As we know, chronic low back pain (cLBP) is an enormous public-health problem—and a frustrating one to patients, health-care providers, and researchers.
An estimated 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C, a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. What is particularly worrisome about this disease is that most people do not have any symptoms until the virus has caused liver damage, which can take 10 years or more. Conventional medical therapies are available, but still, some people with hepatitis C try complementary health approaches, such as dietary supplements.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by a virus. It is usually chronic (long-lasting), but most people do not have any symptoms until the virus causes liver damage, which can take 10 or more years to happen. Without medical treatment, chronic hepatitis C can eventually cause liver cancer or liver failure. Conventional medical treatments are available for chronic hepatitis C. Some people with hepatitis C also try complementary health approaches, especially dietary supplements.
If you are considering any dietary supplement for hepatitis C, here are some things you should know.
Hepatitis C, a contagious liver disease, is caused by the hepatitis C virus. People can get hepatitis C through contact with blood from a person who is already infected or, less commonly, through having sex with an infected person. The infection usually becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis C often is treated with drugs that can eliminate the virus. This may slow or stop liver damage, but the drugs may cause side effects, and for some people, treatment is ineffective.
Some people with hepatitis C also try complementary health approaches, especially dietary supplements. Several herbal supplements have been studied for hepatitis C, and substantial numbers of people with hepatitis C have tried herbal supplements. For example, a survey of 1,145 participants in the HALT-C (Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis) trial, a study supported by NIH, found that 23 percent of the participants were using herbal products. Although participants reported using many different herbal products, silymarin (milk thistle) was by far the most common. However, no dietary supplement has been shown to be effective for hepatitis C.
This issue provides information on what the science says about the safety and effectiveness of milk thistle and some of the other dietary supplements studied for hepatitis C.
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“Millions of older Americans take nutritional supplements to protect their sight without clear guidance regarding benefit and risk,” said NEI director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. “This study clarifies the role of supplements in helping prevent advanced AMD, an incurable, common, and devastating disease that robs older people of their sight and independence.”
Laboratory analysis conducted by the FDA has determined the Vicerex product contains undeclared tadalafil, and the Black Ant product contains undeclared sildenafil. These undeclared active ingredients poses a threat to consumers because tadalafil and sildenafil may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Since the beginning of NCCAM, the starting point for us has been the “real-world” use of complementary health approaches. Over time, we have supported a number of surveys and other observational studies, and have learned a good deal about the choices Americans are making in complementary approaches, the reasons they cite, and the associated costs. There is more to learn, of course, but we have pretty good descriptive data about real-world practices. And we have learned that the focus of most use is on pain management.
I love this time of year, when trees and flowers are beginning to bloom and when we can say farewell to gray winter days. But as beautiful as spring blossoms are, this time of year can be quite a nuisance for seasonal allergy sufferers. Seasonal allergies affect around 17 million American adults and 7 million children, often bringing on bouts of sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and itchy eyes and throat.
As the Nation’s medical research agency, NIH supports the full spectrum of pain research, from increasing basic understanding of pain mechanisms through translating new discoveries into prevention and treatment strategies. Pain is a major strategic focus for NCCAM in the context of complementary health approaches. About 30 percent of NCCAM’s research portfolio supports research on pain. Our intramural research program, headed by Catherine Bushnell, Ph.D., focuses on the role of the brain in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is using all available tools at its disposal to ensure that dietary supplements containing a stimulant called dimethylamylamine (DMAA) are no longer distributed and available for sale to consumers in the marketplace.
Seasonal allergies, also called “hay fever,” are triggered each spring, summer, and fall when trees, weeds, and grasses release pollen into the air. When the pollen ends up in your nose and throat, it can bring on sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and itchy eyes and throat. Pollen counts tend to be the highest early in the morning on warm, dry, breezy days and the lowest during chilly, wet periods.
Seasonal allergies, also called “hay fever,” are a common chronic medical problem. At least 17.7 million American adults (7.8 percent of the adult population) and 7 million children (about 9 percent of children) have seasonal allergies.
People manage seasonal allergies by taking medication, avoiding exposure to the substances that trigger their allergic reactions, having a series of “allergy shots” (a form of immunotherapy) or using various complementary approaches. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, “respiratory allergy” is among the 15 conditions for which children in the United States use complementary approaches most frequently. This issue of the Digest provides information on what the science says about several complementary health approaches for seasonal allergies, such as saline nasal irrigation, butterbur, honey, acupuncture, and other practices.
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Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
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