Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Comparative Efficacy of Two Microdoses of a Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Arsenicum Album, to Ameliorate Toxicity Induced by Repeated Sublethal Injections of Arsenic Trioxide in Mice

Pathikrit Banerjee, Soumya Sundar Bhattacharyya, Surajit Pathak, Boujedaini Naoual, Philippe Belon, Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh Key Words Arsenic toxicity, Mice, Biomarkers, Homeopathy, Matrix metalloproteinase Abstract Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of 2 potentized homeopathic remedies of Arsenicum Album (Ars Alb) – 6C and 30C – in combating chronic arsenic toxicity induced by repeated sublethal injections in mice (Mus musculus) . Methods: Mice were randomized and divided into sets: (1) normal (control 1); (2) normal + succussed alcohol (control 2); (3) As 2 O 3 (0.016%) injected at 1 ml/100 g body weight every 7 days (treated); (4) As 2 O 3 injected + succussed alcohol (positive control); (5) As 2 O 3 injected + Ars Alb 6C (drug-fed); (6) As 2 O 3 injected + Ars Alb 30C (drug-fed). Cytogenetical endpoints like chromosome aberrations, micronuclei, mitotic index, sperm head abnormality and biochemical protocols like acid and alkaline phosphatases, aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, reduced glutathione, lipid peroxidation, catalase and succinate dehydrogenase were studied at 30, 60, 90 and 120 days. Results: Compared to controls, chromosome aberrations, micronuclei, sperm head abnormality frequencies and activities of acid and alkaline phosphatases, aspartate and alanine aminotransferases and lipid peroxi-dation were reduced in both drug-fed series, while mitotic index and activities of glutathione, catalase and succinate dehydrogenase were increased. Ars Alb 30C showed marginally better efficacy than Ars Alb 6C.Conclusion: Both remedies indicated potentials of use against arsenic intoxication.


DIAGNOSIS BY NAILS – Contributed by: Dr Gurjit Kaur


Fingernails and What They Reveal

Dr. Gabrielle Traub

“Ridges can signify a possible infection such as the flu.”


Contributed by: Dr Gurjit Kaur

E-mail id:


Please acknowledge the author and contributor. Please share the link to someone whom you want to share it with.



1. BEAU’S LINES: Transverse depressions. Occurs when growth at the nail root (matrix) is interrupted by any severe acute illness e.g. heart attack, measles, pneumonia, or fever. These lines emerge from under the nail folds weeks later, and allow us to estimate when the patient was sick.


  • NAILS; corrugated; transversely: ars., med


2. MEE’S LINES: Transverse white lines that run across the nail, following the shape of the nail moon. Uncommon. Causality: after acute/severe illness, Arsenic poisoning.

Repertory: Ars alb


3. VERTICAL RIDGES: (Lengthwise grooves or ridges) – may indicate a kidney disorder (kidney failure); associated with ageing; iron deficiency (Anemia). May indicate a tendency to develop arthritis


  • NAILS; roughness fingernails; ridges, longitudinal: fl-ac.
  • NAILS; roughness fingernails; ribbed: thuj.
  • NAILS; corrugated: ars., calc., calc-f., fl-ac., med., ph-ac., sabad., sel., Sil., thuj.



1. CLUBBING OF THE FINGERS: fingertips widen and become round. Nails curve around your fingertips, more convex. Proximal nail fold feels spongy. Caused by enlargement in connective tissue as compensation for a chronic lack of oxygen. e.g. severe emphysema Lung disease is present in 80 percent of people who have clubbed fingers. It may also appear in chronic infections especially abscesses, lung cancer, chronic lung (chronic bronchitis, emphysema) and heart disease, longstanding TB, congenital heart disease, cyanotic, primary biliary cirrhosis.

Repertory: nit-ac., tub.

  • Curved fingernails; consumption, in: med., tub.


2. PITTING: Small pits or depressions. It is a most common nail problem seen in 25 percent to 50 percent of people with psoriasis


  • Extremities; NAILS; holes in: ars.
  • Psoriasis – pitting, onycholysis, thickening, circumscribed yellowish tan discoloration “oil spot” lesion.


3. SPOON NAIL: Soft nails that look scooped out. Depression is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Often indicates iron deficiency anemia.

Repertory: Extremities; NAILS; complaints of; depressed: med.


4. ONYCHOLYSIS: Lifting of the nail from the nail bed. Causes: trauma, psoriasis, drug reactions, bacterial/fungal infection, contact dermatitis from using nail hardeners, thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia or syphilis.

Repertory: Looseness fingernails: apis., med., pyrog., ust.



1. NAIL HYPERTROPHY: Thickening of the nail. Either congenital (e.g. Mal de Meleda) or acquired – The nail becomes deformed with claw like appearance. Causes: Not cutting the nails, trauma, Leprosy, peripheral vascular disorders.


  • NAILS; hypertrophy: calc-f., fl-ac., graph., laur.
  • NAILS; thick: alum., anan., ant-c., ars., but-ac., calc., calc-f., calo., caust., falco-p., ferr., fl-ac., Graph., merc., pitu-a., pop-c., sabad., sec., sep., Sil., sulph., ust., x-ray


2. NAIL ATROPHY: The nail becomes thin, rudimentary and smaller size congenital or acquired. Causes: Lichen planus, Epidermolysis bullosa, Darrier‘s disease, vascular disturbances, Leprosy.


  • NAILS; atrophic: sil.
  • NAILS; grow, do not: ant-c., pitu-a., rad-br., sil.


