Today, scientific experiments must meet many safety requirements in order to be carried out. But everything worked before. Even eat the feces of sick people to show that the disease was not contagious. That is what one far-sighted doctor called Joseph Goldberger.
He traveled to the south of the United States to study of pellagra, a disease also known as sharecropper’s disease. Just a few years ago, Louis Pasteur postulated the germ theory of disease. With its help, it was demonstrated that diseases that, apparently, were transmitted from one person to another, were due to sprout, or a microbe that has spread between them. Goldberger’s task was to find this microbe. However, when he saw the first cases, the theory that it was an infectious disease stopped forming in his head.
It is true that apparently it was contagious. sharecroppers they fell like flies from one farm, and they used to get infected from people who lived in the same house up to 80%. However, for him it was more about food. He conducted several experiments in local prisons, but was unable to convince his professional colleagues of this. So he decided to experiment on himself by doing something very unpleasant: eat poop. Well, that and more
The mysterious case of pellagra
Pellagra started out as a kind manual burn. This later developed into a rash that also appeared on the face of patients shortly before the onset of other symptoms such as depression, fatigue, diarrhea, or dementia. In addition, after about 40% of cases ended in the death of patients.
It is now known that this disease occurs due to a dietary deficiency. vitamin B3, also called niacin. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, its origin seemed to be some kind of mysterious germ.
Joseph Goldberger moved from New York to track disease, which also ravaged orphanages, prisons and nursing homes. His first experiment was completely unethical. The principles of bioethics have not yet been postulated.
It consisted of recruiting twelve healthy prisoners who were fed only salo, a typical southern dish consisting of a layer of fat under the skin of a crispy back of pork with grits and molasses. It was not accompanied by any vegetables, fresh meat or eggs. The prisoners took it with rapture, but six months later they all fell ill.
By this, the New York doctor intended to demonstrate that food was the problemand not in the bud. However, his colleagues continued to insist that these prisoners could have infected each other. He had no choice but to take drastic action. As much as there is poop.
Eating poop to expose the disease
At this point, Goldberger decided it was time to stop doing research with other people and become the object of research himself. For this reason, he went to the hospital with patients with pellagra and took mucus from the nose From one of them. He later injected it into his nostrils.
Aside from the disgusting intervention, the doctor didn’t get sick. It was clear that he was not infected Airways. But what if he did it for him? digestive system? Again, he went to the hospital, took urine, skin and stool samples sick and, mixing them with a small amount of flour, tamp and make tablet, He ate it. Everyone thought it was crazy that he dared to eat pellagra excrement. Although that also seemed brilliant, because he wasn’t sick, which made it much clearer that it wasn’t a contagious disease.
It only remained to find out if it could be transferred Through the blood. And so Goldberger’s wife, who was tired of listening to her husband’s criticism, volunteered. He was injected with the blood of a woman very sick with pellagra, and nothing happened either. Have you finally enlisted the support of other doctors? The truth is, no.
The key was in the yeast
Goldberger returned home saddened by the outcome of events, but did not give up. He continued his research with dogs., with which he tried to induce pellagra in the same way as with prisoners. But they didn’t seem to like the lardo, so he added some yeast. It was commonly used to stimulate the appetite. However, he also found that dogs who took it because they couldn’t eat a southern dish never got sick.
So when he found out about new outbreak of pellagra in the south he traveled there and began to give leaven to the sick. They quickly recovered, so we began to study which component of them is responsible for the cure. It had several components that are very few in the southern diet, including niacin. For this reason, Goldberger’s theory that in reality pellagra was not an infectious diseasea condition due to nutritional deficiency.
Everything had a happy ending. Even though he, his wife and a few other volunteers who also dared to eat poop could end very badly. Let’s not forget that they injected human biological fluids into his body without any sterilization. Everything would be crazy today. At one time, too, it was all said, but at least it served save thousands of lives.
Source: Hiper Textual