WYSONG HEALTH LETTER
Dr. R. L. Wysong
April 1994
 
 
DEAR FRIEND:
 
     The search for truth and the strength to act upon it is our only hope.  Being wrong creates great risk.  Learning truth, on the other hand, can bring no net harm since everyone is subject to truth whether they learn it or ignore it.  The law of gravity, for example, acts on everyone whether they believe it or not.  Learning it and applying it will spare you the results of stepping off the cliff, but not so the unbeliever.  By seeking truth, the worst that can happen will be that you will know beforehand of danger that will come your way.  An astronomer discovering an asteroid headed toward the Earth (a truth) will at least have an opportunity to prepare and seek shelter. 
     Those who ignore open inquiry in favor of tradition, lore, mythology or other systems of belief simply because parents, teachers, or others in authority teach it, stagger through a mirage of life highly vulnerable to the consequences of violating the truths of the real world.  Ignoring evidence of an asteroid headed toward your city because you "believe" such a thing could not happen will not change the truth of the asteroid’s course or save you and your family.  Seeking truth should bring no fear and has great potential for enriching... perhaps even saving your life.
     The following random thoughts are notes I have accumulated through the years that speak to the need for us to set aside our biases and prejudices and approach life and seek truth with an open mind.  Our intellectual growth, our realization of full human potential, is directly proportional to our ability to dispassionately seek truth and be molded by it rather than remain entrenched in preconceived ideas.
     For the human condition to ever advance, the search for truth must replace the defense of dogma.
     • A belief which means to search further there is no need, is a dangerous belief indeed.
     • "If I set out to prove something, I am no real scientist.  I have to learn to follow where the facts lead me.  I have to whip my prejudices." - Spallanzani
     • Knowledge is a path, not an excuse for stopping the journey.
     • The odds that we are wrong increase in direct proportion to the degree that we love what we believe to be right.
     • If you have the truth, then exploring further information will only confirm it.   Why then do those who are most convinced often fear alternate viewpoints and facts?
     • Truth is not an endpoint.  It is a pursuit.
     • Absolute belief implies that discovery has ended... but it hasn't.
     • Age by itself does not bring wisdom, nor does youth automatically bring a fresh viewpoint: some individuals seem born doctrinaires, and others embrace new ideas until the day they die.
     • Truth is like an impression in the mind; the softer and less resistant the mind the easier to make an impression.
     • Normal people are more likely to defend themselves than to stretch themselves.
     • The open search for truth is bravery.  Protecting cherished belief is cowardly.
     • If we love truth more than belief, then we will have no fear of change.
     • We should not restrict our knowledge to one point of view and blind our eyes to the flowers of truth blooming at our feet.
     • An open mind to alternate view points and a tentativeness with regard to our own ideas will keep us scientifically honest and free from outmoded information.
     • Close mindedly protecting beliefs is like voluntarily putting your mind in prison.
     • We can become prisoners of our yesterdays, stuck with our dogmas and mired in our consequent inability to learn and adapt.
     • A closed mind may protect us from anxious moments of doubt, but will hardly serve to enrich us or open an opposing ear to our views.
     • Bias is the worst of intellectual table manners.
     • Rationalism is often in direct proportion to our distance from the problem.
     • There are none so sure or righteous as the newly converted.
     • Belief, dogma, faith, bias, and prejudice have brought immeasurable pain and suffering to humanity.  Truth has brought immeasurable good and harmed nary a soul.
     • A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
     • Remember that even a broken clock is right twice a day.
     • Change is the only constant.
     • A fear of and unwillingness to examine new or alternate ideas is a symptom of a prejudiced mind and diseased intellect.
     • A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
     • "It is not what he doesn’t know that bothers me, it is what he knows for sure that just ain’t so." - Will Rogers
     • We spend one half of our life unlearning the ideas of our parents and the other half giving our ideas to our children.
     • Personal reward from a belief increases our conviction and the odds of being wrong.
     • Antagonism prior to investigation assures rejection.
     • Psychosclerosis - hardening of the intellect.
     • Neophobia - fear of new ideas.
     • Open your mind, but not so much that your brain falls out.
     • "The mind, once expanded to the dimension of a larger idea, never returns to its original size." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
     • The only truth that need not be re-examined is that we must be open to truth.
     Thirst for knowledge, savor new grains of truth, and above all commit your life to being open with a pride not in ideas possessed, but in a willing receptivity to better ideas yet to be learned.
 
