Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease

Please share this story it with anyone you know who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or is worried about it.

Of course, just about everyone worries about Alzheimer’s. It currently afflicts 5.2 million people in the US and is the seventh leading cause of death. The cost of treating it is estimated at $148 billion.

Mary Newport, MD, has been medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida since it opened in 2003. About the same time the unit opened, her husband Steve, then 53, began showing signs of progressive dementia, later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. “Many days, often for several days in a row, he was in a fog; couldn’t find a spoon or remember how to get water out of the refrigerator,” she said.

They started him on Alzheimer’s drugs—Aricept, Namenda, Exelon—but his disease worsened steadily. (It should be noted that the latest research shows that the various Alzheimer’s drugs, like Aricept, have proven disappointing, with little real benefit and often distressing side effects.) When Dr. Newport couldn’t get her husband into a drug trial for a new Alzheimer’s medication, she started researching the mechanism behind Alzheimer’s.

She discovered that with Alzheimer’s disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty utilizing glucose (made from the carbohydrates we eat), the brain’s principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. There is an alternative energy source for brain cells—fats known as ketones. If deprived of carbohydrates, the body produces ketones naturally.

But this is the hard way to do it—who wants to cut carbohydrates out of the diet completely? Another way to produce ketones is by consuming oils that have medium-chain triglycerides. When MCT oil is digested, the liver converts it into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 25 percent of the energy newborn babies need to survive.

Dr. Newport learned that the ingredient in the drug trial which was showing so much promise was simply MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, and that a dose of 20 grams (about 20 ml or 4 teaspoons) was used to produce these results. When MCT oil is metabolized, the ketones which the body creates may, according to the latest research, not only protect against the incidence of Alzheimer’s, but may actually reverse it. Moreover, this is also a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and type II (insulin-resistant) diabetes.

So Mr. Newport, not being able to get into the drug trial, started taking the coconut oil twice a day. At this point, he could barely remember how to draw a clock. Two weeks after adding coconut oil to his diet, his drawing improved. After 37 days, Steve’s drawing gained even more clarity. The oil seemed to “lift the fog,” and in the first sixty days, Dr. Newport saw remarkable changes in him: every morning he was alert and happy, talkative, making jokes. His gait was “still a little weird,” but his tremor was no longer very noticeable. He was able to concentrate on things that he wanted to do around the house and in the yard and stay on task, whereas before coconut oil he was easily distractible and rarely accomplished anything unless he was directly supervised.

Over the next year, the dementia continued to reverse itself: he is able to run again, his reading comprehension has improved dramatically, and his short-term memory is improving—he often brings up events that happened days to weeks earlier and relays telephone conversations with accurate detail. A recent MRI shows that the brain atrophy has been completely halted.

Let’s take a moment to consider what actually happened here. Synthetic (patentable) Alzheimer’s drugs have failed. A drug company reluctantly decides to put a non-patentable natural substance (medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut or palm) through an FDA trial. It works. But, darn it, a smart doctor figures out that a natural food can be substituted for the super-expensive drug. Not only that, the ketones from natural coconut oil last in the body longer than the drug version—eight hours instead of three hours. This is enough to make a drug company start worrying about its future. What if this natural health idea really catches on? Goodbye to monopoly profits!

Coconut oil can be found in many health food stores and even some grocery stores. One large chain sells a non-hydrogenated (no trans-fat) brand of coconut oil in a one-liter size (nearly 32 ounces) for about $7. It can be purchased in quantities as small as a pint and up to five gallons online. It is important to use coconut oil that is non-hydrogenated and contains no trans-fat. We would also strongly encourage the use of virgin oil (chemicals used to extract non-virgin oil are potentially dangerous, and better still, virgin organic, still quite reasonably priced.)

For more information, see Dr. Newport’s website. Sadly, you will not find any information on ketones, or the use of coconut oil or MCT oil, on the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Coconut oil is not the only natural product that has the potential to turn Alzheimer’s around. We will cover some other ones, and drug industry efforts to steal some of them, in a future issue.


The Skinny on Fats

The Skinny on Fats
Written by Mary G. Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon

Fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormonelike substances. Fats as part of a meal slow down absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other processes.

Politically Correct Nutrition is based on the assumption that we should reduce our intake of fats, particularly saturated fats from animal sources. Fats from animal sources also contain cholesterol, presented as the twin villain of the civilized diet.

The Lipid Hypothesis
The theory—called the lipid hypothesis—that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease was proposed by a researcher named Ancel Keys in the late 1950’s. Numerous subsequent studies have questioned his data and conclusions. Nevertheless, Keys’ articles received far more publicity than those presenting alternate views. The vegetable oil and food processing industries, the main beneficiaries of any research that found fault with competing traditional foods, began promoting and funding further research designed to support the lipid hypothesis.

The most well-known advocate of the lowfat diet was Nathan Pritikin. Actually, Pritikin advocated elimination of sugar, white flour and all processed foods from the diet and recommended the use of fresh raw foods, whole grains and a strenuous exercise program; but it was the lowfat aspects of his regime that received the most attention in the media. Adherents found that they lost weight and that their blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure declined. The success of the Pritikin diet was probably due to a number of factors having nothing to do with reduction in dietary fat—weight loss alone, for example, will precipitate a reduction in blood cholesterol levels—but Pritikin soon found that the fat-free diet presented many problems, not the least of which was the fact that people just could not stay on it. Those who possessed enough will power to remain fat-free for any length of time developed a variety of health problems including low energy, difficulty in concentration, depression, weight gain and mineral deficiencies.1 Pritikin may have saved himself from heart disease but his lowfat diet did not spare him from cancer. He died, in the prime of life, of suicide when he realized that his Spartan regime was not curing his leukemia. We shouldn’t have to die of either heart disease or cancer—or consume a diet that makes us depressed.

When problems with the no-fat regime became apparent, Pritikin introduced a small amount of fat from vegetable sources into his diet—something like 10% of the total caloric intake. Today the Diet Dictocrats advise us to limit fats to 25-30% of the caloric intake, which is about 2 1/2 ounces or 5 tablespoons per day for a diet of 2400 calories. A careful reckoning of fat intake and avoidance of animal fats, they say, is the key to perfect health.

The “Evidence” Supporting the Lipid Hypothesis
These “experts” assure us that the lipid hypothesis is backed by incontrovertible scientific proof. Most people would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat actually reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases one’s life span. Consider the following:

Before 1920 coronary heart disease was rare in America; so rare that when a young internist named Paul Dudley White introduced the German electrocardiograph to his colleagues at Harvard University, they advised him to concentrate on a more profitable branch of medicine. The new machine revealed the presence of arterial blockages, thus permitting early diagnosis of coronary heart disease. But in those days clogged arteries were a medical rarity, and White had to search for patients who could benefit from his new technology. During the next forty years, however, the incidence of coronary heart disease rose dramatically, so much so that by the mid fifties heart disease was the leading cause of death among Americans. Today heart disease causes at least 40% of all US deaths. If, as we have been told, heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. During the sixty-year period from 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83% to 62%, and butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1%. During the same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.2

The Framingham Heart Study is often cited as proof of the lipid hypothesis. This study began in 1948 and involved some 6,000 people from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. Two groups were compared at five-year intervals—those who consumed little cholesterol and saturated fat and those who consumed large amounts. After 40 years, the director of this study had to admit: “In Framingham, Mass, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. . . we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”3 The study did show that those who weighed more and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk for future heart disease; but weight gain and cholesterol levels had an inverse correlation with fat and cholesterol intake in the diet.4

In a multi-year British study involving several thousand men, half were asked to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in their diets, to stop smoking and to increase the amounts of unsaturated oils such as margarine and vegetable oils. After one year, those on the “good” diet had 100% more deaths than those on the “bad” diet, in spite of the fact that those men on the “bad” diet continued to smoke! But in describing the study, the author ignored these results in favor of the politically correct conclusion: “The implication for public health policy in the U.K. is that a preventive programme such as we evaluated in this trial is probably effective. . . .”5

The U.S. Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, (MRFIT) sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, compared mortality rates and eating habits of over 12,000 men. Those with “good” dietary habits (reduced saturated fat and cholesterol, reduced smoking, etc.) showed a marginal reduction in total coronary heart disease, but their overall mortality from all causes was higher. Similar results have been obtained in several other studies. The few studies that indicate a correlation between fat reduction and a decrease in coronary heart disease mortality also document a concurrent increase in deaths from cancer, brain hemorrhage, suicide and violent death.6

The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial (LRC-CPPT), which cost 150 million dollars, is the study most often cited by the experts to justify lowfat diets. Actually, dietary cholesterol and saturated fat were not tested in this study as all subjects were given a low-cholesterol, low-saturated-fat diet. Instead, the study tested the effects of a cholesterol-lowering drug. Their statistical analysis of the results implied a 24% reduction in the rate of coronary heart disease in the group taking the drug compared with the placebo group; however, nonheart disease deaths in the drug group increased—deaths from cancer, stroke, violence and suicide.7 Even the conclusion that lowering cholesterol reduces heart disease is suspect. Independent researchers who tabulated the results of this study found no significant statistical difference in coronary heart disease death rates between the two groups.8 However, both the popular press and medical journals touted the LRC-CPPT as the long-sought proof that animal fats are the cause of heart disease, America’s number one killer.

Studies that Challenge the Lipid Hypothesis

While it is true that researchers have induced heart disease in some animals by giving them extremely large dosages of oxidized or rancid cholesterol—amounts ten times that found in the ordinary human diet—several population studies squarely contradict the cholesterol-heart disease connection. A survey of 1700 patients with hardening of the arteries, conducted by the famous heart surgeon Michael DeBakey, found no relationship between the level of cholesterol in the blood and the incidence of atherosclerosis.9 A survey of South Carolina adults found no correlation of blood cholesterol levels with “bad” dietary habits, such as use of red meat, animal fats, fried foods, butter, eggs, whole milk, bacon, sausage and cheese.10 A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine.11

Mother’s milk provides a higher proportion of cholesterol than almost any other food. It also contains over 50% of its calories as fat, much of it saturated fat. Both cholesterol and saturated fat are essential for growth in babies and children, especially the development of the brain.12 Yet, the American Heart Association is now recommending a low-cholesterol, lowfat diet for children! Commercial formulas are low in saturated fats and soy formulas are devoid of cholesterol. A recent study linked lowfat diets with failure to thrive in children.13

Numerous surveys of traditional populations have yielded information that is an embarrassment to the Diet Dictocrats. For example, a study comparing Jews when they lived in Yemen, whose diets contained fats solely of animal origin, to Yemenite Jews living in Israel, whose diets contained margarine and vegetable oils, revealed little heart disease or diabetes in the former group but high levels of both diseases in the latter.14 (The study also noted that the Yemenite Jews consumed no sugar but those in Israel consumed sugar in amounts equaling 25-30% of total carbohydrate intake.) A comparison of populations in northern and southern India revealed a similar pattern. People in northern India consume 17 times more animal fat but have an incidence of coronary heart disease seven times lower than people in southern India.15 The Masai and kindred tribes of Africa subsist largely on milk, blood and beef. They are free from coronary heart disease and have excellent blood cholesterol levels.16 Eskimos eat liberally of animal fats from fish and marine animals. On their native diet they are free of disease and exceptionally hardy.17 An extensive study of diet and disease patterns in China found that the region in which the populace consumes large amounts of whole milk had half the rate of heart disease as several districts in which only small amounts of animal products are consumed.18 Several Mediterranean societies have low rates of heart disease even though fat—including highly saturated fat from lamb, sausage and goat cheese—comprises up to 70% of their caloric intake. The inhabitants of Crete, for example, are remarkable for their good health and longevity.19 A study of Puerto Ricans revealed that, although they consume large amounts of animal fat, they have a very low incidence of colon and breast cancer.20 A study of the long-lived inhabitants of Soviet Georgia revealed that those who eat the most fatty meat live the longest.21 In Okinawa, where the average life span for women is 84 years—longer than in Japan—the inhabitants eat generous amounts of pork and seafood and do all their cooking in lard.22 None of these studies is mentioned by those urging restriction of saturated fats.

The relative good health of the Japanese, who have the longest life span of any nation in the world, is generally attributed to a lowfat diet. Although the Japanese eat few dairy fats, the notion that their diet is low in fat is a myth; rather, it contains moderate amounts of animal fats from eggs, pork, chicken, beef, seafood and organ meats. With their fondness for shellfish and fish broth, eaten on a daily basis, the Japanese probably consume more cholesterol than most Americans. What they do not consume is a lot of vegetable oil, white flour or processed food (although they do eat white rice.) The life span of the Japanese has increased since World War II with an increase in animal fat and protein in the diet.23 Those who point to Japanese statistics to promote the lowfat diet fail to mention that the Swiss live almost as long on one of the fattiest diets in the world. Tied for third in the longevity stakes are Austria and Greece—both with high-fat diets.24

As a final example, let us consider the French. Anyone who has eaten his way across France has observed that the French diet is just loaded with saturated fats in the form of butter, eggs, cheese, cream, liver, meats and rich patés. Yet the French have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than many other western countries. In the United States, 315 of every 100,000 middle-aged men die of heart attacks each year; in France the rate is 145 per 100,000. In the Gascony region, where goose and duck liver form a staple of the diet, this rate is a remarkably low 80 per 100,000.25 This phenomenon has recently gained international attention as the French Paradox. (The French do suffer from many degenerative diseases, however. They eat large amounts of sugar and white flour and in recent years have succumbed to the timesaving temptations of processed foods.)

A chorus of establishment voices, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, claims that animal fat is linked not only with heart disease but also with cancers of various types. Yet when researchers from the University of Maryland analyzed the data they used to make such claims, they found that vegetable fat consumption was correlated with cancer and animal fat was not.26

Understanding the Chemistry of Fats

Clearly something is wrong with the theories we read in the popular press—and used to bolster sales of lowfat concoctions and cholesterol-free foods. The notion that saturated fats per se cause heart disease as well as cancer is not only facile, it is just plain wrong. But it is true that some fats are bad for us. In order to understand which ones, we must know something about the chemistry of fats.

