by Dr. Jean Seignalet
Former Intern at Montpellier Hospitals,
Senior Lecturer at the University of Montpellier (France).
- WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
- SCIENTIFIC TOPICS: •A scientific approach •Virus •Genetics •Darwin •Palaeolithic
- OTHER TOPICS: •Agriculture •tricksters
- Anopsology Home Page
From the outset, I would like to point out that I am a staunch believer in traditional medicine. As a non-resident student at Montpellier teaching hospitals and later as an intern there between 1959 and 1968, I was graced with sound training as a general practitioner. Since 1968, I have been in charge of an immunogenetic laboratory which mainly focuses on the HLA system, but I have remained in close touch with clinicians. Indeed, HLA typing plays a major part in organ transplants and in the early diagnosis of a number of diseases. Moreover, the obvious connections that exist between some HLA antigens and auto-immune diseases pretty much compel me to know something about that branch of pathology. I agreed to write this foreword because I am convinced that Burger's research is in keeping with traditional medicine. Indeed, like the latter, anopsology is based on a strictly scientific approach. A scientific approach can be carried out in two ways. Either facts are marshalled together and later are attemptedly mad
e cohesive through some explanatory theory, or a hypothesis is put forward and later attemptedly confirmed with attendant evidence. In either case, facts have to be firmly ascertained and the hypothesis must be logical and in line with knowledge acquired by previous researchers. Whoever claims that - by administering a vitamin, a mineral, a trace element, or a plant essence - one can forestall or cure most diseases is laying bare on oversimplified and outrageous scheme. Obviously, a single molecule is incapable of controlling or catalysing the complex chemical reactions that occur in the body. Such scientific quacks, however, have followers who, devoid of culture and critical minds, need to believe in miracle treatments and panaceas. That is how sects are formed that bring together patients verging ever more toward fanaticism and who blindly follow the dictates of visionaries or tricksters. One must not mistake Guy-Claude Burger for one such impostor. Of course, he propounds a diet that counters ageing, cance
r, nervous breakdowns, and auto-immune diseases. But he does so through firmly grounded reasoning which remains clear in spite of its intricacy and which is in keeping with contemporary facts and scientific data. I met Guy-Claude Burger in 1983, while attending a lecture he gave in Montpellier. I was struck by his acumen, his knowledge, the soundness of his remarks, and I became very interested in the unusual theory he was expounding. For two hours, I bombarded him with questions on biochemistry, genetics, and immunology - all of which subjects I am well acquainted with. I was fully satisfied with the answers he gave and I could find no fault in what he said. Five years on, and in spite of having since carefully gone over his writings with a fine toothed comb, I still have not found the chink in his armour. I cannot say whether everything Burger says is true, but everything he puts forward makes sense. Burger's notions may be summed up in a few lines. Man is genetically suited to his natural environment and,
more specifically, to his "initial" diet. The myriad ways in which civilisation has altered food carries in its wake increasing maladjustment in human beings, whose enzymes no longer allow for the proper breakdown of food. Certain non-initial molecules (NIM) make their way through the bowel lining and build up in the body, thus setting up various disorders and shortening an individual's lifespan. Putting this right, involves reverting to an ancestral diet : eating raw food, in an unaltered, unpolluted state, as selected by an individual's instincts. Like animals, we have those instincts inside us however degenerate they may have become ; all it takes to reactivate them is conjuring them up in adequate physiological conditions. It might now be worth considering whether the foregoing holds water from a scientific point of view. Instincts' not requiring protracted explanations, I shall leave them aside to look into six key issues.
It is here worth recapping some basic concepts in digestive physiology. The breakdown of dietary proteins takes place in the gut with gastric juices breaking proteins down (30 % of them into amino acids and the remaining 70 % into oligopeptides made up of 2 to 6, perhaps even 7 amino acids (6) (16). The breakdown of oligopeptides is carried on in the enterocytes which use peptidases (along the villi ridge) and in their cytoplasm. It is commonly believed that the bowel lining, at least in adults, allows only amino acids into portal blood and the lymph glands (16). In point of fact, this have never been conclusively shown. A handful of experiments involving a limited number of dipeptides or tripeptides are no guide to the possible fate of 64 million potential hexapeptides that consist of combinatory variants of 20 amino acids (20 puissance 6).Moreover, attesting the full breakdown of an oligopeptide in an individual is no clue that a like pathway obtains in every human being. That same peptide may defy hydrolys
is in individuals evincing a deficiency in the requisite enzyme.
