KC Craichy’s SuperHealth Podcasts: The Science of Nutrition

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Posted on 6th October 2011 by admin in Super Health |SuperHealth Podcasts

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KC Craichy talks with surgeon and nutrition expert Leonard Smith, M.D., about the importance of nutrition for Super Health.

Audio Transcript

KC: Welcome to Living Fuel TV. I’m KC Craichy. This is my special guest, Dr. Leonard Smith. Welcome, Leonard.

Dr. Smith: Thank you, KC. It’s a pleasure and honor to be here.

KC: Leonard is a dear friend, and he’s an alternative integrative medicine expert. He’s a medical advisor to the University of Miami on Integrative Medicine. He’s a former general surgeon for many years. How many years did you practice?

Dr. Smith: About 30.

KC: I’m interested to know the transition. You went from general surgery and now you know a lot about a lot. People say, “What is Leonard’s specialty?” You tell people, they know a little about a lot of things, but you know a lot about a lot of things. I’m always fascinated when we sit down. My wife always says I need a pad and paper because you come up with the coolest stuff, that you’re in the literature. Before, you didn’t read much of the journals when you were doing surgery because of your time commitments.

Dr. Smith: Right. Well, it even started before that. I got to thinking, one of my great blessings from God was just an innate curiosity about how things work and, at one point it was cars, but then I moved quickly into animals. My dad would get upset with me because I would dissect fish, rather than just clean them, but I had this burning desire to learn more about anatomy. I really had no idea that I was going to surgery, and that was a whole different set of events that got me to medical school. During my surgical career, I was fortunate enough to be very well trained at the University of Miami, and I was very blessed that the majority of my patients did very well. I didn’t really have time to study, or read the way I liked to, so I actually decided to retire, mainly for personal reasons with regard to family commitments, and one thing and the other, to finally get a chance to spend time with not only my children, but particularly my grandchildren. I started reading, and my golly, I was like the kid lost in the candy store. Being a medical advisor for the university, I actually get access medical journals, and I just spent all kinds of hours. It’s very humbling because as soon as I think I understand some of these pathways of medicine, somebody’s just added on a couple more pieces that may be supportive in that direction, may be turning around going the opposite direction. It’s a fascinating time to be here on the planet and learning what we’re learning and finding new and better ways to help people, but one of the comedies of it is so much of it goes back to basic simple health.

KC: It’s always been that way, hasn’t it?

Dr. Smith: It’s always been that way.

KC: It’s interesting how you go back to 1950 and you look at the standard of care, and then you go to 1960 and, then in 1950, it was heresy, and then in 1970, you look at ’60 and that was heresy. No wonder why they talk about practicing medicine. The point is, I once heard it said like this, that a well meaning doctor comes out of medical school, he is absolutely committed to reading one, full, long article and two abstracts every single day. Every single day, no matter what. They say in 12 months, he’s 400 years behind in the literature

Dr. Smith: I was going to say that’s not enough to get you very far.

KC: No doctor’s able to do that with their commitments because they have so many patients and so little time and so on. That’s fascinating. What got you really interested in alternative medicine? There’s so many techniques that aren’t even [inaudible 03:32].

Dr. Smith: I would like to get around to writing a book on it some day. I would dedicate it to all the patients who passionately asked me, “What else can I do, doctor? Have you ever heard of Vitamin C? Have you heard of eating more of a vegetable diet? Have you heard of macrobiotics?” This was back in the early ’80s, and so I said, “Didn’t learn anything about that, but I’ll look it up” The more I looked up about Vitamin C and heard about Linus Pauling and that, I said, “This is obviously something of value.” There is no one little thing that has a magic bullet, but there’s a lot of things, both in the whole area of nutrition, diet, lifestyle, detoxification, elimination, sleep, stress reduction. That’s now, early in the ’80s when my cancer and cardiovascular patients, I was putting them all on a program like that. They either live longer, or they live better, or both. Some of them I had when I quit practice and still had cancer, I’d say, “You just got a touch and you’re above it, so just keep doing it.” I do think that our basic physiological gift from God is enough to take care of most things if we would just go back to the basics of pure water, pure organic food, mostly plant-based. Sleeping, that’s the one that I really trashed during my surgery career. I thought people were really some sort of a wimp if they got more than four hours of sleep a night, so it’s only by the grace of God I’m still here after 20 or 30 years of that. There’s data out there showing that seven hours is required for most people, minimum. Seven to nine hours, if you want to have optimum hormonal balance and detoxification. Then the whole issue of elimination. What a problem that is. These are the things I would share with the patients after I finished the surgery, and I saw some very remarkable results. I just became more and more convinced that we all need to look at foundational health, and that’s not taking away from our need for doctors or internists, or anybody because most people can only do that but so well and, even if you do it impeccably, then your genetic code and the environment you live in and time itself, it will all catch up with you. I just love to help people be healthier so they can enjoy their life.

KC: That’s awesome. How do you advise people? What is the main thing that they need to be thinking about, that they can make little changes right now that can really make an impact on their life? For instance, when someone has surgery, the difference in someone that has extremely good nutrition subsequent to surgery and someone who has terrible nutrition subsequent to surgery, what’s the difference in the healing time?

Dr. Smith: It’s remarkable. As a matter of fact, the times I had the greatest fear operating on people, was when they were in a very depleted state, and as a matter of fact, if they’re depleted enough, you don’t operate. You put an IV in their subclavian, or now they can actually run them up from the arm, but you feed them intravenously if they can’t physically eat. We even have parameters like, if your albumin level’s less than four, it means your protein nurtriture is down low enough that you really might not do well with healing anything. There’s no doubt about it, in terms of just back to foundational health, you really need to eat, not just a plant-based diet, but the biggest plug today, I think, is for an organic diet. I think we really need to choose organic food. If more people would demand it, more people would sell it. I’ve seen even places, like Winn Dixie, on Key Biscayne now has a wide variety of organic foods because people demanded it. I used to jokingly say, people would start having to buy a house next to Whole Foods because they’re the ones that started it, but more and more, with people eating more organic food and demanding it, will get it because I don’t think we’re going to, any time in the real near future – I’d love to think we would, but I don’t think we’re going to be done with insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, genetically modified food, all of which is having some sort of an impact on our body. We’re gifted with pretty good detoxification systems, particularly when you’re younger. With every decade you live, it becomes more critically important that you eat organic food.

KC: I just saw a study from Environmental Working Group that said that they tested the cord blood of ten American women, and it had 300 different chemicals in the cord blood. It’s passing directly from generation to generation.

Dr. Smith: Cord blood from the umbilical cord from the fetus, you’re talking about.

KC: BPA, all the ones that you would expect.

Dr. Smith: Exactly. We wonder why the kids have neuro-developmental problems. Autism is a big one, but just look at all the other things they have.

KC: Right. This is fascinating. We could go all day with it, but we’re just going to cut it here and go on to another segment. Thank you again, Leonard.

Dr. Smith: You’re very welcome.

KC: Here’s to your super health, and we hope you enjoyed it.

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