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Author Topic:   Safety and Effectiveness of Herbs and Pharmaceuticals
Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 133 of 209 (554924)
04-10-2010 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by Buzsaw
04-10-2010 9:32 PM

Re: FDA - Labeling
Uh, Buz old chap,

When you begin reading about the maimed and dead due to the naturals as is the case with the pharms, then you have reason for government oversight and regulation.

Could you pop on over to Message 73 and take a look please. Thanks.

At age 74, thanks to the naturals, neither my wife or I have once used any form of medicare or medicaid.

You're sure it's due to the herbs? Really? How do you know it's them and not something else? Maybe it's Jesus.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Buzsaw, posted 04-10-2010 9:32 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 135 of 209 (554926)
04-10-2010 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Buzsaw
04-10-2010 9:50 PM

Re: Mercola's Wonderful Body Butter
My wife loves Dr Mercola's wonderful body butter. It's ingredients are so safe that it is great for baby's skin

Your wife is a baby? I didn't know you were Catholic.

Seriously, I have no argument with you here. What's not to love about a delicious fat that melts at body temperature? It's more the claims that coconut oil can fight cancer that I'm sceptical of.

Believe it or not, I'm very much in favour of herbal medicine. It's a neglected field, although increasingly less so. There must be thousands of herbs out there with wonderful medicinal properties and the capacity to improve our lives in a multitude of ways. I'm just not in favour of building false distinctions between herbal and synthetic medicines. All drugs should be treated the same; trialled as thoroughly as possible for safety and efficacy, whether herbal or otherwise. I don't think that most herbal medics have risen to this challenge.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Buzsaw, posted 04-10-2010 9:50 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Buzsaw, posted 04-10-2010 10:27 PM Granny Magda has responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 138 of 209 (554949)
04-10-2010 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by Buzsaw
04-10-2010 10:27 PM

Re: Mercola's Wonderful Body Butter
Two replies in one here,

LoL, Granny, Dr Wu sold a banned chemical.

This is the point that Coragyps and I have been trying to get across to you Buz; herbs contain chemicals! Chemicals are a constituent of herbs, of all plants, of you and me. The pills contained a banned substance; aristolochic acid. Where did the chemical come from? From the herbs that made up the pills! The pills were made from herbs. Here is a list of the ingredients in "Xie Gan Wan";

What is the formula composition?
A proprietary blend* of
Radix Gentianae Scabrae
Radix Bupleuri Chinensis
Rhizoma Alismatis Orientalis
Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae
Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis
Fructus Gardeniae Jasminoidis
Medulla Tetrapanacis Papyriferi
Semen Plantaginis (Plantago asiatica)
Radix Angelicae Sinensis
Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis

From http://www.activeherb.com/longdan/ with Chinese names omitted.

Those are all herbs, just mixed and made into pills. They are herbs that contain chemicals. They are a herbal drug. Do you imagine that had they been used in their unmixed natural forms, the aristolochic acid would not have been present? Do you think that it is somehow inconceivable that herbs contain harmful chemicals?

She broke the law!

She walked out of court a free woman. She got away with it. the law is, in this case, an ass and it needs tightening. Besides, the legality of a substance has no bearing on whether or not it is a drug, a herb or both.

This isolated example, in fact, involves no herbal product. Had Dr Wu stuck to the naturals as nearly all wholistic docs do, there would've been no problem.

Wrong, wrong and wrong. The product was indeed herbal and as natural as any mixture of herbs could be. It is going to kill that poor woman, regardless of how natural it is. Natural poison is still poison. Nor is this an isolated example.

Two instances of Chinese herbal medicine poisoning in Singapore.

Datura metel L. (Yangjinghua) is a toxic herb that contains anticholinergic compounds. Inappropriate consumption of this herb could result in anticholinergic poisoning. Clinical features of such poisoning have not been previously described. We report two such cases. Both patients had taken brews of Datura metel L., and developed poisoning soon afterwards. Prominent clinical features included confusion, dilated pupils, absence of sweating, and the absence of sluggish bowel sounds. No flushing of the face or skin was detected in either case. Both patients recovered fully within 12 hours with supportive measures, and no gastric elimination or antidote was used. The different names ascribed to Datura metel L. in chinese medicine can be confusing; this confusion resulted in the poisoning of one of our patients. The clinical features of Datura metel L. poisoning and concerns over inappropriate uses of herbal medicine are discussed.


Lead poisoning caused by contaminated Cordyceps, a Chinese herbal medicine: two case reports

Two cases of lead poisoning, caused by the Chinese herbal medicine Cordyceps, were reported to the Department of Health in a laboratory-based blood lead surveillance program. Such unusual cases of lead poisoning have not been previously reported. These two patients took Cordyceps herbal medicine for treatment of underlying diseases. Loss of appetite and anemic signs of lead poisoning were manifested in one patient with a blood lead level of 130 μg/dl, while the other patient was asymptomatic with a blood lead level of 46 μg/dl. The lead content in the Cordyceps powder was found to be as high as 20 000 ppm. After cessation of intake in the asymptomatic patient, and cessation of intake and treatment with chelating agents in the symptomatic patient, the blood lead levels returned to normal range. This report raises concerns about lead poisoning from unusual herbal medicine worldwide.


Did you read my response to Percy's OP on the last page relative to the fact that herbs are not one and the same as pharma drugs by definition and should not be lumped with parma drugs

Uh, yah. I responded to it, remember? I asked how opium was not a drug. You responded back, I replied with this masterpiece of rhetoric here; Message 130.

The natural food suppliment industry will, for the most part, go belly up if regulated, due to the fact that the powerful pharms, in bed with the government and loaded with dough will obliviate them. Government mandated regulations will bankrupt them and make their products too costly to produce. Are you sure that's what you want, Granny?

Not especially, although I would be happy to see dangerous quacks like Mercola go under. What I would rather see is an effective medical system where the best possible treatments, whether herbal or otherwise are available to all. I have a good deal more faith than you in the ability of herbalists to continue making a buck. If their products works, they'll stay afloat. If not, they never deserved to be in business in the first place.

Mutate and Survive

Edited by Granny Magda, : Fix link, add citations.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Buzsaw, posted 04-10-2010 10:27 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Buzsaw, posted 04-11-2010 8:47 AM Granny Magda has not yet responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 168 of 209 (555578)
04-14-2010 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Kitsune
04-13-2010 7:38 AM

Re: Alt med and vaccines
Hi Kitsune,

Time pressures are growing on me again after the Easter holidays but I will stick with this as long as I can.

Am I to take that you've stopped pretending you're not debating this then?

The GMC also readily ousts people who do not strictly play by their rules.

More unsubstantiated accusations. Citations or it never happened.

I have been ill for 5 1/2 years and mainstream doctors have failed me utterly.

News flash! Personal anecdotes are irrelevant! I also notice that your choice of language implies that you are still ill, so alternative medicine has done no more than conventional.

Also, if it's anecdotes you're after, try this. I am only alive because of pharmaceuticals. Without them, I would not have lived to see puberty, but would have died an agonising death. "Allopathy" saved my life. Try doing that with coconut oil.

efore this I was like you and many others here, I knew little to nothing about alternative medicine and was happy to take whatever my doctor felt necessary to prescribe for me.

More unsubstantiated accusations. This time you presume to know not only how educated I am on the subject of alt-med, but how I behave at my doctor's. Has it occurred to you Kitsune, that I might know plenty about alt-med and yet still dismiss it? Just because I don't agree with you does not mean that I am ignorant.

but the jury is still out with me about Dr. Wakefield.

This misses the point. It is not a question of the jury being out. It is a question of Wakefield (or you, or anyone else) producing actual evidence of a link between MMR and autism. That is the starting point for any MMR/autism concerns. He has failed to produce this. There is no jury because there is no case to answer in the first place. Disagree? Then produce the evidence that MMR is linked to autism, the evidence that I have been asking for all week. If you can't produce that evidence, you really have nothing of value to say on the subject.

At the moment I buy cold-pressed chemical-free virgin coconut oil from a country that sources from independent growers in the Philippines, and they charge £13.99 for 500ml. I do wish the overall prices would come down.

Bet you a pound that bog-standard coconut oil form the grocers will work as well. Try it. You have nothing to lose.

I've seen him {Mercola} mention all sorts of natural things that one can try using. Notice that he never says "use this certified cure" about anything (nor does he say, for that matter, "do not vaccinate your children");

No, he prefers scare stories and vague claims, much easier to make and no need to back them up with any pesky statistics.

I haven't tried baking soda for any of the things he recommends but I'm not beyond doing so.

Would you try it for cancer? Seriously, because that's what Simoncini recommends for his candida-tumours. And Mercola promotes Simoncini and calls him "brilliant". Mercola complains that Simoncini has been "persecuted". Poor baby.

Why are you so certain that it's useless for anything other than raising cakes or scrubbing the kitchen counter -- is it just because your "common sense" tells you it's nonsense? How do you know?

You are misrepresenting my position. I have no idea whether baking soda is effective against cancer. But then, I'm not the one who is boosting it on my website. Mercola is. How do you know that baking soda might be useful? Because Mercola says so? How does Mercola know that it is medicinally useful? Answer; he doesn't. How does Simoncini know that it fights candida cancer? He doesn't. They pull these claims out of their asses and expect to be taken seriously. That's malpractice. Studies first, claims later. Citations or it never happened. That's how medicine works, that is how it has progressed and that is the only acceptable way of doing medicine.

By the way, what Dr. Mercola does advocate time and time again, which you will see listed at the bottom of many of his web pages, is a healthy lifestyle that includes diet, exercise, proper sleep, relaxation, and so forth. Are you going to argue about that too?

Of course not. What I do find laughable is the idea that this is somehow alternative medicine. As if the evil allopaths are encouraging their patients to subsist on lard butties and dripping.

About "cancer is a fungus" . . . again, I've studied candida overgrowth and its alleged effects. I've looked into ways of clearing it. I've even gone on a regimen for myself in case that was part of my health problem. I didn't watch the video but I read the article, which says that cancer may be the body's response to candida. Could that be the case at least some of the time? IMO very possibly so.

No. You have no business dismissing this when you can't even be arsed to look inot it. Watch the video. Simoncini is saying that all tumours have candida at their centre. He knows this because they are all white (they are not) and fungus is white (no-one who knows even the slightest thing about fungus could say this with a straight face). He knows this because the tumours are squishy in the centre (something already known to oncologists and satisfactorily explained). He does not, say, do a DNA test to find the candida, something that might seem to be a simple and irrefutable proof of his theory. Simoncini is an insane moronic quack and Joe Mercola thinks he's "brilliant". This is cast iron proof that Mercola is a scientific illiterate whose advice should be taken with several truck-loads of salt.

Parents are urged to ensure their children get the MMR jab. Measles cases in England and Wales rose by 36% in 2008, figures show. Confirmed cases increased from 990 in 2007 to 1,348 last year - the highest figure since the monitoring scheme was introduced in 1995.

