The Toxicology of Drugs
The following is a transcription of the March 1959 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Also in this issue:
- Vitamin A and Goiter
- Tip of the Month (Toxic and Exophthalmic Goiter)
- High Points of Antronex
The Toxicology of Drugs
Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, a hundred years ago had this to say:
“Among chronic diseases we must still, alas, reckon those so commonly met with… diseases artificially produced in allopathic treatment by the prolonged use of violent heroic medicines in large and increasing doses. These inroads on human health affected by the allopathic art (more particularly in recent times) are, of all chronic diseases, the most incurable.”1
Time magazine2 has brought us up to date on this subject:
“Throughout history patients have been made sick, and some have been killed, by the medicines they took. But these were incidental, or (as the doctors call them) ‘side,’ effects. Relatively uncommon, such cases had to be weighed against the usefulness of the drug for the majority. Now, with chemical laboratories brewing up ever more potent drugs, more and more diseases are directly caused by drugs. Unlike most old-fashioned side effects, they do not necessarily disappear obligingly when medication is stopped. In Postgraduate Medicine (University of Kansas), Dr. Jesse D. Rising lists an alarming catalog:
“As many as 10 percent of patients with high blood pressure, after intensive treatment for several months with hydralazine (trade name Apresoline), develop symptoms resembling those of rheumatoid arthritis or disseminated lupus erythematosus; stubborn cases may need treatment with ACTH or cortisone-type hormones, which can also be dangerous (see below).
“Other victims of high blood pressure under treatment with hexamethonium may have a dramatic type of respiratory disturbance, with breathing difficulties, fever, cough, and chest pain, and turn blue. This, though rare, can be fatal within a month.
“A third drug for dropping the blood pressure, mecamylamine (trade name Inversine), sometimes causes severe anxiety or depression and is suspected of having triggered disabling mental illnesses. Other patients have developed chorea (muscular twitching), with tremor, slurred speech, and difficulty in controlling the joints; in some cases the symptoms have resembled multiple sclerosis; in others there have been severe epileptoid seizures.
“A fourth hypotensive, reserpine, may speed the appearance of peptic ulcers or worsen those already developed. It also commonly causes depression, often severe and sometimes marked by delusions of persecution and suicidal impulses. And reserpine can hasten the death of patients with damaged hearts.
“The ataraxics (tranquilizers) built around the phenothiazine molecule (trade names Thorazine, Compazine, Sparine, Pacatal) are so potent ‘that it is surprising they do not cause more undesired side effects.’ One of the commonest is parkinsonism, with rigidity, tremor, pill-rolling motion of the hands, disturbances of all movements, and drooling. Symptoms may persist two or three months after medication is stopped. Thorazine can also cause severe liver damage, sometimes fatal.
“Cortisone-type hormones aggravate peptic ulcers—despite combinations with antacids—sometimes to the point of perforation. Some patients experience extreme mood changes like the manic and depressive phases of manic-depressive psychosis. Especially in children the hormones can touch off grand mal epilepsy; in oldsters they may weaken the bones to the point of spontaneous fracture.
“The diuretic acetazolamide (trade name Diamox), often given to heart patients to help flush the brine out of their systems, can so upset a congested liver as to cause hepatic coma—especially when it is given in combination with ammonium chloride.
“Antibiotics, especially the ‘broad spectrum’ family (best-known trade names: Achromycin, Aureomycin, Terramycin), kill so many of the harmless bacteria normally found in the digestive tract that they let the more harmful bacteria run riot. A resulting inflammation of the intestines, which may be a ‘deadly disease,’ is usually the doctor’s fault.
“Cycloserine, an antibiotic used against tuberculosis, has such a narrow safety margin that a slight overdose can cause grand mal seizures. It is also blamed for severe emotional reactions and is dangerous for patients with kidney damage.
“Isoniazid, wonder drug of 1952 against TB, may set off inflammation of the peripheral nerves, causing phantom sensations, numbness, burning pain, and weakness. Unless caught early and treated with vitamin B6, this neuritis becomes permanent.
“Worst of all, Dr. Rising warns, a doctor treating a woman during pregnancy with anesthetics, X-rays, ACTH, or cortisone-type hormones may subject the fetus to oxygen shortage or some other threat. The result: ‘Physicians now face the horrible possibility that they, in addition to certain acts of God, are responsible for many developmental defects.’ He lists babies born with one eye, abnormal hearts, cleft palate, or mongolism, and Siamese twins.
“‘The thoughtful physician,’ Dr. Rising concludes, will not think of abandoning these useful (and often life-saving) drugs, but he ‘will not lightly prescribe them and will exert every effort to understand…the harmful effects that may result from their use.’”
Dr. Tom Spies, the celebrated nutritionist, recently has expressed the conclusion that chronic disease can only arrive as a result of departures from a normal biochemical balance in the cell environment.3
Of course the most important reasons for such departures are malnutrition and poisons. We refine our sugar, our salt, our flour, our shortenings; we make synthetic (counterfeit) sugars and shortenings that contain no trace of tissue-building components and wonder why we contract “degenerative disease.” Just what else but degeneration will inevitably occur when we fail to provide the natural proteins, organic minerals, and living vitamins, in their natural enzyme forms, that are constructed for us by plant cells and are essential to any kind of animal life that exists?
And let us not forget the hormone precursors now known to exist in some of the vitamin complexes that add luster to Dr. McCarrison’s remarkable findings of 1921,4 in which he showed that refined foodstuffs caused a progressive atrophy of the endocrine system, causing obesity, adrenal weakness, loss of sex, as well as degenerative disease in general.
