The Wisdom of Dr. Weston Price and What it Means for Fertility Today

Dr Agnes Ryu

In the early 20th century, dentist Dr. Weston Price (1870-1948) made a remarkable discovery. As industrialization and processed foods spread across the globe, he noticed rapidly increasing rates of chronic disease and tooth decay. Curious to understand why, he embarked on over a dozen journeys to remote communities across the world that were still eating their traditional diets. What he found challenged conventional notions of nutrition and has important implications for fertility today.

Who Was Weston Price?

Dr. Weston A. Price was a pioneering dentist practising in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1920s and 30s. As patients streamed into his office with dental problems like cavities and crooked teeth, Price began questioning why such issues seemed rare just a generation earlier. These chronic health conditions, previously uncommon, were suddenly on the rise as Western industrialization took hold.

Price’s unique historical position gave him the perfect vantage point to investigate this phenomenon. As a licensed dentist, he possessed the knowledge and tools to clinically examine mouths and teeth wherever he travelled in the world. Thanks to technological advances like photography and aviation, he could meticulously document his findings. Yet, traditional communities were still isolated enough that new dietary influences had not yet disrupted their native foods and health.

By extensively studying multiple cultures across the globe eating their long-held traditional diets, Price made groundbreaking discoveries about the relationship between nutrition and disease that were far ahead of his time. His work serves as a historical control study, contrasting the vibrant health he encountered everywhere from Swiss villages to Eskimo tribes to Melanesian islanders with the growing rates of sickness he observed back home.

The Price Equation for Fertility

One major pattern Price repeatedly noticed in healthy, non-industrialized people was their exceptional dental and facial development. They exhibited straight teeth, wide facial structure, and an absence of chronic health issues. He realized that fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, and K2 played a critical role in this healthy growth and development. These nutrients were abundant in foods like butter, seafood, organ meats, and vegetables from mineral-rich soils.

Significantly, Price also observed that traditional cultures placed tremendous importance on pre-conception nutrition for both mothers and fathers. Many had specific cultural foods to support fertility and foetal development. They intuitively understood that parental health determined the viability of the next generation. Price captured striking photographs contrasting this robust fertility and development with the narrower faces and crooked teeth increasingly prevalent in cities back home.

Agnes Ryu

The implications of Price’s discoveries for fertility today are profound. As he foresaw decades ago, the chronic disease epidemic he uncovered has only accelerated with further industrialization.

High ultra-processed food intake now parallels falling fertility rates. But couples aiming to conceive a baby still have a template to follow – traditional food patterns high in fat-soluble activators like vitamins A and D.

By rediscovering old nutritional wisdom, fertility clinics like ourselves equip patients to fulfil their evolutionary potential.

How Dr. Price Informs Our Fertility Practice

Here at Dr Ryu’s Natural Fertility Clinic, the pioneering work of Dr. Price serves as an inspiration. We recognize human fertility does not exist in isolation. It reflects parents’ overall level of health and wellbeing, which fundamentally ties back to diet. While technology like IVF can help overcome anatomical barriers, we take a holistic approach. We nourish the entire body and mind in preparation for welcoming a child.

Some key ways Dr. Price’s teachings guide our practice:

  • Emphasizing a whole foods, traditional diet high in fat-soluble vitamins for all patients. This forms the foundation to build healthy sperm, eggs, hormones, and gestation.
  • Screening for and addressing dental infections and poor facial development that may impede fertility plans. These often reflect long-standing nutritional imbalances.
  • Incorporating targeted, food-based supplements like grass-fed organ supplements to provide easily absorbable forms of critical vitamins and minerals when better diet alone proves difficult.
  • Nutrition-guided diagnosis, dietary strategies, and nutrition testing/analysis to holistically support patients on their fertility journey without overly relying on synthetic hormones or stimulants.
  • Recommending practical lifestyle changes like stress reduction, circadian rhythm alignment, and movement patterns that can enhance the body’s innate drive to reproduce.

 

In an era of low fertility and high chronic stress and inflammation, revisiting the universal principles of health first documented by trailblazers like Dr. Weston Price offers couples renewed hope. By aligning 21st century diagnostics with ancestral wisdom, clinics like ourselves aim to reconcile the blessings of technology with age-old nutritional wisdom. The future of the next generation depends on this synthesis.

Agnes Ryu

Agnes Ryu

Dr. Ryu is a clinician and biochemist specializing in integrative medicine. Her clinical interests include fertility, hormones, metabolism, healthy ageing, menopause, and natural breast cancer care. As an integrative practitioner, Dr. Ryu aims to uncover the root causes of health issues and strives to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their own health.

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