Man having blood drawn to test his homocysteine levels.

Homocysteine Levels

The most treatable ”cause” of atherosclerosis is homocysteine which is several times as dangerous as is cholesterol.

Homocysteine is a metabolic product of methionine metabolism and even moderate levels may be seriously damaging. The ”normal” range is approximately 4 to 13 micro mol/liter.

My experience strongly supports the optimal level at 7 or less. There is considerable evidence that hypertension is related to even moderate levels of 8 or higher.

Among the many findings related to homocysteine levels are

  • Homocysteine is one of many independent risk factors in stoke and recurrent stroke
  • Brain atrophy is found in individuals with higher levels of homocysteine
  • Homocysteine levels tend to rise in pregnancy
  • Pregnant women with the highest levels of homocysteine are at greater risk of pre-eclampsia
  • Pregnant women with higher levels of homocysteine have significantly higher risks of having babies with neural tube defects (myelomeningocele) and other congenital abnormalities
  • There is a moderate genetic influence in elevating homocysteine
  • Individuals with poor kidney function have increased levels of homocysteine and are at greater risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Nitric oxide, one of the critical factors in artery function, helps regulate homocysteine levels. Low nitric acid levels are associated with both increased arterial disease and erectile dysfunction
  • L-Dopa treatment in patients with Parkinsonism increases homocysteine levels
  • Elderly individuals have higher levels of homocysteine
  • Elderly patients with severe psychological disorders have higher levels of homocysteine
  • Postmenopausal women and those who have had ovaries removed have higher levels of homocysteine
  • 5 cups of black tea daily may increase homocysteine levels
  • Non-Hispanic whites have higher levels of homocysteine than Mexicans
  • Obesity is associated with increased homocysteine
  • Many drugs may increase homocysteine, including commonly used beta-blockers and hydrochlorthiazide.
  • Even relative hypothyroidism results in elevated homocysteine
  • Higher levels of homocysteine are associated with increased insulin sensitivity – hypoglycemia and diabetes.
  • Homocysteine levels above 7 are increasingly associated with hypertension, especially systolic hypertension.
  • Smoking, coffee and alcohol all may increase homocysteine
  • Elevated homocysteine is associated with increased risk of hip fracture


Homocysteine levels are easily controlled and lowered by increased amounts of folic acid, B 12, B 6 and possibly Vitamin C. In some individuals, larger dosages than the usual 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid may be critical. I take 100 mg daily, as Ray Oster demonstrated over 30 years ago that up to 80 mg is essential in some people!

Every person should have their homocysteine level checked not later than age 40 and it should be repeated at least every 10 years, unless you have an initially high level. Then you should be on supplements of B 12, folic acid, B 6 and C forever.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your commitment to self-health and relieving depression. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

Taurine – The Most Commonly Deficient Amino Acid

Of all the amino acids present in humans, taurine is the most abundant. Unfortunately, it is also deficient in more individuals than any other amino acid. Eighty-six percent of significantly depressed individuals are deficient in taurine. This deficiency may become symptomatic in virtually any organ system, since taurine's major metabolic role is regulation of the electrical charge on cell membranes, a role synergistic with magnesium.

Heart muscle and the retina contain the highest concentration of taurine. Overall, taurine drastically counteracts or down-regulates the body's stress reaction, helping stabilize carbohydrate metabolism, insulin levels and epinephrine levels and muscle tension.

As a mild sedative to the nervous system, taurine is anti-nociceptive – it assists in reducing pain, as well as assisting in regulation of serotonin, prolactin, growth hormone, immune function and cholesterol metabolism.

Taurine is widely used in Europe and Japan to treat epilepsy. My personal experience suggests that all epileptics should take about 3000 mg. of taurine daily and either magnesium taurate or magnesium lotion. Other clinical indications are macular degeneration, elevated cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm irregularities and insomnia.

It is well known that alcohol, even within five or six hours of sleep, interferes with Stage 4 sleep. Thus, I recommend that anyone who drinks alcohol take 2000 to 3000 mg. of taurine at bedtime. This precaution appears to block the sleep-interference of alcohol.

Incidentally, there is NO taurine in vegetables. Taurine is a unique animal amino acid found in virtually all animal protein, eggs, milk and flesh foods, including fish, fowl and, of course, beef. It was named for Taurus since it was first found in ox bile, where in humans as well, taurine binds with cholestero

Beta glucan is derived from many mushrooms like the ones shown here.


Beta glucan is a polysaccharide derived from bakers’ yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, oat and barley fiber and many mushrooms. Although beta-1.3 glucan is effective in activating the immune function of white blood cells, glucan is equally effective in lowering cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, while raising HDL cholesterol.

In fact, it is the glucan which accounts for oat bran’s benefit in lowering cholesterol. It also slows the absorption of dietary sugar and may increase tissue sensitivity to insulin. To date, no complications or drug interactions have been reported.

Some years ago one of the popular folk remedies was Kombucha or sacred mushroom tea, containing the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. Any benefits theoretically were from the glucan.

Incidentally, the mushroom-shaped yeast contains 22 amino acids and this yeast is one of the most effective mechanisms for converting sugar to useful protein, a potential which has yet to be made useful in some of the protein-deficient societies where sugar is more easily grown.

The yeast itself is rather tough and has virtually no significant flavor. I consider it highly superior to soy protein.

Beta glucan stimulates macrophages as well as natural killer cells, even increasing precursors in the bone marrow, making it one of the most significant anti-cancer immune-enhancing factors known.

Beta glucan increases tumor necrosis factor, interleukins 1 and 6, antibody formation, and hydrogen peroxide, improving the entire immune mechanism. It prophylactically protects against anthrax infection and cancer.

Interestingly, beta glucan stimulates immune response without promoting toxic side reactions, and is effective in viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Clinical studies have demonstrated the benefit of beta glucan in sepsis, in protecting against the negative effects of radiation and in enhancing both myeloid and erythroid cell production. It should be used routinely when there is chemotherapy-associated myelosuppression.

Beta glucan has been effective in skin regeneration and wound healing and has even been used as a wound dressing in burns, with excellent cosmetic results. And beta glucan reduces C-reactive protein. It is of some importance that Vitamin D3 maximizes the benefits of beta glucan. Glucan improves outcome in acute necrotizing pancreatitis, as well as improving survival after serious high-risk gastrointestinal operations.

Although there are many small dosage capsules of beta 1, 3 glucan available, they tend to be rather expensive. I used the commercially available glucan, available as a thickening agent for commercial bakeries, and found it to be quite adequate for enhancing production of DHEA. As little as 6 mg is helpful.

For optimal immune enhancement, a minimum of one teaspoon of the powder is a valuable supplement. In more serious situations, a tablespoon may be used.

It is available at

All individuals with cancer, AIDS, chronic infections, chemotherapy, radiation, immune incompetence and most autoimmune diseases may benefit from the addition of glucan.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your overall commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

Woman doing sit-ups as part of her exercise routine to keep her high sensitivity c-reactive protein at optimal levels.

Lowering High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Naturally

For some 8 months I have been exploring natural and safe ways to lower High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein.

There is virtually no circumstance under which I would take statin drugs. Personally I consider them dangerous and one of the next epidemics of The Emperor’s New Drugs. It may take another 20 years but ultimately they are not the answer, for either cholesterol or for high sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Here are some natural ways to optimize this most critical indicator of the risk for heart attack, as well as stroke and many cancers.

