Sunday, October 7, 2012

Can You Trust Bill Sardi?

I've often used this blog to identify people who I think pose a public danger. Oftentimes, it's people who lack the training, licensing or any form of validation to give them credibility. Today, I found a doozey. I thought I would share the entire unedited exchange with this gentleman for those with the time on their hands to be entertained, and to recognize how easy it is to try to mislead people with lots of fast and loose, but mostly misleading, facts.

It all started with a recent article that appeared on October 1, 2012 in The Wall Street Journal titled "Questioning the Superpowers of Omega-3 in Diet," to which after reading I submitted the following comment online:

"According to Consumer Reports' September 2012 issue, there are over 55,000 dietary supplements for sale in the U.S. That's 55,000 products sold by commercial interests trying to convince Americans that we can't live without them. There's hardly anyone on the other side shedding light on their value to overall health. In fact, there is not a single study ever published that shows that a supplement in the absence of deficiency extended a single day of human life.

Furthermore, there were no such products for the first 150,000 years of our history until about the 1930s. (Yes, some plants were discovered early to have medicinal purposes but they were often used in their natural state without factory processing.) Yet Michelangelo lived to 87 and the Greek philosophers into their 90s. The Sardinians' trace their extended longevity to the Bronze Age.

However, virtually every day now a new study comes out that questions the usefulness of taking one of the many popular supplements like Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Ginkgo, etc. Each time people leap to the opportunity to defend or criticize the validity of the studies. The nature of such studies that look at isolated variables offer plenty of room for debate. This means they completely ignore the synergism among hundreds of other nutrients found in different foods.

What is not debatable is that most (some exceptions best determined with the help of a knowledgeable physician) people would be better off eating whole foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and wild fish (this is obviously debated by Vegans, but it's hard to argue with the health benefits of wild Salmon, a non-predatory fish, low in contaminants like mercury and PCBs, but high in Vitamin D, DPH, EPA, and an excellent source of amino acids.) Aspects of such a diet has been the staple of multiple cultures around the world for thousands of years that count among them the highest percentage of centenarians.

The bottom line is that people should not take any supplements in the absence of a known deficiency, which should only be determined by proper testing with the input of a knowledgeable physician or registered dietitian, and should stick with non-processed foods to the extent possible and stop looking for salvation in the form of a pill.

Finally, I say Caveat Lector, "Let the reader beware." Don't take medical advice from the mass media. As Mark Twain once said, "Don't take advice from a health book. You could die from a misprint." This equally applies to health websites, newsletters, magazines, and TV shows.

They don't know YOU (your medical and social history, medications, diet, stress, etc.) and the advice may not apply. Find a physician willing to invest the time to know you well and who has spent time to acquire (usually not taught in medical school) knowledge of nutrition so he or she can guide you appropriately."

In response to my submission, a gentleman by the name of Bill Sardi posted this response.

"Of course, studies show ~40% of Americans are deficient in magnesium, ~40% are short on vitamin B12, most Americans have low levels of vitamin D at some time of the year, few Americans achieve optimal levels of vitamin C, a large portion of Americans are deficient in vitamin B1 due to poor absorption caused by drugs (diuretics, digitalis), coffee, tea, alcohol or refined sugar. Nearly all smokers are vitamin C deficient. Many older Americans are zinc deficient. Growing kids and pregnant and lactating mothers have nutritional needs that are not commonly met by the best diet. Stress, medications, and lack of stomach acid induce essential nutrient deficiencies. And yes, too many Americans have undetectable levels of omega-3 oils in tissues. So much for the idea of skipping supplements. --Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc."

To which I responded:

"It's wonderful that you can rattle off a number of statistics to prove your point. However, I must challenge their accuracy. In the most recent 2012 CDC study of American's nutritional state, none of the numbers you cite proved to be accurate. Can you provide a valid source for your reference?

I'm not sure what your agenda is to push supplements, but as a doctor who regularly checks for vitamin deficiencies, I believe you to be misguided. When relying on studies, it is important to subject such studies to close scrutiny to determine their validity and applicability. I find that most dietary supplement studies that claim proof of usefulness fail these two tests.

For example, a recent study showed that Vitamin D decreased cold symptoms. However, the Vitamin D was given to people with extreme levels of deficiency. The study did not show efficacy in inadequate to normal levels of Vitamin D.

No one would disagree that someone with very levels of Vitamin D would benefit from correction. But before I would prescribe a pill, I would suggest increased sun exposure, albeit in small doses (about 15-30 minutes during the late day) and without exposure to the face, and ingestion of wild salmon and Almond milk, both rich in the vitamin.

The bottom line is no one should take a single supplement without consulting his or her physician. It's often been said that a doctor that threats him or herself has a fool for a patient. I say that someone that treats him or herself has a fool for a doctor.

Please let's leave medical decision-making to trained and licensed professionals. Of course, patients should always ask questions and challenge assertions if they see fit."

After writing my response, I became curious as to who exactly is this Bill Sardi. So, I found his email address and wrote him the following email.

"Hi Bill,


Can you please let me know what scientific credentials or degrees you have?

To your health,

Steve"

Here is the response I got:

"Dr. Charlap


Doctors only ask that question when threatened.  Don't throw your credentials in my face.  It is a disgrace that a well-trained physician like yourself makes such a foolish and uninformed statement as to recommend others not take supplements unless they have a known deficiency.  Patients often walk in and out of a doctor's office with burning feet, sore tongue, short-term memory loss, all overt symptoms of pernicious anemia, and doctors may or may not order a B12 test, which is often normal, meaning the norm on the test is flawed.  This is well documented.  A patient can get a blood calcium or blood magnesium level, which only measures how much mineral is being lost, not conserved (red cell magnesium levels may be more helpful).  Serum zinc levels are notoriously inaccurate.  A vitamin C and B serum levels only reflect recent consumption as they are water soluble nutrients. Why are all diseases considered drug deficiencies?  

You are an advocate for health, but do you know what that is?  The absence of disease?  Everyone has the disease of aging.

Why is it that the biological action of most prescription drugs can be replicated with a nutritional supplement that is far cheaper and less problematic, yet doctors continue to prescribe drugs to the point of breaking the insurance pool financially?

Tell me what prevention is.  You advocate that.  Is it colonscopies, PSA tests, mammograms?  All this is is scouting for more disease to treat.  It prevents no disease.  

In regard to your statement that no supplement has ever been shown to add a day of life unless a deficiency exists, I submit to you the following:

A study of 11,000 Americans over 10 years revealed that individuals with the highest level of vitamin C intake, only about 300 milligrams, suffered 35 percent fewer deaths than those with the lowest intake, about 50 milligrams a day. This amounts to about 6 added years of life to those who consume higher levels of vitamin C. Since 300 mg of vitamin C is difficult to obtain from dietary sources alone, the primary group that exhibited increased life span were the vitamin C supplement users. A person would have to consume five oranges a day to get 300 milligrams of vitamin C from their diet alone.  Reference: Cowley G, Church V, Live longer with vitamin C, Newsweek May 18, 1992 and Enstrom JE, et al, Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population, Epidemiology 3: 194-202, 1992.   There are other examples, but this one will suffice.

You need to be cleaning up your own profession before you give advice to the public.

Bill Sardi"

And finally, here was my response:

"Hi Bill,

I would be happy to review the study you cite if you would send it to me. I am well aware of all the NHANES research, having previously carefully reviewed the  body of it. If my recollection is correct, no conclusions can generally be drawn from NHANES data, however, It's been a while since I last reviewed such data.

From the study abstract I reviewed, this particular study you cite appears to be a retrospective, observational study the type that almost always fails to show causality.  Also, quoting from the abstract, it states the Vitamin C data was from "detailed dietary measurements and use of vitamin supplements," which means that the vitamin C came from both diet and pills, thereby skewing the results even further for validity for cause and effect. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin and a deficiency is known to cause disease.   If I am wrong about the study, after reviewing again whatever you send me, I would be happy to admit my error. 

Also, if you are aware of the NHANES related data such as the CDC's Second Report that came out in 2012, then why did you cite inaccurate deficiency data in your Wall Street Journal response?

Beyond that, the presumptive answer based on your response is that you have no formal scientific training. If I am wrong, please correct me.  Although I am sure that one can self-teach themselves quite a bit, there is no substitute for formal training, testing, and validation. You, may I assume, have no clinical experience, other than your own or family's medical encounters. Yet, you think you have it all or mostly figured out and it's all a BIG pharma conspiracy. 

Well, I have news for you, I don't meet with pharmaceutical reps, don't take personal compensation for my services, and aren't tied to any school of thought other than that unlicensed, and therefore lacking credibility people like you should stop giving other people dangerous advice.

BTW, have you even read any books on how to evaluate clinical studies for relevancy, validity, accuracy, etc.? If so, which ones?

Now let's turn to your insults such as "disgrace…foolish…uninformed." You are obviously the defensive one as you chose to insult as opposed to just answer my question and engage.

It's a shame that you don't have a license, in which case I could notify the appropriate authorities and have you censured for presenting science fiction as science. But as this is a free country, you have the right to spew forth your diatribe, regardless of how inaccurate, misdirected, and meaningless it may be.

As to your question, "what is prevention?", the answer depends on what level you are referring, primary, secondary, etc.  I believe in primary prevention, which is based on lifestyle modification.  I always prescribe dietary changes and other lifestyle adjustments before drugs for high blood pressure, obesity, depression, pre-diabetes, etc. 

The bottom line is you decided to insult the wrong person who actually gets it and practices it clinically every day. 

Finally, I will say it again. Supplements have no role to play until such role is defined by a knowledgeable physician who has done an appropriate evaluation. To do otherwise, is to put people at risk unnecessarily.

To your health,

Steve" 

Beware of Bill Sardi. 

Update as of March 21, 2013 

Bill Sardi or someone working on his behalf sent me two copies of his book, The New Turth About Vitamins & Minerals. On the cover of the book, he displays Purity's Perfect Multi, the multivitamin he sells.  The entire book is dedicated to persuading the reader that if you want a quality multivitamin, only he sells it. In fact, in the back of the book, Sardi includes a survey of multivitamins where he grades the major brands out of 100 points. Not surprisingly, his product gets a 96, with the next closest product is graded 68 out of 100, with the numbers dropping fast from there.

Out of curiosity, I started reading the book, but had to stop when I realized that although he occasionally quoted some reasonable studies, many were studies done in animals, which hold little relevance to humans. The book was the most self-serving book I have ever tried to read. After a few pages of copious notes, I had enough.

Again I caution, beware of people telling you how great are the supplements they are trying to sell you.




108 comments:

  1. Thank you - After hearing Bill Sardi on Coast to Coast radio last night, my first reponse to all his claims, which happen to be for products and books he produces, although he stated over and over he was not trying to make it commercial (which should be enough said), was Quack, Quack, Quack and bring on the snake oil. But listening to the callers, they were buying it. And all the testimonials about how they were cured of everything except maybe an ingrown toenail, I thought of the book "Charlatan" and how easily it was to dupe people. I notice in his response to you, that he does not answer the question regarding his credentials. He talks of multimillion dollar parmaceutical business, but what about the multimillion dollar, unregulated, supplemental business? I think Coast-to-Coast should be more responsible and have someone with "real" credentials come on the program to rebutt what Bill Sardi spewed out last night.

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    1. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

      Many supplement peddlers beguile their listeners and followers with promises of miracle cures and magical pills. They can be very persuasive, but ask them to see the science upon which they base their claims and you will hear a deafening silence.

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    2. I think it is funny how you called him on the defensive and attacking oyu then turned around and threatened and attacked him in the very next paragraph..In fact you might notice Mr. Sardi did not come after you and attack your principles you came after him. Remidns me of how a bunch of doctors attacked Dr. Oz too because they felt intimidated by the fact he does a lot of real good. Mr. Sardi's proactive approach toward health is one more people should have and your tiring attacking of even the source of his statistics without any real refutation except to say oh you would have to check it out (great deflection) I think we will have have to check out your refuation of the survey and make sure YOUR claims are correct. I know people like you very well I write great music and jealous people try to take shots at my ability by saying I can't read music or didn't go to Berklee so I'm not legit..Most of those people and most of you doctors don't suddenly become the best opinion just because you went and got a degree pal..oh and btw Obama has a Harvard degree too and I would have run the country better than he did..My paretns are both Ivy league gradutes and I have yet to find their argument better than mine once in my life

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    3. Thank YOU.While there are some quacks out there, I believe it is wise for everyone to take note on how many sick people are in this country under the "care" of MD's. While Charlap claims that he prescribes lifestyle modifications before prescribing pills, the majority of doctors just do not care. I am a caretaker of an elderly man that had acute kidney failure from urinary incontinence due to enlarged prostate. The VA hospital got him stabilized until I could take him home. They handed us over 7 prescribed pills to "help" him. He was in horrible shape and they were even feeding him garbage at the hospital until I put a stop to it, feeding him high potassium foods while his potassium levels were almost about to stop his heart and high protein foods which are bad for kidneys. He was weak and could hardly walk when I got him home and after much research I found that the the "medicine" for his enlarged prostate was just another blood pressure pill on top of the one that they prescribed for his high blood pressure. His blood pressure was almost non-existent! They had him on a cholesterol pill also, statins (poisons) . I spent a lot of heart aching hours researching all the pills they had him on and did research on how to heal him holistically. I proceeded to change his diet (something his MD's never suggested) I found a holistic kidney doctor and we weaned him off the statins, the blood pressure pills and whatever other garbage they prescribed him. I put him on fish oils, a natural probiotic supplement called Renadyl to maintain healthy kidney function. CoQ10 supplements for his heart and kidneys. CLA for his kidneys, Curcumin for his inflammation and guess what? The MD's were NOT happy that I did this. They INSISTED that he will get high blood pressure, high cholesterol and he WILL end up on dialysis! Guess what? I have had him STABLE for 6 years and we go to the VA only once a year so they can do labwork and they do not say anything to me at all other than "keep up the good work". Their pills were killing him and they LIED when they said he would get worse. So yes, a high school dropout can do the research and does not need to have gone to a medical university to understand how the human body works, I hear it all the time "where are your medical credentials?" when I suggest to people how to help themselves. People should start having faith in themselves and not just believe someone because they drive a Mercedes and went to a university. Have a wonderful day. You sound like an awesome person. I am a music lover also. From classical to celtic to R&B and good ole' rock n' roll, etc. Music is food for the SOUL!!! wooo-hooo!!!

