Leukocytosis and Cooked Food

Just Eat an Apple
Volume 2
Spring 2003


In 1930, research was conducted to demonstrate the effect of food (cooked/processed vs. raw/natural) on the immune system. It was tested and documented at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Dr. Paul Kouchakoff.

Dr. Kouchakoff’s discovery concerned leukocytes (the white blood cells). It was found that after a person eats cooked food, his/her blood responds immediately by increasing the number of these cells. A rise in the number of leukocytes after eating was a well-known phenomenon called “digestive leukocytosis.” Since digestive leukocytosis was always observed after eating, it was considered a normal physiological response. No one knew why the number of white cells would rise. It appeared to be a stress response—as if the body was reacting to something harmful, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, an infection, or some sort of trauma.

While studying the influence of food on human blood, they made a remarkable discovery. They found that eating raw food, or food heated at low temperatures, did not cause any reaction in the blood. In addition, if a food had been heated beyond a certain temperature (unique to each food), or if the food was processed (refined, chemicals added, etc.), this always caused a rise in the number of white blood cells in the blood.

The researchers renamed this reaction “pathological leukocytosis,” since the body was reacting to highly altered food. They tested many different kinds of foods and again found that if the foods were not overheated or refined, they caused no such reaction. The body merely saw them as “friendly foods.” However, if these same foods were heated at too high a temperature, they caused a negative reaction in the blood—a reaction that is only found when the body is invaded by a dangerous pathogen or experiences some sort of trauma.

The worst offenders of all—heated or not—were foods that had been: refined and processed, such as white flour or white rice; homogenized (the mechanical breaking up of fat molecules to cause their suspension, as in milk); pasteurized (heated at sub-boiling temperature to kill bacteria, as in milk and juice); preserved (the addition of chemicals to retard spoilage or to enhance taste or texture).

In other words, foods that were the biggest offenders were those that had been changed from their original state. Good examples of these harmful foods are pasteurized milk, chocolate, margarine, sugar, candy, white flour, and refined salt. The researchers also found that if these altered, chemically enhanced foods were chewed very thoroughly, the harm to the blood could be lessened. In addition, they found that if some of the same raw food was eaten with its cooked counterpart, the pathological reaction in the blood would be minimized. However, the moral of the story is not to find ways of making unnatural, processed foods less harmful, but to avoid them altogether. For optimal health, replace them with delicious, whole, raw foods.


Back to Raw/Live Food Concepts & Info