Keep Free Access to Vitamins and Supplements in the US

I use a lot of supplements in my practice. In fact, it’s one of the largest parts of what I do. It’s important to guard against challenges like this in the future. Read below to learn more.

Herbs with alternative medicine herbal supplements and pillsIn 2011 there was a really troublesome initiative about to be activated by the GAO Congress from Senators Durban and Waxman, which could have drastically limited new innovative supplements, and raise the cost of any supplements created in the past 16 years of so. 

Whole Foods talked about it here.The directive letter to the GAO, here, looks like it is simply designed to protect the public, but two major organizations aligned with natural health are concerned that it will in effect, be overlooking the protections in the DSHA act passed in 1994, and requiring any supplements since that legislation to be proven safe before they are allowed, even if they are produced by improved methodology from previously and still allowed supplements and herbs.
You may remember that DSHA was passed as a result of a massive public outcry about legislation which would have greatly removed availability of supplements, vitamins, and herbs from the roughly 80% of the population who now use them.I didn’t follow the day-to-day politics of the issue, but I now see that this is the latest in a series of political moves by Senator Durban which included a defeated bill which would have drastically reduced access to supplements.I have had the opportunity over the past three decades and especially over the past dozen year, to use nutritional, vitamin, and herbal supplements to help a lot of people get better from conditions which did not respond to the best quality conventional care. Many not only improved their skin, but also regained better energy and digestive function, and were able to resume active and productive lives. Side effects have tended to be minor or positive compared to htose that I have witnessed with drugs.

I shudder to think what would have happened to all of those lives if I did not have access to the tools to help them because of this pending Durban legislation.
If you value your health and freedom to take supplements. Don’t just take my word for it. Please check out the following organizations on their web pages, and decide about the issue for yourselves. Citizens for HealthAlliance for Natural Health – the Petition (2011)

The actual ploys used in this issue have been changing, as the legislators keep trying to make changes which in essence will in essence, benefit the drug companies.

Please remember that failure to act on this issue could result in loss of access to supplements vital to your health and life, or to to the health of people you care about. The danger of these products as used by experienced  practitioners is currently immensely smaller than that of pharmaceuticals properly prescribed.
I believe that we have enough of an industrial chemical burden and disease crisis without the US government, by legislative intimidation, taking away or making more expensive, a whole class of tools for people getting better. It all just forces us to use phamaceutical instead, rather than having a choice.

Tell your legislators that we are doing fine as we are.

To your health,Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD

 


Food Allergy and Eczema (and Pregnancy)

6a00e55255b4628834017eea94c580970d-200wiAccording to an article published online ahead of print Oct 26 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, there was a significantly increased incidence of both food sensitization and filaggrin mutations in children who went on to developeczema and asthma.

A filiggrin is a protein related to penetration of foreign materials through the skin that has been found to be defective in a proportion of patients with atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema. The risk of being allergic to foods was up to 5 times as great in association with eczema as compared with those who did not have eczema.

Here’s what I have to say about this: despite the naysayers over the years who have claimed that eczema is not related to diet, this study from Germany shows an association between food allergy and eczema and asthma. I want to emphasize that in my experience, it takes more than food sensitivity testing and elimination to control food allergy manifestations.

Working with digestion, gut flora, and gut health, helps to reduce food allergy, and has proven to be helpful in reducing the incidence and severity of atopic dermatitis in infants, children and adults, as well as the severity of other inflammatory skin diseases.

Especially sensible is in normalizing these factors before starting pregnancy, if this planning is possible, and there is a history of atopy (asthma, hay fever, eczema) in you or your family. More about this important issue in a later blog.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.


Preventing Melanoma: Good for Skin Lines and the Bottom Line?

6a00e55255b4628834017d432073dc970c-200wiPrevention of sunburn may make be wise for your nest egg, not just for your skin. Melanoma, one of the fastest increasing forms of potentially deadly cancer, is related to sun damage to the skin. Once it goes beyond the local stage and spreads, the chances of survival are in the order of 15%.

The good news is that various genetic subtypes of melanoma are being identified, and targeted by specific drugs. More good news is that a new “biologic” drug has been developed by Genetech named Zelboraf which blocks a specific mutated protein found in certain melanoma known as BRAF 600 V. This protein can be identified by a mutation test to see if Zelboraf will be effective in their melanoma.

