Chapter 6 - Challenging Reports
After Ana Aslan delivered her monumental reports in 1956-57, she did not retire to a villa in Romania to meditate about GH3. Rather, as is her character, she went on proving and implementing by facts what very few could deny: that GH3 was not just an antidepressant for the elderly, important as that was, but was an antiaging factor as manifested in various signs and symptoms. She was careful to report only the truth of what she observed on many thousands of patients under controlled conditions. She also experimented with animals, namely rats, pigeons, and the smallest of all life, bacteria.
The information she obtained under stringent test conditions for twenty-three years enabled her to speak with increasing authority. She had much corroboration throughout the civilized world, from France, Germany, Italy, and other countries. From France came corroboration from Professor Berger that rats lived much longer when given GH3 than did their littermates. Although Aslan claimed only about 20% more longevity for her 1800 rats, Professor Berger found that his GH3-treated rats lived 30% longer. We can see that 30% is a considerable period of time in a rat s life, which is about three to four years. Adding 30% to man s life span of 70 brings us to over~ 90—in good condition throughout this extended period--—not the hopeless parody of life we have described previously!
Also, from all over the world, reports on patients being miraculously aided came in by the hundreds. True, most had not performed the double-blind studies demanded in the United States and Great Britain, but they knew from long experience with their patients which ones were helped and why. This is called a longitudinal study; it is just as revealing as a double-blind study.
Ana was delighted with her results and with the corroboration from abroad. GH3 had amassed more than a hundred favorable reports from all over the world, all by qualified, well-recognized researchers. She herself, in collaboration with her assistants Drs. Cornel David, Alexandra Vrabiescu, Alexandra Ciuca, and several other eminent researchers at the Geriatrics Institute in Bucharest had published twenty or more papers attesting to the value of GH3. However, most of her papers were published in Romania, a country which, though renowned for many achievements, has not been well recognized by European medical societies. The primary reason—in fact, probably the only reason is that almost no one speaks Romanian except Romanians. Therefore, no one reads Romanian medical papers.
The Romanians have a proud history, of which at.. most no one is aware. They claim direct descent from the ancient Romans, who occupied their country for many years. Their language is much closer to the ancient Latin than any other language, including even Italian, which has been repeatedly exposed to infiItration from heterogeneous sources. Romania, somewhat remote, hidden behind the Carpathian mountains, has remained fairly isolated.
Dr. Aslan s first significant scientific challenge came in the early 1960s, when three or four British researchers published negative findings on her work. In the same period there were about a half-dozen negative American reports. (See Appendixes and Bibliography.) They stated they could find no evidence that procaine hydrochloride, administered according to the method advanced by Aim Aslan, was of any value in the treatment of patients suffering from the signs and symptoms of old age.
These reports were sufficient to close the official door on Aslan s therapy br more than a decade in both England and America.
How could recognized British and American researchers come up with results diametrically opposed to Aslan's studies as well as those of the European experimenters?
One important clue to the answer is that Aslan had been using Gerovital 113 (0H3)—not ordinary commercial procaine—since 1951; all her reports from then on stressed the difference between GH3 and commercially available procaine.
There are certain essential differences between procaine and GH3 which Aslan explained then (and which we explain in Chapter 16), but since procaine was the prime ingredient, hardly anyone bothered to use GH3--—the researchers used straight procaine.
So we can see why most British and American researchers, honest, methodical and precise as they were in their tests, attempting to duplicate Dr. Aslan's results--—with a great amount of skepticism, which is natural, normal, and to be expected in a scientific experiment--—nevertheless failed to follow Ana Aslan s most important direction: use GH3 in the recommended doses for an adequate period of time. They ignored the added ingredients that comprised GH3.
However, there were several studies in the United States which were favorable—including one monumental double-blind experiment. We will describe this experiment, great, definitive, and even, classical in its scope, which alone should have swung the tide of scientific opinion back to Aslan s findings. The experiment, published in 1965, was so precise and followed the procedures medical science should follow so scrupuiousiy, that it is a model of what medical science could have done to prove or disprove Dr. Aslan s claims. It is hard for almost anyone—particularly in medical science—to imagine that such a study, published in one of our country's leading medical journals, could have been virtually ignored, and also hard to imagine for those unschooled in medical history and the authoritarianism which unfortunately has dominated medical thinking for centuries, and yea, verily, up to and through our times.
Drs. Paul Gordon and Arnold Abrams, and several other doctor-associate researchers at the Chicago Medical School, published a two-part study of the effects of a double-blind experiment which they had made during 1963-64. It was published in Journal of Gerontology (vol. 20, 1965), and entitled "The Effects of a European Procaine Preparation in an Aged Population." The study was double-blind; neither doctors nor patients knew that standard procaine was being given versus the European brand called GH3. The study covered more than a year, with 30 patients receiving (GH3, the other 30 receiving plain procaine. According to the conclusions, which were reached both physiologically and psychologically, the patients were greatly improved when given GH3, but not so much when given plain procaine. The testing was so exhaustive that many pages are required for tables, graphs, discussion of procedures—so that there would be no possible room for error; it all becomes a bit too technical for us to get into in this book. Those who are doctors or technically minded laymen, or those who just want to find out why the negative reports differed so widely from the results obtained by the favorable studies, please refer to Appendix 1 for the paper by Abrams et al.
I was objective when I began investigating this conflict; after having examined the evidence and having lived with this story for four years, I have reached a conclusion about what I believe any truth-seeking investigative writer-reporter should do—take a stand and try to bring the truth to the people. This does not mean that I have lost my objectivity. I will present the evidence both pro and con. All significant reports, both pro and con, can be found in the Appendixes and Bibliography. In the absence of any negative reports since 1963, however, and with the avalanche of positive reports on humans, animals, even worms and bacteria, and human cells sitice that time, I am proud to present to the world the first documented evidence in popular form that GH3 does work and is the first fully proved substance that mankind can use for depression; and aging, as we now know, is almost synonymous with depression.
Getting back to favorable American reports, we can mention Long, Bucci-Saunders, Smigel, Kral—a half dozen more were published in leading medical journals, versus a half dozen who made unfavorable reports (see Appendixes and Bibliography)
It is interesting that the AMA only took the unfavorable reports, ignoring the others, and in almost a gleeful tone pronounced the finis of (GH3 therapy, Q.E.D. The AMA, unfortunately, is still in the hands of the kind of men who fought every advance in physical medicine, and "socialized" medicine beginning with Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the 1930s, and even now are fighting realistic national health care plans with all the power their member's dues can buy.
Almost every literate person is familiar with medicine s dreary litany of refusal to listen to new ideas (departures from the norm) from ancient times to the present (from Apollonius to Fleming); it scarcely seems necessary to recall some of the episodes. For every Lord Lister (who advocated antiseptic surgery) there are ten thousand physicians such as those who booed Lister off the roster when he attempted to speak. The same shameful treatment was accorded to all the innovators of science and medicine—in modern times it has become the custom to ignore, ridicule, and ostracize the miscreants who dare advance different ways of doing things. Medicine advances because of the minds of those courageous researchers who will not give up what they know to be true.
The same treatment was accorded Ana Aslan by official groups in orthodox medicine for many years. In fact, only in the last two years has she been granted the privilege of proving her work, or at least a small part of it, in the United States. We shall discuss the reasons for this.