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Newsletter v2n2

Newsletter v2n2
Back Issues

"It is time to lay to rest the notion that germs jump into people and cause diseases." Emanuel Cheraskin, M.D., D.M.D. in Vitamin C: Who Needs It?

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER Vol 2, No 2 November 10, 2001 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of , a free online library of 300 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.

SITTING DUCKS OR SWIMMING DUCKS? Ducks swim in water but do not get wet. This is because they have oiled their feathers to form a natural barrier impervious to moisture. We can do the same with our immune systems.

We live in a world full of germs. Most of them are harmless and many are actually beneficial. Cows, by the way, cannot really eat grass. But the digestive bacteria in the cow's rumen can. Ultimately, they are to thank for the milk. Helpful bacteria in your digestive tract make you healthy, too. Some bacteria actually make vitamins for you, notably B-12 and vitamin K. Some bacteria help break down your food. Some help process wastes. And yes, some bacteria are nasty.

But if the body is healthy, bacteria, pathogenic or not, are largely irrelevant. Consider this: horses' guts are full of tetanus bacteria, yet horses do not get tetanus via the gut. To consider another: wild London sewer rats (which are always a tad hungry) live in an environment surrounded by filth and germs. They are very hardy. On the other hand, laboratory white rats are kept nice and clean and are lovingly overfed. They die at the drop of a hat.

We live in a medicalized world brim-full of antibiotic overprescription, with a resultant rise in number of drug-resistant bacteria. I reluctantly predict that we will soon see a dramatic increase in "Cipro"- resistant superbacteria.

The importance of utilizing harmless natural modalities to boost the immune system with which nature endowed us is therefore more important than ever.

Or, if you prefer, you can wreck the whole thing. It's easy; just follow these simple, ever-popular steps:


1. Smoke. More on this below. 2. Drink liberal quantities of alcohol, and let your kids drink plenty of soda pop. 3. Eat all the junk foods advertised on TV, especially lots of meat, sugar, chemical colors, flavors and preservatives. 4. Never exercise. 5. Worry constantly. Just turn on TV news programs to help you with this. 6. Take powerful antibiotics preventively. 7. Count on your daily diet for all the vitamins and minerals that your body really needs. 8. Make excuses to not read How to Live Longer and Feel Better, by Linus Pauling 9. Never go to bed before 10 pm. 10. Regularly use a wide variety of over-the-counter patent drugs.

SCARED OF DISEASE? Nursing and medical students have a fairly high rate of hypochondria. This is due to their necessarily obsessive study of pathology, a topic that is enough to make anyone feel a little sickened.

The public too, from time to time, is subjected to media-driven obsession with loathsome diseases. This is nothing new. Leprosy (a relatively non-contagious disease) has been widely feared since Biblical times. The pox, the plague, polio and pertussis have all had their day in the news, and not without reason.

But sometimes we do well to step back a bit and look at the big picture. The question to ask is, what is the greatest preventable danger to the greatest number of people? Worldwide, it would be malnutrition. In the United States, it would be smoking. Malnutrition kills thousands of Earth's people every single day. In the US alone, tobacco kills 51 people AN HOUR. That's over 1,200 dead smokers' funerals each day.

Of course, the tobacco industry spends over eleven million dollars a day on advertising to encourage this.

BE A HERO AND SAVE A LIFE Many people are familiar with this prayer: "Give me strength to change the things I can, serenity to accept the things I can't, a nd wisdom to know the difference." Well, smoking is something we can take personal control over. Oppose tobacco use. Nag someone you love to stop smoking. Do whatever it takes to save their life. Don't be shy; it's that or a premature visit to the mortuary. Besides, nine out of ten smokers say they'd like to quit, and nine out of ten who do quit used no special technique at all: they just stop doing it.

This can work. It works even easier if vitamin C is sprayed into the mouth and throat each time a smoker wants a cigarette. (Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1993:337, pp 211-213.) There's no need to hunt for vitamin C spray. Just take plain ascorbic acid crystals (available from any health food store, and many online suppliers) and dissolve as much as you can in an ounce or two of water. If you do not have an extra spray bottle lying around, you can gargle with it. Or use chewable vitamin C. Or just take a lot of vitamin C in the usual way. All these will help you stop smoking, and reduce food cravings at the same time. You might not believe this last zinger of a fact, so ask your public librarian to help get you a copy of the paper I mentioned above, and see for yourself. HINT: because vitamin C is somewhat acidic (like salad vinegar, but not as bad as carbonated soft drinks), I recommend you rinse your mouth with water afterwards. You can also buy buffered vitamin C powder, or use non-acidic chewables.

When actor and heavy smoker Yul Brenner was dying of lung cancer, he was asked on television if he had any words to offer about smoking. He turned to the camera, looked straight into it, and said, "Just don't do it."

Advice that can save 450,000 lives a year is good advice indeed.

Stanton Glantz, M.D., says "If you would like to help prevent another generation of tobacco addiction and disease, go to and send a smokefree EZ-letter to a key decision maker."

(Dr. Glantz's frequent email newsletter is free of charge. You can subscribe at )

DOCTOR YOURSELF HEALTH ECONOMICS QUOTE OF THE DAY: A three-pack-a-day smoker once told me, "Over the last 20 years, I smoked a Porsche."

Russell J. Bird, M.D. Columbia, Pennsylvania

FLUORIDATION PROPONENTS MISLEAD VOTERS BY KIRK MILLSON (Reprinted with permission of the author. I have somewhat abridged the article.)

If anyone doubts that health officials (have voters') best interests at heart when they campaign for water fluoridation, the officials have only themselves to blame. Their misinformation and attempts to discredit scientists holding opposing views demonstrate an unhealthy disrespect for voters' intelligence.

(T)hey exaggerate the impact of fluoridation on cavity rates. These rates have been falling for years in non-fluoridated areas such as Utah, and 12-year-olds in many countries that don't fluoridate water have fewer cavities than their American counterparts. The decay rates in many non-fluoridated countries have also dropped faster than the rates in the heavily fluoridated United States (World Health Organization statistics).

Now a report from the Centers for Disease Control has made it clearer than ever that fluoridation proponents were also misleading about how the substance works. The CDC report reflects the view of most scientists today that while there is an excellent argument for putting fluoride in one's mouth, the same can't be said for swallowing it.

Just to be absolutely clear, the CDC report and every scientist on its fluoride review panel support water fluoridation. But the report confirmed that fluoride's predominant effect is topical -- that is, "the overwhelming majority of its benefit" comes from direct contact with teeth, explained William H. Bowen, a University of Rochester researcher on the CDC panel. That's why "swishing and pitting [fluoridated water] is probably just as effective as swishing and swallowing," according to University of Iowa researcher Keith Heller, another of the CDC's reviewers.

Arguing about whether fluoridated water is just million-dollar mouthwash or whether there is a benefit to consuming it might seem a pedantic exercise to some. After all, however it works, the CDC is adamant that it does. But if there is no benefit to swallowing fluoride, that leaves only risks, and even the CDC acknowledges that ingesting too much fluoridated water is not a good idea.

The CDC recommends that babies under 6 months of age ingest no more than 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per day. But since babies that age drink up to one and one-half liters of water-based formula every 24 hours, they could ingest twice the CDC's recommended dose in a fluoridated area. (And if they are given prescription fluoridated vitamins, they will get far more. Editor's Note.)

Many (fluoridation lobbyists) also downplayed the benefits of brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, which one of the world's most respected pro-fluoride researchers last year told The Tribune "is as good or better than fluoride in the water."

You might wonder why, if swallowing fluoride yields no significant benefits, public health officials continue to push the idea.

If public support for fluoridation is achieved with inaccurate information, some health officials believe the end justifies the means. It doesn't. No matter how beneficial fluoridated water -- or any public health measure -- might be, people are entitled to the truth before deciding whether to implement it.

(Full text of the above article is to be found in the Salt Lake Tribune . Kirk Millson is a Tribune editorial writer. He welcomes e-mail at )

GOOD HEALTH, SIMPLE HEALTH, CHEAP HEALTH Here's some health wisdom worth from Scott Nearing's 1976 The Making of a Radical (Second Edition. Harborside, ME: Social Science Institute):

"The average American has no idea what good health is or how to go about obtaining it. When he feels the effects of ill health he goes to a doctor, who, like his prospective patient, knows little or nothing about health although he knows a great deal about diseases... Suffering from disease we treat the results of bad living instead of learning to live a good life with its normal consequences: painless functioning of the organism. This desperately bad situation leaves it to food cranks like us to practice health and keep clear of disease and doctors." (p 222)

"The ordinary family spends from a quarter to a third of its income for food. The family garden, well handled, can furnish at least three-quarters of that food." (p 226)

Scott Nearing was on to something, you know. I save a lot of tax-free money by eating out of my garden. You can save literally hundreds of dollars just growing your own lettuce, tomatoes, beans and 'taters. You just try it and you'll see.

