The Geriatric Problem
The following is a transcription of the April 1959 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Also in this issue:
- High Points of Biost Tablets
The Geriatric Problem
Just what is the reason for the older patient to be different in their reaction to treatment? Here are two quotations from current literature that afford a little illumination (emphasis ours):
“Less than 5 percent (of 117 women investigated, 40 to 90 years old)…reported food intakes that provided 80 percent or more of recommended quantities of calories and seven nutrients. Frequently, intakes of calcium and vitamins A and C were less than 40 percent of recommended quantities. About half the women were overweight while consuming low-calorie diets of poor nutritional quality. Mortality rates were higher for those with poorest nutrient intakes. This group also complained more of symptoms such as unexplained tiredness, pains in joints, shortness of breath, and tendency for ankles to swell.”1
“Five healthy men 52 to 68 years of age lost body nitrogen when consuming the same mixture of essential amino acids that permitted young adults to maintain nitrogen equilibrium.”2
We have underlined the high point of the first quote. Why do refined foods cause obesity? How can we become pathologically obese on low-calorie diets? Why do older persons lose nitrogen on the same diet that enables a young person to gain nitrogen? One builds protein, while the other loses protein.
Obesity here seems to be due to wrong food instead of too much food. These victims of obesity are starving but overweight. As in the bloated patient with “wet beriberi,” the overweight may be hydration more than fat. Such a patient put on a “reducing diet” would certainly suffer a still greater impairment of health.
The answer is that as we grow older, we have a progressively lower metabolic rate. Our glandular (endocrine) clock runs down. This trend is enhanced by the refining of our food, by which our glands are starved into atrophy or compensatory enlargement, as Dr. McCarrison has so ably shown in his book Studies in Deficiency Disease (Lee Foundation) and which Dr. Franklin Bicknell calls “nutritional castration.”
Brailsford Robertson in his book The Biochemistry of Senescence (Lippincott, 1928) says that the activity of every cell is controlled by autocatalytic secretions of its chromosomes, representing, in fact, the “blueprint” particles assumed by Darwin to travel from every cell of the body to the gonad to form the germ cell that develops into the new individual in the reproduction of all life. Weissman tried to tell us that Darwin was wrong, that the “germ plasm” was simply diluted and passed on in each generation from the gonadal source. (See Applied Trophology, January 1958, for this quote.)
At this time, it is possible to find more proof of the presence in the blood of “packages” of these blueprint factors. Dr. Weston A. Price in his book Dental Infections (p. 351, Penton Publishing Co., 1923) reported that the presence of an increased number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes locally seemed to guarantee the rapid healing of the tissues after tooth extraction. Just as the presence of platelets is essential to the clotting of blood, in each case the supplying of the cell determinants (blueprints) would exactly explain the facts observed.
We may conclude at this time that platelets and polymorphonuclear leucocytes are physiological dispensers of cell blueprints that provide the guide to tissue repair. Quite probably the leucocyte picks up locally the chromosome fragments of damaged tissue and thereby acts as both scavenger and construction boss. Robertson shows us that the metabolic activity of the cell is dependent on this availability of determinant substance (protomorphogens). (See Protomorphology, Lee and Hanson, Lee Foundation, 1947, for a complete elucidation, along with bibliography, of this hypothesis.) We now can see how the thyroid secretion and the sex hormones are associated factors.
The thyroxine releases the protomorphogen from the chromosome reserve, and this is how the thyroid regulates the metabolic rate. If you put thyroxine into the water in which tadpoles are living, they will become frogs in far less time than normal and will be far smaller than normal after the metamorphosis, though they will grow into normal frogs.
Protomorphogens are poison unless properly wrapped in their normal package with cholesterol, vitamins A, E, and F, and other factors, including xanthine, which prevents their activity from being released except under physiological conditions. If these synergists are lacking, the thyroxine can be toxic; the patient may be suffering from a low metabolic rate and at the same time be showing nervous reactions, tachycardia, and other characteristic symptoms of thyrotoxicosis.
