Corey Weinstein, MD
Homeopathy and Natural Medicine
Dr. Weinstein has retired as of 6/30/2017
Your Subtitle text

Newsletter

My opinions about medicine and health.  Let me know if there are other issues you would like me to discuss on this page.

EMF What Is It? And Where?

             EMF means electromagnetic field.  It is a physical energetic field that radiates from all things in nature and from man-made electronic systems.  It includes cosmic rays, gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared light, radar, microwaves, TV, radio, cellphones and all electronic transmission systems.  Electromagnetic radiation is made up of electric and magnetic fields that move at right angles to each other at the speed of light. 

             Electromagnetic radiation is always and everywhere around us.  The potential effects of electromagnetic fields on human health vary widely depending on the frequency and intensity of the fields.  Some EMFs are very strong and toxic like X-rays and UV light, and others are weak and trivial at usual exposures.  There is great debate on the toxicity of ordinary devices like mobile phones and common equipment like electrical power lines.  It is very hard to come to firm conclusions because the science is so tainted by commercial interests.  We might be facing a public health disaster from mobile phones like we did with asbestos exposure, cigarette smoking and coal and cotton dust.   There are opposing views about EMF by even good untainted scientists. 

             It is reasonable to be cautious.  After all in our history as a species we have very little exposure to EMF before the modern electric age.  Just consider the list of things in our homes that can produce a field strong enough to have known health consequences: electric ranges, hair dryers, telephones, fluorescent lights, toaster oven, CD player, TV screen, calculator, space heater, air purifier, clocks, clock radios, electric blankets, water beds, computers, home wiring,  any other electric appliance. 

             EMF force can be measured by a Gauss Meter.  Any reading at or greater than 0.5 mG is above the usual ambient exposure.  The US Environmental Protection Agency and the government of Sweden have adopted a safety limit of 1 mG (one miligause).

 MY HOME

             To access  the possible exposures in my own home I purchased an inexpensive Gauss Meter and did a walk through measuring the EMF.  I was surprised by a few of the readings and concerned that we had been exposed to harmful radiation routinely.  The most significant exposures came from our clock radios.  One read 17 mG at the radio with the field degrading to a reading of 1 by 18 inches away from the front of the radio.  It didn’t matter if the radio itself was on or not.  Another older clock radio put out 65 mG at the device and didn’t get below 1 mG in force until measured 23 inches away from the front of the radio.  With the first 17 mG radio the person sleeping on the bed was far enough away to be quite safe.  But the person sleeping near the 65 mG radio had been exposed and we moved the radio and sleeping position to protect the sleeper.  Other high energy devices included:  wall mounted CD player 40 mG (.1 mG at 12”), electric space heater 14 mG (.1 mG at 18”, 10 mG even when off), electric space heater 10 mG (1 at 12”), small air filter 90 mG (1 at 24”), computer flat screen 2.9 mG at the bottom of the screen (1 at 12”), computer tower (less than 1mG everywhere), recessed halogen light fixture 4 mG (1 at 24”), incandescent bulb fixture .4 mG (.1 at 12”), charging unit for leaf blower 2.5 mG.  So it looks like the radios and devices that have electric motors in them are the trouble spots in my home.

            I visited a friend’s house to compare these results and found some important and hazardous devices.  She had a “Storm Station” that is always plugged in and contains flashlights, batteries and such.  It read 200 mG.  Her toaster oven was 50 mG and safe only at 24” away.  The microwave leaked out at a reading of 110 mG and was still a problem up until 3.5’ away.  The small space heater in her home put out 160 mG at the device and safe only at 3’ away.  A clock radio was 10 mG and safe at 8” and a digital clock used on the bed stand was 13 mG and safe at 8” so was moved farther from the sleeper’s pillow.  Her computers, TV screen and CD players were fine with safe readings at usual use distances.  But the electric kettle for boiling water read 45 mG so was moved off of the kitchen table so that the user would be more than 12” away.  
            In my brief study of home safety we identified a number of possible hazards.  In each case merely making sure that the device is a safe distance from anyone except for brief moments is adequate to insure that no injury occurs.  Here is the list that we found in two ordinary homes:

 ---clock radio and clocks

 ---electric space heaters

 ---microwave ovens

 ---toasters

 ---electric kettles

 ---CD players

 ---air filters

 ---any charging station

             There were differences among the devices from brand to brand.

