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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, April 9, 1981-Page 5
Soviet threat to Poland
exaggerated by media?
WARSAW, Poland (AP)-Some Poles reacted with relief
yesterday that an invasion scare seemed to have subsided,
but others criticized Western news media for exaggerating
the threat of Soviet military intervention.
Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev told the
Czechoslovakian Communist Party Congress in Prague
Tuesday he was confident Poles could solve their own
problems.hHis moderate tone eased tensions, even though
some Western observers said the Soviet leader's failure to
mention by name the Polish Communist Party and its First
Secretary Stanislaw Kania made them "more nervous than
SOME POLES in Warsaw lashed out at the Western media.
"It is really going too far," said University of Warsaw
professor Jerzy Podracki, 40. "They kept saying invasion,
invasion' in December, so now people are really sceptical of
Podracki called the Brezhnev speech "very modest,
A housewife who claimed to be an avid listener of
American-funded Radio Free Europe said, "I think they (the
Western media) exaggerate and I don't believe their reports.
I was panic-stricken when I heard all those reports on RFE in
"Now, when they keep repeating them, I don't pay any at-
tention," she said. "Only my husband treats them
DESPITE BREZHNEV'S moderate tone, the Soviet media
in Moscow carried new attacks on the Polish independent
union Solidarity, saying it had "anti-socialist" connections.
In Prague, a party labor official likened Poland's current
troubles with the situation in Czechoslovacia in 1968, when
Soviet forces invaded to end a movement toward a more open
But after weeks of tension and last week's last minute can-
cellation by Solidarity of a threatened nationwide general
strike, many Poles seem to be reeling emotionally.
"The people are so tired and apathetic now that the landing
of a UFO would not spark their interest," said a 25-year-old
architecture student who refused to give his name.
Some people refused to talk at all and some only wanted to
talk about food.
"Maneuvers?," asked a woman standing outside a meat
store"where people were waiting to buy rationed meat.
"Sure, I heard something about them on the TV or radio.
"But look, I'm standing in line and rationing or not I have
to get some meat. This rationing is a good thing as it is now
possible to get some meat, and lines are shorter."
BOSTON (AP) - Most people have
trouble absorbing all-purpose wheat
flour, the kind used to make ordinary
white bread, and this may be a
previously unsuspected cause of
diarrhea and other-intestinal woes, a
Researchers found that when people
eat white bread, about 20 percent of it is
not absorbed in their digestive tracts.
The condition is similar to that ex-
perienced by some adults who have dif-
ficulty digesting milk.
yWHAT IT MEANS is that when the
average person eats a slice of bread, a
fair proportion of it is never absorbed
in the. small bowel and goes down into
the large intestine and can be converted
into gas or into the stuff that con-
ceivably causes diarrhea," Dr. Michael
Levitt, one of the researchers, said in
The study was conducted at the
Veterans Administration Medical Cen-
ter in Minneapolis and published in
today's issue of the New England Jour-
nal of Medicine.
Using 18 healthy volunteers, the doc-
tors watched the results when people
ate ordinary white bread, macaroni,
rice bread or bread made from 'wheat
flour that is low in gluten. The doctors
speculate that gluten, the grain protein
that gives dough its elastic quality, may
be the ingredient that makes bread dif-
ficult for the digestive-tract to absorb.
ONCE AN HOUR, they measured the
amount of hydrogen on the volunteers'
breath. This is a way of estimating the
quantity of carbohydrate that is not
being absorbed in the digestive system.
When carbohydrate is not absorbed,
bacteria in the colon breaks it down and
frees the hydrogen it contains.
They found that 17 of the 18 people
showed substantial increases in breath
hydrogen a few hours after eating six
slices of bread. The results were
similar for macaroni that was also
made from all-purpose flour, but people
who ate rice bread or low-gluten bread
had little trouble absorbing the food.
Levitt said it is difficult to estimate
how much diarrhea, flatulence and ab-
dominal discomfort is caused by flour.
But he said it may contribute to many
people's intestinal miseries.
"I THINK THERE are a lot of
gastrointestinal diseases in which
people have diarrhea where a diet low
in wheat flour and high in rice flour
might be very beneficial to their
problem," Levitt said.
. On the other hand, Levitt notes, extra
flour products might be good for those
suffering from constipation. And people
may not need to seek out high-fiber
foods if they are eating white bread.
Levitt said he thinks bread may
cause more intestinal distress than the
widely recognized intolerance for milk
sugar, called lactose.