|Issue #69 - June 2008|
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store : There are 218 products from Emerson listed on this page. If yours isn't one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend. Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Newsletter : Here you will find all 69 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
Optimal Health Points : This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for June 10 concerning heart attacks caused by Vitamin D deficiency.
Recently there have been some interesting questions about the nature of disease and how and what it is that we treat with homeopathic medicines.
The essential idea is that disease consists of deviations from the former healthy state of the individual. These deviations are ones that the patient feels, others around her perceive, and are observed by the homeopath. All these perceptible signs and symptoms represent the disease in its entire extent.
The most intelligent approach is to first clear away any maintaining causes of disease. Some examples from practice are, 1), if someone is drinking 5 cups of coffee a day and has high blood pressure, first you must remove the coffee, 2), when a child has repeated ear infections and consumes dairy products, you remove the dairy products as dairy has been proven to be the most common nutritional cause of otitis media, 3), when complaining of chronic fatigue and stress, the person must change sleep patterns to increase the number of hours of sleep, 4), if a nutritional cause of disease is present, for instance, consumption of artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives by an individual diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, those substances must be removed.
Where there is no obvious maintaining cause to be removed what we then see are the signs and symptoms of the disease itself. Hence it is these symptoms alone by which the disease demands and can point to the appropriate medicine for its relief. More specifically, the totality of the characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease are the outward manifestation of the disease. Characteristic meaning strange, rare, peculiar, unusual. Which is why "I am depressed", or "I am stressed out" are fairly useless statements. There is nothing in these words to convey anything specific to the individual. Hence it is the totality of characteristic symptoms that are the only thing, in every case of disease, to be discerned. So that by means of homeopathic medicines the disease can be cured and health restored. This is Dynamic Disease.
As my colleague Dr. Kellerstein describes it, it's as if there is a shift in the Operating System of the body that is self-perpetuating. In contrast to the disease that is due to bad lifestyle, errors of nutrition, unhealthy environment, etc. For example, if I complain of heartburn, and eat fried fast food all the time and consume lots of spicy food, is this dynamic or hygienic? It's hygienic. In other words you've stacked the deck in favor of getting heartburn to the degree that the body's response is expected. If you have severe, chronic heartburn, that is getting worse all the time, in spite of having the healthiest, most balanced diet, then this would be more dynamic. This is a shift in the operation of the body without any external provocation.
Clinically, most patients present with a combination of hygienic and dynamic disease. By clearing away the hygienic maintaining causes, optimizing lifestyle, nutrition, etc. (with safe naturopathic modalities), the disease created by those causes will disappear. If disease persists after this optimization process then it is true Dynamic Disease. This is what we treat with homeopathic medicines.
Problems occur because most people do not want to experience the discomfort of changing their lifestyle, altering habits, or correcting nutritional mistakes. Or they come to me with a single focus of what they want cured. But a single symptom of disease is no more the disease than the foot is the person. Even worse, these single symptoms are treated with suppressive therapies (symptomatic treatment) that do no more than cover up the symptom, not addressing the cause. After perhaps a brief period of relief, the altered symptom(s) return in full force.
Remember, once the hygienic symptoms are cleared away, what remains are the signs and symptoms of the true dynamic disease. These must be felt and experienced so that they can be communicated. For within the characteristic signs and symptoms of the dynamic disease lies the indications for the homeopathic medicine that will cure those very same signs and symptoms. In other words, "suffering is the Language of Nature pointing to its own remedy." Suffering is the language requesting aid, spelling out and specifically defining the remedy that is required. But we have to understand these signs and symptoms at the deepest level possible. "Hay fever" doesn't cut it. "Pain in my legs" is insufficient.
Now you can see why saying "Nothing is changed", "Everything is the same," communicates no useful information.
SUPPLEMENT FACTS: NATURAL VERSUS SYNTHETIC
If source listed is Fish Oils It's Natural
If source listed is Lemon Grass It's Semi Natural
If source listed is Acetate It's Synthetic
If source listed is Palmitate It's Synthetic
If source listed is Not given It's Synthetic
If source listed is D. salina It's Natural
If source listed is Algal source It's Natural
If source listed is Beta carotene It's Synthetic
These beautiful deep red roots are naturally sweeter than almost any other vegetable. Whether shredded or sliced they add a scarlet highlight to summer salads.
This crimson vegetable is one of the best sources of both folate (B3) and betaine. These B vitamins lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. As with many highly colored fruit or vegetable the natural pigments-called betacyanins-that give beets their color are potent antioxidants.
My favorite way to eat beets is fresh and raw. In the middle of winter, the classic Ukrainian borscht with a dollop of homemade yogurt is a body-warming staple at our house. In the Spring beet greens are tasty steamed and are chock full of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
PREVENTING PROSTATE CANCER WITH VITAMIN D
On May 27, 2008, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study proclaiming that vitamin D did not reduce prostate cancer risk in a group of aging men.
Furthermore, this population-based analysis suggested that higher circulating levels of vitamin D might be associated with an increased risk of more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
Researchers compared the concentration of vitamin D in the blood of 749 men diagnosed with prostate cancer with that of 781 men without prostate cancer. All of the men were participants in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.
Vitamin D was measured when the men enrolled in the study, and all prostate cancer cases included in the current analysis were diagnosed 1 to 8 years after the blood samples were taken. The researchers claimed that there was no statistically significant difference in the risk of prostate cancer with increasing vitamin D concentration.
"Results from this large prospective study of men who underwent standardized prostate cancer screening in the context of a screening trial do not support the hypothesis that higher serum vitamin D status is associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer," the authors write.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute Online May 27 2008
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: As usual, when a nutritional intervention for a particular disease is studied (especially cancer), multiple flaws are revealed in the supposedly scientific study. Here are some of the more glaringly obvious ones in this study:
1. Only 49 (6.3%) out of the total of 781 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the trial were ingesting at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D in the diet every day. From the very low vitamin D blood levels of the study subjects it is likely that almost none were taking supplemental Vitamin D. In other words, none of the prostate cancer subjects had anywhere near enough Vitamin D present in their bodies to determine if it could prevent prostate cancer. So the results mean absolutely nothing if you are taking recommended amounts of Vitamin D to optimize blood levels.
2. The men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the study had a 138% greater risk of having a family history of prostate cancer. Remember, family history predisposes one to prostate cancer. By nature of this fact the study was genetically
3. Of the 749 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the study, 434 were diagnosed in the second year of follow-up - fully 58% of the diagnosed prostate cancers occurred during the second year of the trial. Based on how prostate cancer develops and the time it takes to reach a detectable size, most of these men diagnosed with prostate cancer during the study already had prostate cancer when the study started.
Three other prospective clinical studies have shown benefit with higher levels of circulating vitamin D and prostate cancer risk:
A 1998 US-based study showed a 20% reduced risk of prostate cancer with the highest levels of vitamin D compared with lower levels.
Nomura AM, Stemmermann GN, Lee J, et al. Serum vitamin D metabolite levels and the subsequent development of prostate cancer (Hawaii, United States). Cancer Causes Control. 1998 ; 9 ( 4 ): 425 - 432.
A Finnish study published in 2000 showed that men with vitamin D concentrations below the median had a 70% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men with vitamin D levels above this level. More dramatically, among younger men (<52 years of age), low vitamin D increased the risk of metastatic cancer by 530%.
Ahonen MH, Tenkanen L, Teppo L, Hakama M, Tuohimaa P. Prostate cancer risk and prediagnostic serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (Finland). Cancer Causes Control. 2000 ; 11 ( 9 ): 847 - 852.
A US study published in 2004 showed that men in the lowest third of vitamin D levels had a 71% greater risk of prostate cancer.
Jacobs ET, Giuliano AR, Martinez ME, Hollis BW, Reid ME, Marshall JR. Plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and the risk of prostate cancer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 ; 89 - 90 (1 - 5): 533 - 537.
It's difficult to argue with the numbers from these studies-530%!! This is not a case of scientists splitting hairs and consumers scratching their heads not knowing which to believe. The fundamental study errors described above seem almost designed to give a negative result. Once again an institution invested in the status quo (NCI) is downplaying a safe, simple low-cost nutritional treatment. What's offered instead? A pharmaceutical/surgical/radiological intervention that is neither safe nor simple.
COMMON FILLINGS A SAFETY CONCERN
For the first time the government is admitting that there is a safety concern with the use of
mercury ('silver') fillings. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a precautionary note about the so-called silver fillings, which contain mercury. The FDA is warning that they may pose a safety concern for pregnant women and young children. The concern is that mercury is harmful to a developing brain and its use should be restricted.
The fillings, called dental amalgams by dentists, "contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses," reads the FDA internet posting.
This spring the FDA put dentists on notice that it is considering additional whether to require warnings that would advise consumers of the mercury in amalgams before they have a cavity filled, or perhaps even restrict use in small children and certain other patients.
Amalgam fillings are about 50% mercury, joined with silver, copper and tin.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: In my experience many dentists don't even want to consider the idea that mercury amalgams are a problem. Yet they refer to them as silver fillings, even though the biggest component is mercury. When mercury amalgams were first introduced in the 1800s the American Dental Association came out against their use for health reasons. Somehow that tune has changed in the intervening years.
These lines are actual lines from Military Performance Appraisals:
1. Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.
2. A room temperature IQ.
3. Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together.
4. A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.
5. A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.
6. Bright as Alaska in December.
7. Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
8. He's so dense, light bends around him.
9. If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
10. It's hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 30 years, herbs for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days to this region). It's a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That's it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you've thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP