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When the most common amino acid, glycine, is radio actively labeled and fed to animals or humans, it can be recovered from the blood and urine as uric acid. Further- more, persons with gout change labeled glycine into uric acid much more quickly than do normal individuals. This change appears to be the means by which the body rids itself of a waste product when many incomplete proteins have been eaten. Any person with gout, therefore, should be particularly careful to obtain complete proteins; and gelatin, which lacks several essential amino acids but supplies excessive amounts of glycine, should be strictly avoided.
The gall bladder, a pear-shaped sack hanging between the lobes of the liver, is a reservoir for bile. A small, V-shaped canal, or duct, carries bile from both the gall bladder and the liver to the small intestine. When food containing fat leaves the stomach, hormones cause the gall bladder to empty by inducing vigorous contractions in its muscular walls and simultaneously stimulate the liver to produce more bile at an accelerated rate. A diet rich in B vitamins also stimulates the emptying of the gall bladder by increasing energy production.
The bile contains water, lecithin, cholesterol, minerals, acids, and pigments. Its lecithin content breaks fats into microscopic droplets that can be surrounded by enzymes, digested, and absorbed; and its bile acids are essential before digested fats, carotene, and vitamins A, D, E, and K can be carried across the intestinal wall into the blood.
Autopsy studies and examinations of inflamed gall bladders removed surgically show that bacteria are rarely involved. Inflammation of the gall bladder can be caused by drugs, chemicals and bacterial toxins,6 in which case the liver should be built up to the extent that such substances can be detoxified. Two sisters who incurred this type of gall-bladder inflammation from spraying roses recently reported a rapid recovery after taking 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 units of vitamin E every three hours with pep-up containing 4 egg yolks per quart.
Usually, inflammation occurs only when cortisone is not being produced in adequate amounts; hence emphasis must be placed on helping the adrenals function with maximum efficiency.
When hamsters have been given a diet deficient in vitamin E, all developed cholesterol stones, though no stones occurred in animals receiving the vitamin. It has been generally believed that diets high in fat and/or cholesterol produced stones, but animals given large amounts of cholesterol or saturated or unsaturated fats developed no stones as long as vitamin E was adequate. Conversely, hamsters fed no fat or cholesterol whatsoever all formed stones without vitamin E. The stones developed before any signs of a vitamin-E deficiency could be detected and while the amount of cholesterol in the bile and blood was the same as that in animals having no stones.
Vitamin K and apparently all the B vitamins can be synthesized by certain intestinal bacteria such as those obtained from yogurt and acidophil us milk or, in far greater concentration, from pure acidophil us culture. If any of these products are taken daily, the entire bacteria population of the intestine, which make up 80 per cent of the solid material of the stools, become exclusively lactic-acid organisms which destroy the gas-forming and disease, and odor-producing bacteria. The desirable bacteria live only on milk sugar and can die within five days unless milk in some form or milk sugar is supplied them. Powdered milk is an excellent concentrated source of milk sugar, but if milk is avoided, 1 teaspoon of milk sugar (lactose) should be taken with each tablespoon of acidophilus culture. When given a continuous supply of food, the lactic-acid bacteria may grow for weeks or months after yogurt or acidophil us has been discontinued.
Diseased gums or tonsils can cause halitosis, but more often putrefactive bacteria, living on undigested food, form foul-smelling gases which are thrown off in exhaled air. Any deficiency that impairs digestion is a contributing factor. Volunteers lacking vitamin B6 developed foul breath, which disappeared after the vitamin was given them. When there is an odor to the stools, halitosis invariably occurs simultaneously. The condition is rectified by improving the digestion and destroying the putrefactive bacteria by taking yogurt or acidophilus milk or culture.
Normally rhythmic contractions of the muscles in the walls of the stomach and small intestines continue for hours after eating, mixing the food mass with digestive juices, enzymes, and bile and bringing the already digested food into contact with the absorbing surface of the intestinal walls. Without such contractions, foods cannot be well digested or absorbed.
A potassium deficiency causes the contractions of the intestinal muscles to slow down markedly or these muscles to become partially or completely paralyzed. Such a deficiency occurs following surgery, diarrhea, and other forms of stress; the taking of cortisone or diuretics; and the consumption of highly refined foods or too much salt. This condition, which allows gas pains to become excruciating, is usually associated with constipation. For instance, a study of 655 colicky infants--probably enduring the combined stresses of having no pantothenic acid and nervous, overanxious mothers--revealed that the lower the blood potassium dropped, the worse the colic became. When 1 gram of potassium chloride was given them by injection, the colic quickly disappeared. Pantothenic acid, added to formula or drinking water, would probably have been equally effective.
The main problem in diarrhea is that food is forced through the body so rapidly that few nutrients can be absorbed. Not infrequently, diarrhea occurs when we are unconsciously trying to get rid of something we do not like about ourselves. A variety of nutritional deficiencies can result in diarrhea, however, particularly a lack of niacin amide.
A lack of folic acid, vitamin B6, or magnesium also results in diarrhea, which can be quickly overcome when the missing nutrient is supplied. Because a high calcium intake causes magnesium to be excreted, diarrhea brought on by a magnesium deficiency is common in bottle-fed babies, persons on conventional ulcer diets, and individuals who take an excess of calcium. As little as 1/4 teaspoon of magnesium oxide daily, added to milk, prevents or corrects such diarrhea, and should probably be given to all bottle-fed infants, particularly if they are wakeful or irritable.
Abnormalities which frequently complicate diabetes are atherosclerosis, fatty liver, overweight, cataracts, retinitis, and gangrene. The prolonged use of inadequate diets high in saturated fats often causes the arteries of diabetics to become almost unbelievably filled with fatty deposits.
Most diabetics over 50 years of age have atherosclerosis, which is far more common in diabetics than in non-diabetics, and may be as damaging to the liver, brain, kidneys, heart, and other parts of the body. Vegetarian diabetics, whose diets supply B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and vegetable oils but little saturated fat, have no atherosclerosis. Diabetic Trappist monks, who eat eggs, whole milk, and yogurt but no meat, have blood cholesterol levels well under 200 milligrams regardless of age.
It has long been known that if the nutritional needs of a diabetic can be reduced, the disease sometimes disappears. If a diabetic has been under stress and the stress is removed-for instance, a sick child who caused worry has recovered -he may no longer need insulin. Overweight diabetics can frequently stop insulin after reducing. In each of these cases, the body requirements have decreased, and the effect is the same as if the diet were improved.
Adequate nutrition stimulates insulin production in a variety of ways. The insulin output has often increased after diabetics have taken vitamin C; and guinea pigs given too little vitamin C produce insufficient insulin, have high blood sugar, and lose sugar in the urine. This vitamin is needed before several amino acids that form insulin can be utilized. Deficiencies of protein, pantothenic acid, and particularly vitamin B2 reduce insulin synthesis in rats; and conversely, generous amounts of these nutrients stimulate insulin production, as does a factor in yeast. A lack of vitamin B12 or potassium causes rats to have prolonged high blood sugar. Cortisone injections normally increase insulin production, but such an increase cannot occur if vitamins B1, B12 and pantothenic acid are deficient.A wide variety of animals develop diabetic symptoms when given 2 meals daily but not if allowed to eat frequently.