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.

Vitamins F and F2

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Few people today have heard of vitamin F, but back in the heyday of vitamin research, this fat-based complex and vitamin D synergist was widely recognized as an essential nutrient for the human body, obtainable only from food and ideally from animal fats. In this 1949 article, Dr. Royal Lee expounds the nature of vitamin F as a complex of compounds that includes—but is not limited to—the famous “essential fatty acids” of today’s nutrition, linolenic acid and linoleic acid. In vitamin F these two compounds work in tandem with a host of other cofactors, including the critical arachidonic acid, Dr. Lee explains, to promote such important actions as calcium transport, prostate function, immunity, and even cancer prevention. Moreover, he writes, when vitamin F combines with phospholipids (as occurs in mammalian livers), it forms a complex that exhibits different nutritional activity than that of vitamin F. This complex, which Dr. Lee calls vitamin F2, is intimately involved in the repair and generation of new tissue, making it vital for any therapy of “muscular dystrophies, creeping paralyses, anemic states, weakness, and atrophy.” While modern science continues to underplay vitamins and minerals, articles like this remind us that these essential micronutrients are involved in the most fundamental functions of the body, and even a slight deficiency in any one of them can have catastrophic consequences on our health.

Honey in Nutrition

By William Miller

Summary: An excellent overview of the value of raw honey. Author William Miller compares the nutritional qualities of this extraordinary food, manufactured by bees for millions of years, to those of refined sugar. His conclusion? They’re complete opposites nutritionally, with honey providing vitamins, minerals, and other factors critical for life and white sugar providing nothing more than empty calories. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 119, 1955. Original source unknown.

A Fresh Look at Milk

By Francis Pottenger Jr., MD 

Summary: “There is no question that pasteurized milk and milk from poorly fed cattle produces osteoporosis in the experimental animal.” This quote by Dr. Francis Pottenger Jr., whose famous cat experiments in the 1930s established that malnutrition is inherited, sums up the great paradox of pasteurized milk: Americans drink it by the gallon believing they are strengthening their bones, but in truth it does the opposite, as shown by animal experiments going back decades. In this telling article, Dr. Pottenger discusses a study organized in 1933 by a farmer whose aim was to produce the finest milk possible from his cows. With the aid of a group of scientists, he discovered some basic principles of milk production that have been long ignored by the American dairy industry and health “experts” alike: not only does pasteurization destroy the nutritional value of milk, but the health of the cow greatly determines whether the milk it produces is beneficial or detrimental. “When the health of the cattle fails,” Dr. Pottenger explains, “the nutritional f actors of milk will decline, and partly metabolized food nutrients will produce sensitizations not only in the cow but in those who use the milk.” The implications of this statement are almost beyond belief. Included also is a description of the forgotten Wulzen anti-stiffness factor, a vitamin-like component of raw milk shown by early nutrition researchers to help prevent arthritis. From Modern Nutrition, 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A.

Anti-Stiffness Factor

Author unknown

Summary: The facts behind the Wulzen factor—an important fat-soluble nutrient found in raw milk and sugarcane juice—have been lost to modern science. Also known as the “anti-stiffness factor” because it combats arthritis and relieves pain, swelling, and stiffness, the Wulzen factor was considered an actual vitamin by a number of early nutrition investigators, but it was never accepted as such by medical or government “authorities.” To acknowledge it would have required the admission that pasteurization of dairy products is a causative factor in arthritis, and such an admission would never be made by those who so vigorously promoted and enforced pasteurization laws. From Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1951. Part of Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A. (To read reprint 27A in its entirely, including an in-depth discussion of the negative effects of milk pasteurization, see “A Fresh Look at Milk” in these archives.)

This Molasses War—Who Is Prevaricating? / Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Two articles that appeared in Let’s Live magazine in 1952 and 1953. In “This Molasses War—Who is Prevaricating?,” Dr. Lee compares natural and refined sugars. He posits that carbohydrates are not essential in the human diet and offers proof by way of certain traditional peoples who eat no carbs and yet experience perfect health. He also discusses the virtues of molasses, which is rich in minerals and is protective against tooth decay, whereas white sugar promotes cavities. Lee also describes the famous experiments of Dr. Rosalind Wulzen of Oregon State College that led to the discovery of the “anti-arthritic factor” in molasses and raw cream that was later named after her. In “Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium,” Dr. Lee describes the virtues of finely powdered bone flour as a source of protein and minerals, particularly calcium. He states that for the teeth, cold-processed bone meal is unexcelled. He also discusses the role of trace minerals also found in bone meal. 1953.

A New Fat-Soluble Dietary Factor

By Walter C. Russell

Summary: One of the great mysteries of early nutritional research was the identity of a certain fat-soluble substance shown by Dr. Rosalind Wulzen to prevent irregular calcification of the tissues. Dr. Wulzen first observed the effects of a deficiency of this factor in experiments she was conducting on guinea pigs, whose wrists stiffened as a result of a lack of the substance. Upon feeding the animals some fresh raw cream, she found that the animals’ wrists returned to normal—the calcification having reversed—and she thus named the substance the “anti-stiffness factor,” though in many circles it became known simply as the Wulzen factor. The following excerpt from Stanford University’s Annual Review of Biochemistry for 1944 introduces readers to this “new fat-soluble factor,” the precise identity of which remains debated to this day. (Dr. Royal Lee proposed that the Wulzen factor was none other than Dr. Weston Price’s famous “Activator X.”) One fact about the Wulzen factor remains unequivocal, however: while raw cream and milk ridded Dr. Wulzen’s guinea pigs of their calcification stiffness, pasteurized cream and milk did not, as the investigator herself reported on several occasions. This fact should give anyone studying nutrition pause about what we think we know about milk, given that virtually all studies of it over the past seventy-five years or so have been on pasteurized versions. (To learn more about the nutritional differences between raw and pasteurized milk, see “Abstracts on the Effect of Pasteurization on the Nutritional Value of Milk.”) From the Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1944. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 127.

The Wulzen Calcium Dystrophy Syndrome in Guinea Pigs

By Hugo Krueger, PhD

Summary: An authoritative, fully-referenced report on the mysterious and famous Wulzen factor, an anti-stiffness nutrient found in the cream of raw milk and in fresh molasses. The author writes, “In 1941 Wulzen and Bahrs reported that guinea-pigs fed raw whole milk grew excellently and at autopsy showed no abnormality of any kind. Guinea-pigs on pasteurized milk rations did not grow as well and developed a definite syndrome, the first sign of which was wrist stiffness. On pasteurized skim milk the syndrome increased in severity until the animals finally died. There was great emaciation and weakness before death.” Doctors such as Royal Lee and Francis Pottenger, Jr., had long studied this anti-arthritic factor, which was never accepted by orthodox medicine and regretfully remains ignored to this day. From American Journal of Physical Medicine. Reprint 81, 1955.

Sugar and Sugar Products—Their Use and Abuse

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Dr. Lee lays out the case against sugar in this article from the Journal of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition. In particular, he lambastes corn syrup, or pure glucose chemically derived from cornstarch, for being too quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, thus overstressing the pancreas and wreaking havoc on the body’s insulin-response system. Astute readers will realize Lee is essentially anticipating the creation of the glycemic index, which measures how fast and how hard the carbohydrates we eat hit the bloodstream in the form of blood sugar. “There is a very good reason why starches are better than sugars as energy foods,” he says. “It is because they are assimilated slower than the sugars, and thereby fail to overload our pancreatic function of supplying insulin.” Reprint 30D, 1950.