- YOUTH HEALTH IS AN ILLUSION
- Health in youth can be an
illusion. Heres why. The young start with clean genetics (usually) and
ride high on the river of growth and sex hormones coursing through their vessels.
Their digestive capacity rivals a garbage disposal, the immune system is well armed,
alert, and has suffered few casualties. Their entire body is incredibly adaptable
and vibrant, healing any injury with quite incredible speed. Given this trove of
healing riches, there can be a lot of squandering without an apparent dent in the health
- The abuse begins with infants
suckling a latex nipple on the other end of which is the granddaddy of all junk foods
baby formula. They then wean to a smorgasbord of nutrient-impoverished
processed foods, and quickly get hooked on every manner of refined carbohydrate laden with
additives (to make food fun) and greased with hydrogenated oils to create just
the right mouth feel. Kids drink oceans of pop, herds of burgers,
several Idahos every year in fries, and enough pizza dough to stretch to the moon and back
several times. They keep ungodly hours once puberty kicks in, may do little exercise
other than tapping buttons on a remote control or a keyboard, and in general seem totally
oblivious to healthy living.
- But they seem healthy.
Not just a little, but a lot. They have tons of energy, sleep like logs, can excel
in school and win state sport championships. Whats the deal? Adults
cant live like that. Wed get sick or kill ourselves trying to keep pace
with their antics. If I ate in just one day, now, what I used to eat back when I was
immortal and had a stomach of cast iron, youd have to tube both ends to keep me
vented and ramrod Tums down the top end to try to quell the conflagration that would
surely incinerate me from the inside out.
- So what youth does is excuse a
lot. But this does not mean all is well. Ive mentioned before that
autopsies of Korean and Vietnam War casualties demonstrated an
extremely high incidence of atherosclerosis, the underlying disease of heart attacks.
These were young service-aged men. They showed no
detectable symptoms of heart disease and in fact were fighting incredibly demanding wars.
But this disease was lurking within, growing, and would have eventually manifested
itself in middle or later years as heart disease or a heart attack.
- Now a new study (1999) of
autopsies performed on almost 3000 men and women, white and black, between the ages of 15
and 34, showed the same results. Atherosclerotic lesions in all the aortas and most
of the right coronary arteries were seen in the youngest age groups (as young as 15!) and
increased in prevalence with age. Men, women, blacks and whites were all affected.
- So, all is not well because the
kids do just fine on Surge, Ding Dongs and Cocoa Puffs. One of the greatest gifts we
can give our kids is intelligent nutrition. They have no idea whats going on.
Besides, they think food is cotton candy and Kool Aid. You must take the
- Heart disease is a nutritional
disease. No, its not from butter or cholesterol. Its from the
dramatic departure we have taken from our genetic roots and the glut of carbohydrates and
nutrient-stripped processed foods we feed our kids because its convenient and they
like it (just like an addict likes their fix).
- Start today. Learn all
you can and implement. Get your kids on the foods they are designed to eat, and save
them an adult lifetime crippled with degenerative disease.
- GENETIC CONTEXT THE FUNDAMENTAL KEY
- To understand how to get to
health, we have to understand where weve been. Lets go back in time
way back. I mean back beyond standing agriculture and even beyond the use of
fire for cooking.
- How long ago was that?
Well, agriculture began about 10,000 years ago and the use of fire in the preparation of
foods likely emerged a little earlier.
- What was life like for these
distant pre-agriculture, pre-cookery ancestors? For one thing, they lived outside,
exposed to fresh air and sunshine daily. They also got plenty of exercise looking
for foods. No grocery stores, no fast food, no pizza delivery and no mail order.
- What did they eat?
Exactly what they could find, catch, and digest. That would include meats, fruits,
nuts, eggs, insects and some vegetables. Thats it. No fries, croissants,
Ding-dongs, Diet Coke, Jolly Ranchers, Twinkies or Pop Tarts. There werent
even any of our modern health foods such as whole wheat bread, pastas,
fortified cereals, tofu or veggie burgers.
- What would have been the
predominant food? Likely prey. Envision yourself placed in this time and
setting, with a family to feed. You would be looking for the most calorie- and
nutrient-dense foods you could find. You would let the herbivores do all the grazing
and digestion with their specialized stomachs, which are capable of converting essentially
any plant material into edible protein and fat. Then you would eat them.
- You would also take advantage
of any fruits, nuts and edible vegetables available. And you would likely not pass up any
scavenging opportunities you came across.
- Notice that wheat, oats,
barley, rice, soybeans and other grains and legumes would not be a part of the diet at
all. First off, we could never find enough of them in the wild to make even much of
a mouthful. Secondly, if we did find them in any quantity they would be toxic to us
without first being cooked or sprouted.
- A common feature of our natural
diet was that it was raw. Yes, even the meats, organs, eggs and insects raw.
Remember were far back in time, even before the use of fire (much less the
microwave, stove, oven, deep fryer or extruder).
- How can we know this is the way
it was? Two clear ways. One is logic: Its reasonable to infer from the
evidence that we were not suddenly dropped from outer space onto earth with fry pans,
matches and rotisseries. We began from zero.
- We had only our natural bodies
in a natural world, exactly like every other creature on earth. Every other
creature on earth eats raw foods exactly like they are found in nature. (We
dont. Do you think nature doesnt notice?)
- Secondly, studies of the diets
of todays still-primitive societies, as well as past cultures that can be studied
paleontologically, show that this is how they lived and clearly reveals this is how they
- So this is where we have been.
It is what we came from. But does this have anything to do with us here today
in the Computer Age on the brink of the 21st century? It has everything to do with
us because it is this expansive historical context, which served as the womb that
shaped and defined us. It is this natural wild setting that occupies the vast
majority of our history. It is the incubator within which life on planet earth has
- TIME PERSPECTIVE
- Lets put our situation in
true perspective. If we drew a time-line 276 miles long, the time during which we
have been consuming modern processed foods (since the Industrial Revolution about 200
years ago) would occupy only about one inch on the last itsy bit of the entire line.
Try to envision this one inch, compared to 276 miles.
- This is an extremely important
concept to understand when attempting to determine healthy life choices. Health is
achieved by matching our genetic makeup (tuned to the 276 miles, not the one inch) to the
proper environment, including foods, (our most intimate, internalized environment).
- For example, a fish is healthy
in water, eating smaller fish and will soon get sick and die if you take it out of
water and try to feed it lasagna. Why? Because eons of genetic adaptations to
water and fish food make these things a requirement for fish health. Its genes are
programmed to accept only specific environmental data. Part of that data is water,
another is smaller fish for food.
- In our case, what are our genes
programmed for? Since 276 miles on the time line represent living in nature eating
raw natural foods, that is the data our genes properly accept... not the new synthetic
environment we have created in the last one inch of time.
- Our genes are an internal code
of the external world. When we are born, our genes fully expect to be dropped onto
the forest floor and remain within that context for a lifetime.
- Therein lies the key to health.
Todays modern world of convenience, cocooning us within air-conditioned
plastic dwellings, breathing polluted air, receiving almost no sunshine, exercising
little, drinking polluted and treated municipal water, and eating a variety of
fractionated, synthetically fortified, processed foods that are barely recognizable as
having ever come from nature, is not what our genes expect. We are, in effect, fish
out of water. Were in a genetic time warp, but we should not confuse our
origins because of this new synthetic world.
- GENETIC MALADAPTATION
- Well, wait a minute.
Cant it be argued that we have by now adapted to this modern environment
including the wonders of food technology?
- No, for many reasons. For
one thing, sufficient time has not elapsed for our genetic makeup to change significantly.
Remember that one inch is nothing compared to 276 miles. It is practically a
drop in the ocean.
- Additionally, consider this
sobering fact: The majority of the diseases of our modern era are what are called
chronic degenerative conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Since these
do not really become manifest or cause death until the later years of life, they cannot
affect to any significant degree the genetics of a population. In
other words, if these diseases which are caused by eating improperly and being out of the
correct genetic context only emerge after a person has reproduced, the children will have
the same genetic weakness as the diseased parents, and no genetic change in a population
- Genetic makeup changes through
selection of mutational differences and survival of the fittest. (This does not mean
I buy macroevolution. See my book, The Creation - Evolution Controversy.)
