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Volume 25, Number 11

Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
November, 2014

Dear Doctor,

It would be comical if it did not cheat so many people out of time, energy, and money. We could have a jolly time poking fun at it --- except that it snookers so many who are health conscious but scientifically ignorant. --- What silly, nature cure nonsense ruffles my feathers?


????? --- Spice Rack Nutrition. --- You know ...

  • Cinnamon to cure ________.

  • Oregano to treat ________.

  • Ginger for people who have ________.

  • Curcumin because it's good for _______.

  • Cloves for this.

  • Lemon essential oil for that.

--- Herbal drugs in general have always been a trash heap of mis-information and snake oil peddling.

Despite all the hype you have heard (and that the disease-oriented doctors in your community push, and your patients want to believe) licorice is not "good for the adrenals" --- echinacea does nothing for the common cold --- St. John's wort is indeed a mild-altering drug, but is not a cure for depression. Typically ...


any cost/benefit analysis. Their failure is evident 5 ways. They ...

  1. --- are often totally ineffective --- nothing more than old wives' tales.

  2. --- may relieve symptoms (as drugs often do), but do so without correcting the causes of those symptoms (as can be achieved with patient-specific metabolic therapy --- NUTRI-SPEC).

  3. --- may relieve symptoms (as drugs often do), but create unwanted side effects (as drugs often do) -----

  • In particular, most of the active drugs in herbal preparations are either polyphenolic compounds or peroxynitrite precursors, or, they thin or thicken the blood. The polyphenolic compounds are almost all estrogenic in metabolic activity. That means they create a whole mess of estrogen-stress type symptoms --- including fluid retention, anxiety &/or depression, alterations of menstrual cycle, weight gait, etc., etc., etc. Many of the polyphenolic compounds are also antimetabolites --- specifically inhibiting thyroid function.

  • The peroxynitrite precursors in some herbal preparations can lead to excessive nitric oxide, which elicits a long, nasty pro-inflammatory cascade.

  • Excessively thinning or thickening the blood as the result of herbal drugging is something rarely considered --- most herbal drug peddlers know nothing about it.

  1. --- fail miserably any cost/benefit analysis as relates to $$$.

    • Patients waste their hard-earned money in the hope (passive and powerless) that these drugs will relieve their symptoms. Even when these drugs "work," they do so at an exorbitant cost. If all the patient wanted was temporary relief, that relief could be achieved much more quickly, effectively, and above all cheaply, with pharmaceutical drugs. Even when the herbal drugs "work" and their efficacy is backed up by legitimate scientific research, they are almost always inferior to pharmaceuticals. --- I can illustrate the point with a story that goes back 30 years into the history of the clinical nutrition business (--- the dirtiest business in the world):

      • It was in the early 1980s. Some great research was done showing that proteolytic enzymes had objectively demonstrable anti-inflammatory effects. The proteolytic enzyme bromelain (from unripe pineapples), was under particular study. As soon as it was published in peer review journals that bromelain had an anti-inflammatory effect, the health food industry charlatans seized the opportunity --- each company putting out its bromelain "cure for arthritis." The "cure" worked. People who swallowed enough bromelain (and did not suffer extreme upper GI symptoms as a result) had a bit of subjective improvement in their arthritis.

        • But look out --- here comes Guy Schenker, with his obsession over analytical thinking and objective analysis. He looked at the mechanism of bromelain's anti-inflammatory effects, and the literature was very clear --- the anti-inflammatory effects were mediated via the cyclooxygenase pathway. In other words, bromelain was a prostaglandin inhibitor --- by exactly the same mechanism as aspirin is a prostaglandin inhibitor. --- So --- the anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain were identical to those of aspirin.

          As is his nature, Guy Schenker looked at the facts quantitatively. The literature showed that it would take 8 typical bromelain tablets to equal the anti-inflammatory effects of 1 aspirin. And, each bromelain tablet cost about 10x as much as an aspirin tablet. So --- if you swallowed 8x as many pills and spent 80x as many dollars, you would get the benefits from bromelain that equaled taking 1 aspirin. Comical. I had a jolly good time poking fun at it.

          "But" --- all the cure peddlers cried, "Bromelain is natural, and aspirin is a drug!" ----- Oh my. Here we go with the "natural" mythology again. Bromelain is "natural" because it is derived from a botanical source, right? Nope. You show me how, by any natural means, a human being can suck the bromelain out of a green pineapple, and I'll call it "natural." But of course, aspirin is made by those evil pharmaceutical giants, and is all "synthetic." Nope. Aspirin was itself originally derived from botanical sources --- willow bark in particular. If we want to talk natural --- it is more "natural" to chew on willow bark than it is to suck on unripe pineapples.

  2. --- are evil (more evil in some ways than the pharmaceutical industry) because they play on the hopes and needs of their victims --- selling people a false sense of security that they are benefitting their health or treating their disease in some natural way, and, that since the herbal drug is "natural" it is safe. In other words, the sheeple are reinforced in their impoverishing behavior to blindly follow the "authorities" in whom they place their faith.

Five means by which herbal drugs devalue lives --- not comical.

And now, we have Spice Rack Nutrition, which takes herbal drugging to a whole new level of deception. Encouraging people to treat their diseases with common spices allows the charlatans to present their drugs as if they are actually foods. The "foods as drugs" myth makes it even easier for the nature cure peddlers to victimize those who have a desperate need to believe.

So, what can we say about cinnamon and oregano and ginger as being "good for" this and that condition? We have exactly the same limitations and disadvantages of any other herbal drugs. Yes, there are active drugs sitting right there on your spice rack. There is now oodles and oodles of research in the literature (most of it financed by the herbal drug companies) showing that if you expose a cell culture to an extract of cloves or ginger or whatever, there will be "antioxidant" effects, or that inflammation will be decreased, or that cancer cells will fail to thrive.

  • same polyphenolic antimetabolites

  • stimulation of one part of the immune system, with inhibition of some other part of the immune system

  • indiscriminate thickening or thinning of the blood

  • total neglect in addressing the actual causes of the symptoms

  • same outrageous $$$ cost in the blind faith the nature cure will work

  • same blind faith that since the item on the spice rack is a food, that the drugs extracted from it are entirely "natural" and safe (--- Spice rack safety? --- Here are some interesting facts: the nutmeg off your spice rack and sprinkled liberally into your pumpkin pie, in sufficient quantities, is a hallucinogenic drug; licorice blocks the adrenal conversion of cortisol into cortisone; wintergreen flavoring is yet another hallucinogenic drug; spearmint inhibits testosterone; curcumin is an immunosuppressant.)

Yet, the pill peddlers would have us believe that the spice rack drugs can cure everything from the common cold to cancer. --- And --- there are hundreds of "legitimate" studies in the literature supporting those claims with studies done using spice rack drugs on cell cultures. But are the findings of these (biased) studies clinically relevant? By the same "reasoning" behind these studies, I could dump salt water on a petri dish full of cancer cells, and kill them all. Does that mean salt is a "cure" for cancer? Of course not.

In your May 2012 issue of the NUTRI-SPEC Letter, we exposed the ever-popular herbal drug resveratrol. We not only showed that the research on resveratrol is entirely misrepresented by the charlatans in the alternative healthcare industry, but that the research itself may well have been fraudulent. Yet, oblivious to the truth, the disease-treating doctors in your community are selling resveratrol by the truckload. They are easily victimizing patients who have a desperate need to believe.

Now we get to the real point of this month's Letter ...

Your patients do not need to waste their money and invest their hope and faith in spice rack drugs. Neither will they benefit significantly from any other disease-specific remedies from the herbal drug pharmacopeia. What they need from you is patient-specific protection against ...


