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As I wrote on March 27, 2017, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s plan for healthcare was pulled on Friday, March 24, 2017. There wasn’t enough support to even hold a vote in the House of Representatives.
It wasn’t a very good plan, anyway: too many vested interests. In fact, much of it was not too different from Obamacare.
Ryan’s plan — Ryancare — was the AHCA, the American Health Care Act of 2017.
Obamacare is the ACA or PPACA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010.
Below is a brief review of healthcare in the United States.
Before the 1980s
When I was growing up in the US, until the 1980s, general practitioners (family doctors) had their own practices. You made an appointment and paid for it. The doctors also made house calls, when necessary. The charges for both were reasonable. Those men knew you, your family, your health problems. They were also friendly and reassuring.
There also used to be community hospitals in most towns, even small ones.
Hospitalisation insurance — for catastrophic and/or unexpected healthcare — was affordable.
During the 1980s
In the 1980s, HMOs became popular and most employers paid for their employees’ insurance.
I left the US during this time and was not on an HMO plan myself, although I did have employer-paid insurance with a reasonable $100 per annum deductible (‘excess’ for my British readers).
Everything was straightforward.
I didn’t even have a family doctor.
I saw two specialist physicians during that decade by ringing their offices for an appointment. I used a walk-in clinic once. Walk-in clinics were new that decade.
I can’t comment further personally.
After the 1980s
American readers are free to comment on HMOs and PPOs.
It seems that, by the 1990s, everything was run by big healthcare corporations or a large consortium of local doctors.
A new development in primary healthcare arose around the turn of the century: concierge medicine.
Concierge medicine differs from the walk-in clinic or other types of direct primary care in that one pays a membership fee monthly, quarterly or annually for one’s healthcare.
This type of primary care was developed in 1996 by the two physicians who founded MD2 (pronounced “MD Squared”) International in Seattle.
Concierge medicine expanded from there, particularly after the Millennium. Initially, it was rather exclusive and expensive. Patient membership was limited.
However, that has been changing over the years. Some concierge care is incredibly affordable. Visit the YourChoice Direct Care site to see one example. YourChoice Direct Care is in Brighton, Michigan, and is referenced below. The membership fee covers much of the care provided. Drugs dispensed are generic and dirt cheap.
Of course, even if one is a member of a concierge or direct care medical practice, one still needs health insurance.
Health insurance under Obamacare
The obligation to purchase health insurance has become a problem with Obamacare, because premiums skyrocket this year. I have read only one anecdotal account online of someone who was grateful for Obamacare. That person is in a different situation to most, however. All the other accounts I’ve read are from middle class people who are now hit with five-figure deductibles in addition to eye-watering premiums. And we mustn’t forget the co-pay when seeing the doctor. A patient must pay for his part of the doctor’s visit on the day.
My readers who are not American should note that Obamacare is insurance, not treatment.
Another point worth remembering is that American legislators have their original healthcare plans and are not subject to Obamacare.
One can see why Americans are disgruntled with Obamacare — ACA, PPACA.
The proposed Ryancare — AHCA — was no better.
Why did Americans need Obamacare?
In a post from March 22, 2017, Karl Denninger of Market Ticker explains that the bottom is falling out of healthcare. Excerpts follow, emphases in the original.
Denninger has studied figures released by the Treasury Department which show:
the Federal Government spent $1,417 billion last fiscal year on Medicare and Medicaid, up from $380 billion in 1998, which incidentally was 37% of all federal spending last year — and it’s accelerating at ~8-9% a year as it has been for the last several decades (with some notable outlying years.)
At this rate it will cross $2,000 billion, or more than half (by a good margin) of the current federal budget within 5 years. That will blow a $600 billion additional annual deficit hole in the budget into a rising rate environment which the government will not be able to finance.
That’s math, not politics.
This is because high-risk pools of patients began increasing in the 1990s:
That’s a fact, and it was cited as one of the reasons we had to pass the PPACA – to put a stop to their collapse by forcing everyone into paying for those who were very sick or nearly dead! The stories of people who were unable to get into those pools at all due to lack of funding were well-circulated and the crimp put on treatments paid for by them were both well-documented and publicized — again, due to lack of funds.
By 2008, he says the medical and insurance industry were quickly heading towards collapse:
See, while health care counts toward GDP, and is nearly 20% of it today (up from about 3% 30ish years ago) most of it doesn’t produce anything. Not one car, one house, one television set. Oh sure, it might allow someone to keep making those things — maybe — but at what cost? Yes, there are exceptions, but most of those exceptions (e.g. childbirth) are actually quite cheap in percentage terms.
