Health Articles: Updates in Health and Medicine: 2000 Archives

1998-99 updates

Medical Updates:

March 2000- Vitamin C unfairly criticized. A new report that supposedly shows that vitamin C causes damaging thickening of the carotid arterial wall has left many people reconsidering their intake of this important vitamin. This study conflicts with hundreds of previous studies, and the benefits of vitamin C that are known are far more convincing than the dubious harm suggested in one contradictory study. It would be unfortunate if many people started to limit their healthy vitamin C supplementation because of this one unconfirmed report.

Vitamin C is not dangerous. Many studies show the benefits of vitamin C for the heart, the arteries, and the brain, including reduced risks of heart attacks and strokes, and lowered blood pressure. This study by Dwyer and colleagues was reported at the American Heart Association meeting, but it has not yet been published for critiques. It is virtually certain that supplements of vitamin C even in excess of 2000 mg are beneficial, rather than harmful. Nothing in this study even suggested decreased blood flow as a result of vitamin C, and many studies confirm increased blood flow with vitamin C supplements, even intravenously.

It is possible to get 2500 mg of vitamin C from food with a diet of all fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables, including potatoes, but most people don’t eat this way and therefore supplements are essential to achieve protective levels.

March 2000- Asthma and antioxidants. In the Journal of Asthma (J Asthma 2000;37:59-63) it was reported that the antioxidant status of asthmatics was significantly lower than in controls, when they compared levels of the antioxidant enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase). SOD is dependent on zinc, manganese and copper, and the authors suggested that low antioxidants might contribute to the asthma.

Other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, have already been shown to help asthmatics. Although cause and effect was not shown in this report, it is suggestive that asthmatics would do better if they kept their antioxidant status high. Other antioxidant nutrients include vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, and a variety of flavonoids, including proanthocyanidins.

March 2000- Fruits and vegetables reduce prostate cancer risk. Yet another article supports the value of a diet high in vegetables (Cohen JH, Kristal AR, Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000 Jan 5;92(1):61-8). Researchers report that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, dramatically reduce the risk of prostate cancer. For those men who ate more than 28 servings of vegetables a week, the risk was reduced by 35 percent. If they ate at least three servings of cruciferous vegetables a week, the risk was reduced by 41 percent. These contain isothiocyanate, a phytochemical that helps detoxify carcinogens.

December 2000- Toxic chemicals and aging. “Some of what we have been calling ‘normal aging’ may in fact be due to past exposures to chemicals or other agents that can affect the central nervous system,” says one researcher after examining the effects of lead exposure on mental decline with age. (Schwartz BS, et al., Neurology 2000 Oct 24;55(8):1144-50.) Exposure to many toxins may be associated with various chronic degenerative diseases, and it is important to protect yourself by drinking clean water and breathing clean air as often as possible. (I use a MultiPure solid-carbon block water filter for all drinking and cooking (it removes lead, other heavy metals, pesticides, chemical solvents, and more. Available from QCI Nutritionals at 888-922-4848 or at I also recommend intravenous chelation therapy for heavy metal exposure, and for all industrial lead workers.

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From September to June, I see patients in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Call 386-409-7747, or send an email to [email protected] to make arrangements.

In summer, I have a variable schedule, and I see patients in offices at the Rothfeld Center for Integrative Medicine in Waltham, Massachusetts. For appointments, send an email to [email protected] make arrangements, or call: 386-409-7747.

I primarily do phone consultations, as well as email and instant messaging consults.

Information herein is not medical advice or direction. All material in this newsletter is provided for information only. Its contents should not be used to provide medical advice on individual problems. Consult a health care professional for medical or health advice.