Caused by Sugar Poisoning
George M. Gould, M.D. of Ithaca, N.Y.
Published in MEDICAL REVIEW OF REVIEWS - July, 1910
an article written in 1910 that predicted the problems Americans
would have with high sugar, refined flour diets.
has lately been urged, and from a medical standpoint, that everyone
could eat any amount of sugar, saccharine foods, candy, and starchy
foods, not only without harm to health, but with positive physiologic
advantage. In view of the five hundred millions of dollars said
to be expended annually in sugar by the United States, and in view
of the little known---probably more suspected---as to the evils
and causes of the prevalence of diabetes, such nonsense should need
no argument to make its fallacy evident.
every second store and shop in our villages and cities is a candy
store, and common sense and common observation knows well enough
the morbid results. Out of the American debauch in candy and sweets,
breakfast-foods and sugar, wheat-cakes and molasses, we shall later
have to win our way to health and good dietetic sense with painful
exacting questions, of course, remain: As to long-continued morbid
habits of diet, especially in the case of children and city-dwellers;
with the sedentary, in those with weakened nervous and nutritional
systems, when coexisting with other diseases, or in the cases of
other active and co-operating causes of disease.
several years it has been growing clearer to me that many patients
do not get well because they live too exclusively on sugary and
starchy foods. With greater activity and the resisting power of
youth, children exhibit the morbid tendency by excessive "nervousness."
denutrition, ease-of-becoming ill, and by many ague and warning
symptoms. I have asked the parents of such children to stop them
in their use of all sweets, and most starches and almost immediately
there was a most gratifying disappearance of the "nervousness,"
fickleness of appetite, "colds," and vague manifold ailments.
another class of patients it was this way: There was only an incomplete
disappearance of those symptoms generally due to eyestrain or back
strain. With the correction of eyestrain, for instance, there was
a sudden disappearance of the chief complaints, but followed by
a provoking return of some of them. There was only, say, a three-fourth
of non-cure remaining to torment. In such cases I exact a promise
that for one or two months sugar and sweets shall be absolutely
discontinued, and of the starches, the least possible use (no potatoes,
surely)---a little toasted brown bread only, for instance.
many patients have blessed me for the suggestion, and have traced
to the continued rules, their reinstated health and enjoyment of
life. Those who have learned to recognize the value of such hygienic
preventions of disease will test the suggestion; those who observe
only the organic end-products in aberrant physiology and morbid
function. Fashionable pathology concerns itself only with terminal
disease, apparently oblivious of pathogenesis, and most of all,
careless of the early and slight origins which led to mortem and
post-mortem. It is left to chance and to faddism to make scientific
the infinitely more important function of prevention.
the evil effects of sugar-drowning will sometimes be recognized
as still more important and varied than I have said. Among others,
I have had two cases in which it was clear that a too exclusive
or an exaggerated diet of sugary foods was a cause of epilepsy.
The first was that of a boy of nine years of age in which correction
of eyestrain brought no relief of both petit and grand mal attacks.
Then by diligent inquiry I learned that the boy (who was morbidly
nervous...almost insanely active) ate no meats, eggs, vegetables,
etc., and lived, practically, on "cakes," a little breakfast
food, etc., with enormous quantities of sugar, syrups, etc. Recovery
followed a diet list which excluded the sweets.
patient, aged fifty-five, has been having many petit mal attacks
for thirteen years, with occasional, typical grand mal seizures.
He was a watchmaker, and wearing no correction of his compound hyperopic
astiginatism. I found that he ate sweets inordinately, which, upon
being interdicted, the attacks immediately grew less in number and
severity, with no major ones, and the rare minor ones scarcely noticeable,
until they disappeared and there was a return of hope, a zest in
life; as he enthusiastically says, he "Feels like a new man
now." In consideration of his age, the results are noteworthy.
article was printed in Natural Ovens of Manitowoc, Wisconsin newsletter,
"Natural News." Comments by Barbara Stitt, co-owner
of Manitowoc Ovens and author of "Food and Behavior":
It is amazing that Dr. Gould described hyperactivity and attention
deficit disorder so accurately 89 years ago in 1910. The refining
of wheat flour had only reached the U.S. in the late 1800's! By
ignoring the wise advice in 1910, the people in our beautiful country
spent over $1.3 trillion in medical care in 1995.
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