Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vitamins and Antibiotics Against Disease: Please Help Get the Word Out

I can only point to my personal experience, which only involves a handful of cases. The science behind this handful of cases is powerful. The approach, in fact, is common sense.

Antibiotics and vitamins work together.

I first understood the possible synergy of antibiotics and vitamins when I worked with the OMNS and helped write a press release titled "Antibiotics and Vitamins Work Together." At the time, I still didn't completely get it. I completely "got it" when my dog got really sick a year ago. I did more research and realized that a class of bacteria, known as mycobacteria, cause alot more illness than is generally recognized. These are the critters causing Lyme disease and ulcers. They are also known to cause a variety of dog diseases because ticks are a particularly active vector for this type of disease and dogs off a leash are highly susceptible to tick bites.

After only a year, I've learned and seen enough cases to know that vitamins and antibiotics, working together, can go a long way towards preventing and curing the epidemic of prescription drug reliance that is a fact of modern life.

By myself, as a single voice on the internet, I'm not going to be as effective as I could be as part of team of professionals with a common vision. If you know of anyone who might be interested in turning this story into a more interesting story, please have them get in touch with me. I'm not hard to find. Just leave a comment at my blog - or contact Rusty at cforyourself.com and he'll help contact me.

Help me turn back the tide of rising prescription drug dependence.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Vitamin C, Niacin, Antibiotics, and Terrible Colds that Go Into the Lungs

I've been studying and writing about vitamins since 1994. I've been blogging since September, 2006. All these years, I've mostly avoided discussing why I spend so much time studying vitamins, and why I feel compelled to share my expertise on the internet.

I feel more compelled than ever to continue to share my expertise, but am running out of insights backed by scientific literature. I've been feeling recently like I'm just repeating myself. So - I'm going to change my approach and start telling personal stories.

The scientific literature supporting the safety of vitamin C and niacin is fantastic. Both vitamins cause terrible side effects in overdose, but rapid recovery results from stopping supplements. There is a consensus that vitamin C and niacin do not cause long term harm or reduce life expectancy. Both vitamins have earned the term "generally recognized as safe" and are sold without child-proof caps.

For me, these are more than just words. I'm living proof of the safety of vitamin C and niacin. For the past 15 years, I've contracted a horrible cold about once per year. For me, a horrible cold is one that spreads throughout my entire respiratory tract, and gets into my lungs. I get bronchitis, and end up with painful coughing that expels unmentionable fluids. My family and physicians will all readily attest to the serious of my illness. When I feel like this, and only when I feel like this, I take astonishing quantities of vitamin C and niacin, and I am able to function pretty well despite the severity of my illness. I've never missed more than 2 days of work in a row due to one of these colds. During the worst one or two days of these colds, I take at least 50,000 mg of vitamin C per day, and have taken as much as 150,000 mg of vitamin C in a single day. I get to these astonishing doses by taking at least 5000 mg of vitamin C every hour that I'm awake (16 hrs times 5000 mg/hr results in a 24 dose of 90,000 mg). I take 250 mg of time release niacin every couple of hours taking as much as 2500 mg of niacin in a 24 hour period.

I hope no one reading this blog ever feels compelled, like I have, to take these enormous doses of vitamin C and niacin. I only take these doses because I feel my life is threatened by these colds, and I believe the vitamin C and niacin help accelerate the wounds inflicted upon me by some brew of viruses and bacteria ravaging my respiratory tract. The reason I'm sharing the story today, is to let readers know why I care so much about the science of the safety of vitamin C and niacin, and why I'm confident that the science is correct. If the science wasn't correct, by this time I'd be in trouble due to my arguably reckless abuse of vitamin C and niacin. My doctors and my family can't understand why I risk taking these doses. I don't even understand why I take the risk. After all this blogging and studying, I believe that 500 mg of niacin and 10,000 mg of vitamin C will deliver at least 90% of any benefit available by increasing dosage. My behavior isn't rational. When I'm sick like that I just keep washing down the vitamin C and niacin. I'm afraid of the niacin, keep track of it, and have placed a limit of 3000 mg for a single day. I don't even keep track of the vitamin C. I just wash it down and don't pay any attention to the total dose.

I'm afraid of the niacin, because niacin overdose has caused me, on three occasions, to lose a day to intense nausea and severe vomiting that I wish to never experience again. Each time I believed I had learned the lesson and took precautions to never overdose again. My first two sets of precautions were insufficiently cautious. It's been almost 8 years since the last event, so I just may have devised sufficient precautions. But I'm not sure - and remain afraid.

