Dr. R. L. Wysong
June 1997


    The amount of garbage we generate in our "disposable" society is enough to disturb any thinking person.   To ease my conscience I try to recycle and reuse everything I can.  Here at Wysong we have recycling bins which the staff is invited to use for their home refuse as well.  We make sure we never throw out a piece of paper that is clean on one side.   This is used for faxes, rough drafts and for copying non-mailed pieces.  We even cut open envelopes and use the white inside for scrap notations.  We have done many energy efficient things in building construction and maintenance.  When environmentalism was not fashionable - nor even heard of or understood by most of the public - we were implementing these ideas and trying to educate others.
    Then I was faced with a difficult dilemma.  As I studied ways that the nutritional value of food could be significantly diminished by exposure to air and light, conventional paper or plastic-lined packaging was clearly inappropriate.  So, we designed the Nutri-Pak™ which is a multi-layered, unique packaging which screens out light and oxygen and permits flushing the bag with an oxygen-free atmosphere.  By so doing we created a package that was not recyclable.  (Some people mistakenly think that plastic-lined paper pet food bags are recyclable.  They aren’t either.) So what do I do?  Do I put our expensive, highly nutritious (by definition therefore perishable) food in a container that is recyclable but will not protect the food (and can rob an animal of its health), or put it in a bag that properly protects it even though the bag is not truly recyclable?   We chose the latter.
    At present it is an either/or choice.  There are no packaging materials available at this time that can protect our companion animal food as we know it needs to be protected, but yet be readily recyclable.   (Obviously amber glass is not workable.)
    But all is not lost:   Enter Wysong customer ingenuity.  Some reuse the Nutri-Paks by washing them out to store other items, resealing them with Nutri-Clips.  Others have found that weeds will be prevented from growing by laying the Nutri-Paks on the ground underneath mulching areas.  They make excellent top layer freezer bags for foods that need to be frozen.  Placed under pet bedding, body heat is retained.  Perhaps you have other ideas, and if you share those with us we can pass them along to others.   Reusing materials is more environmentally sound than recycling since the energy and resources used to recycle can exert environmental damage in the process.
    For those of you who are troubled by this, don’t forget that the only reason for environmental concern is to protect the health of living creatures.  To consume a food that has become toxic or nutritionally compromised as a result of exposure to light and oxygen so that we can recycle the package makes little sense.  Health - not recycling - is the bigger picture.
    Here is an even bigger picture while I'm at it.  We are all continually faced with worthy causes that at first glance seem to deserve our support.  Sometimes we get caught up in these with an evangelical vigor that may skew our perspective.
    Environmentalism - recycling, energy efficiency, renewable resourcing, decreasing consumerism, etc. - is just such a worthy cause.  We should all do what we can.  But environmental problems are a symptom of a much larger, more ominous and insidious problem that no one seems to want to address - population.
    Exponential growth of human (and pet) populations is the engine that drives all environmental woes.  Put 100 people on planet Earth and there are no problems.  Put 5, 10, 20 (it's coming) billion people on the same finite planet, and you have unavoidable environmental catastrophe no matter how much packaging you recycle.  The solution can only be fewer people.      To be good recycling citizens while ignoring the fundamental population cause makes good intentions for naught.  A person could spend a hundred lifetimes recycling and turning the thermostat down before you would offset the toll on the environment of one more newborn.
    So this is the really big picture.  Anyone who is truly concerned about our future must look to such fundamental problems.  If we assume the Earth has limitless resources to use to our heart’s content, and that we can reproduce without limit, then Earth’s future is bleak - and no amount of bag recycling will change that.
    In a nutshell: probably yes - if the protein is from fractionated, processed, modern foods.  But no - if it is derived from natural, whole, raw protein sources.
    Although studies of British, North Alaskan Eskimos, and of some animals have shown a loss of bone density with high protein diets, the headlines from these studies do not reflect the important details.   In each case, the subjects receiving the high protein diets were not receiving raw, natural high protein sources such as from meats, eggs and dairy.  Rather, they were receiving fractionated, processed products, and even isolated amino acids.  When experimental subjects are given increased protein in the form of whole meat, they do not show any increase in calcium excreted in the urine - which is used as a marker for bone loss.
    Fractionated, processed proteins and amino acids lack natural vitamin D and other fat soluble factors such as vitamin K, vitamin E, and fatty acids, all of which are important in the maintenance of proper bone health and density.
    We know that the argument that eating high protein from natural sources will cause bone diseases such as osteoporosis must be false, because this is the natural diet that has sustained humans and animals for eons.  If these diets caused disease, then long ago our species would have vanished from the planet.
    Anthropological and archeological studies also show that carnivores and cultures on their natural, hunter-gatherer, high-meat diets do not show signs of osteoporosis, but in fact the reverse is true.  Such diets protect against osteoporosis and bone disease.
