NATURES PROVISION FOR THE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS OF MANKIND.
Published by John Bale, Sons & Danielsson, Ltd., London, W.I. 7s. 6d. net.
THE author who has worked for many years in East is an experienced medical man and an enthusiast who has imbibed the teachings of Sir Arbuthnot Lane, Sir Robert MacCarrison, and other writers who have endeavoured to show that we suffer from the diseases of civilization, from diseases which are unknown among the primitively living. Unfortunately the authors enthusiasm has blinded him to the necessity of being popular and easily understandable. The title of the book is unattractive, and the book itself is loaded with numerous statistics, graphs, etc. which make difficult reading except to a small group of students and statisticians.
The book will undoubtedly be of great interest to the relatively small number of people who are willing to study hard in order to obtain a close view of the authors conclusions and recommendations. I will now quote some passages from this book which will be of value and of interest to the readers.
“Under adverse conditions of over-crowding the C3 community is particularly subject to epidemics of respiratory and infections diseases, while the A1 community escapes scot free, I had been observing sporadic cases of infectious diseases in the Asiatic labour personnel for some years before the explanation of his immunity dawned upon me. A healthy nose and throat precludes the carrier, and it also implies resistance to infection, Catarrh of the upper respiratory passages does not exist.
On the other hand, a community in which the nose and throat is universally unhealthy and prone to catarrh becomes an incubator of infections when man becomes host and disseminator of his own diseases. C3 therefore appears to signify, not alone defective physique, but subnormality and a predisposition to epidemic respiratory disease when subjected to over-crowding. Tuberculosis and acute rheumatic infection belong to this category also”.
“Dental Efficiency in the Labourers Child.
“The Asiatic labourer does not suffer appreciably from dental disease because he has never departed from the simple dietetic habits of his ancestors, but this does not apply to his offspring. It was demonstrated on the Naval Base that as soon as European delicacies pleasing to the palate of the child (sweetmeats and refined pastries) became part of its daily ration, the Asiatic child acquired dental disease within one generation just as readily as the European.
This change of dietary has become general on the outposts of civilization wherever East meets West, and it is being attended with the same consequences. The only well-known exception to the rule is to be found in the Island of Tristan da Cunha, where these delicacies a re not available. There the teeth of parent and child are alike, good”.
“Sugar consumption is an index of national prosperity.
“The wealthiest nations are the highest consumers of sugar, and they have at the same time the worst teeth, the highest cancer mortality, and the greatest proportion of surgical specialists.
“Diabetes mortality is intimately associated with two things : (1) The increasing consumption of sugar and carbohydrate refinements; (2) Increase of the sedentary habit associated with increase of machinery and mechanical transport.
“Diabetes mortality follows closely the curve of sugar consumption.
“War Experience in Great Britain. Sugar consumption dropped suddenly at the outbreak of the Great War. Diabetes mortality dropped simultaneously. At the end of the war increased consumption was at once attended with increased diabetes mortality in the female. Why not in males ? Are they eating less sugar, or is it Insulin therapy ?.
“Prohibition in America. Prohibition, which led to the conversion of breweries into ice cream factories, and an enormous increase in sugar consumption, was associated with an enormous increase in the prevalence and mortality of diabetes.
“One of the primary physiological defects of a wrong balance between food and work is an oxygen shortage, which deranges metabolism. There is ample evidence that this is the biggest factor in present-day pathology. Refined foods must accentuate this derangement for the following reasons:.
“They are comparable to kerosene as a domestic fuel. They are highly combustible, which implies a greed for oxygen. It is to this that they owe their stimulating properties. They seize and use up the available oxygen, which is already at a premium. This is equivalent to putting a further damper on the combustion that has already been slowed down. Even this is not the whole story.
Refined foods, by their pleasing and stimulating properties, create an artificial appetite that in itself leads to excess. We never know when we have had enough. Lastly, sugar is an alcohol, and when its record has been fully written up I am convinced that it will show as damning a record as alcohol itself, which it has largely replaced. Dental, surgical, and a host of other digestive and metabolic disorders have grown apace with the combination- increased per head sugar consumption and increase of the sedentary habit”.
“In H.M.S. Donegal our Chaplain was a good illustration of the immune person. No one mixed more freely with infection both on board ship and in hospital, and yet it touched him not. He never caught colds. He was a man with a conspicuous nose, but a healthy one that functioned normally.
This was an oft-repeated observation during the war by many workers, a healthy nose and throat is the best defence against every form of respiratory infection. Unfortunately such normality is the exception rather than the rule in a civilized community, it is just about as rare as perfect dentition. Normality in this respect was one of the outstanding features in the physical make-up of the primitive Asiatic, and it carried with it, not only freedom from catarrh, but a freedom from respiratory and infectious diseases under conditions that we would consider in this country certain forerunners of epidemics”.
“I have met Asiatics in this country, Chinese, Siamese, Indians, Egyptians and others, and I invariably make a point of asking them how our climate agrees with them, whether they suffer much from colds or influenza ? Without exception they are immune from colds. None of them clothes excessively, none of them takes any special precaution. They simply live and mix with the crowd regardless of consequences. They can live as they like because they are select, healthy representatives of their respective countries, and they have normal healthy noses and throats”.
The Prudential Approved Societies have stated that “neglect of teeth trouble is the cause of quite half of the ill-health found among the industrial classes.” The Army Medical Council have reported on the loss of man power to the State owing to defective dentition. In the Scottish Command it was estimated that “44 per cent. of the men are dentally unfit”, i.e. they lacked the minimum of dental efficiency which will ensure effective mastication of food.
In the Western Command, from April, 1917, to March, 1918, between 80-90 per cent. of the recruits were in need of dental treatment. (Recruits, aged 18-19, 83 per cent.; recruits, aged 19-44, 93 per cent.). In the Northern Command, 84 per cent. of recruits, aged 19-24, were suffering from decayed teeth. In the general population it was found that the condition of the teeth of the women was worse even than that of the men.
There can be no doubt, therefore, of the prevalence of dental disease. Some of it is of minor importance, but much of it is so serious in degree that it leads to subsequent disease. Toothache, pyorrhoea, and oral sepsis are the earliest local manifestations, but they are not terminal conditions.
The glands of the neck become affected, mastication is interfered with, anaemia and toxaemia (poisoning) occur, and they are followed by general maladies in different parts of the body, gastro-intestinal trouble, arthritis, and neurasthenia. The tale of trouble which follows dental disease may be long and grave. Yet it is a directly preventable condition.–SIR GEORGE NEWMAN, MAN An outline of the Practice of Preventive Medicine.