“The key to making chronic disease better is making a single cell work. If you give the body the things a single cell needs to work, the body often has the power to heal all of the cells of the body. That means you get well!”
–Dr. Jerry Tennant
In the mid-1990s Dr. Jerry Tennant was one of the top three ophthalmic surgeons in the world. Then, in a matter of months, his career was ended by a mystery ailment that left him disabled and barely clinging to life.
A pioneer in lasik surgery, Dr. Tennant was responsible for most of the research done on the excimer laser for VISX. He also performed over 1,000 lasik operations in the United States and about 2,000 cases abroad. These surgeries actually contributed to his decline in health. In the early days of lasik operations, it was believed that ordinary surgical masks were sufficient to protect doctors from contamination. Nobody suspected that viruses existing in a patient’s eyes could possibly harm the surgeon. But each time Dr. Tennant performed a lasik procedure on a patient, the laser would strike the eye and release viruses that drifted upward through his mask and into his nose and brain. In time he developed encephalitis and a bleeding disorder that manifested as spastic movements and an inability to remember even how to write a prescription. Diagnostic tests confirmed he had three viruses in his brain, but no one knew how to treat them. Dr. Tennant’s physicians told him there was nothing that could be done to help him. So, on November 30, 1995, he was forced to retire.
He spent almost seven years in a fog that rarely lifted. Too fatigued to function on any level, Dr. Tennant slept about 16 hours each day. During the two to three hours per day when he could think, he read books or newspapers until, like a light switch, his brain would turn off and he would no longer be able to understand what he was reading.
With his waking/thinking time severely limited, Dr. Tennant gradually began to realize that if he was going to get well, it was up to him to find a way since modern American medicine had no answers. So he started reading cellular biology books. As his knowledge grew, so did his belief in the importance of learning how to get a single cell to work correctly. If he could do that, in time, all of his cells would work correctly.
Each of the cellular biology books he read gave passing reference to the fact that cells function in a narrow range of pH, but said little more. Dr. Tennant began to look closely at pH. He came to realize that in addition to acidity and alkalinity, pH measures the voltage in a solution. Voltage. Could this be the key he was searching for? Gradually, Dr. Tennant began to understand that cells must have enough voltage to work and that chronic disease is associated with loss of voltage. His next step was to find out how to
measure the voltage and keep it at optimal levels. Following this path, he was finally able to heal himself.
This booklet outlines some of Dr. Tennant’s most important discoveries about rebuilding and maintaining good health.
Dr. Tennant’s Principles
- The body doesn’t get well by making damaged cells work correctly. It gets well by making new cells that work correctly.
- The process of rebuilding a new and healthy you is based on the fact that the body is constantly replacing itself. Your body grows new retinal elements every two days, new skin in six weeks, a new liver in eight weeks, new nerve cells in a period of months. As each new cell is built, the body seeks proper building materials from which to construct the cell. If the body cannot find good, healthy materials, it will use whatever is available.
- To make new cells, the body must have raw materials (nutrition) and sufficient cellular energy to use the materials. If any of these are lacking, pharmaceuticals and/or surgeries will not help.
- Human cells are designed to run at about -20 millivolts (or pH of 7.35). The body has the ability to heal itself of many ailments if it is supplied with sound nutrition and proper cellular energy
How Do Healthy Cells Work?
Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. While they are all specialized according to the work they do, they all have the same basic structures. On the outside is a flexible membrane that encloses and protects the cell’s contents. It also regulates what moves into and out of the cell and maintains the cell’s electric potential, which is essential to its ability to do the work required. Inside the cell are at least one nucleus and some cytoplasm, a jellylike substance that consists mostly of water and dissolved proteins. The nucleus acts as a control center for the cell, while the cytoplasm is home to many different structures called organelles (little organs). Each of the organelles plays a different role. The ones we are most concerned with are the mitochondria, which function as the power stations of the cell. The number of mitochondria varies for different types of cells, but under optimal circumstances up to hundreds of mitochondria can exist in a single cell. Because cells need energy for everything they do, the importance of mitochondria cannot be overemphasized.
Cell Membranes, Mitochondria: Capacitors and Rechargeable Batteries
Cell membranes are made up of opposing pairs of phospholipids, a specialized type of fat, and loose proteins. Each phospholipid molecule has a ball on one end that works as an electron conductor and two legs that work as electron insulators. These conductors and insulators form a capacitor whose purpose is to store electrons. In effect, the membrane
functions as a small battery that stores voltage for the cell.
All of the energy generated for the use of a cell occurs within the mitochondria via a type of rechargeable battery system known as
ATP/ADP. ATP exists when the battery is charged and ready for work. As energy is spent, the battery becomes ADP. Recharging takes place as electrons are brought in from the cell membrane and mixed with a small amount of phosphorus. This process takes place approximately 70 times per day in every cell in the body. If the ATP/ADP system is not functioning properly, cells cannot generate the power they need to keep the body working. In addition, when the number of mitochondria that are supposed to be functioning in a cell is reduced for any reason, the cell’s ability to provide for its own energy needs is diminished.
The body moves electrons into cells 3 ways:
Ionically through the circulatory system
Through the fibrous sheath surrounding the nerves
Through the acupuncture (fascial) system
Energize Your Healing Process
Chronic disease is associated with a lack of cellular energy. This is one of the key reasons why traditional Western medicine has been unsuccessful in finding cures for so many of today’s most common health problems. Pharmaceuticals help only in alleviating some of the symptoms, not in providing genuine long-term cures. In fact, bad reactions to pharmaceuticals are the leading cause of death in the U.S. All drugs have side effects that range anywhere from annoying to life-threat-ening—just listen to some of the drug advertise-ments on television if you want to confirm this.
Physicians have always known that, given time and the right conditions, the body has the ability to cure itself of many—if not, most—diseases. A healthy
diet, exercise, and adequate rest go a long way toward curing many problems. But once a chronic disease has established itself, these basic things may not be enough. The body may need to increase the amount of energy in its cells so the cells can do the work they were designed to do. With adequate energy, the effects of a healthy diet, exercise, and rest
are magnified throughout the body.
So how do we increase the amount of energy available to our cells? We have already given a brief overview of the way power or energy works in a cell.
Now let’s take a look at the conditions that enable our “batteries” to work at higher levels of efficiency.
Electrons can be obtained from many sources, including:
Green leafy vegetables
Working or standing in soil
Fresh air, wind, etc.
Taking advantage of these resources helps your body to create a pool of electrons.
Put the Power of pH To Work for You
Because the human body is 75% water, solutions are always in play in our bodies. In fact, much of the transfer of voltage occurs ionically or via fluids. It is important to realize that fluid solutions can either carry additional electrons, making them electron donors, or remove electrons, making them electron stealers.
Remember, electrons are necessary for cells to perform their work. Removing electrons is counterproductive. In fact, free radicals are molecules that are missing electrons and looking to steal
them from other molecules. This makes them unstable and dangerous.
Free radicals create cellular chaos that can lead to a vast array of problems.
On the other hand, antioxidants are electron donors. That’s why
antioxidant foods are so important for good health. When a mother tells her
children to eat their broccoli, she is actually telling them to consume
antioxidants or electron donors.
We can learn whether a solution is an electron donor or an electron stealer by measuring its pH. If a solution is alkaline, it is an electron donor. If it is
acidic, it is an electron stealer. The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a solution is. It ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being considered neutral. As you move down the scale from 7, you get a solution that is increasingly acidic (6 is acidic, 5 is even more acidic, etc.). Moving up the scale from 8 to 14 represents increasing alkalinity (8 is alkaline, 9 is more alkaline than 8, etc.). Science has long known that healthy people have an alkaline pH and that, in fact, the human body operates best when the pH is
approximately 7.2 to 7.35. Chronic disease and pain are almost always
associated with an acidic pH.
In addition to acidity and alkalinity, pH also refers to voltage, but the scale in this case ranges from –400 to +400 millivolts, with 0 in the middle. Moving down the scale from 0 into the negative range indicates increasing levels of health, while moving up the scale into the positive range indicates increasing dysfunction. Healthy adults normally measure –20 millivolts (mv) of energy, which translates to a pH of 7.35. Children, young adults,
and athletes commonly measure –30 mv of energy. Problems occur when a body’s voltage drops below the necessary operating level of –20 mv. Thus, at -15 mv, a person is tired. At -10 mv, he/she is sick. At -5 mv organs are no longer able to function properly.
Problems resulting from continued drops in voltage include chronic pain, a decrease in oxygen levels, and infections. (Note: Infections continue to increase damage by feeding on healthy cells.) Remember, moving up this scale into the positive range increases vulnerability to illness. At +30 mv, the cellular electrical system malfunctions, reversing cellular polarity (the way electricity is conducted through cells). Damage also occurs to DNA, and cancer is able to gain a foothold in the body and grow.
Oxygen and Voltage
Without oxygen, the body—and all of its cells—can’t work. As oxygen levels
decrease, so does health. In 1966 Otto Warburg, one of the twentieth century’s leading cell biologists, received a Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer cannot grow when normal oxygen levels are
The amount of oxygen in cells is determined by voltage. If a cell has
adequate voltage, it will also have adequate oxygen. If cellular voltage is
low, the amount of oxygen in the tissues will be low. This applies to metabolism as well. When voltage and oxygen are low, metabolism becomes anaerobic, which means that oxygen is unavailable.
Anaerobic metabolism is very inefficient.
The Bohr Effect and Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments
The Bohr Effect states that the amount of oxygen that will dissolve in a solution is dictated by the amount of voltage in the solution. Remember, the human body is 75 percent water, which means this is a key fact for health. As voltage drops, less oxygen can be dissolved into cells. In some cases, hyperbaric oxygen treatments are used to increase oxygen levels in tissues. As oxygen levels rise, so does voltage. When voltage is normal, oxygen can enter cells automatically as needed.
Why Do Cells Lose ATP/ADP Power?
The most common reasons for a loss of ATP/ADP power include the cell membrane losing its ability to store electrons and/or a depletion of the number of functioning mitochondria. These conditions can be brought about by:
1. Consuming trans or “plastic” fats, which destroy the cell membrane
2. Hypothyroidism, which reduces the number of mitochondria in cells
3. Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium
4. Dental infections from decay in teeth, root canals, and in jaw bones
1. Trans Fats: Dangerous Plastics That Destroy Health
Many years ago food manufacturers recognized that they were losing significant profits because their products were spoiling. In response, they did two things: They added chemicals to foods to keep them from spoiling, and they began to cook fats for long periods of time to stabilize them. The chemicals, we now know, are problematic for the health of the person consuming them. The fats are, too, because the very long cooking
process changes them from a healthy substance into something that is only one carbon atom away from plastic, and that has a profound influence on the structure of cell membranes.
It works like this. When a cell wears out, your body makes a new one. First it looks around to see what building materials are available to make the new cell. If all you have given your body is “plastic” fat (partially hydrogenated or trans fats), the new cell membrane will be made from plastic. The result is sort of like wrapping individual cells in cellophane. A healthy cell membrane is designed to allow certain things to go into and
out of the cell. It can’t function properly when the membrane is made of cellophane.
Imagine that one of your cells sends a message to your brain telling it that it is hungry. Your body will respond by sending the cell some glucose and insulin.
What happens when the glucose can’t get through the cellophane?
The cell keeps on complaining that it’s hungry, and your body keeps on sending it more insulin and glucose. Much of the insulin and glucose will be put into fat cells. But the original cell will continue to complain that it is hungry, and your brain will continue to make you want to eat so that you can try to resolve the hunger issues (see “Beware of MSG” on page 8 for additional information on hunger). Even so, very little glucose will get through the cellophane into your cells.
In time you will become obese and your pancreas will wear out from making so much insulin.
With all that glucose in your bloodstream, you will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Drugs can be prescribed to lower the levels of sugar in your bloodstream, but your cells will still be coping with the effects of being made out of plastic.
Eventually they will begin to wear out and you will get symptoms of worn out cells: heart attacks, strokes, liver failure, kidney failure, blindness, chronic fatigue, etc.
