Against the Grain (Part 2)
The Borneo Post - Sunday, 3 February, 2002

Inadequate Nutrition
As mentioned earlier, grains and grain products, regardless of whatever merits they may have, cannot provide complete nourishment because of their deficiencies, the main ones being of vitamins C, B and A, the amino acids lysine and cystine, and the minerals sodium, calcium and sulphur. On a diet high in grains and cooked vegetables, most of the vitamins are provided, but vitamin C, the most important vitamin of all for the maintenance of tissue integrity and immune system function, and the most easily destroyed by heat, will be deplorably lacking unless the diet is supplemented by a copious intake of fresh fruit.

Grains contain no vitamin C at all, and this fact alone is enough to disqualify them as food suitable for humans. Sprouted grains are a different matter.

Phytic Acid
Phytic acid is a phosphorous compound found in most plant foods but in especially large amounts in whole grains, beans and peas. It has the property of combining with minerals, especially calcium, iron and zinc, to form insoluble compounds, which are carried out in the stool. It was noted long ago that foods high in phytic acid can lead a dog to rickets, a disease that stunts the skeletal growth of children, causing deformities of the head, chest and limbs, or which can cause enough softening in the bones of adults that they break even during normal use. Bread with added bran, for example, has been associated with calcium deficiency and rickets in certain villages in Persia.

When a person experiences a noticeable upset subsequent to eating a particular food, they are said to be allergic to it. The upset is due to the fact that the substances of the food are not fully broken down by the enzymes in the digestive tract and are ingested into the bloodstream in a form to a greater or lesser extent 'poisonous' to the body. Many people display allergic reactions to cereals, in particular wheat, because their systems cannot handle gluten, which is, the protein cereals contain. The foods responsible for most allergies are eggs, grain products and dairy products. 33% of all allergies are accountable to eggs and 30% to wheat.

The severity of an allergic reaction may vary for the same individual from time to time depending on the person's condition, the allergy sometimes presenting itself only when fatigue or stress is present. Eggs, wheat, dairy products and others are unsuitable foods for everybody,

but do not always cause noticeable reactions because the body can usually break them down by drawing heavily upon its enzyme reserves.

That wheat in particular is harmful to the system is illustrated by the effect it has in the intestinal tract. Apart from the fact that wheat products are the main cause of coeliac disease, by which intestines of an infant are irreparably damaged to make them allergic to cereals for life, similar but lesser damage may be caused to adults as well. The intestinal villi have been observed to change in shape from being long and slender to shorter and blunt.

In view of the demonstrated damage to the intestinal villi caused by wheat and other grain products, and in view of the so-called allergic reactions these products commonly cause, the conclusion must be drawn that grain products, whether they produce noticeable reactions or not, cannot be considered to be food suitable for the long-term welfare of the human body.

Cereals and Tooth Decay
Tooth decay (dental caries), common in civilised countries but practically unknown in primitive societies is caused by the action of acid produced by bacteria in the saliva. These bacteria exist in everybody's mouths and are perfectly natural and normal. Whether they produce acid in the mouth or not depends on the sort of food eaten, the acid production being a consequence of fermentation. For fermentation to occur the bacteria must be deprived of oxygen and this happens when food residues clog up the spaces between teeth. Sugar alone does not cause fermentation because it dissolves in saliva and does not deprive the bacteria of oxygen. Some foods readily ferment to produce a lot of acid and some foods do not.

Very early research found that, wheat in particular, oats and to a lesser extent corn were fermented with extreme rapidity with the production of large amounts of acid.

Cereals and Head Colds
Another early report, which appears to have escaped attention, followed a three-year study on susceptibility to head colds by two doctors of the University of Illinois. They found in their experience with dieting of these patients, that an over indulgence of carbohydrates, especially of the wheat cereal variety, was most to be guarded against. Time and again, observation after observation, after excellent results were obtained, that a return of the patient to an excess-carbohydrate diet caused a recurrence of symptoms.

All the people in the study showed a greater tendency to get head colds the moment they included bread, cereals and other grain foods on their menu. Their resistance to colds was heightened enormously by eliminating grain foods.

Cereals and Arthritis
The association between grain products and arthritis deserves mention due to the frequency with which arthritis occurs in people on the Pritikin diet. Bread is the main offender, whether wholegrain or not, due to the fact it is not only acidforming, but also results in elevated levels of blood fats (trig lycerides), so making it a doublebarrelled factor in arthritis.

In nature, no animals eat grains apart from the seed-eating birds, which are especially equipped with a crop to manage them. In brief, the objections to grains and grain products as foods suitable to the human system are:

o They are deficient in a number of important nutrients.

o They contain substances to some degree of toxicity to the system.

o They must be cooked in order to be digested, which process further depletes their value and increase their pathological effect.

o They place strain on the digestive system, causing hypertrophy of the pancreas and unnecessary depletion of enzyme reserves, while at the same time resulting in flatulence.

o They are capable of damaging the intestinal villi, causing the villi to atrophy.

o They are acid forming in the body, often to the extent of causing arthritis and possibly cancer in the long term.

o They are capable of causing allergic reactions such as dry skin, subcutaneous cysts, exacerbation of multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.

o They are antagonistic to the body's immune system and increase susceptibility to head colds and other infections.

o They are the worst causative factor in tooth decay due to their tendency to readily ferment between the teeth, so producing the acid, which destroys tooth enamel.

o They are totally unsuitable for infants, causing in some cases permanent damage to their digestive organs.

o Apart from antagonising the digestive system and providing inadequate nutrition, they are absolutely tasteless and unappealing to the senses, being rendered edible only by cooking and artificial flavouring.