If our improper living caused diseases that killed before we reproduced, that would
be one thing. If that were the case, only the fit, those who had unique
genetic strength to adapt to this new synthetic world, would survive and thus would have a
chance of changing the genetic makeup of the population through their offspring.
- But, thats not the case.
Before we are culled out of the population by modern degenerative diseases, we
produce children carrying our same degenerative disease-prone genetic makeup. There
thus can be no genetic adaptation to this new environment because, in effect, the unfit
(all of us succumbing to modern degenerative disease) survive long enough to reproduce the
- We are, as a population, thus
genetically doomed to continue to reap the consequences of being out of proper genetic
context generation after generation with no evolutionary hope of salvation from
these degenerative conditions.
- USING INTELLIGENCE
- To overcome this trap we must
use our minds. Our great intellect is in large part there because of the quest for
food. A cow is as smart as it needs to be to figure out how to eat what is always
underfoot. The apex predator man, however, needs great cunning, memory, logic and
- We live in a complex world
where subtle undetected influences can have dramatic impact on long-term health. The
spear and arrow are now replaced with the grocery cart, but even more cunning is necessary
today in order to survive well and remain healthy.
- Opening the door to true health
potential is not hard if you grasp the key. That key is to understand our proper
genetic context as I have just explained. This is the foundation, the heuristic
cornerstone, and the beginning of health enlightenment.
- This concept of tuning our
lives to our genetic roots provides a tool to intellectually evaluate life choices.
A good word here is algorithm, which means a logical framework used to solve
problems. Just like a blueprint algorithm can map the construction of marvelous
edifices and identify flaws in construction, so too can our genetic context algorithm
build health and identify the causes and solutions to health problems.
- How do we apply the algorithm
to achieve maximum health? Simply put, the closer we make our lives to what our
genes were designed for, the greater the chance for health success. That means fresh
air, clean water, exercise, sunshine, rest, pleasant social contact and fresh raw foods to
the degree it is possible to achieve this. Its all-inclusive and involves our
entire life. True health depends on this wisdom and self-management.
- We must use the archetypal
genetic pattern as a model, an algorithm for choice making. The closer we get to the
lifestyle our ancient ancestors in the wild created genes to expect, the greater our
chance for health.
Amer, 1993; 269:86-93
Ethnology and Sociobiology, 1990;11:375-424
- J Food
Lipids, 1993; 1:143-57
Agriculture and Human Evolution, 1983:56-61
RL, The Synorgon Diet How To Achieve Healthy Weight In a World Of Excess,
- Am J
Clin Nutr, 1971; 24:562-73
- Euro J
Clin Nutr, 1997:207-16
Nutrition, 1989; 5:189-191
- RABIES IS ALIVE AND WELL
- In 1997 there were 8,509 cases
of rabies in animals reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Almost 93% of these cases were in wild animals with the remainder being in domestic
species. There was a 19.4% increase in reported cases over 1996 (7,128 cases).
Increases occurred in all species except cattle. Raccoons head the list at
4,300 cases (this is an epizootic now, having spread into 19 states and the District of
- In order of incidence:
skunks 24%, bats 11.3%, foxes 5.3%, cats 3.5%, dogs 1.5% and cattle 1.4%. Bats had an
almost 29.3% increase over 1996, and were responsible for all cases of rabies passed to
humans in 1997. Cases of rabies were reported for 46 of the 48 contiguous states.
- Wild creatures are beguiling
and beautiful. It is their natural inclination to always remain distant from the
apex predator, man. When wild creatures seem more friendly
than usual, caution should be used since any unusual behavior could signal the presence of
- HAIR COMPULSIVE DISORDERS IN ANIMALS AND
- Alopecia (loss of hair) can be
caused by a variety of factors in cats. Included would be dermatophytosis (fungal
infection), demodicosis (mite infestation), atopy (hereditary allergy), food or fleabite
hypersensitivity, endocrine alopecia, and psychogenic alopecia. Since cats are by
nature meticulous groomers, it is difficult to sort out pathology from normal behavior
until alopecia or some other form of dermatological skin disorder appears.
- Psychogenic alopecia can be the
most vexing to diagnose and is usually only able to be identified by ruling out all other
possible causes. Other causes can be determined by skin scraping, and peculiar
patterns of alopecia. For example, loss of hair on the back at the base of the tail is
usually pathognomonic (disease specific) for flea bite allergy. For some unknown
reason, fleas biting an allergic cat anywhere on the body will cause excessive grooming,
biting, licking and hair pulling at the base of the tail.
- Another means of diagnosing
psychogenic alopecia is by observing results after the use of antidepressants such as
clomipramine or amitriptyline. A positive result with these drugs, in the absence of
any other identifiable cause, is the route to the most definitive diagnosis.
- Some of the factors that are
believed to be related to psychogenic alopecia are early weaning, any stressful event or
change such as a move or introduction of another animal into the household, or failure to
allow the cat outside.
- This is yet another
domestication-induced disease in animals. In the wild, cats would nurse until they
are 8-10 weeks old or even longer in some instances. Domesticated kittens are often
prematurely weaned onto processed foods. Additionally, the cat is an intelligent and
clever predator that is psychologically stimulated by the hunt, and usually receives no
such replacement stimulation within the home unless owners actively engage with the cat in
playful activity. Psychogenic alopecia is also breed-related, having a higher
incidence in the Oriental breeds such as the Siamese, Burmese and Himalayans.
- Dogs also have an obsessive
disorder called Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD). Affected animals do behaviors that
are repetitive such as spinning and self-mutilation. Although there are breed
dispositions, there is also likely an environmental factor resulting from domestication
and confinement, in effect, extracting them from their natural, more challenging and
healthful environmental context.
- It is interesting that
trichotillomania (an obsessive-compulsive disorder in people who pull their own hair out)
is likewise related to social and environmental factors such as stress. People who
have trichotillomania could also benefit by regular exercise and creative, challenging,
intellectually stimulating activity. However, long hours of cerebration may in
itself precipitate hair pulling in humans. We were not meant to just sit at desks
and think, but were meant to combine our intellectual activity with physical exercise.
- Since antidepressants are
effective in psychogenic alopecia in cats, these drugs may also benefit humans with
trichotillomania, but before they are used it might be a good idea to try some of the
natural nutraceutical approaches to antidepression such as St. Johns Wort, Ginseng,
Thiamin and 5-hydroxytryptophan (as in Wysong Vivreis), in combination with fresh
natural foods, exercise, and pure air and water.
DH, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, 1997:99-143
Moon-Fanelli AA, Trichotillomania, 1998
Clin North Am, 1992; 15:777-90
- VITAMIN C THE GUINEA PIG MODEL
- Guinea pigs, like humans,
require an exogenous source of vitamin C. Without adequate intake of vitamin C,
guinea pigs can experience scurvy similar to that in humans. Signs include
subcutaneous and joint hemorrhages, anorexia, poor coat, weight loss, lethargy,
arthralgia, and nasal discharge. The disease is common enough in guinea pigs fed
commercial rations that it should be suspected in any sick guinea pig.
- Here is how veterinarians who
specialize in rodent medicine treat it. Daily injections of 100 mg. of vitamin C are
given intramuscularly or subcutaneously to not only those suspected of vitamin deficiency,
but to all ill guinea pigs. That is 100 mg. for a creature weighing in on a scale of
grams, not pounds. This makes the 60 mg. vitamin C RDA level for humans seem
extremely low, to say the least. Scaled up to human weight, this rate of vitamin C
therapy would be 20 to 30 grams per day. This is, in fact,
in accord with the levels some practitioners suggest for illness in humans.
- Additional clues about the
impact vitamin C can have on health can be learned by examining the tissue targets of
scurvy. Since scurvy manifests itself in subcutaneous, joint, metabolic,
dermatological, and upper respiratory signs, then it can be concluded that vitamin C is
critical for the health of these tissues.16
Med, 1998; 981-87
- BLUE-GREEN ALGAE TOXICOSIS
- Various types of algae,
including spirulina and other blue-green species, are now commercially available for
consumption by humans. These foods are among the most nutrient-dense natural foods
- There are, however, toxic forms
of algae. Microcystis spp are toxic and worldwide in distribution.
Cases of poisoning have been reported in livestock, humans, companion animals, fish and
wildlife in the United States, Canada and other countries.
Microcystis produces microcystins,
which have the ability to be hepatotoxic. Microcystins are cyclic heptapeptides
contained within the algal cell, but are released when the cells are disrupted, such as by
stomach acidity. The most common microcystin is microcystin-LR, which has been
extensively studied and has caused acute hepatotoxicosis and death in farm animals and
severe liver injury in humans.
- Microcystin liver pathology
includes enlargement and progressive centrilobular hepatocyte rounding, dissociation and
necrosis. Following this there is a breakdown of sinusoidal endothelium with
intrahepatic hemorrhage leading to death. Microcystin-LR causes the rearrangement of
filamentous actin within the hepatocyte, resulting in these histopathological changes.
- Algae can bloom wherever there
are appropriate conditions. For example, recently in Colorado, a warm stagnant pond
with ample nutrients combined with a breeze blowing across the water, concentrating algae
near the shore. Twenty-four of a herd of 175 Herefords died acutely over a 3-day
period of time from consuming the algae-laden water.
- Algal cells in clumps
surrounded by a clear glycocalyx characterize Microcystis. Although mouse bioassays
are used to determine toxicity when blue-green algae toxicity is suspected, a much more
humane method is high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) for microcystin-LR. This
is also a more rapid method of diagnosis, and should be used by all commercial producers
of algae to verify the safety of their products. The lethal dose for microcystins
ranges from 30 to 11,000 mcg/kg depending upon the species, but any finding of microcystin
in the water should be of concern.
- Supplement companies should
keep pressure on suppliers to verify, on a continuing basis, the safety of algae products
and you should make sure they do.
Crit Rev Environ Control, 1985; 15:275-313
PR, Algae and Human Affairs, 1988: 404-31
- J Vet
Diagn Invest, 1993; 5:403-8
Toxins, 1995; 3:50-7
- WORM COMPOSTING
- A variation of the typical
composting described last month is worm composting. Worms work in our soil to break
down the organic matter in an ecosystem consisting of worms, bacteria, and fungi.
The castings, or manure, of the worms become the compost, which is full of the nutrients
that make compost such a great fertilizer in gardens or potted plants.
- The worm compost bin setup is
different from the traditional compost pile and can also be done indoors. The
container should be a small bin with 1 cubic foot of space for each 1/4 pound of worms.
- You will need water, worm food
(fruit and vegetable scraps, dead house plants, bread, coffee grounds and filters, crushed
egg shells, cereals and grains no meat, oil or dairy products), 2 cups of soil or
compost, shredded newspaper for bedding, worm bin, scale and red worms (or red wigglers).
The ratio of worms to food by weight should be 2:1, or twice the weight in worms than food
scraps produced each day.
- The worm bin should have a
large surface area of fresh air so the worms can breathe. The bin must have a cover
to keep it dark. Also, drainage and air circulation holes should be drilled into the
sides and bottom of the worm bin.
- BUILDING A WORM BIN:
- Take 2 1/2 lbs. of newspaper
torn lengthwise for each cubic foot in the bin. A 2 x 1' bin would need 5
pounds of newspaper. Place the shredded newspaper in the sink and cover with water, wait
about a minute then remove the paper, allowing the excess water to drain from the paper,
and put the wet shredded paper in the bin. This water will help keep the worms
moist, as they need to stay moist in order to breathe through their skin. Add a
couple of handfuls of soil to the top of the newspaper, which provides grit for the worm
gizzard to help grind up their food (much like a bird). Then add your worm food and
worms and cover with more soil or compost. The top layer will protect the worms from
- MAINTAINING THE WORM COMPOST:
- Feed the prescribed amount
(twice the amount of worms by weight per day) from every day to once a week, making sure
to bury the food each time. Within six to eight weeks you should see a marked
difference in the appearance of the compost. The worm manure, known as castings,
will replace the newspaper. The castings are toxic to the worms and should be
removed. The castings are the new compost for use in your garden or potted plants.
- TO REMOVE THE COMPOST:
- The easiest way to do remove
the compost is to push the contents of the bin to one end and set up a new pile on the
cleared end. Once the pile is set up with food, give the worms a few days to migrate
to the new side, then remove the compost and build up that side. A second method
would be to dump the contents of the bin on the ground and make little piles of the
compost, wait for the worms to migrate to the center of the piles and then remove the
worms and start a new box. A third method would be to take out 2/3 of the bin
contents and then rebuild the bin with the remaining third still in the bin and add more
worms as necessary.
- With composting our organic
waste plus additional efforts to recycle newspaper, junk mail, plastics and aluminum we
can dramatically reduce the volume of garbage going to the landfill each year by 50% to
Biocycle, April 1999
Aviation Space Environ Med, 1996; 67:445-52
- ALTITUDE SICKNESS AND GINKGO
- Ginkgo biloba extract is
effective in preventing the acute altitude sickness and temperature-related vascular
problems that many people experience at high altitudes.
Aviation Space Environ Med, 1996; 67:445-52
- CLOVES KILL MEAT BACTERIA
- Adding cloves to ground meat
will kill 90% of E. coli bacteria.
- Q Rev
Biol, 1998; 73:3-47
- BONE DENSITY AND pH
- There is a strong positive
association between high consumption of dietary components contributing to an alkaline
environment, such as potassium, magnesium, fruits and vegetables, and increased bone
mineral density in the elderly.
- Am J
Clin Nutr, 1999; 69:727-36
- CANCER AND SULFORAPHANE FROM VEGGIES
- Sulforaphane, a compound found
in cruciferous vegetables, inhibits the initiation of cancer.
- J Nutr,
- HEART DISEASE AND PROTEIN
- Contrary to popular belief,
high protein intake does not increase the risk of ischemic heart disease, and in fact will
lower the risk if used to replace carbohydrates.
- Am J
Clin Nutr, 1999; 70:221-7
- CENTENARIANS AVOID DOCTORS
- The majority of people who live
past the age of 100 have never seen a doctor, thus preventing the iatrogenic
(doctor-induced) diseases, accidents, and overmedication that plague many of the elderly.
- EXERCISE LOWERS CHOLESTEROL
- A low fat diet does not lower
cholesterol levels, but exercise does.
- ESTROGEN, CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D
- Women can take lower dosages of
hormonal estrogen replacement therapies and get the same benefits with reduced side
effects if they take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Intern Med, 1999
- HEART DISEASE AND EXERCISE
- Brisk walking is nearly as
effective as vigorous exercise in the prevention of coronary heart disease.
- HOT FLASHES AND MATERNAL SMOKING
- Menopausal hot flashes are
associated with a maternal history of smoking.
Women's Health, 1998; 7:1149-55
- IMMUNITY AND SEX
- Engaging in sexual activity
once or twice per week can significantly enhance immune function.
Psycholog Assn, 1999
- COMBS BETTER THAN PESTICIDES AGAINS LICE
- Removal of head lice with a
fine-toothed comb is a safer method of controlling the problem than the use of insecticide
lotions, which can be toxic.
- LIFE-SPAN AND RELIGION
- Attending religious services
regularly correlates with a dose-dependent increase in life expectancy.
Demography, 1999; 36:273-85
- OSTEOPOROSIS AND STEROIDS
- Steroid drugs cause premature
bone cell death and osteoporosis.
- J Clin
Invest, 1998; 102
- PROSTATE CANCER AND MARRIAGE
- Married prostate cancer
patients have significantly longer average survival than those who are divorced or single.
- J Urol,
- RUNNING AND CARNITINE
- Supplementation with
L-carnitine significantly increases running speed, while simultaneously lowering oxygen
Nutrition Res, 1997; 17:405
- STROKE AND VITAMIN E
- Vitamin E supplementation can
reduce the risk of stroke by 53%.
- Am Acad
- VISION AND NIGHT LIGHTS
- Leaving the lights on while
children sleep at night is related to an increased risk of nearsightedness.