Looking Good, Feeling Better

James F. Fries of Stanford University proposed a hypothesis in 2000 called ‘compression of morbidity.’  He suggested that the change in life style had occurred in the twentieth century where the burden of healthcare had shifted from treating infectious disease in the early 1900’s to more than eighty percent of illness, morbidity, mortality, and cost is after age 65 from chronic disease.  “Compression of Morbidity in the Elderly”  – PDF file.  Fries suggests that by better nutrition, exercise, and medical treatment that the curve representing decline has become more rectangular.  That is more of the population lives longer with a longer period of morbidity.

Mortality Curve

Fries then says that there can be compression of the time in morbidity and disability by reducing ‘lifestyle health risk.’  Justification of this shortening of time in decline has been used to make many changes in how preventative medicine is performed.  The ideal then would be to have just a short period in which we are disabled just before death.

Shorten Period of Morbidity

Dr. Robert Heaney in his presentation  ‘What is a Vitamin D Deficiency’  makes the point that vitamin D is the ideal candidate to achieve the shorten period of decline.  So being sure that you are replete in vitamin D does not only extend your life by approximately ten years, it also gives you a better quality of life.  Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, goes on describe comorbidity or having more than one chronic disease as vitamin D deficiency syndrome.

So what happens to a society that makes this decision and chooses to look better and feel better for a longer period in their life?  This could mean a significant reduction in health care cost.  A reduction in healthcare cost would mean the health related economic segment could shrink drastically.  So the longer period that people are sick and the more people are sick means this is a booming economic segment.

To better understand how economic forces have prevented us from looking and feeling better, consider that presently the health segment of the economy is about twenty percent.  Instead of talking about dollars, let’s talk about people being sustained.  With three hundred million people in the US about twenty percent would be sustained by the health economy or sixty million as a first guess.  This would be true whether your wife is a doctor or you husband owns a cleaning business that specializes in cleaning medical facilities.

If some new magic understanding like vitamin D, as Oliver Gillie described it a ‘magic shotgun,’ would suddenly improve health eliminating chronic disease, this segment of the economy could shrink by seventy percent.  The government completely understands.  Former secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael Leavitt, under George W. Bush even stated it in his priorities.  Of his nine principles, number four is, ‘markets before mandates’, and number nine is to ‘value life.’  “It’s the economy stupid” and the government considers it more important than your life and you can forget about looking and feeling better.  The reason, what would happen if you eliminated the source of income for forty million people in the US?  Of course we did it to the tobacco and manufacturing segments of the economy, why not shrink healthcare?  I think their campaign contributions are larger.  If the population in general understood that there could be half a million less death in the US every year but forty million less people being sustained economically, which would they choose?

I have written about this early in how the governments understanding of economics is what is keeping us from health.  October, 2009 ‘Major Newspaper Gets It’.   What a two edge sword – the income of forty million people versus your health.

So we have been disconnected from ‘mother earth’ in ways I am not sure that we understand.  To think that we have moved from infectious disease to chronic disease as our concern in one hundred years seems alarming.  Which is better, to live a short healthy life and die from an infectious disease or live a long life with a very long period of morbidity?  I would like to think it is possible to live a long healthy life with a short period of morbidity, but that does not fit our present economic paradigm.  As I write this I am watching over a thousand pink gloved medical workers in West Columbia dance for breast cancer awareness.  What a great marketing campaign to raise money for the medical industry and it looks like fun and they have jobs.  Will that do anything to prevent breast cancer?  Forty years of trying by our institutions has made it worse.  How could it be – just maybe you are on your own when it comes to looking better and feeling good.

Here is something to consider if you are over sixty five and taking your average of seventeen prescription meds.  Wendell Berry, a writer and farmer from Henry County(reminds me of my father, a farmer), Kentucky concerned about our connection with the earth and sustainable agriculture, writes in his ‘Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front’

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

–Pandemic Survivor

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All Chronic Disease is Nutritional Deficiency?

When I first heard this is in the early nineties, I thought that they were a nut.  It was more drastic than the title of this article stated.  The speaker had actually said that all death from disease was caused by nutritional deficiency.  How could all disease be caused by nutritional deficiency?  The speaker went on to describe chronic disease as being responsible for death at a rate of over seventy percent.  That seemed more reasonable but was it realistic. However, I knew that our great medical research institutions were spending billions of dollars every year in researching methods to treat disease, especially the Big Three Killers, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  How could a society as sophisticated as American allow nutritional deficiency to be an issue.  Surely our science understood the necessities of proper eating and would direct change in our diet.

