On the back-cover:
“For nearly 40 years Harald Bergengren fought hard to make medical science take an interest in a question, which he as a veterinary found highly relevant: when domestic animals as a result of discoveries in the 1930’s were given sufficient supplies of phosphate in their feed, several painful and deforming diseases ceased to exist. Was it possible that something similar might apply to humans as well? Scientific research on human diseases profits by observations from innumerable observations on animals. To Bergengren it seemed natural to make use of veterinary experience in a field of research which he meant called for attention.
He thereby got involved in a classic scientific conflict: the antagonism between established science and new ideas questioning some of its universally accepted truths. According to the prevailing opinion among medical professionals, phosphate deficiency did not exist in humans and Bergengren’s appeals for clinical investigations – which only doctors are permitted to carry out – met with strong opposition. One problem was the great complexity of the phosphates, another, their fundamental role in all metabolic processes. An additional problem was the fact that his theories concerned several different illnesses, among them multiple -sclerosis, rheumatism, diabetes and scoliosis.
There were, however, a number of less prejudiced researchers who took an interest in his ideas. He was invited to several international conferences on phosphate research and at the age of almost 80, he was given a research scholarship at the University of Umeå.
In this biography by his daughter Ulla Aminoff – where the letter P in the title refers both to “Pappa” and to the chemical symbol of phosphorus – she tells us candidly and affectionately the story of an exceptional life. It is about a man who in spite of an unconceivable opposition kept fighting for decades with intelligence, perseverance and sacrifices for a vision: to bring help and relief to suffering human beings based on his faith in common sense and practical experience. It gives us a vivid portrait of him, his charm and enthusiasm but also of his way of challenging his adversaries with a combination of humour and disrespect.”
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About the author:
Ulla Aminoff lives since 1969 on Gotland, the island in the Baltic where her family has its roots. She taught languages at the upper secondary school of Visby.
For many years she assisted her father, Harald Bergengren, practically in his research work and also accompanied him when he was invited to international congresses abroad. After his death in 1985 she began sorting out the vast research material that he had left behind, translating parts of it into English to make his theories available to readers inside and outside the world of medical science. When this work was completed she decided to write her father´s biography.