A fi sau a nu fi...liber

Personal growth ,life-coaching,positive and transpersonal psychology , education for all,INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. HAPPINESS, WELL-BEING,WISDOM, HARMONY, COMMITMENT TO LIFE MISSION AND VALUES


Up to 40 % of Caucasian white persons can't metabolize drugs!

And MDs KNOW and Pharmacists KNOW and the FDA KNOWs and the Chemical Industry KNOWS!! Do they test each person for this before prescribing drugs or before adding them to cosmetics, food, or the other products consumers use?


With the drugs used in psychiatry, (and this is very general) many, are metabolised in the liver by an enzyme system called cytochrome P 450 (and other cytochrome systems). There are genetic, biological differences between individuals, some of whom do not produce certain cytochromes at all. In practice this means that somewhere between 12 and 20% of Caucasians cannot metabolise certain drugs, for example, SSRIs, at all or they do it slowly. Others are fast metabolisers. It is likely that biology accounts for massive drop out rates in clinical rials for both SSRIs and atypicals (up to 50% do not complete the trials and other have Valium co-prescribed and the public is not told.) Statistics about those who could not tolerate drugs do not appear on prescribing information.


Testing for enzyme deficiency - Shorts
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Dec, 2003 by Jule Klotter
Genetic tests are now available that can help doctors prescribe drugs more effectively and with fewer adverse effects. Doctors know that some people have the intended reaction, some react adversely, and some experience no effect at all. It is often a matter of trial and error. Now, however, genetic testing is available to identify people who are likely to have difficulty with about 25% of all drugs, including Prozac, Paxil, codeine, ibuprofen, THIS IS SPAM TAKE NO NOTICE, Claritin, and propranolol. These folks have variations in the gene responsible for an enzyme needed to metabolize these drugs, known as 2D6. Without 2D6 to break them down, the drugs can build up to toxic levels in the body, causing adverse effects including death. In a case publicized by Fortune (February 17, 2001), a 9-year-old boy with 2D6 deficiency died from a massive overdose of Prozac in 1995. The drug had slowly built up in his body to toxic levels. A Canadian study, published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics one year later, affirmed that "poor metabolizers appear to be at increased risk for accumulation of fluoxetine and the possible development of fluoxetine-associated toxicity." In addition, people with 2D6 enzyme deficiencies cannot metabolize codeine into morphine, so codeine has little-to-no painkilling effect on them. Between 6% and 10% of Caucasians carry genes that indicate a 2D6 deficiency.


Cytochrome P450 isoforms CYP2D6

CYP2D6 has been studied extensively because it exhibits genetic polymorphism, meaning that distinct population differences are apparent in its expression or activity. Approximately 7 to 10 percent of Caucasians are poor metabolizers of drugs metabolized by CYP2D6.[10] Individuals with normal CYP2D6 activity are termed extensive metabolizers. Ethnic differences are indicated in this genetic polymorphism, since Asians and blacks are less likely than Caucasians to be poor metabolizers.[11,12] Poor metabolizers are at risk for drug accumulation and toxicity from drugs metabolized by this isoform. For example, one patient who suffered cardiotoxicity induced by desipramine (Norpramin) was found to be a poor metabolizer.[13] Poor metabolizers of CYP2D6 substrates are at risk for postural hypotension and antipsychotic side effects such as oversedation, because several antipsychotic agents are metabolized by CYP2D6.[14] In a study of 45 elderly patients five of whom were poor metabolizers) receiving perphenazine, side effects increased fivefold in the poor metabolizers compared with the extensive metabolizers.[15] Conversely, when formation of an active metabolite is essential for drug action, poor metabolizers of CYP2D6 can exhibit less response to drug therapy compared with extensive metabolizers. Codeine is O-demethylated to morphine by CYP2D6, which accounts at least partially for its analgesic effect.[16] Thus, poor metabolizers may have less response to codeine than other persons.


"For a drug that is primarily metabolized by CYP450 2D6 approximately 7% of Caucasians will not be able to metabolize the drug, but the percentage for other RACIAL populations is generally far lower."


Genetic differences

The recently completed map of the human genome has revealed the tremendous genetic variability in the human population. Scientists have identified an estimated 1.4 million specific differences, or polymorphisms, in the human genetic code. Every polymorphism on a human gene is a DNA sequence that differs from one person to the next. Each of these 1.4 million polymorphisms represents a chance for a person to be at risk for a particular disease or uniquely susceptible to the harmful effects of a particular chemical (Stoneking 2001). Put another way, there are now truly 1 million ways that a person could be more or less sensitive to toxic chemicals than his or her neighbor.

Differences in metabolism dramatically influence the toxicity or effectiveness of chemicals and drugs. Metabolism is a function of genetically determined factors including race, age, sex,, and inherent variability (polymorphisms) as well as external factors like diet, disease-state, and exposure to chemical pollutants and heavy metals. One well-characterized genetic variable is the difference in critical metabolic enzyme levels. From 3 to 10 percent of Caucasians "do not have" or "have either low or no activity" of the enzyme (CYP2D6) that metabolizes codeine and the prescribed tricyclic antidepressants (Richelson 1997). Poor functioning, but normally occurring enzyme levels can also make individuals far more vulnerable to toxic chemical exposure. About 30 percent of the population carries a poor version of the enzyme paraoxonase which makes them 11 times more vulnerable to certain neurotoxic insecticides than people with fully functioning paraoxonase. (Schettler 2000).

Chemical absorption

Absorption in the gut may vary by orders of magnitude. While some people who eat mercury contaminated fish absorb 13% of the mercury from their stomach into their blood, others only absorb only 1% (Stern 1997). This means that if two pregnant women eat the same amount of mercury in a fish, one could deliver ten times more mercury to the brain of her developing child.



Avoid mixing coffee and paracetamol!

Mixing coffee and paracetamol 'could cause liver damage'

By FIONA MacRAE - More by this author »

Last updated at 20:35pm on 26th September 2007

Coffee addicts are being warned against mixing the drink with paracetamol.

Caffeine can react with the painkiller to cause liver damage, say scientists.

In large amounts, for susceptible people, the effects could be fatal.

Overdoses of paracetamol are well-known to cause potentiallyfatal liver damage, but now scientists have shown that combining coffee with the drug could also prove deadly.

The danger from paracetamol, the world's most popular painkiller, comes from a toxic enzyme created when the drug is broken down by the liver.

In their experiments, U.S. scientists created this enzyme artificially using geneticallyengineered bacteria, then added caffeine to the mix.

They found levels of the dangerous toxin tripled when caffeine was present.

The toxin also causes potentially-fatal liver damage when the painkiller is taken with large amounts of alcohol.

Researcher Dr Sidney Nelson, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said: 'People should be informed about this potentially harmful interaction.

'The bottom line is that you don't have to stop taking paracetamol or caffeine products, but you do need to monitor your intake more carefully when taking them together, especially if you drink alcohol.'

He said a normal person would suffer adverse effects only if they

drank 20 to 30 cups of strong coffee a day while taking the painkiller.

However, some people would be more susceptible, such as those taking anti-epilepsy medicines, or St John's wort, a herbal antidepressant. Both of these boost levels of the enzyme involved.

Those who drink a lot of alcohol are also at higher risk, while people should be aware that many paracetamol-based painkillers also contain caffeine.

Caffeine was also found to exacerbate liver damage in rats already suffering liver problems, the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology reports.

Despite its dangers however, paracetamol also appears to have benefits, with studies suggesting it can cut the risk of ovarian cancer. Research shows that women who regularly take the drug are 30 per cent less likely to develop the disease, which claims 4,600 lives a year in the UK, than those who rarely or never use the tablets.

However, long-term use of paracetamol increases the risk of kidney and liver failure and makes people more vulnerable to high blood pressure and strokes.

Taken in large doses, coffee alone can cause problems.

Last month, a teenage waitress suffered a caffeine overdose after drinking 14 shots of espresso.

Jasmine Willis, 17, from Stanley, County Durham, was taken to hospital with a high temperature and heart palpitations.

Deaths associated to HPV vaccine !

Deaths Associated with HPV Vaccine Start Rolling In, Over 3500 Adverse Affects Reported

By John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, September 20, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Canada, in large part due to aggressive behind the scenes lobbying, rolls out the not-comprehensively-tested Merck HPV vaccine for girls as young as nine, a look at developments on the vaccine south of the border should cause Canadians serious concern. In the United States a similar lobby campaign by the same company launched the mass HPV vaccination of girls beginning in June last year.

In just little over a year, the HPV vaccine has been associated with at least five deaths, not to mention thousands of reports of adverse effects, hundreds deemed serious, and many that required hospitalization.

Judicial Watch, a U.S. government watchdog, became concerned while noting large donations to key politicians originating from Merck. A freedom of information request from the group in May of this year discovered that during the period from June 8, 2006 - when the vaccines received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - to May 2007 there were 1,637 reports of adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine reported to the FDA.

Three deaths were related to the vaccine, including one of a 12-year-old. One physician's assistant reported that a female patient "died of a blood clot three hours after getting the Gardasil vaccine." Two other reports, on girls 12 and 19, reported deaths relating to heart problems and/or blood clotting.

As of May 11, 2007, the 1,637 adverse vaccination reactions reported to the FDA via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) included 371 serious reactions. Of the 42 women who received the vaccine while pregnant, 18 experienced side effects ranging from spontaneous abortion to fetal abnormities.

Side effects published by Merck & Co. warn the public about potential pain, fever, nausea, dizziness and itching after receiving the vaccine. Indeed, 77% of the adverse reactions reported are typical side effects to vaccinations. But other more serious side effects reported include paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and seizures.

