Thursday, August 23, 2007

Uveitis and Potentially Life Threatening Drug Use

The July 2007 issue of Ocular Immunology & Inflammation published a study to heighten the awareness of a potentailly life-threatening drug interaction in patients with chronic uveitis who are being concomitantly treated treated with cyclosporine for the uveitis and simvastatin for hypercholesterolemia.

Rhabdomyolysis has developed with acute renal failure from the probable interaction between these two drugs. Immediate discontinuation of simvastatin and cyclosporine seems to result in resolution of rhabdomyolysis and normalization of renal function.

Statins are associated with a dose-related risk of myopathy, myositis, and rhabdomyolysis.

Cyclosporine is a potent inhibitor of simvastain metabolism and may facilitate simvastatin-induced rhabdomyolysis.

The journal article conclusion was. "Concomitant use of statins and cyclosporine should be avoided."

We wonder, given this information, how long it will take the drug manufacturers to put this warning on both drugs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vitamin D-the Miracle Vitamin

Vitamin D may be the new asprin. It is now associated with lowering the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and some cancers.

The most recent news on vitamin D deficiency comes from a report in the American Journal of Hypertension, which suggests that low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are associated with increased blood pressure. This inverse relationship was strongest in people over 50, compared with younger study participants.

Ethnic differences in the average levels of serum vitamin D are linked to the increased hypertension commonly seen in non-Hispanic blacks who consistently have the lowest levels of serum vitamin D, with Mexican Americans just slightly higher.

This study suggests a need to elevate vitamin D levels by increasing sun exposure or vitamin D supplementation in these at-risk communities.

This includes the elderly who spend very little time in the sun.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too Much Desk Time Is Bad For Our Health

I own right up to borrowing this brilliant blog article from the Colorado Springs Business Journal-but don't try this at home:

Sit in a stationary position for eight to 10 hours. Keep your fingers moving in patterns pushing buttons. Squint.

This can be risky behaviour for many parts of your body, especially your eyes, back, and wrists. Yet most of us do it five days a week or more.At the very least, get up and walk around (to change up your back strain), look at things of varying distances (to work those eyeball-focusing muscles), and keep your wrist elevated (we all know that one, right?)Want to take things further? Want to be able to lift things in your retirement? Want to be able to type for another few years? Want to stave off the reading glasses? There's lots you can do!

Stay hydrated, don't let the HVAC blow dry air in your eyes, get up and stretch more frequently, and keep your office space well lit. Don't let the monitor be the brightest thing in your field of vision, and avoid glares. Move your desk if you have to. The Mayo clicnic recommends these stretches, you can get a new chair, and there's even yoga you can do in your cubicle (free videos!).

Last but not least, check out the Treadputer.

Antioxidants and Disease

A number of research papers presented last week at the 234th annual American Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston centered around the ability of antioxidants to prevent DNA damage.

Julia Brumaghim, of Clemson University in South Carolina suggested. "Cancers, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson'ts and Alzheimer's diseases are often linked to DNA damage that can be prevented by increasing the amount of green tea and garlic in our daily diets."

Monica Giusti of Ohio State University tested the anti-colon cancer effects of anthocyanin-rich extracts from a variety of fruits and vegetables including grapes, radishes, purlple corn, bilberries, purple carrots and elderberries. Her research fround that purple corn was the most potent antioxidant, with bilberry extracts being nearly as potent.

Dr. Giusti said, "All fruits and vegetables rich in anthocyanins have compounds that can slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, whether in experiments in laboratory dishes or inside the body."