October 19, 2002 - Medical Research
Medical Research #1 - Kidney Stones
Last week I visited a close relative's home for dinner. The funny thing I noticed in the salad was that there was no cucumber and no tomato either normally the mainstay of Indian Salads. When I asked, I was told that the host had been diagnosed with "kidney stones" and had been advised by his doctor not to have tomato apparently "because it had seeds in it". These seeds in the tomato, which are like small stones, after all, seemed to have some magical capability to transport themselves into the kidney,
where they would become kidney stones. "In fact, we have stopped eating anything with small seeds in it cucumber, lady's finger (okra)"
Leaving aside the logic of the travelling stones, I for one could not believe that something healthy like a tomato could possibly be harmful to health. So I asked them, do you know why the doctor said not to have tomatoes? They said no he said and we listened. Unfortunately, this seems to be the prevalent attitude in the doctor-patient relationship almost a master-slave one! No questions asked. Just obey orders.
After some more questioning, they delved out a standard photo-copied paper, that the good doctor was handing out to all kidney stone patients - that listed in three columns, foods high in calcium, oxalate and one more thing I forget. These were the foods to be avoided. Doctor's orders. Any argument from my end was turning out futile, so I held my peace and decided to do some brief "layman's research" on the Internet.
Here are my findings from the National Kidney Foundation documents - Just because a person suffers from calcium oxalate kidney stones, it does not mean that calcium rich and oxalate rich foods have to be automatically excluded from the diet for every such person. Specific tests have to be run to determine these things. - Nowhere is it mentioned that tomatoes and lady's finger or cucumber are contra-indicated
So much for the standard advice. What takes the cake, however is the recent research published in January, 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Here, in a five year study, they found that
"Results from a five-year Italian study may spell the end for the standard advice for preventing kidney stones. Researchers found the long-recommended low-calcium diet may actually worsen the painful
problem; instead, the secret to avoiding the painful stones appears to lie in cutting back on salt and protein"
The article can be read at : http://www.msnbc.com/news/684861.asp
The full text of study can be read at: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/346/2
- Do doctors have time to keep abreast of the latest studies in various fields? Do they accept it and change their advice, or dismiss anything contrary to what they are practicing, until overwhelming
pressure forces them to change their views?
- How can one "scientific medical research" completely negate the results of the standard recommended advice that has been passed on to unsuspecting patients for years? I can understand refinements, fine changes, refinements based on advanced research, but turning it on its head?
- What can this mean? I can see only two possibilities:
(a) that the previous advice had no medical basis which means that doctors are prescribing things based on folklore or myths or something similar, not on the basis of Scientific research. OR
(b) the previous advice was also based on scientific research. In that case, the very basis of this research needs to be questioned. Is it scientific at all? How can one scientific research prove the
opposite of another?
= From a Natural Hygiene perspective the fact that high protein foods (animal products) and salt are not good for health is nothing new. This has been known by us for 200 years. We have to just
wait I guess until more and more of NH knowledge is validated by scientific research. How much un-necessary suffering and deaths will result in the interim period is anybody's guess.
Medical Research #2
While on the subject of medical studies, in the course of my search I came across this gem of a study done in 2002:
I give below some extracts without any comment from my side
Kissing and Food Reactions
Hallett and colleagues (June 6 issue)1 describe kissing-triggered reactions to food allergens. We would like to point out that kissing may lead to allergic reactions to far more than food. Liccardi et
al.2 recently reported the induction of severe drug-related angioedema in a 45-year-old woman due to kissing-transmitted bacampicillin, which her husband had ingested as a tablet two hours
before kissing her.2 Clearly, the kissing mode of exposure may be relevant not only for teenagers, as Hallett et al. suggest, but for all age groups. Physicians should be aware of this problem.
Reactions began rapidly after the kiss in all interviewed subjects (all in less than one minute). All 17 reported localized itching and swelling or urticaria in the area kissed. Four subjects reported the
development of wheezing with at least one episode of kissing. Patient 5 was kissed on the cheek by his mother right after she tasted pea soup on the stove and a large wheal immediately developed at the
exact site of the kiss, followed in minutes by flushing, urticaria, angioedema, and severe wheezing, requiring the administration of epinephrine in the emergency department.
The full text of the study can be read at