The Low-Carb Diet That Prevented Polio

SummaryIn the summer of 1948, the polio epidemic was raging across the United States, and it was hitting the city of Asheville, North Carolina, particularly hard. Parents had been ordered to keep their children quarantined in their homes, and residents were even advised to leave the state if possible. Among the town’s citizens was Dr. Benjamin Sandler, one of the few medical doctors of the time who recognized the profound connection between malnutrition and disease. Dr. Sandler’s research had convinced him that a diet high in refined sugar and starch was setting the stage for the polio infections (as well as many other illnesses). With his belief far too “radical” for public-health officials to even consider, Dr. Sandler took his case to the local newspapers and radio stations, who were convinced enough to report his theory and his proposed polio-prevention diet to the public. The story quickly went national, and rates of the disease proceeded to drop as people across the country started following the diet. (See chapter 7 of Diet Prevents Polio for a detailed discussion of the results.) Sadly and predictably, the medical field refused to acknowledge the efficacy of Dr. Sandler’s diet, leaving the sampling of newspaper clips here to document the “diet that prevented polio.” Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. Multiple original sources. 

Carbohydrate Not Essential

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: “What is refined sugar?” Dr. Royal Lee asks in this provocative excerpt and then answers, “It is pure carbohydrate. [And] is carbohydrate an essential food, a food component without which we could not live? It certainly is not.” Today people are picking up on the fact that while there are essential fats and there are essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. The content here is excerpted from the 1952 article “This Molasses War—Who Is Prevaricating,” in which Dr. Lee expounds on the critical difference between whole-food sweeteners and refined ones. From Let’s Live magazine, 1952. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Developmental Malformation in Man and Other Animals: A Bibliography with Introduction

By Howard H. Hillemann, PhD

Summary: In the introduction to this bibliography of over 200 references, Dr. Howard Hillemann speaks of the evolution of humankind’s beliefs about disease and bodily defects, from early notions attributing such abnormalities to “divine visitation” to the idea, as of 1957, that such disorders are the result of a combination of genes and environment. Regarding the latter, Hilleman points out, “Proper nutrition is the most important single factor in the prevention of disease or in the recovery therefrom” and presents a list of references supporting this claim. While much of the content cited is no longer in print, merely perusing the categories and titles of the papers of the bibliography is “impressively educational in itself,” Hillemann writes. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, reprint 66C, circa 1957.

The Despotic Misuse of Our Federal Pure Food Law

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Publishing this piece was a tremendous act of courage by Dr. Royal Lee. In it, he exposes the methods used by government agencies to suppress the natural-nutrition movement and subordinate nutritional science to medical consensus in spite of the fact that medical authorities have never trained in nor respected the field of nutrition. In fact, these authorities have historically acted as apologists for food adulterators and persecutors of whole-food advocates. Lee also debunks FDA attack statements on “food faddists” and organic-farming advocates. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1957.

Correctable Systemic Disorders Indicated by Presence of Salivary Calculus

By John E. Waters, DDS

Summary: An excellent nutritional piece positing dental plaque as a precursor to cancer. “Both the medical and dental professions in general consider pyorrhea alveolaris [gum inflammation and loosening of teeth] as a disease per se and treat it primarily from the local disease angle. That is wrong. Pyorrhea is but a single symptom of a systemic disease caused by glandular abnormalities. Local treatment but reduces the obvious symptoms; it does not affect the basic systemic disease. That which follows is based on observations during over forty years of general dental practice, and on over thirty years of special attention paid to certain aspects rarely if ever commented on in connection with dental calculus [tartar].” Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1964.

The Composition and Nutritive Value of Flour

By H.M. Sinclair

Summary: With the invention of the steel roller mill in the late nineteenth century came the widespread availability of “70-percent extracted” flour—or refined flour, as we know it today. The 30 percent of the wheat grain left behind in refined flour’s production comprises mostly the bran and germ, which happen to contain almost all the food’s vitamins and minerals. In countries that historically relied on bread for their health, such as Great Britain, this was a major problem, and for years a debate raged over what to do about it. On one side there were the “chemical” nutritionists, who proposed doctoring 70-percent flour with synthetic versions of the “token nutrients”—that is, the handful of vitamins and minerals deemed most depleted during refining. Opposing them, as reflected in this 1957 lecture to the Royal Society of Health by Dr. Hugh Sinclair, were the more “naturalist” nutritionists. Since not all the nutrients provided by wheat were known nor the way they function truly understood, Dr. Sinclair says, a wiser course would be to mandate a minimum, higher extraction rate of wheat—as the British government had done during World War II—so that the nutrient-dense germ at least was included. “There have been very many tests on the lower animals of the two types of flour,” he adds, “and it is acknowledged that rats grow better on flour of high extraction than on [chemically] ‘fortified’ white flour.” Unfortunately, facts such as these—like the old-school-nutrition researchers who presented them—were simply ignored as the age of chemical nutrition prevailed. From The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 1957. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 38.

The Commoner Forms of Pruritus Ani Considered Eutrophically

By N. Philip Norman, MD

Summary: Pruritus ani is a condition marked by intense and chronic itching in the anal area. Here, Dr. Philip Norman, celebrated New York City physician and author of Chronic Idiopathic Ulcerative Colitis, explores the various nutritional causes and treatments of this difficult condition. This is a splendid example of how far back some medical doctors embraced a holistic approach to difficult health problems and applied nutritional solutions to great success. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1965.

A Close-Up of Dr. Royal Lee—A Many-Sided Genius

By Jonathan Forman, MD

Summary: Dr. Jonathan Forman was an esteemed medical doctor who pioneered the field of environmental medicine and launched and edited the famous cutting-edge journal Clinical Physiology. From 1968 to the present, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has presented the prestigious Jonathan Forman Award annually to doctors and researchers who make outstanding contributions to environmental medicine. In this biography of Dr. Royal Lee, Dr. Forman writes, “in the field of ‘health through nutrition’, [Dr. Lee] stands out as the Empire State Building on the New York skyline.” High praise indeed. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1964.

Clinical Studies of Magnesium Deficiency in Epilepsy

By Lewis B. Barnett, MD

Summary: In this article from the pioneering mid-twentieth-century journal Clinical Physiology, Dr. Lewis Barnett summarizes his laboratory and case-study findings correlating magnesium deficiency and epilepsy. Dr. Lewis spent many years studying this essential mineral and its profound relationship to the utilization of calcium. From Clinical Physiology, 1959. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 114.

Clinical Nutrition (Food Versus Drugs)

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this revealing article from 1948, Dr. Royal Lee calls out organized medicine for deceitfully thwarting the field of clinical nutrition. “This pernicious and corrupt misuse of the facilities of medical education has been [totally] effective in creating the idea that nutritional therapy is futile and leans toward quackery.” Lee goes on to show how medicine became focused solely on therapies involving pharmaceutical drugs, and that it ruthlessly marginalized drugless healing professions through laws preventing the dissemination of information and knowledge. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1948.

Protomorphology: The Principles of Cell Auto-Regulation

By Royal Lee and William A. Hanson

Summary: The complete book on the subject of the Protomorphogen. In this seminal work, Dr. Royal Lee connects the dots between the endocrine, nutritional, and cellular control mechanisms of the living human cell as well as how growth and repair in the body are regulated. This is the basis for Dr. Lee’s theories of autoimmune disorders, in which he detailed the immune system’s ability and tendency, under conditions such as nutrient deficiency, to target the body’s own tissue. Lee’s visionary tome was released decades before any understanding of autoimmune disorder was acknowledged or accepted by medicine or any other field of healing. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1947.

View PDF: Protomorphology: The Principles of Cell Auto-Regulation

Chiropractic Reactions in the Light of Protomorphology

By Dr. George Goodheart

Summary: In this 1951 article, Dr. George Goodheart, founder of applied kinesiology (AK), discusses the Protomorphogen Theory of Dr. Royal Lee in relation to the mechanisms of chiropractic treatment. This is one of Dr. George Goodheart’s earliest professionally published articles. From The Journal of the National Chiropractic Association, 1951. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

Chemical Pesticides and Conservation Problems

By M.M. Hargraves, MD

Summary: In this thoughtful speech before the National Wildlife Federation, a Mayo Clinic physician presents his opinion on the causal effects of farming chemicals on human health. Citing numerous cases studies from twenty-five years of clinical practice, Dr. Hargraves presents a strong correlation of pesticide exposure with specific illnesses. While Hargraves concedes that “no one is capable of speaking with authority about exact causal relationships of pesticides and human health,” he maintains that “the vast majority of patients suffering from the blood…and lymphoid diseases have a significant history of exposure to the various hydrocarbons which in turn includes most of the pesticides of today.” Original source unknown, 1959. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 105.

The Cereal Grains: Some of Their Special Characteristics

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: With grains getting a bad rap in some nutrition circles these days, we tend to forget that historically many cultures thrived on diets rich in cereals. The rye eaters of the Swiss Alps, the oat lovers of the Scottish isles, the wheat-heavy Hunza of northern India—all were studied and touted by investigators of the early 1900s for their extraordinary hardiness and freedom from disease. (Of course, their grains were whole, genetically unaltered, grown in healthy soil, and freshly milled before cooking, but that’s another story.) In this 1953 missive, Dr. Royal Lee discusses the nutritional virtues of some of our common grains, commending wheat for its high phosphorus content, rice for the superior biological value of its protein, and oats and rye for their muscle-building effect. He even explains why barley tea—once a household remedy for everything from teething to insomnia—might help keep you free from infectious disease. For anyone questioning the nutritional value of whole grains, Dr. Lee’s words will come as a thought-provoking surprise. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1953.

Case of Dental Caries vs. the Sugar Interests

By Allison G. James, DDS

Summary: The overwhelming case that consumption of refined carbohydrates is the cause of tooth decay is presented by dentist and author Allison James. Even back in 1949, as this article from Journal of the Southern California State Dental Association illustrates, this theory was opposed institutionally by both commercial sugar interests and the profession of dentistry at large. Instead, conventional dentistry continued—and continues today—to blindly follow its eternal mantra: Drill ’em and fill ’em. Never mind why the caries are there in the first place! From Journal of the Southern California State Dental Association, 1949. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 42.

Cardiac Failure in Cattle on Vitamin-E-free Rations as Revealed by Electrocardiograms

By T.W. Gullikson and C.E. Calverley

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.