THE SUPPRESSION OF VITAMIN E
A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
What 'is' Vitamin E and where is it found in nature?
VITAMIN E'S CHALLENGING HISTORY
THE ANIMAL EVIDENCE
VITAMIN E IN OTHER CONDITIONS
WOUNDS AND BURNS
DISEASES OF PREMATURES AND INFANTS
STRESS AND OLD AGE
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURE FOR VITAMIN E THERAPY
HEART DISEASE EVIDENCE
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL IN CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
VITAMIN E AS A CARDIOVASCULAR PROPHYLACTIC
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL IN COLLAGENOSIS
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL IN VARICOSE VEINS
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL AS A VASODILATOR
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL AND ROENTGEN TISSUE INJURY
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL AND DIABETES MELLITUS
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL IN FOOD SHOULD BE DISCUSSED
In this page I shall refer to many of the actual cases which have been controlled or benefited by this vitamin. After reading it, go to your doctor, and if he says; "Don't pay any attention to this propaganda about Vitamin E; nothing has ever been published in this country which corroborates these wild, foreign claims" (an untrue statement) what are you going to do? My suggestion is that you follow exactly the same course I did - take Vitamin E anyway. It's non-toxic.
In an experiment conducted at the State University of New York, College of Medicine, Brooklyn, New York, under the supervision of Dr. R. W. Hillman, a "normal" volunteer took two to four grams of Vitamin E daily for over three months.[one gram is the equivalent of 1,000 I.U or 1,000 mg] This dosage is two to four times the usual dosage for 'treating' heart disease. The results showed no lowering of exercise tolerance, and all other tests were normal - these included the electrocardiogram, ballistocardiogram, serum cholesterol, liver function, blood coagulation, and muscle biopsy - in short, most of the major tests known which would indicate even minor side reactions or toxicity.
In addition, Dr. A. De. Giudice, of the National Institute of Public Health, Buenos Aires, has been giving two grams of Vitamin E daily for many years to retarded children - even Mongoloids. Not only has there been no evidence of toxic side effects, but Dr. Giudice has achieved some amazingly beneficent effects, both mental and physical.
All animal studies prove Vitamin E non-toxic per se, and all the official medical groups admit this fact. Finally, the authorative 'Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (1963, Ninth edition) states that Vitamin E (Alpha - Tocopherol) is "non-toxic, even in large doses."
All this does 'not' mean that you should gulp down a bottle full of Vitamin E capsules expecting the miracle cure in a day. The chances are such an imprudent act won't hurt you or help you. Any substance, including water, will kill you if you take enough of it. The wisdom of the ancient Greeks applies here, as in so many instances, "Everything in moderation, nothing to excess." Now with this warning for those readers who are inclined toward excesses and who do not read beyond the first chapter, let us explore Vitamin E and what it does for animals as well as men. The probability is extremely high that Vitamin E will help you.
I am told by trusted mecical advisors that the story of Vitamin E and its virtual suppression overstrains the credulity of thinking men. Who could believe, for instance, that in our enlightened civilization the orthodox authorities would or could suppress a treatment for heart disease? 'They' also have families, so runs the argument, and they would do anything to save their families as well as themselves.
Alas, the orthodox thinkers have become so stereotyped, so rigid, so fanatic that some members of the group would rather die than consciously admit a wrong of their controlling hierarchy.
In spite of medical and health "scandals" emanating almost every day from Washington and elsewhere, the public cannot believe that a group of policy-making doctors could concertedly act against its interest. Most persons, of course, do not know the history of medicine.
Many are probably unaware that it took some ninety years before orthodox medicine fully accepted the fact that infinitesimal bacteria were responsible for childbed fever or for any other infectious disease. Of course, we know today that many diseases are caused or, at least, "triggered" by bacteria or viruses. But it is not too widely known, even among doctors, that back in the 1840's, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss demonstrated without a doubt that the death rate of new-born infants and their mothers decreased almost to zero when the obstetrician had sterilized his hands.
It is hard to believe today that doctors did not realize this need for some form of sterilization, especially when proceeding from the dissecting room to the delivery table. But they didn't, and even after a trial period in which the death rate dropped radically , Semmelweiss' colleagues returned to their old ways, and the infant death rate went back up. Eventually this pioneer of antisepsis in obstetrics died in an institution, insane, after many years of fighting the orthodox medical profession - completely disillusioned with its professed ideals.
In the later part of the same century, it took men of the calibre of Lord Lister, Louis Pasteur. Robert Koch, and many others to convince the orthodox that germs did indeed play a role in the diseases of mankind; you probably did not know,however, that all these medical pioneers were ridiculed , even lampooned , by their contemporaries.
Should you question a doctor today about medical history and the fact that he and the society he belongs to have frequently denigrated any truly new or original discovery, he will likely reply: "Ah, but that's a thing of the past. We're scientific now!"
Then you should recommend that he read some books which indicate that we in the twentieth century are , in many respects, just as unscientific as in the past, that the medical oligarchy has seized such control of his mind that he actually believes what he is saying. The propaganda issuing from the formidable headquarters of the American Medical Association in Chicago and the various governmental agencies under the AMA's scientific domination have brainwashed even 'his' thinking. But you really cannot blame the individual doctor too much. How is he to know, for instance, that reports on Vitamin E have been squelched or ignored? How is he to know that he is not receiving the truth from what he considers the citadel of medical honesty? Doctors,are just like other persons in desiring security. They, also, desire to be part of the "In-Group." and they, also, fear to transgress against the Group's laws or regulations. In-Group reaction: "He shouldn't have been a doctor in the first place, if he's not going to fit into the way we think and the way we do things."
So almost all great medical innovators are "bad boys",who are ridiculed or ignored, often their whole life-time. Quite a few see the "error" of their ways, some after being ejected from their medical societies, relieved of hospital privileges , or ostracized by their associates. Indeed, it takes a very strong man to withstand such treatment in the interest of truth. However, fortunately for the human race, there were, and are, individuals who have withstood such pressures. These are the ones we have to thank for progress.
Official groups depend heavily on the fact that people forget quickly what the AMA, et al, announced yesterday - even if it is proven completely wrong tomorrow, as it happens in innumerable cases. The 'error' will be completely forgotten and only the new and "truthful" findings will be remembered.
I am sure that if the AMA reverses its decision concerning Vitamin E, anent heart disease, as a result of intense pressure, its excuse for ignoring and suppressing the evidence as long as possible will be: "We, being scientific, waited until the scientific evidence was absolutely demonstrated. Of course we now believe in Vitamin E." It is, indeed, unfortunate that organized groups such as the American Medical Association have so much control over all governmental agencies, as well as those groups who solicit and collect millions of dollars to "fight" various disease. These powers have managed to gain almost complete control of the views of the government, the press, and the public - having set themselves up as the only "respectable" source of medical information and/or treatment. They will not hesitate to crush opposing views, even if the opposition should come from within their own ranks.
Whatever does not fall within the sphere of the cliques' opinions suffers violent attacks, which pose under the guise of destroying medical "quackery." Unfortunately, these attacks are often launched before the orthodox have even examined the evidence. however, heart and cancer specialists, and specialists of other diseases as well, cannot conceal their delight when a proposed remedy is "discredited" by the orthodox groups to which they belong. It is obvious to anyone who studies the problem of medical practice and research that almost no practicing specialist wants a cure to be found in his particular field. It is only the young, and naive researcher, or the old researcher or clinical practitioner who cannot be harmed by the orthodox poseurs, who will dare to advance unorthodox theories and practices. There is also the occasional researcher or clinical practitioner who will dare to defend what he considers scientific evidence. These latter are usually quicky disposed of by the powers that be, or they will apologize and give up entirely their "misconcepts," or else ostensibly they will abandon their absurd notions and fight "underground."
The Drs. Shute happen to be among those few researcher-clinicians who have refused to be pushed a micrometer measure from the truth of their findings. And they and their followers have suffered from the vengeance wreaked upon them for their brashness in defying the orthodox position. The following serves as a typical example of the Medical Orthodoxy in action: Several hundred patients and ex-patients of the Shute Clinic who had been treated successfully with Vitamin E therapy for cardiovascular conditions, formed what they termed "The Cardiac Society." They wanted to bring the substance which had saved them to the attention of other victims and potential victims of heart disorders.
Among other activities, the Cardiac Society established offices in Detroit. The Society sold the Shutes' popularized version of their book 'Alpha Tocopherol [Vitamin E] in Cardiovascular Disease', which had been directed to the medical profession. The popular versioon was entitled 'Your Heart and Vitamin E'. The Society seemed well on the way to getting people interested in Vitamin E.
To raise money for their activities and to save people from heart disease, the Society began distributing and selling Vitamin E capsules of the sort which were used in the Shute experiments. This action provided the various federal agencies with the necessary ammunition to destroy the Cardiac Society and the "dangerous propaganda" it was promoting that Vitamin E was of value in heart disease. The AMA , calmly ignoring the mass of evidence, pooh-poohed the idea that Vitamin E could possibly have any effect on heart disease. It enlisted the federal agencies on its behalf - which was not a difficult task - and disaster befell the Cardiac Society. Before its demolition (and Vitamin E's to a large degree) was complete, the Orthodoxy even commandeered the services of the U.S Post Office. Letters addressed to the Society were returned to the sender marked "Fraudulent." Thus did Authoritarian Medicine show its power to crush anything and anyone daring to present views opposing its own. There were no clever, subtle tactics - just the top executives exerting their influence with the federal agencies to silence the threat of "competitive" therapies - except that the federal agencies prefer to call their actions "cooperating" with recognized medical authorities to "stamp out quackery." For this great man , E. V. Shute, and his loyal brother , and the numerous reputable researchers throughout the world who have found immense value in Vitamin E, for them to be, in effect, treated practically as common criminals - "using the mails to defraud" - by the official groups is almost too horrendous for our minds to believe.
However, the fact is that due to various pressures both from within and without the country, eventually our medical research will bumble and stumble along until finally cancer, heart disease , and other major killers will be conquered - moving at the pace set by the orthodox. We should not let the doctors in control - the politically ambitious, the money-hungry, or the jealous researchers - dictate medical policy and thought. if we continue to follow this policy, the so-called healthiest nation in the world, with 74,000,000 of the 183,000,000 population having one or more chronic diseases , will have even fewer healthy individuals in the future.
Our civilization is so enlightened , we are told constantly, that we have no need to worry in any field of human endeavor. yet the medical student is indoctrinated quite early. He is taught that the doctor's profession is sacred ; therefore, it has a right to do anything it pleases. The incipient doctor is also taught that he himself is inviolable, as long as he memorizes the textbooks and absorbs his teachers' thinking. A "good" doctor learns quickly enough that, by virtue of treating the illnesses of human beings, he represents the power of life of death over the individual. However, in order to perpetuate that power, he must maintain and foster the edicts of the organized medical groups no matter what they may be. With this type of authoritarian education pounded into him day after day, year after year, who can blame the average physician for being brainwashed, so that in time he comes to really believe what he is told? For the few mavericks who still try to practice unorthodox medicine after their indoctrination , retaliation is usually swift. If often begins as a whispering campaign and ends - if the recreant does not 'swing into line' - with loss of hospital privileges or even open censure and/or ouster from the medical society. The latter usually proves disastrous to a physician attempting to earn a living. Usually, however, even the "worst" of the "original" thinkers come back to the fold before it is too late.
We do not mean to imply that every doctor who is censured or ousted is an original thinker or a great scientist, far ahead of his time. There are 'quacks', unfortunately , in the medical profession. There are doctors who deliberately establish a medical racket in the form of unnecessary operations, for instance, and those who, preying on the gullibility of the uninformed, will charge exorbitant fees for "cures" and nostrums, which they, themselves, know to be worthless. And there are doctors who are capable of falsifying reports on a beneficial treatment - which they 'know' to be beneficial - in order to gain commercial rights to the substance, later planning to announce that the substance is indeed beneficial.
Very fortunately, these reprehensible activities in the medical profession are rare. The rank and file M.D., due to his authoritarian education, cannot conceive of the hiearchy doing any wrong in the crooked.. sense; therefore he shuts off his mind to any such nonsense. However, once you can force him, with facts to reopen his mind, as for example, to the action of Vitamin E on heart disease, his response is usually one of overwhelmed amazement. Then, depending on his real desire to search for the truth, he will either try the proposed agent (but please keep my name secret) or else reject it completely.
Even when a doctor finds that the agent is effective, he may still shy away from such treatment until it has been "accepted". After all, can 'you' blame him? How would 'you' react to ostracism by your friends and to the probable loss of all income?
No one, today, questions Vitamin E's chemical identity or the need for it in the body. The authorities do question, however, its usefulness in the prevention and treatment of many so-called degenerative diseases. it is obvious that these authorities have not read the world literature or else have chosen to ignore it. And how can you explain the fact that many doctors in Canada are using it privately for themselves and their families and yet are afraid to prescribe it for their patients?
The real breakthrough in the history of Vitamin E will come when both the authorities and practicing physicians have examined all the evidence, and feel free to prescribe Vitamin E. Researchers will then be granted adequate sums of money to investigate the substance thoroughly and to prove to the public once and for all the importance of Vitamin E for our general health and especially the heart.
I wish I did not have to write this page. I hoped that the medical profession, particularly in America, would have been impressed - even overwhelmed - by the monumental evidence presented in many hundreds of authenticated, scientific reports from all over the civilized world demonstrating that Vitamin E holds a major key to the control and prevention of most forms of heart disease, as well as many other disease, as I shall demonstrate.
However, I have found that the vast majority of doctors in this country have a distorted concept of Vitamin E's efficacy. Why? Largely because the leaders of the organized medical fraternity have not seen fit to publish the favorable evidence in leading medical journals in the United States.
Doctors who have been shown the evidence are amazed and cannot believe that such a dreadful suppression of the facts could happen here. They are even more amazed when they discover for themselves the hard, undeniable truth about Vitamin E's multi-faceted, heroic role in the body's metabolism, particularly in the heart muscle itself and in the circulatory system of every human being and every animal thus far studied.
Throughout the past twenty years there have been hundreds of such studies; yet you will find that the majority of "cardiac" specialists have never read the available world literature on the subject. If they have read anything on Vitamin E, they consider it "controversial", and, therefore, not worthy of investigation. Unfortunately, in this country, the label "controversial" immediately brands any medical evidence as undesirable and discourages any further inquiries by individuals because they feel they must have complete professional approval.
Why the cardiac specialists and, therefore, the heart associations should be so unscientific concerning the most promising medical treatment for our most dreaded "killer" is a matter which we shall examine later. Our primary aim at this point is to present the evidence to both doctors and laymen so that everyone can see the extent of the misconceptions which have been perpetrated. I think I can prove to any scientist's satisfaction that the role of Vitamin E is no longer truly controversial in the scientific sense; that is, there exists an enormous amount of evidence supporting its value and effectiveness. What minimal amount of opposing evidence there is has usually resulted from inadequate dosages, incomplete testing , or use of synthetic Vitamin E. (which has now been shown to possess only approximately one-fifth the potency of the vitamin derived from natural sources). I will be footnoting some of the important statements in this summary chapter, and the reader will find adequate documentation of the scientific findings presented in the subsequent specialized chapters. These plus the extended bibliography will help those of scientific inclination to investigate the subject further. Let us now report on the scientific evidence that is available to all.
In 1959, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) begrudgingly admitted that Vitamin E is essential in human nutrition. Unfortunately, the FDA had been ignoring for twenty years the mass of evidence which had been accumulating from all over the world, including the United States. This government agency , however, rather than admit its mistake , covered it up by sending out a widely published press release stating that no one in this country need worry about a lack of Vitamin E - that anyone eating a "normal" diet obtains the minimum requirement. However, according to the researchers who were responsible for the FDA admitting the necessity of Vitamin E nutrition, this statement is extremely misleading. (Contrary to the FDA release, there are unassailable scientific studies which demonstrate that from 5 to 7 percent of adult Americans are deficient in Vitamin E.)
The FDA statement merely admits the value of the barest minimum one can exist on without showing obvious , unmistakable symptoms caused by an outright deficiency. What it failed to reveal was the pharmacodynamic action of Vitamin E on the body; by pharmacodynamic , I mean the action of the vitamin as used in the treatment and prevention of disease. The amounts involved are startingly different.
Before we delve deeper into the actual dosages used by the various researchers, we should examine the vitamin and its action in the body. Then we can understand Vitamin E's almost unlimited capacity for alleviating many of the ailments afflicting men.
What 'is' Vitamin E and where is it found in nature?
Along with Vitamins A, D, and K, Vitamin E is oil-soluble and is found in the oils of wheat germ and many other plant seeds. It is also present to some degree in leafy vegetables and other plants. It is found in varying amounts in animal tissues (including man's), generally being concentrated in fatty tissues and in organs such as the heart and liver. Vitamin E is a vital component of the blood as well. Milk and eggs also contain the vitamin.
Vitamin E is composed of seven forms of what chemists term 'tocopherols'. They are labled alpha, beta,gamma,delta, epsilon, eta and zeta - but alpha is the only form which has been shown to be very active in the animal or human body. Although the other tocopherols may someday be found to play a role in metabolism, as yet 'alpha tocopherol' alone is synonymous with Vitamin E in the minds of most present day researchers. By far the most significant results have been obtained in both animals and men, using only alpha tocopherol. In most substances from which tocopherols are derived, the alpha form comprises only 60 per cent of the total and sometimes much less; therefore, the dosage from a formula containing all the tocopherols must be nearly 'doubled' in order to be therapeutically effective. This fact has been overlooked by many researchers as well as by the governmental agencies which maintain that everyone obtains enough Vitamin E in a "good, normal, healthy" diet and that, therefore, Vitamin E as a supplement is unnecessary. We shall demonstrate that not only are the official agencies ignoring the fact that alpha tocopherol is the only proven factor in Vitamin E but that much more Vitamin E is necessary for even minimum daily requirements than is "officially" indicated. We shall show that an abundance of Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) can and does prevent, as well as control, many ailments known to man, and to beast, both feral and domesticated.
Henceforth, when we use the term Vitamin E , we are referring to alpha tocopherol, not to the other inactive forms of the vitamin.
It has been established by many researchers (and accepted by all researchers) that Vitamin E is an "anti-oxidant" and an oxygen-conservator. These properties signify that Vitamin E possesses the ability to improve the cell's function and prolong its life. As an anti-oxidant, Vitamin E delays the oxidative process which turns cells "rancid,' and it prevents oxygen from combining with other substances to form the deadly hydrogen peroxide which hastens the death of a cell. This fact has been proven on human beings, on animals, and on tissues which have been removed from recently killed animals.
When the facts are established on living humans and animals , the study is called an experiment 'in vivo'. 'in vivo' is the term used when the experiment is performed 'outside' the living organism, as for instance when the heart of a frog is removed from the animal's body to determince how much longer the heart will beat when it is bathed in a solution containing Vitamin E as compared with the time it will continue to beat when bathed in a saline solution. Researchers have found that the frog's heart is so strengthened by Vitamin E that the heart beat is prolonged by nearly 50 per cent. Other muscle tissues of the frog and other animals as well are equally strengthened by addition of Vitamin E.
Human red blood cells offer another example of 'in vitro' work. Dr. M.K. Horwitt at Elgin State Hospital in Elgin, Illinois, found that human red blood cells when adequately supplied with Vitamin E do not lose their hemoglobin (an oxygen-carrying material) nearly as fast as cells deficient in Vitamin E. This means that red blood cells maintain their integrity (and , therefore, their lives) much longer than cells which are not amply supplied with Vitamin E. These facts are of utmost significance , as we shall see. (Parenthetically, it has been suggested that Vitamin E be used in the preservation of blood now stored in blood banks since the present "shelf-life" of such stored whole blood is relatively short. It has also been found that meats of animals fed Vitamin E supplements will "keep" much longer than ordinary meats.)
