FORMULA FOR LIFE
THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON CORRECT NUTRITION, ANTI-OXIDANTS AND VITAMINS, DISEASE PREVENTION AND LONGEVITY
EBERHARD KRONHAUSEN, Ed.D. & PHYLLIS KRONHAUSEN, Ed.D.
WITH HARRY B. DEMOPOULOS, M.D.
QUILL WILLIAM MORROW 1989
Chapter 3: why people give up on vitamins
In this health conscious age, half the people you know may be trying to take better care of themselves – and perhaps you are among them. These people may have modified their diet or taken up exercise; they’re almost certain to have tried taking some vitamins.
- We try to get people to take anti-oxidants and co-factors, many of which also happen to be vitamins.
- We use vitamins in much larger but safe dosages to scavenge and quench the dangerous oxygen-derived free radicals in our bodies, stop their potentially lethal chain reactions, and prevent the rancidification of our body fats.
- The vitamins have to be absolutely pure and taken in the right combination and strength to do the job.
- Some people who have taken vitamins have reported side effects ranging from upset stomachs, headaches, and diarrhea to skin rashes and other allergic reactions.
- Most have discontinued taking vitamins because they produced no discernible benefits.
When you add to these problems the controversy among various authorities over the value of vitamins in the first place and the correct dosages in the second, many people simply throw up their hands and walk away.
In counseling our clients we always take the whole human being into account – body, mind, and life-style. Our recommendations are based not only on a person’s physical problems and emotional state, but also on such factors as relationships, home environment, diet, recreation, sex life, degree of physical activity and exercise, even moral values and philosophy of life. It is only in this wider context that a health-maintenance and life-extension program based on anti-oxidants and vitamin co-factors can realize its full potential. It is no different from what a good doctor does –treat the whole person.
We have established certain priorities in our program:
- to minimize those life-style factors that are most damaging, primarily drugs, alcohol, dietary fats, and smoking
- to guide you to optimally healthful nutrition according to the most recent knowledge; and
- to encourage at least a minimum amount of daily exercise.
It is in the context of these objectives that we urge you to take anti-oxidants and vitamin co-factors.
The problem of impurities
The major drawback with many mass-market or off-brand vitamins that sometimes find their way even onto the shelves of respectable health-food stores and drugstores is the amount of potentially harmful substances they contain. Many of these cheaper vitamins are made from raw materials that are only food grade rather than USP pharmaceutical grade.
- Pharmaceutical-grade vitamin materials are ten times more expensive than food-grade materials.
- The process of forming vitamins into tablets or capsules can add a sinister host of additional contaminants to the end product.
- Not surprisingly, when some people take these twice-contaminated vitamins, they get sick.
The degradation process in vitamins
Chapter 4: How Anti-Oxidants can Supplement Good Diet and Exercise
A “prudent diet” like the one promoted by the American Heart Association – based on a modest cutback to 30% of calories from fat (far too modest, from our point of view) and encouraging greater consumption of complex carbohydrates, with less emphasis on meat – is certainly a step in the right direction.
The same is true for similar diets advocating greater consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains while drastically cutting back on fats. The most severe of these remedial diets is the one originated by the late Nathan Pritikin, a brilliant electronics engineer and inventor who devised it primarily to save his own life when he had advanced coronary heart disease.
- If you eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables – especially raw – along with unprocessed grains, you’re probably fairly safe without extra vitamins.
- While traditional nutritionists see little need for supplemental vitamins and other micronutrients, given what they call a “well-balanced diet”, we see many good reasons for such supplementation, such as our contaminated environment.
- We need not tell you about the polluted air most of us have to breathe, or about the many noxious substances in our water supply and our food.
- But we can tell you with a high degree of confidence that the supplemental anti-oxidants and vitamin co-antioxidants we recommend can be good insurance against all these environmental contaminants; at least, they have been so proven in many animal experiments.
- And even though there is as yet no absolute scientific proof that they work well with humans, we prefer to play it safe and take our chances with them rather than do without them.
Let’s not delude ourselves. Even the vegetables, fruits, and grains on the best of diets are not free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers, or possible contamination by radiation treatment used to keep produce fresh longer. In addition, plants generate their own chemical defences against insects and fungi, some of which can be very toxic even to humans (see the section “Toxicities in Natural Foods”).
Meats, poultry, and seafood have of course their own toxicity problems: The growth-stimulating hormones given to cattle, the antibiotics in both cattle and poultry feed, the pollutants such as lead and mercury found in lakes, rivers, oceans – and fish. Here again there is good reason to believe that anti-oxidants provide at least some measure of protection from these chemical assaults.
There is legitimate hope too that anti-oxidants and their vitamin co-factors are able to blunt the destructive impact of the kinds of toxins most of us are voluntarily inviting into our systems. We need only mention the combustion products of tobacco and the metabolic products of alcohol – to say nothing of even more destructive substances.
Last but not least, there are equally inescapable stresses and strains associated with living in a highly competitive, high-tech, high-pressure society. They also call for anti-oxidants and vitamins in very specific ways that should be understood in order to appreciate fully how they can help us deal with all kinds of physical and psychological stress.
- Any kind of stress causes the release in our brain of a group of chemicals called catecholamines. Once the crisis is resolved they must be removed from our system as soon as possible. If they are not, the consequences are usually serious and sometimes fatal.
- The dynamic involved in this destructive process is, once again, the production of free radicals.
- While nature has equipped us to handle the occasional release of small amounts of catecholamines and the free radicals generated thereby, too much is too much, and some damage to nerve cells and other tissue will result.
- Here again the need for anti-oxidants to neutralize the free radicals released by the stress-induced production of adrenaline.
- Another result of mental or physical stress is the release of an additional group of brain chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins function as tranquilizers, helping us to cope with stress.
- What’s worse, the excess endorphins also become immunosuppressive: They weaken our resistance to disease. The tragic consequences of destroying the immune system are all too visible in the disease AIDS.
Still another result of the overproduction of endorphins and similar substances under stress is hormonal suppression. Our endocrine system is incredibly complex, consisting of delicate checks and balances among the various hormones. Upsetting this balance can have serious physical and mental consequences, including emotional disturbances, as well as sexual dysfunction and even cancer. All this is well known and amply documented in the scientific literature.
- Taking all these factors together, their most outstanding and most visible effect is on mental health. If we need any further evidence of this, we have only to look at Valium sales in the United States.
- In all situations of emotional stress and mental fatigue for which people take legal and illegal drugs – and which frequently have far-reaching, devastating personal and social consequences – does it not seem reasonable to give anti-oxidants and vitamin co-factors a chance to prove their mood-enhancing and revitalizing capacities?
- As if all this were not reason enough for taking anti-oxidants, medical experts estimate that 85% of all human cancers are in effect self-inflicted. Of the 1,000 cancer deaths that occur every day just in the United States, 350 are the direct result of tobacco and alcohol use or abuse.
In the chapters that follow, we will be telling you which anti-oxidants and co-factors we recommend for our daily anti-oxidant Menu, in what dosages they could be taken, the different safe ways in which you can put such a micronutrient Menu together, and the reasons why each anti-oxidant and co-factor is included.