This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
Thus is the vitamin closely linked to our present needs. The war is forcing us to a food situation which will necessitate particular attention to diet. Its insistence on no waste will compel us to eat foods and parts of food hitherto little used.
Instead of being a deprivation, this may prove an immeasurable benefit. For it may force us to become acquainted with the power of vitamins to protect our bodies against invading hosts of disease which still are unconquered.
It is rather doubtful if the orange-juice cure so "long known" is really understood. If it is not, it may lead to wrong conclusions. The facts are that orange juice in the treatment of babies is not a very old remedy, and as yet not a widely used one. When there is indigestion and poisoning from the decomposition of fats--cream--in young babies and children, orange juice, which is potentially alkaline, antidotes or neutralizes the acid of decomposition; and it is just possible that scalding the juice does not entirely inhibit this action, but it certainly does weaken it. To say that a vitamin in the orange juice did the curing is working the imagination overtime--it is simply assumption If what is claimed for vitamin be true, all one needs to do to prevent decomposition, or prevent stomach and bowel derangement, or cure all types of diseases, is to extract a little vitamin from some favorite food, and use this "mysterious substance" in abundance. Another cure-all! Another way to prevent diseases! What about germs as a cause? And the specific antidotes made from the specific germs? Indeed, when there is so much known of cause, cures, and immunization, is it not strange that there is any sickness at all? The laboratory struggle still goes on in search for specifics that will out-specific all other specifics. Professional asininity is obvious all the time to the discerning.
One of the most necessary things to do for the victims of scurvy, scorbutus, or acidosis is to rest from food for a while; then start the eating on fruit; and then select a proper diet--fresh fruit, vegetables, etc. Those who are very much poisoned on carbohydrates and proteins combined, because of eating to excess, complain that they cannot eat fresh fruit; that it distresses them--which it does, and will continue to do until there is a decided lettingup on overeating and improper mixing.
Regarding rice: Much is made of the rice story. Indeed, that story is worn to a frazzle by every novice in dietetics. It has become a professional platitude. In spite of it, however, polished rice is still eaten, as is white flour. Both are eaten in preference to the less refined grain preparations--and it is perfectly all right for those who supply the necessary enzymes by eating freely of fresh fruit and salads.
It is doubtful if there has been a test made where no food is eaten except rice. Until that is done, no one can tell what a mono-diet of rice will do. I should expect a race of people to go down on such a diet, even if only unpolished rice were eaten; for rice is not an all-around food. Fruit for one meal, rice and fruit for another meal, and meat, fish, cheese, nuts, or beans, with salad, for another meal, will supply all the food and enzymes--vitamin--needed to attract all the life--energy--required.
It takes more than one dietic error to bring man to grief.
There is much to the chemistry of food--far too much to make a cure-all of enzymes, misnamed vitamin; or to make the lack of enzymes--vitamin--the cause of all bodily derangements.
Fermentation is the important process that stands between food and body-building. It is a question of which ferment will be given the right-of-way--unorganized (enzyme) or organized (germs, bacteria).
An ordinary lay mind can understand that the stomach glands must secrete digestive juices, furnish enzyme, or unorganized ferment, or food cannot be brought to a state of solution, fitting it for absorption. A solution is not all that the ferment (enzyme) accomplishes. A property of resistance is imparted to the food pabulum by the enzymes that acts the same as is claimed for vitamin. This is necessary, and for the purpose of resisting the influence of organized ferments (bacteria or microbes), which are everywhere present, ready to "do their bit" in preparing food for elimination which resists enzymic fermentation because of its unfitness as a food, or because the intake is beyond enzymic (digestive) power.
The food that is acted upon by the unorganized ferment (enzyme) attracts life; the "mysterious substance" of Dr. Funk is a subtile enzyme; it is this mysterious element that brings about the fermentation necessary to cause the egg to hatch, the nut and seed to germinate. Ah, it is this element in the cell of living flesh (animal tissue) that enables the animal to live and reproduce itself--that enables the cell, the unit of the body, to produce a successor. And this quickening element, this mysterious enzyme, starts the fermentation that attracts life, It is then that vitamin flows in and being begins.
This mysterious element, enzyme, appears to be subject to the law of summation--of accumulation and dissipation. In the nut and the seed this element lies dormant, and under favorable conditions may remain ages, retaining the power of fermenting and starting the quickening process. After quickening begins, maturation depends upon whether the environment in which the resurrection takes place contains elements of nutrition potentized with enzymes sufficient to attract the vitarnin--life--necessary for cell proliferation.