Alternative Medicine Research

Alternative medicine research has interesting tidbits for everyone.

There was a time when any treatment involving vitamins was considered "alternative" and verging on quackery. Today top medical researchers are examining the effects of vitamins and phytochemicals in the treatment of conditions such as prostate cancer and even tuberculosis.

This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 18th April, 2021.

Tuberculosis and vitamin C

"Mycobacterium tuberculosis is 'extraordinarily' sensitive to vitamin C"

Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as part of their alternative treatment research, decided to try adding the antioxidant vitamin C, together with a mainline TB drug, isoniazid, to a culture of M. tuberculosis resistant to the drug[2].

To their great surprise the mixture killed the resistant bacteria.

They then repeated their research treating their culture of  the resistant TB bacteria using vitamin C alone.

To their astonishment vitamin C on its own, with no isoniazid, sterilized the bugs.

Lead researcher, Professor William Jacobs, is now looking for the mechanism whereby vitamin C kills TB bacteria, but he says they have a rationale to begin clinical trials.

He states that vitamin C produces a "Fenton reaction" causing iron to release free radicals that damage the bacterial DNA.

Alternative Medicine Research

Alternative medicine research has relevant bits and pieces gleaned from the literature and of importance to all of us.

Exercise and prostate enlargement

It is sad that exercise should be considered "alternative". But from patients one regular hears that at the Medical Coalface pills and surgery are recommended first rather than exercise, dietary and lifestyle changes.

In the European Journal of Urology 2008, researchers found that moderate to vigorous exercise reduces benign prostatic hypertrophy by 25%. That is significant.

Could you take a slow 20-minute jog three times a week, or an even shorter time with a skipping rope?

Heart disease and vitamin E

Dr Wilfrid Shute, cardiologist, reports that he submitted a paper to a medical journal on the effect of vitamin E as an anticoagulant having a role to play in the management of heart disease. They declined to publish his research.

Dr Shute, astute man that he is, waited a few months and then resubmitted his paper but removing all reference to vitamin E, giving instead the chemical name, alpha-tocopherol. His research was duly published and highly acclaimed as a breakthrough.

Prostate malignancy

It has been long known that whole foods are more effective than vitamin and phytochemical supplements, because the latter contain only a portion of the whole spectrum. Prostate malignancy and alternative medicine research reveals some shattering truths about supplements.

Vitamin C in citrus and peppers is more effective than ascorbic acid; make sure you include the pulp of your lemon and not only the juice; that is where at least half the goodies are to be found[1].

So, with the vitamin E and prostate tumours. There are eight forms of vitamin E found in whole foods. Only the "gamma-tocopherol" form of vitamine E is effective in preventing prostate disease.

The "Select Trial" (reported in JAMA) found that taking the "alpha-tocopherol" form of vitamin E (the most common in supplements) actually increases the risk... Vitamin E ...

Don't dump your alpha-tocopherol vitamin E (it does have many other benefits) but only the buy the mixed tocopherols in the future.

And look to your food for your vitamins. Don't eat white bread (whole wheat is a rich source of vitamin E), and make sure that corn and tofu products are on the table on a regular basis; walnuts too.

Clamp down on Alternative Health Care

Medicine in Europe has succeeded in Europe in persuading Brussels to introduce a draconian piece of legislation effectively putting an end to Alternative Medicine.

Were Medicine so successful, one might accept the legislation, but chronic diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases are soaring... and Medicine continues to use drugs that its own research proves kills human beings in droves.

As far as I can tell Chiropractic seems to be exempt, and there's only one reason for this. Chiropractic research. We've realised the need to come up with convincing, scientifically validated research proving that Chiropractic is effective and safe. Alternative health care in very large measure hasn't... CHIROPRACTIC RESEARCH ...

Whilst I have no faith in much alternative healing, I absolutely believe they have the right to practise their own arts, within certain limits. Those are not easily defined...


It is bizarre than the use of nutrition is still considered by many to pertain to Alternative healthcare, given the wealth of powerful research that what we put in our mouths, or do not eat, is the cause of so many malignancies.

For example, researchers at Loma Linda University have proved now beyond all doubt that eating beans at least three times a week reduces bowel CA by at least a third, and eating brown rice reduces it by forty percent. These foods reduce the formation of polyps, precursors of colo-rectal disease. Research was published in Nutrition and Cancer.

They also found that eating cooked green vegetables EVERY DAY reduced polyps by twenty-four percent, compared to less than five times a week. Dried fruit too; it is all about more fibre, and of course the many tumour-fighting phytogens in fruit and veg, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Walnuts and blood pressure

New 2010 alternative medicine research has now shown that the omega-3 oil in walnuts significantly lowers diastolic blood pressure, the bad one. Well, both raised diastolic (the lower) and systolic (the higher) blood pressure lead to a higher rate of intracranial haemorrhage (a stroke) and heart attack.

Nine walnuts a day keeps the doctor away!


Soluble fibre

Scientists doing Alternative Medicine Research fed two groups of white mice an identical diet, except that one group had high SOLUBLE fibre, whilst the other was fed a high INSOLUBLE fibre diet.

When sickness was induced in the mice, the group on high SOLUBLE fibre were only half as sick, and recovered twice as fast.

"Soluble fibre changes the personality of immune cells - they go from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory healing cells." 

Professor Gregory Freund at U of I College of Medicine.

Soluble fibre: Found in oats, fruit, vegetables, tofu, hummus, nuts... one apple contains about 5g of fibre, about 20% of the daily requirement. Remember the peel contains 75% of the fibre.

Soluble fibre also reduces the bad fraction of blood fat (LDL) without reducing the healthy HDL.

More about walnuts

Alternative Medicine Research includes the proven health value of various foods. For example, the walnut contains 5x as much Omega-3 as any other nut. You probably know, but perhaps don't, that Omega-3 fat is the friendly fat that has been proved many times over to reduce heart disease and atherosclerosis.

  • A handful of walnuts added to the Step One diet recommended by the America Heart Association significantly reduced UNfriendly LDLs in the blood stream. (NEJM 328)
  • Omega-3 containing foods reduce the risk of stroke up to 70%. (Lancet 343)

Walnuts are also high in SOLUBLE fibre.

Freeze your walnuts once they've been cracked or the fats will go rancid (oxidise). Then add three every day to our Olive Garden Salad Recipe ... Better still, crack them yourself. Personally I don't like frozen nuts.

Other sources of omega-3:

This summer salad is rich in soluble fibre; all medicine research indicates it's good for the colon.

Add some olives and hummus and you have a truly olive garden salad recipe.

Nutritional research on heart disease

Alternative medicine research reveals that the RISK OF HEART ATTACK is highly PREDICTABLE. The two most important indicators are:

  1. Smoking - 3 X risk of heart attack
  2. High LDL (bad cholesterol) / HDL (good cholesterol) ratio.

For interesting info on how the olive and the avocado can improve you cholesterol profile follow this link. Go on! Take a stroll down that cul-de-sac, it's interesting, but do remember to hit the back button! Your alternative medicine research tour guide will be waiting patiently for you!


Back? Good. Let us proceed.

Alternative Medicine Research proves that virtually the entire risk of heart attack can be predicted and the impact of factors causing attacks is the same whether you live in a rich country or a poor one, a global study showed.

Results of the study of more than 29,000 people in 52 countries, released at a meeting of the European Cardiology Society, showed that two factors alone -- an abnormal ratio of bad to good cholesterol and smoking -- were responsible for two thirds of the global risk of heart attack.

Heart attack in men already with already low risk lifestyles (Body mass index less that 25, daily exercise, diet containing fruit and salads, non-smoking) was found by alternative medicine research to be even lower with the equivalent of two alcoholic drinks per day.

Other risk factors were ...

  • high blood pressure,
  • diabetes,
  • abdominal obesity,
  • stress,
  • a lack of daily consumption of fruits and vegetables,
  • and a lack of daily exercise.

Drinking small amounts of alcohol regularly was found to reduce risk slightly.

"This convincingly shows that 90 percent of the global risk of heart disease is predictable," researcher Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, told a news conference.

"This is good news. It means we can do something about it."

The findings contradict current thinking that suggests that only around half of the risk of heart disease is accounted for by known factors. They also imply that creating awareness of heart-attack risk factors may be easier than earlier thought. As if giving up smoking is easy! But it can be done.

"The impact of risk factors is the same in every ethnic group and every region of the world," alternative medicine reseacher s said, adding that this means the message of preventing heart disease could be quite simple and fairly uniform across the world.

The study showed that smokers had a threefold risk of heart attack compared to non-smokers.

Why not try to follow this plan. Because health is additive, each one of these will give you a nudge in the right direction. Even if you can't manage it every day. Start today, and think about

Obesity in children

Obese fast food boys in McDonalds.

Parents, alternative medicine research proves that if you allow your child to become overweight, they will most likely have a life-long weight problem - a dreadful, preventable affliction. And no apologies for being brutal, parents are directly liable and responsible. In fact, I wonder how long it will be before children start suing their parents for allowing them to become obese?

New results from a National Health Study suggest that girls as young as age 9 who are overweight are at increased risk for short-term and long-term problems that increase the chances of developing heart and blood vessel disease. In addition, girls who were overweight during childhood were 11 to 30 times more likely than non-overweight girls to be obese in young adulthood (ages 21 to 23).

Framingham Osteoporosis study (2006)

Intake of cola, but not of other carbonated soft drinks, is associated with low Bone Mineral Density in women, especially in the hip[3]. Thinness, weight loss in the interim, smoking and excessive alcohol use are also factors. Surprisingly, bone loss was not affected by caffeine, physical activity, vitamin D and calcium intake.


Red Meat Intake Ups BREAST TUMOUR Risk

A recent study out of Harvard reported that premenopausal women who eat more than 1.5 servings of red meat per day double their risk of breast tumours compared to those who consume fewer than three servings of red meat per week[2].

The research looked at the effects of red meat intake on the incidence of breast CA among the 90,659 premenopausal women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study. Participants were given food frequency questionnaires in 1991, 1995 and 1999, and then monitored until 2003.

Each year, more than 1 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast malignancies, with the highest incidences in the U.S. and the Netherlands. The National CA Institute estimates that 13 percent of American women will develop malignant breast tumours during their lives.

The findings of the Harvard study are bad news for strict "meat and potatoes" types, but the good news is, among the many risk factors for breast tumours, diet is one factor that can be modified easily. Supplementing red meat with lean poultry, fish and plant-based proteins, such as whole grains and legumes, may be an adjustment, but your health is well worth the effort.

"There is strong evidence that postmenopausal HRT use — oestrogens alone or oestrogens combined with progestins — leads to a moderate increase in breast tumour risk."

- Kaaks, Rinald et al.[4]

Stomach ulcers

Two Australian medical researchers won the Nobel prize for 2005 for discovering that many bowel illnesses are caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. Their medical colleagues were so skeptical (medical tradition having it that bowel diseases were psychological or caused by chronic illness) that researcher Dr Robin Warren infected himself to convince them.

However, the Nobel committee were rather more objective, giving them the 1.1 million euro prize. Probiotics, taken not in pill form which are enteric coated to get through the stomach acid, also hugely relieve the pain and epigastric discomfort of a Heliobacter infection, overwhelming the bugs with numbers. Read about it at kefir benefits. (Use the site search function)

Varicose ulcer

The MOST effective treatment is a mixture of phytosterols and raw honey: varicose veins and herbs ...

What is raw honey ...?

Cognitive decline

  • Folic acid, vitamin B6
  • Omega-3

According to a recent alternative medicine research report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, folate, a B vitamin found in foods like leafy green vegetables and citrus fruit, may protect against cognitive decline in older adults.

New alternative medicine research helps explain how the fatty acid DHA protects against Alzheimer's, a benefit noted in several studies. Large amounts of DHA are found in fish oils (omega 3), Flaxseed, rapeseed (canola) and soya beans and tofu.

Examples of "ecologically valid" activities that can improve mental capacity include reading, traveling, memorizing poetry, playing card and other games (eg chess), doing crossword puzzles, learning how to play a musical instrument, taking continuing education courses and surfing the Web.

Foth and Thompson of the University of Saskatchewan found that mental declines related to aging normally affect different parts of our cognitive capacities to varying degrees. A person may forget names, but working with figures remains normal.

Foth said mental declines are pathological for about 10 per cent of the general population over the age of 65 (eg. Alzheimer's disease), and not much can be done, but for the other 90 per cent of the population, cognitive decline need not be inevitable.

"And we found it is never too late to start. With a little effort, even people in their 70s and 80s can see dramatic improvements in their cognitive skills."

"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older."

- Larry McMurtry


An alternative medicine research study released today quashes the common belief that light smokers escape the serious health consequences faced by heavier smokers. According to the study in the journal Tobacco Control, smoking just one to four cigarettes per day nearly triples the risk of dying from heart disease or lung malignancies.

Perhaps even worse, considering the pain and disability last much longer is that smoking greatly increases lower back pain, and makes treatment far less effective. Ask any orthopaedic surgeon or chiropractor. Atherosclerosis symptoms and low back pain are closely connected.

Damn lies and statistics

It was the famous humorist Mark Twain who coined the phrase "lies, damn lies, and statistics". With good reason. Any research programme, and especially food labels, are only as valid as the integrity of the researcher. Beware food companies... DAMN LIES STATISTICS ...


Alternative medicine research indicates that people who exercise regularly experience 25% less muscle and joint pain in their old age than people who are less active. Research published in Arthritis Research & Therapy reveals that people who regularly participate in brisk aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, experience less pain than non-runners even though they are more likely to suffer from pain from injuries.

Knee arthritis and exercise  has proven benefits.

Macular degeneration

Lutein macular degeneration brings hope to many who are finding their eyesight is failing. Of course, prevention is better than a cure so, whilst we look to alternative medicine research, everyone knows that prevention is better still.

The Journal of Nutritional Science (2016) bring us new research on the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin fed to hens.

Read here for more about zeaxanthin macular degeneration.

  1. Effect of citrus pectin on prostate cancer @ Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  2. Study Finds Vitamin C Can Kill Drug-Resistant TB

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