Arthritis and Rheumaticism

Chapter One

Sixty-Two Research Studies

The following summarized research studies into arthritic and rheumatic problems should provide a wealth of information for utilization by research and medical personnel. As you will note, the clinicians that conducted these studies were highly qualified scientists or physicians.

Hoffer Helps His Mother

Dr. Abram Hoffer, the distinguished Canadian psychiatrist who successfully treats patients with massive doses of various vitamins, received a letter from his mother: The pain from arthritis was becoming intense; what could he suggest that might help?

He told her to take large doses of niacin (which is B, one of the B vitamins). She was suffering from arthritis, incipient blindness, and failing memory.

Six weeks later she wrote her son a thrilling letter: "My vision is okay, my arthritis is gone, and I feel marvelous!" In commenting later on this, Dr. Hoffer remarked: "Today she is 86. Her mind is just as keen as it ever was and she spends her time writing her memoirs." From the day he gave her instructions, she has been steadily taking 3 grams of niacin (3,000 milligrams) a day."

In connection with this, keep in mind that niacinamide is the same as niacin, but will not flush your face (redden it and make it hot for a minute or two) as Niacin will. If you are not sure what I mean, take a couple tablets of niacin and you will understand. The flushing causes no harm to the body.

Earnest Planck’s Dissertation

Dr. E.H. Planck published the results of his research into certain effects of inadequate calcium intake in the human body.

After a lengthy study, he noted that all of the following symptoms occur when there is insufficient calcium in the diet:

(1) Bone pain above or below the joints. (2) Pain in the arms, centering in the forearm muscles, or biceps, and in the calf muscles of the leg. These cramps (especially those in the calves) tend to occur during sleep or exercise. (3) Painful cramping of the feet and toes after going to bed, and spastic contractions of the hands and fingers after use. (4) Backaches, dizziness, insomnia. (5) Fainting and nausea in women. (6) Nervous irritability and emotional instability. (7) Dermatitis of the scalp and face. (8) Brittle teeth with many cavities. (9) Shortness of the breath. Dr. Earnest Planck found that all of the above symptoms, generally considered signs of "growing old" when they occur in the mid-forties, quickly lessened or left entirely when the calcium intake was increased.

The Lucas-Power Discovery

Working with obese patients at the Detroit Medical Center, Charles P. Lucas, M.D., and Lawrence Power, M.D., gave them a modified fasting program. Then they noted that two of the patients, which had rheumatoid arthritis, experienced no pain or arthritic problems while on the fast.

Lucas and Power next put the two women on a diet very low in fats and oils while adding only a few foods at a time. After only a few days the women found that their arthritis had cleared up completely. But when they returned to eating chicken or meat, their arthritis flared up again.

Further dietary experiments revealed that the problem was the meat and the fat, specifically animal fat and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Lucas and Power reported that the two women were able to free themselves of arthritic symptoms—simply by switching to a vegetarian diet; this was a diet which included no meat, oils, or dairy products containing cream. Over a period of time, Drs. Lucas and Power confirmed their findings with work on a number of other patients suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. A careful report of their work appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, April 9, 1982.

The Philadelphia Report

In another JAMA article, Peter D. Utsinger, M.D., and his associates at the Germantown Medical Center in Philadelphia, reported on an experiment with 24 patients suffering from painfully rheumatic knees. The research team used what they called "Baggie-therapy." Essentially, this is just an old-fashioned water therapy treatment which, as with most hydrotherapy applications, can bring so much help to those in need. (See the present author’s book, Water Therapy Manual, which describes over 160 ways to use hydrotherapy, with step-by-step instructions).

As described in the JAMA article, the treatment consists of placing six ice cubes in a plastic bag and then applying them above and below the knee for 20 minutes at a time. Simple as that. Careful records were kept, and the researchers said that, as a result of this simple treatment, the patients could move, their knees more freely, had more strength, and took less medication than before this ice-cube therapy was administered (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 24, 1981).

Allergic Foods

Food sensitivities can be related to arthritis: This is the report from a number of research groups. In England, for example, 22 patients were placed by doctors on a diet that did not include certain foods which they might be allergic to. Twenty of the 22 patients reported that their rheumatoid arthritis had improved, on average, within only 10 days.

What were the foods that these individuals were most sensitive to? The most frequent offenders included grains, milk, seeds and nuts, beef, cheese and eggs. Some were especially allergic to chicken, fish, potatoes, onions, and liver. The most frequent problem food was grain products, which affected 14 of the 22 patients.

