This is an interview from 2007 with my close friend, Jerry Brunetti. I taped a marathon seven hour interview/conversation while travelling through NZ on a speaking tour. Jerry is one of the world’s leading consultants in holistic agriculture and he has become something of a guru in human health in recent years. Here are the first few pages of this mammoth effort. I trust you will enjoy it.
Graeme: Thanks for agreeing to dedicate some of our holiday break to this interview. The second book would be incomplete without this conversation. You have a profound skill for information processing and retention and I’m sure you have a wealth of new information to share since our last interview. Certainly, your international status as a leader in proactive health has continued to grow. How do you feel about the direction your life has taken?
Jerry: It’s changed a lot and yet some things remain the same. It’s the same in that I continue my work with nutraceuticals and holistic agriculture. It’s changed in that I have greater understanding of health management. I recognise that we can take nothing for granted. There is no iron clad warranty from the manufacturer. It’s an ongoing learning process. We are currently in the midst of an exponential explosion of information about the miraculous properties and constituents of food. It’s a good thing, but it remains to be seen whether we have the political will to adopt these new findings.
Graeme: Unfortunately, we live in a system where the treatment of symptoms is a goldmine. It’s very unlikely that vested interests will allow anyone to derail the gravy train. Sickness is where the money is! What do you feel about this – are we slowly moving in the right direction? Are people beginning to recognise the holistic nature of health or do we remain mired in the twin swamps of symptom- treating and soulless consumerism.
Jerry: You hit it right on the head! That’s where we are at, but an awakening is underway. People are becoming aware of new choices that are now available. What’s good is getting better but what’s bad is getting worse. Corporate consolidation is a real concern. Many multi-national corporations are now larger than many nations, in terms of their economic influence. They continue to do what large corporations do – they extract and consume for the short-term and mislead the rest of us to ensure we embrace their product. On the other hand, I think a grass roots movement is growing. The good news is the bad news. People are getting increasingly more ill – degenerative diseases like diabetes, cancer and alzheimers, which once were rare, are now becoming pandemics everywhere. This bad news has the potential to translate into the good news. People are slowly recognising that the modern medical machine is not delivering, and this can prove the turning point for change.
Graeme: Do you think that the pharmaceutical corporations might successfully hijack the health movement by lobbying for political pressure and legislation to bind the options of those seeking to move beyond the treatment of symptoms? Certainly the International push for adoption of the WTO Codex regulations seems to be a poorly concealed corporate-sponsored move in that direction.
Jerry: There’s no doubt that the pharmaceutical companies have a lot to lose as the nutraceuticals and food-based supplements continue to grow in popularity. Ironically, these corporations are now trying to find drug analogues to these nutraceutical discoveries so they can retain some of the action. They are definitely trying to stem the flow whenever they can and that’s why people need to be vigilant. They need to hold on to their rights to purchase and use these supplements. However, we also need to recognise that ultimately it all comes down to the food. You can’t get well by eating fast food and taking multi-vitamin supplements to compensate. If we acknowledge this fact then we should also recognise the importance of food quality – the levels of phytonutrients found in the food is based upon how that food is grown. We need an agricultural policy which supports the promotion of nutrient density in our food.
Graeme: I don’t know that we can count on the government to come to the party on this one – certainly not in your country where cronyism is institutionalised. There will always be too much pressure from vested interests to protect the status quo. I’m convinced that consumers need to be educated about the medicinal value of nutrient-dense food. They need to understand that a vegetable grower cannot possibly deliver nutrient density when he is paid so poorly. When you are paid just fifty cents for your cabbages from the supermarket chain, you virtually have no choice but to pump up those cabbages as fast as possible – nitrogen is the pumping mechanism and the end result is cheap nitrate-packed food which will almost always have required intervention with toxic chemicals. We get what we pay for!
Until we realise the true cost of food production and fairly compensate our growers for what they produce, then we can expect poor quality food: food which fails to support our immune systems and detoxification systems. In fact, our immune systems are assaulted with the nitrates in the food and the associated residues from toxic rescue chemicals. If we can create a demand for nutrient dense medicinal food then the change will happen. Business is always about supply and demand. This is what our Nutrition Farming® concept is about – we need to deliver the premium quality, create the demand and then the farmer might finally be rewarded for his efforts. Organics is about a great list of things you can’t do but there are no guidelines about what you should be doing to produce fine quality food. In Nutrition Farming® the emphasis is on what is there in the food, in terms of nutrition, rather than what is not there in terms of chemical residues. It’s really all about emphasis, we emphasise the nutrition aspect because nutrient density determines pest pressure– a well grown crop will almost always require much less chemical intervention.
Jerry: Have you started with your Nutrition Farming® certification in Australia yet?
Graeme: We are just a few months off. It’s been driven by the growers who work with us. We plan a trial run in one region of Queensland to try to identify any problems. But back to my questions. It seems to me that the inherent problem with the current medical paradigm is that our doctors sign on to uphold the principles of the Hippocratic Oath but they very rarely get to heal anyone. Drugs treat symptoms, they don’t heal. They usually switch off a pathway to achieve a desired response but that pathway always does more than one thing. What’s your take on this?
Jerry: Yes, that’s what side effects are about. Increasingly, we are seeing a horror show in this regard – Vioxx, for example, from the Merck Corporation, supposedly killed at least 55,000 people in the United States before it was withdrawn. Now they are coming out with lists of drugs, some of them “over the counter” that are also suspect. Celebrex, possibly, and Bextra – the statin drugs are a whole other Pandora’s box.
Graeme: Yes, and they are amongst the largest selling drugs of all time, accounting for billions of dollars in sales. It’s not just that cholesterol has been given a bum rap but these drugs seem to be doing real damage. Are you familiar with the concerns about crossing the blood/brain barrier and shutting down production of the critically important brain cholesterol, which protects the brain cells?
Jerry: Yes, the forgetfulness and ‘brain fog’ are becoming real problems. The madness of the statin drugs is that they target cholesterol as this ubiquitous enemy, when in fact it is this ubiquitous raw material for so many things. I mean, you can’t really make any hormones without cholesterol. You can’t protect the cell membrane without cholesterol. You have no ability to activate vitamin D without cholesterol. It’s an anti-inflammatory substance, it’s an antioxidant. There are so many critically important functions linked to cholesterol. It shows up in high concentrations after free radical damage. It is there to mop up the damage associated with deficiencies, environmental toxins and excesses of food we shouldn’t be eating, like polyunsaturated fats. It’s like blaming firemen for fires, because every time you see a house on fire you will see firemen showing up. In the case of cholesterol, you always see cholesterol showing up after the inflammatory process and associated damage to the cardiovascular system.
Graeme: I recently visited a local doctor for a general check-up and the numbers in the waiting room built up as we discovered how much we had in common – He was part of a group of doctors in Australia whom have had additional nutritional training to help them move beyond the treatment of symptoms. Australian doctors have less than one hour of nutrition training, despite recent WHO research that found a nutrition link to every disease studied. An organisation called ACNEM, headed by a guy called Ian Brighthope, has taken it upon itself to address this problem. They initially offer comprehensive nutrition training to conventional doctors and complement this training with a monthly newsletter – readers can check out ACNEM doctors in their area by checking out the ACNEM website (www.acnem.org). The guys who have had this additional training invariably become very passionate practitioners. Now they get to live out the Hippocratic Oath. Anyway, this local doctor found that some patients didn’t like his new approach. They weren’t interested in root causes but demanded a pill to treat their symptoms. They came for “fast food” medicine and they weren’t leaving until they had their drug prescription. What’s your take on this phenomenon?
Jerry: People do have a justifiable infatuation with modern medicine and it’s remarkable high-tech cleverness. In terms of surgery and saving of lives from trauma, it has been almost miraculously successful. Many lives are saved that would have been given up for lost in the past. However, people assume that modern medicine has the same high-tech solutions in the form of a magic pill that will rectify pain, inflammation and other symptoms. The problem, of course, didn’t come from a deficiency of some drug; it has usually come from a lifestyle choice that is causing degenerative illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disorders, cancer or arthritis. The light at the end of the tunnel, in terms of potential recognition of root causes, is the fact that people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Drugs may temporarily manage one symptom but they create side effects which are called “other symptoms”. More drugs are then prescribed for the “other symptoms”. One can only hope that the growing minority that is interested in total holistic health and longevity, will continue to grow until we can teach our children that a long, healthy, happy life is always going to come from lifestyle choices.
Graeme: I couldn’t agree more strongly in relation to children and the burning need for nutrition information in the schools – we are currently looking at ways we can help. I don’t know if you have seen the recent series from English celebrity chef Jamie Oliver called “Jamie’s School Dinners” . Jamie didn’t have any real understanding of the link between nutrition and disease but he knew instinctively that it wasn’t right for the school cafeterias to be only serving deep fried food, like chicken nuggets and chips.
The schools were filled with junk food and drink machines. Hyperactivity, autism, poor academic performance, allergies and constipation were rife. At one point, Jamie interviewed a doctor from a hospital in a town near the school of 4000, which had been chosen for his experiment. This guy said it was common to admit students from this school who were so constipated, they were literally coughing up poo! These children ate the same food at home as they ate in school – there was no fruit and vegetables or fibre in their diet at all.
Anyway, Jamie embarked upon this project to train the cafeteria ladies to cook wholesome fresh foods, like tasty Thai stir-fries, using fresh ingredients. He faced a predictable rebellion from the tuck-shop ladies who had grown accustomed to the hassle-free preparation of lunches which simply involved heating the oil and slicing open the chip bags. He took them on boot camps and with the help of a convert from their ranks, he was eventually able to teach and enthuse them about the importance of the new diet.
The introduction of the new diet was difficult to say the least – some of the kids literally threw up when they tasted wholesome food – it was so foreign to their taste buds. It actually took six months to enforce widespread consumption of the new food – kids were stealing away to the fast food shops in their lunch hour. Jamie was on his knees in tears of frustration on one occasion and there was serious pressure on his marriage as he typically invested all of his energy in the project. He is a real character who is bleeped constantly for his swear words but he has a great heart. He took advantage of his celebrity status and invited Government Ministers to taste-test the original school lunch diet versus his new version. He was actually lobbying for funds because no matter how tight the pricing, he was unable to keep the price of his lunches comparable to the deep fried food.
At the end of the twelve month trial there was a remarkable transformation in the children. Academic performance and general behaviour improved and there was an obvious change in their general health. In fact, they interviewed one woman who had been hired to administer ritalin for hyperactive kids and another who dealt with asthmatics – neither of the women was now required. At the end of the program, it was noted that the English government had since allocated an extra 200 million pounds to improve school lunches. I heard recently, on our local news, that that figure has now been increased to 2 billion Australian dollars. It’s amazing how one man has literally changed the future. I understand a similar project has been trialled in Wisconsin in the United States. Are you familiar with this?
Jerry: Yes, that was Barbara Stitt and her husband. Barbara Stitt used to be a probation officer in the State of Ohio. During her career she had found that when she prescribed dietary changes for her clients the recidivism rate dropped to near zero. That is, people who changed their diet actually changed their behaviour, to the point that they were no longer participating in criminal mischief. Her findings have a relevance beyond the United States penal system, where malnourishment is par for the cause. The sheer number of inmates involved is putting huge pressure on the system in terms of sustainability. Currently, seven out of ten inmates will return, so the current concept of rehabilitation is a joke. Her findings are equally relevant to children and the long term viability of our society. There are large percentages of children who are ill today and this was not a feature of our generation. We didn’t have the high levels of asthma, allergies, ADD, ADHD, autism and obesity – these are all common place now. We don’t have the luxury of educating these kids so they don’t become sick adults in the long term. We already have sick children that are going to be incredibly sick adults if we don’t do something radical soon.
Graeme: The problems are definitely occurring at younger and younger ages. Childhood cancer was very rare 100 years ago but now it is the largest killer of our kids. I wasn’t aware of Barbara Stitt’s previous experience with parolees. I guess that’s what prompted her subsequent work with school children. You would imagine that the remarkable findings of Paul and Barbara Stitt would have made world headlines but they barely raised a blimp.
For those readers not familiar with their research, I’ll explain: The Stitt’s own a Wisconsin company, called Natural Ovens. They offered to finance the additional cost for a school in Appleton, Wisconsin, to switch to wholesome foods – this offer was based on the proviso that the school removed the snack food and soft drink vending machines. ‘Natural Ovens’ supplied the food to ensure high nutritional standards. The company committed to a five year trial, to show that whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables could make a real difference to the students’ behaviour, learning and health. The additional cost for the good nutrition amounted to just 20,000 US dollars per year.
This school had so many problems with discipline and weapon violations that a police officer had to be recruited to manage the mess. The Principal of this school was required, by state law, to file a report each year listing the number of students who had dropped out, those that had been caught using drugs or carrying weapons, those who have been expelled and the number of students who have committed suicide. After two years of the five year experiment, the numbers in each category had been reduced to zero. The Stitts based the research on two premises – It wasn’t just about the theorised link between nutrition and behaviour but it was also about reducing the flood of food additives found in processed food and soft drink.
