Dr. R. L. Wysong
August 1995
     For more than 100 years after the Industrial Revolution began, increased productivity led to decreased working hours.  Time spent on the job changed from 12 or more hours, 6 to 7 days a week, to 10 hour days and finally to the present 8 hour days 5 days a week.  I can remember social planners wondering about what the masses were going to do as the work week shrunk more and more.
     Now, although productivity has more than doubled per hour of work since 1945, the work week has not decreased.  In fact it has increased for many and has expanded to 2 wage earners per family.
Desirable modern goods are now only appropriate for high incomes and long hours.  To achieve the good life, people press on.  Job stress is of epidemic proportions and stress from economic woes is perhaps the single most divisive factor in modern families.
     Things are not getting better.  Companies are not expanding their work force or encouraging shorter work hours.  Under pressure to compete in an increasingly difficult marketplace, they expect more, not less, devotion to work and are trimming any and all excess fat.   Downsizing has become the buzz word in corporate America.
     This is the end consequence of generations of movement toward a socialistic welfare-style state.  Government has become obsessed with how to spend, rather than how to earn money.  They see it as their "moral" duty (in direct contradiction to the constitution) to make sure no one becomes too wealthy by taking from the productive and giving to the nonproductive - the fundamental tenant of Marxist communism.  (See Vol. 6, No. 9) Today’s entrepreneur, the very foundation of economic growth, is essentially treated like an enemy of the state.  Burdensome regulations stacked against building and growing and product development greatly inflate business costs.  Couple this with escalating taxes, IRS compliance, (an audit can take years and cost thousands of dollars in man hours to get through, since tax payers are assumed guilty until proven innocent) nonsensical zoning, OSHA, FDA, EPA and labeling regulations designed to justify bureaucracy rather than protect the public and you have a formula for business retraction, not growth.  Add to this the social costs of employees, such as unemployment compensation, matching social security taxes, and expected benefits such as medical, dental, vacation, clothing, travel, eating, etc., combined with the inherent right of employees to sue employers for basically any trumped up reason, and it is little wonder companies seek ways to expand other than by adding employees.
     What is needed is a free economy.  We need a government that is trim, balances its books, and prevents criminal offense and protects the common good.  A national sales tax or similar revision should be implemented to replace the intrusive income tax and its enforcement agencies. The redistribution of wealth by the state should cease.
     Given the resultant friendly climate, business would flourish in this country and (provided there is a dramatic litigation overhaul) more workers would be hired, wages to productive people would be increased and work time and obligations decreased.
This in turn could result in a happier, more content productive and creatively challenged population which could have an incredibly beneficial impact on all of the present family, social - and health - ills we now face.
          Scientific American, August 1994: 89
     Some genes come in several varieties called polymorphisms.  If you receive certain polymorphic genes you can become susceptible to some diseases.  But this susceptibility is only true if you adopt particular lifestyles.
     For example, there is a gene that provides the blueprint for production of M-acetyltransferase, which is an enzyme used to destroy various chemical carcinogens.  Those individuals who have slow acetylator genes were found to be much more susceptible to the aromatic amines found in tobacco smoke, for example.   Slow acetylators who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day are in fact 8 times more likely to develop breast cancer than nonsmokers   not possessing this slow acetylator polymorphic gene.
     Women who begin smoking early in life, in their teens, face the greatest cancer threat, and slow acetylators who do not smoke face no excess threat of breast cancer at all.
     Thus, as discussed at some length in the last issue, we may be a victim of a set of weaker genes only if we choose a lifestyle that is not healthy.  (See Resource A further reading on this subject.)
          Science News, May 6, 1995: 280
          A)             The Betrayal of Health, by Joseph D. Beasley, M.D. - this book makes clear the deep link between sickness and society, between chronic disease and social disorder.  276 pp., soft cover.  Available from the Wysong Library Catalog, 1880 N. Eastman, Midland, MI  48640.
     Coxsackie viruses can be either benign or virulent.  They infect more than 20 million people annually in the United States alone and can cause illness ranging from colds to inflammation of the heart.  But the vast majority of people do not develop disease since the majority of the viruses are benign.  Only about 10,000 people per year become ill.
