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Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. Posted August 1, 2009

Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. joined the Preventive Medicine Group in Cleveland in 1982. He joins us as part of our Natural Health Science Maverick series which focuses on practitioners who have been innovators in their respective fields. Dr. Lonsdale has developed an unusual knowledge of the role of biochemistry in most, if not all, diseases. This, in turn, led to his better understanding the role of bad nutrition and its adverse effects on the biochemistry of the body. It became clear to him that the symptoms reported by the patient could be related to the underlying biochemical cause. In most instances this was caused by lifestyle and poor diet. It is the abnormal body chemistry that must be corrected and that can only be done by dietary changes. Unfortunately, the nature of our diet today makes it unlikely that we take in enough vitamins and minerals through food thus nutritional supplements become necessary. Dr. Lonsdale shares with us that he has written more than 100 papers in the medical literature, most of which deal with various aspects of therapeutic nutritional supplementation. He also wrote WHY I LEFT ORTHODOX MEDICINE describing his experiences in clinical research that led to his recognition of the fact that doctors do not heal, the body heals itself.

Dr. Lonsdale developed an unusual knowledge of the role of biochemistry in most, if not all, diseases. This, in turn, led to his better understanding the role of bad nutrition and its adverse effects on the biochemistry of the body. In 1982, Dr. Lonsdale took early retirement from Cleveland Clinic and joined Preventive Medicine Group to specialize in nutrient-based therapy. It became clear to him that the symptoms reported by the patient could be related to the underlying biochemical cause. In most instances this was caused by lifestyle and poor diet. A given biochemical abnormality in one individual, however, might give rise to manifestations that would be different in another individual. Under these circumstances, the nutritional treatment would be the same for both. It is the abnormal body chemistry that must be corrected and that can only be done by dietary changes. Drugs only affect symptoms, they do not treat the real cause of disease. Unfortunately, the nature of our diet today makes it unlikely that we take in enough vitamins and minerals through food thus nutritional supplements become necessary.

An adult body consists of between 70 and 100 trillion cells, all of which have to be produced from a single cell that is activated by the union of a sperm from the father with an egg from the mother. The number of times that the cells have to divide to provide this number is incredible. The cells have to specialize to create all the organs and tissues that enable us to function. This growth, resulting in an infant becoming a toddler, a child, an adolescent and finally, an adult, requires an enormous amount of energy. This energy is derived from the food that we consume. If the genetically determined “blue-print” is intact, then diet becomes the most important part of living a healthy life. Dr. Lonsdale’s treatment is based on this principle. Prevention is better than cure and that is why we call ourselves the Preventive Medicine Group. Laboratory studies can indicate the risk of future disease. Dr. Lonsdale spends a great deal of time with patients, interpreting laboratory test results in order to guide patients toward lifestyle changes that lead to health and well-being. Many chronic conditions, some present for years, can be reversed or greatly improved by such means.

The current epidemic of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an example of what is happening in the modern world. Genetic predisposition, that would not harm a child in a healthy environment, makes the child more susceptible to a variety of stresses imposed by man-made factors such as vaccines, antibiotic abuse and exposure to heavy metals caused by industrial pollution. Dr. Lonsdale has paid particular attention to this problem and is a member of the research group known as DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) which is making great progress in therapeutic interventions to help these children.

Dr. Lonsdale has written more than 100 papers in the medical literature, most of which deal with various aspects of therapeutic nutritional supplementation. He also authorized WHY I LEFT ORTHODOX MEDICINE describing his experiences in clinical research that led to his recognition of the fact that doctors do not heal, the body heals itself. When a bone is broken, an orthopedist is an expert technician who places the fragments in proper position. The body heals the bone. All that the body needs is an adequate supply of energy that enables it to function efficiently. This may be taken as the definition of health. Dr. Lonsdale’s book also explains how faulty diet makes it more difficult to handle any form of stress and how it might impact on our genetically determined characteristics. The proper choice of nutritional supplements is an art, backed up by very strong scientific principles. Since nutritional supplements focus on the energy requirements for self-healing, they are applicable to any medical problem, often even in forestalling surgery. This represents an important shift in our thinking about health and disease. The word “doctor” is derived from the Latin word “teacher” and Dr. Lonsdale is one among a growing group of physicians who teach their patients how to take care of themselves in a world that largely ignores these principles.