3. NAIL PATELLA SYNDROME: a rare genetic disorder, occurs in 2.2 out of every 100,000 people and causes abnormalities in the bones and nails. autosomal dominant. Carried by the ABO blood group. Nails present as small and concave, longitudinally grooved, abnormally split, pitted, softened, discolored, or brittle.


Remedies: Thuja, Graphites, Calc-flour, Syph.

H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; grow, nails, do not: ant-c., calc., sil.



1. LINDSAY’S NAILS (HALF AND HALF) — Look for an arc of brownish discoloration. May occur in a small percentage of people who have kidney failure. Internal diseases and nutritional deficits can cause changes in the appearance of the nails.


2. TERRY’S NAILS: The nail looks opaque and white, but the nail tip has a dark pink to brown band. May accompany cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, adult-onset diabetes, cancer or ageing.


3. CYANOSIS: A bluish discoloration visible at the nail bases in select patient with severe hypoxemia or hypoperfusion. As with clubbing, it is not at all sensitive for either of these conditions.


  • H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; discoloration, nails; blueness (59) : acon., aesc., agar., apis, apoc., arg-n., arn., ars., asaf., aur., cact., camph., carbn-s., carb-v., chel., chin., chin-ar., chin-s., chlf., cic., cocc., colch., con., cupr., dig., dros., eup-pur., ferr., ferr-ar., ferr-p., gels., gins., graph., ip., manc., merc., merc-s., mez., mur-ac., nat-m., nit-ac., Nux-v., op., ox-ac., petr., ph-ac., phos., plb., rhus-t., sang., sars., sep., sil., sulph., sumb., tarent., thuj., Verat., verat-v.



Inflammation of the nail folds, which appear red, swollen and tender. The cuticle may not be visible. Causes: fungal infection, secondary bacterial infection, people who’s hands are often in water are more susceptible.


  • Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; panaritium, nails (53) : all-c., alum., Am-c., am-m., anac., Anthr., Apis, arn., asaf., bar-c., benz-ac., berb., bov., bufo, calc., caust., chin., cist., con., cur., Dios., eug., ferr., Fl-ac., gins., Hep., hyper., iod., iris, kali-c., kalm., lach., led., lyc., merc., Myris., nat-c., nat-h., nat-m., nat-s., Nit-ac., par., petr., phyt., plb., puls., rhus-t., sang., sep., Sil., sulph., Tarent-c., teucr.
  • NAILS; pulp, of; nails recede, leave raw surface: sec.
  • Redness; fingernails: apis, ars., cortiso., crot-c., lepi., lith-c., ozone, upa., x-ray
  • Inflammation, fingernails; around: con., hell., kola., nat-m., nat-s., ph-ac., sil.
  • Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; fungus, under (4) : ant-c., graph., petr., thuj.
  • Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; inflammation, fingernails (1) : kali-c.
  • Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; inflammation, fingernails; root of (2) : hep., stict.



Looks like a splinter underneath the nail, virtually 100% diagnostic of Sub-acute Bacterial Endocarditis (SBE). A bacterial infection affecting the valves of the heart. Occasionally caused by Trichinosis, a parasitic infection caused by eating raw or undercooked Pork.


  • Diseases; ENDOCARDITIS, heart: abrot., acet-ac., Acon., Ars., ars-i., Aur., aur-m., bism., bry., cact., calc., cocc., coc-c., colch., dig., ferr., iod., kali-ar., kali-c., kali-i., Kalm., lach., led., nat-m., naja, ox-ac., phos., phyt., plat., plb., sep., Spig., spong., tarent., verat-v.
  • Diseases; TRICHINOSIS (3) : ars., bapt., cina



Yellow nail syndrome is characterized by yellow or green nails that lack a cuticle, grow slowly, and are loose or detached (onycholysis). May be associated with swelling of the hands and feet (lymphoedema), or a lung diseases e.g. chronic bronchitis. Yellow nails can indicate internal disorders long before other symptoms appear. Some of these are problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disorders.


  • NAILS: discoloration; yellowish: am-c., ambr., ant-c., ars., aur., bell., bry., calc., canth., carb-v., caust., cham., chel., chin., Con., ferr., hep., ign., lyc., merc., nit-ac., nux-v., op., plb., puls., Sep., Sil., spig., sulph.



Caused by trauma to the nails, over vigorous/excessive manicuring

Repertory: alum., ars., nit-ac., ozone, sep., Sil., sulph., thal.



Vertical pigmented bands or nail ‘moles‘. A sudden change in the nail plate could indicate a malignant melanoma or lesion. Commonly occur in dark-skinned people, and are normal.



  • Hypothyroidism: brittle nails – which separate easily from the nail bed (Onycholysis) accompanied by dry, yellowish skin, fatigue, slow pulse, chilly, coarse hair that falls out.
  • Hyperthyroidism: brittle nails – which separate easily from the nail bed (Onycholysis) and are concave (spoon nails)
  • Brittle nails – may also suggest iron deficiency anemia, kidney and circulatory problems.


  • NAILS; brittle: alum., alum-sil., ambr., anan., ant-c., ars., but-ac., calc., calc-f., cast-eq., caust., clem., cupr., dios., fl-ac., Graph., hep., hydrog., lept., lyc., med., merc., morg., nat-m., nit-ac., ozone, phos., Psor., rad-br., ruta, sabad., sec., sel., senec., sep., sil., spig., squil., sulph., syc-co., thuj., tub., x-ray
  • Nails that chip, peel, crack, or break easily – suggest a nutritional deficiency, lacking hydrochloric acid, protein or minerals.
  • NAILS: cracked: ant-c., ars., lach., nat-m., sil.
  • Crumbling away of fingernails: but-ac.{Butyric acid: a volatile acid obtained from butter}
  • NAILS; scatter like powder when cut: sil.



  • Liver Diseases: White Nails
  • Kidney Diseases: Half of nail is pink, half is white
  • Heart Conditions: Nail bed is red
  • Lung Diseases: Yellowing and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate
  • Anemia: Pale nail beds
  • Diabetes: Yellowish nails, with a slight blush at the base
  • Nutritional deficiencies

o   Vitamin A and calcium deficiencies – dry brittle nails.

o   Vitamin B deficiency – horizontal and vertical ridges, that break easily.

o   Vitamin B12 deficiency – dry, darkened nails with rounded and curved nail ends.

o   Protein deficiency – white bands


Ayurveda considers nails as the waste product of the bones.

Dry, crooked, rough nails that break easily indicates a predominance of the Vata constitution.

Soft, pink, tender nails that are easily bent are indication of a Pitta constitution.

Thick, strong, soft and shiny nails indicate a Kapha constitution.

Longitudinal lines: indicate inability of the digestive system to absorb food properly.

Transverse grooves: may indicate the presence of long-standing illness or malnutrition.

Yellow nails: alert us to liver problems or jaundice.

Blue nails: indicate a weak heart.

Redness: shows an excess of red blood cells.


The problem of dose in homeopathy: evaluation of the effect of high dilutions of Arsenicum album 30cH on rats intoxicated with arsenic

The problem of dose in homeopathy: evaluation of the effect of high dilutions of Arsenicum album 30cH on rats intoxicated with arsenic

Olney Leite Fontes1, Fátima Cristiane Lopes Goularte Farhat2, Amarilys Toledo Cesar1, Marilisa Guimarães Lara3,
Maria Imaculada Lima Montebelo1, Gabriela Cristina Gomes Rodrigues1, Marco Vinícius Chaud1.
(1) Methodist University of Piracicaba, (2) Medical School of Jundiaí
(3) Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto – USP


Background: Although scientific studies have confirmed the action of homeopathic high dilutions in living organisms an endless debate on the choice of the most fitting dilution, the frequency of administration and the dose (amount of medicine) still remains. Aims: This study sought to assess the in vivo effect of 2 different concentrations of Arsenicum album 30cH in order to elucidate some problems in the homeopathic notion of dose. Methods: Male Wistar rats previously intoxicated with sodium arsenate by peritoneal injection were treated with undiluted Ars 30cH and Ars 30cH in 1% solution administered by oral route. Atomic absorption spectroscopy was employed to measure the levels of arsenic retained in the animals as well as the amounts eliminated through urine. Urine samples were collected before and after and during treatment. A positive control group (intoxicated animals) and negative control group (non-intoxicated animals) were administered only the vehicle used to prepare the medicine (ethanol). Results: The groups treated with undiluted Ars 30cH and Ars 30cH in 1% solution eliminated significant amounts of arsenic through urine when compared to the control groups. The group treated with undiluted Ars 30cH eliminated significantly higher amounts of arsenic than the group treated with the same medicine in 1% solution. Conclusion: These results suggest that undiluted Ars 30cH was more effective than in 1% solution in this experimental model.

Keywords: Homeopathic medicines; Dose; Experimental model; Rats; Arsenic intoxication; Arsenicum album


Homeopathy Works Even on Nano grounds!!

IIT-B team shows how homeopathy works
Malathy Iyer | TNN

Mumbai: Six months after the British Medical Association rubbished homeopathy as witchcraft with no scientific basis, IIT scientists have said the sweet white pills work on the principle of nanotechnology.
Homeopathic pills containing naturally occurring metals such as gold, copper and iron retain their potency even when diluted to a nanometre or one-billionth of a metre, states the IIT-Bombay research published in the latest issue of ‘Homeopathy’, a peer-reviewed journal from reputed medical publishing firm Elsevier.
IIT-B’s chemical engineering department bought homeopathic pills from neighbourhood shops, prepared highly diluted solutions and checked these under powerful electron microscopes to find nanoparticles of the original metal.
‘‘Certain highly diluted homeopathic remedies made from metals still contain measurable amounts of the starting material, even at extreme dilutions of 1 part in 10 raised to 400 parts (200C),’’ said Dr Jayesh Bellare from the scientific team. ‘Homeo pills get potent on dilution’
His student, Prashant Chikramane, presented the homeopathy paper titled, ‘Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective’, as part of his doctoral thesis.
‘‘Homeopathy has been a conundrum for modern medicine. Its practitioners maintained that homeopathic pills got more potent on dilution, but they could never explain the mechanism scientifically enough for the modern scientists,’’ said Bellare.


Oxeye Daisy

Image by Dave ® via Flickr


Synonyms: Apigenin glycosides, Arnica montana, Asteraceae (family), asterogenic acid glycosides, bairnwort, bayogenin, Bellidis flos, Bellis sylvestris, bellissaponin, Bellorita, besysaponin, bisdesmosidic glycosides, bruisewort, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum L., common daisy, Compositae (family), consolida, daisy, day’s eye, dog daisy, English daisy, European daisy, flavonoids, flavonol glycosides, Gänseblümchen (German), glycosides, hen and chickens, Herb Margaret, La Paquerette (French), lawn daisy, little daisy, Madeliefje (Netherlands), Marguerite, Maslieben (German), Maya, meadow daisy, monodesmosidic glycosides, oxeye daisy, polyacetylenes, polygalacic acid, red daisy, saponins, Sedmikráska chudobka (Czech), triterpenoid glycosides, triterpenoid saponins, virgaureasaponin, wild daisy.

