Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘stomach’

The Stomach Acid is a Waste Product Myth

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

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

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.

The Benefits of Stomach Acid

Stomach acid is present to:

1. Help protect the body from pathogens that would otherwise enter through the digestive system.  Many pathogenic bacteria, such as E.  coli and H. pylori THRIVE in an alkaline environment.  This is why E. coli lives in the alkaline environment of the intestines and H.  pylori secretes ammonia to neutralize stomach acid to protect itself.  Reducing stomach acid just makes it that much easier for these pathogens to set up shop in the body where they DO NOT belong. 

 2. To allow for the absorption of minerals as non-chelated minerals are reacted with the acid to convert them in to absorbable salts.  

3. Reduction of acid reflux, which results from the lack of stomach acid.  A lack of stomach acid leads to fermentation by yeast overgrowth in the stomach and by fermentation of foods not being digested properly.  The resultant gas formation builds up in the stomach and is eventually rapidly released up the esophagus carrying traces of acid with it.  

4. To allow for the proper digestion of proteins.  The digestive enzyme pepsin cannot work without sufficient levels of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid).  When  proteins are not broken down properly the intact proteins can enter the bloodstream forming antigens.  This in turn can lead to serious and even life threatening allergic reactions.

 5. Absorption of vitamins.  The B vitamins B6, B12 and folate in particular are dependent on sufficient stomach acid for absorption.  Stomach acid levels decline though with age naturally.  This is why deficiencies of B6, B12 and folate are so common in the elderly.  

6. Conversion of silica to orthosilicic acid for use by the body.  Silica is essential for the formation of collagen, elastin, and chondroitin.  Without sufficient silica we develop numerous conditions including osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, heart disease, emphysema, diverticulitis, etc.  Even wrinkles and cellulite can result from a loss of silica leading to a reduction of the structural proteins collagen and elastin.  In order for silica to be absorbed and utilized it must first be converted in to orthosilicic acid.  This occurs from a reaction between silica and water, but the process is greatly enhanced by the presence of an acid.  The primary acid for this conversion is stomach acid. 

As I mentioned before stomach acid DECLINES with age.  This leads to a drop in the conversion of silica in to orthosilicic acid, and therefore a loss of collagen, elastin, and chondroitin production as we age.  Now go back and look at the symptoms that develop from the loss of these structural proteins.  Notice how these are not seen in younger people but are common in the elderly?  So why do we see this in the elderly?  Because the lack of stomach acid interferes with the absorption of nutrients needed for the production of structural proteins.  These nutrients include silica, zinc, copper and amino acids. 

As we can see if you want to speed up the production of “age-related disorders” a simple way is to do this is to neutralize your stomach acid.

It should be noted that most of the nutrients needed to form stomach acid are acid dependant for absorption.  Therefore the lack of stomach acid leads to further declines in stomach acid, leading to less absorption of stomach acid forming nutrients, leading to less stomach acid formation………   It is a vicious cycle downhill once started.  Therefore I recommend avoiding antacids, acid blockers also known as proton pump inhibitors, alkaline waters, calcium carbonate (coral, oyster shell, dolomite), calcium oxide/hydroxide (lime) and magnesium oxide/hydroxide.

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/

Calcium from Coral

I do not recommend calcium from coral.  The chemistry of coral it is not that much different from oyster shell, which is a lot cheaper.  Both coral and oyster shells contain minerals and trace minerals extracted from the water.  In addition,  both coral and oyster  shell are composed primarily of calcium carbonate, which is one of the least absorbed forms of calcium available.  Its popularity among manufacturers is only due to calcium carbonate being the cheapest form of supplemental calcium available.

Coral is a colony of living animals, called polyps.  As fish respirate they release carbon dioxide into the water, which reacts with calcium to form calcium carbonate.  The polyps extract the calcium carbonate from the water to cement themselves to a hard surface.  New polyps then cement themselves to the old dead polyps and the cycle continues causing the coral to grow.  In the process other minerals are extracted from the water.  The primary component of coral though  still remains calcium carbonate.

