How “Organized Medicine” Is Fighting Vitamins

Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this riveting personal account, Dr. Royal Lee describes the legal battle that led him to discover that organized medicine was actively working to discredit and suppress nutritional approaches to health. He also documents evidence of how the medical-pharmaceutical industry had formed what was in essence a cartel aimed at controlling the healing arts and destroying any threat to its control over the nation’s healthcare. 1943.

[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]

How “Organized Medicine” Is Fighting Vitamins

How I Inadvertently Stepped on the Toes of Organized Medicine

I was born with a research complex, or you might say with an abnormal bump of curiosity in my dome. When, as a dental student, I came to the conclusion that the civilized world was starving to death, I had no idea that my efforts to show people how to avoid that fate would bring down on my head a club wielded by the United States government—apparently instigated by [the leaders of ] “organized medicine,” who were making quite different plans for the management of public “health.”

I had no idea that organized medicine not only refused to even investigate discoveries made by “outsiders” [but] it would go so for as to condemn any such discoveries as quackery without investigation and deliberately mislead the public into thinking there is no cause for alarm when, in fact, the majority of deaths recorded statistically are the direct result of various forms of starvation and deficiency that are not even suspected by the victims or by the general public.

I may say that I went into the matter mainly as a philanthropic venture, my own future being secure as a result of income from a number of patented inventions in electrical engineering specialties—another by-product of that “bump of curiosity.”

Seventeen Years Ahead 

As a senior dental student, in 1923, I prepared a paper on the subject [of tooth decay titled] “The Systemic Causes of Dental Caries,” in which I pointed out the probability that vitamin deficiency is a major cause of not only dental caries but also various other disorders and diseases that arise from lowered resistance and impaired nutrition. The scientific correctness of my predictions at that early date is shown by comparing my statement of 1923 with those of leaders in research work many years later:

[My statement:] “Since the endocrines depend on the supply of vitamins for their disease-fighting secretions, it is apparent that the degree of resistance possessed by the individual is proportional in considerable measure to the vitamins in his diet.”

Compare this with Dr. [Elmer] Sevringhaus’s statement of 1940 [made in federal court; see section “A Sudden Change of Opinion”]. [Compare my statement also with the following opinions]:

“If we can by the use of vitamins favorably influence the course of a disease such as pneumonia, nephritis, or myasthenia and even eventually cure it, what would happen if, before becoming ill, the patient had absorbed the right quantity of vitamin? The probable answer to this question is that the patient would never have been diseased had he provided himself with the right vitamin.”

—Szent-Gyorgyi, La Presse Medicale, June 25, 1938, p. 995

“Vitamin C deficiency in chronic infections such as gastric or duodenal ulcer and particularly osteomyelitis has been found universal, and its rectification has been most effective in curing these conditions. We have recently reached the conclusion that in every case of acute or chronic infection there should be, as a routine, a careful laboratory examination as to vitamin C deficiency. We are thoroughly convinced that vitamin C is of inestimable value in both acute and chronic infections. The more fulminating the acute infection and the longer the chronic infection has continued, the more is the need for vitamin C.”

—Albee, Fred H., MD, ScD, LlD, FACS, FICS, President of International College of Surgeons, Journal of International College of Surgeons, October 1940, pp. 425–430

What Can Be Done About It?

As I realized these facts, it became apparent to me that two things were urgently needed: 1) new ways to prepare common foods to conserve vitamin content—to keep well people well—and 2) effective concentrates for the physician and dentist to prescribe in order to quickly replenish the depleted vitamin reserves of the sick, many of whom were really starved into disability and did not know it.

To aid in reaching the first objective, I developed and patented a new, small, portable mill to make whole wheat flour, so that each baker could grind wheat fresh for each baking (U.S. Patent 1816050). As a more extensive objective, I at the same time began as a spare-time project the investigation of the physical properties of the various vitamins, so that I would be able to make concentrates from the foods and food by-products that contained them.

By 1930 I had a composite vitamin concentrate ready for production that had proven very effective in correcting the various deficiency conditions set forth in my paper in 1923. Use of the concentrate in my own family alone convinced me that it was highly necessary to get the product into the hands of physicians generally and as soon as possible, for it actually seemed to give a new lease on life to any patient suffering from the lowered vitality that characterizes almost all chronic conditions of so-called “incurable” disease, with most astonishing benefits [in particular] to persons with indications of heart disease.

Later on, I was able to use some of my training in electrical fields by helping to devise a new phonocardiograph to graphically record magnified heart sounds, so as to visually demonstrate the phenomenal improvement that occurs in a starved heart when vitamins are supplied.

I felt guilty of almost criminal neglect as the days passed while I considered ways and means of getting the new product into the hands of the physicians who were treating starving people by every other known method but the right one. I went to the largest concern in the pharmaceutical business with my information and offered it to them with this proposition: Put the product on the market, and after its commercial value is definitely established, pay me in some way the actual cost of my five-year research job on the thing, which I estimated at fifteen thousand dollars.

The Almighty “Seal of Approval”

After a special directors’ meeting was called to discuss the offer, I was informed that the product was too revolutionary for the concern to tackle. They said that every product they were then selling had been accepted by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association and that in their opinion it would take two to three hundred thousand dollars and five years’ time to “convince” that association that the new product was acceptable; and that to try to market the product without “the acceptance” would result in the boycotting of their present business by all the members of the Medical Association.

I then approached several industrial organizations and life insurance companies, who should have seen a definite and important dollar value in prolonging the lives of employees and policyholders, and in each case I was again referred to the American Medical Association “if I had something of value.”

A Business That Built Itself

Now what to do? The problem solved itself. I had so many calls from friends and relatives for additional supplies of the vitamin tablets that I had to adopt a trade name to avoid the possible charge of making up prescriptions, and the “business” was increasing daily. So I simply followed the course of filling orders from all who wanted the product for their own use or to sell to others, and without any preliminary sales promotion expense, the business grew from a small beginning into its present volume of fifteen or twenty thousand physician customers. While we of course accepted all business from the lay public, we found it most advisable to confine our sales efforts to the contacting of physicians through “detail men.” The reason for this is that the people who are nearest to death from vitamin deficiency are usually under the care of a doctor, and I felt a moral obligation to do my best to reach them with the lifesaving vitamins they needed.

“Quackery” Charged the AMA

It was not long before the American Medical Association [AMA] heard of my activities. People hearing about the results produced by “Catalyn” (I named the product this because of the fact that vitamins are organic catalysts) would write to the AMA to ask whether these results could be possible. The people were informed that:

a) Catalyn was a “crude piece of quackery.” (Quackery is defined as “a pretention to knowledge which one does not have.” Who then fits best into the role of quackery?)

b) That vitamins, anyway, were useless for any such disease that the inquirer had asked about.

c) That no investigation of Catalyn had been made by the AMA to determine its actual merits.