Like Burger, I believe minute amounts of peptides actually make it through the bowel lining. There is quite some evidence in favour of this, else how could one explain :
- Man's genetic adaptation to his natural environment. This tenet is in keeping with Darwin's theories published in 1859 and which remain valid despite their having been partly altered or improved on by other scientists. Species are descended from one another, evolution being due to genetic alterations (mutations, deletions, insertions, replication, genetic and chromosomic reshuffling) best suited for such changes being the ones selected - individuals fittest for survival in given surroundings superseding the lesser endowed. Both man's forebears and primeval man lived like animals and were subject to that law. Thorough-going natural selection over an extended timespan turned out beings well suited to their background and especially to their diet.
- Alteration worked by civilisation. During the Palaeolithic area, men got by on hunting, fishing, and wild fruit-picking. Fire was also available to them, but when Homo Sapiens appeared on earth some 200,000 years ago, cooking was hardly in its heydays, since. only meat and fish were cooked,. cooking was brief and done over wood, and. recipes were as yet non-existent. Food was scarce and Europe was only peopled by small tribes that were few and far between 9,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period, cattle-raising and agriculture came into being in what is now Turkey. Larger amounts of food enabled cattle-breeding husbandmen to increase their populations from ten- to a hundred-fold. Having increased in number, those cattle-breeders gradually forayed into Europe, driving back into inhospitable regions hunter-fruitpickers, who went cattle-breeders not to wiped out. The Neolithic revolution took place over 4,000 years, affecting the whole of Europe. The switch from the Old Stone Age to the New Stone Age is
aptly described in articles by Menozzi et al. (11), Ruffie, and Jean Bernard (15), and involved three major dietary upheavals.. The consumption of milk and dairy.. Eating grain, especially wheat and foods made from it.. Cooking to ever more sophisticated recipes over the centuries. In this day and age, gas and electricity enhance the appeal of systematically and protractedly cooking any number of substances. Consequently, man has altogether strayed from his natural condition, considering that no wild animal feeds on the milk of another species, after having developed to maturity nor do they eat roasted grains or cooked foods.
- Protein metabolism. To keep this foreword reasonably short, only protein-based Non-Initial Molecules will here be described as against sugar- or fat-based NIMs. Man's bodily tissues mainly consist of proteins that are amino acid chains. Renewing man's protein pool requires him to metabolise vegetable and animal dietary protein. It is therefore crucial for dietary proteins to be properly broken down into their constituent amino acids. Should some amino acids retain peptide structures of varying lengths, they may not be suitable for human protein synthesis. By way of illustration, imagine human proteins consist of English words, animal proteins of French words, and vegetable proteins of Russian words. If separate letters were taken from say, French or Russian words, it will still be possible to produce English words. However, should some sequences remain clustered, the fragments yielded will fail to be part of an English word. Thus, the French combination "qui" or the Russian "vitch" form no part of any Eng
lish word. You should click here if you are not a scientist...
- Enzymes. The human body resorts to a vast array of enzymes, some of which break down dietary proteins. Yet, those enzymes are not jacks-of-all-trades. Each one plays a specific part. They sever proteins, only at an identifying locus, specific for each enzyme. Granted that man's enzymatic endowment was intended to cope with the foods he initially ate, it is very likely ill-suited for handling various NIMs. Enzymes will have to tackle new proteins on the one hand, and complex molecules generated by cooking on the other 5,000 years is far too short a timespan for individuals to have been suitably selected for their new diet. As it happens, selective pressure is low. The ailments given rise to by modern foods only show up in later life, and further, do not hinder reproduction. Moreover, some human beings are genetically incompetent when it comes to fully synthesising such and such a protein - in that they may not be producing enough of an enzyme of lesser potency than enjoyed by the ideal one. Such lesser enz
ymatic strains (allo-enzymes) have now been conclusively shown to exist. To wit, a deficiency in glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase virtually always points to a sub-active allo-enzyme. No matter the pathological gene, it has to occur in both parents to induce enzymatic deficiency. Conversely, it is worth noting that in heterozygous individuals (only one parent abnormal gene carrier), the normal gene will compensate for the pathological one. The heritability of the ailment is, therefore, recessive. Enzymatic deficiency will consequently involve some proteins' not being fully broken down with remaining peptides consisting of a varying number of amino acids.
- Foul play on the bowel lining. We have not so far found any grounds for disproving Burger's reasoning. We are now up against a major obstacle, namely the conceit that the bowel lining does not let peptides into the bloodstream.
In all such diseases, ailing health is caused by an immune reaction to an antigen's having inveigled into the body. Now, pure fats are not immunogenic. As for pure sugars (polyosides), there are only immunogenic with a molecular weight above 100,000, and, additionally, T lymphocytes are not involved in immune response to those polyosides (2). Hence, there is grounds for thinking that the antigenic culprit is a peptide.
- adult intolerance to cow's milk
- adult intolerance to gluten
- migraines due to an intake of milk, wheat, and eggs, which migraines yield once the incriminated food is discontinued (12).
I would like to dwell further on rheumatoid arthritis and related diseases known as auto-immune diseases. The why and wherefore of those diseases are as yet a mystery to us. If, however, Burger's concepts are matched against recent discoveries involving HLA antigens, there comes to light a working hypothesis that fully accounts for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as well as for other auto-immune disorders. Some HLA antigens known as HLA-DR show up connections with virtually all auto-immune diseases. Ensuingly, patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are carriers for HLA-DR 1 and HLA-DR 4 antigens far more commonly that are control subjects (17).The biological purpose of HLA-DR molecules has been brought to light by the recent and remarkable work of Babbit et al. (1), Guillet et al (9), Buus et al. (5). Those molecules are only borne by cells actively involved in immune response (macrophages, activated T lymphocytes, and B lymphocytes). They discharge a four-fold duty :
- The fate of peptides. Whatever peptides successfully clear the lining of the small intestine build up in the body when intake outruns clearance ability by the emunctories (sweat glands, kidneys, and the gut). Those peptides vary in structure depending on individuals and on whether such and such an enzyme happens to be affected by the deficiency. They will typically go and fasten onto cells with relevant molecule receptors. Structural likenesses between an alien peptide or heteropeptide and a body-produced (auto) peptide commonly used by the cell may lead the latter astray. The cells will net the peptide, sealing it into a bubble that is drawn into the cytoplasm. This is known as pinocytosis. A heteropeptide that a cell fails to involve in its metabolism is stored. Consequently,
- peptide 1 will go and settle in the neurons, thus triggering off a nervous breakdown, or possibly even (according to Dohan (8)) schizophrenia. He provides cogent evidence that schizophrenia is due to grain peptides' having an affinity for the nervous system.
- peptide 2 is out to disrupt the activity of some cells, causing premature ageing to the organ involved.
- peptide 3 will release or stimulate hazardous genes, oncogenes, thus incepting carcinogenesis of the cell which will ultimately mature into cancer or leukaemia. The impact of food on specific malignancies has long been surmised. Colon cancer is uncommon in Japan but widespread in the States. However, when a Japanese female emigrates to the States, her descendants are as much at risk from the tumour as Americans. This shows that the key factor is environmental rather than genetic. Inescapably, changing one's diet seems the thing to do. Many other examples could here be adduced.
- peptide 4 will strike out to jam various joints, thus setting up bodily immune reaction in the long-term, which will find an outlet in rheumatoid arthritis.
Using computer-assisted crystallography, Bjorkman et al. (3) devised graphics for a class 1 HLA antigen. Within the antigen, there is a noticeable furrow for the housing of an 8 to 20 complex amino acid peptide. Very likely, class 2 HLA antigens and signally HLA-DR antigens are also endowed with a like furrow for fixing, conveying, and presenting peptides. Specialists believe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to be a multifactorial disease dependent on both genetic and environmental factors. The latter cannot possibly involve anything besides either germs or food. As for germs, they have never actually been proved guilty. Yet, a considerable amount of research has centred on divers bacteria, divers mycoplasms, and divers viruses. No evidence was unearthed, so much so that a nonspecialist journal released in 1984 (20) came to the conclusion that research on germs in RA had failed. A similar failing also obtained in other auto-immune diseases despite extensive ground-beating, notably in the case of disseminated scleros
is and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Food, unlike germs has warranted but sparse investigation.
- They bind with a peptide in the macrophage cytoplasm. Affinity to a given peptide differs widely depending on DR antigen types.
- They convey the peptide up to the surface of a macrophage.
- They disclose that peptide to a T lymphocyte, thereby activating it as well as immune response
- They regulate immune response intensity in proportion to the number of peptides disclosed and hence intensity depends on just how much affinity the DR antigen has to the peptide.
