Archive for June, 2009

8 Summer Tips for MS patients

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multiple sclerosis, summer, vacation, MS, sunscreens, toxic, cancerHaving MS and living in a hot country is not easy. Heat can be difficult, causing symptoms to reappear, or, become more of a challenge to deal with.

Following these steps can help as basics to prevent problems.

1. Don’t expose your self to heat. Try to remain in your house (especially the very  hot days) and make sure your air conditioner has clean filters.

If you must go out , try to go before 11 am, or after 7pm, when the sun is lower in the sky, and IF YOU CAN TOLERATE IT, and would like to expose your skin to the sun for 20 minutes, to help your body synthesize  Vit.D , do so during the same hours.

2. Make sure you get your daily Vitamin D (as Cholecalsiferol) orally (at least 4000IUs or more).

3. Make sure you get 2 grams of Vit C before you go out to deal with acidosis and keep some with you in case you feel like you need extra strength. In cases where more antioxidant protection is needed increase your Vitamin E to 800IUs.

4. Drink at least 1.5lt of water daily.5. Don’t use sun protector unless it is absolutely non chemical, non toxic. Toss your sunscreen in the trash if it contains any of these questionable chemicals:

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Padimate O
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Trolamine salicyclate
  • Octocrylene

(facts taken from Dr Mercola’s Website)

Potentially harmful chemicals such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone (two chemicals I just mentioned) are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man!

Use sunscreens with natural ingredients ONLY (Zinc Cream is one of the BEST natural sunscreens. It is available, and cheap, at any drug store, and it is a wonderful, natural sunblock) and generally use  natural ways to protect yourself, wearing light-coloured clothing that don’t draw the suns rays, always wear a hat, and remember to protect your eyes with sunglasses.

6. Control the magnesium/calcium ratio, until spasticity, bowel and sleep pattern is at the best possible ratio, since everybody has a different tolerance for the amount that is actually absorbed.  Calcium should NOT be taken within the same time as all of the other vitamins. The amount of calcium that can be absorbed at one time is about 300mg. Although most people who don’t have MS are fine with a ratio of 2:1, due to the tremendous effects of both of these regarding the effects on spasticity, smooth muscle control, bowel workings, and the combination, are extremely effective in stopping spasms, begin with a 2:1.5 (Calcium to Magnesium), and if no bowel problems are encountered, increase magnesium to the level where the daily bowel cleanse is as perfect as possible. (if stool begins to get to soft, back off on magnesium, until dosage is one that works best for you). There are times during healing when calcium/mag ratio may change, due to the amount of calcium used by body in strengthening bones,or in other important healing factors, so whenever there is problems with spasticity, or loss of regular bowel cleanses, dosages may have to occasionally be changed, as the body begins to heal, or go through different phases in it’s need for these important minerals, and electrolytes.

7. If you feel fatigued due to heat try to take B12 in injectable form (1000mcg once to three times weekly). If you are feeling particularly weak during this weather, increasing your B1 100-200 mg daily could be helpful, which would mean, perhaps dividing your dosage,  taking it at the time of the day that you find yourself feeling weak or fatigued. This can be continued, and many patients find the extra boost helpful, even when the weather isn’t a problem. Try, and if this has a helpful effect, you may consider keeping your dosage higher on a regular basis, or, return to your lower dosage, and see if you find a “difference” in the amount of strength you have. Being that you are coping with extra trials in hot weather, it is difficult to notice, perhaps, whether this boost in dosage may be beneficial to you to continue year round.  Some people divide their dosage during the day, finding that it “wears off”, such as taking 300mg. in the morning , and 300 in the evening, and still others, are finding taking 3 injections, morning, noon , and night, has made a difference in their strength.

8. Avoid Cortisone or other “steroid drugs”.Carry extra Vit.C wherever you go in the summer, as it can prevent people from going into anaphylactic shock, if stung by multiple bees, hornets, or wasps (hitting a nest),  and has saved lives by taking as large a dose as possible(up to 25,000 grams) until you are able to get medical help. However, if you know you are allergic to bees, you know that you should be carrying an “epi-pen” at all times.”

What Makes Sunscreens Toxic?

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Facts taken from Dr Mercola’s Website

A study in the April 2004 Journal of Chromatography found that there was significant penetration into the skin of all sunscreen agents they studied. And slathering a carcinogenic agent onto your skin may in fact be worse for your health than ingesting it, as it goes straight into your blood stream.

By following experts’ recommendations to apply generous amounts of sunscreen every few hours to prevent skin cancer, you are likely absorbing a fair amount.

Making matters worse, scientists are not even sure whether sunscreen prevents against melanoma in the first place. They’ve suggested that sunscreen may prevent sunburn, but may fail to actually protect against cancer because most sunscreens only screen out UVB, which makes vitamin D, not the UVA that causes most of the damage.

Some studies have even found a link between melanoma and the use of commercial sunscreen! Additionally, potentially harmful chemicals such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man. And yet other studies have linked specific chemical UV filters with the transsexualization of male fish and coral reef degradation.

Use ONLY natural sunscreen with safe, non-toxic ingredients, so as to not add to your toxic load, YOU DON’T NEED EXTRA TOXIC LOAD WITH YOUR MS and perhaps still not be protected from damaging UVA.

As you can see from this list, compiled from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, there are lots of potential dangers lurking in your sunscreens:

Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate) The most widely used sunscreen ingredient, known for its low potential to sensitize skin or act as a phototallergen. Estrogenic effects are noted in laboratory animals as well as disruption of thyroid hormone and brain signaling. Has been found to kill mouse cells even at low doses when exposed to sunlight!
Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3) Associated with photoallergic reactions. This chemical absorbs through your skin in significant amounts. It contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans according to Centers for Disease Control research. Health concerns include hormone disruption and cancer.
Octisalate Octisalate is a weak UVB absorber with a generally good safety profile among sunscreen ingredients. It is a penetration enhancer, which may increase the amount of other ingredients passing through skin.
Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) Primarily a UVA-absorbing agent, sunlight causes this unstable ingredient to break down into unknown chemicals, especially in the presence of another active, Octinoxate.
Octocrylene Produces oxygen radicals when exposed to UV light.
Homosalate Research indicates it is a weak hormone disruptor, forms toxic metabolites, and can enhance the penetration of a toxic herbicide.
Micronized Titanium Dioxide Sunscreens with micronized titanium dioxide may contain nanoparticles. Micronized TiO2 offers greater sun protection than conventional (larger) particles. These small particles do not penetrate skin but may be more toxic to living cells and the environment. Inhalation of powders and sprays is a concern.
Micronized Zinc Oxide Same as Micronized Titanium Dioxide, above.
Titanium Dioxide Appears safe for use on skin, due to low penetration but inhalation is a concern.
Ensulizole (Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid) Known to produce free radicals when exposed to sunlight, leading to damage of DNA, this UVB protector may have the potential to cause cancer.
Nano Zinc Oxide Nano zinc oxide offers greater sun protection than larger zinc particles. Comparatively little is known regarding potential health effects of nanoparticles. They do not penetrate healthy skin, and thus appear to pose a low health risk in lotions. Inhalation of powders and sprays is a concern.
Nano Titanium Dioxide Same as Nano Zinc Oxide, above.
Zinc Oxide Zinc has a long history of use in sunscreen and other skin care products; little absorption and no adverse health effects are reported.
Padimate O (Octyl Dimethyl PABA / PABA Ester) A derivative of the once-popular PABA sunscreen ingredient, research shows this chemical releases free radicals, damages DNA, has estrogenic activity, and causes allergic reactions in some people.
Menthyl Anthranilate 1 study found that it produces damaging reactive oxygen species when exposed to sunlight.
Mexoryl SX 2 hours of sunlight can degrade as much as 40% of this active ingredient. Low skin penetration.
Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol Not an approved active ingredient in the U.S.  Few studies exist on this chemical. It is photostable and does not absorb through your skin.
Sulisobenzone (Benzophenone-4) Can cause skin and eye irritation. Does not penetrate your skin to a large degree, but enhances the ability of other chemicals to penetrate.
Benzophenone-2 Not approved for use in United States sunscreens. Concerns about hormone disruption.