The big problem with calcium carbonate is that it is very alkaline and neutralizes acids.  With the big push to alkalize this may sound good at first.  Parts of the body need to be acid though and excess alkalinity (alkalosis) is a dangerous condition.

The biggest concern here is the stomach, which definitely needs to be acidic.  The stomach needs to be acidic actually for several reasons.  For instance in order to digest proteins the body uses an enzyme called pepsin.  Pepsin cannot work without sufficient stomach acid being present.  When stomach acid is in short supply partially digested proteins can be absorbed triggering off allergic responses.   Certain vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12 and folate cannot be absorbed from the gut either unless there is sufficient stomach acid.  Stomach acid levels naturally decline though with age, which is why deficiencies of these vitamins  are common in the elderly.  Without these vitamins a process known as methylation is reduced leading to increased risk of heart disease, allergies, low immunity, decreased energy, etc.  Another problem is that many minerals cannot be absorbed unless there is sufficient stomach acid or food acids present or unless they are pre-acidified.  By neutralizing stomach acid, carbonates actually interfere with the absorption of minerals such as calcium and the even more importantly silica.

Silica is the most important nutrient for bone health.  It is also essential for healthy hair, nails, teeth, tendons, ligaments, arteries, etc.  Silica deficiencies are also responsible for wrinkle formation since silica is essential for elastin formation, which helps keep the skin from sagging leading to wrinkles.

Another very important purpose of stomach acid is to control the growth of microbes such as bacteria and Candida fungi in the stomach since most are killed or controlled by acidity.  Therefore, as stomach acid levels decline the risk of infection increases.  For example, the most common cause of heartburn is a lack of stomach acid leading to increased fermentation in the stomach.  This is in part due to increased time the food remains in the stomach, but also from microbial overgrowth in the stomach as acid levels decrease.  Fermentation leads to gas formation that puts pressure on the stomach’s lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle.  The resulting pressure tires out the LES muscle at the top of the stomach and it gives way allowing the gas to escape up the esophagus.  When this happens, traces of acid go with the gas causing the heartburn.  Unfortunately the medical community is still stuck on the long outdated idea that excessive stomach acid causes heartburn and they do not bother to read their own medical texts.  Excessive stomach acid, a condition known as hyperchlorrhydria, is considered extremely rare.  Yet antacids and acid blockers, which cover up the symptoms while making the underlying problem worse are the second largest selling drug class.  One of these compounds commonly used to neutralize stomach acid is calcium carbonate, such as Tums.  As with Tums, coral again is primarily calcium carbonate.  Stomach acid is the first thing the carbonate in the coral is going to come into contact with.  This neutralizes the stomach acid and the carbonate gets used up in the process leaving no carbonate to alkalize the blood unless taken in excessive amounts.  Because stomach acid is so important, this is a real bad idea!  The best way to get around this problem is to get your minerals from food or herbs.  Minerals in plants are naturally chelated, which means they are bound to proteins.  Being bound to proteins the body will accept these sources like foods and the proteins help chaperone the minerals into the body where they are separated and can do their job without neutralizing the stomach acid.

There are actually different chemical compositions in the corals taken from above the water and below the water.  The below water coral has more nutrients.  This is in part due to what else is in it.  The below water coral is actually coral sand dredged from the bottom.  Therefore, it not only is the broken down coral being sucked up but also any little plants and animals in the sand.  The above water coral has been weathered and leached of many of its minerals.

In short, there are better choices for calcium than coral.  For instance, if you want a great source of calcium and trace minerals then you could use Atlantic kelp, which not only contains these minerals but also vitamins, which are not found in coral.  Seaweeds contain algins, which bind with heavy metals such as those found in the coral and the seaweeds themselves.  By binding with the heavy metals algins pull these heavy metals from the body.  Coral and colloidal minerals from shale deposits being sold as “plant derived” cannot do this.

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