MEDIA RELEASE 24 July 2015

FREE EBOOK: On The Origin Of Disease, Manners, D


New theory of disease questions medical method

A Melbourne scientist working across several disciplines has reached a surprising conclusion: the familiar diagnose-then-treat method may actually be extending disease.

In her new paper On the Origin of Disease Deborah Manners, director of the Food Intolerance Institute of Australia says doctors are not to blame – just their medical training. She says indoctrination of undergraduates with diagnose-then-treat closes down their natural curiosity about the cause of disease.

With this training doctors believe that chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac conditions and multiple sclerosis are incurable, so focus instead on ‘disease management’ via drugs or surgery. But this may be short-changing patients.

The main cause of disease, says Manners was discovered by archaeologists four decades ago, but has been sidelined.

  • Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) fossils show no evidence of chronic disease
  • But New Stone Age (Neolithic) fossils show unmistakeable signs of osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and tooth decay. Neolithic people ten thousand years ago began farming.

What happened? … New foods happened.’ 

Moving from hunter-gatherer to Neolithic farmer brought us new foods: wheat and barley – and milk from domesticating animals. While first symptoms are laughed off today as ‘just food intolerance’ their Big Brothers are diseases - chronic, inflammatory and autoimmune - with increased vulnerability to infection.Video2

Manners has spent two decades researching links between foods and disease in the medical literature, and conducting thousands of member consultations. Xenos Theory she says, just ‘fell out’.

The idea is tantalising: that we could change the course of disease globally – or in our person - simply by ‘switching a few foods’. 

We know doctors struggle to explain why chronic diseases appear: diabetes, heart conditions, multiple sclerosis and others . . they offer only 'unknown causes' and risk factors.

But Xenos Theory describes how and why disease arises with scientific rigour.

Xenos Theory explains disease – rather than explaining it away.

Manners adds, 'So your neighbour Jenny with crippling rheumatoid arthritis - is suffering exactly as a Neolithic farmer's wife suffered in 8,000 BC. The pity is, when Jenny visits her doctor to get relief – she will be not be advised to eat differently and start improving. 

She will be given a repeat prescription – and perhaps scheduled for hip replacement surgery. But her disease will endure unto the grave.

Diagnose-then-treat is the only tool doctors have for tackling disease. And when all you have is a hammer – everything looks like a nail.



Notes to Editors

Deborah Manners BSc(Hons)DipEd is a director of the Food Intolerance Institute of Australia ABN 37644931517

Enquiries +613 9813 2148

foodintol® was launched in 2003 as a central resource for science-based knowledge on food intolerance presented in easily understood language.


Ms Manners has been a guest of both Richard Stubbs and Libby Gorr on 774 ABC where she fielded listeners' questions about food intolerance. The foodintol® Survey 2012 of 900 members was the first-of-its-kind snapshot of food intolerance in the community. It was featured in Body+Soul liftout, and various news services nationally.

Ms Manners first book Beyond the Paleo Fence - the original story of Xenos Theory was published in July 2014.