Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Health News- Vitamins, Cancer and Living Longer

No they really aren't related and maybe not even too interesting but here they are anyway-a smattering of health news:
From Well:
News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
The best efforts of the scientific community to prove the health benefits of vitamins keep falling short.
Consumers don’t want to give up their vitamins. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
This week,
researchers reported the disappointing results from a large clinical trial of almost 15,000 male doctors taking vitamins E and C for a decade. The study showed no meaningful effect on cancer rates.
Another recent study
found no benefit of vitamins E and C for heart disease.
In October,
a major trial studying whether vitamin E and selenium could lower a man’s risk for prostate cancer ended amidst worries that the treatments may do more harm than good.
And recently,
doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York warned that vitamin C seems to protect not just healthy cells but cancer cells, too. (more)
That Vitamin C could give aid and comfort to cancer cells is scary but I thought E and C were for colds not heart disease...oh well
Well, here's some good news from the NYTimes:
But then it turns out that maybe they do or maybe they don't but probably not...:
Cancer researchers have known for years that it was possible in rare cases for some cancers to go away on their own. There were occasional instances of melanomas and kidney cancers that just vanished. And neuroblastoma, a very rare childhood tumor, can go away without treatment.

But these were mostly seen as oddities — an unusual pediatric cancer that might not bear on common cancers of adults, a smattering of case reports of spontaneous cures. And since almost every cancer that is detected is treated, it seemed impossible even to ask what would happen if cancers were left alone.
Now, though, researchers say they have found a situation in Norway that has let them ask that question about
breast cancer. And their new study, to be published Tuesday in The Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that even invasive cancers may sometimes go away without treatment and in larger numbers than anyone ever believed.
At the moment, the finding has no practical applications because no one knows whether a detected cancer will disappear or continue to spread or kill.
And some experts remain unconvinced.
But there is good news after all:
Attend Religious Services, Live Longer
From WebMD
Nov. 25, 2008 -- Going to church -- or any kind of religious service -- may prolong your life.
A new study shows that older women who regularly attend religious services reduce their risk of death by 20%. The study was published in Psychology and Health.
Researchers from Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine grouped all religions together, looking only at whether the women attended services regularly and whether those services brought them comfort.
Organized religion creates a social network with regular routines, which is known to enhance well-being. However, even when researchers adjusted for that factor, the women going to services were still less likely to die.
"Interestingly, the protection against mortality provided by religion cannot be entirely explained by expected factors that include enhanced social support of friends or family, lifestyle choices, and reduced
smoking and alcohol consumption," lead author and clinical assistant professor of psychology Eliezer Schnall says in a news release. "There is something here that we don't quite understand. It is always possible that some unknown or unmeasured factors confounded these results."
ah yes, those unknown or unmeasured factors. But some of us know, don't we. And we'd love to share..


Lisa~ said...

Is it possible that "big pharma" is the one making these claims about vitamins because they dont want people to get better?\\You should read a book that I have, its called natural cures they dont want you to know about by Kevin Treudeau: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/192-9034975-9829118?asin=0975599518&afid=yahoosspplp_bmvd&lnm=0975599518|Natural_Cures_"They&34;_Don't_Want_You_To_Know_About_:_Books&ref=tgt_adv_XSNG1060

Its an eye opener.

eutychus said...

Thanks for the comment Lisa. To be fair, I haven't read the study but don't get the feeling this is a "vitamins don't do you any good" study but rather that perhaps they aren't the panacea some would want them to be. I am always a bit concerned at the lack of oversight and regulation in the vitamin/herb industry but much of the same concern can be had with "big pharma." I think they can work well together and it should not be an either/or proposition. Thanks for the tip on the book.