Disease Enters Through the Mouth: Why What and How You Eat Matters
November 20, 2017 | Published by Dr. Eric Bakker
“Disease enters through the mouth,” claims a Chinese saying. In other words, what you eat and the way you eat have a profound effect on your health.
Look at how foods affect you emotionally. If you are hungry you may feel irritable and restless, whereas if you have just eaten a meal you may feel calmer and satisfied. If you are sleepy, you may feel more productive after a cup of coffee and a light snack. If you have consistently eaten less food than needed, you may well be apathetic and moody (typically due to low blood sugar levels).
Your brain has a very high energy and nutrient requirement. Intake of energy and several different nutrients affect levels of chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters send nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another, which influence your mood, sleep patterns, thinking, the movement of your body and much more. Deficiencies or imbalances of essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals or amino acids can all impair brain function, cause changes to your memory, make it easier for you to become irritable, moody, depressed or violent, and may even damage nerves in the brain.
It is important to view nutrition as being one of the most powerful factors under our control shaping how we think, how we feel and more importantly how we act. Dr. Derrick Lonsdale has an excellent book on nutrition and its effect on mental and emotional health. Dr. Lonsdale specialized in inherited disorders caused by faulty body/brain chemistry, known as “inborn errors of metabolism.” Lonsdale believes from his experiences with children and diet that the diet itself does not directly cause a person to commit a crime, but it does make it a lot easier for that person’s “primitive nature” to come through and under these circumstances to commit mindless acts of violence.
Experts like Lonsdale believe that consuming highly refined foods can be compared with flooding the engine of a car by having the choke on for too long. In the brain, refined carbs, along with the resulting loss of efficiency, create an imbalance between the upper brain (personality, thinking, cognition) over the lower one (the more primitive urges, eating, sleeping, reproduction, survival, etc). The result is that our more primitive behavior is exposed.
Your Brain and Sugar
Nature never intended sugar to be in as raw a state as we have created. In nature, sugars are always present with minerals such as chromium, zinc and Vitamin B6, which aid in their digestion and assimilation into the system. Natural sugars are not found wrapped neatly in paper in a white granulated form hanging off a tree branch, but rather wrapped up in some sort of stem, fruit, root or even a leaf, along with several types of fibers. These other parts play a vital role in the metabolism of the sugar, slowing down the absorption and release of sugars in your system.
You can compare your brain and glucose to the workings of your car with gas as the fuel. Your brain is an incredibly high-performance engine, requiring a large supply of high-grade fuel consisting of glucose & amino acids to function optimally. Some folk expect to get reliable performance from the cheap and fast fuels they regularly pour into their engines such as alcohol, fizzy drinks, cakes chocolate, ice cream, and deep-fried take-away, as well as the foods containing preservatives and other chemicals.
Refined white sugar is a most potent (and dangerous) form of fuel. It is worth remembering that of the approximately 70, 000 chemicals in existence, only a few hundred have been adequately tested on human beings. In some sense, you could view thousands of these additional chemicals potentially as “fuel additives” of which we have virtually no understanding of their workings on our delicate precision machinery. But worse than this, today we actually use sugars in a super refined state which our brains and cells were never really designed to run on in the first place.
Highly processed diets affect our brain (the computer) initially by way of our tongue and taste buds. This constant agreeable stimulus gets us hooked, and many companies know just how easy it is to manipulate foods (or rather the chemicals in or on them) to get us to eat more and more of them.
I heard Paul Pilzer speak on how big companies use their tricks to snare unsuspecting buyers with their highly processed foods. Pilzer, a world-renowned food economist and college professor, mentioned one company that specializes in making potato chips for women who weigh more than 200 pounds. This company had a group of women eat their chips to complete a specialized survey to find out how much they could eat before they felt full. By manipulating the chemicals on the chips, they were able to get women to eat just that little more. The results? Increased sales in a highly competitive market.
Large food companies with even larger marketing budgets will continue to find their sneaky and sordid ways to peddle their toxic wares, to the detriment of their unsuspecting consumer. Do you remember the TV commercial from the past which literally told you, “Once you pop, you just can’t stop?”
One day, it is my hope that we will have advanced enough to become aware that our behavior is affected by what we eat and drink. Unfortunately, we are still living in a time when profits of the big chemical companies appear to overcome all moral objections.
The recommendations made above are best used in conjunction with advice from your health care professional. Treating behavioral issues does take time and patience on the part of the patient as well as the practitioner, but is highly achievable when the right diet and lifestyle changes and supplements are recommended.
About the author: Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 27 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specializes in candida, psoriasis, as well as adrenal fatigue, thyroid and digestive disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. He has also written what may well be the most comprehensive Natural Psoriasis Treatment Program available. You can find more articles by Dr. Bakker on his blog at www.ericbakker.com.
Jouvet, M., et al. Noradrenaline and cerebral aging. Encephale. 17(3):187-195, 1991.
Lonsdale, D, et al. Red cell transketo-lase as an indicator of nutritional deficiency. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 33(2):205-211, 1980.
Werbach, M. R. Nutritional influences on aggressive behavior. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 7(1), 1995.
Pfeiffer, Carl C. Nutrition and Mental Illness. Healing Arts Press. Vermont 1989.
Categorised in: General Health