Your Health: What It Is Worth to the Racketeer

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Every misdeed has a history, and the history of the destruction of the American food supply is a story that few know from its beginnings. Yet it’s a story worth knowing because its consequences have been and continue to be indeterminably enormous. In this booklet Dr. Royal Lee tells the story up through 1940, by which time it was many decades in the making. Dr. Lee calls out the entire industrial food and drug business as a racket in which profit, not the health of Americans, dictates public and private policy, and deception about the nutritional value of industrially processed foods is actively practiced. Richly documented with supporting evidence, this booklet is a valuable reference for anyone interested in the true cause of most disease in America—malnutrition as a result of processed and refined foods. 1940.

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

Your Health: What It Is Worth to the Racketeer

It, no doubt, has never occurred to you that your health, not only being your most valuable possession, might be of great value and source of profit to others—others who will connive to take it away from you and turn it into cash, just as was done in the early days of life insurance in England. Crooks would insure the lives of friends and then see that they did not live long. That practice became so extensive that special laws to stop the payment of insurance benefits to others than natural beneficiaries became necessary.

In the last fifteen years a new racket has developed, in which organized medicine has initiated a partnership with organized baking and milling for the express and acknowledged purpose of promoting the sale and use of bleached and devitalized cereal products by influencing with propaganda not only the opinions of the lay public but also the opinions of the rank and file of the medical profession itself, who otherwise have been gradually arriving at a conclusion that these devitalized foods were definitely a major cause of disease.

We 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 to help to sell the idea of devitalized food products not only to the public but also to 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 for 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 was 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 far-sighted members of the baking industry.”

This 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.

The next step was an active campaign to discredit all ideas of the shortcomings of devitalized foods and to decry the possibility that vitamins had any relation to public health. On pages following are copies of advertising typifying the campaign.

Hygeia, the “health” magazine for the lay public, published at an annual loss to the American Medical Association (propaganda is seldom self-supporting), began to carry such full-page advertisements as may be found on page 327 of the April 1929 issue. A pure food lecturer is illustrated with a sign in the background stating “White Bread Is Poison,” and above it is another picture of the “Medicine Faker of Yesterday,” an Indian medicine show. The title over all is “The Evolution of a Faker.”

The statement that white bread is poison has been attested to by no less an authority than Dr. Daniel T. Quigley, for many years professor of surgery at the Nebraska State Medical College. In his book “Notes on Vitamins and Diets” he says flatly that white-flour products should not be eaten. Supporting this statement he refers to the findings of government chemists such as those reported by Worth Hale (assistant Pharmacologist), in the United States Public Health Service Bulletin No. 68, who says that the nitrites left by the bleaching process of white flour are definitely poisonous and cumulative in action as shown by tests on laboratory animals.

We quote from the above book by Quigley, pages 111–113:

“The most common non-vitamin foods are sugar, white flour, white rice, and macaroni products. These have become common foods, in fact for the average civilized American individual they constitute from sixty to ninety per cent of the total food intake. These have become common foods because of a commercial reason. They can be stored and shipped because of the fact that they are devitalized and devitaminized. They do not furnish a proper food even for insects or germs and so may be handled commercially with considerable ease and profit. The economic situation here involved has forced foods into general use in the civilized world which, 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.

“During the Spanish American War there was a great scandal and much indignation because spoiled and unfit meat was furnished to the soldiers. Much disease and death was attributed to this cause. It is unpleasant, to say the least, to think that some soldiers died in order that dishonest contractors and meat packers might reap a profit. The same situation now exists in a general way throughout the civilized world but on a larger scale, and the business is conducted in a less obviously detrimental manner…

“In one of the large American Universities there is an endowment coming from those interested in white flour. This is for the purpose presumably of giving a chair for impartial investigation of the merits and demerits of white flour. All of the articles emanating from this source are favorable to white, bleached flour. It could not be otherwise. If the articles gave the opposite conclusions, or if the articles gave the plain unvarnished truth, those interested from a purely commercial standpoint would have no further interest in keeping up this particular part of the university and it would go out of existence. 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. They are apparently not interested in truth or science or university endowments from any other standpoint. If they can get their propaganda from a university instead of from an advertising agency, they seem willing to pay for it at a much higher price. 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 the American Medical Journal from time to time, since the acceptance by the flour milling and baking industry of Dr. Cramp’s unholy offer to peddle public health to the highest bidder, full-page advertisements have appeared by the flour millers with a similar object in view—the steering of professional opinion into channels profitable to them. Such experts on vitamin research as Dr. E.V. McCollum of Johns Hopkins and Dr. Lafayette B. Mendel of Yale University have supplied letters published over their signatures and below their photographs recommending the use of wheat products (without a word as to the difference between whole wheat and bleached white flour) for various reasons, among them that “the farmers need the business,” and decrying “the misguided efforts to…

[Page 6 of document missing. Text resumes on page 7 as follows.]

