By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this 1956 article from Health Culture magazine, Dr. Royal Lee describes in detail the negative effects of cooking and pasteurizing foods, specifically with regard to the destruction of vitamins, amino acids such as lysine and glutamine, and enzymes such as the phosphatase group, which helps free up calcium in raw milk for absorption and aids its digestion (phosphatase is destroyed in pasteurized milk). Phosphatase also neutralizes the infamous compound phytic acid—so abundant in whole grains—that binds minerals and prevents them from being taken up by the body. Dr. Lee also discusses the vital role of vitamin E in nutrition. From Health Culture, 1956. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30C.[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]
Raw Food Vitamins
Does Cooking Destroy the Vitamins in Our Foods? Don’t Miss This Thought-Provoking Article…
The cooking of food reduces its nutritional value in animal feeding tests at least one-third, judging from weight gains produced. Cooked foods are more insidious in their nature than the tests indicate, however, in that various diseases develop from the deficiency of the vitamins lost in cooking that appear only later in the history of the test animals—and the changes become more apparent and serious in each succeeding generation.
We can start with the reports of Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr., who demonstrated that cats fed pasteurized milk and cooked meat could not reproduce after two or three generations. They usually died from arthritis, heart disease, or gastrointestinal complications, and they always lost their resistance to infections.
How Cooking Affects Amino Acids
Just what does cooking do to foodstuffs? First, it tends to destroy certain amino acids, mainly lysine, the most important of the entire group of protein components. Lysine gives us physical endurance and mental stability. Human subjects deprived of lysine become quarrelsome and ill-natured, and they tire quickly at the slightest exertion.
Cooking also destroys another amino factor, glutamine, the essential tissue fluid buffer without which we cannot defend ourselves against acidosis. The pains we feel from slight burns or even hot coffee are probably due to the breakdown of glutamine in our tissues, since it is one of the organic factors in all cells that cannot tolerate even slight changes in temperature or acidity. Evidence piles up to show that lack of glutamine may be a common cause of arthritis, but the investigations are hampered by the fact that glutamine in the raw state outside of foodstuffs is not available except in minute quantities at prohibitive prices.
Effect of Cooking on Enzymes
Pasteurization or cooking destroys the enzymes in foods. We have failed to recognize the importance of these enzymes. One, the phosphatase group, is very important. Pasteurized milk fails to deliver its calcium and constipates rather than aids digestion. Cereal foods fail to release muscle sugar, or inositol, or free phosphoric acid from the phytate components in their germ. As a result chickens fed such foods develop perosis, a joint disease that seems to have its counterpart in the flat feet and fallen arches of the human family.
The inositol deficiency plus the lack of other germ factors lost in cereal processing contribute to liver disease, cirrhosis, and fatty degeneration. The phosphoric acid deficiency contributes to hardened arteries and arthritis.
Dr. Garnett Chaney at Stanford University reports that he has found a new vitamin in raw cabbage juice that cures peptic ulcers. Patients put on one quart of raw juice recovered in ten days, whereas the best previous hospital regimens took four times as long. It is a fat-soluble vitamin also found in raw milk whose existence has heretofore been totally unsuspected. It has been named vitamin U.
The Important Vitamin E
The next effect of cooking is to destroy in part, if not wholly, the oxidizable factors in foods. That is, cooking “burns” the food factors that the body ordinarily oxidizes. Heat speeds up oxidation and so turns food to ash before it gets into the stomach. The major function of vitamin E seems to be to protect certain factors in the tissues from oxidation. These factors include known vitamins as well as some that are unknown.
Among the newly discovered factors lost by oxidation is a vital part of the vitamin E that seems to be necessary to protect us from seizures of nervous pains such as tic douloureux [trigeminal neuralgia] and angina pectoris. Dogs fed white bread develop what veterinarians call running fits and soon die. These fits are no doubt seizures like tic douloureux or angina pectoris, and they cause the animal to go into the frenzy we call “fits.”
The human victim is as ignorant of the cause of his agony as the dog, but when we read the morning paper and read that Mr. Well Known Businessman died from a heart attack at the age of forty-eight and seemed normal at his work the day before, we can draw our own conclusions—especially when we learn that cattle too will drop dead just as suddenly if fed grain that has lost its antioxidant vitamin E by removal of the germ.
We believe these deaths were due not directly to the lack of vitamin E but to the loss of an oxidizable factor that the E was protecting. That is why there has been such variable results in treating heart disease with vitamin E (as alpha-tocopherol). What the victim really needs is the oxidizable factor itself, once it has been destroyed.
Is Bleached Flour Harmless?
We need some honest enforcement of federal laws that are being ignored by Food & Drug officials, as the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1918 that it was illegal to put any kind of poison into flour regardless of the smallness of the quantity. The flour millers always have claimed that their bleach preservative chemical is harmless in the quantity used. Their opinions seem to be pure propaganda, and the high death rate we have in this country from heart disease would appear to be the price we are paying for permitting this kind of law violation.
We suspect that the real vitamin E is the phospholipids found in raw vegetable foods and in fresh butter from properly fed cows. Dr. Weston A. Price first described this factor, which he named X. It seems to act by protecting the determinants that are present in our cell chromosomes, without which we fail to properly develop and in some degree lose our hereditary characteristics. The following recent test of oleo [margarine] in comparison with butter, conducted in an orphan asylum, illustrates the point.
An Interesting Experiment
In two years time, a group of children fed on oleo grew an average of 2.2 inches—the average for boys as well as girls. The boys gained 6.7 pounds per year, the girls 8.2. Girls on butter, on the other hand, grew only 0.9 inch while gaining 6.3 pounds per year. Boys on butter grew 1.6 inches and gained 8.1 pounds per year. The investigators thought there was no significance in these figures, but let’s look again.
On oleo, boys and girls grew the same in height. On butter, in contrast, the girls grew almost half as much in height as the boys [as would be expected in the normal pubescence of male and female humans]. The girls on oleo gained more weight than the boys on butter. And the girls on oleo gained considerably more weight [almost 2.0 pounds] than the girls on butter.
What are these facts but a reflection of a loss of hereditary influence caused by oleo—the same effect Dr. Pottenger found in his cats on cooked food, where they became homosexual and lost their normal hereditary endowment of racial and sex characteristics.
The tendency of modern boys and girls to develop alike—with loss of the characteristic anatomical differences of wider hips for girls and broader shoulders for boys and loss of other definite differences—has been marked. In the aforementioned experiment, tests showed it was impossible to tell boys from girls by their anatomical differences of height, shoulder, and hip dimensions. Their nude torsos, viewed from the rear, were identical in appearance.
Dr. Price tells of a “five-year-old boy who had suffered for two-and-a-half years with inflammatory rheumatism, arthritis, and heart involvement.” By changing the diet from white flour and commercial butter to whole wheat and special butter high in the “X factor” plus natural cod liver oil, a rapid recovery took place.
The impairment of the tissue determinants in these cases renders a normal growth and development impossible, and as in the case of Dr. Pottenger’s cats, the destruction of the determinants in the cell chromosome will end the race in a generation or two by destroying the hereditary mechanism at its source.
Possible Cause of Multiple Sclerosis
These same tissue determinants are essential for normal repair and maintenance of the body, and so it is no mystery why vitamin E deficiency seems to cause and aggravate multiple sclerosis and other paralytic changes.
That is why Dr. Evers was able to report recently in Germany his success in treating multiple sclerosis with diets in which the main features were the elimination of all refined foods and the use of raw milk, sprouted grains, raw honey, raw eggs, and raw meats. He states that in 600 cases he has had consistently good results. He considers denatured foodstuffs the basic cause of multiple sclerosis.
It is high time we carefully review the facts that are available and decide what we should do about getting genuine foodstuffs with what we pay, instead of the imitations that are as fraudulent as selling tin watches for keeping time. The trouble with most of us is that we are not informed as to what food really should do. We are little better as food buyers than the South African Hottentot who is satisfied with a dime store watch for a bracelet.
By Royal Lee, DDS, President, Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. Reprinted from Health Culture, June 1956, by Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 2023 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee 1, 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.