2002 News Listings
Homeopathy: Scientific Proofs of Efficacy Published
Fluoride Exposure Can Cause Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis Linked to Fluoride
New York -- October 28, 2002 -- Naturally fluoridated water is linked to knee
osteoarthritis at levels lower than expected (1) and in amounts many
Americans consume daily, according to a study published in "Rheumatology
At high doses, fluoride, a well-known tooth and bone seeking element,
undeniably damages bones and reportedly can cause arthritis(2a,b). However,
this study, "Endemic fluorosis in Turkish patients: relationship with knee
osteoarthritis," correlates knee osteoarthritis to fluoride at levels, 1.9
- 3.6 milligrams per liter (mg/L), that many Americans ingest daily via food,
air, water, medicines and dental products.
Fluoride's maximum contaminant level, 4 mg/L, is set by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, for public water supplies, to prevent bone
disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones(3). Neither a nutrient
nor essential to health, fluoride gets into tap water through natural rock
erosion, from fertilizer runoff, or when purposely added to reduce tooth
However, researchers Savas et al., found arthritis symptoms in patients
drinking water fluoride levels averaging only 2.7 mg/L.
"Unknowingly, Americans inhale or consume between 1.6 - 6.6 mg fluoride a
day(4) from varying sources, as obscure as ocean mist, and as common as
french fries and cola," says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State
Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF). "Little do they know their
fluoridated tap water and food supply could be causing their arthritic
ailments," says Beeber.
One third of American adults suffer with arthritis(5). "It's curious that
Hawaii, the least fluoridated state (9%), in 66% fluoridated U.S., also has
the least arthritic adults (17.8%). It is imperative that the government
study the relationship between arthritis and ingested fluoride," says Beeber
Organized dentistry, with little toxicology training, decided that about one
milligram daily fluoride is "optimal" for reducing tooth decay - a level
they admit has never been scientifically determined(6). But according to
UNICEF, "A single "optimal" level for daily intake cannot be agreed
because the nutritional status of individuals, which varies greatly,
influences the rate at which fluoride is absorbed by the body. A diet poor in
calcium for example, increases the body's retention of fluoride." (7)
Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disorder characterized by degeneration of
joint cartilage and adjacent bone that can cause joint pain and stiffness.(8)
In this study, an endemic fluorosis group was compared to a control group.
"The severity of osteoarthritis was greater in patients with endemic
fluorosis than controls, both clinically and radiologically," Savas et al.
Endemic fluorosis for this study was defined as:
1) Living in the endemic fluorosis region since birth
2) having mottled tooth enamel, indicating dental fluorosis
3) consuming water with fluoride levels above 1.2 mg/L
4) a urine fluoride level greater than 1.5 mg/L
The mean fluoride level in the drinking water, serum and urine was
significantly higher in patients with fluorosis than in controls.
References on our website:
Paul Beeber, President and General Counsel, NYSCOF, Inc., 516-433-8882,
[Adapted from GUNA Press Release]
Homeopathy: Scientific Proofs of Efficacy
Recently, an Italian company, GUNA, published the English version of the book
"Homeopathy: the scientific proofs of efficacy", written by
an International Advisory Committee and promoted by A.I.O.T.
A.I.O.T., Italian Homotoxicology Medical Association - Homeopathic and
Biological Medicine Research and Permanent Training Institute, is the
largest Italian medical society in the field of Complementary Medicine,
with a membership of over 4,000 medical doctors, in 2001.
AIOT's activities focus on training courses for medical doctors (MDs) which
take place all over Italy.
The Advisory Committee, that lists Professors with highly qualified
International curricula from Europe and South America, performed a lengthy,
detailed analysis of the extensive homeopathic literature until December
2001 and selected only studies that strictly comply with scientific methodologies
and criteria. The analysis has focused mainly on the studies published
in the past 4 years. The volume shows the results of this analysis
in simple synoptic tables and reports, for each reference, bibliographic
data and a short summary.
The book proves objectively that homeopathic medicines possesses
therapeutic efficacy. GUNA decided not to cover the volume by copyright
in order to make it available to anybody.
Natural Kava Supplements May Be Safe After All
[Adapted from GUNA Press Release]
"Very interesting story of how supplements used for many years
become dangerous when pharmaceutical companies get ahold of them."
UH scientists may have solved kava mystery
By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Big Island Bureau
HILO, Hawai'i - A team of University of Hawai'i scientists may have solved
the mystery of why some Europeans who used products containing kava
extract suffered severe liver damage, prompting a number of nations to ban
sales of the herbal supplement.
The culprit may be a compound found in the stem peelings and leaves of the
kava plant - known in Hawai'i as 'awa - but not in the roots that are used
to make the traditional kava drink consumed by Pacific Islanders.
Just to be safe, people should avoid tea or anything else made from the
leaves or stems of the plant, according to C.S. Tang, professor of
molecular biosciences and biosystems engineering at UH-Manoa.
Bans in Singapore, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere wiped
out pharmaceutical sales of kava and virtually destroyed it as an export
crop in Hawai'i. While kava supplements are not banned in the United
States, the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory in March 2002
warning of the potential risk of severe liver injury from dietary
supplements containing kava.
The health alarms left farmers in Hamakua and elsewhere with crops that
were hardly worth harvesting.
Experts were unable to explain how a plant used in island cultures for
2,000 years could suddenly be so toxic, causing liver damage that was
fatal in some cases.
Now researchers led by Tang believe they may have found the key: Peelings
from the stem bark of kava plants apparently were used to create the
extract for the herbal supplements, and may be to blame for liver failure
and liver-related injuries that included hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Traditional kava drinkers discard the peelings, but Tang and his team
learned from a trader in Fijian kava that European pharmaceutical
companies eagerly bought up the peelings when demand for kava extract
soared in Europe in 2000 and 2001.
"Peelings are traditionally avoided by the kava drinkers with good
reason," Tang said. "If you don't respect the traditional use or people
who learn by experience, if you don't respect that, you might get yourself
Supplements containing kava are promoted as remedies for sleeplessness and
Drinking kava has not been associated with liver damage.
In Europe, where most of the health problems occurred, kava extract is
used in capsule form, and the cases of liver damage apparently involved
people who took the capsules, the scientists reported.
In a research paper accepted for publication in the scientific journal
Phytochemistry, researchers Klaus Dragull, W.Y. Yoshida and Tang report
they found an alkaloid called pipermethystine in tests of stem peelings
and kava leaves.
Pipermethystine also was present in lower concentrations in the bark of
the stump but was not found in the root itself. The root is what is used
to make the traditional drink.
Preliminary tests by researcher Pratibha Nerurkar show pipermethystine has
a "strong negative effect" on liver cell cultures. If peelings containing
the alkaloid were used to make kava capsules - and the scientists suspect
they were - that could explain the liver damage in some of the people who
took the capsules.
The peelings were available during the kava boom because kava drinkers in
the Pacific didn't want them, and the stem peelings contain high levels of
kavalactones, the ingredient in kava that provides its calming effects.
The Fijian kava dealer reported the peelings had emerged as a very
important trading item because "it's cheap and it's a waste product by the
kava drinkers, therefore the pharmaceutical companies, they love it and it
became part of the trade," Tang said.
The UH researchers also learned that the analysis method used by some
companies to test plant products could not detect the difference between
the alkaloids and kavalactones, "and therefore they mistakenly thought
there's no problem, that it's similar stuff," Tang said.
"I'm fairly optimistic that we are on the right track, because everything
seems to be falling into the picture because of the use of peelings," Tang
said. "But like any scientist, I would say that nothing is final until our
results are accepted by the regulatory agencies."
If the researchers are right, kava could again emerge as a viable export
crop. But that could take quite awhile.
At its peak in 2001, the state Department of Agriculture estimates there
were 65 farms in Hawai'i growing kava, but growers agreed that has dropped
Matthew Archibald, vice president of operations for Agrinom, an
agricultural company in Hakalau on the Big Island, said the UH research is
an important step in resuscitating the kava industry worldwide, but that
it could take years and millions of dollars to rebuild the European
In August 2001, Agrinom was shipping 50,000 pounds of dried kava a month,
grossing $300,000. That operation collapsed two months later when the
German government banned sales.
"The damage has been done," he said. "For example, we're not going to get
into Germany for a very, very long time. There would have to be some major
development for us to be able to get back in there. But if someone could
open up China, for example, where they're more accepting of herbal
medicines in general, that could be a possibility."
Reach Kevin Dayton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808)
The moral of the story is to get information on Herbal Medicines from
experienced clinical herbalists (books or in-person) and to get herbs
from reputable companies (e.g.,