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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

More trouble for Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski

It’s a new year, but some topics remain the same. One of these is the case of the highly dubious cancer doctor named Stanislaw Burzynski who claims to have discovered anticancer compounds in the blood known as antineoplastons, conducts “clinical trials” for which he charges patients and whose results he are largely unpublished, and of late has started marketing a do-it-yourself “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy” that–surprise! surprise!–almost always involves antineoplastons. More importantly, contrary to Dr. Burzynski’s claim that he doesn’t use chemotherapy and that his therapy is nontoxic, he does, and it isn’t. Perhaps Burzynski’s cleverest stroke of all is to rebrand his antineoplastons as an orphan drug (or is it the other way around?), using it off-label to treat cancer. The Texas Medical Board tried to stop Dr. Burzynski and strip him of his license back in the 1990s but, for reasons that continue to elude me even now, failed. It’s set for another go at Burzynski, and I sincerely hope it succeeds this time. However, even before the Texas Medical Board will be able to convene hearings, I’ve learned through the almighty power of Google Alerts that there’s more trouble coming Burzynski’s way.

This time, it’s in the form of a lawsuit by one of his patients, which is described in an article entitled Cancer Patient Says Doc Used Her as ATM:

HOUSTON (CN) – An elderly cancer patient claims a doctor used his clinics and pharmacy to bilk her of nearly $100,000 by persuading her to undergo a proprietary cancer treatment that “was actually a clinical trial,” and charging her $500 per pill for drugs she could buy elsewhere for a fraction of that price.

Lola Quinlan sued Houston-based Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and his companies, The Burzynski Clinic, the Burzynski Research Institute and Southern Family Pharmacy, in Harris County Court.

“Ms. Quinlan is an elderly, stage IV cancer patient living in Florida who defendants swindled out of nearly $100,000.00 by using false and misleading tactics,” the complaint states. “Defendants convinced Ms. Quinlan to under a proprietary cancer ‘treatment’ in Houston, Texas in lieu of traditional chemotherapy and radiation. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose information about the drugs used during the proprietary cancer ‘treatment’ with the intent to induce Ms. Quinlan into purchasing the drugs at a highly overinflated price.”

The actual legal complaint can be found here, and the details sound depressingly familiar to me (and should to anyone who’s followed the Burzynski saga). It turns out that Quinlan is suing Burzynski for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, conspiracy, and violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Here are the allegations contained in the lawsuit:

  1. Dr. Burzynski convinced Ms. Quinlan to undergo a proprietary cancer treatment in lieu of chemotherapy and radiation and that the defendants failed to disclose information about the drugs used in this treatment with the intent to induce Ms. Quinlan into purchasing the drugs at a highly inflated price.
  2. The defendants provided false and misleading information about “gene therapy” that, according to them, lacked the side effects associated with traditional cancer treatments. These treatments were “wholly ineffective and caused even more damage to Ms. Quinlan’s body.” In fact, Quinlan asserts that the treatments gave her a host of side effects that included “weakness, infections, vomiting, fatigue, mouth sores, dizziness, affected taste buds, joint pain and skin sores.”
  3. Dr. Burzynski pitched his antineoplastons to Ms. Quinlan but never disclosed that the treatment was part of a clinical trial. To add the proverbial insult to injury, he never told her that medical insurance wouldn’t pay for the therapy.
  4. Dr. Burzynski’s clinic coerced Ms. Quinlan into purchasing her prescription from Southern Family Pharmacy at “outrageous prices.” She was not allowed to fill the prescriptions anywhere else. It turns out that Southern Family Pharmacy is owned by Stanislaw Burzynski, a fact that was not disclosed to Ms. Quinlan. The price for some medications was $500 per pill, and the pharmacy charged her credit card without her knowledge. Ms. Quinlan later learned that she could have purchased the same medications elsewhere at a fraction of the price.
  5. All defendants conspired to defraud their customers, with an emphasis on defrauding the elderly and cancer patients.

Ms. Quinlan is demanding treble damages under the law because the defendants “acted knowingly and intentionally.” As well she should, if even half of the allegations in her complaint are true. In fact, one of the things that stands out to me in particular is the claim that Burzynski pitched antineoplastons to her and didn’t tell her that it would be part of a clinical trial. This is such an egregious and unforgivable breach of informed consent that, if the allegation is found to be true, the FDA should swoop in and shut the Burzynski Clinic down. No. Strike that. The FDA should investigate again based on this allegation. I’ve often said that I’d very much like to see a copy of the informed consent form that Burzynski requires patients to sign but never really expected to see one, at least not unless a former patient has second thoughts and is willing to send me a copy. Silly me! The reason I will never see such a document is because Burzynski apparently doesn’t show it to patients. One wonders if the consent forms for Burzynski’s “clinical trials’ exist only for show. It’s hard not to suspect that these forms are something Burzynski produces to placate the FDA and to trot out when his clinic is inspected.

It continues to boggle the mind just how Dr. Burzynski can keep getting away with what he’s been getting away with for the last 30 years. Does anyone think Ms. Quinlan is unique, that she’s the only patient whom Burzynski has “used as his personal ATM.” I don’t. If only a fraction of the allegations about Burzynski are true, he is a menace to cancer patients everywhere. I say “everywhere,” of course, because patients travel from all over the world to Houston in order to seek out Dr. Burzynski’s woo at his clinic. As I’ve pointed out, recently there has been a rash of cancer patients flying to Texas from England to seek out Dr. Burzynski’s services, at tens of thousands of dollars a pop. Some of these patients have successfully used various fundraising techniques, up to and including persuading celebrities to do charity fund raising shows for them that have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.

In addition, as Andy Lewis has pointed out, Dr. Burzynski has friends in high places, including the media and entertainment industry. This results in articles referring to bloggers criticizing Dr. Burzynski as “aggressive, sanctimonious and having a disregard for the facts,” the conspiracy theory-laden crank documentary about Burzynski (Burzynski The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business) winning the Humanitarian Vision Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Documentary Channel’s “Best of Doc” award. One thing that Andy Lewis might not know, given that he’s from the UK and all and might not follow American politics, is that Burzynski appears to have allies in high places in government in Washington and various states as well, such as Representative Dan Burton and possibly even Governor Rick Perry, to whose campaign Dr. Burzynski has made sizable contributions, who has been rumored to be a sympathetic to Dr. Burzynski, and whom Burzynski’s supporters have been deluging with letters.

On April 11, 2012, the Texas Medical Board will convene hearings that will examine the charges against Dr. Burzynski, which sound a lot like what the complaints in Ms. Quinlan’s lawsuit. We can only hope that, unlike the last time around, this time around the Texas Medical Board finally protects patients and revokes Dr. Burzynski’s license. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking too it.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

635 replies on “More trouble for Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski”

If Burzynski is struck off as a doctor, would that actually prevent him from operating and benefitting financially from his clinic or could he still do both by employing doctors and simply becoming a non-medical owner of a corporation?

After following the Burzynski saga for a while it seems clear to me that he is just interested in personal enrichment. He isn’t a pioneer, he isn’t a brave maverick, he is a despicable human being.

I wonder how callous you have to be to prescribe drugs that you know don’t work (and decades of failed trials should attest to that fact) at inflated prices and watch as one human being after another dies under your care. Or more accurately you boot them before they die so they don’t taint your already dismal trial results. IMO at the very least he should be struck off and if even some of the allegations are true, should be brought up on charges of fraud and theft.

I suggest that all of Burzynski’s assets be seized immediately, liquidated and he be banned from any work which he might get as a result of his decades of fraud. Much the same way as murderers don’t get to profit from their crimes, Burzynski should also be given the absolute worst punishment possible in America: a minimum wage service job with no benefits, which he will be working at long past retirement age, when we as a society will toss him aside like a piece of garbage, and he can suffer through his last days on Social Security.

Hey, plenty of lovely, wonderful people are damned to that life, why not give it to someone who actually deserves it for a change?

OT:
The nurse who ill-treated the lesbian veteran in Texas is out due in large part to online support according to this article. Three cheers to the power of people online.

Back to the previously scheduled and well deserved bashing of Burzynski.

@Damien,
I concur with your sentiment but with legal maneuvers and the long drawn out process to get to trial, I expect the patient will have died and the mood will have subsided. I’d be happy if he were struck off and prevented from doing it to anyone else.

Hurrah for spirited old ladies!

Alas, I wish she didn’t need to do this. OTOH – she’s got nothing left to lose by doing this.

$500 per pill! The drug cartels are probably trying to figure out how they can get into this business.

….not the comfy chair!

Sorry – couldn’t resist.

Hopefully now both Texas and the FDA will get off their collective arses and shut him down for good – and force him to reimburse all those folks he’s bilked out of their money (and health!)

What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

The Texas Medical Board tried to stop Dr. Burzynski and strip him of his license back in the 1990s but, for reasons that continue to elude me even now, failed.

Probably because the TMB’s total budget is probably less than Burzynski’s daily doughnut allowance. Texas isn’t famous for well funded public institutions and quacks know it. Despite the, er, recent incident, Burzynski probably does have quite a number of highly competent lawyers working for him and certainly can afford to buy legislators on a regular basis.

OT- but hey, it’s Friday- aren’t we all in need of a laugh?

Today @ AoA, Jake recounts his latest adventure in stalking- and this time, his target is Dr Offit! Again. Jake somehow found himself at Yale U last Friday ( New Haven, CN- far from his usual digs in DC- his parents may live nearby though) and asked the doctor a question about AJW’s recent activities ( his legal activities that is, as he doesn’t do much otherwise). Dr O asked him to leave- which he did, but Mary Holland ( legal eagle BFF of LKH) followed up in his absence.

I will not present my interpretation of these activities but ask a simple question: don’t these people have anything better to do with their lives? Oh crap, I just called him a stalker! I better mind my ps and qs or I may find myself faced with the alt med alternative to data, debate and evidence: it’s called “court”.

Addenda to mine @ 13:

make that “*alleged* stalking”- and
“in my opinion”

We should all remember to interpret claims made in filing lawsuits cautiously. After all, it’s hard to see how it could be MORE in Ms. Quinlan’s interest to present her claims in the strongest possible light. And that no one person’s account of any events is infallible.

Yes, the allegations are perfectly consistent with what’s already known about Burzynski’s behavior – but consistent with is not proof. Just to pick one claim, suppose that Ms. Quinlan was in fact presented with a proper informed consent form, in a big stack of papers she just signed without reading? That doesn’t make Burzynski’s behavior correct (far from it; that sort of thing needs serious verbal discussion) but it’s profoundly different from “doesn’t present informed consent forms at all.” It’s also perfectly plausible.

Once she’s made her case in court, we’ll have much more reliable facts to work with in drawing conclusions.

A commenter on Cory Doktorow’s artivle on Bullshitzki hit the nail on the head when they referred to the Ameirican reluctance to criminalize greed. Bullhsitzki will have plenty of support from Republicans, especially from Rick Perry.

@Orac #10 —

I’m sure Biggles is standing at the ready to wheel the comfy chair in…

And Fang’s right behind him with — the rack!

In a bizarre twist of fate, yours truly was there on Saturday- perhaps the universe sent me to restore the disturbance in the force that he had created. Nah, I went to look at art** and spend lots of money on Chapel St. Excellent restaurants -btw-.

** I adore “indistinctness” when it’s restricted to 200 yr old paintings not in discussions of science.

Adam:

“I wonder how callous you have to be to prescribe drugs that you know don’t work (and decades of failed trials should attest to that fact) at inflated prices and watch as one human being after another dies under your care.”

A psychiatrist friend of mine once told me something that bears repeating: according to best estimates, approximately 10% of people are sociopathic. That’s 30 million people in the U.S.

These people do not have the same emotions or moral conscience that the rest of us enjoy.

Being a grad student, how to Jake find the time….shouldn’t he be in class?

You are assuming that Jake gives a toss about his education; I don’t think he does and is more interested in the certification. He also clearly doesn’t mind making a fool of himself at every public venue he attends.

I suspect he’s not worried about making a fool of himself because he doesn’t realize he’s doing so.

That’s Cardinal Biggles to you! And . . . nobody expects the Smam-ish Inquisition! Our three weapons are fear, surprise, a fanatical devotion to Andrew Wakefield and . . .doh! . . . Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as a fear, a surprise and an almost fanatical devotion to Andrew Wakefield and an autographed photograph of Barbara Lowe Fisher in fishnets and a viking helmet . . .

I meant the SPAM-ish Inquisition! Nobody expects the Spam-ish Inquisition . . . looks like it’s the overstuffed Davenport for me . . .

Off topic but speaking of lawsuits, any news on the Doctors Data vs Stephen Barrett? Nothing on the quackwatch newsletter lately.

Not to derail the thread further, but the antivaxers are in desperate need of fresh blood to carry on their work. Think about it.

I predict that Boy Wonder will author a “study” in which he goes through reams of data and comes up with either A) a huge conspiracy theory that became clear to him through the 0’s and 1’s in the data (like the “Bible Code” for antivaxers), or B) “proof” that vaccines (which he swears he is not against) are the root of all evil.

My money’s on A, actually, given the level of delusional thinking – in my opinion – that goes around their blogs.

Looking at the legal papers filed against Burzynski…I see that the “Southern Family Pharmacy” is incorporated in Delaware.

Delaware is a corporation haven for large corporation and smaller professional practices…due to “favorable” state tax laws. 50 % of U.S. publicly-traded companies and 67 % of the “Fortune 500 Companies” are incorporated in Delaware. There is a whole industry of accountants and lawyers in Delaware whose specialization is the incorporation of out-of-state smaller corporations, where the president of Southern Family Pharmacy (Stanislaw Burzynski) decided to incorporate.

Millions of dollars are “washed through” this Delaware Corporation. According to the U.S. SEC Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report ending August 31, 2011 “Current Assets” were $ 22K and “Current and Total Liabilities” were $ 36K…this “corporation” is in debt.

I located the plaintiff in Jupiter, Florida and the home she owns there. According to the real estate tax roll, it is a small house with a value of under $200,000. She is not a wealthy woman and this awful man drained his patient’s limited assets through his pharmacy.

Re: the title of the post – not nearly enough trouble, not yet. There needs to be quite a lot more. More people giving up on the sunken cost fallacy, admitting they’ve been duped, and doing something about it.

I note with some amusement the staggering irony that at least one of Burzynski’s supporters on Twitter is saying WRT the court caase “Remember we don’t know the full story only what’s been written on 1 persons behalf”. Hmmm. This is the kind of person who is perfetly happy to demand that we accept “people’s stories” to prove Burzynski’s treatment works- surely they should just accept this woman’s story too! I mean, why go to all that trouble and expense to actually prove that what she says is true…? If personal stories aren’t acceptable proof of his allegedly fraudulent behaviour, why should they be held as proof that his therapy works?

@lilady,
I have heard the incorporation in Delaware tax thing before but my father once described the chancery court there as the real advantage in handling disputes among corporations. My dad has been dead for a while so I can’t ask him for a refresher so do any of the legal eagles here know about the chancery court advantage?

@ MikeMa: There are “tax advantages” for out-of-state corporations, especially for those whose businesses are in a ‘no state tax state’ (Texas), and incorporated in a different state such as Delaware which does not tax income earned in another state…including no paper trails, filed with the tax bureau of these states.

No, IANA”TAX”L.

@TBruce #29 — Of course, the Turkish Inquisition used…

Wait for it!

the ottoman.

@ Reuben:

Hah! More seriously: I had a little discussion with Jake here @ RI ( August?) and he seemed “on the move” to me; since then he has shown up at several public lectures and “bothered” an RI commenter’s employers. Previously, he wrote/ phoned in his unrealistic ideas, more recently, he “has gone live” with his “questions” ( polemics, really). OK, what’s next? I have no idea.

Because his actions earn him praise from his set, I don’t expect him to stop. If people publicly speak/ write/ support vaccines or are in any manner, shape or form not fans of AJW, they might expect a visit from him if they are nearby or he has enough money for a flight.

Obsessed people don’t give up. People who rely on a particular view-point for their identity and dubious celebrity stick to it. Those convinced of their own righteousness feel their awful actions are justified.

> Probably because the TMB’s total budget is
> probably less than Burzynski’s daily doughnut
> allowance. Texas isn’t famous for well
> funded public institutions and quacks know it.
>
> Posted by: Dianne

Numbers?

Carl, I hope you don’t really expect me to find numbers for how much Burzynski spends on doughnuts since that was meant as an exaggeration for effect. However, a little poking around on the web found that the TMB’s budget for 2011-12 was just over $9 million whereas the budget for the similarly populated state of California was over $50 million. Either the Californians are simply rolling in money or Texas is underfunding their medical board, badly.

Dianne: Nah…you “missed” on the California State Budget…by a wee bit…try 129 billion dollars. Carry on!

Lilady:

I assume she only means the medical board’s budget.

TX is about 2/3 of California’s population (25 million vs. 37). The full TX state budget is about 90 billion, making the entire budget vs. California fairly similar for the population size. So TX does indeed have a relatively small budget for the medical board with 9 not being nearly 2/3 of 50 (though I am not sure if CA’s budget is the minimum required to prosecute crooks), but Dianne’s general implication about TX’s “public institutions” not being well-funded is not backed up yet.

Either the Californians are simply rolling in money or Texas is underfunding their medical board, badly.

You omitted one other possibility:

California is massively overspending on this portion of government with money they don’t have (as they are with just about everything else).

Using California as a metric for any type of government spending is a very silly thing to do.

lilady, please try harder to read with the principle of charity in mind. Dianne was obviously talking about the budget for the California Medical Board, not the budget for the entire state of California. Why would she be comparing a small budget for one state’s medical board to the much larger budget for an entire state? What sense would that make? Surely you wouldn’t want people to jump all over you just because you said “the budget for California” and trusted people to understand you meant “the equivalent budget for California.”

Thanks for all your comments…I misread Dianne’s original post…apologies to Dianne.

“Using California as a metric for any type of government spending is a very silly thing to do.”

How about Mississippi then? The state that’s at or near the bottom of virtually every measure relating to the welfare of its population? For a population of just under 3 million people the Mississippi medical examiner’s office has a budget of 2.4 million dollars. That makes Texas’ budget about 3 times smaller per capita. 3 times smaller than a state that sits at the bottom of the USA in virtually every measure. That’s too small.

Another comparison can be made based on the number of physicians being regulated by the state. According to the census data, Texas had 49,740 physicians in 2009. The closest comparable state is Florida with 43,884 (jumps to 75,743 for New York; California had 95,676).

I checked Florida’s budget, and if I’m reading their annual report correctly, the Florida Department of Health’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance spent $16,051,008 on physician licensure, etc. in fiscal year July 2010 through June 2011. Texas is spending $181/physician, Florida $365, California $523.

@Orac:

But will you threaten me with the…comfy chair?

Confess! Confess! Confess!

All Ms. Quinlan said is true. The TBME had already warned Burzynski he could not force people to buy drugs from his pharmacy but that apparently did not phase the doctor at all, since this practice appears to continue. Since he managed to win against the FDA it seems the doctor feels he is not subject to the same rules as the rest of us. In other words I will do what I want whenever I want, as I, the greatest doctor who has ever lived, and who will tell anyone within hearing distance how grateful they should be to have the privilege to shake his hand. A story they will be able to tell their grandchildren, how they met this great great man, and since I have made the most profound impact in the field of curing cancer, I am not bound to follow any rules or regulations. HMMM sounds as if the good doctor is a little star struck. I suppose the next endeavor will be to walk on water.

@13 Denice

Not that I want to be nitpicky, but being born and raised in Connecticut, the abbreviation is CT, not CN.

Has anyone on here ever visited Dr Burzynski’s Clinic in Texas? Have you seen his documentary? There are numerous documented cases of how his anti-neoplastins helped shrink inoperable brain tumors in pediatric oncology cases. What is the alternative? Hate to break it to you all…. but the F.D.A. and the pharmaceutical companies have not had their patient’s best interest at heart for a very long time. It’s all about making money not saving lives. The reason that Dr Burzynski’s treatments cost so much is because the FDA will not approve stage 4 trials due to the pharmaceutical lobbyist. You all may think you are so much smarter than everyone else. The reality is you’re not. You are all either very naive or inspired by greed. You all obviously feel threatened by him. Otherwise you wouldn’t be spending all of your time blogging about some “quack doctor”. Get a life… And let doctor Burzynski save lives… Who knows, someday someone on this very site may have or know someone who has cancer. I personally rather have another choice to use modalities other than chemo or radiation. Good luck with you blog.

“Has anyone on here ever visited Dr Burzynski’s Clinic in Texas?”

You don’t need to visit his clinic to find out that he’s a quack and an unethical health practitioner.

Given that he hasn’t completed any Phase III trials, I’d think approving Phase IV trials would be a little hasty….

chris @50 :

Burzynski’s Phase III trial:

This study is not yet open for participant recruitment

Estimated Enrollment: 70

Study Start Date: December 2011

Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2015

Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

The Phase III trial scheduled to start in December 2011 …. didn’t.

Burzynski has a Phase III trial all approved and everything. Why isn’t he running it?  If he’s so abused and mistreated in the U.S., why doesn’t he go to one of the many other countries in the world that are not subject to the FDA’s jurisdiction and prove his case there? Why doesn’t he publish results of his many Phase II trials that have been running for years?

Has anyone on here ever visited Dr Burzynski’s Clinic in Texas?

No, but it’s unnecessary for me to do so to question his methods. Do I have to go to Tijuana to visit the quack clinics there to know they’re quack clinics?

Have you seen his documentary?

. It was pure propaganda, spin, and deception, and it wasn’t even particularly good propaganda, spin, and deception. Certainly it was not a well-made documentary.

There are numerous documented cases of how his anti-neoplastins helped shrink inoperable brain tumors in pediatric oncology cases.

Actually, no there aren’t. Not when you look more closely.

It’s all about making money not saving lives.

Certainly, that is an excellent description of Dr. Burzynski’s vile little clinic, IMHO.

You all obviously feel threatened by him. Otherwise you wouldn’t be spending all of your time blogging about some “quack doctor”. Get a life… And let doctor Burzynski save lives…

Nope. The reason I want to see Burzysnki shut down is because I’m tired of hearing tales of cancer patients stripped of their remaining money as they get sicker by a doctor administering an unproven therapy mixed with chemotherapy (oh, yes, Dr. Burzynski does use chemotherapy in his practice, a lot of it), chosen based on an incompetent, Cancer Biology 101-level interpretation of a not-yet-validated genomic test.

It never ceases to amaze me how low some people can be (eg this quack getting rich off of sick/dying people) or how naive/desperate others can be, buying into this gibberish.

There’s a special place for this guy when he dies, at least I hope. However a little of that on Earth would be swell too.

@ Darwy:

You HAVE to nitpick, you’re from *CT* ( I’m joking. Actually, it looked wrong to me- I’m usually pretty good with that sort of thing, so thanks) -btw- the western branch of my family forms a bold white slash that runs from Boston thru CT & NY to Philadelphia- probably can be seen from space. The eastern branch- well, a more concentrated splatter but it’s hardly noticable, blends right in. Some people have facebook, I have cousin-network.

How about Mississippi then?

Now that’s embarrassing. Usually Texas can count on being 49th in the country in education, health care, conditions in prisons, poverty, etc because Mississippi is even worse. Looks like Mississippi is starting to lap Texas though. Well, there’s always Louisiana…or is there? Should check stats…

Do I have to go to Tijuana to visit the quack clinics there to know they’re quack clinics?

If you ever do, bring me along. I know some places that will blow your mind, Doc.

Good luck with you blog.

Orac, you’re going to need “luck” with this blog? Someone didn’t read the archives.

Phase IV trials are post-marketing trials for products that have successfully undergone phase III trials and been approved by the FDA. Their purpose is to uncover rare events that may not be evident in phase I-III trials. Your use of this term, particularly calling it a “stage 4” trial leads me to suspect that you’re simply repeating talking points without any actual knowledge of the issue. You might want to learn a bit more about how drug development actually works before rejoining the debate. Caution: Accurate knowledge will change your views on Burzynski.

Who knows, someday someone on this very site may have or know someone who has cancer.

I know quite a lot of people who have or have had cancer. Including at least one who had been “treated” by Burzynski. She ended up in a conventional hospital screaming (literally) in pain from essentially untreated multiple myeloma after he had taken all her money. I don’t know how long she survived, but after treatment with real chemotherapy in effective doses she left the hospital not in pain, with better organ function, and at least a chance of surviving for a few more years after Burzynski declared her terminal. Terminally poor, perhaps.

Yeah, Mississippi only has 5,149 physicians in the state, or 177 per 100,000 resident population. Oklahoma fares the worst with only 172/100,000 (6,164 physicians). In absolute numbers Wyoming has the lowest number, with 950 physicians (184/100,000).

The best place to be if you want to maximize your odds of there being a doctor in the house when you collapse is D.C.: 799 per 100,000 residents! Up there is Massachusetts (462/100,000)and Maryland (415/100,000).

I have to admit, I am slightly envious of Dr B. I wsometimes wish I lacked a moral compass and did not feel obligated to treat others honestly and ethically.

It wouldn’t even all be illegal. Just dishonest.

“I personally rather have another choice to use modalities other than chemo or radiation.”

Well, since Dr. B uses chemotherapy (the special kind of chemotherapy that is both expensive _and_ unproven), he’s not your best choice.

“Who knows, someday someone on this very site may have or know someone who has cancer.”

You know, that has to be one of the most stupid things I’ve ever read on this blog. ANYONE who has read this knows that not only is Orac a *breast cancer surgeon* he’s also blogged about family members who have died from cancers. (And that’s just the blogger; not counting the regular commenters). Man. Some people are very stupid.

Oops…HTML fail. I meant to emphasize that Orac knows lots of women with cancer, simply due to his job. Can I just blame the pain meds I’m on today for my lack of clarity?

“Who knows, someday someone on this very site may have or know someone who has cancer.”

Or, a new reader of this very site who may have or knows someone who has cancer, will find out about Burzynski, his “clinic”, his paucity of medical ethics and his use of patients as “cash cows”… and will seek out science-based cancer treatments.

Hey Chris I have cancer. I am actually in remission thanks to big Pharma and still have all of my assets intact, more than can be said of Lola Quinlan.
I suggest you go elsewhere Bullshitsky fanboi because the good people here are playing in a league way above yours. Of course if you chose to stay I will get the popcorn

Cheers

If Orac died tomorrow, the world would be a better place. Seriously. All the psuedo-scientists on this site make me sick.

Well, Joe Mama, are you just a precious little princess!?

So do you think the same of Lola Quinlan and her lawyer?

> If Orac died tomorrow, the world would be
> a better place. Seriously. All the psuedo-
> scientists on this site make me sick.
>
> Posted by: Joe Mama

One of the lamest attempts at trolling yet seen. fail

Actually, the early 2000s called back and said we can keep their troll. They certainly don’t want him.

To Chris @ 50

You might also want to ask the bloggers what they think of the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association July 26, 2000 when it stated that over 100,000 Americans die each year from PROPERLY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION, & that this has been going on for over 30 years. This makes, it stated, modern medical drugs the 4th leading cause of death in the States.

When Dr Ray Strand read these alarming & frightening statistics, he did his own research & sure enough, they were correct. And when you factor in IMPROPERLY PRESCRIBED DRUGS, modern medicine is the 3rd leading cause in mortality after CHD & cancer!!! Can you believe that?

He wrote the book Death by Presription in which he stated on p 231:

“Blind faith in pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, physicians, or pharmacists is not acceptable when medications are the 3rd leading cause of death in this country”

It’s a joke that people like Burzynski & Wakefield cop so much venom from the sceptics, when these stats should get everybody questioning the whole system of medicical treatment.

Keep thinking for yourself Chris.

Emily @73 – That does not legitimise quackery.

Orac doesn’t just target Burzynski, Wakefield and co.

Aren’t we the busy little statistician…dropping her factoids all over this blog. When asked to back up her statements she just flits away dropping another factoid on another subject. Here you go Emily from the CDC FastStats web page:

Deaths and Mortality

(Data are for the U.S. and are final 2007 data; For the most recent preliminary data see Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2009 Adobe PDF file [PDF – 674 KB])

* Number of deaths: 2,423,712
* Death rate: 803.6 deaths per 100,000 population
* Life expectancy: 77.9 years
* Infant Mortality rate: 6.75 deaths per 1,000 live births

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

* Heart disease: 616,067
* Cancer: 562,875
* Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
* Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
* Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
* Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
* Diabetes: 71,382
* Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
* Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
* Septicemia: 34,828

Source: Deaths: Final Data for 2007, tables B, D, 7, 30 Adobe PDF file [PDF – 555 K

Emily…do you see deaths caused by prescription drugs listed anyway on this list?

That’s because the survey you cite was for diseases & accidents. They didn’t make a special consideration for drug deaths, as the JAMA researchers in 1998 did.

Dr Strand states on p8:

“the authors reviewed 39 studies detailing adverse drug reactions in US hospitals over the past 30 years. They determined, even by very conservative analysis, that in 1994 more than 2.2 million people required hospitalization because of serious reactions to medications. Even more troubling was the fact that more than 106,000 of these patients actually died because of adverse drug reactions- reactions to properly prescibed & administered medications. The authors of the JAMA article concluded that these totals have not changed significantly over the past 30 years”.

The article was in JAMA, 1998(not 2000),279, 1200-05, “Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients”: J.Lazarou, B.Pomeranz & P.Corey.

I urge you to contact the authors of the paper you cite & request they tell the whole picture, as frightening as it is.

Emily, you’re being (at best) disingenuous. The data Chris provided are not from a ‘survey’; they represent data on causes of death in the US in 2007. Iatrogenic deaths do occur, but not at a rate that places them among the 10 leading causes of death.

Emily,
The Lazarou study you have cited has been discussed here before. It looked at studies of adverse drug reactions, mostly from the 60s and 70s, that included a total of 78 deaths out of 46,625 patients, and then extrapolated (with a little statistical manipulation) from these to the 33,125,492 total US hospital admissions in 1994 to come up with the 106,000 figure. If you exclude studies from the 60s and 70s and include only those from the 80s and 90s there were only 5 deaths out of 11,376 patients, or 0.04%, which would make the number of deaths a lot lower. If that trend has continued things have improved even more over the last decade or two.

Anyway, even assuming Lazarou’s figures were right, what do they really tell us? What drugs caused these fatal ADRs, and why were people taking them? What medical conditions were they suffering from, and most importantly what would their prognosis have been without the drugs?

Perhaps you missed my comment about anticoagulant drugs on another thread – apologies to those who read it for the repetition. Anticoagulant drugs kill more people than any other prescription drugs, probably thousands of people every year in the USA alone, mainly due to their narrow window of therapeutic safety, but they also save hundreds of thousands of lives. You have to balance the benefits against the risks. Just looking at the risks and ignoring or denying the benefits, as you are doing, leads an intelligent person to foolish conclusions.

How would you treat someone with a clotting disorder? You clearly wouldn’t use anticoagulants like warfarin or heparin as they kill people. In the USA about 2 million people a year have a deep vein thrombosis, and 600,000 die from blood clots. Would you stop prescribing anticoagulants to people at risk of these serious conditions? That’s 2-3 million people on warfarin alone you would be putting at a serious risk of a DVT or a pulmonary embolism. I don’t believe that fasting or natural hygiene can cure a clotting disorder, though it wouldn’t surprise me if you have an anecdote that “proves” it can.

I think the best solution to this problem is to develop safer and more effective drugs, and that is exactly what is happening with anticoagulants. Simply railing about ADRs without coming up with any viable solutions isn’t very helpful.

Heres the article Emily cites, for those who want to read it themselves: 

http://www.cwbpi.com/AIDS/reports/ADR2009Lazarou.pdf

Heres a critique of the article

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11104449/

The critique reaches this conclusion:

CONCLUSION: Meta-analysis was invalid because of heterogeneity of the studies. Most of these studies did not report the data needed for incidence calculations. The methodology used was seriously flawed, and no conclusions regarding ADR incidence rates in the hospitalized population in the United States should be made on the basis of the original meta-analysis.

Here’s the long explanation of the death statistics cited by lilady @75; 

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_08.pdf

Note that the CDC actually counted deaths by examining death certificates. The JAMA article was based on estimating deaths based on a small number of deaths that were documented over a period of thirty years.

The reason that Dr Burzynski’s treatments cost so much is because the FDA will not approve stage 4 trials

1. non sequitur. The main “antineoplaston” drug costs two bucks for a wheelbarrow.

2. As said before, Dr B may want to finish a phase III study before moving onto the next step. No-one is stopping him from recruiting subjects and doing a good scientific study. Expecially since he has his victims customers financing the study.

3. Man, we went from “soon in phase III” to “phase IV if not for Big Pharma” in less than 6 months. I’m overseeing promises of “pending phase VIII” by the horizon of 2013.

Pulling from my old Sc-Fi knowledge, I wouldn’t be surprised if Burynski’s Phase IV trials involved ants…….

I also hasten to point out to Emily and others who believe medications are killing all those people, have you ever been in a hospital? Seriously, many in-patients are well over 75 and frail. It would almost seem that a strong breeze would kill some of them. Hospital staff try very hard to ensure proper medication administration and dosing but when you are dealing with an 83 year old with kidney failure, hypertension, coronary artery disease, osteoarthritis and a history of asthma, it is so easy to err. It is NOT negligence. Really, to anyone who doubts me, go volunteer at your local hospital. You may learn a thing or two.

Agashem beat me to the point… of all those cited as having died while under medication, how many of those would have died even without it? And then add the vastly larger number of patients on those medications who didn’t die, but who would have without treatment.

To contrast I have to trot out the example of automobile traffic, which kills roughly 40 000 Americans every year and injures vastly more. (Plus property damage.) If the same reasoning was applied to cars that we see to folks’ reaction to this study, we’d have a “Complementary and Alternative Transport” movement advocating a ban on cars and a return to good, natural transportation modes like ox carts.

Once again the woo-meisters show a complete inability to weigh arguments or look at quantitative values or probabilities; something is either “good” or “bad”, with no nuances and no trade-offs and the effects are always proximate to the causes. It’s Sesame Street grade appreciation of medicine. (Not of life… Sesame Street does a much better job pointing out necessary compromises there.)

— Steve

emily: “It’s a joke that people like Burzynski & Wakefield cop so much venom from the sceptics, when these stats should get everybody questioning the whole system of medicical treatment.”

emily, did you notice that Orac’s article (and others that have appeared on Burzynski) detail Burzynski’s use of pharma drugs (that have potentially serious side effects), made worse by his using them in unapproved ways? Or that Wakefield also used pharma drugs in his practice and hoped to patent a vaccine to compete with other pharma vaccines?

Shouldn’t you be lambasting them as well?

And could you please tell us what sort of medicine you yourself are practicing (including what you described as “piloting” acute appendicitis patients through their illnesses without drugs or surgery)?

People don’t like taking meds: perhaps it is related to an ancient- possibly naturally selected- fear of poisoning ( via novel substances), represents a loss of personal autonomy or it might serve as a reminder of mortality and lack of control. Side-effects, inconvenience and costs are other more prosaic concerns. Most people can weigh the risks against the benefits: usually tolerating negatives if the gains are substantial- what you might endure *to stay alive* is more than what you’d deal with to cure a minor headache.

These fears are the capital on which alt med empires are built: if you discuss only the negatives you just might distract people from thinking about benefits. Here are two recent articles: ” Medicine For Sale: Tracing the Shadowy Money Trail That Exploits Your Health” (ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com) and “Edible drug-tracking micro-chips to be unveiled in UK by years end”.( NaturalNews.com): it’s all there in the titles- corrupt corporations exploit *you* and Big Brother ( he started out in the UK, you know) will monitor whether you took your meds or were vaccinated. Readers are made angry by the manipulations of pharma and governments: these alt media sources remind you that the mainstream media won’t address these concerns- but they will. Lucky you.

Of course, our brave maverick Truth-tellers reveal all of this out of the goodness of their hearts- they are humanitarians they keep telling us, as they brag of their “charities”, “free counselling” and “work in the public interest”. However, they are entrepreneurs who sell products as alternatives to SB pharma- including information ( books, films, lectures) as alternatives to education and alt media as an alternative to sense. These are the same people who tell their audiences that most people are merely the pawns of the medical establishment, pharma, the government and mainstream media. And these *business men* don’t live in 4 room flats (their estates can be viewed on the net)

@83

And could you please tell us what sort of medicine you yourself are practicing (including what you described as “piloting” acute appendicitis patients through their illnesses without drugs or surgery)?

Oh dear. I can’t even think of anything funny to say about that. Just…oh dear.

(On a somewhat related, significantly more light-hearted note, Burzynski: The Movie recently showed up in my Netflix suggestions list, apropos of seemingly nothing. I’m starting to suspect that the dog is streaming 9/11 troofer films and the like while we’re out of the house.)

I have a comment in moderation about the use of the distractor technique- much beloved by woo-meisters and stage magicians- re the “dangers of pharma” etc.

Emily, according to what you stated,

“When Dr Ray Strand read these alarming & frightening statistics, he did his own research & sure enough, they were correct. And when you factor in IMPROPERLY PRESCRIBED DRUGS, modern medicine is the 3rd leading cause in mortality after CHD & cancer!!! Can you believe that?”

I provided you with the actual figures for causes of death for 2007, not “extrapolated” figures from 40-50 years ago.

How does Emily come up with these statistics? Does she just “key in” a few “choice phrases” such as “iatrogenic deaths”, “modern medicine kills…”, etc.?

We are still waiting for answers to questions posed to you about your ability to treat and cure infectious diseases and life-threatening medical conditions “naturally”.

Emily,
How many heart attacks are seen in people whose arthritis is treated with prolonged water fasting? I’m deadly serious about this. If 1,000 people were treated in this way, how many would have heart attacks? We know that fasting, even medically supervised fasting, has been associated with sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias.

Natural hygiene in its current form has been around for about 90 years. Presumably several thousands of people have been treated with prolonged fasting. There must surely be records of any heart attacks. If you can’t answer this question with solid statistics, I don’t think you should be using this treatment

Vioxx, for example, is the bête noire of those who are suspicious of Big Pharma. Vioxx was associated with a 24% increase in heart attacks in a large Canadian study of elderly patients (PMID:15809459). That equates to 2.2 extra heart attacks in 1000 patients taking a low dose of Vioxx for a year and 7.7 extra heart attacks in those taking a high dose. Vioxx, as we all know, was taken off the market because of this increased risk of cardiovascular events. I suspect water fasting has an even higher risk of a heart attacks or a stroke in elderly patients. How can you attack modern scientific medicine if you can’t prove me wrong?

Emily:

To Chris @ 50… Keep thinking for yourself Chris.

alison:

The data Chris provided are not from a ‘survey’; they represent data on causes of death in the US in 2007.

Excuse me, who are you addressing? I thought it was pretty obvious that the “chris” in comment #50 was not me. And, yes, Emily, I do think for myself. Thank you very much.

This is only my second comment in this thread, the first being #69. And it was lilady at #75 who posted the 2007 numbers. Please read the comments you are responding to a bit more carefully.

And could you please tell us what sort of medicine you yourself are practicing (including what you described as “piloting” acute appendicitis patients through their illnesses without drugs or surgery)?

Oh dear. I can’t even think of anything funny to say about that. Just…oh dear.

Let us turn once again to Master Shelton.

In appendicitis the loops of the bowels around the appendix form friendly adhesions. They adhere together and form a strong wall against further spread of the trouble. Within this enclosure the abscesses form. The line of least resistance normally is into the bowels so that practically every case, if not interfered with by meddlesome doctors, will rupture into the bowels and the pus will pass out with, the stools.

He had something of a pus fixation, which Emily has revealed that she shares with her remark about the As Seen On TV™ noninfectiousness of flu.

“Let us turn once again to Master Shelton.

In appendicitis the loops of the bowels around the appendix form friendly adhesions. They adhere together and form a strong wall against further spread of the trouble. Within this enclosure the abscesses form. The line of least resistance normally is into the bowels so that practically every case, if not interfered with by meddlesome doctors, will rupture into the bowels and the pus will pass out with, the stools.”

Emily…try looking up “copremesis”…just in case the bowel doesn’t form “friendly adhesions” and…just in case “meddlesome doctors” don’t “interfere”.

In addition, Tilden’s “Appendicitis: The Etiology, Hygienic and Dietetic Treatment” is available from Project Gutenberg. Rather ironically, he remarks in reference to appendicitis being “christened and baptized in the blood of the surgical art” that “we are living in an age that will not be properly recorded unless it be entered as The Age of Fads.” Oops.

The etiology is “fermentation,” which is code for toxinzz, and a derangement of general health that prevents the “dissolving fluids” from “overcoming fermentation,” and so on and so forth. It’s rambling nonsense, and I suspect that Emily actually endeavors to imitate the genre in her prose stylings. The great controversies on this matter in Natural Hygiene appear to be the role of enemas and the “use of the ice-bag.”

Chris @ 90 – there’s actually another chris who’s a regular commenter here; I was referring to a previous post by her & unfortunately (I really should learn to use ‘preview!) my iPad tends to capitalise names. So it appeared that I was referring to you & not that chris. My apologies.

Alison, a link to the comment or noting which thread and comment might make it a bit more clear. Thanks.

Emily…try looking up “copremesis”…just in case the bowel doesn’t form “friendly adhesions” and…just in case “meddlesome doctors” don’t “interfere”.

if that’s too disgusting to contemplate, you could always look up Gram-negative sepsis and gas gangrene.

Oh, yes, the Merck Manual tells us that the mortality rate od appendicitis without surgery or antibiotics (damn meddlesome doctors!) is greater than 50%. With early surgery, the mortality rate is less than 1%.

But carry on “piloting”. Maybe there’s an opening on an Italian cruise ship.

@TBruce

Don’t worry, I’m sure Emily will be back to point out that some of that less than 1% may have died as a result of iatrogenesis.

I suspect “piloting” involves annoying the hell out someone with Natural Hygiene bullshit prior them either getting an “unnecessary” appendectomy or discovering (via a real doctor) that their symptoms were not appendicitis after all.

“Has anyone on here ever visited Dr Burzynski’s Clinic in Texas? Have you seen his documentary? ” etc.

Anecdotes, testimonials, documentaries with heartswelling music are not evidence. Insinuations of conspiracy with “big pharma” are not evidence.

Evidence is well conducted, peer reviewed clinical trials that show significant efficacy / harm which can be used as the basis of further study.

“It’s all about making money not saving lives.”

It’s rich (pun intended) to accuse “big pharma” of being in it to make money when the person you are defending is charging terminally ill people $500 a pill. If this treatment actually worked as claimed (but never demonstrated) then surely big pharma would be throwing gobs of money at this doctor. After all $500 a pill is a pretty sweet incentive to monetize the treatment and apply it more broadly. Assuming it worked.

Except it doesn’t and accusations of conspiracy are just a typical side alley that supporters would rather the debate were led down to avoid that uncomfortable fact.

Thanks for this article. An evil man. The good news is that most patients take the trouble to educate themselves and are not fooled. A recent discussion on planetcancer.com dealt with this person- not one patient thought he was anything but a fraud.
BTW: “piloting”- what the hell is that? i barely survived appendicitis and gangrene. Maybe i should have been piloted?

RE: “piloting”, maybe she’s flown people to the hospital for emergency appendectomy (in the de rigeur black helicopter, of course?)

lilady: “How does emily come up with these statistics?”

They likely are cut and pasted from one or more of the alt med websites that spoonfeed false, deceptive and out-of-context stats and long lists of quotes that prove the Evils of Allopathy.

emily is currently helpless to respond because such sites don’t provide detailed reference material. She would have to do “research” of her own, using original sources. That would take effort and require a degree of intellectual honesty.

@ Dangerous Bacon: How does Emily come up with these statistics? Does she just “key in” a few “choice phrases” such as “iatrogenic deaths”, “modern medicine kills…”, etc.?

So…I took my phrases “iatrogenic deaths” and “modern medicine kills…” and “Googled” them:

Google lists (about) 1,480,000 websites for “iatrogenic deaths” and (about) 1,550,000 for “modern medicine kills…”.

It takes a particular type of talent to do research on the University of Google web browser.

what a crummy person. at least pond scum serves a purpose.
Please, Texas medical board, put this craptacular crook out of business !

joe @55: There’s a special place for this guy when he dies, at least I hope.

In Dante’s Inferno, the sale of bogus medications would be punished in the eighth circle (the fraudulent), tenth bolgia (material frauds; counterfeiting, forgery, selling brass as gold or tainted foods, and the like). The contrapasso or matching punishment in that bolgia is for the sinners to suffer from horrible diseases, as their actions are a disease to society.

The Niven and Pournelle re-write Inferno actually had a seller of false cancer cures (“They only worked if you didn’t go to a doctor”) in the tenth bolgia. His disease was a horrible painful cancer, of course; Niven and Pournelle added an extra twist in that he also had a huge bathtub of pills, one of which might cure him, though most simply made it worse.

Krebiozen @ 89

“How many heart attacks are seen in people whose arthritis is treated with prolonged water fasting? I’m deadly serious about this. If 1,000 people were treated in this way, how many would have heart attacks? We know that fasting, even medically supervised fasting, has been associated with sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias.

Natural hygiene in its current form has been around for about 90 years. Presumably several thousands of people have been treated with prolonged fasting. There must surely be records of any heart attacks. If you can’t answer this question with solid statistics, I don’t think you should be using this treatment”

Firstly, your reference has nothing whatsoever to do with fasting. It is about calorie-restriced diets. The 2 things are completely different.Fasting is the voluntary & complete abstinence of all food (water is essential) while nutritive reserves remain. I peronally have fasted 28 days twice in my life. I have observed literally thousands of people over the past many years fast for various lengths of time, for various reasons.

Now read this carefully. Fasting is NOT a cure! It is NOT a treatment. It is simply doing nothing, albeit intelligently.The fast allows the body the opportunity to restore normal function, & sometimes normal structure. The body does what it can.It is not goaded by any altmed “remedies” or any bigpharmabigberthas.The actual biochemistry of fasting is not within the scope of this blog.

The results are mostly astounding! Sometimes the fast helps only minimally, but almost without exception, there is some improvement, mostly dramatic.

I have spoken to experts on fasting ( some are medical doctors) including Dr Alec Burton ( conducted over 40,000 fasts over the past 60 years & still practicing, Dr Keki Sidhwa (15,000 fasts), Dr Alan Goldhammer ( 6,000), the late Dr D J Scott (40,000) & Dr Joel Fuhrman. In addition, Herbert Shelton fasted over 45,000 people in his 65 year career. Sudden death does NOT happen. In fact, the heart is beneitted by periodic fasting, as was attested to at The American College of Cardiology Conference in New Orleans in April 2011, & which was reported in the NYT 9-4-11.

The reason that the magnificent results of fasting are not well documented are that the fasting practitioners have not documented their results. They are not scientists or academics & the adademic world is not really interested in investing millions of dollars into long term double- blind randomly controlled trials.

Most trials today are very costly & funded by drug companies &/or governemnt bodies. Big Pharma is not interested in investing into such studies & who can blame them. The results would prove so spectacular, but what could be marketed? Absolutely nothing! And further, the results would lead to the majority of study participants being able to come off their meds/ supplements. Not all, but the majority. I have SEEN this thousands of times myself. And who would win from such studies?? Not the supposed “natural” companies flogging detox nonsense, not Merck & Co flogging bisphosphonates etc. The only winner would be the patient. It won’t happen anytime soon. There was, however one study done by Dr Alan Goldhammer on the therapeutic benefits of fasting for hypertension which was published in a peer-reviewed journal & which is on his website http://www.healthpromotiing.com. The study supported what hygienists have known for well over 150 years but without PubMed or any other data: fasting is spectacularly successful in reducing hypertension, in the short & long term.

Dr Michael Klaper ( yes a real one) has been working with Dr Goldhammer for a couple of years now, & witnessing the breathtaking results of therapeutic water-only fasting. Don’t believe me, contact him at the above email.

Militant agnostic @ 98

“I suspect “piloting” involves annoying the hell out someone with Natural Hygiene bullshit prior them either getting an “unnecessary” appendectomy or discovering (via a real doctor) that their symptoms were not appendicitis after all.”

Pray tell, Militant, what elements of natural hygiene are “bullshit”. I know you wouldn’t make a statement without having your facts at hand. Please educate me, & if you prove convincing, I will recant my views, that is my sincere promise.

What part(s) of this system is BS?

@Emily – would love to know how your “natural hygiene” would have dealt with my burst & gangrenous appendix?

Emily, the fact that you need to ask this question suggests that you haven’t read many of the responses to your previous posts. The statement that fasting (anything more than missing a meal or two) gives energy is BS (you will run down your stored energy reserves if you’re not eating), as is the suggestion that it actually cures signifcant health issues (see Krebiozen @ #89); the statement that acute appendicitis can resolve without medical care is BS (see TBRuce @ #96); need one go on?

Krebiozen @ 89

“How many heart attacks are seen in people whose arthritis is treated with prolonged water fasting? I’m deadly serious about this. If 1,000 people were treated in this way, how many would have heart attacks? We know that fasting, even medically supervised fasting, has been associated with sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias.

Natural hygiene in its current form has been around for about 90 years. Presumably several thousands of people have been treated with prolonged fasting. There must surely be records of any heart attacks. If you can’t answer this question with solid statistics, I don’t think you should be using this treatment”

Firstly, your reference has nothing whatsoever to do with fasting. It is about calorie-restriced diets. The 2 things are completely different.Fasting is the voluntary & complete abstinence of all food (water is essential) while nutritive reserves remain. I peronally have fasted 28 days twice in my life. I have observed literally thousands of people over the past many years fast for various lengths of time, for various reasons.

Now read this carefully. Fasting is NOT a cure! It is NOT a treatment. It is simply doing nothing, albeit intelligently.The fast allows the body the opportunity to restore normal function, & sometimes normal structure. The body does what it can.It is not goaded by any altmed “remedies” or any bigpharmabigberthas.The actual biochemistry of fasting is not within the scope of this blog.

The results are mostly astounding! Sometimes the fast helps only minimally, but almost without exception, there is some improvement, mostly dramatic.

I have spoken to experts on fasting ( some are medical doctors) including Dr Alec Burton ( conducted over 40,000 fasts over the past 60 years & still practicing, Dr Keki Sidhwa (15,000 fasts), Dr Alan Goldhammer ( 6,000), the late Dr D J Scott (40,000) & Dr Joel Fuhrman. In addition, Herbert Shelton fasted over 45,000 people in his 65 year career. Sudden death does NOT happen. In fact, the heart is beneitted by periodic fasting, as was attested to at The American College of Cardiology Conference in New Orleans in April 2011, & which was reported in the NYT 9-4-11.

The reason that the magnificent results of fasting are not well documented are that the fasting practitioners have not documented their results. They are not scientists or academics & the adademic world is not really interested in investing millions of dollars into long term double- blind randomly controlled trials.

Most trials today are very costly & funded by drug companies &/or governemnt bodies. Big Pharma is not interested in investing into such studies & who can blame them. The results would prove so spectacular, but what could be marketed? Absolutely nothing! And further, the results would lead to the majority of study participants being able to come off their meds/ supplements. Not all, but the majority. I have SEEN this thousands of times myself. And who would win from such studies?? Not the supposed “natural” companies flogging detox nonsense, not Merck & Co flogging bisphosphonates etc. The only winner would be the patient. It won’t happen anytime soon. There was, however one study done by Dr Alan Goldhammer on the therapeutic benefits of fasting for hypertension which was published in a peer-reviewed journal & which is on his website http://www.healthpromotiing.com. The study supported what hygienists have known for well over 150 years but without PubMed or any other data: fasting is spectacularly successful in reducing hypertension, in the short & long term.

Dr Michael Klaper ( yes a real one) has been working with Dr Goldhammer for a couple of years now, & witnessing the breathtaking results of therapeutic water-only fasting. Don’t believe me, contact him at the above email.

Alison @ 108:

I have read the responses & simply haven’t the time to respond to most. I do have a life, you realise.

Almost all the responses reveal a fundamental lack of trust & faith in nature, & therefore the human body.

Take your staement above. How often have you fasted? How many people have you observed fasting? How would you know what you are talking about? You know nothing about fasting , & please don’t quote others who are almost as ignorant.

Go visit a fasting establishment like True North in California, see the hundreds of patients incorporate fasting & other hygienic principles in often remarkable recoveries & then say the above. I won’t hold my breath.

Pray tell, Militant, what elements of natural hygiene are “bullshit”.[*]

Ooh, may I? “Disease does not exist per se.” There is but one disease, which is lack of Hygiene. Contagion is a fraud. “Friendly adhesions.” The trail of bodies that Vivian Vetrano has left in her wake. One can’t swing a cat without finding some purulent ooze in this game.

You, Emily, are simply worshiping at a fermenting, necrotic altar. Your hero is nothing but a mirror of his fetid obsessions that you carry around like a shrunken head.

[*] Horseshit, actually.

Almost all the responses reveal a fundamental lack of trust & faith in nature, & therefore the human body.

So if I develop appendicitis and opt for surgery, I’m showing a “lack of trust and faith” in nature? How cynical of me. Although with a 50% chance of dying, I do believe that there’s a pretty good reason for my cynicism.

Anyway, I’m sure Mother Nature will get over it.

Oh, deer. Poor Emily is too busy to answer for her comments. That is why she runs in, says silly stuff and runs off while ignoring the questions trailing behind her!

Oh, and lets see what happens with fasting, first the setup:

6. Defendants placed Mr. McDANIEL on a two week fasting program with no known nutritional intake other than water. Thereafter, Defendant TOSCA HAAG allowed Mr. McDANIEL to receive “food” in the form of a concoction known as “nut milk,” and to slowly return to “food” by ingesting raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds prepared by TOSCA HAAG and ROYL employees or agents. Such purported “alternative medical treatment” by Defendants, jointly and severally, who monitored, directed, controlled and administered the fasting regimen, was administered for the alleged purpose of reducing and removing toxins from Mr. McDANIEL’s body, in order to produce weight loss, eradicate high blood pressure, eradicate diabetes, and eradicate other ailments. Defendants, jointly and severally, determined that the “alternative medical treatment” that they prescribed for Mr. McDANIEL required additional fasting and rest in their care, so that the same was continued by Defendants after the end of the origina1.two-week regimen.

And the grand results:

8. On or about September 8, 2005, certain of DENNIS G. McDANIEL’s internal organs began to fail performing normal bodily functions. Nevertheless, Defendants persisted in claiming to Mr. McDANIEL that their expertise and knowledge of “alternative health care” and/or “alternative medicine” required Mr. McDANIEL to continue on the “nut milk” and/or “food” program. In reliance on Defendants’. false representations, Mr. McDANIEL followed Defendants’ advice until he became so ill that he was unresponsive, no communicative, and comatose while under the control, supervision and/or care of Defendants, jointly and severally. Finally, Defendants acknowledged Mr. McDANIEL’s grave physical condition and sought properly qualified emergency medical and health care treatment at a local hospital.

I won’t hold my breath.

Speaking of which, it appears that Shelton also was not down with the “brazzier” except as a unit of measurement.

I have a comment in moderation. But I do have yet another question for Emily, but it is much much easier than the simple one on the other thread. It only requires a yes or no.

Emily, do you know what are the three laws of thermodynamics?

How often have you fasted? How many people have you observed fasting? How would you know what you are talking about? You know nothing about fasting , & please don’t quote others who are almost as ignorant.

And you know nothing about me. I teach anatomy, physiology, & some biochemistry (among other areas of biology) so I actually know a fair bit about how the body actually functions: read, “I do know what I’m talking about”. As do many other commenters here, who are professionals in various areas of biology & other sciences.

And because you know nothing about me (although it would be easy for you to find out as my name is hyperlinked to my blog), then you demonstrate a breathtaking arrogance (actually, not really breathtaking as it’s on a par with a lot of your other statements) in telling me I know nothing about fasting from a personal perspective.

Emily,
According to True North’s consent form:

There are many risks to water-only fasting… Because you will not be eating any food, you will most certainly experience weakness throughout the water fast, and lose weight. It can take some time after fasting to regain strength. A very common occurrence is dizziness and fainting, especially on rising from a laying or seating position. Other common and unpleasant symptoms are heart arrhythmia, palpitations, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, sore throat, mucus discharge, low back pain, increased menstrual flow, irregular or anovulatory cycles, hair loss, gastric irritation, passing of kidney or gall stones and emotional disturbances. There is also the possibility of alterations to your body’s basic mechanisms and electrolytes, which could cause heart problems such as a heart attack or vascular problems such as a stroke.

These symptoms are all consistent with the body desperately trying to maintain an energy supply (either glucose or ketones) to the brain by using up all its reserves and then breaking down fats and muscle, flooding the body with toxins, as I described above. The idea that stressing the body like this is somehow good for it is, frankly, nuts.

I have seen the biochemical consequences of starvation on several occasions, usually when an elderly person has had a fall or a stroke and has been trapped without food (sometimes but not always without water too) for long periods until someone has found them. They are usually acidotic, with severe electrolyte disturbances, anemic, hypovolemic with low serum albumin, clotting disorders, sometimes in renal failure and generally very unwell. I don’t recall any miraculous healings, and some of them died despite medical care.

…not really breathtaking as it’s on a par with a lot of your other statements) in telling me I know nothing about fasting from a personal perspective.

Geez alison, get with the programme. It’s all about the anecdotes which trump your silly materialistic science. 😉

Alison @b 119,

So what you teach those subjects. I’ve taught them too! But you know what? My studies of them & teaching of them taught me absolutely nothing about fasting & very little about true health. When professional people, particularly from the medical/basic science field, seek help at hygienic establishments,& recover their health through the application of hygienic principles, they ALL unequivocally agree that their education taught them nothing about the reversal of pathology through fasting.

Your earlier comments about fasting indicate you are clueless about the subject & you are hung by your own petard, so with all your knowledge, try getting some wisdom.

@ Emily: You know how we all know you are “full of it”?

Each and every one of your statements is replete with pseudoscience errors. You do not know the basics of biology, chemistry, human physiology, vaccines, cancer treatment, etc.

Emily, teaching “classes” at a spa, a weight loss center or a “fasting” center, does not automatically qualify you as a “professional” in any field. You can’t even bluff your way through…having failed the basic internet research class at the University of Google. What a joke.

Your earlier comments about fasting indicate you are clueless about the subject & you are hung by your own petard, so with all your knowledge, try getting some wisdom.

Oh, for G-d’s sake. “Hung”? This has all the substance of a inexpensive correspondence course in imitating Ernest Holmes.

@ Science Mom – lol 🙂

@ Emily – the only way fasting is likely to resolve most pathologies is through death. Or were the inmates of concentration camps somehow doing it wrong? What about terminal sufferers from anorexia nervosa? Or, as Lawrence has asked (speaking from his personal experience), patients with a ruptured appendix & gangrene? There’s a very good reason why patients unable to take food by mouth receive IV nutrition.

