By Francis M. Pottenger Jr. Summary: One of the great original thinkers of his day, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr. devoted his career to the prevention of chronic illness and made lasting contributions in the field of nutrition science, particularly in his classic book Pottenger’s Cats. In this deeply researched article, Dr. Pottenger presents years of […]
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.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this creative and forward-thinking commentary on preventive healthcare, Dr. Royal Lee discusses the ways in which proper nutrition saves businesses money by fostering employee health. Getting enough vitamin A complex, for instance, helps maintain the integrity of mucous membranes and thus prevents infection and lost man hours. Sufficient vitamin B complex keeps the nerves and heart functioning properly, while adequate vitamin C complex promotes stamina by optimizing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. A proper amount of vitamin D complex prevents cramps, irritability, and bone-calcium loss, and so on. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.
By G.L. Seifert and H.C. Wood
Summary: As read at the Second International Seaweed Symposium in 1956. Dr. Seifert reports on a study in which “the nutritional value of sea kelp and trace minerals was demonstrated.” In the experiment, the diet of 400 pregnant women—the majority suffering anemia—was fortified with tablets of dried giant bladder kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). In the majority of the subjects, the anemia disappeared within six to eight weeks of the onset of supplementation. In addition, there was “a spectacular drop in the incidence of colds” among the subjects. (Anemia and a tendency to develop colds is a common problem faced by pregnant women, the investigators note.) Seifert adds that the success of the study is likely a result of the high trace mineral content of the kelp, and that one of the key effects of trace minerals may be their promotion of the actions of vitamins. Reprint 133, 1956.
By Tom A. Ellis
Summary: A newspaper account of a gathering of nationally known nutritionists and soil experts discussing the effects of trace-element deficiency on the health of soil, plants, livestock, and humans. Among the scientists attending were Dr. William Albrecht, the soil expert from the University of Missouri who’s been called the father of organic farming, and Dr. Francis Pottenger, Jr., whose famous cat-feeding experiments showed conclusively that the effects of malnutrition are passed on to subsequent generations. Several studies are discussed, showing the positive clinical effect of supplying trace elements to livestock and humans deficient in them and suggesting that the true cause of these deficiencies is a lack of trace elements in the soil in which the plants eaten by the animals and humans grew. These early experiments show clearly the critical nutritional role of trace minerals in the cycle of life. From the Springfield Daily News and Reader, Missouri. Reprint 92, 1949.
By Ed Rupp
Summary: This 1949 article from a Missouri farming journal describes some breakthrough research on trace minerals being conducted in the state at the time. Specifically, undulant fever (brucellosis) is shown to be successfully treated with trace-mineral therapy. The article goes on to describe the loss of nutrients through pasteurization of milk and other so-called modern food processing methods. From the Missouri Ruralist. Reprint 41, 1949.
By Warren L. Anderson
Summary: A three-part report on the important effects of trace minerals in soil, livestock, and humans. At the time of these articles, in 1949, the macro minerals—calcium, phosphorus, and potassium—were fairly well understood in terms of plant growth. On the other hand, the trace minerals, e.g., iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, etc., were poorly understood until research like this began to appear. The role of trace minerals in the formation of nutrients such as cobalt and vitamin B12 had only just been discovered. This knowledgeable author shows the insidious effects and unsuspected diseases in plants, livestock, and humans caused by trace mineral deficiencies. From Hoard’s Dairyman magazine. Reprint 71, 1949.
View PDF: The Trace Elements