ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE HALL OF FAME: 2009
Hall of Fame 2009
Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame Inductees for 2009
by Andrew W. Saul, Master of Ceremonies and Assistant Editor, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.
Hotel Queen Elizabeth,
WELCOME to the Sixth Annual Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame inductions. I am very honored to be here, my sixth time at bat, to present this high award to the pioneers of nutritional medicine.
I am representative of the malnourished generation. Typically, our mothers consumed too little folic acid while they were carrying us. We were bottle-fed on formula containing no biotin. Vitamin E wasn’t even listed as an RDA item until 1968. We chowed down on “Wonder Bread,” which supposedly, somehow built strong bodies 12 ways. We ate a lot of frankfurters. For dinner, our moms opened canned vegetables. . . and then cooked them even further than the canners did. Boy, did my mother cook, and overcook. Everything. Once I asked her why. “That’s the way your father likes it,” she said. Many years later, I finally marshaled the nerve to ask my father why he liked everything overdone. “Because that’s the way your mother makes it,” he answered. Doh! I’d been living in an O. Henry story.
On the other hand, my mother was at least partly orthomolecular. Having opened the cans, drank the juice the vegetables were packed in, or put it into homemade soups. We were compelled to eat liver. No muscle tissue or internal organ a turkey ever had was wasted. My brothers and I each had to take a multivitamin every day, long before it was popular. Every day, when my father came home from work, she met him at the door with a multivitamin pill and a glass of orange juice. We never had a day without orange juice, nor a day without whole grain cereals at breakfast.
And, we rarely went to the doctor; at five dollars a visit, it was “too damned expensive.” When we did go, it usually had to be for a condition serious enough to require a tetanus shot, or an antibiotic.
Speaking of antibiotics, not everyone knows that Alexander Fleming, M.D., wrote, “Penicillin sat on my shelf for 12 years while I was called a quack. I can only think of the thousands who died needlessly because my peers would not use my discovery.”
Orthomolecular researchers, educators and practitioners understand this all too well. Acceptance of nutrient-based therapeutics has been decades-long in coming. Tonight’s honorees have been criticized, even ridiculed, in their time. For many a year, as the bluesmen say, they paid their dues.
Tonight these five very important gentlemen are being enrolled in the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame not just because they were unappreciated, but because they were right. Not a single cell in the human body is made from a drug. All cells are made from nutrients. Orthomolecular medicine makes good health and it makes good sense. Drugs do not.
If medical journals bloated with pharmaceutical advertising do not seem to get this, the public has. Nutrition-based therapies make sense, good sense, common sense. Asks Dr. Abram Hoffer, “If drugs make a well person sick, how can drugs make a sick person well?”
This question has been long been pondered. Here we have mention in that classic medical text of the early 1960’s: Thunderball, by Ian Fleming:
M said severely, "That's just where you're making a big mistake, James. Taking medicine only suppresses these symptoms of yours. Medicine doesn't get to the root of the trouble. It only conceals it. The result is a more highly poisoned condition which may become chronic disease. All drugs are harmful to the system. They are contrary to nature. The same applies to most of the food we eat: white bread with all the roughage removed, refined sugar with all the goodness machined out of it, pasteurized milk which has had most of the vitamins boiled away, everything overcooked and denaturized . . . Mark my words. There is no way to health except the natural way.”
James Bond looked curiously at M. What the hell had got into the old man?
“There is no way to health except the natural way” sounds like something Grandma might have said. Indeed, "Medical heretic" Dr. Robert Mendelssohn wrote that one grandmother is worth two MD's. Dr. Linus Pauling had a particularly direct recommendation. Pauling wrote that the following label caution should appear on every pharmaceutical product on the shelves: “Keep this medicine out of the reach of everybody. Use vitamin C instead!”
the most famous omnivore in history would be Michel Lotito,
Mr. Eats-Everything died two years ago, at the age of 57. There is a lesson in here somewhere.
Perhaps we are what we eat after all. Dr. Abram Hoffer and I, in our new book Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone, note that the average age of Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame inductees is about 80 years of age. Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer was right: “Not only is example the best way to teach, it is the only way.”
Tonight we offer five outstandingly good examples:
T. L. Cleave
Hugh MacDonald Sinclair
Jeffrey S. Bland
not been to
His Nobel biography adds that he had “long hair and an unkempt beard. It is said of him that at this time he usually wore overshoes in all weathers and carried an umbrella, his pockets being overfull with scientific papers, and that he always wore the same hat, and often, when he was excited, sat on it. . .
received many distinctions, among which were the
honorary D. Sc. of the
Metchnikov worked on the drug Calomel, thought to prevent people from contracting syphilis. Calomel is mercurous chloride. It was used worldwide, even as late as the 1950s, before it was appreciated just how toxic it was. Metchnikov is lauded today, and especially tonight, primarily for his appreciation of beneficial intestinal flora, or probiotics. And he lived his work, drinking soured milk every day.