POPULATION - TRYING TO MAKE THE FINITE INFINITE
     The population of the world is estimated, conservatively, to double to about 11 billion people by the year 2050.  As I have mentioned before in the Health Letter, the booming population problem is the machine that ultimately fuels all larger environmental and social ills.  But humanity continues to breed as if the world had an infinite capacity.
     Noted population experts Paul and Ann Ehrlich have propounded the following equation: I=PAT.  I is environmental impact, P is Population, A is Affluence or per capita consumption, and T is environmentally harmful Technology that creates affluence.       We cannot survive without an environment to support us.  In this equation it can be seen that the impact on the environment is directly related to the growth of population, and additionally, to our consumption of resources and to the polluting effect of the technology we create to give us our affluence.   If we decrease population, but increase per capita consumption or polluting technologies, then we have not helped the problem.  On the other hand, becoming more frugal or designing less harmful technologies won't help if population continues to escalate.  All factors are interrelated.
     Having children and the good life are inalienable rights without limit, if our only responsibility is our own comfort and not that of future generations.
     The carrying capacity of the Earth is the number of people that the planet can support without irreversibly damaging its capacity to support people in the future.  But population expansion and industrialization proceed as if the carrying capacity of the Earth is infinite.  For the millions who are presently starving, carrying capacity is a very real concern.  For the rest of the world still comfortable, the problem is largely ignored because of ignorance or faith that somebody somewhere somehow sometime will take care of any big problem if we are faced with it.
     But it must be obvious to any thinking person that the Earth is a puny, finite mass floating in space.  Logarithmic reproduction and logarithmic destruction of life supporting environmental systems will converge on an endpoint, at which time tremendous human suffering will result.  We certainly must learn how to live off the "interest" of environmental resources rather than their principle.  Population, in turn, must be controlled to a level which that interest can support.
     Current agriculture can sustainably support 5-1/2 billion people if those people are all eating a vegetarian diet.  If this population takes 25% of their calories from animal products, then the Earth could only sustainably support 2.8 billion people.       That is about 1 billion people fewer than are presently on Earth!
     The few steps forward we make with agri-technology are cancelled by the steps backward with population expansion.  We don’t feed hungry people more, we feed more hungry people.
     The UN predicts conservatively that world population will grow to 11 billion by the year 2050.  To feed that many people all the world’s current crop lands (which are presently diminishing as a result of erosion and exhaustion) will have to produce three times the present world average.
     By the year 2025 the world's labor force is projected to swell to over 3 billion.   Where are these people going to work?  Today the developing world’s work force numbers around 2 billion—and one-quarter of those are already unemployed or underemployed.  The United States, the industrial giant of the world, can not even keep employment pace with its relatively small population increases.
     Emerging countries around the world struggle for economic parody with the West.  As their economy begins to flourish as it is in Latin American, Mexico, the Pacific Rim and elsewhere, without appropriate controls, population will surge, consumer goods will increase, and industrialization and pollution will also expand—increasing the right side (PAT) of the Ehrlich equation. 
     In Kenya the population is expected to expand from 28 million to 125 million by the 22nd century.  Even with the best of technology this country could only support 52 million.
     Mexico is projected to grow to 138 million by the year 2025, with a growing underemployed or unemployed work force escalating to 20 million as early as the year 2000.
     Then if we look at us, the real gluttons of the world, from a consumption of resources standpoint, we find each American, for example, consuming 47 times more environmentally based goods and services than does a Chinese.  Although the average American family comprises only two children, the consumptive life-style of Americans makes their real family size in world terms more like 30 to 40 children.  To sustainably support the economy at just today’s levels without destroying natural resources, it is estimated that there should be only about 75 million people in the United States, or about the population size of 1900.  We have in excess of 250 million already.  If the present trend continues and even if the birth rate declines , the U.S. will end up with about 500 million people in the year 2050.  That will be within the lifetime of our present children.
     These are staggeringly complex, bewildering and difficult issues.  I wish they were not problems that had to be addressed.        Everyone wishes that.   Those of us enjoying comforts would like to simply turn our back on the possibility of an end or a change in our present life-style.  We will vote in politicians, read books, and listen to talk radio hosts who soothingly sweet talk our worries and concerns away.  There is no crisis.  There will be no crisis.  The world has infinite healing capacity and American ingenuity will prevail, so the pathetic myopic soothing words will flow.
     The problem is obvious.  Nature is an intricate balance and that balance is not disturbed without consequence.  The technology of humans has permitted population expansion beyond that which would be possible given only our basic biological capabilities.   Not only has it permitted population to over-expand, but the industrialization that permits it subtracts from Earth’s life support systems.  We simply cannot asphalt the entire Earth and breed ad infinitum without consequence.  How much population will expand, by what time, and at what levels pollutants can be tolerated, and so forth are all essentially moot debates since it is very easy to extrapolate that ultimately at some time there will be a day of reckoning because you simply cannot treat a finite Earth as if it had infinite carrying capacity.
     We can each do our part by becoming fully informed.   Don't simply seek information to support your particular philosophic agenda.  Make your goal the search for truth.  To that end read some of the resources on the population and environmental problems available in resource A - page 8.  Additionally, give serious thought to the size of your family.  An average of 1-2 children per family is a target many population control experts advocate.  Additionally, decrease unnecessary consumption.  So much of what we buy is totally unnecessary to our happiness and creates pressure on industry to produce more and consequently further exhausts resources and pollutes more.
     These are big issues that may seem insurmountable.  But big problems can be solved one step at a time.  Becoming fully informed and acting upon the wisdom that results is our only hope. 
     Reference:
          A)                 See Population/Environmental section of books in the Wysong Library catalog, 1880 North Eastman, Midland, MI  48640.
          World Watch, November 1993: 25-
 
