The Vitamins in Medicine, Part 2 (Vitamins C, D, E, K and More)

By Franklin Bicknell, MD, and Frederick Prescott, MD

Summary: Nutrition and medicine have seldom seen eye to eye. Though the discovery of the vitamins in the early twentieth century did cause some physicians to grasp the profound connection between vitamin deficiencies and degenerative disease, medicine as an institution never truly embraced this idea. Ultimately, the American Medical Association declared—in concert with the industrial food industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—that most Americans do not suffer vitamin deficiencies of any consequence. This position, however, contradicts decades of scientific study, as famed natural nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee argued throughout his career. One of the books Dr. Lee cited most often in making his case was the text here, The Vitamins in Medicine, by British physicians Drs. Franklin Bicknell and Frederick Prescott. Backed by over 4500 scientific references, the text sums the totality of scientific knowledge about the vitamins at the time of its publication in the mid-twentieth century. While the book does take some typically medical views of vitamins, e.g., that they are single chemical substances and not synergistic biochemical complexes, as Dr. Lee taught, it nevertheless supports strongly the notion that many, if not most, of our modern ailments stem from partial (or “subclinical”) vitamin deficiencies. “This book not only tells of the ravages caused by ignoring nature’s ways,” Dr. Lee said, “but it also shows us the way to prevent these bodily damages.” In this second part of the book, Bicknell and Franklin discuss vitamins C, D, E, and K (along with a few other vital, if lesser known, nutrients). In Part 1, the authors examine vitamin A as well as the various B vitamins. Though the information in this book is over seven decades old, it is still incredibly valuable today, when so few health practitioners actually know what the vitamins do—or what a lack of them can cause. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1953. Original publisher William Heinemann, London.

Vitamin U Therapy of Peptic Ulcer

By Garnett Cheney, MD

Summary: While it was never accepted as a vitamin by the FDA, “vitamin U” from raw cabbage juice was successfully used by pioneering holistic physicians in the treatment of stomach ulcers. Here Dr. Cheney gives some background and clinical applications of this officially unaccepted vitamin in a presentation before the 80th Annual Session of the California Medical Association in 1951. This file includes a supplementary document from a 1957 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association on the subject of cabbage juice for digestive problems. From California Medicine. Reprint 91, 1952.

The Prevention of Recurrence in Peptic Ulcer

By D.T. Quigley, MD

Summary: Daniel Thomas Quigley was a prominent physician at the Nebraska College of Medicine who gained national recognition with his 1929 book, The Conquest of Cancer. As his career progressed, Dr. Quigley became convinced that nutritional deficiencies play a fundamental role not just in cancer but in most of the degenerative diseases that curse modernity, as he details in his 1943 tour de force, The National Malnutrition. In the following lecture, delivered a year after publication of that book, Dr. Quigley discusses the treatment of peptic ulcer, a disease caused by the long-term consumption of refined foods, he says, such a diet inducing shortages of not just a single vitamin or mineral but of multiple nutrients. In fact, he says, degenerative illnesses are almost never due to the lack of a lone nutrient but are “in varying degrees deficiencies of all of the necessary vitamins and minerals.” This is an important point that has been virtually ignored by conventional nutrition science since its inception. In an attempt to perform experiments isolating a single variable, researchers have created a model of debatable worth in illuminating practical truths about the relationship between diet and health. As Dr. Quigley sums sardonically, “None but the laboratory animal…has a deficiency of iron alone.” Thus his therapy for ulcer, like the answer for most degenerative illnesses, is to “use natural, high-vitamin, high-mineral foods” such as milk, eggs, seafood, and raw fruits and vegetables, and to “reject non-vitamin, non-mineral foods” such as white sugar and white flour. And how long should the patient keep this up? “For life,” he says, not kidding. From The Nebraska State Medical Journal, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 17.