Thursday, February 28, 2013

Drug Information Update - New FDA Drug Info: Drug Safety Podcasts

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FDA Drug Info has posted new Drug Safety Podcasts. Click on the following links to listen to the podcasts and read the transcripts.

   Safety review update of codeine use in children; new Boxed Warning and Contraindication on use after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy

  FDA suspends pediatric clinical trials of Sensipar (cinacalcet hydrochloride) after report of death

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How to Ease Nerve Pain

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02/28/2013 01:45 PM EST

As we celebrate Black History Month, here at HHS we are also reminded of troubling hepatitis C disparities that persist in the African American community. African Americans are twice as likely to be infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) compared to the general U.S. population, according to the CDC. While African Americans represent only...

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Better Than Chocolate

Doctor's House Call
Al Sears

Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

February 28, 2013

“Other Doctors Recommend Dark Chocolate…
But I Found Something Better”

Dear Health Today,

I was exhausted, sweaty and hungry. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the first meal of my trip.

I’d been up since 4 a.m., wading through long lines and endless flight delays at three airports. My last flight of the day was on a rickety looking “puddle jumper” bound for Cuiabá – a remote city deep inside Mato Grosso, Brazil.

But the ride was too bumpy to even think about food.

So when I finally found the house of my friend Andréa – he’s a local doctor in Mato Grosso – I hadn’t eaten all day.

I collapsed into the wooden chair next to him. I wondered if he might have a glass of water... and he handed me “the food of the gods” disguised as a decadent milkshake.

One taste and I knew ... this was something I would add to the long list of traditional cures and remedies I travel the world to bring back for you.

I gulped down the whole glass.

Andréa’s mother showed me how to make the strange “shake.” First, she cracked open a fuzzy brown fruit and scooped out the fragrant white pulp. To my eyes, it looked like a cross between a potato and a coconut, but she told me it was cupuaçu.


“In Latin, the name means ‘the food of the gods.’”

Andrea’s mother, handing me a cupuaçu milkshake – the best milkshake I have ever tasted in my entire life.

It had a rich, chocolaty taste that’s hard to describe – absolutely delicious, with a hint of citrus. The aroma reminded me of tropical fruit, but it had a very distinct cocoa-vanilla flavor.

It made me wonder what else we’d been missing in the States. I’d never had anything like it.

So when Andréa asked me if I wanted to make the trek deep into the Amazon to meet the people who’d introduced his family to cupuaçu, I jumped.

The Key To A Healthy Heart Is Hidden
In This Exotic Amazon Superfruit

The next day, local healers told me how they’ve used and enjoyed cupuaçu throughout South America for thousands of years. The sweet fruit is a source of energy. They chew the seeds to soothe the stomach. Shamans used to bless the juice and give it to women having difficult births.

And when I did my own research, I discovered that cupuaçu also has unique, potent antioxidant power… something your heart really needs.

It tastes so good because it’s in the same family as cacao, the plant that gives us chocolate.

You’ve probably already heard about the heart benefits of eating dark chocolate. Reporters and TV personalities like Oprah love to talk about it. That’s why there are a lot more chocolate bars labeled “70% cacao” on the shelves.

Researchers like cacao – and the chocolate made from it – because it’s rich in a certain type of antioxidants called flavonoids.

Flavonoids are particularly good for your heart for several reasons. They:

  • Keep your blood vessels and arteries flexible and strong
  • Help regulate blood pressure
  • Promote free-flowing circulation

In other words, they keep key parts of the cardiovascular system robust and working well.1

Many studies have put flavonoids to the test, and more promising results seem to come out each year. For example, one study found that a weekly serving of flavonoid-rich chocolate can slash your risk of a stroke by 22%.2 Eating chocolate regularly also cuts your risk of a fatal heart attack in HALF.3

And while cacao is getting all this attention, few people know about its Amazonian cousin, cupuaçu—packed with 11 antioxidants that give you even more heart power.

Here’s why cupuaçu blows regular cocoa out of the water…

You Can’t Find Its Powerful Antioxidants
Anywhere Else

When a group of researchers in New York analyzed this superfruit, they found two NEW antioxidants that had been completely undiscovered.

The researchers named them theograndin I and theograndin II. Further tests showed that theograndin I promotes strong cells, while theograndin II is a potent antioxidant.4

These antioxidants haven’t been found in any other plant on earth.

This matters to your heart because antioxidants have the important job of keeping your blood vessels strong and elastic. There’s an easy way to tell if they’re getting the job done. All you have to do is measure the amount of homocysteine in your blood.