     In a recent study of mice, it was found that the Coxsackie viruses that were resident in mice eating a diet deficient in the trace mineral selenium developed an inflammatory heart disease.  Upon further investigation it was found that the mineral deficiency actually caused the emergence of a new virulent strain of the virus.  It had undergone six changes in the sequence of the nucleotides that make up ribonucleic acid (deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid are the active chemicals within genetic materials).
     Furthermore, it was found that the altered viruses from the deficient mice could then infect and cause disease in mice who were eating a diet that was not deficient.    
     Though it was not at all necessary to infect, kill and mutilate untold numbers of mice to create this piece of information, the evidence indeed provides strong empirical proof that the basis for altered health may not at all be an attack from outside, i.e. an infective agent.  Rather, disease is due to lifestyle and nutrition that make the field ripe and even cause benign organisms to become disease agents.
          Ibid: 276
     Firearm-related injuries now rival deaths from motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in the United States.  Firearm-related injuries are now the eighth leading cause of death and the fourth leading cause of years of potential life lost before the age of 65 in the United States.
     Aside from this, there are almost three times the number of nonfatal firearm-related injuries to fatal injuries.  In just one year there were almost 100,000 such nonfatal injuries.
The mean hospital charge per admission for firearm-related injuries is over $52,000. 
     It is incredible to think that your risk of being shot to death is as great as your risk of being in a fatal automobile accident.  The difference is automobile accidents are normally just that, accidents.  Fatal gun shot wounds are usually designed and purposed.  An accident is kind of one of those things, whereas gun shot wounds are because you are a victim of a predator.
     Not much I can tell you here about how to prevent violent injury other than the obvious: move to a safer area, learn self-defense, secure your home, choose your friends carefully, watch where you travel, and seek help if you abuse or are abused by a family member.
     Violence will always exist, but there is no need for it to be on the scale it is in modern society.  As I repeatedly mention in the Health Letter, maintaining control of your life and trying to effect political and economic changes that liberate people to better their economic status can do much to change the rise in violence.  For example, it has been shown that there is a six fold difference in interracial domestic homicide between blacks and whites and these are entirely accounted for by differences in socioeconomic status between the respective black and white populations.
          The Journal of the American Medical Association, June 14, 1995: 1749-, 1755-1768-
     If a farmer wishes to increase milk production in his herd, he culls out the poor producing cows and increases reproduction in the high producers.  Dog breeders, mink producers, pig raisers and crop farmers all do similar selective breeding and culling in order to achieve desirable features in their product.
     In the wild, all creatures are subject to similar selective pressures.  Those who are the most fit survive to pass on their stronger genetics to future generations.  Those who are less fit do not survive and thus their line is ended. 
     The only creature in the world which is not significantly subject to either intentional or natural selective pressures is the human.  We call it freedom and compassion to vigorously defend the right of any person to produce progeny... and as many as they want.  This, in spite of the fact that the world is headed toward a population precipice and humans unable to properly care for themselves create a financial burden on the rest of society.
     The need to control both the quality and quantity of the human population is obvious.  But this is so socially and politically inflammatory an issue that no one wants to touch it.  In “developed” nations who vehemently defend the rights of individuals regardless of the toll on the rest of society, change will either never occur or only occur when the problem reaches crisis proportion - at which time reversal may not be possible. 
     Say what you may about the seeming draconian politics of China, they at least have a view to the future and are making attempts at rational solutions while there is still time left.  For example, a new law on maternal and infant health care is designed to “improve the quality of births.”  A premarital checkup is required and if unsatisfactory would require the couple to either postpone marriage or take long-term or permanent contraceptive measures.  Couples intending to marry will have to present premarital checkup certificates and since cohabitation is frowned upon, marital relations are essentially denied to anyone not having the premarital checkup certificates.
     The certificates measure serious hereditary diseases, contagious diseases, and mental disorders.   For couples failing the test, marriage is only permitted if the couple will take long-lasting contraceptive measures.