 HOUSE CALL TO EVALUATE YOUR HOME

             For my established patients I am happy to come to your home with my Gauss Meter and evaluate the equipment you have running.   Just call the office and we can talk about when to do such a home visit and the cost of the analysis.

 
Of Iodine, Salt, Bread and Colors

Everyone has been thinking a lot about Iodine since the beginning of the disaster at the nuclear fueled power plant in Japan. Families have asked me to provide homeopathic Kali iodatum 6X to prevent absorption and ill effects of one of the toxic radioactive elements spewed into the air from the plant. The best way to follow our local risk is by going online to the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley and look at the data: http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/AirSamplingResults . Adding to the unfolding tragedy of radioactive pollution in Japan and worldwide is the insistence of our bought and paid for politicians that nuclear power plant building be restarted in the US.

Iodine is an important nutrient in our daily diet, not just a preventive medicine in times of nuclear disaster. To improve the public’s health Iodine has been added to ordinary table salt in this country since 1924, but the ancient Greeks used Iodine enriched salts to treat common goiter, a swelling of the Thyroid Gland. In the US the large areas of drainage of the last ice age had left places like Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota with Iodine poor soil and Iodine poor produce grown there which resulted in goiter in adults and mental retardation in children. Those conditions were dramatically reduced with the introduction of Iodine into table salt 85 years ago.

But does everyone, everywhere need iodized salt? Certainly people who eat locally in the Iodine poor areas do. The daily requirement of Iodine is about 150 micrograms. There are 300 micrograms (mcg.) in a teaspoon of iodized salt and 99 mcg. in three ounces of salt water fish, 35 mcg. in 3 ounces of shrimp, 56 mcg. in a cup of milk, 60 in a potato with peel, 4,500 mcg. in ¼ ounce of seaweed. The body gets rid of excess Iodine so it is hard to overdose. Many Japanese eat lots of seaweed and thrive. If you think that your diet is adequate in Iodine then the added Iodine in ordinary table salt is unnecessary and you can buy Kosher Salt which is pure Sodium Chloride.

Speaking of small things in food that aren’t necessary let me mention a bit about food colorings. Most artificial colorings are synthetic chemicals that do not occur in nature, some are petrochemicals from oil. Mostly they are used in candy, breakfast cereals for kids and other junk food, so are easy to avoid while having a nutritious well balanced diet. The Center for Science in the Public Interest advises that we avoid all artificially colored foods and especially Caramel Coloring, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Orange B, Green 3 and Blue 1 and 2. Some cause allergies, some are carcinogenic some need more testing to prove safety. For example the commonly used Caramel Coloring contains 2- and 4-methylimidazole that are possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Finally just a mention about the latest fashion in dieting that avoids carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes and other starchy foods. While the high protein and fat diets that shun starch might be good for a few people, I’ve seen the trouble caused by such unbalanced eating since the high protein diets for Hypoglycemia came into use 36 years ago. For many the avoidance of complex carbohydrates puts a great strain on the liver and the stomach and results in indigestion and finally fatigue and gallbladder trouble. I still think that the best diet is a well-balanced calorie appropriate food plan of nutritious whole foods lovingly prepared and joyously eaten.

Blood Pressure News

In the past few years there has started a push by doctors to lower blood pressure in people with no history of heart trouble.  When I started in medicine in the 1960s blood pressure that was above 140/90 was considered too high.  Lately the target readings recommended are below 130/80.  Two recent studies have shown that the old idea of healthy blood pressure is correct.  Each study was very large and in each there was no difference in mortality between groups of people treated so their blood pressures were below 130/80 or below 140/90.  In the largest trial there was no difference in adverse cardiovascular events between groups.  So yes watch that blood pressure and make sure that it is below 140/90 when taken in a quiet place while at rest for at least 5 minutes.  That is the standard resting pressure upon all of this research is based.  Blood

pressure is normally higher than 140/90 during exercise and under emotional distress and excitement.  In a related study researchers looked at what if any benefit lowering Cholesterol and LDL would have in people without a known history of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, angina, etc).  In this study of 65,000 patients there was no significant difference in the number of deaths in the group with LDL cholesterol of 94 or the too high 134.  It seems from these studies that the recent idea that there is no cholesterol that is too low or no blood pressure that is too low just isn’t correct. 

 

Vitamin D Overdose and Fractures

Vitamin D supplementation is generally believed to lower the risk of fractures in older women.  Most doctors now test for Vitamin D levels in middle aged and older patients and provide prescriptions for high dose supplementation as needed.  While previous clinical trials of the benefit of Vitamin D have yielded some conflicting results, generally it is thought that doses above 400 IU per day help with fracture prevention.  But because some people find it hard to take daily doses of Vitamin D a clinical trial was conducted using very high single doses once a year for 3 to 5 years.  The dose was 500,000 IU once a year.  The dose did raise the blood levels of Vitamin D in the treated women to normal levels.  But the fracture and fall rates were found to be higher in the women who got the massive dose of Vitamin D.  A second study confirmed the finding of increased risk of fracture in women getting massive single doses.  It seems prudent to not take such large doses of Vitamin A, or I would say any Vitamin or other micro-nutrient.  They are after all micro-nutrients that our bodies only

have experienced in small amounts during our entire genetic history.  We must take pause and remember the tales of explorers going to the Arctic who got sick and even died after eating polar bear liver that contains huge amounts of Vitamin A.  The study that made me wary of large doses of daily vitamins was the now famous study of middle aged male smokers.  They were given Vitamin A and in a later study Beta Carotene assuming that it would help prevent the development of cancer.  Quite the opposite; those who took the Vitamin A got cancer more frequently than those who took placebo.  Since that study I’ve had more respect for the “micro” in micro-nutrients and have advised only modest quantities of vitamins in most circumstances.

  

Drug for Gout Stolen by URL Pharma

The herb Colchicum has been used to treat Gout for 2,000 years and for inflammatory arthritis for 3,500 years.  Colchicum’s chemical extract Colchicine has been the main treatment for Gout for the last 200 years.  In 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an initiative which targeted old drugs that have never been approved under rules set up in the last 75 years.  The drug company URL Pharma seized this opportunity for profiteering and conducted a study of Colchicine in the treatment of Gout.  The study demonstrated that it works just fine.  The result is that although it has been a generic drug for 200 years, the FDA gave 3-year marketing exclusivity to URL Pharma, in exchange for URL Pharma doing the new study. URL Pharma raised the price from $0.09 per pill to $4.85, and sued to remove other versions from market.  Other companies must cease production this year.  Colchicine is used in both management of the painful acute attacks of Gout and even more commonly in long term prevention.  Patients who used to pay $65 for a year’s supply of the drug

for prevention are now forced to pay $3,600 a year.  Or they can find a good homeopathic practitioner.     

 

Statins and Artery Disease

A new study funded by the manufacturer reported that the cholesterol lowering drug, Crestor decreased the risk of stroke and heart attack in people who had normal cholesterol, but who had increased C Reactive Protein (a marker for inflammation).  The study was deeply flawed and quite suspect.  The alleged positive effect was very small.  Among the people in the study 220 of them would have to take Crestor every day for two years to prevent one heart attack.  It is very hard to say based on this small effect if it is worth the increased incidence of Diabetes caused by Crestor in the study or for the relatively high rates of muscle, liver and kidney damage Crestor can cause (2-8 times that of other Statins).  The study was actually more of a marketing ploy called in the industry a “seeding study” than serious clinical science.  The company, Astra-Zeneca recruited 1,300 medical centers in 26 countries to find 18,000 subjects.  That means that on average, each center enrolled less than 20 people.  This makes the data much less reliable because of possible sampling error and the complexity and reliability of collecting data from so many places.  Such a study is just a veiled drug promotion.  There are many excellent ways to decrease inflammation in the body that are natural and healthful including the use of healthy oils like olive and nut tree oils and fish oil and the eating of plenty of vegetables and avoidance of fried foods.  Decreasing weight to avoid obesity, getting adequate sleep and coping with stress all decrease inflammation, as does Vitamin C. 

