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20 July 2006

Chinese Hospitals Over-Prescribe Antibiotics To Generate Income

BEIJING, June 30 -- Health experts have called for more attention to be paid to the proper prescription of medicines, in particular the use of antibiotics.

"China has a very serious problem of antibiotics abuse, especially antibacterial injection," said Professor Yang Yonghong of Beijing Children's Hospital, during the International Pediatric Pharmacology Symposium currently being held in Shanghai.

"About 90 per cent of patients with common colds first use antibiotics," said Yang. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses such as common colds.

"The improper use (of antibiotics) will result in development of drug resistance, more side effects, increased medical expenses and a huge burden for parents," said Professor Wang Daiming of Shanghai Children's Hospital of Fudan University.

Yang also revealed that resistance against the antibiotic erythromycin has increased to as high as 90 per cent among pneumococcal pneumonia patients.

During the symposium, Yang presented a nationwide survey on antibiotics consumption in five children's hospitals in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou since 2000.

The survey showed the use of antibiotics in hospitals has continued to increase, with the misuse of antibiotics for non-infectious diseases common.

Early this year, China Association of Medicine revised the guidelines for antibiotics use in medical institutions nationwide.

In some hospitals like Shanghai Children's Hospital, antibiotics have been classified and the prescription rights are given to doctors of various levels.

However, the measure is unlikely to have much impact on antibiotics abuse as the source of the problem remains in China's medical system: Hospitals rely too much on income from selling medicines.

The survey showed that medicine sales accounted for around half of total income.

Antibiotics accounted for 43 to 50 per cent of all income from sales of Western drugs in the five hospitals.

China Daily

Calcium and Magnesium Summary

For those that dont have the time to read the article below it highlights a few important points. That regardless of health conditions and age to ratios of Ca and Mag in your blood remains the same, what changes is what is in cells (intracellular). Meaning that blood levels of Ca and Mg do not reflect deficiencies as your body will try to maintain sufficient levels in blood at all times. Also it highlights how a majority of health conditions that are associated with aging have a strong correlation with excess Ca levels as opposed to Mg levels. So eat your greens for good Calcium and Magnesium and stay away from excess Ca foods such as cheese and milk.

Calcium and Magnesium Levels Age-Related Changes and Relationship to Hypertension and Diabetes

Ward Dean, MD

Magnesium and potassium are the principal intracellular cations (positive ions), while calcium and sodium are the principal extracellular cations. Although magnesium plays a universal role in cellular biochemistry, and is critical to enzyme activation, nerve conduction, ion transport, and hundreds of other functions, little is known about the effect of age on magnesium metabolism.

Because only about 1% of magnesium is extracellular, serum magnesium levels do not accurately reflect intracellular magnesium content. Furthermore, only 10-15% of intracellular magnesium is in the free, active form.1

Age-Related Changes in Intracellular Ca/Mg Levels
Recently, a team of researchers performed a study on 103 subjects of various ages, utilizing 31P-nuclear magnetic (NMR) and 19F-NMR techniques to determine
intracellular levels of magnesium and calcium, respectively.2 The scientists analyzed the levels of calcium and magnesium, using red blood cells, drawn at 9 AM.

Characteristics of the participants in this study were as follows: Seventy-one of the subjects were less than 65-years old, and thirty-two subjects were older than 65. Thirty-seven of the subjects were “healthy normals” (eleven of whom were older than 65, and twenty-six were younger than 65). Thirty-nine were hypertensive (nine were older than 65, and thirty were younger than 65). Twenty-seven had non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) (12 were older than 65, and 15 were younger than 65).

Interestingly, the scientists found that there were no differences of serum (i.e., the liquid portion of blood, minus the red and white blood cells) levels of calcium and magnesium in any of the participants—i.e., neither age nor disease (hypertension or diabetes) had any effect on serum concentrations of these minerals.

However, younger normal subjects had lower levels of intracellular magnesium, and higher levels of intracellular calcium (Figs. 1 and 2) than the normal older subjects. Fleckenstein (1983) found similar changes in tissue calcium and magnesium levels in the aortas of humans who died at various ages. Fleckenstein demonstrated the progressive accumulation of calcium in arterial tissue, resulting in a shift of the calcium/magnesium ratio in favor of calcium (Fig. 3).3

Intracellular Mineral Levels and Disease
Significantly, subjects with hypertension or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) had higher levels of intracellular calcium and lower levels of intracellular magnesium—even worse than the levels seen in older normal subjects (Figs. 4 and 5).