There are, nonetheless, unimpeachable grounds for arraigning food :
For the sake of argument, supposing peptide X derives from the ailing catabolism of dietary protein Y and causes RA. X makes it through the gut and goes and settles preferentially on particular joint cartilage cells, namely chondrocytes where it builds up over the years. Under normal health conditions, HLA-DR antigens are only expressed on the membranes of cells commissioned for immune response, but not so in auto-immune diseases, where DR antigens target themselves to show up on the cells of the diseased organ. This much was clear for thyroid cells in Basedow's disease and in Hashimoto's thyroiditis, courtesy of Bottazz et al. (4). Such a condition is always occurring against an auto-immune disease background and is deemed due to a release of interferon by T lymphocytes activated by a virus, for instance. As it happens, Jahn et al. (10) recently witnessed that DR molecules, which chondrocytes are normally exempt from, show up on those same cells during the course of RA or in chondrocyte cultures to which i
nterferon has been added. All this implies that DR molecules bind with peptide X which is stored in chondrocytes. It is then ferried up to cell-surface and presented to T lymphocytes DR 4 and DR 1. Both lymphocytes have a stronger affinity to X than to other DR antigens ; they appear to store larger amounts of X molecules than typically manage to activate T lymphocytes. The latter decree an immune response targeted against X, which amounts to the destruction of the chondrocytes. Basically, the first stage in RA amounts to immunization against an outer antigen and directed against a foreign peptide X but this involves destruction of cells belonging to the body. All this is part of the body's typical behaviour whose immunity accommodates the "self" but will not brook the "altered self". Consequently, cells infected by the virus are dissolved (cell lysis). Why should this not be so for cells overloaded with dietary peptides ? We here beg to differ from Bottazzo who contends that a peptide is presented to a DR +
autopeptide T lymphocyte, whereas we surmise DR + heteropeptide. The difference between an antiviral response and an anti-X response is that the former is acute and short-lived, whereas the latter turns chronic. This comes as no surprise since once viruses have been killed, antigenic stimulation shuts off and immune response is stilled. In RA, however, the constant intake of protein Y from food, fuels constant storage of X in cartilage, in other words, antigenic stimulation is sustained. All in all, setting up RA would require combining the following factors :
- RA is relieved by fasting Skoldstam et al. (18) fasted 16 patients and noted the effectiveness of the fast within 7 to 10 days.
- Banning certain foods may relieve RAParke and Hughes (14), Panush (13) reported several cases for which RA was relieved when dairy, meat, or cereals were reduced in or banned from patients' diets, but where resumption promptly reactivated the disease
- Intravenous injection of bovine albumen sets up arthritis in mice. One component protein in beef has proved liable to induce in mice arthritis of a kind severally similar to human RA.Van den Broek et al. (19) noted that the impact of bovine albumen called in on the scene LA mice antigens, which are equivalent to human HLA-DR antigens, which goes to show that bovine albumen is not acting direct, but what is, is a peptide from that protein, which couples with the LA molecule.
- Two auto-immune disorders exhibit known dietary causes. Coeliac disease and herpetiform dermatitis are both located on loci DR 3 and DR 7. The causative protein is gluten gliadine, such as found in meal. A gluten-free diet ensures recovery.
- a single copy of HLA gene auspicious for DR 4 or DR 1 (dominant inheritance)
- a dual copy of a gene causing an enzymatic deficiency (recessive inheritance)
- dietary protein Y such as had only been partly broken down be the weakly active enzyme, since it was unsuitable, thus giving rise to peptide X
- a virus intercepting a release of interferon.
The facts might be sequenced as follows :
What practical consequences may be drawn from the above ? We are unable to alter the genes prone to enzymatic deficiency and HLA-DR. All we can do is tackle the environmental factor ; this to say that protein Y-free diet, which protein generates peptide X appears in order. That is what Burger suggests. Such a diet provides four advantages:
- eating Y
- unsatisfactory intestinal breakdown of Y, with X remaining
- X makes it through the bowel lining
- X fastens onto chondrocytes
- chondrocytes intercept and store X
- intercurrent viruses affects locus of joint
- lymphocytes activated with interferon released
- interferon induces antigens DR's being expressed on chondrocytes
- DR 4 or DR 1 binds with X
- DR + X couples conveyed over chondrocyte membranes
- DR + X couples identified by T lymphocytes
- Anti-X immune response
- lysis of chondrocytes displaying X on their membranes
- phagocytosis of dead cells by synoviocytes, granulocytes, and macrophages, all of which release various mediators, with attending inflammation and synovial cells proliferating, thus causing an acute episode of arthritis
- the disease turns chronic.
Such a diet, therefore, may claim to have a two-fold goal. This is both curative or preventive. Such concepts, here exemplified with rheumatoid arthritis, apply as well to the other recommendations for instinctotherapy. The same foursome always crops up : that of specificity, harmlessness, possible association with other treatments, and having a curative or preventive aim. A "raw" diet is, hence, appealing. However, it is not easy to stick to. It requires herculean patience. It involves organisational skills in making available to oneself an adequate selection of initial foods. Moreover, one of Guy-Claude Burger's main struggles has to do with setting up such a food network. However alluring a theory, pratical results are necessary to confirm its validity. Burger discusses such results in his book. Further, his films, his brochures, and various accounts testify to the efficiency of his method. Although my activities as a biologist have somewhat alienated me from clinicians, I have been able to verify the effi
ciency of instinctotherapy in two disorders:
- it has a specific goal, that of aiming at checking the advent of disease by doing away with the heteroantigen under fire. It is worth mentioning the main drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (gold salts, D penicillamine, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunedepressants, and immunostimulants) which have an impact on immunity or on inflammation, but in a non-specific way.
- it involves no danger whatsoever
- its application does not rule out a patient jointly carrying on with their normal drug treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
- it aims at having a bearing on the first stage of immune response, whereas the above mentioned treatments are targeted at later stages of development.
Those people now eat, without any unpleasant consequences, raw foods at every meal. The first case underscores the relevance of metabolic factors in nervous breakdowns. The four other cases are in line with Burger's stance that the colon is an excretory organ. Non-initial molecules (NIMs) in the blood on their way to the bowel lumen and crossing the gastrointestinal tract would be the cause of the inflammation that the intake of raw vegetables merely revive. Contrary to traditional medicine, what has to be put an end to in the treatment of colitis, is eating specific non initial foods rather than raw vegetables and salads. Up until now, dieticians have mainly concerned themselves with matters of amount : the minimal daily intake of vitamins, mineral salts, calories, and the balance between sugars, fats, and protein. Anopsology gives greater prominence to the structure of food, since that is the only way NIMs, which are not broken down by ill-adapted enzymes, can be prevented from building up in the body. Anop
sology discards quantity for quality, the macroscopic for the microscopic, the bathroom scales for the molecular scale. Guy-Claude Burger is indeed an innovator and, like many of his predecessors, he has trouble making himself heard. A great many truths, which we hold to be self-evident nowadays, stirred people up when they were first aired. Galileo, after having proven in 1632 that the Earth rotated on its axis, had to recant before the Inquisition. Harvey, who, in almost the same period, made his discovery of blood circulation also underwent tremendous hardships. Darwin, in the nineteenth century, witnessed his writings slated by countless authorities, including some in his own country. It must be pointed out that his proposals flew in the face of the Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud. The obstacles that Burger has to face have nothing to do with religious forces, but, for all that, they are nonetheless daunting . In the first place, he has to persuade people that what he asserts is true. Now, he is aiming h
is blow at bread, milk, and cooking - all of which are part and parcel of civilisation, and that is the devil's own job. Imagine that Burger's ideas could be accepted. Could they actually be put into practice ? That seems quite feasible, provided only a few supporters are concerned. However, expansion to a grand scale would mean nothing less than a revolution. Farming, cattle-breeding, catering, and many other walks of life - in short, society as a whole - would have to be turned on its head. Burger, then, obviously runs the risk of not only disturbing scientists but also many of his fellow citizens. Fortunately, innovators are no longer burnt at the stake. That would be an undeserved end for someone so much against any kind of cooking. To sum up, I consider Guy-Claude Burger to be a brilliant, cultured, and sensible researcher who is deserving of attention and impartial judgement. It would be beneficial if medical and scientific teams would help him carry out more extensive experiments that will invalidate o
r confirm his novel ideas. And should his theory be proved right, one can only hope that he will be given the means to continue his work under suitable conditions. That is the wish that I sincerely make for him, in concluding the foreword of this most interesting presentation. Dr. Jean Seignalet, Former Intern at Montpellier Hospitals, Senior Lecturer at the University of Montpellier (France).
the case of a patient suffering from severe nervous breakdown who completely recovered, and without a shadow of a doubt, after having discontinued eating wheat and foods made from it.
- four cases of persistent and long-standing colitis, the symptoms of which completely yielded after milk and wheat were banned from the diets of the people concerned.
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