The Birth of a Star: Dr. Alan Gaby Scores a Touchdown for Nutritional MedicineHelke Ferrie June 1, 2011
“Conventional therapies have a minimal to zero efficacy profile, a dismal safety profile, and produce adverse effects that are insufferable.” – Dr. Philip Rouchotas, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Integrated Healthcare Practitioners, from his April/May 2011 editorial
“Orthomolecular medicine is the preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally present in the body.” – Linus Pauling’s definition of “orthomolecular,” a term he coined in 1968
It weighs nine pounds, has 1,358 pages, cites more than 15,000 research articles, and took 30 years to create. This first-of-its kind textbook, entitled Nutritional Medicine, will undoubtedly provide a serious challenge to the usual dismissive attitude of hooked-on-drugs physicians about lack of scientific proof, proper studies, and real data. The book’s author is Yale and Emory University-educated Dr. Alan A. Gaby, past president of the American Holistic Medical Association. As a medical student in the 1970s, he was inspired by Linus Pauling, Roger Williams, Abram Hoffer, and Adelle Davis.
When starting his practice in 1980, Dr. Gaby decided to devote one third of his time to treating patients using nutritional approaches, and “two thirds to collecting and analyzing tens of thousands of published studies that relate to nutritional medicine.” The result is a vast treasure of research. Dr. Gaby’s 30-year project has also rescued from oblivion much old but true knowledge, which was in danger of becoming lost in the immense circus orchestrated by Big Pharma-controlled medicine.
In a recent interview, Dr. Gaby observed that “medical doctors are not pleased that people can go to the health food store and get what they need to take care of themselves”; furthermore, “nutrients, which cannot be patented, are in direct conflict economically with pharmaceuticals… One of the reasons I wrote Nutritional Medicine was to pull together all of the research in one place, so that people will realize how much of it there is. It is not a problem of inadequate research, but it is the fact of underutilization of available research.”
The most insidious aspect of this turf war is the “long history of funding research …. designed to produce negative results with nutrients.” Dr. Gaby relates an eye-witness report of Big Pharma representatives bragging about “how easy it is to issue a negative press release [related to research of questionable validity] and get it published prominently.” A 1998 article in the Archives of Internal Medicine described how nutritional medicine only received public attention when there was some news of alleged toxicity, while news of its efficacy is ignored.
NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE GAINING WIDESPREAD ACCEPTANCE
The shift from drug thinking and symptom control to the nutritional paradigm is occurring, however. A large study conducted by the American Cancer Society, published this May, involved 100,000 people followed over 14 years, and showed that adherence to basic nutritional and lifestyle advice resulted in dramatically lower risks of death from cancer, heart disease, and all other causes (McCullough). In the Netherlands, an analysis of that country’s health care system showed that the patients of doctors with training in complementary and nutritional medicine save the health care system a lot of money due to fewer hospital stays, less use of prescription drugs, and lower mortality rates (Kooreman & Baars). Cost efficiency and better health from nutritional medicine was also reported this year for old age homes (Nerukar).
Evidence about the negative effects of conventional salt have become so strong that, as CBC radio reported in early May, several Canadian hospitals have told fast food chains, including Tim Horton’s, to get out of hospital cafeterias.
Meanwhile, mainstream research is now exploring millennia-old herbal medicines in use in India for their demonstrated antibiotic properties against pathogens unresponsive to most synthetic drugs. For example, high-tech medicine recently found that there is a symbiotic interaction at the DNA level between beneficial intestinal bacteria and our immune systems (Hall) – in other words, healthy digestive flora boosts immunity. Many more examples of conventional medicine catching up with nutritional research are also coming to light.
Nutritional medicine is focused on the essential building blocks of life, and knows that these are constant and universal. Secondly, it is rooted in the knowledge that there are essential nutrients that sustain life and can never be taken for granted or ignored. Don’t mess with essentials – understand them. Significantly, new discoveries about the healing properties of essentials never negate previous knowledge. Chemical drugs seek to manipulate nature while hoping to get away with their known toxicity (sometimes successfully); nutritional medicine enters into a dialogue with nature, asking: “What do you want me to do so you can do your work to repair and sustain?”
