Most healers agree that degeneration can have only two causes: malnutrition and/or internal pollution (poisoning, toxicity). Malnutrition results mainly from deficiencies, but may also be due to imbalances (or, rarely, excesses) of nutrients, poor digestion, and poor absorption.
Internal pollution results from environmental poisons taken in with foods (pesticides, heavy metals, toxic synthetics, disease-producing organisms), water (chlorine, trihalomethanes, soil-water-air pollutants), and air (dust, smog, ozone, nitrous oxide, molds, bacteria); from street and pharmaceutical drugs and food additives; from synthetic substances used in paints, carpets, tiles, countertops, and adhesives; from tobacco and alcohol; from toxic allergic reactions; and from normal metabolic functions.
Malnutrition and internal pollution can be reversed by natural interventions such as nutrient enrichment (or restriction), pollution control, and detoxification.
Inherited (genetic) defects cannot be as easily fixed, but better diet, lifestyle, and detoxification can bring substantial improvements.
It has been estimated that 60% of the population gets too much of one essential fatty acid, and that 95% of the population gets too little of the other. Almost all of us get too many chemically altered, toxic fatty acids.
Deficiencies are Common
Large U.S. government-sponsored surveys have shown that over 60% of the population is deficient in one or more essential nutrients. The surveys measured minimum requirements for healthy adults (U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances), not optimums for best of health, or increased requirements for abnormal or stressful circumstances. The surveys tested for only 13 of about 45 essential nutrients. They found that deficiency ranged from 10 to 80% of the population for each of 12 essential nutrients, with low rates of deficiency for the remaining one. Other surveys and estimates indicate that 10 to 95% of the population obtains less than the minimum required for health of each of another 11 essential nutrients (see Chapter 13, Essential Nutrients).
Therefore, of about 45 essential nutrients, at least 23 are lacking in the foods eaten by a substantial portion of the population. Remember that deficiency leads to progressive degeneration (degenerative diseases), ending in death if adequate quantities of the lacking nutrients are not returned to the diet.
When the lacking nutrients are returned, deficiency symptoms are reversed and the deficiency disease is cured. In Part 2, I’ll discuss the realities of degeneration, and how you can reduce the effects of degeneration by aligning with nature.