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Common vitamins no help for women's hearts: study

August 14, 2007

This is the headline from a Reuters article yesterday explaining the results of an eight-year study published in the August 13, 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study followed more than 8,000 women, average age 61, for about nine years. The supplementation these women took was 500mg of vitamin C daily and 600 IU of vitamin E and 50mg of beta carotene taken every other day.

According to the Reuters story, study author Nancy Cook of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston said "widespread use of these individual agents for cardiovascular protection does not appear to be warranted,"

So you are probably thinking, "hey, Rusty, all this time you have been touting vitamin C and you've been wrong." So, let us look a little deeper. First and most obvious is the low dosage. 500 mg of vitamin C a day is woefully inadequate. Studies that use dosages of vitamin C less than several grams per day should be disregarded, in my opinion, or at least considered with the understanding of the inadequacy of the dose. But most important is the interpretation of the study results.

Mike Adams of newstarget.com explains how the data from this study were misrepresented in his article Unraveling the lies about the antioxidant study on vitamins E and C . Mike says "Overall, if you look at the entire group of women followed in this study, you find that cardiovascular protective benefits were only marginal: An 11 percent reduction in the risk of combined cardiovascular disease. But that benefit is diluted by the fact that it includes all the women who neglected to actually take the vitamins! If you include only the women who complied with taking the vitamins on a regular basis, the results increase substantially and become quite significant with a 31 percent reduction in the risk of stroke and 22 percent reduction of risk in heart attacks. In other words, those women who actually took vitamins E and C experienced substantial benefits from doing so."

It does seem only fair to exclude those women from the study results that did not take the supplements. Studying the effects of the supplements was the whole point. Even with this huge distortion, "an 11 percent reduction in the risk of combined cardiovascular disease" is something the statin drug proponents can only dream of!

It is very important to look at these studies critically. I say this for ALL studies, because, unfortunately, an expected or desired outcome often plays a role in how the study is interpreted. This is a travesty of science, but nonetheless true. The story is all in the telling.


Are Supplements Safe?

May 12, 2006

Yesterday on the Yahoo! Featured Health Story was a video interview with two nutritionists discussing the safety of supplements. Who they were doesnt matter, at least to me. The discussion was the standard blather focusing on the risks associated with supplements, mostly herbs. It went something like this:

Supplement makers make wild claims, blah, blah, blahfew studies, blah, blahno regulation, droneephedramust be careful about vitamin E with Coumadin and aspirin, blah, blah, blah

It all boiled down to:

All this stuff might be dangerous
It not regulated by the FDA
Its all probably worthless anyway

You've heard it all before. Lets talk about each one of these, specifically in relation to vitamin C:

Danger:

There has not been a reported case that Ive heard of of anyone dying of a vitamin C overdose. The closest thing to this is a patient in Pauling and Camerons cancer study that died from an overload of necrotic tissue, probably as a result of the vitamin C therapy killing cancer cells. This man was close to death at the time the C therapy started, but he did take large doses of vitamin C and died, at least to some extent as a result.

How about aspirin? According to J.S.Hochman, MD, Executive Director National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain in an article NSAID deaths these safe over-the counter drugs account for more deaths than AIDS!

FDA ensures safety? How about prescription drugs? In my In The News section, I discuss a study that shows that 100,000 people a year die of drug reactions while in the hospital.

Worthless? One of the nutritionists mentioned a site www.supplementwatch.com On their vitamin C overview page the standard fare is laid out about vitamin C and the common cold. Then they discuss some studies using higher doses (now were talking!) The most dramatic of these is discussed:

In one large study (over 700 students), vitamin C (1000 mg per hour for the first 6 hours followed by 3000 mg per day), reduced cold and flu symptoms by 85%.

And if that werent good enough, how about:

At least 3 controlled studies have shown an 80% reduction in the incidence of pneumonia among vitamin C users.

