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In the wake of FRONTLINE’s The Vaccine War, I was going to have a bit of fun with the reactions of the anti-vaccine fringe. After all, the spokescelebrity of the anti-vaccine movement, Jenny McCarthy, has posted yet another brain dead screed at–where else?–The Huffington Post. So has everybody’s favorite pediatrician to the stars and apologist for the anti-vaccine movement, Dr. Jay Gordon. Both are incredibly target-rich environments, each worthy of its very own heapin’, helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence. Truly, we have an embarrassment of riches here as far as blogging material goes.

But then I saw something even better:

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

Gary Nulldescribed 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.

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.

You know, I think Jenny and her likable but unscientific pediatrician with anti-vaccine tendencies, Dr. Jay Gordon, can wait. However, I haven’t forgotten that he recently told a mother of a child with autism not to vaccinate her child’s sibling who doesn’t have autism. Either here or on my other blog, this can’t go uncommented upon. In the meantime, though, the schadenfreude of seeing Gary Null fall ill from his own supplements is just too rich to pass up. Part of the reason is that, thanks to his own product, Null apparently overdosed on vitamin D.

I can’t resist repeating it. Gary Null’s own supplement apparently almost killed him. The schadenfreude is just too rich.

It’s taking all my restraint to avoid repeating it a third time, particularly given the comic rule of three, in which something is repeated three times for comic effect, often with a switch at the end. My problem is that I’m just not funny enough to think of a good switch on this one.

Oh, the hell with it: Gary Null’s own supplement apparently almost killed him, and his lawyers are arguing this in court! But is the schadenfreude really that rich, or is it karma?

I don’t know if that was funny enough to be a good use of the rule of three (probably not), but I do know irony when I see it, particularly given that Null has built a career out of selling dubious remedies, supplements, and a variety of other potentially harmful products and ideas. Perhaps the most harmful ideas that Null promotes are anti-vaccine views and his HIV/AIDS denialism. His hostility towards scientific medicine is unrelenting, and he advocates large doses of vitamins as in essence a panacea for disease prevention and treatment.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t wish harm on anyone, not even Gary Null. I am actually happy that he appears to have mostly recovered. But Null is, in my not-so-humble-opinion, one of the biggest quacks out there today, and this sort of thing is the inevitable consequence of the lack of regulation in the U.S. Thanks to the DSHEA of 1994, the FDA is pretty much powerless to regulate most supplements before something happens. As long as the manufacturer keeps its claims sufficiently vague, using terms such as “supports the immune system” or something similar and protects itself with the Quack Miranda, it can get away with almost anything, as Gary Null’s own accidental self-poisoning demonstrates so ironically. What we have is basically the honor system, and, quite frankly, the supplement industry doesn’t have a whole lot of honor to it. As amusing as it may be to contemplate Gary Null as a victim of this lax regulation and to observe him suing one of his contractors for having botched the manufacture of one of his products to the point were several people were sickened, the situation with respect to supplements is a free-for-all, and stories like Null’s are the inevitable result:

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.”

The suit accuses Triarco of inadequate safety testing that led to six consumers being hospitalized with severe kidney damage. A company representative did not return calls.

But, gee, I thought vitamin D was the wonder vitamin. If you believe alt-med promoters like Mike Adams, vitamin D can do anything: prevent cancer, protect you from H1N1 and a variety of other diseases so that you don’t need vaccines, and basically ward of all sorts of other diseases. While it is true that there is some evidence to support the contention that vitamin D is protective against some forms of cancer, the protective effect is nowhere near what is claimed by many alt-med purveyors. If you believe them, keeping your blood levels of vitamin D high virtually guarantees you’ll never get cancer! And, of course, vitamin D is so great that it can never, ever hurt you.

Apparently Gary Null and six of his customers didn’t get the message.

I also find it highly typical that, when faced with a real medical problem that really endangered his health and possibly even his life, Null apparently didn’t go to a naturopath. He didn’t go to a homeopath, as far as I can tell. He didn’t go to an acupuncturist. He went to a real doctor. Of course, I don’t know if this doctor is a woo-friendly doctor. He or she probably is. But in the end, this doctor told Null pretty much the standard line on vitamin D toxicity: Stop ingesting more vitamin D, drink lots of water to try to flush out the excess calcium, and wait for the body to “heal itself” by getting rid of the excess vitamin D.

In fact, what the vitamin D quacks don’t tell you is that excessive vitamin D can be poisonous, resulting in severe hypercalcemia, which can then result in symptoms and complications like nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, weakness, confusion, kidney stones, and cardiac arrhythmias. In severe cases, kidney failure can result. Death is quite rare, however; so I have to wonder whether there’s a bit of exaggeration in the lawsuit where it is claimed that Null was near death, exaggeration of the type that lawyers frequently use as a strategic tool when writing up their lawsuits.

Admittedly, vitamin D poisoning is fairly uncommon; it’s actually pretty difficult to ingest enough vitamin D to result in toxicity, and most victims have diseases and conditions that predisopose to vitamin D toxicity. Be that as it may, for Gary Null to have developed vitamin D toxicity severe enough to cause kidney stones (which is, I’m guessing, the cause of Null’s peeing blood), it would take an incredible overdose of vitamin D, which suggests to me that there was a real heapin’ helpin’ of raw, pure vitamin D in the supplements that came with Null’s Power Meal. This further suggests to me that the manufacturer didn’t just screw up a little, but screwed up spectacularly. Indeed, let’s take a look at Gary Null’s response:

I have been in the natural and alternative health business and education for over 35 years, and this is the first problem of this sort I have ever encountered. Last December it was brought to my attention that one our subcontractors made a mathematical error of adding too much Vitamin D to the Power Meal product. It was immediately removed from the market and we commenced with a thorough recall and warning campaign to all customers who purchased it. As a result, the relationship with the subcontractor was immediately severed. Fortunately, only one lot of Power Meal was defective and none of product reached the retail market. Nevertheless, I had taken far larger amounts over an extended period of time than anybody else. Fortunately vitamin D dissipates quickly in the body. Despite what the media is now reporting, I have returned to complete health. Unfortunately, journalists run with a story before they have all the facts.

Looking at the story, I see how disingenuous Null’s reply is. The reason, of course, is that the reporter for this news story clearly wrote most of it based on the filing of Gary Null’s own lawyers. It’s painfully obvious that the reporter basically took the lawsuit, read it, and then made a story out of it. Also, consider that the reporter did contact Null’s lawyer, and the lawyer refused to comment. The lawyer could have commented. Heck, Gary Null could have commented if he had wished, assuing his lawyers let him know that a reporter had contacted them. But he didn’t. His lawyers didn’t. But he did whine about the story on his website.

In any case, consider this. As I pointed out earlier, it is very difficult to consume levels of vitamin D that result in toxicity. Very difficult indeed. Consequently, there must have been a boatload of vitamin D in those Power Meals. The question then becomes: How much extra vitamin D did that hapless contractor accidentally add to Gary’s Power Meals? Let’s say the contractor misplaced a decimal point and in fact put in ten times too much vitamin D. That would mean that, under normal conditions, there must have been a whole lot of vitamin D in un adulterated Power Meals. (Is it me, or does the term “Power Meal” remind you of “Happy Meal,” except that it wasn’t so happy for Gary Null?Maybe I should start calling it the Happy Power Meal.) It seems unlikely that an error greater than one order of magnitude would be made, even by grossly incompetent manufacturers, but look at it this way. If it were a 100-fold, or even a 100-fold error in what was put in the supplements that came with the meal, that would speak even more poorly of the company that it could make such a monumental error

Either way, it doesn’t speak well of how little oversight is placed on the manufacture of supplements, as momentarily amusing as the discomfiture of a quack like Gary Null is. I’d love to view it as karma, but it is probably just a deliciously appropriate coincidence, a coincidence that emphasizes just how much supplement manufactures can get away with. It also suggests that there was a ridiculously high amount of vitamin D in the correctly prepared supplements in Null’s Happy Power Meal.

Thanks to the DSHEA, Null will almost certainly be able to sell his supplements again. He’ll probably have to rename them, given the bad publicity from this incident. If he renames them the Happy Power Meal, I want royalties.

ADDENDUM:

Here’s another story that gives us a little more detail:

Over the month Null, 65, ate the powdered product, he suffered “excruciating fatigue along with bodily pain,” and “began to suffer from extreme cracks and bleeding from within his feet,” the suit says.

“Null had to be in bed with his feet elevated because it was so painful he did not have the strength to walk” — but he kept eating Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal, “thinking that it would help him and relieve his condition.”

Gary Null is suing a New Jersey company for allegedly putting toxic amounts of Vitamin D in his Ultimate Meal product (inset).

Instead, it made it worse, according to the suit, which blames a contractor that mixed the powder.

The health nut went to see his doctor, and tests showed he had elevated levels of Vitamin D in his system. He later discovered that the Ultimate Power Meal had 1,000 times the amount of Vitamin D than the label claimed.

That meant that instead of ingesting 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, he was ingesting 2 million IU, the suit says. Most doctors recommend 1,000 IU a day.

I guess I was far too kind on the supplement manufacturer. How on earth does one make an error of three orders of magnitude? As a chemistry major and scientist in addition to physician, I can’t fathom how anyone could screw up that badly.

Comments

  1. #1 a-non
    May 12, 2010

    Ron,

    Let’s say that these numbers are accurate – that tens of thousands of people who die every year die due to the alleged evils of allopathic medicine.

    But let me ask you this:

    How many people out of that group would have died without medical intervention of any kind? Sure, someone might have tragically passed away due to post-operative sepsis, but without the operation what was that person’s likely outcome?

    And also, how many people out of that group would have been successfully treated using so-called alternative medicine? Do you know what the error rate for alt-med providers is?

    Until you can answer those questions, pushing alt-med treatments as a replacement (or even an adjunct) to western medicine is a non-starter. The better answer is to continue to refine and improve our health care system, which has its flaws but has undoubtedly saved untold millions of lives.

  2. #2 Paul Lynch
    May 12, 2010

    For all you people that don’t like Gary Null and don’t believe in the efficacy of alternative health, that’s certainly you’re right and I wish you well. Yankees-RedSox, Jets-Dolphins, Liberal-Conservative, etc. Different strokes for different folks. Different opinions only become a problem when one side tries to impose its beliefs on the other. Because of the influence of big money in Washington, where even the laws are written by lobbyists, even seemingly reasonable legislation can be a threat to liberty. The combination of big money and nanny-state Liberals is a threat to all of our liberty.

  3. #3 Scott
    May 12, 2010

    Paul,

    Opinion is not relevant here. People are certainly allowed different opinions, but Null demands different FACTS. You can’t brush that off.

  4. #4 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Paul, I am still fascinated by your preference of getting nutrients through drops, pills and powders. What do you have against real food and a balanced diet?

    I can also guarantee that the oregano and roasted garlic pesto will taste much better than the silly Source Naturals Oregano Oil you were pushing.

  5. #5 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    So I googled Source Naturals Oregano Oil and found some… Yikes! That stuff is expensive! Cut and paste from here:
    45 mg Capsule
    SKU Count/Type Suggested Retail
    SN1538 30 veg caps $ 10.25
    SN1539 60 veg caps $ 18.98
    Liquid
    SKU Count/Type Suggested Retail
    SN1043 1 fl oz $ 32.98
    SN1580 0.5 fl oz $ 19.98

    Here is an idea. Buy either oregano seeds or starter plants at your local garden shop. A packet of seeds will cost you about $2 to $3 per packet, and less than $4 for a plant. Plant them in your yard, or if you are in an apartment by a sunny window.

    Grow some other herbs like thyme, rosemary (starter plants recommended), and basil. Soon you will learn how to make tasty food, and gardening is much healthier than downing a bunch of silly nostrums. With the added bonus that you will not overdose on toxic levels of Vitamin D! (you’ll get it naturally with sunlight, though be careful with too much sun)

  6. #6 Paul Lynch
    May 12, 2010

    Chris, Your pesto sounds great and Oregano Oil in a base of Olive Oil does not taste good at all. It’s simply a way to prevent colds, flu, and sore throats. About 1/4 oz will last a person for a year, if it’s refrigerated.

  7. #7 Composer99
    May 12, 2010

    @ 187:
    Chris, I take your point; at that time Ron had yet to show where he pulled his 44K number from, though, so nothing wrong with calling him on it.

    @ 196:
    Ron, your attempt to discredit science-based medicine on account of iatrogenic mortality/morbidity falls flat because it amounts to a Nirvana fallacy.

    It may well be that there remains plenty of room for improvement in medicine, but it has come a long way since even 1978, and will continue to improve.

    By contrast, there has been no demonstrable improvement in not-medicine. Homeopathy is as laughable now as it was when it was invented. Bleeding to rebalance the humours is as ineffective now as it was since the hypothesis of the humours first arose.

    @ 202:
    Paul, your analogy falls flat insofar as some opinions are based on personal preferences (your sports analogies) or (often incoherent) political preferences and others are based on an ignorance or rejection of documented observations about the real world (e.g. the cost/benefit of vaccinating children against, say, measles, versus them getting infected with the real thing).

  8. #8 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Paul, you really don’t get it.

    The oil of oregano in a bottle is a very poor substitute for getting the stuff from the real thing. Little drops of oil will not prevent colds as well as good hygiene.

    Good health does not come in supplement drops, pills or powders. It comes from a balanced diet, exercise (which includes gardening), and following real medical advice (like vaccines, and check ups, oh and keeping your teeth healthy).

    I have not had a real cold or flu for over three years. The biggest change, I started to get annual influenza vaccines.

  9. #9 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Also, planted oregano keeps much better than the oil. It reseeds itself, and there are leaves in winter (though in really cold climates an indoor plant would be better). I have been known to dig in the snow to get leaves for fresh pasta sauce.

    Much better than a silly and expensive bottle of oil.

  10. #10 Ron
    May 13, 2010

    Hello again,

    “Where there is conflict, let me bring peace.” Who said that? I think it was a guy a long time ago, way before double-blind studies and the like.

    I appreciate the arguments many of you have brought against me. At least I know now that Americans won’t fall for just anything; that’s more encouraging than I can tell you.

    To Pablo, I merely meant to say that Chinese medicine offers protocols that prevent the bursting stage of appendicitis. Of course modern Chinese doctors perform appendectomies when the situation is that urgent. And yes, I guess a lot of people died in the past when they had a ruptured appendix and there was no surgical alternative available. Once again, my hat is off to the doctors who saved lives through this procedure.

    To Chris, if you think meditation is about relaxation, you don’t know a thing about meditation. Meditation is about increased awareness which, secondarily, results in “relaxation.” Of course, in America, or the Western world, that term will be seriously misunderstood. In terms of meditation, “relaxation” means something like mental reprieve from the automatic reactions into which we’ve all been inculcated. To escape the training we’ve all received, it takes extreme focus. Extreme focus is NOT relaxation; it is the complete opposite. It represents the opportunity to overcome the garbage we’ve all been fed from birth. And when Chris says “big deal” to an MD/PhD researcher in this field, he obviously hasn’t understood what the research was about.

    In addition, I NEVER made the claim that alternative medicine works BECAUSE Western medicine has failings. This is a misreading of basic ideas. Western medicine has it’s failings, rarely admitted, as does “alternative” medicine. Alternative medicine has a track record for the simple fact that millions of people have been helped by it. Many of the people who eventually turn to the alternative side are people for whom “real” medicine has completely failed.

    Regarding the links I posted, Fox News didn’t do the research. They merely reported it. And they were not the only ones who reported such results. And in line with the scientific method, the same or similar results, obtained by different researchers, demonstrates the veracity of the original theories.

    To @196, homeopathy is not “laughable” to millions in Europe who use it and live much more healthfully than us obese Americans. To them, WE are the laughable ones. This type of “non-medicine,” as you put it, doesn’t require improvement because it was always complete. And bleeding is not homeopathy. Apparently, you don’t know what homeopathy is.

    In my postings, I only ever hoped to build bridges. Building bridges includes breaking down barriers, and breaking down barriers might seem rude to others on occasion. My intention was only to open some eyes to possibilities that hadn’t previously been considered. In America, we have a unique opportunity to develop a wonderful synthesis of EVERYTHING, including medicine. And if we can find a common ground, we will have created the greatest medicine that has ever existed, right in line with the original mission of this country.

  11. #11 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 13, 2010

    Ron, here are some excerpts from your first comment:

    … you allopathic ghouls salivating at his condition… the typically myopic view of the greedy Merc-driving medical community… overpriced automatons with hearts like ice and egos the size of zeppelins…your local short-sighted, pill-pushing, glorified auto mechanic with a stethoscope …cause Doc Gotta-Run can perform a complete cashectomy on you one day

    Building bridges, my ass.

  12. #12 Orac
    May 13, 2010

    Beat me to it, you did.

  13. #13 Chris
    May 14, 2010

    Ron, check the related papers on the right hand side of the PubMed link. It is all about natural things that affect that particular brain wave. Meditation is not that special.

    Ger over yourself. Especially since you have not proven any for of “alternative medicine” actually works.

    Though, in reality do you know what they call alternative medicine that works? The answer is real medicine.

    (did you not see the ScienceBasedMedicine post on neti pots?)

  14. #14 Chris
    May 14, 2010

    Arrgh… late night typo on unfamiliar laptop… it should read:

    Get over yourself!

  15. #15 squirrelelite
    June 3, 2010

    A bit of a late edition, but I saw this on the MSN home page today.

    Consumer Reports has found that
    ” most people already get enough protein, and there are far better and cheaper ways to add more if it’s needed. Some protein drinks can even pose health risks, including exposure to potentially harmful heavy metals, if consumed frequently. All drinks in our tests had at least one sample containing one or more of the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Those metals can have toxic effects on several organs in the body.”

    Maybe it was the arsenic, not the Vitamin D!?!?!?

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/july/food/protein-drinks/overview/index.htm

    This write-up from Susan Koeppen at CBS has a little more detail.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/06/01/earlyshow/contributors/susankoeppen/main6537686.shtml

    Here she quotes Urvashi Rangan of Consumer Reports:

    But Consumer Reports says there is little regulation requiring manufacturers to prove their protein drinks are safe.

    “We think the FDA should be tracking these products better,” says Rangan, “and that is not happening at this time.” ‘

  16. #16 Todd W.
    June 3, 2010

    @squirrelelite

    “We think the FDA should be tracking these products better,” says Rangan, “and that is not happening at this time.”

    Perhaps they would track them better if a couple things happened:

    1) Congress gave them the power and authority to do so.
    2) FDA received appropriate funding to hire the necessary investigators to properly police all of the myriad products they are tasked with regulating.

    Moral of the story: harp on your Congresscritters to enable the FDA to do its job.

  17. #17 rodster
    June 8, 2010

    wow what a bunch douche bags most of you on here are! A few people get sick (but did not die) due to of an overdose of a certain vitamin and you’re all over it like flies on shit. why don’t you talk about the over 70,000 people that ingested Vioxx and are dead because of it. Why don’t you blog about how most of the nuts that are shooting up schools and such are on some sort prescribed medication? I guess Big Pharma is a sacred cow to you all. They manage to kill thousands of people a year with their prescribed chemicals but yet no one is going to jail and they are not having an congressional hearings to stop them from killing more.

  18. #18 David N. Brown
    June 8, 2010

    “why don’t you talk about the over 70,000 people that ingested Vioxx and are dead because of it”
    This man gives every indication of saying that Vioxx killed something like half again the total US casualties in Vietnam. Gee, you’d think somebody would have noticed…

    And let’s add another to the list of alt-med crank tactics, alongside the “Pharma Shill” gambit: the “why isn’t anyone criticizing `Big Pharma’ Gambit?” I’ve noticed this before from AoA, with regard to Vioxx in particular (in response to my call to boycott Neurotoxicology out of existence if they didn’t pull a Wakefield paper). The response I put was that Orac and other bloggers were criticizing the manner in which Vioxx was promoted, and well before “alties” got hold of it. Perhaps they think we aren’t criticizing “Big Pharma” because we don’t surround criticisms with pseudoscience and conspiracy theories necessary to register on their radar.

  19. #19 squirrelelite
    June 8, 2010

    @Todd W,

    I agree. Something like that should have occurred to me (and may have) but I forgot to mention it at the end. Thanks for pointing it out.

    @rodster,
    I have never found that starting out with name calling is useful as a persuasive technique, but you are welcome to keep trying it.

    You really should look up the meaning of the word ironic. Gary Null was putting his name on this product and telling people it was safe to use and good for them. That he was injured by his own product is truly ironic.

    You asked, “why don’t you talk about the over 70,000 people that ingested Vioxx and are dead because of it”?

    A major reason is that your number is over twice the usual estimate of about 27,000 arrived at by the people who discovered the problem. Here is one link, for instance:

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/vioxx_estimates.html

    It states that
    “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that Vioxx may have contributed to 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2003. The estimate is based on the number of prescriptions issued for Vioxx between 1999 and 2003.
    David Graham, the associate director for science in FDA’s office of drug safety, made the estimate based on 92.8 million U.S. prescriptions for Vioxx between 1999 and 2003. It’s part of a study Graham conducted in cooperation with Kaiser Permanente.”

    Since heart attacks are not 100% fatal, the number who actually died from a Vioxx related heart attack is probably less than 27,000.

    Since heart attacks are common in the general population (The CDC reports that “In 2006, 631,636 people died of heart disease. Heart disease caused 26% of deaths—more than one in every four—in the United States.”), it requires careful and ongoing surveillance as was done by David Graham to detect these side effects and determine that they are truly related.

    Unfortunately, complementary and alternative therapies are not required to test for effectiveness or safety or do this ongoing surveillance. Unlike Big Pharma, they get a free pass from the government (especially here in New Mexico).

    A second reason is that we’ve already done it.

    Here for instance is a blog post by orac’s “friend”.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=192

    And, Brian Deer is a professional journalist, not just a blogger, although he often comments here. Here is a link to one of his reports:

    http://briandeer.com/vioxx/vioxx-deaths.htm

    “DOCTORS have reported 103 deaths they suspect were due to the painkiller Vioxx, which was withdrawn from sale over safety fears last September.

    The figures released by the drug safety agency also show there were 7,150 adverse reactions to the drug during its five years on sale in Britain.

    Experts say, however, that under-reporting through the government’s “yellow card” system, could mean the true death figure may be as high as 2,000.”

  20. #20 squirrelelite
    June 8, 2010

    Three links held up for moderation. Oh, well.

    Minor jargon correction.

    In usual military parlance, casualties refers to the combination of deaths plus injuries plus missing in action.

    For instance, for the Viet Nam war, U.S. casualties were
    58,159 dead
    1,719 missing
    303,675 wounded

    These are in addition to casualties for our allies, enemies and civilians in that war.

    So, rodster’s number is greater than usual estimates for Vioxx-related heart attacks and greater than U.S. deaths in Viet Nam, but not greater than U.S. casualties. And it is much less than the total casualties on all sides for that war:

    1.5 million dead combatants
    2+ million wounded
    4-5 million civilians dead

    War is truly hell.

  21. #21 joe B.
    June 11, 2010

    Gary Null once claimed that he was balding and regrew his hair with nutritional methods. When asked if he had any before & after photos, he said that his hair grew back so fast, he didn’t have time to take pictures! WHAT?? Did his hair grow back overnight?? Now he almost died from his own worthless product. QUACK, HEAL THYSELF!!!

  22. #22 roger
    June 14, 2010

    Look at the picture of Gary Null at the top of this article. My God! Who would take advice from someone like him?? He looks like a mental patient.

  23. #23 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 14, 2010

    Why don’t you blog about how most of the nuts that are shooting up schools and such are on some sort prescribed medication?

    What would be the point in blogging about the obvious? Are you under the naive delusion that “the nuts that are shooting up schools and such” just come out of nowhere?? No, they’re people who have very serious long-term problems and frequently they are prescribed medication in an attempt to treat those problems. You might as well be angrily demanding “Why don’t you blog about how most of the people who die of severe blood loss received transfusions within 24 hours of the death??” Um, duh?

  24. #24 frosty
    July 3, 2010

    The complaint states that the mix provided 2 MLLION units of vitamin D, instead of the recommended 2,000. That’s a pretty huge f** up on the manufacturer’s part, no? At least Null was able to detox. What I find disturbing is that the manufacturer screwed up and obviously no samples were pulled to test them. How do I know manufacturers aren’t screwing up right and left, whether it’s FDA approved or nutritional supplements??? How do I know this wasn’t a typical mistake in manufacturer-land?

  25. #25 Jeanmarie
    July 14, 2010

    It seems the mistake here was on the part of the manufacturer, not Gary Null, for the huge overdose of Vit. D put into the “Power Meal.” Null wasn’t “hoisted on his own petard,” he was screwed by a manufacturer. Possibly he didn’t sufficiently check their safety record or procedures (testing every batch? testing all products from subcontractors regularly?), and he is suffering for that mistake, for sure. It seems just mean-spirited to cackle with glee when he was the victim here.

    I’m neither a supporter nor detractor of Gary Null, I’ve never read any of his nutrition books or bought his products, but fair is fair. This blog post is not.

  26. #26 Science Mom
    July 14, 2010

    I’m neither a supporter nor detractor of Gary Null, I’ve never read any of his nutrition books or bought his products, but fair is fair. This blog post is not.

    It is certainly fair game when people like Gary Null hawk supplements and dubious ‘treatments’ whilst simultaneously, actively resisting any kind of oversight that would have prevented this from happening. If his own standards were adequate, he wouldn’t have given his line to the lowest bidder.

  27. #27 Rogue Medic
    July 14, 2010

    Gary Null advocates taking excessive doses of supplements.

    Gary Null opposes regulation of these supplements.

    Gary Null almost kills himself with his own supplements, that he claims are too safe to be regulated.

    How is that not being hoist on his own petard?

    If he hadn’t gone to a medical doctor, he would have continued to try to heal himself with his own quackery – quackery which was killing him.

  28. #28 Phill
    July 26, 2010

    Let us not gloat over the Gary Null incident. The fact of the matter is that the vitamin D that Gary Null has added to his supplement was obtained from a manufacturer of vitamin D that failed. He trusted the manufacturer to sell him the dosage that he requested. Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, is manufactured by companies in China and Europe. That same company that produced the cholecalciferol is most likely a manufacturer that also produces pharmaceutical drugs. Would you trust getting your prescription from the same company?

    One overlooked aspect is that cholecalciferol is an extraction from lambs wool (lanolin) that uses a multi step process that involves petrochemicals, irradiation, and stabilization. Does that still sound natural? Cholecalciferol is not the same as vitamin D found in unprocessed fish oil or sardines (it is missing some of the marine isomers). A complete whole food source of vitamin D, which includes all the other vitamin D marine isomers such as Tacalciol, (5E)Isocalciol,(5Z)Isocalciol, Tachysterol-3, Isotachysterol-3, and others, whole be the safer more beneficial way to go.

    This is an example of someone getting poisoned as a result of an artifact of the pharmaceutical industry. This aftifact has produced the mindset of looking for magic bullet isolates even in the so-called “natural” supplement industry. Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D closely followed by unproccesed whole food sources. If you use a fish oil very carefully inspect all aspects of the label for the term cholecalciferol. If it is there you have a synthetic vitamin D. If not you have the safer whole food form.

  29. #29 Rogue Medic
    July 28, 2010

    @ 228 Phill,

    It seems that you want to excuse Gary Null’s decision to use his own minimally regulated supplement.

    You claim that this supplement was probably manufactured by a pharmaceutical company, but you do not seem to have any reason to believe that. You appear to have jumped to that conclusion because it supports what you already believe.

    Later in your comment, you completely abandon the fact that you do not know where this supplement came from. You apparently decide that since you want to believe it, it must have been manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry, not that you provide any evidence.

    As I pointed out, since the fraud Gary Null continues to oppose the regulation of supplements and continues to pretend that what he is selling does not need to manufactured to any kind of standards, then this is his fault.

    Gary Null could choose to have his supplement manufactured by a reputable pharmaceutical manufacturer. Gary Null could have his supplements to FDA pharmaceutical standards, but he doesn’t.

    Gary Null’s hubris almost killed him.

    Gary Null is too much of a fraud to admit that this is his own fault.

    Your attempts to misrepresent this may only encourage others to make the same mistake.
    .

  30. #30 Phill
    July 28, 2010

    Number one. I am not a fan of chemical supplements be it ascorbic acid, d-alpha tocopherol,or any of the petro chemical variations of vitamin B or whatever. I am a fan of whole foods. Organic when possible depending on budget and availability. What I am also a fan of is whole food supplementation such as unaltered berry concentrates, cold-pressed fish oils, spice teas, complete spice oils and others not a result of fractionization or chemical extraction. Many of the studies on so-called vitamin E do not even define what vitamin E is for example. You can literally have over 1,000 variations of vitamin E. No wonder there is inconclusive results.

    Most people are not aware of how cholecalciferol(vitamin D3) is produced. It took me a number of hours of digging and searching through the internet to find out how. The largest source is from sheep wool. Most sheep are sprayed with pesticides to ward off parisitic infestation throughout their life. After the wool is cut off it has to be processed to remove the pesticides.It is often done by caustic soda or some chemical processing to extract the lanolin or wool grease. The lanolin is then chemicaly treated with solvents such as hexane, for example, to produce a substance called 7-dihydrocholesterol. The 7-dihydrocholesterol is irradiated to give us cholecalciferol which has to be stabilzed. A methold of stabilization is fractionated vitamin E, which is the result of chemical processing again often from gentically modified soy. This gives us the vitamin D3 which is sold to vitamin companies, fish oil companies and others. If you want to call that natural, I don’t.

    There are many more people who die from using pharmaceuticals than herbs and supplements.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/us/14florida.html

    I have never purchased any of Gary Nulls products or was not aware of him until an acquaintance of mine informed me in a casual conversation. The fact of the matter is that herbs spices, vitamins, minerals are much safer than pharmeceutical drugs as far as killing people or causing serious injury. Before you suggest regulating the supplement industry look at where the real source of danger is, get serious about regulating pharmaceuticals first. Since pharmaceuticals are self regulated by those who have a vested interest in them, abuses proliferate. If you want me to start looking up cases of death by prescription I can do so. Most vitamins sold today in stores are artifacts of the pharmaceutical mindset present worldwide.

  31. #31 Travis
    July 28, 2010

    Phil, did you read that article? It is totally irrelevant to whether or not herbs are safer than pharmaceuticals. It is talking about pharmaceuticals compared to illegal drugs, things like cocaine and heroin.

    I am not sure what your discussion about Vit D3 is all about or how it relates to this blog post or your point. While I am unfamiliar with the industrial methods of production and it is possible one could complain about how it is produced, or byproducts etc. Once you have produced the vitamin it is the vitamin, it does not remember being created with GM materials, or with hexane. This is the wrong crowd to throw scary chemical names around, it won’t wow people or make them take you more seriously.

    BTW: Do you read this blog? If you did you would know the pharmaceutical industry regularly gets taken to task for mistakes. It hardly gets a free ride. But that is simply a distraction. Whether or not there are problems with the industry or regulations, supplements should be regulated. For all its problems at least current regulations make it possible to regulate drugs, to remove them from the market. There is often little that can be done with supplements.

  32. #32 Vicki
    July 28, 2010

    Phil–“Drink up, Socrates, it’s all natural.”

    There are herbs that can kill you (and that have been used for that purpose for millennia), herbs that can help you, and some that can do both. A large enough dose of some herbs will kill anyone; I don’t think there are any that will benefit everyone, in part because many people are already in good health.

    With my doctor’s approval, I regularly use an herbal infusion, specifically Camellia sinensis processed in various ways and extracted at 95°C. That doesn’t mean he’s going to say “sure, brew some of that” to any and all available herbs.

    I suspect that many deaths from supplements and such aren’t recorded as such, because they’re sins of omission: people decide to take harmless but useless, or only mildly helpful, herbs instead of treating the underlying illness. Someone who skips chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation in favor of some collection of vitamins isn’t going to get a death certificate that says “died of supplement use.”

  33. #33 Rogue Medic
    July 28, 2010

    @ 230 Phill,

    There are many more people who die from using pharmaceuticals than herbs and supplements.

    The article states that more people die from abuse of legal drugs than from abuse of illegal drugs.

    The most important word there is abuse, not legal or illegal.

    All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.

    Paracelsus wrote that hundreds of years ago. Things have not changed. Being organic, or natural, or wholistic, or whatever other term you use for giving the appearance of not being modified by people, is no guarantee of safety.

    The fact of the matter is that herbs spices, vitamins, minerals are much safer than pharmeceutical drugs as far as killing people or causing serious injury.

    One problem with the substances you recommend ingesting is that the dose is unknown. When you start taking something at Gary Null quantities, it does not matter if the product is all-natural. It is toxic.

    How many coroners are familiar enough with the all-natural products to even look for them during autopsy? How many police or dieners would know to include these as possible causes of death? The coroner relies on them for evidence collection, since the coroner does not often come to the residence to pick up a body?

    The lack of documentation does not mean that all-natural products, made up of unknown substances at unknown dosages, are safe.

    If you really want to be all-natural, don’t take any supplements of any kind. Just eat a healthy diet.

    Supplementing your diet is unnatural.

    This suggests that nature does not perfectly provide for us. Once you start adding to your diet, it is a slippery slope. Next thing we know you will be on heroin, or even worse – Aspirin!

    Since pharmaceuticals are self regulated by those who have a vested interest in them, abuses proliferate.

    Since when are pharmaceuticals self-regulated?

    I do not know what all-natural product(s) you have been consuming, but if you are starting to believe in conspiracy theories, the all-natural stuff can be very dangerous to your health.

    If we were to only consume organic foods, millions – maybe even billions – would starve to death.

    Would that be safety?

    It would be natural.

    Death is natural.
    .

  34. #34 Phill
    July 29, 2010

    This link will take you to an article concerning medical errors and also safety of pharmaceutical drugs. They are a lot more hazardous than whole foods.

    http://www.cancure.org/medical_errors.htm

    “The article states that more people die from abuse of legal drugs than from abuse of illegal drugs.

    The most important word there is abuse, not legal or illegal.”

    This demonstrates my point. Gary Null inadvertantly abused the synthetic vitamin D supplement through the error of the manufacturing company.

  35. #35 Chris
    July 29, 2010

    Well, perhaps Gary Null should be getting his vitamins from whole foods and not his supplements. That way he would have avoided getting too much Vitamin D!

    Oh, and if Gary Null is going to selling stuff with his name on it, it is his responsibility to make sure it has some kind of quality control.

  36. #36 Rogue Medic
    July 29, 2010
    The most important word there is abuse, not legal or illegal.”

    This demonstrates my point. Gary Null inadvertantly abused the synthetic vitamin D supplement through the error of the manufacturing company.

    You act as if the abuse only counts if it is abuse of a substance that does not fall into the category of All-natural.

    All-natural abuse is not safe, either.

    Orac wrote this in the original article:

    this sort of thing is the inevitable consequence of the lack of regulation in the U.S. Thanks to the DSHEA of 1994, the FDA is pretty much powerless to regulate most supplements before something happens.

    If you wish to criticize the supplement industry, go ahead. They are misleading their patients customers.

    Selling a drug as a supplement, just to get around regulations that probably would have prevented this, is at best dishonest and unethical. I will not defend Gary Null from your criticism.

    Your article on the dangers of medicine ignores several important points.

    How many of those patients would be alive as long as they were, if they did not have the benefit of medicine?

    The author does not appear to care about diabetics. Part of the medical advice you would receive from a real doctor is, Get some exercise and change your diet. While many can control their diabetes with diet and exercise, many others cannot. Your medicine is bad approach does not appear to have a solution for the diabetics, who would otherwise be dead.

    Actually, you probably do have at least one solution. You just do not have any solutions that actually would work for real patients.

    Some of this is also discussed at Science-Based Medicine in an article called Epiphany.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=5273

    Your criticism the problems caused by medicine might be impressive, but you ignore the much larger benefit from medicine.

    That ignorance is deadly.
    .

  37. #37 Phill
    July 30, 2010

    “Your criticism the problems caused by medicine might be impressive, but you ignore the much larger benefit from medicine.”

    Allotropic medicine needs to be cleaned up and improved, more so than the supplement industry. My experience using prescription meds two years ago has convinced me that I would have to be within ten seconds of death before I will consider using them again. Regular medicine , which you defend, doesn’t care or know much about preventive maintenance. Your type of “medicine” has a vested interest in not healing people totally, just eliminate the starting symptoms and when the drugs cause other symptoms prescribe new ones to keep the cash flow going. Physician heal thyself. Your type of medicine gives a terrible return on the massive amount of money that has to be spent for treatment.

  38. #38 Travis
    July 30, 2010

    Regular medicine , which you defend, doesn’t care or know much about preventive maintenance.

    I keep hearing this and I have to wonder what doctors you are talking about. I have never had a doctor that did not talk about preventitive medicine. I work part-time in a hospital that specializes in cardiovascular health and they put huge efforts in preventing problems before they happen, as well as improving people’s lives after a problem occurs so that they stay healthy.

  39. #39 Bronze Dog
    July 30, 2010

    I keep hearing this and I have to wonder what doctors you are talking about.

    Obviously, the ones Big Placebo invented to make an enemy, since obviously without anything constructive or positive to base their philosophy on, they have to fabricate an enemy to keep everyone afraid. Fear is the glue that binds alties together, not a desire for knowledge.

    If they bothered listening to anyone outside their cults, such as real doctors, that fear would vanish, and with it, the power of their corporate overlords.

    Why do you think they so often favor a complete deregulation of human experimentation? They want their heavily regulated corporate competitors to remain regulated, but they want the Big Placebo corporations to keep their privileged Ayn Randian view of “My customers, my property” direct market testing.

  40. #40 Chris
    July 31, 2010

    Phill:

    Regular medicine , which you defend, doesn’t care or know much about preventive maintenance.

    Then explain why there are vaccines.

  41. #41 Phill
    July 31, 2010

    “Regular medicine , which you defend, doesn’t care or know much about preventive maintenance.

    Then explain why there are vaccines.”

    I am very skeptical about vaccines.

    In the past the doctors that I went to sure didn’t tell me anything about preventative maintenance. So called vaccines are only temporary. Other evidence, three years ago four doctors and May Clinic failed my son for an ailment that cost us thousands of dollars and they failed to figure out what it was despite every type of invasive proceedure and test you can think of. An alternative doctor spent about three minutes going over more than 70 pages of his documentation and spotted the issue. He gave me a protocol that involved whole food concentrates and spice oils that solved the issue in less six weeks.

    Vaccines can very well cause other issues and they can be an excuse for nutritional or other abuses. If you had a daughter would you let her get gardisil?

    Did you check the link I provided which indicated many problems with your type of medicine.

    Is the FDA your final source of authority? Follow the money. Food and Drug Administration? How about a separated Food Administration and a separate Drug Administration How about putting some people on those boards who can watch the foxes in the hen house and not just people who come from a pharmaceutical company to the FDA and then leave and get a job with another pharmaceutical company. How about having all members of the FDA not having worked for any pharmaceutical company? How about requiring that any one who leaves the FDA not be allowed to get a job with a pharmaceutical company. This would remove a lot of undue influences.

  42. #42 pablo
    July 31, 2010

    It’s funny how so many people who moan about medicine being not concerned about prevention are also anti-vaccine.

    So Phill, why does my doctor have such an intetest in my cholesterol and triglycerides? I’ve never had a heart problem, so he’s not treating any disease. He keeps saying things about eating fish, veggies, and getting exercise.

    Could it be he is trying to prevent a problem?

  43. #43 Bronze Dog
    July 31, 2010

    Phill falls into the category of people who never listen to their dentists when they tell him to floss. And then when someone gets a cavity, he denies that any dentist, anywhere, for any reason, ever told anyone to floss.

    Phill’s parroted memes are brought to you by Big Altie, a partially owned subsidiary of Big Pharma.

  44. #44 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 31, 2010

    Allotropic medicine needs to be cleaned up and improved, more so than the supplement industry.

    Argument by assertion; not a single fact presented to justify this claim.

    My experience using prescription meds two years ago has convinced me that I would have to be within ten seconds of death before I will consider using them again.

    Anecdotal evidence, not to mention circular logic: “I am convinced that prescription medications are awful. What convinced me of that extremely broad conclusion? The fact that I concluded it from an experience I had two years ago.”

    Regular medicine , which you defend, doesn’t care or know much about preventive maintenance.

    Argument by assertion, not to mention easily disproven by every single person who has gone in to a regular doctor for a checkup and received strong directives on correcting diet and increasing exercise.

    Your type of “medicine” has a vested interest in not healing people totally, just eliminate the starting symptoms and when the drugs cause other symptoms prescribe new ones to keep the cash flow going.

    The only nearly interesting fallacy Goofus comes up with. It’s a fallacy we often see from conspiracy theorists, putting forth a hypothesis as to how someone might be getting away with skullduggery and then acting as if the hypothesis itself is proof of the hypothesis. “Don’t you sheeple see how it works?! If reptilian humanoids take over a country’s government, they can control its newspapers and TV stations! That means the reptilian humanoids are in power right now!!

    Physician heal thyself. Your type of medicine gives a terrible return on the massive amount of money that has to be spent for treatment.

    Pretty lame rhetorical flourish followed by yet another argument by unsupported assertion.

  45. #45 pablo
    July 31, 2010

    Whether Phill thinks vaccines work is irrelevant t. Doctors think they work to prevent disease and that is why they use them. Hence it belies the claim that they don’t care about prevention.

  46. #46 Phill
    July 31, 2010

    To call vaccines preventative maintenance is a weak point. People who get vaccines can get cancer, heart disease,diabetes, fybromyelcia, candidiasis, encephalitis, flus, hepatitis a, b, or c, Lymes desease, tb, staph or others. To get a shot then indulge in a life of high fructose corn syrup laden sodas and other processed chemicalized foods is not enough. Preventative maintenance has to be worked on every single day.

    When vaccines were first introduced in the 1900s many physicians regarded them as vile. In the 1930s Dr. L. Bush who published a book, Common Sense Health, notes that the problem with vaccines is the unknown. He stated that the introduction of foreign elements, protein, and even germs-even pus-into a persons blood, would cause a long term unpredictable reaction. Vaccines should not be an excuse for vigilant, continual daily health seeking.

  47. #47 pablo
    July 31, 2010

    Fortunately medicine has significantly improved since 1930.

    So, vaccines don’t prevent heart attacks and therefore aren’t preventative medicine?

    You are an idiot.

  48. #48 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 31, 2010

    People who get vaccines can get cancer, heart disease,diabetes, fybromyelcia, candidiasis, encephalitis, flus, hepatitis a, b, or c, Lymes desease, tb, staph or others

    Let’s see…
    Gardisil – prevents infection by strains of HPV that cause cervical, vulvar, anal and some upper airway cancers.
    Measles and mumps vaccines – prevents measles and mumps encephalitis
    Hepatitis A and B vaccines – prevent, uh, Hepatitis A and B, also preventing liver cancer
    Flu vaccine – prevents flu (duh)
    BCG vaccine – protects against Tb

    No, vaccines don’t prevent every illness, real or hyped (I’m looking at you, candidiasis). Nobody said they did. On the other hand, why should we pay any attention to someone who knows so little about vaccines that he makes the errors that you do?

  49. #49 Chris
    July 31, 2010

    Wow, Phill is another clueless fool who buys the alt-med group think so much, he has absolutely no idea that there are so many inconsistencies in the beliefs.

    Alt-Med Think:

    Oh, noes! Doctors don’t believe in prevention. Vaccines are bad! Oh, noes! Doctors don’t believe in whole foods. Here take this supplement! Oh, noes! Big Pharma is bad. Here take this chelation drug mixed with industrial chemicals!

    Oh, noes! You guys on this mean blog won’t believe what I say and insist on this commie notion called “evidence”! Those studies replicated in six countries on three continents are good enough, but this one set of case series is wonderful science (it was politics that had it removed from the Lancet, doncha know!).

  50. #50 ebohlman
    July 31, 2010

    No, vaccines don’t prevent every illness, real or hyped (I’m looking at you, candidiasis). Nobody said they did.

    I’m reminded of a letter to the editor in Consumer Reports back in the late 1960s. The writer was describing the difficulties she had getting her sewing machine fixed, with the manufacturer’s repair facility insisting it needed to be replaced. Finally, the repair person said “well, we can fix it if all you want it to do is sew.” The headline on the letter was “it should mow the lawn?”

  51. #51 Jack
    July 31, 2010

    Allotropic medicine needs to be cleaned up and improved, more so than the supplement industry.

    I’ve never heard of allotropic medicine. I know what “allotropic” means in chemistry (like the difference between O2 and ozone) but I’m at a loss here. Come on, Phill, at least get your insults straight. The word you’re looking for is allopathic. Not that getting that bit right would make you any smarter.

  52. #52 Travis
    July 31, 2010

    I have to give Phil some credit, at least he was not just another drive by troll. Even though he is misguided, doesn’t really understand the issue us he talking about, and makes some very silly comments. And there is no getting through or winning of course.

    Phil: Doctors don’t talk about preventative medicine
    Chorus: Well, my doctor talks a lot about it
    Phil: Well, my doctos didn’t.

    Either you had bad doctors, or were not listening. You also might want to go read about logical fallacies like generalizing from the particular (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization).

  53. #53 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 31, 2010

    In the 1930s Dr. L. Bush who published a book, Common Sense Health, notes that the problem with vaccines is the unknown. He stated that the introduction of foreign elements, protein, and even germs-even pus-into a persons blood, would cause a long term unpredictable reaction.

    Gee wow. What a totally impressive showing of evidence. I mean, there was an actual doctor* who published a, y’know, actual book in the 1930s saying “OH GNOES, FOREIGN ELEMENTS, PROTEIN, GERMS” (and boy, he must’ve been the only person in the whole world in the 1930s saying “foreign elements are scary,” amirite?) One book by one doctor, why that’s an absolutely unassailable foundation of evidence there.

    Yep, yep. I guess Phill’s just too dogged a researcher for us. I mean, there’s no way that the FUD of osteopath Lucius M. Bush in 1935 could possibly be outweighed by all the evidence collected in the 75 years after.

    * except not an actual M.D. doctor

  54. #54 Phill
    July 31, 2010

    I enjoy being a contrarian and being in a land of hostile bloggers. Now back to the issue at hand.

    You did not check the link that I put forward:

    http://www.cancure.org/medical_errors.htm

    It presents evidence that the larger and more significant problems are in your brand of medicine. What place are we in the US in life expectancy? What place are we in regards to infant mortality? Next time I come back I will look up the stats. We are number one in health care costs. We are not getting our money’s worth.
    I had to watch my father suffer greatly during the last four years of his life from nausea, vertigo, splitting headaches, depression, pain from inflamation and his meds did not ease his pains.He always listened to his doctor as a doctor was diety-like to him.To see him in such distress when his doctor’s meds failed to ease his pain, was sad for me and him as I had alternatives to suggest for him. They were continually trying different combinations and they weren’t helpful at easing his suffering. Strike three for allopathic medicine. Remember your typical doctor gets solicited 28 times a week by a pharmaceutical rep by phone call, letter, card, or visit. What chance does an alternative viewpoint have in that arena of competing ideas?

    A lot of those conditions in the US where really sanitation issues that have been greatly improved upon and negated the need for a number of vaccines.

  55. #55 Chris
    July 31, 2010

    Phill:

    A lot of those conditions in the US where really sanitation issues that have been greatly improved upon and negated the need for a number of vaccines.

    That was a very rambling and unfocused reply. I shall only address a couple of points.

    First vaccines:

    The Hib vaccine was introduced twenty years ago, and cut the number of babies and toddlers killed and disabled by meningitis from Hib to almost none. The first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, and the mumps vaccine was introduced later in that same decade.

    All of those disease decreased by at least 99%. Please tell us what great strides in sanitation were accomplished between 1960 and now?

    Second life expectancy: You must understand that each country gets its statistics slightly different. So any set number has an error bar of at least a year or more. But still if I take the time period between 1960 and 2005 (which is close to the year 2007 of the first link on the effects of vaccines), it went from 69.7 years to 77.8 years. Which is about eight years.

    So what great strides in sanitation issues were made since 1960?

  56. #56 Chris
    July 31, 2010

    Your link contains many rambling cherry picked articles, including the one by Barbara Starfield a decade ago. I recognize that old canard (it is slightly less popular as the Pharma Shill Gambit). A quick search on this website shows that paper has been addressed here:

    Then, of course, there’s the claim that “Dr. Barbara Starfield, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, estimated that between 230,000 and 284,000 deaths occur each year in the US due to iatrogenic causes, or physician error, making this number three in the leading causes of death for all Americans.”

    … snip … snip…

    Don’t get me wrong. We ought to be doing everything we can to decrease complications and death due to medical errors. The Institute of Medicine suggests the number may be from 44,000 to 98,000.

    I think you might do better than instead of being a “contrarian” by dragging out old and tired arguments we have seen over the year, that you actually read the content of this blog. Oh, and educate yourself on real biology and science, along with medical history (for instance, the role of increased sanitation and the rise of polio).

  57. #57 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 1, 2010

    Phill:

    Just FYI, here are the top 10 independent nations for life expectancy:

    1 Andorra 82.51
    2 Japan 82.12
    3 Singapore 81.98
    4 San Marino 81.97
    5 Australia 81.63
    6 Canada 81.23
    7 France 80.98
    8 Sweden 80.86
    9 Switzerland 80.85
    10 Israel 80.73

    The USA is 34th, at 78.11.

    You will notice that all of these top 10 countries have a well-established scientific health care system. Most, if not all, also have some form of universal health care. None have replaced it with SCAM (So-Called Alternative Medicine).
    Your point, again?

    Also, FYI, here is a column by Margaret Wente in today’s Globe and Mail, where she describes a visit to her doctor:

    The other day I had a physical for the first time in years. My new doctor is a kindly but no-nonsense type. She told me I’ve shrunk by half an inch. Then she gave me the usual diet and exercise advice: “Do more cardiovascular exercise. Two or three times a week. Start while you still can.” She took my blood pressure (on the high side), and drew a little line between my height and my weight on that hateful BMI chart. “You could lose five pounds. Cut down on salt. And no junk food!”

    Your point, again?

  58. #58 augustine
    August 1, 2010

    Bruce: “You will notice that all of these top 10 countries have a well-established scientific health care system.”
    ————————

    Here’s a hint Brucy: It ain’t the drugs and medical procedures. And it ain’t the “preventative” tests and prodedures either. We take the most in the world.

    So what do you mean by scientific health care systems?

  59. #59 Chris
    August 1, 2010

    T. Bruce McNeely:

    You will notice that all of these top 10 countries have a well-established scientific health care system. Most, if not all, also have some form of universal health care.

    Thanks for the painful and very true reminder. I just finished reading Inside the Outbreaks, a Scienceblogs book club title, and it also mentions that lack of relevant gun control is an irritant to those in public health. It is a book that Phill should try reading.

  60. #60 triskelethecat
    August 1, 2010

    @Chris: I just bought that book for my Nook last night. Really upset I somehow missed the sciblogs book club. Never saw an announcement for it. 🙁

    Looks like a good read though.

  61. #61 Rogue Medic
    August 2, 2010

    @ 237 Phill,

    “Your criticism the problems caused by medicine might be impressive, but you ignore the much larger benefit from medicine.”

    Allotropic medicine needs to be cleaned up and improved, more so than the supplement industry. My experience using prescription meds two years ago has convinced me that I would have to be within ten seconds of death before I will consider using them again.

    Is there any reason that anyone should give any consideration to this vague attempt at an anecdote?

    This is like a voter complaining that his candidate lost and trying to explain it by some sort of conspiracy.

    When I read the rest of what you write, it is pretty clear that your skepticism does not extend to conspiracy theories. Your skepticism is inconsistent and illogical.

    Regular medicine , which you defend, doesn’t care or know much about preventive maintenance. Your type of “medicine” has a vested interest in not healing people totally, just eliminate the starting symptoms and when the drugs cause other symptoms prescribe new ones to keep the cash flow going. Physician heal thyself. Your type of medicine gives a terrible return on the massive amount of money that has to be spent for treatment.

    If you ever become sick with a serious illness that isn’t self-limiting, don’t expect to be cured by your placebo-pushing quacks.

    If not for cognitive dissonance, reality could eventually cure you of your conspiracy theories.
    .

  62. #62 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 2, 2010

    Here’s a hint Brucy: It ain’t the drugs and medical procedures. And it ain’t the “preventative” tests and prodedures either. We take the most in the world.

    Google “medical care and life expectancy”. Access to modern medical care and preventive measures is credited with at least half of the increase in life expectancy since 1950.
    EEEVIL SOCIALIST health care in large part explains the difference between the USA and the top 10 countries. In other words, all things being (roughly) equal, the more people have access to medical care, the longer the life expectancy. This is based on peer-reviewed studies, not on AugieLogic(TM).

    So what do you mean by scientific health care systems?

    Short answer: Anything you’re against.

  63. #63 Phill
    August 2, 2010

    “If you ever become sick with a serious illness that isn’t self-limiting, don’t expect to be cured by your placebo-pushing quacks”

    Well I can engage in name-calling also.Don’t expect to be totally cured by your pill pushing big pharma lackeys. You will pick up a new symptom in which they can prescribe another drug for you. Then that one will produce another side effect which they can give you yet another pill. There is no healing just masking of one symptom so that you can develop a new one to prescribe a drug for.

    If you notice Gary Null took a dosage of 1,000 times what he had intended to take. He is still alive. Find me one pharmaceutical drug in which you can excede the dosage by the same factor of 1,000 times and live.

  64. #64 Phill
    August 2, 2010

    Since we are 37th in life expectancy I would surmise that we are not getting our money’s worth in the US.

  65. #65 Chris
    August 2, 2010

    That is because you are wasting your money on worthless crap like supplements and chiropractors (the latter are covered by insurance).

  66. #66 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 2, 2010

    Well I can engage in name-calling also.

    You demonstrated that long ago.

    What would be more interesting is if you could demonstrate some ability to back up the things you claim. That’s the part you’ve failed at so far.

  67. #67 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 2, 2010

    Find me one pharmaceutical drug in which you can excede the dosage by the same factor of 1,000 times and live.

    Penicillin.

    Bonus – it actually does what it is claimed to do.

  68. #68 Dedj
    August 2, 2010

    Come to think of it, if I exceeded my daily cake-factor by 1000 times, I’m pretty sure I’d face some serious health consequences.

    Oh, btw, the over dosing of Gary Null almost killed him, and he’s a superbly fit individual with access to excellent care.

    Just thought I’d remind people of that, before they do something stupid like try to use his marginal-survival as some indicator of safety.

  69. #69 Chris
    August 2, 2010

    Dedj:

    Come to think of it, if I exceeded my daily cake-factor by 1000 times, I’m pretty sure I’d face some serious health consequences.

    I know I have exceeded a daily fluffy tapioca factor by an order of only five, and felt the worse for it! Did not come close to dying, but did have a wee bit of a tummy ache.

  70. #70 Dedj
    August 2, 2010

    After being forcibly medicated with Tapioca pudding during my years at infant school, I’m afraid I’ve become intolerant to it.

  71. #71 Chris
    August 2, 2010

    Too bad, because I make absolutely wonderful fluffy tapioca pudding. It is nothing like the gloopy gluey stuff that one typically encounters. I mainly cut back the sugar, and make it fluffy by folding in beaten egg white while the custard is hot.

  72. #72 Rogue Medic
    August 3, 2010

    “If you ever become sick with a serious illness that isn’t self-limiting, don’t expect to be cured by your placebo-pushing quacks”

    Well I can engage in name-calling also.

    I am shocked.

    I hadn’t intended to be calling you any names.

    Are you one of those placebo-pushing quacks?

    Don’t expect to be totally cured by your pill pushing big pharma lackeys.

    Why not.

    I have had life threatening infections twice. There is the small possibility that I would have survived without antibiotics, but things were not looking good for me.

    I am still here and I am not experiencing any long term effects of the infections. Those would be 2 total cures.

    Other times I have had serious, but not life threatening conditions that also appear to have been cured by medications. More total cures.

    I have been vaccinated for all sorts of things, so that has prevented illness that otherwise might have resulted in death, permanent disability, or just protracted nasty illness.

    And I love that you refer to them as my lackeys. I have always wanted lackeys. You know that you have made it, socially, when you have lackeys. Now all I need is a string of poloponies. 😉

    You will pick up a new symptom in which they can prescribe another drug for you. Then that one will produce another side effect which they can give you yet another pill. There is no healing just masking of one symptom so that you can develop a new one to prescribe a drug for.

    That has not been the case for me. I do not regularly take any medication. I do go to the doctor when I am sick. Sometimes the treatment is to just wait, because the diagnosis is something that will get better on its own. This is the bread and butter of alternative medicine. This is where the quacks con people out of their money and look good. Their treatments are only effective at lightening the wallet, but alternative medicine is all about appearances and nothing to do with reality.

    Enough about the fraud that is alternative medicine – back to wonderful me. 🙂

    Sometimes the treatment from the doctor is medication and the illness goes away. I did have one adverse response to a treatment. I was uncomfortable, but did this not last long and there was no further treatment beyond that point.

    Phill, why do you keep making up these lies?

    Don’t you know anything?

    If you notice Gary Null took a dosage of 1,000 times what he had intended to take. He is still alive. Find me one pharmaceutical drug in which you can excede the dosage by the same factor of 1,000 times and live.

    Oxygen is a prescription drug that you can take at doses as high as can be given and it only rarely kills. Of course, oxygen occurs naturally and without it we would die.

    Naloxone does not appear to have any lethal dose.

    An initial dose of 0.4 mg to 2 mg of naloxone hydrochloride may be administered intravenously.

    OVERDOSAGE
    There is no clinical experience with naloxone hydrochloride overdosage in humans.
    In the mouse and rat the intravenous LD50 is 150 ± 5 mg/kg and 109 ± 4 mg/kg respectively. In acute subcutaneous toxicity studies in newborn rats the LD50 (95% CL) is 260 (228–296) mg/kg. Subcutaneous injection of 100 mg/kg/day in rats for 3 weeks produced only transient salivation and partial ptosis following injection: no toxic effects were seen at 10 mg/kg/day for 3 weeks.

    http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=614

    If I thought as you appear to, I might conclude that the oxygen, which occurs naturally, is more dangerous than the synthetic opioid. Therefore we should not use natural substances, because they are too dangerous. We should only use synthetics.

