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Newsletter v2n8

Newsletter v2n8
Back Issues

"Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest." (Mark Twain, 1901)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF (SM) NEWSLETTER Vol 2, No 8 February 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 300 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC VITAMINS? Nobody really likes what I have to say on this subject. Vitamin s alespeople think it's too medical, and medical people think it's too quacky.

And, to be fair, the answer is an inherently awkward one.

Most vitamin products, even those sold in health food stores, contain synthetic vitamin powders. There are only a few manufacturers of vitamin powders, and they are generally large pharmaceutical companies. Generally, a) Laboratory-made vitamins are far cheaper than whole food concentrates; b) Synthetic vitamins USUALLY work quite well, c) High potency can be achieved with a nice, small tablet size.

One of the chief differences in "health food store" vs "drug store" brands is what is NOT in the tablet. For example, the more natural brands leave out artificial chemical colors, which is a good thing to do. Just about all brands contain tablet fillers and excipients, needed to physically hold the pill together.

Since these will vary, the only way to find out exactly who uses what is to write to the company and find out.

Some tableting ingredients are pretty standard, such as magnesium stearate or stearic acid, sodium citrate, dicalcium phosphate, cellulose and silica.

Vitamins can legally be called "Natural" even if made in a laboratory. You would not think so, but it is true. Vitamin C, for example, is factory-made from starch. Starch is certainly natural, so the product can be termed "Natural." Is this starch- based vitamin C identical to orange-juice vitamin C? Most biochemists say yes, because 1) vitamin C in animal bodies is made from carbohydrates anyway, and 2) the product is clinically effective.

But the actual molecular construction process is NOT identical. Factories do not use L-gulonolactone oxidase from animal liver to make vitamin C. Nor do they copy the orange tree's plant metabolism. Can one get an identical product from a different process? Probably; there is more than one way to skin an enzyme. But the real test must be, does the vitamin in front of you prevent and cure disease.

Drs. Linus Pauling, Ewan Cameron, Robert Cathcart and others have established that very high doses of factory-made ascorbic acid vitamin C work just fine against viral and bacterial illness. It is possible that food concentrate vitamin C may be superior. Let's say it was twice as good. But to use 40,000 milligrams (mg) of orange juice C, instead of 80,000 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid, is impractical, bordering on the impossible. It would be too expensive, either to manufacture all this from oranges, or to eat from the oranges. It would take roughly 600 oranges to obtain 40,000 mg of vitamin C. Even if natural C were TEN times as effective, which I sincerely doubt, it would still take well over 100 oranges a day to do the job.

My recommendation? When you are sick, eat as many oranges (and other vitamin-C rich fruits) as you can, WHILE YOU ALSO TAKE tens of thousands of milligrams of cheap, supplemental ascorbic acid vitamin C.

In some cases, the natural form of a vitamin IS clearly superior to the synthetic form. The best example is vitamin E. The natural form of vitamin E is called "D-ALPHA TOCOPHEROL," and is made from vegetable oil. The synthetic form is DL-alpha tocopherol. Not a big difference in name, is it. There is considerable evidence that the natural "D" (dextro-, or right-handed) molecular form of Vitamin E is more useful to the body than is the synthetic. The natural form is also more expensive, but not much more. In choosing a vitamin E supplement, you should carefully read the label... the ENTIRE label. It is remarkable how many natural-looking brown bottles with natural-sounding brand names contain the synthetic form.

A large amount of very good information on the forms of vitamin E may be found at . My only reservations concern this website's "Products" section. I offer neither endorsement nor recommendation about any brand of supplement.

Different types (not brands) of supplements are considered at

"Buffering" ascorbic acid is covered at

and the bioflavinoids (vitamin C cofactors) are discussed at

THE DISEASE-CARE CRISIS There is something especially compelling about medical heretics. It was nearly 30 years ago that my life was forever changed, when Professor John Mosher at the State University of New York asked me to read a particular book (now out of print) by an English physician named Aubrey T. Westlake, M.D. The book was The Pattern of Health, and for me it changed everything. Dr. Westlake wrote of his long and unsatisfying experience as a medical practitioner. He said that during his professional life, his work with patients had mostly been that of "bailing out leaking boats." I followed Dr. Westlake's narrative with increasing fascination as he described his search for real healing. He ended up WAY outside of conventional medicine. Yet Dr. Westlake, a fully qualified doctor of medicine, saw his patients really get better when he used unorthodox, "holistic" treatments. I could not simply disregard him; Westlake's credentials were impeccable. Why would he want to "go natural"?

The really subversive thing about reading books is that each good one leads to many others. So it was with me. If there wasn't yet a medical blacklist or "Index" listing all health heresy in print, I think I came reasonably close to creating one during college and graduate school. I read Who is Your Doctor and Why, by Alonzo J. Shadman, M.D. I read Linus Pauling, Abram Hoffer, Wilfrid and Evan Shute, Paavo Airola, Ewan Cameron, Robert Mendelsohn, Roger J. Williams and the work of many other respected scientists. This eventually persuaded me that natural healing was not only valid but was generally superior to conventional drug-and-surgery medicine.

And always there remained the question: Why would a successful physician, who has so extensively and expensively trained in allopathy (drug medicine), turn his back on it?

It certainly was not for money, because medical doctors who recant pharmacology tend to make a lot less money than those who stay and play the drug-and-cut game. And it certainly was not for job security, for insurance companies and state medical boards have a deep dislike for nutritional "quacks." Holistic doctors have a way of losing their licenses. I have met many who have.

The only motivation I could come up with for such a move was "because it helped patients get better." And this is consistent with what the dissenting doctors all say. Perhaps they are telling the truth: there is a better way to run the health-care railroad.

Did I say health-care? Well, there's a national misnomer for you, and one that Dr. Walt Stoll's Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis immediately corrects in its very title.

Saving Yourself is a powerful presentation of common-sense medicine, by a medical doctor who has seen both sides, and writes: "I practiced strictly conventional medicine for many years. I have taught conventional medicine (at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine.) I personally had to cut my income by four-fifths in order to practice holistic medicine." (p 9, 10, 109.)

And why did he do it? Because it was a better way to help people get better. Saving Yourself provides a dozen chapters that specifically address many common conditions that are seen as difficult to cure medically but that respond well to drugless treatment. These include colds and flu; allergies; adult and children's behavior disorders; atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease; Crohn's disease, IBS and ulcerative colitis; endocrine conditions; fungal overgrowth; hiatus hernia; and arthritis. In a future edition, I would like to see this excellent section expanded to cover even more diseases.

The authority with which Dr. Stoll writes is effortless, based on his decades of clinical observation of what consistently works with real patients. Saving Yourself is much like having the doctor's good sound advice, and his very pleasant bedside manner to boot, right on your bookshelf. I like this book. I like its no- nonsense attitude, the plentiful references to the scientific literature, and the practical how-to sections. These include instruction on how and why to avoid eating refined carbohydrates (p 147-8), how to choose a doctor (p 120-127), and what amounts to a lesson in "do it yourself triage" to determine when medical attention IS necessary (p 127-135). I also like how Dr. Stoll takes the time to personally recommend valuable natural health books by other authors all throughout the text, and in a fine Bibliography as well.

As a radically non-medical kind of guy, I do dissent with some of the views offered in Saving Yourself. I think sutures can usually be avoided with butterfly bandages, and I think Loperamide is not the ideal remedy for diarrhea. And while hypodermic administration is critically discussed in Saving Yourself, there is no mention of vaccination, pro or con. And I think his recommendation of 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily is too low.

However, Dr Stoll's emphasis on effective cost-efficient health care, self-education, exercise and stress reduction receive my unqualified praise. So do these right-on, uncompromising statements:

"The food industry profits from the (false) idea that food processing is not injurious to the nation's health... The medical/pharmaceutical complex profits from illness... the sicker people are, the more money medical professionals make... The disease insurance companies profit from illness." (p 114)

Dr. Stoll refuses to call them "health insurance" companies. And with this, I totally agree.

Dr. Stoll believes that our present disease-care system "will crumble of its own weight. It is too bad that the whole country has to wait for that to happen." (p 116)Well, maybe not. Especially if more people start reading really good books like Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis.

Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis by Walt Stoll, MD (Published by the author, P.O. Box 12091, Panama City, FL 32401-9091. Telephone 1-800-464-7034 ISBN 0-9653171-0-2. 154 pages plus references, bibliography and index, paperback.)

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

To obtain them, I recommend that you use my favorite secret weapon: your public librarian. Many a time, a simple phone call to the local library has helped me get a reference fast for just the cost of copying and postage. And sometimes you will find them posted on the internet, so don't forget the web search engines. I prefer Google and AltaVista, but all can be most helpful.

ANOTHER REASON WHY "TOXIC OVERDOSE" IS NONSENSE Our neighbor's 3 year old little boy got into Mom's vitamin C and ate about 15 tablets. He had no diarrhea. He had no side effects at all, in fact... except that he'd had a cold and his runny nose stopped. There is a lesson here somewhere. To me, it is Linus Pauling's: "Keep medicine out of the reach of everybody. Use Vitamin C instead."

