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He has written several investigative books on top Democrats: the Kennedys, Obama and the Clintons. He is the former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.
His latest book, published on October 4, is Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation.
(Photo credit: Amazon)
The Daily Mail has an advance copy, excerpts from which appeared beginning on Sunday, October 2.
The exclusive information on Hillary’s health appeared on October 3. The excerpts from Chapter 25 are a must-read for those who know nothing about the subject.
Obama wanted to arrange a secret visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for Clinton, but she refused. She was afraid someone would leak it to the media. Instead, she has been going to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she enters and exits by a private entrance. She can trust her doctors not to say anything.
Klein says that Clinton has serious heart problems:
she is suffering from arrhythmia (an abnormal heart beat), a leaking heart valve, chronic low blood pressure, insufficient blood flow, a tendency to form life-threatening blood clots, and troubling side effects from her medications.
I have documented Clinton’s health problems over the past few weeks. I have also posted about a doctor, a journalist and a talk show host who have lost their jobs because they have dared to speak the truth about her health!
Klein tells us that Clinton has had blood clotting problems for at least the past ten years, long before her fall in 2012, the subject of the next two passages below:
… it turned out that Hillary had an intrinsic tendency to form clots and faint. Several years earlier, she had developed a clot in her leg and was put on anticoagulant therapy by her doctor. However, she had stopped taking her anticoagulant medication, which might have explained the most recent thrombotic event.
A cardiac stress test indicated that her heart rhythm and heart valves were not normal.
At the time, I tried to contact the Clintons’ cardiologist, Dr. Allan Schwartz. He refused to take my call. However, I learned through other channels that Hillary’s doctors considered performing valve-replacement surgery. They ultimately decided against it for reasons that were never made clear, although some sources speculated that Hillary did not want to risk the negative political fallout from stories about such a serious operation.
Klein confirms that Clinton has to wear Fresnel prism lenses in order to correct her vision. They are for people who suffer from double vision following a brain injury.
He adds that while her aide Philippe Reines said Clinton recovered quickly:
Bill Clinton revealed the true nature of her condition when he said that it had taken Hillary ‘six months of very serious work’ to recuperate from her concussion.
Hillary’s supporters say people who bring up her health are nit-picking, but Klein points out (emphases mine):
The presidency is the most stressful job in the world, and the physical condition of those who aspire to the office is of vital importance. In my book, Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary, I devoted five pages to an exploration of Hillary’s health. As far as I could tell, I was the first journalist to explore this critically important subject in depth.
That’s because everyone else knew they’d be sacked, Ed!
In her state, Hillary couldn’t find an ordinary job if she were an average American. Employers just would not hire her. She is too ill.
As for Dr Lisa Bardack’s letter about Clinton doing all the right things for her health, Klein interviewed Hillary’s friends who say her health habits are the opposite to what the good doctor described. She has no interest in yoga or having a personal trainer. Nor is she teetotal.
After Clinton testified about Benghazi in 2013:
Hillary swooned as she walked to her waiting car. She had to be carried by her aides and conveyed into the back seat.
Tension headaches continued to plague her and often made it hard for her to maintain her grueling campaign schedule, or to concentrate on a subject. In one of the emails released by the State Department, Huma [Abedin] confessed that Hillary was easily ‘confused.’ Huma frequently ordered campaign aides to alter Hillary’s schedule at the last moment so the candidate could catch her breath and take time out for naps.
Klein spoke with one of Hillary’s close friends who says that Bill Clinton is very worried about his wife’s health. He wants her to have more tests, but she refuses. Ultimately, she fears the results will be leaked and published online.
Klein’s conversation with Hillary’s friend revealed that, if it were up to him, Bill would gladly pull the plug on her campaign now.
The friend conceded that health is the major issue surrounding her campaign.
If Hillary Clinton is elected, she will not be able to manage a full working day, which, in the White House, can be 20 hours long.
Voters should be asking themselves who will be running the country while Hillary is incapacitated.
That is not an idle or speculative question. It is a realistic and serious one.
Since Hillary Clinton began an attempt at campaigning in earnest after Labor Day weekend, millions of Americans continue to question the state of her health.
In the past ten days, the world has seen a presidential candidate with potentially serious issues.
she has conditions that could rightly restrict an average person’s employment, never mind that of a president and leader of the free world.
Currently, Clinton is recovering from pneumonia. Many of us were brought up knowing that pneumonia requires staying away from the general public, getting medical attention and lots of bed rest. Today’s antibiotics will go a long way to help recovery, but they also need time to take effect.
It is possible that she has aspiration pneumonia, which might not be contagious to others. If she does have aspiration pneumonia, it means that she probably has an underlying condition which has caused it. If true, this would indicate she has a neurological disorder or Parkinson’s disease.
This is because people who get aspiration pneumonia have an impaired gag reflex whereby they cannot swallow phlegm or post-nasal drip. Instead, it goes into their lungs and causes an infection.
On the other hand, someone with a normally functioning gag reflex can swallow bronchial or nasal waste, which then enters the gut and is expelled in the usual manner.
Reviewing last weekend’s timeline, Clinton spoke at a fundraiser in New York City on Friday, September 9. Her physician said that was the day the candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Clinton then attended a 9/11 memorial service on Sunday morning. She was in a crowd of people and left early because she was ‘overheated’. That was one of the coolest mornings New Yorkers had experienced all summer. The temperature would have been between 75° and 77° F during the time of the ceremony. Humidity was low.
Once away from the crowds, she collapsed and had to be bundled into her van:
Secret Service protocol says that, in such an event, the candidate must be taken to hospital. However, Clinton wanted to go to her daughter Chelsea’s flat for treatment and rest.
She later emerged outside Chelsea’s residence, looking refreshed. She touched a little girl on the shoulder for a photo op. These two photos taken on September 11 have been doing the social media rounds. I won’t reproduce them below because they are stock agency pictures. However, the caption reads:
ACCORDING TO HILLARY’S DOCTOR SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PNEUMONIA ON 9/9/2016
I GUESS JOINING THIS CROWD AND STOPPING FOR THIS PHOTO OP ARE EXAMPLES OF HER GOOD JUDGEMENT AND COMMITMENT TO AMERICANS’ SAFETY
The following day, Monday, September 12, People featured an article on Clinton staffers who became ill with — wait for it — pneumonia. Excerpts follow:
“Everyone’s been sick,” a campaign source tells PEOPLE.
Interestingly, People heard that the spread of pneumonia occurred two weeks before the candidate herself was diagnosed with it:
At the end of August, two weeks before Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia, a debilitating bug was making the rounds among staff at her headquarters and campaign aides who travel with Clinton, a source tells PEOPLE.
At least half a dozen senior staff were felled, including campaign manager Robby Mook. Two top advisers even needed emergency medical treatment, the source says. One top adviser diagnosed at a Brooklyn urgent-care center with a respiratory infection was being treated with antibiotics in the days before Clinton’s diagnosis. Another top adviser was taken by ambulance to the ER after collapsing from what turned out to be severe dehydration, the source said.
