Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.
There is a relationship between tooth decay and health. Our teeth reflect the health of our bodies; likewise, our dental treatment also affects our health. Currently, it appears that almost everyone has tooth decay. There is a high cost associated with dental treatment. Is tooth decay unavoidable, or is this because of changes in our eating habits, environment and the way we produce our food?
At the beginning of the 20th century, Dr. Weston Price, a renowned dentist found that after starting his dental practice in America, his business was simply too good as there were many people with dental problems. He wanted to find out if people from other parts of the world had similar problems, and he and his wife visited many places to find out the answer. He visited many remote and distant places including Africa, the Swiss Alps, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and the Amazon rain forests in Peru etc. He found that, in places where there were no contact with modern civilization and people ate traditional food, there were almost no cases of tooth decay. Further, once these people started to adopt modern diet and eat processed food and sugar, tooth decay appeared. Their gum also narrowed, leaving insufficient space for their teeth to grow, which resulted in a narrowing of the lower third of their faces.
The biggest difference between traditional and modern food is that the former contain four times more minerals, especially phosphorus. More importantly, the quantity of oil-soluble vitamins such as A, D and K2 are ten times that found in modern food. At that time, Dr. Price did not know Vitamin K2 and called the nutrient X. It was not until 2007 that scientists confirmed that nutrient X is Vitamin K2. For example, almost no one living in a remote valley in the Swiss Alps had tooth decay but 85%-100% of those taking modern Swiss diets had this problem. The change in their diet was that food high in vitamin such as milk and cheese produced from grazing cows/goats were replaced by sugar, chocolate and jam. However, when Dr. Price provided those children who had tooth decay with highly nutritious meals daily, there was no further deterioration in their tooth decay, and their oral lactic acid bacteria (which cause tooth decay) also decreased 95% or even disappear. Amazingly, the teeth that had decayed began to harden and heal. To prevent tooth decay and rehabilitate our teeth, we need to eradicate factors that cause this decay and also increase our intake of oil-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, preferably directly from the food we eat.
What are the factors to take note? Blood sugar imbalances can cause the loss of calcium and phosphorus in bones and teeth. Thus, it is important to significantly reduce the intake of food that raises blood sugar, such as sweet fruit, those that have high fructose, glucose, or refined sugar content, as well as processed food. If tooth decay is already present, then it is best to completely avoid sweet fruits and food with sugar.
In addition, it is necessary to appropriately eat grains, especially those that contain wheat germ and bran. Wheat germ and bran contain germination inhibitor known as phytic acid (plant acid) as well as other components that interfere with the absorption of nutrients (such as minerals) by the body. In some early animal experiments, when the animals were fed with untreated grains such as oats, guinea pigs developed scurvy and dogs developed rickets. These problems went away once these animals had a change in diet and consumed oats that were first germinated and then fermented by soaking in water for two days. Phytase is needed to break down phytic acid. But if the grain has been heated, its phytase composition disappears. In this case, it is necessary to use water (with which other grains had been fermented) to soak the grain that is about to be consumed. Drain the water after soaking. Phytase is an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, and its content varies with different types of grains. Those that have high phytase content include rye, wheat, buckwheat, barley; those with a moderate content include amaranth and quinoa; those with low content include mung beans, lentils, millet, peas, rice, corn, sorghum and oats.
Nuts, beans and seeds contain phytic acid. Before cooking them, it is best to soak grains 16-24 hours, allowing them to first germinate for a few days before soaking them again in water. For nuts, soak in water and allow them to germinate a little before using low heat to dry them. Alternatively, use slow fire to roast them as this can remove much of the phytic acid.
For oats, soak them for 24-48 hours in water with which other high phytase grains had been fermented. Drain the water. Oats sold in the market generally have been heated. To largely remove the phytic acid in brown rise, soak them for 16-24 hours. Retain 10 percent of the water to be used next time, and pour the rest away. The next time brown rice needs to be soaked, add in this water. When this is repeated after four times, 90% of the phytic acid in the brown rice will be removed after soaking. It is even better if the rice that had been soaked is further allowed to germinate.
If we normally eat a large quantity of grains containing wheat germs and bran along with various nuts, it is best to supplement our diet with Vitamins D and C from our food intake. The Synergy Company’s Bone Renewal product is beneficial to our teeth and bones as it has Vitamin D as well as Vitamin K and other minerals. Synergy’s Bliss Delight contains camu camu, which has high Vitamin C content. Lemons are rich sources of Vitamin C and enhance absorption of iron. Oil-soluble Vitamins A, D and K2 are also essential. Vitamins A and D promote the genetic production of two proteins: Osteocalcin which promotes the absorption of calcium by bones and teeth, and MGP (Matrixglaprotein) which removes vascular calcification. These two proteins require Vitamin K2 to be activated; otherwise, they do not serve any function. People nowadays are deficient in Vitamin K2 and therefore cannot appropriately absorb calcium. Modern day ailments are related to this aspect. Osteoporosis and hardening of the arteries arise because the associated proteins are not activated. Even diabetes in adults is related to a deficiency in Vitamin K2. Simply put, the lack of vitamin K2 is related to aging and agerelated ailments.
The following summarizes our current understanding of Vitamin K2:
- Aging: Vitamin K2 can prevent diseases caused by aging.
- Heart Disease: Adequate intake of Vitamin K2 can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and death.
- Vitamin K2 can best prevent hardening of the arteries.
- Osteoporosis: Vitamin K2 is needed to activate Osteocalcin, an important bone protein that is needed to absorb calcium.
- A deficiency increases the chance of bone fracture.
- It can reduce menopausal osteoporosis.
- Dementia: Prevents radical (free radical) damage in the brain, and resistance to insulin.
- Wrinkles: A lack of Vitamin K2 makes the skin lose its elasticity.
- Varicose veins: Vitamin K2 activates MGP, which can remove vein calcification.
- Diabetes: Vitamin K2 activates Osteocalcin, which influences the body’s manufacture and responsiveness to insulin.
- Vitamin K2 supplements can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
- Arthritis: Vitamin K2 prevents joint injuries from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Brain and nerve health: Vitamin K2 protects brain cells from hypoxic brain damage such as stroke and injury at birth, and helps spinal cord growth. It has been proven to reduce multiple sclerosis deterioration in animal studies.
- Cancer: People with high Vitamin K2 lower their propensity to get lung and prostate cancer.
- Prevents the formation of prostate cancer.
- Causes cancer normalization.
- Kidney disease: A deficiency in Vitamin K2 leads patients with kidney disease to develop hardening of the arteries.
- Fertility: Osteocalcin, which relies on the presence of K2 to function, affects the production of testosterone ketone, as well as the production of sperms and their survival.
- A deficiency in oil-soluble vitamins lengthens delivery time, and increases the risk of caesarean section.
- Fetal and child health: Vitamin K2 is critical to facial and gum development, along with the formation of a normal tooth structure. Vitamin K2 is especially important for the bones to grow well during the period of rapid growth (e.g., puberty).
- Teeth: Osteocalcin prevents tooth decay and aids in the restoration of decayed teeth, as well as reduces saliva bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- Why did scientists discover Vitamin K2 so much later, while Weston Price had long known about this new vitamin? One reason is the confusion between Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2, even though the nature and food source of food between these two vitamins are different. Vitamin K1 has a role in enabling blood clotting, and its main source is green plants. A deficiency in Vitamin K1 leads to non-stop bleeding. Since its function is very important, the body tries to retain it so there are few cases of deficiency in this vitamin. The main source of Vitamin K2 is oil-soluble fat, especially cream obtained from grazing cows and goat. In particular, cream from cows/goats that eat rapidly growing grass in the spring time is especially good. Eggs from chicken and ducks that feed on grass also contain Vitamin K2. The variety of cheese that Europeans and Americans eat also contains Vitamin K2. But the best source is Japanese natto, which contains a higher Vitamin K2 than any other product. In Japan, the probability of fracture is lower in regions where people eat more natto versus those where they do not eat natto.
Herbivorous animals and ethnic groups where people traditionally eat a lot of greens can easily convert Vitamin K1 to Vitamin K2. The key point is that the amount must be sufficient. As soon as blenders became available in the 1930s, a naturopathic doctor began to advocate the addition of green juice (energy soup) to the diet of a family whom he had taken care of for three generations. The family ate raw food, and their diet before then comprised largely fruits and nuts, with little greens. Before that, they had a lot of teeth and bones problems, but once they supplemented their diet with green juices, their bones and teeth became healthy. Children who were born later no longer had these teeth and bone problems. Green plants are sources of carotene and Vitamin K1. It is clear from this case that carotene converted to vitamin A, and Vitamin K1 converted to Vitamin K2. There was also a vegetarian who shared her experience. People who had tooth decay originally rarely developed this problem once they added energy soup and green juices to their diets.
I remember that after I started taking Pure Synergy (green powder developed by Dr. Mitchell May similar to Bliss Delight), my nails clearly became harder after three months.
To prevent tooth decay, it is best to start from the womb. Both baby teeth and permanent teeth are formed in the womb. The mother should take special care to have an adequate intake of Vitamins A, D and K2. A balanced diet combined with green juice and sprouts etc. is important. Dr. Ann Wigmore’s energy soup has green plants and sprouts as the main ingredients, with the addition of some fruits to improve the taste. She has also added some sprouted seeds and seaweeds to the recipe. One can also drink horsetail tea, a rich source of silicon that helps the absorption of calcium. There was a 70-year-old woman who drank horsetail tea (cooked 10 minutes or more) daily. A few months later when she went back to the dentist, some of the original small cavities had been healed. It is possible to add some horsetail grass when one cooks porridge.
Sunlight is the most important source of Vitamin D, especially sunlight during spring and summer. Before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. are good times to sunbathe a little, but this needs to be gradually increased. Begin by tanning the back of the feet for five minutes, followed by the calf on the second day. Slowly extend to the whole body but no more than 30 minutes. People who live in sunny areas are less likely to be deficient in Vitamin D. Some daily sunbathing may still be necessary for many people who leave the house early and return late, working under fluorescent light and facing the computer all day.
The following contains some suggestions on how to clean our teeth:
- When our diet is balanced in acidity/alkalinity, our saliva is weakly alkaline, which helps in the healing and repair of our teeth. Hence, it is best to not take snacks outside our three regular meals.
- Other than brushing our teeth in the morning and evening, rinsing our mouth or flossing our teeth is sufficient after taking other meals. Excessive brushing can harm the teeth’s enamel, especially right after eating acidic foods when the enamel softens. It is best to wait 30 minutes to 60 minutes before brushing, and to use a very soft toothbrush.
- To prepare mouthwash, mix two parts baking soda with one part salt, using a ratio of one small teaspoon to one glass of water. You can add some essential oil for the mouthwash (see note) as this can help remove bacteria. Its constituents are two kinds of oil: peppermint essential oil and almond oil.
If you eat sweet dried fruits and raisins, it is necessary to rinse the mouth and brush your teeth as these easily stick to your teeth.
- Price, Weston, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 8th ed., Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 2008
- Rheaume-Bleue, Kate, VitaminK2 and the calcium paradox, Harper Collins, 2012
Note: See item 8 on page 44 of the May 2015 volume of the Taiwanese Lapis Lazuli Light magazine.
The original Chinese article is published in the May 2015 issue of Lapis Lazuli Light magazine and is accessible online at: http://www.lapislazuli.org/tw/index.php?p=20150501.html