  • Keep Body Mass Index between 18 and 24
  • No smoking
  • Eat a diet low in Glycemic Index foods
  • Deal with your anger, guilt, anxiety and depression!!! They inflame.
  • Exercise a minimum of one hour a day

Optimal Supplements for lowering high sensitivity c-reactive protein are:

  • Arginine, 2 grams twice daily
  • Co-Q 10, 200 mg daily
  • Glutamine, one tablespoon daily
  • Alpha Lac Colostrum-400 Central Ave., Nebraska City, NE. 68410

There are some other possibilities. Nothing works in everyone. If the above supplements do not lower your high sensitivity C-reactive protein within one month, try:

  • Boswellin, 1000 mg daily
  • Curcumin, 1500 mg daily

Incidentally, as I reported in another post, much higher levels of iodine than previously though adequate are essential. Since iodine is a major protector against infection, I suspect that it may help lower high sensitivity C-reactive protein. Stay tuned.

Optimal levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein are BELOW 1 ng/L. The average level is between 1 and 3 ng/L. Here is one of the critical areas where you want to be below average!

Dealing with your anger, guilt, anxiety and depression

I have dealt with these striking issues in over 30,000 patients. No one can afford the luxury of unresolved emotional distress.

In one of my favorite booklets, IRRITATION, THE DESTRUCTIVE FORCE, Torkom Saraydarian states that irritation produces IMPERIL, a toxic chemical which destroys the etheric nervous system.

The evidence is equally clear that these destructive emotional issues raise High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein, leading to heart attack, as well as stroke and cancer. If you need help, ultimately you MUST solve your issues. I strongly recommend my book 90 DAYS TO STRESS-FREE LIVING. It was written for my patients and has served as a key to recovery for many thousands of individuals.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. Register and get his book 90 Days To Self-Health free

Eggs and bacon like this is what the Barnes diet recommends for breakfast.

The Barnes Diet

Dr. Broda Barnes was a family physician who revolutionized our concepts of nutrition and hypothyroidism. He also had a Ph.D. in thyroid biochemistry. He emphasized the wide variety of symptoms in hypothyroidism, from cold intolerance to heat intolerance; from weight loss to weight gain; from high to low blood pressure, etc.

But above all, he felt that that the diagnosis was best made by finding a body temperature below normal. And, he realized that an enlarged thyroid gland, goiter, was not common. In the 1970’s he estimated that 40% of the population is relatively hypothyroid, despite ‘normal’ blood studies of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or Thyroxin. I have found that 90% of individuals today have a subnormal temperature.

Barnes’ major contribution, however, is his demonstration that a RELATIVELY low carbohydrate diet is best for losing weight, maintaining optimal weight, and lowering cholesterol.


The diet he recommended consisted of 70 grams of protein, 90 grams of fat, and 50 grams of carbohydrate.


Breakfast consisted of:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 strips of bacon, or sausage or ham
  • 2 oz of orange juice
  • Coffee or tea, with cream if desired

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Meat, fish, or fowl
  • Vegetable with butter
  • Salad with lots of dressing
  • One serving of fruit
  • One glass of milk, tea, or coffee
  • A good B complex supplement

This Barnes diet satisfies most appetites, lowers total cholesterol, raises HDL cholesterol, and improves health in most people. It does get monotonous.

I found that the following works well:



  • Eggs, with cheese
  • Bacon, ham, or sausage if desired
  • 4 oz of fruit juice
  • One slice of sourdough bread, toasted

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Unlimited fish, fowl, or meat
  • Unlimited non-starchy vegetables with unlimited fatty dressing on salads
  • One more piece of sourdough bread at one meal and one serving of fruit at one meal

This diet is much more palatable to most people and is much better tolerated than the Atkins diet.

Barnes often recommended thyroid supplementation. For anyone with low body temperature — below 98.6 orally after 9 AM, iodine supplementation of 1500 to 2000 micrograms daily. And of course, take an excellent multivitamin.

Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your overall commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

Iodine – Critical Nutrient for Everyone

As I indicated in an earlier article, iodine deficiency is rampant and is a great contributor to low thyroid function.

In the May 2005 issue of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright’s NUTRITION & HEALING newsletter, Dr.Wright, my favorite nutritionist, reports that breast cancer is twice as common in women taking thyroid supplements. He believes that much higher dosages of iodine might not only prevent breast cancer but also restore thyroid function.

You may remember that I was able to restore thyroid function in only 60% of individuals with 1500 micrograms of iodine daily.

The average intake of iodine in Japan is a whopping 13.8 milligrams, almost ten times what I have been using. Breast cancer in Japan is also the lowest in the world.

Several prominent research authorities, including at least one Nobel laureate, are recommending 12.5 mg of iodine daily, best taken as a mixture of iodine and iodide.

Iodine has many other benefits, including helping your body eliminate toxic minerals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and mercury. And, delightfully, high doses of iodine help eliminate bromide and fluoride from your body!

Some studies have demonstrated that 12.5 mg of iodine is safe and does not harm any other system. But 20 mg of iodine daily can cause hyperthyroidism.

Lugol’s solution has been around for almost two hundred years and 2 drops daily contains 12.5 mg of iodine—5 mg of iodine and 7.5 mg of iodide, the ideal combination. A natural tablet, Iodoral, is available at some compounding pharmacies, some heath food stores and at the Tacoma Clinic Dispensary as well as at the Shealy-Sorin Wellness online store.

Drs. Abraham and associates have further documented the critical importance of total body iodine content in an excellent article available on the internet under Iodoral.

Measurement of urinary iodide levels by ion-selective electrode: Improved sensitivity and specificity by chromatography on an ion-exchange resin.

Guy. E. Abraham M.D.1, Jorge D. Flechas M.D.2 and John C. Hakala R.Ph.3

”There is convincing evidence that I deficiency predisposed to fibrocystic disease of the breast (FDB) and breast cancer. Administration of thyroid hormones to I-deficient women increased further their risk of breast cancer. Forty years ago, the risk ratio for breast cancer in our population was one in twenty and now it is one in eight, coincident with an increased prevalence of I deficiency in our population (1).”

Interestingly, women with larger breasts need even more iodine! Since the prostate is so similar to breast tissue, I suspect strongly that the prostate will also benefit from these larger amounts of iodine. And I predict that it may also be a major assistant in lowering High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein. For men and women, the evidence is clear enough.

I will begin taking not my usual 750 micrograms of Liquid Iodine but start the 12.5 mg in Iodoral. I recommend you consider this also.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your commitment to self-health and optimal longevity. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

Woman wearing white sunglasses.

Iodine: The Silent Deficit

Iodine deficiency was first recognized more than 80 years ago, as a cause of goiter.

During the 1920’s it was determined that the MINIMUM daily requirement for adults was 150 micrograms daily. Deficiencies lead not only to goiter but, when iodine-deficient pregnant women delivered babies, the brain of the newborn was severely damaged, leading to cretinism.

Salt was iodized in order to supply this essential nutrient. However, only half the salt in the U.S. is iodized and for 50 years physicians have recommended minimizing salt intake. In the past 15 years, the average intake of iodine in this country has fallen from 300 to 150 micrograms daily.

Meanwhile many factors that affect thyroid function have changed.

Chlorinated water is the standard in all cities but chlorine interferes with iodine absorption. High protein intake interferes with iodine absorption. Much higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables blocks iodine uptake by the thyroid. While beneficial to the colon, and high in antioxidants, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts all block thyroid uptake of iodine. Finally, over the past 50 years, everyone in the world has been nuked.

The combination of all these factors makes it obvious to me that thyroid size, to palpation, is much smaller than it was 50 years ago.

Despite the general medical dependence upon special hormone tests, such as TSH, temperature appears to be much more accurate for assessing thyroid function.

During the past decade, I have noticed that 90% of individuals have a temperature BELOW normal. The oral temperature before getting out of bed in the morning should be 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. At mid-afternoon, the temperature should be 98.6. Temperature is the simplest measure of basal metabolic rate, the key function of the thyroid gland.

Interestingly, hypothyroidism can cause virtually every symptom: high blood pressure, low blood pressure, obesity, fatigue, depression, hair loss, infertility, poor memory, cold intolerance, nervousness and anxiety, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, menstrual irregularities, poor intellect, fibrocystic breast disease, immune deficiency, and even low gastric acid production. There is also increasing evidence that the incidence of breast cancer and prostate cancer is increased in those deficient in iodine.

The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, the hormone responsible for maintaining the calcium in bone. Low calcitonin leads to osteoporosis. Hypothyroidism which can result from iodine deficiency greatly aggravates osteoporosis!

The single best way to restore thyroid function is to take adequate iodine and reverse iodine deficiency. Start with 1500 to 2000 micrograms daily. This is best done with Liquid Iodine by Biotics.

If your temperature does not come up to 98.6 in the mid-afternoon within 4 to 6 weeks, it may help to stimulate the Ring of Fire with the SheaLI TENS.

Restoration of thyroid function is one of the most critical essentials for optimal health. The only contraindication to high dosages of iodine is a nodule in the thyroid gland. This can easily be determined by a competent physical examination. If there is a nodule, special tests such as a thyroid scan should be done to rule out a malignancy of the gland.

Once your temperature returns to normal, you may need 450 to 750 micrograms of iodine daily to maintain normal thyroid function. Your body will be grateful for your attention to this essential nutrient!

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your commitment to self-health and optimal longevity. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

Cholesterol rich foods beautifully displayed.

How To Correct Cholesterol Problems

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

The first of the cholesterol problems that needs correction is the cholesterol hoax. The cholesterol hoax may be one of life’s most cruel ironies, as cholesterol is the foundation for most hormones and the nervous system. You manufacture cholesterol constantly and ten minutes of stress produces more cholesterol than you get from two eggs.

Incidentally, there is no evidence that eggs are harmful unless you are allergic to egg protein. The cholesterol in eggs is perfectly balanced by lecithin. The most remarkable report is of a man who ate twenty-five eggs daily and had cholesterol of 125!

People who eat the most cholesterol and the most saturated fat live longest and have the lowest incidence of heart disease. Medicine’s greatest error for fifty years has been a war against cholesterol. Here are a few essential facts.

People who eat the most cholesterol and eat the most saturated fat weigh the least! Weight gain and cholesterol levels are invariably correlated. Individuals who eat the least amount of saturated fat and cholesterol have twice the death rate of those who eat the diet opposed by the American Heart Association!

In Okinawa, where inhabitants eat large amounts of pork and cook with lard, the average life expectancy of women is 84.

Jews in Yemen, whose fat intake is solely of animal origin but NO sugar, have minimal heart disease and diabetes. Yemenite Jews transplanted to Israel eat more margarine, vegetable oils and sugar with resultant high levels of heart disease and diabetes.

Northern residents of India eat 17 times more animal fat than those in South India; the Southern Indians have a seven times greater incidence of heart disease.

The African Masai eat mostly milk and beef but heart disease is rare and cholesterol is low.

Residents of Crete obtain 70% of their calories from lamb, sausage, and goat cheese and have very low rates of heart disease.

Eskimos are relatively free of heart disease, despite a high intake of fat, as long as they avoid sugar.

Chinese, who consume great quantities of milk, NON-HOMOGENIZED, have half the rate of heart disease as those who eat little animal fat.

In Soviet Georgia, those who eat the most fatty meat live the longest.

The incidence of death from coronary artery disease in France is 55% lower than in the U.S., despite the French high intake of butter, eggs, cream, and pate. Indeed, in areas with the highest intake of goose and duck liver, the incidence of coronary heart disease is a striking 76% below that of Americans.

Carbohydrates make you fat; fat does not!

Beef fat is considerably better at improving cholesterol than equal calories from bread, potatoes, and pasta. And non-hydrogenated pork lard is even better than other shortenings.

The carbohydrate problem is related to the Glycemic Index. Sugar has a GI of 100; white bread is 97. Nuts have a GI of only 15. This means they raise blood sugar only 15% the rate of sugar. High GI leads to insulin release, which increases fat storage. High dairy fat DECREASES insulin resistance. The ‘Double GULP,’ 64 ounces of pure junk, contains 48 teaspoons of sugar, with 292 calories for fat production. Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, actually prevent weight loss and increase appetite.

Trans-fats, such as hydrogenated margarine, shortening and most peanut butter, are at least as serious a threat as high cholesterol. They are found in many pastries, doughnuts, deep-fried foods, crackers and ‘Fast Food,’ mostly junk. They increase insulin release and are associated with:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Sterility
  • Growth problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hearing loss

The ‘statin’ drugs are the PharmacoMafia’s answer to cholesterol problems. While they modestly reduce cholesterol, they clobber the liver and immune function. Personally, I would not take them under any circumstance!

What does work:

  • Stress reduction
  • Physical exercise — build to one hour daily
  • Maintaining optimal Body Mass Index
  • High intake of non-starchy vegetables and fruits
  • Do deep relaxation 30 minutes daily
  • Avoid hydrogenated fats of all kinds
  • Avoid soda pop and fast-food restaurants
  • Avoid homogenized milk
  • Drink at least two quarts daily of non-chlorinated water
  • Use only butter, olive oil, sesame and flaxseed oils as added fats
  • Add vegetable sterols — either Cholestatin or double strength saw palmetto, 360 mg, up to 12 daily

If you still have cholesterol problems with a level above 200 after 6 weeks on the above regimen, add:

Have your homocysteine level checked; it is 10 times as important and easily controlled with extra B-12 and folic acid.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

Bowl of soup from a Japanese restaurant.

The Okinawa Program

A view of THE OKINAWA PROGRAM, by Bradley J. Willcox, D. Craig Willcox and Makoto Suzuki, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2001.

Okinawa, a group of small islands south of Japan, has more centenarians and overall greater longevity than any other country. Actually, their average longevity is only 4.4 years longer than that of Americans but they have four times as many centenarians. The Okinawa death rate from heart disease is only 18% that of Americans and there is 80% less breast and prostate cancer, 50% less ovarian and colon cancer, 60% less hip fracture, and 50% less dementia. Heart attacks are only 20% as common as in this country and the survival rate is twice as great. DHEA blood levels are significantly higher in elder Okinawans; free radicals are much lower; cholesterol is lower and osteoporosis is much less common. These four health indices are, I believe, the key to normal longevity to at least 100.

According to THE OKINAWA PROGRAM, the reasons for the Okinawa health advantage appear to be:

  • Greater variety of foods — average 18 different ones each day
  • Greater intake of vegetables — 78% of foods
  • Much greater intake of rice and sweet potatoes
  • Much less meat, mostly fish and occasional chicken
  • Greater intake of legumes
  • Greater intake of arrowroot flour, tea, turmeric, seaweed, herbs, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Body Mass Index average between 18 and 22
  • Much greater physical activity
  • A more consistent pantheistic spiritual foundation

Unfortunately, Okinawans may soon lose their health and longevity advantage, as there has been a marked increase in American junk fast foods in the last few decades.

The facts about Okinawan health and longevity are well presented in THE OKINAWA PROGRAM.

Unfortunately, in order to produce a 496-page book, much of the volume is contrived to support a westernized approach to the Okinawa lifestyle, especially nutrition. For instance, currently the common cooking oil is canola, a more recent introduction and hardly the staple of the centenarians for most of their lives! It is a leap of faith that allows the authors to assume that canola oil is superior or has had any effect in the past centuries. The other westernized push includes a variety of suggested ”substitutes”, such as low fat yogurts, ice creams, cookies, sugar-free Jell-O, etc. Frankly, I think they pretend too much! The real program is much simpler.

It seems just as likely that we could conclude that the BMI alone could easily add the 4.4 years of extra longevity, or more! Not to mention their greater physical activity and more pastoral life.

Actually, according to The Longevity Game, on-line by Northwestern Mutual Insurance, if I were to have a BMI of 28 instead of 22, I would lose 8 years of life. The average American BMI is at 28 by age 60! (

Certainly Okinawans appear in the past to have eaten a healthier and more natural diet. But the BMI seems to be the critical feature of their health and longevity. The Okinawa lessons are obvious and may include all the factors in the bulleted area above.

There is a second book THE OKINAWA DIET PLAN. I bought it but it offers no additional useful information.

Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your overall commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

To Eat or Not To Eat

There is no greater controversy than that over nutrition. Some claim that virtually every food is harmful and a remarkable variety of fad diets exist, from all raw to vegan. Interestingly vegans eat yeast, a member of the animal kingdom; and most wear leather shoes and belts. So much for their purity. Meanwhile, all of them eventually suffer B 12 deficiency and usually are deficient in one or more essential amino acids.

Other extremes are the Rice Diet of Walter Kempner, a several decade fad at Duke University—white rice, unlimited canned fruits and a one-a-day vitamin supplement. It is remarkably successful in controlling Type II diabetes, malignant hypertension and obesity. It contains about 10% protein (and is deficient in some essential amino acids); ZERO fat, and 90% carbohydrate. The secret is no fat and low protein. It is also the most esthetically obnoxious diet I know.

At the opposite end of the scale is the Atkins Diet, a relatively recent fad: roughly 60% fat, 20% protein and 20% or less carbohydrate. Basically it consists of unlimited meat, cheese, fats, and non-starchy vegetables. It tastes great, is excellent for obesity as well as lowering cholesterol.

Slightly more palatable long term is the Broda Barnes diet which allows two pieces of bread and two small fruit servings daily; otherwise it consists of virtually unlimited meat, eggs, cheese and non-starchy vegetables. It long preceded the Atkins diet and has all the benefits.

Interestingly, the Macrobiotic diet is also an excellent alternative—brown rice, steamed vegetables and broiled, baked or poached fish, with occasional chicken.

Of all the modern fads, Dr. Mercola’s NO-GRAIN DIET is perhaps the most ludicrous. While I respect much of Mercola’s material, he misses the boat almost totally on this one.

Admittedly white, ”enriched” wheat is an oxymoron and is definitely a junk food. And wheat is one of the most common allergens. But rice is a terrific food. In fact it is the single greatest contribution to the diet of the Okinawans, the world’s longest-lived and healthiest people.

It is essential for most of us to add vitamin and mineral supplements and these will be covered in a later article.

My recommendations for an optimally healthy diet, adjusting your servings to keep your weight ideal (Body Mass Index 19-24; see BMI below):

  • Brown rice, one to three cups of cooked rice daily; you may substitute other grains as below
  • Corn, millet, quinoa, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, one to seven times per week
  • Sweet potatoes, 3 to 7 servings per week
  • Irish potatoes (never fried), once or twice a week
  • Sourdough or 100% whole grain bread, one serving per day
  • Tofu, chickpeas, soybeans, navy beans, garbanzos, or old-fashioned peanut butter: one or two servings daily
  • Eggs, one or two daily
  • Low or no-fat yogurt 8 oz per day
  • Buttermilk, up to 8 oz per day
  • Cheese, one oz per day
  • Fish, range chicken or range beef, 4 oz per day
  • Non-starchy vegetables, unlimited
  • Fresh fruits, two to four servings daily
  • Olive oil, one to two tablespoons daily
  • Butter, one tablespoon daily
  • Nuts, up to 2 tablespoons daily
  • Honey, two to six teaspoons daily
  • Black, green or jasmine tea, 3 to 6 cups daily
  • Turmeric, cinnamon and most herbs freely

As much as I like the idea of ”organic” foods, in general, the cost and low availability in most locations makes me hesitate to recommend them. If you raise your own, without poisons, GREAT. If they are easily available and you can afford them, go for it. Otherwise, it is more important to eat a wide variety of real food and enjoy it.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. Register and get his book 90 Days To Self-Health free