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.
"The general impression is that this accumulation of fibrinous, gelatinous, and osseous matter is the result of old age - the result of time, the remote effects of the failure of that mysterious animal principle, life But in an after chapter we shall show that this great vital principle, which is centred in the cerebro-spinal axis, gradually wanes because the brain and nerves by degrees lose their supply of blood, their powers of selection and imbibition, and are deprived of their ordained nourishment by means of this gradual process of induration and ossification. . . .
"We will now enquire into the source of these depositions, which gradually accumulate from the first period of existence to old age. . . .
"As the blood is built up from the chyle (which is formed from the chyme by the action of the bile and pancreatic fluid), we should expect to find in the latter the same calcareous matter; and such is the fact, that, on analysis, we find the same earthy salts in the chyle as exist in the blood. As the chyle is formed from the chyme (which is the product of the action of the stomach and its secretions on food), we should in it find the same calcareous matter; and such, again, is the fact. But as the chyme is the product of digestion, we expect to find the same calcareous matter in the contents of the stomach; and such also is the fact. The contents of the stomach consist of food and drink taken to nourish and support the system, and in that food and drink we ought to find the same calcareous substances; and chemical analysis gives to us the certain answer, that the food and drink taken to support the system contain, besides the elements of nutrition, earthy salts, which are the cause of ossification, obstruction, old age, and natural death.
"We have now traced these earthy compounds which are found in the system, and which increase as age advances, to the blood, from which they are, by the process of transpiration, gradually deposited. From the blood we trace them to the chyle, from the chyle to the chyme, aud from the chyme to the contents of the stomach and thence to articles of diet. Thus we eat to live, and eat to die.
"As we have traced these earthy salts to our food or articles of diet, we naturally inquire whether the different kinds of food and drink, which we have for our selection, contain the same proportion of ossifying and 'old age' producing matter. Here chemical analysis answers in the negative ! Some of the most generally used alimentary substances contain a comparatively large proportion of earthy compounds, some a moderate, and others a very small amount. • No matter what kind of food we eat, or what fluid we drink, the earthy salts contained therein have all the same source - the earth.'
"If we eat vegetable food, plants derive their earthy salts from the earth in which they grow. If animal flesh be our sustenance, they have the same source, through the medium of the animal we eat, which derives its supply from vegetation. Fish in the sea, fowl in the air, animals upon the earth, all derive the earthy salts contained in them originally from the earth, in the food on which they live. Any organ, or all the organs put together, of man or any being, cannot generate any element; hence all that is earthy in man is derived from the earth.
"From this it follows, that if we can so regulate our diet - food and drink - that the amount of earthy matter taken into the system be sufficient only for the growth and nourishment of the bones, without which our powers of strength and motion would be useless (the body being deprived of its mechanical levers), the many organs and structures would not, and could not, harden and ossify; the arteries would not become indurated and lessened in calibre, capillaries would not become obliterated, the brain would not decrease in size by age, sight would not fail, hearing, taste, and smell would not lose their susceptibility, hair would not turn grey, the skin would not become dry and wrinkled, the body would retain its fluidity, elasticity, and activity, and the brain its mental capabilities. If we can so regulate our diet that these earthy compounds are taken into the system in smaller quantities, and therefore take a longer period to accumulate - if we can even partially accomplish this - we can prolong life!
"We have shown 'old age' and 'natural death' to be due to two causes - firstly, to the action of atmospheric oxygen, which consumes our bodies and causes fibrinous and gelatinous accumulations; secondly, to a deposition of earthy matter (ossification). If, therefore, we can, by artificial means, partially arrest the never-ceasing action of atmospheric oxygen, and at the same time prevent the accumulations of these earthy compounds, or even remove them from the system - that state of body termed 'old age' would be deferred, and life would be prolonged for a lengthened period!
"Liebig says : 'Many of the fundamental or leading ideas of the present time appear, to him who knows not what science has already achieved, as extravagant as the notions of the alchemists.'
"In all the animal kingdom there is a beauty of structure manifested, wondrous, marvellous, and exquisite; but man alone has bean endowed with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, as a sole and exclusive gift to him.
peaking of the patriarchs, Josephus affirms : 'Their food was fitter for the prolongation of life; and besides, God afforded them a longer time of life on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in astronomical and geometrical discoveries.' Many authors contend that the years, at the time of the patriarchs, were shorter than at the present time - not more than one-fourth the period. If this were true, Methusaleh would have lived only two hundred and forty-three years, Terah fifty-one, and Abram forty-four. Enoch would have been only sixteen when he begat Methusaleh, Arphaxed eight and three-quarters when he begat Salah, Salah seven years old when he begat Eber, and Adam would have been more than a great-grandfather at thirty-three. There is no evidence to show the years were less than at the present time. It is probable, and quite possible (presuming that their diet tended to longevity), that the patriarchs lived to their recorded ages. Who, therefore, can deny that, with all our knowledge and discoveries, which are daily increasing, man may not again re-discover the secret of long life, which has been lost for so many ages, and which secret may probably be summed up in the following few words :