|International Health News – Your Gateway to Better Health. Useful, authoritative and timely summaries of the latest research in health, nutrition and medicine. Reviews of our favourite books.
We often get enquiries from readers who are looking for detailed information about alternative or
complementary cancer therapies, natural treatments for diabetes, drug-free methods of lowering
cholesterol and many other topics. We are usually able to recommend a book that treats the subject in
depth. We have hundreds of books in our health library and are adding new ones every month in support
of our efforts to keep you, our subscribers, informed of the latest developments in health, nutrition and
To further improve our service we are now launching our brand new book review feature. As often as time permits we'll review a book that, in our opinion, would be an outstanding addition to anyone's health library. To make it easy for you to get the book we have provided links directly to the publishers of the books we review - or if that is not possible to Amazon.com which usually supply the books at a good discount and ship them all over the world.
So please take a look at our selection and indulge yourself with a good book!
Yours in health
John Senneff, the author of "Numb Toes and Other Woes" has suffered from PN for more than 10 years and has been through the gamut of tests and therapies himself. His earlier book "Numb Toes and Aching Soles: Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy" became a best seller and rightly so. This book dispelled the mystery and myths surrounding PN and provided a wealth of practical advice on how to cope with it.
In his new book John has done it again. This book contains the latest thinking and breakthroughs in the treatment of PN. It covers pain medications from antidepressants to narcotics and provides detailed information about medical therapies like TENS and H-Wave therapy. It also discusses supplements and alternative and complementary therapies. As a health researcher myself I found John's chapters on new, experimental therapies and the "creeping progress" in gaining a better understanding of the causes absolutely fascinating. Apparently there is now evidence that cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) and at least 30 other common medications can cause PN. John lists them all and his statements are backed by impeccable references. He also goes into great detail about current and experimental pharmaceutical drugs used. This section alone is worth the price of the book if you are about to try a new drug. If you suffer from PN order John's book now! It can save you untold hours of time, trouble and pain in your battle against peripheral neuropathy.
It is estimated that about 700,000 new cases of lone (paroxysmal) atrial fibrillation (LAF) are diagnosed every year in the United States alone. LAF is a very frustrating disorder – although not life-threatening it is debilitating and can really play havoc with your life – and the medical profession has no cure for it.
E.A. Butler, the author of Atrial Fibrillation: My Heart, The Doctors and Me, is well acquainted with the treadmill of fruitless visits to GPs, cardiologists, and electrophysiologists. He has personally experienced the frustration of trying one powerful heart drug after another only to find that they did not help and, in some cases, made things worse. Mr. Butler is a retired management consultant and columnist for the Chicago Tribune and his writing is eloquent and easy to follow. Besides relating his own experience with LAF the author also clearly presents the results of his impressive research into the various drug and surgery options and the role of stress, diet and lifestyle in the development and progression of LAF. He concludes that "afibbers" must take charge of their own health if they are to get better and provides a wealth of information and advice to make their task easier. The author has now reduced his frequency of LAF attacks from as many as three a week to just two a year through a program of stress reduction, exercise, appropriate diet, and supplements in combination with a beta-blocker and the heart drug flecainide. His book does not provide the ultimate solution to the LAF puzzle, but it certainly is an excellent starting point for the journey to full recovery. A MUST READ for anyone diagnosed with lone atrial fibrillation.
Reclaiming Our Health
John Robbins, the best-selling author of Diet for a New America, has done it again! John's latest book, Reclaiming Our Health, is a must-read for anyone interested in finding out how the medical industry REALLY operates and how you can take control of your own health. The subtitle of John's new book is "Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing" and this is exactly what it does in no uncertain terms. John provides numerous, well-documented examples of how the profit motive and legal considerations increasingly dictate a patient's treatment particularly in the fields of cancer and obstetrics.
The bottom line is that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own health and well-being. Reclaiming Our Health explodes the myth that we can just delegate the care of our health to the medical profession, but also provides a wealth of helpful information as to how we may go about achieving true and lasting health. The thorough discussion of alternative cancer treatment methods and an evaluation of the most popular clinics will be of inestimable value to cancer patients. Last, but not least, John's eloquently-written book is a joy to read - a real page-turner that should be required reading for anyone caring for their own health or the health of others.
The Cancer Conspiracy
John J. Moelaert
Victoria, BC, Canada, 1999
John Moelaert is a Victoria writer who specializes in social and environmental issues. He first became involved in the medical and political aspects of cancer in 1979 when his mother died of stomach cancer. His book The Cancer Conspiracy is a chilling and disturbing indictment of the cancer industry. John provides convincing evidence that the "war on cancer" is largely a fraud. Despite a research expenditure of over $30 billion in the last 25 years in the United States alone incidence and mortality of the most common cancers have not decreased. As a matter of fact, out of 177 countries the United States and Canada now have the highest and second-highest cancer rates for men and the second- and fourth-highest for women. John provides hair-raising examples of how conventional medicine's "slash, burn and poison" approach to cancer treatment ruins many lives every day. He is also sharply critical of cancer societies. The American Cancer Society, for example, raises about $425 million every year and spends more money on fund-raising (23 per cent) than on research (21 per cent). The situation in Canada is similar; the Canadian Cancer Society spends 27 per cent of its income on internal salaries, 12 per cent on fund-raising, and uses only 40 per cent of its total income on funding cancer research. And, even though 80 per cent of all cancers are preventable, very little research is directed towards prevention. John's thoroughly documented arguments cannot help but lead you to the conclusion that there may indeed be a vast conspiracy to keep the cancer industry alive by making sure it is supplied with a steady stream of victims. Fortunately, the book also contains a detailed section on what you can do to avoid becoming one of those victims. If you are looking for sound information on cancer prevention and are prepared to have your illusions shattered read The Cancer Conspiracy!
Numb Toes and Aching Soles:
Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy
John A. Senneff
MedPress, San Antonio, Texas 78269
300 pages (Published 1999)
A recent survey concluded that millions of Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathy and don't even know it. This "silent" disease, far more common than rheumatoid arthritis, is painful and debilitating and can certainly put a serious damper on one's enjoyment of life. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) results from damage to the peripheral nerves or their protective coatings and most often manifests itself by pain, tingling and numbness in the legs, feet and hands. The disorder may also present itself with vague symptoms such as dizziness, insomnia, bladder problems, constipation and sexual dysfunction. Because of its diverse symptoms PN is often misdiagnosed launching its victims on the all too familiar pattern of an increasingly desperate search for an explanation and cure.
John Senneff has suffered from PN for more than ten years and has been through the gamut of tests and therapies himself. It is not extravagant to claim that his superbly researched book contains all the information that a patient or caregiver would ever need to know about PN. Diagnostic tests and the benefits and side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins and herbs used in the treatment of PN are described in great detail as are the pertinent alternative modalities from acupuncture to hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Twelve eminent neurologists provide detailed input to the book, but perhaps its most fascinating aspect is the comments from more than 200 PN patients describing their personal experiences with the many treatments covered. They clearly show that what works for one person may be a waste of time and money for another - but, they also give hope that successful treatment is possible although the road to finding it may be long and arduous. If you suffer from PN or know someone who does or if you are a professional caring for PN patients order John's book now. It will save you untold hours of time, trouble and pain in your battle against peripheral neuropathy.
Red World - Green World: The Hidden Polarities of Nature
Margaret K. Chaney
Veritas Publishing, 1996
Margaret Chaney's book is one of those little pearls that come along once in awhile to challenge your
imagination and open up wider horizons. The premise developed by Ms. Chaney's 15 years of research
is that everything on earth has one of two opposing "polarities" - "red" or "green". If you are a "green"
person foodstuffs such as apricots and green olives are good for you, but asparagus and black olives are
not. Conversely, if you are a "red" person you can easily handle beef and butter - foods that "green"
people should avoid. You can find out which category you belong to by muscle testing - a simple non-
invasive technique that anyone can learn in a few minutes. Ms. Chaney contends that sticking to food,
clothes, wines, and even trees that belong to your polarity or color will result in more energy and better
health. Does it work? We have not explored the field in any depth yet, but the muscle testing certainly
seems to work for us. My wife and I were actually able to measure the difference between an organic
apple and an ordinary supermarket apple. Read the book and have fun finding out whether you belong to
the "red world" or the "green world".
