Interesting Information: Magnificent Magnesium Rescues The Heart

Interesting Information:  June 9, 2014

Magnificent Magnesium Rescues The Heart


So many people I know are taking blood pressure medicines.

And many of them are having additional problems as well.

I am wondering if the additional problems are connected to the BP med and/or to the other meds that seem to accompany the decision to take the BP med?


I ran across an article in the July/August 2014 issue of Well Being Journal that offers some interesting information about my question:  “Magnesium Balances Calcium and Rescues the Heart” by Scott E. Miners.

Basically, the article is a review of Carolyn Dean, M.D.’s book THE MAGNESIUM MIRACLE.

I googled Dean and discovered that she is both an MD and a Naturopath Doctor–so she sits astride the chasm that often lies between allopathic (mainstream medicine) and alternative medicine.   In addition, she worked with magnesium expert Mildred Seelig, MD.


Disclaimer:      Since posting this review, with the help of PhD nutritionist Judith Valentine, I did more research on Carolyn Dean.  (See  Dean is really riding the coat tails of Mildred Seelig’s very valid and published work on magnesium.  Take a look at Selig’s publishing record:  It turns out that Dean lost her Canadian MD license.  Yes, she is operating out of the medical norm and is critical of today’s doctors and that’s always a problem for the medical police, but having said that, there is just too much “off” about Dean herself.  I ordered Dean’s picometer magnesium, for sale on her web site.  Maybe it’s ok.  She owns the company, which is now based in Hawaii.  (It’s unclear if California has also revoked her medical license.)  I have to tell you that Dean’s liquid magnesium tastes TERRIBLE.  My body just hates it, for whatever that’s worth.  For also whatever it’s worth, I’ve had no more leg cramps and none of the diarrhea that  some forms of magnesium that hang around in the gut can cause.  I think there is enough evidence that what Dean is saying about magnesium deficiency in Americans and the tremendous downsides to getting caught up in three to five medicines is probably accurate–so I am leaving the post here–but putting in this disclaimer.  And I have no idea about the quality of her magnesium product.  I also think WELL BEING JOURNAL needs to review their info on Dean’s work.

Dean thinks that about 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient.

Magnesium is the mineral that “activates” nerves and muscles, “including,” writes Miners, “the muscle cells in the heart.”  Further, “magnesium is important for maintaining optimal heart rhythm, blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, and brain health.”  Signs of magnesium deficiency are “constipation and other digestive problems, irregularities in menstrual flow and reproductive health, muscle spasms, nocturnal leg cramps, and migraine headaches.”  And “loss of appetite, fatigue, numbness or tingling, and nausea.”

One idea I walked away with was the notion that blood tests don’t show magnesium deficiency because the body robs magnesium from other sites in the body to keep the blood level at about 1% magnesium.

Another idea was that one has to eat significant amounts of foods containing magnesium to get enough–and even then, the amount of magnesium in the foods can depend upon the soils in which the food grew.  With commercial farming, soil depletion is increasingly a problem.  The magnesium food list is seaweeds, leafy dark green vegetables like chard and kale, legumes, green beans, almonds, cashews, filberts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

Dean says most magnesium supplements , especially magnesium oxide, are poorly absorbed.  Up to 96 percent stays in the digestive system, where it acts as a laxative, rather than getting to the cells where it is desperately needed.  Dean recommends picometer-sized forms of magnesium as that form can be totally absorbed at the cellular level.  Epsom salt soaking (magnesium sulfate) is another excellent way to get more magnesium into your system.  [And, more sulfur–see other blog posts on sulfur deficiency.]

DRUGS DEPLETE MAGNESIUM, says Dean–based on Seelig’s laboratory work with drugs and her own work since working with Seelig.  (Seelig tried to tell her drug company bosses that their drugs were depleting magnesium in bodies, but they “weren’t interested.”)

Dean details the following situation:   you are stressed when you see your doctor, so your BP might be high at that moment.  The doctor might put you on a diuretic–which drains your magnesium and potassium, which makes your blood pressure truly higher.  So now the doc will “worry that your calcium levels are going to rise, and will prescribe a calcium channel blocker.  Most doctors don’t know that magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker.”  And, they’ll put you on a third drug, an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.  So now you’re on three drugs.

But the tale continues:

After two or three months, you come back and have blood taken to make sure the drugs aren’t hurting your liver….But all of a sudden your cholesterol is elevated; your blood sugar is elevated….The doctor says, “Oh, we caught your cholesterol.  We just caught your blood sugar.  We can put you on medications.”  Dean goes on to say that they didn’t catch these conditions; they caused them.  The more you reduce your magnesium, the more your cholesterol will go out of control.  She notes magnesium is important to balance an enzyme used in the manufacture of cholesterol in the body; magnesium helps to stabilize cholesterol.

Further, Dean notes that Statin drugs destroy an enzyme that magnesium needs.   And, that a sign of diabetes is low magnesium.

Miners notes that Dean writes that “doctors only recognize drug side effects 4 percent of the time because they do not want to believe they are harming their patients via their prescriptions.  More, drug intake also causes inflammation.”

And, isn’t this situation the HUGE elephant in the medical room these days?  Doctors are caught in what I’ve been calling a “kool-aid loop” of information crafted by the drug industry AND by the “standards of care” they are expected to follow.  It’s the rare doctor these days who is researching this information for themselves and trying to understand what is really happening in bodies.  Dean appears to be one of the rare ones.

Here’s what Dean says to do:  keep taking magnesium:

Take it in the various sources:  the picometer-sized magnesium, Epsom salts, and so on.  Take an oxide if you’re constipated…you may need the magnesium oxide, but take the others as well.

I would note that magnesium and calcium are “paired”–one effects the other.  Too much magnesium can block calcium.  But, my thinking is that if you are eating dairy products (cheese, yogurt, milk), nuts, seeds, homemade bone broth, and dark leafy vegetables, adding a quality source of magnesium to protect your heart might be a good idea.  I’m going to do it.



I don’t have high blood pressure.  But I had always heard that 100 plus your age–over 90–was a reasonable BP, especially as you age.   Sherry A. Rogers, MD, an environmental doctor who has been a fairly prolific writer, has a book called THE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE HOAX.  She quite seriously supports the more modern BP figure of 120 over 70.  BUT she advocates trying to figure out why the BP is high and counsels treating with diet and other lifestyle changes.  You can read a Weston A. Price book review at the following url if you want more information on this subject of BP measurements.

High Blood Pressure Hoax by Sherry A. Rogers

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: “The Greater Good”–Are Vaccines Safe?

Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  October 21, 2013

“The Greater Good”

Are Vaccines Safe?

Maybe some vaccines are safe.

But, who knows?

No one knows how many people are being hurt by vaccines.  Or, how.

Few scientists are doing research on that question at the cellular/molecular level.  And the research of those who are finding significant problems is being ignored.

Maybe vaccines are effective.

But, no one really knows.

The only studies that call vaccines safe are epidemiological studies that compare large groups of people.  And the industry-created myth that vaccines can provide “herd immunity” has allowed state governments to mandate vaccines for “the greater good” of all.  (See earlier post discussing herd immunity.)

In fact, these epidemiological studies only show correlation, NOT causation, in terms of stopping disease.  So one burning, unanswered question is what has caused some deadly diseases (polio, small pox) to dissipate over time since vaccines came into play only AFTER these diseases were on the wane.

Indeed, there are many unanswered questions about vaccine safety.  But it is quite clear that vaccines are a life-threatening risk for some people.  And, maybe, even, for all people at the level of the inducement of chronic illness.

“The Greater Good” is a documentary film that tries to at least surface many of these worrisome questions.  It is being shown all over the country to general audiences and to medical groups and institutions.  The film contains voices from across the spectrum of this issue of vaccine safety–including that of a major medical spokesman, Dr. Paul Offit, who has said famously that babies can tolerate 10,000 vaccines at once.

So, please, please, please–before you get another vaccine or give one to a child, do not assume that you have a good understanding of the issue of vaccine safety.  Or even the need for vaccines.  Start your research with “The Greater Good” for less than the price of a large pizza.

Documentary, The Greater Good

Here’s what I took away from the film–and I hope it’s enough to spark you to NOT assume that your doctor knows and understands the dangers of vaccines.  That does not mean your doctor is a bad person.  It just means your doctor is caught in the same “kool aid” information bubble that you might be caught in, that most of the US is caught in since the media is not doing its reporting job properly.

First, the film takes a close look at three families whose children have been harmed by vaccines.  Gabi Schrag acquired a terminal illness from the UNTESTED vaccine Gardasil when she was fifteen.  Another family’s baby daughter died after a vaccine around her first birthday.  This child was apparently reacting to earlier vaccines, but her parents and pediatrician did not recognize the trouble signs.  Her two brothers did not die, but in retrospect, the parents recognize that their sons, too, have been harmed.  The third family’s son, now 11,  acquired autism from the mercury in vaccines.  That’s not a theory; the mercury showed up in blood tests.  His body could not detox itself, and the mercury and other components in vaccines permanently injured his brain.

***Barbara Loe Fisher became an activist for vaccine safety when her son was injured permanently.  She notes that in 1980, children received 23 doses of 7 vaccines.  Today, the vaccine schedule calls for 69 doses of 16 vaccines.  That’s TRIPLE the number of vaccines.  That’s an industry at work in my opinion.

Dr. Lawrence Palevsky noted that he did not question vaccine safety until the Hepatitus B vaccine was recommended for newborn babies when, he said, infants are not at risk for Hepatitus B.

Fisher now has the following mantra:  SHOW US THE SCIENCE AND ALLOW US THE CHOICE.  She notes the irresponsibility of any system that takes vaccines off the table when they might be factors or co-factors for the causes of chronic illness or outright injury.  Vaccines need to be shown to be safe and effective, and they have NOT BEEN.

Dr. Palevsky–as do other worried experts in the documentary–notes that reducing the vaccine safety issue to just that of autism has worked to hide the bigger issues.  He notes that today ONE IN SIX children have some form of neural disability.  And he wonders how many other chronic diseases are the result of vaccines.  You read that right:  ONE IN SIX CHILDREN.

Vaccines contain ingredients like mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, and preservatives–ingredients that are meant to keep them in your body for as long as possible.  Palevsky and Bob Sears, a pediatrician, notes that there has been no safety testing for these ingredients.  (Sears wrote a book that is pro-vaccine, but which, among other things. recommends spreading out vaccine doses.)

Chris Shaw, PhD, is a scientist who studies the origins of neurological diseases.  He says we cannot claim that vaccines are safe as their ingredients were chosen to make them stay in your body.  Injectable aluminum injected into mice in an attempt to replicate the vaccine schedule showed the rapid emergence of symptoms that included cognitive deficits, muscle and motor malfunctions, and behavioral symptoms.  Autopsies showed massive damage to motor neurons–and Shaw posed that this situation was creating the conditions for diseases like MS and Parkinsons twenty to thirty years later.  The FDA ignored these studies and refused to perform additional research.

So, how many children are being sacrificed for “the greater good”?  We don’t know.  Vaccine harm reporting is voluntary.  But the fact that Congress created the Vaccine Compensation Program to pay off parents of harmed children signals that harm is being done.  By the way, you pay into the fund every time you or your children get a vaccine–so here again is how industry is making YOU pay for your own injuries.  Vaccine makers generate about $21.5 billion in annual sales.

Are there truly benefits from vaccines?  If so, what are they?  Do those benefits outweigh the risks?  We don’t know.  By the way, the last measles death in the U.S. was in 2003 and many are saying measles death has a strong correlation to poverty and malnourishment.  Vaccines won’t “cure” that.  (See earlier posts on the “measles outbreak” nonsense.)

What vaccines would you choose to get or give to your child.  hepatitis B is not polio.  And chicken pox is not small pox. And since 99% of the population lives in cities now, how many children are stepping on rusty nails?  We now have good medicines for whooping cough.  There is a big correlation between polio and the use of DDT, and polio was on the wane when the vaccine started.

What vaccines would you get for yourself?  The flu shot?  Do you know that science does not show that it is effective and that many flu shot forms still contain mercury?  Or, other worrisome ingredients.   But if you’re going to the third world, you might want to get appropriate vaccines.  Just understand the risks first.

Did you know that INDUSTRY does the testing on new vaccines?  The FDA accepts their word for the testing.

Did you know that INDUSTRY cannot be sued for vaccine harm?  Thus there is no accountability or responsibility when vaccines harm people.  Which brings me to Gardasil…


So, let’s look at Merck’s Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil–and let’s note that HPV only MAY–only MAY I repeat–cause cervical cancer.

Merck asked the FDA too “fast track” Gardasil, and FDA agreed.  As a result, whatever testing Merck was doing (on just over 1,200 girls under sixteen) was stopped.  SO, GARDASIL HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED FOR SAFETY.  Really, Gardasil has never been tested on anyone in a trial that was carried to its conclusion.  So industry has no idea of its effectiveness either.  What’s occurring is a giant experiment on young people. 

Today, both young women and young men are being pressured to get this vaccine.  Young men are said to carry HPV in their mouths.  So they can “infect” young women.  Do you really think any vaccine is going to kill HPV virus in someone’s mouth so that they never carry it again?  Really?  Hello…we all carry stuff like this all the time–on us, in us, it’s all around us.

Gardasil was released in 2006, and Merck spent $100 million on advertising targeting young women.  You could be “one less” the ads stated.

Gabi Schrag saw those ads and got the multiple-shot vaccine–which caused her to get central nervous system vasculitis and central nervous system lupus.  She will die.  She is dying.  Meanwhile, her life is a living hell.  She has many symptoms, including seizures, paralysis on her face, partial vision, extreme fatigue, and on and on.  Her family buckled under the medical costs and stress.

Diane Harper, MD, MPH, MS, is one of the world’s leading experts on HPV and was the LEAD RESEARCHER FOR THE GARDASIL TRIALS (before they were cancelled).

Harper notes that the death rate from cervical cancer is 3 per 100,000.  Young people are more at risk from an automobile accident than from cervical cancer.  PLUS, we have a very good system in place to defeat cervical cancer:  PAP smears–which are not risky.  Plus, Harper notes, our daughters are not cancer deaths waiting to happen–which the Merck ads indicate.  In fact, says Harper, while Merck’s ads are not lies, they are false in their overall impressions.


Now let’s talk about Dr. Paul Offit.

Offit’s credentials are pretty heavy duty.  And his certainty about the safety of vaccines so complete that I decided to poke around a bit.  It didn’t take one minute to surface some real conflicts of interest–ones that are at the heart of what is wrong with medicine today, and why many people like me do not trust it.

Offit is a pediatrician.  He is the Chief of infectious Diseae at the reknowned Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP.  He is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school.

Pretty good, huh?  You’d pay attention to someone like this man, wouldn’t you?

Only Offit has strong financial ties to the vaccine industry–as a story of Sharyl Attkisson for CBS News reveals.  He consistently refuses to disclose his industry ties.  But, his research Hillman chair at CHOP is funded by Merck, for $1.5 million.  He co-invented the Rotavirus vaccine and sold it to Merck–his share was somewhere between $29 and $46 million.  He was on the CDC’s Advisory committee on Immunization Practices when his vaccine was put onto the vaccine schedule.  Yet he said in the film that he does not see any wrong doing in the intersections between doctors and the vaccine industry.  (We need to enroll him in a course on ethics and morals immediately.)

In this documentary, Offit says that UNTESTED Gardasil is a “safe and beautiful” vaccine.  Yet, by 2010, there were 85 recorded Gardasil deaths.  And, uncountable injuries as no one is looking for them.

Offit also said the following:  “Are parents really in the best situation to evaluate the data?  I don’t think they often have that expertise.”

Really?   Apparently some of us do a better job of that then people like Offit do.

But, it is this kind of statement that misleads parents into trusting people like Offit–into trusting in his goodness, in his knowledge, and his genuine interest in the health of their children.  To those folks, I say “WAKE UP.”  There’s BIG MONEY involved here, and we live in a system that has thoroughly detached morals and ethics from the business of making money.l

* * * * *

Clearly, the “one size fits all” vaccine schedule is a mistake for too many children.

Clearly, industry is driving the vaccine juggernaut, not science.

Clearly, the states have overstepped their bounds by forcing people to get vaccines they do not want to get in the name of a misuse of the very real scientific concept of “herd immunity”–of which the vaccines cannot ever be part.  Here, again, is where politics is trumping science–as it has in many of the issues about which I research and write.  And when politics makes this move, it does harm.  When it does it by and for industry, it is evil.

Clearly, the vaccine industry needs to be held accountable for the harm it is doing.  They need to answer in our courts of law.

Clearly doctors like Offit need to lose their prestige and power and the positions they are misusing.

Clearly, the media need to do a better job of reporting all sides of the vaccine safety issue.  And of exposing people like Offit and the rigged system that Merck is using for its own gain.

Clearly, parents have got to educate themselves and take responsibility for NOT being driven like fearful sheep into harming their children or themselves.

Clearly, clearly, clearly…

…this film is a “must see” immediately for you, your family, your doctors.

Mainely Tipping Points Essay 43: Part III: Paleo Diet: What’s Wrong With Legumes?