A natural anti-oxidant and oxygen conservator such as Vitamin E affords the body many advantages. First, when ricly supplied with Vitamin E, the cells of the body are able to perform more efficiently - not demanding as much oxygen for metabolic processes, thereby freeing more oxygen for those cells and organs needing it. An ailing heart , for instance, not demanding as much oxygen as before - that is, before the therapeutic dose of Vitamin E - does not have to pump as hard to convey blood to the cells. Its work is considerably lessened, consequently easing the strain - an extremely important factor in heart ailments. Also, the heart muscle itself is more richly nourished with oxygen through its main source of blood supply, the coronary arteries. These two factors - less work and more oxygen - partially explain why the vitamin has a direct, beneficial, seemingly miraculous, effect on flagging hearts, and on normal hearts as well. Researchers have stated that Vitamin E therapy is equivalent to being placed in an oxygen tent - without the inconvenience , of course.
But equally important as its oxygen-hoarding properties is the fact that Vitamin E "guides" oxygen in proper functions. When cells have a scarcity of Vitamin E, they tend to release their oxygen, which then combines with the cellular wastes to form poisons deadly to the cells - hydrogen peroxide among others - which rapidly destroy red blood cells as well as the enzyme 'catalase' which is vital to aeration of the cells.
Vitamin E is also a vasodilator: it opens arteries (particularly those all-important smallest ones, the arterioles) so that more blood can flow through the circulatory system. This is of particular significance to victims of circulatory disorders such as 'arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis'. (Arteriosclerosis is the general term employed to encompass almost all disorders of the arterial and venous system which are considered to be due to "aging." More specifically, the term refers to "hardening" and "thickening" of the arteries, accompanied by loss of elasticity in the blood vessels, 'Atherosclerosis' is characterized by "clogging" of the arteries with fatty deposits on the walls. Often these deposits break away in "chunks" through the action of the hearrt, which has an increasingly difficult job of forcing blood through increasingly narrowing arteries. If such a piece of material [ a "clot" or "thrombus' ] makes its way to the heart and/or blocks the flow of blood to the heart, then we have one of the common forms of the dread "coronary thrombosis."
The foregoing attributes of Vitamin E help to explain why rats, guinea pigs, race horses, and humans develope much more endurance than the "normal" when given large amounts of Vitamin E in the diet. For instance, Vitamin E-treated rats can swim nearly twice as long as non-treated animals and can withstand high altitudes which quickly kill their own litter mates. Humans tested on a "treadmill" and elsewhere show the same increased endurance when their diets are supplemented with Vitamin E.
Still another faculty of Vitamin E is its anti-coagulant (anti-blood-clotting) power. Moreover, this anti-coagulant quality of the vitamin does not produce harmful side-effects as do the drugs heparin and dicumarol, which are now in common use in an attempt to treat and prevent the formation of clots - the clots (thrombi) being the leading cause of "coronaries" and "strokes", whether they be due to the formation of blood clots or to "flaking" away of the fatty deposits. The latter drugs must be used with extreme caution, for they tend to produce hemorrhages. There is great debate raging in the medical world as to whether these drugs should be used at 'all', as their action of artificially creating 'hemophillia' (bleeding which is extremely difficult to control) seems to outweigh their merit as anti-coagulants.
With Vitamin E, however, such is not the case no matter how massive the dosage employed. Further, Vitamin E has shown some propensity to 'dissolve' clots. Although Vitamin E is also a dependable, efficient anti-coagulant, its action stops when its anti-blood-clotting ability is no longer needed; indeed , it even hastens wound healing and tends to prevent scars and occasionally even dissolves scar tissue.
Still another recognized property of the amazing Vitamin E is its ability to maintain normal permeability of cellular membranes, notably the capillaries. You will recall that capillaries are the tiny blood vessels which supply nourishment to individual cells. If the capillary walls become too impermeable, their function of feeding the cells is impaired; on the other hand, if the walls become too permeable, they leak out their precious cargo into the extra-cellular spaces where it does not belong, and, thus, the cells are deprived of nutrition.
So we see that a constant supply of the proper substances is needed to sustain the tricky equilibrium maintained between the capillaries and the cells. Along with other substances such as Vitamin C and the bioflavonoids, Vitamin E maintains the normal integrity of these walls, preventing them from becoming too permeable or impermeable, or from "breaking."
Thus we see Vitamin E's essential role - or multiple roles - at the most vital cellular level. We can begin to understand why the vitamin in therapeutic quantities should be effective in many ailments. Admittedly, there is very little going on in this wonderously wrought mind-body-brain we call a human being that would not be affected by oxygen-conserving, clot-dissolving, wound-healing, and blood-vessel normalizing.
In fact, Vitamin E is so effective against so many diseases that it seems almost incredible - were it not for the knowledge we have aquired about its basic, specific and non-specific actions.
It is, indeed, somewhat of a panacea, in the best sense of the word. yet it is not a "cure-all." It will not keep you from dying, but it will prevent or control many diseases now troubling man, and, based on the experience of thousands who have been taking Vitamin E for years, it will make life worth living for a longer period.
The list of diseases which Vitamin E has been reported to improve and/or control is seemingly endless. We shall merely mention several of them, without, at this point, delving into the theoretically considerations, or analyzing the experiments.
Many researchers have reported that diabetes is often controlled or semi-controlled by Vitamin E. many patients have been able to dispense with insulin entirely while others have had its use drasticlally reduced. If this fact were to become more widely known , it would very likely result in the alleviation of much of the suffering which millions of persons now have to endure because of this misunderstood, yet common, disease.
Vitamin E has been demonstrated to be of considerable value in treating the symptoms of menopause - the "change of life" which countless women find almost unbearable. It has been dubbed "natures own tranquilizer," by various gynecologists, who have found that heavy doses of Vitamin E somewhat approximate the effects of estrogen - the female hormone - in relieving "hot flashes," nervousness, depression, anxiety, and irritability without the adverse side effects of the hormone.
Vitamin E has also been used in preventing habitual abortions, as well as the tragedy of congenitally deformed babies. Several series of experiments have shown that childless couples when given massive treatments of Vitamin E (and this means both the man and the woman) can very often have children, when nothing else was effective.
Eye disorders in children (near-sightedness,crossed eyes), along with mental retardation, have been reported corrected or alleviated with extremely large doses of Vitamin E (up to 3000 international units a day for years).
It has been responsible for preventing and curing cirrhosis and other disorders of the liver in so many laboratory animals of all types that the implication for man cannot be ignored.
Vitamin E has been found to be of marked value in the treatment of such obscure and remote diseases as leprosy (Hansen's disease); lupus erythematosus (a tuberculosis skin disease which is characterized by an intractable rash); and in the prevention of sickness due to x-ray therapy.
Vitamin E has been shown to have a close relationship to muscular dystrophy, indications being that, in muscular dystrophy , the body cannot assimilate the vitamin properly. There is some reason to believe that , once a key to the proper assimilation of Vitamin E is found for the unfortunate victims of muscular dystrophy , they will be cured much as victims of the once-fatal pernicious anemia are now cured by injections of Vitamin B-12 and the mysterious "intrinsic factor" , which is derived from gut tissue.
At least one study (from Tehran, Iran, by H. Davidian) has shown that Vitamin E is valuable in the withdrawal from drug addiction.
There is evidence that Vitamin E tends to normalize blood pressure in some persons, bringing the pressure up if it is too low, and down if it is too high.
There is also some evidence that Vitamin E can prevent or at least slow down the formation of so-called "old-age" deposits in the cells and tissues - the "ceroid" pigmentation and "granular" formations. As an animal (or human) grows older, the cells , organs, and tissues become increasingly permeated with inactive substances which are no doubt due to the gradual diminution of the metabolic processes. In countless laboratory tests, Vitamin E has shown its ability to reverse or slow down this aging process. Some researchers hold that these inert, useless "cell fillers" slowly choke off the useful, efficient materials which are occupied in the process of keeping us alive and healthy. Therefore, if Vitamin E can manage to halt or , at least, delay this detrimental aging process, it follows that man may live to his true (mammalian) span of about 150 years in full vigor instead of slowly creeping to his grave - as Shakespeare puts so aptly : "sans teeth, sans eyes, sans everthing." A study of mammals on the earth from rats to elephants shows that animals - barring accidents - live about six times their maturation rate.
For instance, a dog , which is fully matured in two years, usually lives about twelve years; thus man, maturing at twenty-five , should live to be 150.
There are excellent scientific indications that Vitamin E can be the most potent single factor in warding off old age - provided one obtains enough and can utilize it efficiently. Individuals vary so much in their demand for any nutritive substance that an individual (or a doctor) has to proceed by trial or by subjective and/or objective results in order to determine how much of any substance is needed. We have not yet achieved the robot stage whereby a standard squirt of Vitamin E (or other necessary material) will suffice to keep all the machines in good working order. It has been ascertained that the human utilizes only about 20 to 30 per cent of the Vitamin E he ingests. Therefore, some persons have to take more than others for the vitamin to be effective.
These are some of the major functions scientists 'know' about Vitamin E. There are many other functions, some of which , at present, they do not know; yet because the vitamin does produce observable reactions in animals and humans, researchers can make educated guesses.
Now let us explore a short history of the vitamin and try to ascertain why there has been such a time lag between its actual discovery and its widespread clinical acceptance and use.
Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by researchers H.M. Evans and K.S. Bishop. Unfortunately for human beings , but perhaps fortunately for science in the long run, these researchers picked the rat to prove the existence of the then unnamed substance. Had they chosen other animals , the results of Vitamin E deprivation would not have been the same as they were in the rat. The goat, for instance, apparently manufactures its own Vitamin E (just as the dog manufactures its own Vitamin C); however, in all other animals tested (sixteen thus far) deprivation of Vitamin E caused serious disorders - and finally death.
The original researchers chose the laboratory rat because its nutritional needs are somewhat close to man's. The rat is, like man, an omnivore, ie., it eats almost anything including meat, vegetables and grains. The rat is even closer to man, nutritionally speaking , than most other species, including our "closest relatives," the apes, which eat vegetables and fruits primarily. The apes will not eat meat; neither will the horse or elephant, which may partially explain why these animals in the natural state have to spend practically all their waking time eating or looking for food. They have to supply their need for protein by eating large quantities of vegetation, rather than obtaining it in its concentrated form, which is meat, or animal products.
Vitamin E is absolutely essential for the rat in order to achieve reproduction. Certain other adult animals, such as chickens, lambs and cows , if deprived of Vitamin E, may reproduce , but their 'offspring' never get a chance to reproduce. The reason? Vitamin E starved chicks die of "crazy chick disease" (encephalomalacia), a disorder of the brain; lambs deprived of Vitamin E die of "stiff lamb disease", within days or weeks; minks and mink kits die of "yellow fat" disease. Reproduction is thus eliminated in the second generation because these animals die before they can reproduce. If the rat is deprived of Vitamin E, it either cannot reproduce or else the foetus is "resorbed" by the mother and there is no birth at all. This was a seemingly significant discovery at the time. It still is significant in the light of later research. However, the implication for the human being concerning reproduction was not long in being deduced. Vitamin E became known as the "fertility" vitamin. Then rapidly , because of the peculiar way that our society is constituted, Vitamin E achieved the medical status of being ranked along with Voronoff's "monkey glands" as a sexual rejuvenator. It is difficult to believe , in view of the thousands of reports published since then concerning its diverse roles in metabolism, that there are still some medical "authorities" who think of Vitamin E 'only' as a "fertility" substance. It does happen that some humans, both man and woman, are affected benificially by Vitamin E in the reproductive process, but that is a relatively minor factor - almost a side effect - of the vitamin when compared with its other capacities.
At first Vitamin E was also thought to be synonymous with wheat germ oil, but although wheat germ oil does contain some Vitamin E, the amount is usually not enough for therapeutic or even preventive dosages for the major degenerative diseases. But this fact was to be learned much later after many experiments and many scientific arguments. (Wheat germ oil, however, has additional stamina-building qualities other than that contained in Vitamin E and should be taken in conjunction with Vitamin E.) Thus , there were double curses cast upon Vitamin E; namely , (1) it was a "sexual" vitamin and, therefore, could not be tolerated in an ostensibly Puritanical society where sex was a dirty word; and (2) the early researchers did not have Vitamin E in sufficient quantities (they were using wheat germ oil). These early experiments were also confined to rats and rabbits for the most part, which hampered progress even more. And no one knew then that the wheat germ oil being used was probably turning rancid and, therefore, almost useless since rancidity not only destroys Vitamin E but has a most significant adverse effect on cellular metabolism.
However, to add an even more devastating road block in the path of the researchers, in 1937 Vitamin E was finally synthesized as a chemical laboratory product and more researchers began to use it, but no one was to know until 1962 that the synthetic product would be proved by the strictest tests to be only one-fifth as powerful as the product derived from natural sources. Meanwhile, many researchers were using synthetic products and claiming little results.
Most of the early workers were trying to establish Vitamin E's efficacy, or lack of it, in various types of animals and in the human - purely on its relationship to fertility - without having enough (as we know now) of the vitamin to make a valid test even on the reproductive basis. Yet these tests of twenty to thirty years ago are the ones now accepted and quoted by the medical authorities to prove that Vitamin E is worthless for the human body as a therapeutic agent 'of any kind.'
There were a few pioneers during this period who used Vitamin E for various ailments and who obtained good results, but, regrettably, these findings were never followed up. Therefore, Vitamin E encountered a long dry spell between 1922 and 1945, when Dr. Evan V. Shute of London, Ontario, Canada, began seriously to investigate Vitamin E. In the book, 'Alpha Tocopherol [Vitamin E] in Cardiovascular Disease' (1954), he describes how he arrived on the scene by a "series of lucky accidents". He had been intrigued by Vitamin E some years before (1936) but had "ignored the clues."
Now , Dr. Shute, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada) is one of Canada's ,most respected physicians. He is an obstetrician and gynecologist, but his interests in medicine are far-ranging. His brother, Wilfred, also a physician, leans more toward cardiovascular diseases.
Evan, as a child in Canada, qualified at a very early age for the rank of genius. He entered high school at the age of nine, a feat never surpassed in Canada. He sailed through high school, obtaining the highest standing in Essex County, Ontario, and then won a scholarship to the University of Toronto at the age of 14 - another record never before achieved in Canada. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1924 and three years later, his medical degree.
In 1933, Dr. Shute was made a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is quite an honor for a young physician. However, an even greater accolade was to follow two years later; he was selected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canadian). Other honors followed in rapid succession, which we will not enumerate here due to lack of space, but we must mention that he has authored over 120 medical papers and has lectured at international medical meetings in London, New York, Naples, Venice, and Amsterdam. He is also listed in Canada's 'Who's Who', the 'directory of Medical Specialists', the 'American Men of Science', and American Men of Medicine.
We felt it necessary to aquaint the reader with Dr. Shute's accomplishments and recognitions in the field of orthodox medicine so that no one could possibly question his medical background. Now we will return to the history of his discovery
. Together, the brothers Shute had begun treatment of cardiovascular disease with Vitamin E as early as 1936-37 but, as they term these studies now, they were "abortive." Preparations of the substance were poor and lack of facilities curtailed their research. Nevertheless the results obtained were so suggestive that they never forgot them.
In 1945, due to a brilliant type of research which Dr. Evan Shute proposed to a doctoral candidate, Floyd Skelton, the intriguing question of Vitamin E's efficacy in the matter of blood coagulation arose. Purpura (a bad blockage of the smaller blood vessels) was induced in dogs - the animals chosen for the experiment - and then relieved by large doses of vitamin E. Skelton's (now Dr.) research proved so fascinating that Dr. Shute resolved to try Vitamin E on a human patient. The patient they selected was in the last stages of purpura. His doctors were considering removing his spleen in the hope that somehow the condition could be helped.
Now, removal of the spleen is a most serious operation - for the patient, that is - since the spleen is foremost among those organs and tissues which comprise the body's natural line of defense against infections and diseases of all types. This natural defense mechanism is termed the 'reticul-endothelial system' (RES). Among the RES's many activities is the manufacture of antibodies and white corpuscles.
An operation, however, was not actually possible since the patient had severe heart failure. You cannot remove a man's spleen when he is suffering desperately from heart disease. Therefore, researcher Skelton and Dr. Shute, calculating on the basis of the dosage used to cure the dogs of purpura, administered 200 IU of Vitamin E a day to their despairing patient. This dosage was much higher than had ever been used before in treating human beings. Today we know this dosage is extremely low; it helps to explain why some researchers could not obtain uniform or even satisfactory results.
Even so, the patient's heart trouble quickly disappeared - 'before' his purpura, though that, too, yielded under the onslaught of the then mysterious substance called Vitamin E.
You can imagine Dr. Shute's thoughts at the miracle accomplished by the administration of a 'mere' vitamin, the dosage of which would appear as an infinitesimal speck in the palm of a man's hand. Reacting as a true scientist, he immediately looked about for more patients - only those with heart disease this time - on whom he could again test Vitamin E.
He did not have far to look. His erstwhile barber was now dying from recurrent coronary thrombosis (the disease which kills more than half the men over 45). The barber was in the last stages of heart failure, complicated by a type of angina which was extremely painful and which no anodyne could relieve. Now anyone who has suffered angina knows it is one of the most "painful pains" known to man and also one of the most terrifying. When you know it is your heart which is sending out this most urgent call for relief , it is a slightly different matter from suffering from any other pain. You know, for instance, that the almost unendurable pain experienced in the aftermath of a torn-off leg or even that of a migraine headache will eventually disappear and that your life will be saved if you are in competent medical hands. But, in this case, you know that if your heart stops functioning , 'you' stop functioning also.
There are millions of persons who are now enduring exactly the same type of pain from the same type of disease which Dr. Shute's barber was suffering in 1945. Very likely they could have helped if Dr. Shute's findings had become common knowledge in that year and in the succeeding years. Fortunately for Dr. Shute's dying barber, after being treated with Vitamin E for three weeks, 'he was playing the drums in one of the local theater.' We may assume that he had returned to his regular profession of cutting hair as well, although this information is not vouchsafed to us by Dr. Shute in his book.
Next, the Shute brothers treated their mother with Vitamin E. She was suffering from severe 'angina pectoris'. Again the vitamin worked; their mother's gripping pains ceased , and she was able to resume her normal activities.
Encouraged by these results (and who wouldn't be?), the Shute brothers, with the assistance of Dr. Arthur Vogelsang, a general practitioner and former student of Dr. Evan Shute, began a series of treatments on persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Their results were as phenomenal as those previously described.
At the time of compiling their monumental work in 1954, Drs. Shute, et al., had treated more than 10,000 heart patients - with fantastic , scarcely - credible results (now over 20,000) .
Overnight the picture of gloom which had pervaded the whole area of heart disease was changed into the bright, glowing colors of optimism. At least that is what the Shutes thought. And that is, of course, what should have occurred.
But the Shutes had to learn the hard way. One would have expected that the medical profession and the medical journals would have seized upon this radical discovery when it was backed up by the most careful type of scientific evidence. This evidence included , naturally, the living, now normal patients who had been doomed to die. The patients possessed undeniable records of their illness as well as physical proof of their return to healthy living. Almost none of the diagnoses of heart disease were made initially by the Shutes - these were patients given up as "hopeless" by cardiac specialists.
The Shutes expected that the medical journal to which they sent their report would be proud to be the 'first' medical journal to break the news to doctors - and therefore the world - that finally a 'real key to heart disease' had been found with indisputable proof. To their amazement the Shutes' report was rejected. The doctors thought there must be some mistake. However, the second medical journal refused to publish also, as did the third. As Dr. Evan Shute puts it in his book in a classic masterpiece of understatement: "To give some slight indication of our problem, we once had resigned ourselves to being unable to publish our work in any medical journal. We sought unsuccessfully to register our manuscripts with the National Research Council of Canada, planning then to retire from this field of endeavor."
However, "The Council felt unable to assist us in this way, so we 'perforce' continued our studies." (The italics are mine.)
The Shutes were forced to continue their research with Vitamin E because they could not abandon their search for the truth in spite of official scepticism and opposition. They eventually founded the non-profit Shute Foundation for Medical Research and have since 1954 treated successfully many thousands of heart disease sufferers. They have collected reports from all over the world , attesting to the value of Vitamin E not only in heart disease but in many other ailments afflicting human beings.
