Vol. 5  No. 6
 November, 2001
Meridian Institute News 


In this issue: 
The Many Virtues of Almonds
    In the most recent (September, 2001) issue of this newsletter, we highlighted a new study demonstrating the cancer-preventive effects of almonds. The quotes from the Cayce readings about eating almonds to prevent cancer are popular, but there is more in the Cayce readings on almonds that is finding support from recent scientific research. Cayce identified almonds as a good source of nutrients, and as an especially good source of fats as an alternative to animal fat.
    In a study done for the Almond Board of California, Michele Fisher and Paul Lachance calculated the "nutrient density" of almonds and several other nuts. The nutrient density is the average of the amounts of several major nutrients like protein, minerals and B vitamins. Almonds top the list at 37%, followed by cashews at 33% and filberts (hazelnuts) at 32%.
    Two Cayce readings (480-46 and 1140-2) recommend almonds as a source of calcium, as an alternative to milk. According to the nutritional statistics of the US Department of Agriculture, almonds are not only a source of calcium (8% of the Daily Value (DV) in one ounce of nuts), but an even better source of magnesium (21% of the DV) and Vitamin E (35% of the DV). The readings also said, "The almond carries more phosphorus AND iron in a combination easily assimilated than any other nut" (Reading 1131-2). Although there is no established DV for phosphorus, almonds do contain a substantial amount of this mineral, and 6% of the DV for iron.
    The large Vitamin E content, and the presence of fat low in saturated fatty acids led researchers to explore the effect of eating almonds on lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Although the Cayce readings do not explicitly recommend almonds for heart disease, several readings specifically recommend almonds and other nuts as good sources of healthy fat as an alternative to meat (for example, readings 787-1, 967-2, 1000-1, 1012-1).
    Current research strongly confirms the Cayce recommendation. Gene Spiller and his colleagues have shown that adding almonds to a low-saturated fat diet lowers cholesterol levels. Despite a high total fat intake (39% of calories from fat), the almond-based diet significantly lowered total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), while preserving HDL-cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) levels.
    Other studies have shown that not only almonds, but other nuts as well, protect against heart disease. Three epidemiological studies have found an association between coronary heart disease rates and nut consumption. In one, involving about 31,000 California Seventh Day Adventists, the risk of coronary heart disease mortality was decreased about 25% among people who consumed nuts one-to-four times per week, compared to those who ate nuts less than once per week. Eating nuts five or more times a week was associated with a 50% reduction in risk of heart disease. In another study involving about 34,000 women from Iowa, the women who ate nuts two or more times a week had a 40% lower risk of dying from heart disease. And in another large study at Harvard University, with data from over 86,000 women, eating over five ounces of nuts a week was associated with a 36% reduction in risk of coronary heart disease.
    For more information on the latest discoveries about almonds, see the Almond Board of California web site at http://www.AlmondsAreIn.com.


    Fisher MC, Lachance PA. Nutrition and health aspects of almonds. Modesto, CA: Almond Board of California, 2000.
    Fraser GE, et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Archives of Internal Medicine 1992;151:1416-1424.
    Hu FB, et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ 1998;317:1341-1345.
    Kushi LH, et al. Dietary antidoxidant vitamins and death from coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334:1156-1162.
    Spiller G, et al. Nuts and plasma lipids: an almond-based diet lowers LDL-C while preserving HDL-C. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1998;17:285-290.
[Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D. has written a paper titled Almonds in the Cayce Readings Compared to Current Medical Research which can be viewed at: http://www.meridianinstitute.com/articl13.html]


    We are pleased to announce the publication of an article titled:  "Manual Medicine Diversity: Research Pitfalls and the Emerging Medical Paradigm." The article was published in August issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
    The article addresses the methodological issues associated with manual medicine research.  At the core of problem is a relative ignorance of the diverse manual techniques employed by various practitioners such as osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists.  Asthma and migraine studies are cited wherein soft-tissue manipulation (closely resembling traditional osteopathic treatments) has been used by chiropractic researchers as control (sham) treatments.   Some positive outcomes are thus regarded as placebo response because the soft-tissue treatment is roughly equivalent to the standard high velocity adjustments used by chiropractors.


    Mein EA, Greenman PE, McMillin DL, Richards DG, Nelson DC.  Manual medicine diversity: Research pitfalls and the emerging medical paradigm.  JAOA. 2001; 101(8):441-44.


