June 2008

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Vol: 11.06


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Geoff Bond

Nutritional Anthropologist

Evolutionary Biology

The Bond Effect The Bond Effect The Bond Effect
The Science and Art of Living the Way Nature Intended
Private Subscription Newsletter: $18.00 Annually
11th Year of Monthly Publication

Rational, intelligent, evidence-based comment for a knowledgeable general public and for health professionals. 

Independent of commercial pressure, we say exactly what we think.



Food Scarcity - Mini-livestock Here We Come



Ridding Ourselves of the Magic Bullet Mentality



Fruit Clafoutis



Calcium Deposits in Blood Vessels



Intellectual Honesty Appreciated



The Secret to Bone Health in Centenarians

Fat Young, Die Young

Breast Feeding Moms Halve Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis



Simple Veggie Wash is Most Effective



Should Different Races Have Different Lifestyles? (continued)



Deadly Harvest Online



Always consult your doctor before undertaking any health program


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Deadly Harvest Information Page

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Healthy Harvest Information Page

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Electronic Edition

We have had three pdf format newsletters in a row because we needed the middle one (April) to be one we could distribute as a hard copy (it marked our 10th anniversary edition). This month we return to the routine of alternating "ezine" format with pdf format. Let us know what you think


Food Scarcity - Mini-livestock Here We Come



"Can Meat and Fish Consumption be Sustainable?" Such is the question posed by the Worldwatch Institute (a think tank) in its State of the World 2008 report. Not surprisingly, they find that intensive production of conventional products like beef, pork, salmon and tuna is already creating ecological havoc and yet it cannot keep pace with the burgeoning world population.

However, there was a time and place when hungry farmers rejoiced to see hordes of locusts blackening the skies. They collected them by the cartload and consumed them roasted and preserved for months to come. 

So more provocatively Worldwatch point out that we should embrace the idea of consuming "mini-livestock": these are the bugs, worms and insects forming a common part of the diet in various parts of the world. 

The above photo shows a dish on offer in Indonesia. It consists of ant pupae and yellow bamboo caterpillars surrounding a pile of scrambled eggs.

As I have mentioned on many occasions, such "animal matter" is actually more authentic human food than the beef, pork, tuna etc... that we are so used to eating now. See "Exotic Foods" in Deadly Harvest, page 63; "Earthworms of the Amazon" in Newsletter January 2003 and "Beetlemania" in Newsletter March 2001

Personally, I find it difficult to get my mind around eating such creatures, although I only had to cross the English Channel to eat frogs legs and snails. But I have, unsuspectingly, eaten all kinds of unrecognizable yet tasty concoctions in Arabia, Asia and Africa. Only after the event did I discover that they were made from some unmentionable animal part. So our resistance is all in the mind. 

As I say in my first book "Natural Eating", Chapter Two, page 1: 

"The great arctic explorer Amundsen on his expeditions to the North Pole used to live on frozen raw seal - the skin, the blood, the guts - everything - just like his Eskimo mentors. He was asked “how could you do that?” Amundsen replied “People like what they are used to eating”. He had to get used to liking a different pattern of eating."

And if the truth be known, many people are already - and quite insouciantly - eating many gruesome animal parts - in hamburgers, sausages, and many other processed meats. Maybe the hotdogs of the future will also include minced up mini-livestock!



Ridding Ourselves of the “Magic Bullet” Mentality

"We need to rid ourselves of the “magic bullet” mentality; the notion that there is a straight line from cause to effect; that for each disease there is one simple fix.
"On the contrary, most of our modern diseases are due to a complex interaction of many factors that are going wrong at the same time. We cannot micromanage or second-guess many of these processes.... Ultimately, we have to nourish the body the way it was designed—with the complete package." (Deadly Harvest page 228)

I show the diagram above more to impress you with its complexity than that you should understand every twist and turn. 

In fact it shows how two types of asthma attack are provoked by a confused immune system. At "Start", we see an "Antigen" (allergen) introduced into the body. It shows two pathways (grey arrows and red arrows) by which powerful immune agents can react with each other inappropriately leading to an asthma attack at "End" ("Pulmonary Function")

It helps explain why some medications work in some cases and not in others. It also explains why we should be seeking to deal with the root cause -- the confused immune system -- and not chasing the will-o'-the-wisp of magic bullet medication.

The same moral applies to just about all modern "degenerative diseases" such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's and many more -- including "Calcium Deposits in Blood Vessels" below.



Fruit Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a baked French dessert made by baking fresh fruit and a batter in a baking dish. Here, our trick is to concoct a batter that conforms to the Natural Eating principles.

Yield: up to 8 servings


4 tablespoons raisins (about 2 ounces)

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 banana, ripe

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3-4 nectarines (about 14 ounces)

3 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon fructose, or to taste

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup of almond milk or coconut milk (120 ml)

12 tablespoons (about 1 cup) almond meal

olive oil spray


1. In a small bowl soak the raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain the raisins, add the rum and mix well. Set aside.

2. With a fork mash the banana and mix in the lemon juice. Set aside.

3. Wash and dry the nectarines. Cut them in thin slices. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile beat in a mixing bowl, with an electric hand-mixer, the eggs with the fructose and the vanilla extract. Add the almond milk (or coconut milk) and mix in the almond meal.

5. Blend in the mashed banana. Add the nectarine slices.

6. Spray a round and flat baking dish (10-12 inches diameter) with the olive oil and fill with the mixture.

7. Spread out the raisins evenly over the surface of the dish and press in with a fork.

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 340°F (170°C) for about 20-25 minutes, or until the center of the dish is done.

9. Alternatively cook the clafoutis in a micro-wave oven on high power for about 10-12 minutes, or until the center of the dish is cooked.


Quick Fix Variant:

Replace the fresh nectarines by frozen or drained, canned fruit (e.g. frozen strawberries, canned peach slices, etc).


Download the recipe sheet.



Calcium Deposits in Blood Vessels (“Vascular Calcification”)

Q. There is a lot going on about calcium metabolism, particularly in the form of calcium deposits in the walls of blood vessels. Do you have any knowledge of this phenomenon, with particular reference to biological processes and nutritional factors?

A. This problem is a self-inflicted disease. It is a disease of lifestyle and as such lifestyle changes will stop its advance and potentially reverse it. 

From an anthropological point of view, we see that “vascular calcification” is common in modern industrial societies but extremely rare in peoples leading a primitive lifestyle. It used to be a mystery why this might be. 

It was thought to result from calcium and phosphate simply depositing as a sediment on the vessel wall. Nevertheless, the mystery increased when doctors observed patients losing calcium from where it was wanted, in the bones, while adding calcium where it was not wanted, in the arteries. We now know that something extraordinary is going on.

Astonishingly, rogue hormone signals can reprogram some cells in blood vessel walls to become bone-making cells called "osteoblasts". Secondly, artery plaque (itself the result of dysfunctioning biochemistry)  produces powerful bone-repairing agents (called "BMP2" and "Msx2-Wnt"). In other words, under dysfunctional hormone signaling, blood vessels have the both the ability and the means to build bone! [Ref: 1]

Complex Signaling
The system of molecular signals is incredibly complex and is still not completely understood. Take a look at the asthma trigger map above to appreciate the intricacy and unpredictability of biological processes.

However, the good news is that we do not need to micromanage these processes. All we need to do is put our bodies in circumstances that it recognizes, and it then manages these processes in the way nature intended.

So what is going wrong?
High fat diets, diabetes, free radicals, inflammatory immune cells (macrophages), high phosphate levels, parathyroid hormone fragments, prescribed vitamin D medication, all induce cells in the tiny vessels (capillaries) in artery walls to become bone-building cells ("osteoblasts") [Ref: 1].

Most of the same factors drive the laying down of plaque in the arteries: inflammation, oxidation and scarring produced by bad fats, high glycemic, salty diets poor in micronutrients. (See Deadly Harvest, page 236)

So blood vessels aren’t just absorbing calcium and turning to stone. Instead, the calcified areas are living tissues actively undergoing regeneration and repair. All we need to do to fix the problem – or avoid it in the first place – is to reverse the bad lifestyle habits.

Since the calcification is due to a whole number of things going wrong simultaneously, there is no “magic bullet” or one simple “fix”. These are just some of the main "circumstances" to rectify:

- Diabetes: consume a low glycemic diet, low in omega-6 oils. Deadly Harvest, page 264

- Free radicals: consume plenty of antioxidants, i.e. low glycemic fruit, salads and vegetables. Deadly Harvest, page 116

- Inflammation: consume a good fatty acid profile; also keep omega-6 low (and omega-3 up). Deadly Harvest, page 104

- High phosphate levels: eliminate consumption of cola drinks

- Prescribed Vitamin D supplementation: Don’t do it! Get your vitamin D from sunshine. That way the body stays in control of the kinds and amounts of vitamin D it uses. Deadly Harvest, page 233.

