“The disappearance of stones in the urinary tract is particularly well documented in England. Between 1772 and 1816 one in every 38 patients at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital was under treatment for bladder stones. In the same period so many of the boys at the Westminster School in London suffered from bladder stones that they had their own hospital ward. A factor that may be related to the decline of stones, Dame Kathleen Lonsdale of University College London suggests, is that the bread the English ate during the 19th century was heavily adulterated with alum and chalk.”

Scientific American, June 1968

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