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Next 15 Columns

Vitamin C: If It’s Good For Gorillas Why Not Us
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Are you headed for a heart attack because of “marginal scurvy”, a condition resulting from a lack of vitamin C? Moreover, if vitamin C is sound medicine for gorillas, why isn’t it good for us? And in the 16th century, why did the ship’s cat survive long sea voyages when its sailors died from scurvy?

Today, we know that sailors of old, lacking vitamin C, died of this preventable disease. A shortage of fresh fruit in their diet resulted in degeneration of blood vessels, hemorrhage and death.

Vitamins: Too much or Too Little?
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

“Do you want Ford or Cadillac vitamins?”, I asked readers in a previous column. It triggered many requests, revealing much confusion about vitamins. Some readers had stopped taking vitamin E due to scary headlines. Others had tossed out calcium as being ineffective. Still others wondered if it’s possible to get too much of a good thing, and where to obtain more information on vitamins.

An excess of anything can be poisonous to the human body. Too much vitamin A can cause fetal defects in pregnant women and in others, severe liver damage. Hunters who eat bear’s liver which contains large amounts of vitamin A have suffered from liver failure. We need no more than 10,000 IU of A daily.

Vitamins Too much or Too Little for 2007?
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

“Do you want Ford or Cadillac vitamins?”, I asked readers in a previous column. This column triggered many requests and showed there’s much confusion about vitamins. Some readers had stopped taking vitamin E due to scary headlines. Others had tossed out calcium. Still others wondered if it’s possible to get too much of a good thing and where to obtain more information on vitamins.

An excess of anything can be poison. Too much vitamin A can cause birth defects in pregnant women and in others, severe liver damage. Hunters who eat bear’s liver which contains large amounts of vitamin A have suffered from liver failure. We need no more than 15,000 IU of A daily.

Do You Want Ford Or Cadillac Vitamins
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

“What brand of vitamins should I buy?” is a question readers often ask when I write about them. I’ve never been able to provide any good answer with so many brands available. But I recently read “A Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements” written by Lyle MacWilliam. I was shocked to learn that some well known brands I’d often purchased failed to make the grade. As a Scot, wanting to get value for the dollar, I interviewed MacWilliam who gave me course 101 on how to buy vitamins.

The “Red” Power of Tomatoes
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Thank God I don’t have to eat broccoli! Thank God that I love tomatoes. Red tomatoes contain lycopene, a natural pigment and powerful antioxidant. And recent research indicates that loving tomatoes fights prostate cancer and other malignancies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that during 2004 over 340,000 North American males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. 45,000 will die from it.

Lutein For Healthy Eyes
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Today seven million North Americans Suffer from a devastating disease, macular degeneration. No longer can they enjoy the simple pleasures of reading or watching TV. These unfortunate people have lost their central vision. But there is a way to reduce the risk of this disabling problem.

The retina acts like the film of a camera conveying images to the brain. The big picture is sent by sensitive detectors present throughout the retina. The small picture, namely central vision is sent by the macula. It’s situated directly behind the lens, densely packed with visual detectors about the size of the “o”.

How To Rid the Skin of Barnacles
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

“Vanity, thy name is woman”, wrote the immortal bard William Shakespeare hundreds of years ago. He was right. I know, because two years ago I wrote a column dealing with “cosmeceuticals” and mentioned Reversa, a cream that helps aging skin. The avalanche of mail from female readers stunned me and gave the postman a backache.

So this week let’s forget about cholesterol and other depressing problems and talk about another cosmeceutical that gets rid of aging spots. Let’s hope it also alerts everyone to the dangers of excessive sun exposure and saves needless deaths from skin cancer.

Even Taking Off Your Clothes Is Useless
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

If you asked anyone to stand outside naked during the winter months from sunrise to sunset, they would think you’d gone bonkers. But even if willing to be arrested for doing it, they would still not receive enough sunshine to produce vitamin D. Today we’re constantly urged to keep out of the sun for fear of skin cancer. But most people are unaware that too little vitamin D from the sun may increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

To E Or Nor To E
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Should I believe the study that links vitamin E to a possible premature death? I couldn’t resolve this question and finally gave up. Possibly I needed a holiday from deadlines as during a cruise along the west coast of Mexico on Holland America’s Ryndam, the sea air cleared my mind. It occurred to me that researchers had forgotten vital historical facts.

How To Keep Your Brain In Shape
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Are there days when you think you need a brain transplant? You’re getting those “senior moments” even though you’re only 40 years age? Or at 70 you’re forgetting things you shouldn’t forget? These days with so much talk about Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s easy to assume you may be “losing it”. But today there are ways to keep the brain functioning the way it’s supposed to.

Here’s a story from Tuft’s University that shows you don’t have to be a neurologist to understand what’s happening to the brain. Dr. Robert Russell a gastroenterologist and Director of the Human Research Center at Tuffs, cured a woman with a single pill.

Vitamin A—taking the right amount
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

I’ve always liked bears. So I find it hard to understand how hunters can slaughter them. That’s why I like this medical story of how the bear, although killed, had the last laugh.

Hunters tracked down a bear and shot it. After the kill they were looking forward to a meal. They all loved liver and consumed large quantities. But although great hunters, they were obviously babes in the wood when it came to bear’s livers. They didn’t know that bear livers contains massive amounts of vitamin A. And so I shed few tears to learn that they all suffered from vitamin A poisoning. Maybe they’ll spare the next bear!

Headed for a heart attack because of “marginal scurvy”
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Are you headed for a heart attack because of “marginal scurvy”, a condition resulting from a lack of vitamin C? Moreover, if vitamin C is sound medicine for gorillas, why isn’t it good for us? And in the 16th century, why did the ship’s cat survive long sea voyages when its sailors died from scurvy?

Today we know that sailors of old, lacking vitamin C, died of this preventable disease. A shortage of fresh fruit in their diet resulted in degeneration of blood vessels, hemorrhage and death.

New Heart Prescription: B Vitamins
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Why do some people die from heart attacks when their blood cholesterol is normal? They’ve never smoked a cigarette, are thin a rail, exercise regularly, take vitamins E and C and don’t suffer from diabetes, hypertension or other cardiac risk factors. Evidence is mounting that the culprit may be increased amounts of homocysteine in the blood. Ah, what sweet revenge for Dr. Kilmer McCully.

In 1968 Dr. Kilmer McCully was a pathologist at Harvard’s prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital. He was performing an autopsy on a two month old boy who had died of a rare genetic disease, “homocystinuria”.

Vitamin E: A Good Insurance Policy?
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

Am I wasting money taking Vitamin E? I receive dozens of letters every year from readers asking this question. Is it the latest version of the old-fashioned snake-oil? Or are there bonefide medical reasons for spending money on E?

For years controversy has surrounded this vitamin. Some researchers claim it’s beneficial for heart disease, diabetes, skin ulcers, frostbite, phlebitis and improves athletic performance. But what should medical consumers really expect to get for their money in 1997?

What Most People Don’t Know About Vitamin D
 By Dr. Gifford Jones

It’s a rare person who hasn’t some knowledge of vitamin C and E. But vitamin D is the poor cousin. Most people couldn’t fill a postage stamp with what they know about this vitamin. Like other vitamins it has a vital role. And today there’s much interest in it’s involvement in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Early in the 1900’s researchers discovered that a deficiency of vitamin D caused rickets. This is a childhood disease in which bones fail to develop normally. The result is bowlegs and knock-knees.

Next 15 Columns

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