Many people have dipped into Dr. Weston Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration without actually making it to chapter 22, “A New Vitamin-Like Activator.” There, he summarizes his findings about “activator X,” a fat-soluble vitamin he discovered in butter (especially butter from cows eating rapidly growing green grass), fish eggs and the organs and fats of animals.
In studies with humans and poultry, he found that giving cod liver oil alone was not as effective in promoting growth and recovery from bone loss or tooth decay as the combination of what he called “high-vitamin natural cod liver oil (a source of vitamins A and D)” and “high-vitamin butter oil (a source of vitamin A and activator X).” He made the butter oil by centrifuging slightly heated butter to separate it into an oil and hard portion; the vitamins concentrated in the oil. Today, we know that activator X is vitamin K2 MK-4, the animal form of vitamin K.
In chapter 22, Price described a Depression-era study involving schoolchildren of mill workers suffering from rampant tooth decay and many other health problems. Their diets usually consisted of “highly sweetened coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of white flour and eaten with syrup and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.” Price and his researchers provided the children with one meal per day at school. The meal consisted of marrow stew with meat and vegetables, fish stew or organ meats; cooked fruit with very little sweetening; rolls made of freshly ground wheat and spread with high-vitamin butter; and two glasses of fresh whole milk. Most importantly, each child received one teaspoon of a mixture of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil. Price reported, “The clinical effect was apparent: complete control of dental caries for the entire group, as shown in the x-ray films.” One hundred percent of the cavities in these children filled in! Moreover, the health of the children improved in many other ways, including overall energy and performance at school.
Price did not describe the way he used the combination of high-vitamin butter oil and high-vitamin cod liver oil in emergency situations. Pat Connolly (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation) introduced me to “Dr. Price’s Remedy,” namely alternating drops of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil under the tongue. “This brought many people back from the brink of death,” she told me.
One person brought back from the brink of death was Donald Price, Dr. Price’s nephew. I had the privilege of speaking with Donald by phone in the late 1990s, shortly before he died. Donald had traveled with Dr. Price and operated his lantern slides during lectures—he was probably the last surviving person who had known Dr. Price. When I mentioned the remedy, he told me that his uncle had given him the alternating drops when he was close to death from pneumonia. The remedy quickly revived him and he was out of bed the next day.
I used the remedy on my husband (age ninety-five) after he had a bad fall while working on the farm. I gave him the drops five or six times before he went to bed—followed up by bone broth and a good dinner—and he was up and about the next day.
The remedy seems to work for mental as well as physical ailments. A friend of ours came to visit—normally cheerful and upbeat, she was in a deep depression, unable even to smile. We sat her down and gave her the drops, several times over the hour. Soon she was smiling again, the depression having lifted.
Use only a natural cod liver oil containing natural vitamins A and D (see “Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations” at the Weston A. Price Foundation website.1) High-vitamin (“concentrated”) butter oil is produced by Green Pasture Products.2 Many products claim to be “butter oil” but are actually just ghee (clarified butter); these may be very rich in fat-soluble activators and are good for daily use, but they are not the true butter oil as described by Price. You can also use Australian emu oil,3 which is very rich in vitamin K2.
A BETTER WAY
I was reminded of Dr. Price’s remedy when viewing the film Medicating Normal about the catastrophic addictive effects of psychiatric drugs. The film presents three stories: a soldier who suffers post-traumatic stress disorder after the death of a friend in combat; a naval officer who goes into burnout and depression working long hours; and a waitress who has trouble sleeping. After a psychiatrist prescribes pills, all three become addicted. The film shows their heroic efforts to return to a normal life.
I kept thinking: what about Dr. Price’s remedy? What about good nutrition? After any trauma, stress or accident—any shock that disrupts homeostasis and makes normal life impossible—alternating drops of high-vitamin cod liver and butter oil (or Australian emu oil) should be the go-to remedy, followed by a nutrient-dense diet that includes liver, other organ meats, shellfish, fish eggs, fermented foods, bone broth, butter and raw dairy products. Good nutrition sustains us, but sometimes the body needs a kick-starter. The fat-soluble vitamins can help us snap out of a desperate situation; under the tongue, they are rapidly absorbed, requiring no digestion, which may be compromised in situations of trauma.
Situations that cry out for Dr. Price’s remedy include accidents; after insect/animal bites; before/after surgery; during recovery from addiction; and before/after injections (in situations where a person feels coerced into getting a vaccine). I recommend six to eight drops of each, with applications spaced about an hour apart, using an eye dropper. After you have recovered with the remedy and a diet of nutrient-dense food, it’s still a good idea to take a combination of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil (or emu oil) on a regular basis. The best way is to put about one teaspoon cod liver oil and one-fourth to one-half teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (or emu oil) in a small glass. Add a little hot water, stir and then gulp it down the hatch.
DANGERS OF VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTATION
The Weston A. Price Foundation does not recommend vitamin D supplements—only vitamin D from food, such as cod liver oil, egg yolks, animal fats like lard, organ meats, fish eggs and shellfish, where it is balanced by its cofactors vitamin A and K2. Vitamin D taken on its own can rapidly deplete vitamins A and K2 stores. Taking large doses of vitamin D can also induce severe depletion of magnesium, as magnesium is essential to the metabolism of vitamin D.1 Vitamin D enhances mineral absorption and can lead to hypercalcemia (dangerously high levels of calcium in the blood), and higher levels of vitamin D also have been linked to enhanced absorption of toxic elements such as aluminum, cadmium, cobalt and lead.2 Unfortunately, during the Covid pandemic, many were taking very high doses of vitamin D from supplements, even up to 10,000 IU per day or more.
Symptoms of vitamin D overdose include vomiting, nausea, poor appetite, excessive thirst, excessive urine production, loss of weight, abdominal pain, dehydration, constipation, diarrhea, itchy skin, severe headache, irritability and nervousness. Heart rhythm irregularities, increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure as well as renal failure are also symptoms of vitamin D overdose.
Kidney stones are another danger of excess vitamin D. Lifeguards in Israel3 have twenty times the rate of kidney stones as the general population. According to Chris Masterjohn, “Kidney stones may be the most sensitive indicator of vitamin D toxicity and are a symptom of vitamin A and K2 deficiency.”4
In partial recognition of the need to balance high doses of vitamin D with cofactors, many practitioners are now recommending taking vitamin K along with vitamin D. This practicie is likely to deplete vitamin A even faster! Worse, the form of vitamin K in most supplements is not Dr. Price’s X Factor—vitamin K2 MK-4.
One teaspoon of cod liver oil can supply about 1000 IU vitamin D; that plus vitamin D ingested from other foods, such as egg yolks, lard, seafood, poultry liver, poultry fat and organ meats, is plenty. These foods also supply vitamin K2 MK-4. Vitamin D supplements are unnecessary and can put us at risk.
- Reddy P, Edwards LR. Magnesium supplementation in vitamin D deficiency. Am J Ther. Jan/Feb 2019;26(1):e124-e132.
- Schwalfenberg GK, Genuis SJ. Vitamin D, essential minerals, and toxic elements: exploring interactions between nutrients and toxicants in clinical medicine. ScientificWorldJournal. 2015;2015:318595.
- Better OS, Shabtai M, Kedar S, et al. Increased incidence of nephrolithiasis (N) in lifeguards (LG) in Israel. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1980;128:467- 472.
- Masterjohn C. Update on vitamins A and D. Weston A. Price Foundation, June 24, 2010. https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/update-on-vitamins-a-and-d/