Summary: For thirty years John Courtney was the head of Research & Development for Standard Process, Inc., the raw-food supplement company founded by Dr. Royal Lee in 1929. In this article, Courtney explains how early nutrition researchers such as Dr. Weston Price showed beyond doubt that tooth decay is the result of a diet deficient in vitamins and minerals. Yes, Courtney says, bacteria attack teeth to cause cavities, but those bacteria wouldn’t get anywhere if the teeth weren’t weakened in the first place by poor nutrition. Moreover, malnutrition also diminishes the bacteria-killing action of the saliva bathing the teeth. Thus, he summarizes, cavities are “due to a deficient diet and a vitamin and mineral imbalance, which in turn, by starving the endocrines, renders them unable to secrete sufficient amounts of the germicidal ferments to prevent dental caries [cavities] and other infectious diseases.” From The Clinical Nutritionist. Publication date unknown.
Summary: A classic Royal Lee document, read before a New York dental group in 1940. In it Dr. Lee outlines how far the understanding of nutrition and dental health had come and how poorly the dental profession had stayed current with this advance of knowledge. He cites many examples—fully referenced—of the direct effect of nutrients on dental health. A great paper if anyone bothered to read and understand it. “Drill ’em and fill ’em” was the dental mantra then, as it is today. Reprint 30B, 1940.
Summary: In this 1953 lecture, celebrated nutritional and medical authority Dr. Ralph Bircher of Switzerland touts the virtues of raw foods. He begins by discussing a seldom-mentioned but universal reaction to eating cooked food known as digestive leukocytosis: “Some message sent by the palate to the marrow through the vegetative [autonomic] nerve system releases a deployment of leucocytes which swarm out to the walls of the intestines, especially of the colon, as if to defend a frontline.” In other words, eating cooked foods sets off the immune system. Bircher then cites the work of Dr. Paul Kouchakoff who showed that “digestive leukocytosis does not happen whenever a meal consists of, or even begins with raw vegetable food.” (See Dr. Kouchakoff’s seminal study, “The Influence of Food Cooking on the Blood Formula of Man.”) Bircher also addresses the subject of enzymes in raw foods, saying there are “specific enzymes in fresh and living plant cells which are very delicate” and which the “human organism knows how to protect and escort…throughout the digestive tract, so that they can reach the colon without harm.” (This is in direct contrast to conventional belief that all enzymes in food are broken down during the course of human digestion.) Once in the colon, Bircher adds, these special raw-food enzymes “perform a basic change in the bacterial flora by attracting and binding what oxygen there is. Thus, they remove the aerobic condition which is responsible for putrefaction, fermentations, dysbacteria and intestinal toxemia.” Historical note: Bircher’s father, the famous Maximilian Bircher-Benner, developed the raw Swiss breakfast food muesli for patients at his clinic. In Europe it is often still called Birchermuesli. Reprint 80, 1953.
Summary: Dr. Lee lays out a basic principle of his nutritional philosophy—the idea that bacterial infection is usually a secondary result of malnutrition. Properly nourished bodies, naturally stronger and well defended, are much better equipped to resist invasion of pathogens, which are always around us, Lee explains. A weaker, malnourished body, on the other hand, is much more susceptible to a successful attack by foreign invaders. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.
Summary: The word hydrophilic means water loving, and in this 1958 article, Dr. Royal Lee discusses the digestive benefits of substances known as hydrophilic colloids, which are found in foods such as apples and okra but also in nonnutritive materials such as clay. In the gastrointestinal tract, these compounds draw up liquid, creating bulk that initiates peristalsis and fosters bowel regularity. At the same time, they also soak up irritants, making hydrophilic colloids uniquely effective against both diarrhea and constipation. The modern use of nonnutritive hydrophilic colloids such as kaolin and bentonite to ameliorate digestive woes affirms the wisdom of ancestral cultures that used similar clays to combat dysentery and food infections, says Dr. Lee, a claim he supports with the following remarkable quote by Dr. Weston A. Price, from Price’s his classic 1939 text on traditional human diets and health, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: “Among the groups (natives) in the Andes, Central Africa, and Australia…each knapsack contained a ball of clay, a little of which was dissolved in water. Into this they dipped their morsel of food while eating. Their explanation was to prevent ‘sick stomach’.” While modern science has elucidated much when it comes to food and health, it is important to remember that eons of human trial and error have much to teach us about nutrition as well. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.
