Apparently, though, it has some beneficial effects. Can you help bring this kratom supplement into the light?
Recently, Americans have tried using it to manage chronic pain or to help overcome narcotic addiction. It has not been extensively studied, though, so the benefit/risk balance is not well-established.
You are correct that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) planned to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 drug, like LSD and heroin. Such compounds are considered very dangerous and without medicinal use. The agency feared that this plant could be abused.
The DEA is delaying this action for the time being, however, because it received so many messages from the American public asking that kratom not be banned. According to a report in Scientific American, a DEA spokesman said the agency is listening: “We don’t want the public to believe we are simply a group of government bureaucrats who don’t care about their safety and health.”
I do not understand how my father could have died with no advance warning. I want to avoid his fate. What should I do? Do you have a booklet that talks about diet and other strategies to avoid heart disease?
A: It has been estimated that roughly half of people with heart attacks have normal LDL cholesterol levels (American Heart Journal, January 2009). That helps explain why the American Heart Association has abandoned specific target goals for LDL cholesterol and instead has gone to a risk calculator that considers other factors as well.
We are sending you our Guide to Cholesterol Control and Heart Health with a list of risk factors and recommendations on anti-inflammatory foods and other strategies to lower your likelihood of heart disease. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (68 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. C-8, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Psyllium, niacin and magnesium are supplements that may be helpful. Ask your doctor whether aspirin is appropriate, given your family history.
We couldn’t find any research on cod-liver oil to prevent colds in adults.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Email them via PeoplesPharmacy.com. Their newest book is “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.”