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Nutritional Interventions Work

Posted by Jackie 
Nutritional Interventions Work
January 01, 2011 11:02AM
Nutritional therapies work because they provide the body with the fundamental elements the body needs in order to function as it was designed to do.

When the basic requirements are lacking because of inadequate dietary intake combined with food that lacks nutritional value, deficiencies occur that ultimately result in cellular malfunctions which can lead eventually to various systemic failures. This ranges from fairly minor to major health issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman says: “Nutrients are not drugs and they don’t work as drugs do. They work with your biology by supporting normal enzyme function and biochemical reactions.”

Mark Hyman, MD, is the epitome of what nutritional medicine is all about. He’s an expert in Functional Medicine which he has been practicing for years. Our of necessity, Dr. Hyman turned to Functional Medicine after living in China where he was exposed to the polluted air and became very ill from mercury poisoning.

Dr. Hyman serves on the Board of Directors and faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a pioneering educational center for training health professionals in the science and practice of nutritional biochemistry, molecular medicine, and preventing and treating the diseases of aging. He is on the Board of Advisors and faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine's Food as Medicine training program.

I urge you to visit his website and begin reading and watching the many excellent video clips. I’ve heard several outstanding hour-long teleconferences by Dr. Hyman.

Here’s a quote/excerpt relevant to this discussion on nutritional supplements by Dr. Hyman:

MANY PEOPLE ASK me whether or not they need nutritional supplements if they eat a healthy diet. The next question that almost inevitably comes up is what they should take and where they can get high-quality supplements.
In a perfect world, no one would need supplements. But given the stress of our modern life, the poor quality of our food supply, and the high load of toxins on our brains and bodies, most of us need a basic daily supply of the raw materials for all our enzymes and biochemistry to run as designed.
Most people don’t understand the role of vitamins and minerals in our bodies. I certainly didn’t when I finished medical training. I thought if we just had enough to prevent us from some horrible deficiency state like scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), then you didn’t have to worry about how much you were getting. I also thought that if you ate “enriched food” like white flour with a few vitamins added back in, or milk with vitamin D added in, additional vitamin supplementation was a waste.

What most people don’t realize is the same thing I was unaware of when I first started practicing medicine: The real reason our food supply must be “enriched” is because it is has be so processed that it is “impoverished” to start with.

Today, even with our “enriched food,” over 92 percent of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins. That doesn’t mean they are receiving less than the amount they need for optimal health. That means they receive less than the MINIMUM amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases.
The foods you eat no longer contain the nutrient levels you require for optimal health for many reasons. Crops are raised in soil where nutrients have been depleted. Plants are treated with pesticides and other chemicals so they no longer have to fight to live, which further diminishes their nutrient levels and their phytonutrient content (not to mention the toxic exposure you receive from such chemicals). Animals are cooped up in pens or giant feedlots instead of roaming free eating the nutrient-rich wild grains and grasses they once consumed. Since cow’s stomachs are adapted to grass instead of corn, they must take antibiotics to prevent them from exploding.

To complicate this further all of us are exposed to hazardous toxins and chemicals that poison our bodies, we live with too much stress, we don’t sleep enough, we don’t exercise enough, and we are inflamed making the nutritional demands on our bodies even heavier. Those with chronic illnesses are in even worse shape. (end quote)
Continue reading

Be sure to read his review of the latest on Vitamin D.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Hyman worked as a rural family physician in the mountains of Idaho, and in China as the Medical Director for development and planning of an international medical center in Beijing. He also consulted in Hong Kong on medical centers for expatriates in Asia. Before joining Canyon Ranch, Dr. Hyman served in an inner city emergency room in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Dr. Hyman graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University, magna cum laude from the Ottawa University School of Medicine, and from the University of San Francisco 's program in Family Medicine at the Community Hospital of Santa Rosa. He is board certified in Family Medicine, and resides in western Massachusetts with his family.
Re: Nutritional Interventions Work
January 01, 2011 11:03AM
A relevant, wonderful story by
Alan R. Gaby, MD, in Townsend Letter, July 2006

Natural medicine doesn't work for everyone, although it does for most. It definitely worked for Bernard Kleiman, MD, an elderly Baltimore physician, medical colleague of my father, chief of otolaryngology at a local hospital, and past president of the Baltimore County Medical Society. After hearing a presentation on nutritional medicine that I gave at the annual meeting of the Baltimore County Medical Society, Dr. Kleiman consulted me for his own medical problems.

He called me "Alan"; I called him "Dr. Kleiman." He was a member of the Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance (the Board that can take doctors' licenses away); I was excited about the prospect of helping him. After a string of successful nutritional interventions, I asked Dr. Kleiman if he would write a letter about his experiences in my office. I reasoned that a statement of support from a physician so highly respected in the conventional medical community might be of value if the Board ever attempted to discipline me for "deviating from the standard of care." The Board never did, but Dr. Kleiman's letter remains as a testament to the effectiveness of natural medicine.

Dr. Kleiman succumbed to ALS about three years after he wrote this letter, more than seven years after the onset of his neurological symptoms.

September 13, 1990

To whom it may concern:

I first consulted Dr. Gaby on August 10, 1987. At that time, I was a 73-year-old man with a one-year history of a left foot drop increasing progressively in severity, and several areas of progressive muscle atrophy. I also had a one-year history of worsening fatigue, which had become overwhelming. Standard diagnostic tests had failed to find a cause of this fatigue. A neurologist diagnosed my condition as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This diagnosis was confirmed by several other neurologists, although two additional neurologists questioned that diagnosis.

On my first visit with Dr. Gaby, he raised the possibility of drug-induced autoimmune peripheral neuropathy, since I had been taking procainamide for the treatment of chronic atrial fibrillation. This possibility had not been considered by any of the specialists I had seen. However, my ANA titer was found to be greater than 1:10,000, an unusually high level.

Dr. Gaby administered a series of weekly, intravenous nutrient injections designed to keep me in sinus rhythm, so that I might be able to discontinue procainamide. The injections consisted of magnesium chloride, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C. He informed me that magnesium was the primary active substance and that the other components were synergists. Within 24 hours after the first injection, I noticed an unexpected and dramatic resolution of my overwhelming fatigue. This benefit has persisted for nearly three years now, while I have continued to receive weekly nutrient injections. On several occasions, when I was unable to receive an injection for a few weeks, the severe fatigue returned, only to resolve completely after I received another injection. I am strongly convinced this is not a placebo effect.

A number of weeks after beginning the injections, I successfully discontinued procainamide without developing a recurrence of atrial fibrillation. On three occasions during the ensuing three years, I did revert to atrial fibrillation. On each of these occasions, I went to Dr. Gaby, who administered an intravenous injection as described above. Each time, the atrial fibrillation resolved; twice, in a matter of a few minutes and, once, after a few hours.

On April 16, 1989, I presented with a case of persistent pharyngitis, diagnosed by one of my otolaryngology associates. The severity of the pharyngitis was such that I was ready to receive an intramuscular injection of penicillin, which, in my experience would resolve the condition after 48 hours or so. Instead, Dr. Gaby administered 4.5 grams of vitamin C (sodium ascorbate) intravenously along with my usual injection. I was quite amazed to find that my pharyngitis had disappeared after only five hours.

On June 4, 1990, I complained of spasms in the calf muscles. This had actually been a problem for a number of years, affecting me on most days, but becoming more severe recently. Dr. Gaby prescribed oral treatment with potassium magnesium aspartate, even though previous serum electrolytes had been normal. He explained that intracellular potassium and magnesium levels are frequently low in elderly or chronically ill individuals, even though serum levels may be normal. He explained further that when potassium and magnesium are bound to aspartate, transport of these minerals into the cell is facilitated. Whatever the mechanism, I was surprised and gratified to find my spasms had disappeared in less than 36 hours. I have continued to take potassium magnesium aspartate, and the spasms have not recurred.

When I first consulted Dr. Gaby, I knew he had an unusual approach to medical care, emphasizing, when possible, the therapeutic use of nutrients and other biochemicals. I had heard him lecture on two occasions, and he seemed to have some very interesting ideas. He has shown me his collection of scientific papers related to nutritional therapy, which he states now numbers more than 21,000 articles. In my numerous discussions with him, I have been impressed with his knowledge of this vast body of literature, most of which is unknown to physicians who practice conventional medicine.

My neurologists are now fairly convinced that I do have ALS. They inform me that the overwhelming majority of patients with my condition do not survive as long as I have. Although my gait has deteriorated, the rate of deterioration has been quite slow. Dr. Gaby has recommended various nutrients designed to enhance the integrity of the tissues of the central nervous system. I may never know whether these nutrients have slowed the progression of my illness, but I can certainly not rule out that possibility.

Some physicians are opposed to the type of medicine practiced by Dr. Gaby. I am convinced that the only reason these physicians reject this treatment approach is that they are unfamiliar with it or do not understand the medical literature on which it is based. Dr. Gaby's treatments have consistently helped me more than anything that conventional medicine has to offer. I have experienced no side effects from any of these treatments.


Bernard Kleiman, MD

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