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Book Reviews

ferent pathways. Life has specialized from

Micronutrients: Metabolic Tuning-
simple one cell organismswhich can
make almost everything they need, pro-
by Uwe Grober
vided they are given water and oxygen and
MedPharm Scientific Publishers
an environment in which to growto very
Stuttgart, Germany, 2009, 478 pages.
complex organisms (like us) who have lost
the capacity to make many amino acids
What are little boys made of? and all the vitamins. In losing the need to
Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs tails, synthesize everything, so much energy was
Thats what little boys are made of. released that movement and, eventually,
What are little girls made of? modern humankind could evolve. Plants
Sugar and spice, and everything nice, are so busy making what they need they
Thats what little girls are made of. have little energy left to move about and
develop brains.
Actually, we are made of oxygen, What I have written above is not exotic
nitrogen and other minerals from the science and is well recognized by anyone
atmosphere and oceans. These essential who has studied what life is. We probably
elements are combined in a large variety have identified all of the essential nutri-
of molecules which are found naturally in ents but we have not yet made sure that
the living body. They include the amino everyone ingests these elements that are
acids and proteins, the fats, the sugars and available. All the modern nutritional stud-
a whole slew of other essential compounds ies report that modern diets do not contain
that have been termed orthomolecular enough of these essential nutrients. The
by Linus Pauling. But these compounds only group who appears not to know this
that nature created for the living bod- is the pharmaceutical industry. If it does
ies are only a fraction of all the possible know this it, the industry certainly acts
compounds that can be made. Those not as if it does not, and it promotes the view
made by nature are called xenobiotics; the that their dangerous and toxic xenobiotic
body can tolerate some of them, which products are all one needs to prevent and
have only mild to moderate poisonous cure disease. So, it is very useful and helpful
effects, but cannot live with most of them to have essential information contained in
because they are so toxic. So this little Micronutrients: Metabolic Tuning-Preven-
childrens poem is correct, since every- tion-Therapy by Uwe Grober. Forewords
thing listed is a natural ingredient. Over were written by Bruce N. Ames, by Gerhard
millions of years, life has learned to use Uhlenbgruck, and myself.
those compounds that are essentialsuch In my opinion, this is a very good
chromium, iron, and zincand eliminated book and I endorse it as a very valuable
toxic substances that are harmful such as addition to all orthomolecular libraries.
mercury and lead. It covers all vitamins, both water and
Therefore, in order to grow, mature, fat soluble, some accessory nutrients,
stave off disease and maintain health, we minerals including trace elements, fatty
need to provide our bodies with those acids and amino acids. The second half
essential nutrients which are used as of this book discuses both prevention and
substrates to construct other substances. treatment for a large number of diseases.
One compound, nicotinamide adenine We have the information. Why do we not
dinucleotide (NAD) is involved in at least have companies whose main concern is
200 different reactions in the body and the health and welfare of the public rather
also is used as a substrate for three dif- than the size of their annual distribution of

Book Reviews

money to their shareholders? There would 10, and vitamins E, D and B-complex.
be an enormous saving of money since Those so doing consistently reported
none would have to be spent looking for dramatic improvement in cardiovascular
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow problems. While so-called evidence based
and more could be spent really looking at medicine winces at anecdotes, one can-
the health of the people. It has been said not read this collection without being
that big pharma does not want to do basic impressed. If the testimonial writers are
research as it might interfere with their all just making it up, they must be the
own patents. We need governments which best actors in the world.
are not fearful of the patent system. We Mr. Fonorow claims that in his 12
need companies that will work with the years of communicating with the public,
information available in this book. he has never encountered heart disease
in any person who takes more than 10,000
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D. mg of vitamin C daily. The author is in
a position to make this statement be-
cause he has had considerable experience
Practicing Medicine Without a License? interacting with people reporting their
The Story of the Linus Pauling successful use of vitamin C. His Vitamin
Therapy for Heart Disease C Foundation website has long been, and
by Owen Fonorow with Sally Snyder Jewell remains, an excellent internet resource., 2008. Paperback, 230 pages. Among other benefits, it offers the public
the complete text of Irwin Stones classic
vitamin C book, The Healing Factor for
In 1973, I first learned of Linus free downloading at http://www.vitamin-
Paulings interest in ascorbate. Mostly .
due to his well-publicized advocacy, I, like Practicing Medicine Without a Li-
so many others, started taking vitamin cense is much more than an assemblage
C: a whopping 500 mg per day. Now I of anecdotes. It discusses the failings of
take 15,000 mg or more daily, and vastly the cholesterol-causes-CVD theory; in-
more if needed. My relatives think I am deed, the book actually opens with Mr.
nuts. I dont care. I very rarely need to Fonorows ready admission that he eats
see a doctor; it was 12 years since my bacon and eggs for breakfast. The book
last visit. My recent physical confirmed neatly traces a good deal of the history
an especially low risk for cardiovascular of vitamin therapy for heart disease. It
disease. To me, this is good evidence that also, predictably, provides background
Dr. Pauling was right. on Paulings own struggles to educate
Personal experiences are sometimes the medical profession, conventional nu-
more compelling when not our own. Owen tritionists, and the media. Pauling quotes
Fonorows book, Practicing Medicine and specific dosage tips abound. Literature
Without a License, is full of how-I-beat- citations are provided, but a page and a
cardiovascular-disease case stories from half is not enough. Given the books un-
people of all ages, in all walks of life. All equivocal stance, it would not be amiss to
of them used the Pauling Therapy. This greatly expand the reference section. That
is generally taken to mean an absolute may be in the offing: Fonorow writes that
minimum of 6 g of vitamin C and 2 to 6 this is actually volume one in a planned
g L-lysine per day. These are usually ac- Pauling series, volume two to be entitled
companied with other supplements such The Great Suppression. Or it may not, as
as proline, omega-3 oils, magnesium, CoQ the author also writes: Published clinical

