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Fire Your Doctor! How to Be Independently Healthy Paperback – November 5, 2005
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"Andrew Saul's book Fire Your Doctor! explains some of the best known nutrients now being used to improve health. He's a real stickler for providing reliable research based advice." - Vitality Magazine
"Study this valuable book, master its contents, and then when you see your doctor you will be able to discuss intelligently how to get well. If you find he or she yawns, shuffles about, looks through files, and become very impatient, then fire your doctor." - Abram Hoffer, M.D.
"Excellent book, backed up by numerous references from the medical literature. Considerable value for doctors (and other health care professionals) who have become discontented with what is being advocated by the orthodox authorities."- Erik T. Paterson, M.D.
"Saul uses a sharp wit in advocating for vitamins and attacking the medical and pharmaceutical professions." - Batavia Daily News
About the Author
Andrew W. Saul, M.S., Ph.D., is editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine NewsService and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles and has written or coauthored 12 books.
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As far as the vitamin information, it's all good, which is what I bought it for. All the anti meat anti fat ranting really put me off. The author advocates doing one's own research, which should go for his book as well. I was surprised he was using the old argument about our teeth and the length of our digestive systems as proof we shouldn't eat meat. He also states we don't need fat. I suggest that the author or anyone else who really cares to research their health to read Gary Taubes. Google his N.Y.Times article interview for the short story, or get "Good Calories, Bad Calories".
I grew up believing all the fat and red meat is bad for you. I rarely ate meat, and mostly chicken when I did, and have been juicing and blending my greens almost daily for the last 20 years. Today at age 56 I have arthritis in both knees, my spine, and have had an ankle replacement for end stage arthritis. Don't get me wrong, juicing and the greens are fine, but so is red meat and fat. Grass fed beef is available everywhere, and these ranchers treat their animals humanely. Look up the Weston-Price Foundation, as there is a lot of good research on whole foods....and why we DO need fat. There are a lot of former vegetarians like me out there, with major health problems that only turned around when they put meat and whole foods back into their diets.
Again, good book, good info, but like the author says, do your research before cutting meat and fat out like he advocates. To bad about the vegetarian agenda.
On page 149, the author correctly cites an article in the medical journal Lancet finding that the commonly prescribed antibiotic azithromycin is no better than LOW-dose vitamin C for treating bronchitis. He reasonably notes that most cases of bronchitis are caused by viral infection and that antibiotics don't help if you have a virus. Then he takes a leap into illogic and says that what you need, then, is HIGH-dose vitamin C, as much as 120 grams (two whole bottles) a day.
On page 101, the author cites a study by Dr. Hugh Riordan, stating that 100,000 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C a day `"actually kills cancer cells without harming healthy body cells." He elsewhere notes that these high doses of vitamin C don't cause kidney stones. Well, if you actually read Dr. Riordan's study, you'd find (1) the IV vitamin C was given to cancer patients who, for whatever reasons, were deficient in vitamin C, (2) the dosages were as low as 10,000 milligrams a day and the 100,000 milligram dosage was reserved by for patients weighing over 300 pounds and (3) some of the patients developed kidney problems, and (4) some of the patients experienced lower red blood cells counts and (5) one developed a potentially fatal complication called hypokalemia, causing Dr. Riordan to question whether the approach was actually safe for people who had a history of kidney stones.
Elsewhere the author recommends taking vitamin C rather than reaching for an EpiPen when facing anaphylactic shock. If vitamin C doesn't do it for you, well, you'll be dead, so you won't be writing any negative reviews of his book. Or maybe you'll be that person who died of an overdose of vitamin A. On page 63, Dr. Saul states that "American poison-control statistics fail to show even one death from vitamin A in a given year." Well, those statistics would have be for the years before this book came out, and it's true, deaths from vitamin A weren't recorded in the USA, they occurred mostly in countries where well-intentioned aid workers were handing out megadoses to children, just as Dr. Saul would recommend. Fourteen children died when health officials ran out of 2 milliliter spoons so they gave out the vitamin in 5 milliliter cups in India (BMJ 223:1206, 24 Nov 2001). This did happen four years before this book came out. Maybe Dr. Saul believes children in India don't count. Or since the report appeared in a reputable medical journal, maybe Dr. Saul only reads un-reputable ones.
I couldn't in good conscience return this book to amazon.com, since that might mean that someone else would read it. When cold weather returns, I'll use it for starting a fire in the fireplace. I have to admit I am puzzled by this author's motives. I understand doctors who want to get you out of their office by handing you an Rx. I understand drug companies who want to make multi-billion dollar profits by defining every symptom as some kind of "drug deficiency" much as there might be a vitamin deficiency. I sort of understand, although I don't care for, the quack busters, who are just as much quacks as this author. They seem just to want to make people dependent on them. But what is the rationale for this book? Is it to make sure people avoid methods that work that their only alternative is this author's kind of quackery? Is writing a book some way to make a fortune? Does the author attend the Church of Vitaminology? Is he a jihadist in some sleeper cell sent here to destroy our health by undermining Americans' confidence in medicine that actually does work? I am mystified. And I could list factual misstatements if not downright lies for far longer than there is space here.
There is one good recommendation in this book. Read a different book! Read Phyllis Balch's book, or James Balch and Mark Stangler's book, or Robert Rister's book. They're transparently pro-supplement but they stay within the bounds of the truth. This book certainly does not.
'Doctors will get of their pedestals when patients get of their knees' someone once said. This book should help by triggering interest in and knowledge about one's health. Saul makes a strong case that multivitamin / mineral supplements are the 'zero calorie essential food group' and where much of disease prevention is cheaply found. My favorite passage: 'Some day, health care without megavitamin therapy will be seen as we today see childbirth without sanitation or surgery without anesthetic.'
Unlike this review, the writing style is smooth as Saul tells an entertaining story about prevention.
No book is perfect and I tripped over his leaning toward a more vegetarian approach (but no doubt healthy in the context presented), only walnuts are nuts with omega-3 and he misses the main plant-based omega-3 oil that has been shown to reduce heart attacks and save lives, canola [rapeseed] oil that is.
Also, there is not a word about homo-cysteine, that toxic amino acid we all make and that is now linked to over 100 diseases and conditions, including heart disease and Alzheimer's. The beauty of the book however is that the foods and especially the multi-vitamin levels he recommends will automatically drop this blood toxin to the lowest possible level in anyone! Who could ask for more?
Again, this is an easy reading, gentle and probably attitude changing book and I imagine that most readers will find several tips that will help improve their health and pay for the book many times over. Eddie Vos health-heart.org Sutton (Qc) Canada