by Dr. Jean Seignalet, Former Intern at Montpellier Hospitals,
Senior Lecturer at the University of Montpellier (France).
Guy-Claude Burger asked me to write the foreword to this presentation
and I am happy to be able to comply with his request.
From the outset, I would like to point out that I am a staunch
believer in traditional medicine. As a non-resident student at
Montpellier teaching hospitals and later as an intern there between
1959 and 1968, I was graced with sound training as a general practitioner.
Since 1968, I have been in charge of an immunogenetic laboratory
which mainly focuses on the HLA system, but I have remained in
close touch with clinicians. Indeed, HLA typing plays a major
part in organ transplants and in the early diagnosis of a number
of diseases. Moreover, the obvious connections that exist between
some HLA antigens and auto-immune diseases pretty much compel
me to know something about that branch of pathology.
I agreed to write this foreword because I am convinced that
Burger's research is in keeping with traditional medicine. Indeed,
like the latter, anopsology is based on a strictly scientific
A scientific approach can be carried out in two ways. Either
facts are marshalled together and later are attemptedly made cohesive
through some explanatory theory, or a hypothesis is put forward
and later attemptedly confirmed with attendant evidence. In either
case, facts have to be firmly ascertained and the hypothesis must
be logical and in line with knowledge acquired by previous researchers.
Whoever claims that - by administering a vitamin, a mineral,
a trace element, or a plant essence - one can forestall or cure
most diseases is laying bare on oversimplified and outrageous
scheme. Obviously, a single molecule is incapable of controlling
or catalysing the complex chemical reactions that occur in the
body. Such scientific quacks, however, have followers who, devoid
of culture and critical minds, need to believe in miracle treatments
and panaceas. That is how sects are formed that bring together
patients verging ever more toward fanaticism and who blindly follow
the dictates of visionaries or tricksters.
One must not mistake Guy-Claude Burger for one such impostor.
Of course, he propounds a diet that counters ageing, cancer, nervous
breakdowns, and auto-immune diseases. But he does so through firmly
grounded reasoning which remains clear in spite of its intricacy
and which is in keeping with contemporary facts and scientific
data. I met Guy-Claude Burger in 1983, while attending a lecture
he gave in Montpellier. I was struck by his acumen, his knowledge,
the soundness of his remarks, and I became very interested in
the unusual theory he was expounding. For two hours, I bombarded
him with questions on biochemistry, genetics, and immunology -
all of which subjects I am well acquainted with. I was fully satisfied
with the answers he gave and I could find no fault in what he
said. Five years on, and in spite of having since carefully gone
over his writings with a fine toothed comb, I still have not found
the chink in his armour. I cannot say whether everything Burger
says is true, but everything he puts forward makes sense.
Burgers notions may be summed up in a few lines. Man
is genetically suited to his natural environment and, more specifically,
to his "initial" diet. The myriad ways is which civilisation
has altered food carries in its wake increasing maladjustment
in human beings, whose enzymes no longer allow for the proper
breakdown of food. Certain non-initial molecules (NIM) make their
way through the bowel lining and build up in the body, thus setting
up various disorders and shortening an individual's lifespan.
Putting this right, involves reverting to an ancestral diet :
eating raw food, in an unaltered, unpolluted state, as selected
by an individual's instincts. Like animals, we have those instincts
inside us however degenerate they may have become ; all it takes
to reactivate them is conjuring them up in adequate physiological
conditions. It might now be worth considering whether the foregoing
holds water from a scientific point of view. Instincts' not requiring
protracted explanations, I shall leave them aside to look into
six key issues.
- Man's genetic adaptation to his natural environment. This
tenet is in keeping with Darwin's theories published in 1859
and which remain valid despite their having been partly altered
or improved on by other scientists. Species are descended from
one another, evolution being due to genetic alterations (mutations,
deletions, insertions, replication, genetic and chromosomic reshuffling)
best suited for such changes being the ones selected - individuals
fittest for survival in given surroundings superseding the lesser
endowed. Both man's forebears and primeval man lived like animals
and were subject to that law. Thorough-going natural selection
over an extended timespan turned out beings well suited to their
background and especially to their diet.
- Alteration worked by civilisation. During the Palaeolithic
area, men got by on hunting, fishing, and wild fruit-picking.
