April 2000


By Michael J. Katin, MD

As I was buying gasoline today at $1.51 per gallon (and happy to get it at that price) I remembered sitting in line at gasoline stations in the Washington, DC, area in 1979. I'm sure it was not just in the capital city that television, radio, and newspaper articles were overloaded with details as to how our government was going to act on multiple levels to prevent our country from ever again becoming dependent on foreign oil. This included massive investment into developing solar, wind, and tidal power. A multi-billion dollar project was started to allow oil to be extracted from shale in the Western states. Energy efficiency was to be treasured in order that we could still maintain our standard of living by using only a small fraction of the energy consumed in 1979. A bonus was that by minimizing the use of fossil fuels, there would be less risk of environmental damage. I think at that time an ice age was supposed to develop rather than global warming, but I may be remembering wrong.

I heard yesterday that the Social Security system has been funded to the point that it will be solvent until 2035. I was happy to hear that, although, despite projections by experts, I know exactly how long it will be solvent. It will be solvent until exactly two weeks after I get old enough to qualify for benefits. This would allow one check to be generated and bounce before it could clear, thus at least providing a momento of that historical feat of social engineering.

We can get accustomed to being betrayed by our politicians, our economists, and, most poignantly and most effectively, our families, but now we may have reached rock bottom. We are now being betrayed by vitamins.

I didn't feel too bad when beta carotene turned out to be a fraud, but I was set back tremendously when it was reported in a presentation from the American Heart Association meeting that vitamin C can actually promote rather than prevent atherosclerosis.

In case you missed it, it turns out that only 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily could result in 2 1/2 times the rate of carotid atherosclerosis compared to controls. Vitamin C, of course, is the first and greatest of the vitamins recommended by nutritionally-oriented healers to prevent everything from heart disease to cancer. Linus Pauling actively promoted the use of megadoses of vitamin C and died of prostate cancer in his 90's, although, if this new study is true, probably he never knew it.

Combine this now with the finding that nicotine may set back the course of degenerative brain disease and it's hard to know what to believe anymore. But I know one thing that we can. That people who don't have any vices don't live longer, but it just seems that way? That turns out to be correct. Party on.

email: mkatin@radiotherapy.com