Category: Tom's Earlier Blogs
I will be giving 2 lectures in Dublin at the RDS on October 28th and 29th 2006, talking about blood grouping, individuality and diet:
Sat. 28th, 12 noon - for health professionals
Sun 29th, 12 noon - for the public
There should be time for questions after the lectures, but I will also be around in the exhibition hall over the weekend on the Artisan Bread stand. Both lectures are free, but there is a charge to get in to the exhibition hall.
See you there...
Dear Dr. Greenfield, I am aged 39, O+ and following the group diet (approx. 2 years) and taking some supplements like basic O pack, Fucus, Hepatiguard, Harmonia, ARA6, garlic etc. As I was diagnosed with candida I have also eliminated all sugar and yeast products. I follow the yeast/fungus and colon health recommendations from Dr. Dadamo. I would like to know which supplement I could take to improve edema especially in my legs (not feet). I am slim and physically very active. My circulation isn't the best and I get sometimes cramps in my calves. Petra.
The cause of oedema and leg cramps can be related to imbalances of electrolytes in the blood. This can be due to various situations, but the first thing to check is the amount of salt and other sources of sodium in the diet. In the absence of kidney disease, butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) can be helpful. If oedema continues it is generally advisable to get your local ND to run some blood and urine tests. For long term fungal infections it may also be useful to check for secretor status, as non-secretors of blood group O may be more prone to fungal dysbiosis.
The PolyPill is back, and this time it is for real. The idea that everyone is sick and must be given a pharmaceutical medication to suppress disease symptoms (or markers in the blood) is so endemic in society that people will swallow such a concept daily.
Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Institute in New York, unveiled plans for the polypill in a press briefing at the World Congress of Cardiology.(1) Dr. Fuster said that patients would be more willing to take one pill than three pills. Spain is a victim of "industrial disease", that is, as the economy of the nation has improved, so has the incidence of heart disease.
Previous articles in this column about the PolyPill (2) (3) described details of a proposed single-dose daily medication for everyone over 55, with six ingredients: a statin, aspirin, folic acid, and three antihypertensives. The only ingredient in the original recipe that might actually be of some benefit (folic acid) has been removed, instead of combining it with other vitamins to reduce homocysteine.
The Spanish public will be the first to be given their daily dose of the new "preventative" medicine that is more likely to kill than cure them: a previous article in this column warned about the dangers of statins.(4) If "successful", the next victims will be the Chinese people.
One possible reason for peddling this medical cocktail could be that medicines with expired patents are no longer profitable to pharmaceutical companies. A patented combination of three of these defunct drugs is an unique product that could bring in money for the manufacturer. Meanwhile people in developing countries can feel justified in eating a junk food diet associated with increased wealth, as they are "protected" by their magic chemical concoction.
Breaking news - The UK National Blood Service will start using a new genetic test to blood type donors from early December 2006. The test uses a product called 'Bloodchip', which will be sold to blood services worldwide for improving blood transfusion and foetal Rhesus group determination. It was developed by Bloodgen, a consortium made up of many of Europe’s experts on molecular blood grouping, and funded by the European Commission. The group conducted a three year research project into genotyping aimed at improving patient safety & blood transfusion compatibility. Professor Neil Avent at the University of the West of England (UWE, the lead partner of Bloodgen), said:
"I think genotyping is incredibly accurate and it’s much more comprehensive than blood group serology. Certain serological reagents are not available, they can be very expensive; genotyping as a core technology will only go down in price within the next ten years or so... I think genotyping is going to be used for a wide range of routine testing of patients in the near future."
The group's vision for the long term is that "Mass scale genotyping for a variety of genetic diseases will become obligatory for neonates."
Bloodchip tests for nine of the 29 recognised blood group systems, which includes "all clinically relevant blood groups". The relevance has been chosen for blood transfusion, and includes ABO and Rhesus (CDE) blood groups, as well as the Kell, Duffy, Kidd, Diego, MNSs, Dombrock and Colton systems, with a predicted 99.5% accuracy. The test does not yet include the Lewis blood group, clinically relevant for its connection with secretor status and the consequences associated with it (although not yet widely recognised by mainstream medicine).
If the test results are comprehensive enough, the implications of the new genetic test will mean that donors and pregnant mothers may be able to easily find their ABO blood group genotype, for example, an individual of blood group A being A1O, A1A1, A1A2, A2O, etc. which may have further dietary significance than simply being 'A'. When enough people have been genotyped in this way, there are further possibilities for research into disease associations and genetic linkage relating to specific blood groups and blood group genotypes that may not have been sufficiently investigated in the past.
The news of the test's availability was published in the UK newspaper the Daily Mail today. The technology of finding the Rhesus blood group of the unborn child through genotyping was first described in 2004.
A review in the British Medical Journal found that anti-inflammatory drugs cause heart disease. The use of selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors (a type of anti-inflammatory) is associated with a 1.4-fold increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from vascular disease compared with placebo. Further, large doses of diclofenac and ibuprofen are also associated with an increased risk. In a meta-analysis of 138 randomised trials and almost 150 000 participants, Kearney et. al. (1) found that the hazard was not confined to long term use only.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX 2) inhibitors were regarded as a preferable alternative to conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) for some conditions, particularly arthritis. The inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 has been more directly implicated in ameliorating inflammation, whereas the inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 (older NSAIDS like diclofenac and ibuprofen inhibit COX 1 along with COX 2) has been related to adverse effects in the gastrointestinal tract (indigestion, abdominal pain, gastric or duodenal perforation or bleeding). Therefore, it was hoped that coxibs would be better tolerated than nonselective NSAIDs but equally effective.
The suspicion that COX 2 inhibitors could cause heart problems was raised by a 2001 review in the New England Journal of Medicine (2).
We must gather additional information on the pharmacology of the coxibs. Given the cardiovascular findings in the VIGOR (Vioxx Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research) trial and the association of both rofecoxib and celecoxib with small, but potentially clinically relevant, changes in blood pressure, elucidation of the cardiovascular and renal effects of these drugs and their interactions with potential adjuvant therapies, such as low-dose aspirin, is imperative.
A risk analysis was therefore required as to which was worse in individuals who could not tolerate conventional NSAIDs: increased risk of heart disease vs. pain from arthritis.
Add this average increased global risk of adverse myocardial and vascular events for people taking NSAIDS to the already elevated risk of individuals with blood group A, AB and non-secretors or Lewis negative, and you may feel your heart miss a beat.
The choice between different anti-inflammatory regimens requires assessment of the individual expected absolute attributable risks of cardiovascular and serious gastrointestinal events.
This sounds like wise advice from the BMJ, but how much can orthodox medicine judge "individual expected absolute attributable risks" without knowing the individual patient in depth?
In naturopathic medicine simply blocking the pain and saying a person is cured is like opening the windows to let the smoke out while the fire rages below. There are numerous anti-inflammatory herbs and natural medicines (ignored in mainstream studies) with far fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals, but a naturopathic physician will also address the cause of the problem in the individual.
Kidney disease is a side effect of high-dose analgesic paracetamol (acetaminophen), but remains widely available. Rofecoxib (a COX 2 inhibitor) was withdrawn from the market on September 30th 2004 because of concerns over myocardial infarction. Let's hope the other pharmaceutical NSAIDs follow soon, people will have to look into dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent inflammation, and natural medicines will get the attention they deserve.