Paavo Airola - Nutrition Forum - Let's Live - August 1976 Index

Oily Skin

Q. I have a skin condition I can't seem to find any answer to in my books. The pores in my nose and cheeks are slightly enlarged. I have rather oily skin and these pores are always clogged with oil. I have started eating a better diet. What I am wondering is: have my past eating and skin care habits taken their toll, and have I cast the die for my outward appearance for life? I am very self-conscious because it does not give me a healthy look. What can you suggest nutritionally or otherwise? G. G. , Davis, CA.

A. I don't think you have irreparably damaged your skin for life by past unhealthy eating habits. Our bodies have a remarkable ability to recuperate and repair damage. Here are a few specific things I would suggest for you:

  1. Take the following supplements daily:
    • Vitamin B2 100 mg.
    • B complex, 100% natural - 3-4 tablets
    • Brewer's yeast powder - two tbsp.
    • Vitamin C - 1,000 mg.
    • Cod liver oil - 1 tbsp.
    • Vitamin E - 600 I.U.
  2. Wash your face twice a day with pure castile soap and rinse afterwards with vinegar water (1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar to one glass of water).
  3. After washing and also before going to bed, rub your face with a slice of fresh cucumber.
  4. If you are overweight and/or constipated, make an effort to correct both of these conditions, as they may be contributing to your problem.

Of course, if I knew your age, I would be in a better position to give you a prognosis of the possible degree of success of the suggested treatment, since the skin of an 18-year-old responds differently than that of an 80-year-old to any given treatment.


Q. I would like to have some information on taking lithane or lithium carbonate, as it is known. I had some depression last year and nothing seemed to help - not B12 shots, nor tranquilizers. Finally, I tried iron pills and they snapped me out of the depression. But the doctor and my husband feel that taking lithium every day is the answer for the prevention of depression. Am looking forward to your comments on this subject. Mrs. H.H.M., address unknown

A. Lithium is one of the lesser-known minerals, which is now being recognized for its therapeutic potential in some mental and nervous disorders, particularly paranoid schizophrenia. Lithium is involved in sodium metabolism and its transportation in nerves and muscles in the body. Lithium is also closely associated with the function of the autonomic or involuntary nervous system. A deficiency of lithium in the body may lead to nervous and mental disorders, including severe depression, as in your case.

At present, lithium carbonate is available only by doctor's prescription. Although I recognize that lithium can be used effectively in treatment of certain nervous and mental disorders on a short-term basis, I definitely do not encourage taking it in tablet form for prevention of these same disorders. The reason: lithium can be highly toxic in overdoses; also, no one knows, as yet, the body's actual requirements of this trace mineral. Therefore, it is safer to rely on natural dietary sources of lithium. It is present in kelp, sea water, and natural lithium-rich mineral springs. Take 10-15 tablets of kelp a day, and use whole sea salt or sea-water supplement - all available in your health food store. Frequent ocean swimming will also be beneficial, as trace minerals of the sea water are absorbed into the system through the skin.

Swine Flu Vaccination

Q. What is your personal opinion of the swine flu vaccination? D.R., Sacramento, CA.

A. Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. Since there have been only very few isolated cases of flu, there is no justified reason at this time to expect an epidemic. The industries who are to benefit from the manufacture and administration of vaccine are, of course, keeping alive the scare campaign.
  2. Naturally, when the epidemic does not materialize, they will attribute the fact to the mass vaccination so we'll never know if we were exposed to real danger or not.
  3. It is well known that flu epidemics of this sort in the past only wiped out those whose resistance to disease was very low. The logical moral, therefore, is: instead of vaccination, we should make every effort to increase our resistance and build up our health to the optimum level so that swine flu will pass us by, without having any chance. Swine flu should be feared only by those who eat like pigs - that is, by those who eat a typical garbage diet of supermarket-type junk foods.
You asked for my personal opinion, and that's what you got. Naturally, everyone must take the responsibility for their own decision as to whether or not to be vaccinated. As for me and my family, I choose not to be intimidated by mass hysteria and the government's attempt to medicate the entire nation.

Seven-Year Itch

Q. I've had severe itching on many parts of my body, including on and around private parts. Some of my friends think it may be scabies. If it is scabies, what exactly is it, and how can I get rid of it? P.F., L.A., CA.

A. Scabies, also called the "seven year itch", is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei. It burrows under the superficial layers of the skin and causes intense itching. The disease is contagious and can be transmitted via physical contact between people. At a recent international conference at the University of Minnesota, doctors voiced alarm over the worldwide increase of scabies and infestations of body and head lice, calling it a "substantial public health problem". The conditions, it was reported, are prevalent in hippie communes, among campers, and in many poverty-stricken areas. The main cause is the lack of personal cleanliness, and unsanitary conditions. But, while scabies may begin in unsanitary environments, it quickly spreads to clean areas and people via physical contact. Once you are infected with scabies, it is difficult to cure just by hygienic measures. There is, however, a very effective prescription drug, Kwell, which is available in lotion, spray, or shampoo form. Kwell, in combination with personal cleanliness and frequent change of bedding and clothing, would solve your problem. If any readers are familiar with proven effective herbal or other natural means of combatting scabies, please let me know so I can pass the information along to the readers of this Forum.


Q. I am in the process of buying cookware, and I need your advice concerning which type to buy in regard to health and durability. I want to be able to cook nutritious foods using a minimum of energy. Dr. J.A.F., Kitchener, Ont.

A. I am not sure that "health and durability" go hand in hand, but from a purely health standpoint, all aluminum cooking utensils are a strict no-no. The best cookware would be: glass (like Pyrex), earthenware, and stainless steel. Stainless steel with a copper bottom will use less energy. Also, stainless steel pots with a special center core to distribute heat evenly would be advisable for saving energy. I am not sure about the pros and cons of enameled cookware, but since some colored enamels may release cadmium, lead, and possibly other deadly metals, I am not inclined to regard them favorably.

Sore Mouth

Q. For the past year I have had a sore mouth. I have been to various types of dentists and physicians and nothing seems to help. The biopsies have been negative. I try to follow a no-sugar, no-white flour diet and use vitamin supplements. Do you have any suggestions for me? I feel sure it is a nutritional problem, though none of the doctors have mentioned diet. T.B.N., Miami Beach, FL.

A. A sore or burning mouth or tongue may be related to digestive disorders, but more often than not it is caused by B vitamin deficiencies. Specific B vitamins involved are: B12, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, and B2. For two months, try taking a high-potency B-complex formula with extra amounts of these specific B vitamins:

Also, take three to four tablespoonsful of brewer's yeast powder every day. Mix one tablespoonful in a half glass of fresh grapefruit or pineapple juice and take it three to four times a day, on an empty stomach. One hour before meals is the best time.

Saccharin-Cancer Link

Q. I would like to hear your thoughts on saccharin - is it harmful? I use about 15 quarter-grain (15 mg.) tablets a day. A.B., Blythe, CA.

A. Yes, reported studies have linked saccharin to increased risk of developing cancer of the bladder. (George T. Brian, Science, June 5, 1970).


Q. For the birth of my last baby, they gave me what they called a saddle, at delivery. It numbed my bottom and legs. Since then, I cannot conceive, and have a sciatic nerve trouble in one leg. Do you suppose the saddle could have been the cause, and is there a supplement or anything that could help me? Mrs. N.H. Hazleton, Iowa

A. Spinal anesthesia, also called "saddle block," is often administered at delivery. I consider it to be dangerous - any tampering with the spinal canal, where the spinal cord and its multitude of vital nerve lines is located, is bound to be associated with risks of inflicting damage upon the nervous system. Whether your inability to conceive is related to the saddle block at your previous delivery, would be impossible to determine, but sciatic nerve trouble may conceivably be causatively connected. Nutritionally, B vitamins, with extra B1, are very important for the health of the nervous system, and should be used when trying to undo damage to the nerve cells. Sciatica is a condition in which there is severe pain in the lower back, and down one or both legs. The pain is caused either by damage, inflammation, or circulation interference of the sciatic nerve which originates in the spinal nerve which originates in the spinal cord, near the base of the spine. In addition to optimum nutrition, take special supplements, such as vitamins C, E, A, and especially B complex in large potencies, and plenty of B-vitamin-rich brewer's yeast. Your chiropractor or biologically oriented doctor may use heat treatments and special therapeutic baths and exercises to deal with a sciatic problem.

What is B5?

Q. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate reading your monthly column in Let's LIVE. My question is: what is vitamin B5? I am reading a copy of a trade publication that talks about pro-vitamin B5. This is a new one to me. What is B5 all about? Mrs. C.B. McM., Ashtabula, Ohio

A. Vitamin B5 is the original, but now only seldom used, term for pantothenic acid, one of the vitamins of the B-complex family.