"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." (Yogi Berra)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 5, No. 8 for May 5, 2005 )
"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Written and copyright c 2005 by Andrew W. Saul of http://www.doctoryourself.com , which welcomes over 1.5 million visitors annually. Commercial use of the website or the contents of this Newsletter is strictly prohibited.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: ? Too Many Bob Newhart Records: Homeostasis at Work ? Pharmaphilic Phacts ? Book Review: The Truth About the Drug Companies ? Vitamin E Media Scare ? Nutritional Medicine Today Conference Information ? Help Wanted: Vitamin Safety Poll ? Help Wanted: OMNS ? Help Wanted: Expansion Project ? Readers Ask ? IV Vitamin C Fights Tetanus ? Update on Upper Limits ? For the Real Story About Fluoride ? Unstress Your Life: Part Three
TOO MANY BOB NEWHART RECORDS That's my excuse. I admit that I enjoy saying, in my very quiet, almost accountant-like voice:
"If Abraham Lincoln were to describe the germ theory, I think he might have done it something like this:
'You can infect some of the people all of the time, And infect all of the people some of the time; But you cannot infect all of the people all of the time.'"
Now to say it loudly: This should be recognized as an absolute law of medicine.
The big question, of course, is, Why? Why do some people have high resistance to illness? Why do some people get sick looking at a picture of a germ? Certainly their level of nutrition, perhaps more than any other single factor, is reason number one. I think "germs" are a much smaller reason.
I first learned this in 10th grade, not from my bio teacher, but from the sickest kid in school: my lab partner, Mike. (If you haven't just finished eating, and if you have no immediate culinary plans, may I add that the whole disgustingly delightful story awaits you at http://www.doctoryourself.com/germs.html )
It has long been fashionable to blame bacteria and viruses for our ills. Almost no one blames our lousy American diets. And now, ulcers and even cardiovascular disease are being attributed to germs. And those darned birds are causing all that flu. (Or are they? http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2005/03/02/bird_flu_ sars_biowarfare_or_a_pandemic _of_propaganda.htm )
All this cannot help but make you panic just a little. And personally, I think it's intended to. Some businesses, and a lot of people that invest in them, stand to make a pile of money if they can keep you frightened and on edge. Such a state makes you into an obedient follower, and most especially, a willing consumer.
It's my turn. Now to REALLY scare you. I have just discovered a life-threatening new epidemiological phenomenon, and I am announcing it right here, right now:
Saul AW. Soiled dishes syndrome (SDS): An overlooked public health disaster in the making (J Overblown Med Anxiety. 1:1, April 2005.)
Abstract: "A major epidemic is looming on the horizon, largely due to hurried housewives, careless bachelors, lazy teenagers and slovenly college students. It is called Soiled Dishes Syndrome (SDS). SDS is caused by food particles, lipstick traces, grease, grime, milk rings and other culinary crud left on cups and cutlery by sloppy dishwashers in a hurry. Suspected for decades by patrons of every Greasy Spoon restaurant on the planet, SDS is certain to spread an extraordinary variety of viruses and bacteria at a truly alarming rate. If you've ever shared a student apartment kitchen sink with way too many others, you have been exposed to SDS. If you've ever eaten off plates and silverware that were not autoclaved for at least an hour, you are at risk of pushing up the daisies. If you've ever had your own kids do the dishes. . . well, words fail me.
What can be done? Absolutely, positively nothing. Even if you are a scrupulously careful dishwasher yourself, sooner or later you will eat off dishes that look clean but actually still have two or three (million) invisible bacteria on them. Then, over the lips, past the gums, look out stomach, here they come.
The situation is hopeless. Nasty microbes are simply everywhere. Dire problems are expected for babies who put their fingers in their mouths (Soiled Fingers Syndrome, or SFS), toddlers who put toys in their mouths (Toddler Toy Syndrome, or TTS), and adults who put anything but a brand-new toothbrush in their mouths (AWPABABNTBITM). Vaccinations for SFS, TTS, and especially AWPABABNTBITM are needed immediately. It is recommended that a million zillion tax dollars be granted to the pharmaceutical industry without delay.
Until a vaccine is developed, here are two ways to protect yourself:
1) Don't eat fresh food, because fresh food is not sterile. (Unsterilized Food Syndrome) 2) Do not drink directly from a pop can, blow a whistle, or ever, EVER play a harmonica, trumpet or clarinet. (Unsterilized Everything Else Syndrome) We expect summer camp counselors and philharmonic horn and woodwind sections will soon be dropping like flies."
(End of abstract)
I hope you know that I am kidding. (You do, don't you?)
Yet, as Lincoln said, quoting what the girl said as she put her foot into her stocking, "It strikes me that there is something in it." Exposed to a limitless quantity of potential pathogens every day, it is nothing short of remarkable how nearly 7 billion people manage to be alive at one time on this utterly unimaginably unsterile Earth.
Thank heaven for homeostasis, the body's active promotion of life.
I used to define homeostasis for my high school students by (badly) impersonating John Travolta's dancing in Saturday Night Fever. I'd do his famous one-hand-pointing-up-and-out, one-hand-pointing-down-and-away move, and smoothly say:
Nobody missed the homeostasis question on the exam.
Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin explains homeostasis with more skill (and vastly more dignity) than I can. ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/cheraskin.html ) It is the preference of Nature to keep you alive. Your anatomy was assembled and grown without regard for your opinion. Your physiology carries on immeasurably complicated biochemistry every second of your day, night, and life without ever asking you how. ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/nature.html )
I maintain that a healthy body will fight, and beat, the vast majority of viral and bacterial invaders IF the nutrient intake dosages are sufficiently high for prevention, and, if need be, astronomically high for cure of serious illnesses. The prescription? It's the simplest imaginable: Follow a healthy lifestyle. Live right, exercise right, eat right, and get your rest. Take your vitamins every day, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
And while you're at it, keep washing those dishes. I mean, why push your luck?
NOW IT'S TIME FOR SOME PHARMAPHILIC PHACTS DID YOU KNOW That 2.3 million Americans per year serve as human subjects for pharmaceutical company drug testing? Each subject is usually paid anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for their participation.
DID YOU KNOW That pharmaceutical companies set up patient support or advocacy groups to attract specific subjects for their clinical trials?
DID YOU KNOW That doctors are paid an average of $7,000 per patient for every patient they enroll in a drug study?
How about those zingers, eh? If you like them, you'll love the book they came from.
BOOK REVIEW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG COMPANIES by Marcia Angell, M.D. (NY: Random House, 2004. 266 pages, plus notes and index) Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul
"Is there some way (drug) companies can rig clinical trials to make their drugs look better than they are? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Trials can be rigged in a dozen ways, and it happens all the time."
Typically, any author making such an uncompromising statement would, just for starters, be denounced for unjustified hostility to pharmaceutical medicine. For the coup de gras, the writer would be dismissed as an unqualified quack. Not this time. This is the stentorian voice of Dr. Marcia Angell, former Editor-In-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. A highly respected and established medical insider (twenty years with NEJM ), she does not shrink from employing the alternative health movement's most derogatory epithet, "big pharma," to attack an industry which, she says, "will do almost anything to protect exclusive marketing rights." Dr. Angell fairly rips into her discussion of patent-prolonging, profit-piling, non-innovative "me-too" drugs, which she reveals as the true bread-and-butter of the modern pharmaceutical industry.
And as for the few truly new blockbuster drugs, Dr. Angell shows that clinical trials are often rigged. This disgrace goes way beyond mere bias; it is blatant dishonesty. One "way to load the dice," she writes, "is to enroll only young subjects in trials, even if the drugs being tested are meant to be used mainly in older people. Because young people generally experience fewer side effects, drugs will look safer." Another of the "common ways to bias trials is to present only part of the data - the part that makes the product look good - and ignore the rest." She adds, "The most dramatic form of bias is out-and-out suppression of negative results."
Several dollars per pill is a lot of money, most especially for the uninsured. Incredibly, people without health insurance pay the highest drug prices, says Dr. Angell. And those prices are high not because of R&D, but because of S&P (sales and promotion). Pharmaceutical companies, she says, "do whatever they can to obscure the fact that in 2001 consumers paid something like a 30 percent markup for sales promotion." Drug companies' research and development expenses, the most common industry excuse for high prices, are "dwarfed by their vast expenditures for marketing," which amounts to at least $19 billion annually.
A chapter with the somewhat less than subtle title of "The Hard Sell: Lures, Bribes and Kickbacks" describes a pharmaceutical industry that deploys an army of 88,000 energetic sales representatives such that some physicians "may be visited by a dozen in one day." Dr. Angell says that sales reps "often announce their arrival by distributing goodies to everyone. . . as well as the inevitable sack of free samples. Gifts to doctors are often lavish," and she provides plenty of embarrassing examples.
Drug companies see physicians as prescription delivery devices, and they are monitored accordingly. "Prescription-tracking companies buy information from big pharmacy chains about doctors' prescribing habits and sell it to drug companies." Drug reps "know exactly what a doctor prescribes before each visit" and "they can tell whether the visit paid off by seeing what the doctor does afterward."
