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Health news:
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution


December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects


November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet


October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women


September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?


August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?


July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives


June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's


May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains


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March 2007

Sedatives - long term health effect

Should you be concerned about prolonged use of sedatives? If you ask your health practitioner, you are likely to be answered with the usual phrase that "little is known about long-term side-effects of tranquilizers". But that you shouldn't be concerned, since they are backed by "good science", studies, etc.

The problem is, that doesn't quite fit the data. Results of a recent 5-year investigation into the use of sedatives on dementia patients in UK nursing homes (BBC) are just another stark reminder: anything that can positively affect neural function, has also the potential of damaging it.

According to professor Clive Ballard, long-term administration of neuroleptic drugs (central nervous system depressants, or tranquilizers) in this population group

doubled the risk of early death.

No doubt, the elderly are generally more vulnerable than general population. But it is not exactly a news that these drugs can be dangerous. Back in 1988, pressured by the public and medical professionals, the UK government forced strict guidelines in regard to the use of (then) Ativan (benzodiazepine class tranquilizer manufactured by Wyeth, USA). The reason was that the prolonged use tended to create dependency and, allegedly, cause damage to the nervous system.

Host of possible symptoms includes depression, epileptic spells, hallucinations, loss of vision, loss of memory, insomnia and muscular dysfunction.

The British government released figures that in the 1990-1996 period benzodiazepine drugs caused 1,810 deaths; that compares to 1,623 deaths caused by cocaine, heroine and methadone combined.

Benzodiazepines - that include lorazepam (Ativan), Valium, Xanax, temazepam (Restoril) and a dozen of others - are used by 30 million Americans, to treat chronic anxiety. More than 4 millions are addicted (Benzo Blues: Overcoming Anxiety Without Tranquilizers, Dr. Edward H. Drummond).

Newer SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants - most notable example being Prozac - also have a long list of psychiatric and non-psychiatric symptoms, including possible death due to systemic complications involving lungs, kidneys or liver. This class of antidepressants is also known as possibly causing suicidal thoughts and behavior in younger (up to ~25 years of age) patients.

Taking tranquilizers during pregnancy can cause brain damage, physical deformities and even death of a baby (Sunday Express).

In all, if you are having anxiety problem, think twice before reaching out for a convenient tranquilizer pill. It could become a very unhealthy habit. Cognitive-behavioral therapy seems to be much safer solution. Another proven option, used quite extensively in Europe, is "ecotherapy" - just do some regular physical activity outdoors; chances are, mother nature will take care that your anxiety/depression symptoms subside. R