Paavo Airola - Health Forum - Vegetarian Times - December 1981 Index

Cholesterol and Diet

Q. I have just been told by my doctor that my cholesterol level is slightly high, and I was given a diet to follow which entirely excludes bran and all other high-fiber foods as well as all citrus juices. I have been reading a great deal lately about the value of including bran in one's diet, but now I am puzzled. What is the connection between fiber and high cholesterol? What is the usual procedure for lowering cholesterol levels? I have discontinued using bran and drinking orange juice, but it makes me feel very uneasy. Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated. - Mrs. R.F., Metairie, Louisiana

A. You must find a more informed doctor. If you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the International Academy of Biological Medicine, P.O. Box 31313, Phoenix, AZ 85046, they will send you, free of charge, a directory of doctors who practice nutritional and biological medicine. I am sure any of them can give you a better diet than the one you were given by your present doctor.

Here are some proven facts about the cholesterol-diet relationship:

  1. The dietary intake of cholesterol-rich foods (such as eggs) has only an insignificant effect on the blood-serum levels of cholesterol. The major part of the systemic cholesterol is produced within the body and the cholesterol levels can be excessively high even when no cholesterol-rich foods are eaten.
  2. Excessive consumption of sugar and animal fats are primary contributing factors to high cholesterol levels. Dr. John Yudkin of England, the famous author of Sweet and Dangerous, and Dr. Benjamin Sandler, author of How to Prevent Heart Attacks, both presented irrefutable scientific evidence that excess sugar and refined carbohydrates - such as white flour in every form - in the diet are the number one cause of high cholesterol and the resultant atherosclerosis.
  3. The lack of sufficient physical exercise is another important contributing cause. Walking and jogging are the best exercises.
  4. Emotional stresses, such as anxieties, worries, hatred, severe depressions, etc., also elevate cholesterol.
  5. The diet with the greatest potential for prevention of elevated cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis and heart disease is described in my book, How to Get Well, in the section on heart disease. It is basically a lacto-vegetarian diet, which is a high-roughage and high-residue diet with emphasis on whole grains and plenty of raw vegetables and fruits. This diet is supplemented with the following specific factors, all of which have been found to play a vital role in maintaining proper levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and arteries:
Vitamin C (1,000-5,000 mg.). World-wide studies show that a daily intake of large doses of vitamin C results in a drastic reduction of blood-serum cholesterol.
Lecithin (choline and inositol, the lipotropic factors of lecithin) emulsifies fat and cholesterol and hastens the removal of fat deposits and cholesterol from the system.
Vitamin F, unsaturated fatty acids, as in cold-pressed, unheated vegetable oils.
Chromium. Present in hard water and brewer's yeast, whole grain bread and mushrooms. Also available in supplement form in health food stores. Pectin markedly reduces cholesterol levels. Plentiful in apples and other fruits.
Niacin reduces cholesterol levels and improves circulation.
Vitamin B-6 prevents the build-up of cholesterol on arteries.
Magnesium and Calcium help prevent atherosclerosis and reduce cholesterol levels.

You must also avoid smoking, smog, alcohol and coffee. All are contributing factors in the development of atherosclerosis.

Yellow Urine

Q. Why is it that when I take B-complex tablets or capsules - no matter what brand - my urine changes to bright yellow? Is it a filler in the tablets or am I excreting what I cannot digest? - M. W., Charleston, Georgia

A. Riboflavin, or vitamin B-2, which comprises a large part of B-complex vitamins, has a naturally bright yellow color which, in some people, spills over into the urine. There is no need to be concerned.

The Value of Food Enzymes

Q. I really enjoy your new column, and I hope you can answer my question about enzymes. I understand that food enzymes are destroyed by cooking. However, since they are also destroyed by the acidity of the stomach, what is the purpose of eating raw vegetables for their enzyme value? Could you please explain the importance and purpose of food enzymes? - C.H., Norridge, Illinois

A. At present, there is no scientific evidence that enzymes in food play a useful enzymatic role in human nutrition, with the exception of papain in papayas and bromelain in pineapples which do help in the digestive processes, most enzymes present in food are destroyed in the stomach, then digested and utilized as simple proteins. Enzymes are extremely important for one's health and, indeed, for one's very life. They trigger and direct virtually all functions within our bodies. But, all enzymes needed for such functions - thousands of different kinds of enzymes - are produced within our bodies. The enzymes in the carrot exist for the metabolic processes within the carrot - our bodies cannot use them as enzymes.

This does not mean, however, that you can safely cook all your food to death and disregard the advice of most nutrition authorities regarding eating as much of your food as possible in a natural raw state. Eating raw food is important for many reasons other than protecting the enzymes. Cooking destroys many of the vitamins, leaches out many minerals and changes the chemical structure of proteins and fats so that they become less assimilable.

It is also possible that in the future we'll discover some other advantages of eating as much food as possible in the raw state. Perhaps even food enzymes in their raw state will be found to have some favorable health-promoting or disease, preventing effects - but not as enzymes. Remember, all the enzymes needed for the enzymatic functions in your body are produced within a healthy, normally functioning body.

I know that this answer will be misread and misquoted, especially by fanatic raw food advocates. And, it will shock many readers who have heard so many unscientific notions about the benefit of eating raw foods because of enzymes. Please don't crucify me for what I did not say. What I did say is that at this state of scientific knowledge, we do know that it is important to eat as much as possible of your food in its natural raw state; cooking and frying destroys many vitamins, leaches out minerals and changes the chemical structure of proteins and fats, rendering them less assimilable, even harmful. These are the main reasons for eating most foods raw - not for the enzymes they contain.

Airola Diet for a Dog

Q. I urgently need to know how the loss of calcium, zinc and iron is to be prevented in the diet you have outlined, since grains, nuts and seeds are so high in phytate. My dog has a cartilage tumor between the eyes. She is on your diet, along with fruit, peach pits (for B17 content), vitamins, minerals, brewer's yeast, etc. However, I am unable to obtain B15. How does one acquire 100-150 mg. of B15 from food sources alone? I'm having the same problem in regard to B17 pills or injections. She has shown remarkable improvement, but then again the tumor seems to change every so often. She's full of energy and plays like a puppy. Do you know where I could take her for treatment? She's only five years old. Please answer my plea? - D.K., Atlantic City, New Jersey

A. First, my optimum diet is for humans, not for dogs. Dogs are naturally carnivorous animals and thrive best on a meat diet, preferably raw, which includes organ meats, especially liver, and bones. Grains, nuts, seeds and fruits are not natural food for dogs. But if you feed them to your pet anyway, don't worry about phytin-bound minerals. If cereals are cooked, the phytates will be broken down and the minerals effectively utilized by the dog. Brewer's yeast is a good supplement to give to dogs and so is bone meal. Vitamin B15 is sold in most health food stores. But remember, don't try to feed or medicate your dog the way you do yourself. The dog will have poor health and low resistance to disease if fed on a human diet, especially a vegetarian diet. While a meatless diet is definitely best for you, the dog can never be totally healthy without plenty of meat. It would be unnatural to force a horse, a natural herbivore, to eat meat and it is just as unnatural to force a dog, a natural carnivore, to eat vegetables and fruits.

Hypoglycemia Diet Without Meat

Q. Could you tell me if it's possible to follow a low blood sugar diet without meat? I'm finding it almost impossible to keep the protein and fat high and the carbohydrates and calories low without meat. What percentage of protein, fat and carbohydrate do you recommend? May I have a list of the books you have written and where I can get them? Have you done any writing on low blood sugar? Thank you so much for any information you can give me - Mrs. D.B., San Rafael, California.

A. Yes. it is possible to have a meatless hypoglycemia diet. It is outlined in my book, How to Get Well, pages 112-114. I have also written a book on low-protein diets for hypoglycemia, entitled, Hypoglycemia: A Better Approach. A hypoglycemia diet must include a certain amount of natural carbohydrates. In fact, it should be a high natural carbohydrate/low animal protein diet. Millet and buckwheat are excellent cereals for hypoglycemia and they also supply an abundance of high quality proteins. So do almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, brewer's yeast, milk and milk products. Since my hypoglycemia book was published in 1977, thousands of hypoglycemics have written to tell me that the program outlined in my book has helped them to correct their low blood sugar condition. Most of these sufferers had tried the high-protein diet without success prior to reading my book.

To answer your other question, I have written and published 13 books so far. and most of them are available at health food stores. If your store does not have them, you may request a list of my books and order directly from my publisher: Health Plus Publishers, P.O. Box 22001, Phoenix, AZ 85028.

Condoms and Cervical Cancer

Q. I am an admirer of your work and a former hypoglycemic who recovered completely with the help of your diet. I am currently reading your new book, Everywoman's Book. My husband and I would like your advice. We read somewhere that there may be a higher incidence of cancer of the cervix in women whose mates use condoms. The reason given was that because the man doesn't ejaculate into the vagina, it prevents a natural chemical reaction that is necessary for the health of the area. We have been using condoms regularly for two years. I am going to have a diaphragm fitted, but am somewhat reluctant to use chemical gels.

Do you have any studies on cancer of the cervix and its relationship to the use of condoms? Which of the above mentioned birth control methods has the greatest risk? What are your suggestions? - P.S., Sarasota, Florida

A. I do not know of any controlled studies which show a clear causal relationship between cancer of the cervix and the use of condoms. However, many doctors feel or suspect that such a relationship is a possibility. Decades ago, R.S. Clymer, M.D. claimed that intercourse without ejaculation into the vagina can have serious physical, as well as emotional and even spiritual, repercussions. Recent studies show that semen contains natural antibiotic substances that help prevent vaginal infections. And, although in Everywoman's Book (Birth Control Chapter) I did recommend the condom as one of the few contraceptives without serious side effects. I did make it clear that the only birth control method I really endorse is what I call the Total Fertility Awareness Method, or a combined use of calendar (rhythm), Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and vaginal mucus (Billings) methods, all of which are described in detail in my book.

Regarding the choice between the condom and the diaphragm I am definitely against the diaphragm which, in my opinion, especially in combination with gels, can cause physical and chemical irritation of the cervix and vaginal walls which may lead to the development of cervical cancer. It may not be as bad as the pill or the IUD, but it is bad enough that I certainly cannot recommend it. If the Total Fertility Awareness Method is used and the instructions described in Everywoman's Book carefully followed, it is an exceptionally effective and safe birth control method. It clearly determines only 4-5 days during the month when you should refrain from regular, unprotected vaginal intercourse.