Reader Q&A

Question: Can Vitamin use lead to Prostate Cancer?

Answer: We have carefully reviewed the recent study on prostate cancer and multivitamin use. This large study involved nearly 300,000 men and examined the correlation between supplementation and advanced prostate cancer.

After a thoughtful analysis of the study data, we observed the following:

• A related increase was found only in cases of advanced or fatal prostate cancer.
• This effect was not seen in early stage prostate cancer.
• Men who take more supplements tend to be individuals who seek more aggressive medical care and, thus, are more likely to be diagnosed. Similar “detection bias” was seen in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial studies. This detection bias was noted by the researchers.
• Early cancer detection may motivate an individual to begin vitamin therapy. This was also noted by the researchers.
• Men with advanced prostate cancer are more likely to have developed symptoms prior to diagnosis and, therefore, begin a program of heavier supplementation.
• The fact that advanced prostate cancer was more commonly diagnosed in heavy supplement users with a family history of the disease may also be due to the fact that men with a family history of prostate cancer are, in fact, more likely to both develop prostate cancer and to take supplements in an effort to avoid it. This was also noted by the researchers.
• Individuals diagnosed with early stage cancer are more likely to develop advanced or fatal cancer than the average person.

To put the results of this study in perspective, for every 10,000 men who took larger doses of supplements for 10 years there were 7 to 8 extra cases of fatal prostate cancer. This is less than 1 fatal case per 1,200 – 1,500 men per year. This is before taking into consideration the bias factors mentioned above. In light of the bias factors, it would not be correct, in our view, to conclude that supplements are necessarily the cause of the few extra cases of advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is found in the following groups of men who supplement in higher amounts:

• Men who test for prostate cancer more frequently
• Men with symptoms of advanced disease
• Men with a positive family history

The above factors are associated with an increased rate of detection of advanced prostate cancer that is not related to supplement use, but simply found in the same group of men who tend to supplement in greater amounts. This explains the apparent correlation between higher doses of supplements and advanced cancer. Keep in mind that correlations are not clear indicators of cause and effect.

The following are quotes from the article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (see first reference below) that discuss the bias factors indicated above:

“The increased risk of localized prostate cancer with heavy multivitamin use among men concomitantly using a vitamin E, selenium, or Folate supplement could be due to detection bias if supplement users were more likely to undergo PSA screening. . . .Indeed this interpretation is supported by the Health Professional Follow-up Study, which showed that current smokers were more likely to undergo screening for prostate cancer than nonsmokers.”

“. . . the observed relationship between multivitamin use and advanced prostate cancer in our study may have been due to increased multivitamin use among men with early symptoms related to prostate cancer because the association with advanced prostate cancer disappeared when those diagnosed in the initial years of follow-up were excluded.”

“The increased risk of advanced prostate cancer and prostate cancer mortality with heavy use of multivitamins among men with a positive family history of prostate cancer could be due to men with a positive family history taking additional, unspecified supplements as part of a “prostate health” package to prevent the future development of prostate cancer. A recent survey found that 50% of men at high risk for prostate cancer (defined by African American ethnicity, positive family history, or positive BRCA1 gene mutation) took one or more supplements to prevent prostate cancer, and more than 25% took three of more agents concomitantly.”

See also:
1. Full Article as published in the JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute): Multivitamin Use and Risk of Prostate Cancer in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study:
Prostate cancer, vitamin use studied—USA Today article by Liz Szabo:


Question: Are Vitamins Beneficial?

Answer: Reporters sometimes write slanted articles that mislead the public on the uses and potential benefits of vitamins and nutritional supplements. Numerous studies indicate the nutritional causes of disease and the many ways in which supplements support wellness, but slanted reports often overlook the bigger picture. Vitamins should not be considered a "quick fix." However, taken in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, many supplements have been shown to have properties that help ward off disease. To ignore the valid implications of years and volumes of detailed research is to ignore the true complexities of human health asjkfhuirpouirge;klajfd;lkjasd.

Antioxidant Supplements Won’t Hurt Us, But Misinformation Might By James J. Gormley May 3rd, 2008

Lately we’ve heard quite a lot about how nutritional supplements, including antioxidant vitamins, are regarded by a few scientists as a great danger—or so we might gather from recent media coverage that has treated us to such fear-mongering headlines as “Potential for harm in dietary supplements”1, “Vitamin pills may do more harm than good” 2 and “Why some popular pills might kill you” 3.

The scientific review to which these sensationalistic stories refer was a meta-analysis in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 4. A meta-analysis is supposed to be careful re-review of many studies whose results are pooled together.

The Cochrane Database meta-analysis, authored by Goran Bjelakovic and others, is an updated version of a review that originally appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association 5 that had been roundly criticized by scientists.

While 67 clinical trials were included in this new review, most people are not aware that 748 trials were excluded for a number of reasons, including 405 studies that failed to show anybody died 6.

One could persuasively argue that the authors of this review only included studies which could be molded to support the viewpoint that antioxidant vitamins are dangerous.

Dr. Bjelakovic has made no bones about his skeptical attitude towards dietary supplements. In 2007, he co-authored an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute entitled: “Surviving Antioxidant Supplements” 7 and has posted an article on a newspaper syndicate entitled “Do antioxidant supplements work?” 8.

While meta-analyses, when properly conducted, can be an insightful tool; when ill used they are subject to bias by those who hold pre-determined conclusions and are seeking a way to force studies into them.

A wide body of scientific evidence has established that taking antioxidant supplements—including vitamins C and E, beta carotene, selenium and zinc—can help reduce the risk of chronic disease.

That being said, we know that antioxidant supplements (and supplements, in general) are not magic bullets, but they can be an important complement to a healthful diet.

If we twist science to create worldwide distrust in healthful dietary supplements, then we are truly harming consumers.

1. Brody J. Potential for harm in dietary supplements. New York Times April 8th, 2008.
2. Vitamin pills may do more harm than good. Scotsman UK.
3. Why some popular pills might kill you. The Herald UK.
4. G. Bjelakovic, D. Nikolova, L.L. Gluud, R.G. Simonetti, C. Gluud. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD007176.
5. G. Bjelakovic, D. Nikolova, L.L. Gluud, R.G. Simonetti, C. Gluud. Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2007 Feb 28;297(8):842-57.
6. Daniells S. The dangers of selective science. April 12, 2008 [online news portal]
7. Bjelakovic G and Gluud C. Surviving antioxidant supplements [editorial]. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 99(10):742-743, 2007.
8. Bjelakovic G. Do antioxidant supplements work? Project Syndicate [online].

Response to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2: "Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases"

Our criticism of this report is similar to our criticism of a number of similar so-called studies. In each case, these reports were not actually studies, rather, they were meta analyses, which is to say, an analysis of other studies, which had previously been performed.

A meta analysis can provide valid data, but only if it is not subject to underlying bias.  It appears there was an extreme degree of bias associated with this analysis. In particular, I would like to point out that the authors of the study chose to ignore 91% of available studies on the effects of vitamins on mortality.  One reason for exclusion was because a study reported NO MORTALITY! By excluding all studies, which showed that vitamin supplementation had no effect on mortality, the authors immediately introduced an extreme degree of bias right from the beginning.

There was also no consistency in either the doses or the dosing schedule of the supplements examined in this study.  For example, they looked at studies of vitamin A that varied from 1333 units all the way up to 200,000 units per day.  This means is some these studies included doses too low to provide a meaningful effect or were so high as to almost guarantee toxicity.  One of the studies included merely 1 individual.

Two thirds of the studies were performed on sick people, yet, the conclusions were that vitamins should not be taken by healthy people because they increase mortality

The study authors also made use of specific statistical techniques designed to produce their desired conclusions -namely, that vitamin supplements increased mortality.  They were able to do this by combining studies that had widely varying doses of vitamins, or single or multiple vitamins and supplements and widely disparate numbers of test subjects. By utilizing what is called the “fixed effect” method of statistical analysis, they were able to demonstrate an increased mortality of 4 percent. The “random effect” model of statistical analysis would have been more relevant for study of this nature, but was not used.

We do not feel this study represented a significant advance in our knowledge about the effect of supplementation on mortality.


Response to the JAMA Report: "Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis"

There are many conflicting reports on health products and their components. Based on extensive scientific research, Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D. continue to advocate antioxidants as an integral part of supplementation and disease prevention.

We believe that the conclusions drawn by the Journal of the American Medical Association report are misleading. The report was based on a meta-analysis of over five dozen studies, which had serious flaws:

  • Many of the studies cited lacked controls.
  • Studies varied widely in dosage.
  • Studies were of variable length – one lasted ONE DAY!
  • Many of the study participants were already sick and thus the studies are misleading with regard to disease prevention.
  • Other lifestyle factors – diet, exercise, and smoking were not considered.
  • Many of the studies used very low doses of these supplements.

As is pointed out in Fantastic Voyage, dosages need to be in therapeutic ranges (which are usually much higher than the out-of-date RDA's) in order for these nutrients to have a measurable effect. Among the 2,000 scientific citations in Fantastic Voyage are many that support the use of these and other nutritional supplements.

For more reading on the merits of vitamins and supplements:

1. Summary and Abstract as published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2: "Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases":

2. Response by the Health Food Manufacturers Association, UK: HFMA Statement in Response to the Cochrane Review on Antioxidant Supplementation:

3. Rebuttal to the Recent Media Attack on Antioxidants—Life Extension Magazine:

4. Meta-analysis on Antioxidants Provides Muddled Conclusions—Body of Scientific Research Shows Antioxidants Provide Benefits for Maintaining Good Health—Statement by the Council for Responsible Nutrition:

5. Bad Medicine, Bad Reportage, or Both?—Alternative Medicine Review editorial by Kathleen Head, ND:

6. The WSJ's Fictitious "Case Against Vitamins"—Article by health and nutrition columnist Jean Carper:

7. Is Vitamin E still safe?—Ray Kurzweil & Terry Grossman, M.D.:

8. Nutritionist Says Wall Street Journal Wrong on Vitamins—Posted by PR Newswire, 4/13/2006:

Question: I have read on the Internet that it is not possible to create alkaline or acid water from pure water and that water that is pure enough to drink can’t be split into alkaline and acid components. Is this true?

Answer: As responsible scientists, we had the same skepticism when we first heard about alkaline water. Therefore, the first thing we did was to purchase a water alkalinizer as well as an accurate electronic pH meter. We ran tap water with pH 7.1 from our home faucet into the device and found that the water coming out of the alkaline outlet had a pH of 9.5 (indicating very alkaline), while the water from the acid outlet measured pH 4.5 (indicating very acidic). We repeated this experiment with a variety of tap waters obtaining alkaline outputs with a pH ranging from 9.5 to 9.9. It is true that “pure” or distilled water can not be ionized. If you were to try to “split” distilled water, it would not work. Tap or spring water, however, has dissolved minerals in it. It’s the minerals in the water; primarily calcium, potassium and magnesium that allow water to be “split” by an electric current into alkaline, “electron-rich” (i.e., containing negatively charged ions that can engage in chemical reactions to provide electrons to positively charged free radicals) and acid, “electron-deficient” components. Individuals who say it is not possible to split tap or spring water are misinformed.
One site on the Internet states “Ionized water is nothing more than sales fiction; the term is meaningless to chemists. Most water that is fit for drinking is too unconductive to undergo significant electrolysis.”

The above statement is easily shown to be incorrect with a simple pH meter and an electrolysis machine. Most tap waters run through the machine produce highly alkaline water as measured by a pH meter.


Question: Since you advocate drinking alkaline water, why not simply mix something like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with water and drink that? There are, in fact, alkaline waters sold that are made by mixing water with bicarbonate. Wouldn’t that work as well and be much less expensive than a water alkalinizer?

Answer: There are more benefits to “alkaline water” than simply the alkalinity or pH. The most important feature of alkaline water produced by a water alkalinizer is its oxidation reduction potential (ORP).. As discussed below, water with a high negative ORP is of particular value in its ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. ORP can also be directly tested using an ORP sensor and meter. We have conducted these experiments as well. We found that water coming directly from the tap had an ORP of +290mV, while the water coming out of the water alkalinizer had an ORP of -140mV. The more negative the ORP of a substance (that is, the higher its negative ORP), the more likely it is to engage in chemical reactions that donate electrons. These electrons are immediately available to engage in reactions that neutralize positively charged free radicals. This is the key benefit of water produced by a water alkalinizer that is not available by simply drinking water than has had some bicarb or other compounds dissolved in it to make it alkaline.

Although water mixed with bicarbonate is indeed alkaline, it does not have a negative ORP; rather it has a positive ORP, meaning that it is unable to neutralize dangerous oxygen free radicals. Alkaline water produced by running tap water through an electrolysis machine does have a high negative ORP, meaning that it does have the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. We have confirmed these ORP measurements through our direct tests.


Question: OK, why is it important to drink alkaline water with a high negative ORP?

