The Antioxidant Paradox & the Goldilocks Principle

More "Just Right" Common Sense From Doc Gumshoe on Salt, Antioxidants, Blood Pressure and Obesity

By Michael Jorrin, "Doc Gumshoe", July 22, 2013

[ed. note: We’ve been privileged to share with you some “non investment” commentary here from Michael Jorrin, a longtime medical writer who we like to call “Doc Gumshoe” — today he’s got a new piece for us that should help us think skeptically about yet more of the “easy solution” promises people make about health, usually when they’re trying to sell you the latest hot supplement or drug … and, as always, we need to remind you that the opinions from Doc Gumshoe are his own, we’ve done no more than a bit of light editing to prepare his piece for you today. Enjoy!]

Drink your pomegranate juice and eat your blueberries! They’re antioxidants, and antioxidants are good for you, because they combat free radicals (whatever those are) and free radicals are truly evil, because they cause all manner of diseases and are the underlying causes of aging, and if we could eliminate the free radicals, we could live a really long time.

That’s the Received Wisdom, and I won’t argue with it, because there’s certainly an element of truth there. How large or important that element of truth is remains to be seen. Let’s take this catechism one bit at a time.

Free Radicals: What Are They, Anyway?

First, what are free radicals? They are not bomb-throwers who have evaded prison, but small ionized chemical entities that are avid to combine with whatever they can latch on to. Consider saltpeter, chemical name potassium nitrate, chemical formula KNO3… Saltpeter is used as a food preservative, particularly in cured meats, and supposedly was put into the food of boys in boarding school, soldiers, and other young libidinous males in order to curb their natural instincts. When potassium nitrate enters solution, such as the human bloodstream, it immediately ionizes, meaning that the potassium part and the nitrate part swim around independently. The potassium ion has an extra electron in its outer shell, so it is K+, and the nitrate part is missing that outer electron, so it is NO3 –. The NO3 – ion is a free radical, and it seeks to combine with other entities from which it can grab that missing electron.

Saltpeter is just a single example of the kinds of substances that we’re exposed to that can create free radicals. All kinds of substances can lead to free radical formation – anything that can release ionized oxygen, hydroxyl, hydrogen peroxide, or other oxidizing ions. The worst offender is cigarette smoke, and there are many more in our environment. In the process of swiping electrons, free radicals can affect and perhaps damage human cells, including their DNA. If the damaged cells merely perish, that’s no big deal – cells die all the time and are replaced by new, healthy cells. But if cellular DNA is damaged, the successor cells themselves may be damaged or even cancerous. That’s the chief threat posed by free radicals.

What Do These Wonderful Antioxidants Really Do?

Antioxidants counteract the effects of free radicals by offering themselves up as targets, sparing some of the human cells that the free radicals might otherwise have damaged. There are lots of antioxidants in the food we eat, not just pomegranates and blueberries and cherries and carrots. The question is, are these dietary antioxidants sufficient?

There are those who answer that question with a resounding “NO!!!” (Many of these folks are the makers and marketers of antioxidant supplements, so they may not be totally disinterested.) Whether this view is completely fact-based or not, it plays nicely into a common tendency, which is that if a bit of something is good for you, then more of that same something is probably even better for you. Advocates of antioxidant supplements point out that, while antioxidants in our food may have been sufficient in times past, we’re exposed to so many more free radicals than our ancestors were that we need supplemental antioxidants.

In the case of antioxidants, this is open to question, at the very least.

So, what are antioxidants? The antioxidant substances in those useful (and pretty good-tasting!) foods are flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, and others. Carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, are precursors of vitamin A, and vitamins C, and E are themselves antioxidants.

Dietary Antioxidants vs Antioxidant Supplements

The evidence that dietary antioxidants help prevent disease is quite strong. For example, there was a large study in Sweden, which followed more than 30,000 women for more than 11 years. The total study population was divided into fifths, and the study found than the women who consumed the most antioxidants in their diet (the top fifth) had an incidence of heart failure that was about 60% of that in women who consumed the least antioxidants (the bottom fifth). Heart failure is a pretty good indicator of many health factors, since several factors contribute to heart failure – high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.

However, when it comes to antioxidant supplements, quite a lot of the evidence points the other way. For example, a study in current smokers who were given beta-carotene supplements found that these appeared to increase rather than lower the incidence of lung cancer.

The vitamin E question is particularly complex. The antioxidant found in vitamin E supplements is alpha-tocopherol, while the vitamin E antioxidant found in food is gamma-tocopherol. Vitamin E in the diet may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Not so with vitamin E supplements, perhaps because of the difference between the alpha- and gamma-tocopherol.

In fact, rather than being beneficial, antioxidant supplements may increase rather than decrease mortality.

The most convincing evidence comes from the Cochrane Collaboration, which is an international organization (28,000 contributors from 100 countries) that reviews clinical trial data from all over the world and scrupulously creates analyses that pool the data from multiple trials. Cochrane reviews are generally regarded as the gold standard.

Cochrane conducted a systematic review of studies evaluating the benefits of antioxidant supplements, including beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. They reviewed 78 studies with 296,707 participants, and found that overall, antioxidant supplements significantly increased the risk of death. In the 56 trials that they evaluated as having the lowest risk of bias, antioxidant supplements increased the risk of death by about 4%. That may not sound like a huge increase in the risk, but when we consider that antioxidants are supposed to prevent disease and death, and the data tell us that that they do the contrary, that should give us pause. And, by the way, this was true for each of the individual antioxidant supplements included in the study.

Why This Apparent Contradiction?

What might account for this paradox? One possible mechanism is that, while it’s accepted that free radicals might trigger the mutations that initiate the growth of cancer, there is some evidence that free radicals also preferentially attack cancer cells rather than non-cancerous cells. So perhaps in a healthy person, reasonable amounts of antioxidants in the diet might reduce the number of newly mutated cancer cells. However, once cancer cells are present, (as in the study in smokers mentioned earlier), free-radicals might keep cancer growth in check, and antioxidants might stymie their mission.

So the question looms: what’s the right balance between free radicals and antioxidants? This is the Goldilocks Question: how much is Just Right? With regard to the free radicals versus antioxidants question, it seems to me that the Just Right option is plenty of dietary antioxidants, but go easy on the supplements.

It does appear that free radicals serve some essential function, and we don’t want to eliminate them from our bodies – nor can we, since some free radicals are actually created in our white blood cells (neutrophils and macrophages) and help to kill and scavenge bacteria, protecting us from some infections.

