Book Review: Chemicals in Your Food; RNA Improves Memory Retention; Label Declaration of Vitamin E; Ribonucleic Acid
Contents in this issue:
- “Book Review: Chemicals in Your Food,” by Dr. Franklin Bicknell,”
- “Orally Administered RNA Improves Memory Retention,”
- “Label Declaration of Vitamin E,”
- “High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts (Ribonucleic Acid).”
The following is a transcription of the July 1961 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
We Review a New Book: Dr. Franklin Bicknell’s Chemicals in Your Food
Seldom does a man of the scientific repute of Dr. Franklin Bicknell take time out to inform the layman of his research findings in language he can understand.
We quote Dr. Bicknell’s preface, pages 7–8:
Chemicals in Food: An American Problem
Americans consume more chemicals in their food than any other nation. At the same time, American forecasts are the gloomiest in the world about the continued rise of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, congenital abnormalities, and so on—in fact, all the degenerative diseases. The United States leads the civilized world in chemicalized food and in degenerative diseases. She also leads the world in high living standards and ample food. Both of these should reduce instead of increase the degenerative diseases. The only possible explanation of the United States more than equally sharing with the civilized world the rise in such diseases is that her food, though the most abundant, is also the most unwholesome.
Americans, though hypochondriacal about cleanliness in food, are strangely ignorant of the chemicals in it. Yet these are more dangerous than any dirt or bacteria likely to contaminate their food.
The Food and Drug Administration makes great efforts to protect its public. But there is little active support from the average citizen. Were there more understanding of how chemicalized food is insidiously eroding away health in the United States even faster than in Europe, then more and better legislation would not only be tolerated but demanded. Instead of, for instance, protests being made about cranberries sprayed with aminotriazole being condemned, the public would be delighted at thus being guarded against a cancer risk.
Better legislation in the United States would lead all the world to similar protection of health.
And his comments on commercial flour and bread, pages 66–67:
The keeping quality of flour is the last and most important problem confronting millers: what avail is bleached dullness if the flour goes sour or, like the ships’ biscuits at Trafalgar, breeds weevils? The great problem of all pleasant staple foods—meat, fish, milk, butter—is that they go bad. Indeed, they must. For what is food for us is equally food for microbes and weevils. One proof that food is nutritious is that it can support forms of life other than man. Food which cannot go bad is bad food. Flour never goes bad. It has rid itself of the original sin of all staple foods. By the most miraculous of all miracles, the very chemicals which “age” and bleach flour also make it sterile—make it as safe to leave about as a eunuch in a harem.
Agene, nitrogen trichloride, was the first or at least the most widely used chemical in flour. But in 1946 Mellanby showed that flour “improved” by agene caused fits in dogs. This was due to the agene converting methionine to methionine sulfoximine, which produces fits in all animals. Man, as far as can be shown by brief and scant experiments, does not develop fits when eating the amount he could absorb from bread, so agene was considered safe and its use continued till 1956, when it was replaced by the current chlorine dioxide. It is instructive to note that all research on the safety of agenized flour for man centered round the possible production of fits, the exacerbation of epilepsy, etc., while it was not until agene was no longer used that it was realized that agene probably caused myopia or short sight in children.156
The chlorine dioxide of today is as miraculous as agene was from the commercial point of view and is as harmful from the point of view of the consumer. It bleaches flour; it “ages” or “improves” flour; it sterilizes flour.
This sterilization is the nub of the whole fight between millers and health. Untreated 82-percent extraction stone-ground flour may go sour or breed insects when carelessly stored or stored for too long. The sourness and largely the capacity to support insect life are due to the oil in flour. This oil occurs only in the germ of the wheat. Most of the germ is got rid of by the steel rollers, which have supplanted the stone millstones. These rollers crush the wheat instead of grinding it. While the brittle starchy part of the wheat breaks up into powder, the soft germ is only squeezed into flakes. These can be easily removed by bolting or sieving. So far, so good. A flour has been produced which is much less prone to going bad, at the cost of losing its germ and oil and EFA [essential fatty acids] and a large proportion of its vitamin B and vitamin E, its minerals, and its essential amino acids. But even this is not enough. Some of the oil of the germ has escaped into the flour, and the flour is still, probably, capable of going sour and of nourishing insects. Therefore, chlorine dioxide has to be called in to finish off the flour’s murder.
Chlorine dioxide destroys all the remaining vitamin E in flour,282 destroys or forms a toxic product160 or a perverted one164 with the oil’s EFA (page 69), and destroys161 or may form a toxic product with the methionine. Add to this graveyard of nutrients a lingering miasma of chlorine dioxide, and the millers have achieved a flour as nearly non-nutritious as is possible and as covertly, as insidiously corrupting to the body as food well can be. In the later chapters on human diseases, it will be seen that bread twists like a scarlet garroting cord round them all.
Mothers must make their family’s bread, etc., from untreated stone-ground flour from small mills.
And with respect to carcinogens in food, pages 122–123:
Therefore, it would seem essential that no external source of estrogens should be given to women who are under treatment for cancer of the breast—or, indeed, to any woman. But beef, mutton, and especially poultry are increasingly contaminated with artificial estrogens, which have been injected into the animals in order to fatten them or increase their rate of growth (page 79). Indeed I am told that in the USA all meat and poultry is so heavily contaminated with artificial estrogens that the treatment of cancer of the breast is made far more difficult: surgeons after operating on the breast often measure a woman’s excretion of estrogens in order to decide whether further operations on her ovaries and her suprarenal glands, etc., are necessary to prevent her making estrogens. But if the estrogens she is excreting are not being made by her herself but only come from her food, of course further operations are not necessary. The decision whether or not to operate is not easy in face of this possible food effect, and is often wrong.
No woman should eat commercially bred chickens or meat that she knows have been treated with estrogens.
In defense of the treatment of animals with synthetic estrogens, it has been said, firstly, that no more estrogen is injected into an animal than it may make itself. But the natural estrogens present in the flesh of animals are destroyed during digestion in the human stomach, while synthetic estrogens are not thus destroyed but are absorbed into the body.
Secondly, it is claimed that there has been no increase in cancer of the breast since synthetic estrogens were introduced as a medical treatment for menopausal disorders. But such treatment is generally only given for a short time and, further, is given when the body’s production of estrogens is waning, so that there is no additive effect of the natural and the synthetic hormone. This medicinal use of synthetic estrogens late in life is surely totally different to the regular giving of hormones in food throughout a woman’s entire life, from infancy onward.
Other cancers besides cancer of the breast are caused by estrogens: leukemia, or cancer of the blood, has probably been caused in man,215 and in animals cancer of the kidney,216 bladder,217 testis,218 and uterus, 219 and leukemia.220
Estrogen- or hormone-treated animals should never be sold for human food. Until they are banned by law, the housewife should ask her butcher about his meat and poultry and refuse any which he thinks may have come from hormone-treated animals.
The prevention of cancer lies in the hands of the individual and his parents. They must avoid:
a) Artificially colored foods: jam)s, iced cakes, sweets, ices, canned peas—which may contain three dyes all at the same time218—margarine, custard powders, etc.
b) Emulsifiers in foods such as shop cakes, shop bread, ices, etc.
c) Hormones in meat and especially in poultry from commercial poultry farms.
d) Commercial eggs with abnormally bright yellow yolks.
e) Arsenic on apples.
On the dangers of margarine (page 69):
a) Coloring may not be with the natural and safe carotene, as it should be, but with one of the “permitted” synthetic dyes (page 43), which in theory do not—but just possibly may—cause cancer.
b) The original oils might, most improbably, be contaminated with insecticides (page 90).
c) The heating of the oils might be high enough to produce cancer-causing substances.68,163
d) The EFAs, or essential unsaturated fatty acids, are destroyed or changed into abnormal toxic fatty acids, an anti-EFA effect.164
EFAs are essential both for many of the physical structures of the body and for many of its biochemical processes, which is the reason why they were originally called vitamin F. For their proper functioning, they need vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin E, both of which are destroyed in flour, though this should be our best source. A simple deficiency of EFA, such as could be brought about by a diet centered—as many are—around flour and margarine, is thought to be at least a contributory cause to neurological diseases, cancer, heart diseases, and arteriosclerosis—all of which are discussed in the last chapters of this book—and also skin diseases,83 and various degenerative conditions,165 such as arcus senilis, cataract, caries, senile osteoporosis, and arthritis.
The above will certainly convince any intelligent person that he should add this book to his library. It cannot fail to return far more than its cost in health and avoidance of unnecessary misfortune.
Orally Administered RNA Improves Memory Retention
There appears to be a hope of overcoming some of the decrements of old age, according to a report of results of experiments conducted by D. Ewen Cameron, MD, and Leslie Solyom, MD, of the Allen Memorial Institute of Psychiatry, Montreal, Canada. Oral administration of ribonucleic acid (RNA) to aged patients resulted in improvement of memory, ranging from almost total retention to mere retardation of the impairment process. This report, appearing in Geriatrics, further showed that other favorable changes occurred in addition to those affecting the memory, namely, increased alertness, interest, initiative, and confidence.
—Dental Survey, June 1961
Label Declaration of Vitamin E
Reprinted from Federal Register of October 29, 1959.
Section 3.9: Label declaration of vitamin E in food for special dietary use.
(a) Section 125.3 (a) (2) of this chapter, issued under the authority of section 403 (j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (sec. 403 (j), 52 Stat. 1048; 21 USC 343 (j)) requires that if a food purports to be or is represented for special dietary use by man by reason, in whole or in part, of a vitamin for which the need in human nutrition has not been established, the label of such food shall bear the statement, “The need for _____ in human nutrition has not been established,” the blank to be filled in with the name of such vitamin.
(b) Heretofore the Food and Drug Administration has considered vitamin E as among those vitamins for which the need in human nutrition has not been established. However, in the opinion of nutrition scientists, recent evidence showed that this vitamin is needed in human nutrition. The scientific studies upon which this conclusion is based demonstrate that the vitamin E utilized in the physiological processes of the human body is that derived only from the diet. The Food and Drug Administration therefore considers the requirement of § 125.3 (a) (2) quoted in paragraph (a) of this section as no longer applicable to food offered for special dietary use by reason of vitamin E.
(c) The difficulty of producing experimental dietary deficiency of vitamin E emphasizes that the diets used in this country are amply supplied with this vitamin. Any claim in the labeling of drugs or of foods offered for special dietary use by reason of vitamin E that there is need for dietary supplementation with vitamin E will be considered false.
—Sec. 403 (j), 52 Stat. 1048; 21 USC 343 (j). U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare, Food and Drug Administration, October 1959, 051.31, (493–10), (496.04), (400.101). SPI 3A–Section 3.9
High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA): Ribonucleic Acid, which is a derivative of yeast, has been reported beneficial in past years as a tonic, nervine, and diuretic and as a uric acid solvent. Conditions such as anemia, gout, paralysis, rachitis, and tuberculosis have been treated with some success. It is also known that it promotes leukocytosis and improves thyroid activity in patients with a low metabolic rate and in some instances restores normal thyroid function. This is especially noted in patients complaining of cold extremities. Some mental hospitals now use massive daily doses of Ribonucleic Acid tablets (SP) in the treatment of marked confusion and severe memory deficits and to restore patient confidence. The simultaneous use of phenobarbital is contraindicated, since phenobarbital inhibits leukocytosis, nullifies the benefits to be expected from the Ribonucleic Acid tablets, and may even cause leukopenia. A deficiency of nucleic acid (normally found in all cell cytoplasm) inhibits leukocytic activity. Therefore, Ribonucleic Acid tablets may be important when infections are present, especially chronic infections or fevers of long standing.