Alternatives & Traditional

I have seen a number of people erroneously claiming stomach acid is not necessary to the body and is in fact a dangerous byproduct in the body.  The myth was traced back to a Dr. Young. An article promoting this myth is found on his FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/50864627953/permalink/10152914603067954/ .

This article is addressing the various myths being promoted by Dr. Young and will explain the importance of stomach acid in the body.

Let’s start with the claim that the stomach does not digest food. Digestion starts in the mouth and continues in the stomach and throughout most of the intestine. Therefore, I am not really sure what he means by the stomach not digesting food. If that is the case then wouldn’t the same apply to the mouth and intestines since enzymes are working in all these areas to digest the food? So where does Dr. Young think digestion takes place if at all?

As for his claims about the stomach alkalizing food this just further backs my belief that Dr. Young DOES NOT understand human physiology. Alkalizing of the chyme occurs in the duodenum, not the stomach.

When we ingest food or liquids stomach acid is released for a variety of reasons.:

-Stomach acid is needed to kill ingested pathogens.

-Stomach acid is needed to acidify certain nutrients such as minerals and the vitamins B6, B12 and folate for absorption. These B vitamins are required for methylation, which is essential for about 4,000 processes in the body including the production of more stomach acid.

Methylation is also required to prevent cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, build up neurotransmitters and hormones, support energy levels and the immune system, for cartilage synthesis, etc.

And a lack of stomach acid decreases the conversion of silica in to orthosilicic acid (OA). Declining stomach acid leads to decreases in OA, which in turn leads to many of the conditions associated with aging such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, emphysema, diverticulitis, wrinkles, etc.

-Stomach acid is required for the protein digestive enzyme pepsin to function. Without sufficient stomach acid the proteins fail to break down properly leaving protein solutes that can trigger off immune reactions.

I have a write up on the benefits of stomach acid here:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2945

The chyme, which is a mixture of food or ingested liquids, stomach acid and enzymes is made acidic by the stomach acid for the above reasons. The chyme is then released in to the duodenum where pancreatic bicarbonate is released to neutralize the acids in the chyme. The duodenum IS NOT the stomach. The stomach only releases bicarbonate after digestion in the stomach is finished to neutralize whatever acid is left in the stomach since the stomach does not maintain a protective barrier 24 hours a day.

What really get me is how Dr. Young claims hydrochloric acid is a waste product when it is essential for many things in the body.

And he is wrong on most of what he claims the hydrochloric acid causes. Stomach acid DOES NOT cause indigestion nor reflux. A lack of stomach acid can cause these, which is why things that increase stomach acidity such as bitters, betaine HCl or vinegar are used to treat these conditions. See:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2632

Excessive stomach acid (hyperchlorhydria) is actually so rare that it is almost unheard of. Especially since stomach acid levels naturally decline with age and most people are acid deficient after the age of 40.

It was once thought that excess stomach acid was a cause of stomach ulcers. That myth was disproven decades ago!!!!!

Stomach acid only causes stomach ulcers when the stomach’s protective lining is not there to protect the stomach, such as when nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc), celecoxib (Celebrex), naproxen (Naprosyn), etc. These drugs inhibit hormones known as prostaglandins. Most people familiar with these hormones know that some are associated with inflammation since they dilate blood vessels, which can lead to leakage. But these hormones are also required for the production of the stomach’s protective lining.

If Dr. Young understood ulcer formation he would also know that the most common cause of ulcers is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which secretes highly alkaline and toxic ammonia to neutralize the stomach acid that would otherwise kill the bacteria.

Helicobacter pylori is also a primary cause of stomach cancer. Stomach cancer risk has been found to have a direct correlation to low or absent stomach acid, which is contrary to Dr, Young’s claim.

His claims in number 5 are simply laughable!!!!!

Apparently Dr. Young is also unaware of the fact that stomach acid is released with the ingestion of any food or liquid. Even the though of food can stimulate stomach acid release. This DOES NOT occur only with animal protein sources as he implies.

Then there is his contradiction. He claims earlier that the bicarbonate and the acid are produced in equal parts. But then he claims that as the stomach acid is released the bicarbonate is released in to the stomach to neutralize the acid thus inducing alkalosis and using up the alkaline reserves. First of all none of this is true. Then he continues with claiming the hydrochloric acid is taken up by the blood lowering the plasma pH, which is also complete nonsense. If that really happened we would all be dead. So how does he explain the alkaline reserves being depleted while there is still an excess of acid supposedly entering the bloodstream if they were produced equally? Using some common sense should tell him that if these two compounds are formed in equal amounts then this would also mean that the depletion of sodium bicarbonate would also mean a complete depletion of the stomach acid. In other words, if the salt forms one unit of bicarbonate and one unit of hydrochloric acid and one unit of bicarbonate will neutralize one unit of hydrochloric acid that would mean that a depletion of the bicarbonate reserves would mean a complete neutralization of ALL the stomach acid. In fact, this does not even take in to account the compounds in our diet that will neutralize the stomach acid such as carbonates, alkaloids, etc. in the diet that all neutralize acid. Therefore, the stomach acid would be depleted long before the bicarbonate. So where is all this hydrochloric acid coming from that is supposedly entering the bloodstream according to his bogus claims?

If Dr. Young really understood human physiology then he would also know that acid buffering bicarbonate is released in to the blood by parietal cells during stomach acid secretion leading to ALKALINITY of the blood, not acidosis as he claims. He should research the “alkaline tide”. Alkalizing bicarbonate is also produce in the blood. So again, how is acidosis occurring when stomach acid never enters the blood and even if it did the acid would be neutralized by the bicarbonate and the body’s pH would still be maintained through respiration and kidney function?

In fact, it is not the acid that is the danger as he claims, it is the base that has to be dealt with. See:

https://mcb.berkeley.edu/labs/forte/morphol.html

Then Dr Young refers to the Pishinger’s space as an “organ” when it is not an organ. A space is not an organ. Furthermore, if you look up Pishinger’s space the only sites that come up are the ones repeating his claims.

Dr. Young also refers to the acids from cells as waste again when in fact they are required for our health and existence.

Then Dr. Young claims there is no mention of any organs that store acids from metabolism and diet. So what? There is no reason to store these acids since they are utilized by the immediately. For example, we produce carbonic acid continually, which serves numerous purposes such as to buffer highly alkaline and highly toxic ammonia, to maintain circulation, to allow oxygen release from hemoglobin, to form more stomach acid for proper digestion and absorption, and for the production of bicarbonate!!!! Come on, this is BASIC human physiology he is not grasping!!!!!!

Then Dr. Young falsely claims the kidneys store acids. The kidney IS NOT a storage organ and DOES NOT store acids.

Dr. Young then goes on to falsely claim these acids are buffered then eliminated via the skin, urinary tract and bowels. See the contradiction in his claims? If the bicarbonate buffers were used up by stomach acid leading to an increase of hydrochloric acid in the blood leading to acidosis as he claims then where is the bicarbonate buffers coming from that are supposedly buffering those acids? There are no other buffers in the blood. And if there were they would be used up by the hydrochloric acid in the blood if t really made it in to the blood which according to Dr. Young is causing acidosis. How can you buffer the metabolism acids if acidosis is present? The answer is you cannot. Yet this is what Dr. Young is claiming. So not only does he need to learn some human physiology, he also needs to learn some basic chemistry.

Dr. Young contradicts himself yet again with claim number 7. If a high animal protein meal caused acidosis as he falsely claims then the excess hydrogen ions from the acidosis he claims would be excreted through the kidneys causing ACIDIC, not alkaline urine. Then Dr. Young goes on to claim a base being excreted in the urine, which is the alkalinity. So where is this Base coming from? Again that base would have to be bicarbonate, which he claims earlier is depleted by the hydrochloric acid. So again, where is this base coming from if his claim were true?

Dr. Young’s myth about tissue acidosis leading to disease has already been addressed a number of times. The vast majority of diseases arise in an alkaline, not acidic environment.

On claim 8 Dr. Young talks about lactic acid during heavy exercise that in order to be absorbed by the collagen fibers as he falsely claims would have to be excreted. The lactic acid being excreted by muscles during heavy exercise myth was disproven decades ago!!!! During heavy exercise non-acidic lactate is formed, which IS NOT the same thing as lactic acid even though the terms get used interchangeably frequently. The burning sensation people feel IS NOT from lactic acid but rather an excess of hydrogen ions (protons).

Same with Dr. Young’s false claim that the lactic acid is stored in the tissues. How can this be occurring when no lactic acid is secreted from cells?

Dr. Young’s claim in 9 starts out bogus then gets outright bizarre where he refers to alkaliphile glands. Alkaliphiles are microorganisms, NOT glands!!!! So it looks like he is making up his own terms along with his “facts”.

In claim 9 Dr. young further incorrectly states that the body’s alkaline reserve status can be determined by blood or urinary pH testing. This is totally ludicrous!!!!! Salivary pH is affected by the amount of bacteria in the mouth so things such as brushing your teeth will make the saliva more alkaline. So will drinking water, thinking of certain foods, etc. Dry mouth increases acidity as alkaline saliva normally washes away acid forming bacteria in the mouth. Urinary pH is affected by hydration levels, certain supplements and medications and by bacteria in the urine. Urinary tract infections lead to highly alkaline urine as the bacteria use the enzyme urease to split urea in to highly alkaline ammonia. The alkalinity helps the bacteria, as with most pathogens, to survive.

Claim 10 starts out right away with a major error since this IS NOT how the blood pH is maintained. Again, pH is maintained through respiration and kidney retention or elimination of hydrogen ions (protons). If the acids were being pushed in to the connective tissues or spaces

And how can the blood give the urine the same amount of acidity if the tissues, such as the kidneys store the acids as Dr. Young claims?

Urinary pH DOES NOT reflect tissue pH. Tissue pH is maintained by the blood, which again does not reflect in urinary pH.

In claim 11 he refers again to “alkaliphile organs”. Again alkaliphiles ARE NOT glands, they are microbes.

Next Dr. Young refers to hyperproteinization leading to people looking like prunes as they age. More garbage!!! Wrinkles are the result of a lack of orthosilicic acid and/or ascorbic acid, which in turn leads to a loss of collagen and elastin in the skin. Orthosilicic acid loss occurs from a DECLINE in stomach acid since stomach acid aids in the conversion of silica in to the usable orthosilicic acid.

Apparently Dr. Young does not understand ORP either. Without going in to long explanation ORP is simply a sales tool often misrepresented to sell products. It DOES NOT measure all the antioxidants of the body.

In claim 12 Dr. Young talks about the acids being stored again, which is not true, the alkaline reserves being depleted that again is not true and again contradicts Dr. Young’s other claim of acids being excreted in to the urine at the same amount that is going in to the blood. Again, how can X amount of acid enter the blood and X amount be excreted in the urine if Y amount of acid from X is being stored in the tissues?

Most of the claims up to number 18 are just regurgitated proven wrong already claims.

I find it interesting in claim 18 though that Dr. Young mentions pH regulation by respiration and by the kidneys. If he is aware of these pH regulators then he should also be aware of the fact that this goes against his claim about HCl entering the blood leading to acidosis. Even if it were true that the acid could enter the blood the body responds to even the slightest shift in pH by adjusting respiration to either increase or decrease the pH of the blood. Since there are no reserves involved there are no reserves to be depleted as he claims. Same for kidney function, which is the second primary means of pH regulation.

Claim 20 does not make any sense either. Sodium bicarbonate IS NOT reabsorbed. It is neutralized by acid. The blood maintains bicarbonate levels, not sodium bicarbonate in the blood. Note that he even points this out in claim 21 where it states “CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 = HCO3 + H+”. Where is the sodium (Na)? It’s not there because he is talking about the blood bicarbonate, not sodium bicarbonate that he is incorrectly claiming is absorbed back in to the bloodstream.

In claim 22 Dr. Young claims ammonia is trapped and concentrated in the kidney. Again, the kidney DOES NOT store things, especially highly alkaline and highly toxic ammonia that would kill the tissues if it built up like Dr. Young is claiming.

In claim 23 Dr. Young claims and 90% of the carbon dioxide is used by the body to “reabsorb alkaline minerals and make sodium bicarbonate for buffering gastrointestinal and metabolic acids.” What is needed to absorb these alkaline minerals? STOMACH ACID!!!!! So once again Dr. Young is contradicting himself.

In claim 24 Dr, Young states: “Of all the ways the body can buffer metabolic and dietary acids, the excretion of protein (the eating of meat and cheese) generated acid residues is the only process that does not add sodium bicarbonate back into blood circulation. “.

First of all as pointed out sodium bicarbonate is neutralized by the acids, not reabsorbed in to the bloodstream. Blood bicarbonate (note not sodium bicarbonate) is formed in the blood from carbonic acid.

Secondly, what else is needed for sodium bicarbonate production? Sodium chloride salt, which is abundant in meats and dairy. So again his claims are contradictory.

At least in claim 25 Dr. Young gets something right when he states “Human Body is an acid producing organism by function”. The body is composed of acids, runs on acids, requires acids to maintain circulation and oxygen delivery, for maintaining health and tissues, for detoxification, etc.

What Dr. Young does not seem to understand is the fact that we cannot live or even exist without acids. Or the fact that ALL foods are metabolized in to acids, not just animal proteins.

-James Sloane

Curezone actually has two separate iodine support forums.  I don’t trust the information being given on either one of the forums.  The forum that most worries me though is the Iodine Supplementation Support Forum by VWT Team forum.

One of the issues I have with this forum is that I have read so many people complaining of iodine poisoning symptoms on this forum.  When people report their side effects though it is always the same false reply.  The people dealing with iodine poisoning are told that their symptoms are actually from a “bromine detox”.

Two of the main recommendations that the people suffering from iodine poisoning are given is to do a salt flush and then increase their iodine intake even more.  The salt flushes are claimed to flush the bromine out of their systems, but salt flushes push the excess iodine causing the poisoning out of their system.  The induced hyperthyroidism from the toxic levels of iodine is then suppressed by taking even larger doses of iodine, which force the thyroid to start shutting down thus getting rid of the iodine induced hyperthyroidism.

The VWT team is not worried about who their advice is going to injure, they just want people to consume more iodine so they can sell those people more iodine.  It’s actually quite a scam.  Get people to take toxic levels of iodine, get them to flush out the excess iodine with a salt flush and finally get them to buy and take even more iodine from them to suppress the thyroid the iodine induced hyperactivity in.

Anyone questioning the safety of the recommendations are banned from the forum as I was and this poster:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1588144#i

I was eventually banned completely from Curezone after putting up several posts proving the dangers of taking too much iodine.  I found out later that Trapper, the “T” in VWT was one of the originals on Curezone and is an advertiser on Curezone.  And since the Curezone Webmaster cares as little about safety as the VWT team and is also money oriented I clearly had to go since I was questioning safety of Curezone protocols.

One of the common symptoms that are reported is acne, which again is incorrectly blamed on a bromine detox.  It was known long before bromine became somewhat common in food that iodine could cause acne.  This article from 1912 demonstrates this fact.

http://journals.lww.com/amjmedsci/Citation/1913/04000/Generalized_Iodine_Acne_and_Macular_Exanthem.67.aspx

 

More currently, these articles again show a link between iodine and acne:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051207181144.htm

http://ezinearticles.com/?Does-Food-Aggravate-Acne?-Part-1—The-Controversy&id=348151

http://www.zerozits.com/Articles/guesswho.htm

http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=527138

 

Even naturopathic doctors  admit that iodine can cause acne:

http://tahomaclinicblog.com/iodide/

“SSKI or iodine can very occasionally cause acne, which also goes away once the source of iodine is discontinued.”

 

When I posted the Science News article discussing the connection I had several iodine supporters start claiming that I was against iodine supplementation.  Despite explaining to them multiple times that I use and recommend herbs with iodine and that the problem only occurs in some sensitive individuals the iodine forum supporters kept up with the same bogus claims.

I have never been against iodine, I am against the recommending of toxic doses of iodine.  As I told the iodine forum supporters too much water or oxygen can kill a person.  This does not mean people should not drink water or stop breathing.

It has been shown that both bromine and iodine can cause acne for the same reasons, irritation and inflammation off the follicles, there are differences.  Bromine induced acne results in  deeper infections and abscesses.  In addition, bromine acne takes much longer to clear up than iodine induced acne.  Bromine induced acne takes around 3 weeks to clear up as where iodine induced acne clears up in a short time.

Despite the acne breakouts from the excess iodine people are reporting not fitting the description of bromine induced acne the iodine forum supporters keep holding to their bogus claim.

More evidence that their claim is bogus can be seen by the simple fact that the breakouts only occur when iodine is ingested.  How is this proof?  Simple.   People are not being exposed to anywhere near as much bromine as the iodine forum supporters are trying to lead people in to believing.  This is why bromism (bromine poisoning) is considered extremely rare.  And in those very rare cases they have been linked almost exclusively to the use of bromine pharmaceutical drugs, which are not widely used.  Since bromine has a very short half-life in the body it just does not get built up in the body again except in extremely rare cases.  In addition, bromine is readily displaced by chlorine and especially fluoride.  The average person is exposed to tremendously larger amounts of chlorine and fluoride than bromine.  Simply taking a bath or shower leads to the absorption of a large amount of chlorine.  Swimming in a pool can do the same thing.  Eating most processed foods or drinks exposes us to large amounts of fluoride as fluoridated water is used to produce the products.  Drinking tap water or brushing the teeth or using fluoridated mouthwash can further expose people to more fluoride.  Green tea has been especially popular over the last few years due to its purported health properties.  Green tea, oolong and black teas are extremely high in natural fluoride, yet there is no epidemic of acne outbreaks among tea drinkers.  With all these more reactive halogens constantly displacing the already short half-life bromine in the body how does it build up in the body as the iodine forum supporters claim?   So far, they have yet to explain this magical phenomenon that they tout.

Also of interest is that when people complain of iodine poisoning symptoms the iodine forum supporters keep telling people to do a salt flush to flush out the bromine that they claim is built up in the tissues.  The salt actually flushes out the excess iodine helping to reduce the symptoms of iodine poisoning.   The important point here though is that the salt (sodium chloride) is half chlorine, which displaces the iodine, especially if not iodized itself.  The salt can also displace bromine out of the body as well if present.  This brings us to the question though of considering how much salt people consume on a daily basis from processed foods, salting their foods, salts naturally occurring in meats,  beer, etc. how can bromine that we are hardly exposed to build up even with all the salt people consume?  Add to this all the other sources of halogens we are exposed to that displace bromine on a daily basis and it is pretty clear that the “bromine detox” claims are simply a myth.

Yet, there is still even more evidence the “bromine detox” claims are a myth.

For example, why don’t people break out all over from soaking in brominated hot tubs?

So far the iodine forum supporters have never been able to answer my questions or counter any of my points with evidence.  Only personal attacks, which proves to me that they cannot support their claims.

If the do try then they don’t even read their own evidence.  For example, in one post an iodine forum supporter posted this study as evidence:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9140329

As we read the study we find out that the study is based on ONE case. Yet the people arguing with me try to make it sound like we have a widespread epidemic of bromine poisoning because they found one study about one person developing bromism. Or they read the claim from the first person who made this claim and ran with it without ever checking their facts. In fact the first line of the abstract states “Bromism is an UNUSUAL occurrence”.

Then there is this statement from the same review:

“Bromism, the chronic intoxication with bromide is rare and has been almost forgotten.”

So where are all the cases of bromism?  The iodine forum supporters are making it sound like bromine is in everything so most people will have excess bromine in their system.  If this were the case though then the MAJORITY of the population would have serious acne lesions.  In reality though this is obviously is not the case.  Even when I used to drink sodas like Mountain Dew and ate tons of bread I never got acne.  I never suffered brain damage either or any of the other side effects they claim can occur.  Different people can react differently to bromine, but I find it interesting that as common as they claim bromine exposure is that we do not see more symptoms actually associated with bromism.  Are the majority of people immune to the supposed side effects of bromine, soy and the many other substances that the “sky is falling” proponents are running around warning us about?  Or is it simply more hype than fact?  If it were fact I would also expect there to be a lot of research backing up these claims.  Yet the research is seriously lacking.

Additionally, look at the reactivity of different halogens:

http://www.docbrown.info/page03/The_Halogens.htm

The reactivity of halogens goes from fluorine to chlorine to bromine and finally iodine with fluorine being the most reactive and iodine the least reactive.

The more reactive halogens will displace the less reactive halogens, not the other way around.  So how can the iodine being pushing the bromine out of the body to cause acne when the bromine is a more reactive than the iodine.  If anything the bromine would be pushing the iodine out through the skin once again causing iodine induced acne.

So the iodine forum supporters keep claiming that all the more reactive fluorine and chlorine we are exposed to on a daily basis are not displacing the bromine, but taking less reactive iodine is somehow, suddenly pushing the bromine out of the body.

As we can see the reality of the situation is that the iodine, not bromine, is responsible for these common acne breakouts when taking excess iodine.

Acids erroneously get a bad rap from sites trying to promote the alkalize for health myth. Acids are actually essential not only to our survival, but also our existence.  These essential acids include hydrochloric acid, pyruvic acid, acetic acid, carbonic acid, hyaluronic acid, glucuronic acid, malic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, uric acid, fatty acids, amino acids, ascorbic acid, pantothenic acid, folic acid, etc.

Acids generated by the body for health include:

  • Stomach acid for the digestion of proteins and to kill ingested pathogens.
  • Lactic, acetic and other flora generated fatty are needed for proper mineral absorption.
  • The same acids listed above also kill off pathogens.
  • Hyaluronic acid helps to prevent the spread of pathogens, cancer cells and venoms.
  • Hyaluronic acid also holds our cellular matrix together.
  • Flora generated fatty acids keep Candida growth under control and to keep Candida from morphing in to its pathogenic fungal form.
  • Glucuronic acid aids in detoxification of the body.
  • As building blocks for all cells, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies, etc.
  • Amino acids are needed the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which fuels the cells and helps them to function properly.
  • Carbonic acid regulates blood pressure, is also required for the production of stomach acid and coverts highly toxic ammonia in to the antioxidant uric acid.
  • Citric acid is produced by bone cells to maintain healthy bones through bone remodeling.
  • Citric, malic and pyruvic acids are required form the formation of adenosine triphosphate that fuels our cells and helps them to function properly.

These are just some of the acids generated by the body to benefit the body.

The body also relies on external source of acids for health.  For example, one of the most common antioxidants in plants is the polyphenol tannic acid. Chaparral contains nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), the strongest natural antioxidant known.  Not only does NDGA work in both the lipid and water portions of cells unlike most antioxidants, NDGA has also been found to significantly inhibit cancer cells.  Chlorogenic acid and betulinic acid are powerful anti-viral and anti-cancer compounds.  Usinic acid is a strong antiseptic found in usnea lichen and kombucha tea. Benzoic acid is another strong antiseptic found in various plants. Amino acids not synthesized by the body must be obtained from external sources.  Same with fatty acids that serve various functions from killing pathogens to building cell membranes. Various vitamins required by the body such as vitamin C and B5 are acids. Orthosilicic acid derived from external sources and created with the help of stomach acid forms various tissues in the body.  These include bone, cartilage, skin, tendons, ligaments, teeth, etc.  Salicylic acid is a common anti-inflammatory found in a number of plants.

Ironically, the alkalize or die supporters are big fans of diets high in fruits and vegetables for health.  And what are some of the acids found in fruits and vegetables?  Oxalic acid, malic acid, citric acid, chlorogenic acid, succinic acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid, oxalacetic acid, tartaric acid, quinic acid, benzoic acid, acetic acid, allantoic acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid…………

Speaking of diet, the alkaline supporters rely heavily on what they refer to as alkalizing foods.  Various lists of acid forming and alkaline forming foods can be found on the Internet, but they rarely match up.  Not surprising since there is not any solid science behind the claims.

For instance, one website shows various soy products as being highly alkaline, while another site claims soy is an acid forming food.  These same sites also disagree on white kidney beans with one site claiming they are acidic and the other alkaline.  Several sites I found claim avocado is alkaline and one claims it is acidic.  Looking at other sites I found one that claims honey is highly acidic and another site claiming honey is alkaline.  One site claims all forms of rice are acidic and another site claiming japonica and wild rice are alkaline. Blueberries are considered acidic on some sites and alkaline on other sites.  Depending on the site cow’s milk is considered alkaline, neutral or acidic regardless if raw or pasteurized. There are plenty more contradictions between the various sites.

I see a lot of the confusion being that there is no basis for the claims of acid or alkaline forming.  Sugar is considered acid forming even though the fruits and vegetables considered either acid or alkaline all contain the same sugars.  And fructose found in so many fruits that are considered alkaline is processed the same way as the fructose found in “junk foods” they consider acidic. Foods high in acids, such as lemon and kale are considered alkaline, while other acid sources such as pomegranates and cranberries are considered acidic.

There just does not seem to be any rational for the foods are either acidic or alkaline claims.  Foods high in protein you would think are acidic due to the breakdown of proteins results in highly alkaline ammonia first, which then forms uric acid.  Yet, spirulina which is nearly 4 times higher in protein than beef, which should be considered acidic is actually considered alkaline. Could it be based on fiber content?  Can’t be.  Jerusalem artichoke is considered acidic and sweet potatoes are considered alkaline despite both being high in fiber.  Could it be the starch content?  Again, not the case.  Yams, which are considered alkaline are nearly twice as high in starch than lentils that are considered acidic.  Maybe it is the simple sugar content.  Yet grapes, which are loaded with sugar are considered alkaline while Brussel sprouts, which are lower in sugar are considered acidic.  Maybe it is the mineral content.  Since there are so many different minerals I will just focus on the three that would be considered the primary alkaline minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium.  Blackberries, which are considered acidic are significantly higher in all three minerals than cantaloupe that is considered alkaline.

Milk regardless if raw or pasteurized still contains the same amount of protein, sugar and minerals.  Yet some people claim that raw milk is alkaline while pasteurized milk is acidic as where other people claim all forms of cow’s milk are either acidic, neutral or alkaline.

Beef is considered acidic even though it is high in “alkaline minerals” such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

I have also seen lists claims that vinegar or kombucha tea are alkaline, even though there have been reports of people developing acidosis after consuming too much of these acid sources.

Lemon juice though, which also contains sugar and various acids is actually considered alkaline.  The actual pH of lemon juice is actually acidic, but as with every food and drink we ingest it stimulates an alkaline effect in the body.  How can this be?  Simple.  When we ingest foods or drinks the stomach acidity has to drop in pH to a certain level of acidity before the stomach can empty in to the intestines.  Therefore, it does not really matter what proteins, minerals, sugars, etc. that are in the food or drink.  They all leave the stomach at the same acidic pH range.

The stomach contents dumped in the intestines, known as chyme, is always acidic.  The intestines cannot handle this kind of acidity though.  Therefore, as soon as the chyme enters the first part of the intestine it is met with alkalizing sodium bicarbonate released by the pancreas.  Interestingly, the alkaline sodium bicarbonate is formed from sodium chloride salt that the alkaline supporters consider acidic.

From there the byproducts of the food can be dealt with in different ways.  Sugars for example are considered acid forming. So what is the acid byproduct of sugar metabolism?  Carbon dioxide. Is carbonic acid acidifying or alkalizing though?  Actually both.

Carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid.  Carbonic acid serves several beneficial functions for the body such as regulating blood pressure.

If a person hyperventilates this will cause the person’s blood to become excessively alkaline.  As a result the blood vessels constrict pushing blood away from the brain causing the person to pass out.  When the person passes out they fall down, which helps in part to restore blood flow to the brain.  Respiration also slows down or temporarily stops in part to increase carbonic acid levels back to normal.  This allows the blood vessels to relax restoring blood flow to the brain.

Another function of carbon dioxide is the formation of sodium bicarbonate.  The sodium is provided by sodium salt we ingest.  This sodium bicarbonate functions to neutralize the acidity of chyme as it leaves the stomach to protect the intestines from the acidity.

As proteins are broken down the amino acids that make them up are released.  Amino acids are based with ammonia, which is not only highly alkaline, but also highly poisonous to the body.  Carbonic acid helps convert the highly toxic ammonia in to uric acid.  Uric acid is one of the body’s primary antioxidants.  Because an acid is being used to covert the toxic ammonia in to another acid there is no real gain in acidity.

Carbonic acid is also required for the formation of stomach acid, which among other functions helps with the absorption of minerals needed to build bone.

Excess carbon dioxide is eliminated so that the proper pH of the blood is maintained.

As we can see it does not matter what the food is the results are all the same.  Food is first brought to an acidic pH then the acidity is neutralized as it leaves the stomach.  The only way a food can alter the body’s pH to make it either acidic or alkaline is for that food to overwhelm the body’s natural pH buffers.  This is extremely difficult to do unless consuming extremely large amounts of acid sources like vinegar or alkaline substances like calcium carbonate.

The only foods that do not have their pH altered by the stomach acid or the bicarbonate released on the chyme are fibers.  Fibers are not really food for the body though, but rather the flora.  The beneficial acid producing flora that inhabit various parts of our body enzymatically break down fibers, which are long chain sugar molecules, in to simple sugars to feed on.  The bacterial fermentation of these sugars allow the bacteria to produce acids that control pathogen overgrowth and aid in mineral absorption.

Now we can see why the acid food and alkaline food claims contradict each other.  They are not based on any real facts, but rather opinions.

Even if the blood starts to become acidic the primary means of pH for the body is respiration.  Therefore, as blood acidity increases so does the respiratory rate to increase alkalinity by decreasing carbonic acid and hydrogen ions.  On the other hand if someone goes in to alkalosis their respiratory rate will decrease or temporarily stop to allow the buildup of carbonic acid and hydrogen ions to restore the pH.

If the pH goes beyond the range that respiration alone can handle then the body can use other means to maintain it’s pH.  Kidneys are second in line for maintaining pH.  Kidneys do this primarily by retaining or excreting hydrogen ions and bicarbonate to raise or lower pH.

Respiration and kidney function account for virtually all the pH regulation in the body.  Since neither contain “alkaline reserves” there is no depletion of “alkaline reserves” as is often claimed by the alkaline diet myth supporters.

Of course primary pH regulation is more involved, but I am trying to give a very basic expiation for people.  If you want a more detailed explanation of respiratory pH regulation here is some suggested reading with a more involved but still simple to follow explanation:

http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/medph/02t.html

Some people claim that acid foods deplete the bones of minerals because the bone minerals are used to buffer the acids.  This is even more rare than acidosis itself since buffering of blood acids with bone minerals is the last resort used by the body to maintain pH.  Again respiration is the body’s main means of pH regulation followed by hydrogen ion retention or elimination by the kidneys.  These account for virtually all the pH regulation of blood.  The body also uses protein buffers, such as albumin, and phosphate buffers to regulate blood pH long before using bone minerals.  Therefore, acidosis would have to be extreme and long term before the acidosis would have any effect on the bones.  In acidosis this extreme the worry would not be bone loss, but simply survival since severe acidosis can be deadly.  Luckily acidosis this extreme is so rare that a person would likely have a better chance of being struck by lightening multiple times than to develop acidosis this severe.

There are some foods that are considered acidic such as beef, dairy and colas that can induce bone loss.  This process though has NOTHING to do with acidity.  These are all high phosphorus sources, which is what leads to the bone loss.  Phosphorus is essential to an extent to maintain healthy bones, but in excess it leads to bone loss by triggering a process known as pseudohyperparathyroidism (PHPT).  This is similar to another condition known as hyperparathyroidism (HPT).  In both cases the parathyroid glands release a hormone known as parathyroid hormone (PTH), which breaks bone tissue down raising serum calcium levels.  There are several causes of this.  Parathyroid nodules, which are believed to be triggered by a lack of vitamin D can increase PTH output.  PTH is also released in response to either actual serum calcium deficiencies, such as from insufficient vitamin D levels, or perceived low serum calcium levels.  The release of PTH due to perceived low serum calcium is known as PHPT.  When people consume foods high in phosphorus an imbalance can occur between calcium and phosphorus levels with a major increase in the phosphorus ratio.  The parathyroid glands respond to this perceived drop in calcium by releasing PTH, which raises calcium levels to restore balance of the calcium-phosphorus ratio.  Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with these foods being acidic.

Milk does contain a large amount of calcium, but it still induces PHPT for a simple reason.  Protein in milk blocks calcium absorption, but not phosphorus absorption.  Protein’s blocking action on calcium absorption is also evidenced by the myth that milk creates mucus, which I addressed in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUCgEL7JaOI

It is also evidenced by the fact that the two nations with the highest consumption of dairy in the world, the United States and Finland also have the highest rates of bone mineralization diseases in the world.

Another common misconception promoted heavily on alkaline promoting sites is that pH strips can be used to monitor blood pH by testing the pH of either the urine or the saliva. Salivary and urinary pH though do not reflect the actual pH.  The pH of both can change for a number of reasons without changes in the blood pH.

Urinary pH for example can change depending on the amount of urine hydration there is or the amount of minerals being excreted through the urine.  Some medications can also alter urinary pH.  Bacterial infections can split urea to produce highly alkaline ammonia to protect themselves from acidity.  In this process urinary pH rises (becomes alkaline) from the infection despite no changes to the blood pH.

Salivary pH increases as we sleep since saliva production shuts down.  Saliva helps to alkalize the mouth and wash away acid forming bacteria in the mouth.  Therefore,  when we sleep the bacteria levels go up, also resulting in “morning breath”, causing a lower (acidic) pH in the mouth.  As we wake up and become more active saliva helps to wash away some of the bacteria and brings the pH of the mouth back up.  Dry mouth from methamphetamine use, certain medications like antihistamines or certain diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome can also lower the salivary pH.  Other factors that can affect salivary pH include whether or not you just brushed your teeth or what you recently ate or drank.  It has also been known for decades that something as simple as thinking about a certain food can alter salivary pH as the pH of the saliva adjusts in anticipation of the food.

This is why the only way you will know what your blood pH is would be through a blood test.  And even that can change in an instant.  For example, as I have pointed out a number of times respiration is the body’s primary method of pH control.  Hyperventilating will alkalize the body quickly, but you will also pass out due to the induced alkalosis.

This is an example of why I encourage people to learn how the body really works instead of accepting all the hype out there on the internet or in books, magazines, etc.  I recall when the book Alkalize or Die book came out.  And of course many people simply accepted the claims as fact without bothering to check other sources to see if this author’s opinion were fact.

I know scare tactics help to sell books, but still we are talking about people’s health and people are profiting off this nonsense they promote while putting people’s health at risk.  Just because something is in print this does not make it automatically true.

The whole concept of acid-alkaline balance is another highly misunderstood are of health.  Unfortunately, sales sites in particular have presented so much information to promote their products that the real truth has become so muddy.  For example, the multilevel marketing company Kangen International and sellers of their products have posted various videos and articles full of false and misleading information.  I have addressed their claims various times in the past including this review of some Kangen water promotional videos:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2762&pid=3782#pid3782

I have also covered other Kangen myths and posted other links with evidence in this post:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1661838#i

And have additional information in this post:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1531679

I addressed the myths on another site trying to claim acids were the cause of so many diseases here:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2761&pid=3781#pid3781

The principle of Kangen alkaline water is that the mineral hydroxides formed will alkalize the body preventing disease.   Hydroxides though are not only dangerous directly, but can also lead to secondary health issues.

Hydroxides cause tissue damage directly because they are some of the strongest free radicals known and are caustic, chemically burning the tissues.  For example, Milk of Magnesia is used as a laxative because it is it consists of magnesium hydroxide.  Magnesium hydroxide neutralizes the stomach acid leading to a separate set of health problems.  What does not get neutralized itself by reaction with stomach acid reaches the intestines where it chemically burns the intestinal wall.  This leads to an influx of water in to the intestines and increased peristalsis.  The burning of the intestinal wall leads to an increased risk of problems such as leaky gut and cancer and diarrhea can lead to electrolyte imbalances if used too frequently.

Kangen International has provided a great example of how easy it is to mislead people.  Kangen claims they received approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health (JMH) to use these machines and claims that they are in nearly every home in Japan.

The fact though is that the JMH has NEVER issued approval to any alkaline water devices.  Yet, Kangen posted a tiny picture of what they claimed was the approval certificate on their site.  If it was not a certificate of approval from the JMH then what was it.  They made sure the picture of the document was too small to read so I copied the picture in to a Word document then enlarged the photo.  The document was merely a business license to make the machines, nothing doing with approval from the JMH as claimed.

I have a friend that comes to visit from Tokyo several times a year so I asked about these machines.  My friend had no idea what I was talking about and said most people simply drink tap water there.  Therefore, I did some more research and found that only around 10% of the homes in Japan have alkaline water machines.  That is a big difference from the Kangen claims of being in nearly every household in Japan.

Those are just a few of the many lies Kangen has been found to have made regarding their machines as well as pH and health.

In reality the body RARELY ever goes acidic, or too alkaline for that matter.  This is because either excess acidity, below 6.8, or excess alkalinity, above 7.8 will kill a person.  Therefore, the body has numerous redundant systems to maintain its narrow pH range.  Although, excess alkalinity is considered more dangerous than excess acidity since the body has various means to reduce acidity, but virtually nothing to combat excess alkalinity.

Respiration is the body’s primary means of pH regulation.  If the blood starts to get acidic our respiration increases to blow off carbon dioxide(CO2), which reduces carbonic acid and acidic hydrogen ions.  If the body starts to become too alkaline the respiration slows down to retain CO2, increasing carbonic acid, and decreasing hydrogen ion removal.  Other means the body can use to maintain pH include:

  • Buffering acids with bicarbonate.
  •  Excreting hydrogen ions, carbonic acid or bicarbonate out through the urine or retain them to adjust pH.
  • The pH is also regulated by proteins that either bond or release hydrogen ions in response to pH imbalances.
  • Using phosphates and hemoglobin as buffers
  •  As a last resort excess acidity can be buffered by the minerals present in bone.

References:

http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869R/CHEM869RLinks/www.usyd.edu.au/su/anaes/lectures/acidbase_mjb/control.html
http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Buffer/Buffer.html

This is why we rarely see acidosis (overly acidic blood) or alkalosis (overly alkaline blood).

Acute acidosis can occur with severe vomiting and diarrhea, ketoacidosis, inadequate oxygen intake or utilization (respiratory acidosis), rhabdomyolosis, kidney failure and by poisoning with certain chemicals.

Acute alkalosis can occur with over consumption of hydroxides including alkaline waters, consumption of milk with hydroxides, overuse of carbonates such as antacids or baking soda, prolonged vomiting, excessive aldosterone secretion, diuretic use and hyperventilation.

One Curezone poster claimed that all disease was the result of the lymphatic system becoming too acidic.  The pH of the lymphatic system though is kept slightly more alkaline than the blood.   Therefore, lymphatic acidosis does not occur.

Interestingly, this same poster claims that “nitrate toxicity” poisons people by the formation of methemoglobin that locks up oxygen leading to death by oxygen insufficiency.  Actually, it is nitrite that does this, not nitrate.  And what promotes nitrite formation?  A high (alkaline) pH in the stomach.  Yet this poster was pushing an alkalizing drink made with caustic calcium hydroxide.  Even though his recipe also included lemon juice to buffer some of the hydroxide, without a pH meter it would be impossible to tell if the solution was alkaline, neutral or acidic.  If maintained as an alkaline drink as intended the calcium hydroxide would not only chemically burn the tissues, but it would also neutralize the stomach acid leading to increased nitrite and thus methemoglobin formation.  Therefore, the drink he was advocating promoted the formation of the nitrites he was claiming was poisoning and killing people.  I addressed his claims here:

http://curezone.org/forums/fm.asp?i=1486784#i

And his other claims here:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/top-5-worst-internet-health-information-sites-curezone-org-part-2-ask-moreless/

To make matters worse, neutralizing stomach acid interferes with the absorption of certain nutrients needed to produce more stomach acid.   This leads to a more chronic decline of stomach acid further promoting nitrite and methemoglobin production.  These same acid dependent nutrients are also required for over 4,000 other reactions in the body that include immunity, energy formation, controlling water balance, prevention of heart disease, etc.  This is why I would never recommend this protocol and don’t recommend things that neutralize the stomach acid including Kangen water, baking soda, magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate (oyster shell, coral, dolomite) supplements, antacids or acid blockers.

Because chronic acidosis is so rare and diseases are so prevalent, even common sense should tell us that acidosis is not a cause of most diseases.  Most often it is a byproduct of a disease, not a cause.

Still myths surrounding alkalinity being healthy abound.  For example, the persistent myth that cancer is caused from acidity and killed by alkalinity.  If this is the case though then why do cancer cells have a more alkaline internal pH than healthy cells?  Why aren’t people more prone to chronic acidosis such as those with COPD all dying of cancer?  Why do strict vegetarians and raw foodists who consume “highly alkaline diets” still getting cancer?  The answer is simple.  Our pH, which rarely goes acidic or alkaline has nothing to do with cancer formation or treatment.

In fact, the ulcer and cancer causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) protects itself from stomach acid by secreting highly alkaline ammonia to neutralize the stomach acid.  As pointed out previously H. pylori is known for causing cancer.  Therefore,  we have an example of cancer forming in an alkaline environment.  On the other hand stomach cancer is very rare in younger people who have higher stomach acid levels.  This is the result of most pathogens, including cancer causing pathogens being destroyed by sufficient stomach acid.  Stomach acid levels decline with age and this process is accelerated by the use of acid neutralizing substances such as ionized alkaline water and antacids as well as acid blockers (proton pump inhibitors more apt to be taken by older people.

This is also evidenced by the fact that wild dogs in particular can eat bacteria ridden meats that they may be scavenging long after the death of the animal or that they stored for later eating.  The reason these dogs can consume these meats full of bacteria that would poison a human is because dogs produce significantly higher levels of stomach acid than humans.  These higher levels of acid effectively kill the bacteria they are ingesting preventing them from becoming sick from food poisoning.

Another common myth heavily promoted on alkaline sales sites is that most pathogens are killed by acids and thrive in an alkaline environment.  The reality though is that the opposite is true.  This is why the parts of the body that help protect us from pathogens are normally acidic.  These include the female organs, skin, stomach, parts of the intestines, and sinuses.  Urine is normally acidic to control pathogens and to prevent kidney stones.  One of the symptoms of bacterial urinary tract infections is an alkaline urinary pH since the bacteria split urea in to highly alkaline ammonia and other alkaline substances to protect themselves from acidity.

