Alternative Health Care Research

Alternative Health Care Research is a critical component of health care, especially as it relates to disease prevention. Our health care systems can be saved from dysfunctionality and bankruptcy by cost-effective disease prevention strategies. Qualitative health research is one component.

There is actually an incredible wealth of alternative health care research - medical and scientific evidence about the need for nutritional supplements.

Taking the time to understand at least the general points of this research can help you strengthen your immune system, reduce your risk for degenerative diseases including those listed below and enjoy a much healthier lifestyle with more energy and more joy.

This page focuses on research found in peer reviewed medical journals and concentrates on findings about nutrition and nutritional supplements. Another area of research - combating electro-magnetic pollution -

can be found by clicking here (opens new window).

We have covered many of the main points in the preceding pages of this section on Protecting Your Major Asset – Your Body. Now we’ll look at a bit of the general points of this alternative health care research.

Understand the Medical Evidence for Using Nutritional Supplements

Doctors and other health care professionals who make the time to research the medical literature are amazed at the overwhelming evidence in their own peer-reviewed medical and scientific research journals.

This information has not been taught in medical schools (although there are small signs that this is slowly changing); in most medical schools nutrition has been at most a single course in the entire curriculum.

Let’s look first at some general statements.

• “Until quite recently it was thought that everyone in this country got enough vitamins through their diet and that taking supplements just creates expensive urine. I think we now have proof this isn’t true.” (Professor Walter Willet, Harvard University Medical School, April, 1992

Nutrition Reviews, the pinnacle of scientific respectability, showed unequivocally in 1992 that it is impossible to get sufficient vitamins from our degraded food supply. The article also criticized the FDA for failing to permit companies to tell us how vitamins prevent cancer. Nutrition Reviews, July 1992

• In March 1994, Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, Director of Research at the USDA, Human Nutrition Research Center, recommends publicly that everyone take antioxidant supplements: “I have confidence that these things really work”.

• Editorial Position of the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. Ranjit Chandra: “The era of nutrient supplements to support health and reduce illness is here to stay”. JAMA 1997;277:1398-99

• After 57 years of denial, the RDA Committee of the National Academy of Sciences finally admits that the American diet does not contain sufficient nutrients for normal health and recommends that almost all Americans take vitamin supplements. New Engl J Med, 9 April 1998 “Eat a Good Diet & Take Vitamin Supplements”

This information is slowly moving into mainstream medicine as more and more doctors become educated in the literature of their own journals:

“Our first goal should be to have our children eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Experts in the nutrition field are asking for a re-examination of the Food Guide Pyramid to emphasize even more fruits and vegetables. Our second goal should be to understand the role that sensible nutritional supplementation has in defending against free radical damage [my italics].” Wood, Christine (MD – Pediatrician), How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It. 1999

You can find her book and lots of valuable information about kids’ health and nutrition at

Kids Eat Great (opens new window).

Safety

Periodically we see articles in newspapers or on television suggesting that certain vitamins are not safe. While some vitamins like A and K can be toxic if taken in doses that are too large, generally vitamins in supplement form are safe, provided a number of issues discussed in the section Quality Does Matter (in new window) are properly addressed.

Two vitamins attacked a fair amount in the media in 2004 and 2005 are Vitamins C and E. But a study in 2005 put these concerns to rest. Scientists evaluating 95 clinical trials or epidemiological studies in humans concluded that Vitamin E supplements appear to be safe for most adults in doses of up to 1600 IU/day. They found no pattern of evidence to suggest concerns about dosages of Vitamin C up to 2000 mg/day. Am J Clin Nutr 2005; 81(4):735-745.

Alternative health care research can follow some twists and turns but the overwhelming weight of evidence is positive. Sometimes you just have to ignore the sensationalist headlines - for the news media they mean advertising revenue. But that's not the way to do qualitative health research.

Specific Information

There is actually an incredible wealth of medical and scientific evidence about the need for nutritional supplements.

In the 12 years (1998-2010) that I have followed the literature on supplements and alternative health care research the number of good, solid research articles has increased dramatically.

In It’s About Health (opens new window) you’ll find summaries of over 450 articles from top medical journals – evidence-based alternative health care research on prevention and care of the following conditions and degenerative diseases:

• ADHD



• Aging



• Alzheimer’s Dementia



• Arthritis



• Asthma



• Cancer



• Cancer - Chemotherapy & Radiation



• Children and Degenerative Diseases



• Cholesterol



• Depression



• Diabetes



• Diabetes- Metabolic Syndrome



• Heart and Cardiovascular



• Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)



• Immune Function



• Infertility



• Kidney Function



• Migraine and Headache



• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)



• Obesity



•Osteoporosis

• Pain



• Parkinson’s



• Pre-Natal Issues



• Prostate



• Skin



• Vision



• Weight Management



Please remember, if you are not a doctor, you do NOT prescribe for yourself or for others. You can present this information to others but that is as far as you can go. This allows you and them to make informed decisions in consultations with their doctors, physicians and other care-givers. Just get them to look at this alternative health care research.

