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(word processor parameters LM=1, RM=70, TM=2, BM=2) Taken from KeelyNet BBS (214) 324-3501 Sponsored by Vangard Sciences PO BOX 1031 Mesquite, TX 75150 Autoimmune Diseases taken from Eco-Update section of ACRES U.S.A. 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 19 generations of its relatives had lived out their normal lifespans. 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?


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