Afterward, in a follow-up experiment, the 22 were put back on the allergic foods. Immediately, 19 of them found their arthritis getting worse again, sometimes in as little as two hours! This entire research experiment was later written up and published in Clinical Allergy, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1980.

Williams Sees Vitamin Problem

Dr. Roger J. Williams, the well-known biochemist who discovered pantothenic acid (an important vitamin in the B complex), in his book, Nutrition against Disease, found many arthritics to especially be deficient in the B vitamins, especially niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, pyridoxine (B6), and also others.

He added that infections, injuries, allergic reactions, and mental stress may all have a part in bringing on arthritic conditions. But, he concluded that the most significant problem was a poor diet and a lack of important vitamins.

The Brusch and Johnson Diet

Dr. Charles M. Brusch and Dr. Edward T. Johnson of the Brusch Medical Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studied over a hundred cases of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Their carefully supervised program was based on restricted water intake and the administration of fish liver oil given to a fasting patient (on only 1,800 to 2,400 calories a day). 92 percent of the arthritic patients appeared to improve within two weeks.

Three observations about this program should be mentioned: (1) The patients were given a very good diet that excluded candy, soft drinks, cake, ice cream, foods made with white sugar, etc. This diet by itself would yield very helpful results. (2) Fish liver oils are known to damage the heart muscle. It would be far wiser to use one or several of the many other approaches to arthritis management and recession, and avoid the use of fish liver oils. (3) Vitamin D is essential to the proper utilization of calcium, and calcium is known to be a very helpful ingredient in the control of arthritis. But sunbaths could very effectively provide this much-needed vitamin.

The F.H. Moss Observation

Dr. F.H. Moss, writing before the Second World War in the Chinese Medical Journal (Vol. 53, pp. 72-77, 1938), described a case in which a Chinese farmer, who had acute multiple arthritis, was dramatically healed by drinking 800 to 1,200 cubic centimeters of "fresh red fruit juice." As reported in his article, this happened in the midst of a scurvy epidemic in China. This is believed to be the first Chinese report on the relation of vitamin C to arthritis.

The Barton-Wright Discovery

B.C. Batton-Wright, D.Sc., F.R.I.C., F.I.Bio., is a much respected scientist in England. In 1974 he published a paper entitled, "Arthritis: A Vitamin Deficiency Disease."

In that paper, he presented a powerful case for his contention that a deficiency of pantothenic acid is a definite cause of arthritis in human beings.

What is pantothenic acid? It is one of the B complex vitamins, and was first isolated by Dr. Roger Williams, who gave it its name. This vitamin is found in most plants of nature, but is quickly destroyed by the heat used in the normal cooking of food. Thus, while there is lots of it around us, very little gets into our bodies—unless we eat enough raw food.

Cooking destroys pantothenic acid; so does food processing. So cooked food and canned food alike contains none of this very important vitamin.

Among the best natural sources of pantothenic acid are brewer’s yeast, alfalfa, and fresh eggs. Other natural foods contain far smaller amounts of it.

Among its many important duties in the human body, pantothenic acid enables bones to form and hardens cartilage. But when it is lacking in the diet, bones weaken, joints decalcify, and cartilage breaks down. All these are symptoms of osteoarthritis!

Pantothenic acid first came to the attention of Dr. Barton-Wright about 1960, when he was analyzing that amazing substance: royal jelly. He found this secretion of honey bees to be unusually rich in pantothenic acid. So he began studying it.

(At this point, the writer of this book wishes to share with you the fact that much of the royal jelly sold on the market has been processed heavily enough that it may not have much worth. This information came from a beekeeper friend in Florida who is a full-time royal jelly extractor. He has found that his bees refuse to use commercial royal jelly—the kind you buy in stores.)

Because of the very high loss of pantothenic acid due to unavailability or loss through processing or cooking, Barton-Wright says, "This vitamin is required in the human diet in comparatively large amounts, at least 25-50 milligrams daily." Yet the average American diet only provides 4.5 milligrams of pantothenic acid per every 2,500 calories. That figure does not include nutrient losses due to processing and cooking! So the average person should obtain about 40 to 45 milligrams, a day, more pantothenic acid than he now receives.