Jerry: One of the interesting things about this experiment was the two designated “junk food days” each year. The day after the “junk food day” the kids were asked to write about how they slept and describe any differences in feeling or behaviour they had noticed. It was an eye opener for everyone. The teachers found that the kids’ spelling had seriously deteriorated overnight and sometimes they couldn’t even finish a sentence. The pulse rate for second graders usually doubled and the kids got to see the contrast themselves. They now know, without a doubt, that what they put in their mouths affects their behaviour!
Graeme: Yes, it is was great work but it never fails to amaze me how this hasn’t been a penny dropping experience for every parent and every teacher everywhere. It’s several years into the research and they are still just talking about extending the experiment into other local schools. The link is so bloody obvious you would assume this could trigger a much more rapid and widespread response. Anyway, I’d better not get too wound up – back to my questions.
You have become something of an International Cancer Guru since my last interview. I’m interested in your new findings in relation to cancer. I find myself speaking more and more about health issues all over the world and I always endeavour to give the audience some practical guidelines to address their specific problems. I know that this is one of your great strengths and throughout the course of this lengthy interview I will be seeking these practical game plans and strategies for a whole variety of problems. Returning to cancer, though, the so-called “war on cancer” started over thirty years ago and massive amounts of money have been spent – are we any closer to winning the war?
*Jerry: * An article which people might be able to download from the net – It’s from Fortune Magazine, dated March 29, 2004. This excellent cover article was called “Why we are losing the war on Cancer”. We have spent over 200 billion dollars in research money since President Nixon declared war on cancer in the early 1970’s. In the 35 years since then we annually budget 14 billion dollars in cancer research. We spend 64 billion dollars a year treating people with cancer. Over six hundred thousand Americans will die from this disease this year and 1.3 million will be diagnosed with cancer. The four leading cancers are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
The major cause of death associated with cancer is metastatic illness – that is when cancer expands beyond the primary tumour site to distant organs like the brain, lung, bones or whatever. There has been absolutely no progress in reducing metastatic illness in the past 35 years despite the giant investment. We are not going to get a cure because tumours don’t really kill people. Metastatic illness kills 90% of the people who die from cancer – 50% of sufferers die of cachexia which is wasting disease. This has to do with not being able to arrest the infiltration of glucose into the malignant cells. So despite the advent of new drugs, none of them deal with the primary issue of cancer death, which is metastatic illness and cachexia.
The real defence against metastatic illness is, of course, a strong immune system. Unfortunately, people treated with anti-carcinogenic drugs are not only having their metastatic illness unaddressed but they are also suffering major immune suppression in the process. The new drugs being developed are all being approved for cancer, based on their capacity to shrink a primary tumour in a lab animal by about 10% or more. In the article I mentioned, a range of leading oncologists agree that there is no cure for cancer with conventional drugs. The issue is metastatic illness and less than 0.5% of the massive research budget is going into this problem. Over 1.56 million papers have now been published on cancer research. They understand how cancer works at the cellular level but the problem is that they prescribe drugs that not only shut down the immune system but often they are carcinogenic in themselves. You may end up putting a brake on cancer for a few years but you may find that another cancer develops as a consequence of your initial treatment.
In addition, the cancer longevity statistics are based upon earlier detection rather than a longer lifespan. For example, you might be diagnosed a couple of years earlier now, than in the past and those extra two years are being tagged on the end rather than the beginning. You didn’t really live longer – you just got an earlier diagnosis. This cancer failure is a tragedy but in reality we are technologically much better than that. The Manhattan Project, for example, produced an atom bomb in seventeen months when they weren’t even sure what nuclear energy was. They put a man on the moon within nine years of initiating the space program and the human genome project was completely unravelled within a paltry eighteen years. Despite that capacity, here we are, thirty-five years later with this miserable failure.
Graeme: It’s hard not to continue to question you about cancer because your knowledge is so broad on this subject and your information is so critically important considering the scale of this plague disease. Surgery is a popular treatment option with this disease and yet there seems to be compelling evidence that disturbance of the primary tumour seems to set the ball rolling and really unleash the fury of the disease. Do you think that surgery is often premature in this context?
Jerry: This phenomenon was actually discovered by Dr Judah Folkman. He was the one who actually discovered angiogenesis back in the 1960’s, when he was a navy doctor. He was scoffed at and villainised at the time.
Graeme: Perhaps you could elaborate on the concept of angiogenesis for those not familiar with it.
Jerry: Well, angiogenesis is basically the process where cells produce various kinds of biochemical substances to stimulate the growth of blood vessels. Cancer cells grow and became larger and bulkier when they can encourage a nutrition delivery system based on the synthesis of blood vessels. Folkman found out that the primary tumour produces not only angiogenic compounds to attract blood vessels to itself but it also produces anti-angiogenic compounds that suppress the production of blood vessels to its competitor tumours that have metastasised all over the body. In many instances, when you remove the primary tumour, the associated removal of the anti-angiogenic compounds holding down the competitors allows the semi-dormant little tumours that have metastasised around the body to suddenly take off.
Graeme: It’s horrifying and yet fascinating to understand the mechanics of this insidious disease. It’s like a seedling in the forest that remains semi-dormant until the mother tree dies or is cut down to allow the stimulation of sunlight to trigger a growth explosion. A more personal cancer question this time – You have recently lost a close friend to this disease. Was there anything positive – any lessons learnt from that harrowing experience?
Jerry: Yes, there are many. One lesson would be to refrain from using morphine until you no longer have a choice. Morphine is a very profound immune suppressant. It also tricks the body into believing that there are adequate amounts of endorphins saturating the opiate receptor sites on the cells. The body, in effect, thinks it’s in good standing, that the immune system is elevated and the body is in a good state of health when endorphin levels are high. However, it is synthetic opiates that have deceived the system. Again, morphine is a very strong suppressant of natural killer cell activity which you need to contain the metastasis.
Graeme: I acknowledge the problems with morphine but are there any other viable options when the pain simply becomes too much to bear?
Jerry: There are effective pain killers that are not opiates, like tramadiol, which does a pretty good job. There is some evidence to suggest that this chemical has the opposite effect. It can actually enhance the natural killer cell function.
Graeme: That’s really interesting. I didn’t think there was a viable option. What were some of the other lessons you mentioned?
Jerry: I also realised that you have really got to stay on top by getting the right kind of tests so that you know your adversary. For example, you need to get the right kind of tissue tests so you can find out what kinds of mineral deficiencies and imbalances you might have – particularly in relation to the trace minerals. You also need to find out what kinds of toxins are there – you need to recognise that the best time to start dumping the junk or detoxing is during the early stages of the disease because if you become too ill it can become too difficult to do some of the most effective things. People can find it too challenging to do things, like far infrared sauna or colonics, when they are in a weakened state. You should also organise a comprehensive hormone test.
Graeme: Is there any way to increase the efficiency or to reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy, if you do decide to go that route.?
Jerry: You really need to “know thy adversary” with this disease. One way to really know your disease is to use good laboratories that can analyse the malignancies. For example, there’s a laboratory by the name of Rational Therapeutics in Long Beach, California. It’s headed up by a Dr Nagourney – he analyses the malignancies so that, if you do elect chemotherapy as an option, you can find out what kind of chemotherapy is toxic to the malignant cells because you can be damn sure that chemo therapeutical agents are going to be toxic to the healthy cells. It’s like using an antibiotic sensitivity test. This is actually a very good strategy. If you have a strep throat they do a culture test to check out which antibiotic will be effective. There is little point in engaging in wholesale slaughter of your beneficial gut organisms if you didn’t even get the strep. Similarly you don’t want to take chemo unless you are absolutely positive that it will do the job.
Graeme: It’s all about the smarter use of these things really. There are benefits and pitfalls but we need to learn to approach the battle in a more informed manner.
Jerry: Right and there are also other ways of using chemotherapy so that it’s not nearly as harmful. The chemo doesn’t contribute to nearly as much collateral damage or destruction of healthy tissue.
Graeme: What are the tricks to minimise the collateral damage?
Jerry: Well, one protocol is known as IPT, which is Insulin Potential Therapy. This is predicated on years of research beginning back in the 1920’s when they were using it for other ailments like tuberculosis. Insulin is a real contributor to cell replication and DNA synthesis with cancer cells because insulin is the hormone that drives glucose into the cell. Curiously enough, cancer cells have about fifteen times more insulin receptor sites than healthy cells have. This is because they’re sugar junkies.
