Newsletter v3n16

Newsletter v3n16
Back Issues

"Life in all its fullness is Mother Nature obeyed." (Weston A. Price, D.D.S.)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 3, No 16) July 5, 2003

"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written and copyright 2003 by Andrew Saul, PhD, of , a free online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.


In my last (June 20, 2003) Newsletter ( I wrote:

"Cornell University's extensive nutrition studies in China have shown that people eating little or no animal protein are less likely to get either cancer or heart disease. "These diets are much different from the average American diets, containing only about 0-20% animal based foods, while the average American diet is comprised of about 60-80% animal based foods. Disease patterns in much of rural China tend to reflect those prior to the industrial revolution in the U.S., when cancers and cardiovascular diseases were much less prevalent." ( )

"Decades earlier, researchers such as Dr. Francis Pottenger and Dr. Weston Price ( ) ( ) have repeatedly shown that "primitive" peoples or laboratory animals eating a natural, nearly vegetarian diet simply do not have serious diseases."

For this, I caught a little flack. Here's a typical reader's comment:

"Dear Dr. Saul: I am sure you will get lots of e-mails about your comment linking Weston Price with vegetarianism. You must be kidding! All of Dr. Price's writings, from years of travelling the world and finding out why people were healthy or sick clearly point out the fact that animal foods are essential and the prerequisite to good health. Vegetarians are not healthier, they don't live longer, and the fact that you are a vegetarian doesn't change these facts. I enjoy your newsletter as you provide tons of good information, however this one is a boo-boo."

Readers' feedback shows a genuine interest in attempting to keep me honest, and I appreciate receiving it. Though my use of the word "vegetarian" is presumably the source of contention, I think my use of the qualifying word "nearly" must be the focal point for discussion.

The Cornell China studies clearly support near-vegetarianism ("0- 20% animal-based foods"), which is my preferred long-term dietary maintenance plan. And I would be pleased if everyone followed Pottenger's dictum and ate pretty much raw everything, especially raw milk, which I have long advocated. My reading of Price's work says to me, "eat unprocessed foods." If people want to eat the seafood and organ meats that Dr. Price advocated in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, they will do well nutritionally to do so. I will of course welcome comment (email to from the Pottenger and Price organizations on this.

RAW FOODS AND FRANCIS POTTENGER, M.D. Dr. Pottenger's emphasis was on the nutritional value of raw foods, and he got it right. Pottenger knew that carnivorous animals, normally, would never be in a position to hunt a cooked meal. His studies were primarily on cats, and most felines are carnivores. But even "carnivores" are not strictly carnivorous. Lions and similar predators gobble up the predigested vegetable material from an herbivorous prey animal's digestive organs in preference to any other part of the kill. I caught my cat up on the kitchen counter the other day. She was eating carrot pulp left over from the morning's juicing. Plain carrot pulp. Years ago, I had a cat that would stand up on her hind legs and beg for cooked green beans. But this is in addition to an appropriately-meaty kitty diet.

For humans, if a vegetable, fruit or dairy food can be eaten uncooked, then it should be. As for raw meat, well, no thank you. The Natural Hygienists have what is at heart the same message: eat fresh and raw. I admire and seek to emulate such knowledge to the maximum practical extent. However, I do not apologize for having a stove. A whole-food, good food diet including legumes (peas, beans, lentils), grains and potatoes clearly needs some cooking. But there is definitely no need to make one's home on the range.

MEAT: LOTS, SOME, OR NONE Americans consume at least twice as much protein as they need. Worldwide, 30 grams of protein daily is usually adequate. The US RDA of protein is about 60 grams daily for a man and about 50 g daily for a woman. We generally eat over 100 grams of protein daily, mostly from meat. Chronic protein excess can overload and irreversibly damage the kidneys by middle age. (Williams, S. Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 7th ed, Mosby, 1993).

When in doubt, eat like other primates do. Chimps, gorillas, orangutans and that crowd are very strong, very smart, and mostly but not entirely vegetarian. By moving TOWARDS a vegetarian diet, you automatically reduce your too-high intake of protein, fat and sugar. It is just that simple. There is no diet plan to buy. I think dairy products and eggs and fish must remain occasional options for most of us. My kids did so well as lacto-ovo-vegetarians that they never had a single dose of an antibiotic, not once. Had they NOT been healthy, the State and the school board would have been on our backs instantly.