Here is more information on why you need so much pantothenic acid in your diet: Barton-Wright says that the substance is thermolabile; that is, it is especially sensitive to dry heat. Large amounts of destroyed food is toasted or roasted. In addition, when vegetables are cooked, it dissolves in the cooking water. So those who do not drink all the cooking water lose as much as 66% of this nutrient.

In addition to high losses through canning, cooking, and water absorption, the pantothenic acid you do absorb tends to be more rapidly used up as you physically work or emotionally worry. Since life is full of both, you are certain to always need it.

Braly’s Counsel

James Braly, M.D. of Encino, California, is something of a specialist in the treatment of arthritis. Asked about his thoughts on this important subject, he noted that arthritis is brought on by many different problems in modern life and needs to be treated by an all-round diet, not just by one food or the other. He mentioned that allergies are one of several forms of physiological and psychological stress that contribute to arthritis.

An expert in nutrition, he suggests that a diet for arthritis should be based on natural, unrefined foods, with the addition of vitamin and mineral supplementation. He says that it is very important that alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, refined sugar, and excess fats be totally eliminated. He concludes by saying that learning to handle emotional stress and getting adequate rest would rank very high in importance in solving this painful disease.

Health Secrets from Europe

In his book, Health Secrets from Europe, Dr. Paavo O. Airola outlines several methods used in Europe to treat arthritis:

(1) Fasting, such as is given at the Buchinger Clinic in Germany, where fasts are from 14 to 21 days in length. It should be understood, however, that no one should undergo such treatment except under the direct supervision of an expert in this field. (Beware of long fasts; they can injure you! Never fast for over three days at a time.)

(2) Dry brush massage of the skin, in order to bring blood to the skin, stimulates the general circulation, and opens the pores. This helps rejuvenate the skin, which is the largest eliminative organ in the body.

(3) A five-to ten-minute warm shower, followed by a half-minute to a minute cold shower. Then comes the dry brushing, described above. A quickening of the entire circulation and a stimulation of the adrenal and other endocrine glands is effected by this showering.

(4) Various therapeutic baths are given in the rebuilding centers of Europe. These include: sitz bath, whirlpool bath, steam bath, and sauna, plus several specialized ones: Kuhne-bath, Schlenz-bath, and the warm sand baths.

(5) Herb teas and fresh fruit and vegetable juices are used both during and after fasting programs. Recommended juices include carrot, celery, beet, cabbage, apple, orange, lemon, and grape.

(6) Vegetable broths. Fresh vegetables are cooked, and then the water is drawn off for drinking.

(7) Vitamin and mineral supplements, such as C, certain B complex vitamins, bioflavinoids (vitamin P), and cobalamin (B12). For further information, we refer you to Dr. Airola’s book.

The Brewer Observation

Earl Brewer, M.D., chief of the rheumatology department at Texas Children’s Hospital, in Houston, was trying to find some practical solutions to arthritis in children. Then, quite by accident, he found that one of his young charges gave him an insight into the matter. The boy had been suffering with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and found that, when he used a sleeping bag, instead of regular bedding, the usual morning stiffness and pain was not present. From then on, the boy continued to sleep in the sleeping bag, with continued good effects.

Then the boy told his grandmother of his discovery, and she tried it. The next morning, her osteoarthritis (a condition usually affecting only older folk) did not bother her as much. So she continued using a sleeping bag.

By this time, Dr. Brewer decided to recommend that more of the young people at the hospital try using sleeping bags. No nutritional changes were made, so only partial recoveries could be effected; but a number of them were so pleased with the results that they continued them after they left the hospital and went home.

Other people have also reported being helped by the "sleeping bag therapy." Mattresses often do not provide as much warmth as the blankets laid over the sleeping person. But by placing extra blankets underneath the bottom sheet—or by using a sleeping bag, which has the added feature of keeping out many of tie side drafts—it is easier for the body to provide the needed heat during the hours of sleep to help the healing blood to flow evenly all night long, as it quietly works to restore the wear and tear of the day’s activities.

Miller’s Conclusion

As a result of his studies into drinking fluoridated water, John J. Miller, Ph.D., concluded that osteoporosis, arthritis, and bursitis was worsened when city water treated with fluoride was ingested (Complete Book of Minerals and Health, page 380).

Branner’s Work with Sciatica

Dr. E. Branner reported, in the British Medical Journal in 1944, that vitamin B complex was very helpful in treating sciatica. This is a painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve of the body and located in the back of the upper leg. For this purpose, he used vitamin B1 (thiamine) injections, drawn from ampoules containing 25 milligrams of thaimine per cubic centimeter. Three to six injections on consecutive or alternate days were given.

Dr. Page’s Work

Melvin E. Page, D.D.S., of Florida, has done extensive work with bone deterioration and its causes. His field of study concerns the teeth in relation to a calcium-phosphorus imbalance. It is his belief that not only pyorrhea and tooth decay, but also arthritis, is caused by an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in the body. He found that eating processed foods, white sugar, and candy were primary factors in producing this imbalance.

In order to obtain a proper balance of calcium and phosphorus in the system, it is necessary to take in twice as much calcium as phosphorus, in the diet, and eliminate all highly processed and junk foods.

The Gerber Discovery

A new approach to the relief of arthritis, previously unknown in the U.S., was unfolded at the 1969 meeting of the American Federation for Clinical Research. Gathered to hear reports in this Washington, D.C. session, physicians were presented with an abundance of factual evidence by Dr. Donald Gerber, associate professor of medicine at the Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York.

Dr. Gerber’s view is that rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a deficiency of the amino acid, histidine, in the bloodstream. In his studies, he repeatedly found that the serum, histidine, concentration in rheumatoid arthritics was 28 percent below that of other people. He also found that, as the disease progressed, this percentage fell lower and lower.

Medical World News for February 13, 1970, reported on Gerber’s discovery (which was actually based on earlier tentative research done in Europe). The whole matter still remains something of a medical mystery. This is because Histidine is a fairly common amino acid found in most protein substances that you eat. It is not difficult for the average person to obtain this in his diet. Why, therefore, should there be any shortage of this amino acid in the bodies of arthritics?

Yet the fact remained that when Dr. Gerber had given histidine to arthritic patients, the results were always favorable. 

A total of 59 rheumatoid arthritic patients, many with very severe symptoms, were given histidine by mouth. Although the amount given them varied in accordance with the severity of their condition, it averaged 3 grams a day.

Looking over the results, it appears that the histidine plan is not adequate in itself to solve the problem; yet it is a factor and, as such, should receive our thoughtful attention. The histidine treatment required many months and, in many cases, achieved only a partial recovery. When 18 patients were taken off the histidine, 14 immediately got worse. So it would not be wise to bank too much on that route as a solution to one’s personal arthritic problems.

Histidine, being a perfectly natural dietary substance and not a drug, produced no side effects. (The present writer suspects that there may be something in the diet of many people, possibly the purines in meat, which is blocking histidine utilization or destroying it.)

Folic Acid and Arthritis

"Arthritis patients have been found to be lacking in folic acid, a vitamin of the B complex. Diets that are not nourishing increased the need for folic acid because of the arthritis or possibly increased demand for it because of the aspirin taken by the patient."—Ruth Adams, Complete Home Guide to All the Vitamins, pages 180-181.

Vilyansky Turns to Vitamin C

Dr. I.M. Vilyanski reported on his work with 39 patients in the Russian journal, Klinicheskaia Meditsina, in which he gave 200-300 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) intravenously. This was one of the first Eastern European research studies on vitamin C and rheumatism. His tests showed all 39 rheumatics to be quite deficient in ascorbic acid; and supplementing their diet with it resulted in less pain, less swelling, better mood, and increased mobility in twenty-six of the patients. Eleven took longer to respond and two showed no effect. Those two had earlier been treated with salicylates (aspirin). He concluded by stating that three to five injections of ascorbic acid were sufficient to eliminate the attack of rheumatism in most of the cases he worked with (Klinicheskaia Meditsina, Vol. 19, p. 121, 1941).

One Doctor’s Report

The work of John M. Ellis, M.D., with rheumatism has been discussed elsewhere in these pages. Here is a brief quotation from his book, Vitamin B6: The Doctor’s Report, which summarizes the results he obtained by giving pyridoxine (vitamin B6) to patients suffering with rheumatism in their hands:

"Because the objective findings in the patients I successfully treated for rheumatism were so apparent to patients and doctors alike, I would like to outline briefly the results obtained by pyridoxine. The ten main features include:

"1. Reduced edema. 2. Reduced pain. 3. Increased range of flexion [bending the fingers]. 4. Increased speed of flexion. 5. Eliminated locking of finger joints. 6. Increased strength of grip. 7. Improved sensation. 8. Improved coordination. 9. Reduced stiffness. 10. Sustained flexion."