Based on these results, the authors formulated an “ionic hypothesis” in which they proposed that an intracellular profile characterized by excess calcium and depleted magnesium resulted in insulin resistance (resulting in obesity and NIDDM), hypertension, and aging.

Measuring Tissue Calcium and Magnesium Levels
The data described in this study appear to indicate that intracellular calcium and magnesium may be a useful biomarker of aging. However, as noted by the authors in this study, intracellular calcium and magnesium levels are not accurately assessed by routine blood (serum) analysis. Furthermore, the techniques utilized by the authors to gather these data are not readily available outside of major research institutes.

There are several techniques that are readily available to accomplish this, however. An innovative technique has been developed to non-invasively and fairly inexpensively (about $70) measure levels of intracellular minerals. The test involves scraping cells from the floor of the mouth with a small spatula (ice cream stick), and sending the slide to IntraCellular Diagnostics. (800-874-4804). There, scientists use scanning electron microscopy and X-ray fluorescence to determine levels of calcium and
magnesium, plus sodium, potassium, chlorine and phosphorous.

Another technique that measures tissue mineral levels is to use hair analysis (available from VRP). Although blood tests measure levels of various substances over very narrow periods of time, hair mineral levels reveal stable tissue mineral levels based on accumulation over weeks to months. Hair elemental analysis can be a source of important information for healthcare practitioners and their patients. With proper interpretation, hair analysis test results can point to hidden causes of chronic illness,
and help physicians design nutritional interventions.

Optimizing Calcium/Magnesium Balance
The observations in this study—that elevated levels of intracellular calcium, and depressed levels of intracellular magnesium—clearly indicate the contribution of this pattern to many chronic degenerative diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity and aging. These findings appear to validate the calcium/magnesium balance in VRP’s multi-nutrient and multi-mineral formulas, which are generally weighted in favor of magnesium-to-calcium. The rationale for these higher magnesium-to-calcium ratios has been previously explained in detail in the Customers’ Corner in the March, 2000 issue of Vitamin Research News. (On the internet go to, choose “library,” and enter “calcium” in the search engine.)

1. Gupta, R.K., Gupta, P., Yushok, W.D., Rose, Z.B. Measurement of the dissociation constant of magnesium ATP of 31P-NMR and optical absorbance spectroscopy.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 1983, 253: 6172-6176.

2. Barbagallo, M., Gupta, R.K., Dominguez, L.J., and Resnick, L.M. Cellular ionic alterations with age: Relation to hypertension and diabetes. J American Geriatrics Society, 2000, 48: 1111-1116.

3. Fleckenstein, A. Calcium Antagonism in Heart and Smooth Muscle, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1983.

18 July 2006

One persons journey though healing scoliosis

Today I have an email that I received from one of my patients Jacqualine Tan who actually took it out of her own free time to help others with scoliosis. She had recently attended a talk held by a Singapore scoliosis support group where a professor proclaimed that the only treatment available for sufferers was bracing a surgery. Obviously this left the group feeling quite hopeless.... even more so when previous surgical patients gave testimonials of how they regretted doing the surgery due to the pain and disability it caused. Unfortunately patients are not given sufficient information to be able to make their own informed decision. Many times I have heard parents say that their doctor told them that "there is nothing that can be done and that they must go for surgery". Yet ask any orthopaedic surgeon whether or not they would opt for surgery if one of their own family members had a severe curve, a majority would say no. If professors and doctors don't believe in surgery then why do they promote it? I guess they have to make a living too. Harsh I know but this is the reality, I quickly learned this while doing the medical round doing from Doctor to doctor while going thru chronic fatigue. How can an industry built upon sickness deliver health? While Modern Medicine is great for emergency critical care and I would go to no one else if I was in a car accident, it is hopeless for chronic conditions such as scoliosis and fatigue. Fortunately the tides are changing and their is a new breed of medical doctors calling themselves integrative and anti aging who I would trust with chronic conditions. Optimal health comes from following the basics: good food, clean air, adequate sunshine and exercise.
So heres Jacquelines story.
In health,
Dr Kevin Lau
Dear Yin Hoe,

I like to join the Scoliosis Support Group as a member so I'll have opportunities to share what I've discovered in my journey to wellness. I prefer to give my response here as I find online forms rather restrictive.

