Healing Points Issue 30

Provided by Richard Grossman, L.Ac., O.M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 3, Issue 30
Tuesday, February 09, 2010

In The News:

Acupuncture Boosts Fertility in Women

Study Links Chemical in Perfumes and Cosmetics to Sperm Damage

Study Questions Safety of Celebrex

Mellow Out, or Risk High Blood Pressure

Additive-Free Cigarettes May Pack A More Toxic Tobacco Punch


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Welcome to Issue 30 of Healing Points. As you can see, there are quite a few changes in this issue.  I hope you enjoy the new format.

 I offer Healing Points to you as a gift and as a service.  I spend many hours each week reading current stories that relate to natural health care, and I provide them here for you as an educational public service.

Give The Gift of Health and Knowledge (and save up to $175.00)

January 1, 2003 is fast approaching, and with a new year comes the plethora of soon to be broken resolutions. And, without doubt, many of these resolutions will be about improving health. Most will last a few days, or a few weeks. I truly believe that most of the reason why resolutions about health don't last is that they are not based on real knowledge.  Imagine knowing, according to your genetic structure, just what diet you should follow, just what supplements you need, and just what changes in your lifestyle you need to make to prevent diseases from occurring.

The recent completion of the Human Genome Project has made possible a simple genetic test that can reveal a person's potential susceptibility to specific diseases, making it possible to actually help prevent the manifestation of these diseases before they occur.

Genes Do Not Equal Fate!

The expression of one's genes into an actual disease isn't inevitable, as many think.  The genetic variations which make a person particularly susceptible to a specific type of disease most often do so when exposed to certain, often modifiable factors, such as diet, lifestyle, and nutritional supplementation.

Fortunately, there is a simple and very cost effective way to find out what you need to do to improve your health:  Genomic Profiles.

Who Will Benefit From Taking These Tests?

It's really simple:  If you have any of the conditions below, you will benefit from the information in these tests,  as would your children.  If any of your blood relatives have any of the conditions below, you will benefit from these tests. 

CardioGenomic Profile
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heart Disease
  • Overweight
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Stroke
  • Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Excessive intake of sweets
  • Excessive intake of fried foods
OsteoGenomic Profile
  • Low bone mineral density (Osteoporosis, Osteopenia)
  • Age-related bone fractures
  • Humped spine in the elderly
  • Arthritis
  • Low body weight, "small-boned"
  • Menopausal
  • Early or Surgical Menopause
  • Missed Periods
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Long-term use of acid blocking drugs (Tagamet, Prisolec, anti-acids)
  • Long-term treatment with cortisone, prednisone, or anti-convulsants
  • More than 3 cups of coffee or soda per day
ImmunoGenomic Profile
  • Heart Disease
  • Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Sjorgens
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Recurrent viral infections
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Eczema
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • Osteoporosis, Osteopenia
DetoxiGenomic Profile
  • Regular medication use (Over the counter or prescription)
  • Toxins at work and/or home
  • Pesticide or fungicide exposure
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Daily use of alcohol
  • Sensitivity to caffeine (jitters, anxiety, headache, etc.)
  • Smoking or exposure to second hand smoke
  • Weekly diet of barbecued, grilled, fried, or broiled
  • Exhaustion after exercise or exertion
  • History of drug use or addiction

Until January 15, 2003, Great Smokies Laboratory, the creator of the Genomic Profiles, is offering a $25.00 discount if 2 profiles are ordered;  $50.00 discount for 3, and $100.00 discount for all 4.  Also, because this is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health, I am offering 50% discount on your follow up office visit when we will go over your results in depth.  Call me at 310-293-9475 if you have any questions, or email me here.  For more information go to www.genovations.com.

Please, don't put this off.  It may save your life or the life of someone you love.

In the News

Acupuncture Boosts Fertility in Women

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who are trying to conceive may get a push in the right direction from acupuncture, according to a new report.

A review of medical literature regarding the benefits of acupuncture to women's fertility reveals that the ancient technique can help reduce stress, increase blood flow to the reproductive organs and help normalize ovulation--all of which can help a woman conceive.

As such, women struggling to get pregnant may want to add acupuncture to their roster of fertility-boosting treatments, according to study author Dr. Raymond Chang of Cornell University and Meridian Medical in New York City, a private clinic that offers acupuncture treatment.

