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Newsletter v4n21

Newsletter v4n21
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"People's minds are changed through observation and not through argument." (Will Rogers)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 4, No. 21, for October 5, 2004) "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."

Written and copyright 2004 by Andrew W. Saul of http://www.doctoryourself.com , which welcomes 1.5 million visitors annually. Commercial use of the website or the contents of this Newsletter is strictly prohibited.

MEDLINE UPDATE Your tax-supported National Library of Medicine still does not see fit to index the peer-reviewed Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. But look here and marvel at what they DO choose to index:

Time magazine.

Yes, Time. Hardly a peer-reviewed medical journal, now, is it?

Believe it or not, there are no fewer than 1,260 indexed articles on Medline just from Time Magazine. Here: see for yourself what your taxes pay for. Go to Medline (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) and do your own two-second search for "time magazine news" (but when you do so, leave out the quotation marks).

That was fun, now, wasn't it?

Are your ready? Let's try NEWSWEEK!

I got 1,136 Medline responses for Newsweek. How about you?

Ah, Newsweek: the very epitome of biomedical truth.

How do Time and Newsweek get indexed by Medline? Well, that's easy: by meeting the standards of their Technical Review Committee, whose members were all named in a previous Doctor Yourself Newsletter (http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n17.txt ). My readers have been told, by Medline Executive Editor Sheldon Kotzin or one of his assistants, that the standards for inclusion in Medline are quite exacting and are posted at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/jsel.html .

Let's look at them. Hmm.

There seem to be eight "Critical Elements" for Medline indexing:

1) Scope and coverage: "Articles predominantly on core biomedical subjects." (Time and Newsweek, who cover everything from Michael Moore to Madonna, hardly fit this criterion.

2) Quality of content: "Scientific merit of a journal's content is the primary consideration." (Nor do they meet this requirement.)

3) Quality of editorial work: "External peer review." (I am unaware that Time and Newsweek are peer-reviewed, but then I confess that I did let my subscriptions lapse once . . . )

4) Production quality: "Should be printed on acid-free paper." (OK, I concede that Time and Newsweek do use wonderful, really wonderful paper.)

5) Audience: "MEDLINE and Index Medicus are intended primarily for those in the health professions: researchers, practitioners, educators, administrators, and students." (I've seen Time and Newsweek in airports, Social Security offices, locker rooms, buses and bars.)

6) Types of content: "Reports of original research. Original clinical observations. Statistical compilations." (Time and Newsweek contain precious little academic research material. I taught biology, nutrition and health science at the university level for nine years. None of my colleagues ever spoke of submitting their original papers to either Time or Newsweek. I wonder why not?

7) Foreign language journals; and 8) Geographic coverage: Time and Newsweek certainly meet those requirements.

So do Cosmo and Playboy.

CATEGORICALLY SPEAKING

The National Library of Medicine/MEDLINE allows for "four broad categories of journals":

1. Research journals

2. Clinical or practice journals

3. Review journals

4. General or all-purpose journals

But neither Time or Newsweek are journals at all.

I furthermore submit that neither Time nor Newsweek meet the standards set by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) or the Council of Science Editors (CSE). (http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/services/draft_approved.cfm ).

It appears that at the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE, the rules they apply to others evidently do not apply to themselves.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

I decided to file a formal complaint with my Senator (who I trust is not too miffed at me from our previous correspondence on S. 722, further below in the Newsletter).

Dear Hon. Senator Clinton,

I would very much appreciate your assistance in obtaining some real answers to specific questions I have directed in writing to a Federal agency, but without a satisfactory response.

I am interested in finding out why the National Library of Medicine has not responded adequately to my inquiry as to why it has not chosen to index a particular medical journal. To me, this seems like a reasonable inquiry.

Because I and many other citizens are interested in nutrition therapy, I think the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine (which has been published for 36 consecutive years) should be included in the NLM's MEDLINE electronic index. However, it is not.

I wrote to MEDLINE, specifically to the Executive Editor, Mr. Sheldon Kotzin. I received a nonspecific reply, which I think is an unsatisfactory response.

I already know that the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine has been excluded from MEDLINE's index by a NLM "Literature Selection Technical Review Committee," and that the committee characteristically does not make its reasons public. There is also no public hearing.

However, as a taxpayer, whose taxes help fund NLM and help pay Mr. Kotzins' salary, I wish to know why, exactly, this particular Journal was excluded. In other words, which individual itemized standards were not met? And, which ones were in fact met? I do not want to be referred to a list of standards and left to guess what a committee decided behind closed doors; I wish to see a scoresheet, so to speak.

I also do not wish to be told that this process is all some sort of a secret. The NLM says of itself, "The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest medical library in the world. The goal of the NLM is to collect, organize and make available biomedical literature to advance medical science and improve public health."

That includes my family's health. I think detailed, individual reasons for Medline's excluding a particular journal should be public information. I have asked a senior member of a federal office for information and that information has so far been denied to me.

Your assistance would mean a great deal to me.

(end of letter)

No response from the Senator yet. No response from MEDLINE, either.

Don't you love it when your taxes have to be paid on time, but it takes forever to get a response from the people whose salaries your taxes pay for?

GERSON THERAPY: A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE by Tony Jackson United Kingdom

Diagnosed with advanced cancer in February 2002, I was told that I would probably not have as long as five weeks to live unless I followed the orthodox methods. I did not altogether reject conventional treatment, eventually having surgery for which I was extremely grateful. The biopsy was Dukes C3 staging meant the tumour had burst the colon and had been found extensively in my lymph. My situation was further complicated when blood tests showed I was also Hepatitis B & C positive.

The devastating effects of chemotherapy on friends as well as my sister's suffering as she was subjected to one session after another of experimental chemotherapy to no avail following spread of breast cancer, was instrumental in me choosing against all the pressure, to take an holistic approach combining Gerson treatment with high dose supplementation designed to boost the immune system and create an internal bio-environment detrimental to cancer. Treatment included detoxification procedures such as three coffee enemas a day.

This was an informed choice based on well-documented developments in nutrition and Orthomolecular Oncology, which provides ample evidence and clinical records of people being cured of even late stage cancers by alternative, if controversial methods. I have lost, as I am sure we all have, only too many good friends and family to cancer to realize that conventional answers are not forthcoming. Tumours may be shrunk but Metastasis is the killer. If conventional treatment were so successful why on earth should I and others like me seek elsewhere?

In response to some of the comments made by the medical profession, I would like to set the record straight. The American Cancer Society tells us that there is no reason for coffee enemas to work, that they are dangerous and in extreme circumstances can cause death. Does that mean that cancer is less dangerous and that chemotherapy is a benign treatment, which is always 100% efficacious? As for why they work; coffee contains choleretics, substances that increase the flow of toxin-rich bile from the gall bladder. The coffee enema is among the only pharmaceutically effective cholorectics noted in medical literature that can be safely used many times without toxic effects. Coffee enemas are no less bizarre that mustard gas, which is the origination of chemotherapy.

Costs of the Gerson treatment, we are told, can be high. How much does conventional treatment cost the taxpayer and groaning NHS per patient per annum? According to the Wall St. Journal, 16 October, 2002, over $2 trillion has been spent on cancer research and treatments. Numbers dying from the disease are soaring to plague proportions with one in two projected within the next twenty years. In the developed world it is already one in three. Yet we are constantly being informed that 'the magic bullet is just around the corner.'

"Rather than narrow the research spectrum we have a duty to humanity to throw the door open and explore every single avenue yet alternative treatments are continuously vilified without any honest research into their efficacy. Moves are afoot through current EU (http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v3n21.txt) and Codex Alimentarius directives (http://www.doctoryourself.com/supplement_limit.html and http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v2n12.txt), eventually intended for global implementation, to ban every nutrient that I and others take to deal with cancer as well as many other degenerative conditions on the basis of being 'unproven,' even though these same supplements have papers published in respectable scientific journals for peer review showing much to recommend them. It is a scandal that this choice is to be removed from mature adults by legislation. Good nutrition is our Common Wealth but modern, chemically saturated, farming techniques, has stripped the soil of essential nutrients, which can only be replaced by nutritional supplementation. Cancer kills its host and the plundering of the earth's resources by the few will do the same.

Dr. Max Gerson was, as Albert Schweitzer said, a genius. As a fellow human being Prince Charles has every right to state an opinion as much as the next man. If his detractors have the answer, then where is it?"

