“One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.” Sir William Osler, MD (1849-1919)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 6, No. 7 July-August, 2006) "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Copyright 2006 by Andrew W. Saul of http://www.doctoryourself.com , which now welcomes nearly two million visitors annually. Commercial use of the website or the contents of this Newsletter is strictly prohibited.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1) DO YOU HAVE A “HIP” DOC?
2) MEGAVITAMIN PIONEERS HONORED
3) NEW NUTRITION NOTES
4) INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT CARTON, PhD
5) FLUORIDE FINDER
6) CANCER, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, DEPRESSION
7) BEST HEALTH BOOKS
8) MEDLINE BIAS: AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT
9) MEGAVITAMIN CURE FOR MENTAL ILLNESS
10) NO MORE MEDICINES
11) MEDIA VITAMIN BASHING
12) HEART HEALTH WITH VITAMINS
AS I SAT AT LUNCH with the 88-year-old Dr. Abram Hoffer, I took some vitamin pills. Dr. Hoffer leaned over towards me and said, “You know, you’re going to live a lot longer if you take those.”
I looked back at him and he added, “I guarantee it. If not, come back and tell me.”
Dr. Hoffer advocates vitamins. Dr. Hoffer is hip.
DO YOU HAVE A HIP DOCTOR?
No, I don’t mean an orthopedic surgeon. I mean, in the parlance of the perpetually groovy, “Do you have a family physician who really DOES think that vitamins and food supplements are safe and effective? Who urges his patients to take vitamins in larger than RDA quantities? Who urges her patients to try nutrition first, and drugs last?”
If so, the Doctor Yourself News wants to talk to her or him!
Why? It’s as simple as this: Research studies are often inaccessible, excessively brainiac, or even contradictory. But just about everybody has respect what experienced family doctors say.
Therefore, we are going to collect as many AFFIRMATIVE VITAMIN STATEMENTS from physicians as we can to once and for all debunk the cornerstone medical myths that vitamins are somehow harmful, and drugs are the only real medicine.
(NOTE: We are NOT preparing a directory, nor do we provide referrals or names of a physician near you. Asking at health food stores and searching the internet are good ways to do that.)
Please send me your vitamin-savvy doctor’s email address so we may contact and hopefully quote him or her. Yes, it HAS to be email addresses ONLY (not phone numbers, not postal addresses); it’s the only practical way we volunteers can do this. Please email doctoryourself.com/contact.html
MEGAVITAMIN PIONEERS HONORED
Orthomolecular nutritional therapy has sometimes been called “complementary” medicine. Might that therefore make conventional pharmaceutical-based therapy “insulting” or “rude” medicine? Orthomolecular medicine is the only segment of the healing arts to be given its name by a double Nobel prize winner. Linus Pauling stated that orthomolecular means the “right molecules.” In time, I think allopathic medicine will be more widely known as toximolecular. Since a drug-based approach introduces molecules that are foreign or “wrong,” perhaps even “naughty-molecular.”
The old paradigm of medicine is represented in a story Mark Twain tells of a doctor at the bedside of a very sick, elderly lady. The doctor told her that she must stop drinking, cussing and smoking. The lady said that she'd never done any of those things in her entire life. The doctor responded, "Well, that's your problem, then. You've neglected your habits." Twain added: "She was like a sinking ship with no freight to throw overboard." Perhaps some of that “freight” would be an old-fashioned ignorance of nutritional medicine.
Now let’s consider another and quite different elderly woman: a woman taking niacin for 42 years, and still cross country skiing at the age of 110. This is a real person, an actual long-time patient of Dr. Abram Hoffer. Clearly, here is a new paradigm. How very different from the Henny Youngman story: “So this guy’s doctor told him he had six months to live. The guy said he couldn’t pay his bill. The doctor gave him another six months.”
