WYSONG HEALTH LETTER
Dr. R. L. Wysong
April 1996

DEAR FRIEND:
 
    As young children everything is known to us.  Our parents fulfill every need and completely define our world.   We never again have it so good.
    As our bodies and brains mature, our horizons stretch.  Questions we once didn't even have can haunt us with uncertainty.      We can remain a child, and simply ignore the questions.  We can fill our mind with mythologies and surround ourselves with "experts" to keep everything well defined.  Or we can grow up, try to find as many answers as we can, always remain open to the truth and concede that there are some things we simply will not fully understand. 
    Unfortunately the grown-up mode, the third choice, is only adopted by a very small minority.  Most cling to the infantile need for the security of having their world completely defined.  This creates a naive form of egocentricity, a fatuous philosophy that the universe revolves around us. 
    You might say, so what?   Let people believe what they want.  But belief is the engine that drives human activity.  People who hold naive, simplistic, egocentric world views create governments, economies, educational systems, religions, legal systems, industries, and medical institutions.  Such human organizations, if founded on erroneous, naive thinking, can and have brought immeasurable harm to humans.
    Virtually all human tragedy springs from the actions of mythology-based institutions.  War, disease, famine, poverty, overpopulation, environmental destruction, social injustice, and family violence can find their root causes in egocentric and long-entrenched systems of belief.
    The admission of ignorance, conceding the limitations of our knowledge, is the beginning of wisdom.  It is when humans proceed as if they know everything, as if their view is the axiomatic, all-embracing, omniscient truth, that harm comes.  War results from each side considering their "truth" superior to the other side.  Disease results because people rely on industry and experts who they believe have the "truth."   Malnourishment likewise occurs because people trust commercial products and believe experts somewhere know everything there is to know about nutrition to make "100% complete and balanced" foods.
    When we recognize that we don't know everything and that there are limitations to knowledge, we then also develop a healthy skepticism about anyone advocating to us that they know all there is to know about a particular subject.  This suspicious attitude then throws the burden back to us to use judgement, respect and humility, which, if used by everyone, could bring enormous benefit to the human condition.
    We are not at the center of universe.  The Earth receives only 2 billionths of the light energy from the sun and there are trillions of suns in the universe.  We are infinitesimally small on a physical... and mental, level.
    Although I personally would like it otherwise (I wouldn't mind being the center of the universe and having all knowledge) I must recognize my limitations.  But a corollary of this is that I don't believe you've got all the answers either.  This places us all in an equal position of responsibility to use discernment and judgement. 
    Okay, I've gotten a little ethereal in my philosophizing.  Let me bring it back to Earth by saying that believing that we or others have all the answers is the product of a mind that has not been allowed to mature.  Adulthood should mean that we take upon ourselves a responsibility for the continual search for truth, the recognition of errors and the commitment to change.  We personally will benefit and the world will only succeed when we grow up and develop our own rational, humble philosophy of life.  We must not follow like lemmings experts and other truth sayers who claim to have all the answers all figured out for us. We must at some point stop in our continual attempt to recreate the security of infanthood by searching for surrogate mommies and daddies.  Eventually, we must become the mommies or daddies developing and acting upon a conscience continually honed by a neverending search for truth.
 
