Dr. R. L. Wysong
July 1998
    As our world becomes more complex and we are distanced from nature and the sources of life, our vulnerability escalates.
    In the not-too-distant past, just 50 years ago or so, a large percentage of the population occupied family farms.
    They were pretty much self-sufficient.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of spending time at my grandparents’ farm where cows were milked, eggs were gathered, a garden tended, water was hand pumped and an outhouse with catalog pages for toilet paper was a real adventure.   Just a few years prior to that, there was no electricity and horsepower was made only by horses. These were hard times, but at least my grandparents were in control and pretty much self-sufficient.
    We have today traded such self-sufficiency for convenience and dependency.  As society progresses and population grows we will increasingly become vulnerable to the vagaries of others and to the sheer mass of the complex web we are caught up in.      I shudder when I visit a big city and think about how precarious life is there.  If all of a sudden the power is gone, or gasoline is not available, or food is not delivered to the grocery store, there would be pandemonium beyond imagination.
    I speak often in the Health Letter about the importance of being in control.  Not only might self-sufficiency save your life if infrastructure crumbles for some political or natural reason, but the psychological and physical benefits from not feeling as though you are a potential victim are immeasurable.
    How can we retain a sense of control when we are in fact so dependent?  Here are some ideas.  First and foremost, simplify life and decrease needs.  Learn how to do things you would otherwise hire out that might be important as a survival skill.  Gardening, mechanical, carpentry, plumbing, sewing, meal preparation, etc.  Some of these skills are taught every day on public television stations and also are available to learn off the internet or at your local library.
    Learn what foods are edible in your back yard or nearby forest.  Put up a survival kit at home, complete with a store of survival foods.
    Alarmist?  Extremist?   Is this silly to do when you’ve lived your whole life without needing this? Yes - only if you believe history does not repeat itself and you have a special exemption.
    Also, try to save the world.   Yes, I know it is a tall order but by doing something you will gain a tremendous feeling of self-worth and control.  Stay informed, be alert, understand what is going on in the world around you.  Don’t lose sight of the fact that we live in a finite world with finite resources that is on loan to us by our children.  We have a fiduciary responsibility to them and future generations.  Become active, take part, advocate, complain, compliment, be engaged, get heard, write letters, support benevolent organizations, join them, lead them, teach your children.
    This is so much better than being a passive consumer waiting to be a victim.  It will make you feel alive, give you hope and make life worth living.  It sends a message to your body that you are alive and important.  Your body responds by being healthy and staying alive.   The sense of being in control is one of nature’s strongest healers.
A Fish Story
    Five hundred years ago when John Cabot, in looking for a route to Asia, discovered North America, he found the richest fisheries on Earth. Cod were five and six feet long and weighed as much as 200 pounds. The waters were so teeming the fishermen boasted they could simply dip their hand in the water and pull out enough fish to feed a family for a week.
    Just a half a century after this discovery some 60% of the fish eaten in Europe were cod. Now, in the 1990’s, there is almost a total ban on cod fishing in Newfoundland where John Cabot made his discovery, because of reckless mismanagement and the human folly of thinking this was a bottomless resource. The vast fisheries of the world are going the way of tropical rain forests and Earth’s wilderness habitats.
    For about 300 years after Cabot, approximately 200,000 tons of cod per year were taken by hook and line from small dories. Then in the 1870’s the cod trap was invented, and then the distant-water fleet with draggers who could use modern technology to hunt down schools of fish while still far out at sea. These methods permitted catching them year round. The catch quadrupled to 800,000 tons per year.
    The dragger captains were able to locate the nurseries of the cod and found that the fish at the time of spawning were at their prime condition for the table and so they tore up the ocean floor harvesting these incubators of the great cod schools.
    In about 1992, however, the boats went out and came back empty. Countries began paying welfare checks to fishermen rather than reaping the bounty of a copious fish harvest. Livelihoods were ended, economies shattered, and fishing villages abandoned.
    The same scenario is occurring on virtually every sea coast on Earth. One newspaper reported that there is not a square meter of sea bottom in the Dutch region of the North Sea that is not being dragged by a beam crawler at least once a year. The bottom of the ocean is being plowed into a virtual desert.
    But not only are cod being decimated, but so too the “trash fish” that are tossed back overboard to die because they are brought up to the surface so rapidly that their swim bladders kill them. Millions of tons of “trash fish” are destroyed each year, further imbalancing the sea’s ecosystems.
    The world has been having a wonderful, carefree economic party. But the fun is ending. The last great buffalo hunts have occurred in the prairies of the ocean in our very day, while we watch movies and lament the selfish short-sightedness of real buffalo hunters of days gone by.
    It’s a simple matter of mathematics. In 1900 the world caught 3 million tons of fish, and then through the advent of technology the catch grew 25 times just between 1950 and 1970, reaching 80 million tons. The Peruvian anchovy catch, for example, in just 3 years has collapsed from 12 million tons to 2 million. The human population in just the past decade has increased by 800 million to reach almost 6 billion people.
    In order for fisheries to catch the same amount of fish, fishing fleets are working harder, spending a lot more time and employing much more expensive technology. Now all 17 of the world’s major fishing regions are fished at or above sustainable levels.
    It is now believed that the world’s fish catch is the first global limit that we have reached.
    But, you say, every time I go to the grocery store there is a surfeit of seafood available. But this is an artificial sense of abundance. Fish are now increasingly grown on farms, and fed scrap fish protein taken from the sea, or agricultural products such as corn meal. These resources too will dry up as population increases and ecological damage continues.
    To grow shrimp, for example, great sections of the world’s coastal mangrove forests have been cut down to build shrimp farms. In Thailand 120,000 tons of shrimp from these farms were harvested in a five year period, but 800,000 tons of potential wild fish harvest was lost by destroying the mangrove spawning grounds.
    By taking small forage fish out of the sea to feed farmed fish we are in effect eliminating the possibility of wild populations rejuvenating themselves. It’s like clear cutting a forest and then making mulch for tree farms by grinding up saplings as soon as they poke their heads up out of the ground.
    These are trying times. We are going to need2 million more tons of protein each year just to supply the growth of population.     True, technology can perhaps slow the process and give us the temporary illusion of abundance, but soon the two lines on the graph will cross and we will experience real catastrophe unless we can change our attitude toward Earth.
    The next 50 years are going to perhaps be the most difficult. Toxic pollution, carbon emissions, deforestation, and species extinction are going to reach their zenith. We are not going ‘to find new oceans to fish, nor are we going to find new continents to farm. We live in a narrowing moment in human history where we have the ability to shape the future of the next generations.
    The age of abundance is over. No more passenger pigeons blackening the skies, buffalo shaking the land and cod choking the waves. It is a time for reflection and fiduciary responsibility. There is no longer any reason for mindless exploitation, carelessness from perceived abundance or the hubris of interpreting the word “dominion” in Genesis.
    Ours is now a world of preciousness and rarity. But this is also most of all a time of opportunity to use that fancy cortex on top of our muscles, to take action now to protect the future.
    No argument by those who would poo-poo such environmental sensitivity can stand against the reality that we live on a finite world with finite resources. As such, management and respect are necessary, not endless exploitation and plundering.
        UTNE Reader, May/June 1998:60-
        Hope, Human and Wild, by Bill McKibben. Little Brown Inc.
Average May Not Be You
    Nutrient minimums established by scientific and regulatory boards to meet the needs of average people overlook the special requirements of those who fall outside the average.
    For example, if in a population half of them are found to require 30 mg of vitamin C per day and the other half 90 mg, the average “requirement” is set at 60 mg per day. Obviously all of those individuals requiring 90 mg per day will become vitamin C deficient if they follow this minimum recommendation.
    Here is an actual example. Folic acid and vitamin B6 are very important in keeping homocysteine levels such that they do not cause heart disease. In recent research it was found that within a group of individuals numbering over 18,000 who had been screened and determined to have high homocysteine concentration, supplementation with 0.2 mg per day of folic acid only normalized the homocysteine levels in a little over half of the study group. Others in the group were found to require as much as 5 mg per day for as long as 7 weeks before homocysteine levels were brought into a healthy range.
    This means that the genetic individuality of a large portion of this population was such that they required as much as a 25-fold increase in folic acid supplementation in order to avert homocysteine-related cardiovascular disease.
    This is yet another reason to be highly skeptical of the popular recommendation that all one needs to do is eat a varied diet and all vitamin and mineral needs will be met. This study demonstrated that even if supplementation at recommended minimums was given, a large percentage of the population would still remain at risk due to their biochemical individuality.
    Supplements by and large are safe and effective and certainly cheap when measured against the potential of getting one of the diseases their deficiency in the diet could create.
        Clin Invest, 1996;98:2174-83
Selenium And Cancer
    Selenium is an essential trace mineral required for the synthesis of important enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase. These enzymes in turn are very important m protecting the body against free radical damage. They are considered to be an antioxidant mineral as vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidant vitamins.
    We obtain selenium from our foods, but if the soil is deficient in selenium - which often is the case - we can receive inadequate amounts. The government’s minimum recommended allowance is 70 mcg, and intakes of as much as 500 mcg daily have been shown to be completely free of adverse side effects.
    A good source of selenium is as it is organically found in certain forms of yeast such as are incorporated into various Wysong dietary supplements and foods.
    This mineral has been found by good research to be extremely important in decreasing the incidence of mortality from tumors of various sites. For example, in one study testing the ability of selenium to prevent carcinoma of the skin, a test group received selenium whereas a control group did not. The effects of selenium in decreasing incidence and mortality from cancer were so great that the study blinded phase (control group) was stopped early. The researchers felt it would have been unethical to continue to permit the control group to not receive the benefits of selenium. Selenium also has the ability to affect virtually all components of the immune system. This includes nonspecific humeral and cell mediated responses.
    Selenium increases resistance to microbial and viral infections, increases neutrophil function, antibody productions and proliferation of T and B lymphocytes, and increases cyto destruction by T lymphocytes and NK cells. It stimulates neutrophils, the production of antibodies, lymphokines and also increases the ability of the host to reject transplanted malignant
    Selenium is even of benefit applied topically to the skin to prevent radiation-induced aging and carcinogenesis.
    It is for these reasons that for many years Wysong products have contained organically bound selenium in both food products and supplements, as well as in topicals.
    The references cited here are just a few of the numerous ones demonstrating the remarkable effects of obtaining proper dietary selenium levels. If the reader would like some others, we can send a list of approximately 50 scientific references which certainly put to rest the notion that nutrients, in this case only one - selenium can have a major impact on health and prevention of dreaded disease such as cancer.
    The effect of selenium supplementation on the incidence of hepatitis was also investigated in China, where in some areas there is wide spread deficiency due to selenium-poor soil.
    Compared to controls, there was almost a 60% reduction in the incidence of both hepatitis A and hepatitis B in the selenium supplemented group. Selenium is, therefore, believed to have not only a liver-sparing effect, but a direct activity against a variety of viruses.
        Carcinogenesis, 1980;1:199-201
        The Lancet, 1983;2:130-134
        Biological Trace Element Research, 1991 ;29:289-94
        Nutrition and Cancer, 1992; 17:123-37
        Environmental Research, 1987;42: 277-303
        Biol Trace Elem Res, 1 989;20: 15-
Estrogen, Heart Disease And Cancer
    For years estrogen and estrogen synthetic progesterone hormones have been prescribed to postmenopausal women for the relief of menopausal symptoms. An added benefit was that it was believed that this estrogen replacement therapy helped protect women against cardiovascular disease.
    New research has shown that there is in fact no change in cardiovascular risk for women who are taking estrogen replacement hormones compared to those who do not.
    On the other hand, the risk of breast cancer has been demonstrated to be significantly increased after only one year of estrogen use. Researchers evaluated some 51 different epidemiological studies of some 160,000 women to prove the correlation between estrogen and breast cancer.
    A better alternative for women is natural progesterone therapy which has none of the side effects of the estrogens. (See previous issues of the Health Letter for recommendations on the use of natural progesterones.)
    Progesterones are also the treatment of choice for endometriosis. This can be a difficult disease to treat and the use of pharmaceuticals such as Lupron can make women extremely sick. Additionally, some practitioners recommend that their patients get pregnant in order to cure the condition, since pregnancy results in a dramatic increase in progesterone levels. For those who don’t really want to have a baby as a method of treating a disease, natural progesterone therapy would certainly be a good alternative.
        Ann Intern Med 1997;127:501-508
        Lancet, October 11, 1997:1041-44, 1047-59
        Fertil Steril, September 1997:393-401
Nutrients For Cervical Dysplasia
    Uterine cervical dysplasia may progress to cervical cancer which is one of the most common causes of cancer death in women.
    Oral and topical nutrients that research has demonstrated may be effective include:
    1) Folic acid - dosages were between 5 and 10 mg daily and some physicians recommend topical application to the cervix as well.
    2) Beta carotene - given as an oral supplement of 3O mg daily demonstrated improvement in 70% of a study group within six months.
    3) Vitamin A (retinol) - is deficient in cervical dysplastic tissue. Topical application of all-trans-retinoic acid has been followed by regression of the lesion in a statistically significant number of cases.
    For more specific information on these treatment alternatives review or have your physician review the cited references.
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1982;35:73-82
        Second International Conference on Antioxidant Vitamins and Beta carotene in Disease Prevention, October 10-12, 1994, Berlin, Germany
        J. Nat. Cancer Inst., 1994;86;7:539-43
Mainstream Medicine Losing Popularity
    The number of visits by patients to practitioners of alternative medicine in the United States - such as chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic, herbalists and spiritual therapies - now outstrips visits with conventional physicians.
    This, perhaps, is an advancement in that it shows some public enlightenment, but the true goal of everyone should be medical self-determination and prevention, without the need for visits to third party medical professionals at all.
        Annals of Internal Medicine, 1997;127;1:61-69
Sunlight And High Blood Pressure
    The further from the equator one lives, the greater the risk of high blood pressure. This has led some to theorize that decreasing exposure of the skin to ultraviolet light, with a resultant decrease in vitamin D synthesis in the skin and a disturbance of other metabolic effects related to natural light exposure, may cause susceptibility to high blood pressure.
    This may also explain why blacks in the U.S. and Europe are particularly prone to high blood pressure compared to their counterparts in Africa. Darkly pigmented skin may only permit penetration of about 5% of ultraviolet light, whereas light skin may permit as much as 30% transmission.
    This again supports our continuing theme in the Health Letter of genetic context. The further we depart from our roots, the environment to which we are adapted, the more we can expect adverse health consequences.
    Pets kept indoors and fed exclusively processed diets are also at risk of nutrient deficiency and imbalance. Natural prey would contain many preformed nutrients which are destroyed when foods are processed.
        Hypertension, 1997;30:150-
Chlorinated Water And Cancer
    If you live in an area supplied by municipal chlorinated water you (and your pets) are at increased risk for colon cancer and total combined cancer. Studies now demonstrate that chlorination by-products in drinking water are a significant health hazard and everyone should consider appropriate water filters.
    The risk does not end with just the drinking water. These chlorinated compounds can be absorbed in the tub and in the shower. If you want a real heavy dose then spend some time in chlorinated swimming pools, and if you really want to make sure your blood chlorine levels go over the top spend some leisurely time in a more heavily chlorinated whirlpool or spa.
        American Journal of Public Health, 1997;87: 1168-
Lipoic Acid For Diabetes
    Alpha-lipoic acid is an enzyme c6factor found in a variety of foods such as potatoes, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, beets and red meat. It helps the conversion of glucose into ATP (the energy molecule of the body) and also is an antioxidant capable of regenerating other antioxidants once they have been spent.
    Diabetes is now rampant in modern society. It is now at the highest level ever reported in the United States. The number of new cases has risen to an average of almost 798,000 per year. More than one third of the cases (5.4 million) are undiagnosed.
