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“Infinite Mind” Radio Host is BFF With Big Pharma November 28, 2008

Filed under: Medical Ethics?,Pharma — aprasek @ 11:17 am


Another media doctor has been busted for making millions from the drug companies. The psychiatrist and radio host of “Infinite Mind”, Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, has done work with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and others. Problem is, we shouldn’t be surprised. 

It is a frequent practice of the pharmaceutical companies to have doctors play as spokespeople/educators/consultants/witnesses for their products. This is a real problem when those doctors are given a platform like radio or television. Basically, the individual is getting extra dollars to plug something (disguised under “medical advice”) and will be more inclined to suggest this product to the public whether or not it is truly the best option.

Nathan Newman wrote a great article in 2002 on some of the issues with conficts of interest. Things have only gotten worse since then…

According to NPR, Dr. Goodwin did not disclose all of his conflicts of interest. Goodwin provided a pathetic excuse for his behavior:    

He defended the views he expressed in many of his radio programs and said that, because he consulted for so many drugmakers at once, he had no particular bias.


“These companies compete with each other and cancel each other out,” he said.

Check out the full NY Times article about this guy.


Wow. So many at once? So many that they cancel each other out? I imagine that he’s made a lot more Big Pharma cash than what he finally revealed. This is another good reminder that we need to hold a critical eye to the medical information that gets dumped on us daily.


Breathe in, Peace out…



“Pollution Solution Holiday Gift Bag” November 26, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 11:00 am

I have never done my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving… until this year. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has come out with a fabulous holiday gift bag full of eco-friendly goodies. Your purchase helps support EWG, a non-profit organization that tirelessly fights to protect public health and the environment. 

This is a great gift that spreads good karma all around. Check out the gift bag and donation options by clicking here.





Good Meat for Thanksgiving November 25, 2008

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 12:10 pm

Perhaps everybody already has the Thanksgiving menu written down and shopped for. However, if you’re like me, this won’t happen until Wednesday night. Actually, when Charlie and I lived in California, we waited too long (Thursday morning…) and had to reconfigure our holiday plans. We decided to head to one of our favorite restaurants to have fish and chips on a patio overlooking the ocean. We topped the meal off with some homemade Horchata (a sweet Mexican rice drink). It was wonderful. But, here in Minnesota, that just wouldn’t be as enjoyable.

So, if you’re still shopping, be sure to purchase some quality, humane meat this year and as much local and organic products as possible. It’s especially important during this tough economy to support our local businesses.  

Some resources:

Meat Labels:  This is a great list from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It breaks down labels like “natural” (which means absolutely nothing), “cage-free” (helpful label for eggs, but means nothing for birds raised for meat) and “free-range” (which is lax- basically means “some access to the outdoors”).

Palin’s turkey troubles… yikes. 


Just Another Vitamin E & C Study November 24, 2008

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 1:45 pm

There’s been tons of media coverage on the latest Vitamin E & C study (called the Physicians’ Health Study II). Much of the media has reported that these vitamins have no benefits for cardiovascular health. Here’s what was really found:

Supplementation of 400 IU of Vitamin E every other day and 500 mg of Vitamin C every day had no significant effects on the reduction of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke and cardiovascular disease death. The study lasted 10 years and utilized a group of 14,641 male physicians, average age of 64 years.


(Click here to read the study.)


Here’s why you shouldn’t throw away your vitamins (Specific to this study):

  • The most striking concern for me was the age of these men. The average age was 64 at the beginning of this study. So, by the end of this 10-year study, 4,696 of these men were over the age of 70 and 4,054 were over the age of 80. At that age, of course they’re going to die of cardiovascular disease! At the least, these guys will have some heart attacks and strokes. Did the researchers actually think that some Vitamin E & C supplements could defeat the number one cause of death (cardiovascular disease) and send the male gender rocketing past their previously recorded life span?
  • There are too many factors in cardiovascular disease. Vitamins E & C may play a beneficial role, but they will not play a total role.
  • This is not a representative sample for Americans. This sample was made up of male physicians, likely 99% white of Northern European descent, highly educated and all of them were probably making some pretty nice paychecks. These guys could afford good food, vitamins, exercise, health insurance and other healthy lifestyle factors. Perhaps supplementation of Vitamin E & C could do no more for them on a cardiovascular level. But what about the rest of us?
  • There has been no consistency with dosage in vitamin research. Conventional science has to get away from the more is better belief and begin to actually understand the small details of these vitamins. The most effective dose may not be the highest amount that can be absorbed by the body.
  • Quality. This is huge! Where are these products being manufactured? What is the quality of these supplements? In the world of vitamins, you definitely get what you pay for. Supplements are essentially an unregulated industry with a lot of companies sacrificing quality for profits. I would never give up my vitamins for a cheaper brand that may be full of fillers and junk. This is a vital point to consider when research is being done on these products.

Final thoughts:

Research is clear that if you use a quality supplement, your risk of side effects from Vitamin E or Vitamin C is very rare. However, there is some valid evidence to suggest that high amounts of Vitamin E (more than 1,500 IU/day or 1,000 mg/day) may increase the likelihood of hemorrhage for some individuals. But, not to worry, common supplements won’t get near that amount; you’ll probably see around 350 IU on your bottle.

There is still valid evidence to support the use of these vitamins for prevention and treatment of a variety of chronic conditions. I haven’t been swayed by this study. I’ll continue to take quality vitamins (with a Vitamin E level of no more than 800 IU/day) and feel confident that I am receiving benefits.


Safety Guide to Kid’s Personal Care Products November 19, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness,Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 11:23 pm

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great fact sheet to make shopping for kid’s products like shampoo, bath gel, diaper cream and lotions quite a bit easier. 

Click here to check out the list.




CSI: McDonald’s November 18, 2008

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 12:41 am


A recent study attempted to identify the nutrition and living conditions of “fast food animals” by analyzing the carbon and nitrogen isotope content in the meat. The study revealed that the meat used by McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King came from animals who were fed an excessive corn diet and were raised in extreme confinement.

I’m not sure if this method can really identify the exact living conditions of these animals, but it probably gives a pretty accurate picture. More research like this can hopefully stimulate these mega food corporations to clean up their acts.

Forbes.com had a nice article on the study. Here’s a bit from it (or read the full article):



SKYR it up. November 14, 2008

Filed under: My favorite things! — aprasek @ 11:06 pm


A good yogurt is hard to find. Many of them are full of artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners and sourced from inhumane and unhealthy dairy corporations. Though I’m mainly a vegan, I tend to crave a yogurt every now and again… and some good cheese… ooh and a bit of ice cream… yummm… 

Anyway, back to the yogurt, it’s called SKYR and It’s delicious. No artificial anything and made from the milk of grass-fed cows. Only downside is the price: $2.99 per cup. Yeah, per cup- really pricey. I’d suggest saving up the money, purchasing the Orange & Ginger flavor, sitting down in a peaceful place and fully experiencing this divine treat.

Enjoy 🙂