Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘water’

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Part 2: Alkaline/Acid Support Forum Part 1

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

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

And have additional information in this post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

And his other claims here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other means by which alkalinity can promote disease include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neutralizing the stomach acid leads to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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” 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:

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:

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):

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 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

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:

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 (  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?:

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:

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:

Medicinal Properties of Chaparral Part 1

If I made a list of my top 10 favorite herbs, chaparral (Larrea tridentata) would definitely be on that list.  This hardy plant, comprising over 20 species, cannot only survive the extremes of desert life, but can also live to be well over 10,000 years old.  In fact, I have read that one of the oldest living plants on earth is a massive chaparral plant in California believed to be over 25,000 years old.  Natural habitats for chaparral include the Southwestern US, Mexico, South America, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean.

Medicinally, chaparral is hard to beat.  The plant has strong antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-tumor properties.  Chaparral is also a great anti-inflammatory and raises vitamin C levels in the adrenal glands.  By strengthening the adrenals, inflammatory conditions are reduced in the body, stress responses are improved, immune function is strengthened, depression can be alleviated, blood sugar can be stabilized, allergies/asthma reduced, etc.  Chaparral is an extremely strong blood purifier, which is probably in part due to its high sulfur content.  Its sulfur content could also help explain its historical use as a hair growth agent.

In addition, chaparral is the strongest antioxidant I have seen.  Many antioxidant manufacturers claim that their antioxidant is the strongest known, but they are misleading.  For example, manufacturers of Pycnogenol claimed that they had the strongest antioxidant known.  They even went as far to compare the strength of their product to vitamin E.  The problem is that Pycnogenols, or PCOs, are water soluble.  Natural vitamin E on the other hand is lipid (fat) soluble.  This is like comparing a car to a bicycle.  They are both a source of transportation, but with big differences.  And if I were to compare Pycnogenols with vitamin E, I would say the vitamin E is the car, which is more powerful, and the Pycnogenols are the bicycle.  This is because I feel the cell membrane, which is composed of lipids is more prone to free radical damage than the components within the water portion of the cell.  Chaparral is different because it is not limited to the water or lipid portions of the cell.  The antioxidants in chaparral work in both parts of the cell.

The antioxidants in chaparral include flavonoids, and a very powerful antioxidant known as nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA). NDGA is such a strong and effective antioxidant that it was actually used for decades as an antioxidant preservative for oils and foods, with full approval of the USDA.

Calcium and Sports Water

With all the talk about the benefits of calcium, manufacturers are adding calcium to numerous products.  Sometimes these combinations leave the calcium unavailable to the body and in other cases it can create serious problems.

Recently I have seen commercials for a new sports water with added calcium.  At first this may sound like a great idea.  After all calcium does play a role in bone strength and exercise is needed to get the calcium in to the bone.  Although, the addition of calcium to sports waters actually pose an unintended problem for athletes.  Calcium contracts muscles, which can lead to muscle cramping.  In fact, the most common reason for muscle cramping in most people is excess calcium levels and/or lack of magnesium to balance it, not potassium deficiency as is often believed.  In order to prevent muscle contraction and potential muscle cramping the calcium must be balanced out with sufficient levels of magnesium, which relaxes muscles.


The Coca Cola Corporation has begun a joint venture with the Nestle Corporation to produce a new drink called Enviga.  This green tea based beverage is claimed to be a “negative calorie” drink that will help burn calories.  Enviga does have calories, actually 5 per can.  The “negative calorie” claim must therefore be the belief that the drinks will burn more calories than it provides. W ill the drink really help you lose weight though and at what cost?

The manufacturers of Enviga claim that drinking 3 cans of Enviga a day will burn 60 to 100 calories per day.  This is the equivalent number of calories of the average éclair, one cup of fat free ice cream, or 4 to 6 level teaspoons of sugar.  In terms of fat, this equates to the loss of about of about 5 pounds over a year.  Each can of Enviga costs an average of $1.40.  Therefore, to lose that 5 pounds, if the drink really causes weight loss, would cost $1,533.00.

On the other hand, drinking a cold glass of water burns around 17 calories as the body burns calories to warm the water.  Therefore, drinking 8 sixteen ounce glasses of cold water daily will burn 136 calories daily.  In addition, drinking water not only helps to cleanse the system but it also suppresses the appetite.  Both of these will help reduce weight.  A brisk walk burns 7 calories per minute.  If it took 10 minutes to walk to the store to buy the Enviga you would burn 70 calories and another 70 calories on the way back.  That is more calories burnt than by drinking 3 cans of Enviga.  In addition, regular exercise helps to build muscle, which burns fat even when in a resting state.

