Americans 60 and Over Deal with Depression

Digging up some "demented dirt" on heart disease and diabetes

I've spilled a lot of ink in the last year or so about the
risks (and the rampant over-prescription) of patented
antidepressant drugs. More and more, these risky and mostly
needless medications are being prescribed for
the "depression" that quite naturally occurs in post-
menopausal women and in men over 55 whose testosterone
levels are declining. (By the way, for these conditions,
some natural remedies like St. John's wort are way better
than antidepressants).

However, the truth is, Americans over 60 are probably far
more likely to be prescribed another class of mind-
regulating drugs called atypical antipsychotics than they
are antidepressants. Why? Because these drugs are thought by
most conventional doctors to be among the best courses of
treatment for mild to moderate levels of the dementia
associated with Alzheimer's disease. What's wrong with this,
you ask?

According to recent simultaneous announcements from four
major medical organizations, many of today's atypical
antipsychotic drugs carry with them significant risks -
among them obesity, blood lipid imbalances, and adult-onset
(type II) diabetes. All of these conditions (especially
diabetes) can increase the chance of developing heart
disease, or cause a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.

In a recent issue of Diabetes Care, The American Diabetes
Association, American Psychiatric Association, American
Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the North
American Association for the Study of Obesity (wow - say
that list ten times fast) all joined forces to sound the
alarm about this class of drugs. This integrated effort
marks the first time such a wide body of medical
organizations has integrated to condemn (sort of) this class
of drug.

Here's the kicker, though: These strange and diverse
bedfellows were forced to "go public" with this announcement
because the bulk of the companies that make these drugs have
refused to list these side effects on the label

Even though they were directed to do so by the FDA in 2003!

What's going to happen to these companies for not disclosing
the life-threatening risks of their patented poisons?
Nothing, most likely. There's maybe an outside chance our
beloved FDA will give them a stern talking-to - or if we're
lucky, an actual letter of warning. If this isn't stark
evidence of who's really wearing the pants in the drug
giant/FDA marriage, I don't know what is. And I'm thankful
(and surprised) that these four organizations held their
ground and sounded off on the matter

But we still didn't hear all about it in the mainstream
media.

Think about it: Did you read this potentially life-saving
warning on the front page of USA Today, or hear it at the
top of the hour on the national news? I didn't. I had to dig
this story up from online sources to bring it to you.

And speaking of groundbreaking heart disease news the
mainstream barely bothered to report

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off."

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***********************************************

A fine Finnish for 3 out of 10 diabetes cases

As I've always said, a proper diet (not the mainstream's
idea of one, either) is the key to controlling diabetes
risk - and the obesity, heart disease, and stroke that often
stem from it.

Much research has backed me up on this point over the years.
A recent study from Finland adds yet another brick in my
battlements on the diabetes/dietary link, but not in the way
you may be thinking. If you've been a reader of mine for any
time at all, you're probably used to hearing me say that a
low-carbohydrate and sugar-free diet is the best way to
prevent the onset of type II (adult) diabetes

Of course, this is totally true - but now, there's proof
that you can safely, easily and cheaply add something else
to your diet that'll slash your risk: Good old antioxidant
vitamins, especially vitamin E.

The team of Finnish researchers studied more than 4,000
subjects aged 40 to 69 over a period of 23 years to conclude
those whose diets were richest in vitamin E (and other
antioxidants, like carotenoids) were 30% less likely to
develop adult-onset diabetes. These 3 out of 10 Finns |
subsequently enjoy a greatly reduced risk of heart disease,
stroke, blindness, circulation problems and all the other by-
products diabetes routinely serves up to its victims.

The study's authors theorize that it's likely the
antioxidants' power to neutralize free radicals at the
cellular level may be responsible for the encouraging
results. In any event, if you're even the slightest bit
worried about diabetes, you should start taking a vitamin E
supplement (or a good daily multivitamin with plenty of this
powerful antioxidant in it) ASAP, if you're not already
doing so.

You won't find a cheaper or easier way to slash your
diabetes and heart disease risk.

Finnishing,

William Campbell Douglass II, MD