Posts filed under ‘Vitamins + Supplements’

Analysis of Misleading Medical Study re Calcium and Osteoporosis

Are you as tired as I am of all these “scientific studies” designed to demonstrate that what you really need is drugs? The latest in a long list of poorly designed – or possibly, purposefully rigged – studies is the latest, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, on February 16, 2006. The headline screams “Calcium, Vitamin D Won’t Protect Older Women From Fracture.” Let’s analyze both the article on Forbes.com and the study that generated it. The article is very biased. I believe the author reveals that bias by the way the article is structured. The lead sentence basically states that taking daily calcium and vitamin D do not provide significant health benefits. Then, in the second paragraph, a positive finding is actually turned into a negative. It turns out that the calcium given to healthy postmenopausal women over the age of 50, even in the wrong form and at low dose (see more about this below), did increase hip bone density, “. . . but [they received] no significant reduction in their risk of hip fracture until . . . their. . . 60s.” Hunh? “Nearly 50% of all hip fractures occur in adults older than 80 years. Hip fracture at a young age is not common and is usually the result of a MAJOR traumatic event or, RARELY, is related to bone pathology.” (emphasis added) This statement from a teaching article on Emergency Room medicine. (http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic198.htm) Furthermore, the greatest at risk group from osteoporosis is elderly white women, who experience hip fracture. Black women, black men and white men are not among the at risk population. Pub Med has more than 175 articles on this topic. Here is the link to just one which contains this statistic. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8651229&dopt=Abstract) However, the study did not control for race. The third paragraph unequivocally states that vitamin D had no effect on the risk for colorectal cancer. Given the recent information concerning serum vitamin D and incidence of cancer, this statement is simply abysmally ignorant. The truth is, study participants took 400 IUs of vitamin D, the current RDA. However, data has shown that many people suffer from a subclinical vitamin D deficiency and that, as their serum vitamin D concentration rises, their risk of colorectal cancer, as well as reproductive cancers, such as ovarian and breast, declines. This study was published in England, but didn’t make much of a splash in the U.S. (See my last blog on this topic:www.richardsfamilyhealth.blogs.com/) Dosages need to be in the 1,000 to 2,000 IUs per day range, which is the amount we use at the RFHC. There are other problems with the study as well: the form of calcium used, the dosage given, a lack of screening of study participants for their actual risk for osteoporosis, and, lastly, the length of the study. First, the form of the calcium: The study group took 1,000mgs of elemental calcium in the form of calcium carbonate. In other words, they were taking cement! Calcium carbonate is the most unabsorbable form of calcium you can consume. That’s why it’s so cheap. Do you remember the dolomite craze from the 70’s and 80’s? Dolomite is essentially rock that contains calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide. It was hyped as the answer to both your calcium and magnesium requirements. Only trouble was: It didn’t work. You can’t digest rock! Other calcium products that are essentially calcium carbonate include coral calcium and oyster shell calcium. The dosage was also amazingly low and not adjusted for body weight. Body weight dosages of elemental calcium are as follows: 1,000 mg for a person under 120 pounds; 1,500 mg for a person 120 to 200 pounds; and 2,000 mg for people over 200 pounds. Given the increasing weight of the American population, I would venture that few of the study participants weighed less than 120 pounds. And, among the women who took the supplements, there was an average 12% reduction in their incidence of hip fracture, which increased to 21% in women over 60. It would be interesting to know which cohort experienced the reduction. The finding was not considered statistically significant, but it might have been if the researchers had controlled for body weight. As you may be aware, at the RFHC, we use elemental calcium in the form of calcium citrate – which is very absorbable – adjusted for body weight. In Caucasian women (those most at risk for hip fracture) who are perimenopausal or postmenopausal, I add a product which contains bone matrix – microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC). This provides all of the co-factors required to rebuild the bone structure into which the body deposits the elemental calcium. Osteoporosis is a degeneration of the bone matrix, as well as a calcium deficiency. With regard to pre-screening for risk of osteoporosis, none was done. Why is this important? Remember, only about 15% of women over the age of 70 will experience a hip fracture. And, primarily Caucasian women are at risk for hip fracture from osteoporosis. Therefore, when you are doing a study with this many participants, any positive result can be washed away by the number of women who simply are not at risk. And, even under these unfavorable conditions, please remember that there was an average 12% reduction in the incidence of hip fracture in women in their 50s. It just wasn’t “statistically significant” because the proper parameters were not applied to the analysis. The length of the study is also an issue. It lasted seven years, which seems like a long time. But, please remember, both cancer and osteoporosis take 10 or even 20 years to develop. Therefore, the study really was short-term and inconclusive. There is one more item of note in the article that I want to emphasize. It illustrates how important an understanding of physiology, rather than pharmacology, is to proper use of nutritional support. It was noted that some of the women taking calcium plus vitamin D experienced an increased risk of kidney stones. This is a direct function of urinary pH. Now, urinary pH is an intensely interesting and complicated topic. It has ramifications for everything from urinary tract infection, to degenerative diseases (i.e., cancer) — to formation of kidney stones. At the RFHC, we routinely monitor urinary pH for anyone on calcium supplementation. The reason? To avoid kidney stones. Most Americans eat a diet heavy in grains and animal protein. That diet yields an acid urinary pH, and therefore, protects from kidney stones. However, if you eat a diet high in vegetables, with little protein and/or low in grains, you shift your urinary pH to the alkaline side. Voila! You are at risk for kidney stones. Therefore, being monitored while taking calcium supplements is extremely important. Finally, I was unable to find out who funded this study, but I have my suspicions. All of the news reports (although not the article I read) concluded by recommending medication, instead of supplementation to reduce your risk. I find it offensive that such an ill-conceived and poorly executed “scientific study” is being used as an excuse to further medicate us, particularly in light of the severe side effects of the popular medications for osteoporosis. These side effects include erosion and perforation of the esophagus and internal bleeding. Some of the medications (Foxamax, e.g.) actually making the bones brittle — which may actually increase the risk of fracture! Once again, we are forced to read with a critical eye, to really understand the “rest of the story.” So, take care of yourself, get your blood work done and obtain a customized nutritional program from the RFHC to optimize your overall health — which includes reducing your osteoporosis risk!

