A different point of view

A nutritional tragedy: a different point of view

William Risley

On October 27, 2003, one of my earlier patients will go on trial for financial fraud. I’ll call him Ron, to protect his identity. He has a $3 million Internal Revenue Service lien against his assets, a $2 million lien by the State of Arizona, and just had his $500,000 home seized through bankruptcy and auctioned off to the highest bidder. Those facts are all that are shown on court records of his county. There is likely more, much more. News headlines reported income to his financial company of $29 million with only $1.5 million returned to his investors, within the promises made to the participants in his company. He was ordered to cease and desist by the state attorney general some time ago.

When I first saw Ron as a patient, 18 years ago, I had a hair mineral analysis performed as routine in my office. Some of his readings included a calcium level of 695 mg% (6,950 ppm) and a copper level of 3.6 mg% (36 ppm). The accepted normal for human head or pubic hair is 40 mg% (400 ppm). Copper is considered normal at 2.5 mg% (25 ppm), but for a male, 1.7 mg% (17 ppm) is likely optimum. Although we have seen higher levels of calcium, 695 mg% is remarkable, especially at 16 years of age.

In consultation with Dr. Paul Eck, arguably the worldwide authority in hair mineral analysis, Dr. Eck propounded his theory of a “calcium shell.” He suggested that when calcium levels are higher than expected, it indicates a “biounavailability” of the mineral. It is akin to sitting on an ocean craving a drink of water. “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”

Higher than normal calcium levels indicate slow oxidation or hypothyroidism, an alkalinity for our pH devotees, or Yin for our acupuncturists–insufficient energy and hydrochloric acid production to maintain calcium in a soluble or ionized state. This insolubility or bio-unavailability of minerals of all types can be seen in the yellowing of plant leaves. Adding an iron chelate from the nursery quickly restores the normal green to the plant. A mineral chelate, such as an iron chelate, performs an end-run around the mineral insolubility and alkalosis problem. The mineral chelate is readily absorbable.

So, a grossly elevated level of calcium in Ron’s head hair, 695 mg%, suggests loads of calcium available but very little to use. It has also been compared to having money in a bank, but the bank is closed, and the ATM is out of order.

Dr. Eck has taken this calcium overload scenario to another level. He proposes that all of the calcium locked into our patient’s tissue as insoluble salts performs a secondary function of building a protective shell around the patient. Such a high level only can occur when the metabolic or oxidation capabilities of the system are markedly inadequate. A classic shortcoming is that all body functions become impaired and lose the ability to ward off or fight any major stress.

Insufficient energy is available to flee or fight, to quote Hans Selye, so the body simply ignores the problem in hopes that it will go away. This type of patient becomes progressively more “out of touch with reality” as the buildup of calcium progresses. Eck went on to say that his evidence suggests that the severity of this “out of touch” syndrome approaches a neurosis at 300 mg% (3,000 ppm) and a psychosis at levels greater than 500 mg% (5,000 ppm). The severity of the mental and emotional effect is dependent upon the bio-chemical individuality of the patient. As an aside, but critical remark, we know that hair mineral levels of calcium in excess of about 75 mg% are indicative of copper toxicity, which is another instance of a bio-unavailable mineral. This copper bio-unavailability is capable of significant harm to the system, more so than calcium. Copper has been implicated in 20% of schizophrenia cases in this country.

The well-proven relief of rheumatoid arthritis with a copper bracelet illustrates this point of calcium synergism with copper. Absorption of a small amount of usable copper through the use of the bracelet enhances calcium solubility and availability allowing for better transport in and out of the bones and joints, and the fact that copper is an analgesic as well produces relief for the arthritic patient.

Webster’s defines a sociopath as someone who lacks a moral code or social conscience. It is not inappropriate to suggest that a sociopath may do things that are considered an affront to the laws of society and not really consider such acts to be inappropriate or wrong. Dr. Eck described Ron’s readings as indicative of being a sociopath. Dr. Eck’s suggested “shell” considers these subjects out of touch with reality, not really being aware of the consequences of threats to their physical or mental well-being, and not cognizant of the negative consequences of wrong action.

Ron’s persona as a patient was as far away from harmful, criminal, or threatening as any patient that I have seen. Describing him as a “really nice kid” would be an understatement. He was, in fact, charming, polite, intelligent, athletic, and a hard worker.

The other side of his mental outlook proved that the pleasant side of his personality was a cover-up or shell in itself. Between 16 and 18 years of age, his history included:

1) forging bank checks, using them as indication of salary, and borrowing $6,000 from a local bank.;

2) getting picked up for shop-lifting;

3) being expelled from a major university for selling final exams;

4) renting a car for a weekend, and returning it six months later; and

5) turning back the odometer on his car by 40,000 miles and selling it.

There have been perhaps other infractions that may have occurred that have not been observed by this author, and I would imagine there were many.

As a consultant to a hair analysis laboratory, I have witnessed this calcium shell phenomenon many times. Clinically, with patients it has become quite obvious. When therapy is successful, these patients tend to break out of that shell, face the stresses of life that they have been hiding from, and return to productive activity in society. The results are indeed impressive and remarkable. Facing reality again has been painful for most, but their enhanced metabolic capabilities enable them to deal with the stresses of life.

Accepting this calcium shell phenomenon espoused by Eck brings up another question. Are the criminal acts that Ron has been accused of solely due to a criminal mind? Or perhaps, are there chemical/mineral abnormalities that prohibit him from understanding the concepts of right and wrong? R. J. WIlliams, who discovered pantothenic acid and helped discover and name folic acid, has made the statement that virtually all of the mental problems in the country today are likely psycho-chemical rather than psychological.

Perhaps more effective nutritional therapy at a young age could have thwarted this decline into the potential of a long prison term. I wonder. He was not willing to cooperate at that time.


1) Personal communication, Paul C. Eck, Analytical Research Laboratories, Phoenix, AZ.

2) Eck, Paul C., Articles published by The Eck Institute for Bioenergetics and Nutrition, Phoenix, AZ.

3) Pfeiffer CC. Mental and Elemental Nutrients. Keats Publishing, New Canaan, CT, 1975; 439.

4) Wilson L. Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis. L.D. Wilson, Consultants, 1992.

5) Williams RJ. Nutrition Against Disease. Bantam, 1973.

6) Selye H. The Stress of Life.

About the Author

Dr. William Risley is a 1961 graduate of the Palmer College-Midwest and has chaired post-graduate faculty positions in Neurovascular Diagnosis and Hospital Protocol at Palmer. He is currently on the continuing education faculty at the Texas Chiropractic College in Nutrition and is a consultant and educator for Analytical Research Laboratories in Phoenix. He was a former instructor in Plethysmography and Doppler for Diagnostics International. He is the author of 12 textbooks in general use by the chiropractic and medical professions, and was a developer and owner of First Chiropractic, a 175-franchise organization of chiropractic offices. His books are available at www.chirobooks.com. He is the co-inventor of the OWL (Optical Wallet Light), advertised nationally, and can be visited at www.walletlightbusinesscard.com. Comments may be addressed to Dr. Risley at Drrisley@arltma.com or Mediserv@mindspring.com.

by William Risley, DC

COPYRIGHT 2004 Original Internist, Inc.

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