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Alexander Haig (physician)

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**Biography and Career:**
– Alexander Haig was born in Rumbling Bridge, Perthshire, Scotland, to George Andrew Haig and Maulesden.
– He pursued his education at Exeter College, Oxford, and became a physician in London in 1882.
– Haig married his cousin Gertrude Mary Haig in 1878 and had three children.

**Research on Uric Acid:**
– Haig discovered relief from migraines by eliminating meat from his diet and linked excess uric acid to various diseases.
– He advocated for a uric-acid free diet to combat conditions like gout and hypertension.
– Haig’s book ‘Uric Acid as a Factor in the Causation of Disease’ gained international recognition.

**Views on Cancer and Uric Acid:**
– Haig argued that cancer, gout, and rheumatism stem from excess uric acid and suggested dietetic therapy to treat cancer.
– He believed that increased meat and tea consumption led to rising cancer rates.
– Haig faced criticism when his cancer patients did not recover on his uric-acid free diet.

**Reception and Influence in the Medical Community:**
– Haig’s theories received mixed responses from the medical community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
– Some physicians supported his uric acid theories, leading to debates in medical literature.
– Despite being discredited by some, Haig’s work continued to influence the general public and some doctors.

**Impact on Vegetarianism and Criticisms:**
– Haig was influential in the development of vegetarian nutrition, with his uric-acid free diet differing from standard vegetarian diets.
– His diet influenced lacto-vegetarians and several vegetarian athletes with varying success.
– Critical reviews deemed Haig’s theories erroneous and his methods unreliable, while his work was cited as an example of a fad diet.

Alexander Haig (19 January 1853 – 6 April 1924) FRCP was a Scottish physician, dietitian and vegetarianism activist. He was best known for pioneering the uric-acid free diet.

Alexander Haig

Born19 January 1853
Died6 April 1924 (1924-04-07) (aged 71)
London, England
Occupation(s)Physician, writer
Gertrude Mary Haig
(m. 1878)
Children3, including Kenneth G. Haig
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