SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 30, 2010

About Bones and Vit K2

What’s VitK2 about?

Our Bones

Like me, you have probably noticed  this past year or so more reference to Vitamin K2.  I have wondered what all the fuss was about and why I should care.   After reading Dr Mercola’s latest newsletter,  (don’t you love the way he explains things?). . .it makes sense to me now.   Well, actually the relevance is many-faceted and I would recommend you go straight over and read it all yourself.  What I choose to focus on is the relationship to our bones and why it is seriously positive and helpful.

Just because I don’t speak of it much anymore, doesn’t mean that I don’t STILL worry about Sally Field (2-25-09) but I do respect everybody’s right to do,  act and think as they please, it remains a precious right.  Not just my thinking and/or Dr. McDougall – go see what Dr Mercola says – – pretty much the same thing – stay away from that whole class of pharmaceuticals which some ill-advised doctors are advocating to “strengthen” your bones, up the density and prevent your bones from breaking.    It is so not right!  Having covered this topic frequently, I won’t go into it again now.  If you really want the gorgeously scientific explanation on it run on over to The Paleo Diet and check out Loren Cordain’s archives on bones and how living the Paleo way eliminates all that and why.  We have some great minds at work amongst us – we are living in an age which in many ways is blessed.

Dr Cordain explained about the way healthy bones take care of themselves – it’s built into the cells memory banks and they have much to do,  some of which is tearing down old cells of bones and building up new cells in an ongoing process.  They know what they are doing and have to maintain a balance.  Our main job  is simply to supply healthy, organic sustenance and to move the body around to keep it healthy while enjoying life.  But when taking that class of bone strengthening meds, the bones can no longer break down the old cells and build the new because the meds inhibit them  from functioning, consequently,the thinking is – the bones get denser, which protects from fracturing.  Trouble is,  there have been many fractures occur in these women who have been taking the meds for years – some, more than ten years  and they are breaking in unusual places, like in the upper thigh bones.  It’s a real problem.  It doesn’t pay to mess around with Mother Nature.

The Calcium Trap

A further mistake our rigid medical establishment thrusts on an unsuspecting public is the “Food Pyramid” and the RDA’s for vitamin and mineral needs.  There isn’t an ounce of relevance between them.  But especially harmful is the encouragement to take lots of Calcium (because bones seem to be made of mostly calcium.)  Please remember that huge animals like cows and elephants, etc.,  forage from the fields of green growing flora. Somehow they manage to grow solid, healthy structures of bone that lasts them well for a lifetime without ever taking calcium tablets, or eating ground up shells or rocks.  Just plants.  Let us not forget that humans are a part of that animal classification.  Plants give us all the minerals we need to manifest a healthy bone structure.  To repeat myself  for which I apologize  – I take no calcium, do not use dairy – – and my bones are fine  – so far. . . .  and it was Dr McDougall tapes I bought back in the early 90’s which set me free on that one.

David Wolfe

(I’ll be getting back to K2 any minute now,  just hold on!) I’m trying to get to a point.  Here and there I have mentioned David Wolfe (google him) and some of the great ideas I have picked up listening to his interviews and videos (see YouTube).  In his talks, he speaks of the great harm that over-calcified people are suffering. He describes the taking of increasing amounts of calcium as one of the major cause areas of a number of diseases with which our species is afflicted.   This excess of calcium is gathering in clumps around our joints (arthritis);  plaque build-up in our arteries causing hardening and thickening because it shouldn’t be there.  And it causes inflammation.  So rather than increasing our intake of calcium – we should be looking to find ways to  to rid ourselves of the over supply we now have.


David has a number of suggestions. . . anti-inflammatory supplements help break down the calcium stored in the tissues:

  • MSM  (I use the powder about 1/2 tsp 1 or 2 X daily)  Take with Vit C  1/4 tsp = 1,000 Mg
  • DMSO
  • Vit C  (great anti-inflammatory)
  • all kinds of mushsrooms, reishi, cordaceps, maitaki and so on (great to ramp up immunity)
  • Acai  (can be powerful even break down Cancer cells)
  • Oceans Alive  “marine phytoplankton”  (David takes this)

I can’t really advise on any of this, you are kinda on your own.  I listened to an interview Dr Mercola did with him recently – maybe it is on his site.

A further step in the equation of inflammation and calcium is the “acid/base balance”.  If the foods one eats  result in a net acid load (meats, fish, eggs, dairy, potatoes, legumes and grains and sugars without the necessary offsetting of fruits and vegetables in proportionate amounts – then the high blood insulin levels cause calcium loss.   The acid must be buffered by base in the body like calcium salts which are released from bones and eliminated in urine.  This will lead to osteopenia and ultimately, osteoporosis.  The bones are programmed to maintain the calcium balance, and so they do just that no matter what it costs the body.

When the body is in acid/base balance, it is naturally in calcium balance.  It is just that simple.  When you can see the big picture even in a small way, it becomes easier to understand why it is so important to become familiar with a few basics like acid/base balance,  food combining,  glycemic index and so on.

Dr Mercola – small extrapolation – on VitK2

Vitamin K is unique because it has multiple effects in your body, but doesn’t demonstrate any known toxicity. With research focused on potential effects on your skeletal system, brain, liver, and pancreas, vitamin K is one of the most promising nutrients of our time.*

The vitamin K which I recommend is vitamin K2 – natural, non-toxic, and made in your body as well.

Vitamin K2 includes several menaquinones (MK-n, with the ‘n’ determined by the number of prenyl side chains), such as MK-4 found in meats, MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 found in fermented food products like cheese and natto.

  • Promote your heart health*
  • Protect and support your skin*
  • Provide the calcium path ‘key’ from your bloodstream to your bones*
  • Boost your overall immune system*
  • Help regulate calcification of your tissues*
  • Provide you powerful antioxidant benefits*
  • Protect your cells against oxidative damage*
  • Aid in supporting your already normal blood sugar levels*

While other nutrients are important for maintaining and promoting your bone health (like vitamin D3, calcium, and magnesium), evidence continues to grow indicating a vital role vitamin K plays in bone metabolism and healthy bone growth.*  In fact it may be the modern day “missing link” to increasing your bone density.   Vitamin K has been linked to osteoblasts, the cells that generate or ‘lay down’ bone and produce a specific protein known as osteocalcin.*

You can think of osteocalcin like the studs in the wall of your house. Basically, osteocalcin acts as the structural framework holding calcium in place in your bones.*    And vitamin K is critical for producing osteocalcin protein.*    Why is this so important? Because osteocalcin cannot perform its job until vitamin K converts it to an active bone-building form.

The bottom line – vitamin K is the ‘key’ that unlocks the door from your bloodstream to let calcium flow into your bones and bone marrow.*

Without this vitamin K key action, you simply wouldn’t have the strong bones you do.* Plus, there’s another area vitamin K plays an important role, particularly vitamin K2.    I mentioned earlier how osteoblasts are important cells responsible for bone formation.    Well, while these osteoblast cells are busy building bone, other cells called osteoclasts are trying to break down bone and remove bone tissue.

Vitamin K2 is so important because, not only has it been shown to stimulate and enhance osteocalcin production, it has also been shown to inhibit osteoclasts and help maintain your bones.*

In his article on K2, Dr Mercola explains that he has produced a special K2 available per his specifications and advises certain foods where we can help ourselves to be sure to get this element into our diets.  It adds an additional amount to our monthly budget which in these days is a touchy thing.   One can eat certain soy products which I won’t do as I can not trust soy any longer due to GMO status.  The fact that it is fermented doesn’t help me – it starts off genetically modified – it can’t get better from there.  Eating large volumes of green leafy won’t do it either because I just can’t eat that much!  The solution is to ingest fermented veggies which I already do.  In point of fact, this may attest to the status of my bones being as healthy as they are at my ripe old age.  (I’ll never tell. . . but the market crashed with my entrance to the planet)

Many people can’t find the time to do the fermented veggies routine.  You can enlist some best buddies to  do it with you – many hands make light work.  Then both families have a supply.  I have some recipes up somewhere on my blog and Wholesome Goodness still has all those fabulous recipes up even though she has quit blogging for now – doing other things.  Alison’s tutorial is what got me going and thru it.  And it was her encouragement when I emailed her with my stunned amazement at how bad it tasted after all that effort and expense!  She admitted it is an acquired taste.  Lets not forget, most of us have lived a lifetime relishing tantalizing, exotic and “sweet” flavors.  So it takes a little training to accustom ourselves to a new and very different set of flavors.  I have an iron will and I was not going to be cheated out of my desire for better health that I sought which Donna Gates at Body Ecology had espoused (and taught).  I have explained this before – – but by the time Alison had got back to emailing me with suggestions on how I could swallow the stuff, I had already overcome my aversion and now craved it.  Apparently, my body was so grateful for it.  It cleared up my particular intestinal problems and I know that I have become healthier because of them.  When one has a healthy intestinal tract, it means you can actually benefit from the good foods you ingest, for this is the very home of the immune system.  If it isn’t workin right, you feel like crap.

And one can get creative.  Some people make it without cabbage.  Some use lots of carrots and apples and   so on.  There are endless possibilities.  I use cabbage, but each batch is different, because I like variety and trying new ideas.       I’m all talked out. . . . .

Take care of those bones. . . . .         Jan

November 29, 2009

Paleo, archived (Acne)

The Paleo Diet
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

November 27, 2009 Volume 2 Issue 1
(Originally published May 15, 2006)
Hello! Welcome to The Paleo Diet Update. For the next few weeks we will be publishing archival issues of The Paleo Diet Update while we work on our new monthly edition of the newsletter. We appreciate your readership, interest, and enthusiasm for The Paleo Diet and hope that you find items of interest from our archival editions of the newsletter.


The Paleo Diet Blog

We’re pleased see the response from the Paleo Diet community to our new Paleo Diet Blog! We will continue to provide useful nutritional information to our our readers, as well as an interactive format for our readers to view past questions submitted from the Paleo Diet community and the answers provided by our team. We encourage you to check out new articles, browse our Q&A, and submit your own questions or comments.

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

In This Issue
The Dietary Cure for Acne
A 10,000 Year Old Riddle
of Bread and Milk Solved
Fruit and Vegetable Waxes:
Are They Safe?
Recipe of the Month
Success Story of the Month:
Optimize Fitness and Well Being
The Dietary Cure for Acne
At the time of this newsletter’s original date of publication, May 15, 2006, Dr. Cordain announced the release of his third book, The Dietary Cure for Acne. In the original article in that newsletter Dr. Cordain states:Although the medical and dermatology communities generally have gone on record stating that diet and acne are unrelated, there is now extensive evidence to show otherwise — including a recently completed clinical trial from my colleague Neil Mann’s laboratory at RMIT in Melbourne1, 2. In this book I review the four immediate causes of acne and then show how various elements of diet ultimately influence these four immediate causes. In addition to the high dietary glycemic load that is ubiquitous in the typical Western diet, I explain how other common foodstuffs, including dairy products3, may provoke acne symptoms. The book is available as an e-book at my web site:
A 10,000 Year Old Riddle of Bread and Milk Solved
IntroductionMost nutrition students know that dietary proteins are not absorbed by the intestines because they are broken down into their component amino acids by enzymes in the gut during the digestive process. Even if dietary proteins escape proteolytic (protein shearing) degradation in the gut, they are normally denied entry into the bloodstream by various gut, liver and immune system barriers.


For the past 20 years the pharmaceutical industry has been keenly interested in figuring out a way in which to get intact proteins past the gut barrier and into the bloodstream — and rightly so. A billion dollar market would be instantly opened up to any company that could develop a procedure to transport insulin (a large protein molecule) across the gut barrier without directly injecting it into the bloodstream. An insulin pill would be a diabetic patient’s dream come true. Well guess what? The day in which an insulin pill will become a reality is getting closer.

As a Paleo Diet fan, you may be scratching your head and saying, “So-what – why should I be interested in an insulin pill. Shouldn’t proper diet and exercise be the preferred approach for treating type 2 diabetics?” You are absolutely correct, but the relevance of the insulin pill for Paleo Diet devotees is not to be necessarily found in the clinical application, but rather in the pathway whereby intact proteins gain access to the bloodstream. This pathway and its nutritional ramifications represent one of the most fascinating and relevant evolutionary tales in all of human history.


Although cereal grains, legumes and dairy foods represent staples for most of the world’s people, these foods were infrequently or never consumed by humans living prior to the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago4. Both cereal grains and legumes are rich sources of proteins called lectins. In particular, whole wheat contains the lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), peanuts contain the lectin, peanut agglutinin (PNA), and kidney beans contain the lectin, phytohemagglutinin (PHA).

Because of their sturdy molecular structure, lectins are resistant to the gut’s proteolytic enzymes and have been found fully intact in the guts of both humans and animals5, 6. Further, at least two animal studies have demonstrated that dietary WGA and PHA are rapidly transported across the gut wall into systemic circulation7, 8. Following consumption of tomato juice, tomato lectin (TL) has also been found in systemic circulation of both rats and humans9. More recently, a single study in humans reported the presence of intact PNA in the bloodstream of healthy adults following ingestion of 200g of salted roasted peanuts10.

Because of their resistance to digestive enzymes and their ability to rapidly cross the intestinal barrier, lectins have been intently studied by pharmaceutical scientists interested in creating a vehicle for delivering drugs into systemic circulation without the need to directly inject them with a hypodermic needle11. Until 2003 it was unknown how lectins could so rapidly cross the gut barrier and enter the systemic circulation.

However, recent studies using WGA as a drug delivery vehicle have identified the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) as the “back door” by which WGA gains entry into gut cells and then into circulation12.

Hormones and Receptors

A hormone is a chemical substance that is secreted into body fluids and transported to another organ or tissue, where it produces a specific effect upon metabolism. Hormones most frequently gain entry into organs and tissues by binding a receptor on the surface of the organ or tissue. You can think about the hormone as a key (referred to as a “ligand”) and the receptor as the lock. If the key fits the lock, then metabolic processes are put into place in organs and tissues which influence their metabolism.

The EGF-R is an unusual receptor in that it is expressed on the inside (luminal side) of the gut rather than on the blood (serosal) facing side13. The reason for this anomaly is that saliva contains a hormone, epidermal growth factor (EGF), which binds to the EGF-R. So when you swallow saliva, you swallow a hormone (EGF) which may bind the EGF-R located on the luminal side of the gut. EGF found in saliva facilitates gut healing when it binds the EGF-R.

Since WGA, PHA and PNA14, as well as high wheat diets in normal, healthy humans15, may cause extensive damage and disruption to the epithelial cells lining the gut, it is likely that these lectins induce gut cells to up regulate (increase) the numbers of EGF-R to facilitate healing. However, the down side of increasing gut EGF-R in the continued presence of dietary lectins in the gut is that it creates a vicious cycle for enhanced lectin entry into these cells, and thence into the systemic circulation.

Whole Grain Cereals and Vitamin D Metabolism

Nutritional scientists have known forever and a day that excessive consumption of whole grain cereals severely impairs vitamin D metabolism and can lead to the bone disease, rickets16. In fact, as far back as 1918, before vitamin D was discovered, a scientist in England by the name of Mellanby routinely induced experimental rickets in puppies by feeding them an oat diet17. Epidemiological studies of human populations consuming high levels of unleavened whole grain breads show vitamin D deficiency and rickets to be widespread 18-20. A study of radio-labeled vitamin D in humans consuming 60g of wheat bran daily for 30 days clearly demonstrated an enhanced elimination of vitamin D in the intestines21.

The EGF-R, WGA and Rickets

Mechanistically, scientists have never really understood why excessive consumption of whole grains, particularly wheat, could cause rickets. However, with the recent discovery that WGA gains access to the systemic circulation by binding the EGF-R in the gut, it became increasingly clear that WGA and similar whole grain lectins could impair vitamin D metabolism.

Because of its affinity to the EGF-R, WGA circulating in the bloodstream has the capacity to gain entry into any cell expressing the EGF-R. It should be noted that epithelial cells located in skin tissue express the EGF-R. Consequently the keratinocytes within the epidermis, because of their expression of the EGF-R will internalize WGA if it is present in peripheral blood. Keratinocytes are also the site of vitamin D synthesis upon ultraviolet (sunlight) irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the cell.

Once within skin keratinocytes, WGA blocks the nuclear pore 22, 23, a structure that normally allows passage of certain cellular hormones and large molecules into the nucleus which then cause gene transcription. In particular, WGA blocks the cellular transport of the vitamin D receptor and its endogenous ligand (vitamin D) to the nucleus24, 25 which may result in impaired vitamin D utilization, and systemically increases the risk for rickets.

Neolithic Food Introductions and Rickets: Evolutionary Implications

The Neolithic (new Stone Age) was the period between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago when Agriculture first began in the Near East and then gradually spread to Northern Europe and elsewhere. As former hunter gatherers adopted a farming way of life, their diets changed rather dramatically. Whereas cereal grains were rarely or never consumed by hunter-gatherers, whole grain emmer wheat and barley became staples as hunter gatherers transitioned into early farmers (4, 16). Because whole wheat flour contains sizeable amounts of WGA (30-50 mg/kg)26, a typical Neolithic farmer could easily have consumed 15-25mg of WGA per day on a regular basis. High intakes of WGA like these have the potential to severely impair vitamin D metabolism and thereby increase the risk for developing rickets.

Although rickets is rarely fatal in children and adolescents, it can cause flattening of the pelvic bones in females which may permanently narrow the birth canal. A rickets-induced, narrowed birth canal would have greatly increased mortality for mother and child during childbirth27. In England between the 16th and 18th centuries, the maternal mortality rate was estimated to be 24 to 29 deaths per 1000 births, and many of these deaths were directly attributed to maternal rickets27. It is likely that maternal mortality would have been higher still under the more primitive birthing conditions during the Neolithic. Hence, the reliance upon whole wheat as a staple food in Neolithic people would have represented a powerful negative evolutionary selective pressure that surely was responsible for millions of deaths over the course of thousands of years.

Prevalence of Lactase in Northern Europeans

Northern Europeans and their descendants are unusual amongst the world’s peoples in that they maintain the ability to consume cow’s milk without digestive discomfort because their guts produce lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Between 70 to 90% of Northern Europeans maintain the adult lactase persistence (ALP) gene, whereas the presence of ALP in most of the world’s people is much lower, ranging from approximately 3 to 25 % (Figure 1)28.

Figure 1. The percentage of some world’s people with the ability to digest lactose in milk.

The standard evolutionary explanation for the presence of ALP in Northern Europeans is that once they had adopted dairying, selection for the ALP genes allowed lactose in milk to be digested without gastrointestinal disturbances and diarrhea. Consequently, ALP enabled calcium and other nutrients in milk to be readily digested, thereby enhancing nutrition and increasing survival28. One of the problems with this explanation is that many of the world’s societies with long histories of dairying, such as the Mongols, the Herero, the Nuer, the Dinka, the Zulu and the Xhosa have low levels of the ALP gene and are generally lactase deficient28, 29. These people have taken a behavioral approach to reduce the lactose in milk by consuming it as fermented products (sour milk, kumis, and yogurt) or as cheese. Certainly, Northern Europeans could have taken this approach. So the evidence suggests that the selection for ALP in Northern Europeans must have occurred for reasons other than the additional calcium and food calories found in fermented milk products.

Extreme Dermal Depigmentation in Northern Europeans

In addition to maintaining a high frequency of ALP, Northern Europeans are unique amongst the world’s people in that they exhibit extreme dermal de-pigmentation. Blond or red hair, very light skin and blue or gray irises are external characteristics that rarely occur together in any other people of the world. The standard evolutionary explanation for extreme dermal de-pigmentation is that Northern Europeans resided at high latitudes where sunlight was seasonally restricted causing impaired vitamin D metabolism30, 31. Accordingly, the selection for light skin enhanced vitamin D synthesis during brief periods of sunlight exposure in these high latitude, sunlight compromised people. The problem with this explanation, as has been previously pointed out, is that other world’s people living at similar or higher latitudes have not evolved extreme dermal depigmentation32 as depicted from the Biasutti map below (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The Biasutti map depicting skin pigmentation in the world’s peoples29.

Putting It All Together: The Bigger Picture

The reason why Northern Europeans evolved extreme dermal de-pigmentation was two fold. First vitamin D metabolism was slightly compromised in these people from reduced sunlight exposure by living at higher latitudes. But more importantly, regular consumption of whole wheat, because of its high WGA content, pushed vitamin D metabolism to the breaking point, likely causing an epidemic of rickets during the Neolithic. Remember that WGA gets into the bloodstream by binding the EGF-R, and then impairs vitamin D metabolism by blocking the nuclear pore, thereby preventing vitamin D from doing its job. So, one evolutionary strategy employed to overcome WGA’s deleterious effect upon vitamin D metabolism was to select genes coding for lighter skin so that more vitamin D could be synthesized during intermittent sunlight exposure.

The second evolutionary strategy taken by natural selection was to reduce or impair the uptake of any WGA that was ingested from wheat. This is where the selection for the adult lactase persistence (ALP) gene comes in. Raw cow’s milk is a rich source of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and contains 325ng per ml33. In contrast, the processing of milk to make fermented milk products will greatly reduce or destroy EGF as it is unstable when exposed to heat, light and acidity33-35. By ingesting raw cow’s milk Neolithic people would be directly dosing themselves with EGF which then could compete with and displace WGA for the EGF-R. Further, EGF from cow’s milk would facilitate gut healing to reduce the number of EGF receptors elicited by the destructive effect of WGA on the gut lining. The net effect of additional EGF from cow’s milk would be to impede entry of WGA into the bloodstream thereby improving vitamin D metabolism, which in turn would reduce the incidence of rickets.

Neolithic individuals bearing the ALP genes would gain selective advantage over those who didn’t have this gene because they could drink EGF containing cow’s milk without gastrointestinal discomfort. Consequently, over the course of hundred of generations, there would have been a rapid selection for the ALP genes, not because the calcium and food calories in milk provided crucial nutrition, but rather because the EGF in milk countered the rickets producing effects of WGA from whole wheat consumption. Thus, the extreme dermal depigmentation and high prevalence of the lactase enzyme in Northern Europeans were caused by the same negative selective pressure: high consumption of WGA containing whole wheat. Perhaps there are additional lessons to be learned by us all from this 10,000 year evolutionary experiment in eating whole grains.

