Archive for the ‘Suggestion for a healthier child’ Category


The below article is a technical explanation of the tran-sulfuration pathway and how it relates to methylation.

When people have MTHFR mutations, it is important to help bypass the mutation and support the body’s unique physiology by giving 5-MTHF (activated folic acid) and methyl or hydroxyl B12.

In many children, especially those with sulfation issues,  I have found supplementing with p5p to be quite helpful.  The below article, although complicated, may help those interested in understanding the biochemical explanation behind sulfation issues.

An Overview of the Methylation CycleMethylation is an important biochemical process in your body that helps to regulate chemical reactions for attention, focusing, awareness, language development, detoxification, sleep, immune support, and much more.By Kurt Woeller, D.O.
Reprinted, with permission, from his Newsletter
The methylation cycle is a key area of research in autism and it is important to have a basic understanding of this system when implementing the biomedical therapies for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A key therapy to support methylation is called Methyl-B12 (see Clinical Pearl section for more information).
Re-Methylation (or methylation) – this pathway involves the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Production of methionine, an amino acid, is the rate-limiting step for the conversion of other necessary proteins that affect the heart and blood vessels, muscle tissue, immune and nervous systems. The conversion of homocysteine to methionine can occur by direct transference of a methyl (CH3) group from methylcobalamin (B12) or betaine (trimethylglycine or TMG).
Trans-Sulfuration – this pathway involves converting homocysteine to two different amino acids – taurine and cysteine. Taurine is most commonly known for heart and liver support, detoxification, bile acid formation and cholesterol excretion. Cysteine has direct influence on glutathione production. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant and has protective effects against DNA/RNA damage, as well as being involved in heavy metal and chemical detoxification and immune function. Many ASD children cannot effectively make taurine and cysteine.

Homocysteine sits at the junction between glutathione and methionine. Imagine a grandfather clock. Homocysteine sits at 6 o’clock and methionine at 12 o’clock. Glutathione is the tail weight that swings back and forth. If the weight swings faster it will pull on homocysteine to maintain glutathione levels. If it swings slower more homocysteine is allowed to be pulled upward to methionine. A balance between the two is key.
Because of its position in this biochemical matrix homocysteine has the capacity to impact methylation and sulfur group transference processes in the body. The most recognized impact of homocysteine is increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, in children with autism, a faulty methylation system effects other functions as well; particularly cognitive abilities including concentration, attention, language development and processing, environmental awareness and sociability. Other chemicals will impact this system at specific points too. If any one of these intermediary steps is blocked then the clock slows down causing biochemical imbalance. This causes a backlog of chemical information that has deleterious effects on other dependent systems, i.e. immune, hormone, detoxification, and DNA structure and function. Methylcobalamin (MB-12), Folic Acid, and Betaine (TMG) are responsible for taking homocysteine from the 6 o’clock position to methionine at the 12 o’clock position.  SAMe (s-adenosylmethionine) the body’s “universal methyl donor” helps take methionine from the 12 o’clock position to homocysteine at the 6 o’clock position.

The issue with many ASD children is that this system does not operate properly. This has an enormous negative impact on their health with increased susceptibility to chronic infections, inability to detoxify chemicals and heavy metals, and neuro-cognitive problems such as language processing, attention, and concentration. Genetic susceptibility certainly plays a role. However, for many the problem does not manifest until a child’s system is negatively impacted by nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems from yeast, bacteria, parasites, malabsorption from digestive inflammation, chemical pollutants, and toxins from vaccines or environmental exposures. Methyl-B12 therapy is a great option for intervention.

The Real Cause of Heart Disease

World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

Dwight Lundell, M.D.

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong.  As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.”  Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes.  These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body?  Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart diseasestroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils, like soybean, corn, and sunflower oil that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding – you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life, have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential – they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell – they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation-causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef. 

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.


Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital , Mesa , AZ. His private practice, Cardiac Care Center was in Mesa, AZ. Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a focus on helping large corporations promote wellness. He is also the author of The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie.

MTHFR Mutations

For the past 3 years, I have tested almost every one of my patients for the MTHFR mutation (MTHFR = methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – I will explain more about it as you read, so please don’t give up yet.)

Over this time, I have found the MAJORITY of my patients – about 75% – have at least a single MTHFR mutation and upwards of 40% of my patients have a double mutation (either “heterozygous” (one of each) A1298C & C677T or “homozygous C” (two C677T) or “homozygous A” (two A1298C).

The other doctors in my office also find similar percentages amongst their adult patients.  (Many research journals confirm similar frequencies, but often only test one or the other mutation and thus effectively minimize the prevalence and the impact).  So this is a very common mutation and we have a lot of patients who want to understand more about it. So this post is for them, and maybe also for you too.

What does the MTHFR mutation do?  Having a MTHFR mutation means that the enzyme that converts folic acid into it’s activated form (5-MTHF) acts in a sluggish manner.  The more mutations, the more sluggish the conversion to the activated form. Having two defects at the same point (double A or double C mutation) makes it more sluggish than just having one mutation or havin one of each mutation.  As taught in basic chemistry, enzymes are the “rate limiting factor” to any biochemical reaction.  Thus when an enzyme is sluggish, the biochemical reaction that relies upon it occurs slower than it should.  When one pathway is working slower than others, the other pathways that depend upon it either back up or find a detour to shunt their excess product.  Similar to what you may see on a highway, detour pathways are usually not as efficient, using more energy (ATP), and are prone to back ups, often causing new problems to be managed.

The MTHFR enzyme metabolizes folic acid into 5-MTHF, needed to combine with homocysteine to break it down and to facilitate methylation processes in the body.

Thus, what is often seen with MTHFR mutations are: elevated homocysteine levels and defective methylation.*

High homocysteine is associated with increased heart disease risk, strokes and blood clots.  When the MTHFR mutation is correctly supported through vitamin supplementation (nutritionally bypassing the mutated enzyme and redirecting the pathway with B12 and sometimes P5P), homocysteine levels decrease and patients see results clinically.

[*Homocysteine levels will often be normal even in the face of homozygous MTHFR mutations.  I see this occuring frequently in children, whose homocysteine levels typically are much lower than adults (homocysteines of 4-6) whereas normal adult levels are 8.  Thus a normal homocysteine does not at all promise a normal MTHFR genetic profile.  Homocysteine levels can be elevated in people who have B12 deficiency, as B12 is a cofactor in the breakdown of homocysteine. Thus high homocysteines do not promise MTHFR mutations either.]

Methylation is required for many processes in the body, from breaking down histamine, seratonin, and dopamine to turning DNA on and off.  Consequently, having a defective methylation capability is associated with psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and bipolar, as well as autoimmunity disorders, ADD, autism, spina bifida, Down’s syndrome, miscarriages, and cancer. Defective methylation can come from not having the 5-MTHF or not having enough B12, so the disorders and symptoms associated with the MTHFR mutations often overlap with those due to B12 deficiency, such as anemia.  Many may simultaneously have deficiencies in both.

As B12 helps to redirect the detour to the more efficient pathway, I always recommend that my patients with MTHFR mutations take both 5-MTHF and B12.

While I don’t test every one of my patients for the MTHFR mutation, I certainly try to test everyone who has a family history of cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, blood clots), psychiatric illness, autoimmune disorders, spinal cord defects, cancer or miscarriages.  As these disorders are all too common, this explains why I end up ordering MTHFR testing, as well as B12 levels, on the vast majority of my patients.

I find that knowing your MTHFR status is far more empowering than it is scary.  Rather than keeping your head in the sand, it allows you to provide your body with what it needs to function most efficiently and hopefully prevent disease.  Finding that you have a mutation, or even two, also encourages you to get your other family members tested.

Parents and siblings may likely also carry this mutation and often benefit greatly from the additional knowledge and support.

To watch some basic videos explaining more clearly the affects of MTHFR mutations, watch these 4 videos taken from research from Dr. Amy Yasko, PhD, naturopath and scientific researcher :

To review MTHFR research, see this pamphlet made by Thorne and go to Dr. Ben Lynch’s site where he has many listed.

How To Make Homemade Baby Formula

While breast feeding is by far the best way to feed a baby, there are times when this is not possible.

In these cases, most parents feel that they have no option but to purchase store bought, processed formula.  This is concerning to many parents for multiple different reasons. Many know that the cans are lined with the endocrine disruptor BPA (bisphenoyl A), that there are genetically modified ingredients in many formulas, and that the cows providing the milk are fed GMO corn, unless the formula is organic. Others remember the melamine contamination of fomula in 2008 in China or even the infant deaths from Nestle formula in the 1970’s and wonder how safe formula really is.   Recently 2 babies in Missouri died from infections thought to have come from bacteria that may have contaminated their formula. For parents who simply feel strongly about providing their babies the highest quality food made from the highest quality ingredients, store bought formula is less than desirable.
Parents do have another option.  They can make their own fresh, non-processed formula for their babies.  Realize however that this is not a simple task, such as just adding an estimated amount of water to powder.  Making homemade formula requires the acquisition of the highest-quality ingredients, mixed with exact measurement, including every ingredient without fail. If you are not up to this, then I highly recommend you rather buy organic baby formula and spruce it up with a few supplements.

However, if you are up for the challenge, then I do believe that homemade formula (milk or meat based) made from the Weston A. Price recipe is the absolute best food you can give your baby, second to breast milk.

Here is a wonderful link, containing recipes and a video to help you learn how to make homemade formula for your precious baby.

I hope this information helps you feel more confident and secure in knowing that YOU are the best person to nourish your baby, even when you can not breastfeed.

Pastured Eggs are the Healthiest Eggs to Eat

Although given a bad rap by the media, eggs are one of the most nutritious foods.

Eggs are high in protein, rich in omega 3 fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E) and contain a range of vitamins and minerals including Folic acid, B12, Selenium, Zinc, Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Magnesium.  When eaten with the yolk loose, the yolk contains enzymes that help the body digest it.

(Being so rich in nutrition and easy to digest makes loose egg yolk one of the perfect first food for babies.)

The quality of the egg depends directly on the health of the chicken that laid it.  Thus chickens raised in factory farms, never seeing the light of day, in dirty and cramped conditions, produce eggs that are vastly inferior to those laid by stress-free chickens who spend their days freely roaming, pecking at the dirt and eating insects and worms.

Many people believe just by purchasing “organic” eggs that they are getting the best eggs available.  While organic eggs do contain far less toxins, are more nutritious, and are significantly less likely to contaminated with Salmonella than non-organic eggs, the organic label says nothing about how the chickens are raised.   Thus, the quality of the eggs from one organic farm can be quite different from those on another farm.

The Organic Egg Score Card can help you find the best and the worst organic eggs available.

Even Better than simply Organic Eggs are Pastured Eggs:

Pastured chicken eggs means that they are from  free roaming, insect and worm eating, compost, grass, and dirt pecking hens.

Comparing Pastured vs. Commercial Organic Eggs, Pastured Eggs Have:

  • 5 times more Vitamin D

  • 2/3 more Vitamin A

  • 2 times more Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • 3 times more Vitamin E

  • 7 times more Beta-carotene

If this is not enough convincing enough, here is some research comparing pastured eggs to factory farmed hens that further support pastured eggs as the most nutritious egg option:

  • Pastured eggs had 50% more folic acid and 70% more vitamin B12 than eggs from factory farm hens. (1974 – The British Journal of Nutrition)
  • Pastured eggs in Greece contained 13 times more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than U.S. commercial eggs. (1988, Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet)
  • Pastured eggs had higher omega-3s and vitamin E than eggs from caged hens. (1998 study in Animal Feed Science and Technology)
  • Eggs from pastured birds had 10% less fat, 34% less cholesterol, 40% more vitamin A, and four times the omega-3s compared to the standard USDA data. This study also tested pastured chicken meat and found it to have 21% less fat, 30% less saturated fat, and 50% more vitamin A than the USDA standard. (1999 study by Barb Gorski at Pennsylvania State University)
  • Eggs compared from two groups of Hy-Line variety hens, with one kept in standard crowded factory farm conditions and the other on mixed grass and legume pasture. The eggs had similar levels of fat and cholesterol, but the pastured eggs had three times more omega-3s, 220% more vitamin E, and 62% more vitamin A than eggs from caged hens. (2003 study by Heather Karsten at Pennsylvania State University)
  • Pastured eggs had roughly half the cholesterol, 50% more vitamin E, and three times more beta-carotene. (2005 MotherEarth News study  of four heritage-breed pastured flocks in Kansas)

Avoiding Tylenol Could Prevent Your Child From Developing Asthma

(or conversely, Giving Your child Tylenol May Increase Your Child’s Risk of Asthma by 40%)

“Until future studies document the safety of this drug, children with asthma or at risk for asthma should avoid the use of acetominophen” (Tylenol) – pulmonologist John T. McBride MD.

In a recent article, published in the online Pediatrics journal on Nov 7, 2011, written by pulmonologist John T. McBride MD, he describes multiple studies done in the past 10 + years that support the association between tylenol use and the development and severity of asthma.

“A growing number of studies have documented such a strong association between acetominophen exposure and asthma that it is possible that much of the dramatic increase in childhood asthma over the past 30 years has been related to the use of acetominophen.”