People trying to conceive will try a number of different techniques, Chang noted, and acupuncture "is certainly one good alternative that has been proven."

An ancient therapy that arose in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture involves inserting fine needles at specific points on the body. Traditional Chinese medicine theory holds that these points connect with energy pathways, or meridians, that run through the body, and acupuncture helps keep this natural energy flow running smoothly.

Many previous studies examined the benefits of acupuncture when added to other fertility treatments. For example, one report found that women who incorporate acupuncture into their in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment are more likely to become pregnant than those who use IVF alone.

IVF involves harvesting a woman's eggs, which are then fertilized with a man's sperm in the laboratory. The resulting embryos are transferred into the uterus.

Chang noted in an interview with Reuters Health that one previous study has also shown that women who used acupuncture without any other fertility treatments were just as likely to conceive in the same period of time as women who took a fertility drug. This finding indicates that acupuncture "can be done as a stand-alone treatment," he said.

Chang and his team summarize recent studies on acupuncture and fertility in the December issue of Fertility and Sterility.

In terms of Western explanations for how acupuncture might affect fertility, investigators have discovered that acupuncture may exert an influence over the centers in the brain that affect ovulation, and can also work on the brain to reduce stress.

Stress and the brain play an important role in fertility, Change explained, because stress can prevent a woman from ovulating entirely, while a lack of stress often promotes fertility. This trend explains why women under extreme stress often stop menstruating, and why couples often conceive while on a cruise or other relaxing holiday.

Researchers have also discovered that acupuncture can boost blood flow to women's reproductive organs, providing them with better nourishment. In addition, acupuncture appears to improve the lining of the uterus, the place where the embryo becomes embedded after conception. This lining is like "the soil in a garden," Chang explained--if it is undernourished, the embryo won't attach itself, and the pregnancy will not continue.

Chang noted that many patients are already adding acupuncture to other treatments to aid conception. "More and more, I think patients are doing it because they figure they might as well try everything," he said.

Despite the current evidence, Chang said he believes additional research is needed to assess the benefits of acupuncture in fertility for women. He noted that he and his colleagues are planning a clinical trial to compare women undergoing IVF plus acupuncture to those using IVF alone in order to conceive, to determine whether the ancient treatment helps as an additional technique.

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility 2002;78:1149-1153.

Study Links Chemical Found in Perfumes and Cosmetics to Sperm Damage

By Laura MacInnis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Everyday exposure to a chemical ingredient used to preserve many cosmetics and fragrances may contribute to sperm damage in adult men, according to a study published on Monday.

In one of the first studies of the effects of substances known as phthalates on humans, Harvard University researchers found signs of correlation between exposure to a common type of the chemical and damage to the DNA of human sperm.

The study, published in the government journal Environmental Health Perspectives, does not show whether this DNA damage could leave men infertile or cause birth defects, the researchers said.

Last month, the U.S. Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel, an industry-sponsored watchdog, sparked fury from health and environmental lobbyists when it voted to allow the continued use of three types of phthalates in perfumes and beauty products, saying they were safe in their current uses.

Phthalates, used to make fragrances last longer and to soften plastics like baby toys, have been linked in previous studies to birth defects in animals, but no evidence has proved they are harmful to humans.

The American Chemistry Council maintains that phthalates are safe and the U.S. government so far has declined to limit their use. But the European Union (news - web sites) banned their use in some products, including baby toys, in 1999.

The study, conducted at a Massachusetts fertility clinic, analyzed urine and semen samples from 168 men believed to have normal levels of exposure to diethyl phthalates through the use of cosmetics products and plastics.

Russ Hauser, a Harvard University School of Public Health professor and senior author of the study, said preliminary results suggested exposure to those phthalates was associated with increased DNA damage in sperm, but said it was too early to tell how severe the damage was.

"What the significance of it is, we don't know. What it predicts in terms of end points in the fetus or child is really unclear at this point," he said in a telephone interview.

Hauser said his group planned to extend its research to include between 700 and 800 men in order to verify the findings, and to cross-reference results with findings of other studies measuring factors like pregnancy success rates.

"This paper shows early findings in a relatively small number of men," he said. "Our next step here really is to expand the study, and repeat the analyzes."

But a group that has been fighting the use of phthalates, Health Care Without Harm, said the study showed they were right.

