New Article: The Common Cold

Everyone is focused on the H1N1 flu this summer, but don’t forget the regular old ganmao (the common cold). This viral infection is very common, but unfortunately the treatments aren’t too useful. Fortunately, there is a lot of OTC and home care treatment, and seeing a doctor is usually not needed. Also, you do not need antibiotics for the common cold! Read more here in this article, listed under the Illness section.

Website of the Week: Natural Medicines Database

There is a lot of bad information on the internet regarding herbs and supplements for health. Many websites are full of self-promoting testimonials, or even direct sales advertising for their products.  It’s very difficult to find non-biased information and research results. This website, Natural Medicines Database, is a terrific source for both consumers and medical professionals. Especially useful is their free Clinical Management Series of evidence-based research on major illnesses. Much of the rest of the website requires a fee.

Low cholesterol: Fish oil vs. flax oil?

To lower cholesterol, there are a few excellent non-prescription items to use. One of the best is omega 3 fatty acids — this is naturally found in fatty fish and also in flax oil. Great! So I can get the omega 3 from the non-stinky flax, yes? Unfortunately, it seems you cannot. Recent research shows that the flax seed omega 3 does not have the same cholesterol lowering properties as fish oil. Too bad, I stocked up on flax at my last Costco run! By the way, whichever supplements you use, you need at least 1 gram a day of the omega 3 part — check your bottles. Also, it’s always best to get it naturally — by eating fatty fish at least once a week. That includes salmon, mackerel and sardines.

by family doctor Richard Saint Cyr MD