NUTRITION IS INDIVIDUAL
    In our zeal for human rights and our rush to make everyone equal, we may create an inequality in health.   Nutritionists are acting like politicians when they attempt to create uniformly applied nutritional requirements. 
    The fact of the matter is that no two individuals require quite the same level of all nutrients to achieve optimal nutrition.  People are as different biochemically as they are in appearance and in finger print.  An optimal level of vitamin C for one might be a deficiency for another.  A deficiency of calcium for one might be entirely adequate for another.   This is why we should never put too much stock in RDAs or the like, only using these as a very general guide.
    The reasons for the differences in nutritional requirements between people relate to several factors.  For some people with a fast metabolism, also known as fast oxidizers, the Type A personality prone to being high strung, easily stressed and nervous, a different nutritional approach is required from the Type B slow metabolizer.
    If fast metabolizers get on the pasta and sugar, low fat bandwagon they may get a quick burst of energy, but then run out quickly - leaving them craving sweets for energy.
    For the fast metabolizer, high protein foods rich in purines such as fish and organ meats and vegetables such as peas, beans, mushrooms and spinach, along with full-fat, calcium-rich dairy products stabilize the needs of these individuals much better.
    On the other hand, the slow metabolizer burns foods slowly and will benefit from lower intake of dairy products, lean proteins such as eggs, poultry and fish and potassium-rich fruits such as bananas. 
    There are also those who have an in-between metabolic rate and they benefit from the dietary features of both the fast and the slow oxidizer.
    Children are usually fast oxidizers and by this logic benefit more from the higher protein, higher fat diets.   They should have minimal amounts of processed carbohydrates such as pastas, breads and in particular the refined sugars, candies and the like.  (Parents, take heed.)
    Another nutritional categorization of people is based upon blood type.  The argument is that particular blood types come from heritages which are best adapted to certain types of food.  For example, type O blood is believed to be the oldest blood type, and the dietary patterns best for these individuals is the hunter-gatherer style of eating diets high in lean animal protein, supplemented with vegetables, fruits and very modest amounts of grains.   The type O blood type is most likely to be the individual who is gluten intolerant and not capable of properly digesting various grains which came much later in human history.
    The type A blood type is better suited for an almost vegetarian dietary style.  Their foods would best consist of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and eggs, and some meat products.  These individuals also cannot tolerate high levels of carbohydrates. 
    The type B blood type is a newer blood type believed to have appeared about 10 thousand years ago with the advent of the Agrarian culture.  These individuals are more suited to eating grains and dairy products, particularly fermented dairy products such as yogurt.  Meat products are also suitable.  In general the type B can eat a variety of foods and benefit.
    Type AB is believed to be the newest blood type and is most adapted to the newer agricultural diets consisting of dairy products, domesticated meats and grain products, although they can do well eating the diets suited for both type A and type B.
    Another consideration in nutritional individuality is the ethnic background.  Evidence of this has been demonstrated in Hawaii, for example, where native Hawaiians suffer the worst health on the islands.  When they are put back on the diet of their ancestors consisting of taro (a starchy root), sea weeds, sweet potatoes and fish, their health flourishes.   Similarly, Native Americans have suffered tremendous health consequences as a result of adopting the modern Western diet.  They are heavily plagued with all of the modern chronic degenerative diseases.  Some tribes have the highest rate of diabetes of any culture known in the world, for example.  But when they are put back on their traditional foods including beans, chia seeds, and other plant foods high in soluble fibers, along with lean meats, their health rebounds.
    By considering these three measures of dietary predisposition, you may be able to design a diet most suited for you.   Although a specific perfect menu cannot be devised for anyone since people are often blends, not strict categories, considering your personality type, your blood type, and your ancestry may provide clues.  People with type O who go on an elimination diet eliminating wheat products often find their digestion improves, sinus problems disappear and depression is lifted.  On the other hand, if a type O doesnít eat enough protein they are always eating sweets.  On the other hand, type Aís who are less capable of digesting meats, fare much better by taking a hydrochloric acid supplement which improves their digestion of protein.  Dark skinned people do much better eating foods that would be available in southerly climates, whereas light skinned people improve by eating the foods of northerly climates.
    Use these ideas as a general guide to tailor make a dietary program.  Whatever foods are eaten, the closer they are to their whole, natural, raw state, the better off you will be.  We are all adapted to foods as they come from nature and by no means has enough time elapsed to suggest that humans today are genetically better suited to modern synthetic food pretenders including hydrogenated oils, refined starches, white sugar, processed salt, dyes, emulsifiers, and synthetic preservatives.  No one is adapted to a hormone-bloated burger between a white flour bun and deep fried potatoes, washed down with acidified pop and polished off with a twinkie.
    Reference:
        Biochemical Individuality, Roger Williams, M.D., 1956, Wiley and Sons
        Nutrition Against Disease, Roger Williams, M.D., 1971, Bantam
        Healthy Talk, Premier Issue 1996: 1
 
