- DEAR FRIEND
- There are many things that verify and validate the natural approach to health and healing. First of all, there is the compelling logic of it. We are products of nature, not of a food processing laboratory or a climate-controlled office or home. For untold eons of time we survived in nature. The evidence discloses that as long as food and shelter were available we lived pretty much disease-free lives, just as we see animals in such wild settings doing today.
- Then there is the increasing
empirical evidence coming from scientific study demonstrating that the closer we get to
nature in terms of our food and our lifestyle, the healthier we are. Additionally,
there is the proof of the pudding, the anecdotal personal stuff that scientists may
pooh-pooh but which nonetheless convinces you that what you are doing indeed makes you
feel better and be healthier. This comes in the form of your own personal
experience, enjoying the benefits of more healthy back-to-nature living.
- But here are some other
thoughts to consider. Have you ever wondered what it is that causes that warm glow
inside when you are able to walk through a pristine woods, or sit by the ocean and watch
the sun set? How about the beauty of a fresh snowfall clinging to trees, the smell
of a first warm day in spring, or the vistas of unspoiled prairies or mountain ranges?
Watching animals in the wild or even the behavior and antics of our pets affects us
similarly with the awe of the wild, of nature.
- Virtually everyone is touched
by such experiences even though we have increasingly removed ourselves from them and
separated into artificial environments.
- One biologist calls this
phenomenon biophilia - defined as the human need for natural places.
- Everything in nature is happy
if it is connected. Separated, isolated from its sources of life and its familiar
context, life itself is jeopardized.
- Think of our connections.
First we are connected to our mother intimately by the umbilical cord. Our
brain and blood vessels course through our body, interconnecting every single cell.
Also consider that as we breathe we are experiencing a connection with the
atmosphere and as we see and hear we are connected physically in a very real sense to
light and sounds, since these create chemical reactions in our eyes and nerves that in
turn interconnect with the rest of our body.
- We are not just receptacles of
such information input from the environment, but rather are sensitive responders to it.
Quantum physicists now argue that we are shaped, even at the subatomic level, by
not only the genetics that originally formed us, but how we are modeled during the course
- When we feel the wind in our
face, the crunch of snow underfoot, listen to a bubbling stream, breathe the aroma of a
forest, marvel at the flight of geese in formation, or gaze in awe into the nighttime
infinite heavens, we are feeling our interconnectedness with our origins.
- Why does it feel good?
Because it gives us the connection that all life needs. In effect, it tells
us we are indeed connected to nature.
- Understanding the need for this
intimacy with nature makes it clear why we must do all we can to protect natural areas for
our children and theirs. This also provides a key to understanding why we become
ill. All of the data now being assembled demonstrating the importance of natural
vitamins, enzymes, minerals and various phytonutrients to health also is showing their
superiority to synthetic, extraneous, unconnected drugs. This is just a confirmation
that health means connection to nature.
- There is a direct
proportionality as proven by this accumulating data. Break the interconnections you
have with your proper natural context and illness will result. Restore them and
health is the reward.
- ESSENTIAL VERSUS OPTIMAL
- Nutrition is evolving just like
all fields of knowledge. Nutrition, however, is a relatively new discipline since up
until relatively recently it was believed that if you ate to satiety all would be fine.
Malnutrition at that time was merely a matter of undereating.
You were either starving or adequately fed, and that was
the long and short of it.
- In the mid 1800s with the
discovery that microbes were involved in the development of diseases, everything came to
be viewed in those terms. Although nutritional diseases have been around for some
time - such as beriberi from eating nutrient-poor polished white rice, and scurvy from not
eating fresh vegetables and fruits, and pellagra from eating milled corn, and rickets from
lack of sunlight - the relationship to diet was not seen. The microbe/disease paradigm led
to the conclusion that something in the foods that prevented these diseases was getting
rid of the microbes, which were the real root cause.
- But with increasing analytical
technology it was soon discovered that there were elements within food which, if lacking,
could cause specific nutritional diseases. Thus, vitamin B1 deficiency became
understood as the cause of beriberi, vitamin B6 as the cause of pellagra, vitamin C as the
cause of scurvy, and vitamin D as the cause of rickets. But this understanding only
occurred at the turn of this century.
- Thus was born the heady,
technologically based field of nutrition as we know it today. We now can calculate
the electron spins of every atom in every molecule that make up the vitamins and minerals
that have been demonstrated to be essential in nutrition. Hundreds of thousands of
animals and people have been clinically tested to determine the supposed appropriate
levels required for these nutrients to prevent disease. Minimal amounts to prevent
disease are known as the required levels of essential nutrients. There are about 40
such nutrients which are on the essential list.
