WYSONG HEALTH LETTER
Dr. R. L. Wysong
February 1993
DEAR FRIEND:
 
    Last night, while munching on my nightly bowl of Popcorn, watching my 1,367th obligatory session of the Chicago Bulls with my wife and kids (my wife is in love with Scottie Pippen, my son wants to trade me for Michael Jordan) my teeth fell out. But not because of dropping my jaw to the floor watching another one of Jordan’s super-human feats.
    Well, actually, they didn’t all fall out.. .just one. And really not even one, just a part of one.  The filling.
    In any case, it is quite a sobering event.  The tongue has a way of incredibly exaggerating the size of a hole in a tooth.
    This is the second time in a month that I have had the same thing happen.  I just recovered from having a cap put on the first one and now, as I write this, I am scheduled for an appointment tomorrow morning to have this new crater repaired. It’s like these fillings had a self-destruct timing mechanism.
    The point of this story is that I’m only having problems with the ones I had filled. A young dentist who had just graduated from dental school did all of my dental work.  It began with a check-up.   I was experiencing no real problems but radiographs indicated there were some pinhole cavities.  Since I was going into a medical field and was poor, he was going to extend me the professional courtesy of reaming the centers out of several of my teeth and filling them so that I would not have any problems with cavities.
    Well, I was all googly-eyed with medicine at that time so I decided to have this wonderful technology performed on me. He graciously proceeded to jackhammer several of my teeth into oblivion.
    Fortunately (as it turns out) I got too busy and the rest of my scheduled dental work was put on hold.  Those teeth that I never had filled, I have never had a problem with.  The teeth I have had filled are now regularly interrupting my Bulls & popcorn evenings.
    This reminds me of women with a lump who have a breast loped off and all lymph nodes dissected out.  Then the other breast is irradiated.  Now we learn that the breast could have been saved and the second irradiated breast can develop cancer from the radiation.
    The point of this story is that medical intervention is often a bad choice.  This is not to say if you need crisis care that technology is not wonderful. But the modern so-called preventive practices - manipulation in one way or the other of the natural biological order - often end up with far more consequences than benefits.
    Be wary and extremely cau­tious.  Be fully aware of all the potential consequences before permitting what really amounts to experimentation on yourself or your children.
    I’ve got to go.  I have an appointment with my banker to re-mortgage the house to buy my new gold filling for tomorrow morning.
 