Mainely Tipping Points Essay 43:  November 16, 2012

Paleo Diet, Part III:  What’s Wrong With Legumes?


To recap from Parts I and II, Paleo Diet advocates argue that humans are genetically wired to eat meat, foraged vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  Paleo peoples, they argue, did not eat grains, legumes, or dairy and were superbly healthy.

 But, what’s wrong with beans and peanuts, also known as legumes?

 Rob Wolf, in “The Paleo Solution,” puts it simply:  “dairy and legumes have problems similar to grains:  gut irritating proteins, antinutrients…protease inhibitors, and inflammation.”  Antinutrients, like phytates, bind to metal ions, like magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and copper, which make them unavailable for absorption by our bodies.  Protease inhibitors prevent the breakdown of proteins which means your body cannot “effectively digest the protein in your meal” (98-99, 93).  In other words, antinutrients and protease inhibitors cause malabsorption and disease.    


Nora T. Gedgaudas, C.N.S., C.N.T., in “Grains:  Are They Really a Health Food?:  Adverse Effects of Gluten Grains” (“Well Being Journal,” May/June 2012), notes that “legumes typically contain 60 percent starch and only relatively small amounts of incomplete protein, and they also contain potent protease inhibitors, which can damage one’s ability to properly digest and use dietary protein and can also potentially damage the pancreas over time, when one is overly dependent on them as a source of calories.”  (Gedgaudas’ web site is 

 William Davis, MD, in “Wheat Belly,” notes that the carbohydrate in legumes contains amylopectin C, which is the least digestible of the amylopectins—which leads to the chant “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat ‘em, the more you…”.  Yet, the reality of the indigestible matter is not so funny:  “undigested amylopectin makes its way to the colon, whereupon the symbiotic bacteria happily dwelling there feast on the undigested starches and generate gases such as nitrogen and hydrogen, making the sugars unavailable for you to digest” (33).

 Davis goes on to note that amylopectin B is “the form found in bananas and potatoes and, while more digestible than bean amylopectin C, still resists digestion to some degree.  Remember that wheat has amylopectin A, which is the most digestible form of the amlopectins and, thus, can raise blood sugars more than eating a sugar-sweetened soda or a sugary candy bar.  The lesson here is that “not all complex carbohydrates are created equal….”   And Davis cautions that as the carbohydrate load of legumes “can be excessive if consumed in large quantities,” it’s best to limit servings to about a ½ cup size (33, 213). 

 Wolf is less compromising when it comes to combining plant-based foods, like beans and rice, to obtain essential amino acids—which we must eat as we cannot make them on our own.  The eight essential amino acids are “plentiful in animal sources and lacking to various degrees in plant sources.”  Wolf notes that “many agricultural societies found that certain combinations (like beans and rice) can prevent protein malnutrition.”  But, relying on the work of anthropologists who have compared them, Wolf notes that “most vegetarian societies…are less healthy than hunter-gathers and pastoralists.”  That’s because “plant sources of protein, even when combined to provide all the essential amino acids, are far too heavy in carbohydrate, irritate the gut, and steal vitamins and minerals from the body via anti-nutrients.”  Wolfs’ final assessment:  “Beans and rice, nuts and seeds, are what I call “Third World proteins.’  They will keep you alive, they will not allow you to thrive” (208-209).

 Wolf cautions that unless you are lean and healthy, don’t eat fruit.  He adds, further, that “there is no nutrient in fruit that is not available in veggies, and fruit may have too many carbs for you” (214)

 Dr.  Natasha Campbell-McBride expanded on the 1950s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) of Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas and created the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” (GAPS) diet.  (That history is in my Mainely Tipping Points Essay 31 on my blog:  Haas recognized the connections between diet and disease, especially in the debilitating digestive disorders, and put patients on a diet that eliminated dairy, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes.  (Dairy is slowly added back after healing has started, beginning with cultured forms, like yogurt.  But, some patients are not able to tolerate dairy permanently.)  Haas’s SCD diet emphasized bone broths, meat stews that included animal fat, vegetables, and some fruits.  The results were, and are, amazing. 

 Dr. Campbell-McBride was one of many now, like Wolf and Davis, who made the further connection that too many starchy carbohydrates foment conditions in the gut that allow out-of-control yeasts to degrade the gut lining—which allows food particles to escape into the blood stream and trigger autoimmune reactions.  Campbell-McBride is one of the first to realize that these out-of-control yeast populations produce toxins that affect the brain and create problematic behavior.  Conditions like autism, for instance, might not really be autism, but effects of inappropriate diet and malfunctioning body systems. 

 Sally Fallon Morell and Mary G. Enig, Ph. D. of The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) hold a place in their 1999 “Nourishing Traditions,” for most legumes—if properly soaked and cooked so that phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are destroyed and difficult-to-digest complex sugars are made more digestible and if legumes are cooked and eaten with at least small amounts of animal protein and animal fat. 

 Morell and Enig write that soybeans, however, should only be eaten sparingly and only after fermentation into miso, tempeh, and natto because the chemical package in soy is so powerful and so dangerous (495-496).  A  commercial method has never been fully developed that renders soy completely safe.  But, more on soy in Mainely Tipping Points 44 .  (Note that tofu is not a fermented soy food.) 

 Morell and Enig are careful to caution that “vegetable protein alone cannot sustain healthy life because it does not contain enough of all of the amino acids that are essential.”  Indeed, “most all plants lack methionine, one of the essential amino acids” (495-496).  Further, both Morell and Enig have made clear repeatedly in the WAPF journal “Wise Traditions” that the current government support for plant-based diets is dangerous and unscientific.          

 In the end, what Paleo diet advocates are asking is why, in the first place eat foods with such high carbohydrate loads, inferior protein, and so many dangerous chemicals —especially when a diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds supplies nutrients in dense, safe, satisfying forms. 

 This Paleo question is especially good to contemplate if one is overweight and experiencing the attendant health issues that accompany that condition and are trying to make changes.  Or, if one has ongoing digestive disorders which really must be addressed. 


Books, Documentaries, Reviews: WHEAT BELLY

Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  July 21, 2012



William Davis, MD

William Davis, MD, a preventive cardiologist in Wisconsin, published WHEAT BELLY in 2011.  The book became a New York Times best seller (No. 5) right away and continues to sell strongly.  Davis has put more than 2000 patients on a wheat-free regimen and claims he has seen “extraordinary” results in their health.  Many of these patients were really sick with a wide range of health problems, including neurological problems.

Davis defines a “wheat belly” as “the accumulation of fat that results from years of consuming foods that trigger insulin, the hormone of fat storage” (4).  This wheat belly fat is “visceral” fat that is “unique” in that “unlike fat in other body areas, it provokes inflammatory phenomena, distorts insulin responses, and issues abnormal metabolic signals to the best of the body.  In the unwitting wheat-bellied male, visceral fat also produces estrogen, creating “man breasts.”  Wheat consumption can “reach deep down into virtually every organ of the body, from the intestines, liver, heart, and thyroid gland all the way up to the brain” (4).  Wheat consumption “is the main cause of the obesity and diabetes crisis in the United States” (56).  And the fat of the wheat belly lies over organs that have, themselves, become abnormally fat, which makes the body struggle.

Davis argues that modern wheat is the root cause of much of the chronic health conditions people are experiencing today.  Modern wheat, he claims is NOT wheat at all–but “the transformed product of genetic research conducted during the latter half of the twentieth century.”  Two ancient forms of wheat were crossed hundreds of years ago, and that wheat has been eaten by humans without many of the health effects that today’s wheat produces.  (The Paleo diet folks would disagree with this premise on, I  think, good historical and medical grounds.)

Wheat has the rare, in the plant world, ability to transfer ALL of its genes when crossed–unlike other plants which might only transfer some of the genes from each parent.  When scientists started to breed wheat to increase its yields and to make it shorter (so it would not blow over as easily), they created a “law of unintended consequences”–in that they produced a product that is “hundreds, perhaps thousands, of genes apart from the original einkorn wheat that bred naturally” (22).  (Like modern corn, modern wheat cannot grow on its own in the wild.)

Assumptions were made:  “With wheat it was likewise assumed that variations in gluten content and structure, modifications of other enzymes and proteins, qualities that confer susceptibility of resistance to various plant diseases, would all make their way to humans without consequence” (25).

Modern wheat has a higher carbohydrate component than ancient wheat, which has more protein.  The specific carbohydrate in wheat is amylopectin A, which is so easily digestible in our bodies that eating “two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different ,and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar”–information that has been known since 1981 when the University of Toronto “launched the concept of the glycemic index” [GI] which compares “blood sugar effects of carbohydrates” (33-34).

Davis posits that many people today are dealing with what he calls “immune mediated gluten intolerance,” and celiac disease would be a subset of this condition.  Because this response can damage the gut so that it leaks food particles, the body forms antibodies that began to circulate in the blood stream.  If these antibodies lodge in particular organs, they can produce problems in that arena.  These antibodies can also breech the blood-brain barrier, so that some neurological conditions that seem like MS or Parkinson’s actually can be effects of this disorder.  This array of conditions has served to mislead doctors from the true cause of the problem:  immune mediated gluten intolerance caused by modern wheat.

Davis uses Denise Minger’s analysis of T. Colin Campbell’s THE CHINA STUDY to show the correlations between wheat and human disease.  Minger showed, by recrunching Campbell’s data, what Campbell missed because of his belief that consuming meat produces disease.  Minger’s analysis shows the “astronomical correlations wheat flour has with various diseases”–prompting Davis to ask if the “staff of life” is really the “staff of death” (160-165).

Davis discusses how addictive wheat is and how it is an appetite stimulant–along with many other seriously bad effects of wheat on the human body.  He illustrates his argument with case studies from his practice and with clinical studies.  The picture Davis draws of the downsides of wheat are much more involved, serious, and intense than I can repeat at length here.

So what grains have gluten?  Rye, barley, triticale, spelt, bulgar, and kamut share a genetic heritage with wheat.  Oats can cause some people problems as it “will cause blood sugar to skyrocket.”  Quinoa, millet, amaranth, teff, chia seed, and sorghum “are essentially carbohydrates without the immune or brain effects of wheat.  While not as undesirable as wheat, they do take a metabolic toll.”  Eat them in moderation only after weight has been normalized (212).  Avoid “gluten-free” foods as “the only other foods that have GIs as high as wheat products are dried, pulverized starches such as cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, and tapioca starch”–all used heavily in “gluten-free” products (63).

There are critiques of WHEAT BELLY.  As near as I can tell, they are coming mostly from the Paleo folks.  The book’s cover pitches it as a “diet” book–“lose the wheat, lose the weight”–and the Paleo folks argue that cutting out wheat won’t do that trick and that eating wheat has far more dangerous implications.  The Paleo folks aren’t wrong, but Davis does a good job of showing that wheat consumption–especially in the amounts Americans are eating it–is very dangerous–and something Luise Light, who was hired by the USDA to create the 1980 food guide, cautioned against, saying we should only eat 2 to 3 servings of grains a day.  ( A serving is 1/2 cup, and women and children should only eat 2 servings.)

I can tell you that since I cut out wheat, I have lost my own “wheat belly.”  I can also tell you that like Davis, when I eat wheat, the impact on my body is immediate and not very nice.

So, do you have a “wheat belly”?  Most Americans I see out and about today do.  If so, you may want to take a longer look at what Davis has to say about losing the wheat and regaining your health.

Mainely Tipping Points 40: “The Battle to Save the Polish Countryside”

Mainely Tipping Points 40

“The Battle to Save the Polish Countryside”


Sir Julian Rose inherited Rose of Hardwick House in 1966, when he was 19 years old.  By 1975, at age 28, he began converting the farm to organic production.  In 1984 he moved to the farm full time and began what Wikipedia calls “an intense campaign to promote ecological food and farming in the face of the rapid rise of industrial agriculture.”  He has made numerous broadcasts on national radio and television and has written many articles, all of which call for the support of local and regional food economies rather than global ones. 

In November of 2000, Sir Julian Rose was invited by Jadwiga Lopata to come to Poland and co-direct The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC), which she had founded.  Poland was trying to join the European Union, and Rose and Lopata knew that what Rose calls “the renowned biodiversity” of the Polish countryside soon would be under attack.  Rose has chronicled what ensued in a short article, “The Battle to Save the Polish Countryside,” which is widely available online, including at the Weston A. Price Foundation web site:    

Why should we care about Poland’s agricultural situation?  The answer is simple:  what is happening in Poland is also happening in Maine now and has already happened across large parts of the United States.  If we are aware of this economic pattern, which is so heavily supported by the political arena, we can each take steps to fight it.  What is at stake is nothing less than our freedom, since our freedom to choose clean, nutrient-dense foods that support our bodies, food that is grown by farmers we know, is being replaced by dirty, poisonous, fake foods that are making us sick while they are making the 1 percent richer. 

And we are sick.  Leigh Erin Connealy, MD, who runs a cancer center in California, said in a recent interview with Kevin Gianni in the online Healing Cancer World Summit that today, cancer is the number 1 killer and will strike one in two men and one in three women.  That’s a plague, isn’t it?  Our broken food system is part of what has gone wrong.

Rose wrote that he and Lapata addressed “the Brussels-based committee responsible for negotiating Poland’s agricultural terms of entry into the EU.”  No one on the committee was from Poland, though 22 percent of the Polish population was involved in agriculture, mostly on small farms.  Rose told the committee that in Britain and other EU countries, restructuring agriculture had “involved throwing the best farmers off the land and amalgamating their farms in to large scale monocultural operations designed to supply the predatory supermarket chains.” 

The committee’s chair countered by saying that the EU’s policy objectives involved ensuring “that farmers receive the same salary parity as white collar workers in the cities” and that the only way to accomplish this goal was to restructure and modernize Polish farms so that they could “compete with other countries’ agricultural economies and the global market.”  Thus, said the chairwoman, one million farmers would need to be shifted off the land and into city and service industry jobs that would improve their economic position.

 Rose countered by pointing out that as unemployment was running at 20 percent, he didn’t see how jobs could be provided for “another million farmers dumped on the streets of Warsaw.”  After a long silence, a committee member from Portugal noted that since her country had joined the EU, 60 percent of small farmers had left their land and that the EU didn’t care about small farmers.

 Rose and Lopata began trying to educate the Polish people about what EU restructuring would actually mean for them.  Rose described the changes in Britain to the Polish parliament:  restructuring had meant “the ripping up of 35,000 miles of hedge rows; the loss of 30 percent of native farmland bird species, 98 percent of species-rich hay meadows, thousands of tons of wind-and-water-eroded top-soil, and the loss from the land of about fifteen thousand farmers ever year, accompanied by a rapid decline in the quality of food.” 

I can tell you that in my lifetime, I have witnessed, around Reynolds, Georgia, the loss of the hedge rows and the loss of the quail that once lived in them.  I have seen the topsoil blowing off of the open fields.  And, seen deep fissures in the eroded land.  Worst of all, I have seen and smelled the toxic poisons sprayed onto the fields and the food growing in them.  I have seen the skull and cross bone signs posting those fields and come home smelling of noxious chemicals because I had walked past those fields—weeks after they had been sprayed.  And they want us to eat this food, to put this food into our bodies?

Poland joined the EU in 2004. And, the restructuring began.  Farmers who took the proffered agricultural subsidies and free advice found themselves, as did Rose himself before them, “filling out endless forms, filing maps, and measuring every last inch of your fields, tracks and farmsteads.  It meant applying for `passports’ for your cattle and ear tags for your sheep and pigs, resiting the slurry pit and putting stainless steel and washable tiles on the dairy walls, becoming versed in HAASP hygiene and sanitary rules and applying them where any food processing was to take place, and living under the threat of convictions and fines should one put a finger out of place or be late in supplying some official detail.”  What is being lost is “our independence and our freedom—the slow rural way of life shared by traditional farming communities throughout the world.”

 Behind the EU agricultural policies, writes Rose, were agribusinesses and seed corporations who wanted to “get their hands on “Poland’s relatively unspoiled work force and land resources.”  The newly passed EU regulatory policies helped. 

Among the “most vicious of anti-entrepreneurial weapons,” writes Rose, are the “sanitary and hygiene regulations” which are “enforced by national governments at the behest of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union.”  These “hidden weapons of mass farmer destruction” became the main tool for replacing small farmers with “monocultural money-making agribusiness.”

By 2005, writes Rose, or a mere one year later, “65 percent of regional milk and meat processing factories had been forced to close because they `failed’ (read:  couldn’t afford) to implement the prescribed sanitary standards.  Some 70 percent of small slaughterhouses have also suffered the same fate.  Farmers increasingly have nowhere to go to sell their cattle, sheep, pigs, and milk.”  And, with the destruction of this infrastructure, farmers are forced off the land. 

In Maine, the state government has rescinded a small farmer’s ability to raise and slaughter up to 1,000 chickens and sell them—despite the fact that no one has been made sick.  Small farmers can no longer share slaughtering equipment, a time-honored practice in rural America.   At local farmers’ markets, state government officials have attempted to stop farmers and venders from providing tastes of their foods, unless they can provide hot water for washing hands. 

And, the FDA stopped a local organic farmer from selling fresh-pressed cider at local stores or at the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association’s  (MOFGA) fall fair, even though, again, there had been no reports of illness.  (Oddly, unpasteurized cider can be taken across state lines as long as it is properly labeled, unlike raw milk.) 

Who got the MOFGA fair business?  A large grower who either pasteurizes or treats cider with ultraviolet light and who grows apples with Integrative Pest Management (IPM) practices, which means they pause before they go ahead and spray.

The sanitary and hygiene weapons, writes Rose, are now “scything their way through Romanian family farms, whose extraordinary diversity and peasant farming skills are a ready match for Poland’s.”  Rose predicted in 2008 that Turkey would soon be targeted.

This “global food economy,” writes Rose, is “the instrument of a relatively small number of very wealthy, transnational corporations.”   Rose lists Monsanto, Cargill, and their “fellow seed operatives Dupont, Pioneer, and Syngenta.”  What evolves is the patenting of seeds, so farmers have to buy new seeds each year, and the massive use of toxic agricultural chemicals that are killing the structure of the soil.   

Rose describes how the push to introduce GMO seeds into Poland has been relentless.  Under Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland tried to ban “the import and sale of GMO seeds and plants in Poland” and to ban GM animal feed by 2008.  As of 2010, this battle continues.  Industry harnessed support from agricultural professors and the media.  (Much of the Polish media is foreign owned, and industry makes huge contributions to academia).  And, the EU has stated that blanket banning of GMOs violates free-trade dictates.  

Meanwhile, Smithfield pigs are being raised on Polish soil and being fed Monsanto soy.  These pigs have flooded the market; their cheapness has undercut pigs raised by traditional pork farmers.  Further, with some of the US’s grain crops going to make biofuels, conventional feeds have become expensive.  So, GM soy and corn, once avoided in Europe, are now the “only cheap option available” in Poland.   

Poland still has one and a half million family farms.  These farmers could mount “a full blown peasants’ revolt to recapture the right to grow, eat and trade their superb farmhouse foods, thus freeing themselves from the increasing stranglehold that the bureaucratically perverse sanitary and hygiene regulations have imposed upon them.”

Rose writes, there are those “who are waking up to the stark choices that confront all of us:  capitulate to the forces of `total control’ or wrest back control of life and work to rejuvenate local communities to do the same.”   

Support your local farmers!   

Mainely Tipping Points 34: Part 1: THE CASE AGAINST FLUORIDE



Like many of you, I suspect, until very recently I never questioned the safety of fluoridating the general water supply.  Fluoride makes teeth stronger, right?  The government and many health organizations–like the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association–have scientific studies showing fluoridation is safe, right?  We’ve been fluoridating water for sixty years now with no ill effects, right?

My awareness of the toxicity and danger of fluoride and of the practice of fluoridation came slowly.  In 2006 when I started seriously researching food and health issues, information about fluoride toxicity emerged slowly.  There were some disturbing assessments in the Weston A. Price Foundation’s (WAPF) materials.  A local activist asked me to look deeper because she believed broken bones in children were much more common today due to fluoridation.  The fact that one of my grandchildren had already, at age two, fallen off the back of a sofa onto a thick carpet and broken his arm began to echo in my head.   I agreed fluoride was likely a problem, but I had other research and essays lined up to do first. 

In late June, I started getting ready for my family’s  annual summer visits by stockpiling food and household supplies.  Only, I couldn’t find a toothpaste for the children that didn’t contain fluoride.  Standing in the toothpaste aisles of various local stores, I remembered seeing recent email alerts concerning new information about fluoridation and brain damage in children. 

Because the FDA classifies fluoride as a drug, the FDA requires adult toothpastes to carry the following dire warning:  “Keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age.  If you swallow more than used for brushing, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away.”  A dose is the size of a pea.      

Toothpastes, including children’s toothpastes, warn users not to swallow.  Have you tried, lately, telling children who are two, three, and four years old not to swallow when the color is luscious and the flavor delicious?

About this time, Tim Boyd reviewed THE CASE AGAINST FLUORIDE:  HOW HAZARDOUS WASTE ENDED UP IN OUR DRINKING WATER AND THE BAD SCIENCE AND POWERFUL POLITICS THAT KEEP IT THERE, by Paul Connett, PhD, James Beck, MD, PhD, and H.S. Micklem, DPhil, in the spring 2011 WAPF’S journal, WISE TRADITIONS (59).  Boyd noted the authors’ statement that the pea-sized dab of toothpaste contains as much fluoride as one glass of fluoridated water.  Boyd asked if adults call the Poison Control Center after drinking the recommended eight glasses of water per day since they would have exceeded EPA’s daily safety dose for fluoride.

Connett et al explain that controlling the concentration of fluoride is not the same thing as controlling the dose of fluoride, which includes not just drinking fluoridated water but the total dose from other sources, like toothpaste, tea, wine, pesticide residues on food, mechanically deboned meat, and food and beverages processed with fluorideated water (207).  With water, the “dose gets larger the more water is drunk; and the larger the dose, the more likely it will cause harm” since fluoride “is…highly toxic” (8-9).  Further, the kidneys only excrete 50 percent of the fluoride ingested; the rest moves mostly into calcifying tissues like the bones and the brain’s pineal gland and concentrates in the kidneys (123).    

Since scientific credentials are hugely important in the debate about fluoridation, do Connett et al have the kind of knowledge needed to assess the toxicity of fluoride? Connett’s PhD is in chemistry from Dartmouth.  He specializes in environmental chemistry and toxicology.  Until his retirement in 2006, he was a full professor at St. Lawrence University.  Additionally, for twenty-five years he’s worked in waste management.  He currently directs the Fluoride Action Network, whose website is a source of valuable information. 

Beck holds two doctorates:  Medicine from the Washington University School of Medicine and Biophysics from the University of California.  He is currently professor emeritus of medical biophysics at the University of Calgary, Canada. 

Micklem’s doctorate is from the University of Oxford.  He publishes mainly in the fields of stem cell biology and immunology.  He is an emeritus professor in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK, and has held visiting research fellowships at l’Institut Pasteur in Paris, Stanford University, and New York University School of Medicine.   

Connett et al’s fluoridation history follows the pattern I’ve seen in my research where a handful of determined men with cultural and political power successfully institute a problematic health practice.  Among the most effective men in 1950, when the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) endorsed fluoridation, were Gerald Cox, a researcher at the Mellon Institute whose research was funded by Alcoa aluminum, and Harold Hodge, the chief toxicologist for the U.S. Army’s Manhattan Project, who supervised experiments where uranium and plutonium were injected into unsuspecting hospital patients (80-81).

Connett et al show that in 1950 there were many scientists with grave concerns about putting an untested drug into the public water supply.  From the 1930s onward there was “a considerable amount of scientific literature, particularly from Europe and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,  that fluoride posed problems to the bone and to the thyroid (83).  These studies were ignored or dismissed. 

The PHS made its momentous decision to validate fluoridation based on two flawed studies, an article by Cox and Hodge, and two ongoing studies whose results were unpublished, so had not yet been subject to peer review (82-83).  It was a rigged process.          

So, once again, industry benefit is part of this history.   At first, the metal industry benefitted, and, now, the phosphate fertilizer industry benefits.  But also there were then and are now many people who believed/believe that fluoridation would help children, especially poor children, have better dental health and who trusted that the organizations to which they looked for scientific truth had actually researched fluoride objectively. 

Astonishingly, Connett et al report that no federal agency accepts responsibility for the safety of fluoridation.   

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved fluoride for ingestion and rates fluoride as an “unapproved drug”—which is why it can mandate the toothpaste warning.  Nor has the FDA subjected fluoride to rigorous randomized clinical trials for either its effectiveness or its long-term safety (270). 

At the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only the Oral Health Division (OHD) is involved with fluoridation, and the OHD is staffed largely by dental personnel.  In 2008, Connett et al note, not one of the 29 staff members had scientific degrees qualifying them to assess the toxicity of fluoride, yet this division aggressively promotes fluoridation throughout the United States (23-24). 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an indirect role in that it regulates safe standards for all “contaminants” in drinking water.  In 2002, as it is legally required to do every 10 years, the EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to review the current 4 ppm (parts per million) Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) standard.  The NRC appointed a 12-member panel that, the authors state, was “the most balanced ever appointed in the United States to do any kind of review on fluoride” 137).  This panel issued its 507-page report in March 2006, in which it declared that the seemingly low-level 4 ppm maximum standard was not protective of health (25).

The ADA declared the NRC report irrelevant to water fluoridation on the day it was released—claiming erroneously that the panel only reviewed water fluoridation of 4 ppm.  The panel, in fact, “examined several studies that found adverse effects at levels less than 2 ppm” (138). 

The CDC followed six days later with the same conclusion.  To date, write the authors, the CDC has produced “no comprehensive analysis to support its claim.”  And “it’s hard to believe that in six days Oral Health Division personnel could have read and digested the report, let alone its over 1,100 references” (140).  

Ironically, in 1999, the CDC “finally conceded what many dental researchers had been reporting over the previous two decades:  Fluoride’s predominant mechanism of action was topical, not systemic.  In other words, if fluoride works at all, it does so via direct exposure to the outside of the tooth and not from inside the body” (13).  So, write Connett et al, to continue “the practice of forcing people to ingest fluoride has become even more absurd (269-270).

Part 2 will address fluoride’s specific toxicity in the body and claims of its efficacy.     








Interesting Information: “Autism, Chemicals and Food Additives”

Interesting Information:  March 27, 2011

“Autism, Chemicals and Food Additives”

Jane Hersey’s eldest daughter “showed symptoms of autism until her diet was changed.”  Says Hersey:  “Most parents of autistic children do not realize that help may be as close as their kitchen cupboards.”

Autism in the United States has “increased from 1 in 2,500 children to 1 in 110 children.”

Ben Feingold, MD, a pediatrician and allergist, formed The Feingold Association, which explores the link between diet and behavior. 

“Many parents have seen their children’s behavior and attention improve when they removed synthetic food dyes, artificial flavorings and certain preservatives from their diet.” 

“Children’s increased consumption of petroleum-based food additives may account for some of this [autism] rise, given that there has been a fivefold increase in food dye consumption per person in the United States since 1955.  (They even dye dill pickles yellow according to an article I read on food dyes in the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) newsletter–“Nutrition Action”  in the past 6 months.) 

“Try to limit your children’s exposure to scented cleansers, germicidal sprays, furniture waxes, room deodorizers, carpet and oven cleaners, insecticides, moth balls, oil-based paint and solvents like paint thinner.”  Also, wash new clothes and linens to stop “the off-gassing of formaldehyde and fire-retardant chemicals used in many fabrics.”

Choose “toothpaste, mouthwash, medicines, vitamins, soaps and lotions that have not been synthetically colored, flavored or scented.”  (I’d say if you have bad breath, eat more probiotics like those found in high-quality yogurt.  Bad breath comes from your gut, not your mouth.  Cavities are a sign of nutritional deficiencies, not unclean mouths.  (See The Weston A. Price Foundation web site for more info.)  (We use a half & half mixture of baking soda and sea salt, with a drop of essential peppermint oil on the toothbrush, to brush our teeth, and my gums have not bled at the dentists since I started using it.) 

The Feingold Association (, 800-321-32887) publishes a FOODLIST & SHOPPING GUIDE identifying safe products. 

Jane Hersey wrote WHY CAN’T MY CHILD BEHAVE?

Jane Hersey’s article appeared in the March/April 2011 WELL BEING JOURNAL, 33-34.  This issue has an excellent article by Sally Fallon Morell of The Weston A. Price Foundation:  “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry.”