is it covid or a metabolic problem?
With 4% of the worlds population, why does the US have 25% of COVID-19 deaths?
Put another way, those numbers mean the US has over 6 times as many deaths as we should have. Given the propensity of the US health care system to tout itself as being the best in the world, one would think that, on the world stage, this information would be a glaring embarrassment for mainstream US health care providers. Yet, no one in the health care industry is talking about this. Why not? The US also likes to tout itself as having a free press. Why is this obvious question not being addressed by the media?
By now there has been plenty of time to gather statistics to show that all around the world those who are dying with COVID-19 (C-19) at the highest rates are those with preexisting conditions - chronic illness - with diabetes and other metabolic issues leading the list(1). Does this mean the US has a level of preexisting conditions over 6 times higher than the rest of the world? If so, how can the US mainstream health care industry claim to have the best health care system in the world if chronic illness is so high?
Diabetes and other blood sugar issues - collectively known as metabolic problems - have proven to be one of the primary conditions that makes one susceptible, not just to C-19, but many other diseases as well. These metabolic issues are wrecking havoc on our collective immune system, preventing us from fighting off infections like COVID-19. Given that nearly 90% of the US population has some form of metabolic issue it comes as no surprise that the US is suffering heavily from C-19(2). China, with a very low reported number of C-19 cases, has a metabolic problem rate that averages about 7%(3). This alone could explain the low numbers of C-19 deaths reported by China. The obesity rate there and the obesity rate in the US are night and day, although China is quickly gaining ground on the US in this regard as they move further away from their traditional diet and more toward a modern, overly processed, Western diet. But there are other factors at play, none of which are being addressed by the mainstream US media or the US health care industry.
The first is the fact that many Chinese people initially turn to ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as their go-to source for medical help. TCM is primarily a mind/body practice with herbs as the primary form of medicine(4). With 5,000 years of proven effectiveness (only Ayurvedic medicine is older), TCM is a program with which all traditional Chinese doctors are familiar. Many Chinese doctors have successfully used various TCM practices to treat C-19, something which is poo-pooed here in the US by the infantile (barely 100 years old) pharmaceutical system of medicine(5). The fact that the pharmaceutical model is based on treating symptoms, not the cause of disease, likely explains why the pharmacological success rate for curing disease is pathetically low. But alas, that’s a topic for a whole ‘nuther series of blogs. A casual observation would lead one to believe that the pharmaceutical industry has torn a page out of the ‘How To Be a Snake Oil Salesman’ book, which goes something like this: Talk a good line, prescribe (sell) the pharmaceutical product, have them come back 6 months later knowing they will still be sick, and sell them more pharmaceuticals. The pharmaceutical industry didn’t become the biggest industry on earth without knowing that it’s much more profitable to keep people sick and coming back for more pharmaceuticals than it is to cure them.
(Note: If you’re looking for a doctor who is more focused on curing your underlying condition then doling out pricey drugs that merely mask symptoms, go here - https://www.ifm.org/ )
Secondly, Chinese researchers were the first to point out that when used in the early stages of the disease, hydroxychloroquine (whose active ingredient is made from the bark of the quinine tree) in combination with zinc, is an effective treatment for C-19(6). Zinc has the ability to slow or stop the replication of viruses within the cell, but on its own it has a hard time entering the cell. Hydroxychloroquine helps carry it through the cell membrane(7). Doctors around the world, including many here in the US, have implemented this regime to treat COVID-19 with great success. Sadly, our mainstream media, which kowtows to its biggest source of revenue, the pharmaceutical industry, has chosen to parrot the official line being put forth by Dr. Fauci and his Big Pharma cronies that hydroxychloroquine is useless in treating C-19. What Big Pharma and their media puppets won’t tell you is that they make nothing from hydroxychloroquine and zinc, but they are getting rich off of the less effective pharmaceutical based options they’re promoting, like remdevisir. To highlight just how warped the media/pharmaceutical industrial complex is, one only need look at a study published in the highly esteemed medical journal The Lancet, which showed that hydroxychlorquine was not effective in treating C-19. Stay with me here. This study has been touted by Dr. Fauci and his pharmaceutical industry pals as proof that hydroxychlorquine does not work to treat C-19. Main stream media picked up on this and to this day still claims that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective, conveniently never pointing out that it needs to be taken with zinc.
And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, for the rest of the story. Here is where the distinction is made about who is really generating fake news and who is telling the truth: What went untold by Fauci and the media is the fact that The Lancet later retracted that article due to shoddy research(8). It was also discovered that the researchers who conducted the study have a history of publishing questionable papers to help shore up the failings of the pharmaceutical industry. Yet Fauci has failed to point this out and mainstream news sources like NPR, MSNBC, CNN and others to this day claim that “a study shows that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective”. Meanwhile, we are constantly being told by Fauci and his pharmaceutical cronies that the only effective treatment will be the new vaccines and that we need to all sit on our hands and do nothing - letting people needlessly die - while we wait for them.
