By Benjamin Sandler, MD
Summary: Early nutrition research consistently showed that a properly nourished person is highly resistant to infection, whereas a malnourished one is highly susceptible. In this 1951 book, former U.S. naval surgeon Dr. Benjamin Sandler pokes holes in conventional ideas about polio and argues that the best way to have avoided the infectious disease was to eat a low-carbohydrate diet. He presents the evidence that led him to his conclusion and explains why, of all the countries in the world, the United States got hit hardest by the polio epidemic. He also details one of the most intriguing public health experiments in nutrition history, when in the summer of 1948 he convinced newspapers in the polio-ravaged state of North Carolina to publicize his low-carb diet as a means of prevention. Though the experiment was a success—the rate of polio in North Carolina changed from one of the highest in the country to one of the lowest—health officials categorically ignored Dr. Sandler’s work, and, shockingly, his book was later banned by the government. Like so much information suppressed in the early days of nutrition, Diet Prevents Polio holds great truths that merit a full examination in light of current biochemical knowledge. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1951.