WHAT YOUR DOCTOR
DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT
MAY BE KILLING YOU
by RAY D. STRAND, M.D.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2002
The following is a summary of this excellent book written by a medical practitioner who has drawn on extensive research from over 1,300 clinical studies published in well-known medical journals.
Physicians are drug oriented and very few are trained in nutrition. There is very little emphasis on prevention, other than through early detection of some diseases. Pharmaceutical companies tend to determine new therapies using their drugs. Dr Strand was “converted” because his wife suffered fibromyalgia with symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue. Conventional medicine had no remedy, but in 1994 he started to read about antioxidants and these brought her back to robust health. After researching the medical literature for seven years he writes (p.15):
“.. I strongly believe that there are significant health benefits in taking high-quality nutritional supplements, even if you are in excellent health. Put simply, the basic health benefits of nutritional supplements are:
·an enhanced immune system. ·an enhanced antioxidant defense system. ·a decreased risk of coronary artery disease. ·a decreased risk of stroke. ·a decreased risk of cancer. ·a decreased risk of arthritis, macular degeneration and cataracts. ·the potential for a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, obstructive lung disease and many other chronic degenerative diseases. ·The potential for improving the clinical course of several chronic degenerative diseases.”
Dr Strand explains how antioxidants neutralize or absorb damaging free radicals in our bodies. Excessive exercise, air and food pollution, stress, UV sunlight, cigarette smoke, medications and radiation all generate free radicals, but we can win “the war within” if we supplement with appropriate antioxidants .
Heart disease is basically an inflammatory disease in which oxidized LDL cholesterol, homocysteine and excessive free radicals cause oxidative stress, something which is common in most major diseases. The more vitamin E you have “the more resistant the LDL cholesterol is to becoming modified or oxidized.” (p. 48) Vitamin C plays a similar role and helps regenerate vitamin E. Selenium, vitamin B2, niacin and N-acetyl-L-cysteine work together to form glutathione which is generally at low levels in patients with heart disease. Grape seed extract is also a very potent bioflavanoid antioxidant, as are red wine and grape juice to a lesser extent. Any patient wishing to “stop this inflammatory process from even getting started” (p.50) should take all these nutrient supplements at optimal levels as detailed at the end of this summary. They should also keep their homocysteine level below 7 mmol/litre using folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 and most importantly the methyl donor called betaine or trimethylglycine (TMG). Finally, there is a strong link between low levels of CoQ10 and congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy.
Cancer is also caused by oxidative stress. A mixture of antioxidants and supporting nutrients “can actually enhance traditional chemo- and radiation therapy” (p. 79) as well as protecting normal cells. Antioxidants also help prevent eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration and can even assist with autoimmune disease.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis are due to inflammation and degeneration of cartilage in joints. Glucosamine supplements (1,500 to 2,000mg) have brought about significant improvement with osteoarthritis. However, osteoporosis requires much more than just calcium supplements, including the above ones to lower homocysteine. Magnesium, vitamin D3 and K, manganese, boron, silicon and zinc all help as well.
Asthma sufferers will benefit from potent antioxidant and mineral supplementation, to which should be added essential fatty acids in fish oil. Other chronic lung diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis also show improvement in some cases. Anyone unable to quit smoking should, at the very least, take plenty of antioxidants, but not depend on them.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Scelerosis can also be slowed in their progress with antioxidants including coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, grape-seed extract and Glutathione.
Diabetes results from insulin resistance which itself can be caused by eating too much high-glycemic food such as white bread, white flour, pasta, rice and potatoes. You may be at risk if your triglyceride level is more than double that of your HDL cholesterol. To avoid or overcome diabetes there must be lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and nutritional supplements which should include chromium, vitamin E, magnesium and vanadium.
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia can be controlled with cellular nutrition, a healthy diet and mild aerobic exercise as Dr Strand first discovered with his wife.
He recommends everyone to take: Beta-carotene 10,000-15,000 IU, vitamin C 1,000-2,000 mg, vitamin E 400-800 IU, Alpha-Lipoic Acid 15-30 mg, CoQ10 20-30 mg, Glutathione 10-20 mg, Folic acid 800-1,000 mg with B vitamins, vitamin K 50-100 mcg, vitamin D3 450-800 IU, TMG 200-500 mg, grape seed extract, fish oil, selenium 200 mcg, calcium 800-1500 mg, magnesium 500-800 mg, zinc 20-30 mg, chromium 200mcg and some others.