January 1, 1869
A treatise on the function of digestion; its disorders, and their treatment
Pavy suggests that vegetables cause flatulence in 1869.
The object to be attained in the treatment of flatulence is the improvement of the digestive energy and the muscular tone of the stomach. Digestive solution without spontaneous decomposition is what is wanted, and the muscular power should be such as to be capable of expelling by eructation whatever gas may chance to be produced, instead of allowing it to accumulate. The food should be easy of digestion, and taken at regular intervals. Vegetable articles, from their difficulty of digestion, are not unlikely to occasion flatulence with a weakened stomach.
January 1, 1932
New health for everyman.
Arbuthnot thinks roughage should be added to the diet to reduce intestinal diseases.
In 1932, a ‘New Health’ movement was promoted in which people were urged to include plenty of roughage in their diets and it was hoped then that the prompt passing of stools after each substantial meal would reduce the incidence of intestinal diseases.
In the 1930s Arbuthnot Lanel promoted a "New Health" movement in which he urged, inter alia, that plenty of roughage should be included in the diet. Efficient defaecation and the passage of stools promptly after every substantial meal carried the hope that the incidence of intestinal disease would thereby be reduced. Thirty years later Burkitt suggested that the freedom of Africans from intestinal cancer might be related to their subsistence on coarse cereal foods, which promoted the frequent excretion of copious, loose stools.
January 1, 1963
Some geographical variations in disease pattern in East and Central Africa.
Burkitt attributes low cancer rate to high fiber diet.
Thirty years later Dr Dennis Burkitt, while working as a doctor in Africa, discovered that there was a much lower incidence of cancer of the colon among rural black Africans than among Europeans and Americans. He attributed this low incidence to their relatively crude diet. The theory was that fibre hastened the passage of the bowel contents thus allowing less time for cancer-inducing agents to form. This, of course, presupposed that food became carcinogenic in the gut and there was no evidence that it did. Neither was there any evidence that moving food through the intestine at a faster rate decreased the risk of cancer.
January 1, 1971
Epidemiology of cancer of the colon and rectum. 1971.
Lack of fiber in the diet was first postulated in 1971 as the cause of diseases such as diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer
The close relationship between bowel cancer and other non‐infective diseases of the bowel, such as benign tumor, divert ocular disease, and appendicitis, indicates that these conditions may have a common or related etiology. Their close association with the refined diet characteristic of economic development suggests that the removal of dietary fiber may be a causative factor. These diseases are all rare in every community examined which exists on a high residue diet, and common in every country where a low residue diet has been adopted. Dietary fiber has been shown to regulate the speed of transit, bulk, and consistency of stools, and together with other dietary factors is probably also responsible for the changes which have been demonstrated in the bacterial flora of feces. It seems likely that carcinogens produced by the action of an abnormal bacterial flora when held for a prolonged period in a concentrated form in contact with the bowel mucosa may account for the high incidence of these diseases in economically developed countries.
January 1, 1974
Fibre and Irritable Bowels
Dr Trowell points out that Africans do not consume cereals or bran but remain free of complaints of constipation and irritable bowel disease.
Dr Hugh Trowell, another strong advocate of dietary fibre, confirmed this in 1974, saying that 'a serious confusion of thought is produced by referring to the dietary fibre hypothesis as the bran hypothesis, for many Africans do not consume cereal or bran but remain almost free of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease'.
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