QuackWatch.com Rebuttal


When you take on the A.M.A. and the various Pharmaceutical Giants, as has Dr. Wallach, you are bound to make some enemies.  One website, in particular, www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/colloidalminerals , is especially vociferous in its denouncement of Dr.Wallach and all he stands for.  To set the record straight, we include the following rebuttal to the various charges and complaints contained on QuackWatch, courtesy of Professor emeritus, Dr. G. N. Schrauser.

Investigating Dr. J.D. Wallach’s Claims. 

By G.N. Schrauzer[1] 

Dr. Joel Wallach is a veterinarian, naturopathic physician, author and a popular lecturer.  He obtained his degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) in 1964 and a B.S. degree in agriculture in 1962 (Major animal husbandry) from the University of Missouri.  From 1966 to 1967 he held a post doctoral fellowship in comparative medicine at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, George Washington University, St. Louis.  Thereafter he held positions at Iowa State University Diagnostic Laboratory, Ames, Iowa, and Natal Fish & Game Department, Natal Republic of South Africa and subsequently joined the St. Louis Zoological Gardens as a Wildlife Veterinarian and pathologist.  This provided him with the unique opportunity to observe, diagnose and treat a great number of captive wild animals.  In addition he performed autopsies on a large number of animals dying in zoos in St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Jacksonville and Memphis.  Later, at Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Department of Pathology, Atlanta, Georgia, Wallach conducted comparative autoptic studies on primates as well as on humans.  In 1979, he lost his position at Yerkes after he proposed, on the basis of observations on rhesus monkeys, that cystic fibrosis in humans was an acquired and treatable condition rather than congenital disorder.  In 1980, Dr. Wallach joined the Faculty of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, where he taught in the area of nutrition while pursuing an N.D. degree in 1982.  After obtaining his N.D. degree and license in 1982, Wallach went into private practice in Cannon Beach, Oregon, specializing in the nutritional treatment of cystic fibrosis patients.  To continue his research on cystic fibrosis in 1987, he traveled to China with his wife, Dr. Ma Lan, a Chinese physician, and conducted a study at Harbin Medical University.  From 1990 to 1993, Wallach worked as a naturopathic physician for Hospital Santa Monica in Tijuana, thereafter he entered the multilevel marketing business and in 1997 founded his own company, American Longevity.  Wallach played a major role in the development of the market of liquid vitamin – mineral supplements.  He became nationally known through his widely distributed audiotape, “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie,” wherein, in essence, he proposes that humans can achieve their maximum biological life span through proper nutrition and an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals.  To attain a long life, he advises people to take charge of their own health rather than rely on the advice of their physicians, who, in his view, make poor role models in terms of their own health and longevity.  Wallach is a dynamic, humorous speaker who fearlessly attacks the weaknesses of our present health care system.  This rendered him popular among his adherents, but also earned him the scorn of critics and the medical establishment, who periodically express their displeasure about his opinions and persona in magazine articles of the electronic media.  The present account analyzes some of his statements and views which are most often cited in attempts to discredit him. 

Mineral depleted food crops – fact or illusion?  

In his audiotape “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie,” Wallach claims that depleted soils give rise to mineral deficiency diseases which threaten the health of Americans.  In support he cites U.S. Senate Document 264, of 1936, which states: 

Erosion and unwise farming methods have led to mineral depleted soils resulting in mineral deficient plants, livestock and people…The alarming fact is that food now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain minerals are starving us – no matter of how much of them we eat…Laboratory tests prove that the fruit, vegetables, grains, eggs and even the milk and meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago…It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99% of the American people are efficient in these minerals” [74th Congress, 2nd Session, 1036].


One of Wallach’s critics recently labeled U.S. Senate Document 264 a “baseless opinion  piece” and also rejected the notion mineral deficiencies adversely affect the health and longevity of Americans.1  That anyone would say this today must astonish, since it has been known for quite some time that our agricultural soils in many areas lack certain minerals.  One of the first elements found to be lacking in close to two thirds of the arable land was iodine, and these areas were known as the “Goiter Belt.”  Iodine deficiency not only severly affected the health of humans; in Montana alone, 1 million pigs died annually from iodine deficiency before iodized fodders were introduced.  Later, areas deficient in cobalt, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, boron, fluorine and selenium were identified. 2,3  Food crops from soils low in selenium not only causes animals to develop fatal selenium deficiency diseases, human  health is also adversely affected, as evidenced by studies which revealed that human cancer mortalities are higher in low selenium regions.  The need for additional selenium in our food chain thus became apparent; a recently concluded 10 year trial 4 showed that human cancer risk can be significantly reduced by supplemental selenium.  The view thus can be defended that many Americans are dying prematurely of cancer because they are not getting enough of  a needed essential mineral, selenium, with their food.  

That not all may be right with our food crops was also concluded by the authors of the well documented, 735 page Kellogg Report 5 of 1989.  This report, which addresses the impact of nutrition, environment and lifestyle on the health of Americans, warns that

  …today’s food production system systematically reduces nutrient content…resulting in a low nutrient density food;…as a consequence, large sectors of the U.S. population are becoming chronically deficient in nutrients, and millions are already afflicted with nutrition related illnesses, from anemia to cancer, or troubled with undiagnosed symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, headaches, nervousness, depression, eating or drinking disorders [The Kellogg Report, 1989] 

Wallach thus is not the  only to warn about the consequences of soil depletion and other aspects of intensive agriculture.

The Longevity of physicians – who is right?  

Wallach claims that American medical doctors have an average lifespan of only 58.5 years and hence are poor role models of longevity.  His critics argue that doctors actually have a greater life expectancy than the general population. 1  Wallach calculated the average age at death from the obituary listings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  For the years Wallach quotes this result is indeed obtained.  Calculations with a larger database show that doctors live slightly longer than the general U.S. White population.  For example, using mortality data based on records of the 1971 physician population of 344,823 and the deaths of 19,086 physicians during the five year period from 1969 – 1973, Goodman 6 calculated the remaining expectation of life of a male physician at age 45 years to 30.7 years, which is 3 years more than the general U.S. White population.  For female physicians at age 45 years, it is 35.8 years of 2 years more than that of the general U.S. White population.  With increasing age, this difference diminishes; at ages 80 years and older , the life expectancies of physicians are only about one half of a year longer.  It should be noted, however, that these data apply for physicians of all disciplines and specialties.  Of interest in this context is the life expectancy of General Practitioners (G.P.’s), because these would be the ones that would most likely be approached for counsel in  regards to achieving longevity.  According to Goodman 6 , G.P’s have the shortest lifespan of all medical specialties.  Their standard mortality rate below age 55 for the years 1969 – 1973 was 140.4%, at above 55 years, 111.4% above the average mortality of all physicians.  For specialists, the standard mortality rates compared to all physicians were 89.1 and 80%, for ages below and above 55 years, respectively.  This means that close to 60% more G.P’s die below the age of 55 years than specialists, above 55 years of age, the difference amounts to 31%.  From this it can be calculated that the average expectation of life of G.P.’s is about 5 years shorter than that of the US White population.  The shorter lifespan of G.P.’s  was attributed to the fact that they begin their careers at an earlier age and thus are subjected to the stress of practice for longer period than specializing physicians.  That practicing (general) physicians have a short life span became apparent as soon as sufficiently reliable mortality data became available.  For example, an article on the longevity of physicians appearing 7 in 1896 specifically mentions the short life span of the members of the profession and acknowledges long lived doctors as “…comforting exceptions…”.  Similarly, an Editorial published in JAMA in 1902 admits that practicing physicians have the shortest life span of all professions. 8  While stress undoubtedly is a major factor which shortens their lifespan, neglect of their own health and unhealthful habits also contribute.  According to a survey published in 1984, no less than 59% of the physicians questioned considered themselves overweight, 73% felt they were not exercising enough, 24% admitted to frequent drinking and 15% were smokers. 9  The same report concludes that “there may be a far larger group of subclinically impaired physicians whose health habits may not only affect their own longevity but their practice of medicine as well,”  which in essence proved Wallach’s point.  There are, of course, physicians who reach long life spans by living healthily or by making appropriate lifestyle changes when necessary.  A case in  point is provided by Dr.Benjamin Spock, who died at the age of 94 years.  According to newspaper reports, Spock at the age of 88 years was suffering from a serious respiratory ailment that clogged his lungs.  He was put on antibiotics for 9 months, to no avail.  On insistence of his second wife, Morgan, Spock abandoned conventional  treatment in 1991, became a vegetarian and was put on a vegetarian died.  He lost 50 pounds in six weeks, his lungs cleared and he could stop taking the antibiotics. 

Cultures with long-lived populations – do they exist?  

