Vitamins and Nutritional Health Factors:

A NEW MODEL FOR DISEASE: A PARADIGM SHIFT
by Derrick Lonsdale M.D.

Many of us, in the so-called developed part of the world, suffer unknowingly from the effects of high calorie malnutrition. The primitive part of the brain becomes irritable and the victim becomes more inappropriately emotional. Children have temper tantrums and may become violent and destructive. Adults become angry too easily and their emotional reactions are exaggerated. In short, we become more primitive in our reactions to the outside world....

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..."We must also recognize that faulty nutrition will affect the whole body.."..

Dr. Derrick Lonsdale has simplified the very complex disease mechanism through analogies (metaphors) to a computer and automobile. Also included in the equation are the roles attributable to stress and the impact of energy required to heal. A striking conclusion is on how {the lack of} even a single nutrient can manifest in so may different diseases.

This is an extension to, and support for what Irwin Stone described as sub clinical scurvy when he was discussing the numerous diseases due to vitamin C deficiency.

Sadly the low cost and resolution of so many diseases makes these facts unpalatable to our model of business with disease. However, a brave group of doctors are slowing forcing the sickness system, pretentiously called the health system, back to health.

This outstanding work is a must read and clearly demonstrates why nutrition, and not the generally toxic drugs, will always be the key to our health.

Chris Gupta

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Dr. Londsdale hits the nail on the head when he points out how malnutrition causes higher brain functions to revert back to the primitive limbic system.

I agree with his opinion on every detail concerning malnutrition leading to disease and aberrant behavior. In the city of East Palo Alto, California, there is now a curfew for teenagers under 18 in order to help curb gang violence. With the same money going into the law enforcement infrastructure to enforce that curfew, important essential nutrients could be distributed among families in this city. Who lives in East Palo Alto? Mostly Poor Black families.

Dr. Londsdale brings up these important issues in light of our decadent culture glorifying empty calories and prescription drugs rather than optimizing our health through natural nutrition. If you have read the paper on Mineralized Organic Super Foods, then you understand that our supermarket farmed food supply has steadily been losing essential nutrients over the decades due to super-efficient, corporate farming methods (super-efficient in the sense of growing more crops in extreme climates and depleted soils using GMO's); this is the reason why most Americans are constantly hungry. We are constantly trying to replenish our bodies with important vitamins and minerals from a nutrient depleted food supply.

YOU are here because you are a wise person. Between you and me, We know that your health is MORE priceless than the price tag put on human life by the multinational drug companies, the junk food industries, and the federal "health" agencies that are for sale to the highest bidder. Protect Your Health - The Key to Life begins with Your Knowledge. Be Well.


Addendum: WHY IS SUGARicon A PROBLEM?

I am often asked by people, ©What is the right diet?© I have a short answer. I tell them that God-made food is the only food that the human body was designed to eat. But, in the next breath, I tell my patients, particularly children brought to our clinic with various behavioral symptoms, to discontinue sugar. Well, it is obvious what the next comment is. The parent of the child, or the adult patient, will point out that God made sugar.

This is absolutely true, so it demands an explanation. The first part of the explanation is to state that sugar is never found in a free form in nature. The sugar cane, the major source of our sugar, contains a great deal of fiber as well as many other nutrients. The fiber is an extremely important component that modifies the way in which the sugaricon from the cane is absorbed into the blood stream from the intestine. In essence, it slows down and regulates that absorption. The result is that the concentration of sugar in the blood rises relatively slowly. It gives time for the natural machinery for its metabolism to go into action. Beetroot, another source of sugar, contains about two teaspoons of sugar in 2 pounds of the root. Thus, the amount of sugar ingested when we take the root, the stem, the fruit or the leaf that is the source of the sugar, is dosed by Mother Nature. Our ingestion of sugar was intended to be taken from all these naturally occurring foods.

Yes, it is quite true that glucose is the end-point product derived from all simple sugars that include fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (for example, honey) and lactose (milk sugar). Glucose is the fuel that is consumed in all our cells to produce the chemical energy that enables each of our cells to function. This is particularly true of the brain and nervous system. Many readers will know that a quick ingestion of sugar by athletes give them ©an energy load© before a race. This is only partially true as we shall see shortly.

The body is a marvelous machine. It has been designed and modified over thousands of years, so let us see what happens when we take sugar in the form of a sweet crystal that we put into tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, chocolate bars, cookies and all the other sweet-tasting material that we consume today in huge amounts.

First, let me say that the only real reason that we take sugar in all its different forms is because we derive from it a taste stimulation that gives us great pleasure. I often ask my patients where they taste sugar, or anything else that we eat. The invariable answer is ©with my tongue.© That is not the true answer. The tongue is fitted with cells that have the ability to react by sending a signal to the brain. It is specialised cells in the brain that gives us that sense of taste and the pleasure derived from it.

This sensory mechanism is quite complex as we should expect. Some of the brain cells react to sweet, others to sour and yet others to salt and there are, in fact, six different types of cell reacting to six different components of this taste mechanism. All ©God-made© food contributes combinations of these different taste stimuli that provide us with the sense that we call ©flavor.© This gives us a harmonious taste input that is balanced and normal. For example, an orange may be sweet but it is accompanied by some aspects of bitterness or astringency, sourness etc. If we consume a substance that gives only one kind of taste stimulus, the common ones being sugar and salt, the sense of pleasure is exaggerated and often leads to an addictive result. Under such circumstances the item is being taken as a drug...

The term ©flavor©, as a combination of different sensory stimuli, should be compared with our reaction to light. Sunlight is what is known as full spectrum white light, and the spectrum consists of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, the colors of the rainbow. If we are exposed to a single color of light such as red or blue, our internal brain reactions are different from those that we experience with full spectrum white light. We were designed to live in sunlight and have become adapted to the full spectrum of colors that make up that spectrum. For example, one color will slow down our perception of time. Another one will cause that perception to give us the impression that time has accelerated.