I first learnt my spine has a sideway curve 8 years ago when I went for a full body massage. The masseuse traced the curvature with her finger . I dismissed it as an abnormality I was probably born with and thought no more of it as I had no pains nor aches anywhere, not even the usual backache ladies usually complain of when they have their periods and the number of times I've had a headache can be counted on one hand.However in the past few years, I suffered from tense shoulders and low energy .

A few months ago, I began to wonder whether my spinal curvature is what 's called "Scoliosis" . Hence, when Contour Health Chiropractic, Raffles City, advertised a workshop on Scoliosis, I attended. The chiropractor confirmed I have scoliosis after a visual assessment . A spinal X-ray confirmed I had right thoracic "C" shaped scoliosis of 36 degrees from the neck to T6.

I signed up for a 80 sessions package with Contour Health.
Twice each week, I do a one-hour therapy session at Contour Health . I do exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles and the bones in the upper part of my body and the neck , including traction and inversion. Then I adjoun to the doctor's room where he adjusts my spinal and cervical vertebrae .The electrodes , which I find most relaxing , comes last.

Contour Health send their patients for an assessment x-ray when they have completed 72 sessions.. X-rays of the earliest patients ( Contour Health established their first clinic in Singapore in Aug 2005) have been very encouraging. All the patients have had their curvatures reduced ; the patient with the least improvement registerd a 7 degree correction. There was a 15 year old who improved from 45 degrees to 28 and a 70 year old from 16 to 4 (hope I've recalled correctly).

I don't know how much my spine has shifted as my X-ray is not due till Aug but I certainly feel much more relaxed. Dr Kevin Lau has a passion for getting his patients well . Besides the exercises and spinal manipulations, Kevin emphasises the importance of providing our muscles and bones with the necessary minerals and vitamins to get better. He urges us to go GREEN - eat fresh green vegs (uncooked where possible or lightly steamed) and drink green juices (juices from fresh green veg like brocolli, spinach, kai lan, cucumber ). He also encourages us to detox to rid our bodies of unwanted organisms and to make our own probiotics to improve our digestive systems. With more enzymes in our digestive systems, our cells will be able to assimilate more of the nutrition we're sending their way.

Dr Kevin's latest is Magnsium Taurate - he believes Magnsium may reduce tension in muscles and increase energy level. I started Magnsium Taurate only last Sat and Dr Kevin was right indeed! I can actually feel my shoulders and neck getting looser! On Sunday, after lunch, I climbed up 200 stories to prepare for a trek in India/China come Oct but I wasn't tired as I normally would have been !

Besides doing therapy at Contour Health, I go to Nan Wah Pai at Geylang for taiji twice each week.Nan Wah Pai Taiji places emphasis on qi circulation and body postures so my taiji practise has also contributed significantly to my becoming a more relaxed person physically and mentally.

Once a week, I go to Nan Wah Pai Orthopaedic Centre at Yishun for "tui na." The Orthopaedic physician who's China trained is very experienced and skilful at breaking the qi blockages in my upper back, shoulders and neck.

And I mustn't forget to mention my Magnetic pillow and Magnetic mattress - they promote blood circuation while i slumber and I awake feeling refreshed each morning.

Chiropractic,taiji, tui na, green veg and juices, energy healing meditaions and magnet therapy - they have all made me much healthier and more relaxed than before I discovered I have Scoliosis.


17 July 2006

Stop child drug abuse!

One of my favorite publications for news is the New York Times, and while you still have to be critical of everything that you read, such as the disease mongering drug ads or bird flu scares driving vaccine profits, it still has great articles. Here is a link to an article highlighting the scary fact that kids are being drugged more than ever before. I guess the big pharm's have figured out its more profitable to start building a customer base at an early age. Am I the only one that thinks this is insane?!

New York Times Article

Do Doctors Truely Believe they are Making People Healthier?

