Life in a small town

Diet and Health … my own health and yours … the journey continues …

Hamachidori“, by Ryutaro Hirota, played by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra & Kazumasa Watanabe, from the album “Konomichi―Favorite Japanese Melodies (Japanese Melody Series)” (2004)

As mentioned back in April I found a new book, and it’s way easier reading than “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease“. The new book is: Niacin: The Real Story: Learn about the Wonderful Healing Properties of Niacin  – October 9, 2015 by Abram Hoffer M.D. Ph.D. (Author), Andrew W. Saul Ph.D. (Author), Harold D. Foster (Author).

A short quote from the “Forward”:


In “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, Thomas Kuhn says that advances in science do not occur in an evolutionary or straight-line manner. Instead, such steps take place in a series of violent revolutions separated by long periods of relative peace.

During dramatic uprisings, “one conceptual world view replaces another.” These intellectual revolts are not random events. They are promoted by the discovery of significant anomalies: emergent facts that the ruling dominant theory and its supporters fail to adequately explain.

These “exceptions to the rule” are the termites of scientific theory. As they multiply, they become more and more difficult to ignore. The newly infected ruling theory weakens until it eventually collapses. A paradigm shift occurs as another takes its place. While the drug-based pharmaceutical industry continues to control conventional medicine, its support structure is increasingly termite riddled.

Weaknesses are being illustrated by new highly critical books, with titles such as Deadly Medicine, Overdo$ed America, and Death by Modern Medicine. Of course, the drug-based approach to health will not be abandoned any time soon unless society has a viable alternative, waiting, like an understudy, in the wings. There it must be quietly attracting its own, more open-minded supporters.

Hoffer, Abram. Niacin: The Real Story: Learn about the Wonderful Healing Properties of Niacin (p. 15). Turner Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.


Here is another short quote:


During World War II, Royal Navy Surgeon Captain T. L. Cleave was concerned about the physical ill health of many of the sailors. From his studies he concluded that most of them suffered from one overall disease he called the “Saccharine Disease” in 1952.

The saccharine disease has no relation to the synthetic sweetener. Saccharine in this case refers to a detrimental craving for sweet tastes and consequent overuse of sugar. (And no, we do not recommend sugar substitutes. Artificial sugar substitutes have problems of their own, not the least of which is that they may stimulate people to want still more and more sweet foods.)

Cleave presented evidence that the various diseases of civilization are one disease, not a large number of discrete diseases.3 I (Abram Hoffer) had a copy of his original publication, but it was worn out by constant use. This book turned my life around. I became a full-time nutritionist.

Cleave’s experience as a physician convinced him that over consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates was the root cause of diabetes, coronary disease, obesity, malabsorption, peptic ulcer, constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, E. coli infections, appendicitis, cholicystitis, pyelitis, diverticulitis, renal calculus, many skin conditions, and dental caries.4 This nutritional disease affected all the organs and systems, which were then diagnosed and named according to the organ or malfunction of that organ.

The cause is the modern diet, which is too rich in sugars and refined carbohydrates and too deficient in food containing its original fiber (ed. and it’s original nutrients). It is also deficient in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, relating it to pandeficiency disease. This diet typically relies on refined cereals devoid of their bran and germ such as white bread, polished rice, and a heavy intake of sugar averaging about 125 pounds per person each year.

Cleave did consider the role played by the deficiency of essential nutrient factors. He emphasized the excessive intake of sugar and the deficiency of fiber. In other words, he emphasized the value of whole foods. The massive evidence Cleave presented had little impact, except for a sudden interest in bran as if it were a drug especially designed for people with constipation.

Cleave did give his sailors bran, but he was much more concerned with the white flour they were eating. His message was clear: what was needed were the original whole grain cereals as in whole wheat and rice. Just adding bran only provided a partial answer. In 1972 Professor John Yudkin published his book Sweet and Dangerous5. He presented the evidence that proved sugars were the culprit. His work was ignored.

Ever since reading Cleave’s book many years ago, I have advised my patients to follow a sugar-free, refined carbohydrate-free diet. I think most of those who followed my advice have been grateful. There is nothing more pleasing than feeling good.

How could this one explanation account for such an amazing number of diseases? This is how: constipation is the main outcome of a diet deficient in fiber-rich foods, not in a simple deficiency of fiber. If it were a simple deficiency of fiber, one could eat fiber made from wood. This will certainly increase the fiber intake, but will do little for one’s health. Chronic constipation leads to the other diseases of the intestine. In South Africa, it was said you had be English to get appendicitis—the natives, who still ate high fiber foods, did not.

The remaining diseases come from high sugar intake. These are diabetes, coronary disease, and metabolic disease. Everyone knows that the major problem with modern foods is that they are too high in fat. But is this really true? When I said “everyone,” I was exaggerating; a few of us instead thought that too much sugar and not enough fiber-rich food were much more pathological.

But the sugar industry was more adept at deflecting blame from their source of revenue, and the meat and fat industries were a bit lax in fighting and followed the same idea. Reviewing the recent evidence, Challem concluded that high-protein diets, still very controversial but more popular then they were when they were highlighted by Robert Atkins, helped people lose weight, improve their blood sugar levels, and normalize blood lipids.6

Of three diets tested in Israel, the best results were obtained with the high-protein, high-fat diets. This included the levels of blood lipids. High cholesterol and high triglyceride levels do not come from high fat intake. They come from too much sugar. Again, stone-age diet advocates are vindicated.

The saccharine disease is also characterized by a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. The foods richest in these nutrients are not consumed. There is really no question about this, and it is well recognized by government as well as by the public. If governments concluded that diets were adequate they would not have mandated the addition of three vitamins and iron to white flour—and I would not have gotten my first job as a control chemist in a flour mill.

Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, vitamin D, iodine, and calcium are some of the nutrients that enrich our foods. But the most striking was the eradication of pellagra in the United States within two years after the addition of niacinamide to white flour was mandated in 1942.

The Canadian government would not permit this. The American law was considered an adulteration (of flour) by Canada, except that it had to ship the enriched flour overseas to the allied troops and the Canadian Commissioner of Indian Affairs insisted that it be given to Canadian natives who used it to make bannock (flat bread).

The enrichment of flour was one of the most beneficial public health measures ever, not only in preventing physical disease but in preventing mental disease. Before enriched flour became available, up to one-third of admissions to mental hospitals in the Southeastern United States were pellagrins, who could not be differentiated from schizophrenia by clinical examination alone.
Pellagra—characterized by the four D’s: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death—was gone.

In the whole history of psychiatry, there has never been a public health measure as effective. The addition of a few pennies’ worth of B3 to flour saved the United States and the rest of the world billions of dollars of disease-generated costs. The addition of folic acid to flour has done the same.

Abram Hoffer. Niacin: The Real Story: Learn about the Wonderful Healing Properties of Niacin (p. 96-99). Turner Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.




Can anyone remember “1984”? Big Brother knows best … Recent Public Health Triumphs?