Calories are not the only cause of weight gain though.  So the real question is will Enviga help people lose weight.  In my opinion, no it will not help people lose weight.  In fact, it is more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss.  To understand why we must first look at the ingredients:

Carbonated water, calcium lactate, concentrated green tea from tea leaves, citric acid, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate and potassium benzoate, natural flavors, Aspartame, caffeine and Acesulfame-K.

The only ingredients in Enviga that will have any real effect on weight loss are the green tea concentrate and added caffeine.  Catechins in green tea have been found to help boost the metabolism. as does the added caffeine and the additional caffeine from the tea extract.  On the other hand, Enviga uses two artificial sweeteners, Aspartame, and Acesulfame-K.  Not getting in to the other dangerous adverse effects of these two artificial sweeteners, both Aspartame and Acesulfame-K cause insulin spikes.  Insulin in turn promotes fat production.  In addition, Aspartame is also well known for causing weight gain because it promotes appetite.  To further compound the problem, Aspartame can cause dry mouth syndrome increasing the likelihood that the person would drink even more Aspartame containing beverages, which can lead to further weight gain.

If you are really interested in losing weight I recommend staying away from diet sodas and other diet drinks.  Water is your best choice for a beverage.  This is especially true  if you are diabetic.

Sinus Infections

One of the most common mistakes I see doctors make is the prescribing of antibiotics without first performing a culture.  This is especially true for sinus infections.  Time and time again I have seen people given antibiotics for sinus infections without a culture.  The majority of the time antibiotic therapy fails.  The problem is that antibiotics work against bacteria, but the majority of sinus infections are fungal in origin.  If a fungal infection is present in the sinuses antibiotic therapy will not only fail, but the therapy will make the condition worse.  The sinuses, like various other parts of the body, contain beneficial bacteria.  These bacteria, among other functions, help to control fungal overgrowth.  As antibiotics kill off the beneficial bacteria the fungal infection becomes free to grow uncontrolled.

Fungal infections of the sinus cavity are actually extremely difficult to eradicate.  My former business partner suffered with a fungal sinus infection for seven years when I met him.  He was prescribed antibiotics over and over without any success.  A few doctors did run cultures, though the cultures failed to show infection.  I made him a concoction of osha’ root, cayenne pepper and licorice root.  The next day a large fungus ball came out of his sinuses.  Analysis by a medical lab determined that the infection was a very aggressive black fungus.  The constant antibiotic therapy just increased the hold the fungus had in his sinus cavity.

Further complicating the problem is the fact that the sinus cavity is a warm, moist environment.  This is the perfect growing environment for fungus.  Even one surviving spore or fungal cell will simply allow the infection to grow back if the naturally acidic terrain is not reestablished by the beneficial bacteria to control the fungal growth.

Many feel the best way to address sinus infections is to first get a culture so the type of infection is known.  If the infections are proven to be bacterial, pharmaceutical or herbal antibiotics such as pau d’ arco, are recommended.  Fungal infections are best addressed by trying to restore the flora in the sinus cavity.  Probiotic supplements, or probiotic food, such as yogurt or kefir can help.  A probiotic powder, such as acidophilus powder may be made into a liquid with the addition of distilled water for nasal irrigation or snuffing.  This will help elevate levels of beneficial bacteria in the sinus cavity.  Eating horseradish may also help.

Horseradish root contains a volatile oil with extremely strong antiseptic properties.  When ingested, the oil is absorbed into the bloodstream and excreted through the respiratory passages.  By trying to breathe through the nose the oil is forced up into the sinus cavity where it can help fight infection.

Limiting the intake of simple sugars and other high glycemic foods may also help.  Consumption of alcohol and caffeine should also be eliminated.

Maintaining a healthy immune system is also essential.  A few suggestions are the herbs amla berry, schisandra berry, astragalus, jiaogulan and myrrh.  Other recommended supplements include 50 mg of zinc daily, 200 micrograms of selenium three times a day, and 100IU daily of vitamin A.  Vitamin C is important, though excessive doses are not recommended.  Natural sources of vitamin C are more effective than synthetic forms.  This is why I recommend amla berry, acerola cherry or rose hips which are my favorite sources of natural vitamin C.

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