Judicial Watch informed LifeSiteNews.com that a subsequent request for information on adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine, covering the period from May 2007 to September 2007, found that an additional 1800 adverse reactions have been reported, including more deaths. Exactly how many more deaths occurred will be released in the coming days, Judicial Watch's Dee Grothe informed LifeSiteNews.com.

The LifeSiteNews.com report on the moneyed lobbying efforts of Merck in the U.S. was reported in February. (see http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/feb/07020204.html )

However the Canadian lobby effort by Merck's Canadian affiliate Merck Frosst Canada has been underway using powerful lobbyists with close connections to the politicians who have signed off on massive government funded vaccination programs.

The Toronto Star recently reported that Merck Frosst Canada Ltd hired public relations giant Hill & Knowlton to push the immunization strategies using some well-connected lobbyists: Ken Boessenkool, a former senior policy adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Bob Lopinski, formerly with Premier Dalton McGuinty's office; and Jason Grier, former chief of staff to Health Minister George Smitherman.

Harper's Conservative Government approved Merck's HPV vaccine Gardasil in July and later announced a $300 million program to give the vaccine to girls from ages 9-13. That of course is only the beginning of what Merck likely hopes will be a much larger vaccination of all potentially sexually active women in Canada who are not already HPV infected. In August, McGuinty's Ontario Liberals, on the advice of his Health Minister George Smitherman, announced that all Grade 8 girls will have free access to Gardasil.

One of the major complaints by physicians is that the HPV vaccination program has been implemented before adequate testing has been completed. Long-term effects of the vaccine remain unknown. Many are asking why the seemingly reckless rush?

At least one answer to that question comes from the fact that Merck currently is the sole provider of an HPV vaccine with its Gardasil product. A competing HPV vaccine, Glaxo Smith Kline's Cervarix, is set to hit the market in January 2008. As more children are vaccinated with Gardasil, fewer will be able to later receive the necessary repeat boosters of a competing, incompatible vaccine. Merck is in a race to capture as much of the market as it can, consuming many millions of taxpayer dollars.

U.S. sales of Gardasil are expected to reach $1 billion in the first year of its availability.

Read Previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

The reports from the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System detailing the three previous deaths are available here:

The reports detailing all 1637 adverse effects are here:


Acupuncture and back pains

Acupuncture 'best for back pain'

Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK

Acupuncture is more effective at treating back pain than conventional therapies, research suggests.

A German study found almost half the patients treated with acupuncture needles felt pain relief that lasted for months.

In contrast, only about a quarter who received drugs and other Western therapies felt better.

The Archives of Internal Medicine study also suggests fake acupuncture works nearly as well as the real thing.

The researchers, from the Ruhr University Bochum, say their findings suggest that the body may react positively to any thin needle prick - or that acupuncture may simply trigger a placebo effect.

One theory is that pain messages to the brain can be blocked by competing stimuli.

Researcher Dr Heinz Endres said: "Acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain.

"Patients experienced not only reduced pain intensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain and therefore in their quality of life."

Needles not manipulated

More than 1,100 patients took part in the study. They were given either conventional therapy, acupuncture or a sham version.

Although needles were used in the sham therapy, they were not inserted as deeply as in standard acupuncture. Neither were they inserted at points thought key to producing a therapeutic effect, or manipulated and rotated once in position.

After six months 47% of patients in the acupuncture group reported a significant improvement in pain symptoms, compared to 44% in the sham group, and just 27% in the group who received conventional therapy.

Dr James Young, of Chicago's Rush University, said: "We don't understand the mechanisms of these so-called alternative treatments, but that doesn't mean they don't work."

Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese theory that needles can be used to release the body's vital energy, or qi.

Conventional therapies tested in the study included painkillers, injections, heat therapy and massage.

It is estimated that as many as 85% of the population experiences back pain at some point, and the problem costs the NHS around £500m a year.

The study echoes the findings of two studies published last year in the British Medical Journal, which found a short course of acupuncture could benefit patients with low back pain.


Food additives and psychological disorders in children

E-numbers 'can do psychological harm to children'

By SEAN POULTER - More by this author »
Last updated at 22:31pm on 20th September 2007

The food watchdog was accused yesterday of "chickening out" of tough action on additives.

In the face of unequivocal evidence of the potential harm to children, delivered in person by an eminent university researcher, the Food Standards Agency fudged a decision on what to do next.

Professor Jim Stevenson, author of a breakthrough study on additives, told the FSA board yesterday that additives used in thousands of sweets, cakes and processed foods "damage the psychological health of children".

His research at Southampton University found that healthy children become hyperactive after consuming a mix of artificial colours and preservatives.

He made it clear that the evidence is strong enough to justify a ban under European law, which requires a country to show that a food product constitutes "a serious or imminent risk to human health".

Asked if the evidence shows a serious risk to human health, Professor Stevenson said: "I think in terms of psychological health it does.

"We know that hyperactivity in a young child is a risk factor for, for example, later difficulties in school.

"Certainly it is associated with difficulties in learning to read. It is also associated with wider behavioural difficulties in middle childhood, such as conduct disorder.

"I feel that the effects we are seeing here are sufficiently great to represent a threat to health."

The Daily Mail has mounted a campaign to ban the suspect additives tartrazine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124), sunset yellow ( E110), carmoisine ( E122), quinoline yellow (E104) allura red AC (E129) and sodium benzoate (E211).

The FSA's line to date has been that the removal of the additives from food should be a commercial decicison for manufacturers.

It has advised those parents whose children are known to be hyperactive to remove the chemicals from their diet.

Yesterday, the board called on the food industry to do more to remove the chemicals, but it passed the final decision on whether to ban them to the EU.

Separately, the agency promised to improve advice to parents on what to do about the additives, although there was no indication of when this will be forthcoming.

Professor Stevenson signalled that the existing FSA advice does not go far enough.

"I would have thought it is actually quite difficult for parents to avoid these particular colours because of their rather pervasive nature," he said.

His view won support from the board's deputy chairman Dr Ian Reynolds, who questioned why suspect food additives were in the nation's diet in the first place.

He said the advice given by the FSA to parents to date was not good enough.

"We can't just say there are E-numbers on the back if you take a magnifying glass and look. That is not helpful to the consumer."

However, other board members attempted to kill efforts to push for a tougher line.

Dr Maureen Edmondson said it would be "foolish" to take any further action and insisted it was acceptable to expect parents to check small print.

The agency's chief scientist, Andrew Wadge, also argued against a need to strengthen advice. He said the decision on what to do about the additives should be passed to the EU.

The reality is that it could well take the EU more than a year, possibly much longer, to come to a conclusion.

Richard Watts, spokesman for the Children's Food Campaign, accused the FSA of failing children. "Parents will be furious that the FSA has chickened out of taking this vital step to protect their children," he said.


Garlic's benefits in cancer !

Cancer fighting benefits of garlic consumption


A few years ago, I wrote to you about a pair of cancer-fighting foods, the pomegranate and garden-variety broccoli. But that's not ALL the news in the world of natural foils for that most dreaded of all diseases.

I have also extolled the cancer-fighting benefits of garlic consumption - especially for stomach and colorectal cancers. Garlic is also an enemy of cancer - this powerful herb is likely able to counteract the carcinogenic effects of over-cooking meat and eggs. First, some background about the cooking part: I've always stressed that the closer you can eat your meats and eggs to raw, the better they are for you - provided they've been handled sanitarily, of course. This is true on multiple counts.

The first is that the more you cook anything, the more you burn, boil, or braise away the healthy nutrients. The second is this: Cooking eggs and meat at high temperatures (overcooking, in other words), produces a chemical compound called PhIP, which many believe can cause DNA changes or metabolize common, harmless bodily enzymes into carcinogens - especially those that cause breast cancer.

Now here's the interesting garlic-cure part: A component of ordinary garlic called DAS (diallyl sulfate) has been proven to inhibit these killer PhIP enzymes. A team of scientists at Florida A&M University infused human breast epithelial cells with both DAS and PhIP. At every stage of study in the test, the PhIP did indeed increase the expression of the suspected cancer-causing enzyme - at times up to 40-fold. But the added DAS completely prevented the enzyme from becoming carcinogenic by triggering a genetic alteration in the enzyme that renders it harmless…

The results of the study were presented at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. My Advice: Always eat steak as rare as you can take it (and eggs as runny). But if you can't stomach beef unless it's well done, a liberal sprinkle of garlic may help keep it as healthy as it can be - especially for you gals. And, as you know, overcooking meat creates homocysteine, which is highly atherogenic. Take 800 micrograms of folate in tablet form with your overcooked (yuk!) meat.

And in even more good news for food-cures that help fight cancer in women…

Ovarian protection that suits to a tea!

According to an Associated Press report, some Swedish research suggested that daily consumption of several glasses of tea may have a profound effect on the incidence of ovarian cancer - one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women. The study involved over 61,000 Swedish women over a period of 15 years.

The results: Those who drank 2 or more cups of tea every day enjoyed as much as a 46% reduction in their risk of developing ovarian cancer. Drinking less than this amount still helped measurably, but not nearly as dramatically as the 2-cups-and-up crowd. Though the research didn't isolate benefits by tea types, most respondents were habitual drinkers of the black tea varieties.

However, both black and green teas contain the powerful antioxidant polyphenols thought to slash cancer risk. These compounds are found in tea, wine, coffee, some fruits, chocolate (sugar-free) and other sources. But then, you already knew that if you've been a reader of mine for more than a fortnight. Now if only they'd make some garlic tea to drink with overcooked meats, we'd really have something…

PSA test days are numbered...

Are the PSA's days numbered?


