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How you Can do so Many Bad Things to Yourself and Still Function: Your Body's Metabolic Reserve and Priority Systems

By Jimmy Scott, Ph.D.
As published in Health Freedom News, Vol 12, Nr. 2, February 1993

Uncle Harry is no Excuse!

“Why should I be careful about what I eat? My Uncle Harry drank like a fish, smoked two packs a day, and ate a diet of potato chipsHow Can You do so Many Bad Things to Yourself and Still Function: Your Body's Metabolic Reserve and Priority Systems and soft drinks. Yet he lived to be 9O years old!” Everyone seems to know an Uncle Harry who has broken every rule in the book, and survived to a ripe old age. We can't deny the existence of the Uncle Harrys of the world, but you should not use them as an excuse for How Can You do so Many Bad Things to Yourself and Still Function: Your Body's Metabolic Reserve and Priority Systemsbad habits of your own! What you may not know about Uncle Harry is that he happened to be blessed with particularly good genes. He may have led a physically active life during all his ninety years; and he may have taken care of himself in other ways, such as handling stress very effectively. 
 
Perhaps these weren't as obvious as his eating and smoking habits, but they certainly are at least as important. Even if you're not an Uncle Harry, you may feel that you are going “unpunished” for a host of dietary and lifestyle sins. Perhaps you drink too much coffee, or eat a lot of refined foods, or don't get enough sleep or rest. Yet, in spite of these violations of common sense, you seem to be fairly healthy. How can you abuse your body as badly as you do, and still be able to function? 
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A Lesson from the Mariners of Old

A clue to the answer comes from the experience of the mariners on the sailing ships of two centuries ago. As we all have heard, during their voyages, these sailors' diets were often critically deficient in vitamin C. Many developed symptoms of severe scurvy, particularly in some extreme cases where ships had been damaged in storms or were caught in the doldrums for weeks on end. One of these severe symptoms was very peculiar. A wound which might have been completely healed for the past twenty yearsHow you Can do so Many Bad Things to Yourself and Still Function: Your Body's Metabolic Reserve and Priority Systems would reopen again, just like a fresh wound! How could this happen? Well, scar tissue is made up primarily of a connective tissue protein called collagen. The production of collagen requires certain nutrients, especially vitamin C. When the body is extremely deficient in vitamin C, it is able to withdraw it from storage in the body, utilizing it in areas that are critical for sustaining life. In the case of the unfortunate mariners, their wounds opened up because the scar tissue was dissolved by the body in order to release the vitamin C it contained. The vitamin C from the scar tissue was transferred by the body to the heart, lungs, brain, or other more vital spots. 
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