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Letters to the Editor Issue 108

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 108 - February 2005

Benefits of Coffee Enemas

We thoroughly enjoyed January's edition with the article from Dr Murray's newsletter – such good sense on the issue of antioxidants. If only doctors would read and understand this information.

We also thought the review on Detoxification by Mandy Eugeniou was a 'breath of fresh air'. One area she rather skated over was the humble enema, saying "just 12 inches of the colon is being cleansed with two litres of water".

Drs Gerson, Gonzales and Contreras each use coffee enemas as part of their programmes for managing clients with cancer. It is a technique that is easy to do at home, and strongly detoxifying, having an effect on both the liver and the bowel. As we realize that illness is nearly always a result of many factors adding together, so we can see that the more of a cleansing and revitalising programme we do, the more health we are likely to regain.

Coffee enemas are explained on The Gerson Therapy details are on, the Contreras programme is on and the exciting research of Dr Nicholas Gonzalez with cancer of the pancreas is on

"Upside down" coffee is not as daft as it sounds, and those using the enemas usually become very enthusiastic often telling their neighbours and friends of the benefits. Jennie Trisnan's testimonial on page 20 of January's Positive Health explains how she used coffee enemas as a part of her success story.

Congratulations for an inspiring start to the year and look forward to more.
Best wishes,

Neil & Rachel Evans, James & Sue Millwood Tel/Fax: 01202 814755;


Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, 73, Internationally Renowned Physician and Advocator of the Natural Healing Power of Water. 1931-2004.

Fereydoon Batmanghelidj MD, an internationally renowned researcher, author and advocator of natural medicine died on November 15 at Fairfax Hospital, Virginia. He was 73. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

Born in Iran, Dr Batmanghelidj attended Fettes College in Scotland, and was a graduate of St Mary's Hospital Medical School of London University, where he had studied under Sir Alexander Fleming.

He practised medicine in The United Kingdom before returning to Iran, where he was instrumental in the development of hospitals and medical centres. He also established a number of sport projects for the advancement of youth in the country, including the construction and management of the first ice skating and sports complex in the Middle East.

After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 Dr Batmanghelidj was placed in the infamous Evin Prison as a political prisoner for two years and seven months. With limited access to conventional medication, he discovered the healing powers of water while treating more than 3,000 fellow prisoners who suffered from peptic ulcer. He considered this environment as an "ideal stress laboratory" and began extensive research into the medicinal effects of water. Dr Batmanghelidj discovered that a careful regimen of water drinking could prevent, relieve and even cure many painful degenerative diseases that are today treated with drugs.

After his release from prison in 1982, and a harrowing escape over the mountains into Turkey, Dr Batmanghelidj came to America. At the University of Pennsylvania, he immediately continued his research into the role of water metabolism in the human body, and the damaging effects of dehydration on human health. He published and lectured extensively, and presented scientific papers at US and International conferences. He spent the last 20 years researching the natural healing power of water and contribution of unintentional dehydration as a cause of many degenerative diseases.

He created the Foundation for the Simple in Medicine, and Global Health Solutions Publishing to promote public awareness of the health values of water. His message to the world is "You are not sick, you are thirsty; don't treat thirst with medication." His ground breaking book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water, has been translated into fifteen languages and has sold over a million copies. He has numerous other books, educational material and scholarly publications to his credit. His work has created an international community that embraced him simply as Dr B.

Survivors include his wife, Xiaopo Huang Batmanghelidj of Virginia, Son Ardeshir Batmanghelidj of Massachusetts, Daughter Camila Batmanghelidj of London, England, Son Babak Batmanghelidj of Virginia, four grandchildren, and the Mother of his children Lucile Batmanghelidj of London, UK.


The Dilemma of Private Practice

A fair number of us who belong to professional hypnotherapy organisations have to of necessity hold down other forms of regular employment. I certainly fall into that category. If I relied just solely on the income that the occupation of hypnotherapy as it is currently constituted offers, I would not be able to afford to service my various commitments. The only viable option currently open to myself would be to work one full weekday a week devoted to practising my therapy. Obviously I could practise my therapy at weekends, so in effect I would be working 7 days a week.

But I choose not to follow this course, as I need my weekends for relaxation and attending to other no less important activities of daily living. I even looked at working a couple of evenings a week, but after careful consideration have decided against going down that road. The reasons for deciding not to work in the evenings were based on:

a. The fact that I sometimes arrive back late from my day job as a social worker, and hence am mentally exhausted;

b. The nature of private practice is fraught with uncertainty as far as client attendance is concerned. But not only that, often clients are unwilling to come at the times offered them, often due to their busy life schedules. Though some practitioners in the field would argue that in that case the clients would need to prioritize their other commitments so as to make attending therapy a priority.

