Friday, November 20, 2009

The First Post in Two Years

I am the son of this blog's creator, and I decided to contribute a bit to this blog since I too have an interest in health. The best way to go about this, I believe, is to jump right in. So here we go.

I was at Barnes & Noble last Saturday, and after browsing the 'general health' section, I found a book I've never seen before. It is called "Never Be Sick Again" by Raymond Francis. I flipped through it, it looked interesting enough, and decided on a whim to buy it. Well, after reading his story (which was rife with health problems of all kinds) and a few more selections, I realized that this guy was going overboard on the alternative health bandwagon.

His chapter on Toxicity (the one I read the most of) is overwhelming to say the least. He writes about the dangers of basically everything in the home. Carpeting made from synthetic fibers (nylon, acrylic and polyester) plus the soil, stain, moisture and moth repellents which are used in their manufacture. Mattresses of synthetic material and the flame retardants and dyes used in their manufacture. Furniture made of polyester, polyurethane, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, and particleboard. All of which can off-gas toxic fumes including formaldehyde from the particleboard. The stuff in your bathroom, the stuff in your pantry, no room is safe. After reading all of this, I realized this was not the book for me, so I put it down. I have better things to do than worry about all the toxins in the world.

There's no doubt that the sheer volume of chemicals we use in the manufacture of everything from food to furniture is stressing our bodies and taxing our livers. However, I believe that a lot of these agents have no adverse effects. Say you pick up an average soup can at the grocery store. It may have twenty ingredients listed. A few of those may be bad, some questionable, and the rest might have no impact on one's health. How bad are the ones that are bad? Time will tell. Don't get too worried about it, paranoia is not good for you. The important thing is that we're not rumaging around in the foliage only to find a mushroom so poisonous it kills us upon ingestion. That's what our distant ancestors had to deal with. Not only that, but we're living longer than we have before, which is something this author fails to elaborate upon. We are going to get sick, it's a fact of life. A wise move is to make it easier for your body to recover. All that junk food, those sodas, and that big old slab of cattle is not going to cut it. You only get one body, be nicer to it.

One more thing about this book. In the appendix he lists his personal recommendations for products. Under deodorant he recommends IndiuMagic, which he claims to have spent months trying to find on his search for a "safe" deodorant. It's strange though, because his site is the only place on the internet you can find it. What's more, this product contains Indium, an element on the periodic table. This element is rare and has no known biological role, but some health companies swear by its supposed health benefits. But get this, according to an online periodic table, Indium can cause damage to certain organs and is potentially teratogenic, which means it can cause birth defects. This is a guy who's trying to cash in on the long-standing desire for never-ending vibrant health and longevity and I'm not buying it.