     Additionally, fetal monitoring will occur and if a fetus has a serious hereditary disease or deformity, abortion is mandatory. 
     China has a population control policy of one child per couple.  The new law also requires the careful monitoring of dead newborns in an attempt to curtail the present practice of stifling, the drowning of unwanted daughters immediately after delivery which are presently being reported as still births.  Couples feel their genetic line is only passed through a male and thus having only a female child is undesirable.
     Think what we may about such eugenic and social controls of our behavior, they may be the best of all the bad options.  If the quality and quantity of the human population, as well as our behavior (such as environment destruction) are not controlled now, what will be the ultimate consequences?  If some of our freedoms must be restricted  now in order to maintain a decent world for our children, might this not have to be the price paid?  The alternative is to allow society to continue as it is unbridled and socialistically removing income from the healthy productive segment of society to support those "less fit." 
     Such design works nowhere else in nature.  What makes us think it will work with humans?  Then when resources are gone, and we are choking and gagging on our own waste, and economic bounty does not exist to care for those unable to maintain themselves, the whole world will suffer unspeakable disease and death which would certainly outweigh the misery of having rational controls now.
     I am not here advocating China’s policy or any other particular method of solving these consternating problems.  It is certain, however, that we face world-scope problems that should be addressed as early as possible with foresight if we are to leave behind a better world.  It is also clear that ultimately we will have to endure some kind of control over reproduction if our species is ever to improve and the human species remain on our finite world.
          The Lancet, November 12, 1994: 1355
     Any time anyone speaks with absolute certainty about anything we should be suspicious.  Particularly should we be suspicious when people pontificate about what can directly affect health and well-being.  The only thing we can be certain of is that we cannot be certain.
     For example, even the number of elements we learned in the periodic table in our first chemistry class is constantly undergoing change.  Scientists are currently fighting over what to name newly discovered elements #109, #110 and #111.  (In 1920, there were only 92 kinds of atoms known.)  On the other hand, astrophysicists tell us that 90% of the matter in the universe is as yet undetected and unidentified.
     With the basic elements upon which all of the physical universe is built not yet fully known, and 90% of what exists in the universe undiscovered, how can we be so certain about anything?
     Given our minuscule place in the greater natural scheme of things, there is safety only in humility.
          Scientific American, March 1995: 21
     Nature contains marvels beyond our comprehension, much less our ability to synthesize.  A  strand in a spider’s web, for example, has the strength of steel.  A completed web is so strong and resilient that on the human scale a web strung in the sky would have the ability to catch a passenger airplane. 
     How do threads less than 1/1000  of a millimeter in diameter have the capability of dissipating the kinetic energy of relatively huge insects flying into them?  If the web is not right, the insects simply fly through or they bounce off as if from a trampoline.
     It is not only the molecular structure of the strands that contain the answer, but also their minute size that causes the completed web to act like ropes in water.  On this minuscule scale, air is to a spider’s web what water is to a rope.  In this way the kinetic energy from the bugs is dissipated as the web moves in response to the impact.  
     We are only beginning to understand something like spider webs.  Yet spider webs are incredibly simply compared to the biology and physiology of a human and its food.  (And, yes, my pet question: How can science claim certainty about nutrition and fabricate synthetic diets claiming them to be 100% complete, when knowledge of food or organisms is so pathetically meager?)
          Science News, January 21, 1995: 38
     The ultimate alchemy is nanotechnology.  This rapidly emerging technology attempts to build ordinary objects from the atoms up, molecule by molecule.   Using atoms as if they were bricks, scientists can gain complete control over the structure of matter and build basically any substance.  Scientists have already been able to isolate individual atoms and move them at will, even using them to spell out words.  These words are so small that the entire Encyclopedia Britannica could be written on the head of a pin.
     This is the kind of future our children face - exciting, but judging from previous results of synthetic capabilities, very scary.
          Science News, June 24, 1995: 386                   
     Each time I return to this topic I feel like I should apologize.  I feel that you will think I am far afield from the health theme of our newsletter.
