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My Alternative Cancer Diary


I have thermo scans periodically and my blood continues to be tested at 6 monthly intervals. The trend has continued towards the normal pattern. As I have mentioned previously, the tests are for two enzymes in the blood.

  • Active Telomerase is a key enzyme that helps a cell to replicate.  An increase in the number of cells with active telomerase reflects the destruction of cancer cells.  My levels have always been upwards – which is beneficial and shows that cancer cells are being destroyed at a good rate.
  • Tumour Marker – 2 Pyruvate Kinase (or PK): Some abnormal cells have an increased level of PK. The normal level is between 5.00-15.00.  My level has fluctuated a little at times: for example, the PK level was between 10.3 (my lowest and best level last year) and 37.00 (the highest level in 2005 ) but an adjustment in the diet has set it back down towards normal again.

I have usually been within the normal range. My last blood test was 28.67 – which shows a slight metabolic disturbance, according to the consultant – and my supplements have been reviewed again to account for it. There is an explanation for this, however.

I have recently discovered that I am gluten intolerant and had an infection, which caused my scan to show some “hot spots” indicating changes in temperature that remain after the body has cooled. My diet has been changed and I am now avoiding bread, oats, wheat, and barley.  Although the infection did not cause me to feel ill, I was finding it difficult to digest wheat, yeast and gluten, and it was interfering with how the nutrients were being absorbed.

My current diet will ensure an alkaline environment in the body, and things should then settle down again.

The cancer remains in remission, it has not spread and I continue to feel fit and well. I have caught a few infections – about 3 in the past 3 ½ years, including the last one, which is far less than average. 

It just goes to show that providing you keep fit and well by the use of a good diet and supplement program, cancer cells cannot survive.  This is a lesson that I hope others will follow rather than submit to the risky strategy of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, none of which can tell the difference between healthy tissue and cancerous tissue, and causes so much harm to the body.

I hope you have enjoyed my alternative diary and found it helpful.

This is the final post in a weekly series in which Sue Insole describes her health journey.  Click here to read her other posts.  

SUSAN INSOLE, BSYA (N Th.) is a former NHS nurse and is now a nutritional therapist in the field of natural health.  She worked in a health care setting for 16 years, firstly in the field of rehabilitation and then as a welfare officer and secretary within a hospital setting.  She was also an advisor for weight loss in 2001 - 2003. She achieved a diploma in 2006 for nutritional therapy. She is the author of a downloadable eBook, What Works in Health. Her website is:


Published 14 January 2008 10:39 by Sue Insole
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Anonymous said:

"It just goes to show that providing you keep fit and well by the use of a good diet and supplement program, cancer cells cannot survive."

What a terribly misleading statement.  Are you seriously suggesting that through good diet and vitamin pills cancer is now no longer an issue?  "Cancer cells cannot survive"?

Don't you appreciate just how misleading a statement that is?

You are purposely advising people to reject surgery to remove active tumours and take vitamin tablets instead. How incredibly irresponsible.

January 14, 2008 11:02

Shelagh said:

I, and I'm sure many others, understood what you meant by the statement Harradine finds so offensive. He obviously thinks there is only one way to go if one gets a diagnosis of cancer. Pity - the 'accepted' methods are more lethal than cancers cells in the majority of cases!

Many thanks for sharing your journey with us - it is much appreciated.

Good health continue for you and your readers.

January 15, 2008 20:02

Harradine said:


I don't beleive that there is "only one way to go" in the treatment of cancer.  In fact I believe there are many and hopefully many more as yet undiscovered.

What I find objectionable (and irresponsible) but not offensive, is the generilisation from one patients experience (and I am very glad to hear that the patient has recovered) to cancer in general.

"It just goes to show that providing you keep fit and well by the use of a good diet and supplement program, cancer cells cannot survive."

Cancer cells cannot survive?  That is a definitive, closed statement.  Not, "in my case cancer cells did not survive" or even "for some people, this treatment means that cancer cells do not survive" but that cancer cells per se cannot surive.

That is misleading.  Many people may understand that what was meant by this was actually not what was said.  But others may not.  They may be mislead and it is remiss for this not to be addressed on a website that claims to provide medical and health advice.



January 15, 2008 22:04

Luckinuf said:

Ah, Haradine, it's people like yourself who will not allow alternate therapies to break through.  With the amount of garbage we put into our bodies, the way we tackle hurdles in life, the sedentary lifestyles we choose to lead and the quick fix society we live in that has allowed dis-ease to flourish.  It is no surprise the drug companies have done so well.

Here, Susan has supplied us with a diary of what it is like when you opt to use a non-invasive and holistic way of fighting cancer and here you go labelling her irresponsible.

Are you that stupid?   People have a free will and are here to find alternatives to invasive therapies.  It is their choice to believe her not yours, or hers.  All Susan is doing is offering her case as an example.

I apoligise for being so frank with you and for name calling.  Quit being so antagonistic.  Susan does not have to offer her experiences through this and does this to offer an example and support for those people that choose fight cancer this way.  

There is not much support out there, in fact there is quite a bit of bullying out there, you included.  Shut up for once.

January 16, 2008 16:32

Elizabeth Pugh said:

I have read your diary with much admiration as I know how much courage it takes to do your own thing. You may have heard of my late brother, Michael Gearin-Tosh. He wrote ' Living Proof a medical mutiny.'  He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and given a few months to live. Michael chose to follow his own natural path and lived for another 11 years. He did not die of cancer, in fact he had just had his best ever cancer results, but died sadly from a tooth extraction which turned into septicaemia. Michael had the backing of  Professor Robert Kyle, Mayo Clinic, USA, Professor Ray Powles, Royal Marseden Hospital, London, Sir David Weatherall, FRS, University of Oxford, to name but a few. All were in great admiration of Michael. Ray Powles said ' A highly perceptive experience of the medieval era most areas of medicine still belong to,' Michael's case history can be found at or just type his name into a search engine.  Michael was a frequent guest on both radio and TV discussing his organic treatments. At no time did he ever tell others to follow in his footsteps, he just told them what he was doing.  I do wish you continued good health, you are a true pioneer. Elizabeth

January 16, 2008 16:47

Jayne said:

Thank you for sharing your story with us.   It takes a lot of courage to speak out . I have used diet and natural therapies to boost the immune system for  colds, chest infections, tonsillitis and thyroiditis.  Also my children rarely go to the doctors and use natural remedies and diet instead of antibiotics.  Your story has reassured me to follow that path should we ever face cancer.   Well done for being a strong person and helping others , you are an inspiration to us all.  

January 16, 2008 19:44

Lesley said:

Thank you for sharing Susan.  I, like you, believe we can beat this terrible disease without the use of invasive and chemical treatments.  If you believe in something you are half way there ;-)

The article below ended up in my inbox recently.  It backs up some of Susan's experiences.  

If nothing else it will give Harradine something to pull apart and no doubt insist on seeing some evidence, whilst the rest of us might just find something to share with others.  



1. Every person has cancer cells in the body.These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.  

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.  

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.  

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to

genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.  

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the  

immune system.  

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.  

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.  

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.  

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.  

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy.

Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.  

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.  


a. Sugar, is a cancer-feeder.

By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt. ( THE WEST MADE US 2 CHANGE FROM SEA 2 WHITE IODISED SALT )

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus .

By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soya milk cancer cells are being starved.  

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment.

A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains

livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful,especially to people with cancer.  

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment.

About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed

and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for

building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).  

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine.

Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water- best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.  

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.  

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.  

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor ssence,Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins,minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells.

Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.  

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind,body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.

Anger, un forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.  

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.  


1. No plastic containers in micro.

2. No water bottles in freezer.  

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.  

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals causes cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto,

Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.

He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as CorningWare, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food.

You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is

in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

January 17, 2008 16:45

Ali Goodwin said:

I fully support Sue in that she is making her own informed choices in dealing with her state of health, and I appreciate her sharing her experiences with us.

January 18, 2008 10:14

Harradine said:

Luckinuf, thank you for responding.

I agree with what you say about the myriad of toxins modern life has exposed our bodies to, and the real fallacy of a quick fix society that we live in.  It is sad that drug companies have profited from this.  They have produced some drugs of genuine worth and many which do little that than convince some that they are ill.

Susan has my support.  It was only one sentence out of all her posts that I objected to, if you took the time to notice.  My father died of acute myeloid leukaemia.  A nasty way to go.  Medicine could not help him.  Nor could alternative practicioners.  I have nothing againt alternative medicine at all, only when people make claims that are misleading.  I pointed out when Susan (sorry Susan, nothing personal) made such a claim.  Not an attack on anyone.

Some people will come on this site and beleive what they read uncritically.  There is nothing wrong with that at all.  But if someone does criticise what is written here, surely there is nothing wrong with that either?  Or is there?  I don't think so, I think it is right to confront specific medical claims and ask "why?  How do you know that?  How do you know that applies to me?".  I can't see why that could be a problem , or a reason to be told to shut up.  Can you?

I don't label Susan as irresonsible, just the claim that I took great care to specify as such.  If you read my post again, it will become more clear.

Am I stupid?  I'm not sure.  I don't think so.  And even if I were, all I am asking is that people only claim what they can prove.  If that is a stupid sentiment, then I greatfully accept the rebuke.  

Of course health choices are down to individual choice.  Again it seems, you have not been reading my posts.  I have repeatedly said that health approaches are down to personal choice.  Many times.  It would take a certain type if stupidity not to have read or noticed that, but I am sure you have done both.

I am not bullying, I am trying to provide a rational voice.  I am not tryng to change your mind, just question very specific claims.  I leave it up to peoples' own common sense to decide which course of action to take of course.



January 18, 2008 18:23

Sue Insole said:

First of all let me clarify that I have never intended to mislead anyone.  All I wanted to do was to set out my health journey as I have experienced it, including all the apparent setbacks, obstacles and pitfalls that have occurred during the whole time.  Another thing I wanted to get across is that although the dietary appraoch of treating cancer is the best option in my experience for LONG TERM health it is definietly not the easiest of approaches to take.

Firstly it is as though you have to fight on 2 fronts.  You have the overwhelming medical opinion, doctors, oncologists, consultants and other medical staff AS WELL AS well meaning friends - and even family and loved ones casting doubt and/or being dismissive of the approach you are taking. You have to be utterly convinced, very determined and strong willed enough to carry on with your instincts that you are doing the right thing in the face of all this opposition.

Secondly - you can misconstrue other medical problems (like digestive upsets and other things) as a sign that the treatment is not working and then give up long before the treatment has a chance towork.

Lastly the dietary approach  takes TIME. It stands to reason the cancer didn´t happen in weeks and months in a vast majority of cases and so it is likely to take time before you see concrete results from your efforts. Another thing is that it requires a radical and long term change in lifestyle and diet - and you have to keep it up for life.  So - no it´s not easy! To succeed it needs the support of friends, family, and good spacialist and an unbending conviction that you are doing the right thing. The mind and body link is a very powerfulthing. Once the internal environment of the body has changed to make it hard for cancer cells to survive, in my experience they can either be changed back to normal or be killed off, as the blood tests show.

On the plus side you can always feel in control, you look and feel well during the whole time and there are no debilitating side effects. And you will find it easy to stick to once you make up your mind that this is the way to go.  (If chemo was a self administered therapy how many people would stick with that?)  You have to make the effort to shop for good wholefoods, cut out the rubbish food in your diet and take the supplements each and every day - but in my experience its well worth it.  Thanks to everyone for their support and I only hope it may help some who are struggling to make a decision aboiut treatment options.

January 19, 2008 15:50

Lesley said:

Quote Harradine: Am I stupid?  I'm not sure.  I don't think so.  And even if I were, all I am asking is that people only claim what they can prove.  If that is a stupid sentiment, then I greatfully accept the rebuke.  

It is not always possible to prove something especially if the mind and body are doing the majority of the work.  I for one am trying to get more in touch with my spiritual side.  If there is something out there, I would like some of it please.  There is a lot to be said for intent.

Quote Susan: The mind and body link is a very powerful thing.

I remember a kinesiologist telling me about a colleague of hers who had found a new procedure in Kinesiology.  She went to a top consultant at a hospital in London and asked him to help her prove it worked.  The consultant was quite mature and wise.  He said to her,'my dear if something works for you more than a few times why do you need to prove it'.  That from a medical man.

January 19, 2008 23:16

Harradine said:

Sue, I'm pleased to hear about you positive experience and that things are looking good.  I'm interested.  Would you say (and this is definitely the impression I am getting from your post) that people should not follow the advice of their doctor when faced with a cancer diagnosis?  Would you say a dietary appraoch alone would be a preferable root to take for anyone other than yourself?

If someone is reading this forum right now who has recently had a cancer diagnosis and is confused about what they should do, what would you sao to them?  That they should follow the advice of their specialist, or based on your experience, they should make radical changes to diet and lifestyle and abandon other forms of treatment?

Would it make a difference which type or stage of cancer they had?  I would be interested to hear your response.

Hello Lesley!  Yes indeed, there are many phenomena that are verty difficult to prove.  Stricktly speaking science is not in the business of proving anything.  It tests claims to determine whether they can stand up to this testing, ie, whether they can be disproved.  However, the claims of alternative medicine do come come into this category and can be tested, proven or unproven, quite simply.

I wish you luck on your spritual journey.  Many people find great benefit from ideas found there and I hope you will too.  

And on the advice from the medical man I agree with him 100%.  Read what I say on this forum.  Many time now I have said that if something works for you, whatever it is, then use it.  There is no reason to do anything different.  That is not what I am criticising.  It is when people advise others what will or will not work for them, when you take on the responsibility for someones health other than your own, that is when you need some degree of evidence.  Do you see why that is important in that instance?  Saying "we can't prove some things in this life, but I know that this treatment will work even though the only evidence I have is that it worked for me", is no sensible way to administer health care in a developed society.



January 20, 2008 19:04

Lesley said:

I am one of those people who has done the homework and know I would never look at an oncologist and say 'yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir'.  There is no way I would ever consider chemo or radiation.  I even say no to mamograms.

I did read somewhere that many doctors who refer their patients for chemo would not consider the treatment themselves.  In this day and age of litigation they have to follow hospital procedures.

I think the difference between advising somebody to take the conventional route or the holistic route is that the conventional route is invasive, destructive and there is absolutely no guarantee at the end of all it that you will not die as a result of the treatment itself.

Holistic/complementary treatments do not carry the same risk

Why is it frowned upon for us to ignore a doctors advice or even mention it to somebody else when the doctors themselves are very up front at poo pooing complementary remedies.  Is it the 6 years training that makes them so imnipotent

that we should hang on to their every word.

I feel that gone are the days when a GP had my respect.  They rely on drugs for treatment and rarely consider alternative treatments.  The day doctors learn how to treat a patient holistically will be a change for the better.

January 20, 2008 22:22

Harradine said:

Lesley, why on earth do you say no to mammograms?  

Of course you should not simply take the advice of doctors on authority alone.  Yes they have spend 6 years at university and many more years of further training, but this alone means nothing.  Its is what they have managed to learn during that time that counts and for some people that will be more than others.

It is more than what one will pick up from a few goodle searches or reading websites like this one.  But even then, it is not a doctors authority you should trust, it is the evidence that he relies on.

A yes sir no sir attitude is quite a childish way to see any patient doctor relationship.  You can always discuss treatments in as much depth as you like.  I would say this is a good thing for all practicioners.

For example, I was ask anyone, conventionall trained or otherwise, what evidence is there that their treatment will help me?  What are the risks?  What are the benefits?  What type of research tells us this and how was it conducted and by whom?  This is the minimum I would want to know.  

It would make me nothing but suspicious if these questioned were met with anything others than clearm straighforward answers outlining the evidence.  That's why the alternative route find itself so often crticised.  It squirms under scruinty and realies heavily blind faith of some patients who are etiher desperate, or find its methods more trustworthy for other reasons.  Much more akin to the yes sir no sir attitude you mention lesley is the uncritical, unquestioning acceptance of much of the advice one find on this site.  

January 21, 2008 10:49

Lesley said:

Quote: Lesley, why on earth do you say no to mammograms?  

Just my  choice.  

Quote: It is what they have managed to learn during that time that counts and for some people that will be more than others.

Until Doctors are trained to take an holistic approach I do not feel that their training is acceptable to people like me who look beyond drugs for treatment.  Doctors usually only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause.

I would much rather learn from the internet of other remedies and research them for myself.  I feel word of mouth from somebody that has had some success with a treatment is far more appealing to me than taking drugs that pharma has 'sold' to doctors.

This is, of course, just my opinion.  You are entitled to your own opinion.

January 21, 2008 22:59

Harradine said:

Hi Lesley.

Its sad to hear of someone being quite so very cynical about the medical profession.  

My view is diammetrically opposed to your own.  Word of mouth would not ever convince me that a treatment was worth invensting my health in.  I would by all means if I just wanted to oerk myself up a bit, what harm can it do?  But not if I was actually sick.  There are too many people trying to prey on that sentiment with false testimony and made up treatments.  Do be careful with your internet research.  Please bare in mind some of what I have said about asking people for evidence.  Anyone telling the truth can provide evidence well above and beyond "other people said it worked for them".

My uncle developed colon cancer.  Becuase his father (my grandfather) had done at a similar age, he had been screened.  The cancer was found early, removed by surgery and his made a full recovery.  He is fit and well and although recently retired (he is a carpenter) seems as busy as he ever was.  Had he delayed screening, had he refused surgery, had he listened to much of the advice to be founf in the internet, he would have died prematurely and left a wife, two children and a grandchild.  

I post on this site not to convince people like you Lesley, who have made upo their minds, but people who may be reading this and have not.  People who do not realise that most of what alternative medicine offers is of no value for anything other than the most minor of ailments.  I think it has a place for those who chose to use it, but it is unethical to advise genuine sick people to abandon treatment that work for treatments that don't as some part of a beleif system founded by a multibillion alternative health industry (its big business, very big bussines).

If anyone seriously sick dones read this forum looking for help, all I wish to do is provide balance to the one sided advise that all medicine is rubbish and alternative health is always the way to go.  That is noit sensible, any more than saying drugs are always the answer.  That does not have peoples best interests at heart.  That is trying to prove a point, support and opinion, not provde genuine health advice.

So I hope if anyone really sick is reading this looking for advise, they will at least take notice of what I have said since I first posted here:  ask for evidence.  Do not take anyone's claims at face value.  Medicine is not a relam beyond the reaches of science and reason, its claims, all of them, can be easily tested.  If they haven't been, then ask on what basis is the advise given?  What knowlegde is it founded on?

That is my opinion and it applies to every baranch of medicine, alternative and conventional as well as every patient who may be reading this.  Some will listen and some wont, and that is there choice too.

January 22, 2008 12:57

Sue Insole said:

To H

Thank you for your comments.  As to what I would advise someone reading the forum, I would certainly give alternative methods some serious thought if diagnosed with cancer. Far too many people only turn to alternatives AFTER the medical treatment has failed.  Many people have been cured of cancer despite the ravages of medical treatment BUT it stands to reason that it makes it much easier to fight if it is sought as the first line of treatment, rather than a last resort  

I can only say that it worked for me - and I wanted to get the message out that cancer can be beaten by a thorough nutritonal approach.  The only evidence I have is my own experience but I do hope some people may take heart from this.

January 25, 2008 21:08

joanna said:

Well done Sue, may your good health continue. One has to be brave to deny pressure from conventional medicine, and often relatives, to take the alternative route. Please keep us updated on your health.

Researching the history of alternative treatments for cancer for past 20 years reveals, no matter how much proof that they work, the 'establishment' refuses to acknowlege them, and the practitioners, many of whom are conventional doctors, have been prosecuted on trumpted up charges in order to stop their therapies being used.  Harradine you speak of the multi-billion pound alternative industry. Why do you suppose this industry is flourishing despite repeated attempts to discredit it? Because people are discovering for themselves that conventional medicine does not cure but merely suppresses symptoms.   Optimistic media propaganda of developing 'improved' drugs ensures donations keep pouring in and continuation of the huge, powerful multi-trillion pound cancer industry. However there will never be a drug/vaccine that will cure/prevent cancer because a tumour  is symptom of a whole body systemic disease.  Harradine I'm sure there are  vultures on the net preying on the vulnerable with dubious 'cures', and I endorse your statement that people should thoroughly check out any alternative treatment/practitoner.

January 26, 2008 11:21

Harradine said:

Most of the alternative industry flourishes by using a combination of preying on people who are genuinely ill, misinformation (pseudoscience) and downright self deception on the part of the practicioners (one can even do a BSc degree in complimentary medicine are some universities in the UK, to their eternal shame, and learn a lot of made up nonsense that simply isn't real).

Horoscopes have a real following, this is no evidence that astrology works.  Just that people beleive that it does.  There is a vast difference and the disctinction obviously very important when dealing with life threatening diseases.

Conventional medicine has helped millions, but it is not, and does not claim to be infallable.  In fact, its fallability is an inherent feature of it.  That's why medical research is done.  Systems of treatment that claim to be infallable are the ones to watch.  They are gargabe (and to be found in some of the poast on this site).

If you have a diagnosis of cancer and the doctors says "you're lucky, we found this early.  We can remove the tumour before it spreads and you have a great chance of complete recovery"  there is nothing alternative about it.  People who attempt to convince others in that situation that in fact they should go home and blend some fruit to shrink the tumour are basically misleading others in a very dangerous way.

But often many cancers cannot be treated, so one may as well try anything.  

Conventional medicine does not "just supress symptoms".  Conventional medicines work in a myriad of way and have a multitude of mechanisms.  This line about supressing symptoms is far, far too simple and comes from a basic ignorance about human physiology and pharmacology.  

The only attempt to discredit the alternative industry comes from people who actually do real research and know how difficult it is to do.  Know what it means to know and understand something.  Not come up with ideas and then sell them to people who are ill.  

Some alternative therapies probably do work.  Around 70% of all conventioanl medicines are of plant origin.  If properly researched their may be some treatments to be used.  But why not do this?  Why not conduct the research?  Why not find out?

Many homeopathy manufacturers have easily enough revenue to conduct this research.  But they don't.  They refuse to.  That is suspicious.

Good nutrition is vital, but if someone claims "vitamins C cures this" or "selenium cure that" ask, how do you know that?  What evidence is there for this claim?  Did this person just come out and say that or do they actually have any evidence?  Evidence is not a dirty word.  Is is the tool of a rational argument and has no "alternative".

Bas science is everywhere.  People using scientific sounding words and phrases to sell things to people who trust this.  Drug companies do this (or try to, at least they are examine carefully to spot this), alternative medicine does it (and has no such regulation) the beauty industry does this (its all over out televisions, made up sciency sounding words), the food industry also does this (serious bas sciency sounding words and claims that have no evidence at all).  All reducing our perceptions of lifes problems to simple, quick fix soultions that simply are not real.  

Sue are you suggesting that someone with a cancer diagnosis who is told they have a great chance of recovery with early surgery should refuse this?  

Joanna, when you say people should thoroughly check out any alternative treatments/practionerers, what sort of things would you advise them to look for to decide on whether their treatments are actually better than simple placebo effects (i.e the claims are false)?

January 26, 2008 14:29

Lesley said:

Quote: If you have a diagnosis of cancer and the doctors says "you're lucky, we found this early.  We can remove the tumour before it spreads and you have a great chance of complete recovery"

Or to interpret this another way.  'Lucky you, we can now experiment to see if you might respond to some treatment.  We will take you into hospital where you may contract something you never went in within the first place.  We will do invasive tests and surgery and put the most lethal of poisons into your system in the hope it will give you the CHANCE of a complete recovery".

January 27, 2008 16:26

Anonymous said:

Not if my uncle's experience was anything to go by.  Like I say, he went the convential route (as most people do) and is perfectly fine now.

I know that is just anecdotal evidence, but that seems to be good enough for most people here.

I'll ask again, if someone has a diagnosis of early stage tumour of the type that is known to respond well to treatment, are you suggesting they refuse this treatment?  

Is this an offical position from the alternative health lobby?  Can anyone here respond to that?  If so, then I think this should be made very clear.  If not, then I think this should also be made very clear.  

Either way, its advice being endorsed by this website.  Up to the individual to choose, but hopefully people reading this will appreciate that is definitely isn't advice that has any credence beyond a small band people with a highly cynical viewpoint unsubstantiated by reason.

January 28, 2008 16:49

Lesley said:


January 28, 2008 17:44

Anonymous said:

Lesley, advise sick people to refuse medical treatment and you can expect others to ask you on what basis you give this advice.

Surely that is reasonable.  Surely you can't object to that most basic line of questioning "how do you know?  Why?  What is this advice based on?"

If you object to that, then at least allow it to be made clear.  Or do you not care?  Your responses seem somewhat flippant and childish.  In which case I would say follow whatever advise sounds most conforting and cosy to you (not how I would chose my own treatments) but leave health advice to people who know more than you do.



January 29, 2008 11:12

Joanna said:

Harradine you claim conventional medicine does not just supress symptoms, so in cancer what does it do? It uses chemicals etc to shrink tumours despite, often permanent damage to other parts of the body. Medicine ignores that all parts of the body are interconnected. Alternative therapists recognise that cancer is a whole body systemic diseases so the whole body needs treatment in order to effect a 'cure'. Of course it is not infallible but if the body is restored to health it has more chance of attacking tumours -the sympton.  You say millions have benefitted from conventional medicine. Millions have  benefitted from alternative treatments. However mainstream medicine also has a terrible record of adrs and deaths.(drugs are 4th major cause of death-if an alternative profession caused this they would be benned from practising)) Frequently more drugs are needed to combat side effects, and  side effects often cause other illnesses requiring more drugs.....Side effects can manifest weeks, months,  even years after exposure to drugs. DES and thalidomide prime examples. Every day one hears of another drug that is harmful, useless etc..after being prescribed for countless people over a number of years. How would I select an alternative practioner? Carefully research his/her credentials and success rate. WDDTY is one excellent source for this.  As for cancer before the cancer industry was formed, cancer was a rarity. Today  despite over 100 years research,  trillions of dollars and pounds, billions of pounds worth of hi-tech diagnostic/screening equipment, hundreds more specialists, hospitals and countless new drugs it has reached epidemic proportions, and they are no closer to a cure than when they began their research. In fact despite increased knowlege and skills, increased consumption of drugs sickness and diseases are rising! I reiterate, no wonder people are looking elswhere for treating their illnesses.

January 30, 2008 10:55

Anonymous said:

I’m not sure where this idea comes from that modern science does not see the systems of the body as interconnected.  That is exactly how it sees the systems of the body and in fact the knowledge of the details of those biochemical and physiological systems come from science (biochemistry and physiology) and its methods.  I often hear homeopathies say things like that, which makes it clear that they know very little of current (or even rather ancient) scientific knowledge of how the body works. I think this idea comes from what they would like to believe science is, there attack it, rather than actually understand what it is, which take a quiet a bit more work.

In short, you wont learn anything about what science is or isn’t from a homeopath.

There are many forms of cancer treatment.  Attempting to reverse the myriad of mutations within the cells nucleus than switch cells from the normal stages of the cell cycle to continuously multiplying cells is beyond current science (we cannot reverse genetic changes like that yet.  So one is forced to try other methods.  Some work very effectively, some are of little use.  This has as much to do with the type of cancer and when it is detected (how far it has spread) than the treatments.

Some treatments restrict the tumour ability to create a blood supply for itself, hence its growth.  Others prevent the actions of the bodies hormones which promote the tumour to grow.  How are any of these treatments not based on the principle of the bodies systems working together?  How drugs are absorbed, metabolised, distributed, and excreted?  This takes a comprehensive understanding of human physiology which is something no homeopath is trained in.  They say they are in a alternative sense “mystical forces and body balances”.  But this is not science.  It is a word created to sound convincing based on no understanding of the body at all.  Their methods have been left far behind but they have not been able, or have not been willing to keep pace with scientific progress and human understanding.  That’s why they are known as quacks.

Once again, a defence of alternatives not based on evidence, but by pointing out the faults of conventional medicine.  Cancer is a very, very complex disease.  At its heart are fundamental changes in the behaviour and function of cells and their genes- our building blocks.  Knowledge of such things (cell cycles, DNA, etc) is out best hope of defeating it, but it is not an easy thing to do, which simply reflects the complexity of the human body- unlike the massively simplified version that a homeopath thinks of.

I would suggest learning a bit more about science before making statements about how it works.  That sort of line works on people who are scientifically illiterate, but not on anyone else.  That’s why ignorance can be dangerous- its leaves one open to crackpot ideas.

January 30, 2008 12:51

Anonymous said:

Joanna, what I asked you was in checking out the alternative practicioners credentials, what sort of evidence would you look for to reassure yourself that their methods did in fact work better than placebo (i.e. that what they were saying was true?)

I have no objection to a treatment that workds by any methodat all, understoodor not understood.  But what is immoral and wrong is to pretend to have some sort of medical authority, take responsibilty for people's health by providing them with advice which claims to be based on real fact, then advice them to reject evidence based treatments for ones that have simple placebo effects.  

This is unethical and misleading.  The amount of conflicting and confusing health advice out there is staggering and this site is an example of that.  People claiming this effect of this treatment, another effect of another.  All without a shred of evidence, just words on a screen.

And when pushed for evidence it is invariably the same "we don't have any, we don't need any but conventional medicine has faults and here they are"

I am not trying to change anyone's mind who's mind is already made up.  Just explain to anyone who has come on this site looking for advice that the picutre presented here is misleading.

January 30, 2008 14:23

Lesley said:

Anybody who has found their way on to this site has usually done so because conventional medicine has let them down in some way.

I'm afraid you are preaching to the converted.  

January 31, 2008 11:19

Anonymous said:

That is usually the reason why people reach for alternatives, yes.  Most people obviously use conventional medicine first.

I may be preching to the converted, but this site actually attempts to convince people to abandon using medicines that they need.  One only has to read the post by Lynne McTaggart which are so distorted as to be misleading.  

This is not support for any particular medical treatment or approach, just a dislike for misleading advice.  

January 31, 2008 15:23

Susan Insole said:

I was told I had a good chance of recovery by having a mastectomy and possible lymph nodes removed.  My sister was also told the same thing. I rest my case.

January 31, 2008 19:43

Joanna said:

Harradine I agree there are many offering alternative treatments who have no medical training, however many that offer these treatments are conventionally trained doctors.  People would not have to look elsewhere if conventional medicine could cure diseases. I don't think any method is infallible and agree people should be very wary of the masses on treatments on offer on the net for any disease. However WDDTY publishes scientific facts from recognised medical literature. The problem with conventional medicine today is that the bulk of research/scientists is financed by the pharmaceutical industry whose prime motivation is profit, and more is spent on marketing their latest 'wonder' drug than R & D.  Anything outside their domain is discredited in order to maintain the status-quo.  When my friends cancer returned for a 3rd time (despite conventional treatment) she refused further treatment and opted for scientist Jane Plants method. She kept appointments to see the oncologist for check-ups and as the tumour was shrinking she admitted she was following Plants method. The oncologist dismissed it and said it was spontaneous regression.  Were the dozens of other successes following this regime also spontaeous regressions?!   I've heard so many similar stories.  You say you would accept anything proven to work, but how does one overcome the prejudices of conventional medicine, or should I say those that control it!

