Dr Cabot is the Medical and Executive Director of the Australian Women’s Health Advisory Service. This service was established in 1982 and since that time has provided free help to people all over the world via phone and the Internet.
Dr Cabot graduated with Honours in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 1975.
During the early 1980s she spent 6 months working as a volunteer doctor at the Leyman hospital, which was the largest missionary hospital in Northern India.
Dr Cabot is a pilot and uses her Beechcraft Baron aircraft to do regular work for the Angel Flight Charity, which provides free transport for patients with severe disabilities in remote Australian areas. Dr Cabot’s aircraft has done nearly 200 flights since January 2007 for the Angel Flight Charity.
Dr Cabot has conducted health seminars all over the world and has been asked to lecture for numerous health organisations such as The American Liver Foundation and the Annual Hepatitis Symposium. Dr Cabot continues to do many health seminars, most of which raise thousands of dollars for local charities.
Dr Cabot still has an active medical practices in Camden, Adelaide and Merimbula.
Perspectives of Dr Sandra Cabot
I have been a medical doctor for 38 years. During medical school at Adelaide University I became interested in naturopathic treatments and studied many different forms of these. These studies were done in my own time and were not part of the medical curriculum. I have been utilising nutritional medicine for 34 years.
I remember years ago when the statement “Vitamins can only be of assistance if the dietary intake is inadequate” became mandatory when vitamins were advertised. I thought to myself at the time, that this was a simplistic and misleading statement but it was the law!
The RDA for vitamins and minerals is a generalised value that does not cater for people’s individual genome (complete DNA structure), which may contain genes that produce a defective metabolism. For example if someone has inherited the genes for pernicious anaemia, they will be unable to absorb vitamin B 12 from the diet and they will require injections of vitamin B 12. Many people have digestive disorders that preclude adequate absorption of vitamins and minerals from a so called “healthy diet”, and they will need supplementation. Gluten intolerance can cause severe nutritional deficiencies requiring the use of vitamins and minerals and a normal healthy diet will never be adequate.
I have seen the value of supplementation on many occasions in people who eat a healthy diet. My uncle for example consumed a varied diet and ate enormous amount of foods and yet he suffered with a painful plantar wart that recurred for years despite numerous surgical attempts to eradicate the perky wart. After 8 weeks of high dose selenium (400mcg daily) the wart had disappeared. I suffered with a large painful wart on my finger for 20 years and did not realise that this was a sign of selenium deficiency. I decided to take selenium and after several months the wart had gone. Even my dog was selenium deficient and if I did not give him selenium supplements he suffered with intractable skin rashes and infections.
A Chinese study in people with chronic hepatitis B infection showed that selenium supplementation prevented the development of liver cancer in these patients. Why don’t these findings make the headlines when we have nearly half a billion people in the world who have chronic hepatitis B infection?
Reference Selenium as a chemo preventative agent in human primary hepatocellular carcinoma
Yu SY, Zhu YJ, Li WG. Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100021 and Qidong Liver Cancer Institute, Jiangsu, PR China.
Dr Cabot has written several ground breaking books –
Battles of Pioneers in Nutritional Medicine
One of my medical heroes is the late Professor Linus Pauling. Linus Pauling’s claim, that he knew a cure for common degenerative diseases and infections, was greeted with ridicule. His findings were about the enormous benefits of inexpensive and non-patentable vitamin C. Pauling died on the 19th August 1994, and his revolutionary ideas are still not widely known. Linus Pauling was the leading chemist of the last century and remains the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes, the first for Chemistry (1954) and the second for peace (1962). There is no doubt that he was one of the greatest scientists the world of nutritional medicine has ever seen.
By the time of his death, the medical establishment had branded Pauling a quack, because he advocated the use of high doses of vitamin C to treat many diseases. Vitamin C is an essential substance for a strong immune system and healthy blood vessels but humans cannot manufacture vitamin C in their bodies. Most animals make large amounts of their own vitamin C, but in humans, the gene for this ability has mutated and no longer works properly.
Pauling found that conventional medicine had long ignored research which suggested that high doses of vitamin C might be a cure for many illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. However, when he published his research in his books “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” and “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”, the medical profession was incensed, implying that a mere chemist could not possibly understand the intricacies of medical science.
Pauling battled with the medical authorities but managed to convince the public of the benefits of high dose vitamin C. He took on the medical establishment because the implication for health was enormous: an end to premature death and unnecessary suffering from heart disease, infection and many cancers. We could take on the drug companies, health authorities and lawyers, who work for them, and say the same thing about selenium supplements, but we are not allowed to – it’s the law! We will be fined enormous amounts of money and so we become afraid. It is sad times when medicine becomes politicized by lawyers and politicians. This bullying attitude fosters a climate of fear and not lateral thinking for the betterment of mankind.
Over Regulation Stifles Health Choices
In Europe it has become much harder to purchase nutritional and herbal supplements as new laws were introduced by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which have made it virtually impossible for supplement manufacturers and distributors to make any meaningful claims for their products. It is incredible to think that the embattled supplement industry in Europe submitted 44,000 claims for their supplements over the last 5 years, and yet only 248 were accepted! Well this is protecting the public from ruthless marketing companies – but is it really? People do their own research and can make up their own minds, but if the regulations become so onerous that supplements are very expensive for the average person battling to make a living, who can afford their benefits? The new European Union require companies selling health supplements to provide independent scientific evidence to support marketing and packaging claims. The cost of this can be prohibitive for small businesses that have a small range of supplements, so once again big business gets its way and has a monopoly on our health choices. Why can’t these supplement companies use the research that is already available which shows that specific vitamins and minerals have therapeutic or preventative effects? There is excellent research available but we are not allowed to talk about it or use it for public education.
It has been illegal since December 2012 for European supplement manufacturers to include health claims on packaging that are not approved by the European Union. The consumer group called Which, accused manufacturers in Europe of misleading the public about additional ingredients in their supplements, such as vitamin C, which do not have proven health benefits, to imply that all of the other ingredients are effective. Well this is their interpretation and are these so called “health experts”, lawyers, journalists or scientists? I assume they do not know about the work of Linus Pauling?
I suggest you visit the website www.seleniumresearch.com and the Linus Pauling Institute at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/ to get a scientific and evidence based perspective that is independent of political interests.
A Good Sense of Humour Has Been My Best Friend
Over the years I have sometimes been attacked for my theories of medical treatments and this started when I became an author and radio presenter. Most of the detractors were doctors and what I was saying seemed to annoy them to the degree where they would have a go at me in the media. This occurred in the 1990s and made be a controversial author leading to my award winning book The Liver Cleansing Diet becoming a bestselling book. You see a lot of academics do not understand the power of reverse psychology but I owe them a lot for this lack of insight!
I remember being asked by the ABC to do a radio interview about bio-identical hormones for menopausal women and I was to be interviewed along with a professor of gynaecology who did not believe in such natural hormones. There is an excellent meta-analysis which shows these hormones are safer than synthetic HRT – see study click here
This professor believed in synthetic or animal hormones instead, and he seemed to hate my books! The interviewer said to me “I will interview you first and then I will interview the professor”. Well me being older and wiser, said “No way, you will interview us together, so I have right of reply” She agreed and luckily I had demanded this strategy, as the professor was incredibly rude and started his interview with the statement “ Well unscientific people like doctor Cabot are only trying to sell books and do not have evidence”. I was quick to remind him that I was a medical doctor who had graduated with first class honours in medicine and surgery and that he should do his home work before coming on an interview with me. We had a heated debate and it was fun and the patient sitting in front of me in my consulting room was cheering me all the way. We older women enjoy a feisty debate so beware!
I have also been bullied by the consumer group Choice who seem to have a political agenda that likes to destroy people. They visited a clinic that they mistakenly thought was my weight loss clinic and sent a “fake patient” who was a plant of theirs, to see a naturopath who had worked in my Camden Clinic. They did not like the way this naturopath operated and they created a defamatory case against me that went on National Television. Although I was interviewed and said that it was NOT my clinic and that I had helped thousands of people lose weight successfully, in my own clinics, these parts of my reply were edited out! That’s the media for you; they just like to sensationalise things to get ratings. You have also got to wonder what the agenda of some consumer groups like CHOICE is. I do not get it at all.
Journalists can be incredibly rude and I guess they have to be to make television interesting! I also had another interesting interview with a male presenter on a National morning TV show in the 1990s which sticks in my mind because it was quite funny. I had just released my book “Hormones – Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Life” and the presenter started with “Well will people say that Cabot is at it again?” I did not really understand what he meant but the condescending tone in his voice irritated me and I wanted to talk about the book, which I thought could help a lot of people. I decided that his grumpiness could be due to male menopause (he was the appropriate age for that) and I said to him “I think this book has some good information to help you as it has a great chapter on testosterone and I suspect that you may need your testosterone level checked.” He did not appreciate my sense of humour but the camera men did!
Where and Why Medicine Needs to Change
The practices of the past are not always what they seem – is it a case of “The Emperor’s got no clothes?”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2013 published high level analysis of 10 years worth of original research in the New England Journal of Medicine. This found that around 40% of so called “GOLD STANDARD” medicine has recently been assessed to be of no benefit, ineffective or even harmful. A further 17% of practices were found to be inconclusive. The worst offenders were the COX 2 inhibitor drugs (such as Vioxx) and recommendations for Hormone Replacement Therapy. Other findings were that stenting coronary arteries in stable patients was found to be no better than drugs and aggressive glucose control in type 2 diabetics, was shown to increase death rates.
The Mayo Clinic study showed that it was common for a practice of treatment with a weak evidence base, to gain acceptance through vocal support from prominent advocates and faith in hypothetical mechanisms of action – these attitudes were hard to overturn, even when later trials proved them inadequate.
Remember what Hippocrates the father of medicine said – “First do no harm”. That is why I like nutritional medicine, not only is it scientific and logical because it treats the causes of disease, it is remarkably safe!
The Mayo Clinic findings gave an example where the widespread use of high dose paracetamol for arthritis has recently been challenged by the UK National Institute for Health. They cite concerns that paracetamol is linked to gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal damage – their conclusion was that osteoarthritis patients should NOT be routinely advised to use paracetamol.
I agree paracetamol is a liver poison. Guess what the NIH recommended? – diet and exercise !!
Wow that is fantastic but there was opposition to this from rheumatologists – why? Because they do not have many other choices apart from NSAIDs and opioids. General practitioners were also unimpressed saying that “We cannot prescribe paracetamol, NSAIDs or COX inhibitors – so we are left with drugs of addiction; so now that paracetamol is dangerous, medicine becomes impossible”. Hoorah I agree! Medicine becomes much easier to practise if you utilise nutritional therapies but you may be accused of using unscientific practises. Governments need to encourage supplement companies to do the proper research of natural therapies and the freedom to publish their findings in unhealthy people and disease states. Nutritional medicine should be taught in medical schools on a much wider scale. For the present time, it is up to consumers to be wary and educate themselves, as change takes many years in medicine.
Doctors are by nature conservative and have become more so, as the increasing threat of litigation inhibits changes from the status quo or established medical practises. Doctors are also time poor and the free medical journals and newspapers do not promote nutritional medicine and do not educate doctors about its benefits. Many doctors are interested in nutritional medicine and we have an excellent college in Australia called the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine where doctors can become qualified in these areas. It is not free, and as I said before, it should be part of the standard medical curriculum for doctors. See their website at www.acnem.org.au