Sources of Fundamental Nutrition

By Louis Bromfield

Summary: In 1939 Pulitzer Prize winner and farsighted agriculturist Louis Bromfield established Malabar Farm, a thousand acre spread in the heart of Ohio that would become a hotbed for sustainable agriculture research as well as a popular getaway for Hollywood celebrities (Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall wed there in 1945, with Bromfield serving as best man). Bromfield would dedicate Malabar to what he considered the biggest challenge facing the country—conservation of the soil and water—pouring the profits of his writing into developing practices considered highly radical at the time, such as controlled grazing, crop rotation, contour plowing, and the use of natural instead of artificial fertilizers. In this 1950 article, Bromfield gives a glimpse of the philosophy behind his “conservation farming,” reflecting an understanding of the connection between soil health, microbial life, and animal and human nutrition that is truly years ahead of its time. “It is the duty of every citizen,” Bromfield urged, “to support and fight for—and possibly initiate—measures having to do with conservation of soil, water, and forests.” From The Role of Research in the Conservation of Our Nutritional Resources, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 85.

Sesame Seed—An Important Food

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this 1955 article from Natural Food and Farming, Dr. Royal Lee extols the nutritional virtues of the humble sesame seed. With a composition similar to almonds but at a fraction of the cost, sesame seeds are “mainly protein and oil, with very little carbohydrate,” Dr. Lee writes, noting that “most of us tend to overdo on carbohydrates.” The protein in sesame is particularly rich in the hard-to-come-by amino acid methionine, he says, and the seed’s oil is high in fat-soluble vitamins and phospholipids. Dr. Lee suggests a number of ways to include pureed sesame (that is, sesame butter, or tahini) in our diet, including using it as the base of a salad dressing or ice cream or as a shortening in baked goods. He also commends the Middle Eastern candy halvah—a honey-sweetened confection made primarily of sesame paste—as the rarest of rare comestibles: a dessert that is a bona fide health food. From Natural Food and Farming, 1955.

Saving Your Face

By Fred Miller, DDS

Summary: Another article from pioneering dentist Fred Miller. The title is a metaphor for keeping your teeth healthy throughout life through proper nutrition. “I make it a flat statement of fact,” he writes, “that, with the few exceptions that must always be allowed for, there is no good reason why a man should not take to his grave with him the vital teeth he now has in his mouth.” Originally published by Esquire in 1941, this is a republished version from 1955 that appeared in the newsletter Natural Food and Farming, the official publication of the Natural Food Associates.

Refined Sugar: Its Use and Misuse

By Harold Lee Snow, MD

Summary: “Excessive use of of refined sugar in the United States has become a serious nutritional problem.” You might think these words were uttered by some holistic nutritionist of today, but they are actually the first sentence of this remarkable article from 1948 by physician Harold Snow. Backed by 56 peer-reviewed references, Dr. Snow discusses in detail many of the seen and unseen dangers of refined sugar that have been criminally ignored for decades. Rashes, infections and allergies in children; arthritis, neuritis, and rheumatism; digestive dysfunction; hyperinsulinism; acidosis; and acne are just a few of the dangers of sugar identified by science, Snow says. “If one can avoid eating refined sugar,” he concludes, “one can expect more vibrant health, and a longer life with greater freedom from some of the acute and chronic diseases and complaints which many modern doctors are unable to diagnose or to treat successfully.” From The Improvement Era magazine. Reprint 126, 1948.

Public Health Aspects of the New Insecticides

By Morton S. Biskind, MD

Summary: An early warning from a medical doctor about the effects of agrichemicals on the health of livestock and humans. Dr. Biskind cites multiple studies showing that insecticide use and “nutritional defects” combine to significantly increase the incidence of various types of chronic degenerative disease. In a telling disclosure, he also points out that the infamous pesticide DDT was released onto the market “against the advice of investigators who had studied the pharmacology of the compound and found it dangerous for all forms of life.” From the American Journal of Digestive Diseases. Reprint 69, 1953.

Protest Against Persecution of the Health Movement by the Food and Drug Administration

By Karl B. Lutz, Attorney

Summary: A landmark letter of protest to the U.S. Congress against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s blatant persecution of natural health practices in the United States. First, attorney Karl Lutz outlines some basic tenets of whole food nutrition—principles championed, ironically, by the first head of the FDA, Dr. Harvey Wiley, back in the early 1900s—such as the need to grow foods in mineral-rich soil, to process such foods as minimally as possible, and to keep them free of potentially harmful foreign substances. By 1963, when this letter was written, these principles had been thoroughly abandoned by the FDA, Lutz declares. In fact, he says, the agency had become the very opposite of what Dr. Wiley had envisioned for it. Instead of protecting natural foods and natural food therapies, the FDA had colluded with industrial food processors and institutional medicine to work against whole food nutrition by actively persecuting, prosecuting, and intimidating professionals promoting natural nutritional approaches to health. Lutz singles out the 1939 case of the FDA against Dr. Royal Lee as particularly egregious. “I have examined the records of that suit, and in my opinion as a lawyer with some knowledge of biochemistry, it was one of the greatest miscarriages of justice I have ever seen.” This document is a forerunner, by over a decade, of massive petitioning of Congress for relief from the pharma-medical cartel monopoly, whose agenda in healthcare was—and still is—preferentially enforced by the agencies of the U.S. government. National Health Federation, 1963. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 8-63.

