There has been a recent proliferation of slick, four-color mini-magazines extolling various individuals as health gurus. Among them have been a number of different titles published by -- and starring -- "Dr. David Williams." Williams once claimed merely to be "leading the worldwide search for natural remedies." Since then he has humbly proclaimed himself to be "America's #1 expert in natural healing" and "the 'Indiana Jones' of natural medicine." Back when he was "leading the world wide search" he was pictured in a library. After proclaiming himself "#1 expert" he pictured himself in a white coat, holding a stethoscope, surrounded by the trappings of medicine. Williams has a celebrity picture of himself standing next to 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace who is publicizing shark cartilage as a cancer cure. Who is this guy who claims to be so highly acclaimed but no one seems ever to have heard of outside of his own publications?
Williams is a chiropractor who apparently prefers publishing medicine-bashing, health hype to popping spines. Williams has been writing and publishing his personal newsletter Alternatives "For the Health Conscious Individual" since 1989. In 1993, he went slick with "a special supplement to Alternatives, dubbed Breakthroughs in Healing (is this guy original, or what?!) Williams claims to have 130,000 readers across America. (p.15) Our reading of his mini-magazines leads to the conclusion that "#1 expert" Williams merely reiterates the same unsubstantiated claims for health food products that have been being made for many years. It seems like his "research" has been simply reading health foods propaganda.
Williams promises to reveal:
"Doctor" Williams also warns his readers about misinformation being foisted on us by the bad old "medical monopoly." Williams tells readers not to use sunscreen, rather, rub on "a simple solution of vitamin C and water." "Beware of the aspirin a day craze"; if you want to "achieve the same anti-blood clotting results as aspirin, take bromelain, an all natural extract of pineapples."
According to the Lawrence Review of Natural Products (7/93), bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme used to tenderize meat. Medically, it has been used in burn injury debridement and to reduce soft tissue inflammation and irritation. The pharmacologic effects of bromelain are caused by an enhancement of serum fibrinolytic activity and inhibition of fibrinogen synthesis. It lowers kininogen and bradykinin serum tissue levels and has an influence on prostaglandin synthesis. Since bromelain is absorbed unchanged from the intestine at a rate of about 40%, it may have some of the benefits of aspirin, which also increases fibrinolytic activity and influences prostaglandin synthesis. However, aspirin has an experimental research record of effectiveness that bromelain does not. Thus there is no experimental basis for Williams's assertion that bromelain has the same anti-clotting features and would be preferable.
Despite Williams's proclamations, the following disclaimer appears inside the front cover:
The approaches described in this special report are not offered as cures, prescriptions, diagnoses or a means of diagnosis to different conditions... The author or publisher assume no responsibility in the correct or incorrect use of this information and no attempt should be made to use any of this information as a form of treatment without the approval and guidance of your doctor.
Thus, Williams taunts his readers with advice that they are warned not to apply!
© 1995 National Council Against Health Fraud. With proper citation, this article may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes