By Francis M. Pottenger Jr. Summary: One of the great original thinkers of his day, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr. devoted his career to the prevention of chronic illness and made lasting contributions in the field of nutrition science, particularly in his classic book Pottenger’s Cats. In this deeply researched article, Dr. Pottenger presents years of […]
By Grant H. Laing, MD
Summary: An excellent ten-page review of the signs of malnutrition that dentists routinely and literally overlook. The early nutrition pioneers, many of them dentists, knew full well that malnutrition creates specific lesions in the oral cavity. This article from the Fortnightly Review of the Chicago Dental Society is one of the earliest papers presented on the subject. The editor’s note, written by an MD, still applies today: “At first glance this article…appears to be completely foreign to dentistry. However, we assure our readers that if they will but read it, they will be fascinated by it.” Note: Trophopathic means “due to derangement of nutrition,” a term we should hear more often given that malnutrition is the primary cause of most degenerative disease. Reprint 51, 1949.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Dr. Royal Lee was one of the earliest and most outspoken opponents of water fluoridation, which he described as “wholesale drugging of the population.” In this address to a group in Florida, Dr. Lee delves into the dangers of ingesting fluorides and speculates as to the commercial interests behind the adoption of water fluoridation. Also included is testimony by U.S. Representative Arthur L. Miller, Chairman of the Special Committee on Chemicals in Food, who candidly explains that water fluoridation had been adopted as official policy by the U.S. Public Health Service despite the fact that long-term studies of the effects of fluoridation had yet to be completed. Miller calls into question the motive of the Health Service’s approval and speculates that the aluminum industry, for which fluoride is a waste product that could now be sold for pure profit, had perhaps influenced the agency’s decision. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 53B, 1952.
By Morris Bealle
Summary: Morris Bealle’s newsletter American Capsule News reports on the conviction, fine, and jailing of the great American naturalist Victor Earl Irons for the crime of informing the American people of what was happening to their food supply. “It is obvious that Mr. Irons has committed two ‘unpardonable sins’,” writes Bealle. “The first is distributing vitamins that keep people well and away from drug stores. The second is exposing some of the crimes of the Food and Drug Administration who, as Dr. [Harvey] Wiley said, are lynching, raping and murdering the laws passed by Congress to protect the public from poisoned and adulterated foods.” Irons, like his friend Dr. Royal Lee, warned the public of the depletion of America’s soil, the refining and processing of the basic food supply, and the cause-and effect-relationship of these practices to health. In the case, the FDA marched out five “health authorities” from Harvard, including the infamous Dr. Frederick Stare, to testify to the “fraudulent” nature of Irons’s statements. Irons was convicted on federal charges and served a year in jail. As this report reveals, those pioneers at the vanguard of nutritional knowledge paid dearly for the right to speak out about what was happening to America’s food supply, health, and freedom. From American Capsule News, 1956. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Here Dr. Royal Lee delivers perhaps the most succinct explanation of why natural vitamins and synthetic vitamins are entirely different entities. Natural vitamins—that is, vitamins as they are found in food—are complexes of associated compounds, he explains, which act together synergistically to deliver a nutritive effect to the body. In turn these complexes require minerals, in organic form, to activate them. All these things are found, together, in whole foods. Synthetic vitamins, on the other hand, consist of a single compound that has been deemed the “most active” of a natural vitamin complex and either isolated from the food or, worse, synthesized in a lab. Dr. Lee asks, “How can a single factor be isolated from a complex…and be justifiably sold with the claim that it is equal?” It can’t. However, “do not infer from this that synthetic vitamins have no effect,” he warns. “They do have drug effects—pharmacological actions that may or may not have much in common with the normal nutritional action.” In a country where over half the population takes synthetic vitamins, the implications of this paper are staggering. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, circa 1954.
By Louis Bromfield
Summary: In 1939 Pulitzer Prize winner and farsighted agriculturist Louis Bromfield established Malabar Farm, a thousand acre spread in the heart of Ohio that would become a hotbed for sustainable agriculture research as well as a popular getaway for Hollywood celebrities (Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall wed there in 1945, with Bromfield serving as best man). Bromfield would dedicate Malabar to what he considered the biggest challenge facing the country—conservation of the soil and water—pouring the profits of his writing into developing practices considered highly radical at the time, such as controlled grazing, crop rotation, contour plowing, and the use of natural instead of artificial fertilizers. In this 1950 article, Bromfield gives a glimpse of the philosophy behind his “conservation farming,” reflecting an understanding of the connection between soil health, microbial life, and animal and human nutrition that is truly years ahead of its time. “It is the duty of every citizen,” Bromfield urged, “to support and fight for—and possibly initiate—measures having to do with conservation of soil, water, and forests.” From The Role of Research in the Conservation of Our Nutritional Resources, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 85.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Dr. Lee, citing the great British doctor and nutrition pioneer Sir Robert McCarrison, explains the critical connection between nutrition and the endocrine system. “McCarrison back in 1921 told us how the endocrine glands were the first structures to atrophy or degenerate following vitamin and mineral deficiencies. [For instance,] the adrenal glands…stopped functioning and soon became atrophied.” McCarrison noted that while the adrenals were usually the first endocrine gland to falter as a result of nutrient deficiency, in time others followed, including the thyroid and the pituitary. As Lee often pointed out, none of this would have been discovered had diets high in nutrient-deficient processed foods not initiated such problems in the human race. 1950.