From: "Malcolm J. Sickels" <>

Subject: re: Colloidal minerals


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The tapes touting colloidal minerals are a lecture given by Joel D.

Wallach, B.S., D.V.M., N.D. (He's got a bachelor's, was a vet and since

naturopaths aren't liscensed in most states, anyone can call themselves an

ND) The tape is called "Dead Doctors Don't Lie."

If you haven't listened closely to the tape, you might want to do so.

He makes some good points, but he also is way off base other times.



---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1996 08:56:53 -0400



Enclosed is a critical review of the above mentioned tape that was posted to

one of the chiropractic mailing lists. This review specifically shows that

the tape is full of inconsistencies and inaccuracies.


Steven Santolin D.C.




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Subj: Dead Docs Doc

Date: 96-07-30 11:24:28 EDT






You asked for it, you got it, Toyota:


Happy reading!






Expose on Dr. Joel Wallach's controversial new tape, "Dead Doctors Don't =



To: All Nutrition Detectives

From: Steve Cherniske

RE: Audio tapes making the rounds


Views you can use

Stephen Cherniske, M.S.


Items reviewed:

Pre-Launch audio tape by Joel Wallach for New Visions.



I've received calls from CEO's of various network marketing companies

complaining that

my reviews "make the industry look bad." "No," I reply, "it is the

hype-ridden baloney that many network marketing companies are foisting up=


the public that threatens this

industry." Then they advise me to "paddle my own canoe" instead of tryin=

g to sink others, and I explain that I'm not out to sink anyone. It's just that

nutrition is a science, and it steams me to see the science I love perverted into a circus side show.Someone has to blow the whistle sometime. Otherwise the industry will collapse from the weight of unfounded, insupportable gobbledygook that spews constantly from fax machines all over the world.


Sorry. I just thought it best to explain myself before giving you more

evaluations. Let's look at a few tapes that have come across my desk (and no doubt yours) this week. =


Dead Doctors Don't Lie, by Joel Wallach, DVM, ND.


Background: It's becoming common for emerging network marketing companies=

to send out audio tapes in advance of their launch to generate excitement and

visibility. The tape by Dr. Wallach is very effective because it is extremely controversial. The title, Dead Doctors Don't Lie gives you an idea. And Wallach is a very compelling speaker. His Midwest accent and down-home manner comes across as believable and straightforward. He is a veterinarian (DVM) by training and also received a Naturopath (ND=)degree.

And now the news:

As I listened to the tape, I became more and more annoyed by the doctor

bashing. Keep in mind that I have no love affair with the AMA, but I have=

worked very closely with many physicians over the years and took offense =

at Wallach's cynical generalizations and unfair exaggerations. This was

especially bothersome because of the one-sided format. Taking pot-shots at an adversary when he (or she) has no opportunity to respond =

is unprofessional to say the least. So I see this review as an effort to "ke=

ep everyone honest."


Let me begin by saying that I agree with Joel Wallach's basic position, t=

hat nutritional supplements are an effective and reliable way to improve ones health. I also think that it is best to minimize one's intake of drugs and reliance upon hospitals and surgery. But I believe that Wallach goes off the deep end in condemning the entire medical profession, and I think that much of his information is DEAD WRONG.


True or False


Imagine you just purchased a brand new car, and as the salesman shakes yo=

ur hand he informs you that roughly 50% of the information in the owners manual is incorrect. How would you feel? First of all, it would be impossible for you to take care= of your new car because you wouldnt know what information was true and what was false. Th=e manual, in other words, would be useless, and your investment would be in jeopard=y.


I think tapes like Dead Doctors Don't Lie are like faulty owners manuals.=

The vehicle in this case is your body, which is far more valuable than any car, and when=learning about it, you have to determine if the material is accurate. Following are my points of disagreement with Dr. Wallach. Judge for yourself.


1. He is listed on the tape as a 1991 Nobel Prize nominee for medicine. W=

hile that sounds impressive, you have to understand that anyone can nominate anyone= for a Nobel prize. I would like to know what accomplishment he was nominated for and = what level his nomination reached. After all, I have been nominated for President of the= United States.Impressed? I hope not.


2. Dr. Wallach claims to have performed over 3,000 autopsies on humans. W=

hen I called Bastyr University, the nations foremost Naturopath school, they informed =me that ND's are not licensed or trained to perform human autopsies.


3. Dr. Wallach states that pica is a disorder in which a person craves

sweets. In fact, it is a hunger for non-food substances such as soil or metal.


4. He states that the average lifespan of a doctor in America is 58 years=

=2E According to the National Center for Health Statistics, American physicians live an average of 69.7 years, less than the national average, but certainly more than Dr. Wallac=h would have usbelieve.


5. Dr. Wallach states that an anti-cancer diet has been discovered. But h=

is data is derived from a Chinese study in which a large proportion of the participants were=seriously malnourished. It is not reasonable to conclude that anyone who takes vita=minsA, E and beta carotene will have the same reduction in cancer risk.=0D

6. He states that 50% of 70 year old Americans have Alzheimer's disease. =

Infact, carefulresearch shows that the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in Americans 65 =to74 yearsof age is approximately 3.9%. Reference: Evans D. et al. Estimated Preval=enceofAlzheimers Disease in the United States. The Milbank Quarterly 1990; 68(2=):267-287.


7. He talks of preventing Alzheimer's disease in pigs with vitamin E and =

alow vegetableoil diet. In fact, pigs don't get Alzheimer's, and there is no evidence t=hatthis approachhas any benefit for humans with this disease.


8. Dr. Wallach recommends the use of butter over olive oil for longevity =

whena virtualmountain of research supports the opposite view.


9. He states that gray hair at any age and face wrinkles are due to a cop=

perdeficiency.This is absurd and insupportable.


10. His claim that cardiomyopathy is a selenium deficiency is equally abs=

urd,andillustrates a serious error in thinking. Cardiomyopathy is not a single

disease but a groupof disorders that involve the heart muscle. (cardio=3D heart, myo=3Dmuscl=e, pathy=3D disease).

Cardiomyopathy can result from a host of causes including genetic defects=

,nutritionaldeficiency, metabolic disease, infection, trauma and alcoholism. Yet Wall=ach

lumps allcardiomyopathy into a single disease with a single cause, selenium

deficiency. Even hisexamples are dead wrong. He goes on and on about Stewart Berger, a doctor= whodiedof cardiomyopathy, yet Wallach knows nothing about this doctor. If he ha=dbothered todo even a little research, he would have learned that Berger had a life-l=ongweightproblem (weighed over 300 when he died) and may also have abused drugs.Either ofthese factors can cause cardiomyopathy, but according to Wallach, Berger =wassimplydeficient in the mineral selenium. In fact, Berger regularly took an enor=mousamount of

nutritional supplements, including selenium.


11. He makes the same mistake when talking of aneurysms, the bulging of a=

nartery.Although medical texts list some 40 different types of aneurysm, with a

variety of causesincluding atherosclerosis, cancer, bacterial infection and hypertension,Wallach claims thatall aneurysms are caused by a copper deficiency.


12. He states that male pattern baldness is a tin deficiency. This is

entirely incorrect.


13. He states that Bells palsy is a calcium deficiency when in fact it is=

aclear neurologicaldisorder. Many individuals have suffered from Bells palsy (interruption o=f afacial nerveresulting in partial paralysis of the face) after trauma or injury. Did t=hesepeople allsuddenly become calcium deficient? And if the disorder is a calciumdeficiency, why isBells palsy so rare?


14. He states that sugar metabolism disorders (diabetes and hypoglycemia)=

areavanadium deficiency when vanadium has not even been recognized as an

essentialnutrient for humans.


15. He states that arthritis is osteoporosis of the joint ends of the bon=

es.This is incorrect.


16. He claims that sodium intake has nothing to do with high blood pressu=

re,citing thefact that he used to put salt licks out for his cows and they never got h=ighblood pressure.

What incredible reasoning! Could it be that cows use the salt lick as nee=

ded,whilehumans routinely consume massive amounts of sodium for taste and as foodadditives?In fact, the human body was designed for a high potassium, low sodium die=tthrough 1.6million years of hunting & gathering. Today's highly processed and refine=ddiet suppliesminimal potassium and enormous amounts of sodium, and we suffer as a resu=lt.


This is probably my major objection to this tape; the fact that important=

points like this areover-simplified and exaggerated. If Wallach actually did his homework, he=would find thatfully one-third of the studies evaluating calcium intake and hypertension=actually show no

consistent benefit.

REFERENCE: McCarron DA; Hatton D; Roullet JB; Roulle=

t C. Dietarycalcium, defective cellular Ca2+ handling, and arterial pressure control.=Canadian Journalof Physiology and Pharmacology, 1994 Aug, 72(8):937-44.


This may be due to the fact that calcium supplementation appears to work =

bestfor peoplewhose previous intake of calcium was very low.


17. Wallach dismisses the importance of good oral hygiene in preventing

periodontaldisease (receding gums). Instead, he claims the problem is simply a calci=umdeficiency.While adequate calcium intake is certainly important for the maintenance =ofthe bone thatanchors the teeth (alveolar bone), the deterioration of this bone is a la=testage inperiodontal disease. The progression of periodontal disease is actually w=ellunderstood.First there is the accumulation of bacterial plaque, masses of bacteria t=hatare actuallyvisible to your dentist. The infection then spreads to the periodontalligament which

attaches the tooth to the bone, and finally, the bone begins to deteriora=



18. One of the most simplistic and nonsensical claims made on this tape i=

sthat peoplewho live to be a hundred drink 40 cups of tea every day and put rock salt= andtwo patsof butter in each cup. On the other hand, doctors (who Wallach claims onl=ylive to be 58)tell you to reduce salt and butter. Wallach then asks "Who are you going =tobelieve?"


First of all, I would like to know where these tea, rock salt and butter

consuming peopleare. I have traveled throughout Asia and have studied longevity at greatlength, and havenever encountered such behavior. And even if there are people with suchhabits, certainlythe vast majority of centenarians do not drink 40 cups of tea each day lo=adedwith butterand rock salt. So I will ask you the same question..."Who are you going t=obelieve?"


19. Then there's the hysterectomy issue. Wallach states that "The medical=


treatment of

choice for PMS is a hysterectomy." This is utter nonsense. He also claims=


that doctors

perform about 285,000 unnecessary hysterectomies each year in order to ma=



Mercedes payments. This borders on hate mongering, and once again is a gr=


exaggeration. The total number of hysterectomies performed in the US in 1=



560,000 and the vast majority of there were performed because of ovarian

cancer or

other disease. Where does Wallach get his figures? Now there is no doubt =



hysterectomies are unnecessary, but a careful study utilizing second opin=


data showed

that only 8% of elective hysterectomies (eg. those performed because of

ovarian cysts)

were unconfirmed. REFERENCE: Finkel ML; Finkel DJ. The effect of a second=



program on hysterectomy performance. Medical Care, 1990 Sep, 28(9):776-8=



If you take the approximate number of elective hysterectomies (124,000) a=


multiply by

8%, you get 9,920, not 285,000. Wallach further states that the AMA says =



(285,000) hysterectomies are unnecessary, but when I contacted the AMA

regarding this,

they had no idea what he was talking about. Of course, as you might have


Wallach states that PMS is really just a calcium deficiency.


20. Wallach states that all low back pain, "whether you work on a compute=


unload hay

or drive big trucks" is due to osteoporosis. This is absurd, as most low=


back pain is

caused by muscle or ligament strain. =



21. Wallach states that he has seen diabetes cured in "hundreds and hundr=



individuals simply by taking chromium and vanadium supplements. Again, it=



that these trace minerals are important in glucose metabolism. It's also =


that the

medical community in general underutilizes trace minerals in treating

diabetes. But I know

dozens of doctors who include trace minerals intheir treatment plans, and=


one of them

would agree with Wallach. They, along with the entire health care communi=


would love

to see his patient records to verify his claims.


22. Wallach's treatment of colloidal minerals is also filled with errors.=


While any organic

chemist knows that soil-based compounds can be divided into metals and


he calls all of these "metallic minerals." He claims that these metallic=


minerals are only

8 to 12% absorbable, and after age 35 to 40, that drops to 3 to 5%. Where=


does he get

these numbers? What happens at age 35 that reduces mineral absorption by =



Whenever I hear ridiculous numbers like this thrown around I challenge th=


speaker to

provide documentation. No one ever has.


In reality, the absorption of minerals depends on an enormous number of

variables, the

most important of which is physiologic need. Someone who is deficient in

calcium will

absorb a great deal more of the mineral (in any form) than someone who is=



nourished. Another variable is vitamin D status. Someone adequately nouri=


in vitamin

D will absorb far more calcium (in any form) than someone deficient in

vitamin D. Other

variables include nutrient form (calcium citrate is absorbed much better =



phosphate) and meal composition (vitamin C helps the absorption of iron a=




23. He tells a story of a man who owned a portable toilet company finding=


hundreds of

intact vitamin tablets in his toilets. Wallach uses that story to prove t=


"you can't absorb

metallic minerals." In fact, all that proves is that some vitamins are

tableted improperly.

To make the sweeping statement that all vitamin tablets are unabsorbed is=


like saying

that because Yugos break down all the time, all automobiles are unreliabl=


In nutrition

as in automobiles, there are the Yugos and there are Rolls Royces.


24. Wallach states: "If you read the labels on those multiples, they say =


iron comes

in the form of iron oxide. What is iron oxide? Rust!" While this point is=


dramatic, it is also

patently false. In the last ten years, I have reviewed more than a thousa=



multimineral formulations, and not one of them used iron oxide.


25. Wallach's calcium lactate story also contains multiple errors. He sta=


that in a 1,000

mg tablet, 250 mg is calcium and the remaining 750 mg is lactose or milk

sugar. In fact,

calcium lactate is a compound of calcium and lactic acid, which is an org=


acid found

in apples, tomatoes and other fruit as well as beer and wine. He then sta=


that you'll

only absorb 10% of the calcium in such products, but that claim is



26. His claim that colloidal minerals are 98% absorbable is probably the =



statement on the tape (since hes selling colloidal minerals) but I could =



documentation in the medical or agricultural literature to document that.=


mentioned in

# 22 above, the absorption of minerals depends upon a host of factors, on=


one of which

is the form in which they are delivered.


I am not saying that colloidal minerals are not valuable. They are probab=

ly a

very good

mineral source, but in order to evaluate their worth to human health, we =


more than

just claims and audio tapes. Mineral absorption is verifiable through

scientific experiment.

I have such data on the mineral compounds that I use, and I would expect =



or anyone making these claims should be able to do the same. As of this

writing I have

not seen a single study comparing the absorption of colloidal minerals vs=


mineral salts

or chelated minerals in humans. Hmmmm.


27. Wallach states that the human body stores, uses and transports minera=


in their

colloidal state. This is not true. Most minerals are stored as salts of

calcium or

phosphorus. Others are found in compounds with proteins or lipids, or sim=



of enzymes and hormones. In fact, minerals in the human body are often fo=


in their

free ionic state. Magnesium, for example, is found in numerous body tissu=


with only

about 30% bound to any type of carrier molecule. REFERENCE: Shils ME.


Chemistry of Magnesium. In: Present Knowledge in Nutrition. The Nutrition=



Washington D.C. 1984. pp 422-438.


28. More colloidal confusion. Wallach notes that all of the long-lived

cultures drink glacier

water which contains ground up rocks in solution. But these are simply

metallic minerals,

the very compounds he previously stated were unabsorbable. I don't get it=


Then he says,

"Are these colloidal minerals important? You bet your life they are." My

question is, what

colloidal minerals is he referring to?


END OF DOCUMENT BY Stephen Cherniske, M.S.




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Subject: Dead Docs Doc


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