Letter from the publisher.
(Dosage and administration)
Alfacalcidol (Complications and side effects)
Calcifediol (Dosage and administration)
Calcifediol (Complications and side effects)
Vitamin D (Dosage and administration)
Vitamin D (Complications and side effects)
Alternative medicine (Forecasts and trends)
Dietary supplements (Dosage and administration)
Dietary supplements (Complications and side effects)
|Publication:||Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464|
|Issue:||Date: July, 2011 Source Issue: 336|
|Topic:||Event Code: 010 Forecasts, trends, outlooks Computer Subject: Market trend/market analysis|
|Product:||Product Code: 2834730 Nutrient Preparations NAICS Code: 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing SIC Code: 2833 Medicinals and botanicals; 2834 Pharmaceutical preparations|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Louisiana Geographic Code: 1U7LA Louisiana|
Bringing Our Medical Groups Together
In 1976 while working at a leprosy hospital in Baton Rouge, I began my explorations of alternative medicine. My wife was in her sixth month of pregnancy, and we were not terribly enamored with a hospital delivery. Our friends in Louisiana were not very knowledgeable about home births, but we decided that this might be a path we would be willing to experience. A dentist in Baton Rouge was a treasure trove of information, and he put us in touch with an old-time GP who was agreeable to doing a home delivery. One of the nurses in the leprosy hospital offered to attend as well. A day or two before Thanksgiving, Deborah's labor began and we had decided that the best place for the delivery was in the nurse's home. Dr. Thom met us there at 3 a.m., and the delivery went very well without complications. Of course, with two doctors and a nurse in attendance, that would be reasonable to expect - but it was in the comfort of a home and not the hospital labor room.
Another individual whom the dentist in Baton Rouge put me in touch with was the regional distributor for Standard Process. I was told that I should spend an afternoon with Mark because he not only had an important story to share with me but also was extremely knowledgeable. Deborah and I were thrilled to meet Mark and his wife. Mark's discussion about the story of Standard Process, its founder Royal Lee, and the philosophy and application of using Standard Process supplements, particularly the glandular supplements, was absolutely eye-opening for me. I could not even begin to imagine that food supplements could be so vital to health and to reversing disease symptomatology. Mark reviewed many of Lee's concepts, which are the foundation of any healing work: support the basic nutrition, balance the acid/alkaline biochemistry, detoxify chemicals and other biologics harmful to the system, build up the immune system, and cleanse the gastrointestinal tract. I could not understand why medicine would be so uninterested in this form of healing - why did everything need to be a drug agent, a chemical, or a biologic; why couldn't natural nutrients be used in treatment?
Much of what Mark shared with me has been repeated elsewhere by many other knowledgeable individuals from many companies. Mark did suggest that I travel to a conference which would review the philosophies and treatment strategies that he introduced me to. There was a meeting in the upcoming spring of 1977 in Dallas, Texas, by three alternative medical groups: the American Medical Preventics Association (AMPS), the International Preventive Medicine Society, and the American Homeopathic Association.
I attended this conference in March 1977. While I was thrilled with what Mark had introduced me to in a few hours, the meeting that I attended in Dallas was mind-boggling. I recall that Thursday night when the homeopathic lecturers discussed treatment of many medical conditions, cystitis, for example, which did not require the use of an antibiotic nor other prescription medication - just a homeopathic remedy. The preventive medical society presented the first lecture that I had ever heard of dangers involved in vaccination, fluoridation, and mercury amalgams. The AMPS discussed a novel treatment process - chelation - and how it not only was useful in removing toxic elements but also played a key role in restoring cardiovascular health.
I returned from the lectures that I experienced in Dallas to the leprosy hospital near Baton Rouge excited to implement many of the treatment methods that I had learned about. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm to treat my leprosy patients differently was not shared by my chief physicians and other fellow physicians. Still, I was determined to find out if there was any improvement to be made by using homeopathy, IV vitamin therapies, and chelation. Invariably, the patients loved the new treatments, enjoying nutritional and lifestyle changes, taking supplements and receiving IVs. It was only the hospital doctors who detested these changes.
Eventually I left the leprosy hospital, seeking a private medical setting in the Pacific Northwest to treat patients using nutritional medicine. My impression working with the leprosy patients was that nutritional and alternative medicine would be a suitable tool for all patients. I was thankful for the introduction that I had to this form of medicine by attending the conference in Dallas which had brought together three organizations to jointly lecture.
This April, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, four different medical societies joined to put on the iMosaic conference. The four groups were the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), the International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM), the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AHEM), and the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA). This was a first for these groups - previously they had all put on meetings independently. Sharing the meetings meant that attendees from the different groups would be sharing lectures, workshops, exhibitor booths, and meals. The meeting was wonderful, and it was fabulous to see individuals from the different groups dialoguing on the lectures and the different treatment approaches. Not only were there many pre-lecture intensive courses, but also many lectures at the primary conference and a wide number of workshops each afternoon. iMosaic offered a tremendous opportunity for new medical students and doctors as well as old-timers to learn about natural medicine from many different vantage points. It was a terrific blending of medical societies and attendees. Hopefully, this meeting will take place again in 2012!
Vitamin D Supplementation Controversy
Gregory Plotnikoff, MD, an internist and pediatrician who practices in Minneapolis and has received awards for his work in integrative medicine, spoke at the iMosaic meeting about the virtues of vitamin D supplementation. Dr. Plotnikoff disagrees with the 2010 position statement of the Institute of Medicine, which disdainfully claimed that "higher levels of Vitamin D have not been shown to confer greater benefits than (supporting bone health) and have been linked to other health problems, challenging the concept that more is better." Plotnikoff states that vitamin D is a potent secosteroid hormone with receptors found in every body tissue and a regulator of at least 600 crucial genes. It plays an essential role in operating many key enzyme systems. Medical evidence supports vitamin D's role in reducing all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, hyperinsulinemia, and immune dysfunction. It plays an important role in reducing colorectal cancer incidence and recurrence. In animal models, vitamin D retards tumor growth. Studies have demonstrated its anti-inflammatory effects and potentiation of antitumor activities. However, most of these benefits, particularly the antitumor effects, are not achieved with borderline normal vitamin D levels. Vitamin D levels must be "optimal" to achieve these effects. While a lab test result of 30 ng/ml of 25(OH) vitamin D may be normal, an optimal level of at least 36 to 48 ng/ml must be achieved to prevent cancer. (Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;624:55-71). Plotnikoff would argue that Gaby's concerns about adverse effects are not justified and that most of the benefits of vitamin D would not be achieved with supplementation of 2000 IU or less.
Michael Gerber, MD, HMD
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Michael Gerber, MD, HMD, to the Townsend Letter. I first met Dr. Gerber at an AAMPS (American Academy of Medical Preventics) meeting in the 1980s. I took an immediate liking to Michael and his wife, Inge, who both share an infectious enthusiasm for working in medicine - taking care of people with all their heart and soul. Beyond the many hours that they share in their multidisciplinary, alternative clinic built organically and "green," the Gerbers share a wonderful family and live life ebulliently. Dr. Michael not only has the time for seeing many patients who travel locally and from abroad to see him in his Wellness Center, he also continues his musical career singing for the Reno Opera. Michael carries his deep baritone voice into the office, singing some chords and songs as he works his way through the difficult diagnoses of a chronically ill patient. His big smile and full laugh offset the tension and anxiety that many patients bring into the clinic. The Gerbers have set up a medical mecca that is perfect for getting a second (or third) opinion. Additionally, Dr. Gerber has brought together a cadre of health professionals to share his insights and offer a wide range of treatment options appropriate for intensive and long-term care.
The use of electronic diagnostic aids is a major component in many nutritionally oriented medical practices. Dr. Gerber's use of a variation of EAV (electroacupuncture according to Voll) is critical to his initial patient consultation. There is a considerable learning curve to be able to use such instrumentation effectively. For Michael, the device is integrated in the medical history, physical, and general exam, and it provides remarkable information to diagnose and determine treatment. Dr. Gerber finds that diagnoses and treatments are often missed in routine exams. He orders laboratory examinations and seeks information from the biochemical data. But the insights in the electrical diagnostics are tremendous and very discriminatory. Whether a patient should be using certain homeopathics, herbals, chelation, ozone treatment, or other modalities can be difficult to decide; the electronic diagnostics often sort out these difficulties and present direction for complex strategies.
In this issue of the Townsend Letter Dr. Gerber examines the gallbladder case - when a patient is being urged to undergo gallbladder surgery for stones blocking the bile duct. Gerber prefers to "rescue" the gallbladder in most circumstances. Also in this issue, we reprint Dr. Gerber's outstanding review article, first published in 2006, on 30 years of nutritional and alternative medicine. Anyone who doubts the efficacy of chelation therapy must read this article. In three pages, Gerber lays out study after study supporting chelation's role in cardiovascular disease.
With this issue, we have changed printers. We are now using Dartmouth Printing Company in Hanover, New Hampshire, to do our printing. We bid adieu to Consolidated Press in Seattle, who printed the magazine for more than two decades. The Dartmouth Printing Company is a specialty press that prints many of the journals in the US. The printing will be different; the text pages will appear on semigloss paper. With a press in New Hampshire, we will no longer be sending the magazine from Port Townsend; instead, we will be mailing from Chicago. (Our subscription and editorial offices remain in Port Townsend). We hope that you will enjoy the new printing!
Jonathan Collin, MD
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