From: Ed Blonz <>

Subject: Collloidal Quandry: More than you every thought you wanted to hear


Here is a host of info on the colliodal minerals and its chief



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 upon the public that threatens this industry."

Then they advise me to "paddle my own canoe" instead of trying 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)




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

"keep everyone honest."


Let me begin by saying that I agree with Joel Wallach's basic position,

that 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

your 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. The manual, in other

words, would be useless, and your investment would be in jeopardy.


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.

While 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.

When I called Bastyr University, the nations foremost Naturopath school,

they informed me that ND's are not licensed or trained to perform human



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



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

years. 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. Wallach would have us believe.


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

his 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 vitamins A, E and beta carotene will have

the same reduction in cancer risk.


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

In fact, careful research shows that the incidence of Alzheimer's

disease in Americans 65 to 74 years of age is approximately 3.9%.

Reference: Evans D. et al. Estimated Prevalence of Alzheimers 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

a low vegetable oil diet. In fact, pigs don't get Alzheimer's, and there

is no evidence that this approach has any benefit for humans with this



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

when a virtual mountain of research supports the opposite view.


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

copper deficiency. This is absurd and insupportable.


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

absurd, and illustrates a serious error in thinking. Cardiomyopathy is

not a single disease but a group of disorders that involve the heart

muscle. (cardio= heart, myo=muscle, pathy= disease). Cardiomyopathy can

result from a host of causes including genetic defects, nutritional

deficiency, metabolic disease, infection, trauma and alcoholism. Yet

Wallach lumps all cardiomyopathy into a single disease with a single

cause, selenium deficiency. Even his examples are dead wrong. He goes

on and on about Stewart Berger, a doctor who died of cardiomyopathy, yet

Wallach knows nothing about this doctor. If he had bothered to do even

a little research, he would have learned that Berger had a life-long

weight problem (weighed over 300 when he died) and may also have abused

drugs. Either of these factors can cause cardiomyopathy, but according

to Wallach, Berger was simply deficient in the mineral selenium. In

fact, Berger regularly took an enormous amount of nutritional

supplements, including selenium.


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

an artery. Although medical texts list some 40 different types of

aneurysm, with a variety of causes including atherosclerosis, cancer,

bacterial infection and hypertension, Wallach claims that all 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 a clear neurological disorder. Many individuals have suffered from

Bells palsy (interruption of a facial nerve resulting in partial

paralysis of the face) after trauma or injury. Did these people all

suddenly become calcium deficient? And if the disorder is a calcium

deficiency, why is Bells palsy so rare?



14. He states that sugar metabolism disorders (diabetes and

hypoglycemia) are a vanadium deficiency when vanadium has not even been

recognized as an essential nutrient for humans.


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

bones. This is incorrect.


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

pressure, citing the fact that he used to put salt licks out for his

cows and they never got high blood pressure. What incredible reasoning!

Could it be that cows use the salt lick as needed, while humans

routinely consume massive amounts of sodium for taste and as food

additives? In fact, the human body was designed for a high potassium,

low sodium diet through 1.6 million years of hunting & gathering.

Today's highly processed and refined diet supplies minimal potassium and

enormous amounts of sodium, and we suffer as a result.


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

important points like this are over-simplified and exaggerated. If

Wallach actually did his homework, he would find that fully one-third of

the studies evaluating calcium intake and hypertension actually show no

consistent benefit. REFERENCE: McCarron DA; Hatton D; Roullet JB;

Roullet C. Dietary calcium, defective cellular Ca2+ handling, and

arterial pressure control. Canadian Journal of Physiology and

Pharmacology, 1994 Aug, 72(8):937-44.


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

best for people whose previous intake of calcium was very low.


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

periodontal disease (receding gums). Instead, he claims the problem is

simply a calcium deficiency. While adequate calcium intake is certainly

important for the maintenance of the bone that anchors the teeth

(alveolar bone), the deterioration of this bone is a late stage in

periodontal disease. The progression of periodontal disease is actually

well understood. First there is the accumulation of bacterial plaque,

masses of bacteria that are actually visible to your dentist. The

infection then spreads to the periodontal ligament which attaches the

tooth to the bone, and finally, the bone begins to deteriorate.


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

is that people who live to be a hundred drink 40 cups of tea every day

and put rock salt and two pats of butter in each cup. On the other hand,

doctors (who Wallach claims only live to be 58) tell you to reduce salt

and butter. Wallach then asks "Who are you going to believe?"


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

butter consuming people are. I have traveled throughout Asia and have

studied longevity at great length, and have never encountered such

behavior. And even if there are people with such habits, certainly the

vast majority of centenarians do not drink 40 cups of tea each day

loaded with butter and rock salt. So I will ask you the same

question..."Who are you going to believe?"


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 make their Mercedes payments. This

borders on hate mongering, and once again is a gross exaggeration. The

total number of hysterectomies performed in the US in 1993 was 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 that many hysterectomies are unnecessary, but a careful study

utilizing second opinion 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

opinion program on hysterectomy performance. Medical Care, 1990 Sep,

28(9):776-83. If you take the approximate number of elective

hysterectomies (124,000) and multiply by 8%, you get 9,920, not 285,000.

Wallach further states that the AMA says that these (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 guessed, Wallach states that PMS is really just a calcium



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

computer, unload hay or drive big trucks" is due to osteoporosis. This

is absurd, as most low back pain is caused by muscle or ligament



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

hundreds" of individuals simply by taking chromium and vanadium

supplements. Again, it is well-known that these trace minerals are

important in glucose metabolism. It's also true 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 not one of them would agree with Wallach. They,

along with the entire health care community, 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 non-metals, 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 60% ? Whenever I hear ridiculous numbers like this thrown

around I challenge the speaker to provide documentation. No one ever



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 adequately nourished. Another variable is

vitamin D status. Someone adequately nourished 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 than calcium phosphate) and meal composition (vitamin C helps the

absorption of iron and zinc).


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 that "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

unreliable. 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

your 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 thousand different multimineral

formulations, and not one of them used iron oxide.


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

states 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 organic acid found in apples,

tomatoes and other fruit as well as beer and wine. He then states that

you'll only absorb 10% of the calcium in such products, but that claim

is unsupported.


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

most important statement on the tape (since hes selling colloidal

minerals) but I could find no documentation in the medical or

agricultural literature to document that. As mentioned in # 22 above,

the absorption of minerals depends upon a host of factors, only one of

which is the fo




Subject: RE: [healthfraud-discuss] [Fwd: Re: Dr. Joel Wallach - 1991]

Date: Wed, 11 Dec 96 05:17:12 UT

From: "john renner" <>


To: "healthfraud-discuss" <>



Here is some more info about Wallach

Some information that maybe of interest about J. D. Wallach. He has been

a vet. pathologist in the past and has 35 publications that I have

located. You will not believe the titles but this is true. Foot Care for Captive

Elephants, Environmental and Nutritional Diseases of Captive Reptiles, Management and Medical Care of Goldfish, Nutritional Diseases of Exotic Animals,

AngioedemaAssociated with Strawberry Ingestion by a Gorilla,

Steatitis in Captive Crocodilians, The Mechanics of Nutrition for Exotic Pets, there are others. I have several tapes of his from past speeches of his at the

National Health Federation. I have talked to several vets that he has worked with at various zoos. He has been at Yerkes Primate Center and Memphis and St Louis and NY Zoos. He has left a trail not to be envied at every location. He was on 20/20 a few years back, I believe it was about Selenium deficiency and Cystis Fibrosis. He is well known to the Medical Director of the Cystic

Fibrosis Association in DC. He has recently become the publisher of Health

Consciousness the old publication of Kuspinel of the AQA American Quack

Association. Joel Wallach was not nominated for a Nobel Prize the

nomination process can be downloaded from the Nobel Website. I have talked to staff at Nobel and had it faxed to me before they had a website. There are several quacks who claim to be Nobel Nominees from private letters. Would any of you like to be nominated for Senator of you state, step right this way throught

the doorway to your left etc. etc. Joel does not handle controversy

very well, he has recently had a bodyguard at certain of his meetings. I

have heard him several times he is so angry at the medical profession he

looses some of his potential audience. If I can be of help to anyone about him

email me. I have reviewed his Website on my column Internet Health Watch


J Renner MD




Re: author of DEAD DOCTORS DON'T LIE tape


Sat, 16 Nov 1996 15:07:40 -0800



America Online, Inc.






I went to hear the author of the DEAD DOCTORS DON'T LIE tape

when he passed through my hometown recently--Joel Wallach, D.V.M., N.D.

(from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland). It was

crowded, so I wound up all the way down front and center, in the second

row. From that vantage point, I was surprised to see he's 30-40 lbs.

overweight, mostly in the gut, and working seriously on a double-chin.


makes claims about the superior absorbability of colloidal minerals over

solid forms, but offers no studies to back his claims. In fact, the


college wrestler, now in his grandfatherly 60s, had his "security" throw


man out our audience, simply for having the audacity to question him.

He's also rather selective in those included in his

"longest-lived humans" category, so that they align with his

colloidal-mineral theory. He includes Tibetans, who actually are NOT

(despite his claim they are, from drinking "glacial milk"), while

excluding Japanese of the Ryukus chain, who are (with no "glacial milk"

in sight). Unbelievably, he actually lauds couch-potatoism (perhaps

because most in his elderly audience appear to be), while promulgating some

*very* specious high-cholesterol, high-protein nutritional advice, topped off

with a claim that "a day without a hamburger is like a day without

sunshine." His dietary advice sounds like Adelle Davis revisited--heavy

on the meat and dairy, with "two eggs every morning fried in butter."

Although his tape/talk includes sufficient factual evidence

about the lethal, uncaring and self-serving aspects of modern

medicine--designed to rope in those of us equally disaffected--I came

away unconvinced, feeling that he's simply positioned himself atop a

multi-level marketing scheme to rake in millions selling colloidal

minerals, while bad-mouthing everything from vegetarianism and yoga to

organic food and solid vit./min. supplements.

I'd gone, primed to accept him as an ally in America's Healing

Revolution. But sadly, viewing his fat face, double-chin, spare tire,

gold bracelet, and diamond rings on each hand, left feeling that his 'proofs'

are selective and not backed by studies; his ridiculing of EVERYTHING

but colloidal minerals and right-wing Republicans are merely a marketing

ploy and prejudice, respectively, and that he's surfing the massive wave of

America's discontent with modern medicine for his own enrichment (as

opposed to the way Dr. Linus Pauling challenged it, for example).

Most Americans now see, I believe, the lethal, uncaring and

self-serving aspects of Symptomatic Medicine which Joel rightfully rages

against. However, he unfortunately seems to have over-compensated in

throwing out the life-enhancing and compassionate aspects, as well. .

.everything, in fact, but the colloidal mineral formulas he's bottled

and multi-level-marketed for years now.

A happier medium, it seems, can be found in the Healing

Revolution John Robbins speaks to in his l996 book, RECLAIMING OUR


Robbins, who walked away from the Baskin-Robbins fortune at 21--two

decades later writing DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA--has spent the past decade

researching his newest book, which the entire hierarchy among America's

disaffected M.D.s supports with unbridled enthusiasm. I do, too, and at

55, am healthier than anyone I've met over the past 30 years, including

living 9 years outside the U.S. in 45 cultures, including a number of

those which are TRULY among our world's healthiest and most long-lived.

I've never taken colloidal minerals in my life, my chin has

not doubled, and as a LIFELONG athlete, I still maintain a flat stomach with

washboard abs. Intuitively, looking closely at this rotund Portland N.D.

who even rags Nobel chemist Linus Pauling for "only" living to 93, may

well experience the same "shock" Adelle Davis did when she discovered

cancer would end her life LONG before 93!





Subject: 12/5 column

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 16:45:36 -0500





Being a health nut, I'm a big fan of your column and look forward to

reading it each week. Today's column on colloidal supplements was

especially interesting to me since I just recently ordered the

supplements from the company who issues the cassette with the vet. I

received the product last month and was surprised to see that it looked

like big bottles of muddy water. It occurred to me that it COULD be

muddy water, and I'd never know the difference. So I decided to call

the Better Business Bureau in Arizona that has a file on the company,

"New Visions" located in Scottsdale AZ.


Well, the complaints filed against the company were so numerous that

they had to fax me their file since it was too long to review over the

phone (I believe I have since thrown it away). The complaints ranged

from illness from the product to not being able to get their money back,

to other questionable business practices. The BBB rated them as

"unfavorable" and said New Visions is not cooperating with the BBB, and

is no longer responding to customer complaints at all! I called New

Visions directly and told them due to my asthma, my doctor had advised

me against taking an unknown product (not true, but I thought I'd have a

better chance of getting refunded this way). I mailed the minerals back

last month, and have yet to be credited for my $75 cost. I called them

yesterday and they said it may take a few more weeks to process the

refund. I'll be watching to see if it actually ever comes through.


So maybe there is some benefit to colloidal minerals, but due to this

company's sleazy reputation, I for one would now be too skeptical to try



I am still looking for a quality mineral/vitamin supplement. I feel the

ones in grocery stores are too cheap in quality to be effective, and am

looking in health food stores. I was taking Bodywise vitamins/minerals

(out of Carlsbad, CA) and loved them, but due to my allergies,

eventually became allergic to the herbs contained in the supplements,

and had to go off of them. Any suggestions as to a brand you recommend?


Thanks for your informative column!



San Diego CA







Dear Dr. Blonz, I was hoping you might help me make sense of some

confusing claims. I've recently heard a cassette tape that made a lot

claims about the superiority a special liquid supplement that contains

colloidal minerals. These supplements are relatively expensive but if

it's as good as the tape says, it would be worth it. The doctor on the

tape that talks about the products was nominated for the Nobel prize.

The products are sold by multi level marketing and the tape was sent to

me by someone involved in the program so I tended to discount some of

what they say as sales hype. I was hoping that you might offer some


AW, San Diego, CA


Dear AW, You were right to question exorbitant health claims made by

those selling health products through multilevel marketing. For those

unaware of this sales approach, it involves not only selling products,

but trying to sell others to sell the same products for you. They

become part of your sales organization and you profit by their sales and

anyone else they might be able to attract. Because there is a monetary

as well as a promised health benefit, substantiation for health claims

is often given short shrift.

I have already received six cassette tapes for a colloidal

mineral product. I've also fielded a number of questions from readers that are

confused about colloidal minerals and mineral supplements.

The tape contains an entertaining lecture by a veterinarian who

is also a naturopath (an alternative health practitioner) who is said to be a

"Nobel Prize nominee." It may sound impressive that he's a "Nobel

Prize nominee" but this has no meaning according to the Nobel folks as

there's no real nomination process. I guess anyone can "nominate"

anyone for any prize.

In the brief space we've got, let's take a quick look at

minerals and then move to the topic of what "colloidal" minerals may or may not have to offer.

Minerals are all considered inorganic elements because, unlike

protein, fat, carbohydrates and vitamins, they do not contain the element

carbon. A unique thing about minerals is that they cannot be

synthesized or changed by the body. Like vitamins, minerals are only

needed in trace amounts and they don't provide any calories.

Of the 15 required minerals, six are required in relatively

large amounts. These include calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium,

chloride, and sodium. The remaining nine are equally essential, but are

needed in only trace amounts: iron, zinc, iodine, manganese, selenium,

copper, fluoride, chromium, and molybdenum

The minerals in our diet are distributed throughout the foods we

eat. For example, calcium is present in milk, green leafy vegetables and some

nuts, magnesium is present in nuts, bananas, legumes and whole grains,

and zinc is present in meats, whole grains and seafood. The best way

to assure a good intake of minerals is to eat a varied diet containing

foods from all the food groups. Some people may choose to take one or

more minerals in supplement form to make sure they get the minerals they

need. Calcium is perhaps the most widely used mineral supplement.

Whether in foods or in a supplement, minerals have to pass

though the wall of our digestive tract before they can be used by the body. The mineral has to be in solution for this to happen. The body takes care

of this because the digestive system breaks apart the foods we eat to

make them ready for absorption. With supplements, however, the pill has

to dissolve.

There's no question that minerals are essential. And many

people have poor diets in this country. The questionable argument behind the

advantage of colloidal mineral supplements is that the minerals area in

liquid form and are therefore more absorbable than the nutrients in food

- up to 98 percent absorbable, according to the tape. There's

absolutely no data offered to support these grand claims. How well a

nutrient is absorbed depends on a host of factors. Some supplement

pills may indeed dissolve better than others, but I have a problem

accepting the superiority of colloidal minerals simply because the

proponents say it's so. What's more, it goes against what we know.

(Note: A quick and convenient test to see if you're getting the

nutrients out of your supplement is to put the pill in a half glass of

vinegar. The pill should break apart within 30 minutes.)

I have heard from some folks that say they feel better when they

take these products. But is it due to the colloidal supplement, or just due

to the fact that the body is starting to get the minerals that may have

been lacking in the diet? Colloidal minerals may be OK as a mineral

supplement, but it's certainly an expensive alternative. In my opinion

they offer nothing special. And finally a balanced diet is always

preferable to poor diet with added supplements. (copyright 1996,










Maintaining a positive attitude may not solve all your

problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worthwhile.

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