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  2. Dr. Charlap,
    After reading your exchange I'm not sure I'm qualified to feed myself and certainly not my children whom my ex-wife has on multiple meds for ADD and depression but no omega-3 or vitamin D and here in the frozen Midwest there is not enough sunshine from about Sept. thru April to do any good anyway.
    Legally, nutritional supplements are food and I don't have health insurance or discretionary dollars for medical consultations on diet. Why do you try to medicalize the use of supplements?
    "Supplements have no role to play until such role is defined by a knowledgeable physician who has done an appropriate evaluation. To do otherwise, is to put people at risk unnecessarily."
    Supplements kill how many people a year? Sure they may not have to be FDA-approved--physicians kill how many people a year with prescription drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed?--but to maintain customers in a competitive market there are standards of quality to be met.
    Also, if a supplement maker were skimping on quality or dealing with unsafe ingredients that would be a formula for government regulation if not strangulation, wouldn't it?
    I used to get bronchitis and sinus infections and go on antibiotics two or three times each winter from about 1989 to 2009. The last time I had bronchitis with a sinus infection it lasted six weeks with two trips to the ER--I was having trouble breathing.
    That was almost four years ago. After the last time I found out about oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract as germ killers. Now I take each once per hour when I feel a respiratory infection coming on and it is usually gone in 48 hours or so.
    Afterward I take some probiotics and FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides, plant food for friendly bacteria) after I'm done with the oregano oil and grapefuit seed extract.
    Also to boost my immune system I take some vitamin D3 with K2 to direct calcium that D3 increase uptake of, into hard tissues like bones and teeth instead of soft tissue like joints, muscles and tendons, along with mineral ascorbate forms of vitamin C.
    You say I have a fool for a doctor but I don't have to put up with getting respiratory infections and then going on antibiotics and steroids two or three times a year anymore.
    You may be one of the relatively few doctors who has chosen to educate himself on some nutrition basics.
    If we lived in a pollution-free environment and were eating foods grown without toxins or could get water without fluoride maybe I wouldn't need to take some supplements along the way to give my body a chance.
    Unfortunately the pharmaceutical industry uses a particularly brutal business model and routinely receives multibillion-dollar fines for lying and bribing the other doctors who unlike you, are willing to take "cash payments, travel, entertainment, and meals..." or sell their "influence in the form of speaker’s fees, mentorships, preceptorships, and journal clubs," as Russell Blaylock, M.D., mentioned here: http://www.healthyalterego.com/index.php/2011/01/trust-me-im-a-doctor/
    The pharmaceutical companies are also notorious for cherry-picking research studies and squelching the ones unfavorable to their products so as to skew research papers by doctors with ties to their companies to make drugs appear to be more effective than placebos enough times to get FDA approval.
    Then there's the revolving door at the FDA between the agency and the industry it regulates--the best government money can buy.
    So pardon me if I don't feel the "science upon which they base their claims" is as holy as you do.
    Finally, if you care to engage, please share your thoughts.

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    1. I appreciate your comments, even if I don't fully agree with them. However, you've lumped together many different concerns in your comments. If you could choose one or two specific questions you would like me to answer, I would be happy to do so.

      To your health,

      Steve

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    2. You asked: "Why do you try to medicalize the use of supplements?"
      My view is that if a supplement is to be considered merely a type of food, then it requires no supervision. However, if it has therapeutic benefit akin to regulated medicine, then it to should be regulated. If you can get the ingredients in a supplement naturally from whole food, why not do so over a factory produced product? If it is a unique chemical substance then I think it is important to know the proper dosing, potency, purity, contraindications, and side effects associated with the substance. Do you disagree?

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    3. This would be my edited third paragraph under Supplements in most cases = food:
      Toxic pharmaceutical drugs (is that redundant?) do need to be studied for dangerous effects, side effects and contraindications. My friend Joe is an engineer who worked at a pharmaceutical company sometime along in the 70's when the focus shifted from finding cures to maintenance drugs that would produce long-term revenue streams from patients who would never get well, but take the drugs to manage symptoms.

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    4. Công ty supplements việt nam xin giới thiệu đến mọi người các dòng sản phẩm hot nhất thị trường như sau:
      orihiro fucoidan
      okinawa fucoidan
      fine pure collagen
      collagen thạch otsuka
      dấm đen nhật bản

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  3. Rights to use supplements

    This is not theoretical because the European Codex Alimentarious Commission, which is developing international standards for dietary supplements had a proposal before the it which was being heavily pushed by Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF--the three companies formed when IG Farben was disbanded after WW II.
    At one point a proposal was discussed that would require a prescription for vitamin C tablets of more that 300 mg. I take one or two grams a day for cardiovascular health and immune function. The vitamin C packets that fizz in water typically have 1,000 mg. of C.
    This proposal would have required: 1. No dietary supplement can be sold for prophylactic (preventive or therapeutic) use;
    2. No dietary supplement sold as a food can exceed potency (dosage) levels set by the commission;
    3. Codex regulations for dietary supplements would become binding, (which means that the escape clause within GATT that allows a nation to set its own standards would be eliminated);
    4. All new dietary supplements would automatically be banned unless they go through the Codex approval process (which would be very expensive, only slightly less extensive than the current FDA drug approval process).
    https://www.lef.org/magazine/mag97/jan-late97.html

    Here is a story that shows sufficient levels of vit. C and other nutrients have been shown to maintain and repair blood vessels and prevent or reverse cardiovascular disease:
    My brother-in-law was slender, athletic, in his mid-30's and developed a mysterious debilitating condition appearing as bruising behind his left knee, then his lower leg swelled and turned purple. The leg and foot were very tender so Steve had to use crutches.
    It went away in the left leg and appeared in the right leg, then went away in the right leg and came back in the left.
    This was during a five-month period of 2002 over which Steve saw six physicians including a couple of vascular specialists.
    His condition was worsening with back spasms and nearly constant migraine headaches so he was sent to Mayo Clinic for diagnostics in the sixth and seventh months of his ordeal.
    During three week-long visits there during that two-month period he was seen by 12 physicians...who also did not know what to do.
    At that point Steve had been suffering in declining health for eight months.
    He and my sister spoke on the phone with an unlicensed individual who coaches people on health and nutrition in clinics and health food stores.
    The guy said it sounded like the blood vessels in Steve's legs were falling apart and if it were happening to him he would be thinking of taking 5,000 mg. or more per day of a special form of vitamin C with bioflavanoids because those nutrients tend to support healthy blood vessels.
    Steve tried it and after two weeks put the crutches away and has been better ever since.
    Interestingly when someone from Mayo called back around that time to schedule him for more diagnostic testing, he said he was better and they said okay without another word to find out what happened.
    The guy who suggested vit. C said there was a doctor from Germany in the 1990's who had a theory that cardiovascular disease--heart attacks and strokes--were due to vitamin C deficiency, an early form of scurvy.
    Later, around 2005 I heard a physician saying in his busy practice he didn't have time to learn about nutrition and vitamins like the doctors at Mayo Clinic--who apparently don't either.
    Hmm, 18 medical doctors, 0. Some guy, 1.
    I would consider 5,000 or more mg. a "therapeutic amount" that I took for a couple months then taking perhaps 2,000 mg. five or six days a week.

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  4. I have two responses to your comments. First, anecdotal and self-reported incidents do not represent credible sources of information, particularly when studies, such as those for Vitamin C, failed to bear out the claims made. I would be happy to review the study you cite and review it with you.
    Second, I have read many articles presented by Joseph Mercola. Almost everything I've read of his was connected to something he wanted to sell. That automatically creates conflict of interest. More importantly, I don't believe the scientific facts bear out many of the things he claims.

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    1. Good Doctor you are selling what, the largest profit generating substance on the planet Prescription drugs.
      So do not be so high and mighty. Doctor if you write a script, you have now become a Drug Sales Rep. So do not try to denigrate those who are following your model.

      I know that there is extra money for doctors who write a certain amount of certain prescriptions. Trips, vacations, and other rewards await doctors who are good earners for Pharmaceutical companies. My Ex-Sister in law is a drug rep, so I know the facts there too. She also makes bonus for having doctors prescribe more.

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    3. I have no love for the pharmaceutical industry. However, if I was sick with say a worsening bacterial infection, I would not hesitate to take an antibiotic. (I would also take a quality probiotic at the same time). However to bash the pharmaceutical industry because of their financial practices and laud the supplement industry instead is just plain wrong. Many supplements are sold through multilevel marketing channels or by companies owned by pharmaceutical companies. It all about the money for them. If a supplement actually works, then as I've said before, it is the equivalent of a drug and it should be scrutinized for side effects, contraindications, dosing, manufacturing, packaging, etc., just like pharmaceuticals. The argument that pharmaceuticals are part of an evil empire and therefore supplements are good for you is a straw man argument. Show me good science in either regard and I am a believer. Tell me personal anecdotes and hearsay and I remain a skeptic. Having now read over 30,000 studies and abstracts, I remain steadfast in my opposition to the willy nilly use of supplements.

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    4. Dr. Charlap, I will start with your second comment about almost everything Dr. Mercola writes is an attempt to push products he is selling. That is patently a false statement. When I went and looked at the last 10 articles he wrote there was a single comment about eating fermented vegetables with vitamin K2. Dr. Macola does so the bacteria that generates more K2 but that was not mentioned in the article. The biggest sale if you will on all the other articles were exactly what Dr. Mercola Calls for for what he considers his healthy lifestyle, intermittent fasting, eating good food, eliminating sugar, exercise, etc.. All things mentioned your second comment was just patently false.

      As far as for the supplements and alternative home remedies the problems I understand the need for a doctor to follow actual studies however even the anecdotal evidence as comes you it is important to understand some of the things actually work. I have thoracic outlet syndrome that leaves my hands and forearms burning with pain. After 25 years of taking anti-inflammatories which cause liver damage and rising indications of liver problems I switched from the sodium naproxen to a variety of supplements, minerals, ginger and turmeric.

      Now honestly what do you think is safer prescription strength Aleve twice a day or ginger and a few vitamins?

      General doctors hand out medicines all with horrendous side effects all day long, based upon your double-blind studies done by the manufacturers that show multiple side effects however the vast majority of the studies never actually check to see if the drugs extend life. They're just checked for efficacy and general safety. What good is a drug that "may" keep you from having a heart attack in 10 years but is likely to give diabetes in 5 years?
      Even though the regime of food and vitamins I take is anecdotal it's not to me because I can duplicate it. If I stop taking it the flareups come right back and go away when I get back on it. Even though I understand the need of doctors to follow science every new discovery comes through experience discounting it out of hand is just ignorant.

      I have another condition, gout, which every medical doctor I have ever dealt with generally gave me wrong information based upon bad science. So personally I will stick with experimenting on myself and seen what will work and ignoring doctors like you who may be doing more harm than good to their patients.

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  5. Once again for the record, I don't meet with drug reps; I don't stock their samples; they don't pay me anything in cash or in kind, directly or indirectly. As I've said earlier, medications have a role to play as do certain supplements. However, I let good science be my guide, not conjecture, anecdotes, hearsay, etc. Supplements are not a religion that requires blind faith. Please stop treating them as such.

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    1. You read the peer reviewed articles which their FUNDERS allowed to be published. Thus you are MISLED by funders who pay for twelve studies and publish the two that they like. The former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine opined that HALF the papers she published were just plain wrong. I shall prefer anecdotal evidence to pharma selected evidence.

      Pharma captured the medical schools a century ago and that's why, for example, insulin potentiated chemo is practiced in England but not in the USA. Big pharma hates it since it uses only ten percent as much chemo. Patients like it since their hair does not all fall out.

      And the FDA is a big part of the problem. Metformin was revealed in a French journal in 1957, In 1958 the British NHS approved it. In 1975 it was in use in Canada. In 1996 the FDA allowed it in the US. We should pay more attention to what is learned in other countries.

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    2. There is no question that studies never prove anything. They merely, when they are done well, add to our knowledge. That said, why do you feel attacking the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA, even if deserved, somehow proves anything other than prescription drugs may not always be the answer. The fact that drugs are not the answer doesn't make supplements a better solution or a solution at all in most cases. Most importantly, Bill Sardi quotes such studies for his own purposes, so its a moot point at best.

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  6. Bill Sardi recently contacted me by an email titled "What you believe in" that included reference to a new study published in PLOSOne that shows that NHANES data in regards to self-reported energy intake is flawed. I suppose this was Bill's attempt to repudiate my earlier reliance on NHANES data to refute his supposition that more Americans are vitamin deficient then NHANES reports.

    In response to Bill, I wrote the following:

    As you know this study is about energy intake, which is a self-reported data point. The study is not about vitamin levels and nutritional status, which are objectively measured by NHANES researchers. If the study is accurate, and let’s assume it is, it would not be surprising that reported data is flawed. Actually, I would expect it to be given my own experience with patient reporting. Nevertheless, this is why a long time ago I coined the phrase, Caveat Lector, let the reader beware.

    My issue with your proclamations about vitamin supplementation stems from the fact that most people who lived and continue to live to 100 across the world, in places like Sardinia, Okinawa, and Costa Rica, don’t supplement. I don’t supplement, eat primarily a plant based diet with added wild fish, and scored extremely high on a carotenoid tester. This was not the case before I changed my lifestyle. Previously, I was pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol, weighed about 25 pounds more, had all sorts of GI symptoms, and took prescription medicine to address my maladies. No longer.

    Numerous studies, of which they all have flaws because they can almost never prove cause and effect, have shown that the right diet plus sun precludes the need for supplements as it has for homo sapiens 200,000 years of existence and earlier man. Vitamins weren’t discovered as unique entities until 1912 and supplements (ignoring ancient herbalists for the moment), both natural and synthetic, didn’t come into existence until the 1930s.

    Until a well-controlled, double-blind randomized, longitudinal study is done, we can continue to debate this point ad nauseum. I recommend people avoid putting objects into their bodies that are man-made, including prescription medication, whenever possible. That includes plastic mouth-guards.

    Our food supply has been clearly altered and may offer some new perils, but I do believe, until good science dissuades me, that natural food still beats the alternatives.


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  7. There is so much contradictory advice out there, I don't believe anyone anymore. I don't think doctors are properly trained in health, only medicine, and I don't think studies are absolute in their conclusions. Bill Sardi has written about personal experiences with helping people regain health through nutritional supplements and others who are doing the same. I'm sure you've treated people too-- "cured"... I don't know. Everyone is always fighting and no one is working together to really get to the bottom of the information we know. What I do know is that the Cancer Cure machine keeps asking for money but ignoring all the potential finds of independent doctors who are showing an elimination of cancer through means other than surgery, chemo and radiation. It all just makes me sick to my stomach that these cases are ignored. You and everyone in the medical community seem to be about profit.

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    1. For the umpteenth time, I accept no personal compensation for my medical services and have made no profits for over three years. As to Bill Sardi, you are simply being hoodwinked as he is NOT a medical practitioner, has no medical or similar degree, and therefore could not have lawfully treated anyone. It's all propaganda to sell his books and products. Believe what you want, but please check your facts first. I just lost my brother two weeks ago to cancer so I wish there was a better way. Unfortunately, today, a better way doesn't exist.

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    2. Sorry to hear about your brother.
      You are a good doc, just that lot of us are looking for solutions which the medical field is not providing & in desperation tend to look at alternatives.

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    3. Thank you about my brother. My concerns is while the medical field is imperfect in offering solutions to many problems, and the solutions it offers usually involve pills or procedures, there is no reason to believe that non-licensed, far less formally educated people have better answers. I'm not saying it is impossible; I'm simply saying it is improbable. The alternatives come with out scrutiny usually afforded to more mainstream approaches and therefore inherently carry greater risks. Of greater concern, is my observation that many people are willing to suspend the usual caution in approaching alternatives because they are desperate for a solution. Personally, I would exhaust all physician guided therapy before embarking on a precarious route of embracing alternatives. It's a personal choice and I think a wise one based on my growing knowledge of both allopathic medicine and alternatives.

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    4. A jack of all trades is usually a master of none, personally if I had to seek advice on nutrition and diet I would go to the person who has studied it the most, unlicensed or licensed. It's simply a matter of comparative advantage.

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    5. There seems to be some confusion that this is somehow a debate between Bill Sardi and I. It is not. As to comparative advantage, your comments would suggest that we were discussing our capabilities in reference to issues where the person with superior training and experience is at an advantage such as with weightlifting or a spelling bee.That's not my point whatsoever.
      What triggered this blog was my dismay that Bill was preaching faith in dietary supplements, particularly the ones he sells, when I couldn't find evidence to support such faith.
      There are many studies done every day, but it is well established now that most are not to be considered reliable because their results are never confirmed (as required by the scientific method of reproducibility) or the study design was so weak or fatally flawed as to make the results meaningless. People like Bill Sardi nevertheless tout such studies to make their points and support their sales.
      The good studies are in limited supply and it doesn't take all that long to review the actual studies armed with the scientific knowledge of interpreting study results. Bill may have acquired such knowledge but that doesn't seem to be the case because he makes claims in his book that simply are inaccurate.
      May I suggest you read my blog post titled, Is Faith in Dietary Supplements A New Religion to realize that Bill is attempting to be a guru of pseudoscience and I am simply saying that until there is good science to support the use of certain dietary supplements, I would recommend against them and against taking advice from people who would profit from you buying them. .

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    6. But I imagine that you believe that high cholesterol is a big problem, but instead, as reported by the Institute of Medicine, that's a bunch of hooey since doctors take numbers instead of actual health status for their desired results. And HIV is not a sexually transmitted disease. See Henry Bauer's "Dogmatism in Medicine and Science" for some of the egregious errors in modern medicine. Profit seeking is what gives us mediocre results for twice the price of other industrial world health systems. We should try to fix that, not just insist on doctors degreed by medical schools captured by big pharma.

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    7. You would be wrong as I don't believe high cholesteral is always a problem as not everyone with high cholesterol has a cardiac event, although elevated cholesterol may be a marker for other problems such as inflammation. As to HIV, I know it is sexually transmitted regardless of what you read. Finally, everything sold is sold for a profit and that includes dietary supplements. Finally, I went to medical school and was NEVER swayed by the pharmaceutical companies, so stop assuming that all doctors are under its spell.

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  9. I agree wholeheartedly with you Steven. As a dietitian I frequently come across people self-medicating (which they are entirely within their rights to do) and expecting miracles. The addition of a vitamin supplement to an otherwise poor diet and sedentary lifestyle achieves little, if anything. I don't prescribe medications. I have nothing to gain financially or otherwise from pharmaceutical companies. I do however engage in evidence-based practice and wouldn't dream of making unsubstantiated claims in treating my patients. It's dangerous, misleading and unethical. And as for alternative therapies - once they have been tested and proven to be effective, they become part of the evidence that underpins practice. No longer alternative medicine, but medicine.

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  10. I have heard many times that medical schools do
    not teach nutrition in any significant depth to
    med students. So why would I be more inclined
    to listen to a medical doctor over someone like
    Bill Sardi, who has spent many years studying
    the subject of nutrition? Just curious.

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  11. Fair question. It is true that most medical schools still do not teach about nutrition and the few that do invest very relatively few hours in the subject. However, there are people with PhDs in nutrition from highly respectable programs who would be reasonable sources on the subject of dietary supplements.
    However, I am not suggesting that you simply put your trust in any PhD or physician for nutritional advice. My philosophy is that all information should be vetted from several reliable sources before it can be trusted. That's why I always say, caveat Lector, let the reader beware.
    The issue with Bill Sardi is that he claims he has unique expertise, despite nearly zero formal education. and then based on this expertise, advbocates that you should only buy his multivitamin product that he touts as the best there is based on his own self-serving, self-selection of the limited literature that would superficially appear to support his sales efforts.
    As most people know, the only studies that are truly reliable are studies that have been done well in the first place and have been reproduced by other credible scientists. Bill Sardi's research doesn't reach that level of validity.
    Taking advice from an unlicensed, self-proclaimed expert is fraught with danger.

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  12. Prevention seems to be the real answer to cancer and most other problems.A return to the past environmently would help' with of course eliminating the pollutates of the past.

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    1. Actually, it's not clear that the past was better. Even though early Homo Sapiens were physically active, breathed clean air, didn't smoke, and only ate organic, little to no gluten (definitely no GMOs), grass fed beef, cage free chickens, wild fish, etc., they are purported to have died on average by their thirties, presumably due to infections, inflicted wounds, etc. I say purported because no one knows for sure. Theer probably was little cancer because they didn't live long enough.
      Eating healthy as part of an overall healthy lifestyle seems to, at best, improve your odds of avoiding or delaying chronic diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. The human body was not built to last, and until scientists crack a lot more codes, most people regardless of how they live will not make it out of their eighties. However, living into your eighties if you are now fifty or younger, may provide enough time for science to make some real progress on stopping or maybe even reversing aging, realizing the potential of stem cells, curing or preventing cancer, etc.
      So aim to live to 100 and hope you make it to ninety.

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  13. Hi Dr. Charlap,

    I share your concerns about Bill Sardi, and his seeming ulterior motive to sell his supplements over other's. I recently heard him on a radio show and was struck by the shamelessness of his blatant attempt at advertising his products under the guise of an "interview". That, in fact, is how I came across your discussion about him.

    I do have a certain question for you: I'm wondering how you specifically feel about his claims regarding the delivery of allicin when obtained from garlic. He claims that, unless using a crushed garlic clove, swallowed after waiting 9 seconds, that the allicin is not activated because the enzyme that activates it is rendered neutral or destroyed by the stomach acid. Furthermore, he claims that any garlic pill that does not use an alkaline buffer to protect the enzyme is not delivering allicin to the body. And, conveniently, he offers the only pill that buffers in this way.

    Do his explanations and claims stand up to any research conducted by the medical community regarding extracting allicin from garlic? Is allicin activated by alliinase? Is alliinase destroyed by stomach acid?

    Thanks!

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  14. Hi Mark,

    I don’t have any real working knowledge about allicin. After a preliminary review of pubmed, the government database, I noted over 400 related studies so I can’t easily peruse them. Also, there was no review on the naturalstandard.com database. That said, if you tell me what it is you are trying to accomplish, I may be able to help. Why is allicin, or even, garlic of importance to you? I am not a believer in any “superfoods” or isolated nutrients in general. I believe in eating a healthy selection of whole foods and I would include garlic among them. On a personal note, I consumed a bit too much raw garlic two summers ago and it took me six months to recover from the damage it did to my esophagus. It caused my esophagus to spasm. So as I always say, but don't always follow my own advice,eat healthy foods in moderation and try to avoid processed and other types of unhealthy food.

    To your health,

    Steve

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    1. Thanks for your quick reply! To answer your question, I guess the supposed anti-microbial properties of allicin interested me. I'm a pretty healthy person, 34 years old, and definitely believe in exercise and a balanced diet, but don't always live my beliefs (who does lol). The only issue I would say I deal with on a daily basis is acid reflux. I've recently learned about H.Pylori and thought, perhaps, garlic (allicin) may be a candidate to earn a place in my daily intake, and may help decrease this bacteria (if in fact it is present, which I do not know conclusively at this time...being scoped does not sound very pleasant). Furthermore, maintaining a balance between "good bacteria" and naturally-occurring yeast in the gut makes a lot of sense to me, and it occurred to me that a garlic supplement which delivers a full potential of allicin may help with this as well.

      Some family background: gastritis issues do run in my family, and my mother was recently tested and does not have H.Pylori, however some years ago she was diagnosed with an excess of yeast (candida I'm assuming) and was treated for this (prescribed oral anti-fungal, plus a daily regiment of acidophilus). Being treated ultimately made a significant positive impact on her.

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    2. As it's not appropriate to practice medicine in this manner, I can't make any specific recommendations. What I can say is that h. pylori can also be diagnosed by breath and stool tests so scoping is not the only choice. Furthermore, if you have h.pylori, it needs to be properly treated with antibiotics to eradicate it. Finally, it's not wise to try and self-diagnose. Your problems could have many other origins including food and countless other allergies causing post-nasal drip, could be pancreas or gallbladder/liver related, could be a side effect of inflammatory bowel disease, and yes, could even be due to yeast and other infections.
      Sometimes, even heart inflammation can mimic these symptoms.
      Your acid reflux can also be due to hiatal hernia, a weak or damaged pyloric sphincter, and esophageal disease.
      In other words, it should be properly evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
      Foods, like garlic, turmeric, etc. that have anti-microbial properties are good for general health and prevention, but are far less effective for treatment. The best way to maintain healthy bacteria is through proper diet.
      At 37 years old, you shouldn't be having these problems so please get properly evaluated and don't rely on the internet for your answers.

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    3. Sounds good...agreed on all accounts. Thanks!

