A History of Nutrition

Conventional wisdom has led us to believe that milk gives us strong bones, eggs are a perfect protein, meat give us strong muscles and that plants contain low quality protein. Conventional wisdom differs from scientific wisdom in that scientific wisdom has been conducted without a bias for a particular result and is peer-reviewed by other scientists who have a strong knowledge of methodology and statistical analysis. In other words, the aim with science is to find out what is likely to be true, not what is popular. Unfortunately, the prejudices of big business food industries reach more people than that of the scientific community. “Prejudices are hard to uproot when they are not recognized as such, and even more so when they are still being repeatedly reinforced within the culture at large” (Diet for a New America, John Robbins). Lets take a trip back into history and follow a few studies that have helped shape the scientific viewpoint on nutrition and its relation to disease.

Over 2,500 years ago Plato and Socrates condemned the eating of animal flesh. 2,000 years ago, so did Seneca, tutor and advisor to the Roman Emperor Nero. Later Hippocrates, the father of medicine, understood that diet prevented disease and said “food should be our medicine and medicine our food” during his time, 460-357 B.C.

In the 1800’s a few scientists continued to shape our view on nutrition. One of those scientists was Dutch Chemist Gerhard Mulder, who discovered protein in 1839. Carl Voit was a German scientist in the late 1800’s who discovered that humans needed only 48.5 grams of protein per day, but recommended 118 grams. Voit mentored a few young scientists, including W.O. Atwater who later developed the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Atwater continued to over-exaggerate the need for protein, which became synonymous with meat in the 19th century even though protein can be found in plant foods as well. This has led to classically misguided question posed to vegetarians and vegans still today of “Where do you get your protein?” (The Chins Study, T.C. Campbell and T.M. Campbell). This is also about the same time that Dr. Weston Price published his findings on the excellent dental health in primitive peoples vs. the horrible dental health in civilized peoples. He determined that processed foods were the culprit for the deterioration of dental health, even with hereditary traits such as dental arches and facial structure (Nutrition & Physical Degeneration, Dr. Weston Price).

At the same time, the medical field was being shaped by a few pioneers. Louis Pasteur, a famous French chemist in the late 1800’s, supported the germ theory of disease. The Germ theory remains the corner stone upon which vaccines, parasites, viruses and antibiotics were created upon in the medical field. It states that the immune system is a victim to such insults. His theory was very controversial and many disagreed with him. One of his opponents to the theory was Henry Lindlahr, author of “Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics”, who believed that lowered vitality weakens the immune system to fighting disease. He concluded that the well-being of a man depends on normal nutrition and wholesome surroundings and that normal nutrition allowed for proper, drainage and enervation. Dr. Rodemon further demonstrated that Pasteur was wrong by smearing his body with small pox and going out in public. Nobody got small pox. Although dramatic, he had demonstrated a very important point.

Scientists began to classify the quality of protein in animals, which contained all necessary amino acids, vs. the quality of protein in plants, which contain bits and pieces of amino acids. They concluded that animal protein was of higher quality than plant protein, but did not bother to factor in which protein was healthier for human consumption or the fact that eating a wide variety of plant foods does provide all the necessary amino acids (The China Study, T.C. Campbell and T.M. Campbell).

After World War I (1914-1918), an allied blockade cut off the supply of food to over three million residents of Denmark, causing them to have to ration the food supply. One measures taken was to re-allocate grain used to feed livestock for the people. During this time, the death rate dropped by 34% (The CHina Study, T.C. Campbell and T.M. Campbell).

During World War II (1939-1945), the Norwegian government was forced to ration their food, especially meat, while the country was occupied by the Germans. Norway experienced a drastic drop in death from circulatory diseases during this time. Death rates rose again when the Germans left and Norway returned to their former diet. Britain and Switzerland also experienced an increase in health while food was rationed during World War II, where infant and post-natal death rates as well as the occurrence of anemia dropped to the lowest recorded at that time. What rose during this time? Growth rates and dental health for children. After World War II, the National Heart Institute investigated why plaque in heart disease develops and how it leads to heart attacks. A comparison of the medical records of 5,000 residents from Framingham, Massachusetts enabled the research team to develop risk factors such as cholesterol. blood pressure, physical activity, cigarette smoking and obesity. More than 1,000 scientific papers were produced from this study that showed a strong correlation between high blood cholesterol and heart disease (The China Study, T.C. Campbell and T.M. Campbell).

