"Surgeons must be very careful When they take the knife! Underneath their fine incisions Stirs the Culprit Life!" (Emily Dickinson, #108)
TheDOCTOR YOURSELF (SM) NEWSLETTER Vol 1, No 15
May 25, 2001 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of more than 200 natural healing articles with over 3,000 scientific references.
If you don't have the money or the timeto go to medical school, you tend to become way too dependent on the pronouncements of a doctor. Medical education is not for the privileged few. Here is how to know what the doc knows for less than the cost of a physical (or for free, if you use the library):
1. Obtain a copy of The Merck Manual in the latest edition. (Merck & Co, Rahway, NJ). This is the "Cliff's Notes" of medical school: nearly everything most doctors do most of the time is in this single volume. It is easy to look up anything quickly because of the excellent cross-referenced index and thumb-indexed chapters. Don't be put off by big scientific words, for that is just a fancy way to say what could be said simply for a lower office fee.
2. To assist with any necessary deciphering of medical terms, I suggest you also have a good medical dictionary handy. There are several available (such as Taber's Medical Dictionary or the Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Nursing by Miller and Keane). But you will not need it nearly as much as you expect.
These few books can help elevate your health education to a whole new level of confidence and competency. You don't have to know everything. If that were possible, there wouldn't be any medical specialists. You can still go to the doctor (after all, even doctors go to doctors). Now, though, you can better judge the value of medical services rendered. The playing field is leveled.
Remember that your doctor works for you and not the other way around. Consider your doctor to be your sub-contractor, your consultant. Getting a doctor's opinion does not mean you have to follow it. It is your body, and how you want a health concern handled is your decision. You can only make a good decision if you are fully informed. Knowledge is power, and health knowledge is healing power.
For a real second opinion, read. Alternative health techniques are well proven and non-prescription. A health food store, library or bookstore will have many titles to help you. You may want to begin with my "Bestbooks" links athttp://doctoryourself.com to read concise reviews of some really good books on natural healing.
Supplements and Genetic Engineering (GE)
by Dr. Robert Anderson
Member: Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics
In issue 12 (April 14, 2001) Dr. Saul urged readers, quite sensibly, to get most of their nutrients from Mother Nature and not from the latest "magic bullet" tablet. However, as our soils become more depleted and our food less nourishing, we may be forced to look to supplements. But are they safe?
For more than a year now, manufacturers of supplements have watched quietly as an angry chorus has risen against genetic engineering (GE). The GE debate has precipitated the worlds largest civil rights movement in history.
Quite apart from the unsubstantiated but persistent myth that GE foods are "rigorously" tested and safe, we are assured by gods in white lab coats, "trust us, we know what we are doing." Do they? Are supplements subject to gene meddling?
In 1989 a genetically engineered brand of L-tryptophan, (a natural amino acid), killed 37 Americans and permanently disabled 1500. Around 5000 were afflicted with the potentially fatal and painful blood disorder, eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), before the FDA recalled the product. Manufacturer, Showa Denko, Japan's third largest chemical company, had for the first time used GE bacteria to produce the supplement. Although blamed on filtration Showa Denko admitted the toxic substance had never been generated previously. By early 1991, the company had paid $US4.6M in out-of-court settlements amongst lawsuits for over $810M (1). By now, the totals are roughly $US 2,000 million and 75 deaths.
The latest addition to the list of biotech wonders, vitamin A enriched rice, promises to cure blindness in poor countries, but belies the truth. (2) Vitamin A rice has cost $US100 million to develop so far, and is still 5 years from commercialisation. It produces so little vitamin A that a woman would need to eat 16 lbs per day to get her minimum daily requirement. More importantly, think what $US100 million from the Rockefeller Foundation could have done if directed to sustainable solutions to malnutrition and hunger.
A common artificial sweetener, Nutrasweet, also genetically engineered and used by diabetic patients, has a long history of nasty health risks to the public.(3) It is also found in some natural supplements, and dietary and childrens foods. The herb Stevia would be a far safer choice.
As time goes on we can expect more and more of our supplements to be subjected to this dubious and out-of-control technology. So the answer is, be vigilant and read the labels when next you go for your supplements.
1 Summarised, with references, in the Australian House of Representatives report 'Genetic Manipulation' pp.203-6 (1992); for more recent info see
2 Professor J Cummins 23.1.2000 Vitamin A and yellow rice. Communication
3 Aspartame: History of Fraud and Deception. Leading Edge Research www.trufax.org/research/f18.html
(Editors Note: Why take chances messing with Mother Nature? It is easy to get vitamin A from the fruits and vegetables that rice-eating peoples should be growing, and eating, anyway. Natural food sources of tryptophan are listed in DY Newsletters No. 3 (Dec. 8, 2000 and athttp://doctoryourself.com/prozac.html And nobody, but nobody, will die from "Nutrasweet" deficiency. www.dorway.com/links.html
I urge readers to write to supplement manufacturers to find out about the sources of their ingredients. A simple way to do so is posted athttp://doctoryourself.com/writenow.html
I thank Dr. Anderson for his article.)
