Butter, Vitamin E, and the “X” Factor of Dr. Price

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Could eating butter prevent hot flashes? Such a suggestion would sound outlandish to today’s nutrition “experts.” Yet not only did researchers in the mid-twentieth century show butter helps counter disorders associated with menopause, but the now maligned food was once regarded as a powerful healer in general, with physicians prescribing it for everything from psoriasis to tuberculosis. The reason for butter’s formerly stellar reputation is simple, explains Dr. Royal Lee in this wide-ranging 1942 publication. Butter is loaded with bioactive fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, and E, and as Dr. Weston Price observed in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, these nutrients are so critical to good health that human populations have historically placed a special emphasis on foods containing them. Butter produced by cows pasturing in the springtime is particularly nutritious, Dr. Lee adds, its deep yellow color indicating a high content of the famous “Activator X,” an elusive fat-soluble nutrient shown by Dr. Price to be essential for moving calcium from the blood into the bones and teeth. Given modern nutrition’s proscription against butter and other animal fats in the diet, it’s no wonder that today America is plagued by osteoporosis and other calcium-related disorders—not to mention the myriad other ailments Drs. Price and Lee would have predicted for a nation starving itself of fat-soluble vitamins. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1942.

Dr. Royal Lee on the “X Factor” of Dr. Price

By Dr. Royal Lee with commentary by Mark R. Anderson

Summary: In the 1930s Dr. Weston Price traveled the globe to study the diets of traditional societies that had yet to start eating modern, processed foods or were in the beginning stages of incorporating them into their culture. Among the many profound nutritional discoveries he made (which he published in his seminal book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration) was the existence of a critical fat-soluble nutrient that was responsible for, among other things, moving calcium from the blood into the tissues, including the bones and teeth. Although Dr. Price was able to measure the effects of this “vitamin-like activator” (which he called Activator X), he was never able to precisely identify its chemical structure. According to nutrition educator and historian Mark R. Anderson, Dr. Royal Lee had no doubt that Price’s X factor was a component of vitamin F, a complex that includes the essential fatty acids. Dr. Lee considered Price’s X factor so important, Anderson adds, that he included it in three of his famous therapeutic food formulas—Cataplex F tablets, Cataplex F perles, and Super EFF. In these excerpts Dr. Lee discusses the relationship between the vitamin F complex and Price’s discovery. Selene River Press, 2005.