Avast, We Scurvy Dogs!

This essay contains medical information that might be construed as advice. It is not, but rather just long-winded opinion. Read it at your own risk.

Zombies on the Brain

In this piece I will proffer a novel thesis. And like every argument, I start from certain premises—things that one accepts without trying to prove.

I hold this truth to be self-evident: that the most awesome of all movie monsters ever are sword-wielding skeletons. I will drop anything to watch the scene from the 1963 classic Jason and the Argonauts in which the Claymation Dynamation skeletons rise from the soil to attack Jason and his men. I also stipulate to the nearly equal awesomeness of CGI skeletons. [Edit: see comments below]

The other cinematic monsters leave me cold. Vampires? They suck. Werewolves? What’s the big hairy deal? Mummies? There’s more wick than wickedness about them. Godzilla and Rodan? Hardly rad to me. You can keep your demon-possessed dolls, your poltergeists, and your ghosts. The Terminator is alright, but just because under the ugly Arnold-skin is a bitchin’ metallic skeleton.

I hold another truth to be self-evident: zombies are the lamest of all horror-movie monsters. They are slow and stupid and easily dispatched. Their only strength is in swarming you.

Which leads me to the real issue: zombies aren’t supposed to swarm. The original zombie is a one-off production, a person under the spell of a witch doctor, not the victim of a virus. Real zombies don’t make other zombies. Real zombies don’t eat brains. Real zombies don’t have their body parts dropping off willy-nilly. Real zombies don’t shamble mindlessly in herds; they operate individually at the will of a sorcerer. All this neo-zombie junk is a subversion of a perfectly good monster into something more comical than terrifying. Modern zombieism is a joke.

A joke at whose expense, I ask?

Mockery tends toward the visual. What does a neo-zombie look like? He has pale skin covered with open sores, purplish spots on the skin; bullae; rotting, loose teeth in swollen gums that are bloody or black; patchy hair that falls out easily; sunken eyes; uncoordinated movements due to malfunctioning joints and spastic muscles; limbs that seem barely connected and are easily torn off; erratic, demented behavior; and an insatiable appetite for live flesh.

This is the modern zombie who is all the rage. Or so it seems … I doubt that any pop culture phenomenon is truly driven by customer demand, but rather is being pushed on the populace by the elites who run the entertainment industry. Either way, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you know that the Z-Poc—the “Zombie Apocalypse”—is near the forefront of our consciousness. It is the stuff of movies, television series, and even re-writes of classic literature. You can get Z-Poc bumper stickers, T-shirts, and caps. Zombies are big business.

Why is that? Why about zombies resonates in the zeitgeist? Carl Jung believed that one can analyze a society’s myths like one would analyze an individual’s dreams. Through the stories a culture tells itself, you can understand its fears, its motivations, and the truths about itself it holds below the level of consciousness. There are lots of different theories out there about the meaning of the zombie meme. The mindlessness of the masses crops up a lot in these analyses. Let’s start there …

In a Pissing Match with Big Medicine

I know I encounter a lot of inexplicable mindlessness every day. Even where you might expect to find rationality, scientific curiosity, and openness to new ways of looking at things, you meet up with dullardliness.

Case in point … I go to the dentist every six months religiously. I noticed a pattern in my cleanings. Every other time the hygienist would have to scrape and scrape to remove the tartar, even though I brush and floss like a champion. The hygienist said that some folks have a lot of minerals in their saliva, which contributes to plaque formation, and I just must be one of those people. But why then was the visit in the fall relatively easy, while the one in the spring required so much extra plaque removal? What made the difference?

Could it be my levels of Vitamin D? I live in a northern tier state, and I avail myself of as much sunlight as I can in the summer, but I turn as pale as a ghost in the winter. I was therefore getting more sun before my fall checkup than before the spring one. Sunshine on the skin causes the body to form its own Vitamin D, and Vitamin D helps the body with the absorption and retention of calcium. (If you want to develop osteoporosis, stay out of the sun and do not eat foods supplements with Vitamin D.)