Skin infections can occur when the skin loses it natural pH mantle that keeps it healthy and controls pathogens.  Soap for example removes the acid mantle.  People who repeatedly wash their hands with soap or have their hands in water a lot can develop skin infections as the removal of the acid mantle leads to cracks in the skin and increased pathogen growth.

Other means by which alkalinity can promote disease include:

When people have their gallbladders removed they become at a much higher risk of intestinal cancers.  Why?  Because caustic, alkaline bile gets dumped in to the intestines instead of being squirted in as needed.  This dumping of the alkaline bile burns the intestinal wall repeatedly leading to the increased risk of cancer.

Despite being alkaline, high serum calcium can lead to various health issues.  These include high blood pressure, mental fogginess, constipation, etc.

Excessive alkalinity in the blood or urine can also allow minerals to precipitate out where they do not belong leading to various health problems.

Alkalizing methods, such as carbonates and hydroxides including those from alkaline waters, neutralize the stomach acid.   Ironically,  sufficient stomach acid is needed to absorb many of the same minerals the alkalosis advocates claim people need to be healthy.  Furthermore, a lack of stomach acid inhibits the absorption of the B vitamins B6, B12 and folate.   Not only does this lead to nervous system disorders, but also other problems including cervical dysplasia in women, heart disease from elevated homocysteine, neurological disorders,  cancer and immune suppression from decreased methylation………

Lack of stomach acid also blocks the proper breakdown of proteins since the protein digestive enzyme pepsin cannot work without sufficient stomach acid.   This can lead not only to protein deficiencies, but also partially digested proteins entering in to the blood stream triggering allergic reactions.   These allergic reactions further stress the adrenals leading to immune suppression, increased inflammation, chronically low blood pressure or orthostatic hypotension, thyroid issues, blood sugar problems, water retention and other health problems.

I have seen some people claim that neutralizing the stomach acid with things such as alkaline waters will simply cause the body to generate more stomach acid.   This is not completely true.   Keep in mind that B6, B12 and folate require sufficient stomach acid in order to absorb.   These B vitamins though are also required to produce stomach acid.   When people wipe out their stomach acid they interfere with the absorption of these B vitamins, which in turn interferes with stomach acid formation.   This in turn interferes with the absorption of these B vitamins………….   It is vicious downward spiral.   The elderly are the most at risk since stomach acid levels gradually decline with age.   People on acid blockers and antacids or that are neutralizing their stomach acid through other means are also at higher risk for the same reason.

If the alkaline supporters think about it why did people start pickling foods?  It was not for flavor.  Foods were pickled because the acids produced by the fermentation killed any pathogens or microbes that would spoil the food.

Boric acid has been used to treat infections by Candida species:

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/2/312.long

Acids have also been shown to control Aspergillus fungi as well:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20943191

http://mic.sgmjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/155/9/3100

“Utilizing various free sialic acids and other carbohydrates, sialic acid derivatives, sialoglycoconjugates, glycoproteins, -keto acid related compounds and amino acids we have found that the binding of A. fumigatusconidia to type IV collagen and fibrinogen was inhibited by (i) glycoproteins (in a sialic acid-independent manner), and (ii) free sialic acids, glucuronic acid and -keto acid related compounds. However, inhibition by the latter was found to be the result of a shift in pH from neutral (pH 7.4) to acidic (less than pH 4.6) induced by the relatively high concentrations of free sialic acids, glucuronic acid and -keto acid related compounds used in the binding assays. This suggests that previous reports describing inhibition of A. fumigatus conidia binding by free sialic acid may actually be due to a pH shift similar to that shown here. ”

http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Doi=232521

Three different stages were found during growth of Aspergillus fumigatus as characterized by the changes in pH of the medium: (1) An acidic phase (phase I); (2) a second phase (phase II) during which the pH rises till values around pH = 8.5; (3) a third phase (phase III) during which the pH remains constant or drops slightly. During phase I a fast appearance of certain antigenic components was found that is ascribed to an active process of excretion. Additional antigenic components appeared in the culture medium after lysis of the microorganisms (phases II and III). Lysis of the microorganisms and appearance of antigenic components are dependent on the glucose concentration of the medium.

http://130.88.242.202/medicine/Aspergillus/articlesoverflow/20038606.pdf

Title: Aspergillus fumigatus survival in alkaline and extreme zinc-limiting environments relies on the induction of a zinc-homeostasis system encoded by the zrfC-aspf2 genes.

“Interestingly, this would explain the slightly reduced growth ability of the AF891 strain expressing aspf2 in acidic media (Fig. 9B).”

A great example exposing both the alkalinity prevents cancer and alkalinity kills pathogens myth is the cancer causing Helicobacter pylori bacteria.  Not only does this bacteria cause cancer, but it cannot survive in an acidic environment.  Therefore, once H. pylori screws in to the stomach wall the bacteria secretes highly alkaline ammonia to neutralize stomach acid to protect itself.  Despite the alkalinity created by the ammonia the bacteria can still cause cancer.

People also need to understand that when they try to force the pH in to an alkaline state they just put more stress on the body.   This is because the body now has to work harder to deal with the excess alkalinity since alkalosis is a dangerous condition.

To make things worse, most of the products out there designed to alkalize the body also neutralize beneficial acids such as stomach acid and the flora acids that control Candida.

Neutralizing the stomach acid leads to:

  • Nutritional deficiencies.  Primarily proteins, minerals and vitamins B6, B12 and folate that all require sufficient stomach acid for proper absorption.
  • increased pathogens entering through the digestive system
  • Improper protein digestion since the protein digestive enzyme pepsin cannot work without sufficient stomach acid.
  • Increased risk of allergies from incompletely digested proteins that can enter the bloodstream through the intestines and act as antigens to the immune system.
  • Acid reflux from longer digestion time and increased fermentation in the stomach.
  • Increased risk of cancer, heart disease and inflammation from decreased methylation, etc.
  • Suppressed immune function from decreased nutrition and methylation.
  • Further declines in the production of stomach acid due to decreased methylation required to form stomach acid.

In addition, over alkalizing the system can promote candidiasis.  There is a very persistent myth that Candida albicans cannot survive a high (alkaline) pH.  The fact is that C. albicans can survive very acid to extremely alkaline pH.  The primary difference is the form the Candida takes on dependent on the pH.  Candida is a dimorphic microbe meaning it can exist in two forms.  Candida can exist as either yeast or fungus depending on the pH of the terrain it is in.  At a low (acidic) pH C. albicans remains in a benign yeast form and its growth is inhibited as the Candida growth gene is turned off.  When C. albicans is exposed to a high (alkaline) pH the Candida gene is turned on and the Candida morphs in to its pathogenic fungal form.  In its fungal form the Candida develops finger-like projections known as hyphae that allow the Candida to dig in to and damage tissues.  C. albicans hyphal growth is inhibited at an acidic pH of 4 or below reducing tissue invasion and damage.  I have compiled some research from non-commercial sites to prove these facts.  The growth of C. albicans in an alkaline environment, as well as an acidic environment in a pH range of 2 to 10:

http://ec.asm.org/cgi/content/full/5/9/1550
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=232444

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15189995?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10629054?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

http://www.springerlink.com/content/06crgmq4x3nj2820/

“In vitro, C. albicans can thrive over a remarkably wide range of extracellular pH, at pH values of 2-10 (Odds 1988)”. They also point out that alkalinity promotes hyphal growth of C. albicans.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/j5v6h012235h3576/

“Upon response to environmental stimuli C. albicans can switch between yeast-like and filamentous, hyphal growth. This allows C. albicans to generate niche specific responses, form biofilms, adhere, and invade epithelial tissues. ”

It is this switch to the hyphal growth, from alkalinity, that allows C. albicans to become pathogenic by more readily invading tissues:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=97632
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(06)00252-1

Hyphal growth has been shown to be inhibited at the acidic pH of 4 in all strains of C. albicans showing that an acidic pH helps to prevent C. albicans from being pathogenic.  An alkaline pH on the other hand promotes pathogenesis of C. albicans as it promotes hyphal growth. The article from the following link points out what I have been trying to explain to people for decades.  Stomach acid helps to control pathogen growth, including Candida.  The same applies to the skin, which is normally slightly on the acidic side.  When the pH is raised to the alkaline side candidiasis of the skin is promoted.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1770313

“In tissue samples from mucosal surfaces with a non-acidic pH, such as the tongue, oesophagus, intestine, and most skin areas, filamentous forms of C albicans predominated, and most of them exhibited both 1H4 immunostaining and an invasive phenotype (fig 3A ). In internal organs having a non-acidic pH (liver, lung, heart, and thyroid) from patients with systemic candidiasis, variable numbers of yeast cells were found, together with hyphae or pseudohyphae in virtually all cases. In these tissues, both yeast and filamentous forms showed strong 1H4 immunoreactivity (fig 3B , C). In contrast, in those tissues with an acidic pH, such as the stomach and collecting ducts of the kidney, the predominant form of C albicans was the blastospore (yeast). Interestingly, in these locations yeast cells essentially showed no 1H4 immunoreactivity (fig 3D , E). However, when adjacent tissue invasion was present, hyphae or pseudohyphae were the predominant form.”

“The ability to undergo transition from the yeast to the hyphal form appears to be crucial in the pathogenesis of invasive candidiasis. 4– 6 Both yeast cells and hyphae are found in infected tissues and contribute to pathogenesis. Yeast cells are better suited for rapid haematogenous dissemination, but together with hyphal elements they are also capable of breaching epithelial and endothelial barriers to cause extensive organ damage. 4 During the infectious process, yeast cells and hyphae may encounter different microenvironments within the host. At acidic pH, C albicans grows mostly in the yeast form; at an alkaline pH, it grows primarily in the filamentous form. 2, 6, 7 Gastric acid provides an effective barrier to most microorganisms (normal gastric pH values are 1–3.5). In contrast, achlorhydria and the use of H2 antagonists, which raise gastric pH, have been found to be associated with a higher proportion of invasive gastric candidiasis. 17 Similarly, although the skin is relatively inhospitable to fungal growth, 18 the experimental increase of skin surface pH yields more pronounced cutaneous candidiasis in human volunteers. 19”

Another risk of fungal Candida overgrowth is the increased risk of leaky gut syndrome.  As the hyphae of fungal Candida dig in to the intestinal walls the damage leads to increased intestinal inflammation.  In turn the intestines become more permeable and allow antigenic protein solutes to absorb through the intestinal wall in to the bloodstream.  These antigenic proteins can then trigger off adverse immune reactions such as allergic responses.

There is no disease that scares the average person more than cancer.  Unfortunately there are a lot of con artists out there that are ready to take advantage of people’s fears about cancer in both the allopathic and the holistic fields to sell them on bogus therapies.

The danger is not just from bogus therapies being promoted but also from the misinformation that keeps getting repeated.  Large part of the problem is that someone reads or hears something about cancer on the Internet, from a book or from some other person that they never bother to research to confirm if the claims are true.  This leads to the same misinformation being repeated over and over.

Having been doing cancer research for 32 years I have looked in to numerous therapies and claims.  I am even working on a book currently as a review of holistic cancer therapies explaining the facts behind various cancer myths and explaining what works, what is questionable and what is outright quackery.  I decided to write the book after being banned from the Cancer Support forum on Curezone for posting evidence against some of the quackery and other misinformation.

A lot of the misinformation was being posted by Tony Isaacs, who has his own forum on Curezone, but moderates the Cancer Support forum.  As with so many of the moderators on Curezone, Isaacs has a tendency to suppress any evidence he disagrees with.  We ended up butting heads numerous times especially over his misrepresentations of “oleander soup” being effective against cancer including misinterpreting studies that showed oleander as being ineffective but presenting them as proof as effectiveness.  When I posted evidence to the contrary my posts were moved or deleted from the Cancer Support forum and Mr. Isaacs went on a personal campaign to attack me personally and even tried recruiting others to join in on the attacks despite the attacks being a violation of the Curezone Terms of Service (TOS).  Reporting the violations to the Webmaster got me nowhere since Isaacs pays for advertising on Curezone.  Therefore, the Webmaster once again is putting money before health and safety.  Interestingly, I had saved my messages to the Webmaster with all the evidence of Mr. Isaacs violations in my personal folder on Curezone.  After posting about the violations on my own forum on Curezone my personal messages with the evidence were suddenly deleted.  Luckily I learned a long time ago though to back up posts and messages of Curezone since they do have a tendency to be deleted or reworded to hide violations, especially by moderators and their associates.

Oleander is the most promoted treatment on the Curezone Cancer Support forum due to Isaac being the moderator.  Most promoted does not mean most effective though, or even effective at all.  Oleander has been shown to be effective against a few cancer cell lines in Petri dishes, but actual human studies have found oleander to be ineffective for cancer.  I addressed Mr. Isaac’s claims in my previous blog posts:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2012/11/

Another person that posts on the Curezone Cancer Support forum is Bret Peirce, who is the founder of American Cancer Advocates.  Mr. Peirce has made numerous claims about cancer that directly contradict what the studies in the various medical journals claim.  Although, Mr. Pierce has stated several times that he would post the evidence to his claims or send me the evidence neither has ever happened.  Even my repeated requests reminding Mr. Peirce about his statements that he was going to supply the research to back his claims have been ignored.  This leads to me to believe that the “evidence” Mr. Perice claims to have that is the basis for this recommendations does not exist in the first place.

Another problem I have with Mr. Peirce is that he loves to use a lot of scientific words that appears he does not understand.  There is nothing wrong with using scientific words provided they are used properly.  When someone tries to use scientific words though just to make themselves sound more intelligent then this presents a problem.  I am going to address some of his other posts in future blogs.  As an example though, I have addressed some of Mr. Peirce’s claims on ozone in this blog post:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2013/01/

When people post their health issues on places like Curezone they are putting their health, safety and trust in to the people who are responding to their posts.  When people make up claims as to the safety or effectiveness of therapies or pretend to know things they really know very little to nothing about then the persons health and trust is put at risk.  Would you ask your auto mechanic who knows nothing about cancer how to treat cancer?  Of course not.  If you are going to ask advice like this you expect the person you are asking to have a good knowledge of the subject.

