by Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
(NaturalNews) Eventually antibiotics are going to be seen as one of the worst things to ever come out of pharmaceutical science because in the end, they have made us only weaker in the face of ever increasingly strong super bugs that are resistant to all the antibiotics doctors have at their disposal. When we look at how deep the rabbit hole goes with antibiotics, we will get sick in our souls. Antibiotics have fulfilled their anti–biotic anti-life role leaving a long trail of death and suffering in the wake of their use.
Diseases include measles, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, pneumonia, influenza, whooping cough, diphtheria and polio. All were in decline for several decades before the introduction of antibiotics or vaccines - Dr. Lawrence Wilson.
Antibiotics do not kill yeast. Many women find after taking antibiotics, they get vaginal yeast infections (because their normal bacterial balance has been lost). Antibiotics bring on fungal and yeast infections thus will eventually be seen as a major cause of cancer since more and more oncologists are seeing yeast and fungal infections as an integral part of cancer and its cause. With upwards of 40 percent of all cancers thought to be involved with and caused by infections, the subject of antibiotics and the need for something safer, more effective and life serving is imperative.
It may be some time before we really enter the predicted "post antibiotic era" in which common infections are frequently untreatable - Dr. Marc Lipsitch et al. (Harvard School of Public Health).
Antibiotics kill all bacteria in the body, including the ones we need.
An antibiotic is a substance produced by certain bacteria or fungi that kills other cells or interferes with their growth. In nature, these substances help some microbes survive by limiting the multiplication of other microbes that share the same environment. Antibiotics that attack pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes without severely harming normal body cells are useful as drugs but there does not seem to be any from the pharmaceutical companies that do not do damage. Dr. Lisa Landymore-Lin wrote all about this in her book Poisonous Prescriptions asking, 'Do Antibiotics Cause Asthma and Diabetes?' We are now beginning to question the role of antibiotics as a cause of cancer since they do lead to pathogen overgrowth especially in the area of yeast and fungi. Chris Woollams writes, "It is estimated that 70 per cent of the British population have a yeast infection. The primary cause of this is our love of antibiotics. Swollen glands? Take antibiotics. Tonsillitis? Take antibiotics."
Two studies in the recent past have shown an association between the use of antibiotics with higher incidence of breast cancer.
In one study the increased risk was small, and the importance of the link has been played down by UK breast-cancer experts, but the findings add weight to recent studies that have found links between antibiotics and other diseases. In the past few years, heavy antibiotic use has been linked to the inflammatory bowel disorder, Crohn's disease, and to children developing allergies such as Hay fever and asthma. And as we shall see below, antibiotics play a hidden role in autism and other neurological diseases.
The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported a study on 10,000 women in which women who took over 500 days of antibiotics in a 17 year period (dubbed 25 plus doses) had twice the risk of breast cancer as those that took none at all. Even women taking just one had a statistical risk increase to 1.5 times.
The consequences of resistance in some bacteria can be measured as increases in the term and magnitude of morbidity, higher rates of mortality, and greater costs of hospitalization for patients infected with resistant bacteria - Dr. Marc Lipsitch et al.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics are undiscriminating: in addition to "bad bacteria," they also kill healthy bacteria which normally live in the intestines and the vagina, and which are a necessary part of the indigenous flora to keep the body healthy. When the "good" bacteria are killed with antibiotics, then yeast, which is part of the normal flora of the body, can begin to overgrow because the antibiotics have altered the body's healthy terrain (internal ecological balance) allowing the yeast to hyperproliferate and cause many far-reaching, toxic symptoms.
But modern medicine so far continues to believe that antibiotics have played an important role in staving off bacterial infections since Alexander Fleming first discovered them in 1927. Many doctors are finally beginning to see that the effectiveness of these so-called miracle drugs has waned as some of the very bacteria they are meant to control have been mutating into new forms that don't respond to treatment. Many medical experts blame this phenomenon on both the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in recent years in both human medicine and in agriculture.
According to several studies, obstetricians and gynecologists write 2,645,000 antibiotic prescriptions every week. Internists prescribe 1,416,000 per week. This works out to 211,172,000 prescriptions annually in the United States, just for these two specialties. Pediatricians prescribe over $500 million worth of antibiotics annually just for one condition, ear infections. Yet topical povidone iodine (PVP-I) is as effective as topical ciprofloxacin, with a superior advantage of having no in vitro drug resistance and the added benefit of reduced cost of treatment.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, taking properly prescribed medical drugs was listed as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Antibiotics were listed in this category because antibiotics can be deadly.
A 17-year-old St Margaret's College student in New Zealand has exposed multiple antibiotic-resistant bugs in fresh chicken sold in supermarkets? Jane Millar's discovery of a range of resistant bacteria in chickens that could compromise antibiotic treatment in humans is an important finding that the bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics not used in the poultry industry but important for treating serious infections in humans.
We can create resistance to medically important antibiotics by using antibiotics that are presumably safe in agriculture - Jane Millar.
Jane bought six fresh chickens - free-range, barn-raised and organic – from a supermarket. She took samples from each bird and grew bug colonies, which she used to test different antibiotics. Apramycin is an antibiotic used sparingly by the New Zealand poultry industry to treat infections. The bacteria of two chickens tested resistant to apramycin. They also proved resistant to another two antibiotics from the same family - gentamicin and tobramycin - used for serious human infections. Gentamicin is not used by the poultry industry; tobramycin is restricted to human use only.
A recent risk assessment study commissioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has estimated that about 8,000-10,000 persons in the U.S. each year acquire fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter infections from chicken and attempt to treat those infections with a fluoroquinolone.
Every day, new strains of bacteria, fungi, and other pathogenic microorganisms are becoming resistant to the antibiotics that once dispatched them with extreme prejudice.
"We know that antimicrobial resistance will follow antimicrobial use as sure as night follows day," said Dr. John A. Jernigan, deputy chief of prevention and response from the Center of Disease Control. "It's just a biological phenomenon." It turns out that the indiscriminate killing of harmless microbes damages the body in complex ways we are only beginning to understand. Powerful antibiotics introduced into the complex environment in our intestines cause mayhem, much like a series of bombs tossed into a market square. Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls "one of the world's most pressing public health problems."
One of the deadliest germs is a staph bacteria called M.R.S.A., short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which lives harmlessly on the skin but causes havoc when it enters the body. Patients who do survive M.R.S.A. often spend months in the hospital and endure several operations to cut out infected tissue. Hospitalizations associated with a drug-resistant form of a Staphylococcus bacterium doubled over six years in the U.S. to nearly 280,000 cases in 2005. The death toll rose from 4,700 in 1999 to about 6,600 in 2005. It estimated that 94,000 Americans suffered invasive MRSA infections in 2005 and that about 19,000 died.
One out of every 20 patients contracts an infection during a hospital stay in the US. Hospital infections kill an estimated 103,000 people in the United States a year, as many as AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined. The vast majority of lethal cases occur in hospitals and nursing homes, where open wounds and punctures provide the opportunistic staph a ready path to the bloodstream and organs. The dangers of infection are worsening as many hospital infections can no longer be cured with common antibiotics.
More than half the time, doctors and other caregivers break the most fundamental rule of hygiene by failing to clean their hands before treating a patient.
"Recently there has been an alarming epidemic caused by community-associated (CA)-MRSA strains, which can cause severe infections that can result in necrotizing fasciitis or even death in otherwise healthy adults outside of healthcare settings," is the word coming from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) research team, headed by Dr. Michael Otto.
Necrotizing fasciitis is the so-called flesh-eating disease that can destroy healthy tissue and even kill patients. The team found that some strains on MRSA secrete a compound called phenol-soluble modulin or PSM. It attracts immune system cells called neutrophils, the researchers found, and then blows them up in a process called lysis. Neutrophils are key immune cells involved in clearing bacterial infections, so destroying them would allow the bacteria to thrive almost unmolested.
"In the United States, CA-MRSA is now the cause of the majority of infections that result in trips to the emergency room. It is unclear what makes CA-MRSA strains more successful in causing human disease compared with their hospital-associated counterparts," they add.
When the peaceful activities of a normal microbial population are disrupted, malevolent bacteria may take full advantage of the opportunity to strike. The intestinal infection C. difficile colitis, now rampaging through hospitals around the world, is one of the worst such complication of antibiotic use.
Clostridium difficile was first recognized as a hospital microbe in 1978. By 1996, it had increased to 31 cases per 100,000 people discharged from U.S. hospitals. In 2003, the most recent year for complete statistics, prevalence had risen to 61 per 100,000. C. diff is part of the natural flora, or bacteria, in the colon. "We're seeing all of the warning signs that this is the next MRSA," said former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, a Manhattan-based nonprofit. "It spreads like wildfire in hospitals."
Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming toxin-producing bacterium that is overtaking peoples' large intestines from which it mounts an attack on the bloodstream. Like MRSA, Clostridium difficile has become multi-drug-resistant. Although once a bacterium that mostly affected elderly, hospitalized patients, a bolder strain is crippling the robust. In emergency efforts to save some patients' lives surgeons remove the entire large intestine to prevent overwhelming infection.
One case had been treated by a dermatologist for an ingrown hair on his back and prescribed an antibiotic. He took only a few pills, but quickly became ill. Based on what his doctors told him, the short course of antibiotics proved sufficient to destroy virtually all the natural bacteria in his intestine - except C. diff, which was freed to ravage his colon.
Frequently, stethoscopes, blood-pressure monitors and other equipment are contaminated with live bacteria. Yet doctors and nurses almost never clean the stethoscope before listening to a patient's chest.
"It strikes precisely those hospitals which are more 'high-tech', and handle more serious illnesses. Applying more disinfectant is not the answer; some strains of germs have actually been found thriving in bottles of hospital disinfectant! The more antibacterial chemical 'weapons' are being used, the more bacteria are becoming resistant to them," writes Dr. Carl Wieland.
Health-care officials are increasingly concerned about emerging new forms of drug-resistant Tuberculosis (TB). According to the WHO, outbreaks of drug-resistant tuberculosis are showing up all over the world and threaten to touch off a worldwide epidemic of virtually incurable tuberculosis. An October 1997 survey by the WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease estimates that 50 million people are infected with a strain of TB that is drug-resistant. Many of those are said to carry multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, incurable by two or more of the standard drugs.
New DNA technology has found hundreds of previously unrecognized species in the traditional stomping grounds of the mouth and intestine, and traces of bacteria even in tissues previously thought to be sterile.
Lessons from Autism
Medical scientists at Arizona State University tell us that antibiotic use is known to almost completely inhibit excretion of mercury in rats due to alteration of gut flora. Thus, higher use of oral antibiotics in the children with autism may have reduced their ability to excrete mercury. Higher usage of oral antibiotics in infancy may also partially explain the high incidence of chronic gastrointestinal problems in individuals with autism.
Many physicians are unaware of lasting adverse effects caused by routinely prescribed medications such as antibiotics. Antibiotic therapy for minor colds and runny noses is a common practice. People routinely receive multiple courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics throughout life or are injected with long-acting corticosteroid medicine for joint or muscle pain. Once established, sub-clinical colonization with yeast in the body may persist unrecognized for many years. Antibiotics, such as tetracycline, can greatly increase yeast in the colon after only a few days.
The extensive use of antibiotics will make the condition of Candida much worse because it reduces heavy metal excretion, which is a food source for the yeast like organism and also killing the beneficial bacteria at the same time.
Normally, candida albicans lives peacefully in our intestines and elsewhere, in harmony with other flora that keep the yeast in check. Take an antibiotic and all this changes. By suppressing the normal flora, candida takes over and problems begin. In its mild form, the result is diarrhea or a yeast infection. Dr. Elmer Cranton says that, "Yeast overgrowth is partly iatrogenic (caused by the medical profession) and can be caused by antibiotics and cortisone medications. A diet high in sugar also promotes overgrowth of yeast. A highly refined diet common in industrialized nations not only promotes growth of yeast, but is also deficient in many of the essential vitamins and minerals needed by the immune system. Chemical colorings, flavorings, preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, etc., add more stress on the immune system."
Children with autism had significantly (2.1-fold) higher levels of mercury in their baby teeth but similar levels of lead and similar levels of zinc. Children with autism also had significantly higher usage of oral antibiotics during their first 12 to 36 months of life. Reporting in the July 11, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers say the use of antibiotics as prevention boosts risks for drug resistance while doing nothing to shield kids from future urinary tract infections (UTIs). Giving antibiotics to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections in small children not only will not help but will hurt these children. Prior use of antibiotics to prevent infection did boost the likelihood of developing a drug-resistant infection by nearly 7.5 times. Indeed, 61 percent of recurrent urinary tract infections were caused by a pathogen with antibiotic resistance, the researchers pointed out.
In a 2005 study, the antibiotic Augmentin TM has been implicated in the formation of autism. The study strongly suggests the possibility of ammonia poisoning as a result of young children taking Augmentin. Augmentin has been given to children since the late 1980's for bacterial infections.
Many physicians seem to be unaware that birth control pills comprised of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can also make the body more susceptible to fungal infections. If antibiotics are prescribed, it acts as a double whammy to ensuring a fungal infection will take hold by diminishing the protective bacteria in the intestines. Many pregnant women seek medical treatment for minor problems and are indiscriminately given antibiotics and this begins a long decline into problems that are complicated at each turn by OBGYN doctors at birth and by pediatricians who just love to poison children with the toxic chemicals found in vaccines. In many places in the world they still give mercury shots at birth.
Microforms poison us with their waste products.
The waste products are acetylaldehyde, uric acid, alloxin, alcohols, lactic acid, etc.
Antibiotics may be to blame for hundreds of children developing autism after having the controversial MMR jab. More than two-thirds of youngsters with the condition received four or more antibiotics in their first year, a British survey has revealed. It is thought the drugs weakened their immune systems, leaving them unable to withstand the impact of the triple jab. Allopathic medicine has been stubborn and slow to look at its abusive use of antibiotics. It's the same with vaccines, the holy grail of medicine. But with last-line-of-defence antibiotics failing on increasingly drug-resistant superbugs and young children's systems being destroyed by them you would think they would wake up and find some alternatives.
Antibiotics are mostly derived from fungi and are therefore classified as mycotoxins. Mycotoxins Are Poisons.
Iodine - a Pillar Against Infections
Iodine offers a serious and potent replacement for much of the antibiotics that are literally destroying people's lives and can be used safely with children. Parents, who chose not to dose their kids with dangerous vaccines will be glad to know that iodine can be very effective against a host of viral infections that medical officials insist threaten children.
Though it kills 90 percent of bacteria on the skin within 90 seconds, its use as an antibiotic has been ignored. Iodine exhibits activity against bacteria, molds, yeasts, protozoa, and many viruses; indeed, of all antiseptic preparations suitable for direct use on humans and animals and upon tissues, only iodine is capable of killing all classes of pathogens: gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses and protozoa. Most bacteria are killed within 15 to 30 seconds of contact.
Iodine is by far the best antibiotic, antiviral and antiseptic of all time - Dr. David Derry
Dr. Derry says that iodine is effective "for standard pathogens such as Staphylococcus, but also iodine has the broadest range of action, fewest side effects and no development of bacterial resistance." There is a world of difference between using an antibiotic – anti-life substance – and an antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal substance like iodine, which is life serving because it is a basic and most necessary nutritional substance.
Iodine kills single celled organisms by combining with the amino acids tyrosine or histidine when they are exposed to the extra-cellular environment. All single cells showing tyrosine on their outer cell membranes are killed instantly by a simple chemical reaction with iodine that denatures proteins. Nature and evolution have given us an important mechanism to control pathogenic life forms and we should use it and trust it to protect us in ways that antibiotics can't.
"My husband Ron had a small infection at the base of the nail. This very quickly turned nasty and our doctor agreed it looked like gout. Three weeks later Ron heard back from his Doctor who was in a mad panic saying Ron had septicemia. On seeing the surgeon that same day the surgeon wanted to go in and cut the finger open end for end and look at the finger and that she would probably have to take it off anyway. Finally the Nascent Iodine we ordered arrived (my husband was refusing to take antibiotics) He started on quite a hefty dose of 15 drops while continuing to apply magnesium chloride transdermally."
"Two days after starting the iodine there was feeling starting to regenerate and pain again in the finger and Ron thought it looked less discolored. Then the following day the swelling had started to go down and the normal healthy pinkness was returning at the base of the finger. Over a period of days it has progressively improved with no other treatment than the iodine and magnesium chloride. We also then made a poultice with a mixture of comfrey, honey and garlic for a few days, then the Nascent Iodine dripped into a goldenseal ointment."
Magnesium chloride is the only form of magnesium known to have anti-infectious properties. When it comes to fighting infections, iodine and magnesium chloride are a dynamic duo that should not be overlooked by allopathic or naturopathic physicians or by anyone else. I talked a few months ago to a missionary in Africa who was using iodine (in the atomic or detoxified form) to successfully treat malaria. My own children have recently had bad coughs and it is iodine, not dangerous over-the-counter cough medicines I reach for.
The feeling of security for a parent comes from administering substances like iodine (Nascent and other forms) and magnesium chloride (natural forms) to their children. Yes in dire emergency we would still use an antibiotic when fever is high and all else has failed but until that kind of critical point, iodine, backed up by magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and even clay, is our main line of defense against a full range of pathogens.
Determining what is an appropriate use of an antibiotic is a judgment call in which cultural, social, psychological, and economic factors play at least as great a role as clinical and epidemiological considerations - Dr. Marc Lipsitch et al.
The way to combat antibiotic resistance is not bigger, better, stronger antibiotics but, rather, no antibiotics at all. Instead, other molecular weapons are available with the ability to disable bad germs without bothering good ones. Iodine is the ideal broad spectrum antibiotic that is not an antibiotic - it is not against life. Not against human life that is but you can hear the little pathogens screaming as high enough levels of iodine fan out through the system. Meaning all the viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds that are threatening us are threatened with instant death when iodine is used orally to fight infection. It's hard to make a mistake with iodine but with pharmaceutical antibiotics we are playing at the crap table hoping our choice of which one to use works against the pathogen that is actually threatening a person.
Infection depresses levels of vitamins B6 and C.
"The right dose of Vitamin C will stop every infection in its tracks without needing to use antibiotics" - Dr. Gary Gordon.
Another reason to avoid antibiotics, except in the most dire emergencies, is that they interfere with the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, leading to their deficiencies. Deficiencies in these nutrients can set the stage for increased susceptibility to more infections.
Following is a list of the Drug/Substance and the Nutrients which are depleted by that substance:
* Antibiotics - (Nutrients Depleted) Vitamin A, B-12, C, E, K, Biotin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium
* Chelators - Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc
* Anticonvulsants - Vitamin B-2, B-12, C, F, K, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium
* Antidiabetics (Oral) - Vitamin B-2, B-12, C, D, Folic Acid
* Antihistamines - Vitamin C
* Aspirin - Calcium, Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium, C, B Complex
"When I was finally discharged from hospital, I still had a strain of supergerm colonizing my body. Nothing had been able to get rid of it, after months in hospital. However, I was told that all I had to do on going home was to 'get outdoors a lot, occasionally even roll in the dirt, and wait.' In less than two weeks of this advice, the supergerms were gone. Why? The reason is that supergerms are actually defective in other ways, as explained. Therefore, when they are forced to compete with the ordinary bacteria which normally thrive on our skin, they do not have a chance. They thrive in hospital because all the antibiotics and antiseptics being used there keep wiping out the ordinary bacteria which would normally out compete, wipe out and otherwise keep in check these 'superwimps,'" wrote Dr. Carl Wieland
Interestingly enough Dr. Weston Price, who studied the diets and health of many primitive societies during the early 20th century, found that many primitive people would eat food that has been dipped in water dissolved with clay – in order to prevent upset stomachs from food poisoning. Two types of clay are today commonly sold for consumption as health supplements – bentonite and montmorillonite. These have been variously called "living clay", "healing clay" or just "edible clays". Clay is highly absorptive. It readily absorbs toxins, heavy metals, bacteria, virus and fungi. But because clay itself is not absorbed by the body, whatever it absorbs is passed out in the stools.
Did you know that a nutritional deficiency can cause a virus to mutate to a more virulent form? That is the news from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) who are reporting that a human virus, normally harmless in laboratory mice, mutated into a heart-damaging pathogen when the animals were raised on a diet devoid of the essential element selenium. And, once mutated, the virus continued to damage hearts - even in mice that got ample selenium in their feed.
The importance of this is not limited to nutritionally-deprived populations, say researchers with the University of North Carolina and Agricultural Research Service of the government, who collaborated on the studies. In theory, one selenium-deficient person or animal could produce a new family of virus mutants that could cross species and spread worldwide, causing disease even in well nourished people.
The USDA is now officially on record that nutritional deficiencies cause viral mutations and they expect to find the same results with vitamin-E-deficient mice because both selenium and vitamin E are nutrients that serve as antioxidants in the body. This means that the government is recognizing that free radicals and oxidative stress affects the world of pathogens creating super bugs out of regular critters. They are even going as far as saying that this may help explain the many new strains of influenza virus arising in China, which has widespread selenium-deficient areas.
The implications are enormous for a form of medicine that understands absolutely nothing about nutrition and the science of low level toxicity. Part of our infection fighting arsenal needs to include selenium and ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) and this is critical not only for maintaining glutathione levels but also for the neutralization of mercury. Mercury provides the ideal environment for viruses, bacteria, fungi and yeast infections. Though most are in total denial of it, we are as a race being overrun by mercury pollution that is everywhere in the air, water, food, vaccines, dental amalgam and even beauty products.
When a person is bitten by a snake, spider or scorpion it helps the doctors to know which poison they are treating. One cannot say anything about health or disease anymore without dealing with mercury and its rising tide. You cannot treat infectious diseases in effective ways without dealing with the soil of the infection, with the mercury and other chemical toxicities that are driving the pathogens. A doctor needs to know his poisons but most of them find their minds obscured by the denial of the fact that most of the pharmaceuticals they use are mitochondrial poisons. Modern medicine is lost when it comes to dealing with mercury and in fact endorses its use in vaccines and dental medicine.
Garlic is one food that has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and some scientific studies have found it to be at least as effective as the popular anti-fungal drug, Nystatin, in destroying candida albicans.
We have to change our perceptions about infections and infectious processes. We need to shift away from the competing paradigms of pathogen vs. terrain. We need to deal simultaneously with pathogen, terrain and poison. Certainly we need to deal with nutrition and the use of concentrated nutritional substances that help us deal safely and effectively with infections.
Much more could be said about natural remedies and other substances like colloidal silver, which is known to have antibacterial properties. I would choose iodine first because the body needs it anyway where it does not need colloidal silver. When we use concentrated nutritional substances as antibiotics we are doing a lot more than confronting hostile pathogens. We are supporting total body physiology as well as elimination of heavy metals and other toxic poisons.
Nearly 500,000 people are dying yearly in America due to infectious disease. It now ranks number 3 behind heart disease and cancer in claiming American lives.
About the author
Mark A. Sircus Ac., OMD, is director of the International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA). Dr. Sircus was trained in acupuncture and oriental medicine at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Sante Fe, N.M., and in the School of Traditional Medicine of New England in Boston. He served at the Central Public Hospital of Pochutla, in México, and was awarded the title of doctor of oriental medicine for his work. He was one of the first nationally certified acupuncturists in the United States. Dr. Sircus's IMVA is dedicated to unifying the various disciplines in medicine with the goal of creating a new dawn in healthcare.
He is particularly concerned about the effect vaccinations have on vulnerable infants and is identifying the common thread of many toxic agents that are dramatically threatening present and future generations of children. His book The Terror of Pediatric Medicine is a free e-book one can read. Dr. Sircus is a most prolific and courageous writer and one can read through hundreds of pages on his various web sites.
He has most recently released his Survival Medicine for the 21st Century compendium (2,200 page ebook) and is racing to finish his Winning the War Against Cancer book. Dr. Sircus is a pioneer in the area of natural detoxification and chelation of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. He is also a champion of the medicinal value of minerals and is fathering in a new medical approach that uses sea water and different concentrates taken from it for health and healing. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, his first published work, offers a stunning breakthrough in medicine, an entirely new way to supplement magnesium that naturally increases DHEA levels, brings cellular magnesium levels up quickly, relieves pain, brings down blood pressure and pushes cell physiology in a positive direction. Magnesium chloride delivered transdermally brings a quick release from a broad range of conditions.
Note from Roy:
Jonathan Wright's Takoma clinic is the best source for iodine I know of. Each drop of this liquid product supplies 19 mg of iodine - far more than any others.
Iodine for Health
by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
There is growing evidence that Americans would have better health and a lower incidence of cancer and fibrocystic disease of the breast if they consumed more iodine. A decrease in iodine intake coupled with an increased consumption of competing halogens, fluoride and bromide, has created an epidemic of iodine deficiency in America.
People in the U.S. consume an average 240 micrograms (µg) of iodine a day. In contrast, people in Japan consume more than 12 milligrams (mg) of iodine a day (12,000 µg), a 50-fold greater amount. They eat seaweed, which include brown algae (kelp), red algae (nori sheets, with sushi), and green algae (chlorella). Compared to terrestrial plants, which contain only trace amounts of iodine (0.001 mg/gm), these marine plants have high concentrations of this nutrient (0.5–8.0 mg/gm). When studied in 1964, Japanese seaweed consumption was found to be 4.5 grams (gm) a day and that eaten had a measured iodine concentration of 3.1 mg/gm of seaweed (= 13.8 mg of iodine). According to public health officials, mainland Japanese now consume 14.5 gm of seaweed a day (= 45 mg of iodine, if its iodine content, not measured, remains unchanged). Researchers have determined that residents on the coast of Hokkaido eat a quantity of seaweed sufficient to provide a daily iodine intake of 200 mg a day. Saltwater fish and shellfish contain iodine, but one would have to eat 15–25 pounds of fish to get 12 mg of iodine.
Health comparisons between the two countries are disturbing. The incidence of breast cancer in the U.S. is the highest in the world, and in Japan, until recently, the lowest. Japanese women who emigrate from Japan or adopt a Western style diet have a higher rate of breast cancer compared with those that consume seaweed. Life expectancy in the U.S. is 77.85 years, 48th in 226 countries surveyed. It is 81.25 years in Japan, the highest of all industrialized countries and only slightly behind the five leaders – Andorra, Macau, San Marino, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The infant mortality rate in Japan is the lowest in the world, 3.5 deaths under age one per 1,000 live births, half the infant mortality rate in the United States.
Today 1 in 7 American women (almost 15 percent) will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was twice as high as it is now (480 µg a day) 1 in 20 women developed breast cancer. Iodine was used as a dough conditioner in making bread, and each slice of bread contained 0.14 mg of iodine. In 1980, bread makers started using bromide as a conditioner instead, which competes with iodine for absorption into the thyroid gland and other tissues in the body. Iodine was also more widely used in the dairy industry 30 years ago than it is now.
Now iodized table salt is the chief source of iodine in a Western diet. But 45 percent of American households buy salt without iodine, which grocery stores also sell. And over the last three decades people who do use iodized table salt have decreased their consumption of it by 65 percent. Furthermore, the much higher concentrations of chloride in salt (NaCl) inhibits absorption of its sister halogen iodine (the intestines absorb only 10 percent of the iodine present in iodized table salt). As a result, 15 percent of the U.S. adult female population suffers from moderate to severe iodine deficiency, which health authorities define as a urinary iodine concentration less than 50 µg /L. Women with goiters (a visible, noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland) owing to iodine deficiency have been found to have a three times greater incidence of breast cancer. A high intake of iodine is associated with a low incidence breast cancer, and a low intake with a high incidence of breast cancer.
Animal studies show that iodine prevents breast cancer, arguing for a causal association in these epidemiological findings. The carcinogens nitrosmethylurea and DMBA cause breast cancer in more than 70 percent of female rats. Those given iodine, especially in its molecular form as I2, have a statistically significant decrease in incidence of cancer. Other evidence adding biologic plausibility to the hypothesis that iodine prevents breast cancer includes the finding that the ductal cells in the breast, the ones most likely to become cancerous, are equipped with an iodine pump (the sodium iodine symporter, the same one that the thyroid gland has) to soak up this element.
Similar findings apply to fibrocystic disease of the breast. The incidence of fibrocystic breast disease in American women was 3 percent in the 1920s. Today, 90 percent of women have this disorder, manifested by epithelial hyperplasia, apocrine gland metaplasia, fluid-filled cysts, and fibrosis. Six million American women with fibrocystic disease have moderate to severe breast pain and tenderness that lasts more than 6 days during the menstrual cycle.
In animal studies, female rats fed an iodine-free diet develop fibrocystic changes in their breasts, and iodine in its elemental form (I2) cures it.
