Congratulations to my dear friend and colleague Dr. Paul Mittman, who received some well-deserved recognition as the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) â€˜Physician of the Yearâ€? for 2007. Paul is just a great guy and a true asset to the profession. Without his early support The Institute for Human Individuality (IfHI) would have been impossible. Sadly, Paul also recently suffered the loss of his father.
Sometimes it's just nice to know how many people love and admire you, especially at times like these and (if you are reading this) Paul, know that Martha and I love and admire you very, very much.
Paul Mittman getting his Physician of the Year plaque at the 2007 AANP convention. I got one in 1990. Mine had a dent in it.
Speaking of IfHI, I just finished the new practitioner lookup page. If you are looking for someone who uses these types of principles in their practice this database can be a great resource. It is now searchable by name, state/province or country.
I was watching the news on TV and these two commentators were tossing the word â€˜terrorist' around. If you were to believe these guys, everyone in the Muslim world was a terrorist. However, as any decent historian will tell you, today's terrorist is often tomorrow's freedom fighter. During the American Revolution patriots often tarred and feathered neighbors who were loyal to England or who just wanted to be left alone and not have to choose sides. Many of these people were hounded out of their homes (which were often grabbed by deserving 'Sons of Liberty') and exiled.
Now these same terrorists get microbrewery beers named after them.
Calling someone a â€˜terrorist' is a lot like calling something â€˜unscientific.' It almost never adds anything to the discussion and likely tells you more about the accuser than it does about the accused.
I've been working pretty much non-stop on the SWAMI GenoType software, mostly the truly nefarious â€˜human interface' and â€˜file input-outputâ€? parts of the program. Although crucial to any software, these are usually the most difficult parts of any software package, since you have to anticipate the myriad ways that any user could possible wind up doing the wrong types of things in the wrong places. Also, many interfaces are very unfriendly, without help screens and all the bells and whistles that are great to include but do eat up time and neurons.
Unlike the super-forgiving human interface stuff, file input-output, on the other hand, is the most unforgiving of things. It mostly has to do with conceptualizing the future structure of your data, often at the same time you are trying to ask yourself what types of information the program you are in the midst of writing will need. A reasonable metaphor might be an architect who has to start drawing his plans when the work crew is already at the construction site. Also, because you are writing to files on a server's hard drive, it is often difficult to detect errors ('bugs') in your program since you can easily write incorrect things 'successfully' to files on a hard drive.
Yesterday was my first day back in the clinic (other than a few sporadic appearances during July and August). Dr. Natalie Colicci, our new staff physician, has done a great job holding down the fort in my absence and yesterday's reentry couldn't have been easier.
Been reading a bit about the Warburg Effect, the notion that cancer cells respire differently that normal cells. Increased aerobic glycolysis in cancer has been tossed around for decades in alternative medicine circles (and vilified for just as long by ignorant quackbuster types) but is increasing being looked at by research oncologists as a major avenue of approach to the treatment of cancer. No doubt we will hear much more about this approach in months to come.
Apparently cancer does have a sweet tooth after all..
The GenoType Diet is now in copy editing, which is one of the last places you can perform any sort of corrections on the text. I've seen some preliminary galleys of the book and was very happy with the layout. Very clean, much like Eat Right For Your Type.
Other GenoType Diet news: I've signed on with Waterfront Media (WFM), a company that provides website content for a variety of health authors. WFM really does a nice job of things, such as producing phenomenal meal planning and recipe software. I think they will do a great job of things, especially since it is getting more and more difficult for me to put the kind of time into administering a busy website.
The sails on Long Island Sound have been phenomenal these last few weeks, with lots of consistent winds, especially from those wonderful directions which allow you to both sail out and back close-hauled.
Kenneth T. Jackson: The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn (Neighborhoods of New York City)
Leonard Benardo: Brooklyn by Name: How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges and More Got Their Names
Conway Morris: Life's Solution
June came and went very, very fast. Although I announced that I had finished writing the GenoType Diet several months ago reality, alas, kicked in. So today, as many people celebrate a sort of independence, I am still working out the final kinks to the diets for each GenoType. I am greatly assisted in this by the software package that I wrote called the DDE (D'Adamo Diet Equalizer). The DDE is a program that allows me to query the vast databases that I have developed over the years and interface these databases with other database such as the SR19 Food and Nutrition Database from the US Department of Agriculture.
Using the DDE to generate the diets has been a revelation. I can filter data based on over 250 different elements in the diet; PCB, dioxins and mercury in fish; 5 classes of phenolics; over 12 different classes of antioxidants; low or high bacterial overgrowth residues; lectin content, and on and on. The DDE is available for use by IfHI Masters. If you have taken the certification and want to use the DDE contact the IfHI Office and they'll send you the password to get in. If you're interested, you can read the DDE User Manual.
My friend Bob turned me on to a great way of making bread that involves no kneading and yields absolutely wonderful results. Here is a movie from the NY Times. Of course they are using wheat flour. I'm letting my first loaf rise overnight as I write this blog. I used spelt, flaxseed husk and buckwheat. As per Bob's advice, I ordered a cast iron Dutch oven from Amazon, which, along with the long rise, give the most outrageous crust you can imagine.
I've been gardening a lot this year. And swimming. Discovered a neat trick for bugs: Neem Oil. Since it doesn't strongly affect humans, mammals, or beneficial bugs, farmers use neem oil as an insecticide and miticide to keep away pests like aphids and white flies. Neem oil even protects crops from fungal infections such as mildew. Since we have a lot of deer in Connecticut, I've also become quite fond of Bobbex, a natural deer repellent.Also been listening to shortwave radio for the first time since I was a kid. Boy, how many summer nights did we kids struggle to to locate Radio Nauru, just so we could get the QSL (verification) card? Shortwave is a nice window on the world, since the 24 hour crisis reporting we in America call 'news' seems increasingly cynical and transparent.
Quiet around the house. Kids are off to summer camps and intensives: Claudia to Tuft's in Boston for an SAT Prep Intensive, Emily to Maine for camp. Martha and I have really enjoyed these last few days of making dinner together and luxuriating in the yard. Still, you don't need much time to start missing them.. Father's day was a hoot. I finally got my wish: An Evil Knievel tee shirt.
Last week we had a great marketing meeting with the team over at Random House. What offices! The conference room overlooked Central Park South. Nice, talented bunch of people they have over there. We met my new editor, Stacy Creamer, in person for the first time. Stacy is really wonderful to work with â€“ I feel that she will make the GTD a better book. Perhaps all these rewrites had a purpose. Each has given the book a new level of depth and clarity. I suspect many of you will find the book surprisingly accessible and chatty despite its apparently complicated premise.
A recent article in the NY Times on online amateur map making got my hacker juices going. If you follow these blogs, you might have noticed that I have a love for the art of graphically displaying data.
So what better way to get things going than to plunk the current IFHI membership into an online mapping device. It's still pretty rough and tumble, but eventually you will be able to find an IFHI resource by zooming in and out of some very cool maps.
Here is a taste:
IFHI Practitioners and Educators in the Eastern US and Canada
IFHI Practitioners and Educators in the UK
When I get all the membership into the software I'll put up the live link.
If you are affiliated with IFHI, place contact the head office and make sure that your information is current.
Dr Ken Carlin sent me this neat link that details the migrations of humans based on Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA evidence.
We've collected some of the best pictures from IfHI 2007. Enjoy.
Should Paris Hilton serve her full sentence? Hey, why not? I've spent 45 days chained to a computer writing The Genotype Diet. I agree with Al Sharpton that the whole thing is one big insult to all those normally faceless people who just have to serve their sentences as dictated by law. Sharpton by the way, is no media pretty face. I recently did his radio show and he struck me as being quite intelligent and measured.
Wikipedia does a good job of bringing to light the differences between skepticism and pseudoskepticism, principally that pseudo skeptics have no interest other than denying what it is that they purport to be skeptical of. Much of what they brand a 'pseudoscience' is often the very beginnings of a new protoscience.
Grouppe Kurosawa has an interesting natural medicine blog that has a refreshing technical bent to it. The most recent entry is on the pathetic state of the US health care system. Think the we have the best health care system? Think again. We spend over 2 trillion dollars and rank 37th overall in quality of health care.
Now you would think that this sort of crime would generate widespread outrage. However, the Medical Industrial Complex, headed by the Current Dominant Medical System, has the public so bamboozled that this obscene lack of efficiency (which in any corporate environment would have long ago yielded to shareholder revolt and widespread executive firings) is not only tolerated, but a perverse pride is taken in the sheer magnitude of the inefficiency. We applaud as 'breakthroughs' drugs that prolong the lifespan of liver cancer patients by one month and we do nothing to address the underlying reasons people get these cancers in the first place. We wring our hands when a drug for adult onset diabetes is shown to be a menace and yet we do nothing to fix the root cause of the 'diabesity epidemic', preferring instead to find the solution through the marvelous benediction of an eleventh hour miracle drug.
And when was the last time you ever saw a pharmaceutical company post a quarterly loss?
Yet a recent show on PBS had a researcher who explained that half of all the families who file for bankruptcy are there in the aftermath of a serious medical problem. And, amazingly, about 75% of these families had health insurance at the onset of the illness or accident.
One of the reasons Allopathic medicine is so darned inefficient is that it is geared to acute medical care. This has been paraphrased as 'parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.' Many of its greatest breakthroughs occurred as a direct result of observations on the battlefield, and indeed when Hollywood wants to iconify modern medicine, they always put the doctors in the location where icons come naturally: The emergency room. Here comes the gurney rolling down the corridor, everyone shouting, everything purposeful.
Who wants to watch a film of some gerontologist examining the nasty feet of an 80 year old diabetic? Yet diabetic foot problems in the elderly are a major challenge to health care.
The major fallacy of Modern Medicine is that it fails to realize the difference between a chronic disease and an acute one, usually considering chronic disease just 'very long versions' of acute disease. But there are very different mechanisms involved, especially when we look at the patient's ability to compensate and recover.
Is naturopathic medicine the complete answer? Unlikely. We've got our own golden calf. However, at least we have a better comprehension of the nature of chronic illness, and the need to mobilize the patient as part of the recovery process.
I did have to laugh recently when the local hospital sent me the nicest brochure about their new 'Integrative Medicine' department. A quick read showed just what a red herring this thing was. Everyone involved was from the hospital staff, except for a harp player who was in charge of the 'therapeutic music' part of the center. Oh, sorry, there was a yoga teacher on staff as well.
All this reminds me of the quote from the English printmaker William Hogarth that I had read many years ago:
'..the problem with the ancient physicians is that they tried to make medicine an art, and failed; whilst the problem with modern physicians is that they tried to make medicine a business.. and succeeded."