University-based educators and researchers, as well as private practitioners, are in frequent contact with representatives from for-profit companies that provide "gifts" and financial support for teaching and research. The enticement begins very early in a physician's career: for my classmates and me, it started with black bags. - JAMA Vol. 284 No. 17, November 1, 2000
"We were taught that if we as doctors don't hand out prescriptions to patients, they might go away dissatisfied. So as residents, we quickly learned to hand out prescriptions like so much scrip." - Julian Whitaker, M.D. quoted from "M.D.'s Digest"
"... doctors who use alternative treatments often do so at great peril to their reputations and their right to practice medicine." - Congressman Dan Burton
"Collaborators in the FDA could expect lucrative post-retirement jobs." ... "the FDA could be 'sicced' like a well-trained dog on any alternative practitioner or manufacturer." - James Carter, M.D. quoted from "Racketeering in Medicine"
"Physicians just do what the medical authorities say to do. Of all the professions, the medical profession is the one in which the individual practitioners do the smallest amount of thinking for themselves." - Linus Pauling, the only winner of two unshared Nobel prizes, cited by Watson and Crick as co-discoverer of DNA, premier proponent of the molecular viewpoint of biology, premier definer of the chemical bond, persuaded the US and USSR to stop above-ground nuclear testing, elucidated the importance of protein folding while studying sickle cell anemia, proponent of large doses of vitamin C, discoverer of lysine and vitamin C as a method of clearing plaque from arteries. Quoted from American Scientist, Volume 82.
"Here's another example. In the 1950s the Shute brothers in Ontario did some amazing work with vitamin E. Their claims were simple. They said vitamin E worked against heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. They were greeted with laughter. The Harvard School of Public Health [recently] published a huge study on vitamin E and showed that just 100 units of vitamin E per day decreased the death rate by 40 percent. Suppose they had done that in 1960? So vitamin E was totally destroyed by the establishment. Think of the cost of those decisions." - Abram Hoffer, 1st researcher to use the double-blind technique in North-American medicine (in 1955 he showed niacin lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesteral). American medicine was not able to destroy his or the Shutes careers and their work with vitamins because they practiced in Canada. Quoted from an interview with Peter Barry Chowka in Nutrition Science News.
"How lucky we have been to live in Canada! I know how long we would have lasted in territory controlled by the AMA. How many valuable ideas in medicine must have died aborning because its authorities made the going too heavy and young men have simply given up." -Evan Shute, co-discover in the 1940s of the benefits of Vitamin E to the heart. Quoted from "The Truth about Vitamin E".
"The last thing the FDA wants is for Americans to learn how they are being ripped off by the U.S. pharmaceutical companies." - "Smart Drugs II", Ward, Morgenthaler, Fowkes
"The revolving door between the FDA and multi-national drug companies creates a system that excludes outsiders, and virtually ensures that Americans only have access to drugs guaranteed to make billions for large companies. ... The FDA takes extraordinary steps to keep out foreign competition, even if the offshore drug is safer, cheaper, and more effective than its American counterpart." - William Faloon, VP, Life Extension Foundation
"The FDA should insure that the existence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive for drug development." FDA's DSTF report
"Some European scientists [where GHB has been used for 30 years] ... believe GHB may be the best antidepressant ever developed ... GHB is nonaddictive, non-habit-forming, has no toxic metabolites...it is so nontoxic that" ..." the FDA had its undercover agents repeatedly place large orders for GHB from a single business until they amassed enough of the product to prosecute the business-owner for a felony with the guarantee of major prison time [the victims of these FDA tactics were mostly vindicated in court] ... FDA's new end run tactic [around the legal system] is to promote legislation to criminalize GHB at the state level [by making it a Class I narcotic with no medicinal benefits - same category as heroin." - Ward Dean, M.D. GHB Legal Update
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is required in the diet of all animals. It is a very well understood component of food and perfectly safe as are all other amino acids (the components of protein) at any reasonable dosage levels. It was gaining huge popularity in the U.S. for the treatment of depression, but Prozac was coming to market at the same time. The FDA banned the sale of tryptophan permanently after a batch from a Japanese supplier was poisioned and a few people died. Tryptophan is a safe and effective competitor to Prozac and other antidepressants. Is this the reason this component of food continues to be banned for sale by the FDA?
The following 2 pages are just my opinions and what I would take if I head these problems!
Every year 125,000 people in the U.S. die from prescription drugs. They are the 4th to 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. It's very difficult if not impossible to find anyone who has ever died from supplement overdose. There are rumors, but no one has been able to point me to a single documented case. The worst case reported for vitamin A overdose I could find is 240,000 IU daily to a 3 month old child for 15 months. He appeared completely normal and healthy 4 months after his mother discontinued administering the daily teaspoonful of halibut oil. The worst case of long-term selenium poisioning I could find caused red hair and red fingernails. He died at age 71 from a heart attack, still an active owner of the selenium refining company where he had worked for 51 years. Other cases of 30,000 mcg selenium per day for several months resulted in hair loss and nail problems. No long-term adverse effects have been reported after discontinuation of vitamin A or selenium. These are 2 of the most dangerous nutritional supplements. By comparison a child dies every day from an overdose of aspirin.
