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Newsletter v5n1

Newsletter v5n1
Back Issues

"Medicine doesn't get to the root of the trouble. It only conceals it. The result is a more highly poisoned condition which may become chronic disease. All drugs are harmful to the system. They are contrary to nature. . . . Mark my words. There is no way to health except the natural way." ("M," to James Bond 007, in Thunderball.)

The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 5, No. 1 for December 5, 2004) "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."

Written and copyright 2004 by Andrew W. Saul of , which welcomes 1.5 million visitors annually. Commercial use of the website or the contents of this Newsletter is strictly prohibited.

IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE a junior high school science teacher. Scary thought though it be, I was one. Now let's say you want to try nutritional experiments with animals in a seventh grade biology class. Let me clue you in: you can forget about any hopes you might have for either control or objectivity. Take two cages of hamsters, mice, Guinea pigs or what have you, and feed one group a really good diet and the other group a really bad diet. You, the teacher, know exactly what results to expect. So do the students. The moment you are not looking, they will smuggle nuts, raw vegetables and probably vitamin tablets into the "deficient diet" cage. They cannot stand to see those little mammals suffer the ravages of malnutrition, and they will make quite certain that it does not happen.

Junior high students, like everyone else including even the youngest of children, know that junk food leads to junked bodies. Yet these very same kids will eat the most gosh-awful food they can find in the school cafeteria, if they eat anything there at all, when so many schools still have competing snack and drink vending machines.

Knowing clearly does not make it so. Consider food preparation. We know that animals in the wild never eat cooked food, yet we feed nothing but to our dogs and cats. If it's in a can, pouch, bag or box, that pet's food has been cooked.

And along with it, perhaps its goose as well.

Between 1932 and 1942, Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D., conducted his now classic ten-year, multi-generation nutrition study on cats. This decade of data has been neatly condensed into a concise, inexpensive 119-page book entitled Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition, also incorporating summaries of some two dozen of the doctor's nutrition papers.

Pottenger's cat experiments were, in a nutshell, a decade-long, scientifically controlled "Supersize Me" experiment. Basically, there were two groups of cats: the cats who daily ate the kitty equivalent of Burglar King and McNothing foods, that is, nothing but cooked food. The other group was fed raw food.

What do you suppose was the result?

OK, class; let's not always see the same hands.

Yes, you're right. The raw food cats thrived. The cooked food cats did not, and there were no merciful middle-schoolers there to save them.

I have a cat; her name is Dolly. She is asleep on my lap as I write this. Dolly was cast off in a rural store parking lot. We brought her home hungry, and to this day she retains the most amazing kitty appetite I have ever seen. We have repeatedly discovered that she is inexplicably partial to fresh Italian bread. She will energetically eat cooked green beans, zucchini squash, and beets. As for raw vegetables, she is famous in cyberspace as the Carrot Cat (photos at The Carrot Cat will eat raw carrot pulp left over when I make carrot juice. (Of course, she is also fed a variety of animal foods.) As I write these very words, she is using her forehead to lift my hand away from the keyboard and go feed her. Again.

Even for the cat-lovers among us, the larger question must be, To what extent do the Pottenger Cat Experiments apply to people? Chapters 11 and 12 specifically address this, focusing on children's skeletal development. Chapter 9 provides an excellent validation for breastfeeding. I am particularly intrigued with Pottenger's observations that cats fed on cooked meat and milk develop "all kinds" of allergies, and hypothyroidism. When fed raw foods, the cats' symptoms go away. (p 33) I personally have seen a case where a 67-year-old woman, who was on a prescribed low dose of Synthroid, no longer needed it after just a few weeks of raw vegetable juicing. She is 87 now and her doctors have confirmed that still does not require any thyroid supplement.

At the very least, the Pottenger Cat Experiments show what an unsupplemented lifetime diet of cooked meat can do to a carnivore. But the more important message of the experiments is that they also show recovery on a raw-food diet. I think we can reasonably infer that this applies to people. And for those bound and determined to go Atkins, well, maybe you'd better consider eating your meat raw.

Repellant though this thought be, I'd better be careful what I say. Once I had a reader who took an offhand comment like this seriously. He wrote to me that he'd started eating wild game, uncooked. While, in truth, he also claimed he'd never felt better, I cringe at the bacterial and parasite load one might incur in eating raw animals.


