MEDICAL men, chemists and others have written books and pamphlets on nutrition since the time of Hippocrates, two thousand three hundred years ago. Most of these publications are of very little, if of any, value. some of the dieticians have based their views on nothing better than prejudice, while others have produced the most terrible mischief by looking upon matters of nutrition from the point of view of the chemical laboratory.
The dieticians of the Liebig school taught that flesh creates flesh, that blood creates blood, that protein is the most valuable food substance, that vegetables, potatoes, fruit, are of little importance and that calories are of great importance. Food stuffs were classified according to the calories they contained or according to the quantity of protein, etc.
In their scientific classifications food stuffs were valued according to their “burning value”, and those portions which could not be burned were contemptuously summarized under the heading “ash”. Later generations 1A discovered that the so-called “ash” of food stuffs was composed of mineral substances of infinite value, of substances which are necessary to maintain life, and that there were in addition mysterious substances called “Vitamins”.
The analytical chemist has for too long been allowed to tamper with the food of the nation and to give dietetic advice. The analytical chemists are food spoilers and food fakers. They are largely responsible for the deterioration of the national physique, brought about by the refining of food stuffs whereby the vitally necessary mineral elements and vitamins are eliminated.
The short-sighted analytical chemists were followed by men who looked upon nutrition not from the point of view of the chemical laboratory. They studied the processes of nutrition not with microscopes, test tubes and other worthless scientific implements.
They went back to nature and endeavoured to learn the secrets of nutrition by experiments made on animals and on human beings. Among the experimenters on human beings a foremost position is occupied by Dr. M. Hind-hede, an occasional and highly valued contributor to this magazine.
Among practical scientists who have experimented on animals, probably the foremost position is held by Major General Sir robert McCarrison, M.D., who has done invaluable work, work which will be appreciated fully only by future generations. He has published some large and important works which ought to be read by every doctor.
He delivered, in February, 1936, three extremely important lectures on “Nutrition and National Health” at the Royal Society of Arts, and by kind permission of the Royal Society of Arts and of Sir Robert McCarrison I am allowed to publish extracts from these lectures. I imagine that everyone who reads these extracts will want to read the full text of these lectures and Sir Robert McCarrisons books.
Every doctor ought to be acquainted with the findings of Sir robert McCarrison. I myself have received untold benefit by following the teachings of this distinguished dietician. Many years ago I adopted the McCarrison diet for myself and I have given the McCarrison diet to thousands of sufferers and I have found that in innumerable cases the benefit obtained was magical.
I have given a natural diet, rich in ordinary broad bran, salad, fruit, vegetables, potatoes, milk, eggs, cheese, to thousands of patients suffering from the worst of diseases and even in incurable diseases, such as cancer and sarcoma, the sufferers have obtained untold benefit from the dietetic reform which I had initiated. I would express on my own behalf and on behalf of thousands of sufferers my gratitude to Sir Robert for his wonderful work. – EDITOR, “HEAL THYSELF”.
Man is made up of what he eats. The constituents of his food are those of which his body is composed. His foodstuffs, derived from the vegetable and the animal kingdoms, consist, for the most part, of matter that is living, that was formerly living or that is derived form matter that was formerly living. Man cannot himself build up living tissue from materials which have in themselves no necessary connection with living protoplasm. This, plants do for him.
Out of the earth and air, and under the influence of the sun, they transmute certain inorganic substances – mineral salts, water and carbon dioxide – into organic foodstuffs suited to his use and to the use of the animals whose produce or whose flesh he uses as food. He is, indeed, created out of the earth; and according as the earth provides, by way of plant and animal life, the materials needed by his body, so is that body well, ill or indifferently made and sustained.