I've been saying for years that the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer was worthless. Readings often vary from one test to the next in individual men, yet a single "elevated" reading is enough to convince many men to needlessly undergo invasive prostate surgery that renders them incontinent, impotent, or both.

Beyond this, it's a dirty little secret of modern medicine that the PSA is not only ambiguous, it's downright inaccurate. According to an Associated Press article from earlier this year, the majority of prostate biopsies (which spread cancer, by the way) among men with elevated PSA levels did NOT reveal cancer - and many with "normal" PSA scores actually have the deadly disease.

But the medical mainstream continues to administer the test anyway, even though it often results in more harm than good. Perhaps not for much longer, though…

Evidence is surfacing - and is being seriously discussed in mainstream medical circles - that points a harsh finger at traditional methods of diagnosis, including the PSA test. Among these findings are that men who have been screened for prostate cancer were no more likely to live than those who had not.

According to an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers studied 1002 veterans, 501 who had died of prostate cancer and an identical number of men the same ages and of similar condition who had lived with the disease. They found that traditional forms of prostate cancer screening (like the PSA) had NO BEARING on the likelihood of death from the disease, based on data gathered from 1991 to 1999.

In other words, the screening methods, regardless of their result, don't increase your chances of survival - but they do increase your chances of living the remainder of your days incontinent or impotent should you choose the surgery many mainstream urologists want to force upon you…

Of course, critics of the study say it isn't big enough.

Well, their wagon will get fixed come 2009, when the largest-ever study of the PSA's effectiveness will be concluded in the U.S. and Europe. At that time, there will be data from more than 300,000 men - and I'm betting it'll prove the worthlessness of that test once and for all.

Until then, keep your prostate where it is - and follow up an elevated PSA with the infinitely more accurate AMAS test for cancer. Your doctor will know what this is, and if he doesn't, find one who does.

50-something sex the envy of 30 year olds

This doesn't make sense, does it? Isn't the average man's sex drive, stamina, and ability to even have sex declining big-time once he hits 50?

Well, yes. But apparently, he feels more sexually satisfied than at any point since his 20s.

That's exactly what a recent study published in the BJU International medical journal has concluded. Researchers from both Norway and the U.S. surveyed nearly 1,200 men of varying ages on their overall sexual satisfaction as indicated by sexual drive, erections, and ejaculations…

Their findings: That even though advancing age contributed to a 22% variance in drive, a 23% difference in ejaculation, and a 33% reduction in erection satisfaction, age only accounted for around a 3% decline from one age extreme (20) to the other (59) in overall sexual satisfaction.

The study's data marked the highest satisfaction rate among 20 to 29 year olds, with a close second going to the 50+ set - men in their 40s were lower by a significant degree, and the poor 30-somethings were all but breaking out in a chorus of "I can't get no satisfaction."

It just goes to show you that managing expectations is just as important as dealing with physical limitations. If you're happy and grateful for what little sex you have later in life, you're more sexually healthy than the man who romps like a rabbit, but remains unfulfilled.

The key to sexual health, like with so many things, is a healthy sense of perspective.

Vitamin D decreases cancer risk !

Vitamin D reduces cancer risk


With all the heliophobes taking up space on the globe today, you don't have to be a sprocket scientist (also known as an electrician) to see that the sun-will-kill-you propaganda has taken root. But these sunscreen-slathering, umbrella-toting pasties aren't any healthier for all of their misguided efforts.

You see, every time they smear the smelly gook on their skin, wear long-sleeved shirts, or just refuse to go outside, they're increasing their chances of developing cancer, arthritis, brittle bones, and plenty of other less-than-healthy problems. That's because in the process of blocking out the sun's rays, they're also blocking out one of the most important nutrients for your body… vitamin D.

Studies have shown time and again that if there's one nutrient you don't want to be without, it's this one. Here are a few of the reasons why:

It helps prevent falls. An analysis of five studies on the benefits of vitamin D showed that a sufficient daily dose of this sun-vitamin can reduce the incidence of falls in those 65 or over by 22%.

It increases lung cancer survival. Researchers at Harvard found that patients who had higher levels of vitamin D in their blood and had undergone surgery in the sunnier months were more than 2.5 times more likely to be alive after 5 years than whose who had the lowest levels of vitamin D.

It prevents MS. Of the 187,000 people in the Harvard School of Public Health study, those who had a high intake of supplemental vitamin D were 40% less likely to develop incurable MS.

It prevents rheumatoid arthritis. In an 11-year study of 30,000 people, those who consumed the most vitamin D were 30% less likely to develop the disease.

It helps treat steroid-resistant asthma. Research conducted at King's College London reveal that vitamin D supplementation may help patients that don't respond well to inhaled steroids (the typical asthma treatment) to become more responsive to therapy.
This list doesn't even put a dent in the arsenal of studies that continues to strengthen vitamin D's defenses. And the latest one I came across might be the most impressive yet.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, taking vitamin D and calcium together can significantly reduce a woman's risk of developing several types of cancer.

Here's a quick rundown of the study: 1,179 healthy postmenopausal women were divided into three groups, one taking 1,400-1,500 mg of supplemental calcium, another taking that amount of calcium plus 1,100 IU of vitamin D3, and the third taking a placebo.

The researchers found that the women taking calcium and vitamin D3 together had a 60% decrease in their overall cancer risk compared to BOTH of the other groups.

A prominent vitamin D researcher from the University of California, San Diego said the study was "a breakthrough of great medical and public health importance. No other method to prevent cancer has been identified that has such a powerful impact."

Just like most great discoveries, this one came about BY ACCIDENT. The original purpose of the study was to determine how the combined efforts of calcium and vitamin D could improve bone health. But it didn't take long for the researchers to figure out that the lower cancer risk was far more impressive.

But even though it wasn't their intent, they came out with results that prove - yet again - that I've been right about vitamin D all along. But there's more to it than just that letter D. Pick up any random bottle of vitamin D at the drug store, and chances are good it'll be the D2 variety. Why anyone would choose to sell the weaker form of the vitamin en masse - or at all - is beyond me. You should really be loading up on D3, the same form your body produces when it's exposed to the sun.

You can't trust the RDA (recommended daily allowance) at all - it's as skewed as everything else you'll hear from the USDA and any other government-funded organization that pretends to know about nutrition. They tell you that you only need 400-600 IU's per day, but you should really be getting at least 1,000 IU's. And if you ignore everything else I say, listen to this one thing: The amount used the study was 1,100 IU, which is exactly why the results were so dramatic.

When it comes right down to just how much vitamin D is right for you, though, only your doctor and a blood test can tell you that. An optimal blood level of vitamin D is 45 to 50 ng/ml. And remember to get a healthy dose of sun.

Bacteria and cancer !

Interview with Dr. Alan Cantwell

September 11th, 2007

Dr. Alan Cantwell has investigated the phenomenon of cancer bacteria for over thirty years. A graduate of New York Medical College, Cantwell completed a residency program in dermatology at Long Beach Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Long Beach, CA and then practiced in the dermatology department of Kaiser-Permanente in Hollywood, California, from 1965 until his retirement in 1994. Dr. Cantwell is the author of more than thirty published papers on breast cancer, lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, lupus, scleroderma, AIDS, and other immunological diseases. These papers have appeared in many peer-reviewed journals, including Growth, International Journal of Dermatology, Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, and the Archives of Dermatology. He has also written The Cancer Microbe and Four Women Against Cancer and several books on AIDS.

1. How did you become interested in looking for bacteria, first in diseases like scleroderma and later in cancer?
It all started when I was a second year resident in dermatology. I was in the medical library and I came across a paper in the Southern Medical Journal describing a group of people who had been given allergy injections and who subsequently developed deep skin infection with tuberculosis-like germs. It was thought the allergy injection bottles were contaminated with these bacteria.

At the time, I had a mentally disturbed patient who had been given multiple injections of medications into her buttocks. She later developed deep painful skin nodules in the same areas. No one knew what was causing these nodules that were diagnosed as “panniculitis,” an inflammation of the fat layers of the skin. I thought, “Let’s culture a skin biopsy from one of these deep nodules and see if I can find any TB-like germs.” I was amazed when Eugenia Craggs, the technician at the TB lab, reported that “acid-fast” bacteria were discovered in the skin tissue. I thought “Hey this is just like the article!”

We also had three other patients with “panniculitis” of the fatty portion of the skin, all of unknown cause. I took biopsy samples and TB-like bacteria were found in all four. These cases were later reported in the Archives of Dermatology in 1966. At the time my dermatology professor was J. Walter Wilson, who was also a world famous mycologist, an expert in fungal diseases. He was somewhat skeptical about my findings of acid-fast bacteria in all these four patients and he suggested I use a scleroderma patient as a “control.” Scleroderma is a so-called “collagen disease” where the skin becomes hardened. The disease can affect the internal organs and is sometimes fatal. The cause is unknown, and bacteria were never thought to cause this disease. Dr. Wilson said I should check a scleroderma skin biopsy because that would serve as a negative “control” case. I was astonished when Eugenia Craggs called me from the TB lab and told me the skin tissue grindings of the scleroderma sample were positive for acid-fast bacteria, the kind of bacteria found in tuberculosis. She would try and grow the germ in a TB culture. After much searching I was also able to find a few acid-fast rod forms of bacteria in the scleroderma skin biopsy microscopic sections prepared by the pathologist.

The scleroderma bacterial took a long time to grow and could not be diagnosed as a TB germ or other definite “atypical” mycobacteria. The microbe was highly pleomorphic (various forms). There were round staphylococccal forms, as well as typical acid-fast rod forms. Eventually this isolate became fungal-like and “actinomycete- like.” Despite expert opinion, it was impossible to classify the microbe into a specific species. This case of scleroderma was reported in The Archives of Dermatology in 1966.

