Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Cavity-healing Diet

Note: I'm reposting this with some edits. When I first wrote this article, I was under the impression that my dog had a tiny hole in her tooth that had healed (see photo). What looked like a pinhole may have been some crud on her tooth. I've also made another change in my diet. -Ed.

A week ago, I went on a cavity-healing diet and put my dog, Molly, on the same diet a few days later when I noticed she had a cavity in her lower-right canine.

As described in the highly researched book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel, the experiments of Weston A. Price showed children's cavities healed when they were fed one highly nutritious meal a day of tomato or orange juice with cod liver oil or high-vitamin butter, meat/bone marrow/vegetable stew, cooked fruit, milk, and rolls made from freshly ground wheat. (Note that this experiment and others like it were done in the 1920s and 1930s when meat and milk were from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals, wheat was very different in its genetics and processing from what it is today, and cod liver oil was the real stuff, not processed with synthetic vitamins added.) On just one great meal a day (the other meals were the children's usual fare at home), at six weeks, the children's tooth decay stopped. What was special about the meal? It was high in vitamins A, D and K and the minerals calcium and phosphorus.

What are Molly and I eating? Eggs, liver, cream, a little goat's milk, meat, sardines, bone marrow, and vegetables. The meat, eggs and dairy almost all come from pastured animals. No dog food, no grains, no starchy vegetables, no fruit. I allow Molly to indulge in a few nuts, and I eat two or three small chocolates and a few cups of coffee a day. Our diet is mostly lacto-paleo.

I've had to stop drinking raw eggs. The eggnog gave me congestion and and my homemade ice cream made my acid reflux return. It wasn't the dairy; this morning, I quit the eggnog and had a chai tea with the same amount of cream and milk as the eggnog, and my sinuses and throat feel almost back to normal. (The little bit of raw egg in homemade mayonnaise doesn't bother me.) From what I gather, being allergic to raw eggs, but not cooked eggs, is unusual.

Despite Dr. Price's use of bread in his experiments to heal cavities, typical grains lead to cavities unless they're properly prepared, says Nagel. The antinutrients (phytic acid and lectins) in grains, seeds and nuts bind to minerals and keep you from absorbing them. I've read elsewhere (the Whole Health Source blog, I think) that freshly ground wheat contains more phytase, an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid.

The small groove I wrote about in an earlier post may or may not fill in. "If a tooth has a hole, pit or previous filling," says Nagel, "then that hole or pit will be strong and resilient, but it will not likely fill in."

Some people might guess that Molly and I have gained weight on this high-fat diet. Not so. A few days ago, I was down two pounds, and Molly feels firmer than she did a week ago. The idea that dietary fat makes you fat is one of those myths that just won't die--like the idea of those "healthy whole grains."

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