Inflammaging, a term coined by researchers in physiology and biochemistry, reflects the ever-expanding understanding of aging as a chronic inflammatory process. As per our Diphasic Nutrition Plan paradigm, we NUTRI-SPEC practitioners understand that we are all "over-the-hill" at age 33. In other words, at age 33 our VITAL RESERVES begin to decline, thus decreasing our ADAPTATIVE CAPACITY to protect ourselves against inflammaging.

  • There are oxidative/dysaerobic causes of inflammation.

  • There are anaerobic causes of inflammation.

  • There are catabolic causes of inflammation.

  • There are anabolic causes of inflammation.

  • There is inflammation that is caused by, and that causes, pathological disintegration of tissue structure and function. = The body is "breaking down" after age 33.

  • There is inflammation that is caused by, and that causes, pathological hyperplasia. = The body is "clogging up" after age 33.

We briefly addressed inflammaging at the end of your October Letter, bringing your attention to the many studies showing that the rate of aging is directly proportional to the level of Prostaglandin E2 --- and --- that supplementing with mixed tocopherols, as in your Oxy Power, is an extremely effective way to slow and even reverse aging.

This month's follow-up: CoQ10 (also in your Oxy Power) is even more effective than mixed tocopherols in protecting against inflammaging. Not only is CoQ10 even more effective than tocopherols (even more effective than the amazing gamma fraction of the mixed tocopherols), it is effective by an entirely different mechanism --- multiple mechanisms, actually. A search of the literature will reveal literally thousands of studies on how CoQ10 will protect you and your patients from both the causes and the effects of heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, vascular disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue --- the list is almost endless. But the critical point for you to understand is that CoQ10 is not a disease-specific "treatment" for these many and varied states of dis-ease --- it addresses the underlying causes --- the insidious inflammaging that begins in earnest at age 33, and that begins to totally overwhelm us by age 53.

Tocotrienols are also even more effective than mixed tocopherols in protecting against the ravages of aging. They are effective not by treating all the nagging little symptoms that make people rush to their doctors, but by actually maintaining youthful physiological function for years longer than chronological age (Father Time) dictates.

When we first introduced Oxy Power with its tocotrienols, there were something like 200 published studies in the literature on the health protective effects of tocotrienols. Now there are far more than a 1,000. Protecting the brain against neurodegeneration (actually reversing cognitive impairment); lowering triglycerides (the #1 risk factor for cardiovascular disease); lowering homocysteine (another primary risk factor for heart attacks and strokes); decreasing oxidation of cholesterol and reducing atherosclerotic lesions; eliminating allergies and mast cell activation; decreasing C-reactive protein; preventing cancer; correcting inflammatory bowel disease; decreasing insulin resistance; decreasing glucose and advanced glycation end products in both Type I and Type II diabetics; decreasing osteoporosis ... Truly amazing. --- And none of the wonders of tocotrienols are associated with disease specificity, but rather with improving the anti-catabolic defense against inflammaging.

Alpha lipoic acid is last on the list of treasures you own in Oxy Power. Here again, we have entirely different mechanisms of enhancing Adaptative Capacity by pumping up Vital Reserves. Alpha lipoic acid is active against both anabolic and catabolic aspects of inflammaging. Thousands of studies have now been done on lipoic acid showing how it benefits such diverse conditions as peripheral neuropathy; the causes and effects of diabetes --- those effects including diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney failure, and poor wound healing; brain neuronal loss associated with increased oxidative stress; decreased cognitive function; obesity; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; cardiovascular disease; high blood pressure; osteoporosis; glaucoma. Also, lipoic acid is effective in improving liver detoxification functions (559 studies from the literature supporting this); reversing inflammatory bowel disease; protecting against cancer; controlling multiple sclerosis; and decreasing systemic inflammatory markers covering a broad- spectrum of dis-ease.

Cinnamon for inflammation? --- Or, Oxy Power for inflammaging? --- Don't make me laugh.