DrWohlgemuth.com

Hello. I'm Andrew Wohlgemuth. DrWohlgemuth.com was originally created to advertise the medical practice of my brother, Dr. Stephen A. Wohlgemuth. (See a wrap-up of his home page here.)
After his retirement, I decided to use the website address (URL) to tell a story.
It's intended to be read online, and not printed — allowing videos as well as pictures. And, like most stories, from top to bottom, including the information in the links, as they are encountered.

For ease of reading, you can change the type size in the story to a comfortable size by zooming in or out in your browser's "view" menu. And you can adjust the length of the lines of text by narrowing or broadening your browser window by dragging the edge. Make it, say, the width of a book page. This should also help with getting everything in the linked videos on the screen.

The title of the story is "THE SEMMELWEIS LETTERS". [SEM ul vice]

William Broad and Nicholas Wade provide an account of Semmelweis in their book Betrayers of  the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science (from pages 136-8):

The medical profession in particular has a long history of resisting scientific innovations from both within and without. Louis Pasteur met with violent resistance from doctors when he advanced his germ theory of disease; they regarded him as a mere chemist poaching on their scientific preserves. Joseph Lister’s discovery of antisepsis was initially ignored in both England and the United States, in part because Lister, a doctor working in Glasgow and Edinburg, was regarded as a provincial.

Few episodes in the illustrious annals of scientific progress are more striking than that of Ignaz Semmelweis. He discovered that puerperal, or childbed, fever, then causing typically 10 to 30 percent mortality in maternity hospitals throughout Europe, could be virtually abolished by the expedient of having doctors wash their hands in a chlorine solution before examining the mother. In his division of the obstetric clinic in Vienna where Semmelweis first tried out his idea, the mortality rate dropped from 18 percent to 1 percent. By 1848 Semmelweis was losing not a single woman to childbed fever. But this experimental evidence failed to convince his superiors at the hospital. …

Dismissed from the clinic, he returned to Hungary and from his own obstetrical experience over the next ten years amassed copious evidence that antiseptic technique would prevent death from childbed fever. His findings were summarized in a book published in 1861, copies of which he sent to medical societies and to the major obstetricians of Germany, France, and England.

The book was almost universally ignored by the medical profession, even though puerperal fever continued to ravage maternity hospitals. … In Stockholm in 1860, 40 percent of all women patients caught the fever and 16 percent died. In the General Hospital in Vienna, in the same ward where Semmelweis had shown twelve years earlier how the disease could be eradicated, 35 out of 101 patients died in the autumn of 1860. ...

In the knowledge that many women were dying unnecessarily, and that no one would listen to his simple principles for preventing death, Semmelweis started cranking out somewhat hysterical letters. In an open letter of 1862 to professors of obstetrics Semmelweis wrote: "If the professors of obstetrics do not soon comply by instructing their students in my doctrine … then I will myself say to the helpless public, “You, father of a family, do you know what it is to summon an obstetrician or a midwife to your wife? … It is as much to expose your wife and your yet unborn child to the danger of death. And if you do not wish to become a widower ... and if your children are not to lose their mother, then buy a single kreutzer’s worth of chloride of lime, infuse it in some water, and do not allow the obstetrician and the midwife to examine your wife until they have washed their hands in your presence, … "

Definition: A Semmelweis letter is a communication to the general public, when the establishment experts won't listen.

The medical establishment's ignoring scientific studies is the theme of The Semmelweis Letters.

Before huge amounts of government money were available for research, scientists were apt to do research because they were interested in people’s health, or because they were interested in advancing our knowledge, or just because they were curious. Some led lives of paupers, putting all their resources toward their work. Now there is an abundance of people primarily interested in money – the key to academic advancement, prestige, career – the iceberg – the cause of the shipwreck of biomedical research.

I am a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maine and was a Collaborating Research Scientist at the former Foundation for Blood Research in Scarborough, Maine. I was the Principal Investigator (PI) for a project that had 15 years of funding by the National Cancer Institute of NIH. (footnote)
Links to the publications from, and an account of, this work are found at the bottom of this web home page (and are there to support my legitimacy as a whistle-blower).

I eventually did not seek further renewal of my NIH grant. I had become really disappointed with working in the biomedical research community. Many writers of Semmelweis letters have become similarly disappointed.

Dr. John Kelly was disappointed with his colleagues’ lack of interest in the clinical implications of the scientific results of Cornell Professor T. Colin Campbell:

Dr. Campbell's results on the relation of diet and cancer are given here,

And an article by Dr. Kelly is given here.

When Professor Campbell and his team made their surprising discovery, the first thing they wanted to know was "Why?"
There is more than one answer to this question - even, in the words of Prof. Campbell, "Everywhere we looked for a mechanism, we found one."
Medscape is a site providing scientific studies and other information to MDs and other health professionals. And one mechanism is given in the "comments" accompanying a Medscape email/article appearing early on Sunday, March 20, 2022.

The next link presents the results of the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (rhymes with "win") on diet and heart disease. Here's the link.

The next paragraph involves an external link. Navigation note: Instead of clicking ( = leftclick) on an external link, you can rightclick ( = control+leftclick = two-finger click) instead. Rightclicking brings up a menu including "new tab". Clicking (leftclick) chooses this option. (Depending on your browser, you may have to click again on the now available tab title bar to open the external link in this tab.)
To return to the original page, just close (X) the tab. The original page will be just as you left it.
I recommend opening up a new tab (by right clicking) for all external links, and for internal pdf files. (These are the places where I can't insert a "return" link.)

Dr. Michael Klaper got himself into a WFPB diet by trying to live a life of non-violence. The diet improved his own health so much that he incorporated it into his medical practice. He has looked deeply into the biological effects of a plant-based versus animal-based diet, and currently gives lectures to medical students. He is invited to these lectures by the medical students themselves, who want to know what he knows, and about his clinical experience. Here's a link to a page on this site with a transcript and an external link to a talk.

Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, talks about diabetes here.

My interest in the scientific basis for diet choices began in about 1980, inspired by the discoveries of Nathan Pritikin. Dr. Michael Greger has a short video where he explains his family's debt to Nathan Pritikin. This video is accessed from the obvious link on a page (external) where Dr. Greger introduces his website: The Story of Nutritionfacts.org. (Dr. Greger's videos can take a long time to load.)

The work of Dr. Walter Kempner of Duke University School of Medicine has profound implications for kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Greger introduces him here.

Doctors rely on the biomedical research community for information needed to treat their patients. The community has not lived up to this trust. In a 15:48 minute YouTube video

“Dr. John Abramson, MD, MS, author of Overdo$ed America

explains a part of the problem, and gives advice for doctors and patients.
(At 2:40 minutes, Dr. Abramson focuses on addressing physicians. This may become technical from 3:30 to 5:45 min., but after that he gives advice that patients should be aware of – especially in the concluding points from 12:25 to 15:03 min.)

Dr. John McDougall has more to say on this subject.

Although diet is increasingly being recognized as important, there remains a lagging gap between irrefutable scientific evidence (epidemiological, clinical, and experimental laboratory evidence) and the standard of care.

In his 2014 book The Campbell Plan (reissued in paperback in 2016 as The China Study Solution), Thomas Campbell, MD, (the son of Colin Campbell) calls this gap a “chasm”. He relates a hospital episode with a woman dying from diabetes. Her legs have both been amputated below the knee, but she has nonetheless some fighting spirit. She asked the attending physician (not Campbell), “What should I be eating, doctor?” The doctor told her to “watch out for sugars, to avoid bagels, to use low-fat dairy products, that fat-free milk and reduced-fat cream cheese were in fact very tasty once you got used to them.”

Dr. Campbell comments: “Through all of this [her past encounters with doctors, as her disease progressed] she still was unclear about the dietary advice that could save her life, her legs, her eyes, her kidneys. She had been in the medical system for years and yet her preventable, perhaps even curable, disease had progressed.”

Dr. Campbell states: “There is a chasm between powerful nutrition and lifestyle information and the medical system’s standards of care [more recently, formally called 'Clinical Practice Guidelines']. Evidence-based nutrition is simply absent from the vast majority of our medical system.”

There is a lot of contradictory stuff on diet out there — much of it written by people with little or no education in nutrition. Medical students get almost no education in nutrition. On the other hand, Prof. Colin Campbell has spent his scientific career studying the relation between nutrition and disease. His book WHOLE Rethinking the Science of Nutrition identifies the source of much of the wrong message both doctors and the public are getting about nutrition. In this book, Professor Campbell also states,

If you want to live free of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes for your entire life, that power is in your hands (and your knife and fork).

Dr. John McDougall begins his book The Starch Solution with a note to the reader, containing the following:

Diet is powerful medicine. Do not change your diet or start an exercise program if you are seriously ill or on medications unless you are under the watchful guidance of a health care provider knowledgeable about nutrition and its effects on health and about the medications you are taking.

In particular, changing to a healthy diet and not tapering chronic-disease "management" medications can lead (quickly) to being dangerously over medicated. Here are a few other things to be aware of.

The medical system in its present state of ignoring the best lifestyle and treatment options, is a dangerous place to be in. In this environment it is important for individuals to educate themselves, and, as Dr. Abramson advised, form a partnership with their their physicians.

Educate yourself by looking into the material by those identified as pioneers. They have published high-quality work in the best scientific publications. And then, when this work has been ignored, they write books for the general public.

