The nearest thing to a perfect food.
As a raw vegan, I try to avoid animal products altogether. But in 1996 when the Townsend Letter published this paper under the title "Eggs are great food!" I was occassionally using raw organic eggs as a good source of protien in my daily smoothies. In addition to the first few paragraphs about eggs, it also offer some good information about organic foods.
1. Fresh whole eggs, cooked with heat on top of a stove as Grandma did, are safe for the vast majority -- about 98% -- who are not sensitive to them. Eggs offer many ingredients needed to build and maintain strong health; cutting back on them can damage rather than promote health. Driven by dogma and egged on by the antediluvian American Heart Association (AHA), a food scare began in the 1960s. Its principal target: eggs. American consumption per person dropped from 320 eggs a year in 1967 to 237 in 1997. (1)
2. Eggs contain all eight essential amino acids, the building blocks of high-quality protein, in nearly perfect ratios for human nutrition, (and in the perfect ratios needed for avoiding Parkinson's disease.) (2) They are also rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs). These two groups of nutrients are "essential" in diet because the human body requires them and doesn't make them. High-quality EFAs found in eggs, notably the inflammation-and asthma-preventive, arthritis-, allergy-, hypertension-, cardiac- and cancer-protective omega-3s (fish oil, flax oil (A), are scarce in Western diets -- including the AHA's low-fat "prudent diet." (B) They are scarce too in the USDA "food pyramid," which was skewed by conflicts of interest among those preparing it. That was the finding of a US District Court judge in November 2000.
Commercial pellets fed to poultry are purported to be uniform in food content. But they can hardly be as nourishing and healthful as worms, sprouting grass rich in cellulase and other needed enzymes, and whatever else chickens would dig up, roaming free in the sunshine in a large barnyard. (C)
Contrary to the Environmental Protection Agency's phobia against ultraviolet -- for good physical and mental health, normal behavior and learning, full spectrum light including trace UV as in sunshine, in moderation, is itself a required nutrient. (11-14) Chickens raised under full spectrum light produced 8.5% more eggs, which were larger; and the cholesterol content was 22% lower. (15)
The feed of poultry and farm animals must under federal law provide all other needed nutrients including vitamins, amino acids and EFAs. In particular, animal feed supplies all required minerals, without which vitamins and many enzymes cannot function. Manure helps those organic farms where it is used, because under US law, since 1936 farm animals have been fed all minerals that are known to be needed. That includes, specifically, chromium and vanadium to eliminate animal diabetes. No law requires those in humans' food, and there isn't any.
Organic food often tastes better, because of the greater content of desirable minerals. (16) But no one has answered the critical question: are those nutrient levels in organic food still, say, 75% too low? Evidence from other sources suggests they are. (17) Organic means no poison or commercial fertilizer was used at least the past two or three years, in hopes of protecting consumers and farmers against potential causes of cancer. There must be a proactive farm plan for improving soils and increasing biodiversity; and third-party independent certification is required.
Our farm soils were mined of nutrients for 100 years, and fertilized for decades only with NPK (details below). (18) And so other minerals, particularly in absorbable form, are supplied poorly if at all, even in organic produce unless the land where they are raised has been treated organically for a century; or they are raised on remineralized soil, perhaps using powdered granite. (19-21) Further, very few mineral supplements made for people provide nearly as many needed minerals as are routinely fed to farm animals.
Dietary analysis of the food eaten by a group of vegan vegetarians, who say they consume nothing of non-plant origin, found they were ingesting well above the Recommended Dietary Allowances of various vitamins. But ominously, among minerals zinc came in at 96% of RDA and selenium at a seriously low 46% of its none-too-high RDA. (22) Low selenium is a risk factor for both cancer (23) and heart attacks. "Cancer clinics in Mexico are full of vegetarians dying of cancer," remarked Joel Wallach, DVM, ND. (24) And low selenium levels have been implicated in HIV/AIDS. (25-28) HIV is commonest in areas of Africa where soil selenium is very low, and extremely rare in Senegal with ample soil selenium - despite similar habits as elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. (29)
Composted soils contain clay, sand and NPK. Hydroponic culture offers water, NPK and other minerals. But adding all needed minerals, trace elements and rare earths is impractical -- even if we could absorb them. The entire derivation of NPK was fraudulent.
As a result, red meat (organic, if possible) and poultry in moderation, and eggs to one's heart's desire, provide a wealth of the minerals largely lacking in even organic vegetables and fruits. These animal-derived foods have become a needed part of diet. Interestingly, meat-eating tribes, e.g., in Africa, always dominated tribes whose diets were largely vegetarian, and athletes eating appropriate portions of meat can beat athletes who guzzle "carbs." (30)
Pure-vegetarian diets do not supply enough of certain amino acids required for normal development. (31,32) Compared to carefully matched girls consuming non-vegetarian diets, Seventh Day Adventist teen-age girls showed altered hormone levels caused by insufficiency of those amino acids. The result was irreparable harm to their future ability to resist breast cancer. (33) Seventh Day Adventists traditionally consume a less than totally vegetarian diet. A vegan diet, with even greater deficit in the limiting amino acids, might well yield more severe results.
The death rate of vegetarian men is slightly higher than non-vegetarians (0.93% vs. 0.89%). And the death rate among vegetarian women is also higher (0.86% vs. 0.54%). (34) Vegetarians have just as much atherosclerosis (fatty arteries) as meat eaters. (35) In general, those with blood types B and O need more protein and fat than others. (36)
The Phony NPK Philosophy
In the 19th century, NPK was introduced: fertilizer consisting of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and potassium (K). The three numbers on fertilizer bags at any garden shop show their ratios. With those three minerals in proportions right for local conditions (plus water, warmth, light), plants look healthy and yield the maximum tons and bushels. Which is what pays the farmer.
Chemist Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) of Germany originated the absurd theory that N, P and K provide all needed minerals. He had incinerated plant tissues, and using the crude technology then available, he found only those three. But in the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, Liebig recanted the theory and admitted its total falsity. More up-to-date technology had revealed to him a long list of other minerals in the ashes after incineration of plant tissues. (Dr. Liebig's Law of the Minimum is correct. The health and productivity of any crop depends on the supply of that mineral that is in least supply. (37)
Later editions of the encyclopedia, however, omitted that recantation. Submitting to pressure from chemical and fertilizer manufacturers, editors decided to omit rather than risk the encyclopedia's existence through possible loss of future gifts. And so Liebig's unfortunate early recommendations continue to be practiced in Western agriculture and horticulture worldwide.
The large, plump vegetables and fruits raised with this fertilizer may taste like Kleenex[R] because of lack of minerals. And the use of only three nutrients weakens the plants in the fields, making them more susceptible to pests. Further, NPK fertilizer is highly acidic; and it disrupts the pH (acid/ alkaline) balance of the soil, as does widespread acid rain. The ability of soil to bind elements reaches its maximum under neutral or slightly alkaline conditions. Acidic conditions destroy soil microorganisms, whose function is to transmute soil minerals into a form that crop plants can use. Without these microbes, minerals become locked up and unavailable to the plants. (38)
"Current farming methods, particularly the excessive use of agrochemicals, cause severe manganese [and other mineral) deficiencies, both in the soil and in the crop it yields. Manganese, zinc, and iron have been particularly low in samples studied." (39) Further, liming the soil greatly increases the foliage, with corresponding depletion of manganese and other trace minerals. (40,41) Insecticides inactivate choline-containing enzymes, in turn preventing uptake of manganese and other minerals by the plants.
In the absence or near-absence of vital trace minerals, crop plants take up from the soil heavy metals such as aluminum, mercury and lead. These toxic substances are then passed on to the consumer through the food chain, and readily assimilated in the person made deficient in protective nutrient minerals. Our bodies then hold onto toxic substances and traces of agricultural chemicals.
Dog food is upgraded every three years to the state of the art; farm animals are likely to get this super-nutrition only the last six months before slaughter. The RDAs for dogs are better researched and higher than RDAs for people. Do you really think your 20-pound pet needs more honest-to-goodness nutrients than you do?
Bob Smith of Doctor's Data, West Chicago, found organic fruits and vegetables offered up to 4 times more trace elements, 13 times more selenium, 20 times more calcium and manganese than supermarket foods. And organic contained 40% less aluminum, 29% less cadmium, 25% less lead, 28% less rubidium -- elements commonly associated with disease. (43-44)
However, the claim of lower toxicity for organic food may be misleading. Researcher Margie Profet wrote that Mr. Smith and Dr. Virginia Worthington's confirming study (45) counted only a tiny fraction of the whole. "Amounts of synthetic pesticide residues on fruits or vegetables in a typical US supermarket are minuscule compared to the amounts of natural toxins these plant foods contain. If one extracted all the toxic compounds in a commercially grown vegetable and divided them into two piles -- natural and synthetic -- the natural pile would weigh, on average, several thousand times more than the synthetic pile. And some organic vegetables contain much higher levels of natural toxins than their ordinary supermarket counterparts." (46,47)
Renowned geneticist and biochemist Bruce N. Ames, PhD, concurs. "I see no reason to think synthetic toxins are any more dangerous than natural ones. The natural constitute at least 99.99% of all the pesticides we consume. Attention should go instead to the chief culprits in human disease: smoking and bad diet. I regard talk about synthetic pesticides as merely a distraction." (48)
Earlier Ms. Profet wrote, "Toxins evolved in plants through natural selection to protect them from hungry animals. To defend themselves, animals develop new abilities to detoxify the chemicals in the plants they eat. So the 'arms races' between plants and animals continue indefinitely, leading to a huge development of toxins in plants and of resistant enzymes in animals. Many of these plant toxins seek to disrupt animal fertility by making chemicals that mimic the animals' reproductive hormones known as estrogens. The chemical structure of these phytoestrogens, as they are called, may not resemble estrogens; yet they can bind to the receptors in animal tissues that are designed to bind estrogens, leaving fewer receptors free to bind estrogens [themselves]." (49)
Organics do have one important advantage. In 1998 the US government sought to follow the dictates of the chemical and fertilizer interests. But 275,603 letters came in; of these the vast majority bitterly opposed revision of what constitutes organic food. As a result, organic food will still be unpolluted by the sewage sludge that is now being spread as part of American commercial fertilizer. Organic food will not include irradiated food and will exclude, so far as possible, genetically engineered food.
Sewage sludge can contain organochlorines, pathogens, heavy metals, antibiotics, hormones and other medications from the human body, lead, arsenic, cadmium, low-level radioactivity, dioxins and more. Hundreds of thousands of tons of these waste products have been spread on farms as fertilizers, liming material and other soil additives. Householders unknowingly buy them as part of garden fertilizer mixes. (50-53) Whether other countries allow this insane practice, I do not know.
Farm/veterinary nutrition is 50 years ahead. Most Americans are much more deficient in key minerals such as chromium and magnesium than in vitamins. And like farm animals, chickens are better nourished than the people who raise them and the rest of us. So chicken in moderation, including some of the skin -despite hormone and antibiotic residues (see later about detoxification by eggs) - is good food, as well as eggs.
These nutrients, working together as a team in natural food form, are of much greater value to our bodies than "isolated" vitamins and minerals in supplements likely made from petroleum and sealed in shellac. As stated earlier, supplements for dogs are much more nearly complete than those sold for people. And nutrients including vitamins and minerals are most bio-available when consumed in whole foods, or in much more costly supplements made from food.
Don't eggs dangerously raise body cholesterol levels? Absolutely not. In fact, people who eat four eggs a week have lower cholesterol than others. Eggs raise "bad" LDL cholesterol less than foods high in saturated fats. (64-70)
In a test in Copenhagen, Denmark, 24 healthy adults added 2 boiled eggs to daily diet. After 6 weeks, serum HDL cholesterol was up 10%, total cholesterol up 4%, total to HDL ratio did not change, nor did triglycerides and LDL. Conclusion: "A moderate egg intake should not be rigorously restricted in healthy individuals." (71) Another writes, eggs are a healthy food if eaten "in moderation." (72)
"Further, repeated trials have failed to show that lowering the saturated fat content of the diet" - the holy grail of the AHA - "is helpful in prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), deaths from that cause, or deaths from all causes." (73)
Fewer than 1% of most Western populations inherited a tendency to abnormally high cholesterol; (79) for those few, anything that might elevate their body lipids could be risky. Even for such hypercholesterolemic people, however, eggs increase cholesterol little if at all. (80-82)
Too low cholesterol, when forced down artificially by drugs, is far worse for most people than too high cholesterol. Lowering it forces the body to generate more cholesterol to satisfy its needs; "some resulting membrane deficits are bound to be in the brain promoting senility." (83)
This largely explains why in more than a dozen trials of cholesterol lowering, those taking the drug always had more deaths from accidents, suicides, and cancer than the control groups and more total deaths. (90) Of course, cholesterol is medicine's bogeyman, which is used to frighten the gullible public and enabled drug companies to make huge profits. Cholesterol deposits in arteries are like the boy who arrives at the scene after a window is smashed and throws the last stone. But he gets arrested for the crime by the cops, who arrive after the real culprits vanish into the night.
Cancer and suicide after those tests, importantly, are iatrogenic. They result from pharmaceutical drug effects, not from too-low cholesterol. (91)
Certain cholesterol lowering patent drugs are iatrogenic in a second way: they increase heart attack risk. HMG CoA reductase inhibitors Lovastatin (Mevacor) and its -statin analogues lower body levels of Coenzyme Q10. (92) That "side effect," clearly the most important, did not appear to merit mention in the official listing of side effects. In a test group taking CoQ10, the start of concurrent Lovastatin lowered CoQ1O by a disastrous 45-75%. Every patient grew worse. One needed open-heart surgery. Another was referred for heart transplant; instead, CoQ1O at 200 milligrams/day saved her life. Dr. G.P. Littarru in Italy confirmed the findings. (93) Taking any statin drug for a long time must worsen the risk of the many conditions against which CoQ10 protects, including cancer, allergies, gum disease, edema, hypertension - and it helps dispose of excess body fat. (94) Had those facts been truthfully disclosed, who would have risked prescribing or taking the product?
The adult human body requires CoQ1O at 500 milligrams a day. The body synthesizes it from a healthful diet, but makes less and less with age. To keep body quantity where it should be, supplementation needs to rise with age. (95-97) At age 79, I take 400 milligrams daily in a chewable tablet that includes lecithin and a little vitamin B to promote absorption of this water-soluble nutrient. (98) But caution: In a patient with alkalinized stomach from overuse of antacids, ubiquinone (another name for CoQ10) enhances growth of Candida albicans, (99) which can develop after long courses of antibiotic drugs.
The statin drugs also worsen cardiovascular risk in a third way: they raise body levels of Lipoprotein(a). (100-104) However, antioxidant vitamin B6 in adequate supply dispatches Lp(a) by lowering oxysterols from all sources. (105) These drugs also suppress production of helper T-cells, which recognize foreign pathogens and then activate production of the proper T cells and B cells in response; this weakens the patient's immune system. How statin drugs work is not known. (106) Lovastatin (Mevacor) could also affect attention and reaction speed; those whose cholesterol levels had dropped the most had the greatest impairment. (107)
Like scores of other patent-drug tests, (108) the so-called 4S (Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study), (109) which purported to vindicate statin drugs, looks more than a little shaky. (110) "For one thing," Dr. William Stehbens wrote, "anyone with heart disease, whether or not it was caused by hardened arteries, was allowed into the study. In the treated group, there were 38 extra people who'd already been given bypass surgery or angioplasty and therefore were less likely to die [at least, during the test]. And 54 extra smokers happened to creep into the control group, which just might have had something to do with their greater mortality rate."
Stehbens also points out (and as a pathologist, he should know) that diagnosing coronary heart disease (CHD) or gauging the severity of atherosclerosis is a highly inexact science -- until people die. In the 4S study, the actual difference in mortality between the two groups from all causes was not 34 or 42%, as claimed; it was only 3.3%. (111) Finally, he notes that the placebo taken by control patients contained methylcellulose, which when given intravenously to rabbits "causes tissue storage in arteries, a condition that sounds suspiciously like atherosclerosis. (112)
Patented drugs are tested for a short time in healthy young people. Then they are prescribed for a long time in sick old people, who are therefore the true subjects of experiment. (113) There is no systematic follow-up for adverse effects, and when these appear physicians treat them with other drugs, leading to polypharmacy. (114) Elderly people take an average of 11 drugs daily; (115) this has been called "close to genocide." (116) No one can even guess the interactions of all those toxic substances in their bodies. Further, mistakes with patent drugs are established as one of the leading causes of death. (117) The more drugs one takes, the worse that risk.
(A) Preformed DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) should be added. "Over 1,200, patients participated in an epidemiological study that showed people with high DHA levels were 45% less likely to develop dementia than people with low DHA levels." (3) Some people, including some babies, cannot metabolize flax. Flax oil also worsens existing hypothyroid tendency. (5) Add some high-quality omega-6, as in a "balanced" formula from a health food store or food co-op. (6)
[B] Eggs supply certain vitamins. Americans who eat eggs derive from them substantial shares of vitamin intake (except B6, which the heat of cooking destroys), including 10-20 % of folate and of total, saturated and polyunsaturated fats; 20-30% of vitamins A, E, and B12. (7) Eggs contribute a relatively small amount of vitamin K needs. (8,9)
[C] If the chickens are fortunate enough to feed on purslane, a grass plentiful in parts of Greece, their eggs and flesh are particular1y high in omega-3 EFAs. A "Greek egg" had a superior omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1.3 to one; a "supermarket egg" had a ratio of 19.4 to one. (10)
Originally published in 2008.
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