Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune Diseases

taken from Eco-Update section of


P.O. BOX 9547

Kansas City, Missouri 64133

$15.00 per year (12 issues)

Excellent Eco-Agriculture paper

distributed for ACRES by KeelyNet (214) 324-3501

Vangard Sciences, P.O. BOX 1031, Mesquite, TX 75150

(214) 324-8741

The old expression, meaner than a junkyard dog, implies

that chronically underfed animals are hardier souls than their

pampered, well-fed relatives. It is a matter of scientific

record that they have fewer illnesses, apprarently because

their immune systems are thogher.

But though researchers know the effects of diet

restriction, they were in the dark as to why until this

summer, when Robert A. Good of the University of South Florida

in St. Petersburg and some co-researchers turned up a few

interesting clues.

Reporting in the June issue of PROCEEDINGS OF THE

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, they demonstrated that mice

prone to autoimmune disease naturally manufacture two to seven

times the normal amount of a type of white blood cell involved

in the production of auto-antibodies, which attack the body’s

own substances.

By consistently restricting the diets of the autoimmune-

prone mice to 60% of their normal food intake, they were able

to bring these potentially harmful B-cells down to an

acceptable level. This seems to explain why chronically

underfed animals are less vulnerable to immune diseases.

The Fasting Worms

Experimental tests conducted in the 1930’s at the Zoology

Department of the University of Chicago showed that worms,

when well-fed, grew old, but by fasting them they were made

young again.

In one experiment worms were fed as much as they usually

eat, except one worm, which was isolated and alternatively fed

and fasted. The isolated worm was alive and energetic after

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19 generations of its relatives had lived out their normal


Professor C.M. Childs said:

“When worms are deprived of food, they do not die of

starvation in a few days. They live for months on

their own tissues. At such time they become smaller

and may be reduced to a fraction of their original

size. Then when fed after such a fasting, they show

all the physiological traits of young animals. But

with continued feeding, they again go through the

process of growth and aging (and die).

One group of worms was well fed and every three or four

months passed through the cycle of aging and

reproducing. Another group was given just enough food

to maintain the worms at a constant size but not enough

to make them grow.

These worms remained in good condition without becoming

appreciably older as long as the experiment continued,

which was three years.”

The life-span extension of these worms was the equivalent of

keeping a man alive for 600 to 700 years.

The big question, of course, is – do worms that don’t die

contribute much to the soil?

This file listed on KeelyNet as AGE1.ASC.