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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : April 2005
tary medicine COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE RESEARCH NEWS BRIEFS x Women consuming more than 800mg of calcium daily from both diet and supplements reduced their risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 46 per cent—twice as much as those who consumed 800mg from either food or supplements alone. More than 45,000 women were studied. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention (vol 14, pp126–132). www.cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/ 14/1/126 x Anaemic mothers (in the US that is 53 per cent of post-natal women) who took iron supplements reported 25 per cent improvement in post-natal depression. Iron supplements also significantly help concentration and memory in young women, even if they were not anaemic. Journal of Nutrition(vol 135, pp267–272). www.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract x Chamomile tea relieves colds and menstrual cramps, and continues to be effective for two weeks after use. Urinary levels of hippurate increase, indicating phenols associated with increased antibacterial activity. Urinary levels of glycine also increase, relieving muscle spasms including menstrual cramps. It is also a nerve relaxant, hence the sedative effect. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. www.pubs.acs.org/journals/jafcau/index right medication, but do you also ask them if they are taking fish oil? Then you have the other challenges. If someone is taking the contraceptive pill, do you tell the customer that she should not be taking St John’s wort, or, if some- one is taking warfarin, they should not be taking ginkgo biloba? You cannot expect most GPs to have told their patients, because most patients are too concerned that they will look silly if they tell their doctor they are taking complementary medicines. But they will tell you. If someone is buying a pregnancy kit test, do you recommend folic acid? Research in Europe shows that most women still are not taking folic acid before they get pregnant, which is a worry as it needs to be taken well before day 22 x Older men and women at risk of osteoporosis would benefit from a vitamin B12 supplement because of their reduced ability to absorb B12 from foods. About 40 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men are at high risk of an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Tufts University. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. www.jbmr-online.org x Young women who take 1,000mcg/day or more of total folate, and a combination of dietary and supplemental intake, resulted in a 46 per cent reduction in the risk of hypertension compared with women who consumed less than 200mcg/day. Journal of the American Medical Association. www.jama.ama-assn.org x Supplements of the amino acid L-arginine may lower levels of the heart disease marker homocystine, adding to its ability to lower blood pressure, and thus stroke risk. The researcher was Dr Sheila West who proved the benefits of walnuts. www.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/135/2/212 x Horse chestnut extract is good for swelling and restless legs disorder (not to mention letting the partner get a decent night’s sleep!). The Danish Medicines Agency and the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences. www.dkma.dk when the neural tube is formed. You could simply recommend any girl in her late 20s take it because it is also helpful for general health. So, by really understanding a person’s health needs from prevention to cure, and also profiting from the experience, every- one wins. s THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.86 APRIL 2005 ? 267