One of my pet bitches (is that a sexist remark?) is the idea that nutrition comes down to: so-many milligrams and this and so many units of that and so many teaspoonsful of the other…
This mistake is found across the board, from certified nutritionists and dieticians, through MDs, to alternative health writers who ought to know better.
I fought back with a lecture I gave in Malaysia some time ago. I still have the powerpoint; I called it “Nutrition Bullets”. It’s probably time to serve it up for the Web. I’ll do that as soon as I get some spare time.
There were several key points– in other words bullet points— that have little or nothing to do with measured quantities.They have everything to do with dynamics, function and biochemical individuality. I’d like to share them with you here. It’s especially for young Hoe Bing Lo, my webmaster helper and a great young man, who just qualified in medicine and is already deeply into alternative healing. I teach him nutrition; he fixes my websites. Neat, ha?
My main point is that losing focus by concentrating on isolated technical information and spurious quantitative measurements does not lead to a workable science of nutrition. We need a bigger picture; the Interstate freeways map, not the hikers’ side paths and byways!
I don’t believe that the creation, repair and maintenance of healthy body tissues can be reduced to itemized lists of figures, like a supermarket shopping list. This kind of “nutrient accountancy” shows deplorable lack of understanding of the way Nature works and the meaning of holistic integration of health.
The picture today is very complex, with traditional foods all but gone and, as farming methods change, the value of foods changes. You’d never think that to read the nonsense published as official “nutrition”. In fact Pandit Professor Dr. Med Sir Anton Jayasuriya and I were trying to debate a suitable word for this bigger view of things, just before he passed away. The best we could come up with was nutritionology, which is obviously not going to fly!
Any suggestions, anybody?
The adding numbers view violates all the laws of accountancy, in that there is no balance to the balance sheet!
So what are the key issues? These are 10 basic simple rules:
This is not just the first, but my #1 nutrition rule (the only one that matters):
No-one will cure anything to last, no matter how brilliant you are, or what healing paradigm, and what belief system, if the patient is in a negative nutritional balance.
Think about this: Nothing in the body is fixed. It ALL changes over, every few months. Therefore nutrition is a vital renewal, healing and construction factor. Without it you can’t repair joints, even if the guru laid his hand on you and the pain went away!
This is my rule #2 and another biggie: What you are eating that you shouldn’t is of far more importance than what you not eating that you should. I learned this in decades of pioneeer work in the food allergy field. Almost ANYTHING was curable, from cancer to muscular dystrophy, from schizophrenia to arthritis, if you took away negative hurtful foods. And the bandit foods were different for everybody. Adding things in (supplements) is trivial at the side of expert food elimination.
Rule #3 (so far, they are in order of priority): Every individual is different and varies in nutritional requirements from time to time and different individuals have highly disparate nutritional requirements at any one time. Isn’t that obvious; we are all different? Well, not according to the textbooks!
Rule #4. RDAs (daily values) take no account of different rates of absorption, individual biological variation, stress demands, or that the minimum requirement to avoid fatal avitaminosis is a totally different concept than the amount required for optimum health. Yet resaerch shows that our requirements for B vitamins go up over a hundred-fold when we are under severe stress!
Rule #5. Natural foods in their natural state manifest energetic properties that bear no relation to their biochemical composition. The whole is more than the part! This makes a nonsense out ORAC values, “active ingredients” and all the other humbug surrounding the supplement industry. You only have to look at Kirlian photographs of “live” foods and cornflakes from a packet to tell the two are universes apart.
Rule #6. Another HUGELY important factor that changes EVERYTHING, as soon as you incorporate it into your thinking: What is swallowed does not equate to nutrition. Malabsorption and dysbiosis are rampant. Digestive unwellness is the norm.
So much of what is swallowed never enters the metabolic stream! Stories abound of portable toilets having tablets and capsules that as so undigested you can still read the manufacturer’s name on them!
Rule #7. No nutrients act alone, they are all interdependent. All studies which purport to examine the effects of certain vitamins and minerals in isolation are likely to be misleading. Duh! Why don’t scientific trials and studies use this obvious fact?
Rule #8. Nutrition for detoxication is a life-saving factor in the modern world.We cannot have functioning enzymes to keep our bodies healthy and poison-free if essential nutrients are lacking. Enzymes are the life force driving an organism’s metabolism. Now we need a whole new science of keeping our body mechanisms working, in the face of server oxidative stress that simply did not exist when we were hunter-gatherers. The whole topic goes way beyond the avoidance of “deficiency diseases”, like scurvy and beri-beri. [Incidentally, beri-beri is a local Sri Lankan word, see section 6]
Rule #9. Foodstuffs, notably plants, contain pharmacologically active substances. The effect of these drugs can rightly be seen as a sub-function of nutrition (complex, vast subject!). Caffeine isn’t just a brain stimulant; it affects your blood pressure, heart rate, kidney function and numerous other less investigated functions. Some plants, as you know, have hormone-like and anti-hormone effects. Isn’t this part of nutrition too, if we eat them? I think so.
Rule #10. This is an odd ball- but you need it! What goes in doesn’t necessarily come out! (nutritional implosion?) You can see evidence from colonics of food residues from many years earlier. Ignore the pseudo-science of most colonics people. They claim the bentonite residues are bowel content; they are not (just bentoniye strings).
But I have confirmed stories with my patients on many occasions, of the individual seeing a detox stool which contained some identifiable food eaten years before. The record known to me was a patient of mine who had some showers of green cake decorations in her stool which she had not eaten for over 40 years. They were still green for heaven’s sake! (we used to call these “hundreds and thousands”; I don’t know what the Americans call them).
As I write, it is clear there is so much to this topic, I must write a book (no snitching, this is copyright!) But for now I will spread these ideas ,and other very revolutionary ones too, over a few issues of “Letter From Serendipity”.