In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea and over 30,000 American soldiers were killed. Military medical investigators examined the hearts of 300 male soldiers and published their results in the Journal of the American Medical Association finding 77.3% of the hearts examined showed “gross” evidence of heart disease.

Many scientists have contributed to the development of true scientific understanding of nutrition in relation to disease since then. Dr. George Macilwain, a prominent surgeon of the 1800’s and a vegetarian, has contributed fourteen books on medicine & health popularizing “the constitutional nature of disease.” Dr. John McDougall, author of ten books on nutrition including “The McDougall Plan,” also advocates a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Dr. Dean Ornish, Harvard graduate, is famous for his Lifestyle Heart Trial where he enforced stress management, meditation, three hours of exercise per week, breathing and relaxation exercises as well as cutting out almost all animal products from their diets. He found that 82% of his patients who adopted the lifestyle changes experienced a regression of their heart disease in one year.

Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., aka “Dr. Sprouts,” was a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London, president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons and voted one of the best doctors in America in 1994-95. Dr. Sprouts began studying nutrition and found that diets rich in meat, fat and highly refined foods caused disease. He began experimenting with his patients putting them on a vegetarian and had the greatest success ever recorded on treating heart disease. Never before has their been such a compelling mountain of evidence recommending a whole-foods, plant-based diet. This stacked up against the equally important and pressing issue of the record deterioration of American health with correlation to the Standard American Diet.

Many of us are unaware of these studies because there is no agency or industry with the motivation to share them with. As a Biology major graduate and a nutritional educator, I am not interested in what is popular, but what is believed to be true by the standards of the most well-respected scientists in the field. We cannot be held responsible for what we do not know, but hopefully, now you can make an educated decision on where to go from here. Stepping out into the unknown is scary. And often times people switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet, fill themselves with the wrong replacement foods. It is necessary to fill your diet with smarter food choices, ones that promote health and wellness. Start learning by reading as many articles and books you can written by reputable and unbiased resources and begin applying what you learn to buying food at the market. Sunrider International makes the most pure and concentrated whole food products that are so convenient to use. They are made from Chinese herbs, which have the backing of over 5,000 years of empirical knowledge of the Chinese royal family on their people. The owners of Sunrider are members of the royal family and have been handed down this ancient knowledge. Dr. Te-Fu Chen is a world renowned herbalist and pharmacologist. Dr. Oi-Lin Chen is a licensed western medical doctor. Together, they make the best foods on the planet! Their factories are pharmaceutical-grade and their quality control is unmatched by any company on the market today.

The Somatic Awareness Rapid Hypnosis Induction

I have been reading a paper by Selig Finkelstein from 2003 in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis entitled ‘Rapid Hypnotic Inductions and Therapeutic Suggestions in the Dental Setting’ which I have found to be extremely interesting as it charts a number of evidence based rapid hypnosis inductions. Though the article is aimed at benefiting dentists wanting to induce hypnosis rapidly, I thought I’d point out one of the ways that Finkelstein suggests inducing hypnosis rapidly.

It is called the Somatic Awareness Induction and the paper itself has a full script for such an induction process which you can go and read for yourself (if you subscribe to the journal).

Somatic awareness has its roots in mindfulness and other related fields, though there is a Somatic Psychology field all of it’s own in existence today. The main principle (and I realise how tough and unsatisfying it is to put an entire field into a media-friendly soundbite on a blog!!) is to examine the individual’s relationship with their own felt body. The awareness of how the body is experienced physiologically is examined.

Anyhow, the hypnosis induction suggested by Finkelstein uses somatic awareness by asking the client a number of questions that heighten their awareness accordingly. For example, “Can you notice how your relaxation increases when you exhale?” Or you might also ask “does the right hand feel as if it is lying on your leg or does it feel as if it is supported by the leg?” It can be developed into increasingly more sophisticated and complex questions also, such as “do your right and left legs feel the weight of your hands equally or is there a difference?” Even building up to “is it time for you to go to your special place, changing it whenever you want, with the people you want and only those, changing them whenever you wish, or would you prefer being by yourself?”

The script is longer, but I particularly like this hypnosis induction because it elicits absorption, internal focus and hypnotic responsiveness within the client in a rapid fashion whilst retaining a fairly permissive tone and style, so is not as direct as many rapid inductions tend to be.

I really rather like that. There are many versions of this same thing out there in script books, but it is always good to see these things in peer reviewed journals.

Reference: Finkelstein, Selig(2003) ‘Rapid Hypnotic Inductions and Therapeutic Suggestions in the Dental Setting’, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 51: 1, 77 – 85

Learn About Propolis in Only 5 Minutes!

Have you heard of propolis? Have you heard about all the claims that this substance can cure a lot of diseases currently suffered by many people in the modern world. Do you know anything about it at all?

This article will equip you with the truth about propolis in only 5 short minutes.

What Is Propolis?

To make things simple, you can think of propolis as bee’s medicine. If we use all sorts of drugs for our ailment, bees use propolis for theirs. The only difference is bees took propolis from trees and use it as an internal coat for their hives. Once their bodies brush against the hive’s wall, they become immunized and sterilized.

Why Do People Use Propolis?

Actually people have been using propolis not only as a way of treatment but also for their daily lives. In Africa, it is used as to patch holes in boats or roofs. Master violin makers have also used it as a sort of varnish for their premium violins.

However, one of the most famous use of propolis is as medicine. It is used to treat all sorts of medical condition up to the stage propolis is hailed as some sort of wonder drug.

The truth is, propolis extract is an effective substance against viruses, germs and bacteria. However that does not mean it can cure all health problems as many propolis loyalist would suggest.

Does It Work?

At the moment, we can safely say yes, it works. However, it has only been shown and proven effective as a dental treatment and to improve body’s immune system.

Studies have also been done on the effect of propolis on cancer, fertility, HIV and as a complement to antibiotics. Although the results have been promising, the number of studies done on the subject is too small to suggest a direct positive relationship of propolis and the diseases being studied.

Who Should Use Propolis?

Propolis is a safe substance for most people. Those who are looking for a safe substance to improve their immune system should try propolis as a natural alternative to modern drugs.

However, one should always consult a doctor before using this bee substance. The reason is simple – allergies.

Some people may be allergic to propolis and other bee products. The best bet is to consult your doctor and check if you are allergic against it. Failure to do so will result in swollen faces, rashes and other unwanted side effects.

Where Can You Find More Information.

The best source of information are medical journals. These are the best, unbiased and most trusted source you could ever find on propolis. In the internet, I would suggest you go to Google Scholar to find such papers.

Periodontal Disease and Bad Breath

The link between periodontal disease and bad breath has been recognized for many years – though not all people with bad breath have gum disease, many people with gum disease suffer from bad breath. The connection between the two is bacteria. A whole group of bacteria that live in the mouth are known to break down proteins in their environment and produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) that have a very unpleasant smell. The bacteria involved are predominantly anaerobic – they live in environments where there is little or no oxygen – and they are found in gum pockets, in the grooves and crevices on the back of the tongue, and around the tonsillar crypts.

Scientific studies have explored the relationship between the periodontal bacteria that are thought to cause much of the tissue destruction in gum disease, and the presence of breath odor in patients suffering from gum disease. A study by S. Awano and others, “The Relationship between the Presence of Periodontopathogenic Bacteria in Saliva and Halitosis,” (International Dental Journal: 2002 Jun;Suppl 3:212-6) looked for four species of bacteria in patients with both periodontal disease and bad breath. Researchers also measured levels of volatile sulfur compounds – hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. The results indicated that Bacteroides forsythus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Prevotella intermedia were all associated with VSC production, with B. forsythus being the most significant producer of all.

Other studies investigating the habitats of periodontal bacteria have shown that B. forsythus lives on the lining of the mouth in locations other than infected gum pockets in healthy people as well as those with gum disease, and P. intermedia is frequently found living on the surface of the tongue. Thus, while there is a clear association between periodontal disease and bad breath, there is also good evidence to support the claim that periodontal bacteria can be the source of bad breath, even in the absence of gum disease.

Scientific study of both periodontal disease and bad breath continue to reveal information that is helpful to those who suffer from these conditions. These studies suggest that remedies for bad breath that target periodontal bacteria are likely to bring positive results, and that achieving a permanent change in the bacterial microflora of the mouth might cure bad breath.

How Is The Understanding Of The “Inherited Lens” Affect Health and Illness in Singapore

Singapore is a cosmopolitan country and its population comprises the Chinese, Malays, Indians, and others such as the Eurasians. In this heterogeneous, multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society, perceptions towards illness, medical treatment and health beliefs are expected to be varied. The fact that such diversity of the population as the various ethnic groups continue to celebrate their own cultures while they intermingle with one another, between people from different backgrounds and different genders. According to Helman (1994), the rules that underpin the organization of a society in the way it symbolized and transmitted, are all part of that society’s culture.Helman (1994) also observed that culture, to a certain extent, can be seen as an “inherited lens” through which the individual perceives and understands the world in which he or she lives and learns to live within. The “inherited lens” has given us different perspectives of how individuals view their health and illness, and affects the way they respond to symptoms. It is also via this “inherited lens” that a patient determines how he seeks out health care.

A Singapore Minister, Mr Yeo, G. (2001) had distinctly highlighted that cultures evolve continuously, and are constantly in competition with each other. Although political correctness required us to view that all cultures are equal, but in reality, to achieve equality in cultures is an absurd proposition. Both cultural understanding and structure of health care, therefore, play an important part in determining health and illness. With the understanding of relevant health belief systems, we will enable the development of culturally sensitive health promotion programmes (Lee et al., 1993).

While culture can be influenced by other social variables like gender, class and age, other personal past experiences may also affect a person’s responses to health beliefs. As a health care professional, we must take care to ensure that patients from certain cultural backgrounds are not stereotyped.

Chinese settlement has taken place in Singapore from the mid 19th century, with most people coming from southeast China (Singapore Chinese Physicians’ Association, n.d.). Early migrants left China because of wars, floods, famine and poverty, and found work at the Singapore harbours.

Over the past 20 years, Chinese immigrants have arrived from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and elsewhere in Indochina. More recently, they have arrived from People’s Republic of China (PRC), and these immigrants speak Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. They bring with them their own culture, and now have to integrate into a new culture. Prior to 1965, most Chinese immigrants were working class (Chang, 1999) and recently, we have seen more professionals immigrating into Singapore.


Chang, K. (1999). Chinese Americans. In J.N. Giger & R.E. Davidhizer (Eds.), Transcultural nursing: Assessment & intervention (pp. 385-401). St. Louis: Mosby.

Helman, C. G. (1994). Culture, health and illness: The scope of medical anthropology (3rd ed). Oxford. Butterworth – Heinemann.

Lee, K. L., Schwarz, E. and Mak, K. Y. K. (1993) Improving oral health through understanding the meaning of health and disease in a Chinese culture. International Dental Journal, 43, 2-8.

Yeo, G. (2001, May 17). Interview with BG (NS) George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry by Dr Albert Bressand and Catherine Distler of Promethee in Paris. Retrieved January 05, 2007, from https://app.mti.gov.sg/default.asp?id=148&articleID=333&intViewCat=1&intCategory=3&txtKeyword=&txtStart=