The other issue of concern raised by not just myself but other therapists who I have spoken to working within our field, is not having enough financial resources to practise full time. Without sufficient financial reserves available to the recently or long term qualified practitioner in this field, it would be difficult for him or her to meaningfully develop their skills without constantly being concerned about the business side of their practice. Hence the self-employment route as an option for quite a number of practitioners is not a viable option, due precisely to lack of time and the financial resources for the self-employed route to be viable. This is not forgetting the fact that it takes a considerable period of time to privately build up enough clients to cover your basic outgoings and sustain the practice in the long term.

With respect to similar occupations in the therapeutic field, counselling is now available as an accessible service through local NHS primary care trusts. In fact, where I work as a member of a community mental health team, regular referrals are made to the counsellors who are employed full time by the local Trust I work for. The counsellors currently see their clients at the GP Surgeries, which is an arrangement that should be of interest to our occupational field.

So, in my view, should the discrete discipline of Clinical Hypnotherapy be available within the proposed framework suggested here. This is to enable a far wider group of clients to have the opportunity to access the service that until now has been mainly available to financially better off middle class clients who can afford to pay the fees.

Therefore a clearly defined career pathway with appropriate salaries offered to professionals in this field is the next step to take. The proposed career structure would need to take account of individual practitioners' experience, diverse background and qualifications. The profession would need to look at nationally agreed policies with respect to designing appropriate career progression pathways. This would enable hypnotherapists to progress in a meaningful way up the ranks from basic grade therapists to senior level based on merit. Certainly the time is fast approaching when a unified professional body will need to be set up charged with the task of raising and maintaining standards of knowledge and ethical conduct. Once that unified professional body has been established for our occupational category then we will truly have come of age.

Then those of us who want to develop our skills to the fullest will have the opportunity, time, and incentive to do so.

Alexander Tennant, General Hypnotherapy Register
Registered Member

Editor's Note

Various professional occupations are already well advanced in the process of establishing regulatory bodies, as discussed in Carole Preen's column in the previous issue No 107 page 44.

Vitamin E Study Misleads Consumers

The following release was made by the Alliance for Natural Health in the wake of a raft of negative publicity on Vitamin E following the meta-analysis released by John Hopkins Medical Institutions on 10 November 2004.

Cautious Interpretation Is Essential

The meta-analysis to be published in January in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Volume 142, Issue 1) suggests that mortality in people taking over 400 IU of Vitamin E a day is increased. The study re-analyses data from 19 clinical trials involving Vitamin E published between 1993 and 2004 and was undertaken by researchers at John Hopkins Medical Institutions.

In the view of the Alliance for Natural Health, which represents doctors, practitioners, consumers and leading-edge companies with interests in sustainable healthcare and natural therapies, it is of paramount importance that the study results are interpreted with caution.

Scaremongering headlines, based largely on misinterpretations of the study, which have begun to appear today, do nothing to help the development of responsible self-care patterns in consumers which are urgently required in the face of escalating heart disease and cancer rates.

Limitations of the Study

In a widely circulated press release publicising the study, Dr Edgar Miller, lead author of the meta-analysis at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, claims that "If people are taking a multivitamin, they should make sure it contains no more than a low dose of vitamin E… our study shows that use of high-dose vitamin E supplements certainly did not prolong life, but was associated with a higher risk of death."

However, the study has a number of very important limitations which mean that sweeping generalizations such as those made by Dr Miller should not be made. Such statements could be regarded as irresponsible, particularly as they are likely to cloud consumer views over the importance of food supplementation as a means of compensating for the now well demonstrated inadequacies of the typical, western diet.

Some of the Most Important Limitations of the Study are:

• All trials in the study were performed using only one of the seven forms of Vitamin E, namely á-tocopherol, which is often used in its synthetic form. There is now strong scientific evidence which demonstrates that other forms of Vitamin E, as found in natural food sources, are much more effective as antioxidants, these being for example á-tocopherol and the four tocotrienol forms. While á-tocopherol has long been the yardstick by which vitamin E activity is measured, á-tocopherol, the most abundant form found in foods, has in recent years been demonstrated to have unique roles in the prevention of both cardiovascular disease and cancer (Stone WL and Papas AM, J Nat Cancer Inst. 89 (14): 1006-14 1997).

• The studies were undertaken in the main on elderly persons suffering chronic diseases, so it is not possible to conclude that higher supplemental doses of Vitamin E promote disease or increase death among healthy people. This limitation is acknowledged in the John Hopkins study, the authors indicating, "we could not evaluate the generalizability of our findings to healthy adult populations."