Though Pottenger does recommend "raw beef hors d' oeuvres three times weekly" (p 105), it would be inaccurate to imply that Dr. Pottenger expected people to eat meat raw. His instructions for cooking brains are on page 108; recipes for cooking kidneys, p 109; preparing heart and tripe, on p 110. He advocated minimal cooking (p 103), but even that is difficult to avoid seeing as a philosophical inconsistency in his writing. Minimally cooked is still a far cry from raw.

More to my taste is raw bean and grain sprouting, of which Pottenger said, "To enhance their protein value, sprout before cooking." (p 106) There it is again: cooking. However, he also recommended uncooked sprouts for salads. (p 111) Dr. Pottenger advocated clean, raw milk. As a former dairyman and college clinical nutrition instructor, so do I.

Just how lifeless is cooked food? Well, Dr. Pottenger even tested the value of cat excreta as fertilizer. Guess what? He found that plants would not grow in the presence of waste from cooked-food cats and cooked milk cats.

Evidently, neither did bones, jaws and teeth. Malocclusion was prominent among the defects and disorders Pottenger saw in cooked-food fed cats. The problem has not gone away. A MEDLINE search for "malocclusion cats" brings up a dozen and a half papers on the subject . . .and 133 papers on the condition in dogs. You can see more at these web locations:

Orthodontics for housepets D=13 Specific techniques involved: Specifically for cats

When it comes to people, I strongly support Pottenger's stance in favor of a whole food, whole grain, low sugar diet. However, I do have a bone to pick with the good doctor, and here it is:

In recommending his High Protective Diet, Pottenger calls for an adult human to consume 225 grams of fat per day, and an equal amount of protein (p 103). I am tempted to try to dismiss this as a misprint, but it is not, as he has previously presented this opinion on page 94. Pottenger states (p 99) that "Fat is the energy fuel of the body." There are many complex-carbo fans who would sharply disagree with this statement, especially to the tune of 225 grams of fat per day. For an adult, 60 to 80 g/day total dietary fat is usually recommended. According to the US government, even an eating machine such as a teenage boy, chowing down a 3,000 Calorie/day diet, should get no more than 100 g/day. ( Dr. Pottenger would seem to suggest that we should eat well over twice that amount of fat, every day.

There is, in fact, no US RDA for fat. Technically, we do not need to eat much fat at all; we do need some to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D and E. What we absolutely must have are the essential fatty acids: linolenic and linoleic acid. To his credit, and to my relief, Pottenger says, "The primary source of man's fats is vegetable; the secondary source is animal." (p 98)

My interpretation of Pottenger's work is this: It is not about eating more meat and fat; it is about eating more raw food. Raw for cats and carnivores means raw meat. Raw for people, who cannot be reasonably expected to eat raw meat, must emphasize foods other than meat.

Differences aside, I submit that Pottenger's essential and enduring message might best be expressed in his own words:

"We have shown that allergic manifestations and dental disturbances comparable to those seen in human beings result from changes in food preparation. . . We find animals that receive raw meat show consistent facial development and normal dentition. . . We also find the converse to be true. Those kittens that receive cooked meat instead of raw develop all types of malformations of the face, jaws and teeth. . . (When) cats put on the cooked meat diet and are allowed to become pregnant, their kittens' skulls show marked variations from the normal . . . (O)nce such deficiencies are produced and maintained by a faulty diet, they become progressively worse through the second and third generations. . . The cats fed cooked food may produce a premature or full term litter of stillborn kittens. One cat proves unable to deliver her kittens even after 72 hours of labor. If a mother cat is kept on cooked food for more than two years, she usually dies during delivery. Delivery complications such as these have not been found in cats placed on raw food.

"Deficient cats exhibit progressive allergic symptoms from generation to generation. They show most of the common respiratory, gastrointestinal and constitutional problems as well as various skin disorders. . . Hypothyroidism is prevalent and contributes to marked disturbances in the osseous development of some deficient cats and to apparent disturbances in their reproductive efficiency.

"The elements in raw food which activate and support growth and development in the young appear easily altered and destroyed by heat processing and oxidation. . . All tissue enzymes are heat labile and so destroyed. Vitamin C and some members of the B complex are injured by the process of cooking and minerals are made less soluble by altering their physiochemical state." (pages 39-42)

Surely these observations demand our most serious consideration. They are a powerful argument in favor of minimal food processing, maximal raw food intake, and in my opinion, the use of vitamin supplements. I would like to see a new 10-year cat study in which one multi-generational group of cats gets cooked food with supplements, another group raw food with supplements, another cooked and no supplements, and another raw and no supplements.

