I write a lot about nutrition and health and everything known about it is based on history. In today’s highly politicized environment, where every comment seems to invite ridicule and banishment, a simple mention of history can set off riots! But tell me what’s known that isn’t based on history. Either we learn vicariously or by previous personal experience. We just don’t start life knowing.
Philosopher George Santayana wrote that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Think about it. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Their accomplishments were usually achieved after many failures. By knowing what their failures were and understanding why they failed can be as important as knowing about their successes. When we know exactly how something failed, we know how to avoid the same mistake. In spite of knowing history we also must understand that, because people are people, too often history does repeat itself. That can happen in a society or even individually when people stop thinking and follow misguided leaders or the mob.1 2
Take food for example. We know that the invention of farming caused many changes in the chemistry of the human diet. Because not all regions of the world picked up on farming to the same degree, we can look back on history and compare the outcomes. We wouldn’t have that opportunity today if everyone had been forced to eat the same thing. Consequently, because we can determine different results on a large scale, we can determine which diets provided better outcomes. It’s a survival of the fittest approach which has been occurring from the earliest days of mankind.
About 50 years ago scientists were comparing incidences of heart disease in various regions of the world. They noticed that 120 years ago the diets of the Japanese and Inuits differed significantly with the Europeans and so did their heart health. Processed and grain-based foods were European staples. The Japanese and Intuits ate a lot of seafood. The latter group had far fewer incidences of heart disease.3
What stood out the most in the chemistry of the diets was the essential fatty acid (EFA) ratio. The excellent heart health of the Japanese and Inuits was associated with very low 1:1 ratios of Omega-6 EFAs to Omega-3 EFAs in the diet. The European diet, with far more heart disease, had a very high EFA ratio of 15:1.4
Following numerous experiments scientists determined early on that EFA ratios above 4:1 indicated an Omega-3 deficiency. Then it became clear that Omega-3 also played a very crucial role in keeping the immune system functioning properly. Following those earlier years there have been thousands of anecdotal cases where people have lowered their EFA ratios and in so doing have turned off their autoimmune diseases. That’s important to know today when we have a virus on the loose.5
Viruses have always been with us and they will be around long after humans are gone. They are relentless and it takes herd immunity to keep them in check. In her book “Molecular and Cell Biology For Dummies,” René Fester Kratz does not recommend that staying safe during a pandemic means people should stop working, hide in isolation, and wait for a vaccine. Yet that’s exactly what the bureaucrats at the CDC and NIH and some government leaders insisted on and, in some cases, are wanting to reinstate.6
The shutdown and shelter in place orders resulted in 45 million people losing their jobs, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, thousands of businesses declared bankruptcy, 77 million students no longer in school, and virtually every citizen in the country ended up stressed out. Drug use, child abuse, domestic violence, depression, and anxiety increased. And even now millions of people are still being scared witless by endless MSM news stories about more cases and more cases and soaring death rates.
What René Fester Kratz did write was that, “For most viruses that attack humans, your only defenses are prevention and your own immune systems. Antibiotics don’t kill viruses, and scientists haven’t discovered many effective antiviral drugs.”
This means that relying on individual responsibility is far better than clamping down on the entire population and treating everyone exactly alike. It makes sense that those most vulnerable of dying from the virus should isolate themselves. It makes sense that if someone tests positive they quarantine themselves for two weeks. It makes sense for every individual to ramp up their natural immunity. It also makes sense for each individual to address their chronic diseases which includes being overweight. But, no matter what we all do, until there is herd immunity COVID-19 will be with us.
Even before the reopening, COVID-19 was far more widespread than the bureaucrats originally thought. Today, just a few weeks into the reopening maybe 20% of all Americans are or have been infected. That would be 65 million cases. Obviously more tests must result in more positives. Of these new cases Dr. Fauci thinks 20% to 40% of them have no symptoms!7
According to WorldOMeters, of the 2.5 million American cases detected so far, more than one million are fully recovered. We’re also seeing that many of the positives don’t exhibit symptoms which means most of the positives do not require hospitalization. Recently, more younger people are testing positive than before and they are the least effected and have the lowest death rate. Close to 90% of all COVID-19 deaths involve very old citizens with more than one chronic disease.8
By being properly informed, which excludes the MSM’s daily scaremongering, all citizens can function independently for their own benefit as they see it. Our society is way too complex and varied for any one solution to work best for all. Straightjacket restrictions that stop all social interactions, exposure to fresh air, exercise, entertainment, shopping, and the routines of work and school only ramps up anxieties which lowers the immunity of the herd!
Viruses tend to run their course in time. The expanding case rate eventually results in herd immunity and at that point the virus dies off. Yes, it may return again and again just like the flu or the common cold. But waiting for a vaccine which may be a year away is not being proactive.
Here are several practical proactive steps to minimize or slow the spread:
● Improve Sanitation
● Wear Masks
● Avoid Contact with Strangers in Large Crowds
● Quarantine Yourself If Infected
● If You Are in the Most Vulnerable Class, Stay Isolated
These steps are the easy ones, but unfortunately they will not prevent the spread. That’s because herd immunity may not be achieved until half of the population has been infected. That may take months which means herd immunity could be achieved long before a vaccine is ready. That also means that before year-end there is a 50/50 chance that everyone reading this column will be counted as a positive COVID-19 case.
This is why it is so important to be proactive with improving your own immunity. Our bodies, which depend on our immune systems for survival, function best when bolstered by broad-based healthy-living strategies such as:
● Don’t Smoke
● Exercise Regularly
● Maintain a Healthy Weight
● Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation
● Get Adequate Sleep
● Minimize Stress and Anxiety
● Cultivate Your Social Connections
● Make a Serious Effort to Stop Your Chronic Diseases
● Eat Nutrient Rich Foods Emphasizing a 1:1 Balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3
The nutritional attributes (the chemistry) of the whole foods required by our animal bodies are the same as one million years ago. That chemistry proved itself over time which is why our bodies require it for optimal function today. And that historical diet was:
● Low Glycemic
● Nutrient Dense and Diverse
● Had a 1:1 balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 EFAs9
The bottom line . . . think for yourself, study scholarly history sources, but don’t overly discount the persistence of COVID-19.
To your health.
Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.
Don’t miss these links for additional reading:
1. "Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed To Repeat It." Really? by Nicholas Clairmont from Big Think
2. Smart Society, Stupid People by Jeffrey A. Tucker from American Institute for Economic Research
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease and Growth and Development by Artemis Simopoulos
5. The Importance of the Omega-6 Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases by Artemis P Simopoulos
6. Molecular and Cell Biology For Dummies by René Fester Kratz
7. Coronavirus May Have Infected 10 Times More Americans Than Reported, CDC Says by Reuters from NY Times
9. New Food Analysis Tables by Ted Slanker