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."
January 1, 1870
Food in Health and Disease
Yeo describes the scientific knowledge concerning the metabolism of fat and protein, alluding to rabbit starvation where only protein is eaten. "The supporting influence of fat under great muscular fatigue is strongly maintained by Ebstein and it is stated that the German Emperor, in the war of 1870, recognised this fact by requiring that each soldier should have served out to him daily 250 grammes of fat bacon!"
In the next place we must consider the purposes achieved by the class of fats or hydrocarbons in nutrition. Liebig's views with regard to this subject also have been shown to be erroneous. He considered the function of fats to be entirely respiratory, and that by combining with oxygen, admitted into the system in respiration, they were consumed in the production of heat, and that the completeness of this combustion depended on the amount of inspired oxygen. But it has been observed that when an exclusive diet of fat has been taken, there has been less fat metabolised and less oxygen absorbed than in fasting, and also that, in certain circumstances, the whole of the albumen in the food is metabolised in the body, and the fat is appropriated to increase the body-weight ; an inversion of the formerly assumed roles of hydrocarbons and albuminates. From which it would appear that, under certain conditions, fat is split up into simpler bodies with greater difficulty than albumen, and must not, therefore, be regarded as the same easily combustible substance in the organism that it is outside.
It is not, then, through the direct action of oxygen that the non-nitrogenous foods any more than the nitrogenous ones are split up into simpler products, but by the agency of the cellular tissues, and the oxygen enters into these products "little by little." Indeed, under the influence of fat tissue-waste is lessened, and, therefore, less oxygen is taken into the system ; less oxygen being abstracted from the blood by the products of metabolism.
We thus see that one of the great purposes served by fat in the food is to diminish albuminous metabolism, and it is, therefore, regarded as an "albumen-sparing" food. "If flesh alone be given, large quantities are required in order that nutrition and waste may balance one another, but if fat be added the demand for flesh is less." (Bauer.)
But the fats have also an important relation in the body to the production of force and heat, to body-work and body-temperature. While, unlike the albuminates, the metabolism of hydrocarbons is independent of the amount taken in as food, it is notably affected by bodily exercise, which produces little effect on nitrogenous metabolism. The fats, therefore, undoubtedly minister to force-production, and undergo destruction and oxidation in the process ; so that the amount of carbonic acid given off" during exercise is much greater than during rest.
External temperature also influences the meta- bolism of the hydrocarbons, and therefore the amount of carbonic acid excreted ; the lower the temperature, so long as that of the body itself is maintained, the greater the metabolism of non-nitrogenous foods, and the greater the amount of carbonic acid discharged from the body. This is one of the chief means of regulating the temperature of the body, and keeping it constant.
When, however, the temperature of the body itself is disturbed, as in fever, then the higher the tempera- ture the greater the waste of the non-nitrogenous, as well as of the nitrogenous, constituents of the body, and the greater the excretion of carbonic acid, as well as of urea.
It is probably through the nervous system that the exteiThil temperature influences the metabolic processes in the body, and especially through the peripheral sensory nerves.
It would appear that albuminates and fats are, to a certain extent, opposed to one another in their action on the organism, as the former increase waste and promote oxidation, while the latter have the effect of diminishing them, and this they do prbably by affecting the metabolic activity of the cells of the tissues themselves. It is a matter of common observation that fat animals bear privation of food better than thin ones ; in the latter, their small store of fat is quickly consumed, and then the albumen is rapidly decomposed. It is for the same reason that corpulent persons, even on a very moderate amount of food, are apt to become still more corpulent.
The influence of fat in the storage of albumen is exemplified by the fact that if 1,500 grammes of lean meat be given alone, it will be wholly decomposed ; but if 100 to 150 grammes of fat be added, then it will yield only 1,422 grammes of waste. It has also been shown that the balance of income and expenditure of albuminates, although the amount taken in the food may be very small, is readily established as soon as one adds a certain quantity of fat. A dog who took daily 1,200 grammes of lean meat was observed to be still losing some of the albuminous constituents of the body ; whereas, with only 500 grammes of flesh and 200 grammes of fat, the nutritive balance was rapidly re-established. The same has been observed in man. Rubncr found that an individual taking daily 1,435 grammes of meat, containing 48.8 grammes of nitrogen, lost by the kidneys 50.8 grammes of nitrogen ; whereas another taking meat and bread containing 23.5 grammes of nitrogen, to which were added 191 grammes of fat, only eliminated 19 grammes of nitrogen on the second day of the diet ; so that a small quantity of albumen, when combined with fat, is sufficient to maintain the albuminous structures of the body. As a practical conclusion from these considerations, we should note, that if we wish to increase the weight of the body and add to its con- stituents, we must not rely on an excess of albu- minates, as these given alone only lead to increased waste ; but if we combine fats with albuminates in proper proportions, an appreciable increase of both the nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous constituents of the body can be maintained for a considerable time.
We see, then, how a proper use of fat economises the albuminous elements of food and checks the waste of the albuminous tissues. Fat enters into all the tissues. By its decomposition and oxidation it yields muscular force and heat, and it is therefore largely consumed in muscular exercise. By its capacity of being stored up in the body as adipose tissue, it provides a reserve store of force-producing and heat- generating material which can be utilised as required.
The supporting influence of fat under great muscular fatigue is strongly maintained by Ebstei : and it is stated that the German Emperor, in the war of 1870, recognised this fact by requiring that each soldier should have served out to him daily 250 grammes of fat bacon!
January 1, 1896
Food in Health and Disease
Yeo describes an experiment of pigs fed grain to see whether animals could turn carbohydrates into fat. "But if we desire a substantial addition to the fat, the food should contain less albumen and more carbohydrates, with a fair proportion of fats."
In connection with this interesting and important discussion, the following observations by Tsclierwinsky arc referred to in Landois' "Textbook of Human Physiology." He fed two similar pigs from the same litter.
No. 1 weighed 7,300 grammes ;
No. 2 7,290 grammes. No. 1 was killed, and its fat and proteids estimated. No. 2 was fed for four months on grain, and then killed. The grain and excreta and the undigested fat and proteins were analysed, so that the amount of fat and proteins absorbed in four months was estimated. The pig then weighed 24 kilos. ; 11 was killed, and its fat and proteins were estimated : —
No. II. contained 2.50 kilos. of albumen and 9.25 kilos. of fat
No. I. 0.94 „ „ 0.69 „
Assimilated 1.56 „ „ 8.56 „
Taken in in Food 7-49 „ „ 0.66 „
Difference — 5.93 " +7.90"
There were therefore 7.90 kilos, of fat in the body which could not be accounted for in the fat of the food. The 5.93 kilos. of albumen of the food which were not assimilated as albumen could yield only a small part of the 7.90 kilos, of fat, so that at least 5 kilos. of fat must have been formed from carbohydrates. Lawes and Gilbert calculated that 40 per cent of the fat in pigs was derived from carbohydrates. How the carbohydrates changed into fat in the body is entirely unknown."
As has already been stated, the weight of evidence appears to be distinctly in favour of the conclusion that, in some way or other, the carbohydrates are capable of being converted into fat in the system ; but, in any case, the same result occurs, and they promote, either directly or indirectly, the deposition of fat within the body.
The probability that lactic and other acids of the same class are formed in the body, chiefly or solely from carbohydrates, is drawn attention to by Parkes. "The formation of these acids is certainly most important in nutrition, for the various reactions of the fluids, which offer so striking a contrast (the alkalinity of the blood, the acidity of most mucous secretions, of the sweat, urine, etc.), must be chiefly owing to the action, of lactic acid on the phosphates or the chlorides, and to the ease with which it is oxidised and removed." We may conclude, then, that the carbohydrates by their capacity for rapid metabolism contribute largely to the production of heat and mechanical work, find also that their use greatly favours an increase in the constituents of the body, and especially of the albumen and fat. If we desire to increase the albumen without adding greatly to the store of fat, we should (according to Bauer) give a liberal allowance of albuminates with relatively small quantities of carbohydrates. But if we desire a substantial addition to the fat, the food should contain less albumen and more carbohydrates, with a fair proportion of fats.
January 1, 1896
Food in Health and Disease - Carbohydrates in Nutrition
It must, we think, be admitted that all practical observations tend to prove that animal food is digested more rapidly than vegetable food, and it therefore seems highly probable that meat can replace the waste of the nitrogenous tissues more rapidly than meal of any kind, and it is probably true that there is a more active change of tissue in meat eaters than in vegetable feeders, and that the former require more frequent supplies of food.
Some differences of opinion exist as to the relative value of foods of the same class. Albuminates, as has been seen, can be obtained from either the animal or vegetable kingdom ; they have a similar chemical composition, and they serve the same purposes in the body. It has, however, been suggested that they are probably utilised in a somewhat different manner, or with different degrees of rapidity, and that the man who feeds on meat, like carnivorous animals, "will be more active, and more able to exert a sudden violent effort, than the vegetarian or the herbivorous animal, whose food has an equal potential energy, but which is supposed to be less easily evolved." In support of this view it has been urged that the movements of carnivorous animals, especially in the pursuit of their prey, are far more active than those of herbivorous cattle ; that the form in which they take their food enables them to give out sudden spurts of energy of which the vegetable feeder is incapable. But this view has been questioned by others, who refer to the known activity and speed of the horse, the rapid movements of the wild antelope and cow, and even of the wild pig, all animals mostly herbivorous, as inconsistent with the conclusion that vegetable feeders cannot give forth energy as rapidly and continuously, or even more so, than the predaceous carnivora. It is further stated that with the human race also, the East Indian native, if well fed on corn, or even on rice and peas, shows, when in training, no inferiority in capacity for active physical exertion to the animal feeder. It has also been argued that the complicated alimentary canal of the herbivora pointed to a slower digestion and absorption of food; and with certain kinds of vegetable food this would certainly seem to be the case ; but it has again been contended that this is chiefly intended for the digestion of cellulose, and that the digestion and absorption of albuminates may be as rapid as in other animals.
It must, we think, be admitted that all practical observations tend to prove that animal food is digested more rapidly than vegetable food, and it therefore seems highly probable that meat can replace the waste of the nitrogenous tissues more rapidly than meal of any kind, and it is probably true that there is a more active change of tissue in meat eaters than in vegetable feeders, and that the former require more frequent supplies of food. Apparent differences in nutritive value in different meals, as in wheatmeal and barley meal, probably depend on difference of digestibility.
The difference in the nutritive value of different fats would seem to depend on the relative facility with which they are digested and absorbed. Animal fats appear to be more easily absorbed than vegetable. And even different animal fats differ much in digestibility, and, therefore, in nutritive value. This depends partly on chemical composition, and partly on mechanical aggregation or subdivision. Mutton-fat is generally found difficult of digestion, while pork-fat is easily digested. Butter can be readily digested by many persons who cannot digest other forms of fat and the ready digestibility of ccxl-liver oil is one of its chief advantages.
The different carbohydrates are generally supposed to be of equal value in nutrition. Sugar, from its ready solubility, should be more easily absorbed and more quickly utilised than starch, but it is found that when both are procurable a mixture of the two is usually preferred.
May 2, 1906
My Life with the Eskimos - Chapter 2
Stefansson describes the dietary habits of the Mackenzie Valley population, in terms of their inability to grow much produce and their dependence upon meat and fish and especially fat in terms of preventing rabbit starvation.
There are many people in the Mackenzie district who have given me much valuable information about their country, the greater part of which , however, has to be omitted here, but few men perhaps know the country better than Father Giroux, formerly stationed at Arctic Red River but now in charge of Providence. He says it is true in the Mackenzie district, as it is among the Arctic Eskimo, that measles is the deadliest of all diseases. There have been several epidemics, so that it might be supposed that the most susceptible had been weeded out, and yet the last epidemic (1903) killed about one fifth of the entire population of the Mackenzie Valley . He had noticed also a distinct and universal difference in health between those who wear white men's clothing and who live in white men's houses, as opposed to those who keep the ancient customs in the matter of dress and dwellings. These same elements I have since found equally harmful among the Eskimo, although among them must be added the surely no less dangerous element, the white men's diet, which is no more suited to the people than white men's clothing or houses.
Grains and vegetables of most kinds, and even strawberries, are successfully cultivated at Providence. North of that, the possible agricultural products get fewer and fewer, until finally the northern limit of successful potato growing is reached near Fort Good Hope, on the Arctic Circle. Potatoes are grown farther north, but they do not mature and are not of good quality.
In certain things the Mackenzie district was more advanced the better part of a century ago than it is now; the explorers of Franklin's parties, for instance, found milk cows at every Hudson's Bay post and were able to get milk and cream as far north as the Arctic Circle and even beyond. At that time, too, every post had large stores of dried meat and pemmican, so that if you had the good-will of the Company you could always stock up with provisions anywhere. Now this is all changed. Game has become so scarce that it would be difficult for the Company, even if they tried, to keep large stores of meat on hand. The importation of foodstuffs from the outside, on the other hand, has not grown easy as yet, and it is therefore much more difficult to buy provisions now than it was in Franklin's time. The trading posts are located now exactly where Franklin found them, so that taking this into consideration, and the decrease of game all over the northern country, it is clear that exploration on such a plan as ours — that of living on the country —is more difficult now than it was a hundred years ago. Another element that makes the situation more risky is that while then you could count on finding Indians anywhere who could supply you with provisions, or at least give you information as to where game might be found, now there are so few of the Indians left alive , —and all of those left are so concentrated around the trading posts , —that you may go hundreds of miles without seeing a camp or a trail, where seventy-five or a hundred years ago you would have found the trails crossing each other and might have seen the camp smokes rising here and there.
The food supplies of the different posts vary according to location . In general the trading stations are divided into "fish posts" and “meat posts.” Fort Smith is a typical meat post, for caribou are found in the neighborhood and moose also; and the Indians not only get meat enough for themselves and for the white men, but the fur traders even find the abundance of the meat supply a handicap in their business, - for the Indian who has plenty to eat does not trap so energetically as do others who must pay in fur for some of their food. Resolution, Hay River, and Providence, on the other hand, are fish posts, while at any of the northern trading stations potatoes nowadays play a considerable part in the food supply, even as far up as Good Hope. In certain places and in certain years rabbits are an important article of diet, but even when there is an abundance of this animal, the Indians consider themselves starving if they get nothing else, and fairly enough, as my own party can testify, for any one who is compelled in winter to live for a period of several weeks on lean-meat will actually starve, in this sense: that there are lacking from his diet certain necessary elements, notably fat, and it makes no difference how much he eats, he will be hungry at the end of each meal, and eventually he will lose strength or become actually ill. The Eskimo who have provided themselves in summer with bags of seal oil can carry them into a rabbit country and can live on rabbits satisfactorily for months. The Indian, unfortunately for him, has no animal in his country so richly supplied with fat as is the seal, and nowadays he will make an effort to buy a small quantity of bacon to eat with his rabbits, unless he has a little caribou or moose fat stored up from the previous autumn.