Paavo Airola - Health Forum - Vegetarian Times - June 1983 Index

Holistic vs. Traditional Medicine

Q. I read in Today's Health the answer given by a medical doctor to a question about the safety of aluminum cooking utensils. He said that notions about aluminum pots being unhealthy and supposedly releasing toxic aluminum into foods are total nutritional quackery, without any scientific basis. He said that if these notions were true our nation would have perished long ago, considering the popularity and wide use of aluminum cooking utensils.

Now, a quote from your new book, The Airola Diet & Cookbook: "Aluminum cookware should never be used. Aluminum utensils can leave residues of highly toxic aluminum in foods they come in contact with."

How can you explain this apparent contradiction? - Dr. J.C.H., San Diego, CA

A. Today's Health is an official publication of the American Medical Association. If you are going to depend on such a source of information for guidance in your efforts to improve your own nutrition or in the management of the nutrition needs of your patients, God help you! The AMA has traditionally been ten to twenty years behind in acceptance or endorsement of virtually all innovative ideas and medical discoveries; in the field of nutrition, they have been (and still are) thirty years behind! Just a few years ago, their publications stated that nutrition has nothing to do with disease. How many conventional doctors ever ask their patients what they ate or what utensils they cook their food in?

You must be fairly new in the field of nutrition, since you seem surprised at the contradiction between my views and the official orthodox medical views. If you continue reading this and other health publications. you will soon discover that we (myself and my colleagues in alternative, holistic, wellness-oriented medicine) disagree with the archaic, official views of crisis- and drug-oriented medicine on virtually all basic issues, especially those related to nutrition. As you know, nutrition is not taught in medical schools. Consequently, the average housewife who reads health books and magazines knows more about nutrition than most doctors do. There are, however, a growing number of nutritionally-oriented doctors who are self-educated in this vital area. My guess is that at least 25% of all doctors in America are now including nutritional guidance and suggestions in their practice.

Avoiding Stretch Marks

Q. When I had my baby 18 months ago, I was about 50 pounds over my regular weight. I nursed my baby until 3 months ago and loved it. But I guess the breast skin got really stretched because, now that my weight is back to normal, I have a 70-year-old's chest; my bra size is smaller than ever, and my breasts are sagging and shapeless. I took at least 400 units of vitamin E a day during pregnancy and still continue to do so. But the stretch marks I was trying to prevent are there. Exercises haven't seemed to help. What can be done to prevent stretch marks? - M.S., Los Angeles, CA

A. Stretch marks are the result of a body's weakened cellular and collagen integrity and an inability to meet the demands of stress; the skin is not elastic enough to shrink back to its original size without leaving marks. Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are definitely involved, particularly deficiencies of vitamins E and C-complex, zinc, silicon, and pantothenic acid. The deficiency of mucopolysaccharides may also be involved.

As a starter, your 50-pound weight gain during pregnancy was way too much! Ideally, the weight gain should be approximately 24 pounds. This could be the origin of your problem. Also, in addition to taking vitamin E internally, you should apply vitamin E mixed with olive oil and vitamin A externally to stretch-mark prone areas, such as the stomach and the breasts. Without such application, stretch marks are bound to result from weight gains as great as your own.

Incidentally, breast-feeding itself does not cause stretch marks on the breasts, though they will become stretched because of engorgement with milk.

Often, stretch marks fade over time, and the tone of the muscles supporting the breast can be strengthened through exercise. To prevent more stretch marks from developing in future pregnancies, here's what you can do:

  1. Build your body's nutritional integrity to the optimal level by eating a grain- centered, well-balanced diet for a full year prior to and throughout the pregnancy.

  2. Take all the vitamins and supplements suggested in Everywoman's Book, especially vitamins E and C, the minerals, including zinc and silicon, and the bioflavonoids. Take horsetail tea for silicon.

  3. As soon as you know you are pregnant, begin a daily routine of gently massaging your body, especially the breasts, abdomen and buttocks, with a few drops of my special "Formula S." Morning and/or evening, after a bath or shower, are the best times.

      Formula S
      4 Tbs. virgin olive oil, cold-pressed
      4 capsules vitamin E (1,000 I.U. per capsule, mixed tocopherols)
      2 capsules vitamin A (25,000 units/capsule)

    Mix the ingredients in a little jar and keep refrigerated, tightly closed. Make a new batch when the first one is gone. Add a few drops of a pure, natural perfume (essence of flowers) if you and/or your husband prefer.

  4. Aloe Vera gel, applied externally, is also helpful.

Hot Tubs May Not Be Such a Hot Idea

Q. What is your opinion of hot tubs? My wife wants to have one installed in our back yard. Are there any health benefits or dangers? - M.P., Houston, TX

A. Many people claim they are able to relax in their hot tubs, but along with the benefits of relaxation, the use of hot tubs may carry with it some real health dangers, depending upon who uses them, what chemicals are used in the tub and how often the water is changed.

It is worthwhile to point out that your skin is your body's largest organ of elimination. Up to 2/3 of all bodily toxins are eliminated through perspiration, and the composition of sweat is very similar to that of urine. Imagine the dozens of people who might use your hot tub during the course of a month - or even a year. That could amount to a lot of human perspiration. Would you want to sit in someone else's bath water that was a month old?

Although filters remove many of the sediments which may get into hot tubs, they do virtually nothing to clean out uric acid, urea and other human wastes. Some of the infectious elements which may get into your water include microorganisms which may cause vaginal infections, yeasts, candida, trichomonas, nonspecific urethritis, herpes - you name it. All of these things, and more, are washed into the brew, which thickens by the day. Some of these bacteria are resistant to chlorine.

Medical journals report an outbreak of a new disease among hot tub users, called Hot Tub Dermatitis, which results in red, itchy lesions all over the body. Dr. Michael Franzblau, a Marin County dermatologist, says, "We usually see a new outbreak of Hot Tub Dermatitis after private parties." The problem is reportedly widespread, a mini-epidemic.

Then there is the danger of the chlorine itself. Chlorine is one of the recently recognized carcinogens. Hot tub owners are advised to use higher levels of chlorine to prevent infections. This exposes bathers to chlorine fumes which they breathe constantly. Also, chlorine is absorbed through the skin, and absorption increases when the pores are wide open (as they are when soaking in hot water).

As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of hot tubs.