Sally Fallon Morell takes on the Diet Dictocrats
LOWER FAT MILK, HIGHER FAT CHILDREN
The practice of feeding reduced-fat milk to growing children, even restricting full-fat milk in day care centers, in order to prevent weight gain, has no scientific basis, as shown in several studies carried out in Scandinavia and the U.S. Now we have another one—this time from Canada. Researchers followed over twenty-seven hundred children, ages one to six. Children who got full-fat milk had a lower body mass index and also higher vitamin D status (AJCN 2016 Nov 16). Children who drank full-fat milk were less likely to end up hungry, and less likely to snack on high-calorie foods, suggested the researchers. In U.S. schools, children have a choice of lowfat milk, which they hate, or chocolate milk made with skim milk powder and high fructose corn syrup—often containing more sweeteners than sodas!
Conventional milk producers are groaning under the lowest milk prices in years, due to a massive milk glut. Overproduction is the result of a 2014 spike in milk prices, which encouraged dairy companies to add more cows to their herds. The year 2016 saw an increase of forty thousand cows in the U.S. and even a slight increase (1.4 percent) in production per cow. Prices have declined 22 percent to just over sixteen dollars per hundredweight, or a dollar thirty per gallon—far lower than the cost of production. As a result, many more dairy farms have folded—mostly small dairy farms—because the massive confinement operations are propped up with subsidies. What a contrast with the raw milk situation, where demand is increasing and farmers receive anywhere from five to twenty-four dollars per gallon.
NEW PLASTIC MENACE
We recently published an article by Becky Plotner on the dangers of fleece garments made from recycled plastic bottles—namely that chemicals like BPA from the plastic can be absorbed into the skin (Fall 2016). Now another problem with recycled garments has emerged. Every time a fleece is washed, it sheds microfibers: a single fleece jacket can shed as many as two hundred fifty thousand microfibers—about the weight of a ping pong ball—every time it is washed in a machine. Certain acrylic garments can release up to seven hundred thousand microfibers. These tiny plastic filiments accumulate in surface waters where fish and other animals swallow them. What this does to marine life—and to the humans who consume it—is the subject of study, but early research indicates that with this non-biodegradable material in their guts, worms, shrimp and crabs eat less, making them more vulnerable to disease and decline. These revelations are an embarassment to trendy companies like Patagonia, which produces politically correct fleeceware made from plastic. The company has commissioned studies “to try to understand from scientists what exactly our contribution was to the problem,” said Jill Dumain, director of environmental strategy at Patagonia (Washington Post, November 1, 2016).
ANOTHER NAME FOR POLIO?
Doctors are “scrambling” and “desperate” to find the cause of a “mysterious polio-like illness,” termed acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), which is occurring in increasing numbers, leaving hundreds of children paralyzed and many dead. According to a recent CDC press release, AFM has sickened eighty-nine people, mostly children, across thirty-three states so far this year. A report from India indicates a large increase in AFM cases from 2000 to 2013, and the only factor associated with AFM, which is clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, was the number of polio vaccine doses received. Similar findings come from Nigeria and Congo. The National Polio Surveillance Project data show that the polio eradication program has increased paralysis among children—from about three thousand cases yearly in 1997 to sixty-one thousand cases in 2012, most classified as AFM instead of polio. Other names for polio now include acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), transverse myelitis, viral or aseptic meningitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Chinese paralytic syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, epidemic cholera, cholera morbus, spinal meningitis, spinal apoplexy, inhibitory palsy, intermittent fever, famine fever, worm fever, bilious remittent fever, and ergotism (vaccineliberationarmy.com, Nov 4, 2016).
VITAMIN A FOR MEASLES
The current justification for giving children up to fifty vaccinations before they enter school, including one in the first week of life, and up to nine for each of the two-, four- and eight-week pediatrician visits, is to counter the threat of measles. While there have been zero deaths from measles in the U.S. during the last ten years (and over one hundred deaths from the measles vaccine), it is true that measles causes thousands of deaths in impoverished Third World nations. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises: “All children in developing countries diagnosed with measles should receive two doses of vitamin A supplements, given 24 hours apart. This treatment restores low vitamin A levels during measles that occur even in well nourished children and can help provent eye damage and blindness. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50%.” Unfortunately, most practitioners in the U.S. remain ignorant of this miraculous treatment. A recent Medscape quiz for health care professionals asked, “Which of the following supplementations has been associated with reductions in morbidity and mortality in patients with measles?” Only 44 percent of those who answered knew that the correct answer was vitamin A. And the WHO is putting its dollars into vaccination campaigns, not vitamin A supplementation, to the tune of one and one half billion dollars per year. Despite mass vaccination efforts, measles is still a cause of death for many children worldwide. The WHO reports that even after massive vaccination campaigns, almost one hundred fifty thousand children died after contracting measles in 2013 (examiner.com, Feb 16, 2015).
MORE REASONS TO EAT BACON
A recent analysis of pork products has found them to be rich sources of vitamin K2—Dr. Price’s very own X Factor. Both processed and fresh pork cuts contain a range of vitamin K2 isomers, with the highest levels as MK-9, MK-10 and MK-11, forms created by intestinal fermentation. The total K2 contents corresponds with fat content—the fattier the meat, the higher the K2 (J Agric Food Chem., 2016, 64 (22), pp 4531–4535). That means bacon and lard—preferably from pastured animals—are great foods for pre-conception, pregnancy and growing children, to ensure wide facial development, and for adults, for protection against heart disease.
CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT DANGERS
Getting your calcium from supplements increases your risk of heart disease, while getting your calcium from food decreases your risk of heart disease. These are the findings of researchers from Johns Hopkins University, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (2016;5:e003815) For the study, researchers analyzed detailed information from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a long-term research project funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which included more than six thousand people seen at six research universities. Their study focused on about twenty-seven hundred of these participants who completed dietary questionnaires and had two CT scans ten years apart. A group of 20 percent of participants with the highest total calcium intake, greater than 1,400 mg daily, was found to be on average 27 percent less likely than the 20 percent of participants with the lowest calcium intake, defined as less than 400 mg daily, to develop heart disease. But when just the 46 percent who used calcium supplements were considered, a 22 percent higher risk of having coronary artery calcium occurred. “There is clearly something different in how the body uses and responds to supplements versus intake through diet that makes it riskier,” said co-author John Anderson, PhD. “It could be that supplements contain calcium salts, or it could be from taking a large dose all at once that the body is unable to process.” In a similar fashion, dietary calcium intake may decrease risk of kidney stones, whereas calcium supplementation may increase that risk.
The Morton Collection of Human Skulls at the Penn Museum, collected from many eras and locations, shows the change from perfect dentition to buck teeth and weak chins that occurred around the time of the Industrial Revolution. Curator Janet Monge notes, “Nobody in the past had dental problems, like we are talking nobody.” Describing a five-thousand-year-old specimen from Iran, she points out the straight, white symmetrical teeth and wisdom teeth at the back of the jaw. “It’s like the upper jaw, the maxilla, the lower jaw the mandible are actually kind of perfectly in unity with each other and the interesting thing is that was everybody in human history,” says Monge. The transition to crooked teeth happened very quickly, and almost globally, about one hundred fifty years ago. Monge believes the cause was lack of breastfeeding among women who went to work in factories; another theory is that people started eating soft food (newsworks.org, Sept 14, 2016). Nobody in the academic world wants to talk about the elephant in the room—the fact that in modern times, with the advent of refined sugar, white flour, vegetable oils and pasteurization, our diets became much less nutritious. Excellent facial structure is evident the day a baby is born—before he has had a chance to nurse or eat anything, whether soft or hard.
ONGOING STATIN WARS
The editors of the two top medical journals in the UK find themselves in the spotlight over statins. The current round of controversy has its origins in the 2014 publication in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) of two articles highly critical of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statin defender (and recipient of hundreds of millions from the pharmaceutical industry) Rory Collins demanded that the BMJ retract the article, which the publication declined to do, though it did issue corrections. Then in September, the Lancet published a thirty-page review article by Collins and colleagues which claimed that the benefits of statins have been underappreciated and the adverse effects of statins have been overstated by both the medical community and the public. Among the many comments on the controversy published in both journals is a BMJ blog post by Richard Lehman (Sept 12), who raises questions about the blithe dismissal of statin side effects. “Muscle pain and fatigability are not a figment of misattribution and public misinformation,” he writes. “They are too prevalent and recurrent in people who desperately want to stay on statins. Rather than discount a widely observed phenomenon, we should ask why there is such a mismatch with reporting in the trials.” He could have added that the true benefit of statins is at best four added days of life for every five years of treatment, with all the debilitating side effects.
BUTTERGATE AT THE AHA
Intrepid journalist Larry Husten, reporting from the journalists’ lunch room at the November 2016 American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in New Orleans, noted that by serving sugary desserts, the AHA wasn’t living up to its own nutrition guidelines. Far worse, he scolded, the AHA was punishing reporters by serving margarine instead of butter, and skim and lowfat milk instead of whole milk or half-and-half for coffee. Journalists arriving the next day found a bowl of butter packets on the buffet table. However, after a detailed investigation, Husten learned that the AHA had not, in fact, “suddenly altered its policy to allow butter and other saturated fats inside the sanctum sanctorum of the AHA. Instead, it turned out, one reporter, Matt Herper from Forbes, had quietly asked a food service employee for some real butter. This employee then took pity on Herper and the rest of the suffering press corps and on his or her initiative put out enough butter for everyone.” But in fact, Husten’s story from the day earlier did have an effect—the sugary desserts had disappeared (though the lowfat cream cheese remained). Instead the journalists got bowls of fruit (cardiobrief.org, Nov 15, 2016).