MORE FAT, LESS CARBOHYDRATES FOR THE HEART
    There is significant evidence in the scientific medical literature that high triglycerides and low HDL levels are associated with heart disease.  High triglyceride is in turn related to high insulin levels.  High insulin levels are related to high carbohydrate diets. 
    If the diet is changed so that simple sugars, in particular, are eliminated from the diet and all carbohydrates make up only about 25% of calories, with the balance being provided by fats and proteins, triglyceride levels fall, HDL levels rise and some people experience remarkable improvement in atherosclerotic related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as diabetes.
    Granted, this is almost the opposite of that which is promoted by the conventional medical community.  They have focused on cholesterol and urged patients to eliminate fats from their diets and increase carbohydrates - the exact opposite of what should be done.
    You can have a lipid profile done (blood test at most any clinic) by first fasting overnight for 12 hours.  Then your triglyceride results can be rated as shown on the accompanying chart.
    If you are in the wrong place on these charts, then eliminating all simple sugars from the diet and making the sum total of all carbohydrates no more than 25% of calories would be worth a try.  Also begin a regular program of exercise that consists of something that is vigorous for you for 30 minutes three to five times weekly.  As you know, I particularly like aerobic exercise combined with weight training with specific goals and challenges to keep you constantly improving yourself.  Such exercise is of proven benefit in improving glucose metabolism and hyperinsulinemia.  Improve the hyperinsulinemia and the lipid profile improves, as do the atherosclerotic diseases. 
    Combine dietary changes with exercise, broad spectrum vitamins and minerals, an essential fatty acid supplement with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant nutrients, magnesium (200-300 mg per day), l-carnitine (1000 mg per day), whole extruded soy (which includes lecithin) combined with foods prepared at home, and chromium (500 mg per day).  Also refer to past issues of the Health Letter for other suggestions on stopping and reversing heart disease (Refer to the cumulative Health Letter Index for past volumes of the Health Letter).
    Some nutritional medical doctors claim, with actual patient proofs, that following a low carbohydrate, high fat diet  (be sure you do not interpret this to mean processed or hydrogenated fats) is nothing short of remarkable in its ability to stop and reverse this modern scourge which is being perpetuated by popular medical advice.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Cardiology, 1992; 70
        Health Revelations, October 1995: 4-5
        Journal of the American Medical Association, 1995; 274; 7
 