Antibiotics Put 142,000 Into Emergency Rooms Each Year

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control Waits 60 Years to Study the Problem

(Info taken from http://orthomolecular.com)

(OMNS, October 13, 2008) The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released “the first report ever done on adverse reactions to antibiotics in the United States” on 13 Aug, 2008. (1) This is “the first report ever”? How is that possible? Antibiotics have been widely used since the 1940s. It is astounding that it has taken CDC so long to seriously study the side effects of these drugs. It is now apparent that there have been decades of an undeserved presumption of safety.

Antibiotics can put you in the emergency room. Common antibiotics, the ones most frequently prescribed and regarded as safest, cause for nearly half of emergencies due to antibiotics. And, incredibly enough, people in the prime of life – not babies – are especially at risk. The study authors reported that “Persons aged 15-44 years accounted for an estimated 41.2 percent of emergency department visits. Infants accounted for only an estimated 6.3 percent of ED visits.” They also found that nearly 80% of antibiotic-caused “adverse events” were allergic reactions. Overdoses and mistakes, by patients and by physicians, make up the rest.

Allergic reactions to antibiotics may be very serious, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Searching the US National Library of Medicine’s “Medline” database (2) for “antibiotic allergic reaction” will bring up over 9,700 mentions in scientific papers. A search for “antibiotic anaphylactic shock” brings up over 1,100. Many papers on this severe danger were actually published before 1960. (3) Given this amount of accumulated information, one might wonder why CDC took so long to seriously study the problem.

Overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance. At its website, CDC currently states that antibiotic resistance “can cause significant danger and suffering for people who have common infections that once were easily treatable with antibiotics. . . Some resistant infections can cause death.” (4)

In the USA alone, “over 3 million pounds of antibiotics are used every year on humans . . . enough to give every man, woman and child 10 teaspoons of pure antibiotics per year,” write Null, Dean, Feldman, and Rasio. (5) “Almost half of patients with upper respiratory tract infections in the U.S. still receive antibiotics from their doctor” even though “the CDC warns that 90% of upper respiratory infections, including children’s ear infections, are viral, and antibiotics don’t treat viral infection. More than 40% of about 50 million prescriptions for antibiotics each year in physicians’ offices were inappropriate.”

Additionally, every year, a staggering 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to farm animals, most given in an attempt to prevent illness. Seepage from feedlots results in low concentrations of antibiotics in our waterways and food. This increases human antibiotic resistance. (6)

Antibiotic resistance and antibiotic allergic reactions continue to be major public health problems. Both dangers are directly related to the huge amount of antibiotics we consume. One immediate way to decrease the incidence of side effects from antibiotics is to use antibiotics less often. Reducing use “by even a small percentage could significantly reduce the immediate and direct risks of drug-related adverse events,” the CDC study authors said.

Alternative, non-drug treatments can also be an answer. Robert F. Cathcart, M.D., observed that high doses of vitamin C substantially reduce the dosage of antibiotics needed to treat patients. Vitamin C also specifically counters allergic reactions. Dr. Cathcart, a practicing allergist with decades of experience, said: “Patients seemed not to develop their first allergic reaction to penicillin when they had taken bowel tolerance vitamin C for several doses. Among the several thousand patients given penicillin, two cases of brief rash were seen in patients who had taken their first dose of penicillin along with their first dose of vitamin C . . . Many patients find the effect of ascorbate more satisfactory than immunizations or antihistamines and decongestants.” (7)