- But if you have been reading
along with me over time in the newsletter, you know that I am not very impressed with this
whole notion that scientists know what nutrients are essential and at what levels they are
so. It is my belief, and I believe the current scientific literature is compellingly
convincing as well, that nutrition is far more than this short list. The natural
foods we are intended to consume contain hundreds, even thousands, of chemical elements in
complex relationships we have only begun to understand. It is this complexity of
food and its interconnectedness, particularly as it exists in the raw state, that will
replace the current paradigm of a short list of essential nutrients as information
continues to roll in.
- You see, the problem with
conventional nutritional thinking is that they think they have it pretty much all figured
out. When you close the door in your own face, it is hard to see the new hallways of
enlightenment lying beyond. Nevertheless, this is the way that human knowledge
advances. A new idea is at first considered to be absurd, outlandish, quackish and
sacrilegious. It is shunned, especially by intellectuals or scientists.
As evidence continues to mount, the new idea becomes worthy of further study.
Only when the evidence is overwhelming and the public has by and large adopted the
new idea, will our scientific leaders accept it. But then, they impute its
origination to themselves.
- For a couple of decades now I
have been arguing that nutrition is far more than a short list of essentials. In the
beginning for those of us who believed nutrition was far more than a mixture of a few
chemicals, ridicule was common. But slowly things are changing and these concepts
are making their way into the mainstream and now being seriously considered by scientists.
- The new paradigm is optimal
nutrition - not just adequate nutrition. Optimal means each individual getting the
best nutritional profile they can get, specific for their genetic makeup and specific for
their particular life circumstance. Everyone is different and everyone reacts
differently to life. Thus average minimal requirements only meet the needs of a
certain number of the population fitting under the central portion of a bell curve.
Those on each end of the curve either suffer from deficiency or excess.
Following are some examples of some of the research that is demonstrating that
nutrition is very complex and that optimal levels of nutrients is the future.
- The requirement of vitamin A in
calves is as follows: 20 IUs per day to prevent nyctalopia; 32 IUs a day for normal
growth; 40 IUs a day for normal serum retinol levels; 250 IUs for moderate hepatic
reserves; and 1024 IUs a day for substantial hepatic reserves. So what is the minimum?
- Some nutrient requirements are
conditional: In the chicken and in the human there is an increased need for choline
and carnitine during early development; a duck eating low tryptophan levels has an
increased need for niacin; a chicken having low dietary cysteine requires more methionine;
rats on low methionine and phenylalanine diets require more choline and tryptophan
respectively. If a human gets low levels of sun they have an increased need for
vitamin D. If there is increased oxidative stress, as studied in chickens and in
humans, there is an increased need for the antioxidant nutrients vitamin E, selenium and
vitamin C. Humans and animals undergoing the stress of
surgery or tube feeding require increased levels of a variety of amino acids,
selenium, zinc and choline.
- There are a host of diseases
which are impacted by nutrient levels different than so-called minimum requirements (for
13 vitamins, 12 minerals, 2 fatty acids, protein and calories) and even by nutrients which
are not considered essential at all. Noted examples are cancer which is shown to be
prevented and even moderated by carotenes, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and many others.
Cardiovascular disease is likewise impacted by vitamin E and vitamin C.
Vitamin A has now been linked to cancer of the lung, gastrointestinal tract,
bladder, prostate, breast and cervix. Vitamin C reduces the risk of cancer of
the stomach, colon, rectum and lung.
- Then there are specific genetic
factors. Individuals lacking a biotin enzyme which is essential for attaching biotin
to its enzymes, or biotinidase which results in multiple carboxylase deficiencies, can
only be corrected by higher levels of biotin than are considered minimal requirements.
Similar problems can occur in those who have defects in vitamin D metabolism
requiring much higher doses than the average.
- The point is, how does anyone
know what category they fall into? The tests necessary to determine individual
biochemical requirements are only beginning to emerge and will likely never be complete.
- Emerging knowledge is creating
a heyday for laboratories and reductionistically-minded scientists, who now have a glut of
work attempting to determine the essentiality of the dozens, even hundreds, of
nutrients now being discovered as important.
- We can either wait for each new
discovery and modify our vitamin intake, or shoot for optimal right now. Forget all
of the minutia about milligrams and IUs and fancy sounding chemical names and return the
diet to its natural form: fresh, whole, raw foods to the degree possible eaten in variety.
Science will never discover a superior eating method or a pill that surpasses the
wisdom inherent within natural foods. In addition, however, since most of us have
lived a life deficient and imbalanced in a variety of nutrients as a result of a diet that
is primarily processed-food based, taking insurance nutritional supplements
that are designed based on natural foods and optimal levels would be a wise course.
- The Wysong Foundation Formulas
including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, essential fatty acids and more are all
designed in such a way that respect is given to the bounty of natural foods and the
formulas are constantly upgraded to reflect optimizing nutrition, rather than minimizing
it to essential nutrient status.
Food Industry, July 1998:42-43
- THYROID HORMONES AND DEPRESSION
- Thyroid dysfunction - over or underactive thyroid is one of the most common maladies of modern society. It
is also usually undiagnosed.
- According to the American
Society of Clinical Endocrinologists, approximately 1 in 20 Americans are afflicted and
almost 3/4 of these go undiagnosed.
- One of the primary symptoms of
thyroid disease is depression and women are more often affected than men, particularly
during middle and later years.
- Some physicians believe that
thyroid disorder is four times more common than even the above statistics. Those who
have their thyroid tested by means of the TSH test will often be told the test indicates
their thyroid is fine when in fact it is not.
- About any kind of modern
chronic problem may be related to thyroid disease. Depression, lack of energy,
problems with weight control, inability to stay warm, and frequent illness all may be
signs. Refer to the past Health Letter
where a method is described for home testing thyroid function (Vol. 8, No. 2). Also
seek out a physician who is familiar with home temperature testing for thyroid function.
- A positive test for thyroid
dysfunction may indicate a need for receiving a thyroid supplement. Even in this
case do not neglect following all of the healthy life choices described in the
Wysong Optimal Health Program and be sure to cycle through the Foundation Formulas.
Townsend Letter, May 1998:39
- SUGAR AND CANCER
- An important new piece of
research has demonstrated that decreasing sugar availability to cancer can cause the death
of some neoplastic cells. Although this research was intended to find new
chemotherapeutic agents, the finding has great significance in light of the argument that
I have made for several years in the
which is that the modern glut of sugar and carbohydrates in the diet is linked to a
variety of degenerative diseases.
- Sugars and carbohydrates abound
in the modern diet. In our natural diet consisting of those foods which could be
found and eaten raw exactly as they exist in nature, very little carbohydrate would be
consumed. This then represents another example of how our displacement from our
proper environmental and food context is the true cause of cancer and the solution will
never be found until we restore that proper context.
- The now popular nutritional
advice that carbohydrates should constitute 70-80% of the diet will likely also increase
your chance of cancer (and a plethora of other diseases) 70-80%.
Proceedings of the National Academy of
- GOOD AND BAD FATS AND BREAST CANCER
- I have been harping
away for years about the dangers of processed fats in the diet. This is
one of the things that motivated me to write my book,
Nutrition - Understanding Fats and Oils In Health and Disease.
- There is a mountain of evidence
now demonstrating the importance of natural, unaltered fats in the diet and the dangers of
processed oils and fats. But heres new information that really should bring
this home to women.
- First off, researchers found
that there was no relationship between total fat intake and breast cancer. They did,
however, find that by just increasing the amount of processed polyunsaturated fats in the
diet the risk of basic breast cancer increased by 69%. These fats are primarily the
polyunsaturated vegetable oils found in almost every packaged food product and would
include corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and the like.
- Conversely, it was shown that
by increasing the consumption of monounsaturated fats, such as in extra virgin olive oil,
the breast cancer risk decreased by 45%.
- When polyunsaturated fats are
heat processed they can be converted into a variety of toxic substances including
trans-fatty acids as produced by hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation. Breast
cancer, Im sure, is only one member of a long list of modern diseases that will
eventually be directly linked to the consumption of these toxins.
- But as much as we should fear
and avoid the bad fats and oils, we should seek the good ones. Fats and oils as a
part of whole, raw, natural foods are extremely health-promoting. Additionally,
because of the deficiency of such fats and oils in the diet, supplements are wise.
Wysong Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Essential Fatty Acid Supplements, and all of the
Wysong human and animal processed foods incorporate fats that have not been adversely
altered and have been properly stabilized with natural antioxidant preservatives.
This is not as good as whole, raw, natural foods, but it is the best compromise.
Archives of Internal Medicine, 1998;158:41-45
- ANTIOXIDANT RESEARCH NEWS
- The following are results from
recent research findings relating antioxidant supplementation to various diseases:
supplementation with vitamin E substantially reduced prostate cancer and mortality in male
Vitamin E is an
inhibitor of oxidative damage, free radical formation, and lipid peroxidation in focal
ischemic brain damage (stroke).
Alpha-lipoic acid is
effective in reducing the symptoms of non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
Vitamin C and beta
carotene have a protective effect on lung function.
Even without the use of
cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lovastatin, vitamin E can decrease oxidation of LDL
cholesterol and thus act as a preventative against atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Vitamin E applied
topically can reduce the susceptibility to solar-induced UV oxidative damage of the skin.
Vitamin E levels are
related to a decreased risk of progression of the nuclear opacities in cataracts.
Beta carotene has a
role in the prevention of cervical cancer and precancer conditions.
- Wysong Antioxidant Foundation
Formulas including Food ACE (a food-derived source of vitamins A, C and
E) and Spectrox (containing a wide array of antioxidants including vitamin E, alpha
lipoic acid and numerous other potent antioxidants) are excellent supplemental sources of
these nutrients. Of course, fresh whole, raw foods in variety should be the primary
source of these nutrients. However, modern living stresses make supplementation a
wise insurance policy.
Natl. Cancer Inst., 1998, 90:440-446
- Br. J.
Dermatol., 1998, 138:207-215
Diabetes, 1997; 46:S62-S66
Cardiovasc. Drugs Ther., 1997, 11:575-580
Ophthalmology, 1998, 105:831-836
Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev., 1998, 7:347-350
- BIRTH DEFECTS AND COUGH MEDICINE
- The primary ingredient in most
cough medicines is dextromethorphan. The medication works by action on receptors in
the central nervous system. Research on chickens has demonstrated that this drug has
the ability to cause birth defects. It is believed that a single dose may be
sufficient. The effect could occur very early in conception, before a woman is even
aware she is pregnant and could result in miscarriage or other abnormalities.
- Be extremely cautious with the
use of any drug, even if it is approved for over-the-counter use. We can only
pretend to know the full effects of such chemicals in spite of assurances given to us by
profit-motivated manufacturers or regulatory agencies.
Pediatric Research, January 1998:1-7
- TYLENOL DEATHS
- In a study of 55
documented cases of Tylenol (acetaminophen) liver toxicity, 24 children died
and three required liver transplants.
- This is the most widely used
medication for the relief of pain and fever in children. The reason for the toxicity
was repeated doses or higher doses than those recommended. What is most alarming is
the fact that these doses were only slightly above the weight-based recommendations for
- Parents, beware! Giving
any drug to children, even something as widely used as Tylenol, to children should only be
done as a last resort. Remember also that fever is not a disease to be treated, but
rather a reaction of the body to activate the immune system and create an unfavorable
environment for pathogenic growth.
of Pediatrics, January 1998:132
- ESTROLOG FOR HOT FLASHES
- Certain phytonutrients within
soy have the ability to affect female reproductive hormones. It is the cycling of
these hormones that results in all of the menstrual and menopausal symptoms troubling so
many women today.
- In a study to determine the
effect of these soy compounds on hot flashes, it was demonstrated that the consumption of
soy could decrease hot flashes by as much as 45%. Also, epidemiological studies have
demonstrated that the consumption of soy by Asians is likely the cause of their decreased
incidence of reproductive cancers such as breast, ovarian and uterine.
- Wysong Estrolog has been
formulated to incorporate not only the beneficial phytonutrients within soy, but those
also within other plant food categories that benefit reproductive health in women.
Gynecol., January 1998:6-11
- TAMOXIFEN AND BREAST CANCER
- Tamoxifen is a drug used to
block estrogen in breast cancer patients. It is often taken for as long as five
years. New evidence now suggests that this drug may increase the risk for women
developing endometrial (uterine) cancer. Researchers have found increased levels of
cancer-promoting growth factors and binding proteins in the endometrial tissue taken from
those using Tamoxifen.
- There seems to be no such thing
as a clean drug. So often the benefit of a quick fix is offset by damage that
exceeds the benefits.
- Soy, as well as Estrolog,
contains phytoestrogens which also can block estrogenic receptors similarly to Tamoxifen,
but without the contraindications.
Gynecol., January 1998: 40-50
- ELECTROMAGNETIC EXPOSURE AND LEUKEMIA
fields by high voltage transmission lines may increase the risk of leukemia in
children. Children studied in Taiwan who lived less than 100 meters from
the high voltage source in the age group between 5 and 9 years were at highest
- There is much debate yet about
whether electromagnetic fields can induce disease. Since such fields present a
different environmental exposure than we are genetically programmed for, we should be
highly suspicious regardless of the conflicting data. We can use reason to answer
questions about a health threat without the need to wait for the consensus of scientific
opinion which is so often skewed by commercial interests.
of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, February 1998:111-117, 144-147