ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Explains How High-Fructose Diets Lead to Insulin Resistance
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Add your Article

Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- People taking dietary supplements need to be careful that those don't interfere with any medical treatments they might be getting, a new report emphasizes.

The case in point was a 55-year-old man being treated for thyroid cancer who was supposed to be on a low-iodine diet as part of his treatment, but his levels of iodine continued to increase. The researchers found that a selenium supplement he was taking contained kelp, which is a rich source of iodine and significantly increased his iodine levels.

"This was a patient with thyroid cancer who had surgery and was treated with radioactive iodine," said lead author Dr. Lewis E. Braverman, a professor of medicine at Boston University. "It is very important that he consume a low-iodine diet, which would result in an uptake of the radioactive iodine."

The report was published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

When doctors discovered the source of the iodine, they stopped all the 20 over-the-counter supplements the patient was taking. After eight weeks, iodine levels dropped to normal. The patient was then put on a low-iodine diet, and after four weeks, iodine levels dropped even further.

"Who would have thought that kelp would be in a selenium tablet?" Braverman said.

"If you want to treat patients with radioactive iodine -- if you want them to be on a low-iodine diet -- you must be extremely inquisitive and cautious, and find out all the over-the-counter remedies they are taking," Braverman noted.

Don't only look at the label that's on the bottle, get a complete description from the manufacturer, Braverman stressed.

There is no reason for people in the United States to be taking selenium, Braverman said, since most people get the selenium they need through diet.

"People are taking too much of the over-the-counter natural food products," Braverman said. "This guy was taking 20 of these, that's ridiculous."

Braverman also noted that taking too much iodine can be dangerous.

"Patients are ingesting large amounts of iodine purposely, because some practitioners of voodoo medicine are suggesting that iodine is good for you," Braverman said. "It is necessary to take small amounts, but large amounts can be injurious to the thyroid."

One expert said that supplements can contain substances that while not listed as an active ingredient are not inert. Moreover, kelp is commonly used in supplements because of its high mineral content.

"Dietary supplements can contain plant extracts, or even plant parts like kelp," said Andrew Shao, vice president for scientific & regulatory affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "But it is not an inactive ingredient."

Shao thinks the problem resulted from doctors not knowing enough about dietary supplements.

"In this case, what was needed was the knowledge on the part of the physicians that kelp is an excellent source of iodine," Shao said. "Had they known that, they would have known to eliminate those [supplements with kelp] immediately."
-Steven Reinberg

More information

For more on dietary supplements, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.



SOURCES: Lewis E. Braverman, M.D., professor, medicine, Boston University; Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington, D.C.; Jan. 22, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine

Last Updated: Jan. 21, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Licensed by www.eholistic.com