My Favorite Supplements.
“Intermezzo”. Basically, “intermission” in Italian. Going to the movies in Rome, yes, that was the first time the film I was watching got interrupted so a guy could go around the theater selling ice cream and popcorn. Was a hoot!
LAG-TIME. I will deal with the specifics of the *lag-time* and the paradigm shift regarding Vitamin C in one of my next blogs. In the meantime, I have found that a lot of research needs to be done to cover this resistance movement toward the use of Mother Nature in medicine, both in prevention and in treatment of actual illness.
I am doing that right now, reading and reflecting on the one book that covers exactly this lag-time problem. That book, Limeys The Conquest of Scurvy, recounts the history of the overcoming of scurvy, decidedly the worst disease that affected sailors and anyone forced to live on a diet lacking fresh fruit and vegetables over the centuries.
More men died of scurvy than were killed in war. Way more. Hundreds of thousand more.
Worse than that, the British navy and merchant marine operators realized that the expense of provisioning ships to prevent scurvy was greater than the cost of getting a fresh recruit to man your sea vessel to replace the one that died of scurvy.
Can you believe that? Of course, you can. But, you don’t want to. This is part of CLASS CONFLICT, the cause of the American and French revolutions, among other civil disturbances, wars, revolution and otherwise. We are in denial regarding class conflict.
So, in the meantime, as I digest the book, Limeys, how about I give you a run-down of my favorite supplements?
These supplements turn out to be quite often some of best examples of medical resistance to science.
So, what is it with the FDA and the legitimate claims that could be made regarding supplements and other non-patentable substances? Why is the supplement industry in trouble way too often considering their remarkable record of actual disease prevention with a very low count of side effects?
Too often rather difficult trouble, as the FDA can seize your entire product line as if it were illegal because of your LABEL, and, having shut down your operation, deprive you of the financial resources you need to pay for the legal help you so desperately need.
You are essentially guilty on their say-so. It is, simply put, bureaucratic storm-trooper stuff. Completely and totally un-American and anti-American.
The short explanation is that after JP Morgan paid a record sum to Andrew Carnegie for Carnegie Steel (later known as US Steel), Carnegie put all his money into the emerging patent pharmaceutical industry.
While it was a step-up in its use of science, essentially, the industry looked for natural substances and then manipulated the molecule, supposedly to improve the efficacy or safety of the original substance, but, also, to allow them to patent a novel substance and thus have a monopoly over it. (Ka-ching!)
We’ll get into examples of this in greater detail, but, for now, aspirin is just such a substance. Neanderthals used willow bark as an analgesic way before Bayer Pharma ever did.
Another great example is the way statins were created using the original statin found in Chinese red rice. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the FDA then went after Chinese merchants selling the centuries old food as if they were selling a competing pharmaceutical.
As one more example of how bad it gets, though, I want to briefly summarize one of the most transparent and anti-science actions that the FDA has ever undertaken. This is from the book, Pharmocracy, by the president of the Life Extension Society (lef.org).
The manufacturers of folic acid pills wanted to include a statement on the label regarding the fact that folic acid helps prevent spinal bifida, a birth defect. The FDA had a problem with that. See, according to the FDA, only the folic acid in FOOD does that. To claim otherwise, that is, to claim that the folic acid pills prevent a birth defect is to make an unsubstantiated and, therefore, illegal claim.
The folic acid manufacturers came back with the counter-claim that the research done with folic acid was done with PILLS, not FOOD. Therefore the claim that folic acid pills prevent birth defects was valid. (Aha!)
The FDA lost that battle. Pearson and Shaw of Life Extension- A Scientific Approach were involved. But, with the bureaucratic temerity that the FDA had…they refused to allow the labeling even after losing the battle. So, the manufacturers and Pearson and Shaw went back and pressed suit again and won.
Finally, folic acid manufacturers could make a claim on the label that the FDA knew all along was correct. You can ask yourself, “Why? Why? Why?”.
Does it remind you of the out-of-hand dismissal of HCQ, Ivermectin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc re our current “plague”? When I get back to Vitamin C, when I write my blogs about the book, Limeys The Conquest of Scurvy, you will see how long and to what degree this “all-too-human” problem has been with us.
I have some working hypotheses regarding the effect of power, one’s membership in an elite group, and just how absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely, but, I am going to save it for a future blog.
For right now, let’s just say that the FDA wants to make it that supplements have been effectively ruled out.
The FDA wants you to get all your nutritional needs met with a “fork and knife”. All medically-oriented supplementation should be considered medicine and, we should only be able to get supplements with a prescription. This battle has been going on for decades.
A great example: selenium, one of the best supplements around. One that the National Cancer Institute says will prevent or delay all cancers by seven (!) years. But, one that you can only get at the recommended level of 200 micrograms if you supplement.
So, what does the FDA do?
They do “research” and determine that you only “need” 50 micrograms a day, and that happens to be what someone eating a “well-balanced” meal can get with that “fork and knife”. I will return to this in my next blog, a continuation of my favorite supplements.
Hey! And, that really describes selenium! Prevents dandruff and cancer!
Now, for the favorites.
Let’s begin with the brain, specifically, with a substance usually referred to by its initials, DMAE. Stands for dimethylaminoethynol. I take about 400 mg of this a day. Exactly why?
Basically because this substance, a precursor of choline, the vitamin that acetylcholine is made from, almost certainly, prevents the formation of lipofuscin.
What, pray tell, is “lipofuscin”?
Lipofuscin is the substance that accumulates in cells, especially, in cells derived from the “ectoderm”, the outer part of the embryo. It’s that group of cells destined to become brain and nerves, as well as our skin.
As this substance accumulates in our skin cells, it forms what is referred to as an ” old age spot”. Usually, people end up using some kind of bleach-based treatment to make it fade out. But, it is still within the cells.
The problem is far greater in the brain. There the presence of lipofuscin interferes with the brain’s metabolism. Eventually, the brain is forced to use a “back-up” metabolic path called the “pentose-phosphate shunt”.
Problem is that you cannot get the usual levels of ATP produced by this secondary oxidative path. Your brain will “tire” more easily.
It is believed that DMAE works as a surfactant, a substance that does for the neuron’s interior what soap does for for water and oil, allowing them to mix, so the oil can be carried away by water. DMAE allows the cell to clean out the liposfuscin.
Individuals report the disappearance of their old-age spots after less than a year.
Even more interesting, when DMAE is added to the diet of lab rats at a level corresponding to what a human might take, the rats live something like 40% longer. Easy to believe based on the notion that their brains function much better, much longer, and that this keeps the neuro-endocrine system working.
According to my Guyton Physiology textbook, an animal or person could die without any one physiological system failing. It is only necessary that the systems (nervous, circulatory, metabolic, etc) start functioning so far outside of the normal, functional parameters that the body is destroyed by, in effect, chaos.
After I began using DMAE, I sometimes could not find it in health food stores. The problem was that the FDA seized shipments of DMAE because, with a modification by the replacement of one chemical moiety with another (eg a hydrogen replaced with a methyl group, as in anabolic steroids), DMAE had been sold as Lucidril. So, the FDA considered this extract of food a drug.
Lucidril was sold with a prescription as an aid to attention, etc. Then, the patent ran out (in the 60s) and continued research demonstrated its efficacy as a surfactant helping the removal of lipofuscin from nervous tissue and the skin.
More to come. Lot more on the brain. Going to cover the use of amino acids to boost adrenaline, serotonin, choline for acetylcholine. I will take a look at Alzheimer’s Disease and what causes it and what can prevent it.
The great thing about these supplements is that they provide benefits in both day-to-day use and in the long run.