09:51 AM ET

"I didn't sign up for this, I just want to feel normal again," said Judy, my patient who aptly describes what the 21st century Western woman going through menopause feels. If you want to know how to turn down your body's internal "thermostat" you are in the right place. Alternative medicine, including food therapy, is a viable option for managing menopause symptoms.

Menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, brain fog and other symptoms seem to be considered the norm for women over the age of 50. Researchers from the Department of Integrated Health at Westminster University polled 1,000 British women ages 45 to 55 and compared their answers to those of women from the U.S., Canada, Japan and China. The conclusion was that Japanese and Chinese women suffer the least amount of menopause symptoms. British women suffer the most and Americans are somewhere in between.1 For any woman sweating through this life change, you can stop the roller coaster and "get back to normal" using alternative medicine.

What causes this disparity between menopausal women in the East and West? In Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China women do not generally seek medical attention for menopause symptoms.9 The reasons for these cultural differences are complex. Certainly diet and lifestyle choices play a key role. The question is why don't women in these cultures need Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT) or medical treatments the way that the majority of Western women do?

The last year has been a confusing time with medical flip-flops on the benefits and dangers of artificial hormones. I see more and more women who are giving up on trusting research produced by the health care establishment and looking to alternative medicine for answers.

Not only is it difficult to stay keep up with the latest menopause drug treatment information, but much too often this advice is influenced by drug companies or doctors who fail to disclose their ties to study outcomes. One truth every doctor knows is that medicines have risks. Medicines should be prescribed only when the benefits outweighs the risks, including the risks of side effects which may not show up until years later. Healthy diet and lifestyle therapies have no risks. Cooking with Chinese herbs and incorporating food therapy have been done for centuries and have absolutely no known risks.

This article is part two on the subject of alternative medicine for menopause. Part one (see it here) explained how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views menopause. TCM recognizes menopause as part of the natural aging process and is often termed Kidney Yin Deficiency. The manifestations of aging include gray hair, dryness and the end of menstruation -- in other words, signs the kidney energy is waning.

TCM views the kidney energy as sustaining the metabolic process and decreases naturally as we age. When the balance of kidney yin and yang energy is "upset," symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats may appear. Throughout Asia it is Chinese herbs and food that are most commonly used to gently tonify the kidney energy and restore the balance between yin and yang. Acupuncture is also used to restore this balance and studies have proven its effectiveness.10 The role of herbal medicine was discussed in part one and I now want to address the roll diet plays in menopause.

It seems Asian cultures understand Hippocrates, the father of medicine's credo, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Asian cultures blend four important principals into every meal.

1. Meals consist of varying food temperatures, i.e. peppers are a hot food, seaweed is cold and black beans are warm.

2. A large variety of foods with five flavors are eaten in every meal. The five flavors are sour, sweet, pungent, bitter and salty.

3. Soy products are eaten nearly every day.

4. An old Chinese Proverb says, "He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician."

Food Temperatures
Since our goal here is to turn down the thermostat, let's start the discussion with "cold" foods -- or foods that cool us off. This is the same principle applied to eating watermelon on a hot summer day. Asian cultures use food temperatures to balance the body's needs.

Cold herbs and foods simply cool you off. But the principal is best practiced in combination. Mixing cold foods and warm foods is best. Too much cold food inhibits digestion and may lead to diarrhea. A few of the best cold foods are: cucumber, diakon radish, mung bean, dandelion greens, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, celery, carrots and romaine lettuce. Eat a least two servings of these a day for your internal air conditioner to kick into action. Cold fruits include lemon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mulberry, apples, pears, watermelon, apricots and persimmons.

Five Flavors
Incorporating the five flavors into your meals may be a new concept but is not all that difficult. There are several good books on this subject. One of my favorites is The Tao of Nutrition by Ni and McNease. Bitter foods will help the most for those suffering with menopause symptoms. They operate as an internal air conditioner, because bitter foods disperse heat. Examples of bitter foods include kale, green tea, watercress, turnips, asparagus and tangerine peel. Tangerine peel is used in Chinese herbal medicine and in TCM food therapy. Adding tangerine peel to meat or vegetables helps by promoting the circulation of stomach Qi, (energy) thereby improving digestion. Its bitter and acrid flavor not only helps digestion but relieves indigestion. Tangerine peel strengthens the stomach and works like a carminative to clear excess mucus. (More herbs for menopause here.)

Soy Foods
One interesting cultural advantage for menopausal women in Asia may be the amount of soy or tofu eaten daily. Soy is full of protein, rich in vitamins and enzymes. It's an isoflavone, a class of phytoestrogen (plant derived compounds) with estrogenic activity.11 Soy has been part of the Asian diet for thousands of years. Unprocessed tofu is made fresh and sold in nearly every market. Soy tofu is eaten in small amounts daily from the time children are very young to the end of their lives.

But, the key here is the soy and tofu they eat is made from "unprocessed and non-gmo" soy beans. Sadly, this is increasingly difficult to find in American stores and nearly all American soy beans are derived from genetically modified organisms (GMO). Not a healthy choice to start with and unfortunately most of our tofu is manufactured through a highly refined process. For this reason, I would not consider soy tofu a healthy food in the U.S. right now.

Refined food products almost always lose their nutritional value after being heated to extreme temperatures. This process kills all of the nutrients and all of the important enzymes which the body needs to digest them. As a result, eating processed American soy tofu can give you terrible gas, bloating and indigestion and even worse, it's becoming a common allergen. A small serving of soy a couple of times a week won't harm you, but I recommend eating only fermented and non-GMO soy. Products such as miso, sprouted tofu, soy yogurt and tempeh are my first choice. A little organic soy sauce is also ok . If you can be certain your tofu is organic and unprocessed I would consider it a healthy choice.

Changing the way you look at food according to temperature and taste takes some time. Maybe this is a new concept for you and maybe you've never seen some of the foods listed above. Although you may not choose to eat everything on this list, you can certainly eat some.

Tapping into your body's internal thermostat doesn't work exactly like the thermostat on your wall. So, be patient. Be consistent with dietary changes and enjoy the food you eat. Find some recipes you like and bring variety to your diet every day. Incorporate the five flavors of salty, bitter, sour, pungent and sweet into your lifestyle. Chinese medicine uses food therapy full of phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients to restore vibrant health and balance to the entire person. This therapy has been adopted for thousands of years without any side effects.

What part of your diet will you change to help your menopause symptoms?

For more articles on Dietary Food Therapy go here and here.

References:

1. Women of UK study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2233879/

2. Lock M. Menopause in Japanese women. Womens Health Iss. 1995;274(16):12-65.

3. Kagawa-Singer M., Kim S., Wu K., Adler S.R., Kawanishi Y., Wongvipat N. Comparison of the menopause and midlife transition between Japanese American and European American women. Med Anthropol Q. 2002;16(1):64-91.

4. Haines C.J., Rong L., Chung T.K.H., Leung D.H.Y. The perception of the menopause and the climacteric among women in Hong-Kong and Southern China. Prev Med. 1995;24(3):245-248. [PubMed]

5. Lam P.M., Leung T.N., Haines C., Chung T.K.H. Climacteric symptoms and knowledge about hormone replacement therapy among Hong Kong Chinese women aged 40-60 years. Maturitas. 2003;45(2):99-107. [PubMed]

6. Chen Y.L.D., Voda A.M., Mansfield P.K. Chinese midlife women's perceptions and attitudes about menopause. Menopause. 1998;5(1):28-34. [PubMed]

7. Tsao L.I., Chang W.Y., Hung L.L., Chang S.H., Chou P.C. Perimenopausal knowledge of mid-life women in northern Taiwan. J Clin Nurs. 2004;13(5):627-635. [PubMed]
8. Ismael N.N. A study on the menopause in Malaysia. Maturitas. 1994;19(3):205-209. [PubMed]

9. Chim H., Tan B.H.I., Ang C.C., Chew E.M.D., Chong Y.S., Saw S.M. The prevalence of menopausal symptoms in a community in Singapore. Maturitas. 2002;41(4):275-282. [PubMed]

10. Acupuncture for Menopause hot flashes and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20060667 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14650571

11. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/soyiso/

Medicina Natural para tratar el cáncer en animales

(Extraído de Veterinaria Natural Valladolid)

Jun 26th, 2011 by Merche Navarro

Es complicado y difícil escribir sobre el cáncer, ya que es una enfermedad que causa dolor y ansiedad tanto en los animales que lo padecen como en sus dueños. Se intenta buscar una solución y remedios eficaces para tratar el cáncer, pero a veces es tan agresivo el tumor, que es difícil. Si combinamos las dos Medicinas, la Convencional y la Natural, ayudaremos al animal a tener una mejor calidad de vida y un mejor estado emocional. La Medicina Natural está ofreciendo nuevas posibilidades al tratamiento del cáncer con plantas, alimentos adecuados, hongos, acupuntura, homeopatía, etc.

 

by Daganta Das

Cáncer y estrés en animales:

Los procesos que controlan todas las células y las funciones corporales en un animal sano, están en un “estrés” constante. Si añadimos además los factores estresantes externos (sonidos indeseables, influencias electromagnéticas, impresiones visuales, comidas de baja calidad, shock, agresiones psíquicas, etc.)  estaremos estimulando la influencia negativa en estos organismos sanos. ¿Cómo puede un animal estresarse?, simplemente viviendo con los humanos. Los animales aportan compañía, relax y cariño a sus dueños y manejan el estrés humano por diferentes vías y eso también les influye a ellos. Por ejemplo, los perros son “esponjas emocionales” y si el dueño esta triste o hay nerviosismo en la casa, el animal lo va a notar y le va a afectar. Otras formas de estrés para nuestras mascotas son por ejemplo: no poder salir a la calle o salir poco tiempo, o que llegue un nuevo miembro a la familia, o separarse de su dueño, etc. Los factores estresantes tanto los internos como los externos pueden conducir a perder la capacidad de dominio de los procesos que controlan las células y las funciones corporales, especialmente la función inmunológica. El objetivo de todas las terapias anticancerígenas debe ser ayudar al paciente a recuperar este dominio y restaurar el control de los procesos, especialmente el inmunitario. La Medicina Natural, con todas sus terapias alternativas, va a intenta estimular los procesos de control corporales, para evitar los desequilibrios .

Medicina Tradicional China:

La MTC cree que el cáncer se desarrolla como resultado de un bloqueo de energía antiguo que fue originado por un desequilibrio a lo largo de los meridianos y de sus órganos.

Los procesos crónicos pueden causar que el Qi (la energía) circule de forma irregular y que se termine bloqueando. Estos bloqueos energéticos (de Qi) se vuelven como un bloqueo físico “sólido”, y progresan a obstrucción de sangre y flema (fluido que tiende a calentarse por el estancamiento y se vuelve tenaz). Estas sustancias se acumulan en los tejidos , se convierten en bulto, que puede convertirse en tumor. Cuanto más severo es el tumor, más tiempo a tardado en formarse, más resistente es el bloqueo y más difícil es quitarlo.

Para tratar un cáncer con Acupuntura, primero tenemos que realizar un buen Diagnóstico de canales o meridianos, un buen Diagnóstico de pulsos y localizar bien el tumor. Después hay que estimular el canal adecuado para activar el sistema de control adaptativo/homeostático/inmunológico y que sea el propio cuerpo quien controle al tumor.  Es decir utilizaremos pocos puntos, pero muy precisos y bien estudiados, para que sean efectivos.

by jakob Grunig

Terapia Nutricional:

Dentro de la población animal se ha comprobado en los últimos años, un aumento en la aparición de distintos tumores, con mayor y menor malignidad. Por eso, tanto la Medicina Convencional como la Medicina Natural intentan buscar suplementos nutricionales para luchar contra el cáncer. De todas formas siempre es mejor “prevenir que curar” es decir, es mejor utilizar suplementos con una buena dieta, para evitar que el sistema inmunitario empiece a ser atacado y pueda perder el equilibrio. Pero en el caso que el sistema inmunitario estuviera fuera de control, los suplementos nutricionales serán esenciales para la vida, y consistirán en:

1-VITAMINAS Y MINERALES:

Son un buen suplemento cuando se combinan unos con otros

  • Vitamina A: tiene potentes efectos anticancerígenos.
  • Vitamina C: puede inhibir la proliferación de células cancerígenas, ya que puede eliminar radicales libres. Se usa combinada con otras vitaminas antioxidantes y minerales.
  • Vitamina D3: puede inhibir el crecimiento tumoral.
  • Vitamina E: también puede inhibir el crecimiento del cáncer.
  • Selenio: tiene efecto citotóxico sobre algunas células cancerígenas.

2-ÁCIDOS GRASOS OMEGA 3 (EPA y DHA) :

Pueden parar el crecimiento tumoral y la metástasis, además de evitar la caquexia.

3-BIOFLAVONOIDES:

Tienen un efecto antioxidante, citotóxico frente a  células cancerígenas y evitan metástasis.  Lo contienen algunos alimentos (uvas, trigo, cítricos, grosellas, etc) y plantas medicinales.

4-AMINOÁCIDOS:

  • Arginina: parece que puede aumentar la función inmunitaria y frenar el crecimiento de algunos tumores.
  • Glutamina: inhibe el crecimiento tumoral y evita la caquexia.
  • Melatonina: tiene efectos citotóxicos contra las células cancerígenas y es antioxidante.
Fitoterapia:

En los últimos años se han empezado a utilizar nuevas plantas para tratar el cáncer en animales, como:

  • Ginseng (Panax ginseng): disminuye el crecimiento del cáncer, la metástasis y mejora el sistema inmunitario.
  • Té verde (Camellia sinensis) : inhibe el crecimiento tumoral. Además se utiliza para prevenir el cáncer.
  • Curcumina (Curcuma longa): para evitar las metástasis.
  • Aloe vera: ralentiza el crecimiento de los tumores.
  • Hongos y setas: por su composición en polisacáridos tienen un efecto antitumoral e inmunoestimulante. Destacamos: Champiñón del sol (Agaricus blazei), Hongo silvestre (Cordyceps sinensis), Hongo cola de pavo (Coriolus versicolor), Maitake (Grifola frondosa), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) y Shiitake (Lentinula edodes).
Homeopatía:

La Homeopatía es una terapia natural que se está empleando para el tratamiento del cáncer: para frenar el tumor, para aliviar el dolor y la ansiedad emocional, para evitar la metástasis mejorando el sistema inmunitario, para tratar los efectos secundarios de la Quimioterapia o para prevenir la recurrencia del cáncer.

La Homeopatía se basa en la Similitud, por lo tanto tendremos que buscar un remedio que englobe el conjunto de síntomas (tanto físicos como emocionales) que presenta el animal con cáncer. Es importante escoger el remedio homeopático adecuado, para que sea el propio  cuerpo el que reaccione y luche contra la enfermedad con éxito.

by Umberto Salvagnin

Podemos concluir que la Medicina Natural, puede ayudar en el tratamiento contra el cáncer en animales. Algunas terapias serán más efectivas que otras, pero todas les ayudarán a tener una mejor calidad de vida.

Los estudios sobre nuevos remedios antitumorales naturales va en aumento y con bastantes éxitos.  De todas formas, la Medicina Natural no se quedará quieta y seguirá buscando nuevas soluciones alternativas a esta enfermedad.

Can vitamin D lower your risk of melanoma?

(Extraído de Yahoo News)

By Genevra Pittman | Reuters – Mon, Jun 27, 2011

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Taking vitamin D may help protect women who have already had non-melanoma skin cancers against a much deadlier form of the disease, suggests a new study.

But researchers caution that the results need to be confirmed with further studies, given that the number of women in their study who got melanoma - the most dangerous type of skin cancer - was low to begin with.

"We're not recommending super high doses" of vitamin D, study author Dr. Jean Tang, from Stanford University School of Medicine in Redwood City, California, told Reuters Health.

However, she added, "I feel good about saying if you've already had a non-melanoma skin cancer, you're already at risk for developing melanoma in the future, (and) taking a little bit of calcium and vitamin D, while other studies need to be done, seems reasonable and not harmful."

Some evidence has suggested that vitamin D might help protect against skin cancer and other cancers by influencing cell growth, and perhaps stopping cells from turning into cancer cells, researchers explained.

Tang and her colleagues wanted to see if that might be the case in a group of women participating in the Women's Health Initiative trial, a study whose main focus was to look at the effects of diet and hormone therapy on disease risks.

The researchers looked back at data that had been collected on about 36,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. Half of those women took supplements with 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units of vitamin D3 each day, while the other half took an inactive placebo supplement.

