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Pneumonia - Deadly But Preventable - Here's How:


This Week In HealthBeat News:

  • Pneumonia - Deadly But Preventable - Here's How:
  • Mom Wishmeyer’s Good Old-Fashioned Mustard Plaster For Chest Infections.
  • Common Sense For Colds And Flu...
  • We Get Letters: Peanut Oil And Label Claims - How To Know What's What?
  • We get letters: When Will The Super Fast Diet Be Available In A "Paper Book?"
  • Laughter is Good Medicine: Test for Dementia

Pneumonia - Deadly But Preventable - Here's How:

By Dr. Myatt

Pneumonia is a lung inflammation usually accompanied by infection. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi or by accidentally inhaling a liquid or chemical. (The most common cause is a virus). People over age 65 or younger than 2 years of age, or those who have other health problems, are most at risk.

Symptoms of pneumonia include difficulty breathing and a cough and fever. Antibiotics are only effective for bacterial pneumonia, but viral pneumonia is the most common type of infection.

Studies show that using acid suppressing drugs (acid blockers) --- even the "over-the-counter" kind --- increase the risk of pneumonia four-fold.

Instead of decreasing stomach acid, I recommend taking digestive enzymes such as Similase and performing an inexpensive gastric acid self-test.

[Nurse Mark note: correcting weak digestive juices will be far more effective in relieving "heartburn" than shutting down your stomach's acid production - please see the HealthBeat article "What's Burning You?"]

Low levels of zinc are associated with increased risk of infection, and adequate zinc status is associated with both lower risk of infection, less serious infections and shorter duration of infection. For those taking daily Maxi Multis, "we've got you covered."

Simple mouth bacteria is also associated with increased risk, especially in the elderly. Rinsing the mouth with hydrogen peroxide twice a day after brushing can greatly decrease harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Finally, remember that bromelain has been shown to be highly effective --- in some cases more effective than antibiotics --- in treating respiratory infections including pneumonia.

A protein-digesting enzyme from pineapple stems, bromelain dissolves the mucous coating that many bacteria use to "shield" themselves from the body's immune system. It also thins mucous, making it easier to cough up the crud (or drain sinuses).

A potent combination of inhaled essential oil vapors, as found in a novel product called Inspirol, is extremely helpful is preventing and treating pneumonia.

To prevent pneumonia and respiratory infections:
1.)  Maxi Multi: daily multiple vitamin mineral formula.
2.) Immune Support: taken daily during cold and flu-season months, or year-'round in elderly or immune compromised people.
3.) Brush teeth and rinse mouth with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, twice daily.

If you get a cold (to prevent pneumonia) take:
1.) Bromelain: 1 cap, 3-4 times per day between meals.
2.) Inspirol: inhale 4 times per day (or more).

If you have a lower respiratory infection (bronchitis, "chest cold" or pneumonia):
1.) Mom's mustard plaster! 3-4 in series, until chest congestion breaks up and patient is breathing easy. Follow the recipe found in this issue of HealthBeat.

NOTE: Always see a doctor for diagnosis with shortness of breath or sever chest congestion; bacterial pneumonia is a life-threatening disease, especially in seniors. But also remember that antibiotics alone are often ineffective even in bacterial pneumonia, and completely worthless in viral or other types of pneumonia. Follow the above recommendations no matter what, and you won't "expire" from a case of pneumonia!


  • Acid suppression associated with increased pneumonia risk.
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 4, Issue 12, Pages 715-715.
  • Zinc Supplementation Decreases Incidence of Infections in the Elderly: Effect of Zinc on Generation of Cytokines and Oxidative Stress. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 3, March 2007.
  • Serum Zinc and Pneumonia in Nursing Home Elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 4, October 2007,
  • Pneumonia in nonambulatory patients: The role of oral bacteria and oral hygiene. J Am Dent Assoc, Vol 137, No suppl_2, 21S-25S, 2006.
  • The use of proteolytic enzymes in the therapy of acute and chronic bronchopathies. Minerva Med. 1969 Aug 25;60(67):3060-71.
  • A double-blind clinical evaluation of bromelains in the treatment of acute sinusitis. Headache. 1967 Apr;7(1):13-7.

Mom Wishmeyer’s Good Old-Fashioned Mustard Plaster.

This old-fashioned but very effective and safe home remedy is applied to the chest of those suffering lung congestion due to colds or chest infections.

Materials needed:

  • Discard-able fabric, like old cotton sheeting or pillowcase or old (clean) cloth diapers about one foot by two feet or so. It is easiest to just throw this away after use.
  • Wax paper to place under the fabric to protect your work surface from the mustard paste.
  • Alternatively, a disposable underpad such as can be purchased inexpensively at any pharmacy, works very well and can be trimmed to size.
  • 3 Heaping tablespoons of flour.
  • 1 Heaping tablespoon of dry powdered mustard.
  • Plain water sufficient to mix the flour and mustard powder into a paste the consistency of slightly runny pancake batter – so that it can be spread easily.

You will also need: some plain Vaseline, and a towel and a microwave oven to heat things with.

How to do it:

Mix the flour, mustard, and water into a spread-able paste, just a little less thick than a pancake batter.

Lay down a sheet of wax paper and place your cotton material on that, or place your disposable underpad down with the absorbent side up.

Spread the flour / mustard paste evenly over this pad to within about an inch of the edges.

Fold the pad with its mustard paste so that it will fit into your microwave oven, and heat it for 10 to 15 seconds – until hot but not scalding.

Apply a little Vaseline to the patient’s nipples to protect these sensitive areas, and with the patient resting in bed apply the hot mustard plaster to the chest with the wax paper or plastic of the underpad to the outside and the mustard paste in contact with the chest.

Cover this with a warmed towel – it can be warmed by tumbling in your clothes dryer for a few minutes or by heating in the microwave for a few seconds.

Pull up the bedclothes and settle the patient in for a rest.

Check the patient in about 20 minutes – the skin under the mustard pack should be pink, or even a little red, but should not be angry or becoming blistered. If the patient is tolerating this well, it can be left on for up to a half hour, then removed and discarded.

The patient should then rest and even sleep for an hour or two – the mustard pack can be repeated as above one or two more times, with 2 hours or so between applications.

This is a very effective old-time remedy; it quickly relieves chest congestion caused by colds and other chest infections and most people respond very well and are greatly improved by the next day.

Common Sense For Colds And Flu...

By Nurse Mark

Please review our Halloween HealthBeat "Flu and Cold Season Is Coming - Get Natural Protection and Relief!" for plenty of useful information to keep you healthy this winter, and remember to keep on hand the three pillars of Dr. Myatt's "Mighty Herbal First Aid Kit": B.A.M. (Broad Anti Microbial), Energy Rehab, and Immune Boost for use at the first sign of the sniffles.

Read all about Dr. Myatt's crazy 'No-Flu' money-back guarantee here...

We Get Letters: Peanut Oil And Label Claims - How To Know What's What?

We often get questions about oils and fats: It is hard to know what is what with so much misinformation and even disinformation out there.

KRH asks:

Dr Myatt,
    I am really curious how Peanuts can be really high in Omega 6's when the label on a bottle of peanut oil says 1 TBSP has only 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat (omega 6) and 11 grams of monounsaturated fat (omega 9).  How does that translate to high omega6?

Dr. Myatt replies:

Hi RH:

Peanut oil is high in Omega-6, has NO Omega-3, and has a moderate amount of O-9. Remember that O-9 is "neutral," not healthy, but neutral. (It's not an essential fatty acid). So basically all you're getting in peanut oil is high in O-6. For the purpose of counting O-6 and O-3's (the two ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS), peanut oil is pure O-6.

Check out this website, which uses the USDA food data tables for it's information. To save you the trouble, here's the exact page to look at for peanut oil, but the entire site is great for looking up food counts:

Why have we been told that O-9 (like olive oil) is healthy? Because people in countries that eat more O-9's than O-6's have less heart disease. Again, O-9 is neutral, as opposed to O-6 which is inflammatory, so substituting excess inflammatory fat for a neutral fat proves to be somewhat healthier. But O-9 isn't really a "health food" as it's touted. It's just healthier than getting too much O-6. Also, according to a continuing ed conference I attended this year at Mayo clinic (Genomics in Everyday Medical Practice), those of Mediterranean descent have a difference in their DNA that makes them more resistant to heart disease. The "Mediterranean Diet" looks like it's not about O-9's being healthy, but about eating less O-6 and having a favorable genetic code.

Now, back to peanut oil. Peanuts are one of the main sources of mycotoxins, a fungal toxin so poisonous that the USDA checks foodstuffs for its presence. Very few foods are actually inspected by the USDA, but peanuts are on the "must inspect" list because of mycotoxins. And don't think that just because peanuts (or peanut butter) have "passed inspection" that they are safe. Remember, the USDA (Like other government agencies), sets "acceptable" standards for toxins, meaning they can be present as long as they are not in the "known to kill you quickly" dose.

Here is a quote from a recent HealthBeat newsletter article titled "Fungus, Yeasts and Molds."

"Aflatoxin, a common toxin found in peanuts and some grains and a result of Aspergillus flavus fungus, is one of the most potent carcinogens known to man. Because of this, peanuts and grains must be constantly "screened" for aflatoxin. Even with this government-mandated screening, a person eating according to the US Food-pyramid is eating between 0.15-0.5 grams per day. (A lethal dose is considered to be 10-20mg). But at these everyday, low-grade exposures, negative health effects can still be experienced. "

Read the rest of the article here: , in the article titled "Fungus, Yeasts and Molds."

If you need a small bit of peanut oil to flavor a Chinese dish (for example), go for it. Small amounts used very occasionally are probably OK. But as an everyday cooking oil? "Fuggedaboutit." Use coconut oil for high-heat cooking ( and butter (good for O-3's), ghee (ditto – it is clarified butter) or olive oil (O-9's) for low heat cooking.

Hope this clears things up for you!

Dr. Myatt

We get letters: When Will The Super Fast Diet Be Available As A "Paper Book?"

This is a pretty regular question in our email inboxes, and the answer is always the same:

Is there anyway to purchase an actual book (not a PDF file)? I have searched the Web and cannot find a source. I look forward to hearing from you - Thanks! Sandra C

Dr. Myatt's Answer:

Hi Sandra:

There's no "hard copy" yet, and I'm not sure how soon we'll produce this. An ebook has multiple
advantages that I'm reluctant to give up, including:

I.) Updates. When something new/different/additional is discovered that allows me to "tweak"
The Super Fast Diet, I can let all of my "Super-Fasters" know about the updates, and even let
them download the newest version of the book. I sure can't do that with a "hard copy"!
II.) Resources: ditto the above. When I find new/better/updated products that are even greater
than the ones I recommend, I can give immediate updates to folks.
III.) "Hot Links" to references. The Super Fast Diet has hundreds of scientific references --- most with
"live links," meaning you can immediately read the study with a single mouse-click. Since many of my
patients are physicians, and others are astute laymen, this is a handy feature.

So.... I'll be sure and let you know when we're ready to go "hard copy," but for now, the online version
and it's constantly updating resources is just too good for me to forsake.

Thanks for your question!

In health,
Dr. Myatt

Laughter is Good Medicine: Test for Dementia

There are four questions and a bonus question.

You have to answer them instantly. You can't take your time, answer all of them immediately. OK?

Let's find out just how clever you really are...

Ready? GO!!! Click here to take the
Dementia Screening Test

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