"Keep this medicine out of the reach of everyone. Use vitamin C instead." (Linus Pauling)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 4, No. 23 for November 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.
In This Issue: IRWIN STONE'S "THE HEALING FACTOR: VITAMIN C AGAINST DISEASE" INTERVIEW WITH HIS SON, STEVE STONE FUELING BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT MOVE OVER, DR. ATKINS: IT'S THE AMISH DIET VIBRATING TROUSERS FOR HEART DISEASE MORE GOOFY MEDLINE-INDEXED RESEARCH And: OUR MEDLINE COMEDY CONTEST WINNER!
IT WAS IRWIN STONE who first put Linus Pauling onto vitamin C. Stone said that we humans have inherited a genetic trait to need but not manufacture the vitamin. More important to most readers, he told how many diseases have responded very well to high-dose vitamin C treatment. His classic book, "The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease" contains over fifty pages of scientific references, making it required reading for anybody's doctor. It is doubtful that many skeptics have been as thorough as Stone has in checking vitamin C literature. His book summarizes documented the successful vitamin C treatment of infections, (bacterial and viral), allergies, asthma, eye diseases, ulcers, poisoning, and the effects of smoking. Vitamin C's role in treating cancer, heart disease, diabetes, fractures, shock, wounds and pregnancy complications is also included. The information on tetanus and glaucoma is especially interesting. Stone's work is unique and incredibly valuable. (Stone I. The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1972.)
GOOD NEWS FOR EVERY HEALTH HOMESTEADER: The complete text of this previously hard-to-find book is now posted for free reading at http://vitamincfoundation.org/stone/.
Whom do we have to thank for this? Dr. Stone's son, Steve. Let's meet him now.
THE DOCTOR YOURSELF INTERVIEW: STEVE STONE, son of "HEALING FACTOR" author IRWIN STONE
DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS: Mr. Stone, what do you most want to accomplish by releasing your father's book for free reading on the Internet?
STEVE STONE: I simply believe that the information in the book can make people's lives better.
DY NEWS: Two Nobel prize winners wrote forewords to The Healing Factor: Dr. Linus Pauling, and Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Did you personally meet them?
STONE: I met Linus Pauling but didn't spend much face-to-face time with him. He was a gracious, gentle man who always treated my parents with respect.
DY NEWS: Your dad was not a physician; what brought him to vitamin C research in the first place?
STONE: My father had studied either chemistry or chemical engineering at CCNY, worked briefly at Pease Laboratories and then spent the balance of his career at Wallerstein Laboratories which was ultimately acquired by Baxter. Most of his work was in fermentation technologies, especially beer making.
When vitamin C first became commercially available at reasonable prices (late 1930's I think) he appreciated that its redox properties and lack of toxicity had the potential to deal with stability issues in beer and bread making. He ultimately was granted patents for the use of ascorbate in these processes. He started supplementing his diet with relatively large amounts of vitamin C shortly after he started this work and became convinced that this contributed significantly to his health. I remember that in the summers during WWII my mother suffered from allergies and we would have to take weekly ferry boat rides from Staten Island to Manhattan for her shots. I also remember that once she started taking vitamin C her allergies cleared up and she didn't need the shots.
DY NEWS: What are a couple of your favorite personal recollections about your dad?
STONE: A couple of things come to mind. My father was 4-F during WWII because of a heart murmur but he volunteered as an ambulance driver in the USAAC (United States Army Ambulance Corps) and on occasion I got to ride in the ambulance with him. I also remember going to visit his laboratory, which was located in an office building at 34th and Madison Ave (a block from the Empire State Bldg.) where he had set up a miniature brewery used to test the improvements he was developing. My recollection is that it had a capacity of a gallon or two. Finally, I remember that we were always getting cases of beer as gifts from the brewmasters at all the breweries where my father taught seminars. In those days almost every medium sized town had a brewery or two.
DY NEWS: Other memorable events?
STONE: My father was elected President of the American Society of Brewing Chemists in 1960 and, following the inauguration ceremony, my parents drove from Minneapolis to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit Mt. Rushmore. They never got to see the monument.
