Staying WELL
 Dealing with health issues
 A Summary
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Paul Clayton, 2017

I believe that it is possible to stay healthy into ripe old age and to prevent, stabilise and even perhaps to reverse, many of the chronic degenerative diseases.

Underpinning all my research and advice is this simple fact. Given the right nutrition and lifestyle, our bodies have amazing powers of self-healing and regeneration.

They have to – because almost every cell and tissue in your body breaks down and is replaced on a regular basis. Bone is re-absorbed into the body and then renewed, cartilage in joints experiences wear and tear but is renewed, membranes of nerve and other cells are broken down and replaced.

This natural process of wear and repair is going on all the time in your trillions of cells. The process of growth and re-growth in bones, cartilage and other tissues is called ‘anabolic’. The process of tissue breakdown is called ‘catabolic’.

The first graph [note this is a Flash video which may not play automatically in some browsers] shows what we have come to expect as inevitable. Wear begins to exceed repair, we are effectively catabolic dominant, symptoms of degenerative disease appear and we begin to age rapidly.

In approximately the first  20 years of life, rates of tissue-building greatly outstrip the rates of tissue breakdown, and we grow physically in size. This is known as ‘anabolic dominance’.

Then comes a period – typically the 3rd and 4th decades of life – where the processes of breakdown and repair are more or less in balance.

Finally there comes a period when wear exceeds repair – a condition known as ‘catabolic dominance’. Arteries begin to fur up, bones get weaker, cartilage thins, brain and other cells start to malfunction.

Although genetic influences do affect how soon we enter this final stage, by far the biggest influence is a healthy lifestyle and optimum nutrition. Advice on achieving ‘healthy longevity’ is in the Staying Well section.

Even if the symptoms of disease have started to surface, it is still possible to tackle the causes of many of those diseases with specific, natural nutritional supplements: without necessarily resorting to pharmaceutical medications, some of which can have potentially disastrous side effects. [note this is a Flash video which may not play automatically in some browsers]

I am NOT saying that a halt or reversal in disease can be achieved in every case, but there is good evidence that with dietary and lifestyle change, it is possible to reverse the progression of osteoarthritis, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other conditions generally considered to be degenerative, or entropic (due to natural deterioration). And certainly long term weight loss and maintenance is possible.

That’s what I discuss in the Dealing with Health Issues section.

Of course, there is a limit to human lifespan. But we are beginning to discover that this limit should ideally be more determined by ageing of mitochondria and the shortening of telomeres on our chromosomes (both discoveries explained later), than by degenerative disease.

Living healthier for longer is my objective.

“Let food be thy medicine.” Hippocrates

Although my doctorate is in Medical Pharmacology, and I have consulted for some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, I have for the last 20 years been working on the ‘pharmacology’ of food.

By this I mean using nutrition and foods in a way that actually changes the body – that extends the period during which wear and tear are in balance. Or, in the case of disease, that tips the balance away from wear, and towards repair.

I fell out of love with the pharmaceutical industry's ‘magic bullet’ approach to treating disease – a strategy mainly designed to target and suppress the symptoms of disease, but which too rarely cures, and all too often harms the patient.

Whilst the pharmaceutical industry has undoubtedly brought us many life-saving drugs, it has also created its fair share of disasters. These include drugs like Vioxx which target a specific condition (in this case arthritic pain), but where the side effects proved, in too many cases, to be worse than the original illness.

In my view both the undoubted successes and the disastrous failures have a common cause. A pharmaceutical company seeks to find a new chemical molecule that will act like a ‘magic bullet’ on a specific disease – and then patent that molecule. Their objective – indeed their legal obligation – is to maximise returns for shareholders.

The flaw in the approach is three-fold.

Prevention is far better than cure. The aim must surely be to cut the risk of disease, rather than wait for it to occur before implementing a damage reduction scheme. That’s the ‘healthy longevity’ or preventative healthcare approach.

Most illnesses have not one cause but several and are the symptoms of a general decline in health, usually brought on by sub-optimal nutrition.

So the pharmaceutical magic bullet approach will at best suppress the symptom, but not the underlying cause.

In marked contrast, a natural nutritional approach that incorporates a diet with a range of nutrients working in harmony with each other, is designed to extend the period of anabolic/catabolic balance and tackle all or as many of the causes of degenerative disease as can be identified.

The third flaw is that, in many cases, a condition can be successfully managed using natural food ingredients without risk of adverse side effects. Indeed in many cases the side-effect is better health generally! In which case why risk the spectrum of adverse effects associated with the synthetic drugs?

So the first main section Staying Well gives you advice on food, menus, boosting the immune system and a realistic exercise programme. It also details what I think should be in an optimum nutritional supplement that will provide a baseline of support to the body – and therefore result in a healthy balance between anabolism and catabolism.

The rationale and research behind the recommendations in Staying Well are explored in detail in my companion web site and my book Health Defence.

The second main section Dealing with Health Issues shows how nutrition can be used to tackle some widespread health issues – overweight, diabetes, stress, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, and mental deterioration.

Nutrition is a fast-moving field. Due to pressure of my research work, I will not be able to post on this website regularly. Any updates on particular topics will be put together as part of an email newsletter, which you can register for below.

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