Summary: Today we take cavities to be a given, as if the decay of human teeth were part of the natural order. Yet the rate of cavities in prehistoric human beings was extremely low, as is that of animals in the wild. Thus, tooth decay is not Nature’s work, but humankind’s. In fact, it is the most prevalent of the modern “diseases of civilization” (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, etc.), and it has been since its rate exploded in industrial countries in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1912 Dr. Henry Pickerill, Director of the Dental School at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and leader in the investigation of dental health, released a book comprising a series of lectures he’d given over the period of 1906 to 1910. In the following excerpts from that book, Dr. Pickerill contrasts the diets of cavity-ridden, industrialized countries with those of various unindustrialized populations virtually immune to tooth decay. Though the latter groups differed wildly in their eating habits, from the practically carnivorous Eskimos to the fruit-and-root eaters of the Pacific islands, their diets all shared one thing in common: a complete lack of processed and refined foods. Unfortunately, Dr. Pickerill’s investigations occurred before the discovery of the vitamins. It wasn’t until 1923 that a young dental student, Dr. Royal Lee, would connect the dots between the professor’s works and studies of the recently discovered “vitamines” to conclude that tooth decay—and, in fact, all the diseases of civilization—were the result of systemic nutrient deficiency, caused by the mass consumption of industrialized foods. Today, despite a century of brushing and flossing, tooth decay remains as prevalent as it was in Dr. Pickerill’s time, and unless we return to a diet of only unadulterated organic foods, cavities will remain unnaturally common. Published by Bailliere, Tindall and Cox, London, 1912. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 132.
Summary: “The first words spoken by a woman upon learning she is pregnant should be, ‘Am I well nourished?'” writes nutrition researcher and educator Mark Anderson. In this sweeping article, Anderson recounts the findings of some of the giants of early nutrition research—Sir Robert McCarrison, Dr. Weston Price, Dr. Royal Lee—to show that the key to being well nourished is a diet of whole, unprocessed foods prepared “in obedience to time-honored dietary traditions.” Indeed, regardless of which of the many tribal societies these intrepid pioneers observed, it appeared that “isolation from Western civilization and its foods of commerce…afforded a diet that protected health.” Unsurprisingly, birth defects among these societies were virtually nonexistent. And how did these traditional diets compare with the current recommendations of our public health officials? “[They] looked nothing like our modern USDA Food Pyramid,” Anderson writes, “unless, perhaps, if it is turned upside down and all the foodstuffs are consumed in their unrefined state.” This is an incredibly important document about not just prenatal nutrition but the core of nutrition in general: what to eat. From Whole Food Nutrition Journal, circa 2000.
By Sir Robert McCarrison, MD, and Sir Albert Howard
Summary: In 1911 Britain passed its National Insurance Act, a law intended to “provide for the prevention and cure of sickness” of its citizens. Yet despite the bill’s aim, rates of chronic disease proceeded to explode in the country over the ensuing decades. While medical officialdom was at a loss to explain or prevent the events, in 1939 the 600 family doctors of Cheshire county gathered to issue a public “testament” naming both the cause of the new epidemics and the means of their reversal. The physicians, reflecting on nearly three decades of clinical experience, named malnutrition at the hands of industrially processed foods as the common cause of chronic disease while marveling at the “amazing benefits” of switching patients to a diet of nutrient-dense, organic foods. Two researchers instrumental in guiding the doctors to their findings were Sir Robert McCarrison and Sir Albert Howard, both of whom were invited to speak at the famous Cheshire meeting, as recorded here. In their speeches McCarrison and Howard articulate the basic principles of what might be called “ecological nutrition,” that the health of humans depends on the health of the foods they eat, which in turn depends on the health of the soil those foods are grown in and on. With the medical industry still baffled by the cause and prevention of chronic disease, the words of these farsighted researchers offer a blueprint for building true health and wellness in humankind, literally from the ground up. Originally published in New English Weekly, 1939.
By the Local Medical and Panel Committee of Cheshire, England
Summary: This 1939 declaration by the physicians of Cheshire, England, is one of the great documents of nutrition history and a clarion call for preventive medicine in the twenty-first century and beyond. In it the 600 family doctors of Cheshire county lament the failure of their profession to reverse the soaring rates of chronic disease in Britain, naming the reason for the new epidemics in no uncertain terms: “a lifetime of wrong nutrition” in their patients. While medicine’s political institutions were spinning the notion that only total vitamin deficiencies bring illness, such as the lethal scurvy or rickets, many practicing physicians were confirming what decades of experimental research had shown—that the human body is incredibly susceptible to partial deficiencies of vitamins and minerals as well, these lacks manifesting as practically every modern health complaint, from tooth decay to gastrointestinal disorders to chronic fatigue to mental illness. Unless Britain moved from its “white bread and margarine” diet of industrially processed foods to one with food that is “little altered by preparation,” with “no chemical or substitution stage,” and grown in soil in which “the natural cycle is complete,” the doctors warn, chronic disease would only continue to increase in Britain. In 1957 England’s prestigious Soil Association would resurrect Cheshire’s Medical Testament in a declaration of its own, published in the medical journal The Lancet, noting that time had done nothing but affirm the document’s dour predictions while repeating its assertion that whole, organically grown food is not a luxury but a necessity for human health. Over half a century later, with rates of chronic disease ever increasing across the globe, the institution of medicine continues to ignore the prophetic practitioners of Cheshire—at the risk of humanity’s very existence. From the British MedicalJournal, 1939. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: In 1974 Dr. Thomas L. Cleave, Surgeon Captain of the British Royal Navy, wrote the brilliant but virtually ignored text The Sacharrine Disease: Conditions Caused by the Taking of Refined Carbohydrates Such as Sugar and White Flour. Decades before that, Dr. Cleave wrote this thirty-page article urging the medical profession to reconnect with the natural laws of health from which humankind evolved, specifically by promoting the consumption of whole, natural foods over the processed and overcooked products of commercial food manufacturing. Citing the work of Weston A. Price as an example of understanding natural law, Dr. Cleave argues that industrialized food production caused cheap, processed, carbohydrate-based foods to predominate in the modern diet, resulting in consequences for human health that have been nothing less than disastrous. From the Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service, 1956. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: In this 1946 article, medical doctor W.J. McCormick looks at the relationship between vitamin C status in the body and lithogenesis—the formation of calculi, or stones, in an internal organ. “Clinical observations and laboratory experimentation by the author on the effect of administration of vitamin C in altering the physiochemical properties of the urine and other body fluids, principally in eliminating deposition of phosphates, has led to the hypothesis of C hypovitaminosis as the basic etiological factor in lithogenesis in general.” Note: Dr. McCormick equates vitamin C with ascorbic acid, though, as Dr. Royal Lee often pointed out, the latter is just one of the many factors that form the true vitamin C complex. From the journal Medical Record, 1946. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: An absolutely gripping book, published in its entirety by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. Dr. Sandler, a retired naval surgeon and researcher, challenges conventional science’s most basic beliefs about cardiovascular disease. If hardening and blockage of the arteries (i.e., arteriosclerosis) is the reason for heart attacks, he asks, why do many heart attack victims show no evidence of arteriosclerosis upon autopsy? And why do the vast majority of people with significant arteriosclerosis die of non-heart-related reasons? The truth is arteriosclerosis is a “secondary phenomenon, purely incidental, and is not the prime factor initiating [a heart] attack,” Sandler says, who points to dysfunctional blood-sugar regulation as the true cause of heart failure. Based on years of documented clinical work, Sandler reports consistent findings that a high-carbohydrate, vitamin-poor diet—the kind of diet Americans have been eating ever since the wide-scale adoption processed foods at the turn of the twentieth century—significantly weakens the heart and leads to heart attack. He especially warns against the budding advice of the time to reduce animal fat consumption. “To implicate animal foods as the ultimate cause of heart attacks because of their fat content is highly dubious and dangerous and unless absolutely confirmed as the cause…they should not be eliminated from the diet nor even slightly reduced.” Fifty years later, with animal fat still not shown to be linked with heart disease and heart attack rates showing no decline in spite of Americans having reduced their consumption of animal fats significantly, Dr. Sandler’s words ring as true as ever. Note: Be sure to check out the index at the end of the transcription. You’ll be amazed by the breadth of subjects Dr. Sandler covered. 1958.
Summary: Daniel Quigley was a physician at the Nebraska College of Medicine who rose to prominence with the 1929 publication of his book The Conquest of Cancer. Like many doctors of the time, his clinical experience led him to believe that malnutrition—due to the replacement of natural foods with industrial ones—was not only more widespread in America than the medical establishment believed, but that vitamin and mineral deficiencies, more than anything else, were responsible for the exploding rates of degenerative illness throughout the country and world. In 1943, after years of observing the successful application of whole food nutritional therapy in his practice, Dr. Quigley published the following textbook through the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. In it he warns Americans to avoid completely white flour, white sugar, and corn syrup, each of the refined products fostering disease by delivering calories but precious few of the micronutrients needed by the body for proper function and fighting infection. For optimal nutrition Dr. Quigley recommends a diet of raw milk, eggs, whole grains, seafood, organ meats, fresh vegetables, yeast, and butter—a prescription of highly nutrient dense foods that makes just as much sense today as it did then, when these substances were known to nutritionists simply as “the protective foods.” Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1943.
Summary: The complete classic of 1921, as republished by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research in 1945. Dr. Robert McCarrison was knighted in England for his groundbreaking research while serving as a British army surgeon in India during the first two decades of the twentieth century. His landmark investigations into the connection between the diets of various populations in India and their patterns of disease and health gave new insight into the cause and effect of nutrition on health and introduced the world to the amazingly healthy and long-lived Hunza people of the Himalayas. McCarrison set up laboratories in which he studied the effect of various local diets on animals, reproducing nearly the same health and disease patterns in the animals as displayed in the particular populations. Diet, he concluded, was the determining factor in the specific health patterns of each population. McCarrison was also the first researcher to inform the medical world that the endocrine system is the first system in the body to succumb to the effects of malnutrition, carefully demonstrating the lesions in the endocrine glands caused by specific adulterated foods. His work inspired the likes of Royal Lee, Weston A. Price, Francis Pottenger, Jr., and J. I. Rodale. Still remarkably relevant today, this book should be part of the corpus of all colleges of the healing arts. Originally published by Oxford Medical Publications, 1921.
Summary: The complete book, originally published in England in 1938 and republished by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research in 1945. The Wheel of Health is a master treatise on proper diet—as well as a cogent plea for the full recognition of vitamin values—based on study of the famously healthy Hunza people of what was at the time northern India (now Pakistan). Dr. Wrench credits his interest in the Hunza to the great nutrition pioneer Sir Robert McCarrison (author of Studies in Deficiency Disease, available in these Archives), who studied them extensively. The Hunza “are unsurpassed by any Indian race in perfection of physique,” McCarrison said. “They are long lived, vigorous in youth and age, capable of great endurance and enjoy a remarkable freedom from disease in general.'” In addition to the work of Dr. McCarrison, Wrench highlights as well the studies of the great agriculturalist Sir Albert Howard (author of An Agricultural Testament; see also “Natural vs. Artificial Nitrates” in these Archives.) “This small book,” one British reviewer wrote, “should rest at the very foundations of one’s personal explorations of health and its roots.” 1945.