Dr. R. L. Wysong
March 1999
    Winter in Michigan and many other northern latitudes is a sobering reminder of how we are tied to the environment.   During the summer months there is practically no illness.  But come fall and winter, flu, colds, sore throats, exhaustion and depression are everywhere.  This is also the time of year when it seems we hear of more deaths and serious life-threatening illness.
    Why is this?  It seems clear.  We are meant to be outside, at comfortable temperatures, breathing fresh air and getting lots of sunlight.  Instead we cloister in synthetic buildings that are out-gassing every imaginable chemical, expose ourselves only to artificial light, bathe ourselves in lots of electromagnetic fields generated in the home and office, and breathe artificial, conditioned air.  When we do go out, the conditions may be so harsh that it is painful.
    This does not go unnoticed by our bodies.  When adaptive reserves are spent, illness is the result.  Illness is our body telling us that we are subjecting it to something for which it is not designed. 
    Every spring we take all the houseplants at the home and office outside to get fresh air, sunlight and rain.  They thrive.  The leaves get greener, new sprouts pop out everywhere, flowers emerge and all the plants grow like wild fire.  They obviously love it.  When we bring them back inside in the fall, they do okay for awhile... but it's not long before leaves start dropping, the green turns dull, growth slows or stops, and we battle mites, fungus and what-have-you all winter.  All the fertilizer in the world does not do for them what returning them to the outside in the spring does.
    We're not plants, but the parallel should not be ignored.  When we come indoors in the fall we too lose our color, shed skin, look sickly and become vulnerable to bugs.  All the vitamins and herbs (fertilizer) in the world will not do for us what getting outside in the summer will do.
    The lesson here is to re-learn what is so obvious.  We are linked to our environment with chains we can never break, regardless of our technology or medicines. 
    If you want health, if you want your full life potential, return to nature in every way it is possible to do so.   Nothing else will substitute.
    People drink more soft drinks than water.  Why not?  Such drinks seem to quench thirst better, they create a fun little fizz, clear the mouth, taste better than water, and pep you up.  Besides, no one seems to be dying of a heart attack after they drink a Coke™, or experience tumors popping out under their armpits after downing a few cans.
    But you are smarter than this.   You know, based upon the genetic archetypal pattern described continually in the Health Letter, that anything we do that departs from what we would do if left alone in the wild must be highly suspect.  We don’t need to sacrifice thousands of mice, monkeys or dogs in laboratories to find out if drinking an artificial beverage from a can is safer than drinking water.
    Before you eat or drink anything out of a package, read the label.  If the ingredients cannot be identified as something you would receive in a natural food, and in proportionate quantities in the package, then the wise course is to avoid it.
    Most soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, caffeine, sugar, or perhaps artificial sweeteners, carbon dioxide and various artificial or “natural” flavorings and colorings. 
    In spite of this potpourri of ingredients (which the average person has no concept of in terms of the influence on health) our population by and large has become dependent upon soft drinks, suckling on them just like a baby does on a nipple.  It is no longer even a choice for most people.  They are addicted either to the taste or to the ingredients in the products.   Addiction to a packaged product should be a sure signal to any thinking person that something is wrong, and they better set their life straight if they do not want to reap the consequences.
    Let me speak just briefly about some of the known dangers of the common ingredients in soft drinks.  Phosphoric acid helps create the “bite” in soft drinks, serves as a preservative, and helps dissolve more of the fizzy carbon dioxide into solution. 
    An acid is a compound that is in need of electrons.  To get these electrons, phosphoric acid pulls them from the body.  We are, as a population, already electron-deficient.  Free radical pathology is based upon molecules that are electron-deficient.  Free radicals lie at the base, or at least in some important step, in virtually all disease processes.  So why would we want to consume, on a continuing basis, electron-deficient materials?
    Phosphoric acid also has the ability to decrease ionized calcium in the blood.  It can dissolve calcium from the bones such as the spine and hip, leading to osteoporosis.  To balance phosphoric acid, the body must neutralize it with other important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium.  Some of these minerals are then excreted from the body as the neutral salts.
    It is also believed that the continued consumption of phosphoric acid will send a signal to the stomach that it needs to secrete less acid.  Low gastric acidity is already a problem as we age, resulting in poor digestion, overgrowth of pathogenic microorganisms, and constant digestive disturbances.
    Caffeine is a drug that has the ability to directly interfere in brain neurotransmitter chemistry.  For example, it can block adenosine resulting in stimulations such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, constriction of arteries and increased urination.  Caffeine can also cause the release of adrenaline and increase blood sugar, resulting in hyper-insulinemia which is now linked to heart disease.  Additionally, the constant stress on the adrenal gland can lead to adrenal exhaustion and deficiency of important cortisone biochemicals.   Caffeine has been behaviorally linked to aggression, shouting, nervousness, irritability, recklessness, and self-mutilation such as nail biting, hair pulling, scratching, digging or other obsessive patterns.  “Fun” soft drinks are an excellent vehicle to deliver this addictive drug.  People who get hooked experience sluggishness, loss of energy, headaches, and the inability to think clearly upon withdrawal.  These symptoms are promptly relieved with another soft drink “fix.”  
    A typical can of soft drink contains about 11 teaspoons of sugar.  Sugar also increases the excretion of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc and can cause osteoporosis.  Sugar competes with vitamin C for uptake into cells and thus increases susceptibility to a wide range of diseases that are kept in check by adequate levels of vitamin C.  As a population we are already deficient in vitamin C as a result of low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Constant surges of sugar in the blood cause the pancreas to keep up by secreting insulin.  Over time this continued stress is believed to exhaust Islet cells responsible for producing insulin, leading to adult-onset diabetes.
    Aspartame, the usual “diet” drink ingredient, breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol.   Aspartic acid in high doses is an excitotoxin and can cause serious behavioral problems and neurological disorders.  Phenylalanine in high doses decreases serotonin, which can lead to depression and sleep disorders.  Methanol in high doses is metabolized in the liver into toxic formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen, and formic acid, which is the active chemical in insect stings.       Methanol toxicity is cumulative, resulting in symptoms such as headaches, tinnitus, loss of memory, neural inflammation, numbness, blurred vision, retinal damage and blindness.
    Granted, people who are drinking soft drinks do not experience all these dramatic symptoms.  Everything is dose-dependent.      However, over time the cumulative effect of these toxins can result in toxicities ranging all the way from just a general loss of vitality up to serious illness – which, after years of consuming such beverages, would be almost impossible to link to them.
    I also am highly suspicious of constantly eating or drinking anything out of a package.  Most soft drinks and beers are consumed out of aluminum cans that have ostensibly “protective” coatings, but who is to say these coatings work perfectly?  The acid in soft drinks is very effective at pulling aluminum into solution and once it gets there you end up with some degree of aluminum poisoning.  Aluminum is linked also to loss of calcium in the urine and has been associated with lesions in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
    All this considered, it certainly is time to think about changing our drinking habits to fresh, clean, pure water.
    Soy is not a truly natural food.  I say this because natural foods are those foods which can be eaten raw, exactly as they are found in nature.  If soy is eaten raw, assuming it could ever be found in sufficient quantity in the wild, it would be toxic since it contains a variety of antinutritional factors that can seriously interfere with digestion of necessary food components.  An example would be the protease inhibitors in soy that prevent enzymes from breaking proteins down so they can be assimilated into the body.
    With that said, this does not mean that soy is without benefit.  It indeed can have many benefits if processed properly.  Soy has the ability to help prevent and reverse a variety of modern diseases. 
    Here are some examples demonstrating the benefits of soy from the recent literature:
    1.             Animals fed an atherogenic diet (more needless animal experimentation) were found to have an improved blood lipid profile including lower blood serum cholesterol and LDL and VLDL, and the highest HDL values compared to animals not receiving the isoflavones in soy.   Additionally, atherosclerotic lesions in the coronary vessels were smallest in the animals fed the soy products.  The isoflavones in the soy are of particular benefit since their presence in the soy doubles the protection against atherosclerosis.   Since there are processing methods which fractionate soy into a variety of components, whole soy products would yield the most benefits.
    2.             144 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer had laboratory studies to determine the amount of soy isoflavones or degradation products of isoflavones, such as equol, in the gut.  Women who have the highest level of soy breakdown products, compared to controls, have the lowest risk of breast cancer.  In some cases there was a four-fold reduction in risk between the measured highest and lowest levels of these breakdown products.
    3.             Genisteine, a soy isoflavone, strongly inhibits the cell proliferation of breast cancer cells.  Soy isoflavones act like pseudoestrogens and can bind to estrogen receptors with about          1/1000 the offinity of estrogens.   This is believed to be the reason that Asian women have such a lower risk of estrogen-sensitive cancers.  Asians who consume soy-rich foods have almost 1,000 times the amount of soy isoflavones in their blood as Western women.  The result is a five to ten-fold lower incidence of estrogen-sensitive cancer.  Phytoestrogens from soy exert their effect by acting as anti-estrogens, competing with natural estrogen to bind to hormone-dependent cells.  They also increase the level of sex hormone binding globulin and thereby also decreasing natural estrogen (estradiol).  Additionally, they may act by blocking the enzyme that converts androstenedione to estrogens.
    4.             Soy isoflavones have the ability to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.  Oxidized cholesterol is the root cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, not natural unoxidized cholesterol.  Since soy isoflavones are polyphenols, similar to vitamin E, they perhaps act in a similar way to this powerful antioxidant in absorbing free radicals and protecting vascular cells from damage.
    Women at high risk for breast cancer due to family history, or those with newly diagnosed breast cancer, should consider consuming high levels of soy products.  Additionally, Estrolog™ contains the spectrum of soy isoflavones and would be an excellent supplement.  For others not at high risk, a moderate amount of soy may be preventive.  Everyone, however, should be moving the diet increasingly toward what we are genetically adapted to as described in the Optimal Health Program.  As this is done, a variety of natural phytonutrients will be consumed, providing the optimal preventive and therapeutic nutrition.
        Arterioscl Thromb Vasc Biol, 1997;17:2524-31
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997;65:166-71
        J Agric Food Chem, 1997;45:4635-8
        Lancet, 1997;350:990-4
        Nutr Cancer, 1997;27:31-40
        Proc Natl Acad Sci, 1998;95:3106-10
    The heart muscle is fed by blood vessels other than the coronary arteries.  Branches of the internal mammary artery also feed the myocardium (heart muscle).
    About 50 years ago surgeons had the idea of tying off other branches of the internal mammary artery that did not feed the myocardium under the theory that this would result in increased blood flowing to the heart, thus relieving angina in heart patients.      Some 70% of patients who underwent the surgery experienced total relief from angina. 
    In 1955 a study was conducted on 100 patients who, without their knowledge, were given a sham operation in which the chest was opened and closed without anything being done to the internal mammary artery.   The patients were under the belief that this was going to help their angina.   Not only did 70% of these experience relief from angina, but they even showed improvement in their electrocardiograms, exercise tolerance, and were able to decrease the use of pain medications.  Thus, this placebo surgery created essentially the same results as the real thing.
    Such placebo-type surgeries would be considered unethical today.  The problem this creates is that there is no way of testing the true benefits of any given surgical procedure, since the results may be due to the placebo effect.  The scientific standard for testing safety and efficacy involves randomized placebo-controlled, crossover, double-blind studies.  Even if a placebo surgery was performed on a patient without his or her knowledge, the surgeon would still know and the study would not be double blind and thus not qualify.
    There is the likely situation today that many surgical procedures are done at great expense and pain with no true proof of their effectiveness.  This also demonstrates the powerful effect of the mind on the course of disease, since merely thinking you are going to be healed may in fact result in it happening.
        Journal of the American Medical Association, December 29, 1955:1602-1606
        Townsend Letter, December 1998:59
    The relationship between antioxidants found in body tissues and risk of heart attack has been studied in 10 European countries.  Biopsies of tissues from those individuals suffering a heart attack were analyzed for various antioxidant carotenoids.       The most consistently effective carotenoid exerting a protective effect against heart disease was found to be lycopene.
    Lycopene is found primarily in tomatoes, although it can also be found in other brightly colored fruits and vegetables.   Not only is lycopene effective against heart attack, but other research has demonstrated it can decrease prostate cancer risk and contribute excellently to the pool of antioxidants protective against a broad range of other diseases.
    Spectrox™ is an excellent source of lycopene, as well as a broad range of other carotenoids and antioxidants.   I juice tomatoes periodically in the morning mixed with some cayenne pepper, Whole Food Concentrate™ and empty Mega C™, Spectrox™ and Probiosyn™ capsules in and add to that the juice of 1/2 lemon.  This creates a super-concentrated antioxidant supplement, helps alkalinize the body, and helps implant probiotic organisms.   What a way to start the day.  This little mix probably contains more raw, natural nutrients than the average person consumes in a week.
        Am J Epidemiol, 1997;146:618-626
    The presence of coffee or tea can inhibit iron absorption.  Iron deficiency is a problem in our modern processed food society.  Menstruating women are particularly vulnerable.
    The solution is to cut down on or eliminate the consumption of coffee and tea.  If you are hopelessly addicted, increasing the consumption of natural foods including red meats and taking a multiple vitamin supplement containing vitamin A, such as Optimal™, along with a broad spectrum mineral supplement, such as Orgamin™, can help inhibit these negative counteractions between iron and coffee or tea.
        J Nutr Biochem, 1997;8:61-67
    We are all at risk of nutrient imbalance and deficiency in this modern age of fabricated foods, yet the most susceptible segments of the population are the young and the old.  The young are susceptible because their needs for energy and growth are remarkable.  In the elderly a variety of factors predisposes them to deficiency.  This would include a less efficient digestive capability, lack of access to high quality foods, less activity and decreased energy expenditure resulting in loss of appetite, poor dentition or painful dental disease, and despondency or loss of enthusiasm for life.
    It is my view, as I have discussed in detail elsewhere, (see the Rationale for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation Monograph and the February 1997 Wysong Health Letter) that anyone interested in optimal health should take a broad spectrum of dietary supplements.  Research proves their benefits in virtually every segment of the population.  The elderly can particularly benefit, although they may have to overcome the attitude that what has gotten them this far in life will take them the rest of the way.
    In a study to test the value of supplements in the elderly, 81 residents of a nursing home with a mean age of 84 years were assigned to various supplement and placebo groups.  Those receiving a spectrum of vitamins and minerals, after a two-year assessment period, were shown to have as much as a 66% reduction in infections compared to those receiving placebo.
    Our objective as we get older is to add life to years, not to merely extend years to life.  Supplements have such great potential for this segment of the population in terms of helping to forestall and even reverse disease conditions, enhance mental capabilities, and provide emotional motivation for living.  The side effects are essentially zero.  If you are in that age category start today; if you have a loved one in that age category insist that they begin.  At a very minimum a multi vitamin/mineral and antioxidant supplement would do so much.  Ideally cycling through all of the supplements in the Foundation Formula Program, and then adding specific Nutrient Support Formulas addressing whatever maladies an elderly person may have, would be optimal supplementation.
        Ann Nutr Metab, 1997;41:98-107
    A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (not some alternative “whacko” magazine), demonstrated that in just one year, 1994, over 2,216,000 hospitalized patients had serious adverse drug reactions (ADR's).  Of these, 106,000 of the reactions were fatal.  This excludes errors in drug administration, noncompliance, overdose, drug abuse, therapeutic failures, and just possible but not proven ADR's.
    That means that there is about a 1 in 15 chance if you are admitted to a hospital that you will have such a reaction, and a 1 in a little over 300 chance that you will die from this reaction.  It is   the fifth leading cause of death!  Consider also that these adverse drug reaction and fatality statistics are only related to hospital admissions and do not address the adverse drug reactions and fatalities that occur during the course of everyday outpatient clinical treatments.
    Even with this pitiful record, prescription pharmaceuticals are a growth industry.  People spend approximately $326.00 per person each year on pharmaceuticals, which brings to the pharmaceutical industry approximately $85 billion each year.
    That kind of money creates a lot of power and entrenches deeply the modern pharmaceutical paradigm, particularly when the pharmaceutical industry spends some $4 million marketing directly to physicians.
    These sobering statistics bring several things to mind.  One is, it reinforces the absurdity of the argument by the medical community that nutritional supplements are an insidious danger, on which we should focus.  In actual fact, there are essentially no adverse reactions to supplements used in moderation and varied as described in the Optimal Health Program.  On the other hand, tens of thousands die from the main line therapeutic arsenal of the medical critics.
    Secondly, this should give anyone reason for pause before running to the hospital or to the physician for every little ill and insisting that something be done – which is usually a prescription orally or by injection.  Thirdly, these are not good odds.  There are a lot of people who will not get on an airplane, even though the odds of an injury or fatality are far, far less than these odds.      Lastly, what is the trade off?   Is cancer being cured, arthritis reversed, heart disease stopped, and strokes prevented?  No they aren’t.  The majority of the chronic degenerative diseases at which these pharmaceutical agents are being targeted continue on, not only unabated, but escalating in incidence.
    The pharmaceutical allopathic (symptom-based) approach to medicine is a bad idea for which millions of people are paying a heavy price.
        Townsend Letter, July 1998:24
        Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998;279:1200, 1216
    As I describe in the book, The Synorgon Diet - How To Achieve Healthy Weight In A World Of Excess, obesity is merely a consequence of modern living.  Following the Optimal Health Program is a sure cure for obesity since it addresses processed foods and sedentary living, the fundamental causes of obesity.
    One of the most remarkable changes to have occurred in modern diets is the conversion from raw foods to processed foods, and from relatively high proteins and fats to high carbohydrates.   Carbohydrates as found in most processed foods are derived from agriculturally based grains and are an unnatural food for humans.  Never in the wild would we be able to assemble enough grains of wheat or rice or oats to make a meal.  If we ate them in their raw state we could not digest them.  If we ate enough of them in their raw state they would be toxic.  If we mill, refine and cook them we destroy much of their nutritional value and create a sugar surfeit.
    Research has shown that by decreasing the carbohydrates in obese children, weight can be returned to normal in a safe, rapid way.  In a recent study, children on average lost 34 pounds and those who were suffering from sleep disorders had sleep patterns returned to normal.
    The bottom line is get the kids off sugars and carbohydrates.  They have high energy demands.   If their mainstay does not contain significant levels of protein and fat, they will crave carbohydrates to meet these energy demands.
        Pediatrics, January 1998:61-67
    Today’s refined, fractionated, purified, artificially fertilized foods are mineral deficient.   Magnesium is a major mineral that is essential for health.  It participates in hundreds, perhaps thousands of important physiological processes. 
    When a nutrient is supplemented to the diet and reverses disease, it can be assumed that the victim had been deficient.
    If magnesium is given within 6 to 7 hours after the onset of heart attack chest pain, a significant reduction in heart attack mortality occurs.  This is given intravenously and costs pennies to do, but is by and large ignored by the medical community.
    Magnesium can also be used for muscle spasms, such as in the calf muscles during the night.  In fact, during such treatment it was found that magnesium may also benefit women who suffer from urinary dysfunction such as increased frequency of urination, urgency, incontinence, and detrusor instability.
    In a study of 40 women with these symptoms, magnesium supplementation for four weeks provided excellent relief of symptoms compared with controls.  Dosage in the study was from 350 to 700 mg twice daily.
    Other symptoms of magnesium deficiency which supplementation will help include insomnia, depression, fatigue, anxiety, migraines, asthma, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, urinary stone formation, and premenstrual syndrome.
    At the higher doses of 600-700 mg per day diarrhea may develop in some individuals, so the dosage should be reduced to a better level in those cases.  An excellent broad spectrum major mineral supplement containing magnesium is Orgamin™.
        Br J Obstet Gynaecol, 1998;105:667-669
        The Experts Speak, 1997:57-58
    German researchers have determined that exposure of the brain to electromagnetic fields during the use of mobile phones can increase blood pressure by as much as 10 points.  Don’t assume that just because you cannot feel something that your body is not reacting.  Remember, x-rays cannot be detected by any of our senses, but can ruin health, cause cancer and even death.
    A wise course is to use any electrical device with moderation.  In the case of cell phones, use them only for emergencies, not to chat.
    With time, as research continues to unfold and reveal deleterious results, it will become apparent why a suspicious attitude toward all such devices is wise.
        The Lancet, June 20, 1998:1857-1858