Summary: In this rare excerpt from the October 1948 issue of Coronet magazine, author J.D. Ratcliff discusses the function of vitamin E (known originally as “the fertility vitamin” because of its critical role in animal reproduction) in the area of heart health. In particular, Ratcliff discusses the clinical work of the famous Shute brothers of Canada, medical doctors and researchers who gained international notoriety by successfully treating heart disease with vitamin E instead of pharmaceutical drugs. Ratcliff also addresses the wholesale destruction of naturally occurring vitamins in the modern diet. From Coronet, 1948. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 40.
Summary: The story of the famous Shute brothers, Canadian medical doctors who gained international renown for treating heart disease with vitamin E. In spite of countless patients testifying to the success of the therapy, the medical professions in the United States and Canada tried every measure to silence and discredit the Shutes, much of it playing out in the popular press. The author of the article explains how the Shutes believed vitamin E helps alleve heart disorders: “The Shutes’ theory about vitamin E is this: It is not specifically a heart medication; that is, vitamin E has no affinity for the heart as insulin has for the pancreas or iodine for the thyroid gland. The chief effect of vitamin E is to reduce the amount of oxygen which the cells and tissues of the body and its organs require for efficient, healthy functioning. Heart diseases happens to be the most dramatic example of the result of oxygen deprivation, and vitamin E’s effect, simply stated, is to condition the tissues involved so that they are able to function normally, or at any rate to survive, on the greatly reduced amount of oxygen available to them when a coronary clot cuts down the oxygen-bearing blood supply reaching them.” Includes a commentary on the Shutes’ theory by the Canadian Medical Association. From Maclean’s Magazine,1953. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research special reprint 4-54.
Summary: In 1922 researchers at the University of California at Berkeley showed that rats deprived of an unidentified substance found in leafy greens and wheat germ failed to reproduce. The fat-soluble nutrient was named vitamin E, and soon research groups around the world were studying the effects of its deficiency in species ranging from turkeys to the tree-kangaroo. In this 1946 report, researchers at the Minnesota Agricultural Station reveal the surprising results of a ten-year investigation into the effects of vitamin E deficiency on the reproductive health of cows. While the animals were able to reproduce, many of them suffered another, unforeseen calamity: sudden, fatal heart failure. Meanwhile, clinicians were reporting a variety of successful applications of vitamin E therapy in humans, as epitomized by the famous Shute brothers, two Canadian doctors who documented the effective use of vitamin E in nearly ten thousand heart patients—results discredited and ignored by the medical community to this day. From Science, 1946. Reprinted 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.
Summary: If there are “health food stores” today, what motivated their creation? In this article from the 1956 issue of the National Health Federation Bulletin, Dr. Royal Lee recounts some of the events and decisions that paved the way for the appalling condition of the American diet, showing how the processed-food industry and self-proclaimed public and private health authorities sold the health of the American public down the river and branded all opposition to refined foods as faddists, quacks, and racketeers. No one recites this tale better and with more provable facts than Royal Lee. He was there. Reprint 301, 1956.
Summary: In this profound lecture from 1953, Dr. Richard Chipman elucidates the differences between natural and synthetic vitamins in terms of their effects on the human heart. Whereas lab-made vitamins comprise single chemical compounds, he explains, natural vitamins—or vitamins as they are found in food—are infinitely more complex, comprising “groups of associated principles of synergistic nature” that, if taken apart, “are no longer capable of producing [their] normal nutritional and metabolic effect.” Thus it is no surprise, he adds, that in studies synthetic vitamins failed to show positive effects on heart health, and in some cases even made matters worse, while natural vitamin complexes proved literally to be lifesavers. Dr. Chipman’s words will make you reconsider not just what vitamins truly are but what they are truly capable of in restoring human health. From The Journal of Medical-Physical Research, 1953. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research special reprint 5-54.
Summary: In this 1954 article from the legendary health magazine Prevention, Dr. Ernest Klein describes his remarkable discovery of a possible predictor of coronary thrombosis (the cause of most heart attacks) as well as a means of its prevention through a simple dietetic therapy. Unfortunately, Dr. Klein’s ideas—based on his observation and treatment of hundreds of patients—were never tested by other researchers because of the refusal of medical officialdom to even entertain them. In fact, upon publication of his findings, Dr. Klein was summarily fired by the hospital he worked at, as was his daughter. It is doubtful, Prevention’s editors opine, that Dr. Klein’s theory was the final word on heart disease and its prevention, but the fact that his findings were suppressed by the medical establishment and never pursued by other investigators is nothing short of scandalous. Unfortunately, obstructing alternative treatments for preventing disease remains stock and trade for medicine, an industry that profits from managing illness, not deterring it. From Prevention magazine, 1954. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 96.
Summary: A riveting article documenting the success of vitamin E therapy in the treatment of heart disease, published by the British journal Popular Science Digest. The key to this success, the authors emphasize, is the use of natural vitamin E over synthetic, the former having been shown to be “highly effective in the treatment of coronary disease, the incidence of which appears to be linked with a deficiency of vitamin E in the diet dating from the beginning of the century, when millers discarded vitamin E in the processing of grain.” While the authors mistakenly confuse isolated natural alpha-tocopherol with the natural vitamin E complex (which includes alpha-tocopherol but other factors in addition), they sum the case for natural vitamin therapy over pharmaceutical drugs brilliantly: “Alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) therapy has the distinctive feature of improving the function of damaged hearts by attacking the underlying pathological changes. Heretofore, the drugs at the disposal of the cardiologist such as digitalis, quinidine, the mercurial diuretics, and nitro-glycerine have helped to re-establish more normal function, but have left the basic pathology unaltered.” In other words, vitamins treat the cause, not the symptoms, as drugs do. The overwhelming clinical success reported in treating heart disease with vitamin E, the article concludes, “is a case for the closest and completely unbiased examination, by those competent to do so, of the claims of those who have developed and sponsored vitamin E therapy.” Words that still ring true today. From Popular Science Digest, 1953. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 40A.
Summary: In this brief article, Dr. Royal Lee presents his classic metaphor of holistic nutrition likening a true vitamin to a watch. Just as a watch consists of numerous pieces that all work together to perform a function (telling time), a true vitamin is a complex of countless synergistic factors that work together to perform the function of delivering a nutritive effect to the body. And just as separating a few pieces from a watch and expecting them to tell time is absurd, isolating (or synthesizing) a single component of a natural vitamin and expecting it to nourish the body is folly. Vitamin Products Company, 1952.