Applied Trophology, Vol. 10, No. 4
(April 1966)

Responsibility of Physician to Detect Deficiency Disease; Endocrine Gland Support

Contents in in this issue:

  • “Responsibility of the Physician to Detect Deficiency Disease,”
  • “Vitamins in Endocrine Gland Support.”

The following is a transcription of the April 1966 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.


Responsibility of the Physician to Detect Deficiency Disease

We take it as a self-evident proposition that every person licensed to treat the ill has a grave responsibility to watch for signs of nutritional deficiency and correct the state of malnutrition that may be present, as an essential part of the treatment of the patient.

It is an obvious fact that the various schools of thought in treating disease were evolved with far too little thought of the possibility of deficiency.

It is a fact of little credit to the intelligence of man that this idea of deficiency has been so slow to command recognition. The British Navy used citrus fruits to prevent scurvy for a hundred years before medical authorities would recognize its success.

We recall the true story of the mother of a diphtheria victim, where the physician was baffled in his efforts to relieve the progress of the disease and left late at night telling the mother that the patient had no chance of survival. The mother, remembering the advice of some home remedy advocate that lemon juice was very helpful in diphtheria, administered this remedy in small amounts with great success, the little patient becoming completely relieved of the choking spells within a matter of an hour or so. The physician, returning the next day expecting the worst, was amazed at the improvement. The mother, asking him if he was not aware of the merits of lemon juice in diphtheria, he said, yes, he had heard it was good. “Then why did you not recommend its use?” asked the mother. “Well, it is not a professional remedy,” was the doctor’s reply.

Today, in Germany diphtheria has frequently been referred to as fulminating scurvy. Its toxin cannot exist in the presence of vitamin C. The disease does not attack anyone until they are in a state of incipient scurvy. But medical science still insists that its antitoxins have conquered the dread scourge. That is a “Professional Remedy.”

We say that every licensed healer from a trained nurse, a Christian Science healer, or any licensed physician—whether chiropractor, naturopath, osteopath, or medical man—should be required to pass as a requisite to his license an adequate examination on his ability to recognize deficiency disease. The list of such diseases and the associated states that may be aggravated by such deficiency is tremendous. The relative influence of malnutrition in contributing to illness in general has not reached the recognition it deserves.

This reluctance to accept new ideas to add to their basic philosophy is not a matter peculiar to any of the professions. Chiropractors are just as inclined to avoid the responsibility of judging new ideas as the medical doctor. The medical doctor, however, has a greater responsibility, we would say, because his treatment consists of drugs that are often poisons and capable of tremendous danger if used where food should be used, in cases of malnutrition.

Synthetic drugs offer new and now well demonstrated more frightful consequences, if recklessly dispensed. All our foods and botanical remedies are historically well known, their dangers well described in all professional literature. It does require decades of use to reveal the possibilities of harm in synthetic products. The synthetic sugar, dextrose, so well known as corn syrup, is a good example.

Dr. Harvey W. Wiley fifty years ago warned that it might be found to cause diabetes because it could be so easily absorbed and would as a consequence overload the pancreas. It took about forty years for science to confirm this hypothesis, as Lukens & Dohan in 1947 at the University of Pennsylvania showed that dextrose synthetic sugar differed from all-natural sugars in this effect, being the only one that would cause diabetes in test animals.

Like many synthetic chemicals since introduced into commerce, it never should have been permitted to get into our food pattern.

Another example of dangerous little departures from the principle of vigorous avoidance of known dangers in food technology is the practice of bleaching flour. It was considered a fraudulent act by the millers themselves, in their replies to a questionnaire sent out by the North Dakota authorities in 1906.

But the men who realized it was a fraud were speaking only from principle. They did not know at the time just how it might harm the buyer, other than cheating him into thinking he was buying flour made from No. 1 wheat instead of musty gray flour from No. 3 grain. (Made white by the bleach.)

But now we know that one of the vitamin factors known as xanthine is capable of being oxidized by any oxidizing bleach chemical (and that is why they all act as bleaches), which converts it into alloxan.

And alloxan is a very potent diabetogenic poison. This alloxan is another dangerous synthetic substance created in the flour by chemical meddling with a natural food product.

Flour has been bleached now for over fifty years, but this fact of the possible conversion of xanthine to alloxan is very new to most of us. It was reported however in Thorpe’s Dictionary of Chemistry in 1918.

But the diabetogenic nature of alloxan was not discovered until 1943.

You might philosophize on the responsibility of the adulterators of flour, the gentlemen who knew that they were committing a fraud, but certainly would have not stepped over the line of demarcation between providing food or poison to their customers if they were aware that the damage to such customers went further than simply catering to his desire to see his bread white instead of dirty gray, unless he were to pay more for flour made from prime quality wheat.

Every case of food coloring to cater to the instincts or idiosyncrasies of the customers has similar implications. Recall the days before 1940 when the general use of butter yellow was common as butter color. Butter yellow at that time was found to be carcinogenic. The makers hurried to dissolve and disappear before damage suits might be instituted, such as were later brought successfully against the Salk vaccine producers.

