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Editorial Issue 181

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 181 - April 2011

The world of complementary and alternative medicine has and always will be, highly political, influenced and affected by a myriad of events, laws and attacks from opponents. Veteran practitioners and manufacturers of nutritional, herbal, homeopathic and Ayurvedic medicines, as well as diverse products such as essential oils, foods, and beauty creams, wade through a minefield of regulations and bureaucracy to bring precious, safe and natural remedies to countless millions of consumers of natural products and medicines.

We have grown used to being constantly buffeted by the slings and arrows of opponents of natural medicines and treatment approaches, including, more recently, various EU directives regarding the availability of herbal medicines. Over the years, there have been countless campaigns to fight for the availability of nutritional and herbal medicines. The Alliance of Natural Health is now in the process of mounting a legal challenge to the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD). Here is a short extract from the ANH Press Release, published in the Brief Takes:

"The Alliance for Natural Health wants to say a huge thank you to the ANH legal action supporters whose donations have seen them raise the £90,000 target for the first stage of the Alliance's proposed legal challenge aimed at protecting the availability of herbal products in the EU. The majority of these funds have been raise by thousands of people contributing small amounts from different parts of the EU. The next step is that the Alliance for National Health with their colleagues at the European Benefyt Foundation will continue to progress with preparing the case..."

There will probably never be an end to how events in the wider world interact with the multitude of therapies within complementary and alternative medicines. However, this month the enormously powerful earthquake and tsunami in Japan directly affected Positive Health PH Online. This is because originally, the Cover Story for April Issue 181 was a beautifully illustrated feature Japan - Country of Tranquillity, Wellbeing and Spirituality. The devastating effects of the earthquake, tsunami and radiation crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant made it perfectly clear that for PH Online April Issue 181 at least, this feature wasn't appropriate until a later date. We hope and fervently wish and send our best wishes that life for Japan will return to as much a normalcy as conceivable in as short a time possible.

The choice to make Give Fat a Chance the cover story for Issue 181 was entirely appropriate, given the mountains of conflicting information and disinformation and headline coverage about weight, obesity, diets and the inevitable pot shots at fats published in the print and broadcast media. Except for those fortunate individuals who are natively thin and never put on weight, all the rest of us struggle with overweight, obesity, fitting into our clothes, diets of almost biblical proportions - low fat, low carb, no carb, no fat, high protein - to name but a few.

This article by Nutritionist Wilma Kirsten reminds us in an authoritative and informative of the importance of fat to our health.

  • Fats are essential in the diet to provide:
  • A concentrated source of energy;
  • Regulation of cardiac cells;[1]
  • An insulating layer under the skin;
  • Structural components in the body;
  • Functional constituents of many metabolic processes;
  • A vehicle for intake and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E & K);
  • An important contributor to flavour and palatability of foods.

"Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are made up of the 'good' fats that our bodies need in order to perform specific functions in targeted areas within the body, such as membrane structure and permeability. EFAs are termed essential because they cannot be manufactured by the body, and thus need to be present in the foods that are consumed regularly.

"EFAs support the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. The human body needs EFAs to manufacture and repair cell membranes, enabling the cells to obtain optimum nutrition and excrete harmful waste products. A primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility, conception, and play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation and encouraging the body to fight infection. EFAs are also needed for proper growth in children, particularly for neural development and maturation of sensory systems, with male children having higher needs than females. Foetuses and breast-fed infants require an adequate supply of EFAs through the mother's dietary intake to promote healthy growth."

Read this article as a master class of why certain types of fat are indeed essential to our health:

Although, individually, we seem to be perennially battling to overcome life-hindering circumstances - lack of money, overwork, lack of business - we are actually going through life's struggles together, despite feeling that we are all alone. I guess that one of the secrets to not succumbing to the struggles is to keep connected to our collective fight and spirit.


  1. pat reeves said..

    Hi Sandra!
    Well,I'm still going strong - cracking the genetic cancer into touch for over twelve months now! Still World champion power-lifter, Gen Sec of BDFPA and now an International referee! Approaching 66 - life could not be better - even my book sells well! Good to see you are still at the helm, as it were!
    Essential fats are amazing - helped myself a great deal - and virtually all of my current patients.
    I, like others, have had to re-formulate some of my products to 'fit in' with upcoming restrictions next month.
    There are some crazy things happening - as we all need to be aware of!
    My very best wishes, Pat.

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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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