    At oxygen concentrations of less than 15 – 16 percent, we would probably all die. So I don’t recommend that anyone follow your potential advice of completely avoiding natural substances.

    Gary Null would probably be a very dead quack, if he had not followed the advice of his doctor to stop taking what was killing him.
    .

  73. #73 Phill
    August 3, 2010

    Naloxone does not appear to have any lethal dose.

    Ok, would you want to try it and write about your experience at 1,000 times normal dosage?

    How about the common drug coumadin? How about statins? How about vancomycin? How about digoxin? How about propafenone? How about amphotericin? How about taking those at 1,000 times a normal dosage? Those are relatively common drugs.

    For those who are promoting the use of vaccines click on the following link and find out what some of the ingredients in a Hepatitis A vaccine. For those who are pro-lifers finding cells that are part of a cell line from an aborted fetus might be of concern. How about some truth in disclosure laws where everyone who gets a vaccine be handed a list of ingredients in the vaccine that they are getting?

    How about making the person who administers the vaccine liable for any serious side effects for the persons that they inject?

    Rogue Medic? I don’t find anything that is rogue in your posts. A more appropriate name for you would be typical medic.

    http://www.novaccine.com/specific-vaccines/vaccine.asp?v_id=45

    Above some of the ingredients are listed in one of the vaccines.

    “Therefore we should not use natural substances, because they are too dangerous. We should only use synthetics.”

    Ok, typical medic, how about eating a diet consisting of only partially hydrogenated and fully hydrogenated food? How about consuming aspartame by the glass and poured on your hydrogenated peanut butter to sweeten it. Then use it to coat a sandwich of wonder bread. That would be a great synthetic sandwich to live on three times a day.

  74. #74 Phill
    August 3, 2010

    How about this? A John Hopkins doctor speaking out about the arrogance of doctors who kill tens of thousands of people of year. Check it out promoters of allopathic medicine.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/029350_doctors_patients.html

  75. #75 Todd W.
    August 3, 2010

    @Phill

    How about the common drug coumadin? How about statins? How about vancomycin? How about digoxin? How about propafenone? How about amphotericin? How about taking those at 1,000 times a normal dosage? Those are relatively common drugs.

    Ah, moving the goalposts, eh? You asked for just one drug that is safe at 1,000 times the normal dose. When those were provided, you start throwing out , “But what about these!!!eleven!one”

    For those who are pro-lifers finding cells that are part of a cell line from an aborted fetus might be of concern.

    Interestingly, the Catholic Church is a-okay with vaccines. No one much more anti-abortion than them. Oh, and by the way, cell lines derived from aborted fetus tissue is not, itself, aborted fetus tissue. Just need to be clear about that, mmmkay?

    How about some truth in disclosure laws where everyone who gets a vaccine be handed a list of ingredients in the vaccine that they are getting?

    Doctors should be giving patients the patient information sheet for all medical products (drugs, devices or biologics) that they administer to the patient. Not all do, but that should be corrected. If your doctor doesn’t give you the information sheet/package insert, ask for it.

    How about making the person who administers the vaccine liable for any serious side effects for the persons that they inject?

    Why? What legal basis is there for it? Would you hold the sales rep responsible for the Toyota you just bought, if something went wrong with it?

    Above some of the ingredients are listed in one of the vaccines.

    And your point is? Guess where else you can find a full list of ingredients in the vaccines? In the package insert! In addition to being available from your doctor, these are also available from the FDA, the manufacturer, the CDC, the AAP, etc. Do you have specific comments about the ingredients? Specific evidence showing that they are dangerous in the amounts and by the same route of administration as found in vaccines?

    Ok, typical medic, how about eating a diet consisting of only partially hydrogenated and fully hydrogenated food? How about consuming aspartame by the glass and poured on your hydrogenated peanut butter to sweeten it. Then use it to coat a sandwich of wonder bread. That would be a great synthetic sandwich to live on three times a day.

    Wow. You totally missed his point, didn’t you? He was using an example to point out the flaw in your logic and was not seriously stating that only synthetics should be used.

  76. #76 Mu
    August 3, 2010

    Doesn’t quoting naturalnews invoke Orac’s rule, or does that only apply to whale.to?

  77. #77 Todd W.
    August 3, 2010

    @Phill

    A John Hopkins doctor speaking out about the arrogance of doctors who kill tens of thousands of people of year.

    Oooh! An argument from authority logical fallacy! With a bonus invocation of a corollary to Scopie’s Law, to boot!

  78. #78 Chris
    August 3, 2010

    Mu:

    Doesn’t quoting naturalnews invoke Orac’s rule, or does that only apply to whale.to?

    Yes, it and a few others are covered under the corollary to Scopie’s Law. And just thinking we’d take Natural News as anything but a joke shows how much he reads this blog.

  79. #79 Chris
    August 3, 2010

    Phill:

    How about this? A John Hopkins doctor speaking out about the arrogance of doctors who kill tens of thousands of people of year.

    I addressed that same study here. And even provided a quote since I know you would not click on the link. It is an old argument that has been thoroughly debunked multiple times.

    Save yourself from further embarrassment and before you make a comment and post some link, use the search box in the upper left of this page to see if it has been dealt with before. Or even read with comprehension our comments.

  80. #80 MI Dawn
    August 3, 2010

    @Phill: considering there is no such thing as a John Hopkins doctor as far as I know, if you don’t mind, I won’t click on that link. On the other hand, if you are talking about a JOHNS HOPKINS doctor, well, Johns Hopkins is a fabulous hospital, like many others in the USA. However, doctors are all human and can have some weird beliefs.

    @Chris: Why on earth do you think Phill will actually read anything that debunks his beliefs? After his goalpost moving on medications, he’s proven he’s not interested in learning or reading comprehension.

  81. #81 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 3, 2010

    How about making the person who administers the vaccine liable for any serious side effects for the persons that they inject?

    I’m not surprised that Phill would come up with an unreasonable demand like this. He’s not the first woo-believer to insist that real medicine (the kind he calls “allotropic”/”allopathic”) should be omniscient.

  82. #82 Rogue Medic
    August 3, 2010
    Naloxone does not appear to have any lethal dose.

    Ok, would you want to try it and write about your experience at 1,000 times normal dosage?

    I do not have a prescription for any dose of naloxone.

    I even compared it to nice and naturally occurring oxygen and the synthetic is safer.

    You wrote:

    Find me one pharmaceutical drug in which you can excede the dosage by the same factor of 1,000 times and live.

    I found you a drug that satisfies your requirements.

    You seemed to think that this would be impossible.

    You were wrong, again.

    How about the common drug coumadin? How about statins? How about vancomycin? How about digoxin? How about propafenone? How about amphotericin? How about taking those at 1,000 times a normal dosage? Those are relatively common drugs.

    You came up with your super duper impossible challenge and now that you realize that you failed, you are going for a very specific and irrelevant challenge.

    If we are going to be using specific treatments at 1,000 times the recommended dose, try water. If the recommended dose is 8 eight ounce glasses per day, drink 8,000 eight ounce glasses.

    Is water especially dangerous?

    You pretend that being synthetic makes something dangerous. Go ahead and try to drink 8,000 eight ounce glasses of water, but do it close to the emergency department, because you will probably need to be treated by a real doctor.

    Water intoxication is a real problem with this otherwise safe, naturally occurring substance. Each year there are several cases of people who die from drinking too much water. They develop pulmonary edema (without any pre-existing medical problems) and/or cerebral edema (also without any pre-existing medical problems).

    You are such a tough guy coming up with these ridiculous challenges. If you want to challenge me, you go first with your 62 1/2 gallons of nice natural water in a 24 hour period.

    Document this in a way that makes it clear that you are not cheating, because you are clearly not a trustworthy person.

    If you do not end up in the hospital, I will find a way to get a doctor to give me 1,000 times the recommended dose of naloxone.

    This challenge was your idea.

    Put up or shut up.
    .

  83. #83 Todd W.
    August 3, 2010

    @Rogue Medic

    They develop pulmonary edema (without any pre-existing medical problems) and/or cerebral edema (also without any pre-existing medical problems).

    Don’t forget the risk of hyponatremia.

  84. #84 Rogue Medic
    August 3, 2010

    And hypokalemia and shifts of acid/base balance and other things, but it is just nice safe naturally occurring water. Just read the label –

    Active Ingredient:

    Water

    Inactive Ingredient:

    Water

    Other Ingredients:

    Water

    Simple enough that even Phill might not be confused.

    Surely, Phil will be able to handle it.

    This could turn him into a Super Phill by homeopathic dilution. Phill, remember somebody needs to succuss you a lot for the homeopathic effects to work.

  85. #85 Phill
    August 3, 2010

    I have never claimed that a natural product cannot be dangerous. Marijuana and cocaine are examples. So are some herbal products, whole and extracts. Too much of anything is dangerous, water,for example,you can drown, or even sunshine. Because I was supporting a viewpoint on this blog that is not popular you presumed or assumed that the items I was promoting could not be abused or wrongly chosen. My point is that the type of medicine that you support is mega more dangerous than the type that I prefer. There is much more abuse of human beings and death through your type of medicine than the ones that I prefer. It is caused by the arrogance of doctors as Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD has pointed out in the JAMA commentary.If you look at the last link I gave you. Pronovost, stated that heir are between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths casued by arogance and other reasons in your sacred cow. I am too close to the situation to not believe him. I have a wife who is a super dedicated RN. In some of our discussions she has informed me that some doctors she has worked with she would not trust to operate on the family dog. I do not myself use synthetic pharmaceutical-like supplements. To the uninformed on this blog they may think there is no difference. There is a significant difference. The “supplement” industry is moving that way.

    Now that someone has shown up on your blog and pricked your preconceived ideas and egos you guys are upset. So far its been a gas. Check out what the John’s Hopkins doctor has to say.

  86. #86 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 3, 2010

    My point is that the type of medicine that you support is mega more dangerous than the type that I prefer.

    And our point is that when you’re called on to actually support your point, you fail miserably.

  87. #87 Chris
    August 3, 2010

    Phill, just because you can find flaws in one type of medicine does not make your pet therapies any more valid.

    If you want to show that a therapy works, you give evidence about the therapy, nothing else. You cannot just say “Bobby’s toy airplane crashes, therefore Billy’s car runs.”

    I did check out what the Johns Hopkins doctor had to say (and it is “Johns”, there is no apostrophe… gentleman that place is name for was given a family surname as a first name). I also posted a link to a discussion on this blog about it. Now why don’t you go check it out.

  88. #88 Travis
    August 3, 2010

    Phil, stop being so dishonest.

    You said:
    “Find me one pharmaceutical drug in which you can excede the dosage by the same factor of 1,000 times and live.” and people found things that this would be possible for. It is obvious you meant this as some sort of challenge because you feel pharmaceuticals are dangerous. Then you shifted the goalposts. Why can’t you admit it was a silly statement?

    My point is that the type of medicine that you support is mega more dangerous than the type that I prefer

    But you have yet to actually show this. You keep claiming it is the case but you have not demonstrated it (and what you have provided has been pretty irrelevant, such as the nytimes article you linked to).

    Finally, can you at least get the name of the hospital correct. It is Johns Hopkins, not John Hopkins and John’s Hopkins. This was pointed out to you and you still get it wrong.

  89. #89 Chris
    August 3, 2010

    Oh, Phill, a reminder (especially with the link to whatever Pronovost said): as a general rule anything posted on Natural News is considered inaccurate. So don’t expect us to read it or believe it.

  90. #90 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 3, 2010

    Phill:

    Before continuing your rant about “arrogance” and “abuse”, take a look at this article from Consumer Reports about your preferred type of medicine:

    http://www.consumerreports.org/health/natural-health/dietary-supplements/overview/index.htm

    It’s pretty eye-opening.

  91. #91 Todd W.
    August 3, 2010

    @Phill

    Okay. Let’s play the which is more dangerous thing.

    For tetanus: “Western” medicine or some naturalistic nostrum?
    For type 1 diabetes: “Western” medicine or some naturalistic nostrum?
    For childhood leukemia: “Western” medicine or some naturalistic nostrum?

    Keep in mind that in the risk/benefit analysis, you also need to factor in the risks of not treating the disease.

    Feel free to let me know what natural remedies exist for any of those three diseases I listed above. Support your answer with proper references to scientific evidence.

  92. #92 Chris
    August 3, 2010

    Sure, I add to it: Phill, ever see a newborn have seizures. First they start out as little shivers, and then they get more violent, longer and closer to together. Until all seven pounds of the child is in almost constant convulsions.

    What is the naturalistic nostrum for that?

  93. #93 Rogue Medic
    August 3, 2010

    @ 285 Phill,

    Because I was supporting a viewpoint on this blog that is not popular you presumed or assumed that the items I was promoting could not be abused or wrongly chosen.

    Actually, several of us were point that out to you, but it is nice to know that you are capable of learning.

    My point is that the type of medicine that you support is mega more dangerous than the type that I prefer.

    Real medicine cures real disease and leads to an overall improvement in safety and survival.

    The fraudulent alternative medicine you promote leads to continuing illness and/or death, when a person really is sick.

    This is the biggest abuse of alternative medicine – it prevents or delays treatment with medicine that works.

    Just so some quack can make some money by telling lies.

    Your alternative medicine is dangerous and morally bankrupt.

    In some of our discussions she has informed me that some doctors she has worked with she would not trust to operate on the family dog.

    There are dangerous doctors. I do not defend dangerous doctors. I don’t know of anyone here who denies that there are dangerous doctors or who defends dangerous doctors.

    You have no point.

    You are pushing fraudulent treatment and justifying it by pointing out that some doctors are bad.

    That does not mean that the fraud of alternative medicine is good.

    Alternative medicine is still a dangerous and irresponsible fraud.

    You also claimed that nobody would ever have a good outcome from real medicine. I pointed out the cases where I have had good outcomes, and am still alive, but you completely ignored this.

    You change your argument each time someone points out that you are dishonest.

    Why?

    Now, about your challenge.

    This challenge was your idea.

    Put up or shut up!

    .

  94. #94 Bronze Dog
    August 3, 2010

    If I didn’t know better (that Phill is just a parrot who blindly repeats allegedly glib slogans that were spoon fed to him by Big Placebo, a partially owned and more profitable subsidiary of Big Pharma), I’d wonder if the whole 1,000x dose thing was him conceding our common speaking point that the dose makes the poison. (Yeah, it’s a slogan, but unlike most sound bites, it’s actually meaningful and accurate.)

  95. #95 Phill
    August 4, 2010

    As a person who has worked in the supplement field for a while and has made over 30,000 sales I present a perspective that you may not get in your sources of information. My first approximately 25,000 sales were made selling synthetic supplements. That is what the vast majority is in the supplement industry, probably over 97% of supplements sold. What I was not aware of in my first approximately 25,000 sales is that I was actually selling synthetic unhealthy vitamins, mineral oxides and chlorides, protein powders, athletic aids. Then I got a new job and found out about the dramatic difference between synthetic and whole food supplements. In my last approx. 5,000 sales, which include about two dozen MD’s who purchase the whole food supplements that I sell regularly. The MD’s sell or prescribe them to their patients. These are given for chronic or acute conditions sometimes before any pharmaceutical drugs are given. Sometimes they are prescribed as a last resort. Because of the FTC regulations that I have to operate under I cannot name medical conditions that have been cured. I cannot name products as I would be implying a cure for specific ailments. Yes cured in most cases. Some of these are dramatic alleviation of conditions that have persisted for a long time (in one case thirty years). These dramatic improvements are from substances that have been held in high esteem and valued by various civilizations and cultures for literally thousands of years. They have been handed down from one generation to another and held in high value because they work. The royalty and common folk of many ages valued them. They were esteemed so highly that they were sometimes used in religious services. One has to be informed on how to obtain the most potent, effective forms of these whole foods as there are imitators who try to cut corners and sell inferior rip offs. That is another issue.

    What you are not aware of is the cursing and swearing I hear often weekly from people whose doctors do not listen to them, or ridicule them for trying alternatives to the medicine that these arrogant doctors are trained in. I hear many claims, literally, in the hundreds when these prescriptions have failed and have caused other debilitating conditions. What we can give have has dramatically helped many people. The tremendously high percentage of satisfied customers amazed me the first month of my employment.

    The synthetic, toxic vitamins A (retinol palmitate and beta-carotene extracts), B complexes (coal tar derivatives), C (g.m.o. corn syrup sources) D (chemical extraction from lanolin) E (g.m.o soy, fractionated and incomplete) calcium supplements (often less than 10% absorbability) and recently implicated in promoting heart desease are just non-prescription pharmaceuticals. They are often manufactured in China by the same companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals.

    I am going to leave this blog, as it is frustrating that the right arm of the FDA, which is the FTC limits the amount of information that can be given out by promoters of valuable, effective alternative ideas that actually work.

    One of the MD’s that I have sold to who lives and practices in Colorado, has told me that one of the products that he purchases from me and uses himself “is literlly a life saving product.”

  96. #96 Todd W.
    August 4, 2010

    @Phill

    Hmm…more anecdote, but no scientific data or evidence.

    I am going to leave this blog, as it is frustrating that the right arm of the FDA, which is the FTC limits the amount of information that can be given out by promoters of valuable, effective alternative ideas that actually work.

    Wait…because the FDA and FTC frustrate you, you’re leaving this blog? Umm…okay. I don’t see the connection, but whatever floats your boat.

    And what “limits” does the FTC put on the information that can be given out? You mean like requiring information to be truthful?

    One of the MD’s that I have sold to who lives and practices in Colorado, has told me that one of the products that he purchases from me and uses himself “is literlly a life saving product.”

    And another anecdote, with a side of appeal to authority.

  97. #97 Scott
    August 4, 2010

    My first approximately 25,000 sales were made selling synthetic supplements. That is what the vast majority is in the supplement industry, probably over 97% of supplements sold. What I was not aware of in my first approximately 25,000 sales is that I was actually selling synthetic unhealthy vitamins, mineral oxides and chlorides, protein powders, athletic aids. Then I got a new job and found out about the dramatic difference between synthetic and whole food supplements.

    And what difference would that be? Hint – two molecules of the same chemical are indistinguishable, even if one of them was made in a lab and one in a plant.

    In my last approx. 5,000 sales, which include about two dozen MD’s who purchase the whole food supplements that I sell regularly. The MD’s sell or prescribe them to their patients.

    This isn’t exactly a recommendation, since if you’re telling the truth those MDs are committing gross ethical violations.

    Because of the FTC regulations that I have to operate under I cannot name medical conditions that have been cured. I cannot name products as I would be implying a cure for specific ailments. Yes cured in most cases.

    Translation: I claim they “cured” conditions but have no evidence, and therefore making said claim would be a lie.

    Some of these are dramatic alleviation of conditions that have persisted for a long time (in one case thirty years). These dramatic improvements are from substances that have been held in high esteem and valued by various civilizations and cultures for literally thousands of years. They have been handed down from one generation to another and held in high value because they work. The royalty and common folk of many ages valued them. They were esteemed so highly that they were sometimes used in religious services. One has to be informed on how to obtain the most potent, effective forms of these whole foods as there are imitators who try to cut corners and sell inferior rip offs. That is another issue.

    Gee, not one shred of actual evidence there. How nice.

    What you are not aware of is the cursing and swearing I hear often weekly from people whose doctors do not listen to them, or ridicule them for trying alternatives to the medicine that these arrogant doctors are trained in. I hear many claims, literally, in the hundreds when these prescriptions have failed and have caused other debilitating conditions.

    Quite irrelevant, as it provides not a jot of evidence that your garbage does anything at all.

    What we can give have has dramatically helped many people. The tremendously high percentage of satisfied customers amazed me the first month of my employment.

    Again, no evidence.

    The synthetic, toxic vitamins A (retinol palmitate and beta-carotene extracts), B complexes (coal tar derivatives), C (g.m.o. corn syrup sources) D (chemical extraction from lanolin) E (g.m.o soy, fractionated and incomplete) calcium supplements (often less than 10% absorbability) and recently implicated in promoting heart desease

    There is no difference between vitamin C from an orange and vitamin C from corn syrup, GMO or otherwise. Anyone who claims there is either has no understanding of basic biology and chemistry or is lying.

    are just non-prescription pharmaceuticals. They are often manufactured in China by the same companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals.

    Equally true of “supplements.”

    I am going to leave this blog, as it is frustrating that the right arm of the FDA, which is the FTC limits the amount of information that can be given out by promoters of valuable, effective alternative ideas that actually work.

    Translation: How dare those nasty feds forbid me to lie to people for the purpose of defrauding them out of their hard-earned money!

    One of the MD’s that I have sold to who lives and practices in Colorado, has told me that one of the products that he purchases from me and uses himself “is literlly a life saving product.”

    Again, not evidence.

  98. #98 Calli Arcale
    August 4, 2010

    Phill — just a question. Have you ever considered that the people who are coming to you are already those inclined to be suspicious of modern medicine? That their views thus may not be representative of how medicine is practiced on average? Someone who is satisfied with mainstream medicine isn’t likely to contact you to sell them supplements. They’ll get whatever supplements they may want from the local supermarket.

    Because of the FTC regulations that I have to operate under I cannot name medical conditions that have been cured.

    Actually, if you have evidence that the conditions have in fact been cured, then yes, you can claim that. (Though I think you are getting confused between the FTC and the FDA. The FDA regulates medical claims. FTC regulates truth in advertising. There is some overlap, but they are distinct entities.)

    These dramatic improvements are from substances that have been held in high esteem and valued by various civilizations and cultures for literally thousands of years. They have been handed down from one generation to another and held in high value because they work. The royalty and common folk of many ages valued them.

    This isn’t much of an argument in their favor. Quicksilver was used as a treatment for practically everything, *especially* by the royalty. This was a very bad idea; quicksilver is mercury, of course. But they didn’t know any better, and it wasn’t until the past few decades that the dangers of inorganic mercury have really been properly appreciated (despite widespread awareness of “mad hatter syndrome” — hatters had industrial exposure to mercury and often suffered significant neurological damage as a result).

    It’s interesting to study ancient remedies. Many involve purging, but not based on the relatively modern idea of removing toxins. They were occasionally trying to remove evil spirits or noxious vapors, but more often it was about either restoring the balance of the humors or simply straight-up infliction of pain. Seriously. Many traditional cultures associate illness with divine punishment (an idea not really all that different from modern alt-med ideas of bad thoughts leading to illness). Atonement was therefore prescribed, and often this meant deliberately enduring physical pain to atone for the sins that had brought the illness upon you.

    Sidenote: during the Black Plague, the “divine punishment” theory of disease was largely responsible for greatly increasing the popularity of the flagellation movement. It had been very much a fring thing previously, but with the massive deaths of the Black Plague, people thought the world was ending, and God was cleansing the world of all the bad people. Desperate times make for desperate measures; in hopes of delaying the end and saving people, flagellants took it upon themselves to suffer on behalf of everyone. They would whip themselves bloody, or take turns whipping one another, and then put on hair shirts to increase the agony. They hoped to end the plague by paying the price for society’s collective sins.

    I’m fascinated by medieval history. Perhaps that’s why I find the argument from antiquity to be complete bollocks.

  99. #99 Bronze Dog
    August 4, 2010

    Ah, ye olde appeal to tradition.

    “It’s old, and cultures can’t fool themselves (because patients are infallible gods when it comes to their health judgments), therefore it’s good. This is absolute, irrefutable dogma that can’t be overturned by researchers who deliberately design studies to minimize the chance of self-deception. Because, you know, there’s no such thing as self-deception.”

  100. #100 Pablo
    August 4, 2010

    There is no difference between vitamin C from an orange and vitamin C from corn syrup, GMO or otherwise. Anyone who claims there is either has no understanding of basic biology and chemistry or is lying.

    I have to admit, that one cracked me up quite a bit.

    I have to wonder, where does he think we get our OTHER synthetic drugs? For the most part it’s oil. Oil is not just gasoline, it serves as the predominant feedstock for all the organic (chemistry) products we produce, from drugs to plastics.

    Personally, I think it is cool to think that the atoms in my plastic water bottle lying on the shelf were part of the ferniferous swamps from dinosaur times.

  101. #101 Chris
    August 4, 2010

    Phill:

    In my last approx. 5,000 sales, which include about two dozen MD’s who purchase the whole food supplements that I sell regularly. The MD’s sell or prescribe them to their patients. These are given for chronic or acute conditions sometimes before any pharmaceutical drugs are given. Sometimes they are prescribed as a last resort. Because of the FTC regulations that I have to operate under I cannot name medical conditions that have been cured. I cannot name products as I would be implying a cure for specific ailments. Yes cured in most cases. Some of these are dramatic alleviation of conditions that have persisted for a long time (in one case thirty years).

    Somewhere in that wall of text we see that Phill is a supplement shill, and sells the stuff. And that he has secret knowledge of cures that he is not allowed to divulge.

    Sweet.

    Reminds of the secret cure for cancer that has been kept under wraps by “Big Pharma” … but this is now another conspiracy.

    Phill, you are full of bovine excrement. You were asked for evidence, but all you can produce is that you are part of a conspiracy!

  102. #102 Orange Lantern
    August 4, 2010

    I am going to leave this blog, as it is frustrating that the right arm of the FDA, which is the FTC limits the amount of information that can be given out by promoters of valuable, effective alternative ideas that actually work.

    So sorry to see you go. Give our love to Gary Trudeau next time you see him.

  103. #103 Todd W.
    August 4, 2010

    @Orange Lantern

    Give our love to Gary Trudeau

    Would that be the child of Gary Null and Kevin Trudeau?

  104. #104 Doc Octorok
    August 4, 2010

    Aaah! Comedy fail!

  105. #105 Orange Lantern
    August 4, 2010

    Whoops, I meant Kevin. Serious comedy fail. Though, as a Far Side fan, if anyone sees Gary they can give my (non-sarcastic) love to him as well.

  106. #106 Rogue Medic
    August 4, 2010

    @ 295 Phill,

    You seem to sell things that cure everything – everything except ignorance and gullibility.

    If you were in the oil business, you would probably be telling us that the spill in the Gulf of Mexico is good for the environment, providing all-natural benefits to the birds and fish and a lovely rainbow effect when the light hits it just right.

    You changed the subject again. I almost forgot with your depressing explanation of the way you scam people.

    You claim that you are on the side of safety. What’s wrong with drinking a little bit of water? It’s all-natural.

    This challenge was your idea.

    Put up or shut up.

    .

  107. #107 Phill
    August 10, 2010

    Here is an example of a company that produces pharmaceutical drugs that also manufactures synthetic vitamins and has a quality control problem with its synthetic vitamins. Since synthetic vitamins are a by product of the pharmaceutical manufacturers it would be better for you to avoid them and stay with whole foods and whole food vitamin/ mineral/ herbal products that are not a by product of chemical processing, extraction, or fractioning. Gary Null was a victim of pharmaceutical manufacturing incompetence.

    http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm219984.htm

  108. #108 Chris
    August 10, 2010

    Again, Phill, try to follow this: Finding evidence that there is something wrong with “Item A” does not show that “Item B” works. In order to show that “Item B” works, you must show that “Item B” works, nothing else.

    Now, remember:

    This challenge was your idea.

  109. #109 Phill
    August 10, 2010

    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3upd04.htm

    Hurry run to your doctor and get your statins. Above are the people who are largely responsible for determining the standards for “the benefits of cholesterol lowering.”

    Vested interest?

  110. #110 Todd W.
    August 10, 2010

    @Phill

    Again, whatever criticism you levy against those with whom you disagree does not constitute evidence that your pet ideas have validity. Are you going to actually provide some evidence for your claims, or are you going to continue with irrelevancies?

  111. #111 Chris
    August 10, 2010

    Wow, 2004!

    So, Phill, are telling us you have absolutely nothing to prove your claims? It looks like you are pointing everywhere else, but at your actual data.

  112. #112 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawm5QURmIP8WqgBYfLSo7WsWki9vL2aZ-zw
    September 28, 2010

    I guess I was far too kind on the supplement manufacturer. How on earth does one make an error of three orders of magnitude? As a chemistry major and scientist in addition to physician, I can’t fathom how anyone could screw up that badly.

    It’s easy when you are a moron… just use “mg” when thinking you are using “ug” or any other typical metric suffix pair and scale the ratios up from there.

  113. #113 squirrelelite
    September 28, 2010

    @Long Google Account,

    It sounds like an easy mistake to make when you’re just reading units on a recipe. But, when you get to mixing this stuff up in commercial quantities, this is a huge mistake and hard to make by accident. It must be a slow day because I took the time to do some calculations.

    I don’t know what the ingredients list for Ultimate Power Meal was, but for comparison I went to Gary Null’s website where he is now selling something called New & Improved Super Muscle Powder for the special introductory price of only $120 for a 2490 g jar with 30 servings of 83 g each. If you put away two servings a day like Gary Null did, that sets you back $8 a day. I think I can find a lot better tasting ways to eat on $8 a day.

    Super Muscle Powder doesn’t list Vitamin D as an ingredient and doesn’t give quantities for any of the nutrients except protein (26 g). Evidently you have to email in a product inquiry request to get that information. So much for truth in advertising and informed consent.

    But, let’s assume Ultimate Power Meal had the same serving size (83 g) and each serving contained 1000 IU of Vitamin D. That would put Gary Null’s two servings a day at the FDA upper limit of 2000 IU. And, let’s suppose the production plant was mixing it up in medium sized batches of 100 cartons each or about 590 pounds. Then, if Vitamin D is the same density as sucrose, each batch should contain 0.0225 g of Vitamin D or less than 1/200 of a teaspoon based on my measurement with my home scale. To measure a quantity that small you would need a digital lab scale with enclosed glass walls to keep the measurement from getting screwed up by breezes from the heating or air conditioning or just someone walking by. At least, that’s what I had to do when I was working on my Master’s thesis.

    Instead, the production workers made this “easy” mistake of dumping in 1000 times that much or about 4 1/2 teaspoons in each 100 carton batch. And, apparently they made this “easy” mistake so often that Gary Null and several of his customers suffered kidney damage from the overdose.

    If I were going to put my name on a product and tell people it was safe to eat and good for them, I would want to have a lot better production control than that.

  114. #114 Cyberquill
    October 7, 2010

    Oh boy. That’s a lot of schadenfreude spilled over one apparently isolated incident of a supplement manufacturer getting a mix wrong.

    And I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean:

    … it is probably just a deliciously appropriate coincidence, a coincidence that emphasizes just how much supplement manufactures can get away with.

    It seems the manufacturer was fired and slapped with a $10 million law suit. So much for how much manufacturers can get away with.

  115. #115 Dedj
    October 7, 2010

    There doesn’t appear to be much evidence to suggest that this incident was ‘isolated’. That would require evidence that their normal processes would otherwise have reduced the chances of this incidence occuring to a negligible level. That doesn’t appear to be the case here, which may be the basis for the lawsuit.

    As for supposedly not getting away with it, a private lawsuit – likely only brought about by an individual who can afford the risk of doing so – is not comparable to legally enforcable regulation by an overseeing agency.

  116. #116 Nat
    November 12, 2010

    U don’t like hucksters like Null any better than you do, but what’s the point here? Does any “vitamin D quack” suggest that you can take 2 million IU and be fine? Of course not.

    If any portion of this is meant to attack vitamin D, it fails. If it’s just meant to laugh at Gary Null, it succeeds, although it’s petty and pointless. So a huckster was the victim of a massive manufacturing error and got sick. Hahahaha! Other people’s pain pleases us, because we are that deeply invested in our “rational” worldviews.

    Don’t get me wrong – I actually share most of your worldview. I just don’t go so far as to mock a man who nearly died as a result of an error that had nothing to do with whether vitamin D supplementation makes sense. Nobody on Earth claims that supplementing with 2 million IU is good for you.

  117. #117 Chris
    November 12, 2010

    And it is another Necromancer!

    Some basic rules before commenting on a blog or forum that you have just found:

    1) If you find an article through Google, before commenting go to the first page and see what is under discussion.

    2) Get to know the place, lurk for a while.

    3) Become familiar with the writing style, especially in how issues are discussed. Especially what level of evidence is required (argument by blatant assertion does not go far here).

    4) Actually read the article and the comments before commenting. Mocking is not the main point, but rather the lack of quality control in the supplement industry.

    5) Try to proof read your comments (okay, we don’t all do that).

    6) If you think you want to bring a subject up to the participants’ attention, please use the search box on the upper left side of this page to see if it has been discussed before.

    6) If you get an error when posting a comment, before posting again open another window to see if it was actually posted.

  118. #118 Rogue Medic
    November 24, 2010

    Phill,

    Way back in comment 282, I wrote this in response to your challenge. Do you have any kind of evidence that you did with everybody’s favorite all-natural product (water), what you challenged me to do with a pharmaceutical drug?

    Can’t we trust you at all, Phill?

    You are such a tough guy coming up with these ridiculous challenges. If you want to challenge me, you go first with your 62 1/2 gallons of nice natural water in a 24 hour period.

    Document this in a way that makes it clear that you are not cheating, because you are clearly not a trustworthy person.

    If you do not end up in the hospital, I will find a way to get a doctor to give me 1,000 times the recommended dose of naloxone.

    This challenge was your idea.

    Put up or shut up.

    .

  119. #119 Charles George
    December 23, 2010

    I am so sorry to hear about the mfg error; however, I can honestly say that I have Gary Null’s books, and he has a formula in one for Alsheimer’s. It definitely does work. I began to give the herbs to my Dad several years ago, and while I didn’t really see any change after a year I began to wonder if they were doing any good, or if I were wasting my money. I took my Dad off of the herbs, and within a day he was like bouncing off walls, didn’t know where he was or what was happening, and verbalized that mood as well. I put him back on the herbs and within a day he was back to normal, so no one can tell me that these formula’s work. I have used them for years, and know for a fact that they do work. If anyone knows how I can reach Gary Null please advise since I need to consult with him on another health matter. Thank all of you for reading, and I do hope this has been a help to someone. Gary Null sure was able to help my Dad with his Alsheimers while most all of the other doctors I had told of this formula didn’t believe that it would do any good. Even after I told the doctors that I had taken him off of the herbs, and described his condition after taking him off, and putting him back onthey still didn’t want to accept the facts. It appears to me that most doctors only know what they have read in medical school, and if it was not in their textbooks then they don’t believe. If you find yourself in the same position please change doctors, for the herb formula does indeed work (at least it did for my Dad).

  120. #120 B.BarNavi
    January 6, 2011

    Scienceblogs confirmed for wishing death upon people they disagree with.

    NO U die in a Vit-D induced fire instead.

  121. #121 thegrowlingwolf
    January 19, 2011

    Orac and friends, you sound like typical doctors. I worked for Pfizer for many years. One reason you are dumb is that nearly all supplements are manufactured by the same labs that manufacture toxic pharmaceuticals. One can OD on aspirin; yet you don’t call Bayer a bunch of quacks do you? We’re talking biochemistry here. How many of you pros and cons know anything about biochemistry? The reason drugstores used to be called chemist shops. Any biochemist knows all chemically compounded “medicines” or “supplements” are dangerous if taken in excessive amounts. Dosage is what’s important. Doctors write prescriptions for drugs they know nothing about except what the pharmas tell them, though all this information is available in each medicine’s prescribing information, which I guarantee you most doctors never see. Now companies like Pfizer are sending their PIs directly to drug store pharmacists. Check out how many people die of supplements every year compared to how many people die from wrongly prescribed or wrongly dosed FDA-approved drugs. Just because the FDA approves something doesn’t mean it is safe. The FDA, mostly headed by ex-Pharma executives, occasionally lets slip through its cracks a very dangerous chemical formula–i.e., Vioxx; Tikosyn. These once were called Black Box drugs–in recent years big Pharmas have managed to talk the FDA out of putting black boxes around their most dangerous chemically formulated drugs. Plus, by the way, we’re talking huge billions more in terms of profits for Big Pharmas than in terms of huge profits for supplemental dealers.

    I don’t defend Gary Null. He’s a businessman just like a doctor or a pharmacist is a businessman. Profit motives keep him doing his thing. Just like profit motives are the reason Orac is a doctor, not his deep-seated need to save people’s lives.

    Your arguments sound very juvenile and argumentative. And by the way, We the People of the US are the government of the US. The government is our representative in matters such as drugs chemists come up with that they claim will CURE (chemists know nothing about prevention, just like most doctors) some currently in-the-news disease.

    tgw

  122. #122 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 19, 2011

    Just like profit motives are the reason Orac is a doctor, not his deep-seated need to save people’s lives.

    Your arguments sound very juvenile and argumentative.

    The irony of these two statements back to back is immense.

  123. #123 Edgaras
    January 24, 2011

    Haha funny article, but what is funnier, is that author thinks that there is a problem of lack of regulation in a state ;D Ordinary liberal view, more state regulation and everubody will be safe. Like those people, that died in Iraq… hehe. Anyway, the article is great 🙂

  124. #124 Gray Falcon
    January 24, 2011

    Edgaras, do you know why the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed, and the FDA exists? The answer is not a pleasant one.

  125. #125 Chris
    January 24, 2011

    Gray Falcon, perhaps he prefers children be dead instead of alive: Taste of Raspberries, Taste of Death: The 1937 Elixir Sulfanilamide Incident.

  126. #126 Byron
    February 12, 2011

    “Let thy medicine be thy food, let thy food be thy medicine.” -Hippocrates

    Eating healthier, exercising, and taking supplements changed my life. I used to be the sickliest person imaginable, and now I hardly ever have an ailment. Gary Null obviously knows that too much Vitamin D is toxic, it’s a well known fact the same as overdosing on zinc. Too much of anything is bad. You can’t blame Gary Null for not being aware of the fact that the company that produced the product are incompetent morons.

  127. #127 Chris
    February 12, 2011

    Actually, we can blame Gary Null for having lousy quality control. Which if you had read the article and comments was repeated several times.

  128. #128 adelady
    February 12, 2011

    growling wolf “Doctors write prescriptions for drugs they know nothing about except what the pharmas tell them, though all this information is available in each medicine’s prescribing information, which I guarantee you most doctors never see”

    Must be different in the US. My Oz doctors always check the pharmaceutical ‘bible’ when considering adding a drug (or changing a dose of a drug) to my personal pharmacopeia.

  129. #129 Narad
    February 12, 2011

    Eating healthier, exercising, and taking supplements changed my life. I used to be the sickliest person imaginable, and now I hardly ever have an ailment.

    Cue “Black Strap Molasses.”

  130. #130 pvillalta
    March 23, 2011

    Not likely.

  131. #131 george
    April 26, 2011

    Come on, people!! Take a good look at Gary’s picyure. He does indeed look like a mental patient! Why would you take advice from him?

  132. #132 star
    April 26, 2011

    Come on, people! Wake up! Look at Gary’s picture. He looks like a mental patient. Why would you listen to someone like him??

  133. #133 Vicki, Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief
    April 26, 2011

    Star, or George, or whatever your nym is:

    Even if I stipulate that looking like a mental patient means that someone is one, that’s not a good argument. I do sometimes take advice from people with mental illnesses. Someone with depression or anxiety may still be perfectly capable of giving good advice on a lot of things, especially if s/he knows that the anxiety is not based on a realistic assessment of dangers. (Too anxious to go out of the house? Doesn’t mean they can’t remind me that I need to see my dentist.) Someone with PTSD may give good advice in a lot of areas unrelated to their specific trauma. And so on.

    And we have treatments for some of these things: “patient” often means the person is getting treatment, whether chemical, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or some other form of mental therapy.

  134. #134 This article sucks
    June 11, 2011

    Almost everything in this post is copied almost verbatum from another post (what a load of shit) – then you repeat three times “Gary Null’s own supplement apparently almost killed him” – wrong. What almost killed him was a fucked up concoction that steered from what *his supplement* was supposed to be.
    I too have some doubts about Null and his claims – bit that’s not the point. Using the manuafacturers screw-up to paint a poor picture of Null is a cheap shot – the type of blog writing I’d only expect from a shit plagiarizing “author” like you.
    I’m not sure which is sadder- that people were hurt, or that shitheads like you have to kick Null when he’s down.

  135. #135 This article sucks
    June 11, 2011

    Almost everything in this post is copied almost verbatum from another post (what a load of shit) – then you repeat three times “Gary Null’s own supplement apparently almost killed him” – wrong. What almost killed him was a fucked up concoction that steered from what *his supplement* was supposed to be.
    I too have some doubts about Null and his claims – bit that’s not the point. Using the manuafacturers screw-up to paint a poor picture of Null is a cheap shot – the type of blog writing I’d only expect from a shit plagiarizing “author” like you.
    I’m not sure which is sadder- that people were hurt, or that shitheads like you have to kick Null when he’s down.

  136. #136 Chris
    June 11, 2011

    Almost everything in this post is copied almost verbatum from another post (what a load of shit) – then you repeat three times

    Repetitive Necromancer is repetitive.

    Though, can you tell us who Orac plagiarized? Because, unless you provide a name and/or link, we will just assume you made up that part (or are clueless about the worst kept secret on teh Internets).

  137. #137 KR
    August 1, 2011

    Wow! This is amazing, we finally see “one” potential case of a vitamin overdose…and, I’m sorry how many people die daily from prescription medications that were properly prescribed by a physician and pharmacy and FDA approved? Yes, people that have died from prescriptions properly prescribed is the second leading killer in America today and growing…and that is not counting those that have died from prescription error…Bravo! I knew this had to be a scientist and physician that would be right there to condemn someone who has helped so many without lining your pockets and promoting legalized conventional killing. Outstanding job on proving your closed minded and a self-serving ass!

  138. #138 augustine
    August 1, 2011

    Outstanding job on proving your closed minded and a self-serving ass!

    How many people died from just chemo today?

    Oh, they would’ve died today anyway?

    How many people died from pain medication today?

    Oh, they would have died from pain today anyway

    How many died from just the general practice of doctors all over the world today?

    Oh they just would’ve died anyway?

    http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.htm

    “Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury. This means that more people die from medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS.”

    Oh I didn’t see vitamins or “quackery” on the list.

    Just take your medicine and get your damn vaccines!

  139. #139 Gray Falcon
    August 1, 2011

    Unless both of you have a way of preventing all of those deaths from modern medicine which would not result in most of them dying on the conditions requiring modern medicine in the first place, then I suggest you quietly bow out. Most deaths caused by alternative medicine are deaths of inaction: Failing to use proper medicine when serious medical conditions arise. See “What’s The Harm?” on the left for details.

  140. #140 Chris
    August 2, 2011

    KR:

    Yes, people that have died from prescriptions properly prescribed is the second leading killer in America today and growing..

    [citation required]

  141. #141 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    I knew Chris would show up. Can’t stand it can you? Medicine Kills. It’s a fact that you can’t deny. It eats at your crawl so you turn your attention to vitamins and homeopathy which kill none. The hypocrisy is amazing.

  142. #142 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    Most deaths caused by alternative medicine are deaths of inaction:

    Citation needed!

    Failing to use proper medicine when serious medical conditions arise.

    Failure to use one of the top killers. HMMM. No thanks Jack Kevorkian, I’ll pass. If it’s serious,then I’ll see. Is vaccination a prophecy or has the “serious condition arisen”.

    Can you promise me the “serious condition” will not arise? Or will you blame me if your medicine kills me?

  143. #143 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    Unless both of you have a way of preventing all of those deaths from modern medicine which would not result in most of them dying on the conditions requiring modern medicine in the first place, then I suggest you quietly bow out.

    How about this Mr. Falcon. Don’t get f$%ng liposuction. Justify that Kanye West.

  144. #144 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    “Interventional cardiology is what supports almost every hospital in America—it’s an enormous part of our gross domestic product. Every year in this country we do about half a million bypass grafts and 650,000 coronary angioplasties, with the mean cost of the procedures ranging from $28,000 to $60,000. There are a lot of people involved in this transfer of wealth. But no Western European nation has such a high rate of those procedures—and their longevity is higher than ours.”

    -Nortin Hadler M.D., professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  145. #145 Chris
    August 2, 2011

    I know I should not feed the troll, but he is a total idiot with lots of issues. I only posted a two word reply and he/she went ballistic.

    Perhaps it is due to his/her frustration with his/her sexual identity. Though I have never experienced it, I guess it is very trying and confusing if they have to deal with being a good homophobic anti-science anti-medicine “Christian.”

  146. #146 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    Though I have never experienced it, I guess it is very trying and confusing if they have to deal with being a good homophobic anti-science anti-medicine “Christian.”

    No Ballistics here.

    Are you a Christian, “Chris”?

    I didn’t think so? Do you think your “Christian” friends on here are consistently logical? Is there a god if you think logically about it?

    Why is it you believe you “friends” to be inconsistent with your beliefs?

  147. #147 Chris
    August 2, 2011

    Oh, the poor thing. He/she is so confused.

  148. #148 Narad
    August 2, 2011

    It eats at your crawl

    This is one of Augustine’s better malapropisms, if you ask me, although it might cause some confusion if the neighbors pick it up being screamed through the bathroom wall.

  149. #149 lilady
    August 2, 2011

    @ Gray Falcon & Chris: Ugh Troll, busy keying away on his computer, finds an article from a government website about a recent (2000?) IOM Report on estimating hospital deaths, yet conveniently leaves out the many criticisms of the IOM report for poor quality of study design, their review process, reviewer biases and not considering the patients’ prognoses, etc. Here are a few of the PubMed citations that roundly criticized the conclusions of the (troll cherry picked) IOM Report.

    PubMed 11466119 Estimating Hospital Deaths due to Medical Error; preventability is in the eye of the reviewer

    PubMed 11151524 How many deaths are due to medical? getting the numbers right

    PubMed 11143166 University study identifies problem with IOM report

    I despise the hypocrisy of homophobic, anti-medicine anti-science “Christians”.

  150. #150 lilady
    August 2, 2011

    @ Narad: Hypocritical, homophobic anti-medicine anti science “Christian” is our malevolent Mrs. Malaprop troll.

    I despise etc., etc.

  151. #151 Narad
    August 2, 2011

    I despise etc., etc.

    It strikes me as much less stressful to simply wait for it to hoist itself by its own petard yet again and then point and laugh.

  152. #152 herr doktor bimler
    August 2, 2011

    It eats at your crawl
    “Eats at your craw” is similar to “sticks in your heart”. Both are perfectly cromulent phrases.

  153. #153 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

    I know I shouldn’t let this bother me, but augustine, I did give you a citation, check out http://whatstheharm.net/ for details on deaths by inaction due to alternative medicine. Also, I asked how to prevent all iatrogenic deaths without the patients dying otherwise.

  154. #154 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    Gray

    but augustine, I did give you a citation, check out http://whatstheharm.net/ for details on deaths by inaction due to alternative medicine.

    Is that peer reviewed? LOL!

    Also, I asked how to prevent all iatrogenic deaths without the patients dying otherwise.

    Do you believe that all doctor interventions are life and death? Do you know what unnecessary medical care is? Do you know why cold medicine was pulled from the shelves?

  155. #155 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

    Is there a point to anything you’re saying, augustine? Or are you just being a troll?

  156. #156 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    There’s always a point.

  157. #157 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

    So what is your point? What are you standing for? What do you believe in?

  158. #158 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    So what is your point? What are you standing for? What do you believe in?

    You need to worry about the foundation and the holes of your own views.

  159. #159 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

    What foundation? What holes? What is your point? What are you standing for? What do you believe in?

  160. #160 Gabriel Paparella
    August 2, 2011

    3 orders of magnitude? Hmm.

    In the metric system, there are 2 standard sets of units, cgs and mks. cgs is centimeters/grams/seconds and mks is meters/kilograms/seconds. The difference in basic units of mass between the two is 3 orders of magnitude.

    A typo adding a k to grams could make instructions read “add X kg VitD to powder tank”, for example. Also, dropping an m makes milligrams into grams. Because there’s a sort of perception of vitamins as nutrients, or food, this could lead to a workers’ misperception of how much ought to go in that vat. They probably weren’t thinking of the active ingredient as a drug.

  161. #161 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    What foundation? What holes? What is your point? What are you standing for? What do you believe in?

    HaHaHa!

    Why do you need to know? Will it make you feel better about yourself? Will you use it to rationalize your doubt?

    You need to get out of the middle of the road.

  162. #162 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

    Augustine, what is your point?

  163. #163 lilady
    August 2, 2011

    @ Gray Falcon: (hoisted on his petard now,)…there is no “point”…and never was. Ignore the Ugh Troll and let him climb off the petard. (Thanks, Narad)

  164. #164 Chemmomo
    August 2, 2011

    Gabriel, minor correction:
    the difference between centimeters and meters is only 2 orders of magnitude (100).

  165. #165 me you idiot
    October 11, 2011

    wow you idiots go back and fourth and have achieved nothing. arguments on both sides are fundamentally flawed.

    I’m just gonna continue smok’n weed a few times a week as it seems more constructive.

  166. #166 David
    October 20, 2011

    I think you are out of line when you call Mr Null a Quack. This is a personal attack which is meant to degrade and discount what he stands for. Now I do not agree with everything he says and puts out but I do take it into consideration. I believe that we can all benefit from a more natural dietary lifestyle. And after working in the healthcare industry for many years I have seen the negative effects caused by the over reliance on the drug companies cures. When is the last time you saw a commercial for the new cure all, anti-depressant, allergy drug or impotence drug. They all have a trememdous amount of side effects, some of which include death. And these are the medicines being pushed by doctors onto their patients.. With that said we should do much more intelligent research into the benefits of supplements.

  167. #167 TBruce
    October 20, 2011

    365
    I think you are out of line when you call Mr Null a Quack.

    I don’t

    Gary Null calls himself a Doctor on the basis of a dubious PhD degree, he advocates all sorts of nutty unproven remedies, he is antivaccine, and he has a habit of suing anyone who publicly disagrees with him. There’s a good article on Null at quackwatch.org

    If he’s not a quack, then the word is meaningless.
    As I have previously said on suitable occasions, it’s not an insult, it’s a description.

  168. #168 Prometheus
    October 20, 2011

    David the Necromancer (#365) whinges:

    “I think you are out of line when you call Mr Null a Quack. This is a personal attack which is meant to degrade and discount what he stands for.”

    And what is it that “Dr.” Null stands for? Selling his own personal line of supplements? Leveraging his “iffy” PhD into money-making career as an “alt-med” guru? It’s easy to see what he’s against (all medical care that has been shown to work), but not see easy to see what he stands for.

    “I believe that we can all benefit from a more natural dietary lifestyle.”

    And you base this on…what? Also, what is your definition of “more natural dietary lifestyle”? Those are all very general words – what exactly are the lifestyle changes you think we can all benefit from? It’s very easy to spout vague generalities, but how about some tested “natural” lifestyle changes?

    “And after working in the healthcare industry for many years I have seen the negative effects caused by the over reliance on the drug companies cures.”

    Since you brought it up, David, could you tell us what aspect of the “healthcare industry” you work in and in what capacity? After all, if you’re claiming some sort of special privilege for your opinion based on your experience, we are entitled to know what that experience entails, don’t we?

    “When is the last time you saw a commercial for the new cure all, anti-depressant, allergy drug or impotence drug.”

    I estimate that fully half – if not more – of the “cure-alls” I see advertised are “natural”, “homeopathic” or “supplements”. The rest of them – the real drugs – have studies showing that they actually work, unlike the “natural”, “homeopathic” and “supplement” drugs.

    “They all have a trememdous amount of side effects, some of which include death. And these are the medicines being pushed by doctors onto their patients.”

    Real drugs have real effects and real side effects. The only “drugs” without side effects are those without any real effects.

    “With that said we should do much more intelligent research into the benefits of supplements.”

    Wish granted. Vitamin C interferes with cancer treatments; vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer. Taking anything in excess has the potential to cause harm. And why is it that – as you admit – people like Gary Null are recommending supplements without “intelligent research into [their] benefits”? Wouldn’t it be better – and more ethical – to wait until the supplements had been shown to be safe and effective before recommending them?

    Prometheus

  169. #169 Narad
    October 20, 2011

    When is the last time you saw a commercial for the new cure all, anti-depressant, allergy drug or impotence drug. They all have a trememdous amount of side effects, some of which include death. And these are the medicines being pushed by doctors onto their patients..

    It might help if you got the arrow of causality correct in your stock argument, as well, unless you think mass-market drug advertisements are aimed at physicians.

  170. #170 zee
    October 20, 2011

    The article stated:
    > I guess I was far too kind on the supplement manufacturer.
    > How on earth does one make an error of three orders of
    > magnitude? As a chemistry major and scientist in addition
    > to physician, I can’t fathom how anyone could screw up that
    > badly.

    Maybe it was deliberate?

  171. #171 Mr. Nobody
    November 2, 2011

    There’s a big difference between allegations that Null’s health, organic food, vegatarianism and medical claims are meritless, and when a food stuffs manufacturer screws up and produces a product that was supposed to have 1000 IUs of Vitamin D in every drink, puts 1,000,000 IUs in it by mistake, shipped directly to the consumer. There are literally hundreds of different brands of vitamin enriched food supplement drinks ranging from Ensure and Boost to Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal.

    However, as family member of one of the consumers injured by the mismanufacture of Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal, a lovely woman in her later years who never had a bad word for anyone and hoped this drink would help her take breakfast without irritating her esophagus, who recently died from her injuries: I RESENT ORAC’S SCHEIDENFREUD POSTURE regading this incident that he calls “too deliciously ironic for words”. Losing one’s mother over the innocent purchase of a product to which 1500 times too much Vitamin D had been mixed, is far far different than his disagreement with Gary Null’s health philosphies. It can happen to Milk (and has: in a past incident involving Baby milk contaminated with Vitamin D). Shame on you, ORAC!

  172. #172 null and void
    December 10, 2011

    well, my only comment is that if all these “guru quacks” as some are calling them, are so wrong about supplements and the healthy lifestyle they promote, why are so many americans that don’t follow these “quacks” advice, so fat, sick, and living quality free lives? i’ve seen the changes in my health by taking supplements, exercising, and following advice very similar to null’s. i wouldn’t go back to the old way i was eating and living for anything. so call them quacks or whatever, but when you compare the alternate lifestyle most americans live and see the drugs they have to take for EVERY health issue you can imagine, there just might be some truth to the old quack!

  173. #173 Chris
    December 10, 2011

    Mr. Null and Void necromancer:

    why are so many americans that don’t follow these “quacks” advice, so fat, sick, and living quality free lives?

    Oh, really?.

  174. #174 MD1970
    December 10, 2011

    Rather snarky of you, Orac. Like you’re immune to cancer and if you do get
    it will miracously suffer no ill effects from chemo or radiation being the Godlike
    cyborg you are.
    My SBM internist told me to take Vit D-BTW what brand would you prescribe?

  175. #175 novalox
    December 10, 2011

    @md1970

    Why the hell do you wish to necro a year-old thread, idiot troll?

  176. #176 Narad
    December 10, 2011

    You’re 18 months late and more than a dollar short, MD.

  177. #177 MD1970
    December 10, 2011

    @374
    @375 Are you stalking my comments because you are too unimaginative
    to think of something else to do?
    Saw it on the current list of comments- Chris commented.
    You can ignore what I say but you both really get off on your own comments I see.

  178. #178 Chris
    December 10, 2011

    And so you decided to be as stupid as “null and void.” Well, you have to something to strive for.

  179. #179 lilady
    December 10, 2011

    If MD1970 really went to a SBM doctor…why didn’t he ask his prescribing doctor what type of Vitamin D should he take?

    No reputable physician would ever prescribe a vitamin for a person who is not his/her patient or prescribe through the internet.

    Why doesn’t nasty troll look for a disreputable physician on
    the internet?

  180. #180 novalox
    December 10, 2011

    @md1970

    Yawn, I’ve heard better insults from a petulant 10 year old.

    Do try to actually get an education instead of being an utter idiot.

  181. #181 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    December 10, 2011

    MD “One in six ‘developmentally disabled'” 1970 had to come over to a year-and-half-old thread because he thinks here no one will ask him: What proportion of any population is always more than one standard deviation below the mean in any characteristic ever measured, anywhere?

  182. #182 denise
    January 18, 2012

    Clearly if you look up Gary Null he lives to SUE people for a living.
    He is mean, evil, Hitler like, quack,liar, SATIN himself..
    This is a fact …..
    He will get all he deserves…

  183. #184 lilady
    January 30, 2012

    Really bob? What effin’ idiot quotes Tim Bolen as a reliable source?

  184. #185 Anton P. Nym
    January 30, 2012

    Nice hatchet job, “bob”… I particularly like the circular reference links that never left the host site. I, for one, love Ouroboros links; they’re the roller coasters of the Internet, making for thrilling rhetorical whirls and spins that ultimately get you nowhere.

    (As opposed to, say, wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Barrett ) which does link to primary sources, and which deposits guano on a lot of the claims made by the “quackpotwatch” site.)

    — Steve

  185. #186 MonkeyMuffins
    February 20, 2012

    “I can’t resist repeating it. Gary Null’s own supplement apparently almost killed him. The schadenfreude is just too rich.”

    yet, unconscionably and irredeemably but all-too-predictably, Gary “conspiradroid moonbat” Null continues to get rich hawking his pseudoscience and snake-oil.

    Null is living proof — “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    the irredeemable part of this unequal equation is that Null makes loads-o’-cash on the backs of the lower classes.

    in the end, he’s a proudly-aggressive and -unrepentant capitalist pure and simple.

  186. #187 Oracle
    April 20, 2012

    I’m not saying Gary is always right in everything he does. I like that he speaks out against unhealthy eating and promotes eating more whole foods. One thing to consider regarding science is the statistics regarding deaths due to medicine VS deaths due to vitamins and healthy eating. Just watch an average commercial for a drug. Let’s start being a bit more empirical in our assertations rather than just being talking heads. Good luck.

  187. #188 GutsnGlory
    April 27, 2012

    Oh my goodness, WOW! what a great thread. You know, why would ppl like that Gary was sick from using his own supplement? I think it is very ethical that he sued, it proves he cares about his consumers more than sales. And so what if he’s against wetern medicine and advocates natural food healing? It’s all the luck of the draw anyway. When it comes to western medicine, it’s all about the Benjamins. If there were a thousand Gary Nulls it wouldn’t make a dent in our world’s unhealthiness. This is because people want instant gratification. And also want to be drugged out, most people drink or take some kind of drug.ALSO, I’m so glad that Gary is SATIN, I absolutely love satin, especially red.

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