Russian researchers first showed, in 1966, that iodine effectively relieves signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Vishniakova and Murav’eva treated 167 women suffering from fibrocystic disease with 50 mg KI during the intermenstrual period and obtained a beneficial healing effect in 71 percent (it is reference 49 here).
Then Ghent and coworkers, in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery in 1993, likewise found that iodine relieves signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease in 70 percent of their patients. This report is a composite of three clinical studies, two case series done in Canada in 696 women treated with various types of iodine, and one in Seattle. The Seattle study, done at the Virginia Mason Clinic, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 56 women designed to compare 3–5 mg of elemental iodine (I2) to a placebo (an aqueous mixture of brown vegetable dye with quinine). Investigators followed the women for six months and tracked subjective and objective changes in their fibrocystic disease.
A statistical analysis of the Seattle study (enlarged to include 92 women) was done, which shows that iodine has a highly statistically significant beneficial effect on fibrocystic disease (P < 0.001). Iodine reduced breast tenderness, nodularity, fibrosis, turgidity, and number of macroscysts, the five parameters in a total breast examination score that a physician blinded to what treatment the woman was taking, iodine or placebo, measured. This 36-page report, now available online, was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995 seeking its approval to carry out a larger randomized controlled clinical trial on iodine for treating fibrocystic breast disease. It declined to approve the study, telling its lead investigator, Dr. Donald Low, "iodine is a natural substance, not a drug." But the FDA has now decided to approve a similar trial sponsored by Symbollon Pharmaceuticals. This company is enrolling 175 women in a phase III trial, registered on clinicaltrials.gov. (Any women with fibrocystic disease reading this who might be interested in participating in this study should call its sponsor, Jack Kessler, Ph.D., at 508-620-7676, Ext. 201.)
Most physicians and surgeons view iodine from a narrow perspective. It is an antiseptic that disinfects drinking water and prevents surgical wound infections, and the thyroid gland needs it to make thyroid hormones – and that’s it. (When painted on the skin prior to surgery, tincture of iodine kills 90 percent of bacteria present within 90 seconds.) The thyroid gland needs iodine to synthesize thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), hormones that regulate metabolism and steer growth and development. T4 contains four iodine atoms combined with 27 other atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, but owing to its large size accounts for 65 percent of the molecule’s weight. (T3 has three iodine atoms.) The thyroid needs only a trace amount of iodine, 70 µg a day, to produce the requisite amount of T4 and T3. For that reason thyroidologists say that iodine is best taken just in microgram amounts. They consider consuming more than 1 to 2 mg of iodine a day to be excessive and potentially harmful.
Expert opinion on iodine is now the purview of thyroidologists. Mainstream physicians and surgeons accept their thyroid-only view of iodine and either ignore or discount studies that show iodine in larger amounts provides extrathyroidal benefits, particularly for women’s breasts. Thus a leading textbook on breast disease, Bland and Copeland’s The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Disorders(2003), fails to mention iodine anywhere in its 1,766 pages.
Iodine has an important and little understood history. This relatively scarce element has played a pivotal role in the formation of our planet’s atmosphere and in the evolution of life. For more than two billion years there was no oxygen in the atmosphere until a new kind of bacteria, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), began producing oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria also developed an affinity for iodine. The most likely reason is that these organisms used iodine as an antioxidant to protect themselves against the free radicals that oxygen breeds (superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radical). Studying kelp, researchers have shown how iodine does this and have found that kelp will absorb increased amounts of iodine when placed under oxidative stress. Other researchers have shown that iodine increases the antioxidant status of human serum similar to that of vitamin C.
Iodine also induces apoptosis, programmed cell death. This process is essential to growth and development (fingers form in the fetus by apoptosis of the tissue between them) and for destroying cells that represent a threat to the integrity of the organism, like cancer cells and cells infected with viruses. Human lung cancer cells with genes spliced into them that enhance iodine uptake and utilization undergo apoptosis and shrink when given iodine, both when grown in vitro outside the body and implanted in mice. Its anti-cancer function may well prove to be iodine’s most important extrathyroidal benefit.
Iodine has other extrathyroidal functions that require more study. It removes toxic chemicals – fluoride, bromide, lead, aluminum, mercury – and biological toxins, suppresses auto-immunity, strengthens the T-cell adaptive immune system, and protects against abnormal growth of bacteria in the stomach.
In addition to the thyroid and mammary glands, other tissues possess an iodine pump (the sodium/iodine symporter). Stomach mucosa, the salivary glands, and lactating mammary glands can concentrate iodine almost to the same degree as the thyroid gland (40-fold greater than its concentration in blood). Other tissues that have this pump include the ovaries; thymus gland, seat of the adaptive immune system; skin; choroid plexus in the brain, which makes cerebrospinal fluid; and joints, arteries and bone.
Today’s medical establishment is wary of iodine (as they are of most naturally occurring, nonpatentable, nonpharmaceutical agents). Thyroidologists cite the Wolff-Chaikoff effect and warn that TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood levels can rise with an iodine intake of a milligram or more. The Wolff-Chaikoff effect, a temporary inhibition of thyroid hormone synthesis that supposedly occurs with increased iodine intake, is of no clinical significance. And an elevated TSH, when it occurs, is "subclinical." This means that no signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism accompany its rise. Some people taking milligram doses of iodine, usually more than 50 mg a day, develop mild swelling of the thyroid gland without symptoms. The vast majority of people, 98 to 99 percent, can take iodine in doses ranging from 10 to 200 mg a day without any clinically adverse affects on thyroid function. The prevalence of thyroid diseases in the 127 million people in Japan who consume high amounts of iodine is not much different than that in the U.S.
Everyone agrees that a lack of iodine in the diet causes a spectrum of disorders that includes, in increasing order of severity, goiter and hypothyroidism, mental retardation, and cretinism (severe mental retardation accompanied by physical deformities). Health authorities in the U.S. and Europe have agreed upon a Reference Daily Intake (RDI), formerly called the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), for iodine designed to prevent these disorders, which the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates afflicts 30 percent of the world’s population. The RDI for iodine, first proposed in 1980, is 100–150 µg/day. Organizations advocating this amount include the American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health’s National Research Council, Institute of Medicine, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, WHO Expert Committee, and the European Union International Programme on Chemical Safety. These health authorities consider an RDI of 100–150 µg/day of iodine sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals.
This consensus on iodine intake flies in the face of evidence justifying a higher amount. This evidence includes animal studies, in vitro studies on human cancer cell lines, clinical trials of iodine for fibrocystic breast disease, and epidemiological data. An intake of 150 µg/day of iodine will prevent goiters and the other recognized iodine deficiency disorders, but not breast disease. Prevention of breast disease requires higher doses of iodine. Indeed, a reasonable hypothesis is that, like goiters and cretinism, fibrocystic disease of the breast and breast cancer are iodine deficiency disorders (also uterine fibroids).
What Albert Guérard writes about new truths applies especially to iodine: "When you seek a new path to truth, you must expect to find it blocked by expert opinion." The reigning truth on iodine is that the thyroid gland is the only organ in the body that requires this micronutrient, and a daily intake considerably more than what the thyroid gland needs is potentially harmful. The new truth is that the rest of the body also needs iodine, in milligram, not microgram amounts. Tell that to a thyroidologist and her response will call to mind this admonition on new truths.
These are the four most common formulations of inorganic (nonradioactive) iodine, as iodide (I-), and with or without molecular iodine (I2): Potassium iodide (KI) tablets, in doses ranging from 0.23 to 130 mg; super saturated potassium iodide (SSKI), 19–50 mg of iodide per drop; Lugol’s solution, 6.3 mg of molecular iodine/iodide per drop; and Iodoral, each tablet containing 12.5 mg iodine/iodide. Both Lugol’s solution and Ioderal are one-third molecular iodine (5%) and two-thirds potassium iodide (10%). Studies done to date indicate that the best iodine supplement is one that includes molecular iodine (I2), which breast tissue prefers.
Iodine was used for a wide variety of ailments after its discovery in 1811 up until the mid-1900s, when thyroidologists warned that "excess" amounts of iodine might adversely affect thyroid function. It is effective in gram amounts for treating various dermatologic conditions, chronic lung disease, fungal infestations, tertiary syphilis, and even arteriosclerosis. The Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Szent Györgi (1893–1986), the physician who discovered vitamin C, writes: "When I was a medical student, iodine in the form of KI was the universal medicine. Nobody knew what it did, but it did something and did something good. We students used to sum up the situation in this little rhyme:
If ye don’t know where, what, and why
Prescribe ye then K and I"
The standard dose of potassium iodide given was 1 gram, which contains 770 mg of iodine.
Regarding KI and other iodine salts (like sodium iodide), the venerated 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1911, states, "Their pharmacological action is as obscure as their effects in certain diseased conditions are consistently brilliant. Our ignorance of their mode of action is cloaked by the term deobstruent, which implies that they possess the power of driving out impurities from the blood and tissues. Most notably is this the case with the poisonous products of syphilis. In its tertiary stage – and also earlier – this disease yields in the most rapid and unmistakable fashion to iodides, so much so that the administration of these salts is at present the best means of determining whether, for instance, a cranial tumor be syphilitic or not."
This 19th and early 20th century medicine continues to be used in gram amounts in the 21st century by dermatologists. They treat inflammatory dermatoses, like nodular vasculitis and pyoderma gangrenosum (shown here), with SSKI, beginning with an iodine dose of 900 mg a day, followed by weekly increases up to 6 grams a day as tolerated. Fungal eruptions, like sporotrichosis, are treated initially in gram amounts with great success. These lesions can disappear within two weeks after treatment with iodine.
For many years physicians used potassium iodide in doses starting at 1.5 to 3 gm and up to more than 10 grams a day, on and off, to treat bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with good results and surprisingly few side effects.
There is a case report in the medical literature of a 54-year-old man who, thinking it was iced tea, drank a "home preparation" of SSKI in water that his aunt kept in the refrigerator for her rheumatism. Over a short period of time he consumed 600 ml of this solution, which contained 15 gm of iodide, an amount 100,000 times more than the RDI. He developed swelling of the face, neck, and mouth, had transient cardiac arrhythmias and made an uneventful recovery.
Dr. Guy Abraham, a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA, mounted what he calls "The Iodine Project" in 1997 after he read the Ghent paper on iodine for fibrocystic disease. He had his company, Optimox Corp., make Iodoral, the tablet form of Lugol’s solution, and he engaged two family practice physicians, Dr. Jorge Flechas (in 2000) in North Carolina and Dr. David Brownstein (in 2003) in Michigan to carry out clinical studies with it.
The project’s hypothesis is that maintaining whole body sufficiency of iodine requires 12.5 mg a day, an amount similar to what the Japanese consume. The conventional view is that the body contains 25–50 mg of iodine, of which 70–80 percent resides in the thyroid gland. Dr. Abraham concluded that whole body sufficiency exists when a person excretes 90 percent of the iodine ingested. He devised an iodine-loading test where one takes 50 mg and measures the amount excreted in the urine over the next 24 hours. He found that the vast majority of people retain a substantial amount of the 50 mg dose. Many require 50 mg a day for several months before they will excrete 90 percent of it. His studies indicate that, given a sufficient amount, the body will retain much more iodine than originally thought, 1,500 mg, with only 3 percent of that amount held in the thyroid gland.
More than 4,000 patients in this project take iodine in daily doses ranging from 12.5 to 50 mg, and in those with diabetes, up to 100 mg a day. These investigators have found that iodine does indeed reverse fibrocystic disease; their diabetic patients require less insulin; hypothyroid patients, less thyroid medication; symptoms of fibromyalgia resolve, and patients with migraine headaches stop having them. To paraphrase Dr. Szent-Györgi, these investigators aren’t sure how iodine does it, but it does something good.
