VNThere are many reasons everyone should read and study "The Enzyme Factor" by Hiromi Shinya. The first is that he promises a cure for cancer and an extension of lifespan. The second is that it will dispel a hundred myths about what is good for your health. The third is that it will teach you about the digestive system, providing knowledge that will help you in all aspects of your life. The fourth is that the book is like that written by a seasoned and very successful chartist. Instead of examining 300,000 charts, he's examined 300,000 stomachs, and based on the outcome not of price moves, but on subsequent relapse into cancer or death, he's formed a theory of what causes disease and come up with a method of preventing it. The fifth is that the book has sold two million copies in Japan, and presumably will affect the world in many ways for the good.

Dr. Shinya is best known as the inventor of colonoscopic surgery. He maintains the largest endoscopic practice in the world, delivering, with his team of three other doctors, in his 45 years of practice more than 300,000 colonoscopies. He practices in Japan and on E. 55 St. in New York, and regularly treats US Presidents, English Prime Ministers, and Japan's Royals. I was one of the 300,000 he treated and I have never seen a more efficient operation from start to finish in any field. He shocked me a bit by giving me a diagnosis on two occasions without a biopsy, but as he said like many chartists I know "I've seen more than 300,000 of these so I know without any tests or numbers." His book makes the unusual claim that he's treated thousands of patients for cancer and never had a relapse. This is like the chartist who tells you he's never recommended a stock that has not gone in the direction he predicted. Presumably a patient he's treated who did have such a relapse would complain in one form or another if the statement weren't true, with the inevitable other consequences. And since the normal death rate from such diseases is 25% or more, the actual observed number is 20 standard errors or more below expectation, truly a lower probability than the spare parts in a junk yard assembling themselves magically and spontaneously into an ocean liner.

Dr. Shinya has a Galtonian personality in many respects. Like Galton, he never recommends a procedure or medication without trying it out on himself. He takes a dose of every medication he recommends for his patients, but had to stop when he took some Viagra-like substance as it almost killed him in recent years.

The book is replete with side facts that will change your life. He recommends that hospitals immediately start feeding surgical patients a full diet of solid food, not the bland mush and cereals usually given. He recommeds that babies give up bottles at one year old. He recommends all adults should refrain from ingesting any dairy products. He recommends that no water or any foods be eaten for 5 hours before going to bed. He has a patented method for making all dogs love him— rubbing saliva on his hand ( the same saliva so important because of its rich enzymes   for proper digestion), and then letting the dog eat it

The essence of Dr. Shinya's recommendations is that you eliminate all dairy and meat from your diet, and maintain a diet of 85% vegetables and fruits, and 15% protein from fish. He recommends the elimination of coffee, tea, snacks, alcohol, chocolate, and fats and oil, and advises adding sea vegetables to the brown rice, beans and root vegetables that are the staples of most vegetarian diets.

He advises an active sex life, moderate exercise, and above all much good water, which he recommends as Alkaline Kangan water.

Like most books of this nature written by a clinician and not a statistician, there are a myriad of untested theories and single factor causes of disease that are singled out without any testing or documentation. He believes that since he's examined more stomachs and intestines than anyone else that if he sees a problem there, and notes a diet that seems to correspond to it over time or between countries, or between healthy and unhealthy patients, that is enough for him to tell without examining "worthless studies where the numbers don't mean anything because the researchers can get them to say whatever they want." This is the same defect that I find with charting and almost all of technical analysis, although in this field the problem is deeper because the cycles change much quicker than they do, for example, in Japan where Dr. Shinya attributes the 25-fold increase in stomach cancer there to the inclusion of milk in school lunch programs starting in the post-war years.

The problem with such clinical observations is that you can't differentiate the valid science from the anecdotal which is not valid. You just don't know without further study which of his recommendations have any validity.

The essence of the theory behind his recommendations is that enzymes are the key to health.That there is a single source enzyme that controls all the others, and that this is used up by ingesting foods that have free radicals that use up good enzymes, and by eating improper foods that use up the good enzymes, which are contained mainly in fruits and vegetables.

The theory itself is unproven. There is no evidence that it prolongs life or prevents disease. And it is hard to differentiate its recommendations from many other theories that recommend similar diets.

Because of the importance of the subject to all, I have followed up all of Dr. Shinya's recommendations and examined all the scientific studies that might provide valid evidence concerning the merits of his recommendations.

This is a difficult field, because most of the studies compare two different groups at the same time, and then follow them up, or are retrospective in nature, looking at the characteristics of diseased persons versus healthy. Also, there is observer bias, the placebo effect, the problem of self interest, fantastic high cost of a proper longitudinal study, lack of double blind outcomes in most studies, and the lack of incentive to test anything but patentable drugs that can be used on a large proportion of the population.The problems are the same as in our field, where you don't expect a practicioner to set forth his recommendations, and then follow them up for 10 years before accepting them as valid. But in our field as soon as such recommendations are made, the form changes, making it even more difficult.

Nevertheless, some excellent longitudinal studies exist, including a 50,000 patient dietary study, a Harvard-Dana Farber study of diseased people, a Baltimore longitudinal study, and a nurses' study. Also, an Italian study of elderly patients, and various Scandinavian studies and Seventh Day Adventist studies exist. It would be too tedious for me to review each of these studies and comment on their merits and demerits and how they affect my estimate of the validity of Dr. Shinya's conclusions. However, there is near unanimity in all the studies that a diet without meat extends life span and reduces disease. Many of the studies are contradictory on the merits of dairy products and poultry but a good working hypothesis seems to be that fermented dairy products are healthy for you and unfermented products such as milk are unhealthful. I find no evidence that drinking tea or coffee is bad. However there is much evidence that drinking much liquid in your diet is very healthful, and Dr . Shinya's recommendations of eight 12 eight ounce glasses of water a day seems to fit in with beneficial effects in all the studies I have seen. As for the value of Fletcherizing food, coffee enemas, eating uncooked foods, and deep breathing, and the removal of all desserts from your diet, I find no evidence either way. I have shown all the studies that support or infirm his theories to him, but with a practice that involves administering 40 colonoscopies a day, as well as the thousands of diseased patients he claims to have treated over the years without a relapse, I was not surprised when he rejected my offer to elucidate all the statistics to him. He commented that he can understand them on his own but he doesn't believe in statistics anyway.

I have sent copies of his book to all in my family and believe that despite the many defects and gaps in his theories, that if one does not mind "giving up pleasure in eating but eating for health," as he recommended to me, that following the gist of his recommendations will do much to put you in a much better frame of mind for living and trading.

Ken Womack adds:

This is a fascinating topic and the book is one that I find intriguing. About a year ago I began a vegetarian diet but encountered difficulty transitioning my new diet into the household kitchen lexicon. What I found immediately was that I gained a moderate amount of weight as I inadvertently mixed in too many carbohydrates. Once that was under control I noticed that I was more alert, that I didn't become as drowsy after eating, and that pH began to shift to a more alkaline composition.

In the end the pressures of carnivorous life and the human weakness bested me. Vegetarian lifestyle is demanding, especially at first. However, I plan on giving it a go again - this time better prepared.

I think that there are ways to overcome the amino acid deficiencies of the diet. Fish-eating vegetarians are even better equipped to handle the nutrient battle.

The idea of portion control too has merit. There is most assuredly a battle taking place within us all. Unlike some markets, however, I think we affect the volatility rather than react to it. The lows are certainly consistent in their emotional impact, though.





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