Unfortunately, Curezone’s Cancer Support forum has a lot of people who simply post answers to promote their own agenda or information they simply read on a sale’s site somewhere.   They are not even taking the time to research what they read on these sales sites to see if the claims are true or not, so a lot of proven misinformation simply gets repeated over and over.  Some of the common misconceptions that keep getting repeated include:

  • Everyone has cancer cells.  If this were the case then none of us would be alive considering how well cancer cells can evade the immune system.  People claiming this either heard this myth somewhere and are repeating it or are mistaking excessive cellular growth with actual malignancies.
  • Cancer cannot survive in a high oxygen atmosphere.
  • Cancer cells thrive in the absence of oxygen.  In reality a lack of oxygen kills cancer cells, which stimulates the process of angiogenesis to increase oxygen levels to the tumor so it can survive.
  • Cancer cells are anaerobic.  Cancer cells have actually been found to be highly aerobic, but like healthy cells rely on both anaerobic glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation for survival and function.
  • Shark’s don’t get cancer.  This myth was heavily promoted by the books titled Shark’s Don’t Get Cancer and Shark’s Still Don’t Get Cancer.  The book was published to promote shark cartilage as an angiogenesis inhibitor to treat cancer.  The fact though is that sharks DO get cancer and the whole shark cartilage thing was heavily mispromoted.  I will go in to this more in detail in a later blog post.
  • Oxygen cannot enter cancer cells unless alkalized.
  • Cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment.  Actually the internal pH of cancer cells are more alkaline than healthy cells, which helps them to survive and thrive.
  • Cancer is a survival mechanism.
  • Cancer is a mold or fungus.
  • Cancer is caused by a parasite.  Even though there are some parasite associated cancers these types of cancer are EXTREMELY rare.
  • Cancer is a modern disease.  Fossil records show evidence of cancer even pre-dating modern humans.
  • Cancer cells are acidic because they produce lactic acid.  Actually , cancer cells produce non-acidic lactate.  They do not produce lactic acid as is commonly claimed.  The drop in extracellular pH (acidity) comes from the acidic protons generated by cancer cells that they export out of themselves since cancer cells cannot tolerate an internal acidic pH.
  • Phytoestrogens promote cancer.  Phytoestrogens, which are found in all plants have a long history of being used to treat cancer.  For example,  various studies have found soy phytoestrogens to be effective against estrogen promoted cancers.  Flax seed, which is nearly 4 times higher in phytoestrogens than raw soy has also been used therapeutically to treat cancer.  For example, these studies:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=4622

And a series of medical abstracts on the subject:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=541

One of the most persistent myths about cancer is that Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize for proving cancer was the result of a lack of oxygen.  Warburg actually won the Nobel Peace Prize for the discovery of an enzyme associated with cancer.  And Warburg never claimed cancer was the result of a lack of oxygen.  If people read his actual speech they will find that what Warburg actually claimed was that cancer cells would continue to ferment regardless of how much oxygen was present.  Despite what Warburg actually stated not even being close to the “cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen” the claim was repeated over and over primarily through sales sites.  Eventually Warburg’s statement eventually morphed in to the false notion that cancer was the result of a lack of oxygen.  Here are some of the examples of research readily available that prove cancer cells are reliant on oxygen:

https://www.medical-library.net/content/view/82/index.html

It is interesting to note that cancer cells use sixty percent anaerobic metabolism. Anaerobic conditions may be a significant risk factor for cancer. The fact is, in normal cells both types of metabolism are going on at all times, but the experience of vital, normal health requires that aerobic metabolism predominate. That is where TNAS comes in.”

http://www.tarosan.de/Coy_science_p53_mitochondrien.pdf

http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/66/2/632.full

“In contrast to tumor-associated fibroblasts, the newly formed endothelial cells expressed GLUT1 well above the levels exhibited by mature colon vessels, suggesting active uptake of glucose from the blood stream, ready to be used aerobically for energy production. The oxygen, diffused through the tumor-associated vasculature, seems to be necessary for the survival of intratumoral endothelium and stroma but is unlikely to have a major contribution to energy production for cancer cells, as it is indicated by the low PDH, high PDK1, high LDH5, and high GLUT1 cancer cell reactivity.”

“Thompson et al. showed in a recent study that activation of a single oncogene, Akt, is sufficient to stimulate aerobic glycolysis in tumors ( 5)”

http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/27/6_Part_1/1020.full.pdf

“The experimental procedure showed very clearly that the 3 tumors studied were able to remove oxygen from blood as well as or better than non-neoplastic tissues. This would not be expected to occur if any impairment of the ability to utilize oxygen did involve the neoplastic cells in vivo. A deficiency of oxygen produced by hypo-oxygenation was unable to induce an appreciable increase of blood flow through the tumor. From our data, one would expect that in vivo the tumors will compensate for a deficiency of oxygen by an increase of the oxygen removal ratio rather than by an increased blood flow.”

 

http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/64/11/3892.abstract

“Cancer cells frequently display high rates of aerobic glycolysis in comparison to their nontransformed counterparts”

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0360301686901525

“These data suggest that activation of the Akt oncogene is sufficient to stimulate the switch to aerobic glycolysis characteristic of cancer cells and that Akt activity renders cancer cells dependent on aerobic glycolysis for continued growth and survival.”

One of the most bizarre claims I have seen made about cancer is that cancer is a survival mechanism made by Andreas Moritz.  I addressed some of Moritz’s other wild claims on my previous blog post Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Curezone.org Part 3: Liver Flush Forum:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/top-5-worst-internet-health-information-sites-curezone-org-part-3-liver-flush-forum/

Moritz’s claims are not only bizarre but very dangerous.  By convincing people that cancer is a survival mechanism people may decide to not do anything about their cancer since they will see the cancer as a benefit and think the body will right itself in the long run.  Cancer is not a survival mechanism, it is not beneficial to the body and cancer does not keep the body alive.  Cancer is dangerous, damaging and deadly.  I addressed some of Moritz’s wild claims regarding his “cancer is a survival mechanism” myth here:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1567784#i

As mentioned previously too many of these claims being made are simply from someone reading bogus information on sales sites then repeating the claims without ever bothering to verify the claims.  I posted a great example of this back a while ago on the claims being made by Ty Bollinger:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1944145#i

Another example of questionable information was posted on my forum about Dr. Harvey Bilgelsen.  The link that was posted to his site is no longer functioning.  Bilgelsen also claims that Warburg found that if oxygen levels in a cell drop below 60% that the cell becomes cancerous.  Not only did Warburg never make that claim, but current research has disproven this claim anyway.

This is not the only error Bilgelsen makes though.  Bilgesen’s premise is that cancers are caused from the blood becoming too alkaline. Here is a quote from his site “When the body is stressed, the sympathetic nervous system takes over and the cells become more acid and they dump alkaline waste, which elevates the pH of the venous blood setting up the cancer terrain.” This is the exact opposite of the alkaline supporters who falsely claim that acidity causes cancer.  Neither alkalinity nor acidity are the cause of cancer.

I wonder what kind of doctor Bilgensen is supposed to be since his statements regarding physiology are contradictory.  For example, Bilgensen states that cancer develops when blood oxygenation is low and the pH of the blood is high.  The problem with this claim is that it is contradictory.  Blood pH is increased by oxygen, which reduces carbonic acid and acidic protons from the blood.  A lack of oxygen in the blood actually decreases the pH by increasing the level of carbonic acid and protons.

Later in his article he claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is effective for treating cancer.  I don’t know where he is getting his information, but HBOT has never been shown to cure cancer.  And again, this contradicts his earlier claim that alkalinity causes cancer since HBOT will raise the pH of the blood increasing its alkalinity.

Bilgensen continues by claiming “, if you ever get the pH of the blood below 7.35 or definitely 7.32, Cancer will die all over the body”.  At first glance the premise does seem plausible since cancer cells can be damaged or killed by acidity.  This is why cancer cells export acidic protons in to the extracellular matrix to protect themselves from the acidity.  This leaves the cancer cells more alkaline than the healthy surrounding cells.  This leaves the obvious question though of if the blood pH below 7.32 is sufficient to kill cancer cells then why doesn’t the acidity of the protons in the extracellular matrix kill the cancer cells?

Another misconception by Bilgensen is that cancer is a mold.  This is similar to the claims of Dr. Simoncini who claims cancer is a fungus.  Cancer cells are not even close to the same as mold or fungi cells.

Despite these contradictions, misrepresentations and outright false information it amazes me how many posters on Curezone not only fall for these kind of claims, but worse yet keep promoting it despite the solid evidence to the contrary.

As a final note I want people to remember that misinformation can be more dangerous than the cancer itself.

The name, “Liver Flush”, alone should be enough to raise red flags since this procedure does nothing to flush the liver.

The so-called “liver flushes” consist of ingesting olive oil, lemon juice and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), or variations of these ingredients.  The magnesium sulfate is to relax the bile ducts to allow the gallbladder to release gallstones easier.  I have seen different claims as to why the lemon juice is used from softening the stones to stimulating gallbladder contractions.  The oil is to contract the gallbladder to push the stones out of the gallbladder.

Ingestion of a large amount of oil will stimulate of gallbladder contractions.  The gallbladder though is not the liver.  Therefore, “liver flushing” is not only misleading, but also inaccurate.  The fact that the “liver flush” supporters do not know the difference between the liver and the gallbladder is very concerning by itself.  There are many more discrepancies though as well as dangers that the “liver flush” supporters have been making sure are not reported on Curezzone.

One of the largest supporters of “liver flushing” was Andreas Moritz.  One of his supporters told me that I should read his book because this has all the evidence proving “liver flushing” is for real.  Just because something is in print this does not mean something is true.  I addressed some of the claims in Moritz’s book here:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1568425#i

People doing these “flushes” pass soft, squishy, greenish blobs that they claim are gallstones being passed from the gallbladder and the liver.  Lab analysis of these so-called “stones” have proven that they are not real gallstones, but rather saponified oil.  Saponification, which is the process of forming soap compounds, is a normal occurrence within the body, and are also known as fecal soaps.  The reaction occurs between the ingredients of the “liver flush” and the bile released in to the intestine forming the blobs of saponified oil.

Some of the “liver flush” supporters have claimed that it takes hundreds of degrees for the process of saponification to occur and since the body never reaches that temperature that it would be impossible for soap stones to form in the intestines.  Apparently these individuals have never had hydroxides come in to contact with their skin.  I don’t recommend testing this due to the dangers, but I have had caustic hydroxides come in to contact with my skin when doing some experiments.  The hydroxides react with the oils of the skin immediately forming soaps that can be easily felt on the skin.  Hundreds of degrees not required as the “liver flush” supporters falsely claim and it does not take days or weeks also contrary to their claims.

Other compounds formed in the intestines that can also be mistaken for real gallstones include sterol-cholesterol complexes and calcium oxalate stones.

Sterols are common in plant materials we consume, including olive oil, and have a very high affinity for cholesterol.  Cholesterol from our diets and cholesterol in the bile released from the gallbladder bind strongly with the sterols forming an insoluble complex that is excreted in the feces.  This is the same reason sterol sources are used to lower cholesterol.  By binding dietary cholesterol it prevents the absorption of the cholesterol.  By binding bile cholesterol the sterols prevent the reabsorption of this cholesterol.

Calcium oxalate is formed from the reaction of calcium with oxalic acid from our diets or produced within the body from sources such as excess vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  It is commonly thought that most calcium oxalate is excreted in the urine, where it is responsible for the formation of some kidney stones.  In reality though, most calcium oxalate is formed in the intestines by dietary oxalates reacting with dietary calcium.  This forms the insoluble salt calcium oxalate, which cannot be absorbed.  Therefore, the calcium oxalate formed in the digestive system is excreted in the feces where it can be mistaken for calcified gallstones.

The “liver flush” supporters claim that if fecal soaps were for real that people would see the fecal soaps more often in their feces.  The problem with their claim is that saponified oils are very common in the feces, but very few people go picking through their feces to find it.

Also keep in mind that the amount of saponified oil is dependent on the amount of oil ingested.  Even though fecal soaps are formed all the time in the intestines, it is usually in small amounts.   Most people do not go around consuming a cup of oil on top of the oils and fats they already consumed in their diet.  Therefore, the amount of fecal soaps produced by the average diet is small.  Consuming the large amount of oil though as people do with these so-called “liver flushes” provides much larger amounts of saponifiable material leading to the large lumps of saponified oil being excreted in the feces.

Some people have claimed that what is being passed must be gallstones because they have passed these blobs without using oil and with repeated “flushes” they no longer pass these blobs.  What needs to be kept in mind is that our diets contain other sources of oils or fats that can be saponified.  The reason that they may not still pass these blobs after repeated “flushes” is that repeated, frequent flushes can deplete the level of cholesterol in the bile, which would otherwise become part of the saponified oil or sterol-cholesterol complexes that the “liver flush” supporters frequently mistake for real gallstones.

One of the regular posters on my old forum decided to find out if these “flushes” were for real or not.  She started by having an ultrasound performed, which confirmed she did not have any gallstones.  Then she tried the “liver flush” and passed the same green, squishy blobs despite not having any gallstones.

Some of the “liver flush” supporters have also posted their own evidence proving that these so-called “stones” were formed in the intestines, not the liver or gallbladder.  Various people have tested this by mixing red dye in the olive oil before ingesting it. When they collected the blobs from their feces and cut them open they found specs of the red dye in these blobs.  Since the dye never travels to the liver, nor the gallbladder the only possible way for the dye to have gotten in to these blobs was to have formed in the intestines where saponification is well known to take place.  Some of the supporters have claimed the dye got inside as what they refer to as “stones” passed in to the intestines since the stones are permeable to the dye.  Real gallstones though are hard and not permeable to dye.

Gallstones are soft when they first start out and they are super tiny and crumbly.  As they grow though real gallstones calcify making them hard and impermeable. As they grind against each other the gallstones form facets.  At no point are real gallstones soft, squishy, shapeless blobs like the soap stones passed during these so-called “liver flushes”.

There are various other facts that prove these blobs are not real gallstones:

  • Real gallstones do not melt.  Many of the websites promoting this quackery tell their readers to freeze the “stones” so they do not melt.  Again, large gallstones are calcified and do not melt.
  • People have claimed to have passed “stones” the size of quarters to the size of baseballs.  If these were real gallstones then this would have been impossible.  The maximum size the bile ducts can possibly expand, even with all the magnesium is only 8mm.  A real stone the size of a quarter would be around 25mm, which means that it could not possibly pass from the gallbladder in to the intestines
  • Real gallstones are dense and sink in water.  The squishy blobs that people are passing during these so-called “liver flushes” float due to their high fat content and lack of calcification since they are mostly saponified oil formed in the intestines.
  • The so-called “stones” people are passing during these “flushes” are bright green and translucent.  Real gallstones are not bright green and they are opaque due to their calcification.
  • People claim to only see these “stones” when they do these “flushes”.  If it were possible to pass real gallstones this large though by the ingestion of oil as they are claiming then simply eating high oil or fatty meals such as a hamburger would regularly flush the gallstones from the gallbladder.  Yet these people don’t find these large blobs in their feces unless they drink an excessive amount of oil during their “flushes” because they are formed from the “flush” ingredients.
  • People are claiming to pass amounts of “stones” that far exceed the amount of real gallstones the gallbladder can actually hold.  I read posts where people have claimed to pass cups full of “stones”, which far exceeds the size of the gallbladder.  Although the most ridiculous claim was from a man who gave the size and amounts of everything he passed in a week that he claimed were gallstones.  Calculating the total the volume of the so-called “stones” would have literally filled him up from his neck to his knees.  All these “liver flush” supporters need to do is to research the size of the gallbladder to realize that the gallbladder is not large enough to hold what they are claiming is being excreted.
  • I have had some people try and argue that the cups full of “stones” were coming from  the liver.  There are various flaws with their hypothesis though.  First of all there would not be this much space in the liver either.  Secondly, liver stones, which do exist, are EXTREMELY rare.  Most liver stones are found in Asian countries where they are formed as a result of parasitical infection.
  • People are claiming to pass these “stones” in amounts not only in quantities larger than the gallbladder can actually hold, but they are also claiming to do this repeatedly within short periods of time.  This provides more solid proof that these are not real gallstones.  Real gallstones are very slow growing and literally take years to form.  So how can people pass cups of what they are calling gallstones several times a week or month?  The answer is they can’t.  Real gallstones cannot form that fast.
  • One of the posters trying to argue that these really were gallstones told me that he cut them open and the smelled claiming that they therefore had to be in his body for years since food matter, such as oil cannot smell in such a short time. I wonder how he would explain the smell of feces since he claims that food matter cannot smell unless it is in your system for years?  Actually his claim provides even more evidence that these blobs are not real gallstones.  First of all the smell is from the action of bacteria on various substances.  But the gallbladder almost never contains any bacteria, and therefore we do not find bacteria in real gallstones.  On the other hand as the oil is saponified in the intestines bacteria is trapped within these soap stones the same way the red dye was trapped in the soap stones as I referred to earlier.  It is the bacteria acting on the materials in the soap stones that create the intense smell the poster referred to.

As an example look at these pictures soap stones, produced in the intestines, that are being posted as gallstones from a “flush”:

http://curezone.com/ig/i.asp?i=1110

Now compare those soap stones  to these pictures of real gallstones:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/healthtap-public/ht-staging/user_answer/avatars/263182/large/open-uri20120701-17085-p20tka.jpeg?1341153391

Notice the differences.  For example, the soap stones are not solid like the real gallstones.  The real gallstones are also faceted unlike the soft, squishy soap stones.  This occurs with larger real gallstones in the gallbladder because the stones calcify as they grow becoming hard and solid.  As the real gallstones rub against each other the faceted faces form on the stones.

If they were soft and squishy like the soap stones produced during these “flushes” they would simply break down in to little, irregular chunks during the gallbladder contractions.

Also note that the soap stones in the Curezone link would be way too large to pass through the bile ducts if they were real gallstones.  Because they are produced in the intestines though and do not have to pass through the ducts since they do not come from the liver or gallbladder there is no problem excreting them.

Often the amount of soap stones being passed far exceed the total volume that the gallbladder could actually hold if these were actually gallstones.  The Curezone “liver flush” supporters falsely claim that the reason for this is that the “stones” are not coming from the gallbladder, but rather the liver.  There are several problems with this claim though.  First of all I have seen people on Curezone claim to have passed “stones” in volumes that far exceed the volume of the liver and the gallbladder combined.  Secondly, liver stones are EXTREMELY rare and are seen almost exclusively in Asian countries where the stones are caused from parasites.  Still this myth persists among the “liver flush” supporters.  One even posted this photo claiming this was proof that liver stones are real:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1871497#i

Yes, liver stones are real.  But once again they are extremely rare.  Furthermore, what the picture shows in this liver with macronodular cirrhosis.  Those little green round parts are nodules, not stones.  The green color comes from bile accumulations that can result from either a biliary obstruction or damage to the liver.  Bile is not the same as stones.  In fact, bile is a liquid while real gallstones are a solid.

Some “liver flush” supporters claimed that they were confirmed to have gallstones by ultrasound and after doing the “flush” their gallbladders no longer contained any gallstones.  This can be easily explained.  There is a somewhat common condition in which the gallbladder can build up with precipitated cholesterol known as sludge.  Sludge particles are very tiny and with a little help from gallbladder contractions can easily pass through the bile ducts along with tiny stones.  On an ultrasound sludge is frequently mistaken for gallstones since real gallstones look the same on an ultrasound.  When these people drink the large amount of olive oil this stimulates the strong contractions of the gallbladder that can move the sludge and tiny real gallstones out of the gallbladder.

This also brings up though why these so-called “liver flushes” can be so dangerous.  If a person really has gallstones of any significant size the ingestion of a large amount of oil can cause the gallbladder to contract strong enough to force a real stone in to the bile ducts where it can get lodged.  This leads to pancreatitis and requires emergency surgery to correct.  This is not hypothetical, cases of this happening after people did these so-called “flushes” have been reported in the medical journals.  I have also read posts on Curezone where supporters reported symptoms of a lodged gallstone in their ducts after doing these flushes.  The symptoms were blamed on other things though such as having a panic attack.

It was posting this warning that got me banned from Curezone’s Liver Flush Support forum.  As with so many forums  on Curezone posting potential dangers is not considered “support”.  “Support” means agreeing with the moderator’s opinion no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary.  This also means that questioning the validity of these so-called “flushes” or providing any evidence that they are bogus is not allowed either.  Even posting evidence to the contrary is taboo in the “Liver Flush Debate” forum.  Unless you are agreeing with the false claims made by the “liver flush” supporters you are not welcome on the “Liver Flush Debate” forum either.  Interestingly, since they cannot argue the facts they try to turn the tables and require that others provide proof that the “flushes” are bogus. And when you do they twist what was said, go on the attack, try to get the evidence provider banned, etc.  Here is a thread of posts that are a clear example of the multiple games the “liver flush” supporters play to make sure their quackery is not exposed:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1752316#i

Another mistake the “liver flusher” supporters make is that they report they feel better after doing the “flushes” and thus this is proof they are passing gallstones.  Claims of being cured from everything from indigestion to allergies have been reported even though the passing of gallstones would not do anything for these.  Still, the unverified testimonials of all these cures after doing the “flushes” abound as evidence the “flushes” work.  One of the things that the “liver flush” supporters do not seem to comprehend is that feeling better does not mean one has been cured of something.   Morphine can make a person with a broken leg feel better, but this does not mean their leg is healed.

There are several things that can explain why people feel better though.

First of all the ingestion of all the oil has a laxative effect due to the oil itself and the release of the bile, which both promote bowel movements.  If you have ever been constipated didn’t you feel better when the constipation was corrected?

The ingestion of oil can also prevent bile stagnation, which can also make a person feel better.  But it is safer and less caloric to prevent bile stagnation by ingesting small amounts of oil/fat with each meal to stimulate the gallbladder rather than ingesting single large amounts of oil.

It also helps to keep the hormones in balance since both elevated estrogen and progesterone contribute to actual gallstone formation.  This is also why women are more prone to gallstones than men.

Another factor with the “liver flushes” that can make a person feel better is the ingestion of the magnesium sulfate.  Magnesium deficiencies are actually rather common and can lead to a variety of health problems including muscle cramping, constipation, high blood pressure and increased risk of asthma attacks.  Magnesium is involved in about 300 different processes within the body.  Simply correcting the magnesium deficiency with the ingestion of magnesium salts therefore can make a person feel better.

I have had posters repeatedly tell me that the burden of proof of these claims is on me and that I should demonstrate this principle in an experiment to prove the claims.  My responses to this claim are first of all the burden of proof is on the original claimants, which are the “liver flush” supporters.  Secondly, this process has been shown in experiments and is one of the experiments demonstrated in college chemistry classes.  Since the burden of proof is really on the “liver flush” supporters though they can run the experiment themselves if they really want to see the proof.  All they need to do is to buy some cholesterol from a lab supply, which is about $500-600 a pound.  Get some oil, magnesium hydroxide (formed from the breakdown of magnesium sulfate) and some bile then go to town  with the experiment.

Personally I think it would be a waste of time since the process is already known and all the evidence already presented proves beyond a reasonable doubt that those big squishy blobs are not real gallstones.

Still, people are not going to test this concept nor accept the evidence for a simple reason.  When people have been duped by such quackery they feel foolish when they finally see the truth.  And nobody likes feeling like a fool.  Therefore, some people will continue to try and argue that those blobs are real gallstones until the day they die despite the overwhelming evidence.  This is why places like Curezone attract so many quacks and gullible people.

In my opinion the most dangerous sites on Curezone are the Ask Moreless forum, the Liver Flush Support forum, the Cancer Support forum, the Alkaline/Acid Support forum and in my opinion the most dangerous forum the Iodine Supplementation Support Forum by VWT Team.

The basis of the Moreless forum was that all disease was caused by acidity and that a drink composed of calcium hydroxide (lime), lemon juice, organic unsulfured molasses and kelp was a cure-all.

Moreless was also well known for making up his own science and promoting it as fact.  Some of my favorite claims by Moreless were:

Moreless:  The more hydrogen present in a substance the more acidic it is.

Fact:   As I pointed out to Moreless hydrochloric acid contains one hydrogen atom and it is quite acidic.  On the other hand ammonium hydroxide contains 5 hydrogen atoms and yet is highly alkaline.

Moreless:   Sunlight is acidic.

Fact:   Sunlight does not have a pH.  The sun does contain a lot of hydrogen, which was the basis Moreless used for this claim.  But sunlight consists of photons, not hydrogen and therefore does not have a pH.

Moreless:   Acidity turns the tissues in to a puddle of goo.

Fact:  Many parts of the body are naturally acidic and do not turn in to goo.  I asked Moreless about this and why we don’t turn to goo from the acidic protons when we run but he never replied.

Moreless:  High brix foods are healthier than low brix foods.

Fact:  Brix is simply a measurement of sugar content.  As was pointed out to Moreless  Coca Cola has a higher brix reading than produce we consume, but this does not make it healthier.

Moreless:  Nitrogen is a protein.

Fact:  Nitrogen is a gas, not a protein.  Proteins do contain nitrogen though.

Moreless:  Iodine is an acid.

Fact:  Elemental iodine does not have a pH.

Moreless:  Alcohol is a hydrocarbon.

Fact:  Hydrocarbons consist solely of hydrogen and carbon.  Because alcohol also contains oxygen it is not a hydrocarbon.

Moreless:  “Now remember that our body does NOT absorb the foods we eat or the minerals we take, but ONLY the Energy, which becomes Released from our foods or Minerals we ingest!”.

Fact:  If we did not absorb the compounds such as sugars, amino acids and minerals from our foods then there would be nothing to form our tissues, bones, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.   In other words we would not even exist.

Moreless:  Fats are carbohydrates.

Fact:  Fats are composed of fatty acids.  Carbohydrates are long chain sugar molecules.   They are not the same thing.

Moreless:   “Absolutely No Rock or Mineral in rock form or in food form can enter into our body tissues until this mineral has become Released from the food or Rock as Energy!”

My response:   “Wrong again. I can drink a mineral salt and it will absorb with no problem.  Do the minerals have to react with the stomach acid to be utilized by the body?  That depends on the form it is in.  If the mineral is chelated then it will absorb in that chelated form. If it is in a soluble salt then it will absorb as that salt.  If it is in the form of a hydroxide whatever can react with an acid to form a salt can be absorbed, and the rest will pass unabsorbed.  This is why calcium and magnesium hydroxides are so poorly absorbed, especially as we age.  Then we can also demonstrate that this claim is bogus by the fact that minerals given intravenously are still utilized by the body even though they are being put in to an alkaline environment and they are not being reacted with an acid. “

Moreless frequently talked about the dangers of nitrates and nitrites claiming that they led to methemoglobin production causing animals to suffocate.  I found the link where he got the information but he left out the part where is clearly stated that alkalinity in the stomach promoted nitrite formation.  Therefore, by his own argument his alkalinizing drink would poison people:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1449606#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1449657#i

Here are links to some of the other weird and wild claims made by Moreless:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467298#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467777#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467369#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467791#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1482445#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1415913#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1486171#i

Most of what Moreless posted was in a way hilarious because it was just so ridiculous.  On the other hand it was scary to think he was giving health advice and people were actually following him like he was their God.  Here are some examples I addressed:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1468313#i

Moreless is very anti-science and thinks that his supposed success testimonials are the only proof needed to show he knows what he is talking about.  One problem with this though is that Moreless was famous for deleting posts where people reported adverse effects from his protocol, and then banning anyone reporting adverse effects.  Here is one example though of someone being hurt by the Moreless protocol that was posted on my forum so it could not be erased or edited:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1495260#i

Moreless was also famous for re-wording other people’s messages on his forum so that it would appear the person was agreeing with Moreless or praising his protocol.  It was these actions that finally got Moreless banned from Curezone.

Furthermore, testimonials even if true are not proof of anything as I explained in this post:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1470145#i

Moreless relied heavily on recruiting to try his protocol by touting all the testimonials that he had.  A big problem with this though is that there was no way to verify if the testimonials were real or if he had written them himself or edited people’s posts to make them sound positive, which he was known for doing.

I did run across this post from a supporter who had a change of heart:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1709883#i

The biggest concern with the Moreless protocol was his recommendation to use calcium oxide (lime) to make a drink he wanted people to ingest to alkalize the body.   Calcium oxide is the same stuff used to make cement and when you read the bags it clearly warns about not getting it in contact with tissues.  The reason is that calcium oxide when it comes in to contact with water forms calcium hydroxide.  Hydroxides are very caustic and chemically burn the tissues.  Damage from consuming calcium hydroxide can appear immediately or in some cases may not show up for weeks or months.

The danger is not only from the caustic action of calcium hydroxide.  Calcium hydroxide also reacts with stomach acid neutralizing the stomach acid.  Stomach acid is important for a number of reasons, which I addressed in this post I wrote on the subject:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2945

Neutralizing the stomach acid on a regular basis can lead to numerous health problems including nutritional deficiencies, allergic responses, heart disease, increased risk of infections, etc.  These side effects can result from the inability to absorb certain nutrients needed for tissues such as bone.   The vitamins B6, B12 and folate are all involved in the process of methylation, which is required for around 4,000 methylation reactions in the body.  These include controlling allergic responses, digestion, energy formation, immune regulation, reduction of heart disease promoting homocysteine, hormone and neurotransmitter formation, etc.  All three of these vitamins though require sufficient stomach acid for their absorption.  Most pathogens are controlled by acidity and thrive in alkalinity.  Ingesting calcium hydroxide poses a dual danger here.  First of all the hydroxide can burn the tissues damaging them and making them more prone to infection.  In addition, the calcium hydroxide can neutralize the acids that normally help to control pathogens further increasing the risk of infections.

Moreless does recommend adding some lemon juice to his drink, which does contain citric and malic acids.  These mild organic acids will balance out some or all of the calcium hydroxide depending on the amount added.  The problem though is that unless the person has a pH meter to monitor the pH as the lemon juice is added it is impossible to know when enough of the lemon juice is added to neutralize all the caustic calcium hydroxide.  Don’t add enough of the lemon juice and the drink is still caustic.  Add too much and the drink will be acidic, which according to Moreless the acids will turn the body in to a puddle of goo.  Of course I am being sarcastic in the later since the acids produced by the body or that are found in lemon juice will not dissolve the body despite what Moreless claims.  Still there is the risk of hydroxide damage if insufficient lemon juice is added.

I never understood why Moreless did not have people just start with calcium citrate in the first place, which is readily available, is the main salt created by the reaction of calcium hydroxide and lemon juice and does not present the danger of caustic burns.

Various people had complained of being harmed by using the Moreless protocol, but many of the posts were deleted by Moreless.   Some reports can still be found on other boards though that Moreless did not control and I have a message sent to me by a woman asking for advice after being hospitalized for injuries sustained after following the Moreless protocol.

Two other things that really concern me about the Moreless protocol are the high amount of calcium and the iron from the blackstrap molasses.

Calcium is important to the body, but like anything can be a problem if in excess or not balanced.  Calcium is a muscle contractor for the body.  For example, the process of rigor mortis when a person dies involves the influx of calcium in to the muscles causing them to go in to a strongly contracted state until enzymes finally break down the muscle tissue.   Excessively high serum calcium can cause confusion, depression, high blood pressure, increased risk of asthma attacks, constipation, migraines, muscle cramps, etc.  Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are used to treat various conditions such as high blood pressure and migraines because they prevent calcium from entering the muscle tissue of blood vessels keeping them relaxed.  In holistic medicine and even in hospitals for the treatment of preeclampsia associated hypertension (high blood pressure) magnesium is used to lower calcium induced high blood pressure.

My concern here is that the high amount of calcium poses to many potential problems primarily from calcium induced constriction of blood vessels.  The resultant decrease in blood flow could theoretically even increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes as other blood vessel constricting agents are known for.  Because of this calcium should always be balanced out with sufficient magnesium to maintain the muscle regulatory actions of calcium-magnesium.

As with calcium, iron is essential to the body but dangerous in excess.  Excess iron can lead to increased infections, oxidative tissue damage and can promote cancer.

There is also a condition that used to be considered very rare but is now considered common known as hemochromatosis.  In this condition there is a buildup of excess iron in the body leading to various health problems and can be fatal.  People with hemochromatosis are advised to avoid iron sources and often undergo regular phlebotomy to remove excess iron from the system.

I started posting on Curezone about 5 years ago.  The moderators liked the detailed posts I wrote explaining health so much that I had several moderators asking me if I wanted my own forum.  Because of time restrictions I originally did not want to have my own forum.   After having my information altered and censored on various Curezone boards because the evidence was contradictory to the moderators of certain boards I finally decided I needed my own forum.  This way I could post evidence without moderators altering, moving or deleting my posts just because the evidence was contradictory to their beliefs.  I aptly named my forum “The Truth in Medicine”.  The archives can be found here:

http://curezone.com/forums/f.asp?f=980

In the time I was on Curezone my forum climbed to 25th position in the top 300 forums and has been still climbing despite my not being there anymore.  Currently The Truth in Medicine is in 23rd place with all the forums ahead being on Curezone for many more years than my forum.   The reason my forum climbed so fast and has continued to climb is simple.  People are putting their health and lives as well as the health and lives of their family and friends in the hands of someone they never met in person.  Therefore, people have to put their trust in the information being presented to them.  Curezone is full of outright ridiculous claims, recommendations from people who have no idea how the body works, people there just to try to sell their products at any cost,  people who are simply repeating what they read somewhere on a sales or propaganda site and people who think the only evidence required are unsubstantiated testimonials.  My forum was one of the few on Curezone where the owner had a medical background and where evidence from actual studies were being presented.

I had repeatedly stated that the concept of Curezone was great, but not the way it was run.  Curezone was overrun by Internet trolls who continually harassed or had banned anyone posting evidence against bogus claims and therapies being presented.  And the rules were very selectively enforced to suppress information that moderators did not agree with.  I actually held the distinction of being banned from more forums than anyone else ever in Curezone history.  Not because I violated the Terms of Service (TOS), but because I was posting actual studies proving that information being presented was not only wrong, but dangerous.   For example, I discussed being banned from the Adrenal Support forum for posting the dangers of ingesting caustic calcium hydroxide here:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1822388#i

I was even banned from all the debate forums by the Webmaster for the same reason while the trolls who were repeatedly violating the TOS were given free reign.   Entire threads were even dedicated solely to conduct personal attacks against me and personal attacks were allowed against anyone supporting me in direct violation of TOS and not one of these Internet trolls were banned from Curezone, nor were their personal attacks removed.  One of the moderators who promotes a worthless cancer therapy called “oleander soup” sent out a series of messages to other Curezone members trying to recruit them to join in on his campaign of personal attacks against me.  Messages to the Webmaster that included evidence of these TOS violations only resulted in my being banned from more forums by the Webmaster instead of banning the TOS violators. Why?  Because many claims I was exposing as quackery and the TOS violations were being made by Curezone moderators were also advertising their products on Curezone.  Therefore, profits were being put before health and safety on Curezone.  Ironically, this is the same thing that so many people on Curezone complain the pharmaceutical companies are doing.

It is also ironic that the motto for Curezone is “educating instead of medicating”.  Why is this ironic?  Well first of all how are people being educated when the heavy hand of censorship is being wielded on Curezone?  The only information that is allowed are statements the moderators agree with regardless If it is true or not.  The other irony about the motto has to do with the fact of how often pharmaceutical drugs are pushed on Curezone.  For example, one of the largest sites on Curezone, and from what I heard the founder of the forum is also one of the people who founded Curezone, is the “Iodine Supplementation Support Forum by VWT Team”.  This site routinely promotes toxic levels of Lugol’s iodine, which the forum owner sells.  Lugol’s iodine is not a natural product though, but rather a pharmaceutical drug.  This is not educating, but rather medicating with toxic levels of a drug.  More on that later.  I have also seen various other pharmaceutical drugs pushed on Curezone including Fluconazole on the Candida Support forum and steroids on the Adrenal Support forum.  On the Cancer Support forum the moderator pushes oleander extracts for cancer and other diseases.  The extracts he promotes include pharmaceutical oleander extracts, which have been shown to be ineffective for cancer in human trials.

If the Webmaster of Curezone wishes to be honest then the motto of Curezone should be changed to “Doing whatever it takes to make a profit regardless of who gets hurt”.

Another problem I had with Curezone is that warning of potential dangers was never allowed on support forums.  “Support” was defined as agreeing with the moderator’s opinions.  It does not include safety tips or warning of potential dangers. The first forum I was ever banned from was the “Liver Flush Support” forum.  I was banned for posting there is a risk of lodging a real stone in the bile ducts, which can lead to pancreatitis and require emergency surgery.  Such cases have been reported in the medical journals after people attempted these so-called “liver flushes”.  In my view support should include any and all helpful information, which includes potential dangers.  Otherwise, someone may not realize what is going on and get the proper help if such an event does occur.  I found out though that such warnings will get you banned from a number of Curezone forums.

Such heavy handed censorship really discredits sites like Curezone.  The vast majority of people running Curezone forums have no medical background at all and don’t even know how to research for or interpret medical studies.  Therefore, they simply repeat they read on sales or propaganda sites without ever bothering to verify if the claims have any truth to them.  For example, I have seen it stated on Curezone over and over that Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize for showing that cancer resulted from a lack of oxygen.  This, or variations of this claim, are commonly made on various websites particularly selling oxygenating or alkalizing products.  The problem is that this is not what Warburg won the Nobel Peace prize for, nor did he ever claim that cancer resulted from a lack of oxygen.  Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for discovering a respiratory enzyme he called “iron oxidase”.   Furthermore, Warburg never claimed that cancer resulted from a lack of oxygen.  Warburg claimed that cancer would continue to ferment REGARDLESS of how much oxygen was present.  In fact, we know today that cancer cells actually rely quite heavily on oxygen and respiration.

This is a good example of why researching claims is so important.  Otherwise the same old misinformation just keeps getting recycled over and over misleading people and putting their health at risk.

Different views should be allowed.  For example, I allowed debate on my forum and I still do on MedCapsules.com as long as it is actual debating and it is kept civil.  Debate involves taking stand on a view and presenting evidence to back that view.  Debate is not simply repeatedly saying someone you disagree with is wrong without presenting evidence to back that claim.  It is not name calling either.  I have banned people previously for both actions, but when people actually debated civilly I allowed it because it served several important actions.  First and foremost it requires the presentation of evidence to back the claims.  Not opinions or hearsay, but actual evidence.  Secondly, researching claims to back a stance in a debate increases the knowledge of a subject as the person finds new research on the subject.  It also allows other research to be presented and reviewed to see if any of the research was manipulated or misinterpreted so that old outdated or simple misinformation gets discarded rather than repeated.

Debate is not allowed on Curezone though, even in the debate forums.  If evidence is presented in the debate forums that the moderators disagree with the messages are deleted and the poster is banned from the forum.  Therefore, evidence of quackery nor safety issues behind claims are not allowed unless in line with the moderators beliefs.  You can say that chemotherapy is dangerous and can kill you, but you are not allowed to point out that excess alkalinity is dangerous and can kill you.

Interestingly, one of the arguments I have heard numerous times on Curezone when updated research is presented is that current ideas get changed in the future as new research shows something different.   This is true in some cases, but not always.  For example, it has been known that blood is pumped by the heart for hundreds of years, but this finding has never been discredited with new research.  When it fits their needs though, this principle no longer applies.  Research for example has proven that the big, squishy green blobs passed from doing the so-called “liver flushes” are saponified oil.  This has been confirmed by actual analysis of these blobs by laboratories.  Despite this fact the “liver flush supporters still claim these are real gallstones because this is the misinformation that has been passed down for around a century.

The other tactic I ran in to repeatedly on Curezone when I presented solid evidence against claims being made on Curezone was the chronic name calling.  I had been called everything from the Devil to a quack on Curezone for presenting proof of quackery on Curezone.  More commonly I was referred to as a pharmaceutical shill since the Curezone trolls had nothing to counter my evidence with.  Anyone knowing me though knows that I am highly against pharmaceutical drugs and don’t believe in most medical procedures except in very extreme cases.  This is why I have written extensively about the dangers of various pharmaceutical drugs, false claims made about their effectiveness, medical corruption, how often unnecessary medical procedures are performed, the high inaccuracies of many lab tests, etc.  I have not even been to a doctor myself in 32 years because I have personally witnessed more than enough medical malpractice and quackery by allopathic doctors.  All this gets ignored on Curezone though since facts and evidence are considered highly taboo on most of Curezone.

I have watched activity drop drastically on Curezone over the last year as people realize that Curezone is not a very credible source of health information.  Many of the most informative posters have also left because they did not want to deal with the extreme politics of Curezone where if you are not part of the Curezone troll clique they make sure you know it.  This has also left a large number of people simply too afraid of posting any questions or answers because they have seen other harassed relentlessly on Curezone for simply disagreeing with a protocol, posted evidence to the contrary, posted dangers or mentioned they had side effects to a certain protocol.  One doctor on Curezone, Dr. Lam who was very much in to supporting the adrenals with vitamin C and herbs was harassed so bad he finally left as well.   In my personal case the harassment even included a threat sent to me by one Curezone poster who frequents the Cancer Support forum  and I have had others post things on my old personal message board that was so derogatory that I would not even repeat what was written.  Other Curezone trolls even used my icon and tried to impersonate me to make it sound like I was agreeing with their false claims.

It is really a shame the way Curezone is run because it really is a good concept.  Promoting so much quackery though, censoring real research and prohibiting any posts other than those that are in line with the moderator’s opinion don’t do anyone any good.  Worse yet, such actions are very detrimental to the holistic medicine field.  Holistic medicine is always under a microscope unlike allopathic medicine.   Hundreds of thousands of people can die as a result from chemotherapy and nobody pays attention.  One person dies from a holistic therapy and it is front page news.  When Curezone promotes quackery and suppresses actual functional and safe holistic therapies supported by studies this gives the FDA and other groups more ammunition against the holistic health field.  If we are ever to get holistic medicine to be accepted in the same manner as allopathic medicine then proven bogus therapies such as “liver flushing” need to be stop being promoted and the proven therapies need to be brought back to the forefront.

When I first found out about NaturalNews.com I would check it out occasionally but did not spend much time reading their stuff.  One of my regular posters on my “The Truth in Medicine” forum had complained about the site several times so I started reading some of the articles from the site to find out why.  It did not take long to get my answer.

Natural News seems like a haven for conspiracy hypothesists, the world is coming to an end fear mongers,  scam artists and people just wanting to jump on to whatever bandwagon happens to be the target of the moment.

Health misinformation abounds on the site.  I have responded to some of the articles in an attempt to clear up some of the misleading and misinformative claims made in some of the articles.  There is just too much to address it all though.

As a great example look at this piece of highly sensationalized piece of false propaganda:

http://www.naturalnews.com/035276_Pepsi_fetal_cells_business_operations.html

Obama agency rules Pepsi’s use of aborted fetal cells in soft drinks constitutes ‘ordinary business operations’

Not only did they manage to lie about there being aborted fetal cells in Pepsi, they also managed to make the issue political by bashing Obama, which has nothing to do with the topic.  The cell line referred to in the article came out in the 70’s, long before the Obama administration.

The scary part was not this science fiction article but rather the fact that so man of the reader actually fell for it hook, line and sinker.  Are we really developing a country where people are incapable of using rational thought and thinking for themselves?  Just read though the comments section and read how comments refer to cannibalism and “soylent green”.  How can this be cannibalism when these cells, which are cultured cells are not even in the product.  People apparently just rad the headline and decided it must be true without ever investigating to find out the story was yet another fabrication of the truth so common on Natural News.  Here is a copy of my comment on the article:

This is a great example of why I don’t pay much attention to Natural News. There is too much sensationalistic journalism with political pot shots whenever possible rather than factual and relevant reporting. For instance look at how they found an angle to make this in to a political issue by blaming the Obama administration who has nothing to do with the original production of the cell line.

People who hate will find any excuse to hate. That is why people keep bashing Obama when Obama is not in charge. Big business runs this country by buying off politicians Democrat and Republican. So to keep bashing Obama either means the person has no clue how the government runs or they are simply looking for anyone to bash so they jump on the Obama bashing bandwagon.

It can be very entertaining though on occasion if you are in to science fiction. And I get a real good laugh reading some of the responses from the sheeple that fall for this crap.

For instance, look at how many people keep making this an issue about abortion and cannibalism. Not only are these cultured cells not aborted cells, but they are not even in the product. But still people fell for the bogus claims hook, line and sinker because people are learning more and more to not think for themselves and to ignore common sense. For example, how many of the people falsely claiming this is cannibalism have stopped to think that they have committed cannibalism themselves? If you are one of these people think about it. Have you ever kissed someone? If you have then some of their cells have ended up in your mouth where you have swallowed them thus making you a cannibal. So did those human cells you consumed taste better than Pepsi?

Another poster put up this link to a more accurate article on the subject:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/01/27/fetal-cells-in-soda-not-quite-the-discomfort-behind-the-controversy/

Did these people who are boycotting Pepsi based on this bogus propaganda article ever stop to think that Pepsi is not the only company using this cultured cell line?  How many of the other products they are consuming have also used these cultured cells to test the potential effects on taste buds?  Probably most commercial foods.

The article was clearly not to promote the truth, but rather to draw in the gullible and to use the article as a political platform to bash the President and so many of the articles on Natural News do.  Unfortunately, all this really does is to discredit Natural News even further while giving a bad name to the whole holistic field.  Other people will see all the bogus propaganda on Natural News and say “see, those holistic people are just a bunch of whack jobs that will believe anything”.  It is really a shame that anyone would run their business this way just to sell products and to boost their own political agenda.

But it is also extremely irritating.  I have been working hard for decades to try and get holistic medicine more accepted by correcting misinformation being blindly repeated and showing how much research there really is backing holistic medicine.  All of this does not mean much though when you have propaganda sites posting such ludicrous information that people will continue to fall for.  Why? Because most people are attracted to negativity.  I could post 500 studies proving the benefit of a particular herb and there could be one study claiming a potential danger and that will be the one study most people and the media will focus on.  Don’t believe it?  Watch the stories on vitamins and herbs reported in the media.  Very few are positive.  For example, recall the recent news reports claiming that vitamins were linked to a higher death rate in women?  Despite the fact that numerous studies prove otherwise this is the one study the media picked up on despite the study not only being highly skewed but also highly flawed.  The mainstream media was simply doing the same thing Natural News does, which is to provide sensationalistic propaganda to meet the desires of the masses that thrive on the negativity.

Interestingly I tried applying as a writer for Natural News because I thought it would be easier to write the articles rather than responding to misinformation in articles in the comments section.  The owner of Natural  News basically makes you jump through hoops to write for him making sure that if you do write for Natural News that you only write in agreement with his opinions. Since I did not agree 100% with his opinions I was turned down.  Apparently evidence based holistic medicine articles are not in line with the Natural News program.

Recently I found out that this also applies to commenting on his articles.  I ran across an article written by Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger” who owns Natural News.  The article was the worst piece of yellow journalism I have seen in a long time.  Here is a link to the article:

http://www.naturalnews.com/039211_organic_food_natural_products_industry_secrets.htmlI

I responded to the article in the comments section with the following:

There are a few things you over looked in your article.

First of all not all of the herbs coming out of China are grown in China.  China actually imports many herbs that they process there then redistribute. For example, I have seen nopales (prickly pear cactus) grown in Mexico, which was processed in to powder or extracts in China and is then being sold by the Chinese vendors.

Secondly, China is really no worse than any other country.  The U.S. for example also has heavily contaminated soil from various sources.  For example, do you what is one the highest lead containing beverage products in the world?  California wines.  All the lead from the decades of using leaded gasoline did not evaporate, it deposited in the soil where it was picked up by plants.  This included the grape vines that produce the grapes used to make wine.  Look some time as to how many grape vineyards are located right next to major freeways.  Same reason bone meal has often been found to be high in lead.  The cows were not born with the high levels of lead.  The lead was picked up from the soil by pants that the cows then ate.

By California’s own laws banning products with a certain level of lead I seriously doubt that most if not all of California’s wines would be legal.  Of course they are not going to mention that fact since the wine industry is so big in California.

There are also organic farms up in Washington state.  So what about all the radioactive material the government was deliberately releasing from the Hanford Nuclear power Plant for decades to test the effects of the radiation on the surrounding public?  All those radioactive isotopes did not evaporate either.  Like the lead in California those isotopes have deposited in the soil.

To achieve an “organic” certification only requires that no herbicides or pesticides have been used for a certain number of years.  Does this mean that organic cleaner and safer than non-organic crops?  Not really.  Again people tend to overlook several important points.

First of all herbicides and pesticides can survive in the soil much longer than the time required for non-use to achieve organic certification.  DDT for example despite being banned is still in our soils as it takes about 100 years to break down.   Systemic takes about 30 years to break down.

Secondly, those plants need to be watered.  Most “organic” farms are irrigated by surface water that has traveled down from the mountains past all sorts of cities and non-organic farms picking up all sorts of pollutants before irrigating those “organic” crops.  Even if watered from underground water sources this does not make it clean.  Underground water sources can be naturally or artificially contaminated from various sources such as naturally occurring heavy metals or fluoride to contaminates from leaking septic systems, agricultural runoff or fracking.

Finally, nearly every company producing supplements these days are using GMP certified products.  In order to get and maintain GMP certification all herbs coming in must be tested over and over and over and over for contaminates such as heavy metals and pathogens.  If these herbs do not meet certain extremely strict standards they cannot be used in the manufacturing process.  It does not matter if the herbs are coming from Taiwan, China, Europe, the U.S. or any other country, they are all subjected to the same exact stringent regulations.

Both raw material suppliers who import these herbs as well as manufacturers that directly import are well aware of these standards and therefore test every batch that comes through their doors multiple times since any batches contaminated beyond regulations cannot be used.  Imagine importing several tons of an herb that fails testing.  This would be a costly mistake for either a raw material supplier or a manufacturer.  Therefore, importers will request samples of the batches first for testing, then test the actual batch coming in multiple times to make sure that they match up.  When packaged batches of the final product are finished samples of all the final products must again be tested to meet GMP guidelines.  If raw material suppliers or manufacturers import and sell herbs that do not meet regulatory standards these companies are not going to stay in business very long.  If the herb exporters sell herbs not conforming to regulatory standards then they are going to develop a bad reputation for selling unusable herbs and companies are going to stop buying from them.  Therefore, the herb export companies have also cleaned up their act and have much more stringent controls on the herbs they export these days.  Therefore, the problem is not as bad as it is being hyped up to be.

Several other of my comments were deleted including one addressing another comment made by Mike Adams.  The comment was regarding his claims that Chinese chlorella  was more contaminated than the Taiwan chlorella he was bringing in to sell.  I was curious about his dubious claims so I did a little research comparing the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for several chlorella sources from both China and Taiwan.  What I found was that not only was there only an insignificant difference in the amount of heavy metals between the two products, but also that in some cases the content of certain heavy metals was higher in the Taiwanese chlorella.  Therefore, this evidence clearly contradicted his sales hype.  Being that Mike Adams clearly stated that the Taiwanese chlorella “is the most expensive in the world, at wholesale”.  How is he going to justify the significantly higher cost of the Taiwanese chlorella he plans to sell unless he bashes all the competing chlorellas with false information, especially the biggest source, which happens to be China.  Keep in mind that as I pointed out that just because the herbs are sold from China this does not mean that they were grown there.

Writing multiple articles though bashing China for its pollution problem in order to make it appear his source of herbs is cleaner despite the COAs showing differently is an interesting, although very deceptive sales tactic.

Mika Adams made a few other comments in his article that also made me skeptical of his whole sales spiel.  According to his sales pitch Adams claims that none of the 17 samples he supposedly had tested from 4 different countries showed any detectable levels of Mercury.   Yet looking at the COAs for chlorella from Taiwan Chlorella Manufacturing Company shows detectable levels of mercury in several of their samples.  The levels were in extreme trace amounts, but still within the detection limit.

Adams also makes sure to bring up the amount of aluminum in Chinese chlorella even though he admits  that the level is far below the content of many common foods.  The ironic part was his comment “Bottom line: Aluminum should be AVOIDED in your diet as much as possible. This metal has no beneficial role in human biology beyond trace amounts” being that he sells a zeolite product in his store.  Zeolites are ALUMINUM silicates, the same form of aluminum found in virtually all plants we consume including chlorella.

Once again sales hype meets reality.

Overall, if I had to rate this site on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give the site maybe a 3 only because there are some occasional tidbits of accurate information.  The site is so chock full of misinformation and misleading information to make it a credible health site.

In addition, a large percentage of the posts have nothing to do with health or healing.  Many of the posts are simply anti-government and political rantings among other non-health topics.  Curezone uses the same tactic in an attempt to boost their search engine rankings by increasing key words on the site.  This also increases the likelihood that people will find the site since people not searching for health information will find their site as the search engines pulls up non-health keywords such as voter fraud or gun control.  The stories are greatly sensationalized to further draw in certain groups, especially those who believe in any conspiracy tale they hear.

Call me old fashioned, but if I go to a health site for health information I want to see substantiated, solid health information.  I don’t go to health sites to read about conspiracy hypotheses about how the government wants to put us all in concentration camps or other bogus claims like the government is trying to reduce the population by feeding everyone soy.

The Internet has made the searching for and sharing of health information much easier than in the old days when this generally meant hours in a medical library.  Along with this ease of information access has come the problem of health misinformation becoming rampant on the Internet.

Some of this misinformation simply comes from sales sites trying to hype up their products or bash their competitors for their own agenda.  Other misinformation can come from simple misconceptions of how the body works or repetition of misinformation.

The later reminds me of the commercial where they say they cannot put it on the Internet if it is not true.  Unfortunately, there are people who actually do seem to think this is true.  For example,  I have been in so many debates with people who think that the big squishy blobs they pass from the so-called “liver flushes” are actually real gallstones just because they read on the internet that they are.  This despite the fact that those big, squishy blobs do not have the shape, texture, color, density or much of anything else in common with real gallstones.

Part of the problem is that it is human nature to be attracted to negativity.   If there is a bad accident people do their best to get a glimpse.  If someone is going to jump off a building people gather around and some may even encourage the jumper.  And people do not watch NASCAR races to see the cars go round and round, they want to see the carnage of wrecks.  When it comes to health information there is not much of a difference.  People tend to believe anything negative they see or read, which has led to so many myths about health and health products being spread on the Internet.  For example, how many people fell for the canola oil myths such as its mustard oil being used to make the chemical warfare agent mustard gas?  Mustard gas is a completely synthetic chemical that has nothing to do with canola or any other plant.  Then there is all the misinformation about soy, which I have addressed numerous times previously such as these posts:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=106

Another part of the problem is that people often do not want to take the time or to put in the effort in to verifying claims.  They want information spoon fed to them.

Once an idea is learned it is hard for people to give up that idea because they are used to an comfortable with that idea.  Furthermore, if they fell for obviously ridiculous claims they may feel ashamed because they fell for the sham.  Take for example someone who repeatedly picked through their feces to collect those big, squishy blobs they were told were gallstones.  Even though they have no characteristics of real gallstones, they are too large to pass through the bile ducts, they are often reported in amounts larger than the gallbladder can hold, they melt unlike real gallstones, etc. people still fall for this scam.   When all this evidence is presented to them proving that those blobs are not real gallstones, but rather saponified oil, they often continue to argue that they are real gallstones because they do not want to admit they were duped.  As evidence to this see my videos on the “liver flush” scam and the replies to the videos.   The playlist for all 11 videos can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNqWHZj4fMo&feature=PlayList&index=0&list=PL55328493D7C85E66

I have spent decades writing about health information and trying to correct rampant health misinformation in both allopathic and holistic medicine.  When the Internet came about I started posting on various health boards posting evidence against many claims. Unfortunately, this has also led to my being banned from numerous boards.  For example, I was banned from the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society message boards after posting medical journal abstracts proving the viral links to leukemias and lymphomas.  After all,  if they admit the cause of these cancers then next comes the proof of cures since there are various ways to destroy these cancer viruses.  And since there are already cures for these cancers this means there is no reason for their existence since their goal is to con people out of their money to fund their executive salaries and expenses.  I was also banned from another health message board after proving how inaccurate HIV testing was including the fact that hepatitis can cause false positive HIV tests.  I later found out the board was actually run by a pharmaceutical company.

Allopathic sites are not the only sources of such censorship though.  I was banned from numerous boards on Curezone.org  for providing evidence against many of the claims being made on the site.  Eventually I was completely banned for posting evidence that the amounts of iodine that were being recommended on the iodine support forum were causing iodine poisoning that the sellers were falsely blaming on a “bromine detox”.

Bottom line is that if you are going to get your health advice from the internet you should research the claims from various non-commercial sites to find out if the information is factual or hype.

The next  series of blog posts are going to cover details from some of the Internet sites I have dealt with or studied explaining why I would not recommend them as sources of health information.

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