But you will get all this – and a whole lot more – if you live your life like we say in Deadly Harvest [Info].



Intellectual Honesty Appreciated  

"... I first encountered the Bond Effect when I came across an article of Geoff's on Wikipedia [an online encyclopedia]. Intrigued, I took a look at your website, liked what I saw and decided to subscribe to your newsletter. Now about 3 months into my subscription, I have loved every newsletter I have read and am busy reading the back dated ones to catch up! 
"I congratulate you on your beliefs and the fact you do not rely on food industry funding to cloud your work. As a dietitian, your work certainly challenges a great deal of what we are 'taught' at university. I like that because when I was a budding young dietitian, I also had differing views on what we were taught by my often overweight, coffee-loving lecturers (who looked anything but the epitome of health)... 
"I like what you say because it makes such simple sense..."

- Chris Andrews, Brisbane, Australia. http://www.healthmotiveaction.com.au/ 



The Secret To Bone Health in Centenarians

Researchers examined one of the oldest men in the world (aged 113) and several of his relatives, all living beyond 100. They found that the man's bones were in excellent condition: his bone mass was normal, there were no anomalous curvature and he had never sustained a fracture. [Ref 2]

These centenarians live on the Mediterranean island of Minorca.  The excellent health of this family, and of the 113-year-old man in particular, "is probably due to a Mediterranean diet, the temperate climate of the island, a lack of stress and regular physical activity". Until the age of 102, the man cycled every day and looked after the family orchard. There were no genetic peculiarities that might otherwise explain these excellent results.

Our View? We rest our case. Osteoporosis is a self-inflicted disease and by living the way our bodies expect, we need never suffer it (see Deadly Harvest, page 266). These Minorcan centenarians had no sign of osteoporosis and we can be sure they had no calcification of the arteries either! (See Calcium Deposits in Blood Vessels, above). We all have the potential to live to over 100 and in good shape - see also "How to Live To Be a Hundred", Newsletter March 2008.

Fat Young, Die Young

Fat adolescents (14-19 years old) are more likely to die young from a range of chronic diseases as adults: hormonal diseases, nutritional and metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer and respiratory diseases. There were also many cases of sudden death in this fat group. So finds Professor Tone Bjørge, University of Bergen, Norway. Out of 227 000 Norwegian adolescents (of all sizes) assessed in 1963 to 1975, 10,000 did not survive a further 35 years. [Ref 3]


The heaviest 25% were 3 times more likely to die of a heart attack; two times more likely of colon cancer; 2.5 times more likely of lung disease; and 2.5 times more likely to suffer sudden death.


Our View? It is vital that children be brought through to adulthood in good shape. That way a properly functioning body is brought to maturity. After that, it can resist much more abuse. In contrast, a childhood of obesity condemns the future adult to a lifetime of struggle with health. As we say in Deadly Harvest page 182:

"We cannot emphasize enough the importance of a healthy adolescence. Ensure that your children follow the Savanna Model, lock into place healthy habits for them, and they will be grateful to you for the rest of their long, disease-free lives."


Breastfeeding Moms Halve Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to Swedish researchers, women who had breastfed for 13 months or more were half as likely to get rheumatoid arthritis as those who had never breast fed. Those who had breast fed for one to 12 months were 25 per cent less likely to get the disease. [Ref 5].

Our View? This result confirms an earlier one from the Nurses’ Health Study [Ref 6]. No one seems to know why this might be. However, it demonstrates that a woman’s body is built on the assumption that breast feeding’s hormones will be present – and if they are not, things in the body are more likely later to go wrong.



Simple Veggie Wash is Most Effective

Industrial vegetable washing factories commonly use the dangerous and toxic chemical "chlorine dioxide" to sterilize the produce. However, researchers tested a commonly available veggie wash, "FIT Fruit and Vegetable Wash [www.tryfit.com]". It proved much more effective than the chlorine dioxide and, moreover, it is made from "safe" ingredients like citric acid and distilled grapefruit oil. Chlorine dioxide killed only 90 percent of the target organisms in the food plant. By contrast, FIT killed 99.99%. [Ref 4]

Our View? FIT is readily available in US supermarkets and online. Its ingredients are mostly quite innocuous which makes its efficacy all the more surprising. Grapefruit oil and citric acid are mildly antiseptic and FIT also contains alcohol which might be its most potent antibacterial agent. In addition it has potassium hydrate and baking soda. These must react with each other and with the other ingredients in ways which are not explained – but which might result in increased bactericidal power. 

