Friday, November 13, 2009

Classic example of poor western medicine - oral health and western disease

This is the mirror post of my previous post about how wonderful western medicine is. So if you haven't read my previous post, please do it now. In the same paper as the wonderful article about western medicine creating miracles is an article titled "More benefit to brushing your teeth." It goes on to open with with the following:
Good oral care such as regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist, may help aging adults keep their thinking skills intact, according to a US study. Research has already established an association between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer's disease.

But researchers from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York found gum disease could also influence brain function through several mechanisms, such as causing inflammation throughout the body, a risk factor for loss of mental function.

 Then concludes:
"Although our results are preliminary, they suggest that further exploration of relationships between oral health and cognition is warranted," they concluded.

This is a classic example of western research where the researches have great intention. However as they have focused in on the detail they have not stepped back to ask what is the connection between oral health and western degenerative disease. Or even worse they think that poor dental hygiene causes the western degenerative diseases.

Lets take a step back and look at some historic research:

High nutrient intake = healthy teeth/gums/mouth. Early in the vitamin research Albert Szent-Gyorgyi the person who won a Nobel Prize for his vitamin C work noticed that bleeding gums, a sign of poor oral health was correlated with lack of vitamin P. Turns out that vitamin P is not a vitamin, but is a a bioflavonid that is associated with vitamin C. Thus people on a high bioflavonid diet do not have bleeding gums

Also early on in vitamin research, scientists noted that teeth degradation occurred with with lack of nutrients. This was even proposed as an indicator of vitamin levels (or lack off).

Lastly at a Sally Fellon lecture, she talked about how Weston Price traveled around the world about a century ago. He was a trained dentist and as he traveled he noticed a very strong correlation between a healthy diet and great teeth, this was across all nationality's/ethic groups. Conversely a poor western diet, high in sugar and processed foods produced bad teeth. Given how much more processing goes on now compared to 100 years or more ago explains why everyone has fillings today. 

Thus poor oral hygiene is caused by poor diet. Western degenerative disease is caused by poor diet. Therefore it should be obvious that they will be related.

The sad thing is that the newspaper article implies if not outright stating that poor oral hygiene causes these other diseases. For this is not a causes/effect relationship between oral health and degenerative disease. They are sympotms of the same root cause. A lower nutrient intake and high sugar/processed food intake.

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