Biochemical Chain Reactions
The following is a transcription of the September 1958 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Also in this issue:
- Tip of the Month (Digestion)
- The Physician Knows Best! Or Does He? by Michael Balint
- Dangers of Cortical Hormones
- High Points of Manganese B12
Biochemical Chain Reactions
When a package of firecrackers goes off in a chain reaction, we may not see a possible physiological analogy. But a muscle cramp is such a reaction: the normal, controlled release of energy has gotten out of hand, and the normal controls cannot function. When such chain reactions occur in nerve endings, we have peripheral neuritis, tic douloureux, herpes, etc.
The fuel that supports such reactions must be looked into. It happens to be phosphagen (dipotassium-creatine-hexose-phosphate, the hexose being sugar). Phosphagen is so unstable that it cannot be separated from living tissue (at least it has not been). It is usually considered to be creatine phosphate alone, this being the substance left in extracting procedures, but Beard, going into the potassium relationship, shows that potassium is an essential component.1
That human tissues supercharged with phosphagen can actually catch fire was discussed in these pages (Applied Trophology, December 1957). We pointed out in that issue that inositol could act physiologically as a temporary substitute for hexose in the phosphagen molecule after its combustion to provide energy, thereby conserving the other phosphagen constituents—the potassium, phosphate, and creatine—until sugar was again available to permit “recharging the battery.” All known facts support this hypothesis; after muscle or nerve activity, potassium, phosphate, and creatine are higher in the blood and higher in the urine. Inositol is found only in tissues having a high content of phosphagen.
Clinically, inositol has now been found useful in the treatment of diabetic neuritis, being apparently a specific remedy for the condition. In fact, there seems to be a syndrome of trouble in patients suffering from malnutrition that revolves around inositol deficiency. All of this syndrome of trouble is a “chain-reaction” phenomenon.
Pruritis is a good example. Pruritis ani is considered a result of eating refined foods2 and frequently accompanies a diabetic state. Norman, in his report of thirty-eight cases, said:
“All were excessive consumers of concentrated, processed carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. All had varying degrees of dental disease. All had abnormal fecal florae.”
His conclusion was:
“Etiologically true pruritis ani is caused by a faulty or improper nutrition. The…improper diet causes a disorganization of the biologic processes (enzymic, microbic, excretory, secretory, etc.) of the intestinal tract. The protective function of the intestinal mucosa is impaired, and bacterial infection occurs to complicate the condition…In addition, irritating chemical substances are formed in the colonic tract to produce an inflamed condition of the colonic mucosa, the anus, and the perineum.”2
Let us consider how the enzymic balance that controls all living reactions is disturbed by nutritional deficiency. Almost every vitamin in its natural form is combined in an enzyme system. The characteristics of pellagra, beriberi, and scurvy all involve tissue degenerations of chain-reaction type. They involve neuritis, dermatitis, pruritis (burning pain in the rectum…is one of the most constant complaints of pellagrins),3 nervous symptoms, depression, insomnia, and hypochondria.
These reactions are pathological deviations from normal enzyme reactions—chain reactions of a nature such as you get in your automobile engine if you have a broken accelerator spring, allowing your throttle to drop into the wide-open position, or like a short circuit in the wiring that allows the battery current to warm up a conductor to a red heat.
All living cells are like an idling automobile engine: they are giving off carbon dioxide from combustion of their fuel reserves, essential to their ability to react to their environment and to their ability to carry on their functions. Even the seeds of plants are giving off carbon dioxide—provided that their “engines” are in operation.3 If testing shows no carbon dioxide is being given off, then it is a foregone conclusion that the seed is dead and cannot be sprouted. Yet some seeds have been found still alive after thousands of years, showing how well designed is the little “power plant.” Lotus seeds are known to have grown even though three thousand years old.
The control of these enzymes, not too strangely, comes in our bodies from the seeds we eat such as wheat—or rather from the germ of those seeds. The victim of tic douloureux, or lupus erythematosus, or diabetic neuritis can thank white flour for his dilemma. In fact, a Dallas physician recently reported he had cured all his patients suffering from lupus erythema by giving them bread made from unbleached flour.
Raw, whole wheat gives us the enzyme to break down the phytin of the seed into inositol, phosphoric acid, potassium, and calcium and magnesium phosphates.4 Barley water likewise contains this enzyme. Bleached white flour, however, is not only refined, but it has had its enzymes destroyed by bleach poison, which also converts a vitamin E factor (xanthine) into a diabetogenic poison (alloxan).5
No wonder various investigators have reported good results in treating tic douloureux using various B complex fractions, such as B12, B6, B2, etc. Each has some influence in blocking chain reactions. But unless you get the right one for any one patient, you may not become convinced that “vitamins are a cure-all.”