As Dr. Shute relates it in his book, heart specialists (cardiologists) condemned his findings at first sight without ever reading the evidence. Similar experiences have occurred to other scientists. Witness Dr. Emil Grubbe's long fight to gain acceptance for X-ray therapy which he discovered in 1896, only a few weeks after Roentgen made his monumental discovery of the mysterious, invisible rays. Although Grubbe had demonstrated clearly on the first patient that X-rays were capable of shrinking cancer and relieving pain, the findings were bitterly attacked by the orthodox groups, particularly the surgeons.
Almost everyone who issues medical information emanating from orthodox sources or writes directly from their press handouts conveniently ignores the scandalous fact that X-ray was not recognized as an agent for treating cancer by the American College of Surgeons until 1937! And that Dr. Grubbe, the discoverer of X-ray therapy (for cancer and other diseases) still was not recognized as late as 1951! A former medical pupil of Dr. Grubbe (Dr. George Park, a researcher and also a practicing physician in Chicago) informed me in the early part of 1951 of this shameful neglect on the part of the medical profession.
I investigated this and found the startling tale to be , indeed, true; Dr. Grubbe, then living in obscurity and suffering from X-ray burns incurred before anyone knew that the mysterious, invisible rays could damage human flesh, produced all the scientific evidence, all the documentation necessary to prove that he was the first man on our planet to apply Roentgen's discovery to medical healing. (Actually , Grubbe had been experimenting with X-rays 'before' Roentgen announced his finding; Grubbe had been badly burned by X-rays previously in his experiments with Crookes' tubes, which generated radiation though no one knew what radiation was at that time.)
Another classic example of such authoritative thinking occurred in 1934. This was Dr. Gibbs who today is recognized as being the pioneer of the electroencephalograph (EEG). He exhibited his machine to the annual American Medical Association meeting in 1934.
Again, the medical profession failed to recognize the value of a new discovery.
These few, yet meaningful examples of how the process of modern medicine has been impeded will prepare the reader for what follows in the case of Vitamin E.
When I asked Dr. Grubbe what he thought was the reason for the authorities fighting the x-ray for so long, he replied bluntly: "The surgeons. They controlled medicine, and they regarded the X-ray as a threat to surgery. At that time surgery was the only approved method of treating cancer. They meant to keep it the 'only' appoved method by ignoring or rejecting any new methods or ideas. This is why I was called a 'quack' and nearly ejected from hospitals where I had practiced for years."
By the time the American College of Surgeons was finally forced to admit that radiation therapy did not constitute a threat to surgery - indeed was most often a necessary part of the orthodox treatment of cancer - it was much too embarrassing for their leaders to recognize a man who had been persecuted by them for forty-one years. It was much more convenient to ignore him altogether in the hope that no one would ever drag 'that' skeleton out of their medical closet.
It is ironic that the radiologists who are now under the protective aegis of the AMA,et al., have no concept of their indebtedness to a courageous pioneer who made their good living possible and that these same doctors are now in the forefront of those who are fighting any other unorthodox approach to the treatment of cancer.
What happened to Dr. Shute after the publication of his book in 1954? Remember the heart disease cases treated by the Shutes 'alone' by that time totalled 10,000. Other eminent researchers had treated thousands more. Almost all had attested to the marvelous effect of Vitamin E. Dr. Shute thought the final victory of Vitamin E would be secured by publication of such overwhelming evidence.
He wrote: "It's [Vitamin E's] place as an essential item in normal cardiovascular physiology seems to have been finally established ... however we can testify that this has been firmly exhilarating if exhausting chase. And we know how a fox feels."
As time proved , Dr. Shute was underestimating the hunters. They would not withdraw from the chase in spite of the publication of an enormous amount of favorable scientific evidence. He was to learn that no matter how much evidence he and his fellow researchers would amass during the next decade, the organized groups would ignore and deprecate all such evidence. Further, he would learn to his sorrow that mere deprecation and adverse aspersions would not be all he ( and other workers ) would suffer.
It must have come as a great shock to the Drs. Shute to learn that doctors in their own city of London, Ontario, who had witnessed first hand the amazing results of Vitamin E and who were indeed using it 'themselves', were not prescribing if for their patients! And most of those 'courageous' few who did prescribe it for their patients made their prescriptions valid only in another city because they did not wish to be known as a doctor who prescribes vitamin E! To the uninitiated , this may seem incredible ; yet the record stands and is there for all to see. This amazing fact - though somewhat disillusioning to followers of TV's hero doctors - was printed in 'Macleans Magazine', one of Canada's foremost popular publications. It was later recounted in 'Prevention' magazine in order that American readers might obtain some of the sordid, yet factual and realistic , circumstances surrounding today's practice of medicine.
The article must have shocked the American public , which is used to hearing the authorities proclaiming that the conquest of heart disease is just around the corner but that there are as yet no knowm remedies for heart disease or circulatory disease except those now in common use. Readers of popular magazines and viewers of television programs have been told the same story over and over again. All these media ignored the mountains of facts about Vitamin E which have been accumulated during the past twenty years.
A slight break in this wall of resistance occurred in the fall of 1959 when the United States Food and Drug Administration was forced to recognize that Vitamin E was just as essential to the welfare of the human body as vitamins A, D, the B-complex, and several other vitamins are acknowledged to be. For twenty years, this agency had been ignoring the evidence, following the practice of the orthodox medical groups. Far from having any favorable effects on heart disease , such as those reported by the Drs. Shute and hundreds of other researchers, the vitamin was not even deemed necessary for normal metabolism in the human being. In fact, prior to the 1959 ruling , the FDA would seize any Vitamin E product which carried a claim that it 'was' essential in human nutrition.
However, as we have stated previously , when researchers, such as Dr. M.K Horwitt at the Elgin State Hospital in Elgin, Illinois, proved conclusively that a deficiency of Vitamin E in the blood of the human being produces the destruction of red blood cells, the FDA statement was released. (There 'are' courageous researchers in this country who pursue their experiments in spite of official opinion, and these are the ones we have to thank for our knowledge of many new medical developements.)
The release was, in effect, a counter-attack on those researchers who had demonstrated that Vitamin E was essential in human nutrition, for it stated that while Vitamin E had been officially declared as necessary in human nutrition, there was absolutely no need for anyone to be concerned about it since everyone in America received an ample supply of Vitamin E in his daily diet. In fact, judging from the stories in the press, one received the impression that Vitamin E was of no real importance at all. The FDA press release went even further, disparaging those researchers who maintained that massive doses of Vitamin E would benefit the body at all. The solid records of Shute and many other researchers in every civilized country in the world were dismissed as "wild claims."
Of course, Dr. Shute was dismayed by the sheer effrontery of any official agency which could blithely dismiss all the positive evidence for Vitamin E and, indeed , use the occasion of its admission to the official list of "necessary" vitamins as a springboard for a vicious attack against it. The top FDA officials are also quick to attach a label as "quack" or "food faddist" to anyone who maintains that extra supplements of vitamins should be included in the diet. Yet the fallacy in this line of attack is adequately revealed by the numerous clinical studies reported in the medical journals. These reports and ads, of course are rarely seen by the public.
It seems that vitamin supplements are excellent, indeed, if prescribed by a physician, but highly unnecessary if the individual takes them on his own.
In the case of Vitamin E, here is a letter from Dr. Shute sent to the Better Business Bureau concerning the FDA release and the subsequent BBB Service Bulletin based upon the release:
January 5, 1960 National Better Business Bureau, Inc. Chrysler Building New York 17, NY Dear Sirs: I have just seen the little Service Bulletin of November 4th last, which deals with the "Wild Claims for Vitamin E." As so many of these so-called 'wild claims" have emanated from me in the last 15 years, it is probably right that I should make some comment on your last item. The first thing that I should point out to you, perhaps, is that these "wild claims" have received so much credence now, that the writer has discussed them by invitation at international meetngs in many countries in the last few years, including the Third World Congress on Vitamin E at Venice in 1955, the Third International Congress on Fertility and Sterility in Naples in 1956, as well as the Second of these Congresses held in New York in 1953, the World Congress on Angiology at San Remo in 1958, and the World Congress on Fertility and Sterility in Amsterdam in 1959. On January 12th next I am to give a lecture by invitation on "The Uses of Vitamin E in Obstetrics and Vascular Disease" at the Pan-American Fertility Congress in Miami Beach. There also have been many publications on this topic in English-speaking medical journals throughout the world. You can see, therefore, that perhaps these [claims] are not quite so "wild" as the FDA would suggest.
Now let me give some information on the background of some other remarks in your Service Bulletin. You begin by quoting the hoary old chestnut that "the daily diet provides more than adequate amounts of Vitamin E for the average individual."
There is no scientific evidence for this whatsoeverr. As a matter of fact every worker who has investigated this particular point has come up with a conclusion which is widely different. Vitamin E, of course, is medical slang and refers to a complex of seven tocopherols, the significant being 'alpha'. It has definitely been established by every worker in the field that the average requirement of alpha tocopherol is 30 international units per day. All sorts of studies made on Dutch and American diets indicate that the average of these diets provides no more than 12 IU a day and perhaps much closer to 6 IU. I don't know how this can be represented as "adequate." In fact, every scientist in the field would say that the average American exists in a chronic state of alpha tocopherol starvation.
The latest of these workers is Horwitt, and it is his work which has recently forced the FDA to revise the statement it has long forced pharmaceutical houses to include in the label of every bottle of Vitamin E [that Vitamin E has not been shown to be necessary to human nutrition] . He showed that since the requirement of alpha tocopherol was 30 IU a day, anything less than this tended to haemolyse [destroy] the red blood cells in human circulation. In other words, intakes averaging less than this jeopardized the red blood cells and human health. This ejected the FDA from the stand they had taken for so many years, but which it should never have taken since Engel and Harris and Quaife had shown at least ten years ago that 30 IU was the actual requirement of the human, and had also shown that the average American diet did not have this content. The FDA has been making a serious mistake for the last ten years. It is not its only mistake, and no doubt not its last mistake, but at least a mistake of such dimensions should give you pause before you issue such silly pronouncements as this Service Bulletin contains.
I presume the FDA derives much of its information upon the uselessness of Vitamin E for such diseases as sterility, and so on, heart disease and muscular dystrophy from the American Medical Association. And the American Medical Association has had no problem in this field too.It began by pointing out that about ten years ago there was no evidence that Vitamin E was of value to cardiovascular disease. This was a tremendous mistake, of course. Everyone [except in the United States] now knows that it is very valuable for vascular conditions. Indeed, at the Venice Conference of Vitamin E in 1955 Professor Comel of Italy suggested that the vitamin should henceforth be called the 'angiophilic' vitamin because the most outstanding thing about this vitamin was not that it was useful for sterility , but it was useful for vascular conditions of all kinds. There was much evidence for this, of course, when the American Medical Association first began making its derogatory remarks. It is only lately that it has pulled in its horns on vascular disease. Curiously enough, the world medical literature contains some hundreds of useful articles supporting our "wild claims" of 1946 that Vitamin E was useful for heart disease. We continue to wonder how the medical chorus can be overlooked. Surely all of us cannot be wrong. But the American Medical Association can, and it no longer speaks in a derogatory way of the use of vitamin E in vascular disease. I suppose it scarcely could continue to do so ever since articles in American medical journals, such as Kawahara (Surgery 46:768, 1959).
I hope that you will have a better understanding of the Vitamin E problem in therapeutics after this note, and I hope that you will be a little slower after this to issue Service Bulletins with factual bases so imperfect. Sincerely yours Evan. V. Shute.,FRCS(C)
There is so much evidence on various species of animals proving the absolute need for Vitamin E supplementation that one is hardpressed to select and condense it for readers of this page.
There are literally thousands of scientific studies , some proving that Vitamin E deficiency will cause heart failure, muscular dystrophy, brain and neurological disorders, reproductive failures, and several other grave ailments which usually prove fatal.
Other studies demonstrate the value of adding Vitamin E to the diet of "normal" animals fed a "normal" diet. Still other experiments prove that Vitamin E will "regenerate" old and aging animals to the point where they are "youthful" again. Indeed, notably in domesticated animals such as dogs, cats and horses (among others), Vitamin E therapy will "reverse" the aging process for a time. And still other experiments on racing greyhounds and racing horses demonstrate beyond any scientific doubt that the vitamin, when given in adequate amounts, will definitely aid an animal which was already considered to be in superb health or "top form". Human studies bear out the results achieved on animals, as we shall see later.
An important point to remember about animal experimentation is that most of the experiments were "controlled": one group was fed a "normal" diet; another group deprived of Vitamin E; still another received extra supplements of the vitamin. And a most important factor: the animals , of course , did not know they were the subjects of experimentation; they merely ate what was offered them. No doctor put on his best bedside manner and said to the animals : "Now what I'm giving you may help you - it's a new type of therapy." Neither did he look his animal "patients" in the eye and intone hypnotically, "I'm sure you are going to get well. This remedy will work wonders for you."
Anyone who is familiar with medicine knows the "placebo" effect: patients are given harmless, though inactive, pills and in a controlled study, are compared with patients who are given what purports to be an active remedy. Such is the power of the human mind that the mere thought of receiving benefit enables many of those receiving placebos to get better. Thus, placebos are able to accomplish up to 40 per cent improvement in many illnesses. This strikingly high percentage often approximates the record for the proposed remedy. Sometimes it even surpasses it, if the remedy is toxic and produces harmful side effects. you can see why any medical researcher should be extremely careful in evaluating any new agent on human beings.
However, the placebo effect usually lasts for only a few days, weeks, or possibly months, depending upon the conditions under which the experiment is being conducted. For instance, the placebo improvement almost never continues more than a few days or weeks in the serious illnesses of man such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or muscular dystrophy, to mention a few. Yet there is no question that pain - even severe pain such as that experienced in the last stages of cancers, in tooth extraction, in childbirth, even major operations - can frequently be eliminated by an expert in hypnosis. In some respects, the process governing the placebo effect is similar to that of hypnosis. In both cases it is the mind of the patient which accomplishes the often astounding results.
With animals, the placebo effect is non-existent of course. Man has never been able to communicate sufficiently well with the lower species so as to induce the placebo effect as he can in his own more creative and, therefore, imaginative genre. In other words, doctors cannot induce rats, monkeys, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, minks, foxes, cattle, horses, sheep, chickens, and turkeys into thinking they are being helped by supplements of Vitamin E. The objective results are the only elements to reckon with in animal treatments. Some doctors have advanced the hypothesis that Vitamin E produces only a placebo effect in the treatment of human heart disease. (They do not explain the animal results.) yet there are scores of controlled studies in man, too, which adequately demonstrate that vitamin E 'physiologically'. not psychologically , performs all the essential functions we have reported thus far. But that is for another chapter. For the moment we are concerned with the evidence from our animal friends, which no amount of glib or tortuous reasoning can refute.
We will not go into detail here, but it has been found that healthy rats supplemented with Vitamin E , when compared with healthy rats that were not supplemented , as well as those made deficient in Vitamin E, could swim much longer, could withstand high altitudes 100 per cent better ( this experiment was done in a "decompression chamber" such as our astronauts use in training) , and could run the "treadmill" longer (a wheellike device which goes around endlessly as long as the animal or human is able to run).
Further, as even more objective proof, when autopsied after being sacrificed, the Vitamin E - supplemented rats did not show the same damaging effects on their lungs, kidneys, livers, and other vital organs as did their litter mates who received the same grueling, stressful experiences without Vitamin E supplementation.
Dr. F. Vaccari of Italy has demonstrated that the heart of a frog, when excised from its body and bathed in a solution containing Vitamin E, will beat nearly half again as long as the heart of a frog bathed in normal saline or other nutrient solutions. The foregoing and other studies show objectively, both in the laboratory and outside it, by testing of performance, that Vitamin E can and does enhance the function of the heart and circulatory system.
We have mentioned Vitamin E deficiencies produced in animals and how they invariably lead to death , preceded, or course , by symptoms which are characteristic of the particular species. The mink , for instance , when fed a diet deficient in Vitamin E, develops what is known as "yellow fat" disease. Before it was descovered that a shortage of Vitamin E was the cause of yellow fat disease , the mortality among mink was enormous. Now , of course, no mink farmer dares 'not' to feed his mink extra Vitamin E supplements. Approximately the same rules of Vitamin E supplementation apply to fox farmers as well.
Raising these animals means quite a bit of money in initial costs and upkeep. And, let us not forget another necessary factor, profit. These animals must have the best in nutrition , and now, thanks to Vitamin E researchers, they get it. Ironically , the farmer himself probably doesn't take the Vitamin E supplement upon which he knows his animals depend for their well being and, in fact, must have in order to produce healthy offspring and to become "marketable" themselves. But the human being is rather slow to learn, particularly if he has been told by an authority that Vitamin E supplements for 'him' are absolutely unnecessary. So he dies of a heart attack while feeding his animals the very substance which would have saved his own life!
But minks and foxes are not the only commercially raised animals which need Vitamin E supplementation. You now find the E supplements in chicken and turkey feed. When not fed enough Vitamin E , both these fowls develope peculiarities which lead to their early demise. However, supplements of Vitamin E in their food prevent these diseases, and they are able to bear healthy offspring, which , if Vitamin E-supplemented , will grace your table.
As previously noted, deprivation of E in sheep causes the "stiff-lamb" disease, which means that the lamb dies shortly after birth unless it receives E supplements immediately. Some of the pioneer work on Vitamin-E-deficient lambs and sheep was conducted by F. A. Bacigalupo, R. Culik, et al., and reported in the "Journal of Animal Science" in 1952. Thus, there will be no new generation. Calves born from cows deprived of Vitamin E manifest somewhat the same symptoms. In cattle, the symptoms resemble muscular dystrophy. However, there is little danger now of animals being deprived of an adequate supply of Vitamin E because farmers and the pharmaceutical houses have been alerted to the danger.
Now, let us consider old dogs and cats. For our evidence here, among others, we have N.H. Lambert, a famous veterinarian of Dublin, who is a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, a title not perfunctorily granted. Dr. Lambert's other credits are many and varied , for his special talent seems to be the capacity for original thinking and the willingness to experiment no matter what the opposition.
He had read of Dr. Shute's work in Canada on humans; forthwith, he resolved to test Vitamin E on some of his old dog "heart patients". His very first case treated with Vitamin E astounded both Dr. Lambert (who was prepared for a favourable effect) and the owner of the dog. Shortened, Dr. Lambert's report reads: "An eleven - year - old Griffon bitch in very poor physical condition [after the usual conventional treatments] .. the heart was rapidly deteriorating. The owner implored me to do anything to save the bitch's life. At this stage she was having frequent heart attacks, was very wasted, was almost too weak to stand , and had to be hand-fed with liquids." Vitamin E was administered , 3 IU three times a day . "After the first day, a slight improvement was noticed; this improvement was maintained and in fourteen days the dog was moving around , barking and actually looking for food. The result was spectacular, and her owner stated two months later that she was younger in her ways than [she had been] for the past three years. Nearly twelve months after treatment started, she played like a pup, had a fine glossy coat, and her first normal heat in four years, followed by a phantom pregnancy!" Phantom pregnancy approximates a 'false" or pseudo-pregnancy in the human; that is, some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy are present, except for the actual existence of the foetus in the womb. This dog enjoyed "excellent health" for several more years , until finally old age overtook her as it customarily does with every living creature. Her owner reluctantly requested euthanasia.
Dr. Lamberts second case was a twelve year old fox terrier. The symptoms were coughing and a disclination to go for walks. The terrier was very weak and refused all food. Dr. Lambert's examination revealed endocarditis (inflammation of the lining membrane of the heart) and heart dilation. The dog was given 3 IU of Vitamin E three times a day to start. It improved slowly , according to Dr. Lambert's reports; the owner noticed it was "rejuvenated and played again like a pup."
