Platelet E-News – August 26, 2002

Contents:

  • Tripterygium Extract Effective, Safe for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Acrylamide: The Fries Have It
  • States Grant Herb Doctors New Powers

 

TRIPTERYGIUM EXTRACT EFFECTIVE, SAFE FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

The Chinese remedy Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF) extract was well tolerated and offered benefit to patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study reported in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. Of the 35 patients in the study 8 of 10 in the high dose group, 4 of 10 in the low dose group and none of the 12 of the placebo group showed an improvement. Extracts of TWHF have been widely used in China to treat a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Arthritis Rheum.2002;46:1735-1743 as reported in Medscape

ACRYLAMIDE: THE FRIES HAVE IT

Researchers in Sweden found acrylamide in some starch-based foods such as potato chips, french fries, cookies, cereals and bread above the level given in the World Health Organization's Guideline Values for drinking water. Unlike preservatives that are added to foods, acrylamide forms as a result of unknown chemical reactions during high-temperature baking or frying.

While acrylamide is known to cause cancer and nerve damage in laboratory animals, no studies have been done to determine the relationship between acrylamide and cancer or other problems in humans.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest commissioned the Swedish government to test the level of acrylamide in a small sampling of U.S. Foods. The results ranged from 1 microgram/serving of El Paso Taco Shells to 72 micrograms/serving for McDonald's French Fries. The EPA allows no more than 0.12 micrograms in an 8-oz. glass of water.

More research is required to determine how acrylamide is formed during the cooking process and the relevancy to human cancers.

For more information see: http://www.who.int/inf/en/pr-2002-51.html and http://www.cspinet.org/new/200206251.html

STATES GRANT HERB DOCTORS NEW POWERS

Twelve states now license naturopath doctors while seven others have active pro-licensing efforts. While the number of trained naturopaths is small, it has doubled over the past five years. Naturopath doctors don't have conventional medical degrees and usually specialize in treating diseases with vitamins, herbs or other supplements. In some states, medical associations have tried to block licensing of naturopathic doctors suggesting that naturopathic medical schools don't provide enough training.

States that license naturopaths include: AL, AZ, CT, HI, KS, ME, MT, NH, OR, UT, VT, WA. States with active licensing efforts include: CA, NY, FL, ID, NC, NM, PA.

Washington Post, August 22, 2002


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