Point to Point Summary – July 18, 2015

Point to Point Summary 7-18-2015

by Challen Yee, L.Ac.

I am a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in California since 2007. I am also certified nationally as Diplomate of Oriental Medicine and also licensed to practice in Hawaii. 

My ongoing theme in my Point to Point series is to explain in simple terms to help convey the application of acupuncture to the public and those who are largely unfamiliar with the ancient medicine.

For your convenience, I have summarized my recent and ongoing Instagram posts.



Best to follow me on Instagram if you want real-time updates for Acupuncture with minimum noise. I post to Twitter and Facebook from Instagram, but the other media venues tend to cover a variety of other non-health subjects.

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Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.comTheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  All Rights Reserved.

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Acupuncture and Detoxification

Point to Point Summary 6-20-2015

by Challen Yee, L.Ac.

I am a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in California since 2007. I am also certified nationally as Diplomate of Oriental Medicine and also carry a license to practice in Hawaii, where, back in the 1980’s, I served in the Navy stationed aboard USS Bremerton (SSN698) a nuclear attack submarine (which at the time of this post is the oldest operating submarine in the US Navy). Currently I am working on my Certification for Applied Clinical Nutrition.

While my focus on this blog has not been my practicing acupuncture, there is certainly a connection between detoxification and how acupuncture stimulates the tissues of the body.

One of the reasons for the simple practice of drinking a cup of warm or tea drinking temperature water after an acupuncture treatment is to help your body off load toxins that have been stored in tissue, released into the blood stream by acupuncture stimulation. The release of toxins is a reason why people may feel a bit fatigued after a treatment.

The general public is still pretty oblivious to the applications of acupuncture, so the idea came to me when I was treating myself one night that I start sharing my knowledge with you.

Although many people have a phobia of needles, it remains a strong value of acupuncture that it can help the body in many ways without the introduction of harmful exogenous-toxic chemicals – That fact in itself makes acupuncture a worthy addition to the lifestyle of those who desire to lessen the need for pharmaceuticals and their overloading of the body’s capacity for natural detoxification.

For your convenience, I have summarized my recent and ongoing Instagram publications of some simple acupuncture practices and concepts. The last one (which was my first post) was only one Facebook, not Instagram.

Pain – Calf

Precautions – Scars

Pain – Shoulder

Tennis Elbow


Carpal Tunnel

Adrenal Support

#1Colon/Appendix Maintenance (was posted on FaceBook, not on Instagram)

Point to Point: Performing acupuncture treatment on myself to help the appendix area. In acupuncture we often use points along an acupuncture “channel” or pathway to balance an area of concern. The point shown here is below the knee and is confirmed by centuries of empirical data.

Best to follow me on Instagram if you want real-time updates for Acupuncture with minimum noise. I post to Twitter and Facebook from Instagram, but the other media venues tend to cover a variety of other non-health subjects.


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Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.comTheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  All Rights Reserved.

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Weight loss with Intensity

Have you been trying to lose weight by exercising and not making any progress?

You may need to take this tip easy at first, but (pending your physician’s approval and your own common sense) I suggest that you start doing a series of short and intense workouts.

The problem with your everyday mild aerobic workouts is that you’re not tapping into the massive reserves that your body possesses.
One of the ways you can tell you are not tapping into your massive reserves is that you are not exhausting yourself enough.

You’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t use it you lose it.” However, Were not talking about your extra weight.
If you don’t use fat it stays. What we are talking about is your lean muscle mass.
If you don’t use that you will lose it.

With Bob Wheat, working out 5-6 days a week on the Navy base in the early 1980's, San Diego, CA

Intensity with Bob Wheat in the early 1980’s.  I’m taking the photo.


Burning with Tabata

In the lean muscle mass are a bunch of little critters called mitochondria, an energy producing dynamo, a bacteria in its former life before it combined with a human tissue cell. Lean muscle cells with high power output can have several mitochondria per cell. They convert glucose to energy.  Oxygen is a key part of the conversion.

So you can see, if you are essentially starving your body of oxygen by exercising intensely, you are also  burning glucose like crazy. And if you make a regular routine of burning the extra glucose, the fat reserve will start being used to address your need, assuming you are not pounding down a high simple carb or sugary diet.

The way to do this intense workout without burdening your free time is to do what is also known as a “Tabata”, an exercise system designed by a Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata.

The way I was instructed by Jeanette Birnbach, DC. is you do a series of 8 quick routines, 20 seconds activity and 10 seconds rest.

The intention of this 4-minute workout is to be completely wiped out, struggling for air, like you tried running a 4 minute mile.


Chronic Pain as a Roadblock

The actions you choose should involve your whole body and be done as intensely as possible. If you have weak or painful joints, however, you will likely self-adjust or limit your movements accommodate them until they can handle the extra stress.

Since I often work with physically challenged patients, it’s can be a challenge for them  to mimic most of the athletic people you see doing their version of tabata on an internet video. I use Acupuncture treatment and Chinese Medicine massage therapy to help restore range of motion and reduce pain  of problem joints and muscles. At the same time, to perform the exercises, a reduction of range of motion and keeping within the patient’s “comfort” zone is necessary.  An anti-imflammation diet and lifestyle work synergetic ally with a workout routine.


Workout Customization

The beauty of this, is that you can tailor your own set of movements, but best to use movements that involve both arms and legs. Mountain Climbers (burpees), jumping jacks, and variations of those are good examples. Motions and/or stances that exert both arms and legs with rapid as possible movements. Even if you are not just focusing on your waistline, eventually the exertions of your whole body will begin to reduce the fatty mass around your midline.

Once you graduate the basic level and get you motions down without killing your joints, you can incorporate some mild weights and that will stimulate more building of lean muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, therefore building muscle will counter the loss of weight, however, you will burn more fat. Remember, more lean muscle means more energy, and a better ability to burn extra calories and fat.


Exercise as part of a Detox Process

It is important in any kind of detoxification process, like this type of workout is part of, to make sure you are not constipated and you drink plenty of fluids. Moreover, before and after an intense workout, is the best time to supplement with easy to digest proteins, like a smoothie with either powders and/or easy to digest high protein food. I strongly recommend you nourish your body right after a workout, when those new and revitalizing lean muscle cells have their doors open for nourishment.

The last thing you want to do is eat a bunch of junk food and a soda. Just imagine personal trainer giving you a stern rebuke that moment before you put low-tech fuel in your supercharged dragster.


Exercise is Essential and make it Fun

One of the guys at the gym where I work out, Mike, a 400-meter specialist who is built like a brick house, mentioned that it is the consensus amount athletes that nutrition without the exercise gives marginal results, what he actually said was “Does nothing.” People must exercise to get the optimum results from their diets and if you’ve had problems breaking through a wall in your progress of taking weight off or other health issues. Consider the benefits of adding a short intensified workout.

For you cynics out there, the reason exercising is not promoted and is not in your awareness as much as diet and nutrition, it is not easy for someone to make money off your actual exercising. You can exercise without buying anything special, unlike food and supplements, which virtually everyone needs to buy in order to use.

This routine I’ve suggested here is capable of getting you through the wall, but you’ve got to do the work. Moreover, you’ve got to make a commitment. Any program to lose weight takes a concerted 1 year effort minimum to help ensure you don’t crash backwards. If you’ve been flipping back and forth, each iteration will be harder for your to take it off and keep it off.

Make it fun, start easy, you can be creative, dance, martial art moves,  and unleash your inner awesome self, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and with intensity.


BONUS: Some folks were wondering what an 8-count Body Builder is: here’s a link to my you-tube video for an example: https://youtu.be/x9DYmpa6dNE

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Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.comTheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  All Rights Reserved.


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Reflections on my father and cancer

Note: Originally posted as “Foods for Inoperable Shrapnel”

Considerations for Carcinogenic Substances in the Body


In May 1996, at the age of 75, my father became a victim of pancreatic cancer. He was a World War II U.S. Army combat veteran. In 1945, while fighting in the Philippines, he was seriously injured from an explosion that riddled his body with shrapnel. He spent over a year in rehabilitation and was discharged from the Army afterwards.

In his civilian life, he was self-employed as a commercial roofing contractor since the 1960’s and also involved with electric vehicle repair, so he was in regular contact with various industrial and automotive chemicals.

