The link between a person’s beliefs, agenda, training has an inestimable influence upon the prism through which they view health issues, political actions, indeed probably every aspect of their life. I didn’t always realize this when I was a mere naïve, idealistic scientist who thought that knowledge and facts were truths that would be accepted by everyone.
Then I conducted research regarding the health benefits of nutrients such as vitamin C and organic germanium, published books on those subjects and attempted to fund research to determine whether immune-enhancing organic germanium could potentially be effective in the treatment of HIV Aids. Organic germanium was banned due to a contamination problem [the use of inorganic rather than organic germanium] with one batch and Linus Pauling is still ridiculed in various parts of the media with phrases such as “expensive urine”. For sceptics reading this issue, please see the Letters to the Editors in this issue for Vitamin C research regarding protection against radiation damage and side effects of vaccination.
How wrong it is to think that truth and science is universally accepted, although this belief underpins much of our education, medical and scientific institutions. So, for example, despite the voluminous undisputed published research demonstrating that mercury is a potent, toxic poison, mercury amalgam fillings are still used to fill teeth in most countries, including the UK. The following extract from Wikipedia summarizes the situation:
“The dental amalgam controversy refers to the conflicting views over the use of amalgam as a filling material mainly because it contains the element mercury. The concern centers on the health effects of toxicity or allergy which may be associated with constant mercury exposure, particularly as an alleged cause of chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, birth defects, oral lesions, and mental disorders. Scientists agree that dental amalgam fillings leach mercury into the mouth, but studies vary widely in the amount and whether such amount presents significant health risks. Estimations run from 1-3 µg/day (FDA) up to 27 µg/day (Patterson). The effects of that amount of exposure is also disputed, and currently dental amalgam is approved for use in most countries, although Norway, Denmark and Sweden are notable exceptions. “
I recently read a newspaper article about a case brought against a dentist in which the practice of mercury-free dentistry was referred to as quackery; evidently the divide between those who think mercury to be a poison and those who think it is perfectly safe for fillings will not be disappearing any time soon.
There is no shortage of other health-related issues with chasms between divergent opinions and a multitude of vested financial, political and pharmaceutical interests:
- Sugar is harmful to health;
- Carbonated drinks are harmful for digestion;
- Fluoridation is harmful to teeth and health;
- Sweeteners such as aspartame are harmful;
- Proximity to mobile phone masts is associated with increased cancer risk;
- Cholesterol and fat is a major culprit in heart disease;
- Genetically modified food may be dangerous or harmful to health.
- Links between children excessively playing computer, online video games and violence.
I was recently asked by a young salesman about natural treatment approaches for his waking up in the night with stomach pain. I don’t generally get into telephone consultations beyond asking whether the person has seen their doctor, if they are taking medication for this ailment and if they would like me to email them contact details for qualified practitioners. However on this occasion I elicited a few details from this young man and was astonished to hear that he had been on antacid prescription drugs, that a co-worker had suggested that he try an over-the-counter proprietary pink antacid medicine, and that he was too busy even to visit his GP. He also “drank a lot of fizzy drinks and ate lots of hot, spicy curries”. Common sense might suggest measures to relieve his symptoms, but he either appeared totally ignorant about digestion and health in general, or else it occurred to me that he might be attempting to entrap me into practising medicine over the phone!!
Several articles published in this issue offer a wealth of nutritional and environmental advice regarding several of the issues mentioned above, i.e. Childhood Obesity and Food Advertisements, The Harm of Children’s Sugar-Filled Vitamin Supplements and Electrical Sensitivity: Mobile Phones, Microwaves, Electro-Smog and What to Avoid.
If people are not interested in natural health and actually are on the other side of the natural health debate, i.e. are suspicious of avoiding doctors and drugs, then presumably they won’t be reading these pages.