- DEAR FRIEND:
- Although the media may give us
the impression that we are receiving all the late breaking important discoveries, such
is not the case.
- What we hear in the popular
press is selected to increase ratings and conform to convention. The really important revolutionary research
results that spring from careful study by competent, honest and inquisitive investigators
by and large stays buried in the scientific literature.
- A new idea may eventually be
reported, but there is a 10 to 15 year lapse before it reaches the collective
professional audience, and perhaps even longer for the public to get it.
- The question arises: Why would
your doctor not be up-to-date on late breaking discoveries that could mean the
difference between health and disease for you? It's
because he is up to his neck putting out fires in his office and trying to eek out enough
time to have some semblance of a personal life. The
rigors of a medical practice simply do not permit perusing and digesting the current
literature. When you consider that tens of
thousands of research projects and scientific reports are added to the literature each
year, it becomes apparent why it would be an insurmountable task for a practitioner to
truly stay abreast. Instead he depends on
colleagues, drug salespeople, and short courses. But
these sources are usually not current and are often narrowed, always conventional and even
prejudicial. To be unconventional would risk
ostracism, censure, even loss of license.
- So the onus is on you. I realized this long ago, and the Health Letter is really just the written record of
my effort to find information unencumbered by conformity.
I am not saddled with an office full of patients and insurance forms to fill
out. I can dedicate the time to surveying
the current literature to glean from it the important, late-minute, state-of-the-art
breakthroughs that can put you ahead of current conventional medicine.
- This is not to say that I can
survey every piece of research results that emerges.
I use a short cut. The value of
the philosophy of the Health Letter -that humans
have departed dangerously from their proper environmental context -serves as an efficient
sieve for me to focus on information that fits this imminently logical algorithm.
- Therefore, the Health Letter will not be of assistance to you if
you are looking for the latest drug to use for your midday depression, or surgery to
repair the closed blood vessel in your heart, or an insurance carrier to permit you better
access to modern medical measures. This is,
however, the source for information that helps put you in control of your own health
destiny and assists you in restoring your proper nutritional, environmental, lifestyle,
and social context.
- The Health Letter (and a few other publications such
as those listed in the Wysong Book Store Catalog), in effect, fill the gigantic chasm
between emerging truth and the always out-of-date standard of care and current consensus
- Health is a good place to heed the adage that
truth lies at the opposite end of what the majority believe.
- GIVE MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY CREDIT
- A woman lost her thumb in a
boat propeller. Skin was grafted from the groin onto the area and then a toe was
transplanted. This resulted in adequate sensibility and a return of 50% of the adduction power of the thumb. She had
adequate range of motion and full extension of the thumb. In spite of loss of the toe, she
was able to walk without difficulty.
- A true marvel of modern medical skill. But don't
be misled. Such skill does not translate into either the ability of modern medicine to
prevent disease, or adequately treat or cure the serious degenerative plagues of
modern society. Surgical skill is a mechanical skill and gives physicians no more
knowledge of how to achieve or keep health than any other mechanic.
- Modern technological society is
the place to be if you need surgical repair such as this. It is not the place to be if you
want to prevent, maintain and build health.
- 1. The
New England Journal of Medicine, March 23, 1995:785
- SUMMER SUN UPON US
- Skin cancer is on the increase.
Its increase is occurring at the same time that people are using more and more sunscreen
- Go to the beach and watch the blind faith in
sunscreens. People white as ghosts will slather up with sunscreen and lay in the sun for
hours on end. Their prolonged exposure would never be possible without such chemical
screens. Their skin would soon let them know they were getting too much and they'd seek
shade. With the screening agents, people are given the impression that they can
essentially stay in the sun as long as they want, as long as they keep putting on
sunscreens with a high enough SPF.
- We simply do not know all there
is to know about the sun and its effect on the body. We do know our skin has been designed
to be exposed to natural sunlight and disease does not result from doing so. If this
were not true, we would not exist today. We are designed to be naked and outside.
- We also do not know the
long-term effects of the various chemicals that are used in commercial products. The
mere fact that we can prevent burning does not tell us what our artificial manipulation of
the sun's rays on the skin with synthetic products ultimately does to the surface of the
skin, to tissues underneath it, or even to the blood coursing through it.
- Slowly acclimate to the sun.
Wear clothing and use the shade to limit your exposure until you have adapted to the new
season. If sunscreen must be used, use natural products in moderation only as a
temporary stop gap and not as an excuse for unlimited exposure. (See Resource A, below) Don't rely on SPF. It creates false security and
- In spite of all the scientific
research that has been done to investigate skin cancer there is no convincing evidence
that more exposure to the sun, per se, increases
the risk of melanoma. On the other hand, chemical substances we are exposed to may be
prime candidates for sensitizing us and increasing the risk of developing skin cancer. For
example, children who receive chemotherapy for childhood cancer have an increased risk
of melanoma. There is also a correlation between water pollution and chlorination of
swimming pools and risk of melanoma. (People go on vacation to the beach, find a condo
with a swimming pool and spend their days dipping in and out of chlorinated water and
sun bathing. With all we know about the various toxic effects of chlorine it seems like we
would have learned by now.)
- No, it is not old sol that is
the cause of skin cancer. The cause is unusual behavior - such as sun bathing for hours
sprawled in the sun slathered with so-called "sun-screens," or exposure to
environmental chemicals such as water pollutants and chlorine.
- 2. The
Lancet, February 11, 1995: 397
Wysong Sun Care Products. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a
- VIGOROUS EXERCISE FOR LONGEVITY
- In a study of 21,582 Harvard
alumni, it was demonstrated that there was an inverse relationship between total physical
activity and mortality. This means that exercise of a vigorous nature was associated with
- With almost 60% of the U.S.
adult population engaging in little or no leisure time activity, it is little wonder our
population is struck with degenerative disease as it is. Though nonvigorous exercise can
benefit many aspects of health, if you want to reach the mother load of increased life
span, you are going to have to sweat and breathe hard.
- Find an exercise activity you
enjoy and work up a sweat and breathe hard for 15 or 20 minutes three times a week at
least. Preferably, every day should be an exercise day to some
degree, but be sure to be vigorous at least three times a week.
- As I have mentioned before many
times in the Health Letter, a program of aerobic
exercise combined with weightbearing strength type training done not casually, but with
effort, will yield the best dividends. Make it interesting and enjoyable by doing it with
friends, joining a club, or engaging in a competitive sport which you can regularly play
and train for on off times.
- 3. Journal of the American Medical Association,
April 19, 1995:1179
- SALMON MAY NOT BE SALMON
- With increasing pollution of
inland water ways, choosing ocean fish seems a healthier alternative. Wild animals,
including fish, are also more natural in the sense that they do not spring from farmed
areas which have been manipulated with artificial fertilizers, herbicides and
pesticides. Nor have these creatures been intensively raised in confinement such as
commonly occurs in the food animal industry.
- All of these seem logical
reasons to choose ocean fish.
- Among ocean fish, salmon are
desirable since they are high in the omega-3 (fish oil) factor. But don't assume that when
you go to the meat counter that "Atlantic" salmon are that at all. That may be
the species of fish you see there, but it may be as far removed from the Atlantic ocean as
a creature could possibly get.
- Most salmon, in fact many fish
that retain their ocean names at the meat counter, are not from the ocean at all anymore.
Rather, they are farmed in inland aquaculture ponds. Here they do not live out their
natural life cycle in pristine oceans, but grow in a bathtub-like pond and are fed dog
- I am not saying that they are
literally fed dog food from packages so labeled, but the food they receive is
essentially no different than what is being fed to dogs and cats out of commercial
packages. The pellets fed to fish are milled and extruded nuggets of commodity grains and
by-product meat meals "fortified" with synthetic vitamins identical to those
used in the pet food industry.
- The object in choosing wild
meats is to gain the benefit of the natural ratio of whole integrated nutrients that are
assembled within the tissues of these creatures. Fish are what they eat. Domestically
pond-farmed fish are nothing more than processed foods with synthetic fortifiers and
- If that isn't enough,
researchers in Canada have now altered the DNA of Pacific salmon to create fish that are
on average more than 11 times bigger than their natural counterparts. One fish, in fact,
after a year of growth was over 37 times larger than standard pacific salmon! The
stimulation of growth occurs as a result of taking growth promoter genes from fish and
mice and injecting them into salmon eggs. Don't think aquaculture food producers are not
salivating over this... but Im not sure we should at the dinner table.
- Whether or not to consume
bathtub fish that have been bloated by dog food and growth stimulant genes from mice is
the best thing to eat is, for me, an obvious choice.
- When making your fish
selections, talk to personnel in the store and make them assure you that the fish you
are selecting are indeed directly from the ocean.
Scientific American, February 1995: 24
- EDUCATED BUT SHALLOW
- As technology increases, so
does the time and effort necessary to learn it. In medical school, it is all a student can
do to learn the morass of detail required to pass testing. There is little time or call
to think beyond how the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, or which enzyme comes
first in the Krebs biochemical cycle.
- Recently, 50 residents in internal medicine were being
interviewed. They all aspired to leader-ship roles in academic medicine in the future.
They were drawn from 17 residency programs from over 25
- To veer somewhat from the
conventional interview questioning, an interviewer asked residents to express their
thoughts on health system reform. The interviewers were shocked when they barely got
responses. Few enunciated even a broad goal of reform such as universal insurance
coverage, and "none had any well-formed ideas about how to actually address these
challenges or realize these goals or could even render a seasoned opinion about somebody
else's well informed idea." Most of these technically talented individuals didn't
seem to even really care about the crisis the health care system faces.
- This is a long cry from the
admonition of sage ancient physician Galen who said a physician must first of all be a
philosopher. Our world is being filled with highly skilled
plumbers, carpenters, electricians and seamstresses both in and outside of medicine.
Technical skill does not require thought, nor a great deal of intelligence, but rather
simply the ability to be trained in an art.
- Without broad perspective,
without reflection, without a critical view we become simply swept along by current
standards with little hope for salutary revision.
- If the technocrats in our world
do not become philosophically sage, then it is up to us, the consumers, to do so, so
that we know when to say yes and when to say no to the latest technology someone wishes to
apply to us.
- 5. Journal of the American Medical Association,
May 17, 1995:1533
- HOMEOPATHY MORE THAN PLACEBO
- Homeopathy is a healing art
that designs medicines to mimic the symptoms of the disease they are attempting to treat.
In contrast, modern medicines are allopathic in that they attempt to reverse or
eliminate the symptoms of disease. Homeopathy is extremely safe and essentially
without side effects, and is based on the principle of working with the body's response
rather than against it.
- There has always been
considerable debate as to the merits of homeopathy. It is considered implausible by
the modern medical mind. Medical students are simply not trained to believe that a poison
can actually become an aid at very low dose as occurs in homeopathy. Additionally, since
there is a lack of understanding about how homeopathics work, the fact that they do work
for patients is simply ignored.
- What is particularly intriguing
about homeopathy is that some of the medications are diluted so much that none of the
molecules of the original substance remain. This is explained by homeopathic
practitioners by suggesting that water or alcohol, the diluant used, can encode the
biological information from the homeopathic, even when none of the original molecules are
any longer present.
- In this regard, modern medical
science, like modern nutritional science, both aggregate sciences built upon more
fundamental sciences such as chemistry and physics, lag far behind the state of knowledge.
Modern physicists, for example, understand the possibility of isotopic stereo diversity,
clathrates, resiments, coherence, and electromagnetic changes that may impart
properties to the water or diluant in a homeopathic medication that can affect
biological systems. For example, it has been found that homeopathic dilutions can have
nuclear magnetic resonance changes.
- But such noneuclidean,
nonreductionistic and even counterintuitive ways of thinking about things are so
foreign to the traditionally educated mind that they are simply rejected.
- Recent studies, however,
confirm that homeopathic medications can produce more than a placebo effect. A
meta-analysis of three clinical trials proved a clinical effect. Medical scientists are
now left with either the conclusion that homeopathics work, or that clinical trials, no
matter how carefully they are conducted, produce false positive results.
- To concede the latter would
remove the entire scientific underpinning of modern medicine. To concede the former
would mean non-conventional medicine works.
- 6. The
Lancet, December 10, 1994: 1601
- JOINT REPLACEMENT DANGERS
- Joint replacement surgery is
one of the most common forms of surgery. Over 120,000 knee replacements alone were
performed last year in the U.S. The cost was an estimated $3.5 billion five years ago. It
is only growing.
- There is no question that this
surgery has provided remarkable results. It can alleviate pain and give mobility. In spite
of the successes, this, like any other surgery, should only be considered when there are
absolutely no alternatives left.
- Here are some things doctors
won't tell you and you may not want to hear when you are looking for a silver bullet
solution. Just in the last year, the number of failures of the
surgery has climbed to 12%. What happens when there is failure? You have to go back in
for repair, replacement, or even fusion of the joints... or amputation. Second time
surgeries are always more complex and more difficult for the surgeons since they must work
through scar tissue, inflammation, bruises, clots, old sutures and possible pockets of
infection left behind from the first technique. Additionally, the anatomical landmarks
that make a first-time surgery more precise and defined can be obscured in subsequent
surgeries, making the possibility of mistakes such as severing critical nerves and
vessels far more likely.
- 1 in 90 patients will die as a result of the
procedure. 1 in every 35 is readmitted on an emergency basis within a month of the
operation. A stroke caused by pulmonary embolism is the most common cause of death in
patients undergoing the surgery.
- The various
"bio-materials" used such as titanium, vanadium, aluminum, cobalt, stainless
steel, chromium and plastics can break down due to wear in the joint, creating fine
particulates that can migrate throughout the body. These foreign particles can cause
chronic inflammation, lymph node disease, destruction of the bone marrow, reabsorption of
the bone and loosening of the implant. Some believe that neoplasia (cancer) is stimulated
by these migrating foreign materials. Other problems include sciatic nerve palsy,
retention of urine, granulomatosis as a result of a possible allergic reaction to the
materials implanted and deep vein thrombosis (plugging) in the legs.
- Infection can be the worst
complication of all. Not only will infection destroy the potential good results of the
procedure, but infections in the bones and bone marrow may linger for years and even a
lifetime - causing unrelenting pain and sickness, requiring constant medication that
creates even more sickness by their side effects.
- These are certainly sufficient
reasons to give anyone pause before they jump to purchase this new technology. Many of
the materials being used for implants are by and large unproven and you thus become an
experimental subject. One author in a medical journal stated "You can design a
hip replacement in your garden shed today and be putting it into patients tomorrow."
In 1971 there was just 1 hip replacement design. Now there are
34, and hundreds of prosthetics available for the knee.
- Be sure you exhaust all of the
other reasonable methods available to you before you have yourself experimented on. If you
are overweight, try to lake some of the load off. Eat fresh, whole, natural foods. Stay
away from manufactured foods such as hydrogenated oils, white refined sugar, white flour
products and refined salt. Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine every day. Drink pure
water and try to find organic sources of food. Be careful of food sensitivities and
allergies and avoid those foods that cause them. Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement
at least at RDA levels (see Resource B, below) and an antioxidant supplement containing
beta carotene, C and E (see Resource C, below). Begin a regular exercise program that
combines both aerobic and weightbearing exercises. Do what you can. Begin slowly and
gradually continue to challenge yourself and make such a program a permanent part of your
life. Refer to past issues of the Health Letter using
the index to find articles on arthritis and for various other nutritional and natural
methods to relieve the pain of arthritis and reverse the disease.
- If people experiencing joint
problems would do these things, simply taking control of their own health destiny and
benefiting from all of the added bonuses of improving their health, the number of joint
replacements would dramatically decline.
Journal of the American Medical Association, May 14, 1994
- 8. British Medical Journal, December 17,1992
- 9. Journal of the American Medical Association,
June 8, 1994
- 10. The Lancet, April 24,1993
- 11. Journal of Arthritis, February 1994
- 12. British Journal of Radiation, March 1993
- 13. Cur Op Rheuma, March 1994
- 14. Guardian, February 23, 1993
- 15. What Doctors Don't Tell You, May 1995
Wysong RD, a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin/mineral supplement. If not available
locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
Wysong Food A*C*E a concentrated food only source of vitamins A,C, & E. If not
available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a supplier source.
- THE BHOPAL CATASTROPHE
- In December of 1984 water
leaked into a methyl isocyanate tank at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, setting
off a runaway reaction that vaporized between 30 and 40 tons of the gas. The cloud
settled over 30 square miles exposing over 600,000 people. Residents woke up, tried to
run away, but succumbed in the streets. Many died in fields and forests and in towns far
from Bhopal. The body count likely exceeded 7,000 people.
- At least 50,000 people are
still suffering. One person is dying almost every two days from the effects of the
gas. Lingering effects include increasing rate of asthma, 43% increase in miscarriages,
14% increase in death within a month after birth of new babies, and birth abnormalities
including limb abnormalities, spina bifida and heart disease.
- Four-fifths of the hundreds of
thousands of the survivors of the disaster have received no compensation. People living
in the worst affected areas were laborers who subsequently became unable to earn a living5
resulting in thousands suffering from posttraumatic stress and pathological grief
from no longer being able to care for or protect their loved ones. They are simply
victims with nowhere to turn.
- In spite of the scale of the
tragedy, no medical protocol has ever been developed for treating the victims.
Ignorance of the gas remains because Union Carbide considered its research data
proprietary. Those trying to treat the injured dont have a clue what they are up
against. Though later it was discovered that simply placing a wet cloth over the face
would have stopped the gas from penetrating, since it reacts rapidly with water, such
information was too late for the thousands who fell victim. This is a pathetic tragedy.
When translated to the scale of the misery experienced by even one human it is enough
to turn your stomach.
- Such tragedy is a wake-up call
and a reminder to us all of how precarious our safety is. This tragedy is like a fast
forward preview of what can happen on a larger environmental scale by degradation of
life sustaining balances. Some day, if the air, water and food has been ruined we will all
experience like tragedy.
- If you think your lawyer will
be able to sue someone for appropriate compensation, dream on. Reckless technology with
concern only for profit will ultimately commonize the costs of resulting ruination of
- Be ever suspicious. Do not
trust that industry or government is protecting you. Do not assume that if things break
down you will have adequate resources to recoup your damages.
- Be alert, stay informed, be
cautious and use whatever means are available to you to thwart so-called
"progress" that privatizes profit but commonizes cost.
- 16. Scientific American, June 1995: 16
- OLD IS YOUNG
- In a study of the oldest of the
old, the unexpected was found. Examining the lifestyle of individuals well into their 90's
and even 100 and beyond found that many were much healthier than those 20 years younger.
- Centenarians report that their
90's were essentially problem free. As Nonagenarians, many were employed, sexually
active, enjoyed the outdoors, sports, exercise and arts. The conclusion: "The
common idea that advancing age inevitably leads to extreme deterioration does, indeed,
seem to require revision."
- 17. Scientific American, January 1995: 70
- SCIENTISTS TAKE SUPPLEMENTS
- Although there is much
poo-pooing in the scientific literature regarding the taking of vitamin/mineral
supplements, what scientists practice is another thing. At a recent conference the
audience of about 2,000 scientists was asked if they took vitamin supplements; about
2,000 hands went up.
- 18. Science News, April 22,1995:249
- FRUIT AND ORAL CANCER
- Approximately 30,000 persons
per year in the United States develop oral cancer. The most consistent dietary findings
across multiple cultural settings are that there is a protective effect of diets high in
fruit consumption and a negative effect from high alcohol intake.
- 19. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February
- GARLIC IN THE EAR
- Crushed garlic cloves mixed
with olive or coconut oil, used to treat infections including those caused by fungi in the
ear, has been demonstrated to be highly effective.
- 20. British Medical Journal, February 11, 1995
- TEMPERATURE AND MORTALITY
- Every year snow birds
intuitively move south during the winter months because the heat just plain makes them
feel better. Now science has discovered that deaths in most countries are 10 to 25%
higher in the winter than during the rest of the year. For example, in Britain winter
brings an estimated 40,000 excess deaths. Most of these deaths are a result of heart
attack and stroke.
- In Taiwan it has been shown
that the risk of cerebral infarction (stroke) at 890F was 66% lower than that
at 80-840F; the risk increased by 3% per 1.80F reduction from 80-840F.
Additionally, the risk of coronary artery disease at 890F was 22% lower than at
79-840F; below 79-840F the risk increased by 2.8% per I .80F
Lancet, February 11, 1995:337 & 353
- LOW MAGNESIUM CAUSES MIGRAINES
- If you experience chronic
migraines, you might consider a blood test to measure magnesium levels. If low, consider
taking a magnesium supplement. On the other hand, you might simply try a magnesium
supplement in the form of magnesium taurate, for example, to see if it works and forget
- 22. Headache, 1994; 4: 100
- COFFEE DANGERS
- Anything taken in excess or
perpetually is potentially toxic. Anything
consumed daily, particularly if it is not a nutritional requirement but simply a form of
recreation or habit, should be highly suspect.
