Although the chemical salts constitute but a small part in the composition of our bodies, and are a very small item in our daily diet, their importance cannot be too strongly emphasized. They are the main sources for the development of electro-magnetic energy in the blood and nerves, and perform other services. I am of the opinion that “vitamines” are neither more or less than these chemicals in proper proportion and relation, but whether you agree or disagree with this conclusion, you will instantly agree that the elements named above are indispensible to perfect metabolism.
It goes without saying, of course, that no action in the world occurs of itself, that is without impulse, hence the body must be given impulse to growth. A series of chemical and physical facts indicate that phosphorus plays this vital part. The property of phosphoric acid of uniting with carburetted hydrogen to form carbonic acid and phosphureted hydrogen certainly is of fundamental importance, as phosphureted hydrogen readily ignites on coming into contact with oxygen. Since cerebrin consists of a combination of phosphoric acid with gelatine which contains ammonium and with oleine, it is easy to infer that the light of the soul may be due to the phosphoric acid in the nerves, and still further the potassium phosphate forming the mineral basis of the muscles. Thus we come to the conclusion that the phosphates, combinations of phosphoric acid with basic substances, possess in general the property of imparting the true impulse to growth, that is to accumulation of organic matter.
Like every other structure, however, the body requires supports and props and, above all, a firm foundation on which to rest. Iron and lime, whose union is secured by their opposition to one another, bring into conjunction materials of contrary disposition for the creating of organic forms of the nature of plant and animal bodies.
The sulphuric compounds are related and yet opposed to the growth determinating phosphoric compounds. All organic building material (protein) contains phosphorus and sulphur, in varying proportions, and all indications are that sulphur plays the part of a regulator in organic growth. Just as an engine requires a governor to regulate its pace, so the human body requires a controlling factor to ensure definite stability. It is interesting to observe that normal blood contains about twice as many sulphates as phosphates. When there is great scarcity of sodium sulphate in the blood, abnormal growths develop from the phosphatic nerve tissues, and they continue to develop so long as the blood and lymph are deficient in sulphur, particularly the sulphates. This is, I believe, the genesis of polyps, tumors and cancers.
In the same manner that sulphuric acid controls and regulates the phosphoric acid of ammonium phosphate, so lime and magnesia act on the ammonia of this same ammonium phosphate.
Phosphatic ammonium carbonate lodges in the gelatinous cartilage and stretches it, when there is a deficiency of lime and magnesia in the food, resulting in rickets. Such a growth of cartilaginous tissues is controlled by lime and magnesia, as they change the pliant cartilage into bony barriers in which small particles of magnesia combine to produce phosphate of ammonium and magnesium which checks the further deposit of cartilage.