Sally Fallon Morell takes on the Diet Dictocrats
It’s hard to know what to believe when reading or hearing about Ebola. Will it wipe out a large portion of the world’s population or is that idea a media invention? (Probably the latter since deaths from Ebola have averaged forty-one per year over the thirty-seven years since its discovery, most of them occurring in central Africa.) Is it spread by contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids or simply by proximity? Do only people with obvious symptoms transfer the disease or can nonsymptomatic people spread it? Are Ebola cases in Africa limited to those who have received treatments and injections from the Red Cross? Or is Ebola just a form of malaria, which has been a scourge in Africa for millennia? We hear all of these viewpoints in the news and on the Internet, plus a huge amount of scaremongering. But one thing no one is talking about is nutrition. Ebola is caused by a virus and the main thing viruses do is deplete vitamin A. Vitamin A-rich foods such as liver, grass-fed butter, and cod liver oil—or even just vitamin A capsules—should serve as the basis of prevention and treatment. Vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin C, zinc and even LDL-cholesterol play a role in helping the body fight infection. An interesting article by Bill Sardi points out that the major drugs given to Ebola patients deplete one or more of these critical nutrients. Acetaminophen—sometimes up to three grams daily—given to Ebola patients depletes the body of glutathione and indirectly of vitamin C as this nutrient is required to maintain glutathione levels. Antibiotics such as amoxycillin, ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and ceftriaxone (Rocephin) deplete vitamin K. Anti-malaria drugs such as quinine also deplete vitamin K (and increase death rates up to 100 percent). As Sardi points out, vitamin D (and vitamin A) pills cost pennies, yet they are not offered to Ebola patients. One thing for certain, eating a WAPF diet rich in nutrient-dense foods is a prime defense against all illness, including Ebola. (www.knowledgeofhealth.com, July 29, 2014)
Americans are falling behind in the getting older race. Back in the 1960s, American women were among the longest-lived in the world, but between 1980 and 2006 female life expectancy grew at about 60 percent of the rate for comparative countries and we are now ranked 28th. Women in France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Japan, England, Holland and Canada live longer than we do. Top of the pile is Japan where the average Japanese woman lives to just short of eighty-six years. American men are also falling behind. The longest lived males are Australians (79.27 years on average), followed by Japanese (79.2) and Swedes (78.92). The average lifespan for American men is 75.64 (www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich, October 21, 2013). Even more worrisome is an “unheard of” drop in life expectancy for uneducated white women in the U.S. According to a new study published in the Journal of Health Affairs (August 2012 31(8)1803-1813), white women who dropped out of high school experienced a five-year decline in life expectancy from 1990 to 2008, “an unheard-of drop for a wealthy country in the age of modern medicine,” according to one writer. Maybe the problem is modern medicine, which, with its emphasis on lowering cholesterol, has turned Americans, especially uneducated women, away from whole foods like butter and eggs and into the arms of the vegetable oil industry. Then, when they develop chronic disease, a cocktail of conventional drugs carries them off.
Tastes Like Vomit
Describing her family’s eating habits as a “bacon-and-eggs” diet when her husband first took office, Michelle Obama then took a wrong turn and used her influence to promote a lean diet based largely on fruits and non-starchy vegetables for school children. Under the three billion-dollar National School Lunch Program, participating schools can only provide one serving of meat or other protein (more well off children can buy a second portion each day with their own dime) and potatoes are limited to just a single serving of three-fourths of a cup per student. There’s no butter of course, for the dry brown bread (which the children do not like), no whole or even 2 percent milk, and even ketchup packets are rationed to one per student. Worst of all, there’s a calorie cap of 850 calories for high schoolers, 700 for middle schoolers and a mere 650 calories for kids in elementary schools. Parents complain that their kids are starving, and the kids say the food “tastes like vomit.” Across the country, some wealthier suburban school districts are simply backing out of the program, although doing so means giving up a six-figure annual subsidy from the federal government (dailycaller.com, July 27, 2013). Last year the New York City school system dropped out after the students complained of starvation, and an Illinois school district dumped the guidelines before even fully implementing them. One positive outcome of the Obama lunch plan: many more students brought their lunch from home, which is what they all should be doing anyway (naturalnews.com, July 19, 2013).
Statins for Everyone
Not content with sixteen billion dollars in yearly sales, the statin industry is aiming to rope in even more patients. According to a recent study (JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6288), 97 percent of women aged sixty-six to seventy-five and 100 percent of men “qualify” for statins. Healthy adults whose “risk” of heart attack or stroke is more than 7.5 percent should also be on statins. Mining the data from the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Trial (which were collected and analyzed by the pharmaceutical industry alone, with no independent oversight), researchers suggest that taking a statin drug for five years in middle age can lower heart and death risks for “decades afterwards” (www.dailymail.co.uk, November 19, 2014). (The data from the Framingham Trial showed that lowering cholesterol in middle age increases heart disease and overall death risk as we grow older.) Meanwhile, evidence of serious side effects from statins continues to accumulate. A study published in Toxicology (2013 Sept 15;311(3):162-8) found evidence that statins degrade the extracellular matrix of the tendons, leading to tendon rupture. Another (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013 July 5) found that statins cause disruptions leading to breast cancer. Low blood cholesterol levels are related to slow visuomotor speed in young and middle-aged men, and low serum cholesterol levels predict cognitive decline (Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:291-8). And finally, patients with cancer and other terminal disease saw an overall improvement in the quality of life and lived longer when taken off statins (Proceedings of the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting). Of course, when a loved one is in the hospital or nursing home for whatever condition, they are automatically put on statins—and it often takes a fight to remove them from the drug regimen. The whole statin phenomenon is snake oil, snake oil that causes serious adverse effects.
Fake Meat That Bleeds
Since consumers have mostly rejected veggie burgers based on beans and vegetables, the food engineers have come up with faux meat patties that are pink on the inside and leach a red juice when cooked. The bioengineered burger is the brainchild of university professor and mad scientist Patrick Brown, whose start-up company, Impossible Foods, has received millions in financial backing from Bill Gates, Google, and others. An individual patty costs twenty dollars to produce so more research is needed to get the price down to one the average vegetarian can afford. Other laboratories have been experimenting with growing and culturing meat from animal cells, but the Impossible Burger has been developed using plant compounds only (huffingtonpost.com, December 3, 2014). On a related note, bioengineers in the U.S. are developing the world’s first artificial cow’s milk made from genetically engineered yeast “in an effort to put a sustainable option on the market.” According to the developers, vegans Perumal Gandhi and Ryan Pandya, synthesizing cow’s milk will be a relatively simple process because milk has got “less than twenty components and consists of about 87 percent water” (www.sciencealert.com, Oct 29, 2014).
Butter Battling Back
Butter consumption is rising, but not without objections from the diet dictocrats. Appearing in The Wall Street Journal (October 29, 2014), an article entitled “The Last Anti-Fat Crusaders,” by Nina Teicholz lambasted the lowfat dietary guidelines as hopelessly outdated and contrary to the current science. She cited a landmark meta-analysis of all the available evidence which concluded that saturated fats could not, after all, be said to cause heart disease (Annals of Internal Medicine. Published online March 18 2014). Another meta-analysis (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46) came to the same conclusion. The industry-supported damage control team continues to tell us that we should avoid saturated fat because it will make us fat (a claim not supported by the evidence); or, they argue, the problem is that we replace saturated fats with donuts, when we should replace them with salmon and olive oil. The industry will do anything to keep us from eating butter or coconut oil—”Coconut oil seen as a health hazard” is the latest offering from the New Zealand Heart Foundation. Representatives from both camps “nearly came to blows” at a recent debate in New Zealand between Grant Schofield, a cheerleader for high-fat, low-carb diets, and Rod Jackson, apologist for margarine and vegetable oils. Still butter consumption in the U.S. has climbed to a forty-year “high” of 5.6 pounds per year, while New Zealanders are now consuming over twenty-four pounds per year.
New Zealand All Blacks Rule Again
Butter consumption may be one reason the All Blacks rugby team, from a country of only four million people, continues to dominate in international competition. Recently the All Blacks played the American Eagles in Chicago and thrashed them seventy-four to six. The New Zealand diet of grass-fed butter, beef, lamb and organ meats, along with the best shellfish in the world, is surely a recipe for producing great athletes.
Conventional Breeding Better
Supporters of genetic modification argue that the technology can produce crops with all sorts of wonderful traits: tolerance to drought, cold, salinity and flooding; resistance to insect pests; extra nutritional value; and, above all, higher yields. But conventional breeding techniques are quietly outperforming genetic modification. The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Project (IMAS) has developed through selective breeding over one hundred fifty new varieties of maize (corn). In field trials, these have performed at least as well as existing commercial seeds when rainfall is adequate and yielded up to 30 percent more during drought. The researchers who bred the new varieties were able to draw on collections in a large seed bank run by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico City. And IMAS has developed twenty-one conventionally bred varieties, which have yielded up to one ton per hectare more in nitrogen-poor soils than existing commercial varieties. The organization is working to develop genetically modified varieties also, but say these are at least ten years from success (Nature 513, 292 September 18, 2014).
Milk Drinkers at Risk
Pasteurized milk is the number one allergen and is associated in the medical literature with allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, frequent ear infections and auto-immune disease. A new study finds that milk does little to strengthen bones and can double the risk of early death. Research published in The British Medical Journal tracked over sixty thousand women and forty-five thousand men for twenty years; it found no reduction in broken bones for those who consumed the most milk. Women who drank three glasses or more per day were twice as likely to die early as those who consumed less than one (BMJ. 2014 Oct 28;349). The study was carried out in Sweden, where all the milk is pasteurized. The truth is, industrial processing has ruined Nature’s perfect food, making it toxic, rather than health-promoting. The milk industry, which scratches its head about the relentless decline in milk consumption (down four percent in 2013), need look no further than this.