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Editorial Issue 51

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 51 - April 2000

I get really furious when so-called experts pronounce utter nonsense in an authoritative way to their captive audience on radio or television. So, imagine my reaction while listening to a recent Radio 4 call-in programme about sports injuries. A caller phoned in about an injury, said that they had heard about using certain nutritional supplements to speed the healing process, but their doctor had said that taking supplements was a complete waste of time and money. The sports therapist expert prefaced his next remark with "I am not an expert in nutrition" and then said words to the effect of "but I would completely agree with your doctor. Eating a balanced diet is all that you need. Nutritional supplements are no better than waving a magic wand at your injuries."

This is totally untrue. That so-called 'expert' displayed his utter ignorance of the published research in the area; pity that only the real experts who actually read the literature would know. And even more unfortunate for the radio caller, who has been persuaded not to enhance their healing process. Muscles, ligaments, cartilage and joints are not made out of air; they require building blocks, which are supplied by nutrients including vitamin C. Substances such as glucosamine sulphate stimulate the formation of chondrocytes (cartilage cells), which helps to build up and repair the cartilage matrix.

In the next issue no. 52 (May) of Positive Health we publish an article by Helen Kimber discussing natural agents promoting joint health. These include anti-inflammatory products including Boswellia, curcumin, white willow, ginger, MSM and glucosamine sulphate, which not only stimulates the manufacture of substances necessary for proper joint function, but is also responsible for stimulating joint repair. This article is fully referenced to the published scientific and clinical literature; there has been extensive clinical research using these compounds for treatments of musculoskeletal conditions, including osteoarthritis.

My original reason for starting Positive Health was to counter the all-frequent pronunciations by "experts" that "there is no research about Complementary Medicine". Now, in our seventh year since Positive Health first appeared, we have some 6,000 research summaries from our MEDLINE search. And these 6,000 summaries are really just the tip of the iceberg, since so many small journals in complementary disciplines are not indexed in MEDLINE. It is patently not true that there is no research about Complementary Medicine. Just log onto the Research Updates section at There you will find some 800 research summaries, just some of the research published in Positive Health since spring 1997, only a tiny fraction of the total amount published!

Another example of extremely worthwhile, small-scale clinical research has recently been published in the January 2000 issue of the excellent Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (Subscriptions, tel: 020-8308 5700). Nigel Mills from Tai Chi Rehab in Monmouthshire and colleagues have published their results of a pilot evaluation of the usefulness of Tai Chi/Qi Gong for people with Multiple Sclerosis. The authors developed their own symptom rating scale to monitor a variety of functions, including walking distance, ability to stand, balance, stiffness in joints, depression, etc. Following a 2-month intervention with 6 individual sessions, a videotape of exercises, audio-taped instructions and a printed handout for 30-minute homework sessions, the results appear to be fairly encouraging. Depression showed a significant improvement, and most participants doubled the amount of time they were able to stand on one leg. Additionally there were specific improvements for individuals regarding other symptoms, including spasms, numbness, bladder control and walking. While Multiple Sclerosis is viewed by the conventional medical profession as progressively degenerative, it is heartening to see such positive steps to enhance the quality of life of MS sufferers.

And as for the Heart Disease cover story of this issue, Jeffrey Bland eloquently describes that it has taken 50 years for the medical establishment to vindicate the discovery during the 1950s and 60s about the benefits of vitamin E for cardiovascular protection and treatment.

Do you have to wait until you are in the grave before the research of today is finally read by the next generations of doctors?


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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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