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From The Hygienic Dictionary

Category: Vitamins and Other Food Supplements
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor

Vitamins. [1] The staple foods may not contain the same nutritive

substances as in former times. . . . Chemical fertilizers, by

increasing the abundance of the crops without replacing all the

exhausted elements of the soil, may have indirectly contributed to

change the nutritive value of cereal grains and of vegetables. . . .

Hygienists have not paid sufficient attention to the genesis of

diseases. Their studies of conditions of life and diet, and of their

effects on the physiological and mental state of modern man are

superficial, incomplete, and of too short duration. They have, thus,

contributed to the weakening of our body and our soul. _Alexis

Carrel, Man the Unknown._

I have already explained the hygienist's view of why people get

sick. The sequence of causation goes: enervation, toxemia,

alternative elimination, disease. However, there is one more link in

this chain, a precursor to enervation that, for good and

understandable reasons, seemed unknown to the earlier hygienists.

That precursor is long term sub-clinical malnutrition. Lack of

nutrition effects virtually everybody today. Almost all of us are

overfed but undernourished.

I have already explained that one particular head of broccoli does

not necessarily equal another head of broccoli; the nutritional

composition of apparently identical foods can be highly variable.

Not only do different samples of the same type of food differ wildly

in protein content, amino acid ratios and mineral content, their

vitamin and vitamin-like substances also vary according to soil

fertility and the variety grown.

These days, food crop varieties are bred for yield and other

commercial considerations, such as shipability, storage life, and

ease of processing. In pre-industrial times when each family

propagated its own unique open-pollinated varieties, a natural

selection process for healthy outcomes prevailed. If the family's

particular, unique varieties carried genes for highly nutritious

food, and if the family's land was fertile enough to allow those

genes to manifest, and if the family kept up its land's fertility by

wise management, their children tended to survive the gauntlet of

childhood illness and lived to propagate the family's varieties and

continue the family name. Thus, over time, human food cultivars were

selected for their nutritional content.

But not any longer! These days, farming technology with its focus on

bulk yield and profit, degrades the nutritional content of our

entire food supply. Even commercial organically grown food is no

better in this respect.

Sub-clinical, life-long, vitamin and mineral deficiencies contribute

to the onset of disease; the malnourished body becomes increasingly

enervated, beginning the process of disease. Vitamin supplements can

increase the body's vital force, reversing to a degree the natural

tendency towards degeneration. In fact, some medical gerontologists

theorize that by using vitamins it might be possible to restore

human life span to its genetically programmed 115 years without

doing anything else about increasing nutrition from our degraded

foods or paying much attention to dietary indiscretions. Knowing

what I do about toxemia's effects I doubt vitamins can allow us to

totally ignore what we eat, though supplements can certainly help.

More than degraded nutritional content of food prompts a thinking

person to use food supplements. Our bodies and spirits are

constantly assaulted and insulted by modern life in ways our

genetics never intended us to deal with. Today the entire

environment is mildly toxic. Air is polluted; water is polluted; our

food supply contains traces of highly poisonous artificial molecules

that our bodies have no natural ability to process and eliminate.

Our cities and work places are full of loud, shocking noises that

trigger frequent adrenaline rushes and other stress adaptations. Our

work places are full of psychological stresses that humans never had

to deal with before.

Historically, humans who were not enslaved have been in control of

determining their own hour to hour, day to day activities, living on

their own largely self-sufficient farms. The idea of working for

another, at regular hours, without personal liberty, ignoring or

suppressing one's own agenda and inclinations over an entire

lifetime is quite new and not at all healthy. It takes continual

subconscious applications of mental and psychic energies to protect

ourselves against the stresses of modern life, energies that we

don't know we're expending. This is also highly enervating. Thus to

remain healthy we may need nutrition at levels far higher than might

be possible through eating food; even ideal food might not contain

enough vitamins to sustain us against the strains and stresses of

this century.

And think about Dr. Pottenger's cats. Our bodies are at the poorer

end of a century-long process of mass degeneration that started with

white flour from the roller mill. Compared to my older clients I

have noticed that my younger patients seem to possess less vital

force on the average, show evidence of poorer skeletal development,

have poorer teeth, less energy, have far more difficulty breeding

and coping with their family life, and are far more likely to

develop degenerative conditions early. Most of my younger patients

had a poor start because they were raised on highly refined,

devitalized, deficient foods, and grew up without much exercise.

Their parents had somewhat better food. Some of their grandparents

may have even grown up on raw milk and a vegetable garden, and

actually had to walk, not owning cars when they were young. Their

great grandparents had a high likelihood of enjoying decent

nutrition and a healthful life-style.

Unfortunately, most of my patients like the idea of taking vitamins

too much for their own good. The AMA medical model has conditioned

people to swallow something for every little discomfort, and taking

a pill is also by far the easiest thing to do because a pill

requires no life-style changes, nor self-discipline, nor personal

responsibility. But vitamins are much more frugal than drugs.

Compared to prescriptions, even the most exotic life extension

supplements are much less expensive. I am saddened when my clients

tell me they can't afford supplements. When their MD prescribes a

medicine that costs many times more they never have trouble finding

the money.

I am also saddened that people are so willing to take supplements,

because I can usually do a lot more to genuinely help their bodies

heal with dietary modification and detoxification. Of all the tools

at my disposal that help people heal, last in the race comes


One of the best aspects of using vitamins as though they were

healing agents is that food supplements almost never have harmful

side effects, even when they are taken in what might seem enormous

overdoses. If someone with a health condition reads or hears about

some vitamin being curative, goes out and buys some and takes it,

they will at very least have followed the basic principle of good

medicine: first of all do no harm. At worst, if the supplements did

nothing for them at all, they are practicing the same kind of

benevolent medicine that Dr. Jennings did almost two centuries ago.

Not only that, but having done something to treat their symptoms,

they have become patients facilitating their own patience, giving

their body a chance to correct its problem. They well may get

better, but not because of the action of the particular vitamin they

took. Or, luckily, the vitamin or vitamins they take may have been

just what was needed, raising their body's vital force and

accelerating the body's ability to solve its problem.

One reason vitamin therapies frequently do not work as well as they

might is that, having been intimidated by AMA propaganda that has

created largely false fears in the public mind about harmful effects

of vitamin overdoses, the person may not take enough of the right

vitamin. The minimum daily requirements of vitamins and minerals as

outlined in nutrition texts are only sufficient to prevent the most

obvious forms of deficiency diseases. If a person takes supplements

at or near the minimum daily requirement (the dose recommended by

the FDA as being 'generally recognized as safe') they should not

expect to see any therapeutic effect unless they have scurvy, beri

beri, rickets, goiter, or pellagra.

In these days of vitamin-fortified bread and iodized salt, and even

vitamin C fortified soft drinks, you almost never see the kind of

life-threatening deficiency states people first learned to

recognize, such as scurvy. Sailors on long sea voyages used to

develop a debilitating form of vitamin C deficiency that could kill.

Scurvy could be quickly cured by as little as one lime a day. For

this reason the British Government legislated the carrying of limes

on long voyages and today that is why British sailors are still

called limeys. A lime has less than 30 milligrams of vitamin C. But

to make a cold clear up faster with vitamin C a mere 30 mg does

absolutely nothing! To begin to dent an infection with vitamin C

takes 10,000 milligrams a day, and to make a life threatening

infection like pneumonia go away faster might require 25,000 to

150,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily, administered intravenously.

In terms of supplying that much C with limes, that's 300 to 750 of

them daily--clearly impossible.

Similarly, pellagra can be cured with a few milligrams of vitamin

B3, but schizophrenia can sometimes be cured with 3,000 milligrams,

roughly a thousand times as much as the MDR.

There are many many common diseases that the medical profession does

not see as being caused by vitamin deficiencies. Senility and many

mental disorders fall in this category. Many old people live on

extremely deficient diets comprised largely of devitalized starches,

sugars, and fats, partly because many do not have good enough teeth

to chew vegetables and other high roughage foods, and they do not

have the energy it takes to prepare more nourishing foods. Virtually

all old people have deficiency diseases. As vital force inevitably

declines with age, the quantity and quality of digestive enzymes

decreases, then the ability to breakdown and extract soluble

nutrients from food is diminished, frequently leading to serious

deficiencies. These deficiencies are inevitably misdiagnosed as

disease and as aging.

Suppose a body needs 30 milligrams a day of niacin to not develop

pellagra, but to be fully healthy, needs 500 milligrams daily. If

that body receives 50 milligrams per day from a vitamin pill, to the

medical doctor it could not possibly be deficient in this vitamin.

However, over time, the insidious sub-clinical deficiency may

degrade some other system and produce a different disease, such as

colitis. But the medical doctor sees no relationship. Let me give

you an actual example. Medical researchers studying vitamin B5 or

pantothenic acid noticed that it could, in what seemed to be

megadoses (compared to the minimum daily requirement) largely

reverse certain degenerative effects of aging. These researchers

were measuring endurance in rats as it decreased through the aging

process. How they made this measurement may appear to some readers

to be heartless, but the best way to gauge the endurance of a rat is

to toss it into a five gallon bucket of cold water and see how long

it swims before it drowns. Under these conditions, the researcher

can be absolutely confident that the rat does its very best to stay


Young healthy rats can swim for 45 minutes in 50 degree Fahrenheit

water before drowning. Old rats can only last about 15 minutes. And

old rats swim differently, less efficiently, with their lower bodies

more or less vertical, sort of dog paddling. But when old rats were

fed pantothenic acid at a very high dose for a few weeks before the

test, they swam 45 minutes too. And swam more efficiently, like the

young rats did. More interestingly, their coats changed color (the

gray went away) and improved in texture; they began to appear like

young rats. And the rats on megadoses of B5 lived lot longer--25 to

33 percent longer than rats not on large doses of B5. Does that mean

"megadoses" of B5 have an unknown drug-like effect? Or does that

mean the real nutritional requirement for B5 is a lot higher than

most people think? I believe the second choice is correct. To give

you an idea of how much B5 the old rats were given in human terms,

the FDA says the minimum daily requirement for B5 is about 10

milligrams but if humans took as much B5 as the rats, they would

take about 750 milligrams per day. Incidentally, I figure I am as

worthy as any lab rat and take over 500 milligrams daily.

My point is that there is a big difference between preventing a

gross vitamin deficiency disease, and using vitamins to create

optimum functioning. Any sick person or anyone with a health

complaint needs to improve their overall functioning in any way that

won't be harmful over the long term. Vitamin therapy can be an

amazingly effective adjunct to dietary reform and detoxification.

Some of the earlier natural hygienists were opposed to using

vitamins. However, these doctors lived in an era when the food

supply was better, when mass human degeneration had not proceeded as

far as it has today. From their perspective, it was possible to

obtain all the nutrition one needed from food. In our time this is

unlikely unless a person knowingly and intelligently produces

virtually all their own food on a highly fertile soil body whose

fertility is maintained and adjusted with a conscious intent to

maximize the nutritive content of the food. Unfortunately, ignorance

of the degraded nature of industrial food seems to extend to

otherwise admirable natural healing methods such as Macrobiotics and

homeopathy because these disciplines also downplay any need for food


Next: Vitamins For Young Persons And Children

Previous: Diet For A Long, Long Life

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