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Francis M. Pottenger (Biography)
|Francis M Pottenger, Jr. was a physician who successfully applied the principles of Weston Price in his treatment of respiratory diseases such as TB, asthma, allergies and emphysema. At his sanitorium in Monrovia, California he served liberal amounts of liver, butter, cream and eggs to convalescing patients. He also gave supplements of adrenal cortex to treat exhaustion. |
Like Price, Pottenger was also a researcher. He decided to perform adrenalectomy on cats and then fed them the adrenal cortex extract he prepared for his patients in order to test its effectiveness. Unfortunately most of the cats died during the operation. He conceived of an experiment in which one group of cats received only raw milk and raw meat, while other groups received part of the diet as pasteurized milk or cooked meat, summarized as follows:
The Meat Study:
ADEQUATE DIET A: 1/3 RAW milk, cod liver oil and 2/3 RAW meat
DEFICIENT DIET B: 1/3 RAW meat, cod liver oil and 2/3 PASTEURIZED milk
DEFICIENT DIET C: 1/3 RAW meat, cod liver oil and 2/3 EVAPORATED milk
DEFICIENT DIET D: 1/3 RAW meat, cod liver oil and 2/3 SWEETENED CONDENSED milk
DEFICIENT DIET E: RAW METABOLIZED VITAMIN D milk only
1. From cows on dry feed
2. From cows on green feed
Pottenger found that only those cats whose diet was totally raw survived the adrenalectomy and as his research progressed, he noticed that only the all-raw group continued in good health generation after generation—they had excellent bone structure, freedom from parasites and vermin, easy pregnancies and gentle dispositions. All of the groups whose diet was partially cooked developed "facial deformities" of the exact same kind that Price observed in human groups on the "displacing foods of modern commerce"—narrowed faces, crowded jaws, frail bones and weakened ligaments. They were plagued with parasites, developed all manner of diseases and had difficult pregnancies. Female cats became aggressive while the males became docile. After just three generations, young animals died before reaching adulthood and reproduction ceased.
The results of Pottenger’s cat experiments are often misinterpreted. They do not mean that humans should eat only raw foods—humans are not cats. Part of the diet was cooked in all the healthy groups Price studied and Pottenger fed a diet of both raw and cooked food to his patients. (Milk products, however, were almost always consumed raw among healthy primitives and Pottenger was a strong advocate for clean, certified raw milk.)
Pottenger’s findings must be seen in the context of the Price research and can be interpreted as follows: When the human diet produces "facial deformities"—the progressive narrowing of the face and crowding of the teeth—extinction will occur if that diet is followed for several generations. The implications for western civilization-obsessed as it is with refined, highly sweetened convenience foods and low-fat items—is profound.
Pottenger also pioneered the use of gelatin-rich meat bone broth for the treatment of disease and the maintenance of good health. His seminal article "Hydrophilic Colloid Diet," stated the case for traditional stock, rich in minerals and hydrophilic gelatin, as an aid to digestion and a source of minerals in easily assimilated form. He often stated that the stock pot was the most important piece of kitchen equipment a family could own.
Pottenger was also one of the first to explore the differing effects of the two parts of the autonomic nervous system, observing that too much stress on the parasympathetic nervous system caused one set of symptoms while too much stress on the sympathetic nervous system caused another set of symptoms.
Pottenger’s most important articles are published in Pottenger’s Cats
Books by Francis M. Pottenger
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