If there is one thing that we could speculate as being highly probable concerning the life style of primitive man, it is that he obtained his food primarily from animal sources and ate it raw. Historically, it appears that complexi- ties in food preparation and processing have come with the more complex and technical societies. Corresponding the rise in production and consumption of refined and processed food has been the rise in physical deterioration, and the birth of heretofore unknown degenerative diseases.
In his landmark publication. Nutrition And Physical Degeneration. Dr. Weston A Price draws a most profound corollary between the consumption of refined and processed foods among primitive peoples of the world, and thc corresponding rise in physical deterioration. Dr. Price`s investigations took him completely around the world, studying cultures on every major continent. As Dr. Price was a dentist. he took most interest in individual jaw formation. tooth structure. and general oral hygiene. He studied the live subjects that he encotntered and compared them with past generations that he uncovered for study at burial sites. He found that where past generations had subsisted on raw. unprocessed food, the jaw formations were near perfect, dental arches were well formed, tooth structure was a work of art, carries were nonexistent and all thiry-two teeth were intact. In studying generations following the introduction of refined and processed foods into the dietary. Certain degenerative changes in the mouth were noted (1) jaw Form- tations were malformed (2) dental arches were misshapen, (3) tooth structure was uneven, faulty and badly decayed. and (4) many teeth in the mouth were missing. ln Africa, Asia. the South Seas. and Australia thc story was the same; with the introduction of refined and processed foods into the dietary of primitive peoples through the influx of so-caled civilization came the coresponding risk in degenerative processes. In the final analysis, Prices studies proved conclusively that human physical health and well being is dependent upon a raw, unprocessed dietary; and- that processed food seemed to pave the way for disease and degeneration.
Another monumental work in this area was done by Dr. Robert MeCarrison. ln l927. Dr. McCarrison was appointed Director of Nutrition Research in India under the Research Fund Association. His travels had taken him through the remote section of the Himalayas where the people of Hunan had lived since the time of Alexander the Great. ln his Studies in Deficicncy Diseases, McCarnson states concerning the health of the Hunzas:
“During the period of my association with these people. I never saw a case of asthenic dyspepsia of gastric, or duodenal ulcer, or appendicitis of mucous colitis, or cancer. Among these people the “abdon1en oversensitive” to nerve impressions, to fatigue, anxiety or cold was unknown. The consciousness of the existence of this part of their anatomy was, as a rule, related solely to the feeling of hunger. Indeed, their buoyant abdominal health has since my return to the West, provided abdominal contrast with the dyspcptic and colonic lamentations of our highly civilized communitics.”
Dr. McCarrison decided to perform some experiments to find if diet had a role to play in the superior health possessed by the Hunzas and their virtual freedom from the variety of degcnerative diseases that plagued Western Civilization. For his work he chose albino rats because of their love for human food. and also because their short life span would enable observation of a complete life history. The first phase of his experiments entailed taking, at random, healthy rats and placing them in ideal conditions: fresh air, sunshine and clean surroundings. Their diet consisted of foods liberally consumed hy the Hunzas: whole grains, raw milk, eggs and butter, sprouted pulse, and a variety of fresh raw vegetables. On rare occasions he would include a small portion of meat in and always provided abundant fresh water. After twenty-seven months on the hunza diet, t.he nearly 1200 rats were killed and carefully examined. McCarrison reported:
“During the past two and a quarter years there has been no case of illness in the “universe” of albino rats. no death from natural causes in the adult stock and, but for a few accidental deaths, no infantile mortality. Both clinically and at postmortem, examination of this stock has been shown to be remarkably free from disease. It may be that some of them have cryptic discase of one kind or another, but if so. l have failed to End either clinical or microscopical evidence of it.”
It Should be noted that similar to the Hunzas, there were 5 people of this world with raw food diets. These were the Primitive Eskimos, the Rocky Mountain Men, the Masai of Africa, the Balam of South America and one of the most physically outstanding people, the American Plains Indian. All living on mostly Proteins, Fats & very little or no fruits, vegetables and starches. The American Plain Indians lived primarily off the Buffalo.
After finding in later experiments that diseased rats were returned to health on thc Hunza diet. McCarrison took batches of rats and placed them on a diet typical to that ofthe people of India: rice, pulses, and vegetables cooked with a variety of condiments. It wasn`t long before the over two thousand rats fed the deficient Indian diet developed a variety of disease conditions: heart, kidney and glandular weaknesses, gastrointestinal disorders, ulcers, anemia, crooked spines, bad teeth, eye ailments, various skin disorders, and loss of hair. Those results led him to take still another batch of rats and place them on a diet typical to that taken by the poorer classes of England: canned meat, boiled vegetables, white bread, margarine, jams & jellies and sweetened tea. McCarrison reported that not only were a variety of disease conditions produced on the faulty diet, but also the rats became hypertensive. They fought among themselves and by the sixteenth day of the experiment the stronger rats were killing and eating the weaker ones.
