Add as bookmark

Letters to the Editor Issue 211

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 211 - January 2014

Independent Midwives Lose their Right to Practise

  • EU directive demands health care professionals have insurance;
  • Insurance solution found for midwives but minimal support from government to launch it;
  • Shortages of midwives is due to lack of jobs and burnout, not lack of trained staff;
  • Insured self-employed midwives can offer care to NHS clients as well as private clients;
  • Self-employed midwives urge government for support of the insurance solution in the interests of public health.

Independent Midwives UK have secured an insurance solution with a London broker and Captive Insurance company which will enable self-employed midwives to continue providing the full pathway of maternity care to all women, both in the NHS and private sector.  However, the insurance product needs an investment in the form of a guarantee from the government to launch.  To date, despite David Cameron stating “it would be utterly foolish to lose independent midwives”, the Department of Health has offered no indication that they will support the insurance solution.

What is an Independent Midwife?

  • Fully qualified midwife, registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council;
  • Self-employed.  We usually work alone in pairs or practices.  The client chooses her midwife and funds the care;
  • Many independent midwives offer pro bono or reduced rates and payment plans to accommodate those who cannot pay;
  • Works within NMC midwives Rules & Standards and NMC code of professional conduct which includes post registration evidence based practice, yearly supervision, clinical skills updates;
  • Provide woman focussed, evidence based practice and refer to RCM, RCOG, and NICE guidelines;
  • Care focussed on women’s individual needs and preferences;
  • Attend birth at home or hospital. Independent midwives will go into hospital as an advocate or some may have an honorary contract and practice within the hospital;
  • All women booked with an independent midwife have access to scans, blood tests, emergency services, obstetricians;
  • Provide an alternative choice of care to the NHS;
  • Provides a safe alternative when the NHS has not had their needs met within the NHS system;
  • Offer one to one care, throughout pregnancy, labour, birth & the postnatal period for minimum 28 days;
  • We believe that women should have continuity of care from a midwife chosen by her, to  support her through pregnancy, birth and the early weeks of motherhood.

“It is imperative that the Department of Health acknowledges the impact losing these midwives will have on maternity services.  Mothers and babies are at risk in a system which is over stretched and under resourced.  There are currently just under 5000 midwives registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council who are not practising due to burnout and lack of vacancies.  Insurance will enable thousands of midwives to offer high standard maternity care, whilst working in a healthy environment.  Our maternity system is in crisis so this is a public health issue, which is why we are trying to work with the Department of Health.

"Self-employed midwives support the NHS, and together we can improve services for all women.” says Jacqui Tomkins, Chair of IMUK.

It is a misconception that the national shortage of midwives is due to lack of qualified midwives. It is due to midwife burn-out and lack of vacancies.  Dan Poulter, Health Minister, has said that 5000 student midwives are in training.  However, the RCM claims  that 33% of these will not secure employment and of those that do only 50% will be able to work full time due to reduced budgets to employ midwives.  This costs the government over £10 million in training midwives who will never work.

“The UK is running with a deficit of 5000 midwives, and yet 5000 are qualified but not working.  We have to get these midwives working, and the solution is to allow them to work self-employed. This would equate to a potential 5000 more midwives working in the UK right now, without the need for costly & lengthy training.” explains Erika Thompson, Independent Midwife.

Independent Midwives UK are waiting for the support of the Department of Health to launch the insurance, before an EU directive comes into effect in February, which will out-law any health professional without insurance.  A small investment in the insurance product will save the NHS money immediately as well as long term.  If the EU law is passed and independent midwives have no insurance, these highly trained midwives will no longer be able to deliver babies and their clients will have to be accommodated in the NHS system, costing an estimated £13 million a year.

“In my first  NHS birth the midwives were rushed and appeared impatient and harassed" said Esther Keen, wife of NHS Finance director Tim Keen. "The experience left me traumatized. Working with an independent midwife enabled me to labour naturally and relax.  They never had a clock to watch or a buzzer to answer.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to birth like this second time round.  This has given me the opportunity to heal trauma from my first experience.  It would be a shame if other women weren’t allowed that same option.”

Independent Midwives UK urges the government to work swiftly to launch insurance for midwives, to enable midwives to return to work, care for women choosing to opt out of the NHS as well as commission their services into the NHS.  This government has the opportunity to support 5000 more midwives returning to work and therefore improving maternity services for every woman.