I just won a Scrabble game with my adult daughter by one point. She said it was hardly a win at all, but of course I made a lot of the fact that I still was the winner.
You may remember from history class that Americas 17th President, Andrew Johnson, avoided impeachment by just one senate vote. More currently, George Bush the younger won the presidency by the smallest of margins. A small margin, but plenty big enough to let him live in the White House and be remembered forever, while Al Gore will be relegated to footnote-to-history status while looking for a day job. Many a world series has been decided by just one game of seven, and perhaps more importantly, many a Supreme Court decision has been decided by one vote, 5 to 4.
You might have already guessed where I am going with all this: one person really matters.
Back in the 1930s, humorist Will Rogers was on the board of directors of an airline. At a board meeting he was attending, corporate big shots were discussing the possibility of issuing parachutes to passengers for use in case of emergency. They mentioned that if parachutes were available, most passengers would not be able to put them on in time, and those that did might not have time or room to get to an exit. They concluded saying that of all the passengers on a flight, in the end, probably only one would be saved by parachute. Rogers leaned back in his chair, put his boots up on the conference table, tipped his hat down over his eyes and said: "But wouldnt HE be just tickled."
Naysayers are fond of pointing out that natural healing methods do not always, always work on every, everybody. But they dont have to: they only have to work on you, or one of your family, to make the biggest possible difference.
Nobel laureate Linus Pauling estimated that disease and mortality could be reduced by at least 25% if people took large daily quantities of essential vitamins. Lets say he was way off, and it the improvement was only 5%. Since upwards of two million Americans die each year, a one percent improvement will save 100,000 people. That is a lot of funerals that will not occur.
When I die, I would very much like to know that I saved a life or two. 100,000 would please me better. Linus Pauling was right, though. The real savings in life will be in the millions.
Another Nobel prize winner, Albert Schweitzer, M.D., said that example is not just the best way to teach; it is the only way.
So be a health nut, and show the world. You really do make a difference, and dont you forget it!
TODAYS REASON TO BECOME (MORE OF) A VEGETARIAN:
THE LARD CAR
Lard is beef fat. Even lean beef is ten to twenty percent fat. Vegetable oil is fat, too. Now that gas is approaching two bucks a gallon, I wanted to share this wonderful energy saving use for cooking oils.
"Four women fueled their 1984 Chevy van with used french-fry oil from fast-food eateries for a trip of more than 3,000 miles (and) averaged 24 miles per gallon. Funding was provided from environmental groups and a Burger King franchise." (Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle, Aug 29, 1994) OK, the van was modified with a diesel engine, so dont try this with your own car at least not until petrol hits the prices it has already held for years in Europe. Months ago, it cost over US $80 to fill up the tank of a Ford Escort in London.
But this you can try today: Be a veggie, eat less fat from all sources, and leave the lard for the Lincolns, Luminas and LaSabres.
STEALTH FOODYou expect candy to be full of junk, and colored candy especially so. And you are right. But I do believe we have the all-time winner in FROOPS POPS for the "food" with the most artificial colors ever: NINE. They are: Red 3, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, and Yellow 6. Whats really neat is that the candy so colored only has one actual color to look at: red. For it is a peppermint lollypop!
Lets all write to the American Candy Company (makers of FROOPS POPS) and tell them how much we admire their work. American Candy Company, Selma, Alabama 36701
DID YOU KNOW
From last issue: "What animal has the worlds longest sperm?" The Blue whale? The elephant? Youre going to love the answer:
The fruit fly.
Yes, the fruit fly: Drosophila bifurca, to be specific. And each sperm is about 2.3 INCHES long, 20 times as long as the fly itself. This virile little insect is found in Central America, Mexico and Arizona. Theres something to think about before you swat your next bug. (Source: Fruit fly dwarfed by its sperm. The Associated Press. May 11, 1995, citing an article in NATURE of the same date by Scott Pitnick et al.)
THYROID AND LUPUS ARTICLES IN PROGRESS
At readers request, I am currently working on these important topics for the Doctor Yourself Newsletter and website. If you have any especially good information that you want to share, please email me. Forwarding me nutritionally orientated webpages and articles would be especially helpful. Personal stories (and other forms of "anecdotal evidence") are welcome, too. Commercial offers are not.
COMING NEXT ISSUE:
The Wonder Drug: PLACEBO!
"The placebo should not be given on demand or for unduly prolonged periods of time."
(Jonothan G. Solomon, M.D. (1982) Placebo revisited: An update on a very useful agent. The Consultant. December.) And why is that, doctor? Afraid of harmful side effects? (Oh, we ARE going to have fun with this one.)
Readers ask about Asthma
How to Remove Lead from Your Life and from Your Body, Too
AND MORE, OF COURSE!
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AN IMPORTANT NOTE: This newsletter is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition. Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise. Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician. Consult your doctor before making any health decision.
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