 

CELLPHONES ARE HARMFUL

     Yes, there I've gone and said it. Mobile phones do cause illness and there is a    

variety of data that proves it. The occasional brief use of the phone held against your        of no head is of little concern and isn't a problem. But the studies show

that the risk of tumors of the brain and head increase with

length and duration of use. In other words there is a dose

response relationship like any other irritant or poison.

The more you use it the more likely the harmful effect.

     I recommend that you look at the information presented at this website:

www.radiationresearch.org. It's hard to find reliable and

unbiased data. Like we have seen with trials of medications (see below)

negative studies aren't published and drug companies

underwrite many that are designed to get the results the

sponsor desires. But it seems clear to me that independant

research shows that for every 100 hours of cellphone use,

the risk of brain cancer increases by 5%, and for every

year of use the risk goes up 8%.

     Afterall the phone has power to send a signal for miles via

microwaves. That is significant energy,and it's held against the

head. The research is so convincing that a few European countries have limited

sales of the devices to children, allowing use only for texting or

mandating earphone use.

     I recommend that you only use your mobile phone routinely

with an earpiece, and consider a text only device for your child.

That will keep it off of your heads where it does its damage.

We will deal with the early thumb arthritis prevention from

texting and gaming with thumbs at another time.

 

VITAMINS: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

          Vitamins are necessary for health and longevity.  The health food industry promotes vitamins vigorously selling them as prevention for various diseases.  There is a lot of money to be made, but what about the claims?  For at least two vitamins, Folic Acid and A (Beta-carotene) studies have shown that in high doses these essential nutrients can actually be harmful.

          Vitamins are micronutrients needed for well being in tiny amounts compared to macronutrients like protein, fat or carbohydrates.  Most vitamins act as catalysts which allow certain chemical reactions or functions to occur.  In my opinion when our bodies have quite enough of a vitamin then the excess is gotten rid of or can act as an irritating or toxic chemical.  Many of you have noticed that a few hours after taking a high potency B vitamin your urine turns bright yellow or chartreuse.  That is the body getting rid of excess water soluble B.

          In a number of studies Vitamin A and Beta-carotene have been proved to increase the incidence of lung cancer among smokers.  The doses were 25,000 IU of A and 30 mg. of Beta-carotene (ATBC trial, CARET study).  Also in another large trial there was no benefit or harm found in healthy men taking supplements (Physicians’ Health Study).

          A recent study on Folic Acid and cancer in Norway found that after about 7 years of use those people taking the test supplement with Folic Acid developed cancer 21% more often than others.  This is a disturbing finding as Folic Acid deficiency is not uncommon and known to cause various blood illnesses and even Spina Bifida in newborns of mothers who don’t have enough.    

          The same may be true for other vitamins given in large doses.  But they haven’t been subjected to clinical trials.  Certainly the health food industry isn’t interested in such.  For these reasons I do not routinely recommend high potency vitamins.  Rather I advise an insurance formula preparation that has just 100% of the Daily Allowance.  That way both deficiency and toxicity are avoided.  Of course the best way to get micronutrients is through whole foods. 

 

Blood Pressure in the Elderly

Lately standard medicine has been on a “lower the blood pressure” kick.  It seems the new idea is that there is no blood pressure that is too low, unless you get dizzy and faint.  This goes against my training in natural medicine and homeopathy.  Certainly there is a blood pressure that is optimum for each individual that varies from other people.  And it is also true that statistically if one’s blood pressure is above 135/85 repeatedly while at rest, then it could mean that the individual is at risk in the long term for heart disease, stroke and kidney trouble.  Early in my career I presented a case at a homeopathic conference.  During my talk I mentioned that the patient’s blood pressure was normal at 115/80.  Suddenly I heard a clanging noise from the back of the room and looked up to see crutches being struck together.  Then the venerable 90 year old homeopath, Dr. John Renner rose up to say, “Dr. Weinstein you patient’s pressure is too low, the normal blood pressure is 125/75.”  After 40 years of medical practice I largely agree with Dr. Renner.  First of all the difference between the two numbers is critical, and the goal is around 50 points.  That is called the “pulse pressure” and at 50 it shows that the heart and arteries are vigorous and in good tone.  So a low pressure of 90/60 shows a weak cardio-vascular system.  Also what we worry about are pressures that are repeatedly high at rest and taken in a quiet room seated for 5 minutes.  Higher readings are normal during exertion, high emotion and sex.  Finally a recent study showed that among people in their 80s those with pressures between 120 – 160 lived longer than those with pressures below 120.  So aggressive treatment of mild Hypertension in the elderly isn’t a good idea.    

  

DHEA Not the Fountain of Youth

The hormone DHEA is produced in generous amounts in women and men until the third decade of life, when production begins to markedly and progressively decline with age.  The decrease of DHEA production as we age has led to the marketing of various supplements that claim to do everything from increasing the ability to exercise and express sexual power to reversing the aging process itself.  To test these claims studies were done in 2006 and 2008.  Postmenopausal women were prescribed exercise with and without DHEA.  Both studies revealed that the administration of DHEA to postmenopausal women did indeed increase blood levels of DHEA and also total testosterone, estradiol, estrone and insulin-like growth factor-1.  But exercise alone resulted in similar changes both with and without DHEA.  It was clear from these studies that exercise improves physical performance and hormone function in women, and that DHEA does not result in further improvement.  The bottom line is clear: EXERCISE, not drugs is the way to go.  Other research suggests that the decline of hormones as we age actually has an anti-cancer effect.  So adding hormones artificially might cause cancer.

 

Cell Phones and Male Fertility

There is great controversy over whether the use of mobile phones is harmful to humans.  The subject is muddled by the incredible amount of money made through sales of phones and products related to them.  Also confusing the issue is the popularity of these phones in our daily lives.  I have been very concerned over potential health effects because of how close to the head the phone’s small but powerful transmitter is held.  For safety I advise my patients who use these devices routinely to ONLY use them with an ear piece, and never hold the phone up to the head.  Some studies have shown that the phones increase users’ blood pressure because the transmitter causes the arteries in the brain to contract.  A study reported in 2008 was conducted at a fertility clinic.  They looked at mobile phone use by men undergoing infertility evaluations.  It was found that sperm quality decreased as the usage of the phones increased in the men studied.  Another reason to be wary of the safety claims of the telephone industry.      

  

Hard Plastic Causes Disease

Studies done by everyone except the plastics industry shows hard plastics that contain a chemical called BPA cause a variety of illnesses.  These polycarbonates are tough and lightweight and used fro baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, food storage containers, plastic eating utensils and liners for food and soda cans.  Polycarbonates are one of the plastics that have the number 7 symbol on them.  BPA mimics estrogen so disrupts our hormone balance.  It is linked increased rates of breast and prostate cancer, early puberty in girls, diabetes, ADHD and urogenital problems in male babies.  AVOID BPA by using baby bottles of glass or BPA free plastic; storing food in glass, porcelain or stainless steel; never microwaving food in plastic containers and replacing canned foods with fresh, frozen or new boxed or non-BPA lined canned foods. 

  

Antibiotics Don’t Work for Sinusitis

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (12/5/2007, p298) showed that neither antibiotics nor nasal steroid sprays were any better than placebo in treating Acute Bacterial Sinusitis that was diagnosed clinically in a primary care setting.  Clear evidence of infection was required to be included in the study.  This study adds to a growing body of clinical data that proves that in isolated acute sinus infection the usual treatment given is useless.  The same is shown by studies of acute ear infections in children.  Homeopathy is an excellent first line treatment for these conditions as it encourages a natural healing effort without toxicity. 

 

 

 

Website Builder