Using questionnaires and reports from doctors' visits, the researchers were able to track how many women got skin cancer over the next 7 years, on average.

They found no difference in how frequently women in either group were diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancers or with melanoma, according to the findings published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In all, about 1,700 women in each group were diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, while 82 women taking calcium and vitamin D and 94 in the placebo group got melanoma.

However, women who reported previously having non-melanoma skin cancer - which would mean they were at higher risk for getting melanoma later - were less likely to get melanoma if they were taking the extra calcium and vitamin D.

The overall numbers were small - 10 women out of about 1,100 with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer got melanoma in the supplement group, compared to 24 out of a similarly-sized placebo group.

Tang said she expects any link between the supplement combo and skin cancer would probably be a result of vitamin D.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that most adults get 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day and 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D. It sets a recommended upper limit at 2,000 mg of calcium and 4,000 IU of vitamin D.

Getting too much vitamin D is rare, but has been linked to kidney stones and an increased risk of other liver and kidney conditions.

Despite the limited nature of this particular study, "I think there is no reason for women not to increase their vitamin D intake," said Dr. Michael Holick, who studies vitamin D and calcium at Boston University and was not involved in the new study.

Holick told Reuters Health that vitamin D's role in reducing the risk of colorectal and breast cancer is "pretty compelling," and that it could potentially protect against other diseases - such as type 2 diabetes and infectious diseases - as well. There is also good evidence that both calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis.

The link between vitamin D and cancer is a controversial one, said endocrinologist Dr. Joan Lappe, of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska - and especially for skin cancer, there just isn't enough evidence to make a claim about its benefits, she said.

"I think we're going to see that vitamin D does have an effect on cancer, but the short answer is there are not enough rigorous trials out there," Lappe, also not linked to the new research, told Reuters Health.

And because the Women's Health Initiative study used relatively low doses of vitamin D, it's still possible that higher doses will make a difference for skin cancer risk in a wider population, she said.

Tang said that her team is now recruiting women for another study on the link between vitamin D and skin cancer using higher vitamin doses to see if the connection holds.

Until more evidence is available, Lappe concluded, "I think everyone should be aware that vitamin D is important for your health and either take some supplements or talk to their doctor about it."

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/gPtMdm Journal of Clinical Oncology, online June 27, 2011.

Kids who survive cancer more often get new tumors

(Extraído de Yahoo News)

By Frederik Joelving | Reuters – 19 hrs ago

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children who have beaten cancer once are at increased risk of developing new tumors down the road, researchers say.

They found skin cancers, which are usually considered relatively harmless, appeared to be an early warning sign of more aggressive disease.

"It could be a marker for patients at significant risk," Dr. Gregory Armstrong of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told Reuters Health.

"The take-home point is that the annual visit with your physician is very important, as is having your physician be aware of the guidelines," said Armstrong, whose findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

According to the report, there were 328,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the U.S. in 2005 -- a number that keeps growing as treatment gets better.

The new study tracked more than 14,000 kids who had survived cancer for at least five years, for up to 38 years after their diagnosis.

One in twenty, or five percent, developed a new cancer during the study. Over the next 15 years following that diagnosis, the chance that a person who'd beaten cancer twice would get a third type of cancer was 12 percent. And the risk went up if the patients had received radiation as part of their treatment in childhood.

The researchers also found that survivors whose second tumor was non-melanoma skin cancer were twice as likely to get another aggressive cancer in the next 15 years compared to survivors with a different second tumor.

"We have been aware now for a couple a decades that children who beat their first cancer may be at risk of developing second cancers, largely as a result of the treatment they receive," said Armstrong.

He said the new results strengthen the case for starting cancer screening early in survivors, following guidelines developed by the Children's Oncology Group and available at http://www.survivorshipguidelines.org/.

For instance, the group recommends starting mammograms at age 25 instead of age 40 or 50 if women have been treated for cancer with chest radiation as kids.

But it's not all bad news, said Armstrong.

"If you go back 50 years there were very few children surviving cancer," he explained. "Now we cure 80 percent of childhood cancers."

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/iKPSKg Journal of Clinical Oncology, online June 27, 2011.

martes, 28 de junio de 2011

Complementary and alternative medicine used by children in military pediatric clinics.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jun;17(6):531-7.

Huillet A, Erdie-Lalena C, Norvell D, Davis BE.

Source

1 Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Madigan Army Medical Center , Fort Lewis, WA.

Abstract

Abstract Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, types, perceived effects, and factors that influence the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by military children. Design: A parent survey was administered in two military general pediatric clinics from June to September 2009. Parents completed surveys about their children including the following items: demographic information, a list of specific CAM therapies, family CAM use, and child health status. Results: Caregivers completed 278 surveys. The overall use of CAM was 23%. The most common type of CAM used was herbal therapy (34%). The CAM therapies most commonly reported to be very helpful were special diets (67%), melatonin (57%), vitamins and minerals used at doses higher than the recommended daily allowance (50%), and massage therapy (50%). The majority of users reported no side-effects (96%). Among CAM users, 53% had discussed their CAM use with a physician and 47% had seen a CAM practitioner. Factors associated with CAM use in multiple regression analysis included chronic conditions (p = 0.001), parent/sibling use of CAM (p < 0.001), and parent age over 30 years (p = 0.02). Primary sources of CAM information were friends and family (68%) and doctors (44%). Common reasons for using CAM were to promote general health (70%), to relieve symptoms (56%), and to improve quality of life (48%). Eighty percent (80%) of all respondents indicated they would use CAM if recommended by a physician. Conclusions: In this military population with access to universal health care, CAM use is higher than the U.S. national average and nearly double that of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey study. Patients with chronic conditions, family members using CAM, and parental age over 30 years are more likely to use CAM. CAM is perceived as helpful with minimal to no side-effects. Pediatricians should inquire about CAM use and be prepared to provide guidance on this topic.

PMID:
21649519
[PubMed - in process]

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults With Migraines/Severe Headaches.

(Extraido de PubMed.com)

Headache. 2011 Jun 7. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01917.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Wells RE, Bertisch SM, Buettner C, Phillips RS, McCarthy EP.

Source

From the Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA (R.E. Wells); Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA (S.M. Bertisch, C. Buettner, R.S. Phillips, and E.P. McCarthy).

Abstract

Objective.- Our objective was to determine patterns, reasons for, and correlates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by US adults with migraines/severe headaches. Background.- While many patients with chronic conditions use CAM, little is known about CAM use by adults with migraines/severe headaches. Methods.- We compared CAM use between adults with and without self-reported migraines/severe headaches using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (n = 23,393), a national cross-sectional survey. Results.- Adults with migraines/severe headaches used CAM more frequently than those without (49.5% vs 33.9%, P < .0001); differences persisted after adjustment (adjusted odds ratio = 1.29, 95% confidence interval [1.15, 1.45]). Mind-body therapies (eg, deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga) were used most commonly. More than 50% of adults with migraines/severe headaches reporting CAM use had not discussed it with their health care provider. Nonetheless, those with migraines/severe headaches used CAM more often than those without because of provider recommendation and because conventional treatments were perceived as ineffective or too costly. Correlates of CAM use among adults with migraines/severe headaches included anxiety, joint or low back pain, alcohol use, higher education, and living in the western USA. Only 4.5% of adults with migraines/severe headaches reported using CAM to specifically treat their migraines/severe headaches. Conclusions.- CAM is used more often among adults with migraines/severe headaches than those without. However, few report using CAM to specifically treat migraines/severe headaches. Mind-body therapies are used most frequently. Further research is needed to understand the effectiveness and mechanisms of CAM treatments in adults with migraines/severe headaches.

© 2011 American Headache Society.

PMID:
21649654
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jun;57(6):659-63.

Nahas R, Sheikh O.

Source

Seekers Centre for Integrative Medicine, Medical Director, 6 Deakin St, Ottawa, ON K2E 1B3. richard@seekerscentre.com.

Abstract

Objective To review the clinical evidence supporting complementary and alternative medicine interventions for treating major depressive disorder. Quality of evidence PubMed was searched from January 1966 to February 2010 using the term depressive disorder in combination with St John's wort, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e), exercise, acupuncture, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. Only relevant human trials were selected. Main message In a large meta-analysis, St John's wort was found to be equivalent to antidepressant drugs with fewer side effects. Exercise reduced depressive scores in 3 meta-analyses. Omega-3 fatty acids reduced depressive scores in a meta-analysis of 16 trials, but publication bias was identified. Oral SAM-e monotherapy reduced depressive scores in 4 of 5 small randomized controlled trials. Folate deficiency is associated with more severe and refractory depression, and supplementation reduced depressive scores in 2 of 3 randomized controlled trials. Acupuncture demonstrated limited efficacy in 1 meta-analysis and 5 other trials. Conclusion St John's wort and regular exercise appear effective in the treatment of depression. Acupuncture appears ineffective for depression, but it might offer other health benefits. Other promising therapies include SAM-e, omega-3 fatty acid, and folic acid supplementation in selected patients; further study is warranted.

PMID:
21673208
[PubMed - in process]
Free full text

Investigation of arsenic-stressed yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a bioassay in homeopathic basic research.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

ScientificWorldJournal. 2011 Mar 7;11:568-83.

Jäger T, Scherr C, Wolf U, Simon M, Heusser P, Baumgartner S.

Source

Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Switzerland. tim.jaeger@kikom.ch

Abstract

This study investigated the response of arsenic-stressed yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) towards homeopathically potentized Arsenicum album, a duckweed nosode, and gibberellic acid. The three test substances were applied in five potency levels (17x, 18x, 24x, 28x, 30x) and compared to controls (unsuccussed and succussed water) with respect to influencing specific growth parameters. Five independent experiments were evaluated for each test substance. Additionally, five water control experiments were analyzed to investigate the stability of the experimental setup (systematic negative control experiments). All experiments were randomized and blinded. Yeast grew in microplates over a period of 38 h in either potentized substances or water controls with 250 mg/l arsenic(V) added over the entire cultivation period. Yeast's growth kinetics (slope, Et50, and yield) were measured photometrically. The test system exhibited a low coefficient of variation (slope 1.2%, Et50 0.3%, yield 2.7%). Succussed water did not induce any significant differences compared to unsuccussed water. Data from the control and treatment groups were both pooled to increase statistical power. In this study with yeast, no significant effects were found for any outcome parameter or any homeopathic treatment. Since in parallel experiments arsenic-stressed duckweed showed highly significant effects after application of potentized Arsenicum album and duckweed nosode preparations from the same batch as used in the present study, some specific properties of this experimental setup with yeast must be responsible for the lacking response.

PMID:
21403975
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

EU FP7 Project 'CAMbrella' to Build European Research Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

Forsch Komplementmed. 2011;18(2):69-76. Epub 2011 Apr 8.

Weidenhammer W, Lewith G, Falkenberg T, Fønnebø V, Johannessen H, Reiter B, Uehleke B, von Ammon K, Baumhöfener F, Brinkhaus B.

Source

Competence Centre for Complementary Medicine and Naturopathy (KoKoNat), Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität, Munich, Germany.

Abstract

Background: The status of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the EU needs clarification. The definition and terminology of CAM is heterogeneous. The therapies, legal status, regulations and approaches used vary from country to country but there is widespread use by EU citizens. A coordination project funded by the EU has been launched to improve the knowledge about CAM in Europe. Objectives and Methods: The project aims to evaluate the conditions surrounding CAM use and provision in Europe and to develop a roadmap for European CAM research. Specific objectives are to establish an EU network involving centres of research excellence for collaborative projects, to develop consensus-based terminology to describe CAM interventions, to create a knowledge base that facilitates the understanding of patient demand for CAM and its prevalence, to review the current legal status and policies governing CAM provision, and to explore the needs and attitudes of EU citizens with respect to CAM. Based on this information a roadmap will be created that will enable sustainable and prioritised future European research in CAM. CAMbrella encompasses 16 academic research groups from 12 European countries and will run for 36 months starting from January 2010. The project will be delivered in 9 work packages coordinated by a Management Board and directed by a Scientific Steering Committee with support of an Advisory Board. Output: The outcomes generated will be disseminated through the project's website, peer review open access publications and a final conference, with emphasis on current and future EU policies, addressing different target audiences.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
21576975
[PubMed - in process]

[Complementary therapy in palliative medicine].

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

Internist (Berl). 2011 Jan;52(1):36-41.

[Article in German]

Hübner J, Stoll C.

Source

Palliativmedizin, supportive und komplementäre Onkologie, Universitäres Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen, Klinikum der J.W. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60595, Frankfurt am Main. Jutta.Huebner@kgu.de

Abstract

Even in the palliative context complementary therapy has a high value for patients and their relatives. In contrast to the methods of conventional medicine naturopathy as a holistic system has positive meanings for patients and their family. Complementary medicine in the palliative setting can be used as a supportive therapy in carefully selected cases. Doctors and patients should be careful regarding effect and side effects and should make sure that supportive therapy is given adequately and in effective doses. Complementary therapy should not be used in order to avoid the question of life and death. An adequate approach to the topic is mandatory, which acknowledges the needs of patients but also looks for their safety. Patients following alternative therapies sometimes neglect helpful therapeutic options. Carefully providing information on these therapies is mandatory. Physicians should avoid losing patients' confidence in their competence and attention in their final course of disease. Also in palliative medicine a sensitive approach to the topic of complementary medicine is mandatory, which accounts for the eligible wishes of patients and their relatives but puts the patients safety first.

PMID:
21181106
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Terapias Complementarias: Homeopatía

https://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=5344349d-8fbc-446e-8ae5-03a924025f8c&chunkiid=126681

INEFICACIA Y PELIGROSIDAD DE "GARDASIL" , LA LLAMADA "VACUNA DEL PAPILOMA HUMANO"

Lo que no nos han contado de las vacunas, por Xavier Uriarte

http://vimeo.com/17902853

Enfrentados médicos y naturópatas por exclusividad para practicar la homeopatía

(Extraído de Primera Hora.com)

lunes, 25 de octubre de 2010

Por: Primera Hora / Primera Hora

Un proyecto de ley que busca enmendar la 'Ley para Reglamentar la Práctica de la Naturopatía en Puerto Rico', que originalmente le otorgó la exclusividad a los naturópatas para practicar la homeopatía y fitoterapia en Puerto Rico, generó opiniones encontradas en este campo entre esta clase trabajadora y la clase médica del país.

Las diferencias surgieron en una audiencia pública de la comisión cameral de Salud, que examina la propuesta enmienda legislativa que busca autorizar a los médicos tradicionales para que practiquen la homeopatía.

La Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico, en una opinión emitida el 6 de noviembre de 2009, respaldó la medida porque "los métodos terapéuticos o prácticas de estas modalidades no son de uso exclusivo de la naturopatía". Mientras, la presidenta del Colegio de Médicos Cirujanos, Alicia Felibertti Irizarry, defendió hoy su apoyo al proyecto sosteniendo que la práctica de la medicina constituye una de las piedras angulares del andamiaje del sistema de salud, según un comunicado de prensa enviado por la Cámara de Representantes.

Felibertti Irizarry le imputó a los naturópatas que violan la Ley que los rige porque venden y distribuyen productos naturopáticos en su propia oficina de servicios.

Sin embargo, los abogados de Junta de Licenciamiento y Disciplina Médica, Kassandra Nuckeeoth y Marco Martínez, entidad suscrita al Departamento de Salud, plantearon que los naturópatas deben ser los únicos profesionales de la salud que usen la homeopatía como tratamiento, porque así lo reglamenta la ley.

"Es el sentir de la Junta que la clase galena del país no está recibiendo ningún tipo de preparación académica en homeopatía ni certificación alguna de la Junta que los califiquen para llevar acabo esta práctica", plantearon Martínez y Nuckeeoth.

Ambos explicaron que la Junta de Licenciamiento y Disciplina Médica ha referido varios casos de práctica ilegal de la naturopatía al Departamento de Justicia, y que en algunos de ellos en los que están involucrados algunos médicos tradicionales.

El presidente de la Unión de Naturópatas Licenciados de Puerto Rico, doctor Américo Angleró Rivera, señaló que "no sabemos quienes se beneficiarán con la aprobación de este proyecto, pues los únicos serían los médicos que se opusieron a la reglamentación de esta práctica por (considerarla) primitiva, no científica".

"A los grandes laboratorios no les interesa que la homeopatía funcione"

(Extraído de Menorca.info)

El veterinario ofreció una charla para aprender a aplicar este tratamiento a la ganadería ecológica

Elena Delgado ,  Maó  17/10/2010

Andrés Bidarte ofreció ayer una conferencia bajo el título “Tratamientos homeopáticos en ganadería ecológica” en la escuela agraria Sa Granja de Maó, una actividad que forma parte de las Jornadas de Ganadería Ecológica que se están llevando a cabo estos días.
Bidarte, doctor en Veterinaria y procedente de Vizcaya, asegura que fue una grata sorpresa que lo invitaran a impartir esta charla porque “no se esperaba que le conociesen”, frase que proviene de un hombre que ha escrito 8 libros, entre ellos, “Homeopatía veterinaria”, “Guía de las terapias verdes en ganadería ecológica” o “Endocrinología y organoterapia homeopática veterinaria”.
Usted, que tiene 77 años, habrá trabajado toda su vida con una metodología muy distinta a la de la homeopatía. ¿Cómo descubrió estos nuevos tratamientos?
Fue hace 27 años y de forma casual. En aquella época, yo iba mucho a Francia para asistir a cursos y reuniones, o a adquirir medicamentos. Un día, nos presentaron a una perra que tenía que parir pero no dilataba. Le dieron unas bolitas y, enseguida, la perra dilató y se puso a parir. Yo miré la composición y vi aquellos números, palabras en latín y demás y pensé que era muy raro. Me interesé mucho, compré el libro adecuado y me costó seis años comprender en qué consiste la homeopatía porque era muy diferente a la manera de trabajar que teníamos los veterinarios.
Cuenta que consiguió curarle una alergia a su perra. ¿Fue ahí cuando decidió tomárselo en serio?
A mi perra le administraba cortisona pero sufría los efectos secundarios de ésta. Cuando consulté en un laboratorio francés y la traté con homeopatía, la perra se curó. Entonces empecé a tratar a algunos animales que venían a la consulta con este método, pero no lo decía para no perder clientes, porque sonaba raro. La cosa funcionó. A partir de ahí y con toda la experiencia que he ido guardando, he progresado hasta poder escribir los libros.
¿Cómo se podría explicar, fácilmente, en qué se basa la homeopatía?
Podríamos decir que es curar con aquello que produce la enfermedad, de forma diluida. No se suprime el síntoma como hace la medicina tradicional, si no que provoca una reacción del organismo, como una vacuna. Si, por ejemplo, te pica una avispa, para tratar sus consecuencias tratamos con veneno de la avispa. Son mezclas de medicamentos naturales que se venden en forma de bolitas y que hay tomar vía oral.
Su conferencia se basa en homeopatía aplicada a la ganadería ecológica. ¿Cuáles son los beneficios?
Bruselas exige que se use homeopatía en la ganadería ecológica desde 1998. Se propuso con el fin de proteger la salud de los seres humanos, ya que se ha visto lo nocivos que pueden ser los antibióticos y demás sustancias que se inyectan a los animales que posteriormente nos comemos. Evidentemente, también se realiza buscando el bienestar del animal para que no enferme, por eso los grandes laboratorios están intentando que la homeopatía no funcione, porque, con ella, prácticamente no necesitan fármacos; al igual que debería disponer de un espacio adecuado con ventilación y buena alimentación.
Los tratamientos homeopáticos pueden costar menos que los de medicina tradicional, lo que pasa es que las ganadería ecológica produce menos, por lo que el producto puede ser más caro. Los casos más comunes de enfermedades en animales son los parásitos intestinales, que se curan con una mezcla de siete medicamentos; las alergias y la gripe se solucionan rápidamente mediante homeopatía.

The "triumph" of the new-age medicine

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/06/27/midmorning1/?refid=0

Lino

(Extraído de Cronica.com.ec)  
Alfonso Palacios Cueva

El Lino es una hierba anual, de tallo empinado, de 2 a 4 palmos de altura, poblado de numerosas hojas de corte lanceolado siempre diminutas y agrupadas en hileras. Su tallo es erguido y de poco espesor, pero suficientemente fuerte para soportar el peso de los frutos que se agolpan en la corola de la planta. Florece a los 45 días después de lo cual aparecen las semillas brillantes y aceitosas, protegidas de unas cascaritas de color verde-azulado.

El Lino tanto en América como en el viejo Mundo, apareció mucho antes de Cristo, o sea en tiempos de Hipócrates y Teofrasto, quienes lo descubrieron y lo recomendaban como emoliente en medicina herbolaria; de lo cual tenemos hasta nuestros días el valor de esas recomendaciones medicinales.
Nicolás Cienfuegos, textilero de la Ínsula Ibérica, se refiere a las virtudes de esta planta, cuando en su obra “Sinopsis”, reinvindica la calidad de los tallos del Lino, como una resistente fibra para la industrialización de prendas de vestir y para la fabricación de las incomparables alfombras hechas de la incorruptible fibra del Lino, de las cuales se han encontrado aún sus reseñas en los sarcófagos de los faraones desenterrados en las Pirámides de Egipto.
Existen dos clases de linos, el abertizo y el cerradizo. Es según el cual de estos ejemplares para encontrar el rendimiento deseado para la obtención del afamado aceite de lino o linaza. Igualmente la fibra del primero de los citados es más resistente para la fabricación de telas y alfombras.
El Lino pertenece a la especie de los Antófitos y a la Sexagésima Novena Familia de las Lináceas. Su nombre científico: Linum Usitatissimun L. Esta familia se compone de unas 300 especies de hierbas  o arbustos de los países templados del Antiguo y Nuevo Mundo. Son plantas oleíferas que carecen de alcaloides; algunas contienen glucósidos.
Actualmente, el Lino se cultiva a gran escala para la extracción del aceite de linaza, muy utilizado en la pequeña y gran industria. En nuestro país no pasa de cultivos esporádicos en las provincias de la Sierra, más bien con fines medicinales. Pues, las comunidades campesinas lo conocen comúnmente como linaza y sus utilidades en esta materia son muchísimas y más bien prefieren la planta de lino o linaza en estado verde o tierno, para utilizar toda la planta en menesteres caseros.
La composición fitoquímica del Lino o Linaza es como sigue: Del 30 al 40% de aceite de linaza; abundante mucílago y un glucósido cianogenético llamado Linamerina en cantidad de hasta el 1,5%.
De acuerdo a estos componentes fitoquímicos, el Lino o Linaza es ciertamente emoliente y laxante natural.
En medicina tradicional es costumbre en los pueblos rurales que sus habitantes tengan sembríos pequeños de linaza para la preparación de las horchatas, las cuales se hacen con semillas frescas de linaza, más cola de caballo, cadillo, grama dulce y mortiño, de cada vegetal media porción en estado fresco y en un litro de agua hacer hervir por 5 minutos, para luego tomar por tacitas cada 3 horas con miel de caña. Esta es una bebida diurética y estimulante de las funciones digestivas.
Otra forma de utilizar la linaza es hacer hervir por 5 minutos 3 cucharadas de linaza, dejar en maceración por 8 horas y después tomar media tacita al acostarse y media tasa en ayunas, como laxante necesario en casos de estreñimiento.
Otra manera de darle utilidad a la linaza es haciendo harina de sus semillas, mezclar con un poquito de miel de caña, y hacer una pasta para aplicarse calientita en las partes afectadas por golpes, hinchazones e inflamaciones de las mamas, dejándose esta cataplasma por 8 horas al menos cada día y por 3 días seguidos. Es un seguro emoliente para bajar las inflamaciones en los casos señalados.
La linaza tiene aplicaciones también en muchos otros casos de dolencias que no podemos enumerar por falta de espacio.

Que no falte el Hierro … en nuestra dieta

(Extraído de Naturopatía

por JOSEP MASDEU BRUFAL

junio 19, 2011

El hierro es uno de los elementos más abundantes en la naturaleza, su falta puede afectar al desarrollo intelectual, principalmente en la infancia, reconocido para evitar la anemia y mantener un buen nivel de energía y ánimo. Sin el hierro necesario, nuestro cuerpo se vuelve lento y no podrá oxidar la glucosa para convertirla en energía.

Cuando los niveles de hierro son bajos, se producen menos glóbulos rojos que contienen hemoglobina, que transporta oxígeno y hierro a los tejidos, que la necesitan para la producción de la propia hemoglobina, cuando ésta es baja, los glóbulos rojos transportan menos oxígeno y provocan cansancio y dificulta la respiración.

