MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Despite reported widespread use of dietary supplements by cancer patients, few empirical data with regard to their safety or efficacy exist. Because of concerns that antioxidants could reduce the cytotoxicity of chemotherapy, a prospective study was carried out to evaluate associations between supplement use and breast cancer outcomes.

Patients with breast cancer randomly assigned to an intergroup metronomic trial of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and paclitaxel were queried on their use of supplements at registration and during treatment (n =1,134). Cancer recurrence and survival were indexed at 6 months after enrollment.

There were indications that use of any antioxidant supplement (vitamins A, C, and E; carotenoids; coenzyme Q10) both before and during treatment was associated with an increased hazard of recurrence and, to a lesser extent, death. Relationships with individual antioxidants were weaker perhaps because of small numbers. For non-antioxidants, vitamin B12 use both before and during chemotherapy was significantly associated with poorer disease-free survival and overall survival. Use of iron during chemotherapy was significantly associated with recurrence as was use both before and during treatment. Results were similar for overall survival. Multivitamin use was not associated with survival outcomes.

The authors concluded that associations between survival outcomes and use of antioxidant and other dietary supplements both before and during chemotherapy are consistent with recommendations for caution among patients when considering the use of supplements, other than a multivitamin, during chemotherapy.

These data are interesting but, for a range of reasons, not compelling. There might have been several important confounding factors distorting the findings. Even though clinical and life-style variables were statistically adjusted for in this study, it might still be possible that supplement users and non-users were not comparable in impotant prognostic variables. Simply put, sicker patients might be more likely to use supplements and would then have worse outcomes not because of the supplements but their disease severity.

Moreover, it seems important to note that other research showed the opposite effects. For instance, a study prospectively examined the associations between antioxidant use after breast cancer (BC) diagnosis and BC outcomes in 2264 women. The cohort included women who were diagnosed with early stage, primary BC from 1997 to 2000 who enrolled, on average, 2 years postdiagnosis. Baseline data were collected on antioxidant supplement use since diagnosis and other factors. BC recurrence and mortality were ascertained, and hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated.

Antioxidant supplement use after diagnosis was reported by 81% of women. Among antioxidant users, frequent use of vitamin C and vitamin E was associated with a decreased risk of BC recurrence. Vitamin E use was associated with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality. Conversely, frequent use of combination carotenoids was associated with increased risk of death from BC and all-cause mortality.

The authors concluded that frequent use of vitamin C and vitamin E in the period after BC diagnosis was associated with a decreased likelihood of recurrence, whereas frequent use of combination carotenoids was associated with increased mortality. The effects of antioxidant supplement use after diagnosis likely differ by type of antioxidant.

Yet another study provided limited support for the hypothesis that antioxidant supplements may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence or breast cancer-related mortality.

Confused?

Me too!

What is needed, it seems, is a systematic review of all these contradicting studies. A 2009 review is available of the associations between antioxidant supplement use during breast cancer treatment and patient outcomes.

Inclusion criteria were: two or more subjects; clinical trial or observational study design; use of antioxidant supplements (vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidant combinations, multivitamins, glutamine, glutathione, melatonin, or soy isoflavones) during chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or hormonal therapy for breast cancer as exposures; treatment toxicities, tumor response, recurrence, or survival as outcomes.

A total of 22 articles met the criteria. Their findings did not support any conclusions regarding the effects of individual antioxidant supplements during conventional breast cancer treatment on toxicities, tumor response, recurrence, or survival. A few studies suggested that antioxidant supplements might decrease side effects associated with treatment, including vitamin E for hot flashes due to hormonal therapy and glutamine for oral mucositis during chemotherapy. Underpowered trials suggest that melatonin may enhance tumor response during treatment.

The authors concluded that the evidence is currently insufficient to inform clinician and patient guidelines on the use of antioxidant supplements during breast cancer treatment. Thus, well designed clinical trials and observational studies are needed to determine the short- and long-term effects of such agents.

Still confused?

Me too!

Antioxidants seem to have evolved as parts of elaborate networks in which each substance plays slightly different roles. This means that each antioxidant has a different spectrum of actions. And this means that it is probably not very constructive to lump them all together and excect to see uniform effects. What we would need to create more clarity is a series of RCTs on single antioxidants. But who is going to fund them? We might be waiting a long time for more clarity. Meanwhile, consuming a healthy and well-balanced diet might be the best advice for cancer patients and everyone else.

69 Responses to Are antioxidant supplements good or bad for cancer patients?

  • The Journal of Clinical Oncology is the official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and is read widely by oncologists throughout the world. However, this paper reports a non-randomised survey of antioxidant use among patients randomised to receive a specific chemotherapy regimen in another study. As such it is not possible to draw any conclusions from it about the meaning of the association the authors found between antioxidant use and cancer outcomes.

    There are theoretical reasons why antioxidants should prevent radiotherapy from working, as this relies on the presence of oxygen in order to generate the free radicals that react with DNA. Hypoxic cells are very resistant to the effects of radiation, and require three times the dose to kill the same proportion as well-oxygentated cells, which is a problem as tumours have a poor blood supply and many of the cells within a tumour are invariably hypoxic. A number of strategies have been tried to get around this problem, including the use of hyperbaric oxygen, inspired carbon dioxide as a vasodilator and various radiosensitising drugs, but the most successful, which has long been standard practice, is fractionation (dividing the radiation dose into fractions) since it is different cells which are hypoxic on different days. Fractionation has many other advantages, not least that of markedly reducing the toxicity to normal tissue. It is also important that anybody undergoing a course of radical radiotherapy is not anaemic (since anaemia increases tissue hypoxia) and blood transfusions prior to starting treatment are also routine.

    Certain chemotherapy drugs are also known to be radiosensitising, but mostly the effect is to increase the toxicity of radiation, not the tumour-killing effect. Anthrocyclines such as doxorubicin and the more widely used epirubicin are examples, and also gemcitabine.

    More recently, chemotherapy regimens have been developed which improve the outcome of radical (i.e. curative) radiotherapy when given concurrently, and this is now used widely for anal cancer and others. Weekly cisplatin during radiotherapy is also now used in cervical cancer, but it is quite toxic.

    However, I am not aware of any evidence that antioxidant dietary supplements are detrimental to patients undergoing radiotherapy, though I used to caution my own patients against the use of large doses of vitamin C.

    When it comes to the combination of antioxidants and chemotherapy, the picture is less clear-cut. Most hypoxic cells are relatively resistant to cytotoxic drugs, but hypoxia increases the effect of mitomycin C.

    Coming back to the trial, I find it rather odd that taking iron supplements was associated with a worse outcome. While this may simply be a statistical quirk as a result of analysing too many factors, iron is normally given to treat iron-deficiency anaemia, which itself could indicate sicker patients. The association of a worse outcome with vitamin B12 is much more likely simply to be a statistical fluke, as this is readily obtained from food and the body normally stores about five years’ worth. The only people likely to become vitamin B12 deficient are those who have spent many years on an extreme vegan diet, or those with medical conditions (such as pernicious anaemia and surgery to the terminal ileum) who are unable to absorb it, in which case it has to be given by injection.

    There was once an idea that cancers were caused by free radicals generated by metabolic processes damaging cellular DNA and causing the mutations that eventually lead to malignancy. In the absence of any clinical evidence the health supplement industry has taken this idea and run with it, and the belief that antioxidants prevent cancer is now so widespread that most people don’t even question it. However, there have been a few large-scale prospective randomised trials that have suggested that the opposite is true.

    During my FRCR course, which I took in the 1990’s as part of my specialist oncology training, we were taught about a Scandinavian cancer prevention study in which 20,000 smokers were randomised to receive a combination of vitamin C and a retinoic acid derivative, or else placebo. The study had to be stopped early when an interim analysis found an increase of 25% in the rate of lung cancer in the treatment group. Unfortunately I can’t find the reference for you.

    More recently the SELECT study set out to investigate whether selenium and / or vitamin E could prevent prostate cancer. 35,000 men aged 50 or older in a number of different countries were given supplements, placebo or both in a four-way randomisation. The data showed that selenium had no effect, but vitamin E supplementation clearly increased the number of people diagnosed with prostate cancer. Further more, longer-term monitoring showed that this risk continued to increase beyond the study period, indicating that vitamin E supplementation has a long-term adverse affect on prostate cancer risk.

    There is a good summary of these results on the NCI Web site, written for non-medics:
    https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/research/select-trial-results-qa

    Various ideas have been proposed as to why antioxidants should be carcinogenic. One suggestion is that they interfere with the p53 protein, which is a key component of the cellular DNA repair system. p53 is found to be mutated in most cancers, and a germline (inherited) mutation of the gene results in Li-Fraumeni syndrome, characterised by the appearance of multiple malignancies at an early age.

    One thing that does seem clear to me is that if you feel you must take antioxidants it is surely preferable to take them in their natural form, i.e. fresh fruit and vegetables, not pills. For those unable to manage a normal diet (which includes many late stage cancer patients) a simple multivitamin pill provides what you need, and the cheap ones are just as good as the much more expensive preparations gracing pharmacy shelves. Larger doses should be reserved for specific deficiencies diagnosed by blood tests.

  • From here:
    https://ia803008.us.archive.org/18/items/Linus_Pauling_PDF/Cancer%20and%20vitamin%20C%20_%20a%20discussion%20of%20the%20-%20Cameron%2C%20Ewan%3BPauling%2C%20Linus%2C%201901-1994%2C%20j.pdf

    [Quote, page 191-192 of Cancer and Vitamin C by Pauling and Cameron]:
    “VITAMIN C AND RADIOTHERAPY
    As discussed in an earlier chapter, the value of radiotherapy in many forms of cancer is beyond dispute, whether it be used alone or as a complement to surgery. Irradiation, however, also produces an appreciable reduction in ascorbate reserves, and general principles suggest that such a deficit should be rectified or even prevented by increasing the ascorbate intake throughout the whole period of treatment.

    There is some evidence, dating back to the 1940s, to the effect that patients on relatively high vitamin C intake suffer fewer unpleasant side-effects during treatment by radiotherapy, and also that high vitamin C intake increases the therapeutic value of the high-energy radiation. An especially significant study is that of Cheraskin and his associates (Chapter 19), who found a significantly better response in 27 patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix who were given 750 mg of ascorbic acid per day during radiation treatment than in 27 similar patients who received the radiation treatment without the ascorbic acid.

    Radiotherapy destroys a fairly large volume of tissue and its effects can be likened to those of a deep burn. The cells and other exposed tissue structures disintegrate and die, forming toxic breakdown products that have to be carried off by the bloodstream and excreted in the urine. It is believed that the unpleasant systemic side-effects of radiotherapy (nausea, lassitude) are caused by this sudden metabolic overload of toxic by-products. Ascorbic acid is essential for the proper functioning of a group of liver enzymes concerned with the detoxification and disposal of noxious substances, and it is therefore quite possible that a high intake of ascorbate reduces the unpleasant side effects of irradiation.

    In its anticancer role, high-energy radiation kills cells during their most vulnerable phase of cell division. It is believed that the cell-killing mechanism IS the chemical attack on cellular DNA by free radicals produced by the ionizing effect of radiation on the tissues. Free radicals are highly reactive unstable compounds, containing an odd number of electrons, and because of their reactivity they can exist only briefly in the tissues. It is known that ascorbate reacts in the tissues with molecular oxygen to form free radicals, and it is accordingly possible that a high tissue level of ascorbate would potentiate the cytotoxic effect of irradiation. It is certainly known that the therapeutic effects of irradiation can be intensified by increasing the degree of oxygen saturation in the tissues, and this effect is utilized to good effect in the radiation treatment of patients in hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

    Apart from its cytotoxic action, radiotherapy exerts a therapeutic effect against cancer in another way. The ground substance of the whole area irradiated is replaced by a much more dense collagenized area of scar tissue. This produces a much more hostile and impermeable environment for any stray cancer cells that have survived the killing effect of the radiation. Ascorbate is, of course, essential for the production of collagen, and an adequate ascorbate supply would ensure that this scirrhous response to radiation would reach its maximum intensity. We conclude that there are no contraindications to taking high levels of vitamin C during radiotherapy: and that, on the contrary, there are a number of strong arguments that such a combination would be beneficial.”
    [end of quote]

    • Old Bob,

      My first thought on reading this was “what is this drivel?”. Then I saw the name of the author, one of only four people to win two Nobel prizes, and the only one to do so in his own right. However, this does confirm that a Nobel prize is not a radiotherapy qualification, and that even eminent scientists should stick to what they know. I believe this was published in the early 1970’s, when radiobiology as a discipline was in its infancy. Things have moved on a bit in nearly half a century.

      There is some evidence, dating back to the 1940s, to the effect that patients on relatively high vitamin C intake suffer fewer unpleasant side-effects during treatment by radiotherapy, and also that high vitamin C intake increases the therapeutic value of the high-energy radiation. An especially significant study is that of Cheraskin and his associates (Chapter 19), who found a significantly better response in 27 patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix who were given 750 mg of ascorbic acid per day during radiation treatment than in 27 similar patients who received the radiation treatment without the ascorbic acid.

      I can’t find the write-up of the Cheraskin study, but unless the effect of vitamin C is huge, 54 subjects is hardly enough to detect it. I don’t even know whether treatment allocation was randomised and / or blinded. Certainly subsequent rigorous studies have failed to find a beneficial effect of vitamin C during radiotherapy. Would that such a cheap and easy intervention were available!

      Radiotherapy destroys a fairly large volume of tissue and its effects can be likened to those of a deep burn.

      Er, no, not really. There are some similarities, but a lot of important differences, particularly when it comes to late healing.

      The cells and other exposed tissue structures disintegrate and die, forming toxic breakdown products that have to be carried off by the bloodstream and excreted in the urine. It is believed that the unpleasant systemic side-effects of radiotherapy (nausea, lassitude) are caused by this sudden metabolic overload of toxic by-products.

      Anybody who has ever looked after radiotherapy patients would know that these claims can’t be true. Cell disintegration occurs at much higher radiation doses than are used in radiotherapy. A typical radiotherapy dose damages cellular DNA, which leads to subsequent cell death as metabolic processes relying on DNA go awry. Normal cells are able to repair the damage very quickly, though cancer cells generally can’t.

      Nausea is much more dependent on the specific tissues irradiated rather than their volume, and mainly occurs when the abdominal organs are treated, particular the liver. It comes on within hours of exposure, long before any tumour response is seen, and tends to be quite short-lived (more persistent nausea can occur with brain radiotherapy due to cerebral oedema). Lassitude follows a completely different time course, starting a few weeks after the start of a course of radiotherapy and continuing for a month or two afterwards. Again this doesn’t really mirror the tumour response.

      Rarely, a bulky and exceptionally radiosensitive tumour (such as a low-grade lymphoma) will release a significant amount of “toxic breakdown products”. This can lead to tumour lysis syndrome, a medical emergency where the main concern is acute kidney injury.

