Zinc in the Brain
Back in 1870, Ellen G. White wrote a pamphlet called
Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, which was later
adapted a little and then published in volume two of
Testimonies for the Church. In this pamphlet, Ellen
White referred a number
of times to the reprehensible conduct of Nathan Fuller,
an immoral minister. She also made the following statements:
Sexual excess will effectually destroy a love for
devotional exercises, will take from the brain the
substance needed to nourish the system, and will
most effectively exhaust the vitality. Testimonies for
the Church, vol. 2, p. 477.
The body is enervated, the brain weakened. The
material deposited there to nourish the system is
squandered. The drain upon the system is great.
Ibid., p. 470.
Notice carefully what she said:
- There is a "substance" or "material" "deposited" in the brain.
- That substance is "needed to nourish the system."
- "Excess" "takes from" and "squanders" this substance.
Was she right or wrong?
The following modern authorities may never have heard of Mrs. White.
Consider their comments on the issue:
Dr. David Horrobin, an M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford
"The amount of zinc in semen is such that one
ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be
absorbed from the intestines in one day. This has a
number of consequences. Unless the amount lost is
replaced by an increased dietary intake, repeated
ejaculation may lead to a real zinc deficiency with
various problems developing, including impotence.
"It is even possible, given the importance of zinc
for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct
when they said that repeated masturbation could
make one mad!"—Zinc (Vitabooks: St. Albans,
Vermont, 1981), p. 8.
This statement is similar to that made by Carl C. Pfeiffer,
Ph.D., M.D., in his book on zinc. He declares:
"We hate to say it, but in a zinc-deficient adolescent,
sexual excitement and excessive masturbation
might precipitate insanity."—Zinc and Other
Micro-nutrients (Keats: New Canaan, Conn., 1978), p. 45.
—Testimonies on Sexual Behavior,
Adultery, and Divorce, pp. 269, 270.
It is a simple fact that there are large amounts
of zinc in neurons, glial cells, and various structures
of the hippocampus. Yet this was totally unknown in 1870, and even in
1915, the year of her death:
Human zinc deficiency was not described until
1963, and it took an additional 10 years before it was
confirmed and accepted that zinc is an important
nutrient for humans.—"Nutrition: Recommended
Intakes of Nutrients: Inorganic Elements,"
Britannica® CD, 1999 Standard Ed.
And regarding the "nourishing" of the "system":
Zinc is an essential trace element in the human body, where it
is found in high concentration in the red blood cells as an essential
part of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which promotes many reactions
relating to carbon dioxide metabolism. The zinc present in the pancreas
may aid in the storage of insulin. Zinc is a component of some enzymes
that digest protein in the gastrointestinal tract.—"Zinc", Ibid.
Since allegations of "plagiarism" against Ellen White
are so common, we are inclined to ask,
Who told Mrs. White there is a "substance"
or "material" in the brain that is "needed to nourish the system"?
Who told her this a century before it was confirmed and accepted that
zinc was an important nutrient for humans?
Where did she plagiarize this from, pray tell?
Give Us Your Opinion
|What do you think about Ellen White's comments on zinc?