On the road to Mt. Rushmore, as they were going over a slight rise, they were hit head on by a drunk driver with such force that every one of my father's limbs, except his right arm, was broken. He also had massive internal injuries. Someone performed an emergency tracheotomy on him by sticking a piece of tubing through the hole in his throat and by the time he reached the hospital he had lost most of the blood in his body. Yet he never went into shock. My mother also sustained significant but not so serious injuries.
They were both in the hospital from May till August. As soon as he could communicate, he insisted on having vitamin C supplements and convinced those caring for him that that was the reason he survived. They believed him. Subsequently, my father found a research paper that showed that vitamin C supplementation increased impact shock survival in guinea pigs.
The injuries affected his mobility to some extent, so he cut back on some of his more strenuous activities and spent the rest of his life researching vitamin C, the results of which are set forth in The Healing Factor. Along the way, he met Dr. Pauling and shared his thoughts with him, with the result that Pauling's book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold is dedicated to my father. (And is reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/morebooks.html)
DY NEWS: What do you think were the biggest professional obstacles to his work, and to his controversial thesis that megadoses of vitamin C are natural and normal for a human?
STONE: The resistance of the medical profession to be open to new ideas, particularly when they come from non-doctors. But that's changing. Most doctors now say that you should be taking vitamin C supplements, whereas 30 years ago that was heresy. Another obstacle is insistence on double blind testing to validate the benefits of vitamin C. Each person has different requirements for C, which vary depending on stress. In order to get the full benefit, a person needs to adjust the amount of C being taken depending on stress levels and need to be able to titrate themselves. (http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html )This is not doable in a controlled double blind situation.
DY NEWS: I recall that the National Health Federation described "The Healing Factor" as perhaps the most important health book ever written. Many orthomolecular physicians firmly agree with that assessment. Your comments?
STONE: I agree completely. The role of ascorbate in human health cannot be overestimated.
DY NEWS: Do you have correspondence preserved between your father and other scientists? If so, what are the chances for an on-line archive of the documents?
STONE: My daughter lives in my dad's old house and his old filing cabinets are still in the garage. I think that most of it is publications rather than correspondence.
DY NEWS: You may skip this question if it is too personal: What are your most comforting memories from your father's last days?
STONE: In May 1984, almost 22 years to the day after the South Dakota accident, my parents drove to a meeting of the Orthomolecular Medical Association in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to my father, he was to receive the Linus Pauling Award for his achievements. He never got the award. He died of a massive heart attack the night before the meeting.
Don't know if this is comforting but my dad wouldn't fly and didn't like to travel. I was visiting him a couple of days before the trip to LA and he was saying how he didn't really want to go. That was my last conversation with him.
DY NEWS: I personally think Dr. Stone deserved a Nobel of his own. Thank you very much for offering your father's work to the public.
(For more information on Irwin Stone, please see Dr. Alan Cott's tribute posted at http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/198x/cott-a-orthomol_psych-1984-vx-nx- p150.htm . As Dr. Cott's article was published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine (under its previous title, the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry), it is not indexed by the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE. More on that later in this Newsletter.)
Additional information on high-dose vitamin C therapy: http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitaminc2.html or with a search from the top of the main page at http://www.doctoryourself.com .
SCURVY IS SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM (http://www.laleva.org/eng/2004/06/arizona_state_university_researchers_find_scu rvy_is_serious_health_problem.html )
Arizona State University nutrition professors say that about one in eight of us suffer from vitamin C deficiency. "Normally," they said, "doctors and other health professionals think of scurvy as a disease of the past, but our research has shown that this really isn't true." The study concluded that health professionals "should recommend supplementation for individuals at risk of vitamin C deficiency."
(Hampl JS, Taylor CA, Johnston CS. Vitamin C deficiency and depletion in the United States: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988 to 1994.) Am J Public Health. 2004 May;94(5):870-5. The lead author's email is Jeff.Hampl@asu.edu .
BOOK REVIEW: Fueling Body, Mind and Spirit: A Balanced Approach to Healthy Eating, by Miriam Hoffer. Toronto, Canada: Sumach Press, 2003. Paperback, 156 pages plus appendix.
Lendon Smith, M.D., used to say that if your kids are cranky, don't spank them: instead, give them something to eat. Something good, that is. With my family, I used to tell my cantankerous teenagers that they had to "feed their furnace." We carbon-based heterotrophs need to eat. That is just the way it is. When you eat to feel better, well, you will. There is a good reason. A big part of mood and a big part of appetite is low blood sugar. When the blood sugar goes down, mood goes down. And appetite goes up. That's when we often reach for the nearest high-sugar, high-fat junk snack.
