Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘oleander’

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Curezone.org Part 2: Cancer Support Forum

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.

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Part 2 Curezone.org Introduction

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.

Why People Need to be Careful Obtaining Health Advice From the Internet

The internet has made doing medical research so easy, but it has also opened the door to anyone making whatever dubious health claims they wish.

For example, I found a post on Curezone where a woman claimed to have multiple sclerosis (MS) that she assumed was from her amalgam fillings.  According to her story she had the amalgam fillings removed and replaced with gold.  She claims that within 10 days she had no more symptoms of MS.

So what is wrong with the story?  Plenty!

First of all MS is an autoimmune disease caused from a virus and adrenal dysfunction.  It has nothing to do with mercury.

Secondly, even if mercury was involved then the symptoms would not have cleared that quick since mercury is stored in fat tissues including the brain.  It would take a lot longer than 10 days to clear the mercury from the body.  Furthermore, anyone knowing how the body really works would have known that MS causes damage to the myelin that insulates the nerves causing the MS symptoms.  Even if the source of the MS is eliminated the lesions would have to be eliminated somehow and the myelin would have to be regenerated in order for the symptoms to disappear.  The lesions are basically scar tissue and are permanent.  Myelin will regenerate, but this can take many months to years.  For someone to claim that they were symptom free of MS in 10 days just proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the whole story was fabricated!

Despite the literal impossibilities of the story though there were still people buying I to the claims without question.

Another example I have made reference to in the past are the supposed “oleander soup testimonials” that keep getting posted on the internet on various sites.  One problem with these so-called “testimonials” is that there is no way to confirm if any of them are true to begin with.  I have always found it interesting that Dr. Ozel has supposedly cured thousands of patients using “oleander soup” but the same dozen or so “testimonials” are the only “evidence” being presented.  Where are these thousands of patients supposedly cured?  Why aren’t they all over the media praising Dr. Ozel’s name if they are still alive?  Instead, the way these “testimonials” are presented there is no way to confirm if the people really exist.  And if they do are they still alive?  What other therapies did they use in conjunction if any?  Did their cancers come back?

This is a major problem with “testimonials” on the internet.  Anyone can make up fake testimonials and put them up on the internet to mislead people in to thinking these were written by actual people who used the therapy and succeeded.  In fact, if you do a quick search on the internet you will find that there are even companies whose sole business is to write phony testimonials for products.

Therefore, are unverifiable testimonials proof of effectiveness?  Of course not.  But this tactic is used all the time, especially on the internet.  I gave an example in my previous blog post:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/is-oleander-soup-for-cancer-a-scam-part-2-2/

in which Tony Isaacs claimed the studies showing oleander did not work against cancer failed because they were not conducted long enough.  According to Mr. Isaacs oleander takes at least several months to even start seeing results with oleander.  Yet, Mr. Isaacs keeps posting the same unverifiable “testimonials” that include a supposed complete remission of cancer in 12 days.  Such clear contradictions call all of the unverifiable claims in to question since both completely opposite claims cannot be true.

Don’t get me wrong, testimonials are wonderful.  But only if they are real to begin with and the facts can be verified to confirm a particular treatment is what actually worked.   They are not wonderful when they are too fantastic to be true and clearly contradict real evidence, such as every in vivo oleander study, which has shown it to be ineffective for cancer.

There used to be another poster on Curezone who went by the name Moreless that also touted all sorts of testimonials to his protocol, which included the ingestion of caustic calcium hydroxide.  If anyone questioned him or his dangerous claims they were immediately banned from his forum and were literally told they were Satan or the Satan’s disciples.  He was finally banned from Curezone for pulling stunts such as editing posts on his forum that disagreed with him or discussed the side effects and injuries people had to make the post appear they were agreeing with Moreless and the protocol was safe and effective.

I had a number of people contact me directly through private messages and e-mails discussing their injuries and even hospitalizations after following this protocol.  Of course these testimonials were erased immediately if they were reported on that forum so others would not find out how dangerous his advice really was.

Actually, if anyone looked in to his other claims they would have known better than to follow anything this person claimed.  Some of my favorite ridiculous claims being made by this person included:

  • Sunlight is acidic because it contains a lot of hydrogen.  The fact is that the sunlight does not have a pH.  Light consists of photons, which are elementary particles, not atoms.  Just because a neon light emits light this does not mean that light contains neon atoms.
  • That acidity would turn the tissues in to a “puddle of goo”.  He never did answer my question as to how the parts of the body that were naturally acidic had not dissolved into puddles of goo.  Or why someone running a marathon did not dissolve into a puddle of goo from the acidity generated during intense exercise.
  • That nitrogen is a protein.  Nitrogen is an atom and a diatomic gas, not a protein.
  • That there are subatomic minerals.  If minerals are made up of multiple full size atoms then how can a mineral be smaller than an individual atom?   It’s impossible.

Despite these and other totally ridiculous and dangerous claims made by Moreless he had a cult-like following.  At least in part as it was later revealed that Moreless was using different posting names to make it appear he had more followers than he actually had.  This also brings up the question of how many of the “testimonials” did Moreless fabricate to make his protocol appear effective?

In one post one of his followers claimed she was cured by the Moreless protocol.  But then in another post she wrote “Yes, I have had candida and MCS.  First the candida, then several years later after nothing I did to relieve it worked, very severe MCS.”

And:

“2 1/2 years on the Moreless protocol, getting better every day!!!”

So here was a “success testimonial” from a person who was admitting that after years on the Moreless protocol was still sick.

Isaacs and Moreless are only a couple of the people on Curezone presenting bogus information and giving dangerous advice.

These are just a few examples of some of the bogus, misleading and dangerous health advice I have seen on the internet.  I will be addressing other examples in future blog posts.  The point that was being made is that just because someone makes a health claim on the internet this does not automatically make it true and “testimonials” mean nothing unless the facts can be verified.

It may be nice and easier to just ask someone health advice rather than taking a little personal responsibility and researching the claims from credible sources to see if they are legitimate and safe.

This does not apply only to holistic medicines, but allopathic medicines as well.  I have seen so many people harmed by unnecessary medications and procedures because they did not question their doctors or research their conditions, medications or procedures.

For example, someone I know personally was put on Lasix (furosemide) for over 2 years without potassium, which is a major medical mistake.  Lasix (furosemide) drops potassium levels significantly causing heart arrhythmias.  Instead of giving him potassium though to prevent the side effect of the Lasix he was instead prescribed a very dangerous drug known as Amiodarone, which ended up causing iodine toxicity that has taken months for him to recover from.  All it would have taken to avoid the situation was a little simple research on the drugs to know that the Amiodarone was not necessary and the arrhythmias could have easily been prevented with the safer potassium that was being depleted by the Lasix.

Is “Oleander Soup” Effective for HIV or AIDS?

Is “oleander soup” effective for HIV or AIDS?

The claims of “oleander soup” being effective for cancer have already been debunked.

These are not the only questionable claims that have been made by Tony Isaacs.  Mr. Isaacs has also claimed that oleander has been shown to be effective against HIV/AIDS as well.  As “evidence” he posted a link to an article he wrote for his sales site.  Isaacs article then makes reference to a “100% successful double blind placebo controlled study”, which he claims the complete trial report can be found at:

http://www.tbyil.com/HIV_OPC_Trial.pdf

This is not the actual study, it is a person’s dissertation.  And there are no references to this study, nor can I find the study on Medline.  This calls in to question if the study actually exists and if it does was it conducted and interpreted properly.

Another problem with the claim that this proves oleander is effective is the fact that if this study is for real it was not for oleander alone.  On page 5 of the dissertation it clearly states that they used a mixture of sutherlandia and oleander.  Unlike oleander, there are studies showing strong potential for sutherlandia as an effective treatment for diseases such as cancer.  Here are some journal articles discussing the antiviral activity of sutherlandia:

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/4/1/19

http://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/fulltext/2005/01030/impact_of_african_herbal_medicines_on.13.aspx

To claim that the oleander was effective component is like claiming if someone takes a morphine tablet for pain with water that the water killed the pain.  The only component of the mixture that has shown any significant anti-retroviral activity is the sutherlandia, not the oleander.

The dissertation also states that this study was about raising CD4 counts in a total of 10 HIV+ people.  HIV+ though DOES NOT mean HIV infected.  The HIV antibody test is notoriously inaccurate with over 65 known causes of false positives.

A common cause of low CD4 cell counts in people testing HIV+ is the anti-retroviral drugs they are put on, which the dissertation does mention on page 3. Even though they state that participants could not be currently on anti-retroviral drugs it does not state that they could not have been used previously. And it is known that simply getting off of anti-retroviral drugs can allow the bone marrow to heal, which in turn will allow CD4 counts to come up.  So without knowing if these people were on anti-retroviral drugs before hand it is impossible to say if the herb mixture or simply getting off the anti-retrovirals was really responsible for the increase in CD4 counts.  This is why larger, well designed studies are needed, which have not been done.

On page 29 they mention that the sutherlandia in the formula contains canavanine, which is considered toxic.  It not only raises blood pressure, but it can also aggravate autoimmune conditions like lupus.  And according to this report the long term use can cause symptoms mimicking AIDS (page 2):

http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/Assets/Images/Pdf/Sutherlandia.pdf

Toxicity of the canavanine in sutherlandia starts of page 4 of the link I posted.

On page 32 of the link supplied by Mr. Isaacs it clearly states that the active components in oleander are polysaccharides as I kept pointing out to Mr. Isaacs.  I also repeatedly pointed out to him that there are many non-toxic sources containing immune stimulating polysaccharides that do not need to be processed to render them non-deadly like oleander.  These include medicinal mushrooms, seaweeds, schisandra, astragalus, echinacea, birch, yeasts, etc.  Many of these sources also contain other anticancer and antiviral compounds.  For example, turkey tail mushrooms contain anticancer and antiviral organic germanium.  Birch bark contains antiviral and anticancer betulinic acid.  Betulinic acid is concentrated in even higher amounts in chaga mushrooms that grow on birch trees.  So why would anyone bother with having to render a toxic plant nontoxic when so many non-toxic sources of polysaccharides exist? Especially when these other things also provide other antitumor compounds.

A cardiac glycoside found in oleander called oleandrin has shown some anti-cancer effects against some cancer cell lines in culture studies, but not in human studies.  Even though Mr, Isaacs has repeatedly claimed this is an active component in “oleander soup” and ignores the fact that oleandrin is lipid soluble and therefore is not extracted in to “oleander soup”, which is a water extract.

One of the statements that I found particularly funny in the dissertation was on page 35 where is states the participants were given soy formula fortified with vitamins and minerals.  Mr. Isaacs has bashed me numerous times for posting the benefits of consuming soy, yet he posts this dissertation where soy was used and that could have accounted for many of the benefits seen in the study.  Soy has been shown in numerous studies to be anti-cancer, and cancer is a common symptom in AIDS.  The vitamins and minerals as well as having some actual food in the form of soy would have also boosted their immune systems of the participants.  Then there is the fact that soy contains antiviral protease inhibitors.  So this puts the entire study in to question since there were several compounds used that could have accounted for any positive effects.

Is “Oleander Soup” for Cancer a Scam? Part 2

According to Tony Isaacs oleander extract has been found to be effective against a wide range of cancers based on a study that actually found oleander extract to be ineffective.

Even links posted on Tony Isaacs own website show oleander in Petri dish cultures were only effective against some cancer cell lines.  It is also important to keep in mind that even if oleander extract works against some cancer cell lines in a Petri dish this does not mean the effects will be the same in the human body.  For example, the first study done on oleander extract in the human body came to the conclusion once again that oleander extract was ineffective when given to humans despite limited success in culture tests.  In the words of the study researchers “No objective anti-tumor response was seen.”:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16763787

Invest New Drugs. 2006 Sep;24(5):423-7.

Phase 1 trial of Anvirzel in patients with refractory solid tumors.

Abstract

Anvirzel is an aqueous extract of the plant Nerium oleander which has been utilized to treat patients with advanced malignancies. The current study reports a phase 1 trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and safety of Anvirzel in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors. Patients were randomized to receive this agent by intramuscular injection at doses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 ml/m2/day with subsequent patients receiving 0.8 or 1.2 ml/m2/day sequentially. Eighteen patients were enrolled and completed at least one treatment cycle of three weeks. Most patients developed mild injection site pain (78%). Other toxicities included fatigue, nausea, and dyspnea. Traditional dose limiting toxicity was not seen, but the MTD was defined by injection volume as 0.8 ml/m2/day. No objective anti-tumor responses were seen. Anvirzel can be safely administered at doses up to 1.2 ml/m2/day, with the amount administered intramuscularly limited by volume. The recommended phase II dose level is 0.8 ml/m2/day.

The following is part of the resulting conversation between Tony Isaacs and myself after the presentation of this evidence.  Once again statements I did not make at the time are being presented in italicized print.

Tony Isaacs:  Those who would like to detract from oleander point out that no tumor responses were noted in the trail.  However, what they fail to point out is that the trial only lasted for 3 weeks for most participants and its only purpose was to determine toxicity.

James Sloane:  Note that Mr. Isaacs here has clearly stated the study was only to determine toxicity, not efficacy.  Yet, Mr. Isaacs has posted on numerous internet sites that the study had shown oleander extract was “apparently  effective against a wide variety of cancers”.  In reality though, not only did the study fail to show that oleander extract was effective against any cancers, as Mr. Isaacs pointed out himself the study was not even to determine efficacy.  Therefore, why is Mr. Isaacs making false claims about the study finding oleander extract supposedly being effective against a wide range of cancers? As we will see though this is not the only contradictory statement that Mr. Isaacs has made concerning oleander extract.

First of all I would expect to see some type of progress within 3 weeks.  Even chemotherapy shows activity within 3 weeks.  And being that many people do not turn to alternatives until their cancers are well advanced they may not have 3 weeks to begin with.  So how many months or years does it take to see some type of response to oleander extract?  And let’s see the studies that show any activity against cancers in the human body.  Oh that’s right, I asked before and all you presented were Petri dish studies that only showed some activity against some cancers.  Of course this means NOTHING as many things can be applied to cancer cells in a Petri dish and will kill cancer cells.  But in the body these substances have absolutely no effect.

In response to the presentation that the first study showed no benefit from oleander extract Mr. Isaacs tried to claim the reason was the study was too short to allow time for a response:

Tony Isaacs:  Oleander does not usually work overnight when it comes to cancer, but rather usually works slowly but surely where it first begins to slow tumor growth (normally within the first two months), then stabilizes tumor growth and then ultimately regresses tumors until they often are no longer present at all.

James Sloane:  A big problem with Mr. Isaacs claim in this case is that the study he said was too short to elicit a response was conducted by giving the participants the drug for 3 weeks (21 days).  In the second human study where Mr. Isaacs falsely claimed the drug appeared to be effective against a wide range of cancers the test participants were only given the drug for 21 days.  So how does Mr. Isaacs justify his claim the first trial failed due to the short duration yet claims the second study was a success when it was conducted for the same exact duration?

Sounds like it is too slow to me for advanced or aggressive cancers.  Let’s see, someone with liver cancer usually has 6 months or less to live once their cancer is discovered.  You are saying it takes about 2 months to even start slowing this rapidly growing cancer. Then sometime in the future it may “stabilize” the cancer if the person is not already dead.  And how much will that cancer have metastasized by the time the cancer is supposedly stabilized?

Sounds to me like a person would have to be a fool to try something like this, especially if they have a fast growing and aggressive cancer.  And especially when there is no proof it works in the human body. Chemotherapy, which is quackery, has more evidence to back it than oleander extract does!!!

Tony Isaacs:  Though that trial was also intended to primarily identify limiting toxic doses, it was a longer trial and also returned some remarkable results.  At the end of two months, 9 out of 20 enrolled patients had their cancer’s stabilized and three of them had already begun to see tumor regression.

James Sloane:  Mr. Isaacs just got done claiming that it takes 2 months to even start seeing results, which was his excuse for why the first trial found no effect.  Yet here Mr. Issacs is now claiming that at the end of two months 9 out of twenty enrolled patients had their cancer’s stabilized.  How can that be if it takes two months to even start seeing results?  And where is Mr. Isaacs coming up with these numbers?  There have been only two human studies on oleander extract for cancer.  In the first study shown previously in this blog post there were only eighteen patients total, and no significant tumor responses were noted.  In the second human study:

http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/Meetings/Abstracts?&vmview=abst_detail_view&confID=102&abstractID=80984

There were 46 participants, but only 7 had stabilized cancers for 4 months or more.  Even in the original report of this study there were only 15 participants at the time and only 3 participants with cancers stabilized for 4 months or more.  Nowhere is there evidence of a study with 20 participants, nor 9 cases of cancer stabilization as Mr. Isaacs claims.

In fact, Mr. Isaacs was asked repeatedly to present evidence of the clinical trials he claimed that had been finished.  Mr. Isaacs refused to provide evidence to the studies and I quickly found out why.  The first study found no effect from the oleander extract.  The second study had not been completed as Mr. Isaacs had claimed at the time.  By the time the study was finally completed there were only 7 of 46 participants that had cancers stabilized for 4 months or more.  Since these are the only two human studies conducted again where did Mr. Isaacs come up with the 9 out of 20 participants with stabilized cancers numbers?

After various claims made by Mr. Isaacs were shown to have been fabricated his next tactic was to present supposed testimonials by Dr. Ozel:

Tony Isaacs:  In real life, the aforementioned Dr. Ozel has a multitude of case reports which vouch for the effectiveness of oleander.  Some of those are:

Mesothelioma – HD
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_mesothelioma_HD.htm

Adenocarcinoma (epithelial type malignant mesothelioma?) – US
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_adenocarcinoma_US.htm

Small cell anaplastic carcinoma in the lung -YG
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_smallcell_YG.htm

Malignant lymphoma, lung cancer – MG
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_malignant_MG.htm

Prostate cancer with bone metastases – KE
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_pancreas_SO.htm

Pancreas cancer with bone metastases – SO
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_pancreas_SO.htm

Pancreas cancer – MH
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_pancreas_MH.htm

Peritoneal carcinosis – HA
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_peritoneal_HA.htm

Inoperable stomach carcinoma with metastases -VO
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_stomach_VO.htm

Brain tumor – AS
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_brain_AS.htm

Brain tumor – SD
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_brain_SD.htm

Breast cancer (Ductal carcinoma) – SE
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_breast_SE.htm

Antrum cancer – YT
http://www.drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_antrum_YT.htm

Brain tumor – EO
http://drozel.org/eng/diagnosis_brain_EO.html

James Sloane:  Supposed stories of cures in which there is no way to verify the information being claimed.  Common tactic of quack sites.  Where have these findings been presented to determine authenticity?  And where were they reported to determine long term effectiveness if any?

In fact according to your own claim earlier these reports are suspect.  You claimed that it took several months to even start slowing a malignant tumor.  Yet in the first report they are claiming that about half the mass had disappeared in a month’s time.

In the third report he claims a large remission of the cancer in “12 days”.  Yet the only published study we can find found no effectiveness with oleander extract in three weeks.  Sounds to me like someone is making up their “facts”.

This is a great example though of why unsubstantiated testimonials are completely worthless!!!  Multilevel marketing companies use this tactic all the time making up testimonials that of course cannot be verified so that they can make their compounds appear effective when they are really garbage.  So where are those medical study publications where these “cures” can be verified?  That would at least be real evidence.

I also find it interesting that Mr. Isaacs claims that Dr. Ozel has “cured thousands of cancer patients”, yet Tony Isaacs keeps posting the same 14 unverifiable “testimonials”.  If there are really thousands of people cured using oleander why are there not more testimonials?  Why can’t we find their case histories in any medical journals.  I can find various case histories for numerous other alternative cancer therapies in the medical journals, but none for any of Dr. Ozel’s patients that supposedly exist. Without their histories how do we know they actually exist? How do we know that they did not use other therapies known to work along with the oleander? How do we know if their cancers came back or if they even survived past 5 years cancer free?……..  And more importantly, why aren’t these people, if they exist, touting the cure on the internet? I would think that if these people really existed and survived their cancers that they would be so thankful that they would at least be on YouTube touting how they were cured by Dr. Ozel’s protocol. Yet, there is absolutely no real evidence that any of these people really exist.  And again, let’s not forget that the self proclaimed oleander expert, Tony Isaacs, clearly stated that oleander takes at least two months to start seeing results but according to these questionable testimonials significant reductions or cures are being reported within a few weeks.  Are these “testimonials” fake?  In my opinion they certainly appear to be. 

As mentioned earlier the first in human test of the oleander extract Anvirzel (Anti viral Ozel) found the product to be ineffective for cancer.  This can be explained in large part due to Dr. Ozel’s own claims. 

According to the article Immunologically Active Polysaccharides from the Aqueous Extract of Nerium oleander by Dr. Ozel and other authors the active component in this water extracted oleander extract is a polysaccharide. 

