The Cause of Dr. Herbert Shelton’s Death

Dr. Herbert Shelton is considered to be the father of the modern day Natural Hygiene Movement. Dr. Shelton is also considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on fasting. His teachings were highly regarded by Mahatma Gandhi, formerly the pre-eminent leader of all India, and assisted the leader in achieving the historical lengthy fasts that were central to the Indian Independence Movement. Gandhi’s doctors stated that his fasts revitalized his health and added years to his life. Scientists today are beginning to recognize Dr. Shelton’s great contributions to science.

Dr. Herbert Shelton, a strict vegetarian, lived a full and accomplished life and was almost ninety years old when he passed away. Although this is a ripe old age for most people, it is believed he would have lived much longer had he rested more from the exhausting work which ultimately made him vulnerable to the effects of prior injuries.

Dr. Shelton had been a boxer earlier in his life and Parkinson’s is a common disease that boxers suffer from. He also suffered from a severe neck injury. However, his most debilitating injury occurred from a horrific blow to the head when he was kicked by his stallion. His teeth were so badly jarred that he began to loose them one at a time over the years. His health suffered much from this incident. Multiple dazing blows to the head can cause traumatic brain injury which commonly results in the declining mental and physical abilities characteristic of Parkinsonism. Add to this the fact that Dr. Shelton’s family had a very strong genetic tendency to Parkinson’s disease which several close family members, including his own father, had suffered with (This inherited weakness may have been compounded by his overly strict vegetarianism. Although strict vegetarians have been shown to be low risk for cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases, without DHA supplementation they seem to suffer from DHA deficiencies which further predispose them to neurological problems such as Parkinson’s). Complicating his health matters even further he was reportedly a workaholic that drove himself relentlessly and slept very little.

Because of decades of overworking and sleep loss Dr. Shelton never completely overcame the effects of his head and spinal injury and he, in his final years of life, developed a spastic nerve disorder believed to have been Parkinson’s. The workaholism of his lifetime had finally taken its toll. His drive to help people and his consistent dedication to the work of Hygiene is believed to have been the central factor that so adversely affected his health and made him vulnerable to this disease. It never affected his mind, however, which remained incredibly sharp to the very end. Neither was his drive affected which was demonstrated from the fact that he continued his work until the end all the while maintaining a positive attitude.

Dr. Curtis D. Ward


Parkinson’s due to lack of DHA?

Parkinson’s due to lack of DHA?

“Herbert Shelton (1895 – 1985), a naturopath and chiropractor and the influential founder of the American Natural Hygiene Society and Nature Cure movement in America and prolific health writer advocated a natural food vegetarian diet of mostly raw fruits, vegetables and nuts . . . He lived in Texas, was physically fit, grew lots of his own food and ate carefully and fasted periodically. Of course he did not get cancer, he did not get heart disease, but he died of Parkinson’s disease . . .

[Another very] prominent Vegetarian and Health Advocate, [a] leader in the natural health movement and a personal friend to me also suffered from and eventually died from a fall related to his Parkinson’s disease. During his young adult life he embarked on the path of healthy living and vegetarianism . . . he operated a large health food store, one of the first to sell organic fruits and vegetables in America; he became a leader in the health food industry. Of course he was not at risk of cancer or heart disease with his excellent diet, but he developed Parkinson’s which limited the quality of his later years.

When he was developing his Parkinsonian tremors, I ordered blood tests and was shocked to see his blood results showing almost a zero DHA level on his fatty acid test, in spite of adequate ALA consumption from nuts and seeds eaten daily. I had never seen a DHA level that low before. Since that time I have drawn DHA blood levels on other patients with Parkinson’s and also found very low DHA levels.

Was it a coincidence, that these leaders in the natural food, vegetarian movement, who ate a very healthy vegan diet and no junk food would both develop Parkinson’s? I thought to myself–could it be that deficiencies in DHA predispose one to Parkinson’s? Do men have worse ability to convert short chain omega-3 into long chain DHA? Is that why Parkinson’s affects more men than women? Is there evidence to suggest that DHA deficiencies lead to later life neurologic problems? Are there primate studies to show DHA deficiencies in monkeys leads to Parkinson’s? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding, yes.

More than 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterized by resting tremor, muscular rigidity, gait problems and impaired ability to initiate movements. Recent scientific findings show diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have a protective effect on this type of neurodegenerative disease. Studies in animals clearly show that supplementation of DHA can alter brain DHA concentrations and thereby modify brain functions leading to reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

A recent study examined mice which were exposed to two diets; one group was fed a diet with DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids; while the other group was given ordinary food, lacking DHA. After a period of time they were given a dose of a chemical that causes the same damage to the brain as Parkinson’s disease. The mice on the DHA diet seemed to be immune to the effects of the chemical, whereas the mice that ate ordinary food developed symptoms of the disease. According to the researchers, among the mice that had been given omega-3 supplementation – in particular DHA – omega-3 fatty acids replaced the omega-6 fatty acids in their brains. Due to the fact that concentrations of other omega-3s (LNA and EPA) had maintained levels in both groups of mice, the researchers suggested that the protective effect against Parkinson’s indeed came from DHA.

Another conclusion drawn from this finding is that a brain containing a lot of omega-6 fatty acids may create a fertile ground for developing Parkinson’s disease. These fatty acids, are abundant in foods rich in either vegetable oil or animal fat, which we already know contribute negatively to our health.

Another study observed the effect of DHA on monkeys treated with MPTP, a drug that induces Parkinson’s like symptoms, and the results suggested that DHA can reduce the severity of, or delay the development of these drug-induced symptoms and therefore can offer therapeutic benefits in the treatment of Parkinson’s.

Overall, this research provides evidence that DHA deficiencies can leave us vulnerable to developing diseases like Parkinson’s and Alheizmer’s. If you are a nutritarian, flexitarain, vegan, or vegetarian and you are not taking DHA or confirming your levels are adequate with blood work you are being negligent, and potentially increasing your risk of such a disease in later life. All the good efforts on proper nutrition can be undone with one deficiency such as Vitamin D, B12, or DHA. I see this every week in my practice.

History repeats itself: Some authors, doctors and leaders of the vegan movement today are heavily biased towards the idea of not needing these supplements. They simply give inadequate nutritional advice and in spite of all the science they still [ridicule] taking long-chain omega-3 DHA. They are risking the quality of their own lives and that of their followers.

Likewise, I have seen so many vegan-promoting doctors and authors negate the need for taking B12, as well as dismiss the need to take vitamin D, stating minimal sunshine is enough. They also deny the need for omega-3 supplementation. There is so much scientific literature available today pointing to the contrary, however, this irresponsible information keeps radiating from the podium of lecture halls. . . .

Don’t be fooled into thinking that by merely eating right you are doing all you can do to protect your health. People must be made aware that by neglecting to take the supplements that are essential to assuring nutritional excellence, they are putting themselves in harm’s way. Specifically, not taking DHA, B12 and vitamin D can be potentially dangerous and even life threatening.”

(Excert from:

Dr. Shelton’s court case

Many credible physicians have been dragged into court on charges of negligent homicide (some frivolous, others justifiably).  Shelton’s vulnerability was his defiance of accepted medical opinions of the day and his promotion of innovative fasting remedies. In 1942, Shelton was charged with negligent homicide but the case was never tried and charges were completely dropped.

In 1978 one of Dr. Shelton’s patients died while under the care of Dr. Vivian V. Vetrano. He had a pre-existing heart condition and alledgedly died from a heart attack. The patient was drinking only two cups of water a day while under Dr. Vetrano’s care and showed signs of dehydration. She testified that she attempted to have the decedent break his fast but that the patient refused to. The following explanation was given by Dr. Vetrano :  “This patient had been on cortisone for years and years, I told him he couldn’t come until he had been off cortisone for 6 months, and then a month later he called and said ‘I just cannot do it at home, I want to come now’. Unfortunately I said yes. But when he got there he didn’t want to break his fast when I told him to, he got into a crisis and he needed cortisone to get through the crisis. He didn’t bring his prescription, so I took him to the hospital. He was going into shock because you cannot take a crisis without a lot of adrenaline. There I told them he had been on cortisone for years and I said he needed cortisone, but they didn’t listen, they just waited around, and he died. And then they blamed it on me and Shelton’s Health School.”              It took over two years for the court to reach a verdict. Record, vol. 2, at 419 states “Suffice it to say that the jury was presented with sufficient evidence to support the conclusion of negligence on the part of Dr. Vetrano.”  Records also report that she waited until “the eleventh hour before contacting” the hospital.   Dr. Vetrano was charged with negligence not due to the fasting method, but due to the charge that she failed to transport the patient to a medical clinic in a timely manner. Although Dr. Vetrano was the individual supervising this fast, it was Dr. Shelton’s facility where this took place and, of course, the lawsuit was placed against him also.

Neither Dr. Shelton nor his method of fasting was shown to be the cause of the heart attack. Dr. Shelton supervised THOUSANDS of fasts, many of which were total fasts (water only) lasting more than ninety days. Dr. Shelton’s success cases far outnumbered the causality in question — a record most medical practitioners cannot boast of.

Practitioners exist in our twenty first century that use many of the methods Dr. Shelton used and they are not being jailed and fined for practicing medicine without a license. Alternative medicine is more accepted today than it was in Dr. Shelton’s day. Many of the methods he pioneered are now being proven valid in the laboratory.

While fasting institutes still abound in the twenty first century, it is the medical healthcare providers that are routinely dragged into court for the adverse effects of medical malpractice.

1) The Institute of Medicine reports that there are:

· 98,000 deaths / year from negligent homicide by medical healthcare providers

2) A recent study published in The Journal of The American Medical Association (2000:284:94) by Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, showed that in the U.S. there are:

· 12,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery

· 7,000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals

· 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals

· 80,000 deaths/year from nosocomial infections in hospitals

· 106,000 deaths/year from adverse effects of medications

This totals up to 323,000 deaths annually from iatrogenic causes and negligent homicides. 225,000 iatrogenic causes make iatrogeny the third leading cause of death in the United States, second only to heart disease and cancer. The frightening reality of the situation is that this does not include disabilities and disorders; just deaths in hospitalized patients. More than four times as many people die in one year from doctors’ mistakes than died in the entire war in Vietnam. A conservative estimate of 98,000 annual deaths are negligent homicide from certified medical healthcare providers (Institute of Medicine, 2000).

Dr. Shelton supervised thousands of fasts with no adverse effects and thousands of cures. These success cases should speak for themselves.

Curtis D. Ward

The Voice of Hope


The Voice of Hope

 My heart hurts for the untold number of people needlessly suffering from the pain of the past.

 I know this method works and it is my desire to share it with others that they too may find relief.

 Many times I have pondered on the existence of pain in the world. Why was it even created?

 The world-famous leprosy surgeon, Dr. Paul Brand, spent most of his life caring for the forsaken lepers in India. His greatest discovery was learning that those with leprosy didn’t lose their extremities due to the flesh simply falling off. He discovered that what they lacked was the ability to feel physical sensations. Restricted blood flow to the extremities caused the nerve endings to die. They could no longer sense pain. As a result they lost fingers and toes to fire, sharp objects, and other daily accidents.

The greatest mystery of all was how the lepers could go to sleep and then wake up the next morning with missing fingers and toes that could never be found. These appendages had not fallen to the floor nor could they be found in the lepers bedding.

Dr. Brand was determined to solve the mystery. He stationed people to watch them as they slept and, to their surprise, they discovered that rats were coming in and nibbling off their fingers and toes. Feeling no pain, they never woke up to brush the rats away. For their well being the good doctor made it mandatory that they took cats with them wherever they slept.

 He also discovered they went blind simply because they could not feel the discomfort that caused most people to blink their eyes.

 The doctor observed foot injuries in which an ankle turned, tearing muscles and tendons, but the leper would simply adjust and walk with a crooked gait. There was no pain warning the individual to rest the ankle or to seek any sort of treatment for it.

 Well known athletes have permanently damaged their bodies by numbing their throbbing, debilitating injuries with painkillers and injections and then running out on the field while still injured.

Ironically we should be thankful for pain. In the long run it allows us to avoid further damage to ourselves.

However many ignore their hurt or desperately try to numb it.

Even as you read these words, countless numbers of peo-ple are trying to numb their despair with drugs and alcohol. Their families are suffering. Many are fleeing ghosts from the past and the hurt inside that prevents them from achieving the good things in life they could achieve. Millions are trying to escape the very hurt that is trying to alert them that something is wrong in their lives.

When you injure or burn yourself, pain is natural. When my wife Rebecca was a child she placed her hand on the side of a pot bellied stove. In shock she immediately withdrew her blistered hand. The pain served a purpose. The pain was a message. The message was, “You are touching something that is harming you. Remove your hand from it and do not touch it again in the future!” Without this message she would possibly have left her hand there until it was no longer usable.

Pain serves a purpose. Pain is a “message.” The message is saying, “Something is wrong. Do something about it.”

If you are experiencing pain, depression, or remorse, you can rest assure that the message it is sending you serves a purpose. It is telling you that something is wrong. It is telling you to do something about it before it is too late.

Continual pain is not natural.

Continual hurt and despair is the result of unsolved inner conflicts, fears, damaged emotions, or trauma from the past. It is present to alert you to the fact that the inner conflicts that you have never effectively addressed are still there inflicting their damage upon your life, ad-versely influencing major decisions and choices you make, and shaping the way you view and interact with the world around you. Do not ignore the message. Do not wait until the root of your hurt and dysfunction consumes your whole life and destroys those closest to you.

Find someone to confide in.

Make an appointment with your clergy or with a counselor or, even better, with both. Most importantly find a place of prayer and speak to the “Wonderful Counselor” (Isa.9:6). 

Whatever you do, you must NOT ignore pain. It is a message that something is wrong and it is there to remind you to do something about it.

Talk to your counselor, clergy, or physician about the fasting method. It may be the very lifeline you are seeking for. Many have discovered with great joy this precious technique that has stood the test of time and provided deliverance when all other methods have failed.

In the wise book wherein we discovered the fasting phenomenon — that ancient manuscript we call the Holy Bible — is another gem of wisdom inscribed by the Apostle Paul, who wrote, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind.” (Phil 3:13).

The problem is that most people have not put their problems “behind” them. They carry them with them every day of their life. The undeleted DVD of the traumatic experience is preserved and protected within them. I implore you to dig that memory out, discharge and reprogram the space it once occupied and then forever PUT IT BEHIND YOU!

Don’t look back. Let it go. Live life to the fullest.

Science has long labored in search for an answer.

The answer has not been found in a test tube.

The answer has not been found in a research study.

The answer has not been found in trepanation, lobotomy, electric shock treatments, excessive medication, rapid eye movements, mesmerism, hypnotism, psychoanalysis, or a host of other therapeutic theories.

The answer is contained within the pages of that ancient manuscript written many, many years ago.

Times have changed.

Methods have changed.

Men have changed.

The manuscript and its message have never changed.

It is time we pause and listen to its ancient voice.


(Excert from “The Fasting Phenomenon” by Dr. Curtis D. Ward DD MHC.  Atria Book Publishing, October 2008)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       NOTICE:                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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