In 2001, I met Al Wong (scientist
and President of Xymega Corporation) who has been involved with
the chemistry of vitamins and minerals for the past 20 years.
His company, Xymega Corporation has developed a product composed
of plant sterols. Al has made his product available to me and
he has included selenium, calcium, magnesium, kale, fish oil and
plant sterols, which I take with ground organic flax seed. These
have lowered my cholesterol and triglycerides; lessened the diarrhea
caused by HIV/AIDS medications; improved my vision and aided in
boosting my immune system, which provided me with an increased
level of energy.
Originally, we sat down with my blood work results and we saw
that the cholesterol and triglycerides were high. For two
years, doctors have said that I was at risk of having a
heart attack and should be on pharmaceuticals to reduce
the high levels of cholesterol. The high cholesterol was
attributed to the HIV/AIDS drugs. Instead of taking
pharmaceuticals for the high cholesterol, I discussed the situation
with AL Wong. I learned from him that my cholesterol was not
the problem. The problem really lies in the triglycerides.
Once recognized, I changed my diet and eating habits and
incorporated the above supplements into my daily routine.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
states, " Treatment with highly active antiretroviral
therapy does not appear to raise cholesterol levels in
Al Wong says, " Plant sterols occur naturally, in small
amounts, in many common plant-based foods. These sterols are
not steroids. Plant sterols have been studied and are known
to be helpful in boosting the immune system (as characterized,
for example, by CD4 cell counts) in HIV infected persons.
The typical western diet provides a daily intake of 200-300 mg
of plant sterols. Supplementation is often needed to provide an
adequate intake of plant sterols for immune boosting, in addition
to those provided by daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Not all sterols are alike. Increased intake of certain minerals
and vitamins, with plant sterols, can be expected to be beneficial
in boosting the immune system. Your body should be the starting
point to fight against HIV by first of all boosting the immune
system, to maintain a good health status despite the fact that
you are infected with HIV. Quite often, people have to rely on
drugs to help them to fight off the infection. The way to get
around this is if you're able to boost the immune system
then the body itself has the ability to fight off infections."
It really is important that people take the time and research the
benefits of complementary and alternative therapies and the
positive impacts on your immune system. We have all these
resources and we should be combining them rather than saying
the only way to treat HIV and AIDS is with pharmaceuticals.
In many countries throughout the world, people are going to
naturopathic physicians when faced with a health issue.
Unfortunately, where I live in Vancouver, British Columbia,
the government is planning to cut back the scope of naturopathic
medicine by imposing controls on what a naturopathic physician
can and cannot do. The B.C. government does not allow naturopathic
physicians to have access to medical labs and x-rays or to
prescribe medications. The proposed changes include limiting
the ability of naturopathic physicians to perform physical exams,
diagnose and treat food allergies and place severe restrictions on
the medicines ND's use to treat patients. This year (2003),
I have written letters to the Premier of B.C., the Health Minister
of B.C. and other members of parliament in B.C. Plus, I have
sent letters to every Health Minister and many members of
parliament throughout Canada regarding this very important
issue of supporting naturopathic physicians. We must not
lose the right of choice and the right to choose!
Dr. Garrett Swetlikoff, ND, British Columbia Naturopath Association President says,
"The B.C. Liberal Government is developing scope of
practice regulations, which will negatively impact the provision
of valid, science-based, natural medicine from licensed naturopathic
doctors. In addition, the proposed changes will limit patient
heath care options. Oddly, this comes at a time when
preventative medicine is being regarded as an essential
component in addressing health care issues. Even Federal
Health Minister Anne McLellan recognizes the benefit of
complementary care. In recent correspondence, she referred
to naturopathic medicine approaches as well placed to play
an important role in advancing living strategies, preventing
illness, and improving health. The B.C. Liberal's view
is radically different than the federal view."
It is naturopathic physicians, not medical doctors, who are
specifically educated as physicians but with an expertise in
alternative medicine. The naturopathic physician spends years
of pre-medical training, which is the same as a medical doctor,
as well as spending another four years in naturopathic training
at University. The United States, Australia, Canada, Germany,
New Zealand and South Africa all have 3-4 year courses with a
Here in Vancouver, the Health Professions Act forbids the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia from
acting against a medical doctor practicing "alternative
medicine" unless the therapy can be demonstrated to be
more dangerous than the conventional therapy. This same Act
demands that naturopathic physicians, who are specialists in
alternative medicine, must prove the absolute safety and
efficacy of a treatment before it is allowed to be included
in their practice. This double standard is ridiculously
biased and does not recognize the naturopathic physician's
expertise. Naturopathic physicians are licensed to diagnose and
treat all medical conditions. Naturopathic physicians are
specifically trained in the appropriate medical use of all
natural prescriptions. However, the government continues to
deny their ability to treat patients according to their needs
by restricting naturopathic doctors from the same access to
necessary prescriptions, labs and other diagnostic tools.
Naturopathic physicians are primary care providers! Government
recognizes the value and credibility of naturopathic medical
care and emphasize more, the value of preventive health care.
It is particularly important now when we are experiencing a
health care crisis in this province and across Canada.
Government can advocate better acceptance of naturopathic
medicine by the medical profession!
The naturopathic physician spends a great deal of time with me
to explain my health condition and he gets to the root cause
of the problem. Often, the naturopathic physician has answers
for me where my MD does not! I'm only allowed a very
limited time to address a health concern when I see my medical
doctor. Usually, a visit is not more than ten minutes!
This makes no sense when HIV illness is so complex!
My naturopathic physician teaches me and emphasizes specifics
in diet improvement, healthy lifestyle changes and approaches,
which recognize the importance of a healthy body, mind and spirit.
There are few other physicians who are able to take the necessary
time with me.
For many people, their primary care provider is a naturopathic
physician. Many in the medical profession are on the side of
the government to change the scope of naturopathic medicine
because they are losing patients! Many people living with
HIV/AIDS have turned to naturopathic physicians. It is
important to be aware that licensed MDs are legally
required to use first line pharmaceutical intervention or
risk losing their professional practice.
I. Poeitzer says,"More and more citizens are utilizing naturopathic
medicine because it is safer, non-invasive, respects the body's natural
healing potential and it has proven success. This move towards naturopathic and
other non-allopathic modalities of health should indicate to you the political
will of the people."