Summary: Although the oil in wheat is extremely beneficial, it is also extremely delicate, writes Dr. Royal Lee, making whole wheat flour “as perishable as milk.” Truly nutritious bread can only be made with flour that is within hours of being ground. Because of this super quick rancidification of the oil in wheat, virtually all commercial “whole wheat” breads are of dubious nutritional value. The surest way to get the true benefits of wheat, Dr. Lee writes, is to buy a home flour mill and bake your bread with freshly ground flour. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.
Summary: A scathing, two-part report detailing some of the tragic consequences of the “profit at any cost” policy of twentieth-century animal husbandry. By 1963 in the United States, strange and novel diseases such as dwarfism, infectious abortion, and various bizarre viral infections had become epidemic among the country’s cattle, and the reason, writes author J.W. Robinson, was simple. America’s ranchers, by straying from basic natural law in animal breeding, had invited unnatural problems in their livestock. Citing numerous warnings from the Bible against ignoring the natural principles of animal husbandry, Robinson paints a picture of greed and ignorance that portends the factory-farm disasters of today. From The Plain Truth magazine, 1963. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 136.
Summary: A California physician records in a professional medical journal five separate cases in which patients with various forms of cancer recovered after adopting a diet of only organically grown foods. Though some of the patients had multiple malignancies at different times in their life, all of them remained cancer free—living twenty to thirty years beyond their last surgery and showing no signs of ever having a malignancy at all upon autopsy—after switching to organic foods. While such facts may seem unsurprising today, back in 1961, when this article was published, the act of a medical doctor officially suggesting such a powerful effect of food on health was tantamount to heresy within the medical community, explaining perhaps why the author claims to have written his submission “with considerable hesitancy.” From the American Journal of Proctology, 1961. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: The facts behind the Wulzen factor—an important fat-soluble nutrient found in raw milk and sugarcane juice—have been lost to modern science. Also known as the “anti-stiffness factor” because it combats arthritis and relieves pain, swelling, and stiffness, the Wulzen factor was considered an actual vitamin by a number of early nutrition investigators, but it was never accepted as such by medical or government “authorities.” To acknowledge it would have required the admission that pasteurization of dairy products is a causative factor in arthritis, and such an admission would never be made by those who so vigorously promoted and enforced pasteurization laws. From Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1951. Part of Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A. (To read reprint 27A in its entirely, including an in-depth discussion of the negative effects of milk pasteurization, see “A Fresh Look at Milk” in these archives.)
Summary: In this eye-opening 1952 article, Dr. Royal Lee outlines the basic mechanism behind autoimmune disorders—something that alludes medical science to this day. Under normal circumstances, Dr. Lee writes, growth factors specific to each tissue in the body, which he calls “protomorphogens,” are released into the bloodstream by the tissues’ cells. To keep protomorphogens from causing runaway growth of their corresponding tissue, the body produces antibodies to neutralize them. When a tissue (or organ) becomes overworked, it begins to produce an abnormally high amount of its protomorphogen. This, in turn, causes the body to produce an abnormally high amount of antibodies. If the amount of antibody exceeds the amount of protomorphogen, the excess antibodies begin attacking the actual cells of the tissue—what has come to be known as an “autoimmune reaction.” Not only did Dr. Lee identify and explain such reactions over seventy years ago, he also developed food-based supplements that thwart them, as he describes in this article. With medicine still groping to explain why autoimmune reactions occur and at a loss as to how to stop them, Dr. Lee’s words are nothing short of astounding. 1952.
Summary: One of the fundamental discoveries of early nutrition research was the connection between ill health and soil deficiency. Investigations like the one featured in this 1950 article showed that mineral shortages in worn-out land lead to malnutrition and disease not only in plants and animals grown on that land but in humans who eat those plants and animals. In the study described here, diseased dairy cows raised on mineral-deficient pastures are returned to health through dietary supplementation with trace minerals—those elements so often lacking in the overworked soils of conventional, nonorganic farms. The author also discusses the negative nutritional consequences of pasteurizing milk as well as the nutrient-robbing effects of industrial food processing in general. Thanks to a loss of nutrients at just about every step of the modern food manufacturing process, he says, Americans suffer widespread malnutrition despite a preponderance on their plates. From Steel Horizons magazine, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 41A.