Note: Daisy is also the common name for oxeye daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum L., another weedy species found in fields and along roadsides throughout the United States. This species is native to Europe and Asia, and has also been naturalized as a weed in North America.

Background: Bellis perennis is a common European species of daisy. Although many other related plants are also called daisy, Bellis perennis is often considered the archetypal species. It is sometimes called common daisy or English daisy. It is native to western, central, and northern Europe, but is commonly found as an invasive plant in North America.

The medicinal properties of Bellis perennis have been recorded in herbals as far back as the 16th century. John Gerard, the 16th century herbalist, recommended English daisy as a catarrh (inflammation of mucous membrane) cure, as a remedy for heavy menstruation, migraine, and to promote healing of bruises and swellings.

Infusions of the flowers and leaves have been used to treat a wide range of other disorders including rhinitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and liver and kidney disorders. An insect repellent spray has also been made from an infusion of the leaves. A strong decoction of the roots has been recommended for the long-term treatment of both scurvy and eczema, and a mild decoction may ease complaints of the respiratory tract.

Bellis perennis has also been used traditionally for treating wounds. Chewing the fresh leaves is said to be a cure for mouth ulcers. In Homoeopathy, Bellis perennis is often used in combination with Arnica montana to treat bruising and trauma.

Common daisy is widely used in Homoeopathy, but is currently only rarely used in herbal medicine. Although homeopathic dosing is generally recognized as safe (GRAS; U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation), there is a lack of available scientific evidence to support claims for effectiveness related to the use of Bellis perennis. More research is needed in this area. Recent research has explored the possibility of using the plant in HIV therapy.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Bleeding (postpartum, mild): Homeopathic Bellis perennis has been used for bruising, bleeding, and recovery from surgery. Additional study of Bellis perennis alone is needed to make a firm recommendation.


WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Analgesic (pain reliever), antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antitussive (suppresses coughs), arthritis, astringent, blood purifier, breast cancer, bronchitis, bruises, burns, bursitis (inflammation of bursa), childbirth (cesarean sections, episiotomy), cancer, catarrh (inflammation of mucous membrane), circadian clock acceleration, concussions, demulcent (soothes inflammation), digestion enhancement, diuretic, dysmenorrheal (painful menstruation), eczema, edema (post-operative and post-traumatic), emollient (soothes skin), expectorant (expels phlegm), fractures, HIV support, inflammation (tenosynovitis, styloiditis), insect repellent, jet lag, joint disorders (blood in joint), joint inflammation (epicondyle), joint problems (dislocations), kidney disorders, laxative, liver disorders, menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), migraines, mouth ulcers, ophthalmologic (eye) uses, osteoarthritis, periarthritis humeroscapularis, periodontitis / gingivitis, pneumonia, post-surgical recovery (plastic surgery), purgative, rheumatism, scurvy, skin diseases, soft-tissue injury (acute), sports injuries, sprains, tissue healing after surgery (abdominal), tonic, trauma (pelvic organ), wounds.

Dosing: Adults (18 years and older)

Based on available scientific evidence, there is no proven safe or effective dose for Bellis perennis. One cup of tea made from 2 teaspoons of dried Bellis perennis herb steeped in 300 milliliters of boiling water for 20 minutes, and then strained, has been taken two to four times daily.

Typical homeopathic doses used are 1 or 2 (6C or 30C potency) tablets dissolved on the tongue. For general acute conditions, one dose every two hours repeated for a maximum of six doses has been used. For less acute conditions (e.g. seasonal or chronic), one dose three times a day between meals for no more than one month has been used.

Children (younger than 18 years): Based on available scientific evidence, there is no proven safe or effective dose for Bellis perennis. In general, 1 or 2 homeopathic 6C or 30C potency tablets dissolved on the tongue have been used. For general acute conditions, one dose every two hours for up to six doses has been used. For less acute conditions (e.g. seasonal or chronic), one dose three times a day between meals for no more than one month has been used.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies: Avoid in individuals sensitive or allergic to Bellis perennis products or any of their ingredients. Respiratory allergies have occurred in sensitive individuals.

Side Effects and Warnings: In general, Bellis perennis appears to be well tolerated when used at homeopathic doses.

As an herb, however, Bellis perennis may affect the clotting cascade, resulting in blood clotting. Common daisy may also result in stunted growth, although there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting this.

Patients at risk for coagulation disorders such as strokes or blood clots, or patients with anemia should use cautiously.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Bellis perennis is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Avoid use at traditional herbal doses during pregnancy and breastfeeding because of the possibility of growth retardation in the fetus and infant.


Interactions with Drugs:Bellis perennis may affect coagulation and it is unclear how this herb may interact with medications that may increase the risk of bleeding. Examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®). Caution is advised.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements: Bellis perennis may affect coagulation, and it is unclear how this herb may interact with herbs and supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised when taking with herbs and supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as garlic or Ginkgo biloba.


This patient information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ( J. Kathryn Bryan, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jessica Clubb, PharmD (Northeastern University); Molly Davis, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); Antoinette Edmondson, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Petra Jancar, PharmD (University of Ljubljana); Toni M. Schaeffer, PhD, PharmD (Albany College of Pharmacy); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).

Read more: – Connect to Better Health

Calcium supplements boost heart-attack risk: Meta-analysis

Calcium supplements boost heart-attack risk: Meta-analysis


The use of calcium supplements without co-administered Vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) [1]. The finding, from a meta-analysis encompassing 15 randomized trials and up to 11 921 participants, warrants a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis, researchers report online July 29, 2010 in BMJ.

Most guidelines for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis recommend the use of calcium supplements, despite the fact that they reduce the risk of fracture only marginally, write Dr Mark J Bolland (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and colleagues.

