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In recent tests mosquitoes refused to bite persons who were well supplied with vitamin B1. Therefore, it may be inferred that malnutrition now is to be considered a basic cause of malaria.
Also it has been found that lice leave rats and other animals if they are supplied with a better vitamin intake. Fleas were found to leave dogs that were being treated with vitamins for pneumonia.
A Pandora’s Box
If both insect parasites as well as bacterial invasion are mainly a consequence of malnutrition, by reason of a loss of the power of the body to repel these instruments of possible death, what a Pandora’s box was opened when we began to meddle with our natural foods! Sleeping sickness, typhus, malaria, bubonic plague, and yellow fever are in that class of diseases in which the bacterial infection is very probably the secondary cause of disease–the primary cause being lowered resistance of the human body to the lice, fleas, or mosquitoes that carry the infectious organisms, as well as lowered resistance to the organisms themselves.
If this resistance depends upon a high vitamin diet, it is obvious that outbreaks of the above list of fearful diseases is definitely made possible by malnutrition.
All the writers on malnutrition who have made exhaustive studies of other nations stress the point that in countries where civilized foods are not used, there is no cancer, no tuberculosis, no pneumonia, no heart disease, no arthritis to speak of, although there may be terrible evidences of malnutrition and starvation otherwise. It seems that only a liberal use of white flour and white sugar can cause the extraordinarily high death rate so obvious wherever these foods are common.
In America, we have had this monstrous condition of malnutrition with us so long that we have become tolerant of it. Commercial interests promoting these foods are so powerful in their various activities that we are flooded with propaganda and advertising material to blind us to the truth.
Some of the mineral deficiencies are just as spectacular as vitamin deficiencies in their destructive effects. A good example is manganese, which is required by all living cells as an enzyme activator. Without sufficient manganese, tendons and ligaments lose their integrity and relax, permitting bone malpositions and malfunction. In chickens the disease known as “perosis” made itself apparent some years ago. The soil of most farm areas is becoming dangerously low in manganese, and this disease seems to have appeared as a result.
I believe fallen arches and vertebral malpositions are the commonest evidences of this deficiency in the human category. Probably the osteopaths and chiropractors owe their profession to this kind of malnutrition just as much as the dentists are made busy by deficiencies of calcium phosphorus, fluorine and vitamins.
If the vital elements are left in foods, they are no longer the simple unperishable commodities they now are. They will soon become well infested with bugs and insects. A wholesome food is bound to be a perishable one. So, before you take the course of least resistance and buy what is cheap and convenient to make up your bill of fare, consider critically just what the picture happens to be.
A Farmer’s Conclusion
A farmer in New York state, a few years ago, made a contract with some New York hotels to take their stale bread and rolls off their hands to use as hog feed. His hogs had plenty of other foods, too, having the run of a large orchard with windfall apples, no scarcity of vegetation, and the various by-product foods that a farm affords. But the young pigs developed at only half the usual rate of growth and were subject to many diseases normally foreign to the pig species, particularly pneumonia. His brood sows had small litters or aborted. His hens began to lay eggs with irregularity, and chicks hatched from them were so feeble that few survived. It seemed that a curse had been laid upon his farm.
He finally came to the conclusion that the white bread might have something to do with the matter. Forthwith he set up two test pens, putting one group of pigs on the white bread regimen, the other on the whole corn and wheat grain. In three months there was a “woeful lot” of pigs in one and a perfectly normal group in the other. The test absolutely established the responsibility of the white bread.
The farmer was Senator W. P. Richardson of Goshen, New York.