Paavo Airola - Nutrition Forum - Let's Live - May 1977 Index

Pruritus Ani (Anal Itch)

Q. Right to the point: our problem is anal itch and irritation. We have really noticed this since we have been eating more naturally. We have whole wheat breads, rye breads, more fruits and vegetables, cheese, less meats, no sugar except some turbinado. We stopped eating wheat germ and bran. We eliminate (bowel movement) at least twice a day, and some days more. It seems normal enough to us. However, my husband, especially, has anal irritation or itch after each elimination, and therefore, washes afterwards to stop it. He does not use soap, because this also irritates. I only feel anal irritation now and then, mainly in the evenings. We are both in our thirties. We take lots of vitamins and supplements.

What can you recommend we do to stop this bothersome itch? Are we getting too much roughage? Do we need more oils, butters, in our diet? At times we do eat some local "junk foods", but generally, we try to eat right. Thank you for any help. - J.L., San Diego, CA.

A. Itching of the anus (medical term: pruritus ani) can have many causes. It can be caused by hemorrhoids, fistula, fissure, or by pin or thread worms. It can also be caused by an abnormal "acidy" composition of feces, or by chronic diarrhea or constipation. To know the exact cause of your problem is impossible without clinical examination and possible tests. I suggest that you stop taking all vitamins and supplements for three weeks to see if any of these contribute to your itch. Vitamin C causes rectal itch in some people. Also, since both of you have it, I suspect that you may have thread or pin worms. Check for this possibility. They are easily visible by eye as 1/4 inch long white threads. When they move, they cause itching. They are very common, especially in families with small children. If you find that you do have worms, the very simple and very effective way to get rid of them is to eat a heavily salted diet for a week or two. Sodium chloride (salt) is a time-proven remedy for pin worms. Garlic is another natural remedy used for this purpose by natives around the world. Both fresh garlic and garlic oils or extracts are effective. Then, there are herbs that have been used effectively to expel all kinds of intestinal worms. The proven herbs are: pinkroot, wormseed, wormwood, male fern (aspidium) and betelnut.

For unspecific anal itch, a hot sitz bath daily (see instruction in my book, How To Get Well) is beneficial. After the bath, apply lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the affected area with a piece of cotton.


Q. I would like to eliminate all salt and salt-containing foods from my diet. However, isn't it necessary for a person to get an adequate supply of sodium? What are the dangers of an absolutely saltless diet? What precautions, if any, would you suggest on such a diet? Would you recommend sea salt on its benefits, or forbid it on its disadvantages; and, if it should be used, in what proportion? - J.V.L., Augusta, Georgia.

A. Our daily requirement of sodium is less than one gram. Through natural foods, even without added salt, we obtain about two grams of sodium. So, an addition of salt is not really necessary, especially for younger people. Sometimes older folks, whose digestion isn't very good, can benefit from a small addition of salt to the diet, because salt can stimulate the increased production of hydrochloric acid, and thus be a digestive aid. Chlorine from sodium chloride (salt) is used in the synthesis of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The best salt for human consumption is a whole sea salt, which, in addition to sodium chloride, also contains all the other beneficial minerals and trace elements as found in sea water. Whole sea salt is sold in health food stores. Thus, a small addition of salt to the diet (1-3 grams a day) is not considered to be harmful, especially to older people, and if it is unrefined, sea salt. But, too much salt (the average American intake is 10-15 grams a day!) is extremely harmful and can contribute to kidney damage, peptic ulcers, high blood pressure, skin disorders, heart trouble, and even stomach cancer.


Q. I am 30 years old, and for the past seven years, I have had problems with anxiety. It has been continuous, with symptoms ranging from mild anxiety to real fear and panic. The symptoms are much worse when I am in public or social situations. I have consulted many orthodox medical practitioners, psychiatrists, naturopaths, homeopaths, etc., with no results. I have tried a total change of diet, juice fasting, meditation, and large amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements, especially B complex, C, A, D, calcium, and magnesium. This problem, diagnosed as an anxiety neurosis, has also been complicated by chronic sore throats, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue, especially over the last year. - M.M., Chicago, IL.

A. Judging from your description of symptoms, I would seriously suspect hypoglycemia, a low blood sugar. If you have never been tested for it, I suggest you request your doctor to perform a GTT (a 6-hour glucose tolerance test) to confirm the diagnosis. If the test shows that you have hypoglycemia, I recommend that you follow the diet and supplement program as outlined in my new book, Hypoglycemia: A Better Approach, just off the press. It is available from your health food store, or you may order it from the publishers, Health Plus, PO. Box 22001, Phoenix, AZ 85028.

Back Pain

Q. I am almost 50, and for about two years have had a soreness in the upper back about 3 inches below the neck. X-rays do not reveal arthritis, but one doctor told me that most likely that's what it is. The more I use my arm, the more I notice it. Of course, it comes and goes, but it gets very painful in the summer when I do lots of gardening. Could you suggest something? - B.W.H., Dennisport, Moss.

A. If your backache is caused by arthritis, perhaps you should go on a therapeutic anti-arthritis program of an alkaline diet, with emphasis on vegetables and fruits, and exclusion of animal proteins, including cow's milk and cheese. The best foods for arthritics are cooked and raw green vegetables, potatoes, bananas, cherries, and pineapple. The best protein foods are: goat's milk, millet, rice, corn, and cat cereals. If you are overweight, juice fasting is an excellent way to detoxify the body and help to correct arthritis, especially in its early stages, like yours seem to be. You may also try taking specific supplements that have been found to be effective in arthritis: yucca plant tablets, bromelain tablets, alfalfa tablets, cherry juice, cod-liver oil, potassium, and vitamins C, niacin, and B complex.

