Dr. R. L. Wysong
February 1999
    As we go about our daily lives in peace and normalcy it is easy to forget how close we are to disaster.  I'm not talking about disease or loss of health.  I mean physical trauma, whereby we can lose an eye, a finger, a leg, have our spine severed, or lose our life in an instant.
    Here's what recently brought me face to face with this reality.  While on a trip I went to work out in a gym.   When I got to the leg press station, I adjusted the seat on its track with a pin that was to secure it in its position in preparation for my Herculean set of reps.
    When I pushed forward on the foot rests, the pin slipped out of the hole which secured the seat when the stack of weights was fully lifted.  I went careening backwards on the track at what seemed supersonic speed.
    During the trip my heels struck a crossbeam.  Major pain.  I limped off the machine, hoping to just walk it off.   But when I looked down at my left heel, blood was soaking through the sock.   Rolling the sock down, I saw the skin peeled down to the heel bone, exposing the Achilles tendon.  This looks a lot better on someone else.
    I had that sick feeling of knowing I had done something serious.  But it also made me realize how lucky I was.   If my foot had been a fraction of an inch lower in the push plates, I could have severed the Achilles tendon and even torn the bones right off my foot.
    I always carry a little minor surgery kit with me, so I limped home, took a swig of whiskey, bit on a bullet (just kidding, actually the trauma and swelling somewhat numbs the area – besides if Rambo can do it, why not me?) and sewed myself up.      Very awkward to suture the back of your heel, but I managed.  I then had to bandage the foot such that I could not flex or extend the joint.  I have been walking on just the tip toes of my left foot now for many weeks.
    The experience made me realize what I know, but so easily ignore:  We are all just a moment away from disaster.   We can put huge effort into how we eat and care for ourselves and family, but just one wrong move can jeopardize or end our lives as we know them.
    Be smart in the little things.   Buckle up, drive safely, have someone hold the ladder, wear a helmet, don't show off, stay in your limits, avoid dangerous situations that make you vulnerable, listen to your body, stop and rest when you know you should, look both ways, give yourself room for margin of error, understand fully what you are doing before you risk yourself, keep the odds in your favor, don't do stupid stuff, let someone show you the proper way first, be always careful and alert, live in the middle, and not the edge when it comes to physical danger, stay physically fit and strong (it may save your butt and will speed healing if you are injured), assume that bad can and will happen, don't get complacent, don't assume it can't happen to you... and be sure the pins in the weight machine you are about to use are secure.
    Like other organs, the kidneys have large recuperative reserves and a remarkable ability to adapt.  As with cancer and heart disease, chronic kidney disease may be present for many years before there are any overt signs or symptoms.
    The kidneys’ functional unit is the nephron, which in effect filters metabolic waste and toxins from the blood to create urine.      When nephrons are damaged by infection, toxins or immune attack, the remaining nephrons hypertrophy (grow in size) to compensate.   This compensation is so effective that clinical signs of kidney disease are not usually detected until kidney function is reduced by almost two thirds.  When this stage is reached, functional nephron numbers may only be 5-20% of normal.
    Therefore, just because we – or the animals in our care – seem apparently healthy, does not mean serious degradation is not occurring within.  The smart approach is to do all that can be done to prevent chronic renal (kidney) disease before it occurs.
    Since the kidneys are responsible for helping to detoxify the body, the greater the toxic burden we place on them, the greater the chance that nephrons will begin to be lost and chronic renal disease will start its march.  Once chronic disease is manifest (usually the first signs are increased thirst and increased urinations) it may be too late to turn around.   Medications, dialysis, or kidney transplants are a very poor alternative to taking the steps early to keep the kidneys vibrant and healthy.
    If you peruse the Wysong Optimal Health Program for humans or animals (see page 8), you will see therein outlined a variety of lifestyle, dietary and supplement choices that can create the best potential for maintaining healthy kidneys.  At the same time you will be taking steps to avoid all of the other chronic degenerative diseases that are striking modern populations like the virulent plagues of old.  (Disease is just more wicked and insidious now.) 
    During our early years we can live sedentary lives, breathe, drink and eat toxins and apparently thrive on processed foods.      In our middle and later years the price is paid with loss of health and vitality and victimization by ineffective treatments that leave us miserable, medically dependant and far less than whole.
