The Natural Way

Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Another solicitation came in the mail which seemed destined to become part of the clutter pile on my desk. This one was touting the "amazing benefits for a long and healthy life." Most of these are exaggerated claims for ordinary supplements which can be purchased for a lot less money than the typical solicitation price. Most simply get thrown in my recycling bin. Few get opened. This one intrigued as it was for a trace element called Indium.

Indium doesn't show up in nutrition books as it isn't found in our food supply. If it isn't in our food supply then it must not have any human use, so the reasoning goes. Well, my questioning nature came into play and I wondered if that was truly sensible. Besides, I am familiar with Indium from my old days when I was Chief of Nuclear Medicine at UCLA. Indium was used in my laboratory often, as it was bioactive, meaning it went to many different organs and body parts.

If it goes to different organs then is it truly not useful? I wondered enough to cause me to read the solicitation literature more closely. While trying to sift through the clever marketing, I realized there just might be something to the use of Indium. I needed more information.

I searched the Internet MedLine service to see if Indium had been scientifically studied. After sorting out a lot of abstracts, I did find a couple of interesting early findings. Not much has been reported on the nutritional effect of Indium but still there was some scientific validation for some of the claims being made in the solicitation. I decided to call the company for literature and place an order. I'm going to try this one out myself.

The package arrived yesterday containing two (buy one, get one) tiny dropper bottles of Indium in solution. The instructions are very specific and clear, 1 drop on the tongue when you first get out of bed and at least 10 minutes before eating or drinking once each day.

This morning I used it for the first time. It had a bitter taste. The small dropper was clumsy to use especially first thing in the morning and I'm sure I used too much. The directions say I should notice a difference in about a week's time. I'll update you in the next column.

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