Contrary to Tony Isaacs’ claim that the active ingredients include the cardiac glycosides, the article states “Since the cardiac glycosides for some reasons cannot be responsible for the anti-tumor activity of the aqueous extract”.  Although some cardiac glycosides from various plants have been shown to have some anti-tumor activity in cell culture studies, Isaacs assumes that the same applies to in human effects.  There are several flaws with this assumption though. 

First of all as I pointed out earlier what happens in a cell culture does not always work the same way within the body.  Various factors such as digestive secretions, metabolic enzymes, binding compounds, etc. within the human body can create totally different effects than occur within a Petri dish. 

In addition, with highly toxic compounds such as cardiac glycosides, concentrations of the test substance can be applied to cells in a Petri dish safely that would kill a human if administered directly to a human. 

And this self proclaimed oleander expert, Tony Isaacs, keeps overlooking the fact that the cardiac glycoside oleandrin that he keeps claiming is an active component is not water soluble.  How can oleandrin be an active component in Anvirzel or his so-called “oleander soup” when the oleandrin being lipid soluble would not be extracted in these water extracted products? 

Therefore, the only active component would be the polysaccharide as Dr. Ozel himself points out.  Polysaccharides alone cannot kill cancer cells though.  If that were the case then we could use any of hundreds of polysaccharide rich plants to cure cancer without having to process the plants to render them non-toxic like must be done with oleander.  The purpose of these polysaccharides is to activate white blood cells.  The problem though is that cancer cells are very adept to evading the immune system, and white blood cells cannot attack the cancer cells if the cancer cells cannot be detected.  Therefore, polysaccharides have a very limited effect against cancer.

What polysaccharides can do to help fight cancer is activate the immune system against cancer microbes such as cancer viruses that account for the majority of cancers.  According to Mr. Isaacs though the germ theory is bogus and therefore he does not believe that microbes cause any diseases.  If Mr. Isaacs were correct about this claim then he is just providing further proof that oleander is completely worthless for the treatment of cancer.

If someone really wants to address cancer, in my opinion they should address the various aspects of cancer that can be targeted as weak points of these cells.  For example, addressing  the cancer causing microbes.  In addition, increasing interferon and other cytokines, increasing peroxides, addressing the Cori cycle, blocking angiogenesis, blocking hyaluronidase to prevent metastases, etc.  Simply stimulating white blood cells with polysaccharides alone is going to do virtually nothing for cancer as the oleander extract studies have shown.

It should also be noted that Mr. Isaacs is claiming that oleander extract is helpful for autoimmune disorders.  The exact opposite is true though.  Sources rich in immune stimulating polysaccharides are contradicted for a very good reason.  In autoimmune conditions there is an over production of low affinity (nonspecific) antibodies being produced that tag healthy tissues for destruction by white blood cells.  When the white blood cells are stimulated by high concentrations of immune stimulating polysaccharides the activated white blood cells speed up the destruction of the “antibody tagged” tissues aggravating the autoimmune condition.

Tony Isaacs:  There are also many other case reports about the successful use of oleander, as researched and reported in the book I wrote.

James SloaneSee above.  And keep in mind that the book was written by the same person who also presented Petri dish studies as “proof of effectiveness” after being asked for human studies showing actual proof of effectiveness.  This is why we cannot believe everything we read.

Tony Isaacs:  Neither have I stated that cancer can be caused by cellular hypoxia, but rather that he believes that cellular hypoxia is a result of the process that leads to cancer which most often begins due to a prolonged inflammation.

James Sloane:  Problem with this hypothesis is that inflammation INCREASES oxygen levels to the tissues.  When we are injured inflammatory prostaglandins dilate blood vessels in the area to INCREASE oxygen and nutrients to the injured area to help promote healing.

Tony Isaacs:  or exposure to a carcinogen.

James Sloane:  Radiation is a carcinogen, but this is because the radiation breaks chromosomes.  The broken strands of genetic material reattach where they can leading to changes in the metabolism of the cells.  Again this has NOTHING to do with lower oxygen levels to cells.  Radiation can also lead to immune suppression due to its destructive effects on the bone marrow.

Tony Isaacs:  Likewise, the moderator believes that the pleomorphic process of cancer involves a viral stage.

James Sloane:  Not all cancer microbes involve pleomorphism.  For example the fungus Aspergillus niger that produces aflatoxins that can lead to liver cancer.  And again there are a number of cancer viruses. They are not morphing in to each other.

This claim is also contradictory to Tony Isaacs other claim that the germ theory is wrong.  In another post Isaacs claims that the germ theory is wrong, and thus he does not believe that microbes are responsible for any diseases.  Yet here are claims that he believes that cancer is microbial in origin as the term “pleomorphism” here refers to the changing of disease causing microbes in to their various forms including viruses.  I guess Isaacs just believes in whatever fits his needs at that time rather than proven facts.

 

As a final note here a poster askedI’ve read that it (oleander soup) is very good at raising white blood cell counts. Is this true?”  According to Tony Isaacs in a 2010 article he wrote Isaacs claims that oleander has been shown to boost white blood cell counts.

This is yet another false claim.  The polysaccharides from oleander stimulate white blood cell activity, but they do not increase white blood cell counts.  Low white blood cell counts are most often from bone marrow damage.  This can be from a number of things including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), chemotherapy drugs, radiation, certain cancers or infections, etc.  Oleander has not been shown to restore bone marrow and thus increase white blood cells as Isaacs claims.  Nor has it been shown to reduce overactive splenic activity, the other cause of low white blood cells.

