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Letters to the Editor Issue 95

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 95 - January 2004

In Memoriam, Dr John R Lee MD (1929-2003)

Dr John R Lee MD passed away unexpectedly on Friday October 17th, 2003, of a heart attack. Dr Lee was known by millions of people as the doctor who pioneered the use of transdermal progesterone cream and bio-identical hormones, and who had the courage to stand up against the medical establishment’s dangerous and misguided HRT (hormone replacement therapy) treatments. He kept a full schedule, giving talks and teaching worldwide (he had recently returned from a speaking tour in Europe), writing his best-selling books and monthly newsletters.

Dr Lee was a prominent speaker at Positive Health’s Natural Approaches to the Menopause Symposium, held in 1998 at Imperial College, London.

Dr Lee was gratified by the thousands of women who wrote and called to tell him how dramatically their health had improved when they followed his recommendations, and by the hundreds of clinicians and researchers he corresponded with who had integrated his work into their practices and research with great success. Dr Lee was thankful that his analysis of the problems with conventional HRT were finally validated by the medical establishment during his lifetime.

Dr Lee’s friends and colleagues will carry on his legacy, as will the millions of others whose lives he touched over the years. The most meaningful way to remember Dr John R Lee MD and carry on his work is to educate others, one-to-one, and give them the gift of optimal health, as he gave us.

His family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Progesterone Research Institute:

John Halford: 1935-2003

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of John Halford. Over the past decade he has contributed a number of authoritative features to Positive Health, including Myofascial Pain Trigger Points (Issue 16), Complementary Therapies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Issue 25), Scenar Therapy Case Study (Issue 65) and was the photographer for an article about Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Issue 71). He had been suffering with bowel cancer, and was hoping that these various natural therapies would stop the advance of the disease, but sadly this was not to be.

He had busy practices in Hampshire and Harley Street, and as well as being a Leduc therapist also had time to run a horse stud and a flock of rare sheep.  Committee members will remember well those meetings held at his house, where the barking of his working dogs often serenaded us together with a cacophony of squawks from his collection of South American parrots. He was so successful at breeding rare parrots, that he was able to rescue one particular species from near extinction, and was able to return a number to their native home on an island off East India.

John went to school at Rugby, and after national service with the Army, studied at Cambridge.  Following the death of his father, he took over running the family farm where he developed a love of horse racing and became a jockey.  He had many wins to his name on a horse called ‘Tammy’ – which probably accounted for his life-long love of horses.  His talents were many and varied.  He was a great singer and comedian, and for a time worked as a ‘warm-up’ act at the Windmill Theatre!

He gained qualifications in a number of alternative therapies; he trained with Professor Albert Leduc in 1998, and also studied as a Scenar Therapist in Russia.  John had been in Russia only this summer for further Scenar training, but became ill on his return.

Positive Health would like to send condolences on behalf of all its readers and contributors to his daughter Joanna and other family members.

Benefits of Nutritional Supplements

The director of Project: FANS, one of America’s largest grassroots pro-nutritional supplements groups, applauds a new study A Study on the Cost Effects of Multivitamins for Older Adults that reports on the positive effects of supplement use for seniors, and urges Congress to protect Americans’ access to all nutritional supplements. “This study should put to rest any debate about the importance and effectiveness that nutritional supplements have on the health of all Americans, especially our senior citizens,” stated Beth Clay, director of Project: FANS. “Instead of being influenced by media-hyped crises and the lobbying efforts of the anti-supplement crowd, the US Congress should base their legislative decisions on the science these studies have provided.”

The soon-to-be-released study, conducted by the Lewin Group, echoes the results of a 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study that focused on the benefits of nutritional supplement and vitamin use. Both studies encourage all adults to take multivitamins to minimize their risk of chronic disease, and state that use of supplements by seniors will save more than $1.6 billion dollars in healthcare and taxpayer dollars over the next five years. Specifically, the Lewin study states, “the five-year estimate of potential savings (or cost offsets) resulting from improved immune functioning and a reduction in the relative risk of coronary artery disease through providing older adults with a daily multivitamin is approximately $1.6 billion… The evidence strongly indicates that daily use of multivitamins by the elderly is nearly risk-free and is potentially associated with significant health improvements....”

“This is the final nail in the coffin for the Durbin-Clinton bill (S.722) that would at best restrict access to the very supplements that this study says will improve the health of all Americans, especially our seniors,” said Clay. “This study proves that S.722 is wrong for our health, wrong for our seniors and wrong for the American taxpayers’ wallets.

“Seventy percent of Americans regularly use supplements and they do not want their access to them restricted, as most of this proposed new legislation would do,” concluded Clay. Project: FANS opposes any new legislation that would overturn the existing regulatory framework. Bills like S.722 seek to replace the current law of the land-DSHEA, passed in 1994, and if passed, would have permanent detrimental effects on consumer rights and access to better health.

Via: Chris Gupta

Further Information

Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield: BMA and BDA Fluoridation Position Outrageous

I felt it was very much in your readers’ interest, and that of the general public, that I should place on record extracts of correspondence that I have had with Dr Tiplady, Chair, Public Health Committee, British Medical Association (BMA) on the subject of fluoridation.

The BMA, BDA (British Dental Association), British Fluoridation Society (BFS) and the Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FPHM) jointly wrote a briefing paper for MPs, saying in a couple of pages how wonderful fluoride was for teeth, and how safe it is. Taking great exception to the paper, I wrote to them protesting about its scant regard for decades of research on fluorides.

Dr Tiplady replied and enraged me even further. He said that the BMA remains committed, and that “there is no convincing evidence of any adverse risk to human health”, although he admitted there was dental fluorosis in a small number of children. I took him to task. “If the BDA is to remain convinced (quite wrongly) of the efficacy of silicofluorides in dental health, it is now certainly essential that you present evidence of their safety in general health. This you must do if your opinion is to have merit and you are to justify your assertions as to fluoride safety.”

One reference I cited in particular, was that of Dr Hardy Limeback, President, Canadian Association for Dental Research, who, a former strong protagonist for fluoridation had, in December 1999, concluded:

“Children under three should never use fluoridated toothpaste, or drink fluoridated water. And baby formula must never be made up using Toronto tap water. Never.”

“Residents of cities that fluoridate have double the fluoride in their hip bones vis-à-vis the balance of the population. Worse, we discovered that fluoride is actually altering the basic architecture of human bones.” When asked what the earliest symptoms of skeletal fluorosis are, he answered “Mottled and brittle teeth.”

“Here in Toronto we’ve been fluoridating for 36 years. Yet Vancouver – which has never fluoridated – has a cavity rate lower than Toronto’s.”

Dr Tiplady further said, “We do not accept that there is a “grave” and “frightful” risk of toxicity from fluoridation.” I replied, “But you are obliged to accept that fluorides are schedule 2 poisons; that they are more poisonous than lead and only marginally less poisonous than arsenic. The silicofluorides you propose actually contain these very toxic substances, arsenic and lead, and also radium, all carcinogenic.

There can be no scientific justification in affirming that in small amounts, that is, diluted, the poisonous effect can no longer be present. It indeed slows the process down, but it is cumulative; the effects are insidious and take time to show themselves. Hence, the ageing population is especially targeted. Extensive experience and research do not indicate there is no risk to general health. You cannot fly in the face of volumes of evidence to the contrary.”

Dr Tiplady then turned to the York Review, saying that it had set “stringent” criteria. In fact these guidelines were extraordinarily unsatisfactory. I wrote in reply, “The best improvement found by the York Review was 15% and the whole bore the rider, as I need not remind you, that the quality of reliable research was lacking, and more was needed. This is simply not good enough – an entire population, cannot, must not, be subjected to mass medication on such a weak conclusion.”

Dr Tiplady then said that “Neither the York Review nor the MRC Working Group could find convincing evidence of musculo-skeletal disease, kidney disease, infertility, central nervous system damage, or damage in the thyroid gland and the MRC did not consider further research in these areas to be of high priority.”

I pointed out, “The remit of the York Review was such that it could not possibly find “convincing” evidence of toxic damage over the period of time the review ran for. Yet the overwhelming evidence of fluoride toxicity has been in the public domain since 1950, and merely becomes more convincing through the passage of time. It seems that such evidence was ignored by the York Review, and worse, by you and your colleagues.”

His next point was that he and his colleagues “do not accept that dental fluorosis is the first sign of “fluorotoxicosis” by any sensible definition of that term.”. My answer to this was that whether he accepted dental fluorosis as a sign of fluorotoxicosis or not, the self evident fact is that it is; he could not ignore it. Indeed, it is the tip of a particularly nasty iceberg.

