A significant benefit of the ongoing impeachment debate is the thought which it can stimulate on politics and civics. For me it has caused reflection on what government is, and why we even need it.
The topic should be important to us all not because of what government can do for us but because of what government can do to us. We must be constantly vigilant. Although all may be well at any point in time for us personally, we must be sure that a crack in the dam that keeps government in check is not occurring.
If our government gets too big, its power entrenched and solidified, its will exerted without checks and balances to protect our freedoms, we can become victims of an oppressive state – just as billions of people throughout history and even presently are. If this occurs, the luxury of worrying about health will disappear and be replaced with having to deal with oppression. So this is a health issue, even though it may seem somewhat peripheral to the theme of the newsletter.
The best way to understand government is to understand its history. Let's go back in time, into prehistory, when humans were likely nomadic hunter/gatherers. A solitary person fending for himself or herself in the wild is their own government. They have total freedom. The only things that guide their decisions are issues of survival and personal harm, rewards and consequences. No outside agency is necessary to tell them what they can or cannot do.
The prehistoric family unit created the first need for government. Because of brute strength, men were likely the governmental head. Rewards and benefits of how they treated their family would guide their power. No outside governmental agency was necessary. The family had total liberty and freedom limited only by conscience and the give and take that creates a balance between children, men and women.
In these ancient times, children did not move away, but extended the family with their families and their children. Thus was born the first society beyond the nuclear family. Things would now start to get more complicated. Who is going to do the hunting, who takes care of the children, who makes clothing and shelter, who decides how much each person gets to eat, who they mate with and what is the seating arrangement around the fire? Choice now has to be modified because of the variabilities within the society. At this point it is likely that the oldest, strongest, most experienced adult became the leader, the government. They would have to lay down rules and even exact punishments. If their rule was fair and just it's likely that harmony would exist within this small extended family society. If the person was oppressive and selfish, sooner or later someone would rise up within the group and take over – likely by way of the might of club or spear.
As populations grew and clans increasingly made contact with one another, intermarried and traded, consolidation occurred by way of agreement or the sheer might of one over the other. Thus would be born small nations controlling a territory for its hunting and gathering privileges. In these societies it is likely that the strongest and smartest person became the leader, the government. The rules and laws that would be enforced by now would have been passed down by tradition, but there would be ongoing revision and expansion to cover the endless vagaries resulting from human personalities and interactions. A just and benevolent leader would be tolerated. An oppressive, selfish dictator would only be able to control power as long as they were able to destroy any challenger.
Society would have grown and consolidated also when wildlife food diminished. An agrarian society would emerge requiring more specialized skills and trading. Farmers would trade with the blacksmith, the blacksmith with the seamstress, the seamstress with the general store and so forth. Now things are getting even more complex, requiring an increasing number of rules to dictate and enforce fairness. In these early societies someone would usually be the singular ruler. In order to adequately rule it was critical that they have absolute power and respect from the people. The army that was assembled to help protect the society from others could also be used to enforce the will of the potentate. Apothesizing a ruler was also widely used in early societies. If a ruler could argue that they were appointed by god or were in fact god themselves, this was a powerful method of maintaining control.
Incredible, cruel examples were used by rulers in societies to strike fear into the hearts of all subjects. People would be tortured by every imaginable method to extract confessions – true or untrue. They would be slow roasted by burning at the stake, disemboweled in public, or beheaded with their heads posted on stakes in constant view of the other citizens. Such punishments were very public affairs designed not only to quash a potential rebel, but to make a very clear point to others who might desire to challenge in any way the authority of the leader. History is filled with such examples of what may seem to be ruthless leadership. Central American Indians, American Indians, English monarchs, Mongols, Egyptian pharaohs, and modern day examples such as Hitler and Stalin typify the iron hand that was used by rulers to maintain power.
When societies increase much beyond that of a nuclear family, government becomes necessary. Since people are basically focused on their own self interests, people will abuse one another if they are not kept in check. Anarchy, with everyone grabbing the most they can for themselves, would destroy any society that is not constrained with controls.
Now, if everyone were altruistic and selfless, no government would ever be needed – but this is fantasy. Rule and law are necessary. The ideal government then would be a dictator who was perfectly just. Such a dictatorship would be wonderful.
Everyone would have freedom to pursue their life in peace and would be protected from the unfair intrusion of others. Such a perfect form of government forms the basis for the hope in religion: an afterlife ruled by a perfect dictator/deity.
Today democracy is thrown around much, as if it is the answer to man's governmental needs. It is assumed to be the best and fairest form of government. But it obviously is not. The will of the majority has nothing to do with fairness or rightness. The majority could keep a Hitler or a Stalin in power.
The majority could keep a segment of the population as slaves or prevent a minority from voting. Democracy would be fine if all those who were voting were fully informed and made perfectly logical and rational choices. But in spite of arguments we hear purveyed constantly on the news now about how polls would argue this or that or that there is wisdom in the majority – this is simply not true. Such reference to polls is demagoguery. The majority are usually easily misled, think only of their narrowed short-term self-interests, judge on superficial appearances, and are not willing to sacrifice now for long-term benefits. Democracy means the intelligent minority get ruled by the unintelligent majority. If majority had always ruled in this country, we would never have broken with England and would still be its colony.
We also would have never abolished slavery. As I have continued to repeat in the Health Letter regarding so many issues, once you find out what the majority thinks you will be closer to the truth if you position yourself at the exact opposite end.
Personally, I would fear a government run by plebescite (democratic, majority mob rule) more than one run by a singular dictator. It would be much easier to overthrow a single despot than a majority of the population.
So what is the best government? It is a benevolent and fair dictatorship. The problem is there is no such perfect person. Power can corrupt. A dictator can have a bad day and put in place a law that would seriously jeopardize freedom.
Here is the best idea ever. You make a benevolent dictatorship, but do not place it in the hands of a person. You get together a group of intelligent people who will take fiduciary responsibility and have them set forth a body of laws that protect the individual freedom and liberty of every citizen, yet also protect them from harm by other citizens or by those who are in place to enforce these laws. Thus you would have a written code of laws that would serve as the benevolent dictator to whom everyone is subject. That is exactly what the American experiment is. The Constitution is that body of laws. It is the benevolent dictator. Congress, the President, the Supreme Court and Judicial System are all in place merely to make sure that the body of laws (the benevolent dictatorship) is kept sacrosanct and enforced. The integrity of that body of law, the Constitution, is our assurance of safety from political oppression.
So when you hear comments about how we should do or not do this or that because of polls, or that we are a democracy where the will of the majority is what is most important, or that infractions of the Constitution are not important, it should strike fear into your heart. Such argumentation strikes at the core of our Constitutional safety net. If we permit even small holes to be eroded in it, or permit those who are in place to protect its integrity to flaunt it or veer from it, we place ourselves and our children in serious jeopardy. The Constitution is not the place for a liberal view.
The majority under Mussolini kept him in power simply because he was able to make the trains run on time. The majority permitted the rise of a Hitler and a Stalin and many other oppressive rulers through history. By the time the citizens came to understand that they were being abused and rulers had gained almost insurmountable power over them, it was too late. Surely people felt, just as so many of us do today, that politics is unimportant or boring or the issues are trite. Apathy and ignorance and disloyalty to our benevolent dictator, the Constitution, are an open invitation for power-hungry rulers to gain their foothold. Beware.
NUTRITION AND EXERCISE PERFORMANCE
It is popularly believed that simple sugars and complex carbohydrates taken before, during, or after exercise will enhance performance. This seems reasonable enough. Since exercise requires fuel, and blood sugar is a fuel, why would we not want to consume sugar to help decrease fatigue and increase performance?
Actually, exercise fuel can be derived from several elements. It can come from blood sugar, but also from free fatty acids derived from adipose (fat) cells, muscle glycogen (a storage form of glucose), and even protein, once the former nutrients are exhausted. So the body has a choice. That choice is in large part dependent on what is circulating in the blood.
If we have just consumed a high carbohydrate meal or a sugar-laden drink, blood sugar levels will be high and this is the energy the body will use rather than draw upon glycogen or body fat. In fact, if a person eats the high carbohydrate diet of 60-70% of calories as carbohydrates presently recommended by the American Heart Association, muscles will indeed preferentially use glucose rather than body fat.
We tend to underestimate the energy contained within body stores of fat and glycogen. Even a lean person has enough stored fat and glycogen within body stores to support 200 miles of continuous running. Most of us, with our pudgy little bodies, have enough stored energy to run to the moon and back.
Research has demonstrated that if exercise is undertaken after an overnight fast, the body will preferentially draw upon fat stores. Fat is much more dense in energy than carbohydrate, containing approximately 2-1/2 times the amount of energy per weight as sugar or complex carbohydrates. Our bodies, in fact, like and prefer to use fat as a source of energy, but we just do not give ourselves a chance to utilize it. Constant nibbling on carbohydrate-rich foods and swigging soft drinks laden with glucose, corn syrup or the like, floods our blood with sugar. So that is what is primarily used – assuming we are engaged in exercise. For many in today’s sedentary society this glut of sugar is deposited as fat, crippling an increasingly huge segment of our society with obesity.
This is what the research demonstrates:
1. Eating a sugary food before exercise does not increase energy.
2. The more exercise trained an individual is, the more their body will utilize fat rather than carbohydrates.
3. If a person is eating a high carbohydrate diet, even if they are engaged in an aggressive exercise program, it will take several weeks for the body to adapt to using fats for fuel if the diet is changed such that fewer carbohydrates are eaten.
4. If water, as opposed to glucose, fructose or glucose polymers, is consumed during a 2 hour exercise period, blood free fatty acids and glycerol (both derived from the breakdown of body fat) are highest when water alone is taken – proving that the body prefers the use of fat under these circumstances. Finally, I should also mention that if sugar-laden foods are taken during an exercise period, the heart rate will significantly increase and blood pressure will remain elevated for a longer period of time than if water alone is consumed. This seems to indicate that the body recognizes the consumption of sugars as a stress and is reacting to this. This is exactly the opposite of the effect we would like to achieve if we are interested in performance and health.
During exercise the body can lose significant amounts of water through sweat and exhalation. When sugary solutions are consumed, the osmotic gradient between the digestive tract and the blood changes such that water tends to move from the blood into the digestive tract to dilute the sugar. This is exactly opposite of what the body needs. It needs more water in the blood, not less, and this may be in part the reason for the increased heart rate and adverse blood pressure changes.
The bottom line is that carbohydrate foods before, during or after exercise are not only not beneficial, but may be harmful.
Water is the preferred sports drink. If you are interested in increasing performance or decreasing body fat, then wean yourself off carbohydrates and move to the raw, natural foods with an emphasis on natural proteins and fats as outlined in the Wysong Optimal Health Program. (For serious, more highly trained athletes, Wysong
Energy Drink™ will prove of benefit and not cause the adverse sugar effects mentioned previously.)
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995;61:968S
Sports Medicine, 1991;2:102
Townsend Letter, June 1996:30-31
J Appl Physiol, 1989;1:179
J Am Coll Nutr, 1992;6:719
CALCIUM AND COLON CANCER
Supplemental calcium may decrease the risk of colon cancer. If cells have already progressed substantially toward cancer this effect is diminished, so prevention is key.
Calcium seems to have the ability to decrease the over-proliferation of colon epithelial cells stimulated by bioacids. In the laboratory it also seems to have the ability to induce cell differentiation which decreases their chance of becoming cancerous.
Studies of individuals who have a history of colonic tumors have demonstrated that calcium supplementation can have a marked effect on suppressing cell transformation into tumors.
Orgamin™ has a variety of naturally complexed sources of calcium and if taken at 1 to 1-1/2 times the recommended dose, the level of calcium that has been demonstrated by research to prevent colon cancer will be achieved. Needless to say, following the Optimal Health Program is essential and certainly the antioxidant nutrients such as found in Spectrox™, essential fatty acid supplements, and Immulyn™ would be excellent adjuncts in preventing this disease.
J Cell Biochem, 1995;S22:65-73
Cancer Res, 1986;46;10:5426-30
GLUCANS AS IMMUNE STIMULANTS
There are many fungi and yeasts that contain an important polysaccharide. This long-chain branched sugar, called beta-1,3-D-glucan, is a nonspecific immune activator. Nonspecific means the immune system is stimulated to respond not just to a specific infective agent, like a vaccine is designed to do, but rather to put the immune system on alert for all assaults on the body.
Macrophages are immune cells that help the body detoxify, fight infective agents and attack tumors. They have a receptor on their walls that binds to beta-1,3-D-glucan. When this occurs, the macrophage immune cell is activated to phagocytosis (engulfing foreign materials), releasing of intercellular hormones called cytokines, and response to antigens (foreign proteins) is stimulated.
Since glucans can pass through the stomach and intestinal tract without being digested, they remain intact to be taken up by macrophages that are within the intestinal wall and induce systemic immune activation.
Rather than attack infective agents as chemotherapeutic and antibiotic agents do, glucans stimulate the host immune response, making the ground less fertile for disease to bloom. When combined with antibiotics or other chemotherapeutic agents, glucans can greatly enhance treatment against bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.
Glucans have even been injected into skin tumors such as melanomas, resulting in their complete resolution.
Glucans in combination with radiotherapy have resulted in protection against bone marrow suppression and increased resistance to opportunistic infections.
When applied to skin wounds, glucans greatly increased skin healing as noted by more rapid re-epithelization (covering over of skin cells) and more rapid fibroplasia (the laying down of the fibrous web that mends wounds). Glucans have even been demonstrated to reduce the number, depth, and length of wrinkles in skin and also reduce thickening, roughness and dryness in skin.
Since the introduction of Immulyn™, which contains glucans, we have received numerous reports of healing responses that were resistant to many conventional therapies. This is anecdotal, but correlates well with the bounty of research material demonstrating the unusual benefits of this natural and safe nutritional healer. For more information request a copy of the Immulyn™ monograph.
Townsend Letter, November 1998:68
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF PAPER
At a recent visit to a health food store the cashier double paper bagged 4 bags of groceries for the customer in line ahead of me. I could have put all of it in one plastic bag. Because paper comes from trees and the bags had environmental verbage on them, these folks felt like they were saving the environment. Here are some facts:
• The world’s largest human-made structure is a landfill on Staten Island.
• Americans dump 180 million tons of garbage annually, more than 40% of which is paper.
• High-grade printing, copying, and writing paper is the largest single component in a landfill, making up nearly 15% of landfill waste.
• The current paper recycling rate is 35% lower today than it was 40 years ago.
• Only 6% of the office, computing, printing, and magazine paper is recycled in the United States.
• Less than 1/5 of 1% of printing and writing paper used by American consumers is recycled back into printing and writing paper.
• More paper will go into landfills in 1999 even if the paper industry meets its target of 40% paper recycling.
• The number of usable landfill sites in the United States has dropped by 2/3 in the last 11 years.
• Every ton of recycled paperboard: Saves 17 trees
Saves 4,100 kwh of energy
Saves 7,000 gallons of water
Reduces air pollution by 60 pounds
Saves 3 cubic yards of landfill
Better than recycling is reducing. Don’t use paper unless necessary. Never throw away recyclable good one-sided paper. Don’t buy note pads; tear open envelopes and use their inside. Don’t use grocery bags if you can carry what you purchase. Don’t permit baggers to double bag or put only a few items in one bag. Reuse grocery bags the next time you shop. Only then recycle, as a next to the last resort discarding. If we really want to save the environment we must all act responsibly with a view toward future consequences and do what can be done to curb population – the engine that ultimately drives all environmental woes.
PRESERVE YOUR DNA WITH VEGGIES
DNA and other nucleic acids within cells form the genetic material that blueprints not only our birth, but the continued healthy maintenance of all tissues. It is believed now that the accumulation of genetic damage over time is what results in aging and chronic degenerative disease.
There are repair mechanisms that can restore damaged DNA and there are other biochemical mechanisms in the body that help prevent free radical damage to genetic material. These protective factors are partly produced by the body, but also are provided by the foods we consume.
Studies have shown that if individuals abstain from fresh vegetables containing a variety of carotenoids, flavonoids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, that DNA damage is increased in monitored cells.
This is more reason to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, consider the use of supplements such as Spectrox™, Whole Food A•C•E™, and Whole Food Concentrate™, which are rich sources of DNA-protecting phytonutrients.
LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE WITH MINERALS
Blood pressure increases as blood vessels lose their elasticity. This loss is a result of the same atherosclerotic changes that occur in the coronary blood vessels leading to coronary heart disease.
The solution to high blood pressure, therefore, is to adopt the lifestyle changes described in the Optimal Health Program, change the diet with a special emphasis on decreasing carbohydrates, and increasing supplementation, particularly of the antioxidant nutrients such as found in Spectrox™.
Additional help with high blood pressure can occur by supplementation with magnesium and calcium. Magnesium, in particular, has the ability to relax blood vessels which in effect increases their diameter and thus reduces the pressure. The result from such supplementation is not dramatic, but is nevertheless significant and will help reduce the risk of stroke. An excellent source of these major minerals is Orgamin™.
Magnesium is commonly deficient in the modern diet. In individuals suffering from osteoporotic bone loss, magnesium reserves within bone are also lost. Supplementation with magnesium will, therefore, also help retard osteoporosis. An additional benefit of magnesium is for those who suffer from the muscle pain of fibromyalgia.
J Amer Osteo Assoc, 1985;85:104-107
Hypertension, August 1998;32:260-265
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1998;83:2742-2748
SOY FORMULA DANGERS
The isoflavones found in soy, including daidzein, glycitein and genistein, have sex hormone effects. These effects are powerful enough that in women who have estrogen sensitive cancer, the plant-based isoflavones can actually alter these diseases.
Although there may be benefit in women, there is reason for serious question with the use of isoflavones in children. The natural ideal food for children is a raw, whole product they are genetically adapted to, namely mother’s breast milk. When children are fed soy-based formula they can be receiving as much as 12 mg of isoflavones per kilogram of body weight per day. This is substantially higher than any adult consumes.
What is the effect of phytoestrogens given to children in their formative years? Do we think that feeding them high levels of sex hormones when they are supposed to be receiving mother’s milk may not affect their future? Could this be the cause of the increased incidence of reproductive system cancers in men and women? Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer and testicular cancer are on the rise. Additionally, there is an increase in infertility in both men and women, problems with libido, impotence and sexual orientation.
This rise in reproductive system disease is concomitant with the introduction of soy-based infant formulas. The association may not be proof, but you can bet these diseases are a result of some artificial manipulation of our diet or environment and certainly substituting a synthetic, hormone-laden food for breast milk in infants would be high on the list of suspects.
J Agric Food Chem, 1997;45:4635-8