COOKING AND CARDIOMYOPATHY
     Heterocyclic amines (HCA's) formed in meats when they are cooked have long been known to be carcinogenic.  Recent research, however, has demonstrated that these compounds may have more subtle long-term effects resulting in a condition called cardiomyopathy.  Cardiomyopathy is characterized by an inflammatory and deterioration process that occurs within heart muscle.  It is speculated that HCA's may cause the loss of mitochondria, the organelles within cells responsible for energy metabolism, and as a result accelerate cell death.  Another postulated mechanism is that HCA's cause the generation of free radicals within heart muscle that cause genetic and molecular damage within the cells, causing their demise.
     Cardiomyopathy can be a slow degenerating condition difficult to attribute to any cause, since the ultimate destruction of heart muscle, and the disease that results, is far removed in time from the inciting factors.
     Virtually everyone assumes that meats must be cooked or they are dangerous.  But consider that for eons of times before cooking became fashionable, humans ate their meat raw.  Also consider that every other creature on the face of the planet that eats meat also eats it raw... with the exception of domesticated animals. 
     As a side note I might mention the thousands of domestic cats that have succumbed to a disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (Vol. 1, No. 3).  These cats were being fed commercial, even premium, supposedly thoroughly tested processed foods.  It was then discovered that when these cats were supplemented with the amino acid taurine, that the condition was arrested or prevented.  One of the actions of taurine is its ability to serve as an antioxidant.  When processed pet foods are prepared, the taurine in large part is destroyed or removed.  Since all processed pet foods contain meats that have been cooked, they certainly would therefore contain heterocyclic amines.  Could it be that the real cause of the thousands of deaths in cats was not just from a taurine deficiency, but from chronic exposure to heterocyclic amines whose damage was not being neutralized by the antioxidant taurine?  Seems very plausible.
     Some people eat meat raw.  Sushi bars have really popularized it.  There is no danger in raw meat other than possible food-borne pathogens which may be of significance today because most meat we obtain has come from packing houses where the conditions for proliferation of such pathogens abound.  Meat is then stored and transported as opposed to reaching our table in fresh conditions which creates incubation time for pathogen proliferation. 
     If you can’t bring yourself to eat steak tartar, then consider slowly changing your order from well done to medium well done, from medium to medium rare, and then to rare.  Additionally, consider that meat at every meal is unnecessary for anyone’s health.  Fresh fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw and are a bounty in natural nutrients—and without a trace of heterocyclic amines.
     For a discussion of the merits of raw over processed foods see Vol. 2, No. 9; 3, 1; 3, 9.
     Reference:
          Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, February, 1994
 
