Category Archives: Historical Archives

Vitamin F: 1926–1957

View PDF: Vitamin F Research 1926 to 1957 1926 Boissevain, C.H. “The Action of Unsaturated Fatty Acids on Tubercle Bacilli.” Boissevain reports experiments showing the effect of unsaturated fatty acids on the virulence of tubercle bacilli in vitro. (Compare with the work of Larsen on the ricinoleates.) Linoleic and linolenic acids were among the most […]

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.

The Effect of Imbalance in the “Filtrate Fraction” of the Vitamin B Complex in Dogs

By Dr. Agnes Fay Morgan

Summary: “The problem with synthetic vitamins is they’re pure,” said the great holistic nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee. What he meant is that, whereas vitamins in food are naturally accompanied by countless cofactors critical for the proper function of the nutrient, synthetic vitamins are lone chemicals, devoid of their required, synergistic helpers. The difference between the two, Dr. Lee said, is the difference between a nutritive and a pharmacological effect. And many early nutrition studies support this idea. In the experiment presented here, eminent nutrition scientist Dr. Agnes Fay Morgan discusses the surprising effects of “enriching” the feed of dogs on a low-vitamin-B diet with synthetic supplements. Whereas dogs with no supplementation developed the symptoms expected of a partial lack of vitamin B—fatigue, poor digestion, slowed growth—the dogs given synthetic B vitamins developed different and far more grave conditions, including progressive neuromuscular degeneration followed by paralysis and, finally, death. These “unexpected failures of nutrition” were exactly the type of pharmacological effects Dr. Lee decried regarding synthetic vitamins, and they compelled Dr. Morgan to warn of the “possible danger of the administration of large amounts” of artificial B vitamins, adding that “fortification of foods with those vitamins” could precipitate conditions worse than those created by a deficiency. This did not deter the Food and Drug Administration, however, which less than two years after this study launched its flour “enrichment” program, requiring the addition of various synthetic B vitamins to all white bread in America—some of those chemicals the very compounds that hurried Dr. Morgan’s dogs to an unnatural death. From Science, 1941.

The Vitamins in Medicine, Part 1 (Vitamin A and the B Complex)

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 the first part of the text (see link to PDF below), the authors discuss vitamin A as well as the various B vitamins. In Part 2, Bicknell and Franklin go on to address vitamins C, D, E, and K and a host of other vital nutrients. 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.

124 Ways Sugar Ruins Your Health

By Nancy Appleton, PhD

Summary: You’ve heard that sugar can suppress the body’s immune system, but did you know it interferes with the absorption of calcium? How about that it can cause food allergies, depression, and cancer of the breast, ovaries, and prostate? Or that sugar can reduce the good cholesterol in your blood and increase the triglycerides, two of the strongest indicators we have of heart disease risk? Despite the massive commercial campaign to paint refined sugar as harmless—or at worst merely “empty calories”—hoards of scientific evidence indicate that it is far worse than that. In this startling list, Dr. Nancy Appleton documents 124 ways in which sugar has been scientifically implicated as a poison to human health, complete with 124 reputable references to back up her claims. From nancyappleton.com, 2004.

The Physiology of Salt Metabolism

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: There’s no point talking about—or restricting—the consumption of table salt without considering the potassium level of an individual. So says Dr. Royal Lee in this discussion of the critical relationship between the minerals sodium and potassium in the body. “The present custom of restricting salt for patients with cardiovascular disease seems to be an ill-advised substitute for balancing up their potassium-sodium intake. A deficiency of potassium may be a primary cause of the very condition in which sodium is being restricted, and [more dietary] potassium [may] be the real remedy needed.” 1951.

How Federal Laws and Federal Courts Are Illegally Used by Organized Medicine to Maintain Its Medical Monopoly

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this classic lecture to the National Health Federation Convention in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Royal Lee reveals how organized medicine succeeded in legally hampering drugless therapies through the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which redefined a drug as “anything used to treat, prevent, diagnose, mitigate, or cure a disease.” Given this new definition, Dr. Lee says, “once the drugless practitioner has discovered how to druglessly treat his patient, lo and behold, that remedy now automatically becomes a drug, and he is stopped from its use.” This trick was particularly effective in thwarting the use of whole-food supplements in nutritional therapy, since it made all such supplements potential “drugs” under the law. 1962. Original source unknown.

Biography: Harvey Washington Wiley, MD

Author unknown

Summary: A biographical sketch of the famous first chief of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (known at the time as the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry). Dr. Wiley, a product of the populist age, was a champion of consumer safety when it came to the American food supply and was often referred to as the “Father of the Pure Food Law” of 1906. Read about Dr. Wiley’s ascension to power and his much-publicized fall as he fought in vain to keep synthetic preservatives and additives out of the national diet. If Dr. Wiley had had his way, all of America’s food would now be organic. (See also Dr. Wiley’s monumental book History of a Crime Against the Food Law in these archives.) Original source and date of publication unknown.