In a way, this experiment is already underway, and you and everyone you know are part of it. But in our unintended, uncontrolled, world-wide version of the study, we find that even Pottenger's all-cooked-food test animals had advantages over us: 1) they did not eat junk food; 2) they did not eat sugar; and 3) cats (like practically all other animals) make their own vitamin C. We have none of these advantages.

What this means is that the unsupplemented human race's health can be expected to be even poorer than Pottenger's sickest cats.

And it is. The lesson of Dr. Pottenger's work, over 60 years ago, is yet to be learned.

Pottenger FM Jr. Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition. Elaine Pottenger, ed, with Robert T. Pottenger, Jr. Lemon Grove, CA: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 1995. (

TOILET PAPER Truly, there is a website for pretty much anything. At Toilet Paper, you will learn more than you ever thought you needed to know about what goes on in the littlest room in the house. Did you know that the flushing toilet was invented in 1596? By the British nobleman Sir John Harrington? "Sir John suggested flushing at least twice a day. Rumor has it that this is where the name the "john" originated." But it was not until 1861 that "Thomas Crapper who had a successful plumbing business. . . marketed the toilet successfully."

Sir John's john. Tom Crapper's, er, um. . .

You just can't make stuff like this up.

And, lest we forget, you can scroll down the page to once and for all learn the answer to the perennial question, "Which way should a roll of toilet paper be placed on the roller? To pay off from the top or bottom?"

As my father liked to say, "No job is complete until the paperwork is done."


ON CONSTIPATION "When I was a kid, my Mom invited a friend over for lunch one day. I was sorry to see that dessert consisted of stewed prunes. I did not like stewed prunes. To my genuine amazement, my friend not only ate his serving but mine as well. He then proceeded to have additional helpings. After lunch we went out to play, and my Mom counted pits. There were about thirty pits on my friend's plate. My mother dutifully telephoned his mother, and apologized for inadvertently letting him eat so many prunes.

"It all came out (the story, that is) about two days later. It seems that the neighbor's toilet was working overtime. That, of course, is not surprising. What IS a surprise is that we stayed good friends.

"I do not seem to remember if he ever had lunch at our house after that." (from my article "Constipation and How to Get Rid of It," posted at

ON HEMORRHOIDS "My Dad had several hemorrhoid operations during his lifetime. (He actually watched them perform the surgery, thanks to the wonders of local anesthesia and cleverly placed mirrors. Now there's a ready answer for "What did you do today, dear?") The simple fact that he had the same operation more than once tells us much about the value of operations.

"Let's take this discussion even lower (if that's possible) and let you in on the proctologist with a secret: his custom-made wallpaper had a novel, abstract design. Turns out it was a pattern of assorted anal sphincters. This was in the man's professional office, and I am not making it up: my Dad told me. Of course, there is a slim chance that he might be making it up, and let's hope so." (from my otherwise serious article on Hemorrhoids at

This success story is all true: RECTAL BLEEDING: A Case Report

READERS SAY: "I quit caffeine about 4 months ago cold turkey, I suspected it was causing me undue anxiety as well as other problems. After the first 4 weeks my headaches stopped. I have since begun a routine of vitamins, not just the multi, but individual vitamins such as C,E, B-complex and others. No my diet isn't perfect, but is getting better. I also took the liberty to send your site to everyone i know. Thanks."

Glad to hear it. Much more caffeine-conquering information will be found with an easy site search at .

ACID REFLUX "Thank you for your great website which I have only found this evening. Just a short note on reflux. I had many months of this during my pregnancy last year. I found that apples, particularly "golden delicious" and what are called "pink ladies" here in Australia, to be particularly effective for the relief of the symptoms. I would consume an apple the moment the burning sensation started regardless of the time of the day or night and found relief within minutes. Hope this is helpful to others."

Thanks for the tip; sure can't hurt to try it. I too am an apple advocate.



READERS ASK "I've been told that you should not take vitamin supplements every day because you should give your body a nutritional rest once a week. Is that true?"

I do not think vitamin abstinence offers a benefit. It is fasting from our customary overconsumption of food that gives your body a nutritional rest. Food you can store. Some vitamins (E, A, D, B-12) store well, and, while a day off will not hurt, I fail to see a biochemical advantage. As for the water- soluble vitamins, vitamin C and B-complex, missing a day or two is a distinct disadvantage. (

You are a 24-hour operation. Your body needs essential vitamins every second of every day to carry on your body's work. To avoid them once a week is like turning off your refrigerator for one day a week. It would be like making drinking water available to your dog every day except Thursday. And why would one want to do that?

