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Column by Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, in the Autumn 2020 edition of Dialogue magazine

[For an earlier column by Dr. Lonsdale, see here]

Derrick Lonsdale is a retired Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Lonsdale has been a columnist in Dialogue since 2005.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are most grateful to Derrick Lonsdale and his publishing company, Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co., for their express written permission to serialize and reprint the ground-breaking book, A Nutritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine: Is Modern Medicine Helping You? by our columnist (since 2005), Derrick Lonsdale. Copyright © 2013 Derrick Lonsdale M.D. All rights reserved.

E Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co. Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co. 12620 FM 1960, Suite A4-507 Houston TX 77065 www.sbpra.com -- ISBN: 978-1-63135-336-9 (hardcover); 978-1-61897-092-3 (softcover)

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A Nutritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine: Is Modern Medicine Helping You?
Book by Derrick Lonsdale M.D.
[Installment 1, reprinted in the Autumn 2020 edition of Dialogue]

To my late wife, Adele
(And) The late James P. Frackelton M.D., Partner and friend
who taught me much in the practice of Alternative Medicine.

Chapter 1: Cultural Decline
Chapter 2: A Thumbnail Sketch of the History of Medicine
Chapter 3: We Have Two Brains
Chapter 4: The Fundamental Role of Energy
Chapter 5: A Revised Medical Model
Chapter 6: How Does the New Model Fit the Practice of Medicine?
Chapter 7: Opportunist Organisms
Chapter 8: Clinical Examples

I have a rich experience of patients who have been helped by the art of nutritional therapy. The body is a self-healing “machine” and we can see natural healing aided by these relatively simple methods. Some of the clinical examples, told in everyday language, are illustrative. I never use the word “cure,” and I tell my patients that I do not “treat disease.” I treat the person who has the disease with nutrients in an effort to boost the natural defensive and self-healing mechanisms that we all possess.

Alternative Medicine

The theme of the book is that high calorie malnutrition is a modern scourge that can be compared to the then unknown danger of lead poisoning experienced by the Roman civilization. Historical evidence has been collected and published to claim that the ancient Roman civilization was destroyed at least partly because of this factor.

From many years of observation and clinical practice, I have become aware of how high calorie malnutrition affects our ability to adapt to our environment. It produces subtle changes in the biochemical mechanisms that govern our emotional and physical adaptive responses. Like the Romans, we are blithely unaware that the essentially hedonistic attraction to sweet tasting foods and beverages undermine these functions. It makes us react to environmental stresses in an abnormal way, thus making us appear to be more primitive in our behavior.

I, like other physicians who have changed to the field of alternative medicine, have very good evidence that the present medical model is wrong. The main error is the divorce of the brain from the body and a refusal to recognize the teaching of Hippocrates who said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Getting patients to understand the concept that the brain and body work together is extremely difficult and time consuming. Even after spending a long time with an individual patient, I find that the concept is barely understood and much is quickly forgotten. In this book, I try to give the details in every-day language so that people can use the model to help themselves. By pointing out the fact that the limbic system of the brain is a computer, it is possible to fit every alternative medical technique into the picture and provide an explanation for why each of them works. It is not a book that tells the reader exactly what to do, but gives choices and an explanation of how each method can be expected to work within this model.

High calorie malnutrition is an extremely widespread scourge that is affecting literally millions of Americans. The associated changes in behavior have consequently become so common that they are regarded as being normal. Like the Romans, our total unawareness makes us blind to these effects. Anyone who tries to point them out is a “whistle blower” and history recognizes the difficulty of such an endeavor. In an attempt to compare this with the fate of the ancient Romans, the first chapter goes into some of the history of their lead poisoning.

The essential idea expressed is that most, if not all, disease is the result of loss of cellular energy from poor diet in much the same way that a car engine loses power if its fuel is different from that which fits its design.

Over time, the erosion in function begins to decline and begins in the brain, the organ most demanding of oxidative metabolism and energy consumption. High calorie malnutrition can be compared with a choked engine in a car, resulting in poor engine performance, and unburned hydrocarbons being discharged from the exhaust.


Chapter 1 reveals the seeds of cultural decline although there were a number of factors in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, there is a good case for lead poisoning as an important cause. This is compared with the state of “high calorie malnutrition” of today, which may be a similar long term threat to our present civilization. Although lead poisoning was recognized by a few individuals, they were ignored. The fall of the Roman civilization serves as a useful template upon which the mechanisms of inevitable decline can be discussed. Winston Churchill is an excellent example of a modern “whistle blower.” The vast majority of people within any culture have no idea that it is occurring until it goes into decline.

Chapter 2 provides a thumbnail sketch of the history of medicine. The ancient Chinese civilization gave us yin and yang as the center of the universe. This is examined for its potential meaning in relation to functions of the body and maintenance of health. Discussion centers on the profound nature of this concept as it applies to “balance” and what that means in our adaptive mechanisms of survival. A brief consideration is given to Hippocrates and the fact that his teaching has been ignored, in spite of his fame. Passing over the medieval period, where surprisingly little progress was made, the origins of the present medical model are discussed. The discovery of microorganisms and the history of our attempts to destroy them as a treatment for the diseases that they cause became the spearhead of research. The idea of “killing the enemy” as the major cause of virtually any disease became the paradigm. Even our techniques for immunization are aimed at boosting the defenses against a specific attacking agent, rather than attempting to increase the efficiency of the immune defenses as a whole through proper nutrition and lifestyle. This “aggressive” model is compared with the paradigm shift in thinking which is spawning the new era of Alternative Medicine.

This “new” model accepts the powerful relations of the body and mind in electrochemical terms rather than dismissing “psychosomatic” as an explanation for a patient’s “subconscious” self-deception. Present attempts at preventive medicine are incomplete and the power of good nutrition has been almost totally ignored in mainstream medicine, although that is beginning to change. An overview of this history is important in understanding the way in which modern medicine has evolved, what is wrong with a large part of the model that it uses, and why extensive revision is necessary. A new model is proposed to explain the loss of health which constitutes disease.

Chapter 3 shows that the brain contains a computer and spells out the most important part of the Universal Model for explaining both health and disease.  It depends upon our understanding of the limbic system brain as a computer and its constant dialogue with the more sophisticated cognitive or conscious brain. This communication depends upon a chemical “language” by which the computer communicates with the body that it controls and the cognitive brain that acts as an “advisor.” An acceptance of some form of evolution, and a realization that all animal brains have been built on the same basic plan, is necessary.

Chapter 4 describes the role of energy metabolism that can be used to explain the present pandemic of “emotional disease” within a biological framework and shows how the breakdown of the dialogue introduces an idea to explain the phenomenon of “madness, murder and mayhem.” The limbic system is the primitive individual within us all. It controls and presides over all our “animal” functions. Maturation from infancy, through childhood to adult status becomes much easier to understand and we can begin to see why and how development takes place in each one of us and how understanding energy metabolism is so vital.

Chapter 5 discusses how the present classification of disease is erroneous and describes a proposed revision for a medical model. The mechanisms of many different disease conditions can be explained within the proposed model by correlation with defective energy metabolism in the limbic system. It hinges upon the orchestration of all physical and emotional reactions by the computer. Thus, a whole host of conditions that are presently seen as “physical” can be seen in relation to the “mental” state. We can also begin to see why the present era of medical specialization can easily confuse the real issue.

This chapter reasons that disease is manifested by loss of efficiency in energy metabolism, affecting our ability to adapt appropriately to environmental change. The biochemist who can ascertain and define the “biochemical lesion” is the health specialist of the immediate future. This chapter places great emphasis on the fact that it is the de-energized computer that is responsible for what is traditionally thought of as psychosomatic disease. Hence, the pandemic of attention deficit, hyperactivity and other similar diagnostic clichés are caused by high calorie malnutrition in literally millions of our children. Following the mainstream traditional model, these children are unfortunately treated with drugs such as Ritalin and it is a reflection of its use to note that the country actually ran out of this drug a few years ago, sending many parents into a state of panic.

Some physicians are not aware of the extent of the problem and, in general, our contemporary society has, until recently, accepted that our nutritional standards are acceptable. We should now be aware that the old adage that “we are what we eat” must be replaced by “we behave according to what we eat.” There is now some evidence from animal studies that obesity can be connected with inflammatory disease by stimulating a genetically determined mechanism in the hypothalamus (part of the brain). This mechanism remains inactive until a high calorie diet is provided when its activity induces either obesity, inflammation, or both together.

In chapter 6 it becomes relatively easy to see why and how acupuncture, homeopathy, mind/body disciplines, and nutrition fit into the model. They cannot work without consideration being given to the ever-present dialogue between the “two brains” and the body. Some discussion of the validity of energy medicine techniques is provided within this model. It can be seen how medicine inevitably fits into the latest research in physics and mathematics and must, ultimately, become part of the modern search for the Universal Theory of Matter that eluded Einstein. The presently accepted medical model is a “Newtonian” one, since it deals with structural changes in body organs: hence the term “organic disease,” considered generally to be the only cause of “real” disease. The model proposed here is “Einsteinian,” dealing with the synthesis, storage and utilization of cellular energy.

In the conventional model, functional changes in the relations between the brain and the body are considered to be “psychosomatic” and treatable by “talk therapy,” the basis of psychiatry, or the use of drugs. The “new” model is based upon biochemistry and electricity as they affect cellular metabolism and the exchange of information within the body as a whole. Hence, Alternative Medicine techniques involve the use of nutrition, prescription of therapeutic nutrients rather than synthetic pharmaceuticals, and all the variety of methods used to improve intercellular communication. The normal equipment of adaptive ability is improved by stimulating and balancing the biochemistry throughout the body. The limbic brain is regarded as the “conductor” of an “orchestra” where the body organs are seen as the “instruments.” The “symphony of health” is brought about by the constant communication between the brain and the body. The most important need is for an adequate supply of energy for every cell involved in the constant interplay.

In chapter 7 the problem of microorganisms that are known as “opportunist” is discussed. In the present era we are constantly being introduced to “new” microorganisms, resulting in infections that we never heard of before. They are really not new at all and have always been present, “waiting in the wings” for the host to become weakened so that their chance of winning is increased.

We have seen how the human body defends itself from its natural microscopic predators. The effectiveness of these organisms in causing disease is a sure sign of our increasingly vulnerable state, rather than an increase in their virulence. Attack by anaerobic (oxygen hating) organisms is a good example of the phenomenon and is well understood. These organisms thrive in tissues deprived of oxygen because they can manufacture their required energy without it: Oxygen kills them. Certain organisms that occur in the human bowel as “friends” can become “enemies” when the normal balance between these organisms is damaged. This balance is another expression of yin and yang. An example is provided by discussion of bacteria that are capable of destroying thiamin (Vitamin B1) and causing disease by depriving the host of this vitamin. A better known example is that of Candida (yeast) which is still not accepted by mainstream medicine as a common problem. An illustration of this is given by describing a relatively rare condition known as mucocutaneous candidiasis. This can be used to illustrate the validity of the proposed disease model.

In chapter 8 some patient problems are outlined to illustrate how the proposed model works in a clinical setting. Some vivid accounts of patients illustrate how and why the author was forced to abandon much of the conventional teaching of the day about the causation and the treatment of disease. In each example, it can be seen that the “new” model indicates that the participation of the brain in all disease mechanisms must be taken into consideration. As the “computer” reacts to input, the messages that are automatically distributed represent both “mental” and “physical” adaptation. This continues twenty-four hours a day, whether we are conscious or not, as in sleep.

As outlined in a previous chapter, the computer is really a conductor of an orchestra. The instruments are the organs within the body and the adaptive mechanisms that follow represent the “symphony” of health. Automatic reflexes, initiated in the brain computer, govern much more of our behavior than we are consciously aware. If these reflexes are released too easily, without the “advice and consent” of the cognitive brain, the behavior may become more primitive because the primitive nature of man resides in these reflexes. Sexual drive and hunger for food are examples of the most powerful forces that govern our survival reflexes. If they are initiated too easily because of lack of “self control” we become more like cavemen who did not have the restraints of civilization. The mechanism of self control depends upon an adequate dialogue between the two brains (described in chapter 3). Finally, I wish to emphasize that these mechanisms are dependent upon normal chemistry in the brain cells.


The serialized reprinting of Derrick Lonsdale’s book,
A Nutritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine.
Softcover version published in 2013. Hardcover version: 2014.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the permission, in writing, of the publisher, Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co. ISBN: 978-1-61897-092-3 (softcv); 978-1-63135-336-9 (hard)

“Everything is connected to everything else.”

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Dr. Lonsdale retired in 2012 at the age of 88 years; he is a retired Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and a Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Website: www.prevmed.com/  

Blog: http://o2thesparkoflife.blogspot.com/

Dr. Lonsdale is also author of: Why I Left Orthodox Medicine.
And his 2017 book:
Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition, explores thiamine and how its deficiency affects the functions of the brainstem and autonomic nervous system by way of metabolic changes at the level of the mitochondria… This book represents the life work of the senior author, Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, and is a recent collaboration with his co-author Dr. Chandler Marrs.  
: 0128103876 / §

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The above quotes are from ICH on Dec. 18-19, 2015: InformationClearingHouse

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