February 1, 2008 11:11

Harradine said:


Its great to hear of a success stroy such as your own, it truly is.  I just hope it doesn't lead to anyone giving up treatment that, in their case, they really can't live without.  Not everyone will be as fortunate as yourself.

Joanna, I agree completel that the pharmaceutical industry has undue influence over Doctors prescribing.  Pharmaceutical companies has dizzying revenues which are very difficult to keep alive as the number of drugs the market come off patent.  GSk for example, emplouyrs 12000 researchers, compared with 40000 marketing and sales staff!  It doesn't take a great deal to figure out that something is wrong there.

Companies like that employ some rather worrying methods to influence how doctors practise.  That, as well as other claims (some of which also from the alternative lobby I might add), have led to an idea that all life's problems can be dealt with simply, easily, by taking a pill or some other simple treatment, like upping intake of a certain vitamin, mineral or plant.  

So on the one hand we have pharma compnaies, which reall do porduce medicines that many people need and could not get by without (some bad side effects, some with not so bad side effects) and on the other we have a system that is untested and relies on the testimony of people who swear it works for them.  

Nit a great choice in my view.  One uses high level data (which they often manipulate) to convince regulators and doctors that their medicines are safe and work.  The other exists completel free from regulatioin,m can make any claim they like and do not conduct an testing or research either into wehter their treatments work, or how.  In fact when evidence to the contrary comes along, they ignore it or aggressive attack tested methods.

What are patients to think?  That ALL drugs are bad, that all conventional medicine should be abandoned?  Of course not.  So how does one tell the difference between a drug one really needs and one that their doctor thinks they do now, but wont in 20 years?  This is the problem when people cannot understand research evidence for themselves (and nor should they be expected to).  The internet is a great resource, but it does not privide the training in being able to do that.  Even the gonvermnets own health advise can seem confusing.

It not wonder alternative medicine is so appealing comapred with such a system.  Its language is soft, kind and reassuring, with no small spiritual element that helps one feel calm rather than clinical.  Its offer pain and side effect free treastment.  It offers the idea of an undiscovered, or reawakened method that only a chosen few with their eye opened know about.  It offers a last line of hope for people with problems conventional medicine cannot help.  I can easily understand how this would appeal.  Sadly none of these things mean that the treatments work any better than placebo effects, and everything I just described above is exactly what you would do if you set out to maximise the placebo effect (not saying that has happened intentionally).

I would like to see people be confident to judge and understand evidence.  What the different types of it are (controlled trial, randomised trial, obersational, case series, for example).  Be able to see through people claims.  And for anyone claiming health treatments to have to provide such evidence clearly.  That way people could judge for themsleves.  This is supposed to be the job of doctors, but sadly GP are normall far to busy to keep abreast with modern research, which makes them open to misleading by the drug companies just as alternative healers mislead the public.  Consultants should always have an intimate knowlegde of the evidence.

The alternative health industry is also an industry.  It does not have the revenues of pharma, but it is growing.  Food manufacturers have begun adopting its methods.  It is unregulated, can advise people to do some very silly things, can create fear of drugs which are genuinely useful thereby spreading unecessary panic and threatening the public health.  It distorts evidence and presents it falsely (as does the pharma (induistry) damaging the public understanding of medical science and trust in medicine generally.

I have many criticism of the medical profession.  What I object to is not tacking these one by one and suggesting how to make imprivements.  Just an endless rant using distortion of evidence, all in an attempt to turn people away from treatments and adopt alternatives.  If alternative medicines worked, their proponents would not need to do this.  

Take whatever makes you better, whatever works for you, or even just whatever you want to take.  But understand that what works for you may not work for anyone else and to have some idea of just how many people it will work for, how general the effect, whether or not it was just a fluke for you, or placebo, whatever, you need to do research.  Not cutting things up or probing anything.  Just some simple comparisons so you can know what is going on.  Anyone who refusing to do this (pretty much all alternative health methods so far), or cheats which doing it (pharma) should be pushed harder and harder for that evidence.


February 1, 2008 11:57

Joanna said:

Harradine I agree with much of what you say but its hard for people to judge just what is best for them.  The pharma industry controls/manipulates trials in order to promote its products and doctors rely upon this information. I'm sure there are some in the alternative industry that also make exagerated claims for their treatments, which is why it is imperative for anyone to thoroughly investigate any method of treatment they are thinking of using.  Don't be dismissive of vitamins. Due to chemical/intensive food production, food today does not contain the vital nutrients it did 50 years ago that are important to fight disease. Its unwise to give toxic drugs to an undernourised body. Bear in mind how many 'proven' drugs have later manifested serious side effect, and how scientists will 'prove' something one month, then disprove it some time later. Medical science is slowly discovering the importance of nutrients,  enviromental hazards and lifestyle, something the alternative professions have always known and practised. Proper alternative practioners also tailor the treatment to suit the patient and his whole bodily requirements, which is why the consultation takes so much time.  However it is almost impossible to assess successful aternative treatments because conventional medicine (the pharma/cancer industry) do not want it to be evaluated.  i.e. when the cancer industry asked to study the (alternative) Bristol Cancer Centre they called a press conference few weeks later, and in a blaze of publicity announced to the world, people who went there were more likely to die. A top oncologist who supported Bristol was 'advised' his funds would be withdrawn if he continued his support; so he withdrew it and was made Clinical Director of cancer industry. One of the other scientists involved committed suicide. His colleagues claim it was due to over work, but many believe it was his guilty concience knowing what he had done to Bristol.  The cancer industry was censured by the Charities Commission for their false reporting but the damage was done and almost brought Bristol to verge of bankruptcy. This is typical of what happens to anything/anyone that interferes with the interests of the pharm/cancer industry.  Because drugs are a major contributor to the economy governments support/promote the pharmaceutical industry to the detriment of successful alternative treatments. The pharmaceutical industry also has members on panels of  government advisers, regulatory bodies, universities, hospitals etc. so its virtually impossible to penetrate this closed shop.

February 2, 2008 12:50

Harradine said:

The reason pharmaceutical compnaies conduct trials at all is becuase it is quite rightly a legal requirment to do so.  I think this is essential for anything claiming to be a medicine.  First of all, is it safe and secondly does it work.  Obviously for very serious, life threatening illnesses one would accept side effects that are worse than for very trival conditions.

Drug companies have to produce this data in clinical trials over years before their drugs can be licensed.  There have been cases where some companies have not discolosed all of their data, which is very bad science indeed (a basic and very important error).  This is why regulators exist, to spot this sort of thing.

Alternative health companies don't have these worries since their industry is not regulated in the same way.  Their products are not classes as medicines (which is something they have fought long and hard to keep that way) since if they were, they would fall under the same jurisdication and pharmaceuticals (the Medicines Act) and have to provide safety data (doubt there would be any poblem there) and efficacy data (which is what would bankrupt them).

I am not at all dismissive of vitamins.  It has been known for some time that the body needs an adequate supply of vitamins for good health.  There is no evidence at all that a good balanced diet does not rovide adequate vitamins.  There are some cases, such as when trying to become pregnant, when supplements are a good idea (folic acid).  Nutrional requirments are complex and one cannot supplement good diet with pills.  Again, this seems to be part os the modern idea from the nutrition industry as well as the pharm industry that all of life's problems can be solved by taking a pill.  Selling nutrition supplements is a massive industry out to make money.  That is not saying that vitamins as not vital, just that there is no subsitute for good diet.

And it is definitely not the case that medical science is slowly discovering the importance of nutrients.  It has told us what they are and where to find them.

Joanna I have to pull you up on a ppoint which is something I hear time and time again and is one of the most common misunderstanding of science that exists today.  You say that science will "prove" something one month, then disporive it the next.  This is a very common mistake one hears from people who are not knowledgable about science.  Setting out to prove something is very, very bad science.  If ever you hear of someone saying "I have an idea and I will prove it using science" then you can pretty much ignore the rest of what they say.  Even if you hear the term "scienctists have proved" raise an eyebrow very high indeed.

Becuase that is not what science is.  Science is to test a hypothesis with no predetermined notion of what you want to find.  Nature is what it is, you cannot decide what it is first, then prove it!  Science tests ideas, tests them to destruction and only those which cannot be disproved will stand up to argument.  Of course, when new evidence comes along that is contrary to an idea, then the idea must be revised.  That is bascially how human knowledge has advanced over the last three and a half centuries.

But it is a common mistake to make simply becuase, for the majority of people, the only contact with science is via the media, who do talk of "scientific proof" quite wrongly, and health authorities who try to provide simply health messages based on very complex research.  

But beware of anyone claiming to use science to prove something.  That is not what is does.  This might sond like simple semantics, but it is very important.  I'll give you an example.  If you want to prove that a substance cures a disease and you set out to prove it, if the research comes back negative you have to accept that and move on.  Your hypothesis has failed.  This is the position treatments like homeopathy find themsleves in.  Their treatments have failed to show that they have any effect beyond placebo.  But practicioners do not accept this and continue to treat people by misleading them into beleiving that their therapies have effects which they do not have.  This can be harmless or it can be deadly.

What would a homeopath say to a women with severe epilepsy that is controlled only by taking antiepileptic drugs in high doses who is 6 months pregnant and wishes to stop taking her medication?  He is not a neurologist, know nothing about epilepsy, what causes it, how it is treated, what the effects on the fetus are, what the risks are of seizures to the mother and child, what the risks of the drugs are, etc.  Noe of these things are taken in isolation by doctors.  Would the homeopath say "this is a serious situation requiring expert medical treatment and supervision, or what they say "fine, I have a rememdy here that is just right for this sort of thing"  Based on what?  Think about that because it is important.  It is especially relevant to this site, where the message is basically for people to stop taking their drugs, whatever the reason for them taking them.  That is dangerous advice indeed.

To someone just diagnosed with early stage testicular cancer, for example.  What would the alternative medicine advice be for that?  Or preclampsia during labour?  Or aortic anyeurism?  Epilepsy?  Type 1 diabetes?  Angina?  The list goes on and on.  The treatments for these problems are not perfect and research goes on to improve them.  But they are used precisely because there are no alternatives.  If cheap, side effect free alternatives could be found, then then is nothing the drug insitry could do to stop the Government using them.  They are powerful, but not powerful enough to stop a government from winning that many votes by making the NHS cost next to nothing and be free from all side effects!!

The pharmaceutical induistry is very poweful.  But it is not good enough to say that it controlls all research.  It cannot control the research of any of its competitors, many alternative health companies easily have the money and resources to conduct proper trials.  Most pharmaceutical drugs are turned down by regulators, many that are licensed are turned down by NICE for NHS use.  They are powerful, but not all powerful.  They fuind academic research in many cases, but never have I seen a case of them blocking publication of negative results from academic labs.  

It is not good enough to say that the reason why alternative medicine has no evidence is because of conspriacies againt them.  There is a much simpler explanation staring you in the face.

February 4, 2008 12:33

Susan Insole said:


I AM fortunate but my recovery is not just down to good luck. It is down to a good thorough nutritional program worked out for me by a nutritonist (who used to practice as a medical doctor) aas well as by my conviction that I was doing the right thing by me.  I had NO faith in medical treatment, for the very reason that 3 family members have died and a good friend with cancer after following medical advice.

If I can recover then it stands to reason that others can too by following a nutritional program worked out for them personally. And that it is best started as a first line of treatment rather than as a last attempt after other methods have failed. Targeted supplements are also vital in fighting cancer, (as I was told) namely Indole 3 carbinol for balancing hormones in oestrogen dominant cancer (as in my case) and B17 in both tablet and the natural form for targeting cancer cells.  You just cannot get the same level of nutrients in an ordinary diet these days and when fighting cancer will need to supplement AS WELL AS follow a healthy diet.

There are many instances documented when doctors having good results from cancer treatment by nutritonal means have been hounded out of practice by the medical establishemnt. Read "alive and well" by Philip Binzel, a physician from the USA.  This is not a conspiracy therory but fact.

February 5, 2008 18:39

Harradine said:

Hi Sue,

I understand what you are saying.  I'm just not sure I follow your logic.  On the one hand you say you have examples of people tragically dying as a result of cancer despite medical treatment.  From this you infer that medical treatment doesn't work.  But this is to ignore all the cases where conventional treatment has saved people.  Normally when cancer is diagnosed early. However, some forms of cancer are so agressive that there really is little hope at present (however one does hear of truly remarkable cases).

On the other hand, you say that your experiences apply to others, that this stands to reason.  Fair enough, but then I have trouble understanding why you dismiss the experiences of others for whom conventional therapy has helped?

Do you see my point?  Why ignore positive results from one line of therapy and ignore them from others.  I gave the example of my uncle who had an early diagnosis of colon cancer.  After surgery anmd treatment he has recovered completely.  Alternatively, my father died from acute muyeloid leukaemia 5 years ago.  Once this developed into the acute phase, the doctors simple sent him home, saying there was nothhing more they could do beyond palliative care and that treatment would be unethical since it would create pointless suffering.  

I think there are many ways to treat cancer and most probably haven't even been thought of yet.  But, unlike conventional medicine, alternative medicine seems to give the impression that is has all the answers.  I'm not sure that is a fair picture to paint.

February 5, 2008 19:35

joanna said:


Despite years of trials for drugs to prove their safety, they still kill or injure thousands every year!  

The efficacy of alternative medicines can be assessed from the increasing numbers of  satisfied customers. The alternative industry would not be growing if their treatments did not work.

An 'adequate' diet today does not contain enough nutrients, especially for a sick body. A few years ago medical science even denied a link between diet and health. Doctors aren't trained in this important area, and according to reports, the pharmaceutical industry is behind the move to ban the sale of vitamins.

You are wrong to suggest this site is to stop people taking their medication.  This site is used by informed, intelligent people who have the foresight to know that there is often a safer method to treat their illness.   No Homeopath would suggest anyone  stop taking their medication,  many GPs use Homeopathy in their practise.  Regarding  cancer, and other diseases, how do you know there aren't better methods to treat them, have researched this avenue? As for the government using alternative treatments you must be naive if you think they would dare to promote them over drugs. Even Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet admitted 'that drug companies  operate sinister campaigns to destabilise their oponents'. When the West German govt. withdrew clofibrate because it did more harm than good, the manufacturer threatened legal action against the govt. so they put it back on the market. (such is their power) Dr Joe Collier in his book 'The Health Conspiracy' explains how governments work towards politcal ends rather than public welfare.  

I don't believe in conspiracy theories, just the facts. Do you think  the Bristol fiasco a conspiracy, is the persecution of eminent doctors and scientists that discover alternative treatments a conspiracy? These doctors offered their treatments for trials but were refused.  

Its clear you no have idea about alternative practioners, they do not give the impression they have all the answers but understand  the whole bodys needs to fight disease, unlike conventional medicine which addresses symptoms only with toxic drugs.

If you think Homeopathy is just placebo why is it so successful in children or animals that don't know the difference?

February 6, 2008 23:22

Anonymous said:

Hi Joanna

I’m interested in these topics because I like to learn from advocates of alternative health what it is that appeals to them.  The fact that some people choose to use treatments that, when one studies them carefully, turn out to be placebo effects is interesting.  Its demonstrates that from a personal perspective, what works is not what people with PhDs tell you what works.  Its what works for you, what you have faith in and what, most of all, you want to avoid.

Again and again these discussions rarely have anything to do with the merits of such treatments, rather they quickly become about the wrong and sins of the pharmaceutical industry.  I am not here to defend them at all and agree that they can be guilty of some terrible tactics.  Again, that’s why I advocate evidence.  In the end that’s what it has to come down to and withholding it as they have done just proves that point rather drastically.

But I don’t lump all pharmaceutical treatments together.  Some are over prescribed, some are life savers.  Some have been around for decades and proven their safety, others have not been around long enough for anyone to know.  The best approach is never to use drugs unless you need them.  But if you do, don’t point blank refuse to simply because they are drugs.  If they work they work, everything is chemical, including you.  If something isn’t chemical, then it doesn’t it has no physical form!  So don’t lump all medicine together.  For most serious conditions alternative medicines offers no treatment at all, so its best to acknowledge that.

I disagree.  Having read Sue’s posts and asked her a few questions I get the impression she is suggesting people refuse conventional cancer treatment and adopt alternative methods.  Perhaps I am wrong, but if I am perhaps this could be made more clear?  

Again, I hear this statement about conventional treatment only treating symptoms and not the whole person.  Can you give me some examples of what you mean by that?  It doesn’t equate to my understanding of modern science at all, which after all has moved our understanding of how the human body works pretty much all by itself.  Can you explain what you mean by that because I hear it very often and its never really is explained beyond being repeated.

I;m sure there are many, many trreatments for cancer that are as yet unknown.  But they will reamin that way until someone tests them.  Saying "take this twice a day, eat some of that, drink that and do this" is all very well, but anyone could say that about anything.  I could dream up any old list of treatments right now, build a website and promote them as if they were fact, create a list of satisfied customers with gliteering testimonies and I'm pretty sure I could mamange to mislead some poor wrethes into falling for it and dying of cancer prematurely.  That's why evidence is so important.  Without it you have nothing.

Placebo effects are just as likely if not more so to occur in children as adults.  They occur in animals also.  There is a great deal more to placebo effect than the patients perception of what the treatment is, although that has a huge part to play.  When you say, how come homeopathy works in children and animals, I’m afraid the question immediately is if it were tested in a double blind placebo controlled experiment in animals, children of adults, does it work any better than placebo?  So far no one has been able to demonstrate this, which seems strange if it really does work.

February 7, 2008 17:22

Anonymous said:

Joanna, sorry I should have added.  You have made a specific claim there that homeopathy is effective (by definitely works better than placebo effect) in animals.

Do you have data from any actual studies that this is the case?  Has anyone looked at this with any care?  I just want to know if it is in fact a genuine phenomenon, or a statment that is repeated without any kind of critical appraisal?

Do you know of any evidence for that?  Which species, for example, and which illnesses?



February 7, 2008 17:32

Harradine said:

Sometimes it can seem that these discussions become rather polarised, which is a shame.

Just to make it clear, I don't agree with many of the premises that you make Joanna and Sue, but that does not mean I wish to appear agressive or condescending.

I am interested in debate.  Yes, I am from a science background, but that does not mean I have support for one line of treatment or another.  I am open to any line of treatment at all, its doesn't matter what it is, how mysterious it is, or how misunderstood it is, as long as it has evidence to support it.

And that is where I think we diverge.  I see evidence as having a hierarchy (and this is exactly how things work in conventional medicine).  

Think of it as a ladder, each step being more convincing.  At the bottom is case reports.  This is when we have examples of people saying "this worked for me, I had a problem, I used this treatment and not long after, or even immediately, the problem was gone".  But its is more than that.  It is also used in conventional medicine.  It is used in examples such as- my patient took this drug, then had heart failure.  I am worried that the two might have been related.

Anecdotal evidence is where everything begins.  It is the starting point to ideas and it IS evidence.  The porblem is it is very hard to draw firm conclusions from.  How do I know that the treatment actually cured the disease based on that alone?  Its hard to tell, it might have been some other factor that I don't know about.  How do I know that the treatment caused a problem.  Same difficulty.

So, we move to the next step, an observational study.  This is when we observe many people using the same treatment and observe what happens.  Do they get better, do they get worse?  The reason why this is a step up is becuase this can at least tell us that the observation was not specific to one person, it is a general phenomenon.  Its is somethiong that happens when people take that therpay, good or bad.

So, we know its not a fluke.  But then, we could ask- if say people we have observed using a treatment beome ill (or better, it doesn't matter the evidence is the same) we kinow that it CAUSES the porblem?  That is harder to say becuase two thing can be associated, but one might not CAUSE the other.  For example, we know what women who use fertility treatment are much, much more lilkely to develop ovarian cancet than women who don't.  The easy answer there is that fertility treatment causes ovarian cancer.  But as it turns out, women with ovarian problems like are likely to make them need ferility treatment make them also more likely to have a risk of voarian cancer becuase htere is a problemwith their ovaries (not everyone before anyone panics), but you see what I mean?

So who do we sort out association and causation?  Thats the final step on the ladder.  Experiment.  We take one group of people, give them one treatment, and an identical group and give them another.  Then we see who does better or worse.  Without this comparison, we will never rule out all the other factors that might be involved, most of which we don't even know about.  

But we have to use blind experiments (i.e., no one knows when the experiment is done who is getting which treatment) to rule out effects like placebo, or people just getting better all by themselves (which happens alot).

That;s why the double blind, randomised (ie, both groups are the same) trial is so powerful.  Because it tells you more than any of the other steps on the ladder.  

So you see, when someone says "this made me feel better therefore it works", that is where m scepticism comes from.  I know that there are other reasons that could account for that and the rationalist in me says "aha, but has it been tested using the better ways, I am a sceptic, I don't beleive anybody at ALL, drug company, GP or homeopath untill I see it tested!"

Homeopaths don't follow this hierarchy.  They accept a standard of evidencw which is very weak (the first rung on the ladder).  That's why people don't believe what they say, because when the real tests have been done, the tests at thr top of that ladder, they always fail.

Drug companies do tests their drugs all the way, but they are very, very shady and can manipulate data in advanced ways.  Sometimes, not all.

This is why I go on ad nauseum about evidence.  Lets see it.  Lets test homeopathy all the way. If it works, then it will be shown to work and that it.  I basically diagree that there is an agenda to prevent this.  If there is, then why do we have a London Homeopthy clinic? Whay haven't pharm, shut it down?

Provide that sort of evidence, robustly, across countries and research groups and I will argue you case as a scientific one because that is what it will be.  Good luck and I hope you find that evidence

Best, J

February 8, 2008 01:08

Harradine said:

But just one more point (before you get completely bored with me!) I don't think that it is right to tell people who are ill one of two things:

1) this treatment will make you better


2) this event has causes your problems

unless I have the top rung of the ladder of evidence behind me to say so.

1 is worse that 2.  To say that "I'm not sure, I only have weak evidence, but I think this treatment might have cuased your porblems" isprobably more acceptible even if you don't have robust evidence, as long as you are steering them away from a treatment that they don't actually need.

A good example of how this went out the window is MMR.  There is now very robust evidence that MMR does not cause autism.  Something does, but its not that.  If for a second the evidence said otherwise I wouldn't be saying that, but its just isn't there.  Families have children with autism and to tell them that is is because of MMR is to mislead them.  But this is complicated becuase there are many people who say "look, my kid was fine until they had MMR"  Well, yes, but that's back to the bottom rung.  Most kids have MMR around tha ega when we can now diagnose autism.  That's where the association arose.  Its sad, and I use an emotive example, but you see what I mean?

Number 1)- that is more dangerous.  Saying that a treatment can help you when you have no evidence for it is very, very dangerous.  It makes people (who lets face it put faith in such advice) beleive so.  They will use this line of treatment when it could be a waste of time.  It could even make them avoid treatments that could save their life.  I'm not saying drug companies aren't guilty of this (I am not here to defend the,, just explain evidence), but nor should one be any less critical of any other advice.

Always ask for the evidence.  That is the only way.  And even then, look for the good evidence.  I grant you, when it comes to modern medicine, not even most GPs understand the points I have just made.  Go on, ask them.  Put them to the test.  Its is their job after all and most haven't got a clue.

February 8, 2008 01:38

Harradine said:

Sorry!  And I should have added

3) this is safe-

granted, not a problem for alternative therapies unless it interferes with 1)



February 8, 2008 01:43

Joanna said:

Anyone using any form of treatment should check it out. Especially 'do the benefits outweigh the risks'. With conventional treatments, especially cancer, toxic drugs will shrink tumours -at a cost.  -At least do no harm -Hipprocates must be turning in his grave.

The Homeopathic Hospital is still running (at the moment) despite repeated  attempts to discredit it.

It must be difficult for anyone that believes only in science to understand or accept anything that goes beyond the realms of scientific thinking, due to their ingrained training. Heretics are regarded as  'idiots'. Look what happened to scientist Linus Pauling when he discovered the importance of Vit.C in cancer and many other diseases. And the many eminent doctors and scientists  persecuted because they discovered better 'alternative' treatments.

There are countless cases of people that have susscessfully recoverd using alternative treatments. Several farmers have abandoned conventional treatments for their animals in favour of Homeopathic treatments, and countless people use them for pets. You regard all these as anecdotal or placebo. I'm sure some were placebo, but there are far too many to disregard.

I understand there have been trials of Homeopathy in Germany but not published in English. However there is one that was published in Nursing Times, 3.11.93. 'Researchers conducted  a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on homeopathic immunotherapy in patients with atopic asthma....Each was given a placebo and monitored for 4 weeks; after this half received another placebo but half were given the appropriate homeopathic remedy at random with no-one involved knowing which was which. Monitering continued for another 4 weeks...The results were analyised triple-blind by a university dept. of statistics. Subjects treated homeopathically showed significent improvement in their symptoms...  Sorry to keep repeating but those that control health do not want to hear of anything, no matter how successful, that diverts attention away from drugs.  

You ask for proof that alternative treatments work -can you prove they don't!!

(Debating vaccination is another issue for another time, there is overwhelming medical and scientific evidence about the myths surrounding vaccinations)

February 8, 2008 13:56

Anonymous said:

Hi Joanna,

That's the great thing aboiut science.  it does not require beleif or faith.  The provision of evidence removes all need for such things.  Certainyl scienctist diasgree in their interpretation of obervation and evidence.  But these disagreements are normally best settles by devising further experinents that provide answers support one side of the argument or the other.

"Heretics", as you say, might br bdranded as idiots on the grounds that extraordinary claims require extraodrinary evidence.  But once that evidence is there, once others repeat experiments and find similar results, in other words once we understand that part of nature to be as the "heretic" says it was, then he is no longer branded as such since the evidence is there to support him.  There are many examples of this in history.

Constrast this with the "heretic" who has an idea but not evidence to support it.  Even after reapeated experiments, all the evidence goes agsinst his ideas.  Even after years and decades with insurmountable, repeatable evidence, he still carries on BELIEVING, having FAITH in his idea.  

This is not the same thing at all.  This is not how ideas progress.  This is to decend into an irrational position.  This tells us that the earth is flat, that the sun circles the earth, that thesun is made of coal and that homeopathy has effects that cannot be accounted for by placebo responses.  That's ingrained.

There is nothing "ingraining" about scientific training.  Its all about keeping an open mind.  At any point the evidence some new homeopath might come along with a new treatments and a new means to create it, have spectacular results with patients, convince one of the massive homeopathic manufacturers to fund a placebo controlled trial (which they refuse to do now for some reason), demonstrate wondering responses and there we have it.  If this is repeated and verified, then that is that.  He will have turned 100s of years of basic science on its head, probably win a Noblem Prize, revolutionalise medical treatment, save the NHS billions and become a world famous figure.  Its hasn't happened yet, the evidence is that after so many failed attempts it probably wont, but I can prove it wont no more than I can prove that the sun will will come up tomorrow.  My guess is that homeopathy demonstrating itself in this was has about the same odds as the sun not rising again, but we shall see.

There are countless cases of people who have recovered after having used homeoathy. That is not the same as saying that homeopathy has caused countless people to recover.  for that you need experiment and when that is done it turns out to have nothing to do with the treatments administered, byt more to do with the administering of the treatment.  

You have to admit, its a pretty sad position to be in that when the overwhleming weight of evidence is absolutely pointing straight, clearly and conclusively in one very obvious direct, (that homeopathy is an elabroate placebo effect), that the only defense left is to say that the evidence is actuall all there, its just secret, its suporessed.  Its hidden and no one knows about it.  The much simpler explanation that all but a few die hards (just like the heretic described above, Type B heretic that is), have accepted is that homeopathy is placebo.  

With placebo you will expect to see many people, children and animals recover (check).  With placebo you will find it difficult to produce any experimental different from placebo (check).  With placebo you will have no side effects (check).  with placebo you will not be able to find any plausable mechanism within the treatment itself (check).  With placebo you will have the effect maximised by using longer consultations times and more elabroate rituals (check).  with placebo you will have better succes with minor ailments and those with a powerful emotional component such as chronic pain, allergies, stress rleated illness, etc (check).  

Hoew much more identical to placebo does homepathy have to be before you will at least consider the possibility that you might have got it wrong.  forget drugs, forget pharma, what have they got to do with wehter homepathy works or not?  is support of homepathy evidence based?  well not it can't be.  It is based on a very interesting idea and world view?  Yes.  Has it convinced people that it works.  many, just as placebo does.  It is worht spending tax payers money on pure water/placebo?  No.  it is ethical to advise people with serious illnesses to give up their evidence based medicine to take placebo (i.e. evidence based mean that the evidence exists that it works better than placebo).  By definition, no.

You talk about science ingraining people with fixed ideas.  Aothing could be further from the truth. With the greatest of respect Joanna, each time you talk about science you talk aboiut something I don't even recongise as science, but some line fed to you from the lines of the homepathic argument which sets up a flase straw man of science then goes about knowcking its down.

Faith in homepathy is exactly that.  Faith and self deception.  

However, what is has demonstrated it just how interesting and powerful one can make the placebo effect if one goes about it the right way.  I would love to hear from a pragmatically minded homeopath who is willing to explore this properly.

February 8, 2008 14:39

Susan Insole said:

Harradine, I am not telling people to have one treatment or another when diagnosed with cancer.  That has to be their decision.  I have outlined my own treatment to illustrate that cancer does not ALWAYS have to be treated by medical treatment, that is all.  As Joanne said, first, do no harm.  Medical treatment IS risky.  If you come through the treatment with no ill effects, and the cancer does not return at a later date, then all well and good, but far to often (and there is only a 3% success rate overall) the treatments fail, otherwise, why has the death rate not gone down in over 50 years, and why are more and more people turning to alternatives?

Another thing is a "cure" according to the medicalprofession is still being alive 5 years after treatment, no matter what state of health you may be in or what quality of life you have. And cancer statistics have been manipulated to omit those that die of other causes whilst undergoing treatnent otherwise the "success rate" would be lower. I am just trying to shine some light on the issue, to prove that alternatives are not just a complementary treatment but can cure cancer too.

February 9, 2008 13:54

Harradine said:

Sue, I understand.  

Obviously the actual survival rate depends on many factors, particulalry the type of cancer is important as some are much more aggressive and unresponsibe to treatment.

Breast cancer has a reasonably good prognosis compared with many other cancers if treatment is received.  This was 80% in the 170 700 women who were diagnosed between between 1999-2004

Over the last 30 years cancer surival rate have doubled.  The 10 year surivival rate (which is obviously a better indication that 5 years) is currently 46%, not 3% as you say.

You say that you aim is to prove that alternatives are not just complementary, but can cure cancer too.  Do you think you have proved this?  Do you have an idea what the cancer surivival rate is for people who refuse cancer treatment are adopt solely alternative methods?  Do you know if this is improves or harms ones chances of surivival?  

I don't know the answer to that, that is why I am asking.  But I am not making any specific claims or giving any speicif advice, as you are.  Since you are making a specific claim, you have a responsibilty to provide this information.