Homocysteine is an amino acid that’s created in the body as a result of oxidation. It’s typically harmless as long as you have normal levels of it. But when your antioxidant systems get overwhelmed, something changes… and those levels of homocysteine rise.

Having more homocysteine in your blood can affect your arteries. It can trip up your blood vessels, too.

An easy way to flush out excess homocysteine is with antioxidants and B vitamins – and cupuaçu has both.

Take a look at some of the other flavonoids in cupuaçu:

  • Quercetin is an energy boost for your cells. It increases the mitochondria (the powerhouses in every cell) in your muscles. That’s good news for your body’s hardest-working muscle—the heart!
  • Epicatechin preserves the cardiovascular system’s function, supporting the blood vessels, artery walls and heart valves.
  • Glucuronides work a little bit differently. These compounds bind to toxins that are trapped by your liver, and that helps the body flush them out.
  • Polyphenol compounds, which are potent free radical fighters that stop molecular troublemakers in their tracks. If left unchecked, these free radicals damage cell membranes, disrupt your DNA and destroy valuable cells.

Antioxidants like these are the key to keeping your heart strong because they fight free radicals and help regulate the body’s inflammatory response…which is at the root of nearly all heart concerns.

Forget What You’ve Been Told

Regardless of what you’ve been told, cholesterol, dietary fat and red meat are not your heart’s natural enemies… and they’re not to blame for modern-day heart trouble.

I was one of the first physicians to challenge that common misinformation—and one of the first to prove that there’s an easy, natural way to keep your heart healthy.

Many “health experts” would have you believe that cutting out fat and doing hours of cardio is the medicine your heart needs. But nothing could be further from the truth.

To get this message out, loud and clear, I published The Doctor’s Heart Cure, which shows you my proven method for building a strong heart step by step. With delicious natural foods, the right amounts of key nutrients, and just a few minutes of exercise a day, your cardiovascular system will have everything it needs.

I also laid out the details on which nutrients you need and how much to take every day for maximum results. But some of my patients see the list and start to worry that they can’t get all of those nutrients in their daily diet.

That’s why I was so excited to find the cupuaçu shake. I realized it could be the answer.

The Ultimate Heart Support I’d Been Searching For

It’s amazing to get all of these benefits in one delicious shake… and I decided to develop my own version so you could try it too.

It’s the latest development to come out of my Wellness Research Center. I call it Assure HC Tonic. You can make it like I do and mix it into a smoothie, or you can simply stir it into plain water. It’s delicious either way.

And it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in this dessert every single day for the rest of your life.

But I wasn’t just going to make just any old shake. I wanted to make sure it was the best shake you’ve ever had—and a great way to keep your heart beating with Herculean strength.

So I didn’t stop with cupuaçu. I also added the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that I’ve studied all over the world. These are the nutrients I recommend most to my patients for keeping your heart in top shape.

I included four powerful herbs that support healthy blood pressure. Astragalus is rich in flavonoids, amino acids and minerals. Researchers have found that it helps the muscles of the heart pump efficiently.5

Cat’s claw is a potent antioxidant that Amazonians use to help maintain fluid balance, among other things. Dandelion is a natural but mild diuretic that helps regulate normal blood pressure. And finally, I also recommend hawthorn to my patients. This herb supports the blood vessels that supply the heart and promotes healthy arteries.6

A Small Fruit With A Supersized Gift

I stumbled upon another superfruit in the Amazon that works hard for your heart, and I knew it would be great for the cupuaçu shake.

The Best Dessert Ever Made?

You’ll love how good Assure HC Tonic tastes, but you’ll be even more impressed by what it can do for the hardest-working muscle in your body.

Here are a few more reasons why I call it the “Ultimate Heart Shake”:

  • L-carnitine is an all-around heart champion. For starters, it helps the body keep excess fat from accumulating in the heart. It also promotes healthy blood pressure.11
  • L-arginine promotes healthy circulation right down to the micro level.12
  • Vitamins B-2, B-6, and B-12 help the body maintain normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is related to cardiovascular risk. They also help blood vessels do their jobs and promote blood flow to the heart.13,14 B-2 also aids blood cell formation.
  • Zinc and folate both support healthy gums. Modern research has found a clear link between healthy gums and a healthy heart.15

Like cupuaçu, this fruit promotes a healthy inflammatory response in the body.7 But that’s not the exciting part. It also has the world’s highest concentration of vitamin C. And it’s not an orange.

I’m talking about camu camu, also called Myrciaria dubia. Its red and purple berries are the size of large grapes. Even though it’s much smaller than your average orange, it packs 50 times more vitamin C per ounce!

Most people think about vitamin C as an immune-booster, but it does a lot more than that.

Vitamin C has been shown to:

  • Slash your risk of heart attack and stroke8
  • Promote healthy arteries9
  • Maintain strong arteries and blood vessels by increasing your body’s production of collagen—a “reinforcement molecule”

And while it’s doing all this, vitamin C benefits your heart in another unexpected way: It promotes healthy gums by supporting your connective tissue. Turns out having healthy gums is linked to a lower risk of heart trouble.10

Remember, your body can’t make its own vitamin C and can’t store it either… so it needs a fresh supply every day. That’s why I made sure there was a natural source of it in my cupuaçu heart shake.

But there’s one more thing you should know about cupuaçu. It can be extremely hard to get your hands on…

The Mad Rush For Ripe Cupuaçu Begins NOW…
Get This Superfruit While You Can!

Cupuaçu is only in season for a few months out of the year. When the harvest begins, there’s a mad rush in every market, restaurant and street fair in Brazil. Not to mention the rest of South America.

From small cafés to fine restaurants, the sweet cupuaçu fruit is used to make different drinks, jams, dessert tarts and – a local favorite – ice cream.

It is so prized that sellers run out very quickly… and then there’s nothing to do but wait until next year.

It wasn’t easy for me to get, but I worked hard to find a way to get cupuaçu out of the Brazilian Amazon during the last harvest… to make sure you have a chance to try it yourself. Now you can with Assure HC Tonic.

But with such limited supplies of cupuaçu available, my first batch of Assure HC Tonic is also somewhat small. If you’d like to be among the first to try what I call The Ultimate Heart Shake, I recommend you order now.

You’ll get first priority. I’ll send you 3 bottles of Assure HC Tonic every 3 months, and continually work to get enough cupuaçu for everyone who wants it.

But that’s not all I’m going to do for you, because there’s are two gifts I want you to have that will help you keep your heart healthy for life.

As a VIP, I’ll also send you my exclusive report that’s turning the low-fat diet craze on its ear.

In Feast on the Fatty Foods You Really Love – a $19.97 value, yours FREE! – you get an inside look at why fat is NOT the enemy… and why cutting it out of your diet can actually cause you to pack on more pounds! Plus, I’ll show you how fat can be good for your heart, and how to tell the good fats from the bad… so you know which ones to feast on and which ones to avoid like the plague.

Part of the struggle with maintaining healthy cardiovascular system is that there’s so much confusing advice out there. It can be hard to make sense of it all. How do you find foods that really help your heart?

But with the resources in Feast on the Fatty Foods You Really Love, I’ll take the guesswork out of it and show you exactly what to do. I’ll even tackle common eating myths and misconceptions so you’ll always know how to get the best results.

But that’s not all, because I want to give you a second gift for joining.

It’s my special report Forget Sacrifice... the Supplements You Need to Live Life Guilt Free. It’s a 14.99 value, and I’ll send it to you immediately, at no charge.

Why do I want you to have this report? Because if you’re anything like the patients who come to my clinic in Florida from all over the country, you’ve asked the same question they ask me. Many bring reams of promotional literature on supplements to me and ask, “Is this stuff for real? Is it safe? Do I really need it?”

To answer that, I’ll show you some of the tricks of the trade you can use to eliminate some of the supplement nonsense, and make sure you get what you really need to live the good life guilt-free.

You’ll discover:

  • The 7 antioxidants you must have every day to fight free radicals and the effects of aging – page 10.
  • Reduce your risk of prostate cancer by eating two delicious fruits? Yes! –
    page 13.
  • The awful truth about vitamin B-15 and vitamin F –page 5.
  • Can a single enzyme really energize your body’s cells and organs? The answer may surprise you – page 12.
  • What Teddy Roosevelt can teach you about getting all you’ll ever need of one critical nutrient – page 7.
  • 14 essential cornerstones to build your continued good health on… and why you need each – page 6.
  • Easy way to lower your risk of macular degeneration and improve night vision – page 1.
  • And much more…

I want you to have these exclusive e-books because I believe they’re perfect complements that will help you maintain a healthy body while my new Assure HC Tonic helps you maintain a healthy heart.

And more than that, Assure HC Tonic is delicious, too! The exotic, one-of-a-kind flavor is like nothing you’ve ever had before. When you taste it, you’ll see why I call it better than chocolate.

Plus it gives you more heart-healthy antioxidants and nutrients to back up your heart’s natural strength. So you get even more antioxidant power without sacrificing your chance to have “dessert.”

You can even have it for breakfast if you want to.... so try it today!

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Al Sears, MD

P.S. Remember, one of my very best heart-healthy discoveries, cupuaçu, is only available for a few months out of the year. So I’m not sure how long my supply of Assure HC Tonic will last. Don’t miss your chance to try it and click the link below today.

BEST DEAL: I’ll save 25% by joining the VIP 3-month Autoship Program – includes FREE shipping!

I’ll get 3 jars of Assure HC Tonic shipped right to my door every 3 months for just $59.95 per jar. Shipping and handling is Free! For my convenience, my credit card will be automatically charged with each shipment. I’ll never have to worry about reordering and I can cancel anytime!

As a VIP Bonus, I’ll get TWO of Dr. Sears’ exclusive reports – Feast on the Fatty Foods You Really Love and Use These Super-Supplements to Live the Good Life Guilt Free – a $ value, mine FREE! That’s a total savings of $115.81.

Click Here to Order the Best Deal

GREAT DEAL: I’ll get 3 jars of Assure HC Tonic shipped right to my door for only $69.95 per jar, plus shipping and handling. And as a FREE gift for ordering, I also get a copy of Dr. Sears’ Use These Super-Supplements to Live the Good Life Guilt Free at no cost. That’s a total savings of $44.99.

Click Here to Order the Great Deal

Trial Offer: I’ll get 1 jar of Assure HC Tonic for $79.95 plus shipping and handling.

Click Here to Order the Trial Offer

1. Fisher N, Hughes M, et al. “Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans,” Journal of Hypertension. 2003; 21(12):2281-2286.
2. “Can Chocolate Lower Your Risk of Stroke?” American Academy of Neurology. Accessed 09/2012.
3. Buijsse B, Feskens EJ, Kok FJ, Kromhout D. “Cocoa intake… the Zutphen Elderly Study,” Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(4):411-417.
4. Yang H, et al. “New bioactive polyphenols from Theobroma grandiflorum (“cupuaçu”), J Nat Prod. 2003;66(11):1501-4.
5. Yang QY, et al. “Clinical effect of Astragalus granule of different dosages on quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure,” Chin J Integr Med. 2011;17(2):146-9.
6. Walker AF, et al. “…hawthorn extract: a randomized double-blind pilot study…” Phytother Res. 2002;16(1):48-54.
7. Yazawa K, et al. “Anti-inflammatory effects of seeds of the tropical fruit camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia),” J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2011;57(1):104-7.
8. Enstrom JE, et al. “Vitamin C intake…among a sample of the United States population,” Epidemiology. 1992;3(3):194-202.
9. Rath M. Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks… But People Do! 2003. MR Publishing, Inc.
10. Genco R. Cardiovascular Reviews and Reports. 1998;19 (3):34-40.
11. Dong JY, et al. “Effect of oral l-arginine supplementation…A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials,” Am Heart J. 2011;162(6):959-65.
12. Booi DI, et al. “Arginine…a randomized, double-blind clinical trial,” Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011;127(6):2216-23.
13. Moreira ES, et al. “Vitamin B12…in human aortic endothelial cells,” Free Radic Biol Med. 2011;51(4):876-83.
14. Bleie Ø, et al. “Coronary blood flow in patients with stable coronary artery disease treated long term with folic acid and vitamin B12,” Coron Artery Dis. 2011;22(4):270-8.
15. Rose-Hill S, et al. “Improved periodontal health and cardiovascular risk,” Aust Dent J. 2011;56(4):352-7.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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United Pet Group Inc., Voluntarily Withdraws "Ultra Blend Gourmet Food for Parakeets," "eCotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Parakeets," "eCotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Canaries and Finches," and "eCotrition Grains & Greens Nutritional Supplement for Cockatiels" Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Food Safety Alerts

02/27/2013 04:22 PM EST

United Pet Group, Inc., announces that it has voluntarily withdrawn a limited quantity of the products "Ultra Blend Gourmet Food for Parakeets," "eCotrition Grains and Greens Nutritional Supplement for Parakeets," "eCotrition Grains and Greens Nutritional Supplement for Canaries and Finches," and "eCotrition Grains and Greens Nutritional Supplement for Cockatiels." These products contain small quantities of dried parsley flakes supplied to United Pet Group by Specialty Commodities, Inc. On February 11, 2013, Specialty Commodities, Inc. initiated a voluntary product recall of parsley flakes distributed to United Pet Group and other pet food suppliers because the products may have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.


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