The physician of today must be absolutely sure of his ground when he sets up a diet for his patient. He must be certain that the patient will receive protein to rebuild diseased tissue (without overloading an already broken-down liver), along with the necessary organic minerals and vitamins. He must be aware of the fact that only 20 percent of the amount of cooked proteins eaten—and 10 percent of the cooked minerals—are assimilated, the rest being an unnecessary load on the eliminative organs (according to animal feeding tests). 5
He must realize that to relieve a deficiency disease, or a disease resulting from adulteration or chemicalization, he must restore a normal healthful food pattern that in all probability the patient has never had the opportunity to enjoy. The patient will need a lot of education and will as a rule stubbornly persist in his erroneous ways until he is in a sufficiently desperate plight to try anything.
If he permits himself to be misled into using toxic drugs in his battle against a deficiency disease, he may get some relief today at the expense of more trouble tomorrow. He will be in the position of the automobile mechanic who cuts off a spark plug wire or two to slow down the excessive idling speed of an engine. The fallacy of the method is not apparent until the next hill is reached.
At one time medical authorities recommended dinitrophenol as a convenient way of speeding up a slow metabolic rate. It did the job all right, but almost every patient developed cataracts in their eyes, a not uncommon reaction to a poison. A prominent western university had to settle several damage suits after a professor read about dinitrophenol in a medical journal and tried it out in the school clinic.
A few years ago, acetylcholine was given a lot of publicity as a remedy for arthritis. It did the job beautifully, but the arthritis changed into a malignant form of arteriosclerosis that caused death in a short time. It was withdrawn far more silently than it was introduced.
One feature of using food factors in replacement therapy is that foods in normal dosages cannot harm anyone. Hospitals today must carry expensive liability insurance; there are so many patients trying to collect damages for mistreatment. Most of these suits involve carelessness in surgery or the side effects of poisonous drugs.
A doctor cannot be held accountable for honest mistakes. But he should certainly be on his guard against such errors as treating a starving patient with a poison instead of correcting his food pattern. The putting of fluorides into our drinking water is a good example of this mistake. Careful tests have shown that fluorides have no part in any nutritional function. On the other hand, Dr. McCay at Cornell has shown toxic effects in rat tests of one part per million of sodium fluoride in water. I doubt that I am more resistant than the rat to any poison.
Also, I can tell of the fellow I met in Miami who had diabetes insipidus, a disorder that causes the victim to drink several gallons of water a day. When one part per million of fluoride was put in the city water, he soon lost a kidney and came down with a terrific dermatitis. When he went up to Duke University to see what was the cause of his trouble, his symptoms disappeared—he got pure water. But his kidney was not restored; he will have to limp along with one from now on.
That takes us back to Hahnemann’s warning, the diseases caused by “allopathic medicine.” In his day medicines were limited to prescriptions. Today we put them in the drinking water for all, the most vicious kind of a “shotgun remedy.” We have reached that stage in our social degeneration where the facts of science have to be twisted to serve the needs of commercial expediency. Ask any political functionary in a school of medicine or dentistry. They all promote “fluoridation.” They have to—to hold their jobs.
- Hahnemann, Samuel. Organon of Medicine, aphorisms 74 and 75.
- “Drug Danger.” Time (Medicine), p.. 47–48, October 27, 1958.
- “Some Recent Advances in Nutrition.” A.M.A., Vol. 167, June 7, 1958.
- Studies in Deficiency Disease, 1921. Oxford University Press. Reprinted by Lee Foundation.
- Henry and Morrison. Feeds and Feeding, 19th Ed.
Vitamin A and Goiter
“In investigating goiter in Croatia, the authors met with a large percentage of goiter on the island of Krk in the northern Adriatic, where extensive investigations of the causes of this occurrence (clinical examinations of schoolchildren, biochemical analyses, examination of water for the content of iodine, nutrition survey) were carried out. The small quantity of vitamin A in the diet of the population induced the authors to investigate the influence of vitamin A on the occurrence of goiter. For this purpose an experiment was carried out at a school on the island of Krk. Children seven to ten years of age were given 3,000 IU of vitamin A daily for three months, and it was established that goiter in this group had decreased by 44 percent, whereas no change was noticed in a control group.
“On the basis of this investigation, the authors consider goiter to be the result of a complex nutritional deficiency and that, in addition to lack of iodine, a deficiency of vitamin A plays an important role as well.”
—Horvat, Agnes, and Hubert Maver, Division of Nutrition, Central Institute of Hygiene, Zagreb, Yugoslavia. “The Role of Vitamin A in the Occurrence of Goiter on the Island of Krk, Yugoslavia.” J. Nutr., 66(2):189–203, 1958.
Tip of the Month (Toxic and Exophthalmic Goiter)
The symptoms of toxic goiter and exophthalmic goiter usually respond promptly (the patient rests better the first night) to the use of Vitamin A-C Complex [Cataplex A-C]. There is an immediate improvement in the cardiographic recording. The dosage should be regulated to what is required to control symptoms; it must be maintained for six to eight months before it can be reduced. The glandular enlargement and exophthalmos, if present, usually regress in this time.
Of course, we don’t want to lose sight of the thyroxine-detoxifying effect of Anti-Pyrexin [Antronex] in this regard either.
High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts
Anti-Pyrexin [Antronex]: A physiological antihistamine factor. Prevents toxic reactions from thyroxine; valuable in hyperthyroid states. Not an antidote for thyroxine but a physiological synergist normally supplied by the liver. Useful in hay fever but not effective unless the patient’s salivary pH has been normalized (to pH 7) by the use of Cal-Amo tablets (or Betaine Hydrochloride), as shown by Hydrion test papers. Systemic alkalinity is normally found in victims of hay fever and must be corrected before Anti-Pyrexin will produce relief. Calcium Lactate cooperates—in alkalinity calcium is lost by precipitation in body fluids (bursitis and neuritic pains are common as a consequence).