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Research

Lewis S wrote:

I would be interested to know what scientific research supports the idea that “our digestive fire, which we need to digest food, is relatively weak in the early hours of the day.” It makes sense as portrayed in your article, but so does the opposite case when presented by health and nutrition experts of that persausion.

Mark's Reply

I am writing in response to a scientific study that you may have read about. Media outlets everywhere have been trumpeting the finding that fruits and vegetables give no protective effect or in any way reduce cancer!!! Interesting, to say the least. I hear that many nutritionists and dietitians are still trying to pick themselves up from the floor! My intention here, is not to discount or lightly dismiss such a study. In fact, the finding does not surprise me in the least…now don’t fall off your own chair! It’s not that I don’t think fruit and vegetables (assuming they are fresh and still contain a high level of the natural intelligence they are born with), contribute substantially to cancer protection, but the fact due to the nature of modern scientific research, in any isolated individual study, it can produce almost any result. Unfortunately, none of the media outlets I heard from, even bothered to mention what the actual research design or method of results analysis etc was. So, we are none the wiser, whether it was good science or not. Even assuming that it was a well conducted study, have you ever heard the media proclaim that something is good because of ABC, then 6 months later say that the exact same thing is dangerous because of XYZ? Red wine, chocolate, dairy etc are all evil one year and promoted as ‘angels from heaven’ the next after a single study or research finding. Artificial sweeteners, Soy products, cholesterol lowering spreads are hailed as ‘food of the Gods’ one minute and then attacked from pillar to post the next!!!

An interesting article just came out in the Good Weekend magazine of the Age newspaper written by Mark Whittaker. Basically it outlines how there some new research and scientific studies showing that having low salt intakes are far worse than high intakes, even when it comes to things like heart disease, stroke and diabetes (things we’re commonly told to reduce salt intake to try and minimise the risks of).

Along with many other natural health practitioners, for years I’ve been saying that salt, when in its natural, unprocessed form is actually critical for optimal health and that many people actually need to be consuming more ‘good’ salt. See my blog on ‘healthy salt’ at and which I discussed in details in my book – Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health

Many modern experts disregard this new research as inaccurate (and I’m not saying it’s accurate either). To me, as is often the case, the key factor has been completely overlooked. The first consideration in the salt debate is not whether one’s intake is low or high, but whether we’re consuming ‘real’ salt or the crappy, health-damaging, commercial salt that all the studies assess.

Interestingly, what Whittaker’s article also makes clear, is how powerful the vested interests are in the medical and scientific community. Even the researchers who themselves do studies that find that those on low salt diets have worse health do not always speak out about their findings for fear of ‘going against the norm’.

Anyway, if you’re interested in this topic, I’ve pasted in the full article after the break.

 Did you hear about the study showing a low-fat diet in later life and following such a regimen for nearly a decade DOES NOT have a significant impact on reducing the overall risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer or heart disease?

This is according to a Women’s Health Initiative study that involved nearly 50,000 postmenopausal women across the U.S.A.

Note: This study doesn’t mean a lower fat diet is not helpful, just that it wasn’t shown to be ‘significantly’ helpful.

Now high or low fat diets is not my point here. For interest sake, a low to moderate fat intake is generally best for most people. In reality though, different people (body types if you like), should have different intakes of fat.

* It’s actually very healthy for certain people (like me!), to have relatively high fat intakes (yes, send expletives and profanities my way now…I’m off for an ice-cream, hmmmm!.

“Salt is born of the purest of parents—the sun and the sea.”
Pythagoras

In the classic Western way of making things black and white—salad is good, fat is bad—salt has been put in the ‘bad’ camp. However, the ancients treasured salt and knew it was one of the most critical ingredients for a healthy body. Almost 5000 years ago, the Chinese pharmacological text, the Peng-Tzao-Kan-Mu, listed the medicinal effects of 40 varieties of natural salt. In the ancient world, before money or gold, salt was used to represent trust and value. You might have been ‘worth your salt’ or considered the ‘salt of the earth’. We are now paid a ‘salary’which comes from the same word as salt. Roman soldiers used to be paid in salt because it was universally ‘trusted’ or relied upon. This was when people ate real salt. Real or ‘good’ salt contains 80 or more naturally occurring minerals and healing ingredients, other than sodium chloride, that are synergistically put together by Mother Nature. Way back before the time of ancient Rome and Greece, this type of salt was known to strengthen, balance and heal the body.