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Editorial Issue 135

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 135 - May 2007

I received an email from a Canadian relative who had previously contacted me two years ago, seeking information for her husband struggling with prostate cancer.

At that time (2005), I emailed her request to a person operating a highly specialized network of mainly North American Nutritionally and Naturopathically-oriented physicians. What then ensued was a flood of replies from these professionals, proposing a wide spectrum of treatment suggestions. Her recent email reported that following a myriad of [conventional medical] treatments, nothing had made a dent, including the holistic and immune-enhancing programmes they had incorporated from the previously emailed advice.

She was enquiring about diet; I emailed her with further contact information for North American holistic cancer centres who might best be able to help.

I have used this network sparingly over the years for individuals who are very seriously ill, and who desperately need advice and support about treatment measures which might make a difference. As I am copied on many of the email replies, I have been witness to the many compassionate and professional people who are willing to reach out to those in dire straits. In several instances, individuals have informed me that this information has helped to save the lives of their loved ones. This is one of the miracles of the internet age; I hope that were I in serious trouble, that someone would do the same for me.

These types of life and death enquiries cut through all the hype, controversy and often superficial activities which tend to fill our lives. This is what health is really about; when a plea, a cry for help arrives it is impossible to ignore.

Much of the media and medical establishment are obsessed with proving that Complementary or Alternative treatment approaches are bogus, worthless or even dangerous. I regularly read doctors’ advice to readers about how vitamins can be dangerous, citing a previously published study which has already been discredited by experts in the field (see Letters pages 50-51). It doesn’t appear to matter how many studies or statistics are produced showing that, compared with deaths by drugs or medical mishap, deaths by vitamins or natural medicines don’t even register, as reported in the Letters pages of PH Issue 134 – articleid=2085.

“There was not even one death caused by vitamins in 2005, according to the most recent statistics available from the US National Poisoning and Exposure Database. The 129-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers published in the journal Clinical Toxicology1 shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin.

Over half of the US population takes daily vitamin supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet per day, that makes 145,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 53 billion doses annually. Since many persons take additional vitamins, the numbers are considerably higher, and the safety of vitamins all the more remarkable.”


1.    Lai MW, Klein-Schwartz W, Rodgers GC et al. 2005 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poisoning and Exposure database. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 44(6-7): 803-932. 2006. Free download from Vitamins statistics are found in Table 22, towards the end of the report.

There appears to be a mindset in doctors, although it is not confined to them alone, that if they have not been taught or informed that a certain therapy or technique has efficacy, or if they haven’t heard of a novel treatment or technique, then ipso facto, that treatment or therapy must be useless. This is particularly so if the person proposing the treatment or therapy happens to be a member of a suspect group, i.e. a Homeopath, or not a member of the medical fraternity.

And as for the Regulation issue, as further debated in the BCMA’s reply to the letter from the Prince of Wales Foundation of Integrated Health (PFIH), (see Letters page 50), there is considerable debate as to the role of Voluntary Self-Regulatory (VSR) Councils from each therapy. According to the Aromatherapy Council (AC), the first UK Complementary Profession to have achieved VSR “it makes sense to let the individual VSR Councils self-govern as part of professionally-led regulation. Each therapy should get to the point where they have achieved their own VSR and then slot into a federal structure where a centralized register will prevent multi-disciplined therapists from having to register with more than one body. Each therapy should be left alone with its own Constitution to deal with that therapy, although the AC agrees that an overarching body should exist for quality assurance.

Information is always key to control and hence to health freedom. If you are an Aromatherapist, support the AC council by joining the AC Register – see . For all other seriously committed practitioners and general readers, support your own VSR Working Groups, keep your PH subscription up-to-date and foster an open mind to new approaches.


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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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