      It is certainly known that the therapeutic effects of irradiation can be intensified by increasing the degree of oxygen saturation in the tissues, and this effect is utilized to good effect in the radiation treatment of patients in hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

      Really? In the early 1970’s? As far as I know most of the work on the use of hyperbaric oxygen as a radiosensitiser was done at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, whose senior physicist taught on my FRCR course. They managed to acquire a portable hyperbaric oxygen chamber and developed a technique for positioning it in the radiation beam, but found that it was immensely cumbersome and time-consuming to set the patient up, and very difficult to achieve anything that came close to an acceptable degree of accuracy. Because of these difficulties a hypofractionated regimen was used, with a radical course of treatment given in just a handful of fractions (I think about six) compared to the standard 30 or so used in London and Southern England at the time (shorter fractionation schedules were in use in the North of England, for various historical reasons). The conclusions were that the benefits of improved tumour oxygenation partly offset the shortcomings in technique and scheduling.

      Apart from its cytotoxic action, radiotherapy exerts a therapeutic effect against cancer in another way. The ground substance of the whole area irradiated is replaced by a much more dense collagenized area of scar tissue. This produces a much more hostile and impermeable environment for any stray cancer cells that have survived the killing effect of the radiation.

      I have never heard of this hypothesis before, and it doesn’t really fit in with what I know of cancer biology. Furthermore, if it were true then you would expect treatment failure to manifest mainly as local recurrence, rather than distant metastases, whereas the opposite is more often the case. It is true that irradiated tissue tends to become densely fibrotic, but this is a late effect, occurring usually a year or more after treatment, and is largely due to tissue hypoxia as a result of radiation damage to the lining of blood vessels. Radiotherapists regard this as something to be avoided as much as possible, and minimised at all costs, not a bonus.

      Ascorbate is, of course, essential for the production of collagen, and an adequate ascorbate supply would ensure that this scirrhous response to radiation would reach its maximum intensity.

      As far as I know this is entirely theoretical, and vitamin C supplementation neither increases or decreases this fibrotic reaction. If it did increase it, this would be a strong argument for avoiding vitamin C during radiotherapy.

      In its anticancer role, high-energy radiation kills cells during their most vulnerable phase of cell division. It is believed that the cell-killing mechanism IS the chemical attack on cellular DNA by free radicals produced by the ionizing effect of radiation on the tissues. Free radicals are highly reactive unstable compounds, containing an odd number of electrons, and because of their reactivity they can exist only briefly in the tissues. It is known that ascorbate reacts in the tissues with molecular oxygen to form free radicals, and it is accordingly possible that a high tissue level of ascorbate would potentiate the cytotoxic effect of irradiation.

      Pauling is right here that the cell-killing mechanism is DNA damage from free radicals. However, they are oxygen free radicals, generated by radiation, not ascorbate, breaking the chemical bond between the two oxygen atoms in molecular oxygen. Ascorbate is considered a scavenger of free radicals, since it readily reacts with them and neutralises their effect. Theoretically one would expect it to be radioprotective, not radiosensitising, though clinically it hasn’t been found to have either effect to any important degree.

      Really this underlines the dangers inherent in basing clinical practice on theory in the absence of evidence. Biological systems such as the human body are sufficiently complex that extrapolating from theory, or indeed from in-vitro and even animal models, can be very misleading. There is no substitute for clinical trials.

      • Dr Julian Money-Kyrle on Friday 27 November 2020 at 01:35 said:
        “…However, this does confirm that a Nobel prize is not a radiotherapy qualification, and that even eminent scientists should stick to what they know.”

        If Pauling had stuck to chemistry only, from here:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling
        This would not have happened:
        [quote]
        “Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology.[10] His contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling also worked on the structures of biological molecules, and showed the importance of the alpha helix and beta sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling’s approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building, and quantum chemistry. His discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA, which in turn made it possible for geneticists to crack the DNA code of all organisms.[11]”
        [end of quote]

        “…Pauling is right here that the cell-killing mechanism is DNA damage from free radicals. However, they are oxygen free radicals, generated by radiation, not ascorbate…”

        You are ignoring the Fenton reaction.

  • To address Ernst’s uninformed inexperienced BS: “consuming a healthy and well-balanced diet might be the best advice for cancer patients and everyone else.

    @Ernst Inn my opinion, Your advice (quoted above)is pure BS and proof you would not survive as a clinician in private practice, or as a research clinician.You’re stuck where you are. In my opinion, you are not in touch with readlity, display no compassion or common sense.

    Have you no compassion or nocommon sense? Cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy commonly suffer from extreme emesis and painful stomatitis, or mouth sores. Do you reallly expect these patients to plan, purchase and prepare their own “healthy well balanced” diets and meals? Thank goodness you’re just a blogger.

    • oh dear, Sandra!
      ‘well-balanced diet’ refers to the nurtitional advice.
      specific conditions require the best available evidence-based treatment, of course.
      turns out YOUR OPINION is worth very little.

    • Sandra,

      Cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy commonly suffer from extreme emesis and painful stomatitis, or mouth sores.

      That was true 30 or so years ago, but not any more. I was a junior doctor in the 1980’s when one of the first 5-HT3 receptor antagonists was used in our centre in a clinical trial. AT the time it was known as GR38032F, but it was so successful as an antiemetic when administered in combination with dexamethasone that it was soon available as ondansetron and was widely adopted into clinical use. This was a problem in some ways as it soon became the main item on the drug budget (this was before taxanes arrived and new cytotoxics became really expensive).

      Ondansetron, and other drugs in the same group (granisetron, tropesetron) revolutionised the way that chemotherapy was given. Whereas commonly-used regimens such as FAC for breast cancer previously had to be given under heavy sedation, out-patient treatment became possible, even for drugs such as cisplatin, which is not only very strongly emetogenic but also has to be given with a lot of IV fluid.

      Extreme emesis doesn’t really occur with radiotherapy, which in most cases doesn’t cause nausea or vomiting at all as I have explained in my earlier post.

      Stomatitis can be more of a problem. It is generally worst in patients undergoing radiotherapy to the head and neck, and the use of enteral feeding by means of a PEG tube (through the skin directly into the stomach) is necessary to ensure that they remain well-nourished. Again this is a relatively recent development. Less severe, though still quite bad, stomatitis can occur with 5-fluoruracil, another commonly-used drug, though this generally a small dose reduction is enough to prevent it occurring with future cycles. Milder stomatitis, generally taking the form a a few mouth ulcers, occurs with neutropenia and is more common, though these days we can mostly prevent neutropenia by the used of granulocyte colony stiumlating factors such as filgrastim. Even mild stomatitis interferes with eating, however, as anybody who has ever tried to eat or drink something acidic with a mouth ulcer will attest.

      The most common cause of mouth ulceration in cancer patients, particularly those taking steroids, is candidiasis (thrush) which responds rapidly to antifungal drugs.

      You are quite right, however, that many cancer patients find it difficult to manage a normal diet. In is common for those undergoing chemotherapy to experience a low-level nausea during much of the time they are having treatment, though some people find that snacking can help this and it is not unusual to gain weight. Corticosteroids such as dexamethasone are also routinely given with chemotherapy, and these are strong appetite stimulants. However, a big problem is alteration in taste, which really can make a normal diet difficult and which can persist for months after treatment. People frequently report that they can’t stand the smell of coffee, which makes me wonder why it is so common to find Costa outlets in the waiting rooms of chemotherapy clinics. Cancer itself can affect taste, too, and especially appetite. Cancer units usually have a dedicated dietician to advise here, and the emphasis is on making food more palatable, and high calorie, high protein diets, supplemented by commercially available liquid foods, and of course multivitamins.

      As an illustration of this, when I first developed myeloma, before I was diagnosed I became over sensitive to bitter flavours, which spoiled a lot of foods and particularly red wine. I also lost 20 Kg, though this was a result of the disease, not my eating. Once I started standard treatment (bortezumib, thalidomide and dexamethasone) this resolved, but I then largely lost the ability to taste acidity; this time it was white wine which suffered. Later on I had fairly heavy chemotherapy (haematologists are happy using much bigger doses than oncologists) and was neutropenic for a couple of weeks with some mouth ulcers as a result. The chemotherapy completely removed my ability to taste sweetness, and I particularly remember the disappointment when I tucked into a bowl of juicy strawberries; the affect on my taste was quite profound, and in particularly I found meat tasted disgusting. I recovered from this, but some months later as a result of long-term immunosuppression I had a severe infection with parainfluenza virus, and completely lost my sense of smell. This was three years ago, and although about six months later it started to return, I would say that it is still only at 5 – 10% of what it was, and there are many classes of things that I am unable to smell or taste at all (all fruit except limes and rhubarb, for instance). For a long time I couldn’t tell the difference between red wine and coffee (both equally unpleasant) and I am still in mourning for a cellar carefully and expensively built up over many years. However, I remain a keen cook, and I think my culinary skills have improved now that I am paying more careful attention to texture and the importance of ingredients such as tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and anchovies which supply an umami flavour. But I do use more salt than I used to and enjoy unhealthy snacks which I can still taste, such as chocolate biscuits and potato crisps.

      • @Dr. Money-Kyrle, Your detailed reply illustrates what a challenge it is for cancer patients to maintain a “healthy well-balanced diet. I am surprized you include potatoes and tomatoes in your diet .These two foods belong to the nightshade family of plants and are known to promote inflammation; something cancer patients, such as yourself, should try to avoid. Wishing you all best. Ernst’s simplistic advice is still bullocks.He’s dangerous.

        • thank you Sandra for your thoughtful criticism.
          potatoes and tomatoes promote inflammation?
          any evidence?

          • Your best resource would be your nutritionist. I have only questioned your use of nightshade plant foods in your diet. Up to you to do your own research. Start with a Google search of chemotherapeutic cancer drugs that can cause painful peripheral neuropathy.

          • oh Sandra, you are hopeless!

        • Sandra

          Ernst’s simplistic advice is still bullocks.He’s dangerous.

          Coming from a homeopathy freak who thinks it should be used as a treatment for cancer, this is a bit rich. Mind you, you never fail to impress us with the depth of your ignorance and profound lack of self-awareness.

        • I am surprized you include potatoes and tomatoes in your diet .These two foods belong to the nightshade family of plants and are known to promote inflammation; something cancer patients, such as yourself, should try to avoid.

          Do you have any evidence for this contention?

          Your best resource would be your nutritionist.

          People often confuse nutritionists with dieticians. Dieticians are the people that I used to work alongside to maintain optimum nutrition in my patients. Nutritionists are people with some very strange ideas about the aetiology of disease and who promote very strange diets, most of which are unphysiological, some to the point of being downright dangerous.

          Start with a Google search of chemotherapeutic cancer drugs that can cause painful peripheral neuropathy.

          Out of curiosity I did just that. The first two pages brought up legitimate sites, but on the third page I started to see Web sites promoting various supplements on the basis that what works for neuropathy due to various nutritional deficiencies ought to work for neuropathy from other causes, which is a bit like saying that if your car won’t start because you have run out of petrol, then more petrol is also the answer to a flat battery.

          Since Google remembers your searches and track what pages you visit as a result you probably get different results from me.

          Of course I am very familiar with cytotoxic drugs causing peripheral neuropathy as well as the many other causes, from vitamin deficiencies to diabetes. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, in combination with diabetes-related peripheral vascular disease, is the commonest reason for amputation, which is in itself should cause people to pay more attention to diet, but a Mediterranean-style diet, even if it does include tomatoes, is thought to be a good one here.

          • Dr M-K

            I, too, did a little search to see if there was any evidence to back up Sandra’s assertions and could only find links saying exactly the opposite – in a few cases these were even from naturopaths and other people from the wooier end of the spectrum. We need to remember that, when evaluating evidence, Sandra is very good at making 2+2=flowerpot. She is to science what Donald Trump is to decorum.

          • My reason for commenting was to point out that Ernst’s simplistic solution to diet for cancer patients was not in touch with reality. I appreciated your detailed response in which you noted your own challenges in this regard. I wish you well.

          • Lenny,

            She is to science what Donald Trump is to decorum.

            …or to science.

  • @Ernst FYI, he link between inflammation and the development of neoplasstic disease.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2803035/

  • @Lenny Does your Castle Dental Practice inform patients that the silver restorative dental material dentists such as yourself use, called “amalgam”, contains up to 50% toxic mercury? Do you also tell them that the purpose of the elaborate suctioning amalgam separators dentists are required to install is to keep mercury amalgam slurry from offices such as yours from contaminating local landfills and water systems? A health hazard in water systems and landfills, but you stubbornly maintain that silver colored mercury amalgam can be safely “stored” in human teeth? Who is the obvious idiot here, Martin?

    • Oh dear, Sandra. Back on this again, are we? Feeling all clever now because you think you’ve done a bit of gaslighting?

      The idiot here is one who persistantly refuses to understand environmental mercury toxicity no matter how often it is explained to her and which I am not going to explain again.

      The idiot is you, Sandra. Always has been, always will be. Run along, now.

      • How do you sleep at night? Dentists are a danger to their patients. You need to do further research,Martin.

        Biometals

        . 2017 Apr;30(2):277-283.
        doi: 10.1007/s10534-017-0004-3. Epub 2017 Feb 20.
        Increased mercury emissions from modern dental amalgams

        Abstract

        “All types of dental amalgams contain mercury, which partly is emitted as mercury vapor. All types of dental amalgams corrode after being placed in the oral cavity. Modern high copper amalgams exhibit two new traits of increased instability. Firstly, when subjected to wear/polishing, droplets rich in mercury are formed on the surface, showing that mercury is not being strongly bonded to the base or alloy metals. Secondly, high copper amalgams emit substantially larger amounts of mercury vapor than the low copper amalgams used before the 1970s. High copper amalgams have been developed with focus on mechanical strength and corrosion resistance, but has been sub-optimized in other aspects, resulting in increased instability and higher emission of mercury vapor. This has not been presented to policy makers and scientists. Both low and high copper amalgams undergo a transformation process for several years after placement, resulting in a substantial reduction in mercury content, but there exist no limit for maximum allowed emission of mercury from dental amalgams. These modern high copper amalgams are nowadays totally dominating the European, US and other markets, resulting in significant emissions of mercury, not considered when judging their suitability for dental restoration.”

        Hard to believe that you can be such an idiot. Someone needs to spoonfeed you, Martin. Your member association will not. They, like you, ignore the science too.

        • Such public demonstrations of the depths of your hubris and ignorance, Sandra. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic.

          Remind us again why Hal Huggins had his license revoked, will you?

          • You have never read his book, have you? Hal Huggins had his license to practice dentistry revoked because he listened to real scientists, did his own research then had the courage to speak out against the use of mercury in dentistry. Dental societies that can take away a dentist’s licence know that dentists like you lack the will, the spine, the mental capacity and the ample set of gonads it requires for them to do the same. Dentists are dangerous idiots.

          • No, Sandra. That’s not what the judge said about Huggins

            You can read a lot of what he said here https://quackwatch.org/related/huggins/

            He “did his own research”?

            “Along the way, Respondent has clearly become convinced that his treatments are effective and that it is only the patients unwilling to continue adequate nutritional and other follow-up or those unlucky 15% who will not benefit from his treatment. He is perfectly capable of ignoring the large body of scientific evidence which suggests that his theories in every arena are not credible; citing scientific literature selectively; exaggerating findings or studies which appear to support to his work; referring to the thousands of publications which support him yet being unable to produce those; and asserting that his clinical experience, as biased and unscientific as that may be, is itself the only support he needs. Respondent essentially says “trust me” to the dental profession and the public but provides no reasonable basis upon which he should be trusted.”

            He was an exploitative quack, Sandra. And you were one of his marks.

            What does the literature say about people who think they are suffering from amalgam toxicity?

            https://search.proquest.com/openview/2f2ec56940eb7cbf7bad13ed7b13390f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=35753

            You see, Sandra. We can all do our research.

            “Possible adverse health effects due to mercury released by amalgam fllings have bee ndiscussed in several studies of patients who attribute various symptoms to the effects of amalgam fillings. No systematic relation of specifc symptoms to increased mercury levels could be established in any of these studies. Thus, a psychosomatic aetiology of the complaints should be considered and psychological factors contributing to their aetiology should be identified”

            Psychological illness is not to be mocked or laughed at. Neither it it to be exploited by charlatans.

          • You have never read his book, have you?

            Because if he wrote it in a book that somehow makes it true? You really need to come with a Quack Miranda attached.

          • [Quote, page 59 of “It’s All in Your Head” by Hal Huggins]
            “…The same issue of JADA contained an article that made a similar claim: “The amount of mercy vapour emitted from an amalgam is undetectable.” Again, there was no substantiation, just a statement. Information like this tends to lull dentists into thinking that they are working with a material that is unquestionably safe for their patients. It may be dangerous in all other areas, but is it completely safe in the mouth.

            Yet in contrast to this, dentists are required to read articles that suggest minimizing their own risk and the danger to their personnel by using the no-touch technique described in Chapter 2. They are cautioned to avoid touching amalgam with their fingers, and to get rid of scrap amalgam because it is dangerous to the dentist.

            If mercury is so safe in your mouth and so dangerous in your office, then Jerry Timm, D.D.S., was right when he said, in a letter to the editor that appeared in the April 26, 1982 issue of the ADA newsletter, that the dental association is telling us that “the only safe place to store amalgam is in the mouth…”
            [end of quote]

          • Sandra

            Dr Oz YouTube videos? Oh dear oh dear. I expected better than that even from you. Which grifter will you pick next? Mike Adams? Alex Jones? Jumpin’ Joe Mercola?

            And for me to lie to my patients, I’d have to be telling them something untrue. Which I don’t.

            The dentist who did lie to his patients was Hal Huggins. It’s one of the many reasons why he lost his licence. He lied to you. And took your money.

            You can continue to stamp and wail all you like but dentists will continue to ignore your fatuous and ignorant wibblings. You’re a fool, Sandra. Always have been, always will be. It’s one of the reasons that Huggins spotted you as a mark and reeled you in.

          • @Sandra: Dr Oz is a reeking quack who’s been torn to strips by no less than US Congress for spouting fraudulent BS for ego and money. I mean, how crooked must a doctor be to get called out by politicians?

            @Bob: Mercury amalgam is quite stable once cured; it’s only while mixing it that the free mercury is a hazard. And whereas dentists are exposed to amalgam’s raw components every working day, patients are only exposed to it once for each tooth filled. So unless you’re getting thousands of new fillings done every year, you’ll never reach a level of mercury exposure that is dangerous to you. Whereas the dentist performing those thousands of fillings each year definitely has to take precautions if they don’t wish to end up like some hatter of old.

  • Who is the obvious idiot here

    It’s uncanningly funny watching people step on their own toes.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388771/

  • @Lenny is MIA. Must be because he can’t find even one published research study documenting the ‘safety’ of dental amalgams.

    Journal of Environmental and Public Health
    Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 460508, 10 pages
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/460508
    “Approximately 80% of metallic mercury vapor outgassed from amalgams is absorbed through inhalation [10, 14, 15], compared with about 7 to 10% absorption of ingested metallic mercury [5], and about 1% absorption of metallic mercury through skin contact [5].
    In addition to the brain [16, 19–26], metallic mercury is also deposited in the thyroid [5, 19, 21], breast [27], myocardium [28, 29], muscles [5, 21], adrenals [5], liver [5, 30–32], kidneys [5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 23, 30–32], skin [5, 7, 8], sweat glands [5], pancreas [5], enterocytes [5, 30], lungs [5, 23, 30], salivary glands [5], testes, and prostate [5] and may be associated with dysfunction of those organs. Mercury also has affinity for binding sites on the surface of T cells and for sulfhydryl groups influencing T cell function [33, 34]. Mercury deposits readily in placenta and fetal tissues and is found in breast milk. [5, 18, 31, 35]”
    Based on my medical education & experience, I know that the body burden of mercury in the above mentioned organ systems can be at least one contributing factor to depression & cognitive disorders (brain), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (thyroid), multiple sclerosis (muscles) adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), cirrhosis & hepatomegaly (liver), pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation) ; auto-immune diseases (lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease); as well as prostate and oral cancers. Mercury from dental amalgams has also been suspect in chromosomal fetal abnormalities (Down syndrome). (http://organiceve.com/blog/pregnancy-and-mercury-amalgam/).
    In my opinion, a patient’s medical and dental records should be combined. Without this academic protocol, the opportunity to evaluate any connection between the time, number of amalgam fillings, their anatomical placement and the onset of physical complaints cannot be scientifically evaluated.

    According to Lenny on Thursday 22 March 2018 at 23:14

    “We use(d) mercury amalgam as part of a surgical intervention. Diseased tooth substance was removed and replaced with amalgam; there was a palpable benefit to the surgical intervention. If we had not intervened, the process of decay would progress with the potential sequelae of pain, infection and tooth loss from resulting pulpal necrosis. We knew that amalgam had the theoretical potential to cause harm but the balance of evidence was that the minimal theoretical risks of using amalgam as a restorative material were outweighed by the absolute benefits of avoiding pain, infection and tooth loss. The amalgam is also used surgically and not systemically –”

    • IANAS, and even I detected a distinct whiff from your linked pontification. Endless vague handwaving with no actual work. And then, the buried lede: advising forced chelation to “measure” mercury load.

      Oh, right:

      https://edzardernst.com/2020/09/dr-robin-a-bernhoft-and-his-bioidentical-hormone-replacement-therapy-bhrt/

      Grift-grift-grift-grift-grift. Zero surprise there.

      If you’re going to pick cherries, try not to pick ones so patently rotten.

      • Indeed. So Sandra’s evidence to support her argument – what with her being such an eminent scientist and researcher – are an article by a brass-necked supplement-touting profiteering quack and a blog post from a baby-accesories website.

        Well that’s all the established scientists quaking in their boots in the face of Sandra’s fearsome evidence-based erudition. And not opinion-based drivel. At all. No. She’s scientifically educated. And experienced. With a raft of publications to her name in high-impact journals and not a mad old lady sitting in her front room in New Mexico who imagines that her fillings were poisoning her and that magic shaken water sold to her by a convicted fraudster saved her life.

  • he can’t find even one published research study documenting the ‘safety’ of dental amalgams.

    Oh dear, Sandra. Just because you can’t use a search engine, the rest of us can. How about
    this one?

    Bottom-line conclusion? ” Amalgam is safe and effective restorative material and its replacement by nonamalgam restorations is not indicated.”

    It is a review, but it links to numerous studies at the bottom. But you won’t click on them because it’ll bring your little house of cards tumbling down.

    Based on my medical education & experience

    Such hubris. Such Dunning-Krugerism.

    Based on your ill-informed and witless opinions, Sandra. You have no medical or scientific education and no clinical experience. None. We can discount your pathetic and utterly insignificant wibblings.

    Again, from the paper above:

    “Studies continue to support the position that dental amalgam is a safe restorative option for both children and adults. When responding to safety concerns it is important to make the distinction between known and hypothetical risks.”

    You’re delusional, Sandra. As was your belief that you were being poisoned by your amalgams. As are ALL people who believe this. As studies like this have shown.

    “Possible adverse health effects due to mercury released by amalgam fillings have been discussed in several studies of patients who attribute various symptoms to the effects of amalgam fillings. No systematic relation of specific symptoms to increased mercury levels could be established in any of these studies. Thus, a psychosomatic aetiology of the complaints should be considered and psychological factors contributing to their aetiology should be identified”

    Forty years of bleating about this, Sandra. And homeopathy. And what have you achieved other than making yourself an insignificant figure of ridicule? Nothing. Nada. All your flogging your dead horse, doxxing, stalking, harassing the relatives of deceased patients. You really do need to find another hobby.

  • @Lenny If you think that OPINION paper you posted a link to is a ”scientific’ one, you’re missing a few cogs in the wheel house of your brain. FYI, the practice of dentistry is a craft, not a science. Do a Google search for Minamata disease. If still possible, try to effectively deploy the grey matter between your ears. If you had a degree in medicine (I do not), you would have learned that the body burden of mercury seen in the Minamata patients resulted in their chronic, NOT ACUTE mercury poisoning symptoms and sequelae. The difference between the two is the elapsed time span and route of exposure. The ADA and other dental societies know that unscientifically trained people like you are not able to recognize or conduct scientific research that would clarify the difference between acute and chronic manifestations of human immosuppressive diseases. The materials dentists like you use daily are causing much human suffering. The key to solving this debate in a scientific manner is knowing how and where to begin.

    Journal of Environmental and Public Health
    Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 460508, 10 pages
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/460508
    “Approximately 80% of metallic mercury vapor outgassed from amalgams is absorbed through inhalation [10, 14, 15], compared with about 7 to 10% absorption of ingested metallic mercury [5], and about 1% absorption of metallic mercury through skin contact [5].
    In addition to the brain [16, 19–26], metallic mercury is also deposited in the thyroid [5, 19, 21], breast [27], myocardium [28, 29], muscles [5, 21], adrenals [5], liver [5, 30–32], kidneys [5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 23, 30–32], skin [5, 7, 8], sweat glands [5], pancreas [5], enterocytes [5, 30], lungs [5, 23, 30], salivary glands [5], testes, and prostate [5] and may be associated with dysfunction of those organs. Mercury also has affinity for binding sites on the surface of T cells and for sulfhydryl groups influencing T cell function [33, 34]. Mercury deposits readily in placenta and fetal tissues and is found in breast milk. [5, 18, 31, 35]”

    • No, Sandra, it’s not an opinion, you stupid woman. It’s a systematic review of the evidence. And the links to the studies are below it. As I said. A shame you can’t read. Or click on links.

      So there’s you wrong. Again.

      Minamata disease, you STUPID woman, is a disease caused by methylmercury poisoning. Again. METHYLmercury. Not mercury vapour or any other type of mercury. Every case. You wouldn’t understand this. Because you are utterly ignorant of chemistry and of science in general. It’s like thinking table salt is the same as WW1 poison gas.

      Find me an example of a case of Minamata disease caused by amalgam exposure. You won’t. Find me any documented case of mercury poisoning caused by amalgam exposure. You won’t. It’s an imaginary disease. As the study I posted demonstrated. I notice you didn’t comment on that. Shame.

      You’re pathetic, Sandra. Your ignorant and ill-informed misapprehensions remain as inconsequential as ever. The soldiers all go marching past but it’s Private Courtney who knows that she’s the only one marching in time.

  • @Lenny In an effort to expand your (to date) non-scientific education:

    New science challenges old notion that mercury dental amalgam is safe
    Kristin G Homme 1 , Janet K Kern, Boyd E Haley, David A Geier, Paul G King, Lisa K Sykes, Mark R Geier
    Affiliations

    PMID: 24420334 PMCID: PMC3905169 DOI: 10.1007/s10534-013-9700-9

    Free PMC article
    Abstract

    “Mercury dental amalgam has a long history of ostensibly safe use despite its continuous release of mercury vapor. Two key studies known as the Children’s Amalgam Trials are widely cited as evidence of safety. However, four recent reanalyses of one of these trials now suggest harm, particularly to boys with common genetic variants. These and other studies suggest that susceptibility to mercury toxicity differs among individuals based on multiple genes, not all of which have been identified. These studies further suggest that the levels of exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgams may be unsafe for certain subpopulations. Moreover, a simple comparison of typical exposures versus regulatory safety standards suggests that many people receive unsafe exposures. Chronic mercury toxicity is especially insidious because symptoms are variable and nonspecific, diagnostic tests are often misunderstood, and treatments are speculative at best. Throughout the world, efforts are underway to phase down or eliminate the use of mercury dental amalgam.”

    • Boyd Haley and Geier Père et Fils?

      You have got to be joking. No, wait: YOU are the joke.

      There should be a criminal law against ex medical typists with messianic delusions of homeopathy dispensing anything even vaguely resembling medical advice, never mind enthusiastically shilling for childabusing scum like that.

      You are a disgusting bag of human. Get out.

      • I didn’t realise how unpleasant they were. I knew they were a bunch of profiteering cranks but I hadn’t read about their predatory chelation scams. Very, very nasty. And hence right up Sandra’s street.

  • @Lenny LOL. More evasive gibberish from a a dentist who fancies himself a scientist. The debate between you and I still concerns the proven damage in humans caused by inhaled mercury vapor from dental amalgams. For the umpteenth time, can you post a link to a single scientific research paper documenting the *so called *safety* of inhaled murcury vapor from dental amalgams? Unlike dentists, the authors of the publication below all have advanced degrees in science. E.g.; Dr Boyd Haley has a PhD in chemistry.

    New science challenges old notion that mercury dental amalgam is safe
    Kristin G Homme 1 , Janet K Kern, Boyd E Haley, David A Geier, Paul G King, Lisa K Sykes, Mark R Geier
    Affiliations

    PMID: 24420334 PMCID: PMC3905169 DOI: 10.1007/s10534-013-9700-9

    “Mercury dental amalgam has a long history of ostensibly safe use despite its continuous release of mercury vapor. Two key studies known as the Children’s Amalgam Trials are widely cited as evidence of safety. However, four recent reanalyses of one of these trials now suggest harm, particularly to boys with common genetic variants. These and other studies suggest that susceptibility to mercury toxicity differs among individuals based on multiple genes, not all of which have been identified. These studies further suggest that the levels of exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgams may be unsafe for certain subpopulations. Moreover, a simple comparison of typical exposures versus regulatory safety standards suggests that many people receive unsafe exposures. Chronic mercury toxicity is especially insidious because symptoms are variable and nonspecific, diagnostic tests are often misunderstood, and treatments are speculative at best. Throughout the world, efforts are underway to phase down or eliminate the use of mercury dental amalgam.”

    • I have done Sandra. That you didn’t read it or understand it or read any of the studies it linked to is your problem, not mine. You use the word “proven”.

      That paper uses the words “suggest” and “may be”.

      That, Sandra, is not proof in any way and, once again, demonstrates that you, in your ignorance, will post any old shit which you imagine supports your delusions. It is also written by a load of antivax cranks with a long track-record of publishing garbage in low-impact and pay-to-publish journals. Hardly earthshaking and experts in their own minds only.

      Once again, Sandra. Your qualifications in science, please. I’ve asked many times and you always seem to forget to answer.

      Once again, I’ll leave you to your ignorant, insignificant and petulant self. Post what you you like, love. It won’t change anything.

      • @Lenny. Do you really expect the readers of this conversation between you and I to believe that the link to a dentistry student’s copy and pasted propaganda paper you posted represents scientific research conclusions? HA! You really should expand your ability to do proper investigative research; but then dentists are not trained to be scientists, independent thinkers or researchers.

        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar; 16(6): 1036.
        Published online 2019 Mar 22. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16061036
        PMCID: PMC6466133
        PMID: 30909378
        Rethinking the Dental Amalgam Dilemma: An Integrated Toxicological Approach
        Hector Jirau-Colón,1,2 Leonardo González-Parrilla,1,2 Jorge Martinez-Jiménez,1,2 Waldemar Adam,3 and Braulio Jiménez-Velez1,2,*

        Even though dental mercury amalgams have been used for more than 150 years, their safety and risks have never undergone the regulatory proof-of-safety testing that is required for other medical implants under the U.S. law. Under the 1976 Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDA), Congress directed the FDA to assess the safety of medical and dental devices and to require premarket approval of safety for any device “intended to be implanted in the human body” [14]; yet, dental amalgam has been exempted by the FDA [15].

        In 1991, the World Health Organization confirmed dental amalgams are the biggest source of mercury, exposing the people to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food, air and water [16]. Autopsy studies have shown dental amalgam to be the main source of mercury in human tissues, responsible for at least 60–95% of mercury deposits [8]. From the above, it should be obvious that the health hazard of mercury amalgam is a serious problem which needs urgent control.

        Our point of view regarding the whole dental amalgam dilemma is based on the inherent toxicity of mercury at different levels. The bulk of the presented data focuses on the toxic effects of mercury and its derivatives. Not only is its relation to different pathological anomalies considered, as published by various groups, but also a molecular understanding of its toxicity is addressed. Our integrated approach focuses on a complete toxicity picture of the mercury constituent in dental amalgam. The various relevant toxicological factors including molecular mechanisms, gene regulation, and genetic susceptibility triggered by global gene polymorphism, are considered.
        Go to:
        2. Toxicity of Mercury and Its Compounds

        The broad spectrum of effects caused by mercury compares to no other metal. Its physical properties are unique, as it exists at room temperature in the liquid state with an appreciable vapor pressure; mercury vapor is much more toxic than its liquid state [17]. Mercury exist in various oxidative states [18], namely the mercurous (Hg+1) and mercuric (Hg+2) ions, which readily react with cysteine and glutathione to form sulfides [19]. The resulting compounds are methylated by bacteria into methylmercury (MeHg) and dimethyl mercury (Me2Hg) and organic compounds, which, due to their greater absorption rate, are even more toxic—Me2Hg being the most potent neurotoxin known to date—than elemental mercury or the mercury ions [20]. It is of uttermost importance to understand the cellular damage caused by mercury and its compounds to devise appropriate regulations in the medical-implant field for the ultimate benefit of mankind.

        • dentists are not trained to be scientists, independent thinkers or researchers.

          But of course retired medical transcriptionists are, aren’t they? You can’t type up you husband’s thesis without becoming an instant expert. can you?

        • In 1991, the World Health Organization confirmed dental amalgams are the biggest source of mercury, exposing the people to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food, air and water [16].

          I have work to do today so am not going to wade through the whole thing to assess its likely veracity with my limited IANAS skills, but considering the very first thing I see when I check source [16] for myself is this:

          This report contains the collective views of an international group of experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organization, or the World Health Organization.

          I’m gonna wager, yeah, no; probably not.

          ’Cos if you can’t even be accurate about who said what, why should I expect any more accuracy on what they actually said?

    • QUOTE

      Boyd E. Haley, is a retired professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky with real knowledge of chemistry and a rather reputation-marring involvement in the mercury scare (the University of Kentucky seems to have distanced themselves from Haley). As it has been put, rather laconically, Haley’s “views about mercury and dental amalgams go against the consensus held in the medical community.” As such, Haley has been one of the leaders of the idea that Thimerosal in vaccines is not only involved in the etiology of autism, which Haley has called “mad child disease”, but also the toxic agent involved in the Gulf War syndrome.

      END of QUOTE [Retrieved 2020-12-04]
      http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/10/737-boyd-haley.html

  • @Lenny Would you like to see more research on the question of dental amalgam safety?
    As you know, T lymphocytes are part of the human immune system and develop from stem cells in bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight acute and chronic disease. Also called T cell and thymocytes, a blood stem cell goes through several steps to become a red blood cell, platelet, or white blood cell. Human T-lymphocytes can recognize specific antigens, execute effector functions, and regulate the type and intensity of virtually all cellular and humoral immune responses. Normal immune function depends on a proper quantity, quality, and ratio of T-lymphocyte helper and suppressor subsets.

    Effect of dental amalgam and nickel alloys on T-lymphocytes: Preliminary report
    The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
    Volume 51, Issue 5, May 1984, Pages 617-623
    The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
    Effect of dental amalgam and nickel alloys on T-lymphocytes: Preliminary report

    “Preliminary data suggest that dental amalgam and dental nickel alloys can adversely affect the quantity of T-lymphocytes. Human T-lymphocytes can recognize specific antigens, execute effector functions, and regulate the type and intensity of virtually all cellular and humoral immune responses. Normal immune function depends on a proper quantity, quality, and ratio of T-lymphocyte helper and suppressor subsets.

    Further research may determine the frequency and magnitude of T-lymphocyte reduction and alteration by dental materials.”

    • Sandra

      That’s from 1984.

      If amalgam had any effect on T cells, further research would’ve shown it by now.

      You really do need to have a little look at the garbage you post which you erroneously imagine supports your misaprehensions. It’s what people people who understand science and evidence do. We’re taught how to do it on our degree courses.

      There’s very little that you understand.

      • @Lenny LOL. What kind of reasoning is that? Deploy your grey matter for once. Since when does the publication year of a research study negate its findings? Have dentists or their member associations ever conducted any similar research? No. Their argument for the so called ‘safety’ of amalgrm use is based only on its ease of use and the fact that its use immensely enriched the profits of dentists dating back to the mid 1800s. You should agree that more research should be carried out.

        Lenny, FYI, In November 2019, the FDA called for a meeting of their Immunology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee to discuss the safety of dental amalgam use. The announcement :

        https://www.fda.gov/advisory-committees/advisory-committee-calendar/november-13-14-2019-immunology-devices-panel-medical-devices-advisory-committee-meeting-announcement

        At the conclusion of the meeting, the FDA published a “safety communication”.

        Read it here:

        https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/recommendations-about-use-dental-amalgam-certain-high-risk-populations-fda-safety-communication

        This communication represented an entirely new position for the ADA to adopt. In the next few decades, this recommendtaion will help save lives, lower health care costs, encourage further research and *finally* lead to the total elimination of amalgam use in the human population. Your grandchildren will be the beneficiaries.

        Read it here: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/recommendations-about-use-dental-amalgam-certain-high-risk-populations-fda-safety-communication

        • Sandra

          You are truly pathetic. How old research is is irrelevant. It is, as I said, whether the findings are subsequently replicated and acted upon. You’d know this if you had any grasp of how science works. But you don’t. You have only your pompous, hubristic and delusional beliefs.

          The point I made I repeat:

          That’s from 1984.

          If amalgam had any effect on T cells, further research would’ve shown it by now.

          So if you’ve got any subsequent research to back this up, please show it.

          Now. The FDA link you posted which you obviously haven’t read or undestood simply mirrors what we in the UK have been doing for twenty years.

          What does it also say?

          The weight of the existing evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam leads to adverse health effects in the general population

          A direct contradiction to your position. You posted it, Sandra. You are contradicting yourself.

          You demonstrate only your own stupidity and ignorance of the scientific method.

          You also seem not to have grasped that the use of amalgam is being phased out on ENVIRONMENTAL grounds. But there’s not much that you grasp.

          So. I ask again. Those scientific qualifications, of yours, Sandra. You’ve still not let us know what they are.

          And you’ve still not read the study showing the delusional nature of people who think they’re being poisoned by their amalgams. Proper research, Sandra. https://search.proquest.com/openview/2f2ec56940eb7cbf7bad13ed7b13390f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=35753

          • Lenny, Lenny, Lenny… The FDA safety communications/recommendations addressed the use of dental amalgams in the human population. NOTHING RELATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT.

            https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/recommendations-about-use-dental-amalgam-certain-high-risk-populations-fda-safety-communication

          • Yes Sandra.

            And what does it say?

            Over more than two decades, the FDA and other public health agencies have conducted numerous reviews of scientific data related to potential health effects of dental amalgam. These reviews have generally arrived at the same conclusion that the weight of the existing evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam leads to adverse health effects in the general population, including those signs and symptoms listed above as well as some neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

            I direct contradiction of all that you say, Sandra.

            You linked to it, Sandra. As ever, you never read or understand the pieces which you imagine support your position. All you ever prove is your own foolishness.

          • Lenny, Lenny, Lenny… Don’t you realise the word “not” was added in the middle there by the 5G Microchip Illuminati to lull all you sheeple into a false sense of security? Only the Holy Anointed Ones† can interpret its True Meaning, which is quite obviously: “exposure to mercury from dental amalgam leads to adverse health effects in the general population”, case closed.

            († Although whatever Sandra’s Anointing herself with, she really needs to cut it right back.)

    • Also called T cell and thymocytes, a blood stem cell goes through several steps to become a red blood cell, platelet, or white blood cell.

      A T cell (or thymocyte) cannot become a red blood cell, nor a megakaryocyte (the cell which produces platelets). It is, however, a type of white blood cell, but it cannot become a different type.

  • @Lenny

    What evidence base, if any, do you think the FDA used to justify their first ever ‘safety communicatoin’ regarding “the risk to certain groups of people who may be at greater risk to the”POTENTIAL ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS of mercury exposure from dental amalgam? Millions of patients and dentists will be affected. I’m sure the ADA and similar organizations are burning the midnight oil working on damage control.

    https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/recommendations-about-use-dental-amalgam-certain-high-risk-populations-fda-safety-communication

  • A very limited one, Sandra. Because no ill-effects have been conclusively demonstrated in any reputable studies. Hence the words “potential” and “may be”. They’re being cautious. Like we in the UK have been for the last 20+ years when the use of amalgam in certain groups was limited out of possible, but not definitive concerns. No harm has been conclusively demonstrated.

    • And there you are @Lenny. For 100+ years and minus reputable studies, dentists and their member organizations claimed that amalgams did not release mercury vapor. They were proven wrong. More recently, the FDA cautioned against placement of amalgam fillings in certain groups of patients. Millions of them. Now, You maintain that the FDA did not base their safety precautions on “repudable study results.? Conclusion: Mercury has destroyed the grey matter between your ears.

      • What potency of Mercurius viv. would you recommend for that, Sandra?

      • “For 100+ years and minus reputable studies, dentists and their member organizations claimed that amalgams did not release mercury vapor.”

        Tell us if you’ve heard this one before: [citation required]

        The question is not “do amalgams release mercury”, but “do amalgams release mercury at a level that is harmful?”

        And you have failed to make your case for the latter, choosing to employ handwaving hysteria and misdirection instead of cold hard evidence which doesn’t say quite what you want it to.

        Meantime:

        https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/recommendations-about-use-dental-amalgam-certain-high-risk-populations-fda-safety-communication

        “Although the majority of evidence suggests exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not lead to negative health effects in the general population, little to no information is known about the effect this exposure may have on members of the specific groups listed above who may be at greater risk to potential negative health effects of mercury exposure. Accordingly, the FDA recommends that non-mercury restorations (fillings) such as composite resins and glass ionomer cements be used, when possible and appropriate, in people who may be at higher risk for adverse health effects from mercury exposure.”

        In other words, the same abundance of caution that motivated the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines. Not because a problem was detected but because there’s no need even to think about when it’s possible to avoid it entirely.

        Paracelsus wept. Not only dishonest and obnoxious, but also exceedingly dumb. Which is to say, a typical SCAM-head, more concerned with feeding her narcissism than the safety and wellbeing of other people.

  • For 100+ years and minus reputable studies, dentists and their member organizations claimed that amalgams did not release mercury vapor.

    Did they bollocks.

    Carry on making shit up, Sandra. Delusion piled upon delusion. It’s pathetic, really.

    • Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar; 16(6): 1036.
      Published online 2019 Mar 22. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16061036
      PMCID: PMC6466133
      PMID: 30909378
      Rethinking the Dental Amalgam Dilemma: An Integrated Toxicological Approach
      Hector Jirau-Colón,1,2 Leonardo González-Parrilla,1,2 Jorge Martinez-Jiménez,1,2 Waldemar Adam,3 and Braulio Jiménez-Velez1,2,*

      Abstract

      Mercury (Hg) has been identified as one of the most toxic nonradioactive materials known to man. Although mercury is a naturally occurring element, anthropogenic mercury is now a major worldwide concern and is an international priority toxic pollutant. It also comprises one of the primary constituents of dental amalgam fillings. Even though dental mercury amalgams have been used for almost two centuries, its safety has never been tested or proven in the United States by any regulatory agency. There has been an ongoing debate regarding the safety of its use since 1845, and many studies conclude that its use exposes patients to troublesome toxicity. In this review, we present in an objective way the danger of dental amalgam to human health based on current knowledge. This dilemma is addressed in terms of an integrated toxicological approach by focusing on four mayor issues to show how these interrelate to create the whole picture: (1) the irrefutable constant release of mercury vapor from dental amalgams which is responsible for individual chronic exposure, (2) the evidence of organic mercury formation from dental amalgam in the oral cavity, (3) the effect of mercury exposure on gene regulation in human cells which supports the intrinsic genetic susceptibility to toxicant and, finally, (4) the availability of recent epidemiological data supporting the link of dental amalgams to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson.

Leave a Reply to Pete Attkins Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.

Archives
Categories