Granny writes:

Vaccination could have prevented those cases.

Kitsune writes:

This is still a miniscule portion of the population.

Oh, so that's okay then. It's only a few sick kids. A mere trifle.

Vaccination could have prevented those cases. Quack medicine and media bullshit induced people to stop vaccinating their kids. This is the result.

Vaccination has become such an ingrained part of our culture, it is now considered horrific if someone catches one of these diseases, even though a generation ago they were seen as a normal part of childhood.

Yes, a generation ago, seeing kids die of measles was considered normal. Now it's not. I am suggesting that this is a good thing.

Why do we now need a chicken pox vaccine?

Because it can kill. The vaccine can't. This is not complicated.

I do not believe that vaccines are purely harmless and I am concerned about the growing numbers of them that are given to young children nowadays, especially in the US.

Well cite some damn studies to back this shit up then! Jeez, would it kill you to cite something that backs up a link between MMR and autism? Or thermirosal and autism? Or showing a major risk with chickenpox vaccine?

You are welcome to believe whatever comforting piffle you like, but if you're going to bring it here, you know the score; citations or it never happened.

I want to know why you think people like Steven Barrett are so hell-bent on discrediting people who sell nutritional supplements when prescription medications given and taken correctly are killing thousands of people every year and leaving others with horrific side effects.

It is simply not relevant. Do you have any objection to Barret's claims about Mercola? Which of his claims is materially false? No? If you can't demonstrate that what Barret says is false, it doesn't matter what his motivations are.

I mentioned Zyprexa; do you know what akathisia is? If it were herbs causing these effects you'd be up in arms. But it's different with prescription meds somehow.

Bullshit. You are again, trying to misrepresent me. I want to see all treatments, whether herbal or synthetic, treated exactly the same., as I have said about a hundred times on this thread. I want them trialled and proved effective. I want all their side-effects to be studied. This is what happens in the pharmaceutical industry. How do you know that Zyprexia causes akathisia? Did a herbalist tell you? No, the drug companies test their products. I want herbalists and other potion-wallahs to be forced to do the same. That's all.

And yet, strangely, there were no deaths caused by nutritional supplements in 2008. None. How does that fit in with your arguments here about these dangerous unregulated substances?

Meanwhile, in Singapore;

Both patients had taken brews of Datura metel L., and developed poisoning soon afterwards. Prominent clinical features included confusion, dilated pupils, absence of sweating, and the absence of sluggish bowel sounds. No flushing of the face or skin was detected in either case. Both patients recovered fully within 12 hours with supportive measures, and no gastric elimination or antidote was used. The different names ascribed to Datura metel L. in chinese medicine can be confusing; this confusion resulted in the poisoning of one of our patients.


It does not matter how many people use herbs with no apparent ill effects. What matters is that some have been injured by their use. That means that they should be regulated. Simple. Of course, the fact that one study showed that 92% of those taking herbals failed to report this to their doctor, makes me rather dubious of the value of your article. How are we supposed to know how dangerous or safe herbals are when no-one is keeping track of their use? For the record, I doubt that there are many fatalities. That makes no comment on other, non-fatal side effects.

Granny writes:

Are you ever going to provide evidence that MMR is linked to autism?

Kitsune writes:

I don't know for sure that it is. I never said I was sure that it was. I believe it may be a possibility.

Based on what? It's a possibility that it's caused by all sorts of things. Where is your evidence for this claim? Citations or do please shut up about it.

Now, I asked you to cite the monkey study. You responded with Wakefield, who says this;

It was never done

Which stands in stark contrast to your claim in Message 108;

Kitsune writes:

He has studied the effects of multiple vaccinations in monkeys

He has not and he admits as much. Cry conspiracy all you like, your claim was false.

I would wholeheartedly support such a study. I would expect such studies to be done before I subjected my child to a US-style vaccination schedule. Why is this not happening?

Probably partly because there is no evidence to link autism to vaccines in the first place, partly because Wakefield's ineptness and lack of basic ethics has poisoned the well. No-one is likely to research this because no-one wants to be associated with the kind of quack medicine that has characterised this field. Given that there is no particular reason to think that this is important work anyway, it's hardly surprising that no-one wants to touch it.

Was the paper withdrawn due to the influence of a drug company that manufactures vaccines? Who knows.

For fucks sake... If you don't know, why are you bothering with this conspiracy theory bullshit? How about you come back when you actually do know? Until then all you have is bullshit and supposition.

How many people are really aware that they have turned into walking lab experiments?

Ooh, er... let me see... er... none? Yeah, none. Not sure how that was supposed to relevant anyway, since personal anecdote is worthless, but it's none.

Granny writes:

Or show that coconut oil fights cancer?

Kitsune writes:

As part of a healthy diet, you bet it does.

You're kidding? Kitsune, all foods can fight cancer as part of a healthy balanced diet. That is nothing special and not worth making claims about. When Mercola boosts coconut oil, he gives a false impression that it has some special property that marks it out as being of medicinal value. I say to him what I say to you; citations or it never happened.

We seem to be actively disagreeing with each other. It might just be nice to keep the topic from continually expanding because having to write very lengthy posts puts me off posting anything at all.

Then get back to the original point. Tell me why we should even begin to suspect that MMR is linked to autism.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Kitsune, posted 04-13-2010 7:38 AM Kitsune has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by Wounded King, posted 04-14-2010 9:49 AM Granny Magda has responded
 Message 177 by Kitsune, posted 04-14-2010 1:47 PM Granny Magda has responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 173 of 209 (555587)
04-14-2010 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by Wounded King
04-14-2010 9:49 AM

Re: Alt med and vaccines
Hi WK,

I see what you're saying and indeed, I agree. I'm just a little sick of Kitsune making accusations and not even bothering to try and substantiate them. If she believes that the GMC has unfairly ousted people (as she attempts to imply) she should cite cases. Then let us see how unfair they are.

You're right though. If doctors can't keep to the rules of their profession, they should not be in practice.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Wounded King, posted 04-14-2010 9:49 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 179 of 209 (555629)
04-14-2010 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Kitsune
04-14-2010 1:47 PM

Re: Alt med and vaccines
Hi Kitsune,

I guess that relegates this to the realm of meaningless anecdote for you so I will move on.

I see you understand my position perfectly.

If you want to imply that the GMC is somehow unfair, cite a proper documented example. If not, don't make unsupported accusations.

I'm a lot better than I was; I can work and look after my child. And I have not exhausted the different angles to this by any means.

And I wish you good luck. My concern is that you seem to attribute this improvement to alt-med, when in truth you, don't know the details of cause and effect. Nor do you know with any certainty that you might not be better off today had you stuck to conventional therapies. You might have naturally improved anyway. That's why I keep saying that personal anecdotes are worthless.

Surely you understand that it is invalid to draw wider conclusions from limited personal experience? You are not Buzsaw. Surely you can see what I'm getting at here?

You did what worked for you, others do what works for them.

Outrageous! Please cite me a single case of a child with nefrotic syndrome being treated with alt-med. You ain't gonna find find one, unless it's one of those "Idiots kill their kid by denying life-saving medicine" stories.

Coconut oil has greatly helped some people

Citations or it never happened.

If you do have a sizeable knowledge base, you have not yet demonstrated it here. You seem very angry about the subject.

I am somewhat angry yes. What annoys me is that you post a video where is known quack is interviewed in a completely uncritical manner by another known quack. You promote vaccine scaremongering, but you refuse to back it up when challenged. If you can't or won't back up the vaccine-denialism that Wakefield and Mercola are selling, you shouldn't bring it here. This is, in case you have forgotten, a debate site, not Youtube.

I am angry about alt-med because conventional medicine, the same kind that you label "allopathy", saved my life and I don't like seeing people like Wakefield and Mercola denigrate it.

I can't (demonstrate a link between MMR and autism} at this time, and I didn't say there was one.

If you can't demonstrate a link between MMR and autism, you should not be promoting the fawning interviews with those who suggest that there is a link. It's dangerous, it promotes scaremongering and it helps induce parents to deny their children vaccines.

Remember, it's not really Wakefield who is to blame for the MMR scare and its effects. It's the media. It's the alt-med websites, like Mercola's, that promoted the theory. They are the ones who spread the panic. they are the ones who made this a widespread health panic. When Wakefield initially published his case series report, he garnered little attention. Only when the media and caught wind of the story did it blow up into a panic.

By promoting Wakefield in such an uncritical interview, you are adding more fuel to an already blazing fire.

Does that mean, in your apparently polarised way of thinking, that I have to believe that the MMR is 100% safe? If vaccines were as safe as you seem to believe, then why does the US have a vaccine adverse event reporting system (which the UK does as well)?

No, of course not. They do have side effects, almost all drugs do, whether herbal or synthetic. Their side effects however are much less serious than measles, mumps or rubella.

The question you should be asking is "Why is there no Herbal adverse effect reporting system?" Why is alt-med lacking in such systems of oversight? We know that herbals can be dangerous and that few people report herbal usage to their doctors. Surely herbalism should be subject to the same rigorous standards of safety as any other form of medicine? Wouldn't that lead to better, safer service?

If such oversights were in place for alt-med, as I have called for from page one of this thread, I would be much happier for people to be using them.

How does the medical establishment know that the only way to fight cancer is surgery, chemotherapy, or other invasive or harmful procedures?

They don't. You just made that up.

Do they know how it actually occurs or why it grows?

Yes. And no. Do you actually think that "cancer" is a single entity? It is slightly more complicated than you are portraying it. Some forms are well understood and others not.

Anyway, does Mercola know "why it grows"? No. This is more irrelevant waffle.

Note that Dr. Mercola will not suggest to anyone that they should try any of the approaches he puts on his website exclusively, but he is offering possibilities.

Ah yes, the Glenn Beck defence. "I'm just asking questions! I'm exploring the possibilities!" Did Joe Mercola rape and murder a young girl in 1990? I'm just asking questions!

Until someone actually pays to do a study of the health effects of baking soda, then it is a harmless substance that I see no problem with trying.

Unless someone does a study on the reputed healing powers of baking soda, it is irrelevant to discuss it. Unproven is unproven. I think that anyone offering medical advice over the internet has an ethical duty to restrict themselves to what can be proven.

In my experience...

In your experience... which is no doubt exhaustive.

When I debated about this before and listed effects of prescription meds, including deaths, I was told that these were "insignificant" because the percentages were small compared to the people who were helped (which was also unsubstantiated).

Bullshit. I said nothing of the kind. I particularly object to your use of quotation marks around the word "insignificant", a word I have not used before in this thread.

My argument is that conventional medicines undergo extensive trialling and assessment to ferret out any ill effects. Herbals and alt-meds do not. That is the difference. With conventional medicine, great care is taken to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks, because when your products actually possess active ingredients there will almost always be risks. I only want the same care to be taken with all medicines, or they have no right to be described as medicines at all.