Summary: Dr. William Albrecht was the Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri and the foremost authority of his time on the subject of soil fertility and its relation to human health. In this 1945 article from the iconic Saturday Evening Post, author Neil Clark recounts Dr. Albrecht’s pioneering experiments demonstrating the critical connection between the trace mineral content of a soil and the health and hardiness of plants grown in that soil—and, consequently, the health and hardiness of animals and humans who eat those plants. Dr. Albrecht warns the magazine’s readers in no uncertain terms that unless America makes a concerted effort to restore the trace minerals to its depleted soils, the country’s population will suffer a slow extinction from the “hidden hunger” of mineral-poor foods, as evidenced by ever increasing rates of degenerative disease. With the “chronic disease problem” worse today than ever, Dr. Albrecht’s prophecy rings ominously true, and his findings demand the adoption of organic farming practices across the board in America’s agricultural industry. From The Saturday Evening Post, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 21.
Summary: In this 1960 article, the “father of Applied Kinesiology,” Dr. George Goodheart, discusses chiropractic manipulations and nutritional support for treating pain in the shoulder area. One of the most common causes of such pain, he explains, is the precipitation of calcium out of the blood and into the tissues in and around the shoulder joint—a condition resulting usually from an overly alkaline state within the body. (For more on pH and health, see Dr. Goodheart’s excellent primer, “The Acid-Alkaline Balance and Patient Management.”) Other times, Dr. Goodheart says, discomfort in the shoulder is actually referred pain originating from dysfunction in the digestive organs, making nutritional support of the stomach, gallbladder, and liver critical to resolving the issue. Articles like these reveal the holistic understanding of the body’s function—and appreciation of the value of nutritional therapy—that have long distinguished chiropractic care within the healing arts. From thejournal Michigan State Chiropractic Society, 1960. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: In this 1952 article, medical doctor W.J. McCormick reports on the remarkable success that he and other practitioners were achieving using ascorbic acid—or synthetic vitamin C—to counter bacterial and viral diseases. The key to the acid’s efficacy, Dr. McCormick writes, is its powerful oxidative action when administered in huge doses—especially impressive, he says, given the lack of serious side effects. While it is dismaying that medicine never pursued the use of ascorbic acid as a possibly safe and inexpensive antibiotic, it is also important to distinguish isolated ascorbic acid from natural vitamin C, that is, vitamin C as it is found in food. As the great holistic nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee taught, vitamins in nature are not single chemicals, but rather they are complexes of compounds that cooperate synergistically to deliver a nutritive effect. Vitamin C as it is found in food, for instance, comprises not just ascorbic acid but also the adrenal-stoking enzyme tyrosinase as well as various bioflavonoids essential for maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels. Ironically, the role of ascorbic acid in the natural vitamin C complex may be merely to protect these other fractions, probably through the same oxidative action that Dr. McCormick amplified to great success as a chemotherapeutic agent. Though synthetic vitamins may display such pharmacological effects, Dr. Lee said, it’s critical that we don’t confuse such effects for the nutritional functions that only natural vitamin complexes can perform. From the Archives of Pediatrics, 1952. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Foundation reprint 5C.
Summary: William Brady was a medical doctor who wrote a popular syndicated newspaper column in the 1940s and ’50s. In this article from 1947, Dr. Brady discusses the importance of the B-complex vitamins—specifically thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and niacinamide (B3)—to both heart health and proper carbohydrate metabolism. In multiple studies conducted at the time, he notes, vitamin B supplementation had been shown to reduce or eliminate the need for exogenous insulin in diabetics, while the link between vitamin B deficiency and heart disease had been known since all the way back in the 1920s, thanks to the work of pioneering nutrition researcher Sir Dr. Robert McCarrison. Astoundingly, medicine still fails today to grasp the importance of B vitamins to proper heart function, while both conventional and alternative doctors remain woefully ignorant of Dr. McCarrison’s remarkable and still groundbreaking research. From the Waterloo Daily Courier, 1947.
Summary: In 1906 the U.S. Congress passed the landmark Pure Food and Drugs Act, the first federal law to directly address the safety of chemical additives in America’s foods. One such additive was the bleach nitrous oxide, a compound used by industrial millers to give wheat flour the ultra white color so prized by consumers at the turn of the twentieth century. In this frank report—published just months after passage of the “national pure food law”—researchers at the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station discuss the negative effects of exposing wheat flour to nitrous oxide, from the destruction of the nutritional value of the flour itself to the occurrence of noxious nitrous by-products in bread made from the flour. The authors also include the results of a survey of the people most intimately familiar with flour bleaching, America’s millers, whose responses reveal the true motive for the practice: to make lower grade flour look—and sell—like higher grade. Thanks to the powerful influence of the millers, the use of nitrous oxide to bleach flour continued after passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act, and in spite of a Supreme Court ruling in 1914 condemning the practice as a violation of the pure food law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture never once has attempted to enforce the court’s decision. This article—one of the oldest in the SRP Historical Archives—is a truly historic document that sets a time and place for the onset of the commercial destruction of America’s food supply. From Bulletin No. 72, North Dakota Government Agricultural Experiment Station, 1906. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1951.
Summary: A newspaper account of a dermatologist’s report that patients with skin disorders showed considerable improvement after eliminating bleached flour products from their diet. Importantly, the dermatologist is referring to the bleach chlorine dioxide, which had replaced the former standard flour bleach of many years, nitrogen trichloride. This article illustrates well the practice of the food processing industry to continue to use a product in spite of concerns about its safety until enough demonstrable cases of harm force its hand. From The Dallas Morning News, 1955. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: “No single factor exercises a more pronounced influence on the development of the baby and on his health during his entire life than nursing at his mother’s breast.” So wrote the U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) in its landmark Folder 8, an annual report issued from the 1920s through the 1940s encouraging mothers to breast feed their infants and advising them on the best nutrition to support their body in the task. Though, sadly, the government would later abandon its official support of breast feeding, the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research continued to reprint snippets from the USDL’s Folder 8, along with the article “Weaning the Breast-Fed Baby” from Today’s Health magazine, as the single publication presented here. With its emphasis on untainted animal foods, fresh produce, and unprocessed foods, the diet outlined in this classic guide is as sound for nursing mothers today as it was in its day. Multiple sources, published from 1926 to 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 122.
Summary: Could eating butter prevent hot flashes? Such a suggestion would sound outlandish to today’s nutrition “experts.” Yet not only did researchers in the mid-twentieth century show butter helps counter disorders associated with menopause, but the now maligned food was once regarded as a powerful healer in general, with physicians prescribing it for everything from psoriasis to tuberculosis. The reason for butter’s formerly stellar reputation is simple, explains Dr. Royal Lee in this wide-ranging 1942 publication. Butter is loaded with bioactive fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, and E, and as Dr. Weston Price observed in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, these nutrients are so critical to good health that human populations have historically placed a special emphasis on foods containing them. Butter produced by cows pasturing in the springtime is particularly nutritious, Dr. Lee adds, its deep yellow color indicating a high content of the famous “Activator X,” an elusive fat-soluble nutrient shown by Dr. Price to be essential for moving calcium from the blood into the bones and teeth. Given modern nutrition’s proscription against butter and other animal fats in the diet, it’s no wonder that today America is plagued by osteoporosis and other calcium-related disorders—not to mention the myriad other ailments Drs. Price and Lee would have predicted for a nation starving itself of fat-soluble vitamins. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1942.
Summary: In this 1957 article form Herald of Health magazine, Dr. Royal Lee discusses the addictive qualities of caffeine as well as the health-busting practice of the originators of Coca-Cola to add extra, isolated caffeine to its popular soft drink. “The effects of drinking caffeine on an empty stomach and in a free state are far more dangerous than drinking an equal quantity of caffeine wrapped up with tannic acid in tea and coffee,” Dr. Lee writes, quoting the first head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Harvey Wiley. As Drs. Lee and Wiley also point out, the practices of Coca-Cola and many other of the country’s food processors were ruled illegal by the Supreme Court early in the twentieth century, but penalties against the companies have never been enforced because of the food manufacturers’ influence within the federal government. From Herald of Health magazine, 1957.
Summary: A comprehensive discussion of the amazing role of calcium in the soil and its effect on crops and animals, written by one of the greatest soil scientists of all time. Dr. Albrecht, who chaired the soils department at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, is known in the organic farming movement as the “father of soil fertility research.” Born in 1888, he published his first article on soil fertility in 1918 and would publish research papers continually until his death in 1974. Albrecht was a friend of Dr. Royal Lee, and the Lee Foundation published several of his papers, which are available in this archive. From The Land magazine, 1943. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 8.
Summary: Though the “Big Medicine union,” the American Medical Association, would spend the better part of the twentieth century framing nutrition science as quackery, there was a time in the early 1900s when practicing physicians were excitedly—and successfully—applying nutritional therapy in their patient treatment. In this fascinating 1939 review of the worldwide medical literature, doctor Edward Podolsky discusses the therapeutic use of calcium by his colleagues across the globe in treating various heart disorders as well as hypertension. Among the most interesting therapies discussed is the combined application of the plant-derived drug digitalis and the macromineral nutrient calcium—a hint at what might have been had medicine’s authorities embraced nutrition rather than treat it like an enemy, to be undermined and eradicated. From the Illinois Medical Journal, 1939. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 68.
Summary: One of the truly perplexing assumptions of conventional nutrition is that industrially refining and processing a food has minimal effect on the food’s nutritional value. Look through the history of scientific studies on diet and health, and rarely will you find a distinction made between pasteurized and raw milk, bleached and unbleached flour, refined and unrefined vegetable oil. Yet the chemical and thermal mauling of the food supply is precisely at the root of our ill health, writes Dr. Royal Lee in this 1961 manifesto of holistic nutrition. The reason for mainstream nutrition’s blind spot when it comes to food processing, Dr. Lee explains, is its tendency to view foods solely in terms of calories—the measure of how much fuel a food supplies. Because processing and refining do not tend to alter the caloric content of foods, we have allowed uncontrolled damage to be done to the foods’ noncaloric elements—the vitamins, minerals, and countless other known and unknown cofactors that spur the thousands of biochemical reactions required to repair and sustain the body. The result of this destruction is a sea of “foodless calorie products” that, while giving the illusion of sustenance, fail on the most basic level to sustain human health. From Natural Food and Farming, 1961. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30H.
Summary: In this thought-provoking article from 1950, Dr. Royal Lee quotes physician L. Duncan Bulkley to challenge modern medicine’s belief that cancer is a localized disease—the cells of a specific tissue or organ going haywire for no apparent reason—and not, as was widely believed historically, the result of a systemic disorder within the body, such as that caused by a nutritional deficiency. “The present status of the ‘cancer problem,'” Dr. Bulkley opines, “is to decide between two quite opposite positions: First, a hypothetical and problematical view of a local, independent, unexplainable, autonomous decision of certain cells to take on and continue a destructive course—for which immense research has failed entirely to find any reason. Second, the simple and rational belief that a perverted nutrition—perhaps of long standing—influences certain cells to depart from their normal mode of action and take on an abnormal activity, pursuing a malignant and destructive course that is naturally kept up by the continued metabolic disturbance.” Unsurprisingly, Dr. Lee adds, most of the successful alternative treatments of cancer reported at the time involved a radical shift in diet, from one of deficient, processed, chemical-laden products to a regimen of whole, natural, highly-nutrient-dense foods. Dr. Lee even outlines what such a diet might look like, placing particular emphasis on the consumption of raw foods. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research publication 12-50, 1950.