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Hot Topics & Readers' Notes - 11-07-12

  [ 5 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • November 6, 2012

10-Year Study Debunks Soy for Hot Flashes/Night Sweats

Is there a relationship between eating soy products such as soy milk and tofu and the onset of symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats (called 'vasomotor symptoms') as women enter menopause? No there is not, according to a collaborative study led by investigators at UC Davis. Unlike previous studies investigating the relationship between soy and these menopausal symptoms, the current study included a very large population over a long period of time: more than 1,650 women of different racial and ethnic groups over 10 years. Though it has been proposed that women of Asian ancestry experience fewer vasomotor symptoms because their diet tends to be higher in plant based estrogens (phytoestrogens) such as those in soy foods, the indications are that the digestive tracts of Asian women produce more of an estrogen-mimic metabolite called 'equol' when digesting phytoestrogens. Read more here.


Voters Weigh In On Marijuana - for Medicinal & Any Use

On Tues, Nov 4, 2012 voters in Colorado and Washington state approved the use of marijuana by adults over age 21 for any purpose in their states, while based on projections a similar measure has apparently failed in Oregon and a measure to tighten control on medical marijuana has apparently been approved in Montana.  Before Tuesday, Montana, 16 other states and the District of Columbia had laws allowing medical use of marijuana.


Major Fibromyalgia Epigenetics Study Launched in UK has launched "the largest genetic study of fibromyalgia ever conducted.” The study, led by Dr. Frances Williams at the Genetic Epidemiology Unit, King’s College London, will collect DNA samples from at least 2,000 people with FM/chronic widespread pain. They are sending out blood taking kits & questionnaires on request, for submission via one's doctor’s office. Recently in a similar study of low back pain epigenetics, Dr. Williams' team identified a gene associated with the majority of low back pain cases.


Action for ME Seeks PhD Student for Muscle Dysfunction Study

A study led by Dr. Phil Manning and Prof Julia Newton at Newcastle University will investigate an abnormality of 'bio-energetic' muscle function that has been shown using fMRI in ME/CFS patients. Their hypothesis is that this 'over-ultilisation of anaerobic metabolism pathways' is a major factor in ME/CFS fatigue, and their study will explore the mechanics of the dysfunction with the intent of developing treatments for subsequent trials. Action for ME has dedicated £25,000 to fund a biomedical sciences studentship; an amount matched by Newcastle University, for a total of about $80,225 US. They are now seeking a top science grad to be trained & employed for 3 years' work on the Manning-Newton study.


Aspirin Helps Hold Colon Cancer in Check for 1 in 6

Could aspirin become a targeted therapy for colon cancer? For patients whose cancers carry the mutated PIK3CA gene, at least, the prospects look good. “More than one in every six patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer may benefit from [aspirin] therapy,” according to a paper published Oct 25 by the New England Journal of Medicine. “Aspirin blocked tumor growth to reduce mortality 82% [vs patients not using aspirin] in patients with one type of colorectal cancer – those with the mutated PIK3CA gene, found in about 17% of all cases.” Of the 66 patients in their sample of 964 patients who both had this type of cancer and used aspirin after diagnosis, 3 died of it in follow-up. But 63 did not.


Remembering Richard Van Konynenburg on Nov 18

All are invited to the ME/CFS/FM, Lyme and MCS community's phone memorial service for Rich VanK on November 18, beginning at 2 pm Eastern time, 11 am Pacific time, USA; 7 pm London/GMT. Participation in this expression of love and gratitude will be simple, as described here.


Want the Scoop on Home Remedies? Visit

For fun & even some good ideas, try the home remedy library of to review reader ratings based on their experiences with home remedies. For example, would you guess amber Listerine might help shingles pain?


4.5% Taking Opioids for Chronic Pain Risk Dependency

The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent group that reviews medication research, studied the results of 17 studies addressing the question of opioid painkiller addiction among 88,000 people who had a prescription for chronic pain unrelated to cancer. They narrowed it to 10 studies to focus on patients using the painkillers beyond the short term (at least 3 months to several years), and found that on average just 4.5% developed a dependency. For most people, it "may happen, but it's not very common"; though people who have an addiction history can be a different story.


Listing of Physicians with Environmental Medicine Training

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine offers a listing of member MDs & DOs who have completed its core curriculum. The list covers all the US states, Canada, Australia, England, Japan, Norway, and Switzerland.  (Thanks for this information to the October MCS-America newsletter -


Disbelief Heavy Added Burden for Teens with 'Invisible Illness'

A study at the University of Bristol measured the levels and causes of distress among teens with ME/CFS  vs. teens with other chronic illnesses and healthy controls. The ME/CFS teens suffered significant additional anxiety owing to inability to explain their illness, others' general disbelief in it, peer bullying, and distrust from adults around them.


Dr. Judy Mikovits' Nov 4 Radio Interview, Archived

On Nov 4, Dr. Mikovits was the guest on Sue Vogan's online "In Short Order Radio Show for Healthcare Professionals." The program, where Dr. Mikovits answered submitted questions and explained where she sees ME/CFS research going now, is archived at (scroll down). Very good questions, good information, and hopeful but not on the potential role of any RNA virus in ME/CFS, and thanks to Dr. Lipkin they have latest methods for going forward.


Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is general and anecdotal, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it with your professional healthcare team.

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