The above Dallas doctor reported that flour bleach poison appeared to specifically cause lupus erythematosus. I think the cause is the entire syndrome of deficiency, with the bleach poison being the “last straw” of tissue insult. Pellagra and lupus erythematosus have a lot in common, including the symmetrical skin lesions, where sunlight can affect the hypersensitive skin. Pellagra may be the form the deficiency disease takes under the influence of corn in the diet. In Italy, pellagra has been eliminated for many years by prohibiting the sale of corn for human food.
Inositol is reputed to improve alimentary peristalsis. That is reasonable—the cause of constipation is muscular atony in a large part; potassium deficiency has also been officially blamed.6 But phosphagen loss could be a cause that cripples all muscular activity. Potassium, phosphates, and inositol are all factors contributing to phosphagen integrity, and each is a known factor in treating constipation.
Some years ago, German doctors reported that disodium phosphate given to coal miners in their coffee caused a spontaneous 20 percent increase in the volume of coal they loaded onto tram cars, representing a gain of that much in their physical efficiency.
Inositol has been classed as vitamin B10; inositol phosphate has been listed as B8. At this time inositol is not looked upon officially as a B vitamin. But since it is “a normal constituent of all plant and animal tissues,” it seems certainly deserving of more intensive study. Although “little is known of the role of inositol in animal physiology.” (Both quotes from The Vitamins in Medicine, Bicknell and Prescott.)
The fatty liver of patients with gastrointestinal cancer has been found to drop to normal in a few days if the patient is given inositol.6a It is probably the main factor of the lipocaic principle of the pancreas or liberated by the pancreatic enzyme. Cooperating with choline, it may be a factor in cancer prevention, since choline has been considered anticarcinogenic.7
The role of potassium in human physiology has been almost as much of a mystery as that of inositol. Like inositol, it has been shown to have a vital part to play in the physiology of nerves and muscles—the organs that can have “chain reactions.” And, like inositol, “Potassium is necessary for the life of every living thing so far tested” (Matthews).
Matthews also points out that in tests with rats, the male required about twice the potassium needed by the female. We can tell you why: The male produces and secretes sperm cells, each of which is powered to travel under its own steam, as it were, for its physiological purpose and must have a very efficiently designed power plant, like a submarine—recall the tadpole architecture? That is where the extra phosphagen goes that the male must have; that is why males do not eliminate creatine, like females and children.
Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant needed to prevent untoward oxidation—another chain reaction—so creatine retention in the male also depends on an adequate supply of vitamin E (a well-established fact). In muscular dystrophy creatine is lost; maybe inositol with E would help get better results in patients for whom vitamin E alone has not been very successful in controlling the disease.
Potassium, then, along with creatine, sugar, and phosphate, is required in all functions where stored energy is a requisite. Potassium deficiency can bring on a state of paralysis of the spastic type, the facts being reviewed by Overman, who says attacks can be brought on by excessive ingestion of dextrose or by administration of adrenaline or ephedrine.8 Potassium affords immediate relief.
Others have found heart muscle lesions to be caused by potassium deficiency.9 And bulbar poliomyelitis seems to be due in part at least to potassium deficiency; “severe potassium deficiency can be lethal” in these cases.10 Polio of course is a disease confined to countries using refined sugar, white flour, candy, glucose, soft drinks, and other such potassium-free foods. The disease is unknown where natural foods are universal.
In diabetic acidosis, potassium may be unduly lost in combination with ketone bodies, and death may result from the potassium deficiency.11 In Addison’s disease (tubercular adrenals), potassium cannot be tolerated; it is toxic to the patient, and more sodium is required. Test animals can survive adrenalectomy if given access to all the salt they want; otherwise they quickly die. The low salt diet idea is dangerous to many people—it is an oversimplification of a more complex state of nutritional imbalance.
Potassium seems to contribute radioactivity to our metabolic pattern and act as a timing device to the heart muscle by reason of this effect.12 Potassium in soil is selected according to its radioactivity by plants, which exchange low-activity potassium for high.13 And it is probable that rainwater brings radioactivity from the higher atmosphere (the Heaviside layer) down to the plant life, where it is put into organic forms for our nutritional use.
This is one of the differences between a synthetic or inorganic product and the food from plant life, illustrating how we can commit slow suicide by the use of counterfeit food products. Tea is high in inositol and potassium; coffee is a good source of potassium. They help to counteract the damage of refined and counterfeit “synthetics” such as glucose and hydrogenated fats, which are totally free of any mineral element.