The Goldilocks Principle and the Search for Just Right

However, the Goldilocks Question applies to almost everything in our lives. Everybody, and I really mean everybody, knows from experience that we lowly humans are comfortable only in fairly narrow range of conditions. For example, our normal body temperature is 98.6° F (37.6° C). But if we climb into a bathtub that’s at 105° F, it feels really, really hot. And if it goes much below 95° F, we might run a bit more hot water to get it to feel just right, so that Goldilocks would be happy in the tub.

The same question can be asked of many other things – such as the Just Right amount of salt in our diets, our optimum weight range, how much alcohol should we consume, and on and on.

The Salt Question

The salt question has resurfaced fairly recently. For quite a long time, the doctrine of the health authorities (such as the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) was that most people should consume not more than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day, and that people at risk for heart disease should limit their salt consumption to not more than 1,500 milligrams per day. That’s not much salt – maybe a bit more than half a teaspoonful.

The reason for this edict is that salt (or, actually, sodium ions) tends to raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure, as we all know, leads to heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.

But the CDC has changed its tune, based on research that has emerged since their recommendations, which they issued back in 2005. A committee convened by the CDC reviewed the current evidence and pronounced that there is no reason for anyone at all to try to limit their salt consumption to less than 2,300 milligrams per day, and pointed out that when salt consumption is pushed below that level, not only is there no benefit, but some people may begin to experience actual adverse consequences.

A common assumption is that if too much of something is bad for you, then the best thing is to have as little as possible. This is the reverse of the assumption that has been made about antioxidants, that if some is good, more is better. But the Goldilocks Principle holds that we have to look for the amount that is Just Right.

In the case of salt, we can point to a couple of studies. In one, conducted in Italy, two groups of patients with congestive heart failure were assigned to diets with different quantities of salt. One group consumed 2,760 milligrams per day, and the other consumed 1,840 milligrams per day. The patients that consumed the smaller amounts of salt in their diet had three times the number of hospital admissions and twice as many deaths as those that consumed the higher amounts of salt.

Another larger study followed nearly 30,000 patients with hypertension for nearly 5 years and tracked their salt consumption by analyzing urine samples. In that study, the risk of clinically important cardiac events, including deaths, was significantly higher at the two ends of the scale – patients consuming more than 7,000 mg per day and those consuming less than 3,000 per day. So, based on those data, the Just Right amount of salt is somewhere in between those two numbers.

I should mention here that the average sodium consumption in the US, and elsewhere for that matter, is about 3,400 milligrams per day. Is that too high? The American Heart Association still thinks so, in spite of the new CDC recommendations. A concern is that what lots of people will take from the new data is that salt just doesn’t matter, and they can use as much as they want. But that, too, is a violation of the Goldilocks Principle – what we’re looking for is the Just Right amount of salt.

(By the way, I might add here that the biggest users of salt in the American diet are not cooks in the home kitchen nor yet people who sprinkle it on at the dinner table, but salty packaged food products.)

None of this research denies the well-established link between excessive salt consumption and hypertension. What it points to is that low sodium levels have some clear harmful consequences – triglyceride levels rise and insulin resistance increases, with potential adverse cardiac consequences. We can’t judge salt consumption just on the basis of its effect on blood pressure.

When It Comes to Blood Pressure, Is There a Just Right Level?

Speaking of blood pressure, the Goldilocks Principle applies there as well. Blood pressure is carefully adjusted by many homeostatic responses so that mean arterial pressure is about 100 mm Hg. Mean arterial pressure is just what it sounds like – halfway between the pressure at the moment when the heart contracts to force blood into the arteries and when it relaxes to accept more blood from the veins. That pressure, 100 mm Hg, is about 13% higher than atmospheric pressure at sea level, which is 760 mm Hg. We need that relatively small degree of additional pressure to keep the blood circulating throughout the body.

However, supposing your blood pressure was only 10% higher than atmospheric pressure, say, a mean arterial pressure of about 75 mm Hg, which might translate to 100/50 mm Hg. That 50 mm Hg value for your diastolic blood pressure is a shade too low. You’re running a risk of keeling over in a faint, because your heart can’t pump blood into your brain.

Of course, as soon as you do keel over, your heart isn’t pumping blood against gravity so much, and you’ll come to pretty quickly, and if you didn’t come down too hard, you’re probably fine. But that tells you that the little 3% difference between just right and too low can be important.

How About Weight and Body Mass Index?

Wasn‘t it Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, who said “You can’t be too rich or too thin?” I don’t know about too rich – I’ll let you know if I ever get there – but you can definitely be too thin. The term for being excessively thin is cachexia; a condition that is seen in such diseases as cancer and AIDS, but that may also occur in persons who are obsessed with losing weight, e.g., some fashion models. It’s a risky condition, and can be fatal.

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, we all know about the risks of being too fat. But is there a Goldilocks Principle here, and what does it point to as a Just Right body mass index (BMI)? Well, there’s a range, of course, but some data points to a Just Right range that’s considerably higher than the Received Wisdom.

In case you’ve forgotten, the official BMI ranges are: below 18.5, underweight; 18.4 – 24.9, normal; 25.0 – 29.9, overweight; over 30.0, obese. Taking yours truly as an example, I am 6’ 3” and I weigh about 217 pounds, so my BMI is 27.1 – in the middle of the overweight category. If I weighed 180 pounds, my BMI would be 22.5 – normal. To be underweight, I would have to weigh about 140 pounds. I haven’t been that skinny since I was a sophomore in high school, and I was really, really skinny then.

However, there’s pretty convincing evidence that those BMI ranges are flat wrong. An analysis of 40 studies looked at BMI and calculated the risk for both overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality, compared with normal weight subjects, which for this study was defined as BMI 20 – 24.9. No surprise – very obese individuals, those with a BMI over 35, were at very high mortality risk – about 10% higher total mortality, and 88% higher cardiovascular mortality. But persons with BMI values below 20 were also at very high mortality risk – 37% higher total mortality (higher than the very obese!) and 45% higher cardiovascular mortality.

What about the overweight and the obese? The merely overweight were at the lowest risk for both total (13% lower) and cardiovascular mortality (12% lower). And the obese in the 30 – 34.9 BMI range were essentially at the same risk as the normal weight subjects.

So, based on that study, which, by the way, came out of the Mayo Clinic, and included data on more than a quarter of a million subjects, the healthiest weight range is what the BMI classifies as “overweight.” The authors of the study suggested that it might be time to scrap the BMI as a risk factor. Applying the Goldilocks Principle, a bit overweight might be Just Right.

Is There a Just Right Level for Cholesterol, or Is Lower Always Better?