 “As a pediatric pulmonologist, I am entrusted with the care of many asthmatic children and, at some level, with the respiratory health of all children in my area.  Given this role, I must decide when and how to act on the possibility that acetominophen is detrimental to asthmatic children.  Considering currently available data, I now recommend that any child with asthma or a family history of asthma avoid using acetominophen.”

Dr. McBride goes to explain that “the metabolism of acetominophen provides a biologically plausibe explanation for causation: depletion in airway mucosal glutathione that could contribute to vulnerability to oxidant stress.”

2 hypotheses as to how acetominophen may contribute to the prevelence or the severity of asthma:

  1. taking acetominophen increases airway inflammation contributing to the severity and frequency of symptoms
  2. those exposed to acetominophen in utero or in the first year of life might be more likely to develop asthma later in childhood

The most powerful study that he describes is that of a huge multi-location study, (122 centers in 54 countries, with each site enrolling at least 1000 children.) In this study, they consistently found a dose dependent increase in prevalence and severity of asthma.  Furthermore, the “association between asthma and acetominophen was identified at almost all sites regardless of geography, culture, or stage of economic development.”

In this study, they estimated that if children no longer were exposed to acetominophen, there may be upwards of a 40% decrease in childhood asthma.

Other pediatric studies suggesting an increased risk of childhood asthma associated with acetominophen use have been reported from Ethiopia to New Zealand.  Many adult studies in the US and in England show similar results in adults as well.  A few even compared the effects of other analgesics and none found any association between asthma with aspirin or other non-steroidals, like ibuprofen.

“The possibility that a measure as simple as limiting acetominophen use might result in so great a decrease in the suffering of children throughout the world is both sobering and exciting.”

“What considerations can guide a clinician faced with the possibility that acetominophen exposure is detrimental to children with asthma when causation has not been incontrovertibly established? The ethical principle of nonmaleficence (“primum non nocere” [… First, do no harm]) can be helpful: in considering the likelihood of benefit and the risk of harm of any therapy, physicians should give particular weight to avoid harm.”

“In my opinion, the balance between the likely risks of benefits of acetominophen has shifted”

“At present … I need further studies not to prove that acetominophen is dangerous but, rather, to prove that it is safe.”

Personally, I think if we took this “first, do no harm” philosophy with all medications and vaccinations, the world would be a far better and healthier place.

Sugar is a Powerful Drug

For any of you who spent time with kids on Halloween and watched some O.D. on candy, you are well aware of the drug like effects of sugar.  I found it very interesting to watch the dramatic behavior change in some kids.  While some just had a few pieces, others binged as if they couldn’t get enough, became rude and unruly, unable to control themselves.
We joke that kids “get high” on candy, and often even “O.D.” on it.  But as jest is usually based on truth, sugar is addictive and this fact was recently supported by an article in the Bloomberg Report.
“We consistently found that the changes we were observing in the rats binging on sugar were like what we would see if the animals were addicted to drugs.”  The animals also showed withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, shakes and tremors, when the effect of the sugar was blocked with a drug. The scientists, moreover, were able to determine changes in the levels of dopamine in the brain, similar to those seen in animals on addictive drugs.
While this article makes some powerful statements about sugar, it is misleading in that it also refers to fatty foods being addictive without suggesting research to support this statement, as all fatty foods referred to are exceptionally high in sugar and thus it is far more likely that fat contributes little to the addictive nature of these foods, but rather the addiction lies entirely upon the body’s response to sugar.
A 2007 French experiment suggests that SUGAR may be even MORE ADDICTIVE than COCAINE, as it showed that rats prefer water sweetened with saccharine or sugar to hits of cocaine — exactly the opposite of what existing dogma would have suggested.
If you think a little sugar is ok for your child, think again.  Would you ever approve of your child doing a little cocaine?

Why Healthy Fats are Important


By Sally Fallon Morell, President The Weston A. Price Foundation July 8, 2010

The proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines perpetuate the mistakes of previous guidelines in demonizing saturated fats and animal foods rich in saturated fatty acids such as egg yolks, butter, whole milk, cheese, fatty meats like bacon and animal fats for cooking. The current obesity epidemic emerged as vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates replaced these healthy, nutrient-dense traditional fats. Animal fats supply many essential nutrients that are difficult to obtain from other sources. Furthermore, basic biochemistry shows that the human body has a very high requirement for saturated fats and cholesterol in all cell membranes; if we do not eat saturated fats, the body will simply make them from carbohydrates, but excess carbohydrate increases blood levels of triglyceride and small, dense LDL and compromises blood vessel function. High-carbohydrate diets, moreover, fail to satisfy the appetite as well as diets rich in traditional fats, leading to higher caloric intakes and often to bingeing and splurging on empty foods, resulting in rapid weight gain.

The proposed guidelines will perpetuate existing nutrient deficiencies present in all American population groups, including deficiencies in vitamins A, and D, found in animal fats, vitamins B12 and B6 found in meat and seafood, as well as minerals like iron and zinc. Low intakes of vitamin K2, moreover, are associated with increases in the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer, and the main sources of vitamin K2 available to Americans are egg yolks and full-fat cheeses.

By restricting healthy animal fats in school lunches and diets for pregnant women and growing children, the Guidelines will perpetuate the tragic epidemic of learning and behavior disorders. The nutrients found in most abundantly and in some cases exclusively in animal fats—including choline, cholesterol and arachidonic acid—are critical for the development of the brain and the function of receptors that modulate thinking and behavior. Studies show that choline from egg yolks and liver help the brain make critical connections and protect against neurotoxins; animals studies suggest that if choline is abundant during developmental years, the individual is protected for life from developmental decline. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 375 mg per day for children nine through thirteen years of age, 450 mg for pregnant women and 550 mg for lactating women and men aged fourteen and older. These amounts are provided by four or five egg yolks per day—but that would entail consuming 800-1000 mg cholesterol, a crime by USDA standards. The committee referred to this as the “choline problem.” Pregnant women and growing children especially need to eat as many egg yolks as possible—yet the Guidelines demonize this nutrient-dense food.

Choline is also essential to liver health. As the prevalence of obesity has grown to reach epidemic proportions, “fatty liver disease” has emerged as one of its casualties. It is estimated 40 percent of obese Americans have fatty liver. One of the most common ways to induce this disease in animals is to feed them diets deficient in choline and methionine, an amino acid found abundantly in meat. Restricting animal foods in our children’s meals will thus aggravate the consequences of the obesity epidemic.

The Guidelines lump trans fats together with saturated fats—calling them Solid Fats—thereby hiding the difference between unhealthy industrial trans fats and healthy traditional saturated fats. Trans fats contribute to inflammation, depress the immune system, interfere with hormone production, and set up pathological conditions leading to cancer and heart disease, whereas saturated fats fight inflammation, support the immune system, support hormone production and protect against cancer and heart disease.

The vitamins and fatty acids carried uniquely in saturated animal fats are critical to reproduction. The 2010 Guidelines will increase infertility in this country, already at tragically high rates.The 2010 proposed Guidelines represent a national scandal, the triumph of industry clout over good science and common sense. It must be emphasized that the Guidelines are not based on science but are designed to promote the products of commodity agriculture and—through the back door—encourage the consumption of processed foods. For while the USDA food police pay lip service to reducing our intake of refined sweeteners, trans fats, white flour and salt, this puritanical lowfat prescription ultimately leads to cravings and indulgence in chips, sweets, sodas, breads, desserts and other empty food-and-beverage- like products just loaded with refined sweeteners, trans fats, white flour and salt.

While the ship of state is sinking under a health crisis of enormous proportions, the USDA proposed Guidelines simply rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Without more sensible recommendations, the trend to obesity, learning disorders, chronic disease and infertility will accelerate.

The Weston A. Price Foundation proposes starting over and adopting our Healthy 4 Life Dietary Guidelines, based on four food groups, always with an emphasis on quality through pasture-based feeding and organic, pesticide-free production methods:

Every day, eat high quality, whole foods to provide an abundance of nutrients, chosen from each of the following four groups:

  • Animal foods: meat and organ meats, poultry, and eggs from pastured animals; fish and shellfish; whole raw cheese, milk and other dairy products from pastured animals; and broth made from animal bones.
  • Grains, legumes and nuts: whole-grain baked goods, breakfast porridges, whole grain rice; beans and lentils; peanuts, cashews and nuts, properly prepared to improve digestibility.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: preferably fresh or frozen, preferably locally grown, either raw, cooked or in soups and stews, and also as lacto-fermented condiments.
  • Fats and Oils: unrefined saturated and monounsaturated fats including butter, lard, tallow and other animal fats; palm oil and coconut oil; olive oil; cod liver oil for vitamins A and D.
  • Avoid: foods containing refined sweeteners such as candies, sodas, cookies, cakes etc.; white flour products such as pasta and white bread; processed foods; modern soy foods; polyunsaturated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and fried foods.

    Sally Fallon Morell,

    President The Weston A. Price Foundation

    (202) 363-4394

    Avoid the Dirty Dozen

    More Support for Buying Organic Produce

    The Environmental Working Group researched conventionally grown fruits and vegetables and found 12 foods to have the most pesticide residue.  The produce on this list contain between 47 to 67 different pesticides.  Hence, if you are going to buy limited organic produce, the Dirty Dozen below are the ones to make sure are organic.  These include frozen produce as well.

    The Dirty Dozen are :

    • Celery

    • Peaches

    • Strawberries

    • Apples

    • Domestic blueberries

    • Nectarines

    • Sweet bell peppers

    • Spinach, kale and collard greens

    • Cherries

    • Potatoes

    • Imported grapes

    • Lettuce

    “It’s critical people know what they are consuming,” the Environmental Working Group’s Amy Rosenthal said. ” This list is based on pesticide tests conducted after the produce was washed with USDA high-power pressure water system. The numbers reflect the closest thing to what consumers are buying at the store.”

    Babies and children are the most as risk due to their developing brains.  We don’t yet know why we are seeing so many more children with ADD, Autism, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and cancer.  Pesticide exposure during pregnancy and during early childhood certainly could play a part in the development of these chronic illnesses.

    “To the extent you can afford to do so, [parents] should simply buy organic, because there have been some very good studies that shows people who eat mostly organic food reduce 95 percent of pesticides [in their body] in two weeks,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

    Real Athletes Drink Water

    Rethink Your Sports Drink

    As a pediatrician, I often ask kids: “What is the healthiest drink for an athlete?”  No, it is NOT Gatorade, I find myself saying all too often.  It is water.  “But aren’t sports drinks good?” I hear parents ask.  No!  In fact, most sports drinks are closer to poison.

    Have you ever looked at the ingredients in sports drinks?  Water, high fructose corn syrup are the first two ingredients.  Yes, water and lots of poor quality sugar – 10 1/2 sugar packets per 20 oz bottle to be exact!

    In other words, one 20 oz Gatorade contains 34 gms of sugar, equivalent to 12 pieces of Starburst!

    However it’s even worse because HFCS is genetically modified, contains traces of the neurotoxin mercury, damages our liver and quickly turns into glycogen. What is glycogen? Stored sugar.  What happens to stored sugar?  It turns to fat!

    The University of California at Berkeley warns that “students who drink one 20-ounce sports drink every day for a year can gain about 13 pounds!”

    Granted, if you were running a marathon, a little glycogen can be a good thing.  But for the average athlete or person exercising, we want to use our glycogen stores, not create more.

    How about the rest of the ingredients?  Depending on the flavor, there are natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium citrate, yellow 6, glycerol ester of wood rosin, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), and red 40.  Most of these are toxins, with BVO being the most dangerous.  BVO is labeled as unsafe by the FDA, capable of causing multiorgan damage, birth defects and growth problems.

    Yes, there are electolytes in sports drinks but the negatives of the other ingredients completely outweight any potential benefit.

    Don’t think that the other commercial sports drinks are any better.  If you have any diet version, such as Propel, you are substituting the HFCS with sucralose.  This decreases the calories, but now you are drinking a chlorocarbon, similar to DDT and Lindane.  No long term (>12months) human studies have been performed on sucralose.  However, in animal studies, sucralose caused liver and kidney inflammation and damaged the immune system. Don’t be fooled by Vitamin Water which contains crystalline fructose which is very similar to HFCS.  While PowerAde has less salt, it is likely the most toxic sports drink having 40% more sugar, in the form of HFCS, and also chemical sweeteners phenylalanine (which converts into formaldehyde) and sucralose.

    If increased weight gain and all the toxins aren’t convincing enough, consider your teeth.  Sports drinks dissolve tooth enamel, but the damage is far worse in athletes who drink them while exercising. This is due to reduced saliva during exercise, frequent sipping, and the fact that most sports drinks have a pH < 3, consequently causing 30x more erosion than if an athlete just drank water.

    While water is sufficient hydration for most athletes, coconut water is great for serious athletesCoconut water is high in potassium, chlorides, calcium, and magnesium, with a modest amount of sodium, sugar, and protein. Add a pinch of Celtic Sea salt to add a few more trace minerals and sodium and it’s perfect.  Often called “natures’ sports drink,” coconut water is even given intravenously for dehydration in tropical areas.

    The next time you want a drink, READ the ingredients and THINK for yourself about what’s in it and what you are trying to achieve.

    Your body will thank you for it!