HOME HYGIENE LIBRARY CATALOG CHAPTER 3
"There are two ways of moving men, interest and
The knowledge contained in this book I acquired over a period of about twenty years. I had at first no specific interest in health, I took it for granted along with steak and onions, and apple pie and cream. It was my wife's indifferent health and later on, the heart attacks (at age 42) of two of my pilot contemporaries, that got me thinking.
The living proof described in this chapter are real people who have side-stepped Algy Virtue's fate in the nick of time and who are healthy and vigorous again. Their introduction now is intended to stimulate the readers' interest ahead of the chapters which may tend to generate a little fear.
Bear in mind that for each of these Sydney people quoted in this Chapter, there are a thousand in the USA, all documented.*
* Since the first printing of The Health Revolution in 1981, the author has accumulated sufficient testimonial letters to fill this entire book. The letters describe recoveries from every common metabolic disease, including cancer and MS. Cases of heart disease, claudication, diabetes and arthritis comprise most of the letters because not only are these complaints the Most common, they are also the most easily corrected.
My wife Joan had never been in very good health--she smoked, drank coffee, took aspirin for frequent headaches, sometimes migraine, had bouts of asthma and over a period of maybe twenty years had lots of doctors' consultations, lots of medicine.
I became interested in nutrition when I realized the medical system was virtually useless, and so began to read all the books I could find on the subject of nutrition and health. I realize now that a lot of them arrived at false conclusions and gave wrong advice, but all helped, some more than others.
After her first close call with diverticulitis, and recovery with the benefit of a long stay at the Hopewood Health Center,* my wife's bad habits were resumed and it was evident she was heading for worse trouble. In June 1975 she had a massive heart attack. With the help of a temporary pacemaker and weeks in intensive care, she eventually made it home again.
* The Hopewood Health Center at Waliacia, N.S.W. has been established for many years and has been successful in restoring many people to health using a vegetarian diet regimen. More recently established, the Hippocrates Health Centre at Mudgeeraba, Queensland, is achieving some success.
Now people in this position should realize that because they let you come home does not mean the heart disease has gone away. Unless you follow a strict lifestyle the condition will worsen and your life expectancy will be short. This happened to her and for a second time she very nearly died. She had five return visits to hospital without, fortunately, any further permanent damage.
As these repetitions could have had but one inevitable result, I arranged for Joan to undergo a series of thorough tests at Prince Henry Hospital, which included an angiogram,* to assess her capability to exercise. I had in mind Dr John Scaff, a cardiologist of Honolulu. I had met Dr Scaff through Dr Kenneth Cooper (author of Aerobics) and knew that he had trained 25 of his heart attack patients to run in the Rimner Pacific Marathon (26 miles) in December 1974.
*An angiogram is an x-ray study of the arteries of the heart or of arteries elsewhere in the body.
The test disclosed--
"it shows, as expected, that she has a complete blockage of her right coronary artery and of her left anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery. There is, moreover, a severe lesion in the circumflex artery. Thus she has triple vessel disease, and in addition, an area of anterior infarction with aneurysm formation."
Surgery was considered but ruled out because the arteries were too bad. Then she got so bad she could only walk a few feet and was constantly near collapse. Her heart was missing every third or fourth beat.
Standing on the front lawn that morning after his emergency call, her doctor told me she was dying. It was pretty obvious. So once again into coronary care. This was in July 1976, a month I shall never forget.
Dr Scaff, by this time, had the report. I phoned him in Honolulu. He said she was dying and that he could not help her but he could arrange surgery there ($15,000 just for the operation). She couldn't even have made the flight and I felt it was the end for her.
I had a cutting of a newspaper report (Sydney Sun, December 10, 1975, page 106) about spectacular recoveries achieved in such cases by the treatment at the Longevity Research Institute in Santa Barbara, California, but I thought I was already using their system.
I was carefully supervising her diet as well as I could and she was eating no meat or dairy products, no sugar, no salt. I figured I had it all right and ensured that she consumed plenty of polyunsaturated vegetable oil, as recommended by the National Heart Foundation, the best and most expensive cold-pressed variety.
But I was wrong, I got up one morning and dug the clipping out of my files and read it carefully. And there it was right before my eyes . . . "the diet calls for a reduction of fat intake both saturated AND UNSATURATED to 10%". The penny dropped like a ton of bricks, I grabbed the phone and with the special help of the international operators found myself within a few minutes talking to Nathan Pritikin in Santa Barbara. I did not know who he was, his name had not even been mentioned in the news report.