All these discussions about supplements, the lack of regulation, the discussion of interactions with drugs and the constant mouthing of not enough study data infuriates me and ignores the 800-pound gorilla in the room, which is this stuff is safe and vital to health.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

April 8, 2003

This very serious infectious disease is spreading rapidly around the world, but nowhere near as rapidly as the fear of getting it! The good news is that most of the people that contract this virus recover. The bad news is that the medical community is currently stumped about how to treat it. Two thoughts come to mind as some unfortunate people die

  • On my homepage I quote Dr. Klenner who said "Vitamin C should be given to the patient while the doctors ponder the diagnosis." What better time to put this advice into practice.
  • I have been reading Dr. Tom Levy's excellent new book Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins. The more I find out about the power of vitamin C to support the body's natural systems and cure disease, the more convinced I am. I have no doubt that fewer SARS victims would die (most?, almost all?) if they were given high-dose vitamin C, preferably IV.

Our thoughts and prayers to the unfortunate victims of this disease and to the medical community to open their minds to something outside their current narrow focus of drugs.


Atkins Diet Good for Cholesterol

December 13, 2001

A new study shows that people on the high-fat Atkins diet showed improved lipid profiles! This flies in the face of the conventional low-fat mantra that we have been hearing about for twenty years. Atherosclerosis is not the result of the availability of cholesterol. Atherosclerotic plaque is generated by the body on purpose as a healing process to patch a compromised arterial wall, the result of chronic vitamin C deficiency and the body's consequent inability to generate collagen. I discuss this further on my new Atkins page and also on the Saturated Facts page.


Macular Degeneration Slowed by Antioxidants

February 22, 2002

A just-completed five-year study shows that a combination of zinc and antioxidant supplements inhibits the progression of macular degeneration. An article detailing the study is available at Access Excellence.

Participants received either 80 milligrams of zinc oxide; an antioxidant combination including 500 milligrams of vitamin C; 400 IU of vitamin E; 15 milligrams of beta-carotene; the antioxidant combination plus zinc; or a placebo. The best results were seen (no pun intended) by the patients receiving the combination therapy. The combination of antioxidants plus zinc received reduced the risk of disease progression by 25% in people with intermediate macular degeneration or advanced disease in one eye.

These results are not shocking (please see my discussion of Macular Degeneration on the Eye Conditions page). The study also showed the therapy did not have a positive effect on cataract formation. I believe this is due entirely to the very low dose of vitamin C used. It is very discouraging that studies continue to use doses of vitamin C that are so very low, especially considering its safety. Even so, the evidence continues to mount that our bodies are able to keep us mostly free of chronic conditions when given an adequate supply the right raw materials.


Margarine Causes Diabetes?

June 12, 2001

A new article published at About.com, Margarine Causes Diabetes?, discusses a retrospective study of 84,000 women that shows that trans fatty acid intake (found in margarine, not butter) “increased risks of developing diabetes significantly”. The butter vs. margarine fight has been going on for years. Here are my thoughts.

-Butter is a whole food, produced with a minimum of processing. Food processing destroys nutrients in foods while producing highly reactive and toxic substances (e.g. trans-fatty acid). Eat whole foods.

-Margarine is a highly processed food with little nutritive value. Much of the growing interest in antioxidants (vitamin C, thank you very much) has been at least partially due to its quenching ability of the highly reactive and damaging processed foods we eat.

-This study, like most, looks for correlations between foods and disease. While investigating the links between foods and disease is worthwhile, it is only half the equation. The other half, which is most always ignored, is the links between foods and wellness. Instead of just looking for foods as culprits, let’s look for foods as the source for well-being and lack of disease.

- Butter has gotten a bad rap because it is high in saturated fat, which has been linked to atherosclerosis. Why aren’t the links between vitamin C and the lack of atherosclerosis publicized?

-Of the 84,000 women included in this study, how many were getting vitamin C at levels sufficient to promote optimum health? My guess-NONE. Most all studies regarding nutrition totally ignore the participants’ nutritional status, except for the specific object of the study. I would seriously doubt if any data were included regarding, for example, the vitamin C status of the study participants.