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    4. Dr. Charpal,

      I thank you for your very informative posts. Question regarding Vitamin D3...... I am a 58 yr old woman with diagnosed CHF. I am a miracle patient with an Ejection Fraction that 3 years ago was 10 and now 50.
      Once I was on the proper meds, a Boston Scientific Pacemaker/Defib I have become a walking miracle. The one thing I can not improve is my Vitamin D Level. Ranges from 8 to 23 I take 50,000 Units Weekly a script from the Endo Doctor. He honestly does not know what to do with me. I am eating as much as I can of D based foods very healthy diet get @least 15 daily in the sun. Also have just for the first time in the last six months developed low potassium levels @2.9-3.0 My doctors are baffled. Any thoughts I can discuss promise do not self medicate. Thanks in advance.

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    5. A recent review of Vitamin D studies came to the tentative conclusion that low Vitamin D doesn't cause health problems, but is the result of health problems, and suggested that when confronted with a low Vitamin D level a person is cautioned to have his or her doctor search for the reason as opposed to simply supplementing.

      That said, I have several questions. Is it possible for you to get more direct sunlight on your midsection? Are you overweight? Have you tried different brands of Vitamin D3? Can you find any correlation about how you feel and the measured level of your Vitamin D? In other words, do you feel different when its 8 versus 23? Do you have any symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency like bone problems such as fractures or pain? Is your blood pressure normal? Are you taking laxatives or diuretics? Has your doctor measured the levels of aldosterone and renin in your blood? Has your doctor ruled out primary aldosteronism and chronic kidney disease?

      Any doctor would need answers to these questions to make any further suggestions.

      That said, you should know that the Institute of Medicine, one of the groups that set the initial levels, two years ago lowered the threshold for a Vitamin D deficiency from 30 down to 20.
      On another note, when my brother recently passed from kidney cancer, his Vitamin D level dropped to about 8 before his passing.

      I am not suggesting that you have cancer, but if you are not overweight, and you are using a good Vitamin D3 supplement, and getting enough Vitamin D from food and sun exposure, then it is likely that there is some other disease process at play in your body that begs for further evaluation by a licensed doctor. Finally, have you had a ultrasound or CT scan of your abdomen? If not, then I recommend you discuss with your doctor having at least the ultrasound at this point. I would focus in on the kidneys and adrenal glands as they are involved in maintaining potassium levels and affect blood pressure, if that is a problem.

      Please let me know what happens.

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    6. Thank you Dr Charlap for your truly informative reply. I had wondered if the meds I am on in any way shape or fashion could be a contributing factor. Currently I am on 200 mg of Toprol xl Brand , 10 mg of Lisinopril , (doc may discontinue), 25 mg Spironolactone, 10 mg Crestor, Furosemide 40 mg 2x daily as needed, About 10 days out of the month I only need 1, 81 mg baby aspirin, 250 mg of Magnesium 3x daily as needed. Most days I take just one, a few days none, some two. My doctor let's me manage he says since he did , let me listen to my body those levels have been perfect. Prior the other doctor had me on the mag 1,200 mg daily and a list of supplements he took me off of & I feel great. Last and not least the Klor Con Potassium 20 . He is hoping by April we can eliminate this one.
      I am diet control diabetic blood sugar runs generally 115 A1c 5.63. Need to lose about 40 pounds have over the last 2 years lost 80. I am as of current losing @ 4 pounds a month.
      Now to answer your question when my D was 8 I was way too exhausted to move once I was place on the D it was like being given speed & of course I was able to out in the sun more. When it is 16 , or 23 I notice fatigue and extreme pain in my bones. Once I take the pill it is gone.
      I felt that a Gyn issue I was having could be some of the answer. Had been having bleeding since Nov 1, 2013. Not heavy bleeding but like a washer that needs to be replaced in a faucet. Had a Hysterscopy, Polypectomy (removed ones 2 cm) & D & C. Biopsy normal. Still bleeding 3 weeks later but now pain .
      BP ranges from 96/62 to 120/80 Average most days 115/70
      Pulse range from 75-90 which for me is amazing. It turns out I have serious Sinus Node issues hence the Boston Scientific PM/Defib before that Hopkins documented I went into tachycardia 100x daily without feeling it pulse would go from 150-250. Kidney levels have been perfect, Cholesterol perfect. Will ask about the adrenal that may make some sense. Also if it matters I am quite Estrogen dominate. Having blood levels done to narrow things down done Tuesday.
      Again many thanks.

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    7. Forgot to mention did have abdominal Scan 2 years ago and X-Ray a year ago but may suggest good thought.

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    8. You have a lot going on that could explain the abnormalities. Please let me know what the doctor determines.

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    9. My condolences Dr. Charlap on your recent loss, I know it's not easy parting ways with a loved one. About this character Sardi, just last night he was peddling another 'great' Purity product on the radio. He is a good salesman, is what he is, nothing more than that. As you stated previously, there are thousand of supplements out there on the market and sifting through all of them to find out which one works for you and your given condition it's nearly an impossible task for consumers. I have OA in my knees, had both knees scoped by meniscus surgery and I was on the verge of actually having knee replacement surgery on my left. I saw 3 different orthopedic doctors and all of them suggested I go under the knife. One thing that they are good at is cutting you up and put you back together, that's what they train for. None of them suggested or had any incline towards any supplements that would be helpful for my condition so I had to do it on my own. I take some pills now (not made in the US) and some powder that really helps my knees. It took a while though until all the inflammation went away and I started to jog with no pain. These claims by supplement sellers that their product relieves pain/inflammation in days is false. Any product out there that actually does what it claims, will take at least 2 months to yield some results. I know this from personal experience obviously. But Doctor, why do you think that there is no oversight on these products from the government? Why do we as consumers have to get ripped off over and over again by the likes of Bill Sardi? Just because these products have a disclaimer that states 'this product is not intended to treat or cure any disease' makes it legally binding? 'These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA'? Are you kidding me? How can you sell a product that targets a specific condition and then basically tell me in fine print the opposite? And then there are these reviews on line for every product out there. Some reviews are very positive and others are exactly the opposite. How is this possible? How can a pill do wonders for me and do absolutely nothing for you? Which review is fake: the positive one or the negative one? One does not know, you just have to try them out. Keep up the good work Doctor!

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    10. Thank you for your condolences .

      Her are a few comments in response to your statements and some answers to your questions:

      You wrote: I take some pills now (not made in the US) and some powder that really helps my knees.

      My comment: I am curious what products you are taking, particualrly if they are not manufactured in the US. Although such products may be helpful to your knees' OA, are you sure they are otherwise safe? Oftentimes, especially outside the US, supplement products may contain powerful prescription ingredients such as steroids that have real therapeutic benefits, but may be equally dangerous. Please investigae the products you are taking to make sure this is not the case.

      You asked: But Doctor, why do you think that there is no oversight on these products from the government?

      My response: There is oversight, but unfortunately, due to two laws passed in 1990 and 1994 after intense lobbying led by the supplement industry, the oversight is now very limited, See this link for more on the current oversight: http://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/qadietarysupplements/default.htm#FDA_oversight

      You asked: Why do we as consumers have to get ripped off over and over again by the likes of Bill Sardi? Just because these products have a disclaimer that states 'this product is not intended to treat or cure any disease' makes it legally binding? 'These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA'? Are you kidding me? How can you sell a product that targets a specific condition and then basically tell me in fine print the opposite?

      My response: The old saying of caveat emptor, let the buyer beware applies. I add caveat lector, let the reader beware as well. As far as I can tell, Bill Sardi is not breaking the law. He is however, taking advantage of people's gullibility and desire for less expensive and less invasive alternative solutions to current medical care, even though such solutions often don't exist.

      You wrote and asked: And then there are these reviews on line for every product out there. Some reviews are very positive and others are exactly the opposite. How is this possible?

      My response: There are many different types of study designs, from randomized double blind controlled studies to one-time after the fact cross-sectional studies, each with varying degrees of reliability of results, In other words,,differnt studies may show different results but the results are not equal from a scientifically reliable standpoint, It depends on the quality of the study design, the study population. and the study team.

      You asked: How can a pill do wonders for me and do absolutely nothing for you? Which review is fake: the positive one or the negative one?

      My response: Based on genetic differences, medical history, and other factors such as lifestyle, medications and supplements may work for one person and not for another. That's why it's both important and difficult for most people to determine if a study's results apply to them. I beleive that someday, we willl have good pharmacogenetic testing that will help identify who is likely to respond positively to each treatment available.
      In regards to reviews, it is important to identify who is doing the review, Is it an unbiased, non agenda, evidence-based review or a review done by someone trying to sell you something? As I wrote before, caveat emptor and caveat lector.

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    11. Thank you Dr Charlap for your clarifications. It's certainly a 'dog eat dog' type of world out there and we as consumers/patients are having a difficult time finding the right product or the right dietary balance to improve and maintain our health. There's definitely a trend today towards natural remedies and holistic approaches. As you well know, there are so many studies done for just as many reasons that it creates a lot of confusion for the average Joe. Single blind, double blind, triple blind, between the ages of 30-40, while taking a placebo, while breast feeding, while sky-diving, and on and on, you get the point. BTW, don't know if the sky-diving one ever made it to the market (lol). Many people out there are not in love with Big Pharma as you know. But it has been my experience that when I had to take a pain killer or a dose of antibiotics it worked as advertised. How long will it take for someone to kill the pain or get rid of the infection using the natural remedy? Food for thought, for sure. Now, in response to your question about the products that I'm taking for my OA: the pills are called 'Not Just Joints' and are made in New Zealand. I buy them from a company called 'extend-life'. The powder is called 'Arthrenew' it is made in the US and I buy it from a local store here in the South Bay area of LA called 'Lindberg Nutrition'. As I stated previously, they do work for my condition and I had to try many products before that until I settled for these. As far as the ingredients in these products, they are clearly listed on their respective websites and I did scrutinized them before making the first purchase. Obviously they will not help grow cartilage in my knees, but they keep the inflammation and the lubrication in check which is what I'm after. No inflammation and good lubrication=NO PAIN. Once again, keep up the good work Doctor.

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    12. I am curious why you take both products as the second one contains many of the same ingredients as the first. Arthrenew also contains a proprietary blend, which should always create suspicions of what is included, and it is my aa\dvice that such products should be avoided. As for the Not Just Joints, that will take more work to analyze each ingredient separately but as it contains certain ingredients known to have benefit for inflammation, I can see why it might work. That said, I don't like products that contain so many ingredients that have never been tested together as to whether there are any long term side-effects, but I guess that's a personal choice. Why not find out which ingredients work for you and stick with only those ingredients?.

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  15. Fair question, it may look like overkill so let me explain:
    The manufacturer of the pills recommends a daily dose of 3-6 pills. That's 1 bottle/month at the minimum and, at $42.50/bottle over the course of a year it amounts to $510. Likewise, the manufacturer of the powder recommends a serving size of 1 scoop/day and at 1 bottle/month over the course of a year it amounts to $340(price+tax). There are no taxes or shipping charges on the pills.So, That's roughly $850/year. What I do instead is try to stretch my dollar and still enjoying the benefits of what I believe to be 2 very good products. I work out every other day on my Bowflex machine and my stationary bike. Those days I incorporate the powder into my protein drink. The non-workout days I take the pills but only 2 of them, not even the minimum recommended. This way the powder will last me 2 months instead of 1, and the pills will last me 3 months instead of 1. So you see, it's a matter of saving money and as I stated before still enjoying the benefits. Also, the pills do not contain any calcium but the powder does so I believe that's one added benefit there. And I did stay away from products that list the ingredients only as proprietary blends, which is not the case with this powder though. I feel I could also use a good calcium only supplement and I was looking at a product called 'Amla C' made by a company by the name of Metaorganics. If you have the time to look it up and give me some feed back as to you think about it, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you Doctor!

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    1. I think we are headed in the wrong direction. I'm trying to discourage or limit the use of your current pills and you are asking me about taking more. I am very much against the use of antioxidant supplements because there is a growing body of science that suggests they may cause harm instead of helping because they apparently supress normal immune function.

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  16. Dr. Charlap, I don't know where you get the idea there is no research to show the value of supplements in health care.
    This is an excerpt from: How Modern Medicine Killed My Brother by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.:
    As before, I could not pry any information about my brother concerning his laboratory test, chest x-rays or the reason he was deteriorating so rapidly. His doctor refused to call me, despite numerous attempts by my sister and me to have her call.

    In all my 26 years of neurosurgical practice, I have never seen a situation where a doctor treating a gravely ill patient would not discuss the case with a family member who is a physician. It was as if my brother belonged to the hospital and his physician and the family was to be kept in the dark.

    Finally, I was able to speak to one of the consulting doctors, who told me my brother had a very low hemoglobin count. I asked him if he was giving him blood.

    After a long pause, he answered, "No." I responded, " Well, with him unable to breath, don't you think it would be a good idea to increase his oxygen-carrying capacity by giving him blood?" He mumbled in agreement. I told him that I wanted my sister and her son to give the blood and that they were in the process of doing that as we spoke. He agreed. Yet, before my sister could have the blood transferred to Charles, the doctors had already given him blood from unknown donors.

    I rushed to my brother's side and found him awake, on a respirator and very frightened. He was receiving no magnesium in his IV and was getting a tube feeding-formula that contains significant doses of glutamate, something known to cause pulmonary deterioration. Again, his doctor never heard of that.

