Respectful Insolence

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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 FreeSpeaker
    April 29, 2010

    Let’s see..Gary Null gets sick from using one of his products…Hulda Clark dies from cancer…

    YOU CANNOT MAKE THESE THINGS UP! Reality beats fiction every time!

    Stephen King, you’re FIRED!

  2. #2 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2010

    Because of schedule changes, I don’t hear his wretched-excuse-for-a-show,I mean, his “empowerment hour” nearly as much as before *but* yesterday had to be “kismet” or synchronicity(Hah!).We don’t need any mysticism to explain what happened to him(and those who trust his advice):he cavalierly prescribes huge doses of vitamins on a regular basis,disregarding SBM guidelines,as he “knows better”; similarly, he advises against HAART for HIV+ patients, chemotherapy for cancer patients,psychiatric meds for people with SMI,meds for LD,along with an endless cornucopia of bad medical advice.Recently(perhaps vitamin D poisoning elevates megalomania where it already exists?)he has gone on a political-economics binge,his primary targets being Obama,BigPharma, and Wall St.,talking about starting his own “progressive party” and a “homesteading project” for other “enlightened” beings away from “toxic suburbs”.In Texas.I rest my case.

  3. #3 Jojo
    April 29, 2010

    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.

    I wouldn’t call this a coincidence. The man has been using high doses of supplements for 35 years and he’s been buying them from profit driven, poorly regulated manufacturers. I’d simply call that the logical consequences of high risk behavior.

  4. #4 IBY
    April 29, 2010

    This is so ironic that I don’t know whether to feel sorry for him or laugh, and I am feeling more towards the laughing side.
    Also, the part about misssing a decimal point, man, epic mistake.

  5. #5 sirhcton
    April 29, 2010

    Mr. Null’s lawsuit is an attempt to either avoid or deflect those that might be headed his way from the six other consumers of his product who were hospitalized. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this.

  6. #6 Mills
    April 29, 2010

    I understand the comedy – quack poisoned by own supplement – and the irony – that Null visited a doctor when really ill – but aren’t you drifting a bit into straw man territory, here?

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

    What message? That he ingested a toxic dose of a chemical as a result of accidental industrial contamination?

    It may highlight that supplement providers are less regulated than pharmaceuticals (and therefore more prone to mistakes), but it says nothing for or against Null’s promotion of vitamin D.

    In fact, it may back up any case he would wish to make about the medical establishment being ill-informed about vitamin D if the evidence shows that it was indeed a very large dose that caused toxicity because the NIH’s current maximum upper intake is still only 2000 IU/d.

  7. #7 AndyD
    April 29, 2010

    I guess this answers the old question of whether these guys really swallow their own nonsense. Null obviously does, both figuratively and literally.

  8. #8 Christopher
    April 29, 2010

    That McCarthy article in HuffPost has part of this quote from an interview Dr. Robert Sears did in that Frontline piece that didn’t make it to air:

    The ultimate worry that parents have is whether or not there’s a connection between vaccines and autism. And there’re a lot of parents with autistic children out there that are claiming yes, there’s a connection. When you look purely at the science, and more specifically the peer-reviewed science in the mainstream medical journals, then the answer is no. There is no direct scientific connection that they’ve been able to put between vaccines and autism.

    In my mind, the only way we’d really put this issue to rest is to do a very large scientific study that looks at hundreds of thousands of children who are vaccinated versus hundreds of thousands of children that are not vaccinated, and we compare the rates of autism in those two groups. Such a study probably won’t be done, because many experts feel it’s unethical to put so many children into the unvaccinated group of the study. But if we could put that kind of study together, that’s really the only way to really, absolutely, without any doubt in anyone’s mind, to put this issue to rest.

    I’m just wondering how one could ignore “A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism,” by K. Madsen, et. al., NJEM Volume 347:1477-1482?

  9. #9 Gene
    April 29, 2010

    I notice the brilliant Orac does not quantify acceptable dosage that’s proven by science to relieve the epidemic of Vitamin D DEFICIENCY in our fair land.

    Any fool or attack dog of Big Pharma, of course, can rhetorically dismiss countless studies of supplements and their efficacy.

    So brilliant name callers, can you back any of your rhetoric up with SUBSTANCE?

    Or is the usual name calling going to be your response to me?

    Perhaps you should know, I find these types responses most enetertaining at this stage of debating, say “HIV/AIDS truthers”.

    Encouraged, Jojo says “poorly regulated manufacturers” are the real problem.

    And the brilliant Denise, I’m sure with a comprehensive understanding of derivatives and other “synthetic” financial instruments, mocks Null’s critiques of Wall St and the Obama Administration’s keeping intact the same crowd who caused the financial collapse.

    This general failure to comprehend why too-big-failed banks are not yet restored is a continuing problem recognized by economists like Nouriel Roubini, dear Denise.

    So what is it Orac, do you know the scientifically documented efficacious and safe dosage levels of Vitamin D?

    And does this so-called science-blog know the details of existing legal constraints and regulations of the supplement industry?

    Or is it better to misinform readers on this crucial point?

    Hint: google Dr Alan Pressman (who has a regular radio show on NYC’s WWRL, 1600 AM*) for the scientific assessment of Vitamin D, including the importance of using the D3 form.

    Of course, intellectual sloths will simply name call and dump Dr Pressman into the category of quack eh gang?

    And inadequate regulation of Big Pharma’s products, no problems there.

    Of course.

    Orac and followers get an F for this post …

    *also pharmacist Gerry Hickey and Dr Chris Calapei.

  10. #10 Sir Eccles
    April 29, 2010

    Maybe he didn’t succuss it properly.

  11. #11 Schepps
    April 29, 2010

    This is not funny at all. This is a manufacture problem that is just as deadly when it happens in the medicines we take. I wouldnt want the antibiotics I prescribed to be tainted any more than he wanted his vitamin doses in the wrong quantities. Since these mistakes do happen even with our ‘carefully’ monitored prescriptions, I would not call this karma. Just because he supplements doesnt mean he deserves to die from a mistake. I have been prescribing medications for 35 yrs, does that mean I need to be injured/killed by a tainted medication? This coincidence/karma story is just stupid. Jenny would have been a better choice.

  12. #12 Dianne
    April 29, 2010

    What message?

    1. That unregulated products are dangerous and working against regulation in your field is working against yourself.

    2. That supplements have dangers and nothing is completely benign.

    3. That taking a supplement when you don’t have a deficiency is adding risk for no benefit.

    4. That his claim that vitmains are a cure all and completely harmless is a bunch of BS.

    I expect I’ll think of more later but that’s the first round of messages I’d hope he’d get.

  13. #13 Vicki
    April 29, 2010

    5. That just because a product has someone’s name on it doesn’t make it safe, because J. Random Celebrity isn’t actually (a) supervising the manufacturing or (b) in most cases, qualified to do so. That sort of quality control work is a separate skill, and a valuable one. But if Gary Null can’t trust a product just because it has Gary Null’s name on it, neither can anyone else.

  14. #14 Ahcuah
    April 29, 2010

    Considering Null’s null amount of medical knowledge, I’d even question his diagnosis that it was Vitamin D poisoning.

    Who knows? It might have been something else in the supplements (or not even those supplements at all).

  15. #15 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 29, 2010

    Gene@8 (or is it Jim et al?):

    Perhaps you should know, I find these types responses most enetertaining at this stage of debating, say “HIV/AIDS truthers”.

    Funny that you should say this, since Null is one of those “truthers”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Null

    He’s also anti-vax, and believes that there’s a conspiracy to suppress cancer cures that “work”, so the Big Medicine can profit from the sick.

    His so-called PhD is equivalent to a poor science fair project.
    http://www.quackwatch.com/04ConsumerEducation/null.html

    He also appears to dye his hair.

    Why should I believe anything this person recommends?

    why should I pay attention to a Null toadie like you?

    Oops, called you a name, didn’t I? My bad. Just consider it a favour, since you can’t seem to keep yours straight, right? I may be jumping to conclusions, but there’s a strong smell of dirty sock puppet around here…

  16. #16 Orac
    April 29, 2010

    This is not funny at all. This is a manufacture problem that is just as deadly when it happens in the medicines we take. I wouldnt want the antibiotics I prescribed to be tainted any more than he wanted his vitamin doses in the wrong quantities.

    Ah, but that’s the point. For medications, there are tight regulations that make a manufacturing problem exceedingly unlikely. Do you notice that by far most reported problems with pharmaceutical drugs are not due to adulteration or a manufacturing screwup of this magnitude, but rather due to side effects from the drugs that weren’t detected or may have been covered up in the clinical trials leading up to the approval of the drug. That’s because the manufacturing process for drugs is heavily regulated and policed.

    Not so supplements.

    I have been prescribing medications for 35 yrs, does that mean I need to be injured/killed by a tainted medication? This coincidence/karma story is just stupid. Jenny would have been a better choice.

    Spare me the lecture. It may be mildly tasteless to make fun of Null, but it’s irresistible given his history.

  17. #17 vito
    April 29, 2010

    Oh you forgot to mention how high doeses of vitamins have
    completely cured Aids from hundreds of people.

  18. #18 Darrinmcarter
    April 29, 2010

    Orac,

    In past posts you have mentioned you have another blog. How does one find it, i’m feeling left out (:

  19. #19 Schepps
    April 29, 2010

    @16 Maybe you could use a lecture. Regulated and policed has not prevented deadly mistakes from occuring. Not in the pharmaceutical industry, not in the food industry, water systems, etc etc. Anyway, the whole idea that this ‘irony’ was ‘irresistible’ is what made the post tasteless. It would only have been ironic if this occured while taking the recommended supplements, however, it is not irony when this was caused from a manufacturing screw up. Some of the people affected could die from this mistake.

  20. #20 symball
    April 29, 2010

    Orac- You should be congratulating schepps on his call for nutritional supplements to be produced under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). Perhaps we could also request that these ‘nutraceuticals’ that are being peddled by quacks such as this be regarded as medicines by the FDA and regulated as such to prevent poisonings such as this in the future.

    Dodgy manufacturing practices have been occuring for hundreds of years

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_sweets_poisoning

  21. #21 Ash
    April 29, 2010

    Just when I was working on an article on the supposed safety of “natural” substance for my blog – I’ll have to incorporate this :) While I don’t like seeing bad things happen to people, it’s hard not to make fun of this one given the irony. I can only hope that it raises awareness of the dangers of vitamin mega-dosing, but that might be wishful thinking.

  22. #22 Orac
    April 29, 2010

    You should be congratulating schepps on his call for nutritional supplements to be produced under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). Perhaps we could also request that these ‘nutraceuticals’ that are being peddled by quacks such as this be regarded as medicines by the FDA and regulated as such to prevent poisonings such as this in the future.

    I like the way you think, and in fact I wrote about John McCain’s attempt to pass a reform bill for dietary supplement laws to bring them under tighter regulation by the FDA. His effort was slapped down by Orrin Hatch (lots of supplement manufacturers in Utah) and “health freedom” activists. Because he is facing a strong primary challenge from the right, McCain caved.

    Big Supplement wins again.

  23. #23 FreeSpeaker
    April 29, 2010

    Googlenews search:

    Your search – gary null supplement recall – did not match any documents.

    Hmmm…COVER-UP!

  24. #24 FreeSpeaker
    April 29, 2010

    FYI: Hatch’s son was, and may stil lbe, a lobbyist for BigSupplement.

  25. #25 Schepps
    April 29, 2010

    symball, do you really propose that to be a solution? It happens under GMP regulations all the time (that link shouldnt be news to anybody). The FDA couldnt prevent all future poisonings even if they did have enough people, money and time, which they dont. Dream on! People pushing unsafe vitamins is not the same problem as a manuf overdose.

  26. #26 Ryan
    April 29, 2010

    Amusing??? Not at all. Perhaps those who like to smear Null should talk to Dr. Stephen Barrett and see how the lawsuit against him is going. He’s another one that has called Null a quack.

    Go ahead, look at his website, look at the bibliography in his books and you’ll see studies noted from mainstream medical journals to support his positions.

    How can Null be held responsible even to himself for the mistakes of a subcontract manufacturer?

    Perhaps this website will be next on the list suits filed against those who call Null a quack!!!

  27. #27 Ryan
    April 29, 2010

    Amusing??? Not at all. Perhaps those who like to smear Null should talk to Dr. Stephen Barrett and see how the lawsuit against him is going. He’s another one that has called Null a quack.

    Go ahead, look at his website, look at the bibliography in his books and you’ll see studies noted from mainstream medical journals to support his positions.

    How can Null be held responsible even to himself for the mistakes of a subcontract manufacturer?

    Perhaps this website will be next on the list suits filed against those who call Null a quack!!!

  28. #28 Rene Najera
    April 29, 2010

    That’s why I always take my vitamin Ñ instead. It’s spicier and doesn’t cause any of the problems vitamin D causes. And, here’s the kicker, there is just as much evidence that vitamin Ñ prevents the flu as there is that vitamin D prevents the flu. True story.

    DISCLAIMER: The opinion reflected in this comment is only my own and doesn’t itself reflect the opinion of any one that pays me money then takes it away in taxes and furloughs for a living. And neither is that little blurb about furloughs.

  29. #29 blf
    April 29, 2010

    According to this article (from the New York Post, I have no idea how reliable they are):

    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.

    Two million IU. Per day. As the Pfft! of All Knowledge observes:

    The recommended daily allowance is 400 IU per day. Overdose has been observed at 1925 µg/d (77,000 IU per day). Acute overdose requires between 15,000 µg/d (600,000 IU per day) and 42,000 µg/d (1,680,000 IU per day) over a period of several days to months, with a safe intake level being 250 µg/d (10,000 IU per day). Foods contain low levels, and have not been known to cause overdose.

    Seems like the quack should have died.

    If the report is correct, I’ve no idea how a three orders of magnitude error happened. Perhaps someone misread or misunderstand K as meaning M?

  30. #30 Judith
    April 29, 2010

    What an ignorant, uninformed article you wrote. Gary Null is not a “health nut”. He has science behind all the statements he makes. Obviously, you never read/researched his articles.
    And the company, Triarco, that, incomprehensibly, put TWO MILLION I.U. of vitamin D3, instead of two thousand, into his Power Meal, is at fault, not Gary Null. He’s the victim here. Nothing funny about someone becoming seriously ill and almosts dying.

  31. #31 Orac
    April 29, 2010

    Actually, I have read Null’s stuff, seen some of his talks, and researched his stuff. IMHO, it’s utter nonsense, full of pseudoscience, unsupported claims, and even outright quackery.

  32. #32 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 29, 2010

    Oh, boy, here comes the Null Set.

    He has science behind all his statements,eh?
    Yep, science is behind him, giving him a thorough ass-kicking.

  33. #33 AnthonyK
    April 29, 2010

    Nothing funny about someone becoming seriously ill and almosts dying

    Perhaps not, but “alternative health freak gets poisoned by his own miracle cure” is deliciously ironic. And, yes, he is a health nut, and has made a fortune from peddling nonsense. Just as well proper medicine was there to stop him dying, eh?

  34. #34 Judith
    April 29, 2010

    I’m not the “Null Set”. Plus, he wasn’t “poisoned by his own miracle cure”. This isn’t about Gary Null. There was nothing wrong with his Power Meal. And he never claimed it to be a ‘miracle cure’ for anything. It’s just a meal supplement. This is about the horrible, insane error the company, Triarco, made, putting in TWO MILLION I.U.s of Vit.D. And no, he wasn’t “cured” by allopathic medicine. The D3 eventually went out of his body.
    Yes, there IS science behind all his statements- he has everything footnoted. If you bothered to look and read all the literature he references. All the “Gary Null haters” (do you work for big pharma or the AMA? Your statements certainly aren’t based on anything but absurd, ignorant rage) are coming out now with absurd statements. You’re the ones with the agenda.
    All this is totally irrelevant to the fact that the manufacturer, Triarco, screwed up. Nothing to do with him. He’s the victim here.
    I’ve said all I have to say.

  35. #35 rob
    April 29, 2010

    I notice the brilliant Rene Najera does not quantify acceptable dosage that’s proven by science to relieve the epidemic of Vitamin Ñ DEFICIENCY in our fair land.

    i took 10 billion IU of it and it turned me into a newt!!!

    i…um…got better.

    p.s. @T Bruce McNeely: Null Set. lol.

  36. #36 Judith
    April 29, 2010

    I’m not the “Null Set”. Plus, he wasn’t “poisoned by his own miracle cure”. This isn’t about Gary Null. There was nothing wrong with his Power Meal. And he never claimed it to be a ‘miracle cure’ for anything. It’s just a meal supplement. This is about the horrible, insane error the company, Triarco, made, putting in TWO MILLION I.U.s of Vit.D. And no, he wasn’t “cured” by allopathic medicine. The D3 eventually went out of his body.
    Yes, there IS science behind all his statements- he has everything footnoted. If you bothered to look and read all the literature he references. All the “Gary Null haters” (do you work for big pharma or the AMA? Your statements certainly aren’t based on anything but absurd, ignorant rage) are coming out now with absurd statements. You’re the ones with the agenda.
    All this is totally irrelevant to the fact that the manufacturer, Triarco, screwed up. Nothing to do with him. He’s the victim here.
    I’ve said all I have to say.

  37. #37 Nick
    April 29, 2010

    Judith, he was poisoned by his own snakeoil (whether by manufacturing error or not). There is something wrong with “Power Meal”- the fact that it provides no clinically efficacious treatment for any disease and yet because of the unregulated state of “supplements” in this country has the potential to poison the recipient. That’s a risk without a real benefit. Taking three-four times the recommended dosage of Vit D a day serves no purpose. I can get 15-20 mins a day of sun, get the recommend dosage of D without spending some ungodly amount on questionable, potentially harmful quack supplements.

  38. #38 JohnV
    April 29, 2010

    Judith do you work for Gary Null? Maybe you’re his wife or daughter? You must be otherwise I don’t know how you could agree with him.

    See how idiotic that is? Consider it next time you let rip with a sage “OMG YOU ALL WORK FOR DRUG COMPANIES” blast.

  39. #39 Seb30
    April 29, 2010

    “he wasn’t “poisoned by his own miracle cure”. ”
    His lawyer said he was.
    “This isn’t about Gary Null.”
    Well, he is the one with the overdose of D3.
    “There was nothing wrong with his Power Meal.”
    Actually, there was. But don’t get all upset, could happen to anybody.
    “And he never claimed it to be a ‘miracle cure’ for anything.”
    Err… It is supposed to be something you take so you get healthier.
    “And no, he wasn’t “cured” by allopathic medicine. ”
    He went to consult a practicer of science-based medicine, and went better. Should be good enough to draw conclusions, don’t you think?
    “do you work for big pharma or the AMA?”
    Nah, I’m not even in your country.

  40. #40 David N. Brown
    April 29, 2010

    “Perhaps those who like to smear Null should talk to Dr. Stephen Barrett and see how the lawsuit against him is going. He’s another one that has called Null a quack.
    Perhaps this website will be next on the list suits filed against those who call Null a quack!!!”

    Barrett reports being threatened with legal action by Null’s attorney:
    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/null.html
    There is no indication that any filing has ever been made, and since the post above is five years old, there has obviously been no effective action taken. This is typical of “alt health” promoters: When a bluff is called, they almost always back down.

    But, I will give Null the benefit of a doubt: “Quacks”, in the sense of those who commit knowing fraud, are presumably smart enough not to use their product. Therefore, Null isn’t a quack, just an idiot.

  41. #41 Gene
    April 29, 2010

    AS EXPECTED, no substance in replies.

    Thanks Judith for pointing out the obvious, but name calling seems to be the best Orac’s gang is up to.

    So I’m waiting for one of these conclusion-jumping geniuses to explain how toxic accidental contaminations in food processing is not regulated.

    I think it’s going to be a long one, alas …

    :o(

  42. #42 Dianne
    April 29, 2010

    Yes, there IS science behind all his statements- he has everything footnoted.

    This is a sarcastic statement, right? Multiple footnotes do not make statements scientific. Especially if the footnotes are to non-peer reviewed sources long on wishful thinking and short on rigor.

  43. #43 Terrie
    April 29, 2010

    Yes, there IS science behind all his statements- he has everything footnoted.

    That’s… I…. BWHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, man, I needed a good laugh today. Thanks.

  44. #44 Pablo
    April 29, 2010

    If the report is correct, I’ve no idea how a three orders of magnitude error happened. Perhaps someone misread or misunderstand K as meaning M?

    More likely either missing m in mg, or mixing up mug and mg (mug = mu g, as in micrograms)

    AS EXPECTED, no substance in replies.

    Fight lack of substance with lack of substance, I always say…

    I mean, it’s not like Judith came out with a lot of insight. “He does too use science. He has footnotes!” is not the most content-containing rebuttal, I don’t think.

  45. #45 Jeff
    April 29, 2010

    @Symball: You should be congratulating schepps on his call for nutritional supplements to be produced under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).

    Dietary supplements have their own set of GMP regulations, as the FDA’s website makes clear.

    I hope Null makes a full recovery. He and his fellow victims will make Triarco Industries pay dearly for their faulty testing. This should deter other companies from making a similar mistake. Documented cases of vitamin D overdosing are extremely rare; A much more common problem is widespread vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency.

  46. #46 AnthonyK
    April 29, 2010

    Look, if you “health food” nuts come here, a place which is all about evidence-based medicine and wholly against the quackery of people like Mr Nutt, then you can expect to be ridiculed. (Surely you have a health-food supplement which will thicken your skins? High doses of vitamin D? Well, perhaps not…)

    But if you do come here you may get abuse. Argument’s here too – but you aren’t really up to that, are you?

  47. #47 Nick
    April 29, 2010

    Gene,

    Are you really suggesting that it isn’t a fair, objective assessment to call Null a quack? That to call him a quack would be to “name call”?

    Null is a well known anti-vaccinationist (despite all the medical evidence of safety and efficacy), an AIDS denier (against all the scientific evidence) and has made a living selling charlatan treatments (where is the scientific “substance” regarding the null’s magnetic bras). The guy is a quack through and through. Footnotes to his own published works and low-tier alternative journals doesn’t really count as “science”.

    For someone asking for “substance”, your man sure has next to none.

  48. #48 Bess
    April 29, 2010

    Hey, scientists! I’ve seen SCIENTIFIC studies that PROVE science is full of crap!

  49. #49 blf
    April 29, 2010
    If the report is correct, I’ve no idea how a three orders of magnitude error happened. Perhaps someone misread or misunderstand K as meaning M?

    More likely either missing m in mg, or mixing up mug and mg (mug = mu g, as in micrograms)

    Ah, yes, that does seem more plausible. And raises the question: Did the manufacturer really screw up? Or was there a typo in the formulae/data/instructions sent to the manufacturer?

    Again, however, I’m unsure of the reliability of that report (mostly because I know nothing at all about the New York Post). It purports to be taken from the lawsuit / court papers, so someone interested enough could do some further checking.

  50. #50 E.V.
    April 29, 2010

    Bess is an expert on crap, as you can tell. Another case of TSTKYS, alas.

  51. #51 Kismet
    April 29, 2010

    @28,
    that is a little ironic, considering the recent article from the Am J Clin Nutr (!) showing that vitamin D supplementation indeed prevents influenza A.

    It’s preliminary evidence, but then again not *that* preliminary (RCT, n=167).

    Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
    Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.
    Urashima et al.

    Obviously it doesn’t change the fact that there is still too much hype about vitamin D among some circles…

  52. #52 D. C. Sessions
    April 29, 2010

    For those who are telling us that Null is the victim of his manufacturer, I have to ask: would you accept that excuse from someone selling something like taco sauce? “I know that the label says that this is mild sauce with a heat level of 500 Scovilles and we sold you jars that test at 500,000 Scovilles but our manufacturers made a mistake.”

    I know damn well that we don’t make excuses like that for our products. If we’re selling you something, we take responsibility for it and have quality assurance processes in place to guarantee it. Our vendor contracts specify the QA at their end and we do incoming QA to keep them honest — and we just sell inexpensive electronics, not something that’s supposed to be important to your healthy.

  53. #53 Harry Eagar
    April 29, 2010

    Thank you, AndyD

  54. #54 DonZilla
    April 29, 2010

    Why does everyone always get nasty and bogged down in details during debates like these? It’s EASY:

    GOOD: Gary Null, hugs, Jenny McCarthy, Dr. McCoy, Oprah, guts, secrets with capital S’s, fuzzy wuzzies, quantum quantumness, mommies, apple pie, kale, instincts, babies, feelings (whoa whoa whoa feelings).

    BAD: Quackwatch, Mr. Spock, Synthroid, cold, nasty boxes with blinky thingies, vaccines, chemo, big words, medical school.

    And, the good list is so much longer than the bad list as you can see. So just calm down. Any more arguing will force me to engage more than two brain cells at once, then all my friends will accuse me of elitism. Thank you!

  55. #55 Joellen
    April 29, 2010

    The defenders of Mr.Null seem to missing that the company that makes a product with HIS name on it, is operated without adequate quality control,and this resulted in poisoning the guy who presumably designed the product. It is ironic and damning that he couldn’t be bothered to check manufacturering processes for his own cash cow.
    By the way,the GMP for supplement manufacturers are voluntary and vary widely through the industry.
    @bess In the immortal words of Daniel Tosh “We’re (fill in blank) better than you (fill in blank),Nanana booboo, stick your head in doodoo.” By the way, I’ve anecdotal AND photographic evidence that my cats’ litter box is full of crap. Does that mean I can write an artical suggesting eating cat litter cures constipation, cuz there’s all that crap in the litter? Because if it was clinical proven that eat cat liiter causes constipation, that would be SCIENCE and therefore also crap? Where as just making CRAP up is more reliable and better for you?
    DAAAMMN i need to go clean the litter box now. It’s less nauseating than listening to the flaming bags of stupid retorts

  56. #56 Happy Camper
    April 29, 2010

    I made the mistake of buying one of Nulls books many years ago before I knew what he was about. IMO the guy is a crackpot. The local PBS station started to use him in their fundraising drives and when they contacted me for my yearly contribution I informed them they would not get another cent from me as long as they gave Null a platform.

    Personally, I think the Gary Null looks like death sucking on a martini.

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2010

    Kismet: “…that is a little ironic, considering the recent article from the Am J Clin Nutr (!) showing that vitamin D supplementation indeed prevents influenza A.

    It’s preliminary evidence, but then again not *that* preliminary

    Actually, it is “that” preliminary. You may have missed the conclusion by the authors of the study, that their results suggest vitamin D “may help prevent influenza” “in specific subgroups of children”. In their study, about 11% of vitamin D recipients got influenza, compared to approximately 19% in the control group. Not exactly overwhelming evidence – but the kind that would be jumped on by Null supporters without any qualification.

    C’mon Nullists, there’s something ironic (or hilarious, depending on your level of sympathy for someone who’s done so much to promote quackery) about a guy who rails against “Death By (Mainstream) Medicine”, then gets poisoned by his own supplement and has to get mainstream medical advice and treatment to recover.

    From Null’s Wikipedia entry:

    “Null says he sleeps only two hours a night, promotes vigorous exercise even for the elderly, and says that although “younger people may have enthusiasm…today what they share is a social psychosis. Ninety percent of the people in my support groups are whining all the time.”

    So how come he’s suing the supplement company? Sounds pretty whiny to me.

    Gene: “So I’m waiting for one of these conclusion-jumping geniuses to explain how toxic accidental contaminations in food processing is not regulated.”

    We get our conclusions from knowledge about the lack of regulation of dietary supplements, which Orac explained (yet again) earlier in the comments. Poor fella, I guess you jumped to false conclusions on this one.

    Judith: “do you work for big pharma or the AMA?”

    Nope. If I had a dollar for every altie who claimed or insinuated that I was getting paid off by Big Pharma or other bogeymen for criticizing quackery, I’d be able to buy a lifetime supply of Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal.

    True, a lifetime supply of the stuff wouldn’t cost all that much…

  58. #58 Happy Camper
    April 29, 2010

    Gary Null poisoning himself on his own products isn’t ironic. I saw the train wreck coming long ago when I read about his recommended high doses of vitamins. After all it was just a matter of time.

    What is ironic is Null finally resorting to the one thing he has made his living bashing and that is SCIENCE BASED MEDICINE!

  59. #59 Schepps
    April 29, 2010

    ‘there’s something ironic (or hilarious, depending on your level of sympathy for someone who’s done so much to promote quackery) about a guy who rails against “Death By (Mainstream) Medicine”, then gets poisoned by his own supplement and has to get mainstream medical advice and treatment to recover.’

    He DID NOT get poisoned by his product. He got poisoned from a monumental mistake by a manufacturing company. He could have died, and may still from the residual damage it caused. I suppose the other people deserved this too? This topic is ridiculous. Someone f”’ed up, and somehow that is these peoples destiny. Regulation is not going to stop accidents from happening all the time. Food is regulated and yet people do get sick and or die from it. My dad has a cattle farm, he recommends everyone eat beef, my nephew died years ago from a tainted hamburger, which I guess was my dad’s fault, how ironic? you people are screwed in the head to think this is in any way funny or ironic when the next thing you put in your mouth could be contaminated with something too!

  60. #60 Matthew Cline
    April 29, 2010

    He has science behind all the statements he makes.

    An anti-vaxxer who claims that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS has science behind him? Do tell.

  61. #61 bleuMAXX
    April 29, 2010

    sort of Proving the NULL hypothesis..
    “dont worry… vitamins are natural, they can’t hurt you, sort of like botanicalproducts are natural and can’t possibly hurt you…with the slight exception of thousands of plants that are, in fact, poisonous.”

    If you eat from the ipecac plant.. while wearing a foil helmet AND wearing magnet impregnated underclothing… can you avoid the effects of the plant?

  62. #62 Scott
    April 29, 2010

    He DID NOT get poisoned by his product. He got poisoned from a monumental mistake by a manufacturing company.

    Um, yeah? A monumental mistake that’s a significant risk to any such product because of the lack of proper regulation. Your argument is pretty similar to “as long as nobody makes a mistake, it’d be fine for everyone to drive 100 MPH, so speed limits should be abolished”.

    There aren’t sufficient safeguards in place to prevent things like this from happening with supplement products, ergo supplement products carry a significant risk that things like this will happen. And that’s not even considering deliberate adulteration.

    Or the side effects associated with the facts that many things labelled “supplement” are in reality DRUGS with the same potential for adverse effects as anything Merck might make. More, really, given that they tend to have unknown amounts of essentially random unknown stuff in them, and that nobody has made any effort to determine safe doses/interactions/contraindications.

  63. #63 D. C. Sessions
    April 29, 2010

    He DID NOT get poisoned by his product.

    Dude, you’re drowning in an Egyptian river. He was poisoned by, quote, Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal. That’s a quote from TFA and apparently from Null’s own complaint in the lawsuit, backed up by an affidavit under penalty of perjury.

    You don’t have to take my word for it, take Null’s. You seem to find him more credible than I do.

    He got poisoned from a monumental mistake by a manufacturing company.

    Who make a product according to specifications by one Gary Null, with quality processes and testing according to their contract with Gary Null, and to which Gary Null affixes his name and whatever assurance of quality that name represents to the buying public. I don’t see any of Null’s apologists even hinting that this has caused a change in Null’s business methods or otherwise altered the risk of using his products.

  64. #64 Calli Arcale
    April 29, 2010

    For those who may not grasp why this is ironic:

    It is ironic when Bill Gates is giving a keynote speech promoting Windows and the computer running his presentation goes to the Blue Screen of Death. (Yes, it happened, and yes, the pictures went viral.)

    Similarly, it is ironic when Gary Null is poisoned by a product bearing his name and purporting to be good for your health.

    It is quite true that he didn’t cause it to be poisoned. Bill Gates didn’t make Windows crash either. That doesn’t stop it being ironic. It also doesn’t stop it being amusing. We all know the fact that there was a manufacturing screwup doesn’t invalidate what Null claims. We can invalidate most of his claims on other grounds just fine. This situation is really just a bit of schadenfreude.

  65. #65 Prometheus
    April 29, 2010

    Judith complains:

    “Yes, there IS science behind all his statements- he has everything footnoted. If you bothered to look and read all the literature he references.”

    Footnotes.

    So that’s the secret of science. And here I’ve been using endnotes all this time! Dammit! I wish somebody had told me about that earlier!

    But seriously, folks. The ability to use the “footnotes” (or “endnotes”) feature in Word doesn’t automatically make the writing “scientific”. If you read and understand the footnotes in Mr. Null’s writings, you’ll see that they are either as unfounded in fact and reason as his own writing OR they don’t actually support what he is claiming.

    Mr. Null’s writing is the ultimate Null Set of data and fact. It’s as clear as the name on his driver’s license.

    As for the horrific mistake his supplement manufacturer made, this goes way beyond decimal errors and math mistakes.

    Think about it.

    Picture in your mind the factory where they’re mixing up his “Power Meal” (who thinks up these names?). Normally (when they don’t screw up) they add a gram (or ounce, pound, kilogram, bottle, bucket or barrel) of vitamin D. This time, however, they add one thousand grams (or whatever unit they use) to the mix.

    I’d could see someone not being able to tell the difference between a gram and ten grams. Maybe even the difference between a gram and one hundred grams. But the difference between a gram and a kilogram is the difference between measuring with a spoon and measuring with a shovel.

    If that is the sort of “QC” they have at the supplement plants, we may not have to put up with Mr. Null’s supporters for much longer.

    Prometheus

  66. #66 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2010

    Anyone can peruse Null’s websites,radio show archives,books,&films: he gives medical advice while not being a doctor;he gives psychological advice without appropriate education and training;he gives financial advice without the relevant credentials(at the lows of March ’09, telling listeners to “take your money out of the market,out of banks”:which would have led to abysmal results).There is no need to listen to his critics: listen to *him* and read what he’s written.His “education” has been deconstructed by others than Barrett( lee-phillips.org)

  67. #67 D. C. Sessions
    April 29, 2010

    Picture in your mind the factory where they’re mixing up his “Power Meal” (who thinks up these names?). Normally (when they don’t screw up) they add a gram (or ounce, pound, kilogram, bottle, bucket or barrel) of vitamin D. This time, however, they add one thousand grams (or whatever unit they use) to the mix.

    Earlier I was going to use saline solution as an example of this. Normally you prepare it with about 4 ml salt per liter of water. I gave up that idea when I realized that this would mean the manufacturer using 4 liters of salt per liter of water — and not noticing the difference!

    If nothing else, those ingredients aren’t exactly free. Someone has to order, stock, etc. the fool things and any outfit that doesn’t have a handle on how much it’s using is several notches down from “garage.”

    And yet people trust them with their health …

  68. #68 Kermit
    April 29, 2010

    “If you eat from the ipecac plant.. while wearing a foil helmet AND wearing magnet impregnated underclothing… can you avoid the effects of the plant? ” – BlueMax

    Yes; you will be completely protected from its radioactive and magnetic effects.

  69. #69 Alareth
    April 29, 2010

    It’s funny, no mention of this at all over a Natural News. Maybe Mike Adams hasn’t gotten the word yet.

    There is one humorously ironic article on the front bage though, “Vitamin D reduces diabetes risk by 43 percent – is there anything this vitamin can’t do?”

    Unrelated but funny headline, “Commercial beef really is made out of chicken feces”

  70. #70 NP
    April 29, 2010

    In all fairness, it was an egregious error by the sub-contractor. 2000 IU is not an excessive amount of Vitamin D by any means.

  71. #71 spit
    April 29, 2010

    Right. Manufacturing problems in well-regulated pharmaceuticals are virtually nonexistent.

    Look, I think Gary Null’s medical advice should be tossed in the wastebasket, and there’s certainly some good laugh material in this, whether it’s fair or not. But I have to agree with Schepps, here. Under the surface, it’s not funny that the man was seriously harmed by a manufacturing flaw. If this were somebody’s grandma getting poisoned by such a flaw in a standard multivitamin, I doubt anybody would be finding it funny.

    And funny or no, don’t try to pretend you’re making some larger argument while you laugh, because any quackery in Gary Null’s advice has absolutely zero to do with the fact that he wound up taking a product with a serious, dangerous manufacturing fuck-up. Those kinds of things aren’t unique to supplements, by any stretch. Recalls happen all the time, and they’re not always because of some “oh-how-could-we-have-known” new side effect discovery.

  72. #72 Kelner
    April 29, 2010

    “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.”

    I am also a chemistry major and have worked in the formulation suites of (proper) GMP-licenced pharmaceutical manufacturers. The people whio actually do the formualtion of the drug products are not genrally tertiary-qualified in anything and have pay packets to match. Most likely the mistake was that they added xxx kilograms of the vitamin D ingredient, insead of xxx grams. GMP would have required someone to have checked the amount added, as well as a test to assay the amount of vitamin D in the product prior to release. Clearly this was not done here.

  73. #73 a perfect circle
    April 29, 2010

    @58 Mkay, so it’s of no use to apply FDA standards to supplements because the FDA doesn’t discover all food-borne illness before it gets to the consumer? So if it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing. Perfect solution fallacy anyone? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_solution_fallacy

  74. #74 MikeMa
    April 29, 2010

    spit,
    It was a manufacturing error that any competent QA department would have caught. Where are the sample tests/assays? Null is responsible for NOT having those tests in hand before he sells or uses the product. Wait, you say Null isn’t required to do QA testing? That makes all the difference then, free pass, sorry for all the irony….Not.

    So while the manufacturer made the mistake, Null is 100% responsible for the (lack of) independent tests. His six customers should sue the pants off him.

  75. #75 spit
    April 29, 2010

    @73 — I suspect that Null had a contract with them for the 2000 IU dose of vitamin D, not for the total screw-up overdose amount. They’re a subcontractor, so the legal issue is a little hazy, but it’s fundamentally not really his fault, here, IMO. His contract should have included QA, but whether it did is information that none of us have. He’s hardly advising people to take mega-ridiculous-overdoses of vit D, and he contracted out the manufacture under the assumption that the company would put stuff in in the right amounts. Or at least not off by several orders of magnitude.

    Now, I’d love to see manufacturers of all sorts of things have to pass far more stringent inspection standards and do much more in terms of quality control, even if it’s just to make sure that what they say is there is, in fact, correct before something hits the market. But that’s a problem that is much wider than this, and I’m not going to single out Gary Null for that one, even if I think his advice is crap. Frankly, where those rules do exist, it’s not like they’re enforced well, which is a whole ‘nuther (but salient) can of worms.

  76. #76 MikeMa
    April 29, 2010

    spit,
    Null’s name is on the product. He sold it and got money for it. I cannot envision him squirming out of at least some responsibility for the foul-up.

    If he didn’t have QA testing, he should be nailed for sure.
    If he had QA test done, it failed, and he didn’t pay attention to it, he’s screwed double.
    If the QA tests were bollixed, he might be able to weasel out of full responsibility but his name is on there and that’s who I’d sue if I got sick from using it.

    As was mentioned earlier (paraphrasing), if I got sick from catsup, I would be suing the name on the bottle, not the manufacturing plant where it was put in that bottle.

  77. #77 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2010

    Prometheus: “If that is the sort of “QC” they have at the supplement plants, we may not have to put up with Mr. Null’s supporters for much longer.”

    There you go again, blaming the supplement dealers.

    I’m surprised that no one has employed the usual altie strategy of blaming the consumers of this product for their illnesses. They must have been taking it the wrong way, seeing that they didn’t realize the goodness that should have resulted from taking 1,000 times the labeled dose of vitamin D. You can’t get sick from taking a natural product! Everyone knows that.

  78. #78 D. C. Sessions
    April 29, 2010

    Recalls happen all the time, and they’re not always because of some “oh-how-could-we-have-known” new side effect discovery.

    No, they’re very often because QA processes catch something like contamination.

    No QA process can guarantee zero defects, but no process (no matter how diligent) without QA feedback can even get close to a process (even a very sloppy one) which actively monitors its output. When, as per standard 21st century manufacturing practices, the QA process is used to improve the manufacturing process the defect rate can be made arbitrarily low.

    Right. Manufacturing problems in well-regulated pharmaceuticals are virtually nonexistent.

    As distinct from defect rates in Null’s products which are … oh, wait. We don’t know what his defect rates are and neither does he — because there’s absolutely no process in place to determine what those rates are.

  79. #79 Militant Agnostic
    April 29, 2010

    I don’t think Toyota is going to get off the hook if it turns out their uncommanded acceleration problems are due to defective components from a supplier. Why should it be different for Null? His name was on the product and he sold it.

    The 3 orders of magnitude error seems to indicate something seriously wrong with the supplier and a lack of due diligence.

  80. #80 Clayton
    April 29, 2010

    Not to defend poor manufacturing processes. But there is false information when somebody says “this wouldn’t happen with pharmaceuticals”. That is as bad an assumption as what is assumed by commentators on this blog. Apparently humans make mistakes when it comes to both drugs and supplements.

    WASHINGTON—The Food and Drug Administration failed to pursue several “specific and credible leads” that might have identified culprits in China during the 2008 crisis involving contaminated imported heparin, according to a congressional investigation.

    The contaminated heparin was linked to more than 80 deaths and hundreds of other incidents in 2007 and 2008. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been looking into how the FDA handled the issue.

    In a letter to the FDA this week, which The Wall Street Journal reviewed, Mr. Barton and Rep. Mike Burgess (R., Texas) detailed the investigation’s findings. The letter said the agency hasn’t followed up with the Chinese government on issues involving several companies in China.

    An FDA spokeswoman declined to comment. “The agency will respond directly to the members” of Congress, she said.

    One red flag the letter claims the FDA didn’t thoroughly investigate came from foreign authorities. The letter says that according to a November 2008 FDA memo, a foreign “respectable regulatory government agency” had shared a “significant finding” that a Chinese company was making counterfeit crude heparin to be shipped to the U.S. under another firm’s label.

    Read the Letter

    Read the letter questioning the FDA’s probe of heparin deaths two years ago.

    The heparin crisis broke publicly in February 2008, when U.S. hospitals reported deaths and severe allergic reactions among patients taking the widely used blood thinner. Most of the world’s crude heparin comes from China, where farms process pig intestines for ingredients that consolidators and pharmaceutical makers process for export.

    In late March 2008, the FDA announced that it had found the contaminant, a substance called chondroitin sulfate that the agency said was deliberately added to the raw product in China in order to stretch the supply.

    JOE BARTON

    The FDA never said who it thought was responsible. FDA officials at the time suggested that there were too many possible sources of contamination to trace.

    “They declared their investigation was over, but they never said who did it,” said Gil Price, a drug industry consultant who was asked by the FDA to help the 2008 investigation.

    The letter offers as a case study one Chinese supplier of pharmaceutical ingredients, Chongqing Imperial Bio-Chem. Co. in China. Citing an internal FDA document from April 2008, the letter says some lots of crude heparin that Chongqing Imperial supplied to an Ohio company tested positive for contamination.

    The FDA imposed an import ban on pharmaceutical ingredients from Chongqing Imperial in March 2009. However, the congressmen said the FDA should have explored more thoroughly a possible broader role by the company in heparin contamination. They pointed to contradictions in documents raising questions about the company’s real name, location and role in the supply chain.

    WSJ Professional

    FDA Faulted in Heparin Case
    FDA Week: U.S.-China Drug Safety Study Fuels Calls for Import Bill
    A woman who answered the phone at Chongqing Imperial’s office in China referred inquiries to another company in Canada. No one answered the phone at that company. Several emails to the companies and their representative weren’t returned.

    The letter notes that the FDA faces legal and linguistic hurdles in conducting probes overseas. It says the FDA looked into heparin issues in China “mostly without the assistance of the Chinese government.” In the September 2008 inspection of Chongqing Imperial, the FDA inspectors relied on the company’s president to translate, it says.

    A spokesman for the embassy of China in Washington said that Chinese authorities “provided full cooperation to the U.S. side in the whole process.”

  81. #81 mk
    April 29, 2010

    “But there is false information when somebody says “this wouldn’t happen with pharmaceuticals”.”

    It is also false information to say that someone said that… which nobody did.

  82. #82 usagi
    April 29, 2010

    Bigger, Stronger, Faster
    Fascinating little documentary on steroid use that includes an amusing/horrifying segment on creating one’s own personal line of supplements.

  83. #83 paulmurray
    April 29, 2010

    Three orders of magnitude is a very easy error to make, if you are careless: someone mistook their micros for millis, or their milligrams for grams.

  84. #84 Clayton
    April 29, 2010

    @Militant Agnostic.

    He will be held culpable as he should. The final tier in supplement GMP’s come into effect this july. All batches have to be tested by ALL size companies.

    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

    Food and Drug Administration

    21 CFR Part 111

    [Docket No. 1996N-0417] (formerly Docket No. 96N-0417)
    RIN 0910-AB88

    Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packaging,
    Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements

    AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION: Final rule.

    ———————————————————————–

    SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a final rule
    regarding current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) for dietary
    supplements. The final rule establishes the minimum CGMPs necessary for
    activities related to manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding
    dietary supplements to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement.
    The final rule is one of many actions related to dietary supplements
    that we are taking to promote and protect the public health.

    DATES: This rule is effective August 24, 2007.
    Compliance Dates: The compliance date is June 25, 2008; except that
    for businesses employing fewer than 500, but 20 or more full-time
    equivalent employees, the compliance date is June 25, 2009; and except
    that for businesses that employ fewer than 20 full-time equivalent
    employees, the compliance date is June 25, 2010.

  85. #85 paulmurray
    April 29, 2010

    “And no, he wasn’t “cured” by allopathic medicine. The D3 eventually went out of his body.”

    Oh look! A “True Scotsman” argument! If modern medicine prescribes diet and exercise for obesity, or bed rest, or drinking water to flush out the calcium, then it isn’t *really* modern medicine.

    The sign of a nutbar is a back-and-white view of the world. Those dreadful doctors *cannot* prescribe simple cures and letting the body’s own mechanisms do their job. The fact that the actually do this, and regularly, is effaced from the nutbar’s worldview.

  86. #86 DLC
    April 29, 2010

    I have to wonder about Gary Null’s sanity. He sells this junk and uses it ? it’s like a snake oil salesman using his own snake oil.

  87. #87 clayton
    April 29, 2010

    @mk
    You are correct, I misquoted ORAC and incorrectly paraphrased him , below is what he said earlier. And apparently he is either wrong about policing or at best unaware of the FDA’s failures (as my links have pointed out). I blame the republicans for their 30 year long war on regulations, from food poisoning to artificial hips that fail and this debacle with Mr Null. Industry works best when there are rules AND referee’s. Regulations exist, and this july they get tighter.

    “Ah, but that’s the point. For medications, there are tight regulations that make a manufacturing problem exceedingly unlikely. Do you notice that by far most reported problems with pharmaceutical drugs are not due to adulteration or a manufacturing screwup of this magnitude, but rather due to side effects from the drugs that weren’t detected or may have been covered up in the clinical trials leading up to the approval of the drug. That’s because the manufacturing process for drugs is heavily regulated and policed.

    Not so supplements.”

  88. #88 paulmurray
    April 29, 2010

    Mind you … the fact that he was poisoned is not a demonstration that his medical ideas are wrong.

    But it is an indication that the health-food/supplement industry is mixing up chemicals in their bathtubs with no real idea what they are doing. No-one at the plant had the general intelligence and basic medical knowledge to say “3kg of pure vitamin D in 100l of cookie dough is going to be toxic”.

    (btw – where’s he getting the vitamin D? Don’t tell me it’s *gasp* synthetic!)

    The ironic aspect is the implied “your should trust me and buy my stuff, and not trust those evil doctors and big pharma”.

  89. #89 clayton
    April 29, 2010

    @paul murray

    You are so right. Trust which Dr. or the witch Dr.?

  90. #90 Diogenes
    April 29, 2010

    It’s obvious how a thousand-fold error could occur in this case. 1,000 IU of vitamin D3, the labeled amount, is 25 micrograms (mcg). Most likely, someone – not necessarily the contractor (Triarco) – wrote “mg” instead of mcg, and consequently 25 milligrams per serving were added. This would 1,000,000 IU, exactly 1,000 times higher than labeled.

    Because such a simple error may have occurred elsewhere in the product line, all the manufacturer’s supplements should be assayed, with particular focus on selenium as well as vitamin D, since both are potentially toxic in milligram amounts.

  91. #91 Chris
    April 29, 2010

    Ash:

    Just when I was working on an article on the supposed safety of “natural” substance for my blog – I’ll have to incorporate this :)

    I checked it out, and it looks like your very new blog is very cool. Can I assume from context that you actually work in toxicology?

    Oh, and it looks like you are Canadian. My favorite in-laws are Canadian (um, I am married to an ex-Canadian, this happens often in areas near the border). Will you perhaps join the Skeptic North folks?

  92. #92 Phoenix Woman
    April 30, 2010

    This is the guy who got his start with Penthouse writing crappy-assed conspiracy articles about Evil Big Medicine Suppressing Cancer Cures, right?

  93. #93 Chris
    April 30, 2010

    Diogenes:

    Because such a simple error may have occurred elsewhere in the product line, all the manufacturer’s supplements should be assayed, with particular focus on selenium as well as vitamin D, since both are potentially toxic in milligram amounts.

    What I suspect is that someone in the process does not understand that these “natural products” are real chemicals. They are given a set of instructions and ignore them, and just toss the ingredients without bothering to measure them.

    There must be a level of ignorance in those they hire into these companies. I was swimming in a public pool after a real injury and someone told I would be better off without “chemicals.” I told I was baffled by that because of the fact that we were swimming in H2O that had a distinct smell of chlorine! She decided not to speak to me again.

    What I see is someone taking a scoop of one thing and tossing it in, then a scoop of something else… without bothering with the tedious weighing process. Because (everyone knows) more is better! (not, in real life)

    The problem is that both training and quality control missed several steps. If Null’s name was on the product, he should have signed off on the quality control. This includes making sure that the proper recipe was followed.

    Since that did not happen, Null only has himself to blame.

  94. #94 Dr RJ
    April 30, 2010

    I think there’s a message in this for all of us.

    Never, never trust a man whose eyes are too close together.

  95. #95 Hedgehog
    April 30, 2010

    @18
    If you head over to the Science Based Medicine blog you may see the odd familiar looking article :-)

  96. #96 Punxatawny_Phil
    April 30, 2010

    There’s another lesson Br RJ: check your emphasis.

    Reality
    “You CAN’T have enough vitamin D. You just can’t.”

    Gary Null
    “You can’t have enough vitamin D. You just CAN’T!!!!”

    Thank you, you’ve been a fabulous audience. Try the veal

  97. #97 Matthew Cline
    April 30, 2010

    The sign of a nutbar is a back-and-white view of the world. Those dreadful doctors *cannot* prescribe simple cures and letting the body’s own mechanisms do their job. The fact that the actually do this, and regularly, is effaced from the nutbar’s worldview.

    On the Usenet group misc.health.alternative I got into an argument with a germ theory denier who claimed that “allopathic” doctors never told their patients about the importance of a good diet. I found this a strange claim, since I thought that doctors were constantly nagging their patients to eat better, so I asked for some citations. His response? “I thought it was common knowledge”.

  98. #98 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 30, 2010

    This is the guy who got his start with Penthouse writing crappy-assed conspiracy articles about Evil Big Medicine Suppressing Cancer Cures, right?

    Right. It’s why I told everyone that I bought Playboy for the articles and Penthouse for the porn.

  99. #99 blf
    April 30, 2010

    Diogenes@90 (my embolding):

    Most likely, someone – not necessarily the contractor (Triarco) – wrote “mg” instead of mcg …

    Yes. The difference between a teaspoon-full and a shovel-full is so bleeding obvious that not noticing the discrepancy has to be explained. One possible explanation (of several plausible ones) is the error was made before it got to the contractor, as I speculated in @49.

    If true, then why wasn’t the error caught before manufacturing started? No idea, albeit I presume incompetence plays a role.

    As many have pointed out, the apparent fact the error wasn’t caught in the manufactured product points to a severe lack of / defect in QC on Null’s part (at least). (If the manufacturer was working with a bad specification/requirements, it’s believable their own QC—if any—wouldn’t have spotted something was amiss.)

    Case histories and/or root-cause analyses from reputable firms for similar incidences could be illuminating…

  100. #100 MikeMa
    April 30, 2010

    As blf suggested, the mfg might have been given a “new” formula with the units changed in error. The difference between mg and mcg might not be volumetrically significant in this supplement powder. I don’t know what else is in it or what 1000 IU or 1,000,000 IU of vitamin D looks like in comparison. I would have thought that the different formula would have cost more to produce and that the invoices would have reflected that but maybe vitamin D is very cheap to procure and the thousand fold error didn’t add much to the overall cost.

  101. #101 Azkyroth
    April 30, 2010

    Amusing side note: something about Null’s facial features reminds me of my ex-wife’s he’s-NOT-my-boyfriend.

  102. #102 tristan.croll
    April 30, 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.

    Actually, that’s one of the easiest types of errors to sneak in – particularly given the quantities we’re actually talking about. I’ve seen it happen before, where someone makes a micrograms symbol (think ug, except “u” is actually the greek letter mu) by typing “mg” and then changing the “m” into Symbol font. Looks all good in Word, but if you copy it and past as plain text somewhere else, or convert to pdf without the settings quite right, you end up getting “mg” back.

    I’ve even seen this in the occasional peer-reviewed paper (plays merry hell when it comes to trying to replicate results, I can tell you!)

  103. #103 Coryat
    April 30, 2010

    At least Null didn’t chow down on lots of nice and natural husky livers.

  104. #104 tristan.croll
    April 30, 2010

    Ah. I see I’ve been beaten to the punch.

  105. #105 sophia8
    April 30, 2010

    I’ve been quite fascinated by that photo of Gary. For a 65-year old, he looks pretty fit (though can anybody here say they’ve never cleaned up their own portrait photos just a little?)
    But that hair! Real hair is hardly ever that uniformly coloured, especially not at his age. And see those little white hairs on his temple? They scream ‘home dye job'; it’s pretty well impossible to get all those tiny temple hairs covered. Here’s some advice for you, Gary: Go to a professional and get fixed up with a natural-looking colouring job.

  106. #106 Kismet
    April 30, 2010

    @Dangerous Bacon,
    no, it’s honestly not that preliminary. Calling such a study preliminary is actually incredibly unfair. Preliminary studies are of much, much lower quality. You really should be honest. It’s far from preliminary, but nonetheless not conclusive. (I couldn’t care less what the quacks would think about the study, though)

    The primary outcome, influenza A, was significantly reduced. It doesn’t get much better than that & the sub-group analyses were sensible. Some of the sub-group analyses don’t look that good, but yeah…

  107. #107 Tobias
    April 30, 2010

    Well, I made some errors of 3 orders of Magnitude wrong just yesterday.
    We got a new machine and it needed entry in m instead of mm, which every other machine here uses. And I didn’t notice until some time Later. Lost me about 1 hour of work.

  108. #108 Johnny
    April 30, 2010

    AFTER the fact you “GUESS” you were “far too kind” to the supplement mfg???? Hey try READING some of Nulls books or his webpage that site the case studies, which are all from well known peer review journals, that back up his claims instead of calling him a quack !!!! Can YOU run marathons??? What’s your % of body fat? Like Null do YOU now have a clean bill of health?

    Are YOU taking ANY money from big pharma to color your attitude???

  109. #109 Alfred
    April 30, 2010

    I’m amazed at how obviously protective of your own loathsome lifestyle some of you are when it comes to lashing out at Mr. Null. If you’ve ever listed to Null you’d see that even though he may disagree with your lifestyle choices he supports 100% your right to live however you choose as long as you don’t harm anyone else.

    The problem arises, and I’ve seen this time and again, is that people KNOW they are eating crap, want to continue eating crap, and feel an extreme amount of guilt doing so, and thus they make personal attacks on those that point out that drinking, smoking, eating junk, is going to put you in an early grave. You can’t stand it so you give them names like “Health Nut”, “Quack”, he/she doesn’t have a real degree…..etc.

    I too think you have the right to eat yourself to death….but you don’t have the right to call someone a “Quack” who has medical documentation on thier side to prove what they say is true!!!

    You can’t stand the truth so you last out at someone else. That’s sad.

  110. #110 Kristen
    April 30, 2010

    Johnny says:

    Can YOU run marathons??? What’s your % of body fat? Like Null do YOU now have a clean bill of health?
    Are YOU taking ANY money from big pharma to color your attitude???

    I do run marathons regularly (one half and one full per year), my body fat % is 18 (pretty damn good for a woman who has had four kids). I take no supplements, just try to eat good food most of the time. And the person that gave me my clean bill of health was a doctor. I didn’t know about Gary Null until yesterday, but I think he looks like death.

    I keep trying to get my check from the Big Pharma overlords, but they say I don’t shill hard enough. :(

  111. #111 Travis
    April 30, 2010

    Alfred,
    You seem to be a little bit confused about what this post is saying and assuming a lot about the character of those who would feel similar to Orac about this. No one here is defending overeating, excessive drinking etc. You have no idea how healthy the people who disagree with Null are and are making a large mistake in assuming that people are disagreeing people they feel guilt about their life choices. Alternative medicine does not have a monopoly on eating healthy and exercise.

    The claims Null has made have been talked about on this blog before and found wanting. The evidence is not there to support his claims. If you have some of this “medical evidence” please feel free to present it.

  112. #112 Kristen
    April 30, 2010

    Alfred,

    The problem arises, and I’ve seen this time and again, is that people KNOW they are eating crap, want to continue eating crap, and feel an extreme amount of guilt doing so, and thus they make personal attacks on those that point out that drinking, smoking, eating junk, is going to put you in an early grave. You can’t stand it so you give them names like “Health Nut”, “Quack”, he/she doesn’t have a real degree…..etc.

    Your smug superiority is definitely winning me over. We don’t call him quack because he advocates healthy food, we do it because he promotes quack ideas.

  113. #113 Harbo
    April 30, 2010

    Sorry been offline so have to violate “Harbo’s law”(never comment after #66 as only loons are left)(how do you people do this all night?)
    Anyway, I predict Mr Null will discover newfound powers following his Mega D near death experience, and within a year will be marketing mega D clinics/retreats/symposia and all things woo.

  114. #114 Alfred
    April 30, 2010

    My appologies. You’re right….I don’t know what others are thinking or doing. I can’t prove to you that alternative medicine has kept me alive when 75% of the people with my condition are typically dead by now. Nor can anyone prove that the woman who says she’s a marathoner, has four kids, and takes no supplements and is in great shape isn’t some 40 yr old guy who’s 5’2″ weighs 300lbs. and is sitting in front of his pc drinking a beer and eating a hotdog!!!

    BUT one thing that can be proven are the health claims made by Null.

    All one has to do it READ Gary Null’s webpages or his books. He lists the proof you seek in the form of studies conducted by well respected researchers and presented in main stream peer review journals. Look at his book “Power Aging” and you’ll find more than 40 pgs of references and bibliography!!!!!

  115. #115 Matthew Cline
    April 30, 2010

    BUT one thing that can be proven are the health claims made by Null.

    All one has to do it READ Gary Null’s webpages or his books. He lists the proof you seek

    Including proof that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS?

  116. #116 MikeMa
    April 30, 2010

    Alfred,
    Null is playing off the fears and desires of people as they age. He counts on the vast majority of readers to look at all the citations and believe they all point to credible evidence. Evaluating studies is not an easy task for laymen and he knows that and gets rich from it.

    I’ve no idea what condition you have but like all small-sample experiments, you cannot definitively tie your outcome to Null’s crap nor can you extrapolate that outcome to others. You are a single data point subject to the vagaries of genetics and chance.

  117. #117 Adam
    April 30, 2010

    For all of you who look past the proof that many alternative therapies work and that Gary Null documents his positions you seem hell-bent on bashing him anyway. Were you as opposed to Merk who’s drug Vioxx killed at least 25,000 people all the while a memo was in place that proved the CEO knew BEFORE it went on sale that the drug would cause heart problems? This is documented ! So, the CEO of Merk willfully allows thousands of people to die, he gets a multi-million dollar bonus because Merk made BILLIONS off a killer drug, which was later pulled from the market, and you think Gary Null is a quack because he promotes proven therapies?

    Do you know that the AMA as an organization is a convicted fellon? Go ahead and do a google search or look in West Law for chiropractic v AMA. They were convicted in a court of law of trying to put chiropractic and other alternative therapies out of business. This happened, I believe, in the 80’s.

    How many have died from Tylenol’s tampered products a number of years ago. Mistakes happen. Ever hear of anyone dying of Vit C?

    Std. American Medicine kills over 600,000 every year.
    A 2000 report by the AMA’s own records show that every year nearly 100,000 people die due to reactions from prescription medications!!!

    Ever hear of anyone dying from Vit E? Maybe they would if someone put 200,000 mg in a pill instead of 200mg!

    How about asprin? If you took a baby asprin which was 1,000 times the stated strength would you get sick? Would you be alive?

  118. #118 MikeMa
    April 30, 2010

    Adam,
    So you point out that Null should be a convicted felon for not checking the crap he sells? Your post has to be near a record for strawmen. Merck got nailed for Vioxx. I love the 600,000 dead number too because you have no idea where in comes from or how it was compiled. If the AMA tried to get rid of Chiros, good for them.

  119. #119 Alfred
    April 30, 2010

    Kristin ??? You say Null promotes quack ideas.

    If Gary NUll or anyone else promotes a therapy that has peer review journal proof of it’s effectiveness just HOW can that be deemed quackery? Especially when more than 75% of the medical procedures perfomed today don’t have the same level of effectiveness or studies to prove they work?

    Do you know that there are some Dr.’s who prescribe that a young teen should have her breasts removed, as a preventative measure, because her mother and grandmother had breast cancer even if the teen appears healthy?

    How many Dr.s still promote Mamograms, which are really just Xrays, knowing the repeated exposure over the years could leave women more inclined to get cancer when a non-invasive procedure known as Themography, which measure heat signatures in the body and can detect cancer 5-10 yrs BEFORE self-examination or Mamograms can, has been available for a few years?

    How many Dr.’s prescribe the vaccine Gardasil for teens when one of the female Dr.’s who helped invent it says it was NEVER intended for teens? It was meant for women 25 and older and IF it worked they wouldn’t know for 20+ years.

    This kind of thing goes on every day yet many of you still think Gary Null is a quack because he promotes HEALTH and backs alternative therapy recommendations with scientific facts?

    Do you beleive in the “Single Bullet” theory as well?

  120. #120 James Sweet
    April 30, 2010

    How on earth does one make an error of three orders of magnitude?

    Creationism.

    I was going to make more jokes but then I accidentally read some of Adam’s comment above. Now I’m just depressed.

    Religious apologists have got it all wrong. The Problem of Evil is pretty bad, sure, but what about the Problem of Stupid? How could a God that was omniscient allow so much Stupid in the world?

  121. #121 Dianne
    April 30, 2010

    Ever hear of anyone dying of Vit C?

    Yes. Furthermore, unlike “standard” medicine, there’s little evidence that anyone has ever been helped by megadoses of vitamin C. Apart from actual deficiency states, of course.

  122. #122 Brian
    April 30, 2010

    You might be able to make a feeble case that Null made a poor judgement in hiring a contractor, who hired the sub-contractor, Triarco.

    But other than that, Null’s formula, intentions, and actions were impressive.

    Did he purposely formulate in too much Vitamin D? No.

    Did he make the mistake that led to too much Vitamin D? No.

    Is Gary Null the first person who has hired a sub-contractor that made a mistake? GOD NO! Every day we learn about some company who is pulling products off the market.

    So how did Gary Null handle the situation? He immediately pulled the product off the market…spoke out about it. That shows integrity (rare in that industry).

    Also, after visiting a doctor, he healed himself! So Dr Null not only can talk the talk, he can walk the walk.

    If you really feel he is a quack, PROVE IT! But don’t take a sorry @ss pot-shot like this.

  123. #123 Nick
    April 30, 2010

    LMAO, crank magnetism at work once again my friends. Alfred after making substantial conclusions on the medical efficacy of supplements with a n of 1, has reverted to talking about the JFK conspiracy. What is your anecdotal opinion on that Alfred, was the CIA at work there? Or were space aliens involved? Are you just an old hippy looking to lash out at every authority around?

    Additionally, you need to stop building strawmen only to take them down. Nobody here has suggested that eating well, exercising and getting 10-15 mins of sun a day (all you need for Vitamin D, not expensive mega-doses from Null) are not recommend. Here is thing, Alfred, Null is out there supporting/selling far more than the “healthy lifestyle” that you envision, supporting such things as:
    1) Documented anti-vaxer
    2) Documented AIDS-HIV denier
    3) Sells many worthless magnets treatments
    4) Recommends that patients with life-threatening cancer abstain from clinically effective treatments in favor of his quack diets and supplements.

    So, Alfred, where is the science for Null’s wild claims? You keep talking about clinical evidence, show me high-quality, prestigious journals that support the as for mentioned null claims. This does not include a vague reference to the presence of footnotes or Null’s own quack literature.

  124. #124 Nick
    April 30, 2010

    Same goes for Brian. I have four of Null’s claims above- provide me with the medical literature that supports such “alternative” convictions.

  125. #125 Zaher Bey
    April 30, 2010

    Brian said

    Also, after visiting a doctor, he healed himself! So Dr Null not only can talk the talk, he can walk the walk.

    And if he hadn’t gone to the actual doctor, he would have kept pounding down his Vitamin D overdose meals to cure himself, thus, killing himself.

    I don’t see how you justify giving Null the credit over the Dr. for the “healing”

  126. #126 Dianne
    April 30, 2010

    Do you beleive in the “Single Bullet” theory as well?

    Ooh, do you have a favorite JFK conspiracy theory? Do tell!

    My personal favorite is that Johnson did it. Note that I did not say that I believed this “theory”, just that I like the concept of LBJ having killed Kennedy. Or maybe Jackie Kennedy: she certainly had a motive or three for wanting to off John. Sorry, getting distracted.

  127. #127 Zaher Bey
    April 30, 2010

    Also, Brian, I don’t really see ceasing to poison yourself when on death’s door, and drinking water as all that impressive of an example of “walking the walk”

  128. #128 MikeMa
    April 30, 2010

    Alfred,
    You just parrot a whole pile of crap don’t you?

    Magic cancer detector shunned by big medicine.

    Guardasil was intended for women before they were sexually active to achieve the greatest benefit. Not sure how many 25 year old women are not yet sexually active.

    Arrrgggghhhhhh!

  129. #129 tl
    April 30, 2010

    Or maybe Jackie Kennedy: she certainly had a motive or three for wanting to off John. Sorry, getting distracted.

    Oh my goodness, why didn’t I see this before. The second shooter wasn’t on the grassy knoll, the second shooter was in the car, packing a derringer!

  130. #130 squirrelelite
    April 30, 2010

    Also for Adam (or Alfred and Brian if they wish),

    What is all “the proof that many alternative therapies work” and why hasn’t the NCCAM been able to replicate it?

    As I recall, they have spent a few billion dollars over the last 10-15 years and have yet to find convincing evidence of a single alternative therapy that works.

    @James Sweet,

    Actually, I think the creationists are off about 6 or 7 orders of magnitude on the age of the universe, but who’s counting? I haven’t heard any definitive pronouncements from them on whether the first or second chapter of Genesis is the one true and accurate description of the origin of the universe. They tell the same story but differ on the details.

  131. #131 mikerattlesnake
    April 30, 2010

    I’ve seen a few people defending this as someone confusing micrograms with milligrams, which would be sort of understandable given that both are very tiny amounts. The problem is that this stuff isn’t made one pill at a time. This was probably (at least) the difference between adding a gram and adding a kilogram, which is a much more noticable difference.

    I work for a biomed company that makes rapid diagnostic tests (read: nothing that even goes in the body besides a swab or two in the nose) and stuff that was off by even one order of magnitude would not make it out of our building. GMP may not stop all errors, but it would have stopped this one. There’s no excuse for sloppy manufacturing regulations for things that are sold as health products.

  132. #132 Lee
    April 30, 2010

    I once talked with a man – brother of my housemate – who worked on the factory floor for a supplement manufacturer for a while. He actually mixed supplement mixtures.
    This was the process he described.

    They had a portable cement mixer on wheels. Lined up along the aisle, they had a series of bins with the raw ingredients, in each bin a measure scoop, and on the front of each bin a number. He started at one end, and at each bin he put the directed numbers of scoops into the mixer, and then replaced the scoop. The scoops – of many different sizes in the various bins – were not attached to the bins. At the end of the line, he turned on the mixer to ‘blend’ the ingredients, dumped them into a wheelbarrow, and delivered the mixture to packaging.

    Yes, open bins, unattached scoops, counting manually, a cement mixer, and a wheelbarrow.

    He told me he wore ‘a dust mask’ to protect himself.

    In a manufacturing ‘process’ like this, a several order of magnitude error could easily be introduced by replacing the wrong scoop in the wrong bin, or by dumping the wrong raw ingredient into the wrong bin.

    Feel better about the supplements you take now,folks?

  133. #133 Dianne
    April 30, 2010

    The second shooter wasn’t on the grassy knoll, the second shooter was in the car, packing a derringer!

    Makes as much sense as any other JFK conspiracy theory (0=0).

  134. #134 historygeek
    April 30, 2010

    yes alfred do tell what killed JFK with prof. i like fiction

    spare me on all those poor unheathy people desver it they don’t and there are many reasons people have problems doing what they should like my uncle who died from diabties he had post tramtic strees so bad he couldn’t leave his house so i suppose it is his fault for not living the healthy lifestyle and like going to the gym people like u piss me off for that very reason u have no idea why people do what they do but blame them and wash your hands of them.

    and yes i think gary should be sued he is responsable for his products just as big pharma is for there’s and i know for a fact if a drug company did this very thing mr. null would be all over it as an example for the evil that is big phrama

  135. #135 Kristen
    April 30, 2010

    Alfred,

    Nor can anyone prove that the woman who says she’s a marathoner, has four kids, and takes no supplements and is in great shape isn’t some 40 yr old guy who’s 5’2″ weighs 300lbs. and is sitting in front of his pc drinking a beer and eating a hotdog!!!

    You have me pegged. It is absolutely not possible for a person who believes in science-based medicine and doesn’t buy into the alt-med crap to actually be healthy.

    I worked very hard for my good health and I have had lots of help from my genes. I am studying to be a dietitian and know that with a little planning almost everyone can get all the nutrients they need from foods. I don’t need expensive supplements to be healthy, and I don’t need an alt-med messiah to tell me how to be healthy.

    By the way, I didn’t resort to personal attacks. By doing so you have reduced your credibility.

    Oh, and FYI I am kind of a Mac girl, but I do love beer. ;)

  136. #136 JohnV
    April 30, 2010

    @Alfred

    “How many have died from Tylenol’s tampered products a number
    of years ago. Mistakes happen. ”

    Are you stupid? “Oops some guy mistakenly added KCN to poison our product while it was on the shelf at the store.”

    Surprised you didn’t let loose with a Kool-Aid/Jim Jones reference while you were at it.

  137. #137 Lynxreign
    April 30, 2010

    @90 –

    Most likely, someone – not necessarily the contractor (Triarco) – wrote “mg” instead of mcg, and consequently 25 milligrams per serving were added. This would 1,000,000 IU, exactly 1,000 times higher than labeled.

    As I haven’t read through all the responses yet, someone else may have mentioned this, but am I the only one who thought of Stonehenge from Spinal tap? Mr. Null seems about that level of competency.

  138. #138 Scott
    April 30, 2010

    I am studying to be a dietitian and know that with a little planning almost everyone can get all the nutrients they need from foods. I don’t need expensive supplements to be healthy, and I don’t need an alt-med messiah to tell me how to be healthy.

    I always find it hilarious how the “natural” path to good nutrition and the “evil Western Medicine in the pocket of Big pHarma” approach nutrition.

    “Natural”: Take this pile of 50 pills every day. Also get weekly coffee enemas and dissolve silver in all your water.

    EWMITPOBP: Eat your fruits and vegetables. Limit your fat and sugar consumption. Get plenty of exercise. Don’t smoke. Drink only in moderation.

    I dunno about you, but to me “eat an orange with breakfast” seems like a much more “natural” way to get adequate vitamin C than taking supplement pills.

  139. #139 Seb30
    April 30, 2010

    @ Kristen and Scott

    Hug me!

    In France, we tend to have this prejudice that americans are just pill-eaters – peoples who want to solve any health issue by swallowing a magic pill.
    Which, of course, is heretic behavior according to old Europe culture. Healthy eating is eating your greens, not swallowing chemicals all day long.
    I know it’s prejudice, and it’s irritating me to read from peoples who live up to the caritature. (and to be fair, we have our own “natural cures” fashions too)
    50 to 150 pills a day? Five to twenty times the recommended daily amount of micronutrients? Colloidal silver? Nothing natural here.

  140. #140 Sauceress
    April 30, 2010

    JohnV
    Surprised you didn’t let loose with a Kool-Aid/Jim Jones reference while you were at it.

    Funny you should mention Jim Jones as I was just having visions of Johnny/Alfred/Adam/Brian all dressed in identical clothes the way a lot of cult followers do. Wearing the same socks at least…identical rhetorical/capitalisation style.

    Oh and if any of Gary Hull’s cult of superbeings would like to go a few rounds in a dojo…no contact….I’m up for it :)
    Just think of it as a kind of “no suplement stamina & agility” compared to “supplement stamina & agility” research project.

    Yeah I know…shouldn’t lower my level of thought and all that.

  141. #141 Bronze Dog
    April 30, 2010

    @Seb30: I can definitely see where you get that perception. I’ve seen a LOT of commercials for magic weight reduction pills, and well, pills for just about everything. Of course, the ones that stand to make the most money are the altie pills, since the only you need to get them is the ability to dial a phone or type a URL.

    For me, last time I made a conscious effort to lose weight, I bought a DDR pad. The alties I’ve seen would rather I pop pills or drink unappetizing juices. Because spending ~$30 on an infinitely reuseable disk and dance pad wouldn’t line their pockets.

    On Alfred’s “one bullet” thing: Have you ever seriously looked at the videos made to mock a straw man known as the “magic bullet”? They typically rely on a more ridiculous hypothesis: That people sit in cars like Lego men.

    Adjust their positions to what they were on camera, and the seats to their actual adjustments and you get a nice, nearly straight line for an entirely non-magical bullet that started tumbling after passing through human tissue.

  142. #142 tresmal
    April 30, 2010

    “Funny you should mention Jim Jones as I was just having visions of Johnny/Alfred/Adam/Brian all dressed in identical clothes the way a lot of cult followers do.”

    There’s a pretty decent chance that Johnny/Alfred/Adam/Brian are dressed in identical clothes.

  143. #143 Kristen
    April 30, 2010

    Scott and Seb,

    I hug Seb back and hug Scott as well.

    Thank you. Trying to eat right and exercise can be lonely in America. Where I live there aren’t even any sidewalks (I live in a suburban area in the Southeast).

    It can be hard, but I want to be a good example for my children. My parents and siblings are all very obese, I don’t want my children to continue these unhealthy traditions.

    Point is, foods have a balance that can’t be put in pill form. It is all the components in harmony and you can’t just take one part and expect to get the same benefit.

  144. #144 Coryat
    May 1, 2010

    Kristen, can I clarify something? I know I’m being dense but are you saying there are literally no pavements where you live? How do people get about?

  145. #145 MikeMa
    May 1, 2010

    Coryat
    I used to live in rural Maryland and the nearest sidewalk was about 4 miles away at the high school. We walked, rode bikes, and played games on the road. Never missed them.

  146. #146 Coryat
    May 1, 2010

    MikeMa: I am a country boy in birth too,so I kwas raised on rural lanes and roads without pavements; I was just confused about how that would work in the suburbs! Surely there would be loads of traffic, making motion on foot very difficult?

  147. #147 Pablo
    May 1, 2010

    Adjust their positions to what they were on camera, and the seats to their actual adjustments and you get a nice, nearly straight line for an entirely non-magical bullet that started tumbling after passing through human tissue.

    To be fair, to get all the wounds that were found in JFK and Connally from a singlet bullet is absolutely highly improbable. In fact, the only way to get them is if you have JFK and Connally sitting in the exact positions they were at exactly the spot that the shot was fired from only the far window on the 6th floor depository. Under any other circumstances, it couldn’t have happened that way. Unfortunately for JFK conspiracy loons, those were the conditions present at the time.

    In fact, the “magic bullet” has been reproduced. Using a perfect mock-up of the scenerio, using body consistency dummies in the exact positions they were in, every single wound attributed to the single-bullet was reproduced sans one – in the simulated setting, the bullet did not exit Connally with enough energy to break the skin to lodge into the leg. It only bounced off that spot on the dummy – it was the right spot, though. Presumably, in the reproduction, the bullet caught something or tumbled in a way so to slow it down slightly more than it did in the real case (recall in the assassination, the bullet barely penetrated the skin, and ultimately dislodged on the stretcher).

    OBTW, in the reproduction, the bullet came out nearly “pristine.”

  148. #148 Bronze Dog
    May 1, 2010

    @Pablo: Yeah, I saw that, too. IIRC, it lost the energy it needed for the last one because it nicked a rib that Oswald probably didn’t.

  149. #149 D. C. Sessions
    May 1, 2010

    I am a country boy in birth too,so I kwas raised on rural lanes and roads without pavements; I was just confused about how that would work in the suburbs! Surely there would be loads of traffic, making motion on foot very difficult?

    The whole idea in US suburbs is that “motion on foot” doesn’t happen. Having tried to walk from my hotel to the mall a few hundred meters away in Dallas, I can attest that there’s good reason for that.

  150. #150 clayton
    May 1, 2010

    Maybe gary Null was pregnant?:
    Vitamin D Cuts Risks of Pregnancy

    Women who take vitamin D supplements during pregnancy have a reduced risk of complications, including premature birth, according to a recent randomized trial.

    Women taking high daily doses of vitamin D had half the risk of problems as those in the control group. [relative risk 0.50, 95% confidence interval: 0.27 – 0.95, P=0.03]

    The bottom line is that pregnant women should take 4,000 IU a day, at least according to this study by Carol Wagner, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    According to Wagner, this dose is not only safe, but prevents a range of complications associated with pregnancy.

    Obviously it is far higher than the RDA for vitamin D that ranges from 200 IU a day for children to 600 IU for adults over 70.

    Wagner and her colleagues enrolled 494 pregnant women in a randomized trial of three daily doses of vitamin D, 400, 2,000, and 4,000 IU a day until delivery. The goal was to see if the higher doses were more effective at reducing complications.

    350 women continued in the study until delivery, including 98 African-American women, 137 Hispanics, and 115 Caucasian women.

    Of those who continued, 111 were taking 400 IU (the control group), 122 took 2,000, and 117 took 4,000.

    The researchers report several effects:

    1. Average serum levels of vitamin D differed between all the groups before and after delivery.
    2. As vitamin D levels increased so did calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol levels peaked when vitamin D reached 40 ng/ml.
    3. The rates of pre-term labor, pre-term birth, and infection were lowest in the group taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
    4. For women who ended up having problems during pregnancy, the average blood level of vitamin D was 33.4 ng/ml. In the women who didn’t have complications, the average level was 39 ng/ml.

    The babies born of the women in the control group who only took 400 iu/day had average vitamin D levels of 18.2 ng/ml. The babies born of the women taking 2,000 IU per day had average vitamin D levels of 22.8 ng/ml and those born of women taking 4,000 IU averaged 26.5 ng/ml. Most researchers consider 30 ng/ml. to be the low end of the acceptable range for vitamin D levels.

    Perhaps even higher doses of vitamin D are required?
    Reference:
    Wagner CL et al. “Vitamin D supplementation during Pregnancy Part 2 NICHD/CTSA Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT): Outcomes” PAS 2010; Abstract 1665.6.

    Wagner CL et al. “Vitamin D supplementation during Pregnancy Part I NICHD/CTSA Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT): Safety Considerations” PAS 2010; Abstract 2630.7.

    This article was edited down from the original article written by Michael Smith that appeared on Medscape, May 1 2010.

  151. #151 squirrelelite
    May 1, 2010

    @Coryat and D.C. Sessions,

    It can be tricky walking around in the city, but it is doable. That’s why we have buttons at the signals. You do have to patient, though.

    I am temporarily (I hope!) unable to drive and needed to go out to get some medicine and pay a bill today. So, I went on a little excursion. (It was a bit further than I usually walk these days.) Out of curiosity, I got on the internet after I got home and checked the distance. It was about 5 miles, which is what we used to do on Boy Scout hikes. My legs will probably be sore tomorrow, but I wish I had time to do it more often. I’d probably have a little less excess poundage around the middle.

    And, I wouldn’t need any of Null’s special powders to achieve it.

  152. #152 Orac
    May 1, 2010

    I forgot to mention that Joe Albietz at Science-Based Medicine is none too pleased with Dr. Jay either:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=4960

  153. #153 Kristen
    May 1, 2010

    Coryat,

    No, we have paved roads and a highway right through the middle of town. But there are no walkways beside the road, so If you want to walk somewhere you have to walk beside traffic. I run early in the morning (against traffic) so I don’t have to worry about too many cars. We don’t even have lights for pedestrians crossing the road, you just have to wait for an opening to cross. :)

  154. #154 zed
    May 3, 2010

    I love all these supporters of Null complaining that everyone here is being “mean” to him and then in the next sentence insulting everyone here thus being “mean” to us!

    @JohnV

    It was Flavor-Aid that was drunk at Jones Town, not Kool-Aid!

  155. #155 squirrelelite
    May 3, 2010

    Sorry about the lack of walkways, Kristen.

    It reminds me of some residential areas of a suburb near here. It was originally laid out on the cheap as a sort of retirement community and a lot of the residential streets have no sidewalks or curbs. At least they ponied up the money to be sidewalks and crossing lights on the main streets.

    Good luck surviving the traffic.

  156. #156 D. C. Sessions
    May 3, 2010

    It can be tricky walking around in the city, but it is doable. That’s why we have buttons at the signals. You do have to patient, though.

    Don’t misunderstand: around home (Phoenix) we have sidewalks all through the area. Not that anyone uses them, mind, because the nearest place other than houses is well over a mile and in temperatures over 40C that’s not really fun. In the Phoenix neighborhood where I grew up or in Huntsville AL, on the other hand, there simply weren’t any along much of the way to anywhere. Got downright interesting when you had to choose between decorative cactus and heavy traffic.

    The Dallas situation, though, was that there literally were no legal foot paths between two points. The hotel was surrounded by limited-access roadways with no pedestrian crossings and no pedestrian walkways across bridges etc. Even after growing up in the Southwest, that was weird.

  157. #157 KMiller
    May 3, 2010

    Months and months or maybe years before the FDA did or even knew anything about the contaminated tylenol products that are probably killing your child right now! Regulation my ass.

  158. #158 Carrie
    May 3, 2010

    Very loosely related cartoon just posted today. It’s one of my favorite cartoonists, so I feel the need to share. (I promise it’s not a shady-link).

    http://www.savagechickens.com/2010/05/longevity.html

  159. #159 Denice Walter
    May 4, 2010

    A few closing notes on Null:1.That’s a really old photo-I saw him 3 years ago,he looks his age *and* is seriously emaciated(more up-to-date photos at his websites).2.He is now suggesting(via his minion’s opinion yesterday)has perhaps the “overdose” wasn’t an accident.He has “powerful enemies”:goes into a long rant about how he was “warned” previously(the story sounds like a “noir” novella).3.Like Adams,he also opposes Waxman’s efforts at *regulating supplements*!!!!

  160. #160 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 4, 2010

    Months and months or maybe years before the FDA did or even knew anything about the contaminated tylenol products that are probably killing your child right now! Regulation my ass.

    Please post the evidence which underlies your conclusion that the recall is not precautionary (“probably killing your child right now!”, etc.)

    If you have no such evidence then you are simply blowing smoke.

  161. #161 Pablo
    May 4, 2010

    I think I mentioned the other day that we had a contaminated Tylenol. However, I think we got one of the bottles that had less active ingredient than it should, because it had been completely ineffective when we had used it. We were using a bottle of Motrin recently, and that one was not subject to recall. The last bottle of motrin we used (and used up) was one of those recalled.

  162. #162 historygeek
    May 4, 2010

    here is some irony i moved from the west where u drive all time to an evil east coast city. that was laid before there where cars. i also took up drinking beer with my hot dogs.

    now for the fun bit i walk nearly everywhere and take public transportation. suprise in all respects i’m healther in my cranky middle age then as teen. my blood presure is lower my weight is lower and my blood work is perfect. because of this i won’t buy a car or move where i would need one unless i have too because i know what will happen i will go back to what i was doing

  163. #163 Paul Lynch
    May 6, 2010

    I’ve listened to Gary Null for over 20 years and have found his health advice to be right on the money. I’ll be 60 in a few months and I feel great. I have better strength and endurance than most of the young guys in the company gym. They have no idea how old I am.
    Look at a picture of Gary Null and remember this guy is 65. Look at his weekly quantity of work. Could you keep up with that?

  164. #164 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 6, 2010

    Paul Lynch:

    I looked at Null’s picture. He’s 65? Big deal. He looks like most 65 year old guys who run, only with a bad dye job.

    His health advice that works no doubt includes exercise, no smoking, no excess alcohol and food. The supplements are superfluous (if not harmful).

    Anyway, he may be able to do a lot of work, but he still can’t be arsed to get himself a real PhD or MD.

  165. #165 Ron
    May 9, 2010

    I have to say I don’t care much for Gary Null, given some of his political stances, but I DO get a kick out of you allopathic ghouls salivating at his condition. I don’t believe he knew that his formula had been spiked; therefore, I’m not sure why it’s considered so comical that he would have continued to take it. The formulation may be quite in order; the blame for bad manufacturing processes should be laid at another doorstep.

    As far as Gary’s going to an MD, rather than an alternative healer, even Gary has stated that modern western (allopathic) medicine is preferred in emergencies, though it is crap for daily maintenance of health; any alternative practitioner will tell you the same thing. No alternative provider would recommend wheat germ for a serious acute-onset condition.

    But of course, in the typically myopic view of the greedy Merc-driving medical community, this is evidence that supplements and other health maintenance approaches are quackery. This is rich coming from overpriced automatons with hearts like ice and egos the size of zeppelins. By even the most conservative estimate I’ve read, and I’ve read many, modern (American) western medicine causes the deaths of approximately 44,000 patients per year, roughly 15,000 of these from (legal) prescription drugs alone. Gary Null’s condition barely compares! The United States ranks number 37 in the world for the health of its citizens, and frankly, I’m surprised it’s that high. You can thank your local short-sighted, pill-pushing, glorified auto mechanic with a stethoscope for that one, along ,of course, with the other arm of the American life support system, the pre-fab food industry. Well hey, just keep eating all that good stuff cause Doc Gotta-Run can perform a complete cashectomy on you one day to correct all the problems you’ll have. And besides, it’s all genetic anyway, right, so bend over and dig in, America!

  166. #166 Scottynuke
    May 9, 2010

    Ron, you forgot to include your last name…

    It’s “Obvious,” is it not?

    As in the staggeringly obvious strawmen you raise.

    Such as science-based medicine is only concerned with money. I don’t see Null or any other woomeister giving their never-proven-effective treatments away.

    Such as science-based medicine doesn’t care about proper diet and exercise. Puh-leeze, every major science-based organization I’ve ever seen always stresses eating a balanced diet, avoiding high-fat, low-nutirion food and staying active in a variety of ways.

    The thing that’s, dare I say, “funny” about this is that Null wouldn’t have put himself in this situation if he didn’t follow the completely unfounded idea that excess vitamin D had some sort of beneficial effect.

  167. #167 Ron
    May 9, 2010

    Gary N. has given many people free care. Perhaps you should look into such matters before you paint him as such a despicable human being. And he certainly never killed anyone with inappropriate medications or surgical mistakes. I can’t believe I’m in this position; I don’t even like Gary Null!

  168. #168 Scottynuke
    May 9, 2010

    Odd way of showing “not even liking,” Mr. Obvious.

    This blog has provided plenty of well-documented reasons to feel less than charitable towards Mr. Null.

  169. #169 squirrelelite
    May 9, 2010

    @Ron,

    I don’t know who is going to “perform a complete cashectomy on you one day to correct all the problems you’ll have”, but Gary Null seems to be high on the list.

    I did a quick check on Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal after watching the video posted later on this blog. It is selling for $111 for a 500g container! (Oh, after the flap, it’s now buy one get one free. Wasn’t it recalled?)

    For comparison, I did a quick check on a protein/creatine/mineral/sugar mix my son bought (33g of sugar and 150 cal/serving!) That’s for one scoop to mix with 8 oz of water, which gives it 40 more calories than the soda I am drinking. That should power you through a workout!

    I don’t advocate it, but it was convenient so I used it for a comparison. It is sold at WalMart stores in 1440 g containers (almost 3 times as much as one of Gary Null’s). It’s not sold online, but comparing with other products from the same manufacturer I would guess maybe it costs about $40. So that means Gary Null is charging about 10 times as much for his product (or 5 times if you get the second one free).

    I guess we know who is part of the “greedy Merc-driving ‘medical’ community”.

    Is that free care he is giving away medical?

    He could be practicing medicine without a license based on his extensive research doing coffee-drinking surveys and measuring blood pressure!

  170. #170 a-non
    May 9, 2010

    Gary N. has given many people free care.

    Prove it. You know an awful lot about Gary for someone who allegedly hates him.

  171. #171 Prometheus
    May 9, 2010

    Ron Obvious claims:

    “Gary N. has given many people free care.”

    That would be the only appropriate price for null care, don’t you think?

    Ron, if you’re still out there, any idea how much free care Mr. Null has given? Considering what he charges, he certainly could afford to give some away.

    Prometheus

  172. #172 Ron
    May 10, 2010

    Well, I never said I hated Gary Null. I said that I’ didn’t care for him and that I didn’t like him; this is not the same as hating him. I’m not involved in his organization, so I can’t give an accurate number regarding the number of people he has advised. He doesn’t treat them medically; he simply advises them. You can probably find the references yourself on YouTube, etc.

    The reason I defend him is that I read this blog and its comments as an attack on alternative treatments in general. Null might be the target at the moment, but the attacks against him most likely stem from the generally negative attitude toward non-traditional medicine. And this from a field of endeavor that can’t cure the common cold. Statistics are clear that illness is getting worse in many ways. Kids with adult-onset diabetes and arthritis is no genetic disorder, but rather a result of our disordered paradigm of human health whereby nutrition and exercise and other preventative efforts take a back seat to drugs, vaccines, and reliance upon “genetic anomalies” to explain illness.

    One of the last respondents to my posting claimed that I’m setting up strawmen by asserting that conventional medicine doesn’t address daily health maintenance. The respondent claims that all the organizations he she/knows of advise people to eat right and to exercise, etc., but I’m very doubtful about this assertion. Such advise, when actually given, tends to be couched in language such as “A low fat diet MAY reduce the risk of coronary disease, etc.” The use of such a modal verb as “may” weakens the impact of such ostensibly helpful advice in the minds of listeners and mitigates the impact of such a message to the point of uselessness. An old memory might further illustrate what I mean. I still remember sitting in an MD’s office a while back (yes, I utilize ALL methodologies) which featured a large flat screen TV. The feature upon the screen was an big pharma ad for a cholesterol-lowering drug (can’t remember the name) against a background of picnickers grilling large, greasy sausages. The subtle message, of course, to anyone with even a 2-digit IQ, was that you can just go along eating your greasy, nitrate-ridden gut-bombs because our bought-off corporate scientists have invented this miraculous pill that allows you to continue your bad habits. “Don’t eliminate unhealthy things in your life, just take our pill” is a good rendering of their message. It’s a very dangerous attitude which has staggering repercussions, especially for those too young or unaware to have considered the argument.

    I know Null is a pain in the ass, but please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  173. #173 Chris
    May 10, 2010

    Ron:

    The reason I defend him is that I read this blog and its comments as an attack on alternative treatments in general. Null might be the target at the moment, but the attacks against him most likely stem from the generally negative attitude toward non-traditional medicine.

    Evidence?

    Show us that “alternative” medicine works.

  174. #174 Scottynuke
    May 10, 2010

    Mr. Obvious:

    “I read this blog and its comments as an attack on alternative treatments in general.”

    That’s ALMOST a reading comprehension win… “an attack on [unproven] alternative treatments” would have won you an internet.

  175. #175 MI Dawn
    May 10, 2010

    @Darrinmcarter: There is a blog out there called Science-Based Medicine that has some posts that you might find very interesting.

    @Ron: strange, my doctors have always encouraged a healthy diet. And, since my stomach surgery, they recommend a vitamin daily and a calcium supplement, because of my possible risk of insufficiency. They did not recommend megadoses, but checked my blood levels for adequate levels and then reviewed recommendations based on my (gasp) DIET HISTORY (oh, noes! the ebil doctors are looking at my diet!!eleventyone!!). They also monitor my weight, my cholesterol, my blood pressure, and my glucose levels. So, what’s the difference between what MY doctors do (and get paid rather little, to be quite honest…) and what Gary Null wants, except that Mr Null wants a heck of a lot more money? And Mr Null wants me to buy HIS products whereas my doctors don’t care HOW I get my vitamins and calcium as long as my levels remain within healthy ranges.

    There is no such thing as “non-traditional” medicine, as Orac has pointed out many times. If it demonstrably works, and studies have shown it works, it is medicine, otherwise, it is woo.

  176. #176 historygeek
    May 10, 2010

    @ Ron

    i was told by someone with your view point that the problem with my dyslixa was that i was useing the word “try” as in trying to learn how to spell and i should use the word “do” and it would be all better guse what it didn’t work supprising i know. the world “may” has nothing to do with health in this country. but making such an idiot stament u belittle people with ligtmate illness some people did not win the gentic lottry and there is nothing that will save them for illness. also people are way better off in this century then ever before in all of human history every one in this country today eats better then the kings on eurpoe henry the VII never had a mango oh and he died of diebites at 52

  177. #177 historygeek
    May 10, 2010

    @ Ron

    i was told by someone with your view point that the problem with my dyslixa was that i was useing the word “try” as in trying to learn how to spell and i should use the word “do” and it would be all better guse what it didn’t work supprising i know. the world “may” has nothing to do with health in this country. but making such an idiot stament u belittle people with ligtmate illness some people did not win the gentic lottry and there is nothing that will save them for illness. also people are way better off in this century then ever before in all of human history every one in this country today eats better then the kings on eurpoe henry the VII never had a mango oh and he died of diebites at 52

  178. #178 historygeek
    May 10, 2010

    @ Ron

    i was told by someone with your view point that the problem with my dyslixa was that i was useing the word “try” as in trying to learn how to spell and i should use the word “do” and it would be all better guse what it didn’t work supprising i know. the world “may” has nothing to do with health in this country. but making such an idiot stament u belittle people with ligtmate illness some people did not win the gentic lottry and there is nothing that will save them for illness. also people are way better off in this century then ever before in all of human history every one in this country today eats better then the kings on eurpoe henry the VII never had a mango oh and he died of diebites at 52

  179. #179 historygeek
    May 10, 2010

    sorry for the multi posting i get upset when real problems or trizlied by compleat and uttre nonsence

  180. #180 historygeek
    May 10, 2010

    sorry for the multi posting i get upset when real problems or trizlied by compleat and uttre nonsence

  181. #181 Paul Lynch
    May 10, 2010

    Bruce McNeely,
    You can’t possibly think Null looks like a normal 65 year old and I don’t think he dyes his hair either. The guy is a total fanatic and I could imagine he’s unpleasant to be around for any length of time, but I can tell you from personal experience that he knows what works regarding health.
    You could try this one yourself and it won’t cost much. Go to any popular supplement web site, such as VitaCost and get Source Naturals Oregano Oil. (Health food stores don’t move supplements quickly and this product will lose strength on the shelf.) Use it when you feel some sickness coming on. Initially try 2 drops in a glass of water to get used to the strong taste. Work your way up to 20 drops under your tongue and hold for at least 30 seconds. This should reduce the number of colds, flu, sore throats, etc that you get and their duration. It works for all the members of my family who try it.

  182. #182 Chris
    May 10, 2010

    Paul Lynch:

    but I can tell you from personal experience that he knows what works regarding health.

    And yet he almost killed himself taking his own supplement. He even managed to poison himself when even after suffering pain “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,”!

    This does not sound like he knows what works.

    You continued:

    get Source Naturals Oregano Oil.

    Greek and Italian oregano grows like a weed in my yard. How is taking magic oregano oil drops better mixing half a cup of fresh oregano leaves, half a cup of fresh parsley leaves, a couple tablespoons of roasted garlic, a quarter cup of walnut pieces, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and about three to four tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor, and then mixing with fresh pasta?

    I’ll take oregano and roasted garlic pesto made fresh from The Herbfarm Cookbook over silly supplement drops any day!

    What is this obsession with getting nutrients from drops, powders and pills? Do you have something against eating a balanced diet of real food?

  183. #183 Ron
    May 11, 2010

    Dear Historygeek,

    I certainly have no intention of belittling someone’s condition, and I would never suggest your dyslexia could be cured by positive affirmations or vitamins. On the other hand, I don’t know what the other guys are going to do for you either. I am sorry you have to live with this problem, and I would know I had lived a full life if I were able to help you. But please don’t conflate me with Mr. Positive, whoever that was.

    As far as people eating better than ever before, I’m not sure what to say. Quantity doesn’t mean quality, and the increases in cancer, diabetes, and other ailments run counter to your suggestion that people are eating “better.” They are NOT eating better. They are eating absolute garbage in most cases and paying the price for it down the road. We are one of the sickliest people on the planet thanks to our lack of awareness, but because I want to raise awareness and disturb some people’s staid outlook on life, I’m some kind of nutcase. Think of the use of language here, for God’s sake! Health nut??? Why is someone a nut for being cautious about their health??

    And to Chris, you know good and well that I can’t “prove” the efficacy of alternative medicine over a blog posting board. Forty-four thousand dead people a year in the US (a conservative number) is MY evidence that the allopathic way lacks efficacy if you want evidence of reality. There’s no way I have the time right now to try to summarize the findings concerning “alternative” medicine or the problems in even designing adequate studies for medicine that doesn’t lend itself to Western reductionist philosophy. However, I did see a nice lecture tonight on recent positive findings regarding brainwave enhancement and (beneficial) neural rewiring in the brains of long-term meditation practitioners. The data and research design were of the most hardcore atomistic, Western reductionist type you could find, but it supported what unscientific, weird, empirically-driven “Shamans” have said for a few thousand years now. Incidentally, the research was done by an MD/PhD. I thought I’d mention this since some people on this blog like to throw around accusations about “credentials.” I suppose this DOCTOR’S conclusions were more hocus pocus, right?

    And to MI Dawn, I’m very encouraged to read what you said about your doctor. I hope there are more out their like him. Perhaps the ravings of health nuts like me can bring more of them out of the woodwork.

  184. #184 Chris
    May 11, 2010

    Ron:

    And to Chris, you know good and well that I can’t “prove” the efficacy of alternative medicine over a blog posting board. Forty-four thousand dead people a year in the US (a conservative number) is MY evidence that the allopathic way lacks efficacy if you want evidence of reality.

    Showing something else is flawed in no way shows your pet therapy works. The way to show that your form of alternative medicine works is to show that it works.

    If you think homeopathy works: prove it.

    If you think acupuncture works: prove it.

    If you think high dose vitamins work: prove it.

    Do not call out any other modality. Just show whatever your particular therapy is works with a well designed and replicable experiment.

    Oh, goody. You saw a lecture. Too bad you forgot what it was about, or you would have posted the citation so that we could read up about.

    Speaking of the argument from authority above, do you believe the literature more if it was done by a ten year old girl? Here, have a read:
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/279/13/1005

  185. #185 Chris
    May 11, 2010
  186. #186 Composer99
    May 11, 2010

    @ 183

    Ron, echoing Chris’ comments, please supply a citation for your 44,000+ iatrogenic deaths. Or are we simply supposed to take your word for it?

  187. #187 Chris
    May 11, 2010

    Composer99, it is actually not important to know where real medicine is harmful, because that in itself does not show alternative medicine works.

    Actually showing a therapy works by replicable and statistically relevant testing would be a more convincing way to show it works. That is how neti pots were shown to be really work!

    The one big difference between real medicine and alternative medicine is that errors, mortality and problems are actually tracked for real medicine. This does not seem to be the case for alternative medicine.

    Folks like Ron are more likely to point out the anecdotes of a good outcome, yet sweep under the carpet any bad outcomes. It is a form of confirmation bias.

  188. #188 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 11, 2010

    Paul Lynch:

    You can’t possibly think Null looks like a normal 65 year old and I don’t think he dyes his hair either.

    I didn’t say he looks like a normal 65 year old, I said he looks like a lot of 65 year old men who run. Got to the next 10K or marathon in your area and check out the masters competitors.
    And I am sure Null dyes his hair. I am in my 60s, and I notice these things.It is positively weird for a Caucasian man to have monochrome not-quite-natural brown coloured hair without a dye job. Yeah, I admit I’ve got a prejudice. I think it’s a relatively harmless one.
    No, I won’t try your ghastly-tasting nostrum. I don’t get enough URIs to bother (1 or 2 a year).

    Ron:

    The United States ranks number 37 in the world for the health of its citizens, and frankly, I’m surprised it’s that high. You can thank your local short-sighted, pill-pushing, glorified auto mechanic with a stethoscope for that one, along ,of course, with the other arm of the American life support system, the pre-fab food industry.

    …unlike the 36 higher ranked countries, whose health care is provided by alt-med practitioners, and who have no pre-fab food outlets available.
    Well done. You have managed to refute your own argument. That’s quite an accomplishment!

  189. #189 Pablo
    May 11, 2010

    If we didn’t use “western medicine,” what would the death rate be due to something like just appendecities?

    There are 250K appendectomies in the US each year. Not all appendicitis cases will be fatal if not removed, however. For example, 20% of appendicies removed are not inflamed. We’ll say those survive. Moreover, a lot of times, appendicitis does not require surgery, but can be treated with anti-biotics. However, that is also western medicine, and can’t be ignored. So even if 3/4 of appendicitis cases are non-bursting types that resolve themselves, the other quarter constitutes 50 000 insurmountable problems caused by appendicitis alone.