To avoid all animal products makes one a vegan. I am most certainly not a vegan, and I do not universally advocate it. I have many good friends who utterly and totally reject animal products. For this I admire them. I also observe that their conviction is, at times, more admirable than their health is. Ethical issues aside, veganism truly is an excellent transition diet. As limited-term treatment for overweight, constipated, drug-soaked people, veganism cannot be beat. I think a few months without animal products is worth a therapeutic trial for most illnesses. But long term, for most people, I think some animal foods are necessary as the decades pass.

The majority of vegetarians are actually near-vegetarians, eating some animal products, such as milk products. My readers know I am something of a cheese and yogurt fan. As a former dairyman, what do you expect? I also use eggs now and then for cooking, and I make a mean broccoli quiche. But I am not really much of a milk-drinker, and typically do not go through even half a dozen eggs in a month.

Albert Einstein wrote, "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." Evolution, a key word, means gradual change with time. "Vegetarianism" is a process, not an absolute.

For my children, the process began in infancy.

Okay, so they were not fed meat. What exactly DID they eat? Here's an example of some basic meal plans, on which you can (and we did) build a tasty meatless meal.

Meatless most certainly does NOT mean "zero animal products." The two are far, far apart. And when considering the moral arguments on the dialectics of dietetics, we are humbled when we recall that Mahatma Gandhi ate dairy products, and Jesus ate fish.

I regularly took my three-year-old son with me when shopping at the local supermarket. We inevitably passed through the meat department. My son pointed to the blood-red packages and loudly asked me, "What's that Daddy?" I replied, much more quietly, "That is meat." He then said, just as loudly as before, "We don't eat meat, do we, Daddy!" He was correct, of course, and I told him so. He smiled, and in a voice that could easily be heard in the Produce department on the other side of the store, declared for all to hear: "We don't eat meat! We're not Italian!"

I think he meant to say, "We're vegetarian," but I kinda like it better his way. And very few three-year-olds can say, "We're lacto-ovo- vegetarian, aren't we, Daddy!"

In truth, I cannot even be described as an lacto-ovo-vegetarian (eggs and dairy), for I also eat seafood. Not often, and usually not directly in front of my aquarium. But I maintain, in the face of animal-rights adversity, that fish and their oceanic roommates are valuable nutrition sources. After millennia of changes to human civilization, the world's number one animal protein source in 2003 is still seafood. By the time we come up with a definition of "fishatarian," we are very close to the natural animal-products percentages that Price found again and again in his travels amongst "primitive" (aka "healthy") cultures back in the 1930's. I have no shame whatsoever in eating like a south sea island native.

WESTON PRICE AND NATIVE DIETS I am quite willing to eat along the dietary lines of other traditional cultures that Dr. Price visited and wrote of. Price found that isolated, healthy Swiss communities ate cheese and raw milk daily, plus a lot of whole-grain bread. But they only ate meat once a week. The basic foods of the islanders of the Outer Hebrides, Price wrote, "are fish and oat products with a little barley. Oat grain . . . provides the porridge and oat cakes which in many homes are eaten in some form regularly with every meal." (p 44) Even traditional Eskimos, often held up as the ultimate example of human carnivorism, also eat nuts, "kelp stored for winter use, berries including cranberries which are preserved by freezing, blossoms of flowers preserved in seal oil, (and) sorrel grass preserved in seal oil."

In short, most vegetarians are not, and most carnivores are not. Optimum human diet is not to be found at either extreme. The issue is natural food more than where it comes from. Unprocessed foods, whether animal or plant origin, are the healthiest. This is the enduring message of Price and Pottenger.

A POEM: Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck Oh how could ye be so mean To ever have invented The sausage-meat machine. Now all the rats And puddy-cats Will never more be seen; For they'll all be ground To sausage meat In Dunderbeck's machine. (Author unknown, fortunately)

VITAMIN E by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

The history of vitamin E, its early massive rejection for about 40 years and its increasing acceptance today is very interesting and contains many lessons for physicians and for medical schools. The only reason it was so thoroughly rejected is that physicians knew hardly anything about vitamins. For decades, vitamin E pioneers Drs. Wilfred and Evan Shute were deprived of any recognition which was deservedly theirs. At the end of their lives they had some satisfaction from the recognition they received from orthomolecular physicians. They were the first doctors who had to face the unreasonable and unrelenting opposition of the medical establishment for their espousal of megadoses of a vitamin. This opposition was totally unscientific.