    A common misconception is that restricted protein will decrease the chance of chronic renal disease or even change its course once it strikes.  But carefully controlled studies do not support these misconceptions.  For example, in one study, 31 middle aged dogs with only one kidney (more needless cruel experimentation to prove the obvious) were fed very low (18%) protein diets or very high (34%) protein diets.  At the end of four years there were no differences in the kidneys between the two groups.
    In advanced renal disease where the kidney is unable to process the nitrogen end products from protein, some restriction may be beneficial, but this has a cost.  Older humans and animals, where chronic renal disease is most common, are often protein starved.  I should say “good” protein starved.  They may be getting lots of protein in the diet that has been denatured in various ways by heat and processing, but not be getting good, natural, raw, whole protein such as the body is intended to receive.  Additionally, as the digestive system ages, it begins to lose its ability to secrete stomach acid and digestive enzymes.      Thus the efficiency of protein digestion and assimilation is decreased.  This particularly occurs after eating a processed food fare for life since such a diet places a high burden on digestive processes.  Raw natural foods, on the other hand, have inherent enzymes that assist in their digestion, thus sparing digestive capabilities.
    So at an age when people and animals need high quality protein to help offset the catabolism (break-down of tissues) of aging, they are being fed low protein diets under the mistaken assumption that such diets will prevent chronic renal disease.
    The best approach to chronic renal disease, is to take steps now to prevent it.  If the disease is incubating within, this can help reverse the problem.
    If chronic renal disease becomes manifest, treatment options are few and results are usually not very good.   Here are things that will help which do not have the dangers of pharmaceutical side effects:
    1.             Follow the Wysong Optimal Health Program.
    2.             Eat small portions of high quality protein foods such as rare meats; raw, poached or soft boiled eggs; plain, culture-active yogurts; and cottage cheese.  For pets, raw meats and organs mixed with Wysong dry diets and canned all-meat diets are a good choice.  In advanced kidney disease mix raw protein sources  or Wysong raw Archetype™ with the meatless Wysong Vegan Diet to achieve a low, but high quality, protein meal.
    3.             To help detoxification and relieve the burden on the kidneys, use Wysong Adsorb™ activated charcoal and Colex™.  These products have huge toxin adsorbing surface areas, and may prove to be of benefit.
    4.             Take probiotic supplementation along with prebiotic oligosaccharides, which help feed the beneficial intestinal organisms.  Probiosyn™ (humans) and Pet Inoculant™ (pets) are excellent formulas for this purpose. 
    5.             Disruption of acid/base balance often occurs with chronic renal disease.  Acidemia (increased acid in the body) can be counteracted with  sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate (1/2 lemon in juice daily) use (Biotic pH Plus™ for animals) and Wysong alkalinized water.
    6.             Drinking lots of pure water will help flush the system.  Drinking water beyond what thirst dictates is very important in kidney disease.  Six to eight glasses of water a day minimum would be indicated.  For pets, forcing water by use of oral syringes is very helpful.   Since chronic kidney disease causes nausea and loss of appetite, it is either fluids forced orally or hospitalization with parenteral fluids being required.
    7.             Use the Nutrient Support Formula Nephurol™ specifically designed to improve the health of the urinary system.
        Senior Care, Supplement to Veterinary Economics, October 1998:20-
        Am J Physiol, 1990;258:495-503
        AJVR, 1994;55:1282-90
        Proc 11th Annual Vet Med Forum, 1993:938
    The first evidence that grains were used in the diet to any degree occurred with the introduction of milling stones about 10-15,000 years ago.  The stones were used to grind the little bit of wild wheat that could be found. 
Wheat was domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, and spread to Europe about 5,000 years later.  Rice was domesticated about 7,000 years ago in Asia, and corn was domesticated in Mexico and Central America about 7,000 years ago.
    This may all seem like far into the past, but it is a drop in the ocean compared to the eons before that when grains were not being consumed.  Prior to agriculture, humans were primarily hunter/gatherers.   Ethnological studies demonstrate in 181 world-wide societies that humans got about 65% of their calories from animals and 35% from plants.  Their diet was high in protein, and moderate to low in carbohydrates and fats.
