- This is a boring, thankless
job. Its boring because the better I do it, the more of nothing happens.
My objective is to prevent you, your family and your companion animals from getting
disease - but if I accomplish this and nothing happens to you and life just goes on as
normal - thats seemingly a pretty boring result. Its thankless because
how do I get credit for what doesnt occur?
- I am convinced, and the facts
irrefutably prove, that if you follow the various guidelines discussed continually in the Health Letter you will greatly decrease the risk
of disease. Literally millions of people and animals could be spared from disease,
and the dehumanizing and disfiguring treatments the patient is subjected to, which are
often worse than the disease itself.
- This is no boast, and I am not
looking for a Nobel prize. Its just the reality of the situation. It
requires constant mental assurance for me to get excited about what I do. This
assurance comes from study and research which proves beyond a doubt that prevention
making nothing happen is the most
important thing any of us can do.
- You are in the same position
that I am. If nothing remarkable is happening to you and you are jumping through all
the health hoops you should, doubt can creep in. Why go to the bother if nothing is
happening? Why exercise? Why harp at the kids about eating right? Why
eschew all the tasty confectionery morsels that can send our taste buds flipping in
cartwheels? Why subject ourselves to the derision of the majority who think were
weird or going overboard by trying to detoxify the home, recycle, get plenty of sunlight
and fresh air, and convert the diet to as much fresh, whole, natural foods as possible?
- Once something happens and you
lose your health, then it may be too late. The time to act is now. Remember:
health is everything, for without it life will lose all meaning and purpose. To stay
on the right track, fear disease. Additionally, continue to feed your mind with the
knowledge - and from that the conviction - that what you are doing is right, even though
it may appear you are doing nothing.
- Its not an easy
cause-effect thing, however. It is very mental, philosophical, intellectual, and
depends on wisdom, self-discipline, and self-management.
- The reward is life in its
healthy fullness. What better prize could there be?
- Preventing Cancer with Selenium
- I dont like to focus on
individual nutrients and that is never the purpose of featuring them in the Health Letter. But in order to obtain any
sort of clear research result, scientists must concentrate on individual nutritional
elements. It's just too complicated otherwise. There are so many variables and confounding
factors when multiple elements are studied that the results are never clear, so isolating
nutrients is critical.
- I have talked about the role of
selenium in cancer prevention before, but an update and a reminder are in order. The
bottom line is that compelling research now demonstrates that appropriate levels of
selenium in the diet, by way of food or supplements, can decrease death rates by as much
as 50%. Thats no small thing since it would mean saving millions of people
from this dreaded disease and the debilitating and dehumanizing treatments.
- Although the role of selenium
as a worthy anticancer agent has been known since 1965, it has not received the attention
and support it should. After all, it's not a patented drug with the potential to
make pharmaceutical companies gadzillions of dollars. Institutions
that should bring such an important finding to the public such as the press and the
medical community have proven themselves to be only mindless vessels of
conventionalism or yes men to the pharmaceutical industry.
- Selenium protects against
cancer by helping to generate glutathione, which quenches potent free radical compounds
such as hydrogen peroxide. It also helps stimulate the repair of DNA molecules and
initiates apoptosis (the death cycle) of cancer cells before they replicate out of
- Proof of the effect of selenium
on cancer is both epidemiological and evidenced by way of controlled scientific studies.
China is a good location to study the effects of selenium on cancer since there are
areas of the country in which the soil is extremely selenium-deficient, other areas
that have moderate levels, and yet other areas with high levels. What has been found
epidemiologically by studying populations within these areas is that there is a ratio of
approximately 3:2:1, with the highest incidence of cancer being related to the low soil
selenium levels, and the lowest levels of cancer related to the high soil selenium.
- Also, in studies where
individuals at high risk for cancer were either given selenium supplements or were not,
there was a reduction in cancer incidence and death rate of almost 50% in the supplemented
group. These are good studies and the chance of the results being just coincidence
is less than 1 in 3,000.
- In a study that wasnt
supposed to be terminated until 1998, reduction in the selenium group for prostate cancer
was 63%, 58% for colon cancer and 45% for lung cancer. The results were so dramatic
that the study was terminated in 1996 because it was considered to be unfair to continue
to have the control group receive no selenium.
- By converting the diet to
fresh, whole, raw foods and eating variety, particularly foods that are harvested from
various locations and organic when possible, selenium levels will be increased. As
extra insurance it is wise to take a multiple vitamin/mineral formulation which contains
200 mcg of organically bound selenium, such as is found in the Wysong Optimal
of the American Medical Association, December 25, 1996
- Lutein for Macular Degeneration
- Age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) is a serious threat to sight. The macula is a section of the
retina of the eye that is very important to visual acuity. For as yet unknown
reasons, this important section of the retina can undergo degeneration with age.
