I AM glad that, finally, I am able to write again about RESTORE LYF, one of the “hot-cake” nutritional supplements of 2021 and a potential star plant medicine in 2022. The last time I tried to put my hands on the plough last year, I limited myself to the product literature and a few ideas I gained about 20 years ago from Dr Ray Strand, author of WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE MAY BE KILLING YOU. This is a great book by a humble, forthright doctor who could not help his dying wife but be kind enough to let medical lay friend treat…and heal her, using food supplements. Dr Strand openly admits that neither he nor many doctors studied nutrition at school, what a doctor did not know about nutrition may be why he/she was not curing diseases…and his/her patients may be dying.
Before I proceed to let us hear directly from Dr Strand himself about the experiences which urged him to become a nutrition inclined doctor, I would like to seriously advise that, this year, you read this book, introduce it to your doctors, friends and family members as one of the health books which deserve a worthy place in their home health library. Our doctors are well-meaning and humble persons who would not mind learning from us their patients what would help them to save our lives…and the lives of other patients. I said at the beginning I was happy finally, I could now write this column the way I wanted. That was because, when I first attempted to, Dr Strands book was missing from my library. I had been reading it since 2002. I was interested in one case history helped by one of the constituents of RESTORE LYF, a product of NATURE’S WAY of the United States. I asked MRS OMOLARA BELLO, resident in London if she could send a copy to me. She tried to but could not before CORDELIA DIKE called from New York to say her sister, IMMACULATE, resident in California, had purchased a copy. The hardcover bore a hole in my pocket. About 2 weeks later, another copy arrived from Mrs Bello.
This is the humble story of Dr Strand:
“I was not sure how much more frustration I could bear over my wife’s deteriorating health. And I wasn’t just another worried husband, I was a medical doctor. As a physician for more than thirty years, I was accustomed to having answers to medical questions. After graduating from the University of Colorado Medical School and doing postgraduate work at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, I settled into successful family practice in a small city in western South Dakota. Along the way I met and married Liz. She had some health problems, but Liz honestly thought that if she married a physician her health would improve. Was she ever wrong! Before long our family included three children under the age of four and a busy Liz grew increasingly wary. Every mom with little children is tired, but Liz seemed unusually fatigued. Although she was only thirty years old, she told me she felt sixty.
“As the years passed she developed more symptoms and health problems that required several medications. By our tenth anniversary, Liz was so tired that most of the time she labored to put one foot ahead of the other. She experienced continual, total body pain, overwhelming fatigue, horrible allergies and recurrent sinus and lung infections. Finally, after testing and evaluation, Liz’s doctors diagnosed her problem as fibromyalgia. This medical condition involves an array of symptoms—the worst being chronic pain and fatigue. In years past fibromyalgia was called PSYCHOSOMATIC RHEUMATISM, and doctors believed the disease was all in the patient’s head… Liz was willing to try anything so that she could continue the pursuit of her passion: training and riding dressage horses. But in time her pain and fatigue curtailed all work with her beloved animals. She became so tired that she was unable to stay up much beyond 8:00 pm, and she struggled just to keep up with basic domestic chores.
“Since fibromyalgia has no cure, all I could do to ease Liz’s symptoms was load her up with medications. I had her taking amitriptyline at night for sleep, anti-inflammatories for pain, muscle relaxants, inhalers for her asthma and hay fever, Seldane for allergies, and eventually weekly allergy shots. In spite of my efforts and all this medicine, year after year her health gradually worsened. In January of 1995, Liz and I concluded that more exercise would benefit us both… One infection after another left her sick and on antibiotics more often than not. In March she developed severe pneumonia. She labored to breathe as one lobe of her lungs became completely filled with infection and closed off. The physician caring for her lung was very concerned it might not hear and could possibly even require surgery and removal. We consulted an infectious-disease specialist, and he placed Liz on intravenous antibiotics, steroids, and nebulizer treatments. Fortunately, within two weeks pneumonia cleared. Her cough, however, persisted, and she continued on heavy medication for months.
“Of greater concern was her fatigue, which was now worse than ever. Liz was out of bed only about two hours a day. Her asthma and allergies were raging and only with luck could she make the walk to the barn to see her horses. Liz was so sick the children took turns staying home from school to care for her. Constantly in bed, she felt too weak to even go watch TV or read. This went on month after month. Although I maintained my professional exterior, on the inside I was growing desperate. I visited several times with the pulmonologist and the infectious-disease specialist. They assured me that with Liz’s diagnosis they were doing everything possible. When I asked how long it would take for her to recover, the answer was six to nine months—or maybe never. About this time a friend of the family shared with Liz that her husband had also had pneumonia and had experienced significant fatigue during the recovery. He took some nutritional supplements, and they helped him regain his strength. Liz and her friend were aware of my negative attitude toward vitamin supplements, so Liz knew she would need my blessing before trying them. When she asked, even I was surprised at my response: ‘Honey, you can try anything you want. We doctors certainly are not doing you any good’.
PRESUPPOSITIONS PUT TO THE TEST
To be honest, I knew next to nothing about nutrition or nutritional supplementation. In medical school, I had not received any significant instruction on the subject. I was not alone. Only approximately 6% of the graduating physicians in the United States have any training in nutrition… As I mentioned in the introduction, the education of most physicians is disease-oriented with a heavy emphasis on pharmaceuticals—we learn about drugs and why and when to use them. Because of the respect people have for doctors, they assume we are experts on all health-related issues, including nutrition and vitamins. Before my conversion experience with nutritional medicines, my patients frequently asked me if I believed their taking vitamins produced any health benefits. They brought their bottles of supplements into the office and let me look at them. I’d wrinkle my brow and, with my most astute professional expression, would carefully examine the labels. Handing the bottles back, I’d say that the stuff was absolutely no use at all.
“My motives were good: I just didn’t want people wasting their money. I truly believed that these patients did not need supplements and could get all the vitamins they needed from a good diet. After all, that’s what I had learned in medical school… What I did not share with my patients was that I had not spent a minute evaluating the hundreds of scientifically conducted studies that proved the value of supplementation to health. But what was I to do about my sickly wife? I might be able to pull off professional magic at the office, but at home, I was just another husband looking on helplessly as his wife wasted away. I really had no choice, so I said to Liz, ‘Go ahead, try the vitamins. What do you have to lose?’ Her friend brought a collection of vitamin supplements to our house the next day—heavy on the antioxidants: nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene that protect the body against the harmful effects of oxidation. Liz eagerly swallowed them and downed two health drinks as well. To my amazement, within three days she obviously felt better. I was happy for her but confused. As subsequent days passed, Liz gained more energy and strength and even stayed up later in the evenings. After three weeks of faithfully swallowing many pills and consuming those strange-looking drinks, Liz felt so good that she stopped taking the steroids and nebulizer treatments.
“Three months passed, all bringing gradual improvement, and Liz never looked back. She was stronger than she had been in years and exuded a renewed outlook on life. I saw the sparkle in her eyes when she returned from training and caring for her horses. She not only could do the work in the horse barn but also was no longer fearful of suffering from allergic reactions to the hay, mould, and dust. Instead of limping off to bed shortly after dinner, she was staying up until 11:00 and 12:00 at night. I was now the one who headed to bed before my mate. What had happened? If I had not been an eyewitness to this transformation, I would have never believed it. Was it possible that some ‘weird vitamins’ had restored my wife’s health when all the medical expertise and medications could not help? Not only had Liz’s lungs recovered from pneumonia, but the symptoms of her fibromyalgia had also improved dramatically. Since there really is no medical treatment for fibromyalgia, what was going on? Was this one of God’s mysterious miracles or was it possible that Liz’s newly recovered health was due to those—horrors—nutritional supplements? For a person trained in medical science, I did what comes naturally: I decided to run my own clinical trial. I culled my records to find five of my worst fibromyalgia patients and asked them to visit my office. (How’s that for a twist—a doctor calling a patient to make an appointment?) I shared Liz’s story with all of them and suggested they consider taking nutritional supplements. I told each patient that I had no idea whether this ‘alternative treatment’ would help…
“Typical fibromyalgia sufferers are despondent, so each of my five subjects was very eager. After a period of time ranging from three to six months, without exception, each patient-reported improvement after taking the vitamin supplements. Not everyone had as dramatic a health rebound as my wife, but all were encouraged and had fresh hope. One of these women’s cases was particularly severe. She had sought answers at the Mayo Clinic and two different pain clinics, but because there really is no effective medical treatment for fibromyalgia, she found no consistent relief. A year earlier pain had so beaten her down that she had attempted suicide. Now, after taking these vitamins, she called and left a message on my home answering machine. Obviously in tears and struggling to speak, she said: ‘Dr. Strand, thank you for giving my life back to me. Every doctor loves to hear words like that… Since I knew that my preliminary study with five patients was not enough to reach scientific certainty on nutritional supplements, I needed to dig deeper.