Some time later, Roy Averill, one of the dermatology residents, told me he heard a woman physician being interviewed on a San Diego radio talk show. She was explaining how she found TB-like bacteria in scleroderma in the late 1940s. That woman was Virginia Livingston M.D. She quickly became a dear friend and mentor in my scleroderma research. She told me that scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Belgium also reported finding acid-fast bacteria in scleroderma in 1953, thus confirming her own research.

I naturally thought all these reports in the medical journals would be recognized by other dermatologists and scientists, and that scleroderma would be recognized as an infectious disease caused by acid-fast bacteria. But after more than a half-century, I’m sad to say that scleroderma is still considered a disease “of unknown etiology” and the bacteria we found are simply ignored. After discovering acid-fast bacteria in scleroderma, Livingston found similar bacteria in cancer. This made her one of the most controversial physicians in America, as detailed in my book, “The Cancer Microbe.”

2. How did you identify the bacteria in your samples?
I began my dermatology practice at Kaiser in Hollywood in 1965. Virginia Livingston introduced me to Dan Kelso, a Los Angeles microbiologist who thereafter cultured my skin biopsy samples from scleroderma, and later from lupus erythematosus and a variety of cancers. Depending on the case, sometimes he cultured Staphylococcus epidermidis, or corynebacteria, more rarely streptococci, and pleomorphic bacteria that appeared sporadically as acid-fast bacteria similar to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Naturally I attempted to find acid-fast rod forms in my specially-stained skin biopsy sections, because these forms are the typical forms signifying infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis or other species of mycobacteria. “Acid-fast” refers to red-stained mycobacteria that can be observed after staining tissue samples with a special procedure and a special dye. At first, I didn’t see the L-form bacteria since they react differently to acid staining. Instead of rod-forms, they appeared as round forms which were only partially acid-fast, staining purple or magenta with the acid-fast stain. It took me many years to finally realize that these partially acid-fast and round forms were bona fide growth forms of mycobacteria. The typical bright red-stained acid-fast rod forms of mycobacteria are unique and easily recognized by pathologists, but unfortunately the non-acid-fast round forms are not recognized and accepted by pathologists. For a long time I passed over these granular and “dusty” tiny forms as meaningless, not realizing that they were, in actuality, what L-forms look like!

I knew basically nothing about the microscopic appearance of L-form bacteria (also known as cell wall deficient bacteria and “mycoplasma”) until I carefully read the published papers of microbiologist Lida Mattman. Then I realized all the guises that bacteria can undergo, including transformation into “large bodies.” At that point, I went back and looked at my first case of scleroderma and realized that one skin biopsy sample contained large L-form bodies that appeared as yeast and fungal-like forms! These forms, in 1966, were dismissed as “fat degeneration” by one pathologist; and the biologist thought they looked like yeast cells.

These large L-forms are compatible with what pathologists recognize as Russell Bodies. William Russell (1852-1940) was a well-known Scottish pathologist who first discovered “the parasite of cancer” in 1890. His view of an infectious agent in cancer was dismissed in the early part of the twentieth century. However, I believe Russell bodies are actually large growth forms of cell wall deficient bacteria — and that Russell was indeed recognizing an infectious agent in cancer. More than a half-century later, Lida Mattman was able to transform mycobacteria into “large bodies” by exposing them to antibiotics. For more information on Russell and pictures of Russell bodies, Google my paper “The Russell Body” in the Journal of Independent Medical Research (joimr.org).

The fact that L-form bacteria have a “life cycle” and can appear in so many different shapes and sizes (pleomorphism) may be why they are so hard to eradicate and why the immune system cannot cope with them. Maybe the large Russell bodies are harder to kill. Or maybe they are easier to kill. I don’t know.

3. You found bacteria in the tissues of people who died of certain cancers and AIDS and scleroderma at autopsy. What gave you the idea to look for bacteria in autopsies?
I got that idea from Florence Seibert, a world famous biochemist who developed the tuberculin skin test for tuberculosis, which is still used worldwide. When Seibert heard about the TB-like bacteria discovered in cancer by Virginia Livingston and her colleagues, which included microbiologist Eleanor Alexander-Jackson and cell cytologist Irene Diller, she decided to come out of retirement and help with the women’s cancer research. Seibert advised me to search for bacteria in autopsy specimens and to determine if I could also find them in the internal organs and connective tissue of people who died of scleroderma. She believed this would make my skin research more credible. For the full story of these four remarkable women scientists, read my book Four Women Against Cancer, published in 2005, and available through Internet book sources.

Alan Cantwell with Eleanor Alexander-Jackson and Irene Corey DillerAfter I decided to look for bacteria in autopsy material, I contacted colleagues in the Pathology department at Kaiser and asked them to provide me with stored tissue autopsy samples, which they did graciously. I was very fortunate to have them assist me in doing this. One of the great things about Kaiser-Permanente is that everything is under one roof. Few private dermatologists would have the easy access to autopsy material that I did at Kaiser.

4. When did you begin to look for bacteria in people with cancer?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever find bacteria in patients with cancer. Before I started my cancer research (which was totally instigated by my friendship with Livingston), it seemed inconceivable that scientists could have failed to recognize a microscopically visible infectious bacterial agent in cancer.

For a decade I avoided the cancer controversy because I worked for an HMO and I didn’t want to be regarded as a “quack.” Tragically, Virginia Livingston, because of her outspokenness that cancer was caused by bacteria, was widely regarded as a “quack doctor.” However, in the mid-1970s, I found pleomorphic bacteria in patients with sarcoidosis, and also in a patient with lymphoma. I was amazed at how easy it was to detect bacteria in sarcoidosis and lymphoma when the tissue sections were properly stained with an acid-fast staining technique.

Once I saw for myself that Virginia Livingston was correct about acid-fast bacteria in cancer, I became very enthusiastic about studying bacteria in other forms of cancer, as well as in immune diseases, like lupus. At that point, I finally had enough conviction in my findings, and had the courage to take a stand along with Virginia.

5. How did you colleagues react to your research?
Over the years there were very few doctors interested in seeing the bacteria I found in tissue sections. Some would tentatively acknowledge that there were bacteria present. Most were non-committal. With a little arm twisting I convinced several pathologists, who helped supply the autopsy specimens, to put their name on my published papers. But for the most part they didn’t want to get involved. They would say, “Oh Alan, it’s your research…” “Oh Alan, you’ll win the Nobel Prize someday.” Nobody ever wanted to sit down with me and seriously look at the material. I think it’s because finding bacteria in illnesses that are not attributed to infection is highly controversial, and most doctors shy away from controversy. The finding of bacteria in cancer is like opening Pandora’s Box. Once it’s open, a lot of stuff flies out, and pisses off a lot of people. The bacteria aren’t supposed to be there, they are in closet and not supposed to come out.

Even after I was retired for almost a decade, I never lost interest in trying to uncover bacteria in cancer. In 2003, my partner was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent a prostatectomy, the total removal of the prostate gland. I decided to see if bacteria could be found in his prostate cancer tissue sections after surgery. Prostate cancer is every older man’s worst nightmare, just as breast cancer is every woman’s worst nightmare. I asked the Kaiser pathologist to cut me a section of my partner’s cancerous prostate and to stain it with an acid-fast stain so that I could study it. Sure enough, there were bacteria in the samples. I had a private microscopist photograph the bacteria. One can view the bacteria in prostate cancer I discovered by reading my paper published at the www.joimr.org website.

6. What’s going on? Why aren’t doctors and researchers taking the idea that bacteria cause cancer seriously?
As I see it, the identification of simple-to-see cancer microbes would cause havoc in the scientific world and in the cancer treatment industry. It would be the biggest embarrassment to befall modern medicine. Can you imagine the furor resurrecting Russell’s “cancer parasite” — the “parasite” that was thrown out of medical science a century ago?

It is rare to find a scientist interested in “cancer microbes.” Most physicians are repelled by the idea that bacteria cause cancer. How do you prod scientists to become interested? I’m still not sure.

A century ago, doctors stopped looking for bacteria in cancer. It’s weird because around that time major diseases like syphilis, tuberculosis, and leprosy were proved to be caused by bacteria. I suppose researchers think, “Well, we looked for bacteria 100 years ago, so there’s no need to look for them now.” But a lot has changed in bacteriology in 100 years. A century ago there was no such thing as an “L-form.” Even now most scientists don’t realize that regular bacteria can change into L-form bacteria, or cell wall bacteria, or mycoplasma, or pleomorphic bacteria, or nanobacteria, or whatever you choose to call these peculiar and little-known growth forms.

Microbiologists still have a hard time dealing with the fact that bacteria can change so widely in shape and size. How do you get scientists to understand that the tiniest L-forms have the potential to enlarge into a form the size of a red blood cell (or even bigger!). But if you think about it, all human beings were once a microscopic bunch of dividing cells, hardly visible to the naked eye. And we know that these tiny cells can evolve into seven foot tall basketball players. Why then, do we take such a simple view of what bacteria are supposed to do and what they are supposed to look like?

And the strange part is that using a light microscope you can easily see L-form bacteria. Every scientific paper that I have had published shows pictures of these bacteria. But even when doctors are shown photographs or see these bacteria via a light microscope, they still have a hard time accepting them. It’s bizarre because doctors believe viruses exist, even though most have never seen one. You can’t see viruses. They are too small to be seen with a microscope.