I discussed this hypothesis with the hygienist and she was intrigued. I told her that I would start taking Vitamin D supplements and we would compare the results at my next checkup in April. I mentioned my hypothesis to the dentist, too. His response was an amused smile, nothing more.

I don’t usually look forward to visiting the dentist, but I almost leapt into the exam chair that next April. I could feel for myself that there had been far less buildup on my teeth than in the past, and the hygienist gleefully confirmed it. Six months later, the results were even better. And half a year after that, at my latest checkup, the pattern continued: since I started supplementing with Vitamin D, the ministrations of the hygienist have been minimal.

So when the dentist came in, we told him about our findings. He was utterly incurious and uninterested.  Mindlessly he checked the x-rays and pronounced my teeth healthy.

We are given to believe that medical personnel are trained people of science, and as such they entertain a fearless curiosity about the world. I regret to tell you that in my experience, my dentist is the rule and not the exception. (Don’t get me wrong: he is otherwise a wonderful professional.) I was braced for this very reaction. I had seen it before in my doctor.

For a while my cholesterol numbers were in the range where statins would normally be prescribed. My doctor told me that some people are genetically disposed to have high cholesterol, and I might be one of them, so drugs might be the only remedy. But I avoid medications generally, and I especially wanted to avoid statins, having seen the side effects they wreaked on family members. I told the doctor to give me some time to get the bad cholesterol down via lifestyles changes. He agreed. At my next checkup, and in every one since, my count has been great. Fantastic, even. Doctor couldn’t be happier.

Don’t you think it strange, then, that he never asked what lifestyle change I had made?
I hadn’t lost any weight.
I hadn’t started a new exercise regime.
I hadn’t changed my diet.

What I did was simply to start taking Vitamin B3 supplements at bedtime. That’s it. Nothing more. Niacin straightened out my cholesterol problem with zero side effects. And it also acts as a nifty sleep aid for the chronically overworked, I discovered.

After these experiences, I started looking more and more into what vitamin supplementation might accomplish medically. It is simply stunning. You cannot believe the range of chronic illnesses that can be reversed by upping one’s intake of the basic vitamins.

You would think that men and women who had taken the Hippocratic Oath would have some desire to learn more about the healing effects of supplementation. On the contrary, they shun the idea. Any native curiosity was beaten out of them in their medical training. Their stock response to the idea of taking vitamins is: “All you accomplish is to make your pee more expensive.”

This is an interesting claim. In effect, Big Med is telling us that if a compound gets excreted in the urine, it had no benefit to the body. Despite this belief, Big Med keeps prescribing more and more psychotropic drugs, which—it turns out—are ending up in the water supply. Patients take their meds, pee them into the toilet, flush them to the water treatment plant, where the Xanax® and the Haldol® and their ilk get recycled back into your drinking water. (How are you feeling, by the way?) So, all these people with mood disorders and anxiety attacks—are they also accomplishing nothing more than making their pee expensive? Must be not, because the doctors keep writing scripts for whatever Big Pharma has to sell us.

[Little sidenote: Back in WWII, penicillin was administered to fight infections. Because there was only a limited supply of this amazing life-saving invention, soldiers being treated had their urine collected so that the penicillin could be recycled and administered to more patients. True story. By the lights of modern medicine, though, I guess the penicillin served no purpose except to make their pee more expensive …]

Strategy Number Two of Big Med’s war on vitamins is to cry danger. This is done in roundabout ways. First, by lumping vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids with the fly-by-night “supplements” for weight loss or muscle building or male enhancement. It is a clear discredit-by-association tactic. Because some horny old goat got a heart attack from overdoing it with the yohimbe, we are all to be discouraged from taking any supplement (like Vitamin D), lest we hurt ourselves. It matters not that in the annals of medicine there have been no deaths from the responsible ingestion of vitamins: mindless fear-mongering shall be enforced by Big Med, regardless.

(Twenty years ago my best friend died from acetaminophen poisoning. It was a slow, gruesome death by liver failure. I’ve never seen even one-tenth of the warnings about the dangers of Tylenol® that I have seen about vitamins.)