What impact has Professor Metchnikov had on the modern world?
Well, how many of us recall the “100 year old man” television commercials that popularized yogurt in the 1970s? They said, "In Soviet Georgia, where they eat a lot of yogurt, a lot of people live past 100." The commercial made the top 100 Greatest Advertising Campaigns according to Advertising Age magazine. While we can hardly blame him for the commercials, we can thank Ilya Ilyich Metchnikov for the good that comes from our knowledge of the health-building bacteria inside cultured foods.
Tonight, we welcome him, long overdue, to his rightful place in the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.
T. L. Cleave
It is party line dietetics that sugar consumption is pretty much connected only with tooth decay and obesity. Since the 1950's, Dr. Thomas Latimer Cleave has been a voice in the wilderness, telling doctors something they do not want to believe: eating sugar and over-processed grains causes serious disease. And what’s more, Cleave requires the rest of us to do what we do not want to do: stop eating sugar. While I was long among the resistant hold-outs, thanks to Dr. Cleave’s work, I now am a reformed sugar junkie. As a boy, it ticked me off to no end that there were virtually no sugary foods in my parents’ house. Except, that is, for very rare occasions, like when my parents were out and my brothers and I made an impassioned trip to the neighborhood grocery store. No soda pop. No candy. I tried eating Baker’s chocolate, once. I thereby learned it was unsweetened.
Therefore, to this day, I recall how we could get sick at the candy store for 25 cents. And did.
In the 1970s, National Geographic magazine carried this advertisement by the American sugar industry. You will not believe this (or maybe you will). It read, “If sugar is so fattening, how come kids are so thin?”
Today, one out of three children is obese.
Television advertisement is even worse. The journal Public Health Nutrition said, “(A)dvertisements for high-fat/high-sugar foods during popular children’s programmes, contributing to 65.9% of all food advertisements.” (Bridget Kelly, Ben Smith, Lesley King, et al. Television food advertising to children: the extent and nature of exposure. Public Health Nutrition, 2007. Nov;10(11):1234-40.)
We get too soon old and too late smart.
Thomas Latimer Cleave, known as Peter to his friends, would eventually become
Director of Medical Research of the
The Wellcome Library,
Gastroenterologist Sir Francis Avery Jones said, “Long before the year 2000, time will have amply confirmed the Cleave hypothesis, and over-refinement of food will have become part of our history. His name will be added to the roll of the great men who opened up new fields of discovery in medicine.”
Sir Francis was, regrettably, overly optimistic about “over-refinement of food will have become part of our history.” But he was right about Dr. Cleave being “added to the roll of the great men who opened up new fields of discovery in medicine. Specifically, nutritional medicine, and now to the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.
[Note: The Saccharine Disease by T. L. Cleave (1975) is available in its entirety for free online at http://www.cybernaut.com.au/optimal_nutrition/information/library/saccharine_disease.pdf and also at http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/Cleave/cleave_toc.html ]
Hugh MacDonald Sinclair
Planet Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet. In
I was introduced to the work of Dr. Sinclair for 10 cents. That’s how much a Lee Foundation reprint of his paper, The Composition and Nutritive Value of Flour, cost back in 1974. [R Soc Health J. 1957 May;77(5):234-9]
weird to be sitting in
In our book, I Have Cancer: What Should I Do? Your Orthomolecular Guide for Cancer Management, Drs Michael Gonzalez, Jorge Miranda-Massari and I re-emphasize the importance of the essential fatty acids. For this, we thank Hugh MacDonald Sinclair. Essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body. In other words, as Yogi Berra would say, “You don’t have them, so that’s why you need them.” Specifically, you need to eat them. Dr. Sinclair was the pioneer pointing this out over half a century ago. But that is not all. He also was one of the first to emphasize the importance of vitamins in medicine, specifically vitamin E, vitamins B-1 and B-6, and vitamin C. In fact, Sinclair had published a number of papers on thiamine . . . beginning in 1933.
Sinclair had an interesting lineage. His ancestors included both the Viking king Woldonius, and cousins of William the Conqueror.
Dr. Sinclair built on the work of George and Mildred Burr, who published their discovery of essential fats in 1929. Sinclair backed the right horse, and time would prove it. Just before Halley’s Comet appeared again in 1986, the New England Journal of Medicine (312:1205, 1985) would report that the omega-three fatty acids in as little as 30 grams (about one ounce) of even low-fat fish per day reduced the 20-year death rate from coronary heart disease by fifty percent. Since then, research has shown that omega-3s have anti-tumor effects. Strong support indeed for a man who was in his time roundly criticized for what were seen as eccentricities and excesses. One of his former students, Andre McLean, wrote in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. [2002 May; 95(5): 263–264]:
“I remember a meeting of the Medical Research Society where Hugh spoke about relative deficiency of essential fatty acids. He was criticized on the grounds that margarine had plenty of polyunsaturates, and when he said that hydrogenation would convert many of these to useless cis-trans forms, there were roars of laughter at this improbable set of suggestions.”
knowing that the rude remarks which he made in the laboratory about many of
the influential figures in
From this and other more conventional studies, we now appreciate that excessive amounts of omega-3s may increase the risk of bleeding, decrease platelet aggregation, prolong bleeding time, and increase help break down of blood clots. We have previously welcomed a younger Sinclair colleague, Dr. David Horrobin, to the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame. Tonight, it is a pleasure to specifically highlight and honor the visionary father of the field of essential fatty acids, Dr. Hugh Sinclair.
