Cancer: A Collagen Disease, Secondary to a Nutritional Deficiency?

By W.J. McCormick, MD

SummaryCould a lack of vitamin C be the reason cancer spreads within a body? Nutrition-savvy physician W.J. McCormick thought so, and in this fascinating article from the April 1959 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics, he explains why. McCormick begins by citing the long-known observation that cancer tends to take root mainly in areas of the body that have become depleted in collagen—the elastic connective tissue responsible for “cementing” cells in their place. As collagen diminishes, he says, cancerous cells become free to exercise their natural “amoeboid activity” and move to other parts of the body (i.e., metastasize). Since the body requires vitamin C to produce collagen, Dr. McCormick argues, it stands to reason that a deficiency of the vitamin enables the spread of cancer—a notion supported by the fact that cancer patients tend to be severely depleted in the nutrient. Given the facts, McCormick concludes, the reason for the activity of many carcinogens—including cigarette smoke—may lie in their tendency to destroy the C vitamin. From the Archives of Pediatrics, 1959. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

Intervertebral Disc Lesions: A New Etiological Concept

By W.J. McCormick, MD

Summary: In this remarkable 1954 article, Canadian physician W.J. McCormick presents physiological and biochemical principles that go to the core of orthopedic medicine, chiropractic spinal care, and osteopathy. While many health experts fail to understand the ultimate cause of connective-tissue decay, McCormick is clear: “The most definitely established physiological function of vitamin C is that of assisting in the formation of collagen for the maintenance of stability and elasticity of connective tissues generally, and this would include the bones, cartilages, muscles, and vascular tissues…In deficiency of the vitamin, instability and fragility of all such tissues is believed to be caused by the breakdown of ‘the intercellular cement substance’ (collagen), resulting in easy rupture of any and all of these connective tissues, which would include the intervertebral discs.” As Dr. McCormick emphasized throughout his life, the effects of subclinical scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) cannot be understated, though they are often overlooked. From the Archives of Pediatrics, 1954. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 5D.

Have We Forgotten the Lesson of Scurvy?

By W.J. McCormick, MD

Summary: A Canadian medical doctor recounts the history of scurvy and its prevention, including a fascinating report by British medical officer James Lind, who describes his famous experiment of 1747 in which he cured sailors of the disease by feeding them fresh oranges and lemons. While full-blown scurvy had been virtually eliminated in twentieth-century America thanks to the widespread availability of citrus fruits, Dr. McCormick makes the case that subclinical vitamin C deficiency was a causative factor in many modern disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, heart attack, cancer, pneumonia, and even stretch marks in birthing mothers. Failure to recognize the tissue dysfunction in these disorders to be the result of vitamin C deficiency has led medicine to devise countless unsuccessful approaches to what appear to be largely matters of starvation. From Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 5H.

The Scope of Vitamin E

By the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

Summary: A 19-page booklet produced by the Lee Foundation reporting on the history and clinical applications of natural vitamin E. This is one of the most complete and concise reports on perhaps the most misunderstood vitamin complex: “Four vitamin factors have been isolated in the course of time from the E complex—alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherol. Of these, the alpha form has been found the most powerful and is often erroneously considered as the whole vitamin E. Actually the term ‘vitamin E’ should only be used in reference to the element which occurs in foods [since] in its entirety it includes factors not present in alpha tocopherol alone.” In fact, the report concludes, the natural vitamin E complex is “highly intricate, perhaps the most intricate of all [the] complexes” and the four tocopherols should be regarded merely “as factors and not as the entire E complex.” Much of the information in this critical document is completely lost to modern nutrition. 1955.

The Wulzen Calcium Dystrophy Syndrome in Guinea Pigs

By Hugo Krueger, PhD

Summary: An authoritative, fully-referenced report on the mysterious and famous Wulzen factor, an anti-stiffness nutrient found in the cream of raw milk and in fresh molasses. The author writes, “In 1941 Wulzen and Bahrs reported that guinea-pigs fed raw whole milk grew excellently and at autopsy showed no abnormality of any kind. Guinea-pigs on pasteurized milk rations did not grow as well and developed a definite syndrome, the first sign of which was wrist stiffness. On pasteurized skim milk the syndrome increased in severity until the animals finally died. There was great emaciation and weakness before death.” Doctors such as Royal Lee and Francis Pottenger, Jr., had long studied this anti-arthritic factor, which was never accepted by orthodox medicine and regretfully remains ignored to this day. From American Journal of Physical Medicine. Reprint 81, 1955.

The Vitamin P Group of the C Complex

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this extensively referenced article, Dr. Royal Lee shows that the natural vitamin C complex is more than just ascorbic acid, in this case discussing the important part of the complex known as the vitamin P group (which includes rutin and other bioflavonoids). For decades, Lee and others knew that focusing on just ascorbic acid led to an incomplete understanding of the function of vitamin C, just as using only ascorbic acid in clinical studies had failed to bring complete systemic relief to scurvy. This scientific explanation of the complete vitamin C complex should serve as a cornerstone for approaching the subject of vitamins in general and vitamin C in particular. From Vitamin News, 1948.

Nutrition and Arthritis

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this monumental 1952 pamphlet, Dr. Royal Lee argues that arthritis is the direct result of nutrient deficiencies brought about by the overconsumption of cooked and processed foods. Insufficient intake of vitamins A, C, and G; various minerals; and the woefully forgotten Wulzen factor—an “anti-stiffness” agent for joints found in raw sugarcane juice and raw cream—all help contribute to the disease, Dr. Lee writes. (Interestingly, while raw cream was shown to prevent joint stiffness in test animals, pasteurized cream provided no such protection, which may explain why arthritis became epidemic in the USA after food processors began pasteurizing the nation’s milk supply.) Dr. Lee not only shows how these deficiencies lead to the arthritis-inducing conditions of acidosis and toxic bowel, he also delineates precise supplement protocols to reverse the arthritic condition, featuring his famous raw food concentrate formulas Betalco and Minaplex (known today as Betacol and Organically Bound Minerals). Dr. Lee also backs up his ideas with several carefully documented case studies showing how patients reversed crippling cases of arthritis using his protocol. This compilation is a tour de force of nutritional therapy—indispensable for all health practitioners and anyone else interested in restoring wellness through diet. From the Vitamin Products Company, 1952.

Lithogenesis and Hypovitaminosis

By W.J. McCormick, MD

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.