Higher Vitamin C levels May Reduce the Risk of Stroke

February 10, 2001



A recent study, Serum Vitamin C Concentration Was Inversely Associated With Subsequent 20-Year Incidence of Stroke in a Japanese Rural Community over a twenty year period showed that "Serum vitamin C concentration was inversely related to the subsequent incidence of stroke.", so if you take C your risk is reduced. This is totally what would be expected due to vitamin C's strong requirement for proper tissue development, especially the arterial system. Please see the Why Take C page for a discussion of collagen development and a discussion of arterial health on the Heart Disease page.


RDA raised for Vitamin C - Maximum Level Set

April 24, 2000

The Institute of Medicine issued its latest recommendations concerning "Dietary Reference Intakes" last week.  These nutritional recommendations are supposed to better reflect certain nutrients impact on health, not just a level to prevent overt deficiency disease symptoms which was the basis of the RDAs.  The Institutes bulletin has been reported by the mainstream media, including Time.com.

The bulletin and article are relatively positive and do raise the RDA for vitamin C 50% from 60 mg to 90 mg for men.  While this may not seem like much, we need to be pleased about any progress.  I responded to several items in the Time article that I'd like to share here:

    I have a couple comments concerning the vitamin C recommendations.  The "health problems" mentioned concerning vitamin C were "causes diarrhea and may interfere with cancer treatments".  May I respond to these two problems?  First, the diarrhea issue is right as far as it goes.  If taken in excess, vitamin C is not absorbed from the intestines and causes an osmotic reaction, a water buildup, which causes loose stools or diarrhea.  Since this level changes in relation to the level of stress placed on the body and therefore the amount of C that can be used, this is our best way of judging how much C to take.  Please see my page Why Take C for an explanation of this and a link to Cathcart's page.  This laxative action could also be used intentionally as a therapy for constipation, a much more serious situation than generally recognized.

    The problem of cancer treatment and vitamin C arises from the theory that the vitamin will protect cancer cells from the xenophobic modalities.  Abram Hoffer has done extensive work on this and I quote from Hoffer's Homepage:

    "This [vitamin treatment] would enhance the therapeutic effect of the chemotherapy and decrease its toxicity." Also, "If they [cancer patients] needed chemotherapy the program [vitamin therapy] would make it more tolerable and less painful and if they needed radiation the program would decrease the intensity of the side-effects of the radiation and increase its efficacy."

    Your article also quotes the report "no adult should consume more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C a day" without explaining why.  The bulletin states that this upper limit is set due to the probability of diarrhea at higher levels.  This is a tremendous disservice.  The bowel tolerance limit as discussed above and elsewhere is a very individual thing and changes dramatically in response to stress.  No stringent upper limit should be stated since we are all different, vitamin C is totally nontoxic and the level we should all take should be judged by listening to your body, not the government.


Study: Vitamin C Pills Linked To Artery Clogging

March 3, 2000

An AP story linking vitamin C intake as low as 500 mg per day and advancement of heart disease was picked up by many newspapers and web sites.  It is available on the Johns Hopkins InteliHealth site.  The good news is that this story resulted in my biggest day so far at Cforyourself!  This shows that the Internet allows people to do their own research and draw their own conclusions based on a variety of sources.  To the extent that I contribute to that process, I say "thank you".  I am flattered.  This is why I publish this site-to make this vital information concerning our need for vitamin C supplementation available for your consideration.  Please read my response to the article and, if you are a new visitor, please see the About Us page.

You may also be interested in the Heart Disease page, the Vitamin C overview page, the What C does page and the Why Take C page which includes "How Much to Take".


Decline In Lung Antioxidants Linked To Asthma Attacks

February 25, 2000

A report in Doctor's Guide with the above title found a reduced level of antioxidants in the lungs of allergen-provoked asthma sufferers.  One of the scientists at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, Dr. Erzurum stated that acute asthmatic attacks impair that antioxidant defense system.

