The Medical Community Changes Its Mind

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How many of us have taken aspirin or a similar popular product found at the drug store when we had some type of discomfort? Of course, many of us have and why shouldn't we? Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs; like aspirin and ibuprofen, have generally been considered safe and effective in making an individual feel better.

As science continues to advance, there are certain times when physicians or scientists simply change their mind about some things, as they have done regarding the once thought safe NSAIDs.

It all began with 2 prescription products called Bextra and Celebrex.

These 2 drugs were broadly used to give individuals healthy feeling joints. But unfortunately they also caused certain side effects which were quite serious, even death. Just when scientists thought that they had found a way to help people by directing medication to an enzyme system in the body to do what the body needs to do to be healthy, after so many prescriptions, it was discovered that this new class of medications did not follow the directive of "do no harm" which is embraced by the medical community. Here's how they work and why they also cause problems.

You may actually find some of the upcoming information familiar with you, particularly if you have been following the Zone philosophy of living. The human body undergoes a number of kinds of biochemical pathways. One of the primary objectives is to simply stay healthy. If a part of the body is hurt, it will defend itself by making that part of the body bigger or swollen.

Dr. Barry Sears (who is the inventor of The Zone Diet and Zone lifestyle) has clearly shown that this type of cellular inflammation goes on constantly and he firmly believes that a key to health and wellness is to modulate this process. In order for this process to happen, particular enzymes are needed. They are called Cox 2 enzymes (or cyclooxygenase enzymes). These specific enzymes call the irritating chemicals into being. Many of the over the counter NSAIDs and the new products work to decrease the number of these enzymes, which can then reduce the amount of cellular inflammation which occurs. If your neck feels stiff, take a new type of NSAID, Cox 2 inhibitor and less of the "bad" type of chemicals will form causing that stiff feeling. Prostaglandins and leukotrienes are two of the inflammatory hormones that can be decreased when the COX 2 enzymes are reduced. While we all may desire medications to work without doing us any harm, we now know this is not true with NSAIDs. The side effects are dangerous and the FDA is certainly concerned, and rightfully so. They want superior labels and warnings on these medications and have asked at least one firm to stop selling their medication.

Side effects may include bleeding in the GI tract, kidney and liver failure and long term effects on bones, sometimes the thing we want most to protect. Some NSAIDs are safer then others, and you may find a list at the National Institutes of Health Web Page. It is little wonder that health minded individuals are turning to natural alternatives in an attempt to stay healthy.

For information about the Zone Diet, fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids visit Fish Oil Supplements and find out more.

Ryan Joseph is a writer/researcher. For more information visit

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