NATURAL BIRTH
    Many years ago, after graduating, I moved to Colorado. It seemed like a beautiful place to live. There were mountains, milder winters than in Michigan, wilderness (at least I thought so) and lots of perfect skiing. The grass was surely going to be greener there.
    But, as it turns out, the grass does not really get greener unless you yourself water and nurture it. You can move from one place to another and find that you soon become swallowed up in the day-to­day activities of life and forget the romantic reasons for the move in the first place. For me, I was swamped with the rigors of internship in the first years of practice. In three years in Colorado, I skied only twice. One weekend I decided to take a back­packing trip up the mountains into the wilderness, but felt like I was on a two-lane highway with backpack­ers in front of, in back of, and passing me.
    The Rocky Mountains are an incredibly beautiful place and I am sure there are more remote areas, but I didn’t find them. Everyone else was moving to Colorado for the same reasons I did, making natural areas more like highly trafficked parks than wilderness.
    Well, Colorado is the beginning place but not the point of this topic.
    I thought I’d at least pass on to you my experience with the greener pastures. After a while, living away from where you have grown up and your family is, it can become difficult. It can be tough to develop a sense of belonging. The little things from home, family, friends, familiar geography, and a sense of security increase in importance with time. Happiness is something you make; simply changing geographical position does not derive it.
    I understand this now, but I still fantasize that there must be, somewhere, some Utopian paradise that would be the perfect place to live.
    In any case, while in Colorado, I lived for a while in Boulder during the height of the Hippie Era. While there, some friends wanted to have their second baby at home because of a bad experience with the way they were handled in the hospital with their first child. They were going to wing it on their own, so I, somewhat concerned about whether they could do it, offered my help.
    I read up in the gynecology and obstetrical texts and helped them deliver the child in their home. It was a beautiful experience for them, to be sure, and it was also much more remarkable and moving to me than I thought it would be. My concern was primarily about all of the possible things which could go wrong and my potential liability. But after everything worked out, it seemed like the right thing to have done.
    Word got out, and I ended up delivering two more babies for others who insisted on wanting to give birth at home. Later, after moving back to Michigan, I delivered two of my girls as well. All of these experiences were without problems.
I am not sure I would volunteer to do this again now, however. Although the risks of home delivery may be statistically small, in our litigious society the danger to someone offering their services is great.
    I was warned at the time that I was involved in delivering babies that I was in peril. Everyone was concerned about all the things that could go wrong.
    This alarmist attitude, how­ever, statistically is not justified. Over 80% of all the babies in the world are delivered either by the family or by midwives. Our high-tech obstetrical suites with fetal monitors screwed into scalps, drugs, and Cesarean sections only seem necessary to us now because we are used to it. All of this obstetrical technology has resulted in the United States ranking somewhere between 16th and 22nd in the world in terms of newborn deaths.
    Births by midwives rank less than half the rate of infant mortality compared to a modern high-tech hospital.
    We’ve all been brainwashed into believing that giving birth is a disease to be treated, rather than simply a natural process to be watched. It has been estimated by the year 2,000 that Cesarean sections in this country will reach 40% of all births. But researchers in medical journals argue most of these are unnecessary, and at most, less than 6% of births need be Cesarean sections. It may take ten years for this information to affect C-sections rates since C-sections are a growth industry.
    You may wish to consider having a baby at home with an experienced midwife or having a baby at a birthing center using a midwife. Evidence argues it is safer. Contact your local hospital or public health center for references to find midwifery services.
    Being as close to all aspects of the birth as possible is an experience that is one of life’s most remarkable treasures. Husbands and even older children should be a part. If a medically attended or cesarean birth is required, be sure that the father is present. Also request block and local anesthetics so both parents can still share the miracle of birth. Witnessing the emergence of a new life is an experience that can make us appreciate our own life even more fully.
    A few Review pregnancy tidbits:
    •                The squatting position for giving birth eases labor, as opposed to the conventional position with legs in stirrups (Wysong Review Vol. 3 No 7).
    •                Moms should also pay particular close attention to their nutrition following the guidelines as outlined in the Review and eat as much whole, fresh, natural foods as possible.
    •                Vitamin B6 supplementation reported to assist with the nausea in the first trimester of pregnancy (Wysong Review Vol. 4 No. 6)
    •                Folic acid supplementation has been proven to reduce the chance of bearing a baby with congenital spinal defects, as we have mentioned in past Reviews (Wysong Review Vol. 3 No. 8, Vol.6 No.8).
    •                 Magnesium supplementation has been found to significantly decrease both fetal and maternal morbidity both before and after delivery. Foods particularly rich in magnesium include whole wheat, buckwheat, nuts and beans.
    If you have had previous Cesarean sections and want to try a natural birth, this still may be possible. Recent reports in the literature establish that a natural delivery may be possible after previous Cesarean sections (Wysong Review Vol. 4 No. 9).
    And don’t forget, after you have that baby, give it the food it was meant to have, breast milk. The evidence now in hand demon­strating that formula feeding pro­cessed canned junk food to new­borns is inferior to breast milk is significant enough that formula feeding should be banned unless there is simply no other option.
    For further information on natural birthing, contact your local hospital for natural childbirth education classes in your area. Also see the book review section on page 8 of this issue.
    Reference:
        New England Journal of Medicine, March 16, 1989: 706
        Lancet, July 8, 1989: 74
        New England Journal of Medicine, December28, 1989:1804
        New England Journal of Medicine, July 14, 1988: ~82
        Journal of the American Medical Association, July 8, 1988: 252
 
TRANS-FATTY ACIDS AND HEART DISEASE
    In the accompanying graph, you can see the change in the level of consumption of butter as compared to oleo margarines.      Notice that butter has declined over the past century, whereas oleo marga­rines have increased. If you were to plot the incidence of heart dis­ease, you would find that it parallels the consumption of oleo margarine and not the decreased consumption of butter.  (The Changing American, Diet, published by Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington D.C., 1983)
    This evidence, however, is only circumstantial according to the margarine industry. Indeed you can do many clever things with graphs and charts. However, recent re­search has demonstrated that an in­crease in the consumption of trans-fatty acids (found in margarines) can directly affect serum lipopro­teins. Lipoproteins include the LDL’s and HDL’s we have dis­cussed before in the Review (see Wysong Review Vol. 3 No. 3, 4 and Lipid Nutrition book by Dr. Wysong). The adverse effect on li­poproteins resulting from the in­creased consumption of trans-fatty acids found in not only oleo margarines but in almost any packaged processed snack or baked good will increase the risk of coronary heart disease by at least 27%.
    Read labels. If the label re­veals hydrogenated or partially hy­drogenated oils (and most do), avoid that product as if it contained strychnine. Seek or bake your own healthier versions of the foods. The crippling degenerative diseases that can potentially result from eating these plasticized synthetic man­made fatty acids is certainly some­thing to be feared and avoided.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dec. 1992:1019-
 