Fats—or lipids—are a class of organic substances that are not soluble in water. In simple terms, fatty acids are chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms filling the available bonds. Most fat in our bodies and in the food we eat is in the form of triglycerides, that is, three fatty-acid chains attached to a glycerol molecule. Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness to heart disease, but these triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy. The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour.

Classification of Fatty Acids by Saturation
Fatty acids are classified in the following way:
Saturated: A fatty acid is saturated when all available carbon bonds are occupied by a hydrogen atom. They are highly stable, because all the carbon-atom linkages are filled—or saturated—with hydrogen. This means that they do not normally go rancid, even when heated for cooking purposes. They are straight in form and hence pack together easily, so that they form a solid or semisolid fat at room temperature. Your body makes saturated fatty acids from carbohydrates and they are found in animal fats and tropical oils.

Monounsaturated: Monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond in the form of two carbon atoms double-bonded to each other and, therefore, lack two hydrogen atoms. Your body makes monounsaturated fatty acids from saturated fatty acids and uses them in a number of ways. Monounsaturated fats have a kink or bend at the position of the double bond so that they do not pack together as easily as saturated fats and, therefore, tend to be liquid at room temperature. Like saturated fats, they are relatively stable. They do not go rancid easily and hence can be used in cooking. The monounsaturated fatty acid most commonly found in our food is oleic acid, the main component of olive oil as well as the oils from almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts and avocados.

Polyunsaturated: Polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more pairs of double bonds and, therefore, lack four or more hydrogen atoms. The two polyunsaturated fatty acids found most frequently in our foods are double unsaturated linoleic acid, with two double bonds—also called omega-6; and triple unsaturated linolenic acid, with three double bonds—also called omega-3. (The omega number indicates the position of the first double bond.) Your body cannot make these fatty acids and hence they are called “essential.” We must obtain our essential fatty acids or EFA’s from the foods we eat. The polyunsaturated fatty acids have kinks or turns at the position of the double bond and hence do not pack together easily. They are liquid, even when refrigerated. The unpaired electrons at the double bonds makes these oils highly reactive. They go rancid easily, particularly omega-3 linolenic acid, and must be treated with care. Polyunsaturated oils should never be heated or used in cooking. In nature, the polyunsaturated fatty acids are usually found in the cis form, which means that both hydrogen atoms at the double bond are on the same side.

All fats and oils, whether of vegetable or animal origin, are some combination of saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated linoleic acid and linolenic acid. In general, animal fats such as butter, lard and tallow contain about 40-60% saturated fat and are solid at room temperature. Vegetable oils from northern climates contain a preponderance of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are liquid at room temperature. But vegetable oils from the tropics are highly saturated. Coconut oil, for example, is 92% saturated. These fats are liquid in the tropics but hard as butter in northern climes. Vegetable oils are more saturated in hot climates because the increased saturation helps maintain stiffness in plant leaves. Olive oil with its preponderance of oleic acid is the product of a temperate climate. It is liquid at warm temperatures but hardens when refrigerated.

Classification of Fatty Acids by Length
Researchers classify fatty acids not only according to their degree of saturation but also by their length.
Short-chain fatty acids have four to six carbon atoms. These fats are always saturated. Four-carbon butyric acid is found mostly in butterfat from cows, and six-carbon capric acid is found mostly in butterfat from goats. These fatty acids have antimicrobial properties—that is, they protect us from viruses, yeasts and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. They do not need to be acted on by the bile salts but are directly absorbed for quick energy. For this reason, they are less likely to cause weight gain than olive oil or commercial vegetable oils.27 Short-chain fatty acids also contribute to the health of the immune system.28

Medium-chain fatty acids have eight to twelve carbon atoms and are found mostly in butterfat and the tropical oils. Like the short-chain fatty acids, these fats have antimicrobial properties; are absorbed directly for quick energy; and contribute to the health of the immune system.

Long-chain fatty acids have from 14 to 18 carbon atoms and can be either saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Stearic acid is an 18-carbon saturated fatty acid found chiefly in beef and mutton tallows. Oleic acid is an 18-carbon monounsaturated fat which is the chief component of olive oil. Another monounsaturated fatty acid is the 16-carbon palmitoleic acid which has strong antimicrobial properties. It is found almost exclusively in animal fats. The two essential fatty acids are also long chain, each 18 carbons in length. Another important long-chain fatty acid is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which has 18 carbons and three double bonds. It is found in evening primrose, borage and black currant oils. Your body makes GLA out of omega-6 linoleic acid and uses it in the production of substances called prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones that regulate many processes at the cellular level.

Very-long-chain fatty acids have 20 to 24 carbon atoms. They tend to be highly unsaturated, with four, five or six double bonds. Some people can make these fatty acids from EFA’s, but others, particularly those whose ancestors ate a lot of fish, lack enzymes to produce them. These “obligate carnivores” must obtain them from animal foods such as organ meats, egg yolks, butter and fish oils. The most important very-long-chain fatty acids are dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) with 20 carbons and three double bonds; arachidonic acid (AA) with 20 carbons and four double bonds; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) with 20 carbons and five double bonds; and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with 22 carbons and six double bonds. All of these except DHA are used in the production of prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones that direct many processes in the cells. In addition, AA and DHA play important roles in the function of the nervous system.29

The Dangers of Polyunsaturates

The public has been fed a great deal of misinformation about the relative virtues of saturated fats versus polyunsaturated oils. Politically correct dietary gurus tell us that the polyunsaturated oils are good for us and that the saturated fats cause cancer and heart disease. The result is that fundamental changes have occurred in the Western diet. At the turn of the century, most of the fatty acids in the diet were either saturated or monounsaturated, primarily from butter, lard, tallows, coconut oil and small amounts of olive oil. Today most of the fats in the diet are polyunsaturated from vegetable oils derived mostly from soy, as well as from corn, safflower and canola.

Modern diets can contain as much as 30% of calories as polyunsaturated oils, but scientific research indicates that this amount is far too high. The best evidence indicates that our intake of polyunsaturates should not be much greater than 4% of the caloric total, in approximate proportions of 1 1/2 % omega-3 linolenic acid and 2 1/2 % omega-6 linoleic acid.30 EFA consumption in this range is found in native populations in temperate and tropical regions whose intake of polyunsaturated oils comes from the small amounts found in legumes, grains, nuts, green vegetables, fish, olive oil and animal fats but not from commercial vegetable oils.

Excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils has been shown to contribute to a large number of disease conditions including increased cancer and heart disease; immune system dysfunction; damage to the liver, reproductive organs and lungs; digestive disorders; depressed learning ability; impaired growth; and weight gain.31

One reason the polyunsaturates cause so many health problems is that they tend to become oxidized or rancid when subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture as in cooking and processing. Rancid oils are characterized by free radicals—that is, single atoms or clusters with an unpaired electron in an outer orbit. These compounds are extremely reactive chemically. They have been characterized as “marauders” in the body for they attack cell membranes and red blood cells and cause damage in DNA/RNA strands, thus triggering mutations in tissue, blood vessels and skin. Free radical damage to the skin causes wrinkles and premature aging; free radical damage to the tissues and organs sets the stage for tumors; free radical damage in the blood vessels initiates the buildup of plaque. Is it any wonder that tests and studies have repeatedly shown a high correlation between cancer and heart disease with the consumption of polyunsaturates?32 New evidence links exposure to free radicals with premature aging, with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and with Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s and cataracts.33

Too Much Omega-6
Problems associated with an excess of polyunsaturates are exacerbated by the fact that most polyunsaturates in commercial vegetable oils are in the form of double unsaturated omega-6 linoleic acid, with very little of vital triple unsaturated omega-3 linolenic acid. Recent research has revealed that too much omega-6 in the diet creates an imbalance that can interfere with production of important prostaglandins.34 This disruption can result in increased tendency to form blood clots, inflammation, high blood pressure, irritation of the digestive tract, depressed immune function, sterility, cell proliferation, cancer and weight gain.35

Too Little Omega-3
A number of researchers have argued that along with a surfeit of omega-6 fatty acids the American diet is deficient in the more unsaturated omega-3 linolenic acid. This fatty acid is necessary for cell oxidation, for metabolizing important sulphur-containing amino acids and for maintaining proper balance in prostaglandin production. Deficiencies have been associated with asthma, heart disease and learning deficiencies.36 Most commercial vegetable oils contain very little omega-3 linolenic acid and large amounts of the omega-6 linoleic acid. In addition, modern agricultural and industrial practices have reduced the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in commercially available vegetables, eggs, fish and meat. For example, organic eggs from hens allowed to feed on insects and green plants can contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the beneficial ratio of approximately one-to-one; but commercial supermarket eggs can contain as much as nineteen times more omega-6 than omega-3!37

The Benefits of Saturated Fats
The much-maligned saturated fats—which Americans are trying to avoid—are not the cause of our modern diseases. In fact, they play many important roles in the body chemistry:
Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of the cell membranes. They are what gives our cells necessary stiffness and integrity.
They play a vital role in the health of our bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated.38
They lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease.39 They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, such as Tylenol.40
They enhance the immune system.41
They are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids.
Elongated omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats. 42
Saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are the preferred foods for the heart, which is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated.43 The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.
Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.

The scientific evidence, honestly evaluated, does not support the assertion that “artery-clogging” saturated fats cause heart disease.44 Actually, evaluation of the fat in artery clogs reveals that only about 26% is saturated. The rest is unsaturated, of which more than half is polyunsaturated.45

What about Cholesterol?

And what about cholesterol? Here, too, the public has been misinformed. Our blood vessels can become damaged in a number of ways—through irritations caused by free radicals or viruses, or because they are structurally weak—and when this happens, the body’s natural healing substance steps in to repair the damage. That substance is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a high-molecular-weight alcohol that is manufactured in the liver and in most human cells. Like saturated fats, the cholesterol we make and consume plays many vital roles:
Along with saturated fats, cholesterol in the cell membrane gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability. When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these replace saturated fatty acids in the cell membrane, so that the cell walls actually become flabby. When this happens, cholesterol from the blood is “driven” into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated oils in the diet.46
Cholesterol acts as a precursor to vital corticosteroids, hormones that help us deal with stress and protect the body against heart disease and cancer; and to the sex hormones like androgen, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.
Cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, a very important fat-soluble vitamin needed for healthy bones and nervous system, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, reproduction and immune system function.
The bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet.
Recent research shows that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant.47 This is the likely explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels go up with age. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.
Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain.48 Serotonin is the body’s natural “feel-good” chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.
Mother’s milk is especially rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies and children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system.
Dietary cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal wall.49 This is why low-cholesterol vegetarian diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.

Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease but rather a potent antioxidant weapon against free radicals in the blood, and a repair substance that helps heal arterial damage (although the arterial plaques themselves contain very little cholesterol.) However, like fats, cholesterol may be damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen. This damaged or oxidized cholesterol seems to promote both injury to the arterial cells as well as a pathological buildup of plaque in the arteries.50 Damaged cholesterol is found in powdered eggs, in powdered milk (added to reduced-fat milks to give them body) and in meats and fats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high-temperature processes.

High serum cholesterol levels often indicate that the body needs cholesterol to protect itself from high levels of altered, free-radical-containing fats. Just as a large police force is needed in a locality where crime occurs frequently, so cholesterol is needed in a poorly nourished body to protect the individual from a tendency to heart disease and cancer. Blaming coronary heart disease on cholesterol is like blaming the police for murder and theft in a high crime area.

Poor thyroid function (hypothyroidism) will often result in high cholesterol levels. When thyroid function is poor, usually due to a diet high in sugar and low in usable iodine, fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients, the body floods the blood with cholesterol as an adaptive and protective mechanism, providing a superabundance of materials needed to heal tissues and produce protective steroids. Hypothyroid individuals are particularly susceptible to infections, heart disease and cancer.51

The Cause and Treatment of Heart Disease
The cause of heart disease is not animal fats and cholesterol but rather a number of factors inherent in modern diets, including excess consumption of vegetables oils and hydrogenated fats; excess consumption of refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar and white flour; mineral deficiencies, particularly low levels of protective magnesium and iodine; deficiencies of vitamins, particularly of vitamin C, needed for the integrity of the blood vessel walls, and of antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E, which protect us from free radicals; and, finally, the disappearance of antimicrobial fats from the food supply, namely, animal fats and tropical oils.52 These once protected us against the kinds of viruses and bacteria that have been associated with the onset of pathogenic plaque leading to heart disease.

While serum cholesterol levels provide an inaccurate indication of future heart disease, a high level of a substance called homocysteine in the blood has been positively correlated with pathological buildup of plaque in the arteries and the tendency to form clots—a deadly combination. Folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and choline are nutrients that lower serum homocysteine levels.53 These nutrients are found mostly in animal foods.

The best way to treat heart disease, then, is not to focus on lowering cholesterol—either by drugs or diet—but to consume a diet that provides animal foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12; to bolster thyroid function by daily use of natural sea salt, a good source of usable iodine; to avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies that make the artery walls more prone to ruptures and the buildup of plaque; to include the antimicrobial fats in the diet; and to eliminate processed foods containing refined carbohydrates, oxidized cholesterol and free-radical-containing vegetable oils that cause the body to need constant repair.

