Not One in One Thousand

After working in the health field and observing people over many years, I have come to the conclusion that not one in one thousand Seventh-day Adventists are following the complete health reform information that has been given to us as a people in the Scriptures and the writings of Ellen White. We are counseled in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God so we can resist the devil (verse 13). Numerous times throughout the writings of Ellen White we have been told that the health reform message is the right arm of the gospel. My question for many years has been, How does one put on a suit of armor with one arm? IMPOSSIBLE! Yet that is the condition of the vast majority of Seventh-day Adventists. Since not one in one thousand carefully and prayerfully observe the total health message, not one in one thousand has both arms available to put on the “whole armor of God”.

Although we have more than 2,500 pages written by God’s last day prophet on health and lifestyle, the majority continue to seek guidance from secular sources.

We are told in the book, Medical Ministry, on page “x” in the preface to the second edition that “The promulgation of the health message was for fifty years a topic of major concern to Ellen White. She wrote more in the field of health than on any other single topic of counsel.” Yet still the vast majority of Adventists, especially pastors, continue to believe that diet and lifestyle have nothing to do with one’s salvation. The question was posed by the pastor of my local church to the congregation, “Is diet and lifestyle a salvational issue?” The overwhelming response from the congregation was a resounding, NO!

How blind, deceived and ignorant can we as a people be? We have all heard or read the statement from Christ’s Object Lessons, page 69, “When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Then there is the statement in Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 22, “It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” So I ask the question, “If we must have Christ’s perfect character before He can come to receive us to Himself at the second coming and it is impossible to have that character when we are not fully practicing the total health reform message, then how do we expect to be ready for His coming?” IMPOSSIBLE!

We need to take a long hard look at just exactly what comprises the total health message. Top of the list is the consumption of the flesh of animals. Notice this quote:

“Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 352.

Many Adventists look at Leviticus, chapter 11, which discusses clean and unclean meats when it comes to what is acceptable to eat. However, there is much more recorded in the rest of the book regarding meat consumption.

If someone in the camp of Israel ate something that was unclean he was to leave the camp, wash his clothes and himself, wait until sundown, and only then could he return to the camp and to his family. (See Leviticus chapter 22.)

But if someone ate some meat, even clean meat that contained the fat and/or the blood, it says in at least three places in Leviticus, in chapters 7, 17, and 18, that such an individual would be “cut off’ from among his people.

The Hebrew word for cut off used here is karath, the same word that is used in Daniel 9:26, where it says that in the middle of the week Messiah would be “cut off.” We all know what happened to Jesus in the middle of the 70th prophetic week of Daniel 9. He was crucified and suffered the second death. I am pretty sure that a McDonald’s hamburger has not had the fat and blood removed nor has the steak that you buy at the local meat market been ritually slaughtered so as to remove all fat and blood.

When God gave Noah and his family permission to eat animal flesh, it was due to the fact that all plant life had been destroyed in the great flood. The use of animal flesh for food was to only have been for one, maybe two years, until the plant kingdom had reestablished itself on this earth. I would also surmise that as intelligent as the antediluvians were, Noah took quite a large quantity as well as selection of seeds onto the ark so that he could reestablish his vegetable garden after the flood. After that, mankind was supposed to return to the original diet given by God to man.

Let’s consider next animal products other than meat. Top of the list is dairy.

True, dairy in the form of milk and soft cheeses are mentioned in the Scriptures. However, animals were kept by the owners and ate natural foods which had been designated for them from the beginning. As we near the end of time we are told that animals will become more and more diseased as sin increases and that the time will come that it will be unsafe for health to use these products.

“Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 135.

I was a child during the Second World War. During that time, if my mother needed something from the grocery store, we would walk a few blocks to a local “mom & pop” store. There was no such thing then as Walmart or any other supermarket. Milk was delivered by a local dairy to your doorstep in glass bottles. Eggs were produced by a local egg farmer. All vegetables and fruits were grown by local farmers, mostly without pesticides.

Shortly after the war ended in 1945, the first supermarket that I ever saw opened in Denver. The big food conglomerates began to appear, which for most people saw the end of pure food grown locally. Now only 4 or 5 mega-conglomerates control the production of almost all foods, animal and plant.

From the very beginning all the way through to your table every aspect of whatever food is being produced is controlled, and most of the time not for your health benefits. The food is to be produced as rapidly and as cheaply as possible—the dollar is paramount, not your health. That is why foods, for the most part, particularly foods of animal origin, are now unsafe for human consumption.

Milk contains at least 57 bioactive hormones. These hormones are mostly female hormones since a cow is female. During the last 100 years, the age when a girl reaches the menarche has dropped from an average of 17 years to 9.5 years, all due to female hormones that cause little girls to develop years before they should. Boys don’t fare much better since one of the most active of these hormones has the designation of IGF-1. This hormone is a growth hormone that is 200 times more potent than natural human growth hormone.

When I was in high school in the 1950s, a big boy might be 6’ tall and weigh 180 pounds. Today it is not unusual to find high school boys that are 6’4” and weigh in excess of 250 pounds, all due to this growth hormone. This is not natural and has proven to be very harmful. In fact, this hormone has been found in the tissue of every one of the nearly 200 different kinds of malignancies known to affect humans. After all, it makes tumors grow fast as well.