Using this ‘alternative’ diagnostic and treatment approach to health care, the cause of a person’s ill health is given priority consideration – multiple sclerosis may be caused by chronic Lyme disease infection, toxicity from mercury amalgam, an infection from a root canal gone systemic, vitamin D deficiency, or long-term exposure to electromagnetic pollution. Similarly, childhood autism may have come from fetal exposure to all of the above or vaccines in the first few months after birth. Migraines can be caused by hidden food allergies, hormone imbalances, or infections attacking the central nervous system. Once the cause is determined, nutritional medicine employs the curative properties of nutrients in order to correct imbalances and deficiencies.
Unlike the drug-based approach, nutritional medicine does not search aggressively for new patentable molecules with enough physiological bang to ensure huge profits. Instead, what was known to be true about the curative properties of vitamin C in the 1950s is still true today, and we now have much more research revealing its uses.
On April 5, Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Free Speech About Science Act (HR 1364) to ensure “that legitimate, peer reviewed scientific studies may be referenced by [supplement] manufacturers.” Polis stated: “Today’s science has shown that vitamins and nutritional supplements can offer successful, natural alternatives to drugs.”
Unlike standard medical textbooks, which focus on the mechanics of bodily systems vulnerable to exterior pathogens and assumed genetic predispositional flaws, Gaby’s textbook is arranged according to the key areas of the body’s relationship to its energy sources. Thus, the nutritional medicine practitioner looks for the presence of four key problem areas: hypoglycemia, food allergies, thyroid problems, and candidiasis. The whole of nutritional medicine is focused on metabolism and biological ecology.
Using conventional diagnostic terminology, Gaby approaches each disease with the tools of nutritional science, namely “cleaning up the diet” and looking for what deficiencies or imbalances in essential nutrients have caused or contributed to ill health. Most illuminating are the details on how to cook properly, and the toxicities and deficiencies that are produced when you don’t.
Gaby discusses virtually every vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and a host of other nutrients, providing the scientific evidence for each as he describes what they do for us and how exactly their lack affects bodily systems.
DOES GABY’S BOOK STACK UP AGAINST OTHER MEDICAL CLASSICS?
However, it would be unfair to assume that standard medicine’s bible, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, now in its 17th edition and weighing 10 pounds, may be obsolete. On the contrary – it and Gaby’s tome complement each other wonderfully. However, Gaby does provide lots of wake-up calls for the Old Boys at Harrison’s. He enlarges their work and provides a most important and dynamic argument against broadly accepting conventional medicine’s toxicity. Gaby offers overwhelming evidence showing that, for most disease states, removing the specific cause of the disease while providing appropriate healing nutrients is key to recovery.
In Harrison’s textbook on Crohn’s disease, migraines, urinary tract infections, hormone replacement therapy, ADHD, autism, and cancer, the biological facts are clearly explained in the Old Boys’ manual; and occasionally there is a nod to the importance of some nutritional factoid, but generally they dismiss nutrition as being without supportive evidence. In contrast, Gaby’s enormous bibliography provides complete contradiction to that traditional arrogant dismissal of the role of nutrition in disease, which also highlights two points: first, that research into nutritional medicine has been going on regardless of Big Pharma’s obstructionism; second, here we have proof of the truth of Linus Pauling’s famous observation that “people are always down on what they are not up on.”
Looking now at that other famous text, the Merck Manual, currently in its 18th edition, it is encouraging to see that it has some excellent discussions of alternative and nutritional therapies – much more and much better than in Harrison’s which has not, as yet, shed delusions of its superiority. Yet, if you use Gaby’s as well as Harrison’s, and the Merck Manual along with a few more sources, they will all help you survive well.
From the patient’s perspective, Harrison’s provides the best information on how bodily systems work and just how and why synthetic drugs are toxic; its pharmacology section is pure gold and impeccable. In fact, it’s rather odd that doctors trained on Harrison’s are so unfamiliar with its hair-raising information about the drugs they so blithely prescribe. Similarly, the annually updated Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties is, in my view, mandatory reading for anyone who has just been handed a prescription. If you still want to risk taking that drug after reading the manufacturer’s own confessions about its known toxicity and side effects, and after having compared how nutritional medicine handles that same illness as Dr. Gaby describes it – then the best you can look forward to is having your symptoms suppressed by drugs, while the cause of your illness remains unaddressed and the disease process is left to run amok in your body.
In May, the University of Arizona’s College of Pharmacy published findings about those clinical software systems with which pharmacies work across the country, showing that they are generally unable to alert pharmacists to potentially deadly drug-drug interactions. Admittedly, for almost a decade it has been pharmacists who publish the information on which essential nutrients are depleted by commonly prescribed drugs (Pelton & LaValley), thus enabling patients to top up those nutrients while taking prescription drugs. Just keep in mind that mainstream medicine has openly acknowledged that the leading cause of death in North America is correctly prescribed drugs. Noteworthy is the fact published in May that for most new drugs, the FDA did not publish any comparative efficacy data (Nikolas). Yet Gaby’s book is essentially one huge comparative efficacy database!
The publication of Nutritional Medicine is as timely as it is necessary because patient attitudes have changed dramatically; now their fears and hopes have scientific support. The Medical Post reported on May 11, 2011, that more than 80% of Canadian doctors are asked about natural health products by patients, and 55% of patients are extremely wary of pharmaceuticals.
Gaby’s textbook is not a cookbook, it is more like a road map which leads to the inevitable conclusion that what most medical conditions have in common is nutrient deficiencies associated with their initiation and development. Gaby’s discussion and supporting evidence show which nutritional research points accurately at effective curative nutrients, and what commonalities in possible deficiencies will often apply. For even more refined detail and case histories, independent-minded patients can turn to books by Drs. Werbach, Gerson, Hoffer, and the environmental medicine information and autism treatment protocols of Dr. Jozef Krop, to supplement the information in Gaby’s textbook.
A VALUABLE TOOL FOR THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE
Remembering what Gloria Steinem taught, namely that the personal is always political, this book needs our supportive action. Textbooks are expensive, so I suggest taking a copy of this article to your area library to request its addition to the reference section – Harrison’s and the Merck Manual are already on the shelf, and they will be mostly obsolete in a few decades. Your favourite health food store should be requested to have a copy for customers to consult – it will increase sales of the most valuable products on offer. Your GP should also be approached: doctors can afford such books and deduct them as business expenses, and when utilizing the information provided in Nutritional Medicine (instead of wasting their precious time on drug reps whose advice promotes mostly professional burnout), they will have the exhilarating experience of seeing their patients actually become healthy.
Our MPPs should be made aware of this textbook as well – they all know that Medicare is on the verge of bankruptcy, and here is the information on how to serve the public interest with documented and verifiable facts that can also help save the economy from dependence on expensive pharmaceutical monopolies.
Consider this Check List:
1. Do I have mercury amalgam fillings and/or root canals? If so, consult a dentist registered with the International Academy for Oral and Medical Toxicology.
2. Are there pesticides in my vicinity? Find out more through Dr. Sherry Roger’s newsletter and the sources given by her, find a naturopath able to do such tests, google American Academy for Environmental Medicine.
3. Could my chronic condition be due to chronic Lyme disease infection? Consult CanLyme and the Lyme Action Group (Google), get a copy of their book, edited by Helke Ferrie, Ending Denial for guidance.
4. What is really known about the drugs I have been prescribed (not what the doctor said about them)? Go on-line and read what the manufacturer has to say via the 2011 edition of the CPS, Google each prescription drug adding + side effects or + toxicity.
5. Could the vaccines my child received be the cause of the problem, i.e. ADHD, autism, learning problems? Read my March 2011 article and my book review of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s book. Check out the treatment protocols in J. Krop MD, Healing the Planet One Patient At A Time, third ed., 2008, call Kos Publishing 519-927-1049
6. Am I still using toxic cleaning and personal care products? Get out the magnifying glass, enter each listed ingredient into Google + safety data.
7. Do I have wireless services anywhere in my house, a smart meter on my house, a cell phone in my bag, a microwave oven in my kitchen, digital devices and a TV in my bedroom, or does my landline phone emit high Gauss levels? Get rid of all of the above and turn your cell phone totally off when not in use. Consult the books on electropollution listed above and get guidance from their resource sections.
All of these questions, when answered and followed up will reveal what nutrients are compromised, which ones can help to regain health once your house, your mouth, your blood, and your organs have been cleaned up.