    Edgar Cayce spoke of the "solar plexus brain" and the role of the abdominal nervous system in neurological disorders such as epilepsy and migraine.  Cayce also pointed out the role of abdominal nerve reflexes in certain forms of mental illness, particularly depression and anxiety.  In several readings with metaphysical implications, Cayce even hinted that the nervous system of the abdomen forms a major connection of the soul with the physical body.
    An article appearing in the November issue of Trends in Neuroscience speculates on the role of nerve impulses from the abdomen to the head.  The article documents connections between the vagus nerve that innervates the chest and abdomen, and key areas of the brain, especially the locus coeruleus.  A better understanding of the role of vagus influence on the brain may lead to new treatments for some neuropsychological disorders.  Currently, relaxation therapy in post-infarction patients and vagus stimulation therapy in refractory epilepsies, depression, and certain eating disorders has proven effective.
    Sensations transmitted from the abdomen to the brain via the vagus nerve may also be linked to intuition, or a sixth sense.  "The five traditional senses - sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell - acquire information about the external environment.  Therefore sensations from the internal environment - viscero-sensation - are acquired via a 'sixth sense.'  Sixth sense, 'a faculty of perception that does not depend upon any outward sense,' is used to describe heightened sensitivity, 'gut feeling' or 'psychic' ability."  (Zagon, 2001, p. 671)


    Zagon A.  Does the vagus nerve mediate the sixth sense?  Trends in Neuroscience 2001;24(11):671-73.


    From a medical perspective, psoriasis is an incurable skin disease of unknown causation.  Edgar Cayce gave numerous readings in which he stated that increased bowel permeability ("leaky gut syndrome") results in systemic toxicity manifesting as skin lesions.
    Meridian Institute and HRRC (Health and Rejuvenation Research Center - a division of the A.R.E.) provide a research protocol for psoriasis.  Here is a case report describing results obtained by a sixteen-year-old female (who we will call "Mary") suffering from severe psoriasis. At the bottom of the monthly data log sheets, Mary's mother wrote the following notes:
    [At two months.] "Mary has cheated on the diet occasionally.  It is very hard to eat out and stay on the diet.
    "Mary has made great progress.  When she started this regimen in July, approximately 90% of her body was covered in psoriasis.  Now her scalp, face, arms & legs have cleared up, only light skin remains.  The trunk of her body is also healing, but some psoriasis remains.  She no longer has build up of skin on any of her body.  The trunk was the most severe area and is slowly healing.  I (Mary's mother) am convinced that this is the only way to cure psoriasis.  We have been to medical doctors for years with only temporary relief from psoriasis and most recently, no relief because the psoriasis had gotten so severe.  It was a nightmare."
    [At four months.]  "Mary's psoriasis has gone away.  She still has light spots where it was.  She hasn't stopped the diet completely, but she does eat what she wants on a regular basis.  She tries not to eat a lot of junk food.  Also, she is continuing her visits to the chiropractor but has had a busy schedule with school and playing basketball that she can't make it there as often as she would like.  I, as her mother, believe that the most important part of this regimen is an occasional colonic.  Mary has had two and we could see a drastic improvement after these were administered.  I don't believe that the colonics alone will make psoriasis go away but, the combination of them, diet and spinal adjustments, teas & ideals will certainly do it.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  This has changed my daughter's life."
    [At five months.]  "Mary's psoriasis has gone away completely.  She still has some light spots on the trunk of her body.  I'm sure the spots will blend when she gets in the sun.  This program is definitely a CURE for psoriasis.  Thank you for everything."
    [At six months.] "We feel that the colonics were the turning point, but you need to complete the entire regimen, including diet, spinal adjustments, teas, & ideals."
    With regard to psychometric data, the total pretest "Psoriasis Severity Scale" was sixteen compared to a posttest score of zero at six months after beginning the program.  Particularly extreme scores were noted between pre- and posttest scores for items #1 ("Amount of body with psoriasis" ) and # 6 ("Stopping you doing what you want to do") where scores dropped from a rating of 4 (severe) to 0 (none).
    The total pretest "Psoriasis Disability Index Questionnaire" score was forty-six compared to a posttest score of thirteen.  The items were rated from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much).  Eleven of the twelve items were rated as 1 (not at all) in the posttest assessment.  Item #12 (To what extent has your treatment for psoriasis interfered with your daily activities") was rated as "2."
    With regard to this last score, we have noticed this as a theme.  Making the adjustment in lifestyle activities has been one of the most challenging aspects of applying Cayce's approach to psoriasis.  Often, it is people with the most severe cases of psoriasis who are willing and committed to applying the various therapies discussed above.

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