That "a man is an old as his arteries" was stated first by the l7th-Century physician Thomas Sydenham. That "a man's arteries are as old as he makes them" was stated by Robert Bell, a l9th-Century physician. Perhaps we can proceed one step further to state the obvious: "The arteries and all the organs and tissues are as young as the cells of which they are made and the milieu interieur which sustains them."

Diet is not the only factor in longevity, of course, but it is by far the main one. The closer we can get to an ideal diet and maintain it, the less will be the wear and tear on our organs and the slower the accumulation of the fibrinous, gelatinous growths and calcareous mineral salts in our cells and tissues.

Think of all those little cells. Says Dr Edward J. Stiegbitz, MS MD FACP, in his book The Second Forty Years:

"Superficially, the answer is simple; intrinsically, extremely complex. Whether the cells themselves are, or are not, potentially immortal is largely beside the point. The essential fact is that continuance of such perpetual youth, as displayed by Carrel's chick heart cultures*, is absolutely dependent upon the maintenance of an ideal environment. Cultures must be aseptically transplanted to fresh media at frequent intervals or growth stops and the cells die, poisoned by the accumulating chemical debris of their living, and starved because their foodstuffs are used up. Contamination with even minute amounts of toxic substances or any inadequacy of any one of many nutritional requisites' immediately interrupts the marvellous lifestream. The quality of the cellular environment is the determining factor, whether the cells be growing in vitro in a test-tube, or in vivo, in the living and functioning organism."

*In 1912 Dr Alexis Carrel of the Rockefeller Institute, New York, kept alive some cells taken from the heart tissue of an embryo chicken. Properly nourished and cleansed, the cell culture thrived and appeared to be immortal, at least until 1947 when the experiment was terminated.

Your body is a living and functioning organism and you want it to stay that way. We know what to do. We have discussed at great length the factors responsible for polluting the milieu interieur of the body, and to eliminate them would appear to be easier said than done. Not everybody can arrange to live in a tropical Garden of Eden. We can only do our best with what we have available, and the first step, wherever your live, is to cut down on the things that do the most harm. Eat as much as you can of your food raw. Cut out salt. Think of those little cells. Think of how clean your arteries will be, how comforting it will be never to worry about cancer. Each step you take will improve your wellbeing and increase your life expectancy.

Think of fruit as sustaining food and not just as an accessory adding color to the sideboard, although it is admitted that much of the commercially grown fruit available today looks a lot better than it tastes. Lack of taste means lack of nutrition and possibly at the same time the presence of insecticide traces. Quality is important.

Do the best you can, remembering Dr de Lacy Evans' words of wisdom:

"There is, therefore, a simplicity, a reason, a wonderful philosophy in the first command given to man--Man may live entirely upon fruits in better health than the majority of mankind now enjoy. Good, sound, ripe fruits are never the cause of disease, but the vegetable acids, as we have before stated, lower the temperature of the body, decrease the process of combustion or oxidation--therefore the waste of the system---less sleep is required, activity is increased, fatigue or thirst is hardly experienced; still the body is well nourished, and as a comparatively small quantity of earth salts are taken into the system, the cause of old age is in some degree removed, the effect is delayed, and life is prolonged to a period far beyond our 'threescore and ten'."

"There is little question any more that artery plaque reversal can for the first time be considered possible." Dr Nash in Circulation, official journal of the American Heart Association, September 1977.

"With a cholesterol level of 150 [3.9] or less, plaque reversal in two years is possible." Dr R. Wissler, Chicago Medical School, addressing the American Heart Association, June 1977.

"The three major killers in modern society, Coronary Heart Disease, Cancer and Strokes, can all be linked to what people eat and drink." Dr B. Hetzel, Chief of the CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition and Foundation Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.

"The major cancers of our time are diet-caused, mainly by fat and cholesterol." Dr Ernst Wynder, American Health Foundation, addressing the USA Government Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.

"With this kind of approach diet only, 80% of diabetics in this country could be normal in 30 to 90 days." Dr James Anderson, University of Kentucky Medical Centre.

"Progressive pernicious anaemia, asthma, Bright's disease, diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, neuritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer, every form of digestive disturbance, eczema, psoriasis. pityriasis, goitres of all types, tumors, tuberculosis-any and all of these varied forms of so-called disease fall under one head, chemical imbalance of the body, and all subject to restoration to the normal through correction of the body chemistry and thorough drainage." William Howard Hay, MD (from The New Health Era, 1933).