RR 3, Box 384
THE NUTRI-SPEC LETTER
Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
It behooves us to give ourselves a mini course in logic from time to time just to be certain the wheels of our minds are turning in the right direction --- unencumbered by either the dishonest input of the charlatans or the irrational input of the gullible masses. Apropos of this Letter --- logic is the essence of NUTRI-SPEC. Your goal with NUTRI-SPEC is to restore metabolic balance and increase adaptative capacity in your patients by recommending an individualized diet and supplement plan. More fundamentally, however, NUTRI-SPEC is about OBJECTIVITY in the practice of clinical nutrition. Objective test results guide you in your every recommendation; your means of deriving those recommendations is based entirely on objective scientific studies.
NUTRI-SPEC practitioners (and their patients) are thriving as a small sub-set among the countless millions who are wandering aimlessly as seekers of health through nutrition. Those seekers are sheep (or are they lemmings?) blindly following any authoritarian voice with a diet or supplement to sell ...
“Your arthritis in your fingers is really acting up? My aunt had terrible arthritis and cured it by taking cod liver oil --- you should take cod liver oil too.”
“Dr. I.M. Smart has finally discovered a cure for the common cold. He gives all his patients mega doses of vitamin C and Echinacea, and they always get better.”
“Our Life-Force supplement gives you a proprietary blend of the most rare and exotic Chinese herbs, used for thousands of years by the wise men of the Far East to modulate the balance between energy centers of the body. Stop poisoning yourself with synthetic vitamins, and experience amazing power and vitality with our all natural Life-Force.”
"The Hunzas lived for a zillion years and never had any diseases because they ate fermented milk products. Buy Organic Acres’ yogurt (sweetened only with 100% natural sugar), the secret of a long, healthy life.”
OK, Doctor of NUTRI-SPEC Objectivity, which of the above four quotes have sufficient objective scientific backing that you would even consider their validity?
NONE OF THE ABOVE. The last three are clearly absurd natural food industry nonsense. Only the first has even a shred of objective evidence supporting it, and that is merely an anecdotal report of a test done with a sample group population of one, and no control group. There may or may not be correlation between the purported remedy and the disappearance of symptoms, but we cannot deny the evidence prima facie.
So --- for your mini course in logic --- ask yourself, when two events occur simultaneously are they necessarily related? How can you tell if they are related? If they are related, are they related causally, or is their appearance correlated, i.e., related only by a third event that is causative of both?
Old King Sol is making his presence felt --- the days are longer, the air is warmer, the (true) life force stirs within all the living --- Spring has come to Pennsylvania. The ground hog comes out to stay, the crocus bloom, as the lettuce and spinach sprout in my neighbor’s garden. Within two weeks, however, the crocus and the spring greens disappear without a trace.
Among the events described in this brief account of Spring, which show cause and effect, which are correlated, and which merely coincide? Obviously, the appearance of the ground hog, the appearance of the crocus, and the appearance of the spinach are all caused by the sun. The appearance of the ground hog, the appearance of the crocus, and the appearance of the spinach are all correlated with one another, as they all have a common cause (though other causative factors must also exist --- the presence of an occupied ground hog hole, and spinach seeds planted in the ground, for example). The disappearance of the crocus is caused by the sun. The disappearance of the spinach is caused by the ground hog. The disappearance of the crocus and the disappearance of the spinach are coincident with (completely unrelated to) each other.
Now, suppose I inform you that I am High Priest from the Holy Church of the Sacred Ground Hog. Every Spring the beloved ground hog emerges from his hole, beckoning the sun to come forth from its Winter hiding place. All praise the glorious ground hog! Without his magnificent power our lives would be smothered in darkness, our days endlessly barren and cold. Prepare great sacrifices for the mighty ground hog! Pray that he continue to bless us with his benevolent divinity!
If I make such a presentation you will know instantly that I am stark raving mad. Yet such is the vulnerability of human consciousness that pagan religions with not much more substance than the Holy Church of the Sacred Ground Hog dominated millions of lives throughout history. But of course we of modern Western culture are much too sophisticated --- much too logical --- to fall for such nonsense. So now, let us turn the logic button up three notches to the level of presentation offered by the typical natural food industry charlatan. --- I can show you ...
IRREFUTABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE ...
that crocus cause the sprouting of a magnificent crop of spinach each Spring, yet when the crocus disappear, the spinach disappears as well. Clearly, since crocus cause a magnificent spinach crop, and since the disappearance of crocus cause the devastation of the spinach crop, the key to a bountiful spinach harvest is to surround your spinach garden with crocus that will bloom for months. It just so happens that I sell scientifically developed, late blooming, all natural, all organic crocus seeds --- used by the Hunzas themselves, on the advice of ancient Chinese Wise Men --- and --- they contain absolutely no cholesterol!
If the typical backyard gardener has no more sense than the common health food store shopper I will sell truckloads of my crocus seeds. Astonishing? I’ll tell you what is truly astonishing --- after this year’s spinach crop tragically disappears, despite the magnificent crocus plants, these fools will buy my crocus seeds again next year. And, after that year’s crop failure, they will buy my crocus seeds again the third year before they finally go off in search of another remedy for their disappearing spinach crop. Then --- absolutely incredibly astonishingly --- I can come back in 10 years and sell my truckloads of crocus seeds to another group of equally gullible backyard gardeners.
This nonsensical story is perfectly analogous to what we witness happening in the comedy of the absurd we call the natural food industry --- equally outrageous charlatanism coupled with perfectly unconscious irrationality.
You must train yourself, and do your best to help your patients, to distinguish between cause and effect, correlation, and coincidence. Cause and effect relationships are not at all easy to prove, and anyone who claims he has one must be able to supply rigorously derived objective scientific evidence. Your patients (and perhaps even you) have a long history of buying crocus seeds. They have an equally long history of failed spinach crops --- which feeds their NEED TO BELIEVE in something --- anything --- that promises health. For those schooled in the American Socialist education system in the last 40 years, it is much easier to rely on hopes and beliefs than to pursue the truth analytically. That is why your office is full of seekers in need; that is why you must be their paragon of objectivity in their otherwise subjectively ruled lives.
Do sacred ground hogs call forth the sun each Spring? People seem to crave mysticism.
Does planting crocus insure a good spinach crop? To the irrational masses, the evidence appears compelling.
Are Vitamin C and Echinacea good for colds? --- Wishful thinking.
Are ancient Chinese herbs the secret to high-powered bio-energetics (whatever THAT means)? Or, do they merely satisfy people’s need to believe?
Is eating yogurt the key to Hunza-like health and longevity? --- Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Hee! Hee! Hee! --- Health food mythology.
Were Eskimos immune to the degenerative diseases of modern civilization because they ate a diet ...
HIGH IN OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS?
We are in a several month process of bashing omega 3 PUFAs, offering you objective evidence that they are even more devastating than omega 6 oils in causing oxidative free radical damage, accelerated aging, mitochondrial suppression, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, and diabetes. Yet to come (next month) are the scientific studies showing the immuno-suppressive effects of fish oil and flax oil, including cancer. The truths you have learned these recent months directly contradict the huge mountain of “scientific” evidence fabricated by the PUFA establishment, leaving many of you incredulous. Many, many of you have responded with an almost frantic exclamation ...
“WHAT ABOUT THE ESKIMO DIET?!!”
Everyone “knows” (thanks to the PUFA propaganda machine) that Eskimos had no cardiovascular disease, little cancer, no arthritis, no tooth decay, no allergies, etc., etc., and that their good health resulted from a diet of salmon, seal, and whale --- all high in EPA and DHA. [The propaganda machine ignores that there were many traditional cultures similarly free of degenerative diseases that never saw a salmon, a seal, or a whale, and that consumed no more omega 3 fatty acids than the typical modern American slob. ( --- The best nutrition book ever written is Weston Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” Everyone should read it three times --- at age 12, at age 17, then again when ready to have a family.)] Let us expose this later vintage health food industry mythology for the fraud that it is.
The truth will surprise you: Eskimos did not eat a diet high in n-3 acids. Their diet was high in n-3 FA relative only to the low n-3 FA content of the modern American diet. (Actually, Eskimos who lived inland ate mostly caribou and a little polar bear --- very little fish, whale, and seal.)
Let’s run the numbers. ( --- Yes, yes, I know --- you products of the American schooling system with an aversion to quantitative thinking are saying to yourselves, “Oh no --- here he goes again!”) Salmon, the dietary staple of the coastal Eskimos varies to an extreme in its percent of various fatty acids, depending on time of year, fresh water vs. salt water, etc. But here is a representative analysis: Saturated Fat = 32%, mono-unsaturated = 43%, n-6 FA = 2%, n-3 FA = 23%. A 100g serving of salmon contains 140 calories, 44% of which (62 calories) come from fat. (44% total fat) x (23% n-3 fat) = 10% (14calories) from n-3 FA. Eating exclusively salmon and comparable fish, as many Eskimos did for prolonged periods each year, still yielded a diet 24% higher in saturated fat than PUFA fat, with by far the biggest macro-nutrient being mono-unsaturated fat.
The truth is, Eskimos were free of many degenerative diseases in spite of, not because of, their damaging n-3 intake. In fact, the n-3s are the only negative in an otherwise perfect (for their metabolic type) diet.
Look at the amazing positives of their diet:
Place the above eleven points on the positive side of the balance sheet. On the negative side you have only one entry:
Claiming that fish oil was responsible for the Eskimos freedom from degenerative disease is even more absurd than the claim that yogurt was the key to the Hunza’s longevity. Salmon, a reasonable food in moderation, if part of an eating plan extraordinary in every other way, comes with a huge warning label: “MAY CONTAIN AS MUCH AS 10% OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS --- known to accelerate aging and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.” The Eskimos got away with 10% n-3 FA, but they had a much more impressive balance sheet than you do. And keep in mind that the Eskimos easily succumbed to infectious diseases, and, despite the absence of many degenerative diseases, did not live long, and, gave the appearance of age beyond their years. How much salmon can the average American eat without suffering catabolic oxidative damage? The limit varies to an extreme from individual to individual --- more for Anaerobic patients, and zero for Dysaerobic. Stick to your beef, lamb, chicken ... and caribou.
And while fish and flax oils perversely cause the very pathologies they are claimed to prevent, you can have genuine protection from degenerative disease by supplementing with OXY POWER --- might even help cure colds, balance Chinese energy fields, and let you live healthfully for a zillion years.