My thyroid didn’t bother me at all my whole life. Then my doctor recommended soy milk because of my love for milk. I was at Costco and saw that they had soy milk so I decided to give it a try. I started getting pains in my heart, chest and neck almost right away but I didn’t associate it with my thyroid or my soy milk. I decided my problem was too much cholesterol and so I cut out meat, butter and milk completely and drank more soy for protein intake. I got worse and worse until I had two heart attacks that I now think were thyroid attacks—but the heart doctors saw it as a great opportunity to use me for their next boat payment and I got three stents.
But the pains didn’t go away. I tried blaming it on my Crestor for keeping down my cholesterol but I kept drinking my soy, faithfully. I was in Hawaii when, after five years of thinking I was about to have a heart attack every day and becoming a couch potato, a friend told me to try sea weed or kelp. I did and the pain went away. I would still have times when my thyroid caused me stress, pain and sluggishness but now I realize that that was when I would have soy milk.
When my wife heard that soy could be the problem, we cut out the soy and the pains started getting better almost right away. I have lost five years of my precious life and suffered fear of heart attack and pain in my neck, throat, chest and armpits, and I truly believe soy is the culprit. Help me find a way to stop the soy industry from hiding the truth.
A few years ago, I was told I had a very slim chance of ever getting pregnant and only about a 30 percent chance of keeping a pregnancy. This was due to having PCOS, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, mild lupus and Sjogrens syndrome. Most of my doctors told me there was nothing I could do but to go on drugs for the rest of my life! Instead, I changed my diet, lifestyle and used alternative Japanese wellness products in our home. I soon found myself pregnant, and more important, my pregnancy was so smooth and easy!
Our sweet baby girl, Sofia Shea Stankey, was born safely at home after a 100 percent drug-free and natural delivery. She weighed over seven pounds and is in perfect health. She was amazingly alert from birth and nursed within ten minutes of coming into the world. I’ve attached a precious picture of her after she finished nursing where she just gazed at me. It was the most amazing moment in my life! She continues in good health, has gained back all the weight she initially lost, and is a nursing pro. She is a very content and happy baby. We are really blessed!
My traditional diet, local organic foods, and organic raw supplements during pregnancy have sure paid off. Thank you to our local farmers and the Weston A. Price Foundation for the priceless work, research, education and advocacy for healthy traditional diets. We are truly grateful.
biochemist and WAPF chapter leader
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS
I am writing in response to the book review of Devil in the Milk (Fall, 2009). I am very confused! Are you saying that raw milk is very harmful to humans unless we have a strong GI tract? And that only milk from Jersey cows, or maybe not even those cows, because of the modern breeding, have milk that is safe for humans?
Where do we find old-fashioned A2 cows? I have finally found a reliable source for raw milk. It is from Jersey cows, but is that milk the safe milk from an A2 cow, or would it be wise to start drinking goat milk because BCM 7 is not found in goat milk?
Editor’s Response: Raw whole milk from pasture-fed cows is safe and wholesome for most people. The significance of the A2 findings is that it may explain why some people do not do well even on this kind of milk—and why some people do better on goat milk. We are not suggesting that farmers and consumers worry about whether their milk is A1 or A2. What we are suggesting is that those who have trouble with raw cow’s milk seek out and try A2 milk, or switch to goat milk. We also suggest that pure A2 milk may be the answer for those with very serious conditions like autism. We predict that over the years, A2 milk will become more and more available, perhaps eventually the only type of milk available. But this transformation will be gradual and will take a long time. Meanwhile, we don’t want farmers to worry about their current herd, nor consumers to worry about the milk they are drinking if it agrees with them.
RECOVERY WITHIN ONE WEEK
Back in the fall of 2002, I fell prey to anorexia, which turned into bulimia a few years following. After much anxiety, I went inpatient for help in 2007. Their efforts were disastrous—I fell even deeper into the eating disorder, only to be told I needed “more time inpatient.” There followed three more hospitalizations until this year (the most recent being this past May). I am in debt twenty-one thousand dollars to hospitals whose low-fat diet regimes did nothing for me. For example, I have always loved vitamin D whole milk. (I’m lucky now to have it raw!) They didn’t even supply it in the hospital! The best I could get was 2% milk. Everything was lean, lowfat, high-carb—we were on dietician-approved meal plans, guaranteed to help us gain weight but “not make you fat.” And yet many of us were forced to eat two desserts a day (usually hospital cake or Little Debbie or some concoction of that ilk). If we refused to eat, we were forced to drink Ensure. And if we didn’t drink that, it was tubed into us. In retrospect, how horrifying! Eating disorder centers are the diet dictocrats personified!
When released from my most recent stay, the urges were still with me. I was depressed, antsy, and sleepless (despite having tried various antidepressants, antipsychotics and sleep meds). In desperation, I decided to “take the plunge” into real food. I was familiar with Weston Price’s research and principles. It had always made sense to me—but until this past June hadn’t really clicked. The “clicking” was thanks to Nina Planck’s book, Real Food. And so it was, that June day, that I poured myself a glass of raw milk, literally closed my eyes, and drank. I haven’t looked back.
Within one week, my mood had improved. In two weeks, I was sleeping like a babe. By July, I had totally switched my diet around. Instead of toast in the morning, it was sautéed veggies and pastured eggs. I allowed myself fat, good fats, animal fats, the cracklings of bacon in the pan; I delved into grass-fed beef like a long-lost daughter. It was like I had finally woken up!
Now, after several months, I have had no impulses to return to the eating disorder. I can’t imagine starving myself now! My cravings for sugar are gone. I don’t even want Starbucks! I love the fact that I finally am able to eat. I relish it, I enjoy it. But the most astonishing thing about this recent change has been that after going for years with amenorrhea, in hospitals and out, after only three weeks of grass-fed beef, fresh CSA veggies, raw milk and sprouted grains, my period returned!
I look forward to learning more (and more and more!) about these forgotten traditions! I hope one day to help others recover from their eating disorders in the true, traditional way. Thank you everyone at the Weston A. Price Foundation for all your hard work!
Twin Cities, Minnesota
GOAT MILK HEALS!
I know firsthand the value of raw goat milk. Years ago, my husband suffered for a long time from diarrhea. Nothing seemed to help. His doctor put him on Lomotil pills, which he rarely took. He was then put on a baby food diet for two years.
The Lord must have told him to go on raw goat milk. His GI system healed completely and since then he has eaten anything he wants. I tell people to get goat milk, but it seems like no one is smart enough to listen. That is really sad.
With each new issue I find myself intrigued and informed. I find it hard to pull away until I have read every page. I love the depth of your articles; even after six years of following WAPF principles and founding a local chapter, I am never bored. The most recent journal carried a fascinating article about the American Indians of the Midwest region a hundred years before Price. I was interested to learn of the possible value of sleeping with the head tipped forward and have been experimenting with this. The photos were also fabulous.
There were some statements in the article which I believe are inaccurate. One of these concerned the “universal” use of cradleboards among American Natives of North and South America. I’d love to see more research. However, I do know that at least some groups of native people in the Arctic carried their babies close to their bodies inside their parkas for warmth. Also, the Yequana people of South America carried their babies on their hips, passing them around in order to work, and slept entwined with them, according to the fascinating book Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff.
Ms. Leidloff lived at length with the Yequana before they were otherwise exposed to western culture. While sadly ignoring their diet, she recorded at length the child-rearing practices to which she attributed their deeply fulfilled natures. In many other parts of the world, native people carried their babies in a great variety of carriers that enabled them to be held close while adults worked. In addition to the scholarly works to this effect, a terrifically illustrated children’s book, A Ride on Mother’s Back by Emery Bernhard, covers some of these tribes.
Binding a small child to a board for two years such that even the arms are constrained does not strike me as a practice to emulate. Rather than a positive and universal practice such as a nutrient-dense diet, it may be a regional idiosyncrasy more akin to foot-binding or child genital mutilation. Perhaps the tribes that used cradleboards simply had not invented a way to carry their babies against their bodies, much as they did not invent wheels or weaving. With baby-carrying the infant’s mobility is increased and their balance improved while the all-important bonding to the mother is enabled. The baby is kept safe and the mother can work and everyone wins. The physical beauty and strength of the adults of the cradle-boarding population does not necessarily mean that cradle-boarding was a positive influence on the individuals in question. As we all know, there are invisible ways to be harmed.
I was disappointed that the “Advice for Today’s Mothers” sidebar discouraged mother-infant bed sharing. Millions, if not billions, of people for millions of years have slept cuddled with their babies, as do primates and all other mammals born helpless and naked. The possible exception of the Midwestern American Indians and the current phobias of the medical-industrial-government complex do not change that. For scientific support for the numerous benefits and high degree of safety of proper bed sharing please see the work of Dr. McKenna at the University of Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, as frequently profiled in Mothering Magazine.
Editor’s Response: As described by George Caitlin and other observers of American Indians, and recorded in numerous photographs, the use of cradle boards seems to have been a near universal practice on the North American continent. These observers did not visit Arctic climates, where practices were necessarily different, and it seems that in South America practices were mixed. As we pointed out, the cradle board seems cruel to modern parents; light swaddling in a blanket for a small infant during sleeping is all that we recommend today. The Weston A. Price Foundation takes no official stand on bed sharing with infants. The advice about keeping the baby’s head elevated can be followed with the baby in bed with her parents or sleeping in a crib.
Each issue of Wise Traditions provides wonderful nutritional advice for raising healthy babies. The advice concerning the swaddling of babies and its alleged health and respiratory benefits, however, is something we disagree with (Fall, 2009).
Kicking legs, wiggling bodies and expressive arms and hands are not only a joy for babies; they are deeply pleasurable actions that, developmentally speaking, play a healthy role in the child’s physical and emotional integration and coordination. These movements, denied the swaddled infant, mute a baby’s emotional responses, rendering the child docile and obedient. We believe that extended periods of swaddling are traumatic, steering the infant toward an attitude of excessive emotional restraint coupled with hopelessness against external pressures. This statement is supported in the article itself where Ms. Henderson, quoting Mr. Caitlin himself, describes the deeply ingrained emotional restraint of the Indians that were studied; an artificial restraint that was revealed in the face of emotionally charged circumstances both joyous and tragic.
This fact is more thoroughly documented with extensive cross-cultural evidence in the book Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World by Dr. James DeMeo. Here it is demonstrated that, far from being an innocuous and independent child-rearing practice, the social institution of swaddling developed as part of a much wider, functional social matrix that included many other biologically traumatic child-rearing practices. Swaddled infants may in fact appear calm, but this is often a consequence of the swaddling wraps causing a compressive reduction in respiration, after which they eventually resign to their confinement.
The negative psychological effects of swaddling may be carried into adulthood as an emotionally immobilized character structure. Such submissive people, for example, are unable to express the necessary outrage at authorities who try to take away their individual rights and freedoms. We urge parents to do their research before deciding on the practice of swaddling.
Joseph Heckman, Ph.D.
New Brunswick, NJ
James DeMeo, Ph.D
Editor’s Response: George Caitlin did not observe the very cruel practice of head deformation, as described in the book Saharasia, which apparently was practiced in a few traditional cultures. As noted, the main reason given for swaddling in cradle boards was to protect the infant. The point of the article was the great emphasis the American Indian placed on preventing mouth breathing. Obviously we do not recommend the practice of continuous swaddling today, although many mothers have found that light swaddling in a blanket can be useful in calming a very young infant. The premise that swaddling during the first two years of life resulted in the emotionless demeanor of the American Indian is an interesting one; but to claim that the Native Americans lacked the will to resist the incursions of the Europeans into their territories does not stand up to the recorded evidence. Quite the contrary, European Americans had to go to great lengths to break the spirit of the American Indian. The allegation that the American Indians practiced child abuse and were sexually repressed seems far-fetched. In fact, in the early days of the American colonies, one of the greatest “problems” encountered by the settlers was the fact that many Europeans ran away to live with the Indians, because they found the Native American society less stressful than their own.
BUTEYKO BREATHING TECHNIQUE
Thank you for printing Nancy Henderson’s fascinating article about George Caitlin. My interest in the WAPF started after I was taught the Buteyko Breathing Technique by Roger Price (whom Henderson refers to in the article). He made a number of comments about jaw development and how it related to asthma. This technique “cured” my lifelong asthma. I am thirty-six now and have been off all asthma medication (most recently Pulmicort and Bricanyl) for several years. I say “cured” because my symptoms would soon return if I didn’t maintain good breathing habits.
To manage my asthma I do the following: breathe quietly through my nose while awake; tape my mouth closed at night with micropore tape (fold a tab on one side so it can be easily removed); breathe only through my nose while exercising, such as running.
I can now get up on a cold morning to run without fear of symptoms, and I no longer carry an inhaler with me. In 2007 I ran the Sydney and Auckland marathons breathing only through my nose. I wake up in the morning feeling calm and relaxed, and the tape prevents any snoring.
Most of 2008 I spent milking cows on an organic dairy farm in New Zealand— somewhat ironic after supposedly being allergic to cow’s milk as a baby (asthma/eczema) and being told as a child that I was allergic to grass. While on asthma medication I never thought I would be able to work in an environment like that. (I suspect that I may be allergic to hard work though!)
Konstantin Buteyko, the Ukrainian physician who invented the technique, made a couple of important discoveries. First, that healthy people breathe air at around six liters per minute. Most of us breathe far too much all the time (chronic hyperventilation). Second, that overbreathing results in insufficient CO2 levels in the lungs and blood. Henderson’s article mentions “vital capacity,” but don’t be fooled into thinking that a large capacity means we should be bellowing air in and out! The reason we have a large reservoir of air is so that we can maintain a higher level of CO2 within it (ideally around 6 percent).
My experience is not unique. The Bowler Trial published in the Medical Journal of Australia showed a reduction in minute volume and beta agonist use for the Buteyko group, with no significant change for the control group (www.mja.com.au/public/issues/xmas98/bowler/bowler.html). These results were duplicated a few years later in another trial published in the New Zealand Medical Journal (www.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1187/710/). They also published a case series showing children were able to reduce their beta agonist usage (www.nzma.org.nz/journal/119-1234/1988/).
Scottish nurse Jill McGowan’s trial results were presented to the British Thoracic Society Winter Conference in 2003. She found that 384 of the initial 600 participants (64 percent) who completed the trial, asthma symptoms decreased by an average of 98 percent while use of reliever inhalers decreased by an average of 98 percent. Use of preventor inhalers decreased by an average of 92 percent (www.members.westnet.com.au/pkolb/jill_mcg.htm). In my opinion, asthma symptoms are caused by chronic hyperventilation, and can be “cured” by learning to breathe correctly—that is, nasal breathing closer to ideal volume of around 6L/min.
Personal health is a passion of mine as one of my health goals is to prevent cancer—three of my mother’s sisters died from breast cancer and my mother had a prophylactic mastectomy. I therefore have been on a quest of finding the healthiest diet for over thirty years.
Unfortunately, until I began eating a traditional diet eight years ago, I was probably on the cancer track without knowing it. I had followed a very “healthy” high-fiber, low-fat diet for many years eating lots of salads, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and only a little meat, eggs and dairy—and no butter of course. I became very malnourished and developed a severe digestive disorder. Luckily, I learned about the work of Weston A. Price and have recovered. I feel this nutrient-dense diet is clearly the cancer protection that I had been seeking.
However, in terms of breast health, I have learned that there is an important component that I had left out. I recently found a painful lump in my breast that really frightened me. How could this be happening with my diet? Through research, what I now understand is that most women get these lumps and that they are cysts. I also learned that doing regular breast lymphatic self-massage will help these cysts drain, improve breast health and help prevent them from forming in the future. Within three days of following the massage protocol, the cyst disappeared by 80 percent! What a revelation! Unfortunately, because of the media attention to breast lumps, most women are scared to death when they find a lump, and then they panic. I was so thankful to have learned this holistic, caring information from a project called “The Breast Health Project.”
Here is the site on breast self-care: www.breasthealthproject.com. It says that “Women find that this massage reduces breast pain, breast swelling, PMS breast symptoms, cystic issues, calcifications and even fear of breast cancer” and that “The Breast Health Project has created a new model of breast care based on holistic medicine, using the best of eastern and western therapies.”
Paired with a nutrient-dense, traditional diet, lymphatic massage sheds a refreshing light on the possibilities of truly taking charge of our health.
I am writing to say a sincere thank you for your advice and wisdom. Feeling very desperate, I wrote to the Foundation requesting advice. I had been bleeding for one-and-one-half months. The bleeding started on holiday and I had to make an emergency trip to a doctor who gave me oral progesterone. That helped for a few days but didn’t stop the flow. I returned from holiday and went straight to my gynecologist, who told me to go back on the contraceptive pill. As that didn’t help either, I was given progesterone by injection. Again three weeks after, I was back at my doctor, still bleeding, to be told the next step was a D and C (dilation and curettage, or scraping of the uterus), which would be followed by another procedure.
I followed your suggestions to take three tablespoons of cod liver oil each day along with plenty of butter. So for the next five days I began each day with buttered toast and cod liver oil, all washed down with a glass of juice! I was really wondering whether it was going to work. On day five the bleeding stopped for a few hours and I started to feel hope again. On day six my bleeding stopped completely and I haven’t had any since! Thank you for what you do. I am sharing my good news with all my friends.
Pam from Singapore
TOOTH DECAY HALTED
I would like to thank you for your clear direction regarding my son’s tooth health. I was very concerned when the dentist confirmed widespread tooth decay in his baby teeth. Based on your advice, he has been having raw milk and taking the cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil for three months now, and already I can see an improvement in his teeth. On a recent trip to the dentist, the dentist confirmed that the active decay in his baby teeth has changed colour in the last week or so. I believe that the decay is beginning to become inactive. It is such a relief for me as a mother to know that we are treating his decay using natural foods and that his long term health is so much safer.
Regarding your article on iodine (Summer, 2009), at least two websites advise that the current product marketed as Atomidine has not been manufactured in accordance with the Cayce recommendations for many years now. See Phil Thomas at www.iodinesource.com and John Brookshire at www.magnascent.com. Note that they each offer an alternative version of “detoxified iodine” which they present as based on the Cayce protocol.
I have been using the Detoxified Iodine from Phil and am going to try John’s version. One of my close friends, age seventy-eight, had been on Synthroid for years and was able to discontinue it the first week she tried Phil’s iodine.
Richard J. Fitts
Virginia Beach, Virginia
HELP FOR THYROID PROBLEMS
I really enjoyed the articles about iodine in Wise Traditions (Summer, 2009), especially Dr. Rind’s article about thyroid and adrenals. These issues have been serious health problems of mine which I have been able to manage well only recently with the help of my physician and members of the yahoo forums which I follow. I would like to recommend several yahoo forums which have been the greatest help to me on my journey of discovery and recovery. People with similar experiences share their stories, treatments, talk about MDs, and post good research articles. All in all it is well worth the time.
To find these groups and join, just Google yahoo groups and you are on your way. Subscribe to the Daily Digest which will give you an efficient and orderly outline of all subjects discussed in that forum. The Weston A. Price Foundation is often discussed.
Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD,
ANOTHER THYROID VICTORY
Thank you so much for your wonderful publication and especially for the archives that you keep posted on your website. The 2001 article by Dr. Tom Cowan about hypothyroidism saved my life. I am seventy-one years old and for the last year and a half, my health deteriorated so much that I could hardly get out of bed or walk. I had total exhaustion, vertigo, and many food allergies. I was gasping for air, with shooting pains all over my body. I was unable to sleep at night because of the pain but had to discontinue my pain pills because they caused leaky gut and candida overgrowth.
I probably saw at least ten different doctors during that time and they all said that all my tests were normal. The last doctor, an allergist, said that there was nothing more she could do for me except to stabilize me as I was. I thought that I might as well die, and I was sure that I would. That’s when I found Dr. Cowan’s article on your website and decided to try his protocol.
I would like to add that I’ve been a WAPF subscriber since 2001 and have had a very healthy diet during this whole time. I’ve also been trying to detox in my far infrared sauna, but I hardly sweat.
On July 20, 2009, I started taking one each of Standard Process Prolamine, Iodine, Cataplex F and Thyrotropin PMG. In rapid succession the improvements were increased energy, no longer gasping for air, stabbing pains gone, pain in kidney and gallbladder area decreased, vertigo gone and hand tremors gone. Then I found I could walk without slouching, climb stairs without pulling myself up, think clearly and have regular bowel movements. I was no longer cold all the time and I was finally able to gain weight. I now have boundless energy and enthusiasm.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Attica, New York
THE GREAT FLU EPIDEMIC
Regarding the comments on the swine flu in the Fall 2009 issue, my grandfather, Dr. Irving Ozanne, of Neenah, Wisconsin, was a medical doctor during the 1919 flu. He was known ever afterwards as the doctor who didn’t lose a single patient to the flu. He was trained in homeopathic medicine, but always said the key to surviving influenza was to respect the body’s need for fever. “Never interfere with a fever,” he said, “and you will come through the flu just fine.”
Also, in a simple medical practice of almost fifty years, he never lost a mother in childbirth. I wish he had not died before my time!
I was excited to see an article by Dr. Thomas Cowan on tetanus (Fall, 2009). As a family doctor in New Zealand I have to work hard to get balanced information so that my patients can make informed decisions about vaccination.I found the article very good but with one concern.
Dr. Cowan states, “As I said, you are protected if you have had three vaccines at any time in your life, even fifty years ago.” He was referring to an earlier statement about National Institutes of Health research claiming no one who has received all three shots for tetanus has contracted clinical tetanus.
Reading the epidemiological study (www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/9665156), the findings actually indicate that 13 percent of cases of tetanus between 1995-1997 had reported that they had received the full primary series of tetanus vaccinations. Admittedly we are talking very small numbers here (roughly a one-in-fifty-million chance per year) and as a result, Dr. Cowan’s statements remain in essence true, especially as 9 percent of those 13 percent had had four or more vaccinations for tetanus—it seems as though those people were probably going to get tetanus no matter how much they were vaccinated. It might seem nit-picky but I believe that integrity and transparency are vital if we are to rise above the rhetoric and propaganda.
I have to mention that I greatly respect Dr. Cowan’s stand for health and get a great deal of value out of Wise Traditions. I am a staunch advocate of the WAPF philosophy and continue to try and influence my practice with its truisms. Many thanks indeed.
Dr. Mark Edmond, MB ChB
Christchurch, New Zealand
Editor’s Response: Thank you so much for this correction! We will post your letter after our article on the website.
REAL FOOD FOR REAL BABY
The review of Real Food for Mother and Baby is littered with errors and distortions about my diet, my pregnancy, and my little boy.
The reviewer’s claim that I didn’t follow a pre-conception diet of traditional foods is false. As a would-be mother of 35, I prepared myself for my first pregnancy with care. That diet included raw milk from a trusted source, as the book makes clear, as well as other traditional foods Price called for. Your reviewer calls me complacent about the few chemicals we used on our farm in my early childhood. The claim is ignorant and false. I followed a clean diet long before attempting to conceive, in order to replace toxins which might have wound up in my fat.
The reviewer insinuates that I suffered damage from my vegan and vegetarian years. This too is mistaken. My reproductive health has always been excellent; I got pregnant on the first try. The reviewer’s cynical remark about my lacking moral support for good prenatal nutrition is offensive as well as unfounded. Julian’s father Rob Kaufelt (a nationally-known champion of raw milk cheese), my mother (who fed us on traditional foods and gave me my first copy of Nourishing Traditions), and (yes) my friends at the local WAPF chapter were champions of my good nutrition.
The suggestion that my Cesarean section was caused by poor nutrition is baseless. My pelvis—where Julian got stuck, head sideways—is ample. For that, I can thank my mother’s excellent prenatal diet, generous breastfeeding, and good baby-feeding practices. There is no evidence from midwifery or nutrition that diet could have changed his birth. As for post-partum weepiness, I ate a superb traditional diet during Julian’s first weeks. As any mother knows, tears have many causes. They soon subsided. I stand by my statement that some cases of post-partum depression cannot be cured by food alone. I am lucky my baby blues were not so severe.
The reviewer’s suggestion that I was not sufficiently concerned by Julian’s low iron and thinning-out around age one is outrageous. I arranged a phone consultation with Weston Price expert Dr. Tom Cowan. I interviewed iron experts. True, I ignored our then-pediatrician, who ordered me to wean Julian and give him inorganic iron. Instead, I fed Julian his regular diet of real food, which included a near-daily dose of grass-fed ground beef. He also had cod liver oil and Dr. Ron’s grass-fed Organic Organ Delight daily. We were, as always, generous with butter and cream. Happily, real food worked. Julian’s weight gain and iron levels bounced right back.
The reviewer’s presumptions about my travel with Julian are odious and unfounded. For nearly one year, Julian did not have a babysitter; we were home together. I seldom traveled. When I did, Julian was in my arms and in my bed. When I spoke at book events, Julian was right there—safe in my mother’s arms.
Your reviewer finds my book insufficiently purist. How myopic! I describe the ideal diet with care and I describe how I eat with candor. More than 50,000 people have bought my books. Scores have written to thank me for saving them (as I was saved) from the low-fat and vegetarian wilderness. They appreciate hearing how I square an excellent diet with real life. My readers include many Weston A. Price Foundation members and chapter leaders. “Your books are accessible and fun to read, and I have recommended both to countless people,” writes one chapter leader who found the review baffling.
Meanwhile, since Real Food for Mother and Baby came out, our family has been blessed again. Today, I’m nursing newborn twins. Jacob and Rose were born vaginally at full term. (Attention obstetricians: A 38 year-old mother can have VBAC twins.) I owe their good health and mine to the work of Weston Price.
Let me be clear about where I stand. I stand with Weston Price, in spirit (humanism) and substance (traditional foods). I stand with every mother who wants to reform her diet and feed children properly, no matter how far from perfection she is.
New York, New York
Editor’s Response: We are so pleased to learn of the care that Planck took with her pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and early nursing diet. Unfortunately, these details were not communicated in her book Real Food for Mother and Baby as they should have been, so as to encourage mothers to take the same care during their own pregnancies. We are glad that Planck has found the work of Weston Price helpful to her; however, the book itself dismisses our careful guidelines on cod liver oil, pregnancy diet and homemade infant formula as too difficult or “impossible.” In fact, Planck places cod liver oil in the “if you must” column of her charts on diet and supplements during pregnancy. The treatment of other important subjects, such as vaccinations, folic acid supplements, introduction of grains to infants and even raw milk is equally confusing and contradictory. Especially serious is the recommendation to take fish oil during the later part of pregnancy; this can lead to overdosing with omega-3 fatty acids and to numerous health problems including rashes, allergies and suppression of the immune system. The reason we recommend high-vitamin cod liver oil is to obtain adequate vitamins A and D without overdosing on omega-3 fatty acids. Important details like these need to be carefully explained to expectant parents. We urge Planck to issue a second edition with more attention to consistency and accuracy. There is a very great need for books that help mothers produce healthy babies with confidence and good humor, but the best way to combat nervousness and stress is to provide clear and consistent guidelines, with carefully explained alternative suggestions for those who cannot follow those guidelines to the letter.
SOY AND HEART DISEASE
I have reviewed with great interest your web site. I agree with almost 100 percent of what is posted. However, several things struck me as missing. For example, you note that “soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.” You also talk a great deal about coronary heart disease (CHD) and its possible causes.
However, you have missed an important connection. One of the most serious factors of soy as an endocrine disruptor involves the hypothalamic/pituitary axis and the production of human growth hormone.
It just so happens that phytoestrogens, and any oral estrogen or “estrogen- like” compound goes to the liver and directly affects the enzyme system hepatic tyrosine phosphorylation, which is the system that produces IGF-1 from growth hormone. The oral estrogens or phytoestrogens affect this same system, making your IGF-1 lower than it should be. IGF-1 has multiple actions in the body, especially in the bone, heart and brain. IGF-1 maintains the integrity of the organ, without it the volume of the organ is lost. That is why the Women’s Health Initiative studies are important, because the oral estrogen used in the study resulted in THE higher risk of heart disease and breast cancer. It would be nice if the National Institutes of Health would look again at those women and measure their IGF-1 while on or off their oral estrogen.
One study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism showed receptor sites for IGF-1 being highest in the heart, strongly suggesting the importance of IGF-1 to the integrity and health of the heart. As one researcher said at an international conference I attended in Brussels, Belgium, “We have the medical know how and ability to eliminate the number one killer of developed nations, coronary heart disease, but only France and the United States has embraced the use of recombinant human growth hormone [rHGH] which will eliminate coronary heart disease.” The use of rHGH in adults has gotten a really bad rap in the United States. Why? Because it would eliminate many drugs used to treat CHD, especially the statins.
You are clearly on the right track of soy and CHD, you are just missing a very big element that I believe your subscribers and readers of your web site would find most interesting and up to date. I agree with the WAPF philosophy that it is best to support the body nutritionally to make its own growth hormone, but if someone has pituitary damage, it cannot make growth hormones and needs a replacement. For more information, visit www.centerforhormonescienceandeducation.com.
Jackie Springer, MD
Overland Park, Kansas
THE IKARIA PARADOX.
Regarding Caustic Commentary on an NPR-aired report by Dan Buettner on longevity on the Greek island of Ikaria (Fall, 2009), it seems Buettner failed to take into account the demographics of the island, or was fed inaccurate information by locals, perhaps only intended for tourist consumption.
According to various sources, in the early 20th century, Ikaria had a population of about twenty to twenty-five thousand, which declined steadily to the current level of six to eight thousand, due to emigration to mainland Greece, the US and other destinations in the world. So, the one-third of today’s residents on the island said to have reached 90 years of age, is about twenty-two hundred to twenty-seven hundred people. That’s not one-third of the population of which they were part at the time they were born. Today’s super-annuated Ikarians on the island are at best only 2-2.7 percent of their generation. Is that an amazing longevity feat? I don’t think it is much different from longevity figures for other parts of Greece and, probably, many other parts of the world.
Some of that generation have emigrated to the Greek mainland or abroad, some may still be alive elsewhere, and some may have died elsewhere, but there is no reliable, verifiable, comprehensive information about their longevity or about some identical lifestyle or a uniform nutrition regimen they maintained, regardless of where in the world they had moved. Was the nutrition of their generation better or worse than that of subsequent generations? It’s hard to say, but there are historical and cultural indications that show it was not what the cholesterol-mythology “science” in the West has inventively defined in modern times as “The Mediterranean Diet.”
First of all, it’s important to note that there never was one Mediterranean diet anywhere in the Mediterranean. Nutrition was always dependent on local production and local consumption for numerous reasons, and it varied according to proximity to food sources. Some seaside villages ate more seafood, if isolated from pastures by topography. Mountain villages consumed more meat, because they had more grazing land and raised more livestock, so they also supplied some seaside areas, wherever accessible.
However, both mountain and seaside villages consumed healthy amounts of game in the fall and spring. There was much less shipping of perishable, fresh foodstuffs, because there was no refrigeration and because transportation was costly, time consuming and limited to only few road-accessible locations.
Different areas had different sources for their essential nutritional cholesterol intake. Mountainous areas sustained flocks of a variety of free-grazing, fat sheep and goats. In fact, the Maltese goats were famous everywhere in the basin for producing the most and the fattest milk, while Anatolia sheep were prized for their plentiful storage of fat on their tails.
Without refrigeration, meat was preserved by cooking it well in kebab-size pieces and storing it in lightly salted, melted fat, which acted as a healthy, edible preservative. The meat was kept in big, wax-sealed, earthen jars in basements for at least several months at a time. The practice continued in many areas in the country even after the end of World War II. Mountain villagers also provided the nearby plains and seaside populations with dairy products and mountain game, such as wild boar in the mainland, lots of rabbits traditionally cooked with onions in wine flavored with bay leaves, and an occasional, “dorkada,” a small antelope in northern Greece, or a wild goat or kri-kri on Crete.
Seaside villages had more poultry roaming freely in their backyards and plenty of wild fowl. They trapped whole flocks of quail with big fishing nets spread on the ground or anchored on tree trunks; they caught smaller birds with home-made adhesive pads or xoverges, tied to tree branches, and used individual snares, called thilies, and shotguns for the large number of wild geese moving south from the Balkan peninsula and Asia Minor towards the big islands like Cyprus and Crete and to North Africa.
In many islands and some mainland residential areas, people also raised flocks of pigeons and still do, not only for communications and competitions, but also for food. Much of the folk architecture of many Aegean islands traditionally includes highly decorative multiple pigeon pens on top of residences. Old Greek cookbooks have various recipes for cooking these delicacies in wine and olive oil, thyme or oregano, or even salting them for year-round consumption, just like fish. Most of the salt was washed off with lemon juice or vinegar before eating. The salt used, of course, was not processed, and it contained the normal amount of magnesium and other minerals of sea-water, so it did not affect blood-pressure as precipitously as modern, “free-running” industrial salt.
What caused the population of Ikaria to dwindle? Domestic and foreign emigration has been a constant drain. The unpredictable availability and expense of transportation, as well as the allure of economic opportunity and modern amenities in the mainland and abroad played an important role. Local recreation and social interaction on the island was mostly limited to the numerous communal, open-air feasts linked to various religious holidays, when the consumption of sheep and goat meat cooked in public areas and accompanied by the strong local wine was the usual fare, supplemented by game, mostly from flocks of migratory birds. As to fish, however, it was the traditional fare in funeral wakes. It still is in many parts of Greece. Meat was for festive occasions.
One wonders whether Ikaria residents and the mainland physicians they rarely visited ever imagined there would come a day when an atrocious, so-called “correct Mediterranean Diet” would be invented abroad and falsely attributed to islanders.
As to the documented, predominantly leftist political leanings of the island’s residents, they are, to some extent, connected with internal social issues. They include the common resentment of seafood catchers and eaters against meat eaters, perceived as social injustice because of the highly envied socio-economic status of livestock owners and consumers versus the “proletariat” status of fishermen. Meat, particularly red meat, was a status symbol, an indication of financial success and prominence.
The importance of these perceptions is reflected in centuries-old folk songs and poems, where, for example, a father urges his son not to become a revolutionary and risk losing his chances at the enviable local status of a sheep and goat owner. There is no popular folk song extolling the social status of a skillful fisherman or a productive producer of tomatoes and beans. It is clear that nutrition based on foods of animal origin was the most desirable one, and those who could afford it were usually the best looking and most envied individuals.
It is also worth reminding researchers that Greece had rampant tuberculosis infection rates in the first half of the 20th century. The victims included some prominent members of the Communist Party, who were internally exiled by dictators and royalists to “desert island” detention camps, including Ikaria in the 1930s to late 1950s. Some of them are known to have denounced their ideology and their comrades in exchange for hospitalization in state-operated sanatoria for tubercular patients, which were built and operated only on mountain areas—not by the seaside where a more affordable diet of grains, vegetables and fish was available.
In the days before antibiotics the only cure for the dreaded disease was restful confinement, large quantities of locally produced fresh, full-fat milk, and lots of fresh meat and eggs. . . not low-fat, low-cholesterol “Mediterranean” foods.
A KOMBUCHA STORY
While picking up my weekly milk order from my farmer I mentioned that I wanted to return a quart jar to her for more cream but that all of mine were full since I had made so much kombucha recently. She asked whether I had any extra “mushrooms” since she wanted to start making it again. That led to a discussion about the mushrooms themselves. She uses hers three times then throws the oldest one away and cuts her others into smaller pieces and then uses those three times, etc. That way she’s always using fresh mushrooms. When she first started making kombucha, someone told her that they were good for septic systems so she was flushing her old mushrooms down the toilet.
A couple years later the septic tank guy came to empty out her tank, and he opened it up to stick the hose in to start draining it, but he couldn’t. He was totally baffled and had to get out his knife and hack away at the large, tannish, leathery thing that was floating at the top of the tank! She was quite sure what it was and she was quite sure she was not about to tell him! Can you imagine? A kombucha mushroom the size of a septic tank! If only someone in the sci-fi industry knew about SCOBYs!
Alemonte Springs, Florida
FROM A FLORIDA PRISONER
Thank you, WAPF, for your soy prison lawsuit. I am glad someone is standing up for the wrong treatment many of us have to go through being incarcerated. After reading about what other states are going through it seems that in Florida we are getting it worse. Yes, they have also replaced most of our meals with texturized vegetable protein (TVP is soy), and we get no fish, liver and no fruit at all. They don’t give us milk; they replaced it with a form of powdered milk which some people say is soy yet others say is creamer. Why would we be getting creamer in place of milk? Portion size also seems to be an issue. Also, we once had a garden, but they tore it up. The food is unseasoned and we are given at most five minutes to wolf down our tray.
Some of the other changes they have made are to cut back on our showers, give us razors that barely work and double or triple canteen prices.
This is my response to the uninformed opinions of some of the web page members who say we have it too easy in prison. However, I agree with “no work, no eat.” But in prison everyone is assigned a job. Some of us work in the kitchen preparing meals, some mow the grass, and others do grounds labor, some do the laundry. We all work.
Yes, we are being punished, but is it right to poison us as well? That amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. And not everyone in prison is a monster, maniac, or rapist.
Are you in a building with seventy others of your own sex with no privacy even in the showers or stalls, are you subject to being yelled at continually by officers and told not to talk, to sit on your bunk for hours a day? It is better to live homeless on the streets than in here where they take everything away from you, even your dignity and any hope to make a life for yourself or loved ones. For us, it’s either starve or eat toxins. Honestly, I’d rather be picking out of garbage cans. I’ve been in that situation before and it beats this. We had real food, they took it away! We’re not being picky. We’re caring for our health. We would just like back what we had, nothing more! Tell the state governor to give us back our gardens, give us work in farming and institute creative ways to save money while giving inmates new skills.
REPORT FROM THE EAST
I have just returned to my home in Ukraine from a business trip to Mongolia. It is a truly fascinating place, like nothing I have ever seen before. They consume a very healthy traditional diet, mostly consisting of pasture-fed meat and dairy—wheat was introduced relatively late, and fruits and vegetables were unheard of until mid-1950s. I met many traditional nomadic herders there, and had a chance to experience their lifestyle, which is still very much alive and even dominant in the Mongolian countryside!
When joining the World Trade Organization, Ukraine was forced to pass several draconian laws with regard to raw dairy and individually raised meat products. A ban on raw milk dairy and individually butchered meat was supposed to become effective on January 1, 2010, but the government was able to appreciate the economic devastation and the probable magnitude of popular unrest after such a ban, so it was just postponed until 2015. I guess the WTO is not going to be very happy about this, and some sort of sanctions may follow. They have also quietly passed an animal identification law here. It is not enforced with any degree of strictness—I think it was the satirist Saltykov-Shchedrin who wrote, “The harshness of Russian laws is only mitigated by their non-mandatory nature”—but I guess they are just waiting for the right moment. So, there’s lots of work to do here.
I have read many of your publications over the past four or five years, and I have followed almost every recommendation therein. My cholesterol runs about 270, even though I exercise a great deal, and I have refused a prescription for statin drugs.
Now I have become somewhat concerned about your recommendations. Why? Because I have noted that WAPF recommends vitamin B17 for the prevention of cancer. The internist however quotes the American Cancer Society as stating, “Vitamin B17 is nothing more than quackery.”
Would you please justify to me your recommendation for B17. As you might expect, because of this discrepancy, all of your recommendations are suspect.
Editor’s Response: The only place vitamin B17 is mentioned in our literature is in our flyer “How to Protect Yourself Against Cancer with Food,” in which we suggest that foods like organically grown grains, legumes, nuts and berries contain vitamin B17, which may protect against cancer. We do not recommend B17 supplements. What is certainly protective against cancer is your “high” (actually perfectly normal) cholesterol level. The American Cancer Society and other “diet dictocrat” groups consider just about everything we say as quackery. We hope you will base your judgments on true science, not name calling.
MAX GERSON CANCER DIET
Having just watched “A Beautiful Truth,” a documentary about the Max Gerson diet, I was so pleased to see that the film discussed Dr. Prices’s research. But at the end, I was astounded to find the Gerson diet promotes veganism. How can this be? Dr. Gerson and Dr. Price must have been contemporaries and no doubt corresponded. While touting the Price research as meaningful and instrumental, Dr. Gerson then claims veganism is the only healthful, restorative diet for chronic conditions such as cancer. I know the Foundation concurs that short term vegan diets for chronic conditions may be healing but certainly not long-term.
After doing a search on the WAPF website I did find a couple short references about the Gerson diet, but no in-depth articles. Are there any extensive articles available about this apparent discrepancy?
Anne Greenwood, Chapter Leader
Verde Valley/Sedona, Arizona
Editor’s Response: A key component of the original Gerson diet was daily consumption of raw liver juice. But his daughter, Charlotte Gerson, no longer uses the raw liver juice, and claims a vegan diet with lots of vegetable juices is the best therapy. (She does, however, prescribe vitamin B12.) We do not know what kind of success she is getting, but her father got excellent results, largely, we think, because of the high amounts of vitamin A and other nutrients from the liver juice.
I was diagnosed in July with multiple myeloma and have started on an immunomodulatory drug therapy. I have also been reading up on alternative treatments, and several sources have cited very similar dietary recommendations for cancer patients:
1. Cut out all sugar.
2. Cut out all milk as milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus.
3. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic. It is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Also, meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.
4. Consume 80 percent of food from raw vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruit to help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20 percent can be from cooked food including beans.
5. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate.
I’m wondering what you think of these recommendations, and where appropriate, what your counter-recommendations would be for cancer patients.
Editor’s Response: These recommendations are a typical example of good advice mixed with bad. It is good to eliminate coffee, tea, chocolate, and sugar. We agree with cutting out all conventional milk, but raw whole milk is usually excellent for cancer patients. Like everyone else, cancer patients need some animal protein—not excessive amounts, but they do need it. There is no difference in digestibility between fish, chicken, beef or pork, but meat should always be consumed with fat, otherwise it is very hard to digest. Undigested meat is eliminated at the same rate as everything else you eat—you do not have some kind of sorter in your digestive tract that holds meat particles back and lets other types of food move forward! Meat does require digestive enzymes, but your body requires animal protein of some sort. If cancer patients eat a lot of meat, they should take a digestive enzyme. Most vegetables should be well cooked to neutralize anti-nutrients, and served with lots of butter. Whole grains and seeds are indigestible raw. Nuts and seeds should be properly treated to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients. To maintain proper acid-alkaline balance you need many nutrients, including adequate protein, vitamin D and phosphorus (found in meat and whole grains). Missing from these recommendation for the cancer patient are important foods like cod liver oil, coconut oil, bone broths and lacto-fermented foods. Also missing are recommendations to detoxify heavy metals and safely remove amalgam fillings and root canals. Finally, cancer curing protocols should never be carried out as do-it-yourself projects, but undertaken with the guidance of a knowledgeable health care practitioner.
I am writing in response to legitimate concerns about conventional immunizations expressed in a letter from a reader (Wise Traditions, Spring, 2009). The writer requested information regarding a safer method to vaccinate; also, more specifically, information regarding homeopathic vaccinations.
For a parent or health provider who opts for conventional immunization, there are safer and more sensible ways to go about doing it. First of all, parents need to research which vaccines to give and which to avoid. Surely, administering a hepatitis B shot to newborns is uncalled for (see Lynne Born’s informative article on this subject in Wise Traditions, Fall, 2005); or contracting a three-day case of chicken pox involves less risk to a child than injecting a vaccine that carries, among other harmful substances, a carcinogenic agent. Moreover, since a number of children have an inborn immunity to one or more childhood diseases, before every vaccine one should establish by means of a titer test an infant’s actual need for a given antigen.
Once this has been established, inoculate against only one childhood disease at a time, spreading the process out over a period of many months. This enables a parent to observe and judge each vaccine’s effect more precisely. Something else to be considered, which at this point is ignored by conventional medicine, namely, the rate of seroconversion in a given vaccine (meaning, at which point the individual becomes immune to a disease, and to what extent). Statistically, there is no 100 percent seroconversion for any childhood disease. The highest one that can be reached is about 92 percent; and for the majority of vaccines (each vaccine has a slightly different rate of seroconversion) the first shot of a given vaccine establishes in the child around 80 percent or higher of target immunity. Thereafter, booster shots only fractionally raise immunity. The implication is that perhaps with most diseases not more than a single dose of each vaccine is really required. (The one notable exception is the polio vaccine which usually requires a booster shot for 80 percent or more immunity.) Finally, circumstances permitting, start the vaccination process later—at the earliest between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four months—in order to give the child’s immature organism and still developing nervous system a chance to strengthen before it has to assimilate the foreign proteins in the vaccines. In these ways, a parent or health provider can address each child’s individual needs instead of complying with the indiscriminate conventional approach.
For additional protection (and here we proceed to homeopathy), the parent or health provider could administer, shortly after every inoculation, a dose of homeopathically prepared Sulphur (the mineral), Thuja (the arbor vitae), or Silicea (the crystal) in the 30 (X or C) strength. The choice as to which remedy is preferable depends on the child’s nature and constitution (consult this writer’s Homoeopathic Education: The Unfolding of Experience); but if in doubt, give Sulphur. These three remedies have, over the decades, displayed great healing powers in antidoting long-term ill-effects of vaccination. Belladonna, Ledum, or Hypericum, on the other hand, in the 30 (X or C) or higher strengths are often helpful for the more common immediate ill-effects of inoculation, such as high fever, high pitched screaming, seizures, sleep or eating problems, and skin eruptions.
For those parents who decide not to vaccinate their child in the conventional manner, there is a viable alternative: homeopathic vaccines. Since homeopathy is based on a “law of similars” (like cures likes), the principle of inoculation comes to it naturally and, for well over a century, homeopaths have been dealing with childhood immunization with their own preparations. The preceding paragraph described how a parent or holistic practitioner can minimize the risk of adverse short- or long-term sequelae with homeopathic remedies. But, carrying homeopathic principles and procedures a step further, the remedies can also serve as actual substitutes for conventional inoculations. In a clear example of the law of similars, some homeopaths working preventively choose to administer a “nosode”—a homeopathically prepared extract of the diseased tissue or discharge of the particular disease—to prevent the child from contracting the illness. Still other homeopaths prefer to administer a remedy that in its derivation is quite unrelated to the disease, but which has proven to be a most effective medicine for curing a given childhood illness.
Thus, as a preventive for measles, one could administer either the nosode Morbilinum or the specific curative remedy Pulsatilla (three doses, usually in the 30th potency); Parotidinum or Rhus tox for mumps; Pertussin or Drosera for whooping cough; Diphtherinum or Mercurius cyanatus for diphtheria; Influenzinum or Gelsemium for influenza; Varicella or Rhus tox for chicken pox; Scarlatinum or Belladonna for scarlet fever; etc. As with conventional medicine immunizations, the homeopathic method can offer no 100% guarantees, but in the experience of homeopathic practitioners, even if not able to prevent every child from contracting a given disease, the remedies do mitigate its severity. With the appropriate remedies on hand to assist, the young patient will, as a rule, pass through the unavoidable childhood ailments more swiftly and easily—and with no serious sequelae. First Aid Homoeopathy in Accidents and Ailments, by Dr. D. M. Gibson, is an excellent manual for those parents and holistic practitioners who are treating childhood diseases with homeopathy, both curatively and preventively.
With regard to the question of the effectiveness of the prophylactic use of homeopathic remedies for the more common childhood diseases, this is one aspect of homeopathy that, due to insufficient data, is not easy to estimate at its full value. However, in studies recently conducted in Australia, Brazil, and other countries, large groups of children treated prophylactically with homeopathically prepared nosodes of the childhood diseases are showing these to be undoubtedly effective, possibly even superior to the allopathic vaccines. An informative article, “Homoeopathic Protection Against Epidemic Diseases” can be found on the website of an Australian homeopathic practitioner, Frances Sheffield (http://www.homeoprophylaxis.com), who gives detailed instructions on how to administer the homeopathic vaccines prophylactically.
In offering safe supplementary and alternative measures to childhood vaccination, homeopathy assists parents and holistic health providers to make informed choices where the physical and mental welfare of a child is at stake. What greater peace of mind can we ask for?
Catherine R. Coulter
Catherine R. Coulter has been active in homeopathy since 1960, lecturing and writing books on the subject, as well as training doctors and alternative practitioners. In her latest book, Homoeopathic Education: the Unfolding of Experience, (available from Ninth House Publishing www.homeopathyworks.com or www.catherinecoulter.org), she addresses in greater detail, from a homeopathic point of view, the question of childhood vaccination.