|Issue #75 - December 2008|
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 237 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 75 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for December 2 concerning how ineffective chemotherapy is.
GET YOUR HEALTH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Are you confused by the health claims you read on the internet or hear in the store? Do you think that you're taking too many supplements but not the 'right' supplement for you? Do you never have the time to ask the important questions regarding yours or your family's health?
Then the 2009 OPTIMAL HEALTH LECTURE SERIES is for you!
After a long hiatus, in 2009 I will be presenting an ongoing series of free health lectures at my Williamsport office on 3rd St. These will occur on the last Wednesday of each month from 7:30-8:30pm. The topic of these lectures is determined by the interests of you, my community of patients, families, and interested individuals. Each lecture will focus on a health issue that is important to you.
Below is a list of topics that you can pick from. If there is another subject that you'd like to have me speak on, let me know. Whichever topic gets the most requests will be the subject of my January 28, 2009 lecture. The next most requested lecture will be in February, etc. I'll announce the schedule each month in this newsletter and in the calendar on my website. (or you can email me after Jan. 15). Just send me an email and let me know the health questions you want answered.
PROSPECTIVE LECTURE TOPICS
Do You Need The Flu Vaccine?
How Does Homeopathy Work?
What One Vitamin Are You Deficient In?
Keep Away The Winter Blues
How To Stay Healthy With The Season
Healing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Keep Your Heart Healthy
Preventing Breast Cancer
If you'd like to organize a lecture for your work, your place of worship, or have an interested group of 5 or more, I'll come to you. All you have to do is choose a health topic that is most important to your group and we'll make it happen.
If you can't make it to a scheduled lecture each will be recorded and available for later purchase.
I'm looking forward to seeing you in 2009!
HEALTH CARE REFORM
One area that I am involving myself in as we go into the new year, is health care reform. Saturday, Dec.13, a local group met in Williamsport to look at issues we are concerned about and bring them to the attention of the Obama transition team. Most of the people in attendance were in their 50s+. Beside myself, there were a couple of other health care practitioners present-2 nurses. People talked about limiting the insurance industry's ability to control health care, standardization of coverage, and different ways to change the current system.
You've probably heard a variety of ideas mentioned regarding the reform of the US Health Care system-universal coverage, single payer, etc. Most of you pay out of pocket to utilize health care you need and value. This is the time to make your voice heard. I highly encourage you to contact your congressional representative, make an appointment to speak to him or her, and express your concerns regarding health care and coverage of traditional medicine (what is euphemistically called alternative medicine). Here is one resource to find your representative's contact information: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
If you do not want to voice your opinion directly, let me know what it is. And I will tell my representative. If we all act together we can create a health care system that meets our needs and expands our vision of what's possible.
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS USE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Thirty eight per cent of adults and nearly twelve percent of children in the United States use alternatives to conventional medicine, according to a large federal survey released Thursday, December 11 2008. This study documents how many people use homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, and herbal medicine.
The study was done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is based on a 2007 survey of more than 23,000 adults who were speaking about themselves and more than 9,000 who were speaking on behalf of a child in their household.
"It's clear that millions of Americans every year are turning to complementary and alternative medicine," said Richard L. Nahin of the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which released the survey.
"I think it's fair to say we can conclude that this is part of the steady state of medical care in the United States," said David Eisenberg, director of the Harvard Medical School's division for research and education in complementary and integrative medical therapies. "I think the news is complementary and alternative medicine use by the U.S. public is here to stay."
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: The quack idiots and drug industry mouthpieces are spinning this information as a problem. It's not. It's an indictment of a health care system that does very little to address chronic disease in a meaningful way. People are using options that work.
HEALTHY PEOPLE NEED MIND DRUGS???
Along with the recommendation to push statin drugs on kids the pharmaceutical industry is now trying to get healthy people to take psychiatric drugs. This is just another effort to create more profit for the drug companies by creating a new market for their products.
On December 8 2008 the medical journal Nature decided to publishing one of the most outrageous examples of drug industry favoritism I can remember reading. Assembling a group of seven scientists-two of them on the drug industry payroll-to say that doctors should be able to prescribe psychotropic drugs (like the ADHD drugs being given to children today) to healthy people in order to "improve brain function."
Yes, that's right: The exact same psychiatric drugs linked to suicides, violent behavior, and school shootings should now be openly prescribed to everyone, even people who have never been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder! Yet another instance of inventing a fictitious disease for drugs to rescue us from.
Nature December 8 2008
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Sometimes an idea comes along that is just so patently stupid and downright ridiculous that you shake your head in disbelief and wonder, "What drug are they taking?"
MD ADVISES AGAINST FLU SHOTS
Donald Miller, MD is a cardiac surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington. He recommends avoiding the flu shot and taking vitamin D instead, saying that, "Seventy percent of doctors do not get a flu shot."
If you are familiar with the standard line from public health officials, every winter supposedly 5-20 percent of the population catches the flu, 200,000 people then are hospitalized, and 36,000 people will die from it. These are pretty scary numbers. If you look at the National Vital Statistics Reports compiled by the Centers for Disease Control you'll find that only 1,138 deaths a year occur due to influenza alone, and more than 34,000 of the "36,000? flu deaths are estimated "influenza-associated" pneumonia and cardiovascular deaths.
There also isn't a lot of evidence that young children benefit from flu shots. A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo. In another study only 6 out of 100 infants actually benefited from the shot. The other 94% got no benefit - 4 got influenza anyway. All who receive the flu shot are at risk from being harmed by the vaccine, particularly from the mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde in it.
Eco Child's Play November 18, 2008
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;1:CD004879
DR. PAIS'S COMENTS: My favorite Vitamin D researcher, Dr. John Cannell (and his colleagues) have shown that influenza is merely a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. The idea is that it is a dormant disease that becomes active in response vitamin D deficiency. This theory is further supported in that "flu season" in the United States occurs when it's difficult to get adequate sunlight and replete vitamin D-the wintertime.
What's the problem with getting the flu shot-just to be safe? Dr. Miller
reminds us that 66% of the vaccines made for the 2008-09 flu season contain full-dose thimerosal, which is 49% mercury by weight. Mercury is a neurological toxin, with a toxicity level 1,000x that of lead. Yet, each flu shot contains 25 micrograms of mercury, which is about 50,000 parts per billion-250x more than the Environmental Protection Agency's safety limit.
And of course, flu vaccines also contain cancer-causing chemical Formaldehyde, Aluminum, another neurotoxin-may play a role in Alzheimer's disease, and assorted detergents and preservatives.
B VITAMINS REDUCE RISK OF BREAST CANCER
This randomized, placebo-controlled study looked at 5,442 women 42 years of age or older, with pre-existing cardiovascular disease or three or more coronary risk factors.
Supplementation with 2.5 mg/day folic acid (B3), 50 mg/day vitamin B6, and 1 mg/day vitamin B12 was carried out for a period of 7.3 years. For these women, all over the age of 65, they experienced a 38% reduced risk of breast cancer and a 25% reduced risk of other invasive cancers.
"Effect of combined folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 on cancer risk in women: a randomized trial," Zhang SM, Cook NR, et al, JAMA, 2008; 300(17): 2012-21
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Your oncologist will never tell you this information-they probably don't know it. If you give money to Breast Cancer organizations, they probably don't support vitamin treatment/prevention. Why is this?
Cancer care in this country is an industry. People make money from the current state of affairs. There is not a lot of motivation to look beyond what has been the standard of cancer care-Poison-Chemotherapy; Burn-Radiation; Slash-Surgery. All of which costs billions of dollars each year.
Whereas these 3 vitamins, which in these miniscule amounts, which would literally cost pennies per day, reduced the risk of breast cancer by 38%. 38%. No conventional treatment does this. Not this cheaply, not this safely, not at all.
THE BREAST CANCER RISK FACTOR YOUR DOCTOR DOESN'T Talk ABOUT
Every October, women are assailed from every direction with media telling you what you can do to stop breast cancer. Article after article, internet news story after story, scary television human interest segments, all focus on personal risk factors such as smoking and being overweight and genetic risks. Even though 70% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are not overweight and do not smoke. And only 10% of breast cancers involve genetic risks. There are so many stories about the importance of getting mammograms and other tests and the horror stories of those who don't. Then there are the survivor stories proclaiming the wonders of all of the above, though most often these survivors are younger and less racially than the average breast cancer survivor. These stories make us cry and they also scare us into action. Rarely do you hear about environmental factors such as auto exhaust, and the hundreds of thousands of carcinogenic chemicals like phthalates, nitrates, nitrites, parabens, etc., that we are exposed to every day. And any stories that mention the preventive effects of specific dietary changes or vitamins are aggressively attacked, ridiculed, and denied.
For years I've been talking about radiation, which is a 100% known cause of cancer. We are exposed to radiation in a variety of ways, through dental and diagnostic X-rays, CT scans, mammograms, radon in building materials, and also by living near a nuclear power plant or having been exposed to weaponry that uses depleted uranium. Since 1968 I've been educating anyone who will listen about the dangers of radiation, an issue that I became focused on after my father died of colon cancer.
There is no safe level of radiation, no matter what anybody else tells you. Even the Earth's background radiation that has existed for millions of years is responsible for genetic mutations and abnormalities. At the most basic level radiation causes damage to our DNA, the code that determines who we are, how healthy we are. The low levels of uranium found in drinking water, at levels below EPA drinking water standards, is an estrogen and hormone disruptor.
Before 1945, cancer mortality was not that common. Large increases in cancer mortality in the past 100 years begin with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. From that point, each new nuclear application has added to our risk-atmospheric and below ground testing of atomic and hydrogen bombs, nuclear power plants, medical applications, depleted uranium, food irradiation, etc. Ionizing radiation is a major cause of cancer globally, and uranium (along with plutonium) is a major radioactive component of nuclear weapons, including depleted uranium weapons systems introduced to the battlefield in 1991 in the first Gulf War.
If you look at breast cancer maps from Centers for Disease Control data you can see that two-thirds of all U.S. breast cancer deaths that occurred between 1985 and 1989 were within a 100-mile radius of nuclear power plant. These maps show that nuclear power plants in the U.S., along with nuclear weapons labs in New Mexico, Idaho, Washington and California, are at the major environmental cause of breast cancer in the U.S. Other concentrations of breast cancer have been identified in Japan and California on the day that the Chernobyl radiation cloud passed over and the rain deposited the fission products in the environment.
Given that these scientific facts are available, and that it's well known that every radiation exposure adds to your cancer risk over your lifetime, why are mammograms for every woman (even those with no risk factors) so strongly pushed to get a yearly mammogram? And what about radiation that's used to treat breast cancer? According to Breast Cancer Fund's State of the Evidence 2008, "Women older than age 55 derive less benefit from radiation therapy in terms of reduced rate of local recurrence and may face increased risks of radiation-induced cardiovascular complications, as well as secondary cancers such as leukemias and cancers of the lung, esophagus, stomach and breast. Using SEER data from the National Cancer Institute, researchers showed a 16-fold increased relative risk of angiosarcoma of the breast and chest wall following irradiation to a primary breast cancer." This is 'cure'??
A name that I've mentioned many times is Dr. John W. Gofman. He was a radiation researcher, a concerned scientist, and a lone voice in the wilderness. He was a physicist and an M.D., who worked on the biological effects of radiation at the Lawrence Livermore Lab (until they cut off his research funds).
His books, Radiation and Human Health (1981), Preventing Breast Cancer (1996) and Radiation From Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease (1999), are the most important research works that identify the dangers of ionizing radiation in medical procedures. They have consistently been the best resource for reliable information. His work was acknowledged in the recent BEIR VII report by the National Academy of Sciences. His was the first voice to warn us about the extreme dangers of mammograms. His research indicated that, for every case of breast cancer identified through mammograms, up to five new cases of breast cancer is caused by the diagnostic use of the radiation in mammograms. At least self-breast exams don't cause cancer.
From Dr. Gofman's work it's clear that one of the main causes of breast cancer (and other cancers) is ionizing radiation. Limiting our exposure to this and other environmental carcinogens is one of the best things we can do to prevent this disease. Which means that we have to Say No to medical radiation, Say No to nuclear power plants, Say No to nuclear weapons testing, Say No to food irradiation, and Say No to any other use of this toxic technology.
ANOTHER LIE ABOUT VITAMINS
Here we go again. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shouted to the world that vitamin E and vitamin C do not protect against heart disease in men. This finding, like almost all nutrition studies in conventional medical journals, seems designed to fail on purpose.
Here are some facts about the study. This item is from the Physicians' Health Study (PHSII) that began in 1997. The PHSII sought to answer questions relating to supplemental vitamins and their use in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, memory loss and age-related vision loss.
There are two main ways this study was designed to fail. One relates to the classic Vitamin E errors. The dose and form of Vitamin E used in this study was wrong. Vitamin E was dosed at 400 IU every other day. This dose is below the dose that is recommended by nutritionally trained physicians. All of us trained to understand and use Vitamin E therapeutically recommend a higher and more appropriate dose.
Perhaps more importantly, the form of vitamin E used in this study was the cheap, synthetic d,l-alpha tocopherol. Most of the scientific studies that have demonstrated the usefulness of vitamin E do not use this form. What's best is a mix of tocopherols that includes all the natural forms, which has been shown to be more effective. For instance, the gamma form of Vitamin E, known as gamma-tocopherol, is more effective than alpha-tocopherol at inhibiting the pro-inflammatory COX-2 enzyme thus it has greater anti-inflammatory and heart protective benefits. Also, gamma-tocopherol is a stronger inhibitor of certain oxidation reactions that may impact the development of cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and cancer.
Second, Vitamin C was also laughably under dosed. In the study, participants were only dosed at 500 mg/day. This amount is only one half a gram of Vitamin C. Which is a ridiculously small amount to study. Therapeutic doses start at least 6x this amount and should be determined on an individual basis.
This may all seem like a conspiracy theory. These are intelligent people who are trying to help prevent heart disease. They wouldn't have a reason to purposefully design a study in the most incorrect way possible to reach an accepted conclusion. What would be the point in wasting so much money on a poorly designed study?
I can only think of 2 possibilities. One, these scientists know nothing about nutrition so they make incredibly ignorant, very basic mistakes. A 2nd year naturopathic student would never make the mistake of the wrong Vitamin E form or too little Vitamin C. If this is the case, they should disclose their ignorance at the start and warn people that their results are to be judged with this limitation. Two, the study was designed to fail. Again, why would they waste so much money to do such a thing? Because vitamins are not patentable and drug companies can't make any money selling them. Remember, statins make more money for the drug companies than any other drugs. If you use Vitamin E and Vitamin C the drug companies lose money. The fact that the study's results was all over the internet and your MD probably saw it and will tell you all about it the next time you see them makes it pretty clear who wins out here. You choose which one makes more sense.
JAMA. 2008;300(18):2123-2133. Published online November 9, 2008
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