READERS ASK: "When I take a zinc supplement on an empty stomach, it feels uncomfortable for about an hour or so afterwards. Is there anything to this, or am I unusually sensitive?"

I have noticed the same thing myself. Taking zinc with a meal usually solves the problem. Zinc sulfate is especially hard on the tummy. Zinc gluconate (very common) is somewhat better, but in my opinion, still requires mid-meal administration. Zinc monomethionine is particularly well tolerated, well absorbed, and well retained. It is also more expensive. If you want to totally avoid a need for zinc supplements, you need to 1) be female, for men need considerably more zinc than the ladies do and 2) develop a real love for (shelled or "hulled") pumpkin seeds. Chew well and eat by the handful.

READERS SAY: MAGNESIUM, CACIUM AND THE WHITE OF THE COW "In your last newsletter (vol 2, no 7) you recommend 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 600 mg of magnesium. That level of calcium is a number tweaked by the dairy industry. It is not a matter of how much calcium one ingests, but how much they do not loose. Cow's milk and dairy is a terrible source of calcium for two reasons: 1) there is only 12% of the magnesium necessary to use any of it and 2) too much protein (an milk qualifies as "liquid meat") sets up an acid condition in the body for which calcium is leached from the bones to negate. Chlorophyll, that which makes plants green, has roughly equal parts of calcium and magnesium. This is what those big-boned vegetarian animals consume, with plenty left over for lactating." (Dave Rietz)

Good points and no mistake. As a former dairyman, I am probably more kind to milk products than some. Milk is better than meat. Furthermore, I advocate cultured milk products (cheese, yogurt) NOT fluid milk, to get calcium. It is undeniably true that retaining your calcium is as important as eating it. Exercise, vitamin D, and a low-protein, near-vegetarian diet all help a lot. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and especially "soft drinks," which are a "hard" source of dietary phosphorous, are also important steps. In a perfect world, I'd say this: to be built like a gorilla, eat like one. But so many people have crummy diets, and such plentiful vices, that I will take refuge with one of the great vegetarian moderates of our time: Mahatma Gandhi. He ate, and recommended, some cheese. This was a necessary nod to reality.

By the way, the excellent website has over 600 pages of material on why we do not need moo juice. I recommend it.

MORE ON DR. JACOBUS RINSE "Some years ago I visited with Jacobus Rinse, his wife, Margaret and, his dog at his home in Dorsett, Vermont. His dog was on the Rinse Formula and was running around like a puppy at the age of 20!

"At that time, Dr. Rinse was 89, active and physically well. This guy was fascinating. He died unexpectedly in 1997 or 1998 attempting to rescue a neighbor who had taken a dip in the backyard stream. His neighbor was drowning because of cramps due to very cold water temperatures. Dr. Rinse experienced the same cramps and he and his neighbor both drowned. I have no doubt that Dr. Rinse would have lived beyond 100 years and would probably still be alive today." (Ron Nadeau)

Editor's Note: Not bad for a man who was told that he'd never see 60. What did Dr. Rinse do to reverse his cardiovascular disease? He read scientific papers and came up with the Dr. Rinse Formula, a lecithin and vitamin concoction that you can whip up yourself in two shakes. ( )

TSH TEST IS INADEQUATE "For 30 years I was a zombie with every low thyroid symptom, but a "normal" TSH, so I was told my thyroid was not the problem. Finally my body started shutting down (I started to feel dead), hair falling out and blood pressure skyhigh. I borrowed some Armour thyroid and started treating myself. Immediately I began to recover but the HMO refused to give me a prescription. They even wrote me a letter telling me to discontinue it! The mental and physical suffering were so great, also realizing I had lost so many years. Eventually I got a prescription for Armour. I had to save my own life." Gracia

Thank you, Gracia. Others have shared similar stories with me. The biggest mistake a doctor can make is to disbelieve a patient. This goes triple for thyroid symptoms. More on thyroid diagnosis and treatment is posted at

DO YOU FEEL INTIMIDATED BY THE EDUCATED? The great inventor Percy Spencer had just a 3rd grade education. He invented the microwave oven. On the other hand, Albert Einstein's 1926 design for a refrigerator was never manufactured.

Bill "Learjet" Lear had only an 8th grade education. He had over 150 patents to his name. He also invented the 8-track tape player, but you can't win them all. (Source: The Patent Files)

And Irving Berlin, arguably the most successful songwriter in history, never learned to read music.

What does this mean? You can learn far more about being your own doctor than you may have thought. It's not about schooling; it's about wisdom. BIG difference.

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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