Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Greatest Nutrition Researcher of the 20th Century

Dr. Weston A. Price was a dentist and dental researcher who went on an investigation that spanned the globe to determine why native populations, who ate traditional foods, exhibited perfect physical health well into old age.

His research took him to remote tribal communities -- Swiss, Eskimos, Polynesians, Africans, New Zealanders, and more -- and what he discovered made him one of the foremost authorities on the role of foods in their natural form, and the development of degenerative illnesses as a result of the addition of processed foods to your diet. 

His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, stands as a classic work on the subject.

The video below delves into Dr. Price’s work in greater detail, and provides insight into why eating your traditional diet of locally grown, seasonal, raw foods is so important to your health.
Dr Mercola's Comments:

Dr. Weston A. Price was one of the major nutritional pioneers of all time. 

He was a dentist around 1900 who noticed something that health care practitioners still try to deny today: that with the introduction of processed food, health started to decline.

Specifically, Dr. Price noticed an incredible increase in tooth decay when people began eating processed foods. When he began his journey around the world, he found that, as he suspected, native people who were still eating their traditional diets had nearly perfect teeth.

I am constantly amazed at how powerful a predictor of health your teeth are. 

When I have seen chronically ill patients with nearly cavity-free teeth, I am encouraged that they will likely get well quickly. If, on the other hand, their mouths are full of fillings and root canals, the prognosis is not as good.

Dr. Price also used teeth as an indicator of overall health, and his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is full of wonderful pictures documenting the perfect teeth of the native tribes he visited who were still eating their traditional diets. 

The Price-Pottenger Foundation created this video, and they are one of the two primary organizations that promote the work of this great scientist. Interestingly, they just converted thousands of Dr. Price’s previously unpublished research photos from around the world, and they plan on releasing that soon.

They also have an amazing archive of books that Dr. Price and many others wrote and hope to have Google digitize them and make them available. If anyone reading this knows how to connect with the Google library scanning project please contact our customer service department and let us know as this would be a major benefit to all of us.

Dr. Price was a dentist so he focused on dental health, and he found that native people eating native diets did not get tooth decay.

The Healthy Ingredients of Native Diets

What makes Dr. Price’s work so incredible is that even though it was written in 1920, it is still very true today. That is one of the signs of a health truth: it lasts for many years. If it was true in 1907 in should be true in 2007.

Dr. Price noticed some similarities between the native diets that allowed the people to thrive. Among them:
  • The foods were natural, unprocessed, and organic (and contained no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup).
  • The people ate foods that grew in their native environment. In other words, they ate locally grown, seasonal foods.
  • Many of the cultures ate unpasteurized dairy products, and all of them ate fermented foods.
  • The people ate a significant portion of their food raw.
  • All of the cultures ate animal products, including animal fat and, often, full-fat butter and organ meats.
When Dr. Price analyzed his findings, he found that the native diets contained ten times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins, and at least four times the amount of calcium, other minerals, and water-soluble vitamins as that of Western diets at that time.

Their diets were also rich in enzymes because they ate fermented and raw foods (enzymes help you to digest cooked foods).

Another major factor that made the native diets so healthy was that their intake of omega-3 fats was at least ten times higher than in today’s diet. Regular readers of the newsletter know that today most people’s ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats (from vegetable oils) is far from the ideal 1:1 ratio of our ancestors. 

Today, most people eat far too many omega-6 fats and far too few omega-3 fats, leading to a ratio that’s more like 20:1 or even 50:1!

How YOU Can Take Advantage of Dr. Price’s Pioneering Work

Even though we live lives that are far different from those of our ancestors, you can still benefit from their traditional diets by making some simple changes in your own life. Namely:
  • Find out your nutritional type, and eat accordingly. This will tell you which foods are ideal for your unique biochemistry.
  • Eat at least one-third of your food raw.
  • Avoid processed foods and all artificial flavorings, colorings, and artificial sweeteners. Instead, seek out locally grown foods that are in-season.
  • Enjoy fermented foods like kefir and cultured veggies.
  • Make sure you eat enough healthy fats, including those from animal sources like omega-3 fat, and reduce your intake of omega-6 from vegetable oils.
Now Dr. Price's Land Mark Book is Available for FREE

And, if you have any interest in natural health, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is a MUST read. In fact, you don’t even have to read the book as the pictures it contains say it all.  You can purchase it at Amazon. 

However, the online book is the original edition and many chapters have been added in recent times.  These include letter from Dr. Price to his his nieces and correspondence between him and J. I. Rodale. The online book also does not have 54 photos which have been subsequently added.

For Additional Information

You can also learn more from the Price-Pottenger Foundation and the Weston A. Price Foundation. I am proud to be on their advisory boards and would encourage you to consider joining their organizations. They are dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research, and activism.

Related Links:

See Dr. Mercola's site for more on this topic http://www.mercola.com/