Saturated fat and only cholesterol are found in animal products. These substances lead to the most common diseases that affect humans: cancer, heart attacks, strokes, osteoarthritis, diabetes, hypertension, macular degeneration, hearing loss, and a host of others.

These fatty substances not only promote these diseases, but are primary in the need for hearing aids and joint replacement. How? In the eye, ear and joints of one’s body are very tiny capillaries that provide the nourishment for these structures. When they get plugged up with these fatty substances, they cease to work. In every joint of one’s body there is cartilage that makes the joint work smoothly. Surrounding the joint is a sack known as a bursa, composed of a tough sack lined with a synovial membrane that secretes synovial fluid which provides nourishment, oxygen and removes metabolic wastes. The cartilage in the joint has no blood vessels, but is living tissue supplied by the synovial membrane. When the capillaries in the synovial membrane become plugged by fats, the cartilage dies and gradually wears away until one has nothing but bone on bone. That is painful and requires a joint replacement.

Many people think that because they use unsaturated oils that they are safe. Sorry! There have been at least 6 recent studies on the use of olive oil which show that cardiovascular disease (the plugging up of capillaries with fat) progresses at the same rate as it would with the use of solid animal fat. Many have swallowed the advertising campaign of the food companies instead of looking to inspired writings and/or scientific studies. Popular in recent years has been what is called “The Mediterranean Diet,” which is supposed to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Just what is a Mediterranean Diet? Let’s take a little trip around the Mediterranean Sea, starting with Morocco in North Africa. We will travel around the sea in a counter clockwise direction. Next we come to Algeria, then Tunisia, then Libya, then Egypt, then Israel, then Lebanon, then Syria, then Turkey, then Greece, then Albania, then Bosnia/Herzegovina, then Croatia, then Trieste, then Italy, then France, then Spain. Within the Sea we find Cyprus, then Crete, then Sicily, then Malta, then Sardinia, then Corsica, then the Balearic Islands. Now the diet of which of these countries are you going to choose? All are Mediterranean.

In the writings of Ellen White on health and diet, you will find the following statement with slight variations 114 times. It is basically this: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts (sparingly) prepared in as simple a manner as possible, free from grease of all kinds, constitute the best diet for mankind.

Notice that this diet is not a fat free diet, as some who obviously can’t read and correctly assimilate what has been written assume. It is the preparation of the food that is to be grease and oil free. After all nuts, seeds, and many vegetables and fruits have oils and fats in them—for example: avocados, olives, as well as seeds and nuts. Ellen White mentions the benefits of olive oil three times, each time she states that olive oil as taken in the olive is beneficial to the digestive tract—not poured out of a bottle.

Now to the two items of diet that are killing more Seventh-day Adventists than any other thing—cheese and ice cream. It takes about 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese or ice cream. All of the harmful substances found in dairy are now concentrated by a factor of 10 times. It was no wonder Ellen White said: “Cheese should never enter the stomach” and “Cheese is wholly unfit for food.” These statements are found in The Ministry of Healing, 302, and in Counsels on Diet and Foods, 368. I now ask the question, “What part of never don’t you understand?” Cheese also has three times the acid producing properties of a steak and is a main cause of osteoporosis, since the body has to pull calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid produced. Eggs are also very high on the list to cause acid production in the body and they are loaded with cholesterol.

The dessert table at an Adventist gathering is next. George Vandeman, of “It Is Written,” wrote me a letter years ago which I still have. In it he said that the dessert table at most Adventist potlucks would put to shame the table of ‘delicacies’ set before Daniel and his friends by Nebuchadnezzar.

Sugar is one of the most detrimental items in anyone’s diet. Numerous studies have been done which show that even a small amount of sugar inactivates one’s white cells, the body’s first line of defense against invading organisms. How much does it take to damage one’s immune system?

An average adult has about 5 liters (5000 ml) of blood. A normal blood sugar has 1 mg of sugar in each ml of blood. So one’s total blood sugar in 5000 ml would be 5000 mg of sugar which amounts to one rounded teaspoon. That is all. A single glazed donut has 6 teaspoons of sugar. A serving of chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream has 12-15 teaspoons of sugar. A banana split has 25 teaspoons of sugar. Now you can see how sugar has the potential to do damage to one’s immune system. And people wonder why they catch a cold or the flu. It is because they pursued it until they caught it.

Chocolate is actually worse for one than coffee. I have had many ask me, “If it is worse than coffee, then why didn’t Ellen White write about it”? She very clearly states that coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco use is a sin. There are many things she never mentioned such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, as well as many other harmful substances. There is a very logical reason why she said nothing about chocolate. It wasn’t until 1904 that Hershey started making chocolate products in Hershey, Pennsylvania. By the time of her death in 1915 chocolate still was not as common as it is today.

