Sulphur is poisonous. Yet sulphur is a necessary constituent of the body, and when supplied as nature prepares it in food, is wholesome. But as a medicine it is unwholesome.
Berg reviews all of the experiments made, which are claimed to show that the animal body can make use of inorganic salts, and shows that faulty experimental methods have been present in every case. Taking the case of sulphur he says, "We know this element in the organism only in the form of cystein or its 'anhydrite' cystin, although there can be no doubt that quite a number of sulphur compounds are represented in the 'neutral sulphur' of the urine. * * * Cystin is a vitally essential substance which cannot be synthesized within the animal body." Osborn and Mendel have repeatedly noted that growth, and even the mere maintenance of weight, are impossible unless ready-made cystin is supplied. Sulphur compounds are available for assimilation only in the forms in which they exist in organic matter.
Lime, or calcium, cannot be supplied to the body by feeding it crude rock lime or chalk. In such a form, lime is an irritant and a corrosive. In the "unslacked" form, it is highly destructive of the tissues of the body. Lime water, so often given to infants, is of no value to them and produces much injury. We must take this as it is supplied by plants.
Inappropriate food may actually "drive out" appropriate food. "Large doses of calcium chloride," says Berg, "induce severe losses of calcium, which may culminate in osteoporosis and osteomalacia in the experimental animals." The calcium chloride actually induces a hyperacidity within the body and so great an impoverishment of the alkali reserves of the body that those of the bones are called upon to neutralize the acids.
A "biological antagonism" between soluble alkalies and the alkaline earths is known to exist in animal physiology. "If the bicarbonates, or indeed, any salt of sodium or potassium, be administered to a human being in fair quantity for any brief but appreciable period, the following extraordinary phenomenon is manifest: large quantities of calcium and magnesium salts immediately make their appearance in the urine, thus showing that sodium or potassium when administered to an animal in excess at once exhibits so strong a contrast in the economy of that animal that immediately a large output of calcium and magnesium occurs."--Reinheimer.
Berg says, "With the exception of calcium carbonate and tricalcium phosphate all the inorganic calcium salts induce acidity in the organism. Rose has repeatedly noted the production of acidity in adult human beings by calcium chloride and calcium sulphate; and Fuhge, Erich Muller's assistant, noted the same thing in testing my statements by giving lime salts to children."
Berg has pointed out that the acid radical (carbon) in calcium carbonate can be freely discharged in the gaseous form through the lungs, so that no bases are requisite to assist in its excretion."
Copp and others, investigating the nutritional factors in arthritis, found that it is essential to restore the calcium balance before recovery can take place. They found that when inorganic calcium salts or other basic salts in the inorganic form are given these are rapidly eliminated and are not assimilated by the tissues. The bodies of animals can make use of salts only as these are prepared for them by the plant kingdom, a symbiotic dependence of great significance.
There is no doubt that the inorganic salts of the drug store may be absorbed into the body more or less and, perhaps, some of them may be employed to a limited extent in such purely chemical processes as the neutralization of acids. But they cannot become parts of the teeth, muscles, nerves, blood or glands of the body.
Experiments seem to show that where there is a deficiency of salts in the diet, the use of inorganic salts--wood ashes, for example--will enable the animal body to use all or nearly all of the available organic salts in building tissue. There is no evidence, however, that such additions to the diet can make the diet equal to one adequate in organic salts. In most cases, however, these things seem to merely induce fatty degeneration.
Iodine is supplied in a usable form in foods. Drug iodine is a rank poison. The prolonged use of iodine and its compounds produces a condition known as iodism; characterized by violent colds, headaches, increased salivary secretion (insalivation), a metallic taste, gastric irritation and an acne rash. It has accounted for many deaths, while its use in goitre has proven not only a failure but disastrous. Food iodine never does this.
The following quotation from American Medicine, May, 1926, gives a partial picture of the effects of inorganic iodine compounds:
"In view of the wide publicity that has been given to the value of iodine as an absolute preventive of goitre, and the commendation that has been given to the communal use of iodized salt, it is important that the hazards attendant upon such wholesale employment of iodine should be given equal publicity. Iodine is a drug, although the bodily need for it suggests that it may be employed as a food. Its use has to be safe-guarded because of its pharmacologic properties and, indeed, as a result of its peculiar effects when ingested in too large quantities by those having a susceptibility to its effect or by those who have physical conditions likely to become pathologically activated through its administration. There is ample evidence that iodine rashes are appearing more frequently than heretofore and that acne vulgaris is more difficult to cure among those making use of iodized salt. Further, the appearance or recurrence of hyperthyroidism amply demonstrates that the technique generally employed for administering iodine to adults is attended with serious disadvantages and dangers."
It is now claimed that a small amount of arsenic forms a normal part of the human body. I need not dwell on arsenical poisoning. The doctor's arsenic is not mistaken for food arsenic, or "organic" arsenic.
Common salt (sodium chloride) is not an exception to the rule that inorganic salts are not acceptable to the animal body, as will be fully shown in a succeeding chapter.
Berg has shown that when mixtures of "artificial nutritive salts" (drugs) are given they play the part of foreign bodies in the organism, "for they increase the osmotic pressure to an intolerable degree," and "hence they are eliminated as rapidly as possible."
"When an acid-rich diet is being taken," he says, "and we aim at neutralizing the excess of acid by administering inorganic bases in the form of salts, the use of litmus paper will show that the urine speedily acquires an alkaline reaction. During the night, however, the period when the great cleaning up of the organism after the day's exertions takes place, the amount of available bases is greatly reduced owing to the rapid excretion of the ionized salts, the result being that the morning urine (which contains the products of tissue change during the night) has again become acid, and is rich in uric acid although its power of holding uric acid in solution is small. In other words, when the requisite bases are supplied in the form of inorganic salts they are excreted so rapidly that the organism suffers from alkaline impoverishment at the time when its need for alkalies is greatest.
"Conditions are very different in the case of natural nutrients. Here the inorganic bases are, to some extent at least, present in masked forms, in stable organic combination, and their presence can in many instances not be detected until after the destruction of the organic combination. To some extent, compounds of this character are even able to resist the disintegrating effects of digestion, as I have myself proved in the case of milk. In this form, the bases do not irritate the animal organism in any way, and they can be retained by the body for a considerable period, until the bases are restored to an ionisable condition by the breakup of the organic combinations. If, therefore, the organism be provided with an abundance of bases by supplying it with a food naturally rich in bases, ere long morning urine will be found to have an alkaline reaction. In such cases the uric-acid content of the urine will tend towards a minimum characteristic of the particular diet; and at the same time the capacity for excreting uric acid, that is to say the competence of the urine to dissolve uric acid, will rise to a maximum. Thus whereas the effect in artificial mixtures of inorganic salts is restricted to an hour or two after their ingestion, the bases in the natural nutritive salts remain effective over long periods, and are always on hand when the organism needs them. I have found that the water in which potatoes, greens, etc., have been boiled, or protein-free milk (whey), is speedy and effective."
Berg says: "Calcium carbonate, therefore, acts in the animal body as a free base in this respect, that it is competent to neutralize acids, and thus reduce acidosis. Obviously, all inorganic bases in the free state can act in the same way, provided that they can be absorbed by the organism in a soluble form. The free bases, however, have, like the free acids, and even more than these, the disagreeable quality of being corrosive. They dissolve organic matter, and can therefore not be tolerated by the organism except in extreme dilution."
Indeed, the use of inorganic lime-salts, with the exception of calcium carbonate and tri-calcium phosphate, produces acidosis. Large doses of calcium chloride induce severe losses of calcium from the body and may even result in osteoporosis or osteomalacia. Chloride of lime, if given for a long time, results in severe losses of calcium and even in bone deformity. Calcium chloride induces hyperacidity within the body and the alkalies of the bones and other tissues are used up in neutralizing the acids. There is only one source from which to secure your calcium--namely, natural foods.
In plants the minerals are combined in some peculiar way in the living system of the cell which makes them acceptable to the animal body, which is unable to take chemically pure substances and synthesize these into animal tissues. Schussler's salts and Carey's salts, even though administered in the sixth decimal trituration of homeopathic therapeutics, as is the common way of giving them, are not used by the body. Homeopathic trituration is not identical with the synthetic processes of plant life and does not produce the peculiar plant substances that are alone acceptable to the animal. These same facts apply to the many "cell salts," "vegetable salts," "essential foods," etc., now exploited in this country.
Members of the Biochemic school of medicine, followers of Schuessler, homeopaths and others, who declare that these crude substances may be used in and by the body as "tissue salts," if only they are finely enough ground and sufficiently triturated are greatly in error.
Strictly speaking there is no science of biochemistry. All so-called biochemistry is the chemistry of the dead. Those who have cell-salts, tissue salts, biochemic salts, etc., to sell are merely exploiting popular ignorance. Their "remedies" are worthless.
The body possesses the power to manufacture the chemical substances it requires and this it is continuously doing, the exercise of this power depending upon the supply of acceptable raw materials. Thyroxin, for example, manufactured by the thyroid gland, is tri-iodo-trypophane. The production of this hormone is dependent, not alone upon the supply of the amino-acid, tryptophane, but upon the supply of acceptable iodin. Drug iodine, in whatever form, does not enable the body to synthesize thyroxin, and its use is a frequent cause of the very condition it is given to prevent or cure.
Physicians have long prescribed iron in various forms in anemia, chlorosis, and other conditions. Abderhalden, a German scientist, performed an extended series of experiments upon several species of animals, to determine to what extent they were able to absorb and utilize different forms of iron. He discovered that animals fed upon iron-poor diets, to which were added inorganic iron substances, were unable, in the long run, to produce as much hemoglobin as those given normal food. He came to the conclusion that inorganic iron salts act chiefly, if not wholly, as "stimulants," and that hemoglobin is derived essentially from the organic iron compounds of food. Hemoglobin is a protein compound into which the iron salts enter and the iron salts of the drug store do not enter into this compound.