The reason for presenting all this is to get people to realize that they need to be EXTREMELY careful when getting their health information online.  There are many people pretending to be experts on topics they know virtually nothing about and promoting strange and unproven concepts about disease.  Just because someone makes claims in a book or online this does not make these true.  People get conned all the time by people who know just enough to make themselves sound like authorities.   They count on people not being willing to research the claims they are making.  Don’t get conned.  Take a little extra time and research some credible, non sales or propaganda sites, to verify health claims before jumping in to some therapy or taking some supplement.

For related articles see:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/is-oleander-soup-for-cancer-a-scam-part-1/

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

Is “Oleander Soup” for Cancer A Scam? Part 1

I first ran across a product called “oleander soup” when reading posts on Curezone where it was being promoted for cancer, AIDS and hepatitis.  When I first read about it the posts really concerned me because one of the promoters of oleander soup was telling people to just use oleander soup for their cancer with no mention of safety or preparation.  This really concerned me because simply saying oleander soup could leave some people to assume that they simply boil up some oleander leaves in to a soup and ingest, which would be deadly.  Oleander is an extremely poisonous plant with all parts of the plant and even the honey made from the plant being poisonous.

When I pointed out my concerns about simply telling people to ingest oleander soup was highly dangerous I instantly became public enemy #1 to another oleander soup promoter named Tony Isaacs.

Mr. Isaacs is a self-proclaimed expert on oleander.  Although, exchanges with Mr. Isaacs clearly show a different picture.  For example, Mr. Isaacs repeatedly claims that oleander is an effective cancer treatment and that the oleander phase 1 trials proved it was effective in the treatment of cancer.  The truth though is that every study on oleander tested on humans has shown it to be ineffective.  This includes the recent study Mr. Isaacs claimed proved oleander effective was funded by the manufacturer of the oleander product, tested at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Despite the fraud that appears to be perpetrated in the study I discussed in my last blog post

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

the study still showed the oleander extract was ineffective for cancer.

I have not seen any evidence that oleander has been shown effective for hepatitis nor AIDS either as has been claimed.  When asked for evidence to the oleander being proven effective for AIDS,  I was directed to a sales site that is not even close to being evidence of effectiveness.

When dealing with such dangerous diseases, such as cancer, it is essential that people get proper information.  Especially considering that time is essential for cancer patients.  If a cancer patient wastes time with a proven ineffective treatment like oleander soup they may not have time for a second chance with a therapy that actually works.  That is if they do not kill themselves by assuming oleander soup is simply oleander leaves boiled in water.  This is why I am so passionate about exposing the truth behind oleander soup.

Many of the exchanges between Mr. Isaacs and I were hidden or deleted from Curezone since Mr. Isaacs is a moderator on the Cancer forum where many of the posts were made.  Luckily I made copies of much of this information and other information from Curezone before it was deleted.  The following is a compilation of some of the comments made by Mr. Isaacs and my responses so people can decide for themselves if Mr. Isaacs really is an expert on oleander as he portrays himself.  Comments made by Tony Isaacs that I have not responded to previously will be italicized:

Tony Isaacs:  I may not be as scientifically well versed as you when it comes to discussing individual compounds or the minutaie of what does or does not constitute a cardiac glycoside or whether it is technically redundant to call something a “long chain” polysacharride, but I nevertheless do know oleander.

Tony Isaacs:  Here is a parial list of the cancer fighting compounds in oleander:

Oleandrin and a number of other cardiac glycosides including Neriin,  Oleandrinogen, Oleandrigenin, Uzarigenin and others; several long-chain polysacharrides such as Beta-sistosterol; Quercitin, Linoleic-acid, Oleic-acid, Adynerin, Alpha-amyrin,  Betulin, Foliandrin, Folinerin, Gitoxigenin, Isoquercitrin, Lauric-acid,  Oleanolic-acid,  Rutin, Stigmasterol, Ursolic-acid

James Sloane:  And how do the other compounds you mention work? I am not familiar with foliandrin so I looked it up with cancer.  No research available whatsoever. Alpha-amyrin again no research for cancer, but it is listed as a potent irritant. Presence of does not mean they have anticancer activity, so I would like to the research to back these claims.

You also list oleandrin and folinerin, which different names for the same compound. This really reduces credibility when you list the same compound multiple times making it appear that there are more active components than there really are.

Another mistake I see is in your quote “several long-chain polysaccharides such as Beta-sitosterol”. First of all polysaccharides are long chain. Poly means many, saccharides refer to sugars. Thus polysaccharides are long chain sugar molecules. For example beta glucan, fructooligosaccharides, even cellulose. And they are found in a number of sources: seaweeds, mushrooms, schisandra, echinacea, myrrh, birch, yeasts, astragalus….. Secondly, beta sitosterol is not a polysaccharide, it is a plant sterol. These are natural steroidal compounds found in plants that help them to adapt to stresses.

Tony Isaacs: Likewise the well known and highly respected (outside the FDA) owner of Alpha Omega Labs had his choice of any ingredients in the world when he formulated his new Cansema III tonic.  He and his medical professionals chose oleander as the main ingredient, along with graviola and chaparral.

