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Dr. Derrick Lonsdale

Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, Emeritus

Visit Dr. Lonsdale's blog Oxygen, the Spark of Life

Read Dr. Lonsdale's publications

Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. retired from seeing patients effective July 1, 2012 after practicing medicine for over 50 years. He remains in physician emeritus and advisory status at Preventive Medicine Group where he will continue speaking periodically as part of our Free Lecture Program. Watch for his upcoming lectures! Dr. Lonsdale keeps busy in his retirement writing and editing complementary alternative medicine and nutritionally oriented projects. You can keep up with him via his blog and links from this website. Dr. Lonsdale's biochemical and nutritional model toward health and healing continues through his physician colleagues at Preventive Medicine Group. His legacy lives on!

Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. received his medical degree from the University of London, England. He came to Cleveland, Ohio in 1960 to serve a pediatric residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In 1962 he was appointed to the staff in the Department of Pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic after Board Certification in pediatrics. During his 20 years at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Dr. Lonsdale's experience widened to include encountering most known diseases occuring in children and adolescents. For 6 years he was a sub-specialist in the field of pediatric oncology. He than became head of the Section of Biochemical Genetics within the Department of Pediatrics and acted as a consultant for North East Ohio in the rare biochemical disorders known as the inborn errors of metabolism.

Dr. Lonsdale developed an unusual knowledge of the role of biochemistry in most, if not all, diseases. This, in turn, led to his better understanding the role of bad nutrition and its adverse effects on the biochemistry of the body. In 1982, Dr. Lonsdale took early retirement from Cleveland Clinic and joined Preventive Medicine Group to specialize in nutrient-based therapy. It became clear to him that the symptoms reported by the patient could be related to the underlying biochemical cause. In most instances this was caused by lifestyle and poor diet. A given biochemical abnormality in one individual, however, might give rise to manifestations that would be different in another individual. Under these circumstances, the nutritional treatment would be the same for both. It is the abnormal body chemistry that must be corrected and that can only be done by dietary changes. Drugs only affect symptoms, they do not treat the real cause of disease. Unfortunately, the nature of our diet today makes it unlikely that we take in enough vitamins and minerals through food thus nutritional supplements become necessary.

An adult body consists of between 70 and 100 trillion cells, all of which have to be produced from a single cell that is activated by the union of a sperm from the father with an egg from the mother. The number of times that the cells have to divide to provide this number is incredible. The cells have to specialize to create all the organs and tissues that enable us to function. This growth, resulting in an infant becoming a toddler, a child, an adolescent and finally, an adult, requires an enormous amount of energy. This energy is derived from the food that we consume. If the genetically determined “blue-print” is intact, then diet becomes the most important part of living a healthy life. The treatment approach of all of the physicians at Preventive Medicine Group is based on this principle. Prevention is better than cure and that is why we call ourselves the Preventive Medicine Group. Laboratory studies can indicate the risk of future disease. The physicians at Preventive Medicine Group spend a great deal of time with patients, interpreting laboratory test results in order to guide patients toward lifestyle changes that lead to health and well-being. Many chronic conditions, some present for years, can be reversed or greatly improved by such means.

The current epidemic of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an example of what is happening in the modern world. Genetic predisposition, that would not harm a child in a healthy environment, makes the child more susceptible to a variety of stresses imposed by man-made factors such as vaccines, antibiotic abuse and exposure to heavy metals caused by industrial pollution. Dr. Lonsdale has paid particular attention to this problem and is a member of the research group known as DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) which is making great progress in therapeutic interventions to help these children.

Dr. Lonsdale has written more than 100 papers in the medical literature, most of which deal with various aspects of therapeutic nutritional supplementation. He also authorized WHY I LEFT ORTHODOX MEDICINE describing his experiences in clinical research that led to his recognition of the fact that doctors do not heal, the body heals itself. When a bone is broken, an orthopedist is an expert technician who places the fragments in proper position. The body heals the bone. All that the body needs is an adequate supply of energy that enables it to function efficiently. This may be taken as the definition of health. Dr. Lonsdale's book also explains how faulty diet makes it more difficult to handle any form of stress and how it might impact on our genetically determined characteristics. The proper choice of nutritional supplements is an art, backed up by very strong scientific principles. Since nutritional supplements focus on the energy requirements for self-healing, they are applicable to any medical problem, often even in forestalling surgery. This represents an important shift in our thinking about health and disease. The word “doctor” is derived from the Latin word “teacher” and Dr. Lonsdale is one among a growing group of physicians who teach their patients how to take care of themselves in a world that largely ignores these principles.

Dr. Derrick Lonsdale

Dr. Derrick Lonsdale


April 5, 2010 - What is Dysautonomia?

February 12, 2009 - Dr. Lonsdale's latest essay entitled "The Extraodinary Danger of Sugar" is now available.

Introduction: Many books have been written about diet and its dangers. I posted an article on sugar some time ago, but there is new information. Few in our civilization take sufficient notice to help themselves. We have become indifferent to our biology and when we get sick we expect a doctor to “fix” it. He is traditionally regarded as a super intelligent individual into whose care we deliver our bodies and minds for a “cure”. I am a physician and I have some observations to make that indicate that our health is very much in our own hands and “cure” is a myth! Healing is performed by the body and all we can do is to help it. How can we possibly expect chemical substances, that are essentially foreign to our biology, to affect us beneficially? By taking pharmaceutical drugs we may reduce the symptoms that arise from the faulty biology, but we do not affect the course of the disease. There are, of course, exceptions such as antibiotics and chemotherapy, but they have their own dangers as we all know. The danger of sugar keeps coming up in the health literature and the message is certainly growing, but the mechanism is understood by very few. Even many doctors do not understand why a food substance essential as the normal fuel of our cells, particularly those of the brain, is dangerous when it is ingested in an unnatural form.

March 29, 2007 - "A Paradigm Shift" This paper was presented to Cleveland Philosphical Club on March 27, 2007.

March 26, 2007 - Two out of print books written by Dr. Lonsdale have been available as a free download at http://www.soilandhealth.org:

Lonsdale, Derrick, M.D. Why I Quit Orthodox Medicine. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing, 1994.
Inspiring book that explains the whys of why a fully qualified and successful medical doctor abandoned AMA style practice and took up something resembling orthomolecular medicine. Expecially valuable for providing a full grasp of the siginficance of B vitamins. Downloads as a PDF of 1.3 mb.

Lonsdale, Derrick, M.D. A Monogram Of Clinical Research: Presentation Of A New Medical Model.
Manuscript revised and updated by the Author in 2006 especially for Soil and Health Library. (Originally published as: A Nutritionists Guide to the Clinical Use of Vitamin B-1. Tacoma, Washington: Life Sciences Press, 1987.)
This medical text, written in full medicalese, will prove beyond the comprehension of most readers. It explains with full scientific rigour much of the material Lonsdale explains in his Why I Q uit Orthodox Medicine. Downloads as a PDF of 2.8 mb.


February 1, 2006
A Review of the Biochemistry, Metabolism and Clinical Benefits of Thiamin(e) and Its Derivatives
by Derrick Lonsdale

ABSTRACT: Thiamin(e), also known as vitamin B1, is now known to play a fundamental role in energy metabolism. Its discovery followed from the original early research on the ‘anti-beriberi factor’ found in rice polishings. After its synthesis in 1936, it led to many years of research to find its action in treating beriberi, a lethal scourge known for thousands of years, particularly in cultures dependent on rice as a staple. This paper refers to the previously described symptomatology of beriberi, emphasizing that it differs from that in pure, experimentally induced thiamine deficiency in human subjects. Emphasis is placed on some of the more unusual manifestations of thiamine deficiency and its potential role in modern nutrition. Its biochemistry and pathophysiology are discussed and some of the less common conditions associated with thiamine deficiency are reviewed. An understanding of the role of thiamine in modern nutrition is crucial in the rapidly advancing knowledge applicable to Complementary Alternative Medicine. References are given that provide insight into the use of this vitamin in clinical conditions that are not usually associated with nutritional deficiency. The role of allithiamine and its synthetic derivatives is discussed. Thiamine plays a vital role in metabolism of glucose. Thus, emphasis is placed on the fact that ingestion of excessive simple carbohydrates automatically increases the need for this vitamin. This is referred to as high calorie malnutrition.