Vitamin "L"

I could never have imagined the day when an internationally recognized scientist and award-winning author would say the following: "LOVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN NUTRITION”. Of course, there is a specific context to this statement, but as we approach St.Valentine’s Day, it seems an appropriate message to share. I heard that statement a couple of weeks ago while I was sitting in on a lecture by Dr. Bruce Lipton, the author of a block-buster book entitled "The Biology of Belief”. Dr. Lipton is a cell biologist with Stanford University School of Medicine.

His message is revolutionary. Dr. Lipton pointed out that for years we have been focused on DNA as the main source of control in our cells. Our genetic makeup was held to be a primary determinant of our health. The mapping of our genetic code in the human genome project was expected to solve many health mysteries; however its outcome has taken many researchers by surprise. Rather than discovering lots of specific "disease genes” that might be corrected, it has now been discovered that our genetic code can modify itself, and usually for the worse. What triggers these genetic changes are signals from our environment. This means that given the right [or actually wrong] environmental signals, we can mutate ourselves into a disease state.

For me, the most profound part of what Dr. Lipton had to say involved the role of thoughts and beliefs in both one’s cellular and overall health. To my surprise, he included thoughts and beliefs as very strong environmental signals to our cells. One example used in his lecture was that of eastern European kids in orphanages. While the nutrition of those children was quite good, their growth was substantially diminished and illnesses such as autism were very high. What stunted these children’s development and made them sick had nothing to do with their genetics, and everything to do with a lack of love, nurture, and their feelings of abandonment.

A bad love and nurture environment took precedent over good diet and genetics. What we believe and what we feel can influence our health right down to the level of our genes. Taken a step further, Dr Lipton said that we may be responding at a cellular level today to ideas that were impressed upon us when we were very young.

The good news is that we are not so much the victims of our genetics as we thought. When it comes to health, the main priority should be to maintain ourselves in a health enhancing environment, which includes how we think and feel. Probably, no feeling is more beneficial to our health than one of love and belonging. A fundamental thing to do for our health then, would be to remove those filters that prevent us from accepting expressions of love and caring. Of course, love is a two way street, so the other thing to do is to express our love and acceptance to those around us. A little of this indulgence in "vitamin L” will help us live healthier lives and benefit human kind in the process.

Dr. Pepperdine is the owner of Southcare Chiropractic in Nanaimo, Call 755-1554.