February 9, 2008 15:54

Susan Insole said:

Alas, my only evidence is anecdotal, which is good enough for me and many others, but not to anyone who wants hard evidence, statistics and other types of proof. As most people have medical treatment first and then turn to alternatives after the medical treatment has failed and the cancer has returned, I suspect that people like myself, who have had no medical treatment at all are very few compared to this group.

So we come to full circle.  It is difficult to provide evidence other than to say that "this is my experience, take from it what you may".  I have read of many people who have gone with the nutritional approach that have been cured - (that is where the cancer has never returned, not 5 and 10 year survivals) so it is foolish to ignore success stories just because they can't be proved. I find it hard to believe plain statistics such as you have provided in your link as most statistics can (and have been) blatently skewed and manipulated to say whatever the agency that manipulates them wants them to say.

In my own personal experience, my daughters death was officially of septaceamia and lung failure.  However she caught the pneumonia as a result of her immune system not being strong enough to fight it, and the septacemia came about as a result of the drain she had inserted in her lungs. In my opinion, if her immune system had been supported, instead of the chemo destroying it, she may still be with us today as she may have been able to survive pneumonia, as many other people with a stronger immune system is able to do. I am not at all denigrating medical treatment, I have had operations in the past that have really helped. I refused an operation in my case of cancer as I knew it was highly risky from my own experience, and from some research I have done, which convinced me not to.

I have worked in a hospital setting for 16 years so do know the good work that can be done by the medical profession.  However, I have also seen the failures. for example I used to work in a ward where people who had undergone spinal surgery came to recover.  I would say that only about 2 people in 10 recovered from a particular operation (lamenectomy - not sure of the spelling!) in my experience, and doctors have backed this up as it is a very risky and tricky operation. If someone was to ask me if I would undergo this operation if I were in the same position I would say a definite no. That is I weigh up the risks opposed to the benefits, seeing the results for myself.

In the same way I have done the same thing with cancer.  I have seen far too many people die, and too many people have the disease return, for me to accept the risks for myself. All I am asking is for people to keep an open mind, and not automatically think that because the doctors say it will work, then it must, as this is taking faith in the medical profession too far.  I am sincere in my hope that people take control of their own treatment and not become a passive recipient as the risks are too high.

The doctors who told me I was being foolish in going with nutritional therapy - did THEY have proof that it didn't work? Where was their evidence and statistics? None were forthcoming to me. What about the doctors who say that B17 is nothing but a "quack" remedy? What evidence do they have that it doesn't work? Why is a simple substance like apricot kernels banned as dangerous in some countries? Where is the freedom of choice? Alas until these questions are answered then medical statistics where cancer is concerned will continue to be viewed with suspicion, and rightly so.

The type of evidence that is required for vitamin C intravenous therapy or B17 will never be forthcoming until a full scale trial where the correct dosages are given, in the right form and the results correctly published, is undertaken. The so called trials of the past were too small and were deliberately manipulated to show that B17 or Vit C didn't work. Vitamin C was NOT given intravenously, and the dosages of B17 were too small, so therefore it was concluded that they didn't work.  if THAT was the evidence the doctors had access too then its no wonder that they were opposed. This is documented in Philip Days book "Cancer - why we are dying to know the truth" There are more books on my website that show how pitifully small and inept trials have kept the truth hidden.

February 9, 2008 20:11

Susan Insole said:

Just one more point. I understand that cancer is a life threatening disease and the medical profession has had a limited success in treating it. But wouldn't it be a good thing if doctors accepted the link between nutrition and cancer and built up the immune system instead if destroying it? Doctor phillip Binzel in his book "Alive and Well" documented how B17 stopped cancer from spreading in nearly all of his patients and reversed it in some who had not undergone too much medical treatment.  If he had patients who came to him in the first instance, wouldn't the results have been far better - and wouldn't that prove B17 worked for some?

Unfortunately, he was arrested and dragged before the courts for daring to treat patients with anything out of the range of "normal" treatment.  That is the reality of what alternative medicine is up against, so you will hardly get an unbiased trial taking place under these circumstances.  despite these setbacks, he still carried on with his treatments and people were flocking to him - why was this do you think if B17 was a quack remedy? never underestimate the power of anecdotal evidence as really this is what counts for ordinary people.  Does it work or doesn't it? If people can see it works they are not interested in statistics although I understand that this is what counts in scientific evidence.    

February 9, 2008 20:36

Harrtadine said:

Sue, Hi.

No, anecdotal evidence is not what counts for "ordinary people".  There are not two types of evidence.  Evidence for ordinary peoiple and evidence for other people Who are these extraordinary people?  They don't exists.  Evidence is evidence.  It applies to everyone.  I don't want statistica or proof, these are your words.  I just want some basic evidence that everyone can easily understand.

You say that anecdotal evidence is good enough for you and other people.  For which poeple is anecdotal evidence good enough for when most people don't accept that level of evidence, anecdotal is seen as very poor evidence?

You are making specific health claims about seripous illnesses and I am asking you to provide evidence for them.  That's all.  I am not asking you to tell me why you advise works, or how.  Just that they do.  Either this is possible or not.  

Let just imagine that not one single pharmaceutical treatment works.  Not one.  They are all nonsense.  Let's take that as a given, (which is isn't, but lets just imagine it is).

Does this mean that your advise is based on any evidence at all, or just your opinion?

February 10, 2008 01:01

Harradine said:

Sue if you don't have any evidence that your approach works better than any other then I'm afraid that makes you a charlaton.

Do you have the evidence or not?  If people do what you did will they live longer or not?  These are easy questions for someone to answer who is making such specific claims.  

Better chance with you methods or not?  Based on what?

February 10, 2008 01:14

Susan Insole said:


I am not a scientist so cannot provide any "evidence". if you want to call me a charlteton because I have had the termerity to publicise my own success story, then so be it. As i said I am not advocating any form of treatment just allowing people to make up their own minds. Most people who come on to this forum understand what I am trying to do. My own experience is all the evidence that I have that alternatives work, as it worked for me. that is all. The fact that I have read of many other success stories like mine comes from anecdotal evidence that was enough to convince me. The more success storis there are the more people may take notice.  As I said before, if medical treatment worked as well as it should, then alternative remedies would not be popular.

February 10, 2008 10:29

Harradine said:


I don't mean to sound harsh by calling you a Charlaton, I don't with you offend you.  But anyone who puts "evidence" in sepach makrs as though it is a dirty word does make me wonder why.  

Yes, medical science has a long way to go before, many more hurdles to cross.  My guess is that as research continues and time passes, we will understand more and more and new treatments will emerge.  The understanding of the human genome is one of the most significant breakthroughs in human histroy and we are only beginning to slowly understand the significance of that.

I agree, the more success stories there are the more people will take notice.  Unfortunately, success stories themselves can be highly misleading for all the reasons I carefully explained above (we can never tule out other factors just by a collection of anecdotes, nomatter how many of them emerge).  To get to the truth, toi understand exactly what is going on (which is obviously what should be our aim, to understand?) then we have to test claims aboiut treatment and strategies.

This isn't just to satisfy the curiousity of scientists.  It is so mankind can know what is real and what is not, so it can advise people who are ill what to avoid and what to use.  In doing so this might dsicover evidence that contradicts using current treatments, it already contradicts using most alternatives, it will almost certainly discover that some approaches do work and should be used.  But without doing that research, advise is hollow and can be misleading.

February 10, 2008 10:58

joanna said:

Harradine many alternative treatments were proved by scientists who wanted them to be put into  trials but were refused by the 'establishment'. Gerson, for example, went through hell despite having cured many patients including Albert Schwietzer. And I repeat -the attack on the Bristol Centre reinforces this.

You speak of evidence based medicine, based on what? Clinical trials are based on a limited number of people under controlled condition, and often just a marketing excercise. They  are also controlled/manipulated by manufacturers of the latest 'wonder' drug to their own advantage. Of course If evidence based medicine is successful how come majority of drugs do not work in most people & are 4th major cause of death?! One would think when some-one is cured by an alternative treatment the 'establishment'  would be overjoyed and rush to try it. Sadly if it can't be patented into a profitable drug 'they' aren't interested. The advantage and success of alternative treatments is its understanding and treatment of the whole person, not just symptoms. In 2.000 Dr. Phil(TVs Trust me I'm a Doctor) Hammond reviewed Robert Winstones TV programme 'Superhuman' which demonstrates the healing ability of the body & explains, 'the internal changes it makes in the face of adversity are often more likely to save you than outside intervention....i.e. trauma-injury; veins start to restrict & divert blood away from skin to vital organs, lungs work harder to capture as much oxygen as possible & breathing becomes fast & short. Millions of white  blood cells are mobilised to the injury site, clots start to form, the blood pressure drops & the body cools down...the body does all this for a purpose..Trauma doctors try to reverse these changes...this is not always the best approach & in some cases may kill rather than cure..'  My point being, targeting symptoms with drugs overrides the bodys attempts to heal itself & has the added burden of dealing with  chemical interventions. (I appreciate surgery is  necessary in some cases) Alternative treatments help the body to overcome disease by building up the immune system/nutrition etc.  to enable the body to fight the disease. As for 'official' statistics of cancer survival who provides them? Has anyone compared them to deaths from the treatment. Since drugs are 4th major cause of death one has to question the survival rates. And of course other diseases caused by the treatment. With a multi-billion pound industry at stake 'they' don't want to know about another treatment that  will interfere with this lucrative gravy train.

February 12, 2008 11:44

Anonymous said:

Hi Joanna.

I haven't seen that programme but all the information about the function of the blood vessels, lungs, wite blood cells, blood presure, etc.  Where do you think that sort of information comes from?  In fact, where do you think even the very basic understanding of lung function, blood cell function and even the very words themselves comes from?  Indeed it is science.  It is human biology, physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, etc, etc.

Perhaps you thought all that science was about was generating clinical trial data fro drug companies?  

How have homeopaths contributed to our understanding of the human body? They haven't.  Their methods deny the existence of what science tells us about the immune system, the very systems of the body you are talking about.  

Are you seriously suggesting that after all the advances made in trauma treatment and recovery that alternative practicioners should be trusted in trauma wards?  Ambulances?  How would that work?  People with no knowledge of human physiology or pharmacology, just a few ideas about vital forces and the like (which are a great deal easier to graps since they are made up by people with no knowledge that the real workings of the body which take years to learn), put in charge of trauma?

What's the homeopathic/nutritional remedy for severe abdomical crush injury with internal haemorrhage, crashing BP and suspected liver rupture?  Do tell.

Again, I hear this idea about modern science seeing the body as a collection of isolated units, that medicine is about treating symptoms and not the whole person.  This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but it is highly nebulous and there is never an explanation of what it actually means. Instead of just repeating it, can't you explain what it actually means in a scientific setting that someone with scientific training will recognise, because I can't think of what it means?  It really sounds like something homeopaths tell their "patients", who have no reason to doubt them and do not have enough knowlegde to question what exactly they mean.  Well I do and I am.  What does it mean, in the context of human physiology?  

Do you know which drugs are linked with most adverse reactions and deaths?  The top 3 say, how many do they account for?  

I have to say it again Joanna, you are preaching to the choir.  I am well aware of the failings of modern medicine, that is exactly why medical science is done.  To increase our understand of fundamental processes and apply this knowlegde to develop more effective treatments, whatever they may be.  From plant origin (most already are), herbal, nutritional (often used), anything that can work effectively.

Alternative methods do not advance our knowledge of understanding.  In fact it would be impossible to imagine a serious, detialed conversation about any aspect of human biology or function using only the terminology concepts derived from homeopathy.  We can try if you like, but like I say, that is aimed at people who laregly know nothing of how the body works and have no reason to question such things.  

Lets try.  Using only terminology dervied from homeopathic "research" into how the human body works, can you describe what sort of problems can lead to strokes and what kind of symptoms are often seen with stroke patients?  Why is stroke damage so difficult to treat? But you can choose any example you wish.

Remember, you are only allowed to use homeoapthic explanations.  Don't go straying into scientific territory or you will be relying on understanding that comes from methods you flatly reject...

February 12, 2008 12:53

Susan Insole said:

The reason I placed "evidence" in inverted commas is because the TYPE of evidence that is sought will never be forthcoming for alternatives such as B17 or Vitamin C therapy whilst it is  manipulated and distorted by those that control them (i.e scientists in the pay of drugs companies) as I explained earlier, and NOT because I think evidence is a dirty word.  B17 has been suppressed and made illegal in some countries, which goes against the whole concept of freedom of choice.  

This is despite the fact that B17 comes from a simple food source that is definitely NOT dangerous to health.  By all means lets have a full unbiased trial of the many valuable therapies there are for cancer - Doctors do not know about the valuable alternatives to drugs treatments and they are not allowed to prescribe them even if they do know. So how can a fair trial take place? At the same time doctors (and rightly so) look for evidence that they work, but have only anecdotal evidence to support it so is dismissed out of hand. The few trials that did take place showed that B17 worked but the evidence was suppressed.

Just 1 example: During the 60s, The Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital of New York - a leading authority on cancer and completely funded by the drugs companies - thought they’d settle the debate once and for all by appointing the world’s most accredited cancer doctor- Kanematsu Sugiura- to investigate this ‘quackery’ and dismiss it….or so they hoped.

His final report was a huge embarrassment to the hospital. His extensive five year study concluded that:

Laetrile (b17) inhibited the growth of tumours.

Laetrile stopped the spreading of cancer in mice.

It relieved pain.

It prevented cancer forming.

It improved overall health.

Several other eminent doctors verified this research. The hospital management insisted that the whole experiment had been bungled. Many doctors rebelled and/or resigned. Any further research into Laetrile has been banned.

The eminent expert Dr. Sugiura stuck to his word. Then, this whole episode just stayed swept under the carpet and is still the case to this day. The lengths that the "cancer industry" has gone to in order to make sure that B17 doesn't pose a threat to profits has been amazing. Even the sale of Apricot seeds - one of the richest natural sources of B17, has been severely restricted. It's almost impossible to find them in health stores anywhere, and the only way to obtain them is by information via some internet sites.

B17 cannot be patented and so there is not the interest or the finance to have a large scale trial. Despite this there is plenty of anecdotal evidence via testimonials from patients to support nutritional means where the body is supported and allows it to heal itself. Medical science and alternative therapies are increasingly on opposing camps which I think is a real shame as the only thing that matters is the conquering of this terrible disease, with no one agency having the monopoly of treatment, and no suppression of anything that can only help - and does no harm.

Until that day comes, then anecdotal evidence will be the only evidence available.

February 14, 2008 15:43

Anonymous said:

Sue you will be glad to hear that day has already come.  Anoither B vitamin, folic acid, seems somehow to have managed to evade the supressin techniques of the pharmceutical industry that you mention.

Somehow, an MRC funded study (which clearly had no interest in patent or commerce) demonstrated a clear beneficial effect of talking folic acid supplements while trying to become pregnant and this is now evidence based advice.

CVelary it has nothing at all to do with drug companies.  Just evidence.  Other trials have been done into the benefical effects of vitamin supplements for many other conditions, indepedant of drug companies.

Again, lack of eveidence = "not our fault, blame the drug companies."

Well others have managed it (folate), so that logic falls down straight away.

February 14, 2008 15:57

joanna said:

Harradine, Don't underestimate the knowlege of Homeopaths, many come from conventional backgrounds, and they wouldn't dream of interfering with treatment of trauma folliowing an accident. I am merely pointing out what Dr. Hammond, (& other doctors) "..are now just begining to realise that the bodily changes during trauma are for a purpose...doctors are now just realising this and that sometimes natures own defence systems work better than medical interventions...The body evolved for a purpose & the internal changes it makes are often more likely to save you than the external ministrations of a doctor..How do we know this? Doctors compared the survival rates of casualities in Vietnam & Falklands...Those airlifted by  helicopter got medical help swiftly, but those left overnight with horrific injuries did remarkably well. The cold temperataure slowed down the body metabolism, & limited brain & other tissue damage, the low blood pressure allowed clots to form,  stopped bleeding, & lying still kept clots in place. So moving someone, pumping them with fluids & warming them up can be a disaster.." His words not mine! This  was discovered through observation not science.  

When treating diseases, qualified Homeopaths understand & work with the body by taking into account diet, lifestyle etc., the intention to restore the body to health to enable it to heal itself, unlike medicine that bombards it with toxic chemicals.

There are so many drugs that have killed or injured, I do not know which are the top 3, but vioxx must rank no.1 killing over 150.000 people despite having passed all the required 'safety' tests.

Doctors specialise in one part of the body; heart specialist, lung specialist etc. to  treat symptoms related to that particular part. My cousin was sent to different 'specialists' for different parts, and eventually died from kidney failure caused by the drugs to treat her heart. Oncologists use drugs to shrink tumours-a symptom. Tumours do shrink, but the treatment causes damage to other organs & blood usually requiring more treatment from another 'specialist' for the specifc part damaged. Medicine should take into account why the body uses its own defence mechanisms, and help to maximise them(as Homeopaths do) instead of overriding them with a plethora of drugs.

Like it or not, whatever you may want to believe that is your option,  but if Homeopathy didn't work its practitioners would be out of business by now.  It has helped thousands of people (& animals) despite repeated attempts to discredit it by a science that once used mercury, blood letting & purging as health measures.

February 14, 2008 16:23

joanna said:


1. How folic acid got the thumbs up is indeed a mystery, so why does the pharmaceutical industry want ban all vitamins from sale except in low doses that will have no beneficial effect. (MCA admit pharma pushing for this move)

2. And can you explain the attack on Bristol Cancer Centre by the cancer industry, or indeed other conventional doctors that have discovered successful alternative treatments for cancer.

February 14, 2008 16:36

Anonymous said:

Sue, Joanna: can you provide some more background to these cases that you describe where trail data has demonstrated clear benefits of vitamin therapy as a first line treatment for cancers (which cancers?  Which doses?  etc).  We need a little more background really.

Far and away the best approach to cancer is to avoid it in the first place.  Many lifestyle and environmental factors carry risks for cancer and there is a lot we people can do to decrease this risk by avoiding these factors.  Not smoking being the most obvious, as well as eating an approprate diet (one that is low in saturated fat, processed meat, without alcohol, etc.  In fact the best evidence to date demonstrated that the lowest risk of cancers are found in populations which derive most of their dietary intake from non-animal sources.  

The most comprehensive report to date on all the avialble evidencw was published recently.

Have a look and see what you make of the evidence.  Its ten recommonedations are:

Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight

Be physically active as part of everyday life

Limit consumption of energy-dense foods, and avoid sugary drinks

Eat mostly foods of plant origin

Limit intake of red meat, and avoid processed meat

Limit alcoholic drinks

Limit consumption of salt, and avoid mouldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes)

Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone

Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed

Cancer survivors: follow the recommendations for cancer prevention

For people so interested in the link between diet and cancer, I would have thought you would already be intimate with this report and its findings?

Are the pharmaceutcial industry manipulating this data too?  In what ways?  Either they are manipulating it to mislead us so that we run a great risk of getting cancer (when you look at the evidence in the report for yourself, does this seem likely?), or they have failed completely to manipulate good health advice that will help reduce the incidence of cancer if we follow it?  Or there is a third explanation, which is that this advice exists independanlty of the pharma inditry and they have to abide by the findings of expert analysis just like everyone else.

Just as they do when NICE do not allow their drugs to be used on the NHS.  Hardly evidence for a all reaching power of pharma if they can't get past that?  Or how most of their drugs fail at clinical trial stage.  Surely if it were as simple as you make it out to be to fudge data, then most would mkae it through?  

Its not at all a mystery how folate become evidence based advice for women trying to conceive if you actually look at the evidence.  A trial was conducted comparing the outcome of baies when mothers took folate with mother who did not.  The result was so clear that the trial was stopped on ethical grounds since it was considered unethical to without folate from the control group.  They evidence was there, hence it became evidence based advice.  There is no mystery about it.

So far, as fisrt line treatments for cancer, other vitamins haven't been able to show this.  There have been trials (vit B for lung cancer) which have failed, which is a shame.

There will always be some people who's world view means that they simply do not accept any sort of evidence at all.  Its all a comspiriacy, they are not buying it, they will only even use vitamins and alteratives nomatter what the evidence says.  That's fine.  They are adults, just get on with it.

What is not fine though is to promote this idea to others as if it were based on fact.  Sue, you provide your own story as evidence that vitamins can cure cancer.  You are one example.  That's akin to someone saying "I smoked 40 a day all my life and I have never been ill" and promoting this as evidence that smoking is harmless.  But what about on average?  What about when we look at all the cases of people who refuse treatment?  For some cancers to be fair this might not make a great difference, treatment might only prolonge life for a short while and is it worth going through the trauma for just several months?

But for others your advice is just wrong.  If someone is having a regular GP checkout and they notice a strange shaped mole, decide to have it tested and find it to be early stage malignant melanoma, does your advice still stand?  The doctor will adive surgery and radiotherapy (neither of which have ANYTHING to do with the pharmaceutical idnustry, so your arguments about that don't apply here...).  If it was found early, there is every reason to be hopeful of a complete recover.

However, what if that person had read your blog Sue?  They might think "Hang on, Sue got better and she said that the doctor would advise surgery and radiotherapy, but she resisted and she got better", so they refuse treatment and begin eating apricot seeds.

Then the person's family step in and say "look, what have you been reading?  Someone on a website recommoneded you refuse treatment and eat certain vitamins?  Are you mad?  The longer you leave this the more your chances deteriorate!!"  

But they remember "Sue said that her family were just like this, and she resisted AND she recovered.  I should do the same.  I must have the same courage she had.  The doctors don't know what they are talking about and neither do my family.  Its Sue that I should listen to"

Now, that's what I am objecting to.  Live life however you want, but don't mislead people.  How do you know anything you have been thorugh is relevant to anyone but yourself.  You say it "stands to reason".  Reason is exactly what is doesn't stand up to I'm afraid.  Your advice is based on a population of 1 and you are extrapolating that to everyone.

I don't hear you say "this is my story, but it may well not apply to you so listen you your doctor".  You active encourage people to reject medical advice, in exactly the same spirit that forms to basis of Lynne McTaggart's project.  

February 15, 2008 13:06

Susan Insole said:


At no time have I EVER said "you should do this or that" to anyone.  And I have never, in my practice or at any time suggested to people that they reject medical advice.  All I have provided is my story. People can take from it what they will. As a result of this blog People have phoned me about alternative cancer treatment and I have told them that they should consult their doctor, to weigh up all the options based on the advice they have received and to make up their own minds about what treatment they want.  After all it is THEIR bodies and I always point out that alternatives do not work for all people all of the time (especially when undertaken as a last resort) but then again, neither does medical treatment, in my experience.

If you have ever visited my website, this advice is there for all to see. All I wanted to do was to point out that alternatives are worth considering as far too often they are swept under the carpet - but they DO work for some.  I have not got access to scientific data myself but the anecdotal evidence I listened to, the books I read and the research I undertook was strong enough to convince me to reject medical treatment. I realise that this may not apply to everyone.  I have also been contacted personally by many people who have rejected medical treatment themselves for cancer  (not as a result of listening to me) and are still doing well many years later.

My website also contains plenty of other health advice - including how to prevent cancer. And I agree with your comments about a healthy lifestyle and diet - I advocate it myself. This blog was done as a result of a request by the authors of the wddty website to set out my story as a diary. I thought it may help people and so I agreed.  And I find the insinuations you have made against me offensive and unnecessary.  

February 15, 2008 23:33

Anonymous said:


I understand, and thankyou for clarifying that you do not advocate that people reject medical treatment.  I do npot mean to offend you at all, I only wish to prevent others from perhaps misinterpreting your advise and talking action wich, as you say, you do not recommened, but might otherwise be the message they hear if things are not made absolutely clear (as all health advise should be).

Personally, I beleive that some alternatives might be useful in the treatment of cancer as complimentary approaches.  But more work needs to be done to establish exactly which treatments should be used, since the NHS has only limited resources so it must restrict itself to treatments that can be shown to have some benefit (whatever their source).

I have enjoyed reading you blog and find no fault in anything you have said, except for as I pointed out the possibly ambiguous nature of whether people should or should not abandon conventional therapy to adopt your approach.  You have kindly made this clear.


February 16, 2008 11:18

Susan Insole said:

Harradine, I am glad that you understand exactly where I am coming from.  Just one other thing I would say: people are often not as gullible as you seem to imply in saying that I personally could have any direct influence over whether people try my approach or not. Many people in this day and age know someone, whether it is a relative or friend who has been diagnosed with cancer and have agonised with them as they followed a course of treatment, sometimes with tragic outcomes.   They are perfectly capable of making informed decisions based on the experiences in their own lives.

For example, if my sister, daughter, father and my good friend had survived with no ill effects and no return of their cancer following their medical treatment then I could have followed the same course of treatment myself, because that is what really influences people in making up their minds, and not just reading an article about alternative treatments carried out by someone else. As I said before IF medical treatment was as successful as it should be, then people would not be seeking alternatives in the first place.

Once I had decided upon my approach to treatment THAT is when the success stories I read reinforced my belief that I was doing the right thing, along with looking at research written by Dr Krebs and Dr Linus Pauling, and books such as Phillip Day's which takes a whole new approach to the way we view the evidence of medical science. In short, it all made sense to me, and that is the main reason why I rejected medical treatment. I am no exception either, as many other people, judging from the corresepondence I have received have felt and done the same, and have gone on to live long healthy lives free from cancer.

The only people I felt pressurised and persuaded by were doctors and nursing staff - who urged me to have medical treatment almost straight away before I had had the chance to digest the impact of the diagnosis, or had decided what to do for the best.  When I asked about alternatives, they were very dismissive and would say I was actively encouraged not to seek it out as there was "no point". This I believe is most people's experience and explains in part the high takeup of medical treatment in the first instance. Doctors have a high standing in the community and are regarded as experts, (there are 3 doctors in my own family) so they are in a perfect position to influence people's beliefs. They may also believe that alternatives are inproven so have no relevance to their patients. On the other hand, alternative practioners I contacted afterwards made sure that I knew exactly what was entailed and allowed me to make up my own mind.

With a life-threatening diagnosis, people are influenced by many factors, not just by an article or blog written by someone else, although I accept that it may play a small part in encouraging someone who has already made up their mind what course of treatment to follow.

February 16, 2008 16:21

Anonymous said:

..which is exactly why I beleive in the power of evidence.  Not the opinion of doctors, blogs, or anyone else.  Evidence.  And by that I mean when we look at the different approaches adopted, which have the best outcomes?   When these are compared in a situation that removes the possibility of other factors accounting for the outcome, which approach is best to adopt (i.e., has the best surivial rate assoicated with it).

Without evidence, all you have is opinion and one persons opinion is just as valid or invalid as anyone elses.  That's why evidence is absolutely critical for medical advise.

That's normally why the doctors don't advice alternative up front.  The evidence that they work is either non existent or negative.  Some trails have been done, but nothing positive.

One could argue that this is because of elaborate cover-up schemes by drug companies (which they appear to be rubbish at), but even if it were, doctors can't advice using untested treatments just to make a point or some sort of stand against drug companies.  If they don't have the evidence, they can't give the advice.  Anything else is to act unethically.

February 16, 2008 16:39

Anonymous said:

Its probably also worth remember that most modern chemotherapy is not synthetic chemistry manufactured in pharmaceutical laboratories, but organic, natural products manufactured in plants, extracted by pharmaceutical companies!

Taxol for example, is one of the most effective chemotherapies available for breast cancer and it comes directly from the pacific yew tree!

The problem is of course that is would take six 100 years old year trees to produce enough of the compound to treat a single patient.  Hence it has to be manufactured using natural fermentation methods.

All natural.  All organic.  And yet chemotherapy.  Do people have different attittudes towards natural chemotherapy compared with synthetic compunds not found in nature?

When people say things like "I only used natural products, not chemicals", correct them by saying "nature is the richest source of complex chemicals there is.  Nature is the most prolific chemcial factory, dwarfing man's attempts.  What do you mean, natural products which are not chemical?  What are they then?


February 18, 2008 15:36

Susan Insole said:

Harradine, I agree with you that there are chemical compounds in all nature - fruits, vegetables, plants, herbs, you name it.  The difference through is by HOW it is extracted and the process used in manufacture. Now I am no scientist, but there have been ill-health and side effects found with many more drugs than there have been from vitamins, are we agreed?  Both are extracted from nature yet they are very different in their effects on the human body.  

For example, just look at how margarine is manufactured, yet they both come from a simple substance - vegetable oil. The oil is harmless and beneficial to the body yet margarine, by the way it is turned into a solid mass by its manufacture (refining) is harmful. Manufacturers can use chemical processes that make their products harmful to the body. With margarine, these fats may be labeled “polyunsaturated” but they are damaging to the body just the same.

The chemical processing of healthy oils to turn them into harmful fats destroys the vital electron contained in the oils, which are important to every cell in the body. Once these electrons have been removed, these fats can no longer bind with oxygen and actually become an obstacle to the breathing process.

The heart rejects these fats and they end up as inorganic fatty deposits in the heart muscle itself. This leads to heart disease and clogged arteries. Chemically processed fats are not water-soluble when bound in protein. They end up blocking circulation, damage heart action and inhibit the renewal of cells. They also interfere with the free flow of blood and lymph fluids. The whole body action eventually slows down and can become completely paralysed.

This is just one example of how the process of manufacture intereferes with the raw natural substance to change it into something completely different. So yes the raw material is a natural chemical compound but the way it is processed and extracted is entirely different when it comes to a drug or a vitamin.

February 19, 2008 18:59

Anonymous said:

Hi Sue,

I understand that chemical processing can change the properties of natural substances, but of course this would then also apply to vitamins as well as any other substance.

Chemical extraction or manufacture of the vitamins taken as supplements for example.  Why would this principle not also apply to them?  Unless you are saying that pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers manage specifically to convery damaging changes on natural substances whereas manufacturers of vitamins and other such chemicals don't do this?

As if turns out, the drugs I was talking about are as they are found in nature, since the chemitherapy mentioned (taxol) is dervied from a natural source in the form used for chemotherapy.  The chemistry is identical to that found in the natural plant (yet treee) since is is fermented from yew tree cells and the effiacy of the dug depends on its structure.

So why is this useful natural, organic substance with proven effiacy not considered natural even though it is a natural substance from a natural source?

February 20, 2008 19:28

Susan Insole said:

I am not a chemist, so can't really answer your question.  As for Taxol, I don't know enough about it - whether it causes side effects or not, so can't comment.  If there ARE known side effects, then somehow its change in the manufacture of it from the natural source may be to blame, but I don't know for certain.

All I CAN say is that food supplements, as far as I am aware, carry no side effects - I take enough of them so I can speak with authority there - and none of my clients have reported any harmful side effects with taking them - nor have I ever heard of people dying from taking them, but this is not the case with drugs. So somehow, how food supplements are manufactured seems a lot better and safer than the way drugs are manufactured.

It's over to the chemists for this one!

February 21, 2008 13:19

Anonymous said:

Hi Sue.

With vitamins it really depends how much you take.  Vitamin A for example, it highly toxin in overdose (that's why polar bear liver is toxin incidently, a useful peice of information I;m sure you'll agree!).  Megadose vitamins usually pass straight through in the urine, but some can be dangerous.

True, pharmaceuticals have greater risks by and large.  There is a good reason for that- they are pharmacutically active molecules.  They have effects on the body and if the dose is too large, these effects can be dangerous, or even fatal.

My point was that not all pharmaceuticals are synthetic.  many are exactly the same as one find them in nature.  of course, this does not mean they are safe.  nature produces the most deadly toxins man kind has come across.  Taxol is identical to the molecule in nature (it is dervied from natural source), but has all the side effects associated with chemotherapy such as nausea and hair loss becuase it stops cells from dividing (antimitotic).

My point is that when someone says something is "natural" this doesn't mean it is harmless.  Just as when someone says something is pharmaceutical, this can be identical to the natural compound.  Around 80% of all medicines are plant derived, so the distinction is not clear.

In recent years drug companies did attempt "high thoughout" screening.  Basically medicinal chemists became adept are generating vast librbaries of new chemcial compounds and screening these to find any that might have effect on the body, then looking more closely at these to find any that might be effective medicines.  However, this apporach hasn't really paid off.  The chemists just aren't able to manufacture coumpunds with enough complexity to have the range of biological effects that might be useful.  And so newer methods aim at exploiting natures sophisticated chemical factories to do just that.

Not all of these will be safe.  many natural drugs are lethal in the extreme.  Most toxins and poisons are to be found in bacteria, plant or animal.  Just as that is where we will find the bes medicines also.

Vitamins are classed as food supplements since they are required for proper nutrition and certainly if you have a deficientcy you will get pretty sick.  But so far no real evidence that they act as active cures.  They might help rpevent illness by keeping your immune syste, in check, but all the many attempts at finding uses for them s cures have been very disappointing.  That's not to say they are not important, becuase they are.

However, the food supplement industry oversimplfies our view of vitamins and mierals to a degree.  There are so many micronutrients in foods that we don't even know about yet and these are not found in pills.  taking supplements is a good diea if for some reason you are deficient or something, like when pregnant, or aneamic, etc.  But they are no substitute for all the very complex chemcistry that can be found in plants and fruits, most of which is far from fully understood.

February 21, 2008 14:55

Anonymous said:

Some evidence whcih demonstrate that the story concerning supplements is not entirely straight forward.  The boidy is complex, supplements treat it as much more simple than it is..

Vitamin E linked to lung cancer

Taking high doses of vitamin E supplements can increase the risk of lung cancer, research suggests.

The US study of 77,000 people found taking 400 milligrams per day long-term increased cancer risk by 28% - with smokers at particular risk.

It follows warnings about similar risks of excessive beta-carotene use.

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an expert said people should get their vitamins from fruit and veg.

The jury's still very much out on whether vitamin and mineral supplements can affect cancer risk

Henry Scowcroft, Cancer Research UK

Dr Tim Byers, from the University of Colorado, said a healthy, balanced diet meant people took in a whole range of beneficial nutrients and minerals, which might help to reduce cancer risk.

The researchers followed people aged between 50 and 76 for four years and looked at their average daily use of vitamin C and folic acid, and vitamin E supplements.

Over the course of the study, 521 people developed lung cancer.

Smoking, family history and age all had unsurprisingly strong links to cancer risk.

And while neither vitamin C or folic acid use had any effect on lung cancer risk, vitamin E use did.

The researchers extrapolated their findings, and concluded that over a decade, there was an additional 7% increase in risk for every 100 milligrams taken per day.

The vitamin E trend was most prominent among smokers, but was not confined to them.

Vitamin E is known to be an antioxidant - protecting cells from molecules called free radicals.

But the US researchers speculate that, in high doses, it may also act as a pro-oxidant - causing oxidation and therefore damage to cells.

'Toxic effects'

Dr Christopher Slatore of the University of Washington in Seattle, who led the study, said: "In contrast to the often assumed benefits or at least lack of harm, supplemental vitamin E was associated with a small increased risk of lung cancer.

"Future studies may focus on other components of fruits and vegetables that may explain the decreased risk of cancer that has been associated with fruit and vegetables.

"Meanwhile, our results should prompt clinicians to counsel patients that these supplements are unlikely to reduce the risk of lung cancer and may be detrimental."

But Henry Scowcroft, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "The jury's still very much out on whether vitamin and mineral supplements can affect cancer risk.

"Some studies suggest a benefit, but many others show no effect and some, like this one, suggest they may even increase risk."

He added: "Research repeatedly shows that a healthy, balanced diet can reduce your risk of some cancers while giving you all the vitamins you need.

"Quitting smoking remains the most effective way to avoid many cancers. There's no diet, or vitamin supplement, that could ever counter the toxic effects of cigarette smoke."

In 2002 a Finnish study of 29,000 male smokers found taking beta-carotene - which is converted into vitamin A in the body - was linked to an 18% increased risk of developing lung cancer

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/02/29 16:11:30 GMT


February 29, 2008 16:59

Susan Insole said:

I have seen these studies but they are far from being conclusive.  My earlier point is that vitamins and minerals extracted from raw materials do seem to be a lot safer as a whole rather than drugs, whatever way you look at it.  The word "natural" has also been widely (and wrongly) used by many food manufactuers too, for products full of food additives. In fact I would say it is probably over-used in lots of ways.

I look at "natural" as meaning that - simple whole foods with no additives and I suspect many people do the same.  

March 2, 2008 14:03

Anonymous said:

I agree Susan.  I think many studies of the benefits or even possible risks of supplementation are far from inclusions.  That's not to say there isn't real benefit or perhaps in some cases real harm, but the research just doesn't yet reflect this.

Obviously the most established example is that of folic acid as I said before.

And I also agree completely that the word natural is very often misused as a powerful marketing word which often misleads people.

I would agree with your definition of natural which, would exclude vitamin supplements in tablet form which are often manufactured synthetically.

I think the jury is still very much out on the actual benefits of vitamin supplementation.  Perhaps for some groups, such as the anaemic, pregnant or serious malnourished these may have real benefit.  But for most people who are eating sensible its not clear if they do any good.  Also, their benefit in terms of curing serious illnesses is far from established.

I think its a real case of "more research needed".  The idea that vitamins being effective in treatment of various illness is not without merit, but right now they are being heavily promoted as cures more or less, with no clear evidence one way or another.

March 2, 2008 14:41

Susan Insole said:

You may be interested in this information article about the supplementation of Vitamin C:


By Bill Sardi "Used with permission"

Labeled as “health fanatics” and “vitamin whackos,” the users of mega-dose vitamin C pills are about to be vindicated. No more hiding their vitamin C pills from their doctors. No more condescending glances from their friends when they say they are taking a few grams of vitamin C every day. According to newly revealed science, the belittled mega-dose vitamin C users may be purchasing the cheapest and most effective health insurance one can buy.

The prevalent belief is that vitamin C is an essential nutrient but excessive amounts consumed from mega-dose vitamin pills produce expensive urine since excesses are excreted. This flawed idea emanates from studies conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1996. [Proceedings Natl Acad Sci 93:14344-8, 1996] Ever since then physicians, pharmacists, dietitians and other health practitioners have echoed the same mistaken chorus --- you’re wasting your money by taking mega-dose vitamin C pills.

Health authorities claim mega-dose vitamin C pills are worthless

The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, 75 milligrams for males, 90 milligrams for females, and an additional 35 mg for smokers, is based on the amount of vitamin C needed to prevent a person from getting scurvy and provide body stores for about 30 days, with a margin of safety. [Proceedings Natl Academy Sciences 98: 9842-46, 2001] An NIH press release states “at 200 mg oral intake, blood plasma had more than 80 percent maximal concentration of vitamin C and tissues were completely saturated. Doses of 500 mg and higher are completely excreted in urine.” [National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH Press release April 15, 1996]

A study conducted by NIH investigators emphatically states that doses of supplemental vitamin C above 200 milligrams daily are “nearly completely excreted in urine.” Furthermore, the concentration of ascorbic acid (the technical name for vitamin C) in blood plasma never exceeds much more than 70-85 micromole per deciliter of blood regardless of the dosage of vitamin C consumed, so said NIH researchers. [Biofactors 15: 71-74, 2001] (Micromole is a measure of concentration of substances in liquids.) So NIH investigators assert 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables provide about 200 milligrams of vitamin C and that the diet should be sufficient to reach optimal blood levels. Vitamin C pills are not required, period.

What about the half life?

This is not so, says a new book, Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C,* written by Drs. Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts, University of Manchester graduates in pharmacology in England. The book exposes the many flaws involved in the establishment of the Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin C, and the revelations are alarming. Millions of people could have delayed or avoided health problems such as cataracts, cancer, blood vessel disease, aneurysms, gall stones and more had NIH researchers properly conducted tests to determine the human need for vitamin C.

Hickey and Roberts note indisputable flaws in the RDA for vitamin C. NIH scientists waited 12 hours before measuring the concentration of ascorbic acid in the blood circulation to develop an RDA for 280 million people. Hickey and Roberts show that NIH investigators failed to calculate for the half life of vitamin C, which is about 30 minutes in humans. (The half life is the time it takes for something to disappear from the human body.) “To be blunt,” says Hickey, “the NIH gave a dose of vitamin C, waited until it had been excreted, and then measured blood levels.” Then, 24 half-lives later, NIH researchers concluded this was the saturation level.

Other flaws

It’s also obvious there weren’t enough subjects tested to develop adequate conclusions. The NIH only studied 7 and 15 subject in the two studies they used to develop the RDA. Also, there was the false assumption that concentrations of vitamin C in blood plasma reflect the need for vitamin C in other tissues throughout the body. The brain has ten times greater vitamin C concentration than the blood plasma. A 1991 study found that 2000 mg of daily vitamin C increased vitamin C levels by 22-32 percent in the human eye over levels achieved by taking 148 milligrams.

RDA itself is misleading

Furthermore, the RDA itself is misleading because it is intended to set a level of nutrient consumption that would prevent disease (scurvy) among the vast majority (95%+) of the population. The RDA for vitamin C is established for healthy people. Yet smokers (50 million), estrogen or birth control pill users (13 million and 18 million), diabetics (16 million), pregnant females (4 million) and people taking aspirin (inestimable millions) or other drugs, have increased need for vitamin C and comprise more than 35 percent of the population. The current RDA wouldn’t meet the needs of these large subpopulations. Every time the RDA is printed on dietary supplements and food labels it should be accompanied by an asterisk that *This RDA intake level was established for healthy people only and it is likely more vitamin C may be needed by smokers, diabetics, senior adults, pregnant females, and individuals taking certain medications (steroids, estrogen, birth control pills, aspirin). (And suffering from cancer  - my addition)

How did NIH researchers box themselves into a corner?

How did the NIH researchers so emphatically claim that mega-dose vitamin C was worthless and then later box themselves into a corner with their own data? What NIH researchers set out to do was further investigate the difference between oral and intravenous absorption of vitamin C. Their report, which was published in the March 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, contradicted their earlier published studies.

Dr. Linus Pauling vindicated

First, the study revealed that concentrations of vitamin C in blood plasma are six times greater when given intravenously over oral doses (885 vs 134 micromolar concentration). This caused the investigators to suggest intravenous vitamin C may achieve concentrations that “might have antitumor activity” and that the “role of vitamin C in cancer treatment should be evaluated.” [Annals Internal Medicine, April 6, Volume 140: pages 533-37, 2004] Heavens to Betsy! This revelation validated the work of Dr. Linus Pauling who used intravenous vitamin C to more than double the survival rates among terminal cancer patients in 1976. [Proc Natl Acad Sci 73:3685-9, 1976] Later Dr. Pauling’s published studies using intravenous vitamin C were discredited by Mayo Clinic researchers. The news media missed this important story. It should have made worldwide headlines, particularly because oncologists have not been able to significantly improve survival times for cancer for the past few decades.

The second half of the study

Second, the comparative oral-dosing data in the Annals of Internal Medicine study revealed a more important shocker. When 3000 milligrams was given orally every 4 hours, concentrations were nearly three times greater (220 micromole) than what was believed to be the maximum that could be achieved through oral consumption (70-85 micromole). What happened to the claim that that body tightly controls blood plasma vitamin C concentrations with excesses dumped into urine? In the researchers own words, “single one gram supplement doses can produce transient plasma concentrations that are 2 to 3-fold higher than those from vitamin C-rich foods (200-300 milligrams daily)!” Hold your horses. The NIH researchers should have retracted previously published papers, asking medical journal editors to publish erratum, and they should have called for a re-evaluation of the RDA for vitamin C. This didn’t happen, says Hickey.

In March of 2004 another scientific paper was being published, again co-authored by NIH researchers, which remarkably showed that 2000 milligrams of oral vitamin C produced 143 micromole concentrations in blood plasma. The researchers remarked that numbers rose even among subjects with already had relatively high blood concentrations (87 micromole). Plasma concentrations rose progressively with increasing vitamin C doses up to 1000 milligrams per day! [Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 423, 109-115, 2004] The researchers concluded that “optimizing vitamin C intake appears warranted” given the relationship of low vitamin C status with stroke, coronary heart disease, cancer and brain disease.

NIH researchers said blood plasma concentrations cannot reach beyond 70-85 micromole from oral vitamin C because amounts over 200 milligrams per day are excreted in the urine. But the above chart, reproduced from an NIH study reveals that oral vitamin C attained 220 micromole concentrations in blood plasma, three times greater than what the National Institutes of Health said could not be achieved.

The impact of a bogus RDA

These revelations are likely to have a far-reaching impact beyond the RDA. The U.S. is deliberating approval of a worldwide trade agreement known as CODEX which would restrict essential nutrients in dietary supplements to certain minimums and maximums (the so-called safe upper limit), which are based upon an obviously flawed RDA. The CODEX vote must now be halted until this matter over the validity of the RDA for vitamin C is clarified.

A reversal the vitamin supplement nay-sayers may never live down

Such a reversal of events is likely to awaken the polarized camps that advocate or oppose high-dose vitamin C supplementation. For example, Quackwatch advises consumers that among things to watch for in detecting health quackery are claims that the RDAs are too low. Up till now, every health practitioner who espoused mega-dose vitamin C therapy has been labeled as a quack. Now the vitamin C advocates are likely to go on the offensive. [Twenty-Five Ways to Spot Quacks. and Vitamin Pushers, Stephen Barrett, M.D., Victor Herbert, M.D., J.D.]

Here is a quotation from a university-based website which describes a prevalent attitude by scientists about vitamin supplements:

“Vitamin hucksters spend millions promoting fear that you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals. They recommend vitamin, mineral and nutritional supplements as ‘vitamin insurance.’ The American Dietetic Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council and other major medical societies all agree that you should get the vitamins and minerals you need through a well-balanced diet.”

There is going be an adjustment period required for sure. How will the vitamin C nay sayers live this down?

The greater tragedy

In retrospect, now that it is apparent the RDA for vitamin C is flawed, the greater tragedy lies in the effect vitamin C supplementation could have upon mortality rates. An epidemiological study published by the NIH in the year 2000 showed that adults whose blood plasma concentrations exceeded the 73.8 micromole level experienced a 57 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause and a 62 percent reduced relative risk of dying of cancer when compared to adults who consumed low amounts of vitamin C (28 micromole). [Am J Clinical Nutrition 72: 139-45, 2000]

Another study found that for every 500 microgram increase in blood serum concentration of vitamin C an 11 percent reduction in coronary heart disease and stroke prevalence could be anticipated. [Epideminology 9: 316-21, 1998] Now that we know that much higher blood concentrations of ascorbic acid can be achieved through oral consumption than previously recognized, Dr. Hickey estimates 500 milligrams of vitamin C taken orally in 5 divided doses every three waking hours daily (2500 mg total per day) could reduce the cardiovascular mortality risk by 55 percent compared to people consuming low doses of vitamin C!

Millions of Americans have been misled by health authorities and have received errant advice in the development of their personal health regimens. Consumers read labels on vitamin bottles which said it supplied “100 percent of the RDA” and believe that is all they needed to stay healthy. This no longer holds for vitamin C. Consumers are likely to be angry once these revelations are aired in public.

Calculating the aftermath of the error

Aside from the decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, what else would have happened had the RDA for vitamin C be set much higher, an RDA for optimal health, like the 2500 mg per day in divided doses as suggested by Drs. Hickey and Roberts?

Had the public responded to this knowledge in a widespread manner and begun to consume vitamin C pill en masse, one could expect all manner of human disease to decline. For example, the incidence of cataracts would likely drop significantly, or at least they would be delayed by quite a few years. [J Clinical Epidemiology 52: 1207-11, 1999; Am J Clin Nutrition 66: 911-16, 1997] Arthritic symptoms would diminish in the population at large due to the maintenance of collagen. [Arthritis Rheumatism 39: 648-56, 1996] Rates of skin cancer might drop. The number of days in a year that people would be hampered with cold symptoms might be reduced, which would likely improve productivity in society overall. [Advances Therapy 19: 151-59, 2002] Viral eruptions such as herpes and SARS would be better controlled or even averted. [J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 52: 1049-50, 2003] Smokers might live longer and not exhibit much of the pathology they develop. [J Am College Nutrition 22: 372-78, 2003] Rates of gall bladder disease would drop by about 25 percent. [J Clinical Epidemiology 51: 257-65, 1998] The incidence of aortic aneurysms (bulging and possible rupture) would be virtually eliminated. [Med Sci Monitor 10: 1-4, 2004]

A study published in the March 2004 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates males taking high-dose vitamin C exhibit 2.68 times less calcification in their arteries compared to males who consume low doses of vitamin C. The risk for angina among adults who consume significant amounts of alcohol would be cut in half. [Ann Epidemiology. 9: 358-65, 1999] One study concluded that 3000 mg of oral vitamin C daily even increases the frequency of sexual intercourse. [Biological Psychiatry. 2002 52:371-4, 2002]

All of these potential health benefits can only be achieved with consumption of vitamin C at levels exceeding what the best diet provides. For taking just ¼ teaspoon of vitamin C five times a day, at an estimated cost of 25 cents per day, Americans can achieve a level of health never achieved by large populations groups.

Inexplicably, Linus Pauling scientists agree with current RDA

Surprisingly, researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute haven’t fully bought into the idea yet that high-dose vitamin C may produce exceptional health benefits. Instead, they followed along with the errant NIH recommendations. Anita Carr, a research associate with the Linus Pauling Institute, says this about the current RDA for vitamin C: "Based upon a preliminary review of many studies done over the past 15 years, a number that seems to stand out right now is about 100 milligrams per day." [Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, June 2, 1998] Dr. Linus Pauling supplemented his diet with about 6000 milligrams of vitamin C daily.

Safety not an issue

Safety is not an issue when it comes to mega-dose vitamin C supplements. Eight placebo-controlled, double-blind studies and six non-placebo controlled clinical trials in whih up to 10,000 milligrams of vitamin C was consumed daily for up to three years, confirm the safety of vitamin C pills in excess of the RDA. [J Am College Nutrition 14: 124-36, 1995] Frequent allegations are made that vitamin C supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones, but are poorly founded. Additionally, the false notion that withdrawal from high-dose vitamin C may cause “rebound scurvy” has also been dispelled. While vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, it has not been shown to induce iron overload in humans. [Nutrition Reviews 57: 71-77, 1999]

Vitamin C supplement users

The question is, do Americans consume enough vitamin C for optimal health? Vitamin C is the most common dietary supplement consumed by American consumers. About 45 percent of dietary supplements used by consumers contain vitamin C. [Archives Family Medicine 9: 258-62, 2000] A 1990 report indicates the average intake of vitamin C from supplements is about 60 milligrams, however, about 5 to 10 percent of supplement users (about 2 percent of the US population) consume more than 1000 mg from pills. [Am J Epidemiology 132: 1091-101, 1990]

The blood plasma vitamin C concentration among vitamin C supplement users is about 60 to 70 percent higher than adults who do not take supplements (75-80 vs. 45-50 micromole). [J Am College Nutrition 13: 22-32, 1994] A daily intake of 1000 mg is needed to maintain plasma vitamin C concentration in the range of 75-80 micromole. Only 4.2 percent of the US population 3 to 74 years of age is likely to have plasma vitamin C levels above the 80 micromole point. [National Health Survey, Series 11, No. 232, DHHS Publication No 83-1682, 1982]

One widely acclaimed study published in 1992 indicated that vitamin C, in oral doses exceeding 750 milligrams per day, increased the lifespan of males by about 6 years. [Epidemiology 3: 194-202, 1992]

For optimal health, what is overlooked is the half life of vitamin C and the importance of divided doses that Drs. Hickey and Roberts now emphasize in order to achieve steady blood levels. Health minded consumers owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Hickey and Roberts for breaking ranks among scientists who appear to be frozen in their tracks. Despite recently published data that stands in stark contrast to the RDA and the claim that mega-dose vitamin C supplementation is of no benefit, public health authorities are not forthcoming about their past mistakes. The RDA for vitamin C must be re-evaluated. Mega-dose vitamin C supplementation should no longer be demeaned. Hickey and Roberts have confronted the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institutes of Medicine directly, with little success. Now they are taking the issue to the public in their newly released book. Only the public’s demand for reform is likely to overcome inaction by health authorities. Everyone needs to read Hickey and Roberts’ book. ####

Copyright 2004 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

March 3, 2008 17:20

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I think its clear that we all need adequate vitamins for good health.  Some probably need more than others for various reasons depending on their perosnal damands.

One thing I do notice however are the very specific claims made about vitamins, such as above and beyiond that required for good health and a healthy immune system, but actually as active cures for a range of illness, including specifc types of tumours.  

The studies are being performed but a lot of these claims are somewhat premature.  There may well be some benefits to be found, but like I say often claims are over inflated and its important to keep our eye on what has been established and what research has yet to be done!

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I {couldn't|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.

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{It is|It's} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make

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and {it is|it's} time to be happy. {I have|I've} {read|learn} this {post|submit|publish|put up} and if I {may just|may|could}

I {want to|wish to|desire to} {suggest|recommend|counsel} you {few|some} {interesting|fascinating|attention-grabbing}

{things|issues} or {advice|suggestions|tips}. {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write {next|subsequent} articles

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I {want to|wish to|desire to} {read|learn} {more|even more} {things|issues} {approximately|about} it!|

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days|nowadays|today|lately|as of late}, {yet|but} I

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{just right|good|excellent} {content|content material} as {you did|you

probably did}, the {internet|net|web} {will be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be} {much more|a lot more} {useful|helpful} than ever before.|

Ahaa, its {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {discussion|conversation|dialogue} {regarding|concerning|about|on

the topic of} this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph}

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I have read all that, so {now|at this time} me also commenting {here|at

this place}.|

I am sure this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} has touched all the internet {users|people|viewers|visitors}, its

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Wow, this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} is {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious}, my

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know|convey} her.|

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Woah! I'm really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of this {site|website|blog}.

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These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {great|enormous|impressive|wonderful|fantastic} ideas in {regarding|concerning|about|on

the topic of} blogging. You have touched some {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {points|factors|things} here.

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of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!

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because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something

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the good work|stick with it}!|

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I {simply|just} {could not|couldn't} {leave|depart|go

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suggesting that I {really|extremely|actually} {enjoyed|loved} {the standard|the usual} {information|info} {a

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Is {going to|gonna} be {back|again} {frequently|regularly|incessantly|steadily|ceaselessly|often|continuously}

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{I wanted|I needed|I want to|I need to} to thank you for this {great|excellent|fantastic|wonderful|good|very good} read!!

I {definitely|certainly|absolutely} {enjoyed|loved} every {little bit of|bit of} it.

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I {{leave|drop|{write|create}} a {comment|leave a

response}|drop a {comment|leave a response}|{comment|leave a response}} {each time|when|whenever} I {appreciate|like|especially enjoy} a {post|article} on

a {site|{blog|website}|site|website} or {I have|if I have} something to {add|contribute|valuable to contribute} {to the discussion|to the conversation}.

{It is|Usually it is|Usually it's|It's} {a result

of|triggered by|caused by} the {passion|fire|sincerness} {communicated|displayed} in

the {post|article} I {read|looked at|browsed}. And {on|after}

this {post|article} My Alternative Cancer Diary :

Cured?. I {{was|was actually} moved|{was|was actually} excited} enough to {drop|{leave|drop|{write|create}}|post} a

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questions} for you {if you {don't|do not|usually do not|tend not to} mind|if it's {allright|okay}}.

{Is it|Could it be} {just|only|simply} me or {do|does it {seem|appear|give

the impression|look|look as if|look like} like} {some|a few}

of {the|these} {comments|responses|remarks} {look|appear|come across}

{like they are|as if they are|like} {coming from|written by|left by} brain dead {people|visitors|folks|individuals}?

:-P And, if you are {posting|writing} {on|at} {other|additional} {sites|social sites|online sites|online social sites|places},

{I'd|I would} like to {follow|keep up with} {you|{anything|everything} {new|fresh} you have

to post}. {Could|Would} you {list|make a list} {all|every one|the complete urls} of {your|all your} {social|communal|community|public|shared} {pages|sites} like

your {twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile|linkedin profile,

Facebook page or twitter feed|Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile}?|

{Hi there|Hello}, I enjoy reading {all of|through} your {article|post|article

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I {always|constantly|every time} spent my half an hour to read this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web

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I {always|for all time|all the time|constantly|every time} emailed this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}

post page to all my {friends|associates|contacts}, {because|since|as|for

the reason that} if like to read it {then|after

that|next|afterward} my {friends|links|contacts} will too.|

My {coder|programmer|developer} is trying to {persuade|convince} me to

move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the {expenses|costs}.

But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using {Movable-type|WordPress}

on {a number of|a variety of|numerous|several|various} websites for about a year

and am {nervous|anxious|worried|concerned} about switching to another platform.

I have heard {fantastic|very good|excellent|great|good}

things about Is there a way I can {transfer|import} all my wordpress {content|posts}

into it? {Any kind of|Any} help would be {really|greatly} appreciated!|

{Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day}! I could have sworn I've {been to|visited} {this blog|this web site|this website|this site|your

blog} before but after {browsing through|going

through|looking at} {some of the|a few of the|many of the}

{posts|articles} I realized it's new to me. {Anyways|Anyhow|Nonetheless|Regardless}, I'm {definitely|certainly} {happy|pleased|delighted} {I found|I discovered|I came across|I

stumbled upon} it and I'll be {bookmarking|book-marking} it and

checking back {frequently|regularly|often}!|

{Terrific|Great|Wonderful} {article|work}! {This is|That

is} {the type of|the kind of} {information|info} {that are

meant to|that are supposed to|that should} be shared

{around the|across the} {web|internet|net}. {Disgrace|Shame} on {the {seek|search}

engines|Google} for {now not|not|no longer} positioning

this {post|submit|publish|put up} {upper|higher}! Come on over and {talk over with|discuss with|seek

advice from|visit|consult with} my {site|web site|website} .

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Heya {i'm|i am} for the first time here. I {came across|found} this board and I find It {truly|really} useful & it helped me out {a lot|much}.

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{Hi|Hello|Hi there|Hello there|Howdy|Greetings}, {I think|I believe|I do believe|I do think|There's no

doubt that} {your site|your website|your web site|your blog} {might be|may

be|could be|could possibly be} having {browser|internet browser|web browser} compatibility {issues|problems}.

{When I|Whenever I} {look at your|take a look at your} {website|web site|site|blog} in Safari, it looks fine {but when|however when|however, if|however, when} opening in {Internet Explorer|IE|I.E.}, {it has|it's got} some overlapping issues.

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a|provide you with a} quick heads up! {Other than that|Apart from that|Besides that|Aside from that},

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{A person|Someone|Somebody} {necessarily|essentially} {lend a hand|help|assist} to make {seriously|critically|significantly|severely} {articles|posts} {I would|I might|I'd} state.

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I {amazed|surprised} with the {research|analysis} you made to

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Heya {i'm|i am} for {the primary|the first} time here.

I {came across|found} this board and I {in finding|find|to find} It

{truly|really} {useful|helpful} & it helped me out {a lot|much}.

{I am hoping|I hope|I'm hoping} {to give|to offer|to provide|to present} {something|one thing} {back|again} and {help|aid} others {like you|such as you} {helped|aided} me.|

{Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day|Hey there}! {I just|I simply} {would like to|want to|wish to} {give you a|offer you a} {huge|big} thumbs up {for

the|for your} {great|excellent} {info|information} {you have|you've got|you have got} {here|right here} on this post.

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I {always|all the time|every time} used to {read|study} {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} in news papers but now as I am a user of {internet|web|net}

{so|thus|therefore} from now I am using net for {articles|posts|articles or reviews|content}, thanks to web.|

Your {way|method|means|mode} of {describing|explaining|telling} {everything|all|the

whole thing} in this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} is {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely}

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{understand|know|be aware of} it, Thanks a lot.|

{Hi|Hello} there, {I found|I discovered} your {blog|website|web site|site} {by

means of|via|by the use of|by way of} Google

{at the same time as|whilst|even as|while} {searching for|looking for} a {similar|comparable|related} {topic|matter|subject},

your {site|web site|website} {got here|came} up, it {looks|appears|seems|seems to be|appears to be like} {good|great}.

{I have|I've} bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

{Hello|Hi} there, {simply|just} {turned into|became|was|become|changed into} {aware of|alert to} your

{blog|weblog} {thru|through|via} Google, {and found|and located} that {it is|it's} {really|truly} informative.

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{I will|I'll} {appreciate|be grateful} {if you|should you|when you|in the

event you|in case you|for those who|if you happen

to} {continue|proceed} this {in future}. {A lot of|Lots of|Many|Numerous}

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be|will probably be|can be|will likely be}

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{I am|I'm} curious to find out what blog {system|platform}

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I'm {experiencing|having} some {minor|small} security {problems|issues}

with my latest {site|website|blog} and {I would|I'd} like to find something

more {safe|risk-free|safeguarded|secure}. Do you have any {solutions|suggestions|recommendations}?|

{I am|I'm} {extremely|really} impressed with your writing skills {and also|as well as} with the layout on your {blog|weblog}.

Is this a paid theme or did you {customize|modify} it yourself?

{Either way|Anyway} keep up the {nice|excellent} quality writing, {it's|it is} rare to see a {nice|great} blog like this one {these days|nowadays|today}.|

{I am|I'm} {extremely|really} {inspired|impressed} {with your|together

with your|along with your} writing {talents|skills|abilities} {and also|as {smartly|well|neatly} as} with the {layout|format|structure} {for your|on your|in your|to your} {blog|weblog}.

{Is this|Is that this} a paid {subject|topic|subject matter|theme} or did you {customize|modify} it {yourself|your self}?

{Either way|Anyway} {stay|keep} up the {nice|excellent} {quality|high

quality} writing, {it's|it is} {rare|uncommon} {to peer|to see|to look} a {nice|great} {blog|weblog} like this one {these days|nowadays|today}..|

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{I'm|I am} not sure where {you are|you're} getting your {info|information}, but {good|great} topic.

I needs to spend some time learning {more|much more} or

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