Remdemisvere, a highly profitable, patented, pharmaceutical drug, has shown slight effectiveness in relieving symptoms of C-19, but it can’t hold a candle to hydroycholorquine and zinc and their ability to kick the disease in its early stages. So we are continually fed lies about them, TCM and other treatment options, to not only boost drug company profits, but to instill ever more fear so that we all dutifully line up for vaccines when they become available. Depending on the level of buy-in from the general public on the propaganda campaign now being fomented by Fauci and his Big Pharma cronies over C-19, profits for vaccine makers could run into the trillions of dollars. All of this with no guarantee that the vaccine will work. In fact, due to their hasty development and the government sanctioned bypassing of normal protocol for developing a vaccine, I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Trumps Operation Warp Speed development program for C-19 vaccines will result in a very high injury and death rate from the various vaccines for C-19 (see previous blog).
The essence of all of this is that to is that too many Americans have broken immune systems - too much of the food we eat is overly processed and is tainted with too many agricultural toxins, preservatives and unpronounceable chemicals. Much of this can be blamed on what has come to be called the Standard American Diet (SAD) which is loaded with excessive amounts of carbohydrates (which includes any form of sugar) and is overly dependent on omega6 polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils (soy, corn, canola etc). We know that food informs our genes how to perform(9). The problem is, there is very little in all of the sugary, overly processed, vegetable oil laden foods that our genome recognizes as the ancestral foods and nutrients that have kept us healthy for the past 250,000 years.
Let’s take a closer look at some of things that our ancestors would not recognize as being food, starting with sugar.
Over half of the table sugar consumed in the US today is made from sugar beets, with most of the rest coming from sugar cane. Sugar beets are a relative newcomer to American agriculture, having only become mainstream in my lifetime. Right off the top, sugar beets have a strike against them because 98% of the beets grown for sugar production have been genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate, the toxic herbicide in Round Up(10). I don’t think I need to explain that our bodies have no genetic history with glyphosate. Glyphosate kills weeds in the farmers field by inhibiting the shikimate pathway, a metabolic process that occurs in some life forms, particularly plants(11). It was for this reason that Monsanto, the maker of Round Up, whose primary ingredient is glyphosate, claimed that Round Up had no ill effect on humans because the human body metabolic process does not involve the shikimate pathway. Around the time Monsanto made this claim, research on the human gut microbiome was exploding. One of the many fascinating things to come out of this ongoing research is that many of the critically important microbes in our gut utilize - you guessed it - the shikimate pathway.
Our other self, our microbiome, is a fragile but beautiful thing. Dr. Tom O’Bryan, writing in The Autoimmune Fix puts it this way: “Are we humans hosting a whole lot of bacteria, or are we bacteria having a human experience? We appreciate that we are living with a parallel civilization inside us, each assisting the other.”
Glyphosate, as well as other pesticides, are the proverbial monkey wrenches tossed into into the delicate ecosystem of our gut microbiome. Many folks eating non-organic food sprayed with Round Up are having profound complications from a disrupted gut. Given that most processed food has a lot of sugar in it, and given that many Americans add sugar to many of their foods, and given that 98% of sugar beets are genetically modified to tolerate being sprayed with Round Up, it comes as no surprise that sugar is one of the primary culprits in disseminating the toxic herbicide glyphosate.
Not only do we have zero genetic history with glyphosate, we have very little genetic history with sugar. Prior to 1000 BC sugar cane was little known outside of its native New Guinea and South East Asia homeland. Even in those places it wasn’t processed into sugar, instead, the whole, raw canes were chewed like a snack. Early sea going traders in that region began to spread the sugar cane plant in wider circles to Australia, India and China. But it wasn’t until the 18th century when European colonists began to grow it commercially in the Caribbean, South America, around the Indian Ocean region and the islands of the South Pacific that sugar, processed from sugar cane, became commonly traded. It wasn’t until the turn of the 19th century that sugar became so cheap and available that most people could gain access to it. In short, we’re talking about a mere 150 to 200 years ago that sugar became common in the Western diet. Given that researchers who study the topic of food acclimation feel that the time it takes for a given population to adapt to a new food is likely closer to 10,000 years than 200 years, it’s apparent that few of us are genetically equipped to tolerate anywhere near the amount of sugar that many Americans consume.
As was just alluded, by 1915 sugar was beginning to make inroads into the world marketplace. According to the Diabetes Council, in that year the average American consumed 17.5 pounds of sugar per year. By 2011 it had jumped to an astonishing 150 pounds per year, and the US has been, and remains the worlds largest per capita consumer of sugar. Lest we forget, this is in the country that claims to have the best health care system in the world.
Sugar beets and sugar cane are not the only carbohydrate rich crops that are relatively recent introductions into the diets of many people. The last 300 years of world wide trade has seen the introduction of many new carb rich crops around the world into regions that never had them before; potatoes from South America went around the world; sweet potatoes and watermelons from Africa went around the world; American maize was introduced to Asia, Europe and Africa; wheat, oats, barley and rice came to the Americas and countless legumes were moved all around the globe.
Why is any of this important? For decades mainstream medicine told us that a calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from fat or carbohydrates. Newer research tells us that’s not the whole story. Calories from carbs are treated by our bodies in a very different way than calories from fat. For most of our 250,000 year long history as modern humans, carbohydrate rich foods were scarce as hens teeth, so over many tens of thousands of years our bodies developed the ability to take those seldom seen calories and store them away as fat for a rainy day. Carb rich crops like corn, wheat and other cereal grains, as well as other carb rich foods like legumes, root crops, fruit and squash were, for 99% of human history, gathered in very small amounts as wild foods. In other words, if it had been a good season and earth had been plentiful, there might be a few wild grains, legumes, root crops, fruit and squash to gather. But most of that would have been strictly seasonal and all of it would have been in very limited quantities. Because those carbs were always so rare, fat accumulation never amounted to much, and what little did accumulate would have been quickly used up in the next lean season.
On the other hand, ancestral dietary fat, in the form of fish, saturated fat from wild game, nuts in their shell (long term storage) and here in my neck of the woods, the fatty seeds of the 200+ species of wild cactus fruit, would have been available to the native folks all year ‘round. Hence, our bodies learned that there was no need to store dietary fat, so over countless millennia our bodies learned to burn dietary fat as a primary fuel source.
Without getting too far off topic here, let me just say that good quality dietary fat, like the fat in pastured meat, coconut oil, lard, tallow, butter from pastured cows and other traditional sources, all amount to very good historic information for our genes. The good news is, unlike eating too many carbs, eating too much high quality dietary fat doesn’t end up at our waistline. Instead it gets turned into tiny ketone bodies and stored in the liver. Also unlike fat from carbs stored around the waistline, these super charged sources of energy are ready for immediate delivery from the liver.
Fast forward to today when modern agriculture, with its massive tractors, combines, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and subsidized fossil fuel to run it all, is cultivating carb rich crops on a scale that has never before existed in the history of planet earth. We are now awash in carbs. The fact that so many earthlings are now suffering metabolic issues, or are downright fat, is testament to the lopsided nature of a misguided food system based on carb rich monocrops that now cover vast sweeps of the surface of the earth.
Then there is the environmental damage these misguided food policies are imposing on our planet and our well being. All of this is done to satisfy the greed of a handful of corporate Big Food behemoths.
Even more fuel was added to the carb fire when the US Department of Agriculture decided to kowtow to Big Food and create a food pyramid depicting carbohydrates as the foundational food for Americans. Viola!, the obesity crisis was born. Diabetes and other metabolic issues now rule the medical world.
My high school graduation class photo of 1971 shows 2 of 155 kids that are a bit overweight. That’s less than a 1.3% obesity rate. Today, the graduation photos of most schools show that 15 to 23% (varies from state to state) of seniors are fat(12). With a median of 18% the math shows an increase of over 1,400% in less than 50 years!
What happened between 1971 and now? In short - money and ignorance prevailed as corporate Big Food takes over the food system. But it can be sifted down to 4 things. I have them in the order to which I believe they had the most negative impact.
1) 1974 - Monsanto begins to sell Round Up with the active ingredient glyphosate.
2) 1974 - The first food pyramid appears in Sweden. The USDA publishes the first one in the US in 1992. Monocropped carbohydrates are the foundation. Critically important fats are relegated to the top.
3) 1971 - Nixon appoints Earl Butz as Secretary of Agriculture. Butz makes major changes to US agricultural policies that greatly benefit the Big Food corporations and tells farmers to plant carb rich monocrops “fence row to fence row”.
4) 1975 - 2000 - Fat and cholesterol is demonized and carbs are lionized by the FDA, the American Heart Associaton, the AMA and just about every other nutrition and medical entity.
Now you know the full story, the story you’ll never hear from mainstream media. The story of how our collective immune systems became such a wreck. With a history like this there can be no doubt that the real crises is not COVID-19, it’s our Standard American Diet and its negative impact on our immune systems and on our home, earth. COVID-19 is nothing more than a symptom of misguided food and agriculture policies. I have no doubt that if this “pandemic” had happened in 1971 when obesity rates were negligible, COVID-19 wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar screen.
Having said that, I should point out that there was a swine flu outbreak in the 1970’s, but the numbers were nowhere near those being posted with COVID-19. It’s interesting to note that this outbreak did lead to millions of people getting vaccinated. But, according to the CDC, cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome (neurologic damage) from the vaccine were excessive, so that vaccination program was terminated(13). ‘Nuff said.