Historical Archives Subject: Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

The Physiology of Salt Metabolism

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: There’s no point talking about—or restricting—the consumption of table salt without considering the potassium level of an individual. So says Dr. Royal Lee in this discussion of the critical relationship between the minerals sodium and potassium in the body. “The present custom of restricting salt for patients with cardiovascular disease seems to be an ill-advised substitute for balancing up their potassium-sodium intake. A deficiency of potassium may be a primary cause of the very condition in which sodium is being restricted, and [more dietary] potassium [may] be the real remedy needed.” 1951.

Pasteurized Milk: A National Menace

By James C. Thomson

Summary: This article from the Scottish periodical The Kingston Chronicle offers one of the most insightful quotes ever regarding the reality of nutrition, commerce, and science: “When dealing with highly lucrative commercial enterprises based upon dietetic and therapeutic procedures, doctors and analytical chemists are given a clear lead. They know what is expected of them…there is a market for signatures. They have only to indicate a bias in the right direction and everything is made easy. Their investigations are tailor-made and tidy beyond description. Slides and specimens from the laboratories of the cartels are provided for them; meticulously labeled and annotated Petri dishes come to them teeming with unequivocal cultures of all the best microbes. In many cases even their opinions and observations are supplied—typed out all ready for signature.” The author goes on to show how commercial dairy interests used just such tactics to shamelessly demonize raw milk and write pasteurization into the law books of the country for the purpose of profit. From The Kingston Chronicle, 1943. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 28C.

Butter, Vitamin E, and the “X” Factor of Dr. Price

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Could eating butter prevent hot flashes? Such a suggestion would sound outlandish to today’s nutrition “experts.” Yet not only did researchers in the mid-twentieth century show butter helps counter disorders associated with menopause, but the now maligned food was once regarded as a powerful healer in general, with physicians prescribing it for everything from psoriasis to tuberculosis. The reason for butter’s formerly stellar reputation is simple, explains Dr. Royal Lee in this wide-ranging 1942 publication. Butter is loaded with bioactive fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, and E, and as Dr. Weston Price observed in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, these nutrients are so critical to good health that human populations have historically placed a special emphasis on foods containing them. Butter produced by cows pasturing in the springtime is particularly nutritious, Dr. Lee adds, its deep yellow color indicating a high content of the famous “Activator X,” an elusive fat-soluble nutrient shown by Dr. Price to be essential for moving calcium from the blood into the bones and teeth. Given modern nutrition’s proscription against butter and other animal fats in the diet, it’s no wonder that today America is plagued by osteoporosis and other calcium-related disorders—not to mention the myriad other ailments Drs. Price and Lee would have predicted for a nation starving itself of fat-soluble vitamins. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1942.

Ascorbic Acid as a Chemotherapeutic Agent

By W.J. McCormick, MD

Summary: In this 1952 article, medical doctor W.J. McCormick reports on the remarkable success that he and other practitioners were achieving using ascorbic acid—or synthetic vitamin C—to counter bacterial and viral diseases. The key to the acid’s efficacy, Dr. McCormick writes, is its powerful oxidative action when administered in huge doses—especially impressive, he says, given the lack of serious side effects. While it is dismaying that medicine never pursued the use of ascorbic acid as a possibly safe and inexpensive antibiotic, it is also important to distinguish isolated ascorbic acid from natural vitamin C, that is, vitamin C as it is found in food. As the great holistic nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee taught, vitamins in nature are not single chemicals, but rather they are complexes of compounds that cooperate synergistically to deliver a nutritive effect. Vitamin C as it is found in food, for instance, comprises not just ascorbic acid but also the adrenal-stoking enzyme tyrosinase as well as various bioflavonoids essential for maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels. Ironically, the role of ascorbic acid in the natural vitamin C complex may be merely to protect these other fractions, probably through the same oxidative action that Dr. McCormick amplified to great success as a chemotherapeutic agent. Though synthetic vitamins may display such pharmacological effects, Dr. Lee said, it’s critical that we don’t confuse such effects for the nutritional functions that only natural vitamin complexes can perform. From the Archives of Pediatrics, 1952. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Foundation reprint 5C.

Honey in Nutrition

By William Miller

Summary: An excellent overview of the value of raw honey. Author William Miller compares the nutritional qualities of this extraordinary food, manufactured by bees for millions of years, to those of refined sugar. His conclusion? They’re complete opposites nutritionally, with honey providing vitamins, minerals, and other factors critical for life and white sugar providing nothing more than empty calories. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 119, 1955. Original source unknown.

Breast Feeding

By the United States Department of Labor

Summary: “No single factor exercises a more pronounced influence on the development of the baby and on his health during his entire life than nursing at his mother’s breast.” So wrote the U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) in its landmark Folder 8, an annual report issued from the 1920s through the 1940s encouraging mothers to breast feed their infants and advising them on the best nutrition to support their body in the task. Though, sadly, the government would later abandon its official support of breast feeding, the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research continued to reprint snippets from the USDL’s Folder 8, along with the article “Weaning the Breast-Fed Baby” from Today’s Health magazine, as the single publication presented here. With its emphasis on untainted animal foods, fresh produce, and unprocessed foods, the diet outlined in this classic guide is as sound for nursing mothers today as it was in its day. Multiple sources, published from 1926 to 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 122. 

A Fresh Look at Milk

By Francis Pottenger Jr., MD 

Summary: “There is no question that pasteurized milk and milk from poorly fed cattle produces osteoporosis in the experimental animal.” This quote by Dr. Francis Pottenger Jr., whose famous cat experiments in the 1930s established that malnutrition is inherited, sums up the great paradox of pasteurized milk: Americans drink it by the gallon believing they are strengthening their bones, but in truth it does the opposite, as shown by animal experiments going back decades. In this telling article, Dr. Pottenger discusses a study organized in 1933 by a farmer whose aim was to produce the finest milk possible from his cows. With the aid of a group of scientists, he discovered some basic principles of milk production that have been long ignored by the American dairy industry and health “experts” alike: not only does pasteurization destroy the nutritional value of milk, but the health of the cow greatly determines whether the milk it produces is beneficial or detrimental. “When the health of the cattle fails,” Dr. Pottenger explains, “the nutritional f actors of milk will decline, and partly metabolized food nutrients will produce sensitizations not only in the cow but in those who use the milk.” The implications of this statement are almost beyond belief. Included also is a description of the forgotten Wulzen anti-stiffness factor, a vitamin-like component of raw milk shown by early nutrition researchers to help prevent arthritis. From Modern Nutrition, 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A.

Bread Called Cause of Some Skin Ills

By Helen Bullock

Summary: A newspaper account of a dermatologist’s report that patients with skin disorders showed considerable improvement after eliminating bleached flour products from their diet. Importantly, the dermatologist is referring to the bleach chlorine dioxide, which had replaced the former standard flour bleach of many years, nitrogen trichloride. This article illustrates well the practice of the food processing industry to continue to use a product in spite of concerns about its safety until enough demonstrable cases of harm force its hand. From The Dallas Morning News, 1955. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

Are We Starving to Death?

By Neil M. Clark

Summary:  Dr. William Albrecht was the Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri and the foremost authority of his time on the subject of soil fertility and its relation to human health. In this 1945 article from the iconic Saturday Evening Post, author Neil Clark recounts Dr. Albrecht’s pioneering experiments demonstrating the critical connection between the trace mineral content of a soil and the health and hardiness of plants grown in that soil—and, consequently, the health and hardiness of animals and humans who eat those plants. Dr. Albrecht warns the magazine’s readers in no uncertain terms that unless America makes a concerted effort to restore the trace minerals to its depleted soils, the country’s population will suffer a slow extinction from the “hidden hunger” of mineral-poor foods, as evidenced by ever increasing rates of degenerative disease. With the “chronic disease problem” worse today than ever, Dr. Albrecht’s prophecy rings ominously true, and his findings demand the adoption of organic farming practices across the board in America’s agricultural industry. From The Saturday Evening Post, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 21.

Are We Starving at Full Tables?

Author unknown

Summary: One of the fundamental discoveries of early nutrition research was the connection between ill health and soil deficiency. Investigations like the one featured in this 1950 article showed that mineral shortages in worn-out land lead to malnutrition and disease not only in plants and animals grown on that land but in humans who eat those plants and animals. In the study described here, diseased dairy cows raised on mineral-deficient pastures are returned to health through dietary supplementation with trace minerals—those elements so often lacking in the overworked soils of conventional, nonorganic farms. The author also discusses the negative nutritional consequences of pasteurizing milk as well as the nutrient-robbing effects of industrial food processing in general. Thanks to a loss of nutrients at just about every step of the modern food manufacturing process, he says, Americans suffer widespread malnutrition despite a preponderance on their plates. From Steel Horizons magazine, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 41A.

The Special Nutritional Qualities of Natural Foods

By Dr. Royal Lee and Jerome S. Stolzoff

Summary: In this landmark report from 1942, Dr. Royal Lee and coauthor Jerome Stolzoff contrast the nutritional merits of traditional, natural foods and their industrially processed counterparts. Whereas the foods of traditional diets have centuries of trial and error behind them affirming their ability to nourish the human body, the authors say, industrially processed foods were introduced into the food supply practically overnight, with no nutritional testing whatsoever. Only when people in droves began developing vitamin-deficiency diseases—which include the likes of heart disease and cancer, Dr. Lee points out—did nutritionists of the early twentieth century begin to realize the frightening truth: processing and refining render food nutritionally unfit by irrevocably damaging its vitamin complexes, and unless the human race returns to a diet of time-tested natural foods, it will quite literally starve itself to death. Includes an eye-opening chart listing almost 150 modern diseases and the vitamin deficiencies associated with them by scientific research of the early twentieth century. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1942.

The Changing Incidence and Mortality of Infectious Disease in Relation to Changed Trends in Nutrition

By W.J. McCormick, MD

SummaryIn the nineteenth century, deadly infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, typhoid, and scarlet fever ran rampant in America and Europe. Then modern medicine came along in the 1900s and put an end to these epidemics through measures such as drug therapy, sanitation, and immunization. At least that’s how the conventional story goes. But does medicine really deserve credit for eradicating these infectious illnesses? In this fascinating article from 1947, Dr. W.J. McCormick points out a startling fact: the rate of each disease mentioned began steadily decreasing around the late 1800s—well before the advent of modern medicine. Moreover, the decline did not speed up as medical practices became standard in the early twentieth century, as one would expect if the “triumph of medicine” story were true. Given the facts, Dr. McCormick says, it appears some factor other than medicine was primarily responsible for bringing the great infectious diseases of the nineteenth century under control. That factor, he says, was the “anti-infection” nutrient, vitamin C. Thanks to revolutionary advances in food production, citrus fruits and other vitamin-C–packed foods became widely available for the first time in the late 1800s, steeling individuals against infection and spurring one of the great public health successes in history—a success wrongly credited to the medical and pharmaceutical fields, the author concludes. From The Medical Record, 1947. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 5A.

And Now—A New Crisis in Farming

By J.W. Robinson

Summary: A scathing, two-part report detailing some of the tragic consequences of the “profit at any cost” policy of twentieth-century animal husbandry. By 1963 in the United States, strange and novel diseases such as dwarfism, infectious abortion, and various bizarre viral infections had become epidemic among the country’s cattle, and the reason, writes author J.W. Robinson, was simple. America’s ranchers, by straying from basic natural law in animal breeding, had invited unnatural problems in their livestock. Citing numerous warnings from the Bible against ignoring the natural principles of animal husbandry, Robinson paints a picture of greed and ignorance that portends the factory-farm disasters of today. From The Plain Truth magazine1963. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 136. 

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

Can Cancer Be Cured?

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this thought-provoking article from 1950, Dr. Royal Lee quotes physician L. Duncan Bulkley to challenge modern medicine’s belief that cancer is a localized disease—the cells of a specific tissue or organ going haywire for no apparent reason—and not, as was widely believed historically, the result of a systemic disorder within the body, such as that caused by a nutritional deficiency. “The present status of the ‘cancer problem,'” Dr. Bulkley opines, “is to decide between two quite opposite positions: First, a hypothetical and problematical view of a local, independent, unexplainable, autonomous decision of certain cells to take on and continue a destructive course—for which immense research has failed entirely to find any reason. Second, the simple and rational belief that a perverted nutrition—perhaps of long standing—influences certain cells to depart from their normal mode of action and take on an abnormal activity, pursuing a malignant and destructive course that is naturally kept up by the continued metabolic disturbance.” Unsurprisingly, Dr. Lee adds, most of the successful alternative treatments of cancer reported at the time involved a radical shift in diet, from one of deficient, processed, chemical-laden products to a regimen of whole, natural, highly-nutrient-dense foods. Dr. Lee even outlines what such a diet might look like, placing particular emphasis on the consumption of raw foods. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research publication 12-50, 1950.

Calories—Nutritional and Harmful Types

By Dr. Royal Lee

SummaryOne of the truly perplexing assumptions of conventional nutrition is that industrially refining and processing a food has minimal effect on the food’s nutritional value. Look through the history of scientific studies on diet and health, and rarely will you find a distinction made between pasteurized and raw milk, bleached and unbleached flour, refined and unrefined vegetable oil. Yet the chemical and thermal mauling of the food supply is precisely at the root of our ill health, writes Dr. Royal Lee in this 1961 manifesto of holistic nutrition. The reason for mainstream nutrition’s blind spot when it comes to food processing, Dr. Lee explains, is its tendency to view foods solely in terms of calories—the measure of how much fuel a food supplies. Because processing and refining do not tend to alter the caloric content of foods, we have allowed uncontrolled damage to be done to the foods’ noncaloric elements—the vitamins, minerals, and countless other known and unknown cofactors that spur the thousands of biochemical reactions required to repair and sustain the body. The result of this destruction is a sea of “foodless calorie products” that, while giving the illusion of sustenance, fail on the most basic level to sustain human health. From Natural Food and Farming, 1961. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30H.

Calcium Therapy in Diseases of the Cardiovascular System

By Edward Podolsky, MD

Summary: Though the “Big Medicine union,” the American Medical Association, would spend the better part of the twentieth century framing nutrition science as quackery, there was a time in the early 1900s when practicing physicians were excitedly—and successfully—applying nutritional therapy in their patient treatment. In this fascinating 1939 review of the worldwide medical literature, doctor Edward Podolsky discusses the therapeutic use of calcium by his colleagues across the globe in treating various heart disorders as well as hypertension. Among the most interesting therapies discussed is the combined application of the plant-derived drug digitalis and the macromineral nutrient calcium—a hint at what might have been had medicine’s authorities embraced nutrition rather than treat it like an enemy, to be undermined and eradicated. From the Illinois Medical Journal, 1939Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 68.

Bleaching of Flour

By E.F. Ladd and R.E. Stallings

SummaryIn 1906 the U.S. Congress passed the landmark Pure Food and Drugs Act, the first federal law to directly address the safety of chemical additives in America’s foods. One such additive was the bleach nitrous oxide, a compound used by industrial millers to give wheat flour the ultra white color so prized by consumers at the turn of the twentieth century. In this frank report—published just months after passage of the “national pure food law”—researchers at the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station discuss the negative effects of exposing wheat flour to nitrous oxide, from the destruction of the nutritional value of the flour itself to the occurrence of noxious nitrous by-products in bread made from the flour. The authors also include the results of a survey of the people most intimately familiar with flour bleaching, America’s millers, whose responses reveal the true motive for the practice: to make lower grade flour look—and sell—like higher grade. Thanks to the powerful influence of the millers, the use of nitrous oxide to bleach flour continued after passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act, and in spite of a Supreme Court ruling in 1914 condemning the practice as a violation of the pure food law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture never once has attempted to enforce the court’s decision. This article—one of the oldest in the SRP Historical Archives—is a truly historic document that sets a time and place for the onset of the commercial destruction of America’s food supply. From Bulletin No. 72, North Dakota Government Agricultural Experiment Station, 1906. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1951. 

The Battlefront for Better Nutrition

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary“Yes, there is a battle going on,” Dr. Royal Lee writes in this 1950 article from the magazine The Interpreter. But the war Dr. Lee was referring to did not involve guns or missiles. It was a contest hidden from public view, waged between the nation’s food manufacturers and its first nutritionists—a war regarding the truth about processed foods. While modern beliefs about diet and health stem largely from the disproven idea that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, the picture looked quite different to America’s nutrition pioneers. These practitioners and researchers, living at a time when industrially processed foods morphed from novelty to staple of the country’s food supply, witnessed firsthand a phenomenon repeated across the globe throughout the twentieth century: wherever processed foods were introduced, the “modern” diseases—heart attacks, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, liver disease, ulcers, tooth decay, and so on—soon followed, where they had been virtually nonexistent before. This phenomenon was so obvious and so predictable that only a massive conspiracy between industrial food manufacturers and the federal government, as Dr. Lee bravely outlines in this explosive essay, could hoodwink the American people into believing that processed and refined foods are capable of nourishing the human body. From The Interpreter, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30-E.

Arm and Shoulder Pain

By Dr. George Goodheart

Summary: In this 1960 article, the “father of Applied Kinesiology,” Dr. George Goodheart, discusses chiropractic manipulations and nutritional support for treating pain in the shoulder area. One of the most common causes of such pain, he explains, is the precipitation of calcium out of the blood and into the tissues in and around the shoulder joint—a condition resulting usually from an overly alkaline state within the body. (For more on pH and health, see Dr. Goodheart’s excellent primer, “The Acid-Alkaline Balance and Patient Management.”) Other times, Dr. Goodheart says, discomfort in the shoulder is actually referred pain originating from dysfunction in the digestive organs, making nutritional support of the stomach, gallbladder, and liver critical to resolving the issue. Articles like these reveal the holistic understanding of the body’s function—and appreciation of the value of nutritional therapy—that have long distinguished chiropractic care within the healing arts. From the journal Michigan State Chiropractic Society, 1960. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research