    Complications include circulatory disturbances,  neuropathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Research demonstrates that alpha-lipoic acid can help prevent and reverse some of these diabetic pathologies. It improves blood flow, nerve conduction, and reverses damage to the nerves, eyes and heart. Long-term consumption even promotes the growth of new nerve cells.
    Alpha-lipoic acid is one of the ingredients in Wysong Spectrox™, a Foundation Formula containing a broad spectrum of proven effective antioxidant nutrients. But as you can see here, lipoic acid is not only an antioxidant, but has more direct beneficial effects on the heart, blood vessels, eyes, and in energy metabolism.
    Thus, when taking NSF products for the eyes (Opthid™), heart and blood vessels (Carvasol™), brain and nervous system (Neuridone™) and for sugar metabolism (Carboprin™), it is very important that the Foundation Formulas including Spectrox™ be taken so that the synergistic effect of the nutrients can complement the specific NSF formula(s).
        The Potato Antioxidant: Alpha Lipoic Acid, by Beth Ley, BL Publishmg
        Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October30, 1997:1013-26
Nutrients For Epilepsy
    Epileptic seizures can be an exasperating problem to treat in both humans and animals. Pharmacological agents may be helpful but are not without side effects, and they often have diminished effectiveness over time.
    Nutrients that may be beneficial in decreasing epileptic seizures include:
    1) 400 IUs of vitamin E daily
    2) Taurine, an amino acid, in dosages of 15004000mg daily
    3) Zinc at 60 mg daily
    A variety of other vitamins and minerals has also been found to be effective and therefore a good vitamin/mineral supplement, such as Wysong RDA™ or Optimal™ along with Neuridone™, a Wysong NSF nutrient formula for brain and nerve function, may prove highly beneficial.
        Alternatives, February 1989: 6
        Canadian J. Neurol. Sci., 1978;5:220
        Arch. Neurol., 1974;30:275-80
Wysong Works - (Excerpts from Wysong customer letters.)
    I appreciate your help in improving my understanding of the field of nutrition. It is amazing to me how much I have learned from Wysong products.
    •                 Valley City, OH
    I use Wysong and I think it’s great. These ingredients look wonderful even to me, and my dogs LOVE it! I’ve been feeding this for over 5 years now and like the results as far as dogs’ coats, stools, and overall health.
    •                 Internet
Choline For Manic Depression
    Some cases of manic depression (bipolar disorder) are refractory to conventional therapies. In a study of the effects of choline on this condition it was found that a dose of 1-2 grams given twice daily and increasing to 1-1/2 to 4 grams given twice daily as a continuing dosage resulted in a substantial reduction in symptoms in refractory patients.
    Oral choline has the ability to increase the concentration of the important nerve biochemical acetylcholine. In this study it was found through brain proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy that while patients were on the supplement, choline levels did increase in the basal ganglia portion of the brain.
    Choline is one of the ingredients in Wysong’s Neurodine™ Nutrient Support Formula. It is not at a concentration used in this study, however, and therefore, if additional levels of choline are needed to achieve these higher levels, one would need to take choline as a singular supplement in addition to Neuridone™.
        Biol Psychiatry, 1996;40:382-
Broccoli Sprouts For Cancer
    Broccoli contains a compound called glucoraphanin which is a precursor to sulforaphane, which boosts phase II enzymes, which in turn can speed the detoxification of electrophiles and reactive oxygen metabolites, which protect against mutagenesis and neoplasia.
    Now if that’s not a hard enough mouthful, eating sufficient broccoli to make a significant impact with these important cancer-protecting compounds certainly is.
    To obtain high enough levels of these compounds to derive benefit, broccoli sprouts may be the answer. Ten pounds of sprouts is equal to ½ ton of the fresh mature broccoli itself. This is going to be one of the ingredients in a new product we have developed called Wysong Salad™ which contains a variety of concentrated vegetables known for their health-enhancing effects. An alternative in the meantime is to go ahead and sprout broccoli and start incorporating it into the diet along with fresh salads.
        Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1 997;94: 10367-72