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Risk of Lymphoma Added to Arthritis Drugs Warnings

Oct 12, 2004

The injectable drug Remicade used frequently for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease can increase the risk of developing lymphoma (a cancer). Although the risk is small the situation is serious enough for the drug manufacturer to add this warning to the drugs list of side effects, precautions, and toxicities. If a person has arthritis alone, the drug increases the risk of developing a lymphoma threefold. If a patient has both rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease it increases the risk of lymphoma sixfold. The other drugs in Remicade's class, Enbrel, and Humira already carry a lymphoma warning in their package inserts.

Two New Studies Indicate Soy is Important for Women before Menopause

Researchers at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center reported two new studies showing soy improves health before menopause and may protect women later in life. In the first study 100 fully grown premenopausal monkeys were given soy in their diet or they were put on a soy free diet for one year. The amount of soy isoflavones - the most active and protective soy ingredient was equivalent to 129mg per day in human terms. The soy isoflavones improved the ratio of cholesterol to beneficial HDL by dropping the ratio. A drop in this ratio is a very-very good thing. Improving this ratio decreases the risk of hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack and it is cardioprotective. Typically the improvement in the ratio of cholesterol to HDL was a 33% drop. But in the monkeys under stress - those more at risk for heart disease, the drop in the ratio was even greater - 48%. This equals a great drop in the size of fatty deposits in the arteries, and a great drop in the risk of stroke and heart attack.

In the results of the second study, giving the soy-isoflavone rich diet for one year strengthened the bones vs. a soy free diet. This will give added protection after menopause, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis and fracture later in life. The study results were presented last week at the 15th Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society, held in Washington, DC.