Modern Methods of Processing Fats

It is important to understand that, of all substances ingested by the body, it is polyunsaturated oils that are most easily rendered dangerous by food processing, especially unstable omega-3 linolenic acid. Consider the following processes inflicted upon naturally occurring fatty acids before they appear on our tables:

Extraction: Oils naturally occurring in fruits, nuts and seeds must first be extracted. In the old days this extraction was achieved by slow-moving stone presses. But oils processed in large factories are obtained by crushing the oil-bearing seeds and heating them to 230 degrees. The oil is then squeezed out at pressures from 10 to 20 tons per inch, thereby generating more heat. During this process the oils are exposed to damaging light and oxygen. In order to extract the last 10% or so of the oil from crushed seeds, processors treat the pulp with one of a number of solvents—usually hexane. The solvent is then boiled off, although up to 100 parts per million may remain in the oil. Such solvents, themselves toxic, also retain the toxic pesticides adhering to seeds and grains before processing begins.

High-temperature processing causes the weak carbon bonds of unsaturated fatty acids, especially triple unsaturated linolenic acid, to break apart, thereby creating dangerous free radicals. In addition, antioxidants, such as fat-soluble vitamin E, which protect the body from the ravages of free radicals, are neutralized or destroyed by high temperatures and pressures. BHT and BHA, both suspected of causing cancer and brain damage, are often added to these oils to replace vitamin E and other natural preservatives destroyed by heat.

There is a safe modern technique for extraction that drills into the seeds and extracts the oil and its precious cargo of antioxidants under low temperatures, with minimal exposure to light and oxygen. These expeller-expressed, unrefined oils will remain fresh for a long time if stored in the refrigerator in dark bottles. Extra virgin olive oil is produced by crushing olives between stone or steel rollers. This process is a gentle one that preserves the integrity of the fatty acids and the numerous natural preservatives in olive oil. If olive oil is packaged in opaque containers, it will retain its freshness and precious store of antioxidants for many years.

Hydrogenation: This is the process that turns polyunsaturates, normally liquid at room temperature, into fats that are solid at room temperature—margarine and shortening. To produce them, manufacturers begin with the cheapest oils—soy, corn, cottonseed or canola, already rancid from the extraction process—and mix them with tiny metal particles—usually nickel oxide. The oil with its nickel catalyst is then subjected to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture to give it a better consistency; the oil is yet again subjected to high temperatures when it is steam-cleaned. This removes its unpleasant odor. Margarine’s natural color, an unappetizing grey, is removed by bleach. Dyes and strong flavors must then be added to make it resemble butter. Finally, the mixture is compressed and packaged in blocks or tubs and sold as a health food.

Partially hydrogenated margarines and shortenings are even worse for you than the highly refined vegetable oils from which they are made because of chemical changes that occur during the hydrogenation process. Under high temperatures, the nickel catalyst causes the hydrogen atoms to change position on the fatty acid chain. Before hydrogenation, pairs of hydrogen atoms occur together on the chain, causing the chain to bend slightly and creating a concentration of electrons at the site of the double bond. This is called the cis formation, the configuration most commonly found in nature. With hydrogenation, one hydrogen atom of the pair is moved to the other side so that the molecule straightens. This is called the trans formation, rarely found in nature. Most of these man-made trans fats are toxins to the body, but unfortunately your digestive system does not recognize them as such. Instead of being eliminated, trans fats are incorporated into cell membranes as if they were cis fats—your cells actually become partially hydrogenated! Once in place, trans fatty acids with their misplaced hydrogen atoms wreak havoc in cell metabolism because chemical reactions can only take place when electrons in the cell membranes are in certain arrangements or patterns, which the hydrogenation process has disturbed.

In the 1940’s, researchers found a strong correlation between cancer and the consumption of fat—the fats used were hydrogenated fats although the results were presented as though the culprit were saturated fats.54 In fact, until recently saturated fats were usually lumped together with trans fats in the various U.S. data bases that researchers use to correlate dietary trends with disease conditions.55 Thus, natural saturated fats were tarred with the black brush of unnatural hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Altered partially hydrogenated fats made from vegetable oils actually block utilization of essential fatty acids, causing many deleterious effects including sexual dysfunction, increased blood cholesterol and paralysis of the immune system.56 Consumption of hydrogenated fats is associated with a host of other serious diseases, not only cancer but also atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, immune system dysfunction, low-birth-weight babies, birth defects, decreased visual acuity, sterility, difficulty in lactation and problems with bones and tendons.57 Yet hydrogenated fats continue to be promoted as health foods. The popularity of partially hydrogenated margarine over butter represents a triumph of advertising duplicity over common sense. Your best defense is to avoid it like the plague.

Homogenization: This is the process whereby the fat particles of cream are strained through tiny pores under great pressure. The resulting fat particles are so small that they stay in suspension rather than rise to the top of the milk. This makes the fat and cholesterol more susceptible to rancidity and oxidation, and some research indicates that homogenized fats may contribute to heart disease.58

The media’s constant attack on saturated fats is extremely suspect. Claims that butter causes chronic high cholesterol values have not been substantiated by research—although some studies show that butter consumption causes a small, temporary rise—while other studies have shown that stearic acid, the main component of beef fat, actually lowers cholesterol.59 Margarine, on the other hand, provokes chronic high levels of cholesterol and has been linked to both heart disease and cancer.60 The new soft margarines or tub spreads, while lower in hydrogenated fats, are still produced from rancid vegetable oils and contain many additives.

Nutrients in Butter

The Diet Dictocrats have succeeded in convincing Americans that butter is dangerous, when in fact it is a valued component of many traditional diets and a source of the following nutrients:

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: These include true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors needed to obtain maximum effect. Butter is America’s best source of these important nutrients. In fact, vitamin A is more easily absorbed and utilized from butter than from other sources.61 Fortunately, these fat-soluble vitamins are relatively stable and survive the pasteurization process.

When Dr. Weston Price studied isolated traditional peoples around the world, he found that butter was a staple in many native diets. (He did not find any isolated peoples who consumed polyunsaturated oils.) The groups he studied particularly valued the deep yellow butter produced by cows feeding on rapidly growing green grass. Their natural intuition told them that its life-giving qualities were especially beneficial for children and expectant mothers. When Dr. Price analyzed this deep yellow butter he found that it was exceptionally high in all fat-soluble vitamins, particularly vitamin A. He called these vitamins “catalysts” or “activators.” Without them, according to Dr. Price, we are not able to utilize the minerals we ingest, no matter how abundant they may be in our diets. He also believed the fat-soluble vitamins to be necessary for absorption of the water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A and D are essential for growth, for healthy bones, for proper development of the brain and nervous systems and for normal sexual development. Many studies have shown the importance of butterfat for reproduction; its absence results in “nutritional castration,” the failure to bring out male and female sexual characteristics. As butter consumption in America has declined, sterility rates and problems with sexual development have increased. In calves, butter substitutes are unable to promote growth or sustain reproduction.62

Not all the societies Dr. Price studied ate butter; but all the groups he observed went to great lengths to obtain foods high in fat-soluble vitamins—fish, shellfish, fish eggs, organ meats, blubber of sea animals and insects. Without knowing the names of the vitamins contained in these foods, isolated traditional societies recognized their importance in the diet and liberally ate the animal products containing them. They rightly believed such foods to be necessary for fertility and the optimum development of children. Dr. Price analyzed the nutrient content of native diets and found that they consistently provided about ten times more fat soluble vitamins than the American diet of the 1930’s. This ratio is probably more extreme today as Americans have deliberately reduced animal fat consumption. Dr. Price realized that these fat-soluble vitamins promoted the beautiful bone structure, wide palate, flawless uncrowded teeth and handsome, well-proportioned faces that characterized members of isolated traditional groups. American children in general do not eat fish or organ meats, at least not to any great extent, and blubber and insects are not a part of the western diet; many will not eat eggs. The only good source of fat-soluble vitamins in the American diet, one sure to be eaten, is butterfat. Butter added to vegetables and spread on bread, and cream added to soups and sauces, ensure proper assimilation of the minerals and water-soluble vitamins in vegetables, grains and meat.

The Wulzen Factor: Called the “antistiffness” factor, this compound is present in raw animal fat. Researcher Rosalind Wulzen discovered that this substance protects humans and animals from calcification of the joints—degenerative arthritis. It also protects against hardening of the arteries, cataracts and calcification of the pineal gland.63 Calves fed pasteurized milk or skim milk develop joint stiffness and do not thrive. Their symptoms are reversed when raw butterfat is added to the diet. Pasteurization destroys the Wulzen factor—it is present only in raw butter, cream and whole milk.

The Price Factor or Activator X: Discovered by Dr. Price, Activator X is a powerful catalyst which, like vitamins A and D, helps the body absorb and utilize minerals. It is found in organ meats from grazing animals and some sea food. Butter can be an especially rich source of Activator X when it comes from cows eating rapidly growing grass in the spring and fall seasons. It disappears in cows fed cottonseed meal or high protein soy-based feeds.64 Fortunately, Activator X is not destroyed by pasteurization. UPDATE: Activator X is now believed to be the fat-soluble vitamin K2; read Chris Masterjohn’s article to see how this 60-year mystery was finally solved.

Arachidonic Acid: A 20-carbon polyunsaturate containing four double bonds, found in small amounts only in animal fats. Arachidonic acid (AA) plays a role in the function of the brain, is a vital component of the cell membranes and is a precursor to important prostaglandins. Some dietary gurus warn against eating foods rich in AA, claiming that it contributes to the production of “bad” prostaglandins, ones that cause inflammation. But prostaglandins that counteract inflammation are also made from AA.

Short- and Medium-Chain Fatty Acids: Butter contains about 12-15% short- and medium-chain fatty acids. This type of saturated fat does not need to be emulsified by bile salts but is absorbed directly from the small intestine to the liver, where it is converted into quick energy. These fatty acids also have antimicrobial, antitumor and immune-system-supporting properties, especially 12-carbon lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid not found in other animal fats. Highly protective lauric acid should be called a conditionally essential fatty acid because it is made only by the mammary gland and not in the liver like other saturated fats.65 We must obtain it from one of two dietary sources—small amounts in butterfat or large amounts in coconut oil. Four-carbon butyric acid is all but unique to butter. It has antifungal properties as well as antitumor effects.66

Omega-6 and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids: These occur in butter in small but nearly equal amounts. This excellent balance between linoleic and linolenic acid prevents the kind of problems associated with overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Butter from pasture-fed cows also contains a form of rearranged linoleic acid called CLA, which has strong anticancer properties. It also encourages the buildup of muscle and prevents weight gain. CLA disappears when cows are fed dry hay or processed feed.67

Lecithin: Lecithin is a natural component of butter that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolization of cholesterol and other fat constituents.

Cholesterol: Mother’s milk is high in cholesterol because it is essential for growth and development. Cholesterol is also needed to produce a variety of steroids that protect against cancer, heart disease and mental illness.

Glycosphingolipids: This type of fat protects against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. For this reason, children who drink skimmed milk have diarrhea at rates three to five times greater than children who drink whole milk.68

Trace Minerals: Many trace minerals are incorporated into the fat globule membrane of butterfat, including manganese, zinc, chromium and iodine. In mountainous areas far from the sea, iodine in butter protects against goiter. Butter is extremely rich in selenium, a trace mineral with antioxidant properties, containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ.

One frequently voiced objection to the consumption of butter and other animal fats is that they tend to accumulate environmental poisons. Fat-soluble poisons such as DDT do accumulate in fats; but water-soluble poisons, such as antibiotics and growth hormones, accumulate in the water fraction of milk and meats. Vegetables and grains also accumulate poisons. The average plant crop receives ten applications of pesticides—from planting to storage—while cows generally graze on pasture that is unsprayed. Aflatoxin, a fungus that grows on grain, is one of the most powerful carcinogens known. It is correct to assume that all of our foods, whether of vegetable or animal origin, may be contaminated. The solution to environmental poisons is not to eliminate animal fats—so essential to growth, reproduction and overall health—but to seek out organic meats and butter from pasture-fed cows, as well as organic vegetables and grains. These are becoming increasingly available in health food stores and supermarkets and through mail order and cooperatives.

Composition of Different Fats

Before leaving this complex but vital subject of fats, it is worthwhile examining the composition of vegetable oils and other animal fats in order to determine their usefulness and appropriateness in food preparation:

Duck and Goose Fat are semisolid at room temperature, containing about 35% saturated fat, 52% monounsaturated fat (including small amounts of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid) and about 13% polyunsaturated fat. The proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids depends on what the birds have eaten. Duck and goose fat are quite stable and are highly prized in Europe for frying potatoes.

Chicken Fat is about 31% saturated, 49% monounsaturated (including moderate amounts of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid) and 20% polyunsaturated, most of which is omega-6 linoleic acid, although the amount of omega-3 can be raised by feeding chickens flax or fish meal, or allowing them to range free and eat insects. Although widely used for frying in kosher kitchens, it is inferior to duck and goose fat, which were traditionally preferred to chicken fat in Jewish cooking.

Lard or pork fat is about 40% saturated, 48% monounsaturated (including small amounts of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid) and 12% polyunsaturated. Like the fat of birds, the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will vary in lard according to what has been fed to the pigs. In the tropics, lard may also be a source of lauric acid if the pigs have eaten coconuts. Like duck and goose fat, lard is stable and a preferred fat for frying. It was widely used in America at the turn of the century. It is a good source of vitamin D, especially in third-world countries where other animal foods are likely to be expensive. Some researchers believe that pork products should be avoided because they may contribute to cancer. Others suggest that only pork meat presents a problem and that pig fat in the form of lard is safe and healthy.

Beef and Mutton Tallows are 50-55% saturated, about 40% monounsaturated and contain small amounts of the polyunsaturates, usually less than 3%. Suet, which is the fat from the cavity of the animal, is 70-80% saturated. Suet and tallow are very stable fats and can be used for frying. Traditional cultures valued these fats for their health benefits. They are a good source of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid.

Olive Oil contains 75% oleic acid, the stable monounsaturated fat, along with 13% saturated fat, 10% omega-6 linoleic acid and 2% omega-3 linolenic acid. The high percentage of oleic acid makes olive oil ideal for salads and for cooking at moderate temperatures. Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants. It should be cloudy, indicating that it has not been filtered, and have a golden yellow color, indicating that it is made from fully ripened olives. Olive oil has withstood the test of time; it is the safest vegetable oil you can use, but don’t overdo. The longer chain fatty acids found in olive oil are more likely to contribute to the buildup of body fat than the short- and medium-chain fatty acids found in butter, coconut oil or palm kernel oil.

Peanut Oil contains 48% oleic acid, 18% saturated fat and 34% omega-6 linoleic acid. Like olive oil, peanut oil is relatively stable and, therefore, appropriate for stir-frys on occasion. But the high percentage of omega-6 presents a potential danger, so use of peanut oil should be strictly limited.

Sesame Oil contains 42% oleic acid, 15% saturated fat, and 43% omega-6 linoleic acid. Sesame oil is similar in composition to peanut oil. It can be used for frying because it contains unique antioxidants that are not destroyed by heat. However, the high percentage of omega-6 militates against exclusive use.

Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils all contain over 50% omega-6 and, except for soybean oil, only minimal amounts of omega-3. Safflower oil contains almost 80% omega-6. Researchers are just beginning to discover the dangers of excess omega-6 oils in the diet, whether rancid or not. Use of these oils should be strictly limited. They should never be consumed after they have been heated, as in cooking, frying or baking. High oleic safflower and sunflower oils, produced from hybrid plants, have a composition similar to olive oil, namely, high amounts of oleic acid and only small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and, thus, are more stable than traditional varieties. However, it is difficult to find truly cold-pressed versions of these oils.

Canola Oil contains 5% saturated fat, 57% oleic acid, 23% omega-6 and 10%-15% omega-3. The newest oil on the market, canola oil was developed from the rape seed, a member of the mustard family. Rape seed is unsuited to human consumption because it contains a very-long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which under some circumstances is associated with fibrotic heart lesions. Canola oil was bred to contain little if any erucic acid and has drawn the attention of nutritionists because of its high oleic acid content. But there are some indications that canola oil presents dangers of its own. It has a high sulphur content and goes rancid easily. Baked goods made with canola oil develop mold very quickly. During the deodorizing process, the omega-3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed into trans fatty acids, similar to those in margarine and possibly more dangerous.69 A recent study indicates that “heart healthy” canola oil actually creates a deficiency of vitamin E, a vitamin required for a healthy cardiovascular system.70 Other studies indicate that even low-erucic-acid canola oil causes heart lesions, particularly when the diet is low in saturated fat.71

Flax Seed Oil contains 9% saturated fatty acids, 18% oleic acid, 16% omega-6 and 57% omega-3. With its extremely high omega-3 content, flax seed oil provides a remedy for the omega-6/omega-3 imbalance so prevalent in America today. Not surprisingly, Scandinavian folk lore values flax seed oil as a health food. New extraction and bottling methods have minimized rancidity problems. It should always be kept refrigerated, never heated, and consumed in small amounts in salad dressings and spreads.

Tropical Oils are more saturated than other vegetable oils.
Palm oil is about 50% saturated, with 41% oleic acid and about 9% linoleic acid.
Coconut oil is 92% saturated with over two-thirds of the saturated fat in the form of medium-chain fatty acids (often called medium-chain triglycerides). Of particular interest is lauric acid, found in large quantities in both coconut oil and in mother’s milk. This fatty acid has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil protects tropical populations from bacteria and fungus so prevalent in their food supply; as third-world nations in tropical areas have switched to polyunsaturated vegetable oils, the incidence of intestinal disorders and immune deficiency diseases has increased dramatically. Because coconut oil contains lauric acid, it is often used in baby formulas.
Palm kernel oil, used primarily in candy coatings, also contains high levels of lauric acid. These oils are extremely stable and can be kept at room temperature for many months without becoming rancid. Highly saturated tropical oils do not contribute to heart disease but have nourished healthy populations for millennia.72 It is a shame we do not use these oils for cooking and baking—the bad rap they have received is the result of intense lobbying by the domestic vegetable oil industry.73
Red palm oil has a strong taste that most will find disagreeable—although it is used extensively throughout Africa—but clarified palm oil, which is tasteless and white in color, was formerly used as shortening and in the production of commercial French fries, while coconut oil was used in cookies, crackers and pastries.

The saturated fat scare has forced manufacturers to abandon these safe and healthy oils in favor of hydrogenated soybean, corn, canola and cottonseed oils.


In summary, our choice of fats and oils is one of extreme importance. Most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less. But the fats we eat must be chosen with care. Avoid all processed foods containing newfangled hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oils. Instead, use traditional vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil and small amounts of unrefined flax seed oil. Acquaint yourself with the merits of coconut oil for baking and with animal fats for occasional frying. Eat egg yolks and other animal fats with the proteins to which they are attached. And, finally, use as much good quality butter as you like, with the happy assurance that it is a wholesome—indeed, an essential—food for you and your whole family.

Organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, and expeller-expressed flax oil in opaque containers are available in health food stores and gourmet markets. Edible coconut oil can be found in Indian or Caribbean markets.

ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus by F. Batmanghelidi, MD

ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus by F. Batmanghelidi, MD 

For over twenty years Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj (pronounced Batman-gelij) has been researching the effects of water and dehydration on the human body. Dr. Batmanghelidj explained the many effects of dehydration in his first book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. Water, which makes up 75% of the body and 85% of the brain, is more than a solvent. Just as water is needed for seeds to grow into plants, our bodies need it to perform metabolic chemical reactions, to create energy; and to remove waste and acid from tissues. Every day we lose at least two quarts (eight 8-oz-glasses) of water and some salt (which is necessary for maintaining acid! alkali balance) via urine, respiration, and perspiration. Instead of replacing lost water by drinking more water, many people drink caffeinated beverages. Caffeine found in soda pop and in coffee acts as a diuretic that forces more water from the body than is contained in the caffeinated beverage itself. 

Dr. Batmanghelidj’s research indicates that dehydration causes fatigue, depression, anxiety; localized chronic pain and, eventually, a number of chronic dysfunctions. In his newest book, Dr. Batmanghelidj explains the correlation between dehydration and asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disease, specifically lupus. He begins ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus by describing the huge increase in the numbers of people suffering from asthma. From 1980 to 1994, the number of children with asthma, ages 0-4 years, rose from 2,000 to 6,000 per 100,000 population. The rate of asthma among 5-14 year old’s rose from 3,500 to over 7,000. Older age groups have also shown an increase. Conventional medical treatment includes the use of antihistamine drugs. Dr. Batmanghelidj asserts that this suppression of histamine ignores physiology and the effects of dehydration. 

During dehydration, the body produces more histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in water rationing. It also regulates the thirst mechanism. The spasms that histamine incites in the bronchiole tubes are actually an attempt to conserve water, needed by the air sacs (alveoli) in order to maintain their shape. Asthma tends to affect children more severely because their bronchial tubes are smaller and less rigid than adults’, allowing greater constriction. Children also produce more histamine in their bodies because, in addition to being a water regulator, histamine is a growth factor. The demands for water created by a growing body and a lack of water reservoirs make children especially susceptible to dehydration. 

Dehydration can also account for the runny nose and watery eyes that accompany allergies. During dehydration the immune system becomes suppressed. In order to cope with pollens and other antigens, histamine and its subordinate chemicals direct water to the nose and eyes in an attempt to remove pollens through tears and nasal secretions. Dr. Batmanghelidj notes that while a well-hydrated body is able to produce more antibodies to neutralize organic antigens, this same mechanism cannot protect the body from toxic chemicals and gases. Instead, the body tries to prevent entry by constricting breathing. In susceptible, dehydrated people, exposure to the smell of some chemicals can lead to shortness of breath, an irritating cough, and even an asthma attack. 

As stated before, conventional medicine treats asthma and allergies with antihistamine medications. Instead of using drugs to block histamine, Dr. Batmanghelidj uses water and a bit of salt (about 1/2 tsp. per 10 cups of water) to reduce the body’s histamine production. He says that “[a] rough rule of thumb of how much water a person needs a day is half one’s body weight in ounces of water….Some children might need three-fourths of their body weight in ounces of water.” People with heart or kidney problems are warned to increase their water intake slowly, preferably under the supervision of a doctor. As people drink more water, urine production should also increase. Thus, more minerals and water-soluble vitamins may be excreted, so Dr. Batmanghelidj recommends taking supplements. He also gives information on beneficial foods, exercise, and sunlight’s role in converting cholesterol into vitamin D. ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus contains letters from several people — including doctors — who have been a ble to greatly reduce or eventually discontinue their own asthma medication, or that of their children’s, by adhering to the water and salt program. 

Dr. Batmanghelidj chose to examine lupus after encountering the Townsend Letter’s special issue on lupus and autoimmune disease (August/September 1999). In ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus, he describes the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosis (i.e., fatigue, persistent headaches, malar flush, LE cells, muscle and joint pain, Raynaud’s Phenomenon) and how the symptoms relate to water deficiency. One of the hormones produced by the brain when it is stressed and dehydrated is vasopressin, an antidiuretic. Vasopressin is also a strong cortisone release factor (CRF). CRF stimulates the secretion of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and inhibits interleukin-2 and interferon. Histamine also inhibits the production and release of interleukin-2 and interferon. Without the presence of interleukin-2 and interferon to neutralize it, interleukin-1 levels rise and the body produces more CRF. Eventually, the body begins secreting other chemicals that break down tissue in an attempt to “recycle some primary raw materials including cellular water that the brain/body needs.” Dr. Batmanghelidj explains, “In this type of process, the CRF and IL-1 that should only temporarily become engaged in releasing some primary materials from the body’s own tissues, get stuck on the job and ‘remain commissioned’ — their production is not stopped by their feedback mechanism because of dehydration. The outcome of one form of this type of crisis management of a stressed/dehydrated body that has to resort to cannibalism of its own tissues is called autoimmune disease. One form of autoimmune disease is lupus.” Research by F. Tjernstrom and associates (Journal of Lupus #8, 1999, pp 103-108), found that “[people] with constant IL-1 activity in their bodies are 700 percent more likely to suffer from lupus than those without IL-1 activity.” 

The skeptical mind finds it hard to believe that something as simple as water and a bit of salt can have any effect on conditions as serious as asthma and lupus. When one looks at the cascade of biochemical reactions that occur when cells become dehydrated, however, one begins to understand how vital this one substance is for maintaining health. 

The body produces histamine and other chemicals for a reason. Doesn’t it make sense to try to understand that reason instead of simply trying to block their activity with drugs? Dr. Batmanghelidj has done that, and he has provided ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus to help more people understand the power of water.

By Jule Klotter

To You (God) they cried out and were saved; in You they trusted and were not put to shame. (Bible, Psalm 22:5)

Rheumatoid arthritis pain By Dr F.Batmanghelidj

Rheumatoid arthritis pain By Dr F.Batmanghelidj

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity! – George Bernard Shaw

In the United States, about 50 million people suffer from some form of arthritis, 30 million people suffer from low back pain, millions suffer from arthritic neck pains, and 200,000 children are affected by the juvenile form of arthritis. In Britain, an estimated 20 million people suffer with joint symptoms, of who four million are disabled because of arthritis. In addition to this, in any year, a further 20 million will have to endure back pain, with effects which range from slight inconvenience to complete incapacity.

Once any of these conditions is established in an individual, it becomes a sentence for suffering during the rest of the individual’s life unless the simplicity of problem’s root-cause is fully understood. Initially, rheumatoid arthritis joints and their pain are to be viewed as indicators of water deficiency in the affected joint cartilage surfaces. Arthritis pain is another of the regional thirst signals of the body. In some arthritis pains, salt shortage may be a contributing factor.

The cartilage surfaces of bones in a joint contain much water. The lubricating property of this ‘held water’ is utilized in the cartilage, allowing the two opposing surfaces to glide freely over one another during joint movement.

Whereas bone cells are immersed in calcium deposits, cartilage cells are immersed in a matrix containing much water. As the cartilage surfaces glide over one another, some exposed cells die and peel away. New cells take their place from the growing ends that are attached to the bone surfaces on the two sides. In a well hydrated cartilage, the rate of friction damage is minimal. In a dehydrated cartilage, the rate of abrasive damage is increased. The ratio between the rate of regeneration of cartilage cells to their ‘abrasive peel’ is the index of joint efficiency.

Actively growing blood cells in the bone marrow take priority over the cartilage for the available water that goes through the bone structure. In the process of dilating the blood vessels to bring more circulation to the area, it is possible that the branch that goes through a tight hole in the bone cannot expand adequately enough to cope; the cells that depend on these vessels for an increased water and nutrient supply are under a physically imposed rationing control. Under such circumstances, and unless there is blood dilution to carry more water, the serum requirements of the cartilage will have to be satisfied from the blood vessels that feed the capsule of the joint. The nerve regulated shunting mechanisms (to all the joints) also produce signals of pain.

Initially, this pain indicates that the joint is not fully prepared to endure pressure until it is fully hydrated. This type of pain has to be treated with a regular increase in water intake to produce some dilution of blood that is circulating to the area, until the cartilage is fully hydrated and repaired from its base attachment to the bone -the normal bone route of serum diffusion to the cartilage.


It is my assumption that the swelling and pain in the capsule of the joint is an indication there is dilation and edema from the vessels that furnish circulation to the capsule of the joint. Joint surfaces have nerve endings that regulate all functions. When they place a demand for more blood circulation to the area to pick up water from the serum, the compensatory vascular expansion in the capsule is supposed to make up for the inefficiency of circulation from the bone route of supply.


Because dehydration in the joint surfaces will eventually cause severe damage – to the point of making the bone surfaces bare and exposed until osteoarthritis becomes established – the tissue damage will trigger a mechanism for remodeling of the joint. There are hormone-secreting cells in the capsule of the joint. When there is damage (also from dehydration), injured tissue has to be repaired. These local remodeling hormones lake over and restructure the joint surfaces. It seems that they cater to the lines of force and pressure that the joints have to endure.