Also, please read my article, Backaches: Modern Epidemic, in the December, 1975 issue of Let's LIVE. [ Unfortunately, this is unavailable. ] It outlines nutritional and other biological approaches as well as special exercises for various forms of backaches. If you don't have back issues of Let's LIVE on hand, you can order them from 444 N. Larchmont blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004. Most issues are available at $1.00 each.

Food Sources of Vitamin B15

Q. Concerning your most interesting discussion of the uses of vitamin B15 in the past issues of Let's LIVE, and the present situation in this country, where mature individuals are not permitted to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to use it, something came immediately to my mind that needs further discussion. If we are unable to obtain B15 easily over the counter, are there any foods where B15 occurs in appreciable amounts? Could we not get it by that means, at least to some extent? That approach was not mentioned in your letter, and I am wondering if that avenue is open to those who want to follow it? - N. McF., Carmel, CA

A. Yes, it is possible to obtain B15 from foods. It is present in useful amounts in most B-complex rich foods, such as all grains, seeds, and nuts; whole brown rice is an especially good source. Food sources may be sufficient for prevention of B15 deficiency, if your diet contains plenty of whole grains, seeds, and nuts. But, for therapeutic purposes, i.e., for the treatment of specific conditions such as emphysema, cancer, heart condition, poor circulation, hardening of the arteries, arthritis, etc, where B15 is specifically required, you need large doses of it daily - much more than even a good diet can supply. The usual therapeutic dosage is 150 to 200 mg. daily.

Low Cholesterol And Low Fat Diet

Q. Recently I had my blood tested and found that I have a high triglyceride level and I have to go on a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet. One of the things that I am to avoid are egg yolks.

Now, I read an article in the May issue of Let's LIVE which says that beaten egg yolks are a good supply of lecithin, which is supposed to be good for high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Can you enlighten me on this subject? Also, would you have any information on triglycerides? How much, if any, difference is there between triglycerides and cholesterol? - W.B., Nowell, PA.

A. The triglyceride level refers to the general fat content of the blood. The cholesterol level refers only to the amount of one special fat, cholesterol, in the blood. The standard medical practice to ban eggs in a "low-cholesterol" diet, is now largely discarded. Studies have shown that the cholesterol content of the foods you eat has very little, if anything, to do with the cholesterol levels in the arteries. Furthermore, eggs contain large amounts of lecithin, the very substance needed to keep arteries free of cholesterol. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier of fat - all fat, both triglycerides and cholesterol - and taking lecithin in supplement form will help to reduce the level of both triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood and arteries. I would, however, not go so far as to infer that eating lecithin-containing egg yolks will reduce blood cholesterol. An egg yolk may contain enough lecithin to offset its own high fat content - thus making egg eating safe - but not enough to add to the total lecithin balance in the body. Where there is clinical evidence of high triglyceride and/or high cholesterol levels in the blood, the corrective program should include reduction of the total fat in the diet, and taking one to two tablespoons of lecithin granules daily. Also, all refined, processed foods should be eliminated, especially cholesterol-producing white sugar and white flour in any form. In addition to a general supplementation, the following vitamins and supplements may be taken daily until the condition is corrected:

Calcium Orotate And Calcium Glycerophosphate

Q. As a very loyal and dedicated student of nutrition and health, I enjoy your column in Let's LIVE every month.

In your December 1975, column, you mentioned calcium orotate for the most effective assimilative results. Is calcium orotate as effective as calcium glycerophosphate? Where can orotate or glycerophosphate be purchased? I have never seen either product in a health food store. - H.H.I., Council Bluffs, Iowa.

A. I have never heard of calcium glycerophosphate sold as a food supplement, although I do not exclude the possibility that it may exist. It would be a chelated combination of calcium phosphate, with phosphoglycerides, the lipids, which are also called glycerol phosphatides. Calcium orotate, on the other hand, is now a very common food supplement, sold in most health fobd stores. It is a so-called chelated mineral product - calcium combined chemically with orotic acid for better assimilation. It is not always called calcium orotate on the label, but if you read the small print, you will find the reference there. Calcium orotate is an easily assimilable form of calcium and it is often prescribed by biologically oriented doctors for those who have difficulty with calcium assimilation. If your health food store doesn't have it, they certainly can get it from any of the major health-food distributors.

To Counteract "Pill" Damage

Q. I read your article entitled, "Birth Control: A Biological Perspective", in the June, 1976 issue of Let's LIVE, and I'm hoping that you can supply me with a little information concerning this.

I was a prolonged user of birth control pills (six years to be exact) until two months ago when I began to continuously feel abnormal in many of the ways you have mentioned in your article: "cramps; dry blotchy skin; mouth ulcers; dry and falling hair; sleep disturbances; inability to concentrate; migraine headaches; depression, moodiness, irritability; darkening of the skin of the upper lip and lower eyelids; sore breasts; nausea; weight gain; fatigue; dental cavities; swollen and bleeding gums; greatly decreased sex drive; Changes in blood and fat; visual disturbances; eczema and kidney failure." Since I have stopped taking the Pill, several of these side effects have subsided. However, I was wondering if there are any vitamins or minerals that would be beneficial in counteracting the side effects more quickly. - Ms. E.G.H., Clifton, NJ

A. Prolonged use of the Pill causes severe physiological and biochemical disturbances in the body as well as specific vitamin deficiencies, especially the deficiency of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B12, B5, biotin and folic acid.

To speed your recovery from the six year long pill trip, you should adhere to a health-building Optimum Diet with emphasis on whole grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, mostly eaten raw.

In addition, you should take the following vitamins and supplements daily for 3 months: