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Nutritional Jumpstarts of Civilization by Scott Siegel

All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature;
challenge of science is to find it.
Aureolus Paracelsus (1493-1541), Father of Pharmacology

Great leaps in civilization have not always been sparked by some wondrous technological invention. History teaches us that humanity's great leaps often result from the discovery of a missing link for example, a nutrient not previously recognized to be essential for the human body's optimum health.

Civilizations thrive or merely survive, depending on the quantity and quality of food supply. Furthermore, cultural beliefs sometimes cause "fault lines" in the nutrition of a given society. Alternatively, the introduction of an essential nutrient can kick start, or revitalize, that same society.

Some historians assert that each discovery of a valuable nutrient has propelled cultures forward to higher levels. For example, for thousands of years, the ancient Chinese did not realize that the protein in raw soybean was locked up and largely indigestible. Then they discovered the simple method of boiling soybeans in water. Magnesium then separated off the anti-trypsin factor from the whey, leaving the easily digestible and highly nutritious bean curd known as tofu.

Similarly, the traditional mainstay of the Middle Eastern diet was wheat, although for generations the B vitamins and calcium in this remarkable grain remained locked away. It was the simple discovery of yeast fermentation that made wheat biologically available and that made the maintenance of large populations possible.

In Mexico and Central America, people were long crippled by widespread pellagra. They did not know that the process of grinding corn locked in the valuable nutrient niacin. However, with the introduction of lime-water into this process, niacin at last became bio-available.

The old saying that an army marches on its belly was demonstrated by Caesar who carted Aloe plants (as healing agents) behind his marching army. The salvage of wounded soldiers gave Caesar a great edge, contributing to his victories. Although Caesar's soldiers did not know exactly how Aloe Vera worked, they carried the whole plant with them nevertheless and benefited from its healing properties.

As cultures advanced and spread throughout the world so did advances in technology. Today in the modern industrial era, technologically savvy consumers demand neat packaging and refined processing over what was once the whole value of freshly harvested foods. As a result, the claimed benefits of a medicinal plant such as Aloe Vera, used successfully for generations by traditional healers, have been doubted.

Recent dramatic discoveries in the scientific community reveal why most Aloe was not living up to historical standards. Researchers discovered a complex saccharide known as mannose. They noted that due to the careless harvesting and processing methods used, Aloe juice was essentially devoid of the large size mannans. Fortunately, a new method of stabilizing these precious molecules is now available.

Mannose, which was at one time available in food staples such as rice and wheat, has largely faded from the modern diet. We used to get mannose from our daily bread but when the food industry invented a process to refine wheat flour, making it "whiter and lighter," many naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and the complex saccharide known as mannose were lost.

With nutritional deficiencies and medical maladies on the increase in epidemic proportions, science has turned its attention to protein research. As a result, a new and exciting field is emerging: glycobiology. Equally as promising is the discovery of the elusive missing link: saccharides.

In a paper addressing the immune stimulating role of complex carbohydrates, Dr. Ian R. Tizard wrote:

These long chain sugar molecules are called polysaccharides, poly meaning many, and saccharides referring to sugar. It is important to note that not all polysaccharides are created equal. Dr. Tizard explained: "Although common polysaccharides such as starch (alpha-1,4-glucan), dextran (alpha-1,6-glucan) and insulin (fructan) do not have anti-tumour activity, there is abundant evidence that some mannans and glucans are very potent anti-cancer agents."

Dr. Tizard is not alone. There is a new feeling of cautious optimism among researchers currently studying this exciting field of glycobiology. Again, history teaches us that great leaps of society are often linked to the discovery of a missing nutrient. In terms of wellness, and the ability to favorably modulate the body's immune system, this missing nutrient may likely prove to be a high quality saccharide-based plant supplement. It is my experience, based on sound research and personal use, that this supplement must be produced from the Aloe Barbadensis Miller species of Aloe Vera, from plants that are harvested according to a highly specialized proprietary process.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
--your mother

Taking Aloe Vera is like eating a bushel full of apples.
-- my Dad, R. M. Siegel, M.D.

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