Even though Christmas and New Year are now just a memory, the festivities
of the holiday season linger on, noticeably around our waistlines. One of
the most common resolutions most people make and break is getting back
With good advice abounding, getting healthy should be a synch; yet many
would be healthfuls abandon their good intentions simply through confusion
and the seeming enormity of the task at hand.
All of this will change if research scientist Dr Robert O. Young has his
Forget the traditional markers of health like cholesterol counts,
calories, blood pressure and blood sugar levels; it turns out that the
single most important health measurement you need to monitor, is the pH of
your blood and tissues.
In other words, how acidic or alkaline are you?
According to Dr Young, different areas of the body have different ideal pH
levels, but the most important is blood pH. Just as your body temperature
is rigidly regulated, the blood must be kept in a very narrow pH range,
one that is mildly basic or alkaline. It is so critical that the body will
go to great lengths to preserve this balance, including wreaking havoc on
other tissues or systems.
Too much acidity, or acidosis, provokes the body into producing symptoms
of disease. These may either be a stress response or the body’s efforts to
create balance and depending on the level of stress, they may or may not
be obviously noticeable.
Initially, symptoms can include energy loss, skin eruptions, headaches,
allergies, colds and flu and sinus conditions; if our internal pH is left
unchecked however, chronic over acidity can corrode body tissue and
interfere with the very process of life itself, putting it at the root of
all sickness and disease.
If that's not enough to get you interested in balancing your body pH
naturally, keep this mind: Over acidity is also what is keeping you fat!
Natural Defence Cycle
To prevent a declining pH, the blood begins to pull alkaline minerals like
sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium out of our tissue to compensate
the threat. These minerals react with acids, creating less detrimental
substances that are eliminated from the body
Normally, we have a reserve supply of these alkaline minerals, to meet
emergency demands. If these reserves are depleted however, they are drawn
from tissue like bone and muscle, where they are of course needed. This in
turn results in deficiencies and the many symptoms that come with them.
If the acidity gets too great for the blood to balance, the excess is
simply dumped into the tissue for storage. It is then the role of the
lymphatic system to neutralise and eliminate the waste. Unfortunately,
this involves dumping it back into the blood, creating a vicious cycle. If
the lymphatic system is unable to handle the waste, it is deposited in the
tissue of the organ systems, including the heart, pancreas, liver and
colon or stored in fatty tissue.
As more acidic waste is passed from the blood into the tissue, fat builds
up, to protect our delicate organs and tissue.
Interestingly, if we didn't have fats in our diet, we would literally be
destroyed by the very acids that we are poisoning ourselves with!
While acidosis is primarily something we do to ourselves, due to poor
dietary and lifestyle choices; we are able to make different choices, once
we recognise that fact.
The first step is to re-establish the internal pH, which should be
While there are many wonderful and varied approaches to nutrition, the
general rule suggests that an alkaline diet plan automatically creates
health within us. The diet should be 80% alkaline and 20% acid.
Alkaline foods include fresh, ripe fruit and vegetables, especially yellow
and leafy greens; while acid foods include breads, cereals, dairy products
The no-nos include processed, refined and artificially flavoured, coloured
and preserved foods as well as anything with added sugar and salt.
The simple rule of thumb is drink 6 to 8 glasses of pure water every day
and eat fresh, whole foods.
For a more detailed description of the Alkaline Optimum Nutrition Diet,
visit the Heal South Africa website at www.healsa.co.za
With teen pregnancy and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases high on
world health agendas, many are questioning the role that media has to play
in educating the youth of today.
Are we simply encouraging more promiscuity by promoting the use of
condoms; or is this an essential step to take, given current pregnancy and
As fast as health education programs inform of the dangers of unprotected
sex; so magazines, movies, fashion and music entice us to taste the
forbidden fruit. Are the warnings simply falling on deaf ears?
Perhaps the question we should ask is, why does sex sell?
All of us have an innate need to be loved. As tactile beings, the simplest
and most profound way we can experience this is through touch. From the
moment of birth, touch is the medium through which we first become
acquainted with the world.
As one of our most basic forms of communication, touch reveals more than
words, conveying caring, support and a sense of involvement. Much of how
we function as adults depend on how we were nurtured as infants.
Touch influences our ability to deal with stress and pain, to form close
relationships with other people, and even to fight off disease.
Studies on the power of touch reveal how important touch is for healthy
growth and development. Without it children tend to grow up socially
maladjusted to the extreme where untouched orphaned babies, will actually
With more and more families succumbing to the pressures of everyday
living, few have time for the luxury of touch. Ironically, as we become
more and more isolated in our computerized virtual world, we are also
becoming more and more touch phobic. The sad truth is, the closest many
get to keeping in touch is on a cell phone.
In South Africa, many children are brought up by a surrogate mother,
whether a nanny or another family member. In the African community, it is
not uncommon for a child to be brought up by an older sibling. The
unfortunate consequence of it all, is today’s youth have a deep need to be
As they reach adulthood, their needs do not diminish; they simply get
repressed or channelled into other means of expression, often giving rise
to addictive and deviant behaviour.
Our early touch experience is so important that it becomes the basis for
the most intimate of all touch stimulations - our sexual relationship.
As children our natural curiosity to reach out and explore through touch
is often reprimanded, teaching us that touch is something to be suspicious
of and even avoided. This kind of ingrained thinking is often responsible
for later sexual dysfunction.
People who have had appropriate touch experiences as children, are much
more comfortable with intimacy and are not as hung up about sex as those
who have not.
Touch for Health
Serious scientific research into the importance of touch only began about
40 years ago. However, since then studies have shown that the simple act
of holding another’s wrist can slow their heartbeat and lower blood
Children and adolescents, who have been hospitalised for psychiatric
problems, show remarkable reductions in their anxiety levels and
demonstrate positive changes in their attitude when they receive a brief
daily back rub.
In other studies, the arteries of rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet and
petted regularly had 60% fewer blockages than those of un-petted, but
similarly fed rabbits. Rats, handled for 15 minutes a day during the first
three weeks of their lives, showed dramatically less brain cell
deterioration and memory loss as they grew old, compared with non-handled
Despite all of these reasons to reach out and touch someone, we still find
it difficult and often withdraw, reserving our touch for a brisk handshake
or an occasional farewell embrace.
Is it possible that many of the woes of the world are simply a desperate
cry for a reassuring, nurturing touch?
Could a simple hug a day keep the threat of teen pregnancy and STD’s away?
A positive pregnancy test is usually a time of celebration - and in most
cases, the arrival of a baby is a treasured blessing. However, when an
unplanned bump appears on the horizon of a teenager with dreams and
unlimited possibilities ahead of her – it can be devastating.
Teenage pregnancy is just one of many unexpected and often devastating
outcomes of adolescent sexual activity.
Most parents feel a sense of helplessness about how to ensure their
daughters don’t become sexually active. It’s a big world out there and
teenagers are bombarded with negative influences and peer pressure.
According to findings from the largest survey ever conducted with
adolescents in the United States, there are certain criteria that can
lessen the risk. The survey of 3000 pairs of mothers and daughters
revealed that teenager girls who have a close relationship with their
mothers are more likely to delay sexual activity. Parents who encouraged
their children on the importance of education also have a positive impact
on delaying teenage promiscuity. However, it was found that when parents
simply warned teenagers about the dangers of early sex, or told them that
they shouldn't do it, they had no effect on stopping their teens from
becoming sexually active.
Study author of the survey, Robert Blum, M.D., Ph.D., professor and
director of the University of Minnesota's Centre for Adolescent Health and
Development Program, says parents feel that they talk until they're blue
in the face and their kids still don't listen. He says that kids will pay
attention to their parents’ values and beliefs on sex, but warns that talk
alone does not get the message through. Parents need to know their teen’s
friends and speak with their friends' parents as well.
Teenage girls need to understand how their bodies work and function before
they become sexually active. Falling pregnant doesn’t even need
penetration because sperm in the area of the external vulva can cause
Unplanned teenage pregnancy greatly increases a girl’s risk of loss of
education, poverty, depression, continuing to have out-of-wedlock babies,
mental and physical health problems and suicide.
Open dialogue about social responsibilities, self-respect, consequences
and parents expectations are essential because hearsay at school and from
friends only creates confusion and the desire to experiment.
Scaring them with tales that sex is dirty can cause more long-term harm
that good, and they need to hear from their parents that sexual
intercourse in a monogamous, loving relationship - is the basis of
creation and life. They also need a solid understanding that sexually
transmitted diseases are a major threat, not only to their health and
life, but to their reputation, social standing, future, and confidence.
The first responsibility of a child reaching puberty is to realize that
participating in early sexual behaviour is a very dangerous activity.
To add to the pressure of bringing up teenagers, research has also
revealed that children from single parent families have a higher chance of
early experimentation, and this chance increases as contact with a father
figure decreases. In these cases, a mother needs to build a strong
trusting and open dialogue with her children.
Condoms have become an essential part of our culture, but teenagers need
to know that they don’t offer 100% protection because they can tear, leak
and be used incorrectly. Condoms also don’t protect users from all STD’s –
including the Human Papilloma virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer –
even when used correctly because skin contact around the genital area is
all that’s needed to spread many diseases.
A debate is taking place globally between two methods of educating
children on sexual behaviour:
Abstinence vs Protection
With “Abstinence”, teenagers are encouraged to abstain from any kind of
sexual activity whatsoever, with millions of verbal and written vows to
remain celibate until marriage being made by teenagers in countries around
the world. This of course, is the ideal situation as it costs nothing,
prevents pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases – and builds
self-esteem, respect and trust. The “Protection” campaign feels that
teenagers need to be educated about safe sex just in case their hormones,
peer pressure or lack of self-esteem gets the better of them.
Both are essential for teenagers to know but teaching abstinence and
protection at the same time can create a bit of confusion, because on the
one hand you’re saying “We totally trust that you will abstain” – and on
the other; “But just in case you give in to temptation – have a condom”.
It’s a tricky one, but the most effective, proven solution to this dilemma
is simple – a good solid foundation of open dialogue with your children.
Are we unwittingly eating ourselves into poor health?
According to the findings of a select committee on nutrition and human
needs, ‘the eating patterns of this century represent as critical a public
concern as any now before us’. The report, known as the ‘Dietary
Guidelines for the United States’, further states that 6 of the top 10
killer diseases in the world can be linked to poor nutritional habits.
These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, obesity
and hypertension, which have all now reached epidemic proportions.
The current fare of the world table is becoming increasingly rich,
artificial, processed and refined; with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole
grains relegated to the occasional side order.
The report continues, ‘There is widespread and unfounded confidence in the
ability of medical science to cure or mitigate the effects of such
diseases once they occur. The public must be informed of the current state
of knowledge and be assisted in making the correct food choices. Once
these chronic diseases have manifest, there is, in reality, very little
that medical science can do to return a patient to normal physiological
function. Without government and industry commitment to good nutrition,
people will continue to eat themselves to poor health’.
Powerful words indeed, but what makes this report even more critical is
the fact that it was released 30 years ago, in 1977!
Unfortunately, whether due to vested interest or conflicting opinion, the
impact of this crucial document was greatly reduced, when certain
contributors retracted their original findings, suggesting that disclosure
needed more verification.
Today however, there is an ever-increasing body of evidence that not only
endorses the preventative nature of nutrition, but also reveals its
phenomenal curative properties.
Of the many nutritional protocols now being employed, two deserve special
TB or notTB
In the early 1900’s, German born Dr. Max Gerson found that he could
control debilitating migraines by simply avoiding certain foods and eating
a low-salt, primarily vegetarian diet, with lots of fresh fruit and
As director of a special department of tuberculosis at the Munich
University Hospital, he began treating tuberculosis patients with the same
dietary regime he used for his migraines. After initial success with skin
tuberculosis, his dietary protocol was applied to other forms of TB,
including lung, kidney and bone, each time with great success.
After extensive clinical testing, Dr. Ferdinand Sauerbruch, an authority
on tuberculosis, announced in a number of the world's leading scientific
journals that Gerson's dietary therapy was a cure for skin tuberculosis.
Dr. Gerson based his regimen on the theory that toxins and mineral
imbalances in the cells cause cancer and help to maintain the continued
existence of tumours. To detoxify the body and restore electrolyte
balance, he placed patients on a strict vegetarian diet, with regular
servings of freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices.
He also discovered that by restricting the protein intake of his patients,
he could enhance immune functioning and cause the body to eliminate even
more sodium from damaged cells.
The dietary program has also proven successful in treating diabetes,
cancer, hepatitis, arthritis and heart disease.
The Black-listed Treatment
In the 1950’s, German biochemist Dr Johanna Budwig discovered that two
simple foods added to a healthful diet could improve the quality of life
of people suffering from numerous health conditions, including heart
disease, cancer and diabetes.
According to Budwig, it is the absence of essential fatty acids in the
average Western diet that increases the production of oxidase, which
induces cancer growth and is the primary cause of many other chronic
Proper cellular oxidation can be greatly stimulated by the use of sulphur
proteins and unsaturated fatty acids. The best combination is cottage
cheese and flaxseed oil.
Known as the ‘blacklisted’ cancer cure, the Budwig Diet is seen as both
preventative and curative. According to oncologist and former
cardiologist, Dr. Dan C. Roehm, ‘this diet is far and away the most
successful anti-cancer diet in the world’.
Back to Basics
It is now evident that an informed, early adjustment of diet could prevent
the development of undesirable long-range effects and provide the best
health-care insurance policy.
The simplest steps to take are:
• Drink 6- 8 glasses of water daily
• Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
• Decrease consumption of meats, saturated fats, sugar, salt and alcohol
• Eliminate processed, refined and artificial foods
It has all the hallmarks of a great conspiracy story. There are good guys
and bad guys, information and disinformation, victims and perpetrators and
most importantly billions or dollars. But perhaps the one factor that is
always ignored is the innocent lives that are affected, while the plot
With polio once again hitting the headlines, it seems like a flashback to
the 1950’s. As a major health concern that continued well into the
twentieth century, it was believed that the war on polio was finally
coming to an end with the introduction of the polio vaccine.
However, with new outbreaks in Indonesia, Pakistan and more closer to home
in neighbouring Namibia, concerns are once again running high.
While the Namibian government race to implement a 3-day, multi-million
dollar, national vaccination program, Islamic clerics in Pakistan and
Nigeria are adamantly refusing help, claiming that the polio vaccine is
part of a US plot and contains fertility-inhibiting substances.
Further scandal is emerging suggesting that polio was already on the
decline by 1950, following improved nutrition, sanitation and better
living conditions. Indeed, while much of America was vaccinated, the
response to vaccination was not as great in Europe; yet polio statistics
declined in countries that both accepted and rejected the vaccine.
Reports go further to suggest that there were greater outbreaks of the
disease in vaccinated areas.
Even more seriously, claims are now being made that some batches of the
vaccine, may have been contaminated with the monkey virus SV40 and may be
linked to certain rare forms of cancer.
With polio remaining a serious threat in developing countries like
Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, the WHO estimates that it will
take another $1 billion and at least 2 more years to eradicate the
disease. So far, $5 billion has already been spent on the program.
What causes Polio?
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a viral infection with a wide range of signs
and symptoms that can range from a minor, flu-like illness, to weakness
and paralysis of various muscle groups.
It usually infects children under the age of 5 and is believed to be
spread through contaminated drinking water.
According to the research of Dr Scobey, revealed in Prevention Magazine,
polio can be also caused by cyanide poisoning. Cyanide is one of the
deadly poisons used in insecticide sprays on farm produce. It not only
poisons the food it is sprayed on, but also washes into the soil,
rendering the farmland unproductive and into the streams contaminating the
Dr. Frances Pottenger discovered that the acids formed in the decomposed
proteins of cooked meat affected the nerves of his research cats, causing
In an elaborate study made during one of the most widespread polio
epidemics in 1949, the New York State Health Department and the United
States Public Health Service concluded that the disease was not
The assumption that viruses entered through the mouth and nose led the
experimenters to make exhaustive tests on both animals and human beings,
mostly prisoners and orphans in institutions. They were exposed to polio
patients and their throats and nasal passages were frequently swabbed with
matter that was supposed to contain viruses. No polio was produced in this
way and about the only noticeable after effect was that the subjects of
the experiments lost their sense of taste and smell due to the damaging
effects of the poisons in the serum that was used on the swabs.
According to Ralph R. Scobey, M.D and Dr Joseph Melnick, the polio virus
is an endogenous substance that results from poisoning and may actually be
manufactured in the nucleus of the spinal cord cells when the disease
There is no specific treatment for polio; however symptoms of the milder
form of the illness can be relieved with painkillers and anti-fever
In the more serious form, weakness or paralysis require bed rest with
painkillers and warm packs on affected muscles to relieve pain.
In most cases of polio without paralysis, recovery is complete. In cases
of paralytic polio, however, many people are left with some degree of
disability. Death occurs in a small percentage of cases.
Hot baths have proven beneficial in many cases.
While huge controversy surrounds the vaccination debate, it is best to
address all health issues at their core.
• Avoid all artificial, sugary, refined and processed products.
• Drink purified water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Cleanse your body internally
• Neutralise acidity with foods high in calcium. These include turnip
greens, mustard greens, watercress, powdered whey, celery, turnips,
spinach, cauliflower, dandelion greens, dried figs, hazelnuts, molasses,
lentils, endive, chard, escarole, milk, cheese, parsley, alfalfa tea, and
others. These, of course, must be free from insecticide spray.
Men’s health is synonymous with strength and endurance. From the first set
of dumbbell reps to the locker room bravado, young men usually enter
manhood riding on a wing and a prayer.
While most mothers quietly prepare for the day they introduce their
daughter’s to the intricacies of menstruation and the wonders of
childbirth, it is rare for a father-son talk to go beyond ‘nudge, nudge,
wink, wink, say no more’.
Whether due to embarrassment, ignorance or indifference, men generally
prefer not to think below their belt, choosing instead to rely upon basic
instinct. As a result, it is only when symptoms or feelings become severe
that they break silence, either surfing the net or vaguely asking a friend
By the time they get to a doctor, it is often too late.
Need for Awareness
Polls suggest that men are more informed about breast cancer (which
affects women and men), than they are about male only cancers. While
relatively rare, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer
affecting young men between the age of 15 and 45. Prostate cancer on the
other hand has now become one of the most common cancers in men, usually
occurring over the age of 50.
According to a recent survey, only 28% of men regularly check their
testicles for abnormalities. Even more alarmingly, most men hardly know
they have a prostate until they reach middle age, when prostate health
becomes a serious issue.
Statistics suggest that 80% of men over the age of 80 will develop an
enlarged prostate. Due to the large number affected by the condition, it
is often thought to be inevitable, rather than treatable. This often means
that the early indicators of prostate trouble are often ignored or
Even though the prostate seems to be an older man's health problem, these
imbalances always begin much earlier in life.
Forewarned - Forearmed
Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented and treated
if diagnosed early enough. It is evident that men need to have a better
understanding of their own bodies and be willing to ask for help when
You should make an appointment with your doctor if you:
• find any lumps in your testicles or groin
• notice any skin sores, bumps, or other changes in your genitals
• experience burning or pain when you urinate
• have difficulty or delay in urinating
• find blood in your urine or semen
• notice a discharge from the penis
• experience pain during or after sex
• are having sex with more than one partner, you should be getting
checked for STDs every six months
Other than hormonal changes, diet and lifestyle play a significant role in
Stress, dehydration and poor eating habits result in accumulated toxins,
which adversely affect the healthy functioning of the liver, colon,
pancreas and kidneys. These can all affect sexual health.
Other irritants include coffee, caffeinated food or beverages, alcohol,
tobacco and fatty foods. With respect to sexual relations and ejaculation,
both too much or too little can be a problem. According to ancient Chinese
tradition, men lose vital life energy every time they ejaculate. This not
only affects the health of their sexual organs, but also their vital
glands and their immune system. For this reason, Chinese men are taught to
conserve their semen and practice the Deer Exercise to maintain sexual
Following an alkaline based diet is essential for good health, however,
the following nutrients should be included to ensure good sexual health:
• Saw Palmetto: This herbal remedy helps to reduce the production of 5-DHT
(5-dihydrotestosterone), which causes prostate enlargement.
• Pygeum africanum: Like Saw Palmetto, this herb contains Beta Sitosterols,
a group of plant based phyto-chemicals which have been found to improve
BPH (age related enlargement of the prostate).
• Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 protects the prostate cells and has
anti-inflammatory properties. Good sources are flax seed and fish oil.
• Lycopene: This red-coloured carotene, found in tomato products, has been
shown to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells.
• Zinc: Low zinc levels in the blood and prostate are linked to prostate
cancer. A good source is pumpkin seeds.
• Selenium: Multiple powerful studies have shown selenium may reduce the
risk of prostate cancer. The best source is Brazil nuts.