Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fight the Flu with Vitamin C

It’s all over the news papers – People are dying of flu – get your flu shot! Is this really the answer to flu? There is a much better way – giving your body the nutrients it need to fight off infections such as the flu. To tell the truth, when your body is fighting an infection of any kind it revs up it’s use of many nutrients, especially vitamin C. Most animals can make their own vitamin C, so they have a ready supply to fight off most things. Humans can’t, so we must consume vitamin C in our food. Our body’s use of vitamin C increases greatly when we’re fighting infections – 5,000 mg and more daily.  Such large amounts are impossible to get from food, so high quality supplements are in order. There are links on my website to more information about vitamin C and sources, including Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, & Toxins by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D., the book that alerted me to this powerful therapy.

In spite of the efficacy of high dose vitamin C, conventional medicine has been very resistant to accepting this therapy, mainly because no drug company is willing to fund proper research. (It would cut greatly into their profits to find a low cost effective substitute for their drugs!) There is a link on my website to a powerful little video, called Living Proof, about the battle a family had with the doctors and hospital to use vitamin C on the patient who was on death’s door, but was finally completely healed with vitamin C.

So there is really no need to fear the flu or any serious illness. The secret is frequent large doses of vitamin C throughout the day to bowel tolerance, to maintain high levels in the blood while fighting an infection. And don’t wait until you are seriously ill – the sooner you start, the better. To learn more, check some of the links on my website or find ‘Vitamin C’ on my site map. One day your life may depend on this knowledge.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some Fruits are Better Than Others...

Blueberry Data
In the headlines this month:
"Some Fruits Are Better Than Others"
Our local Toledo Blade picked up on the story today and here's Dr. Mercola's take on this research.
 The "reader pick" comments on the NYTimes article are interesting, but they all miss a vital point - the quality of the fruit makes a big difference. Quality is something that is seldom mentioned in an intelligent way - that is, more than just 'it looks good and is nice and big.' Some folks lift the fruit to get a feel for the 'heft', feeling that density reflects better fruit. And of course the taste is important to quality, but far too much fruit is poor in that respect. Those big huge strawberries they may have tested were probably nearly tasteless.

Some folks have been digging into the genuine source of quality, and have found that mineral content is an important factor. Jamil, in his blog, High Nutrition Blueberries Nutrition Analysis: Why Are They Better Than Wild/Organic?, has been looking at this aspect and has an a chart showing the mineral content of various blueberries, including some by a farmer who has been working to remineralize his soil, so as to get top quality and high nutrition. The chart above from this blog shows higher levels of most minerals and a couple key vitamins in the high nutrition blueberry.

Why is this so important? The research highlighted in the NYTimes article says eating apples, grapes, grapefruit, and especially blueberries was associated with decreased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One comment claims that to avoid diabetes cut down on carbs. Another says cut out processed foods. Another comment says 'no, it's a matter of insulin resistance,' but he's not sure what causes that. Well, minerals have a lot to do with that! People eat large quantities of refined carbs (you know, white bread, pasta, white sugar), which have had the minerals stripped out of them. Processed foods contain refined carbs and modern vegetable oils, which add another piece to the puzzle, as these modern oils are highly subject to oxidation. Oxidized oils create all kinds of problems in the body, including contributing to insulin resistance. In addition, Dr. Mercola highlights the problems with too much fructose in fruit.

But, in truth, those missing minerals are key to proper body function. We took them out because white flour is nicer, and so much easier to work with, figuring we'd just get the vitamin and minerals from elsewhere or by 'fortifying' the flour.  But now we see that "elsewhere" is also low in vitamins and minerals. (see Food Quality Issues) As a result, between refined foods and low quality unrefined foods, mineral deficiencies are common in American today. Diabetes is just the tip of the iceberg. Heart disease, cancer, and a host of chronic disease conditions are caused by or made worse by mineral deficiencies. Eating blueberries instead of strawberries is only going to get us so far.

So where do we go from here? Start thinking about quality. Pay attention to taste - high quality tastes better. Pay attention to keeping quality - high quality keeps better. Get yourself a refractometer and do some actual testing. Buy from a farmer that has better quality produce - and let him know you appreciate his efforts. Grow some of your own food and learn how to garden for Maximum Nutrition.

It's not simple like taking a vitamin/mineral tablet, but likely to be much more effective!

Monday, February 4, 2013

That "Flu Epidemic" - What to do about it.

With all the hullabaloo about a flu epidemic and "get your flu shot" (of questionable value), why is there so little emphasis on how to boost the immune system so you don't get sick in the first place, and why are some simple proven means to beat the flu never mentioned, except to scoff at them? Part of the reason is that there is no one simple answer and research rarely uses an effective multi-faceted approach. So what is involved? What should you do to avoid and deal with colds and flu?
1. Limit refined sugars. Refined sugars tend to depress the immune system. That includes high fructose corn syrup that is in so many processed foods  They also deplete nutrients as the body has to pull nutrients from elsewhere to process the sugars and other refined foods in the typical American diet, such as white flour. Eat whole unprocessed foods.
2. Avoid modern vegetable oils. They tend to be pro-inflammatory, contributing to disease, and are usually damaged in processing so they contribute to body dysfunction. Use plenty of good fats, like good butter (vitamin A), grass-fed lard (vitamin D), coconut oil (antibacterials), real olive oil.
3. Have chicken soup. Grandma was right about chicken soup. Get a good Amish chicken, put it in your crock pot, cover with clean water, some chopped onion, a bit of vinegar to acidify and pull out the minerals, set it on low to simmer for several hours. Pull off the meat when it is very tender and continue simmering the bones to make wonderful healing bone broth. Add vegetables, herbs, pepper and unrefined sea salt along with the reserved meat to make a nourishing and flavorful soup. No, salt does not cause high blood pressure - it's the missing minerals in our refined diet that is a major cause.
4. Drink plenty of fluids - purified and remineralized water, green tea, more broth.
5. Nourish healthy gut flora - have fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, or maybe a good probiotic supplement. By eating whole plant foods you nourish the healthy gut flora.
6. Vitamin A plays a vital regulating role in the immune system, needed to fight off flu and other infections. Vitamin A is key for many other body functions, so it's important to include vitamin A rich foods daily. Best sources of vitamin A - liver, high vitamin cod liver oil, butter & cream, eggs. Plants  do not contain vitamin A, but the precursor, carotenes, which the body must convert to A, and not everyone converts it well.
7. Vitamin D is also important for a healthy immune system that fights of colds and flu. Get plenty of sunshine in the summertime. High vitamin cod liver oil is the best source the rest of the year.
8. Get plenty of rest & relaxation. Lack of sleep & stress increase vulnerability to infection. Be sure to get adequate sleep, and deal appropriately with stress. If you feel lousy, have some chicken soup and go to bed. Over-the-counter drugs may be counterproductive. A moderate fever indicates your body is fighting the bug.
9. Zinc decreases adhesion molecules where viruses attach. At the first sign of the sniffles or achiness, take extra zinc, preferably as gluconate or acetate (but without citrate which binds up the zinc). Zinc is an antioxidant, works as an anti-inflammatory agent, and has a direct effect on immunity. Zinc is found in many whole foods, especially oysters, organ meats and nuts. But zinc levels in foods are down because of soil depletion, so ecological farmers are learning to include zinc in their soil amendments.
10. Take vitamin C in high doses and often (several times a day). Natural forms of vitamin C with bioflavanoids are more effective, as they are better absorbed by the cells. Most animals can make their own vitamin C, and they rev up production very high when fighting an infection, but humans have lost that ability, so we must get what our body needs through food and supplements. Doctors who understand this have effectively treated very serious infections with high dose IV vitamin C along with other nutrients. Excess vitamin C tends to cause loose stools, so back off if that happens.
11. Herbs & spices - For more suggestions, and helpful herbs and spices, check out Dr. Mercola at

Stay Well!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nutrition and Behavior - a neglected link?