James Sloane: I did not respond to this bogus claim earlier, but will here.  I went to the Alpha Omega Labs website to look up the product:

http://www.altcancer.com/products/cansema-tonic-tm

And looked at the list of ingredients:

Ingredients: Aloe vera (as a base medium), bioenergized extracts of the following cancerolytic botanicals: graviola (Annona muricata) from the Amazonia, Andrographis paniculata, neem (Azadirachta indica A. Jus), chapparal (Larrea mexicata), and hydronium solution (H3O) to enhance and preserve contents. Contains no alcohol or artificial chemicals.

Note that not only is oleander not the main ingredient in Cansema III as Tony Isaacs claims, but oleander is not in the product whatsoever.

James Sloane:  We have different views on curcumin and turmeric. It has many of the same compounds as in your oleander soup, but offers additional cancer fighting mechanisms not found in oleander. And as I pointed out it is readily available, safe, and extremely cheap.

Tony Isaacs:  Yes, curcumin is readily available, cheap and safe.  It also is not water soluable and has very poor bioavailibility because only a tiny fraction of raw curcumin is absorbed in the body. Most importantly, despite all the excitement about cucumin, it is simply not nearly as effective as oleander and to state that it is might well be advice that would keep someone from otherwise beating cancer and THAT, rather than arguing the finer points of individual compounds, is what I am all about.  Thus far, in over five years, no one who has followed my advice regarding oleander and fighting cancer, HIV or Hep-C is not still alive.  Can you say the same?

James Sloane:  First of all turmeric has more active compounds than just curcumin that work synergistically. Therefore, large amounts are not required or a strong effect

In addition, keep in mind that not all compounds are required in large amounts to have a significant effect on the body. For example, it does not take a large amount of oleander to kill an adult human.

Just because curcumin is poorly soluble in water is irrelevant.  Fish oil is insoluble in water but still has plenty of health benefits. This is because oil soluble compounds are made water soluble for absorption in the intestines from the lecithin in bile.

Funny though that Tony Isaacs would try to use that as an argument though being that the main compound he claims is active in oleander, oleandrin, is not water soluble. Therefore, using his same argument his “oleander soup” would not contain what he claims is the active component from the oleander leaves.

And how does Mr. Isaacs know who is still alive after his protocol and who is not?  He has posted this supposed treatment all over the internet where numerous strangers that he has no contact with could have followed his advice.  The fact is that Mr. Isaacs has no clue how many people may have died following his advice and using this proven bogus therapy.

Even if someone is still alive this dos not prove oleander was effective.  If we read the various protocols for oleander, including those by Mr. Isaacs himself, they include other therapies and/or supplements that have shown effectiveness against cancer.  This is like saying if someone takes an oral antibiotic for a bacterial infection that it was the water they washed the pill with that treated the infection.

Tony Isaacs:  Listing or debating the known actions of individual compounds is misleading.  Isolating and concentrating on individual compounds is one of the great fallacies of mainstream medicine.

James Sloane: Yet this is exactly what Mr. Isaacs did when it fit his needs.  I was talking about the effects of turmeric and one of its constituents curcumin.  Yet, Mr. Isaacs decided to focus only on the curcumin in his response ignoring the other synergistic compounds in turmeric.

James Sloane: Though I would not rely on any plant solely for cancer.  No plant is going to address all of the aspects that need to be addressed with cancer.  For example does oleander address the Cori cycle?   ATP formation?  Angiogenesis?   Hyaluronidase inhibition? Fibrinolysis?  Do you even have a clue why these are so important to address?  By the same token do you even understand how the various compounds you list as being active work?

Tony Isaacs: (No response ever given.)

Tony Isaacs:  I have already stated that I like and recommend curcumin – in fact I think it is great (and I take it every day myself), the same as does highly respected alternative cancer authority Webster Kehr of the reknown Cancer Tutor site (http://www.cancertutor.com/).  He states on his site that he considers curcumin among the top 50 cancer fighters, though it has not yet made the cut to be listed among his top Stage IV, Stage III and other alternative treatments on the title page of his website.  Oleander on the other hand is listed in his top 5.

James Sloane:  Renowned is a matter of opinion.  Among other things that are recommended at this site include the so-called “liver flushes” that have been proven bogus and coffee enemas that weaken the immune system by taxing the adrenals, which also puts more stress on the thymus and decreases white blood cell activity.  In addition, coffee has been shown to contain various carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PACs) and anti-nutrients such as tannins. Coffee should not be put in to the body in any form if a person has cancer. Other sources of caffeine or other stimulants should also be avoided.

Just because a site reports the sales hype of various alternative cancer therapies without understanding the chemistry or other factors behind the treatment this does not make the site renowned.

Since Tony Isaacs brought this site up though let’s look at his claims. Isaacs claims that oleander is in the top 5 for stage III and stage IV cancers.  So what does the site really say?:

http://www.cancertutor.com/Other/RuleOfThumb.html

As we can see under the listing for stage III treatments the top recommendations are:

“Checklist 1a of 11: Exactly ONE of the “Strong Stage III” Treatments

There are five treatments in this category:

1) The Frequency Generator (aka “Rife Machine”) [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
2) The Bill Henderson Protocol [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
3) The Brandt Grape Cure using red, black or purple grapes [actually a Stage IV Treatment],
4) The Brandt Grape Cure using a vegetable juice, which includes carrot juice, beet juice, and other specific juices [a Strong Stage III Treatment]
5) Amazon Factor Protocol [a Strong Stage III Treatment] “

Notice that not only is oleander not part of the 5 recommendations for stage III cancer, but it is not even mentioned at all in the recommended treatment protocols on the page as Mr. Issacs claimed.