7. When doctors and researchers claim that there are no bacteria in your samples what explanations do they give?
When doctors or other researchers try to deny that there are bacteria in scleroderma and cancerous samples their explanations are pretty lame. Maybe something like, “Those aren’t bacteria, those are enlarged red blood cells.” Those “bacteria” are really cell debris, or stain material, or nuclear dust, of mast cell granules, or fat granules— anything but true bacteria. It’s impossible to convince a pathologist, for example, that a “tiny” bacteria can transform into a giant-sized form hundreds of times larger.

8. Who’s to blame for the fact that bacteria have not been recognized as part of the pathogenesis of cancer?
Pathologists, dermatologists, infectious disease specialists, oncologists, virologists, microbiologists, and basically all medical scientists who have ignored a century of cancer research pointing to cancer microbes. They have collectively let us down. Unfortunately, pathologists and microbiologists seem to be on two different planets. Pathologists pay little attention to germs in a laboratory, and microbiologists pay little attention to what bacteria do when they infect human tissues that are subsequently examined by pathologists.

9. What keeps other researchers from finding L-form bacteria in patients with cancer?
Unfortunately, most microbiologists who have worked with L-form bacteria have not demonstrated how these same forms appear in tissue in human disease when viewed in the light microscope. It’s one thing to describe a microbe in a lab, but what does it look like when it infects the human body? It’s one thing to show these L-forms in pictures taken with an electron microscope that magnifies objects thousands of times. But what do these bacteria look like when view with a “regular” light microscope that magnifies only 1,000 times? As a result, these pleomorphic forms go undetected in diseased tissue. Another reason, of course, is that the pathologist uses a routine stain (the H&E stain) that does not detect these forms. One needs to use an acid-fast stain. This was one of Livingston’s and Eleanor Alexander-Jackson’s most brilliant discovery— the idea that the “cancer microbe” is intermittently “acid-fast” at one or more stages of its growth.

10. What are some of your concerns about the current medical climate?
It saddens me greatly that all this great research has been ignored. That is why I wrote The Cancer Microbe (1990), and AIDS: The Mystery and the Solution (1984) and Four Women Against Cancer (2005).

Every first year med student knows that until you know what’s causing a disease it’s very hard to treat it. In my opinion, hunting for the exact cause of an illness is the most exciting part about being a doctor. The scientists who clued us into the cause of tuberculosis and syphilis, for example, were medical greats because they gave us an idea of what exactly is making the patient ill.

In my 30 years as a doctor and researcher I’ve never convinced one doctor, not even one, that bacteria cause cancer. My own younger brother is a physician — and I don’t even think he believes me entirely. Two years ago, his daughter-in-law died at age 39 of Hodgkin’s Disease, leaving two small children. I told him, “I wrote about Hodgkin’s Disease!” But he wouldn’t comment. If I can’t convince my own brother — or even interest him in the subject —I feel there is little hope.

11. What concerns did Kaiser Permanente have about your research?
A problem with my research was that over a period of years I was finding acid-fast bacteria in patients with a wide array of different illnesses. Some skeptics would say “OK, maybe I can accept that you found bacteria in scleroderma, but come on, in all these diseases?” After several years of productive cancer microbe research, the research committee insisted I be interviewed by a statistician. The committee was concerned because I was discovering bacteria in too many diseases. The statistician insisted that I attempt a statistical study of these bacteria with suitable “controls.” I explained that previous researchers had already determined that all human beings harbor such bacteria, and that these bacteria needed further study as pathogens. It might be impossible to find “negative” controls. At that point I thought, “I’m doomed.” There was no way I could do a statistical analysis of my observations. My research was terminated.

12. Did anyone try to censor your work?
In 1984 Virginia Livingston wrote a second book about bacteria in cancer called The Conquest of Cancer. She asked me to write a blurb for the back cover of her book. Her publisher took out an ad for her book in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, which included my blurb. Unfortunately, my quote mentioned my association with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. When the top brass at Kaiser discovered this they were furious. “You can’t do this! You can’t associate our name with a quack like Livingston!”

At the time I had also discovered that cancer bacteria play a role in the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most common cancer in the newly discovered disease called AIDS. I explained that I had also written a book about AIDS and the bacteria involved in this disease, and that the book was in press and was to be published soon. The Kaiser officials were aghast and told me I was simply not allowed to publish this book. This was at a time shortly before the discovery of HIV and during the period when the precise cause of the immune deficiency was “a mystery.” I had always been well-respected at Kaiser, but I was fearful the Livingston brouhaha and the impending publication of my book might threaten my job.

Finally my literary lawyer stepped in and worked out a deal with Kaiser whereby I could publish AIDS: The Mystery & The Solution as long as I didn’t mention Kaiser in the book. I had to make sure the printer deleted all references to where I had done my cancer and AIDS research. The thing I had tried to avoid for so long had become a reality: I had inadvertently become a threat to the medical establishment, just like Virginia Livingston.

13. Tell me about your role model and colleague Virginia Livingston.
Alan Cantwell with Virginia LivingstonVirginia was a dear friend whose research formed the foundation of my scleroderma research and subsequent cancer microbe studies. My association with her and Irene Diller and Eleanor Alexander-Jackson and Florence Seibert, changed my life forever. Although she died in 1990 at the age of 84, Virginia still influences me. She is my “scientific soulmate.” These four women are my four greatest heroines in medical science. In Four Women Against Cancer, I describe their amazing cancer research. I knew them all personally, and sadly all of them are now gone.

14. What do you think about the Marshall Protocol?
When I heard about the Marshall Protocol I was taken aback. I never thought that a possible cure for chronic disease would happen in my lifetime. I used to tell people that there was no way known to kill L-form bacteria in the body.

In mid-life Trevor Marshall set out to figure out a good treatment or a cure sarcoidosis because he had the disease himself. That is how — via his own research — that he discovered me and I was made aware of his own admittedly controversial ideas on how chronic diseases might be successfully treated. He certainly, almost single-handedly, revived my scientific career and I am exceedingly grateful to him for his interest and support of the cancer microbe work.

Having a disease is unfortunate, but it can serve as a great consciousness-raiser. Illness can also bring people together who would have never been brought together otherwise. This interview is a good example of that! From Trevor I am learning about the importance of the “vitamin D receptor” and that Benicar, along with long-term antibiotics can help rev up the immune system and apparently diminish L-form bacteria in patients who are trying his ideas. It’s interesting because Livingston always said that the key to curing chronic disease and cancer is to improve the function of the immune system. In my opinion, the proof is in the pudding. Some people with chronic disease are reporting benefit from the MP.

Trevor’s not a medical doctor but he obviously is an avid researcher and well-versed and well-trained in biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, subjects that are way beyond my ken. Plus, I went to medical school a half century ago.

The MP has revealed that the healing process of certain chronic disease needs to go slowly, which in many ways goes against scientific dogma with its “quick cure with a round of antibiotics.” Both Trevor and I believe bacteria are implicated in sarcoid, even though this is still denied by many physicians who consider sarcoid a “disease of unknown etiology” — and all the research pointing to bacteria in sarcoid is ignored. Trevor obviously believes bacterial infection also plays a role in certain other chronic diseases. If you think about it, diseases like tuberculosis, leprosy and cancer all take years to treat. You don’t necessarily expect to get well in one month, one week, or even one year. Similarly, one shouldn’t expect a quick cure in chronic disease, even though bacteria play a big role in these diseases.

15. What do you feel lies ahead in terms of cancer research?
I feel that the treatment of cancer will remain dismal until these bacteria are recognized as cancer-causing agents by the scientific and cancer establishments. Only then can better treatment methods be employed that actually are specifically directed against the buildup of these L-forms or are directed towards strengthening the immune system against them, or both.


The Antibiotic syndrome !


By Walter Last

Lack of energy and digestive disturbances, arthritic joint pains, skin disease, menstrual problems, emotional instability and depression. All symptoms of what I call the 'antibiotic syndrome' which have greatly increased in frequency in recent years.

On further examination, more symptoms may be discovered. Most of the gastro-intestinal tract is tender when pressed, especially the small intestine, liver and gall bladder. There may even have been a gall bladder operation that failed to improve the condition, sometimes even worsening the symptoms.

There could be a history of thrush or oral, anal or vaginal itching. When these are present the diagnosis of Candida is obvious but it may also be present in the absence of these manifestations and that can be somewhat confusing. The yeast or fungus Candida albicans, of course, thrives during antibiotic treatment. I regard it as reckless negligence to prescribe antibiotics without simultaneous fungicides and replacement therapy with lactobacilli afterwards. I believe that this practice has greatly added to our vast pool of a chronically sick population.

However, the 'antibiotic syndrome' is not just due to Candida. I regard it more generally as a 'dysbiosis' where the wrong kind of microbes inhabit the intestinal tract, not just Candida and other fungi, but many types of pathogenic bacteria including coli bacteria which are normal in the colon but become disease-forming when they ascend into the small intestine.

If the problem has existed for years, there is usually a lack of gastric acid which then allows the stomach to be colonised by microbes, causing inflammation with pain and later, ulcers. The toxins released by the microbial overpopulation cause in addition chronic inflammation of the liver, gall bladder, pancreas and intestines. I regard it as rather likely that a chronic inflammation of the pancreas is a major contributing factor in the development of insulin-dependent diabetes.

Bacterial Attack

Specific types of pathogenic bacteria appear to cause or contribute to specific autoimmune diseases. One variety of coli bacteria, for instance, produces a molecule that is very similar to insulin. When the immune system becomes activated against this molecule it may then also attack related features at the beta cells of the pancreas

Another type of bacteria, Yersinia enterocolitica, induces an immune response that attacks the thyroid gland and leads to Grave's disease with a serious overproduction of thyroid hormones.