- Creatine and Creatine Metabolism, p. 184. Chemical Pub. Co., 1943.
- Norman, N. Philip. New International Clinics, Vol. IV, Series 4, p. 43. Lippincott, 1941.
- Seale, Harris. Clinical Pellagra, p. 292. C.V. Mosby, 1941.
- The Vitamins, Vol. 2, p. 38. Academic Press, 1954.
- Thorpes Dictionary of Chemistry (article on xanthine).
- Abels, J.C., et al. A.M.A.; 6a. Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. & Med., 54:157, 1943.
- Engel, R.W., et al. N.Y. Acad. Sc., 49, Art. 1, 49–67, 1947.
- Physiological Reviews, 31:285–311, 1951.
- Path., 53:484–496, 1952.
- Lans, H.S., et al. A.M.A., Vol. 146, p. 1018, 1951.
- Levenson and Metheny. Northwest Medicine, 49:457, 1950.
- Meyer and Gottleib. Experimental Pharmacology, p. 416. Lippincott, 1926.
- Annual Review of Biochemistry, X, p. 477.
Tip of the Month (Digestion)
One of the specific uses of Betaine Hydrochloride (Standard Process) is to aid digestion. More efficient results are obtained when the tablets are taken during the meal.
The Physician Knows Best! Or Does He?
Every physician has a set of fairly firm beliefs as to which illnesses are acceptable and which are not; how much pain, suffering, fears, and deprivations a patient should tolerate and when he has the right to ask for help or relief; how much nuisance the patient is allowed to make of himself, and to whom. These beliefs are hardly ever stated explicitly but are nevertheless strong. They compel the physician to do his best to convert all his patients to accept his own standards and to be ill and to get well according to them.
—Michael Balint, MD, Lancet, London
Dangers of Cortical Hormones
Prednisone is considered superior to cortisone because of its greater potency and lower sodium-retaining effect. The development of symptomless duodenal ulcers after its use has been recorded. Kellock and Sclare reported a case of fatal duodenal perforation in a patient who received prednisone (British Medical Journal, 1:930, 1957). After receiving the drug for two months for the treatment of purpura, he complained of vague abdominal pain, constipation, and dyspnea. Death occurred shortly after hospitalization, and autopsy revealed that it was due to generalized peritonitis resulting from perforation of a duodenal ulcer. From histological examination the probable duration of this was two to four weeks. It was definitely attributed to the prednisone. Bear and Wolff also reported pancreatic necrosis in children treated with cortisone and prednisone (Lancet, 1:812, 1957). One child, a girl of 11, was treated with cortisone because of severe asthmatic attacks, and another, a boy with dermatomyositis, was given cortisone and, later, prednisone. Both these children died, one in status asthmaticus, and the other from cachexia and inhaled vomitus. At autopsy acute hemorrhagic necrosis of the pancreas was present in the bodies of both children. Because this is exceedingly rare in children, and because pancreatic necrosis has been reported in rabbits treated with cortisone, Bear and Wolff believe that the condition in the two children was a direct consequence of the effect of cortisone.
—J.A.M.A., p. 1007, June 29, 1957
Has polio, which as recently as 1954 killed or crippled 12,000 Americans, really been conquered by Salk vaccine?
Most Americans, looking at the record low number of cases this year (a mere 1,400 in the whole U.S.) and the comforting backlog of 31 million vaccine shots, tend to think that polio is now as tamed as smallpox or bubonic plague. But doctors are not so sure.
“The trend is up,” said Dr. Carl Dauer, chief medical analyst for the U.S. Public Health Service, in reporting a total of 201 new polio cases in the U.S. last week.
Even with the vaccine, USPHS doctors warned, polio has not been completely licked. They are worried over the fact that ninety of the new cases last week were of the severe paralytic type, which, Dr. Dauer said, “in past years was greatly outnumbered by the milder, nonparalytic variety.”
Most disturbing of all, he added, is the increasing evidence that paralytic polio is striking even those who have had Salk vaccine.
—Newsweek, August 25, 1958
High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts
Manganese Phytate B12 [Manganese B12]: A product that gives relief and establishes ligamentous tone in disc conditions, sciatic neuritis, fibrositis, reflex sciatic neuralgia, femoral head bursitis, flat feet, and sprained joints (especially the recurring type). The majority of these cases are due to stretched or flaccid ligaments and caused by mineral deficiency. This product has been a godsend to patients who have been treated with the timeworn measures of heat, rest, traction, surgery, etc., and who have not received relief. Vitamin C Complex [Cataplex C] and Vitamin E Complex [Cataplex E] are synergistic.
For quick relief of sciatic pain, suggested dosage is one tablet per hour for four hours.