Pottenger’s findings must be seen in the context of the Price research and can be interpreted as follows: When the human diet produces “facial deformities”–the progressive narrowing of the face and crowding of the teeth–extinction will occur if that diet is followed for several generations. The implications for western civilization–obsessed as it is with refined, highly sweetened convenience foods and low-fat items–is profound.
The research of Weston Price is not so much misinterpreted as ignored. In a country where the entire orthodox health establishment condemns saturated fat and cholesterol from animal sources, and where vending machines have become a fixture in our schools, who wants to hear about a peripatetic dentist who warned about the dangers of sugar and white flour, who thought kids should take cod liver oil and who believed that butter was the number one health food?
The irony is that as Price becomes more and more forgotten, more and more research appears in the scientific literature proving he was right. We now know that vitamin A is essential for the prevention of birth defects, for growth and development, for the health of the immune system and the proper functioning of all the glands. Scientists have discovered that the precursors to vitamin A–the carotenes found in plant foods–cannot be converted to true vitamin A by infants and children. They must get their vital supply of this nutrient from animal fats. Yet orthodox nutritional pundits are now pushing low-fat diets for children. Neither can diabetics and people with thyroid conditions convert carotenes to the fat soluble form of vitamin A–yet diabetics and people with low energy are told to avoid animal fats.
The scientific literature tells us that vitamin D is needed not only for healthy bones, and optimal growth and development, but also to prevent colon cancer, MS and reproductive problems.
Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D. Cod liver oil also contains special fats called EPA and DHA. The body uses EPA to make substances that help prevent blood clots, and that regulate a myriad of biochemical processes. Recent research shows that DHA is essential to the development of the brain and nervous system. Adequate DHA in the mother’s diet is necessary for the proper development of the retina in the infant she carries. DHA in mother’s milk helps prevent learning disabilities. Cod liver oil and foods like liver and egg yolk supply this essential nutrient to the developing fetus, to nursing infants and to growing children.
Butter contains both vitamin A and D, as well as other beneficial substances. Conjugated linoleic acid in butterfat is a powerful protection against cancer. Certain fats called glycospingolipids aid digestion. Butter is rich in trace minerals, and naturally yellow Spring and Fall butter contains the X factor.
Saturated fats from animal sources–portrayed as the enemy–form an important part of the cell membrane; they protect the immune system and enhance the utilization of essential fatty acids. They are needed for the proper development of the brain and nervous system. Certain types of saturated fats provide quick energy and protect against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract; other types provide energy to the heart.
Cholesterol is essential to the development of the brain and nervous system of the infant, so much so that mother’s milk is not only extremely rich in the substance, but also contains special enzymes that aid in the absorption of cholesterol from the intestinal tract. Cholesterol is the body’s repair substance; when the arteries are damaged because of weakness or irritation, cholesterol steps in to patch things up and prevent aneurysms. Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from cancer; it is the precursor to the bile salts, needed for fat digestion; from it the adrenal hormones are formed, those that help us deal with stress and those that regulate sexual function.