In the last month, which happened to be the breast cancer awareness month, many cancer patients sought my advice. They had breast, esophageal, prostate, pancreatic and ovarian cancers, among others. There was a 3 year old boy with leukemia. There was also my 32-year old relative struck by a severe case of SLE ( systemic lupus erythematosis ). Although SLE is not a cancer, the way it destroys many organs in the body is akin to the metastatic cancer that eats up adjacent and distant organs. I also had a shock when I was told that my Hindu god-auntie’s 21-year old son had died of heart disease. No Deepavali celebration for them this year.

I have already written many articles about the holistic way to fight cancer ( see ). Today I would like to deliberate on the holistic approach to achieving optimum health. In this first part I will list the first 10 points. There is space here only for brief notes to each point. These are the principles I teach all those who come to me to recover from any disease; to improve their health; or to slow down their ageing. Those who are serious about their health should educate and update themselves on the ever-expanding treasury of health information, which is what I teach during my health seminars.

As stated previously, my prescription is aimed at empowering our cells to achieve optimum health so that they can perform whatever functions they are supposed to do.

Optimum health and disease are two ends of the same spectrum of wellness. If the body’s systems falter or fail, you will develop disease. Cancer and other chronic diseases only develop because the body’s intricate systems have failed somewhere. If there are infections, you may fail to stop the invaders and succumb. You will also age faster. And if you develop any of the serious chronic diseases, you will die earlier.

Current statistics show that two-thirds of Malaysians above 40 have some form of chronic health problem, especially obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes. Many are already on multiple-drugs daily as medication for their poor health. Anti-cholesterol and anti-hypertensive drugs top the list, followed by drugs for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and lung diseases. The list of the chronic ailments and the drugs for them will cover many pages. If we consider 120 years as the accepted biological human lifespan, then starting to get sick at 40 and dying at 80 ( which is the current life-expectancy in advanced countries ) are poor reflections of our health.

If you maintain your health in the best possible way, then you are least likely to develop any disease. Even if exposed to infections, you should be able to overcome most of them. You will age slowly, and be able to live an active life into ripe old age.

Many of us who are not on medication may presume we are healthy. Those who do not go for medical checks may be making erroneous assumptions. Many who have their annual health examinations also presume they are healthy because the tests say so. However, to achieve optimum health requires a higher level of commitment in terms of lifestyle and nutrition; and to confirm that your health is optimum requires much more testing than is usually done.

1 Spiritual commitment to health. My prescription always starts with a spiritual understanding that it is our duty to take good care of the body gifted to us by our Creator, so that we may fully experience and enjoy our physical existence, while fulfilling HIS commandments. For example, even angels do not get the privilege of experiencing falling in love and making love. But you have to be healthy to be able to fully enjoy the physical act!

2 Charge your life-force (qi) and bio-energy. The cell uses qi to power up its engine and micro-currents to maintain electrical charges that allow the exchange of important electrolytes and the excretion of waste to the surrounding extra-cellular fluid. Many of us are walking around like toys with half-dead batteries. Mind-body exercises like yoga, tai chi and qigong will recharge your qi, while taking adequate organic minerals provides material to make electrolytes. There are many ways to improve the bio-energy levels.

3 Safe and adequate exposure to sunlight. The sun is not only the ultimate energy source for all life on earth, it also influences our biorhythm, and is important in the production of cortisol ( a stress-regulating hormone ) and vitamin D. However, be mindful of the harmful effects of sun-radiation. Get exposed to the sun in the mornings for health. After 10am, make sure you apply sun-block.

4 Increase oxygenation. Although medical science advocates additional oxygen only when you are oxygen starved, for optimum health, you should consider giving your cells extra oxygen always. Chronic oxygen deprivation has been blamed for many chronic diseases. More free radicals are released during inefficient cellular respiration. When you exercise, some cells are forced into anaerobic respiration ( due to lack of oxygen ) which produces harmful acids. You can feed your cells with higher oxygen through better breathing techniques, increased ambient oxygen, and increasing the oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma ( not just the red blood cells ).

5 Adequate clean healthy water. In the past you could just turn on the tap and drink the water. Nowadays, with greater health awareness and scientific knowledge, water is just not water anymore. You are confronted with water that is filtered, chlorinated, distilled, RO, alkaline, mineralized, ionized, micronised, clustered, energized, magnetized and many more. It can be confusing. You must know what’s best for you.

6 Caloric energy. While most people have inadequate qi-energy, it is the opposite with calories. Many are walking around with so much excess calories ( stored as glycogen and fat ) that now over 40% of those above 40 are overweight or obese. In USA it’s nearly 70%! Calories are the energy from food that is burnt as fuel by the body. Modern foods and modern affluent lifestyle means very little physical activity unless they make an effort to exercise. Their petrol tanks are overflowing but their batteries are flat. Extra calories are not good for you.

7 Protect, repair and make new genes. The genes are the “operating system” of the cells, and any damage here will cause faulty instructions and malfunctioning of certain cell functions. Protection starts with sun-block against UV radiation and plenty of antioxidants to combat the free-radicals that cause the damage at the molecular level. For repair we need nucleic acids which are the building blocks to replace damaged genes, and also make new genes for the millions of new cells we make daily. These can be obtained from wheat germ and other plants. For anti-aging and rejuvenation you need nucleic acid supplements.

8 Optimize and balance your hormones. There are over 20 hormones and pro-hormones that need to be checked and optimized in order to be in perfect health. The “executive profile” blood tests done as part of your annual check-ups only include 2 or 3 of these. The other hormones are only tested by doctors who know about their value, and more importantly how to adjust them, in achieving optimum health. Hormones are important because they set the “activity level” setting of the target cells. For example, diabetics have plenty of sugar in their blood which should give them tons of energy, yet they are all tired and prone to multiple organ damage. It is because they lack the hormone insulin, or their cells have become “resistant” to the insulin, despite the high levels. All the other hormones also have specific instructions for the cells.

9 Nutrient-dense diet. As explained above, unless you want to gain weight, you should eat only enough calories for the day’s requirement. If you need to lose weight, then eat even less. What we need from our food is plenty of nutrients. We need sufficient amino-acids, saccharides, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, co-enzymes, fiber, probiotics, and a whole range of phytonutrients or phytochemicals, many yet to be discovered and named. Some are needed by all cells, while others are necessary only for certain organs. The more you know about them, the more you can help your body.

The basis of your diet should be fresh raw fruits and veggies. If you like meats, then fish is preferable to chicken. Red meats should be minimized. White flour, white rice and white sugar are all “empty calories” with little nutrients left and should be rationed. Even vegetarians become fat and unhealthy when they eat too much of these low-nutrient foods. Add “white salt” to the list also, as it causes hypertension.

10 Supplements for health. This is the most controversial issue as there are many divergent opinions about their necessity. It was only 3 years ago that the medical scientists admitted that vitamin and mineral supplements are beneficial for health. The scientists are cautious for good reasons. Many people are spending money buying supplements without really knowing if they work. Some may even be harmful.

It may shock you to know that in November 2004, the John Hopkins University released the results of their review of over 136,000 people on vitamin E supplements that concluded that those who took 200IU or more of vitamin E supplements daily died at a higher rate than those who did not take at all. Yet people are not aware of this, and most who do take 400IU or more daily. They are paying money to die faster. Vitamin E is not just vitamin E anymore. 99% of the vitamin E supplements sold contain only the alpha-tocopherol isomer, while there are 8 known health-enhancing isomers in our foods ( 4 tocopherols, and 4 tocotrienols; a 9th isomer has been discovered but its health benefits have not yet been studied ). What the body needs is a combination of these isomers. The study quoted above refers to alpha-tocopherol supplements only. Now there are some supplements which contain a combination of tocopherols and/or tocotrienols. It is a pity that while we are the world’s largest exporter of the complete and balanced vitamin E supplement with all the 8 isomers, our own people do not know the above facts and very few are using it.

This is just one example to show that you need to update yourself before you spend money on supplements – Are they necessary? Which ones? What dose? How cost effective?

I will continue in the next installment.


Dr Amir Farid Isahak
Categories: Uncategorized

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