Obviously, if you want to get well you must stop consuming plastic fats. In today’s world this is easier said than done. Even if you change the fats you use at home, most restaurants use plastic fats for frying foods. If you eat out, you must stop eating fried foods or choose a restaurant that you know doesn’t use plastic fats. Most cheese is also made from plastic fats, which means that avoiding cheeseburgers and French fries is a must. Overall, it’s safe to say that fast food isn’t dangerous for your health because it is fast—it’s dangerous because it is plastic.
If you continue to feed your body plastic fats, you will never get well. But if you give your body good fats along with the other things it needs, your body will thank you by becoming vibrant and healthy.
Examples of good fats include avocados, raw nuts, safflower oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, borage oil, corn oil, coconut oil, etc. In general, good fats are those that will spoil.
Coconut oil is better for cooking than olive oil because it withstands heat better.
The Magic of Raw Milk
One excellent source of healthy fat is raw milk. In fact, it has all the fats you need in exactly the right proportions. Raw milk and cream are total foods. The offspring of mammals thrive on mother’s milk, and millions upon millions of children have thrived on
raw cow’s milk down through the ages. Pasteurizing milk—far from making it safe— actually damages the proteins in it. Homogenization fractures the long fat chains and turns them into toxic little pieces of the original chains. Raw milk is a nearly perfect food,
but pasteurized/homogenized milk is toxic.
Lactose intolerance has become a very common condition in our culture. In reality, people who think they are lactose intolerant are actually allergic to the toxic brew called pasteurized/homogenized milk.
What about infections lurking in raw milk? They are extremely rare. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that 90% of the infections that come from milk are found in pasteurized milk, not raw milk.
A simple experiment can help explain why. If you put a glass of raw milk next to a glass of pasteurized milk and then introduce an equal amount of bacteria into each one, the bacteria in the raw milk will die quickly while the bacteria in the pasteurized milk will multiply just as quickly. This happens because raw milk contains bacteria-destroying paroxidases and enzymes, but pasteurized milk does not.
The Truly Incredible Egg
Eggs are another total food. The trick is to get free-range eggs that are also hormone free.
Most eggs come from chickens that are fed hormones or hormone promoting, processed foods so that they will lay more eggs. The chicken’s necks are held in clamps so they cannot move and lights are kept on day and night to further increase production. Freerange chickens lay eggs that provide more voltage and have fewer toxins. If you can find
ways to eat them raw, such as in a healthy shake, so much the better. Cooking eggs destroys some of their food value.
Saturated Fats and Omegas
Many people are confused about the best types of fat to eat. As a result, there has been an increase in the numbers of people who are becoming toxic as a result of consuming too many Omega-3 fats (from fish oil, etc.). It
might help to think of your cell membranes as if they were your home. They need to be strong enough to be substantial, but they also need doorways and windows to let things in and out. If you build your house out of concrete blocks with no windows or doors, it will be strong, but there won’t be any way to get in or out. If you build it mostly with doors and windows, the next storm will blow it down.
In cells, saturated fats are strong and unsaturated fats are porous, which means they have openings. You need saturated fats (i.e., animal fats) to make your cells strong, and unsaturated fats (i.e., fish oil) for doors
and windows. To make perfect cell membranes, you should eat four times as many saturated fats as Omega-6s and -9s, and four times as many Omega-6s and-9s as Omega-3s.
Suggested saturated fats (concrete blocks):
coconut oil, palm oil, beef, mutton, butter,
cocoa, lard, eggs, etc. (Note: Do not eat or
cook with margarine.)
Suggested Omega-6s and -9s (doors): safflower oil, olive oil, sesame oil, rice,
butter, corn, sunflower oil, oats, peanuts, etc.
Suggested Omega-3s (windows): flax and fish oil (fish oil has much more energy than flax oil).
2. The Role of Hypothyroidism in Metabolic Syndrome
The total number of mitochondria in cells, and thus the total number of rechargeable ATP/ADP batteries, is dictated by the amount of functional thyroid hormone present in cells. If normal levels of thyroid hormone are reduced, the body develops hypothyroidism and the number of mitochondria in individual’s cells is restricted.
Hypothyroidism is a very common condition that is implicated in what
is called metabolic syndrome (formerly known as syndrome X).
Many doctors believe this is the basic problem behind most of the
illness in the United States today. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome
include insulin resistance, high blood pressure, central obesity (overweight
with fat deposits mainly around the waist), decreased HDL or “good”
cholesterol, elevated triglycerides (blood fats), and an increased risk for
Metabolic syndrome may lead to stress, migraine headaches and even
to ADHD. It causes both childhood and adult obesity. Left uncorrected,
it can cause heart attacks, strokes, and fibromyalgia. Eventually it will
lead to cancer.
Traditional Western medicine has not found a solution for metabolic
syndrome other than diet and exercise. Unfortunately, diet and
exercise alone may not reduce blood pressure, correct diabetes (which starts as insulin resistance), correct blood lipids, or even ensure weight
loss. This is why yo-yo dieting is so prevalent, and so discouraging.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
Hypothyroid-ism makes people tired, so they turn to sugar and
caffeine to help them get through the day. Beware of MSG
In addition to hypothyroidism, MSG has been shown to be a major contributor to obesity. MSG is a flavor enhancer that is added to countless foods found in grocery stores, restaurants, school cafeterias, and
more. It is found in processed foods, fast foods, and even in baby formulas.
An excitotoxin, MSG does what its name implies: It overexcites cells to the point of damage. Because it is dangerous, food manufacturers try to hide its presence by listing it under a variety of names including (but not limited to) “other spices,” gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), yeast extract, malted barley, rice syrup or brown rice syrup.
MSG damages the brain so it can’t recognize leptin, a hormone that tells you
when you are full. With MSG in play, you always feel hungry. In fact, that’s why manufacturers add it to their products.
MSG is addicting and it makes you want to eat more, which means more profits for the food manufacturers.
Weight gain—The vicious cycle of feeling tired and looking to sugar and
caffeine for extra energy leads to increased consumption of soda and other
Soda and most processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup
(HFCS), which has been shown to increase insulin levels and the
amount of fat in tissues. HFCS turns into triglycerides and fat within
60 minutes of ingestion.
A recent study found that nearly half of all samples of HFSC tested
were contaminated by mercury (due to the methods used to produce
The 2005 actuarial curve used by insurance companies shows the rise
in cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypoglycemia, and diabetes
all parallel the increased consumption of HFCS in our society.
The other culprit in soda, caffeine, depletes the body of neuro- chemicals. This leads to brain fog, insomnia, poor memory, anger,
confusion, etc. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic and lowers voltage in
High cholesterol—Lack of thyroid hormone reduces the production of all
hormones in the body. When hormones are low, the liver increases its
production of cholesterol in an effort to normalize hormone levels
Symptoms of metabolic syndrome include:
Impaired glucose tolerance/insulin resistance
High blood pressure Central obesity (also known as visceral male-pattern or apple-shaped adiposity)
Decreased HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides (blood fats)
Causes of Hypothyroidism: Iodine Deficiency
So what are some causes of hypothyroidism? One of the most important is iodine deficiency. Without iodine, the thyroid gland is unable to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. This leaves cells unable to function normally. In response, the body develops hypothyroidism. Although adults need 12-15 mg of iodine per day, Americans tend to be iodine deficient because it is not readily available in our foods. The iodine that once existed in our soils has long since been washed away, and fruits and vegetables
grown in this soil are lacking in this essential nutrient. Today, while minute amounts are added to some table salts, the total isn’t enough to provide adequately for our dietary needs. Moreover, some of the companies producing table salt substitute bromine for iodine because it is cheaper. But bromine, in addition to not being a nutrient our cells need, is toxic.
Every organ in the body that secretes a substance requires large amounts of iodine to carry out this function. These organs include: the thyroid gland (with the highest concentration of iodine), the salivary glands, cerebrospinal fluid and the brain, the substantia nigra of the brain, the choroid plexus, intestinal mucosa or lining, breasts, ovaries, prostate, the ciliary body of the eye, the nose, sinuses, and the mouth.
Interestingly, these are the most common sites in the body for cancer among Americans.
Half a world away, the Japanese have different eating patterns than we do in the U.S.
Japanese people consume large amounts of iodine in their foods. Coincidentally, they have the lowest incidence of cancer in the world (except for stomach cancer, which may be related to other aspects of their diet).
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