Fruit and Vegetable Waxes: Are They Safe?
When you visit the produce section of your local supermarket, have you ever noticed the glossy wax that is frequently present on cucumbers and apples, and sometimes on bell peppers and other fruits and vegetables? Have you wondered why these waxes were applied and if they are safe or if they may have any deleterious health effects?The purpose of fruit and vegetable waxes are fourfold: 1) to reduce shrinkage from water loss, 2) to provide a barrier to gas exchange which prolongs shelf life by simultaneously reducing the oxygen content and increasing the carbon dioxide content of the fruit or vegetable, 3) to improve appearance by adding a shiny film, and 4) to sometimes provide a carrier for fungicides or other chemical agents to prevent microbial decay36-38.


The waxes applied to fruits and vegetables can take on many different formulations incorporating a variety of waxes and other substances. Listed below are five common waxing formulas37:

  1. 18.6% oxidized polyethylene, 3.4% oleic acid, 2.8% morpholine, 0.01% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  2. 18.3% candelilla wax, 2.1% oleic acid, 2.4% morpholine, 0.02% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  3. 9.5 % shellac, 8.3% carnauba wax, 3.3% morpholine, 1.7% oleic acid, 0.17% ammonia, 0.01% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  4. 19% shellac, 1.0% oleic acid, 4.4% morpholine, 0.3% ammonia, and 0.01% polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.
  5. 13.3 % shellac, 3.0% whey protein isolate, 3.1% morpholine, 0.7 % oleic acid, 0.2% ammonia, 0.01 % polydimethylsiloxane antifoam.

Note that morpholine is a common element in almost all waxing formulas and is permitted for use in the U.S., Australia, Canada and other countries, but not in Germany. Morpholine’s function is to serve as a solvent and fungicide39, 40. Morpholine, by itself, in the doses that are present in fruits and vegetables probably does not constitute a health risk39, 40. However, during the digestive process, if there are nitrites simultaneously present, morpholine is chemically changed into Nnitrosomorpholine (NMOR), a potent carcinogen in rodents. The estimated safe lower limit for NMOR is 4.3 ng/kg body weight per day. It has been estimated that for adults, consuming waxed apples and a mixed diet, NMOR ingestion can approach (3.6 ng/kg body weight) the lower limit of safety. However, these estimates did not actually measure NMOR formation in humans40. Additionally, nitrite ingestion is quite variable in humans41. Hence, it is entirely possible that chronic consumption of waxed fruit and vegetables containing morpholine could present a slight risk for cancer in certain individuals.

Shellac is a common ingredient in many waxes and is derived from the hardened secretion of the lac insect, Laccifer lacca. It has been reported to elicit allergies in some susceptible people, as has carnauba wax36. Waxes generally cannot be removed by regular washing. So if you prefer not to consume waxes, you must buy un-waxed produce or peel the fruit or vegetable.

Fruits and vegetables which are waxed include: apples, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplants, grapefruits, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruit, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips and yucca. Since many of these fruits and vegetables are typically peeled and the peel is not consumed, only a few common fruits and vegetables present a problem.

Until only very recent times, fruits and vegetables were generally harvested when ripe and brought to market without wax coatings. Even today, fruit and vegetables can be harvested, packed, and stored without the use of waxes, and storage life can be extended through careful handling36.

The relative cancer risk of not eating fresh fruits and vegetables is much greater than the small risk posed by consuming waxed fruits and vegetables. Personally, I prefer my produce wax-free, and as fresh as possible.

Recipe of the Month
Broiled Pork Tenderloin Zesty Rub1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine
1 pound of very lean pork tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat


Mix dry spices and garlic in a mortar and pestle – add in the oils and wine to make into a paste. Rub the paste onto the pork one hour before broiling. Broil pork 2 to 3 inches from heat source for about six minutes per side or until it is cooked to desired condition.

Success Story of the Month
Dr. Cordain,My name is Jonathon Edward, I’ve corresponded with you via e-mail on many occasions. I just want to let you know how incredibly grateful I am for your research. I own both of your books and have read through all of the research on your site (can’t believe it’s free!). I’ve been following the plan for well over a year now and have never looked or felt better. Headaches, allergies, and skin problems that used to constantly plague me have vanished and people constantly comment on my “radiant appearance.” The Paleo diet combined with an excellent exercise program (CrossFit) has allowed me to effortlessly optimize my body composition. I’ve stabilized at a lean (single digit body fat)/muscular 160 lb (I’m 5’6). My workout performance continues to increase as well. The benefits have extended to my family as well. In the past couple of months I’ve managed to get my mom and dad on the wagon and they have both experienced enhanced health and vitality. The plan has helped to alleviate aches and pains and is providing a route for my mother to get back to her ideal weight. Both of them are also experiencing higher levels of energy and greater resistance to fatigue. Needless to say, the plan has been a panacea for all involved.


The intention of this e-mail was not to write a testimonial, but I figured you ought to know the impact your research has had on the lives of my family and myself. I am an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and I am seriously considering graduate level work geared toward research in evolutionary diet and medicine. I was wondering if you offer any type of summer internship to bright students (currently have a 3.91 GPA and am pursuing honors in the major) interested in Paleo nutrition oriented research? If not, do you have any suggestions? I genuinely would like to start contributing to the field while still an undergraduate.

Last but not least, I am a personal trainer and have been, with great success, implementing the Paleo Diet with all of my clients. Their first homework assignment is to pick up your book and read it cover to cover. After that, I like for them to go to your site, among others, and familiarize themselves with the vast amount of science backing up the plan. The individuals who fully commit themselves to the regimen + the training program I develop, progress toward and reach their goals with unbelievable rapidity. Along the way to reaching their aesthetic and performance goals, they optimize their health and well-being without trying. Your research lends itself to optimized body composition, performance, health, and longevity. Truly amazing! In the future I’ll be writing various articles outlining how to integrate intermittent fasting into the plan and how to tweak the plan for muscle/strength gain, performance enhancement, and fat loss.

I know that one of your main goals is to disseminate scientifically validated information that will change people’s lives for the better. I want to let you know that you’re accomplishing that goal in the lives of my family, clients, friends, and in my own life. Thanks again.




  1. Smith R, Mann N, Makelainen H, Braue A, Varigos G. The effect of short-term altered macronutrient status on acne vulgaris and biochemical markers of insulin sensitivity. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13 (Suppl):S67.
  2. Smith R, Mann N, Braue A, Varigos G. Low glycemic load, high protein diet lessens facial acne severity. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2005;14 (Suppl): S97.
  3. Adebamowo CA, Spiegelman D, Danby FW, Frazier AL, Willett WC, Holmes MD. High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Feb;52(2):207-14.
  4. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81:341-54.
  5. Pusztai A, Ewen SW, Grant G, Peumans WJ, van Damme EJ, Rubio L, Bardocz S. Relationship between survival and binding of plant lectins during small intestinal passage and their effectiveness as growth factors. Digestion. 1990;46 Suppl 2:308-16.
  6. Brady PG, Vannier AM, Banwell JG. Identification of the dietary lectin, wheat germ agglutinin, in human intestinal contents. Gastroenterology. 1978 Aug;75(2):236-9.
  7. Pusztai A, Ewen SW, Grant G, Brown DS, Stewart JC, Peumans WJ, Van Damme EJ, Bardocz S. Antinutritive effects of wheat-germ agglutinin and other N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins. Br J Nutr. 1993 Jul;70(1):313-21.
  8. Pusztai A, Greer F, Grant G. Specific uptake of dietary lectins into the systemic circulation of rats. Biochem Soc Trans 1989;17:481-2.
  9. Kilpatrick DC, Pusztai A, Grant G, Graham C, Ewen SW. Tomato lectin resists digestion in the mammalian alimentary canal and binds to intestinal villi without deleterious effects. FEBS Lett. 1985 Jun 17;185(2):299-305.
  10. Wang Q, Yu LG, Campbell BJ, Milton JD, Rhodes JM. Identification of intact peanut lectin in peripheral venous blood. Lancet. 1998 Dec 5;352(9143):1831-2
  11. Gabor F, Bogner E, Weissenboeck A, Wirth M. The lectin-cell interaction and its implications to intestinal lectin-mediated drug delivery. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2004 Mar 3;56(4):459-80.
  12. Lochner N, Pittner F, Wirth M, Gabor F. Wheat germ agglutinin binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor of artificial Caco-2 membranes as detected by silver nanoparticle enhanced fluorescence. Pharm Res. 2003 May;20(5):833-9.
  13. Hormi K, Lehy T. Developmental expression of transforming growth factor-alpha and epidermal growth factor receptor proteins in the human pancreas and digestive tract. Cell Tissue Res. 1994 Dec;278(3):439-50.
  14. Vasconcelos IM, Oliveira JT. Antinutritional properties of plant lectins. Toxicon. 2004 Sep 15;44 (4):385-403
  15. Doherty M, Barry RE. Gluten-induced mucosal changes in subjects without overt small-bowel disease. Lancet. 1981 Mar 7;1(8219):517-20.
  16. Cordain L. Cereal grains: humanity’s double edged sword. World Rev Nutr Diet 1999; 84:19-73.
  17. Mellanby E. The part played by an “accessory factor” in the production of experimental rickets. J Physiol (London) 1918;52:11-14.
  18. Gibson RS, Bindra GS, Nizan P, Draper HH: The vitamin D status of east Indian Punjabi immigrants to Canada. Brit J Nutr 1987; 58:23-29.
  19. Brooke OG, Brown IRF, Cleeve HJW: Observations of the vitamin D state of pregnant Asian women in London. Brit J Obstet Gynaecol 1981;88:18-26.
  20. Hunt SP, O’Riordan JLH, Windo J, Truswell AS: Vitamin D status in different subgroups of British Asians. Br Med J 1976;2:1351-54.
  21. Batchelor AJ, Compston JE: Reduced plasma half-life of radio-labeled 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in subjects receiving a high fiber diet. Brit J Nutr 1983;49:213-16.
  22. Guinez C, Morelle W, Michalski JC, Lefebvre T. O-GlcNAc glycosylation: a signal for the nuclear transport of cytosolic proteins? Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Apr;37(4):765-74.
  23. Finlay DR, Newmeyer DD, Price TM, Forbes DJ. Inhibition of in vitro nuclear transport by a lectin that binds to nuclear pores. J Cell Biol. 1987 Feb;104(2):189-200.
  24. Barsony J, Pike JW, DeLuca HF, Marx SJ. Immunocytology with microwave-fixed fibroblasts shows 1 alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-dependent rapid and estrogen-dependent slow reorganization of vitamin D receptors. J Cell Biol. 1990 Dec;111(6 Pt 1):2385-95.
  25. Luo Z, Rouvinen J, Maenpaa PH. A peptide C-terminal to the second Zn finger of human vitamin D receptor is able to specify nuclear localization. Eur J Biochem. 1994 Jul 15;223(2):381-7.
  26. Vincenzi S, Zoccatelli G, Perbellini F, Rizzi C, Chignola R, Curioni A, Peruffo AD. Quantitative determination of dietary lectin activities by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using specific glycoproteins immobilized on microtiter plates. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 23;50(22):6266-70.
  27. Loudon I. Deaths in childbed from the eighteenth century to 1935. Med Hist 1986;30:1-41.
  28. Swallow DM. Genetics of lactase persistence and lactose intolerance. Ann Rev Genet 2003;37:197-219.
  29. Segal I, Gagjee PP, Essop AR, Noormohamed AM. Lactase deficiency in the South African black population. Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Dec;38(6):901-5.
  30. Murray FG. Pigmentation, sunlight and nutritional disease. Am Anthrop 1934;36:4438-445.
  31. Loomis WF. Skin-pigment regulation of vitamin-D biosynthesis in man. Science 1967;157:501-506.
  32. Jablonski NG, Chaplin G. The evolution of human skin coloration. J Hum Evol 2000;39:57-106.
  33. Yagi H, Suzuki S, Noji T, Nagashima K, Kuroume T. Epidermal growth factor in cow’s milk and milk formulas. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1986 Mar;75(2):233-5

September 21, 2009

How to Ferment Foods

Much interest in Fermented Foods

(Original post dated 9-21-09)

From what you’ve  heard,  and I perceive, there  seems to be interest in  “fermented foods. ”  Everybody talks about  how it can help to rebuild your inner eco-system;  restore the gut flora, help  assimilate the food you eat better;   clear up a bunch of problems and make the whole gut area “feel better”;  reduce your craving for  sweets in general.  As for me,  after having had problems with understanding my immune system  and eternally trying to find ways to work with it and improve it – –  bells went off when I learned about the process to ferment foods.

I know that I have raved on about my experiences with it now and then.  I have not however actually told you how to do this.   Felt that this was all covered when I explained how I learned about the fermentation process and its benefits from Wholesome Goodness  who used to be in my blogroll before she shut her site down, and also from B.E.D.’s Donna Gates who often speaks on this subject and has shared her recipes with the world – often and is shown in the Body Ecology Diet book.  I remember speaking about Dom whom I found in Australia (his Kefir-Kraut)

Alyson’s tutorial (Wholesome Goodness) on “how-to Ferment Foods” was superb.  It was explicit and complete.  I can not attempt to do over again as I am not equipt with cameras   So this is why I have not given you a detailed account of how I do it or what I do.

While it is true that I tried to ‘teach my grand-daughters during those early, growing up years’  how to function in a kitchen, I did it mostly by osmosis.  Expected it to transfer into their eager little brains through their own desire to learn and copy what they saw.  Both learned how to sharpen knives, mince garlic, dice an onion, toss a salad and we always sat around a table and talked when we raised our forks to enjoy the blessings thereof.  Good years.  Even so, don’t see myself as a teacher – not these days.    When I want to make something special like Biscotti or fermented foods,  I amass all the recipes I value and  find I take something from here and something from there and most often, don’t wind up with the same thing twice and seem to run a very loose ship as they say.  The last time I made the veggies, I forgot about the hot peppers (recently bought and lying fallow in the frig) and I really miss them when I don’t include them.

Let’s Get Started

So, I am going to ramble just a little here on what I actually do to make a big batch.   It is a good practice to assemble all that you will need – bowls, tools, like knives and cutting boards, etc.,  get the food processor out and place all the fresh, stuff out on the counter: e.g. cabbages, carrots, onion, garlic, hot peppers and any other fresh, green leafy favorite on hand.   Sometimes I get out fresh ginger (to grate), and/or perhaps a bunch of cilentro (tossing out the stems).  One needs a number of glass jars – pick your own amount and numbers.  Alyson speaks of one-quart jars with those special lids.  But the jars I use are a strange assortment of bigger glass containers with a rubber ring and attached lid with a funny clasp on it.  Range in size from 1 1/2 qt to bigger ones – have about 8 of them. (Note:   Larger quantity will take a little more time.  One might  start off with just a quart or two of course – just scale down amounts)

The Water

I distill my own water and also, make my own colloidal silver which requires having purified water, but with no carbon filters of any kind so  I use, plenty of these big jars.  Seems I’m always into something ‘cooking’ in my kitchen.   Be sure you have un-polluted water on hand –   not a good idea to use municipal water due to the chemical  content – seriously! . .those chemicals can interfere with nature’s fermenting process.  Another consideration, up front, is to decide whether or not you want to make it the old fashioned way (letting nature do whatever it does)  or you want to use a starter which both Wholesome Goodness and B.E.D. recommend.  As it happens,  I’m about half and half on this point.  Frankly, I can’t see any difference, they both taste about the same to me.  The first time I made it, I couldn’t wait for the starter to come, so I had read a bit on it and found that the ancients did not rely on starters.  This is a chemical reaction which happens via nature’s innate wisdom – that works for me!  Most of the time I use BED’s Culture Starter as this assures the satisfaction of knowing that you ARE getting the very best cultures into your fermented  food  That is a comforting thought.

Not Quite a Recipe

I start with 2 or 3 heads of regular or red cabbage;    4 or 5 carrots, scrubbed;    at least one red onion or large white;   much garlic (6 – 8 cloves or a whole head) which is fine either crushed or finely minced;    4 or 5 Jalapeno peppers and maybe 4 – 5 of the smaller, hotter ones – the peppers must be opened to remove most of the seeds or else the fire would be too intense (for my taste)  Its really cool to add whatever other green leafy veggie you might have on hand like kale, bok choy and so on.  Or not,  just cabbage is fine.  One’s preference should dictate the choices.  Adding a large crisp apple into the mix is wonderful.  Adds a hint of sweetness, but the sugar part is mostly eaten up by the bacteria which develops in the fermentation period.

I like pretty and beautiful, so I quite naturally add as much as I can scrounge up for color and variety and try to plan for this personal pleasure. Your food stuff should be as fresh as possible and organic if you can (to assure that you are not getting all those darned chemicals we don’t really want)   Speaking of things we don’t want in the mix, it is wise to be aware that Donna Gates and others recommend that we NOT USE SALT of any kind to season this mix.  And this would be for the same reason – it slows the bacterial action and fermentation process down measurably.  Not a good thing.  If when eating your fermented foods, you feel it needs seasoning for your personal taste, by all means, use a little sea salt – go for it.

First We Assemble

Best to assemble all that you will need,   I have huge bowls which I questioned myself on when I bought them as they are really large and cumbersome and a nuisance to house.  But oh my,  I wonder how others manage to do all this if you don’t have these big bowls.   Get out your best butcher knife (sharpened) in order to cut the fresh produce into pieces which will fit into your food processor. It is good to use the slicing blade on cabbage, tho I personally like it grated (large) a bit better. Also, grate the carrots and onions and whatever else.  Slice or grate – your choice for both size and appearance.

CABBAGE:  Generally, plain ole cabbage is what most people use – me too.    Tho I have also made a great batch with 1 red cabbage and 1 white one and a batch of beets (scrubbed and stemmed).  It was gorgeous due to the red contents  and I really liked the flavors.          Rinse off your cabbage and remove and SAVE the courser outer leaves – these will (at the end) be folded, and stuffed into the tops of your jars to secure your “batch” submerged under the brine  – very important.  So this must be done BEFORE you start chopping stuff up.  Then, you can quarter your cabbages, and with the large butcher knife, stand each quarter in a way that you can sever the inner  hard core which is probably only good for one thing – to munch on.

The Brine

Next,  the Brine we want to use.  Ideally, it can be a cup or so of the veggies you have already chopped up  placed into a blender to puree a little bit along with a couple of cups of that good, pure water (might want to buy some spring water), and then maybe a cucumber or two and/or a stalk of celery or two.  Sorry to be so vague, but I have no idea how much you will be making.  We want a pretty good slurpy mess to pour over the chopped veggies as they sit in the jars.  Want enough to cover completely and come up to within an inch or two of the lid.  Leaving room for the folded outer cabbage leaf which you have wadded up before putting the lid on.

I’ll tell you one of my own special little secrets.  This happened several months ago that I guess I also had no idea how far to go in my planning or gauging the amounts of anything – this was new to me.  I didn’t have enough of those outer leaves saved and now I was at the end and panic was mounting – what to do?   I had just spent hours in chopping and fixin and stuff, be damned if I was going to lose any of this  over some miscalculation.  At the back of the silverware drawer is a collection of the pretty corks I liked and had saved (pack-rat that I am) from varying wine bottles over time.   So I used 2 -3 corks at the top of my jars to keep the veggies submerged.  Worked great, I kid you not. This is a resource I continue to use.  It pleases me, and I don’t have to “save” as many cabbage leaves.

The Starter Culture

If you do in fact want to use a starter, it must be done up front in the beginning as it needs a little time to waken, eat some thing and digest a little before it sets to work.  (Isn’t that just a glorious concept?) Empty one of the packets of Culture Starter from the box into about 1 1/2 cup warm water to which you have added either one teaspoon of sugar or honey, etc.  This must sit for about 20 minutes or longer while the L. Plantarum and other bacteria waken and starts digesting the sugar.  This is then added to the brine which is poured over the veggies before finishing.

Putting it all Together

Shred up your veggies and gather them into large bowls, tubs or what-have-you.   Because I use rather hot peppers in my choice,  I must also don disposable gloves.  The one time I didn’t do that, I was in serious distress with my hands for the rest of the day.  So lift and blend your mixture til its all pretty and the way that appeals to you.  Then start filling your jars by measured quantities.  Add to the jar, tamp it down tightly either with your fist, an old-fashioned potato masher or other tool;     add more, tamp down again till nearing the top.  Want to leave about 2 inches free at the top.  I don’t understand why, I just do it as that is what they all say.   Now is the time to fold the cabbage leaves you have saved and insert into the tops.  Push down.  (I put corks on top of that and push down again.) Pour over the brine into each jar and clamp or screw down your lids. fairly tightly. (It doesn’t take as much brine as one might imagine since all has been tamped down so tightly.  It is important to completely cover  entirely with brine)

Okay,  Here is my Final Secret:

This probably doesn’t happen to anyone else, I have no way of knowing.   I have a lovely pantry off my kitchen.  Its very convenient and practical.   The first time I made the fermented veggies, I had maybe 4 or 5 of those big jars and since they are rather large and take up some space, I put them high on a shelf where they would be undisturbed and under no threat whatsoever.  They leaked all over the place.    So since my very first time, I have learned to bring up the Coleman Cooler (used for cooling foods for a picnic) and place all the jars in that and just leave it on the floor in its quiet, safe environment where it is free to generate as much juicy overflow as it wants.   Since I wash it and clean it out after use, I’m sure one could use this juice.  But I’m a Virgo type who finds it difficult to share a bite of anything with anyone.  Ugh! I’m quite certain, its very healthy stuff, I just can’t drink it myself, tho I am sure it would heal something.

As an aside, its perfectly fine to save the brine from one batch to another – it is brimming with bacterial heavenly bodies

I generally leave my fermenting foods to percolate for 8 to 12 days.  Now that it is cooler,  especially.  Really warm weather will complete the process in a matter of days.   You can let your own taste buds be the judge.    Once you have determined it to be ‘cooked’, just put them in a frig which slows the process down.  They keep under refrigeration for many months they say.   I have never had any last that long.

About that Taste!

You have no doubt heard  that Fermented Foods or Kim-chi is an acquired taste?   It’s true.  For many people, it takes a little getting used to.   I remember how stunned I was after all that work and waiting to finally taste it and be so dumb-struck with the taste!  I emailed Alyson right away and she, God bless her,  got back to me just as fast, to hang in there, that I could get some corn chips or something to scoop up some quantity to get some of it into my body.  It was a good idea.  But by the time her message reached me, I had already got “used to it” and in fact, learned to really like it.  I try to take some of it with two out of three meals daily.    There are so many benefits its hard to enumerate.  One big plus is that I no longer worry about taking B-vitamins any more as my fermented veggies are making more and better Vit B than anything I could buy in a jar of pills.

Keep your eyes and ears open to find new and different recipes.  Be courageous – try new things, it really is fun.  Please drop me a line if you wouldn’t mind sharing how you are doing.                                                              Jan

(I am re-issuing this post as one of my favorite acquired friends from South Africa has been unable to access  this post from the archives.  I had no idea that this was a problem, and I regard this information to be important. Jan 4-2-12)

September 17, 2009

Building Strong Muscles – B.E.D.

Little-known Secret to Building Stronger Muscles: Probiotics


Here’s a secret: the same probiotics that restore your inner ecosystem also make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients and build muscle!

Restoring balance in your gut with probiotics boosts immunity and digestion, but did you know these healthy microflora also aid in muscle growth and weight loss?

If you’re trying to increase lean body mass, adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet will ensure more efficient digestion. And that leads to increased energy, better workouts, and easier muscle growth and repair.

The Link Between Probiotics and Muscle Growth

Kenneth Bock, M.D., the author of The Road to Immunity, says that gaining lean muscle mass is more work with an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract:

“Your colon, stomach and small intestine digest food and absorb nutrients. If either of these processes is hindered, it can result in a loss of nutrients, which your body borrows from skeletal muscle.”1

Muscle-building expert and registered dietitian, James Collier, agrees that a good supply of healthy bacteria makes protein more readily available to your muscles, and burns fat more easily.

Probiotics also help prevent intestinal infection, so your body is more likely to absorb more and better nutrients.

Now that you know how probiotics build stronger muscles, learn the most effective way to get these friendly bacteria thriving in your gut.

Will Probiotic Supplements and Mass-Market Products Do the Trick?

With the recent buzz about probiotics, it’s no wonder there are a lot of products at your local health food store designed to boost healthy microflora.

But how effective are they really?

How can you be sure that these probiotic supplements contain all the friendly microflora necessary to populate your gut, build your immunity, help you digest, and assist in lean muscle growth?

Unfortunately, the truth is that too many probiotic supplements vary widely in quality and potency.

One university study recently tested a wide variety of probiotic supplements and found that in four out of twenty products, no sign of living friendly bacteria was present.3

But What About Yogurt, You Say?

It’s true: many mass-produced food products such as Dannon Activa™ claim to decrease intestinal transit time.

While many yogurts do contain live active cultures, there are some problems:

  • Many include some pretty awful sugars including fructose, cornstarch, and modified cornstarch. Like most yogurts sold in your store, all that sugar and unnatural ingredients will definitely feed pathogenic microorganisms, like candida. And by the way you can be certain that eating any form of sugar causes you to lose muscle mass.
  • More importantly, most mass-produced yogurts (and fermented foods like sauerkraut) are not always potent enough to make a difference. 50% of products do not contain the healthy bacteria that they claim to have had at the time of manufacture.
  • Even those that do have enough healthy bacteria may not have the right mix of healthy microflora to repopulate your inner ecosystem. If they’re not prepared in a way that allows the most beneficial bacteria and yeast to thrive in your digestive system, harsh stomach acids can kill probiotics.

In general, we at Body Ecology are not fans of yogurt, and instead, we recommend young coconut kefir to first help your body build up the dairy-loving bacteria that most people today are missing…and then milk kefir when your inner ecosystem is balanced.

If your body can digest dairy without symptoms, milk kefir is the better alternative to mass-produced or even home-made yogurt. Milk kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food that supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins. It is more alive than yogurt and it can also be made using raw milk from cows, goats or sheep. When you do not heat the protein in milk it is much easier to digest.

Young coconut kefir and Milk kefir are easy to make at home with Body Ecology’s Kefir Starter.

Unlike commercial yogurts which contain probiotics that do NOT colonize your colon, the bacteria and beneficial yeast in kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, which is they key reason you are eating these foods in the first place.

Milk kefir is also great food for anyone wanting to gain more weight via increasing muscle mass not fat. But, alas, not everyone can drink milk products today and are casein intolerant. Again, often drinking the young coconut kefir for a month or so and then slowly introducing dairy kefir may allow you to drink it safely. The young coconut kefir introduces the dairy-loving bacteria to your gut so that when you slowly introduce the casein-rich milk kefir, these bacteria (who were originally grown on milk) and can “learn” how to digest the new food. Just give them time to become skilled at breaking it down effectively by going slowly…about 1/4th cup per day for a week to ten days and then increasing in small increments.

Want to Accelerate Your Gut Recovery, Loose Weight, and Gain Lean Muscle Faster?

If you want to lose weight and gain muscle faster, then forget health food store probiotic supplements and revitalize your gut with potent, real fermented foods and drinks.

Probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks multiply the nutrition in your food hundreds of times, nourishing you more with less food. On top of that, they help build healthy bacteria that keep you naturally slim. Research shows that people of normal weight have different bacteria in their guts than obese people.4

With a healthy inner ecosystem, you’ll feel satiated sooner.

Plus, microflora reduce cravings for processed sugars and alcohol – two big roadblocks to weight loss and a leaner body.

Here are some tips for easily incorporating probiotics into your diet the most effective way:

  • Consume probiotic drinks, such as Innergy-Biotic, as an alternative to sugary sports drinks.

    is a delicious, low-calorie source of probiotics that’s gluten-free and provides you with loads of energy. It’s a double whammy for good lean muscle growth – it’ll give you the energy you need for great workouts AND heal your digestive track for better nutrient-absorbtion.
Innergy-BioticBuild Mucles Faster and More Effectively with Delicious Innergy-Biotic! Try this gluten-free energy performance drink, and you’ll never go back to those mass-produced, sugary sports drinks again! With Innergy-Biotic, you get a probiotic-rich whole food in liquid form that boosts your digestion of protein and other important nutrients for fast, effective muscle growth. Boost your energy and digestion today with Innergy-Biotic!.
  • To make affordable, delicious fermented superfoods at home, try Body Ecology’s Starter Kits .
  • To turn healthy vegetables into your fat-burning, muscle-building allies, make raw cultured vegetables. By introducing beneficial bacteria into your system, you’ll more effectively control your weight and set the stage for easier muscle building.
  • Need a caffeine fix in the morning or for afternoon slumps? Instead, boost your energy naturally while healing your digestive tract with vitamin-mineral-probiotic rich Vitality SuperGreen.  Just add two scoops to eight ounces of water and watch your energy soar. If you’re trying to gain healthy weight, it provides extra nourishment with added to a larger meal.

However you choose to get in the best shape of your life, remember that lean muscle mass is key to a healthy body. Scientists agree that building muscle helps burn fat.

If you’ve been struggling with weight loss or your muscle growth is stalling, probiotics are the little-known tool for increased health and energy. With probiotics as part of your plan, you’ll have extra help that goes a long way.

August 18, 2009

B.E.D. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis: The Symptoms, Causes and the Body Ecology Approach to Healing


Whether you’re on this side of 60 or the other, you need to get serious about preventing diverticulosis. Follow Body Ecology’s simple steps to increase fiber, heal your colon and keep on kicking!

In the US, more than 50 percent of people older than 60 have diverticula, according to the Mayo Clinic!1

Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly common condition, what causes it, and the natural Body Ecology approach to prevention and treatment.


Diverticulitis is an acute condition caused by diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis occurs when small, bulging pouches (called diverticula) form in your digestive tract. But just because you have diverticulosis does NOT mean you have diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis is when those diverticula pouches become inflamed.

Symptoms of the inflamed diverticula can be:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • May feel like appendicitis, but in your lower left abdomen (instead of the right)

Doctors will use blood tests as well as CT scans and X-rays to determine if your abdominal pain is indeed diverticulitis, and then treatment depends on the severity and frequency of your inflammation.

Treatment for mild symptoms includes:

  • Rest
  • Perhaps a liquid diet for a few days
  • Antibiotics

More serious cases involve actually removing the diseased parts of your colon.

Diverticulosis: The Risk Factors

Don’t let diverticulosis (and possibility diverticulitis) creep on you. Answer these questions to determine if you are at risk.

First, how old are you?

This is a tough one to change, so anyone over 40 needs to be vigilant about preventing diverticula.

Next, how much fiber do you eat every day, on average?

Low fiber intake (thanks to processed foods with little nutrition) is seen as the culprit behind the growing number of cases of diverticulitis.

Put down the processed foods and begin to eat a whole food diet, like the Body Ecology program. Just make sure to add fiber gradually, or you may upset your stomach. Aim to eat 30 grams of fiber per day. Most people think fiber is flax and hempseed fiber, Metamucil or psyllium husks. But your best source of fiber is vegetables…and The Body Ecology Diet is a high-fiber, plant-based diet.

Finally, how much do you actually exercise?

Be honest on this one… Researchers are not sure why there is a link, but apparently people who exercise regularly are less likely to have diverticulosis than those who do not.

Perhaps it’s because exercise encourages effective elimination and a healthy colon? Regardless of the reason, 30 minutes a day will give you a head start against diverticulitis.

How Body Ecology Can Help

The Body Ecology System for health and healing is ideal for encouraging a healthy colon. So if you want to prevent or slow the progression of diverticulosis, naturally, Body Ecology is a great solution.

The Body Ecology system is great for a diverticulitis diet because it:

  • Creates a healthy inner ecosystem in your intestines with fermented foods and drinks, which encourage the growth of microflora (good bacteria and yeast) that keep you healthy and strong
  • Is naturally high in fiber-rich foods that taste great and help you feel satisfied
  • Encourages regular cleansing to keep your colon in tip top shape
  • Replaces nutrient-empty processed foods with plenty of vegetables and Body Ecology grain-like seeds
  • Helps your body build up its energy stores, so your body can heal and so you can exercise.

To get started on the Body Ecology system for health and healing, be sure to read The Quick & Easy Guide to Improving Your Health on the Body Ecology Program Part I: The First 7 Steps to Great Health.

Also remember that if you have just had diverticulitis, you may need to follow a special diverticulitis diet that is low in fiber while your colon heals. Then you can begin to incorporate Body Ecology principles step by step into your life.

Other tips to help you stay healthy:

If you are serious about avoiding the fate of half the American population over 60, let Vitality SuperGreen can be in your first line of defense! Vitality SuperGreen helps you build (or re-build) your intestinal lining AND provides probiotics to help your body digest and heal.. It’s not too late. Whether you’ve had diverticulitis or want to avoid it in the future, Vitality SuperGreen is the nourishing drink that can keep your digestive tract happy for the long term. Try Vitality SuperGreen and see how tasty health can be!
  1. 1. Drink Vitality SuperGreen every day. If there is one thing you do for your intestinal health every day, let it be a dose or two of Vitality SuperGreen. This super nourishing whole food drink tastes great mixed into your favorite liquid and sets the stage for a healthy colon.

    Packed with fermented vegetables, grasses, algae, sea vegetables and special ingredients like GlutImmune (a more easily absorbed form of Glutamine), Vitality SuperGreen helps soothe and rebuild the lining of your intestines.

    And it is the best tasting green food on the market!

  2. Drink plenty of water. When you consume healthy amounts of fiber, you will need to hydrate your body more regularly. So consider getting a large water bottle and refilling it several times per day as you drink between meals.
  3. Go to the bathroom. When you have to go, don’t hold it. That just builds up pressure. Go as soon as you possibly can, and your body will be more at ease.
  4. Exercise with a rebounder! This top recommended exercise gives your body all the benefits of fitness without the strain on your joints. Rain or shine, and regardless of your fitness level, rebounding is the ideal exercise.

Let Body Ecology’s simple principles guide you to a life free from diverticulosis with lots of fiber, tasty fermented foods and drinks, regular exercise and plenty of water.

You, your colon, and your doctor will all be happy!


1 Diverticulitis.

  • Copyright © 2009 Donna Gates; all rights reserved |

August 17, 2009

Beating Autism Naturally

Beating Autism Naturally: How Body Ecology Mom, Gina LaVerde, Healed Her Son of Autism


Gina LaVerde healed her son, Dougie, of autism by focusing on the Body Ecology diet, probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks and other healing practices. Find out how this passionate mom changed her life, her son’s life and the lives of her family.

We recently met with Gina LaVerde, a BEDROK mom (Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids) who shared her inspiring story of healing her son of autism.

Q. When did you first learn that your son, Dougie, had autism?

A. I first suspected autism when Dougie was about a year old. While he was born with some complications, he developed normally in the first year. At nine months, he was walking, talking and identifying things.

I have always known about health…I even made homemade, organic baby food for Dougie. I thought I was doing everything right.

But around age one, Dougie stopped talking.

At the time, I only knew a little about autism, so I called my aunt, who was a special education teacher and asked her to come over and help determine if Dougie had autism.

My aunt brought a colleague who was a speech therapist and while they were not certain if Dougie had autism, they suspected he did. My aunt told me that autism was not curable, but I chose not to believe her. It was then I began my journey to find the answers to heal Dougie.

Q. What steps did you take to help Dougie heal from autism?

A. I didn’t make a lot of changes at first and focused mostly on research.

But around Dougie’s last set of vaccines (he had most of the vaccines, but not the MMR) at 18 months, he got really sick with sore throats, rashes and high fever. At that time, he went on five different antibiotics for a period of five months.

It was at this time, my research led me to information about candida.

Dougie’s medical doctor didn’t really know about candida, so I continued my search until I found Diane Farr’s story about healing her son of autism on the Body Ecology website.

This is when I started working on changing Dougie’s diet and my own, because I felt that I had candida as well.

Q. Was it difficult to change Dougie’s diet?

A. It was challenging because when Dougie was on antibiotics, all he wanted to eat were foods like pizza and French fries. But we overcame that by slowly introducing fermented foods and drinks , like cultured vegetables and young coconut kefir. We also introduced healthy soups.

I started out slowly, but giving Dougie a teaspoon of young coconut kefir and then a French fry and gradually increasing the amount of young coconut kefir while reducing the amount of French fries. Within 3 days, Dougie was drinking a cup of young coconut kefir.

I was always looking for inventive ways to get Dougie (and my husband!) to eat healthy foods. Stevia was particularly useful because Dougie would eat anything with a little stevia, even his green juices.

Kefir StarterWant to make your own young coconut kefir? You can with Kefir Starter! Follow the instructions in the box for a delicious, healing beverage that delivers energy and immune-boosting probiotics in every sip! Learn more about Kefir Starter and start fermenting today.

These days, we ferment everything from coconut water, mangosteen juice, acai juice, and beet juice to all kinds of veggie mixes, dips, sauces and salad dressings.

The probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks made a HUGE difference in Dougie’s health.

Within less than a month, he began to have eye contact. This was a big relief and we took Dougie off antibiotics, even though the doctor said he still needed them. Since Dougie and I both had the same symptoms of candida, I took him to my doctor and we used all the same remedies for Dougie that I did for myself.

Around this time, Dougie became physically well, even though he still had some behaviors of autism.

Within two months of starting the fermented foods and drinks and changing his diet, Dougie became very healthy physically and he has not been sick since January of 2006.

While Dougie was always vegetarian, I thought following Body Ecology meant we’d have to give him meat. But after learning more about Body Ecology, I realized that the Body Ecology principles were the most important and I could follow them as a vegetarian, vegan or with raw food.

These days, we focus on a vegan, high raw diet (mostly raw food diet) with plenty of vegetables, algae, fermented foods and drinks and blended foods.

Dougie also occasionally wants things like eggs and when he asks for something like this, I feel he’s doing it for a reason, so I give it to him. We are still eating low to no sugar and no gluten.

Believe it or not, the biggest challenge was with our family.

They felt like the changes we were making in Dougie’s diet would hurt him, so we had to distance ourselves from family members who did not support what we were doing.

Kefir StarterA probiotic-rich fermented drink that kids love! Can’t find coconuts to make young coconut kefir? Want something faster and more convenient? If you want to introduce your kids to fermented foods and drinks, Passion Fruit Biotic is an easy (and delicious!) way to do it. Full of probiotics that help heal digestion, boost immunity, eliminate cravings for processed foods and improve energy, Passion Fruit Biotic is your best bet for helping even the pickiest eaters heal. Learn more about Passion Fruit Biotic and try some today!

Q. How are things going with Dougie today?

A. Dougie is doing really well today. We have recovered his health and he shows no signs of autism.

I am so grateful for what Dougie taught me. My health, my husband’s health and even my extended family’s health has improved. Formerly skeptics, everyone in my family is now on probiotics.

My experience with Dougie changed my life. I went from doing work in advertising and freelance writing assignments that I didn’t really like, to helping people heal. Helping others is my passion and I feel like I am doing meaningful work consulting with other moms and families to heal themselves and their children.

While I have definite opinions on how to help people heal, I also value the beliefs and opinions others have for their own healing journey.

With Dougie, Body Ecology was a major part of his healing path and we also incorporated a variety of energy healing practices, like Reiki, along with dry skin brushing, baths, castor oil packs, movement therapy and sound therapy. All of these things help to relax the body to promote healing and open up the avenues for detox.

The most important thing for everyone to remember, whether addressing their own health or the health of their child is the principle of step by step. Getting well and detoxifying your body takes time and it’s important to work on one thing at a time.

And most of all, be willing to say “I don’t have to be like everyone else, I have to do what’s best for myself or my child.”

Gina’s Free Upcoming Webinar: Autism Undone

Join Gina LaVerde and Body Ecology Coach, Christina Allen, as they candidly discuss the methods they’ve successfully used to bring their own families and clients to optimal health. Learn about autism recovery, Body Ecology, fermented foods and raw foods.

Tuesday, August 18th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Click here to learn more and register.

About Gina LaVerde:

Gina LaVerde is a writer, Body Ecology/Raw Foods Nutritional Coach and energy healer. You can learn more about Gina and the healing practices she recommends by reading her blog: You can contact Gina by e-mail at or by phone: 773-540-9328.

July 31, 2009

Soy – Good/Bad?

Remember I was so impressed with Donna Gates (B.E.D.)  article on “Natto”  that I set about trying to find out how to “ferment” soybeans myself so that I could benefit from it too.   Researching on the internet brought a few sources and one very good tho not specific enough for me article.  If I am going to go to that trouble and smallish expense, I want to be sure that I am in agreement with it, it makes sense and seems plausible.  Still workin on it.   But in my snooping around, I did come across a wonderful article  abstracted from an article written by Sally Fallon together with another expert by the name of  Mary Enig Phd., international expert in the field of lipid chemistry, done back in September, 1995.   Well, I had not read anything like it before,  so here it is.  Well worth your time.

There is a big difference in what one can expect from soy beans depending on what happened to them before they ever hit your plate.  I only wish we could reach the 1ooo’s of babies out there being fed some form of soy in either their formula or other food.  I have learned we cannot change the world, all we can do is hold up our end of it and do what we think best.

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History of Soybeans

Soybeans come to us from the Orient. During the Chou Dynasty (1134-246 BC) the soybean was designated one of the five sacred grains, along with barley, wheat, millet and rice. However, the pictograph for the soybean, which dates from earlier times, indicates that it was not first used as a food; for whereas the pictographs for the other four grains show the seed and stem structure of the plant, the pictograph for the soybean emphasizes the root structure. Agricultural literature of the period speaks frequently of the soybean and its use in crop rotation. Apparently the soy plant was initially used as a method of fixing nitrogen. The soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques, sometime during the Chou Dynasty. Thus the first soy foods were fermented products like tempeh, natto, miso and shogu (soy or tamari sauce).

At a later date, possibly in the 2nd century B.C., Chinese scientists discovered that a puree of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth pale curd -tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon spread to other parts of the Orient, notably Japan and Indonesia. Although the highly flavored fermented products have elicited greater interest among scientists and epicures, it is the bland precipitated products that are most frequently used, accounting for approximately 90% of the processed soybeans consumed in Asia today. The increased reliance on bean curd as a source of protein, which occurred between 700 A. D. and the present time, has not necessarily been a beneficial change for the populations of the Orient and Southeast Asia.

Fit for Human Consumption?

The Chinese, did not eat the soybean as they did other pulses (legumes) such as the lentil, because the soybean contains large quantities of a number of harmful a substances. First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors which block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.

These”antinutrients” are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking and can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer. The soybean also contains hemagglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. Trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinin have been rightly labeled growth depressant substances. Fortunately they are deactivated during the process of fermentation. However, in precipitated products, enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than in the curd. Thus in tofu and bean curd, these enzyme inhibitors are reduced in quantity, but not completely eliminated.

Soybeans are also high in phytic acid or phytates. This is an organic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds, which blocks the uptake of essential minerals-calcium, magnesium, iron and especially zinc-in the intestinal tract. Although not a household word, phytates have been extensively studied. Scientists are in general agreement that grain and legume based diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries.

Analysis shows that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten in these areas, but the high phytate content of soy and rice based diets prevents their absorption. The soybean has a higher phytate content than any other grain or legume that has been studied. Furthermore, it seems to be highly resistant to many phytate reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. Thus fermented products such as tempeh and miso provide nourishment that is easily assimilated, but the nutritional value of tofu and bean curd, both high in phytates, is questionable.

When precipitated soy products are consumed with meat, the mineral blocking effects of the phytates are reduced. The Japanese traditionally eat tofu as part of a mineral-rich fish broth. Vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium and iron deficiency are well known, those of zinc are less so. Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation, it Is involved in the blood sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system.

Zinc is a key component in numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system. Phytates found in soy products interfere with zinc absorption more completely than with other minerals. Literature extolling soy products tends to minimize the role of zinc in human physiology, and to gloss over the deleterious effect of diets high in phytic acid.

Milk drinking is given as the reason second generation Japanese in America grow taller than their native ancestors. Some investigators postulate that the reduced phytate content of the American diet-whatever maybe its other deficiencies-is the true explanation, pointing out that Asian and Oriental children who do not get enough meat and fish products to counteract the effects of a high phytate diet, frequently suffer rickets, stunting and other growth problems.

Marketing the Soybean

The truth is, however, that most Americans are unlikely to adopt traditional soy products as their principle food. Tofu, bean curd and tempeh have disagreeable texture and are too bland for the Western palate; pungent and tasty miso and natto lose out in taste; only soy sauce enjoys widespread popularity as a condiment. The soy industry has therefore looked for other ways to market the superabundance of soybeans now grown in the United States.

Large scale cultivation of the soybean in the United States began only after the Second World War, and quickly rose to 140 billion pounds per year. Most of the crop is made into animal feed, soy oil for hydrogenated fats margarine and shortening. During the past 20 years, the industry has concentrated on finding markets for the byproducts of soy oil manufacture, including soy “lecithin”, made from the oil sludge, and soy protein products, made from defatted soy flakes, a challenge that has involved overcoming consumer resistance to soy products, generally considered tasteless “poverty” foods.

The quickest way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society,” said a soy industry spokesman, ” … is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society.”” Hence the proliferation of soy products resembling traditional American foods-soy milk for cows milk, soy baby formula, soy yogurt, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy flour for baking and textured soy protein as meat substitutes, usually promoted as high protein, low-fat, no cholesterol “health foods” to the upscale consumer increasingly concerned about his health. The growth of vegetarianism among the more affluent classes has greatly accelerated the acceptability and use of these artificial products. Unfortunately they pose numerous dangers.

Processing Denatures and Dangers Remain

The production of soy milk is relatively simple. In order to remove as much of the trypsin inhibitor content as possible, the beans are first soaked in an alkaline solution. The pureed solution is then heated to about 115 degrees Centigrade in a pressure cooker. This method destroys most (but not all) of the anti-nutrients but has the unhappy side effect of so denaturing the proteins that they become very difficult to digest and much reduced in effectiveness. The phytate content remains in soy milk to block the uptake of essential minerals. In addition, the alkaline soaking solution produces a carcinogen, lysinealine, and reduces the cystine content, which is already low in the soybean. Lacking cystine, the entire protein complex of the soybean becomes useless unless the diet is fortified with cystine-rich meat, eggs, or dairy products.

Most soy products that imitate traditional American food items, including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk, are made with soy protein isolate, that is the soy protein isolated from the carbohydrate and fatty acid components that naturally occur in the bean. Soy beans are first ground and subjected to high-temperature and solvent extraction processes to remove the oils. The resultant defatted meal is then mixed with an alkaline solution and sugars in a separation process to remove fiber. Then it is precipitated and separated using an acid wash. Finally the resultant curds are neutralized in an alkaline solution and spray dried at high temperatures to produce high protein powder.

This is a highly refined product in which both vitamin and protein quality are compromised-but some trypsin inhibitors remain, even after such extreme refining. Trypsin inhibitor content of soy protein isolate can vary as much as 5-fold. In rats, even low level trypsin inhibitor soy protein isolate feeding results in reduced weight gain compared to controls. Soy product producers are not required to state trypsin inhibitor content on labels, nor even to meet minimum standards, and the public, trained to avoid dietary cholesterol, a substance vital for normal growth and metabolism, has never heard of the potent anti-nutrients found in cholesterol-free soy products.

Soy Formula Is Not the Answer

Soy protein isolate is the main ingredient of soy-based infant formulas. Along with trypsin inhibitors, these formulas have a high phytate content. Use of soy formula has caused zinc deficiency in infants. Aluminum content of soy formula is 10 times greater than milk based formula, and 100 times greater than unprocessed milk. Aluminum has a toxic effect on the kidneys of infants, and has been implicated as cause in Alzheimer’s in adults.

Soy milk formulas are often given to babies with milk allergy; but allergies to soy are almost as common as those to milk. Soy formulas lack cholesterol which is absolutely essential for the development of the brain and nervous system; they also lack lactose and galactose, which play an equally important role in the development of the nervous system. I would strongly discourage the use of soy formulas.

Nitrosamines, which are potent carcinogens, are often found in soy protein foods, and are greatly increased during the high temperature drying process. Not surprisingly, animal feeding studies show a lower weight gain for rats on soy formula than those on whole milk, high-lactose formula; similar results have been observed in children on macrobiotic diets which include the use of soy milk and large amounts of whole grains. Children brought up on high-phytate diets tend to be thin and scrawny.

Fabricated Soy Foods

A final indignity to the original soy bean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate to product textured vegetable protein (TVP). Numerous artificial flavorings, particularly MSG, are added to TVP products to mask their strong “beany” taste, and impart the flavor of meat. Soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein are used extensively in school lunch programs, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast food products. They are heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food give-away programs. These soy products greatly inhibit zinc and iron absorption; in test animals they cause enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver.

Human feeding tests to determine the cholesterol lowering properties of soy protein isolate have not shown them to be effective. Nevertheless, they are often promoted as having beneficial effects on cholesterol levels.

Cancer Preventing or Cancer Causing?

The food industry also touts soy products for their cancer preventing properties. Isoflavone aglycones are anticarcinogenic substances found in traditionally fermented soybean products. However, in non-fermented soy products such as tofu and soy milk, these isoflavones are present in an altered form as beta-glycoside conjugates, which have no anti-carcinogenic effect. Some researchers believe the rapid increase in liver and pancreatic cancer in Africa is due to the introduction of soy products there.

The fatty acid profile of the soybean includes large amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids compared to other pulses legumes); but these omega-3 fatty acids are particularly susceptible to rancidity when subjected to high pressures and temperatures. This is exactly what is required to remove oil from the bean, as soybean oil is particularly difficult to extract. hexane or other solvents are always used to extract oil from soybeans, and traces remain in the commercial product.

While fermented soy products contain protein, vitamins, anti-carcinogenic substances and important fatty acids, they can under no circumstances be called nutritionally complete. Like all pulses, the soybean lacks vital sulfur-containing amino acids cystine and methionine. These are usually supplied by rice and other grains in areas where the soybean is traditionally consumed. Soy should never be considered as a substitute for animal products like meat or milk. Claims that fermented soy products like tempeh can be relied on as a source of vitamin B12, necessary for healthy blood and nervous system, have not been supported by scientific research.,’ Finally, soybeans do not supply all-important fat soluble vitamins D and preformed A (retinol) which act as catalysts for the proper absorption and utilization of all minerals and water soluble vitamins in the diet.

These “fat soluble activators” are found only in certain animal foods such as organ meats, butter, eggs, fish and shellfish. Carotenes from plant foods and exposure to sunlight are not sufficient to supply the body’s requirements for vitamins A and D. Soy products often replace animal products in third world countries where intake of B12 and fat soluble A and D are already low. Soy products actually increase requirements for vitamins B12 and D.

Are soy products easy to digest, as claimed? Fermented soy products probably are; but unfermented products with their cargo of phytates, enzyme inhibitors, rancid fatty acids and altered proteins most certainly are not. Pet food manufacturers promote soy free dog and cat food as “highly digestible”

Only Fermented Soy Products Are Safe

To summarize, traditional fermented soy products such as miso, natto and tempeh, which are usually made with organically grown soybeans, have a long history of use that is generally beneficial when combined with other elements of the Oriental diet including rice, sea foods, fish broth, organ meats and fermented vegetables. The value of precipitated soybean products is problematical, especially when they form the major source of protein in the diet. Modern soy products including soy milks and artificial meat and dairy products made from soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein are new to the diet and pose a number of serious problems.

The above information was abstracted from an article written by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D. (an international expert renown in the field of lipid chemistry) for Health Freedom News in September of 1995.

Protein Needs for Blood Type A People

Blood type A people should be nearly vegetarians. The above information should make it clear that you should avoid most soy products unless they are fermented (tempeh and miso). You should not have soy protein or tofu. To obtain optimal protein though you will need to eat about a dozen organic eggs per week, unless you are allergic to them. Try not to eat them on consecutive days. You should also soak your seeds and nuts overnight to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors and phytates. It would be even better if you could continue the process until they sprout which is usually from 2-5 days depending on the temperature and the seeds. You will have to rinse the seeds every 12 hours and let them drain. This will completely deactivate the antinutrients and increase the live enzyme content of the seeds and nuts. The nutritional value will probably increase by 2-300%.

Generally you will need 20 to 35 grams of protein at EACH meal. The following is a list of how many grams of protein there are in one cup of:

pecans 9.9; walnuts 14.8; cashews 24.1;
almonds 26.4; pistachio 26; sunflower 34.8
peanuts 37.7; pumpkin seeds 40.6;

Spirulina has incredible health benefits and is probably one of the main reasons why fish are so healthy for you. It is highly likely you can obtain even more benefits from the Spirulina with none of the complications of heavy metal or pesticide contamination present in nearly all fish. Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is nearly two-thirds protein. It also has large amounts of chlorophyll and is very valuable to help detoxify the body from heavy metals and radiation. It is also loaded with GLA, which is the main essential fatty acid present in evening primrose or borage oil.

Six tablets contain 2 grams of protein, so you will need approximately 50 tablets if you were to use them as a protein supplement for one meal. I strongly recommend this as a substitute for soy protein. I would try to have at least 4-6 servings per week for anyone who is struggling with chronic illness or looking to optimize their health, especially if they are blood type A.

July 30, 2009

Natto, fermented soy

Now this is something which I have not fermented,  but after this, I will look into it.  The health benefits sound amazing!        Thank you Donna Gates.

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Natto – the little-known food with big benefits for your Heart and Skin

by BodyEcology

  • Haven’t yet tried natto? Body Ecology will explain how this fermented soybean dish from Japan increases all-around wellness and youthfulness, and why you should incorporate it into your diet.
    • If you want beautiful skin, a healthy heart and strong bones, it’s time you try vitamin-rich natto.

    Natto is a traditional Japanese dish made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis1 . Keep in mind that we do not recommend eating soybeans unless they are fermented.

    The key element in natto is the fermentation of the soybeans, which make them easier to digest while increasing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

    Fermented foods and drinks, such as natto, are the cornerstone of the Body Ecology Diet because they are a great source of probiotics.

    Natto has a long history as a super food. It has a stringy consistency, strong smell and an acquired taste.

    Primarily eaten as a breakfast staple in Japan for over 1,000 years, natto is a great source of protein and is low in calories. But it goes even further to enhance your inner and outer health.

    Natto and Vitamin K

    Unlike many foods that are only rich in Vitamin K1, natto is rich in both types of Vitamin K.

    Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and makes up about 90 per cent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet. Vitamin K2 isn’t produced in plants, but by various types of bacteria. It makes up only about 10 per cent of Western vitamin K consumption2.

    Natto increases the health and strength of your skin, heart and bones.

    Here are some of the many health benefits of natto:

    • Natto is especially rich in vitamin K2, which could reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women by as much as 80 per cent3
    • Fermented soybeans such as natto contain Vitamin PQQ, which is very important for the skin. PQQ in human tissues is derived mainly from diet.4
    • Vitamin K is repeatedly shown to reduce blood clots by slowing arterial calcification, enhance liver function and encourage the flow of urine.
    • Vitamin K2 has a better bioavailability that K1. Studies show that this molecule remains in the body for a longer period and is more effective at lower doses, hence is much more bio-effective.5
    • Additionally, natto suppresses immune reactions.6
    InnergyBioticReady to add probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks to your diet? Sipping just 2 oz. of Innergy-Biotic helps boost your energy, strengthen your immunity and provides a good source of vitamin K2. Learn more about Innergy-Biotic and get yours today!

    Tips for Enjoying Natto

    Eating natto as a food is far better than taking the supplement version, which is less potent and less effective. You can find it at Asian markets and some health food stores.

    While fermented foods and drinks all have an acquired taste, natto may take more time to get used to than cultured vegetables or probiotic liquids. But the taste is definitely worth acquiring!

    When you take the natto out of its package, pour it into a bowl and, using a fork, whip it about 50 times until it gets kind of foamy. In Japan, natto is commonly served over rice but instead, we recommend you add: plenty of cultured vegetables, mustard (made with apple cider vinegar), wheat free tamari, scallions and if you like, a little wasabi.

    Even if you’ve experienced soy allergies, natto may not bother you.  The fermentation process breaks down the difficult-to-digest proteins that many are sensitive to, rendering them unrecognizable as a problem food to your immune system!

    Now that you know the vitality secret the Japanese have know for a thousand years, make fermented foods and drinks, like natto, part of YOUR diet today.


    1 Madigan M, Martinko J (editors). (2005). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-144329-1.

    2 Study strengthens Vitamin K1’s heart benefits:

    3 Journal of Nutrition, May 2006 (Vol. 136, pp. 1323-1328):

    4 T Kumazawa, K Sato, H Seno, A Ishii, O Suzuki (01 April 1995). “Levels of pyrroloquinoline quinone in various foods”. Biochem. J. 307 (Pt 2): 331–333. PMID 7733865. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.

    5 Vitamin K1 and K2:

    6 Kuniyasu Soda, Yoshihiko Kano, Takeshi Nakamura, Keizo Kasono, Masanobu Kawakami and Fumio Konishi (July 2005). “Spermine, a natural polyamine, suppresses LFA-1 expression on human lymphocyte”. The Journal of Immunology. 175 (1): 237–45. PMID 15972654.

    May 14, 2009

    B.E.D. Clears myths

    Donna Gates of B.E.D. clears up the confusing mystique surrounding some of the foods we love best.   Useful and vital information on butter,  meats,  eggs,  fish and raw vegetables.  With so many “authorities” – – many of whom we really trust at odds over whether we should even eat these foods,  it is often a confusing task to take care of our bodies for the highest and best good.   So where do I come down?  (This is Jan in deep conflict!)  I have been convinced through evidence of my own experience that to omit animal products from my diet immediately relieves my body of the pain of arthritis, swelling and stiffness.  Since I won’t take medications for the condition, I found this a blessed relief.  It is easy to stay on a vegetarian diet and  need I say – – far cheaper  (a  boom to my struggling budget).  I LOVE veggies,  fruit,  nuts,  most starches such as red potatoes,  rice, lentils and so on.  I like everything from peas,  artichoke,  okra,  zucchini,  summer squash, patty pan(when I can find it), broccoli,  crazy about crisp green beans with mushrooms, and all the goodies for salads – EVERYTHING!.  Corn is one of my flat-out favorite things, but I will have nothing to do with Monsanto and their Genetically Modified corn or soy or whatever.  So unless the corn in the store says “organic”,  I’ll have nothing to do with it.  Isn’t that a crime? Does anyone else agree with me?

    I have posted on Fermented Veggies – I make them regularly and noticed a huge improvement in digestive problems. I used to think I had celiac troubles, but I don’t – – it was unbalanced intestinal flora which the probiotics of fermented veggies have been instrumental in correcting.  I actually enjoy the hassel of doing the kitchen stuff – always have.  So while it IS kind of a big deal to make your own fermented vegetables,  its a couple of hours well spent which then carries you for several months depending on how much volume you have created.  I try to have about 1/2 cup at each of 1 – 2 meals daily and have found that an ounce of Dong Quai first thing in the morning can start my whole organism off splendidly.  Drink lots of water (distill my own) Furthermore, I have always tended toward middle of the road “balance”.  I don’t go easily to extremes, something about it is off-putting.  No problem in living without bovine meat stuff, same with porcine meat.  I am fond of chicken and really love fish.  The way fowl is raised in todays environment no longer agrees with my sense of whats healthy for my body. I won’t take anti-biotics for my own illnesses, so why should I eat animal protein which has been raised on chemicals and antibiotics? Can not do it.  Still buy wild Salmon, love sardines, have given up cheeses (one of my passions), don’t drink milk tho I love it. But I have never given up butter.  For over 40 years, I have been concockting my own butter in the kitchen.  I used to make it in a blender,  but use a food processor as it is easier and gets the job done better.  A pound of butter (I prefer unsalted and as close to raw as I can get – hard to do), I add to this 5 – 7 ounces of my distilled water and  same with Saff-flower oil (cold- pressed).  Blend at top speed a minute or so and voila – delicious, healthy (lower calorie), whipped butter – which is so easy to spread on whatever you plan to put it on.  One can go crazy with flavored butters (garlic and so on).   So my family has always used butter and we all have low cholesterol – go figure!

    Enuff digression!  Back to B.E.D.,  Today’s newsletter instucts vital info on butter,  eggs,  meat,  fish,  and raw vegetables.  All really good info I wanted to pass on to you.  I couldn’t manage to get it over here to my blog, so I just copied the first one on butter.  You can access B.E.D. from my blogroll to get the rest of the newsletter (5-14-09)   Enjoy and stay healthy. . . . .   .    .

    The Body Ecology Newsletter

    Body Ecology

    Body Ecology’s Health and Wellness e-newsletter

    There can be a lot of conflicting information on the following five different types of common foods.  Below are the myths, truths and important insights for you:

    The 20 Health Benefits of Real Butter

    By Donna Gates for

    Are you worried about your health? Contrary to popular belief, completely eliminating butter from your diet may be BAD for your health! Learn all the benefits of eating butter here!

    The origins of butter go back thousands of years to when our ancestors first started domesticating animals. In fact, the first written reference to butter was found on a 4500- year old limestone tablet illustrating how butter was made.1

    In India, ghee (clarified butter) has been used as a staple food, and as a symbol of purity, worthy of offering to the gods in religious ceremonies for more than 3000 years.2

    The Bible has references to butter as the product of milk from the cow, and of Abraham setting butter and milk from a calf before three angels who appeared to him on the plains of Mamre.3

    For millennia, people around the globe have prized butter for its health benefits.

    So how did butter become a villain in the quest for good health?

    At the turn of our century, heart disease in America was rare. By 1960, it was our number one killer. Yet during the same time period, butter consumption had decreased – from eighteen pounds per person per year, to four.4

    A researcher named Ancel Keys was the first to propose that saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet were to blame for coronary heart disease (CAD).

    Numerous subsequent studies costing hundreds of millions of dollars, have failed to conclusively back up this claim.5

    Yet the notion that a healthy diet is one with minimal fat, particularly saturated fat, has persisted. While Americans drastically reduced their intake of natural animal fats like butter and meat, the processed food industry, particularly the low-fat food industry, proliferated.

    When the baby boomers were children, concerned mothers began to replace butter with margarine. The margarine manufacturers told them it was the healthier alternative and mothers believed them. In those days no one asked, “where is the science to prove it? I want to know before I give this man-made, plastized stuff to my children. After all we humans have been eating butter for thousands of years?”.

    As a result, since the early 1970’s, Americans’ average saturated fat intake has dropped considerably, while rates of obesity, diabetes, and consequently, heart disease, have surged.

    Reducing healthy sources of dietary fat has contributed to a serious decline in our well-being, and those of us that speak out against the anti-fat establishment are still largely ignored .

    Is Margarine Better than Butter?

    No! This is a tragic myth. Butter is a completely natural food essential to your health – especially when you eat organic. Also, please make the extra effort to obtain high-quality organic, raw butter.

    Margarines, on the other hand, are a processed food, created chemically from refined polyunsaturated oils. The process used to make these normally liquid oils into spread-able form is called hydrogenation.

    Margarine and similar hydrogenated or processed polyunsaturated oils are potentially more detrimental to your health than any saturated fat.7 For more information on why you should avoid all processed oils read Why the Processing of Consumable Oils Has Devastated America’s Health.
    Include Real Butter as part of Your Body Ecology Lifestyle

    As many of you already know, I am a strong proponent of including a variety of healthy oils and fats into your diet. Together they work as a team to supply your body with essential fatty acids for longevity, hormone balance, heart health, sharp vision, glowing moist skin and energy. The wonderful variety of oils and fats certainly includes organic, preferably raw butter. Cultured raw butter is even better.

    And why would I be so insistent that you eat butter? Take a look at the long list of the benefits you receive when you include it in your diet:8

    1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
    2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
    3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
    4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
    5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
    6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
    7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
    8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
    9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
    10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
    11. Protects against tooth decay.
    12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
    13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
    14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
    15. Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
    16. May promote fertility in women.9
    17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.
    18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
    19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
    20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.

    Raw, Organic Butter is the Best

    Believe me this is only a partial list. If a woman is pregnant, hopes to become pregnant or is nursing her baby, I think it should even become a law for her to eat butter for her baby’s developing brain, bones and teeth.

    The best butter you can eat is raw, organic butter because pasteurization destroys nutrients. Unfortunately, the sale of raw butter is prohibited in most of our 50 states.

    Are you finding it difficult to get organic, raw butter? Don’t worry! Making your own delicious cultured butter with Body Ecology Culture Starter is an easy way to get on the right track towards health

    You can, however, make your own healthy butter, and it is easier than you think. Look into our Body Ecology Culture Starter, which you simply add to organic cream. After letting this mixture sit at room temperature for 24 hours, chill it, beat it with a whisk, and voila! You’ll have healthy, probiotic butter that is delicious!

    Cultured butter is full of health sustaining good bacteria like lactobacillus planterum, and lactococcus lactis. These microflora are essential for a healthy inner ecosystem.
    Sources of Healthy Butter

    If you don’t want to culture your own butter, I recommend butter from grass-fed animals only. A good source is U.S. Wellness Meats.

    I also recommend Activator X and Vitamin rich butter oil, made by Green Pastures.
    Heart Healthy-the Body Ecology Way

    Completely eliminating butter and other healthy animal source fats is NOT the Body Ecology way. It is not how our ancestors thrived, and not what nature intended.

    How much should you eat each day? Like sea salt, your own body will tell you how much to eat. If you crave it, eat it, your body needs it. If the quality is excellent you can feel confident it will be good for you and you’ll soon see the benefits yourself. If you are following the Body Ecology Food Combining Principle and eating as we recommend (adding at least one source of fermented food or drink to your diet) you will see your body reach its idea weight. The raw butter will help you develop beautiful muscles.

    The Body Ecology program is gaining recognition for being a premier way of healing candida and other immune dysfunctions. And what’s more, it’s a heart-healthy, super-slimming, anti-aging way of life, which is crucial to your health as a whole.

    1 History of Butter
    2 “Butter” from
    3 Princely Packets of Golden Health
    4 Why Butter is Better
    5 The Soft Science of Dietary Fat, Science Magazine, March 2001

    6 Ibid
    7 Polyunsaturated Oils Increase Cancer Risk
    8 From The Skinny on Fats
    and Why Butter is Better
    9Fertility Awareness, Food, and Night-lighting and
    High Fat Dairy May Boost Fertility

    March 5, 2009

    Gut Flora

    While I ‘borrow’ quite a bit from other experts, doctors in particular whose letters I receive, it is seldom that I “post” an entire newsletter.    This one from Donna Gates at B.E.D.  is especially relevant as it covers gut flora (part 1 and part 2) AND  food combining with all her informative references.  This information is so important to successfully nourish and maintain a healthy body enabling one to accomplish personal goals of achievement and joy.

    I believe the following to be valid, well done and worth your time.  I endorse Donna Gates message and hope you enjoy it.



    Body Ecology

    Body Ecology’s Health and Wellness e-newsletter

    With a majority of people in the Western world overweight, and all the diseases, quality of life issues, and shortened life spans directly linked to it, it is truly one of the most serious (if not the most serious) epidemics human beings have ever faced. Below are six key articles that present important insights on this topic that you may not have heard elsewhere.

    Why Kefir is an Essential Food for Anyone Trying to Shed Lbs

    How the Bacteria in Your Gut Affect Your Body-Weight – And How to Get the Balance Right

    How the Bacteria in Your Gut Affect Your Body-Weight – and How to Get the Balance Right Part 2: The Anti-Viral Protocol

    Food Combining: The Little-Understood Secret to Optimal Health & Fitness Revealed

    How the Food Industry Contributes to Overweight, Obesity and the Unique and Highly Effective Body Ecology Solution

    Why These Refreshing Smoothies are Ideal for Your Health, Fitness and Energy

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