Vitamin F deficiency in particular is commonly responsible for thyrotoxic reactions. Vitamin F (the unsaturated fatty-acid group) was found by the Lee Foundation in 1941 to promote the secretion of thyroxine (as indicated by the rise in blood iodine, i.e., protein bound iodine) after the ingestion of small doses of the F (Lee Foundation Report No. 1). At the same time, it was shown that the vitamin F relieved prostate hypertrophy and that this was no doubt a common indication of vitamin F deficiency, placing prostate hypertrophy in the deficiency disease category as clearly as an enlarged thyroid indicates iodine deficiency.
Neither of these glandular enlargements are purely due to one deficiency. The vitamin C complex, by supporting adrenal function, is a valuable synergist in both goiter and prostate hypertrophy.
The sex hormones (estrogens and androgens) enter into this picture by their action of earmarking the wrapped up protomorphogen package for delivery to the sex gland, estrogens sending the package to the ovary, the androgen sending the package to the testes. It seems that androgens are more effective in ensuring the delivery to the destination. This is understandable because the male gonad makes infinitely more germ cells than the female and requires more protomorphogen. That seems to be the reason why the human male tends to have five times the incidence of gastric ulcer as the female: he lacks the available local determinant to activate the healing of the irritated stomach or duodenal wall.
Estrogens have been successfully used as a remedy for ulcers as well as to activate the healing of fractures. But it is better to use the sex hormone precursors, along with the E complex (the E3 factor) and vitamin [illegible]. Then there is no possible untoward reaction of unbalancing the gonadal functions. (All female hormone factors are dangerous to the male; they may contain components such as stilbestrol, which specifically desexes the male.)
We referred to protomorphogens as poisons unless properly wrapped in the lipoid-cholesterol complex. Snake venoms are commonly effective by reason of an enzyme that, like lecithinase, unwraps this protomorphogen. To illustrate, you might create havoc in a stockroom full of packages of fishhooks by cutting the strings and allowing the release of the fishhooks into the pathways of the busy personnel.
Vitamin E contains the important antioxidant alpha-tocopherol, which protects the protomorphogen wrappers from oxidative reactions that would destroy them. If there is a deficiency of alpha-tocopherol, chromosomes disintegrate, and various tissue degenerations occur that would be expected to follow the loss of the guiding chromosome determinant, such as the replacement of normal tissue by scar tissue.
Angina pectoris is a chain reaction, probably a muscle cramp, that is prevented by one member of the E complex (E2). This chain reaction no doubt is a loss of oxidative control—the loss of the normal muscle reaction to follow the nerve impulse, to start and stop with the nerve signal. In angina pectoris the muscle cell cannot regulate its oxidative release of energy; its oxidative reaction can occur without the nerve stimulus. (See “Biochemical Chain Reactions,” Applied Trophology, September 1958.) There is no more spectacular demonstration of the relief of a deficiency disease than the effect of vitamin E2 on angina pectoris. It is as specific as nitroglycerin but affords far more permanent relief.
One simple way to step up the metabolic rate without the use of thyroid is by the old and time-honored mustard bath. Two to four ounces of mustard (ground mustard seed) in a tub of hot water sets up a glow of the skin by a 15-minute immersion that boosts the metabolic rate to a degree that takes a week to wear off. Mustard seems to specifically release protomorphogens like thyroid. Its effect of causing blisters if used as a plaster is like the blisters from a burn. Both are due to free protomorphogens, we are sure. That is why mustard is “hot.”
Heat melts the protomorphogen wrapper as it is a waxy film. The pain felt when we put our hand in hot water is no doubt due to this release of protomorphogens, which may be of any degree in proportion to the intensity of heat.
But before stepping up the release of protomorphogens by any method, it is advisable to check for the possible deficiency of the F complex, the E complex, and the A and C complexes.