Not only do we need our vitamins every day, we need to take those vitamins in divided doses SEVERAL times throughout each day.


When your newborn baby is placed in your arms, you look lovingly down at her and say,

"Little infant of mine, I shall feed you once a day."

Oh you will, will you? Is that likely to work?

Same with vitamins: you get best absorption, and best results, with divided doses.




Barbara Reed served as an Ohio probation officer for 20 years. In 1971, she developed a program on the relationship of diet and behavior. A five- year study showed that over 80% of people on her program did not get back into trouble with the courts. Fourteen scientific studies have since proven that behavior is indeed affected by diet. Articles on her work have been in the Wall Street Journal, Science News, and The London Times. She has appeared on CBS Weekend News, Good Morning America, the McNeil-Lehrer Report, and testified before the Senate Select committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.

In August 1982, she left the field of Corrections when she married biochemist Paul Stitt.

Paul A. Stitt has a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. He has conducted research for Tenneco Chemicals and the Quaker Oats Company, and holds five U.S. patents. Paul has authored a number of scientific papers, which have been published in agricultural journals and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. He has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and CBS' 48 Hours.

In 1997, they together started a whole fresh foods lunch program for the students of the Appleton, WI, Alternative High School. Results: Dropouts, 0. Expulsions, 0. Drugs, 0. Weapons, 0. Suicides, 0.

So this is one couple I just had to interview.

DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS: How did your interest in real nutrition begin?

BARBARA: When I was 33 years old, I suffered with borderline diabetes, degenerative arthritis in my hands and spine, and a cancer on my left cheek. I was anemic to the point of transfusions for 24 hours, had strep throat 3 times one winter, diagnosed epileptic, had severe mood swings, depression, fatigue and headaches. Then told I was in early stages of menopause; that last one really got me to searching. I found a book by Gayelord Hauser called Look Younger, Live Longer" (Straus & Giroux, 1950. ISBN: 0374190720). I followed his advice and within three months ALL of the above symptoms were gone and I haven't been sick for 41 years.

DY NEWS: Paul?

PAUL: Beginning in college, I discovered the main interest of food companies is to make foods so that people can't stop eating them. The last thing they want to do is to make foods so that people are not craving more food all the time. Making foods to prevent cravings is difficult and expensive. Whole grain foods are inconsistent and difficult to work with. Trying to get 100% of the optimum level of all nutrients into 1,000 calories is a real challenge. But that is exactly what is necessary, because after people eat their healthy food, they want to have indulgent foods. We all do. Preventing obesity is a big challenge for sedentary people.

DY NEWS: Can you tell us some key events that led up to your marriage, arguably one of the finest anti-junk-food alliances ever?

BARBARA: In 1980 I was speaking in Fond du Lac, WI to the Natural Foods Association and Paul was the next speaker. My work as a probation officer in Ohio, correcting behavior by correcting diet, had hit the front page of the Wall Street Journal on June 2, 1977, and I was speaking all over the US and Canada. In Fond du Lac, Paul loved what I was doing, and gave me a loaf of his Sunny Millet Bread. I fell in love with the Sunny Millet and called up and told him he had to ship it to me as I could not give it up! Later, he covered my work in chapters 4 and 5 of his book, "Fighting the Food Giants" (Natural Press. Revised and updated edition: 1983. ISBN: 0939956004. also: Beating the Food Giants, Natural Press, 1993. ISBN: 0939956063).

When we spoke together again August 1981 in Valparaiso, IN, Paul gave me a copy of his book, and later a whole case of books which I passed out to friends. In August 1982, Paul went with me to Juneau, AL where I was scheduled to speak -- and we were married! Solid partners ever since, we are much stronger together than separately.

DY NEWS: Barbara, can you tell us a few memorable case histories from your probation officer days? Some positive; some negative?

BARBARA: I worked as a probation officer from 1963 to 1982: 8 years with the Akron, OH Courts and the next 12 years as Chief Probation Officer in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Correcting the diet was my number one tool. I checked our court, and four surrounding courts plus the FBI records. Nutrition worked so well that we followed people through our office for 5 years and 89% had not gotten back into trouble.