The pharmaceutical presence is everywhere you find a white coat and a beeper. "Drug reps are allowed to attend medical conferences, may be invited into operating and procedure rooms, and sometimes are even present when physicians examine patients in clinics or at the bedside. Patients are often allowed to assume the reps are doctors. . . Drug companies pay doctors several hundred dollars a day to allow sales reps to shadow them as they see patients." It's a way to "build business."
And what a business it is. The entire pharmaceutical industry, says Dr. Angell, is "primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit." Big pharma, she says, is "taking us for a ride." And it is no mere jaunt around the park. Drug industry worldwide sales are approaching $500 billion per year, half of which are in North America. Profit margins are typically 20 per cent, so high that "the combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together."
One way the companies try to justify their enormous profits, Dr. Angell says, is that they use "a kind of blackmail: if you want drug companies to keep turning out life-saving drugs, you will gratefully pay whatever they charge." And they charge plenty. "When it came on the market, Taxol sold for $10,000 to $20,000 for a year's treatment. . . Novartis priced Gleevec at about $27,000 for a year's supply. . .Genzyme charges patients on the order of $200,000 to $300,000 for a year's supply" of Cerezyme, for which "research and early development was done entirely by NIH-funded scientists." Taxol, as well as Epogen, Procrit, and Neupogen "were developed largely with public funding."
The author devotes considerable attention to, and succeeds in clarifying what is, at best, a complex topic: taxpayer-funded scientific research does not belong to the taxpayers. The results can be, and are, snatched up and patented by pharmaceutical corporations. And since the 1980's, it's not only legal, it's positively encouraged.
You will rarely hear academia complain. Why? Because they are aboard the gravy train. Dr. Angell writes: " Columbia University , which patented the technology used in the manufacture of Epogen and Cerezyme, collected nearly $300 million in royalties" in 17 years. "The patent was based on NIH-funded research." Harvard is in just as deep. In its own Faustian dealings with the drug companies, "a Harvard hospital has a deal that gives Novartis rights to discoveries that lead to new cancer drugs. . . Merck is building a twelve-story research facility next door to Harvard Medical School . . . In Harvard Medical School 's Dean's Report for 2003- 4, the list of benefactors included about a dozen of the largest drug companies."
The result? "Bias is now rampant in drug trials. . . (Pharmaceutical) industry-sponsored research was nearly four times as likely to be favorable to the company's product as NIH- sponsored research." "NIH-sponsored" means taxpayer funded. And then, when they need to use a drug, those same taxpayers pay again, and way too much, for the drug they already paid out grant money to develop. What a sweet system for the pharmaceutical cartel.
Twin chapters ("Marketing Masquerading as Education" and "Marketing Masquerading as Research") reveal that drug companies pay nearly two- thirds of the costs of continuing medical education. This, and other even more dubious practices, makes doctors into "company shills," says the author. "By calling it education. . . but not marketing, companies needn't worry about anti-kickback laws." While the pharmaceutical industry's reach into education is bad enough, its grip on research is scandalous. For example: Drug company "publications strategies" have them "sponsor minimal research, prepare journal articles based on it, and pay academic researchers to put their names on those articles." So bad is it that Dr. Angell wrote an editorial in NEJM (1) entitled "Is Academic Medicine for Sale?" A reader wryly responded, "No. The current owner is very happy with it."
Overall, this is one grim subject. Fortunately, there is ample charm in Dr. Angell's writing style. Though she will bludgeon you with buckets of incriminating information, you will enjoy the process. Clearly, Dr. Angell was well-placed as Editor- In-Chief of NEJM. Her writing is crisp and clear, efficiently organized, tightly referenced, and still a surprisingly good read for the layman. Her discussion of the marketing of erectile dysfunction drugs constitutes an engaging example: "Here the expectation is that you will ask your doctor to prescribe the drugs for you. For in- stance, GlaxoSmithKline and its co-marketer Bayer' signed a deal with the National Football League to promote their me-too drug Levitra to compete with Viagra for the huge "erectile dysfunction" market. Reportedly the deal cost the companies $20 million. In addition to exclusive league sponsorship, they made individual deals with some of the teams. The agreement with the New England Patriots, for instance, called for Levitra's burning flame logo to appear on signs ringing Gillette Stadium. Mike Ditka, former coach of the Chicago Bears, would make a thirty-second pitch on a large screen. In fact, to watch the 2004 Super Bowl was to wonder whether football causes erectile dysfunction." (p 116)
In the "Get Our Money's Worth" chapter, Dr. Angell presents her prescription for the government to fix what presently amounts to a pharmaceutical financial free-for-all. And until that very cold day in Hades may arrive, her closing presentation is doubly important. In the Afterword, Dr. Angell provides a list of cautionary, highly specific questions that all patients should ask their doctors whenever they are issued a prescription. These will likely be the most photocopied pages of a totally remarkable book. It is especially satisfying to find a distinguished physician-author letting loose well-deserved, point-blank salvoes straight into the bulwarks of the pharmaceutical industry. Reading The Truth About the Drug Companies will leave some readers with the realization that the truth is just as bad as they feared. It will leave the rest of us with the realization that it is far, far worse.
1. Angell M. Is academic medicine for sale? N Engl J Med. 2000 May 18;342(20):1516-8.
VITAMIN E MEDIA SCARE A typical reader's letter says:
"All the recent news reports seem to be saying that vitamin E is harmful. My elderly father, who took vitamin E for years with great success, has now stopped taking it. I'm worried."
So many questions have come in on this that I thought you'd like to read this:
Vitamin E Takes Another Hit. So What's the Real Story? by Jack Challem (Excerpted and reprinted with permission from The Nutrition Reporter, April 2005 http://www.nutritionreporter.com )
Vitamin E has taken another media "hit," this time in a study showing an increase in the risk of heart failure. Not surprisingly, most newspaper and television reports failed to note that the same study found a slight reduction in the risk of cancer - or the inherent problems of the study itself.
What's going on here?
Medical journals often publish studies of such poor quality that I'm left wondering why editors and publishers waste perfectly good trees. I think this is true of the recent negative vitamin E studies, as well as of thousands of studies on other subjects that do not offer any new insights. In this particular case, Lancet rejected the vitamin E article a year ago. The Journal of the American Medical Association felt otherwise and published the article in its March 16, 2005 , issue. (Lonn E and the HOPE and HOPE-TOO Trial Investigators. Effects of long-term vitamin E supplementation on cardiovascular events and cancer. JAMA, 2005;293:1338-1347.)
A peer review should weed out studies of questionable merit, but it's obvious that peer reviewers do not always take the time to actually evaluate a medical paper before publication. The "real" peer review appears several months afterwards in the form of letters to the editor, where readers question or attack the study. Although the increased risk of heart failure in the vitamin E group sounded alarming "statistically," the raw numbers and percentages painted a different picture. Almost the same number of people taking placebos developed heart failure. All of the subjects in the JAMA study were seriously ill with either diabetes or advanced heart disease. Half of the patients had suffered heart attacks, and one-fourth had undergone heart surgery. Almost all of the patients were taking several drugs, and there is clear evidence that drug therapy can negate the benefits of vitamin E. As good as vitamin E is-and the totality of studies justifies its use-it's not holy water. No one can reasonably expect any single supplement (or drug) to reverse the consequences of years of dietary and lifestyle abuse. During the same week, the New England Journal of Medicine published three studies confirming that several of the popular Cox-2 inhibitor drugs, including Celebrex and Vioxx, increased a person's chances of having a heart attack.
So what's the real message in all this? It's prevention. It is much more important to stay well than it is to struggle to reverse serious diseases later in life. And we all know the keys to staying well: eating healthy foods, taking supplements, exercising, and managing stress. We just have to make sure we apply what we know every day - before we get seriously ill.
* The HOPE-TOO patients were a very sick group with advanced heart disease and diabetes, and most were taking several medications. Other studies have shown that medications and vitamin E can negate each other's benefits.
* The patients were treated at 174 clinics in 19 countries, indicating large and uncontrolled cultural and dietary variables.
Editor's Note: My thanks to Jack Challem for his right-on-the-mark article. I'd like to add that the widely- publicized HOPE-TOO study used 400 IU of vitamin E/day on sick people with an average age over 65. To me, all this study shows is that 400 IU is not enough for an infirm elderly person, and we already knew that. Drs Wilfrid and Evan Shute ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/estory.htm ) would have used two to eight times the dosage, and that's why their protocol cures heart disease.
Vitamin E is not the problem; it is the solution. Look and compare for yourself at http://www.doctoryourself.com/shute_protocol.html Dr. Abram Hoffer's comments on the Shutes' high-dosage vitamin E therapy are posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_shute.html I have more to say on the safety and effectiveness of vitamin E at http://www.doctoryourself.com/evitamin.htm and at http://www.doctoryourself.com/safety.html .
How about a third opinion? At his website http://www.drweil.com/u/QA/QA352339/ , Andrew Weil, M.D. writes, in part:
"I reviewed the study's findings with Jeffrey Blumberg, Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Dr. Blumberg points out that when the study showed a striking benefit - a 28 percent reduction in lung cancer - the authors applied a stringent statistical test to see if the finding was real. When subjected to this analysis, the lung cancer reduction disappeared. But the same test was not applied when the study showed that vitamin E led to a 13 percent increased risk of heart failure. . . What's more, Dr. Blumberg notes, 12.1 percent of patients who were taking a placebo developed heart failure compared to 13.5 percent of those taking vitamin E. The difference - barely more than one percent - is trivial. More importantly, no heart failure risk has ever been reported in any other of the many clinical trials of vitamin E.
"I'm becoming increasingly angry with the media coverage of these and similar findings. All too often, complicated results of scientific studies are boiled down to shock headlines or sound bites, leaving the public needlessly alarmed. Even more discouraging is the willingness of prestigious journals like JAMA to publish editorials that are likely to generate scare headlines, especially when a careful reading of a study's fine print doesn't support such conclusions."
NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE TODAY CONFERENCE DY Comment: While I do not always agree with Dr. Weil, I most surely do here. In fact, at the upcoming Nutritional Medicine Today Conference in Ottawa, Canada, I will be presenting a lecture entitled "Media Lies, Vitamin Truths." It will be Friday night, May 13. I am honored to be the Master of Ceremonies for the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday night, May 14. The complete conference dates are May 12 to May 15. It gets even better: Dr. Abram Hoffer will be there in person, providing the keynote lecture on Sunday. And, along with many presentations by outstanding orthomolecular physicians and researchers, we will have some very special attendees including Charlotte Gerson, daughter of pioneering nutritional cancer specialist Dr. Max Gerson, and Dr. Gerson's grandson, Howard Strauss.
It is going to be a great conference, and I hope you can join us.
A complete conference schedule is at http://www.orthomed.org/news/news.htm You may email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
HELP WANTED: VITAMIN SAFETY POLL Would you personally like to fight back at anti-vitamin media bias?
We are calling on ALL Doctor Yourself Newsletter readers worldwide to help us with our new survey. We are calling it the Doctor Yourself "Gall-Up Poll," because we are fed up with the gall of the vitamin-bashing campaign constantly being waged in the media.
We would like to ask everyone who is willing to do any or all of the following:
1) Find actual physicians' statements in books, magazines, or online that are IN FAVOR of using vitamins. Please provide both the statement and a source (title; page and date; web address, etc.)
2) Obtain a quotable statement from their own doctor (or anybody's doctor) that is supportive of vitamins, and specifically asserts their benefit and, especially, their safety. The statement should be short and personal to the doctor's experience.
3) However, if the statements you get are negative, we would also like you to send us those.
4) We'd also be interested in how many doctors you contacted that refused to make a positive statement about vitamin usage.
We plan to tally up the votes for and against, and publish the results, along with some representative quotes in a future Newsletter.
Please Note: It is very important to obtain physician (M.D. and D.O.) quotes. Chiropractors and naturopaths are great healers, but they do not carry the media clout that MD's do. It is specifically the medical physicians that we want to survey.
PLEASE SEND YOUR SUBMISSIONS directly to email@example.com with POLL in the subject line. (Note that there is no hyphen in that email address.)
And if you REALLY want to strike a blow against vitamin- bashing, here are two opportunities for you:
HELP WANTED: Three Unusually Dedicated, Volunteer "Health Nuts" to join the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) Media Team. Team members commit to about six hours a week to news media presentation activities, which typically include
* suggesting megavitamin vitamin/nutrition therapy topics for news releases * conducting independent Internet searches on those topics, and summarizing the search results * cooperatively writing news releases that are sent to over 1,000 media outlets (newspapers, TV and radio stations, magazines)
Applicants need good PC skills, ability to work as a team member, good knowledge of orthomolecular (nutritional) principles, and good general knowledge of the content of pages on the Doctor Yourself web site. Ability to write clearly and concisely is required. Applicants are asked to send a one-page Word document outlining their qualifications and abilities to firstname.lastname@example.org
Compensation package: Not one thin dime. This is an all- volunteer effort. However, OMNS team members have a unique opportunity to change the media, change the world, and help an enormous number of people live healthier, happier and longer lives.
HELP WANTED: Five Especially Dedicated, Volunteer Health Fanatics to join the Doctor Yourself Expansion Project team. Team members will commit to about 10 hours of work on website Expansion Project activities, which will include:
* Searching the Internet for current address of publications (journals, magazines, newspapers) that have printed especially helpful orthomolecular/nutritional articles. * Using their initiative and good judgment to identify the most useful sources. * Writing and mailing reprint permission request letters. * Reporting the results obtained from reprint permission letters. * Reporting and recommending new methods for use on future projects.
Applicants need good PC skills and the ability to work as a team member. Applicants are asked to send a one-page Word document outlining their qualifications and ability to satisfy the above needed skills to email@example.com
Compensation package: Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. This, too, is an all-volunteer effort. In fact, team members will need to donate their materials and postage to print and mail reprint permission letters. However, this is an opportunity to bring more and more valuable nutritional research to the attention of website-visiting public, and help educate folks to help heal themselves.