Unless we learn from history we are condemned to have to repeat it. I will quote Dr. Shute to give the reader a flavor of the controversy and how he reacted. In discussing coronary disease, he wrote:

"Hundreds of thousands more may die while scholars debate the etiological issue. Many more will go about clutching their anginal chests. What's to do meantime? Oxygen tents and anti coagulants, rest, reassurance by experts that this is really a mild disease, seem to meet the situation poorly. Indeed the whole Western world watches the progress of one famous patient after another, while celebrities by the score drop around us day by day. "Into this situation we projected alpha tocopherol in 1947. One would have thought it would have been welcomed, since its rivals were so dangerous or so inadequate. But it was a far jump from abortion to coronary thrombosis, and an obstetrician was unduly hardy and audacious to try it. At the time so little was known of the accessory biochemical and physiological properties of alpha tocopherol that the proposal seemed doubly ludicrous. It met with a storm of rejection and is only now recovering from its hard reception. Had its vascular properties been recognized first (and at the International Congress on Vitamin E in Venice, Comel proposed it should henceforth be called the " angiophilic vitamin") it would have eased into Cardiology as gently and persuasively as heparin or dicumarol."

The Shute brothers in Ontario used 800 IU, and far more, to treat large numbers of patients with circulatory problems and heart disease, and to accelerate healing after burns. They were subjected to powerful opposition from the medical establishment, especially in Ontario. Still, they continued to add to their clinical experiences, but the medical journals would not publish their papers. Therefore, they published in their own journal, "The Summary."

Some recent reviews of vitamin E discuss the following indications. (1) Cardiovascular disease. (2) Premenstrual syndrome. (3) Tissue ischemia, common in myocardial infarction, stroke and renal failure. Vitamin E reduces ischemia and will be very important in dealing with these conditions. (4) Cancer prevention. Studies show an inverse relationship between vitamin E status and the development or risk of dying from cancer. (5) Protection against environmental pollutants. It suppressed increased lipid peroxidation in cigarette smokers. (6) Enhancing immune function.

It is clear that vitamin E will play an ever increasing role in the prevention and treatment of disease. It is no longer a vitamin in search of a disease. It is now an antioxidant vitamin intimately involved in the biochemistry and physiology of the body, and therefore involved with a host of diseases.

DOSE Drs. W. Shute and E. Shute recommended doses from 400 IU to 8,000 IU daily. The usual dose range was 800 to 1600 IU but they report that they had given 8,000 IU (about 8 grams) without seeing any toxicity. I usually use between 400 and 1,200 IU daily but for Crohns disease have been giving 4,000 IU. I have not yet seen any side effects form vitamin E administration. Dr. Marks reports that adults can safely be given 100 to 800 IU but excludes adults with alteration of vitamin K status or metabolism. Ingestion of 1,200 IU has increased the coagulation defect produced by vitamin K deficiency or by warfarin (Coumadin) treatment. Dr. Shute advises starting with small doses for patients who have rheumatic heart disease. He starts with 90 IU and very slowly works up the dose. The reason for this is that if too much is given at the beginning the increased strength of the heartbeat may create some difficulty. The same applies to heart failure from hypertension. The initial dose should be small and gradually increased. If this is done the final dose can safely reach 800 to 1,200 IU.

The public is well acquainted with vitamin E and its usefulness. They have had ample literature from which to learn. (Books written by the Shutes are posted at In 1972 Dr. E. Di Cyan, a friend of mine, wrote his excellent book, "Vitamin E and Aging." (1) This book even today is very up-to date and in it is foreshadowed the many current interests in the medical profession which then were totally ignored and laughed at.

SOME CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE STUDIES Two recent reports show that vitamin E helps heart patients get well from bypass surgery and angioplasties. Dr. D. S. Sgoutas, Dept of Pathology and Laboratory of Medicine at Emory University, found that 35.5 % of the angioplasty patients taking vitamin E suffered from restenosis, while 47.5% of the control placebo group did. J. American College of Nutrition, 11, 68-73, 1992 . Dr. T. Yau, U. of Toronto, reported that presurgical supplementation of vitamin E helped the heart pump during the high-risk five-hour postoperative period. Controls did not do as well.

On November 19, 1992 New York Newsday carried a report that Vitamin E had decreased the risk of heart disease between one-third and one-half. Two studies were conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. In one study Dr. M. Stampfer et al (2) found that during an eight year follow up, women who had taken at least 100 IU of vitamin E daily for two years had a 46 percent lower risk of having an heart attack. This was based on a population study involving 87,245 women. The second study, on men by Dr. E. Rimm et al (3), based upon 51,529 subjects, showed a 37 percent lower risk. They found that there was not enough vitamin E in food to reach these daily levels. Dr. Stampfer was so convinced by the data that he is himself taking the vitamin. Dr. Stampfer was very skeptical before the study. He thought it was implausible that a simple maneuver like taking vitamin E would have such a profound effect.

These findings are not surprising to anyone familiar with the Shutes' research on over 30,000 patients. Neither Stampfer, nor Rimm and their colleagues in their two papers make any reference to the pioneering work done much earlier by the Shute brothers, whose work was a model of good clinical research but the idea then so novel it was attacked. The Shutes were considered quacks since everyone knew that vitamin E had no value for anything. The medical profession, instead of investigating these claims, carefully persisted in downgrading the work. In fact, one of the publications widely distributed to doctors did a hatchet job on the Shutes' work many years ago. By doing so it effectively killed interest for many decades. In this medical letter they reviewed four studies published between 1940 and 1950 which they claimed were definitive studies which proved vitamin E had no therapeutic value for treating heart disease. I then read the four papers and found them to be inept and inadequate and so badly done that today no medical journal would publish them. They did not follow Dr. Shutes' directions, as they used too little vitamin for too short a period. Now scientists report a 35 to 50 percent reduction in heart disease.

Today, 40% of all deaths are caused by heart disease. Each day 2,000 people, or about 750,000 persons per year, die from heart disease. Let us assume that the reduction in risk is exaggerated, and that in reality there is only a 10 percent reduction. This means that each year about 50,000 fewer people would have died, a saving of about 200 patients daily. It is difficult to calculate overall how many would have been saved if the Harvard group had taken their responsibility seriously and examined the vitamin E claims in 1950 instead of waiting until 1992. This is the real cost of medical cynicism. Had they been merely skeptical, they could have done the studies to satisfy their own curiosity. But they were so convinced the Shutes' findings were meaningless they went out of their way to destroy them. They succeeded. I wonder if the editors of that medical letter today have given any thought to the cost of this type of inexcusable delay. This happened several hundred years ago when Sir James Lind proved that citrus fruits could prevent scurvy in British sailors. The Navy began to issue limes 40 years later. In the meantime, 100,000 sailors died. This again illustrates the true cost of delay in examining seriously claims made by physicians.

The medical establishment consoles itself by claiming that the onus for proving new findings is on the original investigator. This is merely an excuse for doing nothing. The price is enormous. How much longer will society permit doctors the luxury of doing nothing, especially when the suggested treatments are safe, economical and the opinion of doctors who follow the treatments, so effective. The medical establishment should be ashamed of itself, and owes the American people an apology.

1. Di Cyan, E. Vitamin E & Aging. Pyramid Books, New York 1972.

2. Stampfer,M.J., Hennekens,C.H., Manson,J., Colditz, G.A., Rosner,B. & Willett, W.C. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary disease in women. New England J. Med. 328: 1444 - 1449, 1993.

3. Rimm, E.B., Stampfer, M.J., Ascherio, A., Giovannucci, E., Colditz, G.A. & Willett, W.C. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. New England J Med 328; 1450-1456, 1993.

More information on by Dr. Hoffer on the Shutes' use of vitamin E: An account of the vitamin E controversy: Dosage details: Selection and Therapeutic Use of Vitamin E: Angina: Thrombophlebitis and Coumadin:

VITAMIN E AND CANCER by Abram Hoffer, M.D., PhD.

Vitamin E includes the tocopherols of which d-alpha tocopherol is the most active. It is the major lipid soluble antioxidant protecting the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in membranes against peroxidation. The usual intake is about 12 IU/day. Peroxidation of the PUFA causes membrane damage. Vitamin E has other protective properties. It destroys nitrite, which has been shown to increase the incidence of cancer. It protects the red blood cells in lungs against the toxic effect of ozone and hydroxyl radical toxicity. Thus it has been shown to have a weak protective effect against some of the cancers (1)

More recent studies have shown an inverse relationship between levels of Vitamin E in blood and the development of cancer. One study (2) compared the vitamin E levels in 289 patients with cancer of the colon and rectum against 1267 matched controls. The E levels were slightly lower in the cancer cases. Similar findings were reported by Knekt (3), Palan et al., (4), and de Vries, et al (5). Knekt and colleagues (6) examined alpha-tocopherol levels in 36,2675 adults in Finland. After eight years there were 766 cases of cancer. Persons with low levels had 1 1/2 times the chance of getting cancer compared to the highest level. The association was strongest with gastrointestinal cancers and for other cancers not related to smoking. LeGardeur et al (7) concluded from their data that vitamin E deficiency may be associated with lung cancer and to a greater degree than vitamin A.

Thus the association between cancer and vitamin E consumption and cancer is not strong, but an increasing number of reports appear showing that there is some connection. When so many variables are involved it is very difficult to find very high correlations between the condition and the effect of only one of the nutrients.

As long as we can not be sure what are the most effective cancer preventive agents and therapeutic compounds it seems only prudent to ensure that the subjects are obtaining enough vitamin E. The main question is how much is enough. Certainly the role of the RDA's is being seriously questioned by many and recommendations have been made that for each disease there may be unique RDA.

Literature Cited:

(1) Comstock, G.W. Helzlsouer, K.H. and Bush, T.L. Prediagnostic serum levels of carotenoids and vitamin E as related to subsequent cancer in Washington County, Maryland. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 53: 260 S - 264 S, 1991.

(2) Longnecker, M.P. Martin-Morreno, J.M. Knekt,P. Nomura, A.M. Schober,S.E. St:ahelin,H.B. Wald, N.J. Gey, K.F. and Willett, W.C. Serum alpha-tocopherol concentrations in relation to subsequent colorectal cancer: pooled data from five cohorts. J. Nat Can Institute 84; 430-435, 1992.

(3) Knekt, P. Role of vitamin E in the prophylaxis of cancer. Annals of Medicine 23; 3 - 12, 1991.

(4) Palan, P.R. Mikhail, M.S. and Romney, S.L. Plasma levels of antioxidant beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol in uterine cervix dysplasia and cancer. Nutrition and Cancer 15; 13 - 20, 1991.

(5) de Vries, N and Snow, G.B. Relationship of vitamins A and E and beta-carotene serum levels to head and neck cancer patients with and without second primary tumors. European Archives Oto-rhino- laryngology 247; 368-370, 1990.

(6) Knekt, P. Aromaa, A. Maatela, J. Aaran, R.K. Nikkara, T. Hakama, M. Hakulinen, T. Peto, R. and Teppo,L. Vitamin E and cancer prevention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53, 283S-286S, 1991.

(7) LeGardeur,B.Y., Lopez, A. and Johnson, W.D. A case-control study of serum vitamins A,E, and C in lung cancer patients. Nutrition and Cancer 14; 133-140, 1990.

More information by Dr. Hoffer about cancer treatment: Details of a natural adjunctive cancer therapy:

TAKING THE CURE (My regular column in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, entitled "Taking the Cure," debuted in Vol 18, No 1, 2003, p 29-32. It is reprinted for you below with the permission of the Journal.)

Welcome to the first in a new series of articles for the Journal which will seek to highlight the work of the pioneer orthomolecular physicians, writers and scientists, such as Roger J. Williams, Wilfrid and Evan Shute, John M. Ellis, Linus Pauling, Irwin Stone, Ruth F. Harrell, Emanuel Cheraskin, Max Gerson, William J. McCormick, Frederick R. Klenner, and in this installment, William Kaufman.

"Taking the Cure" is a traditional expression for going off to a spa to restore health and generally get into shape. It might also be taken to mean, "When you learn of something that heals people, try it." This could be the unwritten motto of nutritional therapy. It is hard to justify denying a patient a therapeutic trial with vitamins. Open-minded, inquisitive physicians never have. The observations, insights, dedication (and often just plain courage) of orthomolecular pioneers are worthy of our continued appreciation today, a time when some say there is little value in old studies. But that is not true of nutritional research.

