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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #85 - October 2009
Issue #85 - October 2009








Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #85. It's my mission to help you find optimal solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the better able you will be to take control of your health. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.

Here are some pages that are of particular interest:

Store: There are 246 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 85 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.

Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update periodically. Check out the recent entry about preventing breast cancer.

It just happened again the other day. A patient sent me a copy of the Vitamin D test she just had done. With frustrating results. The wrong test was done. After all these years, and all the information available, MDs and laboratories still order the wrong test. What a waste of money and time.

For the last 6 months I’ve been looking for a home Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own. I finally found one. ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton OR. ZRT emphasizes research and technological innovation.

Until now, venipuncture blood serum has been the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. ZRT has developed and refined Vitamin D testing in blood spots. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.

Ordering A Vitamin D Test
ZRT allows anyone to order a Vitamin D test kit for $95 plus shipping and have it sent to their home. ZRT will let me prepay for kits and send them to my office for $55 each. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover my overhead and analysis of results.

If you are interested in getting a Vitamin D test done through my office please prepay so I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you’ve taken the sample and sent it back to ZRT it’s only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the mail arrives.

If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, most accurate way to do it ourselves. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for prevention of disease and maintenance of health.

I’m excited to announce that I have opened a new office in Ithaca, New York. Why Ithaca? We feel very drawn to the area—socially, culturally, and politically. Now with the help of some friends we’re practicing there. Joy Weber, a massage therapist, has graciously opened her massage space to me, every 2nd Saturday of the month. I’ll be seeing patients there starting August 8. If you have any friends or family in the area let them know.
My Ithaca office address is 329 South Geneva St., Ithaca NY 14850.

For the extent of the flu season this year I will be reporting on the flu cases I hear about through my practice. Both to let you know what I’m hearing and to encourage the gathering of symptoms to flesh out the genus epidemicus—the homeopathic medicine(s) that best match this year’s presentation. So if you’ve got any cases to share email me. The following information is important:
Age, sex
Slow or rapid onset
Sequence of symptoms
Symptom detail
Diagnosis if any
Treatment if any

Case 1: 13 year old boy. Rode school bus with kids diagnosed with H1N1. Two weeks later, symptoms came on over 12 hours. Flushed face—bright red cheeks; really cold, feverish feeling, tired, slight, dry cough, nicer than usual—accepted consolation-unusual for him.
Treatment: 1 dose Oscillococcinum—all symptoms resolved in 24 hours.
1 week later—flushed face, feverish feeling—both symptoms less prominent than before.
Treatment: 1 dose Oscillococcinum—all symptoms resolved in 6 hours.

Case 2: 46 year old female. Symptoms came on overnight-fever-101, diarrhea, body aches, better with electrolytes; fatigue; no cough, no sore throat, no chills,
Treatment: Electrolytes.

Many people are asking me about the flu. When I ask them if they’re read my last newsletter, #84 September 2009, they either didn’t receive it or haven’t read it. It was my goal when I dedicated the whole issue to the topic of influenza that it would be a practical resource. If you didn’t see it check to make sure that your Spam filter isn’t blocking emails from my website. You can always access it at

The state of Washington's Health Department has temporarily suspended a rule that limits the amount of Thimerosal in vaccines given to pregnant women and children under the age of 3. This was done ahead of the onset of pervasive H1N1 vaccinations. According to Secretary of Health, Mary Selecky, the rule will be suspended for six months, and applies only to vaccines against the swine flu.

For as much as vaccine apologists proclaim that Thimerosal has been eliminated from vaccines it will be added as a preservative to most H1N1 in the United States. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that many believe is linked to autism.

Thimerosal is being added to the vaccine for the vials that contain medication for 10 shots. Supposedly a smaller amount of mercury-free vaccine will be produced in single-dose vials. The nasal spray vaccine application does not contain mercury. However, it is not recommended for children under the age of 2 or for pregnant women, because it contains live virus.

Drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, MedImmune, and others have sold $1.5 billion worth of swine flu shots, in addition to the $1 billion for seasonal flu they booked earlier this year.
Seattle Times September 29, 2009

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Thimerosal contains 49.6 percent mercury by weight, and is added to vaccines as a preservative. Since July 1, 2007, pregnant women and children under the age of three were prohibited from receiving vaccines with a mercury content exceeding:
1.0 mcg per 0.5 ml dose for influenza vaccines
0.5 mcg per 0.5 ml dose for all other vaccines

A series of studies suggests that people who got a seasonal flu shot last year are about twice as likely to catch H1N1 as people who didn’t. This from as yet unpublished Canadian data.
The Scientist September 23, 2009

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Though the official word is that there is no chance of getting the flu from the flu shot, many of my patients disagree. The last four patients who told me about getting the flu shot in the past, say they don’t do it any more because they got sick afterwards. If you think about it, the live virus present in the nasal form could easily infect susceptible individuals. Too many people have told me of the illnesses they’ve contracted after getting the flu vaccine for me to ignore them.

Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans, according to a new study.
Harvard University researchers looked at 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such as tobacco smoking and high blood pressure, and used a mathematical model to determine how many fatalities could have been prevented if better practices had been observed.

