Subtle energetic properties of nutrients

A subtle energetic aspect of nutrients is a concept that is largely missing from modern nutritional sciences. We are all familiar with the different feeling experienced when consuming a freshly picked fruit versus a stale one that has been sitting for weeks on the shelves of a food distribution outlet. Some Asian cultures attribute such subtle energetic characters to nutrients, e.g., the yin and yang that is related to chi, the life energy believed to animate every living thing. With our food we consume this energy, which enhances its nutritional value. Freshness of food is emphasized in these cultures, as the life energy is gradually lost after harvest. The consumption of raw, fresh foods in Japan has already been correlated with a low incidence of the major forms of cancer.

This concept was impossible to subject to modern scientific analysis until Wilhelm Reich proved experimentally the existence of a life energy field that is not electromagnetic in nature, but can produce thermal and electric effects in a well reproducible and quantifiable manner [135]. A recent academic study has confirmed Reich's basic findings [136,137]. The incorporation of his methodologies into our working knowledge base could add an exciting new dimension to nutritional science, as we may finally be able to quantify "what health is" and definitively establish what kind of nutrient intake is required for long term health.

Reich also made fundamental contributions to understanding the emotional aspects of the disease process and in particular cancer that he determined to be a manifestation of subtle energetic processes in the body [138]. We are now aware that emotional stress down-regulates the immune system and makes people more prone to cancer [139-142]. Reich's analysis of the subtle energetic processes in cancer patients and their relationship to those emotional blocks makes his research perhaps the most original and intriguing area of study in the history of 20th century medical science.

Although Reich was occasionally skeptical about a possible unification of his subtle energy-based approach to cancer versus our mechanistic, physico-chemical approach, there seems to be no conflict between these methodologies, and instead I suggest that they merely represent different observational levels of the same reality. The unification of a subtle energetic description of disease processes with our current mechanistic, physico-chemical approach is both inevitable and necessary to solving the mysteries of degenerative diseases such as cancer, which claim so many lives today.

Overcoming tumor adaptation

Acquired drug resistance is a common problem with metastatic cancers, contributing to the deaths of more than 450,000 patients annually in the US [143]. A tumor may respond initially to therapy but recur later with acquired drug resistance, or exhibit an intrinsic resistance from the outset. Multidrug-resistance (MDR) manifests through an ATP-dependent drug efflux pump, the P-170 glycoprotein or MDR pump [144]. Quinine has been found to reverse MDR in a variety of tumor cell lines and has been safely used in combination with chemotherapy with leukemias, myelomas and lymphomas [145-147]. Very little information is available on direct cytotoxic effects of quinine [148].

Quinine has a history in medicine besides its use as an anti-malarial. Quinine was used to treat inflammations and fevers [149] and was prescribed as a body tonic to strengthen the system [149,150]. The beverage Tonic Water has preserved in its name the long-forgotten medicinal origins of quinine. However, the concentration of quinine in Tonic Water today is too low for any beneficial systemic effect. Therefore, the use of quinine in cancer may be warranted both for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its inhibitory effect on tumor adaptation to therapies.