I know that you know the power of food, but sometimes it’s nice to hear it from someone outside the SCD universe, even if the videos are dated.

Dr. Dean Ornish has long been studying the effect of diet on health and wellness and has demonstrated some powerful findings. He has challenged the long-held belief that your genes are your fate, showing that lifestyle changes can in fact change the way your genes are expressed.

See his videos on TED regarding genes and your fate and on healing.

CLARIFICATION: I am not intending to endorse Dr. Ornish’s diet. Frankly, I couldn’t tell you what it is. What does impress me about his story is that he comes from the “modern medicine” tradition, yet says that diet can change the way your genes are expressed. This is 180 degrees different from every gastroenterologist I have ever spoken to who tells me that diet does not affect Crohn’s. I guess I derive some small hope from this, regardless of his diet plan.

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4 Responses to “Kindred”

  1. 1 Susan July 15, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    In my opinion, Dean Ornish is a doctor who is putting people in such a poor state of health that they end up needing SCD.

    A low fat, high carb diet is a terrible way to get healthy. Study after study after study shows that it doesn’t work.

    I respectfully submit Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories as required reading for exactly why it doesn’t work. But that book is heavily scientific and is probably not for everyone.

    However, he also has a wonderful video:

    Why We Gain Weight

    Atkins’ New Diet Revolution explains why low carb works in a pretty straightforward way (and how it prevents diseases of civilization), but he doesn’t provide the references to back it up.

    It’s hard to find a middle ground tome that works to explain for everyone. Blogs though like the Protein Power blog (by Dr. Mike Eades) and Fat Head are trying to turn the tide… slowly.

    • 2 Paul Stocker July 20, 2009 at 10:50 am


      Sometimes the internet is a good place to help me think. I clarified why I put up that post about Dr. Ornish and I thank you for the links and helping me realize my intent.

      I took a look at Taubes’ video and it made me wonder – if this is so simple why has it taken so long? I used to think “eat less, exercise more” made perfect sense, but now I’m back to just shrugging and wondering exactly what a carbohydrate is (wikipedia helps a little) and thinking that no one really understands the diet/gene/health equation. From reading the SCD groups on yahoo, it’s clear that everyone reacts a little differently so I imagine that makes the equation more difficult. And then there’s evolution. Perhaps hominids were long ago not able to tolerate grains, but perhaps we’ve generally evolved a tolerance? These bigger questions make my head hurt.


      • 3 Susan July 20, 2009 at 1:47 pm

        Hi Paul,

        A lot of the reasons why it’s taken so long are outlined in Taubes’ book. Scientific research is affected by many things — egos, business, the government, the drug companies — and he outlines how we all were sent down the wrong path.

        After reading it, I talked to my parents, anyone over the age of 40 really, and started asking them — when you were younger, what did your parents/grandparents tell you about what made you fat?

        And without fail, they told me — sugars and starches.

        The book really shows how the low fat craze took hold, and how it has been messing with our health ever since. It’s an incredibly dense read, but I found it to be fascinating.

        Thanks for your reply and clarifications. 🙂


        • 4 Paul Stocker July 22, 2009 at 11:50 am


          I’ve only begun Taube’s book, but here’s some more wonder. My mother in law (89 yrs old) has been eating low fat, high carb all her life. As a young girl, she found she couldn’t tolerate fats so virtually eliminated them – fried foods, cheese, dairy, etc. Taking Taubes’ info, you might assume that she might be overweight and have heart troubles. She is not overweight and has a very clean heart. Whereas her sibling who ate a more standard american diet had crippling heart problems as Taubes might predict. It makes me think that diet is only half the picture. I’m not saying that Taubes’ is wrong, but genetics must play some part.

          The more I read about medicine as a whole, the more comfortable I am with my decision to avoid it as much as possible. Or maybe I’m just getting a start on my crotchety-old-man identity.


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