A 19-year old female was referred to probation for theft. She had been learning disabled from second grade and wonderful people had tried to work with her. I had her tested and she showed very high levels of lead. Plus she lived on sweets. We had the lead chelated from her body and corrected her diet. (Editor's note: More on lead poisoning at Within 5 months, her IQ had improved by 26 points, her energy soared and she began working for the first time in her life. The underlying problems would never have been detected in a typical probation department.

Another gentleman was arrested for threatening with a firearm -- he had threatened to kill his own family and the family of his girlfriend. He was loaded with toxic aluminum. After treatment to eliminate the aluminum and diet correction, he became the nicest person. (More about aluminum at

There were hundreds and hundreds of cases. One young man was charged with Discharging a Firearm because his girlfriend would not press charges. He really should have been charged with attempted murder with a .57 Magnum. Both he and his girlfriend lived on junk food. He had become very moody and personality changes during 9th grade. He was very hypoglycemic ( With that corrected by diet, that young man ended up later hanging some of his paintings in the very city building that he was almost charged with Attempted Murder.

DY NEWS: And failures?

BARBARA: There were about 11% of the people that I simply could not reach for various reasons. Out of the many prostitutes referred to my office, I am only sure of one that was changed. I followed her for 9 years and there was never another indication of an arrest or any further activity.

DY NEWS: Please tell us about your more recent work in schools.

BARBARA: Because of the success I'd seen with diet and behavior when working with the courts, we decided to work with students and try to prevent problems. By providing fresh whole foods to the students their behavior improved, and their learning ability improved -- a winning combination. ( and We demonstrated the difference by requiring the teachers have a "junk food day" every 7 to 8 weeks -- and within two hours they had lost control of the class. Some students became hyper, others lethargic, others angry and violent in some cases. The pulse rate of 2nd and 4th graders actually doubled on junk food day! We required this to allow the children to understand that it was what they were putting in their mouth that was causing the problems in how they felt and behaved. We are now in our 11th year and the results have repeated themselves every single year. ( SID=77)

DY NEWS: What have been some of the major obstacles to your work?

BARBARA: The major challenges have been in guiding schools into HOW to change the foods in schools. They have been accustomed to receiving money from the two big Cola companies and from the fast food industry by allowing them to furnish the "food" for the students. We now offer a "Roadmap to Healthy Foods in Schools" that gives them step by step instructions as to how it can be done. The packet contains about 75 pages of information plus a DVD of our six successful years in the Appleton, WI alternative school that led to healthier food for the entire school district of 15,000 students! ( ds_in_Schools.html).

DY NEWS: So what foods do you yourselves eat?

PAUL: The center of our plate is whole grain food, complemented with tasty vegetable dishes with fruit as an appetizer. Soup, salads, and breads make for very nutritionally complete meals. Meat is for flavoring.

DY NEWS: Sometimes the people closest to us are the most resistant to change. How "hip" to natural nutrition are your families?

PAUL: Our families are on natural food diets, but not all of them are dairy- free as we recommend. In time they will learn.

DY NEWS: What is the story of the Natural Ovens bakery?

PAUL: Natural Ovens was started in 1976 with no business plan, no mentor, no recipes and no customers requesting whole grain foods. But we had a personal mission: make the best foods humanly possible. In 1976, I had 5 employees. Still have 2 of them; they are vice presidents. Now we have 330 employees doing direct delivery to over 1,200 supermarkets in 7 states. We serve all 50 states by mail order. Our goal is still to bake the most nutritional, best tasting whole grain bread product possible.

DY NEWS: Would you like to comment on the FDA, and the action against Natural Ovens that is still posted on the Internet? ( and

PAUL: The FDA is totally unfair. In the last 12 years FDA has published 10 articles involving the use of our flax. Then, they pick up a loaf of our bread, send it to a lab that has no idea how to measure omega-3 and publish on the Internet that our bread has no Omega-3 in it. So we send them analytical results from 3 different labs, invoices showing we use a million pounds of flax a year, at great expense. Then they say, in a private letter, that they made a mistake, but they refuse to put it out on the Internet. Then they accuse us of understating protein and overstating fiber. We find that what chemist says is protein in grains is biologically unavailable, so it acts like fiber in the body. Analytical chemists that are hired as consultants by the FDA tell me that high fiber whole grain food contains many different types of fibers, and that several types are destroyed during the analysis! So of course, total dietary fiber is a misnomer because it is nowhere near the value of non-digestible matter in the whole grain product. FDA is working on revising their analytical system, but in the meantime, they shoot me in the neck.