I told him the situation and read the physician's report to him. His reply was clear and direct. "Yes, we can help you, we have had a great deal of success with patients in this condition." His calm manner of speech as he quickly briefed me filled me with confidence. The confidence was not misplaced.
I proceeded straight to the Prince Henry Hospital, explained to Professor Wilcken, the senior physician, what had to be done and he cooperated instantly by calling the dietician. I sat on the end of my wife's bed and wrote out her meal schedule on the spot. The dietician, a young lady, scanned the menu and said, "What about protein?" but did not protest, so the program was started.
THE VITAL POINT OF THE TREATMENT IS TO ENDEAVOUR* TO ELIMINATE ALL FATS AND CHOLESTEROL FROM THE DIET, SATURATED OR POLYUNSATURATED, IN ANY FORM AT ALL. ALSO SUGAR, SWEETS, SALT, COFFEE (SHE WAS ALREADY OFF THESE). SHE WAS TO WALK AS MUCH AS SHE FELT ABLE. (See Chapter 14.)
*Small amounts of essential fats are necessary in any diet. Natural foods contain adequate amounts of protein and essential fats, and it is almost impossible to reduce these components below a safe level.
So she was put on this diet forthwith at the hospital and the improvement was virtually instantaneous. In three days she was walking all over the place. In a few more days her exercise routine commenced on the exercise bicycle, a few minutes at a time.
Two weeks later she was doing 10 minutes, twice a day and was soon allowed to come home. That was in 1976. She is now living a normal life; drives a car etc., and, glad to be alive, is being more prudent at this time. Incidentally, she can read clear type now without glasses, which she had not been able to do for years.
Tests conducted in August 1977 again at Prince Henry by Professor Wilcken disclosed:
"On examination there were no signs of cardiac failure, her blood pressure was normal and, interestingly enough the apical systolic murmur which was quite prominent when I last listened to her was no longer audible.
"I think this does indicate some improvement in ventricular function and perhaps posterior papillary muscle function. The ECG is pretty much as before as one might expect but the echo we did, I think, is consistent with some marginal improvement. The posterior wall moves a little better than previously although it is clearly impaired in its movement. The septum is fairly flat--not moving much at all really."
Here, in their own words, are the stories of some other people right here in Sydney, Australia, who have made dramatic recoveries.
Ted Clifton, journalist and author, aged 74
"Whilst gardening at home one Saturday in September 1976 1 suddenly felt waves of nausea and then collapsed on the grass. I managed to stagger inside and fell on my bed. My wife called the doctor who took one look and sent for the ambulance. I had had a heart attack.
"Lying in intensive care in Royal North Shore Hospital, I was covered with wires and tubes and I could see what looked like TV screens with lights moving across them. Time had no meaning, except I knew Sunday was Fathers' Day and I felt a rush of tears and self pity. After some days I was moved into another ward with three other patients, a taxi owner an architect and a farmer.
"When I had recovered sufficiently to return home I decided to have a complete check-up at the Aerobics Center. I failed the stress ECG and my blood tests were bad, but whilst there I happened to meet Ross Horne, and this meeting changed my life. Ross spoke convincingly and gave me great encouragement; I decided to follow his advice.
"I adopted the Pritikin diet and commenced a walking program. A friend of Ross, Marlene Pentecost (author of Cooking For Your Life) provided my wife with cooking recipes and advice. Ross was my chief instructor who, although a busy man as a senior Qantas pilot, always found time to advise me.
"Since embracing the program I have felt uplifted in spirit and my health has improved steadily. In summer I swim 30 laps of my pool. I have found again the desire to work and help others. I have resumed writing and apart from magazine articles, have just written a book. The book is my life story, and I've called it Take It Easy.
Pam Pritchard, housewife and businesswoman, aged 45
"Dear Ross, I'd like to say how excited I felt after reading your book. I wish it had been available 18 months ago when I was so desperately searching for an answer to my illness.
"Briefly, after a number of stressful years, in the early part of 1980 1 discovered a lump in my breast. Six months later I had a biopsy, the results [of] which proved [it] to be malignant. Believing cancer to be a fatal disease, I was devastated.
"The following weeks placed me in great turmoil, thinking I had no other choice but surgery. At this time I was living on Magnetic Island and a dear friend gave me two books to read--Edie May's How I Cured Breast Cancer Naturally and Max Gerson's A Cancer Therapy, The Results of Fifty Cases.
"I started thinking maybe--just maybe--there was an alternative to conventional medicine. In face of opposition from the doctors and my family I decided to pursue the methods outlined in these books. Refusing surgery, I started on a natural raw vegetarian diet, exercising and swimming in the sunlight and fresh air.
"I started feeling better and became aware that my previous eating and living habits had been completely wrong.
"Six months later I returned to my family in Sydney and because of their concern, I had another medical examination. Extensive tests revealed no cancer. Not convinced, the doctors pressed me to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
"Feeling confused because of opposition from my family and the medicos to what I knew was right, I was introduced to you at just the right time. You were able to reinforce my convictions and more. Your encouragement and support has been wonderful and I cannot sing your praises enough. I know your book is an answer to all disease and hopefully people like myself will find a new way of life through you.
"Something which could have been devastating has changed my whole way of life for the better. May God bless you and again thank you for your personal help and encouragement. I now run my own business and have never felt better."
Vic Roby, Western Australia
"You may remember my writing to you in January of this year, relating briefly my history as regards my triglycerides and cholesterol levels, and how, since reading your Health Revolution book, my triglycerides and cholesterol levels have for the first time in the eight or nine years since I first had them checked (and found them to be raised quite high), been towered to "normal", thanks to the Pritikin diet and you. My latest blood test result is even better showing my triglycerides at 1.5 and the cholesterol at 3.6.
"My main reason for writing to you again is to tell you about my father-in-law who lives in England, he is 58 years old, totally blind and has only one leg (the result of an explosion at age 14). Before Christmas 1982, he wrote to tell us that he was suffering from angina, and then at the end of January 1983, he informed us that because he could now only walk about 20 feet before suffering a severe angina "attack", and because his general condition had worsened, he would be undergoing a triple by-pass operation on March 11th this year. He was obviously very worried about his prospects, so I talked to him at length on the telephone about the Pritikin diet and also purchased another copy of your Health Revolution book and sent it to him.
"On receipt of the book his wife read it to him, and also re-read all the relevant parts on triple by-pass operations etc. He immediately put himself 100% on the diet and exercise plan, and set about curing himself.
"One week before his date for the operation, he was walking all over the place, his angina pains non-existent and he felt so much better all over, and so requested another angiogram which showed his atherosclerosis reversing. The surgeon said he didn't know why this was and also said the condition would probably stop reversing soon and continue deteriorating again. He also said (when told by my father-in-law about the Pritikin diet being responsible for his getting better) that one should ignore such 'fad diets', and even if somehow the diet did reverse my father-in-law's condition, he would never be able to walk more than two miles. Well, he's already proved the surgeon wrong on that count as well!
"Anyway, the surgeon agreed that the operation no longer appeared necessary and was therefore cancelled; another success for the Pritikin diet.
"I got into conversation with a stranger in my local library some time in January; he was due to have his gallstones removed and was searching for a suitable diet to go on after the operation, but after introducing him to your book, he took my name and phone number and off he went, proclaiming that he was going to tell his doctor that he would not be having the operation until he had given the Pritikin diet a chance first.
"Two weeks ago, I received a telephone call from him informing me that he didn't have the operation, and a subsequent examination and tests have shown that his gallstones have almost completely dissolved.
"A lady friend of my wife has, since the age of puberty, experienced a heavy loss of blood during her period as well as premenstrual tension, but since going about 80% on the diet, she experiences no premenstrual tension and hardly any blood loss.
"After previously attempting to ridicule me because of my weight loss, workmates are now beginning to realize that what I have been telling them recently makes sense. In fact, now six are 100% on the diet and about another eight are partly on it, which probably explains why none of the Perth or suburban book shops have any copies, or can't obtain any copies of the Health Revolution, and also most libraries have a waiting list for it.
"I don't know if you are aware of it or not but on April 3rd, 1983, in Western Australia's Sunday Independent, there appeared an article about a man named Graeme Prosser who had cancer of the prostate and a tumor covering the lower third of his bladder. The article mentioned Mr Prosser reading your book and now, after he and his family followed its strict guidelines, it described how his monthly biopsy finds him completely free from cancer.