The above quotation was then followed by three more pages of descriptions of other symptoms that were alleviated (such as edema, sweaty palms, pain, numbness and tingling, etc., in the hands and elsewhere in the body).

Arthritic and Rheumatic Theories

Scientists are busily at work trying to figure out the cause of arthritis and rheumatism. Many discoveries have been made and many more will be made. Some of the most important of these discoveries are be found in the book you are now reading.

As a practical base from which to operate in carrying on their research, scientists tend to fall into one of four major groups; and the premises which direct them in their work are known as the "arthritic and rheumatic theories."

The first of these is the viral theory, which views arthritis and rheumatism as a result of a virus invasion of the body. The second is the metabolic theory, which sees these diseases as caused by a somehow weakened body metabolism. The third identifies the problem as some kind of weakness in the autoimmune system. The fourth major theory considers arthritis and rheumatism to be the result of a nutritional disorder: not enough of the right food and/or too much of the wrong food or some kind of physical absorption problem.

At this time, the far greater portion of medical research into the causes and possible alleviation of arthritis and rheumatism are based on the viral theory. This is the view that, if the right antivirus vaccine can be found, it would solve the whole problem. However, a growing number of researchers are recognizing that diet is a crucial factor. Far too much of the junk food on the market provides little nourishment, but instead clogs the system and produces acids which are stored in joints and muscles.

Klemes Uses B12 on Bursitis

The ball on the long end of the arm or shoulder bone fits into a little pocket which is called the "bursa." Fluid and tissue inside the bursa enable the bones to move without friction or irritation. If this tissue becomes inflamed, if the fluid thickens, or if calcium deposits form—bursitis is the result.

Dr. I.S. Klemes, medical director of the Ideal Mutual Insurance Company, did extensive research into this problem and wrote up his conclusions in the Journal of the American Medical Association for July 1956. He later wrote another article for the June 1957 issue of Industrial Medicine and Surgery. Klemes treated sub-deltoid bursitis (shoulder bursitis) with vitamin B12 with very good success. He concluded: "Vitamin B12 and folic acid both seem to be essential in the synthesis of nucleoproteins . . It seems certain that vitamin B12 is of importance in the metabolism of nervous tissue, although the mechanism of its action is not known . . Vitamin B12 has proved effective in relieving the pain of trigeminal neuralgia in a significant proportion of patients."

Included in his two research papers were several case histories that show the value of giving vitamin B12, along with folic acid, to sufferers with bursitis. (Vitamin B12 and folic acid are both in the B complex and tend to work closely together within the human body.)

Of the 140 bursa, or joint pockets, in the body, it is the sub-deltoid bursa in the shoulder joint that is the primary source of pain and bursitis. It is of interest that genuine "arthritis" only occurs in the shoulder in about 5 percent of the cases; all the rest are due to an inflamed bursa—bursitis.

Chilling the shoulder during the day or at night, the habitual use of one arm more than the other in one’s occupation, and the acids in meat eating are other causes of bursitis.

The Childer’s Study

About ten years ago, the research of Dr. Norman Childers came to light. His findings were written in a large book that he published. Here is a summary of what he discovered:

The nightshade family is one of the six primary plant families used for food on planet earth. Yet all members of it contain the chemical, solanine, which, when eaten, tends to cause an arthritic-like condition in the body joints of certain people. The symptoms include swelling and pain.

The members of this family which have this chemical are the following: tobacco, white potatoes (not sweet potatoes, or yams), peppers (both green and cayenne), tomatoes, and eggplant.

At the time, the present writer learned of Childers’ study, he told his wife. Shortly thereafter, because she was beginning to have arthritic joint pains and swelling, she stopped eating the solanaceous crops in her garden (white potatoes, green peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes). Immediately, the pain went away and shortly thereafter the swellings went down. Others have had similar experiences.

Fortunately, if you have a problem with the solanaceous crops (solanum is a genus of the nightshade family), then you can very easily determine it: Simply stop using the above named vegetables. If the solanine in these foods is causing your arthritic pains, you should see improvement within a month or so. If you do not, then go back to eating them again.

Keep in mind that tobacco leaves, used in all tobacco products, are in this family also, Another member of this unusual plant family is the deadly nightshade which farmers call ‘loco weed,’ because of its effects on cattle which eat it before dying a miserable death.

Leitch’s Investigation

Back in, 1937, a British researcher, Leitch, conducted nutritional work with a number of arthritic patients. He later reported that much of their middle-aged arthritic problems stem from insufficient dietary calcium over a long period of time.

Iodine and Rheumatism

Iodine Facts, a publication of the Government of Chili, says that rheumatism; anemia; and diseases of the ear, nose, and throat are much more common among people who have goiter. It is well-known that a lack of the trace mineral, iodine, is the primary cause of goiter.

Cromwell’s Investigation into Calcium

The Gerontological Society, in its annual meeting held in San Francisco, heard Dr. L.W. Cromwell’ report on his research linking a lack of calcium with the crippling effects of arthritis.

This flies in the face of currently accepted theories regarding calcium. It is generally thought that avoiding calcium and calcium foods (such as fresh and dried fruits) may alleviate arthritis! Dr. Cromwell’s research indicated just the opposite.

Calcium deficiency in the body first leads to a condition of osteoporosis, of which those having it are not aware; for there is no pain (unless they break a bone) and the blood calcium continues to remain at normal levels. The bones are gradually losing their calcium, but at the same time, because of other nutritional deficiencies, calcium from the bones is being laid down in the soft tissues, around the joints, and between them.

Whedon, Lutwak, Smith, and the Calcium Balance

The American Rheumatism Association, at its June 1961 meeting, learned about the research of G. Donald Whedon, M.D. and his associates, Leo Lutwak and Preston-Smith. These staff members of the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, in Bethesda, Maryland, had just completed extensive work on calcium in relation to osteoporosis. In the paper they presented at this meeting, they explained that a higher dietary calcium intake provided definite help in solving the problem—whereas the giving of corticosteroids was found to increase the severity of the osteoporosis!

The Rheumatoid Factor

The majority of rheumatoid arthritis patients have a mysterious "factor" in their blood serum. Lacking a better name for it, scientists call it the "rheumatoid factor" (RF). This blood factor is known to involve an antibody which has an immune reaction to denatured (altered) gamma globulin (which is itself an antibody).

Every theory of arthritis and rheumatism has to take into account the fact that, due to the RF factor, the arthritis-rheumatism problem is, in some way, related to the immune mechanism of the body.

Dr. Gerber’s Discovery about Gamma Globulin

Dr. Donald Gerber (mentioned earlier in this book), in the course of his work with the amino acid, histidine, also discovered that it tends to suppress the denaturization of gamma globulin! This is an important observation, for it would indicate a nutritional and metabolic link to the rheumatoid factor. To summarize the situation:

(1) For some reason, arthritics and rheumatics have this mysterious rheumatoid factor in their blood. The factor is itself an immune reaction-caused antibody. This antibody was produced in reaction to gamma globulin in the blood which had, for some unknown reason, been restructured. (The altered gamma globulin is referred to as "denatured gamma globulin.") Gamma globulin is an important protein that is formed in the blood. The ability to resist infection is related to the amount of this substance in the blood. Thus it is part of the immune system of the body.

(2) Dr. Gerber’s very significant discovery was that gamma globulin cannot be changed or "denatured"—as long as the normal blood amino acid, histidine, is in the blood with it.

(3) Dr. Gerber also established that arthritics and rheumatics do not have the normal amount of histidine in their blood. His research has also shown that the amount of histidine missing in the blood is directly related to the severity of the disease in the person being tested.

At this time, we are not fully certain as to what mechanism blocks the absorption of histidine—or destroys it in the blood—but enough is known to indicate that arthritis and rheumatism have a metabolic and nutritional basis.

Arthritis as an Emotional and Stress Disease

A growing number of researchers are recognizing that arthritis is more than a war between vitamins and minerals on one side and junk food on the other; the state of a person’s mind is also involved.

One of the first scientific articles given to this topic was published in the Canadian Medical Journal for September 15, 1957. This pioneer article discussed still earlier research on this, going back into the 1930s and 1920s. For example, a 1935 study by a Dr. Thomas, involving 32 patients, revealed "a fairly severe emotional disturbance of one kind or another had been present before any sign of rheumatoid arthritis had developed. Another study, in 1937 and 1942 by a Dr. Halliday, indicated a definite restriction, or bottling up, of emotional expression by arthritics.

The 1957 study, reported in the CMJ, told of 18 arthritic patients who were compared with 18 non-arthritic patients similar to them in other ways.

Psychological interviews and personality and mental tests were given to all 36 people. They ranged from 20 to 60 years in age.

A general tendency was for the 18 arthritics to become quite restrained in personality upon becoming adults. Tidy, punctual, shy, and lacking in self-confidence, they tended to withdraw within themselves.

A parallel study, involving 43 rheumatoid arthritis patients, was reported in the August 15, 1957, issue of the Canadian Medical Journal.

This study indicated that a majority of the 43 first experienced arthritic difficulties on the death or divorce of a spouse, as well as prolonged family separation; and that it was all woven in a personality fabric of emotional dependence and immaturity, concealed hostility, and an excessive need to do everything in tandem with another person—rather than alone.

Cobb Researches the "Arthritic Personality"

Dr. Sidney Cobb of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan studied 97 couples and concluded that wives are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis if there is continual quarreling in their marriage.

The Baufeld Observation

H. Baufeld, in his article, "Ascorbic Acid in the Treatment of Poly-arthritis," in Deutsche Gesundheitswesen, a Berlin medical journal (Vol. 7, p. 1077, 1952), described his research with vitamin C, in which he gave intravenous dosages of 6 grams of ascorbic acid for acute and chronic rheumatism. He said that he witnessed "astonishing"—results in some cases. He also noticed good response in the treatment of lumbago, sciatica, and bronchial asthma.

The McCormick Testing

Dr. W.J. McCormick published an article in 1955, entitled "The Rheumatic Diseases: Is There a Common Etiologic Factor?" in the "Archives of Pediatrics" (Vol. 72, pp. 107-112, 1955), in which he first presented a scholarly review of medical information about rheumatic problems from the seventeenth century onward, showing a relationship between scurvy (lack of vitamin C) and rheumatic diseases. Then, in the article, he discussed several of his acute rheumatic fever and incipient arthritis cases, in which 1 to 10 grams of vitamin C were given daily. In each instance, there was rapid and complete recovery in three to four weeks, with no cardiac (heart) complications.

The Solomon-Moos Research

George F. Solomon, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, conducted research work on arthritis and the mind. He presented his work in May 1968 at the Second Conference on Psycho-physiological Aspects of Cancer, held in connection with the New York Academy of Sciences.

Solomon believes that the emotional turmoils in the life lead to a faulty hormonal balance.

At about the same time, Dr. R.H. Moos reviewed the case studies of over 5,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients—and found that they tended to be conforming, self-conscious, shy, inhibited, and deeply concerned about following routines.

Solomon found that, instead of choosing positive adaptations to life and its problems, the "arthritic personality" reacts negatively. Keeping his feelings penned up inside, he will brood over a supposed embarrassment for days or weeks thereafter.

Solomon then teamed up with Moos to conduct further research. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a test designed to analyze basic personality makeup, was given to a group of women arthritics.

The team discovered that they tended to bottle up their expressions of emotion, were concerned to comply and be subservient, had a great need for security, and were shy and introverted.

Solomon then did a very significant study of non-arthritic women who had these same personality qualities. He found that they did not develop arthritis because, although they tested out with the same personality traits as the arthritic women that he tested—they lacked the rheumatoid factor in their blood. His studies indicated that both the "arthritic personality" in the mind and the "rheumatoid factor" in the blood—had to be present in order for a person to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

As noted earlier in this book, the rheumatoid factor is an antibody in the blood serum which has an immune reaction to (reacts against) altered or denatured gamma globulin, which is another antibody in the blood.

The Keinholz Finding

The British medical journal, The Lancet, for March 1, 1975, reported the experience of Dr. Eldon W. Keinholz in eliminating arthritis in his own knee. The condition gradually worsened after strenuous leg work (hiking, mountain climbing, etc.) until, in 1973, he could hardly bear the pain. He then began research into the medical literature, and discovered research into the use of selenium (a trace mineral) and d-alpha tocopheral succinate (a form of vitamin E). Here is his story:

"I learned that selenium ingestion has been suggested as a method of relieving some types of arthritis. In January 1974, I began to ingest gelatin capsules, each containing one milligram of sodium selenite plus 68 milligrams of d-alpha tocopherol succinate. One capsule was taken regularly with meals every third day. A week before a hike in September 1974, I ran approximately one-half mile each day (as I had done before in hikes of previous years) and I increased my selenium and vitamin E intake to one capsule per day. Insofar as I was able to plan the experiment, everything was the same as in previous years with the exception of my selenium and vitamin E intake. I hiked 11 miles in one day, ascending and descending 2,875 feet with absolutely no knee discomfort. This contrasted with past hikes, especially one in which the distance was identical; but I only ascended and descended 1,685 feet and knee pain was nearly unbearable during the last 20 percent of the hike.

"I hope that the success of this small personal experiment will encourage further research into vitamin E and/or selenium therapy of arthritis problems in human knee joints. However, the hazards of selenium supplementation must be borne in mind—one milligram of selenium supplement per day probably approaches the adult human toxicity levels. The vitamin E levels did not exceed those in widespread use."

Here is some additional information on vitamin E and the trace mineral, selenium: Selenium occurs generally in those foods which also contain the most vitamin E (mainly whole-grains and other seed foods). When these foods are refined and processed, both the selenium and vitamin E are taken out, along with many other vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. So eating only refined cereals and breads will almost guarantee a deficiency in both the vitamin E and the trace mineral, selenium.

It is significant that animal experiments have shown that the more vitamin E you obtain—the less selenium you will need! If you are getting sizeable amounts of vitamin E, you will not need much selenium in your diet.

An excellent source of trace minerals is Nova Scotia dulse or Norwegian kelp. California kelp is an inferior source.

The Ana Aslan Geriatric Studies

Several years ago, Dr. Ana Aslan, a Romanian physician, conducted a series of research studies into the effects of a B complex vitamin on arthritic conditions. Her initial studies have since generated further research into this by scientists elsewhere in the world. Studies have shown that the B complex factor, paraminobenzoic acid (PABA), has a softening effect on various body tissues, especially glandular or organ tissues, causing them to act more normally and to improve hormone output. In addition, PABA acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of protein. It acts synergistically with the body’s own cortisone in the treatment of arthritis. It also aids in normalizing the sedimentation rate, which also is a problem in arthritis. Last but not least, PABA favors the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, enabling them to produce folic acid (another B vitamin), which in turn is used by the body to assimilate the much needed vitamin, pantothenic acid.

The Folkers-Ellis Research

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a special type of arthritis experienced by certain individuals. Characterized initially by a sense of numbness and tingling in the fingers, the condition can later become much worse.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when fluid accumulates inside what is known as the "carpal tunnel." This is an elongated opening within the wrist that is surrounded by bones and ligaments. This tunnel-like space is needed in order to provide space for the many different things that are in the wrist or pass through it, without placing pressure upon one another. Just now, move your wrist back and forth. It is the carpal tunnel that enables continual wrist movement to occur without any problem or pain—in spite of all the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and blood vessels within it.

But when this unwanted fluid begins to collect inside the tunnel, what is first experienced as numbness and tingling in the fingers can spread to the entire hand, wrist, and later even to the elbows and shoulders.

Karl Folkers, Ph.D., and his staff at the Institute of Biomedical Research at the University of Texas, in Austin, worked over a period of time with John Ellis, M.D., of Mount Pleasant, Texas, on this strange accumulation of fluids that begins in the wrist space.

Their discovery was that patients with carpal tunnel syndrome actually had a severe deficiency of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)—and that, supplementation of this vitamin would cause the symptoms to disappear!

Commenting on this remarkable finding, Dr. Folkers said, "They are improved so much that the patients do not need orthopedic surgery for their hands. And what I think is almost unbelievable (but it seems to be true) is that individuals who have had symptoms for years—a decade, even 15 years—show remarkable reversal and improvement of their condition. It doesn’t even take huge doses of B6. However, I am convinced that the RDA [Recommended Dietary Allowance] of 2 milligrams is far too low. I believe that an effective RDA would be around 25 milligrams, or possibly 35 milligrams."

The Siri Khalso Concept

In his book, You Can Do Something about Common Ailments, Siri Khalso discusses the importance of certain food nutrients in the diet:

"Because the arthritic person generally suffers from an inefficient digestive system, the addition of betaine hydrochloric acid and glutamic acid HCI, both of which are digestive enzymes, can be of use ‘in alleviating this problem. Combined with ammonium chloride and calcium chloride, they work to establish the correct acid/alkaline balance in the body" (page 29).

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