Back to the big picture. At least once per year for the last 15 years I've taken these incredible doses of vitamin C and niacin. Despite being 15 years older, I'm in obviously better health today than I was 15 years ago. I have great numbers at my physicals, and I don't take any prescription drugs. There isn't any data to make any kind of case that my abuse of vitamin C and niacin is causing me any harm. That's why I feel compelled to be the one to advise people that it is safe to take 100 mg/day of niacin and 2000 to 4000 mg/day of vitamin C. If I don't advocate for the safety of vitamin C and niacin, who will? Not only do I have the science on my side, I'm living proof.

I believe I've made a strong scientific case that extra vitamin C and niacin accelerate wound healing. I'm not a casual theoretician. I aggressively practice what I believe. Despite my knowledge and experience, I'm still nervous when I tell people they have much to gain, and little to lose by giving vitamin C and niacin a try. But if I don't speak up, who will?

One final note. I've always taken antibiotics when I get these terrible illnesses. This was before my recent epiphany about the synergy between vitamins and antibiotics. It's highly likely that my fast recoveries from these horrible colds require both vitamins and antibiotics.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Vitamins, Antibiotics, Medical Care and Life Expectancy

Life expectancy continues to slowly improve in the United States. This is generally attributed to improved healthcare. I learned only this week that there is no data to support a link between improved life expectancy and healthcare. In fact, shockingly, there is solid data to the contrary. A majority of Americans spend alot more healthcare dollars after turning 65 than in their early 60's. Apparently there is no hard evidence to show that the extra healthcare spending is actually improving longevity.

Lots of the medicare and medicaid dollars go to nursing homes. When I last looked it up, I was disappointed to read that close to two thirds of nursing home patients survive less than 2 years. I really don't know if this is true. I have, however, visited nursing homes and the experience isn't pleasant. It's obvious that many of the people living in nursing homes are in very poor health. I also know, not from any statistics, just from asking around, that it is unusual to move out of a nursing home and live independently again.

Until I reflected on this issue again this week, it hadn't occurred to me that it is, in fact, highly likely that there is a negative correlation between health insurance and longevity. The more expensive insurance plans facilitate prescription drug use. The lower the copay, the more likely people are to take higher doses of more medications.

So what is causing increased life expectancy? There are growing holistic and alternative health movements in America. Plenty of Americans have seen what happens to family members taking multiple drugs, and are working hard on basic preventative measures - reduced stress, high quality food, exercise, sunshine, and vitamins. I have no data except the people I know. Yet I think even the tiny numbers of my own friends and family are telling a story. Just as the economic middle class is disappearing, so is the healthy middle. Senior citizens are dividing into examples of shockingly healthy 80 and 90 year olds, and miserably unhealthy 80 and 90 year olds. The "ordinary" good health for 80 and 90 year olds is in decline. I do have data for this. 36% of American seniors are taking 4 or more prescription drugs, while 20% are taking none. So - more than 50% are seniors are at the extremes (>4 or none). As time passes, more and more people are going to understand the relationship between drugs and misery in old age, and work harder and harder to get to their old age in excellent health. Getting in shape means using less health insurance, not more.

If you're afraid of spending your old age caught between a rock and a hard place of multiple pills vs. misery (and then multiple pills and misery vs. death), you've got much to gain and little to lose by giving vitamins and antibiotics a try.

My Vitamin D Story: A Long Road to Preventing Colds

I suffer from frequent colds. Just a few years ago, the frequency of my colds was threatening to become disabling. That's what motivated me to use vitamin d aggressively.

I started 4 years ago by taking vitamin D supplements at 4000 IU/day. I immediately felt that it helped reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of my colds. That said, in February of 2011, I came down with a killer cold. It went into my lungs. I ran a 102 fever, and I was worried that I might need to go to the emergency room.

If you go to the vitamin D council, vitamin D advocates make claims like, "people who take 5000 IU/day of vitamin D just never get sick." So much for that.

I'm devoted to vitamin D because of what's happened to my teeth. My teeth have been sensitive my whole life, and I've dreaded teeth cleaning for as long as I can remember. My teeth were in dreadful shape, despite premium care. Today my teeth are in excellent health. I enjoy getting them cleaned. I haven't had any new cavities. They actually feel healthy. My experience is backed by hard science from the 1930's and 40's demonstrating that vitamin D prevents cavities. My teeth are the only impact on my health that I know is caused by vitamin D. It took four full years to restore my teeth to good health. If you keep reading, you'll see that I had to endure constant vitamin D related pain to get my teeth healthy. Had I been scared off by the side effects, I would have quit vitamin D long before my teeth were convincingly better.

I know that the truth is that I'm much healthier today than I was when I started my vitamin D campaign. In fact, I'm so much better that I remain hopeful that in a few years I will, indeed, be a healthy person who rarely gets sick. I also know that if vitamin D is turning me into a healthy person, it is doing it slowly. At the rate I'm going, it will be at least another 4 years before I can declare myself a healthy person.

For me, it is also the truth that I rightfully associate vitamin D with almost constant pain. For a couple of years, my hip would hurt and my eyes would burn right after I got into the sun. I would get scared and avoid the sun for a couple of days. At some point, I associated avoiding the sun for even one day with getting a cold. Eventually I came to the conclusion that when I'm healthy my hip and eyes don't hurt when I get into the sun. What makes my hip and eyes hurt is getting into the sun while I'm getting a cold. Today, when my hip and eyes hurt from the sun, I go out and get even more sun. I can say for sure that the extra sun doesn't make my hip and eyes hurt more, and that the pain goes away without avoiding the sun. I can also say for sure that if I stay out of the sun, my hip and eyes never hurt. So - exposure to sunshine is required for the pain. I really have no data to say whether or not cold viruses play a role as I have hypothesized.

I started by talking about the almost miraculous recovery of my teeth. I've had some other obvious, remarkable improvements. I haven't been able to fly in an airplane without hurting my ears for as long as I can remember. The cabin compression/decompression process always plugged up at least one of my ears for at least a couple of days. Often, my ears would take several weeks to fully recover from flying. Today, I usually fly without discomfort.

Ten years ago I started having trouble with my sleep. At it's worst, four years ago, I was nearly disabled by poor quality sleep. Today, I'm sleeping again like I when I was a teenager - maybe even better. I made two changes four years ago in my vitamin regimen. I added TTFD (a special thiamine supplement) and vitamin D. The TTFD has clinical support for curing sleep disorders. The hard evidence for vitamin D is, in my opinion, weak.

Four years ago I was having alot of trouble with my wrists. In addition, I had to stop running because bouncing my arms up and down caused tremendous pain. I started doing alot of things with both arms. If I used either arm too long, I would experience tremendous pain. I had to stop working long days at manual labor. Today, these problems are mostly gone despite the fact that I'm four years older.

Four years ago my posture was terrible and getting worse. Today, not only have I stopped the decline, but I'm actually straighter.

Four years ago my night vision got bad enough that I started to avoid driving at night whenever possible. Today, my night vision is fine.

I really don't expect anyone to attribute my improved health to the supplements I use based on these stories. I wouldn't expect anyone to calmly endure the pain I've associated with vitamin D in the hopes of achieving the benefits I've described. I completely understand why most people avoid the sun and think it is bad for them. I'm really not very optimistic about making progress.

There is a small group of people out there who would like to get more sun, and are frightened off by today's culture of sun avoidance. I am optimistic that the internet can help me get the word out to them that they have much to gain, and little to lose, by following their desire to get into the sun.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Preventing Cancer with Vitamins A, Thiamine (TTFD), Niacin, Vitamin C and Sunshine (Vitamin D): A Rant

Vitamins are pretty ineffective against cancer. So are drugs. So is surgery. Cancer is generally the beginning of a slow and painful death. The ability of cancer to inspire dread is easy to understand.

I've had health problems my entire life. For decades, I thought having health problems was part of being human. I don't remember anyone telling me any differently. I had to become a parent before I wised up. I remember the day I was talking to one of my daughter's friends about health. I said "have you had this?", and "have you had that?" The revelation came when I thought to ask, "have you ever been sick?" and she said no.

Wow! Why didn't anyone ever tell me that the healthiest 10% of children are almost never sick? And why wasn't my relatively poor health a cause for alarm?

Poor health is an ordinary problem that often can be fixed. It's just a matter of clean air and water (and avoiding other toxins), nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction. Radical intervention clinics for the rich have proven beyond any doubt that heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension can be reversed in months. The most effective programs are located in a sunny environment. Rich folks with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc. show up. They switch to a radical, vegetarian diet, exercise intensively, and spend lots of time outdoors. The relocation removes them from toxins in their former lives.

These extreme clinics have settled the debate about the genetic causes of these diseases. Genes surely contribute, but placed in the appropriate environment, most people will thrive with the genes they have.

I've know about these clinics since I started my own efforts to improve my health and the health of my children. For me, attending the clinics is an impossible dream. That said, I didn't see anything going on in those clinics that I couldn't find some way of controlling in my own life. In the end, a path to health emerged that is almost too good to be true. Antibiotics, vitamins, and sunshine are often sufficient.

I had my epiphany about health years ago. My epiphany about cancer is very recent. I was just staggered to realize that adults in excellent health are at least 10 times less likely to get cancer than adults in poor health. High blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, frequent colds, cavities, diabetes, poor mental health, arthritis, sleep disorders, and other common chronic health problems are all risk factors for cancer. All of these conditions are also now known to be reversible with sufficiently drastic changes in lifestyle. Treating with drugs instead of insisting on the lifestyle changes is causing cancer. To me, this means taking multiple drugs is often a prescription for a slow and painful death. And something like a third of senior citizens in America are taking three or more prescription medications!

If you or a loved one is taking one or more prescription medications, there is much to gain, and nothing to lose by giving my advice a try.

Here's my common sense strategy:

1) Kill nasty, sneaky, deceptive bacteria that are tough to kill by going after them with tetracycline type antibiotics prescribed by your physician. Just tell your physician you your joints hurt and you think you may have Lyme disease.

2) Boost your immune system and healing powers with vitamins.
Vitamin A - 10,000 IU per week (per week)
Enteric Coated TTFD (a special form of vitamin B1), 50 mg pills twice per week
1000 to 4000 mg of vitamin C every day
250 mg time release niacin pills, one or two per week (per week)
Regular sunshine in a bathing suit at noon to get ample vitamin D

Millions of Americans are dying a slow and painful death. This death starts with ordinary health problems. These health problems are treated with drugs, instead of by finding and fixing the root cause. As the years go by, the health problems and the number of drugs multiply. Then, surprise surprise, the dreaded day comes. The diagnosis is cancer. Now comes an avalanche of aggressive drugs and surgeries. Sometimes it works, more often the result is a slow and painful death.

Go ahead. Search for the cure to cancer. Fund more cancer research instead of basic public health and disease prevention. Find more drugs and surgeries instead of cleaning the air and ridding the soils of heavy metals pollutants (lead, mercury, arsenic, etc.). Then give more money to fund cancer research. Do anything except generally improve public health using antibiotics, sunshine, and readily available vitamin supplements.

Prevent Hip Replacements with Vitamins D, A, Thiamine, Niacin, and C

Here's the text from the top Google hit from the search "hip replacement statistics".

"Between 200,000 and 300,000 hip replacement operations are performed in the United States each year, most of them in patients over the age of 60. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), only 5–10% of total hip replacements as of 2002 were in patients younger than 50. There are two reasons for this concentration in older adults. Arthritis and other degenerative joint disorders are the most common health problems requiring hip replacement, and they become more severe as people grow older. The second reason is the limited life expectancy of the prostheses used in hip replacements. Because total hip replacement is a complex procedure and requires a long period of recovery after surgery, doctors generally advise patients to put off the operation as long as possible so that they will not need to undergo a second operation later to insert a new prosthesis. This demographic picture is changing rapidly, however, because of advances in designing hip prostheses, as well as changes in older Americans' rising expectations of quality of life. Many people are less willing to tolerate years of pain or limited activity in order to postpone surgery. In addition, hip prostheses are lasting longer than those used in the 1960s; one study found that 65% of the prostheses in patients who had had THR before the age of 50 were still intact and functioning well 25 years after the surgery. A larger number of hip replacements are now being done in younger patients, and the operation itself is being performed more often. One expert estimates that the annual number of hip replacements in the United States will rise to 600,000 by 2015."

Wow! At 600,000 per year, after 20 years 12 million folks over the age of 50 would have an artificial hip. That would be something close to one quarter of all Americans over 50 having an artificial hip!

What is going on? Frankly, I think most people - even physicians - just aren't looking at these numbers and thinking them through. I can make the argument that a typical human hip only lasts 50 to 90 years, and that medical science has found a way to fix this problem. I don't see any evidence to support that argument. Alternatively, I can argue that we are in the midst of an epidemic of skeletal degeneration diseases. I happen to believe that this argument is supported by data.

The older I get, the less interested I am in theory and argument, and the more interested I am in facts, common sense, and personal responsibility. It is an uncontroversial fact that number of total hip replacement surgeries rises every year. It is a fact that it takes a long time to recover from hip replacement surgery. It is a fact that vitamins are needed to maintain the health of bones, including the hip. It is a fact that pain precedes hip replacement surgery by many years. If you are experiencing the early symptoms of hip deterioration, there's lots to gain and nothing to lose by giving vitamins a try. Here's all you need to do:

1) Get into a bathing suit and lie in the sun at noontime for just five minutes on most sunny days (2.5 minutes on each side)
2) Taking a 10,000 IU vitamin A supplement once per week
3) Take one or two thiamine supplements (preferably enteric coated TTFD) per week
4) Take one or two 250 mg time release niacin supplements per week
5) Take 1000 to 4000 mg/day of vitamin C

Again, if you are experiencing early symptoms of hip deterioration, you've much to gain and little to lose by giving the vitamins a try.

Sadly, it's easy to ask people to get into a bathing suit and lie in the sun for five minutes, and difficult to accomplish. Undressing at noon to lie in the sun simply isn't done. I'm no optimistic about solving this problem, and expect to see continuing increases in hip replacement surgery.