"The miracle of nature cure"-- newsletter of the
Natural Health Society of South Australia
The following is a case history of NHS member, Trevor Green of Sydney. It is so wonderful that the message must be broadcast loud and clear!
"Eighteen months ago I received the news that I had triple artery disease--right descending artery blocked, left descending artery 70% closed, and the third smaller artery 30% closed. The surgeon I was consulting confirmed that open heart surgery was desirable and that if I did not have it the chances of having a third heart attack were real in the next five years and that it could be fatal. At that time I had just heard about the Pritikin Program which is as you know, a health program similar to the ideals of NHS with the exception of oils and fats not being part of the diet. I had read Ross Home's book, The Health Revolution, with great interest because he had made the statement in the book that if a person followed the regression diet (stricter version) for two years, arteries of the heart would be largely cleared of lesions. The surgeon politely ridiculed this concept when I discussed it with him and replied to my cardiologist that 'I had vocalized false expectations' as to diet.
"All this was a tremendous shock to me. I wrote to Ross Horne who replied simply that if I followed the diet assiduously 'I would not need an operation'. The problem was whether to be safe, as it were, and have the operation, or take a chance for the two years and see if the diet would work. I am now halfway through the two-year test period and my cardiologist can see that I am doing well under the diet, though he is reserved about its ability to regress heart lesions once formed.
"Unexpectedly, he wrote to me about going into the Prince Alfred Hospital as part of a research program. This involved a two-day stay linked up to a heart catheter and an intensive series of exercises, some under certain drugs, some without. I must add I was somewhat apprehensive about having tests which contained a risk factor since you are exercised to exhaustion point, and one wonders just how much exhaustion a defective heart can take! However, I went in with the hope that my contribution might be helpful to somebody else and consoled myself with the expressed sentiments of the hospital cardiologist that 'if anything goes wrong I know what to do!'
"Well, I can tell you with much gladness that not only was I an ideal guinea pig for the purpose of the research project, but also that my heart performance was considered little short of amazing by the cardiologist. At the conclusion of the two days he said to me--'we exercised you to exhaustion point (ie, my legs gave out on the cycle machine--a device like a dentist's chair tilted back with pedals at the base where one is strapped in with many wires strapped to the body) and there was no sign of failure in the cardiograph'. He then added words which were music to my ears . . . 'If I were you I would not have the operation'. Another matter which caused them surprise during the tests was the high amount of oxygen in the blood--so good was the oxygen level that it showed up on the test equipment that I was being administered oxygen.
"All these marvellous results are due to changing to the natural health regimen, eliminating red meat entirely, and most other meat as well. Of course, I have a long, long way to go yet, but the balance between the need for surgery is now on the negative side and this in only 12 months of application, though I must say, assiduous application. A much more telling result will be when I have a second angiogram--dye released into the heart arteries which is then photographed and shows precisely the position and extent of blockages. This will be in about one year's time. My cardiologist says if there is any significant result he will write it up in the Medical Journal."
Two years have passed since this letter was written and Trevor reports continual improvement. Due to change of location he has a different cardiologist who considers Trevor to be "unique". No further tests are considered necessary and the cardiologist said not to come back for at least two years.
Roslyn Allen, schoolteacher, aged 32
Written by her fiance, Sean Hanrahan, Editor, Southern Cross Newspaper, Victoria.
"Roslyn became a high school teacher three years ago after working hard at night school to matriculate and then three years of university. Together we drank a bit and generally burned the candle at both ends.
"For some time Roslyn had experienced numbness and tingling in her limbs and at first put it down to the cold weather. These symptoms progressively worsened and were medically diagnosed as multiple sclerosis in December 1980.
"By February the situation was disastrous; she had symptoms everywhere in her body, she was suffering extreme fatigue and depression and she was so tired in the evening she had to go to bed at 6 p.m. The doctors said that nothing could be done and that it may be advisable to move closer to the hospital and to come back whenever it got bad. Expecting to become confined to a wheelchair, she advised me to leave her as she did not wish to be a dead weight in my life.
"About ten weeks ago, dissatisfied with the medical advice, we commenced investigating alternative forms of treatment and read two interesting books on MS--J.C. Ogilvie's Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis and W. Richie Russell's Multiple Sclerosis--Control of the Disease. Following the dietary advice of the former book, after about two weeks Roslyn started to improve significantly. Then we read your interpretation of the MS process and were so impressed we both immediately adopted the Pritikin Program.
"Roslyn's recovery was noticeably accelerated, and now all symptoms of MS have gone except slightly in her right hand. She looks years younger, and in her own words she has more energy now than ever before in her life; her spirits are soaring.
"For my part I have lost 21 pounds and feel great. We plan to marry at the end of the year."
Neil Moore, garage proprietor, aged 44
"I had never been sick in my life and never gave a thought to my health or my diet. I just took such things for granted. I ate the ordinary food--packaged cereal with milk and sugar, bacon, eggs, etc. for breakfast. For lunch I'd have some sort of take-away food, maybe fried chicken, pies or suchlike. And in the evening a good home-cooked meal, maybe a grill or a roast.
"Running my service station kept me busy, but I really had no worries at all.
"One thing I noticed however, was that in winter I caught colds, and with each year the colds were worse and lasted longer. Another thing was that I started getting headaches, usually after a hard day, sometimes in the afternoon, and they were becoming worse and more frequent. In fact about a year ago I was getting a headache, which I called a sinus headache, just about every single evening. Looking back, I remember an occasional chest pain which I ignored as a minor inconvenience and which never persisted.
"Then in August of 1978 1 had a heart attack. I'd just started work when I felt this pain in my left shoulder which gradually spread across my chest. I went home and my wife had gone out, so I just lay down on the bed. The pain kept up all day and when my wife returned home she called the doctor who promptly diagnosed the problem and straight away into the Coronary Care Ward of Mona Vale Hospital I went.
"After a couple of weeks, I still had some shoulder pain, but I told the doctor I was pain-free in order to be allowed home. My local doctor gave me pills to help me with the pain and I just rested at home.
"One of my customers, Ross Horne, called up to see me and proceeded to expound a pretty convincing explanation for what had befallen me, and with my wife listening, he described what he called 'The Pritikin Program'. It sounded good, so we tried it. That was in September.
"In a couple of days my angina had gone and so had my headaches, and I started to do a bit of light work about the place. A day or two later I started back to work, taking things easy but sticking to the Pritikin diet. I haven't followed a planned exercise program, but I do a bit of walking and jogging occasionally.
"And now that's two years ago. I'm down about 30 pounds in weight over that time, am free of headaches and with the winter almost over I haven't had one cold.
"I reckon I'm back in business in more ways than one."
Jean Halewyn, real estate saleswoman, aged 52
"Dear Ross, I shall go back to the day when you stood on my doorstep and I was almost ready to throw in the towel. I am writing this letter as I thought it may help others, through you, who find themselves in the same boat. I don't think I ever told you the full story, so here I go.
"When I met you, every joint in my body was inflamed. Walking and carrying things, getting up and sitting down had become a major problem. The severe pain and the savage damage done to my body had taken their toll. My once slim fingers were staring at me like overboiled sausages, feet, toes turned under or sideways, were too sore to bear shoes on them. I hid all that away from you with the floating thing I wore, my hands hidden in the pockets . . . rheumatoid arthritis . . .
"The whole thing started in 1973 after a traumatic event in my life and by 1976 was severe. I could no longer work, I was on cortisone, clinorils and digesics, my ESR rate was 113.
"Some days I could not move at all, other days--well, I could get around the bends. I crawled around the place, fighting with the taps or contemplating how the hell I was going to get off the toilet seat. I could no longer have a bath as there was no way I'd ever get out of it. To dry my back was almost an impossible job. You see, your shoulders do not let you swing your arms about. I had physiotherapy twice a week etc. etc.
"I had read about gadgets around the house to help sufferers such as myself, things to put on taps, things to help you dress, undress, get out of chairs, even gadgets to help you put on your stockings. I think this was the most devastating part of it all; to realise that I needed those things as I no longer coped. I wept a lot, my disposition became horrid and I was not a joy to have about. I became a complete loner, ready to give up the ghost. The prospect of having to live my life out as an invalid did not turn me on.
"It was at this point that I met you. I think, looking back at it all, it was a combination of two things; your enthusiasm about nutrition, your conviction about the Pritikin diet, the remarkable story about your wife, the case histories you quoted to me, and my own desperation, which convinced me to have a go at the very stringent diet sheet.
"I must admit, it is not an easy thing to stick to, but improvements become apparent after a few weeks. I lost a great deal of weight and this allowed me to walk small distances, shuffling along in my slippers on the beach, slowly, slowly. Parts of me that had not worked for so long slowly started to operate again. I did not fall flat on my face going uphill, because my ankles actually began to bend again. Ross, you have no idea what that meant. And then my knees followed, my hips, my shoulders began to come unstuck, I could raise my arms above my head. This sounds idiotic to a normal person, but believe me, anyone with this thing knows what I am talking about. Swimming! Marvellous. Hydrotherapy, great if you can get up and get yourself there. That came first. I tried to get to water somehow, as I found the loss of body weight gave me the marvellous feeling that I could move.
"So what I am trying to tell you is that I am almost my old self again. I am back at work again, at full capacity.
"The thing is not fully cured, Ross, but I am very mobile. I walk three miles per day, wear shoes again (you have no idea what that meant to me). My spirits once more are soaring high. My morale is great. I can handle the days when I am sore. Anger, upset, eating and drinking the wrong things will all help to throw you back. I know smoking is bad and you will be annoyed that I haven't stopped, but at least I've cut down on it.
"It may sound crazy, Ross, but I have learned that our body is not only the temple of the soul, but the most amazing bit of machinery. Feed it the wrong thing and you will end up like a neglected car. I am amazed by the fact that most of me had seized up--yet now I am working again. To be useless and a burden to other people would have destroyed me; that probably makes me a coward. However, I thank God for sending you along so many months ago. It is a tedious road, your diet, no smoking, no drinking, my body and myself--we are grateful."
Elizabeth May Doolin, pensioner, aged 75
"Dear Captain Horne, I received your last books yesterday and thank you very much for them. I owe you a debt of gratitude for saving my life. I would of been in my grave now if I had not changed doctors and then started on your diet. I was being treated for kidneys.
"In hospital, it was a battle to get temperature down. I had convulsions, nosebleeds etc. When home I was getting worse--could not walk and was not able to stand to press my slacks to go to the doctor. When I complained I was told 'Just sit around in a chair'. Ironing was out. So changed doctor. He took blood tests, ECG, urine test and said it was heart and a pacemaker was needed.
"As I am a war widow I came under Repat and arrangements had to be made. Someone on television recommended a clove of garlic a day as it was a pick-up for the heart, so I started taking it. Then, going through old papers I had kept, came on your Daily Mirror writing and so started on the Pritikin diet. It was when I went to the doctor to find out what was to be done about the heart-pacer. When he examined me he said 'There is a change, something is working'. Asked what I had been doing and what medicine. I told him that I was eating garlic every day and about the Pritikin diet. The doctor said go on as you are going and he would see me in a few days. Next visit he was very pleased but told me not to try and lose weight as the body was too weak.
"He is very pleased with me now. Never had any colds in the winter, can go shopping. Going back every week to the Community Center. Doing most of the cooking for the family, get up at about 8.30 a.m., sometimes earlier. Go all day and as my daughter and husband are cleaners and work at night I cook their tea and am lucky to be in bed by 2 a.m. I walk some distance and know my limits. If I have a busy day I get very tired and make the next day easy.
"My doctor is very interested in the Pritikin diet plan. My tablets have been cut down and I have not taken garlic for a while. It was a real pick-up for me. It used to make the pulse beat better.
"I am 75 years and feeling well again. I thank you and hope that you will live to enjoy life, also your wife. May God bless you."
Peter McLarty, 39, managing director of
large engineering company, Western Australia
"On New Year's Eve 1980 1 was informed by my family doctor that the blood test I had taken the day before indicated leukemia. Further tests the following day at Royal Perth Hospital confirmed I had Hairy Cell Leukemia and that my spleen was grossly enlarged.
"The medical specialist recommended immediate removal of the spleen as the only course of treatment available for this disease. After considerable discussion and thought I reluctantly agreed, and so the operation was performed on January 8, 1981.
"After the operation blood cell and platelet counts returned to normal but although the Hairy Leukemia Cells were no longer present in the blood, they continued to be numerous in the bone marrow.
"The specialist advised that no more medical treatment existed. His advice was to wait until the Hairy Leukemia Cells overpowered the bone marrow and prevented the production of blood cells, at which stage (in an expected 18-24 months) chemotherapy would be tried. However, he was not optimistic about the chemotherapy as it had always failed in the past. He offered no other advice but he specifically warned against an organic diet as a useless waste of effort because no benefits could be expected from its use.
"As a positive thinker, I refused to accept this attitude; I believed I had caused the problem and I believed therefore that I could fix it.
"I suspected that my condition was a result of unrelenting stress over a long period of time, and this stress, combined with my traditional Australian diet, was perhaps the cause of my problem.
"I immediately began to discover all I could about Hairy Cell Leukemia and began also to be concerned about the overall state of my body. I frequented the medical libraries of local hospitals, I researched all the medical computer data banks and I read every medical article on the disease. At the same time I began to walk ever increasing distances each day.
"Reading the first medical journal article was a traumatic experience. Sitting in the Fremantle Hospital medical library with tears streaming down my face I gained a chilling knowledge of the survival rate for my disease. Chemotherapy was a total failure. Patients were reduced to a series of numbers, their survival time plotted in months, and few months at that.
"Only one medical paper gave a clue that provided encouragement. It was a South African medical journal and it gave the history of one individual patient with Hairy Cell Leukemia who for no apparent reason had, over a number of years, eliminated all signs of the disease.
"This was all the encouragement I needed. If it could happen to that one person, then it would happen for me also.
"A friend introduced me to a Christian Brother who had contracted melanoma seven years earlier. After being told he would survive only a few months, Brother John Mann adopted the strict vegetarian way of life and recovered his health. After hearing his story and speaking with others, I became a strict vegetarian in February 1981.
"I planned my diet methodically. The first stage was to produce a cleansing process to restore my body to an alkaline chemistry condition. For one week I ate grapes only, every two hours during the day. Stage two consisted of vegetable purée every three hours and the third stage, the mainstay of the diet regimen, consisted of fresh salads, almonds and fruit, together with frequent fresh vegetable juices. After a few months I allowed myself some steamed vegetables as well.
"Tests over the next 12 months showed no leukemia cells in the blood, but still signs of them in the bone marrow. However, after 15 months, a bone marrow test at the M. D. Anderson Hospital, Houston, Texas, showed completely clear.
"Having experienced natural healing for myself, reading books about it and talking with others who have been naturally healed of various complaints, I am convinced that diet is the answer to all modern diseases. Diet combined with a worry-free, relaxed mental state, provides the answer to any chronic medical condition. The problem is our so-called modern society cannot accept something so simple.
"Because other people helped me, I have tried to assist anyone who may be in the state of medical limbo that I experienced. It is difficult for anyone in fair health to adopt the strict vegetarian way of life, even though they may accept the logic of it. But when the time arrives--when they become desperately sick -it is really very easy, and it works.
"IT IS THAT SIMPLE.
"Ross, good luck."
Rolet de Castella, 60, business executive and
of world champion marathon runner, Robert de Castella
"At midday on Sunday, May 27, 1974, 1 sat down to lunch after a 10 mile run in the Dandenong hills. The day before I had run a five mile cross country race at a performance level good for my age of 50 years. I was very fit, having participated in this sport for many years.
"With my meal in front of me, I suddenly found I could not move my arms to eat it, and I was unable to speak. I was having a stroke. I was taken by ambulance to hospital where my blood pressure was recorded at the frightening level of 300/140.
"After a night of intensive care in St Vincents Hospital my blood pressure was reduced with the aid of drugs and I regained my speech and movement. Two days later I had an exercise stress ECG which disclosed I had advanced coronary artery disease and was at high risk for a heart attack. I was placed on medication to control my blood pressure and was warned against any further strenuous exercise.
"After the scare I continued to run each morning at a much reduced pace, afraid of another blood pressure excursion. After about six months however, I began to experience severe angina pain when running, after covering about two miles. As time went by the pain would come on sooner and its severity increased.
"On the morning of March 7, 1975, 1 awoke with a severe pain in my chest, so bad that I could not even consider a morning run. I phoned my doctor and got myself to his surgery. The doctor diagnosed a heart attack and said I should give up running altogether. He arranged a coronary angiogram to determine the extent of the blockage in the coronary arteries and when this was done about a month later, it disclosed that the left coronary artery was totally blocked with varying degrees of closure in the other arteries. Despite this condition there was still sufficient circulation to the heart muscle, so in that sense I had been lucky.
"I was told that from now on I would have to live on a much higher dosage of drugs to control my blood pressure and to minimize the angina pain which was brought on by the least exertion. I was told a coronary bypass operation was not immediately necessary but could be carried out if my condition further deteriorated. I was not to run and not to lift anything heavy.
"I continued with my ordinary diet which, following the advice of the National Heart Foundation, contained polyunsaturated fats in the form of safflower and maize oil and margarine instead of butter, with reduced intake of animal fats from meat and dairy products. I refused however to 'hang up my running shoes', and a couple of months after my heart attack I recommenced running between two-and-a-half and five miles at a very slow pace with the aid of an Anginine tablet under my tongue to subdue the pain.
"Thus I existed uncomfortably, and often painfully, until November 1976 when I read an article on diet in Runners' World, written by Nathan Pritikin. I immediately realized the mistake I had been making by using oil and margarine and began to understand what I must do. I realized that by eliminating the harmful substances from the diet, that degenerative diseases could be totally avoided, not to mention the aspect which appealed so much to me, that artery closure could be reversed if the dietary principles were properly implemented.
"So I immediately set about adopting the Pritikin Regression diet and it was not long before I found my running performance was improving. I gradually increased my daily mileage, feeling better and better while using less and less medication, my blood pressure still under control.
"By April 1978 1 was running up to 60 miles per week and on May 2, 1 ran 23-1/2 miles so comfortably I decided to enter the Victorian Marathon Championship. So on June 17, against my doctor's advice and despite warnings of sudden death from arrythmia, I competed in the 26 miles open event and finished rather painfully in 3 hours 31 minutes 50 seconds.
"From then on I have maintained my new diet, increased my mileage, run more marathons in faster time, feeling stronger all the time. In November 1980 in my tenth marathon, I broke the three hours, finishing in 2 hours 48 minutes 48 seconds. In April this year (1984) 1 completed my 22nd marathon.
"As a member of the Pritikin Lifestyle association in Victoria, observing the benefits to many others from this "new way" of living, I naturally recommend it to all."
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Immediately following is a reproduction of one page from the original Longevity Research Institute paper titled "Diet and Exercise as a Total Therapeutic Regimen for the Rehabilitation of Patients with Severe Peripheral Vascular Disease". This paper was presented at the 52nd Annual Session of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Atlanta, Georgia, on 19 November 1975, and which originated the Sun newspaper report of 10 December 1975 which happily I noticed. A reproduction of this news item is shown at the beginning of this book.
Age as a limiting factor in rehabilitation
Our study has indicated the promising rehabilitative potential of a diet and activity regimen for claudication patients. That age need not be a limiting factor in rehabilitation is demonstrated by the case of a woman, E.W.: She began, almost 6 years ago at age 81, using the same regimen described in this paper for the experimental group. Her symptoms, like those of the study patients, included other atherosclerotic manifestations besides claudication. Only 5'3 " tall and weighing 100 lbs for the last 40 years, she had developed cardiovascular disease and was treated for angina at age 67. At age 75 she was hospitalized with severe heart attack, and at age 81 had claudication, congestive heart failure, hypertension, angina and arthritis. When she began the regimen at age 81, her claudication limited her walking to 100 feet and even then the calf pain was so disabling she often had to be carried home; and the circulation to her hands was so impaired she wore gloves in the summertime.
Last year, at age 85, and after 4 years on the regimen, she was televised at the Senior Olympics in Irvine, California, where she won 2 gold medals in the half-mile and mile running events. This year, at age 86-1/2, she repeated the runs and now has 4 gold medals. Each morning she runs a mile and rides her stationary bicycle 10-15 miles; twice weekly she works out in a gym; and she follows her diet assiduously. Her systolic pressure is 70 mm.
This combined low-fat diet and exercise approach has proven to be significantly (p <.001) more effective in the treatment of severe peripheral atherosclerotic vascular disease than current therapies.
It is hoped that the results reported by the use of this regimen will encourage other investigators to repeat our studies.
Diet and exercise as total therapeutic regime.
Patient E.W. running the mile event at the Senior Olympics in Irvine, California. E.W. was 85 years old when this run was made.