This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
Further on, Dr. Salisbury says:
"To effect a cure, we must cut off (as far as possible) all food which goes to make animal sugar. This includes vegetable food, animal fats, tendon and connective or glue tissue and cartilage. Also all excess in drinks. Abstinence in these respects will lessen the labour of the diseased parts, and by degrees subdue their excessive activity. Normal states then ensue; and if these are well established for a few months, and accompanied by appropriate medication, they break up the diseased habit and restore normal conditions, which, becoming in their turn permanent, finally and thoroughly cure the disease."
It will be seen by this that Dr Salisbury esteems diabetes a surely curable malady. But how does he accomplish it? Precisely by those means, in my judgment, which cure diabetes under the skimmed-milk regimen, and that sometimes effect a cure under the old-school treatment: by the elimination of all starch foods from the dietary. Now, when we consider that diabetes is never developed except in those persons who are accustomed to a starch dietary; that, under the old-school treatment, diabetic patients are always helped, and sometimes cured, by partially refraining from starch food; and that, under the skimmed-milk treatment, these patients are frequently cured, and under the strict Salisbury treatment quite universally cured - is it not fair to conclude that diabetes is caused by a diet of cereals and starch foods?
A large business is done in America in the preparation and sale of foods for infants and invalids. It is proclaimed in the literature of the various firms that these foods are quite free from starch : that this substance has been converted into soluble dextrine by pre-digestion. The late Dr. J. Milner Fothergill, of London, was a very successful physician, an able writer, and a painstaking student. From a pamphlet entitled, "Nutrition for Infants and Invalids, with Suggestions from J. Milner Fothergill, M.D.," I quote:
"Gentlemen, - Having requested me to give you my opinion, as a food expert, upon your 'Lactated Food,' I do so herewith. You state that it contains 'the purified gluten of wheat and oats, with barley diastase and malt extract combined with specially prepared milk sugar'; in other words, that it is self-digestive as regards the conversion of insoluble starch into soluble dextrine and maltose. My experiments with it lead me to hold that this is correct. When lactated food is placed in water hot enough to be sipped, a rapid transformation of the starch remaining in it (by the diastase it contains) goes on; and a nutritive fluid is the result, which requires but a minimum of the digestive act. The resort to farinaceous matters, pre-digested, must become greater and greater as our knowledge of digestion and its derangements waxes greater. It is not merely in the case of feeble infants that such pre-digested starch and milk-sugar are indicated and useful; persons of feeble digestion require these soluble carbo-hydrates, which they can assimilate."
I desire to call attention to the last two sentences of this remarkable utterance. Dr. Fothergill tells us that we must resort to the pre-digestion of farinaceous foods as our knowledge of digestion waxes greater. I ask food reformers to carefully consider whether it will not be better to avoid using those foods that require to be "pre-digested." I doubt not that generations of feeding upon a food which is physiologically ill adapted to the human organism - namely, the cereals and starchy vegetables - will result in multitudes of persons of such feeble digestion that they are unable longer to assimilate this food, unless a resort be made to pre-digestion and artificial aid.
Perhaps the most convincing proof of the claim, that all cereals and starches are unfit for human food, is found by a reference to the physiology of digestion. The human stomach is supplied with a digestive fluid that readily prepares nitrogenous and albuminoid foods for sanguification and assimilation. The function of the stomach is not only to liquefy and make fine; but, when the right kinds of food are furnished to it, it also prepares these foods for assimilation, and that process goes forward at once. When the cereals and starch foods are eaten, the gastric-juice neutralises the effect of the saliva, and the only effect accomplished is to liquefy and make fine, and pass the contents on to the intestines, where the pancreatic juice and intestinal solvents are able to prepare the starch for assimilation - for available nutrition. The gastric-juice is able to neutralise the saliva, but is powerless to render the cereals assimilable, in the meantime hours have been consumed in the process; and greater nerve force has been expended than is required to digest and sanguify nitrogenous, albuminous foods. When foods adapted to stomach digestion are eaten, less nerve force is expended, for the first three hours after eating, than is required to liquefy the cereals; and at the end of the three hours the bulk of the work has been accomplished, much of the food elements have been assimilated, and the work remaining to be done when the residue is passed on to the second stomach is comparatively insignificant. Not so the starch foods. The first three hours are consumed in an abortive effort at digestion; more vital force is consumed than is needed in digesting and assimilating those foods adapted to stomach digestion; and, when the contents are passed on to the intestines, substantially the whole work of digestion - preparation for assimilation - yet remains to be done. And this is why those persons whom Dr. Salisbury or Mrs. Stuart are able to persuade to confine themselves to an exclusively meat supper soon find that they sleep much better, and also feel themselves very greatly improved. The vital energy is not consumed in laborious and protracted efforts to digest food which is wholly unsuited to the human stomach; the vital force being conserved, and the nerves not tired, insomnia is overcome; and with sleep - "Nature's sweet restorer" - there is a continual augmentation of nerve force, of vital power, and of health; and these results are accomplished by the Salisbury treatment, not because it is a meat diet, but because it is in substitution for a food natural to cattle, but wholly unsuitable to the human stomach, and in spite of the excre-mental and poisonous nature of animal flesh.