Ellen White writing


The Ellen White Research Project: Exposing the Subtle Attack on the Bible's Authority
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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:

  1. There is a "substance" or "material" "deposited" in the brain.
  2. That substance is "needed to nourish the system."
  3. "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 University, states:

"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?
I think it possible that Ellen White might have been divinely inspired. How else could she have known this? 59.7%
Looks like Ellen White was a brilliant scientist, years ahead of her time. Where did she get her Ph.D.? 26.2%
Lucky guesser. That's all it is. Ellen White was so lucky, she could have won the Powerball Jackpot three times in a row. 11.0%
All those scientists don't know what they're talking about when they talk about zinc. We don't need zinc. 3.1%
Total Votes: 191
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