Dr. R. L. Wysong
April 1999
Taking Control of Potential Disasters
    As if we don’t have enough to worry about.  Now we can worry that when computers all over the world flip their internal calendars to the year 2000, they may not be able to read this number properly.  
    Some say this is a big deal – others say planes will be dropping out of the sky; automobiles will stop; public utilities will be interrupted; communication satellites may go mute; missiles aimed at us from around the world may be set off; televisions, radios, air conditioners, furnaces and everything and anything either directly or indirectly controlled by computers may crash.
    Yee gads, it could be the end of civilization as we know it, with chaos such as the world has never seen.  On the other hand there might be just a little inconvenience here and there and it might be no big deal.  But the threat looms and no one knows for sure how serious it will be.
    While we are worrying about what might be, let’s not forget that ice core samples at the poles seem to indicate we are going through a warming and melting phase that may raise the level of the ocean dramatically within our lifetime.  Just a few inches could be catastrophic for the major populated areas hugging the oceans all over the world.
    Recent movies have made us aware of the world-wide demise possible if a meteor of sufficient size hits the Earth.   It is possible - remote but possible - and it has happened on Earth before, perhaps being responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs.  When could this happen?  No one knows and the sky is not even fully plotted.  It could happen before I even finish this sentence.
    Of course most of us always live under the threat of a possible earthquake, volcano, flood, drought, avalanche, hurricane or tornado.
    That is what nature can do.   But we can destroy ourselves just as easily.  Escalating population depends on the maintenance of climate as it presently is in order to create food.  Resources must also increase rather than decrease, but the problem here is that we live on a finite planet and there is an end to these things.
    How about germ warfare, chemical warfare, the spread of nuclear weapons, and the political and religious insanity that controls these agents of mass destruction?
    I haven’t even touched upon the topic that is the continuing theme of the Health Letter – namely that we are all under constant threat of debilitating or lethal disease.
    If one didn’t know better it would be easy to ask the question: Why us, why now at this time, in all of history should we face such horrendous threats?  But we are not unique.  Never has life been without threat.  In ancient times you had to worry about being eaten in the middle of the night by a predator as you tried to catch a few winks in your grass hut.   People have always faced the threat of starvation or demise from natural catastrophes.  People have always been warring with one another.
    As we have increasingly insulated ourselves from many dangers with advancement in technology, we can tend to think we are invincible and that such threats should not be there.  But they remain.   We just have replaced old threats with new ones.
    This doesn’t mean we should take a flip, devil-may-care attitude.  We should be prudent and do all we can (without totally preoccupying our lives) to protect ourselves and our families against danger.
    Obsession with these potential problems could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you feel you are a helpless victim, this sets in motion biochemical changes that create a chronic stress that is a serious threat to health.  So it is important, if you recognize that a danger confronts you, that prudent steps be taken.  This process creates a feeling of being in control and will create a psychological and physiological balance that permits the maintenance of health.
    If you do all you reasonably can to protect yourself then it is appropriate to take a laissez-faire attitude toward these dangers, since there is only so much one can do, and when you have done that you are indeed at the mercy of time and circumstance.      There is comfort and peace in knowing that what can be done has been done, and should catastrophe strike there will not be the awful realization that something could have been done to prevent it.
Who Is Our Medical Savior?
    There is probably no better place to be than in America if crisis care is needed.  Our knowledge of anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics – coupled with technological advances – permits wondrous repair.  We can put bones, nerves, and blood vessels together, reattach limbs, and remodel essentially all of our plumbing.
    But this success creates an illusion both for the medical profession and for the public.  Mechanical repair is not the same as preventing, curing or healing.  The most fantastic reassemblage of parts and pieces can occur in the surgery room, but if the body does not do the healing, all is for naught.  So medical technology should, even in crisis care, get just a small part of the credit.
    We have been led to believe that technology is synonymous with advancement.  The technological wizardry of crisis care would lead us to believe that such success means that within modern medicine must lie our hope for the cure of all ailments.
    But it is a gigantic leap from the ability to sew a limb back together to preventing or curing something as metabolically complex as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the myriad other degenerative and infectious diseases that strike animals and humans.  A surgeon is a mechanic, not a healer.  Advanced technological diagnostics merely describe a disease and may even pinpoint etiology, but technically and reductionistically understanding the fine points of a disease is not synonymous with the ability to cure it.  In fact, knowledge of the cause and course of disease is almost always disjoint in time from any effective form of treatment.  On the other hand, effective treatment can often exist long before there is knowledge of the cause and course of a disease.
    Modern medicine has taken credit for much more than it is due.  There are few medical measures or interventions that positively impact the course of a disease.  Even such cherished paraphernalia as stethoscopes, thermometers and reflex hammers are little more than symbols.  They are used routinely by every medical practitioner in the country, but there is no proof that they have ever resulted in changing the course of disease in a beneficial way for anyone.
    Modern medicine also takes credit for the reduction in the number of deaths from major infectious conditions such as typhoid, small pox, scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, diptheria, influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, diseases of the digestive system and polio myelitis.  But when the medical intervention, either vaccine or chemotherapeutic agent, was introduced, these diseases had already experienced the vast majority of their decline (see graphs below).
    It is not coincidental that the responsibility for the decline in infectious disease is ascribed to the modern-day beneficiaries (the medical profession) of this prevailing explanation. 
Increasing technology, making more donations to research organizations, and increasing the percentage of our gross national product expended on modern approaches to medical care, are not the answer.  In the graph below you can see that total mortality and the decrease in mortality are not parallel to the increase in the cost of medical care, but exactly opposite to it.  As you can see, the vast majority of the decline in mortality since the beginning of the century had occurred before there was the dramatic rise in monies spent on medical intervention.
    I have discussed this before, but it deserves repeating.  Hope lies within each of us to take control of our own health destiny.      The fall in mortality in this century and the dramatic decline in infectious disease were due primarily to benefits outcropping from the Industrial Revolution, including better food distribution and better hygiene.   The grocery trucker and the plumber have more to do with the health we enjoy today than the medical practitioner.
    Don’t lose focus with the constant propaganda and the institutional power the medical community now holds.  Don’t assume, as they do, that disease is something from the outside that attacks us, and that our only hope when our number is up is to rely on them.  Don’t forget that all healing ultimately comes from within.  That within is totally in your power to control and fortify against disease, to optimize your chance for the best health you can possibly have.
Where Are Our Children Getting Their Nutrients?
    Here’s the mainstay diet of most American children:  Breakfast cereal, milk, donuts and other doughy goodies, candy, soft drinks, pizza, burgers, french fries, and snack chips of various sorts.
    For many the only fresh food eaten would be the wilted leaf of lettuce and anemic slice of tomato on the burgers – provided these are not omitted because they are too “yucky.”  The primary source of vitamins would be the synthetics dusted onto the breakfast cereals.  This fabricated, processed, sugar- and grain-based diet is supposed to be building the strong bodies and healthy minds of our children.
    The metabolic reserves of the young are astounding.  In spite of this paltry diet, children seem to thrive, win sports events and even get all A’s.  But, incubating within are the degenerative conditions that will surface in the early adult years, if not before, in some kind of malady – such as leukemia, diabetes, autoimmunities, dental disease, obesity and so forth – robbing the child of the potential of a long, healthy, vital and active life.  
    This is not parental love, folks.  This is stupidity on our part if we allow our children to convince us that these are the foods they should be eating.  
    Little wonder it is estimated that about 8 million American school children will be on Ritalin next year.  The U.S. uses about 5 times more Ritalin than the entire rest of the world.  We have turned our children into carbohydrate addicts and with that comes the behavioral problems, sending parents by the throngs to physicians for Ritalin prescriptions.
    Try to wean your children from carbohydrates as much as possible.  Get them fresh fruit and fresh vegetables daily and be sure they get some high quality protein as well.  As insurance, but not as a substitute, use broad spectrum vitamin/mineral supplements such as Optimal™ and Orgamin™ as well as a spectrum of antioxidants such as found in Spectrox™.
Kids’ nutrition is nothing to play with and should not be guided by their peer-pressured tastes.
        Pediatrics, October 1998:913-9123
Progesterone For Prostate Disease
    One of the most interesting and enlightening courses I ever had was embryology.  The systematic and rational way in which an organism develops from a fertilized egg into a complex, fully formed creature is incredibly fascinating.
    One of the most interesting developmental stages is that of the reproductive system.  It is apparent that there is little difference between the sexes other than a shift in hormones that causes the selective growth of certain tissue and the suppression of others.       There is analogy and homology everywhere between the sexes.  
    The ovaries are the female counterpart to the male testes.  The breasts are the same in each sex, only the female develops more.  The genitals are dissimilar only in terms of relative size.   The uterus corresponds to the male prostate gland.
    Once it is understood that the only real difference between the sexes is one of hormone balance, it can be seen how fine a line exists between the sexes, and how imbalance could easily create problems.   Testosterone is the pre-eminent male hormone, but it is also present in women.   Estrogen and progesterone are female hormones, but they are also found in men.  
    Estrogen, particularly estradiol, is now known to directly stimulate breast cancer in women.  New findings also suggest that estradiol may lie as a root cause of prostate cancer.
    It has been commonly held that high levels of testosterone are linked to prostate cancer, but since this cancer develops in older men, not in young men when testosterone is at its peak, this theory is questionable.
    In men, estradiol can stimulate enlargement of the prostate and prostatic cancer.  This is normally kept in check by testosterone, which destroys the cancer cells that are stimulated by estradiol.   Progesterone, in men, has the ability to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase which is responsible for converting testosterone to di-hydro testosterone.  Decreasing levels of testosterone and increasing levels of di-hydro testosterone actuates a decrease in the normal inhibition of prostatic cancer cell development.  Additionally, it has been found that estradiol turns on the bc12 cancer gene, whereas progesterone turns on the p53 anti-cancer gene.
    In summary, as testosterone and progesterone levels fall in males, the relative amount of estradiol and di-hydro testosterone increases, thus stimulating the development of prostatic enlargement and cancer.
Since prostatic cancer is perhaps the #1 cancer in men, this is important.  Here are some things that can be done:
    1.             Apply to the skin a natural progesterone cream such that a dose of 10-12 mg per day is absorbed.  This will help increase this important hormone and its prostatic health benefits.
    2.                   Take the NSF Prostase™ and Androlog™ formulas which help create the normal balances in hormones discussed previously.  (Request a monograph on each of these products.)
        Townsend Letter, December 1998:80
Paint Outgassing
    Ideally after a home is built, finished and painted, it should sit vacant with the windows and doors open for about a year.  Instead, new home owners so anxious to enjoy the fresh “new” smells move right in and tighten up the dwelling to be energy-wise. 
    When I was a youngster my dad painted our bedroom.  In those days the notion of toxicity was by and large ignored.   Society threw garbage out the windows of cars with impunity, pumped every imaginable industry effluent into the waterways, and belched everything that couldn’t be sold out the chimneys of factories.  The wondrous new world of consumerism was in full sway, the world seemed endless and technology was a god.
    In any case, I went to bed that night with the door closed so the smell of paint would not saturate the entire house.   In the morning I tried to get up and my legs would not move.  I was paralyzed.   It took some time before the doctor figured that it might have had something to do with the paint.  Duh.
    That created a vivid memory for me about the potential of paints, solvents and other aromatic chemicals.
    In a recent European study it was found that many people react adversely to newly painted surfaces.  Asthma in particular was tracked, and was seen to increase in relation to the increase of outgassing aliphatic compounds such as butanols, diisobutyrates, formaldehyde, and other volatile compounds.
    The lesson is that if you smell something and it is not from nature, be wary.  Seek nontoxic building materials and be sure to allow plenty of aeration after new construction finishing.
        Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 1997;69:115-124
Nutrition For Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Although drugs and therapies costing rheumatoid arthritis sufferers as much as $2500 a year are touted as the only answer by the medical community, there are a variety of inexpensive alternatives that are proven to be of benefit.
    Since rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder, proper essential fatty acid supplementation will be of great benefit.   For example, in a controlled double-blind study of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), those patients receiving the GLA scored better on all rheumatoid arthritis parameters including swollen and tender joint count and score, pain, and self-evaluation by patients.   Almost 65% experienced clinical improvement during the first 6 months and 76% of those who had received the GLA for a 12-month period.  All subjects on the fatty acid   improved compared to their starting point.
    Essential fatty acids, including GLA and omega-3’s, help modulate the immune response and enhance the production of suppressor T-cells, which also help diminish the immune reaction.  The net result is less inflammatory activity in the joints, less pain and a better life.
    The fatty acid supplements described in the Foundation Formula Program provide an excellent source of gamma-linolenic acid as well as omega-3 fatty acids and should be a part of your routine supplement program.
        Arthritis Rheum, 1996;39:1808-1817
Antibiotic Dangers In Treating Ulcers
    Some gastric ulcers are complicated by Helicobacter pylori infections.   The use of antibiotics in these cases may benefit some individuals. 
    However, usually those who have ulcers also have a history of taking aspirin or nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
    Research has now demonstrated that the use of antibiotics along with these anti-inflammatory drugs may actually slow healing. 
    If you are having stomach problems which may be related to ulcers, try this approach:
    1.             Follow the Optimal Health Program;
    2.             Drink 10-12 glasses of pure water daily;
    3.             Take the Nutrient Support Formula Pepzac™;
    4.             Eat more simplified meals emphasizing proteins and vegetables and eliminate carbohydrates as much as possible at meals;
    5.             Don’t eat unless you feel hunger and eat only until you are just beginning to get comfortably full, then stop.