- What is known, however, is that
there is a loss of pigments in the macula associated with this disease. Those who
have the disease have about 30% less pigment than those who do not. It is postulated
that this loss in pigment may permit the penetration of damaging short wavelength light to
vulnerable tissues, thus triggering this degenerative condition.
- Research has shown, however, that lutein,
zeaxanthin and perhaps other pigments in dark colored fruits and vegetables can increase
pigmentation in the macula and thus help prevent this disease. In one study the
optical density in the macula increased by almost 40% when subjects were given a
supplement containing lutein. Results were seen in as early as three weeks into the
- Lutein belongs to the
carotenoid family of pigments and is particularly rich in dark green vegetables such as
spinach, kale and collard greens. Certainly increasing the consumption of these
vegetables will help prevent and perhaps retard the progression of macular degeneration.
Supplemental lutein is another option and is available in the Nutrient Support
- Exp Eye
- Probiotics and Allergies
- The most common misconception
about allergies is that they are caused by allergens. To say an allergy is caused by
corn or ragweed or cat dander is like saying a heart attack is caused by exercise, obesity
is caused by eating too much or elderly hip fractures are caused by falls. Heart
attacks are caused by years of improper eating and life-style habits, obesity is caused by
eating the wrong foods, and elderly hip fractures are caused by eating and life-style
errors leading to osteoporosis.
- Although allergens may be the
precipitating event that causes an allergic manifestation, the underlying
problem is a compromised, weakened and out-of-balance immune system as a result of food
and life-style mismanagement.
- For example, modern food
choices are increasingly limited, removing variety from the diet. Even though we may
eat different forms of food, food processors are usually just shaping the same ingredients
into different cosmetic packages.
- Such foods are eaten day in and
day out without relief, resulting in antigenic overload. The same can be true of the
substances that come in contact with our skin and those which we breathe in our synthetic,
air conditioned and polluted world.
- In our archetypal setting, food
variety would come naturally, as cycles of food abundance and scarcity determined what we
ate. Additionally, life outdoors would naturally create a more dilute, pure, varied
and natural context.
- We are adapted to the natural
world and to natural raw foods exactly as found in nature. True, all of these
elements are potential allergens, but eons of adaptation have resulted in tolerance.
If this were not true, all of our ancestors would have long ago succumbed to
life-threatening allergic reactions. If this had occurred and our ancestors
were culled out from these reactions, we would not exist today.
- So allergy to our natural world
is not a natural phenomenon. When it does occur it is a result of an immune system
that has been damaged or compromised in some way by modern living habits.
- Even the microbial balances
that exist in our digestive tract are important in this regard. The constant
consumption of dead, devitalized, processed foods and the use of various drugs and
antibiotics can result in a disbiosis, an imbalance of microflora in the digestive tract.
The bad guys, the pathogens, can overtake in numbers the good guys, the probiotic
organisms, and result in susceptibility to a variety of diseases as well as a compromised
- Dont underestimate the
importance of this digestive microbial balance. As much as 50% of the dry weight
basis of the stool consists of microorganisms. There are, in fact, more
microorganisms in our digestive tract than there are total cells in our entire body.
- Studies have shown that
probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, bifidobacteria and certain strains of
streptococcus and others help prevent permeability defects in the gut. In addition,
they support controlled antigen absorption, and promote various important immune functions
such as enhancement of interferon-gamma which has been shown to inhibit tumor necrosis
factor-alpha release from intestinal mucosal mast cells, as well as to reduce
hypersensitivity and inflammatory intestinal reactions. Additionally, probiotics can
ferment certain types of fiber, particularly of the soluble type, to produce short-chain
volatile fatty acids such as butyric and propionic acids. These decrease the pH thus
inhibiting pathogen growth; and feed colonocites, the cells lining the colon, thus
enhancing their health and resistance to the penetration of potential allergens.
- When allergy strikes, the
primary objective is not to identify the allergen. Hundreds of millions of dollars
are spent every year attempting to test/identify allergens and to suppress allergic
reactions. The cause of allergy is a departure from healthy balance.
Making proper food choices emphasizing fresh, whole, raw,
natural foods, in combination with judicious supplementation, can be of great benefit.
- Raw foods can help implant
probiotic organisms in the digestive tract and provide the appropriate fuel for their
growth. Additionally, supplements such as Probiosyn help provide a variety of
probiotic organisms as well as prebiotic oligosaccharides, which support their selective
growth in the intestinal tract. Additionally, the entire spectrum of Foundation
Formulas, particularly the essential fatty acids, are very beneficial to build the health
of the immune system and resist allergic reactions. Also, Immulyn contains a
range of nutrients to help stimulate and strengthen a variety of elements in the immune
of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1979;99:179-185
- Mind Over Matter
- Here is recent evidence demonstrating that we must
not underestimate the effect of the mind in health and healing:
Studies in which
athletes were tested for optimism or pessimism before a season demonstrated that optimists
51 men recovering from
coronary bypass surgery were given psychological tests prior to and following surgery.
Compared to the pessimists, the optimists showed better electrocardiogram scores,
began walking earlier, returned to sexual activity sooner, began vigorous physical
activity sooner and restored overall quality of life sooner.
When measuring immune
cells, such as T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells, it was found that the accumulation
of even relatively minor life stresses depressed immune capabilities.
If following an
infection there is psychological stress, there is an increased risk of post-infectious
fatigue syndrome and delayed physical recovery.
86 patients who had
metastatic breast cancer were divided into two groups. One group received routine
cancer therapy, the other received the same therapy but also participated in a once weekly
facilitated support group. The mean survival in the therapy-only group was 18.9
months versus 36.6 months in those who also participated in the support group. After
ten years of follow up, only three patients had survived and all three were from the
support group cohort.
Personality traits and beliefs were
evaluated in 32,000 people who had no evidence of any serious degenerative disease,
including cancer. These individuals were then followed over the next 17 years.
During that time, 396 cancers developed. When the cancer was correlated with
the psychological tests it was found that 347 of the 396 who developed the cancer were in
the depression category. Depression was characterized by the inability to express
emotion and the inability to cope with stress leaving them feeling helpless and hopeless.
A world view of this cancer-prone group included the belief that unhappiness was
the result of abandonment, and that happiness depends on unattainable love.
- 7) Cancer therapy,
including surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy, can have serious biochemical/physiological
side effects. But aside from this the stress of the surgery and of the adjuvant
therapy itself can negatively impact immune competency. For example, in a study of
116 patients who had undergone cancer therapy, decreased natural killer cell activity
(lysis) was measurable.
- When I was young and immortal
and I heard discussions of stress I didnt know what the people were talking about.
A young body and mind (not very full yet) are extremely resilient physically and
- But as time has gone on, I can
definitely feel a very profound physical response to stress. If the stress is severe
enough, I can pretty much plan on illness following.
- In all instances,
health-threatening stress is related to situations in which we feel helpless, hopeless or
victimized. Until we work out in our mind and in our life circumstances
means by which we can control the situation, the stress continues and health is in
- Dont underestimate the
importance of arranging your life in such a way that you are in control of your own
destiny as much as it is possible to do so. Your health success will very much
depend upon the degree to which you accomplish this goal.
Psychology Sci., 1990;1;2:143-146
- J Per
Soc Psychol, December 1989;57;5:1024-40
Psychosom Med, May 1994;56;3:216-24
Med, August 1994;24;3:651-59
October 14, 1989;2:888-91
Motor Skills, August 1990;71:216-18
- J Nat
Cancer Inst, Jan 7, 1998;90:30-36
- St. John's Wort for Depression
- Numerous studies have now
demonstrated the effectiveness of St. Johns Wort in depression. At usual doses
the herb is as effective as pharmaceutical antidepressants, and at higher doses it may
even relieve severe depression.
- St. Johns Wort is
particularly attractive as an antidepressant because it is virtually without side effect
in contrast to commonly used drugs. However, there are potential interactions
between St. Johns Wort and existing antidepressant medications, such as monoamine
oxidase inhibitors and drugs that affect the brain chemical serotonin.
- These problems can be serious
and the combination of St. Johns Wort with pharmaceuticals should only be done under
careful medical supervision.
- The Nutrient Support Formula,
Vivreis, contains St. John's Wort along with other synergistic nutrients to enhance
mood, sense of well-being, and mental energy.
Townsend Letter, September 1998;27
- Estrogen Causes Cancer
- Harvard researchers have
reviewed the medical literature and found a positive relationship between hormone
replacement estrogen therapy and risk of breast cancer. Use the reference cited here
to have your physician review the literature if he or she is recommending to you the use
of estrogens for menopause.
- A safer alternative to the use
of estrogens is topically applied natural progesterone and the natural plant
phytoestrogens found in soy foods and the supplement Wysong Estrolog.
- J Natl
Cancer Inst, June 3, 1998;90
- Boosting Immunity with Mushrooms
- For many centuries, perhaps
millennia, the health benefits of mushrooms have been known. It has taken until now
for modern western man to appreciate their potential.
- The range of benefits is broad
and impressive. Various medicinal mushrooms have antiviral, hepato-protective
effects, cardiovascular benefits, and most importantly they stimulate the immune system.
- The polysaccharide complexes in
medicinal mushrooms increase lymphocyte production of interferon and interleukin-2,
increase the proliferation of stimulated T-cells, increase total white cell counts,
increase T-helper cell ratios and natural killer cell activity.
- The effects of medicinal
mushrooms on the immune system are almost directly opposite of those of the
immunosuppressive chemotherapeutic agents such as cyclophosphamide agents used in cancer
- Since healing can ultimately
only come from activation of the immune system, not its depression, medicinal mushrooms
could serve as an excellent cancer preventive as well as adjunct therapy if chemotherapy
for cancer is being used.
- A variety of medicinal
mushrooms is incorporated into the Nutritional Support Formula which is designed to feed
the immune system, Immulyn.
- Am J
Urol, June 1998;159:2035-2040
- Vitamin E for Stroke
- Antioxidant nutrients may not
only help prevent cerebrovascular events (strokes), but may limit the damage if a stroke
- Strokes occur when vessels have
become hardened from atherosclerotic plaque, and rupture. The pressure
this creates on surrounding brain tissue is what causes the neurological damage.
There is the immediate damage from the hemorrhage and then there is the secondary
damage from inflammation and free radical damage which, in effect, can spread the results.
- Research has now demonstrated
that vitamin E supplementation, one of many very important antioxidant nutrients, can
reduce the size of this spreading injury by as much as 50%.
- Vitamin E and the other
antioxidant nutrients not only help prevent atherosclerotic disease resulting in stroke or
heart attack, but can help moderate the damage if a vascular event does occur.
Wysong Spectrox and Food ACE are excellent sources of
natural vitamin E, as well as a spectrum of other antioxidants which will supply
appropriate levels of these important nutrients.
- Vitamin D for Prostate Cancer
- Activated vitamin D is believed
to be a safe and efficacious therapy for early recurrent prostate cancer. Research
has demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation will slow the rise of prostate specific
antigen (PSA) after prostate cancer has been treated by other means. The level of
PSA is a relatively reliable marker of prostate cancer growth and, therefore, its decrease
through the use of vitamin D may very well serve to inhibit cancer recurrence.
- To increase vitamin D get
plenty of sunshine daily; eat fresh, whole, natural foods as described in the Optimal
Health Program; and take well designed multiple vitamin/mineral supplementation containing
vitamin D, such as in Wysong Optimal.
Pharmacology 1998; 30: 1-4
- Essential Oils as Antimicrobials
- Plants dont have legs to
run away from, or teeth to defend themselves from, attackers. Instead they have
developed complex chemical arsenals to fight microbial and insect foes.
- Many antibiotics are in fact
nothing more than isolates of these antimicrobial chemicals. For example, penicillin
is derived from a mold. But antimicrobial therapy does not necessarily just have to
come from a high priced pharmaceutical company.
- Research demonstrates that
several essential oils such as oregano, thyme, rosewood, cinnamon and clove have potent
antimicrobial activity. For example, oregano has the ability to autolyze
streptococcus pneumonia, an important bacteria causing lung and respiratory disease.
Oils of oregano, thyme and rosewood have also shown effectiveness against the
pathogen E. coli in several species of fungi.
- These herbs/spices can be quite
easily grown at home, or the essential oils purchased at most health stores.
Townsend Letter, September 1998;22
- Folic Acid and More Birth Defects
- Several years ago I reported
that a deficiency in folic acid was linked to neural tube birth defects. Since that
time the research demonstrating this relationship has filtered its way into the medical
community and even into the food processing industry where folic acid is now being used to
- This information was from
preliminary results in a large double-blinded trial. This trial is now complete but
demonstrates that folic acid, which is commonly deficient in modern diets, is also linked
to urinary tract and cardiovascular birth defects. In addition, its deficiency can
cause limb anomalies and congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (narrowing of the
outflow valve of the stomach).
- Eating the diet we are
genetically adapted to will help prevent folic acid deficiency. But certainly
everyone should consider a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement (such as Wysong Optimal)
which incorporates folic acid since this nutrient is so commonly deficient.
Processed and cooked foods greatly diminish or entirely destroy it, so we
must be conscientious in seeking a reliable source.
- Eur. J.
Obstet. Gyn. Reprod. Bil., 1998;78:151-161
- Chitosan for Kidney Failure
- Chitosan is a natural
polysaccharide derived from crustacean shells. In the intestinal tract it has the
ability to absorb metabolites such as uric acid and bile acids. By a mechanism not
fully understood, it can also reduce serum cholesterol. Recently, in a study of 80
patients with renal failure, it was found to reduce urea and creatinine which are markers
of kidney damage. In those patients taking the chitosan compared to placebo
controls, there was an increased feeling of well-being and physical strength and there
were no adverse side effects. Chitosan is one of the active ingredients in Nephurol,
which nutritionally targets the urinary system specifically.
- J Pharm