Monday, January 13, 2014

Fruit Juice not worthless sugar-water, famous doctor Agus wrong

The following I purport to be opinion not fact, I am not a certified health-professional.

Doctor Agus, yesterday on the Fareed Zakaria show Sunday January 12, produced some statements; I am convinced some things he said are false; I believe the falsehoods are important falsehoods. This doctor, who I had previously never heard of, is apparently  some kind of celebrity author and some type of physician-to-the billionaires.

The doctor said: a lime that is not in juice form is a potent anti-oxidant; but, when you squeeze a lime to turn the contents of the lime into juice, the juice is immediately transformed so as to have no antioxidant value; and, fruit-juice is nothing but sugar-water.

His statements shocked me: I immediately knew an important falsehood had been declared; his statement completely contradicted my subjective personal experience with regards to juices, sugar-water, etc; his statements contradicted common-sense and my knowledge of modern evidence; the process of chewing a solid fruit produces juice that resembles the fruit of the juice in a purchased bottle of juice; it is inconceivable that simply transforming contents of a fruit into juice, would immediately eliminate the antioxidant/vitamin content of the content of the fruit.

Studying the history of citrus fruit juice as an effective antidote and preventative with regards to scurvy, I now suspect that doctor Agus, as a result of academic requirements, is a very fast thinker; and, rushed through his study of scurvy and citrus fruit too quickly due to conceit generated by way of his impressive perfomance on exams that favor the fast-thinking. Conceivably dr Agus has financial interest in the sale of products other than fruit-juice.

Could be, Dr Agus is telling us one thing, while he tells his billionaire patients something else. Then again, could be Dr Agus is simply a shocking case of billionaires employing incompetent physicians. Were such to be the case--billionaires employing incompetents in crucial positions--the implications regarding fields other than personal-health-care for tycoons are enormous.    

That the juice of the lime and the juice of the lemon are effective in terms of preventing and curing scurvy, has been known for at least 500 years, yet smug doctor Agus still does not get it, as he repeats misinterpretations that are more than a hundred years old, misinterpretations that came about due to low quality juice, phony juice, insufficient juice, sailors refusing to drink the juice.

The initial phase of mankinds's awareness of the efficacy of citrus juice against scurvy, goes back 500 years, long before the Scot James Lind, 350  years ago (c. 1753 AD), first formally produced experimental scientific evidence indicating citrus fruit as effective against scurvy.

The expense of carrying the fruits themselves on ship was prohibitive; fruit spoiled during long voyages. Lind's attempt at producing lemon juice, for use on-board ship, involved naive methodology; he diluted the lemon juice and then for hours boiled it down, in the process dramatically reducing the juice's vitamin C content (Vitamin C combats scurvy). Lind's lemon juice was a failure in sea-trials; Lind's ideas re the efficacy of citrus fruit in combatting scurvy were forgotten.

In 1795 British Naval Officer Gilbert Blane, who had studied Lind, produced a lemon juice that eliminated scurvy in the British Navy, giving the British Navy history-changing advantage. This lemon juice, was produced preserved and stored using methods that were less destructive of vitamin C content compared to the methods employed by Lind.

After the introduction of Blane's lemon juice, societal changes effected the seamen who consumed the juice, as a result of which, conditions emerged such that it became possible to survive a voyage without scurvy, even though the diet consumed during the journey lacked Vitamin C content, and despite the fact that the juice carried and consumed on ship during the journey featured a low or nonexistent Vitamin C content.

As a result, quality of juice consumed on  ship during journeys, declined to the point where the Vitamin C content in the juice was ineffectively insufficient, without it being noticed such was the case.

The decline in juice quality was one of the reasons for a partial resurgence of scurvy in the British Navy, Merchant Marine, and polar-exploration groups c. 1875-1900. Incidence of scurvy amongst sailor-types who had been issued lime juice, led to a resurgence of disbelief in lime/lemon juice as a preventative or cure for scurvy.

Doubts continued until the matter was settled once and for all, when scientists, c. 1930: isolated Vitamin C in lime juice and other foods; synthesized Vitamin C; and, proved Vitamin C is effective against scurvy.

Many factors men have not always been expert with, can effect the efficacy of providing sailor-types with liquids believed to be citrus juice as a preventative and antidote for scurvy.

Some of these are: type of equipment/methodology used to produce transport and store the juice; amount of time juice is exposed to air; substances the juice is mixed with;  extent to which contents of the liquids are false, masquerading as the real thing; age of fruit when it was turned into juice; age of juice; type of fruit; dosage level; whether the sailor-types actually consumed the juice.

Because the quality of the liquids purported to be citrus juice, in terms of their efficacy vs scurvy, have been   effected by so many factors-- more than a hundred years ago, there were false allegations that juice is not effective against scurvy.

However it has been known for a hundred years, that there have been for at least from 500 years ago, many examples of citrus juice preventing and curing scurvy.

I find it incredible, that after all these years, Dr Agus, practicing in the present day, is like a stuffed museum-piece,  making the same false allegation that was both made and disproved more than a hundred years ago.


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