Nobody will ever know just how much of a boost was made in the statistics of cancer by this fifty-year exposure to the butter-consuming public of the coal-tar dye butter yellow. Another case of violation of a cardinal principle of the pure food law, the use of deceptive color to create the effect of a higher quality than really exists, so more money can be obtained from a critical buyer who knows what quality food looks like.

Again, the promoters of butter yellow had no idea that their aiding and abetting of a little fraud in connection with the sale of butter, where the customer was given just what he wanted in color, was creating a nation of cancerous people. For as Dr. Davidson discovered in 1940 in his test on animals, cancer becomes hereditary and a part of the genetic pattern once it is encouraged by the combined influence of refined foods and carcinogenic poisons. The effects of the adulteration are multiplied; the statistics of disease of the national population are put on a new plateau for possibly all time to come.

In fact, the Food & Drug prosecutors have obtained a special legal status for malefactors who perform such tricks as this. They have arranged that criminal punishments can be meted out to violators even though they have not actually committed any crime, on the argument that the degree of harm is so great that such punishment is justified. Inadvertent contamination of a food can be punished as a criminal act, with prison sentences. This is an exception in legal principles, where a person can be found guilty and punished for an act that is not in itself of a criminal nature (involving moral turpitude, as it were).

If rigid principles were applied without any partiality, these promoters of butter yellow and the bleachers of flour would be in pretty hot water.

There is another important principle involved in the relations of the doctor to his patient. We refer to the situation where the doctor may recognize the fact that his patient is suffering from a deficiency disease, but maybe he has found by experience that it is not a good idea to try to change the patient’s habits. The dentist is peculiarly vulnerable here. He may know that the soft drinks, refined sugar, candy, pies, cakes and ice cream, all made from refined vitamin and mineral free products, are causing the dental breakdown he is confronted with. But he has found that only one patient in ten will heed his warnings, and many will go to other dentists if he tries to make them see the light. But his responsibility is not so easily avoided. The patient who is not warned might later sue the dentist and recover damages for any failure on his part to advise his patient how to avoid the progressive disease he is headed for. The only way the dentist can protect himself is to give the patient a prepared outline of how he can avoid further disease if he wishes. The dentist, then by getting a signed receipt for this informational document, can keep it on file to protect himself from any liability in the future.

All the patient has to do to recover damages from a dentist or doctor is to be able to prove that the doctor knew his troubles were caused by malnutrition, and that he failed to so inform the patient. In fact, it may well be that all he would need to prove is that the doctor should know, if other doctors are so informed.

To increase your knowledge as to the extent of deficiency disease, you should read the book The Vitamins in Medicine by Bicknell & Prescott. It has been favorably reviewed by J.A.M.A. (See Part 1 and Part 2 in the Selene River Press Historical Archives.)


Vitamins in Endocrine Gland Support

Excerpts from “Vitamins and Their Relation to Deficiency Disease of the Alimentary Tract” by Edward A. Johnston, MD. Reprinted in part from The Journal of the American College of Proctology.

“The metabolism of the human body, being an animal function, is a breaking down process of constructive metabolism of plant life. The animal or human body cannot synthetize organic compounds from inorganic sources and is dependent, to a great extent, on vegetables for organic food. Vitamins as catalysts are one of the most important of these food substances.

“When we consider that vitamins in the food are the substances with which the endocrines are able to secrete their active principles, it is apparent that a glandular insufficiency may take place in the absence of vitamins. Vitamins are a class of organic compounds that are probably the most complex food constituents. All of the ductless glands, the thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, pineal body, pituitary, adrenals, gonads, pancreas, islets of Langerhans, and spleen, must have one or more of the vitamins in order to secrete their vital fluids, and if deprived of the vitamins will atrophy and cease to function.

“It is difficult to give a definite evaluation of the role of single vitamins or specific food substances needed for normal metabolism. The evidence given by all investigators of vitamin deficiencies point toward multiple deficiencies over a protracted period of time. The difference between enough and not enough in the earlier stages is not always apparent. These deficiencies occur despite a balanced diet, the balance of which is usually determined to a great extent by older knowledge of nutrition and influenced by conditions in commercial preparations and preservation or cost beyond the control of the average person. We may further find that foods in certain areas are from a vitamin deficient belt just as we know of the iodine deficient belt in the Great Lakes basin today. These deficiencies alter the normal metabolism.”

Further information on the subject is stated by Dr. Robert McCarrison in his book Studies in Deficiency Disease. He found that when test animals were fed on refined foods such as white flour and sugar, the first effect of damage was to endocrine organs, namely; the adrenals, thyroid, thymus, pituitary and gonads. The gland reacted either by swelling or atrophy and ultimately with complete loss of function. The adrenals were in all instances severely damaged. The ability of the adrenal glands to carry on multiple functions depends upon a similar multiplicity of vitamins and minerals. Endocrine failure caused by malnutrition is often reflected in the crippling of normal acid-alkaline balances of body fluids.

As has been stated, glandular insufficiency apparently can result from malnutrition due to the absence of adequate vitamin catalysts in our food intake.

And, to quote Dr. Johnston, “These deficiencies alter the normal metabolism.”

Heather Wilkinson

Heather Wilkinson is the Archives Editor for Selene River Press.

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