What You Should Know (But Have Not been Told) About Your Drinking Water

  • Water is essential for good health
  • your drinking and bathing water may be contaminated
  • water contaminants are linked to a wide variety of illnesses
  • how you can protect yourself from impure water

Every Body Needs Water

57-70% of adult human body weight is water. Every cell in the body is dependent on water for survival and optimal function. Consider a few of the many important functions of body water:

  • maintenance of normal skin tone (dehydrated skin appears wrinkled
  • maintenance of normal bowel function (lack of water is a common cause of constipation
  • maintenance of normal urinary tract function (lack of water can lead to urinary tract infection, urinary frequency, kidney stones and bladder cancer)
  • maintenance of normal muscle tone
  • maintenance of normal fluid balance (dehydration leads to water retention; sufficient water acts as a diuretic)
  • maintenance of normal digestion (many nutrients are transported via the body’s water)
  • elimination of toxins (lungs, kidneys, skin and intestinal tract all depend on water for eliminative functions)
  • joints require sufficient water to make the “jello” (glycosaminoglycands) that provide cushioning

Aquasana Shower Filters

Your Best Bet for Safe Drinking Water

Your best bet for safe, clean drinking water is install an under-sink or countertop water purifier. The reverse-osmosis type is very reliable. If you don’t want to invest the money to do that, a simple pitcher with a charcoal filter is better than most bottled water. You can see how different systems stack up with this brand comparison chart.

And don’t forget your shower-water! When you’re hot (and your skin’s pores are wide-open), you can absorb toxins from the water. Shower filters are inexpensive and reliable.

For maximum protection, whole house water filters are the ultimate safeguard against water-borne toxins and impurities. These are not inexpensive but they offer great peace of mind.

A Good Water Filter is a Cheap Investment in Your Health

A reliable, highly-effective under-sink water filter is an excellent health investment, especially when you consider how important water is to health. The human body is about 60% water. That means we can have 60% of our total body weight contaminated with a variety of toxins if we drink lousy water.

The highest-rated water filters cost about the same as the cheap junk.

Aquasana Water Purifiers makes some of the highest-rated filters at the best prices.

Water Testing

Regular (annual) testing of your family’s drinking water is a wise investment in good health – especially if you are drinking municipal water that has been “treated”, flouridated and chlorinated! Well-water is also subject to contamination from a variety of sources and must be tested annually to ensure your family’s safety.

Whey Protein

Boost Immunity with Nature’s Superior Protein

Whey protein provides a biologically superior protein with natural immune factors, including lactoferrin and immunoglobulins.

In cancer medicine, whey has been found to offer “considerable protection to the host” over that of other types of protein, including soy, especially during chemotherapy and radiation. At low concentrations, whey inhibits the growth of breast cell cancer. Whey also protects cellular glutathione (a body-produced antioxidant) in normal cells during radiation therapy. This effect is not seen with other proteins.

For those with weak immune systems, or people who need to gain weight, whey is an easy way to get high quality protein and immune factors. For those on weight-loss diets, whey (such as a “Super Shake” below), makes a low calorie, low carb, high nutrient meal replacement. Try my recipe — it really tastes like an ice-cream milkshake!

Whey protein is beneficial for:

  • weight loss programs
  • weight and muscle gain programs
  • immune function
  • cancer
  • liver disease

My SuperShake recipe can be found here, and is a perfect way to get all of the benefits of whey and more!

Hot Chocolate

1 scoop chocolate whey
8 ounces hot water
1 scoop L-glutamine
(optional, for weight gain or GI repair)
To make
Heat water. Stir in whey powder. Drink. Enjoy.

Apple Pan Dowdy Pudding

2 scoops vanilla whey
2 tsps. Ez-Fiber
2 tsps. ground flax seed
1 scoop L-glutamine
1/8 cup chopped nuts
1 chopped apple
To make
Combine above ingredients. Add 8 ounces hot water. Stir. Put in cups. Enjoy hot or cold. Makes 2 servings.

Syntrax Vanilla Whey

Vanilla WheyThis Whey Powder Is A Great Combination Of High Quality And Economical Price.

Sustained-Release Protein Blend
Undenatured Whey Protein, Micellar Casein & Egg Albumin
Vital Nutrition for Health & Recovery
Best Tasting Protein…Guaranteed
Glutamine Peptides
Mixes Instantly
Aspartame Free

Perfect For Low Carb Dieters!

Syntrax VANILLA Whey
Product # 8050 (2.17 lbs or about 36 servings)

Syntrax CHOCOLATE Whey
Product # 8051 ((2.17 lbs or about 36 servings)

Syntrax Vanilla Whey

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Level Scoop (30 g)
Servings per Container: 30
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories from Fat15
Total Fat1.5 g2%
Saturated Fat1 g5%
Trans Fat0 g
Cholesterol40 mg13%
Sodium80 mg3%
Potassium200 mg6%
Total Carbohydrates2 g1%
Dietary Fiber0 g0%
Sugars2 g
Protein23 g46%
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Important Amino Acids Per 100 Grams of Protein
Arginine2.5 g*
Glutamine8.4 g*
Histidine2.1 g*
Isoleucine5.8 g*
Leucine10.3 g*
Lysine8.7 g*
Methionine2.2 g*
Phenylalanine3.6 g*
Threonine6.4 g*
Tryptophan1.9 g*
Valine6 g*
*Daily value not established.
Other Ingredients: Protein blend (whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, egg albumin, hydrolyzed wheat gluten), natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, salt, acesulfame-K, sucralose.

Syntrax Chocolate Whey

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Level Scoop (32 g)
Servings per Container: 31
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories from Fat20
Total Fat2 g3%
Saturated Fat1 g5%
Trans Fat0 g
Cholesterol40 mg13%
Sodium130 mg5%
Potassium280 mg8%
Total Carbohydrates3 g1%
Dietary Fiber1 g4%
Sugars2 g
Protein23 g46%
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Important Amino Acids Per 100 Grams of Protein
Arginine2.5 g*
Glutamine8.4 g*
Histidine2.1 g*
Isoleucine5.8 g*
Leucine10.3 g*
Lysine8.7 g*
Methionine2.2 g*
Phenylalanine3.6 g*
Threonine6.4 g*
Tryptophan1.9 g*
Valine6 g*
*Daily value not established.
Other Ingredients: Protein blend (whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, egg albumin, hydrolyzed wheat gluten), dutch processed cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, salt, acesulfame-K, sucralose.

Dr. Myatt’s Super-Shake

The Healthiest “Milkshake” You’ll Ever Drink!

Did you ever wish that something like a rich, creamy milkshake could also be healthy? I’ve got great news for you!

I have found myself giving individual patients the recipe for what I call my “Super Shake” so frequently in the past few weeks that I realized it’s high time for me to encourage everybody to drink this incredibly tasty, amazingly healthy “milkshake.” (It can also be made as a pudding, too). Before I discuss the recipe and what the individual ingredients will do for you, let’s take a look at the overall health benefits of The Myatt Super Shake.

What My “Super Shake” Will Do for You

Taken at least once, and better yet twice per day, this tasty treat provides a basket full of health benefits. I’ll describe the “whys” and “wherefores” of individual ingredients below so you can see how my Super Shake works it’s “magic,” but first let’s look at all the good this amazing recipe accomplishes. I believe you’ll see why I recommend it so often in my practice.

  • If you are overweight, the Super Shake will help you lose.
  • If you are underweight, the Super Shake will help you gain.
  • The Super Shake helps preserve and build better muscle tone.
  • The Super Shake strengthens the immune system.
  • The Super Shake helps normalize blood sugar levels, so it improves both diabetes and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Ingredients in The Super Shake help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Whey and gelatin in the Super Shake strengthen ligaments, tendons, and bones.
  • Antioxidants and protein contained in my Super Shake help renew, rejuvenate and heal skin.
  • Maxi Fiber and L-glutamine help normalize bowel function and correct constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The Super Shake is high in flavonoids, especially the kind useful for preventing or halting eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinopathy.
  • These same flavonoids plus other ingredient work together to prevent and reverse varicose veins, atherosclerosis, neuropathy and neuralgia (nerve disease and nerve pain).
  • Whey and L-glutamine help protect normal cells during radiation and chemotherapy.
  • My Super Shake is so easily assimilated and so healthy that it is THE beverage of choice when recovering from illness or surgery. Whey is known to speed wound healing.

Best of all, this is a truly delicious drink or pudding, not a “choke-it-down” health concoction. Sound too good to be true? Here’s the recipe and an individual breakdown of the numerous benefits of each of the ingredients.

Dr. Myatt’s Super Shake Recipes:

1.) Our full original recipe:
1 scoop vanilla whey protein (with both whey protein concentrate and isolate)
1 heaping teaspoon Maxi Fiber
1 TBS. flax oil
1 packet gelatin (which equals 1 TBS.)
1 TBS. frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon L-glutamine
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup water (1 cup for a soft-serve ice cream consistency, 2 cups for a milkshake)

Add 1 cup ice (crushed is best) to the bottom of an electric blender. Add water. Add blueberries and all dry ingredients. Blend until smooth. This will be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If you want it to be a “shake,” add an additional cup of water AFTER the first ingredients are well-blended. Drink or eat and Enjoy! You’re going to love this and so will your body!

2.) Our new, simplified recipe:
1 scoop vanilla whey protein (with both whey protein concentrate and isolate)
1 heaping teaspoon Maxi Fiber
1 TBS. frozen blueberries
1 scoop Red Alert
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup water (1 cup for a soft-serve ice cream consistency, 2 cups for a milkshake)

Add 1 cup ice (crushed is best) to the bottom of an electric blender. Add water. Add blueberries and all dry ingredients. Blend until smooth. This will be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If you want it to be a “shake,” add an additional cup of water AFTER the first ingredients are well-blended. Drink or eat and Enjoy! You’re going to love this and so will your body!

This recipe gives you the equivalent of 10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables!

3.) Our deluxe, full-meal-deal recipe: (Nurse Mark’s Every-Day Favorite!)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein (with both whey protein concentrate and isolate)
1 heaping tablespoon Maxi Fiber
1 TBS. frozen blueberries
1 scoop Red Alert
2 tablespoons Organic India psyllium
2 tablespoons fresh ground flax seed
1 egg
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup water (1 cup for a soft-serve ice cream consistency, 2 cups for a milkshake)

Add 1 cup ice (crushed is best) to the bottom of an electric blender. Add water. Add blueberries and all dry ingredients. Blend until smooth. This will be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If you want it to be a “shake,” add an additional cup of water AFTER the first ingredients are well-blended. Drink or eat and Enjoy! You’re going to love this and so will your body!

This recipe provides a great helping of dietary fiber – perfect for weight loss dieters, diabetics, cholesterol management, and bowel regularity. With the added egg it is a full meal.

For all of these recipes, the secret to a creamy, smooth shake is to blend well.

To make your shake extra-creamy and rich try adding a quarter-cup of regular (not low-fat) yoghurt or kefir.

What’s in the “Super Shake” that Makes it So Great?

Let’s take a look at the individual ingredients and see why this Shake is a “Miracle Food.”

Whey Protein: When processed correctly (to retain whole protein concentrate and at low temperatures to preserve immune factors), whey supplies a biologically superior protein with natural immune factors, including lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Milk-derived whey protein has been shown to:

  • boost immune function
  • improve liver function
  • bind and safely remove heavy metals
  • speeds wound healing
  • aid muscle growth. (Body builders have long known about the muscle-building benefits of whey).
  • promote healing of bones, skin, and muscle.
  • heal cartilage and strengthen joints, tendons and cardiac muscle.

In cancer medicine it has been found that whey offers “considerable protection to the host” over that of other types of protein including soy, especially during chemotherapy and radiation. At low concentrations, whey inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. Whey also protects cellular glutathione (a body-produced antioxidant) in normal cells during radiation. This effect is not seen with other proteins.

Because the milk-sugar portion is removed, whey is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. The Super Shake made with whey provides a high quality protein, high nutrient, low carb meal replacement or between-meal snack.

NOTE: NOT ALL WHEY PROTEINS ARE CREATED EQUAL! Many whey powders contain the “isolate” form only, but many of the immune benefits of whey are found in the Whole Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). Our Wellness Club brand of whey is specially processed to preserve all of these important nutritive factors.

You’ve heard me wax eloquent numerous times about the importance and benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids (Flax and fish oil are the primary sources). The American diet is grossly deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids (Which are Essential Fatty Acids, or EFA’s). Deficiencies of Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to subtle body-wide inflammation which in turn is associated with over 60 known diseases including heart disease, stroke, arthritis, allergies, asthma, cancer, overweight and obesity, autoimmune disease, neurological disease, psoriasis, eczema, high blood pressure to name only a few. Daily supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids, derived primarily from flax and/or fish oil (salmon is a rich source) are one of the healthiest things a person can do to prevent these many EFA-deficiency associated diseases. The essential fats are SO important that the Government officially recommended in 2003 that Americans get more Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.

L-Glutamine: This amino acid is a major component of muscle tissue. It is also a major source of energy for cells of the GI tract. It stimulates the production of Growth Hormone (GH) and decreases sugar and alcohol cravings.
Athletes use Glutamine to help build muscle (anabolic), but it can also be used by non-athletes, even the frail elderly, to help prevent muscle tissue breakdown. It is useful for rejuvenating the lining of the GI tract and can therefore assist in healing after GI surgery and in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Glutamine stimulates the immune system and should be used when recovering from any surgery or illness. In weight loss, it is useful for reducing alcohol and sugar cravings. Because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts as a ready supply of energy for the brain, it is also used in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD).

Maxi Fiber: A powdered, great-tasting, easy-to-mix high fiber blend. This formula makes it easy to add extra fiber to your diet. Maxi Fiber is sugar-free, low calorie and low carb, and contains all seven classes of fiber. This mix of fiber is known to:

  • Bind intestinal toxins and soften and bulk stools
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Helps correct constipation and diarrhea
  • Helps remove heavy metals and toxins
  • Clears out excess bowel mucous and alleviates gas
  • Deodorizes and cleans the digestive tract
  • Helps heal and soothe the G.I. tract

Gelatin: OK, total vegetarians and vegans, just leave this ingredient out of the Shake. For the rest of us, gelatin has an amino acid profile with the following benefits:

  • promotes joint health. Two of the amino acids found in gelatin are substances the body uses to make collagen, a primary component of connective tissues such as cartilage.
  • promotes nail health.

Blueberry: (and its cousin bilberry which can be taken in capsule form if preferred) is an herb which acts as a potent antioxidant and serves to strengthen and stabilize veins. It is used for: Atherosclerosis, cataracts, diabetes mellitus, neuropathy and neuralgia, retinopathy, varicose veins, and macular degeneration. Bilberry has a special affinity for the eyes and veins. It also improves skin tone because of its antioxidant and capillary-strengthening properties.

BOTTOM LINE on My Super-Shakes:

Why not have at least one, and better yet two, of these wonderful health-enhancing drinks per day for one month and give yourself the opportunity to experience a great number of health benefits in one tasty glass? And DO drop me a line and tell me of your experiences. I get “fan mail” for the Shakes on a daily basis and I’d like to hear yours!

To make one shake each for two people or two shakes for one person (per day) for one month, you will need to order:

Digestive Enzymes

Good Digestion Begins With Enzymes

Digestive Enzymes are made by the pancreas and are necessary for the assimilation of nutrients from food. Without these enzymes, the body cannot absorb nutrients (vitamins and minerals) efficiently

Incompletely digested food is associated with a number of health problems including:

  • gas
  • bloating
  • a sense of “fullness” after eating (not related to simple over-eating)
  • indigestion
  • irritable bowel (constipation and/or diarrhea)
  • abdominal cramps.

Other health problems also arise from incomplete digestion:

  • arthritis
  • chronic nasal mucous
  • allergies
  • joint aches and pains
  • candidiasis
  • high blood pressure
  • decreased vitality.

Digestive enzymes taken with meals assist in digestion and help correct the problems caused by incomplete breakdown of foods. When digestive enzymes are taken between meals, they have an anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting effect.

Similase Digestive Enzymes for Adults

Similase™ This highly concentrated Plant Enzyme digestive formula is for people on a “mixed” diet containing fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber & dairy products.

NOTE: Do not use if gastritis or duodenal ulcer is present. (Use Gastric Complex, described below, instead).

Suggested dose 1-2 Capsules with each meal.

Dr. Myatt’s comment: I believe that virtually everybody can benefit from added digestive enzymes. Enzymes help ensure proper assimilation of nutrients, as well as preventing intestinal toxemia. Plant enzymes are preferred because they function in a broader pH range than animal-derived enzymes.

Similase – Product # 220 (180 Caps) $39.97

Similase GFCF

Similase is a highly concentrated Plant Enzyme digestive formula for people on a “mixed” diet containing fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber & dairy products.

Similase GFCF adds an additional enzyme to protect those on gluten free and casein free diets from exposure to hidden sources of these proteins.

Suggested dose 1-2 Capsules with each meal.

Similase GFCF (120 capsules) prod. # N370 $24.97

Similase Jr. Digestive Enzymes for Children

Digestive enzyme deficiencies in children often appear as food allergies, constipation, diarrhea, “tummy ache,” and gas. Similase Jr. is used by parents who want to enhance the delivery and assimilation of food nutrients and supplements in their child’s diet.

Special order – contact for details

Gastric Complex Digestive Enzymes for Adults

NOW CALLED: Similase Sensitive Stomach – same product, new name

Gastric Complex™ / Similase Sensitive Stomach is a highly concentrated Plant Enzyme digestive formula with added botanical synergists (herbs) to soothe the digestive tract.

Dr. Myatt’s comment: Use this instead of regular Similase™ if you have gastritis or ulcer.

Gastric Complex – Product # N255 (180 Caps) $34.95

For nutrition composition of these products please see below:

Nutrition composition of Similase Digestive Enzymes for Adults

Serving Size: 2 Veg Capsules Amount/Serving %DV Pure Plant Enzymes™ Assay Method 613mg *

Amylase USP (pH 6.8) 32,000USP

FCC (pH 4.8) 23,800DU

Protease I, II, III, IV USP (pH 7.5) 30,000USP

FCC (pH 7.0) 48,750PC

FCC (pH 4.7) 82,000HUT

Lipase I, II FIP (pH 7.0) 2,100FIP

FCC III (pH 6.5) 970LU

Lactase I, II FCC III (pH 4.5) 1,600ALU

Phytase Phytic Acid (pH 6.0) 1.7PU

Cellulase I, II FCC (pH 4.5) 350CU

Sucrase (Invertase) FCC (pH 4.6) 300INVU

Maltase (Malt Diastase) FCC (pH 4.6) 32,100DP°

This product does not contain

  • artificial coloring
  • artificial flavoring
  • corn
  • dairy products
  • ingredients of animal origin
  • preservatives
  • salt
  • soy
  • sugar
  • wheat
  • yeast

This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.


If pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Not recommended for use if peptic ulcer, gastritis or heartburn is present.

Integrative Therapeutics’ evidence-based natural medicines are the only choice of doctors who rely on the fact base of premier science to deliver patient results.

Distributed by an FDA-registered Drug Establishment.

Other Ingredients

vegetable capsule (modified cellulose) and cellulose.

UPC Codes: 871791000599

Nutrition composition of Simlase® Jr 90 caps

Serving Size: 2 Veg Capsules Amount/Serving %DV Pure Plant Enzymes™ Assay Method 315mg *

Amylase USP (pH 6.8) 6,700USP %

FCC (pH 4.8) 6,000DU %

(Provides Dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPP IV), Exopeptidase, Endopeptidase, and Peptide Peptidohydrolase activity) USP (pH 7.5) 14,500USP %

FCC (pH 7.0) 20,200PC %

FCC (pH 4.7) 34,300HUT %

(pH 7.0) 2,000CFAU

Lactase FCC III (pH 4.5) 2,400LacU

Cellulase FCC (pH 4.5) 124CU

Lipase FIP (pH 7.0) 630LU

FCC III (pH 6.5) 300LU

Sucrase (Invertase) FCC (pH 4.6) 300INVU %

Phytase Phytic Acid (pH 6.0) 0.64PU %

Maltase (Malt Diastase) FCC (pH 4.6) 10,800ALU %

This product does not contain

  • artificial coloring
  • artificial flavoring
  • corn
  • dairy products
  • ingredients of animal origin
  • preservatives
  • salt
  • soy
  • sugar
  • wheat
  • yeast

This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.


Not recommended for use if peptic ulcer, gastritis or heartburn is present.If pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Distributed by an FDA-registered Drug Establishment.

Other Ingredients

vegetable capsule (modified cellulose), cellulose, and ascorbyl palmitate.

UPC Codes: 871791001947

Nutrition composition of Similase Sensitive Stomach / Gastric Complex

Serving Size: 2 Veg Capsules Amount/Serving %DV Calories 5

Total Carbohydrate <1g <1%**

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) Bark 240mg *

Pure Plant Enzymes™ Assay Method 220mg *

Amylase USP (pH 6.8) 21,170USP *

FCC (pH 4.8) 15,750DU *

Cellulase FCC (pH 4.5) 38CU *

Lipase FCC III (pH 6.5) 54LU *

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Root Extract 3:1 200mg *

Gamma-Oryzanol (from rice bran) 170mg *

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) Root Extract 3.5:1 80mg *

This product does not contain

  • artificial coloring
  • artificial flavoring
  • corn
  • dairy products
  • gluten
  • ingredients of animal origin
  • preservatives
  • salt
  • soy
  • sugar
  • wheat
  • yeast

This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.


If pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Distributed by an FDA-registered Drug Establishment.

**Based on 2000 calorie diet.

Other Ingredients

vegetable capsule (modified cellulose), cellulose, and ascorbyl palmitate.

UPC Codes: 871791001251

Nutrition composition of Similase GFCF

Serving Size: 2 Veg Capsules Amount/Serving %DV Total Carbohydrate <1g <1%**

Pure Plant Enzymes™ Assay Method 543mg *

DPP IV Protease Blend (Protease I,II,III,IV,V) FCC (pH 4.7) 134,600HUT

FCC (pH 7.0) 22,660PC

USP (pH 7.5) 12,556USP

Amylase FCC (pH 4.8) 9,530DU

USP (pH 6.8) 12,800USP

Lipase I,II FCC (pH 6.5) 408LU

FIP (pH 7.0) 882FIP

Phytase Phytic Acid (pH 6.0) 0.67PU

Lactase I,II FCC (pH 4.5) 642ALU

Cellulase I, II FCC (pH 4.5) 141CU

Sucrase (Invertase) FCC (pH 4.6) 119INVU

This product does not contain

  • artificial coloring
  • artificial flavoring
  • corn
  • dairy products
  • gluten
  • ingredients of animal origin
  • preservatives
  • salt
  • soy
  • sugar
  • wheat
  • yeast

This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.


Caution: While Similase GFCF will reduce the level of reactive gliadin and gluten proteins in a meal, it is advised that celiac disease sufferers continue with their normal gluten exclusion diet as even small amounts of gliadin can cause adverse reactions in the most sensitized individuals. If pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use.

**Based on 2000 calorie diet.

Other Ingredients

cellulose, vegetable capsule (modified cellulose), inulin (from chicory root), and silicon dioxide.

UPC Codes: 871791003866
Product Numbers: 106002, 136001, 74239

Rate Your Plate – How Much Dietary Fiber Are You Getting Each Day?

Nutritional data taken from the USDA 2004 National Nutrient Database, Release 17

Daily menu:

Total grams of fiber:

Vitamin-less Vegetables:

The New Nutrient Deficiency

Who Cares about Vegetables?

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the FDA and the USDA consider vegetables one of the primary dietary sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (non-vitamin, non-mineral nutrients derived from plants). Why? Because optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are necessary to prevent cancer, heart disease, neurological disease, and diabetes to name only a few. In other words, those in science and medicine agree that humans need the nutrients contained in vegetables and some fruits for proper nutrition and good health. In fact, nutrient deficiencies are considered by many physicians and scientists to be one of the primary causes of disease today. Because of this, the current USDA recommendation is to eat 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit per day.

The Sad News about Vegetables and Vitamins

YOU DO NOT EAT enough vegetables and high-nutrient fruits. How do I know this even if I don’t know you? Consider these facts:

I.) Most Americans do not achieve even the minimum 5 per day servings of produce. The current recommendations for veggie/fruit intake are 5-9 per day. A pickle, lettuce leaf, onion ring and ketchup on your burger DO NOT count as 4 servings of vegetables! Commercial fruit juice counts toward little but sugar intake because enzymes, fiber and vitamins are destroyed during processing. A side of french fries or onion rings with your burger don’t constitute a serving of nutrient-dense vegetable due to their high trans fat content and the fact that nutrients are destroyed during high-heat cooking. Further, for reason stated in #2 (below), even if you DO get 5-9 legitimate servings of vegetables per day, this current recommendation is almost surely NOT enough.

II.) Commercially grown vegetables and fruits today do not contain as many nutrients as before. According to Institute of Nutrition, recent studies of more than a dozen fruits and vegetables demonstrate a decrease in the nutrient value of most, and in some cases the drop is drastic. For instance, the Vitamin A content in apples has dropped from 90 mg to 53mg. Vitamin C in sweet peppers has decreased from 128mg to 89mg. This is why many at the NAS think the 5-9 servings recommendation should be doubled. (Math help: this updated recommendation would equal 10-18 servings per day of vegetables and fruits).

III.) Storing and/or cooking destroy many nutrients, rendering them “less” than a serving of the recommended daily dose.

Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (“plant nutrients” including bioflavonoids, carotenoids, proanthocyanidins, etc.) are crucial to good health, yet even a “good” Standard American Diet (SAD) does not contain enough of these nutrients to meet the proven standards that prevent disease. Further, surveys show that most Americans do not obtain the lower recommendation of 5 servings per day, let alone the upper recommendation of 9 servings per day. Nutritional Supplementation appears both valuable and necessary in achieving the proven health-protective doses of nutrients.

Dr. Myatt’s Comment:

While the USDA, FDA and commercial agri-business assure us that vegetables and fruits are as healthy as ever, the USDA’s own records show a plummeting level of nutrients since the 1960’s. All the while, medical science keeps stacking up new studies that demonstrate the disease-preventing effects of optimal doses of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Still, you’ll read propaganda that assures you that you don’t need supplements because you can obtain everything you need from “a good diet.” (And you probably could get everything you need from diet IF you ate 5-9 servings of produce that was home-grown and eaten fresh, meat that was grass-fed without antibiotics and hormones, and dairy from same). But that’s not the reality of the American diet. Perhaps that is why, in spite spending more money on healthcare than any country in the world, the US ranks only 24th in life expectancy.

All unsupported claims to the contrary, nutritional supplementation with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients appears to be the safest, surest and least expensive way to stay healthy and reverse disease.

Here is what I personally take and recommend to others to help achieve optimal daily nutrition:

Maxi Multi multi vitamin, mineral and trace mineral supplement with optimal does of nutrients (the levels shown in studies to prevent disease), not minimal doses.
Maxi Greens high potency multiple green food supplement in capsules
Greens First , a powdered, great-tasting green food supplement that has the equivalent of 10 servings of veggies in one refreshing drink. (The taste is so good you can even get kids to take it)!

And here’s a handy tip from Wellness Club member JoAnne, who dries out her empty water bottles, adds a serving of GreensFirst and takes the bottles to work. For a quick pick-me-up, she just adds water and shakes!


5-A-Day Guide^


Veggies W/out Vitamins^

Drop in minerals concerns organic community^

Organic consumer association^

New Study Shows Decreasing Nutrient Value of Certain Fruits and Vegetables – An Increasing Need for Multivitamin and Mineral Complex Supplements^

Population Life Expectancy^



Natural Solutions To Deal With Parasitic Infections

Symptoms of acute parasite infection are usually obvious, but “sub-acute” (low grade infection) of parasites can cause or contribute to many health problems and the diagnosis is often missed in conventional medicine (for reasons which I describe below). Symptoms of sub-acute parasitic infection can include:

  • chronic GI symptoms (IBS, diarrhea, intestinal cramps, constipation)
  • chronic digestive complaints (belching, heartburn, malabsorption)
  • headaches
  • weight loss (unintended)
  • autoimmune disease
  • multiple food intolerances
  • chronic fatigue
  • fever, chills (especially if no other cause is found)

Parasites are, in the broadest sense, any organism that lives on or in another organism and detracts from the health and vigor of the host. An organism that lives on or in another organism but does NOT detract from the health and vigor of the host is referred to as a commensal. If the organisms benefit from their relationship with each other, they are known as symbiots and their relationship is called symbiosis.

Obviously, many relationships between organisms and humans can be considered parasitic: virus/human, bacteria/human, worm/human, even human/human! Medically speaking, the term parasite is most commonly understood to mean the relationship between a human host and a protozoa or worm. These relationships are almost always destructive to the host. In addition, certain bacteria, fungi, protozoa and amoebas have dual relationships with the host and can be either parasitic or commensal.

Because of their parasitic potential, parasite/commensals will be considered in addition to true parasite. Some examples of each include:

True Parasites

Protozoan: E. histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Plasmodium (4 species), Leshmania, Toxoplasmosis, Cryptosporidia

Worms: Enterobiasis (pinworm), Trichuriasis (whipworm), Ascariasis, Necator americanus (hookworm), Strongyloidiasis (threadworm), Trichinella, Wucheria bancroftii


Protozoan: Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis

Amoeba: Endolimax nana, E. histolytica, E. coli, Iodamoeba butschlie

Fungi: Candida albicans, candida spp.

Bacteria: Klebsiella pneumonia

Symptoms of Acute Parasitic Infection

History and symptoms have largely been regarded as the guiding factors for diagnosis of parasites. These symptoms vary according to the species of organism, what part of the body is infected, and the severity of the infestation.

Systemic symptoms of fever, chills, skin lesions, hemolytic anemia or jaundice, especially following out-of-country travel, often suggest the diagnosis. Overt GI symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, flatulence, epigastric pain, intermittent nausea and malodorous stools may indicate intestinal infection.

Holistic Consideration of Parasites

When history and/or symptoms are overt, a diagnosis of parasites may be readily suspected. Sub-acute infections resulting in low-grade GI symptoms are encountered routinely in general family practice but are frequently unrecognized as such. This problem of under-diagnosis is likely due to several factors:

  1. Lack of history of exposure. It is not necessary to travel out of the country to acquire a parasite. Many organisms present themselves in food. A history of world travel used to be a major factor guiding physicians to diagnosis. Today, however, it must be appreciated that any non-exotic parasite can be acquired locally.
  2. Sub-acute nature of symptoms: Acute parasitic infections, with attendant severity of GI or systemic symptoms, is often easier to diagnose than sub-acute infection. Sub-acute infection can be either caused by a true parasite or by a parasite/commensal and can trigger a variety of local complaints that are not typically thought of in conjunction with parasite, but should be.
  3. Inadequacy of laboratory evaluation. The first “weak link” in the diagnostic chain, especially in sub-acute infections, is often the physician. The second weak link can be the medical lab, the method of collection, or both.

Many medical labs are equipped to identify overt parasitism, especially when the specimen yield is high. When the percent yield is low, the organism is often missed. Further, exotic species are more often recognized than non-exotic species and parasitic/commensal organisms, which may be overlooked or under-reported. For example: Candida albicans, is rarely reported on a conventional stool assay because it is considered a commensal and therefore not thought of as infectious. However, an overgrowth of this organism is known to behave in parasitic fashion to the host.

What To Do If You Suspect Parasites

First, don’t “play doctor” unless you ARE one! See a physician about your complaint and get a “work-up” by conventional medical standards. This will probably include blood and perhaps urine analysis and physical diagnosis. IF nothing can be identified to explain your complaint AND you have symptoms on the list above, then it is time to have some additional testing performed by an alternative medicine physician to evaluate for a sub-acute parasitic infection. You need a physician consult for this.

Based on your symptoms, the appropriate tests FROM THE RIGHT LAB will be ordered. (Remember, many labs miss the diagnosis when the number of parasites present in the sample are small). I use laboratories that specialize in looking for low-grade parasitic infections, so if something is there, they will find it. Also, increasing the number of specimens has been proven to dramatically increase the likelihood of finding an offending organism. This is because parasites in the GI tract “shed” only periodically and are often missed by a single stool sample.

The most common tests needed to discover parasites include the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, Candida testing and a Gastric Acid Self-Test. Again, knowing which tests to order is a matter of clinical judgment that few laymen are prepared to make.

If you believe, based on your chronic symptoms and from what you have just learned, that you may have parasites as a cause of your problems, please give me a call for consultation. I can help you learn if parasites are a cause of your “undiagnosed” complaint.

Exact treatments will differ depending on the organism and location. There are some basic recommendations that apply to all parasitic infections, however.

Primary Support

  • Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Parasites “sap” nutrients from the body and weaken the immune system. Especially important nutrients include vitamin A and B12, but any nutrient can be deficient based on the nutritional patterns of the parasite.
  • Fiber Formula: (helps transport killed organisms out of the body): 6 caps, 2 times per day between meals.
  • Chlorophyll: (water soluable; intestinal detoxifier): 1 cap, 2 times per day with meals.
  • Immune Support: 1 cap, 2 times per day with meals
  • SupremaDophilus: 1 cap before bed. Helps replace “friendly” gut bacteria.
  • Parasite Tincture: as directed by physician.
  • Berberine has been shown to have anti-protazoan effects

Additional Support

  • Colloidal Silver: 1-1/2 tsp. two times per day (for 140 pound body weight; adjust up or down as needed). Use 5ppm silver for 14 days.

    NOTE: Sub-acute parasitic infections are usually better treated by alternative medicine than by conventional drugs. The reason is that anti-parasitic medicines are toxic to the host as well as the parasite, and low-grade infections must be treated for a much longer duration of time to be sure that all organisms are killed.

What’s Burning You?

The REAL Cause of Heartburn, Indigestion and GERD and “Sour Stomach”

Older people have considerably more digestive problems than younger folks, and this has typically but incorrectly been blamed on over-production of stomach acid. Not only have medical studies debunked excess stomach acid as the cause of indigestion, but common sense debunks the myth as well.

Why does this matter? Because the chronic use of antacids and acid-blocking drugs for indigestion has some dangerous and even deadly side-effects

The “Acid Over-Production” Myth Debunked

Do you really think that some bodily function starts working better with age? Hahahaha!

With age, nothing works as well as it did in earlier years. I hope I’m not popping anyone’s bubble here.

Come on – we don’t move as fast at age 57 as we did at 27. Vision and hearing are typically less acute in our 70s than they were in our 30s. Skin is less elastic at 69 than at 29. Production of hormones and body fluids decreases with age. Why would we think that our stomachs do the opposite of all other organs and become more active with age instead of less active? Only a drug salesman or a pill-pushing doctor would try to convince us of such foolishness.

The stomach’s primary job is to digest protein and emulsify fats, and it does this by making an extremely powerful acid called hydrochloric acid (HCL) and a protein-digesting enzyme called pepsin. The hydrochloric acid made by a healthy stomach is one million times stronger than the mild acidity of urine or saliva. A leather-like strip of jerky can be quickly turned into “beef soup” by the action of hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach. That’s how normal digestion is supposed to work.

But just like the rest of an aging body, the stomach’s hydrochloric acid and pepsin production decreases over time. As a result, we do not digest food as well. The term “indigestion” implies lack of digestion, not over-digestion. This is why we can’t eat a whole pepperoni pizza washed down with a bottle of soda like we did when we were teenagers. Our aging stomachs don’t have the same digestive vigor – strong hydrochloric acid and pepsin – to digest food like youthful stomachs do.

Medical Science Verifies Low Acid Production

OK, that’s the common sense of it. Now here’s the science. Many older studies conducted on several thousand people in the 1930?s and 1940?s showed that half of all people by age 60 were functioning at only 50% gastric acid output. Numerous contemporary studies verify that that stomach acid production often declines with age.

The Bottom Line: when someone over age 40 has chronic or chronic / intermittent indigestion, that indigestion is almost certainly due to a weaker stomach with less acid and pepsin output, not a stronger stomach making more digestive juices.

“But My Symptoms Feel Like Too Much Acid…”

Strong stomach acid and pepsin quickly “emulsify” fats and proteins, making them ready for the next step of digestion, passage into the small intestine. When these digestive factors are weak, food remains in the stomach for longer and it begins to ferment. Gas pressure from the fermentation can cause bloating and discomfort and can can also cause the esophageal sphincter to open, allowing stomach contents to “backwash” into the esophagus.

Even though weak stomach acid is the central cause of this, even this weak stomach acid, which has no place in the esophagus, will “burn.” This burning sensation confuses many people, including doctors, who then “ASSuME” that excess acid is to blame. Too little acid, resulting in slowed digestion, and gas which creates back-pressure into the esophagus is the real cause of almost all “heartburn” and GERD.

Why People Take Acid-Blockers

Why in the world would anyone take antacids or acid blockers to correct a deficiency of stomach acid? In two words: symptom relief.

But if heartburn or gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) are caused by too little stomach acid, why does blocking more of the acid relieve the discomfort? And why isn’t that a good thing to do?

Remember, even weak stomach acid does not belong in the esophagus. When ALL acid production is blocked, the “backwash” of stomach contents into the esophagus will not burn. However, repeatedly using this “band-aid” method has some serious long-term consequences.

The Dangers of Antacids and Acid-Blocking Drugs

Our bodies need 60 or so essential nutrients. “Essential” means that the body MUST have this nutrient or death will eventually ensue, and the nutrient must be obtained from diet because the body cannot manufacture it. Many of these essential nutrients require stomach acid for their assimilation. When stomach acid production declines, nutrient deficiencies begin.

Calcium, for example, requires vigorous stomach acid in order to be assimilated. Interestingly, the rate of hip replacement surgery is much higher in people who routinely use antacids and acid-blocking drugs. We know that people who have “acid stomach” were already having trouble assimilating calcium from food and nutritional supplements due to lack of normal stomach acid production. When these symptoms are “band-aided” with drugs which decrease stomach acid even more, calcium assimilation can come to a near-halt. The result? Weak bones, hip fractures and joint complaints resulting in major surgery.

Jonathan Wright, M.D., well-known and respected holistic physician, states that:

“Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, its been my clinical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other micro-trace elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as they are in those whose acid levels are normal. When we test plasma amino acid levels for those with poor stomach function, we frequently find lower than usual levels of one or more of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Often there are functional insufficiencies of folic acid and/or vitamin B12.”

Remember, these are essential nutrients. Deficiencies of any single one of them can cause serious health problems over time. Weak bones, diminish immune function, failing memory, loss of eyesight and many other “diseases of aging” are often the result of decreased stomach function.

Ulcers can even be caused by too little acid. Surprised? We know today that most ulcers are caused by a bacterium called h. pylori. This little beastie is killed by strong stomach acid. But when stomach acid is weak, watch out! Weak stomach acid is how h. pylori gets a foot-hold. (People with active ulcers should not supplement hydrochloric acid until the ulcer has healed).

Diseases Associated with Low Gastric Function

Low stomach acid is associated with the following conditions:

  • Acne rosacea
  • Addison’s disease
  • Allergic reactions
  • Candidiasis (chronic)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Celiac disease
  • Childhood asthma
  • Chronic autoimmune hepatitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Dermatitis herpeteformis
  • Diabetes (type I)
  • Eczema
  • Gallbladder disease
  • GERD
  • Graves disease (hyperthyroid)
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Laryngitis (chronic)
  • Lupus erythromatosis
  • Macular degeneration
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Reynaud’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vitiligo

It also appears that many cases of depression, which appear related to too little neurotransmitters (which in turn are made from amino acids) may in fact be inability to absorb the necessary precursors due to – you guessed it – low stomach acid. I suspect there are a large number of other diseases that begin with a failing digestive system and that have not yet been recognized as such.

Even so, many people who have low stomach acid do not have symptoms of heartburn, “acid indigestion” or GERD.

The Gastric Acid Function Test

Here’s a simple question. Before your doctor diagnosed GERD from “too much stomach acid,” did he/she perform a stomach acid function test?

X-rays and gastroscopy do not evaluate stomach acid production. The medical test for stomach acid, called the Heidelberg test, requires swallowing a small capsule and then having it pulled back up on a “string.” You’d remember if you had this done. Interestingly, this test is ALMOST NEVER PERFORMED before excess stomach acid is diagnosed, hence the incorrect diagnosis!

Why The Blind Spot In Medicine?

From the 1800’s up until the 1950’s, hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements (both with and without pepsin) were widely prescribed and used. Physicians simply considered replacement of digestive acid to be like replacement of thyroid hormone for a failing thyroid or hormone replacement for aging ovaries.

In the 1950’s, some badly designed and misinterpreted “research” was used to convince physicians that HCl and pepsin replacement therapy is unnecessary. Besides, the “replacement” therapy – HCL and pepsin – are natural substances that are difficult to patent. Instead, drug companies focused on patentable drugs to treat “hyperchlorhydria” (excess stomach acid), and the highly profitable prescription and OTC acid blocking drug industry was born.

Once again I ask: if a doctor diagnosed you with excess stomach acid, did he or she actually perform the Heidelberg test? If you diagnosed yourself, did you perform a gastric acid self-test? No? I rest my case.

The Gastric Acid Function Self-Test

Fortunately, the Heidelberg test is not required to arrive at a correct diagnosis of too little stomach acid. You can perform a gastric acid self-test at home using some betain HCL capsules taken with meals. If digestion improves – bingo! You’re hydrochloric acid deficient.

This issue of low stomach acid is central to so many diseases that I recommend a gastric acid self-test to EVERYONE over age 50 and anyone under age 50 who has any medical complaint related to nutrient deficiency.

I’ve put together an inexpensive yet highly effective “Gastric Acid Function Self Test Kit” that includes full instructions for testing your own stomach acid (it’s easy with the instructions) plus “test sizes” of the supplements – including hydrochloric acid and pepsin – needed for the test.

Testing your own digestive function is simple and easy, and it could save you much grief, sickness, and yes, heartburn.


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Saturated Fats and The Big Fat Lie 

“For every complicated problem there is a solution that is simple, direct, understandable, and wrong.” — H.L. Mencken

 Everybody knows that saturated fats are unhealthy, just like everybody knew once upon a time that the earth was flat. The saturated fat myth has seriously compromised the heart-health of Americans, and it’s all based on a Big Fat Lie. Here’s how this fairy tale came to be….

How Bad Science (And Urban Health Legends) Get Started

Once upon a time, not so very long ago in a place called Nebraska (where the corn grows as high as an elephant’s eye) there lived a handsome young man who was very wealthy and powerful and kept himself very fit. This young man worked hard making millions of dollars in the construction industry and he loved to eat hamburgers. Though he was a very happy young man with a fine family and a successful business, all was not well. One day the young man became very sick. He suffered a heart attack, and almost died.

The young man’s doctors were very skilled and they saved the his life, but this turn of events frightened the young man very much and he set out to discover why such a dreadful thing happened to him. He found out that his blood cholesterol was high and his doctors told him that this was the cause of his heart attack. Without questioning whether this was true or not, the young man made up his mind to ensure that this would never happen again. He set out to learn as much as he could about heart disease and cholesterol, and quickly decided that the foods he was eating were to blame for his troubles. You see, the experts at that time believed that certain kinds of fats called saturated fats would cause high blood cholesterol and dangerous buildups of a substance called plaque in peoples blood vessels. The young man listened carefully to these “experts,” and being a fine young man who wished to help others avoid the troubles that he had experienced, he decided that he would do everything in his power to make sure that saturated fats never ever harmed anyone again.

The young man wrote many letters and spent much of his own money to take out big newspaper ads telling people how they were being poisoned by saturated fats. He made a lot of people believe in the same things that he believed – that is, that saturated fats were bad and would make them sick and had no place in a healthy diet. The young man’s efforts were quite successful and many big companies were forced to change the way they cooked their foods. They stopped using the saturated fats, and began to use fats that were created especially for them by big industries in big factories. They said that these fats were healthier, and the young man was pleased.

The young man became very popular, and dedicated the rest of his life to his mission of spreading the word about “bad saturated fats” and cholesterol to all who would listen. He didn’t live happily ever after, but he did live a long life, and became known as “America’s Number One Cholesterol Fighter” before he became sick with heart failure and passed away just a few years ago.

While this sounds like a fairy tale, it really isn’t. Philip Sokolof was a handsome and wealthy young man who suffered a heart attack that was blamed on high cholesterol and who dedicated himself and his millions to becoming a self-described “amateur cardiologist” and championing the cause of removing the saturated fats that he believed caused elevated blood cholesterol levels from the American diet. While his intentions were good, his science was shaky (he was a high school graduate, not a biochemist or a doctor – much less a cardiologist) and his misguided campaign resulted in the replacement of stable, healthy saturated fats with artificially created trans fatty acids that we now know as extremely dangerous “trans fats.”

Big Business (Can You Say “Proctor and Gamble”?) Helps Promote the Sat Fat Myth

While Sokolof was largely responsible for the vilification of saturated fats in America, he was not alone. The campaign against saturated fats actually began many years earlier, and Sokolof’s efforts were going on at the same time as the efforts from other political organizations were gathering momentum. A few years prior to Sokolof’s efforts, in 1986, the American Soybean Association began a campaign protesting the importation of competing palm and coconut oils. Two years later the “watchdog” organization, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, took up the cry against saturated fats with the publication of a booklet that was later found to contain mistakes, errors of biochemistry, and erroneous statements about the fat composition of foods. This concerted campaign against saturated tropical oils paid off, and ” fats” have been considered poison ever since by mainstream medicine and nutrition “experts.”

To discover why saturated fats have been given such a bad rap we need to go a little further back into history – perhaps as far back as the riverboat days of Mark Twain, but at least to the Second World War, when Japanese forces occupied much of the south Pacific and supplies of most of the tropical oils in the US were cut off for a number of years. Americans turned to home-grown substitutes: polyunsaturated oils such as corn, peanut, cottonseed, and a product of the aforementioned American Soybean Association, soy oil. As the use of these oils grew the growers and industries involved in their production became more powerful and eager to protect their market at any cost.

At this same time, in the early 1950′s, America began to notice a sharp increase in rates of cardiovascular disease and researchers were looking for answers. A study conducted by a Russian researcher found that rabbits, fed with animal fats (cholesterol) added to their feed developed fatty deposits in their skin and other tissues, including their blood vessels. (I’ll bet those normally vegetarian bunnies wondered what they were being fed!) Another sensational study relied on autopsies of American soldiers that had died in the Korean conflict and found that many of those examined had buildups of arterial plaque – atherosclerosis. (Which surely couldn’t have had anything to do with the military diet of the day, right? Or with the popularity of cigarette smoking?) This study, which made major news at the time, overshadowed other studies of the period which showed similar degrees of atherosclerosis in populations which had less mortality from heart disease despite high fat and high meat diets, or that ate far more vegetarian diets and suffered similar degrees of atherosclerosis, and generally indicated that the thickening of the arterial walls is a natural and unavoidable process. The press took the headline-grabbing autopsy results and ran with them using their usual logic of “the rooster crows every morning, and then the sun rises: therefore, the crowing of the rooster is what makes sunrise happen!”

During the 1960′s the attack on saturated fats continued with unabated vigor: despite scientific studies showing a decided lack of benefits companies such as Mazola and Proctor and Gamble promoted their vegetable oil creations as being especially healthy, and medical journals of the day promoted Fleischman’s unsalted margarine as being especially good for patients with high blood pressure. The American Medical Association was initially skeptical of all this hype but after the American Heart Association published its dietary guidelines damning animal fats and praising vegetable oils the AMA quickly fell into line. In 1966 a little self-help book called “Your Heart Has Nine Lives” advocated the substitution of vegetable oils for butter and other so-called “artery clogging” saturated fats. This book was sponsored by makers of Mazola Corn Oil and Mazola Margarine – no surprise – and was widely and freely circulated.

And that brings us to the handsome young man with his clogged arteries. Despite volumes of evidence to the contrary, saturated fats have been the “fall guy” for coronary artery disease since the 1950′s when in fact, as early as 1956 one researcher had suggested that the increasing use of hydrogenated vegetable oils might be the underlying cause of the CAD epidemic. Unwilling to stand idly by and let profits be imperiled by such things as health or humanitarian concerns, the massive and powerful edible oil industry in the United States has obfuscated, bullied, manipulated, and outright lied to protect it’s burgeoning market share. Supporting the flawed science of Philip Sokolof and pressuring legislators to adopt the anti-saturated fat / tropical oils legislation that he promoted was just good business.

Setting the Record Straight about Sat Fats

So, just what are these so-called saturated fats, where do they come from, and what are they used for? Well, the answers to these questions might be a surprise – sat fats are not what we have been led to believe. The most exact answers to the question “what is a saturated fat?” require some tedious and complicated science, and there are varying degrees of saturation. It is easier to simply think of the properties of “hardness” of fats.

A fat that is fully “saturated” would be as hard as wax, and quite indigestible. Fats that are almost totally “unsaturated” are very liquid, easily absorbed, and not at all common in the natural food supply. This “hardness” of fats is also dependant upon temperature. Many fats are liquid when warm, and solid when cold. Butter, for example, is quite hard when refrigerated, but soft at room temperature. Animal fats such as beef fat, lard, or chicken fat, while usually called “saturated fats” are actually not so: they are mixtures of naturally occurring fats and are actually less than half “saturated.” So-called “saturated fats” include things such as cocoa butter, dairy fats (milk fats and butter for example), palm oil, and tallow. Even breast milk is high in saturated fats! Monounsaturated fats include most animal fats, olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Polyunsaturated fats include corn, cotton, and soybean oils, borage and primrose oil, flax seed oil, and fish oil.

Then there are the “modified” oils: oils that have been altered through a process called “hydrogenation” to make them more useful for certain applications. Margarine is a perfect example of hydrogenation: liquid oil such as cottonseed oil or corn oil, something that humans would never eat in nature, is altered to make it more solid and hard at room temperature. Crisco is another example – the name stands for CRyStalized Cottonseed Oil. The degree of hydrogenation is varied according to the desired use of the oil. Heavily hydrogenated oils might become stick margarine, while less hydrogenated or “partially hydrogenated” oils would become “spreads” or other “food products.”

Then there are the “trans fats” that have been in the news lately. These are fats that have had their molecular geometry altered, either on purpose or accidentally, and they are with very few and minor exceptions, not found in nature. Trans fats, when eaten by humans, tend to have some very bad effects on our bodies as they enter our cells and change how the cell walls function. Effects of trans fats in humans (and animals too) range from unfavorable changes in cholesterol levels to causing blood to become more “sticky”, to reduced ability to utilize insulin and increased blood sugar levels and increased weight, to alterations in hormone balances, and more. Trans fats are really only a very small step away from polyunsaturated fats – many polyunsaturated fats can be turned “trans” simply by heating them too much in cooking!

So, what does all this mean in more practical terms? It means that we must choose our fats carefully, and use them wisely. It means that we must cautiously weigh the claimed benefits of the vegetable-based hydrogenated “designer fats” that are so very commonplace in our modern “fast foods / prepared foods” diet against the known benefits of those traditional and natural fats that have been a part of mankind’s diet for millions of years.

We humans have evolved over the millennia as creatures that are well-adapted to, and in fact require, animal fats and proteins in our diets for optimal health – the claims of the vegetarian and vegan folks notwithstanding. Indeed, our very first meal, at our mother’s breast, supplied us with a high energy drink that gave our tiny bodies the cholesterol needed for development, and a special fat called Lauric Acid. This Lauric Acid, which is also found in the now-vilified tropical oils coconut oil and palm kernel oil has very strong antifungal and antibacterial properties and helps our tiny infant bodies develop strong immune systems. We are very well equipped to utilize fatty acids in the form of saturated fats such as dairy fats, and monounsaturated fats such as animal fats and olive oil. It is only with the advent of modern industrial processes that polyunsaturated fats such as corn and soybean oils have been available for our consumption – though fish oils (a form of polyunsaturated animal fat) have historically been considered to be healthy.

Why You Should Eat Butter and Lard

Butter, as another example, has a far healthier composition as a saturated fat than the synthesized creations that are the various margarines. Being a combination of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats it is not as “stable” as margarine – that is, it will turn rancid (a form of turning “trans”) if not refrigerated. But then, who would eat rancid butter? It also contains a variety of health-giving vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Does anyone remember the jar of bacon grease that was a fixture in every kitchen before the days of “spray-on” cooking oils, non-stick fry pans and fat-phobia? My mother carefully saved the grease from the morning bacon, and it was used to cook all sorts of wonderful things, from our morning eggs to delectable entrees and even desserts. We keep a jar of bacon grease in our own kitchen – it is far healthier than the canola oil and soy lecithin and “propellants” (your guess?) that are in our can of “no stick cooking spray.”

Then there is our obsession with “vegetable oils” as found in the aforementioned Crisco shortening. It is interesting to note that Proctor and Gamble, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, or perhaps in a belated fit of conscience, has sold off the Crisco name and product. This “all vegetable oil” creation, once made from cottonseed oil, is now made from canola oil which must be hydrogenated (as was the cottonseed oil) to make it semi-solid. Smuckers, the new owners of Crisco, claims “Our entire line of Crisco Shortening products have been reformulated to contain zero grams trans fat per serving”. Can anyone reading this remember the days when lard was used? All-natural, no-trans-fat lard that made such wonderfully fluffy pastries and flaky pie crusts? Do we really think that humans are well-equipped to consume the kinds of oils that require bushels of rape seed or corn or soybeans per gallon to produce? Any more than we might be equipped to consume petroleum oils – no matter how they are “modified”?

Just like our handsome young man who made it his life’s mission to vilify healthful fats, we live in a fairy-tale world where we are led to believe that with a little help from chemistry and science we can fool mother nature into allowing us to consume “food products” that our bodies were never intended to have to deal with. Unfortunately, life in that fairy tale world is having very real and very serious consequences for Americans and people around the world who are buying into the anti-sat-fat fantasy being promoted by the vegetable oils industry. We are gambling our health and our lives and our future on a grand industrial experiment, and it is paying off with increasing rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and more.

At the beginning of the last century, most of the fats in our forefathers diet were either saturated or monounsaturated, mostly from butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil and small amounts of olive oil. Today most of the fats in our diet are polyunsaturated from vegetable oils mostly from soy, as well as from corn, safflower and canola. Before 1920 coronary heart disease was a rarity in America, causing no more than 10% of all deaths. Today heart disease accounts for at least 40% of all deaths. Is there a connection? We believe there is, and a growing body of scientists, researchers, and health care professionals is beginning to stand up to the politically correct diet dogma that is dictating low fat diets and vegetable fats instead of animal or tropical fats. For a historically interesting end to this article we go back to 1956 when Dr. Dudley White, in a television interview, noted that heart disease in the form of myocardial infarction (heart attack) was almost nonexistent in 1900 when egg consumption was three times what it was in 1956 and when corn oil was unavailable. When pressed to support the low-fat, vegetable oil based “Prudent Diet”, Dr. White replied: “See here, I began my practice as a cardiologist in 1921 and I never saw an MI patent until 1928. Back in the MI free days before 1920, the fats were butter and lard and I think that we would all benefit from the kind of diet that we had at a time when no one had ever heard the word corn oil.”

Former surgeon general Dr. C. Everett Koop even said, during congressional hearings in 1988: “the coconut scare is foolishness. . . To get the word to commercial interests terrorizing the public about nothing is another matter.” Could it be that it is time to turn away from the dangerous designer oils and fats of Big Industry and return to the animal and tropical fats that served our ancestors so well? We think it is!

Finally, let’s look briefly at this current medical fad that demands that we reduce cholesterol levels in our bloodstream to the lowest possible levels. Remember, cholesterol is essential to life; so essential that your liver will make it “de novo” – from new – if your body senses that it doesn’t have enough of this precious material. Even conventional medicine, in the form of The Framingham Report – the oldest, longest, and biggest study into heart disease in history – determined that when total serum cholesterol is reduced below 160 the risk of heart disease actually increases. Even more interestingly, the Director of The Framingham Study, Dr. William Castelli said in the July 1992 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine “At Framingham, we found that the people who ate the most saturated fat, the most cholesterol and the most calories weighed the least, were more physically active and had the lowest serum cholesterol levels.” We can only imagine the dismay that this information must have cause for Philip Sokolof; he must have been aware of it as it was published over a decade before his death. Nevertheless, Sokolof persisted in his efforts to vilify saturated fats and remove cholesterol from the American diet and we can only guess as to why he would continue these efforts in the face of research showing them to be wrong, even harmful. Was he simply too stubborn to accept the facts that proved him wrong, or was he too fully caught up in the whirlwind of Big Politics, Big Industry, Big Agriculture, and Big Pharmacy to be able to change? We’ll never know…

1.) Sokolof article http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/11/26/health/main585849.shtml
2.) Sokolof death http://www.blogofdeath.com/archives/000902.html
3.) D Groom, “Population Studies of Atherosclerosis,” Annals of Int Med , July 1961, 55:1:51-62; W F Enos, et al, “Pathogenesis of Coronary Disease in American Soldiers Killed in Korea,” JAMA , 1955, 158:912
4.) “Hydrogenated vegetable oils might be the underlying cause of the CAD epidemic”
A Keys, “Diet and Development of Coronary Heart Disease,” J Chron Dis, Oct 1956, 4(4):364-380
5.) Excerpt from “The Coconut Diet: The Secret Ingredient That Helps You Lose Weight While You Eat Your Favorite Foods” by Cherie Calbom http://www.enotalone.com/article/3242.html
6.) http://easydiagnosis.com/articles/oiling.html “The Oiling of America” by Enig and Fallon – many rerferences following this 4 part series.
7.) http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/skinny.html#lipid
The Weston A Price Society Enig & Fallon article “The Skinny on Fats”
8.) Framingham Study reports re: total cholesterol <160:
“There is a direct association between falling cholesterol levels over the first 14 years and mortality over the following 18 years” (11% overall and 14% CVD death rate increase per 1 mg/dL per year drop in cholesterol levels). Anderson KM JAMA 1987
9.) The Honolulu Heart Study:
“Our data accord with previous findings of increased mortality in elderly people with low serum cholesterol, and show that long-term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases the risk of death. Thus, the earlier that patients start to have lower cholesterol concentrations, the greater the risk of death.” Lancet Aug 2001.


Cooking in The Microwave Oven: Is It Safe?

By Dr. Myatt with Nurse Mark

I was amused (but not surprised) at the number of emails I received after describing my awesome high fiber, high Omega-3 English muffin recipe in a recent HealthBeat Newsletter.

“I’m shocked,” one reader wrote, “that with all the studies on the dangers of microwave ovens, you still advise people to cook in them”!

Another wrote: I was excited to see your muffin recipes. My only concern is microwaving them as the source of cooking these muffins. I do not use the microwave because I believe it changes the integrity of food…

Now, I know that once some people have their mind made up about something, it’s hard to confuse them with facts. I’m sorry to disappoint, dear readers, but anyone who believes there are “numerous studies” proving the microwave oven is unsafe, damages nutrients in food or somehow does other bad things hasn’t really taken a close look at the scientific research on the issue. Many laymen — and even a number of “scientists” — are also seriously confused about the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, and even what the term “radiation” means.

Let’s look at what is really known about the microwave oven, both pro and con, so you make an informed decision about its use instead of giving in to fear stories you may not really understand.

A Quick Physics Lesson

One of the fears about microwave cooking, perpetuated by copious bad science on the internet, is that “microwaves damage DNA and cause cancer.” Here’s the real scoop:

Ionizing radiation, which includes nuclear radiation, medical X-rays, gamma rays and even tanning booth UV rays, is extremely high-energy. Ionizing radiation has enough energy to strip electrons off of atoms and at the highest levels of energy, to break apart the nucleus. Ionizing radiation is well known to damage DNA and cause cancer.

Non-ionizing radiation, which includes microwaves, sound waves and visible light rays, has enough energy to agitate atoms in a molecule and cause them to vibrate, but not enough energy to remove electrons. The motion caused by non-ionizing radiation creates heat (or vibration in the case of that “booming” car next to you at the stoplight – yep, that’s a particularly obnoxious form of “radiation”…).

Types of Radiation in the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Table: Ionizing vs. Non-Ionizing Radiation
Graphic courtesy of the US EPA.

In scientific terms, any emanation of energy, including sound and light, is referred to as “radiation.” All energy produces radiation. A light bulb produces radiation: it radiates both visible light and infrared (heat) rays. Human bodies produce radiation in the form of heat and sound. Don’t let the term “radiation” confuse you into believing that microwaves have anything to do with nuclear (high energy or ionizing) radiation. They don’t. The fact that many lay people equate “radiation” with nuclear (high energy) radiation is probably a large part of the basis of fear and misunderstanding about the alleged dangers of the microwave oven.

The cosmos, including our very own life-giving sun, bathes us daily in a complex mixture of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation including microwaves.(A,I)

A Classic Example of Bad Science

There’s some “bad science” — and I mean really bad science — on the internet. Here is a quote taken directly from a web page concerning microwaves. Now that you’ve just had a real physics lesson, see if you can spot what is wrong with this picture.

“Radiation = spreading energy with electromagnetic waves. Radiation, as defined by physics terminology, is ‘the electromagnetic waves emitted by the atoms and molecules of a radioactive substance as a result of nuclear decay.’ Radiation causes ionization, which is what occurs when a neutral atom gains or loses electrons. In simple terms, microwave ovens change the molecular structure of food with radiation. Had the manufacturers accurately called them “radiation ovens”, it’s doubtful they would have ever sold one, but that’s exactly what a microwave oven is.”

Do you see why this statement is scientifically incorrect? Remember, non-ionizing radiation (which includes microwaves) is energy that is too low to remove electrons from atoms or break atomic bonds. The author of the above quote clearly doesn’t know the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. When such “bad science” gets repeated over and over on the internet or elsewhere, people who also don’t know the difference between the two types of radiation are inclined to believe this simply because it has been repeated so many times! But the Earth isn’t flat just because everyone once believed it so, and microwave ovens utilize non-ionizing radiation, even though many websites categorize microwaves as ionizing radiation.

[Dr. Myatt’s dictum: “A falsehood, frequently repeated, is still a falsehood.”]

A Side Note About Plagiarism and How It Spreads Fear

I’d like to point out that there are literally hundreds of websites all saying the exact same thing about microwave radiation. I’m not talking about the basic information; I’m talking about verbatim paragraphs of the exact same text. This is called plagiarism. And if the original website “reporting” information is wrong, then all subsequent sites copying the misinformation will also be wrong. This is what  appears to have happened on the internet concerning microwave ovens. I find it interesting that people with these spurious websites, who are rabidly against microwave ovens, share some common traits:
I.) They haven’t bothered to research the information they publish and
II.) They are plagiarists.

People with an “agenda” who don’t do original investigative work but simply copy others and publish material which is patently false should, in my opinion, be dismissed without a second thought. This isn’t “research” or “science,” this is plagiarism and rumor-mongering.

[Note: most government websites allow “fair use” — direct copying of their information — since it is tax-payer funded. But when someone steals text from a non-government website, it is plagiarism and copyright violation, both legal offenses. Worse, it is how big rumors and urban legends get spread like a virus through the population].

What Scientific Studies Show About Microwave Cooking

Let’s look at the prevailing “anti-microwave oven” claims and see if they are supported by scientific studies.

Claim #1: Microwave cooking destroys nutrients in food.

What studies show: In terms of nutrient preservation, microwave cooking appears comparable to or better than conventional cooking methods.(H,N) Any method of cooking can result in deterioration of nutrients if the cooked food is allowed contact with water because nutrients leach into the cooking water. This nutrient loss not unique to microwave cooking and occurs regardless of cooking type. Vegetables are especially vulnerable to nutrient loss when cooked in water regardless of cooking method.(I,N)

A number of studies that show microwave-cooked foods retain nutritional values better than conventionally cooked food because of lower cooking temperatures and shorter cooking times.(G,J)

For example, spinach retains nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave but loses about 77 percent when cooked on a stove top if water is used.(A) Onions cooked in the microwave retain flavonoid and vitamin C content while boiling reduces flavonoids by 30%.(B) Microwaved legumes have similar protein efficiency ratios (PERs) to legumes cooked conventionally.(C) One study reported significant flavonoid losses (97%) in microwaved food(L), but numerous other studies have found the opposite: microwaving preserves nutrient values including vitamin C, chlorophyll, flavonoids, folate, vitamins B1, B6 and other nutrients. (A,B, C, M, Y, Z, AA,)

One oft-quoted study claims that microwave ovens convert vitamin B12 from the active to inactive form, making approximately 30-40% of the B12 unusable by mammals.(D) Interestingly, those who use this study to damn the microwave fail to note that any method of cooking reduces vitamin B12 by a similar or even greater amount.(A,H)

One 1992 study found that immune globulins in breast milk are destroyed by heating above 60 degrees centigrade(K), a singular study reported hundreds of times by the “anti-microwave” camps. However, this thermal (heat) effect occurs when milk is heated above 60 degrees by any cooking method and is not a nutritional change unique to the microwave. Other studies have shown that for the same heating temperatures, microwaved milk has similar nutritional values comparable to other heating methods.(J,O,Y,Z,AA)

But hey, who ever checks out references in an article? Do YOU? Even when a reference is cited, do you ever actually verify that this is the actual conclusion of the study or article? No?

We’ve got you covered. We DO verify and check references. It’s part of our investigative reporting and we take this work quite seriously.

Claim #2: Microwaved foods contain more cancer-causing chemicals than conventionally cooked foods.

What studies show: Just the opposite. High-heat cooking such as grilling, barbequing, pan-frying and broiling cause the production of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrosamines, all known to be carcinogenic. Because the microwave oven cooks at lower temperatures and does not brown or “carmelize” food, there is little if any of these carcinogens produced by microwave cooking.(P,Q,R,S,T) Also, pre-cooking various meats in the microwave before grilling or using other conventional cooking methods has been shown to decrease the production of mutagenic substances up to 9-fold.(U,V,W)

For example, bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon.(A,E,F) Another study found that levels of N-nitrosdimethylamine (NDMA), classified as a probable human carcinogen, were significantly lower in dried seafood cooked in the microwave oven compared with direct heating on a gas range.(X)

Claim #3: Microwave cooking damages protein.

What studies show: ALL heat cooking alters proteins, a phenomenon called “denaturing.” Eggs scrambled on the stove top have altered protein structures. The microwave does not denature proteins more than other heat cooking methods and in fact may alter protein structures less because of lower temperatures and shorter cooking times.(AE,AF)

It should be noted that protein denaturation is not necessarily bad. Many proteins are rendered more digestible by denaturation.(AB,AC,AD)

Other “Non Food” Arguments Used Against Microwave Ovens

Although rare studies show nutrient alterations with microwaving, most studies support the opposite. In addition to food value claims, anti-microwave camps cite other “evidence” against the use of microwave ovens. Since this information is floating around the internet and is frequently referred to, let’s take a look at the validity and importance of these claims.

Claim #4: The Russians banned the microwave oven from 1976 to 1978 (or possibly 1987).

Truth? Reportedly true according to someone who lived in Russia at the time, although not verifiable in my online research. (Except the hundreds of websites which mention this without substantiation). However, it is not clear WHY the microwave oven was banned.

My “contact” from Russia wasn’t clear why the ban, but suggested that it might just as easily have been for social reasons (perhaps the government didn’t want people getting too “willful” to own such a decadent and expensive modern convenience) as it may have been for scientific reasons. There is also some discussion that the Russian government feared microwaves might be used for “mind control,” another possible reason for the ban since most of these appliances came from the US at that time.

Today, however, I find no country in the world that bans the use of microwave ovens. This would suggest but not prove that no country feels there is sufficient scientific justification for outlawing their use.

Claim #5: There are other “athermic” (not caused by heat) effects caused by the microwave that damage sub-cellular structures, “ripping atoms apart.”

Truth? We know that athermic effects occur from ionizing radiation. If such severe damage to atoms were to occur in the microwave, one would think that nutritional values or other measurable factors would indeed be found to be altered. Such is not the case. There are no credible studies that have found residues in microwaved food consistent with sub-atomic damage such as caused by ionizing radiation.(AG)

A number of anti-microwave websites claim that athermal effects are “not presently measurable.” Pardon me for asking the obvious but if these athermal effects are not measurable, how do we know they exist?

There are also claims that microwaving “creates new compounds, called radiolytic compounds, which are not found in nature” and have all manner of destructive properties. As far as conventional science understands, only ionizing radiation can cause radiolytic compounds. There are no known radiolytic compounds formed by non-ionizing radiation.

Claim #6: Microwaves can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or weakness.

Truth? Although not studied per se, there are reports of some workers exposed to unshielded microwaves experiencing headaches, nausea and other symptoms. Note that these effects were from UNSHIELDED microwaves on the order of thousands of watts in power from radar stations or other high-powered transmitters, not from the minute amount of exposure encountered within 5 cm (about 2 inches) of an operating microwave oven.

Claim #7: Microwaves can cause cataracts and burns.

True. However, the amount of microwaves that you might be exposed to from a modern oven is minuscule compared to the amount of microwave energy known to cause this damage. At 5 cm – about 2 inches – a person is exposed to a minimal amount of microwave energy when a modern microwave oven is in use. This drops down to virtually nothing at 2 feet.

Claim #8: Reports of a science fair project, where one plant was watered with regular water and one with microwaved water and the microwave-watered plant died, have made the rounds on the internet.

There are even two un-sourced photographs, one of a healthy plant and one withered plant.

Truth? This is not a study. It is internet urban legend.

[Dr. Myatt’s aside: how many times have you received an email telling you something like “crooks are planting needles infected with AIDS on the inside of handles at the gas pump to infect people,” only later to have someone send you a page from Snopes.com or elsewhere telling you this was a hoax?].

The folks at Snopes.com tested this claim by taking three plants each of several types and watering one with tap water, one with water boiled over a stove and the third with microwaved water. Unlike the pictures accompanying the “science fair” chain email, Snopes controlled for other variables. In Snopes’ version of the “experiment,” all plants fared the same.

Neither of these reports constitutes anything close to a credible scientific study, but I’d venture to trust Snopes — because of their documented methodology, not “who they are” — long before I’d believe an undocumented internet chain mail. For your amusement, here’s the link to Snopes “experiment”: http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp

Claim #9: Perhaps the single biggest piece of damning “information” regarding the effects of microwaved food is an alleged study performed in the 1990’s by a Swiss researcher.

Unfortunately, reports of this “study” have been plagiarized and repeated so many times on the internet that many people have come to regard it as fact. Even more unfortunate is that the original report, if indeed it ever existed, has mysteriously vanished. This means that credible researchers cannot read the original study to evaluate its quality or importance.

The results of this study are not available because [CAUTION: CONSPIRACY THEORY AHEAD] the giant corporate makers of microwave ovens in Switzerland had a gag order issued against the “scientist” and his paper couldn’t be published or was retracted and is no longer available for public viewing.

The story tells of a Swiss scientist, Hans Hertel (an avid vegetarian), who conducted a study where a group of 8 people (of whom he was one) were fed conventionally cooked food or microwaved food. After two months, the results of his study reportedly found that those fed the microwaved food had decreased hemoglobin, leukocytes, and cholesterol.

Legend has it that the study was published but then subjected to a court-imposed “gag order” and is therefore no longer available for review. It certainly cannot be found now despite later reports that the “gag order” has been rescinded by the Swiss courts.

My question: If this paper is not available for public review, how can so many websites cite a study they have never reviewed? Possible answers: “take it on faith” or “plagiarism,” – but neither constitutes good scientific journalism or research.

For the sake of discussion, let’s say this study was actually performed. Second-hand reports of what it supposedly contained are recited hundreds of times throughout the internet. Here is an anti-microwave webpage which appears to contain one of the most complete second-hand records of reported results of the study: http://chetday.com/microwave.html

[CAUTION: IF YOU HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF CURRENTLY ACCEPTED LAWS OF PHYSICS, QUANTUM PHYSICS, OR THERMODYNAMICS, IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU DON A PROTECTIVE TIN-FOIL HAT BEFORE READING THIS DOCUMENT TO PREVENT BRAIN DAMAGE. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT DEFIES ALL KNOWN LAWS OF PHYSICS. Laymen without scientific background in the fields of physics, quantum physics or thermodynamics may be safe without a tinfoil hat, although such safety cannot be guaranteed. Those without protection may be subject to bad science based on “big words” and important-sounding pseudo-science.]

Even without benefit of the actual study, second-hand reports of the study’s conclusions never-the-less raise numerous red flags.

Hertel suggests that his study demonstrated alterations in blood test results that were early evidence that microwaved food was causing cancer in the subjects blood.

“Evidence of cancer in the blood” after two months? What test was used to detect “cancer in the blood” after two months of eating microwaved food? Today, we WISH we had some sort of simple, reliable blood test that would allow early detection of cancer in the blood. Unfortunately, no such blood test exists.

A review of the “report of the study” (not the actual study itself, which is unavailable), reveals numerous contradictions, incorrect references to ionizing radiation and “results” that are unprovable by any known modern-day standards or tests.

With so many people using the microwave oven to cook food, myself included, if cancer showed up in the blood in two months, my blood should be showing something by now. (Yes, thanks for asking, my annual bloodwork is excellent. So is Nurse Mark’s. So is my 88 year old mom’s and 93 year old dad’s blood work, and they have been eating microwaved food since the 1970’s. And so have hundreds of my patients, all of whom continue to have excellent blood chemistries despite their use of microwave ovens.)

This study isn’t a study at all; it’s a pseudo-science “vapor-report.” Unfortunately, this one “study,” if it happened at all, appears to be the sole basis and magnum opus of most of the anti-microwave movement.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

If you are going to be afraid of something, worry about the unshielded microwaves that we are all constantly exposed to from microwave cell phone towers. Or how about the unshielded microwaves you are exposed to from your cell phone, your Blackberry and your Bluetooth, or even the automated alarm system in your car? Remember, your microwave oven has heavy-duty shielding and a cut-off device which automatically stops the generation of microwave energy the instant the door is opened.

All the other microwave-utilizing devices in your life do not have such safety cut-offs and shielding.

The Studies That Really DO Show Something Negative About Microwaving

The real and proven dangers of microwave ovens are related to “thermal effects” — that’s heat, folks. You can burn yourself on your stove top and you can burn yourself on hot food prepared in the microwave.

Many websites quote the “baby’s bottle” danger (the bottle heated in the microwave burned the baby), but this is a thermal effect combined with “operator error.” Mom or babysitter forgot to gently agitate the bottle to distribute the heat evenly, and then test temperature before giving to baby. This can happen with a bottle heated on a stove, too.

Super-heated water: You can get water hotter than boiling in a cup yet the surface looks calm, without the ol’ “rolling boil.” This can happen in a microwave oven, especially with water heated beyond the recommended time. At the slightest agitation, the water can boil, resulting in a “boiling over” of cup or container and potential hot-water scalding. This is a known thermal effect of microwave heating of water.(AJ)

Food cooked in a microwave oven doesn’t heat evenly, and tends to heat more in some spots than in others. For this reason, cooking meat can be “iffy,” because some parts may not get hot enough to destroy bacteria. Lack of full through-and-through cooking is also a concern even in a conventional oven, hence the recommendation for using a meat thermometer to guarantee adequate internal temperatures of meat.

The Bottom Line: regardless of what you have heard (including those “internet legends”), there is no sustentative evidence that sensible microwave cooking does anything evil to the food. What you will find on the internet is, literally, hundreds of websites all parroting the same one unsubstantiated study — the one that has disappeared and no one writing about it has actually seen.

I found an additional number of websites saying things like “destroys 97% of the food value,” again, with no study or citation to back up this claim.

Microwave energy can be harmful to people, but the amount that escapes a microwave oven is extremely small, drops off to virtually nothing at a distance of 2 feet, and pales in comparison to the amount of exposure we are all subject to from so many of our other modern conveniences.

Even without environmental exposure to man-made microwaves, humans have always been exposed to some degree of microwave radiation from space(AI). Scientists have studied how well living systems (animals, humans) tolerate this background microwave radiation. It turns out that the water molecules in our bodies do a great job of buffering microwave radiation. The conclusion of most scientists is that life has, perforce, adapted well to background microwave radiation.

The bottom line is that unless you get IN the microwave oven when it’s turned on (don’t try this at home, kids!), the small amount of exposure is well tolerated by living systems. Dangerous levels of exposure might be had from unshielded microwave sources like cell towers or even cell phones, but no such dangers are known from microwave oven exposures or cooking.

Real Dangers

1.) Heat can burn. Repeat after me, “thermal effects.” Just like you can burn your hand on a hot stove top or oven. And when you do REAL research to discover the dangers of the microwave, “thermal effects” are the dangers that come up. That “super heating” of water, the baby’s bottle that wasn’t agitated to distribute the heat evenly in the milk, even dangers of cataracts caused by microwaves — are all thermal effects. And by the way, the thermal effects from the small amount of microwaves that can escape the oven’s seal are NOT enough to cause any known thermal effects including cataracts. Cataracts have been seen in massive accidental industrial exposure to microwaves, not microwave ovens.

2.) EMF’s. (ElecroMagnetic Fields) The electromagnetic frequencies at the lower end of the non-ionizing spectrum are of far greater concern to human health. Unlike the “dangers of microwave ovens” where you will NOT find more than a couple of small reports of possible concern, the dangers of EMFs have a lot more documentation.

I tested my microwave oven while in use. Up close, the EMFs were high during cooking. Back off to a distance of three feet, and the level of EMF drops to normal background levels. Again, don’t stand close and stare in the microwave while it’s working, but a distance of only three feet puts microwaves (the small amount that may escape through the door seals) and EMFs at normal background levels. If you think this sounds like a spooky reason to abandon your microwave, please know this – the digital clock on my conventional stove puts out as much EMF as the microwave does when cooking, but it does this 24 hours per day! (If you test, you’ll find a number of EMF sources in your house that are far higher than the micro during cooking, and many of these sources of EMF are radiating continuously).

3.) Certain plastics can melt, release toxic chemicals, or otherwise behave badly when microwaved. Be sure that any plastics you place in your microwave are listed as being “microwave safe.” Better yet, avoid putting plastic in the microwave – use glass or ceramic cookware.

Benefits of the Microwave Oven

1.) Preserves nutrients. Food can be cooked at a lower temperature. This is why I use the microwave oven to bake my special English and blueberry muffins. At only 90 seconds, I measured the internal temperature in the finished muffin and found that it was low enough for the fragile Omega-3 fatty acids to remain undamaged. Bake these same nutrient-dense goodies for 20-30 minutes in a conventional oven at a temp of 350 and the likelihood of ruining the Omega-3 fatty acids increases substantially. Kiss your Omegas good-bye!

Microwave cooking has been shown to create fewer dAGEs (dietary Advanced Glycation End products). What are dAGEs you ask? Dietary Advanced Glycation End products are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are of course linked to both diabetes and cardiovascular disease and a host of other “age-related” health problems such as cataracts. dAGEs are created when foods are heated during cooking and can be significantly reduced by cooking with moist heat, using shorter cooking times, cooking at lower temperatures and cooking with a microwave oven.

According to the American Dietetic Association: “Microwaving did not raise dAGE content to the same extent as other dry heat cooking methods for the relatively short cooking times (6 minutes or less) that were tested.” (AL)

2.) “Fast Food Convenience.” In my practice I have busy families (heck, I AM a busy family!) that will eat freshly cooked broccoli if it can be steamed and ready in 7 minutes in the micro. But 30 minutes on the stove-top (waiting for water to boil plus steaming time) with comparable nutrient values? It’s not happening! “Fast food,” especially the healthy kind, is a boon to many people.

3.) Energy savings. Let’s talk about “being green” and using less energy in order to help out Mother Earth. Which do you think uses less energy? Baking muffins for 30 minutes in a conventional oven at 350 or 90 seconds in the microwave oven? For many foods, the microwave oven can be not only a big time-saver but a big energy saver as well.(AK)

My Challenge to You

I dare anyone to find ten credible references — wait, make that five — about the dangers of microwave ovens. You’ll find the baby bottle report, one case of blood for transfusion being microwaved and being lethal when used (thermal effect causing denaturing of blood proteins is the likely reason), immune globulins is breast milk being decreased by microwave heating (thermal effects cause this, and any heating method above 60 degrees centigrade will damage immune globulins in milk(J)), and, and, and… that’s about it. (Putting a poodle in the microwave to dry it after a bath does not count as a real hazard of the microwave. I don’t recommend the “poodle in the conventional oven” technique, either).

Preservation of nutrients is good, exposure to microwaves themselves is miniscule compared to other microwave sources in our environment and most dangers of microwaves are from unshielded sources, not microwave ovens. All other dangers are thermal — heat related — and I can burn my hand on the stove or oven just as surely as I can on food heated in the microwave.

If you take me up on this challenge, please don’t waste my time (or yours!) sending hearsay from a website with no substantiation. I’ve already explained how there are literally hundreds of sites spouting the same solitary “no one’s ever seen it” study.

In Conclusion…

I moved to Arizona because the deep well-water is pure and thus I could avoid fluoridated and chlorinated tap water. My water is some of the finest in the country, and I still test my well every year. I also live where I do because the air quality is pristine compared to most areas of the country.

I raise my own organic eggs, buy organic meat and non farm-raised fish, buy organic vegetables and grow my own when the weather is good.

I don’t use cosmetics with artificial ingredients; I clean with non-toxic detergents and soaps and avoid any chemical (such as weed killer) that has any known toxic effect. The hot tub is treated with hydrogen peroxide, not chlorine.

I don’t use an electric blanket and avoid having EMFs within 8 feet of my sleeping space.

I am known as “The Dragon Lady” in the nutritional foods industry because of my uncompromising standards for both raw materials and finished product specifications. I take my own supplements in order to insure that I’m getting the purest products available.

My straw-bale home is painted with low volatile organic (VOC) paints. There are no synthetic carpets, carpet pads, wallboard materials or furniture in my home that are known to off-gas potentially dangerous chemicals.

When I fill water bottles with my pure well-water for daily drinking, I use glass bottles. I don’t use food or condiments with preservatives that are known or even suspected to cause harm to the body’s respiratory chain (mitochondria). I have had all of the mercury fillings in my mouth replaced with composite materials that I tested non-allergic to.

Why am I telling you all this? To help you see that I go to great lengths to avoid anything known to be toxic or harmful to my body. Even without solid proof, I am wary of some things when there is good theoretical reason to believe it could be harmful.

Let me put it another way. Do you really believe that I would personally use a microwave oven if I had any reason to believe — after doing exhaustive research — that there was a credible risk? Given the rest of my profile, I think you’d have to conclude that this would be highly unlikely.

I use a microwave because it saves time and energy while preserving food value and because no one has presented me with even a modicum of substantiated evidence that the microwave oven is anything but a modern blessing.

When someone presents me with credible evidence, I am certainly willing to change my mind. Until then, I won’t be a sheep and believe something just because “everybody says it.”  I’m not a member of the Flat Earth Society, either.


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