Summary: “What I want to talk about is the relation of nutrition to productive farming,” writes Dr. Jonathan Forman, a leading pioneer in environmental medicine during the 1940s. Here, Forman reviews research on nutritional deficiencies and degenerative diseases and traces their origins to poor farming practices throughout the entire food chain. “Poor land makes poor people, poor people make poor land, the people get poorer and the soil gets still poorer.” This is nutrition from the soil to the table. From the Ohio State Medical Journal, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 32.
Summary: Pioneering holistic medical doctor Joe Nichols writes about the “six chief causes of disease”: (1) emotions (2) malnutrition (3) poisons (4) infections (5) accidents, and (6) inheritance. The worst, he says, are the emotions. “Worry, fear, anxiety, hate, envy, jealousy—these are the great killers,” he explains, recommending the three A’s (acceptance, approval, and adoration of others) as a remedy. A second great killer, Dr. Nichols says, is malnutrition, which starts with soils that have been exhausted of minerals through irresponsible farming practices utilizing artificial fertilizers. “The end result of chemical farming is always disease, first in the land itself, then in the plant, then in the animal, and finally in us. Everywhere in the world where chemical farming is practiced the people are sick. The use of synthetic chemicals does not make land rich. It makes it poorer than before.” Dr. Nichols founded the Natural Foods Associates and edited its magazine, Natural Food and Farming, one of the first natural-food magazines published in the United States. From Natural Food Associates, 1954. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 58.
Summary: Dr. Samuel Beale Jr. was a practicing physician in the town of Sandwich, Massachusetts, for nearly fifty years, from 1914 to 1964. Spurred by a discovery made early in his career, he applied low doses of insulin therapeutically to a breadth of conditions ranging from high blood pressure, head trauma, and liver disease to syphilis and cancer, all with remarkable success. In this 1937 lecture, Dr. Beale shares clinical observations of his insulin therapy, emphasizing the critical role played by nutrition in his treatments. “The use of insulin should be considered only in conjunction with the securing of a diet complete in all the food essentials, including fats, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and sterols,” he declares, adding that “predisposition to disease appear[s] to be secondary to endocrine deficiencies or imbalances, and these seem associated with dietary deficiencies…” Dr. Beale’s words echo the notion popular among some of nutrition’s greatest pioneers—including Drs. Royal Lee, Weston A. Price, and Sir Robert McCarrison—that endocrine damage resulting from malnutrition is the basic mechanism behind most disease in the modern world. (Dr. Beale attributed much of the nutritional success of his practice to Dr. Lee’s famous raw-food concentrates, as he tells Dr. Lee in this poignant 1962 letter.) From Transactions of the Forty-Third Annual Meeting of the American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc., 1937. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: In this report from the late 1940s, Dr. Lee reviews some successful alternative treatments of cancer and emphasizes the importance of avoiding processed foods in both preventing and reversing the disease. In particular, he cites the works of Drs. Max Gerson of New York and D.T. Quigley of Omaha who famously reported that no case of cancer he had ever treated improved unless “the diet was so arranged that sugar disappeared from the urine.” In addition to refined sugar, Dr. Lee also names bleached flour and nitrite-preserved meats as likely cancer culprits. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, circa 1949.
Summary: A California physician records in a professional medical journal five separate cases in which patients with various forms of cancer recovered after adopting a diet of only organically grown foods. Though some of the patients had multiple malignancies at different times in their life, all of them remained cancer free—living twenty to thirty years beyond their last surgery and showing no signs of ever having a malignancy at all upon autopsy—after switching to organic foods. While such facts may seem unsurprising today, back in 1961, when this article was published, the act of a medical doctor officially suggesting such a powerful effect of food on health was tantamount to heresy within the medical community, explaining perhaps why the author claims to have written his submission “with considerable hesitancy.” From the American Journal of Proctology, 1961. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
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.
Summary: In the late 1940s, the Drosnes-Lazenby Naturopathic Clinic in Pittsburgh began reporting some amazing results regarding cancer treatment. After the founders of the clinic successfully reversed tumors in guinea pigs using the secretion of a specially developed microbial culture, they began administering the treatment to people who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Remarkably, many of the individuals—given no chance to live by conventional medicine—recovered. With the work fully supervised and documented by medical doctors, the clinic approached the American Cancer Society (ACS) to do more extensive testing of its treatment. Astoundingly, the ACS, without investigating the clinic’s patient cases or analyzing the microbial secretion, proceeded to publicly denounce the Drosnes-Lazenby treatment as a hoax. The ACS then banded with the American Medical Association to “inform” physicians and their patients that the Drosnes-Lazenby treatment had been “thoroughly investigated” and that the clinic operators were effectively frauds and profiteers (neglecting to mention that the clinic was not even charging for its services). Yet, as this collection of writings published in 1950 by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research attests, the successes of the Drosnes-Lazenby Clinic were well documented, revealing just how far the conventional cancer-treatment industry has gone to protect its “turf” against competition—regardless of the consequences. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprints 18E and 8-50A, 1950. Multiple original sources.
Summary: In 1943 TheBostonian magazine ran this tribute to the “fightinist” leader in the field of nutrition, Dr. Royal Lee. While a cabal including industrial food manufacturers, the American Medical Association, and the Food and Drug Administration conspired to suppress the inconvenient findings of nutrition science—namely that processed foods were at the root of heart disease, cancer, and most other modern diseases—Dr. Lee worked tirelessly to inform the American public of the truth. Undeterred by the powerful interests allied against him, Lee traveled the country to speak to healthcare groups, civic organizations, farmers, and “anyone within earshot” about the destruction of America’s health at the hands of “devitalized,” processed foods. While he would inspire the organic farming movement as well as a generation of holistic health practitioners, Dr. Lee’s legacy came at a profound price, as thirty years of continual legal battles and personal attacks by government and medical bureaucrats led him to an early grave. From The Bostonian, 1943. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. To learn more about the amazing Dr. Lee, visit Dr.RoyalLee.com.
Summary: At the turn of the twentieth century, sanitary conditions on many American dairy farms were deplorable, and it was not uncommon for humans to become infected by dangerous microbes transmitted in cow’s milk. While many officials pressed for sanitary regulations that would force producers to provide safe raw milk to the public, other powers pushed for another, less expensive option: pasteurization. Heating milk to high temperatures allowed germ-infested product to be sold to the public instead of being discarded. But while pasteurization did help neutralize many of the pathogens introduced by unscrupulous dairy farms, it had another, rather significant consequence that has gone long ignored. In short, pasteurizing milk destroys its nutritive value, as this collection of research abstracts from the 1930s shows. Whereas the studies report raw milk to promote growth, immunity, and excellent health in general, pasteurized milk was shown to do almost the complete opposite, inviting vitamin deficiency and disease in people who drink it, particularly infants. Even its calcium supply was shown to be highly unusable, making “scalded milk” one of the great impostors of modern food manufacturing.Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 7, 1939.
Summary: The discovery of vitamins in the early twentieth century was profoundly big news in the field of science, with much of the original research reported by top scientific journals and publishing houses of the day. This would change around the middle of the century, when the monopolistic medical industry conspired to keep nutrition studies out of the leading scientific journals, forcing nutrition investigators to report their findings in lesser known publications. Yet before medicine’s clampdown, vitamin research commanded the full attention of the scientific world, as reflected by these abstracts from the 1930s addressing nutrition and heart disease. The excerpts, taken from a variety of prestigious science journals of the day, consistently report a connection between a lack of vitamins, particularly vitamin B1, and the development of heart disorders. With the rise of industrial food manufacturing fundamentally altering the country’s food supply—including destroying much of its vitamin B1—health authorities at the time would had to have gone out of their way not to see the connection between the processing of America’s foods and the degradation of its health. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 6, 1939.
Summary: If you’ve read anything at all about nutrition, you’ve likely heard of the importance of proper pH balance in the body. But what is meant by proper, and where in the body should one assess acid-alkaline balance? Blood, urine, saliva, gastric juices, intestinal fluids—each of these has its own ideal pH range varying from highly acidic to highly alkaline. Just how does a nutritionist make sense of pH and apply it practically? That’s the subject of this outstanding primer from 1965 by renowned chiropractor Dr. George Goodheart, who presents some of his clinical observations in balancing pH in patients. While “pH” does ultimately refer to the acid-alkaline balance of an individual’s blood, he says, one can assess that value simply be measuring the pH of the saliva, which mirrors blood pH. (Urine pH, on the other hand, does not reflect the pH of the blood.) And contrary to popular belief, he adds, diet alone is seldom sufficient to alter a person’s pH, which is far more dependent on the functioning of the endocrine system and the ability of the body to digest fats than it is on the foods the individual is eating. Dr. Goodheart discusses both chiropractic and nutritional means of addressing these issues while presenting some of the classic symptoms of hyperalkalinity—such as allergies, insomnia, and arthritic pain—as well as those of hyperacidity, including breathlessness, dry skin, and hard stool. By addressing endocrine imbalances and poor fat digestion in the patient, he says, these often mystifying symptoms can be readily resolved. From the Digest of Chiropractic Economics, 1965. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: Dr. Royal Lee grew up on a farm in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, giving him firsthand knowledge of what he called the “two most important problems of the land—the problem of erosion and the problem of maintenance of fertility of soil.” In this 1947 commentary, Dr. Lee suggests that the two go hand in hand. He speculates that a depletion in mineral salts—or an unnatural imbalance of them like that created by artificial fertilization—leads to an inability of the soil to absorb water and leach from it the organic matter necessary for its health. In turn, he says, a precise make-up of organic matter is required in the soil to ensure the proper mineral constitution. “It seems,” he says, “that we must have organic matter to hold the mineral elements needed by plant life, and we must have mineral salts…to hold the organic matter.” Dr. Lee follows his discussion with excerpts from the classic 1863 text The Natural Laws of Husbandry by German chemist and agriculturist Justus von Liebig, who decries the simplicity with which most agricultural scientists view soil constitution and warns of the profound danger of partial soil fertilization—a practice that nonetheless has become the calling card of modern agriculture. Finally, in an unrelated piece from the January 21, 1944, issue of Science, Dr. Lee comments on the similarity of nutrient factors within and across species in an article titled “Vitamer or Isotel? Both?” Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 29, circa 1947. Multiple original sources.
Summary: Processed food is not food—no matter how much we tell ourselves it is. If there’s one statement that sums the opinion of early nutrition researchers, that’s it. When industrial food processing burst onto the scene in the late nineteenth century, it began fundamentally changing the stuff that had always nourished human beings. Harsh mechanical and chemical methods destroyed the power of our food to nourish us; and to make matters worse, artificial substances of untested effect were added to the mix. This destruction of America’s food supply is one of the great ignored crimes of history and the subject of C.E. Burtis’s 1960 book The Real American Tragedy. In the book’s foreword, presented here, leading nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee describes a telltale pattern observed repeatedly by nutrition’s first investigators: wherever processed foods were introduced, cancer, heart disease, tooth decay, and other “modern” diseases—virtually unknown previously in the population—soon followed. While this fact is utterly ignored today, it was entirely evident to Dr. Lee and his colleagues that a preponderance of processed and artificial foods in the diet is the main reason for America’s poor health. From The Real American Tragedy, 1960. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: Ebba Waerland was a natural foods advocate and healer from Sweden who gained international fame during the mid-twentieth century. The Waerland dietary system—named after her husband, physiologist Are Waerland—emphasized whole, natural foods over processed, nutrient-deficient ones, and it was very successful and popular in Europe. For the U.S. edition of her 1961 book, Rebuilding Health, Ms. Waerland asked American nutrition giant Dr. Royal Lee to write the foreword, which is presented here. In it Dr. Lee laments the assumption by modern civilization that industrially processed food is harmless—that “in some miraculous way, [the body] can transmute demineralized, devitaminized foods into healthy tissue.” A short biography of Ms. Waerland, from the book’s jacket, is included along with Dr. Lee’s foreword. From Rebuilding Health: The Waerland Method of Natural Therapy,1961. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Health.
Summary: In 1953 author W.R. Cox published a book documenting the mysterious degeneration and demise of his herd of chinchillas. What Cox discovered, after extensive laboratory testing and autopsies, was that his animals had been done in by fluoride hidden in their feed, the substance penetrating the placental barrier of the pregnant members of the herd and poisoning their offspring in the womb. In this foreword to Cox’s book, nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee discusses the frightening implications of the author’s report at a time when municipal water supplies were being forcibly dosed with the very substance that had destroyed Cox’s inadvertent test animals. Though fluoride had shown some effectiveness in preventing cavities in human studies, its side effects had not been sufficiently investigated, Dr. Lee writes, and adding it to pubic drinking water in the face of evidence like Cox’s amounted to an “ill-considered freak experiment” by bureaucrats so obsessed with passing reform that they hadn’t bothered to study the possible consequences of their proposal. From Hello, Test Animals…Chinchillas or You and Your Children? Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1953.
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.
Summary: In 1961 the American Heart Association (AHA) officially endorsed the “diet-heart hypothesis,” the idea that overconsumption of dietary fat increases the risk of heart attack. In particular the AHA condemned saturated fat, a type of fat found primarily in animal foods. Holistic health practitioners balked at the idea of this natural substance causing an unnatural condition such as heart disease and sensibly claimed that, if anything, synthetic fats such as hydrogenated fats and heat-processed plant oils—introduced just prior to the rise of the heart disease epidemic—were likely to blame. These natural healers proved to be prescient, as research in recent decades has shown a correlation between the consumption of hydrogenated fats and heart disease while failing to show such a connection for natural saturated fat. (Ironically, many of the early studies “supporting” the diet-heart hypothesis lumped hydrogenated fats and saturated fat into the same category.) In this article from 1965, famed chiropractor Dr. George Goodheart dispels myths about the diet-heart hypothesis—including the idea that cholesterol is a toxin—and explains why natural fats actually aid proper cholesterol metabolism, not hinder it. He goes on to suggest that overconsumption of refined carbohydrates, not natural fat, is likely the biggest dietary cause of heart disease—a hypothesis explored in scientific detail in the seminal 2007 book Good Calories Bad Calories. From the Digest of Chiropractic Economics, 1965. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research form VH-1 75.
Summary: There’s no harm in taking high doses of synthetic vitamins, right? That’s what most people believe anyway. Even many health practitioners think so. Yet early nutrition research showed clearly that ingesting large doses of synthetic, non-food-based supplements (what pass as “vitamins” in today’s world) can have serious consequences on your health. For instance, as Dr. Royal Lee points out in this 1950 article, even a moderate excess of synthetic thiamine (vitamin B1) induced disorders such as herpes zoster, hyperthyroidism, gallstones, and sterility in test subjects, and high doses of synthetic vitamin E caused calcium loss in the bones of test animals—the very opposite of the intended effect. The latter case, Dr. Lee says, illustrates the “little known and highly important” fact that high doses of a synthetic vitamin can cause the verysame symptomsas a deficiencyof that vitamin. Thus long-term use of most any supplement sold today may only make worse the condition it’s being taken for—something to think about your next trip down the vitamin aisle. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, circa 1950.
Summary: In this brief but poignant passage, Dr. Royal Lee observes that cancer tends to develop only in people with a weakened or imbalanced endocrine system. Healthy thyroid function in particular, he says, is critical in defending against the disease. This includes optimizing the effect of the gland’s hormone thyroxine by ensuring adequate levels of vitamin F, a complex of fatty acids that was recognized in the early days of nutrition as an essential nutrient in food but is inexplicably unacknowledged today. While vitamin F works synergistically with thyroxine to help prevent cancer, Dr. Lee says, one substance that should be avoided is anterior pituitary growth hormone, or “human growth hormone” (HGH). This compound, popular among bodybuilders and athletes today for its performance enhancement, is a “most potent stimulator of cancer,” he warns, and any product that might contain it should be categorically avoided in treatment of the illness. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1955.
Summary: The facts behind the Wulzen factor—an important fat-soluble nutrient found in raw milk and sugarcane juice—have been lost to modern science. Also known as the “anti-stiffness factor” because it combats arthritis and relieves pain, swelling, and stiffness, the Wulzen factor was considered an actual vitamin by a number of early nutrition investigators, but it was never accepted as such by medical or government “authorities.” To acknowledge it would have required the admission that pasteurization of dairy products is a causative factor in arthritis, and such an admission would never be made by those who so vigorously promoted and enforced pasteurization laws. From Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1951. Part of Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A. (To read reprint 27A in its entirely, including an in-depth discussion of the negative effects of milk pasteurization, see “A Fresh Look at Milk” in these archives.)