TIMING YOUR DAY
    Like it or not, we are tuned into our physical world and its rhythms. Light, the moon, the sun, magnetic fields, the rotation of the Earth, and other forces and factors we are not even aware of affect us in subtle and even profound ways.
    Research is slowly identifying specific biological rhythms that are coordinated with these physical pat-terns.
    Unfortunately we have become so disengaged from our environment and our own body by constant sen­sory overload and running our day by a schedule that is intellectually or conveniently set, that we have lost the ear for the inner voice.
    Some suggestions:
    •                Morning and late evening are usually the best times for active mental and intellectual demands.
    •                More intense physical activity is best performed in the afternoon.
    •                Major meals seem to be best tolerated mid-morning and late afternoon with snacking of fruits, vegetables, and lighter foods in between.
    To test this natural rhythm, no­tice how well your mind works in the one to four o’clock afternoon range as opposed to when you first get up in the morning. Also notice what happens if you eat a large mid­day meal. You will be lucky if you are awake between 2 and 3.
    Listen to your body rhythms. They teach us the lessons of health and the wisdom of how to get the most out of life. Once you know your body’s cycles, you can sched­ule your day and benefit the most.
 
SALUD!
    Would Monsieur care to see the Wine List? Let’s see, how does that go? White wine should be ordered with fish or fowl, while red wine is best with red meats?
    Anyway, a special study reported at the American Heart Association’s 65th scientific session in New Orleans once again con­firmed that while all alcoholic bever­ages seem to ward off coronary ar­tery disease to some degree, wine drinkers enjoyed greater protection than those who regularly imbibed beer or hard liquors. Unlike some recent studies. this particular study concluded that not only red wines provide protection, but white wines as well.
    In a ten-year study, following over 80,000 alcohol drinkers, it was concluded that it is only moderate drinking which offers a shield against heart attacks. For people who already drink, limiting alcohol intake to fewer than three drinks per day, leaning toward wines is best. The study also shows that wine drinkers may have other healthy at­tributes over people who prefer other types of alcohol, so wine isn’t necessarily the only key. “Wine People” may also be “Salad People,” or may be non-smokers for ex­ample. But for now, wine is given the cleaner hill of health and would appear to help more with heart dis­ease protection.
    Also very important: a reminder was included in the study that heavy drinking can lead to many health troubles, such as liver disease, high blood pressure, and certain heart rhythm abnormalities.
 
REMODELING BREASTS AND THIGHS
    With all the problems from sili­cone implants, surgeons and women ate looking for new solutions. Where there is a problem - and money to be made - count on a clever solution. How about this one:
    Some surgeons are now removing the fat from the hips of women and injecting it into the breasts. What a classic example of the naive, even stupid, mentality that we are nothing but simple machines composed of an array of parts that can be re­moved, replaced and substituted and remodeled at will without conse­quence.
    Women electing to try this procedure are definitely permitting a dangerous experiment to be performed on them. Fat that is removed from one part of the body and injected into another is not sim­ply incorporated as new tissue. Rather, it sits there without being properly vascularized and then will convert to scar tissue creating lumps and bumps that might mimic cancer, or may necrose (die) creating infection and abscesses.
    Preoccupation with a perceived physical defect is called “body dys­morphic disorder” by psychiatrists. It can lead to isolation and even sui­cide. Interestingly, those who un­dergo surgical intervention increase preoccupations rather than solve them.
    None of us are as beautiful as we would like to be. The most beautiful person in the world in our eyes privately knows their faults and wishes they could remodel them­selves in one way or another.
    Being the best you can be is beautiful. There is not even a defi­nition of perfect beauty. Kindness, humor, cleanliness, neatness, humility, intelligence, empathy, philanthropy, sportsmanship and fitness are beautiful in and of themselves and highly attractive to others. Also remember that although you may think others care about how you look they really only care about how they look.
    We must live with the deck of cards we are dealt, but we can play the hand superbly and win the game.
 
