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Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Book Decades Ahead of Its Time

By Edited Sep 4, 2016 3 8
Weston A. Price
Credit: Copyright The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.

Weston A. Price (1870 to 1948) was a Canadian-American dentist.[1]

Science continues to confirm the conclusions of Weston A. Price

Canadian-American dentist Weston A. Price wrote what is one of the most important health books ever written. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration should be required reading for absolutely anyone interested in physical health, especially professionals.

Although the book was first published in 1939,[2] it was decades ahead of its time. Many of the conclusions drawn by Price are just now being confirmed and explained by science, and are becoming widely known. 

Alaskan Eskimos
Credit: Public domain image from 1929.

Alaskan Eskimos are one of the groups that Weston A. Price visited and stayed with, to learn about their traditional diet and lifestyle.[2] Photo is from 1929.

Traveling around the world, visiting with native tribal groups

The book is the result of more than a decade of work and research, as Price and his wife traveled the world at a time when many so-called primitive cultures were still living in the traditional way that they had lived for thousands of years. Price visited with many of these groups in locations around the world, staying with them for long periods of time to study their diets and lifestyles.[2]

He also studied members of the same groups who had given up the traditional lifestyle and adopted the diet and lifestyle of modern civilization.[2] The results of this research are astounding.

The products below contains affiliate links that generate the author a small commission on purchases made through those links.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration on Amazon:

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The causes of modern degenerative diseases discovered and explained

Price clearly shows through hundreds of pages, and with numerous thorough examples, unmistakable evidence that these various tribes were in tune with nature, and that so-called civilized society is not – and that the traditional diets and lifestyles were conducive to far superior health.[2] Modern foods and lifestyles are factually causing massive amounts of degenerative disease (such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc),[3] including deformities of the skeleton and major dental problems, which are almost entirely absent in these native groups.[2][5]

He clearly explains the numerous superior health benefits of the vitamin and mineral rich diets of these native tribal groups, and the science leaves no doubt – as he concludes, our civilization must learn from the wisdom of these groups rather than abandoning it, or we will disappear just like many of the great civilizations of the past. Our collective physical health will be our undoing if we don’t learn this lesson.[2]

The Maasai People
Credit: Wikipedia photo by Walther Dobbertin, CC BY-SA 3.0 de.

The Maasai People of Eastern Africa were visited by Weston A. Price. Photo is from the early 20th Century. He would stay with the groups that he visited long enough to learn to communicate with them.[2]

Information decades ahead of its time

Much of what this doctor taught over seven decades ago (as of the date that this review is being written) is being taught by those at the forefront of health science, while the mainstream medical industry and food experts are still stuck several decades behind, and are very slow to adapt to new information.[4] Unfortunately, decades ago Price was ignored because his ideas and conclusions were too radical compared with what was commonly known and accepted. However, everything that he said is being proven to be correct through modern science.

Price spoke of the importance of eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals, and avoiding sugar, white flour, and industrial vegetable oils[2] – which are still in nearly all processed foods that fill standard grocery stores, and fast foods too – and how these cause heart disease and other problems.[2] This is just becoming common knowledge, as everyone mistakenly thought for decades that heart disease was caused by cholesterol and/or saturated fat in the diet.[6][7]

Price warned against the ineffectiveness of sodium fluoride being added to tap water. This is increasingly becoming more of an issue, and most governments still add it to water, believing it to help everyone’s dental health. Price accurately explains why it can’t possibly help anyone.[2][8]

Price showed how native tribal groups required men and women to eat specific nutrient-rich foods prior to marriage, and how women ate specific foods prior to conception, during pregnancy, and also while breastfeeding, to maximize the health of their children.[2] It is very uncommon knowledge, but scientific fact, that our diets and lifestyles change the expression of our genes and what is passed on to offspring. This is called the science of epigenetics.[9] The tribal groups knew this, and Price explained it, but hardly anyone knows this more than 75 years later.

Price showed clearly, and it’s the reason why he began his research, the effects of bad nutrition on bone health, dental health, and also on mental abilities, intelligence, and even morality and criminal behaviors. His numerous examples and explanations again confound any who would try to deny that this is true. [2]

Price breaks down the traditional diets found in different parts of the world, clearly showing their similarities and differences, and how each is conducive to health. He explains which components we ought to adopt for optimal health, and explains how it is that modern processed foods often lack the nutrients that our bodies require, and how this leads to serious health problems.[2]

These are examples of what’s thoroughly discussed in this incredible book with numerous examples and extensive research and evidence, and there is so much more. The more we learn about what is natural for our bodies, and what our ancestors lived like for thousands of years, the more we can abandon modern foods and lifestyles that are unnatural and cause serious harm.[2]

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The information in this book is uncommon knowledge, and comes in large part from the work of Weston A. Price. Fact is this works, and using the nutritional information and other advice in here has very clearly benefited myself and my family.
Maori People
Credit: Public domain photo from the 1880s.

The Maori People of New Zealand were another of the groups visited by Weston A. Price.[2] Photo is from the 1880s.

Don't wait for official sources of information to catch up

It’s unlikely that much of this will become common knowledge quickly. Governments, the health industry, and other official organizations are always slow to adapt to change, particularly when it requires admitting that serious errors have been made. A good example of this is the extreme slowness in changing recommendations about the consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat, which have been thoroughly disproven as being causes of heart disease.[4][6][7]

It’s better to study on our own and follow the current science than to wait for official sources of information to catch up. They are always the very last ones to adopt and disseminate new information, even attacking new information at first. Admitting mistakes is difficult for organizations that stand to lose a great deal of credibility, and also profits, if they don’t keep pretending that they are always correct.

I highly recommend this book to anyone serious about health and preventing or in some cases even reversing degenerative disease.



Feb 21, 2015 3:23pm
Good article!

We always tend to look for complicated solutions to our health problems, but here are many simple but overlooked things we can do to improve our health. Grandma's advice to "eat your (fresh) veggies" is as true today as it ever was.
Feb 21, 2015 5:20pm
Dr. Price was certainly ahead of his time, in many ways. Food in its most natural state is usually best for our health. However, the raw food diet concerns me - raw meat, fish, and dairy. Food-borne illnesses are real and can be deadly. One course in microbiology made me order everything 'well done.'

One point that I feel is important is the evidence that our bodies become accustomed to eating certain foods. Drastic changes to our diet can be detrimental. We see this in pets and are told by vets to introduce a new food gradually. The same is true with us.

Nutrition is not a 'one size fits all' health topic. Various people have issues with their absorption of nutrients. Another example of this is food allergies - peanuts might be fine for some; yet deadly for others.

Another fine article Jonathan, thank you for reviewing the work of Dr. Price (a must-read).
Feb 21, 2015 7:20pm
I've read that raw dairy can be very safe but it has to be done right - although I wouldn't try raw meat.

You're so very correct that everyone is different and needs to find what works best for them with nutrition. For example, I can't eat gluten, legumes, or mushrooms but most people can.
Feb 21, 2015 8:12pm
Ohhh, my good man, read: http://www.cdc.gov/features/rawmilk/

"The risk of outbreaks caused by raw milk is at least 150 times greater than the risk of outbreaks caused by pasteurized milk.
Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria and other germs that can make you very sick or even kill you. While it is possible to get foodborne illnesses from many different foods, raw milk is one of the riskiest of all."
Feb 21, 2015 8:42pm
No worries, I've studied this a lot. I didn't mean to imply there aren't risks. It's just that certain methods can minimize the risks - and each person would have to decide for themselves whether it's worth it.
Feb 21, 2015 8:46pm
Fair enough, but Jonathan consider for one moment how close a cow's udders are to where they excrete feces. If you looked at raw milk under a microscope, you'd be ordering it 'well done' too.
Feb 21, 2015 8:50pm
Here you go, I've seen these strains of bacteria for myself: https://foodsafety.foodscience.cornell.edu/sites/foodsafety.foodscience.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/CU-DFScience-Notes-Milk-Under-the-Microscope-06-10.pdf
Feb 22, 2015 8:12am
Thanks for the links. For myself, I never drink milk - and the only one in our family who does is our two-year-old. I give her organic whole milk (pasteurized).
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  1. "Weston Price." Wikipedia. 21/02/2015 <Web >
  2. Weston A. Price Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Lemon Grove, CA: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 1945 edition.
  3. "Beyond Paleo." Chris Kresser. 21/02/2015 <Web >
  4. "Modern Nutrition Policy is Based on Lies and Bad Science." Authority Nutrition. 21/02/2015 <Web >
  5. "15 Things That Everyone Needs to Know About Nutrition." Authority Nutrition. 21/02/2015 <Web >
  6. "The Diet-Heart Myth: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Naturally." Chris Kresser. 21/02/2015 <Web >
  7. "An Epic Debunking of the Saturated Fat Myth." Authority Nutrition. 21/02/2015 <Web >
  8. Ramiel Nagel Cure Tooth Decay. Ashland, OR: Golden Child Publishing, 2012.
  9. "RHR: The Latest Discoveries in Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, and Epigenetics." Chris Kresser. 21/02/2015 <Web >

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