Paavo Airola - Nutrition Forum - Let's Live - September 1975 Index

Brewer's Yeast Spells Gas!

Q. At a current health convention, I heard you speak in glowing terms about the miraculous nutritional properties of brewer's yeast. In fact, you referred to it as a "wonder food". Since I have read and heard before about yeast being such a good food, I readily agreed with you. But when I tried to incorporate brewer's yeast into my diet, I failed miserably. First, I get terrible (and I mean TERRIBLE) gas each time I take it. If add it to other foods and drinks it makes everything taste unpalatable, if not downright horrible. How can I overcome this? How can I eat yeast without getting gas? Many of my friends have the same problem, so I am sure lots of people will be appreciative if you can help us to solve it. Mrs. K.J., Pasadena, CA.

A. I am sure thousands of users of brewer's yeast will agree with you eating yeast spells gas! However, if you observe a few rules which I developed during a long life of personal experience and through actual clinical observations, you can overcome this problem. Here are the rules:

  1. Take brewer's yeast only on an empty stomach never with meals. Three hours after a meal, two hours before a meal, or just before retiring, are the best times.
  2. Don't take more than 1 tablespoonful of yeast powder at a time. You may take it two or three times a day, however.
  3. Mix brewer's yeast powder or flakes with sour fruit juice. Best juices are grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, or lemon juice. One tablespoonful of brewer's yeast to one-half to one glass of juice. If juices are not available, you may use apple cider vinegar: you may use apple cider vinegar: 1 tablespoonful vinegar per glass of water.
  4. Don't drink the mixture, but eat it with a spoon or take small swallows and "chew" it so it will be salivated properly.
  5. If you are over 45, it is very likely that your own hydrochloric acid secretion is slowed down. Brewer's yeast, being a high protein food, needs lots of hydrochloric acid for effective and gas-free digestion. It is 40-50% high quality protein and cannot be digested effectively unless your hydrochloric acid secretion is abundant. If after observing all the above rules you are still troubled with gas, you'll know that the hydrochloric acid level in your stomach is insufficient. In that case, take one or two tablets of Betaine-Hydrochloric Acid each time you take brewer's yeast. HCl tablets should be taken with 1/2 glass of water immediately after taking yeast.

Vitamin E and Rancidity

Q. I have read that the best form of natural Vitamin E is d-alpha tocopherol acetate. Is it made from wheat germ oil or vegetable oils? If so, will it turn rancid in the capsule? Should I take the dry form of Vitamin E to avoid rancidity? Mr. G.Z., St. George, Utah.

A. You have been correctly informed: if your vitamin bottle states "d-alpha tocopherol (or tocopheryl) acetate" it is a natural form of Vitamin E, made from vegetable oils. There is no danger whatsoever that Vitamin E capsules will turn rancid they are perfectly safe. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant in itself, and I know of no case where Vitamin E in capsule form has become rancid.

Personally, I prefer taking Vitamin E in oil-soluble form, in capsules. In nature, Vitamin E is almost always combined with fats. In fact, it must be in the company of fats or oils in the digestive tract in order to be properly assimilated. The dry or water-soluble form of Vitamin E I only recommend for those who for some reason have difficulty in digesting fats or oils.

Food Combining

Q. Food combining seems to be an important part of good diet. I've read and heard conflicting opinions on this subject. Some writers say that you cannot mix carbohydrates with proteins, fats with carbohydrates, starches with proteins, sugars with fats, etc. Yet, in such basic natural foods as seeds and nuts, the Creator chooses to combine all these elements together. What is your feeling on this subject? - Mr. B.M., Santa Monica, CA.

A. You have answered your own question: nature indeed does combine all the various elements in many basic foods. Much speculation has been made, direct nonsense has been spoken, and whole books have been written regarding food mixing and combining, and much confusion and disagreement exists. On the basis of my own studies of the eating habits of many people around the world, and my own personal experience and clinical observation, the entire food combining "science" can be summed up in a few lines:

  1. Never eat raw fruits and raw vegetables at the same meal.

  2. Eat as few different foods as possible at one meal - the mono diet (one single food) being the ideal.

  3. When protein-rich foods are eaten with other foods, eat the protein-rich foods first.
These are all the food combining rules you need to know - rules that can be scientifically justified. Here's why:
  1. Raw fruits and raw vegetables require totally different enzyme combinations for their effective digestion. If you mix them in the same meal, they will "confuse" your enzyme-producing glands and result in poor digestion and gas. Therefore, make one meal of the day preferably breakfast a fruit meal of any available fruits, in season, and another meal a vegetable meal. Lemon and papaya are exceptions to the rule (it seems there are exceptions to every rule!). Lemon or lime juice can be used for salad dressing; and papaya can be eaten with any kind of food.