Back in the 1950s, physicians such as William J. McCormick, M.D., (8) and Frederick Robert Klenner, M.D., (9) found that very high doses of vitamin C can be safely and effectively used, by itself, as an antibiotic as well as an antiviral and antihistamine. Dr. McCormick wrote that vitamin C is known to “contribute to the development of antibodies and the neutralization of toxins in the building of natural immunity to infectious diseases. There is a very potent chemotherapeutic action of ascorbic acid when given in massive repeated doses, 500 to 1,000 mg (hourly), preferably intravenously or intramuscularly. When thus administered the effect in acute infectious processes is favorably comparable to that of the sulfonamides or the mycelial antibiotics, but with the great advantage of complete freedom from toxic or allergic reactions.” (10)

Using more vitamin C means needing fewer antibiotics. Using vitamin C along with antibiotics reduces their side effects. Orthomolecular (nutritional) physicians have been reporting this for years. (11)

The CDC has a long and lamentable history of ignoring dangerous antibiotic side effects. And still today, CDC demonstrates a striking disinterest in nutritional alternatives to drugs. At their website, there is not a single word about the value of vitamin C in reducing the need for antibiotics, or for reducing antibiotic side effects.

A cynic might speculate that drug companies have heavy influence at the US Centers for Disease Control.

Whatever the reason, patients are the losers.

References:

(1) Shehab N, Patel PR, Srinivasan A, Budnitz DS. Emergency department visits for antibiotic-associated adverse events. Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Sep 15;47(6):735-43.

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

(3) Some examples include:
Arrigo G, D’Angelo A. Achromycin and anaphylactic shock. Riv Patol Clin. 1959 Oct;14:719-22.
Harvey HP, Solomon HJ. Acute anaphylactic shock due to para-aminosalicylic acid. Am Rev Tuberc. 1958 Mar;77(3):492-5.
Lythcott GI. Anaphylaxis to viomycin. Am Rev Tuberc. 1957 Jan;75(1):135-8.
Farber JE, Ross J, Stephens G. Antibiotic anaphylaxis. Calif Med. 1954 Jul;81(1):9-11.
Farber JE, Ross J. Antibiotic anaphylaxis; a note on the treatment and prevention of severe reactions to penicillin, streptomycin and dihydrostreptomycin. Med Times. 1952 Jan;80(1):28-30.
Patterson DB. Anaphylactic shock from chloromycetin. Northwest Med. 1950 May;49(5):352-3.

(4) http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/community/ Accessed September 22, 2008.

(5) Null G, Dean C, Feldman M, Rasio D. Death by medicine. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2005. Vol 20, No 1, p 21-34. http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2005/pdf/2005-v20n01-p021.pdf Also at http://www.doctoryourself.com/deathmed.html See also: Rabin R. Caution about overuse of antibiotics. Newsday. Sept. 18, 2003.

(6) Egger WA. Antibiotic resistance: unnatural selection in the office and on the farm. Wisconson Medical Journal. Aug. 2002.

(7) Cathcart RF. Vitamin C, titration to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Medical Hypothesis, 1981. 7:1359-1376. http://www.orthomed.com/titrate.htm or http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html

(8) Saul AW. The pioneering work of William J. McCormick, M.D. J Orthomolecular Med, 2003. Vol 18, No 2, p 93-96. http://www.doctoryourself.com/mccormick.html

(9) Klenner FR. The use of vitamin C as an antibiotic. Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1953. 6:274-278. http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/195x/klenner-fr-j_appl_nutr-1953-v6-p274.htm and http://whale.to/v/c/klenner1.html

(10) McCormick WJ. Ascorbic acid as a chemotherapeutic agent. Archives of Pediatrics NY, 1952. Vol. 69, No. 4, April, p 151-155. http://www.doctoryourself.com/mccormick1951.html

(11) Read full text, peer-reviewed nutritional research papers, free of charge: http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom

For more information:

Dr. F. R. Klenner’s work, summarized as “The Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C,” is posted in its entirety at http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/198x/smith-lh-clinical_guide_1988.htm

The complete text of Irwin Stone’s book on high-dose vitamin C therapy, “The Healing Factor,” is posted for free reading at http://vitamincfoundation.org/stone/

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

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Damien Downing, M.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
James A. Jackson, PhD
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D.

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org

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