A remarkably significant fact, which I pointed out some years ago, is that those extreme conditions of malnutrition or "deficiency diseases," which laboratory men dwell upon, never develop during the most prolonged fast, and are not met with during a prolonged fruit or green vegetable diet. They develop quickly enough on a pure carbohydrate or on a pure protein diet. Mineral depletion is the probable explanation of such conditions.

In experiments with animals fed on mineral free diets, it was found that they became weak, dull, listless, had fits and died. They reached a point where they refused to eat. Forced feeding was resorted to. It was found that the animals that were forced to eat the mineral-free diet, after their instincts had put out a stop sign, died quicker than animals not fed at all. In experiments of this nature it was found that the nervous system suffered most. A dog so fed showed sudden fits of madness, became weak and uncertain of his movements, trembled and showed signs of nervousness, and grew weaker and weaker until he could hardly crawl.

Years ago Dr. Foster's experiments proved that pigeons and dogs develop symptoms of auto-intoxication and die sooner when fed on foods artificially deprived of their minerals, than when given no food at all. Dogs fed on demineralized food died in twenty-six to thirty days; whereas dogs completely deprived of all food lived for forty to sixty days.

One will starve to death with just as much certainty and much more speedily, if one attempts to live upon foods containing only one or two elements of nutrition, as if one were totally abstaining from food. A diet of white flour and water, or white sugar and water, will result in death much sooner than a diet of water only. If no food is eaten the body feeds upon its own food reserves, but it has no provision for meeting the exigencies created by prolonged subsistence on one-sided diets.

If no food is taken the body feeds upon its stored reserves and its less vital tissues. If necessary, until the skeleton condition is reached, it is able to maintain a balance between its elements and will not develop, beyond emaciation, any of the "deficiency diseases." Indeed, judicious fasting is distinctly beneficial in such "diseases."

But nature has made no adequate provision for properly nourishing a body that is fed indefinitely upon half-foods. The body does not contain within itself the elements needed to compensate for the deficiency created by denatured foods. Indeed, as pointed out elsewhere, one may starve to death much quicker on some diets, than one will if totally abstaining from food. One will die quicker on a diet of white bread than from fasting, and the more bread one consumes, the more severe will be one's suffering and the sooner will one die. Such foods draw so heavily on certain of the body's reserve elements that these are soon exhausted and body chemistry badly unbalanced.

In innutrition and undernutrition we have a failure to balance the physiological expenditures of the organism. The diet is either inadequate as a whole, or else it is lacking in some essential components. This results in malnutrition. In this condition, there is an unbalanced demand upon the stored reserves of the body caused by the presence of most of the body's needs in the food eaten, with a deficiency of some of its needs. There is, as a consequence, a basic difference between the processes of metabolism under the two sets of conditions.

The contrary phenomena occur when the body is fasting. The body easily controls the use and loss of its reserves, using some of them comparatively rapidly, while conserving, hoarding and redistributing others. In this manner chemical balance is maintained and no "deficiency disease" is produced and no organ is crippled. In total fasting, the body's reserves are drawn upon in a balanced manner, or else, those elements that are most abundant are used most rapidly, so that balance is preserved, or is restored, as a consequence.

Prof. Morgulis says that "our observation that the chronically underfed dog became debilitated in a measure not commonly noted in animals which undergo a straight fast is also borne out by the more extensive study of this matter by Benedict, Miles, Roth and Smith."

This bears out my contention that fasting does not produce the same deplorable results in the body that underfeeding or unbalanced feeding does. Fasting tends to maintain and even to restore chemical balance; whereas, the unbalanced or inadequate diet tends to unbalance the body's chemistry.

Scurvy, typhus, spotted fever, influenza and diarrhea, are reported to develop in famine districts. Following in the wake of the famine and persisting long afterwards, rickets, diarrhea, various skin eruptions and purulent inflammation of the eyes are found in nearly all children. The famine of 1848 in Ireland left a large number of blind women and men behind. The number of blind increased from 13,812 in 1848 to 45,947 in 1851.

It is such experiences as these that have served to prejudice thousands against fasting. They have not known that the most prolonged fasting never produces such results. Fasting never produces blindness, deafness, idiocy, insanity, eye "diseases," rickets, bowel disorders, etc., that follow in the wake of famine. So long as no food is consumed, the organism seems to be able to supply from its stored reserves the elements needed to sustain the vital organs and their functions and to supply these elements in correct proportions. These evils are out-growths, not of complete abstinence from food, but of a very one-sided or unbalanced diet. We meet with them in the absence of famine, right here in America, as a result of such diets. Purulent inflammation of the eyes and various skin eruptions are frequent out-growths of carbohydrate excess. Sore eyes, "simple" or "purulent," develop almost wholly in children who eat lots of sugar, syrup, white bread, etc., and who do not get fresh fruits and vegetables. Not even an inadequate diet of fruits and green vegetables ever produces such conditions.

Jackson points out that the teeth are "especially susceptible to rickets and scurvy" and that in both animals and man, there are slight changes in chemical composition, especially in chronic (incomplete) inanition. In the young, such inanition may delay the process of dentition, but persistent growth and development of the teeth (as of the skeleton) occur in young rabbits held at a constant body weight by underfeeding.

"The effects of partial inanition have been studied in rickets and in scurvy. In both human and animal rickets there is delayed and abnormal dentition. Both enamel and dentine may be defective and imperfectly calcified."

Without additional quotations about the effects of deficient diets (partial inanition) upon the teeth in rickets and in scurvy, let us point out that dentists who have studied the effects of inadequate and deficient diets upon the teeth and do not know that fasting does not produce the same results as such diets are likely to conclude that fasting injures the teeth. Indeed, there is a tendency in all who study the effects of dietary inadequacies and deficiencies to run away from fasting; for, they reason, "if a defective diet produces such undesirable results, no food at all should produce much worse results." They are blissfully unaware that fasting not only does not produce any of the so-called deficiency "diseases," but that it is actually beneficial in everyone of them.