January 1, 100
Total Dietary Regulation in the Treatment of Diabetes
A Roman named Aulus Cornelius Celsus describes diabetes 2000 years ago.
Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) made no mention of any condition clearly recognizable as diabetes. A notion concerning the quantity of urine, in a passage translated by Richardson from the third book of the Epidemics,” is like that of Celsus, but the first known recognition of diabetes occurred at about the height of the Roman power.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus (30 B.C.–50 A.D.) wrote as follows:
“When urine, even in excess of the drink, and flowing forth without pain, causes emaciation and danger, if it is thin, exercise and massage are indicated, especially in the sun or before a fire; the bath should be infrequent, nor should one linger long in it; the food should be con stipating, the wine sour and unmixed, in summer cold, in winter luke warm; but everything in smallest possible quantity. The bowels also should be moved by enema, or purged with milk. If the urine is thick, both exercise and massage should be more vigorous; one should stay longer in the bath; the food should be light, the wine likewise. In each disease, all things should be avoided that are accustomed to increase urine.”
In this compressed passage, Celsus gives the first description of diabetes, introduces an error (fluid output greater than intake) destined to endure eighteen centuries, and touches some modern treat ment. It is not known to what extent this knowledge was original with Celsus or handed down by predecessors. At any rate, the recog nition of the disease was so new that it had not yet received a name.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus (c. 25 BC – c. 50 AD) was a Roman encyclopaedist, known for his extant medical work, De Medicina, which is believed to be the only surviving section of a much larger encyclopedia. The De Medicina is a primary source on diet, pharmacy, surgery and related fields, and it is one of the best sources concerning medical knowledge in the Roman world. The lost portions of his encyclopedia likely included volumes on agriculture, law, rhetoric, and military arts. He made contributions to the classification of human skin disorders in dermatology, such as Myrmecia, and his name is often occurring in medical terms about the skin, e.g., kerion celsi and area celsi.
December 1, 1778
Observations on the Diseases Which Appeared in the Army at St. Lucia in 1778 and 1779. To Which Are Prefixed Remarks, Calculated to Assist in Explaining the Treatment of Those Diseases. With an Appendix, Containing a Short Address to Military Gentlemen on the Means of Preserving Health in the West Indies
Dr Rollo, who later recommended a meat diet, writes 20 years earlier while stationed in St Lucia, that the civilized town Carenage with sugar production had far greater disease than the fishing village of Gros Islet and attributes it to a difference in diet.
Observations on the Diseases Which Appeared in the Army at St. Lucia in 1778 and 1779. To Which Are Prefixed Remarks, Calculated to Assist in Explaining the Treatment of Those Diseases. With an Appendix, Containing a Short Address to Military Gentlemen on the Means of Preserving Health in the West Indies
in the fourth chapter the author describes the situations of the island, in which the men specified in the table were fixed, and endeavours to determine which are the most healthy. For this purpoSe he gives a comparative view of the health of the natives compared with that of the troops.
He observes, that "at Carenage-town the People are:
have annual attacks of fever,
yellow and meagre countenances,
small legs, except when eedematous,
so that they have the appearance of persons worn out by disease.
At Gros Met, we are told:
the inhabitants live longer,
are not fo subject to disease, at least not the same degree or duration,
and that they are fuller in the face,
and more hearty.
At Souffrir the inhabitants have:
and nearly in a state of health with those of Gros Islet,
but this, our author thinks, may be attributed to a better diet rather than situation. "
On the extensive plain to windward of this place very few diseases appear, and they are mostly internments : the countenances here of the women, of the children, and even of the men, have some degree of resemblance to those of the European, the female has the red on her cheek, and the child has all the marks of health.
Carenage, formerly known as Le Carenage, is one of the most popular bays located in west Trinidad. This bay, which is a famous sea bathing and liming area, got its name out of the practice of "careening", or cleaning out the waste materials in sea vessels, which was carried out in the area for centuries.
Initially, Le Carenage was the name given to the river flowing into this bay as well as the valley were the river flowed.
The Carenage valley, possibly because of its extremely fertile soils was essentially an agricultural area where crops sugar-cane, cotton and coffee were grown. In fact, the area contained ten sugar mills, five rum distilleries and a workforce consisting of 607 enslaved Africans and 131 'free' people of colour. Owners of the estates comprised of 19 families (64 whites), including the Dumas, Noel, Dert, Mercie families.
Gros Islet (English: Large Island) is a community near the northern tip of the island country of Saint Lucia, in the Gros Islet Quarter. Originally a quiet fishing village, it has gone on to become one of the more popular tourist destinations in the country.
Settled by the Carib (and possibly Arawak), the area was first identified as Gros Islet in a French map from 1717. The community was a Roman Catholic parish, as the first priests who arrived on the island settled in the village in 1749.
Who were the Carib? - Possibly a carnivore population.
The Carib Indians were primarily fishing people. They took to sea in their long canoes to catch fish, crabs, and other seafood. Hunters also shot birds and small game. In some Carib communities, farming was an important food source, with cassava, beans, squash, and peppers being grown. Other Carib groups did little farming and acquired peppers and cassava through trade or raiding.
January 1, 1841
Total dietary regulation in the treatment of diabetes
"Bouchardat's treatment": Treatment of diabetes mellitus by use of a low-carbohydrate diet. He added green low carb vegetables to the all meat Rollo diet. Bouchardat also used fasting and exercise and even invented gluten bread.
Though Bouchardat (1806-1886) read his first memoir to the Academy of Sciences in 1838, and the final edition of his book appeared in 1875, he came into prominence through important contributions in the decade 1840 to 1850. Like Rollo and all other founders of the dietetic treatment, he considered diabetes a disease of digestion. According to his theory, normal gastric juice has no action upon starch, which is digested in the intestine; but in diabetes, an abnormal ferment digests starch in the stomach, and glycosuria, polyuria, and other symptoms result. He claimed to demonstrate the presence of diastase in the vomitus of diabetics and its absence in that of normal persons. Hypertrophy of the stomach and atrophy of the pancreas in diabetic necropsies were also held to support his theory; and he was thus the first to suggest an influence of the pancreas in the causation of diabetes, and the originator of the attempt to produce it by pancreatectomy in dogs. For sugar determination in urine, he used fermentation, the polariscope, and the Frommherz copper reagent. By the fermentation method he showed the presence of sugar in diabetic blood, but found none in normal blood. At how low an ebb was the Rollo treatment at this time is shown by the pleading and arguments of Bouchardat. He begs all friends of truth to hear him; whatever be the original cause of glycosuria, diabetics, who otherwise all die, are actually saved when his dietetic treatment is used.
Bouchardat in the clinical field ranks with Claude Bernard in the experimental field. He is easily the most brilliant clinician in the history of diabetes. He resurrected and transformed the Rollo treatment, and almost all the modern details in diabetic therapy date back to Bouchardat. He was first to insist on the need of individualizing the treatment for each patient. He disapproved the rancid character of the fats in the Rollo diet, but followed an intelligent principle of substituting fat and alcohol for carbohydrate in the diet. He forbade milk because of its carbohydrate content. He urged that patients eat as little as possible, and masticate carefully; also (1841) he inaugurated the use of occasional fast-days to control glycosuria. Subsequently he noted the disappearance of glycosuria in some of his patients during the privations of the siege of Paris.
Though the introduction of green vegetables is credited by Prout to Dr. B. H. Babington, the honor of thus successfully breaking the monotony of the Rollo diet, properly belongs to Bouchardat. He recommended them as furnishing little sugar, a little protein and fat, but especially potassium, organic acids, and various salts. He also devised the practice of boiling vegetables and throwing away the water, to reduce the quantity of starch when necessary. As a similar trick he "torrefied" (i.e., charred and caramelized) bread to improve its assimilation; possibly this is the origin of the widespread medical superstition that diabetics may have toast when other bread must be forbidden. He invented gluten bread; this started the idea of bread substitutes, from which sprang the bran bread of Prout and Camplin, Pavy's almond bread, Seegen's aleuronat bread, and the numerous later products.
Bouchardat also first introduced the intelligent use of exercise in the treatment of diabetes, and reported the first clinical experiments proving its value. He showed that carbohydrate tolerance is raised by outdoor exercise; and to a patient requesting bread, he replied: "You shall earn your bread by the sweat of your brow."
