Intercepted heredity

At an altitude of 5,000 feet in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, a sixty-two-year-old grandmother, amazingly fit and in good physical shape, carried an enormous load of rye on her back. After being threshed by hand and ground by a stone mill, the rye flour would be baked into enough coarse black bread to feed her family for a month.

Far above her, cattle grazed on the rich pastures which provided  a feast of nutritious grasses. They, in turn, would produce delicious, creamy high-quality milk for the villagers of the Loetschental Valley.

Milk, cream and cheese

While sturdy, sun-tanned children played barefoot on the fragrant, flower-strewn slopes, young mothers milked the cows and produced the cheese that would feed them through the coming winter. Goat’s and cow’s milk, cream and cheese, together with the coarse rye bread, formed the greater part of each family’s diet, which was supplemented once a week by meat and delicious broths made from meat bones and scraps.

Down in the fields the menfolk harvested the rye crop by hand. Without tractor or even horse and cart to lighten their work, they had to rely on their strong backs, and fine, muscular physiques to enable them to carry their heavy loads up and down the mountainside.

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Health, happiness and vitality shone out of the people of this simple community who had no need of doctor, dentist, or policeman.

Blessed with beautifully developed bone structure, strong, even teeth, and individual strength of character that was reflected in their communal life, they thrived on their frugal existence.

It was to this community that an American scientist came, to make some significant studies. With a brilliant career in dentistry behind him, he had set out, at the beginning of the nineteen thirties, to travel to the most inaccessible corners of the earth.

Inquiring mind and a spiritual nature

Dr Weston Price possessed an inquiring mind and a spiritual nature, and he was disturbed by what he found when he looked into the mouths of his patients. Rarely did an examination of an adult client reveal anything but rampant decay, often accompanied by serious problems elsewhere in the body such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal complaints and chronic fatigue. (They called it neurasthenia in Price’s day.)

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But it was the dental health of his younger patients that gave him most cause for concern. He observed that crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what Price called “facial deformities“: overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones and pinched nostrils.

Such children invariably suffered from one or more complaints that sound all-too-familiar these days: frequent infections, allergies, anemia, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue and behavioral problems.

Price did not believe that such physical degeneration was God’s plan for mankind. He was rather inclined to believe that the Creator intended physical perfection for all human beings, and that children should grow up free of ailments.

Hearts and minds

From reports that had been brought back by early explorers, Price knew that primitive people, cut off from civilisation, generally possessed excellently formed sets of teeth, free from decay. He wanted to compare isolated groups of people with those of the same race who had access to the refined and processed foods of the modern world.

Here in the Swiss Alps, Price found whole communities with healthy, uncrowded teeth in wide jaws. He also found that they had excellent general health, wonderful personalities and “the finest physiques in all Europe“.

What he saw of them caused him to wonder if there was something about the quality of their food that built not just strong, healthy bodies, but minds and hearts capable of a higher form of life.

This was something that he was to see time and time again as he studied, photographed and documented primitive people of many races. He saw too, however, a very different picture.

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Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the elegance of Saint Moritz was displayed in the fashionable clothes of its residents and in the sophisticated hotels, restaurants and shops that lined its stylish streets.

All the luxuries of the world were available here, brought in by the railway which linked the town with the rest of Europe. Light and fluffy white bread rolls spread with jam or marmalade could be eaten by all for breakfast. Exotic tinned fruits and vegetables offered endless variety, and locally produced chocolate was made into a popular hot, sweet beverage.

Tuberculosis

But the children here lacked the beautifully developed features, personality, stamina and glowing health of the mountain children. Tooth decay was widespread in the area, as it was in general in the lowlands of Switzerland. Once a healthy population had lived here, but now tuberculosis ravaged modernised communities.

Today, when we think of the health of past generations, we invariably associate such communities with rampant TB and various other epidemics. However, if we look further back, as Price was able to do in the nineteen thirties, we see a quite different picture of health emerging.

So was it just the isolation and the fresh air that protected the mountain communities from TB? It would have helped, of course. But time and time again Price would see the devastating effects of this dreaded disease on certain sections of populations while other sections of the same races of people remained free, not only from TB but also from other degenerative diseases which tended to be found among the communities struck down with TB.

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Dr Weston Price was one of the most prominent
health researchers of the 20th century

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From Alaska to the islands of the Pacific, Peru to Africa, Australia to New Zealand, Price found the same pattern repeated over and over again. From the bitterly cold climate of the Arctic to the hot, sultry weather of the tropics, he sought out races of people, some of whom had remained in isolation while others had gained access to modern foods.

Those who continued to eat their native foods retained their robust health and excellent physiques. Once native diets were abandoned, however, in favour of refined foods like white bread, sugar, jam and tinned produce, people’s health declined rapidly and resistance to infection was soon lost.

With each succeeding generation

Of particular interest to Price was the effect on the children born to those who had abandoned their traditional diets. Here Price found the same narrow faces, crowded teeth and rampant tooth decay he’d observed in his Cleveland dental practice. He noted that these problems became progressively more marked with each succeeding generation.

Painstakingly documenting and photographing the physical changes in dental and bone structure, he compared them with isolated peoples, and the skeletons of past generations of the same races. His conclusions were clear. A balanced, natural wholefood diet, free from refined, processed food was the key factor in the health of these isolated commumities

So what relevance does the work of Dr Weston Price have for us in the twenty-first century, with our miracle drugs and high-tech surgical procedures, or for that matter, our environmental problems? Modern medicine can treat infectious diseases such as TB and corrective dentistry can work wonders. This can create the impression that we’re getting healthier, but in fact we’re simply getting better at treating the consequences of less than optimum health.

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Modern medicine is unable to prevent the insidious rise in degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, arthritis and cancer that are appearing in younger and younger people. We have now added the health-damaging effects of pollution to our problems, but the findings of Dr Weston Price preceded modern pollution, so we can’t lay all the blame for all our health problems at the door of pollution, though we can’t ignore it either.

So, though infectious agents and poor sanitation certainly play a part in illness, Price’s research reminds us of the importance of nutrition in the building of a strong immune system and the prevention of degenerative disease.

A prayer

Dear God, “Forgive our foolish ways.” We have underestimating your provision for us in nature and we and our children are paying the price of “intercepted heredity“.


This ‘intercepted heredity’ was confirmed by
in a remarkable study which replicated
the observations of  Weston Price:-

Disease came earlier

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The Weston A Price Foundation web site
(A nonprofit, tax-exempt nutrition education foundation)

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You can buy the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
by Weston Price here


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Health information is not a substitute for good diagnosis,
and a doctor should be consulted when illness is present

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.Let’s look a little deeper into Price’s observation  of,
minds and hearts capable of a higher form of life”?

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