By Dr. Royal Lee and unknown author
Summary: Two articles featuring quotes and commentary by Dr. Royal Lee that contrast the incredible nutritional value of butter with the equally incredible lack of nutritional value of “oleomargarine” (what we call simply margarine today). In particular, the relationship between vitamin E and pubescent development is discussed, with Dr. Lee reminding readers that “sex development demands vitamin E, and butter is our main source in the American diet.” Dr. Lee presents photos of boys and girls demonstrating the failure of sexual differentiation to occur as a result of nutrient starvation. He also discusses the vital roles of the vitamin F and D complexes—both found naturally and in their entirety in butter but not in margarine—in assimilating and distributing calcium in the body. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 59, 1948. Multiple original sources.[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]
Do You Want to Lose the Hair On Your Chest?[Main article, by unknown author, from Iowa Business and Industry, April 1953]:
That seems like a nonsensical question. No red-blooded male would ever answer, “Yes.” But a lot of people may be in danger of losing their vitality and secondary sex characteristics if they don’t get enough of the E and F vitamins—those vitamins that are found principally in butter.
It is unfortunate that so few people know which foods provide the raw materials for normal sexual development. Feminine men and masculine women are misfits in society. Yet few of the beardless men or the women with excess hair know that their unhappy condition is likely to be so simple a matter as faulty diet.
Far too many people believe they are saving money when they buy oleomargarine instead of butter, since the price per pound is less. Actually, that saving is far offset by the possible cost of poor health and doctor bills.
Butter Is Better
Butter is nutritionally better than any butter substitute. That fact seems to have been obscured in a cloud of confusion—not only in Iowa, where dairy and oleo interests now are waging a long, drawn-out battle, but all over the United States.
Oleomargarine manufacturers have every right to make their product, and consumers should have the right to buy it if that product is what they prefer. The trouble is oleo pretends to be a complete substitute for butter, when its contents not only do not approach the health-giving elements in butter, but some brands even contain a poisonous preservative not commonly permitted in foods.
Butter is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and F. Unit for unit, the vitamin A in butter is three times as effective as the vitamin A in fish liver oils. The natural vitamin D found in one pound of butter is equal to that found in 10 quarts of milk and is 100 times as effective as the common commercial form of D (viosterol).
Butter prescribed by physicians as a remedy for tuberculosis, psoriasis, xeropthalmia, and dental caries and for preventing rickets has been promptly effective. Butter also carries vitamin E in sufficient quantity to prevent deficiency reactions.
“Sex development demands vitamin E, and butter is our main source in the American diet. And we do not mean synthetic substitutes for the natural E complex. Take vitamin E out of its environment by ‘purifying’ it, and it loses up to 99 percent of its potency, say authorities.
“Vitamin D and its partner, the F complex, as found in butter and cod liver oil are both essential in promoting calcium assimilation. The D complex stimulates the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream, and the F complex promotes the diffusion from the blood into the tissues. Each alone is only half a vitamin.
“You cannot keep time by using the brass out of a watch. Neither can you get the normal effect by taking apart a natural vitamin complex. It is a balanced mechanism as it occurs in food.”
Vitamins Are Complexes
Dr. Lee further amplifies that statement when he says, “No reasonable student of nutrition can today deny the axiom that all vitamins are complexes and cannot exert their normal physiological effect other than as the complete complex as found in natural foods.”
You can make synthetic rubber that will take the place of natural rubber. You can make synthetic cloth that has more desirable qualities than any natural cloth. But you cannot make a synthetic food that will furnish all the essential elements found in natural food.
The nutritional inferiority of butter substitutes is reflected in their inability to promote growth or even sustain reproduction in test animals. The penalties for continually using a synthetic substitute for butter seem to be quite drastic. They include:
1. Sexual castration for the growing child in more or less degree, with oversized females [who are] fatter and taller than boys. (Remember, meat animals are castrated for the purpose of making them fat.)
2. Loss of ability to maintain calcified structures, such as teeth and bones. Dental caries, pyorrhea, arthritis, etc., are logical end results that would inevitably follow, especially in view of the added influence of other refined and devitalized foods.
3. Evidence is accumulating to show that multiple sclerosis is a result of [vitamin] deficiencies, in which [the lack of] vitamin E complex (as found in butter) is vitally involved.
This list could be extended almost without limit, but we feel we have established our case.
Because butter is found in free-floating globules, it is easily acted on by the body enzymes. It is partially because of this that butter is the most digestible and easily tolerated of the fats. Butter is rich in the fat-soluble factors that must be present for proper mineral ingestion.
By now you probably are wondering why the dairy industry does not advertise these facts. The reason is that the Federal Trade Commission has issued orders to makers of natural foods prohibiting them from claiming that natural food factors are superior to synthetic imitations. Violators of a cease and desist order issued by the Federal Trade Commission are subject to a fine of $5,000 a day. The power of the commission to issue such orders is considered by some to be comparable only to that of a totalitarian despot.
Soap manufacturers can claim that their soap is the best made. Automobile manufacturers are allowed to state that their autos are better than any others and give the reasons. Why is it that butter makers are prohibited from advertising that their product has qualities that cannot be artificially reproduced?
The result, of course, has been twofold. Worst of all, many American people have been misled into believing that margarine has just as many nutritional benefits as butter. Second, the butter-oleo fight has been reduced to trick issues, e.g., whether or not a substitute can be colored, in what shape it should be sold, and whether or not it should be taxed.
What Can Be Done?
The next question is, what can be done to fight these legal obstacles that have been strewn in the path of better health for thousands of Americans? The remedy will have to come through more sensible rulings by the Federal Trade Commission and through complete enforcement of the pure food and drug laws.
And that will be a battle royal! Manufacturers of devitalized foods will defend their position to the last inch. They defend it by propaganda, through well-organized and well-financed lobbies, by financial inducement of professional men to create pseudoscientific evidence to favor their products, or any other means that they can find to perpetuate their existence.
The natural food industries have a big job ahead, not just for their own self-preservation but for the preservation of America’s health. In Canada the adulteration of white flour with synthetic vitamins is a criminal offense. Sensible laws such as this one can be passed in the United States too if the public and our lawmakers can be awakened to the fact that devitalized foods can be the instrument for devitalizing the whole nation. A great campaign of truth is needed now—before the evil effects of synthetics start snowballing to the detriment of future generations.[Second article, by Dr. Royal Lee]:
It is highly interesting to find that tests comparing the feeding of oleomargarine to human subjects with feeding humans commercial butter (which has a relatively low content of the fragile “X” factor) [showed that each] had the same effect of failing to bring out the secondary sex characteristics—that is, not only a delay but a failure to promote sex changes in toto. [See “Which Are Girls and Which Are Boys” below.]
In the tests 160 children, ages up to 17 years, were fed oleo over a period of two years; 107 were fed butter. Here are [some additional] results (from Science News Letter, February 14, 1948, page 108, reporting work by Leichenger, Eisenberg, and Carlson):
- Average gain in weight for girls on oleo: 8.2 pounds [per year]
- Average gain in weight for girls on commercial butter: 6.3 pounds
- Average yearly growth in height for girls on oleo: 2.2 inches
- Average yearly growth in height for girls on oleo: 0.9 inch
- Average gain in weight for boys on oleo: 8.1 pounds
- Average gain in weight for boys on butter: 6.7 pounds
- Average yearly growth in height for boys on oleo: 2.2 inches
- Average yearly growth in height for boys on butter: 1.6 inches
Dr. F.M. Pottenger Jr. of Monrovia, California, had previously called attention to the castrating effect of devitalized foodstuffs. In the Newsletter of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition for September 1948, the following photographs and comment were published:[Four photos showing the practically identical physiques of two boys and two girls, with the following caption by Dr. Pottenger (see original document for images)]:
Which Are Girls and Which Are Boys? Numbers 1 and 4 are boys; numbers 2 and 3 are girls. Ages are between 15 and 17. An explanation is in order. Experimental work with animals shows a loss of secondary sexual characteristics after two or three generations on impoverished diets. Males lose their heavy masculine frame; their makeup begins to resemble the female. Females also tend to lose their distinguishing build, so that both sexes approach a state of physical neutrality. The male no longer has the strength of body that normally makes him the breadwinner and dominant personality. The female no longer has the pelvic capacity required for easy childbearing. Other undesirable changes go along with these among individuals of either sex.
By Dr. Royal Lee and unknown author. Published as single document, Reprint 59, by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1948.
Reprint No. 59
Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research
Milwaukee 3, Wisconsin
Note: Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research is a nonprofit, public-service institution, chartered to investigate and disseminate nutritional information. The attached publication is not literature or labeling for any product nor shall it be employed as such by anyone. In accordance with the right of freedom of the press guaranteed to the Foundation by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the attached publication is issued and distributed for informational purposes.