Click here to translate this page. translate gadget at page bottom
Newsletter v2n20

Newsletter v2n20
Back Issues

"A lot of people go through life trying to prove that the things that are good for them are wrong." (Ward Cleaver, on "Leave it to Beaver")

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol 2, No 20) August 20, 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 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.

HEALTH CO-OPS: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME. . . MAYBE For twenty years I have been advocating that people form their own neighborhood health self-reliance cooperatives. ( ) These could be organized along the lines of a club, day-care pool, or neighborhood watch group. The benefits might be considerable. Imagine if all your neighbors pooled their knowledge of what they'd found to be effective for, say, baby's colic. What a great, free, 3-in-the-morning resource for the new parent. How about sharing the best cough or fever remedies? How did your friends get their kids into the local public schools without having them vaccinated? Which doctors (as opposed to witch doctors) near you are any good? Who in town will let you borrow their copy of that hard-to-find health book you want to read?

The possibilities are virtually limitless. So are the potential pitfalls.

Such a group assumes that people want to take the time to learn, ( ) and then take the time to unselfishly share. That's a lot of assumption, but it is vital. Otherwise, no dice. Everybody will tell you how busy they always are, at least until their kid is sick and they suddenly hope YOU are there for them. One-sided simply won't work. It takes two to make a marriage work, but only one to wreck it. In a group, it takes everyone to make it work, and only one to ruin the experience for all. I have found internet newsgroups to be a case in point.

Even a well-functioning health self-reliance group could easily become parasitized by profit-seekers. Health product distributors are everywhere, and are quick to see sales opportunities in enlisting such a bunch of interested people. There is little doubt that a successful information co-op would have to resist commercialization, and that is not easy.

Then there is the legality of it all. You may treat yourself and your immediate family with little threat from the powers that be, but your assistance to a neighbor might cross both the criminal line of medical practice and the civil line of liability. Good Samaritan laws notwithstanding, non-emergency aid to another family would have to be most carefully provided. As long as ones input is free of charge, and strictly educational in nature, I do not think there is a jury out there that would convict. But the worry would remain.

These turn out to be among the reasons why we have doctors, why they charge fees, and why we are generally content to go to them. And this is why you probably feel like you are on your own when it comes to learning about what ails you.

Fortunately, there are resources for you Lone Rangers. The internet and your public library continue to be the two best places for you to look up and learn about a health issue. There is **no such thing** as information that is only available to physicians. You can read anything they can. And here are some great papers that your doctor probably has **not** read, so perhaps you'd better:

I get a lot of mail from people who are reluctant (if not downright unwilling) to search and find and read for themselves. Folks often send me, unrequested, their detailed medical histories (Sometimes fully illustrated, too. Please: no more hemorrhoid surgery photos; my collection is adequate.) They fully expect me to review the matter and advise them on precisely what to do.

That's not going to happen with me. Remember, I am not a physician. If you need that kind of service, see your doctor.

To be free of such a need, see your librarian and ask for any of the books mentioned here: And if you really want to do it up right, take this along with you:

Fanatically interested persons who just cannot get enough health knowledge (you know how you are, and I love you all) will have a good time with the "References" links on the main page. Scroll way, way down to the "R's" on the left-hand, blue index column. The complete bibliographies of many excellent orthomolecular (megavitamin) doctors are there for your use.

As for me, I expect to continue to offer my million-word website, free of charge to all, 24 hours a day. is one among many out there, just waiting for you to hit the trail and learn to fend for your health needs yourself. My "Links" page has a bunch of other sites that you might like to start with.

I think you and your family can be an effective co-op of your own.

BI REQUEST: BIPOLAR DISORDER (also known as Manic Depressive)

This is one of the most frequently searched-for topics at Here's the good news: Psychiatrist Abram Hoffer, M.D., has successfully treated bipolar patients nutritionally for some 50 years. He writes:

"Marion, age 32, consulted me October 2 because she suffered from chronic fatigue and was unable to cope with recurrent infections. She had been diagnosed bipolar psychosis (manic depressive) and had been on and off lithium for 13 years. When on lithium her mood cycled very rapidly. In mid July she was diagnosed depression and started on an antidepressant which was very helpful. But when I saw her she told me about the voices she had heard in the past, about her paranoia, poor memory and difficulty with concentration. I started her on a dairy free diet with ascorbic acid 1,000 mg after each meal, pyridoxine 250 mg daily, zinc citrate 50 mg daily, selenium 200 mcg daily and a B complex 50's once daily. By November 18 she was well. She had started to improve about ten days after starting on the program."

"A man came up to me and greeted me as if he knew me. He told me I had seen him many years earlier. He was well and neatly dressed and buying groceries. He was still taking three grams of niacin which he thought was great and we discussed the best way to take it. This morning I looked up his file. I first saw him in 1976 in the intensive care unit of the psychiatric hospital. He had suffered from mood swings all of his life. His diagnosis was chronic schizophrenia. He was admitted to a chronic mental hospital in 1970 following abuse of amphetamines. After that he was admitted to many hospitals. He suffered from hallucinations, voices and visions, paranoid ideas, mood swings and was often hyperexcitable. He was very depressed. He had been in several fights, I considered him either suicidal or homicidal. He was admitted again in 1977 to another service and was not given any vitamins. Of course he had also been diagnosed bipolar. He drank a lot and used street drugs. After I saw him again I started him on niacin 1 gram after each meal, and ascorbic acid the same dose. I saw him last August 5, 1981. He had been abstinent for 17 days. His response to niacin and ascorbic acid illustrates once more what can be achieved with chronic patients if they continue to remain on these vitamins for many years."

"A young woman brought her psychotic mother. Her mother was guided by her daughter and walked with her eyes closed. Since 1960 she was been in a mental hospital more than half of the time, and continually since 1990. Her current diagnosis was bipolar psychosis. She had several series of electroconvulsive treatments in the past and was on five different modern drugs currently. But in spite of at least 5 million dollars worth of treatment in the hospital she was just as sick as she had ever been. Her daughter had read Miss Margot Kidder's account of her recovery ( ) , was inspired and became determined to help her mother. Had she been started on niacin in 1960 she surely would have been well in a few years and her life and that of her family entirely different. She was schizophrenic. I do not accept that bipolar patients hear voices all the time and see visions. This is characteristic of schizophrenia with mood swings. But she could have been labeled schizo-affective and the treatment would have been the same. She represents the best that modern psychiatry can do, and it is not good enough. Unfortunately because she has been sick so long and exposed to the sick atmosphere and attitudes of the chronic mental hospital it will take a long time, perhaps up to ten years or longer. But her daughter was determined she would help no matter how long it took. This case represents the real cost of sloth and inertia in the psychiatric profession. When patients recover, they get jobs and pay income tax. When they are treated with drugs only, they do not."

(From "Megavitamin Therapy for Psychosis," by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.S. (Can.) which is posted at )

"The manic/depressive state was assessed in 24 subjects who completed two generally accepted psychometric tests. Each patient was provided with either a three gram (3,000 mg) ascorbic acid effervescent tablet or a placebo. In the vitamin C treated group, the severity of the bipolar state was reduced within the first hour and then declined even more rapidly between the second and fourth hours. No change occurred in the placebo subset."

(From "Antioxidants in Health and Disease: The Big Picture E. Cheraskin, MD, DMD" (Reprinted with permission of the author and the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 10: #2, 89-96, Second Quarter, 1995. The full text of this paper is posted at )


A listing of excellent books on nutritional psychiatry written by Dr. Hoffer will be found at

Dr. Melvyn Werbach's Nutritional Influences on Illness , pages 85-91 and the newer Textbook of Nutritional Medicine , pages 174-179 (containing over 50 references) each contains a major section on bipolar disorder. Though niacin is not discussed, the other nutritional recommendations are important reading.

READERS ASK: "I am trying to cut down on my meat intake. Is chicken a meat?"

Yes. Select your rationale from the choices below. Blunt answer: if it bleeds all over the place when you cut off its head, it's meat. Clever answer: I saw a cartoon once that showed a farmer planting chicken eggs in freshly-plowed soil in the spring. In the next frame, it showed the beaks coming up after a rain.


Topical Vitamin C for HPV, Genital Herpes, and Herpes Simplex: Vitamin C as an Antiviral

Antiviral properties of vitamin C are especially noticeable at the highest concentrations. There is no way to get a higher concentration than pure vitamin C powder applied directly to herpes lesions or human papilloma virus "warts." Ascorbic acid powder, though most effective, can smart a bit if there is a break in the skin. You can use buffered C powder such as calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate. Or, for those who want the best results for the least cash, just mix in some sodium bicarbonate ("Arm and Hammer Baking Soda") to make the ascorbic acid pH neutral. I have knowledge of cases where such treatment has gotten rid of the problem in a few days, without reoccurrence even over considerable lengths of time.

Oral Saturation Doses of Vitamin C for "Pinkeye" (Conjunctivitis): Vitamin C as an Antibiotic

A 22 year old contact-lens-wearing young woman, weight about 125 lbs, with a history of occasional conjunctivitis had a recent flare-up most noticeable by the evening. There was considerable redness, discharge, swelling and itching. She decided to try an alternative to her usual doctor-prescribed antibiotic eye drops. The alternative was high-dose vitamin C therapy, beginning with a whopping 8,000 mg at 10 PM. Next morning, she took a "loading dose" of 4,000 mg at about 7AM; another 4,000 mg at 9 AM; then 2,000 mg about every 15 minutes until she reached bowel tolerance or "saturation." ( ). This took about two hours. She cut back on the vitamin C but kept taking as much as she could hold, without actually having diarrhea, and her symptoms were gone by 4 PM. Total elapsed time to cure: 18 hours. . . and she was asleep for half of that.

READERS SAY FOOD POISONING: Vitamin C as an Antibiotic

"Greetings from Mexico. Just wanted to write and say thanks for the tips in your Newsletter and website, and to report my latest success with vitamin C.

"I've been reading Pauling's "How to Live Longer and Feel Better" (see review below) which I happened to have bought just a few days before you recently recommended it. It was in a used book store for 25 pesos. Talk about serendipity!

"I have lived here in Mexico for over ten years and I have learned that when I have food poisoning I'd better head for the antibiotic powder that I've always had to use. This time, though, I decided to grab my vitamin C instead. So I took 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams every few hours and it really worked. Here I am at the end of only one day and I seem to be pulling out of the ordeal quite nicely.

"The first time I got this I lost about 15 pounds in 3 or 4 days. Montezuma does not mess around. Mil gracias! Salud y saludos!"

BOOK REVIEW: How to Live Longer and Feel Better, by Linus Pauling (1986) New York: Freeman

After bringing high-dose vitamin C therapy for colds and flu to the public (and to much of the medical profession) around 1970, Dr. Pauling has had to spend quite a bit of time defending the vitamin from under-informed critics. In this recent work, Pauling prevents his most thorough case yet for much-larger-than-RDA doses of ALL the vitamins. He answers his critics with facts from reputable scientific journals and books. Pauling has a rare gift for making the complex understandable, and his talent shows most clearly in this book. Distilling thirty pages of references into logical, common-sense advice, he covers vitamins and cancer, heart disease, aging, infectious diseases, vitamin safety, toxicity and side effects, medicines, doctors' attitudes, nutrition history, vitamin biochemistry and more. With that, he still finds time to clearly summarize as he goes, and to include some personal thoughts on attaining world peace. This is perhaps the strongest presentation ever written on the need for supplemental vitamins. (312 pages, paperback.)

More on VACCINATION: Catherine writes:

"I would like to commend you on the latest newsletter (Vol 2, No 19 ) regarding the vaccination issue. I found it very balanced and extremely informative. I have chosen not to vaccinate my six children now for the last 19 years. I have been active in the education of the public as to the dangers of vaccination, and have home schooled as well.

"Having said that, I would like to offer a suggestion. "Informed consent" by definition means that you are with knowledge allowing experimentation on your child or your self. For this reason, I have for several years now, in conjunction with the midwifery community, used the phrase "informed choice." I think after you see the definition to informed consent compared with informed choice, the reasoning makes sense."

Sure does. Thank you for keeping me honest.

DOCTORYOURSELF.COM is Three Years Old This Month. Launched in August 1999, has grown from 35 hits a day to now receiving about a third of a million visitors each year. Thank you to all who have helped the site grow through your participation, letters, and recommendations to friends and family.

AND WHILE WE'RE AT IT: Next month will see the publication of the 50th DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER. Did you miss any? Not to worry: All back issues are online and freely available for you to read at

Rainbow News Magazine (PO Box 13209, Tauranga 3001, New Zealand ) has just published my article "How to Avoid Pesticides" in their August-September 2002 issue, page 55. You can also read it online at

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT: Common Cause Medical Research Foundation, August 23-25, 2002, Windsor Locks, CT. Vaccination dangers, chronic illness, and other important subjects will be discussed. More information: 860-875-8927 or 585-453-9187. (I am not affiliated with this organization, but have seen its Journal of Degenerative Diseases and think it is well done.)

Privacy Statement: We do not sell, and we do not share, our mailing list or your email address with anyone. You may notice that there is no advertising at and no advertising in this newsletter. We have no financial connection with the supplement industry. We do not sell vitamins or other health products, except for Dr. Saul's books, which help fund these free public services.

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.

"DOCTOR YOURSELF" "" and "Doctor Yourself Newsletter" are service marks of Andrew W. Saul. All rights reserved.

Copyright c 2002 and prior years Andrew W. Saul Permission to reproduce single copies of this newsletter FOR NON- COMMERCIAL, PERSONAL USE ONLY is hereby granted providing no alteration of content is made and authorship credit is given.