Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Powerful video from Dr. Terry Wahls, "Minding your Mitochondria"

Above is a powerful video of a TEDx talk given on November 11, 2011 by Dr. Terry Wahls, entitled "Minding your Mitochondria."

In it, she describes how she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000, and transitioned to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2003. In the video, she discusses radical changes in diet she began implementing in 2007, which she believes to be directly related to her amazing recovery, a recovery that started within a month of implementing the dietary changes.

The video discusses the importance of our diet, examining the problems with the "modern" or "western" diet, and providing some thought-provoking recommendations about foods and proportions that she selected primarily for their impact on mitochondrial health and myelin production, but which may have other beneficial impacts on overall health and may more closely correspond to the diet we were designed to eat (or, as some believe, that we evolved to eat).

She recommends daily consumption of three cups of green leaves or leafy vegetables, three cups of sulfur-rich vegetables, three cups of colorful vegetables and/or fruits, and daily consumption of grass-fed meats or wild fish. She also recommends weekly consumption of organ meats. One notable point in these recommendations is that there is a host of other literature which points to the importance of all of these items -- none of the food groups recommended should really be too controversial. Writers from Michael Pollan (author of In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto, as well as many other works, who recommends fewer "seed-based" foods and more "leaf-based" foods) to Sally Fallon (author of Nourishing Traditions, which was mentioned in this previous blog post, and which contains an entire section on organ meats and a discussion of their health benefits and value in almost all traditional diets) have argued for the value of the foods that Dr. Wahls discusses in the video above.

We have seen in previous blog posts such as this one and this one that some analysts believe that the cholesterol hypothesis, which undergirds many of the recommendations pushed by government food "allowances," may be dangerously flawed. As Sally Fallon says in the cookbook linked above (published in 1999):
Many of our grandparents will remember the days when liver was served once a week. Establishment nutritionists now recommend we discontinue this healthful practice in order to avoid cholesterol! page 299.
This example illustrates the importance of examining the theories which are handed to us by the establishment, theories which are often prefaced with the words, "Scientists have now proven . . ." Dietary theories are a powerful example of the importance of examining the assumptions and the analysis that underlies the theories that inform our thinking, because diet really is an area in which we all can see that "faulty theories can hurt you." I would argue that theories about the ancient history of the human race are also vitally important, and that faulty theories in that department can also be quite harmful. The same can be said for geological theories as well.

We should all wish Dr. Wahls the very best with her ongoing fight for her own health, as well as with her courageous work in conducting clinical studies to learn more about the interaction of diet and chronic disease and to share this knowledge with the world, all of which is intended to help others.

A series of other related videos is available at Dr. Wahls' website here.

Big "hat tip" to Graham Hancock Message Board member "Ratcho," who shared the link to this video in a Message Board discussion here.