As a young man, I lived about 15 miles from where the Scott and his wife Helen had their now-famous Vermont homestead. In fact, I once met with a study group in one of the first stone structures (a house addition) that the Nearings built by hand in the 1930's. They did it all on vegetarian power, and did a nice job, too.

"Health is the finally effective test of the interaction of the human organism with its total environment." (p 222)

You will especially like reading Helen and Scott Nearing's Living the Good Life. NY: Schocken Books (1970).

Chapter Five, "Eating For Health" (p 109-141), may be of greatest interest to you, although the chapter before it contains excellent gardening hints and composting instructions. The easiest ways to "can" (jar) raspberries (p 131-132), bake squash (p 140), preserve vitamin C-rich rose hips (p 137) and, incidentally, build a house are all covered in Living the Good Life.

How is a "good life" diet a healthy one? Because economy plus simplicity equals vitality.

Breakfast with the Nearings was fruit, and just as frequently, nothing. "We have gone for months at a time with no breakfast at all and maintained health and suffered no discomfort though carrying on a full program of work." (p 137) This work included constructing concrete and stone structures, intensive gardening, and making maple syrup, among other activities.

Why "break" your "fast" at six, or eight, or ten o'clock anyway? I have personally experienced, for some years now, that I simply do not "need" a morning meal. A blast of vitamin C powder in fruit juice or water, along with a couple of calcium-magnesium tablets, and I am easily good for three or four hours. Add a few tablespoons of lecithin granules, vitamin E and a multivitamin, and I am not hungry for six hours.

Lunch with the Nearings: "Two bowls of soup and all the whole grain one wanted was a man's meal and lasted well till suppertime." (p 138)

And supper too was simple, natural and meatless. You really do not have to eat meat, or to eat much, to be healthy. And it saves a lot of time and dishes, too. I got a lot of ideas from the Nearings, one of whom (Helen) I was in a panel discussion with in 1984.

I missed meeting Scott by about a year. He died in 1983... at the age of 100.

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY FOR COUNTRY FOLK LOG ON: Making a wood stove hotter. LOG OFF: Don't add any more wood. MONITOR: Keeping an eye on the wood stove. DOWNLOAD: Gettin' the firewood off the truck. MEGA HERTZ: When your not careful gettin' the firewood. FLOPPY DISK: What you get from trying to carry too much firewood (if you don't take enough cartilage-buildin' vitamin C, that is) WINDOWS: What to shut when it's cold outside SCREEN: What to shut when it's black fly season BYTE: What them dang flies do MODEM: What you did to the hay fields DOT MATRIX: Old Dan Matrix's wife MOUSE: What eats the grain in the barn MOUSE PAD: That's hippie talk for the mouse hole LAP TOP: Where the cat sleeps

As an honorary Vermonter, I do feel entitled to a rib or two now and again. After all, you can only be told so many times that "you can't get there from here" before you want your say. Thanks to one of my favorite correspondents for the above.

READERS ASK: Could you please not subject us to any more of your attempts at humor?


READERS REALLY ASK: "Could you discuss alternative treatment for glaucoma?"

There have been quite a few papers published on reducing intraocular pressure with high oral doses of vitamin C. About 15 of them are discussed in a wonderful book with the blah title of The Healing Factor, written by Irwin Stone. Much of Stone's bookis posted at Part of chapter 20 deals with glaucoma. I would also recommend a look at and the vitamin C links at the LINKS page at

"I have heard that lecithin is high in phosphorous. Could that cause a phosphorous overload in the body?" Lecithin contains phosphorous in the form of highly beneficial phospholipids and phosphatidyl choline. Phospholipids are known to decrease arterial plaque and substantially reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Phosphatidyl choline is made into the neurotransmitter cetylcholine, which is so deficient in people with a number of neurological diseases including Parkinson's. In America, we have a very high dietary phosphorous intake from soft drinks, from milk, and from meat. So we have elevated phosphorous in folks who have never even seen a lecithin supplement. Crummy diet is the real problem. Lecithin is a solution.



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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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