Chapter 28

Health Principles/5

Reviewing a Century of

Health Reform Principles

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Dietary Aspects of Health Reform
What Scientific Research Indicates Regarding a Meat Diet
Animal Products Increase Death Risk
Humanity’s Original Diet
Non-dietary Features of Health Reform
Cancer, a Virus
Contributing Causes of Cancer
Modern Research Confirms Health Principles
Summary of Ellen White’s Principles of Health Reform
Study Questions

“The health and lifespan advantages of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have been traced to the way they live and eat. Since the 1800s, Seventh-day Adventists have practiced eight secrets of health that reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer . . . the two leading causes of premature death. By keeping these two killers at bay, Seventh-day Adventists enjoy greater health and a longer life than the general population. . . . The scientific confirmation has just been available in recent years, so how did they know before the scientists? From a woman named Ellen G. White. This visionary said God did not want people to suffer unnecessary illness and death and He inspired her to tell people how they could enjoy maximum wellness. Ellen G. White wrote with amazing simplicity and accuracy what has since been proved to be the best formula for health and longevity.”1

In reviewing Ellen White’s health reform principles, readers should first place themselves in the middle of the nineteenth century. Without any more information about the future than the prevailing notions that governed medical practice at that time, think of how strange the unfolding, synthesizing, integrating health principles of Ellen White must have seemed. Of course, some of these principles had been promoted by contemporaries, but in no place were they so complete or so integrated. No other writers were so free from those errors that subsequent research contradicted.2

For the average person, even for physicians, in the middle of the nineteenth century, the germ theory was unheard of. Physicians were still using opium, calomel, mercury, arsenic, and strychnine to “heal” disease. Aspirin was unknown, along with the X-ray machine, antibiotics, pasteurization, immunizations, and blood transfusions.

People generally saw no connection between their lifestyle and disease. Fresh air in the home, night or day, aroused qualms for fear of catching a cold or being bitten by an invasion of flies or mosquitoes.3

People seldom bathed.4

Headlines shouting the deteriorating impact of high-fat, low-fiber diets and the sheer necessity of exercise were a century away.5 The profound linkage between the mind and body seemed far-fetched. Birth defects due to drugs and alcohol were not to be understood for another hundred years. The concept of cancer germs was a thought that was cross-grain with the medical world. Prenatal influences were considered of little importance.

In many of these areas, as recently as a few decades ago, Ellen White seemed not only extreme but even fanatical. Imagine how she could have been viewed in 1863! The record is in, however. Those who believed in her role as God’s messenger, those who faithfully put her health principles into practice, became healthier, stronger, more productive people. To the extent that people picked and chose which principles they would incorporate into their lifestyle, to that extent they fell short of reaching their full potential.

Dietary Aspects of Health Reform

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Has anyone ever become sick or sicker by following these health principles? Have the health reform principles advocated by Ellen White proved to be unfounded or dangerous?

Yeast germ in bread. Ellen White penned that bread should be “thoroughly baked that, so far as possible, the yeast germs shall be destroyed.” She was scoffed at for this statement, even as late as the 1940s. For years popular magazines advocated eating a cake of live yeast daily! We now know that live yeast cells “take up B vitamins from the food material in the intestine, thus making them unavailable for the body.”6

Butter. In 1870 Ellen White wrote that “from principle” she had discarded the use of meat, butter, mince pies, spices, and lard.7 In 1903 she stated that “as for myself, I have settled the butter question. I do not use it.”8 Health principles, for Ellen White, guided one’s plan of life in determining what the best choice should be under all circumstances. At times, in the absence of the best, we must settle for the good.

Here again we see her principle of “progressive” diet reform: “Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter.”9 Further suggestions included: “Butter is less harmful when eaten on cold bread than when used in cooking.”10 “When properly prepared, olives, like nuts, supply the place of butter and flesh meats.”11

What’s bad about butter? Two basic problems: disease and health factors relating to fat and cholesterol in the diet. Regarding disease, in the late 1800s butter “was often rancid . . . a mixture of casein and water, or of calcium, gypsum, gelatin fat [sic] and mashed potatoes.”12

Referring to the future, Ellen White wrote: “Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing.”13

Apart from the danger of disease, butter is almost pure fat. It has many of the long-chained saturated fatty acids that tend to increase serum cholesterol (as well as short-chained fatty acids which do not cause the problem). One tablespoon of butter contains 33 mg. of saturated fats and cholesterol.

The American Heart Association stated on May 13, 1994: “Because butter is rich in both saturated fat and cholesterol, it is potentially a highly atherogenic food [causing hardening of the arteries]. Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol. The more liquid the margarine, i.e., tub or liquid forms, the less hydrogenated it is and the less trans fatty acids it contains. Therefore, though still high in fat, margarine is a preferable substitute for butter, and soft margarines are better than hard ones.”14

Dietary fiber. Ellen White warned that “fine-flour bread cannot impart to the system the nourishment that you will find in the unbolted-wheat bread. The common use of bolted-wheat bread cannot keep the system in a healthy condition.”15

The body needs two major types of fiber in the diet. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The best sources are oats, beans, apples, barley, and buckwheat: thus these foods help reduce the risk of a heart attack. Insoluble fiber can be found in wheat bran, which reduces the risk of colon cancer. Foods high in fiber help to reduce the risk of carcinogenic agents in the intestines. The fiber attaches to the cholesterol and bile acids that have been secreted by the gallbladder, and removes them from the intestinal tract rapidly.

Animal products have little or no fiber. Refined grains and other refined products have very little. In an Adventist Health Study,16 men who often ate whole wheat bread had only 56 percent of the expected non-fatal heart attack rate and 89 percent of the expected fatal heart attack rate.

Numerous recent studies relate the risk of colon cancer to the lack of fiber in the diet. Gastro-intestinal transit time is seventy-seven hours when on a refined diet, but thirty-five hours on an unrefined diet.17 Populations on a refined diet have a higher incidence of colon cancer than in countries where most are on an unrefined diet.18 Colon-cancer risk decreases as the fiber in the diet increases. Experts such as Dr. D. P. Burkitt, world-renowned British surgeon and medical researcher, state that a lack of dietary fiber is a major cause of appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulosis, colon cancer, hiatal hernias, constipation, and other health problems.19

Flesh foods. In 1866 Ellen White wrote that “the liability to take disease is increased tenfold by meat eating.”20 Further, in 1869 she said that “meat should not be placed before our children.”21

Why was she so explicit? Because the practice of meat eating is detrimental to physical, mental, and spiritual health.

· Physical impact: Ellen White wrote that meat eating increases the “liability to disease . . . tenfold.” Further, it causes obesity,22 sudden death (heart attack or stroke),23 “unwholesome condition” of bones (probably osteoporosis),24 and cancer.25 Contrary to conventional thinking, she called it “a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food. The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed, without its use.”26 In addition, “the use of the flesh of animals tends to cause a grossness [obesity] of body.”27

· Mental impact: She cautioned that “students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately.”28

· Spiritual impact: Even more important than the physical and mental liabilities of meat eating is the fact that the “religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activity lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature.”29

For Ellen White, “diet reform is progressive.”30 For this reason, she said frequently that she never felt it her “duty to say that no one should taste of meat under any circumstances. To say this when the people have been educated to live on flesh to so great an extent, would be carrying matters to extreme.”31

At the same time, she did not soften her words when eternal issues were at stake. In the context of those who were proclaiming the messages of the three angels (Rev. 14) and thus were preparing for Christ’s return, she said: “Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet.”32 Meat eating will be eliminated “before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.”33

Ellen White spoke directly to church leaders regarding meat eating: No one should be a “teacher of the people” who, by teaching or example, “contradicts” the principles of health reform.34 Physicians “who use flesh meat and prescribe it for their patients, should not be employed in our institutions.”35 Ministers who eat meat “set an evil example,” and make it difficult for others to have “confidence” in them.36

What Scientific Research Indicates Regarding a Meat Diet

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· Meat and obesity: It is difficult to become obese when following humanity’s original diet (Genesis 1-3—fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables). Recent studies indicate that those who eat a meat diet are much more likely to be obese. In the Adventist Mortality Study 16 percent of vegetarian women and 8 percent of men were obese whereas in the non-vegetarian Adventist group 32 percent of the women and 20 percent of the men were obese.37 Because meat is high in fat, it contains many calories in a small space and is thus a high-caloric-density food.

· Meat, obesity, and cancer: But obesity leads to further liabilities. Obesity increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 50-100 percent, and the correlation with the risk of cancer increases dramatically. Obesity increases the risk of cancers such as breast cancer,38 endometrial cancer,39 prostate cancer, colon cancer,40 and other cancers. “People who eat high-fat diets tend to be heavier and to eat more meat and fewer fruits and vegetables, so their risk of cancer also is increasing.”41

In Hiroshima, Japan, breast cancer was 3.8 times greater in people consuming meat daily compared to vegetarians. Daily users of eggs had 2.8 times greater risk, and butter and cheese users 2-3 times greater risk than non-consumers of these items.42 In a study of 265,118 Japanese, meat eaters had 2.5 times greater risk of pancreatic cancer.43

· Immune system: The human immune system is directly affected by what one eats, and thus the body’s resistance to cancer may be the most important factor in preventing cancer. Excesses or deficiencies of any nutrient adversely affects the immune system. For example, a high protein diet depresses T-lymphocyte cells,44 and an unreasonably low protein diet, as in Kwashiorkor, depresses the immune system. Obesity depresses the immune system, as does starvation. A high serum cholesterol depresses the immune system, as do excess doses of vitamins C or E.45

· Meat and cancer: The mortality ratio involving ovarian cancer is distinctly different between (a) Adventist lacto-ovo-vegetarians (15.9/100,000), (b) those using meat one to three times a week (18/100,000), (c) the general population of California (24/100,000), and (d) Adventists using meat four or more times weekly (26.4/100,000).46

In that same study comparing the three groups, the mortality ratios for breast cancer were: (a) 64/100,000; (b) 73.3/100,000; and (c) 81.6/100,000.47

Animal Products Increase Death Risk

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Heavy consumers of animal products (meat, milk, eggs, cheese) had a 3.6 times greater risk of death from prostate cancer compared to low consumers.48 The study also reported that those who eat meat more than three times a week increase their risk of fatal or near-fatal bladder cancer.49 Eating meat five or more times a week may triple the risk of coronary heart disease for a 40-year-old male.50

The American Cancer Society’s 1996 report emphasized that “diets high in foods from plant sources [vegetables, fruits, whole gains, beans] have been associated with a decreased risk, whereas diets high in fat and red meat have been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.” Further, “intake of animal fat, red meats, and dairy products has been found to be associated with an increase in the risk of prostate cancer.”51

Dietary patterns in fifteen countries were compared with lymphoma death rates. A positive correlation existed between beef and all animal protein (fish being an exception). Vegetable protein foods were negatively correlated.52

Seventh-day Adventists in the United States consume as much fat as the general population.53 Yet, Adventists have only half as many cancers, even cancers not related to tobacco and alcohol. The explanation apparently lies in the difference in the kind of fat consumed. The National Research Council stated that cancer is most closely related to total fat and saturated fat.54

· Meat and cancer germs: When Ellen White wrote that “tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases” are caused by “tuberculosis and cancerous germs,” the medical world scoffed, and continued to do so for many decades. But not today.55 In 1974, milk from leukemic cows was fed to six chimpanzees. Two died with leukemia at nine months of age, demonstrating that cancer viruses can be transmitted, even between different species.56 The chicken leukosis virus can be found in five to ten percent of all eggs.57

· Meat and diabetes: In the Adventist Health Study, those who consumed meat six or more days a week had a 3.8 times greater risk than vegetarians of dying of diabetes.58

· Meat and endurance: A three-day, high-carbohydrate diet (such as the original diet, (Gen.1-3) produced almost three times the endurance (167 minutes) as the three-day, high-protein, fat diet (57 minutes) in a study of Swedish athletes.59

· Meat and essential fatty acids: God’s original diet (Gen.1-3) contained no animal fat but had sufficient essential polyunsaturated fatty acids from plant sources. Adequate linoleic acid, found in grains, reduces hypertension (high blood pressure)60 and platelet stickiness, and the aggregation of red blood cells61 lowers blood cholesterol62 and reduces the risk of heart attacks63 and ventricular fibrillation.64

· Meat and longevity: Non-meat-eaters have an increased life expectancy beyond eighty years although there does not appear to be an increase in maximal life-span.65

Salt. Although Ellen White stated that salt was “essential for the blood,”66 she also advised against using “an undue amount of salt.”67 Further, “a free use of” salt (as well as sugar and milk) “is positively injurious.”68

Tea and coffee. For Ellen White, using tea and coffee as a beverage “is a sin, an injurious indulgence.”69 After the immediate stimulating effect “a feeling of depression” sets in.70 With continual use, the abuser of the nervous system will experience “headaches, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling, and many other evils, for they [tea, coffee, and “many other popular drinks”] wear away the life forces.”71 Both tea and coffee are “poisonous,” and “Christians should let it [them] alone,”72 a position validated in current research.73

Caffeine, a major culprit in tea and coffee, is easily available in many popular drinks (cola drinks) and over-the-counter medications. Physiological effects of caffeine are apparent in adults at doses of only 100-200 mg.—the equivalent of one to three cups of coffee. But for a child (age 1-5) one can of caffeinated soda is equal to four cups of coffee!

The Adventist Health Study found that the use of even one cup of coffee daily was associated with a 33 percent increase in the risk of fatal heart disease in men. Adventists who use two or more cups of coffee daily are reported to have a greater risk of fatal colon and bladder cancer.74

The caffeine syndrome is recognized by aggressiveness, hyperactivity, and sometimes psychotic behavior. Caffeine and the excess ingestion of xanthine alkaloids (found in coffee, tea, cocoa, and some popular beverages) affect people differently, usually observed in the abnormal stimulation of the nervous system and the inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract.75

Humanity’s Original Diet

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Original Diet. Ellen White’s simple, positive statement regarding the best diet for human beings has stood the test of time and research: “In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. . . . Grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.”76 The affirming research is voluminous and growing yearly.

Nuts. Although the scientific community has long ignored nuts, or thought them too high in fat to be recommended, evidence now substantiates Ellen White’s teachings. She included them in the “diet chosen for us by our Creator.”77 Further, she said that “some nuts are not as wholesome as others. Almonds are preferable to peanuts.”78

Aware of some of the dangers of too many nuts in the diet (because of their high fat content), she warned that “too large a quantity of nut food is an injury . . . but . . . all can eat freely of fruit.”79

In the Adventist Health Study men who ate nuts 4-5 times a week had only half as many fatal heart attacks as those who rarely ate nuts.80 Walnuts and almonds have been shown to lower serum lipids (reducing risk of atherosclerosis).81

Fruits and vegetables. Recent research has focused on the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. “Vegetables and fruits are complex foods containing more than 100 beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other substances. Scientists do not yet know which of the nutrients or other substances in fruits and vegetables may be protective against cancer. The principal possibilities include specific vitamins and minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals—carotenoids, flavonoids, terpenes, sterols, indoles, and phenols—that are present in foods of plant origin. . . . Until more is known about specific food components, the best advice is to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.”82

The Adventist Health Study indicated that vegetarians consume twice as much vitamin A and four times as much vitamin C as people in the general population. The antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E may lower the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease. Eating four servings of legumes per week decreases risk of pancreatic cancer much more than eating legumes only once a week.83

Where does one find these antioxidants? In carrots, squash, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, dried fruits, fresh strawberries, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussell sprouts, etc. In a study of elderly people, high consumers of these foods had only 30 percent of the cancer mortality as that of low consumers.84 In the 1996 American Cancer Society’s Report, reference was made to the “oxygen-induced damage to tissues that occurs constantly as a result of normal metabolism. Because such damage is associated with increased cancer risk, antioxidant nutrients are thought to protect against cancer. Antioxidant nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids. Studies suggest that people who eat more fruits and vegetables containing these antioxidants have a lower risk for cancer.”85

Those eating cabbage once a week had only one-third the risk of colon cancer compared to those who ate it once a month.86 Those getting adequate vitamin A had only one-third the risk of lung cancer compared to those with low intake of vitamin A.87 Oral and pharyngeal cancer were reduced by half in those consuming high quantities of fruits and vegetables.88

Adequate amounts of the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts. Those who consumed fewer than 3.5 servings of fruit or vegetables daily had a five to ten times increased risk of cataracts!89

Foods high in potassium . . . like oranges, bananas, potatoes, and milk . . . reduce risk of stroke by as much as 40 percent.90

Fruits and vegetables at the same meal. Ellen White counseled that “we should avoid eating vegetables and fruit at the same meal.”91 “At one meal use bread and fruit, at the next bread and vegetables.”92

Whenever possible, Mrs. White followed this practice: “I eat the most simple foods, prepared in the most simple way. For months my principal diet has been vermicelli and canned tomatoes, cooked together. This I eat with zwieback. Then I have also stewed fruit of some kind and sometimes lemon pie. Dried corn, cooked with milk or a little cream, is another dish that I sometimes use.”93

What are the problems when fruit and vegetables are combined? For many with a “feeble” digestion, the mix will cause “distress,” and “inability to put forth mental effort.”94 Some children “become fretful and peevish.”95

Ellen White saw in vision the cause of a minister’s sickness: “I took notice of your diet. You eat too great a variety at one meal. Fruit and vegetables taken at one meal produce acidity of the stomach; then impurity of the blood results, and the mind is not clear because the digestion is imperfect.”96

Mrs. White advised students to eat fruit and grains rather than vegetables for supper: “Let the students have the third meal prepared without vegetables, but with simple, wholesome food, such as fruit and bread.”97

The White family considered vegetables to include peas, beans, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, onions, cabbages, and squashes (although some of these would be classified as fruits botanically). Fruits included tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries, grapes, cranberries, and raisins. Grains (or seeds) included wheat, corn, rye, barley, oatmeal, rice, farina, cornstarch, “and the like.”98

Some have wondered about Ellen White’s inclusion of tomatoes within the fruit group, but that she did, according to common usage.99

Olives were an item that could be safely eaten at any meal.100

Milk. Ellen White’s counsel regarding milk has often been misunderstood both by those who freely use it and those who avoid it. On one hand, she clearly says that the time will come when “milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people.”101

However, again demonstrating Ellen White’s common sense as well as enlightened counsel, she also said that, in her day, “as the situation now is,”102 the time to “discard” or “exclude” milk had not come. She gave two reasons: (1) The poor were not able to make the dietary adjustment immediately: “I cannot say to them, ‘You must not eat eggs or milk or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food.’ The gospel must be preached to the poor, and the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet.”103 Common sense indicated that “until we can teach them how to prepare health reform foods that are palatable, nourishing, and yet inexpensive, we are not at liberty to present the most advanced propositions regarding health reform diet.”104

(2) Disease in animals was increasing, and for “safety” reasons it would be wise to discard milk from the diet.105

But while counseling that we should prepare for the day when milk will not be “safe,” she emphasized that milk, or its “equivalent,”106 is still part of “the most healthful diet.”107 Milk seems to be the most available source of Vitamin B-12; without milk, for most people, supplements of B-12 may be necessary.

Ellen White’s common sense also warns against extreme positions. For some, prematurely discarding milk without providing its equivalent may cause sickness, even death.108 For others, it would be an unwarranted financial hardship to find an equivalent for milk.109

Her common sense urged her to warn against premature proscriptions that would make some people the arbiters as to what others should be putting on their tables, thus “creating a time of trouble beforehand.”110 Above all, “we should not allow differences of opinion to create disunion.”111

So, the question remains: When should we “discard” milk from the diet? In 1901 the time had “not yet come.”112 When the time does come, “God will reveal it.”113 We should wait, using our best judgment, always with the principle of “known duty”114 leading us individually, “waiting until the circumstances demand it, and the Lord prepares the way for it.”115

Grains. Ellen White’s emphasis on grains as an essential component of an adequate diet has been unequivocally validated in recent research. “Grains such as wheat, rice, oats, barley, and the foods made from them constitute the base of healthful diets as illustrated in the Food Guide Pyramid. Healthful diets contain six to 11 standard servings of foods from this group each day. . . . Grains are an important source of many vitamins and minerals such as folate, calcium, and selenium, all of which have been associated with a lower risk of colon cancer.”116

Alcohol affects brain cells. When Ellen White wrote in 1885 that alcoholic beverages destroy “reason and life,” and in 1905 that such drinking “destroys the sensitive nerves of the brain,” she sounded like an overzealous temperance orator.117 But in 1970 research indicated that “even the moderate imbiber may incur some loss of irreplaceable brain cells—every time he drinks. . . . The only real difference between his loss of brain tissue and that of the heavy drinker is one of degree.”118 The ability to make decisions concerning moral issues begins to slip at very low alcohol intake levels (much below what is considered adequate to lower heart attack risk).119

Caffeine affects spirituality. Ellen White may not have known that she was many decades ahead of scientific confirmation when she warned that “all such stimulants and narcotics as tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and morphine . . . exert a pernicious influence upon moral character. The earlier these hurtful habits are formed, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery to lust, and the more certainly will they lower the standard of spirituality.”120 But this truth is reflected in current studies. Researchers, among other findings, note that as coffee drinkers grow older, their coffee consumption increases. On a spiritual plane, this increase in consumption accompanies a decrease in religious involvement.121

Faulty diet and poor scholarship. In 1884 Ellen White stated that “nine tenths of the wickedness among the children of today is caused by intemperance in eating and drinking.” Six years later she wrote that “the diet materially affects the mind and disposition.”122 Today widespread evidence indicates that there is a correlation between poor diet habits and poor scholarship. Better-fed children get better grades in school. When students with poor grades and poor diets are given nutritionally enriched meals, their grades and other scholastic indicators improve.123

Non-dietary Features of Health Reform

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Objectionable aspects of city living. In 1890 Ellen White spoke of Satan at work “poisoning the atmosphere.” In 1902 she predicted that city life “will grow more and more objectionable,” and “a peril of health,” with the “prevalence of foul air, impure water, impure food,” including “poisonous gases.” She looked to the day when many will move to the country, “for wickedness and corruption will increase to such a degree that the very atmosphere of the cities will seem to be polluted.”124 Modern research validates this warning.

Beneficial effect of sunlight. Ellen White wrote in 1865 that the atmosphere of rooms that are not exposed to light and air “is poisonous, because it has not been purified by light and air.” Why? “Death-producing germs abound in dark, neglected corners, in decaying refuse . . . . Perfect cleanliness, plenty of sunlight, careful attention to sanitation in every detail of the home life, are essential to freedom from disease and to the cheerfulness and vigor of the inmates of the home.”125

Exercise and physical health. Exercise directly affects the circulation of the blood. Contrary to conventional medicine in the nineteenth century, exercise is vital to recovery from most diseases as well as to the prevention of disease. In 1872 Ellen White wrote that “no exercise . . . can take the place of walking. By it the circulation of the blood is greatly involved.”

Two years earlier she urged that “all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter.” Why? “The muscles and veins are enabled better to perform their work. There will be increased vitality, which is so necessary to health.” In 1905 she gave several reasons why “inactivity is a fruitful cause of disease”: (1) slow circulation of the blood; (2) impurities are not expelled through the skin; (3) lungs are not fed with fresh air; (4) a double burden rests on the excretory organs.126

Exercise reduces risk of heart disease.127 Sedentary people have twice as much risk of heart disease and high blood pressure as physically active people.128 Even medium levels of physical activity in men protects against strokes.129 The relative risk of mortality for women ages 50-74 was one-third less in the most active quartile compared to the least active.130

Exercise may also reduce the risk of cancer of the colon, prostate, and breast, as well as diabetes.131 After emphasizing that a person should be moderately active for 30 minutes or more on most days of the week, the American Cancer Society’s 1996 report noted that “physical activity can help protect against some cancers, either by balancing caloric intake with energy expenditures or by other mechanisms. An imbalance of caloric intake and output can lead to overweight, obesity, and increased risk for cancers at several sites: colon and rectum, prostate, endometrium, breast (among postmenopausal women), and kidney.”132

Exercise may boost the immune system.133

Exercise and mental ability. Ellen White wrote that “physical inaction lessens not only mental but moral power.”134 Exercise linked with the ability to think was noted in a study of twenty persons who exercised three times a week for six months. Conclusion: they were not only twenty percent fitter, they also were seventy percent better at making decisions than before beginning their exercise regimen.135

A walk after meals. Mrs. White clearly stated that we should not “engage in brain labor immediately after a meal.” Further, we should not consider this counsel “a matter of trifling importance.” “To engage in deep study or violent exercise immediately after eating, hinders the digestive process. . . . A short walk after a meal, with the head erect and the shoulders back, exercising moderately, is a great benefit.”136

In 1964 Gerhard Volkheimer, M. D., a cardiovascular researcher in Berlin, reported that he had found that “physical inactivity can lead to the accumulation of chyle (fat) in the thoracic duct. And any sudden movement can apparently propel enough chyle into the blood to produce a coronary embolism.”137 Because of his research, Dr. Volkheimer strongly advised an after-meal walk to avoid the risk of a coronary attack.

Adequate sleep. Mrs. White included a program of adequate sleep as part of her eight natural remedies.138 After linking mental vigor with physical health, she wrote: “Proper periods of sleep and rest and an abundance of physical exercise are essential to health of body and mind. To rob nature of her hours for rest and recuperation, by allowing one man to do the work of four, or of three, or even of two, will result in irreparable loss.”139

In the Belloc-Breslow study it was noted that sleeping seven to eight hours nightly is one of the health factors that extends life by as much as eleven years.140

Trust in God. Long before many had linked health with spiritual values, Mrs. White wrote: “Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life.”141 A strong correlation exists between the mind and the body in physical recovery, even in the program of reversing heart disease.142 Mrs. White was equally clear about how spiritual values not only help in curing disease, but are perhaps “health’s greatest safeguard.”143

Literature is abundant that documents how faith and social support from family and friends encourage mental and spiritual well-being.144 People who attend church regularly have fewer illnesses than non-churchgoers. Non-religious Jews are twice as likely to have a coronary attack as synagogue-attending Jews.145

Cancer, a Virus

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On page 322 we discussed Ellen White’s instruction regarding dietary factors that may cause cancer. At the time she wrote, eminent men and women of science emphatically declared that cancer was not infectious, that there was no cancer germ.

Decades later, in 1956, Wendell Stanley, a Ph.D. virologist and Nobel Prize winner at the University of California, asserted his belief that “viruses cause most or all human cancers.” He described viruses as “midget germs” that “lurk in the human body for years, even a lifetime; some cause trouble, some do not. . . . In some cases, the cancer viruses might become active by aging, dietary indiscretions, hormonal imbalance, chemicals, radiation, or a combination of these stresses, and malignancies may follow.”146 Much cancer research has been done since, lending support to Ellen White’s reference to “cancerous germs,”* [see note] but currently it is believed that there are other, more common, causes of cancer as well.

Dr. Robert J. Huebner, chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, Maryland, reported in 1961 that “there isn’t the slightest doubt in our minds that human cancers are caused by viruses. To this extent, they are simply infectious diseases.”147

Contributing Causes of Cancer

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· Associated factors with aging: Note Ellen White’s interesting comment in 1864 regarding how aging may affect certain factors that stimulate latent cancer germs: “Cancerous humor [bodily fluid] which would lay [lie] dormant in the system [throughout] their life-time, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work.”148

· Drugs: Referring to a popular treatment for disease in the nineteenth century, Ellen White declared: “This is the effect of calomel . . . . It inflames the joints, and often sends rottenness into the bones. It frequently manifests itself in tumors, ulcers, and cancers, years after it has been introduced into the system.”149

· Tobacco: In 1864 Mrs. White added her voice to the few in her day who had recognized that tobacco is a “poison of the most deceitful and malignant kind . . . a slow poison.”150

Among the many cancers caused by smoking, lung cancer among ex-servicemen became prevalent in the mid-1930s in the United States as a direct result of heavy smoking during World War I. It takes about twenty years for cancer-producing results to become obvious. Before the 1930s, cancer of the lung was an extremely rare disease. In 1995, in the United States alone, 418,000 deaths were caused by smoking.151 Unless the present trend is reversed, it is expected that by the year 2025, ten million people will die annually as a consequence of smoking tobacco.152

But tobacco smokers also show high death rates from coronary artery disease.153 Indeed, “those who acquire and indulge the unnatural appetite for tobacco, do this at the expense of health.”154

Although the major risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco, diet also affects risk. But a “greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, or both together has also been associated with a lower risk of lung cancer. . . . Fruits and vegetables reduce cancer risk whether or not people smoke.”155

Parental smoking is a significant factor in their children’s health, even their death. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, say that “more young children are killed by parental smoking than by all unintentional injuries combined.” They attribute 2,800 deaths to low birth weight caused by mothers who smoke during pregnancy. Another 2,000 deaths are due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) caused by secondhand smoke; another 1,000 are caused by asthma. The same research said that an additional 5.4 million children suffer nonfatal asthma and ear infections triggered by parents’ smoking, costing an estimated $4.6 billion annually to treat.156

Further research indicates that pregnant women who smoke more than ten cigarettes a day run the risk of giving birth to a child who will develop “conduct disorder,” defined as “serious” antisocial behavior, for six months or more. Boys whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were 4.4 times more likely to engage in antisocial activities, including lying, stealing, arson, vandalism, or cruelty than boys whose mothers did not smoke or smoked fewer than ten cigarettes a day. Studies suggest that smoking causes changes in a child’s brain functioning.157

Drugs and birth defects. In 1865 Mrs. White linked birth defects with poisonous drugs administered by physicians. In 1890 she warned that thousands “born deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic” were casualties of their parents’ indulgences in alcoholic beverages.158 Scientific research beginning in the 1950s has validated this warning, including the negative effects of smoking and caffeine consumption on the fetus.159 During pregnancy even “aspirin should be taken only in small amounts and not over long periods of time.”160

Physical activity for the sick and the convalescent. In the 1860s, bed-rest and the rest-cure were standard recuperative procedures and remained so into the mid-twentieth century. Contrary to conventional medical practice, Ellen White declared in 1867 that she had been frequently “shown that the sick should be taught that it is wrong to suspend all physical labor in order to regain health. . . . To suspend activity in order to regain health, is a great error.” Three years later: “If invalids would recover health, they should not discontinue physical exercise; for they will thus increase muscular weakness and general debility.” Further, “the blood is not enabled to expel the impurities as it would if active circulation were induced by exercise.”161

Mervyn G. Hardinge, M.D., one-time Dean, School of Health, Loma Linda University, reviewed this amazing 180-degree turn in medical practice. “The ‘rest cures’ of the recent past have today given way to programs of occupational and educational therapy.”162

Hypnosis and medical practice. Ellen White’s condemnation of hypnotism has been supported by many modern psychiatric practitioners—and ridiculed by others. In speaking to a physician in 1901, she said: “No man or woman should exercise his or her will to control the senses or reason of another, so that the mind of the person is rendered passively subject to the will of the one who is exercising the control. This science [hypnotherapy] may appear to be something beautiful, but it is a science which you are in no case to handle. . . . Temporary relief may be felt, but the mind of the one thus controlled is never again so strong and reliable.”163

In reference to the use of hypnotism in dentistry, two dentists authored an article entitled, “Psychological Evaluation of Hypnosis in Dentistry,” in which they concluded: “In [a] study of the personality characteristics of dentists who employ hypnosis in their practice, the subjects consisted of 34 dentists. . . . The results indicated that most well-adjusted dentists do not tend to use hypnosis. . . .

“The vast majority of practicing dentists feel it is possible to render adequate service without employing hypnosis. . . . Hypnosis, in general, is not held in high esteem by the dental profession. . . .

“Dentists who are well-adjusted, who are relatively satisfied with themselves, and who obtain satisfaction from the conventional practice of their profession do not tend to use hypnosis or to become interested in its use. It is as if they do not need such an additional and unusual source of gratification.”164

Mind-body relationships. In 1867 Ellen White linked the “sickness of body and mind to nearly all its dissatisfied feelings and discontented repinings.”165 In 1872 she urged physicians to “cure the body through the mind,” because “a great deal of the sickness which afflicts humanity has its origin in the mind and can only be cured by restoring the mind to health. . . . Heart sickness makes many dyspeptics, for mental trouble has a paralyzing influence upon the digestive organs.”166

In 1905 Mrs. White expanded these psychosomatic concepts in noting that “disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated, by the imagination. . . . Many die of disease, the cause of which is wholly imaginary.”167

Ancient medical science attested that the mind and body cannot be separated. But this truth has not always been translated into medical practice. In the latter half of the twentieth century, medical research generally affirmed not only that health and happiness are intertwined but that faulty emotional patterns can actually cause disease.168

In 1993 psychiatrist George F. Solomon, of the University of California at Los Angeles, said: “The mind and body cannot be separated. The mind is the brain, and the brain is part of the body. The brain regulates and influences many physiological functions, including immunity. Mental and physical well-being are inextricably intertwined.” Dr. Solomon coined the term “psychoimmunology” in 1964 (a term that was expanded to “psychoneuroimmunology” (PNI) by Robert Ader. After twenty-five years of studying the biological mechanisms by which emotions and attitudes affect one’s resistance to disease, Solomon said, “We have studied people with a variety of illnesses, and people with very good coping skills tend to have a greater speed of recovery.”169

In 1995, Healing and The Mind, a remarkable book by Bill Moyers based on the television series with the same title, was devoted to two important questions: “How do thoughts and feelings influence health? How is healing related to the mind?” Author Bill Moyers and his team directed these questions to physicians in large public hospitals and small community clinics. They talked with people in stress reduction clinics and therapeutic support groups. They explored these questions with scientists on the frontier of mind/body research. Their answers were remarkably consistent: the mind controls the body for good or ill. Moyers concluded that “talking with different doctors during this journey, I realize that we do need a new medical paradigm that goes beyond ‘body parts’ medicine, and not only for the patient’s sake. At a time when the cost of health care is skyrocketing, the potential economic impact of mind/body medicine is considerable.” Moyer quoted Eric J. Cassell approvingly when Cassell wrote that healing powers “consist only in and no more than in allowing, causing, or bringing to bear those things or forces for getting better (whatever they may be) that already exist in the patient.”170

Dean Ornish, in an extended interview that flowed from Ornish’s ground-breaking research on reversing arteriosclerosis through non-invasive methods such as diet, exercise, and stress-reduction, said: “Taking into account cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, genetics, and all of the other known risk factors still explains only about half of the heart disease we see. Clearly, something else is going on. My clinical experience, as well as what we’re showing in our research, suggests that psychological, emotional, and even spiritual factors are important, not only in terms of how they affect our behaviors, like diet and exercise, but also in more direct ways.”171

Electrical currents in brain and nervous system. In 1934 members of the Mayo Clinic staff in Rochester, Minnesota, were discussing the electrical action of the brain. In 1962 Dr. Ernest Weber, president of Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, New York, wrote that he knew of no greater modern wonder than the discovery of “electromagnetic waves.”

In 1954 an article in The Scientific American reviewed the developing science of electromagnetic waves: “Twenty-five years ago [1929] Hans Berger, a German psychiatrist, . . . began to publish some strange little pictures consisting of nothing but wavy lines. They should have caused great excitement among his colleagues, because he claimed that they showed the electrical activity of the human brain. But in fact no one took them seriously. For several years no one even bothered to repeat his experiments . . . . “In the quarter of a century since then the study of his little wavy lines has grown into a new department of science called electroencephalography. Today several hundred laboratories in the United States and a similar number in Europe are recording and interpreting charts of the electrical discharges of human brains. Their total annual output of charts would girdle the earth.”172

Ellen White wrote in 1869: “Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system lessens the strength of the vital powers; and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind.” Three years later she declared: “This class [physical laborers who use the brain powers very little] fall more readily if attacked by disease; the system is vitalized by the electrical force of the brain to resist disease.”173

In 1903 she added: “The influence of the mind on the body, as well as of the body on the mind, should be emphasized. The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease. This should be made plain. The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.”174

Caution in the use of the X-ray. Ellen White not only endorsed the proper use of the X-ray, she permitted X-ray treatment for a black spot on her forehead.175

But she sounded an early warning about overexposure in X-ray therapy. Speaking in regard to new “electrical appliances” being installed in the Paradise Valley Sanitarium, she said: “I was instructed that some connected with the institution were introducing things for the treatment of the sick that were not safe. The application of some of these electrical treatments would involve the patient in serious difficulties, imperiling life. . . . I have been instructed that the X-ray is not the great blessing that some suppose it to be. If used unwisely it may do much harm. The results of some of the electrical treatments are similar to the results of using stimulants. There is a weakness that follows.”176

Through the years, the effects of excessive X-ray radiation in the treatment of disease have become well known—tissue breakdown with the potential risk of anemia, leukemia, cataract formation, and shortening of life. But when used wisely, the positive results of X-ray diagnostics and treatment are incalculable.

Prenatal influences. From 1865 to her last years, Ellen White emphasized the various facets of prenatal influences. Yet, not until the 1950s was this concept given credibility in scientific circles. Since then, a tidal wave of concurrence has flooded the medical world.

In 1865 Mrs. White wrote: “The irritability, nervousness, and despondency, manifested by the mother, will mark the character of her child. In past generations, if mothers had informed themselves in regard to the laws of their being, they would have understood that their constitutional strength, as well as the tone of their morals, and their mental faculties, would in a great measure be represented in their offspring.”177

In 1954 Ashley Montagu wrote: “There is now sufficient evidence from many sources to indicate that the unborn child can be variously affected by physical changes in the mother, and that although a woman cannot ‘mark’ her baby by seeing something unpleasant before he is born, nor make him a poet by reading Keats and Shelley during her pregnancy, there are ways in which she definitely can influence his behavior pattern. It is largely up to her, and to those surrounding her during her pregnancy, whether her infant will be born a happy, healthy, sweet-tempered individual or an ill-adjusted neurotic.”178

Corroborating the research of many, Leland H. Scott wrote in 1967: “There is a growing evidence that chemical irregularities in the mother’s blood brought about by endocrine imbalance, dietary deficiencies, or ill health may have serious effects. Maternal malnutrition often results in the unborn child being deprived of essential vitamins or nutrients necessary for its normal growth and health. Childhood abnormalities, such as rickets, nervous instability, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy, have been found to result from serious malnutrition in the mother at certain points during the period of pregnancy.”179

First years of a child’s life. Tightly connected with the concept of prenatal influences is the belief that the first few years of a child’s life set the life course. In 1881 Ellen White wrote that the “parents’ work must begin with the child in its infancy.”180

More precisely, parents should “properly discipline . . . children during the first three years of their lives. Do not allow them to form their wishes and desires. The mother must be mind for her child. The first three years is the time in which to bend the tiny twig.”181

In the overall training of the child, in areas beyond discipline, Ellen White is emphatic: “Too much importance cannot be placed on the early training of children. The lessons that the child learns during the first seven years of life have more to do with forming his character than all that it learns in future years.”182

The importance of a child’s first three years of learning was stressed in 1997 by a White House panel of experts, as reported in The Washington Post. The scientists and child development specialists presented “compelling new research showing that a child’s language, thinking and emotional health are largely formed before age 3. . . . Not only are most brain synapses—connections between brain cells—formed before age 3, the report said, ‘those synapses that have been activated many times by repeated early experience tend to become permanent; the synapses that are not used tend to become eliminated.’”183

Modern Research Confirms Health Principles

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Clive McCay. The late Dr. Clive M. McCay, professor of nutrition at Cornell’s New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (where he taught for thirty-seven years—1925-1962), was recognized worldwide as a pioneer and authority in nutritional theory, research, and history.184

After coming into contact with the health principles of Ellen White through Helen Chen, a 20-year-old Seventh-day Adventist graduate student, he wanted to know more about her church and its health teachings. Eventually he received Counsels on Diet and Foods at his request. This book, a compilation of Ellen White materials on a healthful diet and its relation to physical, mental, and spiritual health, also dates and lists the source of the various extracts. Since McCay believed that anything written before 1900 was unscientific, he urgently asked Helen: “Where did she [Ellen White] get her information?”185

Later, Dr. McCay talked to F. D. Nichol, editor of the Review and Herald, about his new interest in Adventist health principles as set forth by Ellen White. Nichol, knowing that the Unitarian scientist probably would not understand the Biblical doctrine of spiritual gifts, parried his questions about Ellen White. He told McCay that her critics dismissed her as a plagiarist, copying from contemporaries.

“Nonsense!” McCay responded. “I simply cannot accept that explanation: it creates a much bigger problem than it resolves! If she merely copied her contemporaries, how did she know which ideas to borrow and which to reject, out of the bewildering array of theories and health teachings current in the 19th century? Most were quite irrational and have now been repudiated! She would have had to be a most amazing person, with knowledge beyond her times, in order to do this successfully.”186

In the years following, McCay gave lectures featuring Ellen White’s writings on nutrition to various groups, including scientific bodies. A summation of his findings was published in the Review and Herald.187

U. S. Department of Agriculture and Health, Education, and Welfare. In July 1980, USDA and HEW issued jointly their “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”: (1) Eat a variety of foods. (2) Maintain ideal weight. (3) Avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. (4) Eat foods with adequate starch and fiber. (5) Avoid too much sugar. (6) Avoid too much sodium. (7) If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.188 This report served as a ringing wakeup call to health workers as it was to the general population. But if this report had been issued in 1863, it would have been as startling as Ellen White’s instructions were at that time!

In 1995 the same offices issued their updated “Dietary Guidelines,” emphasizing that “vegetarian diets are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and can meet Recommended Dietary Allowances for nutrients.189 This 1995 update placed greater emphasis on the plant foods consistent with the Food Guide Pyramid. “The revised guideline also acknowledges that grains are associated with ‘a substantially lowered risk of many chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer,’ that antioxidant nutrients have a ‘potentially beneficial role in reducing the risk of cancer and certain other chronic diseases,’ and that folate ‘reduces the risk of a serious type of birth defect.’” Further, the revised guideline emphasized that foods, not the salt shaker, are the source of most dietary sodium, continuing to note “the link between sodium and hypertension” and that sodium “is an essential nutrient substantially overconsumed by the American public in general.”190

National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council). This research-oriented body gave a joint report in June 1982, entitled “Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer.” Focusing on the connection between diet and cancer, this report was essentially the same as the government report of 1980.

Their research indicated that by making changes in one’s diet, cancer risk can be greatly reduced. Specifically they urged eating largely of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables, and reducing consumption of fats, sugar, salt, and alcohol.191

American Cancer Society. In February 1983 the editor of the Society’s journal, Cancer News, published an article entitled, “At Last, An Anti-Cancer Diet.” The first paragraph pointed to California Seventh-day Adventists as having a much lower rate of colon/rectal cancer than other Americans.

Later in the article, studies were noted that indicated breast, colon, and prostate cancer “is significantly lower among people who eat lots of vegetables. This ‘startling finding,’ says Walter Troll, professor of environmental medicine at New York University, suggests that vegetables contain substances ‘capable of inhibiting cancer in man.’”192

Surgeon General of the U.S.A. In July 1988 C. Everett Koop, M.D., released the first nutrition report by a U. S. Surgeon General. Based on more than 2,500 scientific articles, his prescription for America was: “Less fat, more vegetables and fruit.”193

Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the School of Medicine, University of California. In 1990 Dean Ornish, president of this research institute at the University of California, published his findings that arterial blockage built up by cholesterol can be reversed by a largely vegetarian diet plus exercise and stress reduction. His conclusions were backed up by four-color slides of computer-analyzed coronary angiograms and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans.

After a dramatic study of 6,500 persons at Cornell University in 1990, Ornish wrote a parody on the slogan used by the American Beef Association: “Meat. Real food for real death [of people].”194

Authority on high blood pressure. Norman M. Kaplan, professor of internal medicine and head of the hypertension section of the Southwestern Medical School (University of Texas) in Dallas, speaking at Loma Linda University to more than 1,000 health-care professionals, said: “You as Adventists may have espoused a certain dietary lifestyle on the basis of faith, in the past; but now you can practice it on the basis of scientific evidence. Hopefully you will not [go back and re-] join the midstream, but [rather] adhere to your health heritage.”195

Adventist Mortality Study, 1958, and a joint study with the American Cancer Society, 1960. These California studies compared the cause of death for a large group of Seventh-day Adventist men with a similar number of non-Seventh-day Adventist men. The research does not differentiate between Adventists who eat meat daily, weekly, monthly, or none at all. Neither does it distinguish between lacto-ovo-vegetarians and total vegetarians. Compared with non-Seventh-day Adventist men, Adventist men can expect fewer deaths caused by some form of cancer. For example, according to the results of the Mortality Study listed below, Adventist men have 20 percent fewer deaths caused by lung cancer compared to the general population’s death rate from lung cancer. Note the percent of fewer deaths expected among all Adventists for other kinds of cancer:

· 20 percent, lung cancer

· 5 percent, mouth, throat, and larynx cancer

· 32 percent, bronchitis and emphysema

· 28 percent, bladder cancer

· 34 percent, esophageal cancer

· 13 percent, cirrhosis of the liver

· 72 percent, breast cancer

· 65 percent, digestive tract cancer

· 62 percent, leukemia

· 61 percent, ovarian cancer

· 54 percent, uterine cancer

· 66 percent, other cancer

· 53 percent, strokes

· 55 percent, diabetes

· 42 percent, peptic ulcer

· 31 percent, suicides

· 59 percent, deaths attributed to all medical causes196

The Adventist Incidence Study in 1974. Sent to 63,350 Adventist households in California, this questionnaire enumerated “348 variables covering demographic, socioeconomic, and religious belief and practice characteristics; family and personal medical histories; and nutritional, drug use, and exercise patterns.”197 The results continue to bear out the positive health benefits of the Adventist health message set forth by Ellen White a century ago.198

European studies confirm these two Adventist studies. A Norwegian seventeen-year study covering all Adventists in that country concluded in 1981 that Norwegian Adventists enjoyed about the same benefits as California Adventists. The study confirmed the observation “that neither social groups nor geographic selection explains the health advantage observed among Norwegian Seventh-day Adventists” and that “the total life style generally advocated and followed by Seventh-day Adventists explains the observed results.”199

In 1982 Denmark’s Cancer Registration Office in Copenhagen reported, after a thirty-five-year study, that only one in ten Adventists developed cancer, whereas the rate for the Danish population was one in four during the same period. The Cancer Registration’s chief medical director said “that, without doubt, the Adventists studied in the investigation sustained far less risk of developing cancer than the average person. Their risk was 70 to 80 percent less than that of the general Danish population.”200

In 1983 a Dutch study reported an 8.9-year life expectancy advantage for Adventist men and a 3.7-year advantage for Adventist women.201

A Polish study reported in 1985 that Adventist men had an advantage of 9.5 years, and Adventist women a difference of 4.5 years.202

American Cancer Society Guidelines on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Prevention, 1996. Their four basic guidelines were: 1. Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources. Eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Eat other foods from plant sources, such as breads, cereals, grain products, rice, pasta, or beans several times each day. 2. Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources. Choose foods low in fat. Limit consumption of meats, especially high-fat meats. 3. Be physically active: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Be at least moderately active for 30 minutes or more on most days of the week. Stay within your healthy weight range. 4. Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages, if you drink at all.203

Summary of Ellen White’s Principles of Health Reform

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Ellen White’s contribution to an advanced understanding of health and disease may be attributed to these factors: (1) insights received through visions; (2) her Spirit-directed ability to perceive what was in harmony with those insights from the maze of current opinion, and (3) her governing principle of the Great Controversy Theme that placed health matters within the context of a person’s spiritual motivation, commitment, and preparation for the Advent.

The record stands: Compared to the relatively few “health reformers” in her day, Ellen White was unique. When compared to or contrasted with conventional medical wisdom and practice, she was decades ahead of her time.

In what way was Ellen White unique? Contemporary health reformers were prescient in some areas, but gravely wrong in others. Many held extreme positions on “discarding milk, sugar, and salt,” etc.204 Others believed that rest, not physical exercise, was indicated for those recuperating from illness.205

What if Ellen White had held these and other extreme positions? Her credibility would have been severely damaged in the ensuing years. More than that, if she had endorsed contemporary medical knowledge, her credibility would have been demolished. Further, her appeal that she was directed by divine guidance eventually would have been seen as a temporary ploy for self-serving purposes.206

But the health principles found in her nineteenth-century writings, distinctively coherent, have stood the test of time. Her principles relating to disease prevention as well as health restoration are not today viewed as fads. They were not the result of a “shotgun” approach.207 All of the principles are integrally related; specifics are seen relating to the whole person’s total health. The lifestyle of Seventh-day Adventists “is reflected in the phenomenal accumulation of published research papers concerning the Adventist lifestyle. . . . It seems probable that no other religious group has attracted so much recent interest from scientists.”208



*The Ministry of Healing, p. 313. “Proof that viruses cause various forms of malignant diseases in a variety of animals has been obtained by direct experimentation; thus, purified viruses inoculated into susceptible animals can induce malignant cells, and the cells of the malignancy can be shown to contain virus or virus-induced products. . . . Similar investigations cannot be carried out in man . . . due to the ethical constraints . . . . The viruses now thought to be possibly aetiologically associated with human cancers are shown in Table 11-5. In all cases association is based on circumstantial evidence, but the weight of evidence in some cases is now heavy.”

Table 11-5: Virus implicated in cancers of men

Agent “Cancer” Predisposing Conditions

Epstein-Barr virus Burkitt’s lymphoma Possibly malaria

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Herpes hominis Carcinoma cervix Promiscuity/venereal infection

Papovaviruses Progressive multifocal Immunosuppression

(SV 40; JC, BK) encephalopathy

Unknown virus Kaposi’s sarcoma Acquired immunodeficiency


Hepatitis B Primary hepatocellular Chronic hepatitis B infection


Human Papillomaviruses Genital tumors Venereal infection

T-cell leukemia virus 1. Sezary syndrome __

2. Mycosis fungoids __

—C. W. Potter and R. C. Rees, “Viruses, Immunity, and Cancer,” in B. W. Hancock, and A. M. Ward, editors, Immunological Aspects of Cancer (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, 1985), pp. 225-229.



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1. Stoy and Leilani Proctor, “Searching for the Fountain of Youth” (Hagerstown, Md.: The Health Connection, 1991).

2. See Dr. J. H. Kellogg’s introduction to Ellen White’s Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene. See pp. 290, 291.

3. “In summer if they opened their windows to avoid suffocation they were eaten alive by insects. And in winter if they closed the windows to avoid freezing they choked on smoky air.”—Bettmann, The Good Old Days, p. 53.

4. “In one area of personal care, the Victorians appeared untroubled. They seldom bathed. Glorification of the bathroom is a modern fetish. In 1882 only 2 percent of New York’s homes had water connections. . . . Bathing was considered harmful by some doctors, and one, C. E. Sargent, described it as a ‘needless waste of time.’”—Bettmann, Ibid., p. 35.

5. In 1996 it was said that “about one-third of the 500,000 cancer deaths that occur in the United States each year is due to dietary factors.” CA—A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 46:6, November/December 1996. Hereafter, cited as CA/1996.

6. L. Jean Bogert, in Nutrition and Physical Fitness (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 7th ed., 1962), p. 406.

7. Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 367.

8. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 357.

9. Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 135.

10. The Ministry of Healing, p. 302.

11. Ibid., p. 298.

12. “The alternative was ‘bogus butter,’ and the ingredients of this concoction were so wildly incongruous as to generate several investigations by city and state. Fat from hogs along with every conceivable animal part that the slaughterhouses could not turn to cash were picked up . . . and processed in filthy work sheds. Bleaches were blended into the mix to give the product the appearance of real butter.

“A margarine [not vegetable oil margarine] factory employee in 1889 told New York State investigators that his work had made ‘his hands so sore . . . his nails came off, his hair dropped out and he had to be confined to Bellevue Hospital for general debility.’ That customers frequently bought this pestilent muck and fed it to their families was due to the artfulness of the grocers, who scraped off the real labels and relettered the boxes ‘Western butter’ or ‘best creamery butter.’”—Bettmann, The Good Old Days, p. 117.

13. Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 135 (1902).

14. American Heart Association News Release, May 13, 1994.

15. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 320 (two statements, 1868 and 1905).

16. G. E. Fraser, J. Sabaté, W. L. Beeson, T. Strahan, Archives of Internal Medicine (1992), 152:1416-1424.

17. D. P. Burkitt, British Medical Journal (1972), 2:556-561.

18. H. S. Page and A. J. Asire, Cancer Rates and Risk, 3rd edition, NIH Publication 85:691 (Bethesda, Md.: National Cancer Institute, April, 1985).

19. D. P. Burkitt, A. R. P. Walker, and N. S. Painter, Journal of the American Medical Association (1974), 229:1068-74.

20. Ibid., p. 386.

21. Ibid., pp. 389, 390.

22. Ibid., pp. 386, 387.

23. Ibid., p. 387.

24. Ibid., p. 387.

25. “Cancers, tumors, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating.”—Ibid., p. 383.

26. Ibid., p. 396.

27. Ibid., p. 689.

28. Ibid., p. 389.

29. Ibid.

30. The Ministry of Healing, p. 320. See also pp. 282, 304, 311. For everyone, including prophets, “the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:11). Those who follow known duty, follow truth “step by step.” (See pp. 274, 310.)

31. Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 462, 463.

32. Ibid., pp. 380, 381.

33. Ibid., p. 381.

34. Ibid., pp. 453, 454.

35. Ibid., p. 290.

36. Ibid., pp. 399, 402, 404.

37. R. L. Phillips, F. R. Lemon, W. L. Beeson, J. W. Kuzma, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1978) 31:S191-S198.

38. T. Hirayama, Preventive Medicine (1978), 7:173-195.

39. E. L. Winder, G. C. Ersher, and N. Mantel, Cancer (1966), 19:489-520. (Some studies in the United States, however, have not directly linked diets heavy in fat or meat to breast cancer.)

40. Regina Ziegler, lecturer from the National Cancer Institute in Atlanta, Ga., at the Diet and Cancer Symposium, April, 1991. See also D. A. Snowden, R. L. Phillips, W. Choi, American Journal of Epidemiology (1984), 120:224-250; R. L. Phillips and D. A. Snowdon, Journal of the National Cancer Institute (1985), 74:307-317.

41. CA/1996, p. 329.

42. T. Hirayama, Preventive Medicine 7:173-195, (1978). “Egg yolk consumption should be discouraged. The yolk is the highest source of cholesterol in the average American diet. Ingestion of two eggs a day—in visible and/or invisible form (i.e., in prepared foods)—virtually negates dietary programs aimed at reducing serum cholesterol. Consequently, the public should be encouraged to avoid egg yolk in commercially prepared foods. Food manufacturers have recently developed low cholesterol and low saturated fat egg substitutes that may be used successfully in quantity cookery and for scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes, omelettes, and the like. These developments should be encouraged, but with a lower salt content.”— “Special Report: Inter-Society Commission for Heart Disease Resources,” Circulation, July 1984, 70:188A.

43. “Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer,” p. 6-3, Committee on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1982).

44. E. H. Krick, Life and Health Special Cancer Prevention Issue, pp. 12-14, (1978).

45. J. Vitale, Oncology Times, Jan. 1980.

46. R. L. Phillips, D. A. Snowden, B. N. Brin, in E. L. Wynder, G. A. Leveille, J. H. Weisburger, G. E. Livingston, editors, Environmental Aspects of Cancer—The Role of Macro and Micro Components of Foods (Westport, Conn.: Food and Nutrition Press, 1983), pp. 53-72. No distinction was made between lacto-ovo-vegetarians and total vegetarians—which could lead to the conjecture that an even lower ratio would have been indicated for total vegetarians.

47. These percentages may not be statistically significant and await further substantiation in later studies.

48. D. A. Snowden, R. L. Phillips, and W. Choi, American Journal of Epidemiology, 120:244-250, (1984).

49. P. K. Mills, W. L. Beeson, R. L. Phillips, and Gary E. Fraser, American Journal of Epidemiology, 133:230-239 (1991).

50. D. A. Snowden, R. L. Phillips, and Gary E. Fraser, Preventive Medicine, 1984, 13:490-500 (1984).

51. CA/1996, pp. 332, 333.

52. A. S. Cunningham, The Lancet, 2:1184-1186, (1976).

53. B. M. Calkins, D. J. Whittaker, P. P. Nair, A. A. Rider, and N. Turjman, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 40:896-905, October, 1984.

54. “Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer,” Cancer Research, June, 1983, 43:3018-3023

55. See pp.

56. M. F. Stanton, Calif.—A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, (1974), 24:189.

57. Personal communication from the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture Regional Poultry Laboratory, East Lansing, Mich., to John Scharffenberg, M.D., (1982).

58. D. A. Snowden and R. L. Phillips, American Journal of Public Health 75:507-512, 1985.

59. Nutrition Today, 3:9-11, 1968. A high animal-fat diet reduces diphosphoglycerate (DPG) in the red blood cells which indicates less oxygen is available for the tissue cells, whereas plant fats do not reduce the DPG.

60. Preventive Medicine, 12:60-69, (1983).

61. A. J. Vergroesen, “Physiological Effects of Dietary Linoleic Acid,” Nutrition Review, 335:1-5, (1977)

62. Journal of Nutrition, 62:421-424.

63. CVD Epidemiology Newsletter, 27:81, (1979).

64. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 3:847-853, 1981; Lancet, 2:285, July 30, 1988.

65. K. D. Linsted., S. Tonstad, and J. W. Kuzma, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 44:363.

66. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 207.

67. Ibid., p. 340.

68. Ibid., p. 468. See T. Antonios and G. A. MacGregor, “Salt—more adverse effects,” Lancet, 1996, 348:250, 251.

69. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 425.

70. Ibid., p. 425.

71. Ibid., p. 424.

72. Ibid., p. 421.

73. Ibid., p. 421. Coffee has been positively associated with factors that promote coronary heart disease (Preventive Medicine 1994), 23:377- 384); cholesterol increased with even one cup of regular coffee daily (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology [1995], 48:1189-1196); the risk of myocardial infarction (American Journal of Epidemiology [1995] 14:724-731); accelerated bone loss from the spine and total body in women with calcium intakes below recommended dietary allowance of 800 mg. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [1994] 60:573-578); the risk of ovarian cancer (International Journal of Cancer [1981] 28:691-693); and “exhibits the features of a typical psychoactive substance of dependence.”—Journal of the American Medical Association (1994) 272:1043-1048.

74. D. A. Snowden, R. L. Phillips, American Journal of Public Health, 74:820-823, August, 1984; K. D. Lindsted, J. W. Kuzma, J. E. Anderson, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1992, 45:733-742.

75. H. A. Reimann, “Caffeinism,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Dec. 18, 1967, 202:12, pp. 131, 132.

76. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 81.

77. Ibid., p. 363.

78. Ibid., p. 364.

79. MR, vol. 21, p. 285 (1901).

80. G. E. Fraser, J. Sabaté, W. L. Beeson, and T. M. Stahan, Archives of Internal Medicine, July 1992, 152:1416-1424.

81. J. Sabaté, et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 1993, 328:603-607; G. A. Spiller, et al., Journal of American College of Nutrition, 1992, 11:126-130; J. Sabaté, G. E. Fraser, “The Probable Role of Nuts in Preventing Coronary Heart Disease,” Primary Cardiology, 1993, 19:65-72.

82. CA/1996, p. 327.

83. “Increasing consumption of vegetarian protein products, beans, lentils, and peas as well as dried fruit was associated with highly significant protective relationships to pancreas cancer risk.”—P. K. Mills, W. L. Beeson, D. E. Abbey, G. E. Fraser, and R. L. Phillips, Cancer, 1988, 61:2578; “Diets rich in animal fat appear to be associated with increased risk for prostatic cancer.”—P. K. Mills, W. L. Beeson, R. L. Phillips, G E. Fraser, Cancer, 1989, 64:598. “Beans are especially rich in nutrients that may protect against cancer and can be a useful low-fat but high-protein alternative to meat.”—CA/1996, p. 329.

84. Colditz, et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1985, 41:32-36.

85. CA/1996, p. 333.

86. S. Graham and C. Mettlin in G. R. Newell, N. H. Ellison, editors Progress in Cancer Research and Therapy, vol. 17, Nutrition and Cancer Etiology and Treatment ( New York: Raven Press, 1981), pp. 189-215; “Of the many scientific studies on this subject, the great majority show that eating fruits and vegetables (especially green and dark yellow vegetables and those in the cabbage family, soy products, and legumes) protects against colon cancer.”—CA/1996, p. 326.

87. E. Bjelke, International Journal of Cancer, 15:561-565, 1975.

88. D. M. Winn, R. G. Ziegler, L. W. Pickle, et al., Cancer Research, 44:1216-1222, 1984.

89. P. F. Jacques and L. T. Chylack, Jr., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53:335S-355S, 1991.

90. New England Journal of Medicine, 1987, vol. 316, 5:235-240.

91. The Youth’s Instructor, May 31, 1894; Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 112; The Ministry of Healing, pp. 299, 300.

92. Signs of the Times, Sept. 23, 1897.

93. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 491.

94. Ibid., p. 112; The Ministry of Healing, pp. 299, 300.

95. MR, vol. 18, p. 84.

96. Ibid., pp. 112, 113.

97. Ibid., p. 178.

98. Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pp. 218, 219; Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 94, 95, 309; The Ministry of Healing, p. 299; MR, vol. 3, p. 408.

99. MR, vol. 8, pp. 252, 253; vol. 14, p. 332, Bio., vol. 2, pp. 298, 299, 357; vol. 4, p. 271.

100. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 349.

101. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 411 (1898); Ibid., p. 357 (1899); Ibid., p. 356 (1902); MR, vol. 21, p. 286 (1901).

102. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 352 (1901).

103. Ibid., p. 358 (1901).

104. Ibid., p. 351 (1902); p. 470 (1905).

105. Ibid., p. 411 (1898); p. 210 (1901); p. 359 (1901); p. 356 (1902).

106. Ibid., p. 207 (1909).

107. Ibid., p. 92 (1890).

108. Ibid., p. 358 (1901), p. 204 (1901). See also pp. 95-97, 306.

109. Ibid., p. 351 (1902); p. 358 (1901).

110. Ibid., p. 359 (1901); p. 210 (1901).

111. Ibid., p. 352 (1904).

112. Ibid., p. 358.

113. Ibid., p. 359 (1901).

114. See pp. 274, 310.

115. Ibid., pp. 355, 356 (1909).

116. CA/1996, p. 328.

117. Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 441; Temperance, p. 59; see also The Ministry of Healing, p. 344.

118. Albert Q. Maisel, “Alcohol and Your Brain,” Reader’s Digest, June, 1970; “Alcohol impairs mental and physical functions. Even at the lowest measurable level, alcohol affects perception, information processing, learning, judgment, reaction time, sound processing, and peripheral vision. Most seriously, it reduces the individual’s awareness of being impaired.”—Herbert Moskowitz, Alcohol Health and Resource World, Summer, 1995, 9:4, pp. 11-15; CAT indicated that there is shrinkage of the brain even in light to moderate drinkers.—Recent Developments in Alcoholism, vol. 3, pp. 253-264 (1985). “Another important chronic effect of alcohol consumption is brain damage, entailing mood disorder . . . . alcohol appears to accelerate aging processes that interfere with the ability to reason and solve the problems of everyday living.”—World Health Organization Technical Series 797: Diet, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Chronic Disease, Report of a WHO Study Group, Geneva, 1990, pp. 62-65, 83-84, 101, 111.

119. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1979, 31:540-543.

120. The Sanctified Life, p. 28.

121. As cited in Galen C. Bosley, “Is Adventist Health Reform Scientific?” Ministry, April, 1987: J. F. Greden, R. Fontaine, M. Lubetsky, and K. Chamberlin, “Anxiety and Depression Associated with Caffeinism Among Psychiatric Patients,” American Journal of Psychiatry 135, No. 8 (1978), pp. 963-966; B. S. Victor, M. Lubetsky, and F. Greden, “Somatic Manifestations of Caffeinism,” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 42, No. 5 (1981), pp. 185-188.

122. The Adventist Home, p. 252.

123. “The Link Between Nutrition and Cognitive Development in Children,” Center on Hunger, Poverty, and Nutrition Policy, Tufts University School of Nutrition, Medford, Mass., 1995.

124. Selected Messages, book 2, p. 52; Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 82; The Ministry of Healing, pp. 262, 365; Country Living, pp. 28, 29. According to the May, 1996, report, “Guide to Mortality and Pollution Tables,” by the National Resources Defense Council, New York, (NRDC), about 64,000 people are thought to die prematurely annually from cardiopulmonary causes linked to particulate air pollution. The same report estimates that in heavily populated cities, lives are shortened by an average of about one to two years.

125. Selected Messages, book 2, p. 462; The Ministry of Healing, pp. 274, 276. “Women living in areas of high concentrations of ‘total suspended particles’ in the air had a 37 percent higher risk of developing cancer than women in less polluted areas.”—Report released in October, 1991, by investigative team headed by D. E. Abbey, Loma Linda University, after a 20-year, $8.4 million investigation into the health effects of air pollution— “Recent Adventist Health Study Findings Link Air Pollution and Cancer in Women,” Pacific Union Recorder, March 16, 1992.

126. Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 78; vol. 2, p. 529; The Ministry of Healing, p. 238.

127. G. E. Fraser, T. M. Strahan, J. Sabaté, W. L. Beesen, D. Kissinger, “Effects of Traditional Coronary Risk Factors as Rates of Incident Coronary Events in a Low Risk Population: The Adventist Health Study,” Circulation, 1992, 86:406-13.

128. K. E. Powell, P. D. Thompson, C. J. Caspersen, and J. S. Kendrick, Annual Reviews of Public Health, 1987, 8:253-287. “Special Report: Inter-Society Commission for Heart Disease Resources,” Circulation, July, 1986, pp. 177A, 178A. Heart Disease and Stroke, 1993, 2:183-187. David Krtichevsky, “Diet and Nutrition,” Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 1991, pp. 328-333.

129. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1994, 140:608-620.

130. American Heart Journal, 1994, 128:965-972.

131. Epidemiology, 1995, 6:602-606.

132. CA/1996, p. 330.

133. University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, Oct. 1994.

134. Education, p. 209.

135. “Decision-making: A Boost for Thought,” American Health, Nov/Dec, 1983. Thirty people aged 65-72 were divided into three groups—walking, weight-training, and control (without specific exercise). At sixteen weeks, the walking group not only increased their aerobic capacity but also improved their cognitive function test scores. The other two groups showed no improvement.—Health After 50, Nov. 1995.

136. Counsels on Health, pp. 565, 566; Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 103, 104.

137. Medical World News, Sept. 24, 1964. For a review of the chief benefits of walking in maintaining health and preventing disease, see David C. Nieman, The Adventist Health Style (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1990), pp. 52-56.

138. The Ministry of Healing, p. 127.

139. Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 247.

140. N. B. Belloc and L. Breslow, “Relationship of Physical Health Status and Health Practices,” Preventive Medicine, 1972, 1:409-421. Dr. Lester Breslow, dean of the School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, led out in a study of 7,000 adult residents of Alameda County, California, in 1965. Dr. Breslow has continued to check his statistics and the results are always the same. (See “Persistence of Health Habits and Their Relationship to Mortality,” Preventive Medicine, 9:469-483 (1980). Breslow’s studies startled the scientific community with his conclusion that Americans could add eleven years to their lives by following seven common-sense health habits: (1) Don’t smoke; (2) Use little or no alcohol; (3) Start the day with a good breakfast; (4) Avoid eating between meals; (5) Sleep seven to eight hours each night; (6) Engage in frequent, regular exercise; (7) Maintain ideal weight and avoid overweight. The statistics further suggested that the health benefit is cumulative and that the absence of any one of the seven habits decreases life expectancy markedly.

141. The Ministry of Healing, p. 241.

142. See p. 331.

143. “‘A merry [rejoicing] heart doeth good like a medicine’ (Prov. 17:22). Gratitude, rejoicing, benevolence, trust in God’s love and care—these are health’s greatest safeguard.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 281.

144. “The Second 50 Years Promoting Health and Preventing Disease,” National Academy of Science, 1990; “The comparatively robust and substantial ‘main’ effects of divine relations . . . suggest that whatever the mediating processes prove to be, they are as potent as virtually any that affect well-being.”—Melvin Pollner, “Divine Relations, Social Relations, and Well Being,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1989, vol. 30, p. 102.

145. G. W. Comstock and K. B. Partridge, “Church Attendance and Health,” Journal of Chronic Diseases, 1972, vol. 25, pp. 665-672.

146. Third National Cancer Conference, as reported by World Wide Medical News Service, Chicago, 1956. See also Review and Herald, May 2, 1957, p. 12.

147. Newsweek, March 27, 1961.

148. Appeal to Mothers, p. 27.

149. Selected Messages, book 2, p. 449.

150. The Ministry of Healing, pp. 327, 328.

151. Statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cited in USA Today, Oct. 29, 1996.

152. Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation, A Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1990.

153. “Deaths from coronary heart disease related to cigarette smoking exceed those for lung cancer threefold. . . . The evidence linking cigarette smoking to CHD [coronary heart disease] is formidable and meets the criteria for an etiological relationship. . . . Heavy smoking nearly doubles cardiovascular and total mortality under 65. In men, cigarette smoking is significantly related to cardiovascular coronary and total mortality even beyond age 65.”—“Special Report: Inter-Society Commission for Heart Disease Resources,” Circulation, July, 1984, 70:176A, 177A.

154. Signs of the Times, Jan. 6, 1876.

155. CA/1996, p. 326.

156. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, July, 1997.

157. Archives of General Psychiatry, July, 1997.

158. Health or How to Live, No. 3, p. 51; Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 561.

159. Time, Oct. 27, 1958; Saturday Evening Post, Aug. 12, 1967. Fetal alcohol syndrome rises with the risk of alcohol from less than one ounce in any one day with little risk to 1-2 ounces—10%, five ounces—50%, more than five ounces, 75% risk.—Journal of Health Education, Jan./Feb. 1993, pp. 22-26. Moderate alcohol consumption (3 drinks per week) in women showed an odds ratio of low birth weight to be 2.6 which represented a 143 gram decrease in birth weight.—Epidemiology, 1995, 6:591-597.

160. Robert F. Chinnock, M. D., Life and Health, Dec., 1964.

161. Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 555; vol. 2, p. 529.

162. Review and Herald, Nov. 3, 1960.

163. Medical Ministry, pp. 111-116; Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 349-350.

164. Loren R. Borland, D.D.S., and Sidney Epstein, D.D.S., Journal of the American Dental Association, Jan., 1961, pp. 54-64.

165. Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 566.

166. Ibid., vol. 3, p. 184.

167. The Ministry of Healing, p. 241.

168. “The pathways along which the human mind makes its registrations on physiology are being probed more deeply then ever before. A biology of the emotions is coming into view. . . . These facts fit in with the last article written by the late Franz Ingelfinger as editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, in which physicians were reminded that 85 percent of human illnesses are within the reach of the body’s own healing system. Hence the importance of the expanding knowledge about the way mind and body can collaborate in meeting serious challenges.”—Norman Cousins, Head First: The Biology of Hope, (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1989), pp. 37, 38. Other books by Norman Cousins that set forth the relationship between the mind and physical healing are: The Healing Heart (New York: Avon Books, 1984) and Anatomy of an Illness (New York: W. W. Norton, 1979).

169. Beth Baker, “Scientists finding more evidence of link between mind and health,” AARP Bulletin, Oct. 1993. See “Faith and Healing,” Time, June 24, 1996, pp. 58-68.

170. Bill Moyers, Healing and The Mind (New York: Doubleday, 1995), p. 5.

171. Ibid., p. 102. Ornish reviewed his landmark research findings in Hospital Practice, May 15, 1991: “By combining a strict low-fat vegetarian diet, moderate aerobic exercise, abstinence from smoking, and stress management training,” his study group showed “measurable regression of disease in patients with severe coronary atherosclerosis (with less than 12 mg a day of dietary cholesterol 82% of the patients showed regression of coronary atherosclerosis).”—Pages 123-132.

172. Scientific American, June, 1954, p. 54.

173. Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 347; vol. 3, p. 157. “The brain is the capital of the body, the seat of all the nervous forces and of mental action. The nerves proceeding from the brain control the body. By the brain nerves, mental impressions are conveyed to all the nerves of the body as by telegraph wires; and they control the vital action of every part of the system. All the organs of motion are governed by the communications they receive from the brain.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 69.

174. Education, p. 197. “The brain nerves that connect with the whole system are the medium through which heaven communicates with man, and affects the inmost life. Whatever hinders the circulation of the electric current in the nervous system, thus weakening the vital powers and lessening mental susceptibility, makes it more difficult to arouse the moral nature.”—Education., p. 209.

175. Selected Messages, book 2, p. 303.

176. Loma Linda Messages, p. 177.

177. Selected Messages, book 2, p. 431. “The idea that women, because of their special condition, may let the appetite run riot is a mistake based on custom, but not on sound sense. . . . If ever there is need of simplicity of diet and special care as to the quality of food eaten, it is in this important period. Women who possess principle, and who are well instructed, will not depart from simplicity of diet at this time of all others. . . . If she chooses to eat as she pleases and what she may fancy, irrespective of consequences, she will bear the penalty, but not alone. Her innocent child must suffer because of her indiscretion.”—The Adventist Home, pp. 257, 258 (1870); see also The Ministry of Healing, pp. 372, 373.

178. Ladies Home Journal, Feb., 1954, p. 43.

179. Child Development: An Individual Longitudinal Approach (New York: Holt, Rinehard and Winston, Inc., 1967), pp. 371, 372.

180. Child Guidance, p. 193; “It is during the first years of a child’s life that his mind is most susceptible to impressions either good or evil. During these years decided progress is made in either a right direction or a wrong one.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 132.

181. Child Guidance, p. 194.

182. Ibid., p. 193.

183. The Washington Post, April 18, 1997, p. 3.

184. Dr. McCay authored or coauthored more than 150 scientific publications; cofounded (1942) the Archives of Biochemistry and served as its early editor; served as editor of the Swiss journal, Gerontologia; served one year, each, as president of the American Gerontological Society (1949) and the American Institute of Nutrition (1951).

185. Roger Coon, “E. G. White, M.D.,” in Dialogue, vol. III, No. 1, 1991, p. 11.

186. Francis D. Nichol, Why I Believe in Mrs. E. G. White (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1964), pp. 57-59. In a letter to Helen Chen-Chung, Dec. 18, 1958, McCay wrote: “If I were to start life again I would like to be an Adventist. I believe their philosophy has the best solution of the problems of living amidst the strains of the American culture. I have only made a slight beginning of discovering the wisdom of Mrs. White.”

187. See Roger W. Coon, A Gift of Light (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983), pp. 43-51; a series of three articles in the Review and Herald, “A Nutritional Authority Discusses Mrs. E. G. White” (Feb. 12, 19, and 26, 1959; reprinted in Ibid., with slight abridgment, Jan. 8, 15, 1981).

188. Home & Garden Bulletin, No. 231, 1980, p. 1.

189. Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 4th edition, Dec. 1995, United States Department of Agriculture & United States Department of Health and Human Services.

190. “Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 1995, Nutrition Review, vol. 53:376-379, Dec., 1995.

191. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1982.

192. Reader’s Digest, Feb. 1983, pp. 78-82.

193. “A Call to Get the Fat Out,” U. S. News and World Report (Aug. 8, 1988), pp. 59-61.

194. “A New Menu to Heal the Heart,” Newsweek, July 30, 1990, pp. 58-59; “For a Better Life, Don’t Eat Any Beef,” USA Today (int. ed.), Dec. 19, 1990.

195. Cited in Far Eastern Division Outlook (August 1983), p. 12.

196. “Summary of Results of Adventist Mortality Study—1958-65,” unpublished report, Loma Linda University School of Health, undated, 2 pp. based on R. L. Phillips and J. W. Kuzma, “Rationale and Method for an Epidemiologic Study of Cancer Among Seventh-day Adventists,” National Cancer Institute Monographs, 1977, 47:107-112. (These statistics relate to deaths caused by the designated cancers.) For a later review of the Adventist Mortality Study, see Gary E. Fraser, “Epidemiological Studies of Adventists,” Scope, July-Sept., 1991, cited in full in DeWitt S. Williams, Kay Kuzma, and Leo Van Dolson, compilers, Ministries of Health and Healing; (Lincoln, Nebr.: Advent Source, 1997), pp. 305-320. See also Roland L. Phillips, “Cancer Among Seventh-day Adventists,” Journal of Environmental Pathology and Toxicology, 3:157; Frank R. Lemon, M.D., and Richard T. Walden, M.D., “Death From Cancer Among Seventh-day Adventists,” Review and Herald, July 9, 1964; Frank R. Lemon, M.D., and Richard T. Walden, M.D., “Death From Respiratory System Disease Among Seventh-day Adventist Men,” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 198, no. 2, Oct. 10, 1966; Ernest L. Wynder, M.D., Frank R. Lemon, M.D., and Irwin J. Bross, Ph.D., “Cancer and Coronary Artery Disease Among Seventh-day Adventists,” Cancer, vol. 12, no. 5, Sept.-Oct., 1959.

197. Martin Strahan, Harley Stanton, and Gary Fraser, “Adventist Health Studies,” in P. William and Yvonne M. Dysinger, eds. Adventist International Medical Society: Health Evangelism Study Guide (Siloam Springs, Ark.: Creation Enterprises International, 1991), chapter 8, p. 4.

198. Adventist men live 8.9 years longer than the general population; women, 7.5 years longer. Vegetarian Seventh-day Adventist men live 3.7 years longer than non-vegetarian SDA men.—Ministry, Sept. 1989, pp. 24-27. Note also F. R. Lemon, J. W. Kuzma, “A Biologic Cost of Smoking: Decreased Life Expectancy, Archives of Environmental Health, 1969, 18:950-955.

199. Ibid., June 25, 1981.

200. Adventist Review, Dec. 2, 1982.

201. J. Berkel and F. de Waard, “Mortality Pattern and Life Expectancy of Seventh-day Adventists in the Netherlands,” International Journal of Epidemiology 12: (1983), pp. 455-459.

202. W. Jedrychowski, A. Olma, B. Tobiassz-Adamczyk, and P. Gradzikiewicz, “Survival Rates Among Seventh-day Adventists Compared With the General Population in Poland,” Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine, (1985), 13:49-52. (This study was small, analyzing statistics from only one city church.)

203. CA/1996, pp. 326, 327.

204. Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 19.

205. See p. 330.

206. See pp. 290, 291 for Dr. Kellogg’s unqualified opinion of Ellen White’s divine guidance in the development of Adventist health principles.

207. Seventh-day Adventists are described as “the healthiest group of people in the country.”—John Cook, “A Church Whose Members Have Less Cancer,” Saturday Evening Post, Mar. 1984, pp. 42, 108.

208. Strahan, Stanton, and Fraser, “Adventist Health Studies,” p. 8-1.

Study Questions

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1. For what reasons did Ellen White discourage meat eating?

2. What eschatological reasons are involved in regard to meat eating today?

3. What are the chief benefits of a vegetarian diet?

4. What are the advantages of a regular exercise program?

5. In what way can we be certain that the mind affects physical health and vice versa?

6. What has been Ellen White’s distinctive contribution to the understanding of health principles?

7. What health problems are posed by coffee drinking?

8. List and discuss Ellen White’s suggested lifestyle program.

9. List the contributions to medical science made by the two Adventist Health Studies. How does this research corroborate the fundamental principles enunciated by Ellen White?

10. Ellen White made a distinctive contribution to disease prevention and to the restoration of health. In what way was she original and distinctive? In what way was she reflecting the views of her own time?

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