The third case offered here - an eight-year-old Red Setter - is a fitting tribute to most men's ignorance fostered by the orthodox who think that if a remedy works, it should be stopped when the patient gets better.
This dog had a large 'adenoma' (tumor) of the anus which was being partially regressed by the administration of a synthetic female hormone. (Often in the human, treatments with hormones of the opposite sex will temporarily regress a cancer in the sexual regions. For instance, males with cancer of the prostrate gland will frequently obtain relief through administration of the female hormone , estrogen.)
But the owner of this dog was taking him out regularly for hunting, which some animal lovers may consider reprehensible, since the owner was aware of the dog's serious condition. However, six weeks later, the dog was brought in again. He had collapsed several times while hunting, and when seen the second time by Dr. Lambert, he was "very wasted, with laboured breathing, and coughing a great deal." Dr.Lambert's examination demonstrated "advanced endocarditis and cardiac dilation," which proves what a dog will do for his master.
He was treated with Vitamin E . "An immediate improvement was noticed by the owner, and as little as a week later, the dog... was in good form and breathing normally." Dr. Lambert advised gradual increase of diet and exercise. Hunting, naturally, was forbidden. However, three weeks later, when the irrepressible hunter returned with his dog, he related he had just returned from giving the dog "a three-days shooting" and that he was "nearly as good as ever."
As Dr. Lambert states rather scientifically , although we can note his disapproval between the lines, "the owner put the dog through a regular hunting season , giving him Vitamin E, when he appeared tired." The next season , the hunter did not give the dog any Vitamin E. It is not surprising that halfway through the hunting season , the old, faithful dog dropped dead in "the middle of the second day's shoot."
Although Dr. Lambert has scores of cases similar to the aforementioned , we must content ourselves with two more examples.
A sixteen-year-old neutered cat had collapsed with a heart attack and , when seen by Dr. Lambert, had a very rapid and weak pulse. It could not walk straight. After Vitamin E therapy , however, this old cat made what most would call a "miraculous" recovery. It developed "kittenish" habits and looked younger than it had five years before.
The following case is also most significant, especially if one is interested in racing. The owner of a twenty-months-old racing greyhound came to Dr. Lambert. The dog had won its first 525-yard race in 30.9 seconds. However, following this race it dwindled away, condition and energy gone. It was rested for a month, but this usual procedure had little beneficent effect. It just stopped before the finish line in its next race. It was then rested for two months. In another race in which it was finally tried it stopped at 300 yards and pitifully 'crawled' to the finish line. This act of courage revealed its fighting spirtit , as well as its ill health.
When it was brought to Dr. Lambert's clinic , the greyhound was immediately diagnosed as a heart disease case and put on Vitamin E therapy. To quote the exact words of Dr. Lambert; "He improved beyond belief and has since won seven races, is very fit and the heart appears normal."
And have you read about the "brave bulls" which are supposed to charge the men opposing them until they are dispatched in the so-called, much-publicized "moment of truth"? There are, of course, many bulls that are sacrificed in this fashion in the Spanish bull rings every year. Yet who is aware that many bulls, in spite of their deliberately inbred and carefully fostered hatred of man, really cannot perform properly in the arena due to a lack of Vitamin E?
Many bulls who apparently would like to gore their tormentors cannot do so because they fall down in the fight before being killed by the gracefully performing matador or his cohorts. They are victims of what we call either "strokes" or "heart failures" in humans. Yet even after their seizures, some try nobly to perform their set roles in the drama of the bullfight, but usually they are unable to carry on; in the end , all are knifed and wheeled away, classified as cowards by the watching humans, who would think themselves extraordinarily courageous if 'they' could, after suffering a heart attack, stagger to the nearest telephone or doctor's office. Now, however, we have the benefit of some Spanish investigators who have determined the cause for the failure of some bulls to continue performing in the ring. Dr. D. Jordano and Dr. C. Gaspar Gomez studied 513 bulls who fell in the ring before they could be killed. They concluded that the circulatory and central nervous systems were drastically affected and that there was a "direct relationship between this condition and Vitamin-E deficiency."
Let us now examine horse racing. When we say horse racing we also include horse breeding. These are the two factors with which we are concerned. The original experiments with Vitamin E in horse racing and horse breeding were undertaken at the Windfields Farm, Toronto, Canada, and the National Stud Farm in Oshawa, Canada. The owner of both farms, E. P. Taylor, offered his entire stock of thoroughbred racers for the experiment with Vitamin E. The plan for the experiment was devised by Dr. Evan Shute and William Jay Gutterson, President of Webber Pharmaceuticals, Limited, Toronto, Canada, which organization supplied the Vitamin E. The report on the results of the two-year study was issued by F. G. Darlington, manager of the farms and the experiment, and J. B. Chassels, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both of whom supervised the experiments. The farm began its study of Vitamin E supplementation midway in the racing season of 1955. All concerned were so impressed with the results that the study was continued into the following year (and, of course, continues to the present day, but we are now dealing with the original experiments). The authors of the study put the problem very practically. In fact the subtitle of one of their papers is termed quite appropriately: "Practical Aspects of a Racing Study." The authors state:
"The successful operation of a racing stable depends on consistency of performance. An owner is vitally interested in the number of races per start that is won. If horses are not winning, it is of paramount importance that they be in the money a good percentage of the time, since second and third monies sometimes contribute 50 per cent of a stable's earnings. In Canada, a racing stable must win an average of two and a half races per horse per year in order to break even, and its horses should be in the money at least one-third of the times they run."
As you know, horse racing is a business as well as a sport. This means no nonsense or crackpot schemes are tolerated. Nothing matters which does not ring the cash register enough to warrant a continuance of the methods employed in the business-sport.
I quote from the summary of the Darlington-Chassels Report :
"The percentage of wins per horse was 2.7 (cf. 2.3 last year [when the Vitamin E experiment began] and 1.8 in 1954, the year before the tocopherol experiment began)." Thus we see that the percentage of wins increase approximately two-thirds under Vitamin E supplementation.
Further, the farm found that, although the percentage of wins per horse jumped from 1.8 to 2.3 in the first year of Vitamin E supplementation, the horses hit their peak of efficiency the following year when their dosages were doubled or tripled. The horse's earnings, where the same horses were compared in the two years, also increased approximately two-thirds on the larger dose - $46,405 vs. $76,410, to be exact. Remember this is a comparison between 'small' and 'large' doses of Vitamin E, 'not' among animals not receiving it at all.
In 1956, having increased the number of animals taking Vitamin E, the farm's actual take was $196,685 vs. $88,260 the previous year. The number of winners was 95 compared with 80. The number of seconds ("place") increased from 25 to 40, and the number of third running horses ("show") increased from 17 to 30.
These are the cold, hard,cash facts. Not only did the farm ascertain that Vitamin E improved its earnings very considerably, but there were many other favorable aspects. Race horses are notoriously "high-strung"; and some refuse to eat properly. The trainers found that under Vitamin E therapy almost all of these "too-nervous" horses were gradually quieted and began normal feeding, concomitant with their greatly improved performances on the track. (This calming effect was first discovered on human beings by German researchers, who called Vitamin E, "nature's own tranquilizer.")
Let us now take a couple of typical examples of how Vitamin E worked in the equine racing experiment. Listed in the report is horse #12, a stallion six years old. As the report points out, most race horses have passed their peak at that age. Two years previously, as a four-year-old and before receiving Vitamin E, #12 made twelve starts, winning one race, coming in second in another, and third in still another. His earnings that year were $2,595, his average per race being $216. On April 10, 1955, #12 began receiving 800 units of Vitamin E daily. On August 15, this dose was increased to 2,000 units. That season, the horse made fourteen starts, winning five times, "placing" three times, and "showing" once. His earnings jumped to $10,090, his average per race being $721.
By that time the experimenters had decided that Vitamin E should be maintained all during the year, not just during the racing season: accordingly #12 was placed on a 1,000 unit dosage daily during the winter. At the start of the racing season of 1956, this dosage was increased to 2,000 units daily. In that year, when the horse should have been giving signs of "slipping" and his owners should have been thinking about putting him out to stud, he 'made his best record'. In thirteen starts, he won five, "placed" in three, and "showed" once. His earnings were $13,355, and his average per race was $1,027. On the record, this appears approximately similar to the preceding year. But #12 showed more stamina and ran better and faster than the preceding year. According to the report, on one occasion he established a new track record! Most significantly , in five of six races 'throughout the year' there was not three fifths of a second's difference in his time. The "old hoss" showed what he was made of and what could be done, abetted of course with Vitamin E. He, like every horse in the stable , was given a double dose of Vitamin E prior to each race. And often, on the morning of the race, the racers were again given a double dose to increase muscualar stamina and utilization of oxygen.
As for the "nervous" and "poor feeding" horses, the Darlington-Chassels Report states: "... the first week we gave 5,000 units daily, the second week 3,000 units, afterward 2,000. We had three horses where this regime was not entirely successful; in each of these cases we went back to the higher dosage and started over again. 'We did not have a failure finally.'" (Emphasis mine.)
There are many such examples of a Vitamin E-supplemented horse "coming back" or exceeding what he or she ever did. In fact, as if we needed more proof , during the racing season, Vitamin E was cut down or out and then reinstated. 'The performance of the horse directly followed the pattern of the Vitamin E intake.'
For scientists and anyone else, I recommend a complete perusal of the Darlington-Chassels Report which is available in the December, 1955, Summary.
A word of caution,however. Vitamin E will never make a winner out of a "plug". It can never take the place of heredity, a good diet, and excellent training. When an athlete competes ( and the horse certainly is an athlete ), he must be at the top of his form. Vitamin E increases his capacity even when he is considered in "top form." (This , of course, does not mean that Vitamin E will not benefit those organisms - human or horses - which are not in top shape. It means merely that in any competitive endeavor, athletes must be at their best. Vitamin E makes them "better than best.")
Of course, there are many questions which were asked about Vitamin E's effectiveness in horse racing. Most, as may be expected, came from owners and trainers of racehorses. Chief among these questions: What is the exact way in which alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E) brings about these helpful changes in the body of a racehorse? Answer, Darlington-Chassels Report:
It enables the tissues of the body to do the same job on less oxygen, it is as if one strapped an aqua-lung [with oxygen] on the horse's back. It opens up huge reserves of capillary circulation, sets vessels not ordinarily used but waiting there for emergency demands. It helps to control the passage of fluids through the walls of blood vessels. It may even be a direct stimulant of muscle power. It improves the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These are just a few of its unique and helpful properties.
Q. how much do horses improve? [With Vitamin E therapy]
A. The degree of improvement that does take place depends entirely upon the class of animal being worked with. In a general way , it will bring horses close to their best effort, provided their physical condition and soundness are in good order.
Q.Have you had corroborative reports from other owners and trainers?
A. yes, we have had many but not as many and of the type we would like to have. [Here are scientists speaking who want experiments performed in the completely objective, scientific manner in which the Darlington-Chassels study was done.] The reason for this seems to be that if an alpha-tocopherol-treated horse does improve, its owner or trainer wants to take the credit.
Q. Are you continuing the experiments?
A. Of course...some very interesting avenues have been opened up through some of our inquiries and a great deal of work is now under way in some of the leading universities in America...
Unfortunately, the time lag between medical findings and their reaching the general public is so long that it may be quite some time before these results are made available. Vitamin E, of course, is not classified by any government as a drug or narcotic. But it also is not recognized by official medical agencies that the vitamin will produce any extra benefits on either animals or men, even if they take more than the minimum daily requirement as suggested by the National Research Council.
As we have mentioned, it is the pharmacological effect of massive dosages which produces the beneficial results noted here; its action is then as a drug or a medicine , not a vitamin 'per se'. In the human, in the U.S., the minimum daily requirement happens to be set at six units a day, a ridiculously low figure, as we have seen in Dr. Shute's letter.
Another report , issued by Darlington-Chassels covering five years instead of two, appears in 'The Summary', Dec., 1960. The report confirms the original findings, but most of this later study was devoted to the breeding of thoroughbreds rather than to racing. We shall examine this report shortly. However, in a summary of their findings, Darlington-Chassels state rather tersely: "The performance of the racehorses of this stable reached a new high in Canada during the progress of this study." Indeed, they did. For instance, according to the Report, the "best horse ever sired in Canada, Victoria Park, was by Chop Chop , the oldest stud , when he was 16." Chop Chop as well as Victoria Park's mother, received ample supplies of Vitamin E before he [Victoria Park] was conceived, and he was trained and raced under Vitamin E therapy. He was declared "Horse of the Year" in Canada in 1960 after winning $250,076. He had placed third in the Kentucky Derby. However, an accident prevented his continuing his most promising racing career and he was retired to stud at the age of three, just when most colts are beginning their careers.
Probably the most dramatic Vitamin E-bred and trained horse is Northern Dancer, the little three-year-old colt who was offered for sale for t$25,000 with no takers. To date, Northern Dancer has earned close to $2,000,000, winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and placing third in the Belmont. The little Vitamin E-sired and trained horse has won 14 of 17 starts and has never finished out of the money.
In the past five years , tocopherol-bred horses have won the "Queen's Plate," a racing event in Canada comparable to the Kentucky Derby in the U.S. The proud owner, E. P. Taylor, was recently quoted in Fortune magazine as saying "I only like winners." Mr. Taylor is probably one of the wealthiest men in the world, and this fortune was largely accumulated through his own ingenuity and skill; competition being what it is, can one blame Mr. Taylor for not announcing at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness that his horses had increased their winnings by two-thirds just by the ingestion of Vitamin E?
However, there is more information available about the vitamin's uses other than improving the performance of race horses, their eating habits, and their generally nervous dispositions. The National Stud Farm also provides us with thorough documentation concerning the effects of the vitamin in breeding mares, stallions, and even geldings, which are not supposed to have an interest in females, having been relieved of the organs necessary for sexual activity and procreation.
There have been hundreds of studies done on other animals in various laboratories throughout the world, all of which have proven that Vitamin E is indeed a "rejuvenator" in the sexual aspect. However , many researchers think its role in the sexual realm is purely the result of having built up the body to such a state of health that it is naturally reflected in sexual activity. Be that as it may, the fact is Vitamin E works, not only on horses but other animals as well. (We shall examine the role of Vitamin E's efficiency on man's fertility later.) To mention a few who have been responsible for the fertility findings in animals; Dr. A. Bonfert and Dr. J. Arp (Germany); Dr. A. M. Brown, Dr. M.J. Cook, Dr. W. Lane-Petter, Dr. G. Porter, and Dr. A. A. Tuffery (England); Dr. Barbaro D'Agostino (Milan, Italy); as well as hundreds of others listed in the 'Annotated Bibliography of Vitamin E', 1958-1960.
Since our primary interest in this chapter is animal evidence, we shall return to the horse experiment. (Because of lack of space, we cannot cite all the animal references.) The Darlington-Chassels Report was motivated not only by the scientific desire for learning but also by financial considerations; it was concerned with how much gain there was in Vitamin E for the National Stud Farm. We are sure that every word of the report is true not only in the scientific sense, but also in the economic sphere. The report was entitled 'Breeding Experiments in 1956.' The subtitle, as we might suppose, is termed 'General Economic Considerations.'
In a preliminary statement, which takes us to the crux of the problem, the report states:
The owners of thoroughbred brood mares and stallions are vitally interested in the number of registered foals that can be produced. For the market breeder this can mean the difference between his farm's profit and loss... Obviously both time and money can be saved if the fertility of his animals is increased. It would be impossible to estimate accurately in dollars what could be saved if only a 5 per cent increase in fertility was achieved. There are literally millions of dollars involved. Neither would it be possible to estimate what it could mean in perpetuating some great line or in the production of the occasional great horse, which otherwise might never be born.
Veterinarians and farm managers focus their primary interest on conception. If the percentage of pregnancies can be raised ,it will automatically mean a higher number of living and registered foals...Tables giving data from conception to foaling to registration have been worked out, and [from them we see] that there is nearly a fixed percentage of loss to be expected during pregnancy and at delivery. The prime key to success, therefore , is attention paid to sire and mare before and at breeding time.
At the National Stud Farm all our research is directed at that source of success, which is conception... In our initial Report, we were able to report only definite pregnancies and anticipated foals , but now, 'after' two breeding seasons, we are able to demonstrate the result of our studies in actual foal registration...
We cannot present the whole report here. But we can, at least, reprint the Introduction which we might consider a classic in practicality.
In the operation of a breeding farm it is a well known fact that there is very little if any profit from boarding revenue. it depends upon stud fees to make a showing on the right side of the ledger. While a 5 per cent increase in conceptions may seem insignificant to uninformed persons, it must be remembered that valuable stallions demand stud fees up to $10,000 and their progeny as yearlings will bring up to 450,000. Thus, a 5 per cent improved fertility in a stud standing for $4,000 and bred to one hundred mares over a three-year period would mean another $25,000 to the owner.
To accomplish even slight increases in impregnation, a stallion must be working at optimum. His success or failure as a sire depends upon the number of progeny he gets to the races. his value in dollars and cents to his owner is dependent upon the number of mares he is capable of handling in a season, how great a percentage of these he is able to get in foal, and how readily conception occurs.
It has been the practice on large breeding farms owning valuable sires strictly to limit the number of covers a stallion makes per season in order to preserve his usefullness. Many times a valuable stud fee and one year of a mare's fertile life are wasted through this procedure. Our experience with stallions given Vitamin E has been that now we can get those essential extra covers. In the past we had tried to keep down to an average of two services per mare. In the 1956 season we had an average of slightly more than three - yet our stallions came through the season in fine condition.
The summary of the experiment , very much oversimplified, is somewhat the following: the experimenters used every type of mare from the old barren ones to the two-year-old fillies. They also utilized old stallions long past their day as "controls"' they used medium-aged stallions as well as young ones filled with what we may term intensely driving sexual impulses. And as the experimenters state: exactly the same methods of breeding were maintained with Vitamin E as before, the same amount of what is called "teasing" and being placed in close proximity.
Now, the Jockey Club , the apparent authority in the racing field, says that pregnant mares can be expected to produce registered foals 52 per cent of the time. Yet under Vitamin E therapy for both stallions and mares, the National Stud Farm was able to achieve 71 per cent registered foals, truly a significant increase when all of the old mares, the erstwhile barren mares, and the old stallions are taken into consideration. The percentage would have been undoubtedly higher had only the younger horses been included in the experiment. But as it is, I think any dispassionate scientist would agree the old horses did very well indeed.
As stated in the Darlington-Chassels Report:
Alpha tocopherol... illustrates clearly that this agent improves the fertility of both mares and stallions... In this year's experiment 88 per cent of 18 barren mares, 100 per cent of 6 maiden mares, and 84 per cent of 31 foaling mares conceived... Stallions taking alpha tocopherol continued to behave and perform better in general... From five stallions on Vitamin E, at least 71 per cent of registered foals are anticipated this year- 8 per cent above 'their' [own] average for the preceding five years.
In the five-year report, we will only quote the summary concerning fertility since it merely corroborates the earlier findings: "Alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E) in proper dosage improved the fertility of mares and stallions, this being most evident in the older animals." need we say any more about animals and their benefit from Vitamin E? There is much more material available on animals besides the evidence presented here. One cannot ignore the overwhelming evidence on animals, especially when it is correlated with all the evidence we know about humans.
When I was still in the sceptical stage about the value of Vitamin E, I made a personal determination for myself. A fourteen-year-old cat, named Old Tom, which lived next door to me, used to be the terror of the neighbourhood. Wherever he went, the other cats moved aside. Females that were in heat, of course, were excepted. In fact, Tom forced many a powerful male cat to move from the neighbourhood because he established precedence over the females (and males) and would not tolerate any other males which might seek to share 'affaires d'amour' with his many lady loves.
In battle with other males, Tom had no match. In fact,even dogs were afraid of him. Some did test his fighting prowess at first, but as he was not only powerful but ingenious, he gained a most respectable reputation, even among dogs. Thus he ruled the neighbourhood for twelve years, which brings us to the point of this passage. Old Tom suddenly began to fail. It was almost unbelievable at the beginning. First, the sexual impulse diminished to the point where he could look at the female cat in heat without displaying the slightest reaction. Then all the male cats in the neighbourhood which he had intimidated and/or beaten (including twp of our own) began to take certain liberties. They would jump in his yard and some would even steal his food, to which atrocious actions he offered not the slightest objection. He would just sit in the sun and ignore everything.