Wallach mentions 5 cultures whose populations attain unusually long life spans.  He is drawing his knowledge from published and credible sources.  It thus must astonish when his critics argue that no such cultures exist.  The best know of these cultures are the Hunzas of Kashmir, about whom numerous books have been written.  There can be no doubt that many of them live at least to 100 years of age, although the actual ages claimed in individual cases may be somewhat uncertain.  Physicians such as Sir Robert McCarrison established that the Hnnzas remain remarkably free of disease during their long lives.  This has been attributed to lifestyle, diet, agricultural practices and the mineral rich glacier milk used for irrigation and as drinking water. 10  The villagers of Vilacabamba in Ecuador, similarly are famous for their longevity and good health.  According to extensive clinical studies, this population rarely develops arteriosclerosis, diabetes or solid tumors.  Lymphocytic leukemia was the only malignant condition found and was observed only in some very old people toward the end of their lives.11  The health and long life spans of the Vilacabambans were attributed to an apparently optimal mineral composition of the soil, plants and water in the area.12 

Other cultures with long life spans are the Russian Georgians, the Abkhazians, Azerbaijanis and Armenians, the peoples residing near Lake Titicaca and some tribes of Tibet.  In his book “Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures,” Wallach shows the copy of a May 1973 newspaper clipping showing the Azerbaijani  Shjimos Mislimov at his 168th birthday.  Mislimov, who died in September of the same year, 13 as he was at the time the oldest person living in the Soviet Union, a special postage stamp was issued to honor him. 

Based on this evidence it would thus seem difficult to deny the existence of long lived cultures.  Long life spans are also increasingly reached in the Western industrialized nations.  In the early 1960’s, centenarians were still quite rare; in Hungary (population: 10.3 million), 23 were found in 1961, in Austria (population 7.4 million), 17 (cf. “Geriatric,” L. Heilmeyer et al. eds., Thieme Verl. Stuttgart, 1966, p. 228).  In 1966, only 4000 People living in the U.S.A. were around one hundred years old.  Today the number is estimated to be 40,000.  The number is likely to increase during the next decades, and along with it more and more people will reach even longer life spans.  According to Wallach, the biological life span of humans is about 120 – 140 years.  However, the upper limit of the human life span is actually unknown.  The example of Mislimov proves that one can life longer than that, and Wallach mentions the Chinese doctor Li, who allegedly died at the age of 256 years.  While skeptics tend to be critical of claims of extreme longevity, the fact is that well documented longevity records are now broken with increasing frequency.  Thus, during the next decades, we may expect a further increase of the number of “supracentenarians.”  This could be in part because, for the first time in human history, people will reach the age of over 100 years who were born after the discovery of vitamins.  Don’t let us forget that vitamin C is known only since 1910, and most other vitamins were discovered even later than that.  In the developed countries, people are now growing up of whose parents were able to take advantage of the new nutritional and medical discoveries prior to their birth and during their entire life span. 

Dr. Wallach’s Cystic Fibrosis research.  

Wallach’s contributions to cystic fibrosis (CF) research and therapy were rejected in 1979, and even today his American critics declare his findings as invalid, even though other researchers are now discussing the disease in quite similar terms.  At the very least, Wallach deserves recognition for being the first to observe pancreatic lesions typical of CF in 3 young rhesus monkeys in the obvious absence of a genetic defect. The monkeys were born in Yerkes Primate Research Center 14  by mother animals that had been given extra doses of vegetable oil to treat a skin condition during pregnancy. 

Wallach proposed on the basis of these findings that CF is an environmentally induced disease and suggested the CF could be prevented and treated by selenium and other antioxidants.  He conducted a survey of 120 families with one or more CF children and concluded that the history and patient profile was consistent with an acquired environmental disease caused by a perinatal deficiency of selenium, zinc and riboflavin, and CF can be exacerbated by diets which are also low in vitamin E and rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

His work triggered the interest of a group of physicians who were looking for ways to help their CF patients.  A few years later these doctors were so impressed with Wallach’s therapy that they awarded him the “Wooster Beach Gold Medal” in 1988 and nominated him for a Nobel Prize in 1991.  This nomination did not follow the prescribed procedure and was not recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee.  Critics now hold the mentioning of this nomination  against him as any such nomination should be kept strictly confidential.  While this is true., it is actually a very minor point which should not be used to detract from his contribution. 

To demonstrate the CF like pancreatic lesions develop in populations residing in regions naturally low in selenium, Wallach and his wife, Ma Lan, M.D., a Chinese physician, traveled to China to conduct more research.  In collaboration with researchers at Harbin Medical University, Wallach showed that hitherto ignored pancreatic lesions occurred in 35% of 1700 documented cases of Keshan disease (KSD), which is a cardiomyopathy occurring in low selenium regions of China. 15  In the meantime, other researchers have drawn attention to the aberrant oxygen free radical activity and the low selenium and antioxidant status in cystic fibrosis patients. 16 17 18 19 

Although perinatal selenium and antioxidant vitamin deficiency is still not accepted as a cause of CF, it is agreed that selenium deficiency my develop in CF children because of digestive malabsorption or after prolonged total parinateral nutrition. 20 21 22  A case of cardiomyopathy in a CF patient which was caused by selenium deficiency has also been described.23  The therapy of CF patients with selenium and antioxidant vitamins has since also been tested in a clinical trial.  One German group 24 concluded:  “In cystic fibrosis (CF) patients the antioxidative balance is chronically disturbed.  Free radicals were generated by bronchial-pulmonal infection and additionally (there) exists a deficiency of antioxidative substances by enteral malabsorption especially (of) vitamin E and selenium…For CF patients therefore we recommend a sodium selenite substitution therapy, best in combination with vitamin E.” 

Amalgam fillings and multiple sclerosis.  

Dr. Wallach mentions mercury from dental amalgam fillings as a cause of multiple sclerosis (MS).  His critics argue that this is not proven, which is true, but authorities on MS would also agree that mercury is definitely on the list of suspect causative agents.  The hypothesis that MS is caused by an allergic reaction to mercury from dental amalgam was first proposed in 1966 by Ernst Baasch. 25  This neurologist at University of Zurich became interested in the effects of mercury after he himself developed MS following the insertion of dental amalgam fillings. 26  In his subsequent study he noted the presence of amalgam fillings in 498 of 500 consecutively examined MS patients.  As amalgam fillings are so common in the general population, he cautioned that this does not prove nor disprove a causal relationship.  Baasch further found that 2 MS patients improved after they had their amalgam fillings removed.  Another patient reportedly developed MS after she received her first amalgam fillings at 19 years of age; this patient, according to Baasch, could have been sensitized to mercury because she had been treated with mercury for congenital syphilis at 8 years of age. 27  Finally, this author also suggested that other toxic metals could be factors in the causation of MS.  Studies of the mercury/amalgam status of 100 MS patients revealed that 11 of these patients had previously been treated with mercury ointments.  The acute exacerbation of MS symptoms during removal (pulverization) of one old filling was reported by Ingalis. 28  Because of the apparent connection of mercury exposure with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases. 29 

Cardiomyopathy – a selenium deficiency disease?  

Wallach states that cardiomyopathy is caused by a selenium deficiency, his critics counter that cardiomyopathy is really an entire group of heart muscle diseases with several different causes.  Wallach uses a pathologically more precise definition of cardiomyopathy, based on the detection of oxygen radical damage of the heart muscle.  Oxygen radical damage of the myocardium can occur in many diseases.  Since selenium prevents the generation of oxygen radicals, cardiomyopathy is caused by primary selenium deficiency in regions naturally low in selenium, as was first shown to be the case in the Keshan Disease regions of China. 30  Cardiomyopathies due to selenium deficiency were at first considered unlikely to develop in the Western industrialized nations until they were shown to occur in patients after prolonged total parenteral nutrition, in subjects with destructive lifestyles such as alcoholics, in patients suffering from intestinal malabsorption or from diseases resulting in decreased Se retention such as AIDS and in cancer patients treated with certain catatonic drugs.  Selenium deficiency also plays a role in the causation of Coxsackie B-virus (CBV) induced cardiomyopathies, as nonpathogenic strains of CBV have been shown to become highly pathogenic under conditions of selenium deficiency.  31  Selenium deficiency thus is the major cause of cardiomyopathy.  Classical textbooks of cardiology, even the newest excellent and up to date reference book on “Nutritional Influences on Illness” [2nd Edition 1993, Third Line Press, Tarzana, Calif., p. 189], clearly states that selenium deficiency is associated with the development of cardiomyopathy, while deficiencies of other agents, e.g. magnesium, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q only may be factors in the development of the condition. 

Copper deficiency – a cause of aneurysms, graying hair and facial wrinkles?  

Wallach is being criticized for stating that all aneurysms are caused by a copper deficiency, when he in fact only claims that aneurysms are most frequently caused by copper deficiency.  That this is true is know from studies in many animal species (e.g. pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, cattle, chicks, turkeys, etc.) 

Copper is needed for elastin synthesis, specifically for the oxidative deamination of lysine.  Diminished deamination of this amino acid causes less lysine to be converted to desmosine, the cross linking group of elastin.  This results in fewer cross linkages in this protein, which, in return, results in less elasticity of the aorta. 32  Copper deficiency in humans was considered rare in humans but is now becoming a concern primarily in pregnancy.  In a recent study with 20 pregnant women on self selected diets, positive balance was observed only if a copper supplement was consumed.  33  

Copper deficiency need not be caused solely by low dietary copper intakes; copper deficiency may be induced by dietary components, notably fructose and ascorbic acid; some also consider excessive zinc as a possible risk factor.  In all, rather than being criticized, Wallach should be given credit for drawing attention to the important role of copper deficiency in the pathogenesis of aneurysms. 

The fact that copper influences the pigmentation of hair is well supported by observations with copper deficient animals.  Experiments conducted in the early 1930’s showed that the fur of black coated rats turned gray when they were placed on a copper deficient diet.  Achromotrichia has been described in other species deficient in copper: rabbits, dogs and sheep.  Copper is known to be required for the transformation of tyrosine to melanin.  In copper deficiency, the physical nature of hair is also affected, it becomes brittle and crinkled because oxidative processes which give hair its normal elasticity require copper. 34  Other factors contribute to the graying of hair, a deficiency of pantothenic acid, for example.  Clinical studies of the effects of copper supplementation on hair color in humans are lacking but Wallach does report one case in which gray hair regained pigmentation in a woman after supplementing with copper.  Wince copper is required for elastin and collagen biosynthesis, changes of elastic connective tissues are expected to occur in copper deficiency.  Since 75% of the typical diets in the United States furnish less than the current daily requirement of 2mg of copper per day, 35 chronic copper deficiency thus could indeed contribute to hair depigmentation and skin wrinkling, especially in women.  In a recent study with 20 pregnant women on self selected diets, positive balance was observed only if a copper supplement was consumed. 36 

Alzheimer’s disease – does it occur in pigs and can it be cured?  

Wallach was also criticized for suggesting that 50% of 70 year old Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and also because he claims to have cured pigs with “Alzheimer’s” disease, when pigs are not known to develop this disease.  As to the first point, Dr. Wallach said “one out of two people who reach the age of 70 years gets the disease,”  he did not say “one out of two people who reach the age of 70 years has the disease”! 

As to his claim of having cured Alzheimer’s disease in pigs, he was referring to a condition which develops in pigs when fed a diet high in polyunsaturated fat and low in selenium and vitamin E.  This condition pathologically resembles Alzheimer’s disease and can be cured with vitamin E.  Oxidative stress is increasingly recognized to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, and many researchers now believe that Alzheimer’s disease should be preventable by supplementing with appropriate antioxidants. 

Malabsorption disease:  It does exist!  

While Wallach claims that many Americans suffer from ‘malabsorption disease,’ his critics argue that this is a nonexistent disease, like the long discredited idea of autointoxication.  Here, again, one must side with Wallach, since malabsorption disease, a.k.a. malabsorption syndrome, celiac disease, sprue syndrome, nontropical sprue, idiopathic steatorrhea is a well characterized and relatively common disease. 37 38  In his book, “Let’s Play Doctor,” Wallach provides a correct description of celiac disease and its treatment in lay terms.  Nowhere in his books or lectures does Wallach mention autointoxication, a condition which was widely diagnosed in the early 20th Century 39 but which is no longer recognized as a defined disease entity. 

Male pattern baldness and dietary tin – unproven hypothesis?  

In his lectures, Wallach occasionally mentions that male patter baldness is caused by tin deficiency.  The basis for this claim is that he observed significant hair regrowth on himself following tin supplementation.  Male pattern hair loss was originally reported by Klaus Schwarz et. al.  40 to develop in tin deficient rats, and these findings were subsequently confirmed in a 1990 study by Yokoi et al 41 of Kyoto University.  The claimed stimulation of hair growth by tin at high dilutions thus is not an unfounded idea although it is not clear whether the hair regrowth he observed in his self experiment was actually or solely due to the tin present in the plant derived mineral extract he was ingesting 

Diabetes, chromium and vanadium.  

Wallach’s claim that diabetes and hypoglycemia are due to vanadium and chromium deficiencies was stated to be unsupported by clinical research.  There is, however, abundant published evidence indicating a role of chromium and vanadium ion the insulin system; see papers Ref.  42 –44, and references cited therein.  According to USDA’s Richard Anderson,  42 suboptimal intakes of chromium by people consuming average diets may lead to signs and symptoms of chromium deficiency that include elevated blood glucose, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride concentration and decreased insulin binding and receptor number.  Extreme signs of Cr. Deficiency were observed in TPN patients and were corrected by Cr supplementation.  Recent clinical trials with vanadium have also yielded positive effects on the glucose/insulin system. 43 

Sodium consumption and high blood pressure.  

Wallach’s critics sometimes single out statements or opinions which he made or supposedly has made which appear to identify him as uninformed.  One of such statements is that sodium consumption is unrelated to high blood pressure in humans.  In a recently published review on the role of dietary salt in hypertension it is stated, 44 “Most people can eat as much NaCl as they like…and nothing happens to blood pressure.”  That a few, especially those with kidney disease, do not excrete it as fast as it is taken in and respond with a rise of blood pressure, is rather generally known and also known to Dr. Wallach. 

Low back pain and osteoporosis.  

Wallach was accused of expressing the “absurd idea” that all low back pain is due to osteoporosis.  However, Wallach only mentions osteoporosis as a contributing cause of low back pain.  He is (correctly) linking calcium and copper deficiency with the initiation of osteoporosis which he then claims triggers disk degeneration and back pain.  In his book “Let’s Play Doctor,” he writes: “Bachache is usually a muscle strain from overwork and/or a subluxation resulting from a fall, auto accident of improper lifting technique.  On occasion, a serious case of constipation will cause a ‘backache’ from impacted stool or pressure from gas…Prevention includes proper lifting technique, strengthening exercises, proper nutrition including calcium (2000 mg) and magnesium (800 mg), high fiber diets and eight glasses of water per day.” 

Are periodontal disease and Bell’s palsy caused by calcium deficiency?  

Wallach’s critics may find fault with his claim that calcium deficiency may cause periodontal disease, but in “Nutritional Influences on Illness,” by M.R. Werbach (Third Line Press, Tarzana, Calif.), 2nd Ed., 1993, p 672, periodontal disease is specifically associated with calcium deficiency.  Calcium deficiency is a logical cause of periodontal disease since it promotes bone loss.  As calcium deficiency is widespread in the general population, Wallach deserves credit for reminding us of the importance of calcium in this context.  In his book, “Let’s Play Doctor” he makes a good case for the treatment of periodontal disease with supplemental calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc.  So far as Bell’s Palsy is concerned, he correctly states in the same book that Bells Palsy is caused by an inflammation, swelling or squeezing of the facial nerve.  He recommends a  treatment which involves not only the administration of calcium, but also of magnesium, essential fatty acids, American ginseng, colloidal minerals and vitamin B12. 

Concerning the so called “Colloidal Minerals.”  

“Colloidal minerals” comprise a group of liquid mineral supplements which are produced by leaching deposits of humic shales with water.  These extracts are claimed to contain mineral in highly bioavailable forms and have other unusual properties, all of which ware disputed by the critics, primarily because colloidal substances, in general, are not absorbed.  In this case the argument rests on the question of nomenclature.  The extracts were originally thought to contain the minerals predominantly in colloidal forms.  It is now know that they contain the minerals in ionic as well as in colloidal forms.  Because the term “colloidal” may give rise to misunderstandings, the products are now referred to as “liquid” or “plant derived minerals.”  The first of these products has been marketed for more than 70 years and was claimed by the original promoters to have been used as a remedy by local native Americans, which is not as far fetched as it would seem since these had extensive knowledge of healing plants and minerals.  It has been claimed that these products my be contaminated by radioactive elements or contain organic compounds that could be carcinogenic, estrogenic or stimulate the immune system, etc., but none of this is backed b evidence.  As to the superior bioavailability of liquid minerals as compared to minerals in their elemental state, this claim is correct inasmuch as iron, which was widely used in the elemental form for supplementation has a very low bioavailability and liquid iron salts are know to be well absorbed.  A more detailed discussion of liquid minerals may be found elsewhere. 46 

Dr. Wallach’s publications.  

A partial list of Dr. Wallach’s publications, reviews and books authored or coauthored during the period from 1965 to 1994 comprises 55 titles: 20 of his papers were published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA); 6 reviews appeared in professional books, the remainder in other professional veterinary journals.  Wallach is also the coauthor (with W.J. Boever) of an authoritative treatise, “Diseases of Exotic Animals: Medical and Surgical Management” published by W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia in 1983. 

Wallach’s research papers reflect his wide range of interests and experience.  His first paper appearing in 1965 describes goitrogenic hypothyroidism in feeder lambs; subsequent articles and reviews deal with common diseases and treatments for waterfowl, game birds, exotic birds, reptiles, fish ruminants, kangaroos, monkeys, elephants, nutritional problems of captive exotic animals, descriptions of a case of degenerative arthritis in a black rhinoceros, of visceral gout and nutritional problems in captive reptiles, angioedema in a gorilla, fibrous osteodystrophy and hypervitaminosis D in green iguanas, the immobilization of small and very large animals (rabbits, Guinea pigs, African elephants), steatites in captive crocodiles, the anaesthesia of reptiles, the hand rearing of a white rhinoceros, surgical techniques for caged birds, the foot care for captive elephants, erysipelas and cystic fibrosis. 

Summary and concluding remarks.

As a veterinarian and pathologist working in zoos, Dr. Joel D. Wallach had the unique opportunity to observe, diagnose, treat and autopsy a great variety of exotic animals. This led him to recognize the importance of nutrition and especially minerals in health and disease.  His discovery, in 1979, of cystic fibrosis like pancreatic lesions in rhesus monkeys and their nutritional causes led him to propose an alternative etiological hypothesis of the disease in humans and make new treatment recommendations involving antioxidant vitamins and trace elements.  Although his ideas were rejected at the time, they are now being rediscovered by others.  After years of  practice as a naturopathic physician, Wallach entered the multilevel marketing business and became nationally know as the author of “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie.”  In this lecture, Wallach voices his opinions on numerous medical and scientific issues. Wallach’s popularity and success has led some of his detractors to question his credentials and the veracity of some of his statements.  The present account shows that Dr. Wallach’s academic record is unassailable, and that his opinions and views are generally well substantiated.  If he startles some of his critics this may be because developments in his area of expertise are not generally know or ignored by the largely drug oriented conventional medicine.

[1] G.N. Schrauzer, Ph.D. , Professor emeritus, Address for correspondence: Biological Trace Element Research Institute and Information Center, 11526 Sorrento Valley Rd., Ste. A. San Diego, CA, 92121

1 [1] J. Pontolillo, “Colloidal Mineral Supplements: Unnecessary and Potentially Hazardous,”p.1; ),www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/colloidalminerals.  (National Council of Health Fraud) Newsletter 19 (2) March-April 1996 Issue.

2 [2] E.J. Thacker and K.C. Beeson (1958): Occurrences of mineral deficiencies and toxicities in the United States and problems of their detection.  Soil Sci. 85ii  87-94.

3 [3] J. Kubota and W.H. Allaway. D.L. Carter, E.E. Cary and V.A. Lazar.  1967.  Selenium in relation to soils and forage plants of the United States in relation to selenium responsive diseases of animals.  Agric.  Food Chem.  15:  562 – 565.

4 [4] L.C. Clark et al.  The Nutritional Prevention of Cancer with Selenium  1983 – 1993. JAMA 276: 1957 – 1963.

5 [5] J.D. Beasley and J.J. Swift (1989):  The Kellogg Report.  The impact of Nutrition, Environment and Lifestyle on the Health of Americans.  The Institute of Health Policy and Practice, The Bard College Center, Annondale-on-Hudson, New York,  12502, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 89-84263, p. 169.


6 [6] L.J. Goodman (1975) Longevity and mortality of American Physicians,  1969-1973.  Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly; Health and Society 53(3):  353 –375.


7 [7] Editorial, JAMA, 1902, issue of Oct. 25, p. 1053 –4.

8 [8] G.M. Gould and W.L. Pyle,.  Anomalies and curiosities of medicine.  The Julian Press 1896, p. 380-381.

9 [9] K.B. Wells, C.E. Lewis, B. Leake, J.E. Ware, Jr. (1984).  Do Physicians Preach what they Practice?”  JAMA  252:  2846 – 2848.

10 [10[  J.I. Rodale (1949), “The Healthy Hunzas.”  Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, 1949.

11 [11] F.Silio, A. H. Laguna, L.e. Garcia, J.G. Guaman, M.S. Salvador (1966) Mineral composition of foods and drinking water from Vilacabamba.  In: Proc. Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine Vol. 4; Ph. Collery, J. Corbello, J.L. Domingo, J. D. Etienne, J.m. Llobet eds.  John Libbey Eurotext, Paris, 1996, pp 563-565.

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13 [13] M. Williams-Sarkisian, B. Apisson: A diet for happy, healthy 100 years,”  German Edition, Die Kaukasus-Diat, Ullstein Verlag Frankfurt, 1985.

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16 [16] P. Foucand, P. Therond, M. Marchand, F. Brion, F.F. Demelier, J. Navarro (1988).  Selenium et vitamin E au cours de la mucoviscidose.  Arch. Fr. Pediatr. 45(6), 383 –6.

17 [17] A.G. Thoman, V. Miller, A. Shenkin, G.S. Fell, F. Taylor (1994).  Selenium and glutathione peroxidase status in pediatric health and gastrointestinal disease.  J. Pediatr Gastroent Nutr  19, 2:  213 – 219.

18 [18] B. Salh, K. Webb, P.M. Guyan, J.P. Day, D. Wickens, J. Griffin, J.M. Braganza, T.L. Dormand (1989), Clin. Chem. Acta 181 (1)  65-74.

19 [19] B.M. Winklhofer-Roob (1994):  Oxygen free radicals and antioxidants in cystic fibrosis: the concept of an oxidant- antioxidant imbalance.  Acta. Paeditr Suppl.  395:  49 – 57.

20 [20] R.D. Watson, R.A. Cannon, G.S. Kurland, K.L. Cox, F.C. Frates (1985), Selenium responsive myositis during prolonged home total parenteral nutrition in cystic fibrosis.  JPEN J Parenteral Enteral Ntr.  9(1)  58 – 60.

21 [21] C. Dominguez, M. Llovera, E. Ruiz, V. Araujo, S. Linan, S. Gartner, N. Cobos, “Antioxidant trace elements, glutathione and glutathione peroxidase in cystic fibrosis patients: relation to lipid peroxidation status.  In: Proc. Conf. Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 4; Ph. Collery, J. Corbello, J.L. Domingo, J.D. Etienne, J.M. Llobet eds., John Libbey Erotext, Paris, 1996, pp. 592 – 595.

22 [22] B. Dworkin, L.J. Newman, S. Berezin, W.S. Rosenthal, S.M. Schwarz, L. Leiss (1987).  Low blood selenium levels in patients with cystic fibrosis compared to controls and healthy adults.  JPEN J. Parenteral and Enteral Nutr.  11(1) ,  38 – 41.

23 [23] D.M. Volk, S.A. Cutliff (1986), Selenium deficiency and cardiomyopathy in  a patient withcystic fibrosis.  J.Ky. Med. Assoc.  84 (5) 222-4.

24 [24]  E. Kauf, E. Janitzky, L. Vogt, K. Winnefeld, H. Dawczynski, M. Forberger, G. Jahreis, H. Vogel (1995).  “The significance of a selenotherapy in cystic fibrosis patients” Med. Klin. 90, Suppl. I,  41-45.

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26 [26] E. Baasch, personal communication to author, 1995.

27 [27] Knolle and Gunther   G. Knolle and B. Gunther (1967).  Beitrag zur Atiologiehypothese: Amalgam und Multiple Sklerose. Schw. Monatsschr. Zahnheilk. 77.   761- 776.

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30 [30] G.Q. Yang (1985), Keshan disease: an endemic selenium related deficiency disease.  In:  Trace Elements in Nutritional and Children.  R.K. Chandra, ed. Raven, New York, pp. 273-290.

31 [31] O.A. Levander and M.A. Beck (1997). Insights from Coxsackie B Virus induced myocarditis in mice deficient in selenium and vitamin E. Biol. Trace El. Res. 56 (1) 5 – 21.

32 [32] H.L. Keil and V.E. Nelson (1931).  The role of copper in hemoglobin regeneration and reproduction.  J. Biol. Chem.  93: 49

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43 [43] S. Verma, M.C. Cam and J.H. McNeill (1998). Nutritionaly factors that can favorably influence the glucose/insulin system: Vanadium. J.Am. Coll Nutr. 17 (1) 11-18.

44 [44]  H.G. Preuss., T. Jarrell, R. Scheckenbach, S. Lieberman, R.A. Anderson (1998).  Comparative effects of chromium, vanadium and Gymnma on sugar induced blood pressure elevations in SHR. J. Amer. Coll. Nutr. 17 (21)  116 –123.

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*Whenever the term "colloidal minerals" is used in association with Dr. Joel Wallach or his famous audio tape Dead Doctors Don't Lie, it is important to note that Dr. Joel Wallach is referring to organic colloidal minerals. Organic colloidal minerals are minerals that have been processed through a plant, a fact which greatly increases the rate at which the human body can absorb these minerals. Dr. Joel Wallach is NOT referring to colloidal minerals mined from inorganic sources such as seabeds or clays. Many of Americas largest colloidal minerals companies sell inorganic colloidal minerals. The statements and / or products found on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products mentioned or appearing on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or disease condition.    American Longevity Independent Associate, ID # 6570401



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