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Commentary on the concept of the main nutritional factor
Fans of this theory believe that the body should be fully provided with some one or more nutritional factors, and all other components of food are either secondary or simply not needed.
Naturally, with this approach, not only minor substrates, but also some essential nutrients disappear from the diet. The fact that the concept of the main nutritional factor is contrived and unconvincing is evidenced by the fact that diets based on this technique can be mutually exclusive. Some prohibit the use of eggs, others - apples, still others - milk, fourth - nightingale navels, etc., etc.
The most famous and widespread in the framework of the concept of the main nutritional factor is the doctrine and diet of D. Jarvis, who considers it possible to provide his followers with a happy longevity by using certain foods while excluding others from the diet.
In his opinion, for proper metabolism and normal functioning of body cells, it is necessary to maintain a balance of sodium and potassium ions and optimal acidity of the medium in the tissues. To achieve this, sodium and potassium must enter the human environment in the right ratio, so acidic equivalents should be consumed in everyday diets and foods rich in alkaline equivalents should be avoided.
These ideas are set forth in Jarvis’s book “Honey and Other Natural Products,” which we have repeatedly published. According to him, the main food factor is honey, and apple cider vinegar is a universal remedy.
The exceptional usefulness of apple cider vinegar, according to Jarvis, lies in the high concentration of potassium ions in it. Potassium, as you know, is the most important mineral element in the activity of body cells, and modern man often does not receive the required amount with food.
The diet, according to Jarvis, in contrast to macrobiotics, should be designed to provide the body with acid equivalents, the main source of which is the same notorious apple cider vinegar. It comes to funny things. Jarvis is so obsessed with his idea that he does not recommend even using soap to reduce alkalization. As we recall, macrobiotics proved the opposite.
Obviously, the truth, as always, is somewhere in between. The acid-base balance of the body must be maintained at the optimal level, and irreplaceable components should not be absent in the diet, since a prolonged imbalance of nutrients creates the prerequisites for the occurrence of many diseases.
As for the main Jarvis nutrition factors, elementary quantitative chemical analysis shows that the potassium content in dried apricots, apricots, raisins, cherries, peaches, pears, potatoes, turnips and even cabbage is higher than in apple cider vinegar. Modern dietetics recommend honey to be consumed as often as possible, even daily, replacing sugar with this wonderful product. But honey is good in combination with other products, without them, it quickly becomes boring, and someone may also become intolerant to it.
Another variant of the main nutritional factor was proposed by the Nobel Prize laureate American scientist L. Pauling. In his opinion, up to 20.0 g of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) should be consumed daily, although the scientifically substantiated daily requirement of the body for this vitamin is more than 200 times less and amounts to 70-100 mg. High doses of ascorbic acid lead to increased synthesis of a number of biologically active compounds, for example glucocorticosteroid hormones, due to which there is an increase in protective functions. Thanks to this, ascorbic acid is the best way to prevent colds and malignant tumors.
However, as it turned out, everything is not so simple, since prolonged use of ultra-high doses of ascorbic acid has its unpleasant side effects. Some followers of the idea of taking shock doses of vitamin C developed or worsened urolithiasis, others developed gastrointestinal upsets, and others increased the concentration of cholesterol in the blood and, consequently, sharply increased the risk of developing atherosclerosis. It should be remembered that vitamin C is primarily an acid, and, like any acid, it acts irritatingly on the gastric mucosa, causing its inflammation and hyperemia. This is undesirable for gastritis with increased acidity of gastric juice and is absolutely unacceptable for peptic ulcer of the stomach or duodenum, not to mention ulcerative colitis.
The use of ultra-high doses of ascorbic acid as the main nutritional factor has not passed the clinical test: However, even today, doctors, if necessary, prescribe vitamin C in high doses. But only taking into account the individual characteristics of a particular patient and if there are indications.
From the standpoint of life experience and common sense, it can be argued that the concept of the main nutritional factor is incorrect, since the human body must receive in a balanced form the whole complex of nutrients.
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