Excerpted from my Christmas letter for this holiday season:

Now violence has intruded itself into our holiday season, and we are led to wonder what prompts such vicious behavior. All sorts of causes are cited, but some important ones are overlooked or ignored.
  • Barb Stitt, probation officer, in her book, Food & Behavior: a Natural Connection, relates how the behavior of probationers turned around when she improved their nutrition, emphasizing vitamin B complex. Too many nutritionally deficient, refined foods (junk food) leads to a 'jumpy' brain, prone to violent outbursts.
  • Dr. Stitt worked with a school in Wisconsin to improve the school meals which resulted in a remarkable improvement in student behavior.
  • Several experts have highlighted the importance of adequate omega-3 essential fats for brain health, as they are a major component of brain tissue, but many folks are short on omega-3s and long on omega-6 fat, which crowd out the omega-3's. Bizarre behavioral problems can result.
  • An article by Kevin Drum in the latest issue of Mother Jones details the close correlation between leaded gasoline and crime some twenty years later when the children exposed to lead grow to be troubled young adults. He asserts that the fall in crime in recent years is related to the earlier outlawing of leaded gas, but he feels that investing in cleaning up the remaining environmental lead contamination would be a worthwhile investment.
  • And the new kid on the block, vitamin K2, very essential for brain health (& heart health, bone health, etc.). And where is it found? Pasture-raised eggs, butter, lard & meat, especially liver, the very foods our health authorities have been demonizing! See Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox for the details. All you folks taking supplemental calcium and vitamin D need to read this!
  • And now I read of another neglected and easily corrected deficiency that can cause really strange behavior - Could It Be B12? - a serious, often hidden, and neglected deficiency!
  • There are more links on my website,, about the nutrition behavior connection - find 'violence' on the site map and follow the link. Be aware that good nutrition and detoxification are far more important than medications, guns, more police, or more prisons to end these irrational behaviors.
 Why is it that with all the talk of guns, gun control, prisons, and whatever to attack the problem of violence, there is so little recognition that some well planned, inexpensive supplements might calm the troubled mind? Why are we so reluctant to acknowledge that the highly processed junk foods that constitute the typical diet of too many Americans might be contributing to the problem? Could it be that profits and sales are more important than health and a tranquil society? After all, if we all started eating real food and got truly healthy, there are several industries that would suffer decline!

I'd like to close with a quote from Jurriaan Kamp, Editor of The Intelligent Optimist  

"Please take a moment with me to direct your love to not just the young victims of the overwhelmingly painful massacre at the school in Connecticut and their families, but to all people who live in challenging, sad and painful circumstances in our world. Anyone can turn into a gunman if s/he is feeling left out, disconnected and lost. A gunman shames us all. Let's make sure that we take care of all our sisters and brothers.
"Let's focus on a world that we do want to create and live in. Let's ignore the media that will spread ever more fear with their reporting.
"We need CHANGE. We long for PEACE. So let's think PEACE. Let's dream PEACE.  Let's do PEACE. Every day. Let's feed our minds and souls with possibility.
This very touching poem by by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA, exemplifies the possibilities - Prayer for Newtown


Saturday, August 25, 2012

I don't understand why....

I don't understand why folks are so enamored of Paul Ryan! I appears to me that he stands for demolishing the safety nets that are a hallmark of a civilized society, while using the army as a substitute safety net (do we need more foreign adventures?), and coddling the rich, who take advantage of our public services (public education, infrastructure, safety personnel, etc.) while avoiding paying taxes in every way they can.  Are they going to use their billions to repair our roads and bridges, or hire our public servants, such as teachers and policemen?
Yes, we have too many regulations, but do we need to shut down everything that protects us from the predatory nature of big for-profit corporations?

Does that mean we let industry continue to contribute to global warming, environmental disasters, and  lousy food & health systems?

Why have we gotten to the point where some wealthy people appear to be trying to buy the election to protect their often ill-gotten gains?

Why are the airwaves filled with innuendo and out-right lies meant to instill fear in the heart of the gullible masses?

I'm sorry, but the Republicans have turned me off completely with their kowtowing to the right wingers (who seem to have their brains screwed on backwards), with their racist determination to undermine Obama since the day he was elected, and their refusal to compromise for the good of the country. seems to me to have a much better handle on putting our country back on the right path - See Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All

Friday, August 24, 2012

Plus-size America: What to do?

We will not solve the obesity problem in America until we stop kowtowing to the food and ag industries and change the USDA Dietary Guidelines, which currently tell us to eat lots of grains, half of which can be refined, and which certainly contribute to obesity. They also advise a low fat diet with lean meat and skim milk, which leaves you hungry and seeking all those fattening grains, and ignores the evidence that kids that drink whole milk are slimmer. Then they recommend 'oils,' including your modern polyunsaturated vegetable oils, which provide too much pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats and are often damaged by the processing which makes them unhealthy. There is little mention of real butter, which provides an excellent source of real vitamin A and contains butyric acid that improves insulin sensitivity. They perpetuate the myth that saturated fat promotes heart disease, when good, unbiased evidence shows that is not true. They perpetuate the myth that fat is fattening because it is concentrated calories, ignoring the evidence that it is really carbohydrates that promote obesity and diabetes, especially if they are refined (3 slices of white bread a day is okay for kids over 14). These are the guidelines that govern school lunches, and apparently guide the processed food industry! Is it any wonder we're raising a generation of fat kids!

Lest you think I'm crazy, here are a number of supporting links (below). Fortunately many health professionals are beginning to catch on.

Kris, the retired and reformed dietitian

Adele Hite, RD, on failure of Dietary Guidelines:

What Really Makes Us Fat

Saturated fat is vital to human health

24 Reasons the 2010 Dietary Guidelines are wrong about cholesterol, saturated fat, and carbohydrates

Healthy Nation Coalition -

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Comment on the Nutrition Standards of the School Lunch Program

Open letter to the folks at Slow Food USA Time-for-Lunch:

Dear Time-for-Lunch,
Folks at Slow Food USA must surely be aware that the Nutrition Standards for the School Lunch Program are a recipe for obesity and diabetes, with their emphasis on grains and skim milk, and the misguided limits on saturated fat and salt.
I don't know how we push for healthier school lunches when the guidelines are stacked against good health. Juice, dry cereal and skim milk fit the guidelines, but are sure to lead to crashing blood sugars a couple hours later, and fat storage of all those excess carbs. By lunch kids are famished after their low fat breakfast, but the unbuttered, unsalted veggies have little appeal, and the nutrients are poorly absorbed without the good fats, vitamins, and minerals in butter and other traditional natural fats. And of course all those grains are raising blood sugars and storing fat, leading to obesity and diabetes. This is well known science - all the carbs (modern wheat is worse - cause raised blood sugar and insulin. Insulin is the fat storing hormone, which blocks fat burning.

Why do we ignore the fact that butter, eggs, and whole milk have nourished people well over the ages, but childhood obesity and diabetes have become a problem only in recent years since the guidelines mandated low fat meals, or encouraged meals that are too high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 oils.

Why do we ignore the evidence that children who drink whole milk tend to be slimmer than those who drink skim milk?

Why do we continue to ignore the evidence that saturated fat does not cause disease? and

Time for Lunch will not succeed in its goal of seeing healthier children until we convince our legislators to change the goals. More and more health professionals are seeing the light. See Now we just need to get the public health officials on board.

The future of our country is at stake!

Kris Johnson, retired and reformed dietitian, Slow Food member

"Tragically, a growing body of evidence suggests that the bizarre and increasingly common behavioral problems among young children and teen-agers are related to the combined effects of high sugar intakes and the virtual absence of omega-3 essential fatty acids in the American diet."
The Modern Nutritional Diseases, and How to Prevent Them -
Heart Disease, Stroke, Type-2 Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer
, page 199
by Alice and Fred Ottoboni, public health professionals