It is medical drug dogma that is out of date. Inadequate nutrition, an old problem that has failed to go away, should be considered first. Then, adequately high supplement doses need to be employed to get the job done. As there is a certain, large amount of fuel needed to launch an aircraft or a spacecraft, there is a certain, large amount of nutrient(s) needed to cure a sick body. With vitamin therapy, speed of recovery is proportional to dosage used. Orthomolecular clinicians have been saying this for decades. More importantly, they have been successfully doing it. Mining such physicians' reports is immensely valuable. They learned something that we need to know. Health knowledge worth having does not go out of date in seven years or even seventy years. What works is never out of date.

ADHD IS NOT CAUSED BY RITALIN DEFICIENCY: B-3 AND HYPERACTIVITY In an old "Shoe" cartoon strip, an overweight, cigar-smoking "Perfesser" is sitting at a diner counter. He is urged to eat his carrots because it's been shown that they prevent cancer in rats. His response is, "Why would I want to prevent cancer in rats?"

And then there is methylphenidate ("Ritalin"), which has been shown to promote cancer in mice. This drug is cheerfully given to millions of ADHD children every day. (In 1999, the Massachusetts News for 1 November placed the figure at 4 million.) The National Institutes of Health July, 1995 Toxicology Study NTIS# PB96-162615 ( ) stated, "There was some evidence of carcinogenic activity of methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) in male and female B6C3F1 mice based on the occurrence of hepatocellular neoplasms (liver cancer)."

This small but demonstrated carcinogenic potential of Ritalin deserves more attention, and more consideration of safer alternatives. Any bets on how many compliant parents have seen, let alone actually read, the full text of Ritalin's other side effects?

Fortunately, there appears to be a vastly safer alternative: vitamins, particularly vitamin B-3. Over 50 Years ago, niacinamide pioneer William Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D observed that:

"Some patients have a response to niacinamide therapy which seems to be the clinical equivalent of "decreased running" observed in experimental animals. When these animals are deprived experimentally of certain essential nutriments, they display "excessive running," or hyperkinesis. When these deficient animals receive the essential nutriments in sufficient amounts for a sufficient period of time, there is exhibited a marked "decrease in running."

"(A person) in this group may wonder whether or not his vitamin medications contain a sedative. He recalls that before vitamin therapy was instituted, he had a great deal of energy and "drive," and considered himself to be a "very dynamic person." Analysis of his his- tory indicates that prior to niacinamide therapy... he suffered from a type of compulsive impatience, starting many projects which he left unfinished as a new interest distracted him, returning perhaps after a lapse of time to complete the original project. Without realizing it, he was often careless and inefficient in his work, but was "busy all the time."

This report appeared, almost as a side note, on page 73 of Dr. Kaufman's 1949 book, The Common Form of Joint Dysfunction. So accurately does it describe the problems of ADHD children that it is difficult to believe that vitamin B-3 (which never causes cancer) has been so thoroughly ignored for so long. Dr. Kaufman continues:

"With vitamin therapy, such a patient becomes unaccustomedly calm, working more efficiently, finishing what he starts, and he loses the feeling that he is constantly driving himself. He has leisure time that he does not know how to use. When he feels tired, he is able to rest, and does not feel impelled to carry on in spite of fatigue... If such a patient can be persuaded to continue with niacinamide therapy, in time he comes to enjoy a sense of well-being, realizing in retrospect that what he thought in the past was a super-abundance of energy and vitality was in reality an abnormal "wound-up" feeling, which was an expression of aniacinamidosis (niacin deficiency)." ( p. 74)

Dr. Evan Shute began investigating the use of vitamin E for abruptic plancentae in 1936 and discovered it cured cardiovascular disease. Even before this, Max Gerson, M.D., was treating migraine headaches with vegetable juices and therein found an effective therapy for various forms of cancer. And William Kaufman, M.D., treated arthritis patients with niacinamide and noticed that it was also an effective remedy for hyperactivity and lack of mental focus. These and other natural health care milestones highlight just how dissimilar orthomolecular medicine and drug medicine truly are. While conventional medical authority would promptly admit malnutrition as one cause of cancer, and certainly as a cause of heart disease, there is a profound reluctance to allow that optimum nutrition could be curative of either. With attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, orthodox medicine seems unwilling even to admit nutrient deficiency as a causal factor, let alone a curative one.

Such nutritional information as does make news generally stays far from the headlines, unless, of course, it is critical of vitamins. The most widely publicized vitamin therapy trials tend to be low-dose, worthless, negative, or all three. Mass media attention to a given nutritional research study appears to be inversely proportional to its curative value.

Therefore, the public and not a few physicians remain unaware of the power of simple and safe natural methods due to contradictory, inadequate, or just plain biased media reporting. When the press touts the "dangers" of vitamin megadoses while simultaneously overlooking Ritalin's carcinogenic potential, it strains at a gnat and swallows a camel. Whereas drug side effects fill the PDR to bursting, I think we could truly say that the chief side effect of vitamins is failure to take enough of them.

Perhaps the very concept of "megadose" needs to be rethought, and re-presented to the public. The quantity of a nutritional supplement that cures an illness indicates the patient's degree of deficiency. It is therefore not a megadose of the vitamin, but rather a megadeficiency of the nutrient that we are dealing with. A dry sponge holds more milk.

Dr. Kaufman advocated relatively modest quantities of niacinamide (250 mg) per dose but stressed the importance of the frequency of those doses. With the water-soluble vitamins, at any given quantity, frequently divided doses are invariably more effective.

NIACINAMIDE AND ARTHRITIS The authors of a 1996 study on niacinamide and osteoarthritis (Jonas WB, Rapoza CP, Blair WF. The effect of niacinamide in osteoarthritis: a pilot study. Inflammatory Research 45:330--334.) could have omitted the words "pilot study" from their title. William Kaufman had already published, 47 years earlier, his meticulous case notes for hundreds of patients, along with specific niacinamide dosage information applicable to both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the doctor added some remarkably prescient observations on the antidepressant-antipsychotic properties of B-3. Dr. Kaufman, whom his widow has described as a conservative physician, was nevertheless the first to prescribe as much as 5,000 mg niacinamide daily, in many divided doses, to improve range of joint motion.

Mrs. Kaufman sent me these previously unpublished comments written by her husband not long before his death in 2000.

"The (more frequent) 250 mg dose of niacinamide is 40 to 50% more effective in the treatment of arthritis than the (less frequent) 500 mg. dose. In my 1955 paper (The use of vitamin therapy to reverse certain concomitants of aging. J. Amer. Geriatric Soc. 3:927-936) I noted that niacinamide (alone or combined with other vitamins) in a thousand patient-years of use has caused no adverse side effects.

"Please keep in mind niacinamide is a systemic therapeutic agent. It measurably improves joint mobility, muscle strength, decreases fatigability. It increases maximal muscle working capacity, reduces or completely eliminates arthritic joint pain.

"Some joints are so injured by the arthritic process that no amount of niacinamide therapy will cause improvement in joint mobility, but it takes three months of niacinamide therapy before you can conclude this, since some joints are slow to heal."

"William Kaufman, PhD, MD January 13,1998"

Here are more excerpts from his book:

"Theoretically, optimal nutrition must be continuously available to bodily tissues to ensure the best possible structure and function of tissues. While we do not know what constitutes optimal nutrition, it has been demonstrated empirically that even persons eating a good or excellent diet according to present-day standards exhibit measurable impairment in ranges of joint movement which tends to be more severe with increasing age (see page 153). It has also been demonstrated that when such persons supplement their good or excellent diets with adequate amounts of niacinamide, there is, in time, measurable improvement in ranges of joint movement, regardless of the patients' ages. In general, the extent of recovery from joint dysfunction of any given degree of severity depends largely on the duration of adequate niacinamide therapy." (p 24)

"Whenever a patient taking the amounts of niacinamide prescribed by the physician, and eating a good or excellent diet, fails to make satisfactory improvement in his Joint Range Index, in the absence of excessive mechanical joint injury the niacinamide schedule must be revised upward to that level which permits satisfactory improvement. Failure of the patient to take niacinamide as directed will result in failure to improve at a satisfactory rate." (p 25)

The entire text of Dr. Kaufman's The Common Form of Joint Dysfunction has been republished on the Internet for free online reading. Chapter 1 ( ), containing the passage about "decreased running" mentioned earlier, also presents Dr. Kaufman's niacinamide treatment protocol. He also used ascorbic acid, thiamin, and riboflavin, all in large doses. As his rationale and measurement methods begin the chapter, some readers may wish to scroll down directly to the section on dosage ("Methods of Treatment") and read that first. The chapter closes with case histories and an insightful, practical discussion of patient management.

Chapter 2 ( ), Four Complicating Syndromes Frequently Coexisting with Joint Dysfunction, discusses physical and psychological stresses, allergy, posture, obesity and other factors that may interact or interfere with niacinamide megavitamin therapy for arthritis.

Chapter 3 ( ), Coordination of Treatment, is a brief summary of Dr. Kaufman's practical recommendations for case management.

Chapter 4 ( ), Analysis of Clinical Data for the Untreated and Treated Population, presents Dr. Kaufman's meticulous records of patients treated with niacinamide.

Chapter 5 ( ), Some Inferences Concerning Joint Dysfunction, shows Dr. Kaufman's remarkable foresight half a century into the future of orthomolecular medicine. In this chapter, he describes how the lack of a single nutrient can cause diverse diseases; the need for a new way of looking at arthritis, and reviews his treatment and what level of success to expect.

The book's 248 references are posted at

ARTHRITIS AND ADHD? There is a recurrent problem with vitamins being perceived as "too useful." Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. (see book review of Levy's "Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins" in this issue) found ascorbate to be an effective and nearly all-purpose antitoxin, antibiotic and antiviral. One vitamin curing polio, pneumonia, measles, strep, snakebite, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? Layperson and professional alike certainly struggle with that, and more so with the nearly four dozen other diseases Klenner reported success with. How did he do it? The plain explanation may be as simple as this: the reason that one nutrient can cure so many different illnesses is because a deficiency of one nutrient can cause many different illnesses.

This has led to something of a vitamin public relations problem. When pharmaceuticals are versatile, they are called "broad spectrum" and "wonder drugs." When vitamins are versatile, they are called "faddish" and "cures in search of a disease." Such a double- standard needs to be exposed and opposed at every turn.

A vitamin can act as a drug, but a drug can never act as a vitamin. ADHD is not due to Ritalin deficiency, nor is arthritis caused by a deficiency of aspirin. But these seemingly unrelated health problems (and many others) may indeed be largely due to a common nutritional deficiency. Treating accordingly was a good idea in 1949, and it is just as good today.

For additional reading:

Kaufman, W. Niacinamide therapy for joint mobility. Conn. State Med. J. 17:584-589, 1953

Kaufman, W. Niacinamide, a most neglected vitamin. 1978 Tom Spies Memorial Lecture. J. Int. Acad. of Preventive Med. 8:5-25,1983

Kaufman, W. Niacinamide improves mobility in degenerative joint disease. Abstract published in Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for its meeting in Philadelphia, May 24-30, 1986

In 2002, Dr. Kaufman's papers were acquired by the University of Michigan, Special Collections Library, 7th Floor, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109. Email: . Phone: 734-764-9377

A bibliography of Dr. Kaufman's work will be found at .

(My next TAKING THE CURE column in the Journal will present the megadose vitamin C work of William J. McCormick. If you are interested in subscribing to the Journal, please go to or email .)

ALTERNATIVE HEALTH THE R.J.REYNOLDS WAY: A DIFFERENT KIND OF THE "DEAD PARROT" SKETCH I like to put the names of deceased pets on cigarette company mailing lists. I maxed out at something over 100 names some years ago. A long-gone parakeet named Archie, bereft of life and gone to meet its Maker, still gets regular mailings and store coupons from the R. J Reynolds Tobacco Company. In the latest issue of "Camel Confidential," a full-color insert proclaims the collective joys of reflexology, yoga, Turkish tobacco, and rum. I am not making this up, you know. It's all part of "Offer Code 1 FK," sent out in early June to who-knows-how-many American smokers. Golly, you can stretch at your desk with their "Quick Office Yoga Tip," do some "pressure points to release physical and mental energy" and top it all off with a smoke and a "Desert Colada" made with coconut rum. Evidently, some people think that all of those techniques contribute to relaxation. What a subtle sales message.

Memo to smokers: When the hand-reflexology releases your "physical and mental energy," I hope the first thing you do with it is to toss your smokes into the wastebasket. And that's where you should rightly find every mailing from the tobacco industry.

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