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Newsletter v2n10

Newsletter v2n10
Back Issues

"When I wrote many papers early in my career, they were considered pretty good as long as they did not say anything, like most psychiatric papers today." (Dr. Abram Hoffer)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER Vol 2, No 10 March 24, 2002 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written by Andrew Saul, PhD, of , a free online library of over 300 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.

VITAMINS IN HOSPITALS: THE FINAL FRONTIER "One of my complaints about hospitals is that, on the rare occasion when my patients are admitted, they promptly stop my whole (nutritional) program, place them on other medication, take away their vitamins, and when they are discharged and returned to me, I have to start them all over again. A few determined patients have had their families smuggle the vitamins to them and a few patients have surreptitiously taken them on their own. One of the patients hid them in his boots so that he could take them when alone." (Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD)

Editor's Note: To read half a dozen megavitamin therapy papers by Dr. Hoffer, just do a search for "Hoffer" at

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS, NOT ABUSE If you or a loved one must hospitalized, be sure to take your supplements while you're there. Do not be intimidated by hospital staff. When they try the following bogus arguments, you'll be ready:

Unacceptable Reasons for Stopping Vitamins: a. "Vitamins will interfere with your tests." Just have the words "takes vitamins" added onto any paperwork. Interpretation can readily be made. If there is a specific and essential test or procedure that clearly requires suspension of vitamin supplements, you can stop the day before and resume immediately after it is over. This way you only lose a day.

b. "Vitamins will be dangerous after surgery." Since all nutrition textbooks indicate a substantially increased need for vitamins during wound healing, this is illogical. Some patients have been told that their blood-thinning medications (like "Coumadin" brand warfarin) are incompatible with vitamins, especially K, C and E. First of all, your supplements do not contain any vitamin K, because your intestinal bacteria make it for you.

Vitamin C may lessen clotting time, and vitamin E may increase it. Taking both allows the body to achieve a natural balance. If you are given Coumadin, your prothrombin time should be monitored. Since they are constantly taking blood for some reason or other anyway, your "pro-time" can be checked often. Instead of reducing your vitamins, doctors can simply adjust the amount of their drug.

c. "Vitamins are unnecessary if you eat right." I say, long hospital stays are unnecessary if they FED you right. Since they don't, supplements are the simple answer. If you find a hospital that feeds you a vegetarian, three-quarters raw food diet (blended or juiced for some patients, as needed) then I will lighten up. Until then, "hospital food" will continue to deserve its almost pathogenic reputation, and supplements are completely justified.

IT MAY BE THEIR BUILDING, BUT IT IS YOUR BODY. Accept nothing without an explanation that is satisfactory to you. If the nurse or doctor or aide or clerk or orderly or anyone else "says so," ask for a supervisor. If the supervisor "says so," ask to see the hospital administrator. If she or he is "too busy" for such contact, leave. There are other hospitals. If this sound like shopping for a new car, well, it very nearly is. Only this is more important.

Remember: all bureaucracies are most sensitive at the top. Schoolchildren (unfortunately) know that the principal is more likely to be understanding than the teacher they just talked back to. The Board of Education will be even more attentive. Do not argue with a nurse, doctor or hospital staff member. DEMAND TO MEET WITH TOP AUTHORITY if there is any unresolved problem. No hospital executive wants another lawsuit. If it takes a call to your attorney to make your point, then do it.

Perhaps, after a tirade like this, you expect me to grab my broomstick and wail, "I'm melting!" I have no apology to make for asserting your right to assert your rights.

Here's more on specifically what to do:

How to arrange to have a lifesaving intravenous vitamin C drip:

And while we're at it, here are instructions for your doctor on how to make up and administer the vitamin C I.V.:

MENIERE'S SYNDROME AND TINNITUS It shook me deeply to see my father have to crawl to the bathroom to vomit. Dad was only in his mid 50's and was already using a cane to stand up, when he could stand at all. He had a really bad case of Meniere's Syndrome, a miserable collection of symptoms including recurrent ringing in the ears, dizziness, and nausea. Perhaps it proved to be a defining moment for me. Seeing your father reduced to helplessness is enough to make anyone want to know more about getting well. When you look this one up, the treatments you come across, whether pharmaceutical or surgical, are primarily aimed at the symptoms, because the cause of the illness is pretty much unknown.

Enter natural healing.

By trial and error, I have found that there are some drugless, scalpel-less options for Meniere's. While the solutions shed some light on the cause, I am interested in results. I have seen success with what follows:

CHIROPRACTIC or osteopathic adjustment of the upper cervical (neck) vertebrae is worth trying, first thing.

Some 20 years ago, I met a young man so dizzy that he could not read or even watch TV without having to lie down. Meniere's, aptly described in the Merck Manual as "prostrating," certainly is capable of flooring a person. Such was the case with Lowell, a college dropout. He had a gentle but persistent series of manipulations which restored his life. He was able to read again, to return to school, and live again. How so? The practitioner discovered that his two top neck vertebrae, the atlas and the axis, were practically at right angles to each other, and to the skull as well. This seemingly impossible state of affairs turned out to be due to a summer job Lowell had a few years before: he was a sparring partner for boxers in training. He had almost literally had had his block knocked off.

The closest to such an experience my father had was when he was knocked out of the box, figuratively speaking, while in training to become a New York Yankee pitcher. Well, he did not quite make it to the farm team. Still, in semi-pro, my Pop struck out the guy who would become the Commissioner of Baseball twice, and in one game no less.

But I digress, as usual.

Pa refused to go to a chiropractor until his Meniere's was so bad he could not take it any more. He'd been on various ineffective medications from various ineffective physicians, none of whom gave chiropractic the time of day. But I managed to get him to a D.C. for a visit or two.

Pa said it did not help one bit.

He then began taking vitamins, notable the B-complex in fairly high doses. Pa had no praise for that, either.

But over a period of months, his specialist-diagnosed Meniere's went away.

I had persistent suspicions that the natural approach had helped him.

NIACIN Since then, I have come across references showing that niacin (vitamin B-3) was used for Meniere's syndrome since the 1940's. In long term therapy, improvement has been obtained with only 150-250 mg daily (Bicknell and Prescott, The Vitamins in Medicine, 3rd ed., p 379). This may explain why Pa's improvement was so gradual, yet in the end, profound.

VITAMIN B-12 I think that Meniere's syndrome, and perhaps a number of other difficult-to-tag neurological problems, could be a manifestation of untreated, long-term B-12 deficiency. I discuss this, and what to do about it, at

ASPARTAME My Dad never drank anything with aspartame in it. However, the late Lendon H. Smith's newsletter "The Facts" (October 1991) mentions that aspartame ("Nutrasweet") may "trigger or mimic" a Meniere's attack. Dr. Smith specifically lists nausea, vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus as symptoms that say, "Stop using aspartame."

OTHER NUTRITIONAL FACTORS: A low-fat, low-sodium, no alcohol and especially NO SUGAR diet may help a wide variety of illnesses. Meniere's seems to be closely connected with chronic low blood sugar, sometimes diagnosed as hypoglycemia or Type II diabetes). Caffeine may aggravate the condition, as might manganese deficiency. (Balch and Balch, Nutritional Influences on Illness, p 239-240) Zinc supplementation and moderate additional amounts of B-6 (pyridoxine) are also worth a several-month therapeutic trial. (Werbach, M. Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, p 475-482)

HOMEOPATHIC KALI PHOS. For uncomplicated simple ringing in the ears, dizziness or nausea, a 6X potency of Kali Phos. may be surprisingly helpful. I have personally used this remedy for 30 years, as I have a motion sickness problem that my flight instructor has insisted cannot be matched. If it were not for Kali Phos, I think I would have thrown up right in the FAA examiner's lap at Batavia airport.For what it's worth, these can't-hurt-to-try-them approaches may help someone you love stop crawling, and start living. My Dad, fully recovered from Meniere's, would walk four miles a day for the rest of his life. His dizziness and nausea were gone for good. His sense of humor was not, however. If you ever asked my father how his hearing was, he'd invariably shout back at you:


But he did it smiling, and standing up straight.

DO IT YOURSELF ONE-MINUTE HEALTH ANALYSIS Here's some fast, free, non-technical ways to tell if you are living a healthy lifestyle... by looking at the way you live at home, room by room.

Kitchen: How long does it take you to wash your dishes? The longer it takes, the more greasy, cooked foods you are eating. Save time at the sink: be a near-vegetarian.

Bathroom: How long does it take you to have a bowel movement? The longer it takes, the more you need fiber in your diet. Instant fiber solution: be a near vegetarian. Meatless diets usually contain at least 3 to 5 times more fiber than most carnivores get from their McNothing meals.

And while you are in the bathroom, hop on that dreaded bathroom scale! Read it, but don't weep: meatless menus are automatically low fat.

Bedroom: How long does it take you to fall asleep at night? High complex carbohydrate diets help calming dietary tryptophan literally get into your brain.

Living Room: How many ashtrays can you spot? If the answer is more than zero, you need to stop someone from smoking. Immediately.

Garage: How many beer or soft drink bottles do you have to return for a deposit?

Car: While you drive, are you drinking caffeine or eating sugar foods? Are you impatient in traffic? Pull over and buy some cashews, which are nature's alternative to "Prozac." No kidding. ( )

DID YOU KNOW: Did you know that "gymnasium" is from the Greek, meaning "to exercise naked"? When we were kids learning to swim, that's pretty much how it was both at school and on Saturday mornings at our YMCA. Join me in reliving some favorite exercise phobias at

INSTANT PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST: Touch your toes. If you can't, you aren't.

THE "SERGEANT SCHULTZ" VARIANT ON THE ABOVE: If you cannot SEE your toes, you REALLY aren't.

FLUORIDATION AND CANCER Fluoride added to public water supplies may be linked to cancer, suggests two new studies.

"The likelihood of fluoride acting as a genetic cause of cancer requires consideration," writes Takahashi and colleagues in the July 2001 "Journal of Epidemiology" who found that 23 of 36 cancer sites (63.9%) were associated positively with fluoridation status, using World Health Organization data and the U.S. Fluoridation Census.

The authors report that the National Cancer Institute provided epidemiological evidence of a relation between cancer incidence and water fluoridation in 1987. These findings provoked a 1990 National Toxicology Program (NTP) study that determined fluoride could be a cancer-causing agent. the NTP study "supplied a detailed description of the toxicology of fluoride, not only in terms of osteosarcoma (bone cancer), but also lesions in the oral mucosa, thyroid gland, skin and uterus...(which) prompted us to re-test the hypothesis of an epidemiological association between water fluoridation and cancer incidences...," wrote Takahashi, who found fluoridation status positively correlates to cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, colon, rectum, hepato-bilary & urinary organs and bone cancer in males.

In another study, Ramesh and colleagues "propose that high fluoride bone content might have been one of the major factors causing osteosarcoma," in the "Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology," 2001, Vol. 20, Issue 3. The Ramesh team analyzed bone samples of 20 Indian osteosarcoma patients... (which) "suggest that possible adverse effects of fluoride on the DNA of the osteosarcoma patients." Mutations in the p53 genes are the most commonly observed genetic alterations in human cancer. Ramesh concludes "that fluoride probably causes mutations in p53."

"These new findings raise important questions about potential harm from water fluoridation, especially when coupled with the current recognition that ingesting fluoride does not reduce tooth decay but has caused a massive increase in disfiguring dental fluorosis," says lawyer Paul Beeber ( ) of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, the source of this article ( ).

For more information: has a number of summaries, full-text articles, and interviews with scientists opposed to fluoridation. is my personal take on the subject. is the excellent paper on cancer and fluoridation by Peter Meiers, which also appeared in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 16:2, p 73-82.

YOUR FEEDBACK WANTED ON WATER FLUORIDATION: Have you ever actually voted for, or been allowed to vote against fluoride? Has your community ever put fluoridation of water on an election ballot?

READERS ASK: "Is calcium ascorbate as good a form of vitamin C as ascorbic acid?"

Maybe. Because it is non-acidic, calcium ascorbate can be just the thing for persons with sensitive stomachs. But it costs more, and is somewhat less "natural" than ascorbic acid, the kind of vitamin C found in foods. Buffering good old cheap ascorbic acid with a cheap calcium tablet often works about as well. But there is one application in which calcium ascorbate is s upreme: topical use. It can be made into a paste with a little (very little) water and put directly on skin or gums. ( ) I know persons who have had receeding gums greatly improve by using this trick.

"My multiple vitamin has a "mediciney" aftertaste. Is this due to any vitamin in particular?

Yes, thiamin B-1. Take vitamins with food or juice and the aftertaste will pretty much vanish. More easy ways to take your vitamins are posted at Hints specific for little kids may be read at

"I have begun to take B-complex vitamins and my urine is darker yellow-orange than before. Why?"

It is primarily due to riboflavin (vitamin B-2), an excess of which your body is excreting. Your body also excretes surpluses of the other water soluble B-vitamins and vitamin C. A surplus is good. For example, vitamins C and B-6 in the urine reduce the risk of bladder cancer. I debunked the old "expensive urine" myth in Doctor Yourself Newsletter Vol 1, No 2 (Nov. 24, 2000) which you can now read at

SIMPLIFIED SEARCHING There are close to 4,000 references posted in various bibliographies at More than one reader has told me how hard that is to wade through, even with a search engine. Ah, relief is only a click away. I have compiled a short, "greatest hits" list of especially important therapeutic nutrition papers for you at

IF YOUR NOSE RUNS AND YOUR FEET SMELL: Then you are probably built upside down.

YET ANOTHER REASON TO UNSUBSCRIBE TO THIS NEWSLETTER: A hiker goes to his psychiatrist because he can't sleep. "Doc," he says, "One night I try sleeping in a canvas lean-to, and the next night I try sleeping in a nylon dome shelter. I can't get to sleep in either. What's my problem?"

"Easy," says the psychiatrist. "Your problem is your two tents."

Ba-da, boom.

Newsletter Ideas? To submit a question or suggest a topic for the newsletter, email me at

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: This newsletter is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor 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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