What gave Dr. Seignalet the idea?
In the first chapter of his book (not yet translated) whose title I translate as “Nutrition – the third medicine” Dr. Seignalet (pronounce it “Saynyalay”) gives his four main arguments which came to him between 1983 and 1988. (Note: I will give a rough summary/translation). Dr. Seignalet says that people attending his conferences were often surprised that someone trained in strict orthodox medicine as taught in a University and University Hospital should consider that for many diseases an effective diet is the most important thing.
1. Why orthodox dietetics is too simplistic
Seignalet quotes Hippocrates famous saying: “Let food be your only medicine”. Most of his successors have ignored this and dietetics does not currently play an important therapeutic role he says.
- Because its recommendations are limited to a few situations only.
- It’s very simplistic: reduction of salt in high blood pressure and heart disease, reduction of protein in cases of chronic kidney problems, reduction of carbohydrate in cases of diabetes, reduction of lipids in high cholesterol, reduction of calories in obesity.
- Lastly, because it aims to treat the symptoms, in other words the results of the disease, not its causes. The case of Coeliac disease which is cured by removing the agent responsible, namely gluten is one of the few exceptions.
A quantitative view of nutrition must be replaced by a qualitative view.
2. The work of some precursors
Quacks and visionaries
Since time immemorial both doctors and lay people have proposed diets too numerous to mention, with each one proclaiming the health enhancing virtues of their particular regime. In most cases the results attributed to them by the authors seem unlikely and the supposed scientific rationales advanced for them do not bear scrutiny.
In amongst the ranks of mostly pseudo-scientists where outright fraudsters jostle simple cranks we do however find some important precursors.
- Edward Bach who emphasised the important role of the intestine in good and bad health, the dangers of cooked food and the relation between bacteria of the intestinal flora and chronic diseases.
- Paul Carton with a first outline of the process of clogging and elimination.
- In the last few decades we should above all mention Kousmine, Burger and Fradin. Each of these three have a logical theory and all 3 obtained distinct successes.
When did the rot set in?
Kousmine and Burger made a link between these 2 facts.
- Modern man does not eat the same food as his ancestors.
- Certain diseases which were rare in olden times have become very common today.
It seems logical therefore to return to an ancestral type of food in order to prevent or cure these afflictions.
The two authors differ though in their opinion of when the change came. For Kousmine it was the first years of the nineteenth century. For Burger it was the beginning of the Neolithic, 5,000 years ago.
Successes obtained by Kousmine have been witnessed as authentic by numerous doctors. Those obtained by Burger have been witnessed by a few doctors and by other reliable witnesses. Fradin warns of the dangers of the western diet, responsible for a steep rise in degenerative pathologies. His hypotoxic diet proved very beneficial for his patients.
- Kousmine pointed out the danger of processed foods, deficiencies of vitamins. minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids and the existence of intestinal porosity. However, her explanations are only part of the story. There is no overarching theory. It’s possible to go much further.
- Burger came up with the theory of how human enzymes have failed to evolve to cope with some modern foods.
- Fradin incriminated deficiencies of omega 3 fatty acids, cooking at high temperatures and lipophilic toxins.
3. The irritating mysteries of medicine
Advances? Yes. But the hype does not live up to reality
Medicine remained ignorant and ineffective for many centuries. Before 1940 you could add up the really useful drugs on the fingers of one hand: aspirin, heparin, insulin and digitalin. From then on we made many discoveries; an ever increasing number of lab tests, medical imaging becoming ever more sophisticated and diverse and organ transplants becoming an every day occurrence. The drugs armoury has greatly expanded. Now we have antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatories, etc. Molecular biology locates the genes and finds out their structure.
An admiring and uncritical media
Not only the specialist journals but also newspapers and the television talk at length about these important advances. Pundits are full of admiration and often too optimistic. Early stage studies and drug trials are often presented as definitive solutions. How many times have we been told that the cure for all cancers is just around the corner or that a vaccine against AIDS will soon be rolled out – without these promises ever being kept.
Increased lifespan but no improvement in health
The reality on the ground is not so awe inspiring. It’s true that lifespan in the West has increased but….
Dr. Seignalet then gives a list of the modern medical interventions which save lives and says that while it is true that we live a lot longer than we did one hundred years ago, many of us are in very poor shape with chronic diseases becoming every more common. One in two cancers is cured but the ever increasing number of them means that as many die from it as before. 12% of 80 year olds and 30% of ninety year olds are senile he says.
Medicine still in the dark about what causes disease
Doctors are still in the dark about what causes so called degenerative diseases. Therapies for them are either totally ineffective, not effective enough or too rarely effective.
Medicine can’t see the forest for the trees
This lack of effective therapeutic interventions is extremely irritating for a doctor. Which led Seignalet to the question: “How come with all this scientific progress we still don’t know what causes so many diseases.” He came up with this answer: “Medicine’s increasing complexity has forced most clinicians and top researchers into an ever more narrow specialisation. This means that they understand only a few facets of a pathology while being ignorant of the others. This blinkered vision does not allow them to reach a comprehensive understanding of the problem.”
Dr. Seignalet’s double culture
Medicine and Biology
Dr. Seignalet worked in 2 different domains. Medicine and Biology. From 1959 to 1968 he practiced medicine, sometimes specialised and sometimes general. From 1968 to 1983 he worked as a biologist, specialising in biology and genetics while keeping some clinical activities in three domains: He carried out the consultations with organ donors and receivers. He also specialised in blood diseases and lectured to students on this subject. Another interest was Autoimmune diseases because they are tightly bound up with the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) system.
From 1983 onwards, while continuing to work as a biologist he took up his work as a clinician again, practicing general medicine in his spare time.
Nowadays this double culture has become almost impossible says Seignalet. Medical students now have to choose between the clinic and biology at the start of their internship.
Part b. The research
1. The first steps – rheumatoid arthritis
Dr. Seignalet wanted to understand the underlying mechanism of certain diseases, for two reasons: a) for his own intellectual gratification and b) in order to improve patients’ treatments. His first target was a case of inflammatory rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis. There were several motivations behind this choice:
- The great frequency of rheumatism
- The serious lesions caused by it. (Joints are eaten away by a destructive process which is extremely painful and leads to bone deformations which are very incapacitating)
- The disease progression does not respond well to standard drug treatment
- The close association between rheumatoid arthritis and HLA genes
- The fact that several years separate the first painful symptoms and joint deformation
“For all these reasons I chose rheumatoid arthritis”, he says: ” From my clinical and biological knowledge I was fairly quickly able to build out a theory about the pathogenesis of this rheumatism and concluded that a nutritional regime would be a suitable treatment and the first trials on volonteers confirmed this”. From that point on he continued both his practical and theoretical research.
2. The theory
In order to develop the most encompassing vision possible, Dr. Seignalet devoted several hours each week to reading the numerous medical journals available in the excellent library of the Montpellier University Hospital centre and this time he no longer confined himself, as in the past, to journals for his own speciality or articles of limited clinical interest but instead his reading included most sectors of medicine including:
- rheumatology, gastro-enterology, neurology, psychiatry, dermatology, endocrinology, opthalmology, oncology, pulmonology and of course dietetics.
- Several sectors of biology, especially immunology, including genetics, anthropology, bacteriology, molecular biology, biology of ageing and physiology. This last branch drew Dr. Seignalet’s attention in particular for its focus on cellular physiology and the small intestine. The latter was interesting for two reasons: the intestinal wall and the bacterial flora of the intestine.
The fishing expedition which landed a big fish
These reading sessions in the library were like fishing expeditions said Dr. Seignalet. You might come home empty handed or just catch a few minnows. Sometimes though you land a big fish. In other words an article which will either reinforce, amplify or contradict a hypothesis and he remembers in particular a study which showed that gamma interferon can stick to cells of the intestinal mucus thereby strongly decreasing the electrical resistance of the intestinal wall. That was the day that he understood why psychological upsets often provoke small flares of inflammatory rheumatism. (Seignalet goes into more detail further on in the book).
The researcher who did not understand the importance of his discovery
The author of the article restricted himself to digestive physiology and did not imagine for a second that his discovery could be relevant to inflammatory rheumatism. What’s more he would have been surprised that a rheumatologist would read the article, at first sight so far removed from his own speciality. This is how a link in the chain of events which leads to rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis could have been overlooked whereas with a more wide-ranging vision it is glaringly obvious.
The importance of the microscope
When trying to understand disease mechanisms, clinical signs are important. However, the most important element is often pathology – microscopic examination of damaged organs and tissues. From this solid base we can put forward plausible hypotheses about events that happen on a molecular scale, beyond the microscope, in immunological and metabolic terms.
The complete mechanism revealed
These revealing reading sessions, alternating with periods of reflection enabled me to construct hypotheses about the pathogenesis of more than 100 diseases, considered up to now to be in part or completely beyond explanation, says Dr. Jean. He then tells us that in the rest of the book with the aid of many diagrams he will show the complete mechanism going from the initial cause, usually modern food, through to the characteristic lesions of the disease in question and all the stages in between.
His analyses led him to distinguish three types of mechanisms:
- autoimmune pathology
- clogging pathology
- elimination pathology
All the various diseases that his method worked on can be classed into one of these three categories. Some rare diseases are caused by more than one mechanism. In the book he also gives reasons for the conditions which did not respond to the diet.
Trivial points of detail versus fundamental questions
In his reasoning he always tried to stick to the fundamental questions and to take the shortest route. Huge efforts are wasted by some researchers on matters of detail which are often pointless whether that be in the short or the long term. He has tried to avoid this trap. So for example he attributes adult diabetes to clogging of the cells of the pancreas and the muscles. He does not know which of the numerous enzymes which act on the beta cells of the pancreas are blocked by the clogging. The future will hold the key on this interesting but not essential point. What is important is that a well chosen diet unclogs the diseased tissue and normalises blood sugar levels. For Dr. Jean that is what is important.
*Note: I have taken some liberties with Dr. Seignalet’s text. For example I have added 13 subheadings to make it read more easily. In general it’s a straight translation although I have used the third person for Seignalet’s own voice. I have omitted here or there a paragraph or sentence which seemed to me of less interest and which slowed down the story. As always, thanks to the Seignalet family for giving me permission to use a copyright work.
Note to publishers
If you are a publisher and you wish to translate Dr. Seignalet’s book which is a perennial best seller in France, please contact me, Chris Parkinson at this email address: email@example.com and I will put you in touch with the Seignalet family who can give you the French sales figures and sell you the rights.
Note to the general public
Please don’t contact me for medical advice. I am not a doctor.
If you have one of the diseases listed in Dr. Seignalet’s results tables, published on this site, it WILL respond to the diet. (Autism was not treated by Dr. Seignalet but another doctor had good results with the diet in Autism). All you have to do is eat only the allowed foods and never eat the forbidden foods. I will be giving you constant recipe suggestions on this website and in my youtube and bitchute videos. To make sure of getting 100% remission and achieving it fast, use one or other of my “Healthiest Breakfast Ever” recipes and get optimum vitamin d without toxicity by using my home tanning bed or by high dose vitamin d supplementation with frequent lab tests. See my series of 10 Youtube videos:The real truth about tanning and tanning beds