Thyroid function remains unchanged in 99 percent of patients. Untoward effects of iodine, allergies, swelling of the salivary glands and thyroid, and iodism, occur rarely, in less than 1 percent. Iodine removes the toxic halogens fluoride and bromide from the body. Iodism, an unpleasant brassy taste, runny nose, and acne-like skin lesions, is caused by the bromide that iodine extracts from the tissues. Symptoms subside on a lesser dose of iodine.
As these physicians point out, consuming iodine in milligram doses should, of course, be coupled with a complete nutritional program that includes adequate amounts of selenium, magnesium, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Done this way, an iodine intake 100 times the reference daily intake is "the simplest, safest, most effective and least expensive way to help solve the health care crisis crippling our nation," as the leader of The Iodine Project, Dr. Abraham, puts it.
People who take iodine in these amounts report that they have a greater sense of well-being, increased energy, and a lifting of brain fog. They feel warmer in cold environments, need somewhat less sleep, improved skin complexion, and have more regular bowel movements. These purported health benefits need to be studied more thoroughly, as do those with regard to fibrocystic breast disease and cancer.
Meanwhile, perhaps we should emulate the Japanese and substantially increase our iodine intake, if not with seaweed, then with two drops of Lugol’s Solution (or one Iodoral tablet) a day.
* Miller DW. Iodine in Health and Civil Defense. Presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Portland, Oregon, August 6, 2006. The text for this talk, with 68 references, can be found here, and the PowerPoint slides I used for it, here.
* Abraham GE. The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice. The Original Internist 2004;11:17–36. Available online here. This is a good introduction to The Iodine Project. His other research studies are online here.
* Flechas, JD. Orthoiodosupplementation in a primary care practice.The Original Internist 2005;12(2):89–96. Available online here.
* Brownstein D. Clinical experience with inorganic, non-radioactive iodine/iodide. The Original Internist 2005;12(3):105–108. Available online here.
* Derry D. Breast cancer and iodine: How to prevent and how to survive breast cancer. Victoria, B.C.: Trafford Publishing; 2002. The book is a bit disorganized, has references at the end of each chapter not cited in the text, and no index; but it is an eye-opener nonetheless.
* Brownstein D. Iodine: why you need it why you can’t live without it. West Bloomfield, Michigan: Medical Alternatives Press; 2004. Well-written and referenced, with case histories.
* Low DE, Ghent WR, Hill LD. Diatomic iodine treatment for fibrocystic disease: special report of efficacy and safety results. [Submitted to the FDA] 1995:1–38. Available online here. This study makes a strong case for iodine as the preferred treatment for fibrocystic disease.
Donald Miller is a cardiac surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a member of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness and writes articles on a variety of subjects for LewRockwell.com. His web site is www.donaldmiller.com
Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com
Oil of Oregano Rivals Modern Antibiotic Drugs
By: Bill Sardi
January 18, 2008
Oil pressed from oregano leaves that contain the active ingredient carvacrol may be an effective treatment against sometimes drug-resistant bacterial infection. Georgetown University researchers have found that oil of oregano appears to reduce infection "as effectively as traditional antibiotics."
Oil of oregano at relatively low doses was found to be efficacious against Staphylococcus bacteria and was comparable in its germ-killing properties to antibiotic drugs such as streptomycin, pencillin and vancomycin. [Science Daily 10/11/2001] The findings were presented by Harry G. Preuss, MD, professor of physicology and biophysics, Georgetown University, at the American College of Nutrition's annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The oregano oil was obtained from North American Herb and Spice Company, a Waukeegan, Illinois company that sponsored the study and markets their non-prescription products in retail stores under the trade names Oregamax and Oregacyn.
Earlier this year researchers at the Department of Food Science at the University of Tennessee reported that, among various plant oils, oil of oregano exhibited the greatest antibacterial action against common pathogenic germs such as Staph, E. coli and Listeria. [Journal Food Protection, Volume 64, July 2001] Last year British researchers reported oregano oil had antibacterial activity against 25 different bacteria. [Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 88, February 2000] A clinical study in Italy has shown that oil of oregano can be used to treat intestinal parasites. [Phytotherapy Research, Volume 14, May 2000]
The body of positive evidence for oregano oil as a major antibiotic is growing. Among 52 plant oils tested, oregano was considered to have "pharmacologic" action against common bugs such as Candida albicans (yeast), E. coli, Salmonella enterica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [Journal Applied Microbiology, volume 86, June 1999] Pseudomonas is a type of germ that is getting more difficult to treat as it has developed strains that are resistant against antibiotic drugs.
Of recent interest are reports showing that carvacrol from oil of oregano kills spores, such as Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). [Archives Microbiology, Volume 174, October 2000; Quarterly Review Biology, Volume 73, March 1998] Bacillus cereus is considered to be from the same species as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). [Applied Environmental Microbiology, Volume 66, June 2000] In tests of antibiotics and antiseptics, Bacillus cereus is often used in studies in lieu of the anthrax strain. [University of Michigan News & Information Service, Sept. 23, 1998]
Oil of oregano is not to be confused with common oregano in the kitchen spice cupboard, which is usually marjoram (Origanum majorana or O. vulgare) rather than true oregano (Origanum vulgare).
The growing problem of antibiotic resistance has health authorities concerned. Already various germs are showing resistance to vancomycin, particularly to intestinal bacteria (Enterococcal species) among hospitalized patients. [Southern Medical Journal, Volume 94, August 2001] Vancomycin is considered to be the most potent antibiotic available and is withheld from use as a drug of last resort. Vancomycin costs about $16 per pill versus about $1 for the purest-strength oregano oil. Drug resistance does not develop against naturally-occuring antibiotics such as garlic and oil of oregano.
Bill Sardi [send him mail] is a health journalist at www.askbillsardi.com.
Copyright © 2001 by the Word of Knowledge Agency, San Dimas, California.