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Letters to the editor.


The September, 2003 issue of The Original Internist has an article by Dr. Jerome Block reference the use of vitamin E. The article reminded me of a story that I relate in my seminars on nutrition and hair mineral analysis.

As some background information, I taught the basic and certification courses in Doppler ultrasound, plethysmography and temperature gradient studies. The instrument used was the Vasculizer, which was a trade name for a single instrument containing a Doppler probe, plethysmograph, a temperature device, oscilloscope, etc. One evening, I put on a "mini" seminar in my office and asked one of the doctors to be a subject for demonstrating the use of the instrumentation.

This subject doctor/patient was a 54-year-old insulin-dependent diabetic. Anticipating significant indications of atherosclerosis, concomitant with 25 years of insulin usage, I was amazed at the integrity of his arterial tree. Doppler readings on his posterior tibial arteries were 2-3 times more competent than expected normals. An anticipated 3 mm graph excursion for capillary blood flow to his toes, registered three times normal at 9 mm. Six to nine millimeters was considered normal for the finger capillary readings, and out subject printed out at 27 mm. Nothing less than evidence of the healthiest arterial competency that I had seen, and in a subject with a 25-year history of insulin dependent diabetes.

This doctor had seen the Shute brothers in Canada shortly after his diagnosis. The Shutes were cardiovascular specialists and arguably the major proponents of vitamin E use in the late 1940s. They recommended 1500 units of rat-bio-assayed vitamin E, per day, for the rest of his life. Interestingly, the product was sold as a liquid versus the capsules we are familiar with.

I called Dr. Paul Eck, my resident nutritional expert, ready to next call the news media and tout the incredible scientific evidence of vitamin E's efficacy in circulation health. Much to my surprise, Dr. Eck rained on my parade with the words, "Yes, Bill, but ... through hair mineral analysis, we know that vitamin E raises sodium in the body, through action on the adrenal cortex and aldosterone secretion. Sodium displaces calcium, e.g., in water softeners. Sodium also renders calcium more soluble in times of stress and increased adrenal cortical activity."

The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, involves a further incredible history of this gentleman. He had a minor incident that resulted in a fracture of the surgical neck of his right femur. It was surgically pinned. Nine months later, the pin slipped out of position, and he had another surgery. After final healing of that fracture, he slipped at home, and fractured the tibia and fibula of his right leg. After that healed, he was sleeping and went into low blood glucose, insulin shock. The resulting muscle spasms in his body fractured his right femur. His wife actually heard the femur snap! Nine months later, he had his right testicle removed due to a malignancy.

Our consensus? All caused by excessive vitamin E! Elevated sodium displaces calcium, requiring a drawdown of the bone stores. Osteoporosis results. Additionally, elevated sodium causes a displacement of zinc. That destroys our well-known zinc to copper ratio in hair minerals, disrupting the normal zinc:copper ratio of 8:1--considered an indication of sexual hormone health. The environment for some sexual hormone abnormality was created, culminating in the testicular lesion.

I know of doctors that recommend 1,200 units of vitamin E daily on a routine basis. They are wrong and may cause significant harm to their patients. Vitamin E and all of the vitamins, as well as minerals, are miracle workers, when used appropriately. If you need vitamin E, it truly can be miraculous. When should you stop, however? We have found zinc in excess to be causative of prostate problems, yet when used with intelligent guidance, it can certainly be curative.

George Watson, in his book, Nutrition and Your Mind (1972) had found that certain vitamins and minerals increased metabolic functioning, and certain of those products reduced metabolic energy production. Vitamin E increases such metabolic efficiency, but excessive use can place the patient over the edge in energy output. You must know when to stop. Hair analysis for us, provides that knowledge of when enough is enough.

The wholesale recommendation of calcium, as is the craze today, is inappropriate. Calcium depresses metabolic or oxidation output, and most of our citizens are already so depleted of energy, they will probably fall asleep after taking the product. The list of products is long. Vitamin E and calcium represent only the tip of the iceberg

William Risley, DC
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Author:Risley, William
Publication:Original Internist
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Dec 1, 2003
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