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Arnaldo Cantani




Deceased Italian Physician

Vico Banchi Nuovi, 9, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy

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Diabetes - From Wikipedia

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List of sanctioned and forbidden foods on the Cantani diet

Cantani treated his diabetic patients by eliminating carbohydrates and prescribing a meat diet.[3] He believed that stopping glycosuria was the major method of controlling diabetes.[4] This became known as Cantani's diet or the "Cantani system".[5]

Cantani allowed his patients as many calories as they could tolerate without glycosuria. Later he limited daily food intake to about one pound of cooked meat. If glucosuria persisted, he fasted his patients.[6] The exclusive meat diet would continue for several months but if urine was not free of sugar it would extend to six or nine months.[3] To control glycosuria, Cantani would enforce his diet restrictions. He would often lock his patients in a room, so they adhered to the strict diet.[7] He performed microscopic studies on the organs from thousands of cases and observed that atrophy and fatty changes were more frequently found in the pancreas of diabetic patients than of non-diabetics.[8][9]

Cantani's exclusive animal food diet consisted of all kinds of meat and animal fats, fish, lobsters and eggs but no dairy as it contains lactose.[10] A list of sanctioned and forbidden foods on Cantani's diet was included in Isaac Burney Yeo's book Food in Health and Disease, published in 1896.[10] Bernhard Naunyn was influenced by the Cantani system.[5]

Cantani also favoured the use of lactic acid to treat diabetes.[11] He administered his patients 77–154 grains of lactic acid daily which was diluted in 8–10 fluid ounces of water. This became known as Cantani's method and influenced George William Balfour.[11]

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