However, since his owner had to be away from home frequently, Old Tom did not receive his food as regularly as he would have wished. He began frequenting our house, and my wife could not resist feeding him. But she found that his whole attitude had changed. Before, he had been a bristling , belligerent animal, hostile to almost anyone and everything. Now he was a whining, crawling beggar. He did not show any hostility when our cats would hiss and growl at him. he was completely subdued by life, or if we wish to put it bluntly, he was subdued and cowed by old age. There was nothing left for him to do but die or beg.
To put Vitamin E to another test, I added 50 IU daily to Old Tom's diet. The results would amaze someone who knew nothing about Vitamin E's action. Within a week, Old Tom began to take an extremely renewed interest in life. He savagely mauled the various cats who thought he was done for (including one of ours); he pursued the female cats who were in heat (there were several), but most significant of all to me, his pride came back. He stopped begging for food from us. Prior to Vitamin E in massive doses, he would look at us and immediately his mouth would fly open in an enormous wail - the cat had no pride. now, under Vitamin E, his pride had returned. However, since he had mauled one of our cats and was attempting to drive them away as is the custom of the species, we decided not to give Old Tom any more Vitamin E.
The effect, after about two weeks , was almost as miraculous as the previous experiment. Old Tom returned to his old senile patterns and now is on good terms with our cats and all cats, without sex , without any drive except for food aand perhaps some petting. But he wails at us day and night, helpless, and without pride, waiting for death without knowing it.
Let us hope we never have to encounter death in that fashion; I do not believe we well if Vitamin E and other nutrients are utilized in the proper fashion. There is no question but that every animal and every man has to die; yet life might be preserved , more abundantly, in full vigor, for much longer had we the wisdom to apply the findings already known about Vitamin E.
How many times have you heard or read that, because you live in the United States, you are living in the healthiest country in the world? How many times have you been told that U.S. medicine is par excellence, so high it cannot be compared with that of other countries?
Irreverent question; how many major advances in medicine had their origins in the U.S.? You can count on the fingers of one hand the truly significant discoveries which really originated between our northern-most latitude and the Mexican border.
Indeed, the discovery of ether anesthesia was just such a monumental finding; this discovery was made almost simultaneously by William Morton and Crawford W. Long working independently, and both can attribute their finds to serendipity - that stumbling on something fortunate without expecting it. At that time, there were no vast teams of researchers and no authoritarian bureaucrats to tell anyone what to work on, how he should do it, and when and, also, how he should publish his findings (if any).
So often important medical discoveries are announced in the United States, yet we find that the basis of the "discovery" originated in another country. For instance, the world credits Walter Reed with the discovery that a certain type of female mosquito causes Yellow Fever. Yet a careful study of the record reveals that Dr. Reed acknowledges his indebtedness to an old Scotch-Cuban physician, Carlos Findlay, for the hypothesis, accompanied by some proof , that mosquitoes were responsible for the (then) deadly Yellow Jack. (I have investigated the actual events pertaining to the cause and solution of Yellow Fever, with the invaluable aid of a medical volunteer, Gust Lambert, who was close to Reed and other doctors involved in this, the first, really controlled experiment on human beings; one day, we shall relate this story , which version differs considerably from the official account.)
The same could be said of effective vaccines, antibiotics, "tranquilizers," and electronic devices such as ultra-sound and the electroencephalograph. The reason? American medicine is caught in an official medical strait-jacket.
Certainly , the work of medical teams in the United States is essential and international corroboration is invaluable. But the important point is that money , as it is usually allocated by both governmental and private sources, somehow does not seem to produce the desired results because it is often controlled by medical politicians both in government and out. The ambition of these men is to make , maintain, and perpetuate the legend that the more money spent for research, the more results will be forthcoming.
Yet, of the over 183,000,000 inhabitants of the "healthiest nation in the world," 74,000,000 have one or more chronic conditions. These figures emanate from one of the same official agencies which blithely assure us that we are, indeed, the healthiest nation on earth, the United States Public Health Service. And, of course, such propaganda is "corroborated" by the FDA and the AMA which have developed a case of model schizophrenia: on the one hand , we are the healthiest nation on earth having the best food and the beest medical research; on the other hand , we have the sorry facts and figures. One-fourth of our school children cannot pass an elementary examination in physical fitness which European school children and Soviet Union children laugh about because its so easy. About one-half of our draftees called for service are not accepted, for physical or mental reasons, and the standards for these exams are not very high. If a recruit has some "minor" condition such as a hernia or bad teeth, it will not render him ineligible - especially in war time; the government is concerned only with "real" problems such as heart disease, cancer, and insanity.
In a recent special report on chronic conditions issued by the Public Health Service, 74,000,000 sufferers in the United States were counted. You may say, these must represent the older segment of our society since we're living so much longer nowadays. Wrong on both premises. First, at the time the report was released (1963), there were only 17 million persons over sixty-five. As for the premise which is being disseminated throughout the country, that we are living longer, alas, this also is a fiction.
The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's report on comparative longevity, along with other studies, disproves the myth that you or I will live longer than our fathers or grandfathers - once we have escaped the childhood diseases (which now are largely eliminated by antibiotics and other drugs). There are more oldsters around and there will be still more because more of us have escaped these once devastating childhood illnesses. And, of course , fewer die of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, or malaria which have largely been conquered by drugs. This fact does not mean , however, that the average man is living appreciably longer - it merely means that 'more people' are living longer and, therefore, have a chance to exist until 70 - or if their stamina is above average, they may live far beyond that. however, the percentage of adult persons who manage to escape death until 70 has not changed in the last fifty years. Since there are more so-called "senior-citizens" , the statistics have been widely misinterpretated to "prove" that man's life expectancy beyond the age of 30 has been noticeably increased. There is no reason, however, why man's real life expectancy should not be increased. But the fact that to date it has not, provides us with a major reason why the insurance companies are able to erect enormous buildings and spend millions of dollars in advertising. (Since the above was written, even more undeniable corroboration has been presented in a report by the U.S. Public Health Service. Entitled "The Change In Mortality Trend in the United States" (1964), the study admits that the American death rate has not improved in the last decade. The report suggests that our failure to make progress against chronic and degenerative diseases [and thereby boosting the death rate] and that our failure to "become healthier" during the last ten years may be due to "radio-active fallout, air pollution, and other man-made hazards." Many would disagree with this interpretation; nevertheless, the fact remains that we are not living longer percentage-wise. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Japan, and the Netherlands are among the many countries which have a lower death rate than the U.S.) But let us return to the appalling report of chronic conditions issued by the Public Health Service. Of the 74 million chronically ill , 19 million have their activities limited or impaired , 4 million are so seriously ill they cannot function in usual activities such as working or keeping house. heart disease, of course, is our big leader in this group, accounting for 24 per cent of the total. Arthritis and rheumatism follow with 16 per cent; and visual impairment next with 11 per cent. You may be wondering about all this talk about chronic conditions and what it has to do with Vitamin E. Well, as a rather conservative estimate, about half those chronic sufferers could be helped by Vitamin E, and very likely more than half of the diseases could have ben prevented or controlled by Vitamin E.
We know, for instance, that cardiovascular diseases alone account for more than half the deaths in the United States. In 1962, there were 1,757,000 deaths from various causes. Diseases of the cardiovascular system accounted for the staggering total of 954,870. The percentage, as we have explained previously, is mounting steadily. 1964 will see the total explode well over the 1,000,000 mark. (In sharp contrast, cancer deaths accounted for only 277,110 in 1962. Cancer is the number two killer.)
Now arthritis and rheumatism which afflict at least 11 to 12 million persons are not killers, and they are almost never categorized as the cause of death; they are the cripplers, the incapacitators. However, victims often wish they were dead, their pains are so agonizing.
As for the remainder of the chronic maladies, such as diabetes, polio, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy, the public is constantly being bombarded with calls to contribute to research; yet the number of persons dying from these afflictions is so small that statisticians hardly bother with them. Of course , to a person suffering from muscular dystrophy, such a disease is the most important ailment in the world; his friends and relatives believe so too; it is most distressing to witness the gradual wasting away of a person's body when you know there is nothing to be done about it except to support future medical research. This futility is based on the assumption that all avenues of therapy have been thoroughly explored and that nothing more can be done for the patient. Yet, with muscular dystrophy patients, reports from all over the world present some scientific evidence that at least one-fifth to one-half of such sufferers, who are treated with massive doses of Vitamin E, are helped - in some cases, dramatically so. If research funds were available for the study of Vitamin E in relation to muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and other such relatively rare diseases, we would no doubt hear a different story from the one we are continually forced to hear: "At present, there is no hope except in the dollars that you contribute."
Unfortunately , however, almost none of the dollars you contribute to fund-raising organizations find their way into a serious , prolonged study of Vitamin E - this fact applies to heart disease as well as to the less prevalent ailments. If researchers in Vitamin E had only an infinitesimal portion of the millions which Congress and the private collection groups , such as the American Heart Association, allocate to studies of the heart, there would be a marked decrease in fatalities from cardiovascular diseases and relief for many other conditions as well. Let us now examine briefly some of the diseases and afflictions other than those of the cardiovascular system which Vitamin E has proved useful in relieving or controlling.
Now while wounds and burns are not listed under the category of chronic diseases, nevertheless, they constitute a significant form of disablement. Wounds and injuries received while in the armed services afflict millions, as do the burns and injuries incurred in everyday civilian life. Vitamin E, when used as an ingredient in an ointment at the site of the wound or burn, and also taken internally , has been found by no less than seven researchers in various countries ,to hasten the healing of the wound or burn - and most significantly - to reduce the amount of scar tissue in some cases. The vitamin seems to soften and dissolve the tissues which form a scar. (The ointment can be obtained without a prescription in most stores wherever vitamins are sold.) Of course , the Shutes were in the forefront of this work and have verified the various foreign reports with many photographs of their own "before and after" patients treated with Vitamin E who had been wounded, burned, or had gangerous limbs.
Dr. Evan Shute considers this faculty of Vitamin E to be one of the most important discoveries that he and his brother have made in the long list of beneficent effects attributed to the vitamin. For instance, since burns are the primary consequences of an atomic or nuclear attack (among those surviving the initial blast), Vitamin E could be the means of saving thousands of persons from disfiguration. The vitamin has been shown to lessen the effects of radiation burns as well as burns caused by "ordinary" means. There is no other inexpensive , effective, safe, and self-applicable therapy yet develped for radiation burns - or for that matter , burns of 'any' nature.
As soon as he had irrefutable proof of Vitamin E's action on wounds and burns , Dr. Evan Shute wrote to the defense departments of the United States, England, and Canada, presenting the aforementioned scientific observations. Readers of this page do not have to be crystal-ball gazers to know what happened. The officials referred the matter to their medical advisors. The advisors being "sound" and "orthodox" , naturally believed that Vitamin E was worthless in any therapeutic capacity - further , that Shute was a "bug" on Vitamin E and had "lost his scientific perspective."
In popular belief, this disease has been long "conquered" by the use of insulin and an adjusted diet. This concept , however, is far from accurate. It is true that insulin , in conjunction with a rigidly regulated diet, can control the obvious manifestations of high blood sugar; but what is not generally known , except to an ever-increasing group of diabetic specialists, is that even with the best insulin supervision and dietary controls , 85 per cent of all diabetics on long-term treatment (15 years) develop other complicating diseases such as coronaries, cataracts, leg gangrene, and ulcers, Dr. E. P. Joslin, co-author of 'The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus', noted that as treatment with insulin progressed, so did deaths from vascular causes among insulin-treated patients. For instance, between 1898-1914 - before insulin - death rate from vascular diseases among diabetics was only 17.5 per cent as compared with the period 1944-1948 when the vascular death rate of diabetics increased to 66.6 per cent! Foreign statistics give even more impressive evidence that diabetics (all insulin-treated) become victims of other diseases, especially those in the cardiovascular realm. Among the searchers corroborating Joslin,et al., were Drs. Travia and Scapelato, who, working independently, found that diabetics suffered from various forms of cardiovascular diseases. The percentage ranged from 80-90 per cent.
But it was Dr. Ugo Butturini, of Bologna, Italy, who probably made the most monumental findings concerning Vitamin E in relation to diabetic heart disease. Dr. Butturini and associates studied 129 diabetic patients with practically all forms of cardiovascular disturbances. They not only discovered that Vitamin E, given in adequate doses (average 300 I.U.) , was beneficial in most forms of cardiovascular diseases in diabetics, but that it also eliminated entirely the need for insulin in 50 per cent of the patients, reduced the need in 30 per cent of the patients, reduced the need in 30 per cent; was ineffective in only 20 per cent.
Almost no diabetics today die of diabetes per se, but the disease produces a steady degeneration in the circulatory system which leads to many "complications" of diabetes, for which insulin has no discernible value. it should be emphasized, however, that before the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best , the outcome of diabetes was invariably fatal - usually five to six years at the maximum after the initial diagnosis. Medical men since then have reasoned that diabetes was far more complicated than the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to control the sugar in the blood stream. The disease also struck other areas of the body which had little or nothing to do with the insulin-sugar balance, notably the circulatory system. This attack was particularly evident in the tiny capillaries and in the smaller blood vessels which have the titanic task of supplying the individual cells with the elements essential for an effective metabolism; somehow this function of the capillaries was being disturbed. for one thing, the permeability of the capillaries was altered: that is, their walls were no longer responsive in this normal fashion. The nutrient substances carried by the blood were leaking out the capillary walls and not penetrating the tissue cells; also, waste products of the cells could not gain their accustomed entrance to the blood cells by "reverse" penetration, thence to be transported back to the various organs for elimination or to be changed into neutral, harmless substances. Therefore, deprived of nutrients and unable to rid themselves of harmful materials, the cells died.
Now, as we know , the death of one cell makes small difference to the body since we have an astronomical number. New cells are constantly replacing those which die every second we live, but when millions of cells start dying in the same place it becomes a serious matter.
Such is roughly what happens in gangrene, leg ulcers, Buerger's Disease, or "intermittent claudication." This is why diabetics so frequently are afflicted with, not only these aforementioned diseases, but many others as well. Diabetics have a circulation problem which is clearly evidenced by their not dying from diabetes but from diseases which once were considered totally unrelated to diabetes.
Dr. Joslin deplored the attitude of most authorities that diabetes could be written off as "conquered" by insulin alone. In fact Dr. Joslin went so far as to state that insulin masked the real culprits in diabetes and that if comforted the diabetic into thinking he was well for a time; yet all the while he was developing and dying from complications produced by arteriosclerosis.
Now because of Vitamin E's qualities as an oxygen conserver, vasodilator, regulator of the cell's permeability, and muscle stimulant, among other qualities, it should be able to assist the body in managing diabetes. There is another attribute which several researchers found; It actually decreases the blood stream sugar in a number of patients, just as it decreases high blood pressure in a number of hypertensives. Its whole operation in the body , as we have previously mentioned, is toward the normal , toward maintaining homeostasis, the tendency of the body toward the normal.
The Shutes, along with the previously mentioned Dr. Butturini, were among the first researchers to discover Vitamin E's role in treating diabetes. They have now treated hundreds of diabetics with partial to completely successful results in most of their cases - provided that damage has not been done that iss irreversible. They also have found that a diabetic who is given large doses of Vitamin E can oftentimes dispense with insulin altogether. In most cases, insulin can be eliminated entirely (usually with the early victims) or else cut to a fraction of the former dose. In 80 per cent of all diabetics, need for insulin can be either eliminated or drastically reduced. The Shutes addmit to failure in 20 per cent of the cases, but as we have seen, pathological, irreversible changes of the organs and tissues frequently make 100 per cent success impossible. The Shutes are backed up in their findings on diabetes by no less than thirty-five studies all over the world, and all, of course , performed by reputable researchers who have published in leading foreign medical journals. Sadly enough , most of these favorable reports on Vitamin E are kept from you but, even more sadly , are kept from your doctor as well.
Since cow's milk is, deficient in Vitamin E, Vitamins A and C, nicotinic acid, linoleic acid, fat and iron, it is necessary that these substances be added to the infant's formula. In reviewing these findings, Dr. F. C. Aitken of the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Dr. F. E. Hytten, of the University of Aberdeen, recommended Vitamin E supplementation in order to prevent the destruction of infants' red blood cells. Unfortunately , Vitamin E and the others are almost never added , because of the current medical faddism about extra vitamins being unnecessary, either for the child or the adult , or the aging individual.
It has been in scores of reports that premature infants and even so-called "normal" new-borns are deficient in Vitamin E. For instance, the mother has about twelve times more Vitamin E in her blood than her new-born child. The reason postulated for this is that Vitamin E, being oil soluble instead of water soluble , does not cross the placental barrier as easily as do most nutrients (such as the B-complex vitamins which are water-soluble and , therefore , blood-soluble). It takes massive amounts of Vitamin E in the blood of the mother for it to be evidenced in the foetus or the new-born. The mother's milk, however, does contain enough Vitamin E to build up the new-born child's reserves of alpha tocopherol in about seven weeks, while infants fed "formula" diets do not achieve corresponding levels of Vitamin E for two years. These findings were reported by Dr. H. H. Gordon, et al., among others. Yet today, most infants are deprived of breast feeding and their cow;s milk formula rarely is supplemented with Vitamin E or many of the other known essentials in which cow's milk is deficient.
It is a noteworthy observation that in most common ailments of premature and full-term infants , there is a serious depletion of Vitamin E. Even more significant is the fact that when these infants are given Vitamin E, in most cases, the diseases clear up. One of the leading workers in pediatrics who discovered these startling facts is Dr. F. Gerloczy of the University Medical School, Budapest. Dr. Gerloczy has conducted many series of tests on prematures, the new-born, and young children. In all of the disease conditions studied, which ranged from scleroderma (a watery swelling, usually following an acute infection which is frequently fatal to infants) to growth retardation in young children, the researcher found Vitamin E deficiency in direct proportion to the severity of the condition. Placed on Vitamin E therapy , the conditions were usually eliminated or well-controlled.
As an example , let us take Dr. Gerloczy's classic study of 320 prematures afflicted with scleroderma. Mortality had been about 75 per cent. With Vitamin E therapy, the mortality dropped to 27 per cent. Dr. Gerloczy also noted Vitamin E's diuretic effect which took the excess water out of the infant's body quickly and safely.
Other researchers throughout the world have corroborated Dr. Gerloczy's findings. Drs. H. H. Gordon, H. M. Nitowsky, J. T. Tildon , and S. Levin , working jointly at Sinai Hospital and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that Vitamin E therapy greatly benefits infants and children with diseases of the pancreas and gall bladder. Dr. R. Beckman, of the University of Freiburg, Germany, found that Vitamin E is particularly beneficial in diseases of the liver. He also found that a dose of 300 milligrams of Vitamin E given to women at the start of delivery reduces the incidence of brain hemorrhages in the child. He recommends large doses of Vitamin E for slowgrowing children. All these researchers recommend supplemented doses of Vitamin E for infants, particularly those not breast-fed.
According to all medical data , about 10 per cent of U.S marriages are sterile. Even more connubial unions produce afflicted offspring or else the wife cannot carry the foetus for nine months. A miscarriage ensues, which naturally disturbs both the husband and wife. It is worse still if the progeny turns out to be mentally retarded , or a Mongolian idiot, or arrives in the form of what the medical profession calls a "monster". This latter term applies to queer physical anomalies. We need not go into details here, but the reader, should he be interested in the subject matter, is herewith referred to a classic book in its field, written by two doctors, George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle, 'Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine', recently reissued by Julian Press. There are more such anomalies than most people would imagine. Often these unfortunate ones are carefully hidden from their parents' sight and public observation by being placed in institutions.
is there a way to prevent ,not only the anomalies, but the miscarriages, and to provide otherwise childless couples with a normal baby? The orthodox will tell you that the chances are very slim, but that they are "on the track of this problem."