Chocolate contains at least 10 substances that are harmful. They are: Sugar (chocolate in its natural state is very bitter and requires a lot of sugar to make it palatable), Caffeine (chocolate has about 1/3 the amount of caffeine that coffee contains), Theobromine (theobromine is a methylxanthine and is a first cousin to caffeine. Chocolate contains more of this substance than any other source), Cocoa Butter (this is a saturated fat which plugs arteries), Phenylethylamine (this chemical is a neuro-excitotoxin and has the same effect as an antidepressant that a psychiatrist might prescribe for a depressed patient), Oxalic Acid (this substance binds calcium and forms calcium oxalate which is insoluble and precipitates out in the kidneys, contributing to kidney failure), Purines (these substances are also found in red meats and are the excitotoxins and stimulants), Tyramine (this is also an excitotoxin that has, in some people, been known to cause dramatic rises in blood pressure), Tannic Acid (this harmful substance is what is used to tan leather. It is very irritating to the stomach lining), Bugs (due to the way that chocolate is harvested, all chocolate averages from 10%-15% insect parts, rat and mouse droppings, bird droppings, dead bugs and worms).

The principle that should govern our lives is not whether the Scriptures or the Spirit of Prophecy say anything about something, but whether or not it is harmful. Also remember the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Notice that specifically mentioned here is “eating and drinking” and then everything else that one might do in his life is listed under “whatsoever.” Only “eating and drinking” are specifically mentioned; so this must have been important to God.

Most people are very lax when it comes to the time for eating, with many who are constantly snacking. I have often asked people to name a healthful snack. The correct response is that there are NONE. Anything eaten between meals as a snack is harmful though many think nothing of having some “light refreshments’’ at any number of gatherings and at any time of the day or night. There are dozens of statements by Ellen White as to the harmfulness of eating between meals, after meals, or before going to bed. She says that not even an apple should be eaten between meals. Eating between meals is particularly harmful to growing children.

All meals should be at a specific time and this time should vary by no more than one-half hour. The human body functions best when it has developed certain rhythms known as circadian rhythms. When these activities vary by more than one­-half hour the body suffers to the point that the immune system is affected.

Studies have been done in this area and have shown that when someone eats breakfast and then snacks an hour or two later that digestion stops completely until the new item eaten has been assimilated by what is already in the stomach. Then and only then does digestion begin again. Most have put something else into their stomach before that can occur and thus endoscopically identifiable foods are still in the stomach as much as 14 hours after ingestion. This leads to putrification and fermentation.  Sleep is also disturbed when there is digestion going on during the nighttime hours.

All of the above reasons and more are why I say that not 1 in 1000 Seventh-day Adventists observe the counsel that we have been given on health reform. That is also why, when we have availability to this information in the volumes written under inspiration, that most Adventists will not be ready for the second coming. Remember, “it is impossible to develop a Christ-like character while indulging in unhealthful practices.”

‘’Sanctification—how many understand its full meaning? The mind is befogged by sensual malaria. The thoughts need purifying. What might not men and women have been had they realized that the treatment of the body has everything to do with the vigor and purity of mind and heart.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 909.

Gene Swanson was an Adventist pediatric anesthesiologist in a large pediatric hospital. He retired in Montrose, Colorado, before he passed away.

Restoring the Temple – Is Milk Necessary? Part I

In much of Westernized society, the concept that milk (cow’s milk) is necessary for strong bones is widespread. From early in life, children are encouraged to drink their milk by well-meaning parents who have been taught that milk is the ideal food from which to obtain calcium for growing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. As a child grows into a teenager, he or she is further taught that milk is necessary if a young person wants to grow tall and excel in sports or any other activity of choice. Then, in adulthood, this person is encouraged to continue drinking milk to make sure of maintaining those strong bones, and, especially if that person is a female, she is told that she must drink milk in order to avoid getting osteoporosis later in life.

However, is all of this true? Is milk the miracle food for bones? In this article we will look at these issues, as well as take a much broader view of the subject of bone health.

“Got Milk?”

The National Milk Mustache “Got Milk?” campaign and website target young people, and the public in general, in an effort to convince them that milk is absolutely necessary for a healthy diet. Actors and sports stars are shown with milk mustaches along with their comments about how important milk is to them and their performance. Nutritional information is provided, particularly about calcium, and it is stated that three glasses of any kind of milk will give your body the calcium it needs. The website even states that milk is a better choice compared to soda pop, sports drinks, and many juices.(1)

However, since this campaign is “funded by America’s milk processors” and they believe that “America finds itself in a calcium crisis today because consumers aren’t drinking enough milk,”(1) it may be wise to look to some other potentially less biased sources of information that do not have something to gain through increased sales of milk.

Studies are mixed as to whether or not dairy supports bone health and will prevent osteoporosis. In one study which measured the BMD (bone mineral density) of 745 men and women more than 60 years old, higher dairy product consumption was associated with greater hip BMD in the men, but not in the women. However, calcium supplementation protected both men and women from bone loss in those whose dairy intake was low.(2) In a review of 57 studies of the effects of dairy foods on bone health, 53 percent were not significant, 42 percent were favorable, and 5 percent were unfavorable. Of 21 stronger-evidence studies, 57 percent were not significant, 29 percent were favorable, and 14 percent were unfavorable.(3)

The Big Picture

The status of bone health is not limited to how much dairy a person consumes. Generally, the underlying premise that increased milk consumption will strengthen bones is based upon the fact that bones contain a high percentage of calcium (the biggest reservoir of calcium in the body), and that the more calcium you consume the more likely your bones will be strong. And since milk contains fairly large amounts of calcium, all you need to do is to drink your milk, and your bones will be fine. However, this is a very narrow view of bone health.

There are a variety of other factors that influence bone health, and when these are taken into consideration, milk is no longer the miracle food for bones and, at best, is unessential and, at worse, a detriment to bone health. In addition to calcium, bone formation is also dependent upon vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin K, and phosphorus. Other factors include increasing calcium absorption, minimizing calcium loss from the bones, minimizing calcium loss from the body, and promoting bone strength through other healthy means.(4)

Milk and dairy products are the best known sources of calcium, but they are not the only foods that contain good amounts of calcium. Other sources of calcium are green and leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens, sesame seeds, almonds, soymilk, calcium-set tofu, and beans, such as pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and navy beans.

Many people think that just because they eat or drink a food with lots of calcium that all of the calcium ingested will contribute to strong bones. However, this is not the case. All sources of calcium have various calcium absorption percentage rates. For instance, the calcium absorption rate for milk is about 32 percent. That means that if you drink one cup of 2 percent milk with 297 mg. of calcium, only about 95 mg. of calcium is actually absorbed into your bloodstream for use in your bones. However, the absorption rate for many green vegetables is 50 percent or even more, as is the case with broccoli at almost 53 percent and mustard greens at almost 58 percent.(5) Along with these plant foods come cancer fighting phytochemicals and fiber; they are low in hypertensive sodium and artery clogging saturated fat, and have no heart disease promoting cholesterol. Milk does not have all of these benefits!

Another important consideration is that as calcium consumption increases, calcium absorption decreases. Thus, just throwing more calcium at your body does not automatically mean stronger bones. Reducing calcium loss from the bones and ultimately from the body is very important. Without minimizing calcium loss, merely consuming more calcium is like trying to fill a bucket with water that has a hole leaking out a similar amount of water to the amount being poured in.

A high intake of acid-forming foods, high intake of sodium, and low intake of potassium all contribute to calcium loss from the bones and the body. Acid-forming foods increase the acid load in the body, and the body responds by releasing calcium, which is alkaline and will neutralize the acid, from the bones. The foods that increase the acid load most significantly are all meats, fish, cheese, and eggs. These items are also low in calcium, so the resulting calcium balance is much lower, meaning that there is less calcium in the body than before these foods were eaten. Milk also increases the acid load, but since it also supplies calcium, the resulting negative calcium balance in the body is not so great. Some grains, particularly refined grains, are also acid-forming, but not as much as animal foods. However, fruits and vegetables positively affect the body’s calcium balance and minimize calcium losses. Thus, even though plant foods appear on nutritional charts to have less calcium per serving, the calcium that is consumed from them is much more effective in maintaining positive calcium levels in the body, and the net result is positive instead of negative. Again, milk is not able to out-perform plant foods for bone health.(6)


1. MilkPEP (Milk Processor Education Program). Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).

2. L. D. McCabe, B. R. Martin, G. P. McCabe, C. C. Johnston, C. M. Weaver, M. Peacock. “Dairy intakes affect bone density in the elderly.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 October; 80(4):1066–1074.

3. R. L. Weinsier, C. L. Krumdieck. “Dairy foods and bone health: examination of the evidence.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001 March; 73(3):660–661.

4. Stephen Walsh. “Diet and bone health.” A Vegan Society briefing paper. January 2002. Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).

5. Brie Turner-McGrievy. “Sources of calcium and calcium balance.” Vegetarian Nutrition. Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).

6. S. A. New. Nutrition New. Nutrition Society Medal lecture. “The role of the skeleton in acid-base homeostasis.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2002 May; 61(2):151–164.

To be continued . . .

Diane Herbert is a naturopath and lifestyle consultant. She received training from the NAD Lifestyle Consultant program, Thomas Edison State College, Clayton College of Natural Healing, and Bastyr University. Diane teaches health classes at the Gilead Institute located in Norcross, Georgia, gives health presentations, and contributes to the Institute’s literature and health flyer series. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Restoring the Temple – Is Milk Necessary? Pt. II

Sodium also increases calcium excretion through the kidneys. Studies show that when sodium is reduced from the high levels common in some diets, the effect on bone density is similar to consuming approximately 890 mg. of calcium. A plant-based diet focusing on whole grains and unrefined foods has a significantly lower amount of sodium, since it is estimated that approximately 75 percent of the average salt intake is due to what was added during processing and manufacturing. Many dairy products and most processed meats are very high in sodium.(7)

Because of the reduced calcium excretion rates accompanying a diet low in animal protein and sodium, it is easy to understand why the World Health Organization recommends only 400–600 mg. of calcium per day. Most of the rest of the world does not eat the large quantities of animal protein and salt that people eat in Westernized countries.