Perhaps I am nearly 2% Australian, having spent a year down under as an undergrad. Often it was fun. A mate of mine, a physics student baring an uncanny resemblance to Ringo Starr, told me that the PM, Gough Whitlam, was coming to campus for a fancy invitation-only reception. “That would be something: to see the Prime Minister,” I said. My friend replied, “Well, let’s go. Dress up and no one will ask to see your invitation.” He was right. And for the speech, I sat in the first row, the PM 10 feet from me.
When it comes to vitamin C, I am a true believer. It wasn’t always that way. That same physics student and I once, somewhat cynically, calculated precisely just how many oranges it would take to achieve Linus Pauling’s vitamin C recommendations. We thought it was silly.
20 years later, it was serious. Now a vitamin C true believer, I was teaching clinical nutrition for a professional school. One of the Deans had missed weeks of work due to a depressed immune system and severe fatigue. In passing, I’d suggested vitamin C to him, taken to saturation, bowel tolerance levels. He finally tried it. Within days the Dean was fully recovered and back at work.
Not long afterwards, I was sitting in the same Dean’s office. My teaching contract was being ended because I was (way) too “out there” as an instructor. While I was being dismissed, the Dean had a big bottle of ascorbic acid powder, and a spoon, right on his desk.
Abram Hoffer is right: No amount of evidence will persuade someone who is not listening.
Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. put it even more sharply, saying: “Some physicians would stand by and see their patients die rather than use ascorbic acid because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin.”
Dr. Archie Kalokerinos knows this full well.
In the process of saving Australian Aboriginal lives with vitamin C, he was vilified. He persevered in his advocacy of ascorbate, publishing several books and dozens of scientific reports.
In naming Dr. Archie Kalokerinos “Greek Australian of the Century,” the Australian Greek community wrote:
Archie himself writes how this all started, when he agreed to work “for a few weeks in the isolated ton of Collarenebri (where) I became established as the local doctor. . . On the edge of the town there was an Aboriginal ‘reserve’ – with a number of Aboriginal infants. Many suffered from a series of apparently ‘minor’ infections. Then they would die suddenly in various mysterious ways. Autopsies failed to explain why. . . I had a problem because I had been supplementing that boy with more that the recommended daily allowances of vitamin C for months. So, how could that be scurvy? ‘Everyone’ knew that just a few milligrams of vitamin C, taken orally, would prevent scurvy . . . (Once) I was near a camp of semi-tribal Aborigines. For the first time in my life I was able to talk to such people and gain an insight to their problems. One elderly woman was particularly impressive. When I asked her about infant deaths she said something like, “We do not know why our children get sick and die. Before the white men came they never died”. . . There was one possibility – when the kids get sick they need more vitamin C than normal. When they get sick they need blood levels of vitamin C that can only be achieved by injection . . . What happened is now history. There were no more strange infant deaths. No longer would I be haunted by the wailing of women in the camp. There would no longer be a need for so many tiny little coffins . . . I am a much better doctor. But I am sadder too, because most of my colleagues will not listen.”
Tonight, we openly and clearly assert that it is time for all medical professionals to listen. Dr. Archie Kalokerinos is one of the great orthomolecular physicians of all time, and a true medical hero. Welcome, Dr. Kalokerinos, to the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.
(For more information about Dr. Kalokerinos: http://www.whale.to/vaccines/kalokerinos.html )
Jeffrey Bland, PhD
Jeffrey S. Bland, a former chemistry professor, left his tenured position to become head of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine’s nutrient analysis laboratory. He’s all over MEDLINE: Jeff has authored over 100 papers, published in such journals as Inflammation Research, Nutrition Metabolism, Nutrition Reviews, Phytochemistry, Canadian J Physiology and Pharmacology; Alternative Therapeutics and Health Medicine; Nutrition; New England J Medicine; Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy; and others.
was accepted as a Fellow of the
In addition to all we’ve said, Jeff is also a musician. Did you know that he played trombone during high school and college? I play piano. Join us in the bar afterwards for a Niacin-and-Jam session.
Well, after that, I would like to make a timely withdrawal from the podium. I now return the evening to Mr. Steven Carter, Managing Editor of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and Executive Director of ISF, who will continue our tribute to Dr. Bland.
For additional biographic details of each 2009 Orthomolecular Hall of Fame inductee, please click here: http://orthomolecular.org/hof/hof2009.pdf
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
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