By the way, measles kills. The MMR vaccine does not.

Why am I concerned? Because more and more vaccines are added to the immunization program and no one is studying the effects of the combined vaccines.

Except that this is not true;

Randomized trial on the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of MenACWY-CRM, an investigational quadrivalent meningococcal glycoconjugate vaccine, administered concomitantly with a combined tetanus, reduced diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine in adolescents and young adults.

Gasparini R, Conversano M, Bona G, Gabutti G, Anemona A, Dull PM, Ceddia F.

Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Via Pastore 1, 16132 Genoa, Italy. gasparini@unige.it

This study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an investigational quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY-CRM, when administered concomitantly with a combined tetanus, reduced diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, in subjects aged 11 to 25 years. Subjects received either MenACWY-CRM and Tdap, MenACWY-CRM and saline placebo, or Tdap and saline placebo. No significant increase in reactogenicity and no clinically significant vaccine-related adverse events (AEs) occurred when MenACWY-CRM and Tdap were administered concomitantly. Similar immunogenic responses to diphtheria, tetanus, and meningococcal (serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y) antigens were observed, regardless of concomitant vaccine administration. Antipertussis antibody responses were comparable between vaccine groups for filamentous hemagglutinin and were slightly lower, although not clinically significantly, for pertussis toxoid and pertactin when the two vaccines were administered concomitantly. These results indicate that the investigational MenACWY-CRM vaccine is well tolerated and immunogenic and that it can be coadministered with Tdap to adolescents and young adults.


Anyway, MMR is a combined vaccine. One of the benefits of combining vaccines in the first place is that any interactions can be detected.

Each vaccine uses an adjuvant such as aluminum, formaldehyde, or squalene which is injected directly into the bloodstream, bypassing all natural immune defenses, in order to stimulate the production of antibodies.

Did you mean for that sentence to contradict itself? If it has bypassed the immune system, how can it produce antibodies?

You will read information that tells you that this is safe in individual vaccines (keeping in mind the fact that adverse events are still reported and compensation is paid out for damage from individual vaccines), but there are no studies that I am aware of that analyse the combined effects of the 24 (and counting) recommended vaccines in the US by age 2. According to you, because the studies aren't there, I'm being a dumb ass by questioning the safety of this.

If that were Wakefield only message, I would not object to him so strongly. But it's not. Still though, if there are dangers present, there are mechanisms in place to detect them, as you have noted. If these show a correlation between vaccination and side effects, then you have cause for concern. Until then, you are just tilting at windmills. It doesn't matter how plausible your ideas about vaccines might be if you have no information to start with. And you don't.

I have not brought up thimerosal at all apart from perhaps to mention that it is in flu shots. I am very glad to see that it is gone from other vaccines.

Noted. fair enough.

Purpledawn and I explained the labelling issue to you. If that's the best he can do to discredit Dr. Mercola then it's a pretty lame attack. The best you seem to be able to do is try to ad hom him to death.

No, you seem to misunderstand what an ad hominim is. I have not said "Joe Mercola is a dick, thus he is wrong.". That would be an ad hominim. I have said that he is a known promoter of pseudo-science and that he has behaved dishonestly in his business practices and made exaggerated claims, all of which undermines his trustworthiness as a source. It certainly makes him one of the worst people imaginable to interview a controversial figure like Wakefield.

I really would like to see clinical trials establish the effects of some herbs so that they are not just hearsay, but who will pay?

I agree that this is a likely problem, but it's just too bad. The alt-med business is not some cottage industry. It is worth billions. They can afford to do much more than they do. Ultimately, it's about ethics. It is deeply unethical to supply untested "medicines". If that is all that herbalists can do, they have no right to be in business in the first place.

You seem to think that pharmaceutical clinical trials catch all side effects, which is not true, otherwise class action lawsuits against drug companies for drug damage would not exist. Many doctors dismiss, or give little weight to, patients' reports of side effects, let alone report them themselves.

I'm not saying that systems of oversight are perfect, I'm saying that they are better than nothing. And with much alt-med, nothing is exactly what you're getting. In the UK, the Yellow Card Scheme exists solely for the purpose of correlating patient feedback about side effects in a meaningful way. No such system exists for alt-med.

Zyprexa is an antipsychotic medication. These types of medications are known to cause akathisia and other distressing side effects. The diabetes link was not discovered until people already taking the drug after FDA approval contracted the disease. You can read all about this debacle here. This isn't the worst of the lot; you might have heard of Vioxx.

That is why the Yellow Card Scheme exists. There is no such scheme for alt-med.

So your response to my source that there were no deaths from dietary supplements in 2008 is to cite a single obscure case from Singapore with a herb most people have never heard of, let alone used? You'll need to try harder than that.

First, your report only covered the USA. Second, only one person need be damaged by herbals to demonstrate that a risk exists and needs to be dealt with. Besides, I'm not saying that herbals are necessarily lethal. I expect that's very rare. But side effects need not be lethal to be of concern.Herbals are known to possess harmful side effects. They need to be placed under the same scrutiny as any other medicine.

He was saying that the study had never been done previously and that he was attempting to rectify this.

Yes, you are right about that. You're talking about this study;


Delayed Acquisition of Neonatal Reflexes in newborn
Primates receiving A Thimerosal-containing HepatitiS B
Vaccine: influence of gestational age and Birth weight

This study examined whether acquisition of neonatal reflexes and sensorimotor skills in newborn rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) is influenced by receipt of the single neonatal dose of Hepatitis B (HB) vaccine containing the preservative thimerosal (Th). HB vaccine containing a standardized weight-adjusted Th dose was administered to male macaques within 24 hours of birth (n=13). Unexposed animals received saline placebo (n=4) or no injection (n=3). Infants were raised identically and tested daily for acquisition of 9 survival, motor, and sensorimotor reflexes by a blinded observer. In exposed animals there was a significant delay in the acquisition of three survival reflexes: root, snout and suck, compared with unexposed animals. No neonatal responses were significantly delayed in unexposed animals compared with exposed. Gestational age (GA) and birth weight were not significantly correlated. Cox regression models were used to evaluate the main effects and interactions of exposure with birth weight and GA as independent predictors and time-invariant covariates. Significant main effects remained for exposure on root and suck when controlling for GA and birth weight such that exposed animals were relatively delayed in time-to-criterion. There was a significant effect of GA on visual follow far when controlling for exposure such that increasing GA was associated with shorter time-to-criterion. Interaction models indicated that while there were no main effects of GA or birth weight on root, suck or snout reflexes there were various interactions between exposure, GA, and birth weight such that inclusion of the relevant interaction terms significantly improved model fit. This, in turn, indicated important influences of birth weight and/or GA on the effect of exposure which, in general, operated in a way that lower birth weight and/or lower GA exacerbated the detrimental effect of vaccine exposure. This primate model provides a possible means of assessing adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes from neonatal Th-containing HB vaccine exposure, particularly in infants of lower GA or low birth weight. The mechanism of these effects and the
requirements for Th is not known and requires further study.

First, the study is on a thimerosal vaccine. MMR does not contain thimerosal, nor do any modern vaccines. The whole thing is a red herring.

Second, the monkeys were vaccinated within twenty-four hours of birth. Needless to say, this is hardly standard medical practice. Six weeks is normal. They are not comparing like with like.

Also, given the small sample size, this is not a very strong study. It can't be used to draw very strong conclusions. Nor can a study on a single vaccine (one that doesn't exist in the real world, since the Hep B vaccine does not contain thimerosal) be extrapolated to other vaccines, such as MMR.

Even with all these objections, the effects they found were not exactly Earth-shattering. They delayed the development some some reflexes by one to three days. Oh the horror!

In short, this study sucks. No wonder it was withdrawn.

By the way, do you not have any problem whatsoever with the chairman of a company that publishes several major scientific journals, also having a place on the board of a major drug manufacturer?

And what do you think of this, from the primate study;

Prior to 2005, CS and AJW {Carol Stott and Andrew Wakefield} acted as paid experts in MMR-related litigation on behalf of the plaintiff. LH {Laura Hewitson}has a child who is a petitioner in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. For this reason, LH was not involved in any data collection or statistical analyses to preclude the possibility of a perceived conflict of interest.

She's the corresponding author! Plus the paper was funded by anti-vaccine groups like Taking About Curing Autism. Conflicts of interest are all over. What matters is the science and this study is a giant dud.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Kitsune, posted 04-14-2010 1:47 PM Kitsune has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 180 by Kitsune, posted 04-16-2010 6:35 AM Granny Magda has responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 184 of 209 (555947)
04-16-2010 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 180 by Kitsune
04-16-2010 6:35 AM

Re: Alt med and vaccines
Hi Kitsune,

You are in error that the HepB vaccine is given 6 weeks after birth; the CDC says it should be administered at birth.

In America. Where there is no thimerosal in vaccines. In the deveoping world, the monovalent Hep B vaccine is rarely used; the usual practice is to use combined vaccines, which are only given after six weeks.

The drug they are testing is hardly used. In the US and Europe it is not used, since our vaccines do not contain thimerosal. Elsewhere, separate vaccines are much rarer. This makes it pretty clear that the study group where not interested in testing real-world situations, but rather in producing anti-vaccine propaganda.

If the study is interested in thimerosal containing vaccines in the developing world, as they claim, why did they mimic the US vaccination schedule?

As far as including thimerosal in the vaccinations in the monkey study, I see no problem with this since this is what indeed happened until recently; any person older than age 9 will have had it in their jab.

This is absurd. It's a little bit late to help those people. Anyone interested in actual medicine should be looking at current practice. It is of no value to discover that something is unsafe when no-one is doing it anyway. It is even more absurd to do this and then use it to spread vague fears about vaccines.

Speaking of vagueness, here's your original mention of the primate study;

Did the study you cited above use controls who were never vaccinated with MMR? No. Did you read what Dr. Wakefield said in his own defence about the study on monkeys? No. And you are making assumptions about the chicken pox virus without looking into any of the facts either, though I bet you're not past quote mining something from Quackwatch.

You don't mention it in any context that makes sense. You just throw it in there, with no attempt to place it into any proper context, right next to a claim about MMR. This is exactly the kind of vague scaremongering that I am talking about.

I think it is reasonable to be concerned that there was a conflict of interest with one of the study administrators, and there are no doubt improvements that could be made to the study (though why the publishers decided not to go ahead with the paper is not something you or I can know, and it is speculation to say that it is because the study was rubbish). My own criticism is that what the monkeys were given was not anything close to the 36 vaccines administered over 2 years, nor was the study done over a long enough time span.

I agree.

What you cannot do is reject this study and subsequently claim that it is safe for everybody to receive all of those vaccines before age 2. The study you cited of 4 vaccines being administered to 11-25 year olds does not come close to addressing this issue either.

But you haven't even taken the first step of pointing out a legitimate concern. You have done nothing to show that we even need to fear combined vaccinations. You claimed that there were no studies into vaccine combinations. You were wrong, but now that you see there are such studies, you call them insufficient. It's no use calling for studies when you can't even point to a legitimate concern. You provide us with nothing to distinguish your concern over vaccines from paranoia.

Another question I have is the issue of trust; namely, how can I trust what the CDC says? Here is a case in point. For years they insisted that thimerosal was a safe additive to vaccines. Then they removed it from all childhood vaccines. Why?

WK has dealt with this already. Thimerosal was removed as a marketing effort. Besides, no-one ever claimed that the CDC was infallible. Your objection is bizarre.

But it's still in flu shots. And the CDC recommend flu shots to pregnant women, which means foetuses at all stages of development will be exposed to thimerosal. If thimerosal was (once?) safe in vaccines, who is to say that it's OK for a 4-week-old foetus? Where are the studies?

Who is talking about flu shots? I am not. You are attempting to lead us off-topic. You are using the usual alt-med/vaccine denial strategy off throwing as much shit at the wall as possible and hoping that some of it sticks.

To end this portion of the post about vaccines, I would like to give a link to a paper by Russell Blaylock.

Is that the same Russell Blaylock who thinks that monosodium glutamate, aspartame and sucralose are toxic?

Russell Blaylock places the term "evidence-based medicine" inn inverted commas as though this were somehow a crime. I am not going to wade through this very long article just for the sake of a blind link. Why don't you point out the salient bits for me? It doesn't start out well I have to say. Blaylock slates epidemiological studies but is happy to go on about the supposed coincidence between autism rises and changes in vaccination (which he does not specify). The section "The Compelling Link Between Autism and the Vaccination Program" has no links of any kind. So where is the meat?

I did notice this in there though;

Wakefield and his co-workers demonstrated a connection between the MMR vaccines and abnormal gut function in a landmark article appearing in the journal Lancet in 1998.


Alt med is not a "system"; it's an umbrella term for non-mainstream health and medicine. Herbs and vitamins are classed as dietary supplements, so your question really amounts to, how do you report adverse effects from food or drink?

The same way as the Yellow Card Scheme, by centralised patient reporting and subsequent analysis. There is no excuse for this in the case of herbals; they should be treated just as drugs of any kind. In failing to do this herbalists and others are being irresponsible and show no regard for patient safety.

Clear the FDA of people who are in the pockets of drug manufacturers and make it the truly independent watchdog that it was supposed to be in the first place. Then make a division in charge of overseeing the effects and the safety of dietary supplements.

That is along the right lines I think, but I see no need to treat "food supplements" as anything other than a drug.

Mutate and Survive

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 180 by Kitsune, posted 04-16-2010 6:35 AM Kitsune has not yet responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 203 of 209 (558067)
04-29-2010 4:49 PM

Alt-Med Guru Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine
I tried to resist posting this... for all of about half a second;

Gary Null suit vs. supplement manufacturer claims Gary Null's Ultimate Power Meal nearly killed him

A controversial alternative health guru is suing after a taste of his own medicine nearly killed him.

Gary Null - described on quackwatch.org as "one of the nation's leading promoters of dubious treatment for serious disease" - claims the manufacturer of Gary Null's Ultimate Power Meal overloaded the supplements with Vitamin D.

Of course, it would be quite wrong for anyone to find amusement in this, or to gloat about it in any way.

The buff "Joy of Juicing" author, whose products include Red Stuff Powder and Gary Null's Heavenly Hair Cleaner, claims he suffered kidney damage and was left bloodied and in intense pain from two daily servings of the supplement.

"Null continued to take the Ultimate Power Meal, all the while thinking that it would help him, and relieve his condition; instead, it made him worse," the suit says.

Finding humour at the misfortunes of others is always very wrong, and even though Gary is an absurd quack and even though he has made a recovery, it would be quite wrong of me to mock him.

The suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court accuses Triarco Industries of causing Null's "near-death experience" by botching the testing and manufacturing of the supplement.

Null, who also owns an eponymous food shop on the upper West Side, contends he was hit last December with "excruciating fatigue" that left him unable to walk and forced him to fly back to New York and cancel lectures, counseling and filming.

"Null would later be told that if he had not flown back to New York and seen his doctor, then he could have died within a short period of time," the suit says.

"Null then sequestered himself and fasted, only consuming massive amounts of water as he was told there was no medical treatment to lower the amount of Vitamin D in his system."

Ah screw it. This is hilarious.

Gary Null is one of those kooky nutritionist types who thinks that you can fight disease just by consuming tons of vitamins. He is also an anti-vaxer and HIV/AIDS denialist. To see him hoist by his own petard is pure schadenfreude. And how can one resist mocking a man whose publicity photo looks like this?

Why is he pulling that face? Is he doing an impersonation of Uri Geller? Is he constipated? Is he doing an impersonation of Uri Geller whilst constipated? What a prat.

What really amazes me is that I thought the possibility of vitamin D poisoning was quite well known. You'd think he would have known better.

Mutate and Survive

Replies to this message:
 Message 204 by purpledawn, posted 04-29-2010 6:40 PM Granny Magda has responded
 Message 205 by Coragyps, posted 04-29-2010 6:51 PM Granny Magda has acknowledged this reply

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 206 of 209 (558091)
04-29-2010 7:08 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by purpledawn
04-29-2010 6:40 PM

Re: Alt-Med Guru Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine
Hi PD,

Never heard of the guy before

I have. I read his Joy of Juicing book. It was long on vitamins-as-panacea guff, interspersed with tasty juice recipes. I liked the parsnip and apple juice (with a pinch of nutmeg), but I was less keen on the health advice.

He didn't do this to himself by taking too much. It was a manufacturing error. So he wasn't hoisted by his own petard.

He was happy enough to promote completely non-essential vitamin supplements as if they were some kind of healing potion. Now, one of his magic dinners has poisoned him. Bang goes the "natural food supplements are safe" line that Null has been peddling.

A vitamin quack has been poisoned with vitamins. Vitamins with his name on the box. No matter who was responsible for the safety of the product that bore Null's name, you must be able to detect some small note of irony in that, no?

This isn't a case of someone taking too much on their own.

I didn't say that it was. The article I quoted makes this quite clear;

The suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court accuses Triarco Industries of causing Null's "near-death experience" by botching the testing and manufacturing of the supplement.

Null apparently caught the mistake before it hurt anyone else and the one in 2004 was recalled when the mistake was discovered.

No, according to NYDN, Null's own lawsuit;

accuses Triarco of inadequate safety testing that led to six consumers being hospitalized with severe kidney damage.

Doubtless those people thought that what they were eating was safe. This kind of event encapsulates the reasons why these products should be properly regulated.

If this had happened to some random customer, this would merely be tragic. But when Null's own product poisons him, I can't help but find it quite funny. I guess I'm just a bad person.

Mutate and Survive

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by purpledawn, posted 04-29-2010 6:40 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 207 by purpledawn, posted 04-30-2010 7:25 AM Granny Magda has responded

Granny Magda
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 208 of 209 (558255)
04-30-2010 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by purpledawn
04-30-2010 7:25 AM

Re: Alt-Med Guru Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine
Hi PD,

So when tainted Tylenol is recalled that means untainted Tylenol is no longer safe?

That depends on what you mean by safe, but basically, it's not completely safe. It carries risks if used improperly. That fact that drugs are not completely safe is the very reason why they need to be so closely controlled.

The way that alt-med folks often present herbs and food supplements frequently ignores this. They want to pretend that their products are completely risk free. They're not. Null is happy to make claims about the dangers of pharmaceuticals (claiming that vaccines don't protect against disease), perhaps now he will be a little more forthright about the equivalent risk associated with vitamin D.

To be hoisted by one's own petard means one is harmed by something that was intended to harm someone else.

I know what it means thank you. You have chosen too narrow a definition.

be hoist by/with your own petard (formal)
if you are hoist by your own petard, something that you did in order to bring you advantages or to harm someone else is now causing serious problems for you The government, who have made such a point of criticizing the opposition's morals now find themselves hoist by their own petard as yet another minister is revealed as having an illicit affair.
See also: hoist

From http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/hoisted+by+own+petard

Null's supplements weren't meant to hurt anyone. So the idiom doesn't fit.

I somewhat disagree. Firstly, you've narrowed the meaning of the phrase too much, and secondly he was bilking his customers. There is no proven benefit to taking vit D supplements beyond normal nutrition levels that I'm aware of. He was ripping them off. That is a form of harm. He may not have intended to sell them snake oil, he seems to believe his own hype, but that's still what he was doing.

Also please note that the amount of vitamin D that was supposed to be in the meals, 2000 IU is already exaggeratedly high. The RDA for vitamin D ranges from about 200 IU to 600 IU. Not 2000 IU. Null was already playing around with ridiculous levels of vit D, something that can only have made the manufacturing error worse.

The article is clear, but your words imply otherwise.

Do they really?

Granny writes:

Gary Null is one of those kooky nutritionist types who thinks that you can fight disease just by consuming tons of vitamins.

He is one of those kooky nutritionists types. That's who he is. He does recommend super-high doses of vitamins. His "Power Meal" already had an absurdly high dose of vit D before any manufacturing error. All this is absolutely true. There is no implication here that Null took too many doses.

Granny writes:

What really amazes me is that I thought the possibility of vitamin D poisoning was quite well known. You'd think he would have known better.

Come now. There is no implication of self-administered overdose here. Null presents himself as an expert on vitamins. He is apparently so amazingly expert that he has written a book on the subject (at least one that I know of). He tours and lectures on the subject of vitamins. Then he came down with the symptoms of vitamin D poisoning.

So what does he do? He goes to his doctor! You'd think that the world-renowned expert on vitamins would be able to recognise the symptoms of vitamin D poisoning wouldn't you? Nope, apparently not. Not even when he already knows that he is taking twenty times the RDA of vitamin D! He should have recognised what was happening to him. Instead, he kept on poisoning himself until his doctor (I wonder if Null's doctor was a kooky newage one or an evil allopath?) told him to stop.

So much for Gary Null's amazing expertise on the subject of vitamins. Tune in at the same time next week, when Tigers Woods tells us how to maintain a happy marriage.

I agree it makes a case for proper manufacturing and quality practices as with anything consumed. We assume our food, OTC's, and supplements contain what they say they contain. Errors happen.

I agree. Errors happen. They happen in alt-med and they happen in the mainstream too. The mainstream medical industry is not immune to this sort of snafu, far from it. This is not to taken as an indictment of all alt-med. It does not prove that VITAMINS ARE GOING TO KILL OUT BABIES OMG!!! All I am trying to point out here is that putting biologically active chemicals into one's body is always going to carry some level of risk. That's why I am in favour of strict statutory regulation for all such products. it's the only way to ensure that as much as possible is done to protect patient safety.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 207 by purpledawn, posted 04-30-2010 7:25 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by Theodoric, posted 04-30-2010 3:01 PM Granny Magda has acknowledged this reply

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