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BioMask on ArenThe influenza virus is a determined and relentless foe. Infecting about 1 billion people worldwide annually and killing hundreds of thousands. If influenza evolves into a pandemic strain, as it did three times last century, it could kill tens of millions.

Stripped to its genetic skeleton the virus that has wrought havoc on populations and caused untold misery is one of the simplest organisms on the planet. It consists of merely eight genes. Humans, on the other hand, have some 20,000 genes.

According to experts, in the first eight weeks of a flu pandemic, an effective mask could reduce the number of cases from one million to just 6. [1]

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helicobacterDr Rachel Olivier MS ND PhD describes the pathophysiology of the infection and explores the role of natural agents in the eradication and control of this ubiquitous organism.

In 1982, when this bacterium was discovered by Marshall and Warren, stress and lifestyle were considered the major causes of peptic ulcer disease. It is now firmly established that Helicobacter pylori causes more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers. The link between Helicobacter pylori infection and subsequent gastritis and peptic ulcer disease has been established through studies of human volunteers, antibiotic treatment studies and epidemiological studies.

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dhssps-banner-home-leftA year-long pilot scheme (2007/08) in Northern Ireland found impressive health benefits for patients offered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) via the public health service.

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S0091674909X00102_cov200hDr Harri Hemila MD. PhD responded to the CAM article in Allergy and Clinical Immunology [1] stating-

Mainardi et al[1] reviewed the use and effects of complementary and alternative medicines on respiratory symptoms. They stated that early studies on vitamin C did not demonstrate an effect on the duration or intensity of the common cold, and as a support to this statement, they referred to 2 articles from 1975.[2,3]

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coverfigThe epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus is dramatically increasing. Environmental factors, such as sedentary life-style, hypercaloric, fat-rich diet and genetic susceptibility are considered major determinants of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity and peripheral insulin resistance are hallmarks and major risk factors for development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cardiovascular complications (eg, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease) of both metabolic disorders are associated with chronic subclinical inflammation.

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There is, to some extent a confidence that Evidence Based Medicine is an all encompassing component of medical care. Certainly it is a position that all practitioners and clinicians would feel a high level of confidence about their daily work if this was true. The CAM community is frequently accused of pursuing strategies that have no, or at best a controversial evidence basis. This in part is true, there are many proposed reasons why including of course financial ones.

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As more and more people are writing about medicine, alternative medicine and other subjects in which a reference is required it is sometimes useful to have consistent approaches to building that all important reference list. There is an increasing willingness to use blogs as sources, or other web pages. This web page called Citing Medicine

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A recently published evidence-based review of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) management and the release of online patient tools by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) may help diagnose the disease with fewer costly tests and guide IBS therapy decisions. The online interactive patient tools consist of both a questionnaire to help patients determine whether their

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Comment: The National Institutes of Health have spent more than $2 billion researching complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, these studies may have little influence on mainstream physicians and even CAM providers, according to a survey reported in the April 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“In this study we wanted to know, ‘Can CAM research have social value?'” Dr. Jon C. Tilburt told Reuters Health. “We sought to answer this from the perspectives of the clinicians who might benefit from the published clinical trials of CAM.”

Dr. Tilburt, a bioethicist at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, added, “Awareness of and willingness to recommend a therapy based on new evidence are preliminary indicators of whether or not CAM research is making its way into clinical practice.”

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