Tuesday, May 08, 2012
paywalled: Dietary Supplements and Cancer Prevention: Balancing Potential Benefits Against Proven Harms
Dietary Supplements and Cancer Prevention: Balancing Potential Benefits Against Proven Harms
- Accepted March 12, 2012.
Nutritional supplementation is now a multibillion-dollar industry, and about half of all US adults take supplements. Supplement use is fueled in part by the belief that nutritional supplements can ward off chronic disease, including cancer, although several expert committees and organizations have concluded that there is little to no scientific evidence that supplements reduce cancer risk. To the contrary, there is now evidence that high doses of some supplements increase cancer risk. Despite this evidence, marketing claims by the supplement industry continue to imply anticancer benefits. Insufficient government regulation of the marketing of dietary supplement products may continue to result in unsound advice to consumers. Both the scientific community and government regulators need to provide clear guidance to the public about the use of dietary supplements to lower cancer risk.
Supplements: Not mystical anticancer magic [Respectful Insolence]:
It's no secret that over the years I've been very critical of a law passed nearly 20 years ago, commonly referred to as the DSHEA of 1994. The abbreviation DSHEA stands for about as Orwellian a name for a law as I can imagine: the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Of course, as we've pointed out time and time again, the DSHEA is not about health, and it's certainly not about education. Indeed, perhaps my favorite description of this law comes from blog bud and all around awesome internist Dr. Peter Lipson, who refers to it as a "travesty of a mockery of a sham." Rather, it's about allowing supplement manufacturers and promoters of so-called "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM, with or without a preceding "s," depending on your taste) who do not want pesky things like government laws and regulations to interfere with their selling of pseudoscience to market various compounds as "dietary supplements" with near-impunity. As Harriet Hall once put it so accurately, the DSHEA is "a stealth weapon that allows the sale of unproven medicines just as long as you pretend they are not medicines."
The DSHEA accomplishes this by making a seemingly reasonable distinction between food and medicine and twisting it in such a way that allows manufacturers to label all sorts of botanicals and various other compounds, many of which have substances in them with pharmacological activity, and sell them as "supplements" without prior approval by the FDA before marketing.
Hypoxia Could Drive Cancer Growth
"Low oxygen levels in cells may be a primary cause of uncontrollable tumor growth in some cancers, according to a new University of Georgia study. The authors' findings run counter to widely accepted beliefs that genetic mutations are responsible for cancer growth.......
Science behind cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in humans: A clinical study: Publication year: 2012
Objective To investigate the relationship between serum electrolyte changes and cisplatin induced nephrotoxicity.
Conclusions The present study demonstrates that, acute nephrotoxicity was observed in patients with different types of cancers undergoing cisplatin based chemotherapy due to electrolyte disturbances, when no corrective measures were initiated.