Sugar - Sugar Blues by William Dufty
"Why must we accept as normal what we find in a race of sick and weakened human beings?"
We take the liberty of publishing the following extracts from William Dufty's excellent book and strongly recommend that you order a copy of the book. Very well researched, highly readable and most informative. At www.amazon.com, used copies are available for less than a dollar, new copies are selling for $6.99. (The ISBN number is ISBN 0-446-34312-9.)
Sugar And Schizophrenia
Inquiry into the dietary history of patients diagnosed as schizophrenic reveals the diet of their choice is rich in sweets, candy, cakes, coffee, caffeinated beverages, and foods prepared with sugar. These foods, which stimulate the adrenals, should be eliminated or severely restricted.
Fatigue, nervousness, depression, apprehension, craving for sweets, inability to handle alcohol, inability to concentrate, allergies, low blood pressure. Sugar blues!!!
However, when Tintera dared to suggest in a magazine of general circulation that
"it is ridiculous to talk of kinds of allergies when there is only one kind, which is adrenal glands impaired... by sugar,"
he could no longer be ignored.
Today, doctors all over the world are repeating what Tintera announced years ago: Nobody but nobody should ever be allowed to begin what is called psychiatric treatment anyplace, anywhere unless and until they have had a glucose tolerance test to discover if they can handle sugar.
Sugar And Diabetes
It is mind boggling today to read through medical histories and other tomes and find again and again that the basic cause of diabetes mellitus is still unknown, that it is chronic and incurable, or that it is due to the failure of the pancreas to secrete an adequate amount of insulin. It’s still Greek to the best of them. Language and history are tortured and twisted in order to prove that diabetes has been around for thousands of years. In 1880, the average Danish citizen consumed over 29 pounds of refined sugar annually; at that time, the recorded death rate from diabetes was 1.8 per 100,000. In 1911, consumption had more than doubled: some 82 pounds of sugar per Dane annually; the recorded death rate from diabetes was 8 per 100,000. In 1934, Danish consumption of refined sugar was approximately 113 pounds per person annually; the recorded death rate from diabetes was 18.9 per 100,000.
Before World War II, Denmark had a higher consumption of sugar than any other European country. (The word Danish also means a pastry sugarbomb.) In Denmark, every fifth person suffers from cancer. In half a century, the annual Swedish consumption of refined sugar increased from 12 pounds per head in 1880 to 120 pounds a head in 1929. Every sixth person suffers from cancer. In the Scandinavian countries, statistics date from the days when sugar consumption was relatively low. Nothing comparable exists in the U.S. While the rest of the world lags behind the Scandinavian countries in compiling and publishing such statistics, the point is inescapable: As sugar consumption escalates wildly, fatal diseases increase remorselessly.
Other statistics in the U.S. showed that the outbreak of diabetes dropped sharply during World War I (when sugar was rationed). Figures also showed that the incidence of diabetes among young men in the armed forces (where soldiers were supplied with the sugar that civilians had to do without) rose steadily from World War I to World War II.
Sugar And Hypoglycemia
Then, in 1924, a year after the discoverer of insulin was awarded a Nobel prize, a professor of medicine discovered the complementary antagonist of hypoinsulinism. Inevitably, doctors and patients experimenting with insulin in its early years took too little or too much. An overdose produced symptoms of what came to be called insulin shock. Dr. Seale Harris of the University of Alabama began to notice symptoms of insulin shock in many people who were neither diabetic nor taking any insulin. These people were diagnosed as having low levels of glucose in their blood; diabetics have high levels of glucose.
Dr. Harris officially reported his discovery that year: Low levels of glucose in the blood were declared to be a symptom of hyperinsulinism: excessive insulin. Up to that time, patients with symptoms of hyperinsulinism had been treated for coronary thrombosis and other heart ailments, brain tumours, epilepsy, gall bladder disease, appendicitis, hysteria, asthma, allergies, ulcers, alcoholism, and a variety of mental disorders.
A Nobel prize was not awarded, however, to Dr. Harris. His discovery was an embarrassment to the diseasestablishment, not a boon. The remedy he suggested for hyperinsulinism or low blood glucose was not a glamorous new miracle drug that could be packaged and sold across the drug counter in a bottle or licensed to the pharmaceutical industry as a billion-dollar business.
Dr. Harris pointed out that the cure for low blood glucose or hyperinsulinism (also commonly and misleadingly called low blood sugar) was something so simple that nobody-not even the medical practitioners-could make any money out of it. The remedy was self-government of the body. The patient with low blood glucose must be prepared to give up refined sugar, candy, coffee, and soft drinks- these items had caused the troubles. Patients with hyperinsulinism could never be made dependent for a lifetime on anybody else. They had to fend for themselves. A doctor could merely teach them what not to do. Hyperinsulinism or low blood glucose therapy was a do-it-yourself proposition.
Predictably, the medical profession landed on Dr. Harris like a ton of bricks. When his findings were not attacked, they were ignored. His discoveries, if allowed to lead out, might make trouble for surgeons, psychoanalysts, and other medical specialists. To this day, hyperinsulinism or low blood glucose is a stepchild of the diseasestablishment. It took the AMA twenty-five years to get around to awarding Harris a medal.
"Western medicine will one day admit what has been known in the Orient for years,"
Sakurazawa wrote in You Are All Sanpaku.
"Sugar is the greatest evil that modern industrial civilization has visited upon the countries of the Far East and Africa."
What the diseasestablishment means by preventive medicine, however, is regular and costly visits to an MD or clinic for expensive tests and, maybe, a free sermon on smoking or cholesterol if Doc can hide his paunch under his white coat and abstain from tobacco long enough to deliver it. Plenty of money can be made from this kind of preventive medicine, from people terrified of cancer and heart disease.
Any diet or regime undertaken for the single purpose of losing weight is dangerous, by definition. Obesity is talked about and treated as a disease in twentieth-century America. Obesity is not a disease. It is only a symptom, a sign, a warning that your body is out of order. Dieting to lose weight is as silly and dangerous as taking aspirin to relieve a headache before you know the reason for the headache. Getting rid of a symptom is like turning off an alarm. It leaves the basic cause untouched.
Sugars are not digested in the mouth, like cereals, or in the stomach, like animal flesh. When taken alone, they pass quickly through the stomach into the small intestine. When sugars are eaten with other foods-perhaps meat and bread in a sandwich, they are held up in the stomach for a while. The sugar in the bread and the Coke sit there with the hamburger and the bun waiting for them to be digested. While the stomach is working on the animal protein and the refined starch in the bread, the addition of the sugar practically guarantees rapid acid fermentation under the conditions of warmth and moisture existing in the stomach.
"Why must we accept as normal what we find in a race of sick and weakened human beings?"
Dr. Herbert M. Shelton asks.
"Must we always take it for granted that the present eating practices of civilized men are normal?"
"Foul stools, loose stools, impacted stools, pebbly stools, much foul gas, colitis, hemorrhoids, bleeding with stools, the need for toilet paper... are swept into the orbit of the normal.
When starches and complex sugars (like those in honey and fruits) are digested, they are broken down into simple sugars called monosaccharides, which are usable substances-nutriments. When starches and sugars are taken together and undergo fermentation, they are broken down into carbon dioxide, acetic acid, alcohol, and water. With the exception of the water, all these are unusable substances-poisons. When proteins are digested they are broken down into amino acids, which are usable substances-nutriments. When proteins are taken with sugar, they putrefy, they are broken down into a variety of ptomaines and leucomaines, which are nonusable substances-poisons. Enzymic digestion of foods prepares them for use by our body. Bacterial decomposition unfits them for use by our body. The first process gives us nutriments, the second gives us poisons.
Sure, the body can get rid of poisons through the urine and the pores; the amount of poisons in the urine is taken as an index to what’s going on in the intestine. The body does establish a tolerance for these poisons, just as it adjusts gradually to an intake of heroin. But, says Shelton,
"the discomfort from accumulation of gas, the bad breath, and foul and unpleasant odours are as undesirable as are the poisons."
I don’t know what you were doing during Digestive Disease Week in Ma 1973, but I celebrated by watching a seminar on David Susskind’s television talk show. Three eminent New York gastroenterologists and a psychiatrist talked about ulcers for an hour and a half. I made myself a bet that these three distinguished specialists could go on for the entire ninety minutes without ever mentioning the word sugar. So I had to hang on every word before I could collect.
True to form there were the learned quotations from the classics. ("Iago gnawed within") There were seductive psychiatric discussions of the ulcer personality (taxi drivers, airport control men, women after menopause). There were historic footnotes: A nod for William Beaumont the father of gastroenterology who studied the man with the shotgun hole in his stomach; glancing blows at underlying predisposition and familial tendency (frustration eats at you); an exposition of symptoms in a constellation (hunger-like pains, relieved by eating, vomiting of blood, then see your doctor and get a barium enema and X-ray for sure).
There were incidental warnings. Aspirin can inflame ulcers and cause bleeding in 70 percent of ulcer cases. How many commercials have you ever seen with live doctors relaying that warning?
"I hate aspirin,"
said one of the specialists,
"my mother-in-law lives on it but hidden aspirin is a cause of ulcers."
What is aspirin hidden in? They didn’t tell us.
Certain hopeful developments on the horizon were pointed out. Neil Miller at the Rockefeller Institute has a medication that will control stomach acidity; the Japanese have perfected minute instruments that can spot ulcers. There were generous admissions of past medical errors-in the past, mutilating surgery was resorted to prematurely with the removal of all or part of the stomach. Finally, the doctors got down to cases; acid in the stomach causes ulcers; no acid, no ulcers. Most of us, we were told, hae acid stomach. What causes acid stomach? Well, acid. The stomach as a checking account again.
Do you refer ulcer patients to a psychiatrist, Susskind wanted to know. Not usually, they said. Antacids are better. They make him feel better quicker. However, drugs to accelerate healing do not exist. We all have to live with stress.
Acid causes pain, they told us. To relieve pain, one doctor suggested the standard bland diet. Palatable, but not too appetizing. Three meals and a snack on a regular schedule. Cut down acid by cutting out curries. Ever seen a TV commercial for curry? Caffeine is acid; black coffee is out, have it with cream. They were getting close to the point where I might lose by bet, but that passed. Nobody mentioned sugar or Coca-Cola, which has caffeine and sugar built in.
As a strict diet for those with severe pain they suggested a thermos of milk, cream of wheat, custard, and jello. These last two have their sugar built in. Nobody mentioned that. After staying on these diets for two to six weeks, the average ulcer patient should find some relief. What then?
Then, said a doctor (without argument from the others),
"Eat anything you want."
No doctor can cure ulcers at the present time, we were told. Surgery is the ultimate answer, at a price. In place of the "mutilating" surgery practiced in the not-so-distant past, the surgeons now have a new kind of operation which does not call for removal of the stomach, it merely cuts off the nerves and blocks registration of pain. Some 50 percent of ulcer patients may expect a recurrence in two years; 75 percent in four years.
Pain is the God-given warning signal from nature that something is wrong. So you have an operation that turns off your alarm signal. That’s cool, very cool....Imaging our reaction if we turned in a fire alarm and the fire engine roared to the scene and turned it off without bothering to do anything about the fire. By that standard, abortion is a contraceptive.
Well, twenty million Americans have ulcers, the good doctors told us. Here was a seminar of leading New York specialists telling us how little they know in the most convincing way possible. What is the answer? More money from the federal government for more research. In ninety minutes, they were unable to come up with a single instructive suggestion for the average person to manage their diet in a way that might prevent ulcers. They were able to talk for ninety minutes without a single mention of sugar.
Dr. Yudkin reports another recent experiment which pointed the other way. He persuaded seven young men each to swallow a tube first thing in the morning so that samples could be obtained of their gastric juices at rest; then, at fifteen minute intervals-after they had swallowed a bland test meal consisting mainly of pectin-further samples were taken. Samples were analysed in the usual way, measuring the degree of acidity and digestive activity. Then the patients were put on a high-sugar diet for two weeks and tested again. Results showed that two weeks of a sugar-rich diet was enough to increase both stomach acidity and digestive activity of the gastric juices, of the kind one finds in people with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The rich diet of sugar increased stomach acidity by 20 percent or so and the enzyme activity was increased almost three times. (These effects were observed in the morning, before breakfast.)
We learn nothing from our hangovers and our heartburn, except to reach for that Alka-Seltzer.
England and Wales have the world’s highest rate of lung cancer for men. British cigarettes have the highest sugar content of any in the world, 17 percent.
Frenchmen smoke about two-thirds as many cigarettes per capita as Englishmen. Their lung cancer rate is one-third as high and their cigarettes are made of air-dried tobacco with only 2 percent sugar.
American men smoke more cigarettes per capita than Britons, but their lung cancer rate is only half what it is in Britain. American cigarettes are a blend of both kinds of tobacco-with an average sugar content of 10 percent.
In Russia, China, Formosa, and other countries where cigarettes are made of air-dried tobacco-close to the kind the American Indians used before the invention of sugar sauces-they are unable to find any correlation at all between smoking and lung cancer.
In March 1974, Lt. Hiro Onoda emerged from the jungles of the Philippine Islands after living a precarious, marginal existence for almost thirty years. Onoda had been holding out all that time for a direct order from his superior officer to surrender. He flew home to a hero’s welcome in Tokyo. After doctors examined him, it was announced: No cavities! No Crest! No Fluoride! Certainly no sugar. And no cavities! Sugar-drunk Americans the same age as the Japanese lieutenant have lost, on the average, half of their teeth. By the age of 55, one American out of every two has lost all his teeth. Sugar blue is the colour of the solution where they park their dentures for the night.
It has to come. It can’t be swept under the rug much longer. In 1971, in one of the most comprehensive studies of highway accidents ever compiled, Dr. H.J. Roberts, a specialist of internal medicine, devoted a thousand pages of text and charts attempting to emphasize the fact that highway accident research on "causes" of traffic accidents needs to be completely revamped. Strictly speaking, events such as accidents are misnamed. An accident is, simply, an occurrence with a hidden cause. What does it mean if somebody missed a stop sign, ran through an intersection, got in the wrong lane, passed another motorist on a hill, speeded around a curve, or lost control of his car? Why did the driver do it?
In his comprehensive study, published in 1971, that entailed years of research, Dr. Roberts concluded that a "significant source" of many unexplainable accidents is that "millions of American drivers are subject to pathological drowsiness and hypoglycemia due to functional hyperinsulinism." He estimates that there may be as many as ten million drivers like that on the road of America today.
In other words, low glucose level in the blood gums up brain functioning, perceptions, and reactions. What causes this condition? The doctor’s answer:
"The apparent increased incidence of hyperinsulinism and of narcolepsy [abnormal attacks of drowsiness] during recent decades can be largely attributed to the consequences of an enormous rise in sugar consumption by a vulnerable population."
Of course, some people can handle it right up to the point they can’t. They never find out what is enough until they find out what is more than enough and end up hospitalized, maimed, or dead.
(William Dufty, Sugar Blues, p.64; p.70; p.72; pp.77-79; p.81-83; p.85; p.92; p.157; pp.177-178; pp.181-183; pp.184-186; pp.188-189; p.194; p.197; pp.202-203)