But as comedian and health radical Dick Gregory (http://www.doctoryourself.com/dieting.html ) has said, "Are you going to have food, or just something to eat?" There is an enormous difference, and many a person needs to be made more aware of it.
Fueling Body, Mind and Spirit is an apt title for a dietary guide. No, this is not a nutrition textbook, and thank heaven for that. There are plenty of those. Rather, it is a practical and commendably brief guidebook for eating. As a culture, we surely can make good use of one of those. While the book is directed more so to women, it makes serious sense for guys as well as gals to examine what they eat and why.
You should be so lucky to have a dietician like author Miriam Hoffer. With admirable simplicity, Ms. Hoffer presents common sense eating as the solution to an increasingly obese society paradoxically obsessed with an almost voyeuristic desire for unattainable skinniness. To exemplify this dilemma, there could not be a more apt illustration than the sumo wrestler. Ms. Hoffer writes that sumos, and people who look a lot like them, are "triangle eaters," eating like a skier going down a slope. This means that they eat nothing at the start of the day, and after moderate midday munching, eat an enormous evening meal at the end. If you eat like a triangle, you get to look like a triangle. Says the author: "I've never met a woman who wants to look like a sumo wrestler. How strange, then, that so many of us mimic the way these wrestlers eat!" (p 30)
Balanced "rectangle eating" is one answer. In other words, eat breakfast. Eat a good lunch, too. "Rectangle eating delivers fuel at regular intervals during the day, so when we practice it, we lose our cravings, bingeing comes to an end, and our nutrient intake and overall health improve." (p 36)
Has Ms. Hoffer hidden a diet book within Fueling Body, Mind and Spirit? If so, it is done subtly. But the author's overall intent is clear: "We come in all shapes and sizes; the goal I advocate is health at every size." (p 66)
I think if you eat right, weight control is a byproduct. A lot of people find this hard to believe, until they try it and see for themselves. There is no down side to eating right.
"Circle eating" is another easy-to-adopt eating plan, which many will recognize as a Canadian cousin to the US "Food Groups" approach. While far from earth- shattering news, the fact is that if everyone followed these most basic of dietary guidelines (p 46), we'd have a far healthier population. Grains, vegetables and fruits should make up the bulk of our daily diet, totaling between 10 and 22 servings daily. Some dairy is a good idea. Protein foods should be limited to only 2-3 servings a day, and meat alternatives such as eggs, beans, tofu and nut butters are included in that figure. Fad diets come and go, but this is a truly healthy plan you can actually live with. And for a very long time.
The book recommends high-vegetable, high-fiber eating, as these foods tend to displace high-fat foods that people would otherwise wolf down. And fat, at least the right kind of fat (that from fish and nuts) carries the author's sensible endorsement, as does a daily multivitamin-multimineral supplement. She offers ways towards "Overcoming Barriers to Good Nutrition," including practical commentary on taking time to eat properly, building self-esteem, managing family life and stress, and enjoying life. A substantial portion of the book is devoted to thoughts contributed by the author's clientele. All readers, women particularly, will feel right at home hearing these shared experiences.
Fueling Body, Mind and Spirit is easy to read, unpretentious, uncomplicated and non-technical. These are compliments. The graphics and drawings are so well done that I'd like to see the next edition of the book employ many more of them, along with adding an index. Including Internet resources was a good idea, and expanding the recommended reading list would be an even better one.
Some fifty years ago, Roger J. Williams, Ph.D., first presented the concepts of "biochemic individuality" and "nutritional insurance." Miriam Hoffer's new book is constructed on these sound foundations. Such uncommon sense will withstand the test of time, and perhaps even the diet industry.
(Andrew Saul's review is reprinted here with permission from the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2004, Volume 19, No. 3, p 186-7)
READERS SAY: Christina from New York writes:
"Just wanted to say thank you for your website. Thanks in part to your articles, I cured my severe, chronic ulcerative colitis problem and various other health problems using some of the methods mentioned on your site. (http://www.doctoryourself.com/colitis.html ) You were the first person who explained it in a way that was accessible to me. I had asked my gastroenterologist whether diet had something to do with my colitis problem and he had said "no, not really" and prescribed large doses of medication.
