Doctors were paid to praise hormone replacement therapy

How a drug company convinced the medical community that hormone replacement therapy works and is safe: Wyeth paid highly respected physicians to allow their names to be listed as authors of research studies, reviews, commentaries, and letters to the editor, although they had not actually conducted or analyzed the research nor written the articles. Continue reading

What you need to know about performance-enhancing supplements

Everyday new products are advertised, making promises that are often too good to be true. Consumers who desperately want to look and feel better are the unsuspecting guinea pigs for these untested products. Before you decide to buy nutritional supplements, it is important to gather objective information (not from the manufacturers), and to consult with your doctor or another health professional. Continue reading

The wrinkle in facial injections and implants: safety questions

In the eternal search for eternal youth, some new technique or product is always being touted as the next best thing. Women and men seek out long-lasting non-surgical procedures that will reduce wrinkles and make them look younger or better. There are many different types of facial injections (some permanent and some temporary) and implants, each having a variety of brand names. We will discuss five of the most popular of these treatments, and in terms of safety concerns, the news is not especially good. Continue reading

Glucosamine supplements: good for joints but possibly risky for diabetes

Glucosamine is a popular dietary supplement used by many who suffer from joint pain. Most dietary supplements make claims that aren’t backed by scientific research, but NIH reports that daily doses of glucosamine can lower pain. As a result, the supplements are recommended by many physicians. But may these pills actually be dangerous? Continue reading

Examining the safety of natural supplements

In their quest for health and beauty, half of all American adults take natural supplements to solve all sorts of problems. But do these products really work, and how much do Americans know about their safety? Not as well as one may think, and not nearly enough.
Ultimately, it is unwise to trust the claims that manufacturers of dietary supplements make about either the effectiveness or safety of their products. Let the buyer beware. Continue reading

Heart CT scans: new heart disease test may cause cancer

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the U.S., so some doctors have recently started using a “CAT scan” (or CT scan) to detect blockages in the heart’s arteries. Unfortunately, a CT scan uses relatively large doses of radiation, which could ultimately lead to many new cases of cancer from increased exposure to radiation. Although heart CT scanning may be a useful tool in detecting blockages in heart arteries, there is not enough evidence to show that this test is worth the risks and is therefore not recommended for screening for heart disease at this time. Continue reading

Eating habits that improve health and lower body mass index

More and more research studies are confirming the importance of keeping body mass index (BMI) and waistline measurements under control in order to reduce the risk of disease and premature death. Keeping track of calories and fat percentages can be confusing, and the nutrition labels on the foods we buy aren’t always that helpful. How are consumers supposed to figure out which diet advice is just hype – that ultimately don’t contribute to better health – and which advice offers good, medically sound information? Continue reading