- Dear Friend:
- The tragic high school
shootings once again sent politicians scurrying for a solution. They picked the easy
target that would play well with the non-thinking masses: guns.
- Since guns were used to kill
and maim, guns must be the problem. Simple enough...for simple minds.
- I just received a mailing from
Handgun Control, Inc. soliciting contributions. They even provided a free poster
with the rubric GUNS KILL 13 CHILDREN A DAY. The use of the word children
these days, attached to any cause, raises the emotional ante and is sure to create
sentimental support. Politicians know this and play it to the hilt. Solicitors
use it as well to raise money. However, once a cause even as important as children
is latched onto by politicians and fund raisers, watch out before you are sucked into a
bleeding heart hole that does nothing more than strip you of your money. Children
as used now as a tool for selfish interests might better be viewed as W. C. Fields did.
When asked if he liked children, he said only if they are well done.
- You tell me if Im missing
something here. Im for gun control. But it has to be complete and
absolute. Nobody gets to have a gun and all raw materials and tools that could be
used to make a gun must be eliminated. That means government doesnt get to
have guns, criminals and psychopaths dont get to have guns, and all the good guys
dont get them either. We would need to shut down the mining and manufacture of
all metals, plastics, ceramics, etc., that could conceivably be used to fabricate a gun in
a garage somewhere and confiscate all metal working tools. All homes, businesses and
industries must be constantly inspected to be sure nobody is being cute and doing a little
alchemy to get around the rules. Now that is meaningful gun control.
- Short of that, there can be no
fair and effective gun control." Anything less would mean some people get
to have guns, and others dont. I dont know about you, but I trust me with a
gun more than somebody else. If we make a law that says no citizen gets to have a
gun, only the police and the government, what protection might we have against tyranny?
(This is arguably the reason the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Not
so we can go hunting, but so we can protect ourselves from a government run amuck.)
If there is a law that says no citizen can have a gun, that means all law abiding
citizens will not have any but those who could care less about laws, the ones who
would just as soon shoot you and me as not, will find a way to get one or make one.
Laws against weapons do not change the criminal mind. Its like trying
to cure obesity by making a law against spoons.
- Anything short of total and
absolute control as described above means law abiding citizens get the short
end of the stick, or the fast end of a bullet.
- Gun control as
being presently propagandized is no solution at all. It merely avoids the difficult
real issues facing society. Guns dont kill, people
kill. If guns are not the weapon, knives, pipe bombs, nuclear technology (given to
our enemies in exchange for political contributions), spears, arrows, rocks, fists,
karate, poison, pillows, ropes, axes, forks, broken glass, head butts, germs, lamps,
chairs, automobiles and rolling pins can be. If I really want to kill you, not
having a gun is not going to deter me. The problem is me, not the weapon. What
could be more simple? Its a no-brainer, folks. Dont let the
politicians dumb you down on this one.
- Two things prevent people from
killing. One, is an innate sense of compassion, empathy, ethic and desire for
safety and peace within society. This is conscience, noticeably absent in
psychopaths and sociopaths. Two, is the fear of aggressive defense by the victim or
punishment by the state.
- Of the two, fear of retribution
probably stops more killings than anything else. Therefore, efficient and just
prosecution is critical. People cannot think they can get off by paying lawyers
enough money. Also, you can bet if everyone were packing a six shooter on their hip,
would-be killers would think twice. Keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding
citizens merely emboldens killers who will find a way to get or make a gun or other
weapon. Discipline early in life within the family and school also helps embed fear
of consequence. Such fundamental lessons are hardly aided by a school system with
powerless teachers (or tenured incompetent ones who deserve no power), or a family
monitored by a legal system that would permit children to sue parents for discipline, or
to potentially result in loss of the child to the state.)
- Conscience also keeps people in
check. Conscience comes from a sense of self-worth, a sense of hope and future which
in turn comes from love, belonging and freedom.
- Notice that legislating another
gun law addresses none of these fundamental issues and solutions. It merely further
limits freedom, ignores the elements that create conscience and does nothing to make
punishment sure and swift.
- The health of the world, our
society and our person depends upon us using our good senses. Be ever suspicious and
sieve all information, particularly that which is most emotionally seductive, through the
filter of reason. That is our only hope. If we become a queue of lemmings
fatuously following leaders, we will go the way of other failed civilizations.
- Why is this a topic for the Health Letter? Health without freedom,
without the exercise of
rational discerning thought, is not possible.
- "FEMALE PROBLEMS Part
- Problems related to the
reproductive cycle and associated organs are epidemic in modern women. From the
onset of menses through menopause the majority of all women are victimized in one way or
another by the broad biological and psychological impact of reproductive hormones.
- At least 80-90% of all women
experience moderate to severe cramping with menstruation. In adolescent girls, 1 in
5 experience cramping so severe that they require bed rest. It is estimated that
over 140 million work hours are lost each year from menstrual cycle disorders.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
results in symptoms ranging from nervous tension, mood swings,
irritability and anxiety, to weight gain, swelling of extremities, breast tenderness,
abdominal bloating, headache, craving for sweets, increased appetite, heart pounding,
fatigue, dizziness, fainting, depression, forgetfulness, crying, confusion, insomnia, to
oily skin and acne, nausea, vomiting, loss of
appetite, diarrhea, constipation, edema of the fingers and ankles, mild to severe
personality change, altered libido, and backaches.
- Also related to cycling
hormones are uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, painful or
lumpy breasts, fertility problems, miscarriage, dry vaginal tissues, osteoporosis, and
uterine, ovarian and breast cancer.
- The medical resources consumed
to deal with these problems are enormous. Pharmaceutical companies have grown rich
developing drugs such as Valium and Prozac just to treat the psychological disorders
related to the menstrual cycle. More than 12 million of those who consume mood
altering drugs are women between the ages of 20 and 50, those in the heyday of female
hormone cycling. The most common reasons for women visiting their physician are
painful and/or lumpy breasts, and routine cancer checks marketed heavily by the medical
community as a solution. Virtually all women live in fear of the dire consequences
and potential disfigurement about which their cycling bodies continue to give them cause
- Although attempts have been
made to categorize womens reproductive disorders by attaching names to them such as
premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, spasmodic and
congestive cramps, painful menses, mastalgia, etc., the disorder is so encompassing
affecting every physiological/biological system and profoundly affecting psychology
that it is perhaps best to view it as one syndrome. My mother, when referring to
such unspeakables, told us kids that it was female problems, thus, my title
for this topic.
- Although we would like to think
we rise above base instincts and biological urges, we are most essentially reproductive
creatures. We are disposable packages for the immortal genes we have received from
our ancestors, which we in turn will pass on to our progeny. If reproduction is such
a prime imperative, it is little wonder that disorders in this machinery could create such
widespread and profound problems.
- Although men do not normally
experience the profound effects women experience from the flow and ebb of reproductive
hormones, they too are captive to the biological imperative. The aggressive,
competitive male hormones are responsible for creativity, but also for so much of the
crime and violence in our world. Our prisons are overflowing with men primarily in
their peak hormone stage. Hormone-related testicular and prostate cancer are
dramatically increasing in incidence, as is sexual dysfunction, including impotence, low
libido, and infertility. A healthy male with healthy testosterone levels can be
preoccupied with the sexual urge. A feeling of heaviness in the pelvis
and preoccupation with sex can build until it is released by ejaculation, only to build
again and repeat the cycle. Somewhat analogously, women can feel heightened sexual desire
at ovulation, and building of pelvic heaviness and pressure until menses
- The degree to which these
cycles in both men and women affect the course of ones life, happiness, mood,
interrelationships, sense of self-worth, future, success, or failure is far more
significant than most would choose to admit. The treatment of normal biological
rhythms, which create changes also in personality, consumes huge medical resources.
Unfortunately with few exceptions, the billions spent on reproductive
system-related disorders are merely stopgap symptom-based measures that leave people
dependent on a life of medicated or psychoanalyzed survival. The true cause is not
only not addressed, but by and large unrecognized.
- If something as fundamental to
life as the reproductive system is malfunctioning, then the cause must likewise be
something very fundamental. Not surprisingly, that cause is tied to the repeating
theme in the Health Letter. Humans have
extracted themselves from their genetic heritage and created an environmental context that
is not in keeping with their genetic expectation. The result
is a discordancy between modern living with the artificial environment we have created,
and our biological system. This imbalance creates a chronic
stress manifest in a variety of ways and results in loss of health and disease (much the
same as a fish, if removed from water, will experience loss of health and disease).
- Specific to female problems is
an imbalance in hormones. This hormone imbalance is now fairly well understood and
directly linked to essentially every malfunction in the female reproductive system.
But this imbalance is not just one of those things that creates
victims, any more than other modern chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer are
just one of those things. The cause is the improper fit between our
genetics and our modern life and that is not just one of those things, but
rather something we can do something about without having to run to a doctor.
- Before I discuss how modern
living has created the hormonal imbalances that create the majority of female problems,
let me review briefly the female reproductive cycle.
- Once a young lady reaches
puberty, the following cycle will be a relentless part of her life until the pause of the
menses (menopause) at about age 50. By some yet unknown inherent timing mechanism,
or cycle within our environment, the hypothalamus, a small section at the base of the
brain, releases chemicals such as gonadotropic releasing hormone, and follicle stimulating
hormone releasing hormone, which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland (which lies
adjacent to the hypothalamus at the base of the brain) to release hormones that target the
ovary. Follicle stimulating hormone signals the ovary to begin maturation of an egg
follicle on the surface of the ovary. As this follicle matures, like a small
expanding fluid-filled bubble, it in turn produces estrogen to be released into the body.
As estrogen levels rise, they stimulate the pituitary to release luteinizing
hormone which causes the egg-containing follicle to burst, releasing the egg so that
it may travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus and hopefully be fertilized by a lucky
and happy sperm. After the follicle bursts, luteinizing hormone causes the remnants
of the follicle to develop into a glandular-like nodule called the corpus luteum, which in
turn releases estrogen and progesterone. These help prepare
the uterine lining for implantation of the fertilized egg. If that does not occur,
these hormones stimulate the uterine lining to be shed and expelled, creating
menstruation. The cycle consists of three somewhat distinct phases. The first
is the follicular stage which lasts 10-14 days, then the ovulatory which lasts about 36
hours, and then the luteal which lasts 14 days (refer to figures 1, 2 and 3).
- This is a simplified version of
what happens. It is what we know. What we dont know (and guess at) is
certainly a far greater body of knowledge yet to be discovered.
- The reproductive system does
not act in isolation. The hormones that are released by the reproductive system
interact with other endocrine glands such as the thyroid, the adrenal, and pancreas in
ways vaguely understood. The pituitary also releases prolactin which helps develop
breasts for feeding the infant. If this occurs, prolactin is responsible for
inhibiting further follicle and egg development on the ovaries. It is the
reason lactating women do not normally become pregnant.
- Modern living has thrown
everything out of kilter. First, todays woman is ovulating too much.
Here is the way we are designed and built and the way it should be from a
biological standpoint. Once a girl reaches sexual maturity in her mid-teens, she
would become pregnant. Considering the copious availability of willing male
fertilizers, there is a good chance that uninhibited by modern societal taboos, the first
egg she released would be fertilized. Thats one ovulation. She would
become pregnant for nine months which would stop further ovulations, then nurse the young
child for 4 to 5 years which would also stop ovulations. After she stopped nursing
she would ovulate again and become pregnant by one of the ever-present males in rut.
The cycle would be repeated with a 9 month pregnancy and a
4 or 5 year nursing period with no ovulations taking place during that time. That
would mean approximately one ovulation about every five years from age 12 to 50.
- Now if you compare this
scenario with that of the modern woman, you can see that modern women are virtual egg
hatcheries compared to our ancestral prototype. Every 30 days for years young women
will be ovulating and causing surges of cycling hormones such as estrogen, until they
discontinue birth control pills and decide it is the appropriate time to have the
politically correct 2.2 children. During the nine month pregnancy no ovulations will
take place, but since for many women it is inconvenient or embarrassing to nurse, they
will resume ovulating shortly after. There is a dramatic difference between the
artificially manipulated hormonal cycle of modern women and that of our natural ancestral
- Our modern synthetic
environment could also be expected to disrupt hormone balances. We live inside
homes, breathing conditioned air, and are shielded from natural light. Convenience
in modern society creates a sedentary lifestyle with little exercise. We eat
processed, fabricated, food fraction-based products and drink chemicalized water.
This dislocation from our natural roots in the wild out of doors, breathing
fresh air, drinking natural water, eating foods exactly as they are found in nature and
being exposed to sunshine every day does not go unnoticed by our biology. The
hypothalamus and pituitary gland, for example, are intimately linked to natural light
cycles. To shield ourselves from this natural cycle and create artificial cycles
within buildings surely could be expected to disrupt hormone balances. The broad
range of symptoms associated with female problems is a sure indication that something very
fundamental has gone wrong with intricate hormonal balances.
- Additionally, various synthetic
chemicals released into the environment now for decades have been proven to have an effect
on sexual hormones. Particularly the halogenated hydrocarbons such as DDT,
chlordane, dieldrin, DDE and others are known to have estrogenic effects. These
chemicals are sprayed on produce, while other drugs, hormones and chemicals are introduced
into food animal diets to concentrate in their tissues, which are then consumed by humans.
The estrogen-mimicking substances in the environment are believed to adversely
affect not only female, but male reproduction and sexual function. If there is any
doubt about the power of these chemicals, even at the minuscule amounts released into the
environment, consider the extinction and near extinction of various birds that have been
directly linked to such chemical pollutants.
- The modern diet lies as a root
cause of so many modern chronic ailments. It is little wonder it can be linked
directly to female problems. We are designed to eat foods exactly as they can be
found in nature, raw and whole. If you contrast this perfect model with what is
consumed today, the disparity becomes easily apparent and it is not surprising that
problems should result. Todays diet is primarily based upon processed
carbohydrates, including starches and refined sugars. Additionally, almost all foods
are cooked, destroying much of their vitamin content, all of their enzyme content, and
creating a variety of heat-generated compounds which are toxic and carcinogenic.
Farm-based foods are increasingly diminished in trace minerals as crops are
hybridized, force fed fertilizers, and mined from the same plot of ground year after year.
Dozens of studies demonstrate that the average American diet is deficient or
imbalanced in almost everything.
- One of the most important
departures from healthy food is the manipulation of fats in the diet. Fats, oils and
sterols found within natural, raw foods in nature are not only healthful, they are
essential. In contrast, the modern diet is replete with processed oils that may be
oxidized or hydrogenated, creating a variety of toxic compounds. The modern rise of
obesity has created a fat and cholesterol phobia that further threatens healthful lipid
nutrition. Women shun natural cholesterol containing foods and with that eliminate
an important precursor to reproductive hormones (refer to figure 4). Instead, they
substitute more and more carbohydrate which is the ultimate culprit in obesity. Most
of these carbohydrates are laced with fatty acids that shift the balance of fats in the
body such that reproductive hormones cannot be properly manufactured. Those which
are cause abnormal reactions within tissues.
- For example, the modern dietary
ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is 30:1 compared to the ratio in a
healthful natural diet, which is 5:1. The high omega-6 oils in processed foods such
as confections, breads, rolls, cereals, snacks, pastas, etc., cause an excess in the
production of eicosanoid hormones, which promote inflammation. It is also believed
that the high intake of sugar (it has been demonstrated, for example, that patients who
experience PMS consume over 60% more carbohydrate and 275% more refined sugar than those
who do not have the problem), alcohol and trans-fats found in hydrogenated or
partially-hydrogenated oils, and even caffeine, can adversely affect eicosanoid production
resulting in many of the symptoms seen in female syndromes.
- The powerful effect of these
eicosanoids is demonstrated by the fact that if the omega-6 type eicosanoids such as PGF2
and PGE2 are given to women, they can induce labor and stimulate essentially
all the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Women who experience dysmenorrhea have been tested
and found to have more than 500% higher levels of omega-6 derived eicosanoids than women
who are not experiencing these problems.
- Omega-6 fatty acids,
particularly arachidonic, can be changed as a result of oxidative free-radicals into
isoprostanes, which exert greatly exaggerated inflammatory-type effects. We
live in a pro-oxidant environment and eat oxidized foods, which can stimulate this
synthesis of exaggerated inflammatory chemicals which exacerbate many of the menstrual
- The omega-6 fatty acid
eicosanoids have the ability to contract smooth muscle, increase inflammation and pain,
increase salt and fluid retention, cause vasoconstriction, clot formation and platelet
aggregation. Eicosanoids also act within the reproductive cycle to stimulate
luteolysis the shedding of the uterine endometrium and healing of the uterine
- The effect of these eicosanoids
is linked to vasoconstriction within the brain causing headaches, exaggerated cramping of
uterine muscle, and fluid and salt retention.
- The most dramatic hormonal
shift seen in women with female problems is an increase in estrogens and a decrease in
progesterone. Since modern egg hatchery women receive monthly estrogen
surges from their follicles, and are consuming foods contaminated with a variety of
estrogenic compounds, it is little wonder that estrogen balance is disrupted. High
levels of estrogen can impair liver function and result in cholestasis (depressed bile
flow), decreased brain chemicals such as serotonin and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA),
decreased endorphins, decreased thyroid hormone, increased insulin levels, increased
prolactin hormone and impaired function of vitamin B6. Depression of the feel
good neurochemicals such as serotonin, GABA and endorphins directly affects mood and
personality. Increased estrogen levels also increase the secretion of the hormone
aldosterone from the adrenal glands, which increases sodium and water retention.
High estrogen also stimulates the formation and growth of uterine fibroids and is
linked to uterine and breast cancer.
- Many menstrual symptoms are
treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is interesting to
note that these exert their effect by blocking enzymes in the omega-6 pathway leading to
the inflammatory eicosanoids. This is certainly a symptom-based approach, however,
and is not without serious side-effects such as liver damage, leaky gut syndrome, nausea,
digestive irritation and the aggravation of various symptoms of dysmenorrhea. It
would be so much wiser and more effective to treat the ultimate causes.
- That completes the story of
what is wrong and why it is wrong. But what can be done? There is much hope
and the key lies in understanding the thesis outlined in the beginning of this paper: we
have extracted ourselves from our proper environmental and genetic roots. The
solution is, therefore, to return to those roots. How to do this will be discussed
in Part II next month.
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- Anemia and Vitamin B12
- 300-2000 micrograms daily of
vitamin B12 results in greatly improved hematological responses and improvement in
pernicious anemia neurological deficit.
- Appetite and Carbohydrates
- Eating starchy foods leads to
overeating by triggering a hormonal state that convinces the body it is still hungry.
Pediatrics, 1999; 103:26
- Bladder Cancer and Vegetables
- Men who consume large
quantities of broccoli and cabbage have a significantly reduced risk of bladder cancer.
- J Natl
Cancer Inst, 1999; 91:605-13
- Cancer and Fat
- Contrary to popular belief,
there is no correlation between dietary fat intake and a woman's risk for breast cancer.
- Cancer and Sauces
- Using barbecue sauce on meats
increases the amount of cancer-causing agents by 200-300%.
News, 1999; 155:264-6
- Cataracts and Vitamin E
- 100 milligrams or more of
vitamin E daily may lower the risk of developing cataracts.
- Amer J
Clin Nutr, 1999; 69:272-7
- Diabetes and Chromium
- Supplementation with 8
micrograms of iron per kilogram body weight is therapeutic in the treatment of increased
chromium loss associated with diabetes.
- J Am
Coll Nutr, 1998; 17:548-55
- Hearing Loss and B-Vitamins
- Low levels of vitamin B12 and
folate are risk factors for age-related hearing loss.
- Am J
Clin Nutr, 1999; 281:914-20
- Heart Attack and Viagra
- Viagra has been
implicated in an increased risk of myocardial infarction in users with no known risk
- Lead Poisoning and Vitamin C
- High levels of ascorbic
acid (vitamin C) are associated with a decreased risk of the toxic effects of toxic lead
levels in the blood.
- Low Cholesterol and Death
- In the elderly, low
cholesterol, in combination with low blood albumin levels, indicates an increased risk of
functional decline and increases the risk of dying by 3.5 times.
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Geriatr Soc, 1999; 47:402-6
- Menopause and Red Clover
- Isoflavones in red clover have
been found to reduce the complications of menopause, including the risk of cardiovascular
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- Natural Vitamin E
- Natural vitamin E is more
effective than synthetic forms of the antioxidant in terms of assimilation and retention.
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- Psoriasis and Meditation
- Meditation can positively
influence the rate of regression of psoriasis.
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- Stomach Damage and Colostrum
- Supplementation with bovine
colostrum helps prevent and repair stomach damage caused by long-term use of pain
- Stroke and Exercise
- Walking at least 20 kilometers
per week is associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke.
- Testosterone and Androstenedione
- Androstenedione supplementation
does not increase serum testosterone concentrations or enhance skeletal muscle development
in young men with normal testosterone levels, and may result in severe adverse health
- Tooth Decay and Oral Contraceptives
- Birth control pills have been
found to increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
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