TRYPTOPHAN AND WEIGHT LOSS
    When tryptophan, an amino acid supplement, was still on the market, it caused decreased appetite and weight loss in obese subjects. This was a by-product of the real reason for its use, which was to elevate mood by its production of serotonin in the brain (see Syn­orgon Diet by Dr. Wysong).
    Although tryptophan has been removed from the market, (see Wysong Review Vol. 6 No. 5) high levels of tryptophan can be obtained by eating pumpkin seeds. Eating about 7 oz. of pumpkin seeds munched throughout the day is re­ported to provide mood elevation and anorexia for several days.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1992: 863
 
ANTIOXIDANTS IN CHINA
    China is an excellent study model of the effects of various environmental influences on disease. The country has been isolated from most Western practices and thus confounding factors can be elimi­nated when trying to establish associations between certain events and disease. Blood samples gathered from 100 Chinese adults from over 65 counties showed that higher lev­els of dietary antioxidants, including beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium decreased cancer death rates.
    Reference:
        International Journal of Epidemiology, Aug.1992: 625-
 
CHLORINE AND PANCREATIC CANCER
    Cancer of the pancreas takes approximately 25,000 U.S. lives per year. A recent study suggests a possible link between the chlorine in drinking water and the rising incidence of pancreatic cancer. Use a quality bottled water or better yet, produce your own. Contact the Wysong store for information and sources for purifica­tion Systems.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Epidemiology, 136: 836-
 
VEGGIES AND COLON CANCER
    Colon can­cer will kill 50,000 people this year in the U.S. A large prospec­tive mortality study by the American Cancer Society following almost 800,000 adults has shown that those individuals who consume vegetables and high fiber grains more frequently have a statisti­cally significant lower incidence of colon cancer.
    Reference:
        Journal of the National Cancer Institute, October 7,1992:1491
 
STRESS, IMMUNITY AND ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
    Psychological stress can depress cell-mediated immune func­tion. Individuals with low plasma levels of essential fatty acids from the omega-6 and omega-3 classes (see Lipid Nutrition by Dr. Wysong) are more susceptible to disease from such stress.
    Reference:
        Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 47: 165-
 
ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES AND CANCER
    Oral contraceptives are nor­mally a combination of estrogens and progesterones. The progestin fraction has been thought not to be carcinogenic. Recent evidence, however, indicates that progestins used in oral contraceptives can stimulate the growth of estrogen­ sensitive human breast cancer cells.
    Reference:
          Cancer Research, 52:6539-
 
CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTATION AND OSTEOPOROSIS
    Supplementation of 1,000 mg. of elemental calcium significantly slows axial and appendicular bone loss in normal post menopausal women. Supplementation can reduce the rate of hip fractures due to osteoporosis by at least 20%.
    This would mean as many as 250,000 fewer hip fractures each year in the United States, at a cost savings of some 2 billion dollars.
    Aside from the dollar savings is the savings in pain and suffering ex­perienced by women. As we have mentioned before in the Review (Vol. 4 No. 10, Vol. 6 No. 5, Vol. 6 No. 12), osteoporosis victims will of­ten succumb to a variety of other diseases following a fracture, result­ing in a dramatic shortening of life span. The recommendation from researchers in a recent issue in the New England Journal of Medi­cine is that most post menopausal women should take l500 mg. of el­emental calcium per day. That means if you are taking something like calcium gluconate, the amount of calcium must be calculated sepa­rately from the gluconate part. 400 to 800 IUs daily of vitamin D are also recommended. The evidence is persuasive enough that editors of the journal suggest that people begin on such a program immediately, without waiting for further confirmation.
    As we have mentioned before, decreasing the amount of meat in the diet will automatically help de­crease the chance of developing osteoporosis. Also make sure you get outside every day if possible for 20 minutes or so. Exposure to sun­light will increase the synthesis of Vitamin Din your skin.
    Reference:
        New England Journal of Medicine, Feb.18, 1993:460-
 
VITAMIN E AND EPILEPSY
    Drugs used to control epilepsy can deplete body stores of vitamin E. Vitamin E supplementation (usu­ally 50-200 IU of natural d-alpha-to­copherol) has been found to de­crease seizure activity in epileptics.
    Reference:
          Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. May 1992: 201-
 
CROHN'S DISEASE AND NUTRITION
    Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil factor) are effective in the treat­ment of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease). Clinicians are even injecting them intravenously as therapy. Individuals with Crohn’s disease are also at high risk of losing selenium. This mineral is very im­port ant as an antioxidant in the diet and it, along with omega-3 fatty acids should be supplemented in Crohn’s disease.
    Flax seed oil is a good supple­mental source of omega-3 fatty ac­ids. About one tablespoon per day is recommended. Selenium is high in most yeast products. As a supplement, selenomethonine is best at 50 to 100 micrograms per day.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1992: 933-
        Ibid. 938-
 
VITAMIN B6 AND URINARY STONES
    Calcium oxalate stones in the urinary system are associated with low dietary levels of vitamin B6, and with higher plant than animal protein in the diet. Supplementation of 50-150mg. of vitamin B6 per day is recommended.
    Reference:
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1992: 905-
 
BEER AND MENOPAUSE
    An estrogenic response may occur from consuming alcoholic beverages made from hops which contain phytoestrogenic substances. Bourbon and beer in moderation may therefore be a natural alternative or adjunct to synthetic estrogen therapy in menopausal women.
    Reference:
        Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 16:843-
 
TWHF, ARTHRITIS AND LUPUS
    Tripterygium Wilfordii Hood f (TWHf) is a member or the Celastraceae plant family, a woody vine-like shrub from China. It has been found both beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. For further information, write to Sydney Brandwein, M.D., FRCP © Division of Rheumatology, Room 4848 Livingston Hall, Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec H3G I A4, Canada.
 
HONEY BEE PROPOLIS AND CANCER
    The caffeic acid esters present in honeybee propolis have been shown to inhibit colon cancer cell growth.
Honeybee propolis is available as a nutritional supplement.
    Reference: ­
        Chem Biol Interactions. 84: 277-
 
PASS YOUR ESTATE ON OR LET IT BE STOLEN
    Eighty percent of Americans do exactly what the legal system likes.
    They die intestate, having made no provision by will or trust to pass the fruits of their labor onto their heirs.
    When this happens, as much as 100% of the estate can end up in the hands of courts and lawyers. A Pennsylvania lawyer, according to John Nugent of the Liberty Library, recently billed two tiny orphans $96,000 to settle their dead parents $300,000 estate. Marilyn Monroe left behind an estate mess taking 18 years and 1.5 million dollars to settle.
    On the other hand, Nelson Rockefeller set up trusts costing next to nothing and kept his finances out of the headlines.
    Estate planning is easy to put off. It kind of brings you face-to-face with your mortality and all of us would like to delay that.
    It is not necessary to incur great costs in order to organize your affairs. Once you do so, the sense of ease and security that will come to you knowing that your hard work will not be parasitized will be well worth the effort taken.
    We have investigated various do-it-yourself trust and will kits. The Liberty Library, 300 Independence Ave. S.E. in Washington, D.C. 20003 (202) 546-5611, produces the one unanimously claimed to be of the very best quality in terms of thoroughness, legality, and ease of preparation. A tape from them for $15 thoroughly discusses the options you face and exactly how to proceed. They will also provide books and forms for step-by-step guidance.
 
Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease is a 1300+-page volume serving as a comprehensive textbook on nutrition and a ready reference book for students and practitioners in the fields of nutrition, medicine, dentistry and public health. it thoroughly discusses everything from basic nutritional science to the safety and adequacy of food supply, interrelations of nutrients and metabolism, malnutrition, nutrition during “physiologic” stress and nutrition in the prevention and treatment of diseases. The book, edited by Robert S. Goodhart, M.D., D.M.S. and Maurice E. Shils, M.D., Sc.D., has contributions from over 80 doctors, professors, nutritionists, dieticians, veterinarians and others. This excellent reference volume emphasizes that the science and practice of nutrition are solid basic components of clinical medicine. A must for anyone wanting the most comprehensive information on diet and disease. $35.00. Available through the Wysong Library.
In a May Gaskin’s best selling book on home birth is a 480-page text entitled Spiritual Midwifery. The first part of the book consists of stories told by parents and midwives. The second part is a technical manual for midwives, nurses and doctors and includes chapters on prenatal care and nutrition, labor, delivery techniques, care of the new baby and breast feeding. Much of the information has been updated for this third edition, which reflects more than fifteen years of experience and nearly 2,000 deliveries. $16.95. Available through the Wysong Library.