10 natural cures - no drugs - for ulcers, memory loss, fatigue, benign prostate enlargement, PMS, candida, headache, allergies and endometriosis

See a doctor with a problem, and more than not, you'll be told, "Take this drug." I tell my patients, "Change your diet and take nutrients." Here's why, and the nutrients prescribe for 10 health problems.

For a quarter century, I've strived to replace the risky medical treatments that are commonly used to treat chronic diseases with safer, gentler measures that I have found to be consistently more effective. When treating chronic disease, it has always seemed senseless to me to first turn to drugs and other invasive procedures with all their side effects. * At the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in Manhattan, patients are initially prescribed nutrient therapy, along with dietary and other lifestyle changes, to treat all kinds of health problems, some even life-threatening. We've seen these patients consistently overcome illness, often without drugs and surgical procedures that other doctors deemed necessary. * Forty-three-year-old Jack Spanfield is a good example. He came to our center with an 11-year history of ulcerative colitis. He had frequent bloody diarrhea, mucus, and cramps. Strong drugs hadn't helped Jack, and when I first saw him, he required two painkilling enemas daily. After two weeks of nutritional therapy and a sugar-free diet, he began to improve. In six weeks his bowel function was normal, and in three months he was off all medications. * Patients like Jack are told by their doctors that nothing but drugs can help them. My advice: Don't believe anyone who tells you that! * On the following pages are nutrient protocols (including vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances) that are used at the Atkins Center to successfully treat and prevent 10 serious and increasingly common chronic health conditions. Additional conditions are profiled in my latest book, Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature's Answer to Drugs (Simon & Schuster, 1998). This book contains nearly 1,000 scientific references that document the efficacy of specific nutrients.

Please note the following before you undertake any of these supplement programs:

* Consult with your doctor before discontinuing your drugs or combining nutrients with drugs (since the effectiveness of the nutrients could make the drugs unnecessary).

* Determine the cause of your sickness and correct it. Nutrients will help, but until the cause is eliminated, be it a bad diet, stress, or other factors, the problem will persist.

* Dosages represent the total daily amount to take, including the dosage that you will get from a basic formula (see sidebar, "Where to Start" at right). Divide the total amount into three or more equal doses to be taken with meals.

* Once you derive clear benefit from your program, taper down the quantities to one half.

* If a nutrient approach does not work, see a doctor informed in nutritional medicine. Nutrients may still help, but you need a tailored program.

* Take nutrients with meals, but take herbs 20 minutes before eating. If you are on a low-fat diet, make sure you take the following with a meal that contains some fat or oil (to ensure absorption): vitamins A, E, D, tocotrienols, carotenoids, lycopene, lutein, and Co[Q.sub.10]


Thought for a century to be the result of stress, ulcers are now believed to be caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. The lesions that form on the stomach walls did not occur before the refining of foods, leading one to think that they are caused, at least in part, by a heavy consumption of refined carbohydrates like sugar and flour. Of this I am certain: Reducing the intake of dietary carbohydrates helps heal ulcers. Adding fiber to the diet is also important, as are beneficial bacteria supplements. Moreover, the following nutrients are excellent for helping the two most common types of ulcers --duodenal and gastric--to heal.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Gamma-oryzanol 450 TO 900 mg

Glutamine 1,500 TO 3,000 mg

Zinc 50 TO 100 mg

Vitamin U 120 to 240 mg

Pantethine(*) 600 TO 1,200 mg

Licorice 100 to 200 mg

Vitamin E 400 TO 800 IU

Cat's claw extract 500 TO 1,000 mg

Vitamin A 15,000 TO 30,000 IU

(*) Half pantethine and half panthenic acid.


The Coming of the new millennium has fostered widespread interest in ways to improve and maintain brain function with nutrients. Convincing scientific evidence has shown that nutrients are better than drugs at preserving our nerve cells. No drug has been proven to prevent memory loss. However, optimal nutrition can improve your memory, concentration, mood, and judgment, and will help you realize the maximum life span of your brain and nerves.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

B complex 50 TO 150 mg

Ginkgo biloba extract 60 TO 120 mg

[B.sub.6] 100 TO 200 mg

Folic acid(*) 3 TO 5 mg

[B.sub.12] 1,000 TO 2,000 mcg

[B.sub.1] 100 TO 200 mg

Octacosanol 6 TO 12 mg

(*) Women who need to shrink uterine fibroids, prevent breast cancer recurrences, or deal with endometriosis or fibrocystic breasts should keep daily supplemental folic acid below 600 mcg.


Without a doubt, the most common complaint I hear from my patients is fatigue. There are many reasons for this condition, including a chronic debilitating illness, a viral overload, an accumulation of external and internal toxic byproducts, an underactive thyroid, and a stressed immune system. But the most common cause of tiredness is diet--and, more specifically, unstable blood sugar. In other words, a diet high in protein and fat and low in simple sugars is usually the best approach for overcoming fatigue. However, other dietary practices can also help. You can optimize digestive health by avoiding metabolic poisons such as margarine and junk foods, eating several meals a day (as opposed to loading up at one or two meals), and avoiding caffeine and other stimulants.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

B complex(*) 50 TO 150 mg

Co[Q.sub.10] 50 TO 100 mg

NADH 2.5 TO 5 mg

Phenylalanine 500 TO 1,500 mg

Octacosanol 12 TO 24mg

DMG 125 TO 250 mg

L-carnitine 500 TO 1,000 mg

Vitamin [B.sub.12] 2,000 TO 4,000 mcg (SUBLINGUAL)

PABA 1,500 TO 3,000 mg

(*) If the B complex does not help, try coenzymes of the B complex. These are active forms of the B vitamins and are available at health food stores in sublingual tablets.

Benign Prostate Enlargement

This condition, in which the prostate gland becomes swollen enough to obstruct urine flow, makes urination difficult and causes frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. It strikes most men by the time they reach 60 or 65. Americans spend $3 billion annually managing benign enlargement of the prostate, mostly with medication and surgical procedures. However, prostate enlargement responds so well to nutritional and herbal medicine that mainstream solutions are, in fact, completely unnecessary. The treatment program below is also an excellent support for general male reproductive health. Plan to take the supplements for at least three months:

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Saw palmetto 2501O 300 mg OF STANDARDIZED EXTRACT

Pygeum africanum 100 TO 200 mg OF STANDARDIZED EXTRACT

Glutamic acid 500 TO 1000 mg

Glycine 250 TO 500 mg

Alanine 250 TO 500 mg

Manganese 20 TO 40 mg

Essential fats formula(*) 3,600 TO 7,200 mg

Zinc 50 TO 100 mg

(*) Combine an equal mixture of 400 to 800 mg each of borage oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, for a total of 1,200 to 2,400 ma, three times a day.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes symptoms such as irritability, breast tenderness, food cravings, and depression that come just before the bleeding' phase of the female cycle. They can often be alleviated by optimizing nutrition. Elimination of sugar and caffeine is a must, and consuming adequate protein throughout the day--not just at one meal--is essential. The shown nutrients and herbs will also greatly reduce symptoms of PMS.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Essential fats formula(*) 3,600 TO 7,200 mg

[B.sub.6] 100 TO 200 mg

Choline 1000 TO 1,500 mg

Inositol 1,000 TO 1,500 mg

Methionine 500 TO 1,000 mg

Magnesium 300 TO 600 mg

Chromium 200 TO 600 MCG

Acidophilus, bifidobacteria and bulgaricum(**) 1 TO 3 tsp

GABA 500 TO 3,000 mg

Black cohosh extract 12 TO 24 mg

(*) Combine an equal mixture of 400 to 800 mg each of borage oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, for a total of 1,200 to 2,400 ma, three times a day.

(**) Mix 1 to 3 teaspoons of each in glass of room-temperature water and take in the morning upon rising and 20 minutes before meals.


I consider blood sugar imbalances the most problematic nutrition-based condition in the Western world. Diabetes is both a major disease in its own right and a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. The term "diabetes" really applies to two very different illnesses. Type I is an acquired autoimmune illness in which the pancreas's insulin-making capacity is destroyed; insulin must be provided in order for the patient to survive. Type 11, the more prevalent form, is characterized by blood-sugar elevations due mainly to the body's inability to use insulin effectively (insulin resistance). Most Type II diabetics have elevated insulin levels, and providing more insulin, a frequent medical practice, simply accelerates the cardiovascular complications. As many as 40 percent of Americans have some characteristics for this condition; the most common are high insulin output, insulin resistance, tendency to gain weight, and hypoglycemia, an unstable blood-sugar syndrome. Many of the same nutrients can be helpful for all these conditions. That's because the treatment goal is basically the same: to keep your blood sugar within normal ranges by helping your body metabolize dietary sugars more effectively.

If you remove all forms of sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet (including alcohol and caffeine) and take the following nutrients, you can ameliorate or prevent early Type 11 diabetes, pre-diabetes, and hypoglycemia:

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Chromium 500 TO 1,000 mcg

Vanadyl sulfate 30 TO 60 mg

Lipoic acid 300 TO 600 mg

Co[Q.sub.10] 90 TO 180 mg

Biotin 7.5 TO 15 mg

Inositol 800 TO 1,600 mg

Zinc 90 TO 180 mg

Niacinamide 300 TO 600 mg

DHEA(*) 20 TO 40 mg

(*) Take after having your doctor test for blood levels Take only if blood levels are low. Test again as your doctor advises Adjust dosage accordingly.


The overgrowth of the yeast organism Candida albicans, which normally resides peacefully in our intestinal tract, is an increasingly common problem. The result of sugar-gorging and the overuse of antibiotics, candida overgrowth contributes to chronic fatigue syndrome, immune system weakness, "brain fog," irritable bowel syndrome, and food intolerances. A sugar-free diet, which also eliminates fermented foods, is the starting point. Next come these nutritional therapies:

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Acidophilus, bifidobacteria and bulgaricum(*) 1 TO 3 tsp

Undecenylic acid(**) 100 to 200 mg

Caprylic acid(**) 600 TO 1,200 mg

Oil of oregano 2 to 4 DROPS

Olive leaf extract START WITH 500 mg BUILD UP TO 1,500 TO 2,000 mg

Vitamin C 1 TO 3 G

Pantethine(***) 600 to 1,200 mg

Garlic 75 TO 1,500 mg

Essential fats formula(****) 3,600 to 7,200 mg

Biotin 7.5 TO 15 mg

Mixed fiber blend 8 TO 16 g

(*) Mix 1 to 3 teaspoons of each in glass of room-temperature water and take in the morning upon rising and 20 minutes before meals.

(**) These compounds are natural substances that work by interfering with the nutrition of the yeast organism.

(***) Half pantethine and half panthenic acid.

(****) Combine an equal mixture of 400 to 800 mg each of borage oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, for a total of 1,200 to 2,400 ma, three times a day.


Determining the cause of an illness is a vital part of nutrient therapy. In other words, the proper treatment for a headache is to prevent it. This is accomplished by determining its cause and steering clear of it. In general, a good strategy is to check for food allergies, avoid sugar and caffeine, and eliminate the foods to which you may be allergic. You should also try to avoid pro-inflammatory fats, such as safflower, sunflower, and corn oils, and cheek for toxic metals and high copper, both of which can cause headaches. Remember, though, that painful, recurring headaches require medical supervision to rule out other serious health problems.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Magnesium 500 TO 1,000 mg

Acidophilus, bifidobacteria and bulgaricum(*) 1/2 TO 1 tsp

B complex 50 TO 100 mg

Vitamin C 1 TO 3 g

Essential fats formula(**) 4,800 TO 7,200 mg

Ginkgo biloba extract 240 TO 480 mg

Feverfew 100 TO 200 mg

(*) Mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of each in glass of room-temperature water and take in the morning upon rising and 20 minutes before meals.

(**) Combine an equal mixture of 533 to 800 mg each of borage oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, for a total of 1,600 to 2,400 ma, three times a day.


Allergies cause not only the familiar stuffy nose and watery, itchy eyes of hay fever, but also important illnesses like asthma, eczema, and hives. Allergic reactions like these can be relieved by certain nutrients.

If you have food allergies, you should use elimination diets or blood tests to determine the foods to which you may be sensitive. If your allergies are airborne, you should use air filters or some other system to purify the air you breathe; uncarpeted wood floors will also help. This program is helpful for both food and air-borne allergies.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Pantethine 600 TO 900 mg(*)

Quercetin 600 TO 1,200 mg

Vitamin C 3 g

Magnesium 400 TO 600 mg

Grapeseed extract 50 TO 300 mg

Licorice extract 100 TO 300 mg

DHEA(**) 30 TO 100 mg

Pregnenolone 30 TO 100 mg

[B.sub.12] 1 TO 3 mg

(*) Half pantethine and half panthenic acid.

(**) Take after having your doctor test for blood levels. Take only if your blood levels are low. Test again as your doctor advices. Adjust dosage accordingly.

Endometriosis and Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Endometriosis (uterine lining tissue growing elsewhere in the abdomen), fibrocystic breast disease (the benign lumpy breast condition often mistaken for early breast cancer), and uterine fibroids (the nonmalignant tumors that grow so large that hysterectomies are recommended) are all conditions that can occur because of imbalanced female hormones; estrogen predominates over progesterone. Supporting the liver with methionine, choline, and inositol helps the body balance the hormones by converting estradiol to the weaker, more innocuous estrogen, estriol. In women who practice the accompanying regime, I have seen these problems disappear over a period of six months to a year.

Dr. Atkins Recommends

Methionine 500 TO 1,000 mg

Choline 1,000 TO 1,500 mg

Inositol 1,000 TO 1,500 mg

Essential Fats Formula(*) 3,600 TO 7,200 mg

[B.sub.6] 100 TO 200 mg

Vitamin E 200 TO 400 IU

Note: Folic acid, PABA, and boron, three nutrients that help overcome menopausal symptoms by increasing estrogen levels, must be eliminated from the list of basic supplements in "Where to Start" on page 94.

(*) Combine an equal mixture of 400 to 800 mg each of borage oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil, for a total of 1,200 to 2,400 ma, three times a day.


The average American diet falls short in meeting people's minimal nutritional needs. This is due to many factors, including modern agricultural practices, stress, air pollution, and the heavy consumption of refined foods, like sugar and flour, that rob nutrients from the body. The following formula meets basic nutrition requirements. It is not the only formula, but it is a good starting point. Do not worry if a formula you use does not contain the exact amounts listed. If it's close, you will be helping Yourself. You may order the formula below by calling 1-800-628-5467. For specific health problems, this formula needs to be individualized.

The lower amounts apply to adults weighing less than 130 pounds or to those with less severe illnesses. The higher amounts are for people who weigh more than 240 pounds or with more difficult conditions.

Natural beta carotene   Pantethine            Vitamin [D.sub.2]
3,000 TO 6,000 IU 75 TO 150 mg 90 TO 180 IU

Vitamin A Vitamin [B.sub.6] Vitamin E
1,500 TO 3,000 IU 30 TO 60 mg 150 TO 300 IU

Vitamin [B.sub.1] Folic acid Copper
30 TO 60 mg 2,000 TO 4,000 mcg 600 TO 1,200 mcg

Vitamin [B.sub.2] Pyridoxal phosphate Magnesium
24 TO 48 mg 6 TO 12 mg 50 TO 100 mg

Niacin Biotin Calcium
15 TO 30 mg 225 TO 450 mcg 200 TO 400 mg

Niacinamide Vitamin [B.sub.12] Choline
30 TO 60 mg 180 TO 240 mcg 300 TO 600 mg

Pantothenic acid Vitamin C Inositol
75 TO 150 mg 500 TO 1,000 mg 240 TO 480 mg

PABA Molybdenum
300 TO 600 mg 30 TO 60 mcg

Manganese Vanadyl sulfate
12 TO 24 mg 45 TO 90 mcg

Zinc Octacosanol
24 TO 48 mg 450 TO 900 mcg

Citrus bioflavonoids
450 TO 600 mg

150 TO 300 mcg

120 TO 240 mcg

N to acetyl cysteine
60 TO 120 mg

Note: Along with this formula, include essential fatty oils, preferably an equal mixture of borage, fish, and flaxseed oil. Strive to get 400 mg of each, three times a day.