“Food and Health vs. Chemicals and Drugs” was first printed in two parts for the Second Quarter and Third Quarter 1978 issues of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories. We are pleased to present the full article below.
Applied Trophology, Volume 21, No. 2
“Food and Health vs. Chemicals and Drugs”
“Diseases may come, diseases may go, but the laws of health go on forever!”
—Dr. J. DeWitt Fox
In addition to Earth Week in April’s Natural Food Month and June as Dairy Month, President Carter proclaimed May 3 as Sun Day. The earth and the sun together with our prayerful supplication for rain, as needed, the Creator’s gifts to man, provide naturally growing foods for our sustenance and health.
But, as the population increased, enterprising men found shortcuts in processing these foods, thereby losing much of the inherent natural nutrition for which they often have substituted chemicals of known origin but generally with unknown long-term effects. As a result, previously unknown degenerative diseases, over a period of time, began to outnumber previously known infectious diseases. Consequently a hardy group of consumers interested in complete nutrition objected to such food processing. So, like the early settlers who moved across the plains and mountains, sinking their roots to build a great nation, nutritional pioneers have also overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their effort to contribute to the health of our nation.
The Course of Obstacles
In this regard we have permission of Dave Ajay, president of National Nutritional Food Association, to reprint part of his reply to the Cincinnati Post article of March 6, entitled “Health Foods Have Something in Common with Junk Foods.” He says:
“A small hardy band of pioneers started out approximately fifty years ago to search out better food for themselves and their families first, then decided to make it available to the general public once they had found their source of supply.
“But during those fifty years they were called ‘nuts and quacks, charlatans, frauds, oddballs and crackpots,’ and had to withstand the criticism, sarcasm, and ridicule of the American Medical Association, the Food and Drug Administration, and the drug and supermarket industries. However, withstand it they did, to the end that today many of the items once disdained as ‘faddish’ are now valued merchandise much sought after by those same supermarkets and drug stores. Where once you were practically thrown out of a drug store when you asked for ‘natural’ vitamins, you now see huge window streamers proclaiming the news that this particular drugstore is selling them.
“Supermarket dairy cases are loaded with ‘twenty-eight flavors of yogurt, sweet acidophilus,’ etc. One would get the impression that granola was indeed actually discovered and introduced by the giant cereal companies on their own ideas, instead of having been plagiarized from the nutritional food stores. It is quite obvious that the consumer public found many benefits in the using of vitamin and mineral food supplements and natural foods, or else our industry would not have grown. And while we were growing, the processed food and drug industries looked upon our growth rate enviously…
“However, while these industries explored the profits to be made in selling what our industry has made famous, the medical field redoubled their efforts to dissuade the public from using same. Each time I ask why, someone from the FDA or AMA says that it is only to protect the public from ‘wasting their money on worthless vitamins, etc., etc.,’ and also, ‘to protect the consumer’s health.’ Of course no attempt is ever made to really stop people from using what is most harmful, such as cigarettes, liquor, and processed refined foods that are loaded with chemicals and preservatives.
“There also seems to be a concerted effort by the AMA and FDA to discredit the entire nutritional food movement, and almost every day we see the news media quoting one or the other’s news releases that very cleverly use such words as, ‘could, can, might, or may harm or kill you’…
“The truth is that the orthodox medical schools offer very little, and sometimes none at all, of nutritional training during the doctor’s education. I think this is a crime against the American people.”
Our founder, Dr. Royal Lee, who became an internationally respected nutritionist, was one of the “small hardy band of pioneers” and suffered the same above-noted quackish ignominy by the then powerful “consensus of medical opinion.” This absolute power has now been lost by the AMA through dissent and a declining membership.
Appropriately, “Foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes” (Shakespeare).
A Partial Conversion?
We too have been concerned with the lack of nutritional training in most medical schools and its effect on our country’s substandard rating on the world health chart. Modern medicine has not seemed too concerned with protecting the public health in the most natural way, through better nutrition. We believe so-called medical health centers, actually sickness or trauma centers, are more truly designated as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or Trauma Centers (TC).
The word trauma comes from the Greek word for wound and refers to an injury to the body caused by an outside force and the shock resulting from it. Almost entirely forgotten is the fact that the inside force (or stamina) to promote healing is furnished by whole nutrition of the entire organism and includes healing of any of its injured parts. It has been common knowledge passed on from one generation to the next, for thousands of years, that malnutrition causes a loss of stamina and a general inhibition of the healing process.
After approximately thirty-five years of ignoring this fact, the faculties of some of the AMA-rated medical schools are reluctantly admitting that apparently nutrition is of some importance. This could be a result of the fact that more and more people are reverting to the time-tested knowledge of their ancestors, who felt that a properly fed body is the primary requisite for good health. With the definite shifting in this area, many medical men are forced to confess a lack of nutritional knowledge to satisfy the public desire for the “natural.” No doubt, their lack of interest in acquiring a better knowledge of nutrition, especially in the recent past, has been linked with the indoctrination of the public in regard to convenience processed food and/or fast-food services, rather than a planned healthy dietary regimen. However, this so-called timesaving attitude is now beginning to be reflected statistically in our increasing national poor health record.
If chronic conditions continue at the present pace and preventive health is not stressed more, our economy may be influenced through detrimental industrial underproduction of goods and services. But now doubts have arisen in regard to the efforts of the AMA to bring back the family doctor as a specialist in general practice (GP), as having any beneficial effects in prevention. The counseling of the patient as to nutrition and general health by orthodox medicine apparently disappeared along with the family doctor’s house call. Nature will generally restore health if she is given a fair chance.
A clinically wise old doctor in Europe is said to have remarked: “Some patients get well with the doctor and his drugs; some get well without the doctor and his drugs; more get well in spite of the doctor and his drugs.” It stands to reason that all the “wonder drugs” in the world cannot remove the cause of symptoms that are the result of faulty nutrition or other health-impairing habits.
In Best of Health, Dr. J. DeWitt Fox seems to have hit the nail on the head in this paragraph:
“One fascinating fact has been impressed on me during my practice of medicine. Drugs, doctors and disease may change with the times, but the laws of health are timeless. The same good nourishing food, fresh air, sunshine, sleep and relaxation that kept your grandfather healthy until he was ninety can do the same for you today, even in this hurry-scurry, pell-mell, atomic age of jet speed and spasm. Your body hasn’t changed—only our civilization…the laws of health go on forever.”
One nutritionist advises: “If doctors would counsel people wisely about their diet, their habits and daily living, and if people would follow good advice, there would be a reduction of more than 65 percent of all illnesses.”
Observance of the laws of healthful living habits produces greater vitality and endurance so that even weak and sickly people can, if they take care of themselves, outlive those with robust constitutions who disobey the laws of health, to which they have been subjected by Nature.
The Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs recently advised: “Food, after all, is the vehicle whereby organisms provide for nutritional needs.” And now an old observation: for all the years of human existence on earth, the sufficient supply of bodily needs has been the basis of good health. “It is one of Nature’s laws and cannot be refuted.”
Accordingly, and as verification of our previous comments in “Cholesterol and Health, ”a recent Scandinavian study has determined that ingested cholesterol itself may be entirely innocent of causing high cholesterol levels in blood serum. We are advised that cholesterol, a solid alcohol, readily combines with fat and protein to form two basic types of lipoproteins in the bloodstream: low density and high density. Scientists believe high density lipoprotein (HDL) actually protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease, instead of causing it. Studies to date indicate that increased levels of HDL in your blood may mean you are less likely to succumb to heart disease. The exact method of HDL operation is now being studied by scientists all over the world.
No doubt, food company scientists will try to refute this information in order to preserve the billion-dollar food-oil business resulting from the cholesterol scare. Scare tactics have caused the average consumer to fear cholesterol and to eat more hydrogenated fats, more sugar-loaded cereals, more desserts laced with sugar, more canned fruits in heavy syrup, more snacks loaded with either sugar or salt and more substituted imitation foods of little nutritional value. All are believed to contribute to weight gain, which, according to medical authorities, could cause high blood pressure.
A study of over 700 persons in Rochester, Minnesota, by Dr. William Weidman, a professor at the Mayo medical center, seemed to confirm that as life progresses, a rise in blood pressure is more likely to be caused by increases in body weight than by age. Clinical determination generally has been that the higher the weight the higher the blood pressure. Obesity is all too common in our present society. Is it a physical pollution causing a metabolic disorder with which modern medicine has failed to cope? Or, as possible nutritional illiterates, has the medical establishment been carried along with the tide of modern urban-industrial society to false nutritional conclusions? Statistics now show that twenty-four million Americans have high blood pressure.
A False Conclusion vs. Facts
Cholesterol is not a body enemy but a friendly nutrient needed to help maintain a healthy body. In fact, it is required to combine with other nutrients for whole or complete nutrition, as well as serving as the basis for the formation of hormones. It has also been recently determined that should the nutrient combination be incomplete due to the nonunion of a highly saturated fat, or one that has become saturated through hydrogenation, the end result may be a low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which may be harmful. This is probably the bad actor that has stigmatized all cholesterol. However, this apparently harmful fraction, or LDL, can be in many instances metabolized if sufficient unsaturated fatty acids are included in the diet.
Many nutritionists feel that in Nature the small amount of lecithin in the yolk of an egg is sufficient to balance the cholesterol content of the egg regardless of its size. The eggs of birds, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and ostriches have always served as a source of nutrition for man without any ill effects. It isn’t the fowl who have erred, it’s the doctors who have fouled out. Eggs are a ready source of protein and the nutrients biotin, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, the choline and inositol content of the lecithin, vitamins A and D, and minerals, including calcium, iron, sulfur and phosphorus. All of these together with hormones and antigen factors have been found in fertile eggs produced in the old type of hennery or chicken coop having an out-of-doors, sunny, scratching ground runway and a rooster to protect his harem and crow about his work.
In further defense of the lowly besieged egg, let it be noted that its proteins have the highest biological value for human adults of all food proteins. The amino acid composition of whole hens’ eggs is used as a standard against which the chemical score of other proteins is compared. The egg forms a complete food for the embryo chick. Thus, as one would expect, the egg is naturally rich in essential nutrients, as noted above. Another plus: egg fat is finely divided or emulsified, making it easily and fully digested.
Aside from the obvious, another function of the egg’s lecithin content is to enhance metabolism by stabilizing fat particles prior to transport via the intestine. In short, ease of digestion and high content of tissue building nutrients make the egg a most valuable food. All this, and efficient packaging too. One might consider the egg nature’s “convenience food”—it comes in a hygienic hermetically sealed pack, is easily stored and readily opened and cooked.
There is a rub in all of this, however. If one starts with the premise that good food begins in good soil, then what about the beginning or source of the egg? Samuel Butler once said, “A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.” Much could be said relative to the lot of the distressed hen in these days of modern egg factories with their sterile surroundings—and end products. Food for thought, indeed.
Whole food has always been recognized as the source of nourishment for our body maintenance and to furnish stamina as an aid in disease prevention. It is a fact that orthodox medicine has belittled and tried to forget, but it always comes back to haunt them in unexpected ways. For too long they have failed to contribute anything worthwhile to actual disease prevention. Historically they have generally failed to recognize a real benefit when it did occur. It took them 500 years to recognize vitamin C, and it is still a begrudging recognition. They failed to recognize Béchamp as the first bacteriologist and promoted Pasteur instead. They failed to recognize Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian obstetrician who discovered the septicemic character of puerperal fever and who attributed its spread to contamination by the hands of the attending physician. His banishment from practice and continual harassment is said to have driven him insane.
The American physician Oliver Wendell Holmes found that Semmelweis was right, so he in 1842 started to practice and preach the contagiousness of puerperal fever. Holmes made a most interesting comment in an address to the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1860. He said: “I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica as now used could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind—and all the worse for the fishes.”
Joseph Lister, the English surgeon, considered to be the founder of antiseptic surgery, had difficulty in establishing the use of antiseptics in the operating room.
Early in the seventeenth century William Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood, and approximately about the same time Fabricius discovered the valves in the veins. But Fabricius missed the import of his own discovery, stuck to centuries-old beliefs and contradicted Harvey’s claim on the smooth circulation of the blood. The quacks had a field day on this one, but Harvey’s valuable discovery still prevails.
As well supported as Pasteur was, we find that he had difficulty in establishing the principles of bacteriology during his lifetime. His principle of sanitation and cleanliness was reserved for use in a few hospitals. And now that orthodox medicine has finally agreed that he may have been right, the incidence of bacteria caused disease has been overtaken by that of the much more prevalent degenerative diseases. The medical definition of degeneration by Webster is as follows: “Deterioration of a tissue or an organ in which its vitality is diminished.”
With vitality being the principle of life and existence, nutritionists opine that the tissue or organ is not receiving the proper nutrients to promote growth and repair or to take care of normal waste. In other words, degeneration is a probable result of malnutrition. Therefore, whole food surely must be considered as at least part of the answer in arresting degenerative conditions.
However, having generally ignored nutritional knowledge, organized medicine just can’t stomach the idea. Instead they boast that medical researchers have provided various types of vaccine for disease prevention. Generally, they have failed to realize that if the patient has not been fully nourished, they may still in all probability acquire the very disease they are trying to prevent. For instance, as a result of the recent swine influenza inoculations, thousands of recipients are now suing the government (us taxpayers) for over thirty-two million dollars because of having acquired various forms of paralysis. Physicians can only help nature to the extent that physical stamina is provided.
It is constantly becoming more apparent that the prevention of malnutrition, in this present era, is the real factor in the prevention of degenerative conditions at all ages.
The Processed Food Era
In recent years we have been continually confronted with the probable effects of carcinogens, new drugs and potentially hazardous chemicals, of unknown reaction, in our daily environment. Natural food enzymes strategically located in our blood, kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin are our major defense in breaking down or metabolizing such foreign drugs, chemical additives ,or cancer-causing compounds, a necessary preparation for the prevention of toxic reactions and excretion from the body. However, such performance may be influenced or hindered by the lack of some enzymes in the individual diet, or by how many drugs or chemicals are present and competing for the same metabolizing enzymes.
A toxicological study found that after rats had been on a protein deficient diet for a few weeks and then exposed to pesticides, the pesticides became two thousand times more toxic to them than it was for rats regularly furnished an adequate protein diet. It would appear that the implications of such a possibility have received little consideration. The toxicologists further determined that vitamins C and A and the minerals calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc tend to keep the microsomal enzymes ready for action.
Other than furnishing catalytic action to the protein enzymes, the specific action of some vitamins and minerals is still speculative. But, Dr. George Briggs, Professor of Nutrition, Nutritional Sciences Department, University of California, has said: “There are many unknown nutrients in natural food that affect our health, drug action and reaction to stress.”
George C. Becking, environmental health director in Ottawa, Canada, believes:
“A diet that is adequate in these vitamins and minerals should keep the microsomal enzymes in top condition…eating a diet poor in these nutrients would throw off the metabolism of other toxic compounds and would also upset important metabolic processes in the body. So the best solution is to eat a good diet, but to keep carcinogens out of the environment.”
Emerging from food-drug metabolism research is the importance of a diet adequate in proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins to keep your microsomal enzymes in good condition and to minimize the effects of toxic compounds. But keeping carcinogens out of our lives, at this time, is an almost impossible task. The array of environmentally imposed chemicals, self-imposed chemical additive-containing foods, physician-imposed drugs and government-imposed chemicals with no knowledge of long-term effects is a continual threat to a healthy long life.
Proteins are a complex combination of chemicals and amino acids. The larger molecules are made up of chemical substances such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur, and the smaller molecules we know as amino acids. Amino acids are strung together in long chains by means of so-called peptide linkages. They are usually strung together in various ways to form different patterns. The result is many different kinds of proteins. For example, we have the fibrous proteins, one of which is the substance called collagen. The tough white fibers lend strength and support in cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
Another fibrous protein is keratin. This protein is found wherever protection is needed, so it occurs in skin, hair, nails, horns, hooves, scales, and feathers. The keratins are insoluble in protein solvents and are only partially digested by common proteolytic enzymes. They contain some amino acids with cystine and arginine predominating. They also have a high sulfur content. By boiling them, industry has found most of the fibrous proteins to be a good source of gelatin. Because of a lack of some essential amino acids, it is necessary to serve other proteins with gelatin food products.
When polypeptide chains are looped in various complicated patterns, either globular or elliptical, we have the very important globular proteins. Among them are the powerful but still mysterious enzymes.
The enzymes are complex organic substances that accelerate or facilitate, leavening or catalyzing specific chemical transformations in plants and animals. Practically all chemical reactions in body tissues take place through the action of enzymes.
The word enzyme originated from two Greek words, “in yeast.” Until 1897 it was presumed that yeast enzymes had to be a part of a living cell in order to work. Then Buchner, a German chemist, mashed up yeast cells and found the resulting juice would also work. It has since been concentrated to the point where an ounce of liquid contains an amount of enzymes comparable to a pound of the original yeast. Since American biochemist James B. Sumner found, in 1926, that a separated enzyme was protein, it has been determined that all enzymes are proteins. Since 1946, when Sumner became a Nobel laureate, scientists have learned how to put together several different amino acids one at a time in the laboratory. But the handful of amino acids now assembled is a far cry from the thousands of amino acids found in some of the protein naturally made in the body.
In tampering with nature, all too often science doesn’t know what it is dealing with until the damage is done. This has been so all through this chemical age through which we are passing. As a result, many birds, bees, animals, and people have passed out of the picture. It has been said: “The natural condition of a living being is health—not disease.”
This is no longer the exact truth, as the chemicals we are forced to breathe, eat, and drink are interfering with our natural process of life. A few years ago life was much less complicated, more fulfilling, and definitely more healthful and pleasant. But that was before chemicalization (BC) by science (BS). It would seem some scientists have overeducated their one-track mind and have entirely lost sight of the overall ecology.
Perhaps Oliver Wendell Holmes was right when he said: “Science is the topography of ignorance.”
Dr. John T. Middleton, director of the National Center for Air Pollution Control, described it this way: “In our single-minded devotion to achieving the benefits of science and technology we plunged ahead with the abundant materials at hand, without a very precise notion of where we were going, and without serious attention to the possible adverse side effects of our new activities on our environment.”
It has been stated that “Mother Nature seldom creates a fool.” Apparently, then, it must be a do-it-yourself job—or possibly a government project.
End of part one. This article continues below.
Applied Trophology, Volume 21, No. 3
“Food and Health vs. Chemicals and Drugs”
“Food has only one purpose—to sustain life and health—therefore, we should eat to live and not live to eat.”
To this quotation we may add, if a little is good, more may or may not be better. Intake must be relative and conform to individual need.
Chemicals and Drugs
Recently, a Russian scientist, Nikolai P. Dubinin, found that drug dosage levels and the time of the prospective mother’s ingestion produced different effects in embryo lethality, teratogenicity, and carcinogenicity. He concluded that from the tenth day through delivery a drug may exert a carcinogenic effect and may produce cancer sometime later in the offspring’s life. Therefore, we view with alarm the modern practice of ingestion during pregnancy of various chemicals, drugs, and hormones. This has very disturbing implications. Evidence is now mounting from various investigations that the risk of developing cancer from certain chemicals may persist for two or more generations. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) has the distinction of being the first of thirty drugs and chemicals to be recognized as transplacental carcinogens affecting human posterity. Another recent scientific study has indicated that some chemicals that cause birth defects may also cause cancer in later life.
Similar type cancers in the same family, presumably of uninherited origin, may be the result of similar exposure to drugs, chemicals, hormones, radiation, or such food chemical additives as sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, saccharin, and sodium fluoride. The first two are claimed to be preservatives in meat cold cuts, ham, and bacon. Sodium fluoride in the water is added to our foods so that practically everything we eat and drink may contain either or both saccharin and sodium fluoride. The latter is still a lethal poison, although a couple of Harvard professors have claimed it is a nutrient.
“Not so,” says investigating scientist Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, who further advises: “There is more epidemiological evidence to show that fluorine increases the cancer death rate than there is to show that fluoridation reduces tooth decay. At the present rate we can expect in the area of 10,000 fluoridation-linked cancer deaths yearly.”
It would be interesting to know how many cancer deaths occurred in the past as a result of just these four chemical food additives now scientifically proved to be suspect as carcinogens. No doubt you also found it preposterous that the saccharin industry obtained the aid of our would-be protectors in belittling and ridiculing the only proven cancer tests available and the Delaney Act, which we pay them to uphold. And, although Commissioner Donald Kennedy admitted and tried to cover for the blunder, it is still a matter of record of favoring business over the public.
Animal Tests for Cancer
As humans may be more or less sensitive and react differently than various test animals to a specific chemical known to cause birth defects or cancer, it has been found necessary to test at several dosage levels, especially those higher than the usual human exposure levels. The reason is that in exposure to specific chemicals humans have been found to be sixty times as sensitive as mice, one hundred times as sensitive as rats and seven hundred times as sensitive as hamsters. These are the most commonly used animals for testing because they are the least expensive. Therefore, the dosage must be increased to the proper ratio for human sensitivity in regard to the specific animal used in the test. In this regard, and speaking as a scientist for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Commissioner recently stated: “Tests are conducted with large doses on a relatively small number of animals, since trying to test chemicals in more than a few hundred animals is too expensive.” He made this statement at a recent American Cancer Society seminar in Houston, Texas. At this meeting he advised that the FDA had purposely stressed that the example used for comparison in the amount of saccharin given to test animals was the equivalent of a human drinking eight hundred bottles of diet soft drinks a day, in order “to avoid panic by stressing the comparatively large amounts of saccharin fed to test animals.”
This statement failed to stress that this is the usual and, in most instances, the only way in which a chemical can be tested for cancer-causing potential. As a scientist Dr. Kennedy agreed that the Canadian testing method used is scientifically valid, based on numerous studies. Also, he noted: “Animal tests are needed because it is often impossible to prove any single substance is the cause when cancer develops, especially so in this instance, because millions of Americans use saccharin in everything from soft drinks to flavored toothpaste and pills.” He further advised that if, for example, high-dose animal tests show that any food additive or other substance causes cancer in ten out of one hundred animals, the low dose might cause cancer in one out of every 10,000 humans and that such an exposure could cause hundreds of deaths in a nation the size of the United States. It would seem that Dr. Kennedy should be commended for making this statement as it tends to nullify the organizational statement that the drugs in soda-pop could not be held contributory to the results in the Canadian animal tests.
Later in an NBC Meet the Press interview, he said: “We’re just experiencing the first frontal edge of human experience with the new chemical environment.” Dr. Kennedy advises that the cancer rate may increase, as young people are exposed to new chemicals in the environment and with longer exposure possibly becoming more vulnerable to cancer. But apparently there is no age limit and vulnerability is now present. Late statistics show that cancer causes the death of more children from ages three to fourteen than any other disease.
Environmental Mutation Causing Substances
At the recent International Congress of Genetics held in Russia, the previously mentioned Dr. Dubinin, head of the Soviet Institute of General Genetics, noted:
“Among environmental pollutants, there are many mutagens, chemical and physical agents, capable of penetrating cells and damaging DNA molecules. This shows that the human race and human heredity are entering a dangerous phase. The genetic load (the proportion of children with defects) has doubled within a period of twenty-five years. Scientists know that currently more than 2,000 different mutagens in the environment are capable of causing defects in offspring. Any further advancing along the path of uncontrolled damage to the biological basis of mankind’s existence could bring about great losses in the quality of the human population.”
The Big Fund
One factor that is no doubt causing a loss in human health while researchers are supposedly trying to find a way to conquer cancer is the “Cancer Fund.” Since 1971 it has been eaten away in the amount of almost one billion dollars a year, with little if anything to show for it. Statistics show there has been practically no change in overall cancer statistics in the past twenty-five years.
Probably the greatest error has been in allotting money to several government agencies that have further doled it out to various research organizations to try to find a cure. A great waste of funds has been discovered in too often duplicated efforts. And, trying to find a cure for cancer has often been compared to trying find a needle in a haystack.
Another error has been the authorization of comparative human testing of consenting but captive institutionalized inmates. The results can never be the same as may occur in the general public with ever so much more chemical exposure and, as a result, a greater multiplicity of metabolic problems. Therefore, the results may not be as good as animal tests.
Although the search for a vaccine continues, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has become less optimistic that any will be found. But apparently as long as the funds are supplied they will not give up the search.
For some time scientists have doubted the favoring of several insufficiently tested drugs and chemicals often used in chemotherapy. Together with the other two orthodox medically recommended treatments, radiation and surgery, this approach has apparently failed to gain in significantly lowering cancer statistics. No significant change seems to have been recorded in the overall percentage of all cancer patients treated who are alive five years after treatment. Over 80 percent of cancer is now presumed to be due to our environment. Thus, the greatest error of all, over these past years in cancer research, seems to be the lack of prevention-oriented studies, especially the diet-cancer relationship.
We must agree with George McGovern, the Senator from South Dakota, who stated: “I have a suspicion that we’re losing the war on cancer because of mistaken priorities and misallocation of funds.”
In the last seven years, billions of dollars have been invested by our Government in cancer research, but little real progress has been made. Just recently the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Select Committee on Nutrition, of which Senator McGovern is chairman, questioned Dr. Donald Fredrickson, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Dr. Arthur Upton, director of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Fredrickson estimated that two-thirds of all cancers were related to our environment, and that most of these could be linked to diet. The Senator then asked Dr. Upton why, if about half of all cancers are related to diet, he allowed only 1 percent of the NCI budget to be spent on diet in its relation to cancer. Dr. Upton maintained that, “while a large fraction of the cancer burden may be related to diet, it is only a hypothesis and the leads must be nailed down.” He did promise: “I would confidently expect that the level of support for nutrition research will increase.”
It sounds good, but when the war on cancer was declared in 1970, other government scientists declared that a giant federal effort could conquer cancer. All that was needed was a larger appropriation and an effort comparable to that of the space program. During this committee hearing it was noted that the NCI budget had increased fourfold during the last ten years and a further increase was expected.
Apparently, a goodly share of this great sum has been wasted. Still to be studied is prevention of environmental factors such as air, food, and water pollution. We must admit that some progress has been made in the treatment of Hodgkin’s disease, childhood leukemia, and certain other cancers. In a few instances a method of earlier cancer detection has been helpful. It has been stated that in this war: “Cancer has become medicine’s no-win counterpart of the Vietnam conflict. “And the cancer affecting the “Cancer Fund” is now becoming more obnoxious.
According to an article in the New York Times, “Congress is becoming less enthusiastic about providing the nation’s biomedical research community with a blank check on federal funds.” And Senator Robert Dole, also a member of the Select Committee, said: “From where I sit Congress has already provided the necessary funds and the mandate. It appears to me that enough time has passed since the 1971 legislation to warrant the thorough responses we are seeking.”
Just recently Dr. Theodore Cooper, dean of Cornell University Medical College, stated: “People are asking why, after seven years of magnificent efforts, have we not conquered those fearful diseases that we call cancer. Why have we spent such a small percentage of resources on nutritional and environmental activities? Why so little on prevention?” This relevant question certainly should concern all of us.
As a result of the investigation Senator McGovern stated: “We have determined that 80 to 90 percent of cancers are apparently environmentally caused.” No wonder he and his committee considered 1 percent of the cancer research appropriation for prevention a grand rip-off when compared to the billions spent through duplication of efforts by several competing government agencies seeking the ever-elusive cancer cure. It is presumed that research assignments were deliberately steered away from prevention through nutrition because modern medicine has lost touch with nutrition in health and disease and is generally confused in its application to degenerative conditions. At a recent health conference Professor Ruth B. Weg of the Biology and Gerontology Department, USC, criticized physicians for not giving enough emphasis to the possible association of nutrition to illness.
In a refreshing confession of nutritional ignorance, Deputy Agriculture Secretary John C. White publicly stated: “It is a fact that within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we have more knowledge about the nutrition requirements—the dietary needs—of a dairy cow or a pig than we have about the kinds of foods which a pregnant woman should eat to assure the health of her unborn child or herself.”
A Confused Discrepancy
Last April, the Seventh Symposium on Nutrition and Food Technology, in Chicago, covered the subject, “Our changing society and its effect on food usage.” It was sponsored by the Illinois State Medical Society, the Chicago section of the Institute of Food Technologists, and the Chicago Nutrition Association. At this meeting Dr. Phillip White, director of the AMA department of food and nutrition, is reported to have said:
“Medical education in nutrition has undergone dramatic change in recent years. Whereas, fifteen years ago only a handful of medical schools taught nutrition, today all medical schools offer courses. Nutrition, having moved out of the era of the vitamins, into the era of application in the treatment of metabolic derangements, now attracts more attention in medicine.”
However, an Associated Press release, under somewhat similar circumstances, commented on statements by Dr. George L. Blackburn, a leading cancer researcher from the Harvard Medical School. “In a 1976 survey, only 19 percent of the country’s 114 medical schools required courses in nutrition. He also noted that there was a traditional emphasis on treating diseases rather than preventing them.” Apparently “offered” and “required” are not synonymous, and an offered course may not be accepted whether it is in nutrition or something else. To cite the discrepancy in an offered course, we have found it best exemplified by a doctor-patient cartoon in the Communicator portraying the conversation as follows: “Nutrition training? Well, in addition to the forty-five minutes they devoted to it in med school, I’ve read the entire text of ‘I am Joe’s Stomach,’ in Reader’s Digest.”
Nutrition Education Is Vital for Prevention
Apparently the AMA must follow up on the type of nutrition courses being offered in medical schools if they expect the graduates to secure a more basic understanding of the importance of wholesome nutrition and life. While going through courses in chemistry, many present professors in medical schools have never had training in nutrition and are unqualified as teachers. Others have had a short instructional course thrust upon them with concepts presented that are nutritionally back in the 1800s, when it was generally conceded that four classes of food substances (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals) comprised complete nutrition in the animal diet. Since then we know that nutrition is incomplete without amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and other unknown food substances. For instance, in experiments at Texas University, Dr. Roger Williams determined that we can only retain health and prevent disease if we consume wholesome food containing over forty known and other unknown nutrients. In other words, the missing nutrients in our diet determine the quality of our health, just as it is said, “The shortest stave in the bucket determines the level of water.”
As it has taken thousands of years to find out about the elements in our food, so it has also taken a long time to roughly establish just what the digestive tract does with the food when ingested. And we still have a lot to learn. Probably one of the first things we must unlearn is the idea that life is just a bowl of measured calories. During this drug and chemical era of the past forty years, the teaching of nutrition, in health and disease, has been so neglected in most medical schools that modern doctors are too often confused in its application to our prevalent degenerative conditions. At the same time, more complete nutritional information was sidetracked when industrial scientists became totally involved in calorimetric measurements, apparently completely forgetful of the nutrients necessary to prevent malnutrition.
After the scientists found the calorie, the quantity of heat required to raise one gram of water one degree centigrade, the commercial food business deified this simple muscular energy unit into the most important element in food. But the animal body is more than just a calorimeter. It does not turn all the potential energy into heat to keep the body average temperature at 98.6°F (measured under the tongue). Although this is very important, malnutrition can occur even though the heating value of the presumed approximately average 3,000 calories intake is furnished on a daily basis. Other elements may be more important on an individual basis.
Nutrition is directly related to what our individual system is able to extract, out of what we eat, and can fabricate into necessary compounds to maintain and build tissue or store through the process of anabolism or constructive metabolism. Physiologically, we must be supplied with food compounds, not just calories, for complete metabolism or the sum of the process concerned in the building up (anabolism) of protoplasm and its destruction or burning up for energy (catabolism). In the life process, calories may be incidental to the chemical changes in the living cells, by which the energy is provided for the vital processes or metabolic activities and new material is assimilated to repair the waste.
Being a living entity, the body could be called a chemical and/or tissue warehouse, which needs to be furnished a stock of some known nutrients such as enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, vitamins and no doubt many other as yet unknown food factors. This is a far cry from the original basic food factors known to be essential in nutrition some seventy-five years ago and suggested for complete nutrition these days in some medical papers. As we have been advised, the textbooks in medical libraries are too often behind the times when it comes to practical nutrition. No doubt, it has been this lack of nutritional knowledge and its importance as an ally in preventive medicine that has caused medical authorities to generally ignore nutrition as a health measure.
“Because a fact is ignored does not mean it does not exist.”
—Dr. Royal Lee
And, as Dr. Alfred Vogel has said: “If we eat the wrong kind of food we may become fat and apparently strong, but we are in reality weak and without energy.” Such a lack of vitality has often been found to be a contributing factor in acquiring some prevalent disease. We find that more and more evidence is steadily accumulating that better health through nutritional education and preventive “medicine” has and can further reduce the risk of lingering illness or an early death.
It is now becoming more apparent that all too often the prevalent degenerative diseases have their origin in malnutrition or exposure to specific chemicals in the environment and even to the side-effects of presumably safe drugs. Therefore, it is not surprising that medical doctors, with such little exposure to nutrition and the importance of a complete environmental patient history, often fail to diagnose the resulting conditions correctly. The patient history is very often ignored as neither the physician nor the patient ordinarily thinks of sickness in terms of environmental causes. Yet, as we have just learned, the McGovern investigating committee found a large percentage of cancer in this country is due to environmental conditions.
Obstacles to Prevention
“Every day, physicians prescribe drug after drug, for which only the flimsiest of evidence exists as to their value.”
—Dr. William Osler
Dr. Osler also advised that patients must make two recoveries, one from his disease and one from his treatment.
Up to now the most challenging obstacles to disease prevention has, as we previously stated, been a negative attitude on the part of the public, which has in turn fostered a negative attitude and inertia of medical doctors. In fact the art of preventive medicine, discarded for several generations during this present chemical era, is being revived as a result of the new public sentiment toward whole nutrition, and overall interest in acquiring and maintaining good health. More and more people are becoming disillusioned with the theory that various “shots” or that pink, yellow or blue pills can cure most anything.
The natural trend of advice from elder to youngster has, in this instance, been reversed. We now find many younger persons advising their elders that they were wrong in abandoning Mother Nature and that they had better start listening to her advice that refined foods possess mostly calories and chemicals. They should also warn that although the natural whole “live” foods tend to make one feel better, advanced or probably severe conditions acquired over a period of years cannot be quickly corrected— but the correction will have a more lasting effect. Apparently, the public as a whole must wait for several more generations, or until medical schools are able to graduate more nutritionally minded doctors.
In the past, drug-oriented editors of medical, pharmaceutical, and dental literature often let self-serving interests or blind spots dominate their thinking when it came to publishing results of nutritional research. It will be interesting to see whether this attitude continues.
Medical Research and Nutrition
What has caused medical authorities to neglect nutritional research and/or therapy and brand nutrition relatively unimportant and of little value in protecting health? Professor B.F. Parker answered the question this way: “Instead of investigating for themselves, medical men copy the errors of their predecessors and have thus retarded the progress of medical science and perpetuated error.’’
Apparently, this is a correct observation in regard to nutrition for the last forty years. In so many instances they have failed to acknowledge research that demonstrated the relation of nutrition to health. Then too, every time anyone performed a worthwhile experiment he upset another doctor’s fixed ideas and got into trouble with self-appointed censors. Also, it has been found to be a matter of personal egotistical pride, as many medical practitioners and researchers have involved themselves with surgery or drugs as a dramatic method to bring earlier recognition and public admiration. They must stand out from the crowd and they presume nutritional therapy is too conservative for this type of recognition. With little if any knowledge of nutrition they generally fail to acknowledge research that demonstrates the relation of nutrition to health and confine their devotion to the controlled observation in the area of their anticipated expertise.
Expressing his interest in research, G.W. Campbell, DO, commented: “Every medical researcher wants to be a Lister or a Pasteur or a Mendel. But, there is no room in the Hall of Fame for the founder of a cure that involves eating certain foods and giving up others.”
As Dr. Royal Lee often said: “The answer is too simple.” However, it is all too seldom that simple answers fit into the enigmatic conversation the medical practitioner has with his patient. The only place it seems to fit is in compensation as “fee simple.” Generally, this means without limit.
It has recently been recommended that we have a more complete doctor training to improve our national health policy, with clearer goals. A late review by the General Accounting Office summarized: “Little is being done in the U.S. to match the training of its future physicians to the medical needs of the country.”
Now, after a five-year national policy study by the National Institutes of Health, some tough and probably very controversial recommendations have been made to meet health care needs. For instance: “A ten year moratorium should be placed on increasing the sizes of medical school classes and on building more medical schools, because there are now so many medical students in the pipeline that the number of physicians will increase by 60 percent in the next twelve years.”
One study recommends that more students should be trained for primary care and fewer in the specialties. According to one statistical study, in 1975 primary care physicians had an average net income of $53,000, compared with $87,000 for anesthesiologists and with $124,000 for radiologists. In 1977 the average income of doctors was $75,000, with specialists averaging $100,000 which, according to federal officials, is a level substantially above what is required to ensure an adequate supply of physicians.
In the last year physicians’ fees rose over 50 percent more than other consumer prices. And, since 1950, the increase in the cost of doctors’ services has nearly doubled the increase of prices generally, considered unjustifiably high. This apparently is the result of private medical insurance and government Medicare, a fact that has exempted physicians’ fees from the usually restraining effect of the traditional market forces of supply and demand, which govern all other earnings.
With such enticing fees, the pipeline of physicians—good, bad, and indifferent—will continue to flow according to the rising demand for limited vacancies in medical schools. Prestige and greed appear to be spawning an increase in questionable and possibly illegal efforts to gain admission. More and more young people attempt to get on the gravy train.
Could the Bakke case be the only fly in the ointment? And, under such a nefarious system, just how many of the newer doctors can we expect to be humanitarians instead of self-serving money grabbers? Perhaps this pecuniary system has already started, as some presently practicing doctors are said to set a remunerative goal at the beginning of the year and, if necessary, raise their fees to satisfy their ambition.
Also, we have to wonder, if such a system in conjunction with this chemical and drug period now in vogue could have been a deterrent in the teaching of nutrition and preventive medicine in so many medical schools for such a long period. This present era surely brings to mind:
We squander health in search of wealth
and sweat and toil and strain:
Then we squander wealth in search of health
and often it’s in vain.