The frightening conclusions to be drawn from Dr. McCarrison`s research findings are the unfortunate realities of todays world. More than Sixty years after one of the most massive experiments ever performed on mankind, viz., food technology, refining and processing, the results are most evident. Hospitals are tilted with masses of humanity plagued with a variety of disease conditions virtually unknown prior to the turn of the century.
In his “Brife aus dem Lambarcnespital” (Letters from the Lambarene Hospital) in Africa 1954, Professor Albert Schweitzer, world renowned doctor to the peoples of Africa, relates findings similar to those of both Price and McCa- rrison. He states;
“I have to point out a happening in the modem civilization of the Hospital, something which happened this year. We had to perform the first appendicitis operation on a native of this region. How it turned out that this so frequent sickness of white people did not occur in the colored of his country cannot bc convineingly explained. Probably its still exceptional occurrence is traceable to the change in the nutrition. Many natives, especially those who are living in larger commtmities do not now live the same way as formerly; they lived almost exclusively on fruits and vegetables, bananas, cassava, ignam, taro, sweet potatoes and other fruits. They now live on condensed milk, canned butter, meat and fish preserves and bread. The datc of appcarance of cancer, another disease of civilization, cannot be traced in our region with the same certainty as that of appendicitis. We cannot state decisively that formerly there was no cancer at all, because the microscopic examinations of all tested tumors, revealling their real nature, has only been in existence here for a few years. Based upon my own experience. going back to 1913, I can say, if canccr occurred at all it was very rare, but that it became more frequent since. However. it is not spread as much as it has among thc white race in Europe and America.”
Research from every corner of the globe has shown a definite correlation between the consumption of refined and processed food, and the incidence of physical degeneration. If this seems like a strong indictment against the food processing industry, it is meant to be; the evidence against them is just too voluminous and conclusive. Refining and processing foods to preserve their keeping qualities almost completely destroys their life giving potentials. Vita- mins and minerals are lost, enzymes are completely destroyed, proteins are coagulated, fats are rendered unutilizable, and the list goes on and on.
Part II: Sugar – The Refiner’s 99.9 Per Cent Pure Masterpiece
The key to life is balance; balance between those environmental forces both external and internal that promote and sustain life. Functioning through a balanced interplay between its parts, life forms an organic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. A carrot, for example, contains most of the nutritional elements that promote and sustain human life: fat, carbohydrate, protein, most known vitamins, and over 12 essential minerals. If one were to extract Vitamin A from the carrot and take it in its pure form, one would certainly be getting one of the finest sources of Vitamin A obtainable, but one would also be missing out on the other essential nutrients that, combined with Vitamin A, actually increase its usefulness to the body. We term these elements, synergists – nutritional elements that promote the biological efficiency of other nutritional elements. This concept may be visualized by picturing a steel chain, one link binding another. If one link is broken, the function of the chain is either entirely lost or greatly hun- dred.
The story of sugar is the story of one link in a metabolic chain deprived of the other links that promote its usefulness and efficiency in human metabolism. Separated from the cane, washed, filtered, heated, spun in centri- fuges at up to 1200 revolutions per minute, the final result is a product that is over 99.9 percent pure. Over 100 pounds of this product is consumed annually by every man, woman, and child in this country without the benefit of the other elements necessary to its proper utilization. The results of this broken metabolic chain forms countless pages of statistics that have prompted some scientific investigators to advocate banning its sale.
To more completely understand the detrimental effects of refined sugar in human nutrition, let us first exam- ine what happens in the body when we eat a meal. To be utilized as energy, food must first be broken down through the digestive process to render glucose. Digestion converts our food into glucose at the rate of about 100 percent of the carbohydrate, 56 percent of the proteins, and 10 percent of the fats. The blood carries the glucose from the intes- tinal tract to the liver. Because there is little insulin in the liver, the sugar passes through virtually unchanged and is carried by general circulation into the pancreas where the sudden increased blood sugar level stimulates the islands of Langerhans to produce insulin. Insulin acts as a kind of carrier of glucose, allowing it to enter a cell where its energy potential may be realized. The insulin reaches the liver while the major portion of the meal is still being digested; thus, the liver is able to remove the excess glucose from the blood by converting it into glycogen and storing it for future use. Glycogen in humans may be likened to starch in plants. If the blood sugar level falls below normal between meals, it is the function of the adrenal cortex to secrete hormones that induce the liver to break up some of its store of glycogen and release it into the bloodstream as glucose. Thus, a balanced blood sugar level is maintained.
Where problems arise is when the blood sugar level is either too high or too low. If the blood sugar level is too high as in diabetes, the damaged islands of Langerhans cannot produce insulin to meet the body’s requirements, and the liver is unable to convert glucose into glycogen fast enough. The result is a blood sugar level so high that the excess must be excreted via the kidneys through the urinary tract in order to avoid a complete metabolic blockage. If the blood sugar level is too low as in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, or hyperinsulinism), the opposite of diabetes exists. The islands of Langerhans over-react to the metabolic demand by secreting too much insulin. The liver converts too much glucose into glycogen, the net result being an insufficient amount of blood glucose.
Current scientific investigation has shown that both high and low blood sugar level conditions may be traced to an increased consumption of refined sugar. It had been suggested back in 1935 by the researchers, Himsworth and Marshall, that the incidence of diabetes could be directly correlated to the amount of fat consumed. They pointed to the Jews and the Italians who show a high incidence of diabetes, and who also consume high amounts of dietary fats. On the other hand, they pointed to the Chinese and the Japanese who are low fat eaters, and who show a correspond- ing low incidence of diabetes. What both Himsworth and Marshall must have overlooked was that, in each instance, the fat consumption closely corresponded with the sugar consumption. Professor A. M. Cohen, looking at the preva- lence of diabetes among Yemenites who had immigrated to Israel, found that 0.06 percent of the recent immigrants were diabetic versus 2.9 percent of those who had immigrated 20 years previously. In each case the fat consumption was the same. The increased incidence of diabetes in the older immigrated group was in direct proportion to their increased sugar consumption. In the laboratory, Cohen later demonstrated a decreased glucose tolerance in rats fed refined sugar, thus reinforcing his earlier observations.
In all Westernized countries people are growing taller, and are showing decided changes in both structure and size of the bony frame. In this country, for example, it has been shown that children of immigrants coming from Europe are one to two inches taller than their parents. Succeeding generations have perpetuated the trend toward increased growth by becoming still taller. Dr. Eugen Ziegler of Switzerland is a most enthusiastic proponent of the idea that a definite correlation exists between the amount of sugar consumed and increases in height and weight. Over a period of six years. Dr. Ziegler has pointed to statistics from many countries that reinforce his position. For example, the birth weight of babies in Basle, Switzerland increased an average of 3.1 kilograms to 3.3 kilograms between the years 1900 and 1960. A most interesting side note to this statistic is that during the two World Wars there was registered a slight decrease in weight that correlated with a decrease in sugar consumption. In Oslo, the height of girls between eight and fourteen years old increased between 1920 and 1950, the latter fourteen year olds showing a four inch increase! Also in Norway, the height of adult men increased by about three quarters of an inch between 1835 and 1870, and by another one and one half inches between 1870 and 1930. The average sugar intake increased from 2 1⁄4 pounds in 1835 to 11 pounds in 1875 and to 67 pounds in 1937. Current consumption in Norway is over 90 pounds, an increase of 40 times that consumed 130 years ago!
Dr. O. Schaeffer, in his research on the Eskimos of the Canadian north, offers support to Dr. Ziegler’s contention that there exists a correlation between increased sugar consumption and increased height and weight in humans. Dr. Schaeffer studied Eskimos in three areas and measured birth weights, children’s weights, and adult weights, all at various ages. In the first area studied the average annual sugar consumption had increased from 26 pounds to 104 pounds in eight years, in the second area from 83 pounds to 111 pounds in one year, and in the third area from 46 pounds to 61 pounds in five years. Birth weights increased in all three areas, the amount of increase in direct propor- tion to the amount of increased sugar consumption. Between 1938 and 1968 Eskimo men averaged two inches taller, women one inch taller. The most significant increase in height appeared among the children. Boys and girls between the ages of two and ten were two the three inches taller. Boys of eleven were four and one half inches taller, while girls in the twelve to thirteen range were as much as eight inches taller!
The Japanese nutrition expert, Dr. A. Katase, has conducted laboratory research that seems to verify the statis- tical observations of Drs. Ziegler and Schaeffer. Over a period of ten years Dr. Katase worked with experimental animals attempting to determine the effects of refined sugar on their growth, behavior and development. He found that bone structures of the experimental animals became deranged, the long bones became longer, and the shape of the pelivs grew narrow. Of even greater significance was the observation of actual bone degeneration. The bones became so soft that they could be scraped easily with a knife.
The solubility of calcium in water has been demonstrated to be one part of calcium to one thousand parts of water. Sugar has an affinity for calcium and will increase calcium’s solubility in water thirty-five times. Dr. Katase found that his experimental animals could accommodate a small amount of refined sugar, which the live converted in glycogen. Any additional amount was absorbed by osmosis into the circulation where it was converted into free carbonic acid. To keep the organism from becoming over acid, it was observed that calcium was withdrawn from the bones to neutralize the excess free carbonic acid. The resulting compound, calcium carbonate, was found to collect in the soft meshes of muscles, tissues, and vessels, where it became coated and hardened. One result was found to be atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries.
A most significant factor of Dr. Katase’s research was that, under controlled laboratory conditions, he was able to observe a biological explanation for what Drs. Ziegler and Schaeffer were later to observe and record statistically in their respective field studies. He was able to observe the actual physiological changes that occurred due to an increased refined sugar consumption that have become manifest over the past century in a general trend toward greater height in humans. If was once assumed that the growth increase was due to better nutrition, with emphasis on an increased protein intake. However, as Dr. Schaeffer found in his study of the Eskimo, the Eskimo’s protein intake over the period of study had not only not increased, but had actually decreased from 300 grams a day to just over 100 grams a day.
Ron Kosloff (313) 372-1807