Vitamins F and F2

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Few people today have heard of vitamin F, but back in the heyday of vitamin research, this fat-based complex and vitamin D synergist was widely recognized as an essential nutrient for the human body, obtainable only from food and ideally from animal fats. In this 1949 article, Dr. Royal Lee expounds the nature of vitamin F as a complex of compounds that includes—but is not limited to—the famous “essential fatty acids” of today’s nutrition, linolenic acid and linoleic acid. In vitamin F these two compounds work in tandem with a host of other cofactors, including the critical arachidonic acid, Dr. Lee explains, to promote such important actions as calcium transport, prostate function, immunity, and even cancer prevention. Moreover, he writes, when vitamin F combines with phospholipids (as occurs in mammalian livers), it forms a complex that exhibits different nutritional activity than that of vitamin F. This complex, which Dr. Lee calls vitamin F2, is intimately involved in the repair and generation of new tissue, making it vital for any therapy of “muscular dystrophies, creeping paralyses, anemic states, weakness, and atrophy.” While modern science continues to underplay vitamins and minerals, articles like this remind us that these essential micronutrients are involved in the most fundamental functions of the body, and even a slight deficiency in any one of them can have catastrophic consequences on our health.

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.

How Federal Laws and Federal Courts Are Illegally Used by Organized Medicine to Maintain Its Medical Monopoly

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this classic lecture to the National Health Federation Convention in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Royal Lee reveals how organized medicine succeeded in legally hampering drugless therapies through the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which redefined a drug as “anything used to treat, prevent, diagnose, mitigate, or cure a disease.” Given this new definition, Dr. Lee says, “once the drugless practitioner has discovered how to druglessly treat his patient, lo and behold, that remedy now automatically becomes a drug, and he is stopped from its use.” This trick was particularly effective in thwarting the use of whole-food supplements in nutritional therapy, since it made all such supplements potential “drugs” under the law. 1962. Original source unknown.

A Few Facts About Vitamins

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this succinct article from 1940, the great nutrition pioneer Dr. Royal Lee presents some of his foundational views about vitamins—facts that might go a long way toward righting the field of diet and health today were they more widely known. First, he points out, the effects of vitamins vary so immensely between species that it is completely nonsensical to recommend daily allowances for humans based on tests made on rats and guinea pigs (which is precisely how “recommended daily intakes” were developed). Second, he explains, no vitamin consists of a single compound. All vitamins in their original form—that is, as they are found in food—are in fact “complexes,” or mixtures of biochemically interrelated compounds that work together to deliver a nutritive effect to the body. Such natural vitamins are a far cry from the single, chemically pure, “most active” compounds that pass as vitamins today. Taking such isolated fractions without their accompanying synergists, Dr. Lee says, explains the disappointing, and sometimes disturbing, results of early research testing the efficacy of synthetic vitamins. Vitamin Products Company, 1940. 

A Few Comments on the Relation of Abnormal Heart Sounds to Malnutrition

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this one-of-a-kind discussion of malnutrition and heart health, Dr. Royal Lee describes the characteristic sounds of various heart irregularities as detected by an Acoustic Cardiograph or Endocardiograph. First, he traces the cause of extra heartbeats and fibrillations to a deficiency of factors in the B vitamin complex. He then goes on to describe the connection between a number of other heart abnormalities and deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamins C, F, G, and E2. 1953. Original source unknown. 

The Facts Are Published—Why Not Be Honest About It?

By the Therapeutic Foods Company

Summary: In this brilliant missive from Dr. Royal Lee’s Therapeutic Foods Company, the “facts” published refer to studies showing that only natural vitamins—that is, vitamins as they are found in food, as complexes of many cooperating compounds—are capable of curing vitamin-deficiency diseases such as beriberi, scurvy, pellagra, and rickets. On the other hand, isolated or synthetic fractions of the vitamin complexes, which today we define as “vitamins,” do not cure deficiency diseases. For instance, few people realize that ascorbic acid (what is known today as “vitamin C” despite the fact that it is just one of numerous compounds in the natural vitamin C complex) has never been shown to cure scurvy. Nor does synthetic thiamine cure beriberi or synthetic vitamin D cure rickets. In fact, Dr. Lee points out, studies at the time indicated that isolated vitamin fractions might ultimately make these conditions worse. Scientific study supports these facts, he says, so why not be honest about it? Therapeutic Foods Company, 1941.

The Direct Effect of Malnutrition on Tissue Degeneration

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this 1949 address to the Seattle chapter of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition, Dr. Royal Lee touches on some of the major findings of early nutrition history that are still, incredibly, ignored to this day. Topics include the importance of calcium, phosphorus, and raw protein to tooth health; the total destruction of nutrients in bread caused by bleaching; the connection between vitamin E deficiency and heart disease; the dependency of connective-tissue integrity on adequate vitamin C levels; and the various lesions of B vitamin deficiencies. Dr. Lee explains that most of the health problems caused by nutrient deficiency are the result of the consumption of overcooked and processed foods and concludes with perhaps the most important edict for good health: “We must take the trouble in our homes to prepare our foods from the basic materials as far as possible, even to the extent of growing our vegetables and fruits on properly composted soil if we can. The dividends will be quite possibly twenty years added to our life span, to say nothing of the life added to our years.” 1949. Reprinted by Selene River Press in Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Volume I

A Critical Discussion of Trace Elements and Biodynamic Agriculture

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: By the close of the 1940s, Dr. Royal Lee had seen many “peeps behind…the iron curtain that is so carefully maintained by the makers of fraudulent foods to keep the American people in ignorance as to the real cause of their chronic diseases.” Thus, in commenting on the opinion of a committee who’d concluded, on very little evidence, that fertilizing soil with trace minerals is unnecessary to produce nutritious plants, Dr. Lee could not help but question the motives of the committee’s so-called experts. “Such haste in promoting one side of a vital question that cannot be settled without a great amount of research certainly throws a lot of doubt upon the integrity and honesty of the committee.” Lee would spend the next two decades calling out such formulaic chicanery, the kind of which would later lead to some of the great shams of modern nutrition, including cholesterol theory and low-fat diets. 1949. Original source unknown.

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.

Potassium—The Dynamic Mineral in Nutrition

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: The perfect primer on the roles of potassium and sodium in the body. The trick to understanding these major minerals, Dr. Royal Lee says, is to consider where they should be. Potassium belongs in cells, not the blood, while sodium belongs in the blood, not the cells. “When these minerals lose their home,” he warns, “they may be the cause of trouble.” Dr. Lee discusses the keys to maintaining the proper distribution of these minerals, focusing particularly on the role of the adrenal glands and the need to take in more potassium, which has been largely displaced by sodium in the modern food supply, through the consumption of fresh, raw vegetables. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.

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.

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.

Caffeine, Coffee, and Coca-Cola

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this 1957 article form Herald of Health magazine, Dr. Royal Lee discusses the addictive qualities of caffeine as well as the health-busting practice of the originators of Coca-Cola to add extra, isolated caffeine to its popular soft drink. “The effects of drinking caffeine on an empty stomach and in a free state are far more dangerous than drinking an equal quantity of caffeine wrapped up with tannic acid in tea and coffee,” Dr. Lee writes, quoting the first head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Harvey Wiley. As Drs. Lee and Wiley also point out, the practices of Coca-Cola and many other of the country’s food processors were ruled illegal by the Supreme Court early in the twentieth century, but penalties against the companies have never been enforced because of the food manufacturers’ influence within the federal government. From Herald of Health magazine, 1957.

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.

Cancer: Its Cause, Its Prevention, Its Cure

 By Dr. Royal Lee

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.

Applied Protomorphology: The Physiological Control of Growth and Repair

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this eye-opening 1952 article, Dr. Royal Lee outlines the basic mechanism behind autoimmune disorders—something that alludes medical science to this day. Under normal circumstances, Dr. Lee writes, growth factors specific to each tissue in the body, which he calls “protomorphogens,” are released into the bloodstream by the tissues’ cells. To keep protomorphogens from causing runaway growth of their corresponding tissue, the body produces antibodies to neutralize them. When a tissue (or organ) becomes overworked, it begins to produce an abnormally high amount of its protomorphogen. This, in turn, causes the body to produce an abnormally high amount of antibodies. If the amount of antibody exceeds the amount of protomorphogen, the excess antibodies begin attacking the actual cells of the tissue—what has come to be known as an “autoimmune reaction.” Not only did Dr. Lee identify and explain such reactions over seventy years ago, he also developed food-based supplements that thwart them, as he describes in this article. With medicine still groping to explain why autoimmune reactions occur and at a loss as to how to stop them, Dr. Lee’s words are nothing short of astounding. 1952. 

The Cause of Erosion

By Dr. Royal Lee

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 commentaryDr. 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.

Foreword to “The Real American Tragedy”

By Dr. Royal Lee

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.

Foreword to “Rebuilding Health: The Waerland Method of Natural Therapy”

By Dr. Royal Lee

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