Dr. R. L. Wysong
September 1992


    I remember from school something vague about our forefathers and how the Constitution set the United States apart from tyrannical governments because it made its citizens free.
    During election years there is always political discussion.  It is a time of debate, national pride for some, and frustration for others.  The highly popular Perot movement is an expression of rising discontent.  For many, there is a feeling that something is not quite right, that government has acquired far too much power, and the individual has been lost in the shuffle.
    Recent events, such as those we have discussed concerning military-style regulatory action on health practitioners dispensing vitamins, makes us aware that some rights are under siege.
    We are not really free regarding how we wish to pursue our own health.  Only drugs that have been subjected to multi-million dollar trials as approved by the FDA are permitted to be marketed as health remedies.  It is unimportant that these trials do not assure safety or efficacy, as evidenced by a long grocery list of drugs that have been approved and have then subsequently killed and maimed. 
    The government has taken the position that we are not smart enough to make decisions about how we take care of our own health.  We are supposed to be comforted by their willingness to take care of everything for us.  As a result of this government concern we spend more money on health than any country in human history, yet our citizens are becoming sicker, not better.
    Thomas Jefferson once said that you should “never trust your government.  You need a revolution every 20 years just to keep the government honest.” 
    Perhaps a revolution in our approach to health care is past due.  Unfortunately, there is much complacency, and with a trillion dollars coming in per year the medical-industrial complex can do a lot of wooing and marketing to make it appear that we are all being cared for better than an astronaut on the way to the Moon. 
    The best keeper of your health is you.  Ultimately, all healing comes from within.  Thus, freedom to pursue your own health is essential.
    Jefferson also said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”  Although we think this was all taken care of long ago by our forefathers and the American Revolution, I’m sure Jefferson would have a contrary opinion on the state of affairs as they exist today.  The best of intentions, as expressed in our Constitution, is no guarantee that those intentions will be carried out as originally intended without policing by the population.
    Let’s look at two opposing approaches to personal rights:
   1.  Freedom of religion, press, speech, assembly (total freedom, no permits, no licenses, equal time for all competing ideas in the media).
   2.  Freedom to bear arms.
   3.     No forced quartering of troops.
   4.     No unlawful search and seizure (nothing like the raid on Dr. Wright’s offices mentioned in Vol. 6, No. 7 of the Health Letter).
   5.  Freedom not to witness against self, guaranteed due process, just compensation.
   6.     Speedy and public trial (no attorney—judge deals, no waiting months for a trial).
   7.     Trial by jury.
   8.  Freedom from excessive bail.
   9.     No denial of rights.
   10.     All powers not mentioned reserved to States or the people.
   1.  Abolition of private property (if taxes are not paid, property goes to the State).
   2.     Heavy progressive income tax.
   3.  Abolition of rights of inheritance (the State becomes the third party through a marriage license).
   4.  Confiscate rebel’s property (those not complying with State dictates may have property confiscated by SWAT teams or the like).
   5.     Central bank (a Central Federal Bank with the power to simply create money by printing it).
   6.  Government ownership of communication and transportation (like a Federal.
       Communication Commission and State Department of Motor Vehicles).
   7.  Government owns factories and farms (controls through permits, licenses, labor boards, OSHA, Soil Conservation districts, Bureaus of Land Management, etc.).
   8.  Government controls labor (like mandatory prerequisite Social Security numbers, enforced withholding tax on employees).
   9.  Corporate farms, regional planning (the gradual removal of the small family farm and its replacement with a few super corporate farms directly linked to the government).
10.  Government controls education (careful control of permits and licensing of teachers and schools, as well as a state-approved curriculum).
    Obviously Program B appears to be more like our present situation.  But which of the above two programs would you rather live under?  Can you guess what the origin is of the two programs?  For the answer — see page 84 upside down.  The answer will likely amaze you.
    Obviously the additive effect of subtle slight-of-hand changes imposed upon us by government has removed us far from the original intent of a free society.  We are becoming what we have condemned while at the same time believing we remain the “land of the free.”
    We spend much of our life in the pursuit of personal freedom.  Our work life is designed so that we can earn enough money to be free to have time with our family in the evenings or on the weekends, or during holidays or for brief vacations.  We seek time (freedom) for peace and harmony and not forced, continued, morning-to-evening enslavement. 
    However, increasingly higher work levels are required for both spouses as families attempt to make ends meet.  We move ever closer to being a colony of worker bees consumed with the day-to-day necessities of life.  True freedom under such circumstances can neither be enjoyed nor reached.   Continued desperate preoccupation with financial security can rob life of its beauty and happiness and take a dramatic toll on health. 
    The unique freedom document of the United States, the Constitution, begins “We, the people,” not “We, the government,” or “We, the lawyers,” “We, the doctors,” “We, the CPA’s,” “We, the police,” or “We, all the multitude of regulatory and licensing bodies.”  Our inclination to let someone else take care of us is as much at fault in burdening us with control by others as is the desire by some to wield direct political power.
    Inviting someone else to take care of us sounds good, comfortable and safe.  Particularly is this easy in a system where we believe that there are appropriate controls to prevent abuse.  But life teaches the lesson that no one cares more about you than you.  Therefore, you are the best person to control your destiny.  When you entrust others to do so, they will be number one taking care of number one, and  your interests will be only secondary, tertiary or perhaps neverary.
    This non-critical-thinking, follow-others personality begins early on.  Bemoaning our sad state of affairs A. L. St. Clair wrote in Informed Consent:
    “We have permitted our public school systems to be used to create a nation of functional illiterates.  As such we function at a limited capacity and in effect have become the automatons described by Ben Franklin during the constitutional debates.  The three most important subjects to any people wishing to remain free are not even taught in any meaningful way in our schools.  The lessons of history, the science of law and the twin sciences of economics and money are all but non-existent in our institutions of learning.  Reared without even a smattering of these disciplines, the people are docile and malleable.  They make good corporate citizens who tend to fear authority and seek escape from responsibility.  They become people who can perform tasks of work but do not have sufficient original thought capability and reasoning powers to question the decisions of management.  They are easily ruled by those who would seek dominion.  This is the condition we find ourselves in as we are forced to seek solutions to a crumbling economy and failing political institutions.”
    These are perhaps broad political, social, philosophic concepts that may or may not seem relevant to personal health.  It is a mistake, however, to not examine fundamental issues, for it is these issues that shape our rights and our freedoms, and ultimately, our ability to pursue health, vitality, and happiness.
    Oppressive government is what created our nation of freedom seekers.  The revolution was in part, a revolt against a 5% tax made by George III on individuals.  Today some can pay as much as 80-90%.
    It would be interesting for a politician to dust off a copy of the Constitution and run for election by proposing a restoration of the rights it describes.  If that doesn't happen, maybe we should read it ourselves (It is in fact a contract between people and government) and demand leaders be held to their responsibility to protect our freedoms, not usurp them.
    Here’s a question:  Should we eat?  We recently ran across a very detailed and serious presentation — books, audio cassettes, videos — by individuals claiming to be  “Breatharians” and touting that lifestyle as the definitive, “correct” one. 
    Basically, breatharians don’t eat.  Period.  Maybe a bit of lemon or lime juice in a half-cup of water once a week.  Maybe.  But not necessarily.  Breatharians just don’t eat or drink.  They take in their nutrients, as they claim, by breathing.  A leader in the movement weighs approximately 130 pounds and maintains that weight by breathing healthy air.  He says he would perish if forced to live on city air, but “healthy air contains everything we need for survival.” 
    Breatharians argue that   the process of eating is an addicting, toxic thing.  The digestive system is not an alimentation system, but a detoxifying system.  The respiratory system is the alimentation system. 
    All this eating, several times a day, day in and day out, is poisoning us and is the ultimate reason that we die.   Two universal truths are... we all eat, and we all die.  Breatharians claim they’re connected.  If you don’t eat, you don’t die — or not at least for two to three hundred years, or whatever our ultimate genetic potential is.  
    While everything I know says this is nonsense, apparently honest and sincere people say they are living on air alone.   If you would like to pursue this further, the book, Breatharianism—Breathe and Live Forever, by Wiley Brooks and Nancy Foss.
        Breatharian International, Inc., PO Box 1629, Arvada, CO  80001.
Genetic Engineering
    Philosophically closer to more of our dinner tables is this question:  What should or shouldn't we eat?  We should avoid foods which have been overprocessed, irradicated, and overchemicalized.  Now we may need to look for foods which have not been genetically altered as well.  Our concern suddenly isn’t just that our carrot not be covered and infused with chemicals and pesticides — now we must ask if our carrot bears the growth genes of, say... a cow.  If this sounds ridiculous, let’s look at some known genetic work with foods currently taking place.      
    To quote Jeremy Rifkin, who has launched the Pure Food Campaign against genetically altered foods, “Our food is not safe... Pig genes in your pasta!  Millions of people — vegetarians, Hindus, Muslims, Orthodox Jews — won’t know what kind of animal genes are in their vegetables!”   
    Dr. Michael Fox, a department vice president within the Humane Society, has written a new book entitled Superpigs and Wondercorn:  The Brave New World of Biotechnology, and Where It All May Lead.  In his book he describes genetic experiments that are shocking and almost unbelievable.  “Pigs programmed with the human growth gene... were arthritic, lethargic, and had defective vision arising from abnormal skull growth.”  He additionally reports that “Merck & Co. have developed a line of broiler chickens that carry the growth gene of cows.”  Merck calls these their MacroChickens.
    Calgene, a leading biotechnology corporation, says their genetically altered tomatoes — which will be in supermarkets in 1993 — are “a hell of a lot better-tasting than what you can buy today.”  One researcher jokes that he has been eating what he calls the Flavr Savr tomato for some time and “hasn’t grown any horns yet,” which gives an idea of what the new added genes are. 
    What is the FDA’s position?  Surprisingly enough, as vigilant as the FDA is in most areas, they are considering that genetically altered foods be treated simply as whole foods.  Genes will not be considered as additives, and only foods with additives are tested for safety.   When questioned about this, one spokesperson for the FDA argued, “You really and truly aren’t adding anything — you’re changing it.”  Is the correct conclusion then that it automatically must be safe?  Rifkin and his group say no.  They have filed a petition with the FDA, demanding that the agency initiate rules and guidelines to ensure the safety of genetically engineered foods.   Additionally, they want the FDA to require testing and clear labeling.  While I don’t know about the “testing” requirements — more government intervention and likely more meaningless tests on innocent laboratory species — clear labeling with full disclosure about what has been done to the foods is a definite must.   Let the public then decide what they want to buy and eat. 
    Many of the best professional chefs of the world are up in arms about this too.  They feel that their art, their professional expertise, and the history of culinary beauty is all being sacrificed just to boost the biotechnology industry.  There are dozens of master chefs here in the United States who have pledged to boycott genetically altered foods.
    In a world where most consumers seem to be looking for pure, clean foods, the powers that be in our food industry are going in the exact opposite direction, still looking for that super-manipulated space-age wonder food.  Yet in the consumer arena, the general consensus is, “I just want simple, good old-fashioned food.  I don’t want a super Flavr Savr tomato, a pork + human chop, or a MacroChicken.  Please!”
    If you are interested in more information about this, you can contact the Pure Food Campaign.
        Pure Food Campaign, 1130 17th St NW, Suite 630, Washington, DC  20036, (202) 466-2823.
        Buzzworm, September/October, 1992: 24
Zinc Supplementation  For Infants  
    As we continue to deplete our land of major and trace minerals while only replacing nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus (NPK) in commercial fertilizers, problems related to mineral deficiencies will likely increase.  Minerals cannot be synthesized either by plants or animals and thus we are absolutely dependent upon their continuing presence within soils.  But modern, high intensity farming, combined with erosion and non-replenishment of the soils    when dozens of minerals are leached from it or taken up by the plants which are used as foods, will continue to make food crops more and more mineral- poor.
    A recent study reported in The Lancet has shown that infants being fed breast milk in both developing and developed countries are at risk of zinc deficiency.   Growth is zinc sensitive. Those infants in the study given a 5 mg. zinc supplement daily showed better growth scores than those not receiving the supplement.  The authors concluded that for infants breast fed longer than four months, the decrease in growth velocity is at least partly a result of inadequate zinc intake.
    Breast milk is the champion of infant foods and provides minerals in their most biodegradable form.  If the mother is receiving a mineral depleted diet – which is increasingly likely – then infants consequently suffer.
    Prudent supplementation with naturally complexed vitamins and a spectrum of minerals is a safe and potentially beneficial thing to do.
        The Lancet, September 19, 1992: 683-
Exercise Dangers
    A regular program of both aerobic and weight bearing exercise can bring many benefits.  This is pretty much undisputed.
    However, with competitive sports and fitness manias, some people are embarking upon dangerous extraordinary unremitting endurance exercises.
    Permanent heart injury has been known to develop in such athletes, likely as a result of severe ischemia (insufficient blood flow to the heart), the release of high levels of catecholamines (hormones released due to stress), vasospasm and endothelial (blood lining) damage.
    Other possible mechanisms for injury include a deficiency in magnesium ions induced by severe exercise, thrombogenesis and the release of free fatty acids which, particularly if oxidized, could directly damage the myocardium (heart muscle).
    Early humans exercised as a part of their daily life.  The feats of some primitive people such as the Tarahumara Indians of Northern Mexico are quite remarkable.  They have been observed to chase deer for up to two days, until the animal simply dropped from exhaustion.  Primitive societies however, are believed to have followed a paleolithic rhythm with one or two days of hunting 6 to 8 hours a day, followed by one or two days of rest.
    Modern athletes, however, are stimulated by goals beyond just hunger and can stress their systems beyond their capability of repair.  Particularly is this so for endurance activities where little rest occurs to permit repair.
    The point is to keep exercise a part of your life.  Make it challenging and vigorous, but use caution regarding unremitting endurance exercise.
        The Tarahumara: An Indian Tribe of Northern Mexico, by Bennett W.C., Zingg, R.M., Chicago:   University of Chicago Press, 1935: 113
Anesthetic Dangers
    Nitrous oxide is an inhalation analgesic used in hospitals, dental offices, and veterinary clinics.  This “laughing gas” is often used to decrease anxiety in the dentist chair preliminary to local anesthetics.  In veterinary and human medicine it is used primarily for its potent analgesic (pain-killing) effects.
    Female personnel working in environments where this gas is used are now believed to be at increased risk for reduced fertility.
        The New England Journal of Medicine, October 1, 1992:993-
Milk And Diabetes
    Type I diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, is believed to be a genetically determined disease.  It is called insulin-dependent because its control depends upon the daily administration of insulin to maintain proper blood sugar levels.  But things are never so simple as what we imagine they are. 
    An interesting study from the University of Toronto has taken one step further in demonstrating that there may be an environmental link.  Although the pancreatic beta cells responsible for releasing insulin are known to be destroyed by an autoimmune response, it is not clear what triggers this autoimmune response.  These researchers are arguing that a specific protein in milk, called bovine serum albumin, may be the culprit.  An albumin peptide containing 17 amino acids may be the reactive epitope.  Antibodies to this milk peptide can react with the beta cells' surface protein P-69.  Thus, this is an immune reaction caused by our bodies forming antibodies to a milk protein, and then consequently having these same antibodies destroy the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for secreting insulin.
    This issue is controversial and, of course, as always, there is much debate in the literature.  Evidence that should make us suspicious of cow’s milk includes lack of the disease in diabetes-prone rodents who were kept on a milk-free diet, epidemiological data in humans showing a relationship between cow’s milk and diabetes, and a significantly reduced incidence of diabetes in children exclusively fed by breast with a delay in exposure to infant formula.
    The debate will continue among researchers perhaps for years.  But for those contemplating having children, this is yet one more validation of the value of breast feeding infants.
        The New England Journal of Medicine, July 30, 1992: 302
The Breast And IQ
    Researchers have reported that children who consumed mother’s milk in the early weeks of life had significantly higher IQ scores at 8 years of age than those not breast fed.  A comparison was made to those infants fed formula.
    Although there is debate in the literature as to what has really caused the IQ difference, the difference is indeed there.   Some feel the difference in IQ was a result of other controlling factors such as social class, the mother's education, and parenting skills.       The argument is that those women who do breast feed are likely more alert, more intelligent and more attentive to their child, thus promoting better IQ by better nurturing.  Regardless of the exact cause, this is one other piece of evidence in the long list of many we have mentioned in the Health Letter for giving children the ideal diet they were designed to receive.
        The Lancet, February 1, 1992: 261
        The Lancet, April 11, 1992: 926
Less Is   More . . .
    In case Fall and Winter are your hibernating times, with less exercise and outdoor activity, take special care to avoid packing on too much extra Winter weight.
    There is little doubt that western societies eat too much.  Obesity is an epidemic in all age groups and disease resulting from it is a serious health threat.  Eating less, of course, would help solve this problem.  But as we have described before, obesity is not simply an issue of eating less or exercising more.  Modern obesity is a complex spin-off from the opulent degradation of our modern world at large. 
    Research has indeed shown that the more weight you carry, the less time you are going to have to carry it.  Studies on mice called NR40-243 have demonstrated that there is less disease and less aging degeneration if there is under-feeding.  Underfeeding in fact almost doubled life span. 
    The exact mechanism causing this is not known, but is likely a result not so much of just eating less food as eating less of the kinds of foods that are available today.  The modern processed diet is faulty, being both imbalanced and distorted such that it even poses a toxic threat.   Oxidized compounds and various other processing degradations may be the reason why under-eating actually spares the body and can increase age.
    Many of the serious environmental toxins which appear in our food supply, such as organic halogens, are lipid soluble.  Thus the more fat we have, the more readily these toxins are absorbed.   Then when we diet, we dump these out of our fat deposits into our systems.   Some believe the resulting sickness that often occurs, is a strong impediment to people successfully dieting.
    Thus the value of undereating may not be a result of the mathematics of calories but simply that the less we eat of our modern processed foods, the less we are poisoned. 
    A sobering thought.