Quack nearly killed by his own quackery
Posted: 29 April 2010 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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It’s Gary Null, one of whose quack brews apparently had too much Vitamin D in it. No surprise to me that he’d link up with an incompetent manufacturer. I actually went and heard a talk by this yahoo many years ago when I was at university. I’ve never heard so much arrant nonsense. And for years after I can recall seeing him on our local PBS station in NYC during pledge drives. Fortunately, someone seems to have wised up to his shenanigans and he’s no longer televised on WNET (that I know of), although he still has his store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

See the story HERE:

Gary Null suit vs. supplement manufacturer claims Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal nearly killed him
BY JOSE MARTINEZ  
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, April 28th 2010, 4:00 AM

A controversial alternative health guru is suing after a taste of his own medicine nearly killed him.

Gary Null - described on quackwatch.org as “one of the nation’s leading promoters of dubious treatment for serious disease” - claims the manufacturer of Gary Null’s Ultimate Power Meal overloaded the supplements with Vitamin D.

The buff “Joy of Juicing” author, whose products include Red Stuff Powder and Gary Null’s Heavenly Hair Cleaner, claims he suffered kidney damage and was left bloodied and in intense pain from two daily servings of the supplement. ...

... And what’s the coolest part of this article? They cited Quackwatch.org! Three cheers for Dr. Barrett!

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Posted: 29 April 2010 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes, a nice ironic reminder of why inadequate regulation and quality control is a big source of danger associated with “natural” supplements and the like.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It is encouraging to see a reporter at the NY Daily News doing actual journalism. As for the quack, I should have some sympathy but I don’t.

“Null, in the midst of all this, while he was suffering in bed, had dozens of his customers calling him, along with condemning and threatening him,” the suit says. “In fact, they threatened that they would never buy any product of his ever again.”

Oh the horror. Some of his customers threatened to never buy his products again.  shut eye

[ Edited: 29 April 2010 11:48 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 29 April 2010 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I thought it was absolutely HILARIOUS!! Oh, the irony kills me!! tongue laugh

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Posted: 30 April 2010 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I love irony.  I wonder what the megadose vitamin people have to say about this.

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Posted: 26 May 2010 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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egad.  some of my relatives do this.  :|

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Posted: 30 May 2010 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The effective and SAFE daily intake of vitamin D3 is 10 ug (400 IU). In studies of rats fed differing levels of vitamin D3, toxicity was observed with a daily intake of as little as 2X the “safe and effective” daily intake.

That’s an old study that has held up nonetheless.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is ESSENTIAL to the normal absorption of Ca++ by the small intestine, and, therefore, the normal mineralization of the skeleton.

Absent vitamin D3 in the diet, and very little sun exposure that can alter a precursor to vitamin D3, osteoporosis is LIKELY to occur especially in women. No amount of calcium, by itself, will prevent osteoporosis. Women are unlikely to form a fully mineralized skeleton by age 30 since many despise milk (vitamin D3 fortified).
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But, subsequent publications purported to show that higher daily intakes of vitamin D3 - or a superpotent dihydrocholecalciferol - could prevent certain carcinomas.

That proved an unfortunate “finding”, because intake of the superpotent dihydrocholecalciferol in suggested amounts was found to be extremely toxic.

I don’t know the current status of the anti-carcinogenic activity of vitamin D3 or its more potent analogs, but it was barely alive at last reading.

There is a Center for Alternative Medicine and Therapy (within the NIH) that has tested “alternative medicines and therapies” but to date, nothing particularly noteworthy has been published.

Nevertheless, the new “snake oil purveyors” make $BILLIONS annually selling useless ...stuff (supplements and practices) ... to naive people.
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In scientifically-designed clinical trials, there is often observed a 30 - 50% placebo effect. IE, subjects given no active compound, claim positive effects.

It is thought that the “placebo effect” accounts for reported positive effects of “snake oil” supplements and practices.

Homeopathic remedies are the most ridiculous because the putative “active” ingredient cannot be detected by any analytical method at the concentration present. The dilutions are THAT large - eg, one part per trillion or less.

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Posted: 10 June 2010 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I actually take a 5000 IU vitamin D supplement since about a year.  My understanding from reading the literature is that to get an overdose, you need to take something of the order of 100,000 IU every day for several weeks, or a single dose well in excess of 10^6 IU. Now, I used to take 400 IU of vitamin D, which was included in calcium supplements that I take. I used to think that was enough as the label said that this is the recommended dose. But the recent literature seems to suggest that this outdated. I think that the NIH will come up with a new recommended dose and new maximum safe dose this year.


So, perhaps it will turn out that the 400 IU dose is just a minimum dose needed to prevent problems with your bones, just like you need some very low dose of vitamin C to prevent getting scurvy.