    "When oxidants overwhelm antioxidants, tissue injury and disease results." she said. "Our studies show that chronic asthma features decreased levels of antioxidants in the lungs, and the decrease is markedly worse during acute asthmatic attacks. These results support the role of antioxidant/oxidant imbalance in the deterioration and injury of airway tissue in the lungs of asthmatics. The findings highlight the importance of testing new therapies for boosting antioxidant levels in the lungs of asthmatics,"

It seems obvious that an increased intake of antioxidants, chiefly vitamin C, would likely bolster the antioxidant's fight against the oxidants, thus ameliorating symptoms.  This was, not surprisingly, not discussed in the article.  For more information about asthma, please visit the Asthma Section.


Mayo Clinic Arthritis Report

February 18, 2000

Yesterday, the Mayo Clinic HealthOasis site reported on Nontraditional Arthritis Treatments.  The article starts by stating "Americans spend more than $1 billion a year on nontraditional treatments for arthritis".  Isn't this due to a large extent because conventional medicine can't do anything to help short of joint replacement?  Even so, they can't continue without being condescending (in my opinion), "Others swear by chick cartilage or white raisins soaked in gin".  Couldn't they have left that out?  Wouldn't their tremendous lack of success in this area leave them a little more humble?  Apparently not.

Anyway, the article goes on to say that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates appear to be of benefit.  They also state that studies are underway to ascertain whether vitamins C, E and A may also be of benefit.  It is very encouraging that the conventional medicine organs (no pun intended) are giving increasing press time to nontraditional methods, even if begrudgingly.  Please visit the Arthritis section.


Vitamin C and Hypertension

December 26, 1999

A recent study published in The Lancet shows that vitamin C may help reduce moderate hypertension at a dose of only 500mg per day.  Why these studies still take place utilizing the small doses they do is beyond me.

From the The Atlanta/Journal Constitution

    Health Watch: THE WEEK'S TOP MEDICAL STORIES

    Vitamin C may help cut blood pressure

    Heart patients with high blood pressure may benefit from a daily dose of vitamin C. A dose of 500 milligrams a day lowered blood pressure by up to 9 percent, a level comparable to prescription drugs, according to researchers with the Boston University School of Medicine and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. However, researchers were quick to caution that more study is needed and that vitamin C is not a substitute for medication. The study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, involved 39 patients with mild to moderate hypertension; half took daily doses of 500 milligrams of vitamin C, while the others took an inactive pill. After one month, the average blood pressure of patients who took vitamin C dropped 9.1 percent; the other group averaged a 2.7 percent decline.


ADD and Diet

November 2, 1999

From the New York Times

From the article:

    A new report, released last week, reviews 23 of the best studies conducted since the mid-1970's and public statements from the Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the International Food Information Council and the American Council on Science and Health, among others.

    It concludes that the evidence strongly indicates that for some children, behavioral disorders are caused or aggravated by certain food additives, artificial food colors, the foods themselves or a combination.

     In 17 of the 23 studies, behavioral improvements were noted when the children's diets were modified. Eleven other studies, ones that were not as well designed, showed even greater improvements on restricted diets.

Please visit the ADD page for more.


Vitamin C Deficiencies

October 18, 1999

About.com reported:

    An original research contribution presented at the American Dietetic Association's Annual Symposium today revealed that 42% of American's are not getting adequate amounts of vitamin C in their diets.  Five fruits and vegetables per day is NOT adequate unless one of the servings is from a food rich in ascorbic acid.

    http://nutrition.about.com/library/weekly/aa101899.htm

This 42% of Americans isn't even getting the RDA of 60 mgs!  This is why I am so confident that the percentage of people getting an adequate supply for optimum health is close to zero! (present company excluded!)


Bacteria Linked to Chronic Illnesses

August 30, 1999

"We've found a large subset of chronic illnesses are associated with infections," said Garth L. Nicolson of the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The above is a quote from a new article at Johns Hopkins InteliHealth "Mystery Bacteria Linked to Chronic Fatigue, Gulf War Syndromes".  These illnesses and rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia are specifically mentioned as possibly being caused by a very slow-growing bacteria.  The article states:

    In one look at 203 chronic fatigue patients, around 70 percent showed signs of mycoplasm DNA in their bloodstream. In contrast, only 9 percent of 70 healthy individuals he compared them to carried such signs.

    Another trial compared 200 Gulf War syndrome patients to 62 healthy individuals. People with the illness were more than seven times more likely to have mycoplasm infections, said Nicolson.

The good news here is that high-dose vitamin C has been shown to be quite effective against bacterial infections.  Anyone suffering from these sometimes very debilitating conditions should definately increase their intake of vitamin C to the max.


New Vitamin C Study

August 24, 1999

A newly published study from the University of Alabama shows that rats placed in a stressful situation produced significantly less stress-related hormones (a good thing) when given high doses of vitamin C.  This study is not particularly unique in its findings that vitamin C helps the body maintain its natural balance, called homeostasis (see What C Does).  What makes this study of particular interest is the coverage it has gotten in the press.  I have seen articles about it on the web at several locations including CNN and The American Association for the Advancement of Science inSCIght news service.

I also saw this discussed on one of the morning news shows on TV this morning!

This level of acknowledgment about nutrition, especially vitamin C, is gratifying to me and will be beneficial to all that consider its findings.

My thanks and appreciation to the media.


Lead Poisoning

June 27, 1999

A recent story in Science Daily reported the results of a University Of California, San Francisco study that showed that people (data from more than 19,500 Americans were analyzed)with lead poisoning tend to have low blood levels of vitamin C.  This could be due to vitamin C's role as a chelating agent, an organic substance that readily binds with inorganic molecules.  To quote from the press release "If a causal relation is confirmed, increased consumption of ascorbic acid may have public health implications for the prevention of lead toxicity."  This will probably be true for any heavy metal poisoning.

Is there just no end to the miraculous powers of vitamin C?


National Institutes of Health Recommends Raising RDA of Vitamin C

April 21, 1999

An Associated Press story today reports on a paper in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that advises that the recommended allowance for vitamin C be doubled or tripled from its current RDA level of 60mg.  While the highest recommendation of 200mg per day is still quite low, this is a tremendous step in the right direction!  The conventional medical community is very cool regarding nutrition and they are extremely reluctant to recommend taking nutritional supplements.

On a less encouraging note, the report also stated that 200mg should be the maximum a person should take and that "large amounts" can increase the risk of kidney stones (see How Much to Take).  This conservative recommendation comes from the same people that kill tens of thousands of people at their own hand with drugs (see Drug-related Deaths below) and convince additional tens of thousands of people a year to have their chests opened up and their hearts stopped (bypass surgery).   There is even a name for Physican-induced illness, iatrogenic (please visit The American Iatrogenic Association).  Maybe a little more C isn't so risky after all.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has a excellent article, Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans.


Alternative Medicine Editorial in New England Journal of Medicine

September 17, 1998

News stories are spreading discussing a new editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The editorial points up some of the inherent problems of a free-market and presses for government regulation (i.e. FDA).  My view is that people should be able to make decisions for themselves.  Those decisions should be based on as much information as possible and should include the advice of trusted sources.  The editorial makes reference to some unfortunate situations involving individuals that did not have a good experience using herbs.  There are certainly many too many times when people do not have a positive experience with conventional medicine!(see Drug-related Deaths below and visit the American iatrogenic Association, "devoted to the study and reporting of illness caused by the medical profession, especially by physicians").

Nutrition, by fortifying our natural defensive systems, is obviously preferable to drugs, when positive results can be obtained.  Keeping us from suffering from chronic diseases is where nutrition excells and medicine falters the most.  I have included some comments in the reprint of the New England Journal Editorial.


Vitamin C Deficiency  

September 10, 1998

I heard an AP story on the radio yesterday (also on the web) that explained that the findings of a new Arizona State University study found that 30% of the study participants are deficient in their vitamin C status.  This is based on the RDA, so this just goes to show that almost everyone does not get enough vitamin C for optimum health.  This is important to remember when we hear about almost any health issue.  When you discuss or consider a health or disease issue get in the back of your mind that everyone in the group being discussed is somewhat vitamin C deficient.  Most likely very deficient.


Drug-related Deaths  

April 17, 1998

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that more than 100,000 Americans die in hospitals each year from adverse drug reactions, making this problem at least the sixth leading cause of death!  Excerpted from USNews and World Report, News You Can Use 4/27/98:

ON HEALTH
BY NANCY SHUTE
Prescribed killers
You're more apt to die from prescription medication than from an accident, pneumonia, or diabetes. That's the unsettling news that last week came out of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that adverse drug reactions may be the fourth-ranking cause of death in the United States, right after heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
All drugs can harm as well as heal; doctors know that when prescribing. But even the researchers were surprised at the number of deaths, between 76,000 and 137,000 a year, plus 2.2 million serious nonfatal reactions. "We were shocked," says Bruce Pomeranz, a researcher at the University of Toronto who coauthored the article, which analyzed 39 studies conducted over three decades. The numbers are even more chilling because the researchers excluded cases where drugs were misprescribed or used wrongly. "It doesn't matter if you're getting the drug at the Mayo Clinic or in Oshkosh, Wis.," Pomeranz said. "It's not a question of quality of care."...

I discuss this not to suggest that drugs shouldn't be used , but to re-enforce the safety of nutritional approaches in general and vitamin C in particular. Despite some occasional scary story, vitamin C in almost any dosage, is MUCH safer than ANY drug.

Nutritional contributors to better health should be sought after and enthusiastically embraced by the medical community and the popular media, instead of the light treatment and scoffing that seems to be the rule. Also, please read a response to this in our Letters section and visit the American iatrogenic Association, "devoted to the study and reporting of illness caused by the medical profession, especially by physicians").

Click here to read the Wall Street Journal article covering this study.


Colds & Flu Season  

November 1, 1997

Well, the flu season is upon us again and the media is dragging out their annual stories of the devastation the flu has wreaked on humanity.  The flu of 1918 killed 675,000 in the US alone!  The flu should not be treated lightly.  The flu kills a lot of folks every year.  While it is true that the death occurs mostly in those most susceptible or weak, please deal with this threat with the seriousness it deserves.  Which brings us to vitamin C.

The reason the flu kills so many is attributable to an already weakened immune system.  That is the definition of  the "most susceptible."  It is my contention that almost everyone is in this category.  Indeed, even the conventional medical establishment admits this by insisting that everyone get their flu shot ASAP.  I don't get a flu shot because I am keeping my immune system in the best possible condition by taking vitamin C.

I challenge you to take adequate amounts of vitamin C this season and see if you get so much as a cold!

Let me know.


Zinc & Colds  

January 5, 1999

I have been hearing a lot of people talk about taking zinc to help prevent and cure colds.  Folks I talk to tell me this as if to say that I am missing the boat with vitamin C, that zinc is the hot ticket.  Well, zinc, like vitamin C, is required for the proper functioning of the immune system.  The news story reprinted below shows that yes, indeed, zinc deficiency is prevalent.  If you call on your immune system and it does not respond as it might because it lacks the raw materials required to do it's job, it only makes sense that providing those raw materials will improve your systems ability to fight disease.  This is true for zinc and vitamin C.  News story follows:

    A recent report suggests that a significant percentage of people in the U.S. are not consuming enough zinc in their diets. Researchers at the University of Colorado studied data from the 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) to reach their conclusions. It was found that, while an estimated 96% of infants had adequate zinc intake, only 19% of children ages 1-3 were found to get enough zinc; adults over the age of 70 and female teenagers were also found to have inadequate zinc intake.

    Authors note that zinc is thought to play a crucial role in cell growth and differentiation, in regulating normal cell death, and in mounting immune responses. The report was presented at a National Institutes of Health conference in Bethesda, Maryland (November 9, 1998).