Studies have yielded conflicting results about their use, with some observational studies suggesting that high calcium intake is protective against vascular disease, and others showing that calcium supplements speed vascular calcification and increase mortality in patients with kidney failure and increase cardiovascular events and MI in women.

Senior author Dr Ian R Reid (University of Auckland) told heartwire that women should discuss the finding from his study with their doctors, but that in most cases, “discontinuation of calcium would seem appropriate.”

The researchers had previously found an adverse effect from calcium supplements in a clinical trial, which they published in BMJ in 2008 [2], Reid explained. They repeated electronic database searches in March of this year to consolidate those findings.

Their current meta-analysis looked at randomized trials of calcium supplements that supplied at least 500 mg/day of elemental calcium vs placebo. Each of the trials lasted for at least a year and had at least 100 participants with a mean age of 40 years or older. Cardiovascular outcomes were obtained from self-reports, hospital admissions, and death certificates.

In a combined analysis of the five studies that had contributed patient-level data, the investigators found that calcium supplements were associated with about a 30% increase in the incidence of MI (hazard ratio 1.31; 95% CI 1.02–1.67; p=0.035) and smaller, non-significant increases in the risk of stroke and mortality.

The findings were consistent across trials, and the risk of MI with calcium supplements tended to be greater in those with higher dietary calcium intake. The MI risk was independent of age, sex, and type of supplement.

A similar analysis of 11 trials that contributed trial-level data showed a 1.27 relative risk of MI (95% CI 1.01–1.59; p=0.038) associated with calcium supplements.

“Clinicians should tell their patients that, for most older people, the risks of calcium supplements outweigh the benefits. Changing to calcium-rich foods may be appropriate,” Reid said.

Calcium Supplements Causing Heartburn, Not MI?

In an editorial accompanying the article [3], Dr John Cleland (Castle Hill Hospital, Kingston upon Hull, UK) and colleagues wonder why calcium supplements should increase cardiovascular risk, as found in this meta-analysis. “Accumulation of calcium in the arterial wall leading to reduced compliance would be expected to take years, but the increased risk of myocardial infarction reported by Bolland and colleagues occurred early after calcium supplementation (median follow-up of 3.6 years).”

Cleland et al suggest that the increased risk of MI may not be a true effect, because the increased risk of MI was not accompanied by an increase in mortality. “Calcium supplements could simply be causing gastrointestinal symptoms that could be misdiagnosed as cardiac chest pain,” they write, adding that even if the supplements are safe, the neutral effect on mortality “casts doubt on whether they are effective prophylaxis for fractures.”

Until more becomes known about the best way to prevent osteoporotic fractures, the editorialists conclude that “patients with osteoporosis should generally not be treated with calcium supplements, either alone or with vitamin D, unless they are also receiving an effective treatment for osteoporosis for a recognized indication.” They add that research on whether such supplements are needed in addition to effective osteoporosis treatment is “urgently required.”

Dr John Schindler (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA), who isn’t a coauthor of the study from Bolland et al, told heartwire that the increased MI risk in the study, although quite modest, is concerning because of the large numbers of people who take calcium supplements. He also questioned whether vascular calcifications could be the cause, because of the trials’ relatively short follow-up times.

Gender Differences May Be Important

For Schindler, research into gender differences may yield answers to the increased risk of MI seen in this meta-analysis.

“In this analysis, 88% of the participants were women, and we know that cardiovascular disease in women is radically different from cardiovascular disease in men. The same holds true for cerebrovascular disease. There is something we need to get at, and at this point, no one has really been able to do so.”

Schindler also said that the real risk of MI appeared to be in people who took calcium supplements on top of high levels of dietary calcium. “I think the safest thing to tell your patients right now is if you can get your dietary calcium from good dietary sources, such as yogurt, sardines, and skim milk, that potentially might be all you need to ward off the risk of osteoporosis. Then we don’t have to deal with this increased cardiovascular risk.”

He added that it is important to consider the potential safety concerns along with the benefits of bone health. “The benefits of calcium supplementation in older women with a low risk of fracture may not outweigh the potential cardiovascular risk.”

Finally, Schindler noted the absence in the meta-analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative, a large study that looked at the role of calcium supplementation with vitamin D in reducing osteoporotic fracture. “There are a lot of data that show that vitamin D is protective from a cardiovascular standpoint. They excluded studies with vitamin D probably because they are trying to isolate one variable. They didn’t want to cloud the picture.”

This study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the University of Auckland School of Medicine Foundation. Bolland, Cleland, and Schindler have reported no relevant financial interests. Reid reported financial relationships with Fonterra.


  1. Bolland MJ, Avenell A, Baron JA, et al. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ 2010; DOI:10.1136/bmj.c3691. Available at: Abstract
  2. Bolland MJ, Barber PA, Doughty RN, et al. Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium supplementation: Randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2008; 336:262-266. Abstract
  3. Cleland JG, Witte K, Steel S. Calcium supplements in people with osteoporosis. BMJ 2010; 341; DOI:10.1136/bmj.c3856. Available at: Abstract

Additional Resources

The National Institutes of Health has an online fact sheet about calcium supplementation for health professionals.

Clinical Context

Calcium supplements are used to treat osteoporosis among older patients but are only modestly effective in increasing bone density, with a number needed to treat of 39 to 48 patients for 5 years each to prevent 1 fracture. Calcium supplementation has also been associated with adverse effects, including higher mortality rates in patients with renal failure and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

This is a meta-analysis of trials examining calcium supplementation to determine the effect on cardiovascular disease outcomes and death.