The ugly part is that much medical care is actually negative to GDP. Why? Consider the drug addict who mainlines opiates and destroys his heart valves. “Fixing” it costs upward of $500,000, all said and done. Will that person ever produce more value than that with their remaining life? Definitely not if they keep using drugs; they’ll die. The sad reality is that most of them do exactly that.
How about the Type II diabetic that winds up running through a quarter-million bucks in drugs, amputations, dialysis, blindness and death because they won’t change their food intake and stop eating carbohydrates? How far does he or she go before the ability to produce is destroyed, at which point they’re on disability and go from producing something to a net consumer of everyone else’s production? By the way that specific instance when you add it all up nets out to somewhere around $400 billion a year for Medicare and Medicaid now! That’s crazy on any objective basis; you could literally give everyone in the country — man, woman and child $1,000 a year instead with money left over — or adequately feed everyone who is hungry in sub-Saharan Africa (all ~230 million of them!) with a lot of money left over.
Ethical considerations aside (emphasis in purple mine):
you can’t escape the mathematical outcome that results from allowing these people to impose their costs on everyone else. There are plenty of people in the lower and middle economic strata — in fact, most — who can easily wind up being a net negative to GDP and the problem becomes much worse when medical costs ramp by a factor of six compared against GDP and not all of the conditions in question come as the result of voluntary lifestyle choices.
But in all cases you eventually run out of people who can and will pay when exponential cost expansion occurs, especially when at the same time you ramp cost the income base you rely on to pay taxes to fund it is being destroyed one drug addict or Type II diabetes sufferer at a time.
Why Obamacare failed
The PPACA was basically a bailout of the medical industry engineered to force a more-level slam of the cost on everyone in the country.
But… it failed. It failed because nothing was done about the actual problem and costs continued to ramp. The PPACA managed to get a lower spend in Medicare and Medicaid for one year (and a modestly-better increase in the two bordering it) but spending then returned to its previous trend! The negative GDP problem got worse rather than better in aggregate and moved even further up the income scale on an individual basis. The government tried to finance that through even more deficit spending but doing so just destroyed productivity and tax receipts.
Obamacare does not solve the cost problem:
It just moves the problem somewhere else. Where it moved it was on the back of productivity and tax receipts, both of which have been horrifyingly bad since the 2008 crash. Last fiscal year tax receipts rose by less than 1% despite all the new taxes in the PPACA and higher rates generally while productivity improvements have all but disappeared.
Why the AHCA was a bad remedy
He notes that the AHCA did not address cost, either, and:
if we do not address cost and thus drop that $1,417 billion precipitously the government’s budget will be destroyed and thus collapse on the clear evidence and trends published by our government’s own Treasury Department.
The AHCA failed to even achieve a vote partly for this reason and, had it passed, would have helped to:
further advance the collapse of our federal government’s ability to fund itself, and thus operate!
The AHCA cannot resolve this problem because it intentionally refuses to address the driver of the problem in the first instance. Returning to “High Risk Pools” is idiotic because those very pools were on the verge of collapse prior to the PPACA and were a big part of why Obamacare was written and passed! The insurance and medical lobbies wrote the PPACA to get rid of those problems and pools, or so they thought.
They tried denying math but failed because the laws of mathematics are not suggestions. You can’t get rid of a cost by making someone else pay it; you simply move it and eventually it comes back and bites you.
… It just moves money around, something I noted back when it was first released (and much to the detriment of state budgets.)
What needs to happen
Denninger says 15 USC as well as State Consumer Protection laws must be enforced.
Prices and charges must be posted and must be uniform:
Forcing published pricing and charging everyone the same price for the same service or product of like kind and quantity, disconnecting it from alleged “insurance” using existing law, will force competition into the market immediately.
He says prices will drop dramatically and links to the aforementioned Your Choice Direct Care:
Medical costs will instantly drop like a stone. How much? Let me point out that from one “direct concierge care” site we have some examples of what market prices for common services and drugs look like – $4 for an A1c test, $3.13 for a CBC (complete blood count), $7 for a PSA screen, $275 for an MRI (damn close to what you can buy it for in Japan – cash, of course), $37 for an X-ray and $167 for a CAT scan. On drugs how about $1.98 for 90 Prozac pills, or $1.44 for 30 Prilosecs? This place claims these offers are “at their cost” with your “membership”; note that they are not selling at a loss and the maker/operator of same is still making a profit! Why would you fork over a “co-pay” of $10 or $20 when you can pay $1.50 for your prescription in cash?
Why would you need “health insurance” to cover routine medical care and prescriptions if you could buy services and drugs at prices like that — or at a 20% markup from them with a bunch of competitors in a given area?
We can have that sort of pricing for medical care today, right now, right here, everywhere in the country: Enforce the damned law today and that’s the pricing we will have for medical services and drugs TOMORROW.
Let me make this clear for you because we have proof of what the outcome will be: The known pricing we will obtain if we were to do this is, for most treatments and drugs, 80 to 90% LESS than paid today. In fact most of the drugs listed on that concierge site are 10-20% of your copay under existing so-called “insurance” and so are the imaging and lab prices!
He says any reform legislation should cover — and President Donald Trump has mentioned this — prescription drugs:
repeal the reimportation ban on pharmaceuticals, and we need to add to Robinson-Patman inclusion of international sales. That will force “best price” everywhere and pharmaceutical costs will fall like a rock here in the United States. Oh, those other nations? They’ll get to pay their ratable share of the development of drugs — and it’ll be about damn time.
Conservative media remain silent
For some reason, no conservative commentator ever discusses healthcare reform.
Here’s a list from Denninger’s readers:
Hannity HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Rush HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Levin HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Beck HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Savage HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
O’Reilly HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Hewitt HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Malkin HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Ingraham HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Cain HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Bruce HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Bennett HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Boortz HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Let me add to your list of those who refuse to address this.
Hannity and Ingraham have been sent this info a dozen or so times as well as my Congressman which gets a “generic” health care response letter.
Tucker Carlson HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Ann Coulter HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Stuart Varney HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Even the “supposed” legal commentators have not touched this.
Judge Napolitano HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Judge Jeanine HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Kimberly Guilfoyle HAS NOT brought it to the forefront.
Then lets not even get started on the inability to actually contact or send a real email to any of these people. You have to go through some inane message system on social media or use some ridiculous web form that will not even recognize hyperlinks or colored, bold, italicized text for emphasis …
It appears social media accounts for all of these above are mostly designed for promoting book sales and personal aggrandizement and “look at me” posts.
At this point, every person that seemed like they might actually be willing to listen or discuss this has been notified and has revealed themselves by their refusal to discuss any of this.
Someone replied with regard to those in the list who work for Fox News:
Start asking the wrong questions on that network and you are gone. These media organizations exist not to promote freedom or uncover truths to protect the people but to inflame passions and promote propaganda. This is what happens when only a few large corporations control the majority of the media.
Someone else blamed it on the public:
Because TV , Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have reduced John Q Public’s attention span to about ninety seconds
… fact based essays don’t get traction.
Karl Denninger answered many of the questions I had been asking myself about healthcare in the US.
I hope he has answered some of yours, too.
The other day, I responded to a comment on a conservative American website with regard to diet.
The context was in regard to the reform of Obamacare in the Trump administration. The initial comment referred to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisconsin) possible approval of a health auditor, a stranger, to visit someone’s house to assess a family’s lifestyle prior to their obtaining health insurance. Apparently, this is one health insurance idea that has been discussed before.
Ryan’s father died at an unexpectedly early age from heart disease. Consequently, Ryan focussed on diet and exercise to ensure he himself didn’t end up that way. It is thought that he also might well consider that a stranger going into someone’s home to assess their lifestyle — perhaps to check cupboards for snacks or alcohol and sniff walls for evidence of smoking — is entirely acceptable.
That is every bit as frightening as the Vault 7 Year Zero CIA document dump by WikiLeaks on March 7.
There are two things here.
The first is that, as a legislator, Paul Ryan will never have to be part of Obamacare or Trumpcare. He and his colleagues get a traditional health insurance plan.
The next thing is obesity, which Paul Ryan — a thin man — desperately opposes.
As I told the person on this particular conservative website, this notion of a healthcare audit is a plan for the ‘little people’. (They, in Ryan’s estimation, do not understand what their betters do. This, by the way, is Ryan’s ‘magnificent home’ in Janesville, Wisconsin. It has an extensive border fence around it.)
I further commented (same link):
To counter Ryan’s dictating to Americans on their health: my father also died of heart disease at an early age. So did his father, whom I never met. So have some of my friends in the present day. That doesn’t give the right to go around snooping in people’s homes as a precursor to getting health insurance!
Then, I discussed obesity:
Re obesity: severely limit or stop eating starch and sugar, eat more fat (including animal fat) and less protein. Watch the pounds roll off. It’s called the ketogenic diet, which is a permanent eating plan, not a fad diet. I’ve been on it for three years. I lost weight and stabilised. Cholesterol and triglycerides go down with keto.
As we know, there is a particular association between Americans and obesity. It is unclear whether this can be connected with the increase of obesity in other Western countries, because who knows how much corn syrup — rather than sugar — is in their food? Emphases mine below, not in the original comment:
Someone on here was talking about corn. It’s all the corn syrup used in place of sugar which also leads to obesity. Sugar makes you feel more sated than corn syrup. We owe the proliferation of corn syrup to the Nixon administration in the 1970s. Corn farmers, IIRC, had a glut of crop then, so were bailed out with companies producing corn syrup for commercial cake, cookie and candy manufacturers.
Note when obesity started to climb: the late 1970s to early 1980s. It was no big deal at the time. Most people attributed it to Americans giving up smoking. Although that was a factor, I would posit that the increase of sweet snacks and cakes made with corn syrup were a greater contributor — and continue to be today.
Yes, I know I should have said ‘was’ instead of ‘were’ in the last sentence, but only caught it now.
Regardless, that message got through. My sincere thanks to the moderators. I didn’t think anything of it until later. Now read on.
The commenter, with whom I was corresponding, replied:
Salty snacks like crackers and chips also contribute, along with soft drinks and the rest of our favorites (fast food, etc). Eat at home family meals with vegetables and salads have diminished with women working, divorces, unwed mothers with no Dad in the home, increase of addictions, etc.
I’m not in favor of a one-food group diet (animal fat/low carb) diet. Whole grains and vegetables/fruit contain important phytonutrients. Did you know heart attacks diminished in Britain, in WWII, despite the stress of the bombings, when sugar was rationed?
So, appreciating this reply, but differing because of my keto experience — and that of thousands of others — wrote back.
I retyped my reply twice. Both immediately went into spam. A subsequent message, on a different topic, went through, by the way.
The text below is similar to what was spammed. Once again, emphases mine below, not in the original comment. For the overweight:
All starch — whether salty or sweet, from carbohydrate to sugar — should be sharply curtailed or eliminated.
It should be noted that the ketogenic diet — a way of eating and not a fad diet — is not a one-food group diet. It works with a proportion (depending on the individual) of 50% fat, 35% protein and 15% carbohydrate per day. Vegetables should provide most of the 15% carbohydrate. The more you weigh, the more you lose.
Starch comprises bread, cereal, cakes, oatmeal, salty snacks (etc.). Sugars, including those in fruit, are also starches.
Corn syrup has replaced sugar in most sweet snacks. Corn syrup is less satisfying than pure sugar. Americans are eating more corn syrup in cakes, cookies and candies. Therefore, they are getting fatter because the corn syrup is less satisfying.
Eating more fat — including fat from cheese, eggs and dairy products, especially butter — will be more satisfying than eating starches or sugar.
I agree very much with your point on ready-made meals, however, another problem is that Americans — along with many other Westerners — eat five times a day.
I take your point that, during the Second World War, Britons got their nutrients from whole grain bread. However, they needed all the sustenance they could receive. They also had no central heating. They had to walk or ride bicycles to and from work. Rationing in the UK did not end until 1954.
Westerners live an entirely different lifestyle in the 21st century. They eat too many carbohydrates, including sugars — especially corn syrup products, which leave them less full than sugar would. They have heated homes and offices. They drive nearly everywhere.
Low fat foods are another problem. For a decent flavour profile, low fat needs to be offset with high sugar content, most often corn syrup.
My message must have had wording or syntax that instantly caused it to end up in spam — twice.
There is a political point about corn syrup that I want to make concerning the law of unintended consequences. No one could foresee in the Nixon administration that corn syrup would result in a national weight problem.
I know from experience. In the early 1960s, when I was five years old, I was a guest of a young friend at her house for Saturday dinner — pancake night. My mother always bought maple-flavoured syrup made with sugar. This family always bought corn syrup. I still remember eating a plateful of pancakes with syrup and feeling hungry before I went to bed that night. The hosts even told my parents that I had an incredible appetite for such a little tyke. Yet, that was the only time I was ever hungry after eating twice as many pancakes as I would have done at home. The only difference was the type of syrup.
If Americans were still eating sweets of any kind made with sugar, they would be of normal weight.
Corn syrup is making people fat. So are other starches. Anyone who wants to lose weight should try a low-carb high-fat — LCHF — eating plan.
For more information on the ketogenic diet, please read the following. If you are in any doubt or under regular care of a physician, seek medical advice first:
Does low animal fat intake increase hostility or depression? (a hypothesis)
Fat and a balanced mind (low-fat diets can imbalance serotonin and nerves)
High carbohydrate intake and depression (also epilepsy related [Dr Richard A Kunin’s paper])
High-carb, low-fat diets might cause Western diseases (cancer related)
Dietary advice: the old ways are the best (my own story on the ketogenic diet)
High carb, low fat diets bad for brain health — and moods? (more testimonials for the ketogenic diet)
Whilst I cannot guarantee that my original correspondent on the conservative website will see this, I hope that others might find this of interest.
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