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From The Hygienic Dictionary
Category: Vitamins and Other Food Supplements
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
Vitamins.  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
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
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
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