|Nutritional Jumpstarts of Civilization
|| by Scott Siegel
All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature;
the challenge of science is to find it.
Aureolus Paracelsus (1493-1541), Father of Pharmacology
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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:
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
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Taking Aloe Vera is like eating a bushel full of apples.
-- my Dad, R. M. Siegel, M.D.
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