You can think of these highly specialized cells in the brain as being like a small person living there. When this ©little person© receives the sweet or salt signal from the tongue, he says ©Wow! That©s great! Give me more!© That is how we become addicted and I have seen people addicted to sugar, some to salt and others to both. I remember seeing a boy who was so addicted to salt that he developed iodine poisoning from the iodine added to the salt. What often happens then is that these brain cells become increasingly dependent on the taste exposure and the craving begins to be all-consuming. We then call it addiction. It is true that it is an addiction that is easier to break than is that of cocaine or other drugs, but the mechanism is much the same.

We get a similar ©kick© from coffee and I do not need to emphasize the consumption of this particular beverage. It is quite simple to see that there is an overall prescription here. When we take the active principle out of a plant, and use it in its pure form, it becomes a drug. sugaricon and coffee are the two commonest drugs in our civilisation. Many people are deluded into believing that they ©need© coffee in order to get to work in the morning because they get a headache if their ©fix© is missed. The headache is clearly a withdrawal symptom that is cured by taking more coffee. That is exactly why a cocaine addict takes more cocaine, because the withdrawal symptoms are intolerable.

Years ago, a letter from a physician in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that he had become aware that the sweetener, aspartame, was causing migraine headaches in some of his patients. The company that made this sweetener did a study. They provided the aspartame in gelatin capsules that were swallowed by the study subjects and they reported that there were no migraines or any other side effects in these subjects.

Obviously, they had missed the point. Aspartame causes the same taste signal to the brain as sugar. The fact that they had ingested the sweetener in the form of a swallowed capsule bypassed the taste mechanism. Sugar is a needed food, but it is prepared by Mother Nature in natural packages. {Artificial} Sweeteners are even worse because they have absolutely no food value at all but will cause the same symptom complex as sugar.

Let us see how sugaricon exerts its drug action. A false concept has arisen about this effect. It is very comparable to alcohol addiction and many people addicted to sugar have a family history of alcoholism. It is a very similar mechanism. It is the sensitivity of the brain cells that is the clue to understanding. In some children the parents have noticed that their child becomes hyperactive or aggressive after sugar ingestion, but that is certainly not always true. In the usual situation, the child is taken to a physician with one or the many diagnostic clich©s: attention deficit (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHS), learning disability (LD), Tourette syndrome, enuresis (bed wetting) or variable sleep disturbances.

The parents will often deny, quite correctly, that sugar has any immediate observable effect on the child at all. In many cases it is as though the child©s brain has become irritable over sometimes several years of sugar ingestion and reacts to virtually any environmental exposure that might be loosely called ©a stress effect.© I urge the reader also to read my earlier post on the ©brain/body relationship© for a better understanding.

I believe that one of the most important lessons of my medical career is understanding that the lower, more primitive part of the brain becomes more irritable when its metabolism is inefficient. The easiest way to do that is to eat a lot of ©junk food© that may be defined as calorie bearing food that has insufficient vitamin/mineral content to enable that metabolism to run efficiently. This is sometimes referred to as ©empty calories.©

You can actually compare the human body to a car or any other fuel-burning machine. You have to have the fuel (gasoline versus protein, fat, carbohydrate), oxygen (that is why we inhale air to extract oxygen and deliver it to the tissues) and a catalyst (spark plug versus vitamins and minerals). If the mixture of gasoline and air in an automobile cylinder is too rich (the ratio of gasoline to oxygen is too high), the gas is burned imperfectly and unburned hydrocarbons are emitted from the exhaust pipe, giving rise to the characteristic black smoke. The same thing happens in the human body, only we do not have an exhaust pipe. We have kidneys and other methods of getting rid of waste products resulting from this inefficient combustion. We find things called organic acids and keto acids in the urine, the markers of this inefficiency. Look for a moment at this simple equation:

      Fuel + Oxygen + Catalyst = Energy.

Remove the catalysts (vitamins and minerals) and we suffer from malnutrition. Remove the oxygen and we suffocate. Remove the protein, fat and carbohydrate and we die of starvation. I call the gradual onset of disease from vitamin/mineral deficiency ©high calorie malnutrition.© Since victims have a full stomach, the pangs of hunger do not remind them of their condition. Starvation produces an entirely different clinical situation that is represented in many parts of the world, not because of too much food, but too little. Many of us, in the so-called developed part of the world, suffer unknowingly from the effects of high calorie malnutrition. The primitive part of the brain becomes irritable and the victim becomes more inappropriately emotional. Children have temper tantrums and may become violent and destructive. Adults become angry too easily and their emotional reactions are exaggerated. In short, we become more primitive in our reactions to the outside world.

The lower brain governs all our most primitive survival reflexes including hunger, thirst and sexual drive. These reflexes are modified by the upper brain under appropriate conditions and that is why the old adage ©We are what we eat© can be replaced by ©We behave according to what we eat.© The two parts of the brain have to ©talk© to each other and we call that ©self control.©


..For centuries the poor were skinny and the rich were fat, but not today. Why? Pollan describes a food system ruled not by the free market, but by the farm bill. Even with packaging, marketing and dozens of elaborately manufactured ingredients, junk food made from subsidized corn and wheat is cheaper per calorie than healthy food. "A result of these policy choices is on stark display in your supermarket, where the real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (a k a liquid corn) declined by 23 percent."

America's agricultural miracle began early in the 19th century. The surprising thing for some might be that it took 100 years for the productive social mood exemplified by the dictum, "America is the bread-basket of the world," to fully mature. The surprise for others is that it has resulted in an "epidemic of obesity."

In view of the crop subsidies that encourage the production of corn, wheat and soybeans (sugar and fat) at the expense of roots, leaves and vegetables, it is easy to see a connection between two types of social behavior -- legislation and the epidemic of obesity. But how to account for the widespread embrace of cheap, unhealthy food by so many who could afford better?

Biology is one answer. Low corn prices prompted the promotion and use of near-addictive high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by the food industry. HFCS is super-refined sugar that has been shown to suppress natural appetite control in the human brain. Small-scale studies of HFCS's effects in rats ended in health disaster. Now, large-scale inadvertent studies are underway in the general population. Preliminary results are not encouraging... {extract from Munchie Nation}


This is usually treated as a form of neurosis and treated with drugs, whereas the patient only needs to be informed of his dietary indiscretions. The trouble with that is that our culture has become so saturated with the basic idea that all these ©goodies© (the name speaks volumes) are innocuous and give us ©quick energy©. This brings me back to the statement that I made earlier about athletes loading up on carbohydrates before an event.

The normal way in which a load of glucose is handled in the body is by turning it into a storage sugaricon called glycogen. This is stored in liver and muscles and is a way of ensuring that glucose fuel is available in an emergency. It is turned back into glucose as required. There is a disease in which glycogen is stored but the mechanism for its retrieval to glucose is impaired. Such an individual suffers from severe and life-threatening hypoglycemia. Excess sugar, taken very quickly as in the example of the athlete above, will act as a drug and may well give the athlete a feeling of power. True, the glucose will indeed provide energy, but it is not quite like fuel injection as is used in a car. Some of it may well be used for the athletic event, but the storage mechanism is very rapid.

Lastly, let me point out another important factor in the way Mother Nature has provided for us. There is no storage in the body for water soluble vitamins which most of them are. Only the fat soluble vitamins are stored. We have to draw the conclusion that our early ancestors were surrounded by the natural foods that provided every component of needed nutrition. They did not need to store vitamin C and the B complex because they were present in the daily fare. Thus, if we consume a high dose of any one of these water soluble vitamins, the body uses that which is needed for the day. The rest are discarded through the urine. We may have what might be called ©expensive urine© but we are taking an excess to be sure that we have enough. The modern food supply is chronically lacking in these vital nutrients and the artificial enrichment that is touted on almost everything is insufficient to meet the normal demands of an active lifestyle.

When I see patients that have succumbed to this high calorie malnutrition, I tell them that they have to do two things. They have to remove ©the hair from the dog that bit them in the first place© and take supplemental vitamin/ mineral supplements to restore the changes in their body machinery that has deteriorated over time. If the high empty calorie element is not removed, the supplements will not work.

Every day, I see people, particularly children, who are suffering the family disasters associated with this. Many are severely suspicious that all this is merely a figment of my imagination and, however hard I work to give them an adequate explanation, they resist the self responsibility required. I must end by saying that most of the diseases that we are dealing with today are based on poor nutrition. The paradox is that this form of nutrition is extremely satisfying and enjoyable. I mention the fact that I did not invent the rules. Mother Nature did that. We obey the rules or we have to accept the consequences. ©She© is a hard task master and there are no exceptions to her rules.

Derrick Lonsdale M.D.

Here are two more excellent orthomolecular medicine sites (out of the 2500 really good ones I found):

http://orthomolecular.org - Therapeutic nutrition based on biochemical individuality

http://www.orthomed.org - Orthomolecular medicine describes the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body. The term "orthomolecular" was first used by Linus Pauling in a paper he wrote in the journal Science in 1968. This paper first described the theoretical foundations for what was later to become a specialty within complementary medicine. The key idea in orthomolecular medicine is that genetic factors are central not only to the physical characteristics of individuals, but also to their biochemical milieu. Biochemical pathways of the body have significant genetic variability and diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia or depression are associated with specific biochemical abnormalities which are causal or contributing factors of the illness. In the orthomolecular view, the provision of vitamins, amino acids, trace elements or fatty acids in amounts sufficient to correct biochemical abnormalities will be therapeutic in preventing or treating such diseases.

Our contemporary society sees diseases as a variety of conditions that have each been given a name, often with a classical Latin signature. For example, Lupus erythematosus is simply a descriptive term meaning "red wolf." The name was derived from the facial appearance of a typical patient with a constellation of symptoms associated with physical factors observed by a physician. The diagnosis is supposedly clinched with an array of laboratory data that confirm the clinical impressions of the physician. The post-fix "itis" means "inflammation of" so that the diagnosis of cystitis means "inflammation of the urinary bladder."

It must be emphasized that back in the middle ages, little or nothing was known about the many different afflictions of the human body. They were often considered to be the work of evil spirits and other mysterious and nebulous phenomena. The first paradigm shift, defined as a major change in accepted thinking, came with the discovery of microorganisms, often referred to simply as "germs." We discovered that many diseases were caused by an invasion of the body by live organisms that we could see only with the aid of a microscope. Everyone is now completely conversant with the concept of infection as it came to be called. The main result from this was the discovery of the first antibiotics, the sulfa drugs and, of course, penicillin. The antibiotic era had opened.

As everyone now knows, the microorganisms became resistant to each and every antibiotic as they were discovered and introduced for therapy. The drug companies have indulged in an exhaustive and frustrating search for new antibiotics and we are now in a precarious position where resistant hospital related infections are not infrequently lethal. It is very similar to the search by chemical producing companies to find a new insecticide to spray on crops. The insects have learned to become resistant. In each of these cases, the antibiotics and insecticides that have been synthesized are ever increasingly dangerous to our own cells.

We need a new paradigm shift in thinking about our approach to disease and I would like to outline the principles represented by Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM). This form of medical treatment is still in its infancy. It does represent a paradigm shift, but there are many predictable factors that prohibit its wide acceptance by mainstream medicine. Indeed, we must remind ourselves that Louis Pasteur spent only 20 percent of his career in making his great discoveries. The other 80 percent was spent in trying to persuade his contemporary colleagues to accept them. A paradigm shift treads on a lot of turf and creates widespread anger among people that are being told that they are on the wrong track, often when they have spent a lifetime in pursuing it.

THE PARADIGM SHIFT IS DEFENSE

On his death bed, Louis Pasteur said, "It is the terrain that is more important." He had realized that the body is attacked by the microorganisms and its defenses are the key to preventing a successful attack. In order to understand the principles underlying CAM thinking, it is necessary to think of the human body as a fuel-burning machine. This idea is often offensive to people who loudly proclaim that "there is more to human life than just plain chemistry." We have invented words like soul and spirit without really knowing exactly what we are envisioning. Whether they exist as such is not the subject of this discussion. It is true that to call the body a fuel-burning machine is an over-simplification but we have to try to get back to first principles.

It is estimated that an adult human body consists of 70 to 100 trillion cells, each of which can be thought of as a unit of function that has to manufacture the energy that enables its functional program to work It is now known that the energy production is performed by organelles called mitochondria within each cell. They are so small that their structure can only be seen with an electron microscope. We know also that our mitochondria have their own set of genes in addition to the cellular genes that are inherited from both our parents. Cellular genes govern our inherited characteristics like the color of eyes etc. Mitochondrial genes govern the mechanisms of energy production.

Another important discovery is that our mitochondrial genes are passed to all her children from the mother only.

Why is this important? Well, a person might inherit a near-perfect set of cellular genes, leading to near perfect structural formation of the body, while the mitochondrial action is defective because of imperfection in that set of genes. To use a simple analogy, it would be like buying a car that was as near perfect as possible but had been equipped with an underpowered engine. Such a car might behave very well on a level road but show symptoms of its difficulties when climbing a hill. Maternal inheritance also is able to suggest the nature of an illness in a child whose symptoms are similar to those of the mother. To continue the analogy, a hill that a car has to climb on its journey is the equivalent of the "stress" that each one of us encounters in the journey of life. Stress can be defined as anything that we encounter on a daily basis and includes both mental and physical forces. We have to sense and meet our environment in terms of changes of temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and all the changes of season and, to these, we have to make changes in the body that are adaptive in nature. Let us see what we mean by adaptation, the key to our survival as a species and as individuals in a hostile environment. How do we compute all the necessary actions that involve the brain/body functions that enable us to adjust to these constant changes?

THE COMPUTER

Freud envisioned two brains, the conscious and the subconscious. He had not been introduced to computers since they had not yet been invented and although we do not yet understand the mechanism of consciousness, the activity of the subconscious, or limbic system, is certainly that of a very complex computer.

The cognitive and limbic systems are in constant communication and the cognitive, besides performing the action of thinking, modifies the more primitive actions of the limbic system. The lower part of the diagram represents the body and the mechanisms of communication with the brain. The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic represent an automatic (autonomic) nervous system that is controlled by the limbic system. The two arms work in opposition to each other. For example, the Sympathetic arm, when signaled by the brain, will accelerate the heart while the Parasympathetic will slow it down. When we are at rest, the heart will be beating at a speed that is intermediate between fast and slow, known as the resting pulse. The autonomic system is then in balance. None of this is a thought process and has nothing to do with psychology. It is automatically regulated by the (hardware programming within the) "computer" that senses the changes and, under normal healthy conditions, reacts accordingly.

The Endocrine System is a bunch of glands that release hormones. The release of these hormones is under the command of the limbic system and they must be thought of as messengers that carry their messages to the body cells. The brain "talks" to the body; the body, through a whole series of intracellular messengers, "talks" to itself and the body "talks" back to the brain. It is a three-way street. What we have to understand is that the "language of communication" is in the form of chemical substances. A major part of modern research is in trying to understand this language. It is mindful of the way that insects can communicate by passing a chemical substance from antenna to antenna. It is also true that electricity is part of the communication, although this part of the orchestration is far from clear at the present time.

An extraordinarily important part of this is a daily rhythm of the body that is controlled by a biologic clock in the (hardware programming of the) "computer." This is known as circadian rhythm. The word circadian means "about 24 hours." At about 4 pm the computer (hardware programming) is beginning to shut down the endocrine system, perhaps to conserve energy during the night hours. At 4 am it is beginning to awaken the system for the day activities. Our biologic systems are geared to the daily rhythms of the sun and moon and the rotation and wobble of the earth on which we live. Our civilization has altered or modified our existence so much that we seldom give any consideration to these biologic mechanisms that worked so well when we lived by sunset and sunrise.

We can think of the brain/body as like an orchestra. The organs in the body are like the banks of instruments that make up an orchestra and the conductor is the limbic system that has to communicate with the instruments in order to play the "symphony of health." We can also think of it as like a fort that has to be defended against all kinds of environmental foes. The commander of the fort is again the limbic system and the cells in the body can be thought of as the defenders that have to get their orders from the commander in order to perform an efficient defense. There has to be a constant line of communication.

Notice that the input to the "computer" (software and hardware programming) is "environmental stresses." This means that absolutely everything that we encounter in our daily lives represents an input to the "computer" (external interface, i.e. our senses including internal input from emotional responses to the external stimuli) where it is constantly data processed for a "decision" as to how we must adapt to each and every input signal. The "computer" (programming) must be notified when we are attacked by a microorganism and it then organizes the defenses of the "fort" as we depicted the body. We tend to use the word "stress" in an inadequate way, thinking of it only as the input of mental images that upset us. Using the analogies and the simple diagram, we can see that physical and mental stresses have to be managed by the "computer" (programmed with the correct applications). We have to adapt to these constant environmental changes.

One of the complex reflexes that most people understand is known as the "fight-or-flight" and its mechanism has been understood for nearly a century. It is a very obvious survival reflex, designed for us to kill the enemy or flee from harm. Imagine a cave man that emerges from his cave and is confronted by a tiger. The image of the tiger is passed into his "programmed interface" and, with the aid of memory that tells him that the animal is dangerous, the reflex is initiated. It is designed for short term action and the man's brain becomes unusually alert. His pupils dilate to give him better vision. His heart starts to race to provide more oxygenated blood to the body and he begins to sweat in order to get rid of excess heat during the physical exertion that is required. It is easy to see that this is a beautifully designed mechanism that gives the man a better chance of survival. It is to be noted, however, that it consumes an enormous amount of energy.

We no longer are confronted by tigers, the stressors of the past. Our daily lives encounter different forms of stress that are essentially artificial as related to civilization. Money, marital discord, driving in traffic, night work, deadlines and aggressive bosses make up the kind of stress to which we are subjected and they are often prolonged and chronic so that our fight-or-flight mechanisms are over-taxed and energy consumption is high.

It is the limbic system that contains all the primitive reflexes for our individual survival. The thirst and hunger mechanisms are initiated here, for we cannot survive without water and food. Our primitive sex drive is controlled here since it governs the survival of the species. Our automatic breathing mechanism is controlled from the part of the brain known as the brainstem and the cough and sneeze reflexes are automated. When we go to sleep our automatic breathing control takes over the action or we would die and there are conditions where failure of this mechanism is lethal. Coughing and sneezing are reflexes that get rid of a foreign agent that alights on the mucous membrane.

These primitive reflexes can be taken over by more sophisticated parts of the brain when we are conscious. Love making modifies the primitive sex drive and we can sustain hunger and thirst under ordinary conditions of life. Under extraordinary conditions such as war these reflexes can cause us to exhibit extremely primitive behavior. Also, I have encountered many patients that have been studied repeatedly over many months on the assumption that the chronic cough is due to pulmonary disease that is diagnostically elusive. It can represent nothing more that an irritable "computer" (IRQ conflicts) that keeps firing off the cough reflex without there being any initiating cause in the lung. It can be kept going like this, sometimes for years, just because the patient is taking something as simple as coffee!

THE METABOLIC CLIFF

How does all of this help us to see disease in a different context? We must return to thinking of the brain/body as a fuel-burning machine. If the fuel consumption produces enough to meet the demands of activity, the machinery works very well, for it is beautifully designed. But we must turn to the way in which this energy is produced and the simple equation shown here is the key.

Fuel + Oxygen + Catalyst = Energy

Gasoline in a car is mixed with air and the oxygen combines with the fuel to create an explosion, ignited by a spark plug. The energy from the explosion is guided through a series of levers that enable to wheels to rotate and move the car. The human body has the same problem, but the details are widely different. Protein, fat and carbohydrate are the collective equivalent of gasoline.

The reason that we breath is to extract oxygen from the air and it is then transported by the blood to the tissues where it combines with the fuel in a complex series of carefully controlled biochemical reactions. The catalysts are vitamins and minerals, the equivalent of the spark plug. The energy derived from this is partly in the form of heat and that is why our bodies are warm. The energy that enables cells to function properly is stored in a high energy storage form known as ATP. As an example, it can be compared with coal, another naturally occurring form of energy storage, but it is far more sophisticated in its action. As ATP is produced, so is it used to carry out the various actions of the cells that use it. There must always be a balance between its production and its use and if use is excessive and the demand cannot be met, a deficit must result.

Here we must note that the brain uses more energy than any other tissue in the body and this is particularly important in the lower, limbic system brain since it is the "computer" (CPU kernel) and works 24 hours a day. We may not be aware of this inordinate consumption of energy since there is no obvious physical evidence. We can envision the use of energy when we run a mile or dig a ditch and are not surprised by the fatigue that follows. But those that use their brains for their livelihood know that this is more fatiguing than digging ditches. Thus, we find that there are many conditions, particularly in growing children, where the process of oxidation (the combination of fuel with oxygen) is compromised and the result is various forms of mental abnormality. That is why Hyperbaric Oxygen (pure oxygen administered under pressure) can be so beneficial in many different conditions. On the other hand, the commonest deficiency in this equation is the catalysts, the vitamins and minerals, and that is why their administration is invariably beneficial to virtually every disease known.

Why do we have to use what is sometimes called megadoses of vitamins and minerals in the treatment of disease? Well, these catalysts are necessary for the efficient use of the enzymes that do all the actions of the body that enable us to orchestrate our total function. Over a period of time, a marginal deficiency of these nutrients results in loss of efficiency in the enzymes and they no longer respond to the small amounts of vitamins and minerals that are referred to as the RDA (regular daily allowance).

I started this section under the title of the "metabolic cliff" and now I think that I can explain what I mean. Let us imagine that someone has inherited an excellent brain that dictates for great intelligence. He (the male sex for convenience) shows every sign of this in the early stages of his development. The food, however, is marginally deficient and his energy production is lagging behind the tremendous growth and function that his cellular genes require. Or perhaps his mitochondrial genes, responsible for running the engines of his cells are compromised. At some point in time, he begins to show evidence of regression and slowing down of his development. Or perhaps this is associated with some form of stress that is imposed on him. This could be an inoculation, a relatively simple infectious illness or even an injury, particularly to the head. I would suggest that this infant was born on the edge of a "metabolic cliff." The stress factor pushed him over the edge!

I know of many instances in my own experience where this has happened and the medical literature tells us that some marginal states of metabolic deficiency are compatible with reasonably normal life until there is a superimposed infection, injury or inoculation. The result is the expression of symptoms that do not afflict that individual prior to the imposition of the stress factor. One could say that such an individual lives on the edge of a "metabolic cliff." Diabetes is at least partly determined by genetic influence and it is known that it might not develop until the individual has an infection or other stress. It might even be precipitated by reading a telegram that delivers bad news.

There is a historical example of this. In China, many years ago, the factory workers, living mainly on rice, would take their lunch together in the early summer in the corridor between the factory buildings. As the sun came round it would shine into the corridor and the workers would begin to feel the warmth. A number of them would often develop neurological symptoms that were the very first signs of beriberi, the vitamin deficiency disease that raged in the East for thousands of years and still does. The sun has to be seen as the "stress factor" that caused them to slip off the metabolic cliff. It is no wonder that the disease was thought to be due to infection before its real cause was discovered, since several people would develop symptoms at the same time.

(Next Column)

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE DIET IN AMERICA?

A common diagnosis that I make is "marginal malnutrition." So what do I mean by it? The nutritional diseases that were researched in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were beriberi, pellagra and scurvy. All were found to be due to various deficiencies of vitamins. After their discovery, it seemed easy to abolish them by making sure that food had sufficient vitamin content. Most physicians have the rooted idea that these diseases have indeed been abolished and when they encounter symptoms that are, in reality, those of nutritional deficiency, they constantly look for other causes that might be termed "more modern and in keeping with our science." It is a fact that the symptoms from classic nutritional diseases overlap each other and the common denominator is an effect on the nervous system, particularly the autonomic nervous system that is controlled by the "hardware programming" as we have already discussed. Furthermore, the classical forms of these diseases are rarely seen and one is faced with an assortment of disturbances of the autonomic and endocrine systems that are produced by a marginal state of malnutrition.

If we examine again the simple equation above, there are three components that have to come together to produce energy efficiently. Many of us will remember that we used to have a choke mechanism in our cars. This introduced a rich mixture to the cylinders when the engine was cold. If the choke mechanism became stuck as it sometimes did, the result would be a definite decline in the running characteristics of the engine and black smoke, representing unburned hydrocarbons came out of the exhaust pipe. Thus, if we give the body too many calorie-bearing food substances it is very much like choking the engine of a car. If we are deprived of vitamins and minerals, we die of malnutrition. If we are deprived of oxygen, we suffocate and if we are deprived of calories we die of starvation. All three are necessary in a balanced relationship that was imposed on us by the genius of Mother Nature.

Marginal malnutrition is widespread in America. This is because our culture encourages the ingestion of high calorie substances that have no nutrient density. They are devoid of the vitamins and minerals that are normally contained in what I call 'God made food.' High calorie malnutrition of this nature is sometimes referred to as "empty calories." The dominant substances in this class are the sweets, the chocolate, the carbonated beverages: these are the simple carbohydrates that give us so much pleasure but choke our engines. Furthermore, we add caffeine in many different ways and that causes the consumption of energy that makes us "feel good." I have already stated that energy is made and used in a balanced relationship. If the cells in our bodies are having a hard time keeping up with the energy consumption, then caffeine will only make things worse in the long run. We are getting the illusion that we "have more energy," whereas in reality we are consuming it faster than ever and, if we are already malnourished, we can ill afford this kind of stimulation.

By far the commonest symptom that I hear is fatigue and it is always amazing to hear about the humongous rate at which coffee is consumed daily. We all know people that state that they are unable to go to work until they have consumed at least one cup of black coffee. They often conclude that "my body needs it" whereas they are really getting a "high" from a drug. Most of them never conclude that their headaches are due to coffee drinking because they are well aware that a headache will disappear when they consume yet another cup of this beverage. We all recognize that a cocaine user has to have another dose of the drug to reverse the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced when its effect wears off. All addictive drugs, of which group coffee is a member, have withdrawal symptoms of this nature. Some are much more severe but the principle is the same.

The most important thing that I have learned in my medical career is the fact that the "hardware programming" in our brains becomes much more responsive to incoming stimuli when its energy producing mechanisms are made to be inefficient. The easiest and quickest way to do this is through high calorie marginal malnutrition. Remember that the limbic brain is our most primitive one and our behavior consequently becomes more primitive, releasing the reflex actions that it controls too easily. An example of this is the extremely common complaint of "I have panic attacks doctor!" These are simply fight-or-flight reflexes that are initiated without there being any environmental cause. There is a good deal of evidence that this form of malnutrition is responsible for behavioral activity that is inexplicable if a person is in a normal state of brain chemistry. It can explain the senselessness of vandalism and juvenile delinquency that is so common today. It might even explain President Clinton's behavior since he was pictured commonly as a "junk food junkie" and our most primitive sex drive comes from the "computer" (that has visited one too many porn sites without parental settings or virus protection).

The point is this! Our "hardware" driven activities are just beneath the surface of our cognitively controlled behavior. The upper brain (activities, or thought processes) impose restrictions on the (lower) "computer" brain (functions, i.e. CPU kernel program) that explains what we are pleased to call civilized behavior. If the hardware "computer" programming becomes dominant and takes over the action, the cognitive may well be aware of what is happening, but powerless to stop the action. This explains why we go back to our particular form of addiction under stressful circumstances. A bereaved alcoholic who has recovered may start drinking again. A sugar addict may go again for the sugaricon after a confrontation with mother-in-law or the boss.

FUNCTIONAL DISEASE

The conventional approach to disease is to make a diagnosis as already discussed. It is regarded as being confirmed as a disease entity if and when the laboratory tests prove that the diagnostic conclusions of the physician, after interviewing the patient, are correct. The laboratory is the true "acid test." The other unfortunate mistake in our concepts is that everything below the neck is "physical or organic" and everything above it is "mental." If no laboratory evidence is forthcoming, the complaints of the patient are deemed to be "psychosomatic or functional." The word functional is, in the minds of most physicians, synonymous with "neurotic" and it is not surprising that many people feel as though they are being accused of fraudulent or imaginary symptoms.

I believe that this is a totally wrong concept. Many of the patients that I see have absolutely no conventional laboratory tests positive and they have often been treated as people that should be referred to a psychiatrist. By seeing the "model" that I have discussed above, it should be obvious that nothing happens in the body without notification to the brain and vice versa. Thus, abnormal function or "functional disease" can be seen as abnormal chemistry in the way that the brain and body communicate with each other. If the "computer" (lower brain activity) has become too easily activated by input stimuli from inefficient chemistry in its cells, it sends out signals that may be "emotional" or "physical" or a combination of both.

Perhaps the best way to emphasize this is by describing a common condition that is believed to affect as many as 30 million women in the U.S. It is called Pre Menstrual Syndrome and it represents a good example of how sick people "fall between the cracks" in our present medical model of disease. This is a condition where function is indeed disturbed and it depends on activity in the limbic "computer" (CPU kernel) that, as we have reviewed, controls the endocrine/ autonomic axis. It relates to brain rhythms that are managed by a biologic clock in the "hardware application."

