Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Amazing wisdom from 3/4 of a century ago

A wise man once said "There is nothing new under the sun." When it comes to nutrition there have been people drumming out the importance of vitamins to all who can hear since time immortal. Well not quite, but since vitamins were discovered. I came across a most wonderful book published in 1929 about the vitamins. Unusual for me I have no idea were I came across it (normally I can tell you what shop and when). The Dr McCarrison who holds no fame in discovering the vitamins, was one of the many workers who were researching the topic of the vitamin in the early 20th Century. However his published book speaks his words from beyond the grave. 

Let me quotes some passages.
I the dietary does not contain a fair proportion of protective foods it will be faulty in one ore more of the following (1) deficiency of vitamins (2) deficiency of protein in good biological value, (3) deficiency of inorganic salts [minerals] (4) excess of carbohydrates and (5) excess of fat. (pg 238)
Have you heard this before, to eat more vitamins, eat more high quality protein, eat more minerals eat less carbohydrates and fats?! That is exactly what we are still trying to do over 75 years since he wrote the book.

He discussed a patient that he was asked to see because of general mishealth. Nothing in particular but in continual state of poor health. After looking at his diet and adding more wholesome animal products (raw milk, eggs, meat, liver) and fresh fruits and vegetables (apple, fresh orange juice, lettuce, fruit) he health made a dramatic recovery. I quote the following:
He is most certainly better in every way, more vigorous, a better colour and eating splendidly. He has had had no night terrors and no abdominal pain..... the boys general health had greatly benefit... The identity in kind of his symptoms to those of my monkeys fed on autoclaved [highly cooked/processed] food is remarkable.....
He ten talked about how other children might have thrived on his initial diet, but is was deficient for his needs. He also goes onto dig at the medical profession for prescribing the removal of adenoids, tonsils, stretching of the jaws by an elaborate ontological device, the two hours spend in a recumbent position on a hard surface. None of which helped.

Another patient who had "perpetual indigestion" health that had steadily run down, headaches loss of concentration, feeling dull and irresponsive, nervousness in meeting people, lack of energy, drowsiness etc. In modern times we would likely to label this lady as depressed. This what the good doctor observed about her diet:
On examining it I found it to be markedly deficient in the "protective foods" [raw] milk, eggs [these would have been free range/organic], wholemeal bread, glandular organs [liver etc] [raw] butter, fresh fruit and vegetables [also likely to be organic]. It was composed for the most part of tea, coffee, white bread, cake, jam margarine, bacon, derived eggs, frozen meat, sugar, rice tinned fish and pastries.
 Does that sound like the western diet - I think so! The doctor noticed that her symptoms were very similar to that of the monkeys on a vitamin deficient diet. This being:
(1) anemia (2) loss of weight , (3) gastro-intestinal disorder, (4) increasing weight of the brain, (5)atrophy of the thyroid, (6) adrenal insufficiency.
Again these are what we would not a depression. The weight loss and trouble in intestines is caused by lack of Serotonin. Which also contributes to brain issues. After changing diet her headaches disappeared, circulation improved, felt "extraordinary well", looked of good color, looks many years younger, body functions were all back to normal.

And another quote:
Unfortunately milk, butter, fresh eggs, raw fruit and leafy vegetables are at the time or writing both costly and difficult to procure.
Do we hear the same thing today?! And
Each vitamin is but a member of a team, and the team itself but a part of a co-ordinate whole.
Which means that you can't take a vitamin out in isolation (at the time or writing there were only 3 recognized vitamins).

Now I could rabbit on some more with some more beautiful statements from the book. I will save these for the next installment of historical studies and wisdom.

No comments:

Post a Comment