Do any of these conditions sound familiar? Do onions and garlic cause you more intestinal distress than flavorful enjoyment? There is growing evidence of a condition that is occurring at an alarming rate. In fact, it is reported that approximately 40% of the North American population may already suffer from this condition.
In the 1940’s, Francis Pottenger MD, conducted an extensive study involving cats who were originally used in his father’s research center. Pottenger’s Cats is a well-documented study, and available as a book by the same name. The summary of Pottenger’s study, and subsequent discovery, is that “Experimental” cats whose diets were almost entirely composed of processed food (cooked meat, table scraps, and pasteurized milk) began to suffer detrimental genetic mutations over several generations, while “Control” cats who were fed a diet comprised exclusively of raw food (raw meat and milk) maintained perfectly healthy, vibrant, and viable offspring throughout each subsequent generation. In as little as the second and third Experimental generation, offspring began displaying such conditions as lethargy, poor eyesight, abnormal skeletal structures, skin conditions, allergies, and significant behavioral abnormalities – none of which had been present in the first, or “Parent”, generation. By the fourth and fifth Experimental generation, degenerative conditions had manifested into degenerative diseases, and these offspring suffered severe health issues such as bone and joint deformity (with bones no longer hard and rigid, but soft and rubbery), lackluster skin and hair, internal and external parasites, infections or deformations of internal organs (often leading to organ failure), blindness or near-blindness, nervous system malfunctions, abnormal mental states (disoriented, uncoordinated, irritable, aggressive, and disappearance of playfulness), decreased libido, inability to reproduce, and early death. The more stressed the animals were – either from outside environmental stressors or the perception of stressful situations by the altered mental functioning – the more swift the degeneration. The good news in this story (yes, there is some!) is that once the Experimental cats were fed whole, appropriately prepared food, optimal health returned in about six generations.
How does this experiment, conducted with cats over 70 years ago, relate to 21st century humans in North America? There is a consensus among nutritional leaders that we are experiencing the same decline in health as witnessed in the cats of Pottenger’s study. But why?
In today’s society, the following factors plague our North American population, and continue to worsen annually rather than improve:
- Stress continues to be the number ONE cause for physician visits.
- We are inundated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and processed foods that our bodies struggle to use.
- Sleep deprivation is epidemic.
- Our environment is more toxic than ever (pollution, radiation, electromagnetic etc.).
- Pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals are in rampant use, overriding our normal physiology.
- We are more sedentary and overweight.
- Regular physical exercise is not the norm.
How are these issues impacting our health? Some of you may have heard of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutation, which causes an interruption, or complete shutdown, of methylation in the body. When it is functioning properly, the MTHFR gene begins a multi-step chemical breakdown process, known as methylation. Proper methylation pathways in the body are essential for eliminating toxins and heavy metals, which can reduce the risk for cancer and other health issues, and put less stress on the adrenals. An MTHFR defect dramatically increases the risk of any, or all, of the conditions listed at the beginning of this article.
This genetic mutation is an adaptive change that is increasing in occurrence at an alarming rate. It is adaptive in that the body is attempting to compensate for changes caused by external factors; those factors such as stress, sleep deprivation, and exposure to toxins. The problem is that the attempt to adapt is not occurring in a positive way. In fact, what is happening actually appears to be quite the opposite – the body is losing its ability to adapt, and undesirable symptoms are showing up with no apparent resolution.
I have observed this phenomenon within my own diverse clientele: There are individuals with whom great progress is made, yet for some unknown reason another issue suddenly presents itself, or the prior condition returns. This caused me to delve deeper into research as to what may be causing these seemingly random occurrences. The therapy I have been using as a result is showing promise, but only time will tell.
The first three major causes of this problem that I have identified are actually quite simple:
If you identify with any of the conditions listed at the beginning of this article, you may fit into a growing group of individuals who dramatically benefit from making clearly-defined changes, and receiving appropriate nutritional care. Unless the causes of degeneration are handled in our current generation, it is likely that the health challenges that follow will affect our very existence.
References: Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition, Francis Marion Pottenger Jr.; “MTHFR Gene Mutation,” http://mthfr.net/; “What a Healthy Gene Does for You,” http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/.