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Newsletter v3n5

Newsletter v3n5
Back Issues

"The West was not settled by men and women who had taken a course in "How to Be a Pioneer." (from Educational Wastelands, the 1953 bestseller by Arthur Bestor.)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol 3, No 5) January 20, 2003

"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.

DO-IT-YOURSELF HEALTH maintenance is a tough idea to sell. Almost anyone would agree that prevention is far easier than cure. But prevention is not as interesting, as dramatic, or as well-funded as cure. There is little motivation and less excitement about prevention, even though it is your very strongest position against disease.

Cure, on the other hand, has everybody's attention, especially that of a really sick person who is really and truly afraid of dying. Problem is, this most highly-motivated of patients is in the weakest position against disease.

We former Vermonters know that you have to fix the roof before the weather changes, and you'd best do it now, because in 10 minutes, the weather is sure to change. Kindergarten children can quickly grasp why squirrels gather and store nuts for the winter. The most amateur of mechanics knows that regular oiling prevents unnecessary breakdowns.

But preventive health behaviors are generally ignored. Nine out of ten Americans do not eat even the paltry US government recommended five small servings of produce in a given day. Over half of all Americans are obese. One third of all Americans regularly drink considerable quantities of alcoholic beverages. Nearly one-quarter of all Americans smoke. Who knows the exact number of drug abusers, but the true figure is high. As if any one of these risks is not enough, some people are guilty of several simultaneously.

The widely accepted starting points to reverse our national un-health problem consist of improved diet, increased exercise, and a reduction in bad habits. These behaviors are also very cheap to implement. Exercises cost nothing (see below). High fiber, low fat foods are the cheapest in the supermarket, and the least labor-intensive to prepare. Opening a can of beans is a perfect example. They are precooked, loaded with fiber, the amount of fat is near- microscopic, and nothing could be more versatile, or cheaper to buy.

So why, as Plato said, do "we make of ourselves living cesspools, and drive doctors to invent names for our diseases"?

Beats me. But whatever the reason, let's just knock it off and start afresh. It has been said that today is a great gift to you. That's why it is called "the present."

SNEEZE OR SNIFFLE? COLD OR FLU? There is a trick to almost everything, and the trick to really sensational results with vitamin C is to use enough, and use it immediately. Linus Pauling's advice stands as the best I've ever heard: at the very first sniffle, cough or sneeze, take a big dose of vitamin C powder in water or juice. When it happens to me, I head straight for the kitchen and take a couple of teaspoons (about 10,000 milligrams). This is called a "loading dose." The intention is to promptly ingest as much vitamin C as you can without having loose bowels. Everyone, even kids, can learn what their particular "level" is. I have seen teens and even elementary-age children do this easily. It works.

Here is another technique to try: "It may be worth while to help control a cold by the topical application of a solution of sodium ascorbate, made by dissolving 3.1 g (3,100 milligrams) of sodium ascorbate in 100 ml (under 2 ounces) of water. Braenden (1973), who has reported success in curing most colds or markedly alleviating the symptoms by this method, recommends introducing twenty drops of this solution into each nostril with an eye dropper. He has pointed out that in this way a local concentration of ascorbate a thousand times the value produced by oral administration can be reached."

(From Chapter 14, "Vitamin C, The Common Cold and the Flu" by Linus Pauling, reviewed below.)

Sodium ascorbate is available for sale at most health food stores, and an internet search will provide additional sources. You can also make sodium ascorbate by taking plain ascorbic acid powder and neutralizing it with a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, such as "Arm and Hammer").

By the way: If you intend to write to me concerning any lingering "vitamin C danger" phobias you may have, please search at my website ( ) before you email me. As this is has always been one of my major "mail call" items, I have already posted a great deal of material on vitamin C megadose safety. So please press "Search" before you press "Send."

Even better: take a look at the terrific collection of research summaries on the safety and effectiveness of vitamin C posted at

Specialized and highly-detailed abstracts are posted at Remember that I do not endorse or recommend any product line, brand or company.

