Author - Richard A. Passwater PhD

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D. has been a research biochemist since 1959. His first areas of research interest were in the development of pharmaceuticals, spectrophotoluminescence and analytical chemistry. His laboratory research led to his discovery of biological antioxidant synergism in 1962 which has been the focus of his research and patents ever since. In 1970, Dr. Passwater shifted the emphasis of his research from pharmaceuticals to nutrients. In 1975, his best-selling book "Supernutrition: Megavitamin Revolution" was credited with legitimizing megavitamin therapy. Dr. Passwater has continued to research nutritional supplements and has now published over 35 books and booklets, as well as over 400 articles on nutrition and nutritional supplements. Dr. Passwater was Director, Research Analytical Laboratories at Allied Chemical Corporation in Marcus Hook, PA, Director, Applications Research Laboratory at Baxter-Travenol Laboratories, Inc. in Silver Spring, MD, and Vice President of Research of the American Gerontological Research Laboratories Division of Life Science Labs, Inc. in Rockville, MD. Antioxidant Research Dr. Passwater has been researching antioxidant nutrients since 1959 and discovered biological antioxidant synergism in 1962. In 1970, at Toronto, he presented his evidence to the Gerontological Society’s Annual Scientific Congress that antioxidant nutrients offered a practical means of increasing human lifespan. He was the first to show that practical combinations of antioxidant nutrients increase the lifespan of laboratory animals (Chemical & Engineering News 1970). Previously, Dr. Denham Harman had developed the free radical theory of aging and had shown that large amounts (0.5% of the diet) of some non-nutrient antioxidants increased mouse lifespan. The reports of Dr. Passwater’s research, in 1970, by Ladies Home Journal, and in 1971, by Prevention magazine, may have been the first times that the words "free radical," "antioxidant nutrient" and "selenium" appeared in lay articles. Dr. Passwater was also the first to publish that a synergistic combination of antioxidant nutrients significantly reduce cancer incidence (Cancer: New Directions. American Laboratory 1973). Dr. Passwater was also the first to publish an epidemiological study showing that vitamin E reduces heart disease risk (Prevention 1976). His original research has now been confirmed by others including three studies by Harvard University researchers. Selenium Research Dr. Passwater’s research with selenium was first reported to the general public in the December 1971 issue of Prevention magazine. His research with selenium and other antioxidant nutrients had led to patents and a FDA Investigative New Drug application in 1970 for reducing free radical pathology and slowing the aging process. During 1970 through 1972, he found that selenium was a key antioxidant nutrient in reducing cancer incidence. In 1972, he filed for a patent involving selenium and other antioxidant nutrients in preventing cancer. (US 39140, US 97011) His latest selenium patent involves a class of diselenides to protect against cancer (EP 750911, CA126(10)135612s) In 1973, he published in American Laboratory his research on selenium and other antioxidants in reducing cancer incidence. "Supernutrition: Megavitamin Revolution" (1975) and "Cancer and Its Nutritional Therapies " (1978) reviewed his selenium research in the prevention of cancer. He also published "Selenium As Food & Medicine" (1980), "Selenium Update" (1987), and "Selenium Against Cancer and AIDS" (1996). Chromium Research Dr. Passwater conducted laboratory animal research with GTF chromium and diabetic mice in the early 1980's and found that GTF chromium reduced obesity, reduced the side-effects of diabetes and increased the lifespans of diabetic mice. He has written both a booklet and book on chromium nutrition. His booklet, "Chromium Picolinate" was published in 1992. This was followed by the book, "The Longevity Factor" in 1993. He has written several articles about the role of chromium in health. Other Research Besides his discoveries in cancer and aging, Dr. Passwater’s research includes a five-year study with Drs. Linus Pauling and James Enstrom (UCLA School of Public Health) on the benefits of dietary supplements on a large group of Californian volunteers, and a study of the protective effect of vitamin E against heart disease. The Enstrom-Pauling study showed that the supplemented volunteers had only two-thirds the death rate expected for Californians of the same age, sex, race, etc. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 79:6023-7 (1982)]. The vitamin E study was a retrospective epidemiological study of vitamin E users which showed that long-term vitamin E users had less than half the heart disease incidence of typical Americans of the same age, sex and race. {Prevention, Jan – Aug. 1976) Books Dr. Passwater has written more than 17 books and 19 booklets. In 1975, his book "Supernutrition : Megavitamin Revolution," (Dial Press, Pocket Books) which was based on his laboratory research, was a #4 national best seller, introducing more than 1,400,000 readers to better health through good diet and supplementation during its 18 printings. Several of today’s leading researchers credit this book with sparking their interest in this field. One book, co-authored with Dr. Elmer Cranton, was selected by Library Journal as one of the top five health books for 1983, and one of the top 100 science and technology books in a field of 40,000 books. (Trace Elements, Hair Analysis and Nutrition, Keats Publishing) Other books include "Selenium As Food and Medicine" (Keats, 1980), "The Easy No-Flab Diet" (Marek, 1979), "Cancer and Its Nutritional Therapies" (Keats, 1978), "Supernutrition For Healthy Hearts" (Dial Press, 19770), "The Slendernow Diet" (St. Martin’s Press, 1982), "The Longevity Factor" (Keats 1993), "Pycnogenol: The super ‘protector’ nutrient" (Keats, 1994) "Guide to Fluorescence Literature, Vol. I" (Plenum Press, 1967), "Guide to Fluorescence Literature, Vol. II" (Plenum Press, 1970) and "Guide to Fluorescence Literature, Vol. III" (Plenum Press, 1974). In addition, he has written over 19 booklets and co-edited, with Dr. Earl Mindell, a series of over 100 "Good Health Guides." Recent Writings Dr. Passwater’s most recent books for the public include "The New Supernutrition" and "Cancer Prevention and Nutritional Therapies." He is the Nutrition Editor for "The Experts Journal of Optimal Health," and is the scientific editor for Whole Foods for which he writes a monthly column "Vitamin Connection," to help bring the latest research on nutrients to the public. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Nutrition. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1959, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Bernadean University of Nevada in 1975. He was certified by the American Chemical Society in 1959 and in 1984 was elected "Fellow" of the American Institute of Chemistry. Dr. Passwater's discoveries have led to world-wide recognition. He has been twice honored by the Committee For World Health (1978 and 1980). In 1973, he was nominated for the American Chemical Society’s Award in Chemical Education. Additional details are found in "Who's Who in the World," "Who's Who in America," "American Men and Women of Science," "Who's Who in the Frontiers of Science" and "Who’s Who in Science and Engineering." Yet, he considers his greatest honors his family, his selection as 1987 Citizen of the Year in his community, the privilege of being the Chief of his community's Fire Department for ten years, being voted into the Delmarva Firefighter’s Hall of Fame in 1993, and winning the nutrition industry's Achievement Award for 1989.

Sun-damage, Skin and Pycnogenol

Richard Passwater, Ph.D. interviews Dr. Antti Arstila about the health benefits of Pycnogenol. Professor Arstila responds to questions about research connected with Pycnogenal, it's role in prevention, and the lack of adverse effects from it's use.

Alcohol, AIDS and Nutrition

During a prior chat with Dr. Luc Montagnier, I mentioned the research of Dr. Ronald Watson that indicates that at least some antioxidant nutrients improve important components of the immune system. This was of particular interest to Dr. Montagnier...

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