I love to read, and it is not uncommon for me to have four or five books going at one time. At the moment, I am reading an excellent book that unveils the vast mysteries of the Hebrew alefbet and how it reveals the character of G-d. I am also reading a book about female hormones, another about the twenty-one greatest people in their industry, one about the created purpose and essence of woman, and lastly Nutrition & Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price. While I love to read for my own enrichment and for the benefit of my clients, ever increasing my knowledge and expertise as a natural healthcare practitioner, I have difficulty finding others who have read and are familiar with the same material… others with whom I can discuss what I read and challenge the ideas and philosophies contained therein as well as my own understanding and training.
Recently I started a holistic health book discussion group so that I could have the luxury of discussing what I read with like-minded individuals and to spur us all on to continue our education through accountability. Our first meeting was full of lively and invigorating discussion about the abovementioned book by Dr. Price. All of us were fascinated with the astute observations in this nearly century-old work, chock full of case studies on the deterioration of health in primitive people groups who began to consume a modern “white trash” diet consisting of white sugar, white flour, vegetable fats, canned vegetables and jams.
During the 1930s Dr. Price traveled to remote regions of each of the major continents, with the exception of Antarctica, to study, take physical measurements, saliva and food samples, and make observations about the dental health of the peoples there. And despite the very different native diets in those locations, the dental health of the peoples there was consistently superior to that of those people who adopted a modern diet. While each member of the book discussion group was well aware of the negative effects of a processed diet on health, we were surprised by how quickly the health of isolated people groups would degenerate after the introduction of the modern Western diet. In fact, children from the same two parents often exhibited very diverse physical health characteristics and immune function simply due to the introduction of a modern, Western diet. The negative health consequences included not only crooked teeth and dental caries (which increased from less than 1% in most groups to over 50% in some groups), but also narrowed nasal passages, narrowed or flattened pelvises, and other bone problems including constricted ear canals and skulls (resulting in the crowding of endocrine glands in the brain). Nutritional deficiencies resulted in narrower facial features as well as altered bone structure in other areas of the body. Less space in the jawbone and face means a tighter arch in the mouth, which translates to less room for teeth leading to crooked, crowded teeth. Bet your orthodontist has never told you that before! In fact, the need for orthodontics is a relatively new development in history-- more than a $6 billion industry in supplies alone! (1) Prior to the modern bankrupt diet, jaw and bone structure was wide and spacious, allowing teeth plenty of room to erupt and fill in properly.
I have always wondered how people got along without oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth in years past. I hypothesized that wisdom teeth were there, ready to move in when the other molars wore out or decayed. But did you know that ancient skeletal remains from the peoples that Dr. Price studied all had fully erupted wisdom teeth? And the rest of the teeth in the skulls were also in perfect order, straight and without decay!
Interestingly, the director of a hospital on a Canadian Indian reservation told Dr. Price that during his thirty-eight years of service, maternity problems had increased, with women needing much more intervention in child delivery versus two generations prior when the women would deliver their babies unassisted in the bush. The reason? As mentioned before, narrowed and flattened pelvises were a result of nutritional deficiencies prior to conception and/ or while they themselves were developing in the wombs of their mothers. Rounded versus oval pelvic openings allow for easy labor and delivery.
And what about juvenile delinquency? Lacking nutrition not only affects the bone structure of the head (and body) but digestive health as well. And science has now confirmed that a huge percentage of our neurotransmitters are produced in the gut (up to 95 % of serotonin is found in the bowels), meaning that intestinal health influences mental health. (2), (3), (4) In fact, scientists now refer to the gut as our “second brain.” Additionally, healthy fats prior to conception and during pregnancy contribute to the development of a healthy brain, which is composed of 60% fat. (5), (6) Without adequate fats and cholesterol (yes, I said cholesterol), healthy brain development is inhibited. (7), (8)
“While your brain represents about 2-3% of your total body weight, 25% of the cholesterol in your body is found in your brain, where it plays important roles in such things as membrane function, acts as an antioxidant, and serves as the raw material from which we are able to make things like progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and even Vitamin D.”--Dr. David Perlmutter, MD (9)
And with insufficient brain development due to fat and cholesterol-phobic fad diets, shrunken skull capacities due to nutrient deficiencies, and unhealthy intestinal microbiome, it is no wonder that our children are behaviorally impaired these days. Add to that a continued subsistence on a nutritionally bankrupt diet, and it is a miracle that all children these days are not delinquents! As Sally Fallon Morell, President ofThe Weston A. Price Foundationand author of Nourishing Traditions, explains in her PowerPoint on Traditional Diets:
“When the teeth are straight, it‚ a sign that the rest of the body was properly constructed, with good bone structure, good musculature, keen eyesight and hearing, optimal function of all the organs, optimistic attitude and a well functioning mind. And when the teeth are straight and the facial structure broad, the pelvic opening is round, allowing for easy childbirth. But when the teeth are crooked, it is a sign that there will be compromises in the rest of the body as well. When the face is narrow and the teeth crowded, there is less room for the important glands in the head‚ the pituitary, the pineal and the hypothalamus, the master gland. The hypothalamus is the seat of impulse control‚ and what is the defining characteristic of our young people today? Lack of impulse control!”
Intriguingly, the traditional people groups studied by Dr. Price typically allowed a special feeding period of six months before marriage in order to ensure the couple's reproductive health and that of their children. The foods they consumed during this time were packed with vitamins A, D, and E, iodine, choline, DHA, tryptophan, cholesterol and zinc-- nutrients that are essential for reproductive health. Most of these nutrients are found in cod and animal livers, butter, egg yolks and meat from grass-fed animals, while some are found in seafood. Spacing between children was also practiced to ensure that the mother was able to replenish her nutritional reserves for the next pregnancy.
The concept of pre-conception and pre-natal nutrition contributing to the health of offspring was further proven by researchers like Dr. Joel Wallach who eliminated over 900 diseases by supplying adequate nutrition to the animals he studied. He induced disease on a consistent, replicable basis by withholding specific nutrients. Then he would replenish those nutrients and reverse the disease condition. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, even so-called “genetic” diseases can be prevented and reversed through proper nutrition. Dr. Wallach refers to this concept as epigenetics. Chris Kresser expresses it this way:
So if you are considering having children anytime soon, do your baby a favor and prepare your body with proper nutrition. The factors listed above in relation to native diets used by traditional peoples is a good place to begin, however, don’t forget that even the best diets today are deficient due to soil depletion, the levels of stress we carry, malabsorption due to systemic inflammation and digestive dysfunctions, etc. This is where supplementation plays a vital role. Download your FREE copy of Pre-Pregnancy Health Tips, then contact me to schedule a consultation and receive customized protocol that is perfect for you and Baby! Not planning to have children? Or if you have passed that season in life, finding the right supplementation protocol for you is still important to maintain your health. Contact me today to schedule a consultation!
L’chaim-- To Life!