Further Information

Contact Erika Thompson press@imuk.org.uk or Tel: 07828 719278;  www.facebook.com/chooseyourmidwife    twitter @IMUK23013


Natural Medicine is a Human Rights Issue

by Lynne McTaggart

During these past tumultuous weeks, where angry messages have been flying back and forth between two very polarized camps about alternative medicine and WDDTY, one contributor wrote that it was like watching two soccer teams whacking the ball back and forth.

The problem with that analogy is that, in this instance, team A isn’t interested in a fair game.  Team A wants to outlaw team B, and will stop at nothing - installing a biased umpire, beating up the opposition, calling foul on perfectly good passes - in pursuit of that objective. Make no mistake. This is not a fair debate, a reasonable discussion of the issues. This is a blatant attempt to deny you one of your basic human rights: the right to effective health care.

Background to the WDDTY Media Firestorm

We woke in October up to find ourselves and our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You the subject of a national scandal. On Tuesday October 1, the Times ran with an article about how there was a ‘call to ban’ our journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You over ‘health scares’. The Times article alleged that a group of “experts”, including “scientists, doctors and patients” were “condemning” shops for carrying our magazine.

The article also said that we’d claimed that vitamin C “cures” HIV, that homeopathy could treat cancer, that we’d implied the cervical cancer vaccines has killed “hundreds” of girls and that we’d told parents in our October 2013 issues not to immunize their children with the MMR.

The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 quickly followed suit with a television debate, flashing up a picture of me; Five Live followed up with a television debate about our magazine. By Thursday, when the Press Gazette were onto it, the headlines had escalated to: “Warning that claims in alternative health mag could prove fatal”.

In all of the furore, not one of the newspapers, radio shows or television stations bothered to contact us, even to solicit a comment -  which is Journalism 101 when you intend to run a story on someone, pro or con. Besides being a demonstration of how shoddy journalism has become, what interests me about this episode is that it offers evidence of the enormous shift that has occurred in the press’s notion of its role in society. The Times seems to be suggesting that their role is to “protect” the public by censoring information that departs from standard medical line.

Determining what is fit for public consumption, or indeed how its readers should treat their illnesses, is emphatically not a newspaper’s job - ours or anyone else’s. Our job as journalists is simply to inform - to report the facts, even when they are inconvenient truths, as they are so often in medicine, particularly with such things as vaccines or alternative cancer therapy…When not manipulated, the bald statistics reveal that chemo only works 2 per cent of the time. The War on Cancer from the orthodox perspective is decisively being lost.

Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of people are being treated by other methods of cancer treatment. Millions of others who have cancer or whose loved ones have cancer want to know ways to treat cancer that are less dangerous and more effective. That qualifies as news, and it’s our duty as the press to report that. It’s my job to deliver well researched information, and that’s supposed to be the Times’ job too.

Despite all the disingenuous attempts by ‘new’ visitors to these pages to cast doubt about the quality of our research, there is no argument about the fact that modern medicine remains the third deadliest killer in the West. No one in Establishment medicine disputes this. Cochrane Collaboration co-founder and esteemed medical researcher Peter Goetzsche refers to the statistics in Deadly Medicine and Organized Crime; it was first cited more than a decade ago by the Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA]. At that time, said JAMA, medicine was ranked the fourth leading cause of death - since that time it’s moved up in the league tables of things most likely to kill you. That statistic was first put forward by doctors and is now accepted as fact by doctors.

So we have a system of medicine that, by its own admission, kills more people than anything other than heart disease and cancer every year, and yet is carrying out a systematized attack on anything else that might actually work and work safely. What this means is that modern medicine, infiltrated and now run by the pharmaceutical industry, is attempting to deny you access to safe and effective health care. That, to my mind, is a violation of your basic human rights.  In fact it is essentially a form of persecution – no less than it was to deny a black in the pre-1960 American South a seat on the bus.

Several months ago, I met Patricia Ellsberg, the wife of Daniel Ellsberg. Back when I was a student, deciding whether or not to be a journalist, Ellsberg, an employee of the CIA, came across hundreds of pages of documents revealing America’s shameful role in the Vietnam war.

Ellsberg felt this was news and it was his duty to leak these papers to the New York Times. The Times felt it was their duty to publish these revelations, these inconvenient truths. Then President Nixon attempted to censor these leaks by attempting a legal embargo on The Times - a blatant attempt at government censorship. The Ellsbergs (faced with life imprisonment - was anybody ever so brave?) turned on a photocopy machine, made multiple copies and leaked the documents to the Washington Post.

And when Nixon went after the Post, the Ellsbergs smuggled the papers to 17 other newspapers. Not one paper blinked. Not one paper decided this information wasn’t fit to print - or that the public needed to be “protected” from a lying presidency. But these days, the press - far less “free”, now largely owned by huge corporations, including in the pharmaceutical industry - has now become the party with powerful vested interests to protect. Today the press is the Richard Nixon of the piece.

As Deep Throat once told Woodward and Bernstein, when they were investigating Watergate: If you want to find out the truth, just follow the money.

What are we to do about this in a positive way? We can take the lead from Iceland, where a group of 500 concerned citizens launched Heilsufrelsi (Health Freedom), a new health freedom association, to ensure that natural medicine is safeguarded and Icelanders have access to natural ways of maintaining their health.

The new organization (www.heilsufrelsi.is ), which was embraced by numerous doctors as well as patients, has pledged to start a dialogue with the island’s medical establishment in order to ensure a ‘mature’ and ‘rational’ exchange and the shift toward, as speaker Dr Gunnar Rafn put it, “empathic, patient-centred, integrative medicine”.

Instead of acting like a oppressed minority or continuing to play a game with loaded dice, it is now time for all of us interested in natural health care to unabashedly stand up for natural health freedom, organize together and insist on that mature dialogue.

Further Information

If you’d like to support WDDTY and a free press, and you haven’t yet voiced your support of the stores for stocking the title, let the following Customer Service departments know:

WH Smith: Customer.Relations@WHSmith.co.uk

Sainsbury’s: customerservice@sainsburys.co.uk

Tesco: customer.service@tesco.co.uk

Show your support by buying a copy. It’s available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, WH Smiths, and over 8000 independent retail outlets. And you can subscribe through www.wddtysubscribe.com


Devon Midwife’s Name Cleared; 6 Year Ordeal at Hands Of ‘Flawed’ NMC Panel Ends 

The 6-year ordeal of Independent Midwife Julia Duthie of Ivybridge, unfairly ‘scapegoated’ over the death of a baby during a home birth in 2007, has finally come to end.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Conduct & Competence Committee found Ms Duthie “fit to practise without restriction” following a second hearing of the NMC’s fitness to practice panel, who in 2011 struck her off the NMC register after it was alleged she dismissed a mother's concerns regarding her breech birth and dissuaded her from going into hospital for the birth.

In October 2012 at a High Court appeal against the decision, Ms Duthie’s barrister, Barbara Hewson, argued that the panel's findings against the midwife "beggared belief". The mother was "the autonomous decision-maker" who had taken the home birth decision and there were "pages and pages" of medical records to show that, she added.

The High Court judge said the NMC panel’s findings made against 55-year-old Ms Duthie were "flawed" and reinstated her to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register. The judge also directed that a “fresh” Fitness to Practice Panel should consider whether four other findings constituted misconduct. This was done at the second hearing which took place on 14 November.

Emeritus Professor of Midwifery Paul Lewis who was present at the second hearing and who has supervised Ms Duthie’s return to work, told the panel that she is a capable and experienced midwife and that he was impressed by Ms Duthie’s motivation, commitment and support of women in her care.   

Many of Ms Duthie’s former clients have rallied to her support since the NMC’s decision in 2011. Melissa Sandford, 42, who has twice been supported as a client by Ms Duthie said her experiences “second-to-none” and that she’d found Ms Duthie to be completely honest and trustworthy. She said the case “just sniffs of a witch hunt”.

Julia Duthie said “I am relieved that my name has been cleared, but the length and nature of this deeply flawed process have taken a huge toll on both myself and my loved ones. I would like to thank my family, clients and midwifery colleagues for their ongoing support over the tremendously difficult past 6 years.”

About Julia Duthie

Julia is a highly-skilled independent midwife who has been supporting women in the South West since 1990. She completed her midwifery training in 1980 and then worked in small midwife led units and also as a community midwife in rural areas. She left the NHS when policies came into play which meant that she could no longer provide continuity of care to the women she was looking after. Julia has four children of her own and lives in Devon.    

About Independent Midwives

Independent midwives (IMs) are highly-skilled autonomous midwives who have chosen to practise as self-employed, outside of the NHS. They are registered and regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and provide continuity of care during pregnancy, birth and beyond. IMs often assist women who have had poor experiences of care in previous births and are an incredibly valuable repository of skills that are fast-disappearing in mainstream maternity care, such as vaginal delivery of breech babies and twins. Thousands of women turn to them every year seeking to prioritize tailored, midwifery-led care and for the continuous support they can provide which is frequently unavailable within the NHS system.  

Further Information

Source "Virginia Howes" virginia@kentmidwiferypractice.co.uk

www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/online_archive/?name=julia+duthie&sa=Search#results

 

Related Press

2011

www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Ivynridge-midwife-struck-baby-dies-complex-home-birth/story-12694508-detail/story.html

2012

www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Midwife-reinstated-judge-reverses-panel-ruling/story-17208596-detail/story.html#axzz2kif9YZ1F

www.thisisdevon.co.uk/used-scapegoat-claims-struck-midwife/story-16000116-detail/story.html#axzz2khz6BQHw

2013

www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Midwife-faces-new-hearing-Exeter-baby-s-death/story-20072039-detail/story.html


NBC's Vitamin Ignorance - An Apology

by Andrew W Saul PhD

I would like to apologize for NBC News. It seems that the organization that brought us Lowell Thomas, John Cameron Swayze, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley has lowered its standard of reporting. NBC's supplement-bashing headline article, "Vitamins don't prevent heart disease or cancer, experts find" displays an ignorance of clinical nutrition that is difficult to ignore, and, thanks to its media prominence, can't be. www.nbcnews.com/health/vitamins-dont-prevent-heart-disease-or-cancer-experts-find-2D11577445

Of vitamin supplementation, NBC specifically said that a "very extensive look at the studies that have been done show it may be a waste of time when it comes to preventing the diseases most likely to kill you."

The "very extensive look" encompassed 24 preselected studies. It looks like they just possibly may have missed a few, such as these:

Multivitamin supplements lower your risk of cancer by 8%. An 8% reduction in deaths means the lives of 48,000 people in the US alone could be saved each year, just by taking an inexpensive daily vitamin pill. (Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J, Schvartz M, Manson JE, Glynn RJ, Buring JE (2012) Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: the Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial JAMA. 2012;():1-10. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14641.)

72% of physicians personally use dietary supplements. The multivitamin is the most popular dietary supplement taken by doctors. (Dickinson A, Boyon N, Shao A. Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey. Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:29 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-29)

High serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine and folate are associated with a 50% reduction in lung cancer risk. Those with higher levels of these nutrients had a significantly lower risk of lung cancer whether they smoked or not. (Johansson M, Relton C, Ueland PM, et al. Serum B vitamin levels and risk of lung cancer. JAMA. 2010 Jun 16;303(23):2377-85.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20551408

Vitamin D reduces cancer risk. Studies on breast and colorectal cancer found that an increase of serum 25(OH)D concentration of 10 ng/ml was associated with a 15% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11% reduction in breast cancer incidence. (Gandini S, Boniol M, Haukka J, Byrnes G, Cox B, Sneyd MJ, Mullie P, Autier P. Meta-analysis of observational studies of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and colorectal, breast and prostate cancer and colorectal adenoma. Int J Cancer. 2011;128(6):1414-24.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473927

Vitamin D increases breast cancer survival. Women diagnosed with breast cancer had increased survival for those with higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations. In those with lower vitamin D concentrations, mortality increased by 8%. (Vrieling A, Hein R, Abbas S, Schneeweiss A, Flesch-Janys D, Chang-Claude J. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and postmenopausal breast cancer survival: a prospective patient cohort study. Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(4):R74) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21791049

Risk of heart failure decreases with increasing blood levels of vitamin C. Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C was associated with a 9% reduction in death from heart failure. If everyone took high enough doses of vitamin C to reach 80 µmol/L, it would mean 216,000 fewer deaths per year. To achieve that a plasma level requires a daily dosage of about 500 mg of vitamin C. (Pfister R, Sharp SJ, Luben R, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT. Plasma vitamin C predicts incident heart failure in men and women in European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk prospective study. Am Heart J, 2011. 162:246-253.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21835284

Vitamin C prevents and reverses radiation damage. (Yanagisawa A. Effect of Vitamin C and anti-oxidative nutrition on radiation-induced gene expression in Fukushima nuclear plant workers. Free download of full presentation at www.doctoryourself.com/Radiation_VitC.pptx.pdf See also: Korkina L, et al. Antioxidant therapy in children affected by irradiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Biochem Soc Trans,1993. 21:314S. PMID: 8224459 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=8224459 The Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy has produced a video for people wishing to learn more about large doses of vitamin C.

Part 1 : www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm_MH3nSdM
Part 2 : www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4cyzts3lMo
Part 3 : www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYiRo2Oucfo
Part 4 : www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Ie8FuuYJw

All four parts of the video are also available at http://firstlaw.wordpress.com/ .

Vitamin C arrests and reverses cancer. Oncologist Victor Marcial, MD says: "We studied patients with advanced cancer (stage 4). 40 patients received 40,000-75,000 mg intravenously several times a week. In addition, they received a diet and other supplements. The initial tumour response rate was achieved in 75% of patients, defined as a 50% reduction or more in tumour size." (Presentation at the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, April 12, 2010.) You can download the intravenous vitamin C protocol that he used free of charge at www.doctoryourself.com/RiordanIVC.pdf or www.riordanclinic.org/research/vitaminc/protocol.shtml

Intravenous vitamin C cancer therapy for cancer is presented in detail on video, available for free access at www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2009 (twelve lectures) and www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2010 (nine lectures)

NBC News said, "Vitamin E does no good at all in preventing cancer or heart disease."

Here's more of what NBC failed to report:

Natural vitamin E factor yields a 75% decrease in prostate tumour formation. Gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, kills prostate cancer stem cells. (Sze Ue Luk1, Wei Ney Yap, Yung-Tuen Chiu et al. Gamma-tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem cell-like population. International Journal of Cancer, 2011. Vol 128, No 9, p 2182-2191.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.25546/abstract

Gamma-tocotrienol also is effective against existing prostate tumours. (Nesaretnam K, Teoh HK, Selvaduray KR, Bruno RS, Ho E. Modulation of cell growth and apoptosis response in human prostate cancer cells supplemented with tocotrienols. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2008, 110, 23-31.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.200700068/abstract See also: Conte C, Floridi A, Aisa C et al. Gamma-tocotrienol metabolism and antiproliferative effect in prostate cancer cells. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2004. 1031: 391-4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15753178?dopt=AbstractPlus

Vitamin E reduces mortality by 24% in persons 71 or older. (Hemila H, Kaprio J. Age Ageing, 2011. 40(2): 215-220. January 17.) http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/2/215.short

300 IU vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer by 61%. (Mahabir S, Schendel K, Dong YQ et al. Dietary alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols in lung cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):1173-80.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18546288

Vitamin E is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis. "Subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake of 100 IU per day or greater demonstrated less coronary artery lesion progression than did subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake less than 100 IU per day." (Hodis HN, Mack WJ, LaBree L et al. Serial coronary angiographic evidence that antioxidant vitamin intake reduces progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis. JAMA, 1995. 273:1849-1854.) http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/273/23/1849.short

400 to 800 IU of vitamin E daily reduces risk of heart attack by 77%. (Stephens NG et al. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin E in patients with coronary artery disease: Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS). Lancet, March 23, 1996; 347:781-786.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8622332

Increasing vitamin E with supplements prevents COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis]. (Agler AH et al. Randomized vitamin E supplementation and risk of chronic lung disease (CLD) in the Women's Health Study. American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 18, 2010.) Summary at www.thoracic.org/newsroom/press-releases/conference/articles/2010/vitamine-e.pdf

800 IU vitamin E per day is a successful treatment for fatty liver disease. (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20427778

Alzheimer's patients who take 2,000 IU of vitamin E per day live longer. (Pavlik VN, Doody RS, Rountree SD, Darby EJ. Vitamin E use is associated with improved survival in an Alzheimer's disease cohort. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;28(6):536-40.) Summary at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20016184 See also: Grundman M. Vitamin E and Alzheimer disease: the basis for additional clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):630S-636S. Free access to full text at www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/71/2/630s )

400 IU of Vitamin E per day reduces epileptic seizures in children by more than 60%. (Ogunmekan AO, Hwang PA. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate [vitamin E], as add-on therapy, for epilepsy in children. Epilepsia. 1989 Jan-Feb; 30(1):84-9.) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2643513

Vitamin E supplements help prevent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This important finding is the result of a 10-year-plus Harvard study of over a million persons. (Wang H, O'Reilly EJ, Weisskopf MG, et al. Vitamin E intake and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pooled analysis of data from 5 prospective cohort studies. Am. J. Epidemiol, 2011. 173 (6): 595-602. March 15) http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/173/6/595.short

Vitamin E is more effective than a prescription drug in treating chronic liver disease (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). Said the authors: "The good news is that this study showed that cheap and readily available vitamin E can help many of those with this condition." (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.) www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0907929

So I would hereby like to make amends for NBC's hatchet-job on vitamins. In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, which I am sure NBC wholeheartedly stands for at least in principle, now you know the rest of the story.

