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Editorial Issue 122

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 122 - April 2006

Please read the inspiring story (see pages 42-43) of how David Longman's daughter Louise (now aged 21) was successfully treated and cured of a benign vascular tumour which had blighted her life since birth. The technique used was Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), which applies a photosensitising agent which is applied and absorbed into the tumour. When the agent (Foscan in this instance) is activated by the correct wavelength of light, this converts oxygen molecules into singlet oxygen, which destroys the targeted cells. There is no heat used or generated, so that any healthy cells which may have been destroyed can regrow, with little or no scar tissue.

This technique, also described in Photodynamic Therapy for Cancer (PH Issue 117 November '05), has been used with increasing success with a variety of cancers, including mouth, oesophageal, skin, head and neck, pancreatic, lung and prostate. It is also being applied in non-cancerous conditions including Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), atherosclerosis and rheumatoid and inflammatory arthritis.

Evidence that PDT can be a more effective and lower-cost option compared to surgery is growing; the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently published guidelines and recommendations for the use of PDT in the treatment of skin cancer. However, it is possible that your own GP or Consultant may not be aware of PDT. That is why, in order to provide the best information and clinical progress data about PDT for doctors, David Longman has formed a charity to promote information about the use and benefits of PDT. Donations, which will help to further PDT research can be made via

Biljani and colleagues from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi have published a praiseworthy research study which I haven't heard about in the media (see Research Updates page 41). The study involved 98 individuals suffering from hypertension, coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus, who attended an outpatient facility which conducted an 8-day lifestyle modification programme based upon yoga. The intervention consisted of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), relaxation techniques, meditation, stress management and nutrition. The results, after only 8 days, were significant: fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol ratio to high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and total triglycerides were significantly lower on the last day compared to the first day of the course. It is amazing what transformation can be achieved after such a short period. I very much doubt that many coronary heart disease or high blood pressure patients are offered such conservative, non-invasive treatment options from their physicians; more likely they are put on a waiting list for a coronary by-pass operation, the results of which are rarely permanent.

Meanwhile, threats to natural products including nutritional supplements and herbal medicines have become more ominous. According to the Alliance for Natural Health (

"Natural products used freely by consumers and practitioners for healthcare purposes have never been so greatly under threat. New EU laws on food supplements, herbal medicines, novel foods and pharmaceuticals, pose some of the most severe obstacles to large numbers of natural products that are based either on ingredients that have been part of our food supply, or have been used medicinally in different parts of the world, for thousands of years…

"Patterns on how the threats to natural healthcare actually manifest themselves are becoming increasingly apparent. Misrepresented scientific studies, pushed hard by biased media. provide imaginary black clouds over natural products that give the regulators sufficient powers to potentially legislate natural products out of existence. In Europe, regulators currently have the arbitrary power, to be used at their own discretion, to categorise any food or food supplement as a drug. This can hardly be right!"

In the event of a potential pandemic of virus strain H5N1 Avian Influenza, which if sufficiently virulent may have the capability to infect and possibly kill millions of people worldwide, our adoption of sensible self-help dietary and nutritional supplement measures may result in saving many lives, including our own. To ensure that our immune systems are operating optimally, we ought to stop smoking, ensure that we are eating sufficient fruits and vegetables, take exercise and get sunlight, eat oily fish and increase our intakes of virus-combating supplements including vitamin C and zinc. An Expert Column will explore this further in the next issue.

I truly understand how busy and focused our lives have become, and that not all of us have the tenacity and motivation to form a charity to push through progress in any given clinical area. However, if we are not vigilant regarding the state of the EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation, we will end up with the truly Big Brother Kafkaesque nightmare scenario in which any and all claims made about a food product will be controlled by this EU Directive. Long live freedom!


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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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