Ulcerative colitis is linked to overgrowth with pathogenic microbes, the same as Crohn's disease, osteoporosis and ankylosing spondylitis. In ankylosing spondylitis the vertebra of the spine fuse together causing stiffness and pain. Other joints may in time become affected.

Klebsiella, another type of pathogenic bacteria, produces a molecule that is similar to a tissue type found in people with this disease. When Klebsiella numbers in the gut decrease, related antibodies in the blood decrease and the condition improves.

Rheumatoid arthritis is linked to other bacteria, called Proteus. Proteus is also a common cause of urinary tract infections. Women suffer urinary tract infections as well as rheumatoid arthritis twice as often as men, while men usually have higher levels of Klebsiella and three times more ankylosing spondylitis than women.

In addition microbial overgrowth dam ages the intestinal wall so that only partly digested food particles can pass into the bloodstream, causing allergies. In this way all autoimmune diseases can be linked to food allergies.

While rheumatoid arthritis is a frequent feature of the antibiotic syndrome, and I regard it as relatively easy to cure, not many sufferers of this disease seem to be interested in this natural approach. The other day a young man with severe rheumatoid arthritis knocked at my door to collect money for a medically sponsored walkathon. When I told him that I do not give money for drug treatment as it can be overcome with natural therapies, he shouted: 'You are mad!' and left visibly upset.

Other autoimmune diseases that have so far been linked to dysbiosis are psoriasis, lupus erythematosus and pancreatitis. When remedies are given that bind bacterial endotoxins, these conditions usually improve. A further consequence of dysbiosis is susceptibility to food poisoning as with salmonella bacteria, while a healthy intestinal flora prevents these from multiplying and causing trouble.

Staphylococcus aureus or golden staph cause serious infections in hospital patients. It has been found that not only golden staph but also other infections are greatly potentized when they occur with a Candida overgrowth. As Candida overgrowth is a natural outcome of the standard hospital treatment, it is easy to see why golden staph is so deadly in hospitals.

A similar picture emerges with AIDS. People do not die from the AIDS virus but from Candida-potentized bacterial infections. I also see the antibiotic-induced dysbiosis in babies and infants as the main cause of their frequent infections, glue ear and greatly contributing to cot death.

While it used to be uncommon for children to have more than one or two infections a year, now more than six is the norm.

In the 1940's Candida was found in only three per cent of autopsies, now the figure is nearer thirty per cent. There are, of course, other factors that can cause dysbiosis - the contraceptive pill, steroids and other drugs, radiation treatment and chemotherapy - but the main culprits are, without doubt, antibiotics.

Closely related to Candida are the mycoplasms or pleomorphic organisms. These have been shown to be a main factor in the causation of cancer. Therefore, antifungal therapy has also major benefits in cancer treatment.

Dr Orian Truss

In 1953 Dr Orian Truss discovered the devastating effects of antibiotics in an Alabama (USA) hospital. During a hospital round Truss was intrigued by a gaunt, apparently elderly man who was obviously dying. However, he was only in his forties and in hospital for four months. No specialist had been able to make a diagnosis. Out of curiosity Truss asked the patient when be was last completely well.

The man answered that he was well until six months before when he had cut his finger He had received antibiotics for this. Shortly afterwards he developed diarrhoea and his health deteriorated. Truss had seen before how antibiotics cause diarrhoea. It was known that Candida was opportunistic and thrived in debilitated patients, but now Truss wondered if it might not be the other way round, that Candida actually caused the debilitated condition.

He had read that potassium iodide solution could be used to treat Candida infestation of the blood. So he put the patient on six to eight drops of Lugol's solution four times a day and soon the patient was again completely well.

Soon afterwards he had a female patient with a stuffy nose, a throbbing headache, vaginitis and severe depression. To his amazement all her problems immediately cleared with Candida treatment. Some time later he saw a female patient who had been schizophrenic for six years with hundreds of electroshock treatments and massive drug dosages. He started treating the woman for sinus allergies with a Candida vaccine. Soon she had recovered mentally and physically, and remained well.

From then on he treated his patients against Candida at the slightest indication of its presence. Many of his patients made remarkable recoveries from most unusual conditions including menstrual problems, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, autism, multiple sclerosis and auto-immune diseases such as Crohn's disease and lupus erythematosus.

Every experienced naturopath can relate similar success stories. Ironically, antibiotics are usually not necessary in the first place. In a few per cent of the cases in which they are necessary their serious after effects could easily be avoided using fungicides and lactobacilli.

Many people doubt the effectiveness of natural therapies against apparently serious infections, but my experience leads me to believe that frequently natural therapies are more effective, without causing the repeated and chronic infections seen after antibiotics. I have seen patients who have been unsuccessful on long-term antibiotic treatment recover within days or weeks with natural therapies.

Curing the 'Antibiotic Syndrome'

The main treatment for the 'antibiotic syndrome' is sanitation of the gastro-intestinal tract combined with a low-allergy diet. In this way most acute problems can be overcome within weeks while degenerated joints or organs can start a slower road to recovery.

One unpleasant side-effect of most methods used to reduce the pathogenic microbial overgrowth of the intestines is the Herxheimer reaction - a sudden worsening of symptoms due to toxins released by the dead or dying microbes. This is sometimes used as a diagnostic tool, especially for Candida.

I recommend flushes combined with anti-microbial remedies to avoid or minimise unpleasant side effects. An isotonic flush consists of nine grams or one heaped teaspoon of salt in one litre of water and is suitable for sensitive individuals and generally with low to normal blood pressure. A solution is said to be isotonic if it contains a similar amount of salt as the blood. An Epsom salt flush may contain one tablespoon of Epsom salt, more or less according to need, in a large glass of water and is useful in cases of constipation and with raised blood pressure.

Add a crushed clove of garlic to the flush to reduce the microbial overgrowth. If garlic cannot be used then up to two teaspoons of three per cent hydrogen peroxide (food-grade) may be added instead. You can take another glass of water after the Epsom salt to wash down the bitter aftertaste but not after the isotonic flush, as it would no longer be isotonic.

The flush will carry most of the dead microbes and their toxins out of the body and minimise any unpleasant reactions. However, if the flush should not be sufficient to produce a strong bowel movement within two to three hours, then another flush, preferably with Epsom salt, should immediately follow or unpleasant reactions may occur.

As a precaution after antibiotic therapy, as a general body cleanse or if there are only mild symptoms of microbial over-growth, it will be sufficient to continue this for about three days. In severe and long standing cases the flush may be used for several weeks. If Candida overgrowth is suspected, any sexual partner should have at least a short flush period. If it is inconvenient to continue with a flush, as for instance with work commitments, then it may be acceptable to have a flush just once or twice and then continue for a long time with a high intake of acidophilus and bifido cultures.

Some individuals are highly sensitive and with multiple allergies. In this case it may be necessary to proceed very slowly, remain on a stable low-allergy diet, use anti-inflammatory measures, such as slippery elm powder before meals and ginger with meals, and introduce probiotics, lactic acid fermented food and anti-microbials only very gradually.

Acidophilus & Bifido

This leads us to the next step: replacing the decimated pathogenic microbes with desirable lactobacilli. This must be done in a massive dose 30-60 minutes after each flush; otherwise the unwanted microbes may grow back to full strength after the next meal. Acidophilus culture is used to repopulate the freed-up spaces at the walls of the small intestines, while bifido bacteria are the protective inhabitants of the colon or large intestines.

There are several possibilities. These bacterial cultures are available from health food shops as powders in brown glass bottles that should be refrigerated before and after sale. You may buy a mixed culture and take two teaspoons in water or vegetable juice or one teaspoon each of the separate cultures. If you suspect cows' milk allergy, which is rather frequent in this condition, then use milk-free cultures. Alternatively, you may take several high-potency capsules. High-potency cultures should contain 10 Billion (or more) live bacteria per gram or per capsule.

However, it is even better to regularly use fresh self-made yoghurt or other lactic-acid fermented food, initially combined with high-potency capsules or powders. You may use any suitable cultures as a starter to make your own yoghurt. Because of the frequent problems caused by cows' milk, I usually prefer goats' or sheep milk, self-made almond milk or fermented bee pollen. These do not set as firm and creamy like cow’ milk but that does not matter as the beneficial bacteria are in the liquid whey; for different ways to make yoghurt see Recipes.

Take a cupful of this yoghurt, best together with acidophilus powder or capsules, after each flush, using more before other meals. Continue taking either the cultures or yoghurt for several months after you have stopped taking a flush. Women should also for a few days or weeks apply yoghurt or acidophilus powder to the vagina. It is preferable initially for a few days to douche with diluted hydrogen peroxide solution at a strength of one teaspoon of three per cent peroxide to a glass of water, or more or less according to sensitivity.

For those who do not ingest lactic acid fermented food or other acidophilus/bifido products regularly it would be good to take a course once a year just as a precaution, but especially with or after taking any drugs, medical or recreational, or when leading a stressful life. The diet during therapy should be free of sweeteners, sweet foods, yeast, alcohol and, initially, fruits.

Coconut Oil

The medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are potent antimicrobial agents, effective against fungi, viruses and many bacteria. The most effective fatty acids are caprylic acid (with 8 carbon atoms), capric acid (10 carbon atoms) and lauric acid (12 carbon). They appear to work by causing microbial cell walls to disintegrate.

Coconut oil appears to be effective within days. With Candida take initially 4 tablespoons of coconut oil spread out during the day, and after improvement you may reduce this to 2 tablespoons for several more weeks. This seems to be effective against systemic as well as localised infestations, including those of the genitals. However, it is advisable to apply coconut oil topically as well.