Journal for March 13, 1937, page 885:

Council on Foods:

Accepted Foods

“The following products have been accepted by the Council on Foods of the American Medical Association following any necessary corrections of the labels and advertising to conform to the rules and regulations. These products are approved for advertising in the publications of the American Medical Association and for general promulgation to the public. They will be included in the book of accepted foods to be published by the American Medical Association.

“Franklin C. Bing, Secretary.

Dakota Maid Flour (Bleached)

“Manufacturer.—State Mill and Elevator, Grand Forks, N.D.

“Description.—A hard spring wheat ‘first patent’ flour; bleached.

“Manufacture.—Selected grades of North Dakota hard spring wheat are mixed, washed, dried, scoured, polished, ground thirty-two times, sifted and impurities are removed. The flour is bleached with benzol peroxide (one-half ounce per barrel) and nitrogen trichloride (1 1/2 Gm. per barrel).

“Analysis (submitted by manufacturer).—Moisture 15.0%, total solids 85.0%, ash 0.4%, protein (N x 6.25) 11.6%, fat (ether extract) 1.4%, crude fiber 0.3% and carbohydrates other than crude fiber (by difference) 71.3%.

“Calories.–3.44 per gram; 98 per ounce.”

Here is what the U.S. Dispensatory [U.S. Dispensatory, 21st Edition, page 1306, J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1926] says about such flour:

“As flour is usually valued in proportion to its whiteness it has been extensively bleached in the past by the use of ozone or of oxides of nitrogen or by nitrosyl chloride. The question of the effect of bleaching upon the digestibility or harmlessness of bleached flour has never been satisfactorily settled. It is a practice which is very prevalent at present because of the foregoing fact and the unwillingness of the authorities to antagonize the milling trade.”

The increase in the statistical incidence of diabetes and heart disease has paralleled the increase in the use of bleached white flour. That is one coincidence. Another is that concentrates of vitamin B (the vitamin normally supplied by cereal foods) are the first physiological remedies to be discovered that relieve both of these heretofore incurable diseases.

Moral: Take nobody’s word for the wholesomeness of any commercially prepared foodstuff. The most highly refined and devitalized ones are the most likely to bear a “Seal of Acceptance” issued by a self-appointed “guardian” of public health that is really only a guardian of the profits of itself and its conniving associates.

No consideration, of course, is given to vitamin and mineral content in “accepting” foods for the “Seal.” No consideration, of course, is given to the absolute fact that devitalized “foods” will not support life of either man or animals.

Now just what are the various consequences of a diet that is incomplete in these essential food principles? Here they are:

1. Lowered vitality; fatigability; lowered resistance to all infectious diseases, of which statistically colds are the most prevalent (pneumonia the most fatal), [and] tuberculosis the most feared; and stomach and intestinal ulcers, which are the most distressing. (See article by Sybil L. Smith entitled “Vitamin Needs: Vitamin C,” pages 251–253, United States Department of Agriculture Yearbook, Food and Life, 1939.)

2. Functional diseases, which may be directly or indirectly due to the deficiency. Directly a few may be listed as sterility and impotence (“nutritional castration”), night blindness, of which most of us have a considerable degree as shown by the inability of our eyes to adjust themselves to darkness after facing automobile headlights at night [footnote: easily measured by a biophotometer], gastritis, constipation, neuritis, predisposition to allergies, and many endocrine disorders that result from incomplete nutrition of the ductless gland system.

3. Degenerative diseases that are the result of long continued starvation of various organs and tissues which require vitamins and minerals. A short list will include most heart disease, most vascular disease, in fact, most chronic disease of any kind.

It will be observed that heart disease and pneumonia, the two major causes of death, are end results of vitamin starvation.

The active campaign by the American Medical Association to discredit the uses and importance of vitamins has been not only through the publication in their periodicals [footnote: Hygeia for propaganda to the layman and the Journal of the American Medical Association to the members] of advertisements that mislead the reader (see pages 17 to 20 [end of this document] for samples), but also through their Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, which strictly limits permissible advertising claims pertaining to vitamin concentrates to the classical end results of deficiency as obtained in test animals, such as vitamin A for xerophthalmia, vitamin B for beriberi, vitamin C for scurvy and vitamin D for rickets. Therefore, the M.D. has been deprived of information to which he has been entitled and which has resulted in such an astounding picture as found in a federal court last year, where a group of medical doctors were called in as “experts” who testified that vitamins were of no value in the treatment of the list of diseases on pages 8 and 9, and that they [vitamins] have no connection with vitamin deficiency. These men either were abysmally ignorant, or were deliberately committing perjury at the behest of the American Medical Association or the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to discredit the value of vitamin concentrates and to help promote Dr. Cramp’s purely mercenary program of promoting the sale of devitalized foods.

The testimony of one of these “expert” witnesses is offered below, to which each of the others subscribed in essentially the same language. This witness was Dr. Elmer L. Sevringhaus of the University of Wisconsin Medical School (and a member of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association):

Question by government attorney:

“Supposing a product contains vitamins, all known vitamins in adequate quantity, would it be considered an adequate treatment for…dropsy, rapid pulse, sinus trouble, insomnia, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, nervousness, stomach ulcers, women’s diseases, kidney inflammations, St. Vitus dance in children, overweight, underweight, low vitality, cystitis, toxic goiter, hardening of the arteries, heart conditions (muscular weakness, enlargement, valve leakage of the heart), lymphatic gland enlargement…tiredness and lack of energy?”

(The defendant, through the testimony of his physician customers established the fact that these diseases could in many cases be ameliorated or cured by the use of his vitamin product.)

(The jury was being asked to consider the facts on the one hand and the opinions of an array of government “experts” on the other.)

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “I would say that none of the conditions you have mentioned…would be favorably influenced by this material nor would they be prevented by this material so far as we can judge from the information we have about the diseases and what we know about those diseases.”

Question by defense counsel: “You did not understand it as calling for the possibility or probability of it (vitamin deficiency) being one of the causes?”

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “My answer would not be different if you would insert the probability of it being an important cause.”

Question by government attorney: “Is whooping cough caused by a deficiency of vitamins?”

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “Not to the best of my knowledge.”

Question by government attorney: “Is there any reliable evidence known to you or to medical science generally tending to show that whooping cough is due to a deficiency of vitamins?”

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “I have never heard such evidence.”

Question by government attorney: “Is your opinion in that regard in accord with the concensus [sic] of reliable medical opinion on that subject?”

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “I think it is.”

Question by government attorney: “Supposing a product contains an adequate quantity of all vitamins, would it or would it not be an adequate treatment for whooping cough?”

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “It would not be.”

Question by government attorney: “Has contagion or infection anything to do with vitamins or vitamin deficiency in the primary sense?”

Answer by Dr. Sevringhaus: “It is not thought to have any relationship.”

Now it is a known fact that vitamin deficiency reduces the resistance of the human body to the invasion by microorganisms. There are very few diseases that will infect the patient without regard for his resistance, and it is a commonly known fact today that vitamin C is a remarkably effective remedy for whooping cough, both for prevention and cure. As to the scientific standing of vitamins as a treatment of all these diseases, see bibliography of references on pages 28–29. Further evidence is found in the Department of Agriculture’s own Yearbook for 1939, pages 116–123, 221–271. Stomach ulcers, all infective processes, including specifically pyorrhea, rheumatic fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and pneumonia are stated to be a result of lowered resistance in vitamin C deficiency. Dropsy, functional heart disease and enlargement of the heart are stated to be a specific result of vitamin B deficiency.

Why did these doctors misrepresent the facts under oath? Was it ignorance or dishonesty? Either are inexcusable in testifying in a criminal case. What influence was at work to decry the importance of vitamins to health? What significant has the fact that both Dr. Nelson and Dr. Sevringhaus are on the council on pharmacy and chemistry of the American Medical Association?

Dr. Elmer M. Nelson testified as a government witness as the head of the Vitamin Division of the Food and Drug Administration as follows:

Question: “Well now, doctor, does this vitamin, or do these vitamins appear in ordinary foods or must they be particularly prepared by a combination of things?”

Answer: “All of the vitamins necessary for human requirements can readily be obtained in ordinary foods that are readily available, and with sufficient exposure to sunshine. Foods may be consumed which do not contain very much vitamin D…”

Question: “With reference to the other vitamins, they would appear normally in regular food, is that correct?”

Answer: They can all be readily obtained by consumption of the ordinary foods that are available to us. Now, in some instances, where people are on rather restricted diets, either voluntarily or because of inability to buy sufficient food, there may be a deficiency of some of the substances known as vitamins, but from surveys made during the last few years by the Department of Agriculture, it would appear that such deficiency is likely to occur only among the lowest income groups.”

Now all of this sounds suspiciously similar to the American Medical Association’s propaganda—”Any well-balanced diet contains plenty of vitamins.” Maybe the . Department of Agriculture did make a survey, but [it] looked only for scurvy, beriberi and pellagra. If it had looked for evidences of heart disease, tuberculosis, pneumonia, pyorrhea, colds, stomