Friday, March 22, 2013

What causes Chronic Degenerative Diseases?

The answer is actually quite simple, and very logical. I know this sounds like a bold statement to open with, but I hope by the end of this article you will see why I have made such a claim.

It’s the Environment Stupid

Ok, ok I admit it, I stole that title from Bruce Lipton’s book “Biology of Belief”, but the answer to what causes ALL chronic degenerative diseases (examples shown in Table 1) is environmental stressors (shown is Table 2). We now know from cellular biology that the environment influences the organism (epi-genetics). So the theory of genetic determinism is well and truly dead, with some very few exceptions.

Table 1: Example of Chronic Degenerative Disease
-          Cancer
-          Diabetes
-          Obesity
-          Heart Disease

All Auto-immune conditions:
-          Arthritis
-          Lupus
-          Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS)
-          Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
-          Parkinsons Disease
-          Alzheimers Disease
-          Allergies
-          Gluten Sensitivity
-          Etc

Table 2: Environmental stressors on the human organism
-          Nutrition
-          Circadian Rhythm
-          Environmental Toxins
-          Electro-magnetic Fields
-          Mental/Emotional health/ Belief systems
-          Movement Quality
-          Exercise

Chronic Stress = Chronic Inflammation = Disease

When I say stress, I am talking about all the environmental stressors that I mentioned in table 2, not just mental/emotion stress which is what comes to most people minds automatically. I use the word stress as a more global term that encapsulates all the environmental stressors.
Now when these environmental stressors produce chronic stress to the system (the system here is referring to the human body), rather than help to nourish and heal the system, chronic inflammation begins to build up in the system. So chronic stress = chronic inflammation. And when this cycle gets prolonged, this leads to disease. 

So how can these environment stressors cause chronic inflammation (Table 3)? They do so when they are not within optimal requirements. So when we feed ourselves with poor nutrition, when we have poor sleep patterns, when we are exposed to excessive environmental toxins, when we have poor mental, emotional, spiritual health and have a poor outlook on life, and when are bodies don’t get enough quality movement. These types of stressors are term “biological, and/or environmental mis-matches”. This is a term I first heard from Dr Jack Kruse.

Table 3: How Environmental Stressors can cause chronic inflammation
When you have:
-          Poor Nutrition
-          Poor Circadian Rhythm
-          Excessive exposure to Environmental Toxins
-          Excessive exposure to Electro-magnetic Fields
-          Poor Mental/Emotional health/ Belief systems
-          Poor Movement Quality
-          No Exercise/ or Overtraining

Individuality unique stress reserves

Everyone has very individually unique stress reverses. By stress reverses I mean how much stress a person can handle is very different from person to person due to a number of factors. Some people just have stronger detoxification systems, stronger endocrine systems, and also the same situations are perceived very differently from person to person, which is another way in which stress or the perception of stress is unique from person to person.

So if two people are faced with the same stress, one may find the stress (again this stress could be nutritional stress, sleep stress, a personal incident, etc) overwhelming, taxing this persons stress reserves a lot, while the other person finds this stress no problem at all, and thus doesn’t diminish their stress reserve in anyway.
Another thing to consider is you will get individuals who will have varying degrees of optimal requirements of these environmental stressors. So you could get someone who has very good nutritional habits, decent sleep, decent movement quality, adequate exercise, but is surrounded by some environmental toxins, and has some emotional distress. The fact that some factors are within decent requirements, help with not overtaxing the stress reserve as much, as would be the case if all environmental stressors were mis-matches to the system (again human organism in this case).


According to Dr. Ray Peat “nutrition is the most important environmental influence on the nature of an organism (human body for our purpose here).

Now there are many debates out there about what is the most optimal nutritional lifestyle for humans. The following are my current opinions on nutrition.

We are all biochemically unique

We humans are all biochemically unique, so to assume that one universal nutritional approach can be applied to all human beings seems to be very foolish and illogical thinking. Not only will different foods react differently from person to person, but different ratios and combinations of food will react differently from person to person.

Also another important factor to bear in mind is that not only are we biochemically unique from person to person, but we are also biochemically unique within ourselves. What I mean by this is that are bodily requirements are always changing on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis depending on what environmental stressors the body is having to adapt to.

Dr. Weston A. Price

The fact that we are all biochemically unique was seen by Weston A. Price when he travelled the world over a period of a few years in the 1930’s and live with many different ethnic groups such the following:

-          The Swiss of The Loetschental Valley
-          The Gaelic’s of Scotland
-          The Eskimos
-          The North American Indians
-          The Melanesians
-          The Polynesians
-          African Tribes
-          Australian Aborigines
-          Torres Strait Islanders
-          Ancient civilizations  of Peru
-          New Zealand Maori
-          Peruvian Indians

All of these groups had very varied nutritional lifestyles, but the one underlying theme from all of these populations is that all their food came from nature. There was no processed or commercialized food within their diets, what Price called “the food of modern commerce”. 

Another critical thing that Price observed was that when “western man” came into contact with these primitive tribes and through this contact introduce his “food of modern commerce” to these primitive tribes, their (the primitive tribes) health deteriorated rapidly. Price gave the title of “modernized” to these primitive tribes that began to stray away from their traditional foods and replace them with the processed food of “western man.”

These” modernized” primitives health as I said above deteriorated rapidly, as too the health and vitality of their off-spring. Price was a dentist by profession and what really interested him was the health and development of these primitive tribes’ teeth and dental arches. What began to happen to the “modernized” primitives was that their teeth became rampant with dental cavities and tooth decay (which was extremely rare among the traditional primitives), and thus their health suffered seriously. Their off-spring was now being born into the world with poorly formed dental arches, facial structures, and comprised immunity.

Price also noted that not only were the primitive tribes on traditional foods physically more robust, but they also displayed greater mental and spiritual health. This is also something he saw decline with the introduction of western food into the “modernized” primitives lifestyles.

So we can see from Dr Prices’ research that nutrition is a huge environmental influence to our health and well-being. All of this work can be found he Dr Prices outstanding book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”.

Dr. Francis Pottenger Junior – Pottengers Cats

Dr. Francis Pottenger Junior did an outstanding piece of research with cats and nutrition.

This is from Wikipedia:

Meat Study
In one study, one group of cats was fed a diet of two-thirds raw meat, one-third raw milk, and cod-liver oil while the second group was fed a diet of two-thirds cooked meat, one-third raw milk, and cod-liver oil. The cats fed the all-raw diet were healthy while the cats fed the cooked meat diet developed various health problems.

§  By the end of the first generation the cats started to develop degenerative diseases and became quite lazy.
§  By the end of the second generation, the cats had developed degenerative diseases by mid-life and started losing their coordination.
§  By the end of the third generation the cats had developed degenerative diseases very early in life and some were born blind and weak and had a much shorter life span. Many of the third generation cats couldn't even produce offspring. There was an abundance of parasites and vermin while skin diseases and allergies increased from an incidence of five percent in normal cats to over 90 percent in the third generation of deficient cats. Kittens of the third generation did not survive six months. Bones became soft and pliable and the cats suffered from adverse personality changes. Males became docile while females became more aggressive.
§  The cats suffered from most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine and died out totally by the fourth generation.

At the time of Pottenger's Study the amino acid taurine had been discovered but had not yet been identified as an essential amino acid for Cats. Today many cats thrive on a cooked meat diet where taurine has been added after cooking. The deficient diets lacked sufficient taurine to allow the cats to properly form protein structures and resulted in the health effects observed. Pottenger himself concluded that there was likely an "as yet unknown" protein factor that may have been heat sensitivity.

Milk Study
In another study, dubbed the "Milk Study," the cats were fed 2/3 milk and 1/3 meat. All groups were fed raw meat with different groups getting raw, pasteurized, evaporated, sweetened condensed or raw metabolized vitamin D milk. The cats on raw milk were the healthiest while the rest exhibited varying degrees of health problems similar to the previous cooked meat study.

This particular Pottenger cat study has been cited by advocates of raw milk as evidence that it is likely healthier for humans than pasteurized milk.

Dr Francis Pottenger Senior – The Autonomic Nervous system

Dr Francis Pottenger Senior (Father to Pottenger Junior), was a neuro-physiologist who is renowned for some ground-breaking work with the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

From Cancer – Curing the Incurable by Dr William Donald Kelley:

“The autonomic nervous system is that part of the brain and nervous system that carries on the functions of the body that we have very little or no conscious control over. The autonomic nervous system controls such activities as our heartbeat, respiration and reflexes (like what happens when a person sits on a tack).
The autonomic nervous system regulates the basic life-sustaining functions of the body such as the turning on and off of glands and organs, maintaining the acid/alkaline balance of the blood, saliva, and urine, digestion of food, balancing glandular functions, turning the cells on and off, and stimulating and retarding the body and its parts.”

The ANS is divided into two branches, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic.

From Wikipedia:

“The ANS is classically divided into two subsystems: the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which operate independently in some functions and interact co-operatively in others. In many cases the two have "opposite" actions where one activates a physiological response and the other inhibits it. An older simplification of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems as "excitory" and "inhibitory" was overturned due to the many exceptions found. A more modern characterisation is that the sympathetic nervous system is a "quick response mobilizing system" and the parasympathetic is a "more slowly activated dampening system". 

Another common explanation of these two branches of the ANS is:

The Sympathetic System is called – The “Fight or Flight” system
The Parasympathetic is called – The “Rest and Digest” system

What Dr Pottenger Snr discovered was that humans seem to have a dominance of a one branch of the ANS to the other. Some people were more sympathetic dominant, while some were para-sympathetic dominant. He also noticed that different nutrients stimulated and inhibited either sides of the ANS. This work is recorded in his classic book “Symptoms of Visceral Disease”.

Dr William Donald Kelley

The story of Dr William Donald Kelley is an unbelievable tale. Dr Kelley was a dentist who from all accounts had a thriving business, and was fairly well off. Kelley was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and giving little to no hope of surviving as this is a deadly form of cancer, or so it seems within conventional medicine.

Kelley’s mother put her son on what could be described as a Gerson (with a few exceptions, like raw goats yogurt and some eggs) type nutritional therapy protocol for treatment of his cancer. He started to regain his health, but wasn’t cured by any stretch. After some time his pancreas’ ability to make the enzymes needed to digest the nutrients of his food diminished to the point where he was unable to breakdown, digest, and assimilate his nutrition.

Dr Kelley became worried as he realized that if he couldn’t breakdown, digest, and assimilate his nutrition he knew he would succumb to his illness. He then decided to get a pancreatic enzyme supplement to help with the digestion of his food.

What began to happen as a result of taking the pancreatic enzyme supplement was that Dr Kelley could feel his tumours beginning to diminish in size, but he would feel terribly ill when this was taking place. As soon as he would stop taking the pancreatic enzyme supplement he would feel better, or less ill, but his tumours would begin to get larger in size again. Dr Kelley was at first confused by this, but then began to realize that, what was happening was that the pancreatic enzymes’ were actually attacking and killing the cancerous tissue in his body. The fact that he felt terrible when taking the pancreatic enzyme supplement was due to the toxic dead-off of the cancerous tissue within his body.

The fact that the pancreatic enzymes seemed to kill off the cancerous tissue made Dr Kelley curious and do some research to see if there was any known science on pancreatic enzymes having “anti-cancerous” effects? Enter Dr John Beard.

Dr John Beard

Dr John Beard was a Manchester born embryologist, who spent most of his academic career at Edinburgh University. Beard had made popular, the theory, that cancerous tissue behaves exactly like the growth of trophoblastic tissue that eventually matured into the placenta in pregnant mammals. Dr Beard hypothesized that if he could discover the mechanism which turned trophoblastic tissue from an invasive, primitive, and undifferentiated tissue (which is exactly how cancer growth occurs) into the mature placenta he may found something that could potentially cure cancer.

What Dr Beard went onto discover was that the day that an embryo began to produce its own pancreatic enzymes the trophoblast would mature into the mature and differentiated placenta.
Dr Beard also spoke about primitive germs cells (what we now know are adult stem cells) being “mistakenly” relocated in somatic tissue instead of the primitive yolk sac of the developing fetus. It is these germs cells (within the somatic tissue) that if given the specific environmental signals can developed into a trophoblastic growth that may lead to the formation of a cancerous tumour growth. This is what is meant when it is said that every one of us has cancer cells within our bodies.

Dr Beard proposed that a lack of pancreatic enzyme production could allow a cancerous tumour to developed, as it is these enzymes (namely trypsin and chymotrypsin) that prevent these mutated germ cells from developing into a form of cancer.

This is why vegan/vegetarian dietary protocols are used so much for cancer, because the over consumption of animal protein can lead to a deficiency in these pancreatic enzymes to do their functional role in killing off mutated germ cells,  by having to use so much of them in the digestive process of excess protein consumption.

Back to Dr Kelly

Dr Kelley then came to another logical conclusion within his treatment protocol. He needed to concurrently detoxify his body while the tumour was being killed off by his nutrition, supplements, and especially by the pancreatic enzymes’. Dr Kelley decided to introduce coffee enemas to his treatment regime to help detoxify the body.

Dr Kelley overcame his cancer and went onto treatment many cancer patients. Initially he just used the protocol that saved his life with everyone, which was:

-          A vegetarian style diet
-          Nutritional Supplements
-          Pancreatic enzyme supplement
-          Coffee Enemas

Now for the most part most patients improved and recovered, but there was to be one more big “ah ha” moment for Dr Kelley with regards to his treatment protocol.

One day a young lady came to Dr Kelley looking for some help with her extremely sensitive allergies. It was said about this particular lady that she was so sensitive to iodine that she would go into anaphylactic shock if she came with 10 miles of the sea. Her nutrition was only limited to a number of foods due to serve food intolerances and allergies.

So Dr Kelley put her on the protocol that he used with everyone. The vegetarian based diet, specific nutritional supplementation, the enzymes, and the enemas, and she got a lot better for the first 6 months or so. But then she began to deteriorate once again, and rapidly so. She actually became so sick that she was bed-ridden.

Dr Kelley became obsessed with why the protocol was failing her? He tried many, many different things within the protocol to try and improve her condition, but to no avail. He came to a conclusion after everything he had tried that the only thing he had not given this lady nutritionally was red meat!

Dr Kelley rang this young lady’s mother and told to get grass-fed organic red meat from a local source and feed it raw to her daughter. As bewildered as the mother was, she eventually agreed and went and purchased the red meat. Within 24 hours of introducing the raw red meat the young lady was coming back around, so much so that she was actually able to get out of bed. Dr Kelley of course was stunned; but concluded that this young lady needed to continue to eat the raw red meat numerous times throughout the day to help her regain her health which it did.

Dr Kelley went away and did some more research in the hope of finding some information that could explain what he was seeing with this patient. It was from this research he found the work that Dr Francis Pottenger Snr had done on the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). Finally Dr Kelley felt he now had something that may be able to explain what it was he was seeing with this patient.

Dr Kelley came to realize from his research that the Autonomic Nervous System is the master regular of our metabolism, and that every one of us have a unique Autonomic Nervous System. He also concluded that a chronic imbalance with the ANS was a major contributing factor to chronic degenerative diseases.

From this research Dr Kelley began to categorize his patients into what he termed “metabolic types”. Like Pottenger Snr before him, Dr Kelley began to realize that different patients had different ANS dominance. Dr Kelley divided his patients into 3 categories:

Sympathetic Dominant
Parasympathetic Dominant
Balanced Dominant

Dr Kelley the devised 10 different nutritional protocols from these 3 caterogies:

Sympathetic Dominant: 3 protocols
Parasympathetic Dominant: 3 protocols
Balance Dominant: 4 protocols

Dr Kelley arranged them as follows:
  1. Group A, which includes the Sympathetic Dominant Metabolic Types: One, Four, and Six.
  2. Group B, which includes the Parasympathetic Dominant Metabolic Types: Two, Five, and Seven.
  3. Group C, which includes the Balanced Sympathetic/Parasympathetic Metabolic Types: Three, Eight, Nine and Ten.

Dr Kelley used an extensive questionnaire system that would determine a person’s metabolic type.

A very brief summary of the 3 dominant types and 10 protocols are given below:

Group A: Vegetarian Types – Sympathetic Dominant

Type 1:
-          Closest to being purely Sympathetic Dominant
-          Needs very little to no animal products at all
-          Can live entirely on fruits, vegetables and nuts
-          Could live nearly off 100% raw food

Type 4:
-          Strong Sympathetic but not a as strong as type 1
-          Usually have ancestors from Italy, Spain, Israel, Greece, etc
-          Needs some animal products such as fish, chicken, eggs and unpasteurized goat cheese several times a week
-          Does well with all vegetable

Type 6:
-          Combination of Types 1 and 4, but has horrible metabolism
-          Very poor at absorbing and assimilating nutrients
-          Needs 60% of food cooked
-          Needs far more supplemental nutritional support than type 1 and 4

For nutritional support, Sympathetic Dominant Metabolizers most often need: Vitamin D; Vitamin K; Ascorbic Acid; Biotin; Folic Acid; Vitamins B1, B2 and B6; PABA; Niacin; Potassium; Magnesium; Manganese; Zinc; Chromium; Hydrochloric Acid; Pancreatic Enzymes and Amino Acids. Each of the vegetarian Types (One, Four and Six) needed these supplements, but each type needs different amounts and different ratios.

 Group B: Carnivore Types – Parasympathetic Dominant

Type 2:
-          Closest to purely Parasympathetic Dominant
-          Needs meat up to 14 ounces a day, preferably beef.
-          Has little or no energy unless they eat meat.
-          Does not do well on fruit and vegetables alone
-          Prefers root vegetables when having to eat vegetables
-          Should limit B vitamin intake and potassium
-          Usually has ancestors from Northern Europe

Type 5:
-          Strong Parasympathetic but not a as strong as type 2
-          Needs meat to feel good, but less often, perhaps 2-3 times a week.
-          Can tolerate a wider variety of food

Type 7:
-          A cross between Types 2 and 5 but with a horrible metabolism.
-          Type 7 metabolizers are the sickly, weak, inefficient parasympathetic metabolizers
-          Difficult to maintain adequate nutrition in their cells
-          Needs far more supplemental nutritional support than type 2 and 5
-          Needs to detoxify adequately

Parasympathetic dominant metabolizers most often need such nutritional support as: Vitamins E and B-12; Niacinamide, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Inositol, Calcium, Phosphorus, Calcium Ascorbate, Bioflavonoid Complex, Zinc and Ribonucleic Acid. These metabolizers should eat at bedtime enough to carry them through the night. They should not eat leafy green vegetables or take large quantities of the B vitamins.

Group C: Balanced Types – Balanced Dominant

Type 3:
-          Only absorbs 15% of what he or she eats
-          Feels so bad that they often wish they were dead
-          Very difficult to get adequate nutrition to the cells
-          Must take in food that is easily digested
-          Needs a lot supplemental nutritional support

Type 8:
-          ANS has a wide range of adaptability
-          Can eat and benefit from a wide variety of foods and supplements

Type 9:
-          Both Branches of ANS work equally well
-          Needs 70% cooked food in diet
-          Hates raw food.

Type 10:
-          Super-efficient metabolizer
-          Can eat a wide variety of foods and supplements
-          Needs very little food and sleep yet feels terrific

So as you can see nutrition is far more complex than some standard food pyramid ;-)

I will hopefully get some articles together on the other environmental influences over the next few months.

Biology Beyond Belief - Bruce Lipton
The Bond - Lynn McTaggart
The Field - Lynn McTaggart
Dr Jack Kruse –
Lights Out - TS Wiley and Brent Formby
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – Weston A Price
Symptoms of Visceral Disease - Dr Francis Pottenger Senior
Pottengers Cats - Dr Francis Pottenger Junior
Trophoplast and the Origins of Cancer – Dr Nicholas Gonzalez
Cancer - Curing the Incurable - Dr William Donald Kelley

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