There is a modern sound to his complaints of the difficulties of having treatment efficiently carried out in hospitals, of the lack of adequate variety of suitable foods, of deception by patients, and of how, even when improved in hospital, they break diet and relapse after returning home. He advocated daily testing of the urine, to keep track of the tolerance and to guard against a return of sugar without the patient's knowledge.
He followed Mialhe in giving alkalies, viz. sodium bicarbonate up to 12 to IS gm. per day, also chalk, magnesia, citrates, tartrates, soaps, etc., also ammonium and potassium salts; he found them often beneficial to the patients but not curative of the glycosuria. He told a patient: "You have no organic disease; there is merely a functional weakness of certain parts of your apparatus of nutrition. Restore physiological harmony and you will attain perfect health."
He used glycerol for sweetening purposes, and introduced both levulose and inulin as forms of carbohydrate assimilable by diabetics, for reasons which well illustrate his intellectual keenness. On giving cane sugar to diabetics, he had found only glucose excreted. Was the levulose utilized or changed into glucose? Levulose proved under certain conditions to be more easily destroyed in vitro than glucose. Accordingly he gave levulose and inulin to diabetics, and found no sugar in the urine. Therefore he recommended levulose for sweetening purposes, and inulin-rich vegetables for the diabetic diet.
Manuel de matière médicale de thérapeutique et de pharmacie, (1838, fifth edition 1873) – Materia medica manual of therapeutics and pharmacy.
Eléments de matière médicale et de pharmacie (Paris 1839) – Elements of materia medica and pharmacy.
Nouveau formulaire magistral, etc. (1840, 19th edition 1874).
Traité d'hygiène publique et privée basée sur l'etiology, 1881 – Treatise on public and private hygiene, based on etiology.
January 1, 1856
The Philosophy of the Stomach; on, an Exclusively Animal Diet (Without any vegetable or condiment whatever) is the Most Wholesome and Fit for Man. Illustrated by Experiments upon Himself.
German writer, Bernard Moncriff, discovers an exclusively animal based diet and conducts several dietary experiments that lead him to conclude this diet is superior to a mixed or vegetarian diet.
I have recently come across a vintage book that caught my attention. It was published by a German writer, Bernard Moncriff, in 1856 in London. The author supposedly experienced remarkable health benefits on an exclusively animal diet and even conducted a few dietary experiments. He also attempted to bring attention of the contemporary scientific community and general public to this diet as being superior to the mixed and vegetarian ones. In his opinion, humans could and should live exclusively on an animal diet.
Below are some of the highlights I made while reading it that you may find interesting:
"I cannot help looking upon much of what has been written about the stomach and digestion with a similar smile to that of modern astronomers when perusing astrological works".
"I like the sweetness of milk better than that of sugar, and the acidity of meat better than that of fruits".
"Among all beverages I like milk best, hence I take no other fluid but milk. Of all eatables I like meat best, I eat, therefore, of it in preference to anything else".
"Wholesomeness, was, and is my principal motive in adhering to an exclusively animal diet".
"I do not eat for the mere sake of gratifying my palate, but to satisfy my appetite, I cease eating when I have had enough. But with your condiments, drugs, and drinks, you cannot say when you have had enough".
"Leave the appetite sole master to determine the hours and frequency of the meals, as well as the quantity of food. I now make most frequently only two meals of meat daily, while I take a glass of milk whenever I please. As a rule, however, I take nothing in the last two hours before going to bed, which greatly contributes to the uninterrupted soundness of sleep".
"The most wholesome diet is that which requires the least quantity of matter to be introduced into the digestive cavity for the support of the system".
"The quantity of animal food required for the full support of the system is so much smaller, as to constitute a very considerable diminution of blood flowing into the heart and the lungs, - I hope to see it generally admitted that the strength of men would be much increased by their adoption of my diet. I myself have experienced a considerable increase of the strength of my body, especially as far as locomotion is concerned. I run over the same distance in nearly the third part of the time it took me formerly".
"Plain butcher's meat, from a roast joint, is more than six times as nutritive as potatoes, and more than seven times as nutritive than wheaten bread".
"It has also been found, not alone as a matter of general personal experience, but by direct experiment, that animal food is more digestible than vegetable food".
"Men had better abstain altogether from fruits and everything else unfavorable to the teeth or the stomach. Fruits, it would appear, are destined in the economy of nature for birds, which are destitute of teeth, and the bill of which is constructed exactly of that substance Professor Valentin would have our teeth made of. All vegetables are, in my opinion, fit only for animals, which in their turn are to serve as food for man".
"There will be a time when the entire human race will live upon an exclusively animal diet".
"An exclusively animal diet, on the contrary, is capable of being adopted by the entire human race, and in all corners of the globe, under the burning sun of Africa as well as the Arctic regions".
"Children brought up with an exclusively animal diet, and made conscious of the great advantages of such diet, would stand proof against the temptations of pot-houses as well as of divans".
"The matter introduced into my stomach daily is not much more than the third part of that previous to my change of diet, my appetite is much better satisfied, and my body stronger than formerly".
"Meat is the food which does the least, if any injury to the teeth, either mechanically or chemically. Not to speak of vegetable fibers and grains by which the teeth of the vegetarian animals are being worn away, even mealy and pulpy vegetables, as bread and potatoes, are acting in the same direction, though to a less degree, by their attrition".
"An exclusively animal diet is unique, simple, and harmonious in its character, although the articles may be derived from animals of various orders. Because there is less chemical difference between the flesh of an elephant and that of a chicken, or a salmon, then there often exists between the potatoes of one and the same field".
“My face, from being rather shallow, became clear and youthful, my eyes serene and mirrors of happiness. It gave me unknown, or rather, forgotten pleasure, to jump over ditch and hedge, and to make those exercises which required muscular strength”.
"I have not felt the slightest disagreeableness arising from the bowels, either in the shape of eructations from the stomach, or obstruction, or dysentery, or of any denomination whatever. Indeed, it if was not from memory, and from books, I should not know that I had such things as a stomach and intestines. The evacuation of the bowels takes place with ease and regularity once every other day. The quantity of both urine and feces is, as might be expected, much less than formerly. My nasal secretion has also very much diminished; and my throat and mouth being perfectly clean, I have no occasion to spit".
"My nasal secretion has, together with the other secretions, greatly diminished, especially since I replaced a quantity of milk by meat".
"It is extremely probable that my bladder, liver, stomach, and the rest of the intestinal canal have gradually decreased in size, which is the case with every animal changing a vegetable for a carnivorous diet. So, for instance the tadpole, which lives upon vegetables, possesses an extremely long digestive tube; but in its perfect state, and when its appetite has become altogether carnivorous, the intestines become very much shortened, losing four-fifths of the length".
"The mouth of man has not been made to kill the prey, but to eat its flesh, for which purpose the teeth, tongue, and the whole gustatory apparatus, are admirably adapted".
"The mere form of the human teeth matters very little in a dietetical point of view. Knife and fork will outmatch the most formidable cutting teeth of any lion or any antediluvian monster".
"The stomach, however, does not tax the articles by their marketable price, but by their weight, digestibility, and other chemical and mechanical properties. There is no such thing as neutrality in our system. Everything that enters it must do something - either good or bad".
"For six days consecutively I took, instead of meat, two pounds and a quarter of baked potatoes daily, without salt or any other ingredient. My appetite was not at all as well satisfied as with the three-quarters of a pound of meat, and I felt also a greater thirst to quench, for which I was obliged to take more than two pounds weight of water, besides the usual quantity of milk".
"I made a similar experiment with home-made wheaten bread, free from salt and other ingredients, for eight days continually. I took two pounds and a half of bread instead of meat, without my appetite being satisfied, while the thirst was still greater than was the case with respect to the potatoes so as to oblige me taking, besides the milk, more than two pounds and a half of water".
"Of omnivorous animals it has also been observed, that they preferred animal to vegetable food".
"The teeth of carnivorous animals in a state of nature have not been seen to be decayed, what is always the case with those of vegetable eaters. The dog, which is often subject to toothache, has probably to thank this to the corruption his natural diet is undergoing in the domesticated state".
"The domesticated cat, which lives on a mixed diet, has its intestines two-fifths longer than the wild cat".
"While colds and pulmonary diseases are common among cattle, they are rarely, if at all to be met with among carnivorous animals".
"I may assert without fear of contradiction, that all dead animal matter introduced somehow or other into the digestive cavity of every animal, without an exception, is being converted into living matter of the same animal".
"Some plants live upon some other plants, but no plant can convert every other vegetable matter into its own living matter, and the mutual convertibility is entirely wanting. I presume, therefore, that the unlimited mutual convertibility is a single character, sufficient to mark the line between the two kingdoms; it being present in the animal, and absent from the vegetable kingdom. It is this chemical similarity and mutual convertibility which gives to an exclusively animal diet the character of singleness, simplicity, and harmony".
"The great superiority of strength of the carnivorous over the vegetarian animals is due to this double ration, namely, the greater development of the lungs, and the smaller size of the abdominal contents".
"The first repulsive effects of most condiments, liquors, tea, coffee, and etc, are quite forgotten by most people, these articles being, unfortunately, introduced into the diet of children of all classes. Yet it is frequently to be observed of children, not yet quite habituated differently, that they reject, when left to their own choice, everything salt, sour, bitter, and hot".
"The popular notion is still in vogue, according to which every eatable and drinkable thing, either in a state of nature or manufactured, is to be presumed as wholesome and fit for man, until the contrary be proven. This notion is based upon another popular notion, that everything has been made to suit man. The truth, however, is, that man, though entitled to eat, or use otherwise, everything he can take hold of, meets with a comparatively very small number of vegetables that suit him well".
"I have been very scrupulous to observe the rule, not to take of anything but as much as my stomach can easily digest, and to use those things only which agree with me".
"A sound appetite ought not to be restrained, such appetite being the indication of the wants of the system, which must be satisfied to the full".
"A perfectly healthy man could have only one appetite, and this a sound one, while the false appetite could only exist with imperfect health".
"Man should have been furnished with a sense of taste so perverted as to make him like those things best which are the least wholesome for him".
"Brutes spurn whatever is hurtful to them, and distinguish poisonous plants from salutary by natural instinct; and that they eat only of noxious plants when pressed by extreme hunger".
"Men had better eat to live, than live to eat".
Another Review also helps elucidate Moncriff's writing.
Moncriff sets out an ambitious project of arguing against the traditionally accepted view by the medical doctors that mixed diet or eating vegetables is more nutritious for us, and instead takes a view that an exclusive animal diet is the true path to follow if we want to be healthy. He argues that consulting doctors about what our diet should be is ridiculous, since “the healthy want no doctors, and if they wish to know how to preserve their health, they must first study themselves, and then learn from others the means by which these have actually succeeded,” and warns the doctors that they too should learn from his principles, which offers “perfect health and true enjoyment of life.” He repeatedly instructs us that it is important not to consume anything that is disagreeable to our stomach, however agreeable it may appear to be to our palate. It is in this spirit that he writes his account of the philosophy of the stomach as “a seed of life strewn in the future.”
He begins his investigation by supposing that we should be able to tell naturally what food is hurtful to us and what is not, just as “brutes can spur whatever is hurtful to them, and distinguish poisonous plants from salutary, by natural instinct… [and] only such as either accidentally or pressed by extreme hunger eat of it.” But our experience tells us that we taste junk food agreeable to our palate, even though we know it is bad for us. Can we really tell what is disagreeable to our stomach simply by something’s being agreeable or disagreeable to our palate?
Having first complained that his paper was rejected by a number of journals for his novel, and consequently incredible, idea of commencement of exclusive animal diet, he explains to us that the present condition of our palate is not conducive to the experiment to finding out that animal diet is in fact the healthiest human diet. This is because our palate, after a long abuse by eating artificially added condiments on cooked food, has been confused as to what tastes essentially good to us. So his first step is to get rid of this confusion from our palate, and only then can we have a sound appetite, as he is convinced that “there could be no unison between a sound, or true appetite, and a false one; that a perfectly healthy man could have only one appetite, and this a sound one, while the false appetite could only exist with imperfect health.” He argues that had we been truly healthy and our palate not corrupted, we would be able to know instinctively, just like those brutes in the wild, what is wholesome and would come to “reject everything unwholesome to [us], not out of a knowledge of its unwholesomeness, but simply because it was repulsive or indifferent to [our] taste.” In order to achieve a immaculate taste, as if in infancy, he spends six months or so “exclusively or mainly upon plain milk, without sugar, salt, or any condiment whatever,” and “I thus made myself, as it were, a baby again, fancying for a moment dietetics as a ‘tabula rasa,’ and myself as having nothing to guide me except my own experience.”
After six months of nothing but milk and almonds, “[m]y face, from being rather shallow, became clear and youthful, my eyes serene and mirrors of happiness,” and “[i]t gave me unknown, or rather, forgotten pleasure, to jump over ditch and hedge, and to make those exercises which required muscular strength.” In this way, he recounts that he had never been happier and felt healthier than before, resulting in him being “always cheerful, indulging frequently in songs.” Indeed, he now tells us that it is such a miserable pittance to have a sumptuous dinner, compared to having a single hour of perfect health and true enjoyment of life.
However, this is only the first phrase of his project. He now spends the next twelve months eating only fresh meat and milk. It has frequently been said in opposition to animal diet that it can be least economical in supporting us. Yet, he fends off this claim by providing us with the information about how much quantity of meat and milk he has consumed, and proves that it is much more economical than mixed diets.
He further reports that since he began his exclusive animal diet, he has “not felt the slightest disagreeableness arising from the bowels, either in the shape of eructations from the stomach, or obstruction, or dysentery, or of any denomination whatever.” Further, he entertains us with the empirical account of his that the “quantity of both urine and feces is, as might be expected, much less than formerly,” and is pleasantly surprised that “no bad odour is to be detected in the latter.”
He also has a rather teleological as well as functional argument that meat does not injure our teeth either mechanically or chemically, as vegetables are known to do with fibres and grains mechanically, and with fruits chemically, for “[a]cid, even when considerably diluted, corrode the enamel, and penetrate in small quantities into the dental sac,” not to mention there is this inconvenience arising from “the cracking of hady substances, as nuts, &c., by which the enamel is often being broken,” which results in the “subsequent destruction of the teeth unavoidable.”
In like manner, he argues that fruits are to be consumed only by birds who are destitute of teeth,” and concludes that “there is not a slightest doubt in my mind that there will be a time when the entire human race will live upon an exclusively animal diet.”
His extensive empirical study of the stomach is resonant of the period in many ways, as his argument is based on a quantitative science as is echoed from his citation from Lavoisier, yet his argument from functions and teleology shows the kind of science done during the period, as Darwin would publish his book on the Origin of Species in the following years. His inclination to empiricism does not, however, reject a rational theoretical science, as he says at one point that “a man without grand theories will never arrive at a great fact.” Yet in the end, his commitment in the science lies in the belief often seen in the progressive thinkers that when the fact is found, “the theories must be relinquished or corrected without hesitation.” In sum, this book offers an alternative view on a rational ground to the currently predominant view that vegetable diet is healthier than and preferable to the exclusive animal diet.
January 1, 1859
Studien uber diabetes
Griesinger publishes an analysis of 225 cases of diabetes, but his most notable achievement was the demonstration, in three separate experiments on a single patient, of sugar excretion equalling exactly 60 per cent of the protein of the diet in this individual on exclusive meat diet.
Griesinger in 1859 published an analysis of 225 cases of diabetes; and though only eight were his own and the others all from the litera ture, his contribution was valuable for clinical experiments and sound judgment. He compiled the first evidence indicating excess in sugars and starches as a cause of diabetes, but concluded that it could not be the most important cause, or many more persons and some entire races would have diabetes. He overthrew various current errors, but somehow convinced himself in painstaking experiments that diabetics may excrete large quantities of sugar in the sweat, as reported by several other authors. From the negative findings in necropsies, he regarded diabetes as generally a functional disorder. His most notable achievement was the demonstration, in three separate experiments on a single patient, of sugar excretion equalling exactly 60 percent of the protein of the diet.“ These facts, remaining constant under varied conditions, cannot be accidental; they seem much more to contain the law of the relation in which, in this individual on exclusive meat diet, the production and excretion of sugar stands to the quantities of ingested meat."