Also important for bone formation is vitamin D. Vitamin D stimulates calcium absorption and bone formation, and decreases calcium excretion. Vitamin D is formed in our skin upon exposure to sunlight. Sufficient sunlight can satisfy our vitamin D requirements, and this is the best way to get vitamin D in the body. While vitamin D may be found in some fish and eggs or is added to milk, animal protein inhibits the body from being able to use it, due to the acid-forming nature of these foods. Studies show that season and latitude (how far north or south a person lives) affect vitamin D levels in the body. Levels were higher in the summer and higher the farther south a person lived. It is estimated that 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure on the face and hands three times per week provide enough vitamin D for an adult, with the elderly requiring longer exposure and dark-skinned people needing as much as six times the exposure. It is important that a person takes advantage of the sun in the summer, as studies show that vitamin D levels during the following winter are determined by the previous summer’s sun exposure.(8)

Vitamin K, which is found in large quantities in green leafy vegetables, has been shown to significantly reduce calcium excretion in postmenopausal women, especially those not on hormone replacement therapy. This vitamin apparently works synergistically with calcium and vitamin D in their beneficial effects on bone health. Vitamin C, which is found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, especially peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and oranges, is important for the formation of the collagen framework in the bones. Other important minerals are potassium and magnesium, which are found in good quantities in plant foods. Phosphorus is also needed for bone formation, but not too much of it; otherwise it will have a negative effect. Plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain appropriate levels of phosphorus for good calcium absorption, while liver, chicken, beef, pork, and fish contain levels of phosphorus that hinder calcium absorption. Thus we continue to see that eating our fresh fruits and vegetables is very important for healthy bones.(4, 9, 10) Milk is not able to supply all of these important nutrients for bones at optimal levels.

Other Considerations for Building Strong Bones

Exercise is very important for strong bones. It is the concept of “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” If you do not give your bones a workout through physical exercise, they are not stimulated to build up bone density. In fact, the level of physical activity engaged in while a teenager can have significant beneficial effects on bone density later in life. In one study of women 45 years and older, those who exercised four or more times per week as teenagers were only a quarter as likely to have a hip fracture compared to those who exercised once a week or not at all.(11)

Some studies have suggested that estrogen helps maintain a positive calcium balance. However, in his clinical work, the late Dr. John Lee discovered that it is the addition of natural progesterone, along with a good diet and exercise, which actually increases BMD. His tests showed that women with the lowest bone densities experienced the greatest increase of bone densities when they used his program of natural progesterone, good diet, and exercise, even though some had already lost as much as five inches in height due to osteoporosis. Thus, it appears that estrogen only temporarily retards bone loss, but natural progesterone administered transdermally actually reverses bone loss.(12)

Most people do not see water as an essential nutrient; however, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj sees it as a preventative for many chronic problems, including osteoporosis. He believes that chronic dehydration, brought about by simply not drinking enough water and by the use of diuretics, such as coffee and other caffeine containing foods and beverages, is a major cause of this disease. The solution is to daily drink one-half ounce of water for every pound of body weight.(13) Considering the large quantities of caffeine that are consumed in the United States (which should be eliminated for a bone healthy lifestyle anyway) and insufficient water intake by most people, he may really be on to something very important.

Other important considerations for building strong bones include Omega-3 fatty acids (1–2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil daily) in the diet, as well as good sources of beta-carotene, which include carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, and red peppers. Proanthocyanidins and anthocyanidins, found in deep red-blue berries such as blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries, have the ability to stabilize the collagen matrix.(14) Inclusion of these items in the diet or supplementing with grapeseed extract may be an important aspect of an osteoporosis prevention program. MSM supplementation may also hold promise for supporting the connective tissue matrix of bones. While animal protein has a negative effect on calcium balance, particularly due to the increased acid load, studies do show that a sufficient (but not excessive) intake of protein is necessary for bone health. Again, plant sources of protein best suit this need.(4) Of course, smoking and alcohol should be eliminated, as these items also induce a negative calcium balance.


The issue of healthy bones is a complex one that includes a variety of diet and lifestyle factors. The assertion that milk is the solution to the osteoporosis and bone health problem ignores all the other important aspects of bone health except calcium. It is important to realize that milk is not the only food containing calcium, and instead there are other dietary sources from which the calcium is better utilized by the body. These sources are plant based, with fruits and vegetables needing to be emphasized. Legumes are also important, as they provide both calcium and protein. Animal foods need to be eliminated because of the acid load they bring to the body, along with the problems of saturated fats, cholesterol, and lack of fiber.

A review of studies dealing with bone health shows that vegetarians have a normal bone mass. Researchers would like to determine which aspects of a vegetarian diet contribute to bone health.(15) However, it may be concluded in the end that it is the synergistic effects of a good plant based diet along with healthy lifestyle factors. Certainly, a bone healthy program should include many, if not all, of the factors discussed above.