The other prong of this fear-inducing strategy takes place in pop culture, where vitamin supplementation is portrayed as at best pointless and at worst harmful. I still remember the one and only episode of the popular TV show Head of the Class that I saw back in 1990. Billy the Scottish teacher was losing his hair due to hypervitaminosis: he had taken a liking to Flintstone vitamins and was popping them like candy.¹ I am ashamed to say that this single exposure to anti-vitamin propaganda had its intended effect: for years I scoffed at the idea that one could not get adequate amounts of the necessary vitamins from healthy eating. It was only after I learned that the nutritional content of our foods has been steadily dropping in America for decades, as I related in a previous post.

Strategy Number Three in the war on vitamins is to run tests on the efficacy of supplementing, but to foreordain a negative result by either (i) testing with a low-quality form of the supplement; or (ii) testing with a dosage below the level known to have a clinical effect; or (iii) make sure that the tests are run by doctors who are in the pocket of Big Pharma (which is most of them). After all, if the maker of a statin drug is providing ample grant money for your research, how likely are you to find niacin equally effective and safe for lowering cholesterol? Or is it just possible that you might play up every conceivable negative outcome and play down the good results of the vitamin? If you still have a few boat payments to make, the question answers itself … don’t it, Doc?

We’re Coming Unglued

And so, because Big Medicine dances to the tune of Big Pharma, citizens of the First World countries are beginning more and more to suffer from some of the old diseases of malnutrition: rickets, gout, nyctalopia, and the like.

And above all, we are experiencing the resurgence of the ailment that some have claimed to be the deadliest in all history. I speak, of course, of “the Despicable Disease”: Scurvy.

Every month I travel to a distant city for work, and while there I visit an aging friend in the nursing home. What I see among the residents is more than just a bad case of old: their pale skin that is so thin and so easily bruised; all the purple blotches on their hands and arms and legs; the teeth rotting out in their sickly gums; the hair loss; the bedsores; the failing knees and hip joints and shoulder sockets; the sunken eyes; the dementia …

… Wait a second … Are you having deja vous, too? …

Scurvy is due to the lack of adequate Vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for the synthesis of collagen in the human body. Collagen (from Greek roots meaning “cause to stick”) is a protein crucial for holding the body together from the cellular level and up. In a case of scurvy, the body starts to come apart at every seam, big and small. The end result is a horrible, painful death.

Scurvy is making a comeback in our old-age homes and hospitals. Medical science is slow to recognize it but cannot ignore it completely. If you have any sense of the scurvy’s symptoms, you will see it immediately. You want to cry out, “Nurse, get that man a lemonade, stat!”

I’m sure, though, that the staff dietician will disagree with you. He or she will assure you that the inmates residents are getting a properly planned diet with the full Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) of every nutrient, including their 60 milligrams per day of Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid, from the Greek roots for “non-scurvy”).

But is 60 mg/day enough? Really?

I have been a student of health and wellness for four decades, after a mysterious infection in childhood nearly killed me. I paid the closest attention to mainstream medical advice and read up on diet and exercise and healthy habits, all in hopes of never going through that again. In all those years of self-directed study in the mainstream, I never once got exposed to a most curious fact. To wit, most of the creatures on God’s green earth manufacture their Vitamin C needs from inside their own bodies. It is only humans, gorillas, some monkeys, guinea pigs, and a few other mammals that have lost this capability. Did you know that? Kind of important, isn’t it? Odd that mainstream health writing fails to mention it so regularly, huh?

Time for some math … An adult gorilla in the wild, eating his wonted diet of (uncooked, of course) vegetation, ingests about 4.5 grams of ascorbic acid each day. That would be 4500 milligrams, you understand. That’s 75 times more than the RDA of 60 milligrams. Humans and female gorillas are about the same weight. Does that entail that the RDA for Vitamin C should be 4000-5000 milligrams?

Dogs manufacture their own ascorbic acid. A 28-pound dog will produce about 500 milligrams per day. Under stress, the dog needs much more Vitamin C, which he will produce for himself if he is healthy; if not, he will start to show signs of scurvy. The weight of the average human adult is 166 pounds, almost six times more than that 28-pound dog. If humans made their own Vitamin C, these figures suggest that the average adult would produce 6 times 500 milligrams or 3000 milligrams per day. That’s 50 times more than the current RDA.

So is that dietician correct? Are those old people, under the stress of being warehoused in a nursing home and fed diets lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, getting enough Vitamin C to stave off the scurvy? Or are they succumbing to the scourge of seafarers right there in their adjustable beds? Go pay them a visit and take a look for yourself. They’re coming unglued from the inside out. Just like the modern zombies …

Your Z-Pak for the Z-Poc

And, gentle reader, what about you? Is it possible that you are not getting as much Vitamin C as a mammal of your size needs? And—crucially—how would you know … short of coming down with a full-blown case of the scurvy? Suppose one were deficient in ascorbic acid, but getting just enough to keep the most obvious signs at bay. What if one were suffering from chronic sub-clinical scurvy (i.e. long-term scurvy below the level of severity that a doctor would readily notice—and the key word is “readily”)?

Suppose you were coming unglued, but only in little ways. Your symptoms might be worn-out joints that need titanium replacements. Or autoimmune disorders like celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity. Or asthma or arthritis or other kinds of chronic inflammations. Or the deterioration of disks in your spine. Or varicose veins. Hemorrhoids. Hardening of the arteries. Cardiovascular disease. Kidney dysfunction. Depression. Anxiety. Cataracts. Hearing problems. Eye problems. Foot problems. Susceptibility to colds. Allergies. Low energy. Receding hairline.

In other words, anywhere where the body needs collagen to hold things together—and that’s everywhere—is a place you might manifest the signs of your hidden scurvy.

How much Vitamin C are you getting, anyway? 4000 milligrams? 400?

Maybe 200 milligrams? Big Medicine and Big Pharma will tell you that even that small amount is too much—perhaps dangerously too much, as you might suffer from loose bowels, perish the thought. (And in the meantime, reach for the Dulcolax®, of course.) No, Big Pharma doesn’t make big money off Vitamin C supplements. Whereas the drugs to treat all your chronic subclinical scurvy symptoms make them richer than Croesus.

Let me be perfectly frank. They know that Vitamin C can heal many ailments. They suppress that knowledge. They want you to come unglued at the cellular level, because then they can make their millions off your misery. And they are laughing at us all the way to the bank.

Who are the Zombies of modern moviedom? You and me, amigo.

You and me.

That’s why the elites are pushing the neo-zombie meme so hard. Those poor ugly bastards, falling apart as they shuffle through the streets looking for human flesh (because, don’t you know, raw meat can be a source of Vitamin C?)—they are a parody of all of us who have been denied the knowledge of our actual dietary needs, scared off from trying supplementation, and sold a slop bucket of processed foods low in Vitamins A and B and C and D and E and K, etc., all the while suffering as Big Agro sells us produce with diminishing nutrient levels as well.

Zombies are a joke, alright. A joke at your expense, you (subclinically) scurvy dog.

To that realization, I say, friends and neighbors: Avast! Meaning, “Cease and desist!” Don’t go along with it anymore.

I am not going to give advice here. I am not going to get into the questions of natural vs. synthetic vitamins, or bioavailability, or the advantages of liposomal C or chelated forms or any of that. I will just tell you what I have done.

I go to the health food store and buy vitamins and essential amino acids. The quality ones, though not necessarily the most expensive. Then I take the vitamins. And especially Vitamin C. Not at Linus Pauling levels, to be sure, but still way above the measly RDA. Before they drag me to that nursing home to get full-blown scurvy, I am going to fight it with every nutrient at my disposal. And unlike the vast majority of Americans in their mid-fifties, my doctor can’t yet find a reason to put me on one of his prescription drugs.  Thank you, Vitamin C.