One of the purposes of this newsletter, the www.doctoryourself.com website, and the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame is to educate the professions and the public about the pioneers of high-dose nutritional therapy. To take this even further, the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service was started in March 2005. OMNS issues press releases spotlighting the safety and effectiveness of vitamins and other nutrients. Now, after just over one year, nearly 6,000 subscribers, including 3,000 broadcast and print news media, regularly receive OMNS press releases. You can read them all at http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml . Not only that, you can subscribe for free at http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html
The Third Annual Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame induction banquet was a featured part of the Nutritional Medicine Today conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada. http://www.orthomed.org/NMT/nmt.html . I like to call them the “Orthomolecular Oscars.” Each year, we look forward to seeing who will take home the “Orthie.”
Eubie Blake, centenarian composer of the famous Charleston Rag, said, “It’s not what we don’t know that harms us; it’s what we do know that ain’t so.” All of the inductees in the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame know that no cell in the human body is made from a drug. Not one.
In 2006, the winners in Vancouver were: William Griffith Wilson (Bill W.), Arthur M. Sackler, M.D., Max Joseph Vogel, M.D., Ruth Flinn Harrell, PhD, Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., Lendon H. Smith, M.D., Sister Teresa Feist, and David R. Hawkins, M.D.
Each inductee for 2006 is now showcased, complete with a short biography, at http://orthomolecular.org/hof/index.shtml . All previous years’ inductees are there as well.
(This article is reprinted with permission from Saul AW. 2006 Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame. J Orthomolecular Med 2006, Vol 21 No 3.)
NEW NUTRITION NOTES:
DOCTOR YOURSELF IN ASIA
The National Library Board of Singapore has just reviewed my book DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works in their June-July 2006 newsletter. http://220.127.116.11:2000/Newsletter/issue_jun_jul06/reviews/bookreviews/health.asp
EUROPEAN UNION CITIZENS FIGHT BACK AGAINST VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT RESTRICTIONS Read how at http://www.eu-referendum.org/english/index.html
GUTE NACHRICHTEN für unsere DEUTSCHEN LESER! My “where are the bodies?” parliamentary testimony on vitamin safety, ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/testimony.htm ) has now been translated into German. (Saul AW. [Vitamins and food supplements: Safe and effective] In German. Journal fur Orthomolekulare Medizin, Vol 14, No 1, March 2006, p 67-77.) It is not yet online in German, however.
OU SONT ENTERRES LES CORPS? L'article de sûreté de vitamine maintenant en français aussi ! ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/testimonyfrancais.htm )
FOR THE INSATIABLY INQUISITIVE: A complete list of my journal publications is now posted (Relax: they’re in English) at http://www.doctoryourself.com/publications.html
FREE ACCESS TO THE JOURNAL OF ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE Here’s good news: the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine is now archived online at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom . Everyone may now access back issues of JOM free of charge. Six years are already posted; more on the way soon.
GETTING THE GOOD WORD OUT My new book, Fire Your Doctor! http://www.doctoryourself.com/fyd.html is now in its second printing. Doctor Yourself (2003) http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html is now in its fourth printing! I wish to thank my readers for the very positive word-of-mouth.
THE DOCTOR YOURSELF INTERVIEW with FLUORIDE-FOE DR. ROBERT CARTON Introduced and interviewed by Andrew W. Saul.
“Fluoridation,” says former EPA scientist Robert J. Carton, PhD, “presents unacceptable risks to public health, and the government cannot prove its claims of safety. It is clear that fluoride is mutagenic, and that it may well cause cancer. EPA has attempted to silence scientists who do not follow the party line.” ( http://www.rvi.net/~fluoride/000247.htm ) And with that, he is just warming up. “Fluoridation,” he adds, “constitutes unlawful medical research. It is banned in most of Europe; European Union human rights legislation makes it illegal.”
