Digestive Wellness – how to strengthen the immune system
and prevent disease through healthy digestion

by Elizabeth Lipski, PhD, CCN, 2005 edition

A review by Kris Johnson, www.MercyViewMeadow.org  12/24/07 Back
Digestive problems are endemic in our society. This can be a helpful book for guidance on healing some of the most difficult chronic health problems, which are often related in some way to digestion, such as ulcers, colitis, heartburn, diarrhea, food sensitivity, etc., to say nothing of arthritis, chronic fatigues syndrome and fibromyalgia. There are good introductory chapters on digestion, and the related problems. She offers suggestions for a variety of herbs and supplements, along with probiotics and other techniques that research has shown to be helpful in healing these confusing and often related problems, so the book gives you many options to try in the search for what healing modalities work for you.

But, there is a caveat – the book generally follows the conventional recommendations for avoiding too much fat, and saturated fat, while recommending soy products (with no mention of their problems), though these are not major emphases, and the dietary guidelines are generally good. There is no mention of the healing qualities of raw milk or pasture raised meats. I talked to her at the WAPF Conference in November 2007, and she admits she has learned a lot since the book came out, so her new book, Digestive Wellness for Children, has eliminated most of these difficulties.

But before you read the book review the Weston A Price friendly dietary recommendations, as they are the foundation of healthy digestion. Keep them in mind as you study the book. When you see "saturated fats" think "fats from commercial animals". Ignore the comments about lowering cholesterol – the issue is to find the underlying causes of unhealthy cholesterol levels, since cholesterol is an essential protective molecule in the body. When you see something about avoiding red meat, think "avoid commercially raised red meat" and seek out good pasture raised meat. When skim milk is recommended, think whole raw milk instead. When she suggests avoiding milk, think "avoid commercial pasteurized milk". When you see soybeans recommended, think "traditional cultured soy foods". When you see frequent small meals mentioned, and eat lots of fruit & vegetables, think "limit carbs and balance your meals with adequate good fats" to keep your energy levels high. I have to wonder if she mentions these conventional notions to make her book more acceptable to doctors and her publisher, McGraw-Hill?

She also makes no mention of the importance of proper preparation of nuts, beans and grains, so remember that these always need to be properly soaked to release the minerals so essential to an alkalinizing diet (if you are too acidic). There is no mention of cod liver oil or butter oil, so remember they are excellent sources of vitamins A & D, as well vitamin K2 (which she makes no mention of), and that these three vitamins need to be kept in balance to avoid any questions of toxicity, and adequate fats are essential to their absorption.

If you use purified water (distilled or reverse osmosis), be sure to add back in some minerals, to balance the minerals you are always excreting in your urine. Remember fats are needed for the absorption of minerals, so avoid low fat meals.

Having recently reread Dr. Edward Howell’s Enzyme Nutrition, I’m surprised that Liz makes no mention of the Food Enzyme Stomach, and the importance of food enzymes, which he clearly explains. To understand the importance of predigestion by food enzymes in the upper (cardiac) portion of the stomach follow this link.

For further evidence on the crucial importance of gut microflora see Gut & Psychology Syndrome.  And for new information about the questionable part that fiber plays in health see 'Cautions about Fiber,' - We are always learning!

With these cautions in mind you may find this book helpful in finding the solution to health problems you are dealing with.