Colin Campbell writes The China study.

Caldwell Esselstyn writes Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

Dean Ornish writes Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease.

John McDougall writes The Starch Solution.

Neal Barnard writes Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes.

These books are their Semmelweis letters.

(Broad and Wade continue on page 138: "Semmelweis's mind began to wander. ... In 1865 he was induced by friends to visit a mental sanatorium. While the friends slipped out, he was forcibly restrained, confined to a straight jacket, and put in a dark room. He died two weeks later, on August 13, 1865.")

Another good place to start looking into things is the DVD (not just the cookbook) Forks Over Knives. Get it from amazon.com or stream it free from ForksoverKnives.com. Sign up for info from DoctorKlaper.com, NutritionStudies.org, and DrMcDougall.com.

The story so far has been looking at the impact a WFPB diet can have on chronic diseases. It can also affect infectious diseases – including COVID. Diet affects the vitality of the immune system.

Medscape (a site for MDs and other medical professionals) reported on a late 2021 British Medical Journal article on a study involving 3,000 front-line health care workers (people in intimate contact with COVID patients) in 6 countries, including the US. Those in the study that were on a WFPB diet were 73% less likely [than average] to develop moderate to severe COVID. Those in the study that were on a Keto or Paleo diet were 400% more likely [than average] to get moderate to severe COVID.

("73% less likely than average" means that average people were 4 times more likely to develop moderate to severe COVID than people on a WFPB diet. People on a keto diet were therefore16 times more likely to develop moderate to severe COVID than people on a WFPB diet.)

A WFPB diet can also protect against autoimmune disease, as the following (external link) story of Mayra illustrates.

First Conclusion: We, human beings, are designed to eat a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet.

In addition to the reasons already given that justify this conclusion, we are able, in retrospect, to give another: not being on a WFPB diet makes us sick. We may not all develop the same sicknesses at the same rates, but we all get sick, somehow, and to some degree, from not being on a WFPB diet.
The fact that a WFPB diet is our natural diet is the reason, and would be the only reason, why changing to a WFPB diet would provide healing for such a variety of diseases.

The conclusion above puts into sharp perspective two ways of dealing with “high cholesterol”. The human body needs cholesterol (for example, in our brains, and in our cell walls). Since the diet for which we’re designed contains no cholesterol, the human body makes all the cholesterol it needs – in the liver.

But too high a blood cholesterol value signals ill health, and there are two general ways of dealing with this. One is to change to a low-fat WFPB diet. The other is to take a “statin”.
The statin blocks the liver’s ability to make cholesterol. So people on a standard American diet taking this route are doing two things:

(1) getting cholesterol unnaturally in the diet, and
(2) blocking the natural way to get cholesterol.

People on a low-fat WFPB diet, however, are doing two things:

(1) eating our natural diet, and
(2) allowing the liver to do what it is designed to do.

When things are looked at in this way, what doctor would prescribe a statin to his or her patients, without first seriously and strongly advising the other route? Especially since the other route will not only reduce high blood cholesterol, but will enable a person to live free of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes for their entire life – to quote Professor Campbell. (footnote)

Here's an account (external link) that illustrates the fact that a WFPB diet can help pregnancy.

Another account (external link) that illustrates the fact that it's never to late to reverse heart disease with a WFPD diet can be found here.

It is generally recognized that when anything new comes along, those that are heavily invested in the old are highly resistant. And so we get Semmelweis letters.

Second Conclusion: It's necessary for individuals to heed the writers of the Semmelweis letters, and not have blind faith in those that are too heavily invested (time, money, education, equipment, status) in their traditional practice.

Third Conclusion: It's necessary that medical doctors pay purposeful attention to the writers of the Semmelweis letters, and not wait for the Clinical Practice Guidelines to include consideration of the scientific results on diet.

Some medical doctors that believe in the importance of the scientific results have been instrumental in introducing the emerging specialty area of "lifestyle medicine" .

Here's the promised (external) link to the new field of epigenetics.

Publications from my work in biomedical research can be found at mybiomedpubs.pdf .
An account of my work in biomedical research can be found at mybiomedstory.htm.

After letting my own biomedical research go, I turned to teaching students (that were training to teach mathematics) about deductive mathematics, and students (that had had calculus courses) about the proofs they had seen in their texts. See, for example, the introduction to the text Deductive Mathematics – an introduction to proof and discovery.
(Full text available at andrew-wohlgemuth.com).

Dr. Klaper has spent the late years of his professional life giving medical students the lecture he wishes he had had when he was a medical student.
I have spent my late professional years writing Deductive Mathematics, which contains the mathematical information I wish I had had, when I was a student –
and then, of course, writing The Semmelweis Letters, which contains information I wish everyone had.