"The correlation found in this study is extremely troubling and deserves urgent follow up," Dr. Ted Schettler, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network said in a statement on behalf of the group.


Study Questions Effectiveness of Celebrex, 2 Other Arthritis Drugs

Anti-inflammatory medicines may not be as successful at blocking bleeding ulcers as previously thought.

From Associated Press

BOSTON -- The blockbuster arthritis drug Celebrex doesn't protect the stomach from dangerous bleeding ulcers as well as thought, a study published today suggests.

Celebrex and two similar new anti-inflammatory drugs are heavily advertised as being safer for arthritis patients based on earlier research that found they caused fewer ulcers and other gastrointestinal complications than older anti-inflammatory medicines. Together, the three new drugs have annual sales exceeding $6 billion.

But their safety has been called into question recently. The new study, which focused on arthritis patients at high risk of recurrent ulcers, escalates the controversy involving Celebrex, showing nearly 10% each year would develop another bleeding ulcer.

The study, reported in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, included 287 patients who had a previous bleeding ulcer and so were at very high risk of developing another, potentially life-threatening ulcer.

The study found the same thing for an older anti-inflammatory drug combined with ulcer medicine Prilosec, which doctors often give arthritis patients to protect their stomachs. In addition, neither treatment protected as many patients from dangerous kidney complications as past studies showed, the researchers said.

The researchers said the results, while showing the treatments work the same, indicate more study is needed on preventing bleeding stomach ulcers in vulnerable older people who for years ease joint pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs.

"I think patients and doctors need to be aware ... there is a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and there is a risk of renal toxicity," so high-risk patients should be monitored closely by their doctor, said Dr. John H. Klippel, medical director of the Arthritis Foundation.

A spokesman for Pharmacia Corp., which makes Celebrex, said the company interprets the findings as showing Celebrex as reducing the risk of gastrointestinal complications in high-risk patients. "It is our feeling that these findings should guide future research in the area," spokesman Paul Fitzhenry said.

Half took the anti-inflammatory diclofenac together with Prilosec; half received Celebrex. It is one of three brand-name NSAIDs in a newer class called cox-2 inhibitors because they block the cox-2 enzyme. It produces chemicals called prostaglandins that cause pain and inflammation in the stomach as part of the body's repair process.

These drugs, which also include Vioxx and Bextra, do not block action of the cox-1 enzyme, which protects the stomach lining . Older NSAIDs such as diclofenac block both cox enzymes, and so can cause stomach irritation and exacerbate ulcers.

Complications from taking older anti-inflammatory drugs hospitalize about 107,000 Americans, and ulcer complications kill an estimated 16,500 each year.


Study: Mellow Out, or Risk High Blood Pressure

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The impatience and aggressiveness associated with a "Type A" personality doubles one's risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, a study said on Wednesday.


A 15-year study of 3,142 young adults found those who admitted Type A behavior patterns such as a perpetual sense of urgency, competitiveness, tenseness or hostility were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure more than a decade later as those who did not display such traits.

"In general, the stronger the feelings of impatience and time pressure, the higher the risk of developing hypertension in the long term," said LiJing Yan, a research assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, who presented his findings at the American Heart Association (news - web sites) annual meeting.

Of the 6 percent of subjects who scored highest on the study's Time Urgency/Impatience scale, 17 percent developed high blood pressure, compared to 10 percent with the lowest scores.

Previous studies have produced inconsistent findings about the effects on health of having Type A traits, with many surveys focusing on subjects' level of hostility.

The current data, culled from the large-scale Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, focused on participants' sense of urgency or impatience. An example was a driver who fumes at other motorists for going too slowly.

Participants raging in age from 18 to 30 at the start of the study were ranked initially based on their responses to whether they "ate too quickly," "got angry if forced to wait," and "usually felt pressed for time."

"People with higher (Time Urgency/Impatience) scores were more likely to be white, female and better educated. However, they also tended to have a less healthy lifestyle. They smoked more, drank more alcohol and had less physical activity," Yan said.

White men with the highest scores on the personality scale were three times more likely to become hypertensive compared to the lowest-scoring white men.

The link between hypertension and chronic exposure to tense feelings were complex and "not yet well understood," said Yan's colleague Kiang Liu, adding they might be mediated by lifestyle changes.

"It's important to realize that these are modifiable personality traits, and reducing (Time Urgency/Impatience) tendency may possibly decrease future health risks," he said.

In other words, try to cool it.

Additive-Free Cigarettes May Pack A More Toxic Tobacco Punch

Despite perceptions that additive-free cigarettes and the hand-rolled cigarettes from India called bidis may provide a less-toxic smoke than conventional cigarettes, new research suggests the opposite may be true.

Study results published in the December issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research examine several physiological and subjective factors among regular smokers who were asked to smoke both bidis and additive-free American Spirit cigarettes in a controlled test.

"Recently, there has been an increase in the use of alternative cigarettes such as bidis, cloves and additive-free cigarettes by adolescents," said lead researcher Wallace Pickworth of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. "In the Boston area, for example, 40 percent of teenagers had smoked bidis at least once in their lifetime and 16 percent were current bidi smokers. About 13 percent of the sample thought bidis were safer than conventional cigarettes."

Aside from perceptions that they are a lesser health risk than conventional cigarettes, bidis may also be popular with adolescents because they are manufactured in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate or root beer. Bidis are also generally less expensive than cigarettes and easier for youths to purchase, Pickworth said.

For the study, Pickworth and his team asked 10 research volunteers -- 24.5 years old on average and considered "healthy smokers" -- to smoke an unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette, a strawberry-flavored bidi, a non-flavored bidi and one of the participants' own preferred brands of conventional cigarette.

During each session, the researchers measured participants' plasma nicotine and exhaled carbon monoxide. Researchers also recorded the length of time participants took to smoke a cigarette or bidi, and the number of puffs. After smoking, participants completed questionnaires about each product.

Results showed that two minutes after smoking the unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette or either type of bidi, participants' plasma nicotine levels were significantly higher than when they smoked their own cigarettes. The high nicotine levels lasted longest with the American Spirit cigarette.

Measured levels of exhaled carbon monoxide were less consistent. Researchers measured these levels 15 minutes after participants finished smoking each sample. Exhaled carbon monoxide levels dropped below those of the participants' own cigarette brands 15 minutes after smoking the American Spirit cigarette and the unflavored bidi. The strawberry-flavored bidi, however, left participants exhaling higher amounts of carbon monoxide than with their preferred brands.

"Data from this study were collected in a single exposure to alternative cigarettes in a laboratory environment," Pickworth granted. "The sample size was small, predominantly male and restricted to those over 18 years of age, and included only occasional bidi smokers. These characteristics may have influenced smoking patterns and subjective estimates and may limit the generalizability of the results.

"Nevertheless," he adds, "the results indicate that, contrary to the belief of many consumers, bidi and additive-free cigarettes deliver substantial amounts of nicotine and other toxic components of tobacco smoke."

This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit Center For The Advancement Of Health as the original source.





Music Hath the Power . . .

I am very happy to announce that my first CD of deeply healing music is about to enter the publication phase.  All CD's purchased before publication date (mid-January) will be personally autographed, and will have shipping included. Click Here  to hear some samples and for information on purchase.

From the Healing Points Kitchen

Simply one of my favorite (and easiest to make) soups:

Kabocha Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 Kabocha Squash, peeled and seeded, cut in cubes
  • 1 onion
  • 1-3 Tbs. of Tamari Soy Sauce (Oshawa Brand is best) to taste. 
  • Water to cover the bottom 2" of pot.

Combine ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to boil and turn to simmer.  Let simmer about an hour.  Mash squash and onions.  Yum!

Social Action

Because Healing must occur on a planetary level as well as a personal level. I will highlight a different cause each issue here.  If it resonates with you, please take action.

Abstinence Only Until Marriage?!?!

Currently, over $100 million federal dollars are spent each year on abstinence-only-until-marriage education. Below are some examples of what young people are being taught.  All of the examples come from curricula that are in some way supported by federal funds.


"A specific blood test for Chlamydia can detect the presence of the disease."  (Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the cervix or penis. It cannot be detected through a blood test.)

"At the least, the chances of getting pregnant with a condom are 1 out of 6." (When used consistently and correctly condoms are 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and up to 99 percent effective in preventing the transmission of HIV and other STDs.)

The absurdity of this astounds me, and this type of non-education can only lead to further disease, suffering, and death.  Funding will only be available for "education" stating that 'abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage is the only way to prevent HIV'. Ridiculous.

Please go to: www.nonewmoney.org for further information and to take action.

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