The adrenals themselves have a very high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Since we know that vitamin C is used in large doses to help combat infections, the conclusion now is that this vitamin helps stimulate the adrenal glands into producing more cortin, the hormone that fights off disease. Because this pair of glands was designed by nature to pour forth adrenalin in times of physical danger, or emotional crisis, continued mental or emotional tension overworks your ’emergency glands’ to the point where your nerves and vital organs are constantly kept keyed-up to fever pitch owing to too many fake ’emergency’ messages from the brain, thereby sending the powerful adrenalin hormone shooting into your bloodstream when it isn’t actually needed. In times of stress, the adrenal glands also release into your bloodstream a substance called cholesterol (the waxy substance now blamed for causing hardening of the arteries. See Chapter 9). For this reason, many doctors believe that arteriosclerosis, and other ‘diseases of age’ such as coronary thrombosis and cerebral hemorrhage, may develop as a result of this constant overstimulation of the adrenal glands by high-tension living, and day-in-day-out mental or emotional strain.
This emergency function of the adrenals to act as a powerful stimulant upon the organs of the body is a holdover from the days when man needed instantaneous physical and mental reserves to save himself from animal or human enemies. But today, when most of our emergencies are chiefly emotional or mental, this continued outpouring of the high-powered adrenalin into your bloodstream causes the heart and blood vessels to take a fearful beating. And because adrenalin is continually being squirted into the blood under the stress and strain of our highly emotional civilization, cortin is likewise constantly needed in big doses to get the body machine slowed down to normal again. Since we know that the adrenal glands use vitamin C to manufacture the cortical hormone, it’s not difficult to understand that continued high-tension living (either physical, mental or emotional) uses up a lot of vitamin C and releases a lot of cholesterol into the bloodstream. The result is depleted vitamin C reserves, unless special attention is given to replacing this vitamin through the diet; an increased tendency to infection (witness how easily an epidemic of influenza knocks over its victims during times of a local or national crisis); and high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries-that surplus amount of cholesterol from the overstimulated adrenals has to land some place, and where more convenient than on the walls of your arteries where it clogs the free flowing of the blood, causing the arteries to ‘harden’? If you want to feel and look younger than you are, you’d better stop setting off those mental and emotional ‘false alarms’ that keep your body wound up as tight as a main spring. The old proverb that ‘worry kills more people than cannons’ was unconsciously aimed right at the adrenal glands, since the unwise use of their powerful hormone by an emotionally unstable mind is equivalent to killing off your youth-yourself as well-by inches. A final word of advice on the care of your adrenal glands: Feed them plenty of high-grade protein; provide them with ample vitamin C (best sources are citrus fruits, melons, apricots, strawberries, green vegetables, and particularly tomatoes); make sure that foods rich in Vitamins A and B-com-plex are eaten at least twice a day; and provide them with the minerals magnesium and silicon (richest sources are citrus and other fruits, green and leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, walnuts and egg yolk).
The Pancreas, Your Insulin Factory
To impress you with the importance of this endocrine gland, I need only mention the word ‘diabetes.’ Although diabetes was for years blamed on the kidneys, medical science has discovered that this stealthy disease actually starts in the pancreas, that is, after the pancreas falls down on the job of secreting insulin, one of its hormones. When not enough insulin is produced, the bloodstream becomes overcharged with sugar. Insulin helps the body ‘burn’ its sugar, converting it into energy. When not enough insulin is produced because of a sluggish or diseased pancreas, unused sugar lies in the bloodstream like unburned coal in a stove. The quickest way to put your pancreas out of order is to stuff yourself continually with sweet and starchy foods. After you have committed this dietary crime for years on end, the pancreas becomes discouraged and gives up trying to produce enough insulin to burn all the sugar piling up in the bloodstream. Then, my friend, you have diabetes-a controllable disease, but definitely not curable, and a potential killer at any unguarded moment. As though the job of burning sugar isn’t work enough, the pancreas must also pour enough enzymes (substances that speed up digestion in the body) into the upper intestine to help digest starches and sugars before they can be converted into blood sugar. From this you can readily appreciate what an endless task it finally becomes for the pancreas of the heavy sugar-and-starch eater: Work hard to produce enough enzymes and insulin to take care of a high-carbohydrate meal, and then be compelled to do the same thing over again in a few hours -not just today, or tomorrow, but year in and year out. Any organ or gland of the body is bound to wear out under the burden of a job greater than nature designed it to perform. If you want to show a little consideration for your hardworking pancreas, give it plenty of protein foods, since protein is necessary in the body to assure a normal production of the hormone insulin. The minerals sulphur and chlorine (found in green vegetables, all berries, fresh coconut, egg yolk, cheese-particularly Roquefort, dairy products, lean meats, salt-water fish, lobster, crabs, mussels and shrimp) are all stimulating to the pancreas.
Three Other Members of Your Gland Family
The four tiny parathyroid glands (two on either side of the thyroid gland) are mainly concerned with regulating the supply of calcium in your body. For this reason, the parathyroids are an important quartet, since calcium is so vital to a healthy heart, nerves, muscles, teeth and bones-all of them your foundation for a youthful mind and body. It takes the parathyroid hormone to unlock the calcium stores in your bones before this essential mineral can be delivered into the bloodstream for distribution to its ‘regular customers.’ All the food calcium, calcium tablets or mineral concentrates in the world are of no use to your health, if your four tiny parathyroid glands can’t secrete enough of their hormone to get that calcium out of your bones and into the bloodstream where it can be utilized. It’s worth remembering that while controlling the body’s supplies of calcium, the parathyroids themselves need calcium to keep healthy. Hence, a diet poor in calcium is a two-edged sword: Not enough calcium for the parathyroids, which then retaliate by failing to produce the hormone that releases bone calcium into the bloodstream for your nerves, muscles, heart, teeth and bones. In addition to meat and eggs, the best sources of food calcium are found in dairy products such as powdered skim milk, buttermilk, yogurt and cheese. The thymus gland lies in your chest not far below the thyroid. When you are born, the thymus weighs about half an ounce, then increases to almost triple its weight up to the time of adolescence, after which it begins to shrink again, until by the time you’re fifty, the thymus is back to its original size. The complete functioning of this endocrine gland is not as yet fully understood by medical science, although it is suspected of helping control the body’s use of phosphorus and calcium, and of taking some part in producing white blood corpuscles, one of your guardians against infection. Also, we know that any failure of the thymus to behave properly is caused by improper development of the front lobe of the pituitary gland. The primary precautions for normal behavior of this gland involve keeping your pituitary gland healthy and well-nourished with high-protein foods. Most mysterious of all your endocrine glands is the pineal. This is a cone-shaped little organ, no larger than a grain of wheat, suspended by a stalk just behind the mid-brain. It is known that some connection exists between the pineal gland and your brain, as well as your sex organs. Sometimes the pineal will shrink and fill up with deposits of salts known as ‘brain sand.’ This abnormal condition is caused by faulty nutrition, and recent scientific experiments have demonstrated that a degenerating pineal gland will respond to a protein diet within a remarkably short time. The minerals potassium and sodium are also known to feed the pineal gland. Richest sources of these minerals are potato peelings (potassium especially), eggplant, celery, corn, green vegetables, berries, melons, black olives, citrus and other fresh fruits, lean beef and lamb, cottage and other cheeses, buttermilk and powdered skim milk, lobsters and oysters.
Your Sex Glands (Gonads)
I’ve left until last the glands which perhaps should rank first in your effort to retain the appearances and sensations of youth, since staying young is equivalent to saying ‘remaining sexually attractive and sexually capable.’
What qualities or attributes make people say of a certain man or woman: ‘He (or she) is so young for his (her) age’? My first answer would be sexual vibrancy-for in these two words are contained the confidence, inward feeling of power, energy, vitality, enthusiasm, mental alertness, sense of attractiveness, assurance, stamina and radiant glow which are gifts to the young in years, and which may also be found in persons of any age whose sex glands are healthy.