Open Letters Concerning Dr. Frederick J. Stare

Various authors

Summary: In March 1957 Modern Nutrition printed the following excerpts from a stunning series of open letters by John Pearmain of the Boston Nutrition Society to Dr. Nathan Pusey, President of Harvard University, regarding “the matter of standards of research under Dr. Frederick Stare,” head of the university’s department of nutrition. Dr. Stare (1911–2002), probably more than any other public figure in U.S. history, was responsible for convincing Americans that sugar and other refined foods are harmless and that whole foods are no more valuable nutritionally than processed ones. “Actually,” he once wrote, “we get as much food value from refined foods that have been enriched as from natural foods, and sometimes more.” Dr. Stare also advised Americans to “eat your [food] additives—they’re good for you” and recommended Coca-Cola as “a healthy between-meals snack.” In the following excerpts, Mr. Pearmain questions the reasons for Dr. Stare’s pronouncements, suggesting it was not the weight of scientific evidence that underlay them but rather the financial might of his department’s funders, which comprised some of the country’s largest food processing companies (including, yes, Coca-Cola) as well as major chemical and drug interests. While these links were carefully kept from the public during Dr. Stare’s lifetime, recently they have begun to come to light, most notably in the 2016 exposé “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease” in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. The investigation pieces a paper trail from the Sugar Research Foundation—an industrial benefactor of Harvard’s nutrition department whose advisory board Dr. Stare served on—to research published by Harvard investigators intentionally obscuring evidence against sugar in the causation of heart disease. While the news of influence peddling at America’s most prestigious university came as a shock to many readers, Harvard’s “sugar scandal” is merely the tip of an iceberg of dubious activity by Dr. Stare and his department, as the following letters show. Included after the excerpts is some fascinating commentary by Dr. Royal Lee, a leading proponent of natural food nutrition during the 1950s and strong critic of Dr. Stare. From Modern Nutrition, 1957. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Nutrition and Arthritis

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this monumental 1952 pamphlet, Dr. Royal Lee argues that arthritis is the direct result of nutrient deficiencies brought about by the overconsumption of cooked and processed foods. Insufficient intake of vitamins A, C, and G; various minerals; and the woefully forgotten Wulzen factor—an “anti-stiffness” agent for joints found in raw sugarcane juice and raw cream—all help contribute to the disease, Dr. Lee writes. (Interestingly, while raw cream was shown to prevent joint stiffness in test animals, pasteurized cream provided no such protection, which may explain why arthritis became epidemic in the USA after food processors began pasteurizing the nation’s milk supply.) Dr. Lee not only shows how these deficiencies lead to the arthritis-inducing conditions of acidosis and toxic bowel, he also delineates precise supplement protocols to reverse the arthritic condition, featuring his famous raw food concentrate formulas Betalco and Minaplex (known today as Betacol and Organically Bound Minerals). Dr. Lee also backs up his ideas with several carefully documented case studies showing how patients reversed crippling cases of arthritis using his protocol. This compilation is a tour de force of nutritional therapy—indispensable for all health practitioners and anyone else interested in restoring wellness through diet. From the Vitamin Products Company, 1952.

Some Interrelations Between Vitamins and Hormones

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Dr. Lee, citing the great British doctor and nutrition pioneer Sir Robert McCarrison, explains the critical connection between nutrition and the endocrine system. “McCarrison back in 1921 told us how the endocrine glands were the first structures to atrophy or degenerate following vitamin and mineral deficiencies. [For instance,] the adrenal glands…stopped functioning and soon became atrophied.” McCarrison noted that while the adrenals were usually the first endocrine gland to falter as a result of nutrient deficiency, in time others followed, including the thyroid and the pituitary. As Lee often pointed out, none of this would have been discovered had diets high in nutrient-deficient processed foods not initiated such problems in the human race. 1950.

Ideal Drinking Water

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Many people know white sugar and white flour are refined products, but what about distilled or otherwise “purified” water? Although deionization or reverse osmosis can remove potential pathogens, it also takes away the minerals found in “unrefined” sources of water that are so critical to human health. Possibly the most important of these minerals, Dr. Lee says, is calcium bicarbonate, a form of calcium that has the rare distinction of being easily absorbed by the human body. Other benefits such as natural bacterial antigens, which help build our immune system, and the absence of fluoride make natural, unrefined spring or well water the ideal drink for the human body. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.