Recommended Daily Allowance

History can give context to understanding as to why a concept came into being. The concept that I am looking at today is the Recommended Daily Allowance [RDA]. This is a nutritional standard that was first developed by a committee of the US National Academy of Sciences at the beginning of World War II to investigate issues of nutrition that might “affect national defense”. During WW I, the ration standards for British solders was found not to be completely adequate to maintain health so in the years after the war, nutrition research became an active area of scientific inquiry and the official codification of uncovered ‘facts’.

Over the years these standards have been revised many times and now the most encompassing version in the U.S. is referred as Dietary Reference Intake [DRI]. According to the Wikipedia article linked above, the DRI is for the general public as well as professionals. The applications are:

  • Composition of diets for schools, prisons, hospitals or nursing homes
  • Industries developing new food stuffs
  • Healthcare policy makers and public health officials

Notice that it is really oriented to institutions not individuals.

Label It!

1000px-US_Nutritional_Fact_Label_2.svgTwenty years ago the now familiar food Nutrition Facts label started to appear on all packaged food. This was seen as a consumer victory in the battle to know what was in manufactured food. Things like sodium, sugar, trans- and saturated fats could not be hidden lurking to undermine the health of an unsuspecting eater. Now, if one chose to read the label, all was revealed to inquiring minds. It is ironic that obesity and metabolic diseases which have a known strong connection to eating habits have skyrocketed since that time.

The standards for each and every recognized macro- and micro-nutrient determined to be worth knowing about, have now been given sanction by academic/governmental committees that have determined what ‘97.5% of healthy individuals’ need on a daily basis. This means that 25 people in 1000 that are not covered by those recommendations. Not enough to worry about, I suppose.

Obviously there are several flaws to this concept of sufficiency. All the nutrients mentioned are needed for health and there are without a doubt at least a few more. It is curious that needing them daily in a certain amount has never been proven. Various feeding trails have taken this fixed daily intake approach as a method suitable for study. The amounts of nutrients chosen to be tested are based on conjecture and statistical averages. Practically speaking, testing for all variations of all known nutrients would require an astronomically huge number of studies even if one used a very simplified paradigm. That would still not include synergisms of nutrients or various food types or the conditions of existence for different types of individuals.

Also there is generally no accounting for the form of the nutrient. Do you think that the chemical copper sulfate added to a highly processed boxed cereal is going to be as well assimilated and useful to the body as the same amount of copper found in an organic matrix such as beef liver or mussels? How about thiamine [vitamin B1] or any other common nutrient? Added chemicals are not the same as those bound in food but food labeling and many scientists pretend they are. It seems that it is not convenient to consider nutrients more deeply.

white-sugarThere are many distortions regarding nutrition. One of the most obvious regarding special interests is that the current RDA says that added sugar should not be more than 25% (!) of calories. A modest diet of 2400 calories per day could allow as much as 30 teaspoons of white sugar [150 grams (30 x 5 gm)  x 4 calories/gm = 600 calories] and fall within the guideline. It is known that the food manufacturers strongly advocated for this figure after the originally proposed recommendations wanted to limit added sugars to not more than 5%. The question needing to be asked is whether these guidelines are to protect manufacturers’ profits or to insure the nutrition of people. Now researchers are uncovering new levels of impact:

“We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk. We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk. Changing diet is one of easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money.” – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130201100149.htm

Looked at more deeply, the purpose of something such as official nutrition standards is not really about health at all. It is about removing legal liability from those that choose to manufacture food to the lowest quality level that can be deemed sufficient. Something touted as a natural food or of premium quality might be a hair’s breadth higher in food value. Check out the labels on those healthy snack bars or fancy frozen entrees! If the government says it is ‘okay’ then a manufacturer is off the hook. Many industries including the food industry have learned from the mistakes of tobacco companies. Commercials featuring doctor-like actors did not protect them but the use of government-certified labeling that has the semblance of endorsement can create a veil of protection.

What do you really need?

Humans need real food not something that is simply called food by those more interesting in making money than providing a healthful product. Here’s a clue: Chemicals are not food.  Think synthetic vitamins, minerals, flavors and other additives. Industrially-altered substances that were once food are not food either. Think white bromated wheat flour, white sugar made from sugar beets, corn syrup made from enzyme-treated corn mash or clarified vegetable oils that have been subjected to chemicals and heat. The body is hard pressed to process these sorts of things let alone build and maintain strong bodies in thousands of ways (not just 12 ways as with the once famous Wonder Bread).

The Evolving Nature of Man

The Evolving Nature of Man

Nowadays, many people find the idea of eating more fruits and vegetable appealing and are eating them more than ever before. While this is more beneficial than eating junk food, you can only derive so much benefit from eating vegetation. Minerals, vitamins and various phyto-nutrients are definitely healthful. The modest amounts of carbohydrate generally found in them are certainly better than carbs found in refined or manufactured sources. Of course, one has the faith that contaminants are kept to a minimum during their production in the field or orchard even if they are certified to be organically produced.

Interesting, there is no human need to ingest carbohydrates. The sugars glucose, fructose or sucrose (or others) or the numerous forms of polysaccharides commonly called starches are not a necessity in the diet. A healthy body can handle a modest amount of carbs in the diet. For some, though, more than a tiny amount is problematic due to chronic dysregulation of blood sugar

Protein and fats are the missing ingredients. They are essential not only in bulk amount but in the details of their components. There are a number of fatty acids found in various different foods in the form of fat. Some of them are critically essential for building structure in all cells and especially nerves and brain. Mono-unsaturated and saturated fats are used more for energy extraction. The poly-unsaturated fats (Omega-6 and Omega-3) in small amounts are structural parts of cells and for cellular signaling (eicosanoids).

Proteins in humans are compounded from 21 different amino acids. There are many thousands of unique proteins found in food as well as in our bodies. Each has its own ratio and sequence of different amino acids each in its own unique architecture. The digestive tract does, more or less, breakdown food protein into amino acids before assimilating them into the blood. To construct the body’s proteins we need a wide array of more or less all the amino acids to make, repair or replace proteins in the body. Essential amino acids cannot be created in the body. Even the so-called non-essential amino acids often cannot be manufactured sufficiently to fulfill all body requirements. This is not an option for health.

After accounting for water, we are made primarily of proteins and function by their energetic actions. Understanding the complexity regarding how this happens is still being uncovered. But we do know that tissues need to be renewed on an ongoing basis. If renewal does not happen on a timely basis then that is what is called aging.

Standards such as the RDA do not benefit people. It is an institutional concept that does little to shape what an individual chooses to eat. Is anybody tracking how much Vitamin A or iron they are getting in a day or sodium they are avoiding? This attempt to focus attention on individual nutrients that supposedly exist in a product is blatant mental manipulation. A concoction of chemicals and fractionated food stuffs are now seen as being on a level playing field with whole food. Manufacturers and retailers win and you lose.

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Cholesterol Mythology

Did you know that there is a substance so necessary for our lives, we would last mere minutes without it? On the other hand, it can degrade our tissues quickly without multiple biologic systems of regulation and control in place. That paradox is essential oxygen.

Cholesterol is less lethal than oxygen but we have been inculcated that it can be a serious threat to our health. It is funny how vigilant we have been persuaded to be about the body. Let’s put things into perspective.

Bad Cholesterol

It is like a bad work of fiction. Enter the villain cholesterol . . . and to the rescue . . . a restricted low fat diet or the super heroic statin drugs. This story has been twisted so that the reference ranges for the standard blood tests regarding basic cholesterol testing are based on official ideals not mass-sampled statistics like all other tests.good-bad hdldl

LabCorp references

Low

High

Units

Total Cholesterol

100

199

mg/dL

LDL

0

99

mg/dL

HDL

> 39

mg/dL

Triglycerides

0

149

mg/dL

VLDL

5

40

mg/dL

Notice the nice rounded numbers. Total cholesterol below 100 is too low and 200 or more is too high. LDL above 100 is too high. HDL should be at least 40 and cannot be too high! Triglycerides are also rounded so that 150 is outside of the reference range but 148 is ok. Something is wrong with this picture.

LDL is said by the medical and media ‘echo chamber’ to be the bad cholesterol and HDL is said to be the good cholesterol. The fact is that neither one is cholesterol. LDL is an abbreviation for low density lipoprotein. HDL stands for high density lipoprotein. VLDL is for very low density. Lipoproteins are vessels or ‘boats’ that move cholesterol and triglycerides through the bloodstream.

Confused? Let’s start from the beginning. What is cholesterol and what is it good for?

Not unlike oxygen but arguably more complex, cholesterol is a molecule that is essential for life. It is a component of all animal cell membranes and is necessary for them to function properly. It is the parent molecule used to make necessary steroidal hormones like pregnenolone, progesterone, cortisol, DHEA, estrogen and testosterone. Cholesterol is also the precursor to Vitamin D that is created when sunlight (UVB) hits your skin. Bile salts, used to emulsify fats in the intestines, are made from cholesterol and other components.

Furthermore, most cells in the body can and do make cholesterol. It is used in cell signaling and is a part of the electrically insulative layer called myelin that wraps around nerve axons.

Working Hardcholesterol

From Dr. Peter Attia we learn:

Of this “made” or “synthesized” cholesterol, our liver synthesizes about 20% of it and the remaining 80% is synthesized by other cells in our bodies.  The synthesis of cholesterol is a complex four-step process (with 37 individual steps) . . . but I want to point out how tightly regulated this process is, with multiple feedback loops.  In other words, the body works very hard (and very “smart”) to ensure cellular cholesterol levels are within a pretty narrow band (the overall process is called cholesterol homeostasis).

The relevant point is that the body goes to great lengths to make cholesterol and to manage its quantity and use. It adjusts to whatever cholesterol is actually absorbed from the diet which, by the way, is not much. Does it sound like cholesterol is a bull in a china shop ready to wreck havoc on arteries?

As you can see cholesterol is good and necessary stuff. So what’s the problem? Unlike the picture in many people’s minds, cholesterol does not deposit itself on the inside of your arteries like the grease that coats the sewer pipes from a fast-food restaurant. So why is it bad sometimes?

Remember those lipoproteins such as LDL and HDL? This is how cholesterol and triglycerides (fats) are moved around in the bloodstream. Why? Blood is basically water with some minerals, proteins and cells suspended in it. Lipoproteins literally create a spherical ball that surrounds and carries many cholesterol and fat molecules through the blood like a cargo container. The higher the density the more cholesterol it carries but the less fat it carries. Also higher density particles are significantly smaller in size.

I would like to say it is that simple but it is not. There is no bad and good regarding these particles. They all have a purpose and a function. The biggest problem is that certain types of LDL (probably oxidized) particles can sometimes penetrate the endothelial cells (inside surface layer) of arteries and embed themselves with their cholesterol into the arterial tissue. This is dysfunctional and leads to an inflammatory cascade that involves the immune system. If the arterial wall swells, it reduces the flow of blood. If this festering area ruptures all sorts of garbage enters the bloodstream and can block arteries in the brain and other organs.

Measure Me

First, what is really measured by blood testing?

The most common and inexpensive cholesterol testing actually measures:

  1. Total cholesterol in all of the lipoproteins [TC]
  2. Cholesterol in HDL particles only [HDL-C]
  3. Total triglycerides [TG]

Using various assumptions the following values are calculated (not measured):

  1. VLDL cholesterol = [TG/5]
  2. LDL cholesterol  = [TCHDL-CTG/5]

apo-bVAP testing is sometimes used as an additional measure of cholesterol status, however, VAP tests do not report the number of LDL or HDL particles just the size of those particles. The curious thing is that the number of particles is the only testing that has been correlated with cardiovascular disease. This is done using NMR spectroscopy. Of course all this extra testing is at a substantial cost compared to the dirt cheap common tests.

Again quoting Dr. Attia:

If you were only “allow” to know one metric to understand your risk of heart disease it would be the number of apoB particles (90-95% of which are LDLs) in your plasma.  In practicality, there are two ways to do this:

  1. Directly measure (i.e., not estimate) the concentration of apoB in your plasma (several technologies and companies offer such an assay). Recall, there is one apoB molecule per particle;
  2. Directly measure the number of LDL particles in your plasma using NMR technology.

If this number is high, you are at risk of atherosclerosis.  Everything else is secondary.

Does having lots of HDL particles help?  Probably, especially if they are “functional” at carrying out reverse cholesterol transport, but it’s not clear if it matters when LDL particle count is low. In fact, while many drugs are known to increase the cholesterol content of HDL particles (i.e., HDL-C), not one to date has ever shown a benefit from doing so.  Does having normal serum triglyceride levels matter? Probably, with “normal” being defined as < 70-100 mg/dL, though it’s not entirely clear this is an independent predictor of low risk. Does having a low level of LDL-C matter?  Not if LDL-P (or apoB) are high, or better said, not when the two markers are discordant. [LDL-P is the particle count ~ John]

So basically nobody gets useful testing done to measure cholesterol. The reference ranges of blood lipids are fixed so that many older adults are outside of ‘normal’. This is why statin drugs are commonly prescribed to those that do not fit the current standard of medical ‘normalcy’. In fact, statins have only been shown to offer only a very slight positive effect when they are given to someone that has already had an ‘event’ – heart attack or stroke – and have not been shown to be beneficial as in living longer. As a matter of fact, statins and/or a low-fat diet can be very problematic for some people.

Riddle Me This

So if cholesterol is necessary and good, what is the source of the problem that leads to heart attacks and stoke? The clue is found in the use of the C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. This measures a protein that is indicative of systemic (body-wide) inflammation. Many cardiologists use this as a preferred predictor of risk. If lipoproteins are subjected to inflammatory bio-chemicals and excessive oxidation then LDL is altered and becomes a wildcard for the body. It is that simple for most people.

There are certain drugs and the vitamin niacin that will raise HDL but forcing the HDL to be at a higher level does not necessary change inflammation or nullifies stress factors that ‘light the fuse’ of the LDL bomb. HDL will naturally become higher when inflammation is lessened and saturated fats are included in the diet.

Lifestyle and diet are key to reducing inflammation. If you keep hitting your finger with a hammer it is not going to heal. If you keep eating inappropriate foods and stressing yourself through poor daily habits, over-reactive emotions, exposure to bright light at night, constant exposure to EMF fields, not drinking enough quality water, etc. you will not repair and heal at a cellular level as you should every night when you are asleep. As tissues and organs decline in function, we get older physiologically until a serious crisis strikes.

side3

The CARTOON version of what happens in your arteries!

Lots of people get killed by cars each year. Do we blame the cars or the drivers? Both are involved. Cars can fail in some mechanical way. That is not a common cause of accidents. Usually it is the driver or drivers that are at fault. It is funny how we call them auto accidents. What we blame for a problem seems to reveal our bias. Cholesterol happens to be more convenient than looking at our behavior (Sugar Linked To $1 Trillion In U.S. Healthcare Spending – Forbes). You do have a choice.

YouTube video:  AHS12 Peter Attia, MD — The Straight Dope on Cholesterol

Are You Hungry?

About ten years ago I was visiting an older friend in a Southwest desert town. While we were eating at his favorite local Mexican restaurant, he mentioned that he was never hungry. At the time I thought that was an odd statement because he was eating his professed favorite dish right there in front of me. He was thin but had been a farmer all his life and at 75 years old was obviously keeping himself sufficiently nourished to remain upright and physically active. When asked to clarify, all he could do was reiterate that he never really felt hungry. At the time I could not fathom how that could be so.

The Signs

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what hunger actually is. The idea is expressed in a number of contexts so let me give some examples:

  1. “I feel hungry for a pizza.”
  2. “My blood sugar is low. I need to eat.”
  3. “After working all day, I am starved.”
  4. “It’s 6 pm. What shall we have for dinner?”

The explanations for the above statements might be:

  1. The word ‘hungry’ is a synonym for a particular food desire. Pizza is a food choice not necessarily what the body needs for nourishment.
  2. Someone may feel weak, lethargic or emotionally uneasy for a complex number of reasons. This may or may not be due to low blood sugar but often eating helps to alleviate the symptoms of discomfort.
  3. If one does significant exercise or simply endures for a number of hours without eating, one may find they have a carb-fat-protein40strong appetite.
  4. A clock does not control your desire for food. Your mind is trying to force compliance to a contrived idea. The body’s need for food is real. What is considered food and when to eat it is another question.

Counting Calories

Food has calories. Or, does it?

A calorie is a measurement of heat. This was useful during the era of steam engines as applied to the heat released from coal and oil. This does not apply to the world of biology or modern physics. Food is not burned in the living body. The biologic idea of a calorie does not have any relevant truth in it even though it is repeatedly printed on food labels and diet/nutrition books as though it does. Calories in (food), calories out (energy expended) is a false statement. Do you think that the calorie equivalent 4 ounce piece of cooked Chinook salmon verses a 2.13 oz. 3-Musketeers candy bar is going to have the same energizing effect for the body in the short term or in the long term? You might consider this example unfair because the candy bar is 67% pure sugar and the salmon has no sugar. Half the salmon’s calories are from fat. A portion of that fat is an omega-3 fat known as DHA and is not broken down for energy because it is so precious to the human body it is conserved and appropriated into brain and nerve tissue.

Confused? It seems like the food peddlers are fine with twisting facts. Selling low nutrient synthetic food as though it was real food is a profitable game.

Unfortunately, food is complicated. Why our bodies need food is even more complicated. How a diet of specific foods ultimately affect our body is not well understood. But let’s not get overwhelmed by a tsunami of ignorance and start from the beginning.

I wrote last time (Dehydration article) that the cells of the body extract electrons from the food we eat. Notice that calories are not part of that picture. Food does not burn like wood in a fire. Electrons through a complex process in each cell’s mitochondria (tiny cells or organelles within each cell) are used to produce ATP. ATP pumps the proteins, DNA, etc. in the cell with energy to allow them to open their physical structure like an umbella so that water can form a multi-layered coating. These physically structured layers of water form a liquid crystalline semiconductor (not unlike silicon electronic semiconductors) that is part of a body-wide network that connects all tissue and cells. The energizing of this system from various sources is the big picture of energy in the body.

Charge!

The electrons in food are like the electrons inATP-Phosphate-Energy45 a battery charger. The molecules of ATP are like charged batteries. They move from the mitochondria out into the rest of the cell to discharge their energy where it is needed. In the process of discharging, ATP lets go of a phosphate group and becomes ADP (adenosine di-phosphate instead of tri-phosphate). The exact details do not matter but the concept I would like to impress is that ATP is recycled up to 10,000 times per day by the heart and many hundreds of times in the average cell. How much ATP you have in your body and how fast you can recycle it is going to affect how much energy you feel you have. If you have less ATP you need to eat more often to provide more electrons. There is a temporary storage of electrons in the form of glycogen (sometimes called animal starch) in the liver as well as in the form of fat in adipose tissue found throughout the body. People’s ability to use glycogen and fat is a critical source of energy but varies greatly.

How much energy you have in the moment does necessarily depend on what you ate last and/or exactly how many micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) were consumed. Of course, long term this does matter. Just look at the effects of typical poor-quality restaurant food and processed supermarket food is having on modern populations. What does matter short term (i.e. during the day) is the body’s ability to maintain the efficient flow of electrons to regenerate ATP.

How does it make sense if you feel hungry two hours after eating a meal or even after 4 or 5 hours? Real hunger is due to a perceived lack of functional energy. All of us have plenty of body fat to survive nicely without food for much more than a few hours. Even if you have no glycogen stored in the liver (not likely), the body can obtain a day’s worth of energy from less than a pound of fat. This means that, short of starvation, true physiological hunger could be considered a dysfunction of the body. On a daily basis most of us more than adequately keep up with our energy needs from food.

The two main sources of electrons from food are carbohydrates and fats. The other macro-nutrient protein is metabolically and economically problematic at being the major source of food electrons. Protein does supply amino acids that are necessary for building or rebuilding our tissues and enzymes. Excess or damaged amino acids eventually have their nitrogen stripped away by the liver and they are broken down for their electrons similarly as carbohydrates.

There has been a big debate as to whether carbohydrates (i.e. sugars and starches) or fats or some magic combination of them should supply us with the food energy we need. For the moment, forget about whether there is a need for specific essential carbohydrates (there is none) or essential fats (there are several). Forget about the necessity of oil-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E & K and other micro-nutrients only found in fats. Let’s just consider how the body assimilates and utilizes carbs and fats.

Fat vs. Carbs

The manner in which these two nutrients get manipulated at the cellular level is quite different. Both ways eventually create ATP for the cell’s use. Fat produces more calories per gram – 9 verses 4 for carbs. That is a little bit over twice as much per given weight. But we are not burning food. We are turning it into energized ATP. Carbs, specifically glucose, produce about 36 ATP/mole. Fat, specifically the common fatty acid palmitic acid, produces about 147 ATP/mole. (In chemistry, a mole is a specific number of actual molecules). That is a four-fold difference per molecule and a three-fold difference figured on a gram for gram basis.

If you were inclined to think that you could just eat more carbs to get the same energy as fat there is a functional as well as a qualitative difference to consider. You have probably watched documentaries about explorers or scientists who try to survive at the frigid poles of the earth. Their food cravings are not normal. It is universally spoken that there is a desire for fats – sometimes in the size and shape of a stick of butter! Why? The need for calories (actually electrons) is so great that significant amounts of dietary fat are the body’s preferred energy source. The cold temperature also shifts the cellular biochemistry and metabolism towards the processing of fat. Eating more carbs is not what the body wants in those circumstances. Extracting electrons from carbs is not efficient compared to fats. The biochemistry and biophysics of this situation is not simple to explain but when it’s cold, fat is what the body craves.

So if we are not in Antarctica, why would fats be good for us? In a word: efficiency. A lack of efficiency means waste and tissue wear-and-tear. Most adults have various levels of mitochondrial dysfunction. Most children, on the other hand, are energy machines. Carbs that are being processed in the adult mitochondria tend to create high amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which causes oxidative damage to the very complex molecular machinery. The body can produce anti-oxidant compounds such as glutathione and super oxide dismutase but again that ability is limited in a typical older person. Anti-oxidants found in food have limited value in this situation. Without sufficient protection, mitochondrial function gets further chipped away over time.

The less efficient the mitochondria are the less energy you have. There is no way around it. The less energy you have the less able you are to maintain your body over time. Sure you can conserve your energy by behavior modification but that is just buying some time. Except by a fatal accident, death is a usually a slow process of metabolic failure until a final catastrophic failure (e.g. heart attack, stroke, organ failure, cancer, etc.) totally disables one or more critical body functions.

butter12The curious part is that eating a rational fat-dominant diet actually normalizes the body’s fat stores. As the author Covert Bailey characterized – “become a better butter-burner” – means that you increase the body’s ability to use fat for energy both from the diet and from your own adipose tissue. This is a huge advantage. Instead of frequently stoking your ‘fire’ with kindling (i.e. carbs), you can enjoy the more constant ‘heat’ from a long-burning log (i.e. fat).

One of the biggest bugaboos that people have regarding the consuming of fat is the 50+ year old fear of cholesterol. That mind-virus will be a topic in the future.

Dehydration

The body has key requirements that must be fulfilled for health to be present. If these are not fully operating then the adult body begins to fail or, in the case of children, their bodies never develop properly. Over time the body becomes less healthy and less functional until there is a catastrophic failure and death. We know that we are going to die so that should not come as a surprise but why health declines and disease manifests is not well understood by most people or the medical mainstream. Cellular dehydration is part of the collage of why the body succumbs.

Water in the Body

Water is so ubiquitous that its importance is largely ignored in medicine as well as most sciences. In physiology, the body’s water volume is the measure of how much water is in the body.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_water:

Arthur Guyton ‘s Textbook of Medical Physiology states that “the total amount of water in a man of average weight (70 kilograms) is approximately 40 litres, averaging 57 percent of his total body weight. In a newborn infant, this may be as high as 75 percent of the body weight, but it progressively decreases from birth to old age, most of the decrease occurring during the first 10 years of life. Also, obesity decreases the percentage of water in the body, sometimes to as low as 45 percent”.

It can be inferred that as the body ages or becomes sick the percentage of water becomes less not more. Further it is known that two-thirds of the water in the body is inside the cells (intracellular). This is approximately 25 liters on average in the above example.

The one-third of the water that is outside of the cells (extracellular) is easy to adjust. For example, if the blood pressure is low due to trauma, disease or blood loss then a saline solution (approximately 1%) is often administered via IV to restore normal blood volume and, hopefully, good flow and pressure. A less rapid adjustment can be made by drinking mildly salty water (1 teaspoon/qt.) or salted soup or other liquid. Extracellular dehydration has to be addressed somehow with both water and salt (sodium chloride).

The degree of hydration of the interior of the body’s cells is much harder to determine and to remedy if it is low. Cells cannot be forced to accept water merely by drinking water. The cells are not passive sponges. They have active structural, chemical and energetic systems that manage the placement of water in the cell for proper function. If the cell has been traumatized or abused in any way (think typical lifestyle and environmental actions) then its internal systems will not be functioning properly. Water will be lost from the cell because the mechanisms to keep water in place are not working properly. If water is lost from the cell then potassium is also dissipated and lost. We call this cellular inflammation because disorder or entropy has increased often times showing up as some degree of swelling.

An extrapolated status of cellular water in the body can be indicated by the BUN/creatinine ratio on a standard blood chemistry test. It should be around 10± and not over 20. The kidneys filter the blood and control water balance with a two step process. First, they filter the plasma which is the water and soluble component of blood. The second stage then returns to the blood what the body needs to be conserved. What does not go back into the blood becomes urine. If the kidneys are trying to conserve the body’s water then it is going to have a tough time getting rid of water soluble urea (Blood Urea Nitrogen) and possibly other wastes. Urea is constantly generated by the liver from ongoing protein breakdown. If water is abundant in the body then urea can be excreted easily. If the level of waste products is normalized, water has the possibility of entering the cells if needed.

Beyond the function of the kidneys, why does cellular dehydration happen? First let’s understand the basics about water.

What is water?

water_molecule-35The idea that water is a simple fluid is mistaken. This simplistic notion is often framed in a way that construes water in the cell as merely a convenient medium to suspend and move around important molecules and perhaps to keep the cell lipid membrane from collapsing. Water is actually an active, not passive, partner in the cell’s biochemical and energetic processes. There are literally only a few molecules of water between adjacent proteins and structures inside the cell. If the molecules of water were animated individually as single molecules bouncing around inside the cell then very little biochemistry could be accomplished in such chaos and life would not exist.

Fortunately, life exists because water is not what standard chemistry and biology teaches – simply as H2O. Through the work of scientists like Gilbert Ling [gilbertling.org], Gerald Pollack [Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life, Fourth Phase of Water], Mae-Wan Ho [Institute of Science in Society] and others, water has been shown that it can be assembled into large structured arrays especially inside living tissue. This means that the individual molecules of water do not always exist as we have been taught. Rather the hydrogen and oxygen atoms can arrange water2a-75themselves into a multi-layered hexagonal (six-sided) network similar to layers of chicken wire. Instead of the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen being 2:1 as with normal bulk water, the ratio is approximately 3:2. In this case, oxygen (larger yellow circles in diagram) is at the intersection points and hydrogen (small green circles) reside in between them. This new configuration of water leaves it with an overall negative charge unlike neutral bulk water. Layers of hexagonal water sheets will bond with one another simply by being slightly offset from the adjacent layer. It has been shown that as many as millions of layers can be stacked on one another under certain laboratory conditions. This structured water is significantly denser and has graphene-layers-40unique properties, electrical and otherwise. Solid ice is similar to structured liquid water but it has a different bonding configuration between the hexagonal sheets and has no electrical charge.

Consider that a gelatin dessert contains about 95% water yet the water it contains is not liquid even at room temperature. The water has formed layers along the charged collagen proteins and so becomes structured.

Of course, there are many other details about the structuring of water and its properties but the takeaway concept is that water in living cells is actually a semi-solid liquid crystal with unique physical properties.

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

A quick trip back to high school biology – it was taught that the formation of ATP by the hundreds of mitochondria located inside each cell is the source of mobile energy units used by the cell. ATP is formed by a complex biochemical system within the mitochondria that extracts electrons from the food we eat. Three phosphate ions are serially joined to a molecule of adenosine to form adenosine tri-phosphate. A large amount of energy is released to the cell when one phosphate group is removed from ATP to form ADP (adenosine di-phosphate). The amazing nano-machinery in mitochondria daily churns out an amount of ATP that equals the weight of the entire body! ATP is used and recycled continuously about 10,000 times per day. Anything that slows or disrupts the production of ATP results in a disruption of the body and it functioning. This is fundamental to the aging process.

Gilbert Ling has shown that ATP is used by the cell to unfold proteins so that potassium and water can bond to the numerous charged sites along its chains of amino acids. Water becomes structured as it forms a multi-layered reverse micelle which is simply a water-coated protein or other suitable organic molecule. So ATP is not the ultimate source of energy for the cell. The ATP is used to open the branches of proteins for potassium and water adhesion. Of course, this is contrary to standard biology which is largely based on outdated data and theories that do not acknowledge the principles of modern physics such as quantum electrodynamics [QED].

The ultimate source of energy for the cell is from the quantum effects of liquid water crystals that collect and conduct the energy of electrons and photons (think light hitting the eyes and skin). There are many more details to how exactly this happens but the point is that the binding of water to cellular proteins, DNA and the collagen connective tissue networks of the body is how the body is powered and how it can move energy instantly from one point to another.

Playing Nice with Water

Water requires energy to structure itself so that it can function as part of the body’s energy system. As I have stated, ATP fulfills that step as well as natural electro-magnetic waves (EMFs). This means that the body’s ability to produce large amounts of ATP can be a serious limiting factor for health. Any hiccup or lacking is a serious problem. Many things can limit the mitochondrial function. A wide variety of stress responses from many sources can, especially over the long term, cause a decline in ATP production due to dysfunctional mitochondria. It is not just about what you put in your mouth such as nutrients or anti-nutrients (toxins) as some people think. Defective mitochondria are a major producer of oxidants that damage mitochondrial DNA and enzymes and deplete native anti-oxidants such as glutathione.

Water does align to a magnetic field. For water molecules to slow down their random motion enough to self-assemble along the charged sites of organic molecules there needs to be a relatively static magnetic field for them to orient to. The earth’s magnetic field of about 0.5 gauss normally provides that stabilizing force. Magnetism arises at a right angle from the flow of an electric current such as the massive currents in the earth’s core.

In our modern lives, we are surrounded by 60 cycle electric power around the clock from wiring in buildings and along power line poles and high tension towers. The health dangers of electric power were first brought to light by Dr. Robert O Becker and others during the 80’s. Becker was an orthopedic surgeon and had done unique research to uncover the natural electric currents in bone and other body structures. Sufficient exposure to even very weak fluxing magnetic fields from oscillating electric currents caused demonstrable dysfunction to cells and body systems.

Now for the last two decades we have flooded our environment with microwave radiation and its accompanying magnetic field that comes from personal cell phone use and the commercial infrastructure that makes it possible. Wireless computers and other electronic devices are ubiquitous in our homes, businesses and institutions. They use the same band of frequencies as cell phones and your microwave oven (2.4-2.5 gigahertz).

Industry, academic and government experts say that the levels of electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) are too low to cause thermal effects (i.e. heating). Of course, this is true but the non-thermal effects on cell biology and the health of living organisms is very real. There is academic research that shows the negative effects that the official experts don’t want to acknowledge. Even children have done simple experiments with plants showing the obvious negative effects of cell phones and wireless routers.

The situation is very similar to the long ordeal with the tobacco companies a few decades ago. This time there is much more at stake from a business perspective. Telecom and computer technology is pervasive and people are hooked on it. The rotating doors of government and business allow an authoritative subculture to grow that finds very little is wrong with adverse health effects as long as they can be denied or at least vigorously questioned. The precautionary principle is often framed as being anti-business and denies the advantages of a useful technology! As with tobacco and some pharmaceutical drugs, the death toll can get very steep before a restrictive action is officially advocated. Health effects that don’t involve death are largely ignored and simply become part of the noise of low level chronic dysfunction. The growing epidemic of numerous diseases is directly correlative with our increased exposure to electrical power fields and electronic signals. This does not prove anything by itself. Disease is multi-fold but a big piece of the EMF-health picture can be found in the biological and medical research albeit with some effort.

Another axe to functional water in the body is the fluoride content of potable water. 90% of cities in the US are fluoridated vs. the reverse situation in Europe. There is no legitimate science or policy that justifies fluoridation of drinking water. It is easy to find many sources of information about the various issues around fluoride. The point I would like to make is that fluoride does not benefit the body in the high amounts recommended and made allowable by government. Yes, 1-2 parts per million is way too much according to much evidence showing fluorosis. Fluoride is a very efficient toxin that can penetrate throughout the body. Besides water treatment, it is used in the formulation of a number of common prescription drugs. The low level ingestion of fluoride has been found to severely block the electron loading of the cellular water matrix talked about above. High levels are used as rat poison and in saran gas, a poison gas used in chemical warfare.

Water is Life

In summary, water is an important key for life. About ninety-nine percent of our body’s molecules (not weight) are water. Some creatures like jellyfish are literally almost pure water yet life in them exists because energy is transduced in and through the coherent semi-crystalline water networks that link all parts of the body. We may think that food gives us energy but without water nothing would immortal-jellyfish2-10work. Plants use water and the photons in sunlight to derive useful energy for growth and function. We are not plants with leaves and roots (a direct connection to the electron-rich earth) so we need a boost from some photonic energy in the form of electron-rich foods. Our biochemical battery ATP is the switch that turns the real power on. Modern physics has connected many dots regarding subatomic elements and how they interact. Perhaps other sciences will grasp how the study of energy dynamics [remember E=MC2] may shed light in other areas.

Medical knowledge is a combination of clinical experience with a foundation in academic education. Often this academic knowledge is biased and/or incomplete. Coupled with dogmatic or egoistic thinking, functional biologic/medical knowledge suffers. When a field like medicine chooses not to incorporate all realms of science and be goaded by business interests, it will not solve difficult medical problems such as cancer or brain diseases. Witness the current state of medicine. It cannot prove its worthiness unless it acknowledges its blind spots and revises its current paradigms. Only then can clinical practice be allowed to align to a more complete view. Understanding cellular dehydration is one of those critical issues.

Date: 12/4/2013

Looking for the Cure

“Seek and ye shall find.”

According to the dictum, if one is seeking a cure for a disease then that is what you will find. The cure is just a means to an end. The actual goal is the negation of the disease. Most people don’t care what the nature of the cure will be. The destination is the goal not the machinations of getting there. Just getting rid of the damn disease will make most people happy.

If it has not struck you already, this is not very sophisticated thinking. It is rather like a three-year-olds mind. “I want it. And I want it now!”

As adults we are prone to want to delay gratification due to our maturity. We feel the need to perform rites so that the cure is earned. It might take sacrifice, hard work or just some time to manifest. We can do that. We are not children after all.

It is also simplistic to think that you have earned a sought-after goal due to a particular methodology. Barking up the wrong tree does not earn you brownie points. Or looking up a tree instead of down a deep dark hole can be just as problematic. Using intelligence and maybe some intuition is the way to problem solve but not by dangling rewards as an incentive.

Where, oh where, is that cure?

How can something be found unless you know what it looks like or at least have some idea? It could be staring you in the face but you might not recognize it unless you have some kind of picture in your mind’s eye.

President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971 as the kickoff to begin the “War on Cancer”. The goal was to cure cancer by improving the biological understanding of cancer and to develop effective treatments. How has that worked out over forty years later? Cancer is still around and going strong.

The gung-ho fighting spirit that characterized this strategy is a common ploy to engage the public’s consent. Whether naïve or duplicitous or something else, trying to cure cancer using the metaphor of fighting a war is just a bit contrived. Is strong leadership, a grand strategy and heavy institutional infrastructure the way to solve a biological problem? Sickness can’t be intimidated.

Wanting to eliminate cancer is a reasonable goal. Yet, achieving what you truly want can have consequences that you may not have considered and may not be comfortable with. As a matter of fact, it may turn your world upside down and inside out. This is not the wrath of God but rather the turmoil born of adjusting one’s mind then truly acting in accordance with the new paradigm. Being timid is not going to work well as a revolution in thinking tries to take hold.

If you had to live a fundamentally different life to not be subjected to cancer, would you? Do you want to be free of disease or do you want to keep your current lifestyle and the comfortable thoughts that go with it? The decision could be tougher than you think.

It is a deeply embedded idea that a cure can manifest as a silver bullet – one shot and the deed will be done – end of story! It could be in the form of taking a modern magical pill manufactured by a pharmaceutical giant or ingesting a substance obtained from an obscure and somewhat mysterious source. Or, it might be a risky physical ordeal like surgery or a cross-cultural shamanistic ritual in South America. Or, it might be a dramatic psychological or spiritual event facilitated by a fundamentalist preacher in front of a crowd of believers or just a private moment mediating in nature. The idea is that that a single deliberate event or a series of related events can be transformational to your well-being. Well, maybe or maybe not.

What, Why and How – The Nutshell

Cancer is a condition where certain cells are reproducing in an unregulated manner. The body is all about regulation via multiple feedback loops and environmental ques. Once a normal cell turns into a cancerous cell, the immune system should recognize it as abnormal and destroy it. So there are two obvious questions. Why does a cell leave the straight and narrow track and become aberrant? And, why does the immune system not protect the body from these wild cells?

Cells become damaged for many reasons. This lack of functional integrity is broadly called inflammation. A damaged cell must repair itself to return to normal functioning. If a cell fails to repair itself, it is programmed to commit suicide (apoptosis) or it can change its function into something we call cancerous.

Even though the body can be protected to some degree from environmental toxins or harmful energetic sources, a total protection is not possible. Some cells will eventually become damaged one way or another. The question is can the condition of the body facilitate the repair of cell function on an ongoing basis? If you have a disease or are just ‘aging’ then the answer is obvious.

This is where emotions, lifestyle, nutrition and environmental stressors come into play. If the body has become less healthy then addressing all factors that can be changed is a prudent strategy. Cancer and most other serious diseases do not just suddenly develop. The conditions to create the cancer took place over many years. Your intention to change is only just the start of a potential recovery of your health. Lasting change takes time and effort.

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments attempt to kill cancer cells by significantly damaging their function. This may or may not be successful. In addition, these treatments also damage healthier cells to some degree. Partitioning treatment to only affect the cancerous cells is very difficult. Additionally, the immune and hormonal systems have now been subject to stress or outright trauma further limiting recovery and natural function.

The Power is in Your Hands

Your body is your responsibility. It is not the responsibility of the medical system, your religion, your government or a corporation. Understanding your body is the beginning step to taking care of it. Would you abuse an expensive sports car and expect it to run great for very long? Why entrust your body to others? Yes, we have been propagandized and inculcated to be mindless and follow the authority of others. How well is that working?

A poor lifestyle will not keep us healthy. It does not matter what our parents or grandparents did during their lives. We live in a different world now. Some children are now getting what were once adult-only diseases. We have been goaded into worrying and acting on relatively minor or irrelevant health concerns and are oblivious to things that are killing us to a greater degree with each generation. Modern living becomes more and more mismatched to our epigenetic reality.

The health of your body is not going to respond to what you simply believe is true. If you believe that eating a particular food is going to improve your health, an honest appraisal over time will probably show that that is not true. On the other hand, if you believe that exposing your eyes to electric lights late into the night is OK then you are going to be surprised when the body eventually weakens due to circadian mismatching. Being naïve is not going to keep you healthy.

Modern civilization has allowed for the massive pollution of the planet. Overall, it gets worse every year even though there are small things may be seen to improve over time. As individuals we can protect our exposure somewhat through common sense. This is good and should be done as much as possible while still being a modern human. Beyond that our bodies have to deal with toxins and stressors as best as they can. Giving the body the best opportunity to do that is a better strategy than worry excessively. Being environmentally-sensitive should be a strong wake-up call to improve your health not perpetually focusing on avoiding those things that seems to elicit discomfort.

Rather than seeking a cure for a disease you don’t really understand, seek better ways of living that help you to avoid ill health or at less reduce the burdens on an already dysfunctional body. Perfection may not be possible in this world but a better life, no matter what your current condition, is possible with some serious desire and willingness to learn.