The DOCTOR YOURSELF (SM) NEWSLETTER Vol 1, No 15
May 25, 2001 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of more
than 200 natural healing articles with over 3,000 scientific references.
If you don't have the money or the time to go to medical school, you
tend to become
way too dependent on the pronouncements of a doctor. Medical education is not for the
privileged few. Here is how to know what your doctor knows for less than the cost of a physical
(or for free, if you use the library):
1. Obtain a copy of The Merck Manual in the latest edition. (Merck
& Co, Rahway, NJ). This is
the "Cliff's Notes" of medical school: nearly everything most doctors do most of the time is in this
single volume. It is easy to look up anything quickly because of the excellent cross-referenced
index and thumb-indexed chapters. Don't be put off by big scientific words, for that is just a fancy
way to say what could be said simply for a lower office fee.
2. To assist with any necessary deciphering of medical terms,
I suggest you also have a good
medical dictionary handy. There are several available (such as Taber's Medical Dictionary or the
Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Nursing by Miller and Keane).
These books can help elevate your health education to a whole new level
of confidence and
competency. You don't have to know everything. If that were possible, there wouldn't be any
medical specialists. You can still go to the doctor (after all, even doctors go to doctors). Now,
though, you can better judge the value of medical services rendered. Remember that your doctor
works for you and not the other way around. Consider your doctor to be your sub-contractor,
your consultant. Getting a doctor's opinion does not mean you have to follow it. It is your body,
and how you want a health concern handled is your decision. You can only make a good
decision if you are fully informed. Knowledge is power, and health knowledge is healing power.
For a second opinion, it is wise to read books on natural healing. Alternative
are well proven and non-prescription. A health food store, library or bookstore will have many
titles to help you. You may want to begin with my "Bestbooks" links at
http://doctoryourself.com to read concise reviews of some really good health books.
Supplements and Genetic Engineering (GE)
by Dr. Robert Anderson
Member: Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics
In issue 12 (April 14, 2001) Dr. Saul urged readers, quite sensibly,
to get most of their nutrients
from Mother Nature and not from the latest "magic bullet" tablet. However, as our soils become
more depleted and our food less nourishing, we may be forced to look to supplements. But are
For more than a year now, manufacturers of supplements have watched
quietly as an angry
chorus has risen against genetic engineering (GE). The GE debate has precipitated the world's
largest civil rights movement in history.
Quite apart from the unsubstantiated but persistent myth that GE foods
are "rigorously" tested
and safe, we are assured by gods in white lab coats, "trust us, we know what we are doing." Do
they? Are supplements subject to gene meddling?
In 1989 a genetically engineered brand of L-tryptophan, (a natural amino
acid), killed 37
Americans and permanently disabled 1500. Around 5000 were afflicted with the potentially fatal
and painful blood disorder, eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), before the FDA recalled the
product. Manufacturer, Showa Denko, Japan's third largest chemical company, had for the first
time used GE bacteria to produce the supplement. Although blamed on filtration Showa Denko
admitted the toxic substance had never been generated previously. By early 1991, the company
had paid $US4.6M in out-of-court settlements amongst lawsuits for over $810M (1). By now, the
totals are roughly $US 2,000 million and 75 deaths.
The latest addition to the list of biotech wonders, vitamin A enriched
rice, promises to cure
blindness in poor countries, but belies the truth. (2) Vitamin A rice has cost $US100 million to
develop so far, and is still 5 years from commercialisation. It produces so little vitamin A that a
woman would need to eat 16 lbs per day to get her minimum daily requirement. More
importantly, think what $US100 million from the Rockefeller Foundation could have done if
directed to sustainable solutions to malnutrition and hunger.
A common artificial sweetener, Nutrasweet, also genetically engineered
and used by diabetic
patients, has a long history of nasty health risks to the public.(3) It is also found in some natural
supplements, and dietary and children's foods. The herb Stevia would be a far safer choice.
As time goes on we can expect more and more of our supplements to be
subjected to this
dubious and out-of-control technology. So the answer is, be vigilant and read the labels when
next you go for your supplements.
1 Summarised, with references, in the Australian House of Representatives
Manipulation' pp.203-6 (1992); for more recent info see
2 Professor J Cummins 23.1.2000 Vitamin A and yellow rice. Communication
3 Aspartame: History of Fraud and Deception. Leading Edge Research
(Editor's Note: Why take the chance messing with Mother Nature?
It is easy to get vitamin A from
the fruits and vegetables that rice-eating peoples should be growing, and eating, anyway. Natural
food sources of tryptophan are listed in DY Newsletters No. 3 (Dec. 8, 2000 and at
http://doctoryourself.com/prozac.html And nobody, but nobody, will die from "Nutrasweet"
I urge readers to write to supplement manufacturers to find out about
ingredient sources. A
simple way to do so is posted at
I thank Dr. Anderson for his article.)
I just won a Scrabble game with my adult daughter... by one point.
She said it was hardly a win
at all, but of course I made a lot of the fact that I still was the winner.
You may remember from history class that America's 17th President, Andrew
impeachment by just one senate vote. More currently, George Bush the younger won the
presidency by the smallest of margins. A small margin, but plenty big enough to let him live in the
White House and be remembered forever, while Al Gore will be relegated to footnote-to-history
status while looking for a day job. Many a world series has been decided by just one game of
seven, and perhaps more importantly, many a Supreme Court decision has been decided by one
vote, 5 to 4.
You might have already guessed where I am going with all this: one person really matters.
Back in the 1930's, humorist Will Rogers was on the board of directors
of an airline. At a board
meeting he was attending, corporate big shots were discussing the possibility of issuing
parachutes to passengers for use in case of emergency. They mentioned that if parachutes were
available, most passengers would not be able to put them on in time, and those that did might not
have time or room to get to an exit. They concluded saying that of the dozen or so passengers
on a flight, probably only one would be saved. Rogers leaned back in his chair, put his boots up
on the conference table, tipped his hat down over his eyes and said: "But wouldn't HE be just
Naysayers are fond of pointing out that natural healing methods do not
always, always work on
every, everybody. But they don't have to: they only have to work on you, or one of your family, to
make the biggest possible difference.
Linus Pauling estimated that disease and mortality could be reduced
by at least 25% if people
took large daily quantities of essential vitamins. Let's say he was way off, and it the improvement
was only 1%. If upwards of two million Americans die each year, a one percent improvement will
save 2,000 people. That is a lot of funerals that will not occur.
When I die, I would very much like to know that I saved a life or two.
2,000 would please me
better. Linus Pauling was right, though. The real savings in life will be in the millions.
So be a health nut, and show the world. You really do make a difference,
and don't you forget it!
TODAY'S REASON TO BECOME (MORE OF) A VEGETARIAN:
THE LARD CAR
Lard is beef fat. Even lean beef is ten to twenty percent fat. Vegetable oil is fat, too. Now that
gas is approaching two bucks a gallon, I wanted to share this wonderful energy saving use for
"Four women fueled their 1984 Chevy van with used french-fry oil from
fast-food eateries for a trip
of more than 3,000 miles...(and) averaged 24 miles per gallon. Funding was provided from
environmental groups and a Burger King franchise." (Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle,
Aug 29, 1994) OK, the van was modified with a diesel engine, so don't try this with your own
car... at least not until petrol hits the prices it has already held for years in Europe. Months ago, it
cost over $80 to fill up the tank of a Ford Escort in London.
But this you can try today: Be a veggie, eat less fat from all sources,
and leave the lard for the
Lincolns, Luminas and LaSabres.
You expect candy to be full of junk, and colored candy especially so. And you are right. But I do
believe we have the all-time winner in FROOPS POPS for the "food" with the most artificial colors
ever: NINE. They are: Red 3, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow
5 Lake, and Yellow 6. What's really neat is that the candy so colored only has one actual color to
look at: red. For it is a peppermint lollypop!
Let's all write to the American Candy Company (makers of FROOPS POPS)
and tell them how
much we admire their work.
American Candy Company, Selma, Alabama 36701
DID YOU KNOW
From last issue: "What animal has the world's longest sperm?" The Blue whale? The
elephant? You're going to love the answer:
The fruit fly.
Yes, the fruit fly: Drosophila bifurca, to be specific. And each sperm
is about 2.3 INCHES long, 20
times as long as the fly itself. The fly is found in Central America, Mexico and Arizona. There's
something to think about before you swat again. (Source: Fruit fly dwarfed by its sperm. The
Associated Press. May 11, 1995, citing an article in NATURE of the same date by Scott Pitnick et
THYROID ARTICLE IN PROGRESS
At readers' request, I am currently working on this important topic for the Newsletter and Doctor
Yourself website. If you have any especially good information that you want to share, please
email me. Forwarding me nutritionally orientated websites and articles would be especially
helpful. Personal stories (and other forms of "anecdotal evidence") are welcome, too. Please, no
COMING NEXT ISSUE:
The Wonder Drug: PLACEBO!
"The placebo should not be given on demand or for unduly prolonged periods of time."
(Jonothan G. Solomon, M.D. (1982) Placebo revisited: An update on a very useful agent. The
(Oh, we ARE going to have fun with this one.)
Readers ask about Asthma
AND MORE, OF COURSE!
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AN IMPORTANT NOTE: This newsletter is not in any way offered as prescription,
treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition. Any form of self-treatment or
alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and
no one should assume otherwise. Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a
physician. Consult your doctor before making any health decision.
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