So I say: To hell with the elites. To hell with their zombie humor. To hell with their prison diet. And to hell with their flunkies in the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry.

And pass the limeade, won’t you, matey?


¹At the time I assumed the anti-vitamin episode was a public service, raising awareness for parents about the product on their breakfast table.  There were reports of a few children dying from eating the candy-like vitamins and many more being rushed to the hospital to have their stomachs pumped.  In the light of all we know now about psyops and fakery, I wonder if those vitamin poisonings really happened and whether the stomach pumpings were truly necessary.  I also now wonder if the putative Tylenol® poisonings of 1982 were not actually an attempt to cover up real cases of acetaminophen toxicity.

40 thoughts on “Avast, We Scurvy Dogs!

  1. Great post! It brought to mind how TV shows, dramas and sitcoms, are full of dietary and medical advice. I recall a show about the 2008 McCain campaign and Sarah Palin, who was dragged through the mud as part of that spectacle used to give us The One. They portrayed her as mentally unbalanced, and Woody Harrelson, playing her campaign manager, went out of his way to tell her she had to get off her low-carb diet. Got it? Eliminate processed carbohydrates from your diet, and you will begin to exhibit signs of mental illness. That line from that play acted show was deliberately inserted I knew at the time, but how and why? It is, as you say, no accident.

    FWIW, I confess to all that I like Palin, find her attractive and charming and able to light up a room, and even to play dumb. She was Reaganesque. If low carbing produces that result, being on the meat!


  2. Spot on, Mark. The pop culture is permeated with medical suggestions.

    I also think the all-pervasive push about sunscreens and skin cancer is another psyop. Susceptibility to cancer is but one more manifestation of subclinical scurvy. Not only is the received wisdom denying us adequate Vitamin C, it also makes us miss out on adequate Vitamin D. If you are eating the right nutrients, your skin can handle reasonable exposure to the sun, and your mind and body crave that natural light. I take my C, eat my colorful veggies with carotene, and supplement with astaxanthin, the nutrient that makes salmon and shrimp pink. I am whiter than sour cream, but I haven’t had a sunburn since starting on that regimen, and I expose my skin to sunlight as much as I can.

    (And yes, Caribou Barbie floats my boat, too.)


    1. How much niacin did you take for your cholesterol, and for how long? I’m asking because I’m on statins and would like to get off them if possible. Do you still take niacin to control cholesterol?


      1. So … no advice being given here, just telling you what I do.

        I take a single 500 mg. capsule at bedtime. It is the flushing niacin, not the non-flushing. I don’t mind the flush: I am usually asleep before it kicks in, and if not, the aftereffects are really relaxing. I keep 100 mg capsules on the bed stand in case I wake up and feel like I need a sleep aid to drop off again. If someone were to not enjoy the flush, there is a form of Vitamin B3 called inositol hexanicotinate that helps with cholesterol but avoids the flush.

        My cholesterol has been so good for years now that I can’t say I take it for that purpose anymore, except perhaps as a preventative measure, sort of … inasmuch as I no longer care about those stupid numbers. Truth be told, the connection between those HDL/LDL/Triglyceride numbers and cardiovascular disease is more tenuous than Big Pharma would have you believe. (Use the search terms “cholesterol numbers not necessarily indicators” and browse the hits.)

        And again, there are those who think the real problem behind atherosclerosis is chronic subclinical scurvy (Search terms “atherosclerosis scurvy in disguise”). So anyone who switches from statins to niacin should consider also to start supplementing with Vitamin C.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I did the exact regimen as you as I, too, refused the statins because of the muscle weakness and in 6 weeks my cholesterol levels were back to within normal limits. However, my physician’s assistant was the exception.
          I enjoyed your post. Thanks for the info.


    2. Since reading this post (excellent btw) I started taking Vitamins C & D daily (I now plan to start taking B3). It is now mid-June and I have yet to use sunscreen. This is nothing short of miraculous since “normally” my face, sans sunscreen, would be beet red.
      Thanks for sharing your knowledge Maarten.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Kevin, see the comment above referencing astaxanthin supplements. That stuff is wonderful for avoid sunburns. It works like a sunscreen taken internally. If you also increase your beta-carotene intake on days when you are out in the sunshine, your skin will take on a beautiful coloration that looks better than a normal suntan, and way better than those fake tans.


        1. This is one of the most important (and entertaining) posts on this site, imho. I now take vitamins A, Niacin, C, and D on a daily basis.
          Vitamin D/C passed the litmus test since my last comment. I used a total of zero/nada sunscreen this last summer, yet maintained a “normal” skin tone. Nothing short of a miracle for me.
          I’m eternally grateful Maarten.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I love seeing “Cancer Treatment Centers of America” advertised on late night TV in between ads for an online sex toy ordering company and car insurance. No one else thinks a corporate chain of cancer treatment centers is weird? Ok- I guess it’s just me then- nothing there.


    1. Steve, thanks for the link to a great article. The gaming culture is definitely one more subroutine of this Matrix we inhabit.


        1. Yes, Vitamin K is needed for the D to do its thing. You can find them together in combination. But some folks need to watch their K intake for other reasons. So I am staying away from these issues, lest it be taken as advice. The best way to get D+K is via sunshine and salad greens. Not an option for me always or for most. That’s way so many us these days have Vitamin D deficieny, though we may not know it.


          1. My understanding is that K2, specifically, works in conjunction with the vitamin D and Calcium in your body, to properly utilize them. Without sufficient K2, Calcium can build up in the wrong places, and not be sent where it is needed.
            K2 is difficult to get from natural sources…especially for vegans.


          2. Natto (fermented soybean dish of Japan) is high in K-2. Had it once. Smells like feet. But some like it. That would be vegan.


  4. Great article with practical information that can benefit one and all. My D levels were pretty low even though I try to get out for daily walks. My MD told me to supplement; when my levels stayed the same, he said double the supplement. I had to go eventually go beyond that to get my levels up but I did feel a difference and I think it helped with energy and sleep. Pregnant mothers need to supplement quite a bit because the growing babe sucks up a lot of Mom’s Vit D. If the mom is deficient, the baby after birth can have sleeping issues. I saw this happen when my daughter had two babies 18 months apart; her Vit D must have been greatly diminished, because the second baby was a horrible sleeper. The Dad used to say “I don’t know how this baby survives with NO sleep”. I read about the Vit D/pregnancy/birth issue after my daughter’s experience, and unfortunately she did not give the baby vitamin D drops which many babies are on now. I get a little lazy sometimes about vitamins (and I do not take medications whatsoever) but the Vitamin C thing has got me thinking. I’m hit and miss; but I have seen a relative enjoy relatively good health (even though this person was a problem drinker) – her daughter is an RN and believes her Mom’s good health is due to generous amounts of Vitamin C she takes. Still, the excess drinking is a problem and I would never recommend “go ahead and drink yourself silly; just supplement w/ Vitamin C” !!!

    In speaking of zombie culture, what brainless amoeba would line up to have this done to them? Whatever happened to the virile Vikings? What a bunch of pansies. Must be a lack of Vit D and C causing their brain meltdowns! ha ha


    1. Again, no medical advice intended or implied here, but I have been known to battle both malaria and scurvy by means of multiple gin & tonics garnished with generous lime wedges. Truth be told, I’m feeling a touch of the malaria coming on even now …


      1. Oops, I forgot to mention that my relative is 86 years young, and out paces everyone up the notorious San Francisco hills.
        Everything in moderation 🙂


  5. I agree, excellent post.
    It confirms the results of my reading and research, which goes on for about one decade now.
    BTW, concerning vitamin C production of mammals – I came across an article, citing a report from the ’50, done by a dutch MD if I remember properly. He investigated tribes on the Indonesian Archipelago, and found them quite healthy, despite ingesting just a few milligram ascorbic acid with their food. The conclusion that they are able to produce vitamin C in their digestive tract got the report locked up.
    When getting back from my day job, I might look up the dates and facts, if any one is interested.


      1. The reference is taken from a book originally published in German language.
        It cites:
        “Nutrition Reviews 14 – 1956 – 321 and 16 – 1958 – 267;
        Annals N.Y. Acad. Sci. 96 – 959,968
        Voeding 20/4, 175-178 13.4.1959”
        So much for the original quotation. The first two seem to be American publications (with issue, year and page numbers, the last one probably a European republication.
        It deals with results of an investigation of the Walker group, concerning the nutrition of the Bantu in middle/southern Africa (here, my memory failed …).
        While the average ration contained about 1mg of Vitamin C, they found no traces of scurvy, but quite high Vitamin C levels in the blood. “The researchers concluded that the human body might under certain circumstance be capable of producing Vitamin C”.

        It might be this Walker:
        Not sure if it’s the mentioned study, or another.

        BTW, the Malayan tribe I erroneously mentioned is linked to another strange report listed in this book. It cites “The human intestine as a potential contributer of utilizable protein to the human diet” (sic) from H. Kruijswijk of Amsterdam. He suggested that those people synthesize protein in the guts. Equally bad for current government recommendations about nutrition …

        Especially not the age of this reports.
        Other chapters describe negative effects of sugar, glutamates, and overfeeding in general.
        Nothing is new, but, as it seems, very effectively suppressed.


        1. fm, thank you! Your information helped me track down this:

          Click to access div-class-title-an-investigation-of-the-rarity-of-infantile-scurvy-among-the-south-african-bantu-div.pdf

          In the course of finding this, I saw more about the Masai and the Inuit, who both avoid scurvy. Turns out that a meat-heavy diet can still be anti-scorbutic, IF there is minimal cooking done and if the organ meats are consumed, not just muscle meat. There you go, fellow zombies–that’s why we like raw brains!


          1. The Inuit used to eat their (quite fat) meat raw, as well as tasty organs like liver …
            However, they rarely got very old, probably because of the harsh environment. So there are not many data about so-called age related diseases (arteriosclerosis, stroke, infarct) among this people in former times. With modern foods, they use to be as obese as the average Westerner.
            And, BTW, there do exist studies that show during winter times (raw meat/fat only), their digestion was mostly running in the ketosis mode. One thing the paleo diet adherents emphasizing, if you want to loose fat …


          1. I’d like to add two comments to the article linked.

            First, it states:

            “Drs. Hickey and Roberts take Institute of Medicine (IM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers to task for failing to calculate the half-life of ascorbic acid.”

            Methinks, Sardi and Passwater being either cautious or naive here.
            I suspect willful ignorance and suppression on NIH/governmental side – as always.

            Second, they mention that human were able to produce intestinal Vitamin C, but lost this ability.
            I wonder if vaccinations play a role here …


  6. Claymation? Really?? Likening Ray Harryhausen’s skeletons in Jason to the pathetic claymation animations in cartoons is the worst. Ray used fully articulated (metal jointed) puppets created from metal and plastic, covered with latex. And his Dynamation technique was so far beyond claymation, that it was like a master puppeteer compared to a baby with playdough. Ray Harryhausen was the uncontested master of physical animation. Not some clown playing with clay.

    How can we even follow through any of the argument here when even the basic premise is flawed?


    1. I stand corrected! Thanks for that.

      To respond in the same light-hearted spirit of your comment … The basic premise remains flawless and one piece of mislabeled evidence takes nothing away from it: viz., Fighting skeletons are most muy awesome. This proposition has been gainsaid by none. Qui tacet consentire videtur.

      To respond in a serious way … I expect no one to accept any argument of mine without checking the evidence and confirming the logic for themselves. The last thing I want is for anyone to swallow my writings hook, line, and sinker (as perhaps some do with other bloggers). Argue, quibble, Google it on your own, suspend judgment and stay in epistemological limbo until you sort it out clearly by your own lights. Like the Buddha said, “Be a lamp unto thyself.” And like my Mom said, “Never trust a man who says, ‘Trust me’.”


      1. Ha ha, good one Maarten! I come to this blog for the clever repartee. I wish I was as quick on my feet, and quick with bon mots, but alas I am not, so I get my fix through Piece of Mindful. 🙂


  7. I started taking concentrated vitamin c supplements after I was scared by Jim Stone regarding Ebola (I believe in 2013). I was still susceptible to this type of fear mongering. Maybe you can write a post about plagues and other virus apocalypse scenarios (the plagues in the past, why they happened, exaggerations due to propaganda etc). Now I take supplements that contain many vitamins. At least the fear mongering made me take vitamin supplements.


    1. Challenge noted and accepted, calgacus. Although … not right away … my two posts on minerals and vitamins were percolating in my brain for years. I have not really looked into epidemics per se. So expect a post in 2020. 😉

      But your question puts me in mind of something from sociologist Rodney Stark’s book The Rise of Christianity. He has a chapter about the role of epidemics in causing the early Church to grow in the Roman Empire. One of his points is that the Christians responded to plagues differently from the pagans. The pagans saw the threat and abandoned their sick and dying and fled to the countryside. The Christians, not fearing death and looking for rewards in the afterlife, tended to their sick and buried their dead properly. They suffered a much lower mortality rate, which meant that post-epidemic, Christians were a larger percentage of the population; their social networks were more intact than the pagans (and hence the social deterrents to pagans turning Christian were often removed, thus aiding conversions); and the survival of so many Christians seemed miraculous and attracted pagans to the worship of the Christian god.

      But the key observation is in a quotation that Stark gives from William H. McNeill’s 1976 work, Plagues and Peoples (p. 108): “When all normal services break down, quite elementary nursing will greatly reduce mortality. Simple provision of food and water, for instance, will allow persons who are temporarily too weak to cope for themselves to recover instead of perishing miserably.” And just think: if the early Christians knew what we do today about hand-washing and sterilization, how many more of them might have survived or never even caught the plague? The Golden Rule plus a bar of good soap could have saved still thousands more.

      The body is a wondrous mechanism in its abilities to heal itself, given the proper nutrition and hydration. Perhaps the epidemics we hear about today are due as much to failures of elementary nursing (as McNeill calls it) as they are to the virulency of a virus. The great failure of Western medicine is that it chooses to battle the bug directly (with much collateral damage throughout the body) rather than fortify the immune system that is exquisitely designed to fend off microscopic invaders.


      1. I already wrote a few comments about my belief that 700 years were added to history (recycled events and changing a few names) between 230AD and 930AD(very ancient history was also extended) . In 930AD=540AD=230AD a comet or part of a comet (maybe from Halley’s comet) hit the earth. Dust probably covered the sky for a few years (there is some written record +archeology+scientific) and many crops probably failed. People probably didn’t have the right nutrition . Weaker people + bad sanitation we get the Plague of Cyprian(250AD)=Plague of Justinian(540)=the destruction and fall of many cities in the 10th century. The plagues are part of these recycled events (history seems to repeat itself every 200- 300years between about 230ad and 930ad). Maybe a comet was involved during the black death also. There was a prayer that said something like “God save us from the comet and the Turks”.
        The rise of Christianity has to do with these disasters but also due to the decisions of the elites. I strongly believe the historical part of Jesus is connected to royal bloodlines of Rome,Egypt and Parthia . Ralph Ellis’ theory (freemason) is the best in my opinion, but I am pretty sure he is a limited hangout (he doesn’t mention chronological problems but I believe he knows about them).
        Nonetheless I believe the comet stuff is important when you deal with some historical plagues. I heard somewhere (maybe a previous post or comment) that the black death was some disease that is not caused by the baceria (Yersinia pestis), but some kind of nutritional problem (my memory is vague).


        1. Funny that you should bring up the chronology revision issue: a couple of posts I am working on will speak to that.

          Spoiler alert: I will take an adversarial position. I trust that won’t be a problem, will it? We can have differing views and still associate with one another online, yes?


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