When we eat cooked food, our immune system reacts as if we have just been contaminated by an army of toxic invaders. Our white blood cells mobilize in large numbers and spring into action to annihilate this foreign army. The more cooked food we eat, the more our immune system is in a perpetual frenzy of activity. This depletes its energy and diminishes its effectiveness in maintaining health and fighting some of the more dangerous microbes and chemical toxins once they enter and colonize our system.
These findings about the immune-suppressing effects of cooked food, especially meat, came to light in 1930 at the First International Congress of Microbiology in Paris. Paul Kouchakoff, a Swiss physician, reported his discovery that eating cooked food produces leukocytosis—an elevation of white corpuscles in the blood—but the consumption of raw food does not produce these higher white cell counts.
While at the University of Clinical Chemistry in Switzerland, Dr. Kouchakoff performed three hundred experiments on the relationship between white cell counts and cooked versus raw food. He reached the conclusion that the effect was a pathological response of the human body to any food altered by high temperatures. Previously, medical science had considered this elevation to be a natural physiological phenomenon. He further observed that prepared or processed meat, when cooked or smoked, brought on the most violent reaction from the human immune system, which mobilized white blood cells in numbers comparable to when the body is poisoned by chemicals or pathogens.
An internal program review study that we conducted at Hippocrates from 1982 to 1983 confirmed these findings and drew a direct link between a raw vegan diet, immune system recovery, and the healing of catastrophic illnesses and diseases. We had 275 people participate in our study, and we measured their immune system effectiveness based on the percentages of cooked food they consumed.
We found that when cooked food comprises 25 to 30 percent of a person’s diet (based on the overall weight of the food consumed), that individual’s immunity is lowered by 17.6 percent. Any amount of cooked food beyond that percentage resulted in a 48 percent weakening of immune system cells. As a result of these findings, we advise anyone who is seriously ill to eat a totally raw vegan diet for two years to keep his or her immune system completely undistracted from the task of fighting the illness or disease.
We have observed that after people spend two years on a totally raw vegan diet, their immune system recovers and wellness follows. This is our natural lifeforce in action, doing the job that nature intended for it.
Support for our observations about the positive results of raw food on immunity has come from numerous medical science studies. A 1990 study from Germany, for instance, described how raw food positively influences the health of the immune system. These effects include antibiotic, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and tumor-protective actions.
At the Oregon Health & Science University, researchers monitored the immune systems of forty-two adult monkeys for forty-two months. Half were fed a nutritious, reduced-calorie diet; the other half got a traditional monkey diet. Monkeys on the nutritious, reduced-calorie diet had much better T-cell function. This study appeared in a December 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.
More than seventy studies on humans have found that beta-carotene, which is abundant in green, germinating seeds such as alfalfa and sunflower greens, can act as an antioxidant to neutralize the free radicals that damage cells and contribute to cancer. This nutrient directly enhances the immune system in a way that protects against tumors, particularly lung cancer and melanoma.
By Brian Clement PhD, LN