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There is one. It's Vitamin B-6.
Vitamin B-6 may help with an overweight problem, providing it is caused by edema. John M. Ellis, M.D., of Texas, who has devoted many years of study of B-6 on his thousands of patients, found that this vitamin sets up a balance of the minerals sodium and potassium in the body. These minerals in turn regulate the body fluids and help eliminate the edema without the use of a diuretic, which so often creates serious side effects. Dr. Ellis found that both men and women were helped by B-6.
Cattlemen who rode the Texas range reported that after using B-6 tingling and numbness in their fingers and toes and the excruciating night cramps in the calves of their legs ceased. Without diuretics or a change in diet, these men found that they could tighten their belts to the last notch, due to the loss of excess fluid from their bodies.
Many women are said to become "witches" during their premenstrual periods. Abdomens bloat, breasts swell and weight increases due to water storage. This condition is called premenstrual edema. B-6 can help by preventing a buildup of water in the tissues. Emotional problems flare at this time due to a drop in blood sugar and calcium. This can be alleviated by eating protein foods, not sweets, avoiding too much coffee (which disturbs the blood sugar level) and supplying more calcium. Otherwise, a normally pleasant woman may have a personality change. She can become quarrelsome, irritable and depressed; she can indeed be hard to live with.
Adelle Davis quotes one woman as saying: "This is the time I spank the kids, yell at my husband, live on tranquilizers and can't stand myself." Dr. Erie Henricksen of the University of California adds: "It takes extremely stable husbands and children to put up with the worst sufferers." By controlling the blood sugar syndrome, using Vitamin E routinely throughout the month, adding calcium and Vitamin B-6 has helped make it possible to prevent these temporary premenstrual changes.
Dr. Ellis found that B-6 was extremely successful for women who suffered from premenstrual edema. He found that women who neared the age of menopause (and even men) often developed painful burs or knots on the sides of their finger joints. These appendages were accompanied by painful arm and shoulder symptoms. But after the administration of B-6, there was a dramatic change. Finger joints ceased to be painful within about six weeks. Within two weeks, there was often a loss of as much as five to seven pounds. Wedding rings could once more be slipped off fingers which had become fat and puffy. Women could use thimbles, thread needles more easily and dropped fewer dishes. B-6 improved finger sensitivity and hand flexion. All of this is told in the fascinating book, The Doctor Who Looked at Hands, by Dr. Ellis, the story of his exciting research with B-6.
What else can B-6 accomplish?
Dr. Douw G. Stern of the University of South Africa discovered that Parkinson's disease, a nervous disorder which causes trembling or hand shakiness, responds to B-6. He cites a case of Parkinsonism which had existed for 25 years but responded to B-6 injections within two months. Magnesium and a co-worker of Vitamin B-6, may hasten improvement with this malady. This is one of the unexpected results of B-6. It may take a long time to derive benefits from some vitamins, B-6 seems to work more quickly and sometimes dramatically.
Dr. Miriam Benner reported that by giving a massive dose (under medical supervision) of 2,000 mg. of 8-6 daily, a woman who had been paralyzed on the left side of her body as a result of an operation was helped even though the treatment started two and one-half years after the operation. Dr. Benner stated "B-6 produced fantastic and unexpected improvement."
Many people know that B-6 can help prevent nausea in pregnancy, but they may not know that it has been used to prevent both edema and toxemia in pregnancy. Mothers who took B-6 during pregnancy seemed to produce children who were healthier, both mentally and physically, according to Dr. Ellis, who prescribed higher doses of B-6 to pregnant women (usually 50 mg. twice daily.) To others, he gave 50 mg. daily and in some difficult cases he raised the dosage to 100 mg. daily. He does not believe that the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 1.5 to 2.0 mg. daily is sufficient to accomplish the full B-6 potential. He prescribed 50 mg. daily to patients who took it as long as three years without displaying any side effects.
Other research has confirmed the value of B-6. The U.S. Medical Research and Nutritional Laboratory at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver have found that Vitamin B-6 seems to be a protection in epilepsy as well as in abnormal brain function. When B-6 was removed from the diet of one healthy young man, he developed grand mal (epileptic convulsions). So far, these researchers believe that B-6 does not cure epilepsy but can prevent or lessen seizures.
What else can B-6 accomplish? It has helped:
There are certain antagonists or special properties of B-6
about which you should know.
Army researchers found that the greater amount of protein in the diet, the greater the need for B-6 to help metabolize the protein. The solution is not to cut down on protein, but to step up B-6, according to Dr. Ellis
Raw foods contain more B-6 than cooked foods, since cooking and processing remove or destroy B-6. Raw foods especially rich in B-6 are bananas, avocados, green leafy vegetables, green peppers, cabbage, carrots and peanuts.
Pecans are an especially rich source. Dr. Ellis found that by giving his patients 12 raw pecans daily, a form of painful shoulder, arm and hand neuritis disappeared within six weeks.