The whole tooth

Mar
11
2016
by
Lynne McTaggart
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As the first research director of the National Dental Association (precursor of the American Dental Association) Weston Price, was, first and foremost, a dentist, and so he saw health from the point of view of an open mouth. And what he began to take note of was that indigenous people around the world, who’d always had robust good health and straight, fine teeth, were getting cavities.

As the first research director of the National Dental Association (precursor of the American Dental Association) Weston Price, was, first and foremost, a dentist, and so he saw health from the point of view of an open mouth. And what he began to take note of was that indigenous people around the world, who’d always had robust good health and straight, fine teeth, were getting cavities.

Those inhabitants still consuming a native diet had virtually no tooth decay, but those adopting an imported 'Western' diet, even a supposedly healthy one, had smaller jaws, more overcrowded teeth and early signs of the chronic dietary diseases so characteristic of industrialized nations.

Very different diets
Although all the diets were essentially low-carb, high-fat and high-protein, Price discovered a huge variation in the macronutrient intakes across healthy native communities.

The Inuits and Native Americans, for example, ate very large quantities of fish because they lacked the enzyme that can manufacture the vital omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from other types of foods. But Native Americans from inland rural communities generally had the enzyme, so they were able to produce omega-3s from foods other than fish. They were so biologically different from the Intuits that their bodies handled macronutrients differently.

The Inuits of Alaska consumed a diet rich in fats and oils, and low in fruit and vegetables and a high consumption of omega-3-rich marine foods, whereas the Masai of East Africa ate mainly meat, blood and milk, including up to 300 g a day of saturated fat, and the Samburus of East Africa drank 10 litres of full-fat milk a day, equal to up to 400 g of fat.

The Maori of New Zealand consumed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet built around fish, kelp and roots, with protein representing more than 50 per cent of diet, while 64 per cent of the diet of the aborigines of Australia comprised animal foods. The saturated fat intake of the Polynesian Pacific Islanders, on the other hand, largely derived from coconuts.

None of these populations suffered from degenerative diseases like heart disease, diabetes or Alzheimer’s, and all had good teeth.

High fat vitamins
When Price tried to work out the common denominator between all these vastly diverse diets he concluded that besides being unprocessed, all contained a far higher animal-protein intake (up to 35 per cent of daily food); far greater fish and dairy consumption, resulting in four times the calcium and other minerals of a Western diet; and far higher fat intake (30-80 per cent of total diet).

But perhaps most significant of all, all these high protein and high fat diets provided these natives with 10 times the amount of the fat soluble vitamins – vitamin A. D and K – of Westerners.

Price realized something else even more significant after he returned home. Once he advised his dental patients to increase their intake of these fat soluble vitamins, their tooth decay began to reverse.

Dynamic reversal
That dental decay can be reversed is a well guarded secret in the dental community, which relies for its income on drill-and-fill solutions. However, new evidence by Australian research shows that dental decay can be easily overcome by simple measures.

A tooth, like a bone, is a dynamic substance which needs something more than an absence of sugar to thrive. Saturated fats perform critical functions in the body: protecting bony surfaces, cushioning internal organs, strengthening cell membranes, building and protecting the nervous system, brain and liver; and helping to protect against osteoporosis, to name but a few. Saturated fats also support the immune system.

The fact that the healthy teeth are dependent upon a healthy dose of fat is yet more evidence that the persistent belief among the medical community about the dangers of dietary fat of any sort is flawed and dangerous in itself.

A low-fat diet doesn’t just hurt our hearts and brains, it also hurts our teeth.

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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