References (Continued):

  1. Stephen Walsh. “Diet and bone health.” A Vegan Society briefing paper. January 2002. Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).
  2. V. Messina, R. Mangels, M. Messina. The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett. 2004:108, 109
  3. Ibid.: 106, 107, 183–186.
  4. S. A. New. “Intake of fruit and vegetables: implications for bone health.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2003 November; 62(4):889–899.
  5. John Robbins. Diet For a New America. Walpole, New Hampshire: Stillpoint. 1987:196–198.
  6. J. W. Nieves, J. A. Grisso, J. L. Kelsey. “A case-control study of hip fracture: evaluation of selected dietary variables and teenage physical activity.” Osteoporosis Institute. 1992: 2:122–127.
  7. John R. Lee. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books. 1996: 164–168.
  8. F. Batmanghelidj. Water for Health, for Healing, for Life. New York: Warner Books. 2003: 213–218
  9. M. Murry and J. Pizzorno. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, California: Prima Publishing. 1991:461.
  10. S. A. New. “Do vegetarians have a normal bone mass?” Osteoporosis Intstitute. 2004 September; 15(9):679–688. E-publication, 2004 July 16.

Diane Herbert is a naturopath and lifestyle consultant. She received training from the NAD Lifestyle Consultant program, Thomas Edison State College, Clayton College of Natural Healing, and Bastyr University. Diane teaches health classes at the Gilead Institute located in Norcross, Georgia, gives health presentations, and contributes to the Institute’s literature and health flyer series. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Food – The Optimal Diet

In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ Genesis 1:29, A.R.V. Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field.’ Genesis 3:18.

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.

“In order to maintain health, a sufficient supply of good, nourishing food is needed.

“If we plan wisely, that which is most conducive to health can be secured in almost every land. The various preparations of rice, wheat, corn, and oats are sent abroad everywhere, also beans, peas, and lentils. These, with native or imported fruits, and the variety of vegetables that grow in each locality, give an opportunity to select a dietary that is complete without the use of flesh meats.” Counsels for the Church, 221, 222.

When eating healthy is mentioned, many ideas come to mind. Some people think eating healthy involves foods that resemble twigs and taste like sawdust. Others think it is limited to just vegetables and fruits. You may be surprised to discover that the optimal diet is full of foods that taste good and are good for you.

The optimal diet has many reasonable benefits, including a longer life span and greater quality of health. The key to optimal diet is optimal nutrition. Consider the following slogans to help you know how to improve your nutrition.

Welcome whole grains—They are a good source of insoluble fiber, B vitamins, and complex carbohydrates.

Vote for vegetables—Deep-green and other deeply colored vegetables offer an array of disease-fighting nutrients and water-soluble vitamins.

Focus on fruit—Color-dense fruits contain impressive amounts of plant chemicals, vitamins, and minerals.

Load up on legumes—Legumes provide soluble fiber, protein, and B vitamins.

Power up with nuts and seeds—Nuts and seeds contain fat-soluble health fats such as omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, and protein.

Eliminate meat and dairy—Simply put, meat-based diets are not as healthy as plant-based. In addition to soy milk, a variety of plant equivalents, from almond milk to rice cheese, are available.

For your optimal diet, each day choose a variety of foods from these food groups. For example, each week eat something from each food group: dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables. Also, instead of white rice, breads, and cereals that rob nutrients from the diet, choose from several of the whole grains, including whole-wheat, oatmeal, yellow cornmeal, brown or red rice, barley, whole rye, millet, quinoa, or teff.

Health – Cheese

Very few things are sacrosanct in this day, and cheese must now be classed among those things that have lost their halo. Cheese has been used for at least 4,000 years, and has been widely acclaimed as a healthful food. Some have claimed unusual hardiness and advanced old age for cheese users. Only recently has it been learned that cheese is not the wonder food that many had thought. There may be real dangers in its use.

All dairy products have become more suspect recently, from the association of the saturated fat of milk with the elevation of the blood cholesterol, to the transmission of many animal diseases to man through dairy products. Most of the diseases transmitted from animals are of a minor nature, resembling colds, flu, streptococcal sore throat, and other infections, but some diseases are life-threatening.

A battle is still going on with brucellosis, a disease contracted from milk which threatens the quality of life for many years, giving a chronic low grade fever and below par performance to the afflicted person. Between 1883 and 1947, there were 59 epidemics caused by cheese, with 117 deaths in the United States alone.

Now, cheese is under special attack, not because of infectious diseases which it shares with all dairy products, but because of its basic chemistry. Cheese is made by the action of waste products from molds and bacteria on milk. Most foods contaminated with molds and bacteria produce such an unpleasant flavor that few people care to eat them. Generally, an unpleasant flavor in food heralds danger, and apparently this principle holds true for cheese, since most children naturally reject their first taste of cheese and must be taught to accept it.

Changes which occur in cheese during the fermenting and “ripening” process include the production of a toxic alkaloid called roquefortine (as in Roquefort dressing), a neurotoxin which can cause mice to have convulsive seizures. All blue cheeses probably contain roquefortine. The alkaloid is produced by the mold Penicillium roqueforti. The alkaloids are all toxic and include such widely differing poisons as coniine, one of the major volatile alkaloids found in the poison hemlock plant from which Socrates met his Waterloo; to caffeine, the major alkaloid in coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate.

Another class of toxic substances includes the toxic amines. Any fermented food or beverage may contain toxic amines. They can produce changes in the nervous system which bring on headaches, palpitations, high blood pressure, migraines, and other known disorders which occur at a cellular level.

Several toxic and nontoxic amines are produced during the fermentation of milk, tyramine being among them, the amine causing migraine headaches. The only cheeses containing tyramine in insignificant amounts are creamed cheese, ricotta cheese, and cottage cheese. Some other foods containing tyramine are chocolate, herring, yeast, broad beans, chicken livers, ripened sausages (bologna, summer sausages, salami, pepperoni, etc.), meat extracts, and alcoholic beverages. If a human follows his natural taste he will avoid anything that has the faintest taint of spoilage about it.

Milk, produced by glands that are actually modified sweat glands, is naturally high in salt. Cheese shares in this high salt content. A high salt intake increases one’s likelihood of having high blood pressure.

The rennet for the curdling process in cheese making is commonly obtained from the stomachs of calves. A combination of rennin and pepsin is sometimes used, or plant enzymes derived from fungus. Pepsin is obtained principally from fresh hog stomachs. Many processed cheeses have preservatives, emulsifying agents, and other chemicals added to them, that can have a harmful effect on the body. The putrefactive process through which milk goes to produce cheese reduces the vitamin content. Cheese is almost completely devoid of water soluble vitamins. Losses of both vitamins and minerals occur with the loss of whey.

Undesirable chemicals are produced by cheesemaking that involve all three major constituents of cheese: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The fat in cheese is hydrolyzed to irritating fatty acids, butyric, caproic, caprylic and longer carbon-chain fatty acids. The carbohydrate of milk, mainly lactose is converted to lactic acid by putrefaction. The protein is fermented to peptides, amines, indoles, skatole, and ammonia, several of these being implicated in the production of cancer. The possibility of production of nitrosamine, one of the most powerful cancer producing agents known, is particularly disturbing. Both the nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract are irritated by certain of these substances, causing the individual to be irritable and cranky.

Of course, cheese also presents the usual drawbacks of milk such as allergies, lactose intolerance, food sensitivities, and high calorie content. Cheese contains a goodly quantity of the amino acid tryptophane, which causes after-meal drowsiness and inability to concentrate.

Certain imported cheeses have been discovered as culprits in outbreaks of food-borne gastroenteritis in the United States. As many as 120 disease-producing germs have been isolated per gram of cheese; that would be 600 germs in a teaspoon of cheese! We can say from the foregoing, that some foods generally thought to be wholesome are actually injurious to the health.

Other foods that develop a specific flavor through the activity of bacteria include sauerkraut, vinegar, pickles, butter, buttermilk, and cultured milk. The holes in Swiss cheese come from the action of gas forming bacilli, similar to those which form gas in the bowel.

Dr. Agatha Thrash, with her late husband Calvin Thrash, established Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center, Alabama. Her counsels are based entirely on Biologic Living.

Health – Why Cow’s Milk is So Dangerous

In 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was blessed with information on health far in advance of medical science. “But I [Ellen White] wish to say that when the time comes that it is no longer safe to use milk, cream, butter, and eggs, God will reveal this.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 206. Those who obeyed the counsel by faith, put away meat eating and limited the use of sugar and dairy products, benefited from those principles that are only now, over 150 years later, being proven to be scientifically beneficial. Now there are many voices advocating those same truths as the following article demonstrates. Could this be our final warning that these things should not be introduced into the diet of those waiting the coming of Jesus?

Milk Does A Body Bad!

As we begin this renewal process, I am going to start with a food we have been programmed to accept not only as “good,” but absolutely necessary for good health ever since our earliest childhood: “Cow’s Milk.” A product the dairy industry proclaims, “Milk Does A Body GOOD!”

I will acknowledge that the breast milk of a human mother is the ideal source of nutrition for a human baby! Absolutely! That is God’s plan for almost the total nutritional intake of a human baby for at least the first year of life. On human breast milk, a baby will grow strong and healthy and develop a strong immune system (especially if mother is eating a healthy diet).

You will probably agree with me that under normal circumstances human breast milk is the perfect food for a human baby! I also believe that you would also agree that human breast milk is NOT the perfect food for a baby cow.

May I ask why you would accept human breast milk as being the perfect food for a human baby, and not accept human breast milk as being the perfect food for a baby cow? Think for a moment before you answer that question.

Now, if we do not believe human breast milk is the perfect food for a baby cow, why do we believe that cow milk is the perfect food for a human baby? Think!

To be successful in renewing our minds, we must allow ourselves to think “outside the box,” and to reevaluate what we believe, and why we believe it.

The Difference Between Human Babies and Calves

I believe that everyone reading this will acknowledge there is a huge difference between human babies and baby cows at birth and at maturity. Let’s begin with birth weight:

  • Human babies usually weigh in the 7 to 8-pound range at birth
  • A baby Holstein cow’s birth weight is in the 100-pound range.
  • The average human adult, worldwide, is in the 150-pound range.
  • A Holstein cow’s mature weight is in the 1,500-pound range.

Next, the protein content of human breast milk is less than 5%, and is designed by God to double the baby’s birth weight in approximately 180 days.

The protein content of cow’s milk is approximately 15% (300% of human breast milk protein content) and formulated by God to double birth weight in 45 days.

The protein content of rat’s milk is approximately 20% (400% of human breast milk protein content) and designed to double birth weight in 5 days.

Please note the correlation between percentage of protein and time necessary to double birth weights. God knew what He was doing when he created each animal species, and that He knew what he was doing when He specifically formulated the milk of each species exclusively for that particular species?

In nature, other than an extraordinarily rare circumstance of one species nursing the orphaned offspring of another, you will not find an animal of one species ever consuming the milk of another species on a regular basis. Animals in the wild are possibly wiser than we so-called intelligent humans!

  1. Colin Campbell, PhD, a prestigious nutritional biochemist, and author of The China Study, (Benbella Books, Dallas, Texas), writes: “Isn’t it strange that we’re the only species that suckles from another species.”

And though Dr. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm and prided himself that he could drink a gallon or more of milk a day, after years of research he’s convinced that cow’s milk is responsible for a huge share of our nation’s physical problems. The bottom line for Dr. Campbell is simple: “It’s unnatural to drink milk.”

Think about that statement for a moment. How many animals in the wild “DRINK” milk after weaning? The answer – NOT A SINGLE ONE!

Might the animals in the wild be wiser by instinct than we humans are by following the teachings of the nutritional experts and the advertising of the milk producing industry of this world?

Remember, the Bible tells us, “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” I Corinthians 3:19.

There are some 5,000 species of mammals on earth, and God formulated the milk of each species for that specific species.

As we continue, we are going to learn that when we attempt to nourish a human baby, child, teenager, or adult with cow’s milk—milk coming from another species of animal—it becomes one of the most foolish and dangerous things we can do. And it doesn’t matter whether the milk is organic or not! Both are equally dangerous and destructive to the human body!

Cow’s Milk Protein: 87% Casein

Casein is a powerful binder, a polymer used to make plastics, and the glue used in making sturdy furniture. It can also be found in many foods as a binder. But it is also a powerful allergen, causing a histamine release that creates excess mucus, and is responsible for many of our children’s physical ills.

Of even greater concern is that casein, according to Dr. Campbell, was found to grow cancer faster than any other thing fed to cancer-induced rats.

In his research, Dr. Campbell found that casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, consistently and strongly promoted all stages of cancer development. Alternatively, proteins obtained from plants did not promote cancer at all, even at higher levels of intake.

Also, of serious concern regarding cancer is that one of those 59 hormones found in cow’s milk is insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This hormone is a key factor in the rapid growth and proliferation of breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and is suspect in the growth of ALL cancers.

Is Cow’s Milk The Best Source of Calcium For Bone Health?

Where do cows get the calcium that builds their big bones? They get it from the green grass they eat! The calcium in plants has a large amount of magnesium, a mineral necessary for the body to absorb and use the calcium. The calcium in cow’s milk is basically useless in building bones, because it has insufficient magnesium content. Those nations with the highest intake of milk/dairy consumption have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Cow’s milk has 300% of the calcium of human breast milk, but it is not very usable because in order to be absorbed and used there must be an adequate quantity of magnesium. When a cow eats grass, that cow gets all the calcium it needs for their big bones only because grass contains a substantial amount of magnesium. When humans consume large quantities of greens, they not only get the calcium the body needs, but the magnesium needed by the body to utilize that calcium.

Interestingly, though cow’s milk contains 300% of the calcium of human breast milk, it only has enough magnesium to absorb around 11% of that calcium.

Another serious concern here is the acidity of cow’s milk. The more milk and cheese, along with animal flesh a person consumes, the more acidic the body becomes. In an effort to neutralize this acidity, the body removes calcium (an alkaline mineral) from the bones to neutralize that acidity, thus possibly causing soft bones and ultimately osteoporosis and hip fractures.

Disparities between calcium intake and bone health can be seen worldwide. The more dairy that people consume, the more susceptible they become to hip fractures. The 12-year Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, involving 78,000 nurses, found that those who got the most calcium from dairy products had approximately double the hip fracture rate, compared to women who got little or no calcium from dairy products. In other words, the more dairy in your diet, the higher your risk of breaking bones.

Basic Composition of Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk, whether it be commercial or organic, contains 59 active hormones, scores of allergens, fat, and cholesterol. Most cow’s milk has measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins, up to 52 powerful antibiotics, blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses.

Remember … cow’s milk (and beef, for that matter) may contain traces of anything the cow ate – including such things as radioactive fallout.

There’s a lot more fat in cow’s milk and dairy products than you might think:

  • Whole milk derives 49% of its calories from fat
  • 2% milk derives 35% of its calories from fat
  • Cheddar cheese derives 74% of its calories from fat
  • Butter derives 100% of its calories from fat

Most folks have no idea just how much fat is in milk and dairy. Americans who are overweight or obese need to understand that milk, ice cream, cheeses, yogurts, and all other products derived from cow’s milk are most likely a significant cause for their weight problem.


Large fat molecules from un-homogenized cow’s milk cannot get through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream; this is a good thing, the way God intended. But when milk is homogenized, cream no longer rises because homogenization breaks up those large molecules into small ones that DO get into the bloodstream! This becomes a dangerous, unnatural expressway for any fat-borne toxins (lead, dioxins, etc.) to get into the blood.

Is it any wonder why one of the top “killer” foods to avoid is dairy?