La deficiencia de hierro se diagnostica con análisis de sangre.  A veces, es fácil determinar las causas de la deficiencia de hierro, como en el caso de pérdida de sangre vinculada a menstruaciones fuertes, a una lesión o un traumatismo, también un sangrado interno también puede provocar falta de hierro.  Un sangrado crónico en el paso gastrointestinal puede relacionarse con un cáncer y, por ello, es básico determinar en quienes tienen antecedentes de esa enfermedad si detrás de la pérdida de sangre hay un cáncer de colon.  La falta de hierro puede ser una de las primeras señales de este tipo de cáncer.  Otras  causas que originan su deficiencia de hierro son la enfermedad celíaca y la enfermedad de Crohn.

Tomar suplementos de hierro puede aumentar la producción de hemoglobina y aumentar las reservas de hierro.  Pero es fundamental determinar lo que está detrás de la falta de hierro para buscar el mejor tratamiento.  Siempre consultar a un profesional de la salud.

El hierro orgánico se obtiene a través de la alimentación en forma de sales aportadas por los alimentos. Al llegar al estómago, el jugo gástrico y el ácido clorhídrico, transforman las sales en cloruro ferroso, siendo absorbido por el intestino y  pasando a la sangre, que los distribuye en la médula ósea, donde se utilizará para la creación de nuevos glóbulos rojos.

La mejor forma de proporcionar hierro al cuerpo es a través de una dieta equilibrada que contenga:

  • Legumbres. La soja y las lentejas no absorben el hierro, para ello hace falta que haya vitamina C, unas gotas de limón pueden ayudar.
  • Verduras. De hoja verde como, espinacas, acelgas, lechuga, berros, remolacha roja, aguacate y brotes de alfalfa.
  • Fruta. Frutos ácidos, uvas, albaricoques, fruta de la pasión, higos frescos…
  • Frutos secos. Pistachos, higos secos y semillas de girasol, van muy bien para los que padecen anemia y toman sintron.
  • Levadura de cerveza y germen de trigo.
  • Mejillones, berberechos, almejas y ostras. Todos son ricos en hierro y los mejillones además reducen el colesterol.
  • Pescado azul como las sardinas.
  • Carne roja  y especialmente el hígado. El hígado de pollo contiene 12 mg de hierro por 100 g y el de ternera que contiene 6,5 mg por 100g.
  • Para las mujeres. Se recomienda el consumo de remolachas, higos ya que ayudan a aumentar la hemoglobina

El hierro de origen animal es más fácil de absorber que el de origen vegetal, pero con el tiempo las personas que siguen una dieta vegetariana, logran a través del intestino una correcta absorción de hierro si incluyen alimentos ricos en vitamina C y ácido málico.

Hay también factores que dificultan la absorción del hierro como el consumo de: café, vinagre, té, chocolate, fibras de salvado y avena y la leche de vaca, cabra etc.

En  adultos sanos puede haber falta de hierro no porque los alimentos consumidos no lo contengan, sino por ser demasiado ricos en fósforo, con relación al calcio. El desequilibrio entre esos dos elementos impide, la asimilación del hierro por el cuerpo. La escasez de vitaminas B, C y D, también influyen negativamente. Esto demuestra una vez más hasta qué punto es importante el equilibrio en la alimentación.

El exceso de hierro es difícil de eliminar y puede causar problemas de salud. No es fácil consumir exceso de hierro a no ser que lo hagamos con suplementos y en los niños por el consumo de productos enriquecidos con hierro.

El exceso de hierro puede causar: fatiga, anorexia, vértigo, nausea, vómitos, dolor de cabeza, pérdida de peso.

Las necesidades de nutrientes aumentan durante el embarazo para ayudar el crecimiento del feto y la salud de la madre. Las necesidades de hierro de las mujeres embarazadas son aproximadamente el doble que en las mujeres no embarazadas, debido al mayor volumen de sangre durante el embarazo, el aumento de las necesidades del feto, y las pérdidas de sangre que ocurren durante el parto.  Si el consumo de hierro no cubre  las necesidades, aparecerá  anemia y  ésta puede provocar partos prematuros o dar a luz a bebés con bajo peso al nacer.

El Peligro Latente del Flúor

(Extraído de Señales de los Tiempos)

06/03/08
Existe una enorme cantidad de estudios científicos y de evidencia estadística que se han realizado desde hace más de veinte años en todo el mundo, que demuestran los efectos tóxicos y dañinos del consumo del flúor, así como los peligros de la fluorización indiscriminada del agua potable y la sal, que no son suficientemente conocidos por la opinión pública, pero no por ello, son menos preocupantes, menos científicos o menos importantes.
Con toda esta controversia, es importante que los consumidores nos informemos de los peligros comprobados.
Estos estudios revisan una larga lista de literatura en la que el flúor ha tenido una significante asociación con una amplia gama de efectos adversos entre los cuales se incluye un aumento del riesgo de fracturas óseas, disminución de la función de la tiroides, disminución del Coeficiente Intelectual IQ, enfermedades de tipo artrítico, fluorosis dental y posiblemente sarcoma óseo.
El flúor es capaz de dañar los dientes, los huesos, el cerebro e incluso las células del sistema reproductivo masculino. Los efectos en estos órganos son mayores entre mas flúor se consuma. Pero aún en bajas concentraciones, el flúor podría generar efectos no evidentes que predisponen al individuo a un daño mayor.

Continuar leyendo

Low Energy Diet May Help With Sleep Apnea

(Extraído de Natural Therapies Pages)

Jun 13, 2011 by Maryanne Holm

If you suffer from sleep apnoea (or 'apnea') switching to a low-kilojoule diet may help you get a better night’s rest. A new study by Swedish researchers have found that eating a low-energy diet to lose weight can help people with obstructive sleep apnoea.

What is Sleep Apnoea?

A common disorder, sleep apnoea is caused by abnormal pauses in breathing when sleeping. Sleep apnoea sufferers find it hard to get restful sleep and wake up feeling exhausted.
Sleep apnoea is linked to health problems such as an increased risk of accidents, a higher probability of a premature death and a decreased quality of life.
Sleep Apnoea and Weight Link
Around 60-70% of patients with sleep apnoea are either overweight or obese. Previous studies have concluded that losing weight can improve the condition.
Weight Loss and Better Sleep
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden have found a low-energy diet followed by counselling to keep weight under control long-term may benefit patients with sleep apnoea. The results were published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in April 2011.
Weighty Men With Sleep Apnoea
The researchers looked at 63 men aged between 30 to 65 years who suffered from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea and who all required CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP is a mask worn by sufferers to help breathing during sleep.
The men had a body mass index (BMI) of between 30 and 40. The BMI estimates the amount of body fat a person has. A healthy BMI is between 20 and 25 (although there is contention as to how accurate BMI is predicting a person’s health risks).
Low-Energy Diet Helps Shift Weight
Of the 63 respondents, 58 followed a strict low-energy diet for a period of nine weeks. They then started a one-year weight maintenance programme that included counselling and nutrition and exercise advice. Forty-four participants completed the full programme.
The diet was based on the Cambridge weight plan, which contains flavoured meal replacement products (such as soup, shakes, bars and porridge) containing vitamins and minerals so to allegedly allow for healthy weight loss. After seven weeks on meal replacements, normal food was introduced.
Weight Loss Helps Sleep Apnoea
All the participants who lost weight on the low-energy diet and maintained this after a year had a positive change to their sleep apnoea.
After one year 48% of patients no longer required continuous positive airway pressure and 10% had total remission of obstructive sleep apnoea.
More Weight Loss = More Improved Sleep
Patients who had severe forms of sleep apnoea at the beginning of the study had larger improvement than those with moderate sleep apnoea. The researchers also found that patients who lost the most weight improved the most.
Losing weight on a low-energy diet and then maintaining that weight loss will do wonders for your waistline and your overall health – and you’ll finally get a good night’s sleep.

All About the Alexander Technique

(Extraído de Natural Therapies Pages)

May 6, 2011 by Rob Schneider

Back in the 1890s, Tasmanian born Shakespearean actor F. Matthias Alexander was in danger of seeing an end to his acting career when he developed breathing difficulties and hoarseness. When no medical explanation for his problem was found, he sought relief from his symptoms alone. This was the beginning of the Alexander Technique.

Alexander began his self-treatment program by observing his posture and actions in multiple mirrors, from different angles. Noticing that he reflexively stiffened his body, held his head back awkwardly and depressed his larynx, he took steps to consciously correct these actions. He learned that if he balanced his head in alignment with the spine, he experienced improvements throughout his body. Not only that, but with practice, his breathing problem and hoarseness disappeared.

After this success with self treatment, Alexander went on to observe other bodily habits and their effects on our health and well being. Today, over a century later, over ten thousand teachers worldwide give instruction in the Alexander Technique.

What Is the Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique is often mistakenly thought of as a form of body work or other hands-on holistic treatment. While it is true that teachers do occasionally gently touch their students, this is done in order to increase their awareness of a posture, breathing pattern or other tension producing habit. When the Alexander Technique is taught, aside from a couple of simple exercises, no specific exercises are taught. Instead, students are taught through observation, demonstration and explanation how to observe and overcome their negative habits and adopt more healthful postural, breathing and other bodily habits. Rather than a treatment or therapy, the technique can better be described as the study of movement.

Basics of the Alexander Technique
  • Observation: In order to affect change, you must first learn the art of self-observation. As Alexander said, "Use affects Functioning". In other words, the way we use our bodies affects the way our bodies function. This self-observation does not come easily or naturally to most people. Teachers of the Alexander Technique help students observe their often unconscious movements and teach them how to move more consciously and efficiently.
  • Inhibition: Once these habitual, or reflexive habits are observed, the student can then begin to learn to inhibit them. An example of this is the way we automatically react when a ball is thrown at us. Our initial reaction is to reach out to catch the ball. An Alexander Technique teacher may ask his students to consciously inhibit this impulse and remain perfectly relaxed as the ball passes them by.
  • Direction: After inhibition, comes direction. To inhibit his own harmful habits, Alexander devised a series of "directions". These short directions serve as reminders of how to correct unwanted habits. For example, a student may be told to: "Move your whole head delicately up and/Allow your whole body to follow".
  • Sensory Appreciation: As he developed his technique, Alexander began to pay attention to his whole body and learned that his habits were so ingrained in him, they felt natural and right, even if they were in fact harmful. He later discovered that he was not alone. After many failed attempts to get it right, he finally learned how to effectively reprogram his body to move in a natural, healthy manner and the Alexander Technique was born.
The Alexander Technique Today

Today, the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (AUSTAT) is the governing body of the Alexander Technique. In order to qualify as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, students must undergo three years of training at a school approved by AUSTAT.

Lessons administered by qualified teachers are safe, gentle and easy. You can take group or individuals lessons. Group lessons can be very beneficial as everyone learns from each other, while individual lessons can help hasten your progress in achieving a more mindful relationship with your body.The Alexander Technique can be of help to anyone who experiences chronic pain or discomfort or who simply wants to a greater sense of poise and balance in their daily life. It may be of benefit to sufferers of back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and related disorders.

lunes, 27 de junio de 2011

Herbal Medicines used in kidneys diseases

http://www.ijkd.org/index.php/ijkd/article/view/376/265

Integrative oncology research in the Middle East: weaving traditional and complementary medicine in supportive care.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

Support Care Cancer. 2011 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Ben-Arye E, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Nejmi M, Schiff E, Hassan E, Mutafoglu K, Afifi FU, Jamous RM, Lev E, Silbermman M.

Source

Integrative Oncology Program, The Oncology Service and Lin Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, Haifa and Western Galilee District, 35 Rothschild St, Haifa, Israel, 35152, eranben@netvision.net.il.

Abstract
INTRODUCTION:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has an important role in supportive cancer care in the Middle East and is often used in association with traditional medicine. This article provides a comprehensive review of published data on CAM research in supportive cancer care in the Middle East.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

A multi-disciplinary Middle-Eastern Research Group in Integrative Oncology (MERGIO) was established in six countries. Authors independently searched Medline database for articles in Arabic, Hebrew, French, and Turkish using oncology and CAM-related keywords. Articles were recorded according to the first author's affiliation with an academic or clinical institution in the Middle East.

RESULTS:

We identified 143 articles on CAM and cancer care that had been published in12 Middle-Eastern countries. Eighty-five articles were directly related to cancer supportive care. The latter included studies on the prevalence of CAM use by patients with cancer, aspects related to of doctor-patient communication, ethics and regulation, psychosocial aspects of CAM, CAM safety and quality assurance, studies of CAM education for health care providers, and ethno-botanical studies and reviews. Twenty-eight articles referred to clinical research on supportive care, and the use of specific CAM modalities that included acupuncture, anthroposophic medicine, dietary and nutritional therapies herbal medicine, homeopathy, mind-body medicine, shiatsu, therapeutic touch, and yoga.

CONCLUSIONS:

CAM-related supportive care research is prevalent in the Middle East, a fact that may serve as a basis for future multinational-multidisciplinary research work in supportive care in oncology.

The use of alternative or complementary medicine for children with atopic dermatitis

(Extraído de Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia)

Nelson dos Reis Aguiar Júnior*; Izelda Maria Carvalho Costa

Tutor from the post graduation course in Health Sciences from UnB, coordinator at the ambulatory of Dermatopediatrics from the University of Brasília (UnB) - Brasília (DF), Brazil


ABSTRACT

Complementary or Alternative Medicine is defined as a form of therapy that has no scientific basis or proven effectiveness. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of the use of such therapies for pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis at the University Hospital of Brasília, in the period between March 2007 and December 2008. A total number of 54 patients (63.5%) used some kind of alternative resource and phytotherapy and homeopathy were the most used ones.

Keywords: Complementary therapies; Dermatitis, atopic; Pruritus


Alternative or Complementary Medicine (ACM) has been defined as diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention which complements conventional medicine as it contributes, as a whole, to satisfy the demands not found in the orthodox medicine or because it diversifies the conceptual framework of medicine and includes new forms of therapy that do not have scientific bases or efficacy proven by scientific methods.1

Atopic dermatitis (AD) in childhood is a common disease and its incidence has been increasing.2 The use of ACM has been increasing around the world, including for the treatment of AD and there are few clinical trials in the area. Homeopathy, phytotherapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, chromotherapy, topical application of animal products, meditation practices, relaxation techniques, massages as therapy and nutritional diets constitute ACM resources used for treating atopic eczema.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the use of ACM in children suffering from AD, to assess the factors that can influence the decision of using unconventional therapies in clinical practice, to identify the nature of the alternative resources used, to verify if the length of time of the disease is associated with greater probability of using alternative resources and still to assess the cost factor of treatment with ACM resources.

The studied population consisted of 85 children suffering from AD, aged from 0 to 18 years, treated in the pediatric dermatology service of the University Hospital from the University of Brasília. The instrument used was a questionnaire that parents of patients or their guardians answered and data was collected from patients' records. Statistical analysis of data was performed by the system SPSS, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 15.0. To test the association among variables it was used the Spearman correlation coefficient and the test x2 (chisquare). It was considered relevant a ratio of p<0,05.

A total of 45 patients (63,5%) admitted they were using or that they had used ACM in the treatment of AD and 29,4% patients affirmed to use ACM due to indication of friends and/or relatives, homeopathy and phytotherapy or herbal medicine were the features of ACM more used. In our study, the long duration of the disease was associated to an increased probability of using ACM (p<0,05). The cost of the treatment, in this research, did not interfere in the decision of using CAM (p>0,05).

In the population studied it was high the prevalence of the use of ACM. This use occured most often due to indication of relatives and friends, and also because the expected results from orthodox medicine were not obtained. The main alternative resource used was phytotherapy, in the forms of baths and teas. Most of theses resources have been ineffective and pruritus worsened in 80% of ACM users <O,O5).3,4 It was recommended to doctors and health professionals to routinely question patients about the use of ACM as drug interactions and worsening of skin condition may occur.5

REFERENCES

1. Hughes R, Ward D, Tobin AM, Keegan K, Kirby B. The use of alternative medicine in pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis. Pediatr Dermatol. 2007;24:118-20.         [ Links ]

2. Sehra S, Barbé-Tuana FM, Holbreich M, Mousdicas N, Kaplan MH, Travers JB. Clinical correlations of recent developments in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis. An Bras Dermatol. 2008;83:57-73.         [ Links ]

3. WITT CM, Lüdtke R, BAUR R, WILLICH SN. Homeopathic medical practice: long term results of a cohort study with 3981 patients. BMC Public Health. 2005;3;5:115.         [ Links ]

4. JEAN D, Cyr C. Use of complementary and alternative medicine in a general pedi atric clinic. Pediatrics. 2007;120:138-141.         [ Links ]

5. Smith N, Shin DB, Brauer JA, Mao J, Gelfand JM. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among adults with skin disease: Results from a national survey. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009; 60: 419-425.         [ Links ]

An initial report on the efficacy of a millesimal potency Arsenicum Album LM 0/3 in ameliorating arsenic toxicity in humans living in a high-risk arsenic village.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Jun;9(6):596-604.

Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Banerjee A, Biswas SJ, Karmakar SR, Banerjee P, Pathak S, Guha B, Haque S, Das D, De A, Das D, Boujedaini N.

Source

Department of Zoology, Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India; E-mail: prof_arkb@yahoo.co.in, khudabukhsh_48@rediffmail.com.

Abstract

Background: Millions of people are at risk of groundwater arsenic contamination, and there is no known remedy that can effectively remove the symptoms of prolonged arsenic poisoning. A potentized homeopathic drug, Arsenicum Album LM 0/3 (Ars Alb LM 0/3), is claimed in homeopathic literature to have the ability to treat symptoms similar to that of arsenic poisoning. Objective: This study examines whether Ars Alb LM 0/3 could provide some degree of amelioration for the victims living in an arsenic-affected village where no arsenic-free drinking water is available. Design, setting, participants and interventions: This study was carried out on volunteers living in an arsenic-affected village where no arsenic-free drinking water is available. Twenty-eight volunteers from the village of Dasdiya, in Haringhata block under Nadia District, West Bengal, India, an arsenic-contaminated village where wells contain 55 to 95 μg/L arsenic, were selected to undertake a double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. The subjects provided samples of blood and urine before and after 2 months of taking either "verum" or "placebo". Another 18 subjects living in an arsenic-free village, served as the negative controls. Main outcome measures: Samples of blood and urine from the subjects were assayed for arsenic content, according to various toxicity biomarkers and pathophysiological parameters. Results: Out of the original 28 subjects, only 14 subjects provided samples while the other 14 dropped out. There were elevated levels of arsenic in the blood and urine, alkaline and acid phosphatases, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione activities and increased blood glucose, triacylglycerol, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol contents, whereas there were decreased levels of aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, gamma glutamyl transferase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase contents, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and packed cell volume in the subjects. After 2 months of homeopathic remedy administration, the verum-fed subjects showed positive modulations within these parameters with slight lowering of matrix metalloproteinase activity as compared with the placebo group. Conclusion: Ars Alb LM 0/3 shows potential for use in high-risk arsenic villages as an interim treatment for amelioration of arsenic toxicity until more extensive medical treatment and facilities can be provided to the numerous victims of arsenic poisoning.

PMID:
21669162
[PubMed - in process]

Thujone-Rich Fraction of Thuja occidentalis Demonstrates Major Anti-Cancer Potentials: Evidences from In Vitro Studies on A375 Cells.

(Extraído de PubMed.com)

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:568148. Epub 2011 Feb 20.

Biswas R, Mandal SK, Dutta S, Bhattacharyya SS, Boujedaini N, Khuda-Bukhsh AR.

Source

Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India.

Abstract

CRUDE ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF THUJA OCCIDENTALIS (FAM: Cupressaceae) is used as homeopathic mother tincture (TOΦ) to treat various ailments, particularly moles and tumors, and also used in various other systems of traditional medicine. Anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing properties of TOΦ and the thujone-rich fraction (TRF) separated from it have been evaluated for their possible anti-cancer potentials in the malignant melanoma cell line A375. On initial trial by S-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, both TOΦ and TRF showed maximum cytotoxic effect on A375 cell line while the other three principal fractions separated by chromatography had negligible or no such effect, because of which only TRF was further characterized and subjected to certain other assays for determining its precise anti-proliferative and apoptotic potentials. TRF was reported to have a molecular formula of C(10)H(16)O with a molecular weight of 152. Exposure of TRF of Thuja occidentalis to A375 cells in vitro showed more cytotoxic, anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects as compared with TOΦ, but had minimal growth inhibitory responses when exposed to normal cells (peripheral blood mononuclear cell). Furthermore, both TOΦ and TRF also caused a significant decrease in cell viability, induced inter-nucleosomal DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial transmembrane potential collapse, increase in ROS generation, and release of cytochrome c and caspase-3 activation, all of which are closely related to the induction of apoptosis in A375 cells. Thus, TRF showed and matched all the anti-cancer responses of TOΦ and could be the main bio-active fraction. The use of TOΦ in traditional medicines against tumors has, therefore, a scientific basis.

PMID:
21647317
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID: PMC3106972
Free PMC Article

Triglycerides: Frequently Asked Questions

http://my.americanheart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_425988.pdf

Viaje a la Medicina Natural y Tradicional en Cuba, por Alfredo Embid

http://www.amcmh.org/PagAMC/downloads/Med_nat_%20trad_Cuba_Vene.pps

En América Latina peligran flora y fauna medicinales

(Extraído de todoteotihuacan.com)

Norma L. Vázquez Alanís

2011-06-26
El alto costo de los medicamentos modernos y su inaccesibilidad para los sectores más empobrecidos de la población de América Latina, así como la confianza muy extendida en los recursos medicinales naturales, producto de una herencia cultural, ha incrementado considerablemente el uso de la medicina tradicional en la región.
Sin embargo, la voraz recolección silvestre y los actuales patrones de comercio de estos recursos están ocasionando un impacto negativo que amenaza no sólo la sustentabilidad de las especies, sino también la salud de la población.
Las plantas medicinales y sus productos derivados, ya sea en presentación de píldoras o de pomadas, se venden diariamente en los mercados locales de Latinoamérica, pero también se comercializan en todo el planeta a través de las farmacéuticas trasnacionales.
Existen evidencias de que es considerable el volumen de plantas medicinales nativas de los Andes y la Amazonia mercantilizadas, por lo que las ventas netas de estas especies superan los mil millones de dólares al año a escala mundial.
Las plantas son recolectadas en su medio natural; en unos casos se trata de variedades muy conocidas por occidente desde la época colonial, como la quina y la zarzaparrilla; en otros, como la ayahuasca, son populares entre comunidades indígenas, pero recientemente han sido investigadas y utilizadas por la medicina alópata.
América Latina provee la materia prima empleada para la elaboración de importantes medicamentos que curan desde dolores e infecciones, hasta el cáncer. Como ejemplo basta citar plantas nativas de la zona latinoamericana como el boldo, la sangre de drago, la uña de gato, la ipecacuana y el alacrán de la especie Rhopalurus lunceus que ya industrializado se vende sólo en Cuba.
Actualmente, el desafío para los gobiernos y organismos ambientalistas es lograr un mejor manejo del comercio de estos recursos, no sólo en América Latina sino en el mundo, a fin de evitar la extinción de las especies más solicitadas y lograr el reembolso de un porcentaje de las enormes ganancias de la industria farmacéutica que las comercializa.
Con el fin de afrontar este enorme reto, el programa de Análisis de Registros del Tráfico de Flora y Fauna (Traffic) del Fondo Mundial para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre (WWF) -enfocado al análisis del comercio legal e ilegal de plantas y animales silvestres- organiza talleres sobre las plantas medicinales y el comercio, con la participación no solamente de científicos expertos, sino de comunidades indígenas y locales, comerciantes, compañías privadas y el sector gubernamental.
Cuando ese comercio es realizado de manera sustentable, contribuye a la conservación de las especies además de que puede generar beneficios a las comunidades locales, así como a diversos sectores de la sociedad.
A los periodistas concierne difundir información sobre las consecuencias ambientales de comprar productos, subproductos o ejemplares de especies amenazadas, pues su enorme impacto negativo sobre la biodiversidad podría llevar a la extinción de fauna o flora que forman parte del patrimonio biológico y cultural de cada país de la región.
Sólo que, como informó hace un año la organización Reporteros sin Fronteras durante la celebración del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente (5 de junio), quienes que cubren informativamente casos de destrucción ambiental, han enfrentado amenazas y agresiones crecientes en países como Brasil, Argentina y El Salvador.
En México están poco documentados y sin seguimiento los casos similares, ya que preocupan más las desapariciones y muertes de informadores por causa de la guerra contra el crimen organizado.
Según esa organización no gubernamental- RSF-, “detrás de las amenazas (contra los periodistas ambientales), siempre se ocultan empresas, mafias y funcionarios corrompidos por el dinero de las minas y la explotación forestal”, pero los periodistas que se dedican a la investigación y denuncia, no se detendrán por ello.