The study stated that there are 72,000-96,000 preventable deaths each year due to omega-3 deficiency (more than breast cancer). This highlights the importance of establishing dietary standards for omega-3 forms such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

People with chronic kidney disease, which increases the risk of heart disease, experienced improvements in both blood pressure and heart rate following supplementation with four grams of omega-3 fats. Furthermore, when the omega 3’s were taken in combination with coenzyme Q10, the blood pressure reducing benefits were enhanced. CKD is linked to increased prevalence in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events and hospitalization.

Researchers have shown that depressed patients have, on average, lower levels of omega-3 in their blood than nondepressed individuals. A greater severity of depression is also linked to lower levels of omega-3. A number of well-controlled depression treatment studies have found therapeutic benefits following omega-3 supplementation.
U.S. News & World Report September 18, 2009

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Omega 3 essential fatty acids are probably the most common nutrient deficiency I run into with my patients. It’s very difficult to get sufficient omega 3 fats from your diet. Especially when practically every fish in America is contaminated with dangerous levels of Mercury.

More than 1 million additional men have been diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the 1980s. And the "vast majority of these additional 1 million men did not benefit from early detection," write the authors of a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"Prostate cancer screening has resulted in substantial overdiagnosis and in unnecessary treatment," Otis W. Brawley, MD, medical director of the American Cancer Society, writes in an editorial that accompanies the new study. These new findings once again question the benefits of prostate cancer screening, says Dr. Brawley. 'Does prostate cancer screening save lives?' is still a legitimate question.
"'Does prostate cancer screening save lives?' is still a legitimate question," he states.

The new study examines national prostate cancer incidence and treatment data in the United States from 1986 — the year before prostate-antigen screening (PSA) was introduced — to 2005. The study's conclusions stem from the idea that, for cancers detected early in a population, there should be a reduction in the number of cancers detected later in that same population. In the United States, that offsetting reduction has not occurred in prostate cancer.

Instead, overall incidence rose rapidly after 1986, before peaking and declining in 1992 — but the decline was to levels "considerably higher than those in 1986," write the study authors, H. Gilbert Welch, MD, PhD, from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Peter C. Albertsen, MD, from the University of Connecticut Health Center in Framingham.

The excess incidence — and thus overdiagnosis — has been worst in young men. The relative incidence rate (2005 relative to 1986) was 7.23 in men younger than 50 years. This rate is considerably higher than the relative incidence rates found in older men — 0.56 in men 80 years and older, 1.09 in men 70 to 79 years, 1.91 in men 60 to 69 years, and 3.64 in men 50 to 59 years.

Men Need to Be Informed
Drs. Welch and Albertsen believe that clinicians should "explicitly communicate," to men considering the screening, the relative magnitude of the number of deaths averted to the number overdiagnosed. There is uncertainty about whether the benefit exists at all. However, this is a difficult task, the authors admit. "Estimating the trade-off between a mortality benefit and an overdiagnosis is problematic when there is uncertainty about whether the benefit exists at all," they write.

The current study conservatively estimates that 1 death is averted for every 20 men overdiagnosed, say the authors. A recent European study suggests a 1 to 50 ratio, which is a "more plausible" estimate, write Drs. Welch and Albertsen, because it is from a randomized clinical trial (screened vs. unscreened groups). "Given the European trial report that 1410 men need to be screened to avoid 1 death, this translates into a trade-off of approximately 1 death averted to 50 men overdiagnosed with prostate cancer," write the authors, referring to the study from the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (New Engl J Med. 2009;360:1320-1328). However, in a recent major American randomized cancer screening trial, prostate cancer screening did not provide a mortality benefit (New Engl J Med. 2009;360:1310-1319).

Thus, with the possibility that the true mortality benefit "approaches 0," the estimate of the ratio of deaths averted to men overdiagnosed "approaches 1 to infinity," write Drs. Welch and Albertsen
Age-specific male-population estimates from the US Census were used to determine the excess in the number of men diagnosed and treated in each year after 1986. Since 1986, an estimated additional 1,305,600 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer; of that number, 1,004,800 were definitively treated for the disease, say the authors. During the entire study period of 1986 to 2005, prostate cancer incidence rose 26% (from 119 to 150.5 per 100 000), they observe.

The authors explain that prostate cancer was slowly increasing, at a rate of about 2% per year, in the decade before 1986. However, this increase was almost entirely due to cancers found incidentally when men were treated surgically (with transurethral resection) for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Half of all prostate cancer in 1986 was found during this surgery. When the surgery fell out of favor, the number of prostate cancers discovered this way dropped by 50% — a drop large enough to have caused an overall decline in prostate cancer incidence had PSA screening not arrived at the same time. In short, because the investigators used 1986 as their base year, a year in which prostate cancer incidence numbers were inflated because of a specific surgery, their estimates of the effect of PSA screening represent underestimates, they say.

Whatever the exact numbers, many men have undergone unnecessary treatment and other difficulties, say Drs. Welch and Albertson. "All overdiagnosed patients are needlessly exposed to the hassle factors of obtaining treatment, the financial implications of the diagnosis, and the anxieties associated with becoming a cancer patient," they write.

J Natl Cancer Inst. August 31, 2009.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Certainly, if you’re that one person out of 50 (or infinity?) that benefits from screening, you’re very happy about it. When you weigh it against the cost in money and quality of life for the men, who are overdiagnosed and unnecessarily treated, it’s not so clear cut.

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
580 E. 3rd. St.
Williamsport  PA  17701
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