Portfolio of Reprints for the Doctor [Table of Contents]

By the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

Summary: The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, founded by Dr. Royal Lee, offered the public hundreds of reprints of articles, books, and lectures from nutrition researchers worldwide as well as original articles by Dr. Lee himself. These works, available for less than the cost of their printing, were bound into three separate portfolios intended for 1) the doctor 2) the homemaker and 3) the farmer and agriculturist. The list here shows the documents in the doctor portfolio, with original prices for the portfolio and individual articles shown for posterity. 1965.

Nutrition and Health

By Sir Robert McCarrison, MD

Summary: Dr. Robert McCarrison, the famed British nutrition researcher knighted for his work in India (which culminated in the classic reference Studies in Deficiency Disease), gives a lecture to London schoolchildren about diet and nutrition. He recounts his famous rat-feeding studies mimicking the diets of differing populations in India and, based on the results of his studies, gives his prescription for a basic healthful diet: freshly milled grains, raw milk and milk products, legumes, fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs, and meat. Reprint 43, 1937.

New Light on the Biological Role of Vitamin E

By Herbert M. Evans

Summary: In 1922 biologists Herbert Evans and Katharine Bishop discovered that rats deprived of a certain fat-soluble substance in their diet failed to reproduce. Thanks to this research, the substance—later named vitamin E—was known initially as “the antisterility vitamin.” In subsequent years, however, researchers would discover that vitamin E is responsible for much more than fertility, its deficiency leading to muscular and neural dystrophies in various species of animals, particularly in the young. In this lecture from 1939, Dr. Evans discusses both his own research and that of others into vitamin E’s critical role in the health of muscle and nerves, adding that while a certain minimal amount of the vitamin may ward of full-blown degeneration, there are likely effects of partial inadequacy as well, such as slowed growth. While today medicine has nebulously reduced the function of vitamin E to that of an antioxidant, Dr. Evans’s discussion speaks to a role much more immediately involved in the physiology of the body. Indeed, he notes, when scientists fed rabbits a diet deficient in vitamin E but supplemented with a known antioxidant, the animals “developed the [same] dystrophy and succumbed in the usual way.” From Journal of the Mount Sinai Hospital, 1939. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 56.

A New Fat-Soluble Dietary Factor

By Walter C. Russell

Summary: One of the great mysteries of early nutritional research was the identity of a certain fat-soluble substance shown by Dr. Rosalind Wulzen to prevent irregular calcification of the tissues. Dr. Wulzen first observed the effects of a deficiency of this factor in experiments she was conducting on guinea pigs, whose wrists stiffened as a result of a lack of the substance. Upon feeding the animals some fresh raw cream, she found that the animals’ wrists returned to normal—the calcification having reversed—and she thus named the substance the “anti-stiffness factor,” though in many circles it became known simply as the Wulzen factor. The following excerpt from Stanford University’s Annual Review of Biochemistry for 1944 introduces readers to this “new fat-soluble factor,” the precise identity of which remains debated to this day. (Dr. Royal Lee proposed that the Wulzen factor was none other than Dr. Weston Price’s famous “Activator X.”) One fact about the Wulzen factor remains unequivocal, however: while raw cream and milk ridded Dr. Wulzen’s guinea pigs of their calcification stiffness, pasteurized cream and milk did not, as the investigator herself reported on several occasions. This fact should give anyone studying nutrition pause about what we think we know about milk, given that virtually all studies of it over the past seventy-five years or so have been on pasteurized versions. (To learn more about the nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, see “Abstracts on the Effect of Pasteurization on the Nutritional Value of Milk.”) From the Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1944. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 127.

Narrative of an Investigation Concerning an Ancient Medicinal Remedy [Comfrey] and Its Modern Utilities

By Charles J. MacAlister, MD

Summary: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is one of the most highly regarded herbs in the world, and this 1936 book—republished in its entirety in 1955 by the Lee Foundation—is a treasure trove of knowledge about its use. Author Dr. C.J. MacAlister discusses his study and application of the herb; its unique phytochemical, allantoin; and its effect on cancer. Along the way, he draws on historical uses, contemporary studies, and personal observations with respect to therapies using this ancient plant. Includes an appendix by Dr. A.W. Titherley on the chemical structure of comfrey. Originally published by John Bale, Sons & Danielson, Ltd, 1936. Republished by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1955.

Modern Miracle Men

By Rex Beach

Summary: A fascinating document from the U.S. Senate that originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine. Beach describes the work of Dr. Charles Northen, whom he credits as the first person to show conclusively that mineral-deficient soils produce nutrient-deficient food plants, which in turn lead to nutrient deficiencies in the livestock and humans that eat them. A historically significant record of the decline of America’s soils, nutrition, and health. Reprint 109, 1936.

Maintenance Nutrition in the Pigeon and Its Relation to Heart Block

By Cyrill William Carter

Summary: An important article about one of the critical B complex vitamins that got lost in the rush to synthesize nutrients. Vitamin B4 is a vitamer of the B complex that promotes proper nerve impulse transmission, yet it is not recognized as an essential nutrient by modern science. In the report Oxford researcher Cyrill William Carter notes that in pigeons suffering heart block who had been fed a diet devoid of natural vitamin B complex, supplementation with vitamins B1 and B2 failed to resolve the problem. When supplementation was switched to a yeast extract, which naturally contained the then-unknown B4 vitamer in addition to vitamers B1 and B2, the heart block was resolved. Oxford University scientists worked for over a decade to resolve the relationship between vitamin B4 and vitamin B1. From the Biochemical Journal, 1934. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 3.

Letter to the Directors of the American Academy of Nutrition

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Dr. Royal Lee, writing on behalf of the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, urges the directors of the American Academy of Nutrition to adopt an official code of principles. Among the principles he suggests are addressing head on controversial subjects such as the pasteurization of milk and fluoridation of water as well as actively countering the trend toward “counterfeit foods” such as corn syrup (glucose), hydrogenated foods, and artificial colors. This is Dr. Lee’s public policy in a nutshell. The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1957.

Why Milk Pasteurization? The Harvest Is a Barren One

By Jean Bullitt Darlington

Summary: Part II of a two-part series examining the myths and politics of milk pasteurization. In this article, Darlington reviews the efforts of the U.S. Public Health Service to strong arm communities throughout the country to adopt pasteurization, and he also examines closely the nature of milk production, pointing out that with the technology and equipment available at the time, safe raw-milk production was not just feasible but preferable. “Pasteurization is destructive of many of the essential nutritional values in milk. The only possible defense that could ever have been offered for [it],” the author concludes, “is that it did act as a temporary expedient pending the acquisition of more knowledge of methods ensuring a safe and clean supply.” With even better methods available today, the prohibition in many states of the sale of raw milk speaks less to public safety and more to the commercial dominance of the pasteurized milk industry. From The Rural New Yorker. Reprint 28-B, 1947.

Vitamins in Our Food

By Prof. A.E. Murneek

Summary: In this article from Science magazine, Professor Murneek laments the various factors that have resulted in the “devitaminization” of the modern food supply. “Improper selection of food-producing plants, modern methods of handling the crop, and faulty preparation by cooking and other means has resulted in a diet of subnormal vitamin content for many people,” he writes, adding that refining and processing of foods have “devitaminized our foods still further.” If consumers truly want good health, Murneek says, they must learn to choose quality over looks or convenience when it comes to food. “By catering to the ‘eye-appeal’ we have, in our choice, often lost ‘food value,’ including undoubtedly a large amount of vitamins, both known and unknown.” He reminds readers that the food manufacturers do not have their health in mind. “Profit has been often the motivating force in present food technology, the dollar sign the guiding star, setting styles, fostering sales and creating eating ‘habits’ for the use, in volume, of certain products….Thus economics and style, not nutrition and health…have guided most parties concerned in food production and distribution.” Reprint 36, 1944.

Studies of a New Type of Yeast in Chronic Constipation

By Chester H. Lyon and James P. Hart

Summary: Perhaps the first published study of a probiotic supplement for the treatment of constipation and related bowel disorders. The researchers fed their subjects a special mycelium-type of yeast—developed by Dr. Royal Lee and known today as Lactic Acid Yeast—that converts carbohydrate foods into lactic acid in the colon. (The normal pH of the colon is acidic; this promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.) Unlike lactobacillus-type bacteria, which can convert only lactose into lactic acid, Lactic Acid Yeast is able to convert any carbohydrate source into lactic acid. This efficient conversion restored the lower bowel to its normal pH and function and provided improvement in every parameter that was studied. Clinical Osteopathy, 1940. Reprint by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. 

Royal Lee—The Man

By Don C. Matchan

Summary: The Herald of Health was a popular natural foods and lifestyle magazine in the 1950s and 1960s. This biographical sketch, published by the magazine in 1959, recounts events of Dr. Lee’s life from the earliest days of his childhood through the time the story was published, about a decade before his death. 1959.