The Correct Dose
As part of my general regime, I supplement with cod liver oil. In the article on your website “Cod Liver Oil – The Number One Superfood” in the section titled “Dosages & Dangers,” you state that a dose of two tablespoons of regular or one tablespoon of high vitamin cod liver oil is “safe and adequate” for all adults. However, on the box of my cod liver oil at home–“Melrose” brand “Cold Pressed Cod Liver Oil”–it recommends an adult dose of 4ml daily; warning not to exceed taking over 2,500 IU of vitamin A per day. I do not know how to tell whether it is “high vitamin” or not, but the 4ml dosage contains the full 2,500 IU of vitamin A.
Auckland, New Zealand
Editor’s Response: The latest government view is that anything over 2500 IU vitamin A is toxic and dangerous. However, if you go to the literature, you will find that the toxic dose is more in the range of 100,000 per day, and even if toxic effects are manifested, they quickly resolve when the vitamin A is discontinued. (See the article “Vitamin A Saga” on our website and a comment on the latest research, page 10 of this issue.)
In order to obtain the amount of vitamin A that Dr. Price routinely found in traditional diets, you need to take at least 10,000 IU vitamin A per day and anything up to 20,000 IU is fine for a maintenance dose. For specific conditions or when you are under a lot of stress, you can go much higher for a short period of time (see the letter below). The cod liver oil you are taking is probably regular cod liver oil, so you need 16 ml (about 1 tablespoon) to get 10,000 IU and 2 tablespoons would give you 20,000 IU. (That would be about 1000 and 2000 IU vitamin D, by the way, which is just fine for a maintenance dose.) For the high vitamin cod liver oil, which is a double potency, 20,000 IU vitamin A can be obtained from slightly less than 1 tablespoon.
Cured with Cod Liver Oil
I have suffered from menorrhagia causing excessive menstrual bleeding for many years. As you suggested in your article on women’s health, I took four tablespoons of high vitamin cod liver oil (almost 60,000 IU vitamin A) for four days along with raw butter and 1200 mg vitex (chaste tree berry, a progesterone source). The bleeding cleared up completely! I am now continuing on two tablespoons per day of cod liver oil and 800 mg vitex, with no more problems.
When I was nine years old my grandfather had a heart attack so I went on a lowfat diet. I would pick the fat off chicken and steak. I used margarine and canola oil or corn oil. At 43 I had a lipid test and realized that low fat did not work. Cholesterol was 257, LDL was 184 and HDL was 47. I searched for hours to find the truth on the internet and found your website. I threw out the canola, corn oil, margarine and bought coconut oil, butter and ate the foods with fat, including two eggs per day, thick bacon and sausage. I ate all the fat on a steak.
I lost 16 pounds the first year and have stayed within a few pounds of that since. Most of the time when I included a teaspoon of coconut oil all by itself I noticed that I would lose 1 or 1 1/2 pounds the next morning. Two years after changing my diet I got another blood test. Total cholesterol dropped 9 percent. Triglycerides dropped 41 percent to 53. HDL went up 15 percent to 54. LDL went down 8 percent to 170. My allergies also disappeared completely. I have not had a cold in 2 years. I wish more people knew the truth–that’s why I`m sharing my story.
Editor’s Response: We are delighted to hear of your success with a traditional diet. However, you do not need to worry about your cholesterol levels. In fact, as you grow older, it is better to have higher levels rather than low. Cholesterol protects you against infection, cancer. . . and heart disease! See our article The Benefits of High Cholesterol.
Vegetarianism Not Working
Thank you! Your information is so important to us. We had been following a strict vegetarian lifestyle for the last 10 years and really believed it was the right way to go. In fact, it helped my wife overcome chronic fatigue syndrome–she only got well after a cleansing raw food diet. But as time went on we both started feeling weak and tired all the time. This really surprised us, and all the information we read and studied kept telling us that we just had to detox more or take supplements. We stayed at it, but eventually started to realize that there was something wrong with our diets. When we found your information, we were opposed to the eating of flesh foods and still deathly afraid of milk products, but further reading and study, especially Dr. Price’s book, began to convince us more and more.
We started with raw goat milk and homemade cream cheese, then we started purchasing cultured butter. These two things made a world of difference in our level of energy and helped us begin to feel much better. Next we started having fresh yard eggs cooked in butter. Wow, it was so incredible to eat this way again! Next, our neighbor gave us some fresh deer meat and bones and we spent a whole Saturday boiling them down to make stock. We drank the broth and used it for cooking soaked beans, soups, etc.–wow, the flavor!
We realize now that the trouble with a raw food vegetarian diet is that we felt so hungry. We were not absorbing certain nutrients, even though the foods were organic and fresh. All we thought about was food. I had long been into baking homemade, whole wheat and rye, naturally fermented sourdough bread and that was pretty much the only cooked food we were eating, that and lots of olive oil. We were still afraid of butter because of the misinformation we had been exposed to for so long. Whenever we would have real butter it felt like we were cheating. Now we are making our own butter from locally produced, non-homogenized, grass fed cows milk. And it is so wonderful.
In just a few weeks we’ve had a complete dietary turnaround from where we were. And we have learned so many valuable skills; namely sprouting, indoor greens, crispy nuts, fermented vegetables and beverages, homemade cheeses, sour milks, soaking and preparing beans by skimming off the foam, etc. We are doing all of it, and we love our food more than ever! Your work with the Weston A. Price Foundation is very valuable and we want you to know how much we appreciate all that you are doing.
You present considerable evidence of the dangers of dietary phytic acid in improperly prepared grains and legumes while others are pushing the stuff as a supplement to fight cancer and enhance the immune system. Please explain!
Brian D. McLean, DDS
Sidney, BC, Canada
Editor’s Response: The industry will sell anything they can separate from a plant, including phytic acid (often sold as “IP6”). Phytic acid may have some benefit in the short term as a chelator of heavy metals, but you don’t want to be constantly consuming a compound that blocks the absorption of important minerals. The Hebrew custom of eating unleavened bread for a brief period during Passover provides a good model. They used properly leavened bread most of the year but for a brief period ate unleavened bread, which is high in phytic acid.
The so-called “Mediterranean Diet” is an American fabrication for the simple reason that in Italy–let alone in the entire Mediterranean area–people eat in different ways. Yet there was historically such a thing as an Italian diet. Here is the story: at the end of the 19th century, Italy had just been unified into a brand new nation. At that time Pellegrino Artusi wrote a book of recipes entitled The Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. It was a collection of traditional recipes from Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna (concerning food, Emilia is for Italy what Bourgogne is for France) and it became the second bestselling book in Italy (the first being the Bible). It is actually mentioned in a high school text book, History of Italian Literature, and for good reason as it was responsible for the spread of a common language in the middle class of the new nation. It remained the bible of Italian food for the middle class until the 70s-80s, when the lowfat craze kicked in. I remember that as the time when we really started eating pasta and bread.
The Artusi book is the antithesis of what today is called the Mediterranean diet: for instance one recipe for breakfast calls for eggs, butter, anchovies, capers and tuna. Artusi emphasizes the use of animal fat and meat; in fact, the book is a feast of animal food. The book actually starts with a rating of the nutritive power of different kinds of meat, with beef at the top of the list. There is a section about pasta in which Artusi warns children, elderly and pregnant or lactating women from consuming pasta “because it would distract from the consumption of more nutrient-rich foods, as meat or fish. . . ” and cautions, “people with tendency toward obesity” to refrain from consuming it “because every doctor knows that flour has no nutritive power and immediately turns into body fat.”
The most famous Italian products are animal-based: 400 kinds of traditional cheese (most of which are required by state-enforced purity laws to be made from raw milk, like Parmigiano Reggiano) and hundreds of cold cuts (prosciutto crudo, prosciutto cotto, salame, coppa, pancetta, mortadella, to name a few).
During the 1950s (when Ancel Keys visited Italy and initiated the Mediterranean diet myths) a lot of people had a hard time affording meat, especially in the south. But that was certainly not considered something good. In fact most families that could not afford meat would still buy little pieces of it, at least once a week, to feed the kids. My grandpa, who fought in WWII, would tell me sometimes: “Quit complaining about food. You can have meat twice a day, you don’t know how lucky you are. At your age I knew what famine was like.” Elders who went through fascism, war, German occupation, and then saw their towns destroyed by Anglo-American bombings would commonly speak that way to the new generation.
Finally, in a local newspaper from the northern Italian town I’m from, there is a historical page–sort of “the way we were.” A few months ago it published the following documents from its archive: at the beginning of the 1920s, the price of food was increasing. A group of “middle-class housewives” wrote to the authorities asking for the creation of a committee to control the prices. They also wrote down a list of the essential goods whose price should be kept controlled, in order of importance. The most important was “first choice butter.” Then came the “second choice butter.” Then lard. Then olive oil. Then a list of meats and cold cuts. There is no mention of bread or pasta in the list. Very different from the so-called “Mediterranean diet.”
University Park, Pennsylvania
Poor Bone Structure
Thank you for your ministry of health, truly lives have been changed. I also wanted to commend those chapter leaders, teachers, farmers, mothers and fathers who have helped others learn the facts about nutrition and health.
Recently I attended our town’s farmers’ fair (a local festival celebrating the farm and farm products). We were at the children’s field day and I was taken aback by the children’s poor bone structure. Many were mouth-breathers and no one seemed to have that radiant glow of health. I felt scared for the next generation, many of whom rarely, if ever, taste high quality food. It seemed ironic that we were at a farmers’ fair and health so very lacking. What kind of farming were we celebrating anyway!? It made a person want to shout, “Where’s the raw milk and butter?” Or, “Why can’t we use raw farm fresh eggs for the ice cream churning contest?”
This experience led me to begin nutrition seminars with our home-schooled children. I showed pictures of good versus bad bone structure and the children loved it. We read back issues from Wise Traditions and we talked about how one should eat to have healthy children.
It’s such fun to be able to teach children so young. Instead of trying to fix broken bodies, I can prevent them from getting broken in the first place. Besides, I’m preparing them to be the parents of my future grandchildren. I can’t wait to be the grandmother of all those round, rosy and pleasant grandbabies. What a family picture that will make!
“Train your child up in the way he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it.” Proverbs
Editor’s Response: If we teach children at a young age that by their eating habits they will determine the health of the next generation, they will learn responsibility in all areas of life. It might even be said that the lack of a sense of responsibility that characterizes so much of modern government and industry today is an outgrowth of the attitude that the way we eat has no bearing on the health of our children and grandchildren.
Most enthusiastic congratulations on your newsletter, your foundation and most especially your recent article “The Politics and Economics of Food” (Fall, 2003). I have been aware of the Federal Reserve fraud and the vulture private international banker (invisible government) debt system since about 1998. I am deeply impressed with your vision as you reveal it in the article and believe it is workable and that it would be the natural progression of free and creative life were it not for the debt money vultures. Until the vulture capital system with its fractional reserve robbery is replaced with a credit money system, which phases out fractional reserve fraud gradually over a 2-year period by payment of the fraudulent national debt with US notes (if our government can issue a bond it can issue a note) based on our national product; and until our money supply and our interest rates are set by law, not by the Federal Reserve board, we will have nothing but a prayer. Implementation simultaneously of your vision and the credit money system as detailed by economist Milton Freedman in the mid 1990s will be the solution to a far better world and the end of endless war.
James Sesame, ND, CNHP
State College, Pennsylvania
Regarding your article “The Politics and Economics of Food,” you hold up Fitts as someone whose perverted view of the “global First World” we should admire, yet it has nothing to do with this the most generous, compassionate nation in history. To even imply that America’s growth “comes through. . . organized crime, covert operations, warfare or a variety of all three,” is biased, gross distortion. Such unprincipled individuals as Rhett Butler you reference may engage in this for profit, but to compare that fictitious character with our government, even with its imperfections, is not only nonsense, it is absolutely inaccurate.
It is not because of our government that neighborhoods deteriorate as your article states. Au contraire. Oregon’s black Secretary of State said, “The worst thing the white man ever did to blacks was to put them on welfare.” The latest government figures show that sixty percent of the national deficit is “entitlement” payments, including welfare that causes people to lose motivation, pride and dignity, to be satisfied with a handout. This came about through FDR’s “chicken in every pot,” and controlling liberal congressmen buying votes. But at least FDR had the WPA, requiring men to work for government payments.
Why don’t people who believe such move to a country more of their liking? Is it because they enjoy so much what capitalism bestows on not just America but much of the world? Even with its weaknesses, nothing else comes close.
I have greatly appreciated the old-fashioned, scientifically sound common sense nutrition your magazine teaches, and have been an avid supporter of your organization for a couple of years, recommending it and its literature to many over my name. How did I overlook your anti-American, anti-capitalism mindset? Nothing man does is perfect or ideal but this greatest nation on earth has blessed and benefited you as well as hundreds of millions more. It allows you to reach millions with nutritional information they desperately need. I am very disappointed and heartsick at what I have just read, saddened that I must now recommend your magazine with a caveat emptor. I beg you to stick to nutrition and leave the liberal propaganda, politics and “voodoo economics” out of your otherwise splendid publication.
Dr. Jo Williams
Editor’s Response: When our founding fathers signed the US Constitution, they instituted a system of checks and balances so that no one section of the body politick would become too powerful, including the economic section. Over the years, Congress–whose duty it is to “regulate the economy”–has passed various racketeering and corruption laws to provide those checks, but the increasing power of large corporations in America has hindered the enforcement of these laws. We are now witnessing the sad results, with corporate corruption endemic, and what appears to be profit and growth conjured up through slick accounting methods. Capital is a very necessary and useful tool for building industry, but left unchecked it actually works against free enterprise. In fact, two of the most important facets of the current economic system–free trade and industrial agriculture–were actually endorsed by Karl Marx as a way of destroying the bourgeoisie (the productive, prosperous middle class). Powerful economic interests have also influenced the legal system in order to interpret the Constitution as giving rights to corporations (free speech, freedom of association, etc.) that were specifically reserved for citizens, and have suppressed new discoveries that would obviate the need for oil and take us to a new level of nonpolluting technology.
If anything can be classified as “voodoo economics” it is our current economic system which creates money out of nothing and then charges hard-working citizens with the interest. The passage of the Social Security Act in the final hours of 1913, which set up the debt money system, instituted the income tax and began the dismantling of a long-standing system of protective tariffs, marks the official beginning of vulture capitalism in the US–the very system that our constitutional system of government was designed to circumvent. This nation fought two wars (Revolutionary and 1812) for the right to print our own money, and another war (Civil War) for the right to collect tariffs on goods imported into the country. These measures, which ensure an economic system based on real growth, have been removed by stealth and both the “liberals” and the “conservatives” have played a role in implementing these changes–both “liberals” and “conservatives” are responsible for the changes that ushered in the welfare state and began the transformation of a country marked by thriving local communities into one characterized by urban sprawl and rural ghost towns.
It is not anti-American to criticize our government or our economic system–it is our sacred, patriotic duty. Rather than move to another country (many of which offer elements of lifestyle that are superior to our own, such as a system of local food and a tradition of healthy cuisine) how much better to stay and work to fix what’s broken. Besides, the vulture capital system is not so much American as global. As such, it represents an opportunity for the citizens of all nations to work together to institute an economic system that supports true free enterprise and benefits the many rather than the few.
Many commentators have proposed solutions for returning our economic system to one that is more equalitarian and more supportive of real growth–Catherine Fitts’ solaris; a third political party; abolishment of the Federal Reserve system; replacement of the social security system with well-regulated private pensions that can be willed to our children; renewable charters for corporations; even Laurence Gardner’s proposal to recognize the Stewart line of kings as guardians of the rights of the people (actually the original vision of our founding fathers). What I have proposed is more practical and more immediate: as much as possible consume local foods, especially raw dairy products, produced by local farmers. Such action will help dismantle the three most egregious outgrowths of vulture capital–factory farming, pharmaceuticals (because well-nourished citizens do not get sick) and drugs (because healthy people do not develop addictions). Consuming local foods will also create many meaningful, well-paid jobs on the local level, ultimately making welfare unnecessary.
This is a solution in which everyone can participate, regardless of political persuasion. It is also a solution that will ultimately occur because those who do not return to real foods will eventually die out–a process that can be called the “Natural Selection of the Wise.”