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Posts Tagged ‘dr joseph goldberger

Kamikaze Research

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Has anyone got any ideas for some (dangerous) research I can personally do?

Got the idea from people who have done this in the past – specifically the first people who made links between diet and health…e.g.

Dr William Stark – in 1769, Stark began a series of dietary studies in which he was his own subject. At the start of his 24 experiments, he was a healthy, 6-foot young man.
In his first experiment, Stark ate bread and water with a little sugar for 31 days. Felt dull and listless. He consumed a more varied diet for a few weeks. When he felt better, however, the experiments resumed. Gradually, he added other foods to this regimen, one at a time. He added olive oil, milk, roast goose, boiled beef, fat, figs, and veal. After the first two months, his gums were red and swollen, and they bled when pressure was put on them. Stark did consider testing the effects that fresh fruits and vegetables would have on his health, but decided instead on honey puddings and Cheshire cheese.
After 8 months of experimenting, Stark died of scurvy in 1770, aged 29. He did not discover anything new about scurvy, but, through his experiments and record-keeping skills, he showed to what extent human scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. James Carmichael Smyth published Stark’s experiments eighteen years after his death.

Dr Joseph Goldberger – In 1914, Goldberger was asked by the US Surgeon General to investigate pellagra, an endemic disease in the Southern US.
Goldberger’s theory was that pellagra was associated with diet. The medical world insisted on it being infectious.
So he deliberately caused some prisoners to contract pellagra by restricting their diet.
Still no-one believed him.
So he tried to give himself pellagra by ingesting the mucus, blood, faeces and scabs of infected people, he even injected his wife, but couldn’t contract the disease.
Still no-one believed him.
So he gave it to his dogs. Because they hated the traditional southern food, he added yeast to their diet. This was the answer…niacin. Now niacin is in all flour.

Victor Herbert – 1959 – a haematologist who experimented on a strict diet of boiled chicken, frankfurters, marshmallows and jelly (i.e. no folic acid) and gave himself amenia in 5 months. Realised it was a lack of potassium – just before he dies he takes potassium and recovers in 48 hours. Folic acid now compulsory in flour in many countries.

Hugh Sinclair – 1956 – after studying the Eskimo diet, published a paper arguing that it was too little fat not too much that caused heart disease. Was mocked for this idea.
For the next 20 years he set up a nutritional institute and then in 1976 performed the Eskimo diet (of seafood, seal liver and blubber) on himself. Like the Eskimos increased his risk of haemophilia and showed that the Omega 3 in essential fatty acids was vital.

Any ideas for something I could do?


Written by jackshaftoe

February 23, 2007 at 12:18 pm