There is a brief mention of oleander as a stage IV treatment, but again nothing about it being in the top 5. 

The site does claim that oleander works for AIDS, which I have been unable to find any evidence of.  They also claim various beneficial effects from oleander that have not been shown to occur in the human body.  Again, the site is just regurgitating the same sales hype and misinformation they are presented or read on sales sites rather than researching the claims to find out if they are factual before presenting the claims.

Tony Isaacs:  Another top alternative cancer site is the Minnesota Wellness Directory.  They too consider oleander to be one of, if not THE, best cancer fighters and often refer people to me for advice.

James Sloane:  I looked at the site and again nowhere do they state that oleander is a top recommendation as Mr. Isaacs claims.  I did find a few interesting statements though such as:

The simple fact is that the ethanolic extraction method used by the Russians only gets a small amount more oleandrin than the water extraction method, but loses the vital polysaccharides and other synergistic compounds that make Anvirzel and the folk remedy version so effective.”- From an email sent to the Minnesota Wellness Directory by Tony Isaacs

The problem with Mr. Isaacs’ claim is that oleandrin is soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water.  Therefore, there would be a high level of oleandrin, what he claims is the most active component, in the alcohol extract.  The water extract though, such as “oleander soup” would have little to no oleandrin.

Polysaccharides, which are found in numerous non-toxic plants, can help stimulate white blood cell activity.  If that is the only real active compound in oleander soup though then why not just use polysaccharides from plants that you do not have to process to render them non-poisonous such as astragalus, seaweeds or medicinal mushrooms?

I also pointed out to Mr. Isaacs a while back that the polysaccharides do increase white blood cell activity.  The immune system has a very difficult time finding and killing cancer cells though, so stimulating white blood cells with polysaccharides cannot kill cancer cells directly.  Instead, the stimulation of white blood cells help fight cancer by killing cancer pathogens such as cancer viruses, which account for the vast majority of cancers.  When I brought this up to Mr. Isaacs he went haywire on me attacking me over and over in posts and encouraging others to do the same.  His problem was that Isaacs did not believe viruses were the primary cause of cancer.  In fact, to prove it to me he ran a Google search and came up with zero hits.  Yet, I type in “cancer viruses” and it comes up with about “20,900,000 results”.  Honestly, I cannot figure out for the life of me how he ever managed to write a book with such poor research skills!!!  I am currently working on a book about alternative cancer therapies.  In one of the chapters I have already included 63 medical journal references on cancer viruses, which is only a small portion of the articles I have found. But not only does Isaacs not believe viruses are a primary cause of cancer, Isaacs not believe that microbes cause any disease as evidenced by this article he wrote:

http://curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=1691964

Ironically, Mr. Isaacs happens to sell a colloidal silver product on his website, which Isaacs claims kills viruses, bacteria and fungi. If the germ theory is wrong, and thus microbes don’t cause disease why is he selling $24.00 bottles of colloidal silver to kill microbes that he does not even believe cause disease?

The Minnesota Wellness Directory did post the findings from the Phase 1 study of the oleander extract Anvirzel, which is the same study Tony Isaacs claimed proved the effectiveness of oleander:

Summary  Anvirzel™ is an aqueous extract of the plant Nerium oleander which has been utilized to treat patients with advanced malignancies. The current study reports a phase 1 trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and safety of Anvirzel™ in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors. Patients were randomized to receive this agent by intramuscular injection at doses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 ml/m2/day with subsequent patients receiving 0.8 or 1.2 ml/m2/day sequentially. Eighteen patients were enrolled and completed at least one treatment cycle of three weeks. Most patients developed mild injection site pain (78%). Other toxicities included fatigue, nausea, and dyspnea [labored breathing]. Traditional dose limiting toxicity was not seen, but the MTD was defined by injection volume as 0.8 ml/m2/day. No objective anti-tumor responses were seen. Anvirzel™ can be safely administered at doses up to 1.2 ml/m2/day, with the amount administered intramuscularly limited by volume. The recommended phase II dose level is 0.8 ml/m2/day.

As we can see from the study findings though it clearly states that the product had no real effect on the tumors.  Therefore, once again Mr. Isaacs misrepresented the facts to make it appear that oleander was effective for cancer when the studies have clearly demonstrated that it is not.

Tony Isaacs:  Marc Swanepoel, the cancer and HIV researcher and crusader who developed the OPC supplement has studied a great number of natural substances to help the HIV sufferers and indigent cancer victims in his native South Africa.  His choice of major ingredients was oleander.

James Sloane:  Marc Swanepoel recommends Sutherlandia OPC along with various other supplements for cancer.  Sutherlandia OPC also contains sutherlandia (“cancer bush”), which unlike oleander has been backed as being effective for cancer in studies.

Tony Isaacs:  how about you show me where curcumin has been over 90% successful against a broad range of cancers or 100% effective in reversing AIDS symptoms.  Or show me studies where an extract of curcumin was found to have six times the immune stimulating activity of the most powerful patented immune stimulators known to man.

James Sloane:  Why should I?  I never claimed that curcumin was that effective.  And oleander has never been shown to have anywhere near that kind of success rate either. Unlike oleander though, there is numerous research studies showing the effectiveness of turmeric and its extract curcumin against cancer.

For related information see:

http://medproductreview.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/quackery-alert-oleander-cancer-treatment/

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