    If you want to believe that “high protein causes osteoporosis,” go ahead and decrease your protein by increasing refined carbohydrates, sugars, “diet” soft drinks,  aluminum antacids, alcohol, hydrogenated fatty acids and oxidized cholesterol and see how healthy you are going to be.
    On the other hand, you can follow the archetypal dietary patterns that are responsible for your and your pet's very existence.      Specifically this would be the consumption of fresh, whole, raw, natural foods - foods which can be eaten exactly as they are found in nature - and you will be virtually guaranteed the very best chance of having the best health you are genetically capable of achieving.
        Journal of Nutrition, 1986.  116:316-319   
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 1983: 924-929
        Trans NY Acad Sci, 1974;36:333
    •             Cholesterol and saturated fats as a part of whole, raw, natural products have always been a part of human and carnivore diets.  If they were toxic, we would not now exist. 
    •             Saturated fat is essentially inert except as a dense source of calories. 
    •             On the other hand, unsaturated, hydrogenated or oxidized fats are highly toxic and atherogenic. 
    •             Atheromas, the buildups of clogging material within arteries, are primarily (74%) unsaturated fats (of vegetable origin), not saturated fats (from animal origin). 
    •             If cholesterol is totally eliminated from the diet, the body still makes cholesterol anyway as an extremely important metabolic compound (i.e. serving as starting material for many hormones). 
    •             Oxidized cholesterol - as occurs when natural foods are processed and exposed to heat, light, oxygen and time - is highly toxic and atherogenic. 
    •             Animal studies “proving” that cholesterol causes heart disease used cholesterol in an unnatural, oxidized form.  
    •             Prior to about 1920, heart disease was practically unheard-of. 
    •             From the period of 1920 to the 1960's there was a rapid rise in heart disease. 
    •             The above time frame corresponded with a decrease in consumption of animal fats and an increased consumption of unsaturated vegetable fats such as in cooking oils, margarines, and hydrogenated fats, in combination with myriad processed, packaged foods. 
    Reference: 4-7
        Rationale For Animal Nutrition, Dr. R. L. Wysong, Inquiry Press, 1993
        The Lancet, 1994;344:1195
        Wysong Health Letter Vol. 9, No. 5 and Vol. 10, No. 4
    There was a time when uroliths (urinary tract stones) made up of struvite crystals were the primary focus as a cause of urinary tract disease in cats.  Some research linked these stones to an alkaline diet and high magnesium.  So everyone jumped on the bandwagon and modified pet foods so that they were acidic and contained low magnesium.
    The result of such artificial manipulation of the diet?  More disease.  For example, low magnesium is related to dilated cardiomyopathy.  Constantly feeding a manipulated acidic food can result in various mineral imbalances, the leaching of minerals from bony structures, and hypokalemia (low blood potassium).
    Additionally, calcium oxalate is another stone that can precipitate in the urinary tract and particularly likes an acidic environment.  Recent research has shown that there is now a cause-effect relationship with artificial acidification of the diet, feeding only one commercial food day in and day out without supplementation of fresh foods, keeping cats in an exclusive indoor environment, and calcium oxalate stone formation.
    If you study the Wysong Optimal Health Program for animals or humans you will see recommendations which, if followed, would prevent calcium oxalate formation as well as many other diseases which will be increasingly linked to departure, in food and lifestyle choices, from our genetic context.
        Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1995;207:1429-1434
    Magnesium is an extremely important mineral that is deficient in many modern processed diets.  In a recent study, 31 children who had an acute attack of asthma and failed to respond to conventional medical treatment (such as beta2-adrenergics) were randomly assigned to receive intravenous magnesium sulfate in the emergency room (25 mg/kg maximum, 2 grams in 100 ml of normal saline), or a placebo.  In this double-blind study, all of those receiving magnesium had significant improvement in all measures of respiratory function.  Four of the fifteen who received the magnesium were even discharged from the emergency room, whereas none of those receiving the placebo were.
    Intravenous magnesium can be a life-saving nutritional therapy in asthma as well as heart attacks.  If your physician does not know about this therapy, tell him/her about it.  If he does not want to listen to you, find another physician.
        Journal of Pediatrics, 1996;129:809-814
    Although I think such experimentation is absurd and inhumane, sheep who had mercury-containing amalgam fillings implanted were recently shown to have lost 50% of their kidney function.  Such experimentation is not necessary because we already know about the toxicity of mercury, and we know that mercury in amalgam fillings leaches out into various body tissues including the brain.  Even the American Dental Association knows this is true, but does not proscribe the use of amalgam.  Here is another case of convention holding rule even when it is known with certainty that it causes more harm than good. 
    If you need cavities to be filled, ask for an alternate dental material to one containing mercury.  If your dentist can’t help you or tries to dissuade you, find another dentist.  For a thorough discussion of this issue see Wysong Health Letter  Vol. 9, No. 2 and the Wysong Book Store Catalog.