Recently, a medical report stated that the husband's sperm fluid may produce an allergic reaction in the wife which prevents conception . This process , according to the authors, Drs. Robert R. Franklin and C. Dean Dukes of Baylor University College of Medicine, is somewhat similar to an antigen - or a foreign protein - being injected into the body after the body has prepared defenses against a specific foreign protein.
Official American medicine will go to any lengths to prove anything it wishes , but is it not most astounding that it did not choose to validate the already existing European and Canadian studies concerning sterility in the human? The European studies are so conclusive as to the value of Vitamin E in sterility that it is almost impossible to believe that they were not followed up in this country. This observation does not reflect on the validity of the 'allergic' findings developed in this country. It merely means that for many years we have had one of the prime keys to sterility, regardless of allergic responses, and have chosen to ignore it.
There are approximately fifty well-controlled studies which demonstrate the value of Vitamin E in producing healthy offspring in previously barren couples. There are also hundreds of animal studies which corroborate this observation in practically all mammalian species. If the reader remembers the classic experiments of the Darlington-Chassels study of race horses, with regard to increasing the production of thoroughbreds, then he may anticipate that the same results apply in all mammals, including man. This property of Vitamin E -that of improving the quality of the sperm as well as the general health of both parents - has been noted throughout the history of the vitamin. In fact, as we have mentioned previously , this ability to induce the production of healthy offspring caused it to be tagged as an "anti-sterility vitamin" and this is still considered by many medical authorities to be the vitamin's prime function.
It has also been indicated that there is a high degree of correlation between "habitual abortion", whether caused by defective sperm or ova or other factors, and congenital defects in the infant. For instance, a woman who suffers frequent miscarriages is more apt to give birth to an abnormal child than a woman who does not abort. Also, those who produce an abnormal baby are more likely to repeat the same sad experience than couples who have healthy offspring. Therefore, any agent, such as Vitamin E, which would reduce sterility would 'necessarily' tend to obviate the miscarriages as well as the 'anomalies'.
Throughout our extensive research on Vitamin E the phrase frequently appears, "There were 'no' anomalies with Vitamin E therapy, whereas there were the usual ones before." Any agent which can cure abnormal conditions or diseases produced by deficiencies can 'prevent' them. Witness the action of Vitamin C in the prevention as well as the cure for scurvy; likewise Vitamin B-12 and pernicious anemia; niacin and pellegra; B-1 and beriberi; Vitamin D and rickets; and so one.
Fully a dozen experiments demonstrate that the male of the species is partially to blame for infertility and, therefore , he is very likely partly responsible for the production of anomalies and miscarriages.
Now, can the sperm be qualitatively improved so that they can mate with the ova and produce healthy offspring? The answer, of course, is yes. Both male and female should take a course of Vitamin E therapy at least one to three months before attempted conception, and then, after conception, should continue with Vitamin E - particularly the woman, if she wants to carry her offspring for the nine months without too much trouble. After conception the husband may abandon Vitamin E except that he, as are all others, may be a good candidate for a heart condition if he does not continue with Vitamin E. However, for our purposes here, we will ignore the father after conception because his role is then finished as the producer of a healthy child.
Out of the scores of studies reporting the capability of Vitamin E to aid in the problem of sterility we have selected a typical example for presentation here.
One such study comes from West Germany , conducted by Dr. R. Bayer . Dr. Bayer treated 100 married couples. More than half of the group were victims of "primary infertility"; Although the couples were able to conceive , they lost 100 per cent of their conceptions. These couples had 144 pregnancies and had lost all of them prior to Vitamin E treatment. Yet there were seventy-five pregnancies after pre-conception treatment with Vitamin E, and only two women lost their babies, whereas 'all' women had aborted 'all' their babies before Vitamin E therapy. Dr. Bayer was, thus, able to reduce failure from 100 per cent to 2 1/2 per cent.
Dr. Bayer's second group , those with "secondary infertility" (the couples had some successful births rather than total failure) had been able to achieve a total of only 38 births out of 101 pregnancies. Yet with his standard dosage of 100 milligrams daily for one month for the husband and 200 milligrams daily for three months prior to conception for the wife, Dr. Bayer observed '100 per cent' favorable results. In other words, from forty-one pregnancies in the second group, there were forty-one births , all of them healthy offspring.
But Dr. Bayer, being a disciplined, fearless scientist,of a calibre of which, sad to say , we have so few in this country, carried his experiment even further . He wanted to prove it was Vitamin E and Vitamin E alone which produced the abrupt change in sterility. In 'both' groups, he lowered the Vitamin E intake to one-third of its former intake. Result: when the husbands in the first group ("primary sterility") were lowered to one-third their former intake of Vitamin E, the loss of babies,which was formerly 100 per cent, was reduced to only 33 per cent (thirty-one pregnancies this time), instead of 2 1/2 per cent when the heavier dosage was taken. In the second group ("secondary infertility") , when the amount of Vitamin E was reduced to one-third of the former amount, the loss of babies was reduced from 61 per cent (without Vitamin E) to 21 per cent, instead of 100 per cent successful births as with the heavy dosage. Thus, we see that Dr. Bayer and his associates have not only proved that Vitamin E can be essential in human sterility and the health of the offspring but that the actual dosage of the vitamin must be therapeutic in order to achieve optimum results, i.e., a successful conception and a successful birth. Dr. Bayer's studies - particularly those concerned with sperm improvement - have been corroborated in many other experiments throughout the world, though none was probably definitive. It is most interesting to note that in not one of the experiments where the man and wife were under intensive Vitamin E therapy has there ever been recorded the birth of a monster or even a mentally retarded child. There were hundreds of men, women, and children involved in these experiments and, by all laws of percentages, there should have been several monsters, and quite a few mentally retarded children. Therefore, Vitamin E, in playing its many beneficial roles within the body, is able to improve the quality of the sperm in the human male; and, judging from the mass of evidence, both animal and human, Vitamin E is able to alter the female's reception of the sperm and later to provide a good environment for the develping foetus. In addition, Vitamin E can cross the vital placental wall - although with some difficulty - whence the foetus receives the necessary nutrients from its mother - nutrients essential to its growth and well-being. It is apparent that large amounts of Vitamin E given to the mother can, in turn, assist the rapidly-growing organism which, within a remarkably short time, becomes the air-breathing mammalian we know as a human baby.
There are thousands of animal studies to corroborate the fact that almost all mammalians need much Vitamin E and, when deprived of it, the organism will suffer injury to almost every cell in its body. Therefore, this deprivation of Vitamin E tends toward fostering diseases of every sort imaginable. Is it not reasonable to suppose that since every cell in the body is affected by the abundance of Vitamin E - or its lack - almost every disease known to man or beast is similarly affected?
Now, as we have stated, Dr. Bayer's essential findings have been corroborated by many researchers throughout the world, working with animals, largely, and later with humans: that Vitamin E therapy previous to conception does, indeed, enhance the chances of a successful pregnancy.
Many researchers have shown that Vitamin E therapy (oftentimes in conjunction with B-complex and other supplements) prevents the birth of monsters or congenitally deformed babies. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence in animal experiments to support this work which has been done on human beings. Again, the same rules by which Vitamin E operates in the human or the animal , hold true in the human or the animal embryo.
Now I shall inject a personal note: I have a good friend, Anna G. Morin of Framingham, Massachusetts who provides us with an excellent and typical case history of what Vitamin E can do for couples who wish their babies but cannot have them. Mrs. Morin had her first child after a most difficult delivery. Then she went through a horrible period of three miscarriages until she heard about Vitamin E and wrote Dr. Shute for advice. While we cannot reprint her correspondence with Dr. Shute because of lack of space , we can observe that this great man spent a great deal of time with her husband advising them on Vitamin E for a successful pregnancy.
Both husband and wife were started on Vitamin E. Result: the next pregnancy was a success. So was their next one! And judging by the letters which Dr. Shute has written them, he appears to be as happy as they are, which again proves this doctor is as much a humanitarian as a researcher.
One of the most discussed men in science today is Hans Selye, Ph.D., at the University of Montreal. His experiments with animals placed under stress have all tended to demonstrate that stress (tension) is, at the least, responsible for inducing the conditions which lead to most illnesses. Now stress can be produced experimentally in laboratory animals in a variety of ways; for example, it can be "physical", such as having rats swim in ice water and comparing their survival time, or it can be a "mental frustration," such as giving an animal a problem too difficult for it to solve in order to reach food. Since rats are somewhat close to man in a nutritional sense - and since most illness, in the broader view, are nutritional in origin - the experiments have a great validity for the human being.
Dr. Selye's most recent research has a particular interest for readers of this page. He, together with his associates, M. Cantin and Jean-Marie Dieudonne, have succeeded in reproducing the signs and symptoms of "old age" in the young rat. They take their litter mates for "controls" to prove that their aging process is valid; in other words, rats from the same litter can be made "old," and they die in a matter of weeks while their brothers and sisters who are not subjected to the treatment, live out a normal life. Selye is attempting to learn the exact process that explains why and how we grow old. Once this process is discovered, there may be ways and means to combat it, hold it off , or even reverse it.
His recent studies afford many valuable clues to the aging process. It is rather an amazing fact to those uninitiated in the seeming conspiracy against Vitamin E that although Selye's studies were published in the 'Journal of Experienced Medicine and Surgery', in 1962, the reports in the various other medical journals and in the popular press mentioned not one word about the vital factor which could and did prevent the aging process! Yes, as if you didn't already know, it was Vitamin E!
First we should understand something of the methods Selye uses to produce old age. He does it by injecting the rat with a substance, which, if given in immense quantities, is known to cause calcification of the various organs and tissues. There are several substances which can produce "old age" in this fashion;
Selye speeded up the process. The heart, the kidneys, and the muscles are among the first to show the effects of old age. Now, all the rats in this particular experiment which were given toxic substances (including huge doses of Vitamin D3, parathyroid hormone, and then metallic salts) showed (when autopsied) very obvious "grayesh-yellow and somewhat protruding patches" throughout their bodies. Dr. Selye gave the same toxic substance to the other rats, but he had also included a daily dose of Vitamin E, 1,000 mg., a tremendous amount for rats. When all of the rats were autopsied on the twelfth day, only 'one' Vitamin E-treated rat had a small area of "old age patch". All the other 'Vitamin E-treated' rats 'were normal'. Yet, as we have stated , all of the 'non' Vitamin E treated rats showed the old age pattern and would have died very shortly , had they not been sacrificed.
In still another phase of the experiment, Selye found that Vitamin E "almost completely inhibited the cardiopathy [heart disease]. It also greatly diminished the nephrocalcinosis (excess calcium in the kidney) and completely inhibited the aortic calcification that accomplished the cardiac lesions." As a clincher to the efficacy of Vitamin E therapy, 90 per cent of the untreated animals died while 'every one' of the Vitamin E treated rats lived.
What more can we say? There is much more evidence , much more proof in Dr. Selye's report, but we do not have the space here to go into any greater detail.
This condition is more common than is supposed, but it is not common enough to warrant reporting in detail the clearcut record of approximately fifty reports from many countries where both Vitamin E ointment and oral ingestion were used. The rationale as to why Vitamin E should work in these conditions has already been explained.
Vitamin E, in massive dosages, according to the Drs. Shute (appendix A) "increases collateral circulation around the deep, obstructed veins, decreases ankle oedema [swelling] and leg ache, halts the varicose process, cuts down or relieves any associated skin irritation, and lets the patient walk much better. Often the veins seem to regress, although this is unpredictable."
The Shutes were among the first to observe the beneficient effect of Vitamin E on varicose veins. This condition is often the forerunner of indolent ulcer. The Shutes' findings are corroborated by other researchers. They do not recommend operations for varicose veins as the same condition usually returns in about one-and-one-half years' time. Why shouldn't it return"? The operation admittedly does not clear up the basic cause of varicose veins; it merely removes temporarily the discomfort and unsightly appearances. As the 'cause' still exists , the condition , along with the symptoms , usually returns. However, the Shutes agree that, for cosmetic reasons, the operation should be performed if a woman wants it, even though knowing that the condition will probably recur shortly. Now, although the following possibility is not mentioned by the Shutes, why shouldn't a person have the unsightly veins removed by surgery, all the while undertaking a course of Vitamin E therapy? There is every reason to believe that although Vitamin E cannot make new veins out of old, or at least cannot usually remove the unsightliness, it should be able to prevent the return of varicosity by removing at least part of the basic causes. It would be interesting to see this idea carried out by clinical tests.
There are so many other diseases and disorders which have reportedly been controlled by Vitamin E that we cannot detail all of them here. Knowing the rationale of how Vitamin E functions in every cell, you should have no difficulty in deducing that the vitamin should be of assistance in most of the maladies afflicting mankind. Or animals, for that matter. We list these diseases or ailments in the next few pages.
Also please remember that, in most cases, Vitamin E alone is not to be considered a cure, if indeed there is room in the modern medical lexicon for such a word. The words which should be used in relation to Vitamin E, or any other therapy, are 'control or partial control, regression' (of the disorder), 'benefit, relief' (objective and subjective). Possibly the emphasis on medicine of the future will be prevention rather than a cure, for if we knew how to stop a disease before it had a chance to gain a beachhead in the body and/or mind, we would stand a much better chance of living at least to our naturally allotted biological age, generally accepted to be from 120 to 150.
Here are a few of those conditions - heretofore not detailed - and which, statistically speaking , are relatively unimportant but which , as we have mentioned , are a matter of life or death to the victims, their relatives, and friends.
A good percentage of the victims of muscular dystrophy are benefited by massive dosages of Vitamin E. Some can even achieve retrogression of the disease. But let us emphasize: as yet, Vitamin E, in the present form of administration, has not proved to be a cure or even an efficient controller for most victims of MD. It does not benefit 'some' sufferers, but a vast amount of research needs to be done. But it is a most promising therapy for muscular dystrophy which should be explored systematically. (See :Beckman; Castelar;Pinheiro;De Carlo, et al., Gimlette; Rovetta and Bonaretti; Nielson and Marvin; Gros and Kirnberger; Shcherbakova.)
There are many types of arthritis - rheumatoid, polyarthritis, osteroarthritis, to mention the three most common forms. Vitamin E in massive dosages has proven of benefit in several forms of arthritis. Patients feel better, mobility of the joints is improved, and pain is reduced or eliminated in some cases. Vitamin E alone, however, is not claimed to be more than an aid to arthritis. The reports are numerous; they cannot be enumerated here, but among them are Barwick-Schramm and Dumanska.
Now here is a disease of youngsters which creates a sympathetic response in everyone because it is so tragic for the parents. Not tragic for the youngster, of course, as he is completely unaware of what is going on. Medicine says there is no cure and no hope for these unfortunate children who are born with an affliction of the brain which dooms them to idiocy as long as they live. (Some may live for quite a while without ever being aware of their environment) Until Dr. A. Del Giudice, Chief of Child Psychology, National Institute of Public Health, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Dr. Anna Szasz of Budapest, Hungary, began their important experiments with Vitamin E combined with Vitamin C, there was no hope for these illfated children. Yet by administering daily 2,000 to 3,000 units (2 to 3 grams) of Vitamin E together with an equivalent amount of Vitamin C, the researchers were able to obtain remarkable effects in the disease which is "known" to be incurable. (If you have a child with the Mongolian idiocy, then you should look up the appropriate references, obtain a copy of them, and confront your doctor with the proof. That is probably your only hope. Your doctor , of course , will tell you there is no hope and probably would not look up the references himself since he has been told that Vitamin E doesn't work on 'any' of man's hopeless ailments. And how could it possibly work on such an obscure, hopeless affliction as Mongolian idiocy?)
Many researchers, including the Drs. Shute, have found that Vitamin E, in sufficient dosages, clears up or controls many forms of kidney disease, including 'nephritis', one of the most common forms. The literature on this subject is voluminous. The general consensus of most of the researchers is that Vitamin E produces 'diuresis' (improved kidney function) thereby reducing excess water in the tissues. Further, the vitamin exerts a beneficent effect on the kidney cells themselves.
There is much evidence , both animal and human, that Vitamin E aids in restoring the functions of damaged livers. Among the researchers responsible for these findings on humans is Dr. V. Bonomini of the University of Bologna, Italy. he reported treating thirty-one patients with various liver ailments and obtained good to excellent results except in two cases with far-advanced cirrhosis complicated by 'ascites' (abdominal swelling). All four cases of chronic pre-cirrhotic liver disease were greatly benefitted , both objectively and subjectively. Especially interesting were Dr. Bonomini's findings on eleven patients with diabetes whose livers were swollen and mal-ffunctioning. All showed excellent results, proved by many tests, including the fact that their insulin requirement was reduced 40-60 per cent within 25 to 30 days! (This corroborates other researchers' findings on Vitamin E's therapeutic efficacy in treating diabetes, which we have mentioned previously.) Dr. Bonomini classifies Vitamin E as a "hepatoprotective" (liver-protective) drug. His observations are also corroborated by Dr. F. Wennig, of Graz, Austria, among others. (See Beckman; Stormont, et.; Hadnagy, et al.; Rodna, et al.)
Dr. J. Canto Soler, of Spain, writing in a Spanish journal of nutrition , reported on the treatment of 188 peptic ulcer sufferers. He injected them daily (until pain was relieved) with 100 milligrams of alpha tocopherol. He obtained excellent results in 115 patients, good results in 25; apparently there was no effect in the remaining 30 (except the lessening or disappearance of pain). Dr. M. K. Horwitt (previously noted) of the Elgin State Hospital, Elgin, Ill., and the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, in a monumental five-year controlled study of Vitamin E requirements in humans, was surprised when a Vitamin-E deficient diet 'produced' peptic ulcers in his volunteers. This finding would seem to confirm that lack of Vitamin E does not have an adverse effect on the gastro-intestinal tract to the point of causing ulcers, and the ulcers may be treated successfully with the proper doses of Vitamin E.
We need go no further into the other multifarious benefits of Vitamin E. The reader by this time certainly should be able to ascertain its universal action in almost every disease known to man and/or animals. These include disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract (Fajer, et al.), also such diseases as chronic poliomyelites (Jacques; E. V. Shute), leprosy (De Campos Magalhaes and Figueiredo Barbosa; Sarmento; Bergel; Floch and Horth; Mason and Bergel), diseases of the eye (Desusclade; Sbordone; Vannas and Orma) and skin (Walther ; Nikolowski; Frey; Grubb; Kimmig) - even psoriasis. Researchers usually treat these conditions with other vitamins and supplements in conjunction with Vitamin E. As we have repeatedly pointed out, Vitamin E should be used in conjunction with other vitamins and food supplements to obtain best results. And, as we have also repeatedly reported , almost all the orthodox, "authorative", medical agencies will tell you or your doctor that Vitamin E is of little or no value in either the prevention or control of any of the ailments we have mentioned.
Purchase Vitamin E at any health food store or pharmacy . Except in extremely rare instances, Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), in normal dosages, is absolutely without adverse side effects. In a few patients - usually those with a history of a rare type of high blood pressure - 'large initial' doses of Vitamin E may tend to raise the blood pressure temporarily. Then it drops again; in fact, Vitamin E, when taken over a period of time actually acts as a hypotensive (a blood pressure lowering agent) in some patients.
However, in view of the fact that even one person in a million may experience temporary side-effects from ingesting large dosages of Vitamin E, most researchers advise beginning with a dose which cannot possibly produce side-reactions of any sort.
This dosage is generally acknowledged by most recent investigators to be about 100 international units per day (100 mg). After the first two weeks , the dosage is gradually increased week by week until the optimum relief is obtained.
Such a small initial dosage may not achieve the desired results for some persons for some time (occasionally six months to a year!), but since we are not giving medical advice , in the interests of those very rare persons who may respond initially to the larger dosages with temporarily raised blood pressure, it is better to begin with the smaller dosage and then gradually raise it to the optimum. The optimum may be as high as 800 to 1,000 units. Let us now state emphatically that no fatalities or even ill effects have been reported from even large doses of the vitamin. (if so, it would be in the voluminous literature and be noted by the AMA, FDA, et al.)
Of course, if you could obtain a physician who would supervise your therapy, then he would probably start you off on 150 or 200 I.U. units and build up from there. In my own case, I began on my own with 600 units daily an am now taking 1,500 I.U. and sometimes even more.
Remember, we have been speaking of persons who are already under a doctor's care for cardiovascular illnesses. Researchers in Vitamin E believe that the so-called "normal" person can ward off a potential manifestation of cardiovascular disease by taking 100 I.U. per day as a start and then building up to an averagee of 400 to 600 units for the average-size woman and 600 to 800 for the average-size man. The Drs. Shute are among those researchers who are quite sure (on the basis of the curative results as well as the provable increase in heart function in "normals") that the larger dosages are the most effective. The Shutes have written that if they have erred in Vitamin E therapy in the past, it was in giving too small a dose in the beginning. Now, Dr. Shute writes he would have put many of his early patients on a much higher dosage had he known then what he knows now.
The reader may have observe that many researchers are combining Vitamin E therapy with Vitamin A and, frequently, calcium. Others are using Vitamin C and inositol (one of the Vitamin B-complex group) as well as other factors. There is much evidence to demonstrate that vitamins should always be used in combination since vitamins work in conjunction with one another, with hormones, and with enzyme systems. Further , many vitamins are actually 'antagonists' of each other; oversimplified , this means that if the body obtains more than it can utilize of a particular vitamin, certain other vitamins or substances (if present) will counteract the overabundance effect of the first vitamin. Usually, however, a superabundance of a vitamin is eliminated without harm to the body. The exceptions are Vitamins A and D, which have been shown to be toxic when given in huge quantities for a long period of time. However, recent studies have demonstrated that if these vitamins had not been given alone (which they were) but had been accompanied by other vitamins and 'minerals', with which most vitamins have to combine in order to be effective (and to destroy superfluous amounts of any vitamin), their toxicity would have been non-existent or at least greatly reduced. As reported many times and acknowledged by all authorities, Vitamin E, along with Vitamin C and many others, has been demonstrated to be non-toxic per se, even when unaccompanied by treatment with other vitamins.
However, in lieu of medical supervision , you would be prudent to include a multi-vitamin and mineral capsule along with the Vitamin E. Also, since it has been found by some researchers that calcium may enhance Vitamin E's effect, and you cannot actually obtain enough calcium except by drinking a quart of milk daily or by eating a quarter pound of the regular cheeses, researchers suggest either calcium tablets of bone meal, dicalcium phosphate or cruched oyster shell tablets.
And because Vitamin C is so essential to the permeability and "integrity" of the capillary walls - working in some fashion with Vitamin E in that respect - many doctors aquainted with nutrition (for example , Dr. Hirsch) recommend an extra supplement of Vitamin C in addition to their concomitants, the bio-flavonoids - substances found commonly in the pulp and connective tissues of fruits.
Everyone nowadays is familiar with the American Medical Association's attempt to deride all vitamin-taking as a mere waste of time and money. The propaganda asserts that the normal American, eating a normal diet, obtains enough vitamins and minerals and that any more that are ingested are eliminated without benefit to the recipient. This campaign against vitamins and other supplements by the AMA and, consequently, its stooges in the U.S Government such as the FDA, is rendered even more ridiculous when, conversely, the pages of the 'Journal of the American Medical Association' are filled with advertising for vitamins. The ads cite study after study in which doctors are urged to prescribe then to their patients. And, of course, the JAMA is filled with research articles about the necessity of extra vitamins under almost every condition one could imagine.
Naturally, as we may begin to suspect, the extra vitamins are not effective..'unless prescribed by a physician', who also,naturally , prescribes the specific vitamins as advertised in the pages of the AMA journal.
In other words these vitamins are worthless exccept when specifically prescribed by an M.D. - who will usually not prescribe them - compounded by an 'ethical' pharmaceutical house which advertises in the AMA's official publications. These vitamins so compounded cost you about three times as much as when purchased through a vitamin mail-order house. Yet as almost anyone knows who has made a study of the problem, 80 per cent of all the vitamins manufactured in the United States are manufactured by the gigantic U.S. Vitamin Corporation.
Therefore , without delving further into the ethics of the AMA, which is definitely fighting for their 'in' group much more than a labor union ever fought automation, let us continue with how you and I can save ourselves from heart disease in spite of the organized propaganda to the contrary.
As we stated before , the important factor in 'recognized' heart disease is building up to the optimum dosages of Vitamin E, along with other vitamins and minerals. The optimum dosage of Vitamin E is that which is effective for 'you'. Remember that each person is different; some demand high doses of about anything while others need little of exactly the same material. This is due to heredity, stress (sometimes classified as environment), and differing absorption ratios. With regard to the latte factor, some persons may absorb only 10 per cent of any vitamin they take; others may absorb 20 to 30 per cent. Absorption of any food or vitamin depends, for the most part, on the state of the individual , usually the condition of the intestines, where the entrance of nutrients into the bloodstream is effected.
As for vitamin E's non-toxicity - even in what must be considered tremendous dosages - Dr. Del Giudice of Argentina has given mentally retarded children 2,00o to 3,000 units of Vitamin E daily for many years with excellent results and with no evidence of toxicity. (We already examined Dr. Del Giudice's studies under Mongolian Idiocy) One volunteer in the U.S took two to four grams (2,000 to 4,000 mg. or I.U) every day for three months without any noticeable adverse side reactions. Four grams is 4,000 units of Vitamin E - about four times the dosage prescribed for the "average" heart patient.
To sum up the situation as to what you should do whether you are a heart and/or cardiovascular disease patient or whether you wish to prevent being such a patient, the best scientific advice to date is:
1)Take supplementary capsules of Vitamin E, starting with 100 units and building up the intake gradually until you can detect a definite improvement in your well-being. Also, take a multi-vitamin-mineral capsule,B-complex, calcium, and Vitamin C in conjunction with bio-flavonoids.
2)Begin a regular program of exercise. Do not, of course exercise too heavily at first, but allow at least one hour (or if possible) two hours a day for a planned regime. This could take the form of bicycle riding, swimming or a simple walk which you would start slowly and build up to ten blocks a day.
3)It would probably be wise in lieu of our lack of knowledge as to what causes heart attacks not to eat many animal fats
It was Dr. A. Goria of Italy who performed the classic experiments on normal human subjects using the electrocardiograph (ECG). These experiments prove that Vitamin E can and does improve the function of the "normal" heart as well as aid the circulatory and metabolic systems of the body. Dr. Goria used "before and after" tests; that is, his subjects took Vitamin E for twenty days and were tested with the ECG and then taken off Vitamin E and tested after two months.
Dr. Goria studied many phases of the heart action with the ECG. The primary method he employed was deprivation of oxygen (hypoxia). He had his volunteers breathe a small percentage of oxygen (7.5 per cent) mixed with a large amount of nitrogen (approximately 92.5 per cent) for three minutes. Now , while we know nitrogen is most valuable for growing plants, it does nothing for animals; in fact, heavy concentrations of this "inert" substance without sufficient oxygen will produce death quickly.
When not on Vitamin E, his volunteers experienced "much distress" after about two minutes of breathing this oxygen-poor mixture and often "fainted" at the end of three minutes. We call it "blackout". In contrast , subjects on Vitamin E could "endure" the experiment for 'four' minutes without "much distress". This added stamina with Vitamin E was also corroborated by the pulse rate. For instance, one volunteer's pulse rate, 'without' Vitamin E rose, during one three-minute experiment, from 68 to 107 ; but with Vitamin E, it rose only from 58 to 87. (Vitamin E has the quality of lowering the basic or initial pulse rate in some persons.)
Dr. Goria goes on in a most technical fashion to discuss the various heart "impulses" with and without Vitamin E; interested readers can obtain the original article , of course; but his conclusion is that "Alpha tocopherol limits the effect of hypoxia on the electrocardiogram." (Aviators, mountain climbers, athletes , deep-sea divers and just so-called average persons , please heed.) Dr. Shute has been trying to interest government agencies , official medical groups, and expeditions such as Sir Edmund Hillary's (conquerer of Everest) for years with the proof that Vitamin E in sufficient quantities can reduce the need for oxygen. Let us hope he is eventually successful.
Now that we have introduced the reader to the fundamental information about Vitamin E, its long and documental history, and the evidence from animals which supports its effectiveness, we turn to the crucial material which most directly affects the human being.
Almost everyone who can read or watch television or listen to the radio knows that heart disease , along with associated circulatory disorders, is America's number one killer; that diseases of the cardiovascular system account for more than four times as many victims as the next leading cause of death, cancer; that there are between 11,000,000 and 12,000,000 sufferers from heart ailments; that more than half the men over forty-five die from coronary thrombosis; that more women, especially over forty-five, are succumbing to heart maladies; and that these disorders are reaching deeper into the ranks of younger persons.
An interesting observation about this last fact is that, of those soldiers killed in the Korean War who were autopsied, an astounding 77 per cent showed evidence of blood vessels that were "hardened" or "thickened" , clogged up by fatty deposits; these men, undoubtedly, would have been candidates for coronary attacks had they lived. The average age of these soldiers was 'only 22!' No one can very well assert that a "soft life" and "lack of exercise" initiated this condition. The soldiers' training was tough and rigorous, and their everyday existence under total war even tougher. It was so tough in fact that it cost them their lives.
Was it tension, then, taht laid down the ominous arteriosclerotic plaques on the linings of their blood vessels?
As we know, tension and modern living have been blamed for the tremendous increase in heart disease. In World Wars I and II, many thousands of soldiers were autopsied. They were just as subject to tension and worry as those in Korea. Isn't it logical to assume that if medical men had found the same starting evidence of incipient cardiovascular disease, they would have made the fact known? In an Army (or any other) autopsy, everything that is found is reported. That is the purpose of a "general" autopsy. The doctors performing the Korean autopsies were not looking for anything in particular. They just reported what they found, as did the doctors in World Wars I and II. In order not to confuse the reader by presenting seemingly contradictory statements, may I say that I found no evidence explaining why the World Wars I and II soldiers evidently did not have nascent cardiovascular conditions such as the Korean soldiers had. This is a problem which should be investigated by reputable researchers.
Animal fats in the American diet have been blamed as a chief cause of arterial "clogging". Yet, as any GI will tell you , his diet, for the most part , was not abundant in fats. In fact, in most front lines the diet was hardly adequate. Besides, exercise is supposed to counteract some of the evil fats are hypothesized to do within the human body; indeed , exercise 'is' helpful in metabolizing fat.
Could the puzzle be related to the diet in a way which almost no one has thought about? Could it be a 'deficiency' which is afflicting not only the GI, but a majority of the American people , a growing, creeping type of deficiency which no one ever suspected?
Daily, we are inundated by authoritarian opinions that animal fats in our diet are largely responsible for our consistently rising heart attack toll. Now that other evidence has been brought out, the authoritarian anti-cholesterol, anti-fat crusade has wavered considerably. At the moment, authorities are conceding there is no simple answer to the riddle of heart disease.
We have presented other evidence in support of this fact, but a recent scientific study of the Samburu, a tribe in North Kenya,, offers another truly puzzling question. The Samburu keep herds of sheep and goats which they treasure very highly since they live almost entirely on the milk of the animals - no vegetables, fruits, or grains, except for an occasional tuber. They drink the raw blood - something which seems repugnant to our taste. They eat the flesh of their animals, but this is not too often, for instinctively they know well the old adage "Don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg." But, ironically , the seemingly undernourished Samburu get more Vitamin E from their simple diet of milk , and blood than we get from our "affluent" diet.
The scientific team of Dr. Shaper and Dr. Jones, who made the study of the Samburu tribe as reported in Lancet (1962), was amazed that while about 60 per cent of these peoples' total calories are derived from animal fats found in the milk, yet a check of their blood revealed that it was 'low in fatty materials'. As if to confute the "high-fat-always-equals-heart-disease" hypothesis further, heart disease and associated concomitants such as high blood pressure were practically unknown among the Samburu.
And they do not, apparently, have a high death rate since there are many old persons in the tribe. The research team ran electrocardiograms on one hundred of these elderly persons. They found only two of them who might possibly have a suggestion of cardiovascular trouble, but even these were not confirmed clinically. In other words, there were no physical complaints.
There may be those who say then that exercise is the key and that that is why the Samburu have no heart disease and we have so much. Yet there are many tribes and cultures all over the world which exercise fully as much as the Samburu and some of them have heart disease.
It is a pity that the white man destroyed the original Esquimos culture along with his original diet before a thoroughly scientific study was possible. However , we do know what the Esquimos ate; we also know their way of life as ascertained by several early explorers. Several researchers feel that the Esquimos were comparable with the present-day Samburu, though the Esquimos lived in the frozen Arctic while the Samburus still live in the heart of Africa - totally different environments - yet existing entirely on animals and animal productss. The Esquimos ate the whole animal, fat and blubber included, as well as organs, muscles, connective tissue such as cartilage , and bone marrow, without 'any' vegetables, fruits, or grains, until the white man came in with his civilized diet and germs.
The great scholarly Arctic explorer, the late Vilhjalmur Stefansson, author of many reputable books, compiled from existing records a remarkable account of the ancient Esquimos and compared them with "modern" man (My Life with the Eskimo and Cancer: Disease of Civilization?) His evidence strongly corroborates the validity of the hypothesis that raw animal products (which contain generous amounts of Vitamin E) may be man's natural food, protecting him from the various diseases of so-called civilization. The aboriginal Esquimos were not victims of cancer, heart disease, or tuberculosis, even though many apparently lived to be quite old, according to the early traders.
Stefansson was unable to study the Esquimo in his pristine state because , by the time he arrived on the scene, the white man's disease had taken such a toll of the Esquimo that it was only the toughest of them who were able to survive at all. Almost all of their proginy had been so over-awed by the white man's technology that they assumed he also knew about nutrition; therefore, white sugar and white flour (with practically all the nutrients, including Vitamin E, processed out) became prize commodities in Esquimo homes as a mark of prestige. Wouldn't any race which could fly through the air, build huge ships that traversed the seas, and shoot a polar bear at a distance of 400 yards - would not this race know best how to eat also? The idea was laughable that a race who could accomplish what the gods had not accomplished before would not know healthy living. So the Esquimos died by the thousands from various germs and those who survived became victims of tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, and the various diseases which afflict the white man.
the same situation prevailed for the American Indian. Of course, one became really interested in studying him until it was too late to obtain clear-cut , definite results which science would accept. However, the Samburu study is most significant. It may be even more so when they stop drinking milk and blood after accepting our standards for a "well-nourished" diet.
As the reader may know , almost everything - from lack of proteins , to lack of exercise, to too much animal fats, to the pace of modern living - has been blamed for the phenomenal increase in heart disease. We have put on record that none of these is the sole cause of heart disease. The following offers some additional proof that no single fac toor as previously postulated is responsible.
In World War II, doctors were assigned to study the condition of the prisoners at Dachau, one of the most infamous of the Nazi concentration camps. As pictures from this camp reveal, the pitiful condition of most of the inmates would lead no one to say the prisoners were over-fed. In fact, as captured documents testify , these human beings were being starved to death. Also, in addition to the Jews, there were a number of political prisoners, which makes the following study even more scientific than if it had been based solely upon one particular group.
The doctors autopsied 10,000 inmates of Dachou, who were victims of mass executions or epidemics. They did not have to estimate the number of calories each inmate received since the Nazis were very careful bookkeepers. An amazing concept to our minds, they kept the records until almost the day they were overwhelmed by the Allies. Therefore, we know that each inmate of their 'concentrazion-slager' received an average of 1,000 calories per day. (Toward the end of the war this ration was cut to 500 calories.) We also know how those calories were dispersed. The inmates were fed daily a mixture of weak soup and a slice of black bread. There was ver little protein or fats, mostly carbohydrates. Of course, we must remember that on a starvation or semi-starvation diet, a person uses his own reserves of fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins until his body reservoirs are depleted , usually within a month or six weeks. The inmates could not be expected to survive for long on such meager fare, especially since they were forced to perform hard physical labor every day. Yet it is a significant fact that none of the prisoners complained of heart symptoms, and so far as is known, none 'died' of cardiovascular disease. But most significant and astounding of all is the fact that every one of the 10,000 autopsied showed evidence of arteriosclerosis! Now this pattern was repeated throughout the world where there were prisoners.
Men, even on the horrible fare served to them in prison camps, do not 'die' of heart disease. They may starve to death as often happened , but their hearts and cardiovascular systems are apparently intact enough to sustain them for a time and are not the direct cause of death.
Could the black bread the prisoners received have contained enough Vitamin E to prevent the overt 'symptoms' of arteriosclerosis in a steadily deteriorating body? Perhaps.
Another significant finding was that almost none of the prisoners suffered from high blood pressure - a frequent concomitant of arteriosclerosis. This may be one reason why the prisoners did not suffer from the usual results of arteriosclerosis: "stroke," coronaries, etc. The editors of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society' have suggested that "mental stress" was a large factor in producing the universal arteriosclerosis at Dachau. This may well be, but we have seen that tension and stress alone cannot account for all arteriosclerosis. And who is to explain the lack of high blood pressue, which is supposed to be a partial result of stress and/or tension? Of course, we must admit that had the prisoners lived long enough , there might have been a high incidence of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
Thus, we see almost every explanation offered as the 'cause' of cardiovascular diseases has large loop-holes and contradictory evidence.
Let us make clear initiall that we use the term vitamin E (when we do use it) merely because it has long been recognized by the medical profession, because it is popular medical slang, and because the laity recognize it as an entity. It is not an entity, of course , but a mixture of seven tocopherols. These should be referred to individually by accurate writers, just as we refer nowadays not to vitamin B but to its components: eg., thiamin, riboflavon, pantothenic acid, pyridoxene, or niacin. 'We' always mean alph tocopherol when we speak of vitamin E, just as most scientific writers do. The distinction still seems to need emphasis.
In proper dosage , alpha tocopherol is therapeutically effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. We have not said "for any person so afflicted," although this may be true.
Possible exceptions are an acute aterial embolism, or a tremendous gangrene which even operation might not save, or any moribund patient , or the severest haemorrhage, or a huge aneurysm, or a wound of the heart or great vessels. Even in such cases it never could be argued that tocopherol had 'nothing' to offer, because of its extraordinary diverse physiological and biochemical properties.
What properties make it useful in treating cardiovascular diseases?
a) It resembles digitalis in its action on the hypoxic heart. Digitalis is the classic heart drug, used almost universally in almost every type of heart disease except the congenital types. The evidence for its similarity to digitalis appears in: Govier, W.M., Yanz, N., and Grelis, M.E. (USA): J.Pharmacol. and Exp/Ther., 88:373, 1946 Spaulding, M.E, and Graham, W.D, (Canada): J.B.C., 170:711,1947
This alone would establish alpha tocopherol as a useful heart drug. In fact, such functional similarity to digitalis would make it 'difficult' to deny.
b)'It is uniquely able to improve tissue oxygenation.' Oxygen deficit is characteristic of almost all heart disease, certainly cases in failure, and even in the earliest phases. No other physiological substance has this property to anything like the same degree: Hove, E.L., Hickman, K.C.D., and Harris, P.L. (USA): Arch. Biochem., 8:395, 1945. Zieler,K.L., Folk, B.P., Eyzaguirre, C., Jarcho, L.W., Grob, D., and Lilienthal, J.L. (USA) : Second Vitamin Symposium, NY , 1949 Vaccari, F. (Italy): Cuore e Circolazione, 35:164, 173, 1951 Hummel, J.P., and Melville, R.S. (USA): J.Biol.Chem., 101:383, 1951. Goria, I.R. (Italy): Boll. della Soc. Ital. di Biol. Sper., 29:1275, 1953. Telford, I.R., Wiswell, O.B., Smith, E.L., Clark, R.T., Jr., Tomaschefski, J.F., and Criscuolo, D. (USA): Air University School of Aviation Medicine, Project No. 21-1201-0013, Report #4, May, 1954 (Randolph Field, Texas) Telford, I.R., Wiswell, O.B., and Smith, E.L. (USA): Proc.Soc.Exp.Biol. and Med., 87:162, 1954. Frey, J. (Germany): Arch. f. exp. Path. u. Pharmakol., 221:456, 1954 Saha, H. (India): J. Indian Med. Assoc., 23:428, 1954 Horvath, G., Kowacsovics, T., and Potendy, A. (Hungary): Acta Physiol. Hung., E-suppl. 41, 1956. Scapinelli, G.E. (Italy): Sperimentale, 106:374, 1956.
This alone would establish alpha tocopherol as 'indispensable' in nearly all heart and vascular disease. This is impossible to deny. To make matters even clearer, Nason et al. have implicated tocopherol as "one of the active components of the terminal respirating chain in mammalian skeletal and heart muscle tissue." It appears to be a co-factor in the cytochrome C system.
Nason, A., Donaldson, K. O., and Lehman, I. R. (USA) : Trans. N.Y Acad. Sci., 20:27, 1957.
C)Alpha tocopherol has been described by at least two first rate groups as an antithrombin: Zierler, K.L., Grob, D., and Lilienthal, J.L. (USA): Am. J. Physiol., 153:127, 1948. Kay, J.H., Hutton, S.B., Weiss, G. N., and Ochsner, A. (USA): Surgery, 28:124, 1950.
By others it has been said to influence clotting time, thrombokinase, even the vascular endothelium. Indeed, one well-known Italian worker said at the Venice Congress of 1955 that vitamin E should henceforth be called the "angiophilic" vitamin, referring to its ability to protect blood vessels. Some of the relevent papers are:
Jesson, K.I., Glavind, J., Hartmann, S., and Dam, N. (Denmark): Acta Path., 29:73, 1951. Constantini, A., and Ricci, C. (Italy): Le Chirugie Gen., 1:300, 1951
Whatever the mechanism by which it acts on intravascular clots already formed, its effect in resolving such thrombosis has been attested by many first-rate observers.
Moreover some of these workers have remarked on its unique values in preventing embolism , in which it is so much more effective than its rival anticoagulants.
Blood clotting is always blood clotting , whether in a leg or the brain, in a vein or an artery, and must always occur by identical mechanisms above or below the diaphragm. That is the reasoning behind the widespread use of the anticoagulants, first made available for leg and other peripheral venous clots, in coronary artery disease. The line of reasoning making dicumarol useful in coronary disease automatically makes alpha tocopherol more useful still, and, of course, it is infinitely safer.
Now, since clotting is one of the major hazards in most cardiovascular disease, whether coronary thrombosis or cerebral thrombosis, auricular fibrillation, hypertensive or atherosclerotic heart disease , or diabetic atherosclerosis, and so on, the prompt lysis of clot or prevention of clotting recurrence or of embolism is a vital factor in its management. No one can deny this. The safety factor here, the fact that alpha tocopherol 'never' induces haemorrhage as the rival anticoagulants so regularly do, that it needs no weekly prothrombin or other difficult laboratory tests to ensure only a comparative safety, that it is safe, cheap and readily administered by any physician, not only specialists, renders it the drug of choice in any situation calling for an anticoagulant, unless, just 'possibly' it be an acute arterial thrombosis. Moreover, it cannot worsen a cerebral haemorrhage, as anticoagulants must do frequently, and it is recently becoming clear that such haemorrhage, as distinct from cerebral thrombosis, can be difficult to recognize.
D)The action of vitamin E upon scar tissue is unique, although somewhat inconstant. No other substance has even been found which can both "melt away" or soften existing scar, even of many years' duration, and can prevent such scar formation as is always encountered in wounds or burns not treated by alpha tocopherol; namely, scar that contracts as it heals. It is scarcely necessary to point out how important this property can be for many cases of chronic rheumatic heart disease where the myocardium is full of tiny scarred areas and the valves are often deformed by scar tissue. It could be of interest in the scars induced by coronary atherosclerosis, hypertensive heart disease, and so forth. Why must doctors always treat old heart scars by such dangerous and often ineffective means as those of surgery? Is it not a great step forward to think of preventing valve scars and resolving them medically?
This unique property of vitamin E alone would render it a drug of choice in many a cardiovascular problem. Remember, too, that no other substance has this property.
The prevention of scar formation is graphically demonstrated by photographs in our possession, one of them showing a second degree burn over the knuckles of the hand, the hand showing 'perfect flexion when healed.' This result is unbelievable, but has been duplicated in other patients, and these patients have been shown to medical groups for their careful scrutiny. No other substance possesses either of these abilities - another example of the unrivalled therapeutic powers of vitamin E. Here is a result alpha tocopherol produces which is quite unexplainable by present pathological knowledge, and yet has been proven by many medical observers all over the world. This illustrates how dangerous it can be to decide a 'priori' what alpha tocopherol can or cannot do.
E)Vitamin E appears to be a muscle stimulant per se. This action of vitamin E on muscle in the intact animal or in man has long been difficult to make sure of because such benefits could also accrue due to increased oxygen utilization by muscle or to improved circulation in muscle, as has been suggested above. However, recent studies on 'isolated' muscles have proven it to have specific effects and go far to explain the early studies.
It has been shown for example , that vitamin E had a favorable effect on both coronary flow and the muscular contractility of the heart of frogs. Indeed , the isolated heart perfused with alpha tocopherol survived 126 minutes, as opposed to 75 minutes for his controls, presumably due to an additive effect of both these properties of alpha tocopherol.
The effect on muscle alone would justify the use of alpha tocopherol in almost every cardiac disability, where either a primarily damaged myocardium or a myocardium secondarily impaired by congenital defects of the freat vessels or septa or by endocardial inflammations and their valvular sequelae, or where one should support a myocardium which, laboring against increased peripheral resistance in either the greater or lesser circulation, or against congestion, has begun to weaken. No other tonic substance can be suggested , unless digitalis has some value here.
F) Vitamin E improves the capillary wall that has become impaired by one mechanism or another. Here its only rival is rutin - perhaps . There is a good deal of evidence on this adduced by many workers.
We first reported this observation in Science.
Were it only for this property, vitamin E would have a place in the pharmacopoeia of every scientific cardiologist who is aware that inflammatory and degenerative processes damage capillary walls, produce damaging local or more general oedemas and exudates, and that these may go on to overwhelm and drown his patient as the circulatory mechanism destroys itself by constant leakage.
G)At the moment, vast sums of research money are being spent on, and many teams of research workers are engaged in, studies of the process of atherosclerosis, regarded in the United States generally as the most significant factor in the causation of degenerative cardiovascular disease. Partly this is directed at cholesterol metabolism generally and partly at atherosclerotic animals in an effort to produce humanlike lesions and their resolution or prevention.
The evidence as to whether vitamin E influences cholesterol metabolism is conflicting. In huge doses it almost certainly does. But we wish to point up a more direct approach. It is well known that hens as they age tend to develope an atherosclerosis like that of man. This can be prevented or halted by the combination of vitamins A and E, either alone being relatively ineffective.
H)Vitamin E is occasionally a diuretic, a fact which is of importance in managing every failing heart.
J)Occasionally vitamin E is 'hypotensive' , which is a helpful factor in the management of many a cardiovascular patient. This fact alone would make vitamin E valuable in a great fraction of all cardiovascular problems. High blood pressure is a very grave complication in so many patients.
He would be a brave man, or a reckless or an ignorant man, who would deny that an agent so versatile , so potent, so unique, would not be of value in treating every type of cardiovascular disease known, with the possible exception of some rare types listed earlier in this discussion. Even there is probably has something to offer.
Cardiovascular disease is one unit. What applies in one part of the circulation applies in another, with the relatively few exceptions dependent on local anatomical peculiarities or unknown racial factors. Hence the justification for calling the great journal dealing principally with heart disease by such a name as 'Circulation.' Hence the extension of the use of anticoagulants to coronary and cerebral vascular disease. Hence our extension to heart diseases of the vascular uses of alpha tocopherol which have been so widely confirmed.
There is a long list of workers who have found that depriving animals of alpha tocopherol sooner or later induces focal myocardial lesions. The unanimity of these findings is striking , the lesions are numerous and important, nine species are involved, and, although it is questionable that the human heart presents focal lesions similar to those seen in most tocopherol-deficient animals, the perivascular lesions in the myocardium found in alpha tocopherol-deficient calves are not too unlike the Aschoff nodules found in rheumatic human heart muscles. The electrocardiographic changes seen in association with these myocardial lesions in experimental animals are analogous to those seen in damaged human hearts. The picture is definitely one of alpha tocopherol deficiency regularly producing myocardial damage. Should only the human heart be able to escape the corresponding results of nearly comparable and certainly 'much' more prolonged deficiency of alpha tocopherol? What are the infarcts that have no origin in coronary occlusion (16 to 59 per cent of the total)?
But the most important and direct approach to this problem in experimental study has been the work of the Dominhuez team on coronary ligation in dogs. These workers produced myocardidal infarcts in dogs by tieing the coronary artery, then gave tocopherol to some of them. The results were spectacular. An intense proliferation of new collateral arterial channels entered the infarct area in an effort to heal it. This must be what happens when a man with coronary infarction is given alpha tocopherol. This single experiment corroborates our whole position on the tocopherol management of coronary artery disease.
Now for the idea that vitamin E will prevent heart disease . We have never stated that it would prevent all types of heart disease, nor all cases of any type of heart disease. We have pointed out, however, its 'value or power in the prevention of many types of heart disease.' Power is a relative word. It can be 10 per cent effective or 90 per cent. We speak of Great Powers and Small Powers among nations. We descant on the power of insulin to control diabetes, although not all cases are controlled and a 10-unit dose is powerless in a 20-unit case, or a dose at breakfast may be powerless to control the blood sugar all day. Power is always a relative term, because the powers of any drug fail in a recalcitrant patient, or if incorrectly known or used. The wrestler who loses still has power. A rocket at Cape Canaveral has awesome power although it may fall far short of a moonstrike. The anticoagulants are so named for their power to prevent blood clotting, yet often fail to do so, even with proper prothrombin regulation. Power is strictly a relative term and does not always connote complete success.
Now, every food factor ,certainly every vitamin, prevents what it relieves. Thus, we use vitamin C to prevent scurvy because it cures scurvy, and vitamin D to prevent rickets because it cures rickets, and vitamin K to prevent haemorrhagic disease of the newborn because it cures it, and vitamin A to prevent xerophthalmia because it cures it, and vitamin B1 to prevent neuritis because it cures it, and riboflavin to prevent glossitis and cheilosis because it cures them, and so one. Thus one uses other food factors such as iron or calcium. Could vitamin E be the sole exception to such a rule?
Admittedly, congenital anomalies are produced long before their recognition and therefore before the average person thinks of treatment, much less of prevention. But there is a great deal of experimental evidence now to indicate that such defects may be the end-result of vitamin deficiencies or hypoxia in the mother at an early stage of embryonic life; we ourselves have published work in this field.
It has been concluded that oxygen deficiency in early pregnancy is 'the' single most important causative factor in producing anomalies. Obviously, this makes a place for the most powerful physiological oxygenating factor, vitamin E.
It may well be that congenital heart disease will prove preventable by means of such nutritional factors as vitamin E. No one must rule out such a possibility prematurely, since it is so likely.
Inflammatory heart lesions like those seen in rheumatic fever follow assaults by a particular strain of streptococcus - but not always, perhaps not commonly. Why? Because of certain unknown factors in resistance. Why do some rheumatic infections recur and many do not? Because of some unknown factors in resistance. Our own experience with the influence of vitamin E on early, primary cases of acute rheumatic fever has been so dramatic that we ascribe to it considerable powers of increasing such resistance. Moreover, the Aschoff-like nodules seen in the myocardium of vitamin-E deficient calves dying of heart failure would strongly reinforce this view. Holman produced an acute necrotizing arteritis in dogs in relation to kidney damage and vitamin E deficiency. The JAMA commented on this editorially by saying that acute necrotizing arteritis in dogs has a close human counterpart in periarteritis nodosa and rheumatic arteritis in man. It can be rheumatic lesion, for otherwise the cause of rheumatic fever remains an enigma.
Atherosclerotic lesions such as those so regularly seen in coronary disease and hypertensive states are theoretically preventable by vasodilators, anti-clotting and fibrinolytic agents, if we accept Duguid's well-attested theory of the origin of atherosclerosis.
Here the ingestion of a lasting vasodilator and anti-clotting and fibrinolytic agent such as alpha tocopherol should provide the best available prophylaxis. We believe it does, and the Weitzel studies bear this out.
Moreover, at the moment, American medical men generally are giving their arteriosclerotic patients more unsaturated fats (vegetable fats) in their diets as prophylaxis against further arteriosclerosis. Sternberg has shown that all such diets high in unsaturated fats require vitamin E as well in order to stabilize and utilize them properly. Vitamin E preserves them in the bowel.
There appears to be no practical hope for the prevention of cardiovascular disease unless the mechanisms we have sketched above are fundamentally sound and point in the direction of truth. They must not be laughed out of court prematurely , in the way that Jenner's vaccination against smallpox, or Pasteur's vaccination against rabies, or Sabin's oral vaccine against polio, has been.
Practically every cardiac and vascular disease state is associated with obstructed blood vessels or a lack of oxygen.
Even patients with congestive failure show stasis in the bloodstream and hypoxia. It is self-evident that a key to the treatment of these conditions is the effort to relieve these difficulties, and, apart from the odd surgical procedure such as thrombarterectomy, there is no rival to vitamin E in these respects. None can be suggested indeed, for its oxygen-conserving powers are unique amongst physiological substances, and it acts upon many types of vascular obstruction that the rival anticoagulants do little or nothing to benefit - for example, Buerger's disease, claudication, established thrombus.
Whether the observations of such able workers are accurate or not, this is one theory designed to explain the action vitamin E in preventing blood clotting in the bloodstream, something that has always been puzzling. The action on blood clotting of the classical anticoagulants is often puzzling, too, of course, for many patients clost with normal prothrombin times, and there may even be myocardial infarcts without any evidence of an apical thrombus. Alpha tocopherol is not the only anti-clotting agent incompletely understood.
It is generally realized by every medical man that its rival anticoagulants, such as heparin or dicumarol, are dangerous. Hence the need to do at least weekly prothrombin tests on every patient taking anticoagulants. Hence the cases of haemorrhage after their use seen every day in every city in the land. Hence the cautious approach of such medical experts as Littman. One would have expected the usual anticoagulants to have been replaced long ago by alpha tocopherol , which is so much safer, and even more effective(since it attacks existing clots as well as prevents further clotting, and minimizes embolism).
Chronic brawny induration of the lower leg, usually on the basis of old phlebitis and chronic venous stasis, often associated with stubborn ulceration, is not remedied by the use of alpha tocopherol. Nothing can undo the scarring these legs display. But the process , which usually extends so inexorably till it girdles first one leg and then the other , comes to a full stop on adequate alpha tocopherol therapy. If it extends it merely means that not enough tocopherol is being administered. Here at last is an effective answer to a debilitating and painful vascular problem for whith nothing has been suggested before but the most drastic , tedious and ugly surgery.
The so-called varicose eczema so often associated with it often responds well to the local application of tocopherol ointment. One must be cautious and slow in applying it, lest it spread the rash elsewhere.
We never advise surgery for varicose veins unless for cosmetic reasons in women. Otherwise alpha tocopherol can give as good a final result as operation, since the latter is so regularly followed by recurrance in about 1 1/2 years' time. Alpha tocopherol increases collateral circulation around the deep, obstructed veins, decreases ankle oedema and leg ache, halts the varicose process , cuts down or relieves any associated skin irritation, and lets the patient walk much better. Often the veins seem to regress, although this is unpredictable.
Vitamin E is universally believed to be a vasodilator. We first demonstrated this years ago , but the observation has been supported by casual reference in nearly every paper on the vascular uses of vitamin E.
The femoral vein in dogs were tied off and then they were administered alpha tocopherol , obtaining great vasodilatation of collateral vessels. The Dominguez team did the same thing after tieing off the femoral artery in rabbits; they reported that some of the collaterals dilated to larger size than the original femoral artery!
May we add that alpha tocopherol is remarkably helpful in Raynaud's syndrome on just this same basis, as it is in varicose eczema, Buerger's disease, and such conditions.
Vitamin E has been used to treat x-ray burns. We discussed such results at the Second World Congress on Vitamin E at New York in 1949.
As has been stressed above, this use of alpha tocopherol pormises to be one of the most important roles it has in the medical management of injuries incurred in atomic warfare. There has been no other suggestion as practical and simple and cheap. Indeed, there has been no other suggestion. We regard this as our most salutary discovery.
It has never been suggested that vitamin E was a "cure" for diabetes, any more than Banting claimed insulin as a "cure". It is indispensable treatment, however.
Long years after the discovery of insulin, it is recognized that it and dietary restriction control high blood sugar levels-but that many or all long-treated diabetics go on to display degeneration of the eyes , kidneys, heart, and peripheral vessels. Hence the common finding of cataracts, retinitis, Kimmelstiel-Wilson kidney, coronary attacks, and leg gangrene in long-treated diabetics. The greatest American authority, Joslin, has twice commented on this. More recently he said that insulin hid the tragic symptoms and signs of diabetes and thus allowed developing arteriosclerosis to kill the patient. Doctors cannot afford to have 85 per cent of their patients begin to have disease of the kidney, heart, and brain and begin to go blind after the disease has lasted only 15 years. Only one in 10 patients is now eligible for a life expectancy medal for living longer with diabetes than expected to live without it, and only 54 in the world have been found perfect after 25 years of the disease. Surely doctors should be able to postpone the onset of complications untio after 15 years in more than 15 per cent of their cases.
Obviously, therefore, diet and insulin leave much to be desired still. An increasing number of diabetic specialists now recognize that diabetes is a two-phase disease, one being related to hyperglycaemia and the other ot vascular degeneration. All that insulin treatment has done is to clear away the high blood sugar to reveal the second phase. Vitamin E has long been known to heal some of the vascular complications of diabetes and even decrease the need for insulin.
No one can deny that vitamin E is an important and useful therapeutic agent in the management of diabetes. Indeed, several papers suggest that it lowers blood sugars as well as improves the vascular half of the disease. It has been found that this occurred in about 25 per cent of cases treated.
If any food, including vitamin E, ceases to be taken , any effect it has produced on the body soon wears off. This is true of potatoes or iron or calcium or fat or carbohydrates or proteins or vitamin B or vitamin D. Some of these items are held or stored by the body longer than others, but all nutrients are soon utilized by the body and burned up or excreted and need to be replaced unless any nutritional effects so produced are to be minimized.
The maximum tocopherol level in the blood attained after the ingestion of vitamin E is reached in 4 to 8 hours, after which serum levels tail off to their pre-existing levels in about 72 hours.
If one takes 100 mgm. of alpha tocopherol the blood values revert to normal in 24 hours. If 400 mgm. are given the blood level in 24 hours is only 22 per cent higher than its previous values.
Long ago we came to the same conclusion on purely clincal grounds, and published our views.
For a long time now, some authorities have been saying that "the need for tocopherols in human nutrition has not been established." Suddenly they have been ejected from this palpably false position by studies reported on.
If you take the heart cases, cardiovascular cases and the many other diseases reported to be helped or alleviated, out of doctors' offices (and the taking of vitamin E poses a threat of it) more than half the income of the medical profession will vanish. A heart disease case is an annuity for the doctors, and people will continue to die because they are caught in the toils of economics - mink coats for doctors' wives, Cadillacs, and stock and bond investments. This state of affairs will continue as long as the medical profession is permitted to police itself.
Spare the rod and spoil the child. We must adopt a "get tough" program with the medical profession. The appointment of a national group comprised of engineers, businessmen, and suchlike folk to make an independent investigation of this regrettable vitamin E scandal.