    Now, appendectomies are not perfect. I found a report that the death rate on appendectomies was something like 0.2 per 100K, so there would be something like 1 person a year who dies from an appendectomy. However, that was for pre-laproscopic times, and I suspect with laproscopy, that the death rate would be even less.

    So let’s see…”western medicine” is attributed to 44K deaths a year. However, lack of western medicine would lead to something like 50K deaths…due to appendicitis alone.

  190. #190 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Pablo, that is interesting. I was once in a car accident and spent the weekend in the hospital. I assume that happens quite often. So I googled it, and found http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats.html .

    It says almost 3 million people in one year are injured in car accidents, and about 43000 people were killed.

    It did not say how many were hospitalized, so I googled again and got http://www.safecarguide.com/exp/statistics/statistics.htm … For the USA it says:

    The death toll on our highways makes driving the number one cause of death and injury for young people ages 5 to 27. Highway crashes cause 94 percent of all transportation fatalities and 99 percent of all transportation injuries, yet traffic safety programs receive only one percent of the funding of the U.S. DOT budget. The staggering loss of life and the incidence of life-threatening injuries occurring each year is best described as a public health crisis. According to a WHO report, “The Injury Pyramid,” for every motor vehicle injury resulting in death in the US, 13 people sustain injuries severe enough to require hospitalization.

    In the US DOT publication “The Economic Costs Of Motor Vehicle Crashes,” NHTSA investigator Lawrence J. Blincoe reports that in 1994, motor vehicle crashes accounted for 40,676 fatalites, and 4,100,000 injuries (of which 533,000 or 13% were serious). The total lifetime cost to the US economy for automobile accidents that occured in 1994 was $150.5 billion. The 1996 NHTSA report “1996 Traffic Safety Facts” (pdf) came up with similar though somewhat improved statistics: 41,907 fatalities and 3,511,000 injuries, 456,430 of them serious. The 1997 NHTSA report “Traffic Safety Facts 1997″ reports 41,967 fatalities and 3,399,000 injuries, 441,870 of them serious. The 1998 NHTSA report “Traffic Safety Facts 1998 Annual Report” reports 41,471 fatalities and 3,192,000 injuries, 414,960 of them serious.

    So it looks like almost half a million hospitalizations are from car accidents, and yet the motor vehicle deaths just shy of Ron’s scary 44K.

    Now if there were no hospitals for the 400K plus serious injuries, how many more motor vehicle deaths would there be?

    Ron, would you advocate diverting ambulances that respond to accident sites to go to a Reiki Healer or acupuncturist instead of a hospital?

  191. #191 Ron
    May 12, 2010

    44,000 deaths was a conservative estimate, as I said earlier. The highest number I ever heard was around 700, 000 deaths per year. I’m afraid your appendicitis data can’t match that number.

  192. #192 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Ron, where is your evidence?

    Show your work or you will be laughed at (more).

  193. #193 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Oh, I forgot a minor detail: flaws in real medicine in no way show that your pet alternative medicine therapy works.

    Proving through proper science can show that your pet therapy works. If an eleven year old kid can design an experiment, so can you!

    Oooh… up by a decimal point are we? So do you really think we should send appendicitis and auto accidents patients to this alternative emergency department?

  194. #194 Ron
    May 12, 2010

    And in addition, there are remedies for appendicitis from Chinese medicine which have worked for centuries.

    And Chris did I ever say there should be no hospitals? No, I did not. We still need hospitals, after all, where are doctors gonna chase pretty nurses and earn enough money for that new 9-iron? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Of course, half the people in hospitals wouldn’t be there if they had followed more holistic guidelines for general welfare. Didn’t even Gary Bull say Western medicine was appropriate for emergency situations? Didn’t I say that I’d never recommend wheat germ, etc, for acute emergency conditions? What I think we have here is a failure to communicate.

    I’m curious what the exact definition of “serious” is in the report you cited. One could assume, of course, that this means people were hospitalized, by I don’t see that explicitly stated in the report. And frankly, if doctors save thousands of people in emergency situations, then FANTASTIC! My hat’s off to them. But they could save another few hundred-thousand lives if they didn’t have their heads up their grand wazoos regarding basic health.

    I also wonder how many of those hospitalized incurred injuries in the hospital not related to their car accident. If someone were admitted to a hospital and ended up dying of, say, some infamous hospital infection, their death might not be listed under “Death by Accident” or some similar rubric, but rather “Death Resulting from Infection.” If they had died due to inappropriate drug prescriptions, then perhaps the death would be categorized as “Unanticipated Complications,” etc. Yes, the patient was kept alive after the accident, but later departed due to other all-too-common causes. Moreover, if they had died outside the hospital, their death would not have been considered an in-hospital casualty. In other words, stating that “only” some 41,000 or so people died as the result of a car accident doesn’t take into account the others who may have been hospitalized for a car accident initially, but who later died from some other hospital screw-up. It could quite well be a labeling game. I knew a man a while back who had a severe neck injury due to a car accident. And yes, the doctors saved him at the time of the accident, but the medications they gave him reacted with something in his predilections, genes, whatever, and he spent the rest of his life as a painkiller addict. Of course, his injuries remained in part, though he was still alive, but whatever life he had left was flushed down the toilette due to the drugs. He died one day in a hospital in his late 40’s of some infection that was related to his drug abuse. The hospital records would have detailed his survival after the accident, but would never have mentioned one word about the consequences.

  195. #195 Ron
    May 12, 2010

    You won’t believe this one because our good buddy Gary Null is involved, but there are 3 MD’s and a PhD as co-authors:
    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/mar2004_awsi_death_01.htm

    Here’s a much smaller number, but it’s not from GN:

    http://www.drgrisanti.com/dangerous_medicine.htm

    Much lighter in tone, not as rigorous, but it’s along the same lines:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,451215,00.html

    A lower body count than GN, but higher than my conservative number: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520822,00.html

    A slightly different number: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/11856.php

    Another different, though sickening, number from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/08/AR2008040800957.html

    My fingers are starting to get sore! 2.5 million dead from American hospital care between 1978 and 1999:
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/22/2/103

    Ba-Da-Bing: http://www.americansmadandangry.org/know-hospital_acquired.php

    Ba-Da-Boom: http://women.webmd.com/news/20040727/medical-errors-plague-us-hospitals

    Most of the numbers here are lower than GN’s, but they’re still unacceptable!

  196. #196 Ron
    May 12, 2010

    OK, Chris, here are some numbers regarding the success of your kind of medicine:

    You won’t believe this one because our good buddy Gary Null is involved, but there are 3 MD’s and a PhD as co-authors:
    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/mar2004_awsi_death_01.htm

    Here’s a much smaller number, but it’s not from GN:
    http://www.drgrisanti.com/dangerous_medicine.htm

    Much lighter in tone, not as rigorous, but it’s along the same lines:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,451215,00.html

    A lower body count than GN, but higher than my conservative number: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520822,00.html
    A slightly different number: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/11856.php

    Another different, though sickening, number from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/08/AR2008040800957.html

    My fingers are starting to get sore! 2.5 million dead from American hospital care between 1978 and 1999:
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/22/2/103

    Ba-Da-Bing: http://www.americansmadandangry.org/know-hospital_acquired.php

    Ba-Da-Boom: http://women.webmd.com/news/20040727/medical-errors-plague-us-hospitals

    Most of the numbers here are lower than GN’s, but they’re still unacceptable!

  197. #197 Ron
    May 12, 2010

    Here’s the reference to the lecture you say I can’t remember:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18845193

    Your insults really show your own true arrogant colors. What’s the matter, tough guy? Mad that I won’t bow down? I’ll bet you’d make a great doctor!

  198. #198 Pablo
    May 12, 2010

    And in addition, there are remedies for appendicitis from Chinese medicine which have worked for centuries.

    Oh, so the Chinese don’t do appendectomies, then? Or do they?

    I mean, if they have some secret working “remedies” for appendicitis, why would they switch to surgery? Especially since Mao’s push toward “chinese medicine” as an attempt to cut medical costs of socialized health care. Apparently, the Chinese are stupid, abandoning a great working approach for the evil “western medicine”?

    BTW, since you apparently missed the point made in my original post. It is well-known that a lot of appendicitis cases are not actually critical. The negative rate is on the order of 20%. So I would agree that “chinese medicine” would work just fine in those cases. Moreover, the human body is a wonderful healing machine, and I grant that there are a lot of other cases that could resolve themselves, although antibiotics are also very important in most of them.

    So do you have a citation for a chinese medicine procedure that has anywhere near the success rate for appendicitis as “western medicine”?

  199. #199 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 12, 2010

    Your insults really show your own true arrogant colors.

    Scottynuke called you Mr. Obvious. How dreadful.

    Chris called you Ron! Several times!!!

    Why, that’s inexcusable!

    This incivility is evil and must be stopped now!

  200. #200 Chris
    May 12, 2010

    Ron (ooh, did I just insult you again by calling you Ron?), news articles are not real evidence. Especially from Fox News. The latter link is actually good (though I suspect it is not as provocative as you imagine… ooh, look! Relaxation techniques work! Big freaking whoop de do).

    Now about hospitals, you made a claim that alternative medicine works because real medicine kills almost a million people. The actual often cited stupid paper is based on deaths in hospitals. Hence the connection (yeah, I have seen it before, and it is a tenuous statistic filled with hyperbole).

    So really, you have not shown any alternative medicine really works except that relaxation techniques do change brain waves. Though you do seem to be using a very wide brush for whatever you call “alternative medicine.” Did you notice I tend to call out the specific forms?

    Also, China has real hospitals where they perform real surgeries using real anesthesia and real medicine: for those who can afford it. I would say you are being a bit provincial in assuming that geography dictates the type of medicine they use.

  201. #201 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.

  202. #202 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.

  203. #203 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.

  204. #204 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.

  205. #205 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)

  206. #206 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.

  207. #207 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).

  208. #208 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.

  209. #209 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.

  210. #210 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.

  211. #211 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.

  212. #212 Orac
    May 13, 2010

    Beat me to it, you did.

  213. #213 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?)

  214. #214 Chris
    May 14, 2010

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

    Get over yourself!

  215. #215 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.” ‘

  216. #216 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.

  217. #217 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.

  218. #218 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.

  219. #219 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.”

  220. #220 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.

  221. #221 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!!!

  222. #222 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.

  223. #223 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?

  224. #224 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?

  225. #225 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.

  226. #226 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.

  227. #227 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.

  228. #228 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.

  229. #229 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.
    .

  230. #230 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.

  231. #231 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.

  232. #232 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.”

  233. #233 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.
    .

  234. #234 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.

  235. #235 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.

  236. #236 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.
    .

  237. #237 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.

  238. #238 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.

  239. #239 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.

  240. #240 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.

  241. #241 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.

  242. #242 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?

  243. #243 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.

  244. #244 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.

  245. #245 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.

  246. #246 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.

  247. #247 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.

  248. #248 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?

  249. #249 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!).

  250. #250 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?”

  251. #251 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.

  252. #252 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).

  253. #253 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

  254. #254 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.

  255. #255 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?

  256. #256 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).

  257. #257 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?

  258. #258 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?

  259. #259 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.

  260. #260 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.

  261. #261 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.
    .

  262. #262 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.

  263. #263 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.

  264. #264 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.

  265. #265 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).

  266. #266 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.

  267. #267 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.

  268. #268 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.

  269. #269 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.

  270. #270 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.

  271. #271 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.

  272. #272 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.
    .

  273. #273 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.

  274. #274 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

  275. #275 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.

  276. #276 Mu
    August 3, 2010

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

  277. #277 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!

  278. #278 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.

  279. #279 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.

  280. #280 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.

  281. #281 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.

  282. #282 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.
    .

  283. #283 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.

  284. #284 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.

  285. #285 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.

  286. #286 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.

  287. #287 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.

  288. #288 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.

  289. #289 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.

  290. #290 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.

  291. #291 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.

  292. #292 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?

  293. #293 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!

    .

  294. #294 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.)

  295. #295 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.”

  296. #296 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.

  297. #297 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.

  298. #298 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.

  299. #299 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.”

  300. #300 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.

  301. #301 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!

  302. #302 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.

  303. #303 Todd W.
    August 4, 2010

    @Orange Lantern

    Give our love to Gary Trudeau

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

  304. #304 Doc Octorok
    August 4, 2010

    Aaah! Comedy fail!

  305. #305 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.

  306. #306 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.

    .

  307. #307 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

  308. #308 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.

  309. #309 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?

  310. #310 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?

  311. #311 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.

  312. #312 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.

  313. #313 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.

  314. #314 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.

  315. #315 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.

  316. #316 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.

  317. #317 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.

  318. #318 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.

    .

  319. #319 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).

  320. #320 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.

  321. #321 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

  322. #322 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.

  323. #323 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 :)

  324. #324 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.

  325. #325 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.

  326. #326 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.

  327. #327 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.

  328. #328 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.

  329. #329 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.”

  330. #330 pvillalta
    March 23, 2011

    Not likely.

  331. #331 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?

  332. #332 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??

  333. #333 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.

  334. #334 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.

  335. #335 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.

  336. #336 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).

  337. #337 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!

  338. #338 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!

  339. #339 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.

  340. #340 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]

  341. #341 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.

  342. #342 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?

  343. #343 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.

  344. #344 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

  345. #345 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.”

  346. #346 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?

  347. #347 Chris
    August 2, 2011

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

  348. #348 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.

  349. #349 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”.

  350. #350 lilady
    August 2, 2011

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

    I despise etc., etc.

  351. #351 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.

  352. #352 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.

  353. #353 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.

  354. #354 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?

  355. #355 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

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

  356. #356 augustine
    August 2, 2011

    There’s always a point.

  357. #357 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

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

  358. #358 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.

  359. #359 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

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

  360. #360 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.

  361. #361 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.

  362. #362 Gray Falcon
    August 2, 2011

    Augustine, what is your point?

  363. #363 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)

  364. #364 Chemmomo
    August 2, 2011

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

  365. #365 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.

  366. #366 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.

  367. #367 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.

  368. #368 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

  369. #369 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.

  370. #370 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?

  371. #371 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!

  372. #372 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!

  373. #373 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?.

  374. #374 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?

  375. #375 novalox
    December 10, 2011

    @md1970

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

  376. #376 Narad
    December 10, 2011

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

  377. #377 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.

  378. #378 Chris
    December 10, 2011

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

  379. #379 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?

  380. #380 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.

  381. #381 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?

  382. #382 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…

  383. #384 lilady
    January 30, 2012

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

  384. #385 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

  385. #386 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.

  386. #387 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.

  387. #388 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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