Moreover, for many years one of his shops was located near a dry cleaners, a place that spewed condensation into the air that felt like sprinkling rain as it settled to the ground. If you’ve done any research into the causes of cancer, you could say that he was exposed to many environmental toxins that could be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing.

He was hard-working, fitness conscious, socially active, community oriented, did not smoke, drank very little alcohol and an avid runner since the 1970’s.

His sudden illness and death came as a shock to the people who knew him.

It is unfortunate that the general public’s understanding of nutrition through virtually all of my father’s professional life was pretty misinformed compared to the growing awareness now of what constitutes a healthy diet. It has been kind of a whiplash effect from the days of when processed food was considered the solution to all dietary needs.

Having been regularly exposed to toxins, it would have been a good idea for a person like my dad to have a diet high in vitamin C foods, cruciferous vegetables and other natural anti-oxidant foods. These would have been a good toxic counter-measure, in addition to a diet with Omega-3’s and a minimum of processed  and synthetic foods. Supplementation with high quality vitamins and mineral products would be highly recommended given uncertainties in the nutrition quality of the typical available food supply (refer to my older  blog article ).

Although I was not inspired to pursue a career in medicine until about 6 years after my father died, part of why I chose to learn about medicine is I know that feeling of helplessness when a loved one is suffering from an unforgiving disease and when conventional medicine offers no solutions except to rely largely on lethal chemicals and opiates for pain.

During his illness, I remember  hoping there would be some new drug trial thinking that maybe the next unapproved drug could perform a miracle. At no time in the process do I recall anyone suggesting holistic or nutritional medicine as either a curative or preventive measure.


My father’s was a member of the 11th Airborne in WWII. Here members of the 11th gear up  for a one-way ride on a C-47.


Pancreatic Cancer

When someone passes away from cancer (or more accurately, complications as a result of the cancer), particularly pancreatic cancer, the root cause is often unknown. What we do know are that many toxins or malnutrition conditions can alter the genetic expressions of cells, in other words, disturb their normal functioning.

Furthermore, pancreatic cancer is a disease that often strikes quickly and fatally after diagnosis due to its detection typically being at a late stage. With my father and many other cases I have learned about or know personally, 2 to 3 months is a common period from diagnosis to death.

The pancreas is ‘hidden’ behind other organs and closer to the spine. One of my father’s first symptoms was severe back pain, one day it became so bad he could not drive comfortably in his truck and had to let my mom drive while he lay down. It was very unusual to see him in such pain.

In the 1970’s, he had herniated his back or was diagnosed with some kind of bone degeneration and his doctor advised him to stop running. He loved running so much, he continued to run, at first progressing gradually, and eventually he ran without any back pain. It had healed. At first, we all thought his new pain was just another back injury.

What can we do to help, before something happens? While we may not be able to determine the cause for a cancer to go malignant, we can look at abnormal conditions in the body and its surrounding environment and  then consider if there are some simple methods to help resist the formation of cancer based on those known abnormalities or exposures to high levels of toxins.


Back to the Present…

I received an idea last weekend when I attended a continuing education class on nutrition called “Fantastic Over 40: Nutritional Solutions to Healthy Aging” given by Jeanette & George Birnbach, DC. The days of the seminar (May 2/3) almost coincided exactly with the 19th year since my father passed away from pancreatic cancer on May 1st, 1996.

This idea came to mind when Ms. Birnbach presented us evidence from a scientific study about the synergetic effects of three foods: Garlic, Milk Thistle (Silymarin) and Hawthorn Fruit (Chinese “Shan Zha”).

Each of these foods have a  chelating effect for toxins. In layman’s terms, each has an ability to latch onto a toxin in your body and make it easier for your body to get rid of it. But what is special about these three together is that they are especially good in the process of excreting toxic metals out of your body.

The study tested the ability of over 30 herbs to bind to cadmium, lead and mercury. While no single herb performed the best at binding to all three, a combination of the three herbs in particular provided the best results. See chart below.

Source: "Fantastic After 40" a Standard Process (Northern California) Seminar given by Jeanette & George Birnbach, DC.

Source: “Fantastic After 40” a Standard Process (Northern California) Seminar given by Jeanette & George Birnbach, DC.


I correlated this to another possible cause of my father’s cancer –  shrapnel

My father, when he served in combat in World War II was severely injured by a satchel charge, a bomb in a sack with a bunch of unsterile metal scrap for projectiles. His paratrooper buddies thought he was dead at first, yet they managed to carry his body away from the front line. He was fortunate to have survived and was returned to the States.

Despite the surgeon’s best efforts to remove all the shrapnel from my father’s body, there were still some that they could not remove. He was considered 50% disabled at the time of his Honorary Discharge from the Army in 1946. From 1945 until the day he died, he carried these shrapnel in his body. (To read more about my father’s combat experience, read my article here).


What if he had taken medicinal foods regularly as a simple post-operative prescription?

Having these three herbs in his diet is not only safe to take on a long term basis in moderate quantities, they would have been an inexpensive addition to his diet as a natural detoxifying agent. While these ingredients could be found in fresh or preserved form, they can also be taken in the form of organic-supplements, which are readily available, for ease of consumption.

It is difficult to convince most people to adopt preventive measures, because they will not see a change if all is successful. But you can compare a person with a healthy diet and lifestyle and compare with one who does not. In reality, we ALL have ways we can improve our health through incremental changes in our daily habits.


BONUS:  Toxicity-Decreasing Lifestyle Tips

Here are some simple tips on how you could live a less toxic life. I composed this list with a variety of sources in mind.  Which do you need most to incorporate into your life now?

1) Permanently replace a junk food or toxic substance with something more healthy. Repeat this process on a weekly basis until your diet is straightened out. Read more articles on this blog for more tips.

2) Adults should get 6-8 hours of sleep regularly. Less than 6 can trigger inflammation and stress. More than 8 suggest other issues.

3) Moderate exercise at least 3 times per week. In general, the older we get, the less demanding we need to be for general health. Unless you are driven by a particular passion (like entering a triathlon or going to ExtremeSealExperience), what most people did at 20 just is not necessary for someone who is 60 to maintain basic health and to slow down the aging process.  Whatever you do, even if you pickup a leisure interest like social dancing, incorporate a short workout routine that utilizes all muscle groups and exercises your range of motion. Check with your doctor, do some research and see what fits your individual situation.

4) Meditation. Clearing your mind of incessant clutter is highly underestimated. Just intentionally and gently clear your mind when you are awake for a few minutes per day. No need for weird chants or cosmic robes, unless that turns you on! And NO, doing this while you are sleeping does not count! Meditation deals with another compartment of your mind than the one you use for sleeping.

5) Kindness. Make practice of being kind and expressing that kindness to others. This will help you spiritually which is an often an overlooked one-third of life. Since our physical, emotional and spiritual selves are interconnected, you will see a physical health benefit in putting your good intentions and compassion to action.

6) First thing in the morning, drink two cups of clean warm or mildly hot water. See if this works for you, it can help flush your system of toxins and help you start your day hydrated and work to keep you from being constipated (if you are constipated, work on this issue asap as having regular bowel movements are critical for proper daily self-detoxification). By the way, the general daily rule is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water daily.


Physiologically speaking, what are we trying to accomplish with a toxicity-decreasing lifestyle?

The “Car Door” Analogy

When your body must harbor a toxic substance, there is a higher probability that it will interfere with the normal functioning of cell operation. Imagine that a piece of debris gets caught in the keyhole in your car door, at some point your key will not open that door. So you open the car from the other side, but eventually that door doesn’t open. Since you’re too busy to take your car to the shop to get it fixed, you start crawling through the hatchback if your car is so equipped but then eventually that one gets jammed also.  Now you are SOL., you cannot get in the car, that cell no longer functions for you. When this happens to enough cells that perform a specific function, whether it’s generating white blood cells, producing hormones or repairing the lining of your gut, more bad happens.

Keeping up with a healthier routine will help keep those door locks free of crud and if you have specific abnormalities, you can do some reasearch to help your body stay more in balance.


The “Mopping the Floor” Analogy

You can keep on mopping the flood water off your kitchen floor, but it’s a lot easier if you unclog your sink and turn off the water first.



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Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.comTheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  All Rights Reserved.

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Simple Diet and Detox Recommendations

I invite you to please leave one of your favorite simple dietary suggestions or detoxification tips in comments to help others who visit this post.

If you are in a LinkedIn group, in order that the suggestions are centralized, I would also ask you to also go directly to my website to leave your simple suggestion there.

Okay now…

I want to thank you for supporting my blog here at BestBuckBuck.com.

It’s been almost a year since I started this, my first blog, and it’s been a rewarding experience in terms of learning how to blog and doing some research on simple ways a person can lead a healthier existence by doing some simple and natural dietary changes.

A photo I shot and used in an old article on The Season's of Life. Another season is about to pass.

A photo I shot and used in an old article on The Season’s of Life. Another season is about to pass.

I always encourage my friends and patients to get their diets in order. I’d rather they get healthy rather than having to keep on coming back to me to fix their pain.

The sad fact is with many patients, their lifelong embracing of bad or decadent habits, sometimes lifestyle bombs along with voluntary or involuntary exposure to toxic environmental influences have built up a cache of burden in their bodies that purging and cleansing are necessary to help begin reversing the course of their disease conditions. I’d like to believe if you’re reading this you can reverse the damage done – you have hope if you can adhere to a simple strategy.

In modern society, we are surrounded by influences that are non-stop biding for our commitment to consume, including in the world of medicine. In moderation most is well, but without self-control and awareness, we run the risk of sacrificing our ability to live healthy lives.

What is known about good nutrition, for the most part, has been known for many decades, although mass marketing and publicity, or the latest government direction tends to cause people to jump on the bandwagon or magic bullet of the day.

One of the biggest trends we unknowingly face is the amount and variety of toxins we are exposed to. The risks and damages caused by many commonly used materials or chemicals are yet to be discovered by protection agencies and will not over the course of years if not decades. This blind-eye approach to public safety has happened in the past and no doubt will occur in the future.

For your information, I have decided to put BestBuckBuck in indefinite stand down in terms of  adding new articles. In the meantime, I hope you will still find value in the humble collection of advice here to aid in your pursuit of better health through dietary change and purposeful reducing and combating of toxin exposure.

Again, feel free to add your favorite dietary or detox suggestion in the comments.

Thank you again,




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Dr. Fung and Herbal Soup Recipes

Today I’ve got a couple of Chinese soup recipes for you that are from the book “Sixty Years In the Search of Cures” (1994) by Dr. Fung Fung & his son, John Fung.

In 2002, when I first met Dr Fung, he was over 90 years old and I knew very little about Chinese medicine. I was very skeptical at the time, following my wife to see a side of life I was unfamiliar with. My wife grew up in China where herbal medicine was common place, but to me, having grown up in a world of Western medicine and pharmaceuticals, I thought herbal medicine seemed like quackery.

Have you ever experienced an “herbalist” where the price of the herbal prescriptions were expensive, no copy of the written prescription was provided, and there was no full disclosure of the ingredients?  We have and you don’t have to settle for that. When my wife first experienced this kind of practice in the United States, she mistakenly assumed “that’s the way things are done in the United States.” Eventually she sought a recommendation from her cousin who practiced in China, his recommendation led us to Dr. Fung.

Dr. Fung was vastly different. He was a man worthy of being a role model. His character would be able to persuade the cynics, like me, and restore the faith of the believer, like my wife. Dr. Fung exhibited the true essence of a Chinese Medicine doctor. He has a long a colorful history that begins as a humble student and herbalist in Guangzhou before World War II, which led him to an unexpected stay in Southern Vietnam for 30 years (1939-1969) where he developed a thriving practice in his home away from home.

When we met him in 2002, he was a tall stately gentleman and semi-retired herbalist who worked in a small clinic in Cupertino, California, where he, in his spartan consultation chamber, engaged and observed his clients, checked their pulses, looked at their tongues, getting answers to a few questions and writing out herbal prescriptions in the traditional manner with his beautiful long hand. His son John (who I remember looks like martial artist Donny Yen) would fill the herbal prescriptions and then charge a very modest fee for the herbs which included a copy of Dr. Fung’s beautifully written prescriptions. And his prescriptions were effective.

Speaking in their native Cantonese, he and my wife grew instant rapport. After a brief discussion of her history, he asked my wife, “Why would you drink an herbal prescription when you didn’t know what was in it?”  Simple question. Good question.

Dr. Fung is and remains one of the Chinese Medicine doctors who inspired me to study Chinese Medicine. So it is with great gratitude and respect that I share a small part of one of his books.

Here are a couple of simple soup recipes that would be useful to nourish your liver and aid in reducing the effects of stress, both important in the mission to detoxify your body.


Cover shot by Challen Yee

Cover shot by Challen Yee


From “Sixty Years in Search of Cures” by Dr. Fung Fung.


The Goodness Of Soup

Soup is nutritious and easy to make. Just gather the ingredients, combine them in the right proportions, and boil them in water. The relative quantities of water and ingredient, will determine the thickness of the soup. Westerners seem to prefer thick soups, whereas Chinese prefer to drink the broth and consume the ingredients separately.

Soup normally comes before the principal dish in a Western meal. In the Chinese tradition, especially in the south, soup stands on its own. It can be served at mealtimes with a meal, in between meals, or as a snack before bedtime. Since soup is an important part of the diet, the Chinese have developed a wide range of soup recipes. The Cantonese in particular are well known for their enthusiasm for soup, and for the great variety of their soup menus.

With the addition of some special herbs, soup can be eaten in order to prevent ailments or address certain physical conditions. The soups described below are selected recipes used by our family through the years. Most of the ingredients can be purchased from Asian supermarkets, and the special herbs from any herb store. When the soup is done, the essence of the ingredients will have been dissolved in the broth. Therefore, the broth should be consumed. The boiled ingredients may be eaten as well, with the exception of some herbs which will be rendered coarse and tasteless after cooking. Specific instructions in each of the following recipes describe which herbs to discard.

[I have specially selected two for this post]

Strengthen the liver.

3 oz pig liver, sliced
7 oz lean pork, sliced
5 oz abrus (Herba Abri Fruticulosis, ji gu cao)
3 cups water
After the soup boils, let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Add boiling water to compensate for evaporation. Skim the fat floating on top of the broth. Salt or soy sauce may be added to enhance the taste. Drink the broth, and consume all the other ingredients except the herb.


Anxiety and nervousness.
This soup may be eaten to calm the body and mind, and prevent

6 oz lean pork, sliced
15 pieces red dates
3 cups water
After the soup boils, let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Add boiling water to compensate for evaporation. Skim the fat floating on top of the broth. Salt or soy sauce may be added to enhance the taste. Drink the broth, and consume all the other ingredients.


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A historical look at Cancer

Note: I was fascinated by the historical research found in today’s passage and I hope you will too. Thanks to Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron for their research involving Vitamin C and its effects on cancer.

This book was recommended by Dr. Michael Savage when I was researching methods to help my sister fight (and beat) an adult onset of cancer of the thymus. Although she had treatment by chemo and radiation, I do not doubt that her major turn in her diet, going organic, high on vegetables and fruits, moderation in meats, using some high quality supplements and by and large eliminating most of the junk she used to eat resulted in a marked improvement in her countenance, energy, and outlook.

I am a strong proponent of a diet high in natural sources of vitamin C and I personally supplement with higher than typical doses of Vitamin C when fighting illness, infection, injury or after eating foods that may be high in carcinogens.

There is mainly one common side effect of Vitamin C that I’ve encountered in clinical application and that is of stomach cramping leading to diarrhea. A rare case that indicates caution is if the patient has high iron levels the blood (hemochromatosis) since Vitamin C aids in the binding of dietary iron for transfer into the blood. On the other hand, the function of adequate Vitamin C is valuable for low iron patients.

This is a longer than usual passage for my blog, but I believe you will find it a useful source of historical information.

This is one of ht enlaces my sister travelled to after she beat her cancer in 2013. (Photo by Challen Yee - 1989)

This is one of the places my sister travelled to after she beat her cancer in 2013. (Photo by Challen Yee – 1989)

From Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron’s “Cancer and Vitamin C” (1993)

Excerpt from the chapter  “The Causes of Cancer”

At this moment more than one million Americans are under medical care for cancer. This year about 395,000 of them will die, one every minute and a half. And, of course, we must not think only of the United States. This is a world problem, and from that wider perspective we see that every four seconds a human being, with all his hopes and aspirations, is dying from cancer, possibly quite miserably.

These statistics are frightening.

What is the cause of all this suffering?

In a more innocent age, cancer was regarded as an act of God. We are now beginning to realize that many, and indeed probably the majority, of human cancers are man-made, the results of our careless and almost criminal pollution of our environment.

The first recognition of an environmental cause of cancer is attributed to Sir Percival Pott, a London surgeon who in 1775 described the cancer of the scrotum that was prevalent among the adolescent chimney sweeps of his day as an occupational disease. Since their early childhood they had been, to quote Sir Percival, “thrust up narrow and sometimes hot chimneys.” His conclusion was that “the disease in these people seems to derive its origin from the lodgement of soot in the rugae (skin creases) of the scrotum.” Thus over two centuries ago there was given a clear and concise description of a “cause-and-effect” occupational cancer, and more than an inkling as to how it might be prevented. Early in the present century patient work in a Japanese laboratory (the daily painting of a rabbit’s ears with soot suspensions for week after week) did prove that soot (and later some of its identifiable chemical constituents) is indeed carcinogenic – able to give rise to cancer.

In later years many other forms of occupational cancer were recognized. When the causative carcinogen was identified it became possible to institute and enforce preventive measures and thus to eliminate the hazard. One of these diseases was the “Mule-spinners cancer” of the “Dark Satanic Cotton Mills” of Victorian England, again a scrotal cancer, caused by the constant saturation of work clothes by hot lubricating oil splashing from the steam-powered looms. Then there was the recognition of an abnormally high incidence of lung cancer among the uranium miners of Joachimsthal in Bohemia, where only much later was it recognized that the ores are highly radioactive
and that the radioactive gas radon is present in the air. The solid radioactive decay products of the inhaled radon were deposited in the lungs, where they produced carcinogenic rays. About one half of the miners who had died up to 1939 had developed lung cancer. There was also the belated recognition in Germany and Russia, and later in the United States and Britain, of an abnormally high incidence of bladder cancer among workers in the aniline dyestuffs industry and other industries who were exposed to the substance B-naphthylamine. More recently it has been recognized that workers and other people exposed to asbestos have a high incidence of an unusually vicious cancer of the pleura and peritoneum, and even more alarmingly that this increased incidence occurs in family members whose only contact with asbestos came through the dust brought home on the workers’ clothes. There was a particularly high incidence of this rather rare form of cancer in Japan that has been explained by the fact that the rice that they ate had been polished with asbestos fibers. An increased incidence of cancer has been observed also in other industries and many carcinogenic agents have been identified, such as carbon black in print workers, carbon tetrachloride in dry cleaners, benzpyrene in roofing, asphalt, and coke oven workers, polychlorobiphenyls in paper-mill workers, vinyl chloride in the plastics industry, and many more.

Then came the clear demonstration of the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Cigarette smoking became fashionable among men in the 1920’s, and about 25 years later the world experienced an explosive growth of lung cancer among men.
Between 1910 and 1940 the average number of cigarettes smoked per day by men in the United States increased eight-fold, from about 0.5 per day to 4 per day. Between 1930 and 1960 the mortality from lung cancer (the number of deaths per 100,000 men per year) also increased about eight-fold, from 4 to 35. For women nearly similar increases in cigarette smoking and then in mortality from lung cancer occurred, with a delay of 25 years.

Lung cancer now causes 35 percent of the cancer deaths in men, more than any other kind of cancer. In 1978 close to 100,000 men and women in the United States died of lung cancer, for the most part because they smoked popular cigarettes. Moreover, cigarette smokers have an increased probability at each age of dying from other forms of cancer and from heart disease and other diseases. The average cigarette smoker develops serious illnesses and dies 8 years earlier than the average non-smoker. On the average, each cigarette smoked decreases the life expectancy of the smoker by 10 minutes.

It is the delay of 15 to 30 years between exposure to the carcinogen, such as cigarette smoke, and the development of the recognizable cancer that worries many thoughtful people in the world today, people who can remember when cigarette smoking was a perfectly acceptable social habit with no suspicion of any danger. Since the Second World War we have lived in an increasingly “chemical” society, with plastics, pesticides, herbicides, artificial colors and flavors, food additives, and other chemicals to which the human body is not accustomed being manufactured on a gigantic scale. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that 60,000 chemicals are already in commercial use and that new ones are coming into use at the rate of 1000 a year. Many of these agents have been recognized to be carcinogenic and some of them have been banned. The tragedy is that it takes time to identify the carcinogens, however, and many people who are exposed to them before they are recognized and removed from the market will appear only after the induction period of two to three decades.
High-energy radiation in all its forms – alpha, beta, and gamma rays from radioactive substances, cosmic rays, x-ray, and even ultraviolet rays in sunlight – also is carcinogenic. The high incidence of cancer in workers in the uranium industry has already been mentioned. Many of the women from 1916 to 1924 painted the dials on watches and clocks with a radioactive paint and who brought a brush to a fine point by putting it between their lips thus getting the radioactive radium or thorium into their bones, died later of bone cancer. The radioactive atomic nuclei liberated into the atmosphere by the test explosions of nuclear weapons (strontium 90, cesium 137, carbon 14, and others) are now present in every human being and continue to increase the incidence of cancer all over the world. Many of the scientists and physicians who worked with x-rays during the first decade or two after their discovery in 1896, until their carcinogenic power was discovered, developed cancer.

The natural exposure of people to high-energy radiation, part of which comes from cosmic rays and part from natural radioactivity (radium, potassium 40, tritium), varies from place to place but amounts on the average to about 100 milliroentgens per year. This unavoidable exposure causes genetic mutations that lead to the birth of infants with minor or gross congenital defects and also causes cancer. There is some uncertainty about how much cancer is caused by this amount of high-energy radiation, but we have confidence in the estimate made by Dr. Hardin B. Jones, late Professor of Medical Physics and Physiology in the University of California, Berkeley, who concluded that 9 percent of all cases of cancer are produced by it.

The average exposure of people in the United States to medical x-rays for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes is about the same, 100 milliroentgens per year, and medical x-rays may thus cause as many cancers as background radiation. Of course, it must be remembered that the use of x-rays in medical practice is of great value, and that the danger of genetic and somatic damage by the x-rays is one that often must be taken, although it should be kept to a minimum by taking care that the x-ray exposure is not made except when necessary and then not in amounts greater than necessary.

Continued exposure to sunlight of people whose skin is not strongly pigmented is related to an increased incidence of skin cancer. The conclusion that this increased incidence is caused by the ultraviolet rays in the sunlight has been made highly probable by careful studies of a similar effect of ultraviolet light on hairless mice.

Another apparent cause of cancer is heat. For example, some people in India who warm themselves by holding a pot of glowing coals under their clothes have an increased incidence of cancer of the skin in the area that is repeatedly heated by the hot pot…

… Now that we understand the enemy, we have the duty to conquer him. Cancer is caused by agents and conditions that change the genetic material in the cells of our bodies. It is clearly sensible for us to strive to prevent these changes and thus to prevent cancer. High-energy radiation causes cancer; hence we should avoid being exposed to it — no unnecessary x-rays, no over-exposure to sunlight, no radioactive pollution from nuclear weapons tests or nuclear power plants. Many chemicals cause cancer; hence we should try to identify them and to ban them. Moreover, as will be pointed out later, vitamin C is a rather general detoxifying agent, and its proper use can help to protect us against carcinogenic chemicals, even those in tobacco smoke, although here the only sensible course is to stop smoking. Our normal tissues and organs fight the renegade malignancy; it is our duty to ourselves to help strengthen them in this fight, and there is evidence that vitamin C and other nutrients provide this strengthening influence.


It is noteworthy that this is from a 1993 revision, 20 years ago, and the actual number of  chemicals used  and the statistics do not reflect 2014 levels.

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