"I also was motivated to cut added sugar out of my life and resuming a healthy diet, which resulted in my losing 35 pounds over seven months, eliminating my allergies, reducing my anxiety level and regaining a good quality of life after about ten years of being out of sorts due to weight and health problems largely caused by food. Wherever I go, people compliment me on my improved appearance, energy and demeanor. I am recommending your site to all my friends and family members."
DID YOU KNOW: There are about 48 teaspoons of sugar in a 2-liter bottle of pop.
DIAGNOSE THYSELF by William Sheridan
I have been doctoring myself for over 35 years now, and with growing confidence as I apply the accumulating body of publicly available medical knowledge. Finally there are qualified professionals who advocate and support this strategy. My rationale is very simple: in my early adulthood the books of Carleton Fredericks introduced me to the concept of taking responsibility for one's own health, and I took the idea seriously.
Over the years my strategy has grown into a serious commitment to both optimum health and prolonged longevity, and the latest evidence now confirms that these goals ARE possible, and that my tactics to achieve them has been the correct ones. In Doctor Yourself: Natural Healing that Works (North Bergen, NJ: Basic Health Publications, 2003), biologist Andrew Saul gives an overview of his philosophy behind "doctoring yourself," examples of his approach to various ailments and health challenges, as well as his website and free e-mail newsletter for those who are determined to keep up to date with the evidence and its application.
Using the http://www.doctoryourself.com website, I have already settled a controversy that questioned the level of my intake of vitamin C. What I found was information on which I could base my own personal decision, and an in-depth explanation of the "why and wherefore" behind the advice. I also found information on appropriate does of vitamin E and the vitamin B complex which I am now also using. This is just exactly what I was looking for, and I have already proven to myself the value of the approach. It is indeed gratifying to see professionals working as partners with their public rather than as a secretive elite. Well done to Prof. Saul and the colleagues who have joined him in this effort!
(For information about "DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works" please go to http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html . If you want an autographed copy: http://www.doctoryourself.com/order.html ) The holidays are coming, and healthy reading makes a great gift.
OK, the commercial is over.
DOUBTS ABOUT SPROUTS? I think fresh home-sprouted legumes and grains are a very healthy food. One website worth your consideration, though admittedly commercial, presents a lot of detailed information that will help set the sprouting issue straight. http://www.sproutman.com/sprouting.html
READERS SAY: "I am a registered pharmacist who has 'seen the light.' The problem is, in eastern Tennessee, where I practice, I simply cannot get the diabetic and cholesterol patients to change their ways. I guess it is the ignorance and lack of education which prompts them to simply 'take a pill and their disease will be all right.' Even amputation seems to be perfectly acceptable to them. They simply cluck their tongues, and shake their heads, and go on.
"As for me, I turned completely "vegan" (no meat, no fish, no poultry, no dairy products) in March 2004. Since then, my cholesterol went from 167 to 113. Two idiot cardiologists recommended bypass, angioplasty, or stent because of a previous minor, recovered ischemia. Well, I got a third opinion. Diet, nutrition, weight loss, and exercise enabled me to lose over 25 pounds. Thanks again for your website."
Glad to hear of your success, and thank you for telling us of it.
VITAMIN C "TOXICITY" AND LINUS PAULING R. K. writes: "I was diagnosed with prostate cancer about ten years ago. I've been taking 12 to 14 grams (12,000-14,000 mg) of vitamin C daily ever since. My PSA remains about 1.5, DRE consistently negative. My primary care physician, who is also my next door-neighbor, marvels at my health; he wishes his were as good as mine. I'm 82; he's 75.
"Your newsletter articles triggered memories of an evening my wife and I spent with Linus and Mrs. Pauling in Phoenix some years ago. We spent the whole time exchanging anecdotes.
"One of my anecdotes had to do with the alleged toxicity of vitamin C. Pauling said that he'd just heard about the alleged toxicity itself only two weeks before our visit. He said that immediately upon hearing the claim, he made as thorough a computer search that he could. It yielded not one mention of the alleged toxicity. Personal phone calls to colleagues the world over also came up with nothing, he said.
"When I returned to my office back here in California, I made a few calls myself. I hit pay dirt of a sort when I reached a colleague who was a biochemist by training and a freelance science writer by profession. He said that when he had first heard the claim of toxicity some weeks prior to my call, he also made an investigation to find its source.
"He found an MD in Western Canada who burst into laughter when he got my friend's call. Restraining himself, he said that he had initiated the rumor without anticipating how it would spread. He and his colleagues, it turns out, were ridiculing Pauling and his vitamin C claims over drinks at a medical convention. In a flight of imagination he tossed out the idea of toxicity. The MD went on to say that, 'It shows how eager the profession is to discredit Pauling. They'll grab at anything.'"
Thanks for your story. As the great jazz musician Eubie Blake said, "It's not what we don't know that harms us; it's what we do know that ain't so." Here are some articles that can help in sorting out the nutritional truth:
IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT VITAMINS ARE HARMFUL: http://www.doctoryourself.com/safety.html
HOW TO SPOT ANTI-VITAMIN RESEARCH: http://www.doctoryourself.com/antivitamin.html
ABRAM HOFFER, M.D., DISCUSSES ANTI-VITAMIN BIASES: http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_factoids.html and http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_paradigm.html
VITAMIN NEWS THE MASS MEDIA MISSED Why? Because it favors vitamin supplementation, that's why!
IRWIN STONE WAS RIGHT: VITAMINS REDUCE ICU TRAUMA "Five hundred ninety-five patients were enrolled and analyzed, 91% of whom were victims of trauma. Multiple organ failure was significantly less likely to occur in patients receiving antioxidants than in patients receiving standard care . . The early administration of antioxidant supplementation using alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid reduces the incidence of organ failure and shortens ICU length of stay in this cohort of critically ill surgical patients." (Nathens AB et al. Randomized, prospective trial of antioxidant supplementation in critically ill surgical patients. Ann Surg. 2002 Dec;236(6):814-22.)
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE DECREASED BY VITAMIN C Data from 6,624 men and women in the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) revealed that "Compared with participants with low to marginally low vitamin C levels, there was a 27% decreased prevalence of coronary heart disease and a 26% decreased prevalence of stroke among those in the highest serum vitamin C category. In the NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study, it was found that the highest intakes of vitamin C had a 25% to 50% reduction in cardiovascular mortality." (Simon, JA et al. Serum ascorbic acid and cardiovascular disease prevalence in U.S. adults. Epidemiology, 1998;9:316- 321.)
READERS SAY: "Hi from the Philippines, and thanks to you for the very informative website that you have. Our family has personally benefited from your articles, especially the ones regarding vitamin C and E. We've been taking vitamins for about a year and a half, and my blood pressure is much lower now. My wife's arthritic-like symptoms are gone, and my father's pressure is also lower.
"Here's the latest of wonders: my mother, who is 72 years old had this locking in her knees which made it very painful, no, nearly impossible for her to walk since December of 2003. She's been to some doctors and they had many tests done, but made no definite diagnosis. By the way, my brother who works as a nurse helps my mother in bringing her to the doctors. Although my mother had been taking about 1,000 mg of vitamin C for some months already, I would not know if it was on a regular basis. I told her to increase the intake of vitamin C, and she took 4,000 milligrams. What I could not believe was when my mother called me on the phone about three hours after she took the vitamin C (4,000 mg) and that the pain was gone! I told her it is probably part psychosomatic and partly vitamin C, because I could not believe that the vitamin could work so fast.
"Next morning, her pain came back, but only a fraction of what it was before, and immediately after she took the vitamin the pain was gone again. She told me that she won't be going to the doctor, since she can now already walk. She asked me if she could increase her intake of vitamin C and I told her to do so. She took about 5,000 milligrams 2 days ago and feels even better and can walk better. More power to your site!"
How wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for writing.
POWER TO THE PATIENT "I am living proof that IV of sodium ascorbate cures viral pneumonia. I was working in Germany as a ballet dancer and became ill with it one performance season. I went to a doctor there and was immediately given an IV of vit. C. This was repeated the next day and a B-12 shot was added that day and for two more days. By the third day after starting treatment I was back to an eight-hour rehearsal schedule. This was all done as a routine in-office procedure.
"In the USA, it is so frustrating to be refused treatment that I know works for me. My American doctor insists on prescribing antibiotics that give me bloody diarrhea, horrible headaches and nausea, but won't give me the IV of C because she "isn't trained to do that." I have changed doctors many times and always get the same nonsense.
"Are there no patient rights that allow you to receive something that is not illegal but benign and without life threatening side effects that you know heals you? Is there some document that I can have a lawyer draw up that will guarantee I can have this sodium ascorbate therapy when I need it?"
Very good question, and one I get a lot. What I have written at my website might help you on your way:
HOW TO GET INTRAVENOUS VITAMIN C TO A HOSPITALIZED PATIENT http://www.doctoryourself.com/strategies.html
VITAMINS IN HOSPITALS: THE FINAL FRONTEIR http://www.doctoryourself.com/hospitals.html
HOW YOUR DOCTOR CAN PREPARE A VITAMIN C I.V. http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitciv.html
MEDLINE COMEDY CONTEST: MORE ENTRIES THAT WOULD NOT FIT INTO OUR LAST ISSUE
Ear Nose Throat J. 2003 Sep;82(9):702-3. A different type of 'glue ear': report of an unusual case of prominent ears. Purcell EM, O'Neill AC, Regan PJ.
"Prominent ears is a condition that can cause extreme psychological distress in young people. This cosmetic deformity can be corrected by otoplasty, an outpatient surgical procedure that is associated with a high rate of patient satisfaction. We report the unusual case of a teenage boy who had repeatedly applied cyanoacrylate adhesive ("superglue") to his postauricular skin in an attempt to pin back his prominent ears. This case of "glue ear" was ultimately resolved by successful otoplasty, although the residual effects of the glue resulted in delayed healing of the surgical wound." PMID: 14569706 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Percept Mot Skills. 1993 Apr;76(2):577-8. The Easter bunny in October: is it disguised as a duck? Brugger P, Brugger S. Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich.
"The ambiguous drawing of a duck/rabbit was shown to 265 subjects on Easter and to 276 subjects in October. The ambiguous drawing, though perceived as a bird by a majority of subjects in October, was most frequently named a bunny on Easter." PMID: 8483671 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Appetite. 2004 Feb;42(1):63-9. Increasing the portion size of a packaged snack increases energy intake in men and women. Rolls BJ, Roe LS, Kral TV, Meengs JS, Wall DE.
"Results from this study demonstrate that short-term energy intake increases with increasing package size of a snack."
Golly, I didn't see THAT coming, did you?
Dis Manag. 2003 Winter;6(4):191-7. Meals at medical specialty society annual meetings: a preliminary assessment. La Puma J, Schiedermayer D, Becker J.
"Little is known about how meals are chosen for medical meetings. We surveyed the annual meeting planners for 20 major specialty societies. Thirteen (65%) responded; all were currently planning their next meeting. Attendance in 2000 was reported at 113,477 physicians, with 2 million planned meals and snacks. No physician was named as responsible for food choices; the meeting planner and staff were primarily responsible for deciding what food to serve, excluding exhibit halls. Twelve (92%) respondents rated "available budget" as the most important factor. . . .(N)o specific nutritional guidelines could be identified by any planner. . . (and) soda pop was offered at each break."
Perhaps this serves to explain why we get such grand nutritional advice from our doctors.
Is this next one intriguing enough to get on Animal Planet?
Psychol. Sci. 2004 Jul;15(7):437-41. How dogs navigate to catch Frisbees. Shaffer DM, Krauchunas SM, Eddy M, McBeath MK.
"Using micro-video cameras attached to the heads of 2 dogs, we examined their optical behavior while catching Frisbees. Our findings reveal that dogs use the same viewer-based navigational heuristics previously found with baseball players (i.e., maintaining the target along a linear optical trajectory, LOT, with optical speed constancy). On trials in which the Frisbee dramatically changed direction, the dog maintained an LOT with speed constancy until it apparently could no longer do so and then simply established a new LOT and optical speed until interception. This work demonstrates the use of simple control mechanisms that utilize invariant geometric properties to accomplish interceptive tasks. It confirms a common interception strategy that extends both across species and to complex target trajectories." PMID: 15200626 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Here is a duly Medline-indexed item straight from the Journal of the American Medical Association:
JAMA. 2003 Oct 1;290(13):1683-4 A piece of my mind. Reflections while listening to the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto. Comerci GD Jr. PMID: 14519690 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Mar;16(3):349-51. A case of inability to belch. Tomizawa M, Kusano M, Aoki T, Ohashi S, Kawamura O, Sekiguchi T, Mori M.
