Monday, May 07, 2012

Chapter 18: Prenatal Nutritional Deformities and Disease Types

Continuing my review of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price...

It is here at the beginning of chapter 18 that we find an explanation for his world trip. He writes that he became convinced that the problem of disease could only be studied in the context of having a control group that was free of disease - something he felt he could not do in his contemporary society - so he "extended the search to isolated primitive racial stocks".

Throughout the book I have often found that some of the terms that Price uses are so heavily weighted that I have to stop mid-sentence and contemplate. On page 297 he used the term "prenatal injury". It's not a difficult one, but the way in which he uses it is from his nutritional viewpoint. On page 319 he uses a magnificent phrase that so encapsulates all that this book seeks to convey. In summing up what the degenerative problems are, he says the problem is "not heredity, but intercepted heredity". What a fantastic way to put it. So I cannot say that my Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome is inherited from my parents (because no one else in my entire family history has had it - and my daughter doesn't), I can rather say that the heredity that would have been passed on to me was blocked.

On page 302 Price writes of lions eating only the organs from a zebra. His point is clearly that a healthy animal like a lion only eats the organs, so… wait a minute, though… the jackals come around after the lion and clean up, don't they? So are the jackals unhealthy? Certainly not. So I'm not sure the analogy holds up or is even valid. More thought needs to go into this.

Always of particular interest is the anecdotes about childbirth. On page 305 we read that at the point of contact with modern civilization "is a decrease in the ease and efficiency of the birth process." This is a very important point as for most people in our society, childbirth is not viewed as something that could be easy or efficient. This fact has tremendous implications for the natural birthing movement that I will delve into in a later post.

He spends some time discussing pig studies on heredity. Of note, he writes about eyeless pigs who were bred, and we saw: "…the production of pigs with normal eyes, born to parents both of whom had no eyeballs due to lack of vitamin A in their mother's diet." p.309 Again, proof that what we are dealing with is "not heredity, but intercepted heredity." I raise Tamworth pigs, and I wonder about all the processes that occur in passing down traits to each new litter. my boar is a distinctive ginger color and my number one sow is a dark red, yet when a litter hits the ground, I see ginger, red, dark red and spotted piglets. We're clearly beyond a Mendelian view of genetics! How wonderful and complex it is that we all have recognizably different features, yet I often hear, "Your daughter looks so much like you." We pass on good things and hopefully not bad ones - the key is nutrition. Poor nutrition and we intercept heredity.

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