    The first use of fire by humans was believed to be about 200,000 years ago.  Even if we were to assume these fires were used to cook meat (which we really can’t), this change in dietary patterns from eating raw right from nature is still a relatively recent departure from the historical context of life on the planet.
    The degree of health enjoyed by today’s society is not a result of grain processing.  In fact, the fossil record demonstrates that it was only once hunter/gatherers obliterated the large food mammals all over northern Europe and North America that they then resorted to farming.  Once humans began consuming high amounts of grain products, they experienced a reduction in stature, increased infant mortality, increased skeletal abnormalities, iron-deficiency anemia, dental disease, and a reduction in lifespan.  It is only for the last hundred years, when agriculture expanded to mass production of animal-based products and their efficient distribution, that this trend was reversed. 
    It is interesting to note, if you will refer to one of my previous issues (Wysong Health Letter Vol. 6, No. 1), that the fall in infectious diseases coincided with the movement away from carbohydrates and the increased distribution of animal food products.   As I mentioned in that article, the great plagues were not vanquished by modern medical measures, but rather by the truckers who were distributing a variety of foods, including refrigerated animal products.
    A diet based primarily on grains can result in deficiencies and imbalances.  For example, vitamin C is extremely low if not nonexistent in grains, but is absolutely essential for human health.   Beta-carotene is also by and large absent from most grains.       Iron is poorly absorbed from grains.  The phytate contained within grains can complex with a variety of minerals leading to their deficiency.  Both vitamin D and calcium metabolism are believed to be adversely affected by a high grain diet.  Grains have a naturally low calcium to phosphorus ratio and rickets can be a consequence, as can Hypogonadal dwarfism.
    Additionally, grains have a poor omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio.  Healthy tissue should range from 4:1 to a 2:1 ratio.  It is not unusual for people today to have a 12:1 to as much as a 25:1 ratio.  As I have described in my book, Lipid Nutrition: Understanding Fats and Oils in Health and Disease, this disturbance in the natural fatty acid balance has far reaching health implications, including increased susceptibility to a variety of allergies and autoimmunities and also serious degenerative conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and cancer.
    The model to learn from to achieve optimal nutrition and health would be our Paleolithic ancestors.  In the case of modern day pets, it would be their carnivorous cousins who are still easily studied in the wild today.  In both cases, the natural food was that which could be eaten raw, exactly as it was found in nature.  Grains do not qualify since, first of all, insufficient quantities could ever be gathered to subsist on.  Secondly, if they were eaten raw, they would be toxic. 
    Try to continually advance the diet toward this raw, whole, natural model.  Vary foods day to day and meal to meal, and wean yourself as best you possibly can from the carbohydrate glut that does much to ruin the health of today’s society.
        World Rev Nutr Diet, 1998;83:12-23
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,1998;68:218-219
    Melatonin is being widely used to combat insomnia.  But remember, melatonin is a hormone and as such is potentially dangerous.  No one knows for sure the full effects and consequences of its use, nor does anyone understand what dosages are safe.
    Recent research has demonstrated that flight attendants – because of jet lag and disturbance of natural sleep/awake patterns – have natural balances of melatonin disrupted and almost a two-fold increased risk of breast cancer.
    This suggests a link between the stress of abnormal sleep cycles, melatonin and disease.  The solution is not to start popping melatonin pills indiscriminately.  Neither you, the manufacturer, nor any expert in the field, really understands what the long-term consequences of such supplementation may be.
    If you are having sleep difficulty, be sure your sleep area is absolutely dark, since melatonin production by the body will be suppressed if there is light.  Additionally, Somniquil™ is a nutritional supplement without hormones that can help relax the body to assist in restful sleep.
        The Lancet, August 22, 1998:352-626
    Anyone taking hormones is playing with fire.  Although they may provide the intended result quickly, such as increased muscle mass with anabolic hormones, or prevention of conception with birth control pills, the long-range dangers are simply not worth the risk.
    Hormones are the master chemical regulators of all body processes.  Since we are only beginning to understand the complexity of the body, tinkering with these master controls is at best an exercise in stupidity and at worst an invitation to disaster.
    Recent research on oral contraceptives has now demonstrated that the risk of bone fractures in women who have used oral contraceptives is 20% higher than in those who have not used them.  For women who are presently on “the pill,” or have used it within the last year, the risk is as much as 30% higher.  Additional risks include breast cancer and even a greater susceptibility to gum disease (periodontitis).
    Granted, population needs to be controlled, but better methods must be used.  For those not fully ready to take on the responsibility of family rearing, refraining from reproductive activities is of course the most rational choice.  There are also many safer methods of birth control including the one discussed in a recent issue of the Health Letter (May, 1998), which is argued to be as effective as contraceptive pills. 
        Brain Research, 1998;784
        Contraception, July 1998;57:231-235
    Fluoride can interact with aluminum to increase the latter’s bioavailability and passage across the blood/brain barrier.  Aluminum is a neurotoxin and can cause degeneration of brain nerve cells, particularly in the hippocampus.  The changes that occur with aluminum toxicity are similar to those changes seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.
    What is particularly alarming is the level of fluoride necessary to increase the absorption of aluminum.  1.0 part per million (the optimal level for fluoridating drinking water) will double aluminum absorption over controls.
    Couple this with evidence from China recently demonstrating that childrens’ IQ is diminished as a result of fluoride, and it becomes apparent why it is wise to think about purifying the drinking water you and your family use.
        Contraception, September 1998;57:381-384
    “Fat-Free,” “Low-Fat,” or “Lite” foods are not the solution to heart disease, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood lipid profiles and obesity.
    Remember, fat is a normal part of the diet.  We are genetically programmed to eat and thrive on fat.  Primitive societies relish animal tissue fat. Eskimos, for example, eat blubber by the pound without succumbing to the degenerative diseases of modern society for which fat is blamed.
    The only fat to fear is processed fat that is not properly stabilized against oxidation.  Fear even more the synthetic fats or the hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.  These are not a part of the natural diet and can cause serious disease.
    High carbohydrate consumption, both simple sugars and complex, on the other hand, is a real problem.  Most all carbohydrates in the diet are processed, and thus unnatural and not what we are genetically programmed to eat as a mainstay.      They result in hyperinsulinemia (increased levels of blood insulin), signaling that the body is unable to cope with the high blood sugar levels. 
    If you attempt to achieve a low fat diet you are naturally going to have to get your calories from something, and that will be carbohydrates.  With a high carbohydrate diet, blood lipid profiles can seriously degrade.  For example, high triglycerides linked to high blood pressure and heart disease can increase by as much as 70%.  Additionally, low fat/high carbohydrate diets will decrease the “good” HDLs and increase the “bad” LDLs.  High levels of insulin in the blood as a result of the high carbohydrate diet is a marker signaling high risk of heart disease.
    Try to convert the diet as described in the Optimal Health Program.  Substitute vegetables and fresh fruits for carbohydrate foods and seek natural protein sources and natural fat sources from natural foods.
    Amazingly, this is the exact reverse of what all the supposed “experts” are telling us.  They advise to decrease fats and protein foods, and increase carbohydrates.  The truth is you better do the exact opposite if you want to avoid the epidemic of degenerative disease plaguing modern society. 
        Circulation, August 4, 1998:398-404, 935-939
    In the upper digestive tract food is acted upon by acid and enzymes to be broken down, assimilated, and then utilized for growth, maintenance, repair and energy needs.  Food that escapes digestion moves to the lower digestive tract, the colon, and there is acted upon by billions of microorganisms and fermented into a variety of both beneficial and potentially detrimental compounds.
    One of the by-products of fermentation in the colon is short chain fatty acids, primarily acetic, propionic and butyric.  There are also gasses formed such as carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide.  The epithelial cells lining the colon (colonocytes) utilize the short chain fatty acids, in particular butyric acid (butyrate), for as much as 70% of the cell’s energy needs.  But hydrogen sulfide gas can cause an inhibition of the utilization of butyrate by the colonocytes.  In addition, hydrogen sulfide can interfere with the immune system by affecting the structure of complement, which in turn decreases the ability of immune cells such as leukocytes to kill pathogenic strains of bacteria.  The end result is that colonocytes are starved of their appropriate fuel and subject to the toxic impact of overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria.
    The cause of excess production of hydrogen sulfide is the consumption of high sulfur containing water and foods, and sulfur containing preservatives such as sulfur dioxide and sulfides.  The modern processed diet can contain as much as 8 times more of this hydrogen sulfide fuel than non-processed diets, such as in rural Africans.
    It should also be mentioned here that gas production is not in itself pathologic.  It is a normal part of digesting food, particularly if a varied diet is eaten that is fairly rich in indigestible vegetable matter.  The production of nontoxic gasses can expand the lumen of the colon, stimulating its exercise, and can also act as a carrier to remove toxic gasses that may be forming in the colon.  Excess gas is usually caused by insufficient stomach acid, which frequently occurs with age, or by eating only processed foods that are devoid of any inherent digestive enzymes, eating poorly digestible foods, eating when not hungry, and overeating.  The solution is to move the diet ever closer to that described in the Optimal Health Program, not eat when not hungry and only eat until comfortably full.
    The bacteria that produce toxic hydrogen sulfide are in a balance with other bacteria such as methanobrevibacter smityhii, which also utilize hydrogen, but transform it into nontoxic methane.  Thus, if the hydrogen sulfide bacteria dominate in the intestinal tract, which can occur with excess consumption of sulfur substrates, hydrogen sulfide is produced.  If the competing methane-producing bacteria predominate, the hydrogen is utilized for the production of nontoxic methane.
    The solution is to decrease or eliminate the consumption of sulfur containing preservatives.  Additionally, the dietary supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) has the ability to reverse the damage induced by sulfide in human colonocytes.  SAM is a nutritional component in Colex™.
    Important additional considerations would be to increase the consumption of pure water to 6 to 8 glasses per day.  (I will discuss the benefits of “reduced” antioxidant water for this purpose in a forthcoming issue.)  Also, to help inoculate the digestive tract with beneficial probiotic organisms, use Probiosyn™ as described in the Foundation Formula Supplement Program.
        Gut, July 1996:1-4
        J Clin Gastroenterol, June 1996:288-291
        Gut, July 1996:77-81
    Oxidation (a form of chemical disruption) of life’s important biochemicals lies at the root of many diseases.   Oxidation can occur as a result of exposure to outside forces such as radiation and pollution, or as a result of internal mechanisms. 
    As we burn fuel to supply life’s energy there are by-products, just like there are by-products coming out of the chimneys of factories.  These by-products are toxic if they are not controlled, since they will create oxidation generators called free radicals.      It’s like having sparks jumping out of the fireplace at home onto the furniture and carpet.   Screen them or stomp them out quickly or they could set the whole house aflame.
    The body has its own fire extinguishers known as antioxidants.  These can be formed within the body itself, or be consumed directly with foods.
    Enzymes within the body that can quench these free radical fires include glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase and others.  Other antioxidants include certain amino acids, fatty acids and even cholesterol.  But these internal antioxidants require the right kind of fuel for synthesis, in adequate amounts.  Vitamins are critical in this regard and so are minerals such as zinc and selenium.
    One of the primary reasons that fruits and vegetables are so important in the diet is because they contain a host of antioxidant nutrients.  Consider that these plants grow in nature fully exposed to the sun.  They have developed a variety of chemicals such as flavonoids and carotenoids, particularly in their outer walls, to neutralize the dangerous effects of constant solar radiation.  When we eat these plants we then take advantage of these antioxidant compounds.
    With the understanding that oxidation and free radical pathology lie at the root of so many diseases, there is much research investigating the antioxidant capability of various plant compounds.  It is estimated there are well over 1/2 million chemicals within plants, and so there is no scarcity of subject matter.  It seems that there are constant revelations about new antioxidant properties derived from various plants.  The bark of certain trees; the pigments within certain algae; the lipids in certain grains; the oleoresins in herbs; the sulphorophanes in cruciferous vegetables; the vitamin C in various fruits; the hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, vanillic acid and vervascoside in olives; and the carotenoids and flavonoids in brightly colored fruits and vegetables are all on the list.
    It is also being discovered that the capabilities of the various antioxidants vary from one to the next, and can impart different benefits.  The wise course is to eat a varied diet of fresh, whole, natural foods as unprocessed as possible.  Processing, heat and light can destroy antioxidant value.  Eating a variety of foods as recommended in the Optimal Health Program helps assure getting a spectrum of these important antioxidants.  In addition, a good insurance policy is the broad spectrum antioxidant formulation Spectrox™, which incorporates a concentrated form of the most potent antioxidants yet discovered from a broad range of natural foods.