DY NEWS: Given all you've seen, what remains your most important, most enduring message for Newsletter readers?

PAUL: Always do what you know is best for your body.

BARBARA: Feed your children fresh whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, water, and lead them into good exercise -- so they can be healthy and have a long productive life. The artificially colored, sweetened cereals, soda, sweets and products made with enriched white flour and sugar will all cause the children to be ill, and unable to behave and learn. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and behavior problems are rampant with our youth. This is truly criminal.

WANT TO GET YOUR SCHOOLS TO GO FOR NATURAL-FOODS? Here are some resources to help: 85b08ee677db00949/schools1.5.pdf

Here's a school that did: 1394cf3947a89590/AppletonCentral1.5.pdf

As mentioned above, Paul and Barbara Reed Stitt have created a packet that will help you make a change to healthy and nutritious foods in your school. (The PDF link above contains sample pages of the information, including their "Roadmap to Healthy Foods in Schools.) The packet also includes the 14 minute DVD video that explains the lunch program in the Appleton, WI Alternative High School. You can order this packet online at: s_in_Schools.html . or call 1-800-558-3535 for additional information.

For further reading: Reed, Barbara. Food, Teens and Behavior. Natural Press,1983. ISBN: 0939956047.

EAT, EXERCISE, EXCEL A free how-to video for you and your school, by Hugh D. Riordan, M.D., is available from




READERS SAY: Ken Roe writes:

"Three weeks ago I caught a cold a work, did some web research and, well, I found your site. I started taking 7,000 mg of vitamin C divided into three doses a day. My sore throat eased overnight and my cough was gone. Others at work are still fighting a cough and raspy voice. In addition, my allergic ear problem is gone, I have not needed to take antihistamine drugs since starting megavitamin C.

"I also started taking niacin after reading your site. I have suffered from anxiety in the past and I refuse to take any of the prescription meds. I can only explain my symptoms as a "constant mental hum." My brain was on constantly. Niacin has been a miracle for me. I suppose quitting caffeine also helped considerably. I was getting caffeine from virtually every drink I consumed. I had terrible headaches, constant nervousness, and trouble controlling stress. I think caffeine negates the effect of good nutrition. It has taken these three months for my body to start to recover from caffeine addiction, heal, and replenish what it needs. As for me, I would much rather overdose on vitamins than die of a Vioxx induced heart attack."

Glad to hear of your success, and thank you for writing. A person would likely have a singularly difficult time doing themselves in with vitamins. There is not even one death from vitamins per year, and here's more on how you can verify it:


If you or your family did not read my Newsletter EXTRA on the subject, here is the link directly to that issue:

Or you can go to for a discussion about the safety of not only vitamin E, but of all vitamins.

Remember: What we should be concerned about is NOT taking vitamin E and C supplements.

Here is a major study (over 4,000 subjects) that most the media did NOT choose to highlight:


A five year study shows that "High daily doses of vitamins E and C taken together reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease among elderly people . . Taken in supplement form, and not in a lower-dose multivitamin, the vitamins' anti-oxidant properties appear to offset the buildup of so-called free radicals that are believed to damage cells and lead to the debilitating brain disease." (Reuters Jan 19, 2004)

Alzheimer's disease is an enormous health problem; some 5 million Americans have it.

Reuters continued: "Those who had been taking vitamin supplements were at a 78 percent lower risk of the disease than those who had not. . . Taking a lower-dose multivitamin or one of the two vitamin supplements taken alone did not have the protective effect."

Lead author Peter Zandi (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) was quoted as saying, "Vitamins E and C may offer protection against Alzheimer's disease when taken together in the higher doses available from individual supplements."

The report also asserted the safety of high-dose vitamin supplementation.

(Zandi PP, Anthony JC, Khachaturian AS, Stone SV, Gustafson D, Tschanz JT, Norton MC, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Breitner JC; Cache County Study Group. Reduced risk of Alzheimer disease in users of antioxidant vitamin supplements: the Cache County Study. Arch Neurol. 2004 Jan;61(1):82-8.)

SEEMS YOU CAN GET A NEWSPAPER TO SAY PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING If you can keep your tongue firmly placed in your cheek, get a load of this:


"'Eight out of 10 Lotto winners have one amazing thing in common: they all had high levels of vitamin C in their systems when they won their millions," the Weekly World News reports in its February, 1993 issue.'