    An Incredible Admission

    At that point, Charles was lapsing into a coma. Still his doctor had not contacted me or communicated with me in any way. Disgusted, I told the nurse to have her come to the room and I didn't want any excuses. I asked to speak to her in private. She insisted a nurse remain with her. I told her of my absolute amazement that a treating physician would not speak to the family, especially when one of the family members was a doctor. She denied she had ever gotten a message, which was a bold-faced lie.

    I then told her that I wanted my brother to have certain supplements that had been shown in careful medical studies to improve lung function. She had never heard of them, but agreed to give them if her superior, the Chief of Medicine, agreed. Therefore, I gave her a stack of medical abstracts and told her to let me know if there was a problem.

    Within five minutes, she returned and stated that he would not agree to it and responded that the Chief of Medicine told her that he would not agree to change the treatment based on abstracts. I told her I wanted to talk with him that minute.

    He arrived, looking very arrogant and self-important. I decided that I would try to calmly discuss with him my brother's case and why he needed the supplements. Again, I asked for a private meeting. He wanted Charles' doctor to be present.

    I explained to him what I was asking for was backed up by peered-reviewed studies and that none of the supplements had ever shown any harmful side effects in any dose. In a very arrogant tone, totally unsympathetic to my concern for my brother, he stated that he only read and trusted four journals:
    * Lancet
    * New England Journal of Medicine
    * Annals of Internal Medicine
    * Journal of the American Medical Association

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    1. Thank you for sharing this poignat excerpt. As someone who recently experienced a somewhat similar situation with a brother in a hospital who was dying and was not receiving adequate nutrition, I can absolutely relate to it. However, I hope you agree that such a story does not rise to the level of evidence of the value of dietary supplements in patients who are not deficient.
      For example, you cite magnesium, one of the fifteen essential minerals. There is no question that a human being requires adequate magnesium for healthy functioning. There is also no question that excess magnesium serves no purpose. That said, magnesium can be found in many foods such as nuts like almonds, cruciferous vegetables like spinach, and beans like edamame. My first choice is always to get essential nutrients from food and I don't buy the argument that people are unable to get their nutrition from food.

      In the excerpt, I can see the value of supplementing a hospitalized patient's diet if they are unable for any reason to consume enough nutrients. In my brother's case, he received hyperalimnetation, which is an intravenous infusion of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fattty acids, and amino acids. Hyperalimentaion has a role to play, but it's quite a stretch to argue that most of the population is nutritionally deficient because there is simply no valid and reliable evidence to that effect. Yes, certain institutionalized and ill people may be deficient, but they are the exception, not the rule.
      I say there is no evidence to support supplements in the absence of deficiency because such evidence simply does not exist and I am always prepared to review such evidence that I am unaware of if someone will send it to me.
      I don't have many perfect answers because I think that the jury is still out on what works best to extend healthy longevity. However, I do know that popping supplement pills that one determines on their own or hears from a self-proclaimed guru is necessary, is not wise.

      Delete
  17. (continued)
    Shocked that anyone would admit to being so intellectually limited, I told him there were thousands of peer-reviewed medical journals, most of which were reputable. He responded that he didn't have time to read or look up additional material.

    What an admission!

    I reminded him I practiced neurosurgery for 26 years and was a hell of a lot busier than he had ever been. I also told him I had managed to write three books and 30 articles for peer-reviewed journals in addition to three chapters for medical textbooks. He had no comment.

    I told him I found it inconceivable that a physician holding the position of Chief of Staff in a teaching hospital would:
    * Admit they read only four journals
    * Didn't have time to research material that would improve a patient's care
    * Would be so obstinate and filled with so much self-importance they would allow a patient to die rather than try something that had strong clinical evidence of benefit without any complications

    The doctor still refused to change his mind.

    I pointed out to him, for 20 years there was a mountain of evidence that magnesium offered tremendous protection to the heart and brain, but because of people like him, it was only recently that magnesium has been added to the "protocol" for heart patients. I, then, reminded both of them that tens of thousands of patients died during that 20-year period because of their unwillingness to use a harmless mineral like magnesium. Then I said, " Is my brother to die because of your narrow mindedness and arrogance"?

    I pointedly asked him if he could see the logic, the reasoning behind what I was asking. He responded that he did up until to the point about all the people that must die because of waiting for the elite of medicine to make up their mind. I turned to the female physician and asked her the same question. She said she agreed with the logic but trusted her chief.

    Blind Leading the Blind

    I asked the Chief of Medicine if he would want the same treatment for his brother. He thought a minute and then said, "Yes." He again, appealed to the fact that he didn't have time to research all these things. I reminded him that his job was to do whatever was necessary to provide his patients with the best medical care, based on the latest medical evidence available no matter how much time he had to sacrifice. He could not fall back on time constraints or the fact that he trusted only four journals.

    The Chief of Medicine left, a lot less openly arrogant and self-assured. He was not able to give a single argument to support his intellectually bankrupt concept of medicine.

    It reminded me of the title of a book I had recently purchased: Intellectual Morons. He certainly fit the description. Before he left, I reminded him it was doctors like him who were the problem in modern medicine -- arrogant, condescending to patients and certain the medical care protocols established by the elitist academians were holy writ. Further, it was because of such an attitude that patients by the millions were leaving the medical care system, and seeking answers from so-called alternative medicine.

    Patients were fed up with having drugs and treatments shoved down their throats that only led to more misery and rarely helped their disease.

    entire article at http://www.rense.com/general60/killed.htm

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this poignat excerpt. As someone who recently experienced a somewhat similar situation with a brother in a hospital who was dying and was not receiving adequate nutrition, I can absolutely relate to it. However, I hope you agree that such a story does not rise to the level of evidence of the value of dietary supplements in patients who are not deficient.
      For example, you cite magnesium, one of the fifteen essential minerals. There is no question that a human being requires adequate magnesium for healthy functioning. There is also no question that excess magnesium serves no purpose. That said, magnesium can be found in many foods such as nuts like almonds, cruciferous vegetables like spinach, and beans like edamame. My first choice is always to get essential nutrients from food and I don't buy the argument that people are unable to get their nutrition from food.

      In the excerpt, I can see the value of supplementing a hospitalized patient's diet if they are unable for any reason to consume enough nutrients. In my brother's case, he received hyperalimnetation, which is an intravenous infusion of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fattty acids, and amino acids. Hyperalimentaion has a role to play, but it's quite a stretch to argue that most of the population is nutritionally deficient because there is simply no valid and reliable evidence to that effect. Yes, certain institutionalized and ill people may be deficient, but they are the exception, not the rule.
      I say there is no evidence to support supplements in the absence of deficiency because such evidence simply does not exist and I am always prepared to review such evidence that I am unaware of if someone will send it to me.
      I don't have many perfect answers because I think that the jury is still out on what works best to extend healthy longevity. However, I do know that popping supplement pills that one determines on their own or hears from a self-proclaimed guru is necessary, is not wise.

      Delete
  18. Dr. Charlap, conclusion of Dr. Blaylock's article also seems pertinent to some of your comments--continued from How Modern Medicine Killed My Brother by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.:
    The Danger of Regimentation

    The practice of medicine has changed drastically in the world, especially in this country. When I first entered the world of medicine, doctors were able to practice independently, always maintaining a close relationship between themselves, the patient and the patient's family. Creative, caring doctors could alter their care to match new developments in medicine and nutrition to the greatest benefit of their patients. Third parties such as insurance companies, government and medical elite were held at bay.

    Yet, the new thinking is that the practicing physician, and especially the patient, is unable to make these decisions. Instead, they are to follow a system of regimented medicine that assigns treatment protocols the physician is to blindly follow.

    Elite boards appointed by medical associations, such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Practice and others, design these treatment protocols and hand them down to the "ignorant automatons" making up the vast majority of treating physicians. They are to follow these regimented treatments without question and to the letter.

    The new breed of doctor, like my brother's doctors, fits this new pattern well. They are convinced this "cookbook" medicine is superior and their elite journals and medical associations know best. Like members of the society Aldous Huxley described in A Brave New World, they are mere cogs in the wheel of the state's machinery. They do not question the authorities or the wisdom of their decrees. They do what they are told. They are unable to think for themselves.

    In fact, I asked Charles' doctor, "Can you not think for yourself?" She looked at me sheepishly and said, "I just trust the Chief of Medicine."

    I also reminded the arrogant Chief of Medicine these elite decision-making bodies have been racked with scandals that involved financial connections to pharmaceutical companies and other medical product manufacturers. In addition, similar scandals occurred among the editorial staff of one of his favorite journals, the New England Journal of Medicine.

    This collectivist regimentation of medicine will only get worse. Families are now excluded from medical care decisions, doctors do not talk to families, the entire hospital experience is shrouded in secrecy and patients have no say in their care. While more innovative doctors can alter the protocols or even reject them, soon they will not have that option. To deviate from the collectivist plan is to invite the wrath of the legal system.

    Fear of Financial Ruin

    Litigation pushes many physicians into following elitist protocols out of fear of financial ruin. In fact, these protocols have become the "standard of care" used by the legal system. Unfortunately, doctors, like those who killed my brother, are being turned out of medical schools all over the country like robots. They repeat the mantra of collectivism as if they thought of it themselves. To this new breed of doctors, individualism and independent thought is to be discouraged and reviled. Dependence on elite leaders will be automatic.

    As an example, I recently spoke to a large group concerning the harmful effects of glutamate, explaining it is now known that glutamate, as added to foods, significantly accelerates the growth and spread of cancers. I asked the crowd when was the last time an oncologist told his or her patient to avoid MSG or foods high in glutamate. The answer, I said, was never.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't disagree with a lot of what you wrote. However, as is usually the case, there is a flip-side to your arguments. Part of the collectivism that you shared is called evidence-based medicine. It's good science that is thoroughly tested and validated for its effectiveness, efficacy, and usually safety profile.
      Doctors who deviate from such practice deservedly risk litigation and chastisement if the patient is harmed.
      That said, there is no question that insurance companies now hold the upper hand in most (not all) medical practices. It is a sad state of affairs.

      Delete
  19. conclusion of Dr. Blaylock's article ... from How Modern Medicine Killed My Brother by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.:

    After the talk, a crowd gathered to ask more questions. Suddenly, I was interrupted by a young woman who identified herself as a radiation oncologist. She angrily stated, "I really took offense to your comment about oncologists not telling their patients about glutamate."

    I turned to her and asked, "Well, do you tell your patients to avoid glutamate?" She looked puzzled and said, "No one told us to." I asked her who this person or persons were whose job it was to provide her with this information. I, then, reminded her that I obtained this information from her oncology journals. Did she not read her own journals?

    Yet, this is the attitude of the modern doctor. An elitist group is in charge of disseminating all the information physicians are to know. If they do not tell them, then, in their way of thinking, the information was of no value. Of course, 10 or 20 years from now, it may be the new standard and on all the protocols.

    How many cancer patients will have died during the long wait for the elitists to conclude the information was important? A million? Five million? Do they even care?

    In my conversation with the two physicians responsible for my brother's "care," they obviously didn't care.

    It is too late for my brother. But, maybe, just maybe, if enough people decide they do not care to leave their fate and that of their loved ones in the hands of these arrogant regimented physicians, something will change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this conclusion is misguided. Physicians are our best hope for the right answers. The challenge is to change and expand the medical school education system to both add sufficient education about nutrition and other lifestyle related factors, as well as sensitize them to the social services factors related to good health.
      I recently read a good book titled, The American Health Care Paradox that does a adequate job of explaining how our system fails in these regards.
      Medical school education may simply need to be expanded to five years to get this done.
      Notwithstanding, people like Bill Sardi simply do not offer a viable alternative to misinformed or uncaring physicians. If you don't think your physician is knowledgeable, compassionate and/or caring, find one who is. They may be harder to find, but they do exist.

      Delete
    2. By the way, Blaylock appears to have an agenda of selling his own products. See this website for more information: http://www.skepdic.com/blaylock.html

      Delete
    3. "Physicians are our best hope for the right answers."
      Hello, the above statement was true with the profession as a whole. However in the United States for the profession as a whole it's about the money and reducing risk from malpractice litigation. For example, I have had friends whom I usually will not treat go to their PCP for back pain. The PCP examines them then sends them for an MRI/CT/Xray pick one or two that were prescribed. The average person is 40 plus living a go go life style with balancing kids work spouse. They are stressed over worked and tired. The issue usually found in the diagnostic imaging is age related changes usually to the disc's. After this finding they are referred to either a neurologist from there a orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. If the surgeon is good meaning they have enough patients that have some form of stenosis impinging on a nerve root or cord (there are other diagnosis no covered) that benefit from spine surgery the patient will not be a surgical candidate. Usually non-radiating pain or weakness to an extremity is contraindication for surgery. However I see people all the time that were told by the profession they need surgery. I won't touch them if there is no clear benefit to the patient. This opens up a can of worms and usually the patient will be very unhappy.

      When it comes to supplements I tell them Sept 15 - May 15 Vitamin 5000iu daily get you D levels checked twice and keep your number between 60-75 (norm 30-100). Along with D K2 and magnesium, B complex 50, Ubiquinol, along with no processed foods. The processed foods are almost always high in calories and LOW in nutrition compared to Real Whole FOODS.

