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Medical ArticlesSymptoms Of Gastric Foreign Body
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The Poor Start
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Vitamin Program For The Sick
Category: The Analysis of Disease States: Helping the Body Recover
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
No matter which way you look at it or how well insured you may be
against it, being sick is expensive (not to mention what it does to
one's quality of life), and by far the best thing to do is to
prevent it from happening in the first place. However, most people
do not do anything about their health until forced to by some
painful condition. If you are already sick there are a number of
supplements you can take which have the potential to shorten the
duration and severity of the illness, and hopefully prevent a
The sicker you are, the more supplements you will require; as health
is regained, the dosage and variety of substances can be reduced. In
chronic illness, megadoses of many nutrients are usually beneficial.
Any sick adult should begin a life extension vitamin program unless
they are highly allergic to so many things already that they can not
tolerate many kinds of vitamins as well. In addition to the life
extension program, vitamin C should be taken by the chronically ill
at a dose from 10 to 25 grams daily, depending on the severity of
Many people want to know whether or not they should take their
regular food supplements during a fast. On a water fast most
supplements in a hard tablet form will not be broken down at all,
and often can be seen floating by in the colonic viewing tube
looking exactly like it did when you swallowed it. This waste can be
avoided by crushing or chewing (yuck) the tablets, before
swallowing. Encapsulated vitamins usually are absorbed, but if you
want to make sure, open the capsule and dump it in the back of your
mouth before swallowing with water. Powdered vitamins are well
On a water fast the body is much more sensitive to any substance
introduced, so as a general rule it is not a good idea to take more
than one half your regular dose of food supplements. Most fasters do
fine without any supplements. Many people get an upset stomach from
supplements on an empty stomach, and these people should not take
any during a water fast unless they develop symptoms of mineral
deficiencies (usually a pre-existing condition) such as leg cramps
and tremors, these symptoms necessitate powdered or well-chewed-up
mineral supplement. Minerals don't taste too bad to chew, just
The same suggestions regarding dosage of supplements for a water
fast are also true for a juice fast or vegetable broth fast. On a
raw food cleansing diet the full dose of supplements should be taken
There exists an enormous body of data about vitamins; books and
magazine articles are always touting some new product or explaining
the uses of an old one. If you want to know more about using
ordinary vitamins you'll find leads in the bibliography to guide
your reading. However, there is one "old" vitamin and a few newer
and relatively unknown life extending substances that are so useful
and important to handling illness that I would like to tell you more
Vitamin C is not a newly discovered vitamin, but was one of the
first ever identified. If you are one of those people that just hate
taking vitamins, and you were for some reason willing to take only
one, vitamin C would be your best choice. Vitamin C would be the
clear winner because it helps enormously with any infection and in
invaluable in tissue healing and rebuilding collagen. If I was going
on a long trip and didn't want to pack a lot of weight, my first
choice would be to insure three to six grams of vitamin C for daily
use when I was healthy (I'd take the optimum dose--ten grams a day--if
weight were no limitation). I'd also carry enough extra C to really
beef up my intake when dealing with an unexpected acute illness or
When traveling to far away places, exposed to a whole new batch of
organisms, frequently having difficulty finding healthy foods, going
through time zones, losing nights of sleep, it is easy to become
enervated enough to catch a local cold or flu. If I have brought
lots of extra vitamin C with me I know that my immune system will be
able to conquer just about anything--as long as I also stop eating
and can take an enema. I also like to have vitamin C as a part of my
first aid kit because if I experience a laceration, a sprain, broken
bone, or a burn, I can increase my internal intake as well as apply
it liberally directly on the damaged skin surface. Vitamin C can be
put directly in the eye in a dilute solution with distilled water
for infections and injuries, in the ear for ear infections, and in
the nose for sinus infections. If you are using the acid form of C
(ascorbic acid) and it smarts too much, make a more dilute solution,
or switch to the alkaline form of C (calcium ascorbate) which can be
used as a much more concentrated solution without a stinging
sensation. Applied directly on the skin C in solution makes a very
effective substitute for sun screen. It doesn't filter out
ultraviolet, it beefs up the skin to better deal with the insult.
I believe vitamin C can deal with a raging infection such as
pneumonia as well or better than antibiotics. But to do that, C is
going to have to be administered at the maximum dose the body can
process. This is easily discoverable by a 'bowel tolerance test'
which basically means you keep taking two or three grams of C each
hour, (preferably in the powdered, most rapidly assimilable form)
until you get a runny stool (the trots). The loose stool happens
when there is so much C entering the small intestine that it is not
all absorbed, but is instead, passed through to the large intestine.
At that point cut back just enough that the stool is only a little
loose, not runny. At this dose, your blood stream will be as
saturated by vitamin C as you can achieve by oral ingestion.
It can make an important difference which type of vitamin C is taken
because many people are unable to tolerate the acid form of C beyond
8 or 10 grams a day, but they can achieve a therapeutic dose without
discomfort with the alkaline (buffered) vitamin C products such as
calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, or magnesium-potassium
Vitamin C also speeds up the healing of internal tissues and damaged
connective tissue. Damaged internal tissues might include stomach
ulcers (use the alkaline form of vitamin C only), bladder and kidney
infections (acid form usually best), arthritic disorders with damage
to joints and connective tissue (alkaline form usually best). Sports
injuries heal up a lot faster with a therapeutic dose of vitamin C.
As medicine, vitamin C should be taken at the rate of one or two
grams every two hours (depending on the severity of the condition),
spaced out to avoid unnecessary losses in the urine which happens if
it were taken ten grams at a time. If you regularly use the acid
form of vitamin C powder, which is the cheapest, be sure to use a
straw and dissolve it in water or juice so that the acid does not
dissolve the enamel on your teeth over time.
And this is as good a point as any to mention that just like
broccoli is not broccoli, a vitamin is not necessarily a vitamin.
Vitamins are made by chemical and pharmaceutical companies. To make
this confusion even more interesting, the business names that appear
on vitamin bottles are not the real manufacturers. Bronson's
Pharmaceuticals is a distributor and marketer, not a manufacturer.
The same is true of every vitamin company I know of. These companies
buy bulk product by the barrel or sack; then encapsulate, blend and
roll pills, bottle and label, advertise and make profit. The point
of all this is that some actual vitamin manufacturers produce very
high quality products and others shortcut. Vitamin distributors must
make ethical (or unethical) choices about their suppliers.
It is beyond the scope of this book to be a manual for going into
the vitamin business. However, there are big differences in how
effective vitamins with the same chemical name are and the
differences hinge on who actually brewed them up.
For example, there are at least two quality levels of vitamin C on
the market right now. The pharmaceutical grade is made by Roche or
BASF. Another form, it could be called "the bargain barrel brew," is
made in China. Top quality vitamin C is quite a bit more costly; as
I write this, the price differential is about 40 percent between the
cheap stuff and the best. This can make a big difference in bottle
price and profit. Most of the discount retail vitamin companies use
the Chinese product.
There's more than a price difference. The vitamin C from China
contains measurable levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, iron and other
toxic metals. The FDA allows this slightly contaminated product to
be sold in the US because the Recommended Daily Allowance for
vitamin C is a mere 60 milligrams per day. Taken at that level, the
toxic metals would, as the FDA sees it, do no harm. However, many
users of vitamin C take 100--200 times the RDA. The cheap form of C
would expose them to potentially toxic levels of heavy metal
poisons. The highly refined top-quality product removes impurities
to a virtually undetectable level.
I buy my C from Bronson who ethically gives me the quality stuff. I
know for a fact that the vitamin C sold by Prolongevity is also top
quality. I've had clients who bought cheaper C than Bronson's and
discovered it was not quite like Bronson's in appearance or taste.
More importantly, it did not seem to have the same therapeutic
The distributors I've mentioned so far, Bronson, NOW, Cooper,
Prolongevity and Vitamin Research Products are all knowledgeable
about differences between actual manufacturers and are ethical,
buying and reselling only high quality products. Other distributors
I believe to be reputable include Twin Labs, Schiff and Plus. I know
there are many other distributors with high ethic levels but I can
not evaluate all their product lines. And as I've mentioned earlier,
businesses come and go rather quickly, but I hope my book will be
read for decades. I do know that I would be very reluctant to buy my
vitamins at a discount department store or supermarket; when
experimenting with new suppliers I have at times been severely
Co-enzyme Q-10. This substance is normally manufactured in the human
body and is also found in minuscule amounts in almost every cell on
Earth. For that reason it is also called "ubiquinone." But this
vitamin has been only recently discovered, so as I write this book
Co-enzyme Q-10 is not widely known.
Q-10 is essential to the functioning of the mitochondria, that part
of the cell that produces energy. With less Q-10 in heart cells, for
example, the heart has less energy and pumps less. The same is true
of the immune system cells, the liver cells, every cell. As we age
the body is able to make less and less Q-10, contributing to the
loss of energy frequently experienced with age, as well as the
diminished effectiveness of the immune system, and a shortened life
Q-10 was first used for its ability to revitalize heart cells. It
was a prescription medicine in Japan. But unlike other drugs used to
stimulate the heart, at any reasonable dose Q-10 has no harmful side
effects. It also tends to give people the extra pick up they are
trying to get out of a cup of coffee. But Q-10 does so by improving
the function of every cell in the body, not by whipping exhausted
adrenals like caffeine does. Q-10 is becoming very popular with
athletes who measure their overall cellular output against known
Besides acting as a general tonic, when fed to lab animals,
Co-Enzyme Q-10 makes them live 33 to 45 percent longer!
DMAE is another extremely valuable vitamin-like substance that is
not widely known. It is a basic building material that the body uses
to make acetylcholine, the most generalized neurotransmitter in the
body. Small quantities of DMAE are found in fish, but the body
usually makes it in a multi-stage synthesis that starts with the
amino acid choline, arrives at DMAE at about step number three and
ends up finally with acetylcholine.
The body's nerves are wrapped in fatty tissue that should be
saturated with acetylcholine. Every time a nerve impulse is
transmitted from one nerve cell to the next, a molecule of
acetylcholine is consumed. Thus acetylcholine has to be constantly
replaced. As the body ages, levels of acetylcholine surrounding the
nerves drop and in consequence, the nerves begin to deteriorate.
DMAE is rapidly and easily converted into acetylcholine and helps
maintain acetylcholine levels in older people at a youthful level.
When laboratory rats are fed DMAE they solve mazes more rapidly,
remember better, live about 40 percent longer than rats not fed DMAE
and most interestingly, when autopsied, their nervous systems
resemble those of a young rat, without any evidence of the usual
deterioration of aging. Human nervous systems also deteriorate with
age, especially those of people suffering from senility. It is
highly probable that DMAE will do the same thing to us. DMAE also
smoothes out mood swings in humans and seems to help my husband,
Steve, when he has a big writing project. He can keep working
without getting 'writers block', fogged out, or rollercoastering.
DMAE is a little hard to find. Prolongevity and VRP sell it in
powder form. Since the FDA doesn't know any MDR and since the
product is not capped up, the bottle of powder sagely states that
one-quarter teaspoonful contains 333 milligrams. Get the hint? DMAE
tastes a little like sour salt and one-quarter teaspoonful dissolves
readily in water every morning before breakfast, or anytime for that
matter. DMAE is also very inexpensive considering what it does. A
year's supply costs about $20.
Lecithin is a highly tonic and inexpensive food supplement that is
underutilized by many people even though it is easily obtainable in
healthfood stores. It is an emulsifier, breaking fats down into
small separate particles, keeping blood cholesterol emulsified to
prevent arterial deposits. Taken persistently, lecithin partially
and slowly eliminates existing cholesterol deposits from the
In our cholesterol-frightened society lecithin should be a far more
popular supplement than it currently is. It is easy to take either
as a food in the granular form or when encapsulated. Lecithin
granules have very little flavor and can be added to a home-made
vinegar and oil salad dressing, where they emulsify the oil and make
it blend with the vinegar, thickening the mixture and causing it to
stick to the salad better. Lecithin can also be put in a fruits
smoothie. A scant tablespoon a day is sufficient. Try to buy the
kind of lecithin that has the highest phosphatidyl choline content
because this substance is the second benefit of taking lecithin.
Phosphatidyl choline is another precursor used by the body to build
acetylcholine and helps maintain the nervous system.
Algae. Spirulina or sun dried chlorella are also great food
supplements. Both make many people feel energized, pepped-up. It is
possible to fast on either product and still maintain sufficient
energy levels to take of minimal work responsibilities. Algae
reduces appetite and as a dietary supplement can assist in weight
loss. It contains large amounts of highly-assimilable protein due to
it's high chlorophyll content, as well as a large amount of beta
carotene. It also assists in detoxification of the lymphatic system.
It can be purchased as tablets or powder. Take a heaping teaspoon
daily, or at least six tablets.
Next: From The Hygienic Dictionary
Previous: The Future Of Life Extension