British and European readers might like to check out "Veggi Wash, Fruit Too" [www.food-safe.com] This has a quite different formulation using plant-derived, food-grade, soapy ingredients. We don't know what percentage of bacteria it kills, but it does a great job of washing off all contaminants. Other studies demonstrate that simply washing off bacteria in soapy water is good enough. See Veggi Wash, Newsletter October 2003.


Should Different Races have Different Lifestyles? (Continued)

This is how I finished last month:

In fact humans have a remarkably similar DNA, no matter where they come from on the planet. And 60,000 years represents only about 2,000 generations. This is an eye-blink in evolutionary terms, so we would not expect much to have changed anyway.

Now I continue:

Nevertheless, researchers have looked closely at this question, and they find very little evidence that different populations have evolved different lifestyle needs. Only two are worth mentioning, lactose tolerance and insulin resistance. The bodies of people of Germanic origin seem to cope better with milk and its lactose content – but only while they are still young! We suppose that the herder ancestors of the Germanic tribes must have suffered numerous lactose-induced deaths of their children: the survivors were the ones with some kind of genetic tolerance

We can make a similar observation for insulin resistance. Our evolutionary history did not design humans to consume starches or sugars. Our bodies do not cope well with the blood sugar spikes. In turn our bodies do not react swiftly to the insulin secreted to deal with the spikes. Peoples who come from populations with a long history of farming (like Europeans and Asians) seem to be slightly less affected. In contrast, primal peoples, like Eskimos, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, and Polynesians suffer terribly from the diseases of insulin malfunction: diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancers.

Even so, whatever your origins, you do well to live and eat just like nature intended for all of us. I set out what this means and how to do it in my latest book Deadly Harvest [info].



Deadly Harvest Online

Attentive readers will have noticed that links from our recent newsletters go directly to online text of Deadly Harvest. Most of the book can now be consulted online. Access it via the links in the newsletters or from the link in the Deadly Harvest Information page [info]. When the entire text is online we will make a formal announcement. In the interim, we feel confident that making Deadly Harvest freely available online will only intrigue the casual surfer into purchasing either a printable version or a hard copy.



September: Geoff will be speaking in UK to various private groups. 

October: University of Nicosia (closed).

More details on our events page 

Always consult your doctor before undertaking any health program

1. - Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 May;286(5):E686-96.  Osteogenic regulation of vascular calcification: an early perspective. Vattikuti R, Towler DA.

- Circ Res. 2004 Nov 26;95(11):1046-57.  Regulation of vascular calcification by osteoclast regulatory factors RANKL and osteoprotegerin. Collin-Osdoby P.

- Circ Res. 2006 Nov 10;99(10):1044-59.  Vascular calcification: pathobiological mechanisms and clinical implications. Johnson RC, Leopold JA, Loscalzo J.

- Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Jul;26(7):1423-30. Epub 2006 Apr 6. Molecular mechanisms of vascular calcification: lessons learned from the aorta. Shao JS, Cai J, Towler DA.

2. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007 Jul;62(7):794-5. Bone mass of a 113-year-old man. Mellibovsky L.

3. Bjørge T, Engeland A, Tverdal A, Davey Smith G. Body mass index in adolescence in relation to cause-specific mortality: A follow-up of 230,000 Norwegian adolescents. Am J Epidemiol 2008. 

4. Park et al. Efficacy of FIT Produce Wash and Chlorine Dioxide on Pathogen Control in Fresh Potatoes. Journal of Food Science, 2008; 0 (0): 080602083124479 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00793.x 

5. Ann Rheum Dis. 2008 May 14. [Epub ahead of print] Breast-feeding, but not oral contraceptives, is associated with a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Pikwer M, Bergström U, Nilsson JA, Jacobsson L, Berglund G, Turesson C.  

6. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Nov;50(11):3458-67. Do breast-feeding and other reproductive factors influence future risk of rheumatoid arthritis? Results from the Nurses' Health Study. Karlson EW, Mandl LA, Hankinson SE, Grodstein F.





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