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Editorial Issue 53

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 53 - June 2000

As a child growing up in relatively affluent Canada during the 1950s and 60s, some of my most powerful formative influences were the frequent famines and horrors of conflict – the wars in Biafra, and the Congo, starving children in India and Pakistan. Layered on top were the ghastly polio epidemics which interceded into my childhood summers, with the spectre of iron lungs and paralysis brazen images onto my psyche. These events, together with the enormous scientific and medical advances which promised to put an end to hunger and disease, and my father's exhortations that with my brains I could significantly help mankind, hugely shaped my motivation to try to help people who were ill and starving.

Similar are the conflicts, epidemics and famines today; yet how different the apparent underlying objectives directing medical and scientific research, which spends untold trillions on the research and development of profitable drugs and equipment for 'glamorous' diseases of the affluent rich, and a pittance for other 'Cinderella' conditions of the disadvantaged, such as malaria and blindness from Vitamin A deficiency, or natural or unpatentable remedies which offer poor prospects for profits.

Prime examples cited in this issue of Positive Health include the instances of the essential oil monoterpenes D-limonene (DL) and perillyl alcohol (POH), which in human Phase I clinical trials have shown safety and efficacy in the treatment of advanced metastatic cancers of the colon and prostate, and in which Phase II studies are currently ongoing for breast and prostate cancers (see page 23). The author Mark Brudnak, Ph.D., ND, states "It is difficult to get companies interested in doing those [large randomized studies], despite the exciting data, because of the huge investment of time and money coupled with the difficulty of patenting the naturally occurring compounds" [derived from lemons, oranges, grapefruit, etc].

Another example of the medical establishment not 'walking their talk' is cited by WA Pryor (see Nutrition Research Updates, page 39–40) "About ½ of American cardiologists take supplemental vitamin E, about the same number that take aspirin". Compare the money involved in aspirin and vitamin E sales, and try to remember the last time you heard or read in the media about the benefits of taking vitamin E to prevent heart disease.

Or the huge prevalence of neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, affecting more than 100,000 people in the UK alone. How unfortunate for those sufferers (including my now aged father) the severe dearth of effective treatments and the limited research spend on natural approaches. Yet, as so eloquently reviewed in the Cover feature by June Butlin (see page 28), nutrient and environmental factors are both part of the causes and can be vital in the successful treatment of Parkinson's disease, as evidenced in a pilot study in which patients treated with the antioxidant vitamins C and E saw their advancing symptoms delayed for up to 2-3 years, and in clinical studies using nutritional approaches to liver detoxification. Medical students and scientists are taught the myth that they need to seek the truth and heal the sick. The huge reality check that the medical and scientific world doesn't work on those lines doesn't usually hit until much later on, when the doctor or researcher encounters a conflict between their clinical or research findings and their applications.

Reading Evelleen Richards' outstanding book Vitamin C and Cancer: Medicine or Politics? (Macmillan, 1991), in which the battle between Linus Pauling and the use of vitamin C to treat cancer was waged against Dr Charles Moertel of the Mayo Clinic was an amazing revelation, as was the equally dastardly tale of the suppression of natural treatments for AIDs recounted by Martin Walker in Dirty Medicine (Slingshot Publications, 1993).

As practitioners and carers, surely our motivation must be to help; we cannot be motivated by money or profit potentials. Please read Dr David Peters' heartfelt plea in the, alas, final column (see page 22) by the University of Westminster team "wouldn't it be ridiculous if the case for holism and humanity – highly desirable aspects of a health service – had to be made by randomized controlled trials and cost-effective studies in order for them to survive!"

As we bid farewell with great affection to the regular Integrated Medicine Column, I remain adamant that we should not lose faith or part with our most human and poignant childhood motivations. Children could not do a worse job of running things than have the grownups!


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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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