"I find medicine is the best of all trades because whether you do any good or not you still get your money." (Moliere: "A Physician in Spite of Himself," 1664)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF (SM) NEWSLETTER Vol 2, No 3 November 24, 2001 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of 300 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.
JUNK SCIENCE ON VITAMIN C MEGADOSES EXPOSED The flashy-titled "C is for Cancer?" article (New Scientist, 22 September 2001, p 20) is a good example of sketchy science carelessly reported. The article would have readers uncritically extend the questionable findings of a highly artificial, electrical-current-vibrated quartz crystal test tube study, and conclude that two thousand milligrams of vitamin C can (somehow) do some sort of mischief to fatty acids and human DNA in real life.
If two thousand milligrams of vitamin C were harmful, the entire animal kingdom would be dead. Our nearest primate relatives all eat well in excess of two thousand milligrams of vitamin C each day. And, pound for pound, most animals actually manufacture from two to ten thousand milligrams of vitamin C daily, inside their bodies. If such generous quantities of vitamin C were harmful, evolution would have had millions of years to select against it.
As it is, many well designed studies show that large doses of vitamin C improve both quality and length of life for cancer patients. Supportive megavitamin C therapy also reduces hair loss and nausea from chemotherapy, enabling oncologists to give maximum strength treatments.
"C is for Cancer Patients!" would be a more accurate title. The public should not be discouraged from taking generous quantities of supplemental vitamin C. Just the opposite. For vitamin C is not a problem; it is a solution.
Murata, A., Morishige, F. and Yamaguchi, H. (1982) Prolongation of survival times of terminal cancer patients by administration of large doses of ascorbate. International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl., 23, 1982, p. 103-113. Also in Hanck, A., ed. (1982) Vitamin C: New Clinical Applications. Bern: Huber, 103-113.
Null, G., Robins, H., Tanenbaum, M., and Jennings, P. (1997) Vitamin C and the treatment of cancer: abstracts and commentary from the scientific literature. The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. April/May.
Riordan, N. H., et al. (1995) Intravenous ascorbate as a tumor cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent. Medical Hypotheses, 44(3). p 207-213, March.
Rivers, J. M. (1987) Safety of high-level vitamin C injestion. In: Third Conference on Vitamin C. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Vol. 498.
MYTHS ABOUT VITAMINS (More in a seemingly endless series) MYTH: "YOU DO NOT NEED TO TAKE VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENTS BECAUSE THERE IS PLENTY OF IT IN FRESH OILS."
Oh yeah? While I cheerfully admit that vegetable oil contains natural beneficial cofactors, count the number of IU's of vitamin E in it. There are 26 mg of vitamin E in a CUP of olive oil. (A milligram is close to an IU.) The amount of E that is preventive of cardiovascular disease is at least 100 IU, probably 400 IU, possibly as much as 800 IU daily. And a CUP of olive oil contains less than 30 IU. http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitamin_e.html
MYTH: "IF YOU TAKE TOO MUCH VITAMIN E, IT WILL CAUSE PROBLEMS WITH PROLONGED CLOTTING TIME."
Vitamin E will prolong clotting time, but beneficially. That's why it is such a competitor for Coumadin.
"Vitamin E is a potent inhibitor of thrombin that does not produce a hemorrhagic tendency and therefore is a safe prophylactic against venous thrombosis."
(Alton Ochsner, M.D., one of the world's leading heart surgeons)
MYTH: "VITAMIN C MEGADOSES DESTROY VITAMIN B-12."
Newmark, H. L. (1976) Stability of vitamin B-12 in the presence of ascorbic acid. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 29:6, 645-649.
MYTH: YOUR BODY CANNOT ABSORB ENOUGH VITAMIN C TO BE USEFUL AS AN ANTIBIOTIC OR ANTIVIRAL Individual needs for vitamin C vary greatly, especially during illness. A relatively small amount of C is often sufficient for normal health, whereas tens of thousands of milligrams may be absorbed during viral or bacterial illness, particularly if the dosage is frequently divided during the day. When sick, one should take the minimum that gets you well. One can expect very high minimums during illness. Doses should be measured in grams, not milligrams, up to bowel tolerance (saturation).
Reference websites: http://www.orthomed.com http://www.vitamincfoundation.org http://www.cforyourself.com
READERS ASK: "IS THERE A NATURAL CURE FOR STREP THROAT?" Strep throat (which is far more frequently "diagnosed" by pediatricians than lab tests confirm) is amenable to the vitamin C megadose protocol of Cathcart, Klenner and Cameron. I've posted their articles at http://doctoryourself.com/titration.html and http://doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html
It still somewhat mystifies me that their work is not better known, until I consider the huge dollar value of antibiotic sales. We're not even talking bib diseases here, for it is no longer uncommon for a fully-vaccinated child under one year of age to already have had 10 or more courses of expensive antibiotics. Many adults fare little better. Antibiotic overprescription is rampant quackery.
My children were raised (ovolacto) vegetarian, took their kiddie vitamins, had their kiddie vegetable juices, and simply did not need the kiddie doctor. We would have taken them if the need arose, but we first handled occasional illness the natural way. This includes very sore throats.
POWERFUL SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT FOR MEGAVITAMIN THERAPY Nobody is interested in vitamins. What people want is to know how to cure disease. This goes for preoccupied doctors as much as for desperate patients. In 25 years of lecturing on natural health care, I have almost never had anyone (practitioner or layperson) come up to me afterwards and say, "tell me more about the biochemistry of vitamin therapy!" Rather, the ubiquitous follow up question is, "What vitamins should I use for (such and such an illness)?"
In righteously answering such a question, the task is to present the facts of vitamin therapy accurately and rapidly, without losing sight of the questioner's specific need. As Ward Cleaver demonstrated, the Beaver needs unbiased truth in shortened form, as applies to his specific situation.
It is as hard to provide that in a book as it is in a conversation.
The fundamental strength behind Dr. Melvyn Werbach's Textbook of Nutritional Medicine is that it fully appreciates the immediate need of the reader. This book is not about vitamins; it is about diseases treatable with vitamins. Should you ever want to put someone to sleep, just start lecturing on nutrition with the ever-boring "vitamins A through E and foods that contain them" approach. I guarantee that heads will be nodding long before you finish with the B-complex.
Textbook of Nutritional Medicine is that rarity among all health books: at 750 large pages, it is still remarkably concise. Almost all of it is organized by illness, not by nutrient. It is not preachy and it never overstates the role of nutrition. It takes only seconds to look up any one of over 80 diseases that are known to respond to nutritional therapy. And it is very heavily referenced.
The Textbook is an outgrowth of Dr. Werbach's 1988 Nutritional Influences on Illness, which was essentially a topic-by-topic collection of research abstracts. I liked that a lot, and required it as a textbook when I taught graduate clinical nutrition. The current Textbook is more complete in every way, and is well worth its $75 hard cover price. It provides far more direction to the open-minded practitioner or self-care minded general reader. To have an "alternative" health book written by a medical doctor (co-authored with a dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Moss) is very valuable to patients who are struggling upstream to convince their pharmophilic (drug loving) physicians to at least give vitamin therapy the time of day. There is nothing quite like pulling out a book like this one to shorten physicians' "supplements might hurt you so just eat a good diet" speeches. And even the most ostrich-like orthodox practitioner can not long resist the call of the literally thousands of peer-reviewed journal references that Dr Werbach has read, sorted, and summarized in his book.
So trot out the Textbook next time somebody tries to tell you that more research is needed before vitamins can be used to treat illness.
There is a real possibility that your doctor will recoil when s/he is presented with all these references. This reaction, true to human nature, is nevertheless unscientific. It is embarrassing to doctors when patients know more about their case than they do. Yet there is no other rational choice. If therapy exists, and is reasonably well-tested and safe, it is inexcusable to not try it. Doctors know this, but are so uneducated in nutrition that they are usually not in a position to supervise such therapy. Hence the embarrassment. The Textbook provides the continuing education they so sorely need.
Obviously, you need to read it first, but not all of it. It is a reference. Do you read the dictionary cover to cover? (You don't have to, because, as comic Steven Wright says, "The zebra did it.") Just look up the diseases that are closest to home. You, your family, and your friends all stand to benefit from the hard work that Dr. Werbach has already done for you, distilling and sorting hundreds of studies into one lap-friendly volume.
Dr. Werbach's objectivity is so carefully maintained that, to a general reader, his well-balanced approach might seem like fence sitting. This is perhaps most notable in his cautious discussion of vitamin C against cancer. I also n oticed that, in considering schizophrenia, the Hoffer-Osmond Adrenochrome Hypothesis was omitted. My personal opinion is that Dr. Werbach might have more to say in open support of really high divided doses of niacin (not just niacinamide in moderation) for anxiety and psychosis. The multiple sclerosis section makes no mention of the nutritional protocol of Frederick R. Klenner and Roger J. Williams is not cited in the otherwise very good section on alcoholism. Max Gerson is absent from the chapter on cancer. William J. McCormick is not mentioned in connection with vitamin C and cerebrovascular disease, and I found no references to Wilfrid or Evan Shute's pioneering work with vitamin E and heart disease. This may be because Dr. Werbach has chosen, perhaps because of limitations of space, to focus on more recent research. Additionally, I think chromium polynicotinate, zinc monomethionine, iron fumarate, and so-called colloidal minerals should be added to the section on "Elemental Mineral Content of Common Mineral Salts" used as supplements.