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Posted: 10 June 2010 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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You have been subjecting yourself to a toxic level of vitamn D. I would urge you not to continue.

People seem to get the idea that since it is hard to OD on C or most of the Bs, you can’t OD on the fat soluble vitamins, A, E, D, and K.

But you can!

Search the scientifically reputable iterature, say, using the PubMed database.

[ Edited: 10 June 2010 06:07 PM by Analytic ]
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Posted: 10 June 2010 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Count Iblis - 10 June 2010 04:59 PM

I actually take a 5000 IU vitamin D supplement since about a year.  My understanding from reading the literature is that to get an overdose, you need to take something of the order of 100,000 IU every day for several weeks, or a single dose well in excess of 10^6 IU. Now, I used to take 400 IU of vitamin D, which was included in calcium supplements that I take. I used to think that was enough as the label said that this is the recommended dose. But the recent literature seems to suggest that this outdated. I think that the NIH will come up with a new recommended dose and new maximum safe dose this year.


So, perhaps it will turn out that the 400 IU dose is just a minimum dose needed to prevent problems with your bones, just like you need some very low dose of vitamin C to prevent getting scurvy.

Where are you getting your information?

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Posted: 10 June 2010 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I do think the RDAs are often really the minimum dose to prevent major problems.  However, one can run into problems, even with a water soluble vitamin.  I used to take 10 grams a day of vitamin C.  I went in to see my urologist about a problem, and filled out the medications/supplements form.  He looked at it and, to say the least, he was micturated off.  “What the devil promptet you to take that much vitamin C?”

“Doctors may have Hipporcates as their hero; mine is Linus Pauling, and he takes 12 grams a day.”

“Different people metabolize excess ascorbic acid differently.  You convert it to oxalic acid and try to get rid of it through your kidneys.  But, it reacts with calcium ions and forms insoluble calcium oxalate, the composition of the kidney stones that are driving you crazy when they pass.”

So, I cut back to about 2 grams a day.

Occam

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Posted: 10 June 2010 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I just looked at a wide variety of sources, but I think everyone has to decide for him/herself based on the sources he/she trusts.  My understanding (and I am not a doctor) about vitamin D is that vitamin D is converted to an active compound in the body. This compound itself does not itself perform any crucial tasks, it merely acts a hormone that activates the production of certain proteins which perform tasks like absorbing calcium from the gut, regulate the performance of certain immune cells etc.

If you spend a long time in the Sun in the tropics, you can produce around 10,000 IU per day. You can’t overdose from Sun exposure, because vitamin D is also broken down by UV radiation, so a dynamical equilibrium is reached at around 10,000 IU after a few hours of exposure. What I get from the sources I’ve read, is that this sort of dose used to be the natural dose most humans used to get. Even in Northern countries, people used to work outdoors for most of the days until a few centuries ago and would still get thousands of IU per day from spring to autumn. We only started to spend most of our time indoors gradually since the last few centuries. And in the last few decades there has been a further rapid decline in the time we spend outdoors during afternoon.

Now, as I understand it, the fact that vitamin D plays a role in this indirect way in the immune system came as a big surprise. It is not known why the body uses Vitamin D to activate T-cells. One of the unproven speculations I have read about is that perhaps the reason is that the body wants to save energy when hard times are coming. The immune system uses a lot of energy, so cutting back on that can make sense. To maximize survival probability, it can be better to store more fat in the autumn when there is still plenty of food around, so that in the winter you can last longer on your fat reserves if the stored food runs out.  The body then needs to know that winter is coming and an obvious way to do that is to use vitamin D as an indicator. When the Sun is lower than about 40° in the sky, the flux of UV- radiation is very small, and you stop making Vitamin D.

Of course, all of this is no longer relevant for us today. But we may have inhereted such mechanisms. Then getting 400 IU per day instead of 5000 to 10,000 IU per day puts the body in “energy saving mode”. You need to count calories in order not to put on weight, you are more susceptible to infections etc. etc.


And of course, while taking everything I wrote with a pinch of salt, because I’m not a doctor and even medical professionals don’t know a lot yet about vitamin D, if you read reports like this:

http://www.naturalnews.com/028051_Vitamin_D_weight_loss.html

http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/44680902.html

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100308/Scientists-identify-the-role-of-vitamin-D-in-activation-of-T-cells.aspx

then that does point to vitamin D being more important than previously thought. So, who knows, perhaps today we are a bit like those sailors who could not take on board perishable fruits and vegetables when we spend all day indoors…

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Posted: 11 June 2010 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Count, we have a thread on Vitamin D from awhile back. It’s HERE.

My sense so far is that 5-10,000 IU/day is in advance of the evidence, unless a blood test shows that lower amounts aren’t working. But 1-2,000 might be good for most people in northern/southern latitudes.

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