Friday, September 23, 2011

Dr. Oz and Apple Juice

This past week, Dr. Oz launched an "extensive national investigation" into the arsenic content in popular brands of apple juice sold in the United States. Details can be read here: Dr. Oz and Arsenic in Apple Juice.

Dr. Oz claims that some of the samples his contracted lab analyzed contained more arsenic than the FDA's allowable limit for water of 10 parts per billion. The FDA's limit for apple juice is 23 parts per billion, because the arsenic found within the juice is a mix of the harmful inorganic arsenic and less harmful organic arsenic. The samples with higher levels predominantly came from other countries, where arsenic is more prevalent and testing is less stringent.

His findings have stirred up a controversy amongst the FDA, juice drinkers, and himself. As a media figure, whose goal is to increase viewer and readership, he's found a winner with arsenic in apple juice. That said, of course I think it's important for consumers to be aware of what they're consuming, and for the FDA to adequately regulate those products.

For someone who was fed Arsenic Trioxide-- an inorganic ("harmful") version of arsenic-- 50 times this past summer, the current debate has an element of irony and amusement.
The conclusion of my quest to learn why the drug was treating my APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia) instead of poisoning me was the dosage size. The doses were too small too harm me.

I guarantee you I received more inorganic arsenic on a daily basis than is contained within a juice box. If that weren't the case, I could have saved 50 needle jabs, 50 doctor's visits, and 50 co-pays by picking up a bulk pack of juice boxes at the wholesale club.

Dr. Oz. points out that some of the highest containing arsenic samples came from China. Coincidentally, the Chinese have used arsenic for medicinal purposes for centuries, and were the ones who first realized it could cure APL.

By no means am I advocating arsenic in apple juice. However, through my research on my treatment, I've learned the importance of dosage. The FDA believes the dosage in current samples is permissable. When I mentioned this topic to one of my doctors, who is an expert on the APL treatment regimen that includes Arsenic Trioxide, he laughed at the apple juice hype.

Dr. Oz provides links and data on the different apple juice manufacturers, which can help you choose which and how much of the product to purchase. It's good to be informed, but his findings don't merit panic or a boycot. If I'm okay after my intravenous infusions of inorganic arsenic, you're probably fine too from that glass of apple juice you had the day before Dr. Oz released his big news.