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
    A couple hundred years ago the average American ate about 7 pounds of sugar a year.  Now the level approaches 150 pounds per person per year.
    Itís everywhere, even where you would not expect it.  Itís in pickled herring, soups, sauces, baked beans, processed meats such as frankfurters, luncheon meats, sausage, hams and just about every prepared packaged food.  Ketchup may contain more sugar than ice cream.
    You can read the sugar content on many labels, but there are over 300 foods that are not even required to have it listed, such as dressings, peanut butter, canned vegetables and even salt.
    The quantity of sugar that can be put in foods is quite amazing.  A 4-ounce piece of hard candy can contain the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of granulated sugar.  A slice of pie can contain 10 teaspoons, six ounces of ginger ale 5, a slice of cake 10, a glazed donut 6.
    Although food processors argue that sugar offers advantages, such as decreasing the growth of yeast and molds, its real usefulness is that it's a cheap substitute for real food.  All-fruit jams are much more expensive to produce than their counterparts which contain as much as 50% sugar.   Additionally, food processors can use unflavorful, anemic produce grown on chemicalized farm land and dress it up with sugar.  They can also use unripe fruit and excuse the taste by the addition of sugar.
    Sugar competes with vitamin C for uptake by cells.  When this occurs in blood vessel walls, lesions develop which set the stage for atherosclerosis.  Additionally, refined sugar has been stripped of all of the nutrients which were designed to be used for its metabolism.  To compensate, the body must draw on its reserves.  In our modern depleted diet, reserves are soon exhausted and we then run on debt.  This nutrient debt is the beginning of the myriad of degenerative diseases that plague modern society.
    When a high sugar meal is eaten, the pancreas secretes insulin which removes the glucose from the blood.  Often the blood glucose can fall too rapidly because the pancreas has sensed a stress situation with the glut of glucose being dumped into the blood stream.  As a result, glucose can be removed too efficiently, resulting in a rebound low blood glucose after a high sugar meal.  This can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, crying spells, hyperactivity, aggression, lack of sexual interest, insomnia and even blackout.   Then, as the glucose continues to fall, the adrenals sense a stressful situation and secrete adrenaline.  This in turn mobilizes the glycogen stored in the liver and muscles to restore sugar in the blood stream. 
    And on and on this cycle goes.   First the pancreas is stressed and then the adrenals are stressed, etc., etc., until the pancreas is exhausted predisposing to diabetes and digestive inadequacy, and the adrenals are exhausted decreasing our ability to deal with stress.
    Also, remember that the glut of sugar has to be disposed of some way.  In a body designed to utilize nutrients however it can, glucose is converted into fatty acids which are then linked to glycerol to create triglycerides (fat) which is stored in adipose tissue.
    It will take a concerted effort to remove refined sugar from the diet.  Particularly will it be difficult for those who have fallen victim to the modern ďlow fatĒ pasta craze.  Be wary of all processed foods.  Modern food manufacturers are exceedingly adroit in creating mouthfeel and sweetness that keep you coming back for more and more.  Simplify the diet to whole, raw, natural foods as much as possible.
    And parents, donít allow your children to get hooked on the sugar cycle early.  You might think it's cute or loving to give in to their sweet cravings, but you do them a great disservice by setting the stage for early disease and shortened life.
    Reference:
    Townsend Letter, July 1995: 85
 
NATURAL IS NOT NECESSARILY SAFE
    I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  Just because something is considered to be natural, or plant-derived, does not make it automatically healthy and free from potential toxic effects. 
    It is one thing to recognize the dangers of modern pharmaceuticals.  It is another to switch our unique human proclivity to take pills which come from drug houses, to pills which come from herbal manufacturers.  Part of the danger in medicines is our desire to look for an easy magic bullet in a capsule or tablet.
    There are instances, for example, of heart toxicity and aconite poisoning from the ingestion of herbs, renal (kidney) fibrosis (scarring) from Chinese herbs to lose weight, respiratory toxicity from a mint plant, arsenic from herbal medicine, and arsenic and mercury at toxic levels in traditional Chinese herbal balls.
    Remember, many of our modern pharmaceuticals which come attached to a host of contraindications and side effects, have been derived from plant materials.  Although I would agree that taking medicine in the form of herbs and plants is safer because of their complex nature and the presence of detoxifying factors, as opposed to the isolated synthetic chemicals present in pharmaceutical preparations, caution is advised regardless of what you are taking in pill form.
    Try not to take anything chronically over long periods of time.  Periodically give your body a chance to rest and detoxify by rotating foods and supplements and periodically desisting from all supplements.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1995: 1025-1028
        Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994; 273: 502
        Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994; 271: 932-4
        Annals of Internal Medicine, 1995; 122: 636
        New England Journal of Medicine, 1995; 333: 803-4
 
A New Muscle Found
    A new muscle in the mouth has been discovered by researchers at the University of Maryland.  It is called the sphenomandibularis, and originates from a triangular process on the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and inserts medially on the mandible.  It is supplied by the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve and by a branch of the internal maxillary artery. 
    Whatís the importance of this?  We all didnít just grow this thing.  Itís been there all along.   In spite of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of human dissections and surgeries, this muscle has been overlooked.  All the time science has certainly figured it knew every muscle in the human body. 
    This is just another opportunity for me to emphasize to you that any claim by anyone that knowledge is complete in any area (refer to my opening letter in this issue again) is sheer puffery.   Identifying muscles in the body is kindergarten play compared to attempting to understand the full scope of nutrition and the role dozens of nutrients play in biochemistry and physiology.  Yet nutritionists continue to create food labels stating that such-and-such a food meets nutritional needs in one way or another or even claims, as is common in pet foods, that the foods are so-called ď100% complete and balanced.Ē  Incredible braggadocio and sheer nonsense. 
    Reference:
        Journal of Craniomandibular Practice, 1996; 14
 
Caffeine In Drugs
    Hidden within many pain-relieving drugs is caffeine.  If youíre suffering sleeplessness, or feel jittery and disoriented while on common pain-relieving drugs, the  reason may be their caffeine.
    Listed below are common pain relievers along with the caffeine they contain.  An average cup of coffee contains about 85 mg of caffeine.  So if a person were to take some of the most popular pain relievers at six-hour intervals, they would be receiving the equivalent of a walloping six cups of caffeinated coffee per day.
    Reference:
        Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter, December 1995: 1
 
Sambucol For Viral Disease
    There are few things that can be done to directly kill viruses.  About all we can hope for is that the bodyís immune defenses destroy them.  Medications normally used for viral diseases are antibiotics but these only help control secondary bacterial infections which opportunistically complicate viral infections.
    Something that can help destroy viruses in the body (but you wonít be getting a prescription for it) is a natural compound from elderberries (Sambucus nigra).  It has been used for some years in Israel as a cold and flu remedy.  Those who use the product claim that if taken at the first sign of flu, the disease will disappear in 24-48 hours.  Others report it is also effective against other viral diseases such as the common cold and herpes-like viruses.
    Viruses have been particularly difficult to attack because they invade living cells and thus escape normal immune mechanisms.      Once in the cell, they subvert the reproductive machinery of the cell and turn the victimís own cells into production factories for more viruses.  Thus the body is faced with the predicament of having to attack its own cells to destroy viruses, which of course our immune system is designed not to do.   (Except in those cases of autoimmune disease when things have gone awry and our own tissues are attacked by our own immune system.)
    Sambucol seems to have the ability to bind with viruses before they enter cells, as well as increase the production of virus fighting lymphocyte cells which are a part of our immune system. 
    The elderberry extract has no known side effects.  Compare this with virtually any pharmaceutical agent on the market. It is available through Resource A.  Normally a four-day regimen is sufficient to nip viral diseases in the bud.
    It might not be a bad insurance policy to have sitting on the shelf.  When you consider the increasing globalization of our population with people being able to move between borders with no infectious disease control, and our increasing exposure to aerosol viruses exhaled by infected people in closed spaces such as office buildings and air planes, and the possibility of new emerging, mutating viral diseases, having an antiviral on hand may indeed be wise.
    Major infectious diseases that have been supposedly cured by vaccines were in fact not cured by these vaccines.  In most instances the disease was in its natural decline before the vaccine was ever introduced  (see Vol. 8, No. 1).  It becomes apparent that infectious diseases come and go irrespective of human dreams of eradicating them.  Just the influenza virus of 1918 killed over 21 million people and sickened 1 billion.  Such diseases will surely come again as population density increases and as people stray increasingly from natural, health-giving lifestyles and foods.
    Keep yourself strong physically, emotionally and immunologically and give natural remedies a chance before allowing yourself to be fumigated by prescriptions.
    Reference:
        A)             JB Harris Inc., 4324 Regency Dr., Glenview, IL  60025, 1-800-941-7747
Alternatives, November 1995: 33
        Infect Dis, April 26, 1994; 1271: 392
 
Abdominal Radiation And Diabetes
    After abdominal radiation therapy, there is an increased risk of pancreatic diabetes.  Radiation therapy is commonly used in childhood cancers.  It is also routinely used diagnostically.   Although the amount of radiation received in radiation therapy is much greater than diagnostic radiation, the cumulative effect in children over time from exposure to x-rays - many of which are unnecessary and performed simply to protect a doctorís risk of liability - may increase the possibility of damage to the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. 
    Remember, all radiation is toxic and cumulative.  That means the risk from radiation must be measured against the sum total of all radiation received in a personís entire life, not just this x-ray.
    Reference:
        The Lancet, February 24, 1996: 539
 
Obesity And Oxidation
    Obesity should not be considered an innocuous ďlife-styleĒ choice.  It is in and of itself a disease in that it limits physical capabilities and the enjoyment of life.  But more importantly, obesity predisposes the person to a wide variety of disease conditions.  
    A recent study involving 29 postmenopausal obese women demonstrated that there was increased lipid (fat) oxidation.   The consequence of such fat oxidation is that it creates a variety of free radical pathologies (see my book, Lipid Nutrition, Resource B.).  Thus, excess fat is not just passively sitting there, but is seeding the body with free radical toxins.
    To learn the true cause of obesity in our modern society and the means to restore the body to a healthy weight, see my book, The Synorgon Diet - How To Achieve Healthy Weight In A World Of Excess (see Resource C). 
    Reference:
        B)             Lipid Nutrition - Understanding Fats And Oils In Health And Disease, by Dr. R. L. Wysong.  Available from the Wysong Book Store Catalog, 1880 N. Eastman, Midland, MI  48642 for $12.95 + $3.50 S&H.
        C)             The Synorgon Diet - How To Achieve Healthy Weight In A World Of Excess, by Dr. R. L. Wysong.  Available from the Wysong Book Store Catalog, 1880 N. Eastman, Midland, MI  48642 for $12.95 + $3.50 S&H.
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1995: 918
 
Bladder Cancer And Arsenic
    Cancer of the urinary bladder is one of the most common cancers in the United States.  Recent evidence from Argentina and elsewhere has demonstrated a strong correlation between high levels of arsenic in the drinking water and increased bladder cancer.  The U.S. drinking water limit for arsenic is 50 mcg per liter, but this may be too high. 
    Yet another reason to rig yourself up with a home water purifying system so the increasing potential risks being discovered from municipal water supplies are eliminated.
    Reference:
        Epidemiology, March 1996
 
Saw Palmetto And Urtica Root For The Prostate
    In a prospective clinical study involving 419 urology practices, the efficacy of saw palmetto and urtica root extracts was studied in 2,030 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia.  Treatment was given for a period of 12 weeks with 320 mg of saw palmetto and 240 mg of urtica root extract daily.   79.5% reported an improvement in quality of life and 86% reported symptom improvement in urinary flow, decreased residual urine, reduction in nocturia (excessive urination at night), dysuria (painful or difficult urination) and postvoiding dribbling.
    Reference:
        Fortshcr Med, 1995; 113: 37-40
       
Resolving Congestive Heart Failure Naturally
    The conventional treatment for congestive heart failure is the use of digitalis preparations to strengthen the heart beat, and diuretics to remove fluid accumulation.  Both of these drugs have numerous side effects.
    Alternative natural medicines and nutritional supplements are available and have been found by scientific study to be highly effective.  These alternatives include hawthorn extract at a dose of 600-900 mg daily, coenzyme Q10 at 30 mg per day, the amino acid taurine at 3 gm per day and vitamin C at 1-3 gm per day.  These dosages are not etched in stone and should be individualized for each patient.  The wise course is to begin at the minimal dosage until benefit is obtained.  Decrease dosage if any side effects result.
    Reference:
        Phytomedicine, 1994; 1: 17-24
 
Magnesium For Eclampsia
    High blood pressure and seizures from eclampsia in pregnant women kill an estimated 50,000 women each year.   Although the administration of magnesium has been a tried and true treatment for more than 50 years, many doctors have opted for the new fangled pharmaceuticals including diazepam (Valium) and phenytoin (Dilantin).  Since the time that evidence existed that magnesium prevents eclamptic convulsions, some 4 million women have died because of the heady modern medical notion that nutrients just canít be as good as pharmaceuticals.
    Diazepam and phenytoin have a wide range of side effects including birth defects, while magnesium has no such risk.  
    ďIf it ainít broke, donít fix itĒ would be a wise motto for doctors to follow before they discard proven, safe therapies in favor of new invented patented (and more profitable) alternatives.
    Reference:
        The Lancet, June 10, 1995