Study Highlights

  • The investigators searched the databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane register for randomized controlled trials of calcium supplements.
  • Included were double-blind randomized controlled trials with calcium supplementation of 500 mg/day or more, participant mean age of at least 40 years, 100 or more participants, and duration of at least 1 year.
  • Excluded were trials that provided both vitamin D and calcium supplementation because vitamin D supplementation has been associated with decreased mortality rates, and trials using dietary modification as calcium addition or in which participants had an indication other than osteoporosis.
  • The researchers considered diagnoses of MI, stroke, and death by using words describing the events or referring to International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes.
  • The prespecified primary endpoints were time to first MI; first stroke; and first composite event of MI, stroke, or sudden death.
  • The secondary endpoint was time to death (all-cause mortality).
  • Analysis was performed at the patient level and at the trial level, and random-effects models were used to pool summary data at the trial level.
  • There were 15 eligible trials, of which 5 contributed patient level data with 8151 participants.
  • The median duration of follow-up was 3.6 years in the 5 patient level trials.
  • The HR for MI was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.02 – 1.67; P = .035) in these trials (143 vs 111 MIs for calcium vs no calcium supplementation).
  • The HR for stroke was 1.20 (95% CI, 0.96 – 1.50; P = .11), but the increase was not significant.
  • There was no significant increase in the risk for the composite of MI, stroke, or sudden death for the calcium supplementation group.
  • The number needed to treat for calcium supplementation for 5 years was 69 for MI; 100 for stroke; 61 for the composite of MI, stroke, or sudden death; and 77 for death.
  • Higher calcium intake (> a median of 805 mg/day) was associated with a higher HR (1.85; 95% CI, 1.28 – 2.67) for MI, and intake below the median was not associated with an increased risk for MI.
  • The HRs were 1.18 for an intake of less than 500 mg/day, 0.68 for an intake of 500 to 699 mg/day, 2.28 for an intake of 700 to 899 mg/day, 1.81 for an intake of 900 to 1099 mg/day, and 1.41 for an intake of more than 1100 mg/day.
  • Recurrent cardiovascular disease occurred among 10% to 17% of participants and was more frequent among those who were supplemented with calcium, although this was not statistically significant.
  • Trial level analysis of all 11 trials showed an increased risk for MI with a pooled relative risk for 1.27 (95% CI, 1.01 – 1.59; P = .038) for calcium supplementation but not for stroke, the composite endpoint, or all-cause mortality.
  • The increased risk for MI with calcium was independent of age, sex, and type of supplement.
  • The authors concluded that calcium supplementation without vitamin D added, especially with an intake of more than 805 mg/day, was associated with an increased risk for MI with a trend toward an increased risk for stroke and sudden death but not all-cause death.
  • They recommended a reconsideration of using calcium supplementation to treat osteoporosis in older adults because the risk for MI may be translated into a large disease burden in the population.


Dr. Archana Narang (M.O.T), Dr. Saurav Arora (SRF),

Dr. Latika Nagpal (SRF)

Thyroid Clinic, Dr. B. R. Sur Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital,

Nanak Pura, Moti Bagh, New Delhi – 110021

Life style and endocrine disorders would be the next challenge to medical fraternity in coming few years.



In this ever-changing era of competition and stress we are losing harmony with nature and our surrounding environment. Life style and endocrine disorders are on the verge and to a certain extent we may be responsible for them. Many risk factors are now identified, most common being related to life style. It is very hard to deal with them especially when they assume a state of ‘poor response to offered or prevalent therapies’. Many a times, we being practitioners of the true healing art encounter ‘obstacles to cure’ for these life style disorders. Thus it becomes need of the hour to learn the scopes, limitations and how to deal with them judiciously. In this article, obesity’, one of the rapidly emerging life style disorders is discussed keeping in mind the basic philosophy of Homoeopathy.


According to textbook of medicine by Harrison ‘Obesity is a state of excess adipose tissue mass’. It can also be defined as a progressive disease with excess fat accumulation which has multiple consequences. It is associated with the accumulation of adipose tissue in the body (as body fat) that is excessive for an individual’s height, weight, gender and race to an extent that it produces adverse health outcomes. It is one of the most neglected yet visible risk factor contributing to the several other disorders worldwide. Obesity is the tip of ice berg which includes various diseases like cardio vascular disease, Type II Diabetes, osteoarthritis or even some types of cancers. On many occasions it becomes a cosmetic issue, but at the same time can cause various other risks and decreased quality of life.


Obesity is emerging as one of the major health problems, particularly in the urban areas of the country. About 30 – 65 % of adult urban Indians is either overweight, obese or has abdominal obesity. In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized obesity as a global epidemic. According to a recent survey it is estimated that at least 1.1 billion adults and 10% of children are overweight and/or obese. Comparison of two major studies conducted by National family health survey (NFHS-2) in 1998–1999 and NFHS-3 in 2005–2006 shows that prevalence of obesity among Indian women has elevated from 10.6% to 12.6% (increased by 24.52%).


Body fat percentage is total body fat expressed as a percentage of total body weight. It is generally agreed that men with more than 25% body fat and women with more than 33% body fat are obese. A certain amount of fat is necessary for body to function properly as it is the key factor for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions. It is stored in the form of adipose tissue in our body. Although not a direct measure of adiposity, the most widely used method to gauge obesity is the body mass index (BMI), which is equal to weight/height2 (in kg/m2). The reference range used to categorize individuals is:

< 18.5 Underweight


Normal weight




Class I obesity


Class II obesity

> 40.0

Class III obesity

(Morbid Obesity)

Along with BMI certain other measures may also be taken into consideration to assess an individual in terms of nutrition. These are:

  • Waist circumference
  • Hip circumference
  • Waist to hip ratio: a ratio of >0.9 in women and >1. 0 in men is considered abnormal
  • Markers of nutrition e.g. mid arm circumference, skin fold thickness, etc.


Two major patterns of obesity are observed in population, although these patterns are not gender specific, both the sexes can have any pattern, but it is seen that cross patterns are more dangerous. In females, the pattern seen is pear-shaped obesity, i.e. they tend to collect fat in their thighs and buttocks. In males, fat usually collect around the belly, giving them “apple” shaped pattern of obesity.


For each individual, body weight is the result of a combination of genetic, metabolic, behavioural, environmental, cultural and socioeconomic influences. Behavioral and environmental factors are large contributors to overweight and obesity and provide the greatest opportunity for actions and interventions designed for prevention and treatment.

  • Fundamental or the miasmatic causes:
    • Heredity: determines how susceptible an individual is to become overweight or obese.
    • Genetically a person is influenced by how the body uses calories for energy and how the body stores fat.
    • Familial obesity is an established risk factor, which exposes an individual to develop obesity.
  • Exciting and  maintaining factors:
    • Eating habits: contribute to the development of overweight and obese states specially in individuals consuming food rich in animal fats, vegetable oils and sugar/syrups and less of vegetables, fruits and other high fibre starchy foods.
    • Lack of exercise and workout.
    • Increasing industrialization, better transportation facilities, more mechanization at home and workplace.

Medical causes associated with obesity

o  Cushing’s syndrome

o  Hypothyroidism

o  Insulinoma


Obesity is just the tip of the “ice berg” of major symptom syndromes. It has direct association with many syndromes like Diabetes, Hypertension, Insulin resistance, etc. (Mixed miasmatic states which are harder to treat). Obesity affects more or less every system of the body. Some of the complications associated with obesity are:

Cardiovascular System: Ischemic heart disease, angina and myocardial infarction, congestive cardiac failure, hypertension, dyslipidemia, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Endocrinology and Reproductive System: Diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovarian syndrome, menstrual disorders, infertility, complications during pregnancy, birth defects and intrauterine fetal death.

Neurological disturbances: Stroke, meralgia paresthetica, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, dementia, idiopathic intracranial hypertension,

Psychiatric Problems: Depression and social stigmatization, disrupted self image, lack of confidence.

Dermatological problems: Stretch marks, acanthosis nigricans, lymphedema, cellulitis, hirsutism, intertrigo.

Gastrointestinal Problems: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, fatty liver disease, cholelithiasis, hernias.

Oncology: Breast, ovarian, Esophageal, colorectal, Liver, pancreatic, Gallbladder, stomach, Endometrial, cervical, Prostate, kidney, Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma.

Respiratory Problems: Obstructive sleep apnea, Obesity hypoventilation syndrome, Asthma, Increased complications during general anesthesia

Rheumatology & Orthopaedic problems: Gout, Poor mobility, Osteoarthritis and low back pain.

Urological & Nephrological Problems: Erectile dysfunction, Urinary incontinence, chronic renal failure, Hypogonadis.


Hahnemann in aphorism 261 has rightly stressed on the importance of proper diet and exercise. “The most appropriate regimen during the employment of medicine in chronic diseases consists in the removal of such obstacles to recovery, and in supplying where necessary the reverse: innocent moral and intellectual recreation, active exercise in the open air in almost all kinds of weather (daily walks, slight manual labor), suitable, nutritious, unmedicinal food and drink, etc.”

Management is one of the most important key factors in dealing with obesity in long-term.

It is a chronic dis-ease that requires long-term intervention and judicial employment of medication, if necessary. The intervention in obesity can be from any of the following listed strategies, single or in combination:

þ Dietary

þ Life style related physical exercise, behavior modification etc.

þ Medicinal

þ Surgical

All of the above intervention require close monitoring and follow ups.

Physical exercise: Weight reduction is not only the mathematical calculation and reduction in calories; rather it is an array of complex mechanism to be understood keeping in mind other factors also. Minimum public health recommendation for physical activity is 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on preferably all days of the week. This duration also depends upon lifestyle, average daily workout, age, gender and other circumstances like nutrition, weight etc. A simple mathematical calculation of daily caloric intake helps in planning the average daily physical activity. Exercise helps in maintaining circulation, reduces the risk for cardio vascular diseases, diabetes and other complications of obesity.

Commonly followed patterns of exercise in our society are:

  • Brisk walking (for about 30 minutes) at an intensity that makes speaking difficult during walking. It is the preferred initial mode of exercise.
  • Work related exercise: taking 10-15 minutes break to walk around during working hours.
  • Muscle strengthening exercises such as lifting weights or push ups.

Amount of calories burnt during some of common exercises:

CYCLING (15 km/hr) 360
WALKING (04 km/hr) 160
RUNNING (08 km/hr) 353

Behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help change and reinforce new dietary and physical activity behaviors. Strategies include self-monitoring techniques (e.g. weighing, and measuring food and activity); stress management; stimulus control (e.g., using smaller plates, not eating in front of the television or in the car); social support; problem solving; and cognitive restructuring to help patients develop more positive and realistic thoughts about themselves.

Dietary modification: A few suggested behavior modifiers include change in eating habits, e.g. less of caloric and fat intake. National Institute of Health guidelines suggest that people who desire to lose weight should reduce their caloric intake by 500 to 1000 kcal per day, which may produce a weight loss of 0.45 to 0.90 kg per week. Women may choose a diet of 1000 to 1200 kcal per day and men may choose a diet of 1200 to 1500 kcal per day. Along with this basic knowledge about nutritional facts like following diet and calorie charts is recommended.