Food Safety  

September 26, 1997

There has been a tremendous amount of press coverage concerning food safety since the Hudson Foods/E.Coli scare.  There are some important lessons concerning our food supply in this story.  Most all the foods we buy are processed to one degree or another.  While there is tremendous concern about these foods carrying disease, there is almost no discussion of to what degree do they carry nutritional value!  If you are interested in nutrition, you might read somewhere that an orange contains 150mg of vitamin C.  Which orange might they be referring to?  Selected at random from the grocery store, the vitamin C content of oranges ranges from zero to 150mg!  Which one did you pick out?  The point is that with the state of food delivery and processing we really canít rely on our foods to provide optimum nutrition.  We need to supplement.

The second point I wanted to make is how we can protect ourselves from foods making us sick.  While this is a large subject, I just wanted to point out that vitamin C in adequate quantities will allow our immune systems to protect us as best as possible.


Phen-fen Scare

September 17, 1997

I want to discuss several aspects of the recall of these prescription drugs. As you may know, Phen-fen is the combination of two established drugs that had shown promise for weight-loss when used together. Phen-fen has been very popular and has been prescribed quite liberally by the medical establishment. Well the problem is that it seems that this drug may cause heart valve damage! A very serious situation.

Drugs are tricky. They are not food. They are complex chemical substances that need to be handled with care. Now I am not saying that drugs are bad. Of course not. Drugs as a class have prevented untold pain, suffering and death. But they are dangerous too. Everyone responds to substances differently. This is called biochemical individuality. This is why I tell you to take as much vitamin C as you can and why I can't tell you how much that is. Determining a proper drug dosage is difficult because of this. We all react differently. This is why chemotherapy for cancer is as much art as science. When someone takes more than one drug at a time, the results are considerably more unpredictable. Multiple drugs form a witch's brew, the effects of which are only really known once the patient is taking them. And then how would you know what is responsible for which reaction? Or is a reaction due to the combination itself?

So the message is be very careful if you are told to take more than one drug at a time.

Also, I wanted to emphasis the safety of vitamins. Vitamin C has never been linked to heart valve problems. On the contrary, it has been very strongly linked to tissue integrity. Being scared off from taking vitamins while cavalierly taking drugs makes no sense.


Aspirin Turns 100  

September 1, 1997

USA Today ran a full page about aspirin last week. Aspirin has been wonderful. I only want to make a couple observations due to our general feeling of its safety.

Aspirin is fatal at a dose of 20-30 grams (i.e. 60-90 tablets, or 20-30 times an average individual dose). If aspirin were just now making its appearance, it would certainly be available only by prescription.

Vitamin C is a hundred (thousand?) times safer than aspirin and yet we are always cautioned about possible (stress possible, not known) dangers of mega-doses of C. People die every year from taking too much aspirin. It is one of the most common poisons used in suicides. This just doesn't happen with vitamin C. I will do my best to keep you updated about possible side effects of mega-doses of C.

Aspirin is advised for heart attack patients as a possible prevention technique against another attack. This is because aspirin is a blood thinner. Why don't the media tell these folks to take vitamin E? Not only will it prevent blood clots, it also is our bodies natural anti-thrombin, so it doesn't have any side-effects. Please refer to the Reading section concerning heart disease and vitamin E.


Possible SIDS Link Found  

June 13, 1998

It appears that at least some SIDS cases are linked to a heart problem.  The problem is in the heart's electrical system, which tells the heart how and when to beat.  The researchers have found a problem that may occur and possibly cause the deaths of 50% of SIDS cases.  This is a very important finding that may help drop the incidence of SIDS.  The plan is to identify, with ultrasound, those newborns that exhibit the heartbeat indicating this problem and medicating them until they grow out of it.

I discuss SIDS here at Cforyourself as probably linked to vitamin C deficiency.  This is not inconsistent with this new finding.  On the Heart Failure page I discuss the nutrients that have a major affect on a healthy heart, among them vitamin C.  It is entirely possible that adequate nutrition could lessen the effects of this heart problem to the extent that it is less often, or even rarely, fatal.

All new parents can make sure their babies are getting adequate levels of important nutrients, levels that may be lacking in "formula."  This would be especially important for babies diagnosed with this potentially fatal problem and those that arenít too.  The best thing about nutritional therapy is that it does not need to be chosen instead of any medical approach.  It is a necessary component of health.


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