SPECIAL THANKS to every one of our growing cadre of Doctor Yourself volunteers, named and unnamed, this month highlighting Bob Kennedy, James Dykes, Evelyn Green, Naomi Mattana, Mary Larsen, Christine Gundersen, Deb Harrity, Jeanette Kiddie, Margaret Whittaker, T. P. Suhr, and Robert McHeffey. More thanks to come in future Newsletters.
READERS ASK: Cathy Roberts writes:
"I am confused. Doctor Yourself frequently quotes Linus Pauling, saying he recommended large doses of Vitamin C. Yet the Linus Pauling Institute does not seem to support your recommendations. In fact, LPI recommends only 400 mg/day. I take 3,000 mg twice a day, and hope that you are more right than they are. Why does the Institute not support Pauling's recommendations?"
Let's ask them. Here is a response from Linus Pauling Institute administrator Stephen Lawson:
"Linus Pauling was a great theoretician and was especially interested in the clinical application of high-dose vitamin C. In contrast, LPI's recommendation is based on disease prevention and Dr. Mark Levine's pharmacokinetic studies, which may not be the last word on this subject. Technically, LPI's recommendation to get at least 400 mg/day is compatible with Dr. Pauling's advice. LPI recognizes the safety of higher intakes of vitamin C, so there is no harm and potential benefit in taking more. However, the scientific evidence does not yet strongly support the necessity of an intake of many grams per day for optimal health and disease prevention, although one of Walter Willett's recent epidemiological studies at Harvard found a correlation between an intake greater than 700 mg/day and protection from heart disease. Dr. Willett noted that this finding is at odds with Dr. Levine's pharmacokinetic model. Studies on the detoxification of histamine by vitamin C have found that intakes of vitamin C greater than those predicted by the accepted pharmacokinetic model are necessary to significantly detoxify histamine in human blood. Of course, vitamin C has manifold biochemical functions in the body, and very few quantitative studies have attempted to correlate dose or intake with optimal function.
"I am not concerned about disparities in recommendations for vitamin C among the many voices in the field. Because vitamin C is nontoxic, people can take whatever they want without waiting for definitive studies or validation from the experts. It's cheap and safe. Dr. Pauling stressed the importance of biochemical individuality in considering optimal vitamin C intake. Without reliable and convenient assays to determine the amount of vitamin C required to optimize its functions in the body, Dr. Pauling believed that it is better to take more than what may be needed, as insurance, so as to avoid a chronic marginal or deficient state. Essentially, it's a risk/benefit analysis. With vitamin C, the risk is low and the benefits are likely to be high."
The LPI Micronutrient Information Center has a section on Dr. Pauling and vitamin C at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/paulingrec.html .
IV VITAMIN C FIGHTS TETANUS Jahan K, Ahmad K, Ali MA. Effect of ascorbic acid in the treatment of tetanus. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull. 1984 Jun;10(1):24-8.
"The effect of daily intravenous administration of 1000 mg ascorbic acid (AA) in tetanus patients aged 1-30 years was studied. In the age group of 1-12 years, 31 patients were treated with AA as additional to antitetanus serum, sedatives and antibiotics. It was found that none of the patients died who received AA along with the conventional antitetanus therapy. On the other hand, 74.2 per cent of the tetanus patients who received the conventional antitetanus therapy without AA (control group) were succumbed to the infection. . . These results suggest that AA might play an important role in reducing the mortality of tetanus."
Look at that twenty-year old paper again, and wince: Three quarters of kids with tetanus DIED when treated with conventional medication. Yet a mere 1,000 mg/day of injected vitamin C was enough to save ALL of those to whom it was given. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., knew this over 35 years ago: http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html He successfully treated a wide variety of bacterial and viral diseases with vitamin C http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitaminc.html .
And, he gave vastly more vitamin C than 1,000 mg/day! http://www.doctoryourself.com/klenner_table.html. For a medical specialist's opinion: http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html.
UPDATE ON UPPER LIMITS Update on Upper Limits by Bill Sardi http://www.askbillsardi.com/sdm.asp
The FDA has removed a posted letter from their website which had said: "In the October 11, 1995 Federal Register (60 FR 53078 at 53084), FDA announced the agency's general policy on the development and use of standards with respect to international harmonization of regulatory requirements and guidelines and addressed, in detail, the conditions under which FDA plans to participate with standards-setting-bodies outside of FDA in the development of standards for products regulated by the agency. Three key aspects of this policy that bear directly on the commonly expressed concerns about the United States' participation in the development and use of international standards are that the standards must: (1) ensure product safety, (2) be based on sound scientific and technical information, and (3) not be in conflict with any statute, regulation, or policy under which FDA operates. These policies ensure that the United States position is consistent with applicable U.S. laws." Since there are no written laws against high-dose vitamin C, or vitamin E, the CODEX regulations could be automatically adopted by FDA without hesitation. The "sound science" the FDA and CODEX refer to will likely resemble the bogus and often outdated upper limits proposed by the National Academy of Sciences some time ago. Here are some examples:
Upper Limit For Vitamin C?