“MY RESEARCH ON SUPPLEMENTATION
While browsing through a bookstore a week later, I saw a book by Dr Kenneth Cooper called THE ANTIOXIDANT REVOLUTION (Thomas Nelson, 1994). Since I had always admired Dr Cooper for his expertise in aerobic exercise and preventative medicine, I was inquisitive about his opinions on antioxidants. Dr Cooper explained a process called ‘oxidative stress, which he indicated was the underlying cause of chronic degenerative diseases—essentially a ‘who’s who of the health problems plaguing humanity today… We all know that oxygen is essential for life itself. Yet oxygen is also inherently dangerous to our existence. This is known as the oxygen paradox. Scientific research has established beyond a shadow of a doubt that oxidative stress, or cell damage by free radicals, is the root cause of more than seventy chronic degenerative diseases. The same process that causes iron to rust or a cut apple to turn brown is the underlying initiator of diseases like coronary artery disease, cancer, strokes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s dementia, and macular degeneration. That is right: we are actually rusting on the inside. Evey chronic degenerative disease I have mentioned is the direct result of the toxic effects of oxygen. In fact, oxidative stress is the leading theory behind the ageing process itself. In addition to this, our bodies are under constant attack from an army of pollutants in our air, food and water. Our stress-filled lifestyle also takes a toll. If we do not counteract these processes, the result is cell deterioration and ultimately, disease. This is why the truths revealed in this book are so critical to our health.
“Learning about how unhindered oxidative stress damages the body drastically changed my perspective on chronic degenerative diseases. For example, since oxidative stress can actually cause damage to the DNA nucleus of the cell, it may be the actual villain in cancer. This opens up the tremendous possibility of using antioxidants in cancer prevention. Since oxidative stress also causes arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, macular degeneration, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Crohn’s disease, nutritional supplements may also combat and control those illnesses. In his book, Dr Copper reported on some studies of patients done at his aerobics centre in Dallas concerning the cause of ‘overtraining syndrome’. Surprisingly, Dr Cooper discovered that some athletes who trained intensely ended up later struggling with serious chronic illness. They all showed signs of having oxidative stress, and the list of the symptoms associated with the syndrome was eerily similar to those of fibromyalgia patients. I began to wonder, could oxidative stress cause fibromyalgia too? Is this why my wife and several of my patients are getting better by taking high-quality antioxidants? This marked the beginning of my investigation into the ‘dark side’ of oxygen… In the past year alone, I have examined more than thirteen hundred peer-reviewed medical studies involving nutritional supplements and how they affect chronic degenerative diseases. These studies are double-blind, placebo-controlled medical studies that show a significant health benefit to those patients who take nutrients at optimal levels, which are significantly higher than the RDA (recommended daily allowance) levels.
VITAMINS AND YOU
When you understand the tremendous damage that oxidative stress inflicts during normal daily life on the human body, you realize how important it is to optimize your own natural defence system. Your health and life depend on it. Through my research, I learned that the strongest defence against these diseases is our bodies’ own natural antioxidants and immune systems. These are far superior to any drugs I can prescribe. I concluded after much study that using nutritional supplementation on patients is not alternative medicine but is instead complementary medicine. In fact, it may represent the very best in mainline medicine because it is true preventive medicine. Taking nutritional supplements is not about eradicating disease, it is about promoting vibrant health. After reviewing medical research studies, I have absolutely no doubt that my patients who take high-quality nutritional supplements have a health benefit over those who don’t. Although a patient may have a particular health problem, in recommending supplements I am not necessarily treating that particular disease. I am simply enabling the patient to provide the nutrients to his/her body at the optimal levels that studies have shown to provide a health benefit based on medical research. This approach to health I have labelled CELLULAR NUTRITION, which enables the body to do what God intended. The personal case histories that I present in this book are ones I have documented in my office…
“… Almost all of these true stories are about patients who had lost their health too. With much encouragement and determination, they continued to seek answers, and after testing the principles presented here, they regained their health. Liz is my best case study. By the way, her health remains robust—even though she married a doctor! Instead of spending many hours of every day on pain and weakness in bed, she now lives the full life of her dreams. She had the energy to fully enjoy being a wife and mother. And her passion for training and showing horses is no longer just wishful thinking but a daily reality”.