“Nutrition Against Disease,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, 56
Nutrition Against Disease
The December Relief Society Homemaking lesson, “Resistance and Immunity,” briefly mentioned the importance of nutrition to good health. Medical researchers add that nutrition also has a definite effect on the body’s ability to fight disease.
A medical symposium recently considered this relationship, and speakers reported research results showing that inadequate protein in the diet causes severe problems for children. Inadequate protein causes the thymus gland to produce abnormal T-cells, cells that normally provide the body with disease-fighting antibodies. These abnormal antibodies can’t combat bacterial infections and may also damage the kidneys, resulting in kidney disease.
When the diet doesn’t include enough vitamin A, infections of the respiratory, genito-urinary, and other tracts are frequent, persistent, and sometimes fatal. These problems are greatly reduced when the person receives enough vitamin A.
Such findings reinforce the fact that too much or too little of any nutrient leads to nutritional imbalance and possibly to serious health problems. As a good guideline, the National Academy of Sciences and the Food and Drug Administration have established requirements for a proper balance between proteins, fats, and carbohydrates as primary nutrients, with an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals.—Ann and Dean C. Fletcher, North Shore Ward, Wilmette Illinois Stake; Dr. Fletcher is director, Section on Food Science, American Medical Association.