Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Marvelous Health of Unvaccinated Children

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 30, 2010

by Françoise Berthoud MD [medical doctor, pediatrician]

Once upon a time, in April 2009 to be exact, I was invited to give a speech at a conference on vaccination. I was to talk after two of the best speakers France has to offer on the subject had their turn, journalist Sylvie Simon and biologist Michel Georget. At hearing them speak in the past, it was absolutely clear to me that the best option is to stay as far away from vaccines as possible. I just did not know what to do instead to best assure staying alive and well. As a paediatrician and homeopath qualified to speak on the subject, I decided to setup a conference called The Marvellous Health of Unvaccinated Children along with my friends, Sylvie and Michel. This work would later evolve into a book that analyses various life choices often made by families that do not vaccinate, including home birth, breastfeeding, simple therapies, good food (often vegetarian), a tranquil living environment and trust in the capacity of the body to heal itself.

In my life as a paediatrician, I had spent lots of time in dialogue with the parents who often needed to voice their fears about both disease and vaccines. We worked out together the best route for their children. Some chose not to vaccinate at all. Others held onto fear of disease, especially tetanus. In those cases, we postponed vaccination as much as possible and used a homeopathic protection and “cleansing” called nosode.

I worked in Switzerland where there is no real legal obligation to vaccinate, only great social pressure. In France, just a few kilometres from my office, there were four compulsory vaccinations at the time (BCG was fortunately removed in 2007, and three remain: Di Te Pol).

Some of the basis of my ability to speak on the marvellous health of unvaccinated children comes from my personal experience as a medical doctor, having collected years of feedback.

“My child began coughing immediately after the vaccination.” 
“He has had constant ear aches since he was vaccinated.”
“My 16 years old daughter is completely unvaccinated. She is almost never sick. If she does get sick, it’s two days at the most.”
“The neighbour’s kids followed normal vaccination guidelines. They are constantly sick and on antibiotics.”
That was not enough upon which to write a book; however. As it would turn out, I found these observations were paralleled over and over again all over the world. Follow me around the planet.


In England, Michel Odent, MD showed in two studies that children having received no Pertussis vaccine had 5-6 times less asthma than those who were vaccinated for it. The first study was on 450 babies from La Leche League; the second one on 125 children in a Steiner school. (1)

Throughout Europe, a group of mostly paediatricians studied 14,893 children in Steiner schools in Austria, Germany, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland and found that children living in “anthroposophist culture” (where vaccination is largely shunned) were in better health than the controls. (2)

In Germany, one of the European Steiner schools study researchers wrote, “In the eastern part of Berlin before the fall of the wall, we saw less allergies than in the west. This population was poorer, nearer nature and less vaccinated.” Too much hygiene is not always good. As UK researcher and originator of the “hygiene hypothesis” David Strachan might say, “give us this day our daily germs”.

In Spain, Xavier Uriarte, MD and J. Manuel Marín, MD published a study in 1999 on 314 children they followed between 1975 to 2000. (3) This group of children is characterized by a majority of homebirth or natural births, prolonged breastfeeding, no vaccinations, holistic health education and no allopathic medicine. There were no serious diseases, few hospitalisations (mostly for traumas), and 3.3% asthma compared to the 20% in the general population. And of course, a lot of money was spared! 


The rate of autism in the U.S. is now an unthinkable 1 in 100. Those who are unvaccinated boast numbers that run in shocking contrast to the nation’s statistics. As this article is directed to the American people, I will not go on at length here. Most of you know the work of your very own journalist Dan Olmsted showing the incredible absence of autism in the unvaccinated Amish communities of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Further impressive is Chicago-based Homefirst Medical Clinic run by a group of doctors including medical director Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH. They have no known autism and super-scarce allergies in their children, many of whom were home deliveries, and most of whom have had no vaccinations. In 1985, I translated to French U.S. paediatrician Robert Mendelssohn, MD’s How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor. Now I find concrete result in the marvellous health of kids whose doctors are his pupils! I like these synchronicities in my life. 


In 1942, Leslie Owen Bailey, founder of the Natural Health Society of Australia, accepted guardianship of 85 children whose mothers were unable to care for them. Among these 85 children, no vaccinations were ever given, no drugs were ever taken or used, and no operations were ever performed. The only malady that occurred was when 34 of the children developed chicken pox. They were immediately put to bed and given only pure water or fresh fruit juice. They all recovered quickly without after-effects. Investigations revealed that these children whilst at school had been swapping their healthy lunches for unhealthy conventional foods, so this outbreak was not altogether surprising. 

Many of these children inherited poor health due to a history of illness and malnourishment in their mothers. Despite this, and the fact that they were never breastfed nor could enjoy the normal bonding of mother to child, they were able to grow into sturdy, self-reliant children. 


Two studies done in New Zealand in 1992 and 1995 show that the unvaccinated children clearly have less allergies, less otitis (ear aches), less tonsillitis, less running noses, less epilepsies and less ADHD. (4)


An interesting period in Japan was 1975-1980, when a decision was made to begin the first vaccinations at two years of age instead of at two months. The reason was that more and more was discovered linking vaccines and cot-death (SIDS). A study was published in Pediatrics showing that from 1970 to January 1975, there were 57 cases of serious vaccine reactions, including 37 deaths. From February 1975 to August 1981 there were eight cases of serious vaccine reactions, including three deaths. Unfortunately for kids and their parents, the Japanese vaccination plan is now “normalized” again. The study shows well that the immune system is stronger at two years than at two months. How well would these kids have done had they not been vaccinated at all? 

We find the same observation in a Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology study. Of 11,531 children studied at age seven, here are the results: vaccinated at two months, 13.8% are asthmatic, vaccinated between two and four months, 10.3%, vaccinated after four months, 5.9 %. Again, how well would these kids have done had they not been vaccinated at all?


As a concerned, compassionate and considerate paediatrician, I can only arrive at one conclusion. Unvaccinated children have by far the best chance of enjoying marvellous health. Any vaccination at all works to cripple the chances of this end. 



2) Allergic diseases and atopic sensitization in children related to farming and anthroposophic lifestyle – Persifal study. Allergy 2006, 61 (4) : 414-421.



Picture Credit


Butter Banning World Cup Team Gets the Boot

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 28, 2010

Fabio Capello needs a history lesson.    The retired Italian footballer and current manager of England’s seeded – and now soundly defeated – World Cup team banned butter as part of the team’s rigorous training regimen.  

Big mistake.    Big, huge mistake.

A study of traditional cultures from around the world as performed by Dr. Weston A. Price in his epic work Nutrition and Physical Degeneration showed that, without exception, a strong correlation exists between diets rich in animal fats, robust health, and elite athletic ability.  Traditional Swiss athletes, for example, were fed bowls of cream before competition.   In Africa, groups that ate lots of fatty meat, organ meats, and fatty fish consistently won athletic competitions.  Tribes whose diets were largely vegetarian were athletically dominated by the animal fat/meat eating tribes (or powned as my son would say – tween slang for punished and owned, in case you were wondering).

Mr. Capello apparently recommended that Team England follow a Mediterranean style diet in preparation for World Cup competition.   While the common people in Ancient Greece may have focused on bread, fruit, and vegetables, the integral parts of a Mediterranean diet, the elite athletes at that time did not eat this way.    In fact, Ancient Olympians ate a mostly meat based diet, and it wasn’t lean meat either!

Banning butter (and probably fatty meat, cream, and other sources of blood sugar steadying and stamina producing saturated fats) from the diet of England’s World Cup team was truly a very foolish thing for Mr. Capello to do.  

Athletes that “carb load” prior to competition have significantly less endurance than athletes that “fat load” prior to athletic events (High Fat Diets Help Athletes Perform, Science News, 1996, 149:18:287).  

Given that England’s level of play at the World Cup was consistently less than inspired and definitely lacking in spirit, it is clear that Mr. Capello could have used a crash course in history before issuing his short sighted diet edict.

You know the old saying that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it?   In Fabio Capello’s case, England’s flame out at the World Cup illustrates this adage perfectly.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit


Grain Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 27, 2010

I just love lemon poppyseed muffins. The lemon flavor, the light fluffiness of the white wheat flour, and the gentle crunch of the poppy seeds as you chew makes for a delightfully sweet treat!

This recipe is a recreation of the lemon poppyseed muffin made with coconut flour.  They are indescribably good.    The lemon juice cuts the slight coconut flavor from the flour so you really don’t taste it at all – not that I mind the coconut flavor, but it’s nice to be able to mask it if you want to.

You simply must try them as they are so very easy to make.   Let me know what you think!

Grain Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

1/4 cup coconut flour (sources)
4 pastured, local eggs
1/4 cup local honey of choice (sources)
1/4 cup expeller pressed coconut oil or butter (sources)
1/4 tsp sea salt (sources)
1/4 tsp baking soda (sources)
1 TBL poppy seeds (sources)
1-3 TBL fresh lemon juice (adjust based on how lemony you want the muffins to taste)

Soften coconut oil or butter and blend all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.   Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes.    Makes about 20 mini muffins.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Beware of Millet

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 26, 2010

Gluten allergies are clearly on the increase in our modern society.   It seems like practically every other person I know these days has some sort of digestive issue that avoiding gluten would probably improve.

At the top of the list of gluten containing foods is wheat, the indisputable, primary staple of the Western diet and the very foundation of the hopelessly misguided USDA Food Pyramid.   Given how important bread and other wheat based carbohydrates are to our society’s basic food requirements, it’s no wonder that folks seek a quick and easy substitute for wheat bread and wheat based snacks when a gluten allergy or celiac disease has been diagnosed.

Millet:  An Ancient Whole Grain

Enter millet.   This ancient grain was cultivated in East Asia as far back as 10,000 years ago, according to archaeologists.  Surprisingly, cultivation of millet in prehistoric times was more prevalent than even rice, particularly in what is now China and the Korean peninsula.

Millet’s resistance to drought is perhaps the reason for its popularity in ancient times and its spread to Europe by 5000 B.C.
Despite the 5000 year difference in adapting this whole grain as a staple food, millet porridge is considered a traditional food in Russia as well as China!    Use of millet is also widespread in Africa, known for its drought prone climate.

Millet Bread:  A Logical Substitute for Wheat

The protein structure of millet is quite similar to wheat.   The one glaring exception is that millet is a non gluten grain.   Wheat contains copious amounts of this hard to digest plant protein.

When millet flour is used for baking bread, the resulting loaf is light, white, and quite similar in texture to wheat bread.   As a result, people who wish to avoid gluten tend to immediately gravitate to millet bread as the most logical and palatable substitute.

Millet bread is extremely popular in healthfood stores.   Sami’s Bakery and Deland Bakery are two local bakeries that sell an absolute ton of millet bread to these stores around my local metro area.   I recently corresponded with a person up the East Coast of the USA who was consuming a lot of the millet/flax chips from Sami’s Bakery as an alternative to wheat based snacks and had no idea of the potential health risks from consuming so much millet.

It was this discussion that led me to write this blog and warn folks about the dangers of consuming too much millet!

Beware of Millet – A Potent Goitrogen

While millet may not contain gluten, it does contain goitrogens.  Goitrogens are those substances in food that suppress thyroid activity and can lead to goiter, an enlargement of this very important gland which resides in the throat.  Low iodine intake can also lead to goiter.

Hypothyroidism is a serious and sometimes debilitating condition that accompanies a weak or enlarged thyroid such as what occurs with goiter. Depression, difficulty losing weight, loss of hair, cold hands/feet, and fatigue are common hypothyroid symptoms.  By some estimates, hypothyroidism is at epidemic proportions in Western society.

While the goitrogens in foods that contain them are usually reduced by cooking (such as cruciferous vegetables), cooking actually increases the goitrogenic effect of millet!  Therefore, when folks begin eating large amounts of millet bread with a wholesale switch over from wheat, the goitrogenic effects of this simple dietary change can be profound.

Eat Millet in Moderation

Protect your thyroid at all costs!  It is a real challenge to unwind the effects of hypothyroidism once this vital gland is weakened or enlarged.  Don’t take any chances with your thyroid health by consuming large amounts of millet bread or millet based snacks.  If gluten and/or wheat is a problem, then simply reduce bread consumption or use another grain that is both non gluten containing and non goitrogenic such as rice or oats.  Occasional millet bread consumption is fine if your thyroid is healthy – just don’t overdo!

Given how difficult it is in modern society to maintain thyroid and overall glandular health, taking a chance by eating a lot of millet bread is a risky proposition indeed.  Traditional peoples did not have the constant stresses and strains on their glands like modern people do with the pollution of our food, water, air and overall environment.  Therefore, we must be overprotective of our glandular health and avoid regular consumption of foods that might impair it in any way.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Photo Credits


Metabolic Conditioning aka “Cardio”

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 26, 2010
Paula continues our Fit Friday series today with a discussion of “Cardio”.    To check out Paula’s previous two guest posts on fitness, click here:

By Guest Blogger Paula Jager CSCS
As we discussed the last 2 weeks, nutrition lays the foundation for health and fitness. 
 From there we begin to build. . .
Time to move–biking, running, rowing, swimming, speed skating, cross-country skiing and other machine based modalities are collectively known as “metabolic conditioning.” In the common vernacular they are referred to as “cardio.” If your goal is to be as lean and muscular as possible you need to perform your “cardio” CrossFit style.

In order to understand this approach to “cardio” we must first understand the three metabolic pathways or systems that provide the energy for all human motion. The “metabolic engines” are known as the phosphagen system, the glycolytic system and the oxidative system. The first two, the phosphagen and glycolytic, are “anaerobic” and the third, the oxidative, is “aerobic.” No need to belabor the physiological significance of aerobic and anaerobic systems; suffice it to say the nature and interaction of anaerobic and aerobic exercise is vital to understanding conditioning. To simplify; activities of moderate to high power lasting less than several minutes are anaerobic and activities of low power lasting in excess of several minutes are aerobic. As an example, sprints of 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters are largely anaerobic while events like 1500 meters, the mile, 2000 meters and 3000 meters are largely aerobic.
The goal is to develop total fitness which requires competency and training in each of these systems. Balancing the effects of these three systems largely determines the how and why of the “cardio’ that we do. Favoring one or two at the exclusion of the others and not recognizing the detrimental effects of excessive training in the oxidative system are the two most common faults in fitness training.
Aerobic training benefits the cardiovascular system and decreases body fat–all good. It allows us to perform low intensity efforts for extended periods of time efficiently. But when a preponderance of the training load is spent in aerobic efforts decreases in muscle mass, strength, power and speed often occur. An example would be marathon runners.
Anaerobic activity also benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat. It is actually superior to aerobic exercise for fat loss. Additionally, you will dramatically improve power, speed, strength and muscle mass without taking away from aerobic capacity. An example would be sprinters. In fact, properly programmed anaerobic training will develop a high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting of high volumes of aerobic exercise. This method is “interval training.”
Interval training mixes bouts of work and rest in timed intervals. You control the dominant metabolic pathway by varying the duration of the work and rest interval and number of repetitions. For the phosphagen pathway intervals of 10 to 30 seconds of work followed by rest of 30 to 90 seconds or a 1:3 work:rest ratio. Intervals of 30 to 120 seconds in the glycolytic pathway with rest of 60 to 240 seconds or a 1:2. And lastly, the oxidative pathway in intervals of 120 to 300 seconds followed by rest of 120 to 300 seconds or a 1:1. The bulk of your training should be interval based.
Interval training need not be so structured or formal. One example would be to sprint, run or jog between one set of lifeguard stations at the beach and run, jog or walk between the next set alternating in this manner for the duration. Could be telephone poles in your neighborhood or other landmarks at your local park; one only needs to be creative to workout virtually anywhere with little to no equipment. An example of an interval that CrossFit makes regular use of is the Tabata Interval, which is 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated six to eight times. The best thing to do is to regularly experiment with interval patterns of varying combinations of rest, work and repetitions.
Let’s face the facts: most people do long, slow cardio because it’s easy, not due to its magical fat-burning properties. The days of grinding away on the treadmill, walking on an incline for hours at a time are gone. If you can read a magazine, watch TV or talk while doing “cardio” you’re not working hard enough. Start from wherever you are at, but it’s time to raise the bar and take it up a notch. If you’re sedentary, start walking. If you’re walking, add jogging intervals. If you’re jogging, add running intervals. If you’re running, add sprinting intervals. Joint issues, can’t take the pounding? Use a bike, elliptical trainer or stair climber; in order to achieve results there can be no excuses. Let go of the fallacy that endurance work is of greater benefit than higher intensity interval work and watch your physique become hard and lean. Are you ready? Dig deep and 3.2 l. GO!
Next week we’ll discover the gymnast within. . .
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar.
Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results

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