      Now this opens up another can of worms. The way we raise our Beef in such an unnatural way eating chicken litter (code for chicken feces), grains and cow parts. We change their stomach pH herded into small areas living in their own feces devoid of proper nutrition to sustain themselves and we turn around and eat low quality high calorie beef.

      I can go on and on about the AMERICAN diet and the issues. However I do point out I want users of supplements to take them for a purpose. Not just pop pills without a purpose. The supplements I listed all have a purpose that help deal with our improvised AMERICAN Diet.

      Delete
    4. I would love to claim I am exhausted from responding to attacks against physicians and diatribes in favor of supplements, but since it was I who stirred this pot, here I go again.

      First. let's deal with this back surgery discussion. For my rather exhaustive response, please see my blog post titled Oh, My Aching Back that can be found at this link: http://mdprevent.blogspot.com/2012/03/oh-my-aching-back.html
      Now, while I don't disagree that there may still be surgeons who throw caution to the wind and recommend unnecessary back surgeries, I don't see the connection to supplements.

      The Vitamin D recommendations you make simply have no valid science to support them. For my blog posts on that subject, please see http://mdprevent.blogspot.com/2014/03/vitamin-d-and-breast-cancer-married-or.html and http://mdprevent.blogspot.com/2012/06/dr-ozs-vitamin-d-recommendation-doesnt.html.

      As to the other supplements your recommend, all of them, including ubiquinol, are available through whole foods and there is no better place to get them than from such foods.

      Finally, as to beef, if you don't like conventionally grown beef, which I try to avoid, you can always choose grass-fed if you can afford it, or avoid beef altogether in favor of wild salmon, herring, cod, etc.

      A short note to others who care to comment on my blogs. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I would appreciate it if comments in response to mine are accompanied by good science (or scientific citations) instead of just opinions, hearsay, anecdotal evidence, tirades against hypothetical physicians,. etc.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  20. "As to the other supplements your recommend, all of them, including ubiquinol, are available through whole foods and there is no better place to get them than from such foods."

    I don't disagree with you on the above statement:

    "The processed foods are almost always high in calories and LOW in nutrition compared to Real Whole FOODS." This what I wrote in my last post.

    The facts are obesity morbid obesity is growing in the US, (do you need a ref. for this?) http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html. This occurs not from our population eat whole foods and getting the proper exercise daily. It comes from processed grains fast food meals sugar in the form of soda. These type of foods leave the body craving for more. Satiety is hard to come by when your food choices are not whole foods. However in the United states convenience food is everywhere and humans being what they are more or less follow the pack. This why advertisers spend BILLIONs on convincing the public their foods are natural wholesome and good for you. This is capitalism down and dirty reality. When was the last time you turned on the radio TV web page or newspaper and found coupons popups commercials by the hour telling you to buy grass fed organic beef, eat whole foods, go home and cook these items for all your meals and not buy prepared from the supermarket. This in not reality. People eat S!@#$ in very large quantities everyday. The supplements I listed is a basic plan that most of my patient purchase from some store. Also my patients are usually over 40.

    People trade off future health for fast easy food daily. Here is a link it may not meet your need as a good ref however here it is http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/01/overconsumption-food-production.aspx

    Also I don't agree with everything that comes from this site.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/08/chipotle-industrial-agriculture.aspx

    As for Vitamin D here is a link. I know what the government recommends however from my experience this recommendation brings the patient above 30 and in the range I like them to be at. Anecdotally my patient tell me they experience less cold and repertory ailments every season.

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/asthma/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812815/

    http://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20100910/vitamin-d-may-improve-asthma-control

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427192/

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/

    The web is full of real research on the benefits of Vitamin D. At this time everyone would benefit from supplementation particularly if they live inside most of the time. By live minimally go outside most of the year.

    See next blog post

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Magnesium Intakes and Status
    Dietary surveys of people in the United States consistently show that intakes of magnesium are lower than recommended amounts. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006 found that a majority of Americans of all ages ingest less magnesium from food than their respective EARs; adult men aged 71 years and older and adolescent females are most likely to have low intakes ....." "http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/229 (mag)

    K2 and why Here are just 2 links however the Vitamin D council has K2 on their list in an above link.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1915640/
    http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/who-gets-oa-and-why/vitamin-k-and-osteoarthritis.php

    B vitamins help with stress which intern makes you crave sugar or simple carbs.

    Last list I left off Vitamin C: Are you familiar with the Orange Juice Scandal" There have been class action lawsuits over labeling misleading the public about allowable secret ingredients?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/tropicana-slammed-natural-orange-juice-clams-fda-definition-counts-natural-article-1.1088297

    Fruit juice is not healthy however the fruit is.....
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/17/how-fruit-juice-health-food-junk-food

    Ubiquinol No RDA is given. However most patients are on statins back when statins were first produced Merck added 1000mg of Coq10 due to the nature of depleting it in the heart.

    Anyone on the statin drug, Mevacor (as merely one example), might like to know that
    Canadian prescribing information includes a notice in the Precautions section stating the
    following:
    Effect on CoQ10 Levels (Ubiquinone)
    A Significant decrease in plasma CoQ10 levels in patients treated with
    Mevacor and other statins has been observed in short-term clinical trials. The
    clinical significance of a potential long-term statin-induced deficiency of
    CoQ10 has not yet been established….” There is a lot of research that demonstrates the COq10 is depleted and can lead to heart failure over years from using statins.

    Again whole most foods: when the patient is educated has time self control and so forth could obtain there daily nutrition. However this is America and that is not the reality. So again nutritional supplements are used to complete ones health. The user needs a plan and not just randomly pop pills powders and liquids. This also pertains to eating well balance whole foods. You can't just eat spinach as your vegy daily. You must pick the nutrients that you need. So a good meal plan written out over the month with all your 5 meals/snack diagramed to ensure you are getting the nutrients one needs. This might not be practicable but it would be a way to have a well balance diet that can be void of supplements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your response and reasonable attempt to support your comments with scientific back-up.

      Magnesium: You quoted the ODS page, but you left out what immediately follows the section you quoted. Here is what follows:
      "No current data on magnesium status in the United States are available. Determining dietary intake of magnesium is the usual proxy for assessing magnesium status. NHANES has not determined serum magnesium levels in its participants since 1974 [23], and magnesium is not evaluated in routine electrolyte testing in hospitals and clinics [2].

      Magnesium Deficiency

      Symptomatic magnesium deficiency due to low dietary intake in otherwise-healthy people is uncommon because the kidneys limit urinary excretion of this mineral [3]. However, habitually low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency."

      Therefore, using your source, it would not be fair to conclude that American suffer from magnesium deficiency, which by the way, presents as follow as quoted from the same ODS source:

      "Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur [1,2]. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted [2]."

      Besides, one of the reason Americans may not consume enough magnesium is their misconception that nuts are "fattening." It turns out that whole nuts contribute less calories than expected because the fat tied into the fiber of the nut is not fully absorbed. I say eat more nuts.

      Delete
    2. In response to your quoting a review study of the relationship between Vitamin D and magnesium, I quote the following from the cited study: "However, results should be considered preliminary since biochemical data on individual magnesium status were lacking, confounding cannot be excluded and questions on the dose/response relationship still remain to be answered." In other words, this was a study that shows potential correlation, and as you know, correlation does not imply causation.

      As to the K2 study you cite, here is a quote from the study: "this study does not allow conclusions regarding beneficial effects of vitamin K2 on bone quality in women who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis already." This is very relevant as one can't predict who will develop osteoporosis, so supplementing with K2 does not prove a clinical endpoint in this case.

      For your next citation, I quote from the citation "At first scientists were discouraged to find that randomization to vitamin K had appeared to have no effect on hand OA. However, when they looked only at people who had insufficient levels of vitamin K at baseline, the effect was significant. “Those who attained sufficient concentrations at follow up actually had almost 50 percent joint space narrowing in their hand joints,” Neogi says."

      As previously written, supplements have no value except in the case of deficiency that can't be addressed by whole food. This study does not disprove that statement.

      As to the Tropicana lawsuit, we are on the same page here. I don't drink processed juices and recommend against them. In fact, I'm not a fan of any juice, even fresh squeezed because I prefer to eat the fruit.

      As to your comments on statins, please read my most recent blog at http://mdprevent.blogspot.com/2014/03/are-statins-really-your-best-solution.html.

      I must say that I did enjoy reviewing your citations and learned a few tidbits in the process. That said, I remain confident in the statement that whole foods still beat supplements when it comes to the essential nutrients in the absence of deficiency. In the case of deficiency, it is important to identify the root cause of the deficiency before simply addressing. Sometimes, as in the case of Vitamin D, an underlying illness may be the reason for the deficiency and not the result.




      Delete
    3. Well Thank you! Now I knew from the start supplements are a topic you are generally against until you know you are deficient. You continually agree that a variety of whole foods will keep you out of a deficit. However you never address the fact the American people have issues concerning 3 meals and 2 snacks or there about of whole foods that are prepared at home 61/2 days a week. The "half", lets give them a break to go out and eat and have a few cocktails. Today this is unrealistic, the couples both work, the kids are off to game and after school events. The quality of the school lunch is usually far from whole foods, and so on and so forth.

      What I have learned over the years people will do and believe what they will. Supplements in general are anecdotal more so then solid science. We have improved and research is being done. However to wait with continued age related changes continuing to occur I will develop diseases that may be prevented with a simple supplement. We can really only look to family history and diseases in general to try to address with not doing the right thing (eating whole food).

      I stand with supplementing Vitamin D to everyone in the country until proven otherwise. A simple blood test is needed and unless they are a sun worshiper will be 30 or less. I am a mid range lab person so 60-75 is good. However If no one supplements and eats poorly don't exercise and is obese we will shorten the life span of the average American. This will bring about population control. Since we are over populated.

      Delete
    4. Well we are back to opinions again. Despite the "poor diet" that you claim most Americans eat, the NHANES, which you cited yourself has failed to identify vitamin deficiencies for the overwhelming majority of Americans. Your Vitamin D suggested levels fly in the face of the science. I guess at this point we will have to agree to disagree because I can't refute opinions. I'm always happy to discuss evidence-based science.

      Delete
  22. Opinions we all have them I have a professional/expert opinion. I know you also have an expert opinion. However your slant on life is to fix/treat after there is a proven problem. I try to optimize patients health however I have to meet them were they are whether it is financial, social or education level. Age number one health problem we all have is something we need to manage. Vitamin K2 I supplement over the age of 40 due to age related changes that occur, arthritis. I due recommend green leafy vegetables but the patient want a pill. This I believe is due in part of their desire not to cook lack of understanding the broader picture of optimizing ones’ health and a personalized idea of what you should be like at 80 or 70 or 90. K2 can help (previous post) with OA/RA changes so it is my opinion that lets attempt to slow the changes and have as many end points come together to optimize their health.

    Vitamin D is another supplement that can benefit people above the current 30 such as 50 -100. The literature supports the activation of certain genes that help with longevity, Asthma reduction; it is an immune system booster (previous blog). There are many benefits when you are above 30 that will benefit the user. Milk is a terrible source of nutrition we are the only mammal that use milk from another mammal. The Vitamin D is D2 supplement originally put into milk for the prevention of rickets in children. That’s nice but what about MS prevention, CA prevention or supplement during treatment, or improving seasonal allergies, reduce the chance of a cold the flu and so on, (previous).

    The Integrative Medicine is increasing due to the fact we are becoming more educated and realize that not everything can be so easily tested in a large group of participants. Also pharmaceutical companies don’t always have large groups such as Valtrex and some statements made about viral shedding. There is also “off label use that as an expert I will use: neurontin for the control of hot flashes. This was not the original approved use. As an expert you are aware of many drugs that are used in this manner. There is no known problem that the woman is deficit in. She is now in the “change” which is normal. SO why should I help, to improve her life.

    Surgeons all the time use their expert opinion in attempting variation of surgical procedures with out double blind studies.

    My goal here is for you to broaden the use and purpose of supplements medication and future discovery’s. By using your expert opinion, research, and anecdotal evidence.

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    1. By writing, "However your slant on life is to fix/treat after there is a proven problem," it has become clear to me that you haven't read this blog post or my responses. Your statement is diametrically opposed to the truth and mutually exclusive to what I believe and do. I spent three years and nearly two million dollars founding and building a integrated medical practice to help people prevent disease. Read this article I wrote published in The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/why-i-had-to-close-my-preventive-healthcare-clinic/282929/

      As you obviously write to simply express opinions without reading responses, let's discontinue this one way conversation.

      Delete
  23. I had forgotten NHANES uses out dated information based on the current population. Overweight and morbidly obese are “coming up short”. Personally I don’t know of anyone in that category that eats wholesome. Please review the CDC chart on obese population, previous post. When they are in this condition the need aerobic exercise calorie reduction and improved diet. In addition known diseases for this group are HTN DM2 maybe if younger no neuropathy, CAD and so forth. These diseases come from poor nutrition over many years without needed activity. Yes I ask you to address this with your expert opinion, powers of observation, and research to prove the above wrong. Also if we had no real issues the presidents wife would not be on the campaign and Healthy People . gov would not be needed

    ReplyDelete
  24. Obesity has no reflection on nutritional status from a nutrient level perspective. It has to do with the accumulation of unhealthy fat, hormonal changes, and a usually sedentary lifestyle. Don't confuse that with nutrient levels.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dr. Charlap:

      This is the first time I have ever read such a long blog – but I must admit it was very interesting. In a nutshell it seems to me your heart is in the right place. However, your years of scientific tunnel vision learning have left you unwilling to accept information from people that don’t have MD credentials. If an MD says, “take this for your problem”
      and it doesn’t work and a friend says: “I had the same problem and took this supplement
      and it worked”, so you tried it and it worked … would you stop taking it just because your friend was not an MD?

      Doesn’t it seem odd to you that so many MD’s (before Obamacare), have left allopathic medicine in exchange for alterative medicine? Two most recent ones that come to mind are Dr. Weil (Harvard Medical School) and Dr. David Brownstein (U of M Medical school), although there are many more. Their reason for abandoning their hard-earned med school methods? They weren’t curing anybody – or at least not curing enough to make them feel they were accomplishing their goals of healing people.

      You seem to enjoy the intellectual banter of over analyzing things. Why can’t you simply accept the fact that if something works, it doesn’t always need a scientific answer, journal or pier review to prove it? Reminds me of doctor Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis who back in 1749 declared that by merely washing your hands before operating on a person, you could drastically improve their survival rate. What did his peers do? They laughed at him. It took the medical profession until 1865 (and 100’s of unnecessary deaths later),
      to finally accept his findings. Wonder where you would have been in that group?

      I’m a simple man. I believe allopathic doctors play an important role in our society. If I had a broken arm, you can bet I’m heading for the nearest ER – not my Naturopathic doctor. By the same token, if I had cancer, you can bet the last person I’d listen to would be an MD who only has three (government options) to offer, cut, burn and poison.

      Speaking of treating cancer, I wonder how you feel about Thomas E. Levy, M.D., JD who advocates high dose vitamin C for treating cancer patients? You can’t resort to your “lack of scientific studies” argument because there are over 50,000 studies on vitamin C:

      (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=vitamin+c

      Anyway, if by chance you did believe in treating cancer patients with vitamin C, would your hospital even allow it?

      Regards,

      W. Ferrari

      Delete
    2. You wrote, "However, your years of scientific tunnel vision learning have left you unwilling to accept information from people that don’t have MD credentials," which proves one again that you didn't read all my comments. Why you felt the need to start with an insult is unclear, but for the record, I don't care from whom information comes from as long as it has undergone testing subject to the scientific method. Although, I recognize that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, I will not simply put something in my mouth that has not been vetted beyond simple anecdotes and hearsay. As to MDs, I have no love for all of them as some are clearly better than others.
      You also wrote, "Doesn’t it seem odd to you that so many MD’s (before Obamacare), have left allopathic medicine in exchange for alterative medicine?" I don't know what statistics you are referring to but relatively few physicians practice alternative medicine because if there is proof that a supplement actually works then they have no trouble prescribing it such as calcium for osteoporosis, for which I prefer food as a source.
      As to Vitamin C, its wonderful that there are so many related studies, but can you please show me a single study (more, if you have) that high dose Vitamin C reduced cancer death? It doesn't exist.
      Here's my bottom line. I am not against all supplements. Good science shows, for examples, that melatonin can help with sleep and red yeast rice can reduce cholesterol. They are not my first choice of treatment as I would first try lifestyle changes. If other people want to be guinea pigs trying unproven cures advocated by people with a financial incentive to get you to buy the pill, that's a personal, albeit mistaken, choice.
      For me, I'll always say show me the science except in the cases where proven science simply isn't adequate and then I may try an alternative when I have nothing to lose. The key words being "nothing to lose."

      Delete
  25. Dr. Charlap:

    My comment was not meant to be an insult and I apologize if you took it that way. You see to be thoroughly dedicated at actually curing your patients. If so, I highly suggest you contact Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD for information about using Vitamin C to help treat cancer. I (and I'm sure all the bloggers), would be very interested to see if you do - and if so, your feedback. One last thing ... if/when a patient comes to you and says he/she used an alternative non-scientific treatment for their condition and it helped greatly - do you explore the treatment further or like most doctors do you say: "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I submitted the following question on Dr. Levy's website peakenergy:
      "A reader of my blog asked me to contact you regarding your assertion that high dose Vitamin C is an effective cancer treatment. Could you please send me any published double-blind, randomized controlled studies or any studies you deem worthy that support your assertion."
      If and when he responds, I will share his response with you.

      Delete
  26. Whenever someone makes a condescending assumption about another person the only way to take it is as an insult. Fortunately, I am thick-skinned so its all good. I will try to reach out to Dr. Levy to see if he responds. As to your last comment, I always check as I did in the case of Rhus Tux, a homeopathic remedy made from poison ivy for arthritis, which a patient swore was highly effective for a relative. When I searched through pubmed, I found one double-blind randomized controlled study whose results were that it was no better than placebo. I also searched naturalstandard.com and it also had no supportive data. Therefore, based on the anecdotal evidence of a patient on one hand and one study that showed it had no benefit on the other, my tentative conclusion is that it doesn't work. What would any reasonable person decide? I follow the science even if its slow unless I have no viable alternatives and expect at least to be no worse off with trying something untested or only supported by anecdotes.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Even with subject matter that has been repeatedly tested like Vitamin D, I find it hard to reach any conclusion about the ultimate benefit of raising Vitamin D levels above 20 mcg. (the level htat the Institute of Medicine states is sufficient for healthy functioning) with supplements as there are no good cause and effect studies, just observational studies

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dr. Levy responded to me that that I should review a list of published papers. Here was my response to him after reviewing the list he referred me to and after reading a number of abstracts of relevant published papers on the list.

    "Hi Dr. Levy,

    Thank you for responding. I just went through the entire list of studies you sent me. I could only find case studies limited to a handful of patients. Do you have any controlled studies that show the benefits of Vitamin C in treating cancer? A few of the papers actually referenced that double-blind, randomized controlled studies have failed to show any benefit.

    To your health,

    Steve"

    ReplyDelete
  29. From Dr. Levy,

    "Hello Steve,

    I don't think you're really going to find such studies, and very few, perhaps no, standard chemotherapy drugs have such documentation as well. It's quite unethical to give one cancer patient a placebo and let their cancer progress while discerning how effective the treatment works for the other group. I would say that the "mainstream" consistently tries to hold non-traditional therapies to standards they rarely follow themselves. Perhaps this is unknowingly so, I don't know.

    Very many case reports (not just anecdotes) have documented arrest and often complete eradication of a wide variety of cancers with differing vitamin C forms, and vitamin C-centered approaches. But don't expect to find any of these in the New England Journal of Medicine. IVC nevers gets administered, to this day, in United States hospitals today. Quite unusual, regardless of how minimal its benefit might arguably be, as it is the singular nutrient/medicine that is more devoid of side effects than any pharmaceutical in existence.

    I would suggest taking a look at my book, Primal Panacea, which, I believe, is a balanced presentation not only of the vitamin C science but the continued irrational opposition to its widespread use (irrational only if the negative monetary impact of its use is not considered)."

    So the basics of his response is although Vitamin C has never been properly tested and doesn't even good case studies from the US, one should accept it as a cancer therapy based on otherwise anecdotal evidence, because that's what it is without some form of scientific scrutiny to review the specifics of each case. He claims that chemo drugs are not tested either and this is absolutely not true. No drug is prescribed in the US without testing of not only side effects but also efficacy. Plus Vitamin C is routinely added to parenteral nutrition. I don't think I will be buying his book as he suggested because as he has already admitted, there is no verifiable proof and I'm not interested in paying to read his perspective on why what's available is good enough. It's simply not good enough.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Dedicated Drs Charlap, Caldwell, Ferrari, Heinz and Levy,
    Thank you for your unselfish and candid sharing . Over the last 35 years, we have had our fair share of troubles with specialist doctors in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Australia, UK and US in our quest to manage my husband's Apical HOCM, Nasal Phyreangeal Cancer - late stage, Retinitis Pigmentosa, suspected Refsum's. We dare say that both Allopathic Medicine and Alternative Medicine and Supplements from East to West are important. Doctors must listen to "dedicated patients and/caregivers" for truly, some patients with higher sensitivity and dedication to their own health, it is worth hearing their feedback because we are 24/7 the one/s tuned into the disease/response to treatment not you nor your clinical studies! A wealth of learning from support groups anecdotally, no doubt but noteworthy. This is where your better know-how of medicine can filter out the noise to push the frontiers of medicine.
    If healing has to be supported by purportedly unbiased studies - how do you explain faith healing that has occurred and doctors have run such patients through tests and are baffled by them? I am in no way suggesting that this should be the primary source of healing.
    As primary caregiver, I have benefited from lifestyle and nutritional regimens that I researched and instituted to cater to my husband’s healthcare. Yet my pre-disposition to sciatica - no specialist doctor can offer me sustainable pain relief other than painkiller drugs, which I cannot agree with. Acupuncture, Chiropractor treatments offer relief but returns all too quickly. Pilates/Yoga/Qigong/Shiatsu/Reiki that I have learnt and practised religiously gives better long term coping strategies but no absolute cure.
    I read Management of Common Musculoskeletal Discorders by Darlene Hertling BS, RPT and Randolph M Kessler BS, RPT and suspect that mine can never be cured because it is in my DNA. But I know who can help me best should nerves impinge again at L4/5, S1 and before it disables me completely (where I can’t even turn my body in bed!) - an illiterate massage lady who herself underwent 2 back surgeries with similar problems (ops without results) yet it was this elderly in the mountains who "cured" her back. She has been painfree for more than 10 years!
    Management of my back through a combination of Qigong/Yoga/Pilates exercises has maintained it well and the last 4 years, much less sciatica until 2 weeks ago, when I stopped exercise routine due to high ankle injury (fell) and my back threatened to breakdown on me, prophylactically. Yes, no drugs, no cuts - deep abdominal massages to unknot. 4 sessions and I am now back to my daily exercise.
    Dr Charlap, I sense is well meaning in that he is hoping to root out unethical marketing. To him, licencing can better ensure this. Legalities have time and again failed to stir hearts – the SPIRIT in DELIVERY to patients/anyone can only be driven by CONSCIENCE not law! As Dr Caldwell pointed out, it is rather pathetic how some doctors approach the practice of medicine.
    Thank you docs of goodwill, Dr Charlap for initiating this topic on ETHICS and Drs Caldwell, Ferrari, Heinz and Levy, your persuasive efforts speak volumes.
    MJ Oh (Mrs)
    Incidentally, both our children are medical doctors, trained in UK and Australia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mj,
      I am sorry to hear about your husband's travails, but I am glad that you have found ways to alleviate his suffering. I have always understood the value of certain alternative therapies such as massage to relieve pain. I have used it myself for back spasms. I also have no doubt that the power in believing that something is helping us actually may have some positive effect. I simply refuse to neither trust marketers promising cures nor trust in hearsay in the place of scientific evidence unless I reach a point of desperation in which case balancing risk versus reward, I would make a decision based on the best available evidence. I hope your husband does okay and applaud your efforts to help him.

      Delete
    2. Dear Dr Charlap
      I am most delighted that we are on the same page in our approach towards management of health when our body falls out of sync or is diseased. Most of us are like you – great disdain for marketers promising cures nor do we trust hearsay in the place of scientific evidence.
      Living in a small city state and culturally where people my generation are more open in sharing what, who and why good plus the availability of Traditional Chinese Medicine and tribal, traditional herbs and methodologies that we have witnessed in our growing up years, we are thus better placed to discern whether to head for allopathic or alternative treatments, which type to try first will depend on nature and the severity of the case.
      Insofar as faith healing is concerned, I am perhaps more skeptical than you. I have always doubted, until my own husband, an atheist was touched by God at a church and told me : I am healed even though Mayo Clinic was merely running tests on him. Following week, Mayo did a shift to midline for his vocal palsy, which gave him back 80% of his voice. Heart-wise, no op, just beta blocker, ace inhibitor, warfarin, digoxin. Upon our return, I started cordyceps and ginseng at therapeutic dosages (no scientific but anecdotal evidence) before winding down to maintenance levels. We continue to celebrate life every day for the next 6+ years, he stepping down as head of department, working from home. I dedicated my life to help him keep fit enough to enjoy cruises and private tours, with western drugs, TCM supplements to brew on holiday, and a big dose of courage to airlift him home should he not make it along the way. I could see that his physical body will have to come to an end sooner than others his age. It did in Nov 2011, after choking on a dumpling, causing lung infection. Still he ate well next 2 days, and fever didn't subside, I immediately got an ICU therapist to do suctioning. He skipped only 1 meal at dinner, slept and after I gave him medication at 1:45am with assurance to take him to hospital the next day, he left earth peacefully in his sleep when I found him cold at the extremities at 5:45am.
      We remain grateful to all the skilful, ethical doctors from West to East, and above all Almighty for providing, directing us to medical help, enlightening me with ideas not found in medical practices to cure infection on leg and feet. Except for the 2 nights in Hong Kong-post gold grain implant in 1990, the frustration of voice fading over 3 years and only wife to barely hear him, breathlessness for about 2 months in 2005 and finally, the night of unprecedented tiredness before leaving earth; he didn’t feel he suffered. Nothing to complain, can we?

      Dr Charlap, this world is badly in need of DEDICATED doctors like you who remain ETHICAL in your practice of medicine. Scientific evidence that fall short of ethics is not helping. Established drug companies are worrying the populace when they are being charged for bribing doctors and officers in hospitals in China!
      Best regards
      MJ Oh (Mrs)

      Delete
    3. Dear MJ,
      Thank you for sharing your very personal and poignant story. It is always difficult to lose a loved one, particularly when it happens too soon.
      I wish I had the answers to all of the questions people have, but I don't. I keep reading trying to pull information together so I can at least offer the best available advice.
      I wish you the best and only joy from this point onwards.
      Steve

      Delete
  31. Even in the practice of medicine, an MD will rely on patient self-reporting to adjust medication, and that's fundamentally relying on anecdotal evidence, isnt it? If you are prescribing a certain kind of statin and the patient is reporting muscle pain, fatigue and weakness, it's common medical practice to switch to a different statin or a lower dose, but it is based on anecdotal evidence, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ross,
      When a patient claims to be experiencing a clinically proven side effect of a known medication, it is not anecdotal evidence. There is a pathophysiological reason why some people get muscle pain from statins related to their effect on muscle breakdown.

      If a patient taking a stain complained of pain behind the eyes, the doctor would not accept the patient's claim until he or she tried to understand the cause of the eye pain. With certain medications like statins, as there are a number of different options, physicians will often switch between them because of the ease of dong so knowing full well that one can not perfectly predict who will have a side effect from which medication. For more on that topic, see my blog on LinkedIn titled, "No Really, It's All About You."

      However, for example, in the case of Lipitor, there are more reported cases of muscle pain and weakness so the doctor is likely to switch to another statin when a patient raises that concern. I do not put blanket faith in well-trained and licensed doctors, so you shouldn't be surprised that I have little to no confidence in people hawking products with no such training and oversight.

      Delete
  32. Oh yes; let's look at aspirin. A drug widely studied, and yet no prescription is required. It has a medical effect, it's a drug; by your standards it should be prescription only(and a hell of a lot more expensive too). What would your recommendations do to the cost of health care by requiring every substance, including those over-the counter, to require prescription?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ross again,
      Aspirin does not require a prescription precisely for the reason you state--it has been "widely studied." That's why Lipitor, ibuprofen, claritin, etc. no longer require prescriptions as well. I'm not in favor of requiring prescriptions for well studied substances nor for poorly studied substances that don't rise to the level of meriting being prescribed in the first place. Multivitamins for general use rise to that level whether sold by Bill Sardi or someone with an MD. Go ahead and waste your money on products that offer false promises. I won't get in your way, but don't ask me to believe it's the right thing to do.

      Delete
  33. I take intramax liquid multivitam I heard it on dr.scott whittaker show is it a good vitiam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't answer that question unless I know why you are taking a multivitamin and the exact name of the product.

      Delete
  34. Dr. Charlap,
    Thank you for your blog, "Can You Trust Bill Sardi?"
    I was recently researching if there are any legitimate non-drug alternatives for patients with atrial fibrillation and came across an article by Mr. Sardi. I found several statements to be fact-based, but his long list of supplements he recommends for A-Fib patients, set off my BS meter. I went to the internet to look up the credentials of Mr. Sardi. First red flag, there is no "About me" tab, no credentials, no qualifications to give out this advice. Then I found your blog. Reading the dialog between the two of you was very revealing.
    I appreciate your fact-based posts that list the relevant scientific studies that support your point-of-view.
    Patti J. Ryan
    Publisher, Atrial Fibrillation: Resources for Patients, A-Fib.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. If you think that wild salmon is a "non-predatory fish" then I can hardly believe any other claim that you state. What do you think wild salmon eat, organic salad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alaskan Salmon, particularly Sockeye, even when adults, eat very few other fish other than plankton and are therefore considered "non-predatory." That is why Alaskan Salmon are unlikely to accumulate large amounts of mercury and other contaminants like larger fish that consume lots of smaller fish.

      Delete
  36. Dr. Charlap,

    Having read your written exchange with Mr. Bill Sardi, I am convinced you are both correct and incorrect on several points. But in order for you to grasp the gravity of my words you must first have an open mind and be willing to accept the fact that there are, most likely, an equal number of Quacks in western medicine as there are folks like Bill Sardi.
    My largest problem at this stage in life is modern medicine, certain of its practitioners, and the extent of damage modern medicine has inflicted on my life and the lives of others whom I know. Such are not just statistical anomalies but, rather, a representation of the greed, avarice, and complacency in the hearts of many medical practitioners whose primary goal is the almighty dollar.
    I don't say these things because I have an inherent dislike for practitioners of western medicine. I say these things because of the true life experiences I, and others I know, have had historically.
    Given that many of us recognize we have choices regarding our health care and lifestyles, and how those lifestyles impact our overall health, my family and I opted to improve ourselves by implementing a combination of types of efforts.
    Among the aforementioned efforts was the one of taking more time to engage meaningful research which resulted in good habits for comparative analysis of informational resources. This being said, I cannot agree with your comments about people only possessing the ability to be healed or properly treated AFTER they see a so called qualified physician.
    Granted, there are many caring, loving, competent, and accomplished physicians in this country, save those from around the world, whose life mission in medicine is to be the best they can be for and to those under their respective care. Then, there's the stark contrast. Another worthwhile topic, to be sure.
    It wasn't until I had conducted my research, engaged meaningful and productive dialog with my primary care provider to conduct some very specific testing which, by the way, aren't always reliable (According to Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics), and taken steps of my own volition, that my health began to improve.
    It has taken me nearly three years to effect dramatic and beneficial bio-chemical and physiological changes in my body. THIS from separating myself from the majority of the practitioners of western medicine.
    On the whole, I could never suffer any form of extremism. However, given my previous experiences, which I will not let dictate my future because western medicine does serve some role in most of our lives, I will continue to endeavor to live a life as free as possible of FDA and USDA approved food processing chemicals, B.S. organics rules, and genetically altered and unnatural foods.
    Here's to my B - 12 with folate; Saw Palmetto; Turmeric; Oil of Oregano, and living on a seasonally restrictive diet in a country where government agencies, greed and avarice in the heart of man and farmer, bad medicine on both sides of the fence, are getting smaller in the rear view mirror.
    Let's face it. Americans and their standard American diet have far too many choices. But most people are simply, QUITE SIMPLY, more concerned with the instant gratification which comes from stuffing one's pie hole with nutrient depleted foods and drink produced largely from chemical additives and/or tainted with dangerous levels of all manner of toxins not beneficial or conducive to the healthy and harmonious existence of man, much less Americans. Bon appetite.' I AM THE STUDY !!!
    Peace, love, and all dat jazz............, Dawg

    ReplyDelete
  37. Addendum: By the way, I have begun comparing some of the information provided by Bill Sardi. At least at this stage in the controversy, both of you seem to possess validity to a larger degree than not. However, your biases are presented in such a way as to denigrate and demean others. Why?
    I would encourage any and all folks to understand that our education in life is never ending. This is also pertinent to our health, nutrition, and dietary intake.
    While at the same time I attribute part of the problem to hacks who practice western medicine, I also attribute the larger portion of the blame to individuals who would rather fry their brains with copious video games instead of using the internet as a tool which can and will benefit our lives only to an extent that we use it in a manner consistent with objective, not only subjective, analysis of the various data sets we use to inform ourselves and make health decisions.
    Perhaps you'll consider not being so elitist in your presentation, and not so prone to degrading others whose educational background doesn't match yours, exactly. After all, there are many intelligent folks in the world who are not college educated. Many of them don't have their doctorates. Go figure: some of the brightest minds in American history, to say nothing of its historical immigrant population, only possess a few years of formal education. And some possess no education from institutions of higher learning. Go figure. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't take exception to what Bill states because he has no credentials. I take exception because he misquotes facts and presents data inappropriately. His lack of formal education is why I believe he is guilty of the old adage that "thoughts are not facts." He has never had to submit his data to any sort of formal review so he feels comfortable reaching his own conclusions and presenting them as facts.

      Delete
  38. Dr. Charlap, thank you for taking your time to inform people. I have a question on "useable" garlic substitutes. There has been more recent "proof" of garlic's restorative properties, esp DAT and lesser DAD. The Medical University of So. Carolina completed a study in 2013 that found garlic, esp DAT, helped reduce tumors in glioblastoma significantly. Is there a pill that you are aware of that helps deliver the these properties? I ran across Bill Sardi's Garlinex recommendation but have also found Garlinase. You know the problem... separated what they say the pills do vs. what really occurs. Have you run across effective products in you blog travels?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raymond, I'm sorry but I no longer stay abreast of the science around supplements so I no longer feel qualified to answer such questions. My previous knowledge about garlic was that is was generally healthy, but definitely not a "magic bullet."

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the long interaction of how sales is sales...all is profit based when trying to sell folks for their health needs.
      I would first and foremost look at lifestyle choices that are made daily when trying to promote one's healthy aging process.

      Sadly, with the media 'selling' drugs, supplements, and procedure hourly people think it is no longer their responsibility to look after their own healing and health.
      In Health & Healing,
      www.drpatrycesmith.com

      Delete
  39. Dear Dr. Charlap,

    I read most of this thread and what strikes me is the grace with which you address dissent, and even ranting and rudeness, here. You are a beautiful example of honor, courtesy and respect. Thank you for that.

    You mentioned "books on how to evaluate clinical studies for relevancy, validity, accuracy, etc." I would like to read those books as I find dissecting studies so confusing that I often give up and rely on the opinion of somebody I respect.

    Would you recommend your favorites, please?

    Thank you so much for recommending nourishing food and engaging through your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  40. No credentials here,

    No association with Bill Sardi but have read some of his books and just came across your site today. But it seems like you both have more in common as regards to philosophy than you realize (this animosity could be due to the nature of the communication medium).

    I don't know the answer to this from a clinician's perspective: if the vitamin D level comes back normal. Is it then assumed that the vitamin D will be converted efficiently to the hormonal 1,25-OH Vit D3? And is it assumed that if efficiently converted to the hormonal 1,25 D3 that the Vitamin D receptor will function correctly (the VDR shares the RXR as a coreceptor with several other receptor-types)?


    ReplyDelete
  41. Dr. Charlap,

    Speaking for myself, doctors wanted to remove my gallbladder due to it being clogged. I did research online and came across Bill Sardi's book on treating my clogged gallbladder with supplements. I was suspicious at first, but at the same time I did not want to remove my gallbladder. Guess what? I tried his recommended supplements and more symptoms if throwing up, not being able to eat almost anything, chest pain and etc. disappeared. In fact, when I would take the supplements I could feel how my bile was transferring from my gallbladder. Four years have now passed and I still do not have any symptoms. Occasionally, once every six months, I take the supplements he recommended for 2 days or so to keep my bile moving through gallbladder(usually if I eat too much sugar or fatty food).

    I do not know about his other books or recommendations. But speaking for myself, Bill Sardi cured my chronic cholecystitis. I have a relative who had his gallbladder removed. It pains me to hear how he has to now deal with digestion problems. He takes some medications to help him manage his diet.

    I am thankful for Bill Sardi. A person online that I never met, helped me. Whereas my well paid and government certified physician told me that only solution was to surgically remove my gallbladder.

    ReplyDelete
  42. My name is victory dave, I was in pain,for the past 4 years i did everything possible to get cured for HIV and live a better life but i was scam by those fake doctors and lose hope, until i saw ( Dr lala) if it was real but decided to give it a try, when i contact this doctor he said my i should be happy i meet him cause he can help me he prepared a herbal medicine 3 days later so i believed him and behold viewers all over the world i am a happy man. Contact this great doctor via his email dr.lalaherbalremedyhome@gmail.com, when you contact him, make sure you tell him that I referenced you and you can also mail me on victorydave360@gmail.com Good Luck.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Say what you want about Bill Sardi, the man saved my life with his knowledge of nutrition. I do not say that lightly. He literally saved my life/my liver from the brink of failure.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hope it may be useful at any costs.And please keep post like this. Really useful information.

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  45. The vast majority of doctors are trained to provide drugs as cure-alls. They have very little training in nutrition. Big Pharma controls much of the medical community and therefore most doctors are under their influence. Being that this is still a free country, you have a choice between taking drugs or taking other supplements to help fix whatever ails you. I believe that if your body is ailing it is because there is a lack of or imbalance of nutrients, not a lack of some unnatural drug. If you don't believe Mr. Sardi is legit, then don't use his products.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dr. have been an ICU nurse for 30yrs and other than corrective procedures the medical tx via medicine is not alleviating problems but holding them off. Mr Sardi offers non hurtful solutions that at least can be tried. I do suggest you read all his printed materials up to date and see if you can not at least be open to resveratrol.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Nice to see blogs like this...got a more useful informations..spent a nice time with this blog.keep more updates like this..
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