Here are typical statements made in these letters [by the AMA]:

“To say that ‘heart trouble’ is a vitamin deficiency disease is to make a statement that is meaningless and silly.”

“Your doctor is right when he says that heart trouble is not connected with a vitamin deficiency.”

“Regarding the use of vitamin concentrates in the treatment of heart disorders, we have yet to see a single authoritative report that such a procedure is of value or that it has produced any alleviation of this disease condition.”

“Regardless of arguments of those who have something to sell, the fact remains that, except for vitamin D in the diet of infants, any well-rounded diet contains an adequate supply of vitamins, and supplementing it with commercial preparations is unnecessary.”

“There is no connection between vitamin B deficiency and the cause of diabetes.”

The Government “Investigates”

Other people wrote to the Food and Drug Administration at Washington. Officials there replied that after (microscopic!) examination of Catalyn, they found that it consisted of “wheat bran, starch, oil, and yeast,” and that the product was valueless.

These officials here jumped to a conclusion, for instead of the extensive clinical tests requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars that the large drug firm said were necessary to prove the facts, these officials only had to look through a microscope!

A precedent was set up here, though, that had to be upheld at all costs from then on to save the face of those officials!

The next act of the Food and Drug Administration was to start seizures of Catalyn shipments on the grounds that the claims made in accompanying literature were false. Four seizures were made in all. I contested three by appearing and making arrangements to defend my position in court, but a fourth was overlooked, and the [federal] government confiscated a few dollars’ worth of the product and issued a Notice of Judgment.

How to Treat an Outsider

This Notice of Judgment was seized upon by the AMA to “prove” that their opinions previously expressed were justified and added to letters in reply to new inquirers. (It is a peculiarly significant fact that while practically every drug firm in business has had various notices of judgment like this published similarly in government bulletins, the AMA never quotes them or mentions them. These are bombs to be thrown only at “outsiders” who try to sell a product that has not been suitably presented for “acceptance.” They are also mimeographed and mailed out to Better Business Bureaus gratis, throughout the country, to further embarrass such outsiders. No reproductions are ever made of notices of judgment against the products of concerns that advertise in the Journal of the AMA.)

This was in 1933. The government still had made no tests on Catalyn that would indicate in any way the possible properties of a vitamin product.

But Here Were Living Examples

In an attempt to convince Food and Drug officials of the value of Catalyn, I sent in a number of case reports from various physicians. One was that of a little girl in Ohio who had had a very critical lung abscess, following pneumonia, and whose recovery the physician attributed to the use of Catalyn. The same doctor reported on another patient in whom a calcified deposit in a muscle was removed by the use of Catalyn, the case report being accompanied by X-ray photographs proving the deposit had disappeared.

Government agents then called on these patients, who were told that Catalyn was a fraudulent product and that they should think more of their children and themselves than to patronize such a doctor. The doctor was not approached for his version of the matter. I might add that in each case the government agents were informed by the parents and patient that they needed no outsider to tell them of the value of Catalyn or the integrity of their doctor.

What Was Behind It All?

This incident caused me to look for some motive so powerful as to cause these investigators to go all the way from Washington to Ohio to try to destroy what evidence I had offered to prove that I was right in my statements as to the merits of Catalyn. If doctors were to be intimidated through attacks on their patients by salaried government employees, there must be somebody or some organization with very powerful influence behind the campaign.

About that time, Dr. Daniel T. Quigley published his book Notes on Vitamins and Diets. In it he not only listed most of the diseases I had found responsive to Catalyn as vitamin deficiency diseases but also offered me a clue as to where the powerful influences were. (Dr. Quigley is an internationally known authority on cancer, having operated his own cancer hospital for many years in Omaha. He is also on the faculty of the Nebraska State Medical College. He began to study foods and nutrition in an effort to find a rational cause for cancer after observing that cancer patients almost invariably have various other complicating disorders that appeared to be deficiency diseases.)

The Value of Human Life

On pages 111 to 113 [in his book], Dr. Quigley comments as follows, after discussing the health-destroying properties of white flour products:

“The economic situation here involved has forced foods into general use in the civilized world that, if continued, will mean the destruction of those who consume them. A very great number of interlocking organizations connected with the manufacture and distribution of pernicious and unfit food materials has come into existence. They will do everything in their power to continue to sell their goods…The point of interest here is that the commercial interests seem willing to pay a good price for propaganda favoring the sale of their goods…Officials in medical societies, medical writers, and universities are being subsidized in order to put out propaganda in favor of food conditions as they now are. Some of the officials in medical societies have openly stated that they do not believe in upsetting business. Apparently business for them ranks higher than human life.”

In December 1934 the Food and Drug Administration filed an information [sic] against me in the federal court at Milwaukee, charging me with two offenses: 1) misbranding a drug product by claiming it was useful in the treatment of a list of diseases that they contended were not curable by any ingredient found in the product and 2) misbranding a drug product by claiming it contained effective amounts of various vitamins when, they contended, its vitamin content was ineffectively low.

The Proof of the Pudding

The Food and Drug officials said that the diseases I listed in my circulars accompanying Catalyn had no connection with vitamin deficiency and that no vitamin product, regardless of its degree of vitamin content, would be of value as a remedy. I had as a witness in the trial, among others, Dr. Quigley, who testified that vitamin deficiency, according to his knowledge and experience, was a cause of the diseases listed. Government experts testified to the contrary.

I also had physicians who had had experience with Catalyn testify that it had accomplished just what I had claimed for it in over one thousand cases of patients with the typical diseases listed in my literature; that it had been found indispensable in heart disease; and that cardiograms made before and after its use invariably showed improvement, in some cases very spectacular [improvement], the cardiograms being put into the record as evidence.

97 Years Old Thanks to Catalyn

Another physician testified that he had used Catalyn in treating the heart condition of a 92-year-old, bedridden woman whose heart was skipping every other beat; that the missing beats were eliminated by the Catalyn; and that the patient was enabled to live a normal life for five years, being still alive and in good health at the time he testified. The same doctor stated he has found Catalyn invaluable as a remedy for the condition of prolonged blood-clotting time, in that it reduced a twelve minute clotting time to three minutes in two days.

This doctor also stated that he had been enabled by the use of Catalyn to prevent himself from contracting colds and influenza, to which he was constantly exposed by patients with such infections, and that he could even stop such diseases from developing after they had started by using heavier temporary doses.

Clinical Results Versus Hired “Experts”

Other witnesses called by me testified to relief from prostate enlargement, heart block, goiter, dropsy, cataract, pneumonia, and various other conditions. Then the government introduced experts who testified that according to the consensus of medical opinion these diseases had nothing whatsoever to do with vitamins and that no vitamin could be of value in their treatment.

As to the vitamin content of Catalyn, it [was revealed] that when the purchase of Catalyn was made by government agents in San Francisco, on November 2, 1933, there was no legal method of ascertaining vitamin content, the U.S. Pharmacopeia not setting up assay methods until June 30, 1934. The charges, which were based on animal assays, should therefore have been dismissed according to constitutional law, but Judge Stone overruled a motion by my defense counsel to that effect.

My further objection to these assays on animals was that since I had proved the efficacy of Catalyn by actual tests on human subjects, these were final tests and should supersede any others. Judge Stone also flatly refused to admit evidence offered by myself to show that there can be differences in the reaction of [different] test animals, such as a rat and a guinea pig, to a food product of a vitamin character. Such admission would have demolished the government’s case against me.

How Fair Was the Court?

The jury accepted the arguments of the government, representing “expert” opinions, and disregarded the factual testimony offered by my witnesses. I believe the prejudiced attitude of Judge Stone was the controlling factor in this. I was found guilty and fined the legal limit of $800 plus costs. The attitude of the judge was well demonstrated when he attempted to collect an additional $1,500 in costs by a “mistake” in calculating witness fees and expenses. Such overcharges are not recoverable once paid.

Government Admits Their Mistakes

The case was tried in February 1939. Now there were several interesting subsequent developments. In 1940 the [U.S.] Department of Agriculture published a yearbook entitled Food and Life. In it is listed practically the same category of diseases that I first specified in 1930 as vitamin deficiency diseases, thereby showing up the “experts” who testified in the case as either ignoramuses or prostituters [sic] of their profession. The outstanding one of these “experts” was Dr. Elmer L. Sevringhaus, who has since appeared as coauthor of the book Vitamin Therapy, in which he spectacularly somersaults in his reversal of opinion as to the value of vitamins for the treatment of stomach ulcers, toxic goiter, women’s diseases, heart disease, dropsy, low vitality, fatigability, and low resistance to infections.

A Sudden Change of Opinion

For example, as a witness Dr. Sevringhaus was asked: “Has contagion or infection anything to do with vitamin deficiency in a primary sense?”

His answer: “It is not thought to have any relationship; my answer would not be different if you were to insert ‘the probability of it being an important cause.’ ”

Yet in his book (page 101) the same Dr. Sevringhaus states, in different words, the identical opinion I had expressed in1923:

“…thus it appears likely that this vitamin (vitamin C) may be important in helping to maintain the integrity of this immunologic mechanism,” and “its presence (in endocrine glands) is correlated with the chemical processes involved in the hormone syntheses.”

Government Recognizes Fallacy of Unit

Another fact established by government scientists in the [USDA] yearbook is the finality of clinical tests over animal assays. Here are their statements (p. 151):

“Yet, because of physiological individuality, we cannot determine the nutritional requirements of monkeys by experiments on rats any more than we can determine the nutritional requirements of man by experiments on monkeys…For specific information about the reaction of any particular species of animal, it will be necessary to make the actual trial on the species in question. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and each animal has to eat its own pudding” (M.H. Friedman, Senior Physiologist, Bureau of Dairy Industry).

Also, on pages 12 to 13 of the yearbook: “No one animal will do to represent the reactions of all animals, including human beings; nor can it be said positively that because one kind of animal reacts thus and so in a given experiment, other kinds of animals will react in the same manner; or because one kind of animal needs such and such an amount of a given nutrient, therefore another kind of animal needs a proportionate amount. All such conclusions must be tested directly on the other animal” (Gove Hambidge, Principal Research Writer, Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture).

They Proved I Was Right

Taken as a whole, these developments represent a one-hundred percent vindication for me. You would think that the Food and Drug officials would feel slightly chagrined over the picture as it has developed. But that is not the way bureaucrats operate. They never admit a mistake.

Let us go back to the motivating power behind all this. I pointed out in the beginning that the American Medical Association was the all-powerful source of information and regulation for all who were engaged in any activity touching on the treatment of the sick, that no manufacturer dared to market a product without their consent. The attitude of organized medicine towards vitamins has always been so biased and acrimonious that I could never fathom the matter until I came across Dr. Quigley’s statements; and another discovery a little later illuminated the whole picture very clearly.

The AMA Will Publicize It for a Price

I offer below the published statement of Dr. Arthur J. Cramp of the Department of Investigation (and Propaganda) of the American Medical Association, in which he offers the influence of the journal of the association [Journal of the American Medical Association] to help sell the idea of devitalized food products to not only the public but also the members of the American Medical Association. This was made to Dr. Barnard of the Baking Institute and reported in Baking Technology, January 1925:

“I have wondered recently whether you have ever thought of suggesting to the organized bakers of the country that there is very real need of an educational campaign on the part of the modern baker, directed first toward the medical profession and second toward the general public, on the subject of white bread.

“As you probably know, the medical profession has a very poor opinion of ordinary white bread and loses no opportunity of depreciating it when dietetic questions are raised. The food faddists and fakers have, of course, been most virulent against white bread. But it is an unfortunate fact that the medical profession itself has rather taken the attitude that there is a certain degree of soundness in the denunciation against this staple article of diet and, instead of attempting to correct the impression, has let it stand.

“I believe the baking industry would do itself a service if it undertook to carry a campaign directed first to the medical profession and later, if necessary, to the public direct on the facts regarding white bread, as made today by the more progressive and farsighted members of the baking industry.”

The offer was accepted. Up to that time the huge baking and milling industry had paid no tribute to the American Medical Association. Dr. Cramp saw a marvelous opportunity to sell both the public and members of the association “down the river” at a fat profit, and the deal went through.

The people of Denmark, during the World War, inadvertently did a similar thing, as reported in the 1939 Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture of the United States, page 3: “During the World War, Denmark exported its butter because of the war demand and substituted other fats in the diet. Blindness, caused by lack of vitamin A, began to show up among Danish children. Their eyesight had been sold abroad along with the butter.”

The sale of the health of the nation here, however, was not inadvertent. It was planned and deliberate.

There Is a Reason for Deprecating Vitamins

Here we see just why the AMA has since 1925 gone out of its way to discredit vitamins. Dr. Sevringhaus’s testimony may be more understandable when we learn that he is on the council of the AMA that passes on the “acceptability” of vitamins and other products offered for the treatment of disease.

Dr. Quigley said back in 1933 that white flour products were not fit for food. He recognized the fact at that time that our great prevalence of heart disease—the killer of more people than any other cause of death—alone justified the opinion, since the absence of the vitamin B complex in white flour made it a dangerous and insidious public enemy.

There is only one way to obtain wholesome whole wheat flour. That is to buy and use only the freshly ground product. Authorities on whole wheat flour say that it is as perishable as milk.

And the Public Be Damned

[Regarding] the government-fostered campaign recently instituted: putting synthetic vitamins in white flour is a sham. If the real vitamins were put back, then why take them out? Synthetics can be put back without putting back the perishability [i.e., the sign of nutritiousness], and the consumer can be fooled for a while into thinking there is nothing wrong by propagandizing him to death—literally.

