Depression, a frequent problem of the aging, was one of the symptoms in some older patients which yielded to regular supplements of niacinamide (a form of niacin). The vitamin also helped the unsteadiness and lack of coordination which troubles them. Others achieved more improvement when they took oral doses of thiamine, pyridoxine and injections of vitamin Bi2, in addition to the niacinamide. And some, of course, did not respond at all.

These effects are attributed by William Kaufman, Ph.D., M.D., to “profound improvement in the metabolism of the central nervous system.” He suggests that the degenerative changes we endure in “normal aging” are reversible to a “clinically significant degree.”

Seborrhea—Skin or Total Body Disorder?

One of the most common conditions which bring patients to dermatologists is seborrhea, particularly of the scalp. The condition, marked by scaliness of the nose and lip area, heavy dandruff (sometimes with hair loss), inflammation of the eyes, and “cradle cap” in the newborn, is resistant to many types of treatment. Most of the therapies in the past have been local—topical application of one medication or another. In 1974 Wolfgang A. Casper, M.D., and Orlando Manfredi, M.D., reported that patients with seborrhea showed a remarkable response to intramuscular injections of vitamin Bin.* Those responses invited an investigation for malabsorption of the vitamin, since dietary deficiency in B12— except in purely vegetarian diets —is extremely unlikely. Any diet adequate in animal protein is almost certainly a good source of the vitamin.

These researchers discovered that the deficiency originates with malabsorption of the vitamin, probably in the section of the small intestine known as the ileum. Further, many of the patients with seborrhea were found to be victims of easily disturbed carbohydrate metabolism, some of them showing a hidden (chemical) diabetes, with a higher than average carbohydrate intake. This is significant because it is known that diabetics have a diminished reabsorption of vitamin B12 from the intestine.

Attempts to treat seborrhea with oral doses of vitamin B12 are likely to be disappointing, since absorption of the vitamin is very limited. The medical nutritionist who tries this route will accompany the vitamin with doses of desiccated stomach tissue, which supplies the “intrinsic factor” needed to help the body absorb the vitamin.

Indignant Confession From a Food Processor

The following is a direct quote from a letter written by an employee of a major food company which produces vegetable oil:
“I work in a laboratory at a food company that processes vegetable oil, and was surprised to learn that the refinery process we use takes out the vitamin E which is so important and necessary in the metabolism of vegetable oil. We . . . sell the vitamin E to a drug company up north so they can make capsules of vitamin E. We have no problem with bacteria or rodents in our plant because they receive no nutrition from vegetable oil . . . . We also add BHA and BHT to preserve the oil for years on the shelf without even considering the longterm effects of what this may do to us.” Consider the implications of those statements when viewed with the knowledge that the body requires .6 milligrams of vitamin E to protect one gram of vegetable fat from peroxidation in the body—a process which can cause formation of “free radicals” believed to accelerate aging and promote cancer.

While innumerable nutritionists have painstakingly analyzed the losses of nutrients in the processing of carbohydrates, such as wheat, little attention has been given to the impact of food technology on oils, one of the reasons being that we know so little about their original content that it is difficult to evaluate the losses. The foods which are sources of oil are treated with steam and pressure. The extracted oil is clarified by bleaching, turned partially into soap, which is discarded, and then heat-treated again, chilled, filtered through charcoal, and finally, filtered through a battery of filter presses. What’s left? More importantly: what was present originally? Is it not time we paid some attention to a compromise between oil-processing technology and our nutritional needs ?