Summary: William Brady was a medical doctor who wrote a popular syndicated newspaper column in the 1940s and ’50s. In this article from 1947, Dr. Brady discusses the importance of the B-complex vitamins—specifically thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and niacinamide (B3)—to both heart health and proper carbohydrate metabolism. In multiple studies conducted at the time, he notes, vitamin B supplementation had been shown to reduce or eliminate the need for exogenous insulin in diabetics, while the link between vitamin B deficiency and heart disease had been known since all the way back in the 1920s, thanks to the work of pioneering nutrition researcher Sir Dr. Robert McCarrison. Astoundingly, medicine still fails today to grasp the importance of B vitamins to proper heart function, while both conventional and alternative doctors remain woefully ignorant of Dr. McCarrison’s remarkable and still groundbreaking research. From the Waterloo Daily Courier, 1947.
Summary: Before there was Weston A. Price, there was Sir Robert McCarrison. In the first decades of the twentieth century, this British doctor and officer conducted some of the greatest initial investigations into the effect of diet on health. Studying different subpopulations in India, McCarrison showed that most of the diseases incurred by each population were a result of diet, specifically a diet of processed foods—a result that would later be echoed by Dr. Price’s famous worldwide investigation into traditional versus processed-food diets. Like Dr. Price, Dr. McCarrison bemoaned the disease-causing effects of foods such as refined sugar and flour, and he emphasized the extreme importance of choosing natural foods, including natural fats, over processed ones. In this short biographical sketch, he is quoted, “I know of nothing so potent in maintaining good health in laboratory animals as perfectly constituted food [and] I know of nothing so potent in producing ill health as improperly constituted food. This too is the experience of stockbreeders. Is man an exception to a rule so universally applied to the higher animals?” You can read McCarrison’s landmark 1921 book, Studies in Deficiency Disease—reprinted in its entirety by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research in 1945—in these archives. Multiple original sources.
By the Local Medical and Panel Committee of Cheshire, England
Summary: This 1939 declaration by the physicians of Cheshire, England, is one of the great documents of nutrition history and a clarion call for preventive medicine in the twenty-first century and beyond. In it the 600 family doctors of Cheshire county lament the failure of their profession to reverse the soaring rates of chronic disease in Britain, naming the reason for the new epidemics in no uncertain terms: “a lifetime of wrong nutrition” in their patients. While medicine’s political institutions were spinning the notion that only total vitamin deficiencies bring illness, such as the lethal scurvy or rickets, many practicing physicians were confirming what decades of experimental research had shown—that the human body is incredibly susceptible to partial deficiencies of vitamins and minerals as well, these lacks manifesting as practically every modern health complaint, from tooth decay to gastrointestinal disorders to chronic fatigue to mental illness. Unless Britain moved from its “white bread and margarine” diet of industrially processed foods to one with food that is “little altered by preparation,” with “no chemical or substitution stage,” and grown in soil in which “the natural cycle is complete,” the doctors warn, chronic disease would only continue to increase in Britain. In 1957 England’s prestigious Soil Association would resurrect Cheshire’s Medical Testament in a declaration of its own, published in the medical journal The Lancet, noting that time had done nothing but affirm the document’s dour predictions while repeating its assertion that whole, organically grown food is not a luxury but a necessity for human health. Over half a century later, with rates of chronic disease ever increasing across the globe, the institution of medicine continues to ignore the prophetic practitioners of Cheshire—at the risk of humanity’s very existence. From the British MedicalJournal, 1939. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: Doris Grant was one of England’s greatest proponents of the natural-foods movement. An avid supporter of the Lee Foundation, she wrote many books and lectured widely to teach the British people how to live healthier lives, particularly through their food choices. Strong and active until the end of her life, Grant died in 2003 at the age of 98. This document includes a brief account of her life. From the Cambridge University Medical School Society Magazine. Reprint 123, 1958.
Summary: The complete book, originally published in England in 1938 and republished by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research in 1945. The Wheel of Health is a master treatise on proper diet—as well as a cogent plea for the full recognition of vitamin values—based on study of the famously healthy Hunza people of what was at the time northern India (now Pakistan). Dr. Wrench credits his interest in the Hunza to the great nutrition pioneer Sir Robert McCarrison (author of Studies in Deficiency Disease, available in these Archives), who studied them extensively. The Hunza “are unsurpassed by any Indian race in perfection of physique,” McCarrison said. “They are long lived, vigorous in youth and age, capable of great endurance and enjoy a remarkable freedom from disease in general.'” In addition to the work of Dr. McCarrison, Wrench highlights as well the studies of the great agriculturalist Sir Albert Howard (author of An Agricultural Testament; see also “Natural vs. Artificial Nitrates” in these Archives.) “This small book,” one British reviewer wrote, “should rest at the very foundations of one’s personal explorations of health and its roots.” 1945.