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Folic acid. The name sounds like it might be dangerous, a caustic acid substance and not good for health. But it is actually a very important vitamin and therefore essential to your life and your health. It is also the most commonly deficient vitamin in Americans and the average American diet provides only about half the RDA, the amount recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board. Folic acid is found in green leaves, such as spinach, asparagus, beans (legumes) and especially in brewers yeast and liver. If you don't like any of those foods, try eating butterfly wings for an exotic source health food.

I remember how I felt when Nobel laureate Linus Pauling’s article on “Orthomolecular Psychiatry” appeared in our leading scientific Journal, Science, in 1968. I was encouraged because Linus Pauling’s endorsement elevated nutrition to a higher scientific status than ever before. That was almost 30 years ago, a time when the leading proponents of nutrition were not taken seriously by scientists and were despised by the medical profession! Adelle Davis, whose best selling books of the 50s and 60s still read up-to-date in most respects, was vilified by numerous medical editorials. But her readers believed in her, and I gained a whole new perspective on my medical education by reading her book, Let’s Get Well. It made the reader, including me, aware that nutrition is a key to health, and that the typical American diet of that day was inadequate. This went completely against the official medical propaganda. It was actually illegal for food and vitamin companies to find fault with our food supply, and questionable to suggest that vitamin pills might be good for anything.

Zinc has been known to play a role in the biology of plants and animals since it was identified in fungus over a hundred years ago; but only in the past 17 years have we recognized it as essential for human health. In 1939 zinc was found to be the specific activator of carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme required for conversion of carbon dioxide into bicarbonate. This mechanism is the essence of acid-base balance, to maintain homeostasis, a stable ph under changing conditions of stress, exercise, climate and dietary loads. Otherwise we would die.

In the stomach this enzyme is required for the production of hydrochloric acid and hence it is essential for complete digestion. Zinc

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