About the Author

Andrew W Saul, an orthomolecular medical lecturer for 38 years, is author or co-author of a dozen books and is featured in the movie Food Matters. He is a member of the Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy and the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.

Further Information

Andrew W Saul PhD - Editor and contact person. omns@orthomolecular.org

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource. Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: www.orthomolecular.org 

http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml  

Editorial Review Board

Ian Brighthope MD (Australia)

Ralph K. Campbell MD (USA)

Carolyn Dean MD ND (USA)

Damien Downing MD (United Kingdom)

Dean Elledge DDS MS (USA)

Michael Ellis MD (Australia)

Martin P. Gallagher MD DC (USA)

Michael Gonzalez DSc PhD (Puerto Rico)

William B. Grant PhD (USA)

Michael Janson MD (USA)

Robert E. Jenkins DC (USA)

Bo H. Jonsson MD PhD (Sweden)

Peter H Lauda MD (Austria)

Thomas Levy MD JD (USA)

Stuart Lindsey Pharm D (USA)

Jorge R. Miranda-Massari Pharm D (Puerto Rico)

Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada MD (Finland)

Erik Paterson MD (Canada)

W Todd Penberthy PhD (USA)

Gert E. Schuitemaker PhD (Netherlands)

Robert G. Smith PhD (USA)

Jagan Nathan Vamanan MD (India)

Ausuo Yanagisawa Md PhD (Japan)


Niacin Beats Statins: Supplements and Diet are Safer, More Effective

by Andrew W Saul PhD

Statins for everyone? If media are to be believed, and if the drug industry has its way, the answer is "you bet." The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids as young as eight years of age might take statin drugs. Specifically: "As a group, statins have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol in children and adolescents with marked LDL cholesterol elevation . . . when used from 8 weeks to 2 years for children aged 8 to 18 years." http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/Supplement_5/S213.full

Strangely enough, American Academy of Pediatrics projects receive cash from Merck & Co., Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis, as well as from Procter and Gamble, Nestlé and other large corporations. www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/corporate-relationships/Pages/Friends-of-Children-Fund-President%27s-Circle.aspx

Statin drugs can produce serious side effects in adults. Such risk is of even more concern for the still-developing bodies of children. Statin side effects may include liver damage; elevated CPK (creatine kinase) and/or muscle pain, aches, and muscle tenderness or weakness (myalgia); drowsiness; myositis (inflammation of the muscles); rare but potentially fatal kidney failure from rhabdomyolysis (severe inflammation of muscle and muscle breakdown); memory loss; mental confusion; personality changes or irritability; headaches; difficulty sleeping, anxiety; depression; chest pain; high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes; acid regurgitation; dry mouth; digestive problems including bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation; nausea and/or vomiting, or abdominal cramping and pain; rash; leg pain; insomnia; eye irritation; tremors; dizziness; and more.

What a list. Well, this is America, and you have the right to remain sick. Evidently you also have the right to be continually bombarded with exhortations to take statins, and to give them to your children as well. Statins for second-graders? Sure! Do you want fries with that? The news media, television commercials, medical schools, and especially the pharmaceutical industry all want you and your family to be good, uncritical, daily consumers of pharmaceutical medicine.

However, you also have the right to refuse drugs, and you have available nutrition-based alternatives. Here are researchers and physicians who say "no" to statins, and their reasons why:

W. Todd Penberthy, PhD (Research Professor, University of Central Florida):

"Niacin raises good cholesterol (HDL) more than any known pharmaceutical, while simultaneously lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides, and the most pathogenic form of cholesterol-associated lipoprotein (VLDL). Good medical doctors will prescribe niacin for reducing cardiovascular disease risk and provide a description of how to use it. Niacin is frequently the gold standard control used for basic research experiments using animal models of atherosclerosis. In clinical trials, when niacin has been compared to other marketed drugs it has led to most undesirable effects for business, but most therapeutically beneficial effects for the fortunate patients.

"Cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills more individuals than any other disease. Accordingly, there is tremendous drive in the pharmaceutical industry to make drugs. Merck and Schering Plough convinced doctors to spend 21 billion dollars over seven years selling Zetia (ezetimibe). Ultimately however, clinical trials revealed that Zetia actually increases cardiovascular events, making mean arterial walls thicker. Regular niacin works just as well as prescription extended release niacin, and it costs thirty times less. (Prescribed extended release niacin products cost approximately fifteen dollars a day to obtain 3,000 mg, while plain immediate-release niacin costs about fifty cents. Extended-release niacin causes less of a flush response initially, but with regular usage, regular niacin results in little to no flush at all, while all of the benefits are still maintained. The benefits of niacin for treating CVD are undeniable.

"It is rare that anyone addresses the most important question: "What works best?" It is such a simple question. Instead, too much research today proceeds primarily for profit. We have witnessed the transformation of medical motives from a "health-and-improvement motive" to a "much-increased income motive." The profit machine has ultimately consumed the spirit or focus of many a well-intentioned doctor.

(Above abridged with permission from the foreword to Hoffer A, Saul AW and Foster HD. Niacin: The Real Story. Basic Health Pub, 2011.)

Robert G. Smith, PhD (Research Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania):

"Although statins can lower cholesterol, they lower the risk for heart disease mainly through their anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects. However, statins have many side effects, some very serious, and for most people do not greatly reduce the risk of heart disease. Niacin is a much safer way to lower cholesterol. A much more effective treatment to prevent heart disease is vitamin C taken to bowel tolerance (3,000-10,000 mg/day in divided doses), vitamin E (400-1600 IU/day), niacin (800-2,000 mg/day in divided doses), magnesium (chelate, citrate, malate, chloride, 300-600 mg/day, divided doses), along with an excellent diet that includes generous servings of leafy green vegetables and only moderate amounts of meat."

Thomas E. Levy MD JD (Cardiologist):

"The lower your cholesterol goes, the greater your risk of cancer, as cholesterol is a protective agent against toxins. Efforts to lessen the chances of morbidity and mortality of one major disease (coronary artery disease) should not substantially increase the chances of morbidity and mortality from another disease (cancer)."

Abram Hoffer MD PhD (in Niacin: The Real Story):

"Niacin is effective in decreasing the death rate of patients with cancer by protecting cells and tissues from damage by toxic molecules or free radicals. In the body, niacin is converted to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), used by the body to catalyze the formation of ADP-ribose.

"When the long chains of DNA are damaged, poly (ADPribose) helps repair it by unwinding the damaged protein. Poly (ADPribose) also increases the activity of DNA ligase. This enzyme cuts off the damaged strands of DNA and increases the ability of the cell to repair itself after exposure to carcinogens."

Ralph Campbell MD (Montana, USA):

"You have likely heard about the conclusions from Cleveland Clinic gathering of heart specialists. Their objective was to zoom in on LDL levels as they relate (directly to heart disease. No mention of LDL/HDL ratio or of triglyceride levels. Again, niacin got very little recognition. Statins have some side effects that are serious, including rhabdomyolysis and kidney failure. The panel was made up of many with financial ties to industry, but "it is practically impossible to find a large group of outside experts who have no relationship to industry." This was followed (yes, actually) by stating the new guidelines are based on solid evidence and that the public should trust them."

Carolyn Dean MD ND (in The Magnesium Miracle):

"The mineral magnesium is the natural way that the body has evolved to control cholesterol when it reaches a certain level, whereas statin drugs are used to destroy the whole process. If sufficient magnesium is present in the body, cholesterol will be limited to its necessary functions - the production of hormones and the maintenance of membranes - and will not be produced in excess."

Jorge Miranda PharmD (Puerto Rico):

"Statin drugs are one of my favourite examples of a sickening drug. A fixation on cholesterol fails to address the importance of correcting the excessive oxidation of LDL, and fails to recognize the importance of correcting many other contributing risk factors such as homocysteine, LPa, and CRP. It is important to recognize that the reason we form cholesterol is because its needed to form membrane, the eye's lens, hormones and many other molecules including CoQ10. Decreasing cholesterol decreases CoQ10, which means less energy for a multitude of functions. The result can be neurologic disease and even cancer."

William B. Grant PhD SUNARC:

"Statin use reduces co-Q10 concentrations and leads to myopathy (muscle weakness), which can lead to heart failure. Those taking statins should be aware of this problem and consider taking co-Q10 supplements."

Damien Downing MBBS MSB (United Kingdom):

"Statins overall succeed in reducing the risk of coronary events by about 17% - but that is relative risk. Taking a statin each day actually lowers ones chance of an event by about 0.16% - that is the absolute risk. But these figures are not lives saved; recent meta-analysis found only a non-significant reduction in mortality of 7 per 10,000 patient-years, or 0.07%. The difference between statins' effects on relative risk and absolute risk is about two orders of magnitude. Just ask any man in the street whether a reduction of 0.16% in the risk of a coronary event is ‘significant’ to him, and whether it warrants him taking statins. Unpleasant muscular side-effects occur in up to 10% of statin-takers, which may rise to 25% if the person exercises; this is unhelpful to anybody seeking to improve their cardiovascular health. But because the primary threshold for acceptance under ‘evidence-based medicine’ is statistical significance, we are to accept that the benefit of statins has been proven. Data on worldwide sales of statins currently run at approximately US $30 billion per year."

Perhaps this helps explain the massive media blitz favouring statins. But drugs are not the answer, unless you are a drug company.

To Learn More

How niacin (Vitamin B3) lowers high cholesterol safely http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v01n10.shtml

Cholesterol-lowering drugs for eight-year-old kids? http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n08.shtml

American Academy of Pediatrics advertising rates for conferences: www.aapexperience.org/2012/downloads/AdRateCard.pdf For publications and the American Academy of Pediatrics website: www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/advertise-with-aap/Documents/2013-AAP_MediaKit.pdf

How the American Medical Association sells 100% of all physicians' names to advertisers: www.mmslists.com/news-articles/article.asp?ID=98

About the Author

Andrew W Saul PhD, an orthomolecular medical lecturer for 38 years, is author or co-author of a dozen books and is featured in the movie Food Matters. He is a member of the Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy and the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.

Further Information

Andrew W Saul PhD - Editor and contact person. omns@orthomolecular.org

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource. Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: www.orthomolecular.org 

http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml  

Editorial Review Board

Ian Brighthope MD (Australia)

Ralph K. Campbell MD (USA)

Carolyn Dean MD ND (USA)

Damien Downing MD (United Kingdom)

Dean Elledge DDS MS (USA)

Michael Ellis MD (Australia)

Martin P. Gallagher MD DC (USA)

Michael Gonzalez DSc PhD (Puerto Rico)

William B. Grant PhD (USA)

Michael Janson MD (USA)

Robert E. Jenkins DC (USA)

Bo H. Jonsson MD PhD (Sweden)

Peter H Lauda MD (Austria)

Thomas Levy MD JD (USA)

Stuart Lindsey Pharm D (USA)

Jorge R. Miranda-Massari Pharm D (Puerto Rico)

Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada MD (Finland)

Erik Paterson MD (Canada)

W Todd Penberthy PhD (USA)

Gert E. Schuitemaker PhD (Netherlands)

Robert G. Smith PhD (USA)

Jagan Nathan Vamanan MD (India)

Ausuo Yanagisawa Md PhD (Japan)

Comments:

  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Letters

N/A

  • nEW VISTAS HEALTHCARE

    Encourages health, strength, balance through homeopathy, nutrition, herbs, supplements, kinesiology.

    www.newvistashealthcare.com

  • mycology research MRL

    MRL markets mushroom products food grade US & Netherlands GMP standards. Health Professional Videos

    www.mycologyresearch.com

  • munro hall clinic

    Holistic Dental Care Amalgam, Mercury, Fluoride, Root Fillings, Cavitation Infections, Detox Methods

    www.munro-hallclinic.co.uk

  • MIGRAINE RELIEF

    Migra-Cap - a unique migraine cure also offering pain relief during pregnancy. A drug-free product.

    www.migracap.com

  • Flower essences online

    Fine quality flower essences international ranges to help promote vitality and emotional well-being.

    www.flowersense.co.uk

  • Anti-Ageing Adaptogen

    Immune Enhancing ingredients for balance – Royal Jelly, Ginseng Saw Palmetto. Contact 07831 641199

    www.irenesteinrj.com

  • Dr Amir Cranio-Dental

    For TMJ, ME/CFS Fibromyalgia and MS symptoms contact Dr M Amir at amir@dramir.com Tel:02087803433

    www.dramir.com

  • Liposomal Nutrients

    Optimum system for nutrient delivery to cells - fully bioavailable vitamins absorbed and metabolised

    abundanceandhealth.co.uk

top of the page