  2. There is much evidence to the effect that the fewer foods you mix at the same meal, the better your digestion and assimilation will be. Every food requires a different enzyme or enzyme a different enzyme or enzyme combination for effective digestion.

  3. Proteins require a generous amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach in order to be properly digested. Therefore, protein-rich foods should be eaten first, on an empty stomach, when the hydrochloric acid secretion will be greater. If you first fill your stomach with predominantly carbohydrate foods (as you do when you start your meal with a large, raw vegetable salad, as "experts" tell you to do), there would be hardly any hydrochloric acid in the stomach, as carbohydrate foods would not require it for digestion. Consequently, if you eat your protein food on top of salad, the protein may remain largely undigested, causing intestinal putrefaction and gas. In practical terms, this means: steak first then salad! Or beans and tortillas, or cheese, or omelet, or other protein-rich food first and then salad. I realize that this is contrary to what you have often been told. But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Try it, and see for yourself it works! By the way, North America is the only place in the world where a large vegetable salad is eaten before the entree. In the rest of the world, the salad is eaten either along with, or after the protein food, but never before. Hors d'oeuvres are exceptions, of course.

Lead Poisoning

Q. Our home in L.A. is close to the freeway, and we suspect that after 12 years, we are pretty loaded with lead from the automobile traffic. What are the symptoms of lead poisoning? Can lead poisoning be cured? Is it possible to get deposits out of the system? Can we take any preventive measures? Mrs. C.S., Hollywood, CA.

A. Lead is one of the most toxic metal contaminants and can be fatal even in small amounts. Lead-containing paints, ceramic glazes, and many industrial chemicals are common sources, but leaded gasolines are by far the most dangerous source. Those who live near heavily traveled streets or highways are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, as the air they breathe is filled with lead particles. Even vegetables and other crops grown near highways contain up to 300 times more lead than those grown far away from traffic, as shown by many actual tests.

Dr. Theodor Reich of Zurich University's Medical School, and Dr. Walter Blumer, a general practitioner in the village of Netstal, Switzerland, through which runs a highway used by an average of 5,000 vehicles a day, conducted a study to determine the effects of toxic exhaust fumes from vehicles. They found that people who live near heavily traveled highways are 9 times more likely to die from cancer than those who live in traffic-free areas. Their findings indicate that toxic exhaust fumes plus lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals contained in smog, not only send cancer death rates soaring, but cause a whole series of illnesses ranging from chronic headaches, to depression, gastric disturbances, nervous disorders, leukemia, and emphysema. Note that the highways studied averaged only 5,000 cars a day. Just imagine what you can expect if you live close to a busy California freeway! I meet so many people who live in the Los Angeles area (the smog capital of the world!) who are wondering why, in spite of all the effort they make to eat the best health foods, they are still not very healthy. Maybe this will give them a clue to their health condition.

Lead is a cumulative poison. Early symptoms of lead poisoning can be hard to diagnose: lack of appetite, fatigue, nervousness. As the poison continues to accumulate, it damages kidneys, liver, heart, and nervous system. Eventually, paralysis of extremities, blindness, mental disturbances mental retardation and even insanity may develop. Multiple sclerosis is believed by some researchers to be caused by lead poisoning. It can also cause anemia, reproductive disorders, decline in fertility, miscarriages, stillbirths, or total sterility. Chronic lead poisoning can also cause sexual impotence in men. Lead and other toxins contained in auto exhaust definitely increase the chance of contracting cancer.

Lead is particularly dangerous to expectant mothers. Children born to lead-poisoned women suffer growth retardation and nervous and mental disorders. Calcium gluconate and Vitamin D, injected intravenously, have been used successfully in acute cases of lead poisoning.

Also, calcium lactate or bone meal, 5 to 10 tablets daily, can be very helpful. Vitamin C, 1,000 to 3,000 mg. daily, can help to neutralize the toxic effect of lead and protect muscle tissue from damage caused by lead. Vitamin B and lecithin are two other nutritive substances that are of specific value in protecting against the damaging effect of lead.

Vitamin A also helps to activate enzymes which are involved in detoxifying lead poisons up to 20,000 units daily.

There are two specific substances that can help and promote the excretion of lead from the system: potassium iodide and algin or sodium alginate. Also, generous amounts of legumes and beans in the diet can help to excrete lead from the system, as discovered by Dr. John J. Miller. Beans contain a chelating substance, sulfhydroxyl, which helps to remove lead from the body.

Meat for B12?

Q. Is it true that Vitamin B12 is found only in meat? Mr. S. J., Santa Monica, CA.

A. No, it is not true. Research by meat and dairy industries has been slanted. New discoveries show that B12, can be found in numerous non-meat sources, such as olives, mushrooms, bananas, pollen, concord grapes, sunflower seeds, dates, ginseng, prunes, parsley, watercress, rice polishings, apricots, kelp, blackberries, soybeans, fortified yeast, fresh wheat germ, and, of course, milk. Although most vegetable sources are relatively low in B12, nevertheless, if a variety of the above mentioned foods is eaten regularly, the daily requirement of B12 can be safely met, especially if your diet includes milk and milk products.

The argument that B12 is found only in meat has been used extensively by meat-eating proponents as evidence for the superiority of a meat diet. There are, however, many large groups of people around the world who do not eat meat, such as Hunzas, Hindus, Chinese, and Seventh Day Adventists here in the United States, and yet do not show any symptoms of B12 deficiency. Dr. Karl-Otto Aly, M.D., visited Hunza recently to study this particular subject and reported that he could not find a single case of pernicious anemia or other related conditions usually attributed to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Animal vs. Vegetable Proteins

Q. We have been told that only animal proteins are so-called "complete" proteins and that all vegetable proteins are "incomplete." What does this mean? Most nutrition experts also claim that we must eat animal proteins in order to obtain all the protein the body needs. Is this true? Mrs. A. L., San Francisco, CA.

A. Proteins are made up of 22 or so amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Most of these amino acids are synthesized within your body, but eight amino acids are not, and, therefore, must be present in the foods you eat. They are called the "essential" amino acids. Those foods which contain all eight essential amino acids are called the "complete protein foods"; those that are missing one or more of the essential amino acids are called "incomplete protein foods". According to outdated and erroneous thinking (to which, unfortunately, many of our well known nutrition "experts" continue to cling) only the animal foods, such as meat, fowl, fish, milk, and eggs, contain complete proteins, and all vegetable proteins are inferior or incomplete. The newest and most reliable nutrition research has now completely disproved such notions. Studies made by one of the most respected nutrition research centers in the world, The Max Planck Institute, of Germany and corroborated by studies in Russia, Japan, and the United States, show that earlier beliefs about the superiority of animal proteins were unsubstantiated and that many vegetable protein foods are "just as good or better" than animal proteins, containing all the essential amino acids. Among such complete vegetable protein foods are soybeans, peanuts, almonds, buckwheat, millet, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, potatoes, all dark green leafy vegetables, avocados and many fruits, such as bananas. In addition, even those vegetable foods that do not contain all the essential amino acids and, thus, are not complete, will become useful and biologically complete protein foods when properly combined with each other. For example, wheat is not a complete protein food. But when a slice of whole wheat bread is complemented with a slice of cheese or a glass of milk, the proteins in wheat become biologically complete. Likewise, corn and most beans are incomplete protein foods, each being low in some essential amino acids. Luckily, amino acids missing in corn are ample in beans, and amino acids missing in beans are well represented in corn. Thus, tortillas and beans, the famous dietary staple of Central and South America, is an excellent source of high quality complete proteins. This explains why many Latin American natives and Indian tribes, who hardly eat any animal protein foods, but plenty of tortillas and beans, show such a remarkably high level of such a remarkably high level of health and exceptional longevity.

Thus, the answer to your second question - must you eat meat and other animal proteins in order to obtain all the high quality protein you need is a definite no. A properly devised and combined vegetarian diet, using most of the vegetarian sources of complete proteins mentioned above, will supply you with all the high quality protein you need. Still better, making your diet a lacto-vegetarian diet, that is adding milk and milk products such as soured milks, natural cheese, cottage cheese, and butter, will make your diet truly an optimum diet. Then you don't have to be concerned about obtaining all the needed proteins without meat.

Fasting during Pregnancy and Lactation

Q. I believe in fasting and have done it countless times. I have your book on juice fasting and follow all your instructions. I feel marvelous after each fast. I am planning to become pregnant, and am wondering how often and how long a person can fast during pregnancy and lactation? Mrs. LS., San Francisco, CA.

A. I am sure glad you asked me this question ahead of time. Although juice fasting is not only the safest, but also one of the most effective healing methods known to man (and has been used for healing purposes by doctors for thousands of years - falling into disrepute only recently, with the advance of drug-oriented medicine) there are conditions in which fasting is not advisable. Such conditions are: active tuberculosis, malignancies, diabetes, hypoglycemia, underweight, and pregnancy and lactation. Although an excellent healing modality, fasting is nevertheless a severe stress on the system, as are almost all therapeutic programs.