Thank you for publishing “Clouds of Death in Western Montana” in the Fall 2002 issue of your magazine. You have some great topics of importance to our world. My filly was featured on page 17 and I can confirm the great success we had in treating her jaw with homeopathic cell salts. My (yep, her owners didn’t want this filly, so she was given to me) filly is still looking great, with a perfect bite!
Soy and the Brain
Thanks for your website! I found it by doing a Netscape search on isoflavones which took me to soyonlineservice.co.nz which took me to you.
Until 2 years ago I was a regular consumer of homemade soymilk. I have a PhD in plant physiology and over the years I systematically worked to optimize the process I used at home so that I could make a soymilk much more palatable than any on the market. I had an interest in eventually starting a business to make it. But then I learned that I probably had an adverse reaction to isoflavones in the soymilk and I stopped consuming soyfoods.
I tried taking isolated soy isoflavones, basically just to see what effect they had and also because they were reported to be good for prostate health (I am 57). (I am aware that there are studies pro and con benefit to prostate.) I took 2 SoyCare tablets (a total of 50 mg Novasoy isoflavones). A few hours later I found that it was difficult to speak and I nearly got into a serious accident due to impairment in judging the speed of a car. I definitely had serious mental impairment which I attributed to the isoflavone supplement. (This was gone by the next day.) I don’t think it was due to an allergic reaction or mini-stroke.
Once before I had similar difficulty in speech when a doctor gave me an atropine-like medicine. Atropine antagonizes acetylcholine action, which triggers some of the nerves involved in memory. Memory is an essential component of speech!
Previously I had thought (based on ignorance) that isoflavones in soy probably had insignificant health effects. After the reaction to the isoflavones, I starting searching Bioabstracts for studies on soy isoflavones. I quickly learned that genistein is a potent inhibitor of tyrosine kinase, a key enzyme in mediating cell responses to our natural cell growth factors. (It had been used for this purpose in over 1000 research studies!) That did not sound like something I wanted in my food! Furthermore, I found several studies that showed that tyrosine kinase is also involved in triggering of nerves involved in memory, and this is blocked by genistein! My memory was flaky enough already and I quit eating soy products, except for a few subsequent trials of soy milk.
Besides inhibition of tyrosine kinase, adverse cognitive effects of soymilk could also be due to anti-estrogenic actions (estrogens are important for speech and memory in both males and females) or to anti-thyroid action. Or maybe to all three!
All my adult life I have been bothered by rather severe seasonal affective disorder (SAD, winter mental sluggishness) when I lived at northern latitudes. In the last two years I have rarely drunk soymilk, but when I did, it seemed to worsen the SAD and each time I felt an undesirable aggressiveness. (A recent study showed soy isoflavones increased the potent androgen dihydrotestosterone in men.) I think my particular physiology made me more susceptible to soy’s adverse effects. Subsequently I learned of the Hawaiian study on elderly Japanese. It was the first time I heard that soy may cause cognitive problems.
I appreciate your perspective on health issues but I am disappointed to see that your magazine is printed entirely on coated paper.
I am a printing press operator and am always disappointed when organizations that are concerned with health and the environment print their literature on this glossy paper, since it is probably the most unfriendly medium to human health and the environment. The paper is made glossy by the addition of a clay coating, which must be removed before the paper can be recycled. Additionally, when these coated papers are printed on, a fine powder must be blown over each sheet as it is printed in order to keep the wet ink on one sheet from sticking to the next sheet. (The ink sinks into uncoated paper, so this powder is not necessary to keep uncoated sheets from sticking to each other, except in unusual circumstances, such as the ink being exceptionally heavy.) This powder is sometimes made of corn starch and sometimes of a silica compound. The press operator and all nearby co-workers get to breathe in this dust, which is not exactly good for the lungs.
Long Island City, NY
Editor’s Response: After much searching, our printer has been able to secure a quality recycled uncoated paper at a reasonable cost. We made the change to this paper with our Fall 2002 issue. We do not, however, expect that any issues of Wise Traditions will be recycled, but rather carefully saved as heirlooms and made available to future generations.
Breast Cancer in Marin
Thank you for the enlightening information you present on your website. It has done wonders for my physical and emotional health in the past couple of years! Dr. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration has been a true inspiration that weaves a strand of common sense through the otherwise confounding nutritional web into which most unfortunate people have become entangled.
Now that you’ve helped me to see nutrition in a new light, I keep my eyes open for potential nutritional crises that may be attributed by the mainstream medical profession to other causes. One that I find most interesting is the soaring rate of breast cancer among middle-aged white women in Marin County, California. Marin now has the highest rate of breast cancer in the US. The press cites numerous possible causes for this, including environmental toxins, usage of hormones, average age of the female population, etc., but totally neglects diet as a possible culprit. How could it be, given that Marin County residents consume one of the “healthiest” and most “natural” diets in the country—low in fat (except for vegetable oils), vegetarian, high grain and high soy?
Could it be that this very diet is getting them into trouble? Perhaps the people in Marin need to understand what a truly “natural”: diet is all about.
Editor’s Response: Many vegetarian foods, especially soy and vegetable oils, contain known carcinogens, while animal foods contain many nutrients that protect against cancer. One of the most important is vitamin A, found in the foods we are being told to avoid—butter, egg yolks, liver, etc. A list of anticarcinogenic components in animal foods is posted on our website www.westonaprice.org.
DHA and EPA
I am a student of nutrition and dietetics at my local university. I like the program very much, although I disagree with its lowfat, high-carbohydrate emphasis. In doing a research paper on DHA in mother’s milk, I came across a study that mentioned that high levels of EPA in fish oil are transferred to mother’s milk and are somehow dangerous for infants (Am J Clin Nutr 2000 71(suppl):292S-9S). The researchers felt that these high EPA levels in fish oil defeat the benefit of DHA for the infant via the milk. I have been a reader of Wise Traditions for the last few years and know you recommend cod liver oil during pregnancy and nursing. Why would these researchers say this about EPA? I took fish oils while pregnant and nursing my daughter now four. She is leagues ahead of her little friends, what a bright and intelligent spirit!
Editor’s Response: EPA and DHA occur together in cod liver oil and many other foods, so it would be odd if one were good and the other were bad. A supplement containing only DHA (made from blue green algae) has been developed for addition to infant formula and natural, inexpensive cod liver oil would be a competitor to this supplement. Perhaps this is an example of science being used to demonize the competition to patented products. Your daughter is proof that the combination of DHA and EPA in cod liver oil helps children achieve optimal neurological development.
Thistles and Vinegar
Thanks for reporting on the use of vinegar for weeds. We use vinegar for weed control, but the 5 percent concentration only works part of the time at our 5000 foot elevation. We use it on our driveway and in the garden. It requires a good sunny day and must be applied as needed. It works best on emerging dandelions.We have many tenacious plants, including Canada thistle that need a stronger concentration. Do you have a source for 10 percent or 20 percent concentrations of vinegar?
Editor’s Response: We did an internet search and found lots of discussion about using extra strength 9 percent vinegar as a household cleanser and as a weed killer. (It is also an important ingredient in Middle European cooking.) We were unable to find an economical source for extra strength vinegar in small containers, but we found a source of it in bulk, which is Skidmore Sales & Distribution (800) 468-7543. Apparently the biggest problem with using vinegar of this strength is that it is hard on equipment and for this reason, more concentrated vinegar is not normally recommended. If our readers can find other sources of this useful ingredient, please let us know.
Skeleton in the Closet
I am writing to you because you have saved my life! I am a 43-year-old mother of three boys, happily married to a wonderful, understanding, supportive man. I know he couldn’t care less if I was thin or chubby. Professionally I am an RN who is completely disgusted with our modern medical system. I have spent over 15 years in self study of nutrion and natural health and my boys are very healthy. Generally speaking our diet has been void of processed, sugar-laden, chemicalized “garbage” food.
We are a happy, healthy, well-adjusted close-knit family. We camp, fish, hike, bike ride, golf and share many other family-oriented activities. Everyone was doing well, except for me. . . I had been keeping a big, ugly skeleton in my closet for the past 30 years. Its name is bulimia. It started in high school. I still remember the moment a friend bragged how she could eat a whole half-gallon of ice cream and then throw up and not gain a pound. I thought, “Wow, great idea!” What seemed like a great weight control answer turned into a very long nightmare. I am sure that part of my interest in health and nutrition was actually a search for an answer to my own secret, agonizing problem. I usually succumbed to 1-3 binge-purge episodes each day—some days more often. Every once in a while I would look into the mirror and tell myself “that was the last time!” I sometimes went without binge-purging for three or four days, but never any longer. What a failure! I read every book possible about my condition and possible treatment. None had a very good success rate. All included long-term, expensive counseling. Too much risk, too much money. It was easier to keep the monster under control rather than attempt to kill it.
The turning point was my introduction to the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Up to that point I had a front row seat in the lowfat, high-complex-carb, semi-vegetarian camp. After more research, I dramatically changed my diet. I also put myself on the amino acid program directed at eating disorders, described in The Diet Cure by Julia Ross.
What followed I consider nothing less than a miracle! I have not had one binge-purge episode since! I am so ecstatic about my new-found success that I do not mind the extra weight I have put on. My research tells me that over time my body should adjust to my ideal body composition while gradually getting rid of the extra fat. I’m still working on that and most days I am not obsessing about my extra weight.
As I struggled with bulimia, I always thought that this problem was due to my lack of will power. Now I know that the problem was nutritional—my body had cravings for things it was not getting in my lowfat diet.
I pray that your work continues to reach people in need. You have a lifelong fan in me who will continue to advocate your work to all who will listen.
Editor’s Response: Thank you for sharing your story. Think of all the enzymes you were losing with daily purging, and how hard your pancreas had to work to replenish them! Your experience leads us to consider other medical problems that might be blamed on lack of will power, such as alcoholism, drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive behavior. The first treatment for these conditions should always be a nutrient-dense traditional diet.
My father and mother, who grew up in farm country of New Mexico and California, both have straight lovely teeth and very good constitutions; all of their children have required extensive orthodontics and have had health problems of one sort or another. My mouth was so narrow that I had to have my wisdom teeth and four additional molars pulled before I got my braces at age sixteen. As a child, I suffered from ear infections, debilitating hay fever and asthma, having to be taken to the emergency room on several occasions because I had stopped breathing.
My husband’s parents also have good strong straight teeth. His mother grew up in Switzerland and his father grew up on a farm in Utah. (My husband’s grandfather died at age 95 and still had most of his teeth and all of his wits.) However, my husband and his brothers grew up on a diet that included a lot of powdered skim milk and Kool Aid. (Fortunately, they also ate lots of raw milk cheese, raw meat and other Swiss delights that I think helped compensate for other processed food in their diet.) My husband has a very narrow face, bad vision and required extensive orthodontic work. He is the youngest of four boys and he needed the most dental work. My theory is that his mother’s body was progressively depleted with each pregnancy. She was not able to breastfeed, so all four also started out on formula.
When we got married, I assumed that our bad teeth came from genetics and that all our children would have the trouble we endured. Our oldest child was conceived and born before I had ever heard of your work and he has a long narrow face. As his permanent teeth grow in, I can see that he’ll probably be visiting the orthodontist as well. He is quite tall and lanky, just like his father. He has suffered with seasonal bouts of hay fever since he was small; these have improved, I believe, because his diet has improved.
My second son and subsequent two girls were born after we adopted a diet based on the research of Dr. Price. They all have wider faces than their elder brother ever did at their ages and they seem to have plenty of room in their mouths. In addition they all are sturdier in build than the oldest. All the kids are allergy- and cavity-free. As for me, I have almost completely eliminated my own CFS and allergy symptoms.
My husband was used to going to the dentist and discovering new cavities at each visit even though he has always practiced good dental hygiene. When he went to the dentist last week, after a three-year absence, he had not one new cavity. Teeth can even heal, strengthen and remineralize if fed properly.
The work you are doing has had a powerful influence in our lives.
Cold Springs, NY
I recently heard a talk by Marilyn Stewart (Osborne), author of Child of the Outback. During the question-and-answer session afterwards, I asked her about which diseases and illnesses the Australian aborigines suffered from today. Her immediate response was, “flies around body openings and malnutrition.” But on reflection she said that the biggest problem for the last 15-20 years was diabetes. The aborigines are not used to having so much sugar in their diet and the ones who get to town and learn about alcohol become diabetics in short order. Then it is not long before they are on dialysis and are dead. She commented on how frustrating it is working with primitive tribes. The government gives the aborigines tobacco, tea, white sugar and white flour.
The other problem is that the housing they are given has cement flooring—no covering such as rugs, so for the most part they build a shelter next to it. They are used to sitting on the ground and learned that too many die in winter of pneumonia from the cold damp cement floors.
Queens Valley, AZ
A New Wife
We really enjoy your quarterly magazine. What you’re teaching us is what my father’s theory has been over the years, but some people thought he was a little goofy.
My wife suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for ten years. Thanks to what my father taught me, we didn’t accept the saying “you have to learn to live with it,” and kept searching and found various things that helped. But after the birth of our first child, my wife lost what she had gained. So then she tried the vegetarian diet. For the first two months, it seemed to work great but after that things started to head the wrong way.
I’m an Amish farmer and milk cows and my wife tried to tell me how dairy products are not so good. I raise my cows organically without hormones so I thought that my milk is surely not so bad, but anyway this went on for eight months. She was losing weight and had no desire for sex and all those good things.
Then we found out about your work. We’re Holstein folks so my wife begged me to get a Jersey and I did. Now we’re expecting our second child and people are asking, “What are you doing for your health?” I mean, I have a completely different wife!
Keep up your great work!
Henry S. Stoltzfoos
Dreams of Real Milk
I dream of the day when local farmers can sell fresh, pasture-fed cow’s milk to the local citizens without fear of the Gestapo at the CDC or in their state capitals. We know they serve one main purpose, the protection of the food and medical monopolies. Monopolies and cartels cannot exist without government backing and protection.
Editor’s Response: Monopolies and cartels also cannot exist in the face of strong consumer resistance. Our strategy at the Weston A. Price Foundation is to create widespread demand for unprocessed farm milk. If the demand is strong enough, even our government bureaucrats can be stymied in their efforts to prevent access to it. Also, if even 5 percent of the population switched to whole—as opposed to reduced-fat—milk, the dairy industry as it now exists would be overturned. Small changes in consumer habits can have big reverberations in the food industry.
In Search of Real Cream
I am a British citizen and have lived in the US for the past seven years. To this day, I cannot understand why real cream is not readily available here. By real cream I mean the cream-colored (off-white) cream that is available in all British grocery stores (and from the doorstep milk delivery companies), in the form of single cream, double cream or clotted cream. It also exists in a less concentrated form when it floats on the top of British full-cream milk, in bottles delivered to the doorstep. (Very few people order homogenized milk.)
In US grocery stores they sell heavy Cream and Whipping Cream, but it doesn’t taste like real cream, it doesn’t look like cream (it is white) and it does not have the consistency of cream (it is too thin).
Most of the milk in the UK is pasteurized but this hasn’t prevented the sale and availability of cream as a separate commodity.
Editor’s Response: The disappearance of real cream from the grocery stores is a real indictment of the American food industry. We have received plaintive calls from people all over the country wishing they could buy the type of cream they remembered from their childhoods. This is an example of bad food (especially imitation whipped creams) pushing out the good. However, there is hope as many of us are now able to buy delicious thick cream directly from farmers with pasture-fed herds.