Facts About Fats and Oils; Linoleic Acid Obtained from Flaxseed Oil
Contents in this issue:
- “Some Facts About Food Fats and Oils,”
- “More on Linoleic Acid as Obtained from Flaxseed Oil.”
The following is a transcription of the April 1965 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Some Facts About Food Fats and Oils
Fats and oils are indispensable parts of our diet. They provide fat-soluble vitamins and the essential fatty acids of the so-called “vitamin F” group.
As a preliminary comment we mention the conclusions of the Lee Foundation Report No. 8, where it is shown that practically all of our commercial food fats and oils are made from rancid sources that should not be considered fit for food use, simply because once a food has become rancid it cannot honestly be reclaimed by refining, deodorizing, and bleaching. Such products are indeed but fraudulent counterfeits that are allowed, nevertheless, to filter through our pure food law enforcement personnel.
For more on that subject we suggest you read Dr. Harvey W. Wiley’s chapter from his autobiography, where he describes the battle he lost in trying to stop food frauds when he was the first Administrator of our Federal Pure Food Law enforcement agency He says as the result of his defeat, “The dikes that held the swelling floods of adulterations and misbranding of our beverages were broken down and waves of food adulterations swept over and devastated our country” (The History of a Crime Against the Food Law, p. 151). We believe the situation is now even worse, and the wave of adulterated oils and synthetic, refined hydrogenated fats fifty-two years after Dr. Wiley’s elimination as Pure Food Administrator could well be termed a “flood that could float a navy.”
What is wrong with various innocent-appearing refined foods? Here are a few examples:
Dr. Martha Jones, medical consultant in nutrition to Hawaiian sugar planters, was appalled at the 300 deaths per year among employees’ babies. She decided to do something about it. By changing from corn syrup and refined sugar as baby formula carbohydrate to natural unrefined sugar-cane syrup, the next year went by without a single fatality among the same families.
We are certain that the major factor in creating this change was the presence of natural fat-soluble vitamin K in the natural cane syrup. Another effect of the natural unrefined carbohydrate was the protection of the children’s teeth against decay. Vitamin K is also known to aid that effect. Adults, too, certainly need the same nutritional benefits.
Dr. Hunter Doles of Norfolk, Virginia, showed some years ago how vitamin K destruction caused by the use of deep- freeze storage of vegetable foods caused a statistical increase, in some areas that he surveyed, of thirty-to-one, in coronary disease and sudden deaths from heart disease
Since our commonest “disease” is decay of teeth, and the next is heart disease, maybe Dr. Wiley’s description of a devastation by reason of food adulteration was not at all an exaggeration.
To show how closely coupled are systemic disease and tooth decay, we direct your attention to an investigation of six thousand Boston school children reported in 1922 by the noted Dr. Pollina. He showed that tooth decay readily followed the incidence of children’s disease, such as diphtheria, measles, scarlet fever, mumps, chicken pox, and other infectious diseases of childhood, where a weakened constitution permitted invasion by mouth bacteria. About 11 percent of the six thousand who had never had a weakening disease history were revealed to have “normal dental arches, no dental caries, were well balanced in nutrition, body and mental age.”
For more enlightenment on this subject, we recommend reading Dr. Percy Howe’s Letters. Dr. Howe is the Harvard authority who followed up the work of Dr. Pollina. Although Dr. Frederick Stare’s predecessor at Harvard, he refused to garble facts to suit commercial interests. It is common knowledge that Dr. Stare’s department of nutrition today receives millions of dollars in “grants” and/or scholarship funds from various “counterfeit” food makers.
Dr. I. Snapper returned from a ten-year sojourn in China in 1940, and then wrote his book Chinese Lessons to Western Medicine. He reported that in China cardiovascular disease was practically nonexistent, thanks to their wide use of soybean products high in unsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F). In the Korean war it was reported by the U.S. Army that our boys killed in battle had a 76 percent incidence of coronary conditions, but that Korean soldiers, like the Chinese, were free of the condition. You will certainly agree that this is a high price to pay for indifference to counterfeit foods, and to neglect the law that Dr. Wiley was objecting to, although he was only speaking from principle, not knowing the serious consequences that have followed in actuality.
Our next most frequent cause of death is cancer. What have fats and oils to do with that menace?
A whole lot, it would seem. Rancid residues in oils and fats left after refining from unfit rancid raw materials (which never should be permitted to go into any food) are known to be carcinogenic, and are, no doubt, one of the most common causative factors. Dr. Oberling, in his book The Riddle of Cancer (Yale University Press, second edition), tells about them. More specifically, rancid cereal oils, like wheat germ oil and the oil residues in all cereal products not made from fresh ground flour or meal (all the cereal products in virtually any grocery store) are in this category. It is quite apparent that a real reason cancer follows civilization around the world is because of the stale cereal products that accompany it (white flour, breakfast foods, packaged biscuits, crackers, cookies). Dr. Schweitzer could say when he first penetrated the heart of Africa that he saw no cancer, and only after “civilized” food was introduced, did it appear. Famous explorer Stefansson wrote a book on the Eskimo situation, reaching practically identical conclusions. Dr. Weston A. Price told the same story about Alpine villages, where after opening up of better roads to civilization, hospitals became necessary to care for the victims of counterfeit food.
Careful tests have confirmed this carcinogenic effect of cereal oils in their rancid state. Dr. Rowntree of the University of Pennsylvania was first to announce that cancer followed the administration of a carelessly made lot of wheat germ oil (Proc. Exp. Biol. & Med., 36, 424, 1937). Every rat fed this sample of oil developed malignant tumors.
Other experimenters tried to show that this was not true, and one even went to the extreme of washing the wheat germ oil in caustic soda solution to remove the carcinogens. (In England you cannot sell coal tar for highway construction until you have removed the carcinogens in this way.) This shows how desperate the makers of these unfit foods are—when their billions of investments in them is at stake. The purported scientist who washed out the carcinogens from the wheat germ oil reported his so-called “experiments” in Proc. Exp. Biol. & Med., volume 42, page 703, and in volume 54 (1943) of the same journal, page 121.
Rowntree reported still more experiments with wheat germ oil, from various sources commercially obtainable, and showed that most of them can cause cancer when fed to test animals, confirming his first and original findings.
Even Rowntree’s confirming report was misquoted to infer that he obtained the opposite results from what he actually did (in the 1944 Annual Review of Biochemistry), and this misinformation was innocently passed on as fact in the only reliable official book used by the doctor on nutritional subjects (The Vitamins in Medicine, by Bicknell & Prescott, Second Edition, page 735) with the statement, “It seems clear that there is no danger in using wheat germ oil.”
Maybe you are beginning to get a glimmer of the truth, namely that you cannot blindly trust anybody where the issue is the enforcement of law, with a situation where there is a well-organized crew of commercial miscreants operating to suborn both Government agencies and schools of learning and research we are supposed to accept as authorities. We have the Federal Trade Commission, for example, issuing orders to producers of natural products to cease making any statement, however truthful, that infers a synthetic counterfeit product is inferior to the natural food supplying nutrition obtainable only from living cells. Such actions wrongfully defy the facts.
Meanwhile, in a new book on histamine (the tissue poison that must be quickly eliminated to avoid allergy reactions), it is found to be protected by synthetic estrogens, while natural estrogens help to eliminate histamine (Histamine, by Wostenholme and O’Connor, Little Brown & Co., 1956, page 272). In nutrition very often a synthetic substance can have the opposite effect of the natural product.
We now reproduce in part the historic Introduction to “Percy Howe’s Letters” (from The Dental Digest, 1928), which, then and now, graphically demonstrates the possible results of poor nutrition.
“What has Dr. Howe demonstrated that is of such surpassing importance? That, so long as experimental animals are kept on a well-balanced diet, he has been unable to cause dental decay or pyorrhea by the feeding or injection of the microorganisms most actively associated with such decay, or by feeding excess quantities of sugar over long periods.
“If the diet be unbalanced by taking out a part of the minimum amount of vitamin C necessary to health, acute pyorrhea, decay of the teeth, malformation of the jaws and derangement, of the articulation of the teeth result. If all the vitamin C be removed, the pulps of the incisors in guinea pigs are destroyed and the dentin dissolved. If the necessary roughage be omitted from the diet, the intestines become unhealthy, which condition is reflected in an unhealthy condition of the tissues of the mouth.
“He has shown that these symptoms are merely oral reflections of conditions extending throughout the body, but perhaps less readily visible elsewhere.
“When we study humans, we find many families in which the diet is seriously unbalanced. There is often an excess of refined sugar, including candy, soda-water, and sweet desserts; too much refined cereal and bread made from bolted wheat or corn flour, and a deficiency of fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk.
“Children on such deficient diets are very apt to be constipated. Headache, dizziness, toothache, and general malaise are common among them. Upon general examination they are likely to exhibit retarded or distorted development and, on closer examination, malocclusion, extensive dental decay, and diseases of the gums, throat, eyes, ears, and nose. They are readily susceptible to colds and the infectious diseases.
“Later in life, when the deficiencies have been operative longer, they are very likely to suffer from kidney, bladder, gall-duct, and heart troubles, and these conditions may play no small part in the appalling increase in cancer and the degenerative diseases of middle life.”[Note: This article first appeared in the December 1964 issue of Applied Trophology.]
More on Linoleic Acid as Obtained from Flaxseed Oil
Norway’s Dr. Paul A. Owren, of the University of Oslo, recently appeared before 5,000 physicians to lecture at the Golden Anniversary Meeting of the American College of Physicians in Chicago. He further elaborated on the article in our February 1965 issue of Applied Trophology entitled “Lack of Acid Held Key to Thrombi.” This noted research investigator stated that flaxseed oil contains 45 to 60 percent linolenic acid while soybean oil, the most linolenic-rich of the common vegetable oils, has only a 7 percent concentration. Other sources, he added, are fat horse meat, 14 percent; butter, which contains about 1 percent; and margarine, almost none.
Corn oil and safflower oil are polyunsaturated fats, which some American medical investigators contend can prevent heart attacks if substituted for animal fats in the diet. However, Dr. Owren said that polyunsaturated fats and most saturated fats available today contain little, if any, linolenic acid. He stated that it does appear naturally in the fat of pasture-fed hogs and in whole grain wheat and rye cereals and bread, but the amount is cut in half by modern refining methods.
Dr. Owren took issue with the popular theory that cutting down on animal fats in the diet would tend to reduce heart attacks, but he said, “An increased tendency to thrombosis and coronary heart disease may be directly related to a relative deficiency of linolenic acid.”
Observations in Norway on animals and several hundred patients have produced tentative proof that small amounts of linolenic acid prevent blood platelets from clumping together on the vascular walls, and as further reported by Dr. Owren, it is due to this clumping and sticking that a thrombus may form to plug a vein or artery. Linolenic acid, as found in flaxseed oil, is rich in the blood platelet anti-adhesiveness factor that prevents this formation, experiments by Dr. Owren revealed. This factor is lacking in ordinary vegetable oils.
Dr. Owren also stressed that ordinary raw linseed oil, as found in paint stores, cannot be used, as it will produce digestive upsets. We presume this is due to the fact that oil pressed from flaxseed is known to become rancid in just a few hours. Extreme care must be used in its preparation. Dr. Owren further states that the effect of linolenic acid is transitory, and it must be supplied in the diet at regular intervals, preferably daily, to maintain normal platelet adhesiveness.