Extracted/edited from William Duffy’s book “Sugar Blues”
First published by Chilton Book Co. Padnor, PA, USA
Currently published by Warner Books, USA.
Mental illness is a myth and emotional disturbance can be merely the first symptom of the obvious inability of the human system to handle the stress of sugar dependency.
— Dr Abram Hoffer, Dr Allan Cott, Dr A. Cherkin , Dr Linus Pauling
In the Dark Ages, troubled souls were rarely locked up for going off their rocker. Such confinement began in the Age of Enlightenment, after sugar made the transition from apothecary’s prescription to candymaker’s confection. “The great confinement of the insane”, as one historian calls it,10 began in the late 17th century, after sugar consumption in Britain had zoomed in 200 years from a pinch or two in a barrel of beer, here and there, to more than two million pounds per year. By that time, physicians in London had begun to observe and record terminal physical signs and symptoms of the“sugar blues”.
Meanwhile, when sugar eaters did not manifest obvious terminal physical symptoms and the physicians were professionally bewildered, patients were no longer pronounced bewitched, but mad, insane, emotionally disturbed. Laziness, fatigue, debauchery, parental displeasure – any one problem was sufficient cause for people under twenty-five to be locked up in the first Parisian mental hospitals. All it took to be incarcerated was a complaint from parents, relatives or the omnipotent parish priest. Wet nurses with their babies, pregnant youngsters, retarded or defective children, senior citizens, paralytics, epileptics, prostitutes or raving lunatics – anyone wanted off the streets and out of sight was put away. The mental hospital succeeded witch-hunting and heresy-hounding as a more enlightened and humane method of social control.
Initially, when the General Hospital was established in Paris by royal decree, one per cent of the city’s population was locked up. From that time until the 20 century, as the consumption of sugar went up and up-especially in the cities, so did the number of people who were put away in the General Hospital. Three hundred years later, the “emotionally disturbed” can be turned into walking automatons, their brains controlled with psychoactive drugs.
Today, pioneers of orthomolecular psychiatry, such as Dr Abram Hoffer, Dr Allan Cott, Dr A. Cherkin as well as Dr Linus Pauling, have confirmed that mental illness is a myth and that emotional disturbance can be merely the first symptom of the obvious inability of the human system to handle the stress of sugar dependency.
In Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Dr Pauling writes:
“The functioning of the brain and nervous tissue is more sensitively dependent on the rate of chemical reactions than the functioning of other organs and tissues. I believe that mental disease is for the most part caused by abnormal reaction rates, as determined by genetic constitution and diet, and by abnormal molecular concentrations of essential substances… Selection of food (and drugs) in a world that is undergoing rapid scientific and technological change may often be far from the best.”
In Megavitamin B3 Therapy for Schizophrenia, Dr Abram Hoffer notes:
“Patients are also advised to follow a good nutritional program with restriction of sucrose and sucrose-rich foods.”
Clinical research with hyperactive and psychotic children, as well as those with brain injuries and learning disabilities, has shown:
“An abnormally high family history of diabetes-that is, parents and grandparents who cannot handle sugar; an abnormally high incidence of low blood glucose, or functional hypoglycemia in the children themselves, which indicates that their systems cannot handle sugar; dependence on a high level of sugar in the diets of the very children who cannot handle it.
“Inquiry into the dietary history of patients diagnosed as schizophrenic reveals the diet of their choice is rich in sweets, candy, cakes, coffee, caffeinated beverages, and foods prepared with sugar. These foods, which stimulate the adrenals, should be eliminated or severely restricted.”
“In more than twenty years of psychiatric work, I have never known a clinical psychologist to report, on the basis of a projective test, that the subject is a normal, mentally healthy person. While some witches may have survived dunking, no ‘madman’ survives psychological testing…there is no behavior or person that a modern psychiatrist cannot plausibly diagnose as abnormal or ill.” — Dr Thomas Szasz
So it was in the 17th century. Once the doctor or the exorcist had been called in, he was under pressure to do something. When he tried and failed, the poor patient had to be put away. It is often said that surgeons bury their mistakes. Physicians and psychiatrists put them away; lock ’em up.
In the 1940s, Dr John Tintera rediscovered the vital importance of the endocrine system, especially the adrenal glands, in “pathological mentation”-or “brain boggling”. In 200 cases under treatment for hypoadrenocorticism (the lack of adequate adrenal cortical hormone production or imbalance among these hormones), he discovered that the chief complaints of his patients were often similar to those found in persons whose systems were unable to handle sugar: fatigue, nervousness, depression, apprehension, craving for sweets, inability to handle alcohol, inability to concentrate, allergies, low blood pressure. Sugar blues!
Dr Tintera finally insisted that all his patients submit to a four-hour glucose tolerance test (GTT) to find out whether or not they could handle sugar. The results were so startling that the laboratories double-checked their techniques, then apologised for what they believed to be incorrect readings. What mystified them was the low, flat curves derived from disturbed, early adolescents. This laboratory procedure had been previously carried out only for patients with physical findings presumptive of diabetes.
Dorland’s definition of schizophrenia (Bleuler’s dementia praecox) includes the phrase, “often recognized during or shortly after adolescence”, and further, in reference to hebephrenia and catatonia, “coming on soon after the onset of puberty”.
These conditions might seem to arise or become aggravated at puberty, but probing into the patient’s past will frequently reveal indications which were present at birth, during the first year of life, and through the preschool and grammar school years. Each of these periods has its own characteristic clinical picture. This picture becomes more marked at pubescence and often causes school officials to complain of juvenile delinquency or underachievement.
A glucose tolerance test at any of these periods could alert parents and physicians and could save innumerable hours and small fortunes spent in looking into the child’s psyche and home environment for maladjustments of questionable significance in the emotional development of the average child.
The negativism, hyperactivity and obstinate resentment of discipline are absolute indications for at least the minimum laboratory tests: urinalysis, complete bloodcount, PBI determination, and the five-hour glucose tolerance test. A GTT can be performed on a young child by the micro-method without undue trauma to the patient. As a matter of fact, I have been urging that these four tests be routine for all patients, even before a history or physical examination is undertaken.
In almost all discussions on drug addiction, alcoholism and schizophrenia, it is claimed that there is no definite constitutional type that falls prey to these afflictions. Almost universally, the statement is made that all of these individuals are emotionally immature. It has long been our goal to persuade every physician, whether oriented toward psychiatry, genetics or physiology, to recognise that one type of endocrine individual is involved in the majority of these cases: the hypoadrenocortic.15
Tintera published several epochal medical papers. Over and over, he emphasised that improvement, alleviation, palliation or cure was “dependent upon the restoration of the normal function of the total organism”. His first prescribed item of treatment was diet. Over and over again, he said that “the importance of diet cannot be overemphasised”. He laid out a sweeping permanent injunction against sugar in all forms and guises.
While Egas Moniz of Portugal was receiving a Nobel Prize for devising the lobotomy operation for the treatment of schizophrenia, Tintera’s reward was to be harassment and hounding by the pundits of organised medicine. While Tintera’s sweeping implication of sugar as a cause of what was called “schizophrenia” could be confined to medical journals, he was let alone, ignored. He could be tolerated – if he stayed in his assigned territory, endocrinology. Even when he suggested that alcoholism was related to adrenals that had been whipped by sugar abuse, they let him alone; because the medicos had decided there was nothing in alcoholism for them except aggravation, they were satisfied to abandon it to Alcoholics Anonymous. However, when Tintera dared to suggest in a magazine of general circulation that “it is ridiculous to talk of kinds of allergies when there is only one kind, which is adrenal glands impaired…by sugar”, he could no longer be ignored.
The allergists had a great racket going for themselves. Allergic souls had been entertaining each other for years with tall tales of exotic allergies – everything from horse feathers to lobster tails. Along comes someone who says none of this matters: take them off sugar, and keep them off it.
Perhaps Tintera’s untimely death in 1969 at the age of fifty-seven made it easier for the medical profession to accept discoveries that had once seemed as far out as the simple oriental medical thesis of genetics and diet, yin and yang.
Today, doctors all over the world are repeating what Tintera announced years ago: nobody, but nobody, should ever be allowed to begin what is called “psychiatric treatment”, anyplace, anywhere, unless and until they have had a glucose tolerance test to discover if they can handle sugar.
So-called preventive medicine goes further and suggests that since we only think we can handle sugar because we initially have strong adrenals, why wait until they give us signs and signals that they’re worn out? Take the load off now by eliminating sugar in all forms and guises, starting with that soda pop you have in your hand.
The mind truly boggles when one glances over what passes for medical history. Through the centuries, troubled souls have been barbecued for bewitchment, exorcised for possession, locked up for insanity, tortured for masturbatory madness, psychiatrised for psychosis, lobotomised for schizophrenia. How many patients would have listened if the local healer had told them that the only thing ailing them was sugar blues?
WHY SUGAR IS TOXIC TO THE BODY
In 1957, Dr William Coda Martin tried to answer the question: When is a food a food and when is it a poison? His working definition of “poison” was:
“Medically: Any substance applied to the body, ingested or developed within the body, which causes or may cause disease. Physically: Any substance which inhibits the activity of a catalyst which is a minor substance, chemical or enzyme that activates a reaction.”1
The dictionary gives an even broader definition for “poison”: “to exert a harmful influence on, or to pervert”.
Dr Martin classified refined sugar as a poison because it has been depleted of its life forces, vitamins and minerals.
“What is left consists of pure, refined carbohydrates. The body cannot utilize this refined starch and carbohydrate unless the depleted proteins, vitamins and minerals are present. Nature supplies these elements in each plant in quantities sufficient to metabolize the carbohydrate in that particular plant. There is no excess for other added carbohydrates. Incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results in the formation of ‘toxic metabolite’ such as pyruvic acid and abnormal sugars containing five carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid accumulates in the brain and nervous system and the abnormal sugars in the red blood cells. These toxic metabolites interfere with the respiration of the cells. They cannot get sufficient oxygen to survive and function normally. In time, some of the cells die. This interferes with the function of a part of the body and is the beginning of degenerative disease.”2
Refined sugar is lethal when ingested by humans because it provides only that which nutritionists describe as “empty” or “naked” calories. It lacks the natural minerals which are present in the sugar beet or cane. In addition, sugar is worse than nothing because it drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination make upon one’s entire system.
So essential is balance to our bodies that we have many ways to provide against the sudden shock of a heavy intake of sugar. Minerals such as sodium (from salt), potassium and magnesium (from vegetables), and calcium (from the bones) are mobilized and used in chemical transmutation; neutral acids are produced which attempt to return the acid-alkaline balance factor of the blood to a more normal state.
Sugar taken every day produces a continuously overacid condition, and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Finally, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth that decay and general weakening begin.
Excess sugar eventually affects every organ in the body. Initially, it is stored in the liver in the form of glucose (glycogen). Since the liver’s capacity is limited, a daily intake of refined sugar (above the required amount of natural sugar) soon makes the liver expand like a balloon. When the liver is filled to its maximum capacity, the excess glycogen is returned to the blood in the form of fatty acids. These are taken to every part of the body and stored in the most inactive areas: the belly, the buttocks, the breasts and the thighs.
When these comparatively harmless places are completely filled, fatty acids are then distributed among active organs, such as the heart and kidneys. These begin to slow down; finally their tissues degenerate and turn to fat. The whole body is affected by their reduced ability, and abnormal blood pressure is created. The parasympathetic nervous system is affected; and organs governed by it, such as the small brain, become inactive or paralyzed. (Normal brain function is rarely thought of as being as biologic as digestion.) The circulatory and lymphatic systems are invaded, and the quality of the red corpuscles starts to change. An overabundance of white cells occurs, and the creation of tissue becomes slower. Our body’s tolerance and immunizing power becomes more limited, so we cannot respond properly to extreme attacks, whether they be cold, heat, mosquitoes or microbes.
Excessive sugar has a strong mal-effect on the functioning of the brain. The key to orderly brain function is glutamic acid, a vital compound found in many vegetables. The B vitamins play a major role in dividing glutamic acid into antagonistic-complementary compounds which produce a “proceed” or “control” response in the brain. B vitamins are also manufactured by symbiotic bacteria which live in our intestines. When refined sugar is taken daily, these bacteria wither and die, and our stock of B vitamins gets very low. Too much sugar makes one sleepy; our ability to calculate and remember is lost.