     But I think few would doubt that a blighted personal financial condition could not severely hamper living a decent life.  If the government is in some way subjugating you or you are barely eecking out a living, there is little time left to give the attention to the luxury of building a full life and maintaining robust health.
     Of all the potential opportunities I have seen presented to citizenry, changing our tax system heads the list for its potential broad beneficial effects.  I have enclosed a flyer from CATS, (Citizens For An Alternative Tax System) which I would strongly encourage you to respond to by requesting an information package.  This is the most intelligent organization I have run across promoting the establishment of a national sales tax in lieu of the present income tax/IRS quagmire.  In contrast to many organizations which use funds to build their internal organization, CATS is highly motivated to efficiently effect tax revision.  In their information package you will be told how you can write letters and make the contacts necessary to help create the ground swell of public support needed to cause these changes.
     Tax revision is beginning to take center stage in the national political debate.  Stay informed and get behind the coming tax revolution.
     Asthma is on the increase.  In the decade of the 80’s, it increased almost 50% in people aged less than 20 years.  Smaller but substantial increases were also seen in middle aged and older people as well.
     Since asthma cannot be blamed on other infectious agents, its increase in incidence must be related to something that is happening within our environment.  Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that environmental pollutants and diet are related to the increased incidence of this disease.  There is good reason to believe that mass immunizations flooding the body with modified infective agents may also disrupt the ability of the body to appropriately respond immunologically, resulting in allergies and autoimmunities as well.
     Free radical oxidants produced endogenously (within the body itself) are increased by exogenous (outside the body) oxidants such as cigarette smoke, and decreased by vitamin C.  Free radical oxidants are produced in excess endogenously by the overactive inflammatory response ongoing in asthma.  Vitamin C is the major antioxidant present on the mucous lining of the respiratory tract and is thus very important in acting as an antioxidant here.  Vitamin C is also important in regenerating vitamin E after it has served as an antioxidant.
     Reduce exposure to environmental pollutants, be wary of vaccinations (see Vol. 8, No. 9), and increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Consider supplementary food-source antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E to decrease the incidence and severity of asthma.  (See Resources B and C, also see Resource D for further reading on the power of vitamin C in fighting disease.)
          B)             Wysong Food C™ a concentrated food-only source of vitamin C. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
          C)             Wysong Food A•C•E™ a concentrated food-only source of vitamins A, C & E. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
          D)                 Vitamin C: The Master Nutrient, by Sandra Goodman, Ph.D. - presents the startling new research proving the power of vitamin C in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, cataracts, diabetes, heart disease and AIDS.  176 pp., soft cover.  Available from the Wysong Library Catalog, 1880 N. Eastman, Midland, MI  48640.
          American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1995: 625S-
     The pain response to vaccination of 60 boys as related to whether they were or were not circumcised was studied.  It was determined that median visual analog scores and higher behavioral pain scores and crying longer were associated with the boys who were circumcised.
     I have previously discussed the issue of genital mutilation.  One organization, the National Organization of Circumcision Resource Centers, has a significant following.  It produces books and newsletters demonstrating the adverse impact of circumcision on adults.  For some time they have suggested that the cruel surgical procedure performed on boys has a very significant psychological impact that is carried even into adult life.  This study certainly corroborates in part their suspicions.
     Male circumcision in this country is the most common neonatal surgical procedure.  It causes severe pain and measurable changes in behavior.  In this study it was found that pain response to vaccinations four to six months after circumcision was increased in circumcised children. 
     Who fully understands the impact of such trauma on a developing infant?  Could what is implanted into the psyche by this cruel mutilation surface later in life as any number of psychological disturbances?  (To pursue this topic further, see Resource E.)
          E)             Say No To Circumcision!, by Thomas J. Ritter, M.D. - provides compelling information that explodes the myth that routine newborn circumcision does no harm.  90 pp., soft cover.
          The Lancet, February 4, 1995: 291
     A study was undertaken to determine how music would assist older adults experiencing symptoms of depression, distress and anxiety.  30 elderly adults were randomly assigned to groups either receiving music therapy, or to a nonmusic control group.  Participants in the music groups performed significantly better than the controls on standardized tests of depression, distress, self-esteem and mood.  Though the program was only of eight-week duration, the improvement was maintained over a nine-month follow-up period.
     Learn to play an instrument, take voice lessons, join a choir, get a new sound system and enjoy the music you like most.  This will be cheap, enjoyable therapy to keep you upbeat and optimistic about life.  With this will come the additional bonuses of better health since mood directly impacts the immune system.
          Journal of the American Medical Association, May 3, 1995: 1318
     Its been suggested that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) might be a result of various additives such as antimony, arsenic, and phosphorus present in the polyvinylchloride mattress covers on children’s beds.  The soluble antimony salts may be leached from mattress covers by perspiration and urine.  The microbial generation of volatile toxic products from these additives might cause SIDS.  Some 30 different microorganisms have been identified in children’s mattresses.  Some of these  possess the biochemical capabilities of producing these toxic compounds.
     The microbe Helicobacter pylori is associated with stomach ulcers.  In a study of water samples from Narino, Columbia, an area with one of the world’s highest rates of ulcers, the infective agent was found.  In Narino more than 90% of the population harbor the bacterium. 
     In the United States more than 30% of the population also harbor the microbe.  Tests are now under way to determine if U.S. water supplies are contaminated with it.
     While researchers look for evidence, don't wait for their debate to end, use only purified water, preferably prepared right at home with your own purifiers.  (See Resource F)
          F)             Water purification systems. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
          Science News, June 10, 1995: 67
     Both early age of first menstruation and late age for menopause are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.  As previously mentioned in the Health Letter, the increased number of ovulations from early menarche and late menopause causes an increasing level of estrogens in the body which is related to breast cancer.  It is suggested by some that both early menarche and late menopause may result from obesity, the use of gonadal hormones such as estrogens and progestins and number and timing of deliveries.
     A natural diet will prevent obesity in young children and with that, help prevent early onset of menarche.  Avoidance of gonadal type hormones as used for birth control and menopause could also help decrease this disease.  Additionally, having children (with restraint, considering world population problems) and nursing them is also preventive.
          New England Journal of Medicine, June 15, 1995: 1589
     Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cows to increase milk production by 5-15%. 
     Essentially every long-term use of hormones in animals or humans has resulted in catastrophe.  Consumers should be highly suspicious of this technology since there is no benefit to consumers, leaving only potential harm.
     Reported problems in cattle have increased from 96 to 806 in six months.  Adverse reactions included death, mastitis (udder infection), bloody milk, spontaneous abortions and retained placenta.  If the cows aren't healthy, how can their milk be?
          Natural Foods Merchandiser, May 1995: 12
     For the past 50 years there has been a trend toward decreasing sperm count and volume of seminal fluid in men.  For the past 30 years several reports suggest that the general reproductive quality of semen in men is declining.  A recent study of data from the past 20 years shows that there is a decline in reproductive quality of semen and an increase in morphologically abnormal cells.
     These are broad based studies spanning decades and no one knows for sure the reason why fertility is waning.   I would suggest male reproductive capacity is simply an index of general failing health as a result of improper diet and lifestyle and increasing environmental pollutant stress.
          New England Journal of Medicine, February 2, 1995: 281
     As I have mentioned in previous issues, a high level of homocysteine is associated with a high risk of atherosclerosis.  Homocysteine increases in the body if there is a deficiency of vitamins such as folate and vitamin B6.
     In a recent study it was shown that there is a direct correlation between plasma homocysteine and stenosis (blockage) of the carotid arteries which course through the neck and feed the head.   Carotid stenosis is a common vascular disease which can lead to death and stroke and is usually a candidate for surgery.
     The evidence from this study and others would make it a wise course of action to make sure you are increasing fresh, whole, vitamin-rich foods as opposed to cooked and processed foods.  Supplementation with a B complex vitamin formula that includes folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 would be a reasonable adjunct.
          Ibid: 286
     Adenocarcinoma of the cervix constitutes about 10-15% of all cervical cancers.  The incidence of the disease doubled in the U.S. for women under 35 between the 1970’s and the 1980’s.  The increase was also greater for women in the 20-35 year old age group in the upper socioeconomic strata.
     Data accumulated from the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program of almost 600 participants demonstrated that the highest risk for adenocarcinoma of the cervix was for women who used oral contraceptives, and in particular for those who used them for more than a period of 12 years.
     Remember, women who took the contraceptives during this time and take them today are usually assured there is absolutely no risk of cancer from taking oral contraceptives. 
     The only thing we must ever doubt is assurance of safety of any medical intervention.
          The Lancet, November 1994: 1390
     Friendly microorganisms that populate the digestive tract compete against pathogenic organisms and also contribute a variety of health benefits such as production of enzymes (such as lactase which helps people digest the lactose in milk products), vitamins and growth factors.   When balances are disrupted and the pathogens predominate, disease can result.
     Acute diarrhea is a common cause of infant morbidity and mortality and has been believed to be associated with a disruption in gastrointestinal microbial populations.
     In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study it was found that infants aged 5 to 24 months who received supplementary probiotic (friendly microorganisms) supplements containing bifidobacterium bifidum and streptococcus thermophylous had a much lower incidence of acute diarrhea and less serious disease.
     Babies breast fed from healthy mothers will receive probiotic organisms right through the breast milk as well as from the mother’s body by way of kissing and handling.  Babies bottle fed do not receive these inoculations of probiotic organisms and are thus more susceptible to life-threatening acute diarrhea.
     This reminds me of a study of chickens I described several years ago.  In an effort to decrease baby chick diseases, farmers increasingly sterilized the environment and separated the baby chicks from their mothers and their feces.  The result?  More chicks died.  Only by feeding the baby chicks excrement from the adults did baby chick health improve.  Why?  Because the excrement from the adults contained probiotic organisms necessary to inoculate the digestive tract of the youngsters so pathogens could be competed against.
     The many benefits of supplemental probiotic organisms make their routine use in infants as well as adults an excellent part of a supplementary armamentaria to maintain health.
          The Lancet, October 15, 1994: 1046
     Angiography is a method by which dyes are injected into blood vessels to make the blood opaque on x-ray films.  This is commonly used to evaluate coronary artery disease since it can demonstrate narrowing of the lumen (opening) within these vessels.
     Results of taking a series of angiographs of patients with coronary artery atherosclerosis demonstrated that those patients who were consuming 100 IUs of vitamin E per day had a reduction in coronary artery lesion progression compared to those who were consuming less than 100 IUs of vitamin E per day.
     Vitamin E is a fat soluble, antioxidant vitamin.  It likely works its antiatherosclerosis effect by decreasing the oxidation of   cholesterol and other free radical-generating chemicals that can cause the lesions within blood vessels that lead to atherosclerosis.
     For years the relationship between vitamins and serious disease has been poopooed by the medical community.  This significant study giving physical visual angiographic evidence that vitamin E reduces the progression of atherosclerosis is a strong vindication for those who have for years been persecuted because they advocated nutritional supplements as a serious means of treating and preventing serious disease.
          Journal of the American Medical Association, June 21, 1995: 1849
     The presence of neurological dysfunction is associated with behavioral and cognitive development at school age.  Infants who are neurologically impaired evidently experience a generalized neurological deficiency that can express itself as an intellectual deficiency later in life.  A study of 135 breast-fed children compared to 391 formula-fed children tested by a standard neonatal neurological examination and then followed up at nine years of age, found the breast-fed children to be neurologically and intellectually superior.
     Breast milk contains a variety of long chain lipids and a host of other nutritional factors not present in steam-cleaned, embalmed, bottle foods.  These nutrients are necessary for the neurological development of infants.  Parents who do not breast-feed, automatically jeopardize not only the neurological and intellectual, but the immunological and overall development of their children.
          The Lancet, November 12, 1994: 1319
     A study of 138,905 linemen, electricians, power plant operators and other workers employed by five major electric utility companies from 1950 to 1988 showed that those exposed to the highest level of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from power lines were 2-1/2 times more likely to die of brain cancer than those who had lower exposures.
     As I have mentioned in previous issues of the Health Letter, we are only now discovering the tip of the EMF iceberg and how it endangers not only those who work or live by power lines, but those even within homes that have high EMF levels.   (See Resource G, for further information on the dangers of EMFs.)
          American Journal of Epidemiology, January 1995
          G)             The Magnetic Blueprint of Life, by Albert Roy David and Walter C. Rawls, Jr. - written with forcefulness and precision, this is a comprehensive guide to the effect of magnetism upon the air we breathe, the food we eat, the exercise we take.  150 pp., soft cover.  Available from the Wysong Library Catalog, 1880 N. Eastman, Midland, MI  48640.
     Recent research has demonstrated that the recommended protein requirement for the elderly is too low.  The mean dietary protein requirement for healthy adult men and women of all ages has been 0.6 g/kg per day (273 mg/lbs per day).  The new recommendation is that the elderly, in particular, should be receiving 1.0 to 1.25 g/kg per day (568 mg/lbs per day).
     With age there are significant changes in body composition, physical functional capacity, physical activity, and food intake.  Also a less vigorous immune system increases the frequency of disease.  All of these factors can increase the requirement for protein.
     This is another example of the ever-changing “requirements” established by researchers.   These new findings represent almost a doubling of the protein requirement previously thought to be adequate.  Remember, since the erroneous lower protein levels were used as a standard in all previous nutritional studies, the results of all nutritional studies testing the adequacy of all other nutrients are now invalid.  In other words, if people were receiving less than the actual protein requirement, the results researchers were obtaining testing for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, selenium and all other nutrients would be confused and erroneous because who knows whether the results were due to inadequate protein or inadequate or excess specific nutrient under examination? 
     Highest quality protein is, unfortunately, from animal sources.  Organic and humanely raised meats, lightly cooked  (not in oils) and boiled, poached or raw, organic eggs, and yogurt prepared as described in previous Health Letters (see Vol. 7, No. 12) would be excellent sources of animal protein.  All plant materials also contain protein, but not of the quality containing the full range of amino acids in the ratios and levels found in animal-derived foods.  Nevertheless, vegetables and fruits eaten in variety can also provide an excellent source for protein.   Some high protein vegetable foods would include legumes such as beans, peanuts, and soy beans (whole extruded soy beans are best, see Resource H).
     Reference: h, 24
          The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 1994: 501
          H)             Wysong Whole Extruded Soy™ a highly nutritious source of whole soybeans. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
     As discussed in a previous issue of the Health Letter (see Vol. 9, No. 5), excess iron in the diet can function as a pro-oxidant increasing free radical disease including coronary heart disease.  If you are tested for iron and found to have excess tissue reserves, it would be well to try to decrease iron in the diet.  An adjunct to decreasing high iron foods such as red meats and dietary supplements containing high levels of iron is to consume whole soy beans which will inhibit iron absorption.   The phytic acid and a component of conglycinin in whole soy beans binds to iron and prevents its absorption.  An excellent food source of whole soy beans is whole extruded soy beans (see Resource H)
          H)             Wysong Whole Extruded Soy™ a highly nutritious source of whole soybeans. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
          Ibid: 567
     205 healthy, nonsmoking, postmenopausal women were studied to determine the effect of caffeine on bone density.  The researchers concluded “daily consumption of caffeine equal to just 2-3 servings of brewed coffee may accelerate bone loss from the spine and total body in women with calcium intakes below 800 mg.”
          American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1994: 573
     Iatrogenic injury is injury caused as a result of medical therapy.  The Capital Medical Practice Study of patients hospitalized in New York state demonstrated that (extrapolated nationally) about a million patients are injured in hospitals each year and approximately 180,000 die annually as a result of these injuries.  Therefore, medical-caused injury dwarfs the annual automobile accident mortality of 45,000 and accounts for more deaths than all other accidents combined.
     If ever caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) applied, it is when you start purchasing medical care.
     The best policy is to take care of yourself and avoid paying others who too often screw up, to do it for you.
          Journal of the American Medical Association, July 5, 1995: 29