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Editorial Issue 119

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 119 - January 2006

Unbelievably, I was recently emailed a Press Release with the heading "Millions at Risk from Vitamins Overdose". I thought that someone was deliberately winding me up; however, the Norwich Union Healthcare's Health of the Nation Index, researched from 250 practising GPs across the UK, cited the following incredible results:

• Two in five (41%) GPs believe their patients are overdosing on vitamins, and remain in the dark about the negative effects some vitamins have on their health;
• More than 80% of GPs say their patients don't know that some everyday vitamins and vitamin supplements can react with common medication they may already be taking. For example, iron supplements can interact with antibiotics and make them less effective in fighting infection. And high doses of vitamin B6, used by many women for premenstrual tension, can cause nerve damage, while too much vitamin A taken during pregnancy can harm an unborn baby;
• Nearly all (93%) GPs say their patients overestimate the health benefits of taking vitamins, with many people using them as a substitute for a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle;
• 41% of GPs feel that there is simply not enough information available about vitamins for people to make an informed decision on their own;
• GPs also believe there should be stricter controls over the regulation of vitamin supplements – 81% of doctors support the new legislation calling for more testing, even if it would mean that some vitamin supplements are no longer available on the high street;
• 58% of GPs believe that the selling of vitamins should be restricted to appropriate health professionals such as pharmacists, rather than being freely accessible over the counter or purchased via the internet.

I was, and still am, incandescent with rage; the above 'research' couldn't be further from the truth. Particularly citing 'research' that has long been discredited such as vitamin B6 causing nerve damage, which was the focus of the attempt to ban vitamin B6 over 5 years ago.

What this report revealed was the breathtaking extent of GPs' ignorance regarding nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. If the public were to be denied the health and sometimes life-enhancing benefits of nutritional medicine, they would be left with pharmaceutical drugs, which routinely kill tens of thousands of people in the UK every year.

The more accurate facts about Nutritional Medicine are discussed in this month's cover story Importance of Micronutrients for Optimum Health (see page 30). According to The National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2000/2001, zinc is deficient in 49% of the British population, and levels of retinol, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, iron and copper are also below the Reference Nutrient Intake.

Far from being dangerous, many vitamins, including vitamin C, are life-saving, and in high doses, can combat severe bacterial and viral diseases. A review of the authoritative book Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, & Toxins – Curing the Incurable by Thomas E Levy MD JD discusses the many clinical applications of vitamin C – see

Pat Reeves describes how she has survived harrowing difficulties in her cancer struggles, through a regimen of live and raw foods, juices, herbs, vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide (see page 42). And Dr June Butlin discusses the role of Nutrition practitioner in the 21st Century, highlighting the importance of taking all aspects of a person's health and metabolism into account (see page 28).

Ghayur and Gilani (see page 39, Research Updates) publish results elucidating the mechanism of how ginger lowers blood pressure, and Schneider et al report that individuals with high blood pressure who performed Transcendental Meditation(TM) showed a 30% diminished rate of death from cardiovascular causes and a 23% decrease in all-cause mortality (see page 39-40). Dr Harry Henshaw's article Meditation: Staying Present to the Now (see page 9) discusses the practicalities of how to meditate.

Also featured in this issue are two articles describing the use of Herbal Medicines in the treatment of cancer (please see Escharotics: Herbal Surgery for Tumours by Dr Lev Fedyniak, page 18; and Remission in a Case of Rectal Cancer Treated with Herbal Medicines by Dr Ranjitsinh Solanki, page 21).

The sorry fact that most GPs are incredibly ignorant about non-drug clinical treatment approaches doesn't render them totally useless. After all, GPs are highly trained and knowledgeable about human anatomy, physiology and pathology. What a pity that their medical education couldn't include other knowledge bases which embrace Nutrition, Herbal Medicine and the many other disciplines under the umbrella term Complementary Medicine. Until then, we must all do our own research, obtain an accurate diagnosis and embark upon our own treatment journeys with the help of appropriate practitioners.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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