Protecting the “Accepted” Manufacturer

As an example of how the Food and Drug authorities permit a manufacturer who has his products “accepted” by the AMA to make ridiculous therapeutic claims, take a look at the advertisement on the back cover of the Journal of the AMA for March 13, 1937, and note the list of diseases that are inferentially curable by using a proprietary mixture of glucose and malt sugar in sweetening milk for babies. Boldly outlined, they are: gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, steatorrhea, atrophy, vomiting, decomposition, hypotrophy, athrepsia, marasmus, premature infants, spasmophilic baby, malnutrition, indigestion, pyloric stenosis, fermentative diarrhea, dysentery, wasting disorders, inanition, intestinal intoxication, leukemia, tetany, underweight, malassimilation of fat.

Does this advertisement conform to the Food and Drug regulation that claims must not be made unless a consensus of medical opinion supports them? Even a layman can see the asininity of these statements, which are based on casual comments of various doctors that have been twisted to imply far more than the writers intended.

And what are other makers of vitamins now doing? I have before me copies of recent journals of the AMA in which “accepted” vitamins (mainly synthetic) are advertised for heart failure, heart enlargement, dropsy, hyperthyroidism (toxic goiter), pernicious anemia, ills of pregnancy, sterility, diabetes, and fatigability.

Now, I was prosecuted viciously for making these identical statements and found guilty even after bringing in witnesses acknowledged to be honest by the court who testified that they had cured patients of these diseases with my product time after time, and the reason I lost the case was because experts testified that these diseases had no relation to vitamin deficiency and no vitamin of any kind would influence them.

Is Organized Medicine Trying to Gang Up?

Is the reason this is the only vitamin case ever to be prosecuted by the federal government to be found in the fact that my vitamin products were the first and often the only ones to be found clinically effective in treating many of these heretofore incurable diseases? And that organized medicine is running true to form in refusing to admit the facts because they were not discovered inside its organization and [therefore] not controlled by it?

Dr. E.M. Josephson, MD, of New York has analyzed this picture in the following words in his book Your Life Is Their Toy (Chedney Press, New York City, 1948, pages 307 to 309):

“In the present century, the work of the biologic chemists in the field of food and nutrition has been ridiculed by organized medicine. Informed and thinking men who recognized the value of this work and adopted it in the prevention and treatment of human disease were assailed and labeled faddists and quacks. Such men as Bernarr Macfadden and Alfred W. McCann have done more to introduce a sane mode of eating and living than whole packs of medical ‘authorities.’ With sound common sense, they trusted the age-old folklore and tradition of health and medicine and the observation of man and enunciated truths that were not accepted by pompous, dull-witted ‘medical science’ until it could understand the confirmation of rats and guinea pigs…

“Many of the things that have been accepted as facts by modern medical science, on further study and deeper knowledge, have proved to be dangerous half-truths or wholly untrue. On the other hand, many of the medical ideas and remedies that have evolved through the ages on the basis of clinical observation and judgment have been rejected categorically as ’empiric’ and valueless by young and arrogant ‘medical science,’ merely to be readopted when this pseudoscience had learned enough to realize its errors and limitations…”

Here Is My Reaction

Personally, I am more amused than distressed by the exhibition of intolerant ignorance, vicious stupidity, deliberate misrepresentations, and judicial bias so apparent in this case. My chief reaction is that I have research projects that I could far better spend my time on instead of defending myself against such an obviously unfair if not deliberately dishonest persecution.

It is apparent that vitamin deficiency diseases will not be controlled until we find ways and means to make wholesome foods more attractive in flavor or price than the devitalized and denatured forms. That is why I attempted to put into practice the use of mills for grinding whole wheat flour when and where it is needed. But their introduction has been very slow and difficult for several reasons.

The possibility of retaining the vitamins and minerals in sugar has offered very interesting possibilities. The per capita consumption of sugar is greater than that of flour today. The use of a sugar containing all the original food essentials of the raw cane juice would for most people solve, in one sweep, their deficiency problem. Therefore I have been carrying on a program of research with such an objective in view, using methods developed to overcome the various problems of sterilization, evaporation, crystallization, etc., without heat.

To Get At the Facts

For the purpose of setting up my investigation into this subject on a permanent basis, I have established a nonprofit corporation, the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, into which is paid a definite percentage of the gross receipts for the vitamin and mineral concentrates now sold by the Vitamin Products Company. The activities of this foundation are reflected in the following publications:

Foundation Reprints

1. Bleaching of Flour, North Dakota Bulletin No. 72
2. Vitamins and Their Relation to Deficiency Diseases of the Alimentary Tract
3. Maintenance Nutrition in the Pigeon and Its Relation to Heart Block
4. Why We Need Vitamin E
5. Lithogenesis and Hypovitaminosis
5a. The Changing Incidence and Mortality of Infectious Disease in Relation to Changed Trends in Nutrition
5b. Coronary Thrombosis: An Etiological Study
5c. Ascorbic Acid as a Chemotherapeutic Agent
5d. Intervertebral Disc Lesions
5e. Cancer: The Preconditioning in Pathogenesis
6. Abstracts on Relation of Vitamin Deficiencies to Heart Disorders
7. Abstracts on Effect of Pasteurization on the Nutritional Value of Milk
8. Calcium
9. Vitamin E Versus Wheat Germ Oil
10. Imbalance of Vitamin B Factors
11. Vitamin F Ointments
12. Advertising and Food
13. Natural vs. Artificial Nitrates
14. Albert Carter Savage’s Mineralized Garden Brings Health
15. “Food” for Thought
16. The Physiology of Vitamins A and E
17. The Prevention of Recurrence in Peptic Ulcer
18a. Cancer: A Nutritional Deficiency
18b. Hope in Cancer Research
19. Thiamine Deficiency and High Estrogen Findings in Uterine Cancer and in Menorrhagia
20. Vitamin F and Carbamide in Calcium Metabolism
21. Are We Starving to Death?
22. Quotations on Vitamins from the United States Department of Agriculture Yearbook for 1939
23. Soil: A Foundation of Health
24. The Effects of Vitamin-Deficient Diets on Rats, with Special Reference to Motor Functions of Intestinal Tract in Vivo and in Vitro
25. Vitamins Are Not Drugs!
25a. Clinical Nutrition (Food Versus Drugs)
25b. The Fallacy of “High Potency” in Vitamin Dosage
26. Studies of Vitamin Deficiency
27. Effect of Heat-Processed Foods and Metabolized Vitamin D Milk on Dento-Facial Structures of Experimental Animals
28. Why Milk Pasteurization? Sowing the Seeds of Fear
28a. Why Milk Pasteurization? Plowing Under the Truth
28b. Why Milk Pasteurization? The Harvest Is a Barren One
28c. Pasteurized Milk: A National Menace
29. The Cause of Erosion
30. Recent Conclusions in Malnutrition
30a. The Systemic Causes of Dental Caries
30b. Vitamins in Dentistry
30c. Raw Food Vitamins
30d. Sugar and Sugar Products—Their Use and Abuse
30e. Battlefront for Better Nutrition
30f. It Can Happen Here
30g. Vitamins in Dental Care
31. The Need for Vitamins
32. Current Thinking on Nutrition
33. Fundamentals of Nutrition for Physicians and Dentists
34. Nutrition and Dental Disease
35. Sludged Blood
36. Vitamins in Our Food
37. Our Teeth and Our Soils
37a. Diseases as Deficiencies via the Soil
38. Using Whole Grains in Family Meals
38a. Unusual Meats: How to Prepare and Serve Them
38b The Cereal Grains: Some of Their Special Characteristics

Foundation Special Bulletins

11-48. A Few Sidelights on Amino Acids
1-49. How Our Government Subsidizes Malnutrition and Disease
1-50. Butter, Vitamin E, and the “X” Factor of Dr. Price
5-51. Bleached Flour Gives Dogs Fits But It’s Still Sold to Consumers
12-51. Report on Vitamin and Nutrition Research Compiled from Memory
1-52. Three Opinions of the “Death Food” Propaganda
3-53. This Molasses War—Who ‘is Prevaricating?/Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium

Foundation Special Reprints

11-50. The History of a Crime Against the Food Law
1-52. Chemicals in Food Products—Food and Cancer
2-52. Chemicals in Food Products—DDT
2-52A. DDT in Our Daily Diet
1-53. Chemicals in Food and Cosmetics—Fluorine
2-53. Chemicals in Food and Cosmetics—Fluorine [sic]
4-53B. Experimental Production of “X” Disease (Hyperkeratosis) in Cattle with Chlorinated Naphthalenes and Petroleum Products
9-53. Critical Review: The Protective Ferments of the Body
12-53. Discovery of the Anticancerous Properties of the “F” Vitamine (Reptiline)
4-54. The Fight Over Vitamin E
5-54. Nutrition and Vitamins in Relation to the Heart
7-54. Some Phases of Our Many-Sided Denture Problem
9-55. Soda Pop, Flour Play Part in Diet Deficiencies

Books Published by Foundation

Applied Nutrition
Bacteria, Inc.
Bats, Mosquitoes, and Dollars
Bipolar Theory
Diet Prevents Polio
Drama of Fluorine
Electro-Radio Biology
Hello, Test Animals
History of a Crime
How Good Is Your Food?
Man Versus Toothache
Narrative of Investigation of Comfrey
National Malnutrition
Natural Food Cookery
Philosophy and Science of Health
Studies in Deficiency Disease
Three Years of HCl Therapy
Ulcerative Colitis
Wheel of Health

 By Royal Lee, DDS, 2023 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1943. 

[Appendix of articles and letters supplied by Dr. Lee regarding his trial:]

Comment of Our Major Witness, Dr. M.T. Barrett of the University of Pennsylvania, After the Trial:

“If anyone had told me that a trial in any court in America could be conducted as was this one, I’d have told him he was a liar. I thought that only in Russia and Germany could justice be screwed around like that. I had to see it happen with my own eyes and ears to believe it.

“Your company never had a chance from the start. Every witness produced by the government was automatically regarded by the court as an ‘expert.’ No witness for the defense was so accepted. In fact, every defense witness was made to appear by the judge as being unfit and incompetent to testify
regardless of his professional standing.

“Even the audience at the trial finally took to seeing humor in the situation. Any objection made by the government’s attorneys was immediately sustained by the judge. Every objection made by Lee’s attorney was at once overruled. It finally got to the point where the audience laughed every time the defense made an objection.”

Letters from the National Drug Clerk Magazine, Vol. XXXI, Nos. 7 and 8, July and August 1943

[Letter 1:]

Vitamin Products Company
2023 West Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 28, 1943

Mr. Paul J. Mandabach, Editor
The National Drug Clerk
646 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Mr. Mandabach:

Thanks for your copy of The National Drug Clerk in which Catalyn is mentioned in the editorial.

This editorial, however, does not express the true state of affairs. The decision of the district court, in which Judge Duffy was reversed, held that our advertising material was labeling and not advertising and therefore continued to be under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, even though it was also advertising and was under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission as well.

Our attitude was that we did not care which stand the government took as long as they took a consistent stand and gave us an opportunity to guide our conduct accordingly. Statements made in advertising are not as closely restricted as statements made in labels, for a label statement must not be made unless it conforms to the consensus of medical opinion; whereas advertising statements may be made without regard to the consensus of medical opinion if they are true and accurate representations. We have never made any statement that was not true and accurate in our advertising as far as we have been able to determine by careful investigation, and we are willing to guarantee the statements in any way the law permits.

However, where advertising claims are to be limited to the restrictions imposed upon labels, it is necessary to eliminate from advertising any statement that is not considered the consensus of medical opinion. This consensus of medical opinion is nothing more or less than the statements of the expert witnesses that the government may call in a prosecution and as a rule are not really the consensus of medical opinion but merely opinions that are bought by the government for the purpose and might be anything. For example, in a previous case in which our advertising stated [sic], “expert witnesses” bought by the government made these statements:

1. No vitamin is of any value in the treatment of any infectious disease.
2. It is improbable that a vitamin has any relation to the cause of any infectious disease.
3. Vitamin deficiency does not cause degenerative changes in the human system.
4. Functional diseases are not a result of vitamin deficiency.
5. Diseases of metabolism are not a result of vitamin deficiency.
6. Scurvy is not a degenerative disease.
7. The effect of a food element on man is identical to its effect on an animal.

All of these statements are in direct opposition to the facts that have been already published by other government departments. This, of course, is all complete evidence of a lack of good faith on the part of the government officials and is along the lines of other New Deal dishonesty with which our entire Washington picture is now saturated.

I would appreciate your printing this letter in your journal if you feel that your readers would like to get a true picture of the situation.

Yours very truly,
Dr. Roya:l Lee
Vitamin Products Company

[Letter 2:]

June 2, 1943

Vitamin Products Company
2023 West Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 28, 1943

Dear Dr. Lee:

Your letter of May 28th [has been] received, and I note your statements.

I will be happy to reprint your letter, but I am wondering if before I do so, in order to give all sides of this case a say, whether it wouldn’t be advisable to submit the article and a copy of your letter to the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] of the FSA [Federal Security Agency], to the FDC [sic, FTC, the Federal Trade Commission], and to the judge who ruled in the district court in this case in order to secure their version in connection with my article and your letter in the thought of publishing their statements as well as yours.

If this is satisfactory with you, kindly advise.

Yours for victory,
Paul J. Mandabach, Editor
The National Drug Clerk

[Letter 3:]

Vitamin Products Company
2023 West Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
June 4, 1943

Mr. Paul J. Mandabach, Editor
The National Drug Clerk
646 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Mr. Mandabach:

Thank you for your letter of June 2.

I am heartily in favor of your program of getting any comments from all parties concerned.

I think that the attitude of the government and its bureaucratic officials needs a little airing in public.

Very truly yours,
Royal Lee
Vitamin Products Company

[Letter 4:]

June 15, 1943

Chairman Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC


I enclose herewith an editorial that I had in The National Drug Clerk, exception to which was taken by Dr. Royal Lee, President of Vitamin Products Company, 2023 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as per the enclosed copy of letter. I wrote him that I would be happy to publish his letter but would like the comments of the Federal Trade Commission, the Court, and the FDA of the FSA.

I will appreciate your comment on my article and anything you may want to add in connection with the printing of Dr. Royal Lee’s letter.

Yours for victory,
Paul J. Mandabach, Editor
The National Drug Clerk

[Letter 5:]

Federal Trade Commission
Office of the Chief Counsel

June 21, 1943

Mr. Paul Mandabach, Editor, National Drug Clerk
646 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Re: Vitamin Products, Inc.
Docket No. 4733

Dear Sir:

Your letter of June 15, with enclosures, addressed to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, has been referred to me for attention and reply. It is noted that you desire the Commission to comment on your editorial in Volume XXXI of National Drug Clerk and letter of Royal Lee, both concerning his product known as “Catalyn.”

You are advised that the Commission—having reason to believe that Royal Lee, trading under the name of Vitamin Products Company, had been and was disseminating false and misleading advertising concerning a number of medicinal products sold by him, including Catalyn, and that a proceeding in respect thereto would be in the public interest—caused a complaint to be issued charging him with violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. This proceeding is still pending. Consequently, it would not be appropriate or proper for the Commission or any of its staff to offer comment of any nature on the matters referred to in your letter.

For your information, there is enclosed herewith a copy of the complaint issued by the Commission in this matter.

Very sincerely yours,
Richard P. Whiteley
Assistant Chief Counsel

[Note from Dr. Lee:] [The FTC] enclosed an 18-page mimeographed, letter head size, single spaced complaint, Docket No. 4733, which is too long to reprint here but which may be secured by addressing the Federal Trade Commission and asking for Docket No. 4733. [Letter 6:]

June 13, 1943

Mr. Walter Campbell
Chief, FDA, FSA
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. Campbell:

I enclose herewith an editorial that I had in National Drug Clerk, exception to which was taken by Dr. Royal Lee, President of Vitamin Products Company, 2023 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as per the enclosed copy of letter. I wrote him that I would be happy to publish his letter but would like the comments of the FDA of the FDA,  the Court, and the Federal Trade Commission.

I will appreciate your comment on my article and anything you may want to add in connection with the printing of Dr. Royal Lee’s letter.

Yours for victory,
Paul J. Mandabach, Editor
National Drug Clerk

[Letter 7:]

Federal Security Agency
Food and Drug Administration
Washington, DC
Zone 25

June 28, 1943

Mr. Paul T. Mandabach
The National Drug Clerk
646 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Sir:

We have your letter of June 15 enclosing a copy of your publication National Drug Clerk in which appears an editorial with respect to litigation brought under the terms of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act against Dr. Royal Lee, trading as the Vitamin Products Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You also enclose a copy of a letter that you have received from the Vitamin Products Company commenting on this editorial.

As you point out in your editorial, the District Court or the United States for the Eastern District of Wisconsin held in an injunction suit brought by the government that certain promotional material associated with the products of the firm was not labeling within the meaning of the federal statute and therefore not subject to its terms. The decision of the district court was appealed by the government, and the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh District reversed the ruling of the lower court. In rendering its decision in this action, the circuit court said:

“The word ‘accompany’ is not defined in the Act, but we observe that among the meanings attributed to the word are ‘to go along with,’ ‘to go with, or attend as a companion or associate,’ and ‘to occur in association with,’ (Webster’s New International Dictionary, 2nd edition). There can be no question that among the usual characteristics of labeling is that of informing a purchaser of the uses of an article to which the labeling relates, and that the basic character of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is not directly concerned with the sale of the products therein described or whether the literature is carried away by the purchaser. It was enacted to protect the public health and to prevent fraud, and it ought to be given a liberal construction. Consequently, we are impelled to the conclusion that misbranding is cognizable under the Act if it occurs while the articles are being held for sale.”

In its decision it also quoted the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the “Nue Ovo Case” as follows:

“The contention assumes that printed matter (such as a circular) cannot constitute both advertising and labeling. The assumption is unwarranted. Most, if not all, labeling is advertising. The term ‘labeling’ is defined in the Act as including all printed matter accompanying any article. Congress did not, and we cannot, exclude from the definition printed matter that constitutes advertising.

“…nor is it material whether the packages and the circulars did or did not travel in the same crate, carton, or other container or on the same train, truck, or other vehicle during their interstate journey. The packages and the circulars had a common origin and a common destination and arrived at their destination simultaneously. Clearly, therefore, they accompanied each other, regardless of whether physically they were together or apart during their journey.”

Dr. Lee in his letter of May 28 refers to a criminal action brought against him in the federal court at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are enclosing a copy of the notice of judgment that deals with this action. In the injunction suit brought under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the statute now in effect, the representations to which exception was taken were essentially the same as those that served as a basis for the case discussed in the notice of judgment.

Very truly yours,
W. G. Campbell
Commissioner of Foods and Drugs

[Note by Dr. Lee:]

Along with this letter came U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Drug Administration notices of judgment under the Food and Drug Acts cases 30951–31000, issued August 1940, in which case No. 30999—”Misbranding of Catalyn,” which devotes pages 459–466 inclusive—a verdict of “guilty” [was reached] and a fine of $800.00 was assessed against Dr. Royal Lee, Vitamin Products Co., and a writ of certiorari was denied.

[Letter 8:]

June 15, 1943

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Chicago, Illinois

Honorable Sirs:

I enclose herewith an editorial that I had in The National Drug Clerk, exception to which was taken by Dr. Royal Lee, President of Vitamin Products Company, 2023 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as per the enclosed copy of letter. I wrote him that I would be happy to publish his letter but would like the comments of the Court and the Federal Trade Commission and the FDA of the FSA.

I will appreciate your comment on my article and anything you may want to add in connection with the printing of Dr. Royal Lee’s letter.

Yours for victory,
Paul J. Mandabach, Editor
National Drug Clerk

[Letter 9:]

United States Circuit Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
1212 Lake Shore Drive
Chicago (10)

Kenneth J. Carrick

June 17, 1943

Mr. Paul J Mandabach, Editor
National Drug Clerk
646 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois (11)

Dear Mr. Mandabach:

I am returning to you herewith the documents enclosed with your letter of June 15.

The Court has advised me as Clerk on previous occasions to notify those who write in asking for comments of the Court regarding situations that arise under decision of the Court that they do not make any comments.

I therefore take the liberty to return your documents to under the general authority of the custom of the Court for many years.

Kenneth J. Carrick

[Additional, supporting article by Dr. Lee:]

Clinical Nutrition (Food vs. Drugs)

The literature in English on clinical nutrition is very limited, both in volume and quality. Probably the conservatism of official medical opinion has served to discourage publication of new ideas; further, there is a well-established program in organized medicine to block progress in the dissemination of facts that relate to health-building foods or therapeutic use of natural foods, vitamin, and mineral supplements. This pernicious and corrupt misuse of the facilities of medical education has been so effective in creating the idea that nutritional therapy is futile and leans toward quackery that we felt it imperative to clear the slate on this matter by offering, in a special booklet, the proof of this state of affairs (How “Organized Medicine” Is Fighting Vitamins” [i.e., preceding content]). 

The intent and purpose of [the medical] organization to steer interest away from nutritional deficiency as a cause of disease are shown by frequent periodic news releases similar to the [following] one, published through Associated Press just as this is being written (November 6, 1948):

Doctor Warns of Cold Remedies…As for vitamins only one-tenth of one percent of the people who take them without medical advice get any good from them. Most people get enough of the vitamins in their food.” (Comment by Dr. Austin Smith, director of the division of therapy and research of the American Medical Association.)

This is obviously a misstatement, as anyone who has had [even] a kindergarten grounding in vitamin knowledge knows. Just compare it with the comment of Dr. Thomas Parran, Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, who at the Hot Springs United Nations Food Conference expressed the opinion that improved nutrition would add ten years to the “virile life span of the average human being.”

Official editorial comment of organized medicine takes pains to say the opposite: “All substances required by normal adult human beings can be supplied under ordinary conditions by a balanced diet” and “Foods common to the American dietary, properly selected, will contribute everything that foods can give to the maintenance of good health.”2 And a well-known medical writer, Dr. Clendenning, tells us, “there is no general deficiency—the public is getting its vitamins.”3

This trend began many years ago, when the definition of a drug became involved in the theory of specific effects, as opposed to empirical therapeutics, in the effort to make drug therapy “scientific.”

A discussion of any subject may best begin by a definition of terms. For a definition of therapeutics, let us quote Potter: “Therapeutics comprises all the science and art of healing and includes the use of medicines and all other agents and measures that are known to alleviate or cure disease. The operations of nature herself are properly embraced in the general term ‘therapeutics,’ which may be subdivided as follows:

Natural therapeutics includes the operations of the healing power of nature—those modes and processes of healing that occur independently of art and tend to spontaneous decline and cure of disease. There is no scientific dogma better established than this: that the living organism is in itself adequate to the cure of all its curable disorders…This part of the subject is taught only casually in the schools, but it deserves a special chair and more systematic treatment than it receives.

Applied therapeutics embraces the application by art of agents foreign to the living organism for the purpose of aiding nature to restore the body to a healthy condition.

Empirical therapeutics is a term applied to the use of…therapeutic agents for the sole reason that they have been tried previously with successful results in cases apparently identical with the one under treatment…It was necessarily the original method in therapeutics, has conferred many rich gifts upon medical science, and has been advocated by many able physicians…”

(Author’s note: We might interpose here the comment that Potter in this definition does not differentiate between natural therapeutic agents that are common to the living organism and agents foreign to the organism, to which he confined applied therapeutics; apparently empirical therapeutics may include both types of agent.)

Rational therapeutics means the use of remedies based on the knowledge of the pathological conditions present in the subject and the physiological action of the agent employed….The illustrious Albrecht von Haller, the father of physiology and the author of the Doctrine of Irritability, was the real originator of modern physiological therapeutics. In the preface to his Swiss Pharmacopeia (circa AD 1755) occur the following remarkable directions—the first recorded of their kind:

“‘In the first place, the remedy is to be tried on the healthy body—without any foreign substance mixed with it; having been examined as to its odor and taste, a small dose is to be taken, and the attention directed to all effects which thereupon occur, such as upon the pulse, the temperature, the respiration, the excretions. Having thereby adduced their obvious phenomena in health, you may pass on to experiment upon the sick body.’

“Medical colleges have recognized physiological (?) drug experimentation as a part of their regular curricula: laboratories are fitted up in many of the schools, with costly instruments of precision, for the more exact prosecution of this study….The medical press of every civilized country is filled with the results of these labors, and no medical student is permitted to pass the graduating ordeal until he has mastered the essential characteristics of the physiological (?) action of the important medicaments so far established…What has hitherto been the conviction of but a few is daily growing into a fixed canon of professional belief…that all real advance towards the establishment of therapeutics as a science must be made along the lines laid down by Haller, namely drug-proving on the healthy human organism.”

We have quoted Potter at length to illustrate the way in which modern medical science was led into a blind alley from which it has not as yet been able to extricate itself. Note our question marks after each use of the word “physiological.” How could a “foreign agent” be accepted without question as a physiological influence? And how could a nutritional deficiency or a vitamin ever be discovered by men experimenting with “agents foreign to the organism” tried on “the healthy body”?

And since a drug must be an agent having a demonstrable effect on “the healthy human organism,” all nutritional factors—vitamins, enzymes, minerals, proteins, amino acids—were excluded from the drug category. They were, in fact, rendered absolutely invisible to the investigator conditioned by this viewpoint. Only drugs can remain in his view.

Only the discredited adherents of empirical therapeutics would be competent to detect a natural nutritional therapeutic agent. These, in late years, were represented by the homeopathic school, which has been practically eliminated through the passing of the control of medical education into the hands of its enemies.

Theoretically, the rationalists were right. But if we are still too ignorant to understand the human machine, is it not ridiculous to turn over to those who possess only theories the exclusive privilege of experimenting on the machine? And is it not still more ridiculous for those experimenters to confine their activities in principle to tests of agents “foreign to the organism”—really all known poisonous substances—and to turn their backs and close their minds to suggestions of possible merit in nutritional factors?

It will at once become evident that no nutritional substance will ever become identified for its value in treating deficiency disease by this method of investigation simply because it can have no effect whatsoever on the healthy body. Forty years ago, the materia medica literature of this country began to adopt this principle to the exclusion of empirically determined facts, and all food products and concentrates became “quackery.”

Cod liver oil was condemned as being far less useful than butter; linseed oil, with its vitamin F, was thrown out to admit cottonseed oil (“sweet oil”) in its place in prescriptions; rye and buckwheat, with their reputation for curing capillary disease such as erysipelas, were dropped; scurvy grass—once a specific among mariners as a cure for scurvy—was forgotten; barley water, with its wonderful vitamin B pattern and [favorable] reputation for babies and invalids, was immediately ignored by the teachers and textbook writers; and mineral tonics such as the phosphates and manganese were relegated to the patent medicine trade (e.g., Horsford’s Acid Phosphate and Gude’s Pepto-Mangan), where they would be sniped at as “unorthodox” and “unscientific.”

The drug companies of course had to fall in line and eliminate anything in their catalogs that did not conform to “scientific” thought. Eli Lilly had a highly effective syphilis remedy known as Succus Alterans—a botanical product that no doubt owed its effectiveness to its vitamin C content, the formula for which the company had actually and in fact “obtained from the Indians”—in its 1898 drug list. Cheaper synthetic arsenicals soon pushed this product into the background.