The proposed upper limit by the Institute for Medicine for vitamin C is 2000 milligrams. The primary objection to high-dose vitamin C is gastric upset and diarrhea. It is difficult to understand how a self-limiting, undesirable side effect is classified as an adverse reaction used to establish an upper limit for an entire planet full of people. The body's need for vitamin C depends upon how much biological stress it is undergoing (infection, inflammation, radiation exposure, etc.). Robert Cathcart MD has clearly described how mega-dose vitamin C can be safely consumed in certain disease states, with increasing doses to "bowel tolerance." [ Australasia Nurses Journal 9: 9-13, 1980] See: http://www.orthomed.com/titrate.htm Self medication with high-dose vitamin C has not produced significant morbidity or mortality in healthy or ill individuals. Drs. Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts, graduates of Manchester University , in England , have clearly outlined how consumers can take relatively high oral doses of vitamin C at intervals throughout the day to maintain high blood levels without diarrhea. [Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C, 2004, www.lulu.com/ascorbate . Reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v5n2.txt ] Carol Johnston, a vitamin C researcher at Arizona State University, says : "The available data indicate that very high intakes of vitamin C (2000-4000 milligrams/day) are well tolerated biologically in healthy mammalian systems. Currently, strong scientific evidence to define and defend a UL for vitamin C is not available." [Nutrition Reviews 57:71-7, 1999] See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retriev e&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list _uids=10101920
The concern with vitamin C is that CODEX reviewers will establish the upper limit for supplemental vitamin C at the 200 (not 2,000) milligram dose, since this is what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers mistakenly claim is the point where blood serum concentration becomes saturated. [ Proceedings National Academy Science 93:3704-9, 1996] See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retriev e&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list _uids=8623000 Also see: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/welcome/releases/4_20_99.htm Germany has already established a 225 mg upper limit for vitamin C in vitamin pills.
And yet other National Institutes of Health researchers have recently published a paper showing oral vitamin C can produce blood serum concentrations three times greater than previously thought possible. But they have failed to issue retractions on their previous flawed experiments and this new data may be overlooked by CODEX reviewers. [Annals Internal Medicine 2004 140:533-7, 2004] See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retriev e&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list _uids=15068981 Also see: The Ridiculous Daily Allowance, by Hickey and Roberts, at www.lulu.com/ascorbate
Despite this new information, CODEX will likely establish an upper limit for vitamin C somewhere between 1000-2000 milligrams, but possibly as low as 250 mg. How Will Consumers Respond To Upper Limits? There is going to be a collective effort to frighten consumers away from perfectly safe doses of supplemental nutrients. The news media will likely issue a barrage of misinformation about dietary supplements once CODEX restrictions are finalized. No law need go into effect to scare consumers away from perfectly safe doses of vitamins and minerals. All that need happen is to publicize bogus upper limits. Then, consumers will be voluntarily tossing their vitamin pills down the toilet!
Consumers are likely going to see the words "upper limit" and back away from getting even near to that dose. Already various consumer organizations have blindly adopted upper limits as guidelines for public health. See: http://www.a-guide-for- seniors.com/Pages/Vitamins.html Eventually, dietary supplement manufacturers may be required to print the Safe Upper Limit on their product labels, which will cause consumers to back away. To keep customers, dietary supplement companies may water-down their products without a fight.
Exactly what is CODEX protecting the public from? The number of adverse reports from the use of vitamins is very small and the number of deaths is virtually zero. What is the need for such restrictions?
FOR THE REAL STORY ABOUT FLUORIDE: There is a new web address for Peter Meiers' excellent critical history of fluoridation: http://www.fluoride-history.de
UNSTRESS YOUR LIFE Are you ready to chill out and kick back for a while? Good, because it's time for our third serialized installment of
Unstress Your Life , by John Mosher, PhD Biology Professor Emeritus, State University of New York
Part Three: Feel The Life In Your Own Body
With your eyes closed and breathing at the diaphragm level bring your attention to your feet and ankles. Notice them give them your attention! How do they feel? Just allow your attention to be there. If there is any sensation, discomfort etc. just allow your attention to be there.
When you are ready then proceed in the same manner with your mind's eye, your observer, to survey and feel each part of your body. Starting as described with the feet, ankles and move up the legs, hips, lower back abdomen, chest, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, face, and the crown of the head. If there is any sensations of whatever nature at any area, allow yourself to experience it for as long as you wish. Then move on. If you feel adventurous (and anatomically savvy), you may extend this survey to your internal organs as well, such as the intestines, kidneys, liver, stomach, lungs, heart, etc. As you do this just let your attention be with the area you are surveying a moment or two or as long as you wish.
If there is discomfort at any area of your body you are surveying then allow your attention to remain on that area. You may notice, at first, that this discomfort becomes more obvious when you first pay attention to it; that is normal. You will notice that after a short period of intense discomfort that the feeling will seem to disappear. The area under surveillance will just feel neutral. At this point move on to the next area. Moving Your Body
A light exercise program is always helpful to the mind and body. Much has been written about the value of massage, stretches, yoga asanas (positions), T'ai Chi, and various other light exercises. Traditionally, some sort of stretches or postures with a self-massage are suggested before doing a relaxation or meditative practice. Yes, you can give yourself a massage. Start with the head. Massage your scalp and then continue to the forehead, the temples, around the eyes, your cheeks and jaws. Then massage the back of your neck and continue on to your throat. Be very gentle with the throat area.
Massage the throat either side of the windpipe with the finger tips. Then continue down the neck to the shoulders. The hands and wrists are next. Massage the hands like you were washing them and proceed to the wrists and on up the arm. After doing each arm start at the waist and massage as much of your back as you can. Upon completing the back massage the lower abdomen working your way up to the chest area. Next start with your feet and work your way up the leg to the waist. After completing the self massage start progressively tensing and relaxing the muscles of the feet, then the calves, then the thighs, buttocks, arms shoulders and any other muscles around the waist, back and chest area you are able to tense and relax. Move on to the face and tense and relax the jaws and other face muscles best you can.
If you wish a more extensive pre-relaxation body movement you might join a yoga class, or get a book outlining various movements, yoga postures and stretches. It is up to you as to how much you wish to include. If you have time and inclination, of course it is beneficial to as much as possible. But if your time is limited then at least start with just the self massage. Light exercise in general is very good to help reduce stress. A walk in the fresh air along a beach, a stream, in a park or woods can be very invigorating and beneficial. If you are not already including a 15-minute or more walk in your daily life, it is time to do so.
During the day, either at home or at work, take a minute or two just to stretch and tense and relax your muscles. Even if you are traveling, while you are seated you can tense and relax your muscles.
Throughout your normal day, wherever you are, try this: be present, and be right where you are right now. Thoughts, especially negative thoughts, tend to take you away from the present. They may move you back to the past where you may have sadness, regrets or grief. Or, you may have anxious thoughts of the future, which of course has not yet happened. But those thoughts are about the past or the future not the PRESENT. Just take a moment to realize that the past is gone and the future has not happened. You are only living right this moment. So to live in the present means to be right here, right now. Not in the past nor in the future. This idea is very difficult for some to grasp because their mind is always dwelling in the past or flitting ahead to the future. So begin by considering that you are right here, right now and not in the past nor in the future.
During the day actively seek thoughts. You might start by closing your eyes a second or two and ask yourself, "I wonder what my next thought will be?" Watch for the thought as you might watch a fox den to see if a fox will come out. If a fox, that is, a thought comes out observe it and let it go. This shows you that you can observe thoughts and make choices. If thoughts try to dominate your awareness remind yourself that YOU are in charge. As the observer of thoughts you can say that "the thoughts are obsessing and I do not need to pay any attention to them." When thoughts take over you lose consciousness. Every time you realize that you are thinking about the past or the future bring your attention back to the observer stage. That is the observer watching and making choices. The observer who can choose to be right here right now. As you practice this technique of observing your thoughts and letting them pass you will live more in the present. You will have more consciousness and be able to make choices rather than responding in a reflexive way to thoughts. Remember thoughts are just thoughts and they do not have to be acted upon. Thoughts may be observed like watching fallen leaves drift by on the surface of a stream. You do not have to do anything; just watch them go by. Practice this concept during your day time activity. It may be difficult at first. Thoughts will want to take over and dominate. It takes time, and practice.
(Counselor and professor of biology John I. Mosher, PhD, is the author of several articles at the DoctorYourself.com website, including:
How to Communicate Better: http://www.doctoryourself.com/mosher_neuro.html Improve Your Relationships with Others: http://www.doctoryourself.com/relationship.html Life's Journey and How to Travel It: http://www.doctoryourself.com/mosher2.html Book Review of The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle: http://www.doctoryourself.com/nowpower.html Your Personal Development: http://www.doctoryourself.com/mosher3.html
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