"He who lives by rule and wholesome diet is a physician to himself."
Concise Directions on the Nature of our Common Food so far as it tends
to Promote or Injure Health. (Published by Swords of London: 1790, p 7)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF (SM) NEWSLETTER Vol 1, No 17
June 22, 2001 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the
Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free
online library of more than 200 natural healing articles with over
3,000 scientific references.
HEARD ANYTHING BAD ABOUT VITAMIN C LATELY?
If you haven't, you've been away visiting your relatives on Neptune for
too long. For nearly three decades, I have seen that, like all other
fashions, vitamin-bashing goes "in" and "out" of style. Lately it has
(again) been open season on Linus Pauling, the world's most qualified,
and most vocal, critic of our scorbutic (vitamin C deficient) medical
system. Pauling's two unshared Nobel prizes (he is the only person in
history with that distinction) are no protection from ignorant critics
who slam vitamin C without considering some basic biochemistry first.
May I offer the following C-boosting facts:
1. Medical and nutritional authorities have always said that there is
no difference whatsoever between natural and synthetic vitamin C. But
the recent junk-science reports study panning vitamin C invariably
include the comment that only vitamin C supplements are the problem,
not vitamin C from foods. You can't have it both ways.
2. Vitamin C is the body's most important water-soluble antioxidant.
It protects our cells from cancer-causing free-radical damage. In our
stress- and pollution-filled environment, why are people being warned
off the very substance that they need most?
3. If vitamin C "harms" DNA, why do most animals make (not eat, but
MAKE) between 2,000 and 10,000 milligrams of vitamin C per human
equivalent body weight per day? Evolution would never so favor anything
that harms vital genetic material. White blood cells and male
reproductive fluids contain unusually high quantities of ascorbate.
Living, reproducing systems LOVE vitamin C.
4. Why all the flurry of anti-vitamin reporting? Easy: 100 MILLION
Americans take vitamin C every day. This is therefore primarily a
political issue, not a scientific issue. What would happen if everybody
took ample supplements of all the vitamins? Doctors and hospital
administrators and pharmaceutical salespeople would all be lining up
for their unemployment checks, that's what.
I listed TEN WAYS TO SPOT ANTI-VITAMIN BIAS IN A SCIENTIFIC STUDY in my
Doctor Yourself Newsletter EXTRA sent out on June 15 (if you did not
see it, you can email me for a free copy). Linus Pauling's complete
vitamin and nutrition bibliography is posted at
VITAMIN C: WHO NEEDS IT?
Our national disease-care system (for it is certainly not a HEALTH care
system) depends on sickness. This is neither a new problem nor an
uniquely American problem, for even the ancient Vedas say that "the
carpenter desires timber; the physician, disease." More recent critics
come from within the medical profession itself. One is Dr. Emanuel
Cheraskin (formerly Chairman of the Department of Oral Medicine,
University of Alabama Medical School). My favorite saying of his
is, "Health is the biggest failing business in America." Dr. Cheraskin
has a lot to say about the safety and effectiveness of large doses of
ascorbate in The Vitamin C Connection (reviewed in a previous
Newsletter) and now in Vitamin C: Who Needs It?, the most complete
recent summation of vitamin C's role in medicine that I have seen.
When a long-time professor, holding doctorates in both dentistry and
medicine, speaks up on the value of vitamin C megadoses, you know that
it is time to tell the world. Dr. Cheraskin has been researching
vitamin C for fifty years. He has hundreds of scientific publications
to his credit (the complete bibliography is posted at
http://doctoryourself.com/biblio_cheraskin.html ) Dr. Cheraskin
elegantly but insistently challenges not only our altogether-inadequate
US RDAs, but also our national obsession with the germ theory. "It is
time to lay to rest the notion that germs jump into people and cause
diseases," he writes (p 71). Here is a physician who fully appreciates
the value of vitamins. Truly adequate nutrition prevents, and cures,
One of his strengths as an author is that he can walk you through study
after study without boring you in the least. Dr. Cheraskin writes
directly to you. It is both his sense of humor and exemplary competence
in the field of therapeutic nutrition that make Dr. Cheraskin's books
so interesting, and important, to readers.
How important? Vitamin C: Who Needs It concisely reviews dozens of
medical studies in under 200 pages. 22 pages of references are
provided. Vitamin C's role on diabetes, oral health, fertility, cancer,
cardiovascular disease and life extension receive special emphasis. I
am yet to meet a vitamin critic that shows any evidence of having read
this research. Well, they can start now.
Next time someone tries to tell you that you are "harming" your body
or "wasting" your money on extra vitamin C, tell them that Doctor
Cheraskin sent you.
Vitamin C: Who Needs It by Emanuel Cheraskin, M.D., D.M.D.
Birmingham, AL: Arlington Press,1993
ISBN: 0-944353-04-5 (195 pages plus glossary, index, and references)
"Is honey safe for little children? I am especially concerned about
I raised my kids on raw, unprocessed honey. I think the pasteurized,
filtered, see-right-through-them store varieties are not worth buying.
Commercially processed honey sometimes has a thin layer of water under
the lid, on top of the product. This can support bacterial growth. I
have never found this with raw honey, though. It stays naturally fresh
and pure, just the way the bees made it. Honey from the comb is better
still. I am told that untouched comb honey found in Egyptian tombs was
still fresh and edible after over two thousand years.
YOU CAN BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR
The purpose of this newsletter is to help you towards becoming your own
doctor. This is neither impossible nor illegal, and is more and more
essential all the time. It's not impossible, for you can go to any
book or paper in print, read it, apply it, and draw practical
conclusions from it. What you will read is just what any physician
reads. In fact, you may discover material that your doctor never saw,
or did see and never investigated. With a good bibliography, an
inquiring mind, and gradual experience, there is no reason why you
cannot become fully competent to treat yourself and your immediate
family in the vast majority of instances.
How can one say this? Aren't doctors the ones for this duty; isn't it
their special province to be the formally educated authorities on
health? Commonly, yes: but a doctor's authority in America often
exceeds his or her knowledge. Whole bodies of knowledge in healing are
ignored because they are unorthodox and non-medical. A doctor's
education seems exhaustive, yet M.D.'s study so much of drugs and
surgery, and so little of nutrition, fasting, herbal remedies, spinal
manipulation, massage, vitamin and mineral therapy, homeopathic
remedies and more that we realize their qualifications are only
partial. This takes nothing away from their dedication as individuals,
but being individuals they are prone to following certain theories over
other theories, particular practices over other alternatives, and
holding opinions as well as facts. This is true with any person,
certainly, but it is our responsibility to cover all possible ground in
our efforts to cure and prevent illness. If we learn more than the
doctor in areas of value to our health, it is our duty to apply this
knowledge to the betterment of ourselves and our family. We need total
health more than medically approved health. Our wellness should not be
limited to our doctor's experience, but enhanced by our own experience.
Indeed, whose judgment is final for your health and life? Why not have
you decide? This seems an awesome responsibility, yet we do it every
day. Any mother or father, adult or child constantly makes the most
immediate health decisions as the occasion arises. The cut, the cold,
the fever, the ache: all these and the serious emergencies too are in
our hands first.
This is the pivotal point: major traumatic injury aside, it is not
generally necessary for us to turn over the responsibility for our
wellness to another. The pioneers in this country couldn't, and
evidence is mounting that we, today, shouldn't
"Over a million patients are injured in hospitals each year, and
approximately 280,000 die annually as a result of these injuries.
Therefore, the iatrogenic (doctor-caused) injury rate dwarfs the annual
automobile accident mortality of 45,000 and accounts for more deaths
than all other accidents combined." (JAMA, July 5, 1995, 274:29-34.)
You can picture this death rate: it is about equal to three loaded
jumbo jets crashing and killing everyone aboard every two days.
Can we do better? Quite possibly. It is becoming increasingly obvious
that medical emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks do not just
happen, but are mostly the result of unhealthful, long-term lifestyle
choices. Almost all health providers agree that good preventive care
must start at home. The dispute arises over where to draw the self-
care line. It is a big jump from eating less fat to, say, curing
pneumonia with 20,000 milligrams of vitamin C an hour, but both can be
Editor's Addenda to Last Issue:
The correct spelling is Dr. Hans Nieper. I forgot the "I before E,
except after C" rule again. Send your donations of dictionaries and
spell checkers to me at the address at the bottom of this Newsletter.