- Caffeine aggravates blood sugar
problems and thus mood, energy and sleep. Caffeine in coffee and soft drinks can cause the
overproduction of insulin which can lead to weight control problems, chronic low blood
sugar and diabetes. In addition, the stimulant action of caffeine is a stress to the
body which also increases blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing and can
cause a loss of calcium from the body.
- Just because everyone is doing
it and it is socially acceptable is no reason to assume it is safe.
Health Revelations, June 1995: 8
- CANNED ESTROGENS
- Canned foods can contain
estrogen pollutants. These hormone mimicking compounds are emitted by the plastic
coatings on the inside of canned fruits and vegetables. About 85% of the cans in the United States are coated by
plastics that can emit a compound called bisphenol-A (BPA) that can exert estrogen-like
effects in the body. Heat in-creases the release of this compound from the plastic lining
and since canned foods are retorted under high heat, the ideal conditions for the
release of this pollutant into the food are met.
- For a discussion of the
considerable dangers of environmental estrogenic compounds in causing a variety of
health problems including cancer, see Vol.8 No.3.
- 25. Science News, June 3, 1995: 341
- DON'T LAY AROUND WITH BACK PAIN
- Physicians normally prescribe
bed rest for acute low back pain usually caused by herniated discs. Only a few
controlled trials have even attempted to assess the effectiveness of this
- In a controlled study of almost
200 patients with back pain it was found that those who continued ordinary activities
within the limits permitted by the pain had more rapid recovery than those who used bed
rest or back mobilizing exercises. (This does not suggest, however, that exercise is not
an excellent preventive measure, see Vol.3, No.1.)
- 26. The New England Journal of Medicine, February 9,
- SMOKING? LOSE YOUR LOOKS
- Often the threat of lung
cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and the like are not enough to dissuade people from
smoking. Many who smoke do not realize that they will greatly accelerate the aging of
their face with smoking. Chemical toxins and free radical generating chemicals within
smoke cause the face to lose color, lose its vibrant look and feel, dry, then sag and
permanently furrow and wrinkle. Additionally, smoking will increase the chance of tooth
loss by live fold, cause yellowing of the teeth, deterioration of the gums and chronic
- Though people may not be moved
by the threat of terrible diseases which may strike them later in life, the notion of loss
of looks and attractiveness can be a real incentive. Use whatever is necessary to stop
this destructive habit.
- 27. Townsend Letter, June 1995: 24
- HONEY FOR HEALING
- In a study of 64 patients with
burns treated with either conventional dressings or a honey impregnated gauze, it was
found that the honey treated patients healed faster by almost a factor of 2, and had
half the amount of residual scars patients
using conventional dressings.
- 28. Burns,1994; 20:231-
- BCG FOR BLADDER DISEASE
- Interstitial cystitis, a
disease of the wall of the urinary bladder, is often very refractory to conventional
treatment. In an attempt to cure the disease, patients are often over-medicated resulting
in spin-off complications and diseases from the medications themselves. An accidental
finding by a researcher showed that Bacillus CalmetteGuerin (BCG) which is an attenuated
(non-virulent) strain of bovine tuberculosis bacteria was effective in treating
interstitial cystitis. This bacteria has also been attributed with the capability of
increasing immune function in treating certain forms of cancer. The serendipitous finding
was a result of treating a patient who was believed to have cancer of the bladder but
later found to have interstitial cystitis. After treatment with BCG the patient remained
without symptoms for four years.
- 29. Urology, 1994;43: 121-
- MUSIC FOR DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY
- Depression is common among the
elderly. Studies have demonstrated that by listening to music, particularly designed by
a music therapist, scores increase in standardized tests of depression, distress,
self-esteem and mood. The changes were not transient, but were maintained over a
nine-month follow-up period. This is a much more practical means of dealing with this
disability compared with the use of drugs which are particularly dangerous for the
- 30. Journal of Gerontology, 1994; 49: 265-
- MAMMARY SILICONE IN THE LUNGS
- Several cases of acute
pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) have occurred following the subcutaneous
(under the skin) injection of silicone for breast augmentation. Symptoms included fever,
hemoptysis (coughing up blood), and breathing difficulty as a result of infiltration of
lung tissue. Upon microscopic examination it was found that silicone particles were
within the lung tissue and inciting an inflammatory reaction.
- There was a time not too long
ago when silicone was believed to be truly inert in living tissue. Time always creates
interesting revelations and should warn us all about any definitive statements about
safety of any human intervention.
- For some people, cosmetic
techniques may be necessary for them to live a happy life. If such techniques are
elected, do a thorough examination of all of the alternative methods, check the
competency of the surgeon as best you can and be as conservative as possible. The
tragedy of a failed procedure and loss of health must be weighed against the potential
cosmetic benefits. (For further information see Resource D, below).
- D. Crashing into The WaII of Vanity, Cosmetic Surgery: Is
Ii For You?, by Katherine Michaels, R.N. This book provides extensive information
about cosmetic surgery including valuable ways to checkup on physicians and procedures.
155 pp., paperback, $6.95 + $3.50 shipping.
Available from the Wysong Book Store Catalog, 1.880 N. Eastman, Midland, MI 48642.
- 31. Chest, 1994; 106:1152-
- MAGNESIUM FOR PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME
- Premenstrual syndrome can be
characterized by a variety of symptoms including anxiety, irritability, insomnia, sugar
craving, increased appetite, hypoglycemic symptoms after sugar ingestion, depression,
forgetfulness, and fluid retention. Even a marginal deficiency of the mineral magnesium
could trigger any or all of these symptoms.
- One study of 192 women
demonstrated that magnesium supplementation relieved breast pain in 96% of the patients,
weight gain in 95%, nervous tension in 89% and headache in 43%.
- A reasonable level of
supplementation is 400 mg daily combined with 50 mg of vitamin B6 as a part
of a B complex supplement which increases the ability of the body to utilize magnesium.
- 32. Townsend Letter, June 1995: 26
- It was originally thought that
by adding fluorine to drinking water supplies that not only would tooth cavities be
reduced, but so would bone fractures. A study of 3,777 subjects aged 65 years and older
has shown this not to be true. Even for moderate concentrations of fluorine in the
drinking water, there was an increased risk of hip fracture.
- While scientists debate the
results of experimenting on you by adding various chemicals to your drinking water, why
not drop out of the experiment? If you are on city water, obtain devices that remove
fluorine and other additives. This can be done even right at the shower head. For drinking
water it is probably wiser to get a home purification system and make your own. (See
Resource E, below.)
- 34. Journal of the American Medical Association,
Water purification systems. If not available locally, contact Wysong Institute for a
- SIDS, SLEEP
POSITION AND SMOKING
- There is compelling evidence
both for and against the notion that children may increase their risk of Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS) if they sleep prone. When in doubt do the obvious. Placing a child
on its stomach on a soft mattress with blankets and clothing surrounding them which could
pocket against their face could conceivably cause breathing or apnea problems.
Additionally, it has been demonstrated that some chemicals that can gas out of various
kinds of mattresses and plastic covers may also be harmful and lead to the condition.
Placing the child on its stomach where it rebreathes these vapors in a concentrated form
may indeed increase risk.
- Another study has demonstrated
that mothers can increase SIDS risk for their children by smoking while they are breast
feeding. Toxins from the smoke go right through to the infant. Additionally, children
exposed to passive smoke are also at increased risk.
- 35. Ibid: 783
- COAL TAR
SHAMPOOS AND CANCER
- Coal tar is a complex mixture
of hundreds of compounds and includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAR). PAR are
known human carcinogens.
- Although most people think that
products applied to the skin or hair are restricted to the outside and wash off in the
next shower, such is not the case. The skin is an absorbing organ. What is put on the skin
should in effect be a safe and healthy edible product, since it may be absorbed into the
body just as food is absorbed into the body.
- Studies of the use of coal tar
shampoos have demonstrated that PAR are absorbed into the body creating a high
internal dose that is potentially carcinogenic. Coal tar products should be used only
briefly or intermittently if necessary.
- 36. The Lancet, November 26, 1994:1505