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Weston A. Price, DDS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sally Fallon Morell   
Saturday, 01 January 2000 16:08
Dr. Weston A. Price
Photo Copyright ┬ę Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation┬«, All Rights Reserved,

Dr.Weston A. Price (1870-1948), a Cleveland dentist, has been called the "Isaac Newton of Nutrition." In his search for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration that he observed in his dental practice, he turned from test tubes and microscopes to unstudied evidence among human beings. Dr. Price sought the factors responsible for fine teeth among the people who had them- the isolated "primitives."

The world became his laboratory. As he traveled, his findings led him to the belief that dental caries and deformed dental arches resulting in crowded, crooked teeth and unattractive appearance were merely a sign of physical degeneration, resulting from what he had suspected-nutritional deficiencies.

Price traveled the world over in order to study isolated human groups, including sequestered villages in Switzerland, Gaelic communities in the Outer Hebrides, Eskimos and Indians of North America, Melanesian and Polynesian South Sea Islanders, African tribes, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori and the Indians of South America. Wherever he went, Dr. Price found that beautiful straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease and fine characters were typical of primitives on their traditional diets, rich in essential food factors.

When Dr. Price analyzed the foods used by isolated primitive peoples he found that they provided at least four times the calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods such as butter, fish eggs, shellfish and organ meats.

napd-seminole1 napd-seminole2

Photos Copyright ┬ę Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation┬«, All Rights Reserved,
The "primitive" Seminole girl (left) has a wide, handsome face with plenty of room for the dental arches. The "modernized" Seminole girl (right) born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diets, has a narrowed face, crowded teeth, and a reduced immunity to disease.

The importance of good nutrition for mothers during pregnancy has long been recognized, but Dr. Price's investigation showed that primitives understood and practiced preconception nutritional programs for both parents. Many tribes required a period of premarital nutrition, and children were spaced to permit the mother to maintain her full health and strength, thus assuring subsequent offspring of physical excellence. Special foods were often given to pregnant and lactating women, as well as to the maturing boys and girls in preparation for future parenthood. Dr. Price found these foods to be very rich in fat soluble vitamins A and D nutrients found only in animal fats.

These primitives with their fine bodies, homogeneous reproduction, emotional stability and freedom from degenerative ills stand forth in sharp contrast to those subsisting on the impoverished foods of civilization-sugar, white flour, pasteurized milk and convenience foods filled with extenders and additives.

The photographs of Dr. Weston Price illustrate the difference in facial structure between those on native diets and those whose parents had adopted the "civilized" diets of devitalized processed foods.

The discoveries and conclusion of Dr. Price are presented in his classic volume Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The book contains striking photographs of handsome, healthy primitives and illustrates in an unforgettable way the physical degeneration that occurs when human groups abandon nourishing traditional diets in favor of modern convenience foods.

In addition to his work on nutrition, Dr. Price conducted extensive research into the destructive effects of root canals, detailed in his two-volume work Dental Infections Oral & Systemic and Dental Infections & the Degenerative Diseases. His conclusions, ignored by the orthodox dental establishment for over 50 years, are gaining renewed acceptance as holistic practitioners are discovering that the first step to recovery from degenerative disease often involves removal of all root canals in the patient's mouth.

The principles of holistic dentistry, based on the research of Weston Price and Francis Pottenger, are as follows:

  • Eat nutrient-dense whole foods, properly grown and prepared.
  • Avoid root canals. If you have root canals that you suspect are causing disease, have them removed by a knowledgable dentist.
  • Avoid mercury (amalgam) fillings. If you have amalgam fillings, have them removed by a holistic dentist who specializes in mercury filling replacement.
  • Orthodontics should include measures to widen the palate.
  • Extract teeth only when necessary, and then in such a way as to avoid leaving the jaw bone with cavitations, which can be focal points of infection.

Photos Copyright ┬ę Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation┬«, All Rights Reserved,
Good dental health begins with the diet of the parents. The Samoan boy on the left was born to parents who ate nutrient-rich native foods. The Samoan boy on the right was born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diet. He has crowded dental arches, and will be more susceptible to dental decay.

A Comparison of the Diets

(Compiled from Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, DDS)

A comparison of primitive groups which have shown a high immunity to dental caries and freedom from degenerative processes with the diets of modernized groups who have forsaken their native diets for the foods of commerce consisting largely of white flour products, sugar, polished rice, jams, canned goods and vegetable fats resulting in loss of this immunity to dental caries and in loss of freedom from degenerative processes. (Figures give the number of times the amount of minerals and vitamins which are found in primitive diets compared with modernized diets.)

Group Minerals1 Vitamins2
Ca P Fe Mg Cu I Fat Soluble Water Soluble

Native Eskimos
5.4 5.0 1.5 7.9 1.8 49.0 10 plus large increase
Indians-far North of Canada 5.8 5.8 2.7 4.3 1.5 8.8 10 plus large increase
Swiss 3.7 2.2 3.1 2.5 * * 10 plus large increase
Gaelic- Outer Hebrides 2.1 2.3 1.0 1.3 * * 10 plus large increase
Aborigines of Australia 4.6 6.2 50.6 17.0 * * 10 plus large increase
New Zealand Maori 6.2 6.9 58.3 23.4 * * 10 plus large increase
Melanesians 5.7 6.4 22.4 26.4 * * 10 plus large increase
Polynesians 5.6 7.2 18.6 28.5 * * 10 plus large increase
Coastal Indians of Peru 6.6 5.5 5.1 13.6 * * 10 plus large increase
Andean Mountain Indians of Peru 5.0 5.5 29.3 13.3 * * 10 plus large increase
Cattle Tribes of Interior Africa 7.5 8.2 16.6 19.1 * * 10 plus large increase
Agricultural Tribes of Central Africa 3.5 4.1 16.6 5.4 * * 10 plus large increase

*Not given

1. Minerals: Ca=Calcium, P=Phosphorus , Fe=Iron, Mg=Magnesium, Cu=Copper, I=Iodine

2. Fat soluble vitamins include A,D,E,K. Water soluble vitamins include the B vitamins (folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B12) and vitamin C

Percentages of Teeth Attacked By Dental Caries in Primitive and Modernized Groups

Group Primitive Modern
Swiss 4.60 29.8
Gaelics 1.20 30.0
Eskimos 0.09 13.0
Northern Indians 0.16 21.5
Seminole Indians 4.00 40.0
Melanesians 0.38 29.0
Polynesians 0.32 21.9

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is available from, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, and Radiant Life.

"We can now visualize our universe, its light, gravity and heat, its seasons, tides, and harvest, which prepare a habitation for the universe of vital forms, microscopic and majestic, which fill the oceans and the forests. We have a common denominator for universes within and around each other, our world, our food and our life have potentials so vast that we can only observe directions, not goals. We sense human achievements or ignominious race self-destruction. Every creed today vaguely seeks a utopia; all have visualized a common controlling force or deity as the most potent force in all human affairs. Yes, man's place is most exalted when he obeys Mother Nature's laws."
--Weston A. Price, DDS

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Comments (11)Add Comment
written by Edward McCool, Mar 11 2014
I guess we are all "modern man" today, in terms of time and space. But, we should know that the newest information available is something discovered from the past. Our food today is rapidly produced today to feed the masses. Speed is of the essence of importance and not quality. Why do I see so many obese children today? I am 65 and my childhood friends weren't overweight
written by Gail Talbot, Sep 09 2013
This comment comes two years after the previous comments. Dr. Price uses the word "primitive" without prejudice but rather to describe a pre-industrialized and processed-food diet. There are many of us who prefer a more primitive diet of whole foods, completely unprocessed, organically grown by ourselves or purchased locally, and meats from animals humanely raised on appropriate pastures.

To be hung-up on the terminology used by a man who lived from the late 1800's to the earliest 1900's distracts one from the important message Dr. Price is sending. A symbiotic relationship with our food and our environment is the healthiest relationship and the only one that will assure the future existence of our species.
nutrition research
written by alishaikh, Jul 10 2013
Nutrition is good for the health, but overdose is also dangerous for the health, healthy food start your day with full of nutrition and is good for your children. if you love your gym, then you have to follow the nutrition diet also, which is very important for your body. I agree with your point, i have learned many thing from your site.
Any tips for eating healthy on a budget?
written by Deanna, Aug 04 2011
It makes me cringe to see people eating such processed foods day after day. I fully believe in Dr. Price's finding. I wonder if our bodies would need to go through an adjustment process of eating these nutritious more fatty foods. I know my body is used to eating low fat carbs and when I switch to high fat protein I feel hungry still and low energy. I also feel great eating vegetables. I also have a hard time buying organic meat since it is a lot more expensive. I have been buying organic milk and eggs and sometimes raw cheese. Any tips?
In regards to Andy's "Primitave" issue.
written by Tejasri, May 27 2011

I believe you are taking the word out of context, completely. Perhaps you should research the meaning behind the word before you comment. As a native Indian I am proud to say that I would rather be and choose to consider myself as "primitive" rather then a "modern" human being corrupted by the influences of civilization and the mass destruction it continues to cause. Maybe try to take less offense to the words involved in this research and put forth your focus and energy on the actions involved behind the research, or rather lack there of, via the "modern" people. Oh and you can thank the "modern people" for giving birth to the terminology you so oppose of. Just sayin...
Love and light
I remember
written by bachcole, May 25 2011
I remember growing up in Arlington, VA in the early '50s, and the word "farmer" was like the worst put-down that a person could call another person, at least among the young.
"Primitive", Low-rated comment [Show]
Comment to vlj
written by Kris Johnson, Feb 15 2011
Dr. Price's discovery that he didn't find any truly health vegan groups, gives me pause before I'd ever recommend a vegan diet to anyone. Good nutrition makes more sense to me than your theory about tongue exercise, which doesn't even make sense as it pertains to babies and young children. The importance of the fat soluble vitamins for bone health and skeletal structure reveals why nutrition is so important.
The importance of tongue position, Low-rated comment [Show]
so interesting
written by Tyrus, May 17 2010
My wife was raised by a mexican mother who practiced these traditional diets, and to see the pictures of the well-fed faces shows great similarities in facial structure. It's quite beautiful to see the face at its genetic potential.
Nutrition and physical degeneration
written by arius hopman, Mar 31 2010
This scientific evidence has been around for many decades, but it is very inconvenient for the food industry, so it has been all of our peril. We have created an unsustainable mega-agribusiness than we must now completely overhaul. The "green revolution" is energy-, water-, and chemical intensive. We must stop the madness.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 13:39