Answer: All chemical reactions occur with the transfer of electrons. Negatively charged entities are said to be reducing agents, meaning they are relatively electron rich and are able to donate electrons, reducing the charge of the entity with which they react. Relatively electron-poor entities are referred to as oxidizing agents, meaning they tend to pull electrons away. Thus, each substance in our body may act as either an oxidizing or reducing agent.
However, not just any negatively charged ion will be able to engage in the specific chemical reactions needed to neutralize oxygen free radicals. The HCO3- (bicarbonate) ions in alkaline bicarb water do not have this potential, whereas the OH- and mineral-rich water coming from an electrolysis machine (from tap water) does have this potential. That is implied in the negative value of the “oxidation reduction potential.”

Free radicals are among the most damaging molecules in the body and are highly unstable molecules that are oxidizing agents and are electron deficient. They are a principal cause of damage and disease in the body. Oxygen free radicals contribute significantly to a broad variety of harmful conditions in the body ranging from life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, to less severe conditions such as sunburns, arthritis, cataracts, and many others. Free radicals MUST get electrons from somewhere and will steal them from whatever molecules are around, including normal, healthy tissues. Damage to tissues results when free radicals strip these electrons from healthy cells. If the damage goes on unchecked, this will lead to disease. For example, the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles in arterial walls by free radicals triggers an immune system response that results in atherosclerosis, the principal cause of heart disease. The negative ions in alkaline water from an electrolysis machine are a rich source of electrons that can be donated to these free radicals in the body, neutralizing them and stopping them from damaging healthy tissues. Specifically, these ions have the potential to engage in the chemical reactions necessary to neutralize oxygen free radicals.

A key component of the Ray and Terry Longevity Program is reducing free radical damage, a chief factor in disease and aging. The antioxidant supplements we recommend work by donating electrons to help neutralize free radicals. Vitamin C and E, grape seed extract and alpha lipoic acid, for example, are all powerful electron donors. The vegetable-rich diet we recommend is alkaline and helps donate electrons to the body. Alkaline, electron-rich water falls in the same category. It can help with your body’s need for electrons to counteract free radicals.
Interestingly, we also tested vegetable juice with the ORP meter and found that it also has a high negative ORP, meaning that it is able to neutralize oxygen free radicals. So at least one of the important benefits of eating vegetables can be obtained from drinking the high negative ORP alkaline water from an electrolysis machine.
Another benefit of drinking alkaline water is that it assists in the absorption of minerals. We know that if the body is not absorbing enough minerals, it will rob minerals from the body’s mineral reserves, chiefly calcium from the bones.
It is well known that many chronic diseases result in excess acidity of the body (metabolic acidosis). We also know that the body tends to become more acidic due to modern dietary habits and lifestyles and the aging process itself. By drinking high negative ORP alkaline water, you combat metabolic acidosis and improve absorption of nutrients.
The blood is carefully buffered to keep it in a narrow range between pH 7.35 to 7.45. The body keeps blood pH stable by utilizing alkaline buffers, chiefly bicarbonate, to neutralize acidic liquids (such as colas, which have a pH as low as 2.5) and other acidic products and byproducts. But as the blood stream receives these acidic substances, the alkaline buffers get used up. Drinking alkaline water helps reduce the burden on the limited alkaline buffers which are needed for the body’s natural detoxification processes.


Question: Is there research that actually shows the benefits of drinking alkaline water.

Answer: A number of studies are summarized below. One study described below suggests that alkaline water encourages “friendly” anaerobic microflora in the human intestinal tract, and discourages “unfriendly” aerobic organisms. The researcher (see Vorobjeva NV below) writes: “Many diseases of the intestine are due to a disturbance in the balance of the microorganisms inhabiting the gut. The treatment of such diseases involves the restoration of the quantity and/or balance of residential microflora in the intestinal tract. It is known that aerobes and anaerobes grow at different oxidation-reduction potentials (ORP). The former require positive E(h) values up to +400 mV. Anaerobes do not grow unless the E(h) value is negative between -300 and -400 mV. In this work, it is suggested that prerequisite for the recovery and maintenance of obligatory anaerobic microflora in the intestinal tract is a negative ORP value of the intestinal milieu. Electrolyzed reducing water with E(h) values between 0 and -300 mV produced in electrolysis devices possesses this property. Drinking such water favours the growth of residential microflora in the gut. A sufficient array of data confirms this idea.”

Dr. Grossman has also had many of his patients report of health benefits they have experienced from drinking alkaline electron-rich water.


Question: How can alkaline water with a pH of 9 or 10 be expected to affect the body when the pH of the stomach is 2 or less?

Answer: It is important to remember that large amounts of hydrochloric acid are present in the stomach primarily when food is there. There is only a small amount of acid in stomach when it is empty, and this can be easily overcome when alkaline electron-rich water is consumed. Therefore, in order to gain maximum benefit, we recommend drinking alkaline water in between meals. Water consumed between meals will very quickly pass through the stomach and the GI tract.

A sample of studies on the health benefits of alkaline electron-rich water

Huang KC, Yang CC, Lee KT, Chien CT. Reduced hemodialysis-induced oxidative stress in end-stage renal disease patients by electrolyzed reduced water. Kidney Int. 2003 Aug;64(2):704-14.


BACKGROUND: Increased oxidative stress in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients may oxidize macromolecules and consequently lead to cardiovascular events during chronic hemodialysis. Electrolyzed reduced water (ERW) with reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability may have a potential effect on reduction of hemodialysis-induced oxidative stress in ESRD patients. METHODS: We developed a chemiluminescence emission spectrum and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis to assess the effect of ERW replacement on plasma ROS (H2O2 and HOCl) scavenging activity and oxidized lipid or protein production in ESRD patients undergoing hemodialysis. Oxidized markers, dityrosine, methylguanidine, and phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide, and inflammatory markers, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were determined. RESULTS: Although hemodialysis efficiently removes dityrosine and creatinine, hemodialysis increased oxidative stress, including phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide, and methylguanidine. Hemodialysis reduced the plasma ROS scavenging activity, as shown by the augmented reference H2O2 and HOCl counts (Rh2o2 and Rhocl, respectively) and decreased antioxidative activity (expressed as total antioxidant status in this study). ERW administration diminished hemodialysis-enhanced Rh2o2 and Rhocl, minimized oxidized and inflammatory markers (CRP and IL-6), and partly restored total antioxidant status during 1-month treatment. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that hemodialysis with ERW administration may efficiently increase the H2O2- and HOCl-dependent antioxidant defense and reduce H2O2- and HOCl-induced oxidative stress.

Shirahata S, Kabayama S, Nakano M, Miura T, Kusumoto K, Gotoh M, Hayashi H, Otsubo K, Morisawa S, Katakura Y. Electrolyzed-reduced water scavenges active oxygen species and protects DNA from oxidative damage. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 May 8;234(1):269-74.

Active oxygen species or free radicals are considered to cause extensive oxidative damage to biological macromolecules, which brings about a variety of diseases as well as aging. The ideal scavenger for active oxygen should be 'active hydrogen'. 'Active hydrogen' can be produced in reduced water near the cathode during electrolysis of water. Reduced water exhibits high pH, low dissolved oxygen (DO), extremely high dissolved molecular hydrogen (DH), and extremely negative redox potential (RP) values. Strongly electrolyzed-reduced water, as well as ascorbic acid, (+)-catechin and tannic acid, completely scavenged O.-2 produced by the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase (HX-XOD) system in sodium phosphate buffer (pH 7.0). The superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity of reduced water is stable at 4 degrees C for over a month and was not lost even after neutralization, repeated freezing and melting, deflation with sonication, vigorous mixing, boiling, repeated filtration, or closed autoclaving, but was lost by opened autoclaving or by closed autoclaving in the presence of tungsten trioxide which efficiently adsorbs active atomic hydrogen. Water bubbled with hydrogen gas exhibited low DO, extremely high DH and extremely low RP values, as does reduced water, but it has no SOD-like activity. These results suggest that the SOD-like activity of reduced water is not due to the dissolved molecular hydrogen but due to the dissolved atomic hydrogen (active hydrogen). Although SOD accumulated H2O2 when added to the HX-XOD system, reduced water decreased the amount of H2O2 produced by XOD. Reduced water, as well as catalase and ascorbic acid, could directly scavenge H2O2. Reduced water suppresses single-strand breakage of DNA b active oxygen species produced by the Cu(II)-catalyzed oxidation of ascorbic acid in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that reduced water can scavenge not only O2.- and H2O2, but also 1O2 and .OH.

Vorobjeva NV. Selective stimulation of the growth of anaerobic microflora in the human intestinal tract by electrolyzed reducing water. Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(3):543-6.

96-99% of the "friendly" or residential microflora of intestinal tract of humans consists of strict anaerobes and only 1-4% of aerobes. Many diseases of the intestine are due to a disturbance in the balance of the microorganisms inhabiting the gut. The treatment of such diseases involves the restoration of the quantity and/or balance of residential microflora in the intestinal tract. It is known that aerobes and anaerobes grow at different oxidation-reduction potentials (ORP). The former require positive E(h) values up to +400 mV. Anaerobes do not grow unless the E(h) value is negative between -300 and -400 mV. In this work, it is suggested that prerequisite for the recovery and maintenance of obligatory anaerobic microflora in the intestinal tract is a negative ORP value of the intestinal milieu. Electrolyzed reducing water with E(h) values between 0 and -300 mV produced in electrolysis devices possesses this property. Drinking such water favours the growth of residential microflora in the gut. A sufficient array of data confirms this idea. However, most researchers explain the mechanism of its action by an antioxidant properties destined to detox the oxidants in the gut and other host tissues. Evidence is presented in favour of the hypothesis that the primary target for electrolyzed reducing water is the residential microflora in the gut.

Chen H, Kimura M, Zhu Z, Itokawa Y, Evaluation on ionized calcium as a nutrient. The 11th symposium on Trace Nutrients Research, Japan Trace Nutrients Research Society, p131-138, 1994.


Summary: To clarify effect of ionized calcium water for drinking water in rats, 36 Male Wister rats weighing about 50g were randomly divided into 6 groups, and given following diet and drinking water : (1) Ca-sufficient diet, tap-water; (2) Ca-sufficient diet, tap-water;(3) Ca-sufficient diet, calcium lactate added-ionized calcium-water : (4) Ca-deficient diet, calcium lactate added-water ; (5) Ca deficient diet, calcium lactate added-water :(6) Ca-deficient diet, calcium lactate added ionized calcium-water. The diets were given by paired-feeding method 4 weeks and drinking water was ad libitum. The significant change of calcium concentration in the rats were was follows; Ca concentration of plasma, spleen, of plasma, spleen, kidney, testis and tibia in Ca deficient groups (4), (5), (6) were significantly low compared with these in Ca sufficient groups (1),(2),(3) Ca concentration in brain of groups (4),(5),(6) was low compared to these in groups (2), Ca concentration in heart and muscle of group (4) was low compared to Ca deficient groups (1),(2),(3), but these in group (5) drank Ca added-water was recovered and these in group (6) drank ionized-Ca-water was higher than these in any other groups. Ca concentration of liver in groups (4) were significantly lower than that in group (1),(3) and Ca concentration of liver in Ca deficient rats (groups (5),(6)) drank Ca-added-water were high compared to these in group (4). In 24 hours urine discharge of group (2) was high compared with groups (4), (5), (6). These results suggest that ionized Ca in drinking water may be active for intestinal absorption.

Vormann J, Worlitschek M, Goedecke T, Silver B, Supplementation with alkaline minerals reduces symptoms of patients with chronic low back pain, J Trace Elem. Med. Biol. Vol. 15, pp. 179-183, 2001
Abstract: The cause of low back pain is heterogeneous, it has been hypothesized that a latent chronic acidosis might contribute to these symptoms. It was tested whether a supplementation with alkaline minerals would influence symptoms in patients with low back pain symptoms. In an open prospective study 82 patients with chronic low back pain received daily 30 g of a lactose based alkaline multimineral supplement (Basica) over a period of 4 weeks in addition to their usual medication. Pain symptoms were quantified with the “Arhus low back pain rating scale” (ARS). Mean ARS dropped highly significant by 49% from 41 to 21 points after 4 weeks supplementation. In 76 out of 82 patients a reduction in ARS was achieved by the supplementation. Total blood buffering capacity was significantly increased from 77.69 ± 6.79 to 80.16 ± 5.24 mmol/L (mean ± SEM, n=82, p < 0.001) and also blood pH rose from 7.456 ± 0.007 to 7.470 ± 0.007 (mean ± SEM, n=75, p < 0.05). Only intracellular magnesium increased by 11% while other intracellular minerals were not significantly changed in sublingual tissue as measured with the EXA-test. Plasma concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron, copper, and zinc were within the normal range and not significantly influenced by the supplementation. Plasma magnesium was slightly reduced after the supplementation (-3%, p < 0.05). The results show that a disturbed acid-base balance may contribute to the symptoms of low back pain. The simple and safe addition of an alkaline multimineral preparate was able to reduce the pain symptoms in these patients with chronic low back pain.

Question: Is vitamin E still safe?

Answer: Many vitamin E users were upset to read the headline from the November 11, 2004 issue of USA Today -- “Study: High dose of vitamin E may increase death risk.” This has led to a storm of controversy about the safety of Vitamin E supplementation. This concern is largely the result of a recent scientific paper by Miller et al entitled “Meta-Analysis: High-dosage vitamin E supplementation may increase all-cause mortality” that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.”

What the researchers from Johns Hopkins found was that people who took 400 units or more of what they describe as “vitamin E” had a 5% greater risk of premature death than people who took lower doses. Therefore, the researchers concluded “High dosage vitamin E supplements may increase mortality and should be avoided.”
There are several flaws with this “meta analysis.” According to Steven Milloy of's "Junk Science," “The researchers didn’t study any vitamin E-users first-hand; instead they simply reviewed data from 19 earlier vitamin E clinical trials, including 11 ‘high dose’ trials. But 10 of the 11 ‘high-dose’ trials didn’t make any statistically significant correlations between vitamin E use and premature death.”

The research in the paper was a meta study, meaning that it combined data from other studies. While results of meta studies can be valid, there are methodological challenges in combining studies that have different control guidelines.
The biggest problem with this paper, however, was its confusion of the terms “vitamin E” and “alpha tocopherol.” It used these terms interchangeably, and did not take into account that vitamin E is not the same thing as alpha-tocopherol, but contains several other components such as beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherol in addition to alpha. Rather, the generic term “vitamin E” was used throughout the paper:

According to Huang and Appel, we know that “Vitamin E is a collective term for eight naturally occurring compounds, four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta).” Yet, by equating alpha-tocopherol with vitamin E, the authors of the meta analysis arrived at seriously flawed conclusions about vitamin E. Their conclusions only apply to alpha-tocopherol.

In addition “these eight forms of vitamin E are not interconvertible in humans.” According to Huang and Appel, when people supplement their diets with alpha-tocopherol alone, they reduce their blood levels of gamma- and delta-tocopherol. This is important because gamma- and delta-tocopherol are critical to health.
Many researchers now believe that gamma-tocopherol is the most important fraction in vitamin E, contributing to vitamin E’s well-known anti-oxidant benefits. In fact, gamma-tocopherol constitutes 70% of the vitamin E consumed in the average American diet.

Therefore, we can draw the following conclusions:

1) People who take alpha-tocopherol alone may have a slightly increased risk of death. (Five per cent is barely “statistically significant.”).
2) Alpha-tocopherol is not the same thing as vitamin E, as Vitamin E is really composed of multiple subfractions.
3) Gamma-tocopherol is a critically important form of vitamin E in terms of anti oxidant benefit.
4) Gamma-tocopherol is the most common dietary form of vitamin E.
5) Alpha-tocopherol supplementation decreases gamma-tocopherol levels.

Therefore, the primary conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that you might have a slightly increased risk of premature death if you take alpha-tocopherol alone. We recommend, therefore, that you do not take alpha-tocopherol as a stand-alone vitamin E supplement. Instead, you should take a blend which contains all of the vitamin E subfractions.

In our book, Fantastic Voyage, Live Long Enough to Live Forever, we recommend that people do not take just alpha tocopherol, but take a vitamin E blend that includes all the tocopherols including gamma tocopherol. The Vitamin E contained in Ray & Terry’s Total Daily Care is such a vitamin E blend.


Huang HY and Appel LJ, Supplementation of diets with alpha-tocopherol reduces serum concentrations of gamma- and delta-tocopherol in humans. J Nutr, 2003. 133(10): p. 3137-40.

Devaraj S and Traber MG, ?-Tocopherol, the new vitamin E? Am J Clin Nutr, 2003. 77: p. 530-31.

Wagner KH et al, Gamma-tocopherol--an underestimated vitamin? Ann Nutr Metab, 2004. 48(3): p. 169-88.

Related Articles:

Dietary Supplements Attacked by the Media, by William Faloon

Nutritionist Says Wall Street Journal Wrong on Vitamins (Thursday, 13 April 2006)
- Contributed by PR Newswire


Question: What are your views about consumption of soy products? Many people claim that eating soy products is associated with heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and other problems.

Answer: A number of books, articles and newsletters have taken the position that soy is far from the health food that many vegetarians and others have claimed. Rather, their feeling is that soy is harmful and should be completely avoided. Yet, in the course of our research, we have concluded that consumption of moderate amounts of soy products can (and should) play an important role in our longevity program.

The Ray & Terry Longevity Program advocates a reduction in carbohydrate consumption for most people in order to help control weight and appetite, as well as to help control blood cholesterol, sugar and insulin levels. As carbohydrates decrease, then, of necessity, the percentage of calories derived from fat and protein must increase. While there are good fats such as in the form of olive oil, avocados, fish and nuts, most medical authorities advocate that fat consumption be controlled to avoid excess weight and other potential health problems. Therefore, protein consumption needs to increase somewhat.

Protein can be obtained from animal or plant sources. While there are beneficial aspects to consuming healthful animal protein such as fish, low fat dairy products and skinless poultry, there are also problems associated with each of these foods. For example, almost all fish are now contaminated to some degree with mercury, and many people are allergic to dairy products or intolerant of the lactose in milk. Therefore, it is beneficial to obtain a significant part of our daily protein from vegetable sources.

Soy has been the major source of vegetable protein in Asia for centuries and the Japanese diet includes multiple servings of soy products every day. We based our dietary recommendations in part on the Japanese diet in large part because the Japanese live longer than any nation on earth. This seems an unlikely result if they have been eating a toxic food every day for centuries.

The bottom line is that every food is toxic to some degree, and this toxicity is often magnified when animals are fed large amounts of a specific food and then conclusions are drawn about what would happen if people eat this food. For example, celery can raise blood pressure, broccoli contains a naturally occurring pesticide shown to cause mutations, while mushrooms and peanuts contain known carcinogens. But, few people would suggest that these foods never be eaten. Moderation is the key.

The same applies to soy. Laboratory studies have shown that there can be problems when soy is consumed in large amounts by animals. We do not advocate large amounts of soy consumption; rather, we suggest daily consumption of smaller amounts that have been shown to be associated with health benefits.

For example, animal experiments have shown that soy protein consumption can lead to a 22% decrease in breast cancer, a 30% decrease in colon cancer and a 34% decrease in prostate cancer. (Badger TM, Ronis MJ et al. Soy protein isolate and protection against cancer. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Apr;24(2):146S-149S.)

Soy has been proven to protect against heart disease and the FDA has allowed the following health claim about soy: "25 grams/day of soy protein, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." The American Heart Association has officially recommended consumption of 25 grams or more of soy protein daily.

Much has been made over the association between soy and Alzheimer's in Japanese men in Hawaii reported as part of the Honolulu Heart Program. But, according to author John Robbins, there is a lower incidence of Alzheimer's in Japanese men living in Japan where more soy is eaten than in Hawaii. He cites a Hawaiian physician, Dr. Bill Harris, who found that soy products in Hawaii have a higher content of aluminum than soy products made elsewhere. He suggests that it is the increased amount of aluminum in Hawaiian soy products that led to the higher incidence of Alzheimer's in this population.

It remains our contention that moderate soy consumption can play an important role in anyone's longevity program. For more information, please see The Food Revolution web site by John Robbins.

Question: What is the digestive problem called hypochlorhydria?

Hypochlorhydria is a common problem affecting the digestive process. More simply, it means having inadequate hydrochloric acid. This condition results in poor absorption of vital nutrients.

Question: How do I know if I have hypochlorhydria?

Answer: The most accurate test for hypochlorhydria is done with a Heidelberg capsule, which tests stomach acid directly by way of a swallowed electrode (in the form of a capsule). Contact [email protected] to find a doctor in your area that can perform this test. An easier (although indirect) method of assessing whether stomach acid is low, is with a hair minerals test. Low stomach acid often correlates with low hair minerals. You can contact Dr. Grossman’s clinic at 877-548-4387 for a test kit that you can use at home.

Question: What are your recommendations to alleviate hypochlorhydria?

Answer: Often people with acid reflux are hypochlorhydric and are helped by taking stomach acid (betaine hydrochloride). However, certain precautions must be followed, so we recommend researching your condition thoroughly first.

For more information, a good book on the subject is Why Stomach Acid is Good for You, by Dr. Jonathan Wright: .