Vitamins resemble enzymes in their catalytic action, producing changes without undergoing any changes in themselves. They are active in extremely minute quantities.
Vitamins are constant constituents of living tissues and they make it possible for the body to utilize proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals and are essential to growth, regeneration, and maintenance of health. They must be taken in the context of whole foods since there is a distinct relation between the amount of vitamins required and the other food elements. As Dr. Shelton tells us, the efficiency of the vitamins is dependent upon the composition of the food mixture.
Adverse changes take place when an excessive amount of vitamins are taken in concentrated form, especially vitamins A, E, and D. The other vitamins can be harmful, too, but these are the fat soluble vitamins and are difficult to eliminate and oxidize when taken in excess. As a result, you have abnormal changes that take place in the cells.
If the vitamins and minerals have been separated from their natural partners or nutritive elements that stabilize them and work harmoniously with them, they become harmful. There is not an isolated nutritive component that can lead to the same kind of activity that results when nutritional elements are derived from a natural source. In an extracted form, there is some activity but if is not a normal one.
The vitamins that are contained in fruits, vegetables, and nuts are much more available than those derived from other food sources, such as flesh foods or any cooked foods. The vitamins in synthetic form are not utilizable at all.
Even those vitamins derived from raw foods may not be utilized due to certain abnormal interferences such as the inhibiting effects of tobacco upon digestion, the use of coffee, tea, and other such substances. Also, the use of vinegar and condiments inhibit digestion and thus prevent vitamin utilization.
The body uses vitamins and minerals synergistically with one another. For example, the utilization of vitamin C is better with iron and the B complex. The B complex is used better with A and D. Such minerals as zinc, manganese, and magnesium are necessary for best utilization of vitamin C and B complex. In whole raw foods, we receive the vitamins and minerals in correct proportions so that they are used appropriately.
Concerning the use of synthetic vitamins as "cures" Dr. Shelton says:
A study was conducted to determine the link between adequate amounts of vitamins and the ability of the liver to produce a group of enzymes that inhibits the action of carcinogens. Laboratory animals were fed an artificial diet that included sufficient quantities of all known vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in a highly-purified form. The animals were unable to produce the important liver enzymes. When small amounts of alfalfa were added to the artificial diet, the enzyme production began almost immediately. Other fresh vegetables—cabbage, brussels sprouts, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, dill, and celery—also enabled their systems to produce the anti-carcinogenic enzymes.
We cannot utilize inorganic vitamins and minerals. All the essential nutrients that we require are provided in abundance in a diet of raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. If our diet is correct, we do not have to worry about deficiencies of any kind.
4.1 The Vitamin E Cure
Vitamin E is widely promoted as a preventive, a treatment, or a "cure" for literally scores of human ailments—ranging from diabetes and heart disease to infertility, ulcers, and warts.
A consumer's report cited an early experiment conducted to determine whether vitamin E was a valid therapy:
Vitamin E enthusiasts claim that millions of Americans, especially those whose intake of polyunsaturated fats is low, don't get enough vitamin E in their diet. The deficit, they insist, should be made up by vitamin E supplements. The fact is, however, as the National Research Council made clear in 1973, that vitamin E is available in adequate quantities in the ordinary diet. More than adequate supplies are in vegetables or fruits or nuts.
In a report published in March 1979, a recommendation against the over-the-counter sale of vitamin E supplements on the grounds that deficiencies of vitamin E are "practically nonexistent." Currently, the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin E for adults is 12 to 15 International Units, equivalent to approximately 8 to 10 milligrams of natural vitamin E in foods.
Very low levels of vitamin E have been found in patients with cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, nontropical sprue, chronic pancreatitis, and a few other diseases. These disorders are not caused by lack of vitamin E, however, nor can they be helped by vitamin E. All of these ailments have one feature in common: an impairment in the small intestine's ability to absorb fat. Consequently, the vitamin E dissolved in that fat is not absorbed either. Even if such patients eat diets with an abundant quantity of vitamin E, very little of it would reach their bloodstreams.
The doses of vitamin E specified in medicinal use commonly range from 300 to 600 milligrams a day or even higher—from thirty to sixty times the Recommended Daily Allowance. Clinical trials have failed to show any vitamin E benefits for miscarriages, sterility, menopausal disturbances, muscular dystrophies, cystic fibrosis, blood disorders, leg ulcers, diabetes, and a variety of heart and vascular diseases. No drug, including vitamin E, can "cure" these diseases because the causes for them are not dealt with. The 1973 statement by the National Research Council was also negative about the supposed value of vitamin E supplements for the wide variety of ailments for which vitamin E is promoted.
The efficacy of vitamin E in toilet soaps or cosmetics for skin care, despite advertised claims, has not been demonstrated. We know that no substance possesses any curative properties. Its proposed advantage in a deodorant was ruled out when the distribution of Mennen E was halted by its manufacturer because of an unexpected number of adverse reactions in unhappy users.
4.2 Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been recommended to combat cancer, atherosclerosis, every "viral" disease, every so-called bacterial disease, poisoning of all kinds, mental illness, colds, injury, temperature extremes, old age, diabetes, allergy, cataracts, kidney stones, radiation sickness, arthritis, headaches, and bee stings.
While vitamin C plays a very important role in human physiology, it does not have the ability to wipe out the effects of unhealthful living that result in numerous acute and chronic diseases.
Since Dr. Pauling declared that vitamin C was a sure "cure" for the common cold, millions of Americans have been running to their neighborhood drugstores to obtain this vitamin. The effect of this practice is really a drug effect. While the body is eliminating excesses of vitamin C, other housecleaning duties (such as debris eliminated during colds) are temporarily halted. Thus, the illusion of "prevention" or "cure."
All fresh raw fruits and vegetables contain several times over the vitamin C that we need. When cooked, however, this vitamin is readily destroyed and is, therefore, not available to us. It is important that we consume all our foods raw and as fresh as possible. Even in the winter, when freshness is lacking in many of our fruits and vegetables, we still receive a more than adequate supply.
Home > Lesson 65 - There Are No Cures
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