There may be many different rhythms in our "computer hardware." The ones that we know about are the daily one known as circadian, already described. The other one is the 28 day rhythm in women that governs the menstrual cycle. Is it a coincidence that the lunar cycle is also 28 days? We do not know if men have this rhythm because there is nothing to show for it, but I would think that it is very likely nevertheless. At the beginning of the menstrual cycle the "CPU" sends a signal to the endocrine gland that releases a hormone. Hormones are really messengers and as they travel around in the blood they deliver their messages to the cells that are capable of receiving their particular message. But their concentration in the blood on a daily basis is governed by the "ROM addressing" because the hormone comes back to the brain and thus forms a closed biofeedback loop system. Thus the estrogen will gradually rise to the 14th day of the cycle and ovulation takes place. This is followed by another hormone called progesterone and that is withdrawn at or around the 28th day and the period takes place as the lining of the uterus is shed.

The "CPU" is working very hard in this complex arrangement and this is particularly true of the week before the period takes place. That is why, if the "CPU" is unusually reactive as we have described above, the woman becomes much more emotional and may be tiresome to her family. She may develop a migraine at this time if she is prone to this kind of headache and she may have panic attacks or other so-called psychosomatic symptoms. The cramps, bloating and water retention are also related to faulty metabolism and she may have painful ovulation on the right or left with alternating periods or it may occur only on one side with every other period, depending on whether only one ovary is inflamed or both of them. The inflammation is, however, an internal process that is initiated by signals from the "CPU." It is important to emphasize once more that these symptoms, particularly the emotional ones that are so often misjudged by others, are not "thought processes," they are automated and she cannot help herself at this time even if she wishes to.

In literally hundreds of cases, I have seen all the symptoms of this disappear within a month or so of doing two things. The first thing is to remove "the hair from the dog that has been biting." By that, I mean the so-called "goodies", the coffee, sugar, chocolate, ice cream, milk and milk products and sweets, and in some cases salt. The more these things are craved, the more important it is to remove them completely until the "system resources are reallocated" to settle down into a normally responsive mode. The second thing that is needed is nutritional supplements, not medications and, in most cases in my experience hormones are not required at all.

Because the uterus and ovaries are the organs that are affected, the patient often goes to a gynecologist. If she has diarrhea at this time, she may go to a gastroenterologist and if she has headaches she may see a neurologist. This is because medicine has evolved with the concept that the body is so complex that we have to have experts who treat the various organs or systems. The reality is that the body organs are doing the bidding of a "CPU" that is poorly nourished and is in an extremely reactive state due to metabolic inefficiency.

ORGANIC DISEASE

We have discussed the concept of infection and recognize that the body has to defend itself from such an attack. The current treatment is merely to "kill the enemy" and little thought is given to the energy required to meet the foe as the body is put into its complex defensive mode. I remember the case of a physician of my acquaintance who was treating a patient for a serious and potentially life threatening pneumonia. In addition to the antibiotic, he gave the patient a series of vitamin infusions and she recovered very well. In the next bed was another patient who had pneumonia, being treated by another physician. The first doctor went to the second doctor and suggested to him that he might give the vitamin infusions since they appeared to be instrumental in the recovery of his patient. The second doctor refused to do this because it was "outside the box of common medical experience" and told the first doctor to mind his own business. The patient died. It might have been a useful learning experience for the second doctor but unfortunately, doctors are people and people resist change no matter what kind of profession or work with which they are involved. Naturally, we have all come to recognize the danger of infections and how they attack particular organs. It is just another way of thinking about how such an infection should be addressed.

I firmly believe that some chronic diseases occur after years of "wear and tear" from the dysfunctional mechanisms described under the heading of "functional." Remember that I have emphasized the fact that the "fight-or-flight" reflex is designed for short term escape from extreme danger and is very energy consuming. If we are under a lot of business stress, or other relatively artificial result of civilization, we are in a chronic state of useless energy consumption. Perhaps the organs (peripherals) that receive the constant barrage of signals from the "CPU" become fatigued or are so affected by overuse that their own mechanisms begin to deteriorate. We must also recognize that faulty nutrition will affect the whole body. The "CPU" may just be the first organ to appreciate the failure and initiate symptoms that give us warning that the terrain is at risk.

Even the diagnosis is often a source of stress and can be detrimental to the course of the disease. "Mrs Jones, I am sorry to tell you that you have cancer." It is now well known that the emotional climate of a patient makes a difference to its course and we must always think of the so-called placebo effect. To believe in the cure is to help the healing process. You can be sure that Mrs Jones goes to her "RAM and files stored on HDD" and reviews all the sad stories about her cancer and that feeds on itself to her detriment. We can fool ourselves with words that we do not truly accept and this has been called lip service. An optimistic belief in a world that has little room for faith in the true sense is hard to come by!

The art and craft of nutritional therapy may well have "discovered" the placebo effect. Perhaps it stimulates an upgrade in the energy required for the brain to direct the resources of the body to perform the healing process. A belief in their power will enhance their effectiveness. The point that I am making here is that a "belief system" in the brain represents a certainty by that person that the desired action will occur. It matters little what the agent is as long as it represents a force considered to be all powerful. A true belief in God is the commonest use of this. It takes energy, however, to perform the necessary task of self healing.

Perhaps an example of the power of the brain is apt. I had a child patient when I was a pediatric oncologist. She had been treated for a Wilm's tumor of the kidney. This is one of the most malignant cancers that affect children and it had metastasized throughout her abdominal cavity. She was in the late stages of cachexia, a state of metabolic decay and examination of her abdomen revealed a whole mass of hard lumps that were metastatic deposits. I told the mother, as kindly as I could, that I had no valid treatment for her at this late stage. She should be allowed to die in the peace of her family environment. The mother responded by saying: "If God will not work through you, I will find a doctor with whom He will work" I heard later that she took the child to Oral Roberts and the entire tumor disappeared. I had letters from the family physician for several years telling me that she was healthy and that no traces of tumor remained.

The trouble with this is that it is considered to be a miracle performed by an all powerful being and it is dismissed as an internal mechanism induced by pure faith in that Being. A miracle can be defined as something that happens that we have no current means for explaining. As soon as the mechanisms are revealed, it ceases to be called a miraculous event. There are many such stories of this nature and we still have no means of understanding what really happens. I like to tell the story of an African native who had crossed the local witch doctor. The witch doctor shook a bone in front of him and laid a curse that would cause him to die. He began a slow process of decay that would lead to his death. A Western clinic in the district tried to rescue him by using all the "powerful weapons of science" at their disposal. The unfortunate patient continued to die slowly. The Western clinic then went to the witch doctor and asked him to remove the curse. He agreed to do this "for a consideration." He then took the same bone, shook it in the face of his former victim and told him that the curse had been removed. The young man immediately began a process that led to full recovery. It was the primitive belief in the witch doctor that created the power for decline as well as recovery. It is very unfortunate that the modern physician has been robbed of this charisma that has always been such an important part of medical treatment. A white coated person with a stethoscope round the neck is usually regarded as "just another person who wields rather shaky scientific tools that may or may not work." It is hardly surprising that the faith factor has disappeared.

I will end with just two more stories to illustrate the brain/body relationship in disease. I have taken care of a charming lady for some years with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, a true example of an organic disease affecting the bowel. She improved with nutrient treatment but kept relapsing. Her work was onerous and demanding and her ability to relax almost non existent. I referred her to a psychologist that performs biofeedback treatment. His technique is to seat the patient in front of a computer monitor (a real computer monitor, not the metaphor) with Pacman on the screen. Electrodes on the scalp feed the patient's brain waves into an electroencephalogram (EEG) that the psychologist views during treatment. The patient's task is to move Pacman through the electronic maze and consume the nuts as it proceeds. The machinery is set up so that Pacman moves only if the patient is relaxed. If he/she "tries hard to move it," it remains stationary. The process teaches the patient the art of relaxation. Her ulcerative colitis has cleared up and I rarely see her and only for a routine review.

Lastly, I want to tell of a 15 year old boy who came to my office one spring with a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. He was walking with the aid of crutches. I revised his diet and started him on some nutrient supplements. In the following fall he went out for football. The process of nutrient therapy is virtually guaranteed to produce improvement in almost any disease unless irreversible damage has been caused. It is relatively slow in its magic, but has the enormous advantage of being as safe as any therapy that has ever been tried in the history of medicine. It is a joy to be able to state that this kind of medicine has returned to the teaching of Hippocrates, the acknowledged Father of Modern Medicine. He said: "Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food!

Derrick Lonsdale M.D.


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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/us/25mobs.html?th&emc=th Mobs Are Born as Word Grows by Text Message
By IAN URBINA
Published: March 24, 2010

PHILADELPHIA ? It started innocently enough seven years ago as an act of performance art where people linked through social-networking Web sites and text messaging suddenly gathered on the streets for impromptu pillow fights in New York, group disco routines in London, and even a huge snowball fight in Washington.

Laurence Kesterson/The Philadephia Inquirer

Young people filled South Street in Philadelphia on Saturday in what officials said was the latest flash mob to turn dangerous.

Mustafah Abdulaziz for The New York Times

Seth Kaufman was injured in the flash mob Saturday, which he called ?a tsunami of kids.?

But these so-called flash mobs have taken a more aggressive and raucous turn here as hundreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property.

On Wednesday, the police here said that they had had enough. They announced plans to step up enforcement of a curfew already on the books, and to tighten it if there is another incident.

They added that they planned to hold parents legally responsible for their children?s actions. They are also considering making free transit passes for students invalid after 4 p.m., instead of 7 p.m., to limit teenagers? ability to ride downtown.

?This is bad decision making by a small group of young people who are doing silly but dangerous stuff,? Mayor Michael A. Nutter said in an interview Wednesday. ?We intend to do something about it immediately.?

Flash mobs are not unique to Philadelphia, but they have been more frequent here than elsewhere. Others that resulted in arrests and injuries have been reported over the past year in Boston, South Orange, N.J., and Brooklyn.

Philadelphia officials added that they had also begun getting help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor social-media networks. And television and radio stations are helping to recruit hip-hop artists to make public service announcements imploring teenagers to end the practice.

In the past year, at least four of the flash mobs have broken out in the city, including one on Saturday in which roving teenagers broke into fights, several onlookers were injured and at least three people were arrested.

?It was like a tsunami of kids,? said Seth Kaufman, 20, a pizza deliveryman at Olympia II Pizza & Restaurant on South Street. He lifted his shirt to show gashes along his back and arm. He also had bruises on his forehead he said were from kicks and punches he suffered while trying to keep a rowdy crowd from entering the shop, where a fight was already under way.

?By the time you could hear them yelling, they were flooding the streets and the stores and the sidewalks,? Mr. Kaufman said.

The ad hoc gangs have scared many pedestrians off the streets.

City residents are also starting to complain about the number of unsupervised children, and child advocates are asking if there are enough activities to keep young people busy after school.

?We definitely need more jobs for kids, we need more summer jobs for kids, we need more after-school programming, and we need more parent support,? said Shelly Yanoff, executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, a children?s advocacy group in Philadelphia.

Ms. Yanoff added that libraries and after-school programs had been reduced and a program for youth offenders had been cut sharply. On Friday, officials said, two preteenagers assaulted a woman as part of a violent game called ?Catch and Wreck,? in which children pick out people who appear homeless and then beat them and take any money they have.

The police, who say these assaults are unrelated to flash mobs, arrested an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl in the attack. The police said they also planned to charge the boy in an attack on a 73-year-old man who was beaten and robbed in the same area on March 13.

The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class.

Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts.

In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting ?black boys? and ?burn the city,? bystanders said...