Could a More Natural Diet Help Stave off Alzheimer's Disease?
The Weston A. Price Approach to Treating Inflammation
While the modern medical community has reservations about some aspects of Dr. Price’s 1930s-era research, his work has become so popular with those who choose a natural, non-traditional approach that it warrants closer inspection. A big difference between Dr. Price and modern nutrition best practices was his advocacy for eating fats. Modern nutritionists tend to warn people away from fats though though they have toned it down in recent years. Note, however, that he’s not advocating for Crisco, palm oil, canola oil or any of the modern types of fats that are widely available. He is suggesting we eat naturally occurring fats—especially those found in animals.
Inflammation is thought to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, identifying and reversing the cause of inflammation should help to improve cognitive functions for those impaired by Alzheimer’s or similar disease. Dr. Price’s approach to treating a 5-year-old boy who was afflicted with multiple diseases stemming from inflammation was purely dietary. The boy suffered for two and a half years from inflammatory rheumatism, arthritis and heart involvement.
Dr. Price’s recommendations:
Freshly cracked wheat
High vitamin butter produced by cows pasturing on green wheat
High-vitamin, natural cod liver oil
Bone marrow in stews
Green vegetables and fruit
Here is the full story from Dr. Price’s book:
A mother asked my assistance in planning the nutritional program for her boy. She reported that he was five years of age and that he had been in bed in hospitals with rheumatic fever, arthritis and an acute heart involvement most of the time for the past two and a half years. She had been told that her boy would not recover, so severe were the complications. As is so generally the case with rheumatic fever and endocarditis, this boy was suffering from severe tooth decay. In this connection the American Heart Association has reported that 75 per cent of heart involvements begin before ten years of age. My studies have shown that in about 95 per cent of these cases there is active tooth decay. The important change that I made in this boy’s dietary program was the removal of the white flour products and in their stead the use of freshly cracked or ground wheat and oats used with whole milk to which was added a small amount of specially high vitamin butter produced by cows pasturing on green wheat. Small doses of a high-vitamin, natural cod liver oil were also added. At this time the boy was so badly crippled with arthritis, in his swollen knees, wrists, and rigid spine, that he was
bedfast and cried by the hour. With the improvement in his nutrition which was the only change made in his care, his acute pain rapidly subsided, his appetite greatly improved, he slept soundly and gained rapidly in weight. In the first view, to the left, in Fig. 94, the boy is shown sitting on the edge of the bed at the end of the first month on this program. His joints were still badly swollen and his spine so rigid that he could not rotate his head farther than shown in the picture. In the center view he is shown about six months later, and in the third view, one year later. This occurred six years ago. As I write this a letter has been received from the boy’s mother. She reports that he is taller and heavier than the average, has a good appetite and sleeps well.
In the newer light regarding the cause of rheumatic fever, or inflammatory rheumatism (discussed in Chapter 21) there appear to be three underlying causes: a general lowered defense against infection in which the fat-soluble vitamins play a very important part; minute hemorrhages in joint tissues as part of the expression of deficiency of vitamin C, a scurvy symptom, and a source of infecting bacteria such as streptococcus. This could be provided by his infected teeth. These typical expressions of modern degeneration could not occur in most of the primitive races studied because of the high factor of safety in the minerals and vitamins of their nutrition. It is important to emphasize the changes that were made in our modern dietary program to make this boy’s nutrition adequate for recovery. Sugars and sweets and white flour products were eliminated as far as possible. Freshly ground cereals were used for breads and gruels. Bone marrow was included in stews. Liver and a liberal supply of whole milk, green vegetables and fruits were provided. In addition, he was provided with a butter that was very high in vitamins having been produced by cows fed on a rapidly growing green grass. The best source for this is a pasturage of wheat and rye grass. All green grass in a state of rapid growth is good, although wheat and rye grass are the best found. Unless hay is carefully dried so as to retain its chlorophyll, which is a precursor of vitamin A, the cow cannot synthesize the fat soluble vitamins.
Source: Weston Price: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Content provided for Neurology Associates Neuroscience Center.
Thanks for reading Alzheimer's Information Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.