Graeme: So the recently identified epidemic of pre-diabetic people in the US actually predisposes these people, which number 1 in 3 adults, to cancer.
Jerry: Yes, you’re much susceptible because if you have any malignancies, and many people do, then you’re providing a lot more fuel for the malignancies to thrive in. The IPT therapy works using a strategy similar to a Trojan horse. You intravenously administer insulin, which causes the malignant cells to go into rapid replication. Incidentally, this is one of the key reasons for the use of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is effective against rapidly dividing cells which is what malignant cells are. The problem is that bone marrow cells and the cells in the stomach lining are also rapidly dividing cells. The cells lining the GI tract replace themselves every four days, so chemo is very hard on both the stomach lining and bone marrow. This is why chemo-treated patients often have to go in for a bone marrow transplant.
When you use IPT therapy you are tricking the cancer cells to go into DNA synthesis and replication and when that occurs you can administer the chemotherapy agents at about one tenth of the normal dose. So you can achieve a much higher kill rate of the malignant cells with a lot less collateral damage to the healthy cells. In the meantime, if you have already identified which chemotherapy agents will really work, then you can really enhance the efficiency of conventional treatment without causing nearly as much damage to the immune system and other organs.
Graeme: That sounds like a great concept of which everyone contemplating chemo should be made aware. Were there any other lessons from your friend’s long battle?
Jerry: Yes, there are other anti-angiogenic compounds and also compounds that contribute to cancer cell apoptosis or suicide. The compounds found in brassicas, like broccoli, are a good example.
Graeme: Actually, I think we will cover those kinds of compounds in a later question. At this point I would like to introduce another idea. I often talk about four categories of causative factors in cancer and other diseases. If we take a holistic approach, these would include nutrition, biology, toxicity and the emotions. In general, it seems that you can modify your nutrition, clean up and rejuvenate your biology and detox the chemicals and heavy metals but if you ignore this mind/body emotional link to illness then the job is not done. What do you feel about the destructive power of negative emotions?
Jerry: The mind/body emotional link connection is as big as anything. It’s a lot harder to quantify, of course, because there are no lab tests to measure what’s going on in that realm. However, it is now understood that people struggling with depression, anger, regret, remorse, bitterness and fear are seriously reducing their survival potential if they have this disease. There is a synergistic “teaming up” with things like environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies and hormone imbalances. It’s critical that these negative emotions are addressed.
Graeme: Just continuing with the cancer theme – are there any new findings from a mineral perspective? I am personally very excited about the potential of selenium in helping to manage this disease. A selenium expert I was speaking with recently, cited research where long term smokers were part of a trial. One large group had given up smoking and the other group continued with their pack-a-day habit. The smokers were given 200 micrograms of selenium daily, while the ex-smokers were not given this supplement. After 3 years, there was a far higher cancer rate amongst the ex-smokers than the smokers given selenium protection. This is not something you want to tell smokers because they usually punch the air and scream “you beauty!” The fact is that you remain at risk for several years after long-term smoking, so it’s not an excuse for smokers to keep smoking. However, if you are a smoker you would be crazy not to take 200 mcgs of selenium each day and some high dose Vitamin C, for that matter.
Jerry: Selenium is probably the most underrated of all supplements. There have been profound studies done on selenium, over ten year periods in some cases. These studies have involved thousands of people. For example, it is one of the most important minerals associated with preventing prostate cancer. In one study of 1400 men, prostate cancer was reduced by 50% with a mere 200mcg of selenium daily. They are finding that selenium has strong anti-viral replicating properties, almost like an anti-viral replicating drug. This is important for people with cancers like I had (Non Hodgkinsons Lymphoma) which are closely associated with viruses. 50% of all the United States lymphoma cases seem to be connected to people who had the polio vaccine in the 50’s and 60’s. That vaccine had been contaminated with the Simeon Virus 40.
Graeme: Isn’t there also a link to herpes?
Jerry: Yes, there is strong evidence that people with lymphoma struggle with the herpes family of viruses. I found out, for example, that I had had exposure to most of the herpes family of viruses even though I never displayed any symptoms like shingles or cold sores or whatever.
Graeme: I guess very few people go to the lengths you went to, from a testing perspective, to uncover your dormant virus lode. Perhaps we all have issues like these but never know about it.
Jerry: It’s a good argument for supplementing with selenium. There has been massive research done on selenium, in terms of the immune system. It’s been known for many years that selenium teams up with the tri-peptide called glutathione to produce a compound called glutathione peroxidase. This is a critically important enzyme that is responsible for activating neutraphils and T cells, which are the front line troops of the immune system.
Graeme: Selenium is also important in the detoxification system.
Jerry: Yes, glutathione S. transferase is a critical part of the detoxification pathway. There is a profound impact with selenium on viruses, it supports the immune system and it’s a powerful anti-oxidant. It also seems to have a sequestering capacity in combating heavy metals, like mercury, which is very difficult to contend with when you’re ill. Mercury is a big root cause of disease. It’s mainly coming from seafood and the amalgams which most people still have in their heads. Selenium is inexpensive and hugely important. It’s one of the main supplements I take daily. I take between 600mcg and 1200mcg of selenium daily.
Graeme: That would be very difficult to achieve in Australia. Until recently, selenium was only available through prescription. Then it could be purchased over the counter but the maximum dose was 25 mcg. To supplement at 1000 mcg per day you would have needed to pop 40 pills each day. For proactive health management, the proven successful dose rate is 200 mcg per day but cancer patients need 600mcg. I never actually heard of anyone taking 1200 mcg – I thought it would be toxic at 1000 mcg.
Jerry: There are different kinds of selenium and it appears that it is best to combine these. I take selenium yeast for a biological source. This is a harvested yeast grown on a bed of rice bran fortified with selenium salts which are taken up and chelated by the yeast. I also take a form called Se–methy-selenocysteine which is a water soluble form that’s found in broccoli that is very bio available. I take an amino acid-chelated selenium, like selenomethionine –all of these have high bioavailability and low toxicity. Yes, it’s a trace element you can definitely over dose but I’ve been taking 600 to 1200 mcg intermittantly for more than five years and I’ve never found any toxicity symptoms, certainly not in blood work. One of the reasons I’m so confident with the doses that I’m taking is because I have had a lot of experience with the administrating of selenium to livestock for the last 25 years with great success. I’ve used doses that are much higher than the recommended label rates on the label.
Graeme: What sort of doses would you use in beef cattle weighing perhaps 600 kg each?
Jerry: The normal recommendation of the injectable selenium and Vitamin E are about 5 mL and we’ve found that giving an animal 10 mL in multiple doses a month apart seems to make a major difference to the immune system of that animal and also the reproductive performance of that animal – there has been veterinary and field work that backs this up.
Graeme: While we are on the subject of the forgotten minerals and their almost miraculous protective power, I’d like to ask you about iodine. Iodine plays a major role in the health and functioning of the thyroid gland and problems with the thyroid are almost reaching epidemic proportions in western societies, despite the fact that table salt contains iodine. The Japanese don’t suffer from these thyroid problems and their diet contains up to 500 times more iodine – largely derived from seafood and kelp. I understand that you have become an avid proponent of iodine supplementation. Can you tell me why you’ve become so keen on iodine?
Jerry: This is another unsung hero. It’s been tremendously underrated; it’s very inexpensive and very effective. Iodine is a halogen, the same family as fluorine, chlorine and bromine. We have way too much of these three compounds in our environment and food chain and each of them can reduce the availability or utilisation of iodine. The RDA for iodine is 175 mcg per person per day. There are two very well written and easy-to-read books about iodine that cover some of the issues with this mineral. One of them, written by a Canadian National Doctor, Dr David Derry is called “Iodine and Breast Cancer”. The other one was written by a Michigan MD, called Dr Brownsteen. Both of the physicians have presented strong cases that the iodine RDA is ridiculously low.
Graeme: This is actually the case with many RDA’s. It highlights the little-understood fact that the concept of a Recommended Daily Allowance was never about optimum levels. It is about the bare minimum required to avoid things like scurvy if you don’t consume the minimum Vitamin C requirement or rickets if you don’t get the bare minimum of calcium in your diet. Despite the fact that the RDA is really just a starting point, some recent research in the United Kingdom revealed that only 10% of the population eat a diet that contains the RDA – 90% of them don’t even achieve this most basic level of nutrition.
Jerry: Yes, it’s a similar thing with Iodine. The RDA of 175mcg per day will prevent goitre but the fact is that you are already at a terminal stage when you have goitre. I’m talking about proactive health management. 60 mg of Vitamin C will prevent scurvy but it takes 10 to 30 times that amount to discover what Vitamin C can really do for you. Iodine is anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. The Japanese do consume between 100 to 500 times more iodine than we do. This is not percentage but times. As a consequence of that they have the lowest incidence, in the industrialised world, of prostate, ovarian, uterine, cervical and breast cancer. Within a generation of Japanese immigrating to the United States, they have the same incidence of those same cancers as Americans do. Part of the secret is not just seafood; it’s the parts they consume. Japanese eat whole heads of the fish, eyes included, while we throw the iodine-rich parts of the fish away.
Dr Derry points out that Iceland also used to enjoy a low incidence of those same five cancers. It turns out that at that time in Iceland, the fishing industry discarded the entrails and the heads, that were then dehydrated and used as a feed for their dairy cows. Much of the iodine the cows consumed was translocated to the thirstiest gland in the body – the lacteal gland, namely the udder of the cow. So the iodine came through the milk and as a consequence the Icelandic people were, at one time, consuming copious quantities of iodine in both their milk and their seafood diet. It was only when the Icelandic government banned the feeding of fish meat to dairy cows that iodine in the diet dropped and the levels of these same five cancers rose.
What’s really interesting is recent research that has revealed that the halogen bromine, which makes up a lot of the fire-retardant chemicals in the United States that are proven carcinogenic compounds, is around 40 times higher in American women’s breast milk. At the same time the bread, which used to be fortified with iodine as a dough conditioner, was replaced with bromine as a dough conditioner. So we’ve taken more iodine out of the diet and replaced it with something that inhibits iodine and this replacement is also a suspected carcinogen at the levels we are consuming it.
Graeme: Isn’t there a similar issue with chlorine? The average person still drinks chlorinated water from the tap. Doesn’t chlorine also serve as an iodine inhibitor?
Jerry: Yes, chlorine is also a halogen and it can interfere with iodine uptake. Chlorine is also a free radical which causes problems with immune suppression. There are also suspicions that it may create carcinogenic compounds when it combines with substances that have a carbon molecule called tri-halomethanes.
Graeme: Yes and now Japanese research suggests that it gets even worse. The Japanese have identified a compound called Factor MX, which is a mutagen in very small doses. It appears that chlorine can combine with phytonutrients in fruit and vegetables to produce this toxin. It’s no surprise, I guess, considering the fact that organochloride compounds, like DDT, dioxins and PCB’s, are amongst the most deadly of toxins. Catechins found in tea and flavenoids found in fruit were the worst culprits. That cup of tea made with chlorinated water is looking pretty dicey on the basis of these findings! Actually, the popular artificial sweetener Splenda also contains chlorine, so if you put a teaspoon in that cuppa you may have more problems! There are suggestions that the law suits may fly like confetti if this research proves valid and is made widely known.
Jerry: Just returning to trihalomethanes for a minute – It was found that GI’s who were autopsied after death in action in Korea had the cardiovascular systems of old men. It was found to be related to drinking heavy chlorinated water on the battlefield. This caused a lot of oxidation to the vascular system. Back to Iodine – I found many years ago that iodine was quite effective in stock feeds. This was therapeutic doses using a special kind of iodine called EDDI. Animals that were given EDDI that had chronic foot problems, like hoof rot, recovered every bit as effectively as if they had been given tetracycline, without any of the side effects of that antibiotic.
Graeme: I understand that you have been developing an iodine-based fungicide for plants.
Jerry: Yes, it kills fungi and yeast. Iodine is an outstanding substance; it works on the redox principle. Bacteria can’t build up resistance to it which is why it’s the number one disinfectant in hospitals. It puts the other surface contact disinfectants to shame because both bacteria and fungi can’t build resistance to it. I think it is something that nature has provided for a reason. Sea vegetables contain over half a percent of actual iodine in the ash on a dry matter basis, so it’s not surprising that people who eat a lot of seafoods or animals that are on diets containing high amounts of kelp do very well. They thrive reproductively, metabolically and their immune systems are really firing. Iodine is a remarkable substance that we really need to take another look at. I’m taking what would be considered to be a lethal dose – I’m taking 50,000 micrograms daily!
Graeme: What form are you supplementing?
Jerry: I’m taking Lugol’s solution – It’s an old fashioned, 100 year old veterinarian and medical remedy. 6 to 8 drops per day will generate 50,000 micrograms. I’ll cut that back to 4 drops per day when I feel it has done its job. It is also quite effective at flushing out heavy metals.
To read Part 3 of this interview, please click here.