Evidence shows vitamin C does helpThe discussion...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Evidence shows vitamin C does help

The discussion about vitamin C by Dr. Simeon Margolis (On Call, Aug. 13) contains a number of errors.

First, his theory that vitamin C causes kidney stones is not supported by the evidence. Practitioners who routinely prescribe large doses of vitamin C for long periods of time have been impressed by the rarity of kidney stones among their patients.

A study published in the Journal of Urology in 1996 showed that men who consume 1,500 milligrams or more of vitamin C daily actually develop 22 percent fewer kidney stones than do men who consume less than 250 milligrams per day.

Vitamin C excreted in the urine may help prevent kidney stones by binding to calcium, thereby preventing the calcium from crystallizing into stones.

There is also a great deal of direct scientific evidence that vitamin C can reduce the severity of colds.

Concerning atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a study published in 1954 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal demonstrated that it can be reversed in some cases by supplementing with 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C per day.

Dr. Margolis' cavalier remark about enriching the toilet bowl ignores the evidence that a high concentration of vitamin C in the urine can kill certain bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and that the vitamin may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by inactivating environmental carcinogens excreted in the urine.

Alan R. Gaby, M.D.

Seattle

The writer is past president of the American Holistic Medical Association.

Costly duplication should be stopped

The Aug. 18 Sunday Sun featured a lengthy article by Ronnie Greene discussing the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission and the lack of "firepower" in its inability to fine. The chairman of the commission was quoted and comparisons were made with other counties that have that "firepower."

The real question to be asked is why it is necessary to have local government, state government and the federal government all doing the same thing. This authority is repeated in labor protective laws, environmental protection laws and many other laws affecting Maryland and our nation.

We can no longer afford the luxury of having more than one level of government duplicate the same service for taxpayers. The next question is whether or not the service is essential and, if it is, which level of government can do the best job for the least amount of money.

If we begin to address this, we will find money for education and to respond to the issues of crime.

Harvey A. Epstein

Towson

Horse racing doesn't need our charity

Joe De Francis can try, but he isn't getting any of my sympathy.

The wealthy owner of Pimlico and Laurel race tracks claims that although horse racing in Maryland is currently enjoying an economic peak, he needs state financial assistance to help him through the economic valleys that lie ahead. Don't we all.

Needless to say, this state aid would come at the expense of the Maryland taxpayers. Instead of helping a millionaire, I can think of more important places for my tax money to go -- schools, housing, crime, etc.

And rather than ask taxpayers to bail him out, I suggest Joe De Francis do what hundreds of thousands of Maryland taxpayers do when they expect tough times ahead -- set aside some savings.

William Herbst

Whaleyville

Dole should learn more about villages

Bob Dole said during his acceptance speech on Aug. 15, "I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child."

His swipe at first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's book, "It Takes A Village," also swiped at an old African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child."

Most African-Americans of old and of the new generation believe in the concept that it takes more than the family to raise a child. The "village," in addition to the family, includes those people in the immediate community.

Those people are considered the extended family. The village does not depict government.

It takes neighbors, Sunday school and public school teachers, church members, neighborhood police officers, businessmen or store owners and community leaders to assist in raising a child.

For example, if anyone in my "village" sees my niece doing anything good or bad, my niece is encouraged or challenged about it. I am informed about it later and the matter is addressed.

That's how I was raised. I am a former Cherry Hill resident who now owns her own home and a truck and have also been blessed with a good career in finance.

I thank God for my mother and the people in my extended family (village) for believing in me and assisting in my rearing.

Mr. Dole should have done a little more research before ridiculing a concept that has brought African-Americans through many child-rearing years.

The same concept actually holds true in non-African societies. No man, no family, is an island.

Lavonne C. Jones

Baltimore

Civil War re-enactors are dedicated students

In an Aug. 20 editorial, you said some Americans may join either a "Civil War re-enactment group" or militia unit or find an "escape to alcohol or drugs," when they are approaching 30, 40 or 50 and "life proves too complicated or boring."

I've been a Civil War re-enactor for more than 34 years, having joined in 1962 at the age of 20 while I was in law school. I'm now captain of the 1st Virginia Volunteers, Company D.

In all those years of re-enacting, I've never known anyone who joined for any other reason than an overwhelming love of American history, and Civil War history in particular.

Anyone joining for frivolous reasons simply wouldn't last. This hobby is too tough and too demanding for any but the most dedicated history students.

I feel The Sun owes all Civil War re-enactors an apology.

Robert E. Lyons

Baltimore

St. Mary's City well worth a visit

The Aug. 19, article, "For tourism, a lost colony," is inaccurate in more ways than one. It said, "Only three actors are on staff to re-create Colonial life. Tourists expecting to spend more than a couple of hours here are bound for disappointment."

On Aug. 10, my husband and I visited St. Mary's City. We remember 13 authentically costumed interpreters.

Through the reconstructed 17th-century exhibits and the talent of the actors, we experienced the world of the first Marylanders.

We were at the fourth permanent settlement in British North America; here was the site (1634-1695) of Maryland's first capital.

And we witnessed history happening right before our eyes as skeletal remains were unearthed during an excavation at the site of the first Catholic chapel.

The 100-mile drive was more than worth it. The only thing wrong at St. Mary's City that day was that we only had five hours for our visit and we would have liked to stay longer.

Peggy Mortenson

Baltimore

Pub Date: 8/25/96

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