As far as I know, no one yet has determined what the Just Right number is for cholesterol, in particular LDL-cholesterol.

First, a word about nomenclature: we hear all the time about the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol. I fear that those terms are just the way some health professionals try to avoid confusing us, but I think those terms are themselves confusing. I need to make the point that there is only one cholesterol, a fairly simple substance that has the characteristic of being solid at body temperature, and therefore, cannot by itself be transported in the bloodstream.

So, in order to get where it needs to go, which is just about everywhere in our bodies, cholesterol is gathered up in little bundles called lipoproteins. Some of the lipoprotein cholesterol bundles are large and loose – these are the low density lipoprotein cholesterol bundles, or LDL-cholesterol, or sometimes just LDL for short. Some are smaller, neater, tighter bundles – high density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL-C for short. The LDL bundles are the ones that tend to deposit cholesterol in our arteries, causing no end of trouble, therefore bad cholesterol, while the smaller HDL bundles transport cholesterol back to the liver and to the bile ducts for excretion, therefore good cholesterol.

We know what too high LDL-cholesterol levels are: in an otherwise healthy person, a reading of 190 milligrams per deciliter is way too high, placing that person at risk for heart disease. In persons with LDL-C levels greater than 190 mg/dL, treatment with a cholesterol-lowering drug, generally a statin, is recommended. Depending on risk factors, LDL-C levels as low as 100 mg/dL can trigger drug treatment, and in patients with established coronary heart disease or the equivalent, an LDL-C goal below 70 mg/dL is recommended.

So far, as regards cholesterol (whether total cholesterol or LDL-cholesterol) what has not yet been determined is How Low Is Too Low. Common sense (as well as current understanding of the role of cholesterol in our physiology) tells us that there has to be a Too Low level. After all, cholesterol is present in most of our tissues and is an essential component of most hormones; we synthesize most of the cholesterol in our system (only about 20% at most of our cholesterol enters our bodies as cholesterol), so clearly we need it. We just don’t know what the Just Right amount is.

A New Cholesterol-Lowering Breakthrough? We’ll See.

However, current drug development, being pursued pedal to the metal by at least four pharma outfits (Amgen, Pfizer, Regeneron, and Sanofi) may lead to a better understanding of the Just Right level for LDL-cholesterol.

It has been known for quite some time that some individuals have surprisingly low LDL-C levels – some young people are going around with LDL-C levels of 50 mg/dL or even a bit lower. These low LDL-C levels are likely due to a combination of genetics and life-style factors, and we don’t know much about the total health status of these individuals, other than that they’re in good health at the time. Have there been studies to follow these folks for another 25 or 50 years? I fear not – why would there be? We don’t go out of our way to look for trouble.

Just recently, though, a couple of individuals have been identified whose LDL-C levels are incredibly low – about 15 mg/dL. Their low LDL-C appears to be due to an almost freakishly unlikely genetic factor. These persons inherited mutated versions of a gene, designated PCSK9, from both parents. The PCSK9 gene, when working normally, is part of the physiologic process that unpacks LDL-C bundles and repacks the extra cholesterol they contain into HDL-C bundles for eventual excretion. When the PCSK9 gene is defective, some people develop excessively high LDL-C levels, and, as a consequence, are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

But the mutations that these individuals with the really low LDL-C levels, rather than making these genes defective, had apparently made the PCSK9 genes super-effective. So pharma immediately saw a colossal opportunity, and launched research projects to develop drugs that would mimic the effect of these mutated genes. The drugs they have come up with are biologic drugs, which is to say, not simple chemical molecules, but complex drugs called monoclonal antibodies that attempt to duplicate the action of human agents produced by the immune system. Amgen has completed at least one Phase II trial in about 400 subjects, and their drug, designated AMG145 has demonstrated success in lowering LDL-C to 50 mg/dL in some subjects enrolled in the trials.

That would be enough for any pharma to mount a really big fireworks display, since no current drug or drug combination has achieved anything comparable. A person with high LDL-C, say 160 mg/dL, might bring it down to something in the neighborhood of 100 mg/dL by using a high dose of a statin. So a drug that would reduce LDL-C to half that level would be a huge step forward – in controlling LDL-C, at least!

Why do I stick in that slightly negative comment? Because we do not know the long-term consequences of living with an LDL-C level that low. The studies so far have not looked at clinical benefit – only at the change in blood LDL-C levels. Now, to be fair, the experience with lowering LDL-C has been, up to now, that heart disease risk goes down at the same time, so it would be expected that the same relationship between lowering LDL-C and heart risk would continue to hold.

But until this is confirmed by clinical trials with actual, concrete health benefits as outcome measures, we won’t know. I say this because of the Goldilocks Principle, which seems to apply in all kinds of areas where we human beings interact with the world around us. We saw what happens with antioxidants, salt, and our body mass index. We can’t assume that because some antioxidants in our diet are a good thing, more and more antioxidants are better. We can’t assume that because too much salt in our diets is bad, we should reduce our salt intake to almost nothing. We can’t assume that you can’t be too thin (I don’t know about too rich!) Similarly, we can’t assume that there are no health consequences to lowering LDL-cholesterol to previously almost unheard of levels. We’ll have to wait until we see whether those new drugs really do decrease heart disease, and whether there’s a minimum LDL-C level below which people might develop hitherto unsuspected problems.

Goldilocks is still waiting for Just Right!

* * * * * * *
Doc Gumshoe looks forward to your comments, and, in particular, to any hints about topics that you’d like to hear more about. Remember that I am not a bona fide MD, but I do keep up with health news and medical literature and consider it from my naturally contrarian point of view. My best to all, Michael Jorrin


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85 Comments on " The Antioxidant Paradox & the Goldilocks Principle"

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Roger Stevens
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July 22, 2013 12:58 pm

Good article. Companies make and suggest that we reduce blood pressures to levels that will not circulate the blood sufficiently and reduce cholesterol to levels that will deprive the brain of needed cholesterol. We recognize that the drug companies are more money than health motivated. The golden mean or Goldilocks principle is apt.

Ventureshadow
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Ventureshadow
July 22, 2013 1:15 pm
The proven association between taking antioxidants and dying sooner is just that–a proven association, not a causation. It’s a chicken and egg question. One cause of taking antioxidants is developing mild cognitive impairment, angina, or congestive heart failure. The dysfunction comes first, and then come the pills. I have observed this as a physician. Besides physicians who recommend antioxidants (because they have no effective proven remedy), plenty of “health service providers” who are not physicians make their livings with such recommendations, e.g., naturopaths, chiropractors, drug stores, GNC, mailorder vitamin companies. A prototype for antioxidants helping medical conditions is the alpha/beta-blocker… Read more »
Brendan McMahon
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July 22, 2013 1:17 pm

Aha!

I was just slightly ahead of you (by a week) on salt and antioxidants, but you have told the story very clearly and compellingly.

Regarding BMI, I KNEW it in my bones that BMI was bull. My target BMI made no sense unless I wanted to be emaciated. Thanks for revealing the facts.

Well done, great article again….

Brendan McMahon
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August 16, 2013 8:48 am
Stop Press! I looked into this a bit more – went to look at the detail of the Cochrane study. As I understand it from that (totally as a layman) the problems found were with Vitamins A and E, and Beta Carotene. The other antioxidants studied (C, Selenium, etc.) did not show any significant increase in mortality. The Cochrane review says: “The increased risk of mortality was associated with beta-carotene and possibly vitamin E and vitamin A, but was not associated with the use of vitamin C or selenium. The current evidence does not support the use of antioxidant supplements… Read more »
Jason A.
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Jason A.
July 22, 2013 1:19 pm

I never knew you were this big into health. Kudos Travis!

Brother Jim
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Brother Jim
July 22, 2013 1:24 pm

Great article – thanks!
For many years, noticing how fickle medical opinions often are, I have viewed with insouciance the barrage of opinions on what’s-good-for-us vs what’s-bad-for-us. The Salt Doctine is only the latest commonly accepted tenet to shrivel on the vine.
BTW, it appears that the amount of sun exposure also has some unknown Goldilocks level, as recent studies suggest that sunshine can help prevent skin cancer in those who do not already suffer from it.

Alfredo W. Boysen
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Alfredo W. Boysen
July 22, 2013 1:34 pm

Compliments for this anti-oxidant etc. article !
Instead of evaluating how much salt in consumed daily, perhaps it is more useful to analyze sodium in blood ? I check also K, Mg, Ca, Cr, and correct my diet acordingly.
How is the anti-oxidant or free radical level best determined ?
Also sex hormones etc. should be checked in blood.
I will be only 90 this year and both healthy and happy. Best Regards – Alfredo

Jacob Blass
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July 22, 2013 1:36 pm

I have a heart condition – with a high cholesterol LDL level. Like many other heart patients I am allergic to all Statins so the monoclonal antibody AMG145 could well be a life lengthening treatment. In a risk/benefit option I think the use of the drug would be worth while. By adjusting the dose of drug prescribed I suspect the level of LDL could be adjusted to the level the cardiologist prefers for any one patient until the Goldilocks level is finally decided.

yelpik
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yelpik
July 22, 2013 1:44 pm
I’ve always thought vitamins made for expensive urine eat plenty of fruits and veggies and shouldn’t need supplements. One exception pregnant women need folic acid so I don’t feel pregnant women should avoid the supplements given by a doctor. My family has a gene that keeps our cholesterol low and we have been given free tests since I was in my 20’s, just so they can research our blood. But while we have been told we are lucky for heart disease, we are more prone to stroke. Goldilocks wins again. One last note at 54 I’m starting to have higher… Read more »
ptilton45
Member
527
July 22, 2013 1:56 pm

As a physician I found the article well written and informative without pushing any agenda. Despite all we know, we know very little, so I appreciate how the information was presented and generally agree with the writer thoughts.

baygreen
Member
32
July 22, 2013 2:02 pm
Good article and as with anything in life I would say there is a happy medium for most. Drinking to much or eating to much with no lets say movement will turn you into a rock. But if you have some kind of program to stay some what active your body will tell you when things are wrong, correcting them is a problem when you don’t diversify you consumption, kind of ironic not to have all your investments in one basket , similar to eating and drinking and working out. A little bit of a good thing is better than… Read more »
Mike Shepherd
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Mike Shepherd
July 22, 2013 2:21 pm

Salt usually contains an anti-caking agent, for example sodium ferrocyanide. I wonder if the experiments contained proper controls to isolate the effects of the additives.

Beau
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July 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Murphy’s Law comes to mind when reading this and it goes like this:
“90 % of everything is Bu– Sh-t.” It seems that you have confirmed it to be true, yet again.
Never get excited when someone suddenly discovers some new idea and goes totally crack-pot over it and tries to convince you that it is what you should be doing, “for your own good.” Leave them to do all the “good” they can for themselves but to do yourself a favor and just humor them if you value your own health and well-being.

LostOkie
Irregular
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LostOkie
July 22, 2013 10:21 pm

Really!? I thought Murphy’s Law went more like this:

Anything that CAN go wrong WILL go wrong.
Simply meaning that anything that can possibly go wrong, at some time or other will happen. Simply a matter of time.
Have I had my laws confused all these years?

Ken Sinclair
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Ken Sinclair
July 23, 2013 12:26 pm

Sounds like Dubya’s version of Murphy’s Law!

Isaac
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Isaac
July 31, 2013 12:51 pm

“90% of everything is BS” is not Murphy’s Law, as Allen may points out. “90$ of everything is BS”, or in its original incarnation, 90% of everything is crud, is Sturgeon’s Law.

Diane Parker
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Diane Parker
July 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Fascinating article. On the same subject The Atlantic has recently published an eye-opening article about the link between vitamins, supplements, cancer and free radicals as well as just who convinced Americans that vitamins are indispensable, (hint: Noel Prize Winner ). Another second article examines the effects of resveratrol and exercise.
Moderation is the key.
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/study-anti-aging-antioxidant-actually-seems-to-undo-effects-of-exercise/277993/

Tony Lee
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Tony Lee
July 22, 2013 3:29 pm
Just a bit of nit-picking…. I don’t know whether it was different in the good ol’ U S of A but over this side of the pond the (rumoured) preferred chemical for keeping soldiers’ and male students’ urges in check was Potassium Bromide (KBr) not Potassium Nitrate (KNO3). However, whether anything was slipped into the chow for this purpose was always just a rumour and, for me certainly, school chow had no discernible effect on me in this direction. However, this did not detract from the article which I found both informative and enjoyable. Thank you and keep up the… Read more »
snorkelwt
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snorkelwt
July 22, 2013 4:37 pm

The Dr. Gumshoes articles are very interesting! I look forward to the new & save the old.Thank You!

canonfodder
Member
80
canonfodder
July 23, 2013 11:43 am

Diane, thank you so very much for the Atlantic Monthly links. Very enlightening. I don’t believe all that I read, but clinical studies reported make me rethink my supplement taking.
I may also start reading Atlantic Monthly! Great articles seem to be their regular issue contents.

All supplement takers should check out the links you gave. REALLY.

Dave P
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July 22, 2013 4:23 pm

alot of these drug company studies on antioxidants or other natural therapies have a predetermined result before study even run. Very hard to decipher results with the use of smoke and mirrors. Many of the studies use synthetic as opposed to natural products so the headline reads for example vitamin e users or vitamin a users have higher rates of whatever the opposite of what the public expected but assmumes a natural product was used when it was not.

archives2001
Irregular
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archives2001
July 22, 2013 4:27 pm

Excellent article..Thx!
Re the research on salt:
I suspect none of the studies have been done with sea salt which contains at least 72 trace minerals. The synergistic impact must be considered.

Larry
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Larry
July 22, 2013 4:29 pm

Thanks for a well researched article on my other great curiosity after making money. I want to live long enough to enjoy it and help my family.
I thought I had it right taking many supplements but all too often new research shows contrary information. After recently “investing” in 2 bottles of omega-3 antioxidant, Dr. Mirkin (http://www.drmirkin.com/public/ezine072113.htm) comes along with news that they may cause prostate cancer and do nothing to prevent heart disease. As usual, timing is everything.

archives2001
Irregular
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archives2001
July 22, 2013 5:10 pm

Larry,
I wouldn’t throw your bottles out quite yet.
There are thousands of studies supporting fish & omega three: Specifically DHA and EPA.
One must first of all ask “Cui bono” and “who’s behind the study?”
“He who pays the piper calls the tune”…
And lest we not forget the comment of our buddy Mark Twain:
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Arlis Tyner
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Arlis Tyner
July 23, 2013 8:07 pm

Twain also said “…lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Barry
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Barry
July 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Great article. Just one comment regarding the anti-oxidants. When potassium nitrate dissociates, forming K+ and NO3-, it is the potassium that gives up a (negative) electron, thus resulting in a charge of +1, while the nitrate gains the electron, giving it a charge of -1, and has an electron to give. Just to keep the pluses and minuses straight.

Michael Jorrin,
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Michael Jorrin
July 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Correct. I should have said the potassium atom – not ion – has the extra electron in the valence shell.

Farooq
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Farooq
July 22, 2013 4:55 pm
Excellent and well balanced comment. The possible adverse effect of antioxidant supplements in neoplastic diseases (cancer) was noted recently by Dr. Watson, the Nobel Laureate discoverer of DNA as the genetic code. Free radicals are used in lysosomes and other “grenades” used to kill not only cancer cells but also pathogenic organisms (invaders) such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses by the body’s leukocytes (white blood cells) including NKT cells (natural killer T-cells), macrophages and histiocytes, and antioxidants in greater than “goldilox” amounts could protect the targeted bad cells. Many vitamins prescribed as supplements such as the steroid vitamins, A,D, and… Read more »
david clumpner
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0
david clumpner
July 23, 2013 1:28 pm

Farooq:
I’d very much like to see your reference/documentation for this statement:
“Free radicals are used in lysosomes and other “grenades” used to kill not only cancer cells but also pathogenic organisms (invaders)”

Gary W
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Gary W
July 22, 2013 5:28 pm

Come again? How is 100 mm Hg 13% higher than 760 mm Hg? And how is 75 mm Hg 3% less than 100 mm Hg? Guess I can’t blame a doc for weird math. Other than that, a well-written, timely and topical article.

Barry
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Barry
July 22, 2013 5:31 pm

I was trying to figure out the same thing. Must be the “new” math!

Michael Jorrin,
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Michael Jorrin
July 22, 2013 6:10 pm
A mean arterial pressure (MAP) of 100 mm Hg means that your BP is 13% higher than atmospheric pressure at sea level, which is about 760 mm Hg. If our MAP were to fall to 75 mm Hg, that would only be about 10% higher than the surrounding armospheric pressure. Our BP has to be higher than the pressure that surrounds us just to keep the blood running through all the little hoses in out insides. That tiny difference between 13% higher that atmospheric pressure and 10% (3% by the same old math) is enough to make a difference in… Read more »
eleetsepil
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0
eleetsepil
August 3, 2013 1:45 pm
Michael, Atmospheric pressure has nothing to do with it! Our bodies are “equilibrated” to what ever the ambient pressure is whether we are in space within a space suit or at the top of Mt. Washington or at sea level. Just imagine sticking your arm outside of the space suit with the rest of your body inside. The difference ;in pressure then would cause the blood to rush to our arm just the same as when some gives you a hickie, there is a de3crease ;in pressure over the area and blood rushes in and ruptures the capillaries causing the… Read more »
eleetsepil
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eleetsepil
August 3, 2013 1:01 pm
Damn the percentages. What counts in blood pressure is the ability to overcome gravitational effects upon the flow of a fluid upward. You need some head of pressure to first pump the blood to the top of the head and then some to push it through the capillaries. All I know is when I faint because something lowered my blood pressure and fall to the ground, assuming I’m not injured, blood flow is restored to my brain because the brain is not at the same leve3l as the heart. I do not know the amount of pressure needed but raising… Read more »
gard
Member
198
May 22, 2014 11:50 am

13% of 760 = 98.8 almost 100 or rounded up to 100. Therefore the 100mm means 100 mm more than atmospheric. I think I’m right here?

Anthony Alfidi
Guest
0
July 22, 2013 5:41 pm

I’ve been hearing this antioxidant stuff about green lettuce and cherry tomatoes. The investment angle should be to create your own permaculture plots but I have yet to see that touted in a newsletter.

archives2001
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archives2001
July 22, 2013 6:13 pm

We can also get a sufficient amount of omega 3 from range beef , buffalo, wild game, chicken. and eggs.
It’s all in the geenies they eat.
GI- GO: Garbage In ~ Garbage Out.
Doesn’t take an Einstein or Linus Pauling to understand this is far better than eating
GMO grain fed livestock.

Ray
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Ray
July 22, 2013 6:49 pm

I have always been skeptical about cholesterol amounts because it is not how much is in the blood but how much is deposited to artery walls that matter.

gary c
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gary c
July 22, 2013 10:02 pm

Thank you emory, Iam glad we have a chemist here. Wow, folks really butcher elementry chemistry.

emory Braswell
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emory Braswell
July 22, 2013 7:01 pm
Though Mr. Jorrin is good with words, I’m afraid that he has difficulties with chemistry and math. I hesitate to correct a couple of errors which might throw a bad light on this otherwise well written article. But good writing must also be backed with good facts. One of your readers has picked up on the pressure problem and another on the charge on ions. To make it clearer, NO3- is a negatively charged particle, a negative ion (anion), and IS NOT a free radical. A free radical is a chemical group with an UNPAIRED electron, usually neutral in charge.… Read more »
MachineGhost
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MachineGhost
July 22, 2013 7:47 pm
Dig deeper. The term you’re looking for is hormesis. The studies that showed an increase in bad outcomes were using synthetic analog vitamins, not natural vitamins, especially with beta-carotene and alpha tocopherol. No one with any awareness of safe supplementing would intentionally take synthetic analogs over natural state. All cause mortality is lowest with total cholesterol around 220. For LDL it is around 133. The real issue is not cholesterol per se, but the oxidation of the endothelium and the LDL membrane (which is composed of tocopherols and carotenoids). The longer LDL stays in the blood, the more prone it… Read more »
emory_braswell
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emory_braswell
July 22, 2013 10:07 pm

Last remark: For some of the data quoted by both the writer and the commenters: Correlation is not necessarily causation.

JOYOUS BURKART
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JOYOUS BURKART
July 22, 2013 11:00 pm

My Dr. thinks I need 4 pills a day of Fish Oil……for high cholesterol……..now what do I do?
I take Lipitor and see on TV their are law suits…..saying Statins cause Diabetes…..
I do have Diabetes as well…….any ideas

archives2001
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archives2001
July 22, 2013 11:28 pm

Joyous:
Go to Jerry Mixon MD’s website…Here’s a link:
http://blogs23.longevitymedicalclinic.com/tag/diabetes/
He has several radio talks on his site that u can listen to.
“70% CURE..Now THAT’S a pretty BOLD statement but he certainly does have a great many
patients who can verify that I believe.
You can also listen to him live every Sat morning from 8 to 10 PDT, over the internet as well as phone him with your query.

MachineGhost
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MachineGhost
July 23, 2013 4:46 pm
Fish oil is typically used for treating high triglycerides (VLDL). High tryglycerides is typically a sign of too much carbohydrates in the diet. Statins work by forcing cholesterol to be cleared from the liver. As a result, the liver upregulates LDL receptor activity and it gets the cholesterol it needs by taking it from the bloodstream. Unfortunately, this leaves the rest of the organs in body, especially the brain, starved for cholesterol which is a critical substance necessary to life and optimal health. There are many negative side effects of statin use, but the most common is CoQ10 depletion and… Read more »
hipockets
Irregular
1001
July 22, 2013 11:13 pm
Hi, Doc Great article. You must have written it with the Goldilocks principle in mind! Please comment on: 1. Sea salt versus table salt. 2. How anti-cholesterol drugs (especially statins) work. 3. Is part of their function to, partially at least, cleanse the arteries of cholesterol deposits? By the way, Lipitor (a generic form) did not reduce my cholesterol to a level my doctor found acceptable.. He added one pill of Zetia a day, which brought it down to an acceptable level. But since it costs me $1.10 per pill with insurance, I went looking for a “just right” alternative..… Read more »
MachineGhost
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MachineGhost
July 23, 2013 4:57 pm
No, its not to cleanse the arteries of cholesterol deposits. Statins just lower LDL transport. Removing cholesterol would be the role of HDL transport and increasing HDL to do so actually increases mortality. That’s because cholesterol transport by LDL is a response to endothelium dysfunction; it acts a band-aid in other words. You must fix the underlying issue so that the plaques are no longer needed. In the rabbit studies used to prove orally-ingested cholesterol caused arterial plaques, such plaques were 100% stable and did not erupt and cause a blockage or heart attack. That may be because rabiits have… Read more »
packrateric
Member
2
July 23, 2013 1:03 am
Cholesterol lowering drugs are undoubtedly effective and here to stay but are not really getting at the root cause of cardiovascular disease. Although very thorough studies have been conducted and published by many researchers regarding the effectiveness of a plant based diet this avenue of therapy and prevention have not come to the attention of mainstream America . Very affordable,effective,safe,non medication based treatment for heart disease,obesity,diabetes is as close as your grocery store.The plant based diet is very satsfying and calorie counting is unnecessary. Do an Internet search for the work done by Dr. Esselstyne ,a cardiologist at The Cleveland… Read more »
packrateric
Member
2
July 23, 2013 1:07 am

Addendum
This is not a fringe diet or a fad diet.the plant based diet is being used by no other than Bill Clinton and also used by triathlon athletes.

archives2001
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archives2001
July 23, 2013 7:20 am

Hundreds of thousands of Seventh Day Adventists and Loma Linda Univ
certainly substantiate this research Eric;.

blackjack
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blackjack
July 23, 2013 2:52 am

statin drugs were a huge benefit to big pharma
big pharma has poured billions into research and in shutting down health food shops and vitamin distributors that make claims about supplements
but its ok for big pharma to make outrageous claims
as the have the backing of FDA
and their checking methods are suspects as well
after all they did approve aspartame and we all know who benefited and what health effects that has on the human body
eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you might ………..

archives2001
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archives2001
July 23, 2013 7:32 am

Not to mention the 100,000 people killed in/by hospitals every year and that
certainly doesn’t include another 100,000 killed by prescription & otc drugs
These ‘revolving door shills’ collude with msm to finger the few who improperly
use herbs and supplements.
They think they have the general public sufficiently drugged for us to accept this swill;
And so far it appears they are correct.

Tony
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Tony
July 23, 2013 3:01 am

I invested in biotech stock CVM which is in stage 3. The stock has been tanking. I speculated on this stock after read seeking alpha articles, etc. Could you Travis or doc gumshoe give your opinion on this stock. Is their product even viable or have a market? I thought that it might be a good bet after Teva invested in them but I’m not so sure anymore.

wiseword
Member
5
wiseword
July 23, 2013 3:29 pm

Is there any way we can please, please, get rid of “coronary heart” disease? I assume this is to differentiate it from — oh, let’s say “coronary kidney” disease or “renal heart” disease. To be perfectly clear perhaps we should have “coronary heart ticker big red Valentine thing” disease.

topcat
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topcat
July 23, 2013 3:56 pm

A website that has helped me understand how my body works is http://www.sensiblehealth.com that provided info which allowed me an option to gallbladder removal many years ago. I still have my gallbladder and have used the tinctures off and on. I don’t take all the advice, but I know I do feel better when I followed more of it. Mostly, the information helped me better understand what our organs do for us in the processing of what we eat. GI =GO Thank you Doc , Travis & all who post knowledgeable comments for providing more truly beneficial information.

Lorne
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Lorne
July 23, 2013 5:02 pm
Not surprised by BMI. BMI is a one size-fits all approach which doesn’t actually take into account people who might exercise with weights a lot and actually have high ratio because muscle is denser than fat for the same volume. Regarding cholesterol, has anybody seen any good information on how much one can get their cholesterol down by diet and exercise and by how much. I got mine down about 20% in 3 months. Its not low enough yet but I would rather avoid drugs if the diet/exercise downward trend can continue. Found lots on what to eat and not… Read more »
packrateric
Member
2
July 24, 2013 12:42 am

To Lorne

Look into Plant based nutrition,
Papers on its efficacy published in American journal of Cardiology by Dr. CB Esselstyn.
They have also published in the lay press helpful guides.. His son wrote a book/guide “Engine 2 diet” a book about how a fire house went on this diet and the fire fighters lost 10lbs and significantly dropped cholesterol in 4 weeks.

packrateric
Member
2
July 24, 2013 12:48 am

to L weiss
t
The term coronary heart disease is not redundant but refers to coronary arterial heart disease .The coronarys are the arterys to the heart. This differentiates it from say hypertensive heart disease or Rheumatic heart disease.

packrateric
Member
2
July 24, 2013 12:51 am

PS some folks have been literally able to to get rid of the their cornonary artery disease by
a plant based nutrion approach.See the references mentioned above:)

Bill Chenault
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0
Bill Chenault
July 24, 2013 9:51 am
Interesting and well written article, though I was glad to see the my initial confusion over the positive vs. negative ions straightened out in the comments. I thought for a couple of minutes that I had forgotten the little chemistry I once knew. Anyway, just trying to tie together the usual focus of these emails (making money, typically via stocks) with the medical subject matter – you mentioned Amgen (clinical trial of phase II drug AMG145) has a new cholesterol lowering drug. I know ISIS ( http://ir.isispharm.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=222170&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1839488&highlight= ) has a triglyceride lowering drug in development (phase II trial results in… Read more »
Michael Jorrin,
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Michael Jorrin
July 24, 2013 12:04 pm
Apologies for being unclear about ions & charges. I should have said that potassium became a positive ion after it lost the electron in its valence shell. However, the NO3 ion is indeed a free radical – sometimes written OONO. As for clues to investment, that’s not my department. By the time I learn about the results of a Phase II or III trial, the information is public – unless, that is, I’m working on a project involving the particlar drug, in which case my lips are stiched together with steel wires. i mentioned several pharmas in the blog about… Read more »
FarmGirl
Guest
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FarmGirl
July 24, 2013 3:40 pm

Diet and exercise are the best ways to lose weight. Belviq, a new drug from Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA) depresses the appetite and helps people stay on a diet. It does not increase metabolism or “burn fat” but it is very effective in helping people change what and how much they eat. Phentermine does increase metabolism, and can be paired with Belviq. Gumshoe, have you seen any teasers for ARNA yet?

Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
Admin
4803
July 24, 2013 4:09 pm

Haven’t seen ARNA touted since last year, which I covered here: http://stockgumshoe.com/reviews/money-map-report/announcement-pending-on-june-27-for-best-selling-drug-in-prescription-medicine-history/

That came three years after the first wave of newsletter bluster about ARNA, back when it was originally expected to get approval in 2009 — we even had newsletters from different publishers fighting over it in their teasers, pitching it as both a long and a short: http://stockgumshoe.com/2009/02/a-good-old-fashioned-newsletter-fight/

A Doctor writes.....
Guest
0
A Doctor writes.....
July 24, 2013 4:57 pm
As (another) physician, agree this article is well-written and more balanced than much of what one reads in the MSM on ‘health’. Would add a couple of things: the human body is incredibly susceptible to psycho-social influences. Happiness is as important as your cholesterol levels! Happy / positive people do not get sick a lot. When happy people do, perversely, get sick, they are a pleasure to treat and generally respond well to whatever treatment we physicians have/ offer/ prescribe. Unhappy / negative people get sick a lot. They are unpleasant to treat and have all sorts of complications and… Read more »
archives2001
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archives2001
July 24, 2013 7:00 pm
Doc, I appreciate your insight and comments. You seem like a very pragmatic doc, willing to consider all facets before making up your mind: “Just the facts, Ma’am, just the facts…” One aspect that seems to be getting little attention from mainstream medicine is the acid alkaline balance (homeostasis), but I note quite a few younger avant-garde dentists have jumped on board with their own treatment instead of just prescribing sea salt and baking soda which has worked for me and thousands of others thru the yrs to prevent caries and all sorts of oral issues. If it applies so… Read more »
MachineGhost
Guest
0
MachineGhost
July 25, 2013 11:30 am
That’s because the body tightly regulates the blood’s pH and it does not vary at all except maybe in some cases of cancer where it is allegedly too acid. So taking potassium bicarbonate or a water from an alkalizer, etc. will not survive the low pH stomach acid to “alkalize the body”. Magnesium, which is also in chlorophyll, is an alkalizing mineral and in fact you will find that to raise the alkalinity of water requires magnesium, chloride, sodium, calcium, etc.! So eat healthy and supplement with the minerals instead. There’s no doubt drinking alkaline water will help reduce acid… Read more »
archives2001
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archives2001
July 25, 2013 11:22 pm
“That’s because the body tightly regulates the blood’s pH and it does not vary at all except maybe in some cases of cancer” Au Contraire Machine Ghost… https://www.google.com/search?q=disease+acidosis&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a And speaking of Linus Pauling, He and his institute have MUCH to say about the acid alkaline balance: Restoring proper acid-alcaline balance in San Francisco Bay Area http://www.biotherapy-clinic.com/alkalize.html‎ … to a mineral deficiency.” Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes. … Acidosis is the first step towards premature aging and accelerated oxidative stress. Supplementary treatment of metabolic acidosis | How Diet Nutrition … http://www.howdietnutrition.com/…/supplementary-treatment-of-metabolic-aci…‎ Mar 27, 2013 – There are several… Read more »
MachineGhost
Guest
0
MachineGhost
July 30, 2013 5:02 pm

I think you’re confusing various acidosis disorders with measuring the blood pH. The blood pH is tightly regulated and simply does not vary except in very extreme cases such as chronic diarrhea from loss of electrolytes. The dogma in alternative medicine about “alkalizing the blood” or “protein leeching calcium from the bones” has zero to flimsy scientific evidence backing it. All bark, no bite.

archives2001
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archives2001
July 30, 2013 9:39 pm
MG, You state, “I think you’re confusing various acidosis disorders with measuring the blood pH.” Better do an update ‘Fact Check’ my friend. Here’s what WP has to say and it’s quite comprehensive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acidosis Now PLEASE, go back and carefully review what the L Pauling institute has to say in their volumes of research that u seem to have rejected. Other researchers like Drs Goldberg MD and Jonathan Wright MD have done considerable research on the subject as well: http://www.burtongoldberg.com/page84.html And please do a simple google search for “acid alkaline” “dental research” to observe extensive research and application underway which… Read more »
MachineGhost
Guest
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MachineGhost
July 30, 2013 10:47 pm

I stand corrected in regards to the blood pH.

But what we’re really talking about here is dietary influencing the blood pH, not respiration or chi or metformin, etc., so read these:

https://chriskresser.com/the-ph-myth-part-1
https://chriskresser.com/the-acid-alkaline-myth-part-2

archives2001
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archives2001
July 31, 2013 12:40 am
Kresser’s bio and introduction: He seems to be well versed in alternative/complimentary medicine but his bio – credentials don’t compare with the research of a noted institute like Pauling and MDs such as Jonathan Wright, Goldberg, and Jerry Mixon. Wright (Tahoma Clinic) is sought out internationally as a top researcher & father of contemporary alternative and complimentary medicine. And here’s what Dr Weil has to say: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400883/The-Acid-Alkaline-Diet-Eating-to-Protect-Bones.html I do appreciated this statement that Kresser makes and thnx a lot for the references: “In doing this research I discovered that many of the ideas and beliefs we hold about health in… Read more »
archives2001
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archives2001
July 31, 2013 1:33 am

Addendum:
I forgot to mention, by the time of my heart attack at the age of 64,
I had incurred over 50 carries and other oral issues. It was at that
point I began using the baking soda and sea salt instead of toothpaste.
I’ve had no further mouth problems since and I still have those molars
my dentist commanded needed to be pulled stat.

MachineGhost
Guest
0
MachineGhost
July 31, 2013 2:57 pm
Actually, the problem is not acid per se in the mouth, but bacteria. You’re old enough that you can probably remember the decades of propaganda about sugar and acids being harmful and to avoid them which didn’t do a darn thing to prevent increased cavities, gum disease, etc.. Well, technically acids are the poop and biofilm of harmful bacteria. It’s only within the past decade or so that the dentistry tune has begun to change to focus on bacteria. Baking soda is actually too harsh on the enamel because it disrupts the protective biofilm of good bacteria. I recommend an… Read more »
david clumpner
Guest
0
david clumpner
July 31, 2013 4:03 pm
MG: “Baking soda is actually too harsh on the enamel because it disrupts the protective biofilm of good bacteria” Baking soda and sea salt has worked extremely well for me in the past ten yrs ever since my systemic inflammation conditions of my mouth, heart, and bladder incidents occurring simultaneously. Lots of research out now on how our teeth can cause MI as well as systemic inflammatory issues. Here are a couple of links that further substantiate: You may find them quite startling but again, all of this has worked for me! Ramiel Nagel has several other youtube clips and… Read more »
PHD Chemist
Guest
0
PHD Chemist
July 24, 2013 5:24 pm

The nitrate ion is not considered a free radical because it is stable anion. It has zero tendency to react just like other stable anions; e.g. chloride, bromide, flouride, sulfate, etc.

Dave Rossin
Guest
0
Dave Rossin
July 25, 2013 5:35 am
Good article. Well researched and interestingly written. The Goldilocks Principle might be applied to people exposed to low-level radiation. That means all of us. It comes from the Sun, space, rocks and periodic X-ray exposures. At these levels and 100 times larger, cell damage is recovered over time by natural growth of surrounding cells. That is why radiation exposure standards should take into account time periods of exposure. They used to, but current standards simply add up all man-made exposure regardless of its actual tiny magnitude. This is “justified” by a linear non-threshold theory (LNT) that has no basis in… Read more »
boneafide
Guest
0
boneafide
July 27, 2013 2:24 pm
The good doctor Tilton said it well, “Despite all we know, we know very little”. While despairing over this meagre harvest to show over centuries of effort, I consoled myself with the thought that with so many brains working on “health” matters (as evident from such thoughtful commentary above), humanity is bound to supplement its knowledge over time. We have unfortunately come to a point when even this minimalistic prospect of progress could be at risk; indeed we may be going backwards where the next generation will know less. Greed and more greed by mammoth institutions and organizations such as… Read more »
archives2001
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archives2001
July 27, 2013 6:38 pm

Yup…
“He who pays the piper calls the tune”…

tatewell
Irregular
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tatewell
July 28, 2013 10:10 pm
I’ve had 76 years of experience in this world and have worked through major medical problems. Thanks to my wife’s research, we came to the conclusion that: 1) The US government continuously changes the bases for all evaluations of anything, political or otherwise, they are involved in to tell citizens what they want them to believe. 2.) Show me a double blind medical study and I will show you a flawed study, primarily designed to misinform the public to believe what they started out to make you believe. 3.) Most of the vitamin and mineral supplements have never been tested… Read more »
archives2001
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archives2001
May 22, 2014 4:43 pm

“He who pays the piper, calls the tune”!

tonyjo
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tonyjo
August 4, 2013 2:14 am

There was a referral regarding clearing of the arteries naturally to “references above”. There were many references — which one? thanks in advance

archives2001
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archives2001
August 4, 2013 5:53 pm

Tony,
I would refer you to Drs Joe Mercola, Jonathan Wright (Tahoma Clinic), and Andrew Weil websites for much comprehensive research on this subject.
Omega 3 (epa & dha), garlic, nattokinase, green juicing, and turmeric are some recommendations.

gard
Member
198
May 22, 2014 12:46 pm
My train of thought has been that Pharmaceutical companies have greatly improved the quality & longevity of life. And that the good drugs they have produced didn’t need all the hype because they worked. I worked at a pharmaceutical company back in the 70’s and they were really pushing 2 of the drugs they had originally thought promising. They never made it to market. It seemed to me like gambling in that having put great sums of money into the gamble they at least wanted to break even and so kept hyping their drugs to the FDA to get it… Read more »
archives2001
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archives2001
May 22, 2014 5:03 pm

“look for alternatives either in older, proven drugs or alternatives in the herbal market”.
Hopefully the latter since there’s been at least 5000 yrs of research and experimentation.
Too many folks rely solely on their health professionals instead of taking personal responsibility for their health by doing the necessary documentation & research.
There is no excuse now with the internet at our disposal.
Sure, there’s a vast amount of bogus material on there but we have to learn to locate reliable sources.
Treat our doctor as a partner, not a god.
Integrative plus preventative med is the only way to go imo.

hipockets
Irregular
1001
May 22, 2014 7:03 pm

Very well worded, Alan Thanks for your post.

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