Dr. Carton has considerable experience as a risk assessment manager for the US Environmental Protection Agency, investigating asbestos, arsenic, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorobutadiene, and, of course, cancer incidence. Then, for ten years, Dr. Carton was with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was Chief of Environmental Compliance, responsible for environmental compliance of the Army’s medical research with the National Environmental Policy Act. He also managed the preparation of environmental assessments of biological and chemical defense laboratories throughout the U.S.. Diametrically opposite of the raving, fictional general in Dr. Strangelove, Bob Carton is the real deal: he has a B.A. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Environmental Science, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University.
When this man talks of fluoridation dangers, it is time to listen. The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS is pleased to present the following exclusive interview, in edited form, with this outspoken EPA dissenter.
DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS: Dr. Carton, I have followed, with great appreciation, your stance against fluoridation of water for many years. My comments on fluoridation are posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/fluoridation.html , and our Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine published http://www.doctoryourself.com/fluoride_cancer.html . CARTON: I enjoyed the references you sent.
DY NEWS: How long were you with EPA?
CARTON: 20 years, from 1972 until 1992. I was a Risk Assessment Scientist with the Office of Toxic Substances, and twice president of the EPA Professional Union.
DY NEWS: How popular were you with EPA?
CARTON: I think they tried to ignore me; they considered me “small potatoes.”
DY NEWS: Were you?
CARTON: Well, at a meeting of the drinking water subcommittee of the EPA Science Advisory Board, I basically accused EPA of scientific fraud. You can read that presentation on the web at http://www.rvi.net/~fluoride/000039.htm When the Natural Resources Defense Council objected to EPA’s 1985 standards (raising the amount of fluoride allowed in water), I convinced the EPA union to file an amicus curiae brief in support of NRDC. ( http://rvi.net/~fluoride/000052.htm )
DY NEWS: Why?
CARTON: Because EPA did not even attempt to go through the scientific process for determining an acceptable daily dose. They tried at great length to avoid nailing down how much fluoride people were actually getting so they could keep marching with the policy of keeping fluoridation going.
DY NEWS: Is this what you mean by fraud?
CARTON: In April 1985, a person writing standards for EPA actually told me, in private, that he was lying. He said he was told to lie, and that he had to do what he had to do to keep his job.
DY NEWS: Wow.
CARTON: That launched me. That is what got me interested.
DY NEWS: EPA’s standard is 4 mg fluoride per liter. That is about 1 mg per cup of water. I have looked in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) and have seen that 1 mg of fluoride can be a prescription dose.
DY NEWS: That, to me, says that EPA is allowing a prescription dose of fluoride in a single eight-ounce glass of water. And people are encouraged to drink more than that.
CARTON: Exactly. The variation in consumption is huge. It makes no sense at all. The US Safe Drinking Water Act’s recommended Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for fluoride is 4 mg, which is unenforceable. (MCLG is explained at the EPA's website: http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/standard/setting.html ) What is enforceable is the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). It is supposed to be as close to the MCLG as possible, taking economics and feasibility into account. This is a political decision, not a scientific one. For fluoride they are totally linked together. They are both 4 mg/liter.
DY NEWS: The limit and the goal are equal? Is that unusual?
CARTON: Yes. The law says you are supposed to set the goal at the lowest level at which effects may occur, with an adequate margin of safety as well.
DY NEWS: With public safety as their rationale, EPA has taken a hard line on secondhand tobacco smoke. But not the same with fluoride?
CARTON: Nothing is the same with fluoride.
DY NEWS: In regards to smoking, I think very few doctors would say, “If you smoke 40 cigarettes a day, you are safe, but if you smoke 41, you have a problem.”
CARTON: Right. DY NEWS: So, with fluoride, EPA is saying that 4.0 is OK, but 4.1 is not. And yet there are reported dangers from fluoride at only 1 or 2 mg/liter.
CARTON: Right. The 2006 National Research Council report ( http://darwin.nap.edu/books/030910128X/html ) shows this. Artificial water fluoridation is the largest contributor to the daily dose of fluoride received by citizens of the US, according to the NRC report. 162 million Americans have fluoridated drinking water. I am not optimistic about EPA using the NRC report to take the appropriate action to protect public health. If they did, there would be no way to justify artificial fluoridation and it would end.
DY NEWS: My dentist thinks that 1 mg/liter (1 part per million) is absolutely a good idea to prevent tooth decay. But even he thinks that the EPA’s 4 mg/liter (4 ppm) standard is way too high, and unsafe.
CARTON: Even 1 mg/liter (1 ppm) has been shown to produce brain changes identical to those in Alzheimer’s patients. And that is in rats, and rats do not absorb as much as humans. That tells me that the level that would produce those changes in humans is probably a tenth of a milligram per liter.
DY NEWS: Dr. Carton, what level of fluoride in drinking water do you consider safe?
CARTON: Nothing. I think the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal should be zero.
DY NEWS: Let’s say the technology, the money and the will to do it were available. Coming close, being realistic, would you agree that water fluoridation at 0.1 mg/liter is “safe”?
CARTON: I can’t say that’s safe. There is too much information showing detrimental effects. The more you put fluoride in water, the more it gets into all food and beverage products.
DY NEWS: How much fluoride in water is a “good idea to reduce tooth decay”?
DY NEWS: The public often hears that “fluoridation of water has reduced dental cavities by up to two-thirds.”
CARTON: There is no evidence that that is true. Studies have shown no reduction in tooth decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated cities.
DY NEWS: Dentists I have talked with are largely unaware that even their own profession says that systemic (ingested) fluoride does not strengthen teeth.
DY NEWS: It was the cover story of the July 2000 Journal of the American Dental Association.
DY NEWS: So, since they still vehemently support water fluoridation, does the ADA actually think there is a topical benefit in the range of 1 to 4 ppm? I cannot think of any topical medication that is claimed to be effective at such a dose.
CARTON: When iodine intake is inadequate, just seven-tenths of a milligram (0.7 mg) of fluoride per day has been shown to cause detrimental effects on the thyroid.
DY NEWS: How much of the US population gets seven-tenths of a milligram of fluoride, from all sources, each day?
CARTON: Probably everybody.
DY NEWS: What kind of home water filtration removes fluoride from tap water?
CARTON: Reverse osmosis might, to some degree. Carbon filters do not. (Editor’s note: The Doctor Yourself News does not recommend or endorse any manufacturer, brand or product, and this newsletter’s contents may not be used by anyone for such a purpose.)
DY NEWS: Why aren’t our elected officials and the EPA looking harder at fluoride dangers?
CARTON: Under no circumstances is the government going to change its mind on water fluoridation.
DY NEWS: Given that, what actions do you recommend?
CARTON: Get fluoride to a public vote. Get a public referendum on the ballot insisting that fluoride be taken out of your local water supply. And, of course, get informed. Look at http://www.fluoridealert.org , which I consider to be the premier source for news and information on the entire subject of fluoride. For insights into the history of fluoride’s protected status, I highly recommended Christopher Bryson’s book, The Fluoride Deception (2004) http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluoride-deception.htm (This book is reviewed, and the author interviewed, at http://www.doctoryourself.com/fluoridation.html . Please scroll down the page about one-third.)
Additionally, the journal Fluoride is another excellent resource. My critique of the National Toxicology Program cancer study was a guest editorial there in 1991. ( http://www.rvi.net/~fluoride/000040.htmc ) Additionally, the 1998 memo I wrote to the director of the Gulf War Research program ( http://www.rvi.net/~fluoride/000056.htm ) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command might interest your readers. His response back to me was to mind my own business. In 1998, Dr. Bill Hirzy and I presented a paper about the fraudulent nature of the EPA standard at the National Association of Environmental Professionals Annual Meeting: http://www.rvi.net/~fluoride/000037.htm . Hirzy’s congressional testimony is posted at http://www.fluoridealert.org/testimony.htm . DY NEWS: Dr. Carton, thank you for all this information.
CARTON: Thanks for this opportunity.
Recommended for further reading:
Cross DW, Carton RJ. Fluoridation: a violation of medical ethics and human rights. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2003 Jan-Mar;9(1):24-9.)
Hileman B (1988) Fluoridation of water Chemical & Engineering News (American Chemical Society) 66 (31) 26-42 Aug 1st.
Hill DR. (1997) Fluoride: risks and benefits? Disinformation in the service of big industry. http://www.fluoridation.com/calgaryh.htm
http://www.nofluoride.com and especially http://www.nofluoride.com/scientific_studies.htm
My viewpoint on water fluoridation is posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/fluoridation.html
A well-written and fluoride-skeptical article in Prevention magazine ( http://www.prevention.com/article/0,,s1-1-74-112-6959-1,00.html ) is coupled with a clickable tool to show you find how much fluoride you are getting: http://www.prevention.com/water/fluoride_home .
In my opinion, you might best read it now, before the ADA pressures it out of there.
DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS’ RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MONTH:
FREE ALTERNATIVE CANCER THERAPIES NEWSLETTER
I urge my interested readers to sign up for Ralph Moss, PhD’s excellent, free email newsletter. http://www.cancerdecisions.com/060406.html This is one of the least commercial, best written, and very best referenced newsletters on the ‘net.
DOCTOR’S DETAILS ON HOW VITAMNS STOP M.S.
Fire up you printer and make copies of this free, full-text paper immediately: FREDERICK R. KLENNER, M.D.’s VITAMIN TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS http://www.townsendletter.com/Klenner/klenner1.htm
BLOG on DEPRESSION
http://stopdepression.blogspot.com/2005/12/depression-doctor-yourself-by-andrew.html has this to say:
“Dr. Andrew Saul is an incredible man with a passion for empowering people to be healthy. He authored the best-seller: "Fire Your Doctor" and has one of the best (and largest) natural health websites in the world. This article discusses how the same chemicals made in the body by prescription medication can be made naturally, through dietary choices & nutritional supplements.” ”An excerpt from Dr. Saul's article on Depression:
““Rather than give a synthetic drug to block or mimic the body's chemical nerve messengers (neurotransmitters), it is possible nutritionally to encourage the body to make its own natural ones. If we are what we eat, then our nerves also depend on what they are fed. Here is tremendous potential for the alleviation of depression and related disorders.” (More at http://www.doctoryourself.com/depression.html )”
Mike writes: “I am looking for an online list of book recommendations on nutritional medicine from beginner to advanced. Besides your books ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html and http://www.doctoryourself.com/fyd.html , what other books would you recommend as a must read to learn about orthomolecular approaches to medicine?”
I have constructed several webpages listing good-to-start-with books, coupled with my mini-reviews, posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/bestbooks.html and http://www.doctoryourself.com/morebooks.html
Books Dr Hoffer has personally reviewed are at http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_reviews.html
Papers I especially recommend are at http://www.doctoryourself.com/vithall.html
Papers I have written are at http://www.doctoryourself.com/publications.html
My full bibliography and reading list is at http://www.doctoryourself.com/bibliography.html MEDLINE BIAS: IT’S NOW AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT
Medline’s refusal to index the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine is now news across the hemispheres. A Norwegian magazine has published articles on the controversy. Canadian Member of Parliament the Hon. James Lunney ( http://www.jameslunneymp.ca ) has written a formal and detailed demand for explanation to the US National Library of Medicine. And now, the prestigious British Medical Journal has published a letter about Medline bias both online ( http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/331/7531/1487#124851 ) and in the print journal as well. This has had the curious result that Medline now indexes Medline bias. (Hickey S. Censorship of medical journals. BMJ. 2006 Jul 1;333(7557):45. PMID: 16809720)
For more on the story, we turn to the author of the BMJ letter, Steve Hickey, PhD, of the School of Biology, Chemistry, and Health Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, who writes:
“Currently, Medline does not index a number of important medical and scientific journals. These include the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine; Fluoride (the journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research); the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (the journal of the British Society for Ecological Medicine and associated medical societies in the USA and Australia); and the Journal of the American Physicians and Surgeons, formerly Medical Sentinel (journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons). These publications share a common feature: they each represent an alternative viewpoint to the current medical paradigm. “Andrew Saul and I have investigated the Medline indexing process and have discovered that indexing relies on a selected group of experts. This implies that the indexing process could be biased towards conventional journals, simply by selecting panel members with a particular viewpoint. This indexing process also produces anomalies in the other direction: Time magazine and Readers' Digest, for example. Apparently, Medline deems these popular magazines to be more relevant to medical research than the serious journals listed above. TWO IMMEDIATE ACTION STEPS
1) “If you do not agree with the exclusion of one or more of these journals, or if you consider that Medline should publish clear, complete and definitive criteria on the requirements for journals to be indexed (which should be met by all currently indexed journals), please email us at email@example.com. Please state your name and qualifications, if you are a physician, scientist or medical professional. If you are a concerned member of the public, we value your opinion and would also like to hear from you.
2) “Make an online rapid response to this BMJ article by going to http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/extract/333/7557/45-a?eletter and be heard now.”
(Editor’s note: Yes, taxpayer-funded Medline’s bias is now news from Canada to Norway to England. Smells like victory!)
MEGAVITAMIN CURE FOR MENTAL ILLNESS
Healing Schizophrenia: Complementary Vitamin and Drug Treatments
by Abram Hoffer, M.D., PhD. Toronto: CCNM Press, 2004. 213 pages, paperback. ISBN 1-897025-08-4.
I squirmed in my seat as I watched “A Beautiful Mind,” a popular film about the brilliant and schizophrenic Nobel laureate John Nash. I was able, just barely, to refrain from shouting aloud, “Give than man some niacin!” It is probably just as well I kept quiet, and was therefore able to see the entire movie without incurring the combined wrath of ushers and audience. But after reading the work of Canadian psychiatrist Abram Hoffer, M.D., it is not easy to maintain silence about schizophrenia, a disease that affects at least one percent of the population, often with dire and costly consequences.
Interestingly, when Dr Hoffer meets with newly diagnosed patient, he actually says: “Good news: you have schizophrenia.” Patients’ reactions surely vary, but Dr Hoffer does not. He immediately reassures them that they are neither mentally nor morally deficient, but rather that they are nutritionally dependent people, due to a gene-driven biochemical imbalance. He instructs most patients to immediately start taking 3,000 or more milligrams of niacin a day, plus extra vitamins including large amounts of vitamin C, in divided doses. He also requires patients to all but swear off junk food. These steps, along with minimal doses of medication, have resulted in thousands of biochemical cures of this supposedly biochemically incurable illness. In addition to being so responsive to nutritional treatment, schizophrenia is also “good news,” Hoffer says, because schizophrenics tend to be especially creative people who are unlikely to ever develop cancer.
Predictably, such an “easy” approach to such a “difficult” disease can only add up to medical heresy. For an heretic, Dr. Hoffer is remarkably well credentialed: With a Ph.D. in nutrition in addition to his M.D., he was formerly a director of psychiatric research, conducting the first placebo-controlled, double-blind experiments in the history of psychiatry. Perhaps more heretics should have his other expert qualifications: medical journal editor-in-chief for nearly forty years, private practice for fifty years, and some twenty-five books and well over 500 scientific publications.
For those who do not like “schizophrenic” as a label, let it be said that Dr. Hoffer doesn’t particularly care for it himself. “The word ‘schizophrenia,’” he writes, “serves no useful purpose either in referring accurately to a symptom or a disease, and will some day be replaced by more suitable diagnostic terms.” But as a rose by any other name still requires proper soil biochemistry, so do people called schizophrenics need niacin, and plenty of it.
Written in a confident yet unassuming style, Healing Schizophrenia: Complementary Vitamin and Drug Treatments covers schizophrenia from inside out, with chapters on cause and symptoms, how it is treated, and how it may be prevented. Hoffer’s directions on the fine points of niacin administration and vitamin safety are so enormously valuable that those sections alone make the book a must-read. A significant bonus is the inclusion of a questionnaire from the Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic Test for Schizophrenia in the final chapter. A recommended reading list is provided, although an index is not.
Long-time readers of Hoffer’s work will recognize much in the present book coming forward from his earlier works, How to Live with Schizophrenia (1966), Common Questions on Schizophrenia and their Answers (1987), and also Vitamin B-3 and Schizophrenia. Discovery, Recovery, Controversy (1999). Editing and updating are both extensive and seamless. Hoffer’s remarkable writing style is at the same time both scholarly and, with his many anecdotes, positively entertaining.
For those who may not like the idea of megadose niacin, but like the idea of schizophrenia even less, Dr. Hoffer is the author of choice. Moreover, now that he has retired from active practice, Healing Schizophrenia is more than just a timely publication: it is an essential one. To read Hoffer is the very next best thing to sitting down with him. (Reprinted with permission from Saul AW. Review of Healing schizophrenia: Complementary vitamin and drug treatments, by Abram Hoffer. J Orthomolecular Med, 2006. Vol 21, No 1, p 59-60.)
NO MORE MEDICINES AT 60
“With health insurance becoming out of control and with changes, I was not able to get my prescription medicine from a mail order company. They wanted my money but would never send the medicine in a timely manner. I decided changes had to be made. On the web I go. Best thing I ever did. ”I had pneumonia a couple of years ago. The minute a cold starts I knew I was in trouble. Pneumonia likes me. I took control of my health and body. Vitamin C works. I don't think I would still be 'in this world' if it was not for your website. ”I am now off all medicines, except my high blood pressure meds. You have saved my pocket book and my health. Thank you so much. Everyone at my job knows about your website. Co-workers tell me I have more energy and can tell when I walk with a bounce. They ask me questions and want my advice and I say vitamin C, lots of it. They look at me funny and my comment is that 'hey, you're the one that is sick, not me.' “At age 60, I finally got smart, thanks to you.”
Thank you, Karen. You made my day!
REBUTTAL TO MEDIA VITAMIN BASHING
To the Editors of the Wall Street Journal:
A recent Wall Street Journal article (March 20, 2006) trashes vitamins. Financial newspapers are not medical journals. I am reasonably confident that the founders of the Wall Street Journal did not set out to rule on nutritional matters. Neither do we expect NEJM or JAMA or Lancet to give investment advice (although they have been shown sufficiently interdependent with the pharmaceutical industry to do so).
There are those, especially in the pharmaceutical-advertising-supported media, who would like the public to think that vitamins have no therapeutic value. In fact, they’d like it to think that nutritional supplements are downright dangerous. Advertiser money buys editorial favor. Scare stories sell papers.
If the Wall Street Journal were to analyze stocks with the convenient selectivity with which they choose to report on vitamins, either they’d have the SEC on their tail or we’d be in the midst of another stock market crash. Almost all vitamin research is positive. If you search the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE index for “vitamin,” you will find over 174,000 papers. A Medline search for “vitamin therapy” yields 53,372 citations; “vitamin therapeutics” yields 16,191. A search for “vitamin contraindications” gets 165 responses. Vitamins are well studied, safe and effective.
My own personal search of the medical literature has failed to find even one death proven to be caused by the public’s use of vitamin supplementation. ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/testimony.htm ) If you find to the contrary, please send it on to me. Remember, please, that I am looking specifically for proven instances, not hearsay. Not allegations, but forensic evidence.
May I suggest that you might consider what I say when people talk to me about all this:
“Show us all these people – any people – that have died from vitamins. Where are the bodies? Now explain this: the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that at least 106,000 Americans are killed by pharmaceutical drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, every single year.” (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994, 272:23, p 1851. Also: JAMA. 2000 Jul 5;284(1):95-7.)
In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether to trust Dr. Linus Pauling or Mr. Dow Jones. And, if it will help keep things in perspective, why not bear in mind what Ward Cleaver told his son, Beaver: "A lot of people go through life trying to prove that the things that are good for them are wrong."
And at least some of those people likely work at the Wall Street Journal.
Andrew W. Saul
Assistant Editor, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine
(This letter was not accepted for publication in the Wall Street Journal. Gee, I wonder why?)
HEART HEALTH WITH VITAMINS
The User's Guide to Heart-Healthy Supplements by Michael Janson, M.D. (Paperback. Basic Health Publications, 2004. ISBN 1-59120-120-9.)
There is a heart attack every 25 seconds in the USA, and nearly half are fatal. Well over 2,000 Americans die from heart disease every single day. What we need is a good pocket-sized how-to guide, that anyone can afford, to stop this slaughter. Now we have one: The User's Guide to Heart-Healthy Supplements, by Michael Janson, M.D.
Dr. Janson’s approach is orthomolecular and his message is a life-saver: take supplements, and here’s why. His book is concise, like an exceptionally well-written thesis. It is readable, like a well-written magazine article. And most important, it is dose-specific and practical, like no other 91-page book you’ve ever seen. It contains level-headed advice, coupled with a measured discussion ranging from time-honored herbal remedies to the latest nutraceuticals. The role of homocysteine is well explained and duly emphasized. There are especially good sections on heart-friendly amino acids, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. This is to be expected in a book authored by Janson, a highly-experienced physician, and one of a popular series edited by veteran nutrition writer Jack Challem.
Skeptics looking for unguarded statements or extreme recommendations will be quite disappointed. Dr. Janson advocates good-sense lifestyle modification, appropriate medical testing, and seeking out a knowledgeable nutrition-oriented physician. He is sharply critical of high protein and fad diets, a group that he specifically indicates to include the Atkins, “Zone,” and “Blood Type” diets. Janson urges readers to eat very little, if any, meat. He writes: “Meats from land animals, including poultry, and dairy products are unnecessary in the diet, although very small amounts are not likely to do too much harm.” And he’s right.
As in his previous books (Chelation Therapy and Your Health and Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution) Janson makes a welcome departure from medical orthodoxy in recommending a bevy of supplemental nutrients in large doses. He strays even further from the fold in expressing a very positive view of chelation therapy. On the other hand, his diet and exercise recommendations are indisputable, his vitamin C and niacin sections are measured and reasonable, and the section on vitamin E is actually quite conservative. Additionally, the book contains short but content-dense chapters on healthy heart function, heart abnormalities, and risk factors for heart disease. Nutritional suggestions for a comprehensive heart treatment program are clearly provided in tabular form, a convenience readers always appreciate. I would have liked to have seen a brief consideration of lecithin included. There is a good selection of references listed at the end of the book, although I think the addition of in-text numbered footnotes would add persuasive power without adding pages or slowing down the reader.
This is a fine little book, well-written, well-supported, and well-indexed. Page for page, it is the best writing on how to beat cardiovascular disease that I have yet seen. I highly recommend The User's Guide to Heart-Healthy Supplements for patients and practitioners alike. (Reprinted with permission from Saul AW. Review of User’s guide to heart-healthy supplements, by Michael Janson. J Orthomolecular Med, 2006. Vol 21, in press.)
OTHER BOOKS BY DR. MICHAEL JANSON:
Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution," (Penguin-Putnam-Avery, 2000)
The Vitamin Revolution in Health Care (Arcadia, 1997)
The User's Guide to Saw Palmetto & Men's Health (Basic Health Publications, 2002)
Chelation Therapy and Your Health (Keats, 1998),
Free archive of Dr. Janson’s newsletters: http://www.drjanson.com/newsletters.htm
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