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Morning Sickness

In the late 1980s a biologists by the name of Margie Profet, of the University of California at Berkeley, offered a new explanation for morning sickness. She said that morning sickness was nature's way of preventing pregnant women from eating foods that would be potentially toxic to the growing fetus. Of course this created a controversy. Remember the AMA (American Medical Association) is from the mechanists school of thought and believes that the body is just a machine, and so it would not make sense that the body would know, much less tell the mother what the fetus needs.

Now graduate student Samuel Flaxman and his adviser, neurobiologist Paul Sherman, have complied a review of 56 morning sickness studies covering 79,000 pregnancies in 16 countries. Sixty-five percent of the women had an aversion to at least one food. Among those women, 16 percent avoided caffeinated drinks, 8 percent avoided such strong-tasting vegetables as broccoli and cabbage, and 4 percent avoided spicy ethnic food-all of which contain natural toxins, and secondary compounds, which protect plants from pests and pathogens. A full 28 percent could not eat meat, poultry, eggs, or fish.

They then looked at anthropological reports from 27 societies where symptoms of pregnancy were discussed. In the societies where animal products were not eaten morning sickness was unheard of, but in societies where the consumption of animal products was high morning sickness was common. Most woman get morning sickness between the sixth and fourteenth weeks just at the same time that the fetus is developing major organs.

Doctors still argue that your body could not crave the foods it needs because lots of people crave chocolate and it's not good for you. But recent studies have shown that chocolate contains nutrients that our body needs and that are in short supply in our society. So the evidence is growing that if we learn to listen to our body, it will tell you what it needs.

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copyright 2005 O.Frank