Today we use sulfa drugs, antipyrin, and aminopyrine, not knowing that they probably act wholly by mobilizing tissue reserves of vitamin C into the bloodstream, where the vitamin can promote phagocytic action and thereby cure the disease, at the same time leaving the patient with an “overdrawn bank account” of the essential vitamin that may be more serious than the original infection.

The Journal of the American Medical Association minted not so long ago4 a full page condemnation of Upjohn’s Citrocarbonate as a fraud because it claimed nutritional value for its mineral content, which happens to be ideal to replace the blood serum salts deleted by kidney and sweat gland activity. These [types of] actions officially closed the doors of orthodox medicine to nutritional therapy.

When Jacques Cartier, exploring the St. Lawrence Valley four hundred years ago, followed the advice of the Indians in treating the scurvy of his men with pine needle tea, he was practicing “empirical” medicine.

Fluid extract of common thornapple, known to be one of the best sources of vitamin C, was once a highly respected remedy. Ellingwood5 states that this product was a “near specific” for cardiac disease, including “angina pectoris, valvular deficiency, endo-, myo-, and pericarditis, tachycardia, rheumatic heart, cardiac neuralgias, palpitation, vertigo, apoplexy, dropsy, and functional derangements.” The value of thornapple extract in angina pectoris is confirmed by Dr. W.N. Macartney.6

Now that we know that vitamin C complex deficiency reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the red cell (so the heart is called on to do much less work if given more of this food factor), we can understand why thornapple extract can be good in so many affections of the heart. Further, “rheumatic heart” is today suspected to be purely a result of vitamin C complex deficiency, the vitamin P of the C complex being found a valuable remedyand the only known physiological treatment.

It is such a definition of “drug” (something used to treat disease that “is foreign to the body and with a specific action on healthy subjects“) that has caused the establishment of the drugless healing professions—the osteopaths, naturopaths, etc. These are practitioners who feel that disease usually is a departure from nature’s normal state, that health will be restored if the offending conditions are corrected, and that the administration of drugs is no rational procedure if the objective is the removal of causes.

It is obvious that any substance that has any [non-nutritive] effect on a healthy subject must be foreign to the body, unless [the effect occurs only when] used in other than normal amounts, in which case the use of the substance is that of a drug. For instance, common salt is a food if used in nutritional dosage but an emetic if used in drug dosages.

Unquestionably, here is the dividing line between the practice of medicine and the practice of drugless therapy. Nutritional factors can only become drugs by their use in such amounts as to produce effects other than nutritional effects.

Cushny, in his textbook of pharmacology agrees with this. He says, “Pharmacology is the study of the changes induced in living organisms by the administration, in a state of minute division, of such unorganized substances as do not act merely as foods…These substances are knows as ‘drugs.‘” He adds, “It is quite impossible to distinguish between drugs and poisons. Almost all remedies given in excess cause dangerous or fatal symptoms…”3 (It is certainly possible to distinguish between foods and poisons.)

Of late, there has been an attempt on the part of many law administrative bodies to so define foods as to put them into the drug category in a legal sense, so as to bring into the realms of medical practice the drugless practice of food therapy. This permits the prosecution of the drugless practitioner on a charge of “practicing medicine.”

As a matter of fact, the ability to select such foods as will prevent deficiency disease or starvation is incumbent upon every living being. There should be no interference with any sources of either foodstuffs or information. The only reasonable laws are already in effect: those that punish fraud. And the biggest fraud in connection with foods is going unpunished—the sale of devitalized cereals that in all probability causes the United States to lead the world in deaths from heart disease and aggravates every degenerative disease.


1. Potter, S.O.L., Therapeutics, Materia Medica and Pharmacy, Blakiston’s, 12th ed., 1913, p. 3.
2. Jol. A.M.A., October 25, 1941, editorial, p. 1447.
3. Ibid, September 20, 1941, p. 1035.
4. Ibid, May 20, 1933, p. 1597.
5. Ellingwood, F., MD, Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Chicago Medical Press Company, 1898, p. 264.
6. Macartney, W.N., MD, Fifty Years a Country Doctor, E.P. Dutton & Company, 1938.
7. Am. Jol. Rheum. Dis. (1), 11, 1945.

Two Letters to Illustrate How the AMA Monopoly Operates

[Letter 1:]

March 3, 1939

Dear Sir:

I have taken Catalyn for about one and one half years. My wife has also taken it and received great help. My trouble was angina pectoris. Hers was enlarged glands—swollen right side from having a shock five years before starting to take Catalyn. There was wonderful improvement in her condition in a very short time.

I’d had a physician for about one year [before taking Catalyn] but did not gain. In fact, I got weaker, having spasms most every night. I [then] heard of CataIyn and told the doctor about what I had heard. He said, “Try it, since it is not a drug.” So I started on Catalyn, and my spasms stopped. When the doctor came a week later, I told him what I had done. He told me to [continue to ] give it a try, and in about two years I have only had about six spasms.

I have not taken Catalyn for about six months [now] but think I should have some. What I want to find out is…we are on the Old Age Assistance and [now] have a different doctor, and he will not recommend Catalyn. First, it costs too much; second, you do not state the amount of vitamin contained in each tablet, so it is not standardized, so he does not know what he is giving us and so will not listen. At that I want it [sic], but he will give us Parke-Davis ABD capsules, which he says are better since he knows what’s in them, but I want Catalyn. Is there any way we can find out what vitamins and how much are contained in Catalyn? If there is any way, please write me.

Hoping that you will be able to straighten things out, I remain,

Yours respectfully,

(signed) E.G.H.
H Street
Bradford, Mass.

[Letter 2:]

April 14, 1939

Dear Sir:

Please excuse my delay in replying to your kind letter and shipment of Catalyn, for which we want to thank you. You will never know how much good you have done.

Why I have not replied before: I was waiting for the doctor to hear from a medical society to which he had written to find out about Catalyn. He did not like it because I claimed that I did not care what he thought, for it had done wonders for us. He heard from them, and he came in with his chest stuck out as they had written that you, Dr. Lee, had a court trial and were convicted and fined. He wanted to know if that was satisfactory. Not to me, for I know what it did for us. He said, “It did nothing for you for it is no good.” It just happened that we got better, so what is the use to talk to him? He simply won’t recommend it for us, and as we are not able to pay for it, we must try to live without it. But we know that it saved my life, and nothing he can say can make me think but that Catalyn did it. We want to thank you for your kindness, and we want you to know how much we appreciate what you did for us.

We remain ever true to Catalyn.

Very truly yours,
(signed) E.G.H.
H. Street
Bradford, Mass.

Printed in USA
RL-11/8/43 (R-56)


Patrick Earvolino, CN

Patrick Earvolino is a Certified Nutritionist and Special Projects Editor for Selene River Press, Inc.

Products by Patrick Earvolino

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