A SHORT HISTORY OF THIS METHOD
In 1935, a German biologist called Herbst was the first to prove the effects of potassium, and then subsequently of magnesium, on the mechanism of sex-selection.
As is the case with many discoveries, Herbst was in fact looking for something completely different when he made this discovery. He was actually studying the role of potassium in living organisms and for this he used a small worm called Bonellia virdis. Taking aquariums filled with artificial sea water, he had the concentration of potassium altered in order to show how his Bonellia virdis absorbed potassium from the outside environment. He soon noticed that when he increased the potassium content of the water in the aquariums the proportion of male worms increased too. Then he very quickly made a second discovery: when he decreased the concentration of potassium and at the same time increased that of magnesium, he obtained the opposite, i.e. an increase in the number of females.
In 1938 a second German biologist, Hartman, this time using another worm called Ophryotroca puerilis, reached the same conclusions. Meanwhile a third biologist, Tzonis, carried out the same research on Dinophilus apatris. The same result: an excess of potassium favors the birth of males, a decrease in potassium associated with an increase in magnesium increases the number of female births.
After the War, this phenomenon was noticed by a French physiologist, Professor Stolkowski of the Faculty of Sciences in Paris, who extended his investigations to other animal species and explained how the phenomenon worked. In 1958 he confirmed that an amphibian, Discogllossus pictus, when bred in an environment rich in potassium produced a majority of males, but that the same creatures, bred in an environment enriched in calcium and magnesium, produced a majority of females.
Later he substantiated the discovery of the German biologists by establishing that it is not so much the quantity of potassium that is decisive but the relation between potassium, on one hand, and the calcium and magnesium on the other. So Professor Stolkowski is really the father of this theory since he did all the initial work on the method of sex-selection by diet.
The next stage was obviously to find out whether the same phenomenon would be repeated with other animal species and in particular with mammals, for the essential difference between the semi-aquatic species (such as amphibians, for example) and terrestrial species (such as mammals) in the environment in which they live. In fact, semi-aquatic species live part of their lives in a liquid environment through which they absorb external substances.
But it is the opposite for the animals and humans who live on the land: here, it is the cells themselves which float in an internal liquid environment. It is rather as though one were carrying about ones’ own little internal sea, one’s own inner lake. Any exchange of substances occurs via this liquid in the body.
It is, then, easy to alter the potassium content or calcium and magnesium content of an aquarium in a laboratory, but how can an internal environment be altered? By the intake of food. For all the substances the body receives are brought to it from outside, either through the digestive tract or the respiratory passages. Thus the alimentary canal becomes a means by which the mineral composition of this environment can be transformed.
In 1967 Professor Stolkowski published the results of a retrospective survey carried out on 134 farms, concerning the births of 25,653 claves.
- On farms where the proportions of potassium, magnesium and calcium were properly balanced in the feed, as many male calves as female were born.
- On farms where the feed included an excess of potassium, an increase in male calves was observed.
- On farms where the diet underwent a decrease in potassium while the calcium and magnesium content was increased, more female calves were born.
In 1969 Stolkowski and his colleagues pushed their research a little further. They undertook, this time, an investigatory study on 82 farms where they analyzed the mineral composition of the feed given to the cows. These results were also conclusive:
- On the 30 farms offering balanced feed (the proportions of potassium on the one hand and calcium and magnesium on the other being more or less equal), 148 males and 149 females were born.
- On the 52 farms using a diet rich in calcium and magnesium, 340 females were born compared to 280 males.
After this second study, their investigation became even more specific: they now took sodium into account, as this plays an important role in the functioning of the adrenal glands, which in their turn maintain the proper level of potassium in the body.
They then undertook an experimental study, in which they laid great emphasis on dietary restrictions. The cow is the ideal subject for this type of experiment, as it has an ovarian cycle very similar to that of a woman. Unfortunately, just like a woman, the cow is not very prolific. And since it was necessary to wait for the births to take place, the studies took some time. It is moreover rather difficult to find farmers who are willing to cooperate and alter the feed of an entire breed.
A study was carried out on 23 farms in the Doubs region: vitamin D (which controls the calcium content of the body) was injected into cows. In all, 961 births were obtained. Of these 961 calves, 77 came from mothers that had been treated with vitamin D.
Non-treated animals: 380 females, 504 males- 43% females/57 % male
Treated animals: 49 females, 28 males- 63.6 % females/36.4 % males
These results therefore confirmed what the experiments had so far demonstrated: that an environment rich in calcium favors female births.
Now to humans. It was in 1975 that Doctors Lorrain and Gagnon, of the Sacre-Couer Maternity Clinic in Montreal, published the results of a retrospective survey concerning the eating habits of a hundred women who had children of the same sex only.
Of the fifty who had only boys, forty had a diet with a high salt-content (in the form of both salt as such and salty foods) and poor in calcium and magnesium. Out of the fifty who had only girls, forty naturally had a diet poor in sodium and rich in calcium and magnesium.
At the same time they tried to predict the sex of the unborn children of fifty women who had very specific eating habits. Thirty of these women had a “boy-type” diet and twenty a “girl-type” diet. The first thirty (boy-type) gave birth to 24 boys and 6 girls and the last twenty (girl diet) brought into the world 16 girls and 4 boys. The hypothesis was beginning to become more convincing.
Two years later, a French doctor, Michele Duc, chose as her doctoral thesis to do a detailed investigation of the eating habits of ninety-nine women who had at least two children of the same sex.
Fifty-three had only boys and forty-six had only girls.
Painstakingly she studies the mineral composition of each item of their diet until she was finally able to determine the type of diet (girl-type or boy-type) followed spontaneously by each of these women by working out the ratio of potassium and sodium to calcium and magnesium, and this is what she discovered:
- 84.4 percent of the women who had boys, in general only ate food corresponding to the boy diet. The ratio of potassium and sodium to calcium and magnesium was higher than 4.
- 84 percent of the women who had only girls, spontaneously followed a girl diet. The same ratio was under 2.
Michele Duc’s study now proved, in 84 percent of the women, that there is a correlation between eating habits and the sex of a child. It was a momentous discovery – a small revolution. Here at last was the proof that this phenomenon existed. It was yet to be discovered, of course whether it could be artificially created. That is to say – offer a “girl” or “boy” diet to women who wanted to choose the sec of their child, and await the result!
On January 14, 1977 Port-Royal Maternity Clinic in Paris set up and experiment and the only criteria to join was that you had to be healthy. They had the women keep notebooks of detailed accounts of everything- both liquid and solid- they consumed. They had to follow it for 2.5 months before the intended date of conception. They had the women use common household scales to weigh how much food they were consuming too.
As you might expect, not all kept up with the notebooks. So, to classify the results, the patients were therefore divided into five groups, and this was of course done before knowing the outcome of the pregnancy.
Group 1 The diet was scrupulously followed. Control by means of the notebooks.
Group 2 The patients said they followed the diet totally, but not all notebooks were produced.
Group 3 and 4 The women who did not follow the diet properly – either because their notebooks revealed errors in applying it, or because they admitted (before knowing the sex of the baby, of course) that they had deviated from the diet.
Group 5 The patients didn’t use the method – for example, those women who started the diet when they were already pregnant but didn’t know it, or those – the most numerous – who gave it up before becoming pregnant.
Here are the results obtained at the end of the first two years.
In the first two groups, i.e. those women who did follow the diet, the success rate was 77.6 percent.
In groups 3 and 4, those women who did not keep to the diet, the success rate was no more than 52 percent.
After two years of the study, the doctors of the Port-Royal Maternity Clinic were able to obtain more information from their work.
- First, they discovered that the demand for boys and for girls was more or less equal, for out of 215 patients, 100 wanted a girl, and 115 a boy.
- They also realized that the diet was apparently quite difficult to follow, wince many women were not following it correctly. Two thirds actually gave up along the way. Since all the women wanting to take part in the experiment had been accepted at the outset without any selection test, it may be assumed that some of them were not motivated strongly enough and that they perhaps were there more out of curiosity- “just to see”.
- The girl diet was neither any more nor any less effective than the boy diet.
- Finally, there was no difference between the children of those mothers who had followed the diet and those who hadn’t: all the infants were of normal weight and in good health at birth.
Two other teams who undertook similar work obtained identical results. They confirmed one another’s findings. Brilliant!
Dr Lorrain and his colleagues in Montreal achieved a success rate of 80 percent: 181 children of the sex desired out of a total of 224 pregnancies. Professor Stolkowski and his colleagues at the Faculty of Sciences in Paris achieved an 88 percent success rate, with 53 births of the sex required out of a total of 60.
All these finding therefore indicate that this method is almost 80 percent reliable. So let us try. It may well open doors for you too.