Unfortunately, the repair process seems to produce a deviation of the joints. To avoid such disfigurement, one should take the initial pain very seriously and give strict attention to daily intake of water. This pain should be recognized as a sign of local dehydration. If it does not disappear after a few days of water intake and repeated gentle bending of the joints to bring more circulation to the area, one should then consult a professional practitioner of medicine. 

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by recognizing the pain and the non-infectious inflammation of a rheumatoid joint as a thirst signal in your body. You are probably showing other signals for water shortage in your body, but this particular site is indicating predisposition to a more severe local damage.

If we understand the body to have difficulty in recognizing its thirst state, it is possible that this lower state of alertness is also inheritable by a child. It is possible that dehydration in a rapidly growing child might also indicate its presence by the pain felt in the joints, as well as in heartburn. The mode of signal production that would denote thirst might naturally be the same in the young as in older people. It is therefore recommended that juvenile arthritis should also be treated with an increase in daily water intake.

As you can see, Dr Laurence Malone, whose letter is published on page 48, is an experienced medical doctor and an educator. His observations on the effect of water on rheumatoid joint pains in himself show that our other colleagues in the medical profession should begin to notice the medicinal values of water in disease prevention.

Low back pain

It should be appreciated that the spinal joints – intervertebral joints and their disc structures – are dependent on different hydraulic properties of water stored in the disc core, as well as in the end plate cartilage covering the flat surfaces of the spinal vertebrae. In spinal vertebral joints, water is not only a lubricant for the contact surfaces, it is held in the disc core within the intervertebral space and supports the compression weight of the upper part of the body. Fully 75 per cent of the weight of the upper part of the body is supported by the water volume that is stored in the disc core; 25 per cent is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc(see Figure 8). In all joints, water acts as a lubricating agent and it bears the force produced by weight or the tension produced by muscle action on the joint.

Global Health Solutions, Inc
P.O. Box 3189
Falls Church, Va.22043

Attn: The Honorable F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. 


At 82 years of age I am still in fair shape and only regret I did not have the superb advice of Dr. Batmanghelidj and that of his books “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” and “Low Back Pain”.

Dr. Batman’s reasoning is incisive, his medical knowledge indeed sparkles with wit and brilliant logic. His books are now a treasured possession in my library. I have used his advice for the painful arthritis I have in my hands and back and within two weeks, I have experienced considerable reduction of pain. I sleep better, I have more strength, with greater coordination and relaxation. I see life from a different point of view, where everything seems easier for me to do.

Dr. Batman’s books are full of common sense and truthful medical advice. His suggested treatment of disease goes to the roots, the cause of it and anyone who is fortunate enough to read them won’t be disappointed with their purchase.


Laurence A. Malone MD PhD

“A Tutorial Learning Center For College Sciences” 
(Licensed By The 6tate of Ohio)

8225 East Washington Street Chagrin Falls. Ohio 44O23

In most of these joints, the establishment of an intermittent vacuum promotes a silent water circulation into the joint, only for it to be squeezed out by pressure borne as a result of joint activity. To prevent back pain, one needs to drink sufficient water and do a series of special exercises to create an intermittent vacuum to draw water into the disc space. These exercises will also reduce the spasm in the back muscles that, in the vast majority of people, is the main cause of lower back pain. One also needs to adopt correct postures.

The subject of back pain and its relationship to water is so important that I have dealt with it in a special book, How to Deal With Back Pain and Rheumatoid Joint Pain, and a complementary video, How To Deal With Back Pain. If you get back pain and in particular sciatic pain, you will benefit by reading the book and seeing the video. In a majority of cases sciatic pain can be totally relieved within half an hour when the special movements that produce an intermittent vacuum in the disc spaces – as shown in the book and video – are performed.

Neck pain

Bad posture, keeping the head bent for long periods when writing, working at a low bench, ‘freeze position’ while at the computer for many hours, a bad pillow or too many pillows can be contributory factors in the production of neck pain, or even the displacement of the intervertebral discs in the neck. Neck movement is essential for the establishment of adequate fluid circulation within the disc spaces in the neck. The weight of the head forces water out of the discs over a period of time. To bring back the same water, the force of vacuum has to be created within the same disc space. This can only be done if the head and neck are moved adequately backward. 

A simple process in less severe cases of neck pain from disc displacement would be slowly and repeatedly bending the head and neck backward, as much as they will bend, keeping the neck extended for 30 seconds at a time. This extension enhances the force of vacuum and
brings water into the disc spaces. At the same time, because of their front attachment to the spinal ligament, all of the discs will be retracted back into their normal spaces between the vertebrae and away from the nerve roots in the neck.


Another simple procedure to correct this problem is lying on one’s back on the very edge of the bed with the head hanging back and down. This posture permits the weight of the head to stretch the non-weight-bearing neck and bend it backward. A few moments of total relaxation in this position will ease the tension in the neck. This, is a good posture to generate a type of vacuum in the disc spaces in the neck. After gently bending the head backward so that you can see the floor, raise the head until you see the wall beyond your feet. This procedure may be effective in creating an intermittent vacuum in the vertebral spaces between any two vertebrae. The vacuum draws into the disc spaces and spreads it to all parts in the neck joint and lubricates their movements. This water is needed for the disc core to re-expand to its natural size, jacking up and separating one vertebra from the other. You could now bend the head from one side to the other. Try to look at the wall and floor of the room, first one side and then the other side. People who begin to suffer from neck ‘arthritis’, or disc displacement in the neck, may wish to test this
simple procedure to improve the mobility of their neck joints.

Anginal pain

For more information read the section on cholesterol. In brief and to address the dehydration-produced pains of the body together, anginal pain means water shortage in the body. The common factor in all the conditions labelled as different diseases of the heart and the lungs is an established dehydration.

Take a look at Mr. Samuel Liguori’s and Loretta Johnson’s letters,
published by their kind permission (among the testimonials in the
section on cholesterol). Mr. Liguori’s anginal pain disappeared when he started to increase his water intake. He also had suffered from hiatus hernia and that too started to clear up. Given time, it will clear up completely. You will see from Loretta Johnson’s letter that, even at the young-at-heart age of 90, anginal pain can be treated with water, to the extent that she does not need any medication for her heart pains.


In my personal experience, migraine headaches seem to be brought about by dehydration; excess bed covers that will not permit the body to regulate its temperature during sleep; alcoholic beverages (hangover) initiating a process of cellular dehydration, particularly in the brain; dietary or allergic triggers for histamine release; excess environmental heat without water intake. Basically, migraine seems to be an indicator of critical body temperature regulation at times of ‘heat stress’. Dehydration plays a major role in the precipitation of migraine headaches.

The most prudent way of dealing with migraine is its prevention by the regular intake of water. Once migraine breaks the pain barriers, a cascade of chemical reactions will stop the body from further activity. At this time, one has to take pain-relieving medications with copious water. Sufficient cold or iced water may by itself be able to cool the body (also the brain) from inside, and promote closing of the vascular system everywhere. Excess dilation of the peripheral vessels might well be the basic cause of migraine headache.

Mrs Mavis Butler, a touring Australian Adventist missionary in Silang in the Philippines, has an interesting history. She has for many years suffered from migraine headaches. She would at times be so incapacitated as to become bed-ridden. She came across this book when she was in Silang and started to increase her water intake. She wrote to tell me that she has so improved that she now wants to shout it from the house tops.

Mrs Butler’s long letter is reprinted on the following pages. Hers is another of those human stories that make one wonder how it is possible that we were so ignorant of the importance of water to health that people could suffer from its lack in the body, to the point of wishing to die.

P 0 Box 1619, Innisfail 4860 
North Queensland, Australia 
January 23, 7995

Dear Dr. Batmanghelidj:

For many years I suffered with headaches. I consulted doctors, neurologists, chiropractors and spent hundreds of dollars for head-scans and X-rays, all to no avail. At times only my faith in God kept me from wanting to die, as I lie prone on my bed for days on end in pain.
No medication would ever stop the pain, it would just seem to run its course and then stop. I could never make any connection between my diet and the headaches, and the only pattern they seemed to follow was to always start a couple of hours after a meal.
Then one day a friend told me that he thought my headaches were caused because I never drank enough water. While I knew I didn’t actually drink much water, I thought my herbal tea with fruit juices together with lots of fruits amply supplied my liquid requirements. Just three weeks later I was leafing through a health magazine when an advertisement for your book, ‘Your Body’s Many Cries for Water’, just seemed to leap out at my eyes. I bought the magazine and sent for the book.
When it came, I eagerly read and re-read it to learn this new concept about water, and as I saw the errors in my drinking habits I quickly set about to righting them. Can anyone, without experiencing it for themselves, really understand what it is like to have usually pain-filled days changed to wonderful painless days when you can do the things you want to do, instead of being ‘down with a headache?’. Oh, such a blessing for which I thank God continually.
It has taken months to properly hydrate my body, but now a headache is a now-and-again event instead of the norm. I thank a loving and caring God for leading me step by step to this wonderful truth. He no doubt tried to lead me a lot earlier, but I was too blind to see. I thank you, doctor, for your great work and perseverance in bringing this truth to the people.

I lecture to adults at night classes on ‘Better Food and Eating Habits’ and I quickly gave one of my sessions entirely to the body’s need for water. I have been able to help many people to better health and much less pain in their lives, with this knowledge, A friend told me he was going into hospital in a few days time for stomach and ulcer treatment. I begged him to cancel this and try the water treatment you recommended.
He somewhat reluctantly did and was amazed and thankful to find his pains stop and in time, to know that the ulcer had healed, all without medication.
Please let me offer my grateful thanks again and pray that the Lord will bless and guide you and your staff as you work for the better health of humanity. 


(Mrs.) Mavis Butler

Taken from the book “Your Body’s Many Cries For Water”

High blood pressure by Dr F. Batmanghelidj

High blood pressure by Dr F. Batmanghelidj

‘Physicians think they are doing something for you by labeling what you have as a disease.’ – Immanuel Kant

High blood pressure (essential hypertension) is the result of an adaptive process to a gross body water deficiency. The vessels of the body have been designed to cope with fluctuation of their blood volume and tissue requirements by opening and closing different vessels. When the body’s total fluid volume is decreased, the main vessels also have to decrease their aperture (close their lamina), otherwise there would not be enough fluid to fill all the space allocated to blood volume in the design of that particular body. Failing a capacity adjustment to the “water volume” by the blood vessels, gases would separate from the blood and fill the space, causing “gas locks”. This property of lumen regulation for fluid circulation is a most advanced design within the principle of hydraulics and after which the blood circulation of the body is modeled, 

Shunting of blood circulation is a normal routine. When we eat, most of the circulation is directed into the intestinal tract by closing some capillary circulation elsewhere. When we eat, more capillaries are opened in the gastrointestinal tract and fewer are open in the major muscle systems. Only areas where activity places a more urgent demand on the circulatory systems will be kept fully open for the passage of blood. In other words, it is the blood-holding capacity of the capillary bed that determines the direction and rate of flow to any site at a given time.

This process is naturally designed to cope with any priority work without the burden of maintaining an excess fluid volume in the body. When the act of digestion has taken place and less blood is needed in the gastrointestinal region, circulation to other areas will open more easily. In a most indirect way, this is why we feel less active immediately after a meal and ready for action after some time has passed. In short, there is a mechanism for establishment of priority for circulating blood to any given area – some capillaries open and some others close. The order is predetermined according to a scale of importance of function. The brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, and glands take priority over muscles, bones, and skin in blood distribution unless a different priority is programmed into the system. This will happen if a continued demand on any part of the body influences the extent of blood circulation to the area, such as muscle develop-ment through regular exercise.

Water shortage: potentials for hypertension

When we do not drink enough water to serve all the needs of the body, some cells become dehydrated and lose some of their water to the circulation. Capillary beds in some areas will have to close so that some of the slack in capacity is adjusted for. In water shortage and body drought, 66 per cent is taken from the water volume normally held inside the cells; 26 per cent is taken from the volume held outside the cells; and 8 per cent is taken from blood volume (see Figure 13). There is no alternative for the blood vessels other than closing their lamina to cope with the loss in blood volume .The process begins by closing some capillaries in less active areas. The deficient quantity must come either from outside or be taken from another part of the body.

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It is the extent of capillary bed activity throughout the body that will ultimately determine the volume of circulating blood. The more the muscles are exercised, the more their capillaries will open and hold a greater volume of blood within the circulation reserves. This is the reason why exercise is a very important component for physiological adjustments in those suffering from hypertension. This is one aspect to the physiology of hypertension. The capillary bed must remain open and full and offer no resistance to blood circulation. When the capillary bed is closed and offers resistance, only an increased force behind the circulating blood will ensure the passage of some fluids through the system.

Another reason why the capillary bed may become selectively closed is shortage of water in the body. Basically, water we drink will ultimately have to get into the cells – water regulates the volume of a cell from inside. Salt regulates the amount of water that is held outside the cells – the ocean around the cell. There is a very delicate balancing process in the design of the body in the way it maintains its composition of blood at the expense of fluctuating the water content in some cells of the body.
When there is a shortage of water, some cells will go without a portion of their normal needs and others will get a predetermined rationed amount to maintain function (as explained, the mechanism involves water filtration through the cell membrane). However, blood will normally retain the consistency of its composition. It must do so in order to keep the normal composition of elements reaching the vital centers.

This is where the solutes paradigm is inadequate and goes wrong. It bases all assessments and evaluations of body functions on the solids content of blood. It does not recognize the comparative dehydration of some other parts of the body. All blood tests can appear normal and yet the small capillaries of the heart and the brain may be closed and cause some of the cells of these organs a gradual damage from increasing dehydration over a long period of time. When you read the section on cholesterol formation, this statement will become more clear.

When we lose thirst sensation (or do not recognize other signals of dehydration) and drink less water than the daily requirement, the shutting down of some vascular beds is the only natural alternative to keep the rest of the blood vessels full. The question is, how long can we go on like this? The answer is, long enough to ultimately become very ill and die. Unless we get wise to the paradigm shift, and professionally and generally begin to recognize the problems associated with water metabolism disturbance in the human body and its variety of thirst signals, chronic dehydration will continue to take its toll on both our bodies and our society!

Essential hypertension should primarily be treated with an increase in daily water intake. The present way of treating hypertension is wrong to the point of scientific absurdity. The body is trying to retain its water volume, and we say to the design of nature in us ‘No, you do not understand – you must take diuretics and get rid of water! It so happens that, if we do not drink sufficient water, the only other way the body has to secure water is through the mechanism of keeping sodium in the body. The RA system is directly involved. Only when sodium is retained will water remain in the extra-cellular fluid compartment. From this compartment, through the mechanism of shower-head production, water will be forced into some of the cells with “priority” status. Thus, keeping sodium in the body is a last resort way of retaining some water for its ‘shower-head’ filtered use.

There is a sensitivity of design attached to sodium retention in the body. To assume this to be the cause of hypertension is inaccurate and stems from insufficient knowledge of the water regulatory mechanisms in the human body. When diuretics are given to get rid of the sodium, the body becomes more dehydrated. The dry mouth level of dehydration is reached and water is taken to compensate. Diuretics maintain the body at an expanding level of deficit water management. They do not cure hypertension; they make the body more determined for salt and water absorption, but never enough to correct the problem. That is why, after a while, diuretics are not enough and supplemental medications will be forced on the patient.

Another problem in assessment of hypertension is its means of measurement. Anxiety associated with having hypertension will automatically affect the person at examination time. Readings of the instruments may not reflect the true, natural and normal blood pressure. An inexperienced or hasty medical practitioner, more in fear of litigation than mindful of accuracy of judgment, might assume the patient to have hypertension, whereas the person might only have an instant of ‘clinic anxiety’, thus causing a higher reading of the instrument. One other very important but less-known problem with the mechanism of reading blood pressure is the process of Inflating the cuff well above the systolic reading, and then letting the air out until the pulse is heard.

Every large (and possibly small) artery has a companion nerve that is there to monitor the flow of blood through the vessel. With the loss of pressure beyond the cuff that is now inflated to very high levels, the process of “pressure” opening of the obstruction in the arteries will be triggered. By the time the pressure in the cuff is lowered to read the pulsation level, the recording of an artificially induced higher blood pressure will have become unavoidable. Unfortunately, the measurement of hypertension is so arbitrary (and based on the diastolic level) that in this litigious society a minor error in assessment may label a person hypertensive. This is when all the fun and games begin!

Water by itself is the best natural diuretic. If people who have hypertension, and produce adequate urine, increase their daily water intake, they will not need to take diuretics. If prolonged “hypertension producing dehydration” has also caused heart failure complications, water intake should be increased gradually. In this way, one makes sure that fluid collection in the body is not excessive or unmanageable.
The mechanism of sodium retention in these people is in overdrive mode. When water intake is increased gradually and more urine is being produced, the edema fluid (swelling) that is full of toxic substances will be flushed out, and the heart will regain its strength.

The following four letters are presented with the kind permission of their authors, who wished to share their welcome experiences with the readers of this book. The first is from Marjori Ramsay, a lady in her early eighties.

Dear Dr Batmanghelidj 
November 22, 1993

I have just ordered another copy of your book on water, having given a son my first copy. I tell everybody about it and my experiences Perhaps you would be interested.
My first son Charles, 58, who lives with me, is deaf and autistic. I take him three or four days a week to a facility for the handicapped. They had been taking his blood pressure there and notified me that the doctor said he should go on medication – his BP was 140-160/100-104.1 had just received your book and asked the M.D. to let me experiment for two weeks. Reluctantly he agreed, but warned me it was very dangerous.
I kept Charles home and used the water routine, also adding a little magnesium and potassium.
Two weeks later the nurse took his BP and it was 106/80. She said: ‘The doctor will be in shortly’- evidently the M.D. didn’t believe her and he checked it himself and had to admit it was so. He didn’t ask me what I did, so I did not tell him about water, but if the BP continues as it is, I will tell him.
I went on the water routine too without any particular problem in mind, but noticed that in about 10 days my tendency to get dizzy if I moved my head quickly had disappeared. I also had been unable to lower my head to lie flat at nights and had to have several pillows. Now I am much better, and have had only one spell in over a month: I am 82 years of age.

Thank you for the work you are doing – it is much needed. More power to you.

Marjori Ramsay

If you can find out why this particular doctor was not interested in discovering how Charles’s mother brought his blood pressure back to normal, you will then realize why we have a health care crisis on our hands!

The writer of the second letter is Michael Peck. He has, in the past, been involved in an administrative capacity with the Foundation for the Simple in Medicine, which I helped to establish. The foundation is a medical research (“think tank”) institution. At a scientific and public education level, the foundation is engaged in the introduction of the paradigm shift on water metabolism of the body in the USA. In his letter (below) Mr. Peck briefly explains his medical problems since childhood. Who in the world would have thought so many disparate medical conditions could be related, and after so many years these conditions would disappear as a result of a simple adjustment to daily water intake? The solution to Mr. Peck’s medical problems was so unique his wife also began to adopt the “treatment ritual”.

Michael Paturis, the writer of the third letter, is a fellow Rotarian. He became aware of my work when I was asked to speak to his club a few years ago. One day we had lunch and I explained in detail why hypertension and fat accumulation in the body are gen-erally the consequences of chronically occurring dehydration. He accepted my advice of increasing his daily water intake. He also con-vinced his wife to adopt the measure. Please note the impact of increased water intake on allergies and asthma that has been stated in the letters from Michael Peck and E Michael Paturis.

Lt Col Walter Burmeister has observed the effect of water on his own blood pressure. As you can read in the second letter, he too has experienced a drug-free and nature-designed adjustment to his blood pressure. 

Dr. F. Batmanghelidj 25 March 1992
Foundation For The Simple In Medicine
2146 Kings Garden Way
Falls Church, Va. 22043

Dear Fereydoon,
This letter is a testimony to the merits of water as an essential part of the daily dietary requirements for good health.I have been following your recommendations for nearly five years, and have found myself taking for granted the positive effects of water intake.
When I first started on the program I was overweight, with high blood pressure and suffering from asthma and allergies, which I have had since a small child.l had been receiving treatment for these conditions. Today, I have my weight and blood pressure under control (weight loss of approximately 30 pounds and a 10 point drop in blood pressure). The program reduced the frequency of asthma and allergy related problems, to the point of practical nonexistence. Additionally, there were other benefits, I experienced fewer colds and flus, and generally with less severity.
I introduced this program to my wife, who had been on blood pressure medication for the past four years, and through increased water intake has recently been able to eliminate her medication.

Thanks again for your program

Michael Peck

If water is a natural diuretic, why do intelligent and apparently learned people still insist on using chemicals to get rid of water from the kidneys? As far as I am concerned, this constitutes negligence. Since this unfortunate action will eventually damage the kidneys, and ultimately the heart, its practice should stop – to the undoubted benefit of sufferers.

My colleagues who still insist on blindly using diuretics in the treatment of hypertension are walking into foreseeable litigations for negligent treatment of their patients. The new information will provide their patients with sufficient insight to understand what damage has been caused by stupid insistence on treating “hypertension” with diuretics. Let the February 1995 class action suit of smokers against the tobacco industry be a warning to the health care industry.

P Batmanghelidj M.D.
Foundation on For The Simple In Medicine
2146 Kings Garden Way 
Falls Church, Virginia 22043

Dear Dr. Batmanghelidj,

I again wish to thank you for your kindness in helping my wife and me to better appreciate the importance of water to our health. We feel the conscious increase in our water consumption contributed greatly to our weight loss – a weight loss which had been urged upon both of us by our respective physicians for years. My loss of approximately forty-five (45) pounds has resulted in such a lowering of my blood pressure that I am no longer taking medicine for my blood pressure. My wife’s weight loss has alleviated the discomfort she has experienced for years with her back. In addition, she believes the weight loss has reduced her discomfort and problems with her allergies.

With best wishes, Iremain

Michael Paturis

Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj 3rd August 1994
Foundation For the Simple in Medicine
2146 Kings Garden Way
Falls Church, Virginia 22043

Dear Dr. Batmanghelidj:

Since my 24 May 1994 letter, and your consequent telephone call, a physical change of address has absorbed my time. The new address is LTC Walter F. Burmeister, 118 Casitas del Este, El Paso, Texas 79935.
Albeit, much more important than these facts, I am in a position to verify how tap water effectively lowers hypertension. Starting in early April 1994, leaving years of diuretics and calcium-blockers behind, in accordance with your recommendation, for approximately 3 months I drank a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of tap water; occasionally more. The blood pressure, heretofore contained by drugs, gradually dropped from an average around 150/160 systolic/over 95-98 diastolic to an amazing, drug free, 130/135 systolic/over 75-80 diastolic fluctuating average.
My wife makes these measures at home; each time taking two or three readings. The record shows several lows of 120s over 75d and a rare high of 140s over 90d. However, the average range, as stated above, uniformly dominates.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, this drug-free approach, based essentially on tap water and a pinch of salt, has relaxed my system and justifies the confidence that you hold the handles of a truly revolutionary and marvelous medical concept.
Since your are about to publish a book with applicable testimonies of the Hydration System, my personal experience is gratefully offered as a way of saying thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Walter F. Burmeister
Lt. Col. AUS RET

Taken from “Your Body’s Many Cries For Water”
Written by Dr F. Batmanghelidj

Salt Intake is Vital

Salt Intake is Vital.

Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.
Salt is a vital substance for the survival of all living creatures, particularly humans. Water and salt regulate the water content of the body. Water itself regulates the water content of the interior of the cell by working its way into all of the cells it reaches. It has to get there to cleanse and extract the toxic wastes of cell metabolisms. Salt forces some water to stay outside the cells. It balances the amount of water that stays outside the cells. There are two oceans of water in the body; one ocean is held inside the cells of the body, and the other ocean is held outside the cells. Good health depends on a most delicate balance between the volume of these oceans, and this balance is achieved by salt – unrefined salt.

When water is available to get inside the cells freely, it is filtered from the outside salty ocean and injected into the cells that are being overworked despite their water shortage. This is the reason why in severe dehydration we develop an edema and retain water. The design of our bodies is such that the extent of the ocean of water outside the cells is expanded to have the extra water available for filtration and emergency injection into vital cells. The brain commands an increase in salt and water retention by the kidneys. This is how we get an edema when we don’t drink enough water.

Initially, the process of water filtration and its delivery into the cells is more efficient at night when the body is horizontal. The collected water, that mostly pools in the legs, does not have to fight the force of gravity to get onto the blood circulation. If reliance of this process of emergency hydration of some cells continues for long, the lungs begin to get waterlogged at night, and breathing becomes difficult. The person needs more pillows to sit upright to sleep. This condition is the consequence of dehydration. However, you might overload the system by drinking too much water at the beginning. Increases in water intake must be slow and spread out until urine production begins to increase at the same rate that you drink water.

When we drink enough water to pass clear urine, we also pass out a lot of the salt that was held back. This is how we can get rid of edema fluid in the body; by drinking more water. Not diuretics, but more water!! In people who have an extensive edema and show signs of their heart beginning to have irregular or very rapid beats with least effort, the increase in water intake should be gradual and spaced out, but not withheld from the body. Naturally, salt intake should be limited for two or three days because the body is still in an overdrive mode to retain it. Once the edema has cleared up, salt should not be withheld from the body.
Salt has many other functions than just regulating the water content of the body. 
Here are some of the more vital functions of salt in the body:

1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure – in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.

2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.

3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a needed element in diabetics.

4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells’ communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.

6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.

7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.

9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.

15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work – from the moment of conception to death.

20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation to the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become “leaky” in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The “leakiness” spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.

21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

22. Twenty-seven percent of the body’s salt is in the bones. Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from the body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we’re deficient in salt or water or both.

The information on salt intake is taken from Dr. Batmanghelidj’s book, “Water: Rx for a Healthier Pain-Free Life”. 

The Water Cure: How Much & How Often

The Water Cure: How Much & How Often


  by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

Let me give you the single most effective prescription for well-being, improved health, disease prevention, potentially reversible stages of degenerative diseases—and finally the best pain medicine in the world. It needs no doctor’s prescription. It is freely available. It costs nothing. It has no dangerous side effects. It is the medication your body cries for when it is stressed. It is good old plain, natural water—ready cash for the industrial systems of the body.

Every twenty-four hours the body recycles the equivalent of forty thousand glasses of water to maintain its normal physiological functions. It does this every day of its life. Within this pattern of water metabolism and its recycling process, and depending on environmental conditions, the body becomes short of about six to ten glasses of water each day. This deficit has to be supplied to the body every day.

If you think you are different and your body does not need this amount of water, you are making a major mistake. The body uses up the equivalent of between six to eight glasses of its total body water for essential functions. It needs on average upwards of half its weight in ounces of water per day—a minimum of eight to ten glasses. Water should be taken in eight- or sixteen-ounce portions spaced throughout the day. In the same way you don’t let your car run out of gas before you fill the tank, the body must not be allowed to become dehydrated before you drink water.

·      Water should be drunk before meals. The optimum time is thirty minutes before eating. This prepares the digestive tract, particularly in people with gastritis, duodenitis, heartburn, peptic ulcer, colitis, or gas-producing indigestion.

·      Water should be taken anytime you are thirsty—even during meals.

·      Water should be taken two and a half hours after a meal to complete the process of digestion and correct the dehydration caused by food breakdown.

·      Water should be taken first thing in the morning to correct dehydration produced during long sleep.

·      Water should be taken before exercising to have it available for creating sweat.

·      Water should be taken by people who are constipated and don’t eat sufficient fruits and vegetables. Two to three glasses of water first thing in the morning act as a most effective laxative.


Naturally, we wonder why we should drink water and not the pleasing and taste-enhancing beverages that are now the staples of our modern society. After all, they are made from water and do the job of quenching our thirst—or at least we feel they do. In fact, much of the problem of bad health is founded on this misconception.  As far as the chemistry of the body is concerned, water and fluids are two different things. As it happens, popular manufactured beverages contain some chemicals that alter the body’s chemistry at its central nervous system’s control centers. Even milk is not the same as water. Milk is a food and must be treated as food.

The body needs water—nothing substitutes for water. Coffee, tea, soda, alcohol, and even milk and juices are not the same as water.


·      A cup of coffee contains about 80 milligrams of caffeine, and a cup of tea or one soda has about 50 milligrams.

·      Chocolate also contains caffeine and theobromine, which acts like caffeine.

·      Caffeine further dehydrates the body—you urinate more than the volume of water contained in the beverage.

·      Caffeine blocks the production of melatonin in the brain. Dr. Kenneth Wright Jr. discovered the melatonin-inhibiting effect of caffeine in 1994.  This inhibitory effect of caffeine on melatonin production by the pineal gland of the brain seems to last six to nine hours. Melatonin regulates the functions of the body during sleep; it induces sleep.  Thus, melatonin inhibition is one reason why coffee induces wakefulness.

·      Caffeine intake on a regular basis by pregnant women can increase the risk of producing lowbirth-weight infants. It can even cause spontaneous abortion or damage to the fetus.

·      Caffeine inhibits the enzymes used in memory making, eventually causing loss of memory. It has been shown to inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase (phospho-di-esterase), which is involved in the process of learning and memory development.

·      Caffeine can be toxic to brain cells. Some plants use caffeine as a defense against their predators.  Caffeine toxicity in predators decreases their natural wit and ability for survival against their own predators. They forget how to camouflage themselves and become prey to their own predators. This is how the coffee plant gets rid of its pests.

·      Seniors and children should not take caffeine. It can affect their normal brain functions, and their wit to survive may become less sharp.

·      People taking five to six cups of coffee a day are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks.

·      Caffeine can damage DNA and cause abnormal DNA by inhibiting the DNA-repair mechanism.

·        Caffeine has been shown to cause genetic abnormalities in animals and plants.

·      Caffeine attacks the brain cells’ reserves of energy and lowers their threshold of control, so that the cells overspend from their energy pool. It indiscriminately turns on many energy-consuming functions to the point of causing exhaustion.  When brain cells that have been influenced by caffeine confront a new situation that demands their full cooperation, they have a shortfall of energy. This creates a delay in brain response—hence exhaustion and irritability after excess caffeine consumption. Caffeine may cause attention deficit disorder in young people who consume too much soda.

·      Water by itself generates hydroelectric energy. Caffeine in the same water stimulates the kidneys and causes more water to exit the body than is in the drink. This exhausts the brain cells’ reserves of energy.

Caffeine-containing sodas with artificial sweeteners are more dangerous than those containing regular sugar. Artificial sweeteners are potent chemical agents that fool the brain cells by masking as sugar. Sweetness normally translates to the entry of energy into the body. The sweeteners, through the taste buds, program the brain to behave as if ample sugar for its consumption has reached the body and will imminently reach it through the circulation. Since there is strict control on the level of sugar in the blood, the brain calculates the outcome of the sweetness and instructs and programs the liver not to manufacture sugar from other raw materials, but to begin storing sugar. When the sugar that was promised through the taste buds is nowhere to be found, the brain and the liver prompt a hunger sensation to find food and make good on the promise of energy. The result is a state of anxiety about food. It has been shown that people who consume artificial sweeteners seek food, and eat more than normal, up to ninety minutes after the intake of the sweetener.  This is part of the reason why more than 37 percent of the population is obese.

Caffeine-containing diet sodas, therefore, constitute a sort of double jeopardy to the body in that caffeine causes many complications, while artificial sweeteners have their own detrimental chemical effects. Decaffeinated diet sodas may be particularly harmful in diet programs, especially if the sweetener is aspartame. Aspartame has been implicated in the increased incidence of brain tumors and seizures.


·      Alcohol in beverages causes dehydration—the kidneys flush water out.

·      Alcohol prevents the emergency water supply system to the brain. It inhibits the action of vasopressin and causes brain-cell dehydration. It is brain dehydration that signals as a hangover after you have taken a few drinks.

·      Alcohol can be addictive and functionally depressive.

·      Alcohol can cause impotence.

·        Alcohol can cause liver damage.

·      Alcohol can suppress the immune system.

·      Alcohol consumption may increase the chances of developing cancers.

·      Alcohol produces free radicals (acidlike substances) that normally attack and damage some sensitive tissues if allowed to circulate freely. Among other things, melatonin is used up to scavenge these free radicals. This results in low melatonin content in the body.

·      Alcohol addiction may be caused in part by dehydration of cell membranes, particularly brain cells.

·      Dehydration promotes the secretion of the natural endorphins in the body—the addictive factor. 

Now that I have mentioned alcohol, let me also tell you that most alcoholics are actually searching for water. Water has a natural satiety impact through the hormones motilin, serotonin, and adrenaline, which culminates in the enhanced action of the body’s endorphins. Alcoholics learn that alcohol, through its stressful dehydrating action on the brain, will also cause the release of endorphins. This is how they become addicted to alcohol. If alcoholics begin to increase their water intake, or reach for a glass of water in place of a beer or a shot of their favorite hard stuff, their cravings for alcohol will tend to decrease and they will be more likely to kick the habit with surprising ease.

The natural action of alcohol on the brain is an across-the-board inhibition of all its functions, including its pain-sensing centers. The inhibitory centers of the brain are depressed first. This is how some people get an emotional release in the presence of others from taking alcohol. If these people are by themselves, alcohol will probably put them to sleep. In short, alcohol is a depressant.Depressed people should not take it. Water, on the other hand, does not depress the brain, and it provides a more satisfying and enduring high, with lots of energy to perform whatever is desired.


Replacing the water requirement of the body with juices or milk causes different problems. Too much orange juice increases histamine production and can cause asthma in children and adults. Even the natural sugar in juices will program the liver into fat-storing mode—a prescription for getting fat.

Milk should be considered a food. Infants who receive formulated milk other than mother’s milk need it in a much more diluted form than is manufactured at present. Non-breast-fed babies should receive more water in their diet. It has been shown in some autopsies that infants who were not on mother’s milk had developed heart arteries that showed signs of cholesterol. It is true that milk is a good watery source of calcium and proteins for health maintenance, yet milk should not be taken as a total replacement of the water that the body needs. It should be remembered that cow’s milk is naturally designed for the calf that begins to walk within hours of its birth. To give undiluted milk to babies or children who are not moving much may be inviting trouble.

It is clear that the human body has many distinct ways of showing its general or local water needs, including its production of many localized complications such as asthma and allergies. Other drastic signs of the body’s water needs are localized chronic pains such as heartburn, dyspepsia, rheumatoid joint pain, back pain, migraine headaches, leg pain when walking, colitis pain, and a most advanced sign, anginal pain. Complications such as hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cholesterol blockage of the arteries (leading to heart attack and strokes), and diabetes may also be connected to dehydration. Ultimately, cancers, I believe, may also be a major health problem connected to persistent water shortage of the human body.

Chronic dehydration produces many symptoms, signs, and, eventually, the degenerative diseases. The physiological outcome of the sort of dehydration that produces any of the problems mentioned earlier in the book is almost the same. Different bodies manifest their early symptoms of drought differently, but in persistent dehydration that has been camouflaged by prescription medications, one by one the other symptoms and signs will kick in, and eventually the person will suffer from multiple “diseases.”

We in medicine have labeled these conditions as outright “diseases” or have grouped them as different “syndromes.” In recent years, we have grouped some of the syndromes—with some typical blood tests—and called them autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, insulinindependent diabetes, and so on.

Medical research has until now been conducted on the assumption that many conditions—which I consider to be states of dehydration or its complications are diseases of unknown etiology. From the presently held perspectives of human health problems, we are not allowed to use the word cure. We can at best “treat” a problem and hope it goes “into remission.”

From my perspective, most painful degenerative diseases are states of local or regional drought—with varying patterns. It naturally follows that, once the drought is corrected, the problem will be cured if the dehydration damage is not extensive. I also believe that to evaluate deficiency disorders—water deficiency being one of them—we do not need to observe the same research protocols that are applied to the research of chemical products. Identifying the shortage and correcting the deficiency is all we have to do.

It is now clear that the treatment for all dehydration produced conditions is the same—a single treatment protocol for umpteen number of conditions. Isn’t that great? One program solves so many problems and avoids costly and unnecessary interferences with the body.

The first step in this treatment program involves a clear and determined upward adjustment of daily water intake. Persistent dehydration also causes a disproportionate loss of certain elements that should be adequately available in the stored reserves in the body.

Naturally, the ideal treatment protocol will also involve an appropriate correction of the associated metabolic disturbance. In short, treatment of dehydration produced diseases also involves correction of the secondary deficiencies that water deficiency imposes on some tissues of the body. This multiple-deficiency phenomenon, caused by dehydration, is at the root of many degenerative diseases.

A change of lifestyle becomes vital for the correction of any dehydration-produced disorder. The backbone of The Water Cure program is, simply, sufficient water and salt intake; regular exercise; a balanced, mineral-rich diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables and the essential fats needed to create cell membranes, hormones, and nerve insulation; exclusion of caffeine and alcohol; and meditation to solve and detoxify stressful thoughts. Exclusion of artificial sweeteners from the diet is an absolute must for better health.

It should also be remembered that the sort of dehydration that manifests itself as asthma leaves other scars within the interior parts of the human body. This is why asthma in childhood is such a devastating condition that leaves its mark on children and may expose them to many different health problems in later life.  My understanding of the serious damaging effects of dehydration during childhood is the reason I have been concentrating much of my efforts on the eradication of asthma among children.

The first nutrient the body needs is water. Water isa nutrient. It generates energy. Water dissolves all the minerals, proteins, starch, and other water-soluble components and, as blood, carries them around the body for distribution. Think of blood as seawater that has a few species of fish in it—red cells, white cells, platelets, proteins, and enzymes that swim to a destination.  The blood serum has almost the same mineral consistency and proportions as seawater.  The human body is in constant need of water. It loses water through the lungs when we breathe out. It loses water in perspiration, in urine production, and in daily bowel movements. A good gauge for the water needs of the body is the color of urine. A well-hydrated person produces colorless urine—not counting the color of vitamins or color additives in food. A comparatively dehydrated person produces yellow urine. A truly dehydrated person produces urine that is orange in color. An exception is those who are on diuretics and flush water out of their already dehydrated bodies and yet produce colorless urine.

The body needs no less than two quarts of water and a half teaspoon of salt every day to compensate for its natural losses in urine, respiration, and perspiration. Less than this amount will place a burden on the kidneys. They will have to work harder to concentrate the urine and excrete as much chemical toxic waste in as little water as possible. This process is highly taxing to the kidney cells. A rough rule of thumb for those who are heavyset is to drink a half ounce of water for every pound of body weight. A two-hundred-pound person will need to take one hundred ounces of water.  Water should be taken anytime you are thirsty, even in the middle of a meal. Water intake in the middle of a meal does not drastically affect the process of digestion, but dehydration during food intake does. You should also take at least two glasses of water first thing in the morning to correct for water loss during eight hours of sleep.


Excerpted from Water for Health, for Healing, for Lifeby F. Batmanghelidj

“Bad Cholesterol”: A Myth and a Fraud!

“Bad Cholesterol”: A Myth and a Fraud!

We in the medical profession, totally oblivious of the vital roles of cholesterol in the body, have been duped into thinking that it is this substance that causes arterial disease of the heart and the brain. The pharmaceutical industry has capitalized on the slogan of “bad cholesterol” and has produced toxic-to-the-body chemicals that minimally lower the level of cholesterol in the body and in the process cause liver damage to thousands of people, some who die as a result of using the medication.

It is surprising that none of the frequently quoted and media-popularized doctors has reflected on the fact that cholesterol levels are measured from blood taken from the veins, yet nowhere in medical literature is there a single case of cholesterol having caused obstruction of the veins. Venous blood moves far slower than arterial blood and thus would be more inclined to have cholesterol deposits if the assumption of “bad cholesterol” were accurate. This mistake by us in the medical community, and its capitalization by the pharmaceutical industry, has caused an ongoing fraud against society.

In truth, the so-called “bad” cholesterol is actually far more beneficial than is appreciated. The reason for its rise in the body is because of complications caused by chronic unintentional dehydration and insufficient urine production. Dehydration produces concentrated, acidic blood that becomes even more dehydrated during its passage through the lungs before reaching the heart – because of evaporation of water in the lungs during breathing. The membranes of the blood vessels of the heart and main arteries going up to the brain become vulnerable to the shearing pressure produced by the thicker, acidic blood. This shearing force of toxic blood causes abrasions and minute tears in the lining of the arteries that can peel off and cause embolisms of the brain, kidneys and other organs. To prevent the damaged blood vessel walls from peeling, low-density (so-called “bad”) cholesterol coats and covers up the abrasions and protects the underlying tissue like a waterproof bandage until the tissue heals.

Thus, the vital, life-saving role of low-density cholesterol proves this substance is of utmost importance in saving the lives of those who do not adequately hydrate their bodies so that their blood can flow easily through the blood vessels without causing damage.

Cholesterol is an element from which many of our hormones are made. Vitamin D is made by the body from cholesterol in our skin that is exposed to sunlight. Cholesterol is used in the insulating membranes that cover our nerve systems. There is no such a thing as bad cholesterol. If all the primary ingredients are available for its normal functions, the human body does not engage in making things that are bad for its survival. Until now we did not know water was a vital nutrient that the body needed at all times – and in sufficient quantity.

Water itself – not caffeinated beverages that further dehydrate – is a better cholesterol-lowering medication than any chemical on the market. It is absolutely safe and is not harmful to the body like the dangerous medications now used. Please share this information with those you care for.

For more information about my medical breakthrough on the topic of chronic unintentional dehydration and the diseases it causes, other than what is posted on this site, refer to my books and tapes – products of over 20 years of fulltime research.

F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

Excerpts from Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’s book: “Your body’s many cries for water”

Excerpts from Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’s book: “Your body’s many cries for water”

Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj was trained at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London. His extensive clinical and scientific research shows how the body naturally generates different thirst signals, but that these can be mistaken for symptoms and signs of illness. Recognising them for what they are, he says, means that we can enjoy better health and avoid costly mistakes. 
In his book, he shares with its readers the results of his vast research on water metabolism of the body. He wishes to show how simply the health care systems can become scientifically transformed to a more patient-friendly system, instead of continuing to be an extension of the commercial aims within the health care and pharmaceutical industry.
Batmanghelidj thinks once members of the public become aware of the paradigm shift in medicine and begin to realise there are no commercial aims at encouraging them to treat their bodies’ dehydration with water, a science-based transformation of the health care system will become a welcome reality.
Dr. Batmanghelidj has also started a campaign for public awareness of the signal systems associated with chronic dehydration in the body.
Excerpts from the book:
“When the human body developed from species that were given life in water, the same dependence on the life-giving properties of water was inherited. The role of water in the body of living species – mankind included – has not changed since the first creation of life from salt water and its subsequent adaption to fresh water.”
“Since the water we drink provides for cell function and its volume requirements, the decrease in our daily water intake affects the effeciency of cell activity. (…) As a result, chronic dehydration causes symptoms that equal disease when the variety of emergency signals of dehydration are not understood.”
“The human body has a major problem with its normal water regulation, caused by a gradual loss of thirst sensation. This problem is confronted often enough in clinical practice that it does not need explanation. However, The Lancet editorial of 3 November 1984 and the 20 September 1984 article by Paddy Phillips [should] remove any doubt on the issue.”
“Humans seems to lose their thirst sensation and the critical perception of needing water. Not recognising their need for water, they gradually become increasingly and chronically dehydrated with the progress of age. Further confusion lies in the idea that when we’re thirsty, we can substitute tea, coffee, or alcohol-containing beverages. This is a common error.”
“Not recognising the thirst signals of the body will undoubtedly produce complicated problems in the present way of treatment of these conditions. It is all too easy to assume these signals are complications of a serious disease process and begin to treat signal-producing dehydration with complicated procedures. Although water by itself will alleviate the condition, medications or invasive diagnostic procedures may be forced on the person. It is the responsibility of both patients and their doctors to be aware of the damage that chronic dehydration can cause in the human body.”
“These chronic pains include dyspeptic pain, rheumatoid arthritis pain, anginal pain (heart pain on walking, or even at rest), migraine and hangover headaches, colitis pain and its associated constipation. 
The “view shift” dictates that all these pains should be treated with a regular adjustment to daily water intake. No less than two and a half quarts (two and one half litres) in 24 hours should be taken for a few days prior to the routine and regular use of analgesics or other pain-relieving medications.”
“If the problem has persisted for many years, those who wish to test the pain relieving property of water should make sure their kidneys can make sufficient urine so that they do not retain too much water in the body. Urine output should be measured against water intake. With an increase in water intake, the urine output should also increase.”

“It has been shown experimentally that, when we drink one glass of water, it immediately passes into the intestine and is absorbed. However, within one half-hour, almost the same amount of water is secreted into the stomach through its glandular layer in the mucosa. It swells from underneath and gets to the stomach, ready to be used for food breakdown. The acid is poured on the food, enzymes are activated, and the food is broken down into a homogenised fluid state that can pass into the intestine for the next phase of digestion.
The mucus covers the glands’ layer of the mucusa, which is the innermost layer of the structure of the stomach. Mucus consists of 98 percent water and two percent the physical “scaffolding” that traps water.

“It is said that ulcers are the result of infections. My researched opinion is that the variety of curved bacteria, blamed for causing ulcerations, are commensals – that is, bacteria that naturally dwell in the intestines. They may take an unfair advantage from the immune system suppression that is the direct outcome of dehydration. You see, the normal intestinal bacteria cohabit with us and produce much of the vitamins needed by the body. They contribute to our well-being when we are strong. In dehydration, particularly at the site of the valve between the stomach and the duodenum, many histamine producing nerves exist. This particular curved bacterium benefits from the growth hormone effects of histamine, at the same time that these nerves are restrictively monitoring the rate of flow of the strongly acidic content of the stomach into the intestine.”

Colitis pain
“Colitis pain, felt in the lower left part of the abdomen, should initially be viewed as another thirst signal for the human body. It is often associated with constipation, itself caused by persistent dehydration.
One of the main functions of the large intestine is the process of taking water out of the excrements so that too much of it is not lost in the waste matter after food digestion. When there is dehydration, the residue is naturally devoid of the normal amount of water necessary for its easier passage. Also, by slowing down the flow and further squeezing the content, even the final drops of water will be drawn away from the solid residue in the large gut. Thus, constipation will become a complication of dehydration in the body. With added food intake, more solid waste will be packed into the intestine and increase the burden for passage of its hardened waste content. This process will cause pain. Colitis pain should initially be considered as a thirst signal of the body. With adequate water intake, the left lower abdominal pain that is associated with constipation will disappear. Eating an apple, a pear, or an orange in the evenings helps reduce constipation the next day.”

“When we drink water, depending on the volume of water that enters the stomach, a hormone/neurotransmitter called “motilin” is secreted. The more water we drink, the more motilin is produced by the intestinal tract and can be measured in blood circulation. The effect of motilin on the intestinal tract, as its name implies, is to produce rhythmic contractions of the intestines – peristalsis – from its upper parts to its lower end. Part of this action would involve the timely opening and closing of the valves that are in the way of flow of the intestinal content.
Thus, when there is enough water in the body for all the digestive processes that depend on the availability of water, the pancreas will produce its watery bicarbonate solution to prepare the upper part of the intestinal tract to receive the ecidic content of the stomach. Under such ideal circumstances, the pyloric valve is also allowed to open for the evacuation of the content of the stomach. Motilin has a major “transmission” role in co-ordinating this action. Motilin is a satiety hormone secreted when water extends the stomach wall.”

How much water?
“Your body needs an absolute minimum of six to eight-ounce glasses of water a day.
[ 8 ounces is equivalent to app. 2,25 deciliter ]
Alcohol, coffee, tea, and caffeine-containing beverages don’t count as water.
The best times to drink water (clinically observed in peptic ulcer disease) are: one glass one half hour before taking food – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and a similar amount two and one half hours after each meal. This is the very minimum amount of water your body needs. For the sake of not short-changing your body, two more glasses of water should be taken around the heaviest meal or before going to bed.
Thirst should be satisfied at all times. With increase in water intake, the thirst mechanism becomes more efficient. Your body might then ask you to drink more than the above minimum.
Adjusting water intake to mealtimes prevents the blood from becoming concentrated as a result of food intake. When the blood becomes concentrated, it draws water from the cells around it.
Water is the cheapest form of medicine to a dehydrated body. (…) There is more natural magic in a glass of water than any medication you are brain-washed to use for the treatment of the conditions I have explained in this book. And I do not sell water!”

“Salt is an essential ingredient of the body. In their order of importance, oxygen, water, salt and potassium are the primary elements for the survival of the human body. (…)
The precation to keep in mind is loss of salt from the body when water intake is increased and salt intake is not. After a few days of taking six or eight or ten glasses of water a day, you should begin to think of adding some salt to your diet. If you begin to feel muscle cramps at night, remember you are becoming salt-deficient. Cramps in unexercised muscles most often means salt shortage in the body. Also, dizziness and feeling faint might be indicators of salt and water shortage in the body. If such occasions arise, you should also begin to increase your vitamins and minerals intake, including vegetables and fruits for ther water-soluble vitamin and mineral content.
I have developed a rule of thumb for daily salt intake. For every ten glasses of water (about two quarts), one should add to the diet about half a teaspoon of salt per day. An average teaspoon can contain six grammes of salt.”

Copyright © F. Batmanghelidj 1997
Dr. F. Batmanghelidj: “Your body’s many cries for water” 154 pages.
Published by: The Therapist Ltd.

F. Batmanghelidj M.D. – Obesity Cancer Depression

F. Batmanghelidj M.D. – Obesity Cancer Depression

After reading and reviewing three of Dr. Batmanghelidj’s books, including the international bestseller Your Body’s Many Cries For Water (translated into 15 languages), ABC Of Asthma, Allergies & Lupus and Water: For Health, For Healing, For Life, I thought that I knew everything I needed to know about the dire effects of chronic unintentional dehydration, which is what the doctor solely researched for the last twenty-four years of his life. I was pleased to discover that, while I already knew some of the information, there was new research that confirmed and better clarified his findings that make his water and salt cure even more plausible.

Since 1992 when his first book was released, many, many people have come to hear of his cure program though his books, radio appearances and from people who have followed it and want to spread the word. Some of their letters to him are included in his last book, Obesity, Cancer & Depression, many, including doctors, with their full names. One doctor is Dr. Lorraine Day, a now-controversial, formerly-prominent orthopedic surgeon from San Francisco General Hospital, who succumbed to a very fast-growing breast cancer. Her website at displays pictures of the huge tumor on her breast and gives more info on her, but Batman recounts her story of becoming cancer-free after eight months on his program as well as nine other natural changes in her diet and lifestyle (she refused chemo, radiation and ’mutilating surgery’). Twelve years later she still is.

Even pets have been cured of arthritis and terminal cancer, with letters included from a chiropracter, Dr. Gary Weissburger, and Bob Butts, who earlier had written that the water cure had cured his stubborn back pain and slenderized his wife and him without dieting, now reports on how Weissburger saved a dog’s life by prescribing salt in his water.

Dr. Batman’s twenty-four years of research into chronic unintentional dehydration yielded much of great value, though as recently as 2002 an attempt to squelch his years of research was made by Professor Heinz Valtin in the Journal of Physiology who wrote that, opposite of Batman’s views, people should wait until they are thirsty to drink water. Not until January 2003 did Batman find Townsend Letters For Doctors And Patients who would publish his intelligent rebuttal and only because they are the top alternative medicine publication! No newspaper who had published Valtin’s views would touch his rebuttal. The Food and Nutrition Panel in February 2004 echoed Valtin’s views too.

Batman reports that the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association and the Department of Health and Human Services were not interested in his research and the NIH even censored his presentation on the neurotransmitter histamine as the body’s primary water regulator by removing it from the report of the first Alternative Medicine Conference in Virginia in 1992.

For pity’s sake, adequate hydration and salt intake would not be considered alternative medicine in Europe, but common sense by doctors as a Spanish friend told me today. Batman’s clinical and scientific research into molecular physiology of dehydration and ’peer-reviewed introduction of a paradigm shift in medical science,’ such as his article in Anticancer Research, Sept.-Oct. 1987, deserves much more respect in the U.S. Naturally his research and program isn’t good news for the drug business here for many people will reduce or eliminate their need for drugs when they’ve followed Batman’s protocol.

Chronic dehydration, as it affects the water inside our body’s cells first, isn’t easy to determine by doctors or ourselves, but a look at the color of our urine as well as checking our output compared to input will offer a clue. Urine that is yellow or orange indicates medium to severe dehydration. You want light yellow or colorless urine, although intake of some vitamins or foods could change its color. Another clue would be the level of difficulty in having bowel movements and frequent headaches.

Batman starts out the 233-page book by explaining four false assumptions regarding water, the most important one being that we cannot get our water needs with other liquids like milk or fruit juice and definitely not with caffeinated drinks, diet sodas or alcohol. He continues to explain how obesity, depression and cancer, especially prostate and breast, are the product of chronic dehydration over years. One standout letter from a David Caruso who lost 300 pounds in two years on Batman’s advice included several before and after pictures. It should be noted that Caruso also had vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by his dehydration that were addressed as well.

Water that we drink is used for so many life-giving functions, one of which is to transport nutrients from food to where they can be used and another is to eliminate toxic waste that acidifies our bodies. If we are dehydrated, these functions suffer and in time will cause nutrient deficiencies no matter how much we eat, obesity, insulin-independent diabetes, hypertension, strokes, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, allergies, autoimmune diseases, ADD and most cancers.

I learned a great deal of detailed, convincing and referenced research from Obesity, Cancer And Depression as I have from the other books, although some information was carried over from the earlier books. I also enjoyed the many testimonials from people who had a range of health problems that responded within days or months to getting enough water and salt at the proper times every day. Often people had called Batman and asked his advice at no charge and he made house calls when requested. He not only listed all the benefits of the right amount of water and unrefined seasalt, but other minerals, enzymes, hour-long walks twelve hours apart, sunlight and other good things.

The 2004 book has four sections (Obesity, Depression, Cancer, Their Natural Cure) that should convince anyone with increasing health problems of the need to consult their physician about it or to find another doctor who will work with you. Batman is, sadly, no longer with us. His books are thorough guides to his program, all highly recommended, but you can’t just stop taking prescribed drugs. Deficiencies are curable in time; damage caused by dehydration may not be.

I’ve always been a big water drinker, but am adding a little more unrefined seasalt to my diet. With hot weather making us perspire, we’ll be losing lots of water and salt. In Batman’s previous book, he recommended adding an iodine-rich food like kelp to your diet if you use unrefined seasalt, but in this one he just recommended a mineral-rich seasalt like I use from Utah’s salt beds.


Review of Water: For Health, For Healing, For Life:
Review of ABC of Asthma, Allergies & Lupus:
Review of Your Body’s Many Cries For Water: