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New Age Medicine - Prescribing Nutrients Nov 1996 Vol 6, No 8

"Too many free radicals, that's your problem."

"Free radicals, Sir?"

"Yes. They're toxins that destroy the body and brain - caused by eating too much red meat and white bread and too many dry Martinis."

"Then I shall cut out the white bread, Sir."

James Bond, Never Say Never Again (1983)

Unfortunately, it is very difficult - if not impossible - for the layman to understand the extremely complex subject of free radicals and antioxidants the substances used to combat free radicals . The only thing your average consumer might be aware of is that supplements are suddenly sprouting labels that proclaim the inclusion of 'Antioxidant Vitamins'.

Evidence in recent years suggests that maintaining high intake of some vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and certain other food constituents may help to protect against life-threatening diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Can nutritional supplements hope to cure or prevent disease?

There are many health care practitioners when believe that the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes", and who have made the prescription of nutrient programmes a key feature of their practice. But you might well ask yourself why you should see such a practitioner. Why not just buy one of the antioxidant supplements available over the counter, in the same way that you select a multivitamin/mineral supplement?

Unfortunately, the issue has got quite complicated. In all, research has uncovered hundreds of naturally occurring antioxidants, the most well known of which are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E Betacarotene
  • Bioflavonoids ' several enzymes including SOD and CoQ-10
  • Selenium
  • some of the B vitamins. With these discoveries has come many questions:
  • Why so many?
  • Couldn't just one do the job'?
  • If not, what does each antioxidant do?
  • How much of each of the major antioxidants is required?
  • Are there problems administering them all at once?
  • Are there health risks with antioxidants?

Specialist practitioners in the field of micronutrients feel that they are in the best position to answer these sort of questions. Depending on the patient's condition, up to 60 different pills and tablets might need to be taken daily, in conjunction with specific meals or foodstuffs in order to ensure the best possible absorption of the supplement and therefore its optimum action within the body.

One such practitioner is Dr. Petrovic, who runs the Petrovic Health Centre in Fourways, north of Johannesburg. He claims have had success in treating a number of conditions, in particular autoimmune and chronic viral infections such as ME, and cardiovascular conditions ranging from m high blood pressure to raised cholesterol levels and narrowing of the coronary arteries.

According to Dr. Petrovic, his 'vascular cleansing treatment' benefits every cell, tissue and organ in the body. It dissolves cholesterol plaque, improves oxygenation and waste elimination, improves liver function and bone cell function (to prevent osteoporosis and anemia), and leads to better digestion and improved brain function.

Although tailor-made to suit the condition of each patient, his basic programme consists of a complex combination of over-the-counter available supplements. Included are nutrients that will, for example, assist in liver and colon detoxification so that enzyme preparations are absorbed properly.

Once health has been restored, his patients are put onto a maintenance programme of vitamins and antioxidants - the sort of protective programme that Dr. Petrovic believes we should all be taking daily.

The patient is also put onto a healthy diet: copious fruit, vegetables and salads, lots of fish, and no red or poultry meat - and encouraged to follow an appropriate exercise programme. At least partly as result of these last treatment regimes, Dr Petrovic has also has success in treating acne, weight problems (both under and overweight), depression and anxiety, and in recommending physical training schedules.

His programmes, and similar ones offered by other micronutrient specialists, are attracting the interest of the medical world, in particular where they concern heart disease and the current emphasis on cholesterol. Some of the latest studies have confirmed earlier results that lowering cholesterol levels with drugs at best does not. save lives, and in fact may be hazardous in more than one way.

In contrast to drug therapy, micronutrient and antioxidant treatment uses no drugs at all - all substances are entirely natural and can do no harm. Nor do the supplement regimes interfere with any orthodox drugs the patient may be taking.

Although presently such treatment is expensive, because vitamins and supplements are not covered by medical aid schemes, several medical aid societies are looking at funding the costs of this form of health care. In the long term it is a great deal cheaper than paying for members' heart bypass operations, or long-term reliance on drugs to combat high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.

DR Neboysa Petrovic M.D. M.C.L.

The world's leading & renowned specialist for supplements & bioantioxidants.The ultimate expertise for all vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and all other supplements.

Extremely beneficial supplement programmes for heart disease, M.E., cancer, AIDS, autoimmune disorders, potency, rejuvenation &optimal physical & studying performance.