And, that why-not-use-a-placebo reference from last issue is:
"About 90% of the patients who visit doctors have conditions that will
either improve on their own or that are out of reach of modern
medicine's ability to solve." (New England Journal of Medicine, Feb 7,
HOW TO BE (MORE OF) A VEGETARIAN
Try overkill, or what in our house we call "the power of wretched
excess." If your child wants to eat meat, prepare some. and overcook
it. If family members want to eat hot dogs, buy the cheapest ones you
can find. and let them pig out to the point of nausea. (Remember your
first job in a bakery or ice cream parlor, and the owner said you can
have all you want?) Relentlessly serve nothing but meats for dinner,
and lunch, and snacks, and breakfast. Take your child shopping, and
pick out tripe, liver and tongue. Let them listen to a live lobster
being steamed. Tour the meat packing room at your local supermarket.
You probably won't be allowed to tour a slaughterhouse, but that would
be the consummate therapeutic trauma. These are coarse techniques to be
sure, but killing animals by the millions every day has got to stop. If
our future is our children, let's tell them straight: meat means dead
animals, and there is nothing pretty about it.
The Doctor Yourself Award for STEALTH FOOD Manufacturer of the Week
goes to GENERAL MILLS, INC.
Good ol' CHEERIOS. I ate them when I was a kid, and you did too, I'll
bet. Today, regular Cheerios are even better, as they are lower in
sugar than in the old days. Of course they contain a lot more salt,
but pobody's nerfect. And the other flavors of Cheerios (so-
called "Honey" Nut, and "Apple" Cinnamon) have lots of sugar. And
precious little honey or apple. But FLEA POWDER CHEERIOS are the
flavor you probably have not heard about. even though you may have
already tasted them back in 1994.
Yes, FLEA POWDER. The chemical chloro-pyrifos-ethyl (which also kills
ticks and termites) was sprayed on oats used to make no less than 16
different General Mills, Inc. cereals. Not 16 boxes, but 16 varieties,
amounting to 160 MILLION BOXES, including TRIX, BOOBERRY and LUCKY
CHARMS ("Ooh, now look at what they 'ave in wit' me Lucky Charms: pink
dead fleas, yellow dead ticks, and blue dead termites!")
Of course there are precious few insects in General Mills' cereals,
because they check for them. But in 1994 General Mills (with annual
sales of about 9 BILLION dollars) did NOT check for pesticide residues.
L. Robert Lake, director of policy and planning in the Food Safety
division of the FDA) said, "One of the things bothering us about the
General Mills incident is it went on for an extended period of time,
and they didn't know. It means they didn't have a good system for
checking oats." (The Washington Post, August 21, 1994)
The Post continues, "By the time the company found out about the
illegal spraying, 110 million boxes were on the shelves in grocery
stores and consumers' homes." "People had already fed it to their
children," said FDA's Mr. Lake.
So what happened next? A massive product recall? A series of Saturday
morning cartoon-time TV announcements to not buy, and not eat Cheerios
that you already bought? No such luck. "We didn't want to raise an
alarm for no good reason and scare people, but we didn't want to fail
to warn them either." said Dr. Lynn Goodman, assistant administrator
for pesticides and toxic substances at the Environmental Protection
Agency. Well, certainly no one was alarmed, for there was no recall at
all. The Post continues, "The two government agencies decided not to
press the company to recall the cereal. 'We were concerned that a
recall would have been very disturbing to parents. We did not want to
cause a public panic.' "
Well, THAT certainly makes me feel better!
General Mills now checks for pesticides. Good. But who checks General
Mills? If a company can sell 110 million boxes of contaminated cereal,
and nothing at all happens, what does this say about our government's
real interest in food safety?
(The full text Washington Post article, expertly written by Sharon
Walsh, appeared August 21, 1994. Your public librarian can get you a
photocopy through interlibrary loan. Or, send me a self addressed,
stamped envelope and I will send you a copy myself. My address is at
the bottom of this newsletter.)
COMING NEXT ISSUE:
Okay! Okay! My New THYROID ARTICLE will be included, by readers' very
insistent popular request.
A First Aid Alternative to Stitches
Readers ask about Vitamin C and Arteries
(AND MORE, OF COURSE!)
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AN IMPORTANT NOTE: This newsletter is not in any way offered as
prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness,
infirmity or physical condition. Any form of self-treatment or
alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's
acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise. Persons
needing medical care should obtain it from a physician. Consult your
doctor before making any health decision.
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