Frankly I find it hard to accept that you’ve taught biology in any depth, as in order to do that you have to have studied it in depth, & what you’ve written here shows little indication of that.

TBruce @ 113

“So if I develop appendicitis and opt for surgery, I’m showing a “lack of trust and faith” in nature? How cynical of me. Although with a 50% chance of dying, I do believe that there’s a pretty good reason for my cynicism.

Anyway, I’m sure Mother Nature will get over it.”

Where do you get the 50% from? The scalpel manufacturers? Please let me know where you plucked that from? FYI:

Appendicitis involves, obviously, inflamamation of the appendix. So by not eating at the first sign of discomfort, guess what happens? Wow, not woo- the body during the rest from eating & exercising, resolves the inflammation & the pain goes, as does the temperature.

Now if someone is foolish enough to ignore the pain & soldier on, the pain will get worse & then what, they may have possibly gone to one of your “real” doctors, an eminent medic by the name of Geroge Crile, who wrote the following after his experiences in WW2:

” Our experience with acute appendicitis, in which many appendixes had ruptured, indicated that “rupture” of the appendix resulted in bacterial contamination of the peritoneum but not in fecal leakage…we observed 50 consecutive patients whose clinical signs & symptoms made us quite sure that they had ruptured appendices. These we treated with massive doses of penicillin & NO operation.

None of these patients died of peritonitis.The diagnoses were confirmed by delayed operation.

We were convinced that appendecectomy was unecessary or even an effective treatment for appendicitis if penicillin were available.”

“Dissent in Medicine” p25.

I find it sad that so many of the bloggers, so quick to condemn, have such a poor understanding of viz medicatrix naturae- the healing power of nature.

Again the human body is self -developing, self-defending & self repairing IF the causes of disease are removed & the conditions of health supplied.

“There was, however one study done by Dr Alan Goldhammer on the therapeutic benefits of fasting for hypertension which was published in a peer-reviewed journal & which is on his website http://www.healthpromotiing.com. The study supported what hygienists have known for well over 150 years but without PubMed or any other data: fasting is spectacularly successful in reducing hypertension, in the short & long term.”

Yes Emily…you would be impressed by Dr. Goldhamer who is a chiropractor and who is totally unqualified by his education and practice…in dietetics, infectious diseases, vaccines, chronic debilitating diseases and disorders and cancer.

I suspect that Goldhamer and Emily are both “hygienists”…whatever that is. What a joke.

The Latin word for “force” or “power” is vis, not viz.

Emily, you didn’t need to use the Latin expression; you chose to use it, and in so doing demonstrated yet again that you are too arrogant to double check.

Stick to what you do know, i.e. nothing you’ve said here to date.

“We were convinced that appendecectomy was unecessary or even an effective treatment for appendicitis if penicillin were available.”

But … wait … aren’t antibiotics evil, bad, unnatural anti- things?

Why, yes, yes they are: Quoth Emily:

“And those conditions do not mean herbal pills, homeopathy, vitamins, antibiotics, anti-emetics, anti-pyrretics, tamiflu or any other voodoo!”

Emily –

” viz medicatrix naturae- the healing power of nature”

You do realise that a major cause of damage done to the body by disease is CAUSED by the natural healing mechanisms?

We spend a lot of effort moderating those healing mechanisms so that they dont actually kill the person. Far from being beneficial those mechanisms if left unchecked can wreak havoc.
A high number of patients during the influenza outbreak of 1918 were killed by their own immune responses. I often see severely damaged lungs caused by the chronic healing processes in response to TB.

In the end we practise what works, what has been shown to work and we review those processes as new knowledge is gained.

Again the human body is self -developing, self-defending & self repairing IF the causes of disease are removed & the conditions of health supplied.

And later, citing Dr Crile: These we treated with massive doses of penicillin & NO operation.

So it would appear that the ‘conditions of health’ include teh ebil antibiotics, then? And I bet Dr Crile didn’t have his patients fasting, either.

Emily, you really are digging yourself a very deep hole here.

Re Krebiozen @ 120

These are legal disclaimers necessary in a litigious society like the United States of Monsanto, I mean America.

Talk to Dr Goldhammer, or if you won’t talk to chiropractors because they are not “real” doctors, talk to Drs Michael Klaper & Peter Sultana & ask how often they see the aforementioned conditions while fasting.

Talk to Dr Goldhammer, or if you won’t talk to chiropractors because they are not “real” doctors….

Tut, tut, Emily, you should know full well that the most esteemed Dr Shelton, D.P., N.D., D.C., D.N.T., D.N.Sc., D.N.Ph., D.N.Litt., Ph.D., D.Orthp., thought that chiropracters had little to offer in comparison with the Natural Hygienist.

Alison @ 131,

I would hope you would get the point that surgery was not necessary for even a ruptured appendix, according to one Dr George Crile, & that I was not necessarily endorsing the use of massive penicillin myself.

If you were reading any of my other blogs under the Andrew Wakefield blog ,which were primarily elucidating the nature of health & disease,you would be aware of my position, which I won’t fully repeat here.

I am NOT against modern medicine per se. I am against interfering with the body, by either allopathic or altmed practitioners, BEFORE the body has a chance to resolve its own pathology. This is where fasting comes in.

There are definite indications for surgery & on occasions for drugs, it would be churlish to argue otherwise, but so far I have raised 3 children who have never needed one medication or medical procedure, & they total 53 years between them. Luckily, they have avoided accidents, but they have been taught to understand the power of their own bodies & to become discerning consumers of the medical industry.

If you were reading any of my other blogs under the Andrew Wakefield blog ,which were primarily elucidating the nature of health & disease,you would be aware of my position, which I won’t fully repeat here.

You haven’t even had the nerve to actually state it, which is why recourse has had to be sought in the flowery Victorian and post-Victorian primary material that seems to enchant you.

Re Lilady @ 127

“Yes Emily…you would be impressed by Dr. Goldhamer who is a chiropractor and who is totally unqualified by his education and practice…in dietetics, infectious diseases, vaccines, chronic debilitating diseases and disorders and cancer.

I suspect that Goldhamer and Emily are both “hygienists”…whatever that is. What a joke”.

Dr Goldhammer studied under one of the world’s leading experts on fasting & natural hygiene, Dr Alec Burton, in a 6 months residential internship in Sydney, Australia well over 20 years ago.

You might, now that you’ve heard the name, come across him in future but I will warn you: don’t debate him on the subject of the resolution of acute & chronic deisease through fasting & other hygienic lifestyle measures. You will be embarrassed unless you do your homework, which you obviously haven’t done to date.

Emily:

So what you teach those subjects. I’ve taught them too! But you know what?

What teaching qualifications do you have?

Do you know what I mean by the term “thermodynamics”?

Don’t believe me, contact him at the above email.

Failing to provide an actual mail address in this context does not evince good outside-sales skills, Emily.

Where do you get the 50% from? The scalpel manufacturers? Please let me know where you plucked that from?

It’s in my comment #96, where I referred to the Merck Manual. Do try to keep up.

Appendicitis involves, obviously, inflamamation of the appendix. So by not eating at the first sign of discomfort, guess what happens? Wow, not woo- the body during the rest from eating & exercising, resolves the inflammation & the pain goes, as does the temperature.

Now this is clever. You see someone with a bellyache, you tell them to rest and not eat. They get better and – voila! – you’ve cured them of appendicitis! Or maybe they had gas. Who cares? You’re a miracle worker!
Of course, if the pain progresses and they actually develop appendicitis, well, it’s ALL THEIR FAULT. They didn’t trust their body.

we observed 50 consecutive patients whose clinical signs & symptoms made us quite sure that they had ruptured appendices. These we treated with massive doses of penicillin & NO operation.

None of these patients died of peritonitis.The diagnoses were confirmed by delayed operation.

We were convinced that appendecectomy was unecessary or even an effective treatment for appendicitis if penicillin were available.”

I see that our other commenters have ably taken care of this one. I just want to add that my original comment did mention treatment with antibiotics as a way to avoid the 50% mortality rate. Like I said, do try to keep up.

Thanks, Emily, I always like a good laugh – and that’s a basic part of natural health, right?

Dr Goldhammer studied under one of the world’s leading experts on fasting & natural hygiene, Dr Alec Burton, in a 6 months residential internship in Sydney, Australia well over 20 years ago.

How does it take 6 months in a residential internship to learn about fasting?

First day of class: “Introduction to fasting – don’t eat. Um, that’s it. See you tomorrow.”

@Emily

These we treated with massive doses of penicillin…

Penicillin, Emily. Drugs. Medicine. Not the body “self defending and self repairing.” Was this supposed to support your position in favor of Natural Hygiene? If so, you really messed up. Where’s the “trust and faith in nature and therefore the human body”?

Are you really that self-unaware that you didn’t realize you were undercutting the point you keep trying (and failing, badly) to make?

Emily…your hero’s name is Goldhamer…not Goldhammmer.

You addressed this comment and challenge to me:

“Dr Goldhammer studied under one of the world’s leading experts on fasting & natural hygiene, Dr Alec Burton, in a 6 months residential internship in Sydney, Australia well over 20 years ago.

You might, now that you’ve heard the name, come across him in future but I will warn you: don’t debate him on the subject of the resolution of acute & chronic deisease through fasting & other hygienic lifestyle measures. You will be embarrassed unless you do your homework, which you obviously haven’t done to date.”

Emily, why don’t you contact Dr. Goldhamer and invite him here…I would love to “debate him on the subject of the resolution of acute and chronic disease”.

BTW, what is a hygienist?…

Just to add some context, Dr. Crile was writing in the context of submariners being diagnosed with appendicitis while on deployment. Surgery in that circumstance involved a single, unsupervised corpsman on a moving vessel. Under those circumstances, high doses of antibiotics is the better option.

Personal anecdote. In preparation for oral surgery, I had to enter a fasting state. The morning of the surgery, I awoke to extreme pain, nausea, and constipation so bad I actually passed out trying to shit. I went to the dentist, who called the emergency room upon examining me. Went there, sure enough, it was appendicitis. They performed surgery that afternoon, and managed to get it out before it ruptured – I was told it was about 3 hours from rupturing. Note that the first symptoms didn’t appear until after I was in a fasting state. Contrary to Emily’s assertion, fasting didn’t make it better. Also, it was my first iatrogenic injury – it turns out I’m severely allergic to the antibiotic they gave me. Had they not done surgery and relied instead on a high dose of antibiotics, there is a good chance that I would have died. As it was, my hospital stay got extended by a day.

“BTW, what is a hygienist?…”

Er. Um. I thought I’d have a look at the International Natural Hygiene Society website.

What can I say? Don’t go there.

They don’t mention her but I think Florence Nightingale might be a major hero. They’re stuck in fighting a 19th century war against unclean nursing and medical practice and all those ghastly preparations that no modern pharmacist would allow house room.

They seem overly fond of water in all forms. I’m not averse to regular handwashing, nor to the occasional indulgence in a spa – but the drink water regimen seems strongly targeted to the upper middle class Victorian who spent far too much time stuffing themselves with 4 course meals three times a day. (They actually quote an extract from one lunatic recommending eating 1-3 pounds of raw meat as a way to deal with something-or-other. Yet another get-back-to-nature fantasy.)

There’s a truly weird heirarchy described as THE Seven Stages of Disease. The first 3 look like onset of thyroiditis, depression, name-your-virus, and a host of other conditions.

Basically they decided they had a better way over a century ago. And they maintain that 21st century medicine is just as incompetent and misguided as the 19th century blood spattered blood-letter.

If anyone has some spare cash, a time travel machine should fix them up nicely.

Since Emily is back to lecture people about the importance of doing one’s own research and of not writing about subjects on which one is ignorant, she won’t mind if I ask for the source of a claim she made a few threads ago:

In Canberra University, Australia, Professor Peter Collignon, Assoc Prof. of Infectious Diseases even stated publicly during the swine flu scare mongering 2 years ago, that the best way of getting swine flu was to get the swine flu jab!!!!

Where did Prof Collignon use these words, Emily? And have you found his actual academic affiliation?

We could be charitable and assume that some other truth-challenged Alt-med dingbat was the actual liar who made up this bullshit, and you merely read it somewhere and accepted it uncritically because it fitted your prejudices. But I go with the theory that when someone repeats a lie and can’t be bothered taking the least effort to check it, then they own the lie and are just as mendacious as the original fabulist.

Isn’t there some limited evidence (warnings – only 15 person trial, specifically selected participants, more work needed) that fasting can ‘cure’ Type 2 diabetes?

Of course, it only works on fat people. And fasting, pretty much by definition, ‘cures’ being fat …

Of course, on the intertubes, this is drowned out by Halle Berry, “sticky blood” and the interminable evils of pancakes and cows’ milk.

@Anecdata Emily:

I have seen 1000s of people recover with fasting

Have you ever fasted? What do you know about fasting?

Did you miss the part about my not having seen any of my relatives really recover from their diseases with fasting?
Fasting happens to be a very old practice (3800+ years) in my culture. The religion my family clan follows (I’m agnostic theist), requires atleast a 15 day water-only fast, once a year. Many fast longer than that. I have never seen any one recover from their ailments (Hypertension, Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Interstitial Lung Disease).

Heck, even I have fasted on several occasions when I was younger, if only to give my Grandmother company. I still have Thalassaemia Trait and my Haemoglobin levels continue to however around just below normal.

Infact, Fasting unto death is used as a means of ritual suicide (though glorified as a spiritual attainment) in the said religion by the elderly monks and sometimes even the elderly laity.

My experience with fasting has always been weakness, not ‘energy’. How does body create energy when you supply it with no source? This isn’t just a violation of Biology, but it violates a fundamental axiom of Physics. Do you have any evidence of this ‘creation’ of energy?

Thousands of people for well over three thousand years saw the sun going around in the sky, daily. They came to the conclusion that the Sun revolves around the Earth. It didn’t make them right. So what is your point about seeing ‘thousands of people’?

Do you believe that you are the only person who has seen thousands of people with health issues? That is quite an arrogant assumption especially considering that you have stumbled into a science blog whose author is a scientist researcher and a surgeon. His readership includes several professionals from the field of health care.

Remember, watching and following basketball on TV doesn’t qualify you to play in or coach NBA teams, no matter how fertile your imagination.

T-reg, some of us are not professionals in health care, but we have some relevant experience. Like knowing about thermodynamics.

So, I will again ask Emily if she knows the three laws of thermodynamic. (I think she is ignoring me)

Prof Peter Collignon, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Microbiology at the Canberra Hospital, Professor at the Medical School of the Australian National University.

So, in theory, somebody who should know what he is talking about. So what did he say?

He said that many (40-50%) people get side effects (a mild dose of the flu), that the vaccination programme was going to be expensive and that the Australian summer would have its own mitigating effects on transmissibility, so that once ‘people at risk’ had been vaccinated, the Aussies could wait and see what happened in the northern hemisphere winter before spending all that money on a mass vaccination programme.

Actually, swine flu was dead easy to get. But, in most cases, somewhere between “man flu” and the normal winter flu in impact on non-high-risk individuals.

@Chris:

My apologies to you and to others who are not health care professionals but have made valuable contributions here. I did not mention this section of the readdership because I was refuting her having seen “literally thousands” of patients.

My knowledge on the creation of more energy out of nothing is very limited. I am not up to date with the frontiers of physics so I maybe wrong about it, but you could take it up with her.

Chris…shhhh…we don’t want Emily to know who and who isn’t in the health care professions. She would not have known that you are in another science field, because of your superb grasp of medical science.

Guess what Emily…some of us are in the health care professions and some are just extremely knowledgeable about disease processes, preventive medicine, immunology and every other facet of medicine, but none of us are hygienists…whatever that is.

TBruce @ 96

Sorry I did not see your post before.

I see now where you got the 50% but guess what?

The Merck editors are just like the erstwhile bloggers on this page- absolutely clueless about the power of self healing.How would they know any other option but drugs or surgery? Please don’t quote Merck (or is it Merck & Co?)when talking true health.Drugs OK but not health.

The worrying thing is not that that you are clueless, it’s that you have made your minds up about any treatment unless it involves poisoning, cutting or burning, or has the endorsement of the majority of doctors.

Here’s the rub!

The majority in the medical profession is often wrong when it comes to health. They tell us such claptrap as:

Tea contains EGCG & is really good for us!
Coffee contains anti-oxidants & is good to go!!
Red wine contains resveratrol & is good the heart!
Chocolate from the dark side is heart-healthy!
We need milk & dairy for our calcium, otherwise our bones will crumble! Yeeks!!! Better tell the monkeys in Borneo!
We need red meat for iron, otherwise anemia! Better tell the silver-backs!
We need to drink 8 glasses of water a day or we dehydrate!
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink, otherwise ditto.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

And blah, blah, blah!

And this is just some of the non- science nonsense which is drip fed to the gullible public by the clueless supposed health experts.

No wonder the States is drowning in drugs & chronic disease is out of control. No wonder fosamax makes Merck & Co 3- 5 billion a year. Our health scare, I mean care, is just as bad as our economy! Why would it be any different?

People love to hear good news about their bad habits!

Yikes, will someone give me a red, this could get one depressed! That’s a red cabbage by the way, not wine!

A while back (#122?) Emily said So what you teach those subjects. I’ve taught them too!

To which I believe the proper response is, ORLY? Where, at what level, & what are your teaching qualifications? And to head you off at the pass, mine are easily found by the simple expedient of following my blog link & thence to my institution’s home page.

Oh yes, & I’m still waiting to hear your answer regarding the failure of compulsorily fasting concentration camp victims to achieve any sort of improved health…

Alison @ 153

I have already debunked that canard elsewhere.

But again- poor wretches eating sandle leather & cockroaches does not a fast constitute! You really don’t know anything about fasting, do you?

So I guess your, “you have never done fasting, what will you know?” nonsense doesn’t apply to me. In that case you should completely ignore that.

Why should we not trust Merck manual? They have hard statistics and actual studies to back their claims. You on the other hand have, “I see the sun moving around in the sky and it is blindingly obvious that the Earth doesn’t move only the sun does” anecdotes in your support.
Why should your anecdotes be taken more seriously than mine?

And while you are at it, how does the body create energy out of nothing?

@Emily – because people that go on hunger strikes arise from those experinces so much healthier – and certainly aren’t immediately rushed to the hospital after to prevent serious, permanent harm to their bodies…..you really don’t have a clue how denying the body adequate nutrients in the wake of disease or infection could possibly be bad, do you?

And you’ve still never addressed how your “natural hygiene” was going to help my 5″ long, black & gangrenous appendix either – how exactly would you have prevented septic shock from kicking in & killing me?

Oh, and please address how penicillin isn’t a drug or modern medical intervention?

Is eating a healthy diet a great idea, of course? Is ignoring major medical conditions & treating them with fasting a good idea, god no!

We need to drink 8 glasses of water a day or we dehydrate!
Now just when did “The majority in the medical profession” say that?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Again, when did “The majority in the medical profession” say that?

“But again- poor wretches eating sandle leather & cockroaches does not a fast constitute! You really don’t know anything about fasting, do you?”

See, the problem that starving people have is that they want to fill their bellies with *something*, and if they get desperate enough, even leather and cockroaches look good. If they just took the right attitude, that they are fasting and their bodies are getting stronger and healthier, why then…

Emily,

Firstly, your reference has nothing whatsoever to do with fasting. It is about calorie-restriced diets. The 2 things are completely different.Fasting is the voluntary & complete abstinence of all food (water is essential) while nutritive reserves remain.

So calorie restricted diets can result in sudden death, but zero calorie diets don’t because they are “completely different”? Really? I also wonder how you know when “nutritive reserves” are depleted. Glucagon will last about 24 hours, body fat considerably longer, but how do you know when the body starts breaking down muscle? Do you monitor serum electrolytes or albumin? Urine myoglobin? Anything?

The actual biochemistry of fasting is not within the scope of this blog.

I have mentioned some of the biochemistry of fasting. I spent 25 years as a biomedical scientist working in clinical biochemistry, so I know a little bit about this. While fasting for a day or two is unlikely to do any harm, and might even be beneficial through reducing calorific intake (not a bad thing for a lot of us in the developed world), I fail to see how the benefits of water fasts of up to 40 days as mentioned on the True North website could possibly exceed the risks.

In addition, Herbert Shelton fasted over 45,000 people in his 65 year career. Sudden death does NOT happen.

I do wonder to what you attribute the degenerative neuro-muscular disease that left Shelton bed-ridden for the past 14 years of hs life. This was presumably his body’s normal and natural attempt to restore health was it?

Anyway, I can assure you that sudden death does happen, even without the extreme stress of prolonged fasting. I have known two young, healthy people who have literally dropped dead, and Shelton was charged with negligent homicide after one of his patients died during a fast, though it never went to trial. Some of those 45,000 people he fasted would almost certainly have died during their fasts by pure chance. The question is whether more of them died than would be expected by chance, and whether the risks of prolonged fasting exceed any benefits. The answer appears to be that we don’t know:

The reason that the magnificent results of fasting are not well documented are that the fasting practitioners have not documented their results. They are not scientists or academics & the adademic world is not really interested in investing millions of dollars into long term double- blind randomly controlled trials.

They were not documented because they were not documented? Clear as mud. The statement that these practitioners have not documented their results appalls me. You don’t need to be a scientist to record some basic details about your patients, what medical conditions they suffer from, what happened to them during their fast and to do some sort of follow up to see what effects it had in the medium to long term. If you don’t do this, how can you be sure you are doing any good? How can you be sure you are doing no harm?

Big Pharma is not interested in investing into such studies & who can blame them. The results would prove so spectacular, but what could be marketed? Absolutely nothing! And further, the results would lead to the majority of study participants being able to come off their meds/ supplements. Not all, but the majority. I have SEEN this thousands of times myself.

People with chronic conditions coming off their medications without anything catastrophic happening immediately is not at all surprising. How do they fare over the next year, or five years? Where are you when the patient who has come off statins has a fatal MI? Or when the diabetic who has come off hypoglycemic drugs is rushed to the hospital in a ketoacidotic coma?

By the way, I live in the UK where the cash-trapped NHS would love to find ways to reduce the huge bill for medications. I see no motives for NHS hospitals, many of which are involved in research, to reject such an effective way of emptying hospital beds and reducing costs.

And who would win from such studies??

Who would win? If what you are claiming is true everyone would win. If what you are claiming is true and Shelton had carefully documented his treatments and their effects, or if you had kept careful records and followed up these thousands of patients who were able to come off their medication you would certainly have been able to get the interest of NCCAM for example. A dozen cases of patients with documented chronic illnesses who went into remission and were still in remission with no need for medication a year later, for example, would certainly get NCCAM’s attention. They are funded with hundreds of millions of dollars a year to investigate promising avenues of research. I see that they currently have a study, ‘The Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Fasting’, that is looking at the effects of intermittent fasting (“persistent fasting is not practical and has increased associated adverse events”). The idea that science based medicine is only interested in treatments that are patentable is a myth.

I have been reading Dr Alan Goldhammer’s papers on fasting and hypertension and I will comment on those separately later.

Alec Burton (emily’s hero and mentor for the equally legendary Dr. Goldhamer) has the following gem on his Natural Hygiene website:

“The theory and practice of Hygiene did not originate from the medical system. They do not appear in medical books, nor are they taught in medical colleges, nor recognised by the medical profession. Hygiene opposes medicine, both logically and factually.”

This will come as an unpleasant shock to all the antivaxers who claim that modern medicine’s success against infectious disease is due to “better hygiene” and not vaccines.

Oh, and Dr. Burton (who has a chiropractic degree) is also antivaccine. Color me shocked.

emily thinks it would be “churlish” not to acknowledge that drugs and surgery have their place. It seems beyond “churlish” to encourage people who you think have acute appendicitis to avoid drugs and surgery. Do you take money for this “service”, or do you risk people’s lives for free?

Emily

Your earlier comments about fasting indicate you are clueless about the subject & you are hung by your own petard, so with all your knowledge, try getting some wisdom.

This is not entirely topical, but it’s a pet peeve…. The phrase (from Shakespeare) is “hoist on your own petard”. You cannot be hung from a petard, without being extremely creative, as a petard is an explosive device generally intended for breaching fortifications. If you’re hoist upon one, you’ve been blown into the air by a premature detonation. (And, being Shakespeare, it’s also a cheeky pun; it comes from an old French word for farting.)

The reason that the magnificent results of fasting are not well documented are that the fasting practitioners have not documented their results. They are not scientists or academics & the adademic world is not really interested in investing millions of dollars into long term double- blind randomly controlled trials.

This should appall you, Emily. No, practitioners aren’t scientists or academics. They don’t have to be. They just have to give a damn! Seriously. Someone who doesn’t document the results of something as serious as this is someone who is okay with forgetting their patients the moment they walk out the door. Someone who is content to assume that if no one complains (or no one complains very much), then everything is fine. This is not difficult stuff. Someone who purports to treat patients should have more than just a vague recollection of how many they’ve treated and what the outcome typically was.

If you care about your patients, Emily, you should care about this. Do you?

Emily:

Almost all the responses reveal a fundamental lack of trust & faith in nature, & therefore the human body.

I’d just like to point out that this is blinkered, ethnocentric, hyperprivileged horseshit. You’ve had the luxury of developing and clinging to these fuzzy-headed notions primarily because medicine actually works. Thanks to decades of scientific research, and a fortunate birth, you have a relatively safe space in which to indulge your taste for magical thinking; there’s little chance that your reveries about “nature” will be interrupted by an outbreak of smallpox or polio.

Countless people throughout the centuries would’ve given literally anything to have access to the medical methods and knowledge you sneer at. So would countless unfortunate people living right now, for that matter. You’re incredibly privileged to be living here and now. Grow up and show some gratitude.

T-reg:

My knowledge on the creation of more energy out of nothing is very limited. I am not up to date with the frontiers of physics so I maybe wrong about it, but you could take it up with her.

Thank you, you are very kind. You are also close to what I will reveal later. Thermodynamics is not exactly the frontiers of physics, but part of the basics in chemistry and physics, often taught during the first year. I am asking Emily to determine her level of science education.

But again- poor wretches eating sandle leather & cockroaches does not a fast constitute!
So they’d have been OK eating nothing at all, then? I see…

Now then, back to your claims to have taught biology. When, where, & with what qualifications?

Emily,
As promised FWIW:

There was, however one study done by Dr Alan Goldhammer on the therapeutic benefits of fasting for hypertension which was published in a peer-reviewed journal & which is on his website http://www.healthpromotiing.com. The study supported what hygienists have known for well over 150 years but without PubMed or any other data: fasting is spectacularly successful in reducing hypertension, in the short & long term.

There are two studies, actually, which I read this morning and which are available on this page. One, looking at frank hypertension, was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, which is the official scientific journal of the American Chiropractic Association and one, looking at borderline hypertension, was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Neither of these journals are thought of very highly here, you will be unsurprised to hear.

Both studies documented a large fall in blood pressure in people deprived of food for prolonged periods, which is exactly what you would expect in starvation. Both mention monitoring of biochemical and hematological parameters such as at “least twice-weekly urinalyses and once-weekly blood tests including a complete blood count with differential, a multiple clinical chemistry panel including electrolytes, liver enzymes, serum proteins, creatinine, uric acid, bilirubin, glucose, lipids, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate” but don’t record what effects were observed, which is a shame as I would have liked to see those results.

The first study followed up a limited number of patients who appeared to have maintained some reduction in BP, but as the original BP of these patients and whether or not they were back on antihypertensive medications was not reported, it is impossible to say whether fasting has any beneficial medium or long term effects on BP.

The other study did not follow up patients at all, but mentioned the limited follow-up of the first study. The fall in BP continued during the refeeding period with vegetable juices, probably because they were still starved of protein, though Goldhammer speculates that this might indicate that a lower BP could persist.

To sum this up, fasting resulted in a drop in BP, but we don’t know what beneficial or adverse medium to long term effects it had because there was no adequate follow-up. We also don’t know what short term effects it had on biochemical or hematological parameters as these were not reported in either study. I don’t think these studies are good evidence that fasting is any better at reducing BP in the long term than the safer measures recommended by science based medicine – such as exercise, weight reduction, smoking cessation, increased dietary fiber intake, alcoholic beverage restriction, and sodium intake restriction.

It’s really a shame that the inmates of Auschwitz didn’t understand how fasting reverses pathology. Think of all the typhus deaths that could’ve been prevented if only they’d known The Truth.

On the bright side, we have a chance to save many lives in equatorial Africa if we can somehow convince the at-risk population to eat intermittently. The best part is, it’s so much more humane then giving them medicine. Cheaper, too!

Wow, I should have been following this thread; didn’t realise Emily had posted more here. I’m probably repeating a lot of points, if so I apologise.

@106 Emily

The actual biochemistry of fasting is not within the scope of this blog.

Yeah, cause that’s how this works. If it’s too long or complicated to explain, don’t type it in the comment box: post a link to a website. Don’t just hand wave and say “oh it’s too hard”.

The results are mostly astounding! Sometimes the fast helps only minimally, but almost without exception, there is some improvement, mostly dramatic.

How do you know if you don’t make records?

The reason that the magnificent results of fasting are not well documented are that the fasting practitioners have not documented their results. They are not scientists or academics & the adademic world is not really interested in investing millions of dollars into long term double- blind randomly controlled trials.

Oh blah blah. I did a psych high school class that taught the basics of experimentational methodology. Your ‘experts’ can’t be assed doing the same at a local community college? And the ‘academic world’ *is* interested in trials. That’s what they do. (You really don’t read anything other than CAM crap do you?) And why do you talk about doctors who are for NH but seem not to have the expertise or interest in doing the research? Is it possible you contradict yourself?

Most trials today are very costly & funded by drug companies &/or governemnt bodies

And private organisations, and universities/colleges. Sometimes even by individuals. It doesn’t matter *who* produces the data, so long as the data stands up under scrutiny.

The results would prove so spectacular, but what could be marketed? Absolutely nothing!

Except apparently all those books, seminars, retreats, etc that seem to be promoted by NH. They’re not making any money are they? (Bingo card, check “follow the money”, check “more money in pills than in CAM”)

Dr Michael Klaper ( yes a real one) has been working with Dr Goldhammer for a couple of years now, & witnessing the breathtaking results of therapeutic water-only fasting. Don’t believe me, contact him at the above email.

(similar argument in comment #132)

Don’t believe me, get the fully biased info instead of experimental data. Seriously, what do you not understand about confirmation bias?

… More replies to come…

@107 Emily

Pray tell, Militant, what elements of natural hygiene are “bullshit”. I know you wouldn’t make a statement without having your facts at hand. Please educate me, & if you prove convincing, I will recant my views, that is my sincere promise.

Where to start! How about the simplest: it doesn’t explain *how* it works. What biological mechanism/s does NH employ? Or even simpler: if fasting were so good for us, why do humans get hungry every 8 hours or so? Shouldn’t we get hungry every week, or less? Or how about the more dangerous: they don’t have trained medical staff on hand at ‘health improvement’ facilities, aka the Health Promoting website you were recommending above?

I have observed literally thousands of people over the past many years fast for various lengths of time, for various reasons.

But you never actually take the time to make notes. How handy it would be to have a statistical record. I would think if I were interested in a treatment I would make up a list just for personal reference so I could see over time what happens for a large number of people. A bird’s eye view as it were. And yet you don’t? I mean, I document everything I do in my work just for personal reference. If I build something I take measurements, if I like a meal I write down the recipe. But you don’t bother to keep notes for people who you “pilot”?

I guess you think maths and archival are tools of those ‘militant’ scientists, and since you ‘see’ it, why bother recording it…

PS. ‘Militant’ is not the word you use with people who are not willing to take your word for something and won’t agree with you just because you tell us to. ‘Sceptic’ however, is. The only reason it appears as though we’re piling on is because your logic just doesn’t stand up. And it’s so obvious many people can tell you about how it doesn’t. If someone here who is of the sceptic side says something illogical, we’ll pile onto them too. That’s just how scepticism works; no one and nothing is outside the application of critical thinking.

Almost all the responses reveal a fundamental lack of trust & faith in nature, & therefore the human body.

Ah, the nature gambit again. If nature were so damn reliable, why do we get sick at all? (Oops, yes, “we’re doing it wrong”) Nature’s a great thing. It’s got some powerfully positive things, but you live in an imaginary world where viruses only hurt bad people. Yet more victim-blaming from Emily – Tbruce @139 agrees: victim-blaming. I trust that if I get decapitated, it won’t “self heal” no matter how much I trust nature to do it. – Yes, I know you’ll say it won’t work for things like that. Which shows just how wishy washy NH seems to be.

Take your staement above. How often have you fasted? How many people have you observed fasting? How would you know what you are talking about? You know nothing about fasting , & please don’t quote others who are almost as ignorant.

Here’s a question for you: how often have you considered that there’s bias everywhere? Including in yourself?

Go visit a fasting establishment like True North in California, see the hundreds of patients incorporate fasting & other hygienic principles in often remarkable recoveries & then say the above. I won’t hold my breath.

You aren’t getting it: you can see it with your own eyes, but eyes can LIE. You may turn up and see good progress from every single person there, but there may be other variables at play, along with being a pretty singular example of events. Other days people may be getting worse, or no better at all. And you know what: that’s why experiments were invented.

@122 Emily

I’ve taught them too!

Yes, but are you qualified to do so? You don’t understand risk/benefit, probability or chance, critical thinking, documentation of events, confirmation bias, experimentational methodology, you over-rely on quotes and books and anecdotes instead of actual data, suffer from many logical fallacies, and seem to have no knowledge of history… why do I get the feeling you’re either untrained or have a woo-based degree in something?

Particularly the latter from an (uncredited?) institution which would likely instil a bias towards anything they see as “attacking” their ideas.

If it was decent institution, ask for your money back. You didn’t learn anything. Actually, ask your primary/high school for a refund too because they didn’t teach you reading comprehension.

When professional people, particularly from the medical/basic science field, seek help at hygienic establishments,& recover their health through the application of hygienic principles, they ALL unequivocally agree that their education taught them nothing about the reversal of pathology through fasting.

Well, that’s proof. I mean, more anecdotes will surely convince us that our dislike of anecdotes is wrong. Did these “professional people” happen to be suffering from incurable diseases, or just a common cold? We have no way of knowing and you won’t show us data, so how is this relevant?

Your earlier comments about fasting indicate you are clueless about the subject & you are hung by your own petard, so with all your knowledge, try getting some wisdom.

Bingo card, check “when all else fails, just tell them to be smarter”. Hypothesis A is no more correct just because you insist we’re inferior intellectually.

@126 Emily

So by not eating at the first sign of discomfort, guess what happens? Wow, not woo- the body during the rest from eating & exercising, resolves the inflammation & the pain goes, as does the temperature.

Wait what? Do burst appendices just not happen on your planet? I don’t understand, how does fasting make it all go away?

Remember that A-Z route? If A is fasting and Z is getting better, what happens in between? You say you’ve taught on the topics of biology, maybe you could explain to me what happens inside the body when someone fasts and how it causes the appendix to stop flaring up.

One extra point that backs this up: if “doing nothing” is nature’s best remedy, why does one need to fast at all? What the toxins just magically appear in one’s body? Shane @130 also has a good point about immune responses.

Our experience with acute appendicitis, in which many appendixes had ruptured, indicated that “rupture” of the appendix resulted in bacterial contamination of the peritoneum but not in fecal leakage…we observed 50 consecutive patients whose clinical signs & symptoms made us quite sure that they had ruptured appendices. These we treated with massive doses of penicillin & NO operation.

Fuck, I don’t think you’re even reading what you’re posting. Even assuming your text is correct, you typed that they treated it with PENICILLIN. Not fasting, not good eating, not “healthy living”, not by doing nothing. But with a MEDICATION. This earned a serious face palm.

… More replies to come…

@134 Emily

I would hope you would get the point that surgery was not necessary for even a ruptured appendix, according to one Dr George Crile, & that I was not necessarily endorsing the use of massive penicillin myself.

I’d say nice save, but actually it was a pretty ugly goal shift. Of course surgery wasn’t necessary because they were using the tested SBM penicillin. Surgery can be avoided if one uses other medicines; it still works against your argument that all you have to do is nothing/fast. Try reading something before you post it so you don’t look like an idiot and make sure the context you’re using it for is the right one.

If you were reading any of my other blogs under the Andrew Wakefield blog ,which were primarily elucidating the nature of health & disease,you would be aware of my position, which I won’t fully repeat here.

Nope, I still have no idea. You think you’re being clear, but you’re not. I have some guesses based on what I’ve read on websites that I looked up, but I have no idea what your position is. It’s some wishy-washy timey-wimey idea of clean livin’, fastin’ and woo that’s never quite explained properly.

I am NOT against modern medicine per se. I am against interfering with the body, by either allopathic or altmed practitioners, BEFORE the body has a chance to resolve its own pathology. This is where fasting comes in.

Yes, yes you are. Everything you write ends up being attack against modern medicine, including your use of ad hominems. And especially including your continued ignorance of the fact that SBM includes many of these so-called special treatment suggestions of yours, and the lack of interest in proper scientific method. You make it quite plain that you sneer at science in many of the quoted comments I’ve posted above.

There are definite indications for surgery & on occasions for drugs, it would be churlish to argue otherwise, but so far I have raised 3 children who have never needed one medication or medical procedure, & they total 53 years between them. Luckily, they have avoided accidents, but they have been taught to understand the power of their own bodies & to become discerning consumers of the medical industry.

Your Georgian fantasy sounds nice. I have a question: there are lots of diseases in third world countries. These countries also usually have many problems with famines. Shouldn’t these people be the healthiest, and have the highest lifespan of all? And if “fasting” is different to “starving” then how does the body know the difference? What’s the biological mechanisms that prevent an African child from “fasting” but allow them to “starve”, or vice versa? Do they actually just do both? How does one “fast” and “starve” at the same time?

Also, yet another perfect example where you can’t explicitly define what surgery/meds are good for and what fasting/NH is good for, or what the ‘real’ causes are. How nebulous your life must be.

@152 Emily

The worrying thing is not that that you are clueless, it’s that you have made your minds up about any treatment unless it involves poisoning, cutting or burning, or has the endorsement of the majority of doctors.

Yet another bullshit comment. You continue to ignore that most SBM doctors promote and encourage use of the EXACT SAME IDEAS as you do – minus the fasting. You continue to ignore that many of us have stated that certain SBM treatments are not as good as they should be, or the risks associated with them. The only person here who is close-minded is you, for repeatedly ignoring anything that doesn’t fit your biased worldview.

I haven’t made my mind up entirely, but based on what YOU RECOMMENDED I READ and a perusal of other materials, NH sounds too ambiguous to be useful as anything other than a lifestyle choice. The addition of fasting makes it implausible in my mind, not just because I can’t figure out how it works based on NH PR, but also because it sounds dangerous to even a high-school level worth of biology, and has far more risks than I can see benefits. I judged it based on its merits (or lack of), not on any adherence to SBM. Once again, you fail to understand how scepticism works.

The majority in the medical profession is often wrong when it comes to health. They tell us such claptrap as:..[etc]

Yeah, or this list comes direct from a non-scientific mainstream media outlet who has fired all its trained staff and is marketing to the woman-friendly magazine headliners who love the romantic Georgian landscape and to be told that their “indulgences” are actually good for you after all so they don’t feel guilty about ignoring the kids for 5 minutes while they scarf a piece of choc cake.

You’ve even got the long-debunked crap in there about 8 glasses of water. This just shows that all you do is read only the headlines and don’t bother to actually follow through and investigate further about what the *actual data* states. And this is also why reading the actual papers is helpful, because sometimes the media dumbs down something, or makes a claim that the paper doesn’t, just because the headline is more interesting. Having worked as a journalist, I can tell you that the “angle” or article title is more interesting to the editor than the proper content, because that’s what grabs people’s attention. And why science is so badly abused by the media; reality is more complex than a summarised sentence in the heading or what you read in a two paragraph article in a magazine.

And this is just some of the non- science nonsense which is drip fed to the gullible public by the clueless supposed health experts. No wonder the States is drowning in drugs & chronic disease is out of control. No wonder fosamax makes Merck & Co 3- 5 billion a year. Our health scare, I mean care, is just as bad as our economy! Why would it be any different?

Now we check out comment #134, also Emily

I am NOT against modern medicine per se. I am against interfering with the body, by either allopathic or altmed practitioners, BEFORE the body has a chance to resolve its own pathology. This is where fasting comes in.

No, no sneering at SBM there. Your continued use of CAM canards shows you for what you are: I dub thee Emily of the Contradictions.

… More comments to come…

Last one…

@120 Krebiozen

A very common occurrence is dizziness and fainting, especially on rising from a laying or seating position.

Interesting then that Health Promoting doesn’t employ staff during the night; it seems that one organisation does not agree with the other. Either that or Health Promoting cares less about fainting without having staff around for assistance.

@144 Adelady

🙂 It seems I’m not the only one who thinks of the Victorian era. I posted as much on the Andrew Wakefield thread.

@159 Krebiozen

Do you monitor serum electrolytes or albumin? Urine myoglobin? Anything?

No, she doesn’t make records of any kind. So much for her education in science – seems to have been a waste of time and money. Assuming of course, she studied something science-based.

@162 Phila

You’re incredibly privileged to be living here and now. Grow up and show some gratitude.

This!!

Reading all of these extra comments gives more insight into the lack of proof NH has and the continued lack of logic from Emily.

Don’t bother replying to any of the comments Emily, unless you can avoid tying yourself up in contradictions. You keep repeating the same logical fallacies over and over again even though we point them out to you several times. You’re beginning to sound like a crank and not the least bit like you know what you’re talking about. That’s probably more generous than you deserve.

While I’m here I’ll apologise for misinterpreting ‘articles’ on the True North site as meaning “editorial pieces of content” and not the place where I’d find experimental data. I didn’t have time to properly peruse and if I have some today I will.

Those of us with ties to the Granite State would REALLY prefer people not abbreviate Natural Hygiene…

Thank you. 🙂

Those of us with ties to the Granite State would REALLY prefer people not abbreviate Natural Hygiene…

The Old Man of the Mountain didn’t fall off for nothing.

Keep it up, folks; you’re just about got emily ready to crack. What’s holding her back is her unwillingness to let go of the pretty fairies and unicorns and rainbow chakras for gritty, hard-to-understand, requires-lots-of-work-and-effort reality. But there’s a little bit too much intellectual honesty in her for her to totally write off the real world, or else she wouldn’t keep coming back here to get spanked.

The human body is self-developing, self-healing & self-defending. Axioms. Self-evident. No need for proof or debate.

However, it is not always successful. If someone inhails smoke, they will cough. The symptopm of coughing is self- defensive in nature, at all times & under all conditions.

If there is overwhelming smoke being inhaled, the coughing reflex will be overwhelmed, & the result will be death. Just because the coughing wasn’t successful in saving life, in no way discredits coughing as self-defensive!

Vomiting up a poison is self-defensive. Whether the action is successful or not is dependent upon many factors, including the volume & toxicity of the poison, the vitality of the person etc. If the system is overwhelmed, this again does not invalidate the fact that this symptom is self- defensive.

A laceration causes a cascade of bio-chemical activity at the injured site, including, especially, inflammation. This inflammation is self- repairing in nature, under all conditions & circumstances. If the laceration is severe, the regulatory processes of the body may be overwhelmed & end unsuccessfully. The person might bleed to death. Again, this does not mean the symptom is no longer self-repairing. It will continue until death at the cellular level, which is where & when all defensive & reparatory processes end.

Chronic disease always includes chronic symptoms &/or signs. This is because of chronic irritation through the continuation of various causes in the person’s lifestyle/dietstyle, plus a minor genetic component.

For example, people with auto-immune diseases experience chronic pain, inflammation & other symptoms in involved areas, which can possibly lead to destruction of joints & other tissue. The inflammation is mistakenly blamed for this, when in reality it was the causes of the inflammation which are to blame.

In the Spanish Flu of 1918-9 there were many deaths of young people from secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia, due to what is believed to be “cytokine storm” –
inflammatory overload in the lungs especially. The real reason for this was not H1N1 virus, but the host conditions at the time. Terrible nutrition, appalling living conditions, windows shuttered in most places including hospitals, heroic (but often fatal) doses of aspirin & other drugs, fumigation & of course this came immediately at the end of the war with all its privations.

Natural hygiene is NOT a curative system. It is NOT a treatment plan! It is a way of life which accepts the fundamental principles governing life (mentioned at the start)& tries to provide the organism with conditions conducive for the successful operation of these principles.

There will be times when circumstances are such that certain interventions are necessary & life-saving.

That is why NH is not very popular with the alt/med brigade, nor the allopathic lot. There is nothing to sell or lean on except the power of the human body. No gimmicks, no shareholders, no “magic”.

Experienced NH practitioners have a deep understanding of this power & its limits. The needs & capacities of the individual will determine what course of action will be recommended.

Like ALL health systems, NH is based on certain theories. Not the 3 principles elaborated at the start, as they are axiomatic, not theoretical.

Allopathy has its theories of disease such as germ theory, herd theory & free- radical theory, to name a few. Other modalities have their own theories, such as Homeopathy with its own theories of like curing like, as elaborated by Dr Samuel Hannermann.

NH postulates that disease is caused by enervation & toxemia. I won’t elaborate these fully here, but it’s important to know that enervation (exhaustion of vitality) leads to toxemia.

The causes of disease are many & varied, influenced by hereditary & genetic factors:

Poor nutrition, excesses of any kind such as work, exercise, food, sun, sex etc, deficiencies, too little rest & sleep, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, sedentariness, stress- the list is long.

By removing as many causes as possible that are within our control, such as nutritional insults (& this goes far beyond the standard “eat a balanced diet” mantra) & requires a deep knowledge of the subtle causes of enervation & toxemia, & then by providing the appropriate biological conditions upon which health depends, something miraculous happens- health improves, naturally.

NH has never purported to be the answer to all health issues, but in my very considerable experience, it has far more to offer the vast majority of health problems than any other modality, including allopathy.

It doesn’t matter how many threads you post this particular comment on, Emily; doesn’t make it any more correct.

Incidentally, you still haven’t answered my question about your training & qualifications to teach biology…

“deep knowledge of the subtle causes of enervation”

How about reversing that hierarchy. Instead of the “subtle” causes coming first how about the metabolically *obvious* causes.

There must be 57 varieties of endocrine disruptions that might show fatigue, lethargy, lack of stamina in the first instance. Anaemia and various other symptoms signifying current disease or disorder.

Have a quick look through, not PubMed this time, a book … “Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired”. Might be useful as a handy checklist for someone in your line of ‘work’ to note that lethargy can be a sign of profound chronic illness ***and*** that, for many conditions, prolonged bed rest is the very last thing anyone should recommend. Referral to a real professional would be the first, best, only sensible response.

(Lord knows what fasting might do.)

NH has never purported to be the answer to all health issues

The fucking hell it hasn’t. Do you dress up in a diaphanous gown for this Holy Mother routine?

Chronic disease always includes chronic symptoms &/or signs. This is because of chronic irritation through the continuation of various causes in the person’s lifestyle/dietstyle

A chronic disease by definition requires chronic symptoms, so you can’t deduce anything about chronic diseases by the presence of chronic symptoms. Type I diabetes isn’t chronic because of the continuing presence of [whatever], but because their beta cells are gone, and no lifestyle change is going to bring them back.

plus a minor genetic component.

There are chronic diseases which are entirely genetically determined, like hemophilia and sickle-cell anemia. There are means of ameliorating these diseases, but no lifestyle change is going to cause a hemophiliac’s blood to clot like normal, or prevent the hemoglobin of someone with sickle-cell from polymerization under low-oxygen conditions. For chronic diseases without a clearly understood pathophysiology, lifestyle changes might be the solution, but there’s no guarntee

Terrible nutrition… windows shuttered in most places including hospitals

What’s the problem with closed windows? Too little oxygen and too much carbon dioxide? Not enough exposure to direct sunlight?

In the hospital where I’ve been admitted in past (meningitis as a child, plus twice for childbirth as an adult), the windowshades were kept open unless the patient asked for them to be closed. I still remember the terror I felt when four-year-old me saw purple clouds and a towering smokestack belching steam down in the river valley, clearly visible out the window of my room. I’m sure it was mostly scary because of my extremely high fever, but back then, I actually kinda wish the windows had been shuttered. (Of course, you can’t get that view if you’re at that hospital now. There are taller buildings across the street now.) The windows themselves didn’t open, but that was okay — it was January in Minnesota. You wouldn’t *want* them open.

adelady:

(Lord knows what fasting might do.)

I’ve suddenly had an epiphany: the natural hygiene emphasis on fasting sounds an awful lot like humoural medicine’s emphasis on bloodletting, in that in their ignorance, they are depriving the patient of something they very much need and then attributing any recovery to the correctness of the treatment, rather than to the extraordinary resilience the human body can have.

I went through a bout of fatigue not too long ago. It’s still unexplained; all the tests came back normal. Blood sugar, iron levels, thyroid function, etc. Everything normal. I just had no energy. I also had no appetite. I’d been making a point of drinking sugary things to try to keep some calories going in, which is probably what was preserving my blood sugar level, but eating was really, really hard; I normally love to eat, but during this period of lethargy, I had a *revulsion* towards food. I mean, it looked nice and all, and tasted fine. I just had no inclination to shove it down my gullet, and had to consciously force myself to eat. After a few days, I got enough appetite to eat a sandwich, and that was also when the fatigue turned around. Once I was eating properly again, I had energy again. Surprise surprise. Fasting to cure what is essentially a caloric deficit seems, to me, to be nothing more than bloodletting to treat anemia.

(Fast fact: back in the bad old days, after a surgeon amputated a limb, it was thought necessary to bleed a patient to reduce their total blood volume by the amount that the limb would normally require. Yes, *after* the patient lost that much blood and more during the surgery itself. It’s a miracle *anyone* survived.)

Emily

In the Spanish Flu of 1918-9 there were many deaths of young people from secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia, due to what is believed to be “cytokine storm” – inflammatory overload in the lungs especially. The real reason for this was not H1N1 virus, but the host conditions at the time.

Cytokine storm does not cause secondary infections, it’s a marked activation of pro-inflammatory and cell-death pathways, in other words a condition in which some of the body’s self-defending mechanisms go haywire, and which the 1918 flu strain has been demonstrated to cause in mice. Why would the host conditions affect young healthy people more than the very young or the very old?

I won’t elaborate these fully here, but it’s important to know that enervation (exhaustion of vitality) leads to toxemia.

Looking at this from my clinical biochemistry background that makes little sense. What does lead to toxemia is either the intake or production of more toxins than the body can handle, as in poisoning or in diabetic ketoacidosis, or the failure of the body’s abilities to eliminate toxins such as renal or hepatic failure. None of these are caused by “enervation”. How would removing all energy sources (i.e. food) help a patient suffering from a lack of energy anyway?

NH has never purported to be the answer to all health issues, but in my very considerable experience, it has far more to offer the vast majority of health problems than any other modality, including allopathy.

Who was it who said that “in my experience” is the most dangerous phrase in medicine? I submit that “in my very considerable experience” is an even more dangerous phrase than that.

Emily, I suspect nothing is going to shake what I think are your outmoded and delusional ideas about health, or prevent you from continuing to treat unfortunate people with dangerous practices like prolonged fasting. It’s probably even too much to hope that you might stop using the term “allopathy” which is a meaningless term used solely as an insult by homeopaths or by the ignorant.

In the Spanish Flu of 1918-9 there were many deaths of young people from secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia, due to what is believed to be “cytokine storm” –
inflammatory overload in the lungs especially. The real reason for this was not H1N1 virus, but the host conditions at the time. Terrible nutrition,

I would like to know more about this 1918-1919 episode of terrible nutrition. Were people all around the world — India, Africa, Europe, Australia — all suddenly eating too much? Too little? The wrong foods?

@Emily, and in the Flu Pandemic it was the young & healthy that died in disproportiate numbers….it wasn’t about bad nutrition.

emily: “There will be times when circumstances are such that certain interventions are necessary & life-saving.

Translation: when we screw up and recognize it in time, it’s nice to have evidence-based medicine as a backstop.

“Like ALL health systems, NH is based on certain theories…NH postulates that disease is caused by enervation & toxemia. I won’t elaborate these fully here, but it’s important to know that enervation (exhaustion of vitality) leads to toxemia.”

Holy deja vu! It’s the nineteenth century all over again!

Re @ 180

“Looking at this from my clinical biochemistry background that makes little sense. What does lead to toxemia is either the intake or production of more toxins than the body can handle, as in poisoning or in diabetic ketoacidosis, or the failure of the body’s abilities to eliminate toxins such as renal or hepatic failure. None of these are caused by “enervation”. How would removing all energy sources (i.e. food) help a patient suffering from a lack of energy anyway?”

Toxemia is a term used in NH which differs from the frank toxemia you refer to. It occurs well before such marked & serious indicators you mention.

Any way these are theories, as I stated. Modern medicine’s theories are germ theory, free radical theory & others, & as the word suggests, all lack definitive proof.

The second part of your quoted statement shows your confusion as to what enervation is. Why would the “enervated ” person have food withheld? Where was this stated?

The enervated person must remove the causes of their enervation, first & foremost. Then supply the conditions of health. This is not woo, although in you & your bloggers’ minds it is. I see it succeed all the time, even though you say, correctly, anecdotes are not evidence.

Enervation must be reduced, which then allows more energy for functional integrity, including normal elimination, thus reducing toxemia. This almost always leads to a new level of health & vitality. Many early signs of pathology disappear.

I realise that this is profoundly simple but IT consistently works in a majority of cases.

We see people come off simple stimulants like coffee,tea, chocolates, sodas & alcohol, (which is not a stimulant) etc, often experience elimination discomfort, including, at times, vomiting. This is followed, temporarily by profound fatigue, due to the absence of chronic CNS stimulation.

Then, when supplied the proper & appropriate conditions of health, the person then experiences a new & transformed level of health, often, as stated, accompanied by a reduction or, at times, a complete elimination of, previous troublesome symptoms & signs.

re 181 herr doktor bimler:

“I would like to know more about this 1918-1919 episode of terrible nutrition. Were people all around the world — India, Africa, Europe, Australia — all suddenly eating too much? Too little? The wrong foods?”

The general nutrition in countries affected by the sickness was poor. The living conditions were mostly worse than poor. The following quote gives an idea of conditions at the time, from ‘Plague of the Spanish Lady’ by Richard Collier:

“Few homes had electric power, running water, sewage or septic tanks….often the girls slept 3 to a bed.. in winter, thousands of families subsisted, without refrigerators, on cured ham, canned beef, pickles, potatoes & root vegetables stored in the cellar.

” Above all, it was a hungry world. Americans, stirred by the exhortations of Food Controller Herbert Hoover, had learned to ‘Hooverise’, observing the ‘gospel of the clean plate’. Londoners, too, obeyed to the letter the injunction that loomed everywhere: “Eat less bread- let the menu beat the Germans!”

” Millions had no choice. Italians were bartering their wedding rings for maize flour & sausage; mutton fat mixed with honey was the rancid Norwegian substitute for butter. One meagre slice of bread was a Berlin office worker’s dinner, & in England, to conserve poultry they were shooting foxes..

“As the weeks drew on, this hunger would only intensify, so that for millions, weakened & emaciated by 4 years of privation, the dreaded face of the Spanish Lady was the last thing their eyes would ever see”.p 18

Regarding the lack of fresh air experienced by the sick:

” President Wilson recited a jingle :

‘I had a little bird,
Its name was Enza,
I opemed the window
And in-flu-enza.’

Although this was recited in jest, all over the world people were reacting as if the flu bug, possessed of wings, could fly through the window. Thus many were coming to embrace a dangerous fallacy: the one sure prevetative was to blockade every door, window & crevice of their house or apartment as if in a siege.” p 75

At one stage in Framingham, hundreds of very sick patients were put in tents because hospitals were full:

“And from the first results were startling, many with severe pneumonia showing lower temperatures at night than in the morning. Virtually only 2 drugs were used ( they had run out- my words)- Dovers powder & iodide of lime- but to Surgeon General William Brooks the temperature charts told the story: fresh air, sunshine, a fruit & water diet were producing miraculous results.

“For the first time since the epidemic began there was hope that the unknown virus might yet be defeated with nature’s own weapons” PP78-9

The Chinese have an old saying ” after war, comes plague”. They have point.

@184 Emily

Any way these are theories, as I stated. Modern medicine’s theories are germ theory, free radical theory & others, & as the word suggests, all lack definitive proof.

Check one, “it’s just a theory” bingo slot. They only lack proof because you seem to refuse to investigate the matter in the literature, instead of just reading your biased CAM sites.

There’s no way in hell you’ve studied science, and I don’t believe you could possibly teach it either.

The enervated person must remove the causes of their enervation, first & foremost. Then supply the conditions of health. This is not woo, although in you & your bloggers’ minds it is. I see it succeed all the time, even though you say, correctly, anecdotes are not evidence.

Nice move of the goalposts.

We see people come off simple stimulants like coffee,tea, chocolates, sodas & alcohol, (which is not a stimulant) etc, often experience elimination discomfort, including, at times, vomiting. This is followed, temporarily by profound fatigue, due to the absence of chronic CNS stimulation.

They vomit when they stop eating chocolate? Seriously what were they doing beforehand, overdosing on the stuff? I call bullshit.

I will note the blatant victim-blaming.

The general nutrition in countries affected by the sickness was poor. The living conditions were mostly worse than poor. The following quote gives an idea of conditions at the time, from ‘Plague of the Spanish Lady’ by Richard Collier:

Answer the damn question. Were they the same in all countries all at the same time? It’s a yes/no answer, you have no need for crap quoted from yet more irrelevant books.

Oh, why am I bothering…

flip, you are bothering because Emily’s delusions are so out there that they are almost entertaining.

Does Emily just write very unclearly, or did she deliberately say that alcohol is a stimulant and is not a stimulant.

@186 Chris

flip, you are bothering because Emily’s delusions are so out there that they are almost entertaining.

I am without my sense of tone at the moment – are you complimenting or insulting me?

@188 myself

Er duh… it helps to remember my own post and what I wrote. Rereading it clarified what you meant Chris.

Thomas – Emily does indeed write “very unclearly”, including frequent self-contradictions, wild inaccuracies, & a woeful lack of understanding of science (note her redefinition of “toxemia”).

Which leads me to ask (again): Emily – what are your qualifications to teach biology, & where & at what level have you taught it?

Flip – you are wonderful! 🙂

The second part of your quoted statement shows your confusion as to what enervation is.

And since Emily couldn’t be bothered to actually enlighten her audience, “enervation” is “lack of nerve energy.” “Stimulation” is an enervation problem. Cravings are an enervation problem. “Nerve energy” is created by rest and Hygienic fasting. Eating *expends* “nerve energy.”

Really, she might as well be reading from the rules to a bad role-playing game.

Emily,

Toxemia is a term used in NH which differs from the frank toxemia you refer to. It occurs well before such marked & serious indicators you mention.

The word “toxemia” literally means “toxins in the blood”. I suggest that these toxins remain unidentified in the variety of toxemia you refer to because they don’t exist.

Any way these are theories, as I stated. Modern medicine’s theories are germ theory, free radical theory & others, & as the word suggests, all lack definitive proof.

That’s not correct, a scientific theory is a hypothesis that has been tested and verified. There is so much evidence for germ theory and the existence of free radicals and their role in disease that to claim they are merely theoretical is plain silly. The “theories” of Natural Hygiene have not been verified. I would class them as disproven hypotheses.

The second part of your quoted statement shows your confusion as to what enervation is. Why would the “enervated ” person have food withheld? Where was this stated?

You wrote (on the other thread you have contributed to), “Fasting allows the body the rest & energy to potentiate its own healing.” This does suggest that fasting is a treatment for ‘enervation’.

The enervated person must remove the causes of their enervation, first & foremost. Then supply the conditions of health. This is not woo, although in you & your bloggers’ minds it is.

This ‘enervation’ you talk of, is it a lack of the same imaginary ‘nervous energy’ that classical chiropractors claim is blocked by ‘subluxations’? (Sorry about all the ‘quotes’, they are intended to show I don’t believe these entities exist.) I note that Natural Hygiene appears to have an affinity for chiropractic.

Enervation must be reduced, which then allows more energy for functional integrity, including normal elimination, thus reducing toxemia.

So the lack of an energy that can’t be measured in any way prevents the elimination of unspecified toxins that can’t be measured in any way? You must surely see why I find that hard to swallow.

This ‘enervation’ you talk of, is it a lack of the same imaginary ‘nervous energy’ that classical chiropractors claim is blocked by ‘subluxations’?

Remember that Shelton wanted to corner the market. Chiropractic adjustments, like coffee, alcohol, light, etc., are stimulants and thus use up nerve energy.

I have done a little digging on the subject of the tent hospitals that apparently had a miraculous effect on the influenza patients Emily mentions. I don’t think the fact that people survived better without the primitive and often dangerous medical treatments common in 1918 has little if any relevance to modern medical treatments. There’s more information in the following PubMed references, both available as full text PMID: 18009962 and PMID: 19461112.

It wasn’t just fresh air, sunshine and a lack of the toxic drugs in use at the time that may have had a beneficial effect. Strict measures to reduce cross-infection and secondary infections were in use (based on germ theory, of course):

Anyone in contact with them had to wear an improvised facemask, which comprised five layers of gauze on a wire frame covering the nose and mouth. The frame was made out of an ordinary gravy strainer, shaped to fit the face of the wearer and to prevent the gauze filter from touching the nostrils or mouth. Nurses and orderlies were instructed to keep their hands away from the outside of the masks as much as possible. A superintendent made sure the masks were replaced every two hours, were properly sterilized, and contained fresh gauze.

Other measures to prevent infection included the wearing of gloves and gowns, including a head covering. Doctors, nurses, and orderlies had to wash their hands in disinfectant after contact with patients and before eating. The use of common drinking cups, towels, and other items was strictly forbidden. Patients’ dishes and utensils were kept separate and put in boiling water after each use. Pneumonia and meningitis patients used paper plates, drinking cups, and napkins; paper bags with gauze were pinned to pillowcases for sputum. Extensive use was made of mouthwash and gargle, and twice daily, the proprietary silver-based antimicrobial ointment Argyrol was applied to nasal mucous membranes to prevent ear infection.

Emily, somebody just placed a curse on your bank account. Please transfer all your money to me to cleanse it for you.

On the other thread Emily has been commenting on I have a comment on Shelton’s belief that menstruation is a curable disease and his book, ‘Menstruation – Its Cause and Cure’.

I honestly can’t believe that someone is arguing in good faith that germ theory lacks “definitive proof.”

This belief, more than anything else Emily’s spewed, reveals a critical inability to read and understand the actual scientific literature on human disease. People like this are exactly why we need better science education in this country, and need it now.

@190 Alison

Thanks again!

@191 Narad

And since Emily couldn’t be bothered to actually enlighten her audience, “enervation” is “lack of nerve energy.” “Stimulation” is an enervation problem. Cravings are an enervation problem. “Nerve energy” is created by rest and Hygienic fasting. Eating *expends* “nerve energy.”

So basically, it’s Bizzaro World, where everything works backwards?

@192 Krebiozen

I would class them as disproven hypotheses.

Especially since they’ve had more than a century to document Natural Hygiene, and yet none seems to exist. Even more so because Emily admits this fact.

Emily, re. the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic:
The general nutrition in countries affected by the sickness was poor.
[followed by anecdotes about hunger in England and Italy).

Emily, you have not read my question properly, perhaps because it consisted all of 35 words. England and Italy are not an entire “hungry world”, for there are other countries. I specifically mentioned “India, Africa, Europe, Australia” as places affected by the 1918-1919 epidemic.

I also could mentioned the islands in the Pacific where populations were devastated (20% death toll in Samoa, 14% in Tahiti); China; New Zealand; remote Arctic populations. It was no less lethal in neutral countries of Europe than in those affected by the war… Denmark, for instance, and Spain. The Danes were particularly well-fed in 1918 because in addition to neutrality, they hadn’t been able to export dairy products to their usual markets (blocked by the German submarine embargo), but this didn’t help them.

And now you are telling us that all these places were suffering from “poor nutrition”. Really, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Narad:

Really, she might as well be reading from the rules to a bad role-playing game.

So what we all really need are some mana and health potions?

😛

I’m gonna trust to my Cure Critical Wounds spells, personally. Now, where’d I’d leave my d20….

The general nutrition in countries affected by the sickness was poor.
Harumph. My response has been CENSORED.

@Emily:

If you want people to understand what you’re saying, you should define the terms you’re using.

My congratulations to everyone, flip in particular, who has had the intestinal fortitude to plow through and challenge Emily’s gauzy blatherings about the prelapsarian fantasy that is Natural Hygiene.

A return to pristine living
“Not by divine revelation, as so many have claimed for their “discoveries,” but by a close and careful study of nature did all these men come to their knowledge. Hygiene represents a return to that pristine mode of living that emerged with man when he first appeared on the earth; it is a revival of something precious that had been all but lost during the course of ages, thanks to the corrupting and perverting influences of shaman, priest, physician and trader. These, with their false systems and false teachings, have led the race astray. When and where ignorance and superstition have prevailed with all their mind-beclouding and debasing influences, there disease and crime abound”.
H. Shelton, 1968

http://naturalhygienesociety.org/present.html#part1

I’d start reading her posts and a few paragraphs in my eyes would start rolling so violently I was afraid I’d strain my ocular muscles. I raise a glass of my favourite enervating stimulant to all of you!

re 199-H.D Bimler:

“The Danes were particularly well-fed in 1918 because in addition to neutrality, they hadn’t been able to export dairy products to their usual markets (blocked by the German submarine embargo), but this didn’t help them”.

My God, are you serious or delirious? You equate well fed with well nourished? Americans are well fed, plenty of dairy, etc but certainly not well nourished. Overweight but undernourished, the majority! If you want to look at statistics about dairy, just go to http://www.reverseheartdisease.com / http://www.notmilk.com/ http://www.drmcdougall.com/ http://www.pcrm.org/ http://www.drfuhrman.com just for starters & see what happens when countries are well fed with dairy.

Where is your evidence that dairy foods should have helped anyone, let alone the Danes, please reveal it?

You only go by science, you boast, show me the science behind such a statement. Where is the science behind stating that dairy foods are beneficial for health?

I think you’re about to embarrass yourself.

Where is the science behind stating that dairy foods are beneficial for health?

Where is the science behind the need to not combine melons with other foods, Emily?

Oh, there you are again, Emily. I see you still haven’t found the time to answer my question. So, just to remind you, here it is again. What is your training in science, particularly biology; and what is your training & experience in teaching?

I’ll just go & make some popcorn while I wait…

alison: I keep asking Emily the same questions and she hasn’t replied. I especially am interested in her educational background, whatever college degree she earned and her “field of study/employment”.

What is the field of hygienics and what is a hygienist?

Where has Emily ever taught? (health spas and Sunday School locales do not count).

Hell, there are some very good websites about the influenza pandemic on the internet…even some websites for Emily’s level of intelligence…yet she manages to misinterpret what she reads. I think it’s a case of “making it up as she posts”.

I’ll take my popcorn without salt and with a little bit of melted butter….

Hi lilady! Popcorn with butter coming right up 🙂 (Having eaten the most delightful homemade tortellini – made by yours truly – with smoky capsicum & tomato sauce and with grilled peaches for afters, it may be a struggle for me to find room for those luscious little popped grains. But one does what one must!)

Hi Alison: Hmmm yummy. I’m reminded of the small (80 or so guests), wedding reception we had at a lovely restaurant overlooking the Hudson River this past September. We chose for part of the buffet, one of their specialties…homemade ravioli with a sage/browned butter sauce…simply divine.

Getting back to Emily’s “teaching” experience. I have taught in local high schools, in small groups and one-on-one; it’s all part of nursing practice.

(It’s too late for me to be posting here) The wedding reception was for my daughter and her husband. We had a terrific time and the day was ideal…great food…great family and friends and a lovely selection of summery drinks.

I’m a relatively unusual beast – a uni science lecturer with a Diploma of Teaching. Actually taught in high school for some years before being head-hunted back into the tertiary system, & that’s where I’ve been ever since. Still do a lot of work for & with high schools, though.

re 199-H.D Bimler:

“The Danes were particularly well-fed in 1918 because in addition to neutrality, they hadn’t been able to export dairy products to their usual markets (blocked by the German submarine embargo), but this didn’t help them”.

My God, are you serious or delirious? You equate well fed with well nourished? Americans are well fed, plenty of dairy, etc but certainly not well nourished. Overweight but undernourished, the majority! If you want to look at statistics about dairy, just go to http://www.reverseheartdisease.com / http://www.notmilk.com/ http://www.drmcdougall.com/ http://www.pcrm.org/ http://www.drfuhrman.com just for starters & see what happens when countries are well fed with dairy.

Where is your evidence that dairy foods should have helped anyone, let alone the Danes, please reveal it?

You only go by science, you boast, show me the science behind such a statement. Where is the science behind stating that dairy foods are beneficial for health?

I think you’re about to embarrass yourself.

My God, are you serious or delirious? You equate well fed with well nourished?

No, I have done no such thing. I try to be careful in my choice of words, and I was careful to describe the Danish population in 1918-1919 as “well-fed” rather than “well-nourished” precisely to avoid that confusion, and to avoid any issues as to whether their diet would meet wherever Natural Hygiene’s nutritional goalposts might happen to be located at the time.** The point, of course, is whatever you might think of the nutritional value of their diet, they were not under-nourished.

“But who,” you ask, “would be silly enough to claim that ‘under-nourishment’ was the form of dietary inadequacy that causes influenza?”

Why, that would by Emily, in her comment 184, who singles out “hunger” as the factor resulting in the 1918-1919 epidemic. “Above all, it was a hungry world,” is one phrase from her choice of anecdotes. To continue:

Italians were bartering their wedding rings for maize flour & sausage; mutton fat mixed with honey was the rancid Norwegian substitute for butter. One meagre slice of bread was a Berlin office worker’s dinner, & in England, to conserve poultry they were shooting foxes..
“As the weeks drew on, this hunger would only intensify, so that for millions, weakened & emaciated by 4 years of privation, the dreaded face of the Spanish Lady was the last thing their eyes would ever see”

Summing up, Emily explicitly attributed the Spanish flu to hunger and privation. If she responds to a refutation of this claim by shifting the blame to over-nourishment, then I really can’t help her.

There remains the issue — which I have raised twice already — of non-European victims of the epidemic, in China and India and Pacific Islands and the Arctic. What sudden change in *their* diets suddenly and simultaneously caused them to generate the symptoms of lethal influenza?

** Though IIRC, the Danish death rate from tuberculosis dropped in the second half of WW1 when the Atlantic submarine blockade robbed them of the benefits of the global economy, and they had to eat their agricultural produce rather than export it. So they may have been doing *something* right.

Emily,

You only go by science, you boast, show me the science behind such a statement. Where is the science behind stating that dairy foods are beneficial for health? I think you’re about to embarrass yourself.

There was a comprehensive review of this last year, by Reading University in the UK. Here are the details:

Dairy products in the food chain: their impact on health.
Kliem KE, Givens DI.
Milk is a complex and complete food containing an array of essential nutrients that contribute toward a healthy, balanced diet. Numerous epidemiological studies have revealed that high consumption of milk and dairy products may have protective effects against coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, diabetes, certain cancers (such as colorectal and bladder cancers), and dementia, although the mechanisms of action are unclear. Despite this epidemiological evidence, milk fatty acid profiles often lead to a negative perception of milk and dairy products. However, altering the fatty acid profile of milk by changing the dairy cow diet is a successful strategy, and intervention studies have shown that this approach may lead to further benefits of milk/dairy consumption. Overall, evidence suggests individuals who consume a greater amount of milk and dairy products have a slightly better health advantage than those who do not consume milk and dairy products.
PMID: 22129373

Emily

I think you’re about to embarrass yourself.

Sayeth the NH fanatic who has been repeatedly caught making contradictory statements, quote mining and citing sources that actually contradict her claims.

Alison – eating popcorn while waiting for Emily to provide her training in science, particularly biology; and her training & experience in teaching is a sure fire method for becoming “over-fed and under nourished”. The heat death of the universe is likely to precede her providing any such information.

In case the previous review, which is behind a paywall, does not suffice to answer Emily’s question.

Where is your evidence that dairy foods should have helped anyone, let alone the Danes, please reveal it?

Another review, free full text with plenty of references:

Should dairy be recommended as part of a healthy vegetarian diet? Conclusion – Milk is the most economical source of many limiting nutrients, especially calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Milk and milk products have protective effects for bone disorders, IRS, and stroke. Observational studies show protective, neutral, and negative effects with various cancers. The main concerns brought against including milk products in the diet lack strong and mechanistic support. Some previous concerns, including protein-induced calciuria and the presence of 17β-estradiol, have recently been resolved. Vegans have reduced bone mineral density, increased incidence of fracture, and other health risks compared with omnivores or lactovegetarians.

I’m not feeling embarrassed just yet.

Narad @191:

Really, she might as well be reading from the rules to a bad role-playing game.

yup! It’s called ‘World of Woo-crafts’.

@emily:

see what happens when countries are well fed with dairy.

It’ll be fun to watch you have this conversation with folks from rural Punjab or Haryana in India. I wish there was a language common to both of you.

Seriously, though – you made the claim, where is your non-anecdotal evidence?

Any way these are theories, as I stated. Modern medicine’s theories are germ theory, free radical theory & others, & as the word suggests, all lack definitive proof.

Emily, “theory” in the scientific sense is not the same thing as “theory” in the vernacular. Science doesn’t consider anything to have absolutely definitive proof, but nothing advances to the status of a scientific theory unless it’s got so much convincing evidence behind it that it’s nearly impossible to deny.

Let’s open an imaginary textbook on economics. On the first page, we might read a sentence like the following:

“The most basic economic theory classifies participants as either sellers, who provide a good or service and take money in exchange, or buyers, who provide money and receive the good or service in exchange.”

Now, is there actually any doubt that people do exchange money for goods and services, or vice-versa? Is that what the word “theory” means in that context, that we are not sure of this, that we lack definitive proof that people exchange currency for things? Obviously not! Clearly, “theory” means something different in a context like this.

In a context like this, what “theory” means is a set of well-established principles, very firmly supported by an overwhelming amount of evidence, that help us understand our further observations. I have never heard of the “free radical theory” you reference (I suspect the term comes entirely from your misconception of “theory”) but germ theory is certainly a set of well-established principles, firmly supported by overwhelming evidence, that helps us understand our observations of disease.

The same cannot be said of Natural Hygiene; rather than helping us understand the evidence, NH requires that we invent evidence to fit what NH wants us to believe. Natives of the Americas who never had recorded cases of smallpox before suddenly are decimated by smallpox after contact with Europeans who were exposed to smallpox in their native land? It can’t be a pathogen transmitted from one group to the other; it must be, despite no evidence supporting this, that the native Americans had suddenly adopted decadent European habits! A vaccine is developed that prevents individuals from contracting the smallpox pathogen when exposed to it, and everywhere it’s used, the smallpox rate drops? It must be that people suddenly made drastic improvements in their diets and hygiene everywhere the rate of smallpox dropped, even if other diseases which supposedly also went away due to improvements in diet and hygiene did not show the same drastic drop in rates at the same time! A previously healthy researcher working in a laboratory with one of the last remaining stocks of the smallpox pathogen on Earth suddenly falls ill with smallpox; testing confirms that the smallpox pathogen is in her system, and she becomes the last person in history to die from smallpox. Did she die because she was exposed to the smallpox pathogen, and the smallpox pathogen gave her smallpox? Of course not; she must have suddenly radically abandoned healthy levels of fasting, and eschewed proper sun exposure!

Emily:

I think you’re about to embarrass yourself.

Ah, another morning when I am greeted with a delusional Emily brain dropping!

She must have missed that the ability to digest milk had an evolutionary advantage in Europe:
Impact of Selection and Demography on the Diffusion of Lactase Persistence:

The gene-culture coevolution hypothesis supposes a nutritional advantage of lactose digestion in pastoral populations. The calcium assimilation hypothesis suggests that carriers of the lactase persistence allele(s) (LCT*P) are favoured in high-latitude regions, where sunshine is insufficient to allow accurate vitamin-D synthesis. In this work, we test the validity of these two hypotheses on a large worldwide dataset of lactase persistence frequencies by using several complementary approaches.

and more recently…
European Journal of Human Genetics , (11 January 2012) | doi:10.1038/ejhg.2011.254
Low prevalence of lactase persistence in Neolithic South-West Europe

Given the heterogeneity in the frequency of the lactase persistence allele in ancient Europe, we suggest that in Southern Europe the selective advantage of lactose assimilation in adulthood most likely took place from standing population variation, after cattle domestication, at a post-Neolithic time when fresh milk consumption was already fully adopted as a consequence of a cultural influence.

Ack, comment in moderation. Oh, well, it fits when we are again greeted this morning with one of Emily’s brain dead droppings.

I see, not only is she a germ denier, but a history denier. She still has no clue that European pathogens wiped the American populations quicker than the Europeans could advance inland.

All of Emily’s comments to date, show a distinct ignorance of the “germ theory”.

Her understanding of her “sub-specialty” of nutrition and its impact on infectious disease progression is especially ludicrous.

Why did the rate of active cases and deaths from tuberculosis plummet in Denmark, after German submarines effectively blocked the exportation of dairy products, near the end of the First World War, Emily?

Why is the death rate of measles so high in Africa amongst children who are really malnourished-vs-the death rate from measles in children in other countries where diets are well balanced, meeting the nutritional needs of growing children, Emily?

(hint) These are tough questions for people who are totally ignorant and uneducated in human pathophysiology, balanced diets, bacteriology and virology.

Why doesn’t Emily answer my questions about her educational background, the degrees she has been awarded, her “teaching” experience and her “field of interest/employment”?

Emily…

1. What is “hygienics”?

2. What is a “hygienist”?

Well, I won’t hold my breath for Emily to ever answer questions, or even make sense. I need to run, the local natural history museum is opening up a “Hungry Planet” exhibit. Today there will be presentations on the local native diet and traditions (past and present). Though mostly of the coast people, not the ones to the east in the mountains and desert (though there was trade between them).

This has been touched on by others, but Emily, what about sick children? Working in paediatrics, this is of especial interest to me. The 9 year old I am currently involved with who has acute lymphocytic leukemia and is barfing every day should he be ‘fasted’? How about the 20 month old with a similar diagnosis and is also profoundly Down’s? Starvation? How much ‘fasting’ for children? How did your children get adequate calcium to ensure proper bone growth since you seem to hate dairy? What about the 15 year old car accident victim with a broken pelvis and fractured zygomatic arch, tibia and fibula of one leg and a sciatic nerve injury? Fasting? Natural Health? Please, I want to know what you would do for children that wouldn’t compromise their growth.

This discussion of the healthiness of a dairy-based diet is all very well, but it strikes me as a distraction from a key issue:
Emily in #184 singled out “hunger” (privation, emaciation) as the dietary factor causing people to develop and die of influenza. I pointed out a counter-example, a population who were *not* hungry, in the hope that this would advance the conversation. Perhaps I was optimistic.

In her earlier comment #174, Emily extends the blame to other “host conditions at the time”, including “heroic (but often fatal) doses of aspirin & other drugs, fumigation”. This is an interesting model of causation. Apparently healthy people were receiving aspirin, other drugs, and fumigation, and as a result they came down with the flu. Really?

herr doktor bimler,
Apologies for chasing that particular red herring. I don’t think the conversation with Emily is going to advance in any direction; clearly according to natural hygiene, any diet that departs from the optimum, whether starvation (which is completely different to fasting, apparently) or excess, leads to disease. Except when it doesn’t.

No gimmicks, no shareholders, no “magic”.

Emily, Shelton’s food-combining prescriptions amount to little more than a grimoire. Throw in shape-shifting pleomorphs and mediation of the whole thing by imaginary “nerve energy” in reflection of the “Law of Life,” and it is nothing but magic, and comically amateurish magic at that.

I tend to take a dim view of “Wicca,” but at least some of those types seem to have an understanding of what they’re up to in symbolic and psychological terms. Not so with Natural Hygiene, apparently, which is essentially hydraulic. I cannot resist quoting the late Art Kleps:

All occultist-supernaturalist philosophy is based on the fear of death and a wish for personal immortality. In my experience, the difference between people … who practice “magic” and the standard occultists who only talk about it is that the former concede, based on their experience, what the latter frantically deny, based on their ignorance: that the whole thing is mental. The genuine practitioner will admit that walking through a wall and walking down to the corner to buy a six-pack are both illusions, thereby making ordinary life more strange and “astral” life more ordinary.

What you fail to grasp is that whatever virtues Natural Hygiene has thanks to its broad, homely suggestions (which Brian Wilson managed to capture in just over 2 minutes as opposed to Shelton’s volumes upon repetitive volumes), they don’t actually amount to a reason to adhere to the insane details, which practice, as already noted, has had the unfortunate consequence of water-fasting people to death. Your personal approach, as such things go, is abysmally primitive.

It seems Alison & lilady that you would be disdainful if my qualifications were not “mainstream” & dismissive if they were, just as you are with opinions from chiropractors & other non- medical practitioners who are not “real” doctors.

Just as you are dismisive of “real” doctors who challenge the paradigms of modern medicine, such as Dr Robert Mendelsohn, the late paediatrician who stated that 90% of modern medicine was unscientific & vaccinations were themselves a threat to health, opinions with which I concur.

Here are some more “real” doctors who think your SBM is tainted by a large percentage of another SBM Type 2: ‘Seriously Bad Medicine’- (the following emphases are mine)

1)Professor Kimberley Thompson, Harvard School of Public Health who wrote: “Overkill: How our Nation’s Abuse of Anti-biotics & other GERM KILLERS (my emphasis) is Hurting our Health;

Classic SBM Type 2

2) Dr Michael Ozner, a Miami cardiologist, wrote the book “The Great American Heart Hoax” :

“we’ve extended the indications for surgical angioplasty & stent replacement without ANY DATA to support the procedures in the VAST majority of patients. Interventional cardiology is doing cosmetic surgery on the coronary arteries, making them look pretty, but it’s not treating the underlying biology of these arteries. In fact, one trial, published in the JACC in 2003, found that balloon angioplasty actually raised the risk of heart attack & death. If some of the billions spent on interventions were put into prevention, we’d have a much healthier America at a lower cost”. NYT 10/1/2009;

A very dangerous SBM Type 2

3)”Plenty of Guidelines, but WHERE”S the EVIDENCE?” by Dr Darshak Danghavi, pediatric cardiologist NYT 9/12/08:

” A report in the JAMA found that only about a third of clinical guidelines reviewed current medical evidence. Fewer than half followed any kind of standard format…. most pediatric guidelines lack evidence standards & because the AAP (the Am. Acad. of Pediatrics) lacks better evidence-based guidelines, this could become the standard of care.”

He continues:

” In a NOTORIOUS 2006 example , a group of cardiologists in Texas published its OWN guidelines promoting routine, & expensive, cardiac CT scans in HEALTHY middle-aged people. The guidelines, which lacked evidence grading, appeared in a supplement to The Am. Jnl of Cardiology FINANCED by PFIZER, which makes the cholesterol-lowering drug lipitor. The guidelines also failed to disclose any conflict of interest”.

Voo- meisters! Did we read your criticisms? Not likely!

4)”The FDA is now so dependent on the pharmaceutical industry that it has become big pharma’s HANDMAIDEN”, Dr Marcia Angell, fmr Chief- Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for 20 years in her seminal book ‘The Truth about the Drug Companies- How They Deceive Us & What to Do about it’.

Is she misguided in her comments? Maybe a disgruntled shareholder, don’t you think?

BTW the NEJM has now become a woo- seller of late, flogging unproven pro-biotics.

Yeeks! Modern medicine in bed with 2 mistresses!

5) Dr Donald Berwick, outgoing head of Medicaid/Medicare in November 2011 stated that 20-30% of modern medicine is of no use to the patient, & many doctors know it. This costs up to $250 billion & much suffering. Two of the reasons for this, he went on, were FRAUD & OVERTREATMENT.

Definitely SBM Type 2, but I’m sure you will say it was a waste of paper he was referring to.

6) Dr Richard A Deyo stated in his book ‘Hope or Hype:
The Obsession with Medical Advances & the High Cost of False Promises’:

” The story of encainide & flecainide (drugs intended to prevent cardiac arrest) is one of outright harm from a new technology. An estimeted 50,000 PEOPLE DIED from taking these drugs… there was so little public outcry – a common theme with the introduction of wasteful or harmful technology” p 181.

“Careful surveillance of the news media reveals a steady stream of such stories, although most of them never make the nightly news or achieve widespread public awareness. Nonetheless, intimidating researchers, delaying bad news, & influencing the editorial process appear to be business as usual. In this environment, the best scientific evidence must struggle to emerge” p184

7))Professor Ian Roberts, Uni of Birmingham Dep’t of Public Health & Epidemiology stated that animal testing ( from which extrapalations are made to humans in SBM) is too often covert & secretive. The true results, he stated, are often ignored by drug companies if they suggest a problem with the new drug.

SBM Type 2 also includes:

* From Archives of General Psychiatry 2006 ; 63: 679-85-

Their study showed anti-psychotic prescriptions TO CHILDREN were up 600% between 1993 & 2003, with many drugs prescribed off label. Safety was questioned. It stated that not ONE child was offered psychotherapy.

Doctors know best?

* The HRT trial by NIH in 2002 being stopped due to too many women suffering stroke; & the Vioxx fiasco, pulled off in 2004 NOT by the FDA but by the drug company because of the impending litigation.

Regarding Vioxx, from the NEJM June 2005 by Dr Henry Waxman:

“Even a company like Merck can direct its sales force to provide clinicians with a DISTORTED picture of the relevant scientific evidence”.

From Dr Graham, fmr Associate Director for Science in the FDA Office of Drug Safety stated that between 88,000 & 139,000 heart attacks & strokes resulted from Vioxx & that it led to over 5o,ooo deaths.

Even the FDA in October 2004 stated that Vioxx may be responsible for 27,785 heart attacks & cardiac deaths between 1999 -2003

* JAMA June 2002 devoted itself entirely to the DUBIOUS nature of medical research, research conclusions & research print releases.

The JAMA journal’s editors were concerned that drug manufacturers unduly influenced how researchers report study results & even SUPPRESS unfavourable findings.

There is so much nonsense in your supposed SBM that we need to give birth to a new nomenclature- SBM TYPE 2.

I have to laugh.

You condemn natural hygiene because a few people died during fasting, or because of Dr Herbert Shelton’s erroneous views on menstruation, or because its results are not widely published in peer-reviewed studies from RCT, or because of a lack of proof that melons are best eaten alone…..& meanwhile you ignore the fact that a large percentage of your Church of Modern Medicine is not only unscientific, but corrupt & beholden to Big Pharma, & very often bloody deadly.

Within your Church, you worship at the altar of data-deity, yet your own “priets” are increasingly becoming heretics admitting of falsified data, rigged trials & biased findings… FDA fast- drug approvals for money, incompetence, ubiquitous conflicts of interest, drug company fraud, medical fraud, media manipulation, lies, cover-ups,incompetence & downright stupidity all day, & I will, but it will be in book form, not here.

As much as I disagree with the Dr Mercolas & Mike Adams of the world, I support them before I support the 90% of SBM Type 1 non-science nonsense, because at least they kill less!

@203 Edith

Thank you; obviously I have nothing better to do. 😉

@204 Emily

You only go by science, you boast, show me the science behind such a statement. Where is the science behind stating that dairy foods are beneficial for health?

You’ve plainly revealed that you won’t bother reading any actual research, so why bother? Especially when you’ve also plainly revealed you have trouble with reading comprehension in posting various things that either don’t state what you think they do or clearly contradict your own points.

@215 Militant Agnostic

Alison – eating popcorn while waiting for Emily to provide her training in science, particularly biology; and her training & experience in teaching is a sure fire method for becoming “over-fed and under nourished”.

Quite clearly she’s doing it wrong anyway. Popcorn is not natural. Especially with butter, that dairy product 😉

@221 Lilady

Why doesn’t Emily answer my questions about her educational background, the degrees she has been awarded, her “teaching” experience and her “field of interest/employment”?

While she’s at it, she can explain why she posted that she has no profit-motive (nothing to sell, nothing to promote) – does she teach for free? Or does she get paid?

@222 Chris

Well, I won’t hold my breath for Emily to ever answer questions, or even make sense.

I think we finally scared her off. Clearly we’re cutting too close for comfort.

@223 Agashem

The 9 year old I am currently involved with who has acute lymphocytic leukemia and is barfing every day should he be ‘fasted’?

In Emily’s world, fasting/Natural Hygiene is applicable for some things and not others, meds/surgery for some things and not others. It’s obvious she wants to leave enough wiggle room to never commit to either view.

@225 Krebiozen

I don’t think the conversation with Emily is going to advance in any direction; clearly according to natural hygiene, any diet that departs from the optimum, whether starvation (which is completely different to fasting, apparently) or excess, leads to disease.

Maybe this is the key – maybe Emily thinks it’s “excess” that’s the problem. Natural Hygiene seems to be promoting a more ‘natural’ lifestyle where the ‘excess’ of modern society is condemned. Hence the fasting.

Quite clearly she’s doing it wrong anyway. Popcorn is not natural.

Shelton seems to have tacitly allowed “a handful of crisp, unsalted, ungreased pop corn” as a breakfast food, just by the by. It’s an interesting case, as one, I suspect, can see how such a foodstuff could turn into an object of craving and suck the nerve energy right out of a body.

As much as I disagree with the Dr Mercolas & Mike Adams of the world, I support them before I support the 90% of SBM Type 1 non-science nonsense, because at least they kill less!

Emily, Empress of Contradictions, waves her scepter once again. This time she trots out a series of cherry-picked anecdotes, several of which amount solely to “Look and be shocked at how these SBM’ers recommended a practice that had insufficient evidence to prove it actually works!!” Then she repeats her disdain for collecting evidence through RCTs, which is our most solid way of proving an intervention actually works. Then she expresses her favoritism for Mercola and Mike Adams, who, so far from actually having evidence to demonstrate the superiority of their own idiosyncratic practices over mainstream practices, can’t even accurately describe the most basic principles of the mainstream practices they compete against.

Do you really think you’ll convince anyone when your double standards are out there for all to see, Emily?

“but it will be in book form, not here.” Oh pardon me, but I thought what you were doing here *was* a book. Alright then, is that a promise or a threat?

In essence, what Emily promotes is not really that different from what Mssrs Adams, Null or Dr Mercola promote: prior to postulating any hypotheses about how they believe human physiology/ psychology works or how to fix it when it gets mucked up, they need to “enlighten” their audiences about the failings of modern medicine. This is what it’s all about: why is there any need for their work anyway?

As AF writes, cherry-picking data illustrates how “bad” medicine is- without showing its triumphs- and getting the audience extremely riled and upset in the process is necessary- as well as the icing on the whole-grain organic cake. Everyone knows someone or has a family member who died or didn’t improve despite using SBM- some may even know of a genuine case of mis-treatment- so when they talk about medicine doing wrong, being wasteful or “dangerous” they’re not speaking into a vacuum- people seek out alternatives when they harbour a grudge against the “System” ( see AJW)- they address a group that is already self-selected. ( continued)

Because I don’t ask you to take *my* word for it, look for yourself: sites like Natural News, the Progressive Radio Network, Mercola and Age of Autism use language that makes people enraged- always harping on how the medical establishment mistreats people for profit, how pharma is thoroughly evil and despicable and how we were all so much better off *centuries* ago, living the pure life. Recently, their rhetoric has veered off into political speech while creating new media to combat the “corruption” of the mainstream.

You need to un-tangle the conspiracy-mongering ( which fits in with the political talk- explaining why alt med isn’t accepted despite its superiority) from the basic health “information”- however- the former supports the latter. Woo is sold on fear ( of death, disability and diminishing treatment options from SBM) and anger ( that shows how manipulated the public truly is by the “powers-that-be”)as well as appealing to people’s vanity: the audience is in the vanguard- supporting the target of corrupt bad press and governmental suppression, who really has the Truth- beyond that of doctors, professors and experts.

Language can be used to incite or calm, inform or deceive: whenever its primary function is getting people angry or upset about their own condition or position, you can be pretty sure that it’s not being used in their best interests: because they most likely won’t be doing their best thinking at that level of arousal. Ale med never discusses that.

@ Emily: If only to reiterate what Denice Walter has stated. Mercola and Adams, your gurus, cherry pick articles from medical journals or newspapers, then “interpret” them for their readers.

Their readers (such as you, Emily), are uneducated and too stupid to ever read the articles themselves…that is what Mercola and Adams rely on.

Now Emily in turn, “cherry picks” the “cherry picked” articles and posts them here. When the fallacy of her statements are picked apart…she just “flits” over to another article.

Gee Emily, if you cannot remember how many children you have (three or four), you get your a** handed to you every time you post here, you advocate long fasts without any knowledge of human physiology and electrolyte balances, you claim you practice “hygienics”…which as yet you have not defined for us…why should we believe anything you say?

Alison and I asked you to clarify some statements you made about your “teaching credentials”, your educational background, your university-conferred degree, and your field of employment, which you have been unable or unwilling to answer. I also asked you for a definition of “hygienics” and its practice by “hygienists”. Still not answering, eh?

As AF writes, cherry-picking data illustrates how “bad” medicine is- without showing its triumphs-

And without noting the hilarious irony of Natual Hygiene’s wholesale failure to indulge any similar self-criticism. No, it sprang forth fully formed as Natural Law, like Athena.

“crisp, unsalted, ungreased pop corn”

eeeewww, Narad, where’s the fun in that?

@ Emily -your lack of any proper response to my questions (or anyone else’s) is noted.

@ Narad:

(I have a post in moderation about emotionalism in woo)

Or, perhaps arising from the foam created by the deity’s severed genitalia being cast into the sea ( Aphrodite): rather than having anything remotely to do with ratiocination- only in their wildest dreams.

eeeewww, Narad, where’s the fun in that?

Oh, dear, you somehow now have me wondering about Natural Hygiene’s attitude toward sex.

Emily @227:
* From Archives of General Psychiatry 2006 ; 63: 679-85-
Their study showed anti-psychotic prescriptions TO CHILDREN were up 600% between 1993 & 2003, with many drugs prescribed off label. Safety was questioned. It stated that not ONE child was offered psychotherapy.

SO I have 5 minutes over coffee to spend checking Emily’s citations, and cover me with peanut butter and throw me to the labradors if the first claim I picked, literally at random, doesn’t turn out to be false! The authors in fact report that psychotherapy was provided in 36.2% of visits; there is nothing about “off-label” prescriptions; and the authors have no figures for children (or CHILDREN, if Emily prefers), unless ‘CHILDREN’ is defined as ‘anyone under 21’.

The paper is on-line, for free, no special access required, no excuse for bullshitting about its contents.

It may be that this one is an exception, and the rest of her citations are neither distorted out of recognition nor nor taken out of context nor fabricated entirely, but it would be a mistake to spend more time checking them than Emily has spend compiling the list.

you somehow now have me wondering about Natural Hygiene’s attitude toward sex.
DW’s allusion to “severed genitalia being cast into the sea” is equally a propos.

To sum up my previous comment: Emily made three specific claims about the contents of one paper (the only one of her citations I’ve checked) and each claim turns out to be a lie. Is she trying to be fractally wrong?

Or, perhaps arising from the foam created by the deity’s severed genitalia being cast into the sea ( Aphrodite)

Well, we all know that Cronus had a terrible diet.

Emily made three specific claims about the contents of one paper
Sorry, *four* claims, the fourth being “Safety was questioned.” That’s false too.

While I don’t know *specifically* about NH’s ideas about sex, I (unfortunately) do know a little about some woo-based nonsense: vitalism, herbalism and no pharma ( therefore less reliable birth control) plus a focus on “nature-based” sex-role diversification.. throw in Tantric mysticism… conservation of Chi and energy-exchange. Oh, I can’t go any further, I’m not a masochist.

@227 Emily

It seems Alison & lilady that you would be disdainful if my qualifications were not “mainstream” & dismissive if they were, just as you are with opinions from chiropractors & other non- medical practitioners who are not “real” doctors.

Why do I think I’m about to be right. Quite clearly you’re not actually going to answer the question though. Quelle surprise!

Just as you are dismisive of “real” doctors who challenge the paradigms of modern medicine, such as Dr Robert Mendelsohn, the late paediatrician who stated that 90% of modern medicine was unscientific & vaccinations were themselves a threat to health, opinions with which I concur.

Blah blah, we’ve done this “science doesn’t criticise itself” thing already. Can we move on?

Here are some more “real” doctors who think your SBM is tainted by a large percentage of another SBM Type 2: ‘Seriously Bad Medicine’- (the following emphases are mine)

Hypothesis A is not proven by attacking Hypothesis B. We’ve also done this too. Get some new ideas will you.

You condemn natural hygiene because a few people died during fasting, or because of Dr Herbert Shelton’s erroneous views on menstruation, or because its results are not widely published in peer-reviewed studies from RCT, or because of a lack of proof that melons are best eaten alone…..& meanwhile you ignore the fact that a large percentage of your Church of Modern Medicine is not only unscientific, but corrupt & beholden to Big Pharma, & very often bloody deadly.

I condemn it based on its/your inability to describe how it works and its/your inability to show some statistical information on who/how/when it works and with what risks. If I don’t understand something, I’m not going to agree with it. As people are prone to say: there’s no such thing as alternative medicine. There’s stuff that works and stuff that doesn’t work. If I could see for myself some basic statistics on how well it works and the risks associated, I could have a normal debate with you as to whether or not I’d use Natural Hygiene as compared to some other treatment/lifestyle. As it stands, I can’t.

I’m not won over by peer pressure, I don’t care what the others think about Natural Hygiene outside of pondering their points and judging for myself the value of their statements. One can judge SBM because you can plainly read about the risks, benefits and efficacy for yourself. One can make an informed decision; however, as there seems to be little to no data for Natural Hygiene (and other CAM ideas, especially anything that includes “energy”) one can’t be informed as to the efficacy/risks/etc of it. I’ll take SBM’s transparency any day over something that cowers from any criticism.

Did you notice that – the only person here who can’t take criticism is you. As soon as we ask a question, you avoid it, contradict it, whine about religion, or generally ignore the point. Classic crank if I’ve ever seen one. There’s no way in hell you’ve learned at a proper science institution because if they did you would know why written records are far better than one’s own memory. You’re living to past medical standards that were chucked for a reason and that includes a woeful reliance on anecdotes and “seeing with one’s own eyes”.

PS. If you can figure out where to find a list of statistics of deaths due to various reasons, why can’t you post a similar list that shows the efficacy and use of Natural Hygiene? Double standards much?

But seriously, you’re a fence-sitter? On what planet are you a fence-sitter?

Within your Church, you worship at the altar of data-deity, yet your own “priets” are increasingly becoming heretics admitting of falsified data, rigged trials & biased findings… FDA fast- drug approvals for money, incompetence, ubiquitous conflicts of interest, drug company fraud, medical fraud, media manipulation, lies, cover-ups,incompetence & downright stupidity all day, & I will, but it will be in book form, not here.

Yes, and surprisingly enough, SBM is regulated in order to catch, prevent and punish those who screw up. The Andrew Wakefield post is a perfect example. On the other hand, most CAM things don’t even have boards, and certainly aren’t regulated the same amount, and statistics aren’t collected as to how many people live/die/improve/get worse. How can anyone say anything works if they refuse to collect basic stats about it? Additional to that is that I have stated already that SBM has its faults; but that again, doesn’t prove your side of things to be right. Yet another CAM canard from the Queen of Contradictions.

I don’t think your book will sell. Not only would it be unoriginal and redundant, but I doubt anyone would be able to follow your train of thought.

As much as I disagree with the Dr Mercolas & Mike Adams of the world, I support them before I support the 90% of SBM Type 1 non-science nonsense, because at least they kill less!

Oh I see – Natural Hygiene’s best point is that they “kill less”. What an underwhelming endorsement. You my dear, are completely in the CAM camp you either don’t realise it or are lying your ass off. Or just not caring that you’re being caught out in your own lies.

You’re rather boring now. I think a discussion of the merits of melons would be far more interesting than your posturing.

@229 Narad

But ‘popped’ corn is not exactly natural is it. For it to be natural, it would have to be eaten right off the stalk 😉

Personally I prefer chocolate-covered popcorn with a little icing sugar. 🙂

@ Narad (236) you somehow now have me wondering about Natural Hygiene’s attitude toward sex.
I can’t imagine why 🙂 Anyway, it would appear that at least some NH proponents think it shouldn’t happen too often: http://naturalhygienesociety.org/review/0801/start.html – precious bodily fluids & all that, plus (for men anyway) ‘conserving’ said fluids saves energy… Almost like they’re channeling Dr Strangelove!

Hmph. Given the basically Christian roots of the operation, I mildly surprised to see a likely Theosophical import plopped down. I wonder if it’s orthodox.

@ alison:

Your link sounds very much like the nonsense I’ve run into at other venues altho’ it wasn’t called NH-
I am *absolutely* in no way, shape or form, related to Dr Robert Walter- I leave off my second last name-

@flip
I must say I am in awe of your ability to keep track of and counter Emily’s meanderings. I gave up days ago. Bravo, and Thank You!

@249 Chemmomo

There’s nothing to it – I can’t keep track either. She’s so full of contradictions it’s hard to know from one comment to the next whether she’s for/against anything.

I think I’ve given up too, only my fingers just don’t know it yet 😉

re Agashem @223
“This has been touched on by others, but Emily, what about sick children? Working in paediatrics, this is of especial interest to me. The 9 year old I am currently involved with who has acute lymphocytic leukemia and is barfing every day should he be ‘fasted’? How about the 20 month old with a similar diagnosis and is also profoundly Down’s? Starvation? How much ‘fasting’ for children? How did your children get adequate calcium to ensure proper bone growth since you seem to hate dairy? What about the 15 year old car accident victim with a broken pelvis and fractured zygomatic arch, tibia and fibula of one leg and a sciatic nerve injury? Fasting? Natural Health? Please, I want to know what you would do for children that wouldn’t compromise their growth”.

The answers are No & No!involving the two children.

Fasting is not starving. Fasting is physiological with intelligently regulated adaptations by the body in the absence of food, such as gluconeogenesis, all part of a controlled autolysis. There are reserves in fasting.

Starving is pathological, with a dangerous pre-mortal rise in nitrogen excretion heralding impending death.

I have personally fasted 28 days twice in my life, with nothing but fantastic health benefits.

I have personally seen thousands, over the years, fast from short to quite long periods.

Milk is not essential for proper bone development after weaning. It is a problematic food & should not be given after weaning.

Our 3 children have never drunk milk, at least not at home. They have bones that have withstood all varieties of activities, including contact sports.The only dairy they have ever had would be a minimal amount of cheese on occasions.

It is lie promulgated by the very powerful dairy lobby that brainwash people into believing that dairy is essential for healthy bones. Not only are people brainwashed, but so are the doctors & dietitians, unless they educate themselves after they are finished learning about drug interventions.

Some of the doctors & researchers who have thought outside the cow, in mean, the box can be found at http://www.drmcdougall.com/www.drfuhrman.com/wwwthechinastudy.com/pcrm.org/betterbones.com/ notmilk.com

Also Professor Jane Plant’s book Your Life in Your Hands details her recovery from breast cancer by, in no small part, eshewing all dairy foods. Worth reading, although the sceptics will call her a woo-meister, like they do to all the others who dare give advice outside the Holy Church of Modern Medicine.

Lastly, what mammal drinks milk after weaning? Irrelevant?

Methinks not!

Emily, would you mind describing precisely the difference in intake of food (in solid or liquid form, as appropriate) between fasting for a month and starving for a month?

@Emily:

Lastly, what mammal drinks milk after weaning? Irrelevant?

I’m going to start with cats. Many will drink milk. And there are many mammalian species – if not forced to wean – who will nurse on occasions for years. How about your children? I assume you breastfed them? For how long? Did you force them to wean or did they self wean?

Calcium is a vital mineral. It’s not only important for bones and teeth, but also for cardiac regulation. It CAN be obtained through other sources. No one denies that. It is simply most easily obtained and absorbed through dairy products.

Lastly: I second LW’s question: what’s the difference between “fasting” for 28 days and “starvation” for 28 days? Inquiring minds really DO want to know. What food/foods/liquids are allowed during fasting that aren’t during starvation? I’m honestly curious.

Lastly, what mammal drinks milk after weaning? Irrelevant?

Emily, I’m going to teach you a trick that will make you smarter. It’s called “examining the implied parts of the syllogism” and it will help you weed superficially plausible but false ideas from your thinking.

We’ll start with your sentence above, “What mammal drinks milk after weaning?” You ask it in question form, but your question is clearly rhetorical, so let’s convert it to the declarative version, and call it 1), the first premise of our syllogism:

1) No mammal other than humans drinks milk after weaning.

Now, it’s pretty easy to tell what point you thought you were making with your rhetorical question, so let’s spell it out and make it 3), the conclusion of the syllogism:

3) Therefore, humans should not drink milk after weaning.

You’ll notice that we went from 1) to 3), and you may ask why we left a space for 2). The answer is that the single premise we identified cannot point on its own to the conclusion. We do not have a complete syllogism unless we include the second premise that is implied by 1) and 3):

2) Anything that mammals other than humans don’t do is something humans shouldn’t do either.

Now, a syllogism where one or both premises are untrue is of little value. So let’s ask ourselves, do we believe premise 2) to be true? One way to test a premise is to try and find counter-examples to it. Let’s see, what are other things that humans do that other mammals don’t? How about … constructing Internets and posting on them? Uh-oh, Emily, you’re doing that right now! What about written communication, period? What about cooking our food to get its full nutritional value? What about bandaging our wounds? What about living under the rule of law rather than of might makes right? Accept that any of these things is a good thing that humans should do, Emily, and you’ve disproved your premise at 2) and torpedoed your syllogism with it. And that’s a good thing, because it’s better to know that you don’t have a quick and easy answer to a question, than to think you have such an answer when your answer is actually false.

“What food/foods/liquids are allowed during fasting that aren’t during starvation?”

I’m thinking it’s the other way around. Starving people *try* to get nourishment. Emily spoke contemptuously of starving people eating insects and shoe leather — I’ve also heard of eating tumbleweeds and nettles. But a well-fed fanatic might eat nothing at all and survive (for a while anyway).

My next question is, if fasting is entirely different from starving, and fasting makes you all happy and healthy, why bother to eat at all? Ever.

Picking up on Antaeus Feldspar’s point @254, most mammals don’t consume milk in adulthood because they can’t; they lack the gene to digest it. Most adult humans *can* because that gene is widespread. In other words, evolution has endowed us with the ability to consume milk as adults whereas it has not so endowed other animals; why should we decide our diet by theirs?

And if you think we should decide our diet by that of other animals … why should we consume fresh fruits? Most animals don’t need to; many can’t digest them anyway (like ferrets). Why should we consume them? (Of course, we have a broken gene and can’t produce Vitamin C, so we need to get it from our diet, but Emily probably doesn’t believe in genes.)

Emily,
You keep mentioning Dr Marcia Angell as if she would support your nutty ideas. My favorite quote from her is:

It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride… There cannot be two kinds of medicine — conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted.

I think it’s clear which camp Natural Hygiene falls into.

Milk is not essential for proper bone development after weaning. It is a problematic food & should not be given after weaning.

I agree it’s not essential, but it is a very useful source of calcium and vitamin D and helps avoid the osteoporosis that vegans are prone to. To get enough calcium without dairy products takes some attention to what you are eating. You may also need to take vitamin D supplements or drink supplemented soy milk depending on your skin color and sun exposure, according to Harvard School of Public Health. What exactly is problematic about dairy produce in moderation? You might want to read an excellent critique of The China Study. There were a couple of counties in the China Study that ate huge amounts of dairy and the rest ate hardly any, so if dairy was as bad as you seem to believe you would expect health in those two counties to have been terrible compared to the rest, but it wasn’t. The writer’s conclusions about dairy in China are:

China’s dairy eaters don’t have significantly more cancers, myocardial infarction, stroke, and so forth than the dairy-free regions. Dairy’s only significant mortality correlation, hypertensive heart disease, may be related to any number of variables we don’t have enough data to tweeze apart. (Lack of vegetables, excess sodium, high body weight, and high caloric intake, to name a few.) Despite T. Colin Campbell’s findings with the milk protein casein spurring cancer in lab rats, there does not seem to be a correlation between high dairy consumption and cancer in the China Study data.

You might also like to take a look at the review studies I linked to above. I don’t see any good reasons to think that consuming dairy produce in moderation is problematic. Eating excessive amounts of anything can lead to obesity, which causes health problems, and excessive fat intake of any kind has been linked with breast cancer.

Professor Jane Plant is a geoscientist, not a doctor, and claims she cured her breast cancer by giving up the two low fat yoghurts she was eating every day. I think the conventional treatment for cancer she received is more likely to be responsible. The EPIC study looked at over 7000 breast cancer patients and meat, egg, and dairy product consumption but didn’t find any consistent association between breast cancer risk and the consumption of any of these food groups. PMID: 19491385 I find it hard to believe that it is possible to cure breast cancer simply by ceasing to eat a food that doesn’t appear to cause it.

Lastly, what mammal drinks milk after weaning? Irrelevant? Methinks not!

Others have pointed out that this is a logical fallacy, but also consider that many ethnic groups of humans have evolved to produce lactase, and can digest cows milk quite happily. Others that haven’t tend to use fermented milk products, getting bacteria to break down lactose for them. Humans are ingenious, that’s why there are so many of us.

Emily:

Fasting is not starving. Fasting is physiological with intelligently regulated adaptations by the body in the absence of food, such as gluconeogenesis, all part of a controlled autolysis. There are reserves in fasting.

Starving is pathological, with a dangerous pre-mortal rise in nitrogen excretion heralding impending death.

Even if I accept, for argument, that what so you say is true, what causes this difference? If fasting is deliberate withholding of nutrients and starvation is the inability to get nutrients, what causes the body to respond differently? How does it know you meant to do that?

I am also curious what you consider to be a fast. You indicated that you fasted for 28 days. Was this a complete fast, or did you limit to specific foods? Did you exclude all foods? Were liquids allowed, and if so, what kind? I am not trying to trap you here; I just want to know what one has to do in order to get the health benefits you claim.

@251 Emily

Fasting is not starving. Fasting is physiological with intelligently regulated adaptations by the body in the absence of food, such as gluconeogenesis, all part of a controlled autolysis. There are reserves in fasting. Starving is pathological, with a dangerous pre-mortal rise in nitrogen excretion heralding impending death.

Once again you’re using language in a way that is not intended or comprehensible. I want to know the different biological mechanisms/processes that make “fasting” different from “starving”. I asked for this before, along with reasons/processes that prevent “fasting” turning into “starving” and vice versa. I doubt you’ll answer it this time around though. The fact that you can’t seem to answer a simple question about biological processes shows you have no education of the human body; and probably no more understanding than provided by only reading CAM PR.

I have personally fasted 28 days twice in my life, with nothing but fantastic health benefits. I have personally seen thousands, over the years, fast from short to quite long periods.

How would you know the benefits are from the fasting? You make no records, experiments or use other data-collection processes. See this is where you show your ignorance of why data is collected. People make use of experiments because LIFE IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU THINK IT IS, and there are always other variables at play. How do you know it was your fasting that had “benefits” (and I highly doubt a month of fasting would have any) and not the fact that you recently decided to walk more/less often? How do you account for pure chance? (Well, in Emily-land, all that karmic positive energy means that there’s no such thing as chance) You don’t and can’t account for any other variable, so your anecdotes are not only useless but show an incredibly ridiculous naivete.

That you keep going on and on and on about these anecdotes shows you to be unable to comprehend any SBM concept. Do you have a learning disability? Or are you just biased past the point of listening?

PS. Copying and pasting points over and over again does not make them more believable. It only makes you look like you can’t be assed coming up with a new argument or actual proof.

It is lie promulgated by the very powerful dairy lobby that brainwash people into believing that dairy is essential for healthy bones. Not only are people brainwashed, but so are the doctors & dietitians, unless they educate themselves after they are finished learning about drug interventions.

Wow, conspiracy theory. Now *there’s* a convincing argument. You have proof of this of course? Nah, didn’t think so.

Also Professor Jane Plant’s book Your Life in Your Hands details her recovery from breast cancer by, in no small part, eshewing all dairy foods. Worth reading, although the sceptics will call her a woo-meister, like they do to all the others who dare give advice outside the Holy Church of Modern Medicine.

Are you self-taught? By reading only books you find on Amazon? You seem to have a problem understanding the difference between a book and a peer-reviewed paper.

@255 LW

My next question is, if fasting is entirely different from starving, and fasting makes you all happy and healthy, why bother to eat at all? Ever.

We’ve already done that – she likened it to sex being good and therefore why should we not just have sex all the time. She only hears what she wants to hear. Cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

For some reason**, alt med condenses pseudo-science regarding dairy products: milk is forbidden entirely ( vegans) or is only acceptable in certain forms ( un-pasteurised, raw; breast-feeding infants; from species other than cattle, like goats; hormone-free). Some of their fave statements: adults “can’t” digest it ( true for some), it “causes” allergies, it causes “mucus”, other species don’t partake of it past infancy, no other species uses another’s milk, dairy products “cause” illness et al.

The vegans milk it for all it’s worth- I wonder if there is a psychological phobia involved- it’s viewed as a toxic substance causing allergy, GI distress, osteoporosis ( yes, you heard me right) CV and cancer. I’ve heard nonsense linking it to shortened life expectancy ( right! like those poor folks in Sweden and the Netherlands) and congratulating cultures who are often vegetarian – like India’s several forms- and failing the mention the prevalence of *lacto*- vegetarianism there.
Alt med may recommend a caseine-free diet as a treatment for medical and psychological conditions, including autism ( see AoA) and yoghurt as treatment for illness, including HIV/AIDS, delivered by various, creative methods.

Natural News champions raw milk like many others: as health freedom fighters they sour at the thought of any governmental intererence in the sales or consumption of it- articles detail government raids on co-ops that sell the pure raw essence . While Mike Adams rants- “Give me liberty to consume bacteria-laden dairy products or give me “… well, freedom from GI illness, maybe?. Again, Brave Maverick raw milk venders got creamed by the Man.

** I use the term loosely.

OK, Emily didn’t like the examples I used from the Paediatrics floor I work on. Let’s try some other childhood problems and see what she answers. Cerebral Palsy? Natural Health any good there? Spina Bifida? Maybe something a little less lifelong? How about leukemia? Oh, and for the child with leukemia, did s/he cause it by not living right? How do you explain a toddler with Down’s that I have been involved with who now has leukemia? Did his mother cause it? Did he? So basically, I think Emily believes that diseases that are infectious in nature, eg measles, can reasonably be treated with starvation but more chronic problems need something else. You are not much help to us then.
I also think that Emily should spend some time in a hospital. Try volunteering, you don’t have to administer any sort of medication or get involved in any kind of treatment. You could read a paper to an elderly woman with poor eyesight. Look around at the people who are residing in the hospital. Think about what you know and try to marry those two ideas. I am quite certain that you will quickly see that your narrow, idiotic view of health is just that as described by Flip, privileged and prejudiced.

I wonder how soy milk fits into things. I guess because it’s not from another animal, it’s ok? Or because it’s promoted by pro-organic people, it confers some legitimacy on it?

@Emily:

Lastly, what mammal drinks milk after weaning? Irrelevant?

What mammal performs fasting? Irrelevant? (Note that this excludes hibernation, since fasting humans don’t hibernate)

@Emily:

Fasting is not starving. Fasting is physiological with intelligently regulated adaptations by the body in the absence of food, such as gluconeogenesis, all part of a controlled autolysis. There are reserves in fasting.

I have personally fasted 28 days twice in my life, with nothing but fantastic health benefits.

The body has reserves sufficient to support itself for 28 days without going into starvation?

Starving is pathological, with a dangerous pre-mortal rise in nitrogen excretion heralding impending death.

1) Death is impending when starvation starts? Wouldn’t that make it impossible for a person to starve for a long period of time, since death would follow soon after starvation starts?

2) So starvation starts once the body starts cannibalizing proteins? Or when there’s no body fat left, so the only remaining source of energy is via cannibalizing proteins?

252
“Emily, would you mind describing precisely the difference in intake of food (in solid or liquid form, as appropriate) between fasting for a month and starving for a month?”

Fasting by definition is the voluntary & complete abstinence of all food, except water, while nutritive reserves are still available. Juice diets are not fasting. All fasts I refer to, including the ones I did, were on nothing but water.

My sister-in-law just completed a 30 day fast for what was medically diagnosed as terminal ovarian cancer, after chemotherapy, & of course a complete hysterectomy & bilateral oopherectomy, had been performed. We are hopeful, if not confident for her. She has surprised her oncologist with her condition, with no low back pain, constipation or pelvic pain, no bloating etc.

Fasting is not starving, because there are ample reserves of non-essential tissue with which the body lives off. When you fast, your body intelligently uses this tissue before it uses needed tissue. So really, you are still eating when you fast, but you are literally eating yourself, just not by mouth. This is called autolysis.

Tissue such as mucous, fat, cysts, tumours, drug deposits, some muscle tissue, soft stones, & other by-products of intermediary metabolism are broken down & excreted first.

Starving is where the body has diminished non-essential tissue, & is forced to encroach on more vital tissue. This is not physiological & safe (fasting) but pathological & deadly (starving).

Some animals in the wild go for prolonged periods without eating, aestivating, living off their own reserves. The dwarf lemur has been known to go for 7 months without any food, living off its own reserves (Nature; June 2004 edition), resulting in no adverse health effects. If animals aestivating or hibernating are forced to continue for whatever reason, they enter the period of starvation.

re 254 Ant. Feldspar

We’ll start with your sentence, “What mammal drinks milk after weaning?” You ask it in question form, but your question is clearly rhetorical, so let’s convert it to the declarative version, and call it 1), the first premise of our syllogism:

1) No mammal other than humans drinks milk after weaning.

Now, it’s pretty easy to tell what point you thought you were making with your rhetorical question, so let’s spell it out and make it 3), the conclusion of the syllogism:

3) Therefore, humans should not drink milk after weaning.

You’ll notice that we went from 1) to 3), and you may ask why we left a space for 2). The answer is that the single premise we identified cannot point on its own to the conclusion. We do not have a complete syllogism unless we include the second premise that is implied by 1) and 3):

2) Anything that mammals other than humans don’t do is something humans shouldn’t do either.

Now, a syllogism where one or both premises are untrue is of little value. So let’s ask ourselves, do we believe premise 2) to be true? One way to test a premise is to try and find counter-examples to it. Let’s see, what are other things that humans do that other mammals don’t? How about … constructing Internets and posting on them? Uh-oh, Emily, you’re doing that right now! What about written communication, period? What about cooking our food to get its full nutritional value? What about bandaging our wounds? What about living under the rule of law rather than of might makes right? Accept that any of these things is a good thing that humans should do, Emily, and you’ve disproved your premise at 2) and torpedoed your syllogism with it. And that’s a good thing, because it’s better to know that you don’t have a quick and easy answer to a question, than to think you have such an answer when your answer is actually false”.

I realise what you’re saying, but I was not making the point that just because mammals do not drink milk after weaning, that therefore it is harmful for humans. I was making the point that biologically & anthropologically, it was not necessary, & that is a correct assumption.

My statement that milk drinking after weaning was unhealthy was not based on what animals do or don’t do, but on my own extensive research & experience. The websites I referred to are replete with scientific references about the risks of milk & dairy foods, coming from excess protein, fat, sodium & IGF-1.

Emily (ooh, I stayed up too late! It is past midnight.):

My statement that milk drinking after weaning was unhealthy was not based on what animals do or don’t do, but on my own extensive research & experience.

And you refuse to share them because… (insert inane reason here).

That “research” missed the evolution advantage. Looking at that webpage, I noticed which nationality benefited the most from the ability to digest lactose.

Emily, why do you hate Dutch people? My husband’s father came from the Netherlands, and I have loved him enough to been married to him for more than thirty years. This is even after finding out that his cholesterol levels are very low despite every single one of his family recipes start with “melt half a kilo of butter in a pan.” (mine don’t, so I actually avoid fats)

By the way, steak braised in pure butter is very tasty. It looks bad because it is not browned, but it is very yummy. My hubby’s grandparents did not have an oven in their little house north of Amsterdam, but they cooked often in their little kitchen. That cooking mostly included braising in butter on a stove.

Really Emily, why do you hate the Dutch?

Emily, I have a comment in moderation… and it is really freaky I caught you because I am supposed to be asleep right now. Though I have one question, which you will understand once Orac approves my comment:

Why do you hate Dutch people?

@265 Emily

That was a complete fail of blockquotes…

My statement that milk drinking after weaning was unhealthy was not based on what animals do or don’t do, but on my own extensive research & experience. The websites I referred to are replete with scientific references about the risks of milk & dairy foods, coming from excess protein, fat, sodium & IGF-1.

Your own extensive research & experience: did this include non-CAM websites/books (ie. peer-reviewed papers), and did you account from your own bias from your experiences? My guess is ‘no’.

How about a different question: do human bodies need calcium? And if so, how does one obtain it without the use of milk? What happens when one drinks milk after weaning?

Actually, the milk thing also comes back to Emily’s inability to avoid contradiction. Milk is ‘natural’, so why is it wrong? I think it goes to that idea of early humans/agriculturists and how they are somehow closer to nature by living off the land – and not having illnesses because of it.

By the way, looking at that table and the other half of my hubby’s heritage:

Emily, why do you hate Danish people?

Really, why? Do you have some weird thing against the lactose tolerate?

As I have mentioned before, I have a sibling who is severely lactose intolerant. The most obvious reason is because she was born very premature, and never developed lactase.

In the 1960s I grew up in a family where one child could not drink milk. So I am very aware that there are differences in people.

Why is Emily ignorant of those differences?

Does she accept my sibling and daughter who cannot digest lactose, but reject the reject the rest of us who can?

I was making the point that biologically & anthropologically, it was not necessary
Er, no, no you weren’t. Or if you were, then it would have helped had you spelled it out like this the first time.

Given the quality of your previous citations (here & on the Wakefield thread), you’ll have to forgive me for doubting the quality of the references you’d have us believe on the subject of calcium in the diet. After all, herr doktor bimler has previously found four (count ’em, four) ‘inaccuracies’ in your characterisation of just one reference… This does rather suggest that the quality of your research is… ,,, not good.

Myself:

but reject the reject the rest of us who can?>oops!

I know that nothing I say makes sense after consuming some forms of grape juice.

I can drink milk! That is not a crime! I also like cheese, that is not abnormal!

Even though my sister who was born two months premature about (cough cough) fifty years ago has never been able to eat dairy, I can! I also know the reason, it is called lactase, which her tiny infant body never produced.

Her adult body is taller than mine, plus it is skinnier. Though we have not seen her real hair color for several years. It presently comes from a bottle, because she got the gene for grey hair before age thirty. Our brother’s hair was totally white by the time he was forty years old. It just happens.

My severely lactose intolerant sister actually eats cheese, but does have a tummy ache afterwards. Plus she dyes her hair.

Yes, genetics are complicated. Who knew?

My daughter needs to take special lactase pills before consuming milk. Apparently that is not a “big deal” even for a teenager.

Why does Emily have such an issue with lactose? It has an evolutional advantage.

I was making the point that biologically & anthropologically, it was not necessary, & that is a correct assumption.

If I may attempt to cut to the chase, this doesn’t mean anything. There is no such thing as “anthropological necessity.” Biology isn’t parsimonious. It’s just bad teleological frosting.

255 re LW:
“Emily spoke contemptuously of starving people eating insects and shoe leather —

I was not being contemptuous, that is your mischievous inference.

During the Holocaust of WW2, the poor wretches interred in concentration camps ate anything they could get their hands on, including insects, & at times, old shoe leather.They were malnourished & starving. When you fast,however, you are neither malnourished nor starving.

“256 My next question is, if fasting is entirely different from starving, and fasting makes you all happy and healthy, why bother to eat at all? Ever”.

Because you will die!

re LW: “..most mammals don’t consume milk in adulthood because they can’t; they lack the gene to digest it. Most adult humans *can* because that gene is widespread. In other words, evolution has endowed us with the ability to consume milk as adults whereas it has not so endowed other animals; why should we decide our diet by theirs?”

Firstly, your assumption is wrong. Adult animals CAN drink milk, all they need to do is go up to a lactating animal & suck, (not suckle, I might add).

They don’t, because they don’t need the milk anymore. It is not normal.

Similarly, if we had no dairy industry to brainwash us, would you go up to your breastfeeding neighbour & pull down her top & start going for it? I don’t think so.

Most human populations, after weaning, lack the enzyme lactase which digests the milk sugar lactose.Some still retain it through eons of adaptation, but they are the minority.

“And if you think we should decide our diet by that of other animals … why should we consume fresh fruits? Most animals don’t need to; many can’t digest them anyway (like ferrets). Why should we consume them?”

All animals eat food that is appropriate to its own species. Lions eat meat, gorillas eat leaves & fruit & koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves, not even needing to drink. We eat fruit because it is appropriate (normal) for us to do so.

It is imporatnt to distinguish between what is natural & what is normal. The word “natural” is an oft-abused word today, & a marketer’s dream.

It is one word which often separates the fool from his money!

It is much more important to live normally than live naturally!

re 257 Kreb:

“You keep mentioning Dr Marcia Angell as if she would support your nutty ideas. My favorite quote from her is:

‘It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride… There cannot be two kinds of medicine — conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted’.

Thank you Kreb for agreeing with me. I have been stating that all along. The only 2 forms of legitimate health care are NH & SBM, all then rest is health-scare.

However, there are two types of SBM:

SBM Type 1- science-based medicine: which is surgery when appropriate, emergency medicine, rescuscitation, crisis care & so on. This is the “I’m glad to see you, doc”, medicine, which saves lives & boy am I appreciative of it.This represents, IMO, about 10% of all medical procedures.

SBM Type 2: Seriously bad medicine, where drug companies & vested interests skew their studies & findings, under-report side-effects & over-report benefits, conduct “fraud & overtreat”,( your own former head of Medicaid, no less, stated this), go “off label” without authorization, refer for unnecessary & invasive investigations, fast-track drug approvals with improper testing (see fosamax for one & other oral bisphosphonates).. the list is long & represents, IMO, roughly 90% of the Church of Modern Medicine.

I am glad we agree & I couldn’t agree more with the astute Dr Marcia Angell- modern medicine has become the ‘handmaiden’ of the pharmaceutical companies, & THAT is why we need to demarcate SBM into Type 1 & 2.

Get rid of the 90% (the voo-meisters) & you’ll have me in the trenches with you, holding sway against the other woo-meisters.

Until then, I’ll vent my spleen against this medical “frogshit”.

reb 258 Calli Arcale

“I am also curious what you consider to be a fast. You indicated that you fasted for 28 days. Was this a complete fast, or did you limit to specific foods? Did you exclude all foods? Were liquids allowed, and if so, what kind? I am not trying to trap you here; I just want to know what one has to do in order to get the health benefits you claim”.

I thought I had made that patently clear. Last ime: a fast is H2O, nothing more, nothing less!

Complete rest to conserve energy, water when thirsty as required, fresh air, sunlight, sleep, mental poise & calm, a conducive environment & nice comfy bed…..I am tempted to commence another fast, it sounds so inviting!

I ask again, if fasting is entirely different from starving, and fasting makes you all happy and healthy, why bother to eat at all? Ever.

@Emily:

So, the difference between fasting and starvation is that fasting is no eating with complete rest, while starving is no eating without complete rest?

Again, we are back to privilege; how many people can stay at home resting for 28 days while fasting? Seriously? How many people can afford not to work for that long? Is there any clearer indication that this ‘natural health’ (and I again ask the question what is ‘unnatural health) is some western guru’s idea to make fat middle aged women happy? I am disgusted. If you needed any clearer reason why this is horses#$t there it is.

Agashem you beat me to it. If I decided to lounge around for a month eating nothing and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, I’d be fired. Most people would.

Emily disgusts me with her oh so superior attitude that all you need is to be well-nourished enough to withstand a 28-day fast, and healthy enough not to require any medications, and then you’ll stay healthy without medical care! Wow, what an insight. We’re supposed to be impressed by her Nineteenth Century upper-class British wisdom, and I’m just not.

Firstly, your assumption is wrong. Adult animals CAN drink milk, all they need to do is go up to a lactating animal & suck, (not suckle, I might add).

They don’t, because they don’t need the milk anymore. It is not normal.

Similarly, if we had no dairy industry to brainwash us, would you go up to your breastfeeding neighbour & pull down her top & start going for it? I don’t think so.

How To Argue Like Emily, Part Thirty-Seven:

1) Make a claim such as “Dairy products are medically bad for you.”

2) Make a specious argument purporting to support the claim such as “Mammals besides humans don’t drink milk after weaning (and therefore by implication we shouldn’t either.)”

3) When called on the fact that the argument doesn’t support the conclusion, move the goalposts and pretend your conclusion was only supposed to be “Dairy products aren’t necessary.” Don’t stop to think “Wait, does my retro-fitted conclusion derive from my premises any better than my original conclusion? Do I really believe that nothing is necessary for humans unless other mammals do it too?”

4) Immediately present another argument, asking whether someone would do something that is clearly bad for social reasons, and pretending that the “no” you get for social reasons somehow supports your claim of there being medical reasons not to do that thing.

example: “So you think that people can safely eat Brussel sprouts, do you?? You fool, you’ve been brainwashed by Big Brussel! I’ll prove it to you: would you go into the produce section of a supermarket with a loaded shotgun, and while holding store security at bay with your weapon, shovel fistful after fistful of unpaid-for and uncooked Brussel sprouts directly into your mouth? No? Then clearly you can see how ludicrous it is to cook and eat Brussel sprouts that have been legitimately acquired!”

@Emily:

This is absolutely ridiculous!
People consume dairy because the dairy industry has been brainwashing them into drinking milk?
Doctors recommend drinking milk because the dairy industry has brainwashed them into doing so?
It is not normal to drink milk but we do it anyway because the dairy industry has twisted us into doing so?

What a load of horse manure!

Where was the dairy industry before the industrial revolution, spreading propaganda and brainwashing people into consuming dairy products? I don’t know so much about the history of other cultures, but in my country (India) and in my culture, milk has been a very important part since more than 3000 years. Yeah right! Dairy industry!

Cows were (and often, still are) worshiped as ‘mother’ PRECISELY because of the fact that we consume their milk. Many Hindus are traditionally not vegetarian, but even among them, eating beef is forbidden and so is the slaughter of cows. This is precisely because of the fact that cows give milk.

The Hindu deity, Krishna, is depicted as a cowherd and many of his names literally translate as – ‘protector of cows’ or ‘keeper of cows’. One of his epithets is ‘the butter thief’. I’m sure the dairy industry started this myth and wove it into one of the longest epics in the world – 3000+ years ago.

Hindu religious rituals use milk, yogurt and clarified butter quite liberally while traditionally, food was cooked in clarified butter. Yogurt drinks are traditional thirst quenchers all over rural India. Milk is the most common ingredient in most traditional sweets.

I had previously remarked that I’d like to see you have a conversation with folks from rural Punjab and Haryana. This was because, they are culturally just as fanatic about Dairy as you are against it. No BigDairy there. It would really be hilarious watching you have a go at it with the Jats, who consider food without dairy to be junk.

As Chris has pointed out, Northern Europe and Scandinavia also have a rich history of dairy consumption. Come to think of it, I have never really seen any traditional Italian recipe without cheese.

Just to be clear – I do not gain anything from the dairy industry. I’m [sadly] lactose intolerant and so I have to avoid dairy, except yogurt and aged cheese.

I do not subscribe to any religious world view myself, but what I am trying to say here is – it is ridiculous to start a ‘BigDairy’ conspiracy theory when the industry itself is fairly recent as compared to the culture of consuming dairy. In fact, the industry has only come into being because of a pre-existing culture which provides a market for it.

Maybe you are a shill for BigSoy or BigNuts?

Why don’t we see lobbying for eating insects and insect products? Why don’t doctors recommend eating insects? I’m sure BigSericulture and BigInsectfarming could get doctors to shill for it too.

Many people are gluten sensitive and wheat is alien to many cultures. So does that mean that Europeans and people from the Near East and Northern India eat wheat under the influence of lobbying by BigWheat? Why isn’t consumption of vegetables and fruits a plot by BigHorticulture and BigFruiticulture? Maybe the natural state is starvation fasting. The fruit, vegetable and cereal industry have made us addicted to eating and thus we eat daily while they line their pockets. Maybe, in reality we just need to eat once in a few days. Those evil/idiotic [take your pic] doctors have fooled us into believing that we need nourishment every day.

Can you please stop invoking your ridiculous conspiracy theories to explain things? It is just as easy for us to ascribe a conspiracy theories to your ideas, but unlike you, we’d rather stick to reality.

@emily:

All animals eat food that is appropriate to its own species. Lions eat meat, gorillas eat leaves & fruit & koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves

… and humans consume dairy.

FTFY.

Adult animals CAN drink milk

What LW implied was – they cannot digest milk.

Some animals in the wild go for prolonged periods without eating, aestivating, living off their own reserves.

And then there are some animals which have a diet which predominantly consists of grass and a high cellulose content. Maybe we should follow suit.

How do you reconcile your conclusion, “some animals go for prolonged periods without food… hence fasting is good for us” with the fact that some animals are carnivorous yet you ask to eschew meat?

How do you reconcile that same conclusion with your statement that animals eat what is appropriate for them?

@Matthew:

From what I gather, according to emily: fasting is voluntary while starving is involuntary. The body’s enzyme systems somehow understand the difference.

Emily brings in a trope I’ve heard kicked around by alt med advocates: the good type of SBM is “emergency, resuscitation, crisis care”. No one can argue with how re-attaching a severed arm, starting a stopped heart or controlling unremmitted bleeding are truly advantageous to the patient. Like other alt med folk, she then draws up a wall of separation between those miracles and standard care- which involves pharma and corruption ( probably should be one word in their vernacular).

This typifies the black-and-white thinking we often find in alt med: where exactly is this dividing line? Is it not true that doctors who are in emergency medicine are educated and trained in the standard manner as doctors in general are? Is not “emergency care” only an example of “care”? Do not general situations involving chronic care prevent dire consequences? Don’t emergency situations often leave patients in need of less spectacular assistance and pharma?

This is a totally artificial distinction that woo-meisters need to invoke because even *they* can’t find anything to complain about the incredible things SBM can achieve and can’t ever find anything good to say about the use of pharma. It displays an unrealistic understanding of how the body and the world works.

Thanks, T-reg. Of course I meant most adult mammals can’t digest milk, not that they physically can’t consume it. A human being physically can consume seashells (with sufficient determination), but most people would not therefore say that human beings can eat seashells.

SBM Type 1- science-based medicine: which is surgery when appropriate, emergency medicine, rescuscitation, crisis care & so on. This is the “I’m glad to see you, doc”, medicine, which saves lives & boy am I appreciative of it.This represents, IMO, about 10% of all medical procedures.

Hear that, all you people with Type I diabetes, asthma, and similar life-threatening conditions? The treatments that keep you from requiring emergency medicine and resuscitation are all seriously bad medicine and you shouldn’t take them. Also you should probably starve. And if you should happen to die because you didn’t get the emergency medicine and resuscitation in time, it’s your own fault.

Emily,

Thank you Kreb for agreeing with me. I have been stating that all along. The only 2 forms of legitimate health care are NH & SBM, all then rest is health-scare.

I think you miss my point – NH falls into the camp of forms of healthcare that have not been adequately tested. Fasting for example, your claims that it is not a treatment notwithstanding, may or may not work for chronic conditions as you claim. We don’t know because anecdotal evidence can be very misleading and your “very considerable experience” may have badly misled you. There is very little good quality evidence, so we don’t know the ratio of risks to benefits, unlike the pharmaceuticals that you regard as “medical frogshit” (a colorful phrase I never came across before). For all we know the long-term effects of NH might be far worse than any pharmaceutical drug.

Emily:

Complete rest to conserve energy, water when thirsty as required, fresh air, sunlight, sleep, mental poise & calm, a conducive environment & nice comfy bed…..I am tempted to commence another fast, it sounds so inviting!

Thank you! I appreciate you making it clear what exactly constitutes a fast.

So to fast properly, you take nothing but water. I was confused, because you said that a fast is different from starvation, and was wondering if there was some *specific* nutrition that made the difference. I know you say the body does different things in a fast than in a starve, but I’m trying to understand how one makes that happen.

Is, then, the difference that starving people are actually eating some small amount of food? So they’d be better off if they weren’t eating at all?

Incidentally, my grandfather responded to his severe abdominal pain (which he believed to be pancreatic cancer) by fasting, taking only clear fluids to keep himself comfortable. (Dying of thirst is not pleasant.) It had precisely the effect he’d intended, though he was a bit annoyed at how long it took.

Emily,
Here’s a case I came across when I first started working in clinical biochemistry, and that had a profound effect on me. My son was a patient on the children’s ward at the same hospital I worked at, so I spent my days working in the laboratory and my evenings on the children’s ward. I got to know several of the children and their parents quite well, and it was interesting to actually see and get to know some of the patients I was doing blood and other tests on.

One boy, just under a year old, was covered in a scaly rash from head to foot. In places his skin had cracked and had become infected, and his hair had fallen out. He also suffered from constant diarrhea. His condition had developed shortly after his mother stopped breast-feeding him. He was absolutely miserable and so were his parents. None of the treatments he had been prescribed had helped, and his parents had resorted to various types of alternative medicine, including Chinese medicine, none of which had helped in the slightest.

What approach would a natural hygienist take in a case like this?

Fasting is physiological with intelligently regulated adaptations by the body in the absence of food, such as gluconeogenesis, all part of a controlled autolysis. There are reserves in fasting.

Not intelligently regulated—you are aware that metabolic pathways aren’t capable of rational thought? And surely you’re aware that prolonged gluconeogenesis is anything but a recipe for good health—ketosis, anyone?

Tissue such as mucous, fat, cysts, tumours, drug deposits, some muscle tissue, soft stones, & other by-products of intermediary metabolism are broken down & excreted first.

Citations desperately needed here. Exactly what metabolic pathways break down mucus, tumors, etc. to provide sufficient nutrition to prevent fasting from becoming starvation, and what feedback mechanism results in that breakdown being done ‘intelligently’ (i.e., in such a manner as to spare ‘needed’ tissue)??

The dwarf lemur has been known to go for 7 months without any food, living off its own reserves (Nature; June 2004 edition), resulting in no adverse health effects.

That would be Physiology: Hibernation in a tropical primate. Kathrin H. Dausmann, Julian Glos, Jörg U. Ganzhorn & Gerhard Heldmaier, Nature 429, 825-826 (24 June
004), right? It addresses hibernation in dwarf lemurs, not fasting by dwarf lemurs (please tell me you understand there’s a difference) and does not make any claim that dwarf lemurs have been known to go for 7 months without any food, even while hibernating. The longest period of time during hibernation it addresses is 24 days. (Say it with me: “24 days does not equal 7 months”)

So really, you are still eating when you fast, but you are literally eating yourself, just not by mouth…. Tissue such as mucous, fat, cysts, tumours, drug deposits, some muscle tissue, soft stones, & other by-products of intermediary metabolism are broken down & excreted first.

Mucus is a tissue? (I presume Emily isn’t advocating breaking down mucous membranes.) Whatever. So, anyway, fasting is actually an invigorating natural diet of snot, fat, tumors, nutrititous stones, and other delicacies. That’s what I call a ballsy ad campaign.

Emily, the ‘masterful’ way in which you skip from topic to topic (moving along as the heat comes on) is so similar to the Gish Gallop that I have to ask – you don’t espouse creationism along with this NH stuff, do you? (Sorry, guys – just testing the hypothesis of crank magnetism!)

@272 Chris

I don’t think she can. She seems to think in very B&W viewpoints.

@273 Alison

After all, herr doktor bimler has previously found four (count ’em, four) ‘inaccuracies’ in your characterisation of just one reference… This does rather suggest that the quality of your research is… ,,, not good.

Not to mention posting references that have either been shown to directly contradict her claims, or have nothing to do with her point.

@277 Emily

During the Holocaust of WW2, the poor wretches interred in concentration camps ate anything they could get their hands on, including insects, & at times, old shoe leather.They were malnourished & starving. When you fast,however, you are neither malnourished nor starving.

Have we finally reached a Godwin in this argument?

Because you will die!

Fuck you’re obtuse. Let’s try again shall we:

What is the biological process in the body that makes starving different from fasting? Using words in the way in which most people would understand them please. Can you direct us to a diagram, or a description of the organs/chemicals involved and what they do differently for ‘starving’ compared to ‘fasting’?

Firstly, your assumption is wrong. Adult animals CAN drink milk, all they need to do is go up to a lactating animal & suck, (not suckle, I might add). They don’t, because they don’t need the milk anymore. It is not normal.

But quite clearly Big Milk has convinced everyone for generations that it is normal.

Similarly, if we had no dairy industry to brainwash us, would you go up to your breastfeeding neighbour & pull down her top & start going for it? I don’t think so.

Wow, I was right – didn’t even see this until I had scrolled down from your last sentence before it. Is there any large group of people you *don’t* think are involved in a conspiracy? Oh yes, your CAM friends… somehow they’re exempt from any and all bad actions.

All animals eat food that is appropriate to its own species. Lions eat meat, gorillas eat leaves & fruit & koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves, not even needing to drink. We eat fruit because it is appropriate (normal) for us to do so.

How do you explain our teeth?

It is much more important to live normally than live naturally!

Are you also an evolution denier? What is ‘normal’? And if ‘natural’ is not the same thing, why do you have a problem with medical interventions?

Thank you Kreb for agreeing with me. I have been stating that all along. The only 2 forms of legitimate health care are NH & SBM, all then rest is health-scare.

Regina Emily strikes again!

Get rid of the 90% (the voo-meisters) & you’ll have me in the trenches with you, holding sway against the other woo-meisters.

Yeah, I think you dove into the wrong fox hole.

@280 Matthew Cline

So, the difference between fasting and starvation is that fasting is no eating with complete rest, while starving is no eating without complete rest?

This!!! Thissity this this!

@281 Agashem

I am disgusted. If you needed any clearer reason why this is horses#$t there it is.

I totally agree with this and the rest of your comment. Emily’s POV seems to come entirely from a position of privelege where one can’t or won’t see any fatalities from illness.

@282 LW

Agashem you beat me to it. If I decided to lounge around for a month eating nothing and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, I’d be fired. Most people would.

Maybe she’s a self-employed “healer”. Then you could take off all the time in the world and call it “research” even though you don’t make any records of it.

We’re supposed to be impressed by her Nineteenth Century upper-class British wisdom, and I’m just not.

Same here.

@284 T-reg

One wonders how the dairy industry managed to install gods into human culture as a way of brainwashing us. Instead of being busy worrying about the season’s produce and whether or not they’d be able to sell it at market, they’ve apparently been out secretly building statues and inventing deities. I don’t think Emily has ever met a farmer either.

Your questions also make me wonder if colonising Australia was just Big Sheep’s way of grabbing more land.

@285 T-reg

How do you reconcile your conclusion, “some animals go for prolonged periods without food… hence fasting is good for us” with the fact that some animals are carnivorous yet you ask to eschew meat?

Also, where is the evidence that fasting is good for us? Let’s not get too bogged down in milk, I’d like to see some statistics on the use of fasting for humans.

@286 Denice

Like other alt med folk, she then draws up a wall of separation between those miracles and standard care- which involves pharma and corruption ( probably should be one word in their vernacular).

I think part of this is the misconception that SBM is not about preventative care, but treatments “after the fact”. Which is why she goes on about how SBM doesn’t promote healthy eating/exercise/etc even though it does.

That and the fact that if you’re well-off enough you won’t “need” to see a doctor for anything *but* emergencies; and therefore post hoc attribute their good health to CAM preventions even though SBM would provide the same preventative suggestions.

@287 LW

And if you should happen to die because you didn’t get the emergency medicine and resuscitation in time, it’s your own fault.

This bears repeating. Because I’ve been saying it all along and Emily doesn’t seem to get it yet.

@288 Krebiozen

Fasting for example, your claims that it is not a treatment notwithstanding, may or may not work for chronic conditions as you claim

Ah, I think I finally get the contradiction: fasting is ‘normal’ for humans, therefore it’s “not a treatment”. Therefore it’s not about cures or anything, it’s just a reinstatement of the ‘natural order’ of things. It is just as ridiculous and unsupported, but at least now I think I understand WTF Emily is on about. Starvation on the otherhand, is ….?

Yet another example of her romantic view of pastoral life. I’d still love to know her explanation for human teeth.

Let’s check with the Sheltmeister on this business:

If Darwin had adhered to the principle he states above [spontaneous reversion], in his treatment of the facts of breeding and variation, he could never have propounded a theory of the derivation of one species from another.

re Alison @ 274

“And in any case, you’re simply WRONG on the concept of milk being anthropologically unnecessary: for people such as the Masai, milk plays a central role in their diet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people#Diet). Surely you’ve found this out, in the course of your extensive research?”

Yes I have. But I am not wrong. Because a group of people eat a certain way, doesn’t make it essential. The Masai drink milk & blood, the Aborigines of Australia eat witchity grubs, the French eat frogs, the Phillipinos eat rats ( sold in cans by a company called STAR- rats reversed)& the Americans eat donuts, french fries, ice cream & coca-cola.

So? None of these are essential! What CAN be eaten & what should be eaten for optimum health are 2 very different things.

Humans are omnivores & can subsist or survive, not necessarily thrive, on all types of “food”.

Milk is simply NOT necessary for normal osseous development after weaning, & does present health risks (www.notmilk.com/www.drmcdougall.com/www.drfuhrman.com).

BTW, the Masai drink their milk & blood unpasteurized & unhomogenized- the way I would drink it if I absolutely had to.
What is eaten

Emily,

The LCT gene codes for Lactase, the protein that allows humans to process milk. The ‘wild-type’ version of this gene stops being transcribed in childhood…this version of the gene (or ‘allele’) is what leads to the phenotype we call ‘lactose intolerance.’

However, there are a couple of different variant forms of this gene that lead to ‘lactose tolerance,’ that is, they keep being transcribed throughout adulthood. There are at least two different alleles in modern humans that lead to lactose tolerance. One is predominately in populations of african descent, the other predominately in populations of european descent. They both arose independently.

Us population geneticists have long been interested in identifying regions of the genome that show the signature of positive selection…that is, regions of the genome that are adaptive and arose throughout human history. Guess what? The lactose tolerance alleles are the single strongest signatures of positive selection that have ever been identified in humans. This is a statistically-based fact that is not up for debate.

In light of the fact that the ability to process dairy products in adulthood is the single most adaptive trait to arise in modern humans, how does this square with your bizzarre notion that milk has inherent health risks and that it should be avoided?

re Chris @ 275

“Why does Emily have such an issue with lactose?”

It’s not lactose, Chris, it’s dairy foods. Milk contains lactose, casein, cholesterol, pus (yes that’s right- there is an allowable level of pus in milk)& IGF-1, amongst other things.

The websites provided above (plus http://www.pcrm.org)have more information on the adverse effects of dairy foods.

As stated previously, our 3 children have never had milk, unless they have had it at friends’ houses, which I doubt. Their combined ages are over 50, & they are in robust health, with strong & resilient bones & teeth.

They have no tooth caries, & have never had fluoridated water (yeeks, you say!).

Not one of them has ever taken a drug for any reason. They have never visited ANY health care practitioners, voo (SBM Type 2) or woo (alt/med),except dentists on rare occasions for very slight bit mal-alignment.

They luckily have had no need to visit a legitimate SBM, as they have had no emergency breaks, burns or other accidents.

This means nothing as its entirely anecdotal, I know. But many of our friends do the same, with same results.

And they have all fasted, of their own volition, when appropriate.

But I am not wrong. Because a group of people eat a certain way, doesn’t make it essential.
Emily, it pains me to have to point it out to you again, but all you are doing here is flailing around & shifting the goalposts (as I commented earlier – Gish Gallop, anyone?). You said that milk was not ‘anthropologically required’, & – ignoring the fact that we are looking at a gross mis-use of terminology here – I pointed out that a cultural group does actually require milk as part of their way of life.
I do get the impression that you’re not really trying any more 🙂

Milk is simply NOT necessary for normal osseous development after weaning, & does present health risks

As compared with Natural Hygiene, which isn’t necessary for normal anything and also presents health risks?

I was making the point that biologically & anthropologically, [dairy consumption] was not necessary

Sounds like we all agree that this is a minor issue, then.
So perhaps we can go back to an earlier issue, i.e. Emily’s claim (comment #184) that the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic was the product of “a hungry world” (“emaciated”, “privation”). From the cessation of the epidemic in 1919, we deduce that everyone turned to a better diet then.

It is also evident — from the failure of the Spanish Flu to reappear — that there have been no hungry people since 1919.

So? None of these are essential! What CAN be eaten & what should be eaten for optimum health are 2 very different things.

And Emily declines to tell us what to eat for optimum health (other than nothing). Every single thing we can name as being eaten by human beings can be dismissed as non-essential since somewhere there are people (or other mammals, or perhaps fish or insects) that do not consume it.

@297 Emily

But I am not wrong.

Simply asserting something as so is not the way to convince people. If I tell you I am the King of Egypt, will you simply take my word for it?

The Masai drink milk & blood, the Aborigines of Australia eat witchity grubs, the French eat frogs, the Phillipinos eat rats ( sold in cans by a company called STAR- rats reversed)& the Americans eat donuts, french fries, ice cream & coca-cola.

What you’re missing in your B&W worldview is important information: that is, the nutritional value of those foods and the ability to find more nourishing foods. I will note your contradiction that healthy normal eating to you appears not include foods which were available during more pastoral times (ie. witchity grubs) and before large-scale manufacturing, processing and farming of agricultural foods. Apparently if it’s icky, one shouldn’t eat it, despite any information about its nutritional value (some of which can be found via Pubmed I just discovered).

What CAN be eaten & what should be eaten for optimum health are 2 very different things.

And yet you never specific what is or isn’t on this list of yours, and why. I think you are the Queen of two countries; Contradictions and Ambiguities.

Alison at comment #298 and whoever else mentioned it is right, you’re constantly shifting from one point to another in order to avoid answering basic questions in a straight and honest manner. You’ve moved completely from the original questions to irrelevant side issues.

@Emily:

Starving is where the body has diminished non-essential tissue, & is forced to encroach on more vital tissue. This is not physiological & safe (fasting) but pathological & deadly (starving).

So, if a person involuntarily goes without food for a long period of times, it starts as fasting, since the body will first break down non-essential tissue for energy? And how much energy the person expends or conserves determines how long it remains fasting before it becomes starvation?

Also, I disagree that breaking down essential tissue (when there’s no non-essential tissue left) is pathological or deadly, since doing so is vital to keeping the body alive (the body would die much sooner if it didn’t break down the essential tissues). It’s the absence of food that’s (eventually) deadly.

AdamG, yes Emily is definitely an evolution denier. She also does not understand that humans are omnivores. With each of her comments she reveals more and more her depths of ignorance.

I find her citing the notmilk site amusing. When I first ventured on Usenet over ten years ago the guy who ran that page claimed my son’s seizures were caused by drinking milk. I then explained that my son was only two days old when his seizures started and had only been given breast milk. Then he claimed it was because I had the audacity to drink milk.

I tried to explain to him that while he may not drink milk (like my sister), it does not mean every human should not drink milk.

My sister was born two months premature barely weighing three pounds. This was almost fifty years years ago, and it was remarkable she survived (and not get blinded, only because the Army hospital did not have isolettes that could handle high oxygen levels). It turned out she never really developed lactase, so she has not been drinking milk her whole life. The funny thing is that she can tolerate cheese. It does upset her stomach if she eats too much.

In retrospect, I’m starting to think that the evolution* angle may wind up connecting with teh milk.

This is the crowning achievement of our carnivorous biology. This “early man” who has been created by biological speculation, should have descended from a jackal or a hyena, not from an ape. His dietary habits as “described” by [H.G.] Wells, relate him to saprophytes (scavengers) and carnivorae and not to the frugivorae** from which, according to the hypothesis, he sprung.

It is our contention that, instead of early man being the degraded beast that Wells and most Darwinians picture him, the carnivores and saprophytes of the present and past have “fallen” from their once high estate to their present state of degradation.

They are both departures from the Adamic state.***

Finally, an entry from the Most Esteemed Dr. Kradjian over at notmilk-dot-com: “Cows milk is not pure like it used to be 50 years ago.” No, no it’s not. Nor is it a source of, say, bovine tuberculosis. Which is it? Shelton describes cow’s milk, like soap, as an “abomination.” An elaboration of the hierarchy of abominations might be entertaining.

—–
* Shelton seems to think that this is a misnomer that has been coopted by “transformationalists,” or something. How this is reconciled with pleomorphism I have no idea.

** See also Klassen’s “The White Man’s Bible” for an example of the transmission of this quaint coinage.

*** Note that mother’s milk becomes harmful upon excess sugar consumption, making “a fat baby with lowered resistance to disease.” Why? Reduced blood alkalinity, of course.

Chris,

The funny thing is that she can tolerate cheese.

Fermented milk products like yoghurt and cheese contain a lot less lactose because bacteria have broken it down into lactic acid, which also conveniently causes the milk protein to coagulate. So lactase deficient people can tolerate yoghurt and cheese, but not whole milk.

That’s why so many ethnic groups without lactase ferment their milk before consuming it, or coagulate it with acid like lemon juice and then discard the liquid that contains the lactose. Indians eat yoghurt or cheese (paneer), and North Africans let their milk ferment before drinking it – taking a swig from a carton of milk and finding it is sour and full of lumps (as I once did in Morocco) is a bit of a shock if you aren’t expecting it.

Milk contains lactose, casein, cholesterol, pus (yes that’s right- there is an allowable level of pus in milk)

It always comes back to the pus. Did you ever get around to explaining where that “flu pus” that you saw on television came from, Emily?

Ah, but apparently this pus appearance was brought to you by PETA. You should have stuck with Shelton, Emily. Using the same somatic-cell measure, how much pus is in human breast milk?

re AdamG @ 299

“The lactose tolerance alleles are the single strongest signatures of positive selection that have ever been identified in humans. This is a statistically-based fact that is not up for debate”.

Please furnish me the incontrovertible evidence, I am very interested.

As far dairy foods’ negative impact on health, again I refer you to the web sites already cited.

As far as anecdotal evidence goes, I have seen countless children with chronic health problems- frequent colds, asthma, recurrent bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, allergic rhinitis, influenza, middle ear infections,etc respond beautifully by dairy avoidance & other diet/life style modifications.

In many cases, after the poor parents have trooped from doctor to specialist, doctor to specialist for sometimes years, in tow with a sick & helpless child, ALL that was needed was for the poor child to eschew all dairy.

Now I don’t care if I can’t furnish double-blind RCT’s for the data-deity to conclusively prove that this way is efficacious. All I need is to see a young child brought back in 7-10 days with abated symptoms & happy parents, time & time again.

The symptoms of coughing, sneezing, vomiting, fever & inflammation etc are self-reparatory, defensive,purposeful, orderly, adaptive & corrective biological responses which require CAUSES. The body manifests these responses as a form of restistance to an internal impediment (coughing to get rid of dust being a prime eg.)One cause is often dairy foods.

These symptoms can be sudden or delayed, mild or severe, but they still represent the body working as designed.

The greatest mistake SBM Type2 (seriously bad medicine) makes is to label these illnesses as “disorders”. On the contrary, disease is orderly, requiring first & foremost for the causes to be removed then the body can get on with the job of self healing & self-repairing.

re Alison @ 301:

“I pointed out that a cultural group does actually require milk as part of their way of life”.

Homo sapiens, Alison, from anywhere in the world, do not require another mammal’s milk for health, unless it is ALL they can procure. Given a normal selection of foods, there is no food which is essential for health after weaning- not meat, milk, chicken, carrots, papaya, oranges, donuts, potatoes etc.

By the same token you could argue that the Irish have a requirement for potatoes because they have been a staple
for centuries. Same with the Peruvians.This is incorrect. They, like all of us, have a requirement for starch, the nutrient found in potatoes.

However, the Irish (& Peruvians) have no biological requirement for the yummy potato.

The Masai do not have a biological reqirement for milk.They can, & do, live very well thank you without it, when they change their environment & other sources of nutrients become available to them.

A requirement is not just a prefernce or a whim, it means it is an essential. Humans have a certain requirement for ascorbic acid which we have to get from our food. Same for the EFA’s which must come from food. However, these two things, Vit C & EFA’s can be procured from a number of sources.

It is not the food which is a requirement, but the NUTRIENTS provided in the food which the body has a requirement for.

Milk is not an essential part of anyone’s diet for health, because there is nothing in milk or dairy foods which cannot be obtained from other, preferably plant-based sources.

re LW @ 304

“And Emily declines to tell us what to eat for optimum health (other than nothing). Every single thing we can name as being eaten by human beings can be dismissed as non-essential since somewhere there are people (or other mammals, or perhaps fish or insects) that do not consume it”.

There are two points to consider:

1) Food &

2) Nutrients.

There is no individual food which represents an essential element of any human’s diet..ie no special requirement.

We do, however, have a requirement for nutrients. Some of these our bodies manufacture & others we must get from food.

There is no individual food which represents an essential element of any human’s diet..ie no special requirement.

Perhaps you would like to clarify how this connects with Natural Hygiene’s special requirement to ritualistically separate the consumption of melons.

re 306 Matthew Kline ;

“It’s the absence of food that’s (eventually) deadly”.

Couldn’t agree more.

“It’s the absence of food that’s (eventually) deadly”.

Couldn’t agree more.

Does the Natural Hygienist determine this cutoff from first principles, or “testing it out”?

re Chris @ 307

“It turned out she never really developed lactase, so she has not been drinking milk her whole life. The funny thing is that she can tolerate cheese. It does upset her stomach if she eats too much”.

This isn’t funny Chris if you understood basic nutrition.

Most of the lactose is removed with the whey from milk during manufacturing. Lactose also diminishes the longer a cheese ages.

@Emily:

We do, however, have a requirement for nutrients. Some of these our bodies manufacture & others we must get from food.

What definition of “nutrients” does NH use such that it can include molecules our bodies can manufacture? And among the molecules made by our bodies, how do you distinguish nutrients from non-nutrients? I mean, hemoglobin and insulin are both manufactured by the body, and both are essential to life, but I wouldn’t consider either to be a nutrient.

Most of the lactose is removed with the whey from milk during manufacturing. Lactose also diminishes the longer a cheese ages.

I presume that this means aged cheese is the functional equivalent of some sort of pus-food.

flip @305:

I agree with you. This thread has been totally derailed and we are not really helping it to get back on track.

I’d still like like to know how Emily would have dealt with the child I described at #290, and at what point she would have given up and suggested he see a real doctor.

Emily:
FYI, citing the allowable limit of “pus” in milk is a good way to demonstrate a lack of education in the subject. The actual limits are for the number of somatic cells. That means cells with a nucleus. It includes white blood cells (which are sometimes described as “pus cells”, although obviously this is a bit of a misnomer — they’re part of the immune system, and you *bet* they’re found in milk; that’s part of the point of milk, although pasteurization obviously kills them) and also other cells, such as epithelial cells. Epithelial cells would be skin cells and cells from the insides of the milk ducts; as epithelial cells shed constantly, it would be weirder to *not* find any in milk than to find any.

That’s the truth of what’s in milk, and the truth of what the regulatory limits are. Of course, if you want to convince a bunch of ignorant people not to drink milk, calling them “pus cells” is a great way to gross them out.

the French eat frogs

I’m not French, but have eaten and enjoyed frogs. They may not be essential, but they’re tasty.

Several years ago I did a 20-day water fast in my search for relief from severe eczema symptoms. (I was already on temporary disability.) I figured if the eczema was being caused by food allergies or leaky gut or toxins or whatever, that would be the quickest way to find out. I had done five-day water fasts before and as usual after three days the hunger pangs disappeared. I eschewed high-intensity exercise but was able to walk the dogs for 45 minutes to an hour every day no problem. The main side effects I noticed were the need to suddenly take naps and feeling chilled on occasion, like my body was having trouble regulating its temperature (this was in the winter). I stopped after 20 days only because I was freaking my friends out, but the eczema was pretty much the same.

re JGC @ 291

“That would be Physiology: Hibernation in a tropical primate. Kathrin H. Dausmann, Julian Glos, Jörg U. Ganzhorn & Gerhard Heldmaier, Nature 429, 825-826 (24 June
004), right? It addresses hibernation in dwarf lemurs, not fasting by dwarf lemurs (please tell me you understand there’s a difference) and does not make any claim that dwarf lemurs have been known to go for 7 months without any food, even while hibernating. The longest period of time during hibernation it addresses is 24 days. (Say it with me: “24 days does not equal 7 months”)

From Wikipedia:

“Mammals:Although relatively uncommon, a small number of mammals aestivate.[5] Animal physiologist Kathrin Dausmann of Philipps University of Marburg, Germany, and coworkers presented evidence in the 24 June 2004 edition of Nature that the Malagasy fat-tailed dwarf lemur hibernates or aestivates in a small cricket hollow for seven months of the year.[6]”

From library.thinkquest.org:

“Just as animals hibernate in order to stay alive in cold places, animals estivate [or aestivate] in hot, dry places. The bodies of estivators will slow down. Breathing and heartbeat get very slow. The animal doesn’t need as much food and water to live since food is fuel for energy and they aren’t using much. Reptiles use 90-95% less energy when they are estivating. Animals don’t move, grow or eat during this time”.

re 290 Kreb:

“Here’s a case I came across when I first started working in clinical biochemistry, and that had a profound effect on me. My son was a patient on the children’s ward at the same hospital I worked at, so I spent my days working in the laboratory and my evenings on the children’s ward. I got to know several of the children and their parents quite well, and it was interesting to actually see and get to know some of the patients I was doing blood and other tests on.

One boy, just under a year old, was covered in a scaly rash from head to foot. In places his skin had cracked and had become infected, and his hair had fallen out. He also suffered from constant diarrhea. His condition had developed shortly after his mother stopped breast-feeding him. He was absolutely miserable and so were his parents. None of the treatments he had been prescribed had helped, and his parents had resorted to various types of alternative medicine, including Chinese medicine, none of which had helped in the slightest.

What approach would a natural hygienist take in a case like this?”

You Kreb, like all the others. have completely misinderstood the concept, philosophy & practice of Natural Hygiene.This is understandable, because it runs counter to nearly all we’ve been taught about health & disease.

NH is not a system of treatments, because it understands that disease has causes & the first principle is to remove the causes within our control.

It’s principles rest on the self-evident tenets of the human body being:

1)self eveloping;
2)self-repairing;
3)self-defending.

It sees symptoms as self-regulatory, as I’ve stated many times, but not always successful, because of many factors.

It sees health as the expression of life in advantageous circumsatances & disease as the expression of life in disadvantageous circumstances. I could furnish countless examples here, but I won’t have time.

In the case you mentioned, the poor baby’s skin condition appeared after breast feeding. A hygienic practitioner would ask why the breast feeding was stopped, & what milk replaced it.If any medical interventions were given (antibiotic drops, vaccinations etc). Was any solid food given. This is not to place blame or engage in recriminations, but simply to get a full & proper medical history, just in case your co-bloggers accuse me of “victim-bashing”.

The diarrhoea obviously indicates digestive irritation, most likely with inappropriate food.

If possible, we would try and hire a wet nurse, or use stoed breast milk if possible, if the biological mother was incapable/unwilling to resume breast feeding.

Failing that we would try & locate goat milk.

We would not recommend chinese medicine, chiropractic, herbs or any supplements, save for any frank deficiencies which showed up on blood tests.

The baby should NOT be fasted.

These are very sad & difficult cases. I have seen many such cases over the years, with varying success.

NH seeks to remove as many causes of disease as possible, & then supply the proper conditions of health.It is not a treatment system.

Education is critical in this area, & sadly, much of the standard advice given to parents as to raising children really leads to health problems.

It is very easy for both CAM & SBM advocates to take end case scenarios, where patients have been very sick & failed to improve with either modalities’ treatments, & then say to NH advocates: ‘all right, how would you fix this patient?’

@311 Emily

There is no individual food which represents an essential element of any human’s diet..ie no special requirement. We do, however, have a requirement for nutrients. Some of these our bodies manufacture & others we must get from food.

Do you read anything you write? Queen of the Contradictions strikes again!

I seriously need a map for your train of thought…

@312 Emily

Please furnish me the incontrovertible evidence, I am very interested.

Would you actually read it and understand it if it was posted? I highly doubt you would be that honest.

Now I don’t care if I can’t furnish double-blind RCT’s for the data-deity to conclusively prove that this way is efficacious. All I need is to see a young child brought back in 7-10 days with abated symptoms & happy parents, time & time again.

Of course you don’t. You can’t see your own bias if it was shoved under your nose. You’ve foolen yourself into thinking that only those mean scientists have bias.

@313 Emily

Given a normal selection of foods, there is no food which is essential for health after weaning- not meat, milk, chicken, carrots, papaya, oranges, donuts, potatoes etc.

So no food is essential – why do we need to eat at all?

They, like all of us, have a requirement for starch, the nutrient found in potatoes.

Yes and how else does one get starch into the body without eating it?

You’re right that there are other sources, but in many cases, a wide variety of options is not available, nor do the other sources have that nutrient in large quantities. Your B&W views continue to show you up.

Milk is not an essential part of anyone’s diet for health, because there is nothing in milk or dairy foods which cannot be obtained from other, preferably plant-based sources.

Once again, asserting it is so does not prove your point.

@316 Emily

It’s the absence of food that’s (eventually) deadly.

Couldn’t agree more.

So fasting for 30 days is absence of food – and you agree it’s deadly?

Did you graduate from primary school? High school?

Sigh, that’s it, I’m done. I’m bored of this now. Can we return to the actual discussion of Natural Hygiene? I’m seriously close to giving up.

@308 Narad

Yes, suddenly it all makes sense in the light of the “fallen man” idea. Eating correctly and not using medication is all about “returning to the natural order”. Silly us, we’re going against the divine will! It’s nice to see that it also shows a distinct attempt of fitting the hypothesis to the data and not the other way around.

“SBM Type 1- science-based medicine: which is surgery when appropriate, emergency medicine, rescuscitation, crisis care & so on. This is the “I’m glad to see you, doc”, medicine, which saves lives & boy am I appreciative of it. This represents, IMO, about 10% of all medical procedures.”

Resuscitation, huh? So it’s not OK to take medication or substitute hormones for conditions like hypothyroidism. But when you collapse into myxedema coma for lack of thyroxine, hospital’s the right place to go. Of course, your chances of dying are pretty high if the emergency administration of concentrated thyroxine can’t be regulated finely enough.

But that’s fine. So long as we avoid the ghastly sin against “natural” of taking a simple daily tablet.

Looks like Emily won’t explain how natural hygiene could have helped the child covered in a scaly rash from head to foot I described in #290. It’s clear to me that natural hygiene wouldn’t have helped him at all. For the sake of completeness, and FWIW, here’s the rest of my tale.

I was running the atomic absorption spectrophotometry section of the lab at the time, doing serum magnesium, copper and zinc levels. I received a blood sample from the boy with the rash, and a request for a serum zinc, which I did. The result was very low, the lowest I ever saw. He had acrodermatitis enteropathica, a genetic inability to absorb zinc properly, and was prescribed high doses of zinc supplements. Within a few days his symptoms were noticeably better, and in a few more days he was almost completely healed. His skin was smooth, his hair was growing back and the diarrhea had gone.

It was almost miraculous, and as you can imagine, having provided the diagnostic result and seen the results of the treatment had quite an effect on me. The pediatrician who recognized the symptoms and knew to check his zinc levels, the technology and scientific expertise to provide a reliable result, and the knowledge of what to do to treat the disorder had combined in front of my eyes to transform a very miserable child into a happy healthy one.

This boy’s symptoms were not in any way “reparatory in nature”, and Emily was wrong when she wrote on the Wakefield thread:

If the person who either has the symptoms or is a carer for the sufferer, acts in an enlightened,intelligent & rational, way by manipulating certain biological variables within the patient’s control, the chances that the symptoms will be successful greatly improve.

CAM (and natural hygiene is a branch of CAM make no mistake) invariably interprets skin problems as a symptom of toxicity, and I’m sure would have prescribed a range of dietary restrictions, detoxes and enemas to treat this boy’s condition, which would very probably have been fatal eventually without real medical care.

@Krebiozen:

This boy’s symptoms were not in any way “reparatory in nature”,

This is just a guess, but I think that Emily would say that the rash was the body’s way of compensating for low zinc levels, which would make the rash reparatory, and that anything which got rid of the rash (besides zinc supplements) would have made the zinc deficiency worse, since without the rash the body would no longer be able to compensate for the deficiency.

@Matthew Cline,
You’re probably right. The True Believer will distort any data to fit their belief system, and when that isn’t possible they will simply ignore it. My point is, I suppose, that sometimes nature screws up, and we have to use our intelligence to figure out a way of fixing that. Taking high dose zinc supplements for life is neither normal nor natural, whatever way you look at it, but that’s the only way this boy could have avoided a return of his symptoms. I suppose it’s his parents fault for giving him a faulty SLC39A4 gene 😉

Emily @328 refutes Dausmann, Glos, Ganzhorn & Heldmaier (Nature 429, 825-826) by referring us to her distortion of an anonymous Wikipedia contributor’s simplification of their report.

Time to quote Dr Meredith from “Real Genius”:
“Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references.”

At last I have realised that frothing at the mouth during rabies is a “self-reparatory, defensive,purposeful, orderly, adaptive & corrective biological response” that the body uses to rid itself of the toxins.

Re Kreb @ 332:

I’m disappinted in you Kreb, as I thought you were one of the few on this blog who was reasonably open-minded.

You must not have read my response to your question @ 329, in which I stated:

“We would not recommend chinese medicine, chiropractic, herbs or any supplements, save for any frank deficiencies which showed up on blood tests.

The baby should NOT be fasted”.

You continue, again mistakenly:

“CAM (and natural hygiene is a branch of CAM make no mistake) invariably interprets skin problems as a symptom of toxicity, and I’m sure would have prescribed a range of dietary restrictions, detoxes and enemas to treat this boy’s condition, which would very probably have been fatal eventually without real medical care”.

As I suspected, you know almost nothing about Natural Hygiene.

@Emily – you saying that germs are caused by disease is exactly like saying maggots come from rotting meat….you’ve put the cart before the horse & haven’t a leg to stand on.

Emily:

As I suspected, you know almost nothing about Natural Hygiene.

And you know nothing about biology, and yet you keep plodding along with your delusions.

Emily @312

“Please furnish me the incontrovertible evidence, I am very interested.”

Sorry for the delay. Please see the link below. Unfortunately for you, understanding these findings requires at the very least some college-level genetics as well as a basic understanding of evolutionary processes, and I’m skeptical that you have either. Please feel free to reply with questions if you have any. This is merely one paper on the topic, there are roughly 50 more that confirm and expand upon these findings.

h_ttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=17159977

Now that I’ve linked you to the airtight finding that lactase persistance is the most adaptive trait to ever arise in modern humans, would you care to expand upon your ideas about milk toxicity in light of this obvious adaptive advantage?

Emily @ 328

You’ve failed to understand the point I was making. I’m well aware that some dwarf lemurs do in fact hibernate for as long as 7 months of every year. In fact, I beleive that some other mammals (like arctic squirrels) hibernate for longer than 7 months.

What I was trying to point out was that you once again made a claim (dwarf lemurs go without food for as long as 7 months) and as proof of your claim offered a paper taht said absolutely nothng about dwarf lemurs going without food for 7 months–one you apparently picked at random from the list generated by googling “dwarf lemur” and hibernation. Actually, you lucked out in this case. Although the post you cited as evidence didn’t support your claim in any way, at least it didn’t directly contradict it, as has been the case with other citations you’ve pulled out of thin air.

As I pointed out, fasting isn’t hibernation, and before you try to validate fasting by pointing to how long hibernating animals can go ‘without eating anything whatsoever’ first consider the fact that prior to hibernating they actively consume huge numbers of calories daily, chiefly from high carb/high fat sources, in order to pack on enough fat, etc., as possibile to be able to survive that hibernation.

Milk is not an essential part of anyone’s diet for health, because there is nothing in milk or dairy foods which cannot be obtained from other, preferably plant-based sources.

Vitamin b12?

@Krebiozen:

CAM (and natural hygiene is a branch of CAM make no mistake) invariably interprets skin problems as a symptom of toxicity, and I’m sure would have prescribed a range of dietary restrictions, detoxes and enemas

No enemas in Natural Hygiene, FWIW.

@Emily:

As I suspected, you know almost nothing about Natural Hygiene.

What you don’t seem to understand is that there’s not really much to know in the first place. It’s a laughable pseudo-mystical set of rituals in service of a cartoonish and self-referential “explanatory” system, all slapped onto the bridge between the tail end of the Graham wave of moral physiology* and its successor, the Kellogg wave. (It doesn’t even really seem to have fared all that well against the competition of the time, and I don’t think it unreasonable to speculate that this had to do with Shelton’s attempts to dress it up.)

Your entire routine with childishly stupid remarks about the “Church of Modern Medicine” and “worship at the altar of data-deity” comes straight from criticisms of Schulmedizin by homeopaths.** Natural Hygiene has exactly the same roots; your poo-pooing of homeopathy is nothing more than perseveration in a century-old marketing campaign aimed at a population that no longer really exists.

* This term seems to have come from Robert Dale Owen, but I picked it up here.

** OK, I don’t really imagine that they were as dumb as the extant case.

Don’t forget biting other people, herr doktor–just another great way a body rids itself of toxins naturally (by transfering them to someone else).

Emily:

NH is not a system of treatments, because it understands that disease has causes & the first principle is to remove the causes within our control.

The distinction is purely semantic*. It is not meaningful. It’s not a system of treatments, it just purports to tell people what to do to get better, right? That’s a treatment, in my book, and in the books pertaining to the regulation of medical care. You are dispensing medical advice, and in so doing, advising patients on a course of treatment. You don’t call it treatment, but reality doesn’t care about language.

You are impressive, Emily. You are actually one of the most closed-minded people I’ve ever met. I’m sure you don’t see yourself that way, but you are. You refuse to contemplate anything which discomfits you or threatens the assumption that you are actually right about these things.

* Much like the distinction between “fasting” and “starvation” is purely semantic. That you refuse to see this is telling. That you refuse to even verify that your recommendations are effective (since you refuse to keep records, and defend similar deficiencies in other practitioners) is also telling.

just another great way a body rids itself of toxins naturally (by transfering them to someone else).

Like diarrhea in cholera, as Matthew Cline and Antaeus Feldspar mentioned in an earlier thread.
My understanding of cholera is limited to a Scientific American article on the newly-invented “oral rehydration theory” that I read in the 1970s, but the general idea then was that the toxin screws up cAMP levels within intestinal epithelial cells… which trigger ion secretion… causing diarrhoea, as a way of spreading the bacterium. Often the host dies in the process but that is of little consequence to Vibrio cholerae.

Is that still the understanding? Or should I believe Emily’s theory that “The tragic case of diarrhoea in babies never invalidates the priciple that their little bodies are still valiantly trying to expel toxins through the bowels”?

In the meantime I will continue to drink Beer as a form of prophylactic oral-rehydration to protect me from any unexpected cholera attack.

Emily,

You must not have read my response to your question @ 329, in which I stated: “We would not recommend chinese medicine, chiropractic, herbs or any supplements, save for any frank deficiencies which showed up on blood tests. The baby should NOT be fasted”.

You’re right, I think your response was held up in moderation the last time I looked. However it leaves me none the wiser. You alternate between making claims for the success of natural hygiene in treating all manner of illnesses and claiming it is not a treatment for any illnesses. Apart from resuming breast feeding and employing a wet nurse, which could not be continued indefinitely, natural hygiene would have left this child worse off, and would never have established the cause of his problems.

As I suspected, you know almost nothing about Natural Hygiene.