• Although the study includes 19 trials and is referred to as a meta-analysis, there is huge variation between the scale of the various trials and in the case of the 11 high dose trials, the bulk of the data come from just two large studies, namely the Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study [CHAOS] and the Medical Research Council/British Heart Foundation Heart Protection Study [MRC/BHF HPS]. This latter study shows nearly double the number of deaths compared with all the other high dosage studies combined, and four times as many as in the other high dose studies with increased mortality. The study used a combination of synthetic beta-carotene and synthetic Vitamin E;

• The follow-up periods for the 19 studies were often short, averaging from 1.4 to 8.2 years. In many cases the chronic diseases suffered by study participants would not be able to be significantly impacted over shorter time periods.

A number of additional limitations have been cited by the authors of the study.

Misinterpretations of the Study

The principles of study selection and analysis used by the John Hopkins team are on the whole reasonable and can be justified scientifically, albeit with an acceptance of the study's limitations.

The biggest issues affecting consumer choice and governmental regulation are related to study interpretation, both by the authors and others subsequently.

Dr Robert Verkerk, Executive Director of the Alliance for Natural Health, commented, "The John Hopkins study provides another interpretation of information that has been known for some time. However, it tells us nothing about the supplemental use of natural forms of Vitamin E and how people can use Vitamin E and other ingredients in food supplements to reduce their risk from chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer."

The authors of the study make no mention of the good body of evidence that shows that synthetic forms of Vitamin E, or purified natural forms that are limited to á-tocopherol, have the ability to reduce the body's absorption of other forms of Vitamin E (e.g. Handelman GJ et al, J Nutr. 115: 807-13,1985; Burton GH et al, Am J Clin Nutr. 67: 669-84, 1998; Huang HY, Appel LJ. J Nutr. 133: 3137-40, 2003) which are much more powerful antioxidants.

This, coupled with the possible pro-oxidant behaviour of á-tocopherol at high doses, considered by the John Hopkins authors as a possible mechanism explaining the apparent increased incidence of death shown in the meta-analysis, might at least partially explain the observed results.

In addition, there is recent evidence that many of the beneficial properties of Vitamin E may be related to non-antioxidant mechanisms involving specific molecular reactions with enzymes and proteins (see Munteanu A, et al. J Cell Mol Med. 8(1): 59-76. 2004), so antioxidant-focused intervention trials may be limited in their ability to assess the full range of benefits of Vitamin E-containing supplements.

Dr Verkerk added, "The clinical trials used in the meta-analysis all use a classic, orthodox medicine intervention approach, where vitamins are used much in the same way as drugs, and are often delivered on their own in their synthetic form or in very limited combinations. There are as yet no studies which attempt to explore benefits of balanced combinations of nutrients, comparable to those that may be found in a theoretical, ultra-healthy diet. Most committed users of food supplements are aware that food-form supplements are desirable over synthetic forms, and that complex combinations of nutrients are required rather than single vitamins. The continuing development of nutritional therapy as a complementary healthcare approach would suggest that many thousands of people have experienced benefits from such 'high dose' nutrient therapies, often used in combination with healthy diets, exercise and other lifestyle changes."

Negative Implications of the Study

Negative publicity about Vitamin E, spawned by misinterpretations of the science behind the John Hopkins study, could scare people unnecessarily and stop them using important food supplements. Food supplements are invaluable as a means of guaranteeing levels of key nutrients, such as natural Vitamin E, known to be depleted or deficient in today's typical diets. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), although largely discredited by the scientific community and bearing no relationship to the levels required for optimum health, are still used by many governments as the yardstick by which to determine acceptable intakes of vitamins and minerals.

It is a very rich irony that the European Commission has seen fit to allow only the á-tocopherol form of Vitamin E in its new Food Supplement Directive, set to come in to force across Europe in August 2005 unless challenged successfully. The Directive bans the natural, food-forms of Vitamin E and some 300 forms of vitamin and mineral presently on the European market. In many cases these food forms have been shown to be considerably more beneficial to health. The Alliance for Natural Health is presently challenging the Directive in the European Court of Justice. The case is expected to be heard in early 2005.

Last week in Bonn, Germany, United Nations' Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses finalized the text of an international guideline for vitamins and minerals. The next stage will be the development of guidelines for maximum dosages, which will use a so-called evidence-based risk assessment approach. In September, the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization released a consultation document for which comments must have been received by 10 December. The timing of the release of the John Hopkins meta-analysis seems set to give the regulators justification to be excessively restrictive, particularly if the media can be relied on to exaggerate and distort the findings of the study.

The Alliance for Natural Health, and associated campaigns around the world, are working to protect the interests of millions of consumers worldwide who have adopted natural therapies as their primary healthcare approach, as opposed to use of drugs.

Further information

Please join the Alliance for Natural Health free of charge, or make a donation now, to support our work. For information, please visit our website (
Robert Verkerk PhD, Executive Director, Alliance for Natural Health  Tel: +44 (0)1252 371 275


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