The NEJM and JAMA attitudes toward vitamin E, selenium, niacin, and C are tragic. In the 1940s, selenium was shown to prevent cancer in animals. The American research community all but ignored this and similarly profound reports about selenium that trickled in over the years. Finally, in late 1996 JAMA published a study showing selenium at 200ug a day cut the incidence of cancer in half. Half. Think of the misery and fear and lives lost simply because American research money is being directed overwhelmingly towards toxic and unnatural (but patentable!) drugs made by pharmaceuticals. Follow-up reports are confirming the benefits of selenium. Another example: The Shute brothers in Canada already had a considerable amount of data showing the benefits of 200 IU a day of vitamin E to the heart in the 1940's. By the early 1970's they often used 1,600 IU. NEJM acts like it's publishing new data concerning vitamin E and heart disease and Alzheimer's and doesn't even reference the Shutes. Another example: In 1985 the NEJM published an article on vitamin C and cancer. None of the patients died while taking C while some of the controls did. The Mayo Clinic authors did not mention this in the published report, deprived the "vitamin C" patients of vitamin C after an average of only 10 weeks and concluded vitamin C had no effect. 3 studies in other countries are consistent and say the average cancer patient who has not had chemo lives an average of 4 times longer on 10 grams a day of C. There is no study with evidence to the contrary.
This century's most highly decorated scientist, Linus Pauling, after 20 years of studying vitamin C, estimated that the average number of healthy years and lifespan for Americans would increase by 25 years if everyone would take the optimum amount of vitamin C (between 2.3 and 10 grams a day as long as it doesn't cause too much gas or diarrhea - some people are sensitive to it). Not coincidentally, this is the same amount 99.9% of all other animals get. A genetic defect in the primate lineage eliminated the final enzyme in our livers that is necessary for converting glucose to vitamin C. 2% of the average animal's food energy supply (glucose) is being converted to vitamin C.
All animals except humans, primates, guinea pigs, trout, bulbul birds, some grasshoppers, and a fruit-eating bat make on average the equivalent of 12 grams a day of vitamin C (if they weighed as much as the average person). This is 200 times the RDA. The same agency that set the RDA for humans to 0.06 grams a day, set the RDA-equivalent for monkeys to 3.8 grams a day.
THE most life-threatening nutrition decision a human can make is to limit their daily consumption of vitamin C to the United States Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 60 mg. A mere 400 mg a day supplement has been shown to extend the life of nurses by 8 years. By comparison, smokers die an average of 8 years earlier than average. Many nurses know more about vitamins than doctors because their journals and schools have not been negatively influenced by pharmaceutical companies. This is because nurses can't prescribe pills. There's no need for pharmaceuticals to influence nurses by advertising in their journals, providing research money to their schools, or paying for vacation-conferences.
There have been many theories about possible adverse side effects of vitamin C, but no one (to my knowledge) has been reported to have been harmed by vitamin C at any dosage level except for gas and diarrhea which causes no lasting harm. There are two possible exceptions: 1) vitamin C produces oxalate which can be harmful for those who are supposed to avoid spinach because it induces kidney stones and 2) there have been cancer patients who had so many cancer cells die after suddenly taking 10 g/day of vitamin C, that they suffered toxic shock from the dead cancer cells. About 1% who started the large dose without buliding up to it over a few days died as a result of this effect. To prevent this, cancer patients should start taking 1 gram a day and increase a gram a day until diarrhea results (between 5 and 300 grams a day). A large Harvard study showed Vitamin C taken "above 1,500 mg a day" decreases the incidence of kidney stones by 22%, so the kidney stone danger does not appear to be present in those who metabolise oxalate OK.
Vitamin C used to be used to help recovery from surgery, but the anti-vitamin forces (the AMA, the FDA, Mayo Clinic, American Cancer "Society", and pharmaceuticals) have successfully influenced (remember this is all just my opinion) medical schools, for-hire researchers, and the pharmaceutical-advertising-journals over the years to ignore if not directly discredit vitamins. Without patents, pharmaceuticals, the FDA, the Journals, and the study researchers (basically the entire sickness community) cannot get such strong financial support. Doctors are part of it if they read journals that advertise for pharmaceuticals, attend a medical school heavily influenced by pharmaceuticals (all of them?), participate in studies funded by pharmaceuticals (especially painful but useless chemo and heart drugs), attend "conferences" sponsored by drug companies, or are influenced by "friendly" pharmaceutical drug reps. Doctors are more likely to appear to have earned their pay if they write a prescription for a dangerous drug instead of relaying information about effective and safe nutritional supplements. Complaints are made about the lack of double-blind studies for some claims for vitamins, but it is rarely possible to conduct double-blind studies for profitable surgeries that are accepted as beneficial (especially for heart surgeries with high profit and questionable benefit). Many doctors are finally acknowledging the effectiveness of natural supplements only because the public is demanding more knowledge on the subject (nutritional supplements were not a part of medical school). The number of people who have died because of the 50-year delay is probably worse than the Holocaust. For example, vitamin E has been shown to reduce the death rate due to heart attacks by nearly 50%. The Shutes knew this in 1950. 250,00 needless deaths each year for 50 years is about 12.5 million lives. Vitamin C appears to have similarly strong health benefits. This wasn't widely known in 1960 because there wasn't enough money in supplements for the medical community to acknowledge the studies that were being conducted or persue larger studies.
Formula companies spend a lot of money on "research" and "conferences" convincing pediatricians that all babies need are formula. Formula is NOT the same as food. Baby cereal and baby food will stay in a baby's digestive tract longer. Keep this in mind if your baby wakes up at night crying from hunger. I believe people do not start feeding their babies real food soon enough. They and the doctors wonder why babies aren't gaining weight!
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September 1, 1999 (and revised many times since. 12/22/2001 last time)
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