Lest I appear to be nit-picking, let me assert that any book that calmly mentions vitamin E doses of up to 3,200 I.U., and maximum daily treatment dosages for vitamin C of 200,000 mg has my immediate and appreciative attention. Robert F. Cathcart, Ewan Cameron, Garnett Cheney, Ruth Harrell, John Ellis, William Kaufman, J.W. Anderson, and many other expert physicians and researchers are to be found fairly, and favorably, mentioned in the Textbook of Nutritional Medicine. A number of these names are simply not to be found in any other nutrition textbook that I have ever seen. It is a pleasure to see them included here.
I am especially pleased that Dr. Werbach includes a considerable quantity of information on megavitamin treatment of AIDS patients. This bold and much needed inclusion opens the door for nutritional treatment of all viral illnesses. I am further delighted to see a section on nutrition and Down's syndrome. There are also seldom-mentioned-elsewhere nutritional approaches to Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, infertility, rosacea, lupus, and even myopia. These sections make interesting reading indeed. Truth to be told, ANY section of the book makes for interesting reading. I was somewhat surprised to fail to find Alzheimer's disease listed in either the table of contents or the index. Look under "Dementia" and you will find it; however, it should have its own listing.
Dr. Werbach's attitude towards and discussion of vitamin side effects is excellent. It is also conservative. He does not hesitate to caution when caution is due, and yet he clearly states (and proves) that the safety of megavitamin therapy is far greater than drug therapy. Information on lab nutrition tests, label units and measurements, vitamin deficiencies, hints for successful practice of integrative medicine, and the entirely appropriate personal story of how he came to write his books, are all included.
But the heart of the Textbook is its nearly 700 pages of clinical recommendations and research summaries. Citations are clearly marked and reader-friendly; studies are mentioned within the text by authors' names in italics. Frequent and well-placed case histories are boxed in gray. There should be an overall author index as well as a topic index. Preparing such an index is not a job that I'd want; Dr. Werbach has over 140 full pages of references with about 40 citations per page. That makes no fewer than 5,600 references in Textbook of Nutritional Medicine. Yet it is due to this very great number that the book requires more thorough indexing.
I have relied on Dr. Werbach's work for ten years. When I prepare an article or lecture, I refer to his writings as a matter of habit. Before his books, one had to go back to the Vitamins in Medicine (from the 1950's) for a really good single-volume collection of applied therapeutic nutrition research summaries. I am grateful for this latest, most impressive, and most practical update on a subject that is so important to us all.
TEXTBOOK OF NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE Melvyn Werbach, M.D., with Jeffrey Moss, D.D.S. (1999) Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press. http://www.third-line.com/ 740 pages. ISBN 0-9618550-9-6
This review is also posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/werbach.html
SORRY WE MAY HAVE MISSED OUR CHANCE FOR THIS ONE... Tobacco "spa treatments" that are "guaranteed to relax the mind and soothe the body without inhaling" have been introduced at MacArthur Place, a trendy San Francisco-area inn. At least in June of this year, you could get a Tobacco Bath, a Tobacco Salt Scrub, a Tobacco Oil Massage AND a Tobacco Moisturizing Treatment to boot. "The Garden Spa is the first spa in the U.S. to offer tobacco-based treatments," said manager Bill Blum. "This is the only inside pubic place you will see tobacco products in use in California."
Cost of their "Cigar In The Garden" overnight package starts at $475; the 100-minute treatment can also be purchased a la carte for $197.
For more information: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org Postal Mail: 29 East MacArthur Street, Sonoma, CA 95476
(Editor's note: I have no financial connection whatsoever with this or any other similar establishment, for reasons that I trust are obvious.)
READERS SAY: "I've just written a mini-book called Shazzie's Detox Delights ( www.shazzie.com/news ) and am very happy to offer your readers these raw food recipes."
Dark Dream Smoothie 2 bananas, peeled 1 punnet of blueberries 1 papaya, skinned and de-seeded 2 dates, pitted Chop the dates. Blend all ingredients and drink.
Italian Soup This is a very simple but really tasty soup. You can add other flavours to it for lots of variation.
1 avocado, peeled and stoned 4 tomatoes A handful of basil 1/4 of a cup of cold pressed olive oil Blend all ingredients. If it's too thick add some freshly made tomato or cucumber juice.
Warm-Feeling-Inside Salad This salad is such comforting one, it will make you glow!
1 bunch of lettuce 1 or 2 fennel bulbs (depending on size) 1 red onion 1 clove of garlic 1 red pepper, de-seeded 1 orange pepper, de-seeded 6 tomatoes 1 cup of pumpkin sprouts or seeds, soaked 4 sticks of celery 2 avocados, peeled and stoned 10 macadamias 1 cup of watercress 4 dates, pitted
Prepare the lettuce in your favourite way, chop the fennel, onion, peppers, tomatoes, watercress and celery. Finely chop the garlic and dates, and slice the avocado. Toss all the ingredients together except the macadamias ó you need to throw these on top from a very great height.
(Editor's note: I especially enjoyed the "Before" and "After" pictures of some raw-food enthusiasts which are posted at http://www.shazzie.com/raw/transformation/ Send in your snapshots, folks!)
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