BOOK REVIEW: Vitamin C, the Common Cold, and the Flu, by Linus Pauling. (Freeman, 1976)

This is the book that so many have heard about and yet so few have read. Dr. Pauling's interpretive review of the medical literature on vitamin C has had so great an impact that it may be quite some time before it is fully appreciated. Pauling has reexamined studies which originally concluded that vitamin C was of no benefit and then shows that the authors failed to catch the statistical significance of their own work. For example, Cowan, Diehl and Baker's famous 1942 study actually showed that persons taking just 200 milligrams of vitamin C daily experienced fewer days of illness per cold, and fewer sick days per person per year. Other studies, with larger doses, were even better. Even shortening most colds would add up to a savings of dozens of billions of dollars annually, not to mention the savings in discomfort to patients. Vitamin C as a treatment for influenza is even more important, as it can save lives.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a six-page passage (Chapter 3) where Pauling traces the history of severe vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy. He is one of very few authors who can pull this off and keep the reader interested. I refer to this chapter often. Another outstanding section (Chapter 8) draws several sources together to show that humans should, and primitive humans did, consume several thousand milligrams of vitamin C each day. Next, Pauling shows that animals, especially those most closely related to humans, either eat or make between 1,750 mg and 10,000 mg per human body weight per day. Even the U.S. Government's Subcommittee on Animal Nutrition thinks that monkeys need a human body weight equivalent of 1,750 to 3,500 mg of vitamin C every day. Yet the U.S. Recommend Daily Allowance for humans is just 60 milligrams, less than two to four percent as much! Dr. Irwin Stone agrees in his even more extensive review of vitamin C entitled The Healing Factor (Grosset and Dunlap, 1972, Chapter 10).

If you suspect that something is rotten in Denmark (or Washington, for that matter), you will especially appreciate Pauling's sharp criticism of medical politics and propaganda. If you have been scared off of vitamin C by a poorly informed physician, Chapter 11 will acquaint you with vitamin C's side effects, which are few, and its safety, which is extraordinary. Dr. Pauling has not made this all up; what he has done is to use his good name, and risk his good reputation, to bring this knowledge directly to the people. For this, he may even have deserved a third Nobel Prize.

FOR WILL ROGERS, IT WAS THE NEWSPAPER. But you can get some good material from TV, such as these goodies from an evening or two of Animal Planet:

DID YOU KNOW that from 1942 until the 1980's, uranium was added to the materials in dentures?

No doubt this was to help Grandpa find them if he wanted a midnight snack. My dentist has the first pair of dentures he ever made dangling from his car mirror. I guess the dental school bookstore was out of the giant stuffed dice. I'll now consider bringing my Geiger counter next time I catch a ride with him.

DID YOU KNOW that to equal the caloric intake of a hummingbird, a human would have to eat 100 pounds of sugar a DAY? Thank heaven for the American food processing industry, which is doing all they can to promote this figure.

While, of course, doing nothing to help us burn it off and try to keep our figure.

DID YOU KNOW that Americans spend $10 BILLION annually on exercising?

Good goal; waste of cash. Why? Because cutting out sugar, sensible dieting, walking, turning over a garden, yoga, cutting wood, isometrics, and a borrowing a friend's Richard Simmons tapes are all free. There is at least one on this list that everyone can do. Save your money: try my cheapskate exercise hints at

And, of course, there is my own story of Board-of-Education- sanctioned skinny-dipping:

RELATED READING: Weight Loss: and how (I think) we should diet:

CHEAP HEALTH HINTS ** Want to juice vegetables but cannot afford a juicer?

Juicing Alternative Number One: Try Fletcherism, the practice of over-chewing your food so that it is nearly liquid when you swallow it. This process might also be called "drinking your foods and chewing your liquids." Grandma might have told you to chew your food 35 times; try for 100. Practice with nuts or celery. The goal is to mechanically (with the molar teeth) and, in the case of carbohydrates, chemically (with saliva) break down foods into the very smallest, most digestible particles possible.This may assist in weight loss. ( )

"Most unusual about Fletcherism, however, was that you were supposed to chew each bite of food for a very long time before swallowing. Furthermore, you were to swish milk and other liquids around in your mouth for at least fifteen seconds before swallowing. The leader of this fad, Horace Fletcher, was quite healthy. In 1899, when he was fifty years old, he could outperform athletes less than half his age. For instance, he could ride a bicycle two hundred miles in a single day. And not a sleek ten-speed bike, but the machine of the day, a single-speed machine." (from , a delightful collection of unusual and sometimes weird food facts.) For a list of books on Fletcherism: http://js- 849+1919

