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


Q. I presently suffer at times from a condition known as gouty arthritis, and I am taking corticosteroid medication to obtain relief. My blood uric acid level is very much lower than normally expected in such cases. I am not asking for any kind of diagnosis, of course, but I have been wondering if perhaps there could be some nutritional aspects of which neither my physician nor I are aware. - D.I.V., St. Louise, Mo.

A. I hope you realize that cortisone only relieves symptoms temporarily, but does nothing to correct the condition and restore health. In fact, with its serious side effects, cortisone only weakens the patient and his resistance and interferes with the body's self-healing effort, and can actually aggravate the condition.

Gout is one of the easiest conditions to deal with nutritionally and biologically. The aim is to prevent the build up of excess uric acid and purines in the system. To this end, all animal proteins - meat, especially organ meats, milk products and eggs - are excluded from the diet, and they must be used only sparingly when the condition is corrected, to prevent recurrence. Even acid-forming grains, especially wheat, rye, beans, and most nuts - except almonds and Brazil nuts - are to be excluded or used cautiously.

Millet and buckwheat are alkaline grains, and are allowed for patients with gout. Soybeans and lima beans are also excellent. The diet should be skimpy (systematic undereating!) and based upon raw and cooked vegetables and fruits, with allowed grains, beans, and nuts mentioned above. Potatoes and bananas are especially beneficial. The single most beneficial food used in connection with gout is cherries, especially fresh, in season, but also canned without sugar or preservatives, frozen, or dried. Cherry juice or juice concentrate also is useful and most health food stores sell both. In terms of supplements, the complete line of vitamins, minerals, specific juices and herbs that are recommended in How To Get Well for arthritis, are usually helpful to those who suffer from gout.

Athlete's Foot Cure

Q. My open athlete's foot sores dried up in a few days after taking B-complex vitamins. Could it be that the human body allows the fungus to grow because the fungus manufactures B vitamins which are then absorbed into the body? - B.B.B., Ir., Anchorage, Alaska

A. A brilliant deduction! However, it is unlikely that the body would resort to this form of correcting a vitamin deficiency - although the human body is so unbelievably ingenious in its persistent effort to restore health that I would hesitate to dismiss even such an improbable assumption with a flat no. The most likely reason for quick success in recovery from athlete's foot condition with B vitamins was that a severe B-vitamin deficiency, especially of B2 and B6, contributed to the development of the condition - and when the deficiency was corrected, the condition disappeared. It is not always possible nor necessary to know exactly how vitamins work, as long as we know that they do work.

Juice Fasting Experience

Q. Today I'm going off a 10-day juice fast. In January I fasted for 6 days. I am 43 years old, 5'7" weight almost 150 lbs. before the first juice fast. Now I'm down to 122 lbs. and I feel absolutely wonderful. I've followed your instructions to the letter - dry brush massage, hot and cold showers, enemas, organic fruits and vegetables juiced in a juicer and drunk immediately. All my little aches. and pains are gone and I feel great. My skin is like that of a 20-year old. In fact, I feel 20 years younger!

I have two questions: The reason I decided to fast was because I have a great deal of mucus draining from my sinuses constantly. I have had this for as long as I can remember. The juice fast has not relieved this. Immediately below my left ear is a swollen gland which sometimes has a slight pain which goes up to the inside of my left ear. Usually I can tell if I'm getting an infection, cold, sore throat, etc., because this gland swells a little more and has the pain. It's as though there's an infection in that gland which remains dormant until conditions are right for it to flare up and attack my respiratory system. Have you any suggestions? Are the sinuses and this gland affecting each other? The right gland is fine. I've never been able to get a doctor who examines me to be interested in the slightest. I tell them about this gland as they examine my neck, and they ignore it. Can anything be done for my swollen gland?

Also, after the last fast, my period, which has always been regular, came two weeks early, then after that I've been having them regularly. Is this to be expected? - M.D., West Chester, PA.

A. You must have a severe chronic sinusitis, which poisons your system and causes the swelling in the lymphatic glands. Since a ten-day fast was not sufficient to correct this condition, perhaps you can try either several short fasts (10-14 days each) or one longer fast (four weeks). Between fasts, in addition to the Optimum Diet, don't forget to take all the supplements I suggest, especially large doses of vitamins C, A, B12, and bioflavonoids.

There may be other causes for your persistent sinusitis; such as allergies and mental stresses. Both can mimic symptoms of infections, which are nothing more than the body's reaction to stress. Check carefully to see if you are allergic to any foods or any substances in your environment, and eliminate all allergens, if possible. To begin with, stop eating all milk and milk products, all wheat in any form, and all citrus fruits. These are the most common allergens. This alone may solve your "sinusitis".

Regarding your second question: yes, temporary menstrual irregularity, or skipping one or two periods, may be caused by fasting - in fact, is is a quite common occurrence. No cause for concern. Just the body's natural reaction to temporary stress caused by fasting.


Q. Having followed your principles of diet and exercise for a number of years, I can say that I have been truly rewarded with very good health in my mid-forties: firm muscles, no aches or pains, and good aerobic capacity. However, there is one problem that I have not been able to budge, either with nutrition or exercise.

Being very highly myopic, and progressively so since my early teens, I am wondering if it is possible to overcome such a problem with physical therapy. Eye doctors say no, having only stronger and stronger glasses to offer. Then there are others who state that refractive errors are the result of the external muscles of the eye being out of balance, with uneven contractions pulling the eyeball out of round. Supposedly these muscles can be trained to work evenly, and thus the refractive errors will be corrected. I have practiced the Bates and Hagmann methods at home, with only small and temporary gains. While these methods may well benefit those with relatively minor errors, I feel the magnitude of my problem requires the personal help of a professional teacher in this field. Thus far, I have been unable to locate one. I have read every book I could lay my hands on pertaining to eye exercising, with some of the most interesting to me being the ones authored by R. Brooks Simpkins from England. Are there any other specialists in this field that you know of either here or abroad who would help me in my endeavor? Or am I wasting my efforts? Are my eye doctors telling me the truth - that the only thing that can be done for refractive errors is to prescribe glasses? Your comments would be most appreciated. - N.H., Camp Hill, PA.

A. The truth is probably somewhere between your eye doctor's opinions and your wishful thinking that nutrition and exercise will correct anything. You can probably improve, and what is more important, prevent the progressive deterioration of your eyesight, with better nutrition and special exercises such as the Bates. But, it would be unrealistic to expect that you can completely correct an advanced case of myopia such as yours, although, as you said, these approaches may help greatly those with minor refractive errors. You will be much happier if you relax, do the best you can nutritionally - have faith, expect miracles, but do not feel disappointed if they do not appear.

Burning Mouth

Q. I have a problem which came on me about a month ago, after many years of very good health. My mouth burns constantly. My tongue is like I tasted red pepper. I take lots of vitamins, and was afraid I was getting too many, so I stopped them all, but after about three weeks, no difference. I went on fruit juice diets - lemons, grapefruit, oranges for 3 days. Then I started eliminating foods that I thought might be acid. No better. I feel fine otherwise. I am down to about bananas and buttermilk. No better. I take lots of herbs.

Is it possible I have been poisoned by sprays used on vegetables? I drink two glasses of vegetable juice each morning - romaine lettuce, carrots, celery, raw potato, and other vegetables in season. I sure wish you could help me. It is terrible having a burning mouth all the time. It is also dry. - Mrs. T.G., Sacramento, CA.

A. The burning mouth and tongue is usually indicative of B-vitamin deficiencies, particularly B6. You might wish to try 500 mg. of B6 for two weeks, then reduce to 200 mg. daily. Simultaneously, take a high-potency B-complex formula, and 2 to 3 tbsp. of brewer's yeast every day. Leave all other vitamins and supplements out for two weeks. then resume taking them. And, don't forget to adhere to the Optimum Diet, with emphasis on B-vitamin rich grains, seeds, and nuts.

Estrogen Therapy - Cancer Link

Q. A year ago I had a complete hysterectomy. Since then I am a new person and am very thankful. I feel wonderful, but here is my problem: On a TV program, a group of doctors were discussing hormones, and said anyone taking premarin was liable to get cancer, as it was connected with the development of cancer, and should not be used. My doctor says I should take it the rest of my life. Please tell me if it is safe or not. RR, Daytona Beach, FL.

A. This is one of a dozen letters I have received from worried women after they have read or heard of the studies that linked estrogen therapy with increased risk of cancer of the uterus.

I have the reports of scientific studies referred to in the readers' questions before me as I write this. One study was made at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the other by the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles. Both studies show that taking estrogen pills (Premarin and other brands) to counteract the symptoms of menopause and slow the signs of menopausal aging increases the risk of cancer in the lining of the uterus. The risk factor increased five to seven times in middle aged women on estrogen therapy.

During menopause, which normally occurs between the ages of 40 and 50, the ovaries drastically slow down estrogen production and eventually they degenerate. This results in typical menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and chills, menstrual disturbances, nervousness and depression, and accelerated aging processes. The same symptoms are experienced by those who have had a hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. Replacing decreased natural estrogen with estrogen medication decreases these symptoms, and millions of American women take estrogen pills daily. Many doctors prescribe them indiscriminately and keep assuring responsive female patients that they are perfectly safe, and that they "must" take them. Government authorities say that estrogen drugs may be "overprescribed". Estrogen is also the main ingredient in birth control pills, taken by about 12 million American women. The Pill has definitely been causatively linked to increased risk of developing cancer and heart disease, especially when taken by women over 40.

In spite of the fact that the scientific studies linking estrogen therapy and the birth control pills with cancer were well publicized, the readers of this "Forum" still ask me: please tell me if they are safe or not. My answer is: They are not safe. Both menopausal estrogen therapy and estrogen-containing birth control pills are extremely dangerous and increase the risk of developing not only cancer of the uterus, but also cancer anywhere in the body, as well as thrombophlebitis, heart disease (the Pill-taking women between 30 and 40 have 3 to 5 times more heart attacks), blindness, infertility, and many other health problems.

The solution seems to be obvious: stay away from both - estrogen pills or injections, and the birth control pills. There are many natural ways, with special diets, supplements and specific natural estrogen-containing herbs, to help the body during the menopausal period and prevent the accelerating aging processes caused by slowed down estrogen production. They are described in detail in the section on "Menopause" in my book, How To Get Well (available at health food stores), and also in special articles on menopause and birth control in the June and July, 1976, issues of Let's LIVE.

The so-commonly-used birth control pill must be replaced by less harmful methods, or preferably totally harmless methods such as rhythm or ovulation methods. Personally, I am of the opinion that women should be completely freed from responsibility in this regard, and the man should shoulder it 100%. There are, and have been available for hundreds of years, very safe and simple birth control means for men sold in every drugstore for pennies. Any man who is immature, inconsiderate, or irresponsible enough to refuse the responsibility of birth control, and demands that his woman should endanger her life for his convenience and pleasure, does not deserve a woman.

Male-pattern Baldness

Q. I have read in your books and also in this magazine, that a large percentage of baldness in men is due to excess production of male hormones.

My diet is quite adequate: natural foods, 1 natural, multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, plus 400 I.U. of E, extra zinc, selenium, C, pantothenic acid, and cell salts. I am in excellent health, with only an allergy to peanuts, walnuts, mustard, flax, and dust. I am 42 years old, live and work in a rural area, and drink one to two cups of coffee a day. I massage my scalp daily, wash my hair with Panthenol shampoo three to four times weekly. My hair has been thinning since age 23. I have lost about 2/3 of my hair on the top. Just a general thinning all over the top. The hair I do have grows well to a long length.

Since I have done all I can in diet and massaging, I am assuming that my problem is hormones. Can you tell me how to equalize my male hormones? - B.L.A., Camp Meeker, CA.

A. As you are aware, the main cause of male-pattern baldness is an excess of male sex hormones. The only way you can equalize the hormone levels is by either taking female hormones or using herbs that contain female hormones, such as licorice, black cohosh, unicorn, elder, etc. In both cases, you may get "feminized" in the process. So, most men choose to remain as they are - with thinning hair, but their masculinity intact.

In addition to the nutritional approach, with which you are familiar, the singularly best thing you can do to improve hair growth, even when it is caused by excess male hormones, is to do a headstand several times a day. This is the most effective way to increase circulation in the scalp and supply more nutrients to the hair roots.

Phytate And Sprouts

Q. I have read that the phytate in whole grains, which are not cooked, combine with certain minerals and inactivate them. Is this also true of whole grain sprouts, or is it all right to eat them raw? - Mrs. S.I.G., Peoria, IL.

A. Either cooking or sprouting breaks down the phytates and makes minerals and trace elements of grains more readily available and assimilable. Thus, grains are best eaten raw, like in sprouts, or cooked, like in cereals or bread.