As my back started to fail to the point that I could no longer enjoy life, I started looking for anything that would give me some relief.  At that point in my life I had already been suffering debilitating pain for over fifteen years.  I thought that it was something that had just happened and nothing was wrong with the way that I ate or exposed my body to the sun – just aging.  After all our major companies were assuring me if I ate their products, I would get all of the nutrition that I would need.  They were required to put it right there on the label as directed by our great government.  It was fifteen more years before I discovered that my back was failing because I was vitamin D3 deficient.  I wrestled with how our institutions could be so wrong for over two years until I realized it was just about maintaining jobs and income in the health industries.  The work of these industries is not about our health, but about the health of the institutions.  Today, the thing that still aggravates me is the specialty groups that raise funds for research for this disease or that disease like a “walk” for breast cancer.  “Hanger on groups” playing us for the emotions of loss of a center piece of our culture – breast.

As I ‘grew’ out of my pain with vitamin D3 supplementation, I discover there were many life sustaining nutrients in which I was deficient. Here is the list:

  • Eating too many carbohydrates and not getting enough protein.
  • Eating too many carbohydrates and not getting enough fat.  These first two were promoted by our large grain industry.
  • There is simply not enough vitamin C in our diets as we are one of the mammals that does not make this substance in our bodies.
  • Exercise is necessary to move fluids through our bodies.
  • Not spending enough time in the sun in the summer and not supplementing with vitamin D3 in the winter when the rays of the sun were inadequate to covert vitamin D3 in my skin.  To grow three inches in one year as the thirty plus vertebral disc healed was a startling reality!
  • Our soils are so poor that there is not enough magnesium in our diets.
  • Not eating enough uncooked greens and vegetables so that I was potassium deficient.
  • Our government and health institutions are just wrong about the amount of iodine that we require.
  • The modern food processing techniques and how we treat our water to reduce hardness was removing the necessary sulfur required for health.
  • A balance in the correct amount and type of vitamins A, B, and E are also necessary.

There it was, the speaker that I had heard in the early nineties had been correct.  Health is really simple when there is a balance of nutrients and exercise.  Correct balance of macro nutrients, the ABC’s of vitamins, assuring the necessary minerals are consumed (potassium, magnesium, iodine, and sulfur), and exercise for at least three hundred minutes per week.  The only reason for the medical industry is for surgery to stitch us up when we are injured and for antibiotics when we get a ‘bug’.  Of course the other reason for its existence is to maintain a lot of high paying jobs including medical insurance jobs so that our economy stays healthy.  Someone has to be sick in order for this industry to stay large.  You are doing your friends that are employed by this industry a great service as long as you remain ill.  – Pandemic Survivor

A Health Miracle in Sulfur

A new theory as to why vitamin D production on the skin is more beneficial than supplemental vitamin D.

It seems that when we discuss the benefits of nutrients, it is all about the cations: calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium and the balance required.  Very seldom do we talk about the anions like carbonate, chloride, sulfate, and phosphate and the necessary negative charge balance.  It is believed in general that our food is rich enough in these mineral constituents that we get more than enough of these items.  Certainly we get enough phosphate, with the abundance in our food and soft drinks and chloride because it is used to treat our water supply and it is the negative ion in salt.

I ask you, do the things that we consider extremely beneficial to health have anything in common: garlic, onions, turmeric (curcumin), cumin, cabbage, hot spring baths, mud baths, soaks in Epson salts, and mineral water.  Typically they are all great sources for sulfur.  With garlic being especially high in sulfur, we find in garlic more than thirty compounds that contain sulfur.  During WWII, garlic was referred to as Russian penicillin.  The Russians did not have penicillin at the time and they used garlic to prevent infections in wounds.  Garlic when crushed allows two of the sulfur compounds to combine and form a new compound that is called allicin, a very useful antibiotic.

Dr. Stephannie Seneff, a senior scientist at MIT, has proposed several novel ideas about how important sulfur is to our health.  Interview with Dr. Mercola: one and one half  hours video with transcript available: “Could THIS be the hidden factor Behind Obesity, Heart Disease, and Chronic Fatigue” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/17/stephanie-seneff-on-sulfur.aspx

Article from Weston Price: “Sulfur Deficiency – A Possible Contributing Factor in Obesity Heart Disease, and Chronic Fatigue”  http://www.westonaprice.org/vitamins-and-minerals/sulfur-deficiency  Dr. Seneff is to present at Weston Price in November.

Summary

  • Because of the multiple valence numbers of sulfur, -2 to +6, it is very versatile in supporting aerobic metabolism.
  • Sulfate and carbonate in the blood maintain the negative charge requirements to provide an effective colloid for delivering oxygen and nutrients.
  • Two mysterious molecules are discussed: cholesterol sulfate and vitamin D3 sulfate.  It is theorized that the benefit of production of vitamin D in the skin versus supplementation is in making vitamin D3 sulfate.  Muscle metabolism can become significantly jeopardized when cholesterol sulfate is low.
  • Sulfur is key in protecting proteins in neurons and muscle cells from oxidative damage.
  • Thin people with deficiency in cholesterol and sulfur are subject to a wide range of health problems.
  • Modern practice in health and our food and water supply has conspired to reduce both cholesterol and sulfate.
  • Throw away the sunscreen and eat more egg yellows.

My question to you is: Will the new markers for health be the ratio of cholesterol to cholesterol sulfate and 25(OH)D3 to 25(OH)D sulfate.  Given how long it takes for science to transfer into the art of the practice of medicine – in fifty years, maybe.   – Pandemic Survivor

Wisdom in Healing with Nutrition

Anticipation of Christmas hung heavily in the air.  The crops had been profuse that year with an abundant harvest of grains, tobacco, and beef, but winter had come early to the piedmont of North Carolina.  It had been cold enough in late October to kill hogs which was unusual.  The cold allowed the hams and shoulders to chill properly before being placed in the smoke house. There had even been snow and freezing rain the week of Thanksgiving.  Now in mid-December, everyone in the house was sick with some type of cold or maybe even the flu.

“I am not putting up with everyone being sick as a dog for Christmas,” my dad muttered on Saturday morning.  “I am going to do something about this,” and he left in a rush out the door in our two-tone ’58 Chevy Impala.  Our chore that morning was to load up the truck with corn and oats from the storage and take them to the mill to be ground into feed for the cows, mules, and horses.  When my brother and I arrived at the mill, a real treat to go with big brother, dad was there ‘chewing the fat’ with some other farmers.  He had a three gallon bucket of feed additive from the mill which turned out to be sulfured black strap molasses.

We returned home and dad had made it back as well.  He had added a gallon of cod liver oil to his collection of items necessary to save Christmas.  Every day from then until Christmas, we would line up for our dose of cod liver oil and a fresh home-made biscuit slathered with sulfured black strap molasses. What a waste of a hot biscuit-sulfured molasses-yuk!  By Christmas, everyone had become well and as best as I remember, no one was sick the rest of the winter.  This was my first introduction to healing through nutrition.

Black strap molasses or the syrup remaining after crystallization of the sugar from sugar cane is loaded with minerals that include: iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and trace minerals manganese, copper, and selenium.  The sulfur in the molasses comes from the addition of sulfur dioxide to young cane molasses as a preservative.  Because of the large amounts of concentrated minerals, it is commonly added to ground feed for cattle.  Cod liver oil is a very good source of vitamin D3 and vitamin A complexes that some researchers now say may not be the proper balance of vitamin D to vitamin A.  However, when you are deficient in both, it works like magic to boast a slumbering immune system.

How did we get to the point where claims cannot be made that nutrition will heal you from disease?  If we went to the doctor with a cold, he would not dare suggest that the reason for the cold was poor nutrition.  Only drugs can be defined as healing a disease.  Under American law, when we say that something will heal a disease, it automatically becomes a drug.  Are sulfured molasses and cod liver oil drugs?  I guess it depends on what ‘the meaning of is is.”

We have previously explored most of the nutrients listed, but not sulfur.  I was surprised to find that there is not a DRI for sulfur even though it is one of the most abundant elements in our bodies and represents about one half percent of our total weight.  It is sulfur in combination with magnesium and vitamin C that is responsible for collagen production and it is sulfur that holds our synovial fluid together for lubrication of our joints.

I did not mention that dad also brought home a large bag of Indian River oranges from Florida and I am sure that was for the vitamin C.  Somehow, even with the abundance of foods that were farm-to-table, we did not have the right combination of nutrients needed for our health.  Ah the wisdom in the treatment of disease that has been lost so that medical institutions can profit under the guise of protecting our health.  – Pandemic Survivor