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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

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CURWOOD: Coming up: Warnings from Alaska's north slope that safe drilling in the Arctic is never a sure thing. Stay tuned to Living on Earth.

Now this environmental health update with Diane Toomey.

(Music up and under: Allison Dean "Health Update Theme")

TOOMEY: St. John's Wort is a popular herbal alternative to prescription antidepressants, and European studies on its effectiveness in treating mild to moderate depression have for the most part been positive. But some U.S. scientists say the European studies didn't last long enough, so they just completed their own tests on the herb. Over an eight-week period scientists gave 200 people suffering from major depression St.
John's Wort or a placebo. They also gave them a questionnaire to gauge the severity of their illness both before and after the study, and found no difference between people who took the placebo and people who took St. John's Wort. But European researchers may have some criticism of their own. The U.S. study was funded in part by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which makes the prescription antidepressant Zoloft. American researchers say their analysis of the data was done independently. That's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

(Music up and under: OKGo, "We Dug A Hole")



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