(Doctor Yourself editor's note: Another article by Mr. Jackson on the benefits of the Gerson therapy appeared in the UK newspaper The Guardian, and is posted at http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1115514,00.html. His email is tjaxon@bigfoot.com .

A search for "Gerson" at http://www.doctoryourself.com will bring you much more information on this important therapy.

DOCTOR YOURSELF DUTCH WEBSITE OF THE MONTH http://www.orthoeurope.com/ is a store house of several thousand vitamin research papers, all in the Dutch language at present. No translation is yet available, but we look forward to more websites like this in all languages for all the world.

"S.722" IS NOW "DOA" Remember S. 722, one of the US government's recent attempts to keep supplements away from you?

Specifically, it was "A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that manufacturers of dietary supplements submit to the Food and Drug Administration reports on adverse experiences with dietary supplements, and for other purposes." Sponsored by Senator Richard J. Durbin [IL], the highly- restrictive, anti-vitamin bill was introduced 3/26/2003.

The good news is that, after more than a year, it still has only four cosponsors. That is very few. Generally, a bill needs dozens of cosponsors to succeed on the floor of Congress.

As a New York resident, I am embarrassed to say that two (half!) of the cosponsors are from my state.

They are: Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] Sen McCain, John [AZ] Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY]

This is one bad bill, one that outraged Doctor Yourself Newsletter readers have written to their elected officials to stop. I have, too. My exchange with Senator Clinton is at http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n3.txt

At least Senator Clinton had the cahunas to reply. I received NO response whatsoever from Senator Schumer.

Here's an update on S. 722: "Latest Major Action: 3/26/2003 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions."

And there it has rightly stayed.

I say, we have been in large part successful. A big "thank you!" to all my activist readers.

(Updated information about this bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi- bin/bdquery/z?d108:s.00722: )

IS THE FDA SAFE AND EFFECTIVE? Although this website is about drug safety and efficacy, I really love that title. http://www.fdareview.org/fda.pdf

DRUG ADVERTISING IS 94% QUACKERY BMJ 2004;328:485 (28 February 2004) http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/328/7438/485-a

A German study of pharmaceutical advertising literature sent to doctors "has shown that about 94% of the information in them has no basis in scientific evidence."

The study looked at 175 brochures describing the supposed benefits of some 520 drugs, and was published in Arznei Telegramm (2004;35:21-3). "Only 6% of the brochures contained statements that were scientifically supported by identifiable literature."

You can read all about it at www.di-em.de/data/at_2004_35_21.pdf .

195,000 DEATHS PER YEAR DUE TO HOSPITAL ERRORS

Reuters (July 27, 2004) reported that, with up-to-date data from all 50 states, a study indicates that previous reports "have underestimated the number of deaths due to medical errors, and, moreover, that there is little evidence that patient safety has improved in the last five years." The research revealed 1.14 million "patient- safety incidents." "Of the total 323,993 deaths among Medicare patients in those years who developed one or more patient-safety incidents, 263,864, or 81 percent, of these deaths were directly attributable to the incidents." In other words, "One in every four Medicare patients who were hospitalized from 2000 to 2002 and experienced a patient-safety incident died."

"As many as 195,000 people a year could be dying in U.S. hospitals because of easily prevented errors."

Full story posted at http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5790535&se ction=news

and also at: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=571&u=/nm/20040727/hl_nm/health_ mistakes_dc&printer=1

READERS SAY:

"I love your website, and I've just ordered your book (http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html). A friend recommended your site to me when I found I had hypercholesterolemia. My dad, who has the same thing, said I should take niacin (http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_cardio.html), and your site gave the best information on not only how (http://www.doctoryourself.com/niacin.html) but why (http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_niacin.html).

"I'm still making my way through your many pages of information, but one in particular caught my eye: Dr. Rinse's breakfast drink (http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulslurry.html ). I've started making my own version of the drink, to kick-start me into bringing down my high LDL cholesterol.

"In a blender: 1 banana a handful of other fruit, for additional antioxidants and fiber) 2 scoops soy protein powder 2 tablespoons of oat bran, or 1 Tbl oat bran and 1 Tbl ground fresh flax seeds 1 tablespoon almond butter (peanut or cashew butter are good too) 1 teaspoon bee pollen powder 1 Tbl flax oil 1 to 2 cups soy milk, plain or vanilla

"I'm drinking this with a piece of wheat toast and popping a niacin pill at the same time."

Sounds like a very good plan to me. Your addition of the omega-3 rich flax and flax oil is interesting. More flax facts, from an admittedly one-sided source, are posted at http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/flaxnutT.htm with free downloads. http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/resindex.htm has a bibliography that is well worth a look.

READERS ASK:

FORMS OF NIACIN? "What's the difference between niacin, niacinamide, and inositol hexaniacinate?"

Let's let Abram Hoffer, M.D., the pioneer of high-dose niacin therapy, answer this one:

"Niacin lowers cholesterol, elevates high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reduces the ravages of heart disease, but causes flushing when it is first taken. The flushing reaction dissipates in time and in most cases is gone or very minor within a matter of weeks. Niacinamide, which is not a vasodilator, does not produce a flush, but it has no effect on blood fats (lipids). Inositol hexaniacinate will lower cholesterol without the flushing side effect, but does not do so as well as plain niacin."

NIACIN AND LIVER FUNCTION TESTS K. L. writes: "I am megadosing on niacin and my liver function tests are elevated. So now, my doctor has told me to stop taking niacin. Just how significant are these liver function changes, anyway?"

I am going to again refer to what Dr. Hoffer has written, which is here reprinted with permission from the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.

"Dr. William Parsons treated this problem extremely well in his book on niacin and cholesterol (Parsons WB Jr. Cholesterol Control Without Diet. The Niacin Solution. Second Edition, Lilac Press, Scottsdale Arizona 85252-1356. Paperback 278 pages, 2003. www.cholesterolnodiet.com )

"Dr. Parsons is the most knowledgeable physician alive when it come to treating patients with lipid problems using drugs and niacin and it is clear that he favors the use of niacin, not the drugs. He was the first physician outside of Saskatchewan to use niacin. He instigated the first niacin cholesterol studies and with his associates corroborated the claims Dr Alshul, Dr Stephen and I had made in 1955 that niacin lowered cholesterol. Had we not had this corroboration from the prestigious Mayo Clinic, where he was chief resident, this discovery might have languished and never been rediscovered.

"Dr Parsons provides the evidence based upon his own studies and the vast literature that using niacin to lower elevated cholesterol levels is the only practical, effective, safe and cost effective method for restoring lipid levels to normal. It does more than decrease levels of low-density cholesterol. It elevate HDL, decreases LpA and lowers triglycerides. In comparison with the statins it is the clear winner. And it decreases mortality and extends life even after patients have already suffered their first coronary.

"Niacin is a vitamin, not a drug and in addition to its effect on the lipid blood profile it has the usual positive vitamin properties of mega dose vitamin B-3. Most physicians do not really know niacin since it is not patented, has no solicitous parent to promote it and is not advertised. It is difficult to pick up a medical journal with out seeing some statin ads. I still have not seen one ad extolling the virtues of niacin. Since they do not know niacin they are down on it. I find exasperating the total ignorance of niacin and the fear it generates. The medical profession is so afraid that niacin is liver hepatotoxic, which it is not. Dr. Parsons Jr. points out that increase in the liver function tests, unless they are very substantial, i.e. over three fold, usually does not indicate liver pathology. There are many compounds that elevate liver enzymes, including all the statins, as well as acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Advil).

"A second problem was the flush that accompanies niacin when one first starts to use it. Physicians who understood this and know who to work with it seldom had a problem and their patients got along well with it. However physicians who do not know anything about it imparted their lack of skill to their patients, and they too would soon stop using it. According to Parsons inositol niacinate, the usual no- flush niacin in health food stores it is not nearly as good for lowering cholesterol, although it is as good for other conditions (psychoses, schizophrenia, anxiety) in which niacin is helpful.

WHAT ABOUT STATINS vs. NIACIN? P. N. writes: "Almost every day I read or see an article on statins and how good they are for you, and how more people should be taking them. I wonder. I was put on Zocor to lower cholesterol and after some time I experienced pain in shoulders, I was told to take warm showers. But no, I wanted to stop taking Zocor. So, I was put on Pravachol, and after a time every joint (and I mean every joint) in my body was in agony. I was told I wasn't getting younger, and the doctor wanted to prescribe pain pills. I said no. I refused to take Pravachol any more. Lo and behold, in a matter of months gradually my joints stopped hurting. For the most part I have returned to my old self. However I did lose muscle tone to a great degree. When I was going through this, I know my doctor thought, 'This one is paranoid,' but I know what I felt.

"Well then: can you please tell me more about statins?"

To me, Pravachol sounds like a street near the Kremlin and Zocor sounds like a Klingon. In other words, as I am not a physician, I am not qualified to answer your question. But guess what: Dr. Hoffer has, in the rest of his article. He writes:

"I would love to see a double blind controlled study comparing niacin against any one of the modern statins to be run at least ten years. It would win the battle hands down. And it can be combined with the statins if this is necessary. Diet by itself is relatively ineffective, difficult to follow and according to Parsons not very practical as it is so difficult to alter people ways of eating. I agree.

"In his book, Cholesterol Control Without Diet: The Niacin Solution, Dr Parsons reviews the role of the statins and the drug companies that got them approved and placed upon the market. I think this is an important section. And it is not a pretty picture. If your doctor tells you that you have a cholesterol problem, or if you suspect that you might have it, be sure and talk to him about niacin rather than take the statins and refer him to this excellent book. It will answer all his questions and reassure him that niacin is the right one. You will be better for having done so."

HIV-AIDS and NUTRITIONAL TREATMENT by Bradford McIntyre

"We may have jumped the gun and put all our efforts into pharmaceuticals when it came to fighting AIDS. Recognizing the ability of the body to heal has prompted many to choose to combat HIV in a non-medical direction. Often, people are effective in preventing illness for years before drug intervention is ever necessary, or not necessary at all. Others have continued to live without any sign of HIV/AIDS- related opportunistic infections or disease. For some who have tested positive, there has never been any virus replicated in their body. Equally so, many people who are on drug treatments have learned to address the importance of diet, exercise, alternative therapies and supplements, mind, body and spirit. Let's not close our minds to what is right in front of us.

"In both Canada and the United States, health care systems are being affected by the strains from use and rising costs. Billions are being spent, while people look to the medical profession to care for their illness. We must not allow ourselves to fall prey to the belief that science and the medical profession have all the answers, nor can we find all our answers in pharmaceuticals. Science, medicine and the use of pharmaceuticals play key roles, but so does the greatest disease fighter on the planet, our immune system.

"Proper nutrition is necessary for HIV infected individuals, as those who eat well feel better compared to those who consume a less than adequate diet. Malnutrition can compromise their ability to fight off infection. We should be making good nutrition a high priority in AIDS treatment.

"Since many people infected with HIV have neither the health nor energy to work towards creating awareness and change, it is my intention to speak through my experience for those whom I hope will benefit."

Bradford McIntyre, HIV+ for 20 years Vancouver, Canada www.PositivelyPositive.ca

HIV/AIDS and the FOSTER NUTRITIONAL PROTOCOL: Reference List (as discussed in the Doctor Yourself Newsletter in issues http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n12.txt and http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n19.txt , and also posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/aids.html

2000 "Aids and the 'Selenium - CD4T cell Tailspin' :The Geography of a Pandemic," Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. No. 209, pp 94-99.

2002 "How HIV-1 Kills: Implications for the Treatment and Prevention of AIDS," Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. No. 255, pp 76-7.

2002 What Really Causes Aids, Victoria: Trafford Publishing, 198 pp. (This book is a free download at http://www.hdfoster.com)

2003 "Why HIV-1 Has Diffused So Much More Rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa than in North America." Medical Hypothesis, Vol. 60(4), pp. 611-614.

2003 "AIDS: The Selenoenzyme Solution: Part I," Nexus, Vol. 11(1), pp. 27-31.

2004 "AIDS: The Selenoenzyme Solution: Part II," Nexus, Vol. 11(2), pp. 41-44, 81.

2004 "Halting the AIDS Pandemic" in Janelle,D G,Warf,B and Hansen,K (eds) WorldMinds:Geographical Perspectives on 100 Problems. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, pp.67-73.

2004 "How HIV-1 Causes AIDS:Implications for Prevention and Treatment." Medical Hypotheses Vol 62 (4), pp.549-553.

SUPERSIZE ME! Can you swallow THIS?

"Even an unrelenting diet of McDonald's food is not necessarily bad for you. As Dr. Ruth Kava of the American Council on Science and Health notes, such a diet may be low in one or two minerals and vitamins, and higher in saturated fat than is usually recommended. But actually, on most measures, such a diet would be entirely satisfactory." http://www.spiked-online.com/sections/central/panic/index.htm

OR HOW ABOUT THIS?

"Even chocolate milk gets a thumbs-up from dentists, who would rather see a child drink flavored milk than none at all," says Jane Brody (NY Times, September 7, 2004. Dental Advice: Start Early. Very Early.)

Feel like writing a letter to the NY Times? letters@nytimes.com

IS WINE HEALTHY or DO WINE DRINKERS HAVE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WINE? by June Russell

"When compared to beer or liquor drinkers, and even non-drinkers, those who happen to drink wine typically have lifestyles that are healthier. Wine drinkers are thinner and have more normal weights, they exercise more, smoke less, have a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and salads, have a higher education and socio- economic status, eat less saturated fat (fewer servings of red or fried meats) and more fiber. They tend to have normal cholesterol, drink less alcohol, often work in white collar jobs and are generally in better health than the rest of the population. These many lifestyle factors that account for improved health make the use of wine no longer significant (1).

The Copenhagen City Heart Study, which looked at Danes' drinking habits in the late 1970s, may have been particularly vulnerable to socio-economic skewing. At the time, wine drinking was just starting to catch on in a traditionally beer-drinking nation, and was probably limited to the upper classes even more than now, argues Dr. Erik Mortensen of the Institute of Preventive Medicine of Copenhagen, leader of the Danish study (2). Nutrition experts at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say that red wine is associated with the Mediterranean diet, a diet that is recommended for lowering heart disease and some forms of cancer. However, this diet is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, the primary fat is olive oil, and meat is used sparingly, protein often coming from fish. Although wine may be served with meals, the real benefit is from the overall diet itself, not necessarily the wine that may go along with it (3).

Dr. June Reinisch, from the Danish Epidemiology Science Center in Copenhagen, was the author of a Danish study that showed wine drinkers were greatly associated with other factors beside the wine. "It's not a cause-and-effect situation; it is a correlation of lifestyle and intelligence with healthy behavior. If you are upper class, it usually means that not only did your mother have good nutrition, but your grandmother had good nutrition, and we have data that shows that I.Q. is related to your mother's and grandmother's nutrition as well" (4). Even though the "sick- quitter" phenomenon can bias results in favor of current drinkers ("sick-quitters" being those who previously used alcohol but quit because of health problems), abstainers had been shown in previous studies to have higher disease and death rates than moderate drinkers (5). But the negative health and lifestyle factors among the abstaining subjects include a lower intake of fruits and vegetables and vitamin E, higher rates of smoking and more red meat consumption, contributing to making their trans- and saturated fat intake greater than alcohol consuming groups. This research is not new, as more than 10 years ago, Arthur Klatsky, M.D., a researcher with Kaiser Permanente's cardiology division in Oakland, California, and a pioneer in studies on how alcohol can help the heart, found that those who preferred wine as opposed to beer or hard liquor are likely to be women, young or middle-aged, nonsmokers, better educated and healthier. However, Dr. Klatsky made the comment in a JAMA editorial that moderate drinking may not be so good for the rest of the body, and 'unresolved issues' include its effects on breast cancer, fetal defects and colon cancer (6).

Dr. Ira Goldberg, a member of the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee, stated in the New England Journal of Medicine, that without data from clinical trials it is unclear how to advise the public about the use of alcohol, but that the toxicity of alcohol is well established. We do know alcohol (red wine) does not reliably reduce atherosclerosis in animals, he added (7). On the American Heart Association web site, we are told that the heart protective benefits of red wine remain uncertain. Several years ago the 'French Paradox' was disproved by the World Health Organization (and others) because of faulty data (8), and the media press releases regularly maximize any supposed benefit of drinking wine, and minimize, or omit, the dangers mentioned by the researchers or other medical experts (9, 10).

The harm from the alcohol in wine is dose related - that is, higher amounts cause more damage, but light and moderate amounts also have risks (11). Alcohol is a tumor promoter and any amount increases the risk of cancer, says the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (12). In 2000, our government declared alcoholic beverages to be a class "A" human carcinogen, along with arsenic, asbestos, benzene, and even tobacco (13). Even in smaller amounts, alcohol can compromise brain functioning (increasing the risk of accidents), interfere with medications, increase stress (alcohol does not produce true relaxation, it tranquilizes or drugs the drinker), cause the body to store more calories as fat, interfere with sleep, increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, triglycerides, and is a risk to the fetus of a pregnant woman. Alcohol is toxic to the liver, aggravates allergies, worsens fatigue, can negate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and the presence of alcohol hastens the breakdown of antioxidants in the blood, speeding their elimination from the body. The medical literature advises the public to avoid alcohol for almost every health problem - and as a way to prevent health problems (14).

The best way to protect yourself from alcohol-related cancers is not to drink. Cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and larynx develop when sensitive tissues are directly exposed to alcohol in beverages (15). The consumption of alcohol, mainly wine, was shown to be a significant risk factor for developing cancers of the mouth and pharynx (16).

The alcohol's presence in wine increases free radicals, which cause damage to blood vessels tissues, dampening any of the benefits that red wine's antioxidants may offer, says Dr. John Foltz, researcher at the University of Wisconsin. Purple grape juice can give the benefits without the intoxicating effects (17). Grape juice contains more resveratrol, a supposed cholesterol lowering substance, than most red wine (18). Grape juice improves the function of the cells in blood vessel linings more efficiently than wine (17). Andrew Weil, M.D., suggests that grape juice may prove to be healthier than wine because a study found that after drinking nonalcoholic wine, the catechin, an antioxidant flavonoid, remained for almost an hour longer in the blood than when drinking the alcoholic wine. His added comment was that although grape juice doesn't appear to boost your HDL, regular aerobic exercise can be added. Exercise, diet (including fruits and vegetables), and meditation are safer ways to improve one's health without the added risks when drinking wine (19).

(Doctor Yourself News editor's note: June Russell is a retired health educator and journalist. E-mail: russells@cstone.net . Her very fine noncommercial website is www.jrussellshealth.com)

References: 1. "Wine Drinkers Have Healthier Lifestyles," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002; Circulation, Reuters Health, on Healthcentral.com, 2001; Neurology, 2002; MSNBC.com, 2002; Washington Post, 2002; "The key to gracious living, drinkers, it seems often lead healthier lifestyles than the teetotal," Alcohol and Health, on www.economist.com, 2003; "Wine Not," nature.com; "Wine Drinkers Smarter, Richer and Healthier, Danish Study Finds," winespectator.com, 2001. 2. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001. 3. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2002. 4. "Red Wine's a Sign of a Refined Mind," HealthScout.com, 2001. 5. nutrition.org - abstract copy of a study from State University of New York, 2003. 6. MDNews; Sciencedaily.com; Idahowine.org (all 2002). 7. New England Journal of Medicine, 2002. 8. Washington Post, October 8, 1994. 9. "Vintage Deception: the Wine Institute's Manipulation of Scientific Research to Promote Wine Consumption," 1997. The Center for Science in the Public Interest. 10. The topic "Wine" on www.jrussellshealth.com, 2004. 11. NIAAA, 2003. 12. Book, "Stopping Cancer Before it Starts" by the IARC, 1999. 13. IARC and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Ninth Report on Carcinogens, in the "Nutrition Action Healthletter" Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2000. 14. www.jrussellshealth.com has many references for each individual topic under "Alcohol." 15. "Alcohol/Cancer Link is Solid," American Institute for Cancer Research (AIRC) newsletter 2001. 16. "Alcohol May Be Linked to Increased Risk for Cancers of the Mouth and pharynx," Head and Neck Cancer News, CancerConsultants, Oncology Resource Center, 2004. 17. "Wine or Welch's? Grape juice provides health benefits without alcohol," CNN.com, 2000. 18. Science News 1992. 19. "Grape Juice for a Healthy Heart," Andrew Weil, M.D., pathfinder.com, 2000 (Andrew Weil, M.D., graduate of Harvard, is best selling author, internationally recognized expert on health, and director of a program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona).

COLITIS AND VITAMIN E by Sheldon Gesensway

I cured my severe condition of ulcerative colitis with a vitamin E enema you can prepare yourself, and with diet. No other medication. No problems since. Results within one week! In 1964, my doctor diagnosed my ulcerative colitis, and tried every drug then used, but my condition persisted. Through the intervening years the condition subsided but remained.

When the bleeding increased, I checked into a hospital where I was given a blood transfusion and corticoid enemas. I then transferred to the Veterans Hospital because my condition became intolerable. I was given further transfusions and advised to have a subtotal colectomy.

After leaving the hospital, my previous condition continued. I took this opportunity to try something. Since vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, I tried an enema made with the contents of three capsules of 400 IU vitamin E emptied into a small amount of distilled water. Over a period of four days I gradually increased the mixture until I reached 10 capsules. At that level the change was dramatic. However, if I did not take the enema once a day the bleeding would start on the third day. These phenomena were reported to the doctors at the hospital and duly noted in my records. This was continued for a very long time and nothing was done to investigate the matter. At the hospital, a barium enema showed a positive change in my colon. They believed it was a placebo effect. Twenty years is a long placebo effect.

I tried increasing the amount of vitamin E until I reached 8000 IU (20 capsules). It worked for me. After reaching the increased dose, there was no need for further vitamin E enemas. There as been no problems with colitis for twenty years (since my first vitamin E enema), so I consider myself cured. My colonoscopy and biopsy results have always been satisfactory.

The vitamin E mixture used should be all-natural and be labeled "D-alpha, and not the synthetic "DL" form. My doctor sent this information to a pharmaceutical research company. So far no reply. I am beginning to believe its either too simple a cure or too unprofitable.

I have posted more about the details of this approach, including diet recommendations, at http://curezone.com/forums/m.asp?f=63&i=151 and at http://curezone.com/forums/m.asp?f=63&i=148 .

(Doctor Yourself News editor's note: Readers should know that medical research (listed further below) does indeed offer a basis for Mr. Gesensway's experience. Antioxidants such as vitamin E (and also cabbage juice http://www.doctoryourself.com/rectal.html, and the carotenes in carrot juice http://www.doctoryourself.com/juicing_2.html ) all definitely help win the battle against colitis. Additional material is posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/colitis.html )

Ademoglu E, Erbil Y, Tam B, Barbaros U, Ilhan E, Olgac V, Mutlu-Turkoglu U. Do vitamin E and selenium have beneficial effects on trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid- induced experimental colitis. Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Jan;49(1):102-8.

D'Odorico A, Bortolan S, Cardin R, D'Inca' R, Martines D, Ferronato A, Sturniolo GC. Reduced plasma antioxidant concentrations and increased oxidative DNA damage in inflammatory bowel disease. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2001 Dec;36(12):1289-94.

Gonzalez R, Sanchez de Medina F, Galvez J, Rodriguez-Cabezas ME, Duarte J, Zarzuelo A. Dietary vitamin E supplementation protects the rat large intestine from experimental inflammation. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2001 Jul;71(4):243-50.

Yoshida N, Yoshikawa T, Yamaguchi T, Naito Y, Tanigawa T, Murase H, Kondo M. A novel water-soluble vitamin E derivative protects against experimental colitis in rats. Antioxid Redox Signal. 1999 Winter;1(4):555-62.

Bousvaros A, Zurakowski D, Duggan C, Law T, Rifai N, Goldberg NE, Leichtner AM. Vitamins A and E serum levels in children and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease: effect of disease activity. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1998 Feb;26(2):129-35.

Buffinton GD, Doe WF. Depleted mucosal antioxidant defences in inflammatory bowel disease. Free Radic Biol Med. 1995 Dec;19(6):911-8.

Guthy E. Use of alpha-tocopherylquinone in ulcerative colitis. Gut. 1986 Nov;27(11):1400.

Bennet JD. Use of alpha-tocopherylquinone in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Gut. 1986 Jun;27(6):695-7.

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