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Editorial Issue 202

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 202 - January 2013

As we are poised on the brink of moving into the new year 2013, this Issue 202 of Positive Health PH Online similarly bridges many of the gaps which certain forces believe to separate complementary / alternative medicine from conventional / orthodox healthcare. As long time, devoted readers of PH Online realize, I do not subscribe to the notion that various techniques / disciplines of healthcare constitute separate worldviews of medicine. I have long been an advocate of the vision that healthcare is multi-faceted and that there are a multitude of various disciplines and techniques, practised by different practitioners. Hence, I don’t see the sense of considering that osteopathic practitioners are alternative, but that physiotherapists are conventional, or that nutritionists are alternative but dieticians are orthodox.

The body of the past 18 years of published issues of >3000 pages of PH Online, with its clinical, research, personal and case studies, and book reviews are a testament to this unified vision. That there is argument, discussion and disagreement regarding the best way to identify, characterize and treat health problems is a given across many disciplines in health, as it is across most human endeavours regarding science, politics, legal and environmental issues.

Nowhere in the pantheon of health controversies is this borne out more than when considering published research, as this literature may be considered a bell weather of what is to come - when new ideas, tested with results showing changed paradigms may predict the changing shape of our world view and health clinical treatments. No one human being is able to fully cover the entire bulk of research publications, the scientific and medical literature, and also manage to eat, drink, sleep and live a normal life. So in this respect, PH Online cannot be perfect in attempting to walk this tightrope and evaluate all aspects of healthcare, including research. However, looking back at the assembled archive of now almost 19 years, I am pleased that this provides a reasonable reflection of transpired research, and natural health clinical treatment approaches.

Examples in Issue 202 of research studies fore-telling what is to come include:

“SAWANT and COLLEAGUES, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA who evaluated the potential of palmitoyl ascorbate (PA)-loaded micelles for ascorbate-mediated cancer cell targeting and cytotoxicity.

“RESULTS: PA micelles associated preferentially with various cancer cells compared to non-cancer cells in co-culture. PA micelles exhibited anti-cancer activity in cancer cell lines both in vitro and in vivo. The mechanism of cell death was due primarily to generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

“JACOBS and COLLEAGUES, UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, Davis, CA investigated the effects of a 3-month meditation retreat on telomerase activity and two major contributors to the experience of stress.

“BACKGROUND: Telomerase activity is a predictor of long-term cellular viability, which decreases with chronic psychological distress (Epel et al., 2004). Buddhist traditions claim that meditation decreases psychological distress and promotes well-being (e.g., Dalai Lama and Cutler, 2009). Therefore, we investigated the effects of a 3-month meditation retreat on telomerase activity and two major contributors to the experience of stress: Perceived Control (associated with decreased stress) and Neuroticism (associated with increased subjective distress).

“RESULTS: Telomerase activity was significantly greater in retreat participants than in controls at the end of the retreat (p<0.05). Increases in Perceived Control, decreases in Neuroticism, and increases in both Mindfulness and Purpose in Life were greater in the retreat group (p<0.01). Mediation analyses indicated that the effect of the retreat on telomerase was mediated by increased Perceived Control and decreased Neuroticism.”

As Positive Health PH Online readers are acutely aware, no area of medical treatment is more fraught with controversy than is cancer; voluminous column inches, web pages and media coverage is devoted to money-raising appeals for parents to fly overseas to seek experimental or ‘groundbreaking’ cancer treatments; or more sinisterly, frequent undercover exposés about so-called experimental cancer treatments which are supposedly defrauding or manipulating vulnerable cancer patients. For anyone suffering with a cancer diagnosis and for their family, friends, or loved ones attempting to cope with treatments which may be life-threatening and searching for other potentially life-saving treatments, the feelings of helplessness are indescribable, as so many people, including their loved one, die of this disease. Issues about whether techniques are orthodox, therefore legal, or alternative or experimental, are hair-splitting and unknowable at the time, when a person’s life is at stake. Because of course, progress continues to be made and techniques are always changing.

As for Meditation, it is no accident that this issue publishes two features about meditation and the above excerpted Research Study which documents that meditation increases telomerase activity, an agreed parameter of long-term cellular viability and also contributes to decreased stress. The article Transcendental Meditation: Health Research Overview reviews the literature [50 references] and discusses findings of numerous meta-analyses regarding cardiovascular health, stress, ageing, cancer and quality of life:

The articles included in Issue 202, as in previous issues, are an inspiring testament to the important and pivotal clinical treatment and research ongoing internationally with natural health approaches. The articles include important contributions to herbal and nutritional medicine, bodywork, dentistry and cancer and yoga.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the entire international community of Positive Health PH Online readers a healthy, happy  and prosperous festive season and new year for 2013.


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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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