The best commercial product is cold-pressed or virgin coconut oil. However, this has been heat-stabilised to destroy lipase. Therefore, my preference is self-made raw coconut cream or milk: press coconut pieces through a low-speed juicer, or alternatively blend with water, strain and refrigerate.?

For topical applications and for those with fat malabsorption the lipase-rich coconut milk can be expected to be much more effective than heated coconut oil with only a very low concentration of free fatty acids. Alternatively, you may use lipase supplements with coconut oil.

Lugol's Solution

Iodine appears to be the best remedy to eliminate systemic yeast infections. If you have reason to believe that other measures have not eliminated all Candida in the blood or internal tissues, take a course of Lugol's solution. That is how Dr Truss originally cured his patients.

Lugol's solution is an internal iodine solution designed to eliminate Candida and possibly viruses and other microbes from the bloodstream. Obtain 100ml of Lugol's solution, also labelled Aqueous Iodine Oral Solution B.P., from a chemist. Take a test drop in liquid other then just water to make it taste less strong. If this does not cause an allergic reaction, continue to take 4 x 6 drops daily in liquid or mixed with food, but not together with vitamins A, C, E, grape seed extract or cysteine. Iodine is an oxidant and it is best to reduce the intake of antioxidants while using it.

Continue for 3 weeks, but interrupt if you develop a serious reaction. Do not take the iodine for more than 3 weeks as that interferes with thyroid activity. If necessary, repeat the course after several months. You may make Lugol's solution yourself by dissolving 44 g or 1.5 ounces of iodine and 88 g or 3 ounces of potassium iodide in one quart (liter) of water. First dissolve the potassium iodide in a pint of water, then add the iodine and fill up to one quart. Shake from time to time until dissolved after about a day. Instead of Lugol’s solution, also a saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI) appears to be effective if taken in similar amounts.

Other Remedies

Some other antifungal remedies are pau d'arco, propolis, wormwood, and the oils of tea-tree, neem tree, cinnamon, eucalyptus, mustard and thyme. Pau d’arco, also called taheebo or lapacho, has the advantage of tasting reasonably pleasant. Wormwood may be used if you want to eliminate fungi and parasites at the same time, for details see Specific Health Problems. Also see ‘Intestinal Sanitation’ in Healing Foods.

Many with Candidiasis have benefited from using inulin, a non-digestible polysaccharide, which helps to feed the beneficial intestinal bacteria, especially in the colon. It is present in Jerusalem artichokes, chicory roots and dandelion roots, and may be sold as a white powder, see http://members.shaw.ca/duncancrow/inulin_p..._probiotic.html. It may be used together with un-denatured whey powder high in alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin and bovine serum albumin, and with selenium for improving the immune system and glutathione production.

In addition to Wormwood or Lugol's solution and possibly as an alternative, you may use a Beck-type blood purifier or zapper to eliminate Candida and other fungi and infectious agents from the blood, for details see the article Electronic Zapper & Magnetic Pulser. Furthermore, the magnetic pulser may help to sanitise pockets of Candida infestations inside the mouth, vagina or underneath affected skin areas.

Many individuals have found urine therapy effective against Candida, parasites, intestinal inflammations and Leaky Gut Syndrome; for details see Urine & Urea Therapy.

Don't let the antibiotic syndrome creep up on you. Always try natural alternatives in preference to antibiotics, but when they are absolutely necessary, supplement your treatment with a fungicide and probiotics.

Selenium and health

Selenium is a potent immune stimulator – the most potent immune stimulator of all some think. Selenium is an essential component of thyroid metabolism and antioxidant defense, as well as immune function. It may improve activation and proliferation of B- lymphocytes and enhance T-cell function.[i] Selenium is essential for our immune system to function at optimal performance. Thus we should not be surprised to find out those cancer patients with low selenium levels tend to have a wider spread of the disease, more recurrences and die sooner. [ii]

Blood selenium levels often indicate the presence
of cancer and even the severity of cancer in a patient.

Selenium influences both the innate, "nonadaptive" and the acquired, "adaptive" immune systems[iii]-[iv]-[v]-[vi]-[vii] The innate immune system includes barriers to infection and nonspecific effector cells such as macrophages. Both the T and B lymphocytes form the major effector cells of the acquired system that mature with exposure to immune challenges. Selenium-deficient lymphocytes are less able to proliferate in response to mitogen, and in macrophages, leukotriene B4 synthesis, which is essential for neutrophil chemotaxis, is impaired by this deficiency. These processes can be improved by selenium supplementation. The humoral system is also affected by selenium deficiency; for example, IgM, IgG and IgA titers are decreased in rats, and IgG and IgM titers are decreased in humans. In endothelial cells from asthmatics, there is a marked selenium deficiency that results in an increase in expression of adhesion molecules, which causes greater adhesion of neutrophils.[viii]

Selenium is also involved in several key metabolic activities through its selenoprotein enzymes that protect against oxidative damage.[ix] Further, selenium deficiency may allow invading viruses to mutate and cause longer-lasting, more severe illness.[x] Animal research has shown selenium and vitamin E have synergistic effects, enhancing the body’s response to bacterial[xi] and parasitic infections.[xii]

Proving the point that selenium is a potent immune stimulator is a 18-month study of 262 patients with AIDS found those who took a daily capsule containing 200 micrograms of selenium ended up with lower levels of the AIDS virus and more health-giving CD4 immune system cells in their bloodstreams than those taking a dummy pill. These AIDS patients who took selenium were able to suppress the deadly virus in their bodies and boost their fragile immune systems, adding to evidence that selenium has healing powers we need to pay attention to in treating cancer patients.[xiii] Those with severely compromised immune systems due to AIDS had dramatically better immune system response with selenium supplementation and this finding is consistent with the information presented by the NIH on their selenium web site.

As an antioxidant nutrient, selenium prevents the action of free radicals which are believed to be causative agents behind degenerative diseases such as premature ageing, cancer and atherosclerosis.[xiv] Clinical trials have also indicated that selenium can have a role to play in combating oxidative diseases[xv], enhancing the immune response[xvi], increasing male fertility[xvii], improving psychological mood scores[xviii] and reducing the pain and stiffness in arthritis sufferers.[xix]

The implicit importance of selenium to human health is
recognised universally. Selenium is incorporated as
selenocysteine at the active site of a wide range of selenoproteins.

Dr. Emanuel Revici, a Romanian-born physician, scientist, author, and humanitarian[xx] had five major papers on lipids, pain, and cancer deposited by the Pasteur Institute into the eminent National Academy of Sciences during the Second World War. By 1948, Revici had begun exploring the use of selenium in treating cancer and as a means for rendering radiation less harmful. Dr. Revici's use of selenium in the treatment of cancer predates mainstream interest in this mineral by more than twenty years. Selenium is one of the major trace elements always found deficient in cancer-prone populations. Research has shown that it is of value not only in preventing cancer but also in treating it.[xxi]

Revici uses a special molecular form of selenium (bivalent-negative selenium) incorporated in a molecule of fatty acid. In this form, he can administer up to 1 gram of selenium per day, which corresponds to 1 million micrograms per day, reportedly with no toxic side effects. In contrast, too much selenite (hexavalent-positive selenium) has toxic effects on animals, so human intake of commercial selenite is limited to a dosage of only 100 to 150 micrograms by mouth. Dr. Revici often administered his nontoxic form of selenium by injection, usually considered to be four times more powerful than the form given orally.

Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer, professor of biochemistry at the University of California at La Jolla , publicly credited Revici for “having discovered pharmacologically active selenium compounds.” Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer noted almost 30 years ago if every woman in America took 200 micrograms of supplementary selenium daily that breast cancer rates would rapidly decline in the space of a few short years. Dr. Schrauzer is professor emeritus from the University of California , San Diego School of Medicine and has chaired two world conferences on selenium and cancer.

Dr. Richard Donaldson of the St. Louis Veterans' Administration Hospital conducted a clinical trial with terminally ill cancer patients. He found that when he could raise the patients' blood levels of selenium into the normal range, their pain and tumor sizes were often reduced. In a 140 patient study of cancer victims treated with selenium, Dr. Donaldson reported in 1983 that some patients deemed terminal with only weeks to live were completely free of all signs of cancer after four years; all the patients showed a reduction in tumor size and in pain.[xxii]

The amount of selenium needed to obtain normal blood levels varied from person to person. Normal healthy people usually were seen to have normal blood selenium levels on normal diets however it seemed that cancer patients had lower selenium levels on similar diets. (As we will see below this could in great part be due to more intense mercury toxicity in cancer patients.) Apparently they could not get enough without supplements. Dr. Donaldson found that he had to supplement the cancer patients with at least 200 to 600 micrograms of selenium per day and in some cases 2,000 micrograms of selenium per day were required to obtain normal blood selenium levels.

There are now seven population studies in the past six years
that examined the possible connection between selenium and
prostate cancer. All but one of them has found selenium protective.
Karen Collins, R.D.

A 1996 study by Dr. Larry Clark of the University of Arizona showed just how effective selenium can be in protecting against cancer. In the study of 1,300 older people, the occurrence of cancer among those who took 200 micrograms of selenium daily for about seven years was reduced by 42 percent compared to those given a placebo. Cancer deaths for those taking the selenium were cut almost in half, according to the study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on December 25, 1996. In addition, the people who had taken selenium had 63 percent fewer prostate cancers, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung cancers and overall 37% fewer cancers. Selenium was found to reduce the risk of lung cancer to a greater degree than stopping smoking.[xxiv]

One important study found that high blood levels of selenium is associated with a four- to fivefold decrease in the risk of prostate cancer. Scientists at Stanford University studied 52 men who had prostate cancer and compared them to 96 men who didn’t.[xxvi] One surprising finding was that blood levels of selenium generally decreased with age. It is well known that the risk of prostate cancer increases dramatically as one ages.

Those who have studied geographical differences have seen that in low-selenium regions, higher death rates occurred from malignant lymphomas and cancers of the tongue, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, larynx, lung, kidneys and bladder. Dr. Harold Foster has stated that death rates in the USA for breast, colon, rectal and lung cancer are lower when blood selenium levels are high. Dr. Foster is the one to have reported that cancer patients with low selenium levels tend to have a wider spread of the disease, more recurrences and die sooner.[xxvii] This is critical information that fits rationally into the entire picture of selenium being compiled by medical science and is the principle reason I list selenium as the number four agent in our cancer protocol.

There is no doubt that selenium is essential for human health and that these elements may protect against cancer and other diseases. For this reason people in regions which are naturally rich in selenium tend to live longer. Selenium, especially when used in conjunction with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, works to block chemical reactions that create free radicals in the body (which can damage DNA and cause degenerative change in cells, leading to cancer). Selenium also binds strongly with mercury protecting us from its damaging effects.

Dr. Laura Raymond and Dr. Nicholas Ralston of the University of North Dakota tell us that, “Measuring the amount of mercury present in the environment or food sources may provide an inadequate reflection of the potential for health risks if the protective effects of selenium are not also considered. Owing to the extremely high affinity between mercury and selenium, selenium sequesters mercury and reduces its biological availability. It is obvious that the converse is also true; as a result of the high affinity complexes formed, mercury sequesters selenium. This is important because selenium is required for normal activity of numerous selenium dependent enzymes.”[xxix]

Glutathione happens to be the most important of these selenium dependent enzymes. Mercury is highly toxic but mercury’s toxic ruin varies greatly with selenium and glutathione levels. These are the key variables that determine the harm done or the power each individual has to escape the poisonous effect of mercury and other dangerous toxins in the environment. Our defensive shields against both acute and chronic exposure to mercury depend very much on selenium and glutathione.

Selenium is useful as a controlling agent for
mercury, which attacks insulin and its binding sites.

An excess of a toxic metal and/or a relative deficiency of a nutritional
element can be found as significant contributors to every disease.
Dr. Garry Gordon

High doses of vitamin C (over 1 gram ) may reduce the
absorption of selenium. This mineral is best taken one hour
before or 20 minutes after taking vitamin C supplements.[xxxii]

Selenium deficiency impairs thyroid hormone metabolism by inhibiting the synthesis and activity of the iodothyronine deiodinases, which convert thyroxine (T4) to the more metabolically active 3,3'-5 triiodothyronine (T3). In rats, concurrent selenium and iodine deficiency produces greater increases in thyroid weight and plasma thyrotrophin than iodine deficiency alone, indicating that a concurrent selenium deficiency could be a major determinant of the severity of iodine deficiency.[xxxiii]

Later studies showed that serum T4 was maintained at control levels when both dietary iodine and selenium were low, but not when iodine alone, or selenium alone, was low. Activity of thyroidal GSH-Px (erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase) was lowest in rats fed a diet containing high iodine and low selenium. The results suggested that high iodine intake, when selenium is deficient, may permit thyroid tissue damage as a result of low thyroidal GSH-Px activity during thyroid stimulation. A moderately low selenium intake normalized circulating T4 concentration in the presence of iodine deficiency. [xxxiv]

Selenium is also essential for the production of estrogen sulfotranserfase which is the enzyme which breaks down estrogen. A deficiency of selenium can thus lead to excessive amounts of estrogen, which may depress thyroid function, and also upset the progesterone-estrogen balance. Animal studies have shown that the addition of selenium supplementation will alleviate the effects of excess iodine intake.[xxxix] Iodine and selenium deficiencies must both be resolved for iodine treatment to be effective.

For magnesium to be retained inside cells you need good antioxidant status. Selenium is the main mineral antioxidant. Foods are unreliable because food content is dependent on soil levels of selenium. Foods rich in selenium include whole grains, organ meats, butter, garlic and onion. Seafoods are rich in selenium and obviously not dependent on soil levels.

Dr. Majid Ali and Dr. Omar Ali write, “Deficiency of selenium and chromium are established risk factors of IHD. Selenium-dependent antioxidant systems are important parts of human antioxidant enzyme systems, especially in the regeneration of glutathione and other thiol antioxidants. An association between low serum selenium levels and atherogenesis, lipid peroxidation in vivo, and progression of carotid atherosclerosis has been reported. Salonen et al. observed that selenium deficiency was associated with an excess risk of myocardial infarction as well as morbidity and mortality from other expressions of coronary artery disease and other variants of cardiovascular disease in Eastern Finland . In this study, cardiovascular death and myocardial infarction were associated with low serum selenium levels in a matched-pair longitudinal study. Chromium supplementation in patients with type II diabetes results in improved glucose tolerance, lower total cholesterol and triglycerides levels and higher HDL cholesterol levels.”[xl]

Selenium in its inorganic form is poorly absorbed by the body. Most of the body’s selenium comes from organic sources, where selenium is bonded with sulphur-containing amino acids, the commonest being L-selenomethionine. Many nutritional supplements contain the poorly absorbed inorganic selenium. Selenium formulations containing L-selenomethionine are good choices but the ideal delivery system is provided by spirulina and perhaps by yeasts and even now by probiotics. (This is an area the IMVA is dedicated to studying.) When spirulina is grown in ponds with selenium added, the spirulina absorbs the inorganic selenium transforming it into organic selenium. The selenium becomes protein bonded to the amino acids in spirulina, which are present in abundance.


ADHD and medication-risks vs.benefits

ADHD diagnosis, meds aren't best solution


Having spent 10 years in the public school systems as a school psychologist, I am disturbed by the upward trend in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Even more troubling is the estimated 6 to 10 percent of students who receive stimulant medication as a form of treatment.

ADHD is widely defined as a developmental disability manifested in problems with sustained attention, impulse control and maintaining appropriate levels of activity. To many parents' surprise, there is no specific "test" used to identify who has ADHD and who does not. Furthermore, it is argued by many psychologists that the means and measures used to make the diagnosis are far too vague and subjective.

Many parents seek psychostimulant medication for their children. At a recent luncheon, I overheard a mother openly and enthusiastically discussing her child's long awaited ADHD diagnosis and consequent daily dose of "the magic pill." She was thrilled that her son's teacher reported that he had "completely changed his personality" and just "sits quietly during class" since the medication. Ironically, in the same conversation, this mother was complaining about the horrible drug and alcohol problem in their high school.

There is no quick fix for distractible, disorganized, "free-spirited," at times exasperating children, nor should there be. We need to embrace the differences in our children and not expect all children to sit quietly and listen.

I would argue that all children fall somewhere on the ADHD continuum at different points in their development. Sure, there are some extreme psychiatric cases where Ritalin may be needed, but certainly not for 6 percent of our school-age population. For parents who struggle with children who have high levels of activity and short attention span, there are many ways to help them without Ritalin.

Parents and educators working together in a truly collaborative manner to teach these children will demonstrate not only their strong level of commitment, but the value of perseverance, communication and hard work. These are the problem-solving skills we should be teaching our children. Taking a drug to "fix it," on the other hand, is a dangerous lesson to teach.

Suzanne C. Hackett is a licensed school psychologist. She has studied at Case Western Reserve University, the College of William and Mary, and the University of Cincinnati. She is an adjunct faculty member at Xavier University and a homeschooling mother.

Banning the E-numbers !

Organic lobby targets 'dangerous' E-numbers

· Trade group urges ban for chemical additives
· Anger over burden on parents to check labels

Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent
Monday September 17, 2007
The Guardian

The government will this week come under fresh pressure to protect children by moving towards an outright ban on potentially "hazardous" chemical additives in food, following the intervention of the influential organic food industry.
A powerful coalition of companies - whose members include the supermarket Waitrose, baby food manufacturer Organix, chocolate maker Green and Black's, and Britain's biggest organic brand, Yeo Valley - has accused the government's Food Standards Agency of failing to consult it over new guidance for parents on the side-effects of E-numbers, and of ducking the opportunity for tighter regulation.

In a strongly-worded letter sent to Dame Deirdre Hutton, chairwoman of the FSA, at the weekend, the Organic Trade Group said it was unacceptable that the FSA was not making full information available to parents about crucial new research, adding that its new advice was flawed.

Two weeks ago the FSA published research by the University of Southampton which for the first time conclusively confirmed a link between specified additives and hyperactive behaviour.

The FSA took the significant step of issuing revised guidance to consumers, recommending that they avoid products containing certain E-numbers if their children were showing signs of hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But the move confounded health campaigners, who said the government had missed a chance to ban the additives, instead of placing a burden on parents.

Parents are being advised to check for additives by scrutinising labels, yet many sweets and cakes are sold loose without labels, as is ice cream.

The intervention of the Organic Trade Group is significant. Its management committee is run by the owners and managers of businesses with an organic turnover of more than £200m (excluding Waitrose) - more than 10% of the total £2bn-plus organic sales in Britain.

Organic food, as defined by the EU and Soil Association Standards, has always prohibited the use of all the additives that were identified in the report as having a "significantly adverse effect" on children, and also of many other additives.

In the letter sent to Dame Deirdre, Dame Elizabeth Vann, chairwoman of the OTG and founder of Organix, said: "We are disappointed that the FSA did not feel that the organic sector of the food industry was worthy of being consulted on the above research before its response was published. More than half of all shoppers now buy organic foods, parents in particular."

The row will continue this week. The FSA has agreed that the new consumer advice and the next steps will be discussed at an open board meeting on Thursday.