February 24, 2006 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

Vitamin D Benefits

The recent news reports regarding Vitamin D are very interesting. Prior to this, the media has hyped the notion that vitamin D is “toxic” and shouldn’t be taken in high doses. However, Robbins, et al, Pathologic Basis of Disease clearly states that vitamin D toxicity begins at 1,000,000 IUs per day. The U.S. standards for vitamin D (400 I.U.s daily) are ridiculously low, and are based upon the minimum value that was shown to prevent rickets, a serious deficiency disease, causing softening and deformity of the skeleton in children. Now, cancer specialists are changing these standards. The new recommended dose to maintain health is 1,000 IUs (25 mg) per day. That’s 10 8-oz. glasses of milk daily! Obviously, a supplement is much simpler, particularly for those of us who are either allergic to milk or lactose intolerant. Some of the benefits of natural Vitamin D include:

  • protection from cancer of the colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers;
  • lowering insulin resistance, which is one of the major factors leading to heart disease;
  • repair of lung tissue thus preventing lung disease;
  • protection against high blood pressure by regulating serum calcium levels;
  • and regulation of the immune system, which has an impact on auto-immune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
  • All of this is in addition to the prevention of rickets in children and osteoporosis in the elderly.

There is an interesting article in The Independent, a British publication. The article points out that the campaign to reduce skin cancer by using sun blockers has unexpected side effects — a deficiency in vitamin D which contributes to increased rates of some cancers and osteoporosis. This is particularly a problem in parts of the world where there is little sunshine in the winter months. Researchers at the University of San Diego in California, after reviewing 63 scientific papers on the link between vitamin D3 and cancer published between 1966 and 2004, concluded that people living in the northeastern US, where there is less sun, and African Americans with darker skin were more likely to be vitamin D deficient. They found a correlation with higher cancer rates in these populations, as much as a 50% increase. The reason scientists are paying attention is that the difference is so huge, statistically. But, of course, the media is now featuring other “experts” who maintain that anything over 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day can damage the kidneys and liver. This is, of course, based upon the side effects of synthetic vitamin D, which is not what the research is recommending. The recommendation is for natural vitamin D, also known as D-3, which is the form I have been using for years. By the way, synthetic vitamin D (D2) is no longer listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference. Too toxic — I suspect. The problem with media coverage is that almost all reporters are ignorant of the distinctions I discuss in this article. Reporters simply look for controversy; there is no such thing any more as factual, scientific reporting without finding someone — no matter what their axe to grind — to oppose the information being presented. It’s exhausting, don’t you think? While we haven’t known all of this information, the alternative health care community has long stated that the American population is relatively vitamin D deficient. If you have had a personalized nutritional program prepared by me using your blood chemistry, you are aware that I often prescribe relatively “high” doses of vitamin D (15,000 to 45,000 IUs per day), with no adverse effects; I know, because I’ve monitored these higher doses carefully. So, we’re again finding that optimum nutrition based on your blood profile provides more benefits than you might expect.

December 29, 2005 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

West Nile Virus and St John’s Wort

West Nile Virus, although new to the US, is well-documented. The Centers for Disease Control identifies it as a flavivirus, a member of the Togavirus family. It is closely related to yellow fever and dengue fever. This is important because the Togavirus family are encapsulated viruses, i.e., they are covered with a lipid (fatty) coating. This is exciting, because it means the virus is accessible to treatment utilizing high quality St. John’s Wort (SJW). Several studies have been done on a variety of encapsulated viruses, including herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, parainfluenza virus, vaccinia virus, cytomegalovirus and several retroviruses including HIV1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10. Non-encapsulated viruses or “naked” viruses were also studied for comparison purposes10,13. SJW was a potent anti-viral agent across a variety of encapsulated virus families, but showed no activity against naked viruses. Unlike a vaccine that is specific to each organism, SJW is active against encapsulated viruses by a variety of mechanisms, including light activation, interference with DNA transcription, impairing the assembly of intact viral particles and the lipophilic (fat-loving) nature of the ring structures (the quinone and phenolic groups)4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. These ring structures are critical to the biologic activity of SJW. From these results, it is reasonable to use high quality, pharmaceutical grade SJW in combating West Nile Virus, since there are no effective pharmaceutical agents. Quality is critical since the level of hypericin and pseudohypericin are key. I can only recommend the SJW product produced by Medi-Herb, which is a pharmaceutical house in Australia, adhering to pharmaceutical manufacturing standards. The product is distributed by Standard Process through alternative health care practitioners, including doctors of chiropractic, acupuncturists and veterinarians. SJW is quite unstable and the active ingredients degrade on store shelves. An independent analysis of 3 products (all of which were certified to contain 0.3% hypericin) were shown to be widely variant, with one product 25% below label claims. It is critically important that the phytochemical integrity of the whole plant be preserved for maximum efficacy.16 Medi-Herb SJW is available at the RFHC and is the only brand we carry. References: 1. Andersen DO, Weber ND, Wood SG et al. Antiviral Res 1991; 16(2): 185-196. 2. Lopez-Bazzocchi I, Hudson JB, Towers GHN. Photochem.Photopbiol. 1991; 54(1): 95-98. 3. Moraleda G, Wu TT, Jilbert AR et al. Antiviral Res 1993; 20: 235-247. 4. Tang J, Colacino JM, Larsen SH et al. Antiviral Res 1990; 13 (6): 313-325. 5. Hudson JB, Harris L, Towers GHN. Antiviral Res 1993; 20 (2):173-178. 6. Lenard J, Rabson A, Vanderoef R. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993; 90 (1): 158-162. 7. Degar S, Prince AM, Pascual D et al. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 1992; 8 (11): 1929-1936. 8. Carpenter S, Kraus GA. Photochem Photobiol 1991; 53 (2): 169-174. 9. Lavie G, Valentine F, Levin B et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1989; 86 (15): 5963-5967. 10. Meruelo D, Lavie G, Lavie D et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1988; 85 (14): 5230-5234. 11. Kraus GA, Pratt D, Tossberg J et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1990; 172 (1): 149-153. 12. Takahashi I, Nakanishi S, Kobayashi E et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1989; 165 (3): 1207-1212. 13. De Witte P, Agostinis P, Van Lint J et al. Biochem Pharmacol 1993; 46 (11): 1929-1936. 14. Panossian AG, Gabrielian E, Manvelian V et al. Phytomed 1996; 3 (1): 19-28. 15. Lavie G, Mazur Y, Lavie D et al. Transfusion 1995; 35 (5): 392-400. 16. Constantine GH, Karchesy J. Variations in Hypericin concentrations in Hypericum perforatum L. and commercial products. Pharmaceutical Biology 1998; 36 (5): 365-367.

November 16, 2005 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

CODEX, Supplements & Dianne Feinstein

As promised, here is the text of the letter Senator Feinstein sent one of my clients in response to her inquiry concerning the availability of supplements if CODEX is implemented in the U.S. I have crossed out her name and e-mail address to protect her privacy. If you are affiliated with the Democratic party and are concerned about the availability of natural health care, I recommend you contact the Senator’s office personally and express your dismay at her position. The issue regarding ephedra is a red herring, since the herb was being abused, not used. Yet, we are all being punished as a result of the actions of a few!! “From: senator@feinstein.senate.gov Date: August 12, 2005 9:34:46 AM PDT To: Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message August 12, 2005 Mrs. xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx Pasadena, California xxxxx Dear Mrs.xxxx: Thank you for writing to me with your thoughts about regulating dietary supplements. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome this opportunity to respond. The availability of dietary supplements to the public is important, but it is equally important that these supplements do not put the consumer’s health at stake. I believe that if we are to ensure the safety of those who consume dietary supplements, we must make sure that these supplements are not hazardous to their health. We cannot allow deaths, such as those caused by the dietary supplement Ephedra, to continue. The herbal supplement Ephedra was associated with 164 deaths between 1994 and April of 2004, when it was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sadly, in the time between the FDA announcement of the ban in December of 2003 and the time of the ban’s implementation in April of 2004, four people died from taking Ephedra. I believe that something more must be done to ensure that dietary supplements are safe and effective. Last year, I cosponsored the ADietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003” that would require all dietary supplement manufacturers to report serious adverse experiences to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. After one or more of these reports are collected, the FDA would conduct a detailed evaluation process and investigate the occurrences. Waivers would be available for certain supplements that would not warrant such concerns. Under the bill, the FDA could only remove products from the market if it determines that the product “is not safe or has not been shown to be safe under ordinary or frequent conditions of use.” As such, unless a vitamin is shown to cause such serious adverse events, it could not be removed from the market under this bill. This bill did not pass the Senate last year, but similar legislation may come before the Senate during this Congress. Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind. Again, thank you for writing. I appreciate knowing your views on this issue. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to call my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841. Sincerely yours, Dianne Feinstein United States Senator http://feinstein.senate.gov Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/issue.html.”

August 16, 2005 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Your Freedom of Choice in Health Care May Be at Risk

There may be a threat to your access to vitamins and minerals looming on the horizon. It’s called the Codex Alimentarius, a United Nations regulation purporting to set international standards for nutritional supplements. I don’t want to “cry wolf”, but there may be some very disturbing developments on the horizon with regard to supplements. I will attempt to summarize the information for you in this post; however, this subject is broad and the opinions many. I recommend you check out the web links listed at the end of this article and reach your own decision. You may have heard of the Codex Alimentarius before, since it’s been around for a while. It is a U.N. project and essentially establishes a world-wide food law governing not only food purity, but vitamins and minerals, as well. The intent is to make the Codex Alimentarius Commission “The” final authority on all matters related to health and nutrition. The Commission was established by and works in coordination with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It has been in existence since 1962. Enforcement of its provisions falls under the purview of the World Trade Organization (WTO) via international trade sanctions. Some of the Codex provisions include setting a maximum “safe” limit for vitamins and minerals in nutritional supplements. This regulation has been in the works for many years and it is set to go into effect this summer. I have seen two different dates — June and August of 2005. In most cases, this will mean no vitamins with potencies higher than RDA (ie, 1.2 mg vitamin B1, 33 mg vitamin C, etc.) And, certain items will simply be illegal — CoQ10, digestive enzymes, mixed tocopherol vitamin E, to name some of the most important ones. It also prohibits anyone from sharing information about the health benefits of nutritional supplementation or foods. Any written guidance would have to be “vetted” through a centralized Commission Approval procedure! All of my nutrition reports and newsletters will immediately become illegal! The pharmaceutical industry has been able to convince certain nations (and only nations can vote) that there is no health benefit from vitamins and they do not prevent disease. I have been trying to get some hard information from a variety of sources to attempt to assess how serious a problem this will be for natural health care and I cannot get ANY hard information. I simply get a variety of conflicting stories and empty assurances. I have called my local congressman’s office — they know nothing about it. I called the Los Angeles office of the FDA, their public information office — she knew nothing about it. I talked to one of my largest nutrition suppliers — they assured me their attorneys said it was “no threat.” In mid-March, I heard back from the FDA public information officer. She sent me the information from the FDA web site (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dscodex.html). The information states that there will be no impact on the availability of vitamins and minerals in the U.S. However, there are several issues that are not addressed. First of all, many of the raw materials are produced overseas. CoQ10, for example is produced in Japan, which owns the patent. In addition, many amino acids are produced in Japan. We have already seen an impact in the pricing of CoQ10. I called Metagenics and they do, indeed, obtain their raw product from Japan. The other major concern to me is that the FDA web site does not address the issue of dissemination of health information by practitioners, such as myself. One of the reasons I have trouble accepting these assurances is that I am noticing disturbing news articles in the American press. If you have been following the news with regard to Vitamin E, you know that the March 16, 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association contains an article claiming that vitamin E increases the risk of death from heart failure and has no health benefits whatsoever. Of course, the product used was “natural source vitamin E,” which means purified d-alpha tocopherol, since 90%+ of vitamin E on the shelves is d-alpha tocopherol. (See my earlier post for an analysis of this controversy.) And, do you remember the flap a few years ago that vitamin C causes genetic damage? Again, experiments done in the test tube, not in a human being. Unfortunately, the Codex Commission depends upon research funded at large universities (mostly by drug companies), and we have already seen, in just these 2 examples, how research can be manipulated to give the desired result. I believe we are being conditioned to accept that vitamins are not good for us and access to them should, therefore, be limited. The question becomes: What can you do?

  1. Increase awareness of the Codex. Tell everyone you know that an unelected and unreachable international organization wants to govern your access to health information.
  2. Share your opinions about this matter with your elected representatives in Congress. Remember: be original, be specific and be constructive. Congresspeople get thousands of pieces of mail. (To find the appropriate e-mail addresses, go to http://www.webslingerz.com/ jhoffman/congress-email.html)

I urge you to do your own research and take the actions you deem appropriate. I will admit that I am frightened by what is happening; but, I can’t make decisions for you. Each of us must evaluate the information for ourselves and take the action we are comfortable with. LINKS: (COPY AND PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER) http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dscodex.html http://www.webslingerz.com/ jhoffman/congress-email.html http://organicconsumers.org/politics/supplements32705.cfm The CODEX conspiracy … has rapidly pushed their legislative program (Codex Alimentaris) in Europe that will … CODEX drastically restricts vitamins, minerals, herbs and other … LP: CODEX ALIMENTARIS ENDS US SUPPLEMENTS IN JUNE 2005 Liberty Post: CODEX ALIMENTARIS ENDS US SUPPLEMENTS IN JUNE 2005. … choice Americans now have to purchase vitamins, herbs, minerals, homeopathic remedies, … Re: Prescriptions For US All Vitamins/Supplements In June … … Synopsis: Codex Alimentaris Ends US Supplements In June 2005 … they will also take money from the people who peddle vitamins/nutritional supplements. … LookSmart’s Furl – The watxe Archive … Dr. James Howenstine — Codex Alimentaris Ends US Supplements in June 2005… now have to purchase vitamins, herbs, minerals, homeopathic remedies, … http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/PHARMACEUTICAL_BUSINESS/health_movement_against_codex/ http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/w9114e/W9114e00.htm http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/members.jsp?lang=EN http://www.hfn-usa.com/articles/codex-pr.html http://www.newswithviews.com http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/3/prweb218763.php. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/3/prweb218383.php. http://www.alliance-natural-health.org/index.cfm?action=practitioners http://thelawloft.com/Freedom/050125_us_law.htm (THIS ARTICLE IS PARTICULARLY ENLIGHTENING) A new link I discovered May 1st, which tries to give an overview and contains many of the materials cited above: http://www.lostartsmedia.com/thingscodex.html It may be a bit extreme, since at this point, no one really knows for sure. But, it does contain the text of the Codex regarding vitamins.

April 7, 2005 at 6:46 pm Leave a comment

Vitamin E and Heart Health

Have you heard the latest? It’s been on all the network shows (watch for my topic: How Controlled is the Media on Health Issues?). WebMD (a site set up specifically to counteract the availability of alternative health care information on the net) has come up with an article opining that Vitamin E is dangerous! That it may increase the risk of death and that no one should take more than 400 IUs.There are several things wrong with this outrageous statement. The first, and most obvious, is that no references are given and no studies are cited. The conclusion was reached after a vaguely defined "statistical analysis". No effort was made to define the variables, nor was any rigor applied to the type of vitamin E in question. Yes, Virginia, there are differences in vitamin E! The vast majority of vitamin E in America is d-alpha tocopherol (a synthetic), which is the raceme of vitamin E that has NO activity in the heart. You need gamma tocopherol for heart health. Almost everything on the market and certainly all vitamin E added to foods is d-alpha. That’s because it’s manufactured from soy by one of the largest companies in the world. They claim it’s "natural" because it comes from soy, but all the other racemes have been stripped away. The only vitamin E that’s worse for you is dl-alpha tocopherol. The "dl" clearly indicates that the tocopherol was manufactured, and no one bothered to purify it and extract the biologically active form — the "d". So, many people may be taking "dl" alpha tocopherol and the body cannot use or process the "l" form. Our bodies can only use dextro-rotary tocopherols. Everything else is junk. So, the "l", or levo-rotary forms, just gum up our enzymes. Who knows how many individuals in the "study" were taking junk vitamin E? The other outrageous statement (and, I suspect, the true point of the article) is that vitamin E can "interfere" with the action of cholesterol-lowering drugs, which are characterized as "life saving." This really frosts me. These cholesterol-lowering agents are responsible for the epidemic of congestive heart failure we have in this country. They interfere with the synthesis of enzyme CoQ10 and lead inevitably to heart failure, because the heart can’t function without it. And you can’t get CoQ10 from food, you MUST manufacture it! But, we are being urged to avoid a natural and healthful substance and substitute poisonous chemicals in its stead. Does anyone smell a rat? This study smacks of the one that came out recently saying that vitamin E had no effect on heart disease. Of course, the study was set up to fail, since it was done using d-alpha tocopherol; which, as everyone now knows has NO effect on the heart. And, this knowledge has been around for more than 20 years. So, set up a study using the wrong form of vitamin E and VOILA! The exact result you wanted. Which is now gospel, because, of course, an M.D. said it! Be good to your heart. Be sure you get checked for your true nutritional needs, and take the supplements that will keep you young, vital and away from medications. The less pharmaceuticals you take, the longer and healthier your life will be. Visit my web site (www.RichardsFamilyHealth.com) to find out how to get a personalized program.

November 10, 2004 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

SHORTAGE OF INFLUENZA VACCINE

Are you concerned about the ramifications of the flu vaccine shortage for you and your family? If so, read on.Influenza viruses (strains A, B and C) are members of the Orthomyxovirus family. They are encapsulated viruses; i.e., they are covered with a lipid (fatty) coating.

This is exciting, because it means the virus is accessible to treatment utilizing high quality St. John’s Wort (SJW). Several studies have been done on a variety of encapsulated viruses, including herpes simples virus types 1 and 2, parainfluenza virus, vaccinia virus, cytomegalovirus and several retroviruses, including HIV (see the St John’s Wort article on my blog for references). Non-encapsulated viruses or “naked” viruses were also studied for comparison purposes. SJW was a potent anti-viral agent across a variety of encapsulated virus families, but showed no activity against naked viruses.

As you may be aware, a vaccine must be specific to each organism. With influenza virus this represents quite a challenge, because there is no way to know which strain will circulate in the coming year. Since it takes many months to cultivate the vaccine, authorities make an “educated guess” each year as to which strains to grow to produce the vaccine.

By contrast, SJW is active against all encapsulated viruses by a variety of biochemical mechanisms. Since it is active against ALL encapsulated viruses, the added plus is that you and your family will find it valuable for West Nile Virus, the ENTIRE Herpes family (including shingles, chickenpox, Epstein Barr and oral and genital herpes), hepatitis B (but not A), Rubella (i.e., German measles), respiratory syncytial disease, measles, parainfluenza, and rabies. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!! And, without any of the potential side effects of the flu vaccine.

Side effects, you say? What might those be? Well, they include Guillan-Barre` Syndrome, which is a demylinating disease (it strips your nerves of their coating, making them non-functional) of the peripheral nervous system. This means you only become paralyzed and stop breathing! If diagnosed in time, you can survive with respiratory support until your nerves recover. This can take several months to more than a year. Merck Manual

To me, of more concern is the study that analyzed a decade of influenza vaccine recipients and found that a person who had received 5 consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980 had a ten-fold increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease, compared to those getting no shots. (National Vaccine Information Center, Sept 1997). This statistic is frightening, because of its implications for quality of life. And, the target population for flu vaccine is the very young and the elderly!
If you choose to use SJW, the prophylactic dose is 2 per day. If for some reason, you develop a mild case of the illness, the dose increases to 2, three times per day. (These are adult doses; children’s doses need to be adjusted based upon body weight.)

The only SJW I recommend is high quality, pharmaceutical grade SJW produced by Medi-Herb (an Australian company which is regulated under pharmaceutical manufacturing requirements). Quality is critical, since the level of hypericin and pseudohypericin are key, and maintaining the phytochemical integrity of the whole plant is a necessity. These active ingredients degrade on store shelves. In an independent analysis of 3 products (all of which were certified to contain 0.3% hypericin}, the products were shown to be widely variant with one product 25% below label claims.

Medi-Herb St. John’s Wort can be obtained from health care practitioners who stock Standard Process products, including chiropractors, accupuncturists and veterinarians. You can contact my clinic, and we can ship it to you with a credit card order.

October 25, 2004 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

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