Vitamin F deficiency is probably the most common; F is lost by oxidation in all stale cereal foods along with the loss of E for the same reason. (Oats hold E and F the longest; wheat loses them soonest—one week in warm weather after milling the flour.)
One specific reaction to vitamin F deficiency is the weakness or absence of the second sound of the heart. We consider this a reflection of the drop in ionized calcium secondary to the F deficiency and the consequent impairment of heart muscle function. The second sound is immediately restored by the use of a potent form of F complex (Cataplex F, as available from Vitamin Products Company). See Applied Trophology, August 1958, for other effects of this complex. See Lee Foundation Report No. 1 for blood changes in iodine, calcium, and phosphorus after administration of the F complex.
To return again to the geriatric problem of reduced nitrogen retention, this is simply the reduced tissue repair that results from a reduced availability of protomorphogens. Or, let us say, a reduced assimilability of protein foods. Here we run into another important situation: the matter of amino acid unbalance due to protein cooking. In the young the excess of protein residues is consumed in the fire of a high metabolic rate. In the old the liver and kidneys cannot always cope with the load. So we must look to the quality of protein for the geriatric patient, never the quantity.
May we relate a specific case, the 96-year-old mother of a doctor, well informed in nutritional management whose advice was no doubt instrumental in her reaching that age. But now she appeared to be at the end of the trail. Bloated with the dropsy of an embarrassed heart, liver, and kidneys, none of the usual help of vitamins that normally assist these organs to do their job was apparent.
But, on a schedule of four capsules a day of Proto-Mere (a natural raw protein concentrate from the sea mollusk Strombus gigas), the edema progressively left and all other symptoms of distress faded away. Why? An uncooked protein that had lost none of its essential amino acids permitted the restoration of osmotic balances.
Almond milk made by liquefying raw almonds might have been as useful. Carrot juice with almond milk is a wonderful and complete diet for the baby or invalid with impaired digestive functions. Where protein assimilation with anemia occurs, suspect hydrochloric acid deficiency in the gastric juice. Undigested meat in the stool is a sure sign of achlorhydria.
Strombus gigas, however, seems peculiarly useful for the patient with advanced age. Key West fishermen have long used this seafood, and it has a legendary reputation for providing a tonic and invigorating stimulus to the old and feeble.
Another way to enhance protein assimilation to the geriatric patient is to provide proteolytic enzymes, papaya juice being one method of enhancing protein digestion. Another is to use capsules of Vermidase [Zymex II], the fig and almond enzyme product also useful as a destroyer of intestinal parasites (for reason of its enzyme action). See Applied Trophology, October 1958.
A common and characteristic symptom of protein malassimilation is a sore mouth, especially where dentures are worn. Biost tablets provide the raw protein of veal bone, and its enzymes activate connective tissue repair and, in many cases, have performed wonders for this type of patient who has been unable to wear dentures until put on a schedule of Biost tablets.
And again we are reminded of the fact that arthritis is a “cooked food disease” because cooked protein cannot rebuild bone and ligament.
We recall the dentist who defined pyorrhea as “arthritis of the tooth socket.” Recall that Dr. Pottenger’s cats lost their teeth and all contracted arthritis on cooked milk. And that in India there is no arthritis, and 1/1200 the tooth decay we have.
Aren’t we the dopes, though?
- J. Amer. Diet. Assn., 33:466 (May 1957).
- Metabolism Clin. Exp., 6:564 (November 1957).
High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts
Biost Tablets: Biost tablets furnish enzymes, specific minerals, and the uncooked amino acids of bone proteins in their biologically active form. These are associated with the raw bone protomorphogen, which appears in this product in high concentration. This concentrate is designed to aid in the repair or rebuilding of bone injuries or degeneration.
Biost tablets are indicated where nutritional bone building elements and raw food factors are needed, in any bone or connective tissue degeneration (rheumatoid arthritis, osteomyelitis, bone porosity, etc.), and in general deficiency patterns such as loose teeth, tender gums and mouth, and any calcium utilization problems.