Dr Tiplady then included an extraordinary document by a Professor of philosophy, on which evidently the BMA placed great reliance, to the effect that whether it breached individual rights or not, fluoridation should nevertheless be accepted by all if it halved the incidence of dental caries. I responded that, “The philosophic remarks by John Harris fall apart in his final paragraph, since its argument depends on proof of the concept. If the concept is unproved, and clearly it is, the whole argument must collapse. “If it is true, “ he wrote, “fluoridation would halve the incidence of dental decay…” (my italics). But the York Review could not come higher than 15% improvement.”

I felt compelled to point out to Dr Tiplady and his gang the dangers of fluoridation since either they had not familiarized themselves with the literature or more likely, had ignored it. I wrote:

 “…the immune system is compromised by low fluoride concentrations causing the body to be more sensitive to autoimmune attack on the one hand and less able to defend itself against foreign organisms on the other… The evidence is now clear that the cancer rate, especially of bone, is significantly increased in populations receiving fluoridated water… There is firm evidence of genetic change and an increase of the incidence of Downs Syndrome has been documented… Especially important is the effect on thyroid hormones and their production. Fluoride stimulates the Gq/11 proteins to reduce thyroid response in the tissues; it affects the iodination of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland itself; it competes with TSH at TSH receptor sites and interferes with the production of TSH in the pituitary. The result of these processes is to cause slow shutdown of the thyroid status, and a slide into hypothyroidism, already more common in the last few decades.”

I concluded. “Your position is quite untenable. Somehow you and the BMA must consider your position. You simply must not condone an illegal measure which may harm most of our population whilst providing at best, unproven benefit to a proportion of the remainder. You owe it to the public at large to show a responsible concern for the health of the nation, a proper regard to the vast body of evidence and literature (which it seems you have undertaken to ignore) freely and publicly available, a proper lack of bias and a proper respect for the law.”

It is extremely worrying that this letter, and all the many others the BMA have received on the subject, may not alter their position one jot; and that the third reading of the amendment to the water bill, to allow enforcement of water fluoridation, will have been hammered through parliament by the time you read this.

Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield MB BS LRCP MRCS

CODEX Ruling on Vitamin and Mineral Upper Limits

The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses yesterday agreed to abolish the 100 per cent RDA measure for setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals, as proposed in a draft guideline.

How to establish maximum levels of ingredients in supplements has been hotly debated by the dietary supplements industry for years. Determining levels by RDA, or Recommended Daily Allowance, has seen strong opposition from several parties who claim that this restricts a consumer’s intake to almost ineffective levels.

The RDA measure had been included under article 3.2.2 of the ‘proposed draft guidelines for vitamin and mineral food supplements’, established at previous Codex meetings. The Codex Alimentarius, set up in the 1960s by the World Trade Organisation and UN, determines food standards for global trading partners. It therefore plays a key role in determining the shape and direction of much future national, regional and international regulation affecting dietary supplements. The decision to delete RDA as a measure for vitamin levels represents a significant victory for those supporting alternative references for supplement levels, notably the use of risk assessment and upper safe levels.

Codex guidelines had specified as a first option for vitamin and mineral levels that ‘the maximum level of each vitamin and/or mineral contained in a vitamin and mineral supplement per daily portion of consumption as suggested by the manufacturer should not exceed [100 per cent] of the recommended daily intake as determined by FAO/WHO’.

Some support for this recommendation came from Norway, Malaysia and Thailand, however a majority of countries and non-governmental organisations were in favour of its deletion and chairman Rolf Grossklaus decided to remove the option from the draft, reported the International Alliance of Dietary Supplement Associations (IADSA).

The second option on maximum levels suggested that limits be guided by upper safe levels established by generally accepted scientific data and daily intake of vitamins and minerals from other dietary sources.

A final sentence referring to the need to take into account reference intake values of vitamins and minerals for the population concerned has however been left in the text for this guideline, despite resistance from IADSA and other members of the committee. It has been included in brackets after the second option, which becomes the only accepted guideline on this issue.

The article now states that maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals in supplements per daily portion of consumption shall be set according to:
a.    Upper safe levels of vitamins and minerals established by scientific risk assessment based on generally accepted scientific data, taking into consideration, as appropriate, the varying degrees of sensitivity of different consumer groups;
b.    The daily intake of vitamins and minerals from other dietary sources.

Simon Pettman of the IADSA said the move was ‘proof’ that risk assessment is the basis for calculating maximum levels of vitamins and minerals, as RDA now has no basis in Codex texts.

The committee continues its discussion on the supplement guidelines, and other proposals including those on health claims and infant foods, for the rest of this week in Bonn, Germany.


Drug-Induced Deaths

Eileen G Holland Pharm D. And Frank V Degruy MD
University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, Alabama

Recent estimates suggest that each year more than 1 million patients are injured while in the hospital and approximately 180,000 die because of these injuries. Furthermore, drug-related morbidity and mortality are common and are estimated to cost more than $136 billion a year. The most common type of drug-induced disorder is dose-dependent and predictable. Many adverse drug events occur as a result of drug-drug, drug-disease or drug-food interactions and, therefore, are preventable. Clinicians’ awareness of the agents that commonly cause drug-induced disorders and recognition of compromised organ function can significantly decrease the likelihood that an adverse event will occur. Patient assessment should include a thorough medication history, including an analysis of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs and ‘health-food’ products to identify drug-induced problems and potentially reversible conditions. An increased awareness among clinicians of drug-induced disorders should maximize their recognition and minimize their incidence.

Drug-induced disorders, in the form of adverse drug events or drug interactions, occur daily in all health care environments. Unfortunately, significant morbidity and mortality are often the consequence of these reactions. Several studies have reported that an average of 10 percent of all hospital admissions may be attributable to drug-induced disorders; this percentage may be a significant underestimate.1 Furthermore, an evaluation of a large sample of 30,195 randomly selected hospital records revealed that 1,133 patients (3.7 percent) experienced a disabling injury caused by medical treatment while hospitalized.2

Other studies report that hospitalized patients have a 1.5 to 43.5 percent chance of having a drug-induced disorder.1 Using the conservative figure, that 4 percent of hospitalized patients have an adverse event due to medical treatment, and extrapolating to the United States, each year over 1 million patients are injured while in the hospital, and approximately 180,000 die as a result of these injuries.3

In the ambulatory care environment, the incidence of drug-induced disorders not causing hospitalization or death is less well known because different, less effective methods are used to collect data. Reported rates have ranged from 2.6 to 50.6 percent, depending on the source of the data.4 The lower rates generally reflect data collected from physicians, and the higher rates come from patient surveys.

Drug-related morbidity and mortality are estimated to cost more than $136 billion a year in the United States.5 A recent study6 of hospitalized patients demonstrated that adverse drug events extended the hospital stay by nearly two days and increased the cost of hospitalization by about $2,000. Furthermore, patients experiencing an adverse drug event had an increased risk of death that was nearly two-fold greater.


1.    Manasse HR Jr. Medication use in an imperfect world: drug misadventuring as an issue of public policy, Part 1. Am J Hosp Pharm. 46: 929-44. 1989.
2.    Leape LL, Brennan TA, Laird N, Lawthers AG, Localio AR, Barnes BA, et al. The nature of adverse events in hospitalized patients. Results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study II. N Engl J Med. 324: 377-84. 1991.
3.    Bates DW, Cullen DJ, Laird N, Petersen LA, Small SD, Servi D, et al. Incidence of adverse drug events and potential adverse drug events. Implications for prevention. JAMA. 274:29-34. 1995.
4.    Schneider JK, Mion LC, Frengley JD. Adverse drug reactions in an elderly outpatient population. Am J Hosp Pharm. 49: 90-6. 1992.
5.    Johnson JA, Bootman JL. Drug-related morbidity and mortality. A cost-of-illness model. Arch Intern Med. 155: 1949-56. 1995.
6.    Classen DC, Pestotnik SL, Evans RS, Lloyd JF, Burke JP. Adverse drug events in hospitalized patients. Excess length of stay, extra costs, and attributable mortality. JAMA. 277: 301-6. 1997.


Further Reading
Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research.
The Pharmaceutical Drug Racket. PO Box 234, Lawson, NSW 2783, Australia.


Especially for Men: Everything You Wanted to Know About Urination

Urination is the key method of eliminating toxins that can be dissolved in water. The kidneys are filters that selectively choose which substances need to be kept in the body and which need to be washed out, and they control the water and salt levels needed by the body. The kidneys are located towards the back, protected by the lower back ribs. They are nestled in dense fat pads that help absorb shocks to the area. The heart provides the pressure for the filtration of blood by the kidneys. Once the kidneys filter the blood and correct for the best urine concentration given current body conditions, the urine collects in collecting ducts and passively drains down ward, by the force of gravity, to the bladder, which lies 1ower down in the pelvis. This assumes, of course, that the person is standing, or vertical. When lying horizontally, this gravity assistance is reduced, and filling of the bladder may be hampered.

The bladder is a distensible pouch that has two openings at the top, one for each kidney, that allow the urine in, and one opening at the bottom, controlled by a sphincter, that lets the urine out. Up to this point, men and women are pretty much the same. We’ll get to the differences in a moment.

When the bladder is full, the distension of the bladder wall reflexively starts contractions, as is the case for the colon. When we resist the urge to urinate by keeping the sphincter closed, the pressure within the bladder builds. This leads to further distension of the bladder wall. Additionally, the pressure in the bladder can inhibit new urine from entering the bladder from the kidneys. This leads to increased pressure within the collecting tubes leading from the kidneys to the bladder. Ultimately, this translates into greater pressure within the kidneys themselves. Each kidney is contained within a rightly fitting capsule that maintains kidney size and integrity under normal conditions, and this capsule resists the added pressure in the kidneys caused by this back up of fluid from the bladder. This makes kidney pressure higher than normal, which leads to reduced filtration of the blood by the kidneys. Now the problem affects the rest of the body, since the kidneys are no longer doing their job well. Toxins cannot be eliminated, and water and electrolyte. or salt, levels cannot be adequately controlled. This can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and other problems associated with kidney failure.

The body, however, tries to do what it can to mitigate the problem. The bladder has the ability to concentrate urine, and it does this to reduce the pressure back-up we have just described. This is why urine becomes concentrated after we have been holding it in for a long time. Some of the water is absorbed through the bladder lining, leaving saltier urine behind.

Urine Retention and Kidney Stones
We can now see what can happen from urine retention, We make ourselves toxic by impairing renal, or kidney, function. And we end up with concentrated urine. What can that cause? The answer is simple. What can happen when you concentrate a salt solution, which is all that urine really is? The answer is that it can create crystals. In medicine, these are called stones.

Doctors say that they do not know the cause of kidney stones while researchers study each stone’s chemical constitution in a vain attempt to understand why it formed. The typical prevention advice given to stone sufferers is to drink more water. It is known that water can dissolve stones, just as it is known that concentrating a salt solution can form them. It’s basic chemistry. However, drinking more is the solution only if drinking too little was the cause. For some people, this may be the case. Dehydration can lead to concentrated urine and stones. But the greater issue, the cultural problem, has been overlooked, It is not that people need to drink more; they need to urinate more!

Holding in urine, then, can cause kidney stones and bladder stones, as well as lead to heart, circulatory, and metabolic disorders due to reduced kidney function, But there is more it can do, which relates to the distension of the bladder.

Bladder Infections
When concentrated urine is chronically filling the bladder, the lining of the pressurized bladder can become irritated. This may lead to increased susceptibility to infections. Bladder infections, then, may result from urine retention.

Prostate Enlargement
Additionally, when a man is vertical, as when standing or sitting, the bladder is positioned directly above the prostate gland. The outflow of urine must pass from the bladder through the prostate gland, before it enters the penis for final exit. The prostate gland produces fluid that mixes with sperm during ejaculation. Even though the prostate is a sex gland, it must be traversed by urine every time a man urinates.

When you look at the anatomy of the lower pelvis you will see that the bladder lies above the prostate and the pelvic floor lies directly underneath it. This means that the bladder and pelvic floor make a prostate sandwich. As the bladder expands, the prostate gets smashed down onto the pelvic floor, compressing the prostate. To maintain its integrity, the prostate enlarges its mass, better resisting the weight of the bladder. As the prostate enlarges, the urethra, which is the urine passage way through the prostate and into the penis, gets constricted, preventing complete bladder emptying and requiring frequent urination. Enlarged prostates plague many men in their older years, a sign that it is the outcome of years of mismanagement of their urinary needs.

In summary, holding in urine can cause it to concentrate, producing bladder and kidney stones. And it causes distension of the bladder, producing bladder infections and causing pressure on the prostate, leading to prostate enlargement. Not surprisingly, these problems are greater in affluent cultures, where elimination is taboo, This means that our culture is giving us kidney, bladder and prostate problems. Doesn’t that piss you off?

Extracted from a must-read book: GET IT OUT! by Sydney Ross Singer & Soma Grismaijer Eliminating the Cause of Diverticulitis, Kidney Stones, Bladder Infections, Cervical Dysplasia, PMS, Menopausal Discomfort, Prostate Enlargement, and More!
See also: Dispelling the Night-Time Frequent Urination Myth
Source: Chris Gupta


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