A. R., Gaby, MD, Nutritional Medicine, Fritz Perlberg Publishing, 2011, ISBN 13-978-0-9828850-0-0, orders www.doctorgaby.com
Interview with Dr. A. Gaby by D. Redwood in Health Insights Today (Cleveland Chiropractic College), March/April 2011, Vol. 4 (2), available from www.healthinsights.today.com
Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties, 2011 edition (required information from pharmaceutical companies) at all pharmacies, free online, in all doctors’ office
C. Elliott, White Coat Black Hat, Beacon, 2010
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th edition, McGraw Hill, 2008
P. Kooreman & E. Baars, Patients Whose GP Knows Complementary Medicine Have Lower Costs and Live Longer, in press, on-line May 2011; complete text accessible at www.theoneclickgroup.co.uk
J. Krop, Healing The Planet One Patient at a Time, Kos, Third Edition, 2008
A. Nerukar et al. When Conventional Medical Providers Recommend Unconventional Medicine: Result of a National Study, Archives of Internal Medicine 2011, vol. 171 (9)
M. L. McCullough et al. Following cancer prevention guidelines reduces risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. In American Cancer Society’s report on Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention, April 5, 2011
Merck Manual, 18th edition, 2006. This edition includes complementary and alternative medicine such as herbs, vitamins, minerals etc. in surprising detail and positively presented to the doctors reading this manual. See Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Feb/March 2011, analysis by Stephanie Pina p. 64-68.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, October 4, 2008; report on DNA of Good Bacteria Drives Intestinal Response to Infection (published in Immunity August 9, 2008)
H. Nikolas et al. Availability of Comparative Efficacy at the Time of Drug Approval in the United States, JAMA, 305 (17), May 2011
M. Panghal et al. In vitro antimicrobial activity of ten medicinal plants against clinical isolates of oral cancer cases, Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, BioMed Central open-access journal, May 2011
R. Pelton & J. LaValle, The Nutritional Cost of Prescription Drugs, Morton, 2004
N. Piermont, Wind Turbine Syndrome, K-Selected Books, 2009
K. R. Saverno et al. Ability of pharmacy clinical decision-support software to alert users about clinically important drug-drug interactions, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2011, vol. 18 (1) May, 2011
Suggested resources when consulting Dr. Gaby’s textbook for specific conditions:
B. Blake, Electromagentic Fields, iUniverse, (19995) 2007
D. Davis, Disconnect, Dutton, 2010
H. Ferrie ed. Ending Denial: The Lyme Disease Epidemic, Kos, 2010
C. Gerson, Healing the Gerson Way, Totality Books, 2007
C. Gerson, Defeating Obesity and High Blood Pressure: The Metabolic Syndrome, Totality Books, 2010
N. Gonzalez, The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer, New Spring Press, 2009
Health Alert: Disease Clusters Spotlight the Need to protect People from Toxic Chemicals, 2011 report from National Disease Clusters Alliance, available for free on www.nrdc.org
T. Hertoghe MD, The Hormone Solution, Three Rivers Press, 2002
C. Rees & M. Havas, Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution, Wide Angle Health, 2009
S. Somers, Knockout, Three Rivers Press, 2009
M. R. Werbach, Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, Third Line Press, 1999
M. R. Werbach, Nutritional Influences on Illness, Third Line Press, 1993
M. R. Werbach, Foundations of Nutritional Medicine, Third Line Press, 1997
M. R. Werbach, Nutritional Influences on Mental Illness, Third Line Press, 1999
M. R. Werbach, ed. Case Studies in Natural Medicine, Third Line Press, 2002
Best Pills Worst Pills, Editor Dr. Sidney Wolfe, subscribe via www.worstpills.org
Total Wellness Newsletter by Dr. Sherry Rogers www.prestigepublishing.com
Alternative Therapies, email@example.com
Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, available in Canada through 416-733-2117
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients www.townsendletter.com
Medical Veritas (on-line) link on www.kospublishing.com
PLoS Medicine (free access online medical journal)
Integrated Healthcare Practitioners (bi-monthly Canadian medical journal)
To find a doctor – Google:
American Academy for Environmental Medicine (Canada and US)
Canadian College for Naturopathy
OMA Section for Complimentary Medicine (via OMA head office)
International Academy for Oral and Medical Toxicology
International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine