In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Ask the Harvard Experts: Hepatitis C not responsive to herbal therapy

By Howard LeWine, M.D. | Q: I just found out that I have hepatitis C. I feel fine. I heard that milk thistle is good for the liver. Does it help people with hepatitis C?

A: More than 3 million Americans are infected with the virus that causes hepatitis C. About three-quarters of them are baby boomers -- anyone born between 1945 and 1965. Many of them got it through a blood transfusion.

Like you, most people are not aware they've been infected with the virus unless they get tested. Even without symptoms, chronic hepatitis C can cause the liver to become inflamed as the body fights the infection. Inflamed liver tissue can become scarred. Scar tissue replaces healthy tissue.


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The liver is a resilient organ. It can heal if the illness is caught and treated successfully. But when scarring continues and becomes serious, it leads to cirrhosis and a poorly functioning liver.

More than half of Americans seek alternative treatments for medical ailments. There is the perception that milk thistle helps heal a damaged liver, so it's not surprising that many people with hepatitis C use it, alone or combined with doctor-prescribed drugs.

According to the results of a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, silymarin was no more effective than a placebo. Silymarin is the active ingredient in milk thistle extract.

Two different doses of silymarin were tested. One of the doses was much higher than what most people take. But even that dose did not appear to dampen liver inflammation. Although the study didn't specifically address side effects, milk thistle extract did not appear to cause harm.

It's great that you got tested for the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 should have a one-time blood test for hepatitis C. Younger people at increased risk should also get tested.

Treatments can slow the infection and limit the damage hepatitis C causes. The first treatment used is pegylated interferon plus ribavirin. It's the most effective. But response rates are only 50 percent to 60 percent.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two new antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C. They are boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek). Either one can be combined with interferon and ribavirin. This triple therapy is 30 percent more effective than the standard double therapy.

(Howard LeWine, M.D., is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass., and Chief Medical Editor of Internet Publishing at Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School.)

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