The integrity and insight of the old nutrition classics never ceases to amaze me when I manage to track them down. The work of Weston A. Price is groundbreaking. Francis Pottenger, Jr. had some legendary insights into human health and nutrition. Stefansson looked into human health from a much wiser and broader perspective than the authors on the shelves at your local, intellectually-crippling Barnes and Noble. However, after everything I’ve come across, I must say that Major-General Sir Robert McCarrison, C.I.E., M.A., M.D., D.Sc., LL.D., F.R.C.P., B.AO., born March 15th in 1878, is probably the greatest contributor to the understanding of human health that I have seen or can even imagine.
The bulk of McCarrison’s studies were done on animals, the idea being to figure out exactly what was going on in the bodies of humans on improper diets. He was inspired to do this primarily after his travels through India in which he observed drastic differences in the level of health of certain peoples, all of whom lived a similar lifestyle but ate widely variable diets.
One experiment for example, was to put eight different groups of mice on different diets representing the diets of eight different regions of India. Among these eight regions it was very easy to observe the differences in overall health, size, stature, and physical vigor. The Sikhs, for example lived primarily off of fresh, hand-ground whole wheat chapattis (like a tortilla), fruits and vegetables, some meat, and fresh, raw dairy products from pasture-grazed animals. In turn they were the tallest, largest, strongest, healthiest, heartiest ethnic group in all of India. They didn’t suffer from that pesky illness thing, just like the 14 groups Price studied that were eating their native, natural diets and thriving physically, mentally, and developmentally to a degree virtually unknown in the 21st century (I certainly don’t have 20:20 vision or 32 perfectly-straight cavity-free teeth).
And his mice displayed the exact same characteristics of the humans that McCarrison observed. In fact, one of his books contains a photo of the representative mice, stretched out along a measuring tape to show the difference in size of each mouse. The size, strength, and physical vigor patterned exactly that which was easily observable in the human groups from each region. The diet of the most feeble and sickly humans produced the most sickly and feeble mice. The diet of the strongest, largest, well-developed, and physically dominant humans produced the largest, most vigorous mice, and so on. The results of all eight diets of all eight regions corresponded perfectly.
In his Coonoor, India laboratory, he performed countless other experiments involving deficient diets. These were the most revealing. Although he didn’t study humans on various deficient diets in his lab, he did study several different species, including mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons, and monkeys ? a wide variety of organisms in which to ascertain some general conclusions when the same patterns were observable in all. And that’s exactly what he found. Regardless of the species, regardless of the deficiency (be it protein, fat, fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin C, B vitamins, iodine, etc.), similar observations were made in each species.
For starters, on a deficient diet, at the time of necropsy the adrenal glands are found to be drastically enlarged, and adrenaline levels greatly increased. Other organs and glands typically atrophy, and if there was a sign of enlargement it wasn’t true hypertrophy like that observed in the adrenals, but was a result of congestion or acute inflammation. The thyroid gland and sex organs in particular showed a tremendous decrease in size, often accompanied by sterility, disinterest in sex, and amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation).
Other results include:
Destruction of the pancreas, and a resulting inability to properly digest and assimilate carbohydrates (hugely significant).
Kidney and bladder congestion, stones, deterioration of tissue (found in nearly all glands and organs).
Endless litany of digestive disturbances, ranging from thinning of intestinal tissue (as in Leaky Gut Syndrome), inflammation (as in Crohn’s, IBS, and other inflammatory bowel conditions), deformity of the digestive tract (ballooning and inflammation), parasites, atrophy of digestive muscles, degeneration of GI tissues, infection, abnormal bacteria, damage and absence of intestinal villi (required for absorption, immune system function, etc. ? found in those with emotional disorders, Autism, learning disorders, and more).
Another of McCarrison’s greatest discoveries pertained to the immune system. As mentioned in numerous prior editions, most notably ?Termites Don’t Eat Healthy Trees? and ?Pleomorphism n’ Stuff,? departure from balance or ?homeostasis? is the primary root cause of infectious illness ? not a microbe, parasite, virus, or other virulent organism. His study using a bacterial strain on animals on a balanced versus deficient diet living in unsanitary conditions pretty much gave me a health-geek Megaboner. 24 test animals were fed on a deficient diet (white rice, butter, and onion I think). The other 24 animals got his complete ration of whole grains, legumes, milk, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. When a deadly bacteria was introduced, Bacillus suipestifer, all 24 animals on a deficient diet displayed symptoms of infection and succumbed to the disease. The control animals, living in the same mouth to ass confinement but living off of a complete, balanced, nutritious diet free of devitalized food substances, fared much better. Only one of the 24 animals showed symptoms of infection and died. The remaining 23 never showed any signs of illness or infection whatsoever.
The biggest conclusion that I have drawn from McCarrison is that a more or less typical pattern of endocrine changes are observed under circumstances of deficiency ? be it protein, fat, vitamins, or minerals. Much of my recent work has been focused upon the harmonious function of adrenaline, insulin, thyroid hormones, sex hormones, and other important biochemicals. But McCarrison’s work is quite significant because it really shows patterns, and the one thing above all else that was noticed was the drastic increase in size of the adrenal glands. Thus, anything that increases adrenal demand might possibly lead to the subsequent changes observed by McCarrison, such as hypothyroidism, changes in reproductive function and sex hormone levels, poorer carbohydrate metabolism (diabetes/hypoglycemia/obesity), proneness to infection and digestive disorder, and so on. Most importantly, McCarrison scientifically documented something I’ve suspected for years to be true ? that poor diet is the primary cause of poor health.
In closing, here are some McCarrison quotes (obtained from Nutrition and National Health (1936), Studies in Deficiency Disease (1921), and the Work of Sir Robert McCarrison (1953)) accompanied by an assortment of nonsensical ebonical exclamations to give McCarrison (aka Mickey C/Bobby Mack) a hipper, edgier, more modern and marketable gangsta image?
?Appropriate food is thus shown to afford protection against the invasion of the body by ? or the growth therein of ? certain highly virulent organisms. Bobby Mack represent!
??in the absence of vitamins or in their inadequate supply, neither proteins nor fats nor carbohydrates nor [minerals] are properly utilized; some are largely wasted, while others yield products harmful to the organism. Domino mf?er!
?Broderick has shown that dental decay is largely dependent on endocrine insufficiency. My own work links up with that of these observers, by demonstrating that dietetic deficiency leads to endocrine insufficiency, and to depreciation of cellular function throughout the body. You betta reckinize fool!
?A diet deficient in vitamins and disproportionally rich in starch leads to depression of digestive and gastro-intestinal function. D.O. double jizzle!
?The endocrine organs influence those of digestion both by their hormones and through the sympathetic nervous system. Food deficiency deranges both the normal production of hormones and the functional perfection of the sympathetic nervous control; consequently, the digestive organs are deprived of the full advantage of that efficient regulation and correlation which normally they would derive from healthy endocrine action. Oh no you di?in!
I have been brought to the conclusion that much of the gastro-intestinal disorder so common at the present day, and much of the endocrine disorder probably almost equally common, though less readily recognizable, are attributable to deficient and ill-balanced food. G’s up hoes down!
?It is necessary to emphasize that the problems of nutrition must not be viewed from a too ?vitaminic? outlook. Vitamins have their place in nutrition: it is that of one link in a chain of essential substances requisite for the harmonious regulation of the chemical processes of healthy cellular action. Grab ya forties and ya shorties!
?It would seem that, in the presence of deficiency of Vitamin B (common among refined grain/sugar eaters), fats are incompletely oxidized and yield products which are harmful to the organism and to certain organs in particular. Shake that junk in yo trunk!
?Disordered endocrine function leads in its turn to imperfect carbohydrate assimilation, to marked disturbances of carbohydrate metabolism?? Homey don’t play that!
??bacterial agencies are often but weeds which flourish in soils made ready for them by dietetic defects. Pimpin? ain’t E-zay!
?’the single greatest factor in the acquisition and maintenance of good health is perfectly constituted food. Biaaaaatch!