Fire was also available to them, but when Homo Sapiens appeared
on earth some 200,000 years ago, cooking was hardly in its heydays,
since. only meat and fish were cooked,. cooking was brief and
done over wood, and. recipes were as yet non-existent. Food was
scarce and Europe was only peopled by small tribes that were
few and far between 9,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period,
cattle-raising and agriculture came into being in what is now
Turkey. Larger amounts of food enabled cattle-breeding husbandmen
to increase their populations from ten- to a hundred-fold. Having
increased in number, those cattle-breeders gradually forayed
into Europe, driving back into inhospitable regions hunter-fruitpickers,
who went cattle-breeders not to wiped out. The Neolithic revolution
took place over 4,000 years, affecting the whole of Europe. The
switch from the Old Stone Age to the New Stone Age is aptly described
in articles by Menozzi et al. (11), Ruffie, and Jean Bernard
(15), and involved three major dietary upheavals.. The consumption
of milk and dairy.. Eating grain, especially wheat and foods
made from it.. Cooking to ever more sophisticated recipes over
the centuries. In this day and age, gas and electricity enhance
the appeal of systematically and protractedly cooking any number
of substances. Consequently, man has altogether strayed from
his natural condition, considering that no wild animal feeds
on the milk of another species, after having developed to maturity
nor do they eat roasted grains or cooked foods.
- Protein metabolism. To keep this foreword reasonably short,
only protein-based Non-Initial Molecules will here be described
as against sugar- or fat-based NIMs.Man's bodily tissues mainly
consist of proteins that are amino acid chains. Renewing man's
protein pool requires h4im to metabolise vegetable and animal
dietary protein. It is therefore crucial for dietary proteins
to be properly broken down into their constituent amino acids.
Should some amino acids retain peptide structures of varying
lengths, they may not be suitable for human protein synthesis.
By way of illustration, imagine human proteins consist of English
words, animal proteins of French words, and vegetable proteins
of Russian words. If separate letters were taken from say, French
or Russian words, it will still be possible to produce English
words. However, should some sequences remain clustered, the fragments
yielded will fail to be part of an English word. Thus, the French
combination "qui" or the Russian "vitch"
form no part of any English word.
- Enzymes. The human body resorts to a vast array of enzymes,
some of which break down dietary proteins. Yet, those enzymes
are not jacks-of-all-trades. Each one plays a specific part.
They sever proteins, only at an identifying locus, specific for
each enzyme. Granted that man's enzymatic endowment was intended
to cope with the foods he initially ate, it is very likely ill-suited
for handling various NIMs. Enzymes will have to tackle new proteins
on the one hand, and complex molecules generated by cooking on
the other 5,000 years is far too short a timespan for individuals
to have been suitably selected for their new diet. As it happens,
selective pressure is low. The ailments given rise to by modern
foods only show up in later life, and further, do not hinder
reproduction. Moreover, some human beings are genetically incompetent
when it comes to fully synthesising such and such a protein -
in that they may not be producing enough of an enzyme of lesser
potency than enjoyed by the ideal one. Such lesser enzymatic
strains (allo-enzymes) have now been conclusively shown to exist.
To wit, a deficiency in glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase virtually
always points to a sub-active allo-enzyme. No matter the pathological
gene, it has to occur in both parents to induce enzymatic deficiency.
Conversely, it is worth noting that in heterozygous individuals
(only one parent abnormal gene carrier), the normal gene will
compensate for the pathological one. The heritability of the
ailment is, therefore, recessive. Enzymatic deficiency will consequently
involve some proteins' not being fully broken down with remaining
peptides consisting of a varying number of amino acids.
- Foul play on the bowel lining. We have not so far found any
grounds for disproving Burger's reasoning. We are now up against
a major obstacle, namely the conceit that the bowel lining does
not let peptides into the bloodstream. It is here worth recapping
some basic concepts in digestive physiology. The breakdown of
dietary proteins takes place in the gut with gastric juices breaking
proteins down (30 % of them into amino acids and the remaining
70 % into oligopeptides made up of 2 to 6, perhaps even 7 amino
acids (6) (16). The breakdown of oligopeptides is carried on
in the enterocytes which use peptidases (along the villi ridge)
and in their cytoplasm. It is commonly believed that the bowel
lining, at least in adults, allows only amino acids into portal
blood and the lymph glands (16). In point of fact, this have
never been conclusively shown. A handful of experiments involving
a limited number of dipeptides or tripeptides are no guide to
the possible fate of 64 million potential hexapeptides that consist
of combinatory variants of 20 amino acids (20 puissance 6).Moreover,
attesting the full breakdown of an oligopeptide in an individual
is no clue that a like pathway obtains in every human being.
That same peptide may defy hydrolysis in individuals evincing
a deficiency in the requisite enzyme. Like Burger, I believe
minute amounts of peptides actually make it through the bowel
lining. There is quite some evidence in favour of this, else
how could one explain :
- adult intolerance to cow's milk
- adult intolerance to gluten
- migraines due to an intake of milk, wheat, and eggs, which
migraines yield once the incriminated food is discontinued (12).
