Applied Trophology, Vol. 3, No. 2
(February 1959)

A Few Notes on Clinical Toxicology

The following is a transcription of the February 1959 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.

Also in this issue:

  • News Notes (Seawater Injections)
  • Tip of the Month (Corns)
  • High Points of Thymex

A Few Notes on Clinical Toxicology

When a patient presents himself to the doctor for treatment, the background of the illness is often highly obscure. The doctor can proceed to treat the symptoms, but unless the cause is removed, he will have a permanent patient—barring the patient’s demise or detour (to another doctor).

Our “staff of life” is supposed to be bread. Graham, who in 1837 wrote about the chemicalization and adulteration of commercial bread, called on the housewife to assume her obvious duty of supplying her family with honest, health-building bread, instead of the unwholesome stuff commonly available.1 We will not at this moment go into the refining of bread, by which it loses most of its important nutrients and helps cause a thousand-fold increase in tooth decay here in the United States of America. (This is quite a contrast with countries such as India, where the average incidence of dental caries is limited to one person in eighty among both street beggars and students in a medical college, according to a recent scientific investigation.) We shall instead confine our discussion to the poisoning of bread progressively as it leaves the farm, as wheat, until it is placed on your table.

First, the wheat is fumigated almost routinely with methyl bromide to block weevil infestation. We personally have found fumigated wheat to bring complaints from buyers who cooked it as breakfast cereal for their children. They reported dysentery and gastrointestinal irritation that they had not experienced from previous shipments from us. Upon investigation we found that the grain elevator that collected wheat for our special requirements (high protein and only from land known to afford the maximum of protection against tooth decay) had violated their promise to refrain from fumigating our wheat. “Orders from the federal Food and Drug Administration” was their excuse. This necessitated our making arrangements to pick up all wheat we sell directly from the farm, in order to avoid this contamination.

What is known about the toxic effects of methyl bromide? Here is the story: methyl bromide causes fatigue, impaired vision, mental confusion, sensory disorders, impaired speech (possible evidence of nerve poisoning), loss of appetite, nausea, headache, dizziness, severe epigastric and substernal pains, dimmed vision, faintness, “dopiness,” severe muscular pain, somnolence, mental depression, auditory disturbances (tinnitus), pains in joints, intention tremor, and epileptic convulsion.

“Even moderate poisonings may lead to prolonged illness and possibly permanent injuries.” … “Systemic effects resulting from methyl bromide poisoning may persist and incapacitate the individual for a long time.” [Source unknown.]

Local reactions of contact (as in the intestinal tract) may affect peripheral nerve endings on the skin, causing itching and a desquamative dermatitis.

“The repeated contact with small quantities gives rise to a characteristic train of symptoms” (including redness and swelling).

Workers in a date-packing establishment were found to develop serious toxic reactions from inhaling small amounts of the poison. The concentration in inhaled air in such places must not be over “20 parts per million.” This quotation is from U.S. Public Health Service Publication No. 414, 1955, from the Government Printing Office (price $2.50). Only dates obtained from certified organic growers are safe to eat. (See the classified pages of Natural Food and Farming Journal for suppliers.)

Flour bleaches are the next poison encountered by wheat on its way to you to eat as bread. Why bleach flour? To artificially age the flour—to enhance the destructive oxidative processes that occur in storage, by which the elasticity of the gluten is improved, thereby making the baker’s job to get a light loaf of bread easier. It also acts as a toxic preservative to keep out weevils.

As Dr. Carlson said in his testimony on poisons in food: “I have noticed…that whole wheat or unbleached flour is attractive to a great many insects and bugs, but when treated (by bleach poisons), they stayed away….Only humans will eat it” (p. 14).7

Dr. Carlson points out that while one bleach was found after many years of use to be a cause of epilepsy in dogs and nervous disturbances in monkeys, but not of epilepsy in man: “That is not enough for me, because there are many other types of nervous disturbances that may be aggravated or introduced by this chemical.”

More recently, flour bleach poisons have been found to be a probable cause of lupus erythematosus. One doctor reports his consistent success in reversing the progress of the disease by eliminating all such contaminated foods from the patient’s regimen. (Report available on request.) Lupus erythematosus closely resembles pellagra in many ways, but particularly in the severe degenerative changes occurring in the spinal cord.

Dr. Carlson also comments, “It is a tragedy to me, as I know food, nutrition, and starvation all over the world, that we mill the best of the ingredients out of our grain and that the best part is fed to hogs and cattle while we eat the poorest part” (p. 312).7 This, of course, is in addition to the added poisons we are discussing here.

Even the bulk fiber in whole wheat is now known to prevent diverticulosis2 and to be a factor in controlling eclampsia,2a to say nothing about the new finding that the potassium in bran is needed to prevent necrotic heart disease,2b and the phosphorus is needed to prevent alkalosis and allergy. And, of course, let us not forget Dr. A.J. Carlson’s classic report in which he finds the cellulose in flour to be a life-prolonging factor.2c The essentiality of fiber may be as important as vitamins and minerals. How come so little is known in this respect?

The next important poisonous substance in bread, as commonly available, is rancid oil. Wheat is usually moistened before roller milling to toughen the bran, so that the bran and germ can be more efficiently sifted out. (If not carefully removed, the higher oil content increases the amount of rancidity, which is detrimental to the flavor of the flour.) This moisture speeds the development of rancidity of the oil remaining in the flour. In fact, vitamin E is destroyed by rancid factors and is all gone ten days after milling. It is apparent that commercial flours of all kinds have lost their fitness as foods.

We will not comment at this time on the effect of the vitamin E complex deficiency other than to point out the loss of sex hormone precursors. This results in the nutritional castration of both sexes so well described by Drs. Bicknell and Prescott in their book The Vitamins in Medicine (Grune & Stratton, 1953) and in Dr. Bicknell’s book The English Complaint.

Neither will we elaborate here on how our 750,000 annual victims of heart disease are aggravated by this poor bread, in contrast with the practical absence of heart disease in China and India. We will, however, confine our comments to the carcinogenic effect of these rancid fats.

The first concrete evidence of this carcinogenicity was a finding by Dr. Rowntree,3 who gave an extract of what was obviously rancid wheat germ oil to fourteen rats, all of which developed cancer. (The oil was later found to be devoid of vitamin E, because of its production from stale wheat germ.) Oxidized (stale) and overcooked fats are known to cause cancer. “The active agent does not correspond with any of the carcinogenic hydrocarbons known today.”4

Dr. Daniel T. Quigley, the cancer surgeon of celebrated reputation, noticed years ago that his patients had a far better chance of recovery if they ate bread made from freshly made flour only and omitted from their diet any cereal product that had been refined or commercially processed. He also proved that glucose was carcinogenic and that recovery was possible only if all glucose was avoided in the diet. It was recently confirmed that glucose injections made subcutaneously in rats cause cancer at the site of the injection.5 Quigley also reported in 1950 that in twenty years none of his patients experienced a recurrence of cancer after surgery if his advice was followed in regard to diet. (Cancer research seems to have a blind spot for nutritional investigation in spite of the fact that refined foods have been shown to create a 90 percent susceptibility to cancer, while unrefined natural foods create a 100 percent immunity.6)

Here are Dr. A.J. Carlson’s words on the subject: “In ordinary milling the whole wheat flour goes rancid in time…it is extremely important…because the rancidity leads to destruction of the fats or your vitamins in the fats.”7

The next toxic, adulterating chemical used in bread is the fraudulent “softener,” prohibited by federal regulations but universally used intrastate. In the same hearings at which Dr. Carlson testified, Dr. Hedrick (Congressman Hedrick) commented as follows: “A few days ago at my home we were fenced in by 30 inches of snow and I was forced to feed my chickens fresh bread that had softener in it. They all became sick. They developed dysentery and diarrhea after the use of this bread” (p. 582).8

Dr. Carlson reported his tests of three commercial bread “softeners” and that all three were found toxic. One caused “unusual gastric, lymphoid, renal, and testicular involvement” (p. 313) and “occult blood in the feces” (p. 297). Other investigators reported that softeners caused “extensive inflammation and ulceration around the anus” (p. 297), “bladder stones, hemosiderosis, cirrhosis of the liver, atrophy of the kidney, obstructive nephropathy, inflammation of the stomach, atrophy of the testes, calcification of the aorta, and coronary arteries” (p. 298).7

Dr. Carlson agreed that bread softeners “should not be used under any circumstances, because (in) subclinical injury we have no certain methods to detect. Small amounts of injury may go undiscovered for generations” (p. 308).7

The final insult to our health from bread poisons is in the anti-mold chemicals, which have been used since the introduction of pre-slicing, a practice that admits mold spores into the loaf. Commonly used is calcium or sodium propionate, a toxic drug used otherwise for application to the skin in treating “athlete’s foot.” Certainly, such a poison has no place in bread or any other food. You cannot add a poison as a preservative to any food that will kill bugs or mold cells without poisoning the food. Foods are by nature perishable, which is another way of saying they are capable of supporting life.

Propionates ruin the flavor of bread. Monkeys will not eat bread with either bleach or anti-mold poisons in it. In fact a monkey will not eat a nut that has been shelled. He knows it is unfit (by reason of rancidity) if exposed to air for any time out of the protective shell. Hulled oats become rancid in a few weeks and corn off the cob loses its fresh flavor if exposed to the air. Mexican cooks prefer to make tortillas from ear corn, which they shell as they put to soak before wet grinding.

Dr. McCollum’s precept that “only perishable foods are wholesome, but eat them before they spoil,” is good advice. We would add, “Be sure they are not contaminated with poisons or refined to remove the perishable wholesome components.”


  1. Graham on Bread, pp. 31–50, 1837.
  2. Carlson and Hoelzel. Gastroenterology, 12:108, 1949; 2a. Hipsley. Med. Jol., 2, 420, 1925; 2b. McAllen. Brit. Heart J., 17, 5, 1955 and The Chemical Prevention of Cardiac Necrosis, Hans Selye, The Ronald Press, 1958; 2c. Carlson and Hoelzel. J. Nutrition, 36, 424, 1937.
  3. Rowntree et al. Exper. Biol. & Med., 36, 424, 1937.
  4. The Riddle of Cancer. Yale University Press, 1952.
  5. Euler, H., and Skarzynski, B. Biochemie der Tumoren. Ferd, Enke-Verlag, Stuttgart, 1942.
  6. Cancer Research, 12:211–215, 1952.
  7. Testimony of Dr. A.J. Carlson before congressional committee investigating chemical additives to food, pp. 14, 297, 298, 308, 312, 313, 1950.
  8. Testimony of Dr. Hedrick (Congressman Hedrick), ibid., p. 582.

News Notes (Seawater Injections)

Seawater injections were found to be the first cure for demodectic mange in dogs—after all antibiotics had failed. Twenty-four out of twenty-five dogs were cured, with no relapse over a five-year period following this treatment (Jol. A.V.M.A., August 1, 1956).

Trace mineral effect no doubt. Like the undulant fever in cattle and humans, which is eliminated by nutritional trace minerals, as shown by Allison and Pottenger. No wonder the world’s records for highest crop production come from Holland, from land recently reclaimed from the sea.

This reminds us of the hog feeding test at Rutgers University where one-sixth more gain was produced by the use of sea salt over common salt in a three-month feeding experiment on twelve animals. (Sea salt has only three-fourths the sodium chloride of refined salt, the rest being calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.) Refined salt seems as much of a menace to health as refined flour.

Tip of the Month (Corns)

Pains due to chronic irritation such as corns disappear speedily after the administration of a few tablets of Cytotrophic Extract of Parotid [Parotid PMG]. Why? Because of activation of the detoxifying function of the thyroid, parotid, and pancreas, which are parts of the endocrine chain that cooperate to this end. (More to follow on this.)

High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts

Thymex: Thymex is indicated in any inflammatory condition, acute or chronic, especially for old, chronic wounds or lesions, leg ulcers, osteomyelitis, and epithelial disorders that have failed to respond to other types of treatment.

Thymex relieves soreness and congestion and improves flexibility of joints affected by osteoarthritis. Also, the phagocytic action has been reported effective in rheumatoid arthritis.

Heather Wilkinson

Heather Wilkinson is Senior Editor at Selene River Press.

Leave a Reply