The bad news is that this drug is slated to cost $9800/month. Another related drug for late-stage melanoma recently approve named Yervoy costs $120,000/treatment course. If you think it will be easy to get your insurance to cover such treatment, just try to get them to pay for an out of network visit or lab test.
Especially for those with pale skin, lots of moles, and/or a family history of melanoma, this cost really questions the wisdom of overworking oneself to save money to reward oneself with sunburn vacations and weekends getting in the sun. Your wisest path, and most affordable path, is one of reasonable sun protection with hats and clothing as preventative investment. And don’t forget to get any suspicious lesions checked.To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.


Taking Stock of Your Medical History

6a00e55255b4628834017eea94d3ce970d-200wiDiscovery of what illness a person has, and what is the underlying reason that illness is going on, often requires a lot of information.  Most of that information is related to your history, that of your family, and that of those around you.

No one knows this information better than you, so it is helpful to keep a record of what has been going on with your health:
·      Serious or recurrent illnesses, surgeries and accidents, medications, vaccinations and other treatments, and their dates
·      Supplements, vitamins, herbs, other alternative treatments and the apparent positive and negative effects of these treatments on you.
·      Diet, or changes or slips in your diet and their dates are also important.
·      Don’t forget to get copies of important lab test results, and recent lab tests results, even if negative.From my perspective, the events preceding your illness may be the most important clue to the cause of your specific illness that followed the exposure.

It may be more useful to edit the report you bring to a doctor, rather than bringing the whole file.  Try to keep a full file for yourself, and bring copies to your doctor, so that you keep a full set of your information.  Remember, doctors may only keep records for a period of up to 7 years.

Until there is a universal medical record kept, or perhaps a chip with that information in our wallet or under our skin, you are the best keeper and provider of information which may help with your health.

Put together your own health file, and keep it where you or your family can find it.
To your health,Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

 


Tattoo or Not Tattoo?

6a00e55255b4628834017d43207d54970c-200wiTattoos have become more popular again over the past decade, with licensed tattoo parlors taking precautions to reduce the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS.

Unfortunately, it appears that even with such precautions, a new bacteria in the Tuberculosis family, Mycobacterium Haemophilum, has been found in otherwise healthy people getting tattoos. It seems to be acquired from the tap water used to dilute the ink.

Unfortunately, Mycobaterium Haemophilum is hard to treat and takes months to clear, even with the few special antibiotics that are effective.
Like with many diseases, the safest choice is avoiding exposure all together, and not getting tattoos.However, using sterile water to dilute the inks appears to be the next best choice.
To your health,Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.


Melanoma Immunotherapy

6a00e55255b4628834017eea94de34970d-200wiI recently read a report in March in the journal Drugs in Dermatology about a man with metastatic melanoma (spreading skin cancer,) who had a partial regression of internal melanoma spreading. It occurred after applying a cream to the skin that was prescribed for lesser skin cancers.  The cream is Imiquimod, and was designed to stimulate the immune system to react against pre-cancers, warts, and occasionally, as in this patient, for basal cell carcinomas (the most common kind of skin cancer)

It works by stimulating a primitive form of the immune system, called “Toll-Like Receptors”  (TLRs), which are a very primitive form division of the immune system that are present not only in other mammals, but also in other species including insects.  Imiquimod works by stimulating a TLR called TLR 7, which then signals other branches of the immune system to join the battle and attack and destroy the tumor.

Interestingly, this patient could not tolerate other treatment he had been given, so, on his own,  he used the Imiquimod prescribed to him for a lesser skin cancer on the superficial metastatic lesions on his tummy skin, and the internal melanoma in his liver went away completely, and other internal melanomas got smaller.

The point of this comment is not to suggest Imiqimod for melanoma treatment; it may only work in certain cases, but rather to show that the right kind of stimulation of the immune system can make a great difference in reducing the size of potentially deadly cancers like metastatic melanoma.

The literature contains numerous reports and case reports of melanoma getting smaller or disappearing with other immune stimulants including chemicals like dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and diphencyprone, and microbial stimulants such as Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin (BCG).

Not everyone responds to any given stimulus, so the challenge is to identify what the most likely stimulus is to get a melanoma rejected, and what else is necessary to get someone’s immune system to be strong enough to fight it off.

These are questions that I have been wrestling with in laboratories from Sloane Kettering to the National Cancer Institute over the past 5 decades.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.


Herbal Medicine and Dermatology article in New York Times

6a00e55255b46288340148c81bb754970c-200wiI was just browsing the internet to collect articles I’ve written, and came across this one in the New York Times. Here, I discuss camomile, plantain, aloe vera, lemon balm, and cayenne for dermatitis, psoriasis, herpes, and other conditions.  Please read the full article for specifics.

To your health,

Alan M Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology, New York


Fall in Love with Broccoli


Last week I was invited to a raw food vegan community to give a talk on nutrition and the skin.I spoke to a group of “health ministers” who educated people about the benefits and the how to of starting and maintaining a predominantly raw food, vegan diet. Many people thanked me for all of the information I gave them. At the same time, I received a lot of information in the stories of people who had recovered from a number of both minor and serious medical conditions by going on the diet.

It certainly shows that avoiding many of the foods which can set off immune reactions, including not only meat and milk, but excessive grains and sugar, and getting a predominantly green vegetable diet, can be very beneficial.

And as Ann Wigmore and Dr. Gerson showed in the past, raw vegetable juice diet can be curative of a number of conditions. Many people find it difficult to undertake such diets, but those who need to return to the land of the living will have extra motivation to either at that way, or at least move in that direction. Their experience certainly supports my observation that making the right dietary changes away from the norm can lead to profound improvements in health.

I just saw a fun video, made by the fifth grade class of a former campmate of my daughter, which really touts a change from junk food to broccoli. I am sharing the link with you because I think that you will enjoy it, and maybe even get a few young people to think it’s cool to eat better.
This is the kind of education that could lead to a healthier generation, and start curbing our out of sight health costs.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.


Support Natural Health Care

Herbs with alternative medicine herbal supplements and pillsRecently in politics, there have been some developments I find disturbing. Let me share with you what is occurring in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Congressman Waxman is attempting to slip an obscure anti-supplement measure into the Wall Street “Reform” Bill Passed by the House; Please Take Action to Prevent Same Thing Happening in the Senate.

Click here to stop this from passing in the Senate as well. If you like access to supplements, take action to keep it.

I would like to praise medical system and pharmaceutical industry for bringing us lifesaving drugs and treatments for accidents and acute illness, and all sorts of conditions. Sometimes we take for granted the advances that have been and are constantly being made.
I have seen thousands of people get better with both conventional medical treatment and holistic medical treatment. I believe great strides are being made in the area of natural health that are crucial to the safer control of chronic conditions. It is wonderful that we live in a world where we have access to a choice of whether to take a natural or more conventional approach. But there are, unfortunately, constant and ongoing efforts underway to severely limit your ability to choose various natural options. Fortunately, we still live in a democracy, where votes and voice count. If you want to have the option to favor natural treatments for your self or family, you have to take action against the various bills and laws afoot which would prevent you from doing so, or which would fund coverage only for conventional and not for natural treatment.
Since it is hard to spend your time in Washington reviewing al of the legislation proposed that may restrict your freedom, there is fortunately an organization called “The Alliance for Natural Health” which makes it easy for you to learn about these various pending bills which would limit access and freedom, and take action notifying your elected legislators how you would like them to take into account your needs when they vote. They are an evolution of a previous organization that did the same work, and has a good heart and purpose. Check them out, subscribe, and let your friends know to check them out, sign up, take action and support them.
I will soon be setting up a special email list you can subscribe to in order to hear about urgent matters needed to take action on to protect our full range of health care and treatment option rights.
There are other organizations that may inform on some of these same issues, but some are more inflammatory and suspect of being most supportive of their own purse poses.
I believe that there is room and need for both directions of care without one suppressing the other, and that indeed, the information from one feeds the other. Let’s continue to move toward an integrative care approach rather than putting up barriers to it.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.


Featured on The Kathleen Show

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcd5dbfc970b-200wiIt gives me pleasure to announce that I will be featured in a radio interview on the topic of nutrition and the skin on the Kathleen Show, which will be aired in a handful of selected cities throughout the US on different days, from Thursday, Feb 25 through Sunday, February 28, 2010.

Please see the link below for city, time and station, and let your friends and relatives in those cities know about the show if it is not near you. The program airs in Philadelphia PA, (Thursday) Madison WI, Providence RI, Reading PA, Fairbanks Alaska, Astoria Oregon, Grand Junction CO, Eureka CA and Minneapolis/St. Paul MN.

I feel honored to follow such notables as Dr Andrew Weil, legendary Maya Angelou, women’s health pioneer Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Michael Roizen, best-selling author of the YOU series co-authored by Dr. Mehmet Oz, as well as award-winning journalist and author Michael Pollan, as guests on Kathleen’s radio show. This link will allow you to hear the show when it gets posted as a webcast available to hear online in a few more weeks. I believe that you will find the interview both enjoyable and informative, packed with tips on how to better care for your skin naturally. Be sure to not only enjoy it yourselves, but to pass on the link to share it with others who will benefit from the free and useful advice Kathleen gleans from me. http://www.thekathleenshow.com/Listen/tabid/56/Default.aspx

I will post a link to my guest page from the show in a week or two, when my interview will be available for download.
To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.