STATIC GENETICS
     An underlying tenet of our health philosophy in the Health Letter is that modern man has put himself outside of his proper genetic context.  In other words, our genes fully expect that we would exist in a pre-industrial world, eating fresh raw foods, breathing clean air, and drinking pure water. 
     Because we have changed our environmental context, we are stressing our systems beyond our genetic capability to adapt—and this ultimately results in disease.
     An argument some may make, however, is that humans will simply adapt to this new world and overcome this contextual problem.  I have difficulty with this argument because it is usually advanced by those who simply want to leave things as they are because they are comfortable  and don’t want their life-style interrupted by any contrary facts.   Extrapolated to its end point, humans simply cannot industrialize and black-top the entire Earth without destroying our life support systems, regardless of how much we think we are capable of adapting.
     There is also strong evidence within the fossil record and within the field of biology to demonstrate that organisms are remarkably static genetically.  For example, there are blue green bacteria alive today that are essentially identical to their "1-billion-year-old" fossils.  The pond scum you see today is essentially the same as the pond scum that existed "millions" of years ago.  There are many other examples such as crocodiles, coelacanth fish, horse shoe crabs and so forth that are essentially identical to their fossils which are in rocks supposedly tens of millions of years old.  (For a thorough discussion of this topic, see my book, The Creation Evolution Controversy.  [Resource B])
     One of the reasons that species remain the same is that they have very efficient DNA repair mechanisms that in essence prevent change.  In order for an organism to adapt to a new circumstance, its genetic material must change or mutate in some way.  But organisms have molecular repair mechanisms which are capable of chiseling out the changed genetic material and replacing it with the original kind.
     This incredible molecular repair system helps preserve our health and integrity.   It prevents mutations, which occur constantly within our bodies, from changing healthy tissues into diseased tissues.
     (This repair system designed to keep things as they are, combined with fossils that look identical to their modern counterparts, makes a strong case against neo-Darwinian evolutionary theories.  This also is discussed in my book mentioned above.)
     Therefore, it can be argued that if we think we will simply genetically adapt to the new world we are creating, we may end up a day late and a gene short.  Much smarter to try to restore our natural context than to hope some marvelous genetic transformation will occur within us to permit our survival on an Earth made up of asphalt, lakes of effluent, and air of gasoline exhaust.
     Reference:
          B)                 The Creation Evolution Controversy, available from the Wysong Library catalog, 1880 North Eastman, Midland, MI   48640.
          Townsend etter, October 1993: 990-
 
DOG ATTACKS
     There are over 3 million bites and about 20 fatalities that occur each year from dog attacks.  Here are some things you can do if you’re cycling or jogging or in any circumstance find yourself being attacked:
     1)             Don’t run.  You can’t out-run them anyway, and by running you trigger the signal that you are prey.
     2)             Stand your ground, try not to look the dog in the eyes, and say "NO," or "DOWN," or "STAY."  Don’t make threatening moves unless you are certain you will be able to control the animal by your acts.  Don’t underestimate the speed and the power of a dog.  Their agility, quickness and strength per pound is far beyond that of humans.
(This is even more true of little 7 to 10 lb. domestic cats, but luckily they don’t normally chase us down the sidewalk.)
     3)             If you have a coat or a heavy sweater and can get it off in time, you can either feed it to the animal or wrap it thickly around one of your arms as a shield to cushion a bite.  If you get in a position where you are actually in a tussle with the animal, try to maneuver such that you are able to grab the loose skin on both sides of the neck directly under the ears.  Ideally, if you can do this from the back side of the neck you will be better off.  But in either case, once you have this skin grasped with both hands you can control the animal's head and it will be incapable of any further bites.
     4)             If you are on a bicycle get off the bike and use the bike as a shield between you and the animal.
     5)             A water pistol or a repellant used by postal carriers, called Halt, which is made up of ground pepper in aerosol form, may be effective if you are constantly assaulted on your routes.
     6)             A pop-open umbrella is also effective since it can be opened and closed in the face of the oncoming animal which will distract or perhaps scare them away.
     7)                  Another device which emits high frequency sound waves has also been proven to be effective for Canadian postal carriers.  For information on this see resource C.
     Reference:
          C)             High frequency electronic deterent available from K-II Enterprises, 1-800-262-3963.
 
RICE AND FRUIT DIET FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
     In 1949 a diet consisting of only brown rice and all the fruit one can eat, and nothing else, was advocated for arteriosclerosis resulting in heart and kidney disease.   By 1950 there were over 1 million hypertensive patients living on the rice/fruit diet.  With the advent of pills that promised easy relief, and pharmaceutical awe, the highly effective Kipner diet went by the wayside.  For further information see resource D.
     Reference:
          D)             For information on the Kipner rice fruit diet contact Wayne Martin, 25 Orchard Drive, Fairhope, AL  36532.
 
THERAPEUTIC ELECTROMEMBRANES FOR PAIN
     A reportedly safe and drug-free approach to the management of pain, therapeutic electromembranes, may be applied to soft tissue injuries and many chronic conditions including trauma, strains, neck pain, arthritis, tennis elbow, fracture, back ache, knee injuries and others.  For further information and availability see resource E.
     Reference:
          E)             Power Formulas, Box 2849, Caples Plaza, Vancouver, WA  98668, 1-800- 535-3581.
 
CALCIUM OXALATE AND KIDNEY STONES
     Both animals and people commonly develop kidney stones composed of calcium oxalate crystals.  Since these stones are in part made up of calcium, it is a common recommendation that the intake of calcium should be decreased.  Recent research, however, has shown the exact opposite of what was so "apparent."  The results of a study of almost 46,000 men showed that a high dietary calcium intake can actually decrease the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.  The mechanism postulated is that dietary calcium in the digestive tract precipitates oxalate and thus prevents oxalate absorption.  Oxalate absorption into the blood from the digestive tract and then urinary excretion of it provide the substrate for crystal formation. 
     The recommendation, therefore, with calcium oxalate stones is 1) to drink sufficient water to keep the urine volume above 2 quarts per day.  By drinking increased water the components of the stones are diluted and washed out in the urine.  2) Oxalate rich foods should be decreased.  These foods include:  draft beer, peanut butter, celery, sweet potatoes, spinach, strawberries, raspberries, pecans.  3) There is no need to eat a diet that is low in calcium.
     Reference:
          New England Journal of Medicine, March 25 1993: 832- and 880-
 
PESTICIDES AND CHILDREN'S CANCER
     The use of pesticides is so ubiquitous it is virtually impossible to eat without consuming them.  Many pesticides are known carcinogens.
     For children, the risk is even greater because of their increased food consumption.   In a study of over 20,000 samples of fruits and vegetables gathered nation-wide, the levels of pesticides were compared to the levels estimated to cause a health risk. 
     The results demonstrated that onethird of a child’s lifetime risk from exposure to some pesticides accumulates by the age of 5.  By the child’s first birthday, the average American’s exposure to some carcinogenic pesticides will exceed the federal government’s lifetime acceptable cancer risk.  While scientists are busy calculating how many billionths of a nanogram of this or that pesticide might cause a tumor in your child’s brain, why not just try to clean up your food?  Try to find sources of organic meats, grains and produce and use them.  If you think they are costly, think again.  When you compare their cost to the cost of treating your child for leukemia and the devastation to your family, they're cheap—real cheap.  For sources of organic foods see resource F.
     Reference:
          F)             Organic food (If not available locally, contact the Wysong Institute for a supplier source.).  If your local supermarkets of health food stores don't have organic food available, ask them for a reference to an organic source for you.
 
SMOKING AND OSTEOPOROSIS
     A study of 41 pairs of female twins measuring the degree of osteoporosis in those who smoked, as opposed to those who did not, demonstrated that women who smoke one pack of cigarettes per day will, by the time of menopause, have an average deficit of five to ten percent in bone density, significantly increasing their risk of fracture.
     Reference:
          New England Journal of Medicine, February 10, 1994: 387
 
EXERCISE AS HEALER
     Exercise is something anyone can do and reap almost immediate health benefits.  One study of 17,000 Harvard graduates showed that men who expended just 2,000 calories a week by exercising, reduced their death rates from all causes by 28% and lived an average of more than two years longer than their sedentary classmates.
     Being inactive about doubles your risk of heart disease, making it a comparable risk to smoking.  Even plaque build-up in the arteries can regress with exercise of at least five to six hours each week.
     Regular exercise can also reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
     A study of 5,000 Japanese-American men over a period of twenty-two years showed that those who were inactive had almost four times the risk of stroke than those who exercised regularly.
     A study of women college athletes showed they had half the risk of developing Type II Diabetes compared to their non-athletic classmates.  Even once-a-week vigorous exercise reduces the risk of diabetes by 23% according to one study of over 21,000 men.
     Weight-bearing exercise such as lifting weights can not only build the strength of bones, it strengthens the muscles and ligaments that surround bones and joints to better protect them in the event of a fall.
     Even the risk of cancer is believed to be decreased by regular exercise.  In one study of men who were at least moderately active, it was found that they were 50% less likely to develop colon cancer compared to their less active counterparts.
     Reference:
          Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, February, 1994: 2
 
EXERCISE AND HEART ATTACKS
     About 75,000 heart attacks and about 25,000 deaths each year occur soon after exertion.  This knowledge scares some people away from exercise.  Such exertion-related heart attacks are, however, normally associated with those who are sedentary.  The cause is, therefore, also capable of becoming the solution.  By gradually working into an exercise program with increasingly challenging goals, fitness can be increased and the risk of heart attack from exertion eliminated, i.e. exercise can prevent exercise-induced heart attacks.
     Exercise remains as one of the most remarkable actions that any person can take to dramatically improve health in an extremely short period of time.  You can start on your own, or go to a local health club and see if they have a fitness trainer who can work you into a program.  Either way, by increasing your exercise capacity you increase your resistance to disease.
     Reference:
          New England Journal of Medicine, December 2, 1993: 1677-
 
HEARTBURN
     Gastrointestinal reflux (stomach acid moving up into the esophagus) may be prevented by one or more of the following:
     •Don't overeat
     •Eat more frequent smaller meals
     •Avoid high fat foods
     •Avoid coffee, alcohol, chocolate and peppermint.
     Reference:
          Johns Hopkins Health After 50, March, 1994: 8
 
INCREASING YOUR ACID
     As I described in previous issues (Vol. 7, No. 9; 7, 10) peptic ulcers and various forms of indigestion may not be a result of too much acid, but rather a result of too little.   Apple cider vinegar is a fermented apple juice product that is very acidic.  By mixing two teaspoons in water to drink with a meal, relief may occur.  If you do this and find that you have worse indigestion and burning, then indeed you may have a problem of excess acid and the apple cider vinegar cocktail may not be for you.  If it works, then you may well have a problem of too little stomach acid, which most people suffer from as they age, and you can continue to use it as long as you receive benefit.
     Some holistic practitioners also recommend apple cider vinegar for various types of musculoskeletal pain, including that of arthritis.  Arguably, by acidifying the system, the mineral salts that can precipitate in tissues to cause the pain are solubilized, thus creating relief.
     To obtain a very high-quality organic apple cider vinegar see resource G.
     Reference:
          G)             Apple cider vinegar (If not available locally, contact the Wysong Institute for a supplier source.). 
          Health and Wellness, May, 1992: 2- 
 
HOW TO LOOK OLDER
     Appearing at least five years older than your age is correlated with tobacco use, frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages and high amounts of time engaged in outdoor leisure activities.
     Reference:
          New England Journal of Medicine, July 22, 1992: 281
 
CATHETERIZATION DEATHS
     Cardiac catheterization for diagnostic purposes or for angioplasty is not without risk.   A study of 31,000 cases between the years 1977 and 1991 demonstrated a risk of .1%. In this study, the number of deaths were 32.   This sounds small out of 31,000, unless you're one of the 32.  Don't assume that medical intervention, just because it is a diagnostic test, is without risk.
     Reference:
          Journal of the American Medical Association, November 3, 1993: 2042
 
GASTRIC RUPTURE FROM CIRCUMCISION
     A two-day old infant, while undergoing circumcision strapped to a circumcision board, began crying.  His abdomen became distended, he vomited and a tube was passed into his stomach.  He was then circumcised without anesthesia.  He cried vehemently for 90 minutes.  His stomach ruptured as a result.  Certainly an unnecessary injury for an unnecessary mutilation, circumcision.  (See Vol. 7 No. 8; 7, 9 for a thorough discussion of the dangers of circumcision).
 
GABA FOR ANXIETY
     Glutamine, glutamic acid, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) comprise the most prevalent amino acid group found in brain tissue. 
     Many drugs designed to alter moods create their effects by either augmenting or inhibiting the brain's natural biochemicals.  For example, Benzodiazepines are a group of calming drugs that stimulate gama-amino butyric acid receptors.  Since gamma-amino butyric acid is a calming agent, this is how this group of pharmaceuticals works. 
     Some people taking drugs such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Prozac and Halcion have been able to eliminate their usage by taking supplemental GABA.  GABA is also reportedly effective in epilepsy and spasticity syndromes.
     The synthesis of GABA by the body is increased by vitamin B6, manganese, and the amino acids taurine and lysine.  These nutrients are in high concentrations in meats and organs, but also can be found in various plant foods.  By eating fresh, whole, natural foods in variety, levels of GABA in the brain can be increased naturally.  If a supplement of GABA is desired, dosages from 200 mg. four times a day to 750 mg. three times a day have been suggested.  One-half of the contents of a 750 mg. capsule can be sprinkled under the tongue or dissolved in water for more immediate action prior to an event that is known to bring on anxiety.
     Even though GABA is a natural amino acid found within the brain, it is not a natural food per se.  GABA as an isolated chemical is not found within nature; it must be manufactured.  Although such natural compounds, including amino acids and vitamins, are reported to be far more safe than their synthetic pharmaceutical counterparts, caution in the use of any isolated synthetic compound is advised.  Try to use these only as emergency measures as you try to improve your diet and life-style, nurturing your body to reach its own natural balances.
     Reference:
          The Healing Nutrients Within by Eric Braverman and Carl Pfeiffer, pp. 191-210, Keats Publishing, 1987;  Health and Healing, March, 1994: 2
 
PERSONALITY AND LONGEVITY
     Although it is commonly believed that optimistic, cheerful people will outlive their more serious counterparts, recent research indicates otherwise.  Continual cheerfulness may in fact even indirectly shorten life.
     These results come from a study of 1178 men and women from 1920 through 1986.  The traits most associated with increased longevity included conscientiousness, social dependability, high motivation, high self-esteem, humor, sociability, high energy, and permanency of moods. 
     It is theorized by researchers at the University of California that more prudent individuals are more likely to have better overall self-care habits.  This would include being organized and trying to plan for the unexpected.  On the other hand, the perpetually cheerful, optimistic person may underestimate the dangers in life and may not only fall directly victim to them, but be emotionally devastated when things turn out in an unanticipated way.
     The Health Letter should be an excellent aid in helping you develop prudent traits.  Our Letter's theme is that we indeed do live in a dangerous world and learning of these dangers and taking preventive measures can do much to increase long healthful life.  The prevalent flip attitude of not worrying about such things as food and the environment and life-style will, therefore, not only endanger you, your family and indirectly the rest of society by your lack of concern and actions, but will set you up for emotional devastation as an unsuspecting, helpless victim.
     Reference:
          Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in the Menninger Letter, March, 1994: 6
 
CAFFEINE, A DRUG ADDICTION
     The Pepsi ad campaign, "Gotta Have It" is more than a slogan.  Individuals who simply must have their morning coffee or cola have a drug addiction which will result in serious withdrawal symptoms if discontinued.  Headaches can become so severe they will alarm individuals enough to seek medical attention.  Infantry men who are severed from their coffee source in the field know well the horrors of caffeine withdrawal.  As mentioned previously, one of the keys to good nutritional health is variety.       Anything consumed day after day is potentially harmful and certainly anything that is addictive can be considered harmful.       To withdraw from coffee or caffeine-laced soft drinks, drink a little less each morning for a period of two to four weeks until you can go without, without having withdrawal symptoms.  The freedom that results from conquering an addiction is worth the temporary discomfort.  The health benefits, yet to be fully measured or even discovered, will surely emerge.   Millions of people guzzling tanker boat loads of caffeine and additive-laden drinks daily, literally bathing their tissues twenty four hours a day in these brews, simply cannot be doing themselves any good.  If we aren't benefiting health by our actions, we are damaging it.       There is no neutral ground.
     Scrutinize very closely anything you consume without let up day after day.
     Reference:
          Science News, December 5, 1992: 287
 
CHILDHOOD VACCINE DANGERS
     The United States National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine has reported the following adverse effects from childhood vaccines:
     1. Allergic reactions to diptheria and tetanus toxoids, hepatitis B vaccine, measles vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
     2. Death from measles-vaccine-strain infection.
     3. Thrombocytopenia from measles-mumps rubella vaccine.
     4. Death from polio vaccine-strain infection.
     5. Brachial neuritis and Gullain-Barre syndrome from diptheria and tetanus toxoids.
     6. Guillain-Barre syndrome from oral polio vaccine.
     7. Early onset HIB disease from unconjugated HIB vaccine.
     There is compelling evidence in the scientific literature demonstrating that vaccines are neither safe nor have they eradicated disease.  Before subjecting yourself or your children to vaccines, become fully informed.  For mind-opening information on the vaccine controversy, see resource H.
     Reference:
          H)             See Vaccine/Immunology section of books in the Wysong Library catalog, 1880 North Eastman, Midland, MI  48640.
          The Lancet, September 25, 1993: 798
 
DECREASING FAT IN DESSERTS
     To reduce the amount of fat in desserts and other baked dishes, substitute apple sauce or fruit puree such as banana, prune or pumpkin, for some or all of the oil or butter called for in the recipe.
     Reference:
          Wellness Letter, September, 1993: 7
 
BETTER THAN WHOLE WHEAT
     Wheat grain is a dormant seed.  As such it is not digestible unless it is cooked so that the starches gelatinize.  But cooking destroys many nutrients.  Although whole wheat cooked products are certainly better than refined white flour products, they do not compare to the nutritional value of the sprouted seed.  Nutrients not only aren't lost with sprouting, they are multiplied.  (Vol. 3 No. 1; 5, 2)  To sprout, use organic seeds.  I like the larger Kamut variety.  (Resource I)   Soak in warm water for 24 hours, drain and then rinse 2-3 times a  day until you see a small white bud coming from the seed.  Then refrigerate the sprouted grain so the bud does not get too long.  They are most nutritional when the bud is about 1/8" - 1/4" long. 
     Sprinkle on cereals, salads, sandwiches or any dish.  By doing so you are getting nature with its goodness multiplied and unaltered.   These sprouts are a bounty of bioavailable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids and carbohydrates.
     Reference:
          I)             Kamut wheat seeds for sprouting (If not available locally, contact the Wysong Institute for a supplier source.).
 
AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT RETROFIT
     In April of 1989, the National Resources Defense Council moved into new office space in a gut rehabilitated industrial building in New York City.  Lighting energy consumption was reduced up to 80% compared with the typical retrofit for an existing building.  Lighting and advanced window and wall treatments substantially reduced internal and external gains.  Cooling and heating energy consumption are estimated to be reduced by 50% and 70% respectively which allowed mechanical equipment to be down-sized.  It is estimated that if these measures were adopted on a national scale over the next twenty years, 40,000 megawatts of baseload capacity could be avoided at a savings of 60 to 80 billion dollars.  By not constructing these power plants, we could avoid emitting 175 million tons of carbon dioxide per year into the atmosphere - over 3% of current U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.  To receive a copy of an interesting report detailing this project and for ideas on renovations you might be able to make in your next building project, see resource J.
     Reference:
          J)             Contact the NRDC, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY  10011, and ask for a case study of Energy Efficient Building Retrofit.
 
BON VOYAGE
     Disgusted with the decay of liberty in the United States and the absence of good alternatives elsewhere in the world, founders of The Atlantis Project are engineering from scratch a new floating country/city called Oceana.  This new country is to be located 50 miles off the coast of Panama to, according to founders, provide a haven for those tired of oppressive taxation, the failing educational system, the welfare state and the glut of regulation, and who desire a capitalist paradise which is a haven for free thought and justice.
     I have received a brochure from this project and the concept is indeed intriguing.   They are seeking support and new citizens as they try to push this bold, new idea forward.
     I personally wish them success, for if they can do as they project and create a free and just society, it will at least send a powerful message to the rest of the nations on Earth that people are fed up and don't want to take it anymore.  For a free brochure describing their project, see resource K.
     Reference:
     K)             For a brochure describing the new floating country, contact The Atlantis Project, 4132 South Rainbow Blvd., Suite 388, Las Vegas, NV  89103, 1-702-897-8320. E-mail: oceania@world.std.com.          POLITICAL ACTION
     The National Tax Payers Union believes the country is in serious jeopardy and that national bankruptcy is imminent without political reform.  To learn about this group's interesting agenda and perhaps get involved, see resource L.  Again, the idea is to take control.  If you're irked about our political/economic mess don't just sit there and stew and make yourself sick; take action.
     Reference:
     L)             National Taxpayers Union, 325 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC, 20003  1-800-TAX-HALT.
Strategic Investment, March 16, 1994: 11
 
ESCAPING 
     The whole world is thinking in international terms.  Borders are coming down, immigration is increasing and trade is broadening.   World-wide computer informational networking will likely be the single most powerful force to eventually erase all borders. 
     With now nearly two-thirds of the world's 9-trillion dollars in equity investments outside the U.S.A, a global view, rather than a provincial or nationalistic one, is smart.
     I have mentioned before the value of looking at international financial diversification.  To this end we mentioned to you the excellent newsletter produced by Dave Muller, Foreign Markets Advisory.  He has agreed to send a free issue to any Health Letter subscriber who requests a copy. (Resource M)
     For another newsletter with a broader scope and more exhaustive review of world events as they relate to economics, contact the Harry Schultz Letter (subtitled, "...The Letter for Millionaires [current & prospective]...") in resource N.  Even if you are not an investor, this excellent 30 year-old newsletter makes a great read for those who desire to keep a finger on the pulse of world events and benefit from the sage prognostications of Dr. Harry Schultz. 
     For the adventuresome who might be interested in owning property abroad perhaps on an enchanting, secluded island, contact Island Properties Report (Resource O) and Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report. (Resource P) for a sample issue and subscription information.
     Reference:
          M)             Foreign Markets Advisory, P.O. Box 75, Fairfax Station, VA  22039  1-703-425-5961.
          N)             Harry Schultz Letter, HSL, P.O. Box 622, CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland.   Phone +32 16 533684, Fax +32 16 535777.   Subscriptions: 1 year, $275.
          0)             Island Properties Report, 4061 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 201, Bonita Springs, FL  33923  1-800-801-1810.
          P)             Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, Harper's Associates, Inc., Box 300, Whitefish, MT  59937.  Subscriptions: 1 year, $100.