Juicing Alternative Number Two: Eat "blended salads." Yes, that's just what you think it is. You make your favorite veggie salad, and fling it about in a blender. You end up with a raw, baby-food-like meal that tastes infinitely better than it looks. The famous New York naturopath Dr. Christopher Gian-Cursio used to prescribe these to his patients. This is a very good way to add raw vegetables to the diet of a person with impaired digestion. Try the doctor's own recipe, printed in the Doctor Yourself Newsletter (Vol 2, No 9, March 10, 2002 )

Or, you could just go for it and spring for a juicer. There are lots of juicing hints posted at , and a search from the main page will grab them all for you.

** For a cheap, easy iodine supplement, just add one drop of plain old iodine tincture in every half-gallon of fruit juice you open, prepare or drink.

**Whole grain baking works best if you keep the loaves small. "Johnny cakes," thin unleavened flatbreads, cook quickly on an oven rack. Make them out of whole grain flour, water, and salt. No recipe needed; just mix, try and taste. Delicious!

**Crush mineral supplement tablets for better absorption. General rule for purchasing mineral supplements: Select the "citrate" or "gluconate" form, instead of sulfate or oxide.

** You've heard it, and it is true: drink more water. Try for eight glasses a day. You will feel better. Does vegetable juice count? Sure does.

** Is your family resisting your attempts to reform their diet? Try "relentless and incessant compromise." In other words, meet them half way on everything. . . at least for now. Mix commercial sweetened yogurt half and half with plain, unsweetened yogurt. Make half-whole grain, half-white flour bread. Serve a mixture of half whole wheat pasta, half regular pasta. To get them to eat more nuts, mix health food store unsalted nuts half-and-half with good old Planter's salty and oily nuts. Like the tide coming in, progress is often one step back and two steps forward.

POBODY'S NERFECT Lifestyle change, the only sure way to prevent or cure anything, is not easy. Working on yourself requires flexibility, humor, and frequent renewal. If you fall off the wagon, just climb back on. We are in this for the long haul. Better you should be 80% vegetarian for a decade than 100% vegetarian for a week.


1) Real meat-eating is neither easy nor is it any guarantee of longevity. The cheetah is just about the fastest land predator there is. Fewer than half of all cheetahs reach adulthood, and those that do live only about 7 years. Vegetarian elephants and tortoises live between 70 and 150 years. Please pass me the peas, dear.

2) Spend a while with a baby calf. Once one of the little critters sucks on your finger, you will think twice about your next pot roast.

3) Here's what really did it for me. Back in 1974, I was watching a flock of blood-soaked vultures attack an enormous pile of intestines and skin at an African open-air meat market. The smell was pretty memorable, too.

READERS ASK: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS B. D. writes: "I have a cousin who has MS and she is confined to a wheel chair. If she would drink juiced vegetables and take vitamins, would that help her to start walking, even if it was with a walker or cane?"

I see no down side to her trying. Detailed information on natural approaches to Multiple Sclerosis, and an encouraging case history or two, will be found at:

C AND JUICING "You often recommend vegetable juicing, and you also recommend vitamin C megadoses. How do they compliment each other?"

The answer is, Very well. I suspect that some overlapping reasons why both approaches work is that both are enormously good sources of antioxidants, and that both provide a beneficial and much-needed laxative effect. Our over-oxidized, under-nourished, thoroughly constipated population has much to gain from this highly effective one- two punch.

HAIR CARE L. S. writes: "What shampoo is the best for dry hair and dry scalp?"

The best is to simply use less. Cheapest, too. I recommend only shampooing once a week, regardless of your brand preference. When's the last time a mink or a chinchilla shampooed? My water-hating cat never shampoos. It is not in any beauty product, folks. Soft hair and skin comes from natural body oils which any detergent will dissolve. Yes, keep yourself clean. Comb and brush. But try shampooing a lot less and see for yourself.

Privacy Statement: We do not sell, and we do not share, our mailing list or your email address with anyone. We never send out advertisements of any kind. 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 2003 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.