"A 22-year-old man was unable to belch. He could sense intraesophageal gas, but had no chest pain. An upper gastrointestinal X-ray series and endoscopic examination showed no abnormalities. Esophageal manometry showed normal relaxation of both the upper and lower esophageal sphincters with primary peristalsis during deglutition. However, bolus injection of air into the middle esophagus failed to initiate the belch reflex."
And, though his fate is still unlearned, this gentleman's case is now and forever immortalized on MEDLINE as "PMID: 11339431," along with the rest of the lot.
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER is very, very proud of MEDLINE'S academic grandeur, coupled with its demonstrated commitment to sidestep nutritional medicine. In evidence for our first assessment, the readers of this Newsletter have presented a whole pile of MEDLINE-indexed research time-wasters in addition to the ones you just read, above. As for our second criticism, several previous Newsletters addressed the growing scandal surrounding MEDLINE's anti-vitamin, anti-orthomolecular bias: http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n14.txt http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n15.txt http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n16.txt http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n17.txt (If you are unacquainted with this controversy, please consider reading the Newsletters in order.)
SO WE DECIDED TO HAVE SOME FUN Yes, friends: late at night when the National Library of Medicine was closed, intrepid NEWSLETTER readers have been electronically searching MEDLINE high and low. They unearthed a motherlode of carefully indexed nonsense.
Thus armed, the arbitrarily appointed Doctor Yourself Technical Review Committee met in the strictest secrecy, near the juicer in my kitchen. In so doing, we sought (with the exception of the juicer) to emulate the modus operandi of your taxpayer-funded United States National Library of Medicine. For after all, MEDLINE is in fact self-described as "the NLM's premier bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences."
So, we thought, why not model on the scholarly best our nation has to offer?
Now, culled from more than 4,800 biomedical journals and over 12 million citations, may I have the envelope, please.
OUR GRAND PRIZE WINNER for the MEDLINE COMEDY CONTEST is:
JUDITH ARNOLD, of Kansas, for her submission of this splendid example of MEDLINE'S commitment to comprehensiveness:
Olfactory responses and field attraction of mosquitoes to volatiles from Limburger cheese and human foot odor. Kline DL. J Vector Ecol. 1998 Dec;23(2):186-94.
"Olfactory responses of female Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) to various odor stimuli were studied in a dual-port olfactometer. Responses (i.e., the percent of ca. 75 available female mosquitoes in flight chamber entering each olfactometer port) were studied toward clean conditioned air (control), human foot skin emanations (collected on socks by wearing them for three days), human hand, and Limburger cheese. Mean percent response was greatest to the human hand (80.1%), followed by the human worn sock (66.1%), Limburger cheese (6.4%), and control (< 0.1%). In field studies the worn sock alone attracted very few mosquitoes but a synergistic response occurred to the sock + carbon dioxide baited traps for most species of mosquitoes in six genera (Aedes, Anopheles, Coquillettidia, Culex, Culiseta, and Psorophora). This synergistic effect persisted even when the socks were exposed to environmental conditions for eight consecutive days. Limburger cheese alone did not attract mosquitoes to traps compared to unbaited traps, and there appeared to be a slight repellent effect for most mosquito species." PMID: 9879074 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
I would like to emphasize that, like most of the studies on Medline, this particular one represents genuine research, competently conducted by a bona fide scientist. The point the NEWSLETTER seeks to make is this: if Medline indexes what might quite fairly be called "unique" studies, it should certainly also index Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling's papers that were published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine (listed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n21A.txt ).
But MEDLINE has steadfastly refused to do so. For years. In fact, for decades. And we have written proof.
LET'S LOOK AT THE SCORE I now have in front of me what many NEWSLETTER readers have written to Medline for, and have until now been denied: the actual judging scoresheet for the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine's previous appraisals by the NLM/Medline "Literature Selection Technical Review Committee."
The Journal was previously reviewed in 1989 and again in 1993. Medline uses a point scale of zero to 5, with five being the highest recommendation for indexing, and zero being the lowest.
On February 2, 1989, the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine received a 0.0 rating.
On March 4, 1993, the Journal again received a 0.0 score.
This, by the way, was after JOM had published no fewer than six papers by Linus Pauling.
One cannot escape the significance of these 1989 and 1993 NLM reviews that found ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE WHATSOEVER to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. After all, "0.0" is not merely a low mark. "0.0" represents an absolute dearth of merit. And "zero point zero" states it so flatly as to leave no room for alternate interpretations.
On June 8, 2000, JOM received a 1.5 rating. Out of five, not nearly high enough to qualify for indexing.
By then, the Journal had been published for 30 consecutive years.
The most recent review, June 6, 2002 brought JOM a rating of 1.
Out of five.
In this last evaluation, Medline's review committee specifically indicated that the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine had "little importance to researchers"; "little importance to clinicians"; "little importance to educators"; "little importance to allied health professionals"; "little importance to policy makers"; and, incredibly, "little importance to students."
As a former college instructor (9 years with the State University of New York), I rebel against the very notion that any committee should decide for students what they may or may not learn about. You cannot study what you cannot find; you cannot find what is not indexed.
Information censorship is unscientific, immoral and unjust.
We are now awaiting the results of Medline's promised late October 2004 review. Shall we be optimistic or realistic?
It will likely be a while before JOM's 2004 Medline review results come in. Until then, because to me there is something so compelling about smelly socks and cheese, my last copy of Dr. Lendon Smith's Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C, like a Limburger-crazed MEDLINE mosquito, will presently be winging its way to Kansas, to Judith Arnold, our Grand Prize Winner.
(For those wishing to obtain their own copy of the 68-page Clinical Guide, you can still obtain it inexpensively on the Internet (try a Google search). I do not sell it. However, I have discussed this singularly important booklet at http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitaminc.html)
A big THANK YOU to all my readers who inundated me with their entries. Loved them!
MOVE OVER, ATKINS AFICIONADOS: THE AMISH DIET: GET OFF YOUR KEESTER AND DO SOMETHING
"Despite a high-calorie diet, an Old Order community's intensely physical lifestyle produces a strikingly low rate of obesity. It's a message for the modern world.
"Amish men spent about 10 hours a week doing vigorous activities, women about 3 1/2 hours (heavy lifting, shoveling or digging, shoeing horses, tossing straw bales). Men averaged 43 hours of moderate activity a week, women about 39 hours (gardening, feeding farm animals, doing laundry). We feel virtuous if we manage to eke out half an hour a day on the StairMaster."
The Old Order Amish, says study author David R. Bassett Jr., Professor of Exercise Science at the University of Tennessee, "can provide a sense of what we ought to be doing," he says. "It's a little ridiculous: we drive to work, then go to the gym to walk on a treadmill. We go to great lengths to remove activity from our daily lives, and then we go to great lengths to put it back in. The Amish have done a better job than anybody of consciously thinking what impact technology will have on their lives."
(The Amish paradox. Jeannine Stein, The LA TIMES, Jan. 12, 2004) http://www.latimes.com/features/health/nutrition/la-he- amish12jan12,0,2982831.story?coll=la-health-nutrition-news , or go to http://www.latimes.com/ and search their Archives for "Amish paradox"
(And remember: two physicians really IS a paradox.)
IF YOU HATE TO EXERCISE, you have a friend in me. Here's my story, complete with gratuitous (but tastefully verbal) nudity. http://www.doctoryourself.com/exercise_avoid.html
Exercise without trying: http://www.doctoryourself.com/aerobics.html
For eyestrain: http://www.doctoryourself.com/eye_exercises.html
If money is as tight as your pants: http://www.doctoryourself.com/cheapheal.html
Other trendy, cool stuff you can do to move your pants without moving a muscle:
VIBRATING TROUSERS HELP ANGINA PATIENTS (4 Oct 2004) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=14414#
"Angina patients in the UK are being treated with vibrating trousers (pants) which work by increasing the blood flow to the heart. . . The patient is treated for seven weeks. He/she has to wear the pants for one hour a day, five days a week. The seven-week treatment costs 10,500 pounds sterling. Most private health insurers will pay for the course, says Vasogenics, the company that makes the vibrating trousers."
Be sure to be on the lookout for upcoming studies about this fabulous new technology.
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