Column #243

Most people believe they’re healthy. Sure, many know they’re overweight and have a few issues, but since they aren’t on life support they assume they’re in very good health. They exercise, eat organic, take vitamins, get proper sleep, work hard, and even do a little mediation. But those actions can be undermined to the point where they are meaningless. So, are most people actually healthy?

In most cases they’re not even close. Too many people are almost like the walking dead. America, as well as most countries these days, is filled with the walking dead. That’s why the COVID-19 virus (and the seasonal flu bug) takes so many lives. People with a major illness, pathology, or comorbidity like heart disease, diabetes, a history of cancer, obesity, or asthma are almost certain to die if they come down with COVID-19 or even the flu. Maybe the worst comorbidity is obesity because that’s when COVID-19 takes the lives of young, middle-aged, and old alike!1

Who is really healthy? People, and this includes those of all ages, who have asthma attacks, arthritis, joint pain, and even acne are not healthy. They have one or more chronic diseases. Here’s some of the more common childhood chronic diseases.
●    Asthma
●    Acne
●    Diabetes
●    Cancer
●    Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
●    Depression
●    Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (Seasonal Allergy)
●    Obesity

As children mature they can develop a whole range of additional chronic diseases and may still be very active. Some are stellar athletes. Many excel in various studies. But for a fact they aren’t healthy. Just glance around and see how many children are overweight. Being 10% overweight is 15 extra pounds on a 150-pound child. The vast majority of children today already exceed the 10% level. In 1950 a chubby kid was very rare. Back then nearly all kids used to look fit and by today’s standards would be considered rather skinny.2

Americans start hitting the wall pretty hard at 40 years of age with one or more of the many different chronic diseases. The top five (heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes) cause two thirds of all deaths in the country which is 5,300 deaths per day. Additional statistics are quite stark. Chronic diseases in the U.S. consume 80% of the public and private healthcare costs and are responsible for two million deaths a year. Let’s not forget that being overweight is also a sickness. Being obese is like being on one’s deathbed.

Here’s something to ponder. Human body function requires electrical conductivity. The nervous system is like a vast network of wires strung on power poles. Each cell in the body is a miniature battery and all the cells are interconnected. The brain requires considerable electrical power in order to perform it’s many functions. This incredibly complex electrical network requires Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) for smooth operation. “Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids are neuroactive molecules. The physiological functions of Omega-3 fatty acids involve the maintenance of membrane fluidity which is crucial for cell adhesion, axonal guidance, dendritic formation, synapse integrity, and neurotransmission.” Maybe the most important function for Omega-3 is in the synapse of the nerves and the transmission of nerve impulses between neurons or between a neuron and a muscle fiber or other structure. When the body is deficient in Omega-3, its electrical grid is damaged. Over time that results in body failures and autoimmune issues which are diagnosed as chronic diseases.3 4 5

This is why the balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 EFAs is so critically important. That balance is a major determinant for what is and is not a healthy state. This is why I so strongly emphasize the necessity of achieving the 1:1 to 2:1 EFA balance in our bodies. Since EFAs are essential, meaning a body does not synthesize them, they must be in the diet. If the diet is out of balance, the body will be out of balance. With today’s modern Standard American Diet (SAD) being so overloaded with foods high in Omega-6, most Americans have 15:1 EFA ratios which are why they are so sick. It’s also why they should fear COVID-19.6 7

As a side note I want to mention that a few weeks ago the medical community and some governors were clamoring for more ventilators. Without tens of thousands of additional ventilators the entire nation was doomed. Well, that turned out to be dead wrong. The ventilators kill almost 80% of the subjects put on them. Ventilators can actually increase the odds a patient develops a secondary bacterial infection that ultimately kills them. It turns out that providing oxygen and having the patient lie on their stomach is often better. Maybe that’s why UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was only given some oxygen and not put on a ventilator.8

There’s other COVID-19 prevention steps which we’ll one day realize were not the best practices. Making people stay indoors is not healthy in many ways. Closing parks and even beaches to mandate social distancing passes up the opportunity for community healing in more than one respect. Sea air is known to be good for health. Getting exposed to sunlight increases vitamin D which regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitates normal immune system function. Vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth and as resistance against certain diseases.9 10

The medical community doesn’t always get it right. Look at how many healthcare workers are obese. By and large they believe in drugs and operations and ignore nutritional science which calls for avoiding the SAD diet pushed by the USDA and others. They’re comfortable with maintaining the status quo because it’s prudent and therefore riskless. Their actions ignore the fact that the past 80 years of the currently accepted dietary recommendations have sickened billions of people around the world.

So far the number of deaths from COVID-19 is relatively subdued compared to total deaths from chronic diseases. After COVID-19 got established in the United States, an average of 1,150 deaths per day have been attributed to the virus. The normal death rate from all chronic diseases is 5,500 per day. Since most of the deaths being attributed to COVID-19 are associated with chronic diseases it’s hard to tell what caused what. In the big picture deaths from all causes are nearly 8,000 per day. Since we can’t tell exactly how many COVID-19 deaths are attributed to just COVID-19, we won’t know until sometime next year if COVID-19 actually increased the number of deaths in 2020 over 2019.

There is one basic truth that isn’t debatable. It’s that our best defense against COVID-19 is our own personal immunity. By focusing on diet and lowering the EFA ratio to levels that optimize body functions, not only are chronic diseases suppressed, but the immune system is far stronger. That’s a double win which keeps a person from being just another Omega-3 deficient American who is a card-carrying member of the walking dead.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

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. NYU Scientists: Largest US Study of COVID-19 Finds Obesity the Single Biggest 'Chronic' Factor in New York City's Hospitalizations by Tiernan Ray from Zdnet

2. An Empirical Study of Chronic Diseases in the United States: A Visual Analytics Approach to Public Health by Wullianallur Raghupathi and Viju Raghupathi

3. The Role of Omega-3 and Omega-9 Fatty Acids for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain after Neurotrauma by Iriana Galán-Arriero, et al.

4. How the Human Body Uses Electricity by Amber Plante

5. Synapse from Wikipedia

6. Essential Fatty Acids Balancing Omega 3 and 6 Fats Gives Better Health by Bill Lands

7. The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases by A. P. Simopoulos, PhD

8. Ventilators Can Save Lives Of Some COVID-19 Patients, But They're No Panacea from NPR

9. How Sea Air Helps Our Health by Lucia Anastasi from Ecobnb: the Community of Sustainable Tourism

10. The Truth About Vitamin D: Why You Need Vitamin D by Daniel J. DeNoon from WebMd

New Food Analysis Tables by Ted Slanker

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How Fast Can the EFA Ratio Change? by Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker’s Omega-3 Blood Test