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 24, No. 1, 2009

studies run by medicine to test the Pauling Readers will gradually realize that the
Therapy: There have been none. vitamin C story has two dimensions. On
A very good reading list is provided, the bright side, for decades, scientific and
although the Resources section may medical researchers have documented
be leaning a bit to the proprietary side. vitamin research, clinical progress and
And, there is a small error on p 91. The success. Books and medical journals
author cites a 1994 Pauling interview as explain that vital amines, as nutritional
being printed in JOM (the Journal of Or- substances, are essential for health and
thomolecular Medicine), but it in fact was healing. Over the past 100 years, a suc-
published by ION (Institute for Optimum cession of scientific researchers studied
Nutrition). the biochemistry of vitamin C and learned
In some ways, to some readers, Prac- that vital amines help to maintain nor-
ticing Medicine Without a License will mal metabolism. They determined that
prove to be an irritating book, especially minimal doses of vitamin C can heal
to orthodox physicians and dieticians. The scurvy and sustain life. During decades of
book is, above all, a personal statement follow-up research, scientists discovered
by the author. It is frequently confron- that optimum doses of vitamin C have
tational, and shamelessly assertive on remarkable health-restoring capabilities.
every page. It has attitude. I like that, and Researchers conducted clinical trials,
furthermore, I recommend it. detailed patient recoveries, corroborated
findings and wrote journal articles and
Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul reference books. However, the vitamin
C story also has a disturbing, dark side.
Even though decades of research found
Vitamin C: The Real Story. The Remark- vitamins safe and effective, millions of
able and Controversial Story of Vitamin C patients suffer and deteriorate while
by Steve Hickey, PhD, and Andrew Saul, PhD professional skeptics devalue the care
Basic Health Publications Inc., CA provided by orthomolecular doctors
2008, 192 pages. (who complement standard treatments
with therapeutic doses of vitamins).
A curious title. Thousands of children Rather than telling us the facts, certain
take Flintstone multis every day; dont health professionals dismiss the vitamin
they get enough vitamin C? Many adults C research, ignore the progress reports,
take some C when they have a cold and, minimize vitamin Cs health-maintaining
even without supplements, dont most functions and disparage health-restoring
people eat enough vitamins and minerals claims linked to vitamin C. These skeptics
in their fruits and veggies? What could be use factoids to support their denials, also
remarkable or controversial about vitamin outlined in this book.
C? Authors Hickey and Saul think we Skeptics cannot rewrite medical his-
need to know the truth about vitamin C. tory or hide the truth about vitamins. In
Their fascinating book presents some truly the early 1900s, biochemists, physicians
remarkable discoveries, introduces us to and researchers discovered that certain
vitamin Cs multiple health-maintaining nutrients are essential for life. Test rats
functions and outlines its health-restor- did not grow or develop unless their diets
ing capabilities, while warning us about included vital amines (as vitamins were
vitamin C factoids. first described). Medical scientists deter-
Steve Hickey, PhD and Andrew Saul, mined that tiny quantities of vitamins are
PhD present the facts clearly and carefully. also necessary for human health. They

Book Reviews

linked four diseases to vitamin deficien- toxins injected by the bites of venomous
cies: beriberi to B1, pellagra to B3, scurvy snakes and spiders.
to C and rickets to D. The history of Like a Swiss-army knife, vitamin C
medicine records the involvement of Chis- has multiple capabilities. When we pick
tiaan Eijkman, Gerrit Grijs, Sir Frederick up a Swiss-army knife for the first time,
Hopkins and Casimir Funk. Dr. Eijkmaan we expect to find large and small blades
and Dr. Hopkins received Nobel prizes for but we may not inspect it carefully. In
discovering that vitamins are essential for an emergency, we happily discover that a
human health. Researchers then searched Swiss-army knife comes with a versatile
for the chemical identities of the essential set of built-in tools: a screwdriver, a tooth
nutrients. Dr. Szent-Gyorgi received a pick, a cork screw and a file. After these
Nobel prize for discovering that vitamin tiny tools save lives, the word steadily gets
C was ascorbic acid. out until the public knows that each Swiss
After discovering vitamins, clinical army knife comes with life-saving tools.
researchers wondered if essential nutri- Consider the metabolic capabilities of
ents might have clinical applications. If vitamins as tools for restoring health. In
so, they needed clinical trials to deter- milligram doses, vitamin C enables essen-
mine the optimum doses. Scientific and tial metabolic pathways to sustain life and
medical professionals mapped the bio- heal scurvy. If taken in large enough doses
chemical pathways and determined which when a patient has cancer, an infection or
metabolic processes required vitamins as an overload of toxins, vitamin C can heal
co-factors. They quickly realized that a and restore health. The general public
few milligrams of essential nutrients can still does not know that vitamin C has
sustain health but it took decades to dis- lifesaving capabilities but the real story
cover that therapeutic doses of vitamins keeps coming out. Meanwhile, certain
can restore health. Centuries ago mankind experts, who should know better than to
faced an epidemic of scurvy. Most people publish false information, scoff at vitamin
know that thousands of British sailors C research, forget its biochemistry, ignore
died during long voyages. In 1795, Dr. its metabolic functions and refuse to pre-
James Lind did the first clinical trial and scribe it. Why dont scientific and medical
discovered how to heal scurvy. It took experts study the vitamin C research, re-
many decades before sea captains finally view the clinical trials, interview recovered
added citrus fruits to ships stores. Brit- patients and learn that therapeutic doses
ish sailors who stayed healthy were then of vitamin C have proved safe and effec-
called limeys. What if cancer patients tive enough to restore health and save
run low on vitamin C today; might these lives? How can trusting patients know
patients develop scurvy-like symptoms? if our doctors understand and apply the
Can megadoses of vitamin C help cancer healing capabilities of vitamin C or rely
patients? Of course not, scoffed the on false factoids to withhold restorative
skeptics, while orthomolecular doctors care-by-vitamins? Patients and families,
researched and discovered that optimum caregivers and health professionals have
doses of vitamin C can indeed help cancer to read the real story to learn the facts
patients feel better and live longer. Other for ourselves.
doctors discovered that therapeutic doses Vitamin C: The Real Story reminds us
of vitamin C can help patients recover that a hundred years after the discovery of
from life-threatening infections such as vitamin C, mankind is still researching vi-
polio, pneumonia and AIDS, reduce toxic tamin biochemistry and developing medi-
levels of lead and mercury and neutralize cal applications. We understand that vital

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 24, No. 1, 2009

amines, trace minerals, amino and fatty

acids, hormones and many other nutrients
are essential for sustaining life. We are still
learning that optimum doses of vitamins
can restore health. Orthomolecular health
professionals know that vitamin C and
other nutritional supplements, if given in
the right doses, can help patients recover
and live well. They routinely prescribe
supplements and adjust the doses to suit
each patients diagnosis and biochemical
individuality. Readers of this book will
learn to distinguish the facts about vita-
min C from factoids. Patients can ask their
doctors about vitamin research, optimal
doses and patient recoveries. Readers are
cautioned to take care with their health.
Anyone can read this book to learn the
basic facts about vitamin C and then
study its clinical applications: therapeu-
tic doses of vitamin C can restore health
when taken as recommended by qualified
medical professionals who understand its
biochemistry and know when to prescribe
vitamin C as a complementary and restor-
ative treatment.
Review by Robert Sealey, BSc*
A Short Vitamin C Reading List
The Cancer Breakthrough: A Nutritional Approach
for Doctors and Patients by Dr. S. Hickey & Dr.
H. Roberts, 2007.
Healing Cancer: Complementary Vitamin & Drug
Treatments by Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, with
Linus Pauling, PhD, 2004, CCNM Press.
Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone Megavita-
min Therapeutics for Families and Physicians
by Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD and Andrew Saul,
PhD, 2008, Basic Health.
Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases & Toxins: Curing
the Incurable, by Thomas Levy, MD, JD, 2002,
Xlibris Corp.

*Author of Finding Care for Depression, Mental Episodes

& Brain Disorders 90-Day Plan for Finding Quality Care