Nourishing Indiana

StairwellHere in the curious world of the conference hotel, if you can find the stairs, they won’t necessarily take you where you want to go. And they are bleak enough to discourage the faint-hearted. I enjoyed a good fifteen minute cardio workout yesterday, travelling with a well-intentioned Marriott employee who tried in vain to help me find the elusive “up-stairs” to get one floor above.

Never mind, there are plenty of long hallways to cover finding my way from FridayDinnerroom to meal to conference at the 51st instance of the Weston A Price annual conference in Indianapolis, where we “Focus on Food”. Which is invariably excellent and plentiful at these conferences. Here’s the happy queue at last night’s turkey dinner – birds donated by Fields of Athenry Farm (the farmers and producers are always credited in the menus found in our programs) and replete with several ferments (sauerkraut, fermented cranberry relish, sourdough bread, fermented herbal tea) and grass-fed butter.

Yesterday’s sessions were mostly all-day affairs. I spent most of mine fiercely concentrating on the rapid-fire thoughts and slides of Stephanie Seneff, whose talk covered Pesticides, Antibiotics, Vaccines & Pharmaceuticals at dizzying speed (see her web page to download her slides, as well as find links to  her research).

She walked us through research papers a-plenty to illustrate her points. She is a strong advocate of sulfur – it’s one of the least discussed yet most common mineral in the body after calcium and phosphorus and plays a huge role in amino acid development (essential, in short, for protein in the body). The American population tends to be deficient in it (esp. vegetarians and those on low protein diets), and chronic acetaminophen (Tylenol) use further depletes sulfate.

Glyphosate (Roundup) is implicated in many conditions, contrary to studies which claim it to be harmless. For licensing purposes, glyphosate is only tested in isolation, but Roundup contains many other ingredients designed to enhance its effects (up to 1000x); and of course it’s only studied for 90 days, whereas its health effects are cumulative. Seneff had tracked some interesting correlations: glyphosate use tracks closely with autism rates, anemia, sleep disorders, breast cancer rates, kidney disease and more.

Glyphosate has been found in breast milk, urine and water. That it hasn’t been found sooner is probably a product of the few labs willing to test for it.

Seneff explained that the reason glyphosate affects human health is its effect on beneficial gut bacteria, which serve a protective role in the body. Glyphosate blocks the production of tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine – three essential amino acids formed on the shikimate pathway. This pathway, the argument goes, “is only found in plants and microorganisms, never in humans” – however, it is found in our gut bacteria, which help to synthesize amino acids. Glyphosate also inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes which in humans help to break down toxins.

The best way to avoid glyphosate is to eat certified organic foods, including many sulfur-containing foods (and have epsom salt baths – which allows you to absorb sulfur and magnesium through your skin).

She had a lot to say about statins as well – I strongly recommend anyone taking these have a look at her slides and do their own research. The gist was that they may protect you from heart attacks, but they will cause heart failure – a long and limiting way to go – as well as weakening many other body systems.

I ended yesterday with a talk by naturopath Louisa Williams, who spoke about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. She believes these to be causing many chronic disorders (pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, movement disorders, memory loss, constipation/diarrhea) and contributing to others (cancer, Crohn’s meningitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Pertussis, Sarcoidosis, Lyme’s…) . The gist is that antibiotic over-use has created resistant bacteria, which then mutate into cell wall defective (CWD) bacteria. These lack the structure that allows antibiotics and our own immune systems to recognize and deal with them.

Diagnosis is difficult. Treatment includes the usual detox protocols (removing environmental and dietary toxins); stop ‘feeding the fire’ by taking antibiotics except for acute conditions (even over-using microbial oils such as oregano will lead to problems); seek constitutional homeopathy remedies; and heal the gut with plant polysaccharides (mannose – though she felt the amounts needed exceeded what could be obtained through diet) and special probiotics.

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