While Big Media covered for Hillary, daughter Chelsea told a reporter from Time Warner Cable News North Carolina during a campaign stop in Raleigh on Wednesday, September 14 (emphasis in the original):
I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her, um, so tired. And she was tired, she has pneumonia and that’s miserable.
That day, Dr Milton Wolf gave Gateway Pundit his observations based on reading articles and watching videos of Clinton. Wolf’s observations are listed in the article, some of which follow:
Hillary Clinton suffered a dural sinus thrombosis (blood clots in the brain). Very serious. Significant risk of stroke, intracranial hemorrhage and death.
They blamed the clots on a concussion. Not a chance. Concussions don’t cause blood clots. It would take a skull fracture with tearing of the dural sinus.
She suffered/suffers residual/recurrent neurological deficits (visual disturbance, balance, memory, mental status). Bad prognostic indicator.
Clinton is also on Coumadin (i.e. Warfarin, rat poison). Although there are many safer blood thinners on the market, some people need to take it for various reasons, one of which is explained below.
Wolf concludes (emphasis in the original, the one in purple mine):
It’s more likely than not that Hillary suffered a stroke in 2012 that they called a concussion. Stroke is extremely common following sinus thrombosis (of patients with clot in SSS: 75% stroke and 60% have intracranial hemorrhage). Overall about half the cases of sinus thrombosis resolve completely but that’s obviously not her since she exhibits and confesses to lasting neurological deficits. This is med school 101 stuff.
One of Gateway Pundit‘s readers gave a highly medical assessment, which takes apart Hillary’s doctor’s report. Much of it is too deep for me, however, most of it is below:
The doctor [Hillary’s physician] says that HRC had no fever, no elevated WBC, and a normal oxygen saturation level, and how often does that happen with bacterial pneumonia? Almost never. And normal vitals signs means HRC had a normal blood pressure and pulse. That is even worse. She should have an elevated pulse and low blood pressure if she is going to be weakened due to dehyrdration from pneumonia. And how likely is it that she gets dehydrated if she doesn’t have a fever and the temp in NYC is 80 degrees? Very unlikely. This doctor just destroyed her own excuse for the syncopal event.
On the other hand, doctors frequently see aspiration pneumonitis on chest x-rays in patients who aren’t that sick with normal vitals and no fever, and aspiration pneumonitis is not contagious.
Then there are some other really fishy things here. She has a sinus and ear issue as do many Americans and is no big deal. She has a CT of her sinuses which is fine, but why the comment about a CT of her brain being fine? That is out of place. Why did you do a CT of her brain for a chronic sinus issue? And is this whole ear thing included to try to justify her chronic dizziness?
… she has a much more serious issue going on causing her thyroid to plummet. Thyroid sets the metabolism for the body (Trump’s low energy comment was right on then) and thyroid plummets when the body needs metabolism to be lower like with a bleed or other serious strain on the body like an infection or serious chronic disease.
… Warfarin has one advantage though that the newer agents like Xarelto don’t have, and that is that the warfarin can be reversed very quickly with fresh frozen plasma. Why is that important? The biggest side effect with warfarin is bleeding, and the most critical area to have a bleed would be the brain, and that would be really important in a person who is falling all the time and could potentially hit her head. Didn’t Bill just say that HRC falls frequently?
And you don’t even have to have a fall to have bleeding in the brain with warfarin. All you need to is tap the head with your fingers and a potentially fatal brain hematoma can develop.
And we still haven’t been given a good reason for HRC’s fainting spell bc it sure as heck wasn’t dehydration and pneumonia.
… You have a woman with coagulation issues, low thyroid, frequent syncopal events per her husband, and on “relatively stable Coumadin levels?” This the course of events one finds in your average nursing home patient. This doctor has given enough to have HRC disqualified IMO on the basis of her health. HRC is done.
Following Clinton’s collapse on Sunday, Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse included several photos of her, past and present. He summarised Clinton’s health from her fall in 2012 through to last weekend. Brief excerpts follow. Please read his post in full:
In 2012 a cold became a flu, that became a slip and fall, that became a concussion, that became blood clots, that demanded months of care far away from public review.
He says that the same symptoms were present during her book tour in 2014:
An inability of Hillary Clinton to effective[ly] use normal motor skill function, a seemingly obvious lack of visual acuity, and the consistent need for physical aid (specifically pointing her and guiding her) was noted for almost two years post 2012 medical episode.
The issues have seemingly only worsened in 2015 and 2016.
Anyone voting for Clinton should bear in mind the likely possibility that, if she wins, Tim Kaine — VP — might take over. Alternatively, it could be Clinton’s advisers working in the background whilst she is ill.
Until now, the United States has never had a presidential candidate requiring constant medical presence for a neurological disorder affecting brain function.
A Clinton victory in November does not bode well for the Great Republic.
On September 2, left-leaning Clinton water carrier Paul Krugman wrung his hands in the New York Times over lead poisoning, which still poses a problem in the United States.
No one would deny that lead should continue to be reduced, so that America’s poorest children are safe.
Therefore, it was disingenuous for him to say that Republicans just don’t care.
The truth of the matter is that Republicans have next to nothing to do with how the municipalities in question are run.
An NYT commenter put the blame where it firmly belongs — with the Democrats in power at local level (emphasis mine):
“You may think that I’m talking about the water crisis in Flint, Mich., which justifiably caused national outrage early this year, only to fade from the headlines.”
And why did it fade from the headlines? When it became clear that those responsible for the crisis were local Democratic officials and state employees, not the Republican governor. In other words, once the crisis lost its political impact it ‘faded from the headlines’.
Democrats can do no wrong. To make it worse, the families who are at risk from lead poisoning continue to vote for them!
Lead paint was banned in 1978 under Jimmy Carter’s administration. Today’s immediate lead risk appears in natural elements, such as water — e.g. Flint — and soil.
If Democrats at local level really cared, they would put together — then execute — a plan to eradicate lead. But why bother when they are guaranteed election and re-election time and time again by doing nothing?
This post concludes a short series on potassium deficiency, inspired and based on the late Joe Vialls’s article on potassium deficiency, which affects most of us.
Today’s post includes Joe Vialls’s self-cure for angina — do not try this at home! It is presented as Vialls would have wished — for illustration purposes only.
Emphases mine below.
How much potassium?
The natural reaction for some discovering information on potassium deficiency might be to say, ‘So what? I’m still alive, potassium or not.’
Vialls posited that one can live with a potassium deficiency but that it might well catch up with them in later years. When that takes place, it could be painful:
If Mother Nature was to deprive you of potassium completely, hard scientific evidence proves you would be dead in less than three weeks. But in many ways this would be a merciful release when compared with the infinitely more painful and far slower death caused by slow potassium deprivation, the preferred method of the FDA and AMA. Proper scientists agree the daily potassium requirements of an average adult lie between 3,200 and 4,100 milligrams, but the average potassium intake of Americans through the food chain is only 1,500 to 2,100 milligrams per day, representing an overall average shortfall of 1,850 milligrams.
Obviously humans can survive at these savagely depleted levels, because Americans manage to eke out about 70 years each, before this basic potassium deficiency overwhelms them and they finally die, sometimes in great pain from a number of directly related illnesses including arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension [high blood pressure], angina, strokes and so on. It is scientifically beyond question that all would live longer and suffer less pain if they received the necessary quantity of potassium each day, which is where the American Food & Drug Administration [FDA] should do a John Wayne job, and ride gallantly to the rescue.
Alas, the Food and Drug Administration has not and will not do so, because of sustained lobby pressure by the pharmaceutical multinationals. Despite having full and unrestricted access to the real scientific data providing hard proof of widespread potassium deficiency bordering on a pandemic, the FDA has deliberately avoided specifying a “Recommended Dietary Allowance” [RDA], while simultaneously passing a law restricting the potassium content of all alternative medicines to a mere 100 milligrams.
Furthermore, as potassium is not fat-soluble, such as Vitamin D, we need to have a daily dose. Potassium is water-soluble, exiting the body via perspiration and urine. We lose even more in periods of stress, physical or mental. All the more reason to buy No Salt or Lo Salt, depending on where one lives, to at least attempt to increase our daily intake. This salt substitute product is sprinkled on food and is potassium chloride — sylvite, what people and animals used to eat before table salt. Therefore, it can be used as satisfactorily and safely.
Vialls’s self-adminisered cure for angina — don’t try this at home
Vialls treated himself for angina, the symptoms of which he experienced in 2003, two years before he died.
For most of his adult life, he had what the medical fraternity refer to as ‘essential hypertension’, high blood pressure which cannot be explained. It is a condition that appears to be intrinsic to that person for whatever reason.
Consequently, Vialls’s doctors could not advise him other than to give him a variety of prescription medicines over the years, nothing more — and no advice about potassium levels:
… eight different medical doctors gave me a staggering variety of ‘patent medicines’, none of which produced a steady reduction of blood pressure, though on two notable occasions the medicines caused ‘bad reactions’ which dropped my blood pressure so low and so suddenly, that my wife could barely get a reading. At no time during this 25-year period did any of the medical doctors suggest that it might be a good idea to measure my serum electrolyte levels, in order to check for potassium deficiency. As you might expect, this entire sequence put me off the medical profession in a very big way.
Vialls did not say whether a potassium chloride-based salt substitute existed in Australia when he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He decided not to buy Slow K, a 600mg tablet sold in Australian pharmacies, because:
The problem here is that all chunks of salt are biochemically “hot’, meaning that as the sugar coating wears off the outside of the pill, the chunk of undissolved salt is exposed, and can then come into direct contact with delicate internal tissues. In my casual view, this could easily cause some sort of perforation or an ulcer.
Today, several websites discussing potassium supplements — outside of salt substitutes — say to take them with plenty of water or juice.
What Vialls did next was extreme. His method leaves little to be recommended, although it did work.
He said he was telling his story to illustrate how important potassium is and that one could cure oneself of potassium-deficient diseases without the aid of a physician.
He decided to buy
a kilogram of AR [Analytical Reagent] grade potassium chloride salt from a chemical warehouse, mercifully not yet under the direct control of the American FDA, or the Australian AMA.
Cost wise this was also a plus, because the whole kilogram set me back a mere US$30.00 including taxes, which is cheap enough when you realize that my potassium chloride purchase contained approximately 620 grams [or 620,000 milligrams] of the same potassium the FDA has restricted to 100-milligrams per dose in the health food shops. You do the math. Pop down to your local health food provider and ask for a quote on 6,200 x 100-milligram potassium supplements. Be ready to write a very large check.
His potassium chloride salt was 100% water soluble, which meant that when he mixed it with water and fruit juice, there was no danger of it irritating his stomach or gut.
He figured out that in order to prevent a possible heart attack or stroke from angina attacks which were getting worse and worse, he would have to take huge daily doses of the potassium chloride salt:
a minimum of 50 grams or 50,000 milligrams of potassium, representing about 1/5th of the 250 grams total that an adult male should contain within his body.
Every eight hours for the next ten days, he dissolved 4 g — 400 mg — of the potassium-chloride salt in a mix of water and fruit juice. He drank the preparation slowly each time.
After five days, the angina had disappeared. However, he felt increasingly tired. He could not think straight, either.
He took more of the potassium solution until he went over the 110,000 mg mark:
by then I was so exhausted I could no longer write or use the computer.
After that point, his faculties returned.
This success story is shocking, but Vialls went on to say that during the 1940s, American doctors were allowed to give hypertensive patients 68.2 g — 68,200 mg — of potassium solution over the course of five days:
before their research funding was mysteriously and abruptly withdrawn. When viewed in the latter context, my actions do not seem unreasonable.
After ten days, Vialls’s angina disappeared completely, along with his fatigue and disorientation.
He took daily supplements to maintain his health:
2,000 milligrams potassium per day [3,200 milligrams of AR grade potassium chloride salt], plus 200 milligrams of magnesium orotate to minimize losses.
He gave this disclaimer and justification for sharing his story:
Though medical doctors might rave about me illegally ‘giving medical advice without a license’, I am doing no such thing. In the first place potassium is a naturally-occuring mineral essential in our diets for normal development, which places it firmly in the ‘nutrition’ rather than ‘medical’ basket. Secondly there is no way that any government agency can prevent determined people from getting their hands on potassium chloride if they really wish to do so. The material is produced in bulk and used for hundreds of applications. For example, about every third oil rig drilling in the Rocky Mountains probably has about 25,000 pounds of the stuff, neatly stacked in sacks at the edge of the rig site.
It came as a relief to read his conclusion that the rest of us should use a potassium chloride salt substitute and, where possible, eat fruit and vegetables grown in properly mineralised soil following strict organic rotation.
Of course, the latter is hard to determine, which makes potassium chloride — the sylvite which man and beast ate until the 19th century — a better, more dependable option.
End of series
You may wish to read it before continuing with today’s entry which contrasts the experience of a South American tribe with agribusiness and medicine.
This series is inspired and based on the late Joe Vialls’s article on potassium deficiency, which affects most of us. Emphases mine below.
The Yanomami tribe in South America
Vialls read about the Yanomami tribe who live along the Orinoco River, which runs through Venezuela and Colombia.
It should be noted that the Wikipedia entry on Yanomaman languages states:
Yanomami is not what the Yanomami call themselves (an autonym), but rather it is a word in their language meaning “man” or “human being”. The American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon adopted this term to use as an exonym to refer to the culture and, by extension, the people.
But, as we have no other term available, we shall refer to them as Yanomami.
Back to Vialls. He rightly noted that by the early 20th century, the blood pressure of Americans was beginning to rise. By contrast, in the latter part of the century, the Yanomami had much lower blood pressure because they were living closer to undisturbed nature and could get all the nutrients they required — especially potassium.
In fact, anyone living close to the land in an ancient way would have access to potassium, unlike those in industrialised cultures (emphases mine):
Learned doctors published papers on the ‘potassium-sodium balance needed by all humans’, when a quick field trip to almost any Indian Reservation would have reversed their absurd findings in seconds. More and more sodium found its way into every kind of food imaginable, and blood pressures started to rise sharply. By the nineteen-forties, relatively new diseases such as arthritis, hypertension and angina started to climb through the roof, to be met with a veritable shock wave of expensive ‘patent medicines’ to help with the new ‘disease’ problems.
On the Yanomami:
Despite the Yanomami’s overall levels of sodium being incredibly low, researchers who examined more than 10,000 of these cheerful people found that there was a direct correlation between marginally increased sodium intake and increased blood pressure. “… a highly significant statistical relationship was observed between sodium excretion and systolic blood pressure for the 10,079 participants. The higher the urinary sodium excretion [and, therefore, the sodium intake], the higher the blood pressure.”
The reader should remember that for the Yanomami Indians, normal blood pressure averages out at 95/60 and does not increase with age. Try comparing this with the AMA western ‘normal’ blood pressure of 120/80, which then goes up in incremental steps as you ingest more sodium and lose more potassium while getting older. Of course, the medical apologists will claim this is because we are more civilized, have evolved, and are thus ‘different’, but rest assured this is pathetic rubbish.
The only significant difference between the Yanomami and Americans or Australians, is that the Yanomami are stuffed full of healthy potassium, while we are stuffed full of toxic sodium.
There is also a link between potassium intake and weight:
The researchers also noted that another benefit for the Yanomami related to their lack of obesity. “Adults of industrialized populations have an increase in weight with age. The Yanomami Indians did not increase their weight with age.” Short, but to the point. Somebody remind me to add “obesity” to my shopping list of potassium deficiency-related ailments.
Potassium deficiency has been linked to water retention and weight gain.
Vialls’s graphic tells us the rest we need to know about the Yanomami:
Note that the caption mentions ‘slash and burn’ farming with the resulting ash adding potassium to the soil and water.
Today, burning fields is becoming outmoded in parts of the West. Africa’s Farm Radio has a transcript of an interview which presents both sides. Interestingly, it ends with an agricultural researcher who condemns this practice, making her argument the more powerful:
I feel that today, this practice of burning crop residues and grass should not be encouraged. The nutrients that are released after burning are usually washed away or leached by rain, or eroded by wind. Soil declines in productivity after burning because its nutrients are depleted. Because of this, the ancient farmers who practiced slash and burn had to leave the land for five to 25, even up to 40 years before they could farm the land again. This is impossible today because of population growth, which leaves no time for land to lay idle to regain fertility.
Spreading residues in the field stops weeds by a combination of shading and smothering. The residues also stop the sun from drying out the ground. This keeps water in the soil so it’s available for crops. Farmers can make holes in the residue layer and plant their crops. Or they can simply spread organic mulch by hand around plants after they emerge. The crops get nutrients from the decaying leaves. The trees’ roots absorb the excess nutrients which are returned to the ground when the trees are pruned.
And, of course:
burning residues and grass releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming.
That leads to the host’s conclusion:
Though ash is a natural product that contributes positively, we should be cautious when using it. This is just like snake poison. Snake poison is natural, but can we use it to kill bugs on our farm? …
I urge you to follow the advice we have heard from the researcher if we want to experience great results as farmers.
I’m somewhat suspicious of that line of reasoning. Everyone used to burn their fields. The Yanomami still do.
If anyone reading this has farming experience and can shed light on the subject, please feel free to comment.
The medical establishment and potassium supplements
Vialls’s article states that in the 20th century, the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies realised that heart patients were potassium deficient.
However, what could have been resolved simply and cheaply turned into big business:
In fact these treatments were entirely successful, but the use of a basic mineral that could not be patented by the pharmaceutical companies was frowned on, and medical research grants in this field mysteriously started to dry up. By the late sixties such research has been suppressed, as you can see from the [limited] general references provided at the bottom of this page.
Big Pharma increasingly became a benefactor of medical schools, which has also had a profound and lasting effect on what doctors learn and the way they think:
The pharmaceutical multinationals were by now exerting increasing pressure on the medical fraternity, providing all kinds of ‘assistance’ during their university training, with copious quantities of fancy-sounding scholarships and research grants. Both were vital in helping to get medical doctors to “see things the right way”, meaning of course that profitable drugs were the answer to all ills. As more doctors peddled more drugs to their patients, pharmaceutical corporate profits rose sharply, allowing perks for the doctors to be extended to include ‘training seminars’ at luxury hotels and golf complexes, along with other varied forms of discreet bribery.
By the seventies, all meaningful references to serious mineral deficiencies had been removed from the curriculum, with medical students taught that patients could obtain all the minerals they needed from a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, although their university tutors knew this was a complete lie. Deficiencies manifesting as cramps, arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension, angina and strokes etc, became ‘diseases’ that could be treated by a truly dazzling array of brightly colored and highly profitable pharmaceutical drugs.
It was all a terrible illusion of course, but the show had to go on. As toxic sodium increasingly overwhelmed healthy potassium, the resulting potassium deficiency caused hardening of the cardio vascular system, and ‘essential hypertension’ [high blood pressure of ‘unknown’ origin] became the order of the day. Incidences of angina, stroke and heart attack increased dramatically, as did stress, with the latter feeding on the former. Because of a lack of space, this report will only cover the effects of potassium deficiency on the cardio-vascular system. Other directly related horrors such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes etc. will have to wait for another day.
Tomorrow: Joe Vialls’s experience — don’t try this at home
Many Westerners suffer from potassium deficiency.
Much of this is caused by the poor mineral quality of our soil which leads to fewer nutrients in fruit, vegetables and meat that we consume.
Potassium deficiency can manifest itself in a number of ways: high blood pressure, heart palpitations, muscle aches and even mental issues such as irritability and depression. People with medical conditions should consult a doctor before embarking on any dramatic supplement programme.
That said, relatively healthy Americans can sprinkle No Salt on their food. Britons will find the same potassium-rich product under the name Lo Salt.
Last week, I wrote about the late Joe Vialls, who lived in Perth, Australia, and was passionate about a number of socio-political topics, including health issues.
This post looks at how we came to be potassium deficient.
Baron Justus von Liebig — father of fertiliser
Before Vialls related the story of how he managed to cure his own angina without medical assistance, he discussed soil quality from the end of the 19th century to the present day.
Baron Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) was a famous German chemist whose legacy lives on in fertilisers, nutritional principles and food. The Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company created Oxo bouillon and Marmite, both of which were modelled on the baron’s meat extracts designed for poor people who could not afford the real thing. The company expanded around the world, including South America. Cattle breeding greatly expanded there for tinned meat production under the company’s label Fray Bentos. It is said that Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company brought the industrial revolution to the continent.
Liebig had conducted a number of experiments and tests on soil quality which led to the development of crop fertiliser. Some of his theories turned out to be right and others wrong. However, he tried to help humanity rather than hinder it.
Vialls took a somewhat different view to mine. He wrote (emphases mine):
The beginning of the end for obtaining essential minerals from fruit and vegetables happened in the middle of the 19th Century, when German chemist Baron Justus Von Liebig analyzed human and plant ash, and determined that nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium [NPK] were all the minerals plants needed. He claimed that if fed synthetically to plants, farmers could force plants to grow and support healthy humans. Thus Von Liebig became the father of synthetic manure, which in turn spawned superphosphate, the mother of all deceptive fertilizers. Though NPK and superphosphate are able to create a synthetic soil environment sufficient to stimulate plant growth, the resulting fruits and vegetables are always seriously deficient in trace minerals, with some containing none at all. Baron Von Liebig watched the deficiencies his invention caused with horror, and recanted before he died, but it was all too late. By then, the big investors had moved in for a quick kill.
Vialls’s article states that, even by the end of the 19th century, food grown with the new fertilisers had less potassium in it than before — regardless of the fact that Liebig deemed it essential.
From potassium to sodium
Running concurrently with that was the development of cheap table salt easily transported by rail. Up until then, salt was very expensive. We know this from all manner of ancient sources, including the Bible. When we say someone is worth his salt, we are referring to the payment of salaries in salt. ‘Salt of the earth’ refers to someone whose goodness and sincerity are priceless.
The article tells us that until the late 19th century, what most people — and animals — consumed in place of salt was sylvite, which is potassium chloride:
Great chunks of sylvite were dotted along the trading routes for the beasts of burden to lick at, thereby restoring their electrolytes lost through sweating and other exertion. But when the railroads opened up America from east to west, they started carrying vast quantities of cheap salt produced in giant pans on the two coasts. Unfortunately for Americans this was sea salt, comprised of 98.8% sodium chloride, the favorite of fishes but a deadly enemy of man. And so it was that in less than seventy years, western man had his healthy potassium replaced almost entirely by unhealthy sodium.
Vialls was exaggerating the perils of sea salt, but the point here is that the early processing of cheap table salt extracted too many of salt’s natural qualities. Food Renegade explains (emphases in the original):
Factory-made salt can’t and doesn’t team iodine with the other nutrients it’s found paired with in nature — nutrients that help it to assimilate properly.
Iodized salt did help solve the goiter epidemic of the 20’s but there was a tragic increase in a thyroid autoimmune condition, thyroiditis. Why add iodine to a highly refined product, one that usually contains aluminum (to prevent caking) instead of consuming salt in its original form?
We can trust foods found in nature. When we alter foods, we have a Frankenstein situation with unpredictable, often disease-causing effects.
In its original form salt contains not only trace amounts of iodine, but other minerals that are valuable in their own right and that in conjunction with one another help us to assimilate nutrients on a cellular level, co-factors.
… sea salt, or naturally occurring salt found in caves, rivers and lakes, is a mineral-rich health food. It does not lead to heart disease or cause other health risks.
Just the opposite.
WHAT TRACE MINERALS ARE FOUND IN SEA SALT?
Salt is comprised of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl). Sodium is used by the body, in part, to digest carbohydrates. Chloride, among its other purposes, is used by the body to break down proteins, and also has anti-pathogen properties.
Iron, iodine, magnesium, potassium, and zinc comprise a complex and subtle total of over 80 trace minerals, ones that regulate our hydration, digestion, and immune system as well as being required for proper thyroid and adrenal function.
I don’t personally believe that nutrition is found in nature on accident. It is there to bless us and the animals that consume it.
Vialls would certainly have agreed with that conclusion.
Tomorrow: A South American tribe contrasted with agribusiness and medicine
Yesterday’s post had the first part of a two-part series on American soil deficiency in 1936.
The source material, at the request of a US Senator at the time — Duncan Fletcher (D – Florida) — was included in the 74th Congress 2nd Session, Senate Document #264, 1936.
The article is called ‘Modern Miracle Men’ written by Rex Beach about Dr Charles Northen, a physician who went into soil replenishment to better nourish man and beast. He was based in Orlando, Florida, and could have been resident in Fletcher’s constituency. The article says that Northen was considered
the most valuable man in the State.
Yesterday’s post excerpted and summarised Northen’s findings about the poor mineral quality of America’s soil in the 1930s. It had significantly declined since the 19th century and, in many parts of the country, food and meat had little nutritional value.
Today’s excerpts and summary discuss the second half of the article. Emphases in bold are mine.
I cannot help but think we are in no better shape today with regard to the food we consume.
Why no one cared — or cares?
Northen was decried for his research.
The article points out that the medical establishment had been wrong before: in the late 19th century, the Medical Society of Boston condemned the use of bathtubs!
Similarly, physicians and other experts were — are? — wrong on ignoring soil deficiencies. In the 1930s, textbooks kept using outdated analyses from a bygone era decades before when soil was still rich in nutrients.
Although Northen was able to demonstrate that soil samples can vary greatly even in a local area, his peers scoffed: ‘So what?’
Northen’s work on various farms and orchards was exemplary. By carefully mineralising the soil, grass was better, fruit trees pest-free and abundant whilst livestock were healthier. All those fresh products then went into the human food chain, improving the lives of the lucky Americans who ate them.
Northen’s wisdom — interview
Beach, who owned a farm, ended the article by redacting part of the interview Northen gave him.
Although Northen was elderly at the time, he was a goldmine of statistics, experience and knowledge. As we’ll find out, Beach turned around his own soil with Northen’s help.
“Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals, and sick people. Physical, mental, and moral fitness depends largely upon an ample supply and a proper proportion of the minerals in our foods. Nerve function, nerve stability, nerve-cell-building likewise depend thereon. I’m really a doctor of sick soils.”
“Do you mean to imply that the vegetables I’m raising on my farm are sick?” I asked.
“Precisely! They’re as weak and undernourished as anemic children. They’re not much good as food. Look at the pests and the disease that plague them. Insecticides cost farmers nearly as much as fertilizers these days.
“A healthy plant, however, grown in soil properly balanced, can and will resist most insect pests. That very characteristic makes it a better food product. You have tuberculosis and pneumonia germ in your system but you’re strong enough to throw them off. Similarly, a really healthy plant will pretty nearly take care of itself in the battle against insects and blights –and will also give the human system what it requires.”
“Good heavens! Do you realize what that means to agriculture?”
“Perfectly. Enormous saving. Better crops. Lowered living costs to the rest of us. But I’m not so much interested in agriculture as in health.”
“It sounds beautifully theoretical and utterly impractical to me,” I told the doctor, whereupon he gave me some of his case records.
For instance, in an orange grove infested with scale, when he restored the mineral balance to part of the soil, the trees growing in that part became clean while the rest remained diseased. By the same means he had grown healthy rosebushes between rows that were riddled by insects.
He had grown tomato and cucumber plants, both healthy and diseased, where the vines intertwined. The bugs ate up the diseased and refused to touch the healthy plants! He showed me interesting analysis of citrus fruit, the chemistry and the food value of which accurately reflected the soil treatment the trees had received.
There is no space here to go fully into Dr. Northen’s work but it is of such importance as to rank with that of Burbank, the plant wizard, and with that of our famous physiologists and nutritional experts.
“Healthy plants mean healthy people“, said he. “We can’t raise a strong race on a weak soil. Why don’t you try mending the deficiencies on your farm and growing more minerals into your crops?”
I did try and I succeeded. I was planting a large acreage of celery and under Dr. Northen’s direction I fed minerals into certain blocks of the land in varying amounts. When the plants from this soil were mature I had them analyzed, along with celery from other parts of the State. It was the most careful and comprehensive study of the kind ever made, and it included over 250 separate chemical determinations. I was amazed to learn that my celery had more than twice the mineral content of the best grown elsewhere. Furthermore, it kept much better, with and without refrigeration, proving that the cell structure was sounder.
In 1927, Mr. W. W. Kincaid, a “gentleman farmer” of Niagara Falls, heard an address by Dr. Northen and was so impressed that he began extensive experiments in the mineral feeding of plants and animals. The results he has accomplished are conspicuous. He set himself the task of increasing the iodine in the milk from his dairy herd. He has succeeded in adding both iodine and iron so liberally that one glass of his milk contains all of these minerals that an adult person requires for a day.
The article goes on to say that lack of iodine causes goiters.
Goiters were a huge health problem then. My maternal grandmother, who was raising a large family in that era, was preoccupied by goiter, even though no one in her family had any, thankfully. But she always impressed upon us grandchildren that eating enough iodine-rich foods and using iodised salt was essential.
She was not wrong. As the article states, the Great Lakes Region, the Northwest and South Carolina had significant numbers of people with goiter. Milk was a good way of supplying iodine. The aforementioned Mr Kincaid raised a Swiss heifer calf, taking care to mineralise her pasture and provide her with a balanced diet. She went on to become the third all-time champion of her breed, supplying 21,924 pounds of milk and 1,037 pounds of butter in one year!
Illinois farmers then began following Kincaid’s example. Fertiliser companies were quick to promote the mineral content of their products. Minerals were also made into colloidal form for inexpensive yet efficient soil correction.
Dangers then and now
The article concludes with more ailments caused by depleted soil. Some of them, such as heart disease, can be fatal. Others, like arthritis, can be debilitating.
On a wider scale, without these essential minerals in our food, we become increasingly susceptible to infection.
Northen suggested that the American populace of the 1930s clamour for food from good soil that would naturally supply their nutritional needs. He also urged them to insist that doctors and health departments establish standards of nutritional value.
He said that farmers and growers would eagerly respond to higher soil nutrition because it would mean better quality crops, better yield and happier customers.
After all, he reasoned, it is easier and less costly to cure sick soil than sick people.
It makes sense. Yet, is that what happened?
Tomorrow: ‘Sick soil’ in North America and the UK
Last week I mentioned the late Joe Vialls and his investigations.
I don’t agree with everything Vialls wrote, but he looked at every aspect of a topic. His research into health matters was spot on.
One of his articles concerns potassium deficiency, which I’ll write about this week. At the end of that article are ‘Verbatim Unabridged extracts from the 74th Congress 2nd Session, Senate Document #264, 1936’.
The contents of this came from a popular American magazine of the day, Cosmopolitan, a very different iteration of the current title.
‘Dr Z’ of the eponymous medical reports says in ‘Senate Document #264 debunked’ what you will read below is rubbish. It was heartening to see that so many of his readers took exception to what he wrote.
Dr Z did a poor job of debunking. One of the glaring errors was not even bothering to look up Cosmopolitan in a search engine.
Dr Z says, rather irresponsibly:
these are verbatim unabridged extracts of an article from Cosmopolitan magazine in 1936 and probably have about even less scientific credibility as an article from Cosmo would have today.
Had he done a few minutes of research, he would have read that Helen Gurley Brown launched the current Cosmo in 1965. He looks old enough to have known that.
Since its inception in 1886 The Cosmopolitan was, for years, a family-friendly magazine with investigative journalism, short stories and fashion spreads. In the 1950s, it was transformed into a literary magazine and, finally, a decade later, became the single women’s publication we recognise today.
What Dr Z does provide, albeit dismissively, is useful information as to how the extracts from The Cosmopolitan‘s article came to appear in a Senate document:
It’s not research, it wasn’t commissioned by and had absolutely nothing to do with the government other than the fact that Senator Duncan Fletcher, Democrat of Florida, asked that it be put into the Congressional Record (two weeks before his death of a heart attack at the age of 77).
This is the original document, still on the US Senate website. The title page says that it was presented by Fletcher. It is a reprint of Rex Beach’s article about the work of Dr Charles Northen, a physician who went into soil replenishment to better nourish man and beast. He was based in Orlando, Florida, and could have been resident in Fletcher’s constituency. The article says that Northen was considered
the most valuable man in the State.
Poor soil = poor nutrition
The Depression produced hardship, however, as Beach revealed, Northen found it relatively inexpensive to replenish soil with missing minerals necessary for health.
Also, whilst we today wonder how our forebears of the 19th century survived without calling the doctor except in a severe emergency, food had much more nutritional value to it in those days.
Excerpts and a summary of Beach’s article follow. If you prefer a version other than the PDF, an alternative format is here. I’ve added sub-headings for easier navigation. Emphases in bold below are mine.
Food poor and more needed
Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance?
The alarming fact is that foods — fruit and vegetables and grains — now being raised on millions of acres of land no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us — no matter how much of them we eat!
This talk about minerals is novel and quite startling. In fact, a realization of the importance of minerals in food is so new that the textbooks on nutritional dietetics contain very little about it. Nevertheless it is something that concerns all of us, and the further we delve into it the more startling it becomes.
You’d think, wouldn’t you, that a carrot is a carrot–that one is about as good as another as far as nourishment is concerned? But it isn’t; one carrot may look and taste like another and yet be lacking in the particular mineral element which our system requires and which carrots are supposed to contain. Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago. (Which doubtless explains why our forefathers [and foremothers] thrived on a selection of foods that would starve us!) No one of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply their system with the mineral salts they require for perfect health, because their stomach isn’t big enough to hold them! And we are running to big stomachs.
No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist merely of so many calories or certain vitamins or a fixed proportion of starches, proteins, and carbohydrates. We now know that it must contain, in addition, something like a score of mineral salts.
It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer, shorten our lives.
Following a wide experience in general practice, Dr. Northen specialized in stomach diseases and nutritional disorder. Later, he moved to New York and made extensive studies along this line, in conjunction with a famous French scientist from Sorbonne. In the course of that work he convinced himself that there was little authentic, definite information on the chemistry of foods, and that no dependence could be placed on existing data.
He asked himself how foods could be used intelligently in the treatment of disease, when they differed so widely in content. The answer seemed to be that they could not be used intelligently. In establishing the fact that serious deficiencies existed and in searching out the reasons therefore, he made an extensive study of the soil. It was he who first voiced the surprising assertion that we must make soil building the basis of food building in order to accomplish human building.
“Bear in mind,” says Dr. Northen, “that minerals are vital to human metabolism and health–and that no plant or animal can appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the soil upon which it feeds.
“When I first made this statement I was ridiculed, for up to that time people had paid little attention to food deficiencies and even less to soil deficiencies. Men eminent in medicine denied there was any such thing as vegetables and fruits that did not contain sufficient minerals for human needs. Eminent agricultural authorities insisted that all soil contained all necessary minerals. They reasoned that plants take what they need, and that it is the function of the human body to appropriate what it requires. Failure to do so, they said, was a symptom of disorder.
“Some of our respected authorities even claimed that the so-called secondary minerals played no part whatever in human health. It is only recently that such men as Dr. McCollum of Johns Hopkins, Dr. Mendel of Yale, Dr. Sherman of Columbia, Dr. Lipman of Rutgers, and Drs. H.G. Knight and Oswald Schreiner of the United States Department of Agriculture have agreed that these minerals are essential to plant, animal, and human feeding.
“We know that vitamins are complex substances which are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is of importance for the normal function of some special structure in the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency.
“It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body’s appropriation of minerals, and in the absence of minerals they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless.”
What mineral deficiency means
“The truth is that our foods vary enormously in value, and some of them aren’t worth eating, as food. For example, vegetation grown in one part of the country may assay 1,100 parts, per billion, of iodine, as against 20 in that grown elsewhere. Processed milk has run anywhere from 362 parts, per million, of iodine and 127 of iron, down to nothing.
“Some of or lands, even unhappily for us, we have been systematically robbing the poor soils and the good soils alike of the very substances most necessary to health, growth, long life, and resistance to disease. Up to the time I began experimenting, almost nothing had been done to make good the theft.
“The more I studied nutritional problems and the effects of mineral deficiencies upon disease, the more plainly I saw that here lay the most direct approach to better health, and the more important it became in my mind to find a method of restoring those missing minerals to our foods.
“The subject interested me so profoundly that I retired from active medical practice and for a good many years now I have devoted myself to it. It’s a fascinating subject, for it goes to the heart of human betterment.”
The results obtained by Dr. Northen are outstanding. By putting back into foods the stuff that foods are made of, he has proved himself to be a real miracle man of medicine, for he has opened up the shortest and most rational route to better health.
He showed first that it should be done, and then that it could be done. He doubled and redoubled the natural mineral content of fruits and vegetables. He improved the quality of milk by increasing the iron and the iodine in it.He caused hens to lay eggs richer in the vital elements.
By scientific soil feeding, he raised better seed potatoes in Maine, better grapes in California, Better oranges in Florida, and better field crops in other States. (By “better” is meant not only an improvement in food value but also an increase in quantity and quality.)
Before going further into the results he has obtained, let’s see just what is involved in this matter of “mineral deficiencies”, what it may mean to our health, and how it may effect the growth and development, both mental and physical, of our children.
We know that rats, guinea pigs, and other animals can be fed into a diseased condition and out again by controlling only the minerals in their food.
A 10-year test with rats proved that by withholding calcium they can be bred down to a third the size of those fed with an adequate amount of that mineral. Their intelligence, too, can be controlled by mineral feeding as readily as can their size, their bony structure, and their general health.
Place a number of these little animals inside a maze after starving some of them in a certain mineral element. The starved ones will be unable to find their way out, whereas the others will have little or no difficulty in getting out. Their dispositions can be altered by mineral feeding. They can be made quarrelsome and belligerent; they can even be turned into cannibals and be made to devour each other.
A cage full of normal rats will live in amity. Restrict their calcium, and they will become irritable and draw apart from one another. Then they will begin to fight. Restore their calcium balance and they will grow more friendly; in time they will begin to sleep in a pile as before.
Many backward children are “stupid” merely because they are deficient in magnesia. We punish them for OUR failure to feed them properly.
Certainly our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon the minerals we take into our systems than upon the calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein, or carbohydrates we consume.
It is now agreed that at least 16 mineral elements are indispensable for normal nutrition, and several more are always found in small amounts in the body, although their precise physiological role has not been determined. Of the 11 indispensable salts, calcium, phosphorous, and iron are perhaps the most important.
Regional statistics from the 1930s
The article goes on to list some of the mineral deficiencies around the United States in the 1930s, which I shall summarise below:
- Calcium is essential for proper nerve and cell functions. Yet, a Columbia University study showed that 50% of Americans were calcium ‘starved’. A study of patients in a New York hospital showed that, out of 4,000, only 2 had adequate calcium in their bodies.
- A city in the Midwest had calcium-poor soil. Of 300 children examined, 90% had bad teeth. Sixty-nine per cent had nose and throat problems, swollen glands and either enlarged or diseased tonsils. Over a third had poor eyesight, joint problems and anaemia.
- Calcium and phosphorus need to be consumed together for either to work properly. Children require the same amount as adults. Adequate phosphates in the bloodstream prevent tooth decay. Livestock died when one or the other mineral was deficient in the soil they grazed on.
- Our blood requires iron, yet our bodies cannot process it unless we have adequate amounts of copper. Florida’s cattle were dying of ‘salt sickness’. When the soil of their pastures was examined, it lacked iron and copper. As the grass they consumed lacked these elements, there was no way anyone eating the beef of the surviving cattle could obtain these necessary nutrients.
- A lack of iodine disrupts thyroid function and can cause goiters. Humans only need a tiny amount each day — fourteen-thousandths of a milligram — yet the Great Lakes region was a ‘goiter belt’ and pockets of the Northwest showed severe iodine deficiencies.
Then, as now, medical specialists giving vitamin and mineral supplements to people seemed to be the way forward. Ironically, we need only trace amounts a day yet cannot manage to get that. However, the body best absorbs these when they are present in food rather than tablets, capsules or liquids. This is because they are colloidal — in fine suspension — when present in food and easily absorbed into the body.
Tomorrow: Why the medical establishment didn’t — doesn’t? — care
Parents might be surprised to find that a number of athletes still smoke tobacco.
Caution should be exercised when pointing out to children that athletes are good, healthy-living role models. In fact, an increasing number of American athletes smoke dope. More on that tomorrow.
For now, let’s explore the history of athletes and tobacco, past to present.
Tobacco and sports champions
This vintage Camels ad features a number of sports personalities at the top of their game in the middle of the 20th century. To see a larger image, visit South Florida Filmmaker.
Ellsworth Vines Jr was a champion tennis player. As an amateur, he won Wimbledon in 1932. In 1934, he began playing professionally and was the leading pro player until 1938. In 1942, he became a professional golfer and won three tournaments between then and 1951. Vines died in 1994 at the age of 82.
Helen Hicks was one of the first women professional golfers. She won the 1937 Women’s Western Open and the 1940 Titleholders Championship. She married Whitney Harb in 1938 and competed as Helen Hicks Harb until 1948. In 1950, she and 12 other women founded the LPGA. Hicks died in 1974 at the age of 63 from throat cancer.
Harold ‘Stubby’ Kruger represented the United States in swimming at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. He was also a water polo star and friend of Johnny Weismuller. After their athletic careers ended, Weismuller went on to play Tarzan in 12 films and Kruger pursued a long career as a Hollywood stunt man. He died in 1965 at the age of 68. In 1986, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a ‘pioneer swimmer’.
Another athlete advertised Lucky Strikes in the 1920s, legendary tennis ace Bill Tilden, who won 138 of 192 amateur tournaments between 1912 and 1930. He won Wimbledon, his last major title, at the age of 37 in 1930. He turned professional after Wimbledon and went on to tour with a select few fellow players until 1945. He died in 1953 at the age of 60 from heart complications. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1959. Many tennis fans consider him as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Incidentally, he played his closest rival Ellsworth Vines Jr six times in the latter half of 1934 and lost each time.
Around the same time, British school teacher Tom Hampson won the 800m gold in the 1932 Olympics held in Los Angeles. The Independent tells us:
he is said to have started the day with a fry-up, a cup of tea and a cigarette.
When he was at Oxford, famous middle-distance runner Roger Bannister’s closest rival was Eric Mackay:
who, according to legend, “could not last the nine laps of a three-mile race without a cigarette and had a friend standing by with one ready for a quick drag before the bell”.
In the middle of the 20th century, legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio appeared in Chesterfield adverts. Golfer Arnold Palmer smoked L&Ms on the fairway.
Closer to the present day, footballer Johan Cruyff — voted European Player of the Century in 1999 — and considered one of the most influential players in the game’s history smoked 20 cigarettes a day until 1991, at which point he had double heart bypass surgery:
Proof, if any, that smoking a lot does not stop you becoming one of the world’s greatest footballers.
As a manager, Cruyff went on to make Ajax a powerhouse in the 1990s. His coaching methods injected new life into FC Barcelona.
21st century athletes
Some sports fans think that their heroes abhor tobacco. Although many do — and some have turned to drugs — there are still a few traditionalists around.
145 test matches, 194 ODIs, over 50,000 balls bowled on an international stage. Oh yeah, 1,000 international wickets too.
not only smoked, he was a chain smoker …
Retired England cricketer, Phil Tufnell:
took over 1,000 wickets across all first-class cricket, and his personality, trademark behaviour and “great control of flight” when playing made him a popular sports personality.
I saw him on television a few weeks ago (C4’s At Home with Steph and Dom). He was puffing away quite happily.
German tennis player Karsten Braasch, who retired in 2005, used to smoke between changeovers and:
was described by one journalist as “a man whose training regime centred around a pack of cigarettes and more than a couple bottles of ice cold lager.”
He was known for defeating both Serena and Vanessa Williams in a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ contest at the 1998 Australian Open when he was ranked 203:
playing a single set against each, beating Serena 6–1 and Venus 6–2.
The unforgettable Russian Anna Kournikova, who now lives in Miami Beach, immersing herself in charity work, including the occasional match for a good cause, was known to smoke during her career:
In 2000 she admitted enjoying a smoke to wind down telling a French newspaper: ‘My smoking has nothing to do with my tennis.
‘It is absolutely my business when I smoke cigarettes. And I like to have a few cigarettes, especially in the evening after a hard day.’
Tim Henman also smoked at least occasionally during his career. He was very careful to keep it secret.
Goliath published an article last month: ’10 Athletes You Didn’t Know Smoked’.
Among them are footballers.
Wayne Rooney has:
been seen and criticized for smoking on holiday, proving that when you are a household name, your every move will be watched and scrutinized.
Mario Balotelli is an inveterate smoker. He is now on loan to AC Milan and is contractually obliged to obey a good behaviour clause, one where:
of course, smoking is strictly prohibited.
is known to smoke heavily during the off-season, and his friends claim that he will chain smoke cigarettes whilst on vacation.
Irrepressible and unconventional golfer John Daly has stopped drinking but:
He does, however, still smoke around 40 cigarettes a day. The 49-year-old very recently collapsed whilst playing in a tournament in Mississippi on the 18th hole, and this was due to a collapsed lung from a rib injury he suffered in 2007. In typical John Daly fashion, he returned to the course the next day and was even spotted smoking a cigarette on the clubhouse patio. Although not exactly a positive role model for kids, Daly is a fan favorite due to his attitude and his non-country club appearance and lifestyle.
New York Yankees star Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez:
is also a cigar smoker, and will often be seen lighting one up after an impressive performance.
Legendary Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time:
is also a cigar aficionado. This is not something that he has picked up since retiring either, as he would also smoke a cigar before every single home game to relax. There are not many players that could get away with doing something like this, but “His Airness” is not like most other players. His first cigar was given to him by Jerry Reinsdorf (Bulls owner) after winning the first NBA title, and he soon fell in love with sparking up. Jordan is not seen too often these days, but when he is he will often be seen with a cigar in his mouth. He has even appeared on the cover of the popular magazine Cigar Aficionado, where he revealed how stepping back from the public eye has allowed him to enjoy himself.
Most people consider that Olympians lead the lives of saints. It is unthinkable that any of them would smoke.
Yet, London’s Olympic Village had designated smoking areas for the 2012 Games. This was the first time in many years that an Olympic Village has had such a provision. Well done to them, because, as even anti-smokers had to admit, including New Zealand’s chef de mission Dave Currie:
“I was going to raise it at the chefs meeting and rant and rave but my experience is that in a village some people smoke and you usually find piles of cigarette butts in furtive corners.
“It’s a bit of a ‘name and shame’ approach I suppose because these things are right in middle of walkways and people use them to smoke. Ideally it’d be great if they didn’t have them but it is probably a better option than people lurking in odd places.
“It is the first time I can recall there has been a smoking pod …”
The article adds a bit of Olympics history with regard to tobacco:
When Mark Todd won his first Olympic gold medal on Charisma in 1984 he nervously dragged on a cigarette as the competition leader, American Karen Stives, took to the showjumping ring. Stives knocked off a rail on the penultimate jump, and Todd took gold. Todd is to compete in his seventh Olympics when the three-day eventing starts next week.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Peter Snell [1960, 1964] used to work for cigarette manufacturer Rothmans.
The world was somewhat surprised when 2012 Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medal winner Sir Bradley Wiggins finally got a chance to rest after several weeks of cycling and — gasp — smoked a cigarette:
Wiggo seemed happy and relaxed as he enjoyed the balmy evening.
Good for him. Tour de France winners often smoked cigarettes in the old days.
The Independent told us about Wiggins’s lung capacity:
One of the keys to Bradley Wiggins’ four Olympic golds, not to mention his Tour de France victory, is his lung capacity: eight litres, compared to the average man’s six. Perhaps that substantial natural advantage – inherited from his cyclist father – is why Wiggins was content to partake of a cigarette on holiday in Mallorca this week. He certainly isn’t the first celebrated athlete to relax with a crafty puff.
Nor will he be the last!
As a post at Smokescreens explains, the thing to remember is that these smoking athletes have outperformed non-smoking athletes:
Take a second to take that information in: the smokers, breathing in their deadly, unnecessary and toxic smoke, are physically fitter and healthier, and superior in a sporting sense over the athletes from their country who don’t smoke. Now I am not for a moment suggesting that the smoking is responsible for their being chosen, but clearly it has not hindered them in the slightest.
How true. Time to look at all the facts for once.
Tomorrow: Dope-smoking athletes