Here are some interesting quotes from some medical professionals and experts in the field of cancer therapy... certainly food for thought:

"As a retired physician, I can honestly say that unless you are in a serious accident, your best chance of living to a ripe old age is to avoid doctors and hospitals and learn nutrition, herbal medicine and other forms of natural medicine unless you are fortunate enough to have a naturopathic physician available. Almost all drugs are toxic and are designed only to treat symptoms and not to cure anyone. Vaccines are highly dangerous, have never been adequately studied or proven to be effective, and have a poor risk/reward ratio. Most surgery is unnecessary and most textbooks of medicine are inaccurate and deceptive. Almost every disease is said to be idiopathic (without known cause) or genetic - although this is untrue. In short, our main stream medical system is hopelessly inept and/or corrupt. The treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases is a national scandal. The sooner you learn this, the better off you will be."
--Dr. Allan Greenberg 12/24/2002

"As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incomprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good."
--Alan Nixon, Ph.D., Past President, American Chemical Society.

"It amazes me how much of what passes for knowledge in cancer therapy turns out to be incomplete, inadequate, and anecdotal."
--Ralph Moss, Ph.D.

"Your toxic concoctions (chemo) are actually the false hope you worry so much about."
-- William Kelley Eidem, author "The Doctor Who Cures Cancer"

"Conventional cancer treatments are in place as the law of the land because they pay, not heal, the best."
--John Diamond, M.D. & Lee Cowden, M.D.

"Finding a cure for cancer is absolutely contraindicated by the profits of the cancer industry’s chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery cash trough."
--Dr Diamond, M.D.

"We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison."
--Glen Warner, M.D. oncologist.

"Chemotherapy is an incredibly lucrative business for doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies…..The medical establishment wants everyone to follow the same exact protocol. They don’t want to see the chemotherapy industry go under, and that’s the number one obstacle to any progress in oncology." —Dr Warner, M.D.

Dead Doctors Don't Lie!

We have seen before at this link that physicians, and especially psychiatrists commit suicide more frequently than the rest of the population. Why? Perhaps they actually believe that their medicine is their "cure". Who knows. We know this is preposterous and that proper nutrition is the only way to actual health, barring accidental injury or infection. I am not the first to expound upon this subject. Many others have spoken too. Perhaps one of the most eloquent was Dr. Joel Wallach, author of the popular audio tape "Dead Doctors Don't Lie: But Live Ones Do". In 1991, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine (meaning a person having already won one, nominated him). Did he get it? No. Perhaps if he had, medicine would be vastly better today. Instead, pigs get better health care than humans, and Dr. Wallach was vilified. Why? Veterinarians and farmers know that the only way to profit is from healthy pigs through nutrition, not drugs. On the other hand, it seems to me that physicians and our government [perhaps biased by the trillion dollar health(sic) industry place economic concerns ahead of people, by emphasizing drugs and demeaning nutrition. Does it make sense for the government to prohibit saying, "nutrients can cure, prevent or treat disease"? I don't think so unless one is ready to call scurvy a non-disease. Do you know how much a pork chop would cost if medical doctors were in charge of animal health? Dr. Wallach pegs it at over $325 per pork chop. Get the idea? If I get sick, sent me to a veterinarian! If you have never heard his eloquent call for medical doctors to exercise logic concerning nutrition and long life, or if you are an old admirer who want to again hear his world-famous lecture series, go to this page and follow the links to his 5-part audio tape. At his peek, he made 300 lectures a year. If you want to visit his site go to and see a truly caring man's work. See why he says that all people and animals that die of "natural causes" actually die of malnutrition. Listen to his tapes at learn which profession kills 300,000 people a year in the U.S. and gets paid for it! He says, "don't ever go to a physician if you want to live a long life".

Dead Doctor's Don't Lie Link

16 July 2006

Who's in charge of your health?

One of the main goals of my blog site is to help patients take greater responsibility for their own health issues through safer, healthier means and not merely rely on the debatable wisdom of governmental health experts looking for the next drug-based "cure."

So, how do physicians react to patients who question their treatments? An interesting piece in the Washington Post offers a first-person account from one physician who recalls treating such encounters with patients with a great deal of skepticism that, over the years, has since been replaced with "an appreciation for patients who inform themselves."

I love it when patients know more than me... as strange as that sounds it makes me strive for more knowledge. While most medical physicians prefer to dictate to patients what they should do, I always believe patients have the right to first be informed and then decide the course of action that seem right for them. Enjoy the article:

Washington Post Article Click Here