This section is from the "Health and Survival in the 21st Century" book, by Ross Horne.
If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the
man who has so much as to be out of danger?
Thomas Huxley (1825-95)
When assessing any situation it should always be remembered that very often things are not always as they may at first seem. "There are more things than meet the eye." To err is human, and conclusions hastily arrived at often turn out to be wrong. The reason that the practice of medicine fails to accomplish its purpose--the elimination of human disease--is that its concepts are based, almost entirely, on false conclusions.
Take the case of an old lady who falls over one day and breaks a hip bone. So? She fell over and broke her hip, isn't that obvious? But hold on a minute--the old lady has osteoporosis, her bones are brittle and weak, so weak in fact that the bone snapped under her weight and that's why she fell over. That's not so obvious. In any case, the bone was weak because it lacked calcium, so she is advised to drink lots of milk and take calcium tablets to strengthen her bones. That seems to make sense, but again, hold on a minute. The lady's diet already has as much calcium in it as anyone else's, so could there be another reason her bones are lacking in it? Yes, there is--the lady's lifelong diet was high in protein, which she had always been told was a good thing, but nobody told her that protein was acid forming in the body and in the amounts commonly consumed so much acid is formed that the body is forced to "borrow" calcium from the bones in order to neutralize it. That's why heavy protein-eaters get osteoporosis as they age, and why most vegetarians do not. Nobody told her either that the calcium from calcium tables does not strengthen the bones and that a lot of it, together with the fat in the milk, only helps to worsen her atherosclerosis which again due to her diet she would undoubtedly have.
It is commonly believed that heredity is a major factor in degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. That it is a major factor seems obvious when you can easily observe how these diseases run in families. But again, things are not always as they seem. just as different countries have different traditional foods, so too are family eating habits, acquired in childhood, passed on within families from generation to generation, and it is mainly by way of these passed on habits that a predisposition to a certain disease continues to run in families, not because of inherited characteristics. In Japan the incidence of stomach cancer is much higher than in the US, not because Japanese are more genetically prone to it than are Americans but because of their traditional highly salted diet. And in the US, colon (bowel) cancer and heart disease are much more common than in Japan, not because Americans are genetically prone to these diseases, but because of their traditional high-protein, high-fat diet. Therefore, a young Japanese who migrates to the US and adopts the American diet will have a very high chance of getting colon cancer and heart disease but a very low chance of getting stomach cancer, regardless of how many of his forebears back in Japan have died of stomach cancer.
But as the Japanese become wealthier and consume more and more meat in their diet, so their death rates from heart disease and colon cancer are gradually increasing.
In disease research there are always red herrings to lead us to wrong conclusions. Take lung cancer for instance. What causes lung cancer? Smoking? Sure, smokers are more prone to lung cancer--or any cancer--than non-smokers, but how is it that the Japanese, who are heavier smokers than Europeans and Americans, have a much lower incidence of lung cancer? Answer: because the traditional Japanese diet is very low in fat and cholesterol, and this answer was proved many years ago in a Chicago study of 876 smokers which showed that smokers with cholesterol levels over 7.1 mmol/l (275 m/%) had a lung cancer rate seven times higher than smokers with levels below 5.8 (225 m/%), and for those smokers with cholesterol levels below 3.9 (150) the lung cancer rate was zero. Same thing with skin cancer. The rate of skin cancer has increased over the years, not because the sun has become hotter, but because of a higher consumption of fat, protein and cholesterol. It is the increased toxemia and reduced blood circulation to the tissues resultant to these dietary errors that render the tissue cells unhealthy and pre-cancerous, whereupon some form of local irritation or injury may trigger them to become cancerous. In the case of lung cancer and skin cancer it is the smoke and sunshine, respectively, that provide the trigger action.
Diabetes is another example of jumping to false conclusions. When in 1889 it was demonstrated in medical experiments that dogs with their pancreas removed immediately displayed the symptoms of diabetes, and when in 1921 it was discovered that the hormone insulin injected into such dogs removed the symptoms, it became clear to the researchers that diabetes was a disease caused by a defective pancreas not producing enough insulin. Since then the standard treatment for diabetes has been the injection of insulin by hypodermic needle. Simple. In this way diabetics can lead fairly normal lives but, although their lives are extended, diabetics are still very prone to blindness and fatal circulatory disorders. If insulin is not the answer to diabetes but only a crutch to keep diabetics going, then what is the answer?
The answer has been known for over one hundred years and is easy to understand once all the factors are taken into account. The elevated blood sugar which is the main indicator of diabetes shows that the sugar which the body desperately needs is there in plenty but something is preventing the body using it. Medical training tells doctors that the problem is lack of insulin from a defective pancreas, despite the fact it has long been known that most diabetics produce normal or even greater amounts of insulin. Obviously the answer to the problem lies somewhere else.