In all such diseases, ailing health is caused by an immune
reaction to an antigen's having inveigled into the body. Now,
pure fats are not immunogenic. As for pure sugars (polyosides),
there are only immunogenic with a molecular weight above 100,000,
and, additionally, T lymphocytes are not involved in immune response
to those polyosides (2). Hence, there is grounds for thinking
that the antigenic culprit is a peptide.
- The fate of peptides. Whatever peptides successfully clear
the lining of the small intestine build up in the body when intake
outruns clearance ability by the emunctories (sweat glands, kidneys,
and the gut). Those peptides vary in structure depending on individuals
and on whether such and such an enzyme happens to be affected
by the deficiency. They will typically go and fasten onto cells
with relevant molecule receptors. Structural likenesses between
an alien peptide or heteropeptide and a body-produced (auto)
peptide commonly used by the cell may lead the latter astray.
The cells will net the peptide, sealing it into a bubble that
is drawn into the cytoplasm. This is known as pinocytosis. A
heteropeptide that a cell fails to involve in its metabolism
is stored. Consequently,
- peptide 1 will go and settle in the neurons, thus triggering
off a nervous breakdown, or possibly even (according to Dohan
(8)) schizophrenia. He provides cogent evidence that schizophrenia
is due to grain peptides' having an affinity for the nervous
- peptide 2 is out to disrupt the activity of some cells, causing
premature ageing to the organ involved.
- peptide 3 will release or stimulate hazardous genes, oncogenes,
thus incepting carcinogenesis of the cell which will ultimately
mature into cancer or leukaemia. The impact of food on specific
malignancies has long been surmised. Colon cancer is uncommon
in Japan but widespread in the States. However, when a Japanese
female emigrates to the States, her descendants are as much at
risk from the tumour as Americans. This shows that the key factor
is environmental rather than genetic. Inescapably, changing one's
diet seems the thing to do. Many other examples could here be
- peptide 4 will strike out to jam various joints, thus setting
up bodily immune reaction in the long-term, which will find an
outlet in rheumatoid arthritis.
I would like to dwell further on rheumatoid arthritis and related
diseases known as auto-immune diseases. The why and wherefore
of those diseases are as yet a mystery to us. If, however, Burger's
concepts are matched against recent discoveries involving HLA
antigens, there comes to light a working hypothesis that fully
accounts for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as well as for
other auto-immune disorders. Some HLA antigens known as HLA-DR
show up connections with virtually all auto-immune diseases. Ensuingly,
patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are carriers for
HLA-DR 1 and HLA-DR 4 antigens far more commonly that are control
subjects (17).The biological purpose of HLA-DR molecules has been
brought to light by the recent and remarkable work of Babbit et
al. (1), Guillet et al (9), Buus et al. (5). Those molecules are
only borne by cells actively involved in immune response (macrophages,
activated T lymphocytes, and B lymphocytes). They discharge a
four-fold duty :
- They bind with a peptide in the macrophage cytoplasm. Affinity
to a given peptide differs widely depending on DR antigen types.
- They convey the peptide up to the surface of a macrophage.
- They disclose that peptide to a T lymphocyte, thereby activating
it as well as immune response
- They regulate immune response intensity in proportion to
the number of peptides disclosed and hence intensity depends
on just how much affinity the DR antigen has to the peptide.
Using computer-assisted crystallography, Bjorkman et al. (3)
devised graphics for a class 1 HLA antigen. Within the antigen,
there is a noticeable furrow for the housing of an 8 to 20 complex
amino acid peptide. Very likely, class 2 HLA antigens and signally
HLA-DR antigens are also endowed with a like furrow for fixing,
conveying, and presenting peptides.
Specialists believe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to be a multifactorial
disease dependent on both genetic and environmental factors. The
latter cannot possibly involve anything besides either germs or
food. As for germs, they have never actually been proved guilty.
Yet, a considerable amount of research has centred on divers bacteria,
divers mycoplasms, and divers viruses. No evidence was unearthed,
so much so that a nonspecialist journal released in 1984 (20)
came to the conclusion that research on germs in RA had failed.
A similar failing also obtained in other auto-immune diseases
despite extensive ground-beating, notably in the case of disseminated
sclerosis and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Food, unlike germs has warranted but sparse investigation.
There are, nonetheless, unimpeachable grounds for arraigning food
- RA is relieved by fasting Skoldstam et al. (18) fasted 16
patients and noted the effectiveness of the fast within 7 to
- Banning certain foods may relieve RAParke and Hughes (14),
Panush (13) reported several cases for which RA was relieved
when dairy, meat, or cereals were reduced in or banned from patients'
diets, but where resumption promptly reactivated the disease
- Intravenous injection of bovine albumen sets up arthritis
in mice. One component protein in beef has proved liable to induce
in mice arthritis of a kind severally similar to human RA.Van
den Broek et al. (19) noted that the impact of bovine albumen
called in on the scene LA mice antigens, which are equivalent
to human HLA-DR antigens, which goes to show that bovine albumen
is not acting direct, but what is, is a peptide from that protein,
which couples with the LA molecule.
- Two auto-immune disorders exhibit known dietary causes. Coeliac
disease and herpetiform dermatitis are both located on loci DR
3 and DR 7. The causative protein is gluten gliadine, such as
found in meal. A gluten-free diet ensures recovery. For the sake
of argument, supposing peptide X derives from the ailing catabolism
of dietary protein Y and causes RA. X makes it through the gut
and goes and settles preferentially on particular joint cartilage
cells, namely chondrocytes where it builds up over the years.
Under normal health conditions, HLA-DR antigens are only expressed
on the membranes of cells commissioned for immune response, but
not so in auto-immune diseases, where DR antigens target themselves
to show up on the cells of the diseased organ. This much was
clear for thyroid cells in Basedow's disease and in Hashimoto's
thyroiditis, courtesy of Bottazz et al. (4). Such a condition
is always occurring against an auto-immune disease background
and is deemed due to a release of interferon by T lymphocytes
activated by a virus, for instance. As it happens, Jahn et al.
(10) recently witnessed that DR molecules, which chondrocytes
are normally exempt from, show up on those same cells during
the course of RA or in chondrocyte cultures to which interferon
has been added. All this implies that DR molecules bind with
peptide X which is stored in chondrocytes. It is then ferried
up to cell-surface and presented to T lymphocytes DR 4 and DR
1. Both lymphocytes have a stronger affinity to X than to other
DR antigens ; they appear to store larger amounts of X molecules
than typically manage to activate T lymphocytes. The latter decree
an immune response targeted against X, which amounts to the destruction
of the chondrocytes. Basically, the first stage in RA amounts
to immunization against an outer antigen and directed against
a foreign peptide X but this involves destruction of cells belonging
to the body. All this is part of the body's typical behaviour
whose immunity accommodates the "self" but will not
brook the "altered self". Consequently, cells infected
by the virus are dissolved (cell lysis). Why should this not
be so for cells overloaded with dietary peptides ? We here beg
to differ from Bottazzo who contends that a peptide is presented
to a DR + autopeptide T lymphocyte, whereas we surmise DR + heteropeptide.
The difference between an antiviral response and an anti-X response
is that the former is acute and short-lived, whereas the latter
turns chronic. This comes as no surprise since once viruses have
been killed, antigenic stimulation shuts off and immune response
is stilled. In RA, however, the constant intake of protein Y
from food, fuels constant storage of X in cartilage, in other
words, antigenic stimulation is sustained. All in all, setting
up RA would require combining the following factors :
- . a single copy of HLA gene auspicious for DR 4 or DR 1 (dominant
- . a dual copy of a gene causing an enzymatic deficiency (recessive
- . dietary protein Y such as had only been partly broken down
be the weakly active enzyme, since it was unsuitable, thus giving
rise to peptide X
- . a virus incepting a release of interferon.
The facts might be sequenced as follows :
- eating Y
- unsatisfactory intestinal breakdown of Y, with X remaining
- X makes it through the bowel lining
- X fastens onto chondrocytes
- chondrocytes intercept and store X
- intercurrent viruses affects locus of joint
- lymphocytes activated with interferon released
- interferon induces antigens DR's being expressed on chondrocytes
- DR 4 or DR 1 binds with X
- DR + X couples conveyed over chondrocyte membranes
- DR + X couples identified by T lymphocytes
- Anti-X immune response
- lysis of chondrocytes displaying X on their membranes
- phagocytosis of dead cells by synoviocytes, granulocytes,
and macrophages, all of which release various mediators, with
attending inflammation and synovial cells proliferating, thus
causing an acute episode of arthritis
- the disease turns chronic.
What practical consequences may be drawn from the above ? We
are unable to alter the genes prone to enzymatic deficiency and
HLA-DR. All we can do is tackle the environmental factor ; this
to say that a protein Y-free diet, which protein generates peptide
X appears in order. That is what Burger suggests. Such a diet
provides four advantages :
- it has a specific goal, that of aiming at checking the advent
of disease by doing away with the heteroantigen under fire. It
is worth mentioning the main drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid
arthritis (gold salts, D penicillamine, anti-inflammatory drugs,
immunedepressants, and immunostimulants) which have an impact
on immunity or on inflammation, but in a non-specific way.
- it involves no danger whatsoever
- its application does not rule out a patient jointly carrying
on with their normal drug treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
- it aims at having a bearing on the first stage of immune
response, whereas the above mentioned treatments are targeted
at later stages of development.
Such a diet, therefore, may claim to have a two-fold goal.
This is both curative or preventive. Such concepts, here exemplified
with rheumatoid arthritis, apply as well to the other recommendations
for instinctotherapy. The same foursome always crops up : that
of specificity, harmlessness, possible association with other
treatments, and having a curative or preventive aim. A "raw"
diet is, hence, appealing.
However, it is not easy to stick to. It requires herculean
patience. It involves organisational skills in making available
to oneself an adequate selection of initial foods. Moreover, one
of Guy-Claude Burger's main struggles has to do with setting up
such a food network. However alluring a theory, pratical results
are necessary to confirm its validity. Burger discusses such results
in his book. Further, his films, his brochures, and various accounts
testify to the efficiency of his method.
Although my activities as a biologist have somewhat alienated
me from clinicians, I have been able to verify the efficiency
of instinctotherapy in two disorders :
. the case of a patient suffering from severe nervous breakdown
who completely recovered, and without a shadow of a doubt, after
having discontinued eating wheat and foods made from it.
. four cases of persistent and long-standing colitis, the symptoms
of which completely yielded after milk and wheat were banned from
the diets of the people concerned.
Those people now eat, without any unpleasant consequences,
raw foods at every meal. The first case underscores the relevance
of metabolic factors in nervous breakdowns. The four other cases
are in line with Burger's stance that the colon is an excretory
organ. Non-initial molecules (NIMs) in the blood on their way
to the bowel lumen and crossing the gastrointestinal tract would
be the cause of the inflammation that the intake of raw vegetables
Contrary to traditional medicine, what has to be put an end
to in the treatment of colitis, is eating specific non initial
foods rather than raw vegetables and salads. Up until now, dieticians
have mainly concerned themselves with matters of amount : the
minimal daily intake of vitamins, mineral salts, calories, and
the balance between sugars, fats, and protein. Anopsology gives
greater prominence to the structure of food, since that is the
only way NIMs, which are not broken down by ill-adapted enzymes,
can be prevented from building up in the body. Anopsology discards
quantity for quality, the macroscopic for the microscopic, the
bathroom scales for the molecular scale.
Guy-Claude Burger is indeed an innovator and, like many of
his predecessors, he has trouble making himself heard. A great
many truths, which we hold to be self-evident nowadays, stirred
people up when they were first aired. Galileo, after having proven
in 1632 that the Earth rotated on its axis, had to recant before
the Inquisition. Harvey, who, in almost the same period, made
his discovery of blood circulation also underwent tremendous hardships.
Darwin, in the nineteenth century, witnessed his writings slated
by countless authorities, including some in his own country. It
must be pointed out that his proposals flew in the face of the
Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud.
The obstacles that Burger has to face have nothing to do with
religious forces, but, for all that, they are nonetheless daunting
. In the first place, he has to persuade people that what
he asserts is true. Now, he is aiming his blow at bread, milk,
and cooking - all of which are part and parcel of civilisation,
and that is the devil's own job. Imagine that Burger's ideas could
be accepted. Could they actually be put into practice ? That seems
quite feasible, provided only a few supporters are concerned.
However, expansion to a grand scale would mean nothing less
than a revolution. Farming, cattle-breeding,
catering, and many other walks of life - in short, society as
a whole - would have to be turned on its head. Burger, then,
obviously runs the risk of not only disturbing scientists but
also many of his fellow citizens. Fortunately, innovators are
no longer burnt at the stake. That would be an undeserved end
for someone so much against any kind of cooking.
To sum up, I consider Guy-Claude Burger to be a brilliant,
cultured, and sensible researcher who is deserving of attention
and impartial judgement. It would be beneficial if medical
and scientific teams would help him [Inference: let's wait
some centuries...] carry out more extensive experiments that
will invalidate or confirm his novel ideas. And should his theory
be proved right, one can only hope that he will be given the means
to continue his work under suitable conditions. That is the wish
that I sincerely make for him, in concluding the foreword of this
most interesting presentation.
Dr. Jean Seignalet, Former Intern
at Montpellier Hospitals, Senior Lecturer at the University of