Surgical treatment: surgery is indicated for the treatment of morbid obesity which includes co-morbid conditions which are life-threatening. It is only advised for those with very high BMI of 40 or more. Bariatric surgery changes the anatomy of the digestive system. It leads to early satiety, reduction in appetite and also hormonal changes that lead to weight reduction. This surgery lowers the risk of medical problems associated with obesity.


Homoeopathy has long been remained a therapeutic tool which goes by symptom similarity. The homoeopathic approach towards obesity should be scientific and feasible. In our materia medica many remedies are given which act wonderfully in cases of obesity and overweight, but it needs an understanding of the sphere of action of these remedies. Literature is loaded with many discoveries and experiences, which must be explored and understood.

The basic approach should be the judicial approach. Many a times, remedies alone are not able to benefit a patient fully, here comes the concept of obstacles to cure and exciting and maintaining factors. Thus it becomes necessary to motivate the patient to follow others management factors like diet control, controlled exercise, changes in life style pattern, etc.

Homoepathy has a vast scope to offer individuals suffering from obesity or related disorders. Like other systems, Homoeopathy has its own scopes and limitations. A basic knowledge of disease process and sound knowledge of homoeopathic philosophy can make one fully enabled to deal with these cases.

In aphorism 5 of Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann has described the constitutional approach towards state of the patient. By constitutional approach one means “An individual”, his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual functions etc. An individual is the basic unit which is affected by interior (mental generals) and exterior (environment), thus the approach to rectify it should be holistic. For internal phenomenon and obstacles we may give the best similimum remedy, this will make one individual strengthen from inside so that the vital force can preserve the state to health whereas the exterior phenomenon are dealt with various management tools (e.g. exercise, weight reduction, diet etc) discussed in the previous section.

The brief importance of various factors associated with obesity and their homoeopathic approach are:-

1. Type of obesity: familial or hereditary Fundamental maintaining factor is underlying miasm. Thus antimiasmatic approach can be adopted.
2. Constitutional predisposition of the subject Selection of the constitutional remedy with intercurrent antimiasmatic remedy is suggested.
3. Mode of living.

  • Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise.
  • Faulty diet
These factors are obstacles to cure, so selection of appropriate constitutional remedy with dietary and exercise management should be done.
4. Stress related factors. De-stressing techniques and counselling along with appropriate constitutional remedy help removing obstacles to cure.
5. Obesity associated with specific diseases. Diagnosis of underlying cause and its treatment with appropriate indicated remedy can be adopted.

Case analysis and justification is same for an individual who is obese and require intervention as for any other diseased condition. The commonly used drugs are:

  • Drugs in potencies e.g. calc. carb, graph, caps, ferr met, etc
  • Drugs in trituration e.g. phytolacca berry, fucus, thyroidinum, etc.,
  • Drugs in crude form: e.g. phytolacca, fucus, etc.

Some references from repertory:

Obesity in young people: Antim crud, Calc, Calc act, Lach.

Obesity abdomen: Pip-n

Obesity abdomen but thin legs: Am-c, Am-m, Ant-c, Graph, Lith-c, Plb (as in Cushing’s)

Obesity in old people: Am-c, Aur, Bar-c, Fl-ac, Kali-c, Op, Sec.

Obesity during menopause: Calc-ar, Graph, Sep.

Obesity in children due to improper nutrition: Calc, Carc, Graph.

Obesity in children: Ant-c, Bad, Bar-c, Bell, Brom, Calc, Caps, Cina, Coloc, Ferr, Graph, Guaj, Ipecac, Kali-bi, Kali-c, Puls, Sars, Senegam Sulph.

Indigestion accompanied by obesity: All-s.

Obesity with goiter: Fucus

The common indications of some remedies are presented below:-

Antim crud: Tendency to grow fat, obese people with thickly coated tongue and digestive disturbances of varying degrees. The constitutions are very irritable and fretful.

Calcarea carb: suitable for women and children of leucophlegmatic temperament with tendency to obesity. Constitutions deficient in assimilative powers are benefited by this remedy. Rapid deposit of fat in cellular tissues, especially around abdomen but tissues is imperfectly nourished.

Capsicum: suited to persons who are fat, indolent, opposed to physical exertion, get homesick easily. Persons having feeble digestion and lax fiber. Chilly subjects with lack of vital heat.

Ferr met: Flabby, anemic and plethoric persons with false plethora and relaxed muscles. Easily irritable constitutions having voracious appetite.

Fucus vesiculosis: obesity associated with non-toxic goitre with flatulent tendency and obstinate constipation. This remedy is used in material doses and triturated preparations.

Graphites: Suitable for women, inclined to obesity with habitual constipation and delayed menstruation. It follows well calc carb in young women with large amount of unhealthy adipose tissue.

Kali brom: it is adapted to persons who are inclined to obesity; it also acts better in children than in adults.

Kali carb: For diseases of old people, dropsy and paralysis; with dark hair, lax fibre, inclined to obesity.

Lac def: obesity associated with fatty degeneration of tissues, dropsy and liver complaints. It is also helpful in dealing with complications of obesity.

Phytolacca berry: Clinically found to be efficacious in obesity.

So the primary goal of management of obesity should be improvement of obesity-related co-morbid conditions and reduce the risk of developing future co-morbidities. It involves balance of three essential elements of lifestyle: dietary habits, physical activity, and behavior modification along with Homoeopathic intervention. Hahnemann has rightly mentioned in Aphorism 4: “He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” – Hippocrates c. 460-377 BC.

%d bloggers like this: