Neurologist

what happens around us is here

Essential Classic Rock Albums

If you’re new to classic rock, this is your starting place. These albums reflect the variety of musical styles that are found within the genre of classic rock. Choices are based on the continued popularity of the music and the artists, and the degree to which they define the genre. This list covers only a fraction of the best classic rock albums. It represents a recommended starting place for developing a full appreciation of the genre.

‘Sticky Fingers’ – Rolling Stones

Virgin Records
This was the first album recorded on the Rolling Stones‘ own label, the first in which Mick Taylor played guitar on all the tracks, and only the fourth to be released worldwide. Because it contains tracks recorded at various times between 1969 and 1971, it serves as a showcase of the band’s work at a time when the group was shaping its musical identity.

‘Who’s Next’ – The Who

MCA Records
If you’re a fan of the various CSI TV shows, you’re already familiar with two of the songs from this groundbreaking album by The Who: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Baba O’Riley.” Released in 1971, this was one the most technically advanced albums of its day, featuring some of the first use of an electronic synthesizer, and an acoustic engineering technique that gave the music a deep, full quality, even on AM radio 

‘Led Zeppelin IV’ – Led Zeppelin

Atlantic Records
Led Zeppelin‘s fourth album actually has no title that can be pronounced or reproduced with alphanumeric characters, consisting instead of a series of hand drawn symbols. The group could go hard, as with “Rock and Roll” or soft, as with “Stairway To Heaven,” the song believed to have received the most radio airplay of all time. Because it represents the band’s broad range of musical styles, this album (also sometimes known as Zoso or The Rune Album) is an essential.

‘Wish You Were Here’ – Pink Floyd

Although it has sold more than 13-million copies worldwide, this album wasn’t as popular as The Wall or Dark Side of the Moon. It is significant because it is so indicative of Pink Floyd‘s intensely complicated musical compositions and its elaborate studio production. The title song was a tribute to founding member, Syd Barrett, who, by the time this album was released in September 1975 had left the group due to erratic behavior brought on by mental illness.

‘Revolver’ – The Beatles

Capitol Records
This was the 13th of the 20 albums released in the United States byThe Beatles. It was released in August 1966, roughly in the middle of the band’s ten-year life. It is significant because it reflects both the style of their earlier work, and their first experiments with new stylistic elements that would become common in their later albums. Over the years, it has repeatedly received critical acclaim as one of the best albums of the era.s

‘After Bathing At Baxter’s’ – Jefferson Airplane

RCA Records
Jefferson Airplane‘s third album, released in 1967, is the quintessential psychedelic rock album. From its title, to its cover (which depicted a house as a whimsical flying machine) to quirky song titles like “The Ballad of You & Me and Pooneil” and “A Small Package of Value Will Come to You, Shortly” this album defined the psych rock genre.

‘Eric Clapton’

Polydor Records
After the breakup of Cream in 1968, Eric Clapton wanted to get out of the spotlight, and signed on as a sideman with Delaney and Bonnie. Delaney Bramlett’s encouragement led to this, Clapton’s first solo album, released in 1970. Bramlett produced the album and also contributed his group as backup, and the song, “Bottle of Red Wine.” The album is significant because it represents a turning point in Clapton’s career as he began to get his chops as a singer.

‘Electric Ladyland’ – Jimi Hendrix

MCA Records
This album was released in 1968, when Jimi Hendrix was at the peak of his form. It was the legendary rock guitarist’s only #1 album, and contains samples of his stylistic range, from blues to ’50s rock to psychedelia. The album contains what many (including Dylan himself) believe is the best version ever recorded of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.”

‘The Doors’

Atlantic Records
The debut album by The Doors was released in 1967. It contains the song for which the band is best known, “Light My Fire.” The album’s largely dark themes, combined with lead vocalist Jim Morrison’s legendary wild lifestyle, set the tone for the rock genre for the next several years.

‘Blonde On Blonde’ – Bob Dylan

Sony Music
Bob Dylan‘s double album was also the first for the genre. It was released in 1966, and subsequently reissued in at least ten other forms, with changes in the way the tracks were mixed. It was recorded in Nashville, which was somewhat unique at the time, as was the fact that it appealed equally to music critics and music fans.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Drug Information Update: Statement to Healthcare Professionals on the ACCORD Lipid Trial

FDA/CDER/Division of Drug Information (DDI)

The Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER’s focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.


 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals that it will review the primary data from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Lipid Trial, which evaluated the potential cardiovascular benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus taking simvastatin plus fenofibrate.

Presented at the American College of Cardiology conference on March 14, 2010, the ACCORD Lipid Trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), evaluated the occurrence of major cardiovascular events (nonfatal heart attack, nonfatal stroke, cardiovascular death) in patients receiving simvastatin plus fenofibrate, compared to simvastatin alone. All patients in the study had a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, were at high risk for cardiovascular disease, and were followed on average for 4.7 years. The trial found that there was no difference in cardiovascular outcomes between the two groups (Hazard Ratio = 0.92; 95% Confidence Interval: 0.79 – 1.08; p = 0.32).

At this time, FDA has made no new conclusions or recommendations regarding the combination use of simvastatin or other statin drugs and fenofibrate. The agency will conduct a thorough review of the primary ACCORD data as soon as they become available. 

For more information please visit:  ACCORD

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Herbs for Pain Management

At the heart of many pain-causing conditions is chronic inflammation. A natural immune response to infection or injury, inflammation can become chronic due to factors like poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins.

If you suffer from an inflammation-related condition such as arthritisneck and back pain, ortendonitis, adding anti-inflammatory herbs to your health regimen may help you manage your pain. Although not as fast-acting as standard pain medication, such herbs may significantly diminish your pain when used regularly (especially when combined with daily exercise and the practice of relaxation techniques, both of which can provide pain reduction).

Keep in mind that anti-inflammatory herbs won’t heal your condition itself, despite their pain-easing effects. Furthermore, addressing the cause of chronic inflammation is essential for working your way toward optimal health; not only known to generate pain, inflammation is a major risk factor for chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Be sure to consult your primary care provider before using herbs, to avoid making commonmistakes.

Herbal Pain Relief

 

Here’s a look at six inflammation-fighting herbs that may provide pain relief.

1) White Willow Bark

 

Containing aspirin-like compounds, this herb was found to be as effective as conventional medicine in lessening pain among people with mild to fairly severe knee and hip problems in a 2008 study. White willow bark may also alleviate acute back pain, joint pain, and osteoarthritis.

2) Boswellia

 

Sourced from a resin found in the bark of frankincense trees, boswellia has been shown to thwart chemical reactions involved in inflammation. Practitioners of ayurvedic medicine have long used boswellia to treat arthritis; the herb may also benefit people with inflammatory bowel disease.

3) Devil’s Claw

 

Traditionally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, devil’s claw may also soothe pain resulting from osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and back and neck troubles. In a 2007 study of 259 people with rheumatic conditions, researchers found that 60% of study members either reduced or stopped their pain medication after eight weeks of taking devil’s claw. The herb also appeared to improve the participants’ quality of life.

4) Bromelain

 

An enzyme extracted from pineapple stems, bromelain reduces levels of prostaglandins, which are hormones that induce inflammation. Bromelain may benefit people with arthritis and conditions marked by musculoskeletal tension (such as TMJ syndrome), as well as those suffering trauma-related inflammation. What’s more, the enzyme may promote healing in muscles and connective tissues.

5) Curcumin

 

Another ayurvedic remedy known to tame arthritis pain, curcumin is a compound found in the curry spice turmeric. In an animal-based study published in 2007, scientists discovered that curcumin can overpower pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. The compound may also help decrease pain associated with autoimmune disorders and tendonitis.

6) Ginger

 

While sipping ginger tea can help relieve cold-related congestion, supplementing with this warming herb may deliver long-lasting health effects. Research indicates that ginger may calm arthritis pain, possibly by lowering your prostaglandin levels. One 2005 study even suggests that ginger could reduce pain and inflammation more effectively than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin).

Sources

Beer AM, Wegener T. “Willow bark extract (Salicis cortex) for gonarthrosis and coxarthrosis – Results of a cohort study with a control group.” Phytomedicine 2008 [Epub ahead of print]

Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG. “Ginger–an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Journal of Medicinal Food 2005 8(2):125-32.

Reyes-Gordillo K, Segovia J, Shibayama M, Vergara P, Moreno MG, Muriel P. “Curcumin protects against acute liver damage in the rat by inhibiting NF-kappaB, proinflammatory cytokines production and oxidative stress.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2007 1770(6):989-96.

Warnock M, McBean D, Suter A, Tan J, Whittaker P. “Effectiveness and safety of Devil’s Claw tablets in patients with general rheumatic disorders.” Phtyotherapy Research 2007 21(12):1228-33.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Natural Support for Alcoholism Treatment

Alcoholism treatment and recovery are difficult processes that call for a great deal of steady support. While it’s not advisable to rely solely on alternative therapies or remedies for that support, certain natural approaches may help enhance your well-being while undergoing alcoholism treatment.

When Is Alcoholism Treatment Necessary?

Alcoholism, the commonly used term for alcohol dependence, is characterized by several features, including craving, loss of control, physical dependence (typically triggering symptoms like nausea and sweating upon withdrawal), and tolerance (a need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to experience the pleasurable effects of intoxication).

Because alcoholism can lead to a number of social and emotional problems – as well as serious health problems – it’s crucial to seek treatment if you experience any symptoms of alcoholism (such as a compulsion to drink or an inability to limit the amount of alcohol you consume).

The Importance of Alcoholism Treatment

Without the help of alcoholism treatment, you may increase your risk of experiencing certain complications related to excessive drinking, including:

  • alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
  • pancreatitis
  • high blood pressure
  • bone loss

In addition, alcoholistm has been associated with an increased incidence of several cancers, including:

  • colon cancer
  • breast cancer
  • cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, and liver

Options for Alcoholism Treatment

Given the major health risks associated with alcoholism, it’s important to seek alcoholism treatment only from a qualified health-care professional or facility. Standard alcoholism treatment options may begin with detoxification, and possibly involve residential and outpatient programs that use a variety of social supports.

Learn more about alcoholism treatment options.

Natural Support for Alcoholism Treatment

Certain natural substances and mind-body therapies show promise as a means of supporting your health while undergoing alcoholism treatment. If you’re considering the use of any of these approaches, make sure to discuss its potential benefits and risks with the health-care professionals involved in your alcoholism treatment.

1) Acupuncture

Acupuncture (a needle-based therapy long used in traditional Chinese medicine) is often recommended to help reduce alcohol cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms, and ease theanxiety and depression frequently experienced by alcoholics.

Indeed, a 2002 study of 34 alcoholics found that two weeks of acupuncture treatments (combined with carbamazepine, a drug sometimes used in managing alcohol withdrawal) helped decrease the participants’ withdrawal symptoms. However, a systematic review published in 2009 concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support acupuncture’s effectiveness in alcoholism treatment.

2) Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), an herb rich in the antioxidant silymarin, is often touted as a means of restoring liver health and protecting against alcohol-induced liver damage. While preliminary research indicates that milk thistle may offer some benefit to those looking to treat alcohol-related liver disease, more studies are needed to draw any definitive conclusions about the herb’s effectiveness in enhancing liver health.

3) Kudzu

In a 2003 study on laboratory rats, scientists discovered that feeding the animals extract of kudzu (Pueraria lobata) helped curb their alcohol dependence. What’s more, a small study published in 2005 showed that taking kudzu supplements helped reduce alcohol intake in humans.

Sources:

Boerth J, Strong KM. “The clinical utility of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) in cirrhosis of the liver.” J Herb Pharmacother. 2002;2(2):11-7.

Cho SH, Whang WW. “Acupuncture for alcohol dependence: a systematic review.” Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 33(8):1305-13.

Karst M, Passie T, Friedrich S, Wiese B, Schneider U. “Acupuncture in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms: a randomized, placebo-controlled inpatient study.” Addict Biol. 2002 7(4):415-9.

Lukas SE, Penetar D, Berko J, Vicens L, Palmer C, Mallya G, Macklin EA, Lee DY. An extract of the Chinese herbal root kudzu reduces alcohol drinking by heavy drinkers in a naturalistic setting. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2005 May;29(5):756-62.

MayoClinic.com, “Alcoholism“. May 2008.

Rambaldi A, Jacobs BP, Iaquinto G, Gluud C. “Milk thistle for alcoholic and/or hepatitis B or C liver diseases–a systematic cochrane hepato-biliary group review with meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 100(11):2583-91.

Rezvani AH, Overstreet DH, Perfumi M, Massi M. “Plant derivatives in the treatment of alcohol dependency.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 75(3):593-606.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Alex Chilton, Memphis Pop-Rock Legend, Dies at Age 59

 

Alex Chilton was only 16 when the song “The Letter” by the Box Tops with him singing lead went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. It was followed by a #2 hit “Cry Like a Baby” and five other top 40 singles. However, by 1970 the Box Tops were no more. While further commercial success was elusive, it is Alex Chilton’s work as a leader of the power pop group Big Star in the 1970’s that is possibly even more enduring. Big Star formed in Memphis in 1971 and the group released three studio albums,#1 RecordRadio City and Third. None scored any significant commercial success, but Rolling Stone listed all three as among the top 500 albums of all time. Bands such as R.E.M., the Replacements, and the Bangles have all cited Big Star as major influences. Big Star got back together in 1993 and eventually released a fourth studio album, In Space, in 2005. Yesterday Alex Chilton died suddenly of a suspected heart attack. Big Star were scheduled to perform in Austin, Texas as part of the South By Southwest music festival this Saturday.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

HIV/AIDS Update – Upcoming FDA Advisory Committee Meeting on Egrifta (tesamorelin acetate) to reduce excess visceral abdominal fat in HIV-related lipodystrophy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting of its Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee to discuss the safety and efficacy of new drug application (NDA) 22–505, EGRIFTA (tesamorelin acetate), sterile lyophilized powder for injection, by Theratechnologies, Inc. EGRIFTA is an analogue (a chemical compound that resembles another compound in structure) of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH). The proposed indication (use) for EGRIFTA in this application is to induce and maintain a reduction of excess visceral abdominal fat in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with lipodystrophy (a condition in which abnormal deposits of fat are seen partly as a result of using certain drugs to treat HIV disease).

The meeting will take place on May 27, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, at The Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland University College (UMUC), 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD. You can contact the hotel directly at 301–985– 7300 for directions or to arrange accomodations.

The meeting will be open to the public, and no registration is required.

Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee.

Written submissions may be made to Paul Tran, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (HFD– 21), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane (for express delivery, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1093) Rockville, MD 20857, 301–827–7001, FAX: 301– 827–6776, e-mail: paul.tran@fda.hhs.gov on or before May 13, 2010.

Oral presentations from the public (the open public hearing) will be scheduled between approximately 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Those desiring to make formal oral presentations should notify Paul Tran, and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before May 5, 2010.

Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDAmay conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session.

Those requesting time to present will be notified regarding their request to speak by May 6, 2010.

FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA’s Web site after the meeting. Background material can be found at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee link.

Please call the FDA Advisory Committee Information Line for up-to-date information about this meeting, at 1–800–741–8138 (301–443–0572 in the Washington, DC area), and use code 3014512536. A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the agency’s Web site and call the appropriate advisory committee hot line/phone line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

Persons attending FDA’s advisory committee meetings are advised that the agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Paul Tran at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our Web site at http://www.fda.gov/ AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings.

Richard Klein 
Office of Special Health Issues 
Food and Drug Administration

Kimberly Struble 
Division of Antiviral Drug Products 
Food and Drug Administration

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

How To Make the Most out of a Music Festival

 

Music festivals are, for many people, the purest and most enjoyable way to experience live music. However, they can be physically and mentally exhausting. You can always spot an experienced festivarian; they’re the clean, relaxed, non-sunburned ones with the hammock, the Nalgene water bottle, and the highlighted schedule. Take their example and you’ll have more fun than you’ve ever had. For more info, read Top 10 Things To Bring To a Music Festival
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: However long the festival lasts!

Here’s How:

  1. Get your tickets early. Most music festivals that charge money have graduated pricing, where tickets are sold at “Early Bird” prices, advance prices and gate prices. You can save yourself a fat chunk of change if you get the early bird tickets. Also, at festivals that sell camping, get your camping tickets early. If they sell out, you’ll be stuck staying off-site. Take care of other reservations early, too: plane tickets, car rental reservations, etc.
  2. Know the schedule in advance. Music festivals generally publish a preliminary schedule well before the event. Print one out off the festival’s website and highlight your “must-see” bands. That said, be careful not to be too rigid! Spontaneous jam sessions, great bands you’ve never heard of, festival stages running late and so on can interrupt your plans. This is not a bad thing! It just helps to have a game plan going in.
  3. Know the rules. If a music festival allows you to bring your own food and water, do it and save yourself some money. If a music festival doesn’t allow pets, know this in advance so you don’t show up to the gate with Fido and get an unexpected surprise. If a festival doesn’t allow glass, it’d be a bummer to have to pour out all of your expensive microbrews. If a music festival website is unclear about their rules, get in touch and ask for clarification!
  4. Manage your money. If the music festival you’re attending runs for four days, it’s probably not wise to spend most of your cash on CDs or craft vendors on the first day. Find out when things will begin to shut down on Sunday, and buy your take-home goodies then. First of all, you won’t have to deal with them all weekend, and secondly, you won’t accidentally run out of money for food on Saturday night.
  5. Keep yourself comfortable. High heels are never a good idea (unless they’re dance shoes which you remove after the dance). Sunblock is always a good idea. Air mattresses are great if you’re camping. A variety of clothes are also helpful, because weather forecasts can be wrong. It’s also a good idea, if you’re at a camping festival with limited shower access, to bring a pack of wet wipes or baby wipes. They’re great for sponge bathing.
  6. If you have special needs, make sure that the festival can accommodate you. Find out where handicapped parking will be if you need it. Make sure that the festival has a refrigerator for medicines if you need them. If you have minor dietary needs or desires (such as vegetarianism or mild allergies), make sure that such needs can be met. If your dietary needs are severe (major allergies, etc.), make sure you can bring your own food.
  7. Keep an eye on your kids. This really should go without saying, but even diligent parents can sometimes find themselves in the festival swing of things and lose track of the little ones. Walkie-talkies are cheap nowadays, and can be a great way for families to keep track of each other. Also, write your cell phone number on your child’s wristband (or a large rubber band) in case they wander off. Keep track of what they’re wearing each day, as well, just in case.
  8. Don’t bring expensive stuff. Just don’t. You don’t really need your diamond necklace, your iPod, your Rolex or anything else that costs a ton of money anyway. Leave ’em at home — you’re going to feel really stupid if they get lost or stolen, and you probably won’t get them back.
  9. Eat, sleep and drink. Festivals are grueling, especially the long-weekend camping ones. Stay hydrated, keep your blood sugar up and get plenty of rest. Catnaps in the afternoon work well, especially if it’s hot midday and you can find a shady spot to nap. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for basic health needs: band-aids, disinfectant, sunblock, aspirin, tampons, etc. If it’s small and you think you might need it, bring it.
  10. Go easy on the alcohol. You’re going to feel like a fool if you sleep right through your favorite band, just because you were hung over. Especially on hot summer weekends, alcohol is a major dehydrator and you should really be staying well-hydrated. Plus, there’s that whole “loss of self control” thing. Save yourself embarrassment and discomfort and cut yourself off at a reasonable level.
  11. Make friends. Festivals aren’t just about music, they’re about togetherness and community as well. Chat it up with the folks sitting or camping next to you, or whose kids are playing with your kids. Festivals are a great place to meet people who share your interests and expand your circle a bit.
  12. Check out the non-concert activities. Workshops, dances, drum circles, kids areas, arts and crafts vendors and more all take place at almost every festival. Impromptu jams also happen, and festival musicians often join in, so be ready if you’re an instrumentalist: you might just get a chance to jam with one of your musical heroes! Even if you don’t play, you still get the experience of seeing and hearing your favorite musicians cutting loose.
  13. Volunteer. If you can’t afford a festival, or even if you can, consider giving them some of your time. Most festivals will give you a free ticket in exchange. You’ll be on the inside, making the festival happen, and that’s a really great feeling. It’s also a great way to meet people and get some tips from those “in the know” about fun stuff that might not be on the official schedule.
  14. Try something new. Festivals are great for this. Have a go at a square dance or azydeco two-step. Grab a djembe and join a drum circle. Wake up early for group yoga. Listen to some music you’ve never heard before, or have previously claimed that you hated. Wear that hippie skirt you haven’t ever had the guts to wear to work…. whatever! Just try something, anything new. A largely anonymous festival is the best place to do it.
  15. Have an escape plan. At some point, something unforeseen might happen that might just make you want to get the heck out of there, whatever it might be. Don’t allow yourself to get parked in (or camped in), if you feel that you need to leave, you should be able to do so in as short a time as possible.

Tips:

  1. Stay comfortable, well-slept, well-fed and hydrated.
  2. Have a plan but don’t be afraid to deviate from it.
  3. Make friends!
  4. Relax… this is supposed to be a vacation!
  5. A good attitude is the most important thing to bring.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Uses and Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae available in dietary supplement form. Claims for spirulina benefits include the treatment of various health conditions, as well as the promotion of weight loss. However, few human studies have actually explored spirulina’s health benefits, and there is insufficient evidence to show that it helps with weight loss.

Spirulina Nutrition

Spirulina contains a number of nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, andvitamin E. Spirulina is high in protein and also contains antioxidants, minerals, and chlorophyll.

Potential Uses for Spirulina

Spirulina proponents claim that the benefits of spirulina include treatment and/or prevention of the following health problems:

Purported spirulina benefits also include weight loss and stimulation of the immune system.

Spirulina Benefits

To date, few human studies have explored spirulina’s health benefits. However, test-tube studies and animal-based research suggest that spirulina may help with the following conditions:

1) Allergies

Spirulina holds some promise in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies), according to a research review published in 2009. Indeed, a previously published study of patients with allergic rhinitis found several benefits for spirulina consumption (including improvement in symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing, congestion, and itching).

2) Diabetes

In a 2008 study involving 37 people with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that those assigned to 12 weeks of spirulina supplementation experienced a significant reduction in blood-fat levels. Spirulina benefits also included a decrease in inflammation and, for some patients, a decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol.

3) Oral Cancer

Spirulina may offer some protection against oral cancer, according to one small study of tobacco chewers with precancerous oral lesions. For 12 months, study members took either a daily dose of spirulina or a placebo. By the study’s end, the lesions cleared up in 20 of the 44 participants who’d consumed spirulina (compared to three of the 43 participants who’d been assigned to the placebo group).

Spirulina for Weight Loss

Despite widespread marketing claims that spirulina can suppress appetite, there is insufficient evidence to show that spirulina can boost weight loss.

Spirulina Side Effects

Although few adverse effects are associated with use of spirulina, consuming spirulina may cause headache, muscle pain, sweating, and insomnia in some cases.

Is Spirulina Safe?

Given the lack of science behind spirulina’s benefits, anyone considering the use of spirulina in treatment of a health condition should make sure to consult his/her physician before taking a spirulina supplement.

As with all supplements, it’s also important to consult your health-care provider before using spirulina in combination with other medications and/or supplements.

Learn more about supplement safety.

Spirulina Powder

Spirulina is often sold in powder form, but it’s also available in capsules, tablets, and other natural products (including juices).

Although there are a large number of blue-green algae species commonly referred to as “spirulina,” most spirulina supplements contain Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Sprirulina maxima, and/or Spirulina platensis.

Sources:

Cingi C, Conk-Dalay M, Cakli H, Bal C. “The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis.” Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 265(10):1219-23.

Lee EH, Park JE, Choi YJ, Huh KB, Kim WY. “A randomized study to establish the effects of spirulina in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.” Nutr Res Pract. 2008 2(4):295-300.

Man LX. “Complementary and alternative medicine for allergic rhinitis.” Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 17(3):226-31.

Mathew B, Sankaranarayanan R, Nair PP, Varghese C, Somanathan T, Amma BP, Amma NS, Nair MK. “Evaluation of chemoprevention of oral cancer with Spirulina fusiformis.” Nutr Cancer. 1995;24(2):197-202.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Drug Information Update- FDA Approves Carbaglu Tablets to Treat Condition That Causes Elevated Ammonia Levels.

FDA/CDER/Division of Drug Information (DDI)

The Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER’s focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.


 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Carbaglu (carglumic acid) Tablets to treat a condition that results in too much ammonia in the blood.

The condition, N-acetylglutamate synthase or NAGS deficiency, is an extremely rare, genetic disorder that can be present in babies soon after birth. NAGS deficiency and the resulting elevated levels of ammonia (hyperammonemia) can be fatal if it is not detected and treated rapidly. DNA testing can confirm the diagnosis of NAGS.

The safety and efficacy of Carbaglu was studied in 23 patients with NAGS who received the treatment for times ranging from six months to 21 years. In these patients, Carbaglu reduced blood ammonia levels within 24 hours and normalized ammonia levels within three days. The majority of those in the study appeared to maintain normal plasma ammonia levels with long-term Carbaglu treatment.

For more information, please visit: Carbaglu

March 19, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Drug Information Update – FDA Warns about Increased Risk of Muscle Injury with Zocor

FDA/CDER/Division of Drug Information (DDI)

The Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER’s focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.


 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned patients and healthcare providers about the potential for increased risk of muscle injury from the cholesterol-lowering medication Zocor (simvastatin) 80 mg. Although muscle injury (called myopathy) is a known side effect with all statins, today’s warning highlights the greater risk of developing muscle injury, includingrhabdomyolysis, for patients when they are prescribed and use higher doses of this drug. Rhabdomyolysis is the most serious form of myopathy and can lead to severe kidney damage, kidney failure, and sometimes death.

Simvastatin is sold as a single-ingredient generic medication and as the brand-name Zocor. It also is sold in combination with ezetimibe as Vytorin, and in combination with niacin as Simcor.

For more information, please visit: Zocor

March 19, 2010 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment