Posted by: adamhuber888 | August 4, 2013

The Alkaline Myth & Hype- The Acid-Alkaline Truth Exposed

Don’t drink alkaline water until you watch this. Learn the truth behind the big alkaline hype and learn why acids are not bad. In fact, we could not live without acids. We are made of all kinds of acids. Markus Rothkranz interviews medical expert James Sloane who explains the truth about acids and alkaline substances and how they affect our bodies. This important video explains scientifically why not to use baking soda or alkaline water as healing methods, despite what some people claim. A very educational an eye opening interview

Posted by: adamhuber888 | August 4, 2013

The Benefits of Squat Toilets

This is very worthwhile reading as there are huge implications in the use of the standard North American toilet, nature only ever meant for us to squat.
I have used a squatting platform for well over a year and have and can attest to the substantial benefits.

Please note: Over the past 12 years, dozens of other sites have copied
text and pictures from this webpage. We are happy that the word
is spreading fast, but we would appreciate proper attribution.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE NATURAL SQUATTING POSITION

by JONATHAN ISBIT

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Appendicitis
Bladder Incontinence
Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Colon Cancer
Constipation
Contamination of the Small Intestine
Diverticulosis
Gynecological Disorders
Endometriosis
Hysterectomy
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Rectocele
Uterine Fibroids
Heart Attacks
Hemorrhoids
Hiatus Hernia and GERD
Pregnancy and Childbirth Issues
Prostate Disorders
Sexual Dysfunction

The Seven Advantages of Squatting
1. Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent “fecal stagnation,” a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.
3. Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.
4. Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.
5. Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
6. A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.
7. For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

Reference: Tagart REB. The Anal Canal and Rectum: Their Varying Relationship and
Its Effect on Anal Continence, Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 1966: 9, 449-452.

Historical Background
Man, like his fellow primates, has always used the squatting position for resting, working and performing bodily functions. Infants of every culture instinctively squat to relieve themselves. Although it may seem strange to someone who has spent his entire life deprived of the experience, this is the way the human body was designed to function.

And this is the way our ancestors performed their bodily functions until the middle of the 19th century. Before that time, chair-like toilets had only been used by royalty and the disabled. But with the advent of indoor plumbing in the 1800’s, the throne-like water closet was invented 22 to give ordinary people the same “dignity” previously reserved for kings and queens. The plumber and cabinet maker who designed it had no knowledge of human physiology – and sincerely believed that they were improving people’s lives.

The new device symbolized the “progress” and “creativity” of western civilization. It showed that Man could “improve” on Nature and transcend the primitive cultural practices followed by the poor “benighted” natives in the colonies. The “White Man’s Burden” typified the condescending Victorian attitude toward other races and cultures.

The British plumbing industry moved quickly to install indoor plumbing and water closets throughout the country. The great benefits of improved sanitation caused people to overlook a major ergonomic blunder: The sitting position makes elimination difficult and incomplete, and forces one to strain.

Those who could not overlook this drawback had to keep silent, because the subject was considered unmentionable. Furthermore, how could they criticize the “necessary” used by Queen Victoria herself? (Hers was gold-plated, befitting the self-styled “Empress of India.”)

So, like the Emperor’s New Clothes, the water closet was tacitly accepted. It was a grudging acceptance, as evidenced by the popularity of “squatting stools” sold in the famous department store, Harrods of London. As shown below on the left, these footstools merely elevated one’s feet in a crude attempt to imitate squatting.

Learn more about this comparison
The rest of Western Europe, as well as Australia and North America, did not want to appear less civilized than Great Britain, whose vast empire at the time made it the most powerful country on Earth. So, within a few decades, most of the industrialized world had adopted “The Emperor’s New Throne.”

150 years ago, no one could have predicted how this change would affect the health of the population. But today, many physicians blame the modern toilet for the high incidence of a number of serious ailments. Westernized countries have much higher rates of colon and pelvic disease, as illustrated by this report in the Israel Journal of Medical Science:

The prevalences of bowel diseases (hemorrhoids, appendicitis, polyps, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and colon cancer) are similar in South African whites and in populations of prosperous western countries. Among rural South African blacks with a traditional life style, these diseases are very uncommon or almost unknown.19
The following sections will examine these and other diseases in more detail to see how an unnatural toilet posture could produce such a wide range of harmful effects.

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Toilets from Ancient Times

Pictures of ancient public toilets tend to confuse westerners, who assume that they were used in the sitting position. This impression is often reinforced by the pose of a comical tourist.

But, in reality, these are squat toilets.

They are elevated, not for sitting, but because there is an open sewer underneath. The cutouts in the vertical wall allow people to clean themselves with water, which is done from the front when squatting.

The ancient Romans used the posture shown below on the left. (Togas were more convenient than trousers, and provided some degree of privacy.)

The last picture shows a typical tourist. He might be surprised to learn that, except for royalty and the disabled, everyone used the squatting position until the second half of the 19th century.22

Note: The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets website claims that archeologists have found “sitting-type” toilets at ancient sites, thousands of years old. The author of the site, Dr. Bindeswar Pathak, was asked for his evidence that these toilets were used in the sitting position. He replied that he actually has no evidence, but was simply repeating the assumptions of western archeologists.

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Appendicitis
In the diagram of the colon, please locate the cecum, the appendix and the ileocecal valve. The left side of the diagram corresponds to the right side of the body.

The cecum is a small pouch where the colon begins, in the lower right section of the abdomen. Wastes from the small intestine flow into the cecum through the ileocecal valve (theoretically a one-way valve.) The appendix is a narrow tube attached to the cecum, with a channel opening into the cecum.

Waste matter can get lodged in this channel, causing the appendix to become infected and inflamed. Immediate surgery must be performed to remove the appendix before it bursts. Otherwise, the result is usually fatal.

Why does the appendix get blocked with fecal matter? Did nature make a blunder in its design?

One clue comes from the field of epidemiology. Appendicitis is a disease of westernized countries, virtually unknown in the developing world.19,31 The reason is that the cecum was designed to be squeezed empty by the right thigh, in the squatting position. On a sitting toilet, it is physically impossible to compress the cecum.

Instead, one pushes downwards with the diaphragm, while holding one’s breath. This maneuver inflates and pressurizes the cecum. It is analogous to squeezing a tube of toothpaste in the middle and causing the bottom of the tube to inflate. The pressure can easily force wastes into the appendix, with disastrous consequences.

The back-pressure can also overwhelm the ileocecal valve, whose purpose is to protect the small intestine from fecal contamination. Barium enema exams and intestinal surgeries routinely show the leakage of wastes into the small intestine. Crohn’s Disease develops in the area soiled by this toxic backwash.

Despite all the straining, the cecum never gets evacuated. Residual wastes adhere to the colon wall, increasing the risk of cancer and inflammation (including appendicitis.)

By contrast, in the squatting posture, the right thigh squeezes the cecum from its base. Its contents are thoroughly expelled into the ascending colon, where peristalsis carries them away. There is no need to hold one’s breath or push downwards, since the posture generates the pressure automatically.

The force is all directed upwards, so the appendix stays clean and the ileocecal valve stays closed. These organs were not “poorly designed” – as is currently taught in medical schools. Like the rest of the colon, they were designed with squatting in mind.

Historical Background of Appendicitis
Most people assume that appendicitis has always been with us. But in fact, it emerged quite recently, coinciding with the introduction of sitting toilets toward the end of the 19th century.22 According to the Medical Journal of Australia,

The epidemiology of appendicitis poses many unanswered questions. Almost unknown before the 18th century, there was a striking increase in its prevalence from the end of the 19th century, with features suggesting it is a side effect of modern Western life.30
In 1886, Reginald Heber Fitz, a Harvard Professor of Pathological Anatomy, became the first doctor to recognize and name the disease. He was also the first one to propose treating it by removing the appendix.18
The conservative British medical establishment resisted the novel appendectomy procedure until after the turn of the century, when it was used to save the new king’s life. In 1901, the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, underwent an emergency appendectomy, just two weeks before his scheduled coronation as King Edward VII. His successful recovery finally convinced British surgeons that this operation was the only way to save the victims of this “mysterious” new disease.20

Currently, 7% of the U.S. population will contract appendicitis at some point in their lifetime (according to http://www.emedicine.com). The figure would be even higher, except that 40,000 “incidental appendectomies” are performed each year (according to Harper’s Index, Feb, 2002.) “Incidental” means there was nothing wrong with the appendix, but the surgeon happened to be operating on another organ nearby – in most cases performing a hysterectomy.

Appendicitis is the most common reason for a child to need emergency abdominal surgery. Young people between the ages of 11 and 20 are most often affected (according to http://www.KidsHealth.org).

Modern medicine recognizes that appendicitis is primarily a disease of the Western World.31 They attribute this to the (allegedly) greater amount of fiber in the diet of the Third World. However, the fiber theory has never been substantiated, as evidenced by this quote from http://www.KidsHealth.org:

There are no medically proven ways to prevent appendicitis. Although appendicitis is rare in countries where people eat a high-fiber diet, experts have not yet shown that a high-fiber diet definitely prevents appendicitis.
Many residents of the developing world, not wanting to appear “backward”, feel obliged to adopt western toilets. This trend is causing health problems that were previously unknown among squatting populations. Appendicitis is one example, as reported by webhealthcentre.com, a health care portal based in India:

The Indian type of toilet is more conducive to complete evacuation than the Western toilet. With the western style closets becoming popular in India, there is a risk of increased incidence of appendicitis.
Unfortunately, western doctors have never made the connection between toilet posture and appendicitis. Their understanding of this disease has advanced little in the century since Dr. Frederick Treves performed his famous appendectomy (mentioned above) on the Prince of Wales.

Ironically, Sir Frederick (knighted for saving the king’s life) lost his own daughter to appendicitis.27 Despite being highly skilled at surgery, he had no idea what causes the disease, or how to prevent it.

Now his successors have a chance to redeem their profession. By informing their patients (and their children) about the health hazards of the modern toilet, they can prevent a great deal of needless suffering.

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Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
The website http://www.crohnsresource.com defines Crohn’s Disease as

… a chronic and serious inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract that affects more than 500,000 Americans. People with Crohn’s disease may experience a number of symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, fever, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, and weight loss….The cause of Crohn’s disease has not yet been discovered.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. IBD affects approximately 2 million Americans and can have devastating consequences. 20 to 40% of ulcerative colitis patients eventually require surgery for removal of the colon, according to the University of Maryland Medicine website. Up to 70% of patients with Crohn’s disease require surgery at some point in their disease course to remove parts of the intestine.
IBD is confined to countries of the Western World, according to a study published in The Lancet.21 A 1997 article reported that “The last half of this century has seen a rising incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in developed countries,” but notes “… the apparent absence of IBD in developing countries.” [italics added]

For many years, researchers assumed that a different diet was protecting the developing world from IBD. “What else could it be?” They did not realize that these cultures have no uniform diet. For example, the Masai cattle-herders of central Africa are almost exclusively carnivorous. The Hindus of India are vegetarian. Other groups subsist on fish, or even on insects.

On testing their hypothesis, doctors were forced to conclude that “No special diet has been proven effective for preventing or treating this disease.” (from the University of Chicago Hospitals website.)

Currently another theory has become popular among epidemiologists. They believe that fecal contamination of food and water in the developing world “naturally innoculates” children against inflammatory bowel disease. In other words, the Western World is too antiseptic to allow the immune system to produce the necessary antibodies.

This theory reflects a common misconception about the “superior hygiene” of the developed world. Westernized countries are proud of their high standards of cleanliness, but they are unaware that their internal cleanliness compares poorly with the rest of the world.

Colon hygiene depends on the effectiveness of daily elimination. Human beings were designed to perform their bodily functions in the squatting position. In order to be squeezed empty, the colon needs to be compressed by the thighs. Furthermore, the puborectalis muscle needs to be relaxed and the ileocecal valve from the small intestine needs to be closed. By ignoring these requirements, the sitting toilet makes it impossible to empty the colon completely.

Incomplete evacuation causes wastes to stagnate in the lower regions of the colon. In these areas, virulent bacteria can establish colonies, inflaming the surrounding tissues. Depending on where in the colon it occurs, and which strain of bacteria is involved, this inflammation is called by different names. Appendicitis, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s Disease can all be considered as various forms of inflammatory bowel disease. (Ileitis will be discussed below.)

Therefore, what protects the developing world is not “squalid conditions” but just the opposite: the natural cleanliness that comes from evacuating as nature intended. The relevance of toilet posture is also confirmed by the historical evidence. Inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome emerged in the West toward the end of the 19th century, as the use of sitting toilets became more and more common.22,28

This explanation is supported by a recent article in HealthScout News entitled “E. Coli Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease” (February 5, 2002):

An intestinal infection caused by strains of a common bacterium may be linked to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, a new study says. French researchers report that a heightened immune interaction between Escherichia coli and the cells lining the intestine may result in the symptoms experienced by people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They suggest their work indicates antibiotics might be a useful tool when treating IBD.
Another form of Crohn’s Disease is “ileitis” or inflammation of the small intestine. It results from fecal matter being forced backwards into the small intestine during evacuation. The ileocecal (IC) valve is designed to prevent this toxic “backflow” – but only in the squatting position. The IC valve needs to be supported by the right thigh in order to withstand the pressure built up during elimination. A more detailed explanation of this process can be found in two other sections: Contamination of the Small Intestine and Appendicitis.

The anatomy and demographics of inflammatory bowel disease imply that squatting would be useful for prevention. Anecdotal evidence suggests its potential for use in treatment as well. Mr. Wallace Bowles, an Australian researcher, has extensively reviewed the medical literature and has surveyed converts to the natural squatting position:

I have received reports regarding several people, aged between 5 and 45 years, diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Inflammatory bowel conditions are shown to react most positively when the cumulative injury of seated elimination is relieved by squatting. People with IBD who have changed to the squat posture for bowel movements report significant improvement within a few weeks and, in time, have lost all symptoms of this horrendous condition.
[from personal communication with Mr. Bowles]
More research is clearly needed, but it can be easily and non-invasively done by any gastroenterologist or any patient with colitis or Crohn’s Disease. Each successful outcome will not only relieve the patient’s own suffering, but will also help to validate a promising strategy to prevent inflammatory bowel disease.

Note: The book Triumph Over Disease By Fasting And Natural Diet, by Jack Goldstein, recounts a remarkable self-cure of ulcerative colitis after the failure of conventional treatment.

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Colon Cancer

The colon is a tube, five to six feet in length, which stores wastes from the small intestine and moves them, by rhythmic muscular contractions, to the rectum. In the process, water is continuously extracted, to prevent dehydration. If the flow is interrupted for any reason, the continual drying process can leave wastes “cemented” to the colon wall.

The sitting toilet obstructs the flow, because it ignores four basic requirements:

The sigmoid colon (the most common site for colon cancer) needs the support of the left thigh for complete evacuation. The thigh lifts the sigmoid and opens the kink where it joins the rectum.
The cecum (the second most common site for colon cancer) needs to be squeezed by the right thigh, which pushes wastes upwards into the ascending colon.
The rectum (the third most common site for colon cancer) needs to relax the grip of the puborectalis muscle, designed to prevent incontinence.
The entire colon needs to be compressed, with the ileocecal valve securely closed, to generate the required pressure for expulsion.
The kink where the sigmoid joins the rectum, mentioned above in point 1, serves an important function in preventing incontinence. It “applies the brakes” to the flow of peristalsis, reducing the pressure on the puborectalis muscle.

For safety, nature has deliberately created obstacles to evacuation that can only be removed by squatting. In any other position, the colon defaults to “continence mode.” This is why the conventional sitting position deprives the colon of support from the thighs and leaves the rectum choked by the puborectalis muscle.

These obstacles make elimination difficult and incomplete – like trying to drive a car without releasing the parking brake. Chronically incomplete evacuation, combined with the constant extraction of water, causes wastes to adhere to the colon wall. The passageway becomes increasingly constricted and the cells start to suffocate. Prolonged exposure to toxins will often trigger malignant mutations.

This explanation would suggest that colon cancer is related to constipation. According to a 1998 report in the journal, Epidemiology,3 “People who frequently felt constipated were more than four times as likely to develop colon cancer as those who did not complain of constipation.” The study also found that using commercial laxatives frequently was associated with “substantially increased risk of colon cancer.”

A Lesson from the Developing World
In contrast with constipated western societies, the developing world is apparently free of colon cancer, as reported in Science News Online (Feb. 15, 2003):

Each year, about 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States alone. Although the disease is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, few people living in developing nations contract the illness.
For decades, researchers have been trying to explain the absence of colon cancer in the developing world. The article in Science News Online (cited above) speculates that perhaps E. coli bacteria in the water and food somehow stunts the growth of cancer cells in the intestine.
This theory reflects the common belief that our society is “clean” while the developing world is “dirty.” In terms of colon hygiene, exactly the opposite is the case. What protects the developing world from bowel disease is the natural cleanliness that comes from evacuating as nature intended. By contrast, our contrived toilet posture leads to fecal stagnation – the primary cause of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Burkitt’s Mistake
Lacking this knowledge, researchers have focused on dietary factors. They have repeatedly tried to prove that a high-fiber diet prevents colon cancer. This theory dates from the early 1970’s when Dr. Denis Burkitt (1911-1993), a British missionary doctor (pictured here), reported a dramatic difference between colon cancer rates in America and Africa. According to his article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, colon cancer is nearly 15 times as common in black Americans as in Africans.40

Dr. Burkitt believed that high levels of fiber in the African diet protected the natives from bowel disease. However, at least three recent major studies have shown the fiber theory to be incorrect, as reported by the Associated Press:

Study: Fiber Doesn’t Prevent Cancer
By Emma Ross — AP Medical Writer

October 13, 2000

LONDON (AP) – Evidence is mounting that fiber might not prevent colon cancer after all, with a new study suggesting that one type of supplement might even be bad for the colon.

The theory that a high-fiber diet wards off the second-leading cancer killer has been around since the 1970s, but the evidence was never strong. The concept began to crumble last year when the first of three major U.S. studies found it had no effect.

In the latest study, published this week in The Lancet medical journal, European researchers found that precancerous growths, or polyps, were slightly more likely to recur in those taking a certain fiber supplement.

[Full article appears at the Aetna Intellihealth website.]

The above article appeared on October 13, 2000. Five years later, medical researchers – at their wits’ end – were still testing the same discredited theory. On December 14, 2005, The Boston Globe reported on the latest attempt by the Harvard School of Public Health:

Eating a lot of fiber-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains does not appear to reduce a person’s chances of getting colorectal cancer, researchers found in the largest study yet to test the popular and longstanding idea about preventing the third most common cancer….
“It became an urban myth,” said Dr. David Ryan, medical director of the gastrointestinal cancer center at Massachusetts General Hospital. ”It takes a lot of time to deconstruct those.”…. [Full Article]

Dr. Burkitt’s Redemption
Dr. Denis Burkitt obviously guessed wrong – and led the western world on a “wild goose chase” for over three decades. But, in his defense, it should be noted that he was aware of the health benefits of squatting. His 1979 best-selling book Don’t Forget Fibre in Your Diet (translated into 9 languages) acknowledges that the Africans’ use of squat toilets might be as important as their diet in protecting them from colon cancer and other diseases.

Western researchers ignored this hypothesis, partly because toilet posture was considered a taboo subject. They also probably believed that the western world could never revert to squatting, even if sitting toilets were proven to be harmful. So, they simply hoped that modifying the diet would be enough.

Now that the fiber theory has clearly failed, they will have to reconsider Dr. Burkitt’s alternate explanation. They may be surprised by the public’s openness to a simple change that could save many lives.

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Constipation
Constipation, especially when chronic, can have very damaging effects on the colon. The colon is constantly extracting water from its contents, to transform liquid wastes into solid. As a result, if elimination is not regular and complete, the wastes will dry and become cemented to the walls of the colon.

Constipation has been shown to increase the risk of colon cancer3 and has been implicated in diverticulosis and appendicitis. “Cumulative lifetime use of commercial laxatives was also associated with increased risk of colon cancer.”3

Squatting prevents constipation in four ways:

Gravity does most of the work. The weight of the torso presses against the thighs and naturally compresses the colon. Gentle pressure from the diaphragm supplements the force of gravity.
The ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine, is properly sealed, allowing the colon to be fully pressurized. The pressure creates a natural laxative effect. In the sitting position the IC valve is unsupported and tends to leak, making it difficult to generate the required pressure.
Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum to maintain continence.
Squatting lifts the sigmoid colon to unlock the “kink” at the entrance to the rectum. This kink also helps prevent incontinence, by taking some of the pressure off the puborectalis muscle.
To summarize, the colon is equipped with an inlet valve (the ileocecal valve) and an outlet valve (the puborectalis muscle). Squatting simultaneously closes the inlet valve, to keep the small intestine clean, and opens the outlet valve, to allow wastes to pass freely. The sitting position defeats the purpose of both valves, making elimination difficult and incomplete, and soiling the small intestine.

The sphincter muscle, commonly regarded as the outlet valve, is actually not capable of preventing incontinence. It involves voluntary effort and is only for short-term emergencies. Maintaining continence requires the continuous grip of the puborectalis muscle. This grip is not released in the sitting position, so it must be forced open by straining. Straining repeatedly over a number of years can lead to hemorrhoids, which can therefore be classified as a repetitive strain injury.

Doctors have long recognized the connection between sitting toilets and constipation. For example, F.A. Hornibrook in The Culture of the Abdomen, published in 1933:

Man’s natural attitude during [elimination] is a squatting one, such as may be observed amongst field workers or natives. Fashion, in the guise of the ordinary water closet, forbids the emptying of the lower bowel in the way Nature intended. Now in this act of [elimination] great strains are imposed on all the internal organs….
It is no overstatement to say that the adoption of the squatting attitude would in itself help in no small measure to remedy the greatest physical vice of the white race, the constipation that has become a contentment.5

These sentiments are echoed in Our Common Ailment, written by H. Aaron and published in 1938:

When the thighs are pressed against the abdominal muscles in this position, the pressure within the abdomen is greatly increased, so that the rectum is more completely emptied. Our toilets are not constructed according to physiological requirements. Toilet designers can do a good deal for people if they will study a little physiology and construct seats intended for proper [elimination].6
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A Clinical Study of Sitting versus Squatting
In April, 2002, an Iranian radiologist, Dr. Saeed Rad, published a study which compared the effectiveness of sitting versus squatting for evacuation.24 One of his conclusions relates to the cause of a type of hernia known as “rectocele,” which is a bulge of the front wall of the rectum into the vagina.

Thirty subjects participated in the study – 21 male, 9 female – ranging in age from 11 to 75 years. Each patient received a barium enema so the internal mechanics of evacuation could be recorded on an X-Ray image. Each patient was studied in both the squatting and the sitting positions.

Using these images, Dr. Rad measured the angle where the end of the rectum joins the anal canal. At this junction point, the puborectalis muscle creates a kink to prevent incontinence. Dr. Rad found that when the subjects used sitting toilets the average angle of this bend was 92 degrees, forcing the subjects to strain. When they used squat toilets, the angle opened to an average of 132 degrees. At times it reached 180 degrees, making the pathway perfectly straight.

Using squat toilets, all the subjects reported “complete” evacuation. “Puborectalis relaxation occurred easily and straightening of the rectum and anal canal facilitated evacuation. The anal canal became wide open and no folding was noticed in the terminal rectum.”

In the sitting position, “a remarkable folding was created in the terminal rectum predisposing it to rectocele formation, and puborectalis relaxation was incomplete.” All the subjects reported that elimination felt “incomplete” in the sitting position.

Dr. Rad also measured the distance from the pelvic floor to the perineum. In the sitting position he found that the pelvic floor was pushed downwards to a significant degree. (A detailed discussion of the connection between sitting toilets and pelvic organ prolapse – including rectoceles – can be found in the gynecological disorders section.)

Dr. Rad concluded that the use of the squat toilet “is a more comfortable and efficient method of bowel evacuation” than the sitting toilet.

Different types of squat toilets
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Contamination of the Small Intestine
Dr. William Welles, a San Diego chiropractor, discovered that the modern toilet causes fecal contamination of the digestive system in 70 to 80% of the population.

The ileocecal (IC) valve, between the small intestine and the colon, is designed to prevent the backflow of wastes. If it leaks, E.coli bacteria can enter the small intestine and get absorbed into the bloodstream. This puts a strain on the liver which has to remove these toxins.

The invasion of fecal bacteria (called “colo-ileal reflux”) can also cause inflammation of the small intestine. This condition is called “ileitis” and is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

According to Dr. Welles,

My discovery of a dysfunctional ileocecal valve in approximately 80% of my patients is also confirmed by modern medicine. The ICV is so commonly found to be dysfunctional in surgeries of the bowel and in barium enema studies that it is believed to be inherently faulty in its design.2
Drawing on the research of F.A. Hornibrook, Dr. Welles suspected that the faulty design responsible for this problem was not nature’s but man’s.

Hornibrook states that the design of the Western toilet defies the laws of nature by encouraging the user to bear down without the natural support given the abdominal walls by the thighs when one is in the squatting posture.2
Then, he used muscle-testing to verify his hypothesis.
When individuals sat in the position encouraged by the western toilet and bore down so as to eliminate fecal matter, the muscles weakened immediately and the ileocecal valve was blown out….The ICV is critical to proper intestinal plumbing, and its dysfunction is the root cause of many of the diseases of modern civilization…. 2
In his article, Dr. Welles also discusses other ailments caused by the sitting toilet – including colon cancer, hemorrhoids, hernias and pelvic organ prolapse. He concludes with some strong words of advice:
Cast aside your preconceived ideas as to what is normal and use your rational mind to act on what has been stated above. At any given time in history it is possible to look back and find great faults with the habits of previous civilizations. I believe that future generations will one day look back at our aberrant habit of using the modern toilet – and cringe. 2
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Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a type of hernia caused by years of chronic straining. The outer layer of the colon ruptures, allowing the inner lining (the “mucosa”) to bulge out in pouches or sacs. It is similar to an inner tube that bulges out through weak spots in a worn-out tire.

Diverticulosis typically occurs in the sigmoid colon, in the lower left section of the abdomen. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse:

About half of all Americans age 60 to 80, and almost everyone over age 80, have diverticulosis. When the pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. This happens in 10 to 25% of people with diverticulosis…
… Diverticulitis can lead to complications such as infections, perforations or tears, blockages, or bleeding. These complications always require treatment [surgery] to prevent them from progressing and causing serious illness.1

These statistics might seem to imply that diverticulosis is an inevitable part of growing old. Dr. Berko Sikirov, the Israeli physician who conducted successful clinical research on the use of squatting to treat hemorrhoids, disagrees:
Colonic diverticulosis develops as a result of excessive straining at defecation due to habitual bowel emptying in a sitting posture, which is typical of Western man. The magnitude of straining during habitual bowel emptying in a sitting posture is at least three-fold more than in a squatting posture and upon urge. The latter defecation posture is typical of latrine pit users in underdeveloped nations.
The bowels of Western man are subjected to lifelong excessive pressures which result in protrusions of mucosa through the bowel wall at points of least resistance. This hypothesis is consistent with recent findings of elastosis of the bowel wall muscles, the distribution of diverticula along the colon, as well as with epidemiological data on the emergence of diverticulosis coli as a medical problem and its geographic prevalence.9

The geographic prevalence mentioned by Dr. Sikirov is confirmed by medicinenet.com, a well-respected medical website:
Diverticular disease is common in the Western world but is extremely rare in areas such as Asia and Africa.
Mainstream medicine has never considered the relevance of evacuation posture to diverticulosis. They attribute its high prevalence in our society to “insufficient dietary fiber.” But they offer no evidence to support their theory. (The same theory was used for decades to explain colon cancer until it was disproved by several recent studies.)
An excerpt from The Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health illustrates a common fallacy used to promote the theory:

Diverticular disease emerged after the introduction of steel rolling mills, which greatly reduced the fiber content of flour and other grains. The disease was first observed in the United States in the early 1900’s around the time processed foods became a mainstay of the American diet …23
The Mayo Clinic is correct to blame a technological innovation – but which one? The same Industrial Revolution that produced the steel rolling mill also made the porcelain throne a fixture throughout the western world.22
Dr. Denis Burkitt, the British surgeon who popularized the fiber theory, also strongly advocated the use of squat toilets to prevent diverticulosis and hiatus hernias.41 His only mistake was to assume that diet was the crucial factor and squatting was secondary, instead of the other way around.

The claim that dietary fiber protects against diverticulosis was finally tested in a recent study involving 2,104 participants, 30–80 years old. They underwent outpatient colonoscopies from 1998 to 2010 and were interviewed regarding diet and physical activity.

The study, published in the February, 2012 issue of Gastroenterology, found that “A high-fiber diet and increased frequency of bowel movements are associated with greater, rather than lower, prevalence of diverticulosis. Hypotheses regarding risk factors for asymptomatic diverticulosis should be reconsidered.”

In a media interview, the lead author, Anne F. Peery, MD put it more bluntly: “Our study makes it clear that we don’t really understand why diverticula form.”

The journal article also discusses the impact of this disease on health care costs:”The complications of diverticulosis cause considerable morbidity in the United States; health care expenditures for this disorder are estimated to be $2.5 billion per year.”

To solve their “mystery,” the researchers need to examine the biomechanics of evacuation. They will find that a western toilet strains the sigmoid colon in three ways:

The rectum is choked by the puborectalis muscle and must be forced open by straining.

Since the exit is obstructed, wastes get backed up in the sigmoid colon, where they stagnate, putting constant pressure on the colon wall.

The colon is deprived of the natural support provided by the thighs when squatting. As mentioned above, diverticulosis is a type of hernia. In the squatting position, the thighs serve the same function as the belt worn by a weightlifter to prevent hernias.
95% of diverticular disease occurs in the sigmoid colon. This is due to the sharp bend or “kink” where the sigmoid joins the rectum (shown here.) Dr. William Welles explains:
As we bear down without proper support, it increases the degree of kinking at this junction, and limits the amount of elimination to whatever is below the kink. 2
Straining is therefore counterproductive – but unavoidable – as long as we persist in using an unnatural toilet posture. The self-inflicted injury called “diverticulosis” is the inevitable result.

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Bathroom Heart Attacks
Dr. Berko Sikirov is an Israeli physician who has spent over 20 years studying the effects of excessive straining caused by the use of sitting toilets. His research on hemorrhoids and diverticulosis is discussed elsewhere on this webpage.

In 1990 he published an article entitled “Cardio-vascular events at defecation: are they unavoidable?” He begins by describing the problem:

Probably every physician practicing emergency medicine has encountered tragic cases of sudden death in the lavatory. Patients with acute coronary events are especially vulnerable to excessive straining which accompanies defecation. Therefore, it is a routine practice in coronary care units to administer laxatives or stool softeners, hopefully to reduce straining …10
The article goes on to explain how straining on the toilet can be avoided by adopting the natural squatting position. In the following summary, Dr. Sikirov uses the term “Valsalva Maneuver,” which means pushing down with the diaphragm while holding one’s breath.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, this maneuver “increases pressure within the thoracic cavity and thereby impedes venous return of blood to the heart.” Another term used below is “syncope” which means “fainting.”

Cardio-vascular events at defecation are to a considerable degree the consequence of an unnatural (for a human being) seated defecation posture on a common toilet bowl or bed pan. Excessive straining, expressed in intensively repeated Valsalva Maneuvers, is needed for emptying the bowels in the sitting position. The Valsalva Maneuver adversely affecting the cardio-vascular system is the causative factor of defecation syncope and death.
The cardio-vascular system of a healthy man withstands the intensive and repeated straining at defecation, while the compromised cardio-vascular system may fail, resulting in syncope or even death. The squatting defecation posture is associated with reduced amounts of straining and may prevent many of these tragic cases.10

Besides straining the heart, the Valsalva Maneuver also leads to pelvic organ prolapse, discussed in the Gynecological Disorders, Pregnancy, and Prostate Disorders sections.

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Hemorrhoids
Surveys suggest that, in westernized countries, as much as half the population over 40 years of age may suffer from hemorrhoids.8

The common explanation for their absence in the developing world is “a high fiber diet.” An Internet search on “incidence of hemorrhoids” turns up many instances of the following statement, carefully worded to suggest a causal connection: “Populations in which fiber intake is high have a very low incidence of hemorrhoids.”

The medical establishment accepted the fiber theory without proof because they had no other explanation for the dramatically lower incidence of hemorrhoids in the developing world. They ignored the fact that these populations follow a wide variety of diets. The Masai cattle-herders of central Africa are almost exclusively carnivorous. The Hindus of India are vegetarian. Other groups subsist on fish, or even on insects.

Researchers have also been unaware of another, more relevant factor which would explain the data: the use of squat toilets. This factor has three advantages over the fiber theory:

It is consistent throughout the developing world.

It pertains directly to the anatomy of hemorrhoids.

It has been validated by published clinical research.
The research was conducted by Dr. Berko Sikirov, an Israeli physician, who studied the effect on hemorrhoid patients of squatting for elimination. The results were published in 1987 in the Israel Journal of Medical Sciences.7 In 1996, the study was the subject of an article in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.8

Twenty male and female patients who had hemorrhoids of varying degrees of severity participated in the study. They had all used conventional treatments with little or no success. Two of the patients had been treated with ligation (tying off the hemorrhoid at its base with a rubber band.)

The patients underwent a proctoscopy at the beginning of the trial. Then they were told to change their toilet habits in two ways: to wait until the urge to evacuate was strong (to avoid straining) and to use the natural squatting position for elimination. The proctoscopy was repeated after one year.

Of the 20 patients, 18 reported within a few days to a few months a significant reduction or complete absence of symptoms. Lack of improvement in the two other patients, who had previously had ligation for hemorrhoids, “may be ascribed to fibrous tissue development in the submucosa as a consequence of the ligation.”7

Follow-up examinations, 12 and 30 months later, on the 18 other patients (90% of the subjects in the study), revealed no recurrence of the symptoms. This chart shows the results obtained by all 20 patients. A detailed account of Dr. Sikirov’s research can be found in his U.S. Patent #4,819,277.

Dr. Sikirov’s conclusion is that hemorrhoids result from continual aggravation and injury due to excessive straining in the sitting position. Straining is necessary to overcome the constriction in the rectum designed to maintain continence. When this ongoing insult to the body is removed by returning to the squatting position, the natural healing process can occur without hindrance.

The importance of squatting is not unknown to gastroenterologists and proctologists. Dr. Michael I. Freilich, a retired colorectal surgeon from Marina del Rey, California, recently commented,

Back in 1979, when former President Carter had a hemorrhoid problem, Time Magazine called and asked me to explain the cause of hemorrhoids. In the magazine, I was quoted as saying, “Man was not meant to sit on a toilet, but to squat in a field.”
Even the standard textbook, Bockus Gastroenterology, contains the statement, “The ideal posture for [evacuation] is the squatting position, with the thighs flexed upon the abdomen. In this way the capacity of the abdominal cavity is greatly diminished and intra-abdominal pressure is increased, thus encouraging expulsion …”11

Unfortunately, most proctologists pretend to be unaware of the therapeutic value of squatting. Surgery and ligation are lucrative procedures. Not wanting their income to suffer, they cause their patients to suffer instead.

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Hiatus Hernia and GERD
A hiatus hernia (also called “hiatal hernia”) occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges into the chest cavity through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. It is often associated with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) in which stomach acid leaks into the esophagus. GERD causes chronic heartburn and increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

In 1981, Dr. Denis Burkitt, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, proposed a link between western toilets and hiatus hernias. His paper cites the much higher pressure on the diaphragm while sitting (versus squatting) for evacuation. He also cites strong epidemiological evidence:

Hiatus hernia has its maximum prevalence in economically developed communities in North America and Western Europe. Very large series of upper gastrointestinal tract radiological examinations indicate that this defect can be demonstrated in over 20% of North American adults [of all races].
In contrast, the disease is rare in situations typified by rural African communities. In a careful prospective radiological study of the upper gastrointestinal tract in Nigerians, hiatus hernia was detected in only four of 1030. In Kenya, only one case was found in over 1000 barium meal examinations and in Tanzania, one in over 700 barium studies.41

In 1999, gastroenterologist Dr. Stephen Sontag expanded still further the indictment of the western toilet. The following excerpt summarizes his paper, “Defining GERD,” published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine: 42
The antireflux barrier in children and adults is gradually weakened over time as a result of chronic straining to defecate and straining in an unphysiologic position, both of which stem from our modern day habits of eating a low-fiber diet and living on the high-seated toilet. We suggest that the chronic traumatic hiatal hernia is
the cause of more than 90 percent of the GERD that stalks the Western world;

a direct result of abandoning the popular and worldwide practice of squatting to socialize, eat and defecate; and

our just reward for adopting the “civilized” high sitting position on chairs and modern toilets.
Dr. Sontag’s detailed explanation, contained in his twelve-page article, can be found at the journal’s website.
To summarize, the diaphragm was not designed to be the “workhorse” for evacuation. Like all primates, humans were designed to squat for bodily functions. Squatting pushes the colon against the thighs by the force of gravity and effortlessly creates the required pressure for expulsion. The daily abuse of the diaphragm caused by the western toilet is the reason for the high incidence of hiatus hernias and GERD in our society.

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Prostate Disorders
Mr. Wallace Bowles is an Australian researcher who learned about the benefits of squatting in 1984, at the age of 52. A former Royal Australian Air Force fighter pilot and later a senior commercial pilot, Mr. Bowles in 1984 was working for the Australian Aviation Authority as an investigator of aircraft accidents.

Although he had no formal medical training, his intense curiosity led him to immerse himself in the study of human anatomy, in order to understand why squatting for bodily functions was so much more effective. He also suspected that the habitual use of sitting toilets might be responsible for some common ailments found only in westernized countries.

As a man in his fifties, Mr. Bowles was naturally curious about a possible connection to prostate problems. He was intrigued by evidence such as the following:

from USA Today, January 5, 2000:

African Americans have the highest prostate cancer risk in the world …. And despite high rates among African Americans, prostate cancer is very low in Africa.

from Cancer.gov
….incidence rates for clinical prostate cancer in western men are 30 to 50 times higher than those for Asian men.

from emedicine.com:
A 200-fold difference in incidence exists between African American men, who represent the group with the highest incidence of the disease, and Chinese men living in Asia, in whom the incidence of prostate cancer is among the lowest in the world.

Migration studies reveal that movement of people from areas of low risk to areas of high risk is associated with an increase in the incidence of prostate cancer among the migrants. In one study, within one generation, the increase in incidence in Japanese immigrants was 4- to 9-fold compared to the incidence of prostate cancer in Japan.

In his review of the medical literature, Mr. Bowles encountered the usual explanation for the low incidence of prostate cancer in the developing world: a diet low in fat and high in fiber. He was skeptical of this theory, and a recent major study has confirmed his doubts:
(American Society of Clinical Oncology – August 30, 2002) – A low-fat, high-fiber diet heavy in fruits and vegetables has no impact on PSA levels in men over a four-year period, and does not affect the incidence of prostate cancer, according to a study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, and seven other centers.
[http://www.prostatecancer.on.ca/WNew/nov2002_03.html]
Mr. Bowles took an entirely different approach to the problem. He suspected that the prostate’s strange behavior was caused by a breakdown in the body’s system of communication and control. The prostate and bladder are controlled by the pudendal nerve, which emerges from the sacrum, near the base of the spine, and runs along the perineum. Damage to this nerve can weaken the brain signals to and from the prostate and render the gland dysfunctional.

In women, the pudendal nerve is commonly injured during childbirth, leading to temporary or permanent bladder incontinence. Pelvic nerve injury often results from instrumental deliveries (forceps, vacuum extractors, etc.) and from straining to overcome the unnatural western delivery posture. (More details in the Pregnancy and Childbirth section.)

But childbirth is not the only way the pudendal nerve is damaged. It happens to women who have never had children, as well as to men. Mr. Bowles theorized that the same stretching of the pelvic floor caused by giving birth in the recumbent position could also result from evacuating in the sitting position. Bowel evacuation is not as stressful as childbirth, but is repeated on a daily basis.

The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles which supports the bladder, the intestines and (in women) the uterus. The pudendal nerve travels from the spinal cord through the pelvic floor to the bladder and prostate. On a conventional toilet, the pelvic floor is unsupported and is forcefully pushed downwards during evacuation.

The practice of holding one’s breath and pushing with the diaphragm is considered “normal” in western societies. But no other animal uses this “Valsalva Maneuver.” Like all primates, man was designed to use the squatting position, which empties the colon without putting any pressure on the pelvic floor.

Instead of pushing downwards with the diaphragm, squatting pushes upwards with the thighs. The weight of the torso compresses the colon, so no straining is required. Squatting also relaxes the puborectalis muscle to straighten the rectum. This is the method used by over two-thirds of humanity.

How does seated evacuation damage the pudendal nerve? The nerve passes through the pelvic floor and has to stretch each time the Valsalva Maneuver is used. Nerves are not elastic and cannot be stretched very far without being damaged. A 12% stretch destroys a nerve. 16

Over the years, the pelvic hammock sags lower and lower, from being pushed downwards several times each day. The pudendal nerve is eventually stretched beyond its capacity. It loses the ability to transmit brain signals and supply electrical energy to the pelvic area.

Every gland in the body requires constant feedback from the brain to maintain normal functioning. Damage to the pudendal nerve disconnects the prostate from the body’s governing intelligence. The prostate “loses its mind” – as millions of men discover each year, to their dismay.

Prostate disease affects 75% of the male population over the age of 50.39 It can take three different forms:

Enlargement. Unaware that it is strangling the urethra, the prostate can grow from its normal size of a walnut, to the size of an orange, or even larger. More than half the men in the United States between the ages of 60 and 70 and as many as 90% between the ages of 70 and 90 have symptoms of BPH [prostate enlargement] according to the National Cancer Institute.

Cancer. The overactive cells will frequently mutate and become malignant. Each day in the United States, more than 100 men die of prostate cancer. Annually, physicians diagnose 184,500 new cases, and treatment costs approach $5 billion (according to emedicine.com.)

Prostatitis. “Symptoms of prostatitis-like pain occur in 11% of American men, and approximately 95% of the men whose conditions are diagnosed as chronic prostatitis have no evidence of bacterial infection or inflammatory cells in the prostatic fluid….Chronic perineal pain may be caused by pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE).” 29
The term “entrapment” refers to nerve damage of various kinds, including stretching of the pudendal nerve. The above explanation may also apply to cystitis – another pelvic disorder which, in many cases, seems to have no discernible cause.

Damage to the pudendal nerve occurs gradually and cumulatively and can take many years to manifest. This is one reason why the cause has escaped detection. Another reason is cultural insularity. Sitting toilets were considered normal and natural and so, above suspicion.

To test his theory, Mr. Bowles designed and manufactured a squatting device, and encouraged thousands of his fellow Australians to adopt the natural posture for evacuation. Here is his summary of the results:

An ongoing informal study indicates that, providing prostate enlargement has not progressed too far, symptoms gradually reverse when men abandon seated bowel movements and squat instead. The study indicates that improvement usually occurs within three months and, within about six months of making this posture change, most men (including men in their seventies) regain normal prostate function. 14
Mr. Bowles concluded that the damaged nerves will grow back over time if the source of injury is removed. Many respondents also reported significant reductions in their PSA levels (prostate specific antigen) after switching to squatting.

Wallace Bowles did not invent the concept of “pelvic floor nerve stretch injury.” He simply realized that this self-inflicted injury has been institutionalized by the universal habit of sitting for evacuation. He therefore concluded that the porcelain throne is the most likely culprit in the mysterious epidemic of pelvic disorders (male and female) that plagues the Western World.

This “eureka!” of a retired aircraft accident investigator may someday be recognized as one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of medicine.

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Bladder Incontinence

In the larger cities of Asia, many residents have abandoned their traditional customs, believing that the West is more progressive and somehow “superior.” By adopting western toilets, they have unwittingly introduced new diseases into their society. A recent article in the Malaysian newspaper The Star (March 30, 2003) discusses one such ailment:

To squat or not to squat? That is the question. Actually, your toileting technique may have an effect on urinary incontinence. There is a lot of evidence to show that the Asian technique of using the toilet goes a long way to maintaining better pelvic health than the Western technique, says professor Ajay Rane, James Cook University of Medicine (Australia) consultant urogynecologist and pelvic reconstructive surgeon.
According to Rane, a study done in Hong Kong showed that city-dwelling women had more urinary incontinence and bowel problems than country dwelling women. “The basic differences in these women were not their body weight, or how many children they had, but their toileting habits,” he says.

In general, women in urban areas use the “sit” method while the rural women use “squat” toilets. “Basically, we believe that the study suggests squatting causes the angle of the pelvis to relax much better and give better pressure. When you are sitting, you do not have the right relaxation of the muscles and the angle of the pelvis,” he says. “I strongly believe that the squatting technique has tremendous beneficial effects on the pelvis.”

Dr. Rane’s view is shared by Dr. Stuart Stanton, Chairman of the Continence Foundation and Consultant Urogynecologist at St. George’s Hospital, London:

“Squat” toilets are an excellent way for women to exercise their perineum and pelvic floor muscles and control their urinary stream from the age of 2½-3 years onwards. Reports from the developing world suggest that urinary incontinence is much less in women who squat.
Here is a brief explanation of why sitting toilets increase the risk of incontinence: The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that supports the intestines, the bladder and the uterus. Western toilets force the user to strain when evacuating, repeatedly subjecting the pelvic floor to unnatural stress. The downward pressure stretches and weakens the pudendal nerve, responsible for bladder control.

To maintain continence, the brain needs to constantly monitor the pressure within the bladder and issue commands to the urethral sphincter muscle. Both functions are impaired when the pudendal nerve is weakened by the descent of the pelvic floor. The following statistics from FocusOnUrology.com show how frequently this occurs:

17 million Americans are incontinent.

Women experience incontinence twice as often as men.
(The gynecological disorders section explains why.)

1 in 4 women age 30-59 has experienced an episode of incontinence.

$16.4 billion is spent every year on incontinence-related care

$1.1 billion is spent every year on disposable products for adults.

50% or more of elderly persons living at home or in long-term care facilities are incontinent.
FocusOnUrology.com attributes incontinence mainly to childbirth, weakened pelvic muscles, hormonal changes associated with menopause, and (in men) prostate surgery. Due to their cultural conditioning, they do not mention the use of the reclining posture for childbirth. The modern toilet has made women incapable of prolonged squatting, the position designed by nature to protect the pelvic floor during delivery.
Nor do they mention the direct effect of using a sitting toilet, which causes the pelvic floor to be pushed downwards each time one strains to evacuate. Based on a conservative estimate that the average person strains four times for each daily evacuation, by the age of 50 the unsupported pelvic floor has been stretched 73,000 times.

An unnatural maneuver repeated so many times inevitably causes a “repetitive stress injury.” The pudendal nerve is the main casualty of this unintentional abuse, which renders incontinent over 50% of elderly Americans (statistics above.)

Other westernized countries face a similar problem. Researchers at Adelaide University in Australia recently reported that incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders are much more prevalent than previously believed. The article is entitled “The Descent of Women – a Silent Epidemic” (23 November 2000):

Adelaide University researchers, in the first comprehensive study of its kind in the world, have found a remarkably high prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in the general population…. Most of these complaints were still common among women who had never had a vaginal birth…. “The survey highlights the high prevalence and major social impact of pelvic floor prolapse and incontinence in our society,” said Professor MacLennan. “It is a silent epidemic, as those with the problem are often embarrassed to talk about it,” he said.

sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001122231619.htm
Until recently, the cause of this epidemic has been a mystery (Professor MacLennan, quoted above, believes that it is unavoidable, as long as women continue to give birth.) But research by Mr. Wallace Bowles on the relevance of the squatting posture has brought a new understanding of how to prevent (and, in many cases, correct) these disorders:

Most people with urinary incontinence experience a noticeable improvement within several weeks of commencing to squat for defecation with complete correction within about 3 months.17
Anecdotally, a number of women who squat, habitually, for bowel movements and who have experienced pelvic floor trauma and incontinence after the birth of their baby, have regained their continence within about six weeks when they continue to adopt the squat posture for bowel evacuation.13

Even children are susceptible to pelvic floor nerve stretch injury. An article entitled “My Child, My Teacher” was published in the Spring, 1998, issue of New Vegetarian and Natural Health Magazine.15 Focusing on the benefits of squatting for children, the article contains numerous reports of bedwetting corrected by this simple change of habit.
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Pregnancy and Childbirth Issues

Childbirth educators always advise pregnant women to avoid the “Valsalva Maneuver,” which means holding one’s breath while straining. It puts great pressure on the uterus and the pelvic floor.

Unfortunately, this maneuver is impossible to avoid when using a conventional toilet. This is why expectant mothers find daily elimination such an uncomfortable and frustrating experience. Constipation during pregnancy is considered “normal” because most doctors are unaware of the abnormal design of the modern toilet.

Besides improving elimination, squatting also helps in other ways during pregnancy:

Preventing hemorrhoids, which affect up to 50% of pregnant women (according to aHealthyMe.com)

Avoiding the build-up of toxins in the colon, to give the growing embryo a cleaner, healthier environment.

Developing the flexibility needed for giving birth in the most advantageous and natural posture. Squatting fully opens the birth canal, maximizes the power of the abdominal muscles, and helps protect the pelvic floor from injury.

This Yoga posture is called “malasana preparation.”
It cultures flexibility for natural childbirth (and elimination.)
It’s easier with your back against the wall.

A study published in 1969 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Commonwealth found that squatting increases the available area in the birth canal by 20 to 30%.25 The sitting toilet has made women incapable of prolonged squatting, which would promote a quicker and more comfortable labor and delivery. It would also reduce the need for medical interventions such as forceps, vacuum extractors, epidurals and episiotomies.

The most drastic form of medical intervention is the cesarean section. 32% of US births in 2007 were by C-section.37 This alarming statistic indicates that women are losing the ability to give birth naturally. The modern toilet has alienated women from the birthing posture they were designed to use.

The conventional delivery positions – recumbent and semi-sitting – close the birth canal by 20 to 30%.25 The baby is used as a “wedge” to force the birth canal open. Obstetricians, unaware of what is causing the obstruction, resort to drugs and elaborate appliances to “extract” the fetus. Their crude and forceful procedures increase the risk of injury to mother and baby.

Almost all hospital delivery rooms prohibit the use of the squatting position, so women are forced to use the Valsalva Maneuver. They hold their breath and push with all their might – oblivious to the fact that the birth canal is partially closed. This maneuver puts enormous strain on the pelvic floor.

A common result is damage to the pudendal nerve, which connects the pelvis to the spinal cord. Nerve damage can lead to bladder incontinence and hormonal imbalance, due to the breakdown in communication between the brain and the pelvis. Post-partum depression is one symptom of hormonal imbalance.

Giving birth in the squatting position does not require the Valsalva Maneuver. Besides fully opening the birth canal, the posture naturally compresses the abdominal cavity to push the baby along, without great exertion or holding of breath.

The full squatting posture also minimizes the risk of pelvic hernias, often caused by straining during delivery. The bladder, the uterus, or the intestines can be dislodged from their proper place and pushed into the vagina. These hernias are extremely common in the western world. But in the developing world, where squatting is used, women are “relatively unaffected by pelvic floor problems.”36

Human beings should be able to give birth as easily as any other animal. This is the case for over two-thirds of the world’s women, since they use the same posture they have used all their lives for bodily functions.

By rediscovering how the body was designed to function, women can greatly reduce the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. Having a baby will never be effortless, but it can become a much safer, easier and more joyful experience.

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Gynecological Disorders

Each year more than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States. About one-third of American women undergo this operation by the age of 60.

It is performed to deal with a number of different diseases, including uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and cancer. More information about hysterectomies can be found at the National Women’s Health Information Center website.

The website states that “no one knows the cause” of these diseases. But the fact that one out of every three women has her uterus removed indicates that something in our culture is fundamentally wrong.

Before the 19th century, hysterectomies were so rare that “most doctors were of the opinion that it was unlikely that one could survive a hysterectomy.” 32 The sharp increase in uterine disorders toward the end of the 19th century coincided with a similar rise in prostate disorders,33 leading to the suspicion that the two trends were somehow connected.

The connection became clearer as doctors learned more about another common pelvic ailment: bladder incontinence. They found that it typically results from damage to the pudendal nerve, which connects the pelvis to the spinal cord. This damage was traced to a “stretch injury” – caused by the progressive descent of the pelvic floor.

Why the Pelvic Floor Descends
The Australian researcher, Mr. Wallace Bowles, has offered the most plausible explanation for the high incidence of pelvic floor prolapse in the western world. (Other scientists, including Dr. William Welles, a San Diego chiropractor, independently proposed the same theory.)2 They observed that the sudden emergence of pelvic diseases near the end of the 19th century coincided with the adoption of sitting toilets.22

Furthermore, they recognized that the porcelain throne is an “ergonomic nightmare” because it forces one to use the Valsalva Maneuver (holding one’s breath and pushing down with the diaphragm.) No other animal uses this maneuver. The pelvic floor was not designed to handle this type of stress on a daily basis.

Like all primates, man was designed to use the squatting position, which empties the colon without putting any pressure on the pelvic floor. Instead of pushing downwards with the lungs, one pushes upwards with the thighs, in the following way:

The right thigh pushes the cecum’s contents upward into the ascending colon. The left thigh squeezes and lifts the sigmoid colon, and opens the kink where it joins the rectum. Squatting also relaxes the puborectalis muscle to open the outlet valve.

A conventional toilet defeats the purpose of this ingenious design. Trying to evacuate while sitting is like trying to drive a car without releasing the parking brake. In frustration, one pushes down forcefully – depressing the pelvic floor many times each day. Over the years, the pelvic floor gradually descends more and more, and stretches the pudendal nerve beyond its capacity.

How Pudendal Nerve Damage Causes Disease
Damage to this nerve has serious consequences for pelvic health. The uterus and ovaries depend on continuous feedback from the brain to maintain proper hormonal balance. The pudendal nerve also supplies the electrical energy – the “life force” – on which all cellular activity depends.

Cut off from the source of energy and intelligence, the pelvic organs become dysfunctional and prone to disease. Cancer, endometriosis and uterine fibroids can be viewed as different forms of “dementia” on the cellular level.

Endometriosis provides a good illustration of how cells behave when they lose contact with the brain. In this disease, the cells lining the uterus wander off and attach themselves to other organs – much like an Alzheimer’s patient who has forgotten where she lives.

“Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects 5.5 million women and girls in the USA and Canada, and millions more worldwide.” (Endometriosis Association) It is the second leading reason for hysterectomies.

Why Women Are More Susceptible
Pelvic floor nerve stretch injury, the root cause of most pelvic disease, affects women more frequently than men. One reason is that the vaginal canal is a structural gap which is more vulnerable to the unique stress produced by the sitting toilet.

Repeated use of the Valsalva Maneuver will often force the uterus, the bladder, the rectum or the small intestine into this gap. These hernias are called, respectively, uterine prolapse, cystocele, rectocele (pronounced REK-tuh-seel), and enterocele (pronounced EN-tuh-ruh-seel). The term “pelvic organ prolapse” covers all of them.

Rhonda Kotarinos, MS, PT, is a renowned physical therapist who has trained physicians at Stanford Medical School in techniques for treating pelvic floor problems. In a recent lecture to members of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, she stated that long-term Valsalva voiding leads to pelvic organ prolapse.38

The risk of prolapse is even greater during childbirth, when the Valsalva Maneuver is employed with maximum force. Here again, the modern toilet is to blame, because it has alienated women from the birthing posture they were designed to use. As explained in the Pregnancy and Childbirth section, squatting fully opens the birth canal and virtually eliminates the need for the Valsalva Maneuver.

This is why women in the developing world are “relatively unaffected by pelvic floor problems”36 while the United States spends more than $10 billion each year on pelvic reconstructive surgery and $26 billion to treat urinary incontinence.36

The high rate of C-Sections is another consequence of using the wrong posture for delivery. Natural (vaginal) childbirth is feared because it is performed in an unnatural and dangerous way. 32% of US births in 2007 were by C-section.37

The View of Gynecologists
Most gynecologists are unaware of the importance of squatting for bodily functions. They believe that the female reproductive system is prone to ailments because it was “poorly designed.” In medical school, they are taught that the pelvic floor was designed for quadrupeds and cannot support the pelvic organs of women who walk on two legs. They are saying, in other words, that nature is incompetent.

But their theory ignores the fact that the pelvic floor has performed quite adequately throughout human history, with only rare exceptions. It is only recently, in modern westernized countries, that pelvic organ prolapse has reached epidemic proportions. In the developing world, among squatting populations, these disorders are quite rare.

…African and Asian women seem to be relatively unaffected [by pelvic floor problems].36
Prolapse appears to be comparatively uncommon in much of the developing world, despite the much greater multiparity of its mothers …34 [Multiparity means having many children.]

This evidence has baffled western doctors, since it contradicts their assumption that the pelvic floor is unsuited for bipeds. Their usual response is to claim that the problem is simply “underdiagnosed.” Like the quadrupedal theory itself, this claim is asserted without any supporting evidence.

For example, the last quotation goes on to say, “It is uncertain if this is a real difference; [women in the developing world] may merely complain less.”

But these women have to perform strenuous physical labor, just to survive. Daily chores include carrying buckets of water, tilling the fields, and washing clothes by hand. Pelvic hernias would make them virtual invalids.

If they do not “complain” it can only mean that they do not dislodge their pelvic organs by the habitual use of the Valsalva Maneuver. Furthermore, no amount of stoicism could conceal the presence of incontinence, the other major sign of pelvic floor dysfunction.

A Conflict of Interest
To test for rectoceles and other forms of prolapse, gynecologists ask their patients to perform the Valsalva Maneuver, which makes the prolapse bulge out. They are aware that excessive use of this maneuver can cause prolapse in the first place. But cultural insularity has made them view straining as unavoidable.

“Unavoidable” ailments mean job security, so gynecologists are quick to dismiss the possibility that “female troubles” can be prevented. Enormous amounts of money are at stake, creating an obvious conflict of interest.

The average cost for a hysterectomy ranges from $7,000 to $16,800 … the annual cost for hysterectomies in the U.S. exceeds $5 billion.26
… the cost of surgical management of genital prolapse has surpassed $10 billion annually in the United States alone.36

Fortunately, a few gynecologists have a more enlightened perspective. Dr. Stuart Stanton and Dr. Ajay Rane were quoted above, strongly advocating the squatting posture for pelvic health. Other physicians have deplored the harm done by their colleagues in performing unnecessary surgery. Richard W. Te Linde (1894-1989) was the editor of the standard textbook on gynecological surgery. He is quoted in the Spring 2004 Whole Woman Newsletter:

…in the practice of gynecology, one has ample opportunity to observe countless women who have been advised to have hysterectomies without proper indications…I am inclined to believe that the greatest single factor in promoting unnecessary hysterectomy is a lack of understanding of gynecologic pathology…

A Case History
Dr. Akilah El, ND, PhD, is a naturopath with a deep understanding (and personal experience) of gynecologic pathology. In 1991, while still a student, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and uterine fibroids. Ignoring the dire warnings of her gynecologist, she cured herself without the use of drugs, surgery or radiation.

A key factor in her recovery was the adoption of the squatting posture for elimination. This relieved the pressure on the pelvic floor and allowed the pudendal nerve to repair itself. In this way, the pelvic organs were reconnected to the central nervous system – the energy and intelligence that protects us from disease.

Dr. Akilah has repeatedly verified the effectiveness of this simple lifestyle change in helping her patients resolve gynecological ailments. The results have convinced her that “98% of all hysterectomies are unnecessary and dangerous.” Dr. Akilah has summarized her program of self-cure in a tape called “Healing Our Womb – The Cause, Cure, and Prevention of Uterine Fibroids.”

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Sexual Dysfunction

The previous section described how the habitual use of sitting toilets depresses the pelvic floor and causes a “stretch injury” to the pudendal nerve. This injury has many potential consequences – including incontinence, prostate dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain.

A recent article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (May, 2005) described another common result: female sexual dysfunction. According to the researchers, this problem affects up to 43% of women in the United States. Reuters Health issued the following report:

Nerve damage may underlie female sex dysfunction
By Anne Harding

Fri Jun 17, 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women with sexual dysfunction are more likely to have decreased tactile sensation in the genital area, according to researchers.

“Our data suggest that pudendal nerve impairment may play a role in sexual dysfunction in women,” Dr. Kathleen Connell and colleagues write in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

However, causes of this nerve abnormality remain unclear, Connell of Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut told Reuters Health. “I think it’s an area that we have to explore further because we don’t have any good explanations. It’s still sort of an enigma.” … [Full article]

The explanation given in the gynecological disorders section above should help the doctors solve their “enigma.” Once they understand the cause of pelvic floor nerve stretch injury, they can give their patients practical advice on preventing it.
Even though the study only tested women, a man’s pelvic floor is also vulnerable, as explained in the prostate disorders section. Nerve damage is the most likely cause of male sexual dysfunction, as well.

Fortunately, damaged nerves can grow back when they are no longer subjected to daily abuse. By repairing the connection between the pelvis and the brain, one has a chance of regaining normal sexual function.

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General Comments
Virtually every physician and physiologist who has ever troubled to write on the subject agrees that squatting is the most natural and physiologically sound posture to use for evacuation. This is the conclusion of Professor Alexander Kira, of Cornell University’s Center for Housing and Environmental Studies, who conducted a seven-year study of the design of the modern bathroom. His 1976 book, The Bathroom, contains numerous quotations from Western scientists who have deplored the use of the modern toilet.12

He quotes Dr. Henry L. Bockus, the author of the standard textbook, Gastro-Enterology:

… The ideal posture for [evacuation] is the squatting position, with the thighs flexed upon the abdomen. In this way the capacity of the abdominal cavity is greatly diminished and intra-abdominal pressure is increased, thus encouraging expulsion …11
Dr. Alexander Kira cites an article in the journal American Anthropologist and draws the following conclusion:

We must bear in mind that while we regard the use of the water closet as natural, we represent only a relatively small percentage of the world’s population, and a percentage that may be said, in an absolute sense, to be wrong, insofar as we have allowed civilization to interfere with our biological functioning.12
Dr. William Welles, the chiropractor referred to above, wrote an article entitled “The Hidden Crime of the Porcelain Throne.” Here is a brief excerpt:

The design of the modern-day toilet was created with absolute disregard for the anatomy of the human body. On the conventional Western toilet, pressure is exerted inside the abdomen by pushing the diaphragm down in such a way as to push all the organs of the body downwards, causing them to sag (prolapsus), and creating dysfunction of the ileocecal valve. The abdominal muscles are left totally unsupported, as we have said, and the body suffers the consequences.
Dr. Leonard Williams states that the modern toilet effectively paralyzes the abdominal muscles. “These muscles are little enough exercised by sedentary man, but when seated on the ordinary everyday water closet, he could not exercise them even if he would.” 2

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Conclusion
For 150 years, the people of the Western World have been the unwitting subjects of an experiment. By an accident of Fate, they were forced to adopt sitting toilets, while the other two-thirds of the world (the “control group”) continued to use the natural squatting position.22

Photo courtesy of Lon&Queta at flickriver.com

The results of this experiment have been clear and unequivocal. The experimental group has suffered dramatically higher rates of intestinal and urological disorders. The following diseases are almost exclusively confined to the Western World: appendicitis, colon cancer, prostate disorders, diverticulosis, bladder incontinence, hemorrhoids, and inflammatory bowel disease.

But the results have been misinterpreted by researchers who were unaware that the experiment was even taking place. Western doctors have tried to blame these diseases on the “highly refined” western diet. Their attempts have consistently failed to show that diet is a significant factor. Conventional medical websites all tell the same story:

This is a disease of the Western World. We don’t know what causes it, or why the developing world seems so strangely immune.
Medical researchers have been working diligently to solve these deadly mysteries, but they have made little progress. Due to their habit of studying diseases in isolation, they failed to notice a remarkable coincidence: Many different bowel, bladder and pelvic diseases – previously rare or unknown – suddenly became commonplace in the last half of the 19th century.

This simple observation would have alerted them to the presence of a common underlying factor. It would have prompted the obvious question: What suddenly changed in the daily habits of the population?

The obvious answer: They abandoned the squatting posture for bodily functions (including childbirth.) For each disease, the anatomical relevance of this change has been explained above. The relevance is confirmed by the absence of these disorders among squatting populations.

In conclusion, the porcelain throne has caused enormous amounts of needless suffering, and the annual waste of billions of dollars in health-care costs. Clearly, the time has come to reacquaint Western Man with his natural habits – and put this unfortunate experiment to an end.

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REFERENCES
Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis of Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/
Welles, William, “The Importance of Squatting” chapter in Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management, Bernard Jensen Publisher; 10th edition (June 1981).
Jacobs E J, White E., Constipation, laxative use, and colon cancer among middle-aged adults. Epidemiology, 1998 Jul, 9 (4): 385-91.
Tagart REB. The Anal Canal and Rectum: Their Varying Relationship and Its Effect on Anal Continence, Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 1966: 9, 449-452.
Hornibrook, F.A., The Culture of the Abdomen, (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc., 1933), pp. 75-78
Aaron, H., Our Common Ailment, (New York: Dodge Publishing Co., 1938), p. 39.
Sikirov BA. Management of Hemorrhoids: A New Approach, Israel Journal of Medical Sciences, 1987: 23, 284-286.
Dimmer, Christine; Martin, Brian; et al. “Squatting for the Prevention of Hemorrhoids? “, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia, published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, Issue No. 159, October 1996, pp. 66-70 (available online at http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/pubs/96tldp.html)
Sikirov BA, Etiology and pathogenesis of diverticulosis coli: a new approach, Medical Hypotheses, 1988 May;26(1):17-20.
Sikirov BA, Cardio-vascular events at defecation: are they unavoidable?, Medical Hypotheses, 1990 Jul;32(3):231-3.
Bockus, H.L., Gastro-Enterology, (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1944), Vol. 2, p. 469
Kira A. The Bathroom. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976, revised edition, pp.115,116.
Tobin, Andrew.. Prostate Disorder – Causes and Cure, National Direct Publishing, Bowden, Australia, 1996, (Chapter 12, by Wallace Bowles, entitled “Refining an Everyday Activity”),p.132
Ibid., p. 138.
Cleary, Margaret, “My Child, My Teacher”, New Vegetarian and Natural Health, Australian Vegetarian Society, Spring Edition, 1998.
Henry, Dr. M.M. and Swash, Dr.M., Coloproctology and the Pelvic Floor, Butterworths London, 1985, p. 145,147,301.
Bowles, Wallace, The Importance of Squatting for Defecation, unpublished article, January, 1992.
The role of Reginald Heber Fitz in explaining appendicitis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2601730/
Walker AR, Segal I., Epidemiology of noninfective intestinal diseases in various ethnic groups in South Africa. Israel Journal of Medical Science, 1979 Apr;15(4):309-13. (online at PubMed.)
Appendicitis and King Edward VII: http://www.users.bigpond.com/billmastermind/moments53.htm
Montgomery Scott M , Pounder Roy E , Wakefield Andrew J, Infant mortality and the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease,The Lancet Volume 349, Number 9050 DATUM: 1997-02-15.
A History of Technology, Vol.IV: The Industrial Revolution, 1750-1850. (C. Singer, E Holmyard, A Hall, T. Williams eds) Oxford Clarendon Press, pps. 507-508, 1958
King, John E.(Editor in Chief), Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 2000, p.128
Rad, Saeed, “Impact of Ethnic Habits on Defecographic Measurements”, Archives of Iranian Medicine, Vol 5, No. 2, April 2002, p.115-117.
Russell JGB. Moulding of the pelvic outlet. J Obstet Gynaec Brit Cwlth 1969;76:817-20 (cited at http://home1.gte.net/gastaldo/part2ftc.html)
Information on cost of hysterectomies at the Hudson’s FTM Resource Guide website
Historical Perspectives in Surgery, Medscape Surgery 4(1), 2002, “Famous Patients, Famous Operations, 2002 – Part 2: The Case of a Royal Pain in the Abdomen”
Kirsner, Joseph B., Historical origins of current IBD concepts,World J Gastroenterol,2001; April 7(2):175-184. The relevant excerpt, regarding Inflammatory Bowel Disease: “Appearing initially as isolated cases in Great Britain and northern Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries, they have steadily increased numerically and geographically and today are recognized worldwide.”
Roberts RO, Lieber MM, Bostwick DG, Jacobsen SJ: A review of clinical and pathological prostatitis syndromes. Urology 49: 809-821, 1997
Latest trends in dealing with appendicitis: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/175_01_020701/hugh/hugh.html
Burkitt DP. Appendicitis. London: Norgine Ltd, 1980.
History of Hysterectomies: http://www.qis.net/~pvietz/history.htm
Prostate cancer timeline: http://www.psa-rising.com/timeline/
Primary Surgery, Volume One: Non-trauma, Prolapse of the Uterus (online at http://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/dtc/primsurg/docbook/html/x6935.html)
Schulz, J.A. (2001). Assessing and treating pelvic organ prolapse. Ostomy Wound Management, 4 (5), 54-56, 58-60.
McIntosh, Louise. The Role of the Nurse in the Use of Vaginal Pessaries to Treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse and/or Urinary Incontinence: A Literature Review, Urologic Nursing, 2005; 25 (1): 41-48.
(online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/499503_3)
Information on C-Sections at International Cesarean Awareness Network.
Transcript of Mrs. Kotarinos’ talk at Interstitial Cystitis Network.
Department of Urology | Addenbrooke’s Hospital, History of Urology: http://www.camurology.org.uk/about/history_of_urology.php
Temple NJ, Burkitt, DP, The war on cancer–failure of therapy and research: discussion paper., J R Soc Med. 1991 February; 84(2): 95–98.
Burkitt, DP, Hiatus hernia: is it preventable?, Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Mar 1981; 34: 428 – 431.
Sontag, SJ, Defining GERD, Yale J Biol Med. 1999 Mar-Jun; 72(2-3): 69-80.
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Posted by: adamhuber888 | August 4, 2013

Heart surgeon speaks out on what really causes heart disease

This is a good article by a heart surgeon on why inflammation is the real cause of heart disease, a condition directly addressed by Metabolic Therapy.

Dr. Dwight Lundell
PreventDisease
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:58 CST
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Dr Lundell

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We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

Posted by: adamhuber888 | August 31, 2012

In Defense of Eggs

Over the past years eggs have been given a lot of bad press implicating them directly to atherosclerosis and a host of other conditions. The following article debunks this notion making a strong case for including eggs in a well rounded diet. Cholesterol has been villified countless times in the press over the years but we actually need cholesterol to maintain our health. This article appeared in The Atlantic in the August 2012 edition.

Sunny-Side Up: In Defense of Eggs

By Kristin Wartman

Recent research on the dangers of egg consumption is misleading and unnecessarily alarming. The dangers of cholesterol are over-hyped, and we can’t underestimate the value of unprocessed, high-mineral foods.

sunny-side-up-615.jpgella novak/Flickr

What is the most heart-healthy diet? The answer to this much-debated question just became more controversial after a study in the forthcoming issue of Atherosclerosis reported that egg yolks are nearly as bad for your arteries as cigarette smoke. After years relegated to the do-not-eat list for fear of cholesterol-raising effects, the humble egg was finally making its way back into mainstream acceptance as a heart-healthy food full of healthy fats and protein. But it appears this latest study may indeed send us back to the days of egg-white omelets and Egg Beaters.

Most people should be eating more eggs — particularly the yolks.

The study’s authors surveyed more than 1,200 men and women, with an average age of 61.5, who were attending vascular prevention clinics. The author’s claim that regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking when it comes to increased build-up of carotid plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

But many believe there are issues with this study’s methodology as well as the way the authors drew their conclusion. First, the study was based on recall questionnaires, which are notoriously unreliable. More importantly, the authors singled out one food from the patients’ diets and determined this caused the trend towards atherosclerosis. They could have picked another food at random — say the toast eaten with the eggs — and drawn an associative relationship between toast and atherosclerosis.

“I think it’s dangerous to look at just one food and deduce that the trend you see is caused by that food,” MIT researcher and senior scientist Stephanie Seneff wrote to me in an email regarding the study.

Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, also wrote to me in an email, “[The study] did not measure or control other aspects of diet such as intakes of meats, fruits, or vegetables and did not control for lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity. The data could be useful for generating some hypotheses, but it is difficult to draw any causal conclusions.”

Despite these flaws, the damage to the reputation of egg yolks may already be done. “It’s very worrisome that these authors of the egg-yolk-is-bad article have managed to come up with a fairly simple and relatively compelling story which will scare a lot of people away from eating egg yolks,” Seneff said.

The study has potentially serious consequences for people trying to improve their health and reduce their risk of stroke and heart disease — and that’s because most people should be eating more eggs, and particularly the yolks, not fewer. That’s what Seneff told me in a recent phone interview. She and her team at MIT are working on some compelling new research about the role of dietary fat and cholesterol and our health. Her research is so counter to the current dietary dogma that it sounds shocking at first: Seneff believes that Americans are actually suffering from a cholesterol deficiency rather than excess. She’s concerned that studies like these only serve to confuse the public more about the role of dietary cholesterol. Seneff believes that cholesterol has been wrongly vilified and in fact, foods that contain high amounts of cholesterol — like egg yolks and other animal proteins — are key to improving heart health, maintaining a healthy weight, and staving off many diet-related diseases.

Of course, not everyone agrees. There are conflicting studies to show that dietary cholesterol both does and does not affect our blood levels of cholesterol. “Much of the cholesterol in the blood is produced endogenously,” Hu wrote. “However, dietary factors (fats and cholesterol) can influence serum cholesterol levels.” Anarticle about eggs on the Harvard School of Public Health’s website reads, “While it’s true that egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol — and so may weakly affect blood cholesterol levels — eggs also contain nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate.”

The picture becomes even more complicated because elevated cholesterol levels do not necessarily mean one is at greater risk for a heart attack. More than 60 percent of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels and the majority of people with high cholesterol never suffer heart attacks. Many studies now show that high LDL (the so-called “bad cholesterol”) and heart disease are not linked. In 2005, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons reported that as many as half of the people who have heart disease have normal or desirable levels of LDL. Also in 2005, researchers found that older men and women with high LDL live longer.

Dr. J. David Spence, the first author of the egg yolk study and professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology at Western University, told me in an interview that serum cholesterol is “not the be all, end all of vascular risk.” He’s more concerned about what happens to our cholesterol levels after we consume cholesterol-containing foods, rather than our fasting cholesterol levels, which is what’s checked at the doctor’s office. “Egg yolks only raise fasting cholesterol by about ten percent,” he said. “But four hours after you eat a high cholesterol meal you get inflammation in the arteries, there’s increased oxidative stress, the increase in oxidized LDL cholesterol–which is the most harmful form or cholesterol — is almost 40 percent, and you have impairment of the function of the artery lining.”

Spence is concerned that people do not know just how much cholesterol is in one egg yolk. “For people who are at high risk for heart attacks and strokes the recommended amount of cholesterol is below 200 mg a day and one large egg yolk has 210 mg of cholesterol–there is more cholesterol in one egg yolk than the total recommended daily intake of cholesterol,” he said. “To put that in perspective, one egg yolk has more cholesterol than a Hardee’s Monster Thickburger which contains 12 ounces of beef, three slices of cheese, and four slices of bacon. I know the burger is worse than the egg because it also has saturated fat but the cholesterol per se is harmful and in fact, cholesterol is permissive of the harmful effects of saturated fats.”

As such, Spence recommends switching to egg whites or to egg-substitutes and eating a diet that is low in animal fats and low in cholesterol. “I tell my patients to learn how to make a nice tasty omelet or frittata with egg whites, or–what I like even better–is a carton of scrambled eggs with no cholesterol. They’re called Egg Beaters, or Better-n-Eggs,” Spence said.

“Oh come on. You can get those nutrients a lot safer if you eat them in other foods that aren’t loaded with cholesterol.”

Better-n-Eggs is an egg substitute product that contains 98 percent egg whites and includes these additional ingredients: corn oil, water, natural flavors, sodium hexametaphosphate, guar gum, xanthan gum, color (includes beta carotene).

Is Spence concerned about the various additives and the processing that goes into these types of products? “No. I’m more concerned about the cholesterol in eggs.”

It’s worth pointing out that many of the nutrients found in eggs are found in the yolk. Among many other nutrients, egg yolk contains lecithin, which helps the body digest fat and metabolize cholesterol; betaine and choline which lower homocysteine levels; glutathione, which helps fight cancer and prevents oxidation of LDL; lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to prevent colon cancer; and biotin, a B vitamin crucial for healthy hair, skin, and nerves.

I asked Spence what he thought about the various nutrients found in egg yolks — if we eliminate eggs from our diets won’t we be missing out on these nutrients? “Oh come on,” he said. “You can get those nutrients a lot safer if you eat them in other foods that aren’t loaded with cholesterol. There are no nutrients in the egg yolk that you need.”

The MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff would beg to differ. In fact, research she is currently working on shows that one crucial nutrient — sulfur, which egg yolks contain in very high amounts — may be the underlying deficiency to our collective problems with cholesterol and heart disease. “The key to everything may just be sulfur,” Seneff says.

Sulfur is a mineral found in several foods, including vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, garlic, and kale. It is also found in very large amounts in animal proteins — one of the best-known sources is egg yolk. When sulfur combines with four oxygen molecules, it becomes sulfate. Sulfate is combined with cholesterol to produce cholesterol sulfate in large amounts when our skin is exposed to sunlight as well. Sulfation is important to enable cholesterol transport to all the tissues.

The research Seneff and her team are working on is a complete reevaluation of our understanding of cholesterol and its role. It’s a fairly complex biological process but put simply, Seneff believes that the build up doctors find in arteries is “cholesterol trapped in the wrong place,” or cholesterol trapped in the plaque. The reason it’s trapped in the plaque is because the LDL is damaged from excess sugar in the blood. As a result of our highly processed, starchy, sugary diets, many Americans have excess blood sugar. Once the sugar has damaged the LDL it cannot go back to the liver where the cholesterol would be processed and recycled back into the body. The plaque then builds up in the arteries, where it “waits for the opportunity to become cholesterol sulfate, which all of the body’s systems need,” Seneff says. “The bottleneck is the sulfate. Cholesterol needs sulfate to be mobile. The damage then is a consequence of lack of cholesterol and lack of sulfate.”

This may be why a much larger study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found “no overall significant association between egg consumption and heart disease.” In fact, the study of 118,000 people found that those who ate five or six eggs per week had significantly lower mean serum cholesterol levels than those who ate one egg per week. Plus, the daily nutrient intake of people who ate eggs was much higher than the non-egg eaters.

In the public imagination, cholesterol is the villain whose only function is to clog up arteries. “This is the complete wrong picture,” Seneff says. “It’s very easy to imagine plaque build up — but it’s not the correct picture. Cholesterol is vital — it is a precious substance in our bodies. Cholesterol is to animals what chlorophyll is to plants.”

Are we to increase our consumption of egg yolks as Seneff suggests or completely eliminate them as Spence advises? What we need are clear guidelines, not influenced by industry, that present a straightforward approach to weight loss and a healthy body. The simplest answer currently available is to eliminate processed foods from our diets — the saturation of processed foods into our diets tracks most closely with the rise in obesity and diet-related disease in this country. So when presented with confusing dietary advice or questions while food shopping ask yourself this simple question: What’s my least processed option? Take that one.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/08/sunny-side-up-in-defense-of-eggs/261600/

 

 

Posted by: adamhuber888 | May 29, 2012

Glutathione-The mother of all anti-oxidants

This article has a wealth of information on the importance of glutathion which has great implications in Metabolic Therapy as well as in the use of fermented foods using unpasturized whey protein.

Mark Hyman, MDPracticing physician

Glutathione: The Mother of All Antoxidants

It’s the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease — yet you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it — but your doctor doesn’t know how address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule …

What is it? I’m talking about the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”).

The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.

This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.

In treating chronically ill patients with Functional Medicine for more than 10 years, I have discovered that glutathione deficiency is found in nearly all very ill patients. These include people with chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, cancer, chronic infections, autoimmune disease, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, asthma, kidney problems, liver disease and more.

At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness — and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance. The authors of those 76,000 medical articles on glutathione I mentioned earlier have found the same thing!

So in today’s blog I want to explain what glutathione is, why it’s important and give you 9 tips that will help you optimize your glutathione levels, improve your detoxification system and protect help yourself from chronic illness.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a very simple molecule that is produced naturally all the time in your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.

Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble …

In my practice, I test the genes involved in glutathione metabolism. These are the genes involved in producing enzymes that allow the body to create and recycle glutathione in the body. These genes have many names, such as GSTM1, GSTP1 and more.

These genes impaired in some people for a variety of important reasons. We humans evolved in a time before the 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals found in our environment today were introduced into our world, before electromagnetic radiation was everywhere and before we polluted our skies, lakes, rivers, oceans and teeth with mercury and lead.

That is why most people survived with the basic version of the genetic detoxification software encoded in our DNA, which is mediocre at ridding the body of toxins. At the time humans evolved we just didn’t need more. Who knew we would be poisoning ourselves and eating a processed, nutrient-depleted diet thousands of years later?

Because most of us didn’t require additional detoxification software, almost of half of the population now has a limited capacity to get rid of toxins. These people are missing GSTM1 function — one of the most important genes needed in the process of creating and recycling glutathione in the body.

Nearly all my very sick patients are missing this function. The one-third of our population that suffers from chronic disease is missing this essential gene. That includes me. Twenty years ago I became mercury poisoned and suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome due to this very problem. My GSTM1 function was inadequate and I didn’t produce enough glutathione as a result. Eventually, my body broke down and I became extremely ill …

This is the same problem I see in so many of my patients. They are missing this critical gene and they descend into disease as a result. Let me explain how this happens …

The Importance of Glutathione in Protecting Against Chronic Illness

Glutathione is critical for one simple reason: It recycles antioxidants. You see, dealing with free radicals is like handing off a hot potato. They get passed around from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles other antioxidants. After this happens, the body can “reduce” or regenerate another protective glutathione molecule and we are back in business.

However, problems occur when we are overwhelmed with too much oxidative stress or too many toxins. Then the glutathione becomes depleted and we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals, infections, or cancer and we can’t get rid of toxins. This leads to further sickness and soon we are in the downward spiral of chronic illness.

But that’s not all. Glutathione is also critical in helping your immune system do its job of fighting infections and preventing cancer. That’s why studies show that it can help in the treatment of AIDS.(i)

Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. All the toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool — and out of your body.

And lastly, it also helps us reach peak mental and physical function. Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development.

If you are sick or old or are just not in peak shape, you likely have glutathione deficiency.
In fact, the top British medical journal, the Lancet, found the highest glutathione levels in healthy young people, lower levels in healthy elderly, lower still in sick elderly and the lowest of all in the hospitalized elderly. (ii)

Keeping yourself healthy, boosting your performance, preventing disease and aging well depends on keeping your glutathione levels high. I’ll say it again … Glutathione is so important because it is responsible for keeping so many of the keys to UltraWellness optimized.

It is critical for immune function and controlling inflammation. It is the master detoxifier and the body’s main antioxidant, protecting our cells and making our energy metabolism run well.

And the good news is that you can do many things to increase this natural and critical molecule in your body. You can eat glutathione-boosting foods. You can exercise. And you can take glutathione-boosting supplements. Let’s review more specifics about each.

9 Tips to Optimize your Glutathione Levels

These 9 tips will help you improve your glutathione levels, improve your health, optimize your performance and live a long, healthy life.

Eat Foods that Support Glutathione Production

1. Consume sulfur-rich foods. The main ones in the diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc.).

2. Try bioactive whey protein. This is great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. As you know, I am not a big fan of dairy. But this is an exception — with a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins (“denaturing” refers to the breakdown of the normal protein structure). Choose non-pasteurized and non-industrially produced milk that contains no pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Immunocal is a prescription bioactive non-denatured whey protein that is even listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference.

Exercise for Your Way to More Glutathione

3. Exercise boosts your glutathione levels and thereby helps boost your immune system, improve detoxification and enhance your body’s own antioxidant defenses. Start slow and build up to 30 minutes a day of vigorous aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, or play various sports. Strength training for 20 minutes 3 times a week is also helpful.

Take Glutathione Supporting Supplements

One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but the body digests protein — so you wouldn’t get the benefits if you did it this way. However, the production and recycling of glutathione in the body requires many different nutrients and you CAN take these. Here are the main supplements that need to be taken consistently to boost glutathione. Besides taking a multivitamin and fish oil, supporting my glutathione levels with these supplements is the most important thing I do every day for my personal health.

4. N-acetyl-cysteine. This has been used for years to help treat asthma and lung disease and to treat people with life-threatening liver failure from Tylenol overdose. In fact, I first learned about it in medical school while working in the emergency room. It is even given to prevent kidney damage from dyes used during x-ray studies.

5. Alpha lipoic acid. This is a close second to glutathione in importance in our cells and is involved in energy production, blood sugar control, brain health and detoxification. The body usually makes it, but given all the stresses we are under, we often become depleted.

6. Methylation nutrients (folate and vitamins B6 and B12). These are perhaps the most critical to keep the body producing glutathione. Methylation and the production and recycling of glutathione are the two most important biochemical functions in your body. Take folate (especially in the active form of 5 methyltetrahydrofolate), B6 (in active form of P5P) and B12 (in the active form of methylcobalamin).

7. Selenium. This important mineral helps the body recycle and produce more glutathione.

8. A family of antioxidants including vitamins C and E (in the form of mixed tocopherols), work together to recycle glutathione.

9. Milk thistle (silymarin) has long been used in liver disease and helps boost glutathione levels.

So use these nine tips and see how they work to help you optimzie your glutathione levels. When you do, you will take one more step to lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Had you ever heard of this important nutrient before?

Have you tried any of the advice in this article?

What effects have you noticed on your health?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

References

(i) De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A, Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-29

(ii) Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in sickness and in health. The Lancet 351(9103):645-646

Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center is a pioneer in functional medicine. Dr. Hyman is now sharing the 7 ways to tap into your body’s natural ability to heal itself. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on Youtube and become a fan on Facebook.

Posted by: adamhuber888 | May 26, 2012

The Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods can go a long way in turning around numerous disease conditions, especially any digestive issues. These live probiotics have enough power to neutralize radioactive material found in human tissue. They also greatly amplify the vitamin content in most food. This article originated at: radicalstrengthcoach.com

The Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have been used by human beings for – well probably as long as we have been human. Cave paintings dating back 12,000 years found in Spain, India and South Africa depict images of people gathering honey for a honey wine called Mead – say archaeologists.

The Greeks knew that important chemical changes took place during the fermentation of foods and named this change ”alchemy.”

Obviously we have known all along that fermented foods are highly nutritious and health giving and have always appreciated the rich, tangy and smooth flavours that come from the transforming power of bacteria and fungi.

A few of the more familiar foods we have fermented are coffee, wine, cheese, miso and the two that I have fermented and enjoyed – yoghurt and sauerkraut.

The fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by lacto fermenting them has numerous advantages beyond that of simply preserving them.

The proliferation of lactobacilli enhances digestion, increases vitamin levels and produces enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances.

These foods are loaded with the same friendly bacteria that line your digestive tract. This bacteria is known as intestinal flora or probiotics.

Benefits of fermented foods are:

  • Preservation of food through the organisms producing alcohol, lactic acid and acetic acid which are all ”bio preservatives” that prevent spoilage and retain nutrients.
  • Increased digestibility of the food and the foods that are eaten with it. Soybeans are a good example of a high protein food that is indigestible unless it has been fermented. Milk and grains are others.
  • Creation of new nutrients. Microbial cultures create B vitamins as they go through their various cycles. These include folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and biotin.
  • Some fermented foods have been shown to act as antioxidants attacking cancer precursors known as ”free radicals” from your cells.
  • Lactobacilli, the microbes in yoghurt create omega 3 fatty acids which are essential fatty acids which have a whole host of benefits including combating inflammation and strengthening the immune system.

These ”live” foods are directly supplying your digestive tract with living cultures that are responsible for breaking down food and assimilating nutrients.

Let’s take a look at my favourite fermented food sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut

sauerkrautFermenting your own Sauerkraut or cultured vegetables is a practice that had virtually disappeared since the invention of refrigerators and modern food processing, but it’s making a comeback.

Records of Sauerkraut go back as far as 6000 years ago in China. Captain Cook loaded 60 barrels of Sauerkraut on to his ship when he went on his second around the world voyage.

After nearly 28 months at sea he opened his last barrel and gave some to several Portuguese noblemen who had came on board. After tasting the Kraut they carried that last barrel away with them to share with their friends.

Even after all of that time at sea, in spite of the constant rocking of the ship and the different climate changes the Sauerkraut was perfectly preserved.

It had provided the whole crew with sufficient vitamin C to prevent them from getting scurvy and not a single case was recorded on Cook’s ship at a time when scurvy was decimating crews on voyages of that length.

Sauerkraut is a super food and is loaded with:

  • Enzymes
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Trace minerals
  • Beneficial flora

Regular consumption of these cultured vegetables or lactic acid-fermented foods also provides the body with hydrochloric acid and enzymes.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll get from eating Sauerkraut:

  • Helps re-establish your inner ecosystem
  • Improves digestion
  • The enzymes in the cultured vegetables also help you digest other foods that are eaten with them
  • Increased longevity
  • Control of cravings
  • Ideal for pregnant women and nursing mothers
  • Raw cultured vegetables like sauerkraut are cleansing and balance the PH of the body
  • Calming to the nervous system
  • Stimulate peristalsis (bowel movement)
  • Improve sleep
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Strengthens the heart

That’s some list of health giving benefits like that and it costs pennies to make a huge batch that will last months.

Here is a sauerkraut recipe. Try this delicious super food out – you’d pay a fortune for a supplement that gives you these benefits.

Sauerkraut recipe

Makes 1 quart

1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded

1 tablespoon of caraway seeds

1 tablespoon of celtic sea salt

4 tablespoons of whey (If not available use 1 extra tablespoon of salt)

In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, sea salt and whey. Pound with a wooden or meat hammer for about 10 minutes to release juices. Place in a quart sized, wide mouthed Mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage. The sauerkraut maybe eaten immediately but it improves with age.

From the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

The book Wild Fermentation is a great recipe resource for fermented foods – click here to go back to the 10 healthiest foods.

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Posted by: adamhuber888 | January 18, 2012

Medical Doctor Cures Herself of MS Using Diet

Link:  http://youtu.be/KLjgBLwH3Wc

I wish to thank Denise Johnson (www.oceanofclarity.com) for bringing this video to my attention. Dr. Terry Wahls had a very severe case of MS which she cured using most of what is prescribed in Metabolic Therapy. It is a great primer on what a real diet is compared to the convience junk that passes for food these days. She started with the medical model, which only made things worse and eventually cured her condition by doing her own research. A fascinating video…enjoy!

Posted by: adamhuber888 | January 3, 2012

Aging slowed in mice with supplement mix

This CBC radio article by Kelly Crowe, reads like a primer for metabolic Therapy. Thirty one vitamin/mineral supplements were given to a group of mice and were later compared to the control group, which received a regular diet. The results were dramatic and are similar to what I see in those people who follow the principles of Metabolic Therapy. The article includes the list of vitamins and minerals given in the trial.

(see: http://www.metabolictherapy.org)

Aging slowed in mice with supplement mix

CHASING CURES | CBC News examines how close we are to finding cures for aging, obesity, diabetes, the common cold and cancer in a series of special reports

CBC News

Posted: Jan 2, 2012 4:40 AM ET

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2012 11:16 AM ET

Read 172comments172

Earl Fee, 82, credits his intense training regime for his vitality.Earl Fee, 82, credits his intense training regime for his vitality. (Courtesy of Ontario Masters Athletics)

It might be possible to cure aging, say scientists who’ve found that lab mice get smarter and more agile as they age when fed a mix of nutritional supplements.

The diet and supplement plan isn’t a conventional “cure.” But the animal results at McMaster University in Hamilton illustrate how investigators aim to slow down the aging process to avoid the physical and mental declines that often come as more candles are added to the birthday cake.

At Prof. David Rollo’s biology laboratory, mice that ate bagel bits soaked in a cocktail of supplements such as B vitamins, vitamin D, ginseng and garlic lived longer than those not taking the special mice chow.

“If you put them on a supplement, they actually learn better as they age,” Rollo said. “They still don’t live much longer but their brain function is remarkable.”

The mice also acted like restless teenagers showing “spontaneous motor function” that fades in humans in a universal sign of aging, Rollo added.

The supplemented mice maintained their memory function in tests, such as remembering a familiar object. Their learning abilities were like those of very young mice, he said. Mice of the same age that were not supplemented behaved in lab tests like a frail 80-year-old woman.

Investigators turned to the cocktail of ingredients based on their suspected ability to offset five key mechanisms involved in aging.

Available at health food stores

The researchers have also doubled the lifespan of crickets using a combination of dietary restriction and supplements, and other investigators have found similar results in other animal models.

Most of the supplements Rollo and his team use are sold at health food stores. But he cautioned they are not something to be toyed with because the cocktail hasn’t been tested to see if it is safe for people.

The supplements cross the blood-brain barrier to affect the mitochondria “furnaces” in the brain in a fundamental way, he noted.

Scientists still don’t how the supplements actually work and interact in the body.

Live to 1,000?

Like Rollo, British gerontologist Aubrey de Grey of Cambridge is optimistic about the potential to extend human life span, but he takes a different approach. He’s not trying to eliminate aging but to extend how long people can be fit and healthy.

“We know that with simple man-made machines like cars and airplanes, we don’t have a limit,” said de Grey said, who acknowledged that humans are more complicated.These mice are the same age but one received the supplements and one didn’t.These mice are the same age but one received the supplements and one didn’t.(Courtesy of David Rollo)

“We can keep these machines going … just by doing sufficiently comprehensive repair and maintenance reasonably often and that is going to be exactly the same for the human body.”

By bringing the molecular and cellular damage that accumulates throughout life under medical control, de Grey suspects that human life spans could be vastly extended.

“If you reach age 26, what is the chance of not reaching 27? The answer is less than one in a thousand. So if you maintain that risk then clearly you [can] live a four-digit lifespan. You will live 1,000 years or more.”

Earl Fee of Mississauga, Ont., has a more modest goal: to live to 120.

Fee was a runner in his youth and then stopped for years. He resumed running at the age of 57 and now competes.

“I am 82 but I don’t feel much different than when I was 32, so that is a very good feeling,” he said.

Earl credited his intense training regime, healthy diet, enjoying a glass or two of red wine before dinner and the fortune of good genes for his vitality.

“Before I ran, I wasn’t as energetic or as vibrant,” he recalled.

Cocktail ingredients
Ingredient Mouse dose (mg/day/100 mice)
Vitamin B1 30.49
Ginko biloba 18.29
Vitamin B3 (niacin) 30.49
Ginseng 631.1
Vitamin B6 60.98
Green tea extract 487.8
Vitamin B12 0.18
L-Glutathione 30.49
Vitamin C 350.61
Magnesium 45.73
Vitamin D 0.02
Manganese 19.05
Acetyl L-carnitine 146.45
Melatonin 0.73
Alpha-lipoic acid 182.93
N-acetyl cysteine 304.88
Acetylsalicylic acid 132.11
Potassium 18.11
Beta carotene 21.95
Rutin 304.88
Bioflavonoids 792.68
Selenium 0.05
Chromium picolinate 0.30
Vitamin E 326.83
Folic acid 0.61
Cod liver oil (Omega 3) 1,219.51
Garlic 3.81
Coenzyme Q10 60.98
Ginger root extract 600.37
Flax seed oil 1,219.51
Source: Experimental Biology and Medicine

Posted by: adamhuber888 | December 23, 2011

Low Cost Vitamin/Mineral Supplement Supplier Recommendation

I would highly recommend shopping online at the link below, for all of your supplement needs. I haven’t found anyone else with prices as low as these. Their service is great and shipping is very low cost, especially if you live in the USA. If you want to get $5.00 off on your first order, enter this code: UBE315 when prompted. Link:

http://www.iherb.com

Code: UBE315

Posted by: adamhuber888 | December 8, 2011

What You Might Not Know About Cholesterol

This article is about the high cholesterol scare citing the fallacy of various studies that created all of the fuss.

By Dr. Tris Trethart
Dec. 8, 2011
Original Article Link: https://doctortrethart.com/show_art?isbn=101220112

50 years ago most people wouldn’t think twice about having a big portion of bacon and eggs for breakfast, but then in the 60s doctors started telling us that we need to watch our cholesterol, that we need to keep it as low as possible. “The lower the better” has been the standard ever since and cholesterol has been named as the main cause of atherosclerosis, which is when fatty deposits, including cholesterol, build up in your arteries, causing them to harden and narrow and blocking the flow of blood to the heart. This made sense to most people; eat less cholesterol and less cholesterol is able to clog your arteries.

However, since the 1960s we have learned a lot about cardiovascular diseases and we know that cholesterol is only one small part of the equation and that there are other more important risk factors. Nevertheless, the battle against cholesterol has become more intense than ever. In fact, some of the most commonly sold drugs in North America are statins, which are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in sometimes otherwise healthy individuals.

Despite popular medical opinions about cholesterol there is a growing number of doctors and scientists who are speaking out and saying that we need to bring focus away from cholesterol because it is distracting us from making new advances in other, possibly more productive, areas of cardiovascular health and medicine. It is important to remember that cholesterol is not some foreign poison but a nutrient needed by your body for both important cellular functions and hormone balance. Many doctors even believe that our efforts to lower cholesterol levels have the potential to do more harm than good, and there have been a growing number of cases where reducing cholesterol has had unintended negative consequences.

Cholesterol is found in the highest concentrations in the brain where it is needed by nerve cells to form connections between synapses, and insufficient cholesterol in the brain as a result of statin use may cause thinking and memory problems. Cholesterol also forms the basis for many important hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and cortisol, and as if that wasn’t enough, cholesterol is also needed for the production of bile acids used to digest food and make vitamin D.

So if cholesterol is needed for so many important processes in the body, then how did it get such a bad reputation?

In the 1950s, one third of all men in the united states would develop some sort of cardiovascular disease by the age of 60. This left researchers scrambling to find a cause. They discovered that blood vessels of heart disease victims were often clogged with fatty deposits and debris, and at the centre of it all was cholesterol. This led to the hypothesis that cholesterol must be the cause of the arterial build-up, and so cholesterol’s bad reputation was born.

The hypothesis that cholesterol caused cardiovascular diseases gained popular support after Ancel Keys published papers interpreting population studies. Keys focused on studies that showed heart disease was more prevalent in some, but not all, countries where cholesterol levels were high. His first paper compared heart disease and nutritional data from six countries and clearly showed that higher levels of cholesterol corresponded to more cases of heart disease. There was just one problem. Keys only used data from six countries even though data was available for 22 countries, and he did this because the data from those six countries matched his hypothesis. However, if you look at the data from all 22 countries, there is no consistent link between cholesterol levels and incidences of cardiovascular diseases.

Despite his critics, Keys’ papers were widely read and accepted, and his recommendations for a low-fat diet were even incorporated into the American Heart Association’s 1961 dietary guidelines.

Another highly influential study was the Framingham Heart Study. Their 1977 report showed a correlation between high cholesterol levels and death from heart disease, and these results were widely cited as further proof of the link between cholesterol and heart disease. But this was a very general interpretation of the results. The report did show an increased risk of death from heart disease in people with high cholesterol, but it was only for people under age 50. The under 50 age group accounts for only 5 percent of all deaths from heart disease, and the second Framingham report in 1987 showed that people over age 50 who had reduced their cholesterol levels over ten years had higher rates of death from heart disease as well as higher rates of death from other causes.

The Framingham Heart Study also popularized the differentiation of cholesterol into HDL and LDL. Cholesterol is categorized based on what it is being carried through the body in. Cholesterol is found in the body within either high-density lipoproteins(HDL) or low-density lipoproteins(LDL). Because the study showed more cases of heart disease in people with high levels of LDL, it has become commonly known as “Bad Cholesterol”, whereas HDL is known as “Good Cholesterol”. This in turn led to doctors recommending that you lower your LDL and raise your HDL, and many doctors encourage their patients to lower their LDL levels even if they have no other risk factors for heart disease.

It is odd for 30 and 40 year old men to be using medications to lower their cholesterol when the single most important risk factor for heart disease is age: 82 percent of all heart disease related deaths occur in people over the age of 65. There are other significant risk factors to consider too. Smoking, family history, gender, obesity, hypertension, a sedentary lifestyle, and diabetes are noteworthy.

There have been more recent studies into risk factors that put cholesterol low if not last on the list for good predictors of cardiovascular diseases. A 2003 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association performed an analysis on three large studies that had followed participants for more than 20 years and concluded that the best predictors for heart attack were smoking and hypertension while cholesterol was named one of the least predictive.

Cholesterol and Statins: is it worth it?

Statin usage is typically a life-long prescription, considering that around 76 percent of patients who begin taking statins end up taking them indefinitely. As of 2006, nearly 8 percent of Canadians (2.5 million people) were taking statins to lower cholesterol and since most of them will never stop taking the drugs, you can see how profitable statins are. The question still remains though: do the benefits of statins outweigh the cost and the risk?

We have established that statin use often comes with a lifelong financial burden, but what about the burden of side effects which can reduce quality of life or lead to other diseases? The most common and immediate side effects of statins are muscle pains and weakness, headaches, and nausea. Muscle pains are sometimes just symptomatic of a more serious disease called rhabdomyolysis, which is an actual breakdown or degeneration of muscle tissue. Other reported side effects are memory loss and cognitive decline resulting from insufficient cholesterol in the brain, and sexual dysfunction resulting from insufficient cholesterol to produce hormones like testosterone. Statins are also known to cause liver and kidney damage.

The adverse effects of statins are a direct result of how they lower cholesterol. Statins inhibit the production of enzymes in the liver that are required to make cholesterol, but statins also stop or inhibit the production of other important substances like steroid hormones and co-enzyme Q10, which is ironically needed to maintain healthy heart muscles. Although statins are proven to lower cholesterol, it seems ridiculous to use them for the long-term regulation of a relatively unimportant risk factor when their usage also interferes with the body’s ability to manufacture critical substances. Over time, a lack of cholesterol in the brain, a lack of co-enzyme Q10, and a lack of important steroid hormones can cause serious health problems and issues with quality of life, and why would anyone want to go through such an ordeal when there are much safer and effective ways to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Leading alternative health expert Dr. Brownstein recommends weight loss, smoking cessation, vitamin C therapy, and fish oil supplementation as several effective therapies for lowering your risk of heart disease without side effects. This list should also include regular exercise and eating a balanced whole foods diet.

Basically, we should not focus overmuch on cholesterol levels, especially in otherwise healthy people, and spend more time trying to reduce heart disease risk through lifestyle changes and a whole body approach.

Recommended Further Reading:

The Great Cholesterol Con

Healthy Fats for Life: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Essential Fatty Acids

Is Your Cardiologist Killing You?

Reversing Heart Disease: A Vital New Program to Help, Treat, and Eliminate Cardiac Problems Without Surgery

The Inflammation Syndrome: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma

References:

Brownstein D. Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!. Medical Alternatives Press, West Bloomfield. 2007.

Dugliss P, Fernandez S. The Myth of Cholesterol. Century Publications, Ann Arbor. 2005.

Ellis M. Statins May Play Dual Role in Preventing Heart Attack and Stroke. Health News. November 10, 2008.

Golomb BA, Evans MA. Statin adverse effects : a review of the literature and evidence for a mitochondrial mechanism. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs. 8(6):373-418, 2008.

Jackevicius CA, Tu JV, Ross JS, et al. Use of Ezetimibe in the United States and Canada. New England Journal of Medicine. 358:1819-1828, 2008.

Kauffman JM. Malignant Medical Myths. Self-published. 2006.

Moller J. Cholesterol: Interactions with Testosterone and Cortisol in Cardiovascular Diseases. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 1987.

Neutel CI, Morrison H, Campbell NR, de Groh M. Statin use in Canadians: trends, determinants and persistence. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 98(5):412-6, 2007.

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