Saturday, May 30, 2009

Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here's one more reason to keep your teeth healthy.

People who suffer from gum disease and also have a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis reduced their arthritic pain, number of swollen joints, and the degree of morning stiffness when they cured their dental problems. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland reported on this new intervention for arthritis in the Journal of Periodontology.

"It was exciting to find that if we eliminated the infection and inflammation in the gums, then patients with a severe kind of active rheumatoid arthritis reported improvement on the signs and symptoms of that disease," said Dr. Nabil Bissada, chairman of the periodontics department at the dental school. "It gives us a new intervention."

This is not the first time that gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis have been linked. Another researcher in the study, Dr. Ali Askari, chairman of the rheumatology department at University Hospitals, said, "From way back, rheumatologists and other clinicians have been perplexed by the myth that gum disease may have a big role in causing systematic disease."

Historically, teeth were pulled or antibiotics given for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which actually treated the periodontitis, he said. The patients got better.

Both inflammatory diseases share similarities in the progression of the disease over time. In both diseases, the soft and hard tissues are destroyed from inflammation caused by toxins from bacterial infection.

"I'm optimistic that someday the biologic agents that we use successfully in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis will lead to improvement of periodontitis and would be available for use and treatment of this perplexing problem," Askari said.

"Again we are seeing another link where good oral health improves the overall health of an individual," said Bissada, who added that studies have linked gum disease to premature births, heart disease, and diabetes.

Source: NewMax Health

Posted: Ask Marion – True Health Is True Wealth

Contact Lens Procedure May Cure Blindness

A breakthrough procedure using ordinary contact lenses and a patient’s own stem cells promises to cure corneal blindness, according to Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales.

The revolutionary procedure, which is simple and inexpensive, may cure millions worldwide because it can be performed even in poor countries. In the United States, more than 4 million people have corneal disease, the fourth-most-common cause of blindness, and more than 44,000 corneal transplants are performed annually.

The procedure can be performed under local anesthetic, and the patient can go home in two hours. Small samples of stem cells are taken from the patient’s eyes, then grown on an extended-wear contact lens for 10 days.

The contact lens is inserted in the patient’s eye, and the stem cells attach to the cornea within about two weeks and replenish damaged cells. The lens is then removed, leaving the patient with “new eyes.”

Several patients are still reporting success with the new treatment after 18 months. Two patients who were legally blind can now read large letters on an eye chart. Another patient who was visually impaired is now able to pass the eye test for a driver’s license.

Lead researcher Dr. Nick Di Girolamo of the University of New South Wales told the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail, “The procedure is totally simple and cheap. Unlike other techniques, it requires no foreign human or animal products, only the patient’s own serum, and is completely noninvasive. There’s no suturing, there is no major operation. You don’t need any fancy equipment.”

Source: NewsMax

Posted: Ask Marion – True Health Is True Wealth

Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

Levy Viewed as Way to Reduce Deficits, Fund Health Reform

With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo: a national sales tax.

Common around the world, including in Europe, such a tax -- called a value-added tax, or VAT -- has not been seriously considered in the United States. But advocates say few other options can generate the kind of money the nation will need to avert fiscal calamity.

At a White House conference earlier this year on the government's budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress. And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama's policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee declared that a VAT should be part of the debate.

"There is a growing awareness of the need for fundamental tax reform," Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in an interview. "I think a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table."

A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by the consumer. Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer. It is also hugely regressive, falling heavily on the poor. But VAT advocates say those negatives could be offset by using the proceeds to pay for health care for every American -- a tangible benefit that would be highly valuable to low-income families.

Liberals dispute that notion. "You could pay for it regressively and have people at the bottom come out better off -- maybe. Or you could pay for it progressively and they'd come out a lot better off," said Bob McIntyre, director of the nonprofit Citizens for Tax Justice, which has a health financing plan that targets corporations and the rich.

A White House official said a VAT is "unlikely to be in the mix" as a means to pay for health-care reform. "While we do not want to rule any credible idea in or out as we discuss the way forward with Congress, the VAT tax, in particular, is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers," said Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for White House Budget Director Peter Orszag.

Still, Orszag has hired a prominent VAT advocate to advise him on health care: Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and author of the 2008 book "Health Care, Guaranteed." Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul A. Volcker, chairman of a task force Obama assigned to study the tax system, has expressed at least tentative support for a VAT.

"Everybody who understands our long-term budget problems understands we're going to need a new source of revenue, and a VAT is an obvious candidate," said Leonard Burman, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, who testified on Capitol Hill this month about his own VAT plan. "It's common to the rest of the world, and we don't have it."

Seeking New Revenue

The surge of interest in a VAT is testament to the extraordinary depth of the nation's money troubles. While some conservatives have long argued that a consumption tax would provide a simpler and more efficient alternative to the byzantine U.S. income tax code, this time it's all about the money.

The federal budget deficit is projected to approach $1.3 trillion next year, the highest ever except for this year, when the deficit is forecast to exceed $1.8 trillion. The Treasury is borrowing 46 cents of every dollar it spends, largely from China and other foreign creditors, who are growing increasingly uneasy about the security of their investments. Unless Congress comes up with some serious cash, expanding the nation's health-care system will only add to the problem.

Obama wants to raise income taxes for high earners and impose new levies on business, but those moves would not generate enough cash to cover the cost of health care, much less balance the budget, and they have not been fully embraced by Congress. Obama's plan to tax greenhouse-gas emissions could raise trillions of dollars, but again, Congress is balking.

Key lawmakers are considering other ways to pay for health reform, including new taxes on sugary soda, alcohol and employer-provided health insurance. The last proposal could raise a lot of money -- nearly $1 trillion over the next five years, according to White House budget documents. But options on the table would raise a fraction of that sum. And while it might pay for health care, it would barely dent deficits projected to total nearly $4 trillion over the next five years and to grow rapidly in the future, as baby boomers draw on Social Security and Medicare.

Enter the VAT, one of the world's most popular taxes, in use in more than 130 countries. Among industrialized nations, rates range from 5 percent in Japan to 25 percent in Hungary and in parts of Scandinavia. A 21 percent VAT has permitted Ireland to attract investment by lowering its corporate tax rate.

The VAT has advantages: Because producers, wholesalers and retailers are each required to record their transactions and pay a portion of the VAT, the tax is hard to dodge. It punishes spending rather than savings, which the administration hopes to encourage. And the threat of a VAT could pull the country out of recession, some economists argue, by hurrying consumers to the mall before the tax hits.

A VAT's Bottom Line

What would it cost? Emanuel argues in his book that a 10 percent VAT would pay for every American not entitled to Medicare or Medicaid to enroll in a health plan with no deductibles and minimal copayments. In his 2008 book, "100 Million Unnecessary Returns," Yale law professor Michael J. Graetz estimates that a VAT of 10 to 14 percent would raise enough money to exempt families earning less than $100,000 -- about 90 percent of households -- from the income tax and would lower rates for everyone else.

And in a paper published last month in the Virginia Tax Review, Burman suggests that a 25 percent VAT could do it all: Pay for health-care reform, balance the federal budget and exempt millions of families from the income tax while slashing the top rate to 25 percent. A gallon of milk would jump from $3.69 to $4.61, and a $5,000 bathroom renovation would suddenly cost $6,250, but the nation's debt would stabilize and everybody could see a doctor.

Sales Tax Gains Momentum

Burman, who helped House Democrats craft an unsuccessful 2007 plan to repeal the alternative minimum tax, said he's received a number of phone calls from lawmakers interested in his idea, though "they can't quite imagine how to make it happen politically." Burman said the 25 percent rate has caused some sticker shock, and he's trying to figure out how to bring it down.

Graetz's proposal drew an endorsement from Volcker, who last year called it "a sensible plan for reform." (Volcker did not respond to a request for comment.) It also has piqued the interest of Conrad, the Senate Budget Committee chairman who argues that it could be modified to accommodate Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on families who make less than $200,000 a year.

"I think interest is quietly picking up," Graetz said. "People are beginning to recognize that the mathematics of the current system are just unsustainable. You have to do something. And a VAT has got to be on the table if you want to do something big and serious."

Still, the Senate Finance Committee declined to include a VAT among the options it is considering to pay for health reform. And even VAT supporters doubt the tax will find a place among the tax-reform proposals the Volcker panel has been asked to produce by Dec. 4.

Though the nation's fiscal outlook is grim, Burman said "the situation will have to get more desperate" before lawmakers are likely to consider a new levy aimed directly at the pocketbooks of every one of their constituents.

Most lawmakers are still looking for "a painless source of revenue" to overhaul the health-care system and dig the nation out of debt, Burman said. "Who knows?" he added. "Maybe the tooth fairy will bring that to them."

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

Don’t be fooled… a possible 25% across the board VAT in addition to Federal Income Tax for a mediocre nationalized (or socialized… pick your word) medical program, where you will stand in line for care and wait on lists (often until it is too late) for major treatments and surgeries, while the government manages and has access to your and your family’s entire medical records… us use for whatever they eventually see fit.

Posted: True Health Is True Wealth

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Friday, May 29, 2009

How To Win The Battle Over Cholesterol

Back a few years ago, some cracks started forming in the giant shield wielded against cholesterol, which we were told was our mortal enemy, and had to be stopped at any cost. Just to give you an idea of how big that shield is, let me tell you that anti- cholesterol agents, or statins, bring in around 20+ billion dollars a year. Two examples of those type of drugs are Lipitor, or Crestor. There are many others, and 16 miilion Americans now take statins.

The drug companies would like to see that number go up to around 34 million, and one of the ways they are pushing to do that is by making fat kids take cholesterol medication. They have other ideas too, but this one is way out of line.

Here's an example of a typical anti-cholesterol campaign, which was adopted by the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, and the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

"If you eat fat rich, cholesterol rich foods, like beef, butter, and egg yolks, you're digging your own forkful at a time."

Now let's give kudos to the copywriter who came up with that slogan. He or she did their job extremely well. And the ill informed media told this story over and over and over for decades. The only problem just wasn't true.

A number of recently published books demonstrate clearly that the scientific evidence for these claims has never been particularly convincing.

The advice that we have been spoon fed over the years, that cutting out all foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol (and embracing no fat, low fat diet foods), has actually made our heart disease problem worse.

An endocrinologist and endowed professor of lipid research at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Robert Knopp, says this: "Cholesterol in the diet is a minor player in heart disease."

Bring on the bacon! (Just kidding!)

Dr. Mark Hyman, the Medical Director of the UltraWellness Center in Lennox, Massachusetts, and a well known author of several books, says out loud what I have said to a small audience for years, "Cholesterol is not the real enemy...
inflammation is."

And the underlying cause of inflammation is not dietary cholesterol or saturated fats, but trans fats, sugar, refined carbohydrates and a sedentary lifestyle, or by the presence of an infection, or other irritation in the body.

So whaddaya do?

Eat less sugar and flour.

Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole foods, easy on the red meat.

Prioritize quality fats over junk fats.

Make a friend of fiber.

Get off your kiester.

Use a proven Omega Oil inflammation fighter.

And when your doctor says you need to take a cholesterol lowering drug, ask him, or her, to explain exactly why you need it. Make sure they tell both sides of the story, and ask whether he, or she, would take it themselves. Many doctors won't take statins themselves. There has to be a reason why.

Dr. Bill - nom de guerre of William Thomas Stillwell, M.D., FACS, FICS, FAAOS, FAANAOS, FAAPGS

Posted: Ask Marion - True Health Is True Wealth

The One Common Habit of Unhappy People

Happiness comes in many forms: sleeping until noon on Saturday, finding a twenty in your pocket, biting into a warm cookie…

But here's something that could put you squarely in the unhappy camp: spending too much time with the tube.

Happy-Time Pastimes
Studies confirm it. In analyzing 30 years worth of data collected from a national social-survey database as well as other previous studies, researchers found that people who considered themselves unhappy tended to watch significantly more TV than those who said they were very happy. Higher-spirited folks, they found, spent more time on other types of hobbies, including mingling with friends and family members, reading newspapers, and attending religious services.

And A Bonus: Hiding the remote could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, too.

Don't Kill Your TV
Watching a little TV here and there isn't a huge threat to your quality of life, as long as you don’t devote more time and energy to it than to your personal relationships, hobbies, or other interests.

There have even been some studies lately showing, that just like with comfort foods… people have comfort TV shows that make them happy. Watching TV just can’t be the main or only thing you do. And with today’s technology… you can record any and all shows that interest you and then watch them when it fits into your schedule, or when the weather is bad, without you missing out on other fun or positive activities.

In addition to turning off the tube now and then, try these other mood-boosting maneuvers:

  • Make friends with happy people and like-minded people to do things with.
  • Choose the right comfort foods; ones that really give you a pick me up.
  • Grab the mop. Housework can actually improve your mood.

Posted: Ask Marion – True Health Is True Wealth

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BPA bans loom on the horizon

Over the past few months, I've been keeping you posted on the growing movement against BPA, a chemical found in many plastic containers. Well, it looks like we've finally got a victory on the horizon.

Connecticut is on the verge of becoming the first state to enact BPA restrictions. If passed, the ban would mean food products meant for children that are contained in jars and bottles made with BPA could not be sold in the state after October 2011.

Twenty-three other states already have similar anti-BPA legislation in the works, and it's also being discussed in Congress.

This is serious business. This chemical has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes in adults. It also seems to have estrogen-like effects in children, which means it could potentially accelerate puberty and increase the risk of cancer.

Whether your state bans BPA or not, you can declare your own personal ban. It might seem like a small step, but I guarantee that you, your children, and your grandchildren will be all the healthier for it.

By:  William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. 

Posted: Ask Marion - True Health Is True Wealth

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Genetic Clue to Why Autism Affects Boys More


Ten year-old Tristan Bonnert, who has autism, with his mother Delilah at their home in Columbia, S.C. - Mary Ann Chastain / AP

Among the many mysteries that befuddle autism researchers: why the disorder affects boys four times more often than girls. But in new findings reported online today by the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers say they have found a genetic clue that may help explain the disparity.

The newly discovered autism-risk gene, identified by authors as CACNA1G, is more common in boys than in girls (why that's so is still not clear), and the authors suggest it plays a role in boys' increased risk of the developmental disorder. CACNA1G, which sits on chromosome 17, amid other genes that have been previously linked to autism, is responsible for regulating the flow of calcium into and out of cells. Nerve cells in the brain rely on calcium to become activated, and research suggests that imbalances in the mineral can result in the overstimulation of neural connections and create developmental problems, such as autism and even epilepsy, which is also a common feature of autism. (See six tips for traveling with an autistic child.)

"Our current theories about autism suggest that the disorder is related to overexcitability at nerve endings," says Geri Dawson, chief science officer of Autism Speaks, an advocacy group that provided the genetic data used by the study's authors. "It's interesting to see that the gene they identified appears to modulate excitability of neurons."

For the new study, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), combed the genetic database of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), a resource of DNA from 2,000 families with at least one autistic child. The scientists focused on the more than 1,000 genetic samples of families in which at least one son was affected by the disorder, prompted by the results of an earlier study using the same database, which identified a rich autism-related genetic region on chromosome 17 that contained genetic variants more common in boys than in girls. While nearly 40% of the general population has the most common form of CACNA1G, one variant of the gene was more prevalent in autistic boys, researchers found. "There is a strong genetic signal in this region," says Dr. Daniel Geschwind, director of UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment and one of the study's co-authors. "But this gene doesn't explain all of that signal or even half of it. What that means is that there are many more genes in this region contributing to autism." (See pictures of inside a school for autistic children.)

That's not surprising for a disorder as complex as autism — actually, a spectrum of developmental disorders involving impairment in language, social behavior and certain physical behaviors — with symptoms that range widely in number and severity. So far, studies have linked a handful of genes, all of which play a role in the way nerve cells connect and communicate, with autism spectrum disorders. It's likely not only that a large number of genes contribute to the disorder, but also that a different combination of genes — as well as unique interactions between genes and environment — are responsible for each individual case of autism.

So it's certainly a daunting challenge to begin teasing out the individual genes that may contribute to autism, as the UCLA team has with CACNA1G, but databases like AGRE make the job slightly easier. The next step will be to try to use known autism genes to help develop screening tools or early interventions. "We are going to have a much better understanding of the causes of autism over the next five to 10 years," says Dawson. "We're in a period of great discovery."

By ALICE PARK Tuesday, May. 19, 2009

Source: Time Magazine

Posted: Ask Marion – TrueHealthisTrueWealth

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fight Cancer with Vitamin D

You’ve probably heard all of your life that vitamin D builds strong bones. That’s certainly true, but recent research shows that vitamin D has an even bigger role in many aspects of our health. One role that many people and even doctors are just now becoming aware of is the impact the “sunshine vitamin” has on lowering our risk of developing cancer.

As a powerful regulator of cell reproduction, vitamin D-3, the most effective form of vitamin D, plays a major part in preventing cancers and controlling the growth and spread of existing cancers.

In the 1970s and ’80s, the medical establishment, led by dermatologists, sounded an alarm over the rising number of deadly malignant melanomas in the United States, but when doctors convinced people to protect themselves from the sun, cases of melanoma actually rose in significant numbers. Medical experts blamed the increase on the fact that people were spending more time in the sun because they felt that sunblock creams protected them. Only later did research reveal that the sun’s UVA rays, which most sunblocks did not affect, were just as carcinogenic as UVB rays.

Although this is important, they still may be missing the boat. When sun strikes our skin, the penetrating UVB rays trigger biochemical reactions in the deeper cells that generate huge amounts of vitamin D. As little as 30 minutes in the sun can generate up to 50,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D.

We now know that vitamin D is a powerful inhibitor of cancer development and growth. So by making people vitamin D deficient with their medical wisdom to avoid sun exposure, they inadvertently increased people’s risk of developing all forms of skin cancer, including the deadly malignant melanoma.

Although vitamin D is known to inhibit some of the worst cancers, such as breast and colon, the most dramatic effect on cancers is with the deadly glioblastoma multiforme, the most common primary brain tumor and the form that has stricken Ted Kennedy.

The mortality is around 90 percent, and most die within one to two years of diagnosis despite aggressive conventional treatment.

In a Phase II trial, researchers found that high dose vitamin D-3 produced a dramatic regression of the tumor and complete clinical remission in 27 percent of cases that lasted as long as four to seven years, far beyond the expected survival with conventional aggressive treatments.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Flu Facts - For the Yound and the Old

Flu Vaccine Puts Kids at Risk

Flu vaccine does not help children stricken with influenza stay out of the hospital, but instead, increases their risk of being hospitalized, compared with those who have not had shots, according to a new study.

In fact, the risk triples, according to the study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minneapolis.  

The new study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the flu vaccine (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine, or TIV) in children, especially asthmatic children, study leader Avni Joshi, M.D., told Science Daily.

The relative benefit of the vaccine is of paramount importance in light of the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics to vaccinate all children between 6 months and 18 years every year, a recommendation that the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program endorses.

The Mayo Clinic study spanned eight consecutive flu seasons and involved 263 children ages 6 months to 18 years. All of the children had laboratory-confirmed influenza between 1996 and 2006. Researchers verified which children had or had not received the vaccine, which were asthmatics, and which had to be hospitalized with flu-related illnesses.

The study showed that children who had been vaccinated had three times the risk of hospitalization of children who had not been vaccinated. Asthmatic children who received the vaccine had a “significantly” higher risk of being hospitalized than asthmatic children who had not received it. No other factors, such as the severity of asthma, appeared to have an effect on the risk of being hospitalized.

The findings do not implicate the flu vaccine as the cause of hospitalizations, Joshi said, adding that they do, “raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine.”

Source: Reuters / NewsMax Online

Elderly May Have Greater Swine Flu Immunity

Older people may have some kind of immunity to swine flu, U.S. health officials said Thursday, as the number of confirmed and suspected cases of H1N1 virus rose again around the country.

More than 64 percent of U.S. infections have occurred among patients between the ages of 5 and 24, with just 1 percent of flu victims 65 or older, according to a study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One possible explanation is that "older adults might have been in contact a long time ago with a virus related to the one that we see now," said Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for science and public health programs at the CDC.

"Adults might have some degree of pre-existing . . . antibodies to the H1N1 virus, especially older adults over 60 or 65," she said.

"The presence of pre-existing antibodies may be due to previous exposure to (influenza) infection or vaccination."

Health authorities around the world have been surprised that, with the number of cases of swine flu now topping 11,000, including 85 deaths, many of those infected have been younger people.

The CDC's study suggests that children and teens may be particularly vulnerable to contracting the disease — a worrying prospect as officials brace for the possible return in a few months' time of a more virulent strain of the H1N1 virus.

The flu outbreak is far from over in the United States, where the tally of confirmed or probable cases is now 5,764, Schuchat said.

Schuchat offered a scrap of upbeat news, noting that flu-related visits to doctors and hospitals are dropping across the United States.

Source: AFP

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Posted:  True Health Is True Wealth

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Advances for Alzheimer's, Outside the Lab


They sit demurely in rows of plastic chairs, hands in their laps, awaiting instructions. They have been dressed carefully by their spouses and relatives in ankle-long frocks or neat cardigans, with crisply knotted ties — the overly formal style of the aged.

Organizing this unlikely choir is Chreanne Montgomery-Smith, who runs support groups for the Newbury branch of Britain's Alzheimer's Society. On cue, the 40 or so Alzheimer's and dementia patients join hands and begin singing in unison — a tentative rendition of Amazing Grace. They remember most of the words and their chorus fills the hall. Montgomery-Smith is certain that the music helps bring her patients' thoughts — ravaged by dissonance and dislocation — into harmony.

"You can see how they become lucid when they sing," says Montgomery-Smith, who has witnessed improvements in sociability and communication during her musical meetings. "The research isn't there to support it at the moment but I'm confident these sessions will one day be shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's. The benefit [of singing] as a hidden cognitive rehabilitation is evident. You can't keep a good idea down forever."

For now though, Montgomery-Smith has been asked by the Alzheimer's Society not to describe this activity — called Singing for the Brain — as "treatment." The scientific data doesn't even support the term "therapeutic." But there are few other dementia therapies that the evidence can validate — currently only two types of drugs have received government approval in the U.S. to slow the progression of Alzheimer's, but both offer only limited benefits — and many caregivers, desperate to better the lives of their patients, resort to such low-tech, behavior-based solutions as singing.

Medicine has long fought two fronts in the battle against disease — in the research lab and at the bedside. The race toward a treatment for Alzheimer's has focused almost exclusively on research in psychopharmacology, immunology and gene therapy. But as patients and caregivers wait for a cure, the progressive, fatal condition continues to affect some 5 million Americans. Meanwhile, low-tech memory-enhancing devices like diaries, Post-It notes and portable cameras are used increasingly by Alzheimer's caregivers, leading some researchers to contemplate whether the consistent and comprehensive use of bedside solutions may actually slow the progression of the disease. If rudimentary tools have any chance of inhibiting the disease, health-care workers are interested. When it comes to Alzheimer's, even incremental improvements can have a profound effect: a 2004 Australian study found that delaying the onset of dementia by five years would eventually halve the number of people living with the condition.

At Cambridge University's Addenbrooke's Hospital, one pilot program has generated a lot more excitement than any new drug or gene discoveries made at the high-tech labs there. (GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies conduct dementia-related research at Addenbrooke's.) Led by a team of clinical psychologists who specialize in rehabilitating brain-injured patients, the program involves using SenseCam, a digital camera, developed by the nearby Microsoft Research Lab, that hangs from the neck and passively takes photographs every 30 seconds. The pictures can then be played back in sequence.

Addenbrooke's psychologists decided to try the device with their patients with memory loss. They found surprising results. While memory-impaired patients who take pictures with traditional cameras often fail to remember the photographed events or activities, those who used SenseCam, which has a wide-angle lens and takes impromptu rather than staged pictures, found their recall to be greatly enhanced. "This isn't rocket science and the device is quite simple but there's something about its spontaneous, wide-angle photographs that seem to mimic the brain's own episodic memory," says Emma Berry, a neuropsychologist working on the project. In the past few years, several studies conducted at the hospital have shown that, after reviewing the photographs for an hour every other day for two weeks, dementia patients are able to recall photographed activity months later — even without the help of the camera's playback function.

"That's what we find so exciting. Their recall improved by up to 80%, not only when looking at the photos but months after studying the sequence. It raises the possibility of firing up parts of the brain that have become inactive because of the disease," Berry says.

Humans store memories in various regions of the brain, but neuroscientists have pinpointed one section deep within, a seahorse-shaped structure called the hippocampus, as particularly crucial to memory. Studies of patients with brain injury or disease have shown that the hippocampus is where new memories are formed and where recent ones are retrieved; like a librarian, it scans the brain's catalog of bygone information and brings appropriate material to the fore. (But a recent brain-scan study of 15 healthy adults at the University of California, San Diego, found that the hippocampus has less to do with memories from the distant past. It is vital to the recall of recent events, from a year or two ago, but when study participants were asked to recall memories five or 10 years old, scientists recorded less activity in the hippocampus and more in the cerebral cortex.)

In Alzheimer's, the hallmark plaques of the disease are known to target and clog the hippocampus and nearby regions first, which explains why the initial symptoms of the disease involve memory loss — and why early stage patients may have trouble remembering whether they ate breakfast that morning, but can still recognize friends from childhood. Though Berry does not yet have scientific evidence, she strongly believes that low-tech treatments like episodic photography can spark specific and targeted activity in the hippocampus, keeping it active for longer or even regenerating it — and perhaps allowing patients to hold on to new memories.

The Alzheimer's Society's Montgomery-Smith thinks singing sessions may work similarly, by dredging up distant memories associated with the music and stimulating memory-retrieval mechanisms in the brain. But many other Alzheimer's activists warn that putting too much hope in claims of so-called "hidden cognitive rehabilitation" will only distract from the urgent need to find a cure. "There are so many things that you can't overcome with Alzheimer's — we can't get too excited by these low-tech treatments. They can help patient care but they will never deliver a solution," says Susanne Sorensen, head of research for the Alzheimer's Society U.K. "We need more clinical trials [for vaccines and drugs]. There's no substitute."

No one disagrees that more research is necessary. But even if activities such as singing or taking pictures cannot treat Alzheimer's, they may still improve patients' mood and social skills and, at least for a time, raise their quality of life. When the Alzheimer's Association, based in Chicago, surveyed 350 Americans diagnosed with dementia in 2008, many respondents said they felt abandoned by the medical community after diagnosis, and most wished for a greater range of treatment options other than just pills. "Their impression was that the doctor felt their job was done as soon as the diagnoses was made and the prescriptions written," says Shelley Bluethmann of the Alzheimer's Association.

Responding to these concerns, Bluethmann's organization has commissioned various projects in hospitals and rehabilitation centers across the U.S. that are intended to supplement pharmacological treatment — from art and music classes to the development of a board game called "Make Memory Together," designed by Gene Cohen at George Washington University. "Our vision is to work for a cure, but we also have an obligation to support the best quality of life for patients living with the disease now," Bluethmann says.

Bluethmann adds that low-tech activities offer another "hidden" benefit: helping spouses and relatives who care for Alzheimer's patients. Often, caregivers describe the distress and frustration that result from watching a disease slowly rob them of their loved ones as unbearable. They say any reprieve is a godsend. In Newbury, as the group shuffled out after two hours of singing, I asked one man whether he had enjoyed himself. "I liked it very much," he responded. His wife gasped. "He said five words," she said, placing her hand tenderly on his arm, and peering hopefully into his eyes. "He hasn't strung together five words like that in months."

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Source: TrueHealthIsTrueWealth

The Neglected Nutritional Research of Dr. Weston Price, DDS

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. With the advent of antibiotics in the 1930s, modern medicine has prided itself on its near total eradication of several deadly diseases:

  • tuberculosis
  • polio
  • diptheria

Modern medicine has a drug and a diagnostic test for just about everything and, because of this edifice of pharmacological technology, people are generally in awe of doctors and the medical profession.

Despite our amazing scientific advances - television, movies, the space shuttle, walking on the moon, etc. - we have gotten nowhere when it comes to chronic disease. Doctors cringe and cower when a patient with arthritis comes to see them.

The same goes for people afflicted with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS: medical science, with all its technological wizardry (and overweening pride), has NO effective treatments or cures for any of these diseases. And the rates for these diseases keep climbing.

When it comes to CVD, for example, doctors may claim that they have reduced the mortality rates of people who've had heart attacks, but this is because science has the technology to keep people alive once they've had the heart attack. The risk and incidence of CVD, however, has only risen and worsened. Despite the pushing of low fat/cholesterol diets, blood thinning drugs, polyunsaturated oils, and calorie counting, the 20th century has not made a dent in the rates of CVD.

Things were not so bad back at the turn of the last century, but the situation was worsening enough to make one man take notice. Dr. Weston Price of Cleveland, Ohio, was a dentist in private practice who had a truly glorious and distinguished career.

He had taught the science to thousands at dental schools, authored technical papers and textbooks, and headed an incredible study on the role of root canals in promoting diseases of various types. (For those of you interested in reading more about this aspect of Dr. Price's work, you can check out the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation's webpage at Despite Price's amazing work, it has largely been forgotten and this is unfortunate, for in it is a treaure trove of nutritional information that can lead modern peoples to greater health and vitality, and awayfrom the scourge of chronic disease.

Dr. Price's Nutrition Studies

Price noticed that his patients were suffering more and more chronic and degenerative diseases. He also noticed that his younger patients had increasingly deformed dental arches, crooked teeth, and cavities. This definitely concerned him: he had not seen such things just ten or fifteen years ago.

Why was it happening now? Price also noticed a strong correlation between dental health and physical health: a mouth full of cavities went hand in hand with a body either full of disease, or generalized weakness and susceptibility to disease. In Price's time, tuberculosis was the major infectious illness, the White Scourge. He noticed that children were increasingly affected, the ones with the lousy teeth.

Dr. Price had heard rumors of native cultures where so-called primitive people lived happy lives, free of disease. He hit on an idea: why not go find these people and find out (1) if they really are healthy, and (2) if so, find out what they're doing to keep themselves healthy. Being rather well off financially, he and his wife started traveling around the world to remote locations. They were specifically looking for healthy peoples who had not been touched yet by civilization - at that time, such groups were still around.

Price's work is often criticized at this point for being biased. Critics claim that Price simply ignored native peoples that were not healthy, therefore, his data and conclusions about primitive diets are unfounded. These critics are missing the point and motivation for Dr. Price's work. Dr. Price was not interested in examining sick people because he'd seen enough of them in America.

Price wanted to find HEALTHY people, find out what made them so, and see if there were any patterns among these people. During his nine years of journeys, Price did indeed come across groups of primitives who were having problems for various reasons. Price noted these groups down, what appeared to be their difficulty, and then passed them over. Again, he was not interested in sick people. Price often found that the health problems were caused by food shortages (especially a lack of animal products), droughts, things people living off the land must face from time to time, or contact with white European civilization.

Dr. Price and his wife went just about everywhere in their journeys. They traveled to isolated villages in the Swiss alps, to cold and blustery islands off the coast of Scotland, to the Andes mountains in Peru, to several locations in Africa, to the Polynesian islands, to Australia and New Zealand, to the forests of northern Canada, and even to the Arctic Circle. In all, Price visited with fourteen groups of native peoples.

After gaining the trust of the village elders in the various places, Price did what came naturally: he counted cavities and physically examined them. Imagine his surprise to find, on average, less than 1% of tooth decay in all the peoples he visited!

He also found that these people's teeth were perfectly straight and white, with high dental arches and well-formed facial features. And there was something more astonishing: none of the peoples Price examined practiced any sort of dental hygiene; not one of his subjects had ever used a toothbrush!

For example, when Price visited his first people, isolated Swiss mountain villagers, he noticed right away that the children's teeth were covered with a thin film of green slime, yet they had no tooth decay. What a difference this was from the children in Ohio!

Dr. Price also noticed that, in addition to their healthy teeth and gums, all the people he discovered were hardy and strong, despite the sometimes difficult living conditions they had to endure. Eskimo women, for example, gave birth to one healthy baby after another with little difficulty.

Despite the Swiss children going barefoot in frigid streams, there had not been a single case of tuberculosis in any of them, despite exposure to TB. In general, Price found, in contrast to what he saw in America, no incidence of the very diseases that plague us moderns with our trash compactors and cellular phones: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hemorrhoids, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome (it was called neurasthenia in Price's day), etc.

Dr. Price also noticed another quality about the healthy primitives he found: they were happy. While depression was not a major problem in Price's day, it certainly is today: ask any psychiatrist. While certain natives sometimes fought with neighboring tribes, within their own groups, they were cheerful and optimistic and bounced back quickly from emotional setbacks. These people had no need for antidepressants.

Lest you think Dr. Price made all of this up, he was sure to take along with him one modern invention that would forever chronicle his research and startling conclusions: a camera. Dr. Price and his wife took pictures - 18,000 of them. Many of the pictures are contained in Price's masterpiece Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The pictures show native peoples from all over the world smiling wide as the Mississippi river, their perfect teeth shining bright.

What thePeople Ate

In addition to examining the natives, Dr. Price also gathered considerable data about their distinctive cultures and customs, and these descriptions fill many of the pages of his book. Price took great care to observe what these people were eating for he suspected the key to good health and good teeth was in good food.

He was surprised to find that, depending on the people in question and where they lived, each group ate very differently from the other.

For example, the Swiss mountain villagers subsisted primarily on unpasteurized and cultured dairy products, especially butter and cheese. Rye also formed an integral part of their diet. Occasionally, they ate meat (beef) as cows in their herds got older. Small amounts of bone broths, vegetables and berries rounded out the diet. Due to the high altitude, not much vegetation grew. The villagers would eat what they could in the short summer months, and pickle what was left over for the winter. The main foods, however, were full fat cheese, butter, and rye bread.

Gaelic fisher people of the Outer Hebrides ate no dairy products, but instead had their fill of cod and other sea foods, especially shell fish (when in season). Due to the poor soil, the only grain that could grow was oat, and it formed a major part of the diet. A traditional dish, one considered very important for growing children and expectant mothers, was cod's head stuffed with oats and mashed fish liver. Again, due to the extremely inhospitable climate, fruits and vegetables grew sparsely. Price noted that a young Gaelic girl reeled in puzzlement when offered an apple: she had never seen one!

Eskimo, or Innu, ate a diet of almost 100% animal products with hefty amounts of fish. Walrus and seal, and other marine mammals also formed an integral part of the diet. Blubber (fat) was consumed with relish. Innu would gather nuts, berries, and some grasses during the short summer months, but their diet was basically all meat and fat. Price noted that the Innu would usually ferment their meat before eating it. That is, they would bury it and allow it to slightly putrefy before consuming it. Innu would also eat the partially digested grasses of caribou by cutting open their stomachs and intestines.

The Maori of New Zealand, along with other South sea islanders, consumed seafood of every sort - fish, shark, octopus, sea worms, shellfish - along with fatty pork and a wide variety of plant foods including coconut and fruit.

African cattle-keeping tribes like the Masai consumed virtually no plant foods at all, just beef, raw milk, organ meats, and blood (in times of drought).

The Dinkas of the Sudan, whom Price claimed were the healthiest of all the African tribes he studied, ate a combination of fermented whole grains with fish, along with smaller amounts of red meat, vegetables, and fruit. The Bantu, on the other hand, the least hardy of the African tribes studied, were primarily agriculturists. Their diet consisted mostly of beans, squash, corn, millet, vegetables, and fruits, with small amounts of milk and meat. Price never found a totally vegetarian culture. Modern anthropological data support this: all cultures and peoples show a preference for animal foods and animal fat.

Hunter-gatherer peoples in Northern Canada, the Florida Everglades, the Amazon, and Australia, consumed game animals of all types, especially the organ meats, and a variety of grains, legumes, tubers, vegetables, and fruits when available.

Price noted that all peoples, except the Innu, consumed insects and their larvae. Obviously in more tropical areas, insects formed a more integral part of the diet. Price noted that: The natives of Africa know that certain insects are very rich in special food values at certain seasons, also that their eggs are valuable foods. A fly that hatches in enormous quantities in Lake Victoria is gathered and used fresh and dried for storage. They also use ant eggs and ants. Bees, wasps, dragonflies, beetles, crickets, cicadas, moths, and termites were consumed with zest also, particularly in Africa.

Price also noted that all cultures consumed fermented foods each day. Foods such as cheese, cultured butter, yogurt, or fermented grain drinks like kaffir beer (made from millet) in Africa, or fermented fish as with the Innu were an important part of native diets.

Curiously, all native peoples studied made great efforts to obtain seafood, especially fish roe which was consumed so that we will have healthy children. Even mountain dwelling peoples would make semiannual trips to the sea to bring back seaweeds, fish eggs, and dried fish. Shrimp, rich in both cholesterol and vitamin D, was a standard food in many places, from Africa to the Orient.

The last major feature of native diets that Price found was that they were rich in fat, especially animal fat. Whether from insects, eggs, fish, game animals, or domesticated herds, primitive peoples knew that they would get sick if they did not consume enough fat. Explorers besides Dr. Price have also found this to be true.

For example, anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who lived for years among the Innu and Northern Canadian Indians, specifically noted how the Indians would go out of their way to hunt down older male caribou for they carried a 50 pound slab of back fat. When such animals were unavailable and Indians were forced to subsist on rabbits, a very lean animal, diarrhea and hunger would set in after about a week. The human body needs saturated fat to assimilate and utilize proteins and saturated animal fats contain high amounts of the fat soluble vitamins, as well as beneficial fatty acids with antimicrobial properties.

Of course, the foods that Price's subjects ate were natural and unprocessed. Their foods did not contain preservatives, additives, or colorings. They did not contain added sugar (though, when available, natural sweets like honey and maple syrup were eaten in moderation). They did not contain white flour or canned foods. Their milk products were not pasteurized, homogenized, or low fat. The animal and plant foods consumed were raised and grown on pesticide-free soil and were not given growth hormones or antibiotics. In short, these people always ate organic.

What the Samples Showed

Dr. Price was eager to chemically analyze the various foods these primitives ate. He was careful to obtain preserved samples of all types for analysis. Basically, the diets of these healthy peoples contained 10 times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins, and at least 4 times the amount of calcium, other minerals, and water soluble vitamins than Western diets at that time. No wonder these people were so healthy!

Because of the consumption of fermented and raw foods (including raw animal products), Price noted that native diets were rich in enzymes. Enzymes assist in the digestion of cooked foods.

Price noted that all peoples had a predilection and dietary pull towards foods rich in the fat-soluble vitamins. Price considered butter from pasture-fed cows, rich in these vitamins as well as minerals, to be the premiere health food. Fat-soluble vitamins are found in fats of animal origin, like butter, cream, lard, and tallow, as well as in organ meats.

And to dispel a common myth about native peoples, they did live long lives. Price took numerous photos of healthy primitives with heads full of gray hair. While we don't know exactly how old they were since they did not have calendars, they were, by all appearances, well past 60.

The Aborigines, for example, had a special society of the elderly. Obviously, if there were no old people among them, they would have had no need for such a group. Stefansson also reported great longevity among the Innu. It is true that death rates at younger ages were higher among some groups, but these mortalities were from the dangerous lifestyle these people lived, not from their diet. When you live in the Arctic Circle, for example, constantly fighting the elements, polar bears, ice flows, and leopard seals, you run the risk of an early death.

Another common misconception that modern nutrition holds towards native peoples and their high meat and fat diets is that they suffered from all sorts of degenerative diseases, especially osteoporosis and heart disease. The facts, however, do not support these contentions. Despite some studies done in the past few decades that tried to show the high rates of osteoporosis among the Innu were due to their high protein diet, other studies have shown no such thing.

The work of Drs. Herta Spencer and Lois Kramer conclusively proved that the protein/calcium loss theory to be nonsense. As it turns out, the negative studies on the Eskimo were done, not on Innu following their traditional diet, but among modernized Innu who had adopted modern eating habits and alcohol.

Alcoholism is a major factor in bone loss. Certainly, Dr. Price would have noted that bone loss was a problem if it had been, especially since he was examining teeth which are made of calcium, but he did not. While in Switzerland, Price got permission to dig up skeletal remains of some villagers: the bones were sturdy and strong. There are pictures in Price's book of these bones (and skulls showing mouths of perfect teeth free of decay). Price found no incidence of any major diseases, including heart disease.

This is not to say that native peoples did not have ANY problems for such is certainly not the case. Price learned of native remedies for a host of minor ills such as headaches, colds, wounds, and burns. But as far as degenerative diseases go, he found nothing.

This brings up the other major finding of Dr. Price's research: the effects of a modern diet on native peoples. To this, let us now turn.

The Roots of Disease

When Dr. Price visited the various primitive groups, he noted that white European civilization had begun making inroads into the areas where they lived. Some of the native peoples opted to leave and move into areas where it was more modern. Dr. Price also had the opportunity to compare white colonialists who were living alongside, or close to, the native peoples he was studying. What he found was what he thought he would find: disease and dental decay.

When people read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, it often changes their lives because not only does it describe how healthy people look, feel, and eat, it also shows in painful detail what happens to those people when they abandon their native eating patterns and adopt modern foodstuffs.

The pictures Price took of natives and moderns on what Price disdainfully called the displacing foods of modern commerce are horrifying and stand in stark contrast to the pictures next to them of healthy, smiling natives. Nutrition writer and Price enthusiast Sally Fallon explains:

His photographs capture the suffering caused by these foodstuffs - chiefly rampant tooth decay. Even more startling, they show the change in facial development that occurred with modernization.

Parents who had changed their diets gave birth to children who no longer exhibited the tribal patterns. Their faces were more narrow, their teeth crowded, their nostrils pinched. These faces do not beam with optimism, like those of their healthy ancestors.

The photographs of Dr. Weston Price demonstrate with great clarity that the foods of modern commerce do not provide sufficient nutrients to allow the body to reach its full genetic potential - neither the complete development of the bones in the body and the head, nor the fullest expressions of the various systems that allow humankind to function at optimal levels -

  • immune system
  • nervous system
  • digestion
  • reproduction

And what were the offending foods that these unfortunate people consumed? Why everything we find on our grocer's shelves:

white flour
jams, jellies
condensed milk
canned vegetables
refined grain products
vegetable oils

Price noted in several places that where modern foods had displaced traditional ones, suicide rates from dental caries were high. As most of us know, dental pain can be excruciating. With no drugs to ease their pain, and no dentist around to pull the dying tooth, people took their own lives to escape the torture.

White Europeans who lived in Africa had to leave periodically for health reasons. Children born there had to be sent away several times during their youth in order to survive. Such was the hardy effect of modern foods on these people. Native Africans, of course, had no such problems as long as they stayed on their native diets.

As noted earlier, the major infectious disease at Price's time was tuberculosis, the White Scourge. Price took several photographs of children, usually the children of either Europeans or natives who had adopted the modern foods before their children were born. They are disturbing in their depictions of suffering. Some of the children were too sick to be moved to better lighting for photographing. Others had pus visibly draining from their lymph glands and abscessed teeth.

Invariably, parents and children who had adopted modern foods were highly susceptible to tuberculosis and other degenerative diseases.

The native Hawaiians are a tragic example of this shift. Price did visit the Hawaiian islands on his journeys. He, of course, noted that Hawaiians who ate their traditional diet of coconut, fish, shellfish, taro, sweet potatoes, and fresh fruits were healthy and strong.

Today, however, the health of native Hawaiians is frightening. Obesity and diabetes are rampant. Because canned meats with nitrates in them are popular there, rates of stomach cancer are high (nitrates convert into carcinogens in the stomach - vitamin C halts the conversion).

Hawaiians today eat their fair share of sugar, soft drinks, vegetable oils, macaroni salad, white flour, and white rice. Coconut is sometimes eaten, but usually as part of a sugary snack. High blood pressure and heart attacks are common. Rates of Alzheimer's are elevated as well. Such is the effect of processed foods on a beautiful race of people.

In the last decade or so, however, a diet was proposed called the Hawaii Diet. Though it is a little low in fat for my tastes, it advocates a full return to traditional eating patterns: fish, taro, sweet potatoes, fresh fruit and vegetables, and, occasionally, pork (wild boar and feral pig are native to the islands). Specifically avoided are white rice, sugar, Spam, and processed foods in general.

The change is dramatic:

  • people lose weight
  • they have more energy
  • their health problems dissipate or become more manageable
  • Their teeth invariably improve as well

Price noticed this pattern also. If a native abandoned his ancestral eating habits in favor of modern foods, ill health and dental caries followed. If that same person switched back to the original eating pattern, however, health returned and the progression of dental decay stopped and reversed itself. This is perhaps the most uplifting aspect of Price's work: one can always reverse the trend; there is always hope.

Price accurately and ominously predicted that as Western man consumed more refined sugar and substituted vegetable oils for animal fats, disease would increase and reproduction would be more difficult. Today, some 25% of Western couples are infertile, and rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease have skyrocketed. Price was truly a modern Cassandra of Troy - prophesying the truth, but with no one listening.

A Return to Sanity, Please?

For many decades, Price's work has been buried and forgotten. Due to the efforts of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, however, and the republication of Price's book for the public, that is fortunately starting to change.

Price's conclusions and recommendations were shocking for his time. He advocated a return to breast feeding when such a practice was discouraged by Western medicine. He urged parents to give their children cod liver oil every day. He considered fresh butter to be the supreme health food.

He warned against:

  • pesticides
  • herbicides
  • preservatives
  • colorings
  • refined sugars
  • vegetable oils

in short, all the things that modern nutrition and agriculture have embraced and promoted the last few decades. Price believed that margarine was a demonic creation. Let me tell you, with recommendations like these, he was REALLY unpopular! But the result of his research speaks for itself.

Knowing that his data flatly contradict virtually everything that politically correct nutrition holds, it is common to find his work belittled. If Price's studies are accurate, then the low-fat school must go the way of all flesh: into the graveyard. It is typical, therefore, for critics to say things like Price only superficially examined the peoples he encountered and made simplistic conclusions about their health.

Price is also accused of ignoring the nutritional deficiencies of the peoples he studied, as well as their high rates of infant mortality. Its also asserted that the modern foods that Price argued were these people's downfall were actually wholesome, but the primitive peoples overconsumed too much of them and didn't balance their diets correctly, hence their high rates of disease after adopting modern food stuffs.

Critics also claim that malnourished people usually don't have dental problems, so it is immaterial that the natives Price photographed had perfect teeth, or that the modernized ones had poor ones.

It is truly amazing how far some experts will go to defend the processed food industry and shaky nutritional hypotheses! Even a cursory look at Price's book will tell any rational person that Price did not superficially examine the people he studied. The detail about native customs, eating habits, and history of the various areas argues against any accusations of superficiality.

Additionally, Price was a physician with many years of experience; it is ludicrous to claim that he would make a superficial examination and reach simplistic conclusions about people's health.

If there were nutritional deficiencies, he would have noted them down, but no such descriptions exist for the simple reason that no such deficiencies existed. We know this to be true for, if we examine the modern descendants of Price's subjects, we find that they enjoy robust health and freedom from both dental caries and more chronic diseases, IF they have not abandoned their native diets.

It is true that high infant mortality rates existed, but only AFTER exposure to and adoption of the white European way of life. Further, if the foods of modern commerce were so wholesome, then they would have provided the nutrients within them to avert death, dental decay, and disease in the person who ate them, regardless of how they ingested them. Claims of unbalanced diets of modern foods is plain old doubletalk that does not stand the test of logic.

The last claim about dental condition not being related to the body's nutritional state is simply false. Numerous researchers have noted the clear and obvious connection between dental and bodily health. They all assert without hesitation that the health of the body is reflected quite accurately in the health of the teeth.

Dr. Price's Message

The obvious conclusion of Price's research is that for humanity to survive, it must eat better. And the foods it must eat must be wholefresh, and unprocessed. More and more, people are beginning to see this and have been changing their eating patterns. But for the majority, however, the continuation of negative dietary habits will inevitably lead to decreased vitality, unhealthy children, in short, the degeneration of the human race. In this world of survival of the fittest, we need to take every opportunity to bolster our position or we risk going the way of the dodo bird: into extinction.

Besides, eating whole foods tastes good! The first happy lesson to be gleaned from traditional diets and Price's work is that good food can and should taste good. Its OK to saute vegetables and meats with butter. Its OK to consume whole(unpasteurized, non-homogenized) milk, meat with its fat, eggs, shrimp and lobster, and liver with onions and bacon. Its OK and healthy to eat home made soups made from gelatin-rich bone broths and sauces made from drippings and cream.

Eating whole foods is good for the environment as well. The building blocks of a whole foods dietare pesticide-free plant foods raised on naturally enriched soils, and healthy animals that live free to graze and manure the paddocks of their farms, as opposed to standing in a cramped stall, never seeing sunlight, being fed soybeans and corn meal, and being shot up with steroids and antibiotics.

Eating whole foods is better for the economy as well. Organic foods are usually raised by small farms. Each time you buy an organically raised plant or animal product, you are helping someone to earn a living. Isn't that preferable to giving your money to a multinational food company that mass produces its product, not caring about the health of the soil, the planet, the animals, or ourselves?

Finally, eating whole foods is healthier. We humans evolved eating certain food stuffs in certain ways. You did not see a caveman trimming the fat off of his meat - he ate the whole thing. You did not see a Swiss Alps villager eating low fat cheese - she ate the whole thing. You did not see Maori fishermen avoiding shellfish for fear of cholesterol - they ate the whole thing. Foods are packaged in ways that

Nature intended: they contain all the nutrients within themselves for optimal assimilation by our bodies. Eating whole foods insures us the highest amount of nutrients food has to offer. Tampering with them is ill advised.

Our Opportunity

Westerners live in countries where food is readily available, unlike other parts of the world where people routinely starve or are malnourished. Further, we live with a choice between two ways of eating: the way of whole foods, and the way of processed, new fangled junk. With such a privilege, we owe it to ourselves and our children to choose the way of life: the way of whole foods. By making this decision, we can stem the tide of chronic disease that threatens to consume our bodies and minds. Let us make that decision and embrace the ways of our ancestors. It is only by turning to the wisdom of traditional diets that we can find our biological salvation.

By Dr. Stephen Byrnes

Source:  Dr. Mercola

Works Cited

Abrams, H. Leon. Vegetarianism: An Anthropological/Nutritional Evaluation, Jnl of Applied Nutrition, 32:2, 1980.

The Preference for Animal Protein and Fat: A Cross-Cultural Survey, Food and Evolution, Marvin Harris and Eric Ross, eds., Temple University Press, 1987.

Diorio, L.P., et al The Separate Effects of Protein and Calorie Malnutrition of the Development and Growth of Rat Bone and Teeth, Jnl of Nutrition 103:856-865, 1973.

Fallon, Sally. Nasty, Brutish, and Short? The Ecologist, Jan/Feb 1999.

Menaker & Navia Jnl of Dental Research, 52:680-687, 1973.

Navia, J. Nutrition, Diet, and Oral Health, Food and Nutrition News, 50:1-4, 1979.

Price, W. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Keats Publishing, 1943.

Spencer & Kramer Factors Contributing to Osteoporosis, Jnl of Nutr, 116:316-319, 1986.

Further Studies of the Effect of a High Protein Diet as Meat on Calcium Metabolism, Amer Jnl Clin Nutr, June 924-929, 1983.

Posted:  True Health Is True Wealth

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