Bionutrition - Winning the War Within
Ray D. Strand, MD
Comprehensive Wellness Publishing, 1998
The genesis of Bionutrition - Winning the War Within is indeed a fascinating one. Ray Strand has been a practicing family physician for 26 years. For the first 23 of those years he was a staunch advocate of conventional medicine's view of vitamins and supplements. He told his patients "You get all the vitamins you need from your food" and "Supplements only produce expensive urine". However, as medical evidence of widespread vitamin deficiencies and the benefits of supplementation became more and more common he decided to investigate for himself. His book Bionutrition - Winning the War Within is the result of 3 years of research into the pros and cons of supplementation. Dr. Strand quickly reached the conclusion that today's foods are so short of many essential nutrients that taking nutritional supplements is necessary in order to maintain your health. He also realized that we are surrounded by environmental pollutants that, if not vigorously defended against, will inevitably lead to serious degenerative diseases. He is convinced that an adequate intake of antioxidants is the key to preventing diseases such as cancer, cataracts, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, and many more. Dr. Strand's research is entirely based on material found in mainstream medical journals and is superbly presented in Bionutrition - Winning the War Within. His book thoroughly covers the relationship between antioxidants, oxidative stress, and degenerative disease. He reviews the properties, benefits, and safety of all the important supplements from vitamin A to coenzyme Q10 and concludes the book by offering specific recommendations for a supplementation program which will keep you healthy. I have studied supplements and antioxidants for over 10 years now and I can honestly say that I have never come across a book which so understandably and eloquently states the case for supplements. A five star must read!
Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide
Burton Goldberg Group
Future Medicine Publishing Inc., Puyallup, WA
This 1993 bestseller is now out in paperback. It is still the bible of alternative medicine. Over 400 medical doctors and other specialists contribute their knowledge to make Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide the most comprehensive source of information about alternative and complementary medicine in the world today. If this field interests you at all you MUST have this book! Authors like Deepak Chopra, MD, Jane Heimlich, MD, Abram Hoffer, MD, Hal Huggins, DDS, Bernie Siegel, MD and Julian Whitaker, MD share with you concise and understandable descriptions of over 40 alternative therapies from acupuncture to yoga. If it is not covered here, you probably shouldn't try it! These excellent authors and educators also put their collective brains together to summarize the most effective and safest therapies for well over 100 conditions and diseases including specific recommendations for vitamins, herbs and other supplements. Truly a cornucopia of health information for all. What I particularly like about Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide is that is provides hundreds if not thousands of references to the original research articles that serve as the basis for the authors' recommendations. A five-star MUST HAVE selection!
Encyclopedia of Natural Healing
Siegfried Gursche MH and Zoltan Rona MD
Alive Books, Canada 1998.
If you only have one book in your health library this should be it. This brand new 1472 page encyclopedia is the combined effort of over 300 holistic medical doctors and other health care practitioners. It was five years in the making and covers pretty well everything you need to know in order to look after your health. The Encyclopedia is divided into 12 major sections. Basic philosophy of natural health and its pioneers is a fascinating account of how the modern health movement began. "Healthy Living Space" gives you invaluable tips on how to create your own healthy living environment. Nutrition, supplements, herbs and homeopathy as well as numerous healing modalities from acupuncture to vision training are covered in detail. The major part of the Encyclopedia, over 1000 pages, is taken up by a comprehensive self-help guide covering over 300 conditions ranging from "acne" to "whooping cough". Symptoms, causes and natural treatment are described in depth for each condition and illustrations abound throughout the book making it fascinating and enjoyable reading. A "Five-Star" selection!
St. John's Wort - Nature's Blues Buster
Hyla Cass, MD
Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY, 1998
St. John's wort is a powerful herb which is highly effective in combating depression. It is extremely popular in Germany where prescriptions for 66 million daily doses were issued in 1994 alone. European physicians are enthusiastic about St. John's wort to the point where it outsells Prozac 4:1, but it has not as yet been accepted by mainstream medical authorities in North America. St. John's Wort - Nature's Blues Buster should go a long way towards remedying this situation. The author, Dr. Hyla Cass MD, is a Canadian-educated, Board-certified psychiatrist who practices in Los Angeles. She combines nutritional medicine and psychiatry in her practice and is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Dr. Cass clearly explains the causes of depression and how biochemical reactions in the brain affects your mood. She discusses how St. John's wort alters brain chemistry in a favourable way without the side effects produced by synthetic antidepressants. Although Dr. Cass does prescribe pharmaceutical antidepressants for cases of major depression and bipolar disorder her first approach to mild and moderate depression is always based on St. John's wort. St. John's Wort - Nature's Blues Buster is not just an essay on this powerful herb though. Dr. Cass covers in detail many other nutritional approaches to mental health; she discusses the effects and benefits of Kava-kava, ginseng, and Ginkgo biloba and recommends vitamins, amino acids, and other supplements which are essential in overcoming depression. She also gives specific advice on how to buy and use St. John's wort and even provides detailed information on how to safely discontinue using Prozac and its cousins and switching to the safer and, in most cases as effective, natural "blues buster" St. John's wort. If you suffer from depression or live with someone who does you should read Dr. Cass's book. It could turn your life around!
The Successful Physician
A Productivity Handbook for Practitioners
Marshall O. Zaslove, MD
Aspen Publishers, Inc., Gaitersburg, Maryland, 1998
A recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that American physicians believe the advent of managed care (HMOs) has had a serious negative impact on the quality of patient care and on the physician-patient relationship in general. The time available for each patient has also declined and much of it is taken up in discussing insurance issues rather than the patient's medical problems. Dr. Marshall Zaslove, a practising physician and renowned lecturer and seminar leader, has tackled these problems head-on in his new book The Successful Physician. Dr. Zaslove strongly believes that physicians must become more productive if they are to serve their patients well. His highly readable book clearly defines the problems facing today's physician and provides concrete, practical solutions for dealing with them. Dr. Zaslove starts with the premise that a doctor's three tools are time, knowledge and skills, and quality relationships. He goes on to critically examine all the things a doctor does and then gives sound and tested advice on how to become more efficient in doing them. I particularly liked his discussion of the relationship between physicians and computers and his down-to- earth advice about introducing "the monster" into the office and optimizing its usage. His comments about the relationships with patients and other professionals are also illuminating. The Successful Physician is required reading for any physician who feels that too many extraneous pressures are interfering with his or her primary mission of providing quality care to patients. The book is not only for physicians though. I personally found it a fascinating "peek behind the curtain" into the problems and pressures facing today's physician. So read it yourself and if your doctor seems to be drowning in paper and red tape give it to him for Christmas!
How to Find Health Information on the INTERNET
Congressional Quarterly Inc., Washington, DC, 1998
Finding specific information on the Internet is getting to be about as easy as finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. My recent search for "cancer" on Alta Vista yielded almost 2.5 million references and "cancer treatment" weighed in with 28,000. To find anything helpful within this maze of data is clearly a daunting task. Fortunately, it has just become very much easier with the publication of Bruce Maxwell's How to Find Health Information on the INTERNET. Mr. Maxwell, an investigative journalist specializing in public access to information, has scanned thousands of web sites, news groups, mailing lists, and support organizations that offer free health information on the Internet. From these he has selected about 600 sites which meet his stringent criteria for quality and provide accurate and reliable information. He describes each site and gives clear instructions on how to access them. The book provides extremely useful information about general medical/health resources on the Internet and also gives specific sources of information for about 25 major categories of disorders from allergies to substance abuse. Alternative medicine, dental health, nutrition, drugs, exercise, men's and women's health are among the many other subjects covered in this excellent guidebook. I found Bruce's references to support groups and newsletters of particular interest. Using his directions one can easily join a discussion group on a topic of specific interest or sign up to automatically receive a newsletter dealing with anything from myeloma to panic disorder. An excellent 25-page index rounds out this gold mine of information. A MUST if you are looking for free health information on the Internet!
Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements
Michael T. Murray, ND
Prima Publishing, 1996.
This book is my favourite reference book for information about nutritional supplements. Its 564 pages are packed with useful and carefully referenced information about vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and a host of other supplements from carnitine to phosphatidylserine. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements is written by Dr. Michael T. Murray, ND, one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine. Dr. Murray writes in an easily understandable language and systematically covers functions, food sources, deficiency symptoms, beneficial effects, available forms, principal uses, dosage, safety and interactions for each supplement covered in the book. I particularly like the fact that Dr. Murray supports his statements with numerous references to medical and scientific journals. The Encyclopedia also contains a quick reference guide for specific health conditions providing recommendations for dealing with a number of common disorders from acne to varicose veins. A detailed index completes this "Five-Star" selection!
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