The “Wise Traditions” Conference Part 2

Beverly Rubik PhD is a US doctor whose main interest is research into the subtle energies of living systems, including the human energy field and whole-person health and healing.

I found her talk “Health Under the Microscope” absolutely fascinating. She has spent much time looking at human blood microscopically and how it changes with the diet taken. She showed us slides of blood taken from people eating the standard “healthy” organic diet. This meant that their diet was largely composed low fat meats, bread, cereals, margarine and other refined vegetable oils, soya and other beans, fruit and vegetables. Not bad you might think considering this food was organically produced.

file931348057842The second set of slides showed the blood from largely organic foods as recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation. Broadly, this means the diets consisted of eggs, natural meat with its fat and organs from animals that have been pasture fed, raw dairy including butter, fresh fruits and vegetables in season,  nuts, seeds and grains that have been properly prepared.

The people that were studied were split into the two groups as above and the ages in each ranged from young adults to early old age. All participants had been on their diets for several months to many years. The results were startling.  From the Weston A. Price style diet, slide after slide showed – in Dr. Rubik’s words – perfect blood – even the older participants. The different cells could be seen clearly and there was no clumping.  There was also a rather strange – and as yet unidentified – cell which is thought to be a beneficial microbe of some sort. This was very odd as up until now we have believed that our beneficial microbes do not live in the blood stream, but in our gut and on our skin.

In the group consuming the standard healthy, organic diet, the blood slides were very different. The cells appeared sticky and they clumped together. It is thought that this is not in any way beneficial to our health and as well as in the obvious problems within the blood stream there will be knock-on effects in other body systems. Interestingly, there were microbes in the blood of these people too, but they have been identified as pathogenic not probiotic. There is more on this research here.

I have seen Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride speak at several conferences diet and her enthusiasm never wavers. She is the doctor who devised the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). The diet has become very popular as it works. Very basically, she has determined that dysbiosis  (the wrong mix of gut microbes) in the gut affects our mental and physical health. At this conference she spoke about GAPS but also about immunity.

Our immune systems are determined at birth and during child hood. Dr. McBride outlined the importance of the childhood illnesses – to allow a child to develop fevers is to educate the immune system. Babies can often be sickly after birth as they become a dumping ground for toxins that a mother has in her body! Maybe this is why some babies develop skin rashes for no apparent reason. Autistic children are often the first-born in the family and it could be partly due to this phenomena. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone suppresses immunity so that the baby is not rejected, but it too has a suppressed immune system making it vulnerable to infective agents. Coupled with the toxins from the mother’s body (from hair dye, make-up, household cleaning products, showering/bathing products) creates problems for new-borns. Some of the chemicals present in these products can attach themselves to tissues in the body causing the typical symptoms of diseases such as Ehlers Danlos syndrome (joint hypermobility) and this is very common amongst autistic children.

Children living in “unhygieneic”  surroundings are usually more robust that those file0002010398688children living in “germ-free” surroundings . Gut parasites are part of our normal gut flora and are important. Whilst our immune systems are busy controlling pathogens, they are far less likely to attack healthy tissues as in some auto-immune diseases such as Crohn’s disease. Candida is a yeast that is found in the human gut where it belongs. It provides a great service to us – absorbing mercury which can be toxic to humans. Too much mercury being ingested, invites candida to overgrow and create problems such as IBS. Mercury is a component of dental amalgam fillings and in some people the mercury can leak into the gut causing gut (and other) disturbances. So much of that which we take for granted can be detrimental to our immunity.

Another thing I learned, is that the appendix is a vital part of our immune system. For years it has been taught that the appendix is a “left-over” from when we were herbivores but modern research shows that it is a “bank” for beneficial microbes. This sounds reasonable to me. If we are affected by a holiday-tummy bug, much of the gut microbiota will have been flushed out. The appendix then releases a new colony and you get better! The body is an amazing thing and has a trick up its sleeve for all eventualities.

In her closing talk, Sally Fallon gave us her personal health tips. She believes in eating regularly, three times daily. This is how it used to be! Grazing is a current fad – no doubt born from our “on-the-hoof” lifestyles. In my view, there are few people who would benefit from a grazing diet and it can contribute to insulin sensitivity. She also outlined the importance of a big breakfast – not just a piece of toast or a bowl of nutrient-poor cereal. Meats must be eaten with their natural fats, we should consume broths made from meat bones and natural salt is very important for many functions in the body. (Himalayan crystal salt or Celtic grey salt are both good.)

I hope at least some of this makes sense. It has been rather a difficult task trying to decipher the hieroglyphics I managed to scribble down during the talks!

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The “Wise Traditions” Conference Part 1

After the two days at the Weston A. Price “Wise Traditions” conference, my head was buzzing – so much information to assimilate and figure out how to use this in my practice. Some of the topics discussed reassured me that I am on the right path with the treatment I advise. The “usual suspects” for disease came up often – low blood vitamin D levels in the western world, low-fat diets contributing to poor health, the detrimental effect of polyunsaturated oils and of course, the importance of a good microbiota – the colony of microbes in your gut. All the things I bang on about constantly!

DSC_6904Chris Masterjohn, talked about the importance of “Meat, Bones, Organs and Skin for Mental Health”. I am far from being a scientist so I won’t go into details here for fear of getting it wrong! Suffice it to say that there are substances in these foods that work together and in a domino effect, promoting the proper function of brain chemicals – proper functioning brain chemicals – proper functioning brain!
He also highlighted, chemically, what can go wrong for vegetarians. He was vegetarian/vegan for many years, believing that this was the healthy way to eat. His health suffered and his teeth began to rot due partly to the lack of fat soluble vitamins and the amount of grain he was eating. He began researching and came upon the Weston A. Price Foundation. Read more about this here.
There is some evidence that vegetarians suffer mental disorders more frequently than meat-eaters.
His second lecture was about how heart disease and degeneration are related to the nutrients in food. The most important message was about anti-oxidants. Most of us have heard this term and understand that they are needed to help our health, but I think the main message for me was that yet again, they do not work alone but need other compounds to do the job. I feel justified in my stance – I very rarely advise supplements for just this reason. If you take a supplement in isolation, at worst it could be dangerous and at best it can be pointless. More about supplements here.

file9121341856730Philip Weeks gave a talk about adrenal exhaustion, brought about by chronic stress. We all know that it is damaging, but even I was shocked at just how badly the body can be affected! Rather than summarise the talk, I found this on his website which explains.

Next week I will conclude this blog.

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Weston A. Price and the “Wise Traditions” Conference

I feel enlivened and motivated by the nutrition conference I attended recently. The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit organization devoted to the dissemination of good nutrition research and much of this is available for free on their website. This is no-nonsense, easy to understand information which is based upon the traditional growing of food and its preparation. It is about real food – meat and eggs from pasture reared animals, fresh vegetables grown in properly nourished soil and without pesticides, naturally fermented foods and lots of wonderfully rich dairy products from cows fed their proper diet – grass.

file000121540238Weston A. Price was a Canadian dentist during the early years of the 1900s. His interest in health grew from peering into people’s mouths. He became aware that some people had crowded teeth and narrow dental arches (thus requiring a brace – see left) and others had wide arches and flat uncrowded teeth (see below). These dental arches also determined the shape of the face – narrow and pinched or wide and open. He began his research by travelling the world and interviewing primitive people about their diet and lifestyles. Whether it was the North American Indians, the people from isolated villages in Switzerland, the Inuit or the New Zealand Maori, his findings were very similar. These people had happy dispositions regardless of their relative poverty, had wide faces, good teeth free from cavities, bodies free of chronic illness and were resistant to infectious diseases. All of this gave him the basis for his book – Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Cutting a very long story short, he learned how vital it is for the diet to be rich in the file00051763508fat-soluble vitamins A and D and K2 (although K2 was named much more recently – he called it  X -factor.) These are vitamins that are abundant in butter, fish eggs, shellfish, raw dairy and organ meats and the peoples that he studied always consumed large amounts of some of these – the Swiss mainly dairy and the Inuit, organ meats. The fat-soluble vitamins work together to build bones and tissues as they are meant to be and a lack of them causes structural problems. Another aspect which he observed was the correct preparation of grains and legumes. Without this preparation, they do not yield their nutrients effectively and can in fact, prevent the uptake of other nutrients. They can also cause digestive distress.

The Weston A. Price Foundation was set up by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig in 1999. Its intention is to build upon the knowledge of Weston A. Price and spread it far and wide. It is (in a very small way!) my intention too as you will see from my other blogs.

Next week I will tell you a little of what I learned at the conference.

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Health Research – Wide Faced Men

“… they predicted that more physically robust men, as identified by a wider face, would be self-sacrificing when their group was competing with another group.”

Sounds a bit tongue-in-cheek doesn’t it? The above is a quote from this piece of research

From a nutritionist’s point of view, wider faces usually predict a state of health – showing a good nutritional status. A good tip  – get some sun, eat lots of eggs, good quality fatty meat and oily fish as these are the factors that will lead to good, strong properly formed bones in you and your children.

file0001931769049Weston A Price was a 1930′s dentist and he studied  primitive people all over the world. He found that those that had the highest intakes of fatty foods – and therefore fat-soluble vitamins – had the widest faces.  These vitamins ensure the absorption of the minerals that are needed for bone formation and strength.
I’ll bet these happy children will have beautiful permanent teeth! Read more about The Weston A Price Foundation and the vitally important nutrients here.

From an evolutionary point of view, females may have instinctively known that wide faces indicated health which would maximise the chances of health for future children – someone healthy and “self-sacrificing”.

Highly likely I suspect!

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