The summaries, categorized by topic/disease, are all drawn from leading medical and scientific journals and other reputable medical sources. The bulk of the cited studies were double blind, placebo controlled, randomized scientific studies. Many were conducted in clinical settings with large groups of people over a period of time. Some were crossover studies ( all these terms are defined in

It's About Health. (in a new window). The majority was published in peer reviewed journals. These excerpts and summaries can also be shared with physicians, doctors and care-givers in determining a course of action. If they choose they can use the citation to go to the original article.

Here are 5 examples of what you will find in It’s About Health.

1. Thirty men and women with Type 2 Diabetes were randomly assigned in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to receive either 500 mg of Vitamin C/day or a placebo. After 4 weeks of treatment the systolic blood pressure (the higher number) decreased an average of 9.8 mm Hg while the diastolic pressure (the lower number) decreased by 4 mm Hg. No change was seen in the placebo group. Given the link between Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases this study suggests that people with Diabetes can reduce their risk of associated heart disease with Vitamin C supplementation. Most diabetics can safely handle Vitamin C but to be on the safe side should check with their caregiver. Hypertension2002;40:804-809

2. It is known that Hormone Replacement Therapy has a beneficial effect on bone density in women, especially post-menopausal women; but it is also linked to the development of cancer and has been largely discontinued. Isoflavone estrogen therapy is an alternative. In this study 205 women aged 49-65 were enrolled in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial; 177 completed the year long study that used a red-clover derived isoflavone supplement that provided a daily dose of 26 mg biochanin, 16 mg formononetin, 1 mg genistein, and 0.5 mg daidzein. Loss of lumbar spine bone mineral content and bone mineral density was significantly lower in the women taking the supplement than in those taking the placebo. Bone formation markers were also significantly increased in those taking the supplement. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:326-333

3. A study involving 156 healthy men and women with mildly elevated cholesterol demonstrated that when compared with 25g of casein (isoflavone free soy), 25g of isolated soy protein containing 62 mg of isoflavones lowered total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 6%. In those “patients with LDL cholesterol levels in the top half of the population studied (>4.24 mmol/L [or in the U.S. >164mg/dL], comparable reductions were 9% [total] and 10% (LDL)”. In comparing the 62 mg level of isoflavones with 2, 27 and 37 mg levels, the authors concluded “there was a dose-response effect of increasing amounts of isoflavones on total and LDL cholesterol levels”. In short, more was better. The authors noted that the method extracting isolated soy protein is critical since 25g “ethanol-extracted isolated soy protein containing 3mg of isoflavones did not significantly reduce plasma concentrations of total or LDL cholesterol”. Arch Intern Med 1999; 159(17): 2070-2076

You can find a soy product containing these levels of protein and isoflavones by Clicking Here (opens new window).

4. In a 24 year follow-up (1976-2000) to the nurses health Study involving 116, 564 women who at the outset were free from CVD and cancer. In the subsequent 25 years 10,282 of the nurses died; 2,370 from CVD, 5,223 from cancer and 2,689 from other causes. Using lean (BMI 25 or lower) active (at least 3.5 hours of exercise/w) women as a base, it was found that the multivariate risk of death were 1.55 for lean, inactive women; 1.91 for women who were obese (BMI 30 or greater) but active; and 2.42 for inactive, obese women. N Eng J Med 2004; 351:2694-2703, 2753-2755

5. A total of 974 men with a history of either basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma (forms of skin cancer) were randomly assigned to either a daily supplement of 200 mcg of selenium or a placebo. Patients were treated for a mean of 4.5 years and followed for a mean of 6.5 years. Significantly lower rates of prostate cancer were found in the men taking selenium. When the sample was reduced to include only those with normal (< or = 4ng/mL) prostate-specific antigen (PSA) at the beginning of the study (a total of 843 patients the results were even more dramatic. No protection was found against recurrence of basal or squamous cell carcinomas. Br J Urol 1998; 81(5):730-4

This is good news for someone like me who had an enlarged prostate and both basal and squamous cell skin cancers. By taking other anti-oxidants shown in the literature to be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer and using skin care products I have no recurrence of skin cancers. This evidence shows that with the 198 mcg of selenium I have received since 1997 in my supplements I am protecting myself against prostate cancer. The same company’s Saw Palmetto Plus has returned my previously enlarged and asymmetric prostate to a normal size and shape. Click here for more information on these super supplements. (in a new window). My personal results certainly strengthen my confidence in alternative health care research.

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