        The Lancet, 1998;352:1001-1002, 1016-1021
Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Fish Oil For Cancer
    The modern agriculturally-based, processed diet is grossly deficient in omega-3 essential fatty acids.  As a result the ratio of these fatty acids to other fatty acids, such as omega-6’s, is dramatically out of balance resulting in susceptibility to a wide range of diseases.  I discuss this thoroughly in the book, Lipid Nutrition - Understanding Fats and Oils in Health and Disease.
    Cancer physicians in Europe have long treated the condition with omega-3 fatty acids.  One treatment is the combination of omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds with high sulfur containing dairy foods such as cottage cheese.  People from all over the world have traveled to these clinics for therapy and there are remarkable reports of success.  A recent study of 60 severely ill patients with disseminated cancer received either placebo or fish oil combined with vitamin E.  Evaluation of immune cells demonstrated enhanced activity in those given the fish oil.  Additionally, the survival time of those receiving the fish oil was significantly greater than those receiving placebo.
    If you are following the Optimal Health Program, you are consuming excellent sources of balanced fatty acids as well as other cancer active nutrients such as vitamin C, E, the carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals such as selenium and zinc, and coenzyme Q10, all of which have been proven to be important in both preventing and even reversing cancer.
        Cancer, 1998;82:395-402
Using Birth Control Pills To Lose Teeth
    Oral contraceptive hormones increase pathogenic bacteria in the mouth which can in turn increase the risk of gum disease (periodontitis), the leading cause of tooth loss.
        Contraception, July 1998;57:381-384
Stunting Child Growth With Steroids
    A study of 242 mildly asthmatic children who were using steroid inhalers demonstrated a reduced growth rate.   Although asthma can be a life-threatening condition, the use of steroids is a bandaid.
    Allergies can be incited by a variety of environmental agents.  The only medical actions taken today are to attempt to find the offending allergen and provide symptomatic treatment with steroids and antihistamines.
    Allergy is a breakdown of the immune system, not a result of exposure to compounds that have always been in our natural environment.  Children allergic to pollen or mold spores which have been in the environment for eons; or cats or dogs allergic, for example, to chicken or beef, should be obvious indications that the immune system is screwed up – not that the allergen is the culprit.
    Follow the Optimal Health Program to build the health of the immune system.  In particular, supplementation with the various essential fatty acid supplements in the Foundation Formulas and the use of the Nutrient Support Formula Immulyn™ will do much to help restore a healthy immune system and one which is resistent to autoimmunities or immune reactions.
    If inhalent steroids are essential for asthmatics, there is a way to decrease the dose.  Giving it between 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. has been found to  be as effective as giving it in a four times per day regimen.
        New England Journal of Medicine, 1997;337:1659-1665
        J Allergy Clin Immunol, December 1997;100:771-774
Pessimism And Early Death
    Pessimism is a strong risk factor for early death according to a 70-year study of personality traits among men.  
    Here are some examples of this unhealthy form of pessimism:  People who blame themselves when things go wrong, even when they have no control over events;  people who believe that one bad event can ruin the rest of their life; people who expect bad things to happen to them and feel there is little they can do to alter that; people who make mountains out of mole hills, catastrophes out of minor events and then cast these supposed gloomy views over the rest of their lives.
    What is the solution?  Be an optimist.  Sounds simple enough, but these are merely words.  People become optimists by taking action.  That action is the result of a determination in their own minds that they are going to do something with their lives in a creative way and take control.  From this take-charge attitude optimism will flow and health result.   This does not mean that bad cannot come, but with the right mentality, challenges will be met and ultimately seen as opportunities for self-improvement and advancement.
        Psychological Science, March 1998;9:127-130
Vitamin B12 For Nerve Disorders
    Vitamin B12 has been used for some time by practitioners for sciatic neuritis, trigeminal neuralgia and Bell’s palsy.
    In a recent study to determine the effectiveness of B12 in Bell’s palsy, 60 patients were divided into groups receiving corticosteroids, vitamin B12, or a combination of the two.  Vitamin B12 won.  The time until recovery of facial nerve function was two weeks for vitamin B12 and as long as almost 10 weeks using the corticosteroids.  Considering that corticosteroids have a variety of adverse side effects, vitamin B12 would certainly be the treatment of choice for this condition.  This study also lends support to previous clinical observations of the effectiveness of vitamin B12 in various forms of nerve disorders.
        Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol, 1995;17:539-544