"A research team headed by sociologist Dr. Michael Valsing 'sent detailed questionnaires to 67 people in France, Australia and America - all of whom had won more than $4 million in lotteries.'

"The study found that 80 percent of the winners 'drank up to eight glasses of orange juice a day or ate lots of citrus fruits as a snack. The winners also took large doses of vitamin C.' Valsing surmised that the vitamin C heightened the winners' psychic ability, allowing them to 'tune in' to what numbers would come up in the lottery."

(Please do not go rushing out to place your life savings on a lottery ticket just yet. A MEDLINE search for "Valsing M Vitamin C lottery" yielded no results. Far be it from me to accuse the tabloids of fabrication. Right.)

DESIGNER DRINKS FOR PETS? In 1995, a new product was released into the marketplace:

"Veterinarian Recommended! THIRSTY DOG! and THIRSTY CAT! The Daily Pet Drink."

"Are you still giving your pet tap water? Well, it's time to switch. We tested ThirstyDog! and ThirstyCat! over 15,000 times to find just the right combination of flavor, aroma, and most important to everyone who loves their pet, vitamins and minerals. And then we tested ThirstyDog! and ThirstyCat! against -ugh!- tap water. Faithful Fidos and Finicky Felines everywhere overwhelmingly preferred the taste of ThirstyDog! and ThirstyCat!"

(Editor's note: Well THAT is certainly good to know. . . )

"Until now, there were no beverages designed to meet the discriminating taste buds of our companions from the animal kingdom. . . Isn't it high time you looked your Cat or dog in the eye and said, 'Let's have a drink...of ThirstyDog! or ThirstyCat!'"

This product's nutritional information label indicates that it was, to a great extent, essentially multivitamins dissolved in flesh-flavored water. In itself not a bad idea, you can get most of the same benefit by thoroughly crushing a piece of a multivitamin tablet to a powder and mixing it into your pet's food.

VITAMIN DOSES FOR PETS If you seek vitamin dosage information for your pets, please first read the label of their pet food for some baseline numbers. Then, increase it. I give my 9 pound cat 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day, and about 300 IU of vitamin E twice weekly. And, of course, always provide fresh water.

Naturally I would give my cat much more vitamin C if she were sick.

By the way, it looks like the Thirsty Dog!/Cat! line may not be available, and here is one possible reason why:

( bin/foxweb.exe/Hist_Rpt@F:%5Cinetpub%5Cwwwroot%5Cotscweb%5C WebPublishing%5CWebPubProgs%5CFirmHist?FiscalYear=1998,FeedFe rt=Feed,FirmNumber=106804#stopsale.

Yes, yes, I know that's an impossibly long link to send by email, so if you are keen on all this, just do a Google search for the manufacturer, the "Original Pet Drink Co., Inc.," and you will find it fast.)

PROZAC FOR PETS "An increasing number of dogs and cats are becoming depressed, and vets are prescribing drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat to cure them." (,6903,1334696,00.html , Mark Townsend, Sunday October 24, 2004, The Observer.)

"Prozac, the anti-depression drug for humans, works wonders for psychotic cat and dog behavior ranging from compulsive scratching and biting to thunderstorm phobias." (

"WOULD PROZAC HELP A CAT THAT WON'T PURR?" "She has no desire for affection from anyone, and the poor thing has never purred. She does love to chase balls but I'm afraid she's not happy. Should she have Prozac?" (A mostly non-pharmaceutical answer is posted at http://wcvb-

ANYONE YOU KNOW IN A PANIC ABOUT THE "FLU-SHOT SHORTAGE"? If so, this classic tabloid headline will doubtless delight you:


"Secretaries and office workers from New York to California are being struck down by a new kind of high-tech computer virus that affects humans," the Sun reports in its November 6, 1993 issue.

The illness first was reported at a San Diego insurance company. "All of a sudden their memories went blank and their words became jumbled." Victims recovered after a couple of days. "We've never dealt with anything like this before," Dr. Andrew Salomon is quoted as saying. ''There are all kinds of sophisticated programs. . . to prevent computer viruses, but we have nothing to keep them from attacking humans."

(Again I say, this may be a prime example of prevarication of the press. A Medline search indicates that the kind of virus "Salomon A" has researched are "rotavirus in infants and young children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in Mexico."

Computer viruses do not infect people any more than vitamin deficiencies affect microchips.

And you heard it here first.

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