B Vitamin Helps Prevent Some Skin Cancer (unfortunately not vertigo)

I’ve had one instance of basal cell carcinoma on my head, and I wasn’t happy about it. This study in Australia, which has one of the highest rates of skin cancers in the world, says one B vitamin can help prevent certain types of cancer. I’m not so sure this stuff is “almost obscenely inexpensive,” because it wasn’t when I just checked, but what price can we place on avoiding cancer?

And sure, this has nothing to do with vertigo, but I thought it important enough to bring to your attention.

An inexpensive vitamin can help reduce the occurrence of common skin cancers in people prone to that disease, researchers reported on Wednesday.

In a clinical trial, people who took two pills a day of nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3 available as a nutritional supplement, had a 23 percent lower risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer than those who took placebo pills.

“It’s safe, it’s almost obscenely inexpensive and it’s widely available,” Dr. Diona Damian, the lead investigator of the study, said in a news conference organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, who said the findings could be put into practice right away.

“This one’s ready to go straight into the clinic,” said Dr. Damian, a dermatology professor at the University of Sydney in Australia. However, she said [Dan:  my italics]  the vitamin should be used only by people who get frequent skin cancers, not by everyone.

The skin cancer prevention study focused on non-melanoma skin cancer, particularly basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Together, these are the most common form of cancer in the United States, with the most recent study estimating that in 2006 there were 3.5 million cases in 2.2 million Americans. Most of these are curable through surgery or other techniques, though the surgery can leave scars and in some cases the cancers do become more serious.

Dr. Damian said the effect of the vitamin seemed to disappear once people stopped taking it. She said that nicotinamide did not have the side effects, like headache and flushing, of niacin, another form of vitamin B3.

Two experts not involved in the study said the results were “interesting and potentially important,” in part because nicotinamide had fewer side effects than the pharmaceutical alternatives for skin cancer prevention.

The experts, Dr. Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, clinical director of the Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona, and Steven Stratton, a pharmacologist there, said in a joint email that patients should nonetheless talk to their doctors before taking the vitamin.

Read the entire article at The New York Times.


Posted under Other Medical

This post was written by Dan Ferry on May 15, 2015


Watch out for those supplements!

I don’t know if you’re taking supplements, or if you purchase them from these retailers, but this report from the New York Attorney General is kind of scary, especially if, like me, you believe that your vertigo is caused primarily by particular foods and other items you might ingest, like supplements. Here’s the first part of the Attorney General’s report.

NEW YORK — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office sent letters to four major retailers, GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, for allegedly selling store brand herbal supplement products in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels. The letters, sent Monday, call for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of certain popular products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, and others.

See the full report here




Posted under Causes

This post was written by Dan Ferry on February 4, 2015


Have you tried cutting out the most common allergens?

I dreaded the possibility, but now I have to admit that I think dairy products can also cause me to have vertigo. A few weeks ago I ate a gluten-free, soy-free pizza, and a day later I had a pretty bad vertigo attack. (Constant reader will remember that I have celiac and that eating soy causes me to have violent vertigo attacks). I’ve previously had vertigo attacks after eating ice cream, but most ice creams contain soy (WHY?), so I attributed the vertigo to the soy.

BTW, don’t ask me why it takes a day or two for me to react. That’s one of the mysteries of my little piece of the universe. People who have peanut allergies react instantly. Working with dusty hay (we have horses) will result in me sneezing in a few minutes. A bug touching my hair will make me itch for hours or until I shower (got that particular problem from my Mom). When my GI specialist told me years ago that I had celiac, he also told me that his celiac patients reacted strangely to eating wheat/gluten. They did not have an instantaneous reaction, but would have a reaction in a couple days. He couldn’t explain it, but he knew it to be true. It probably has something to do with how long it takes the body to digest the food, or how long it takes the liver to clear it, or something similar.

Anyway, I thought shrewdly, maybe some of the other stuff that I thought was giving me vertigo really wasn’t to blame because I might also have had some butter on the same day. Not a bad theory. I bought some bags of my favorite chips, the ones that I thought had given me vertigo. For a couple weeks I was happily downing half a bag of chips at a sitting (can’t eat just one!). I was avoiding dairy products and having no problems. I was in heaven. Then I ate another bag of those chips from a different sales batch and WHAM! Vertigo attack. Therefore, I concluded that I really am allergic to one or more of the four oils that are listed as possibilities on the packaging: cottonseed oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, canola oil. How to determine which one? I don’t know. I’ll just avoid them all for now.

So the things that give me vertigo attacks are soy, dairy, one or more of those four oils. Maybe eggs? Don’t know. Hate to do the testing because of the possibility of a vertigo attack. Are these causing my vertigo because of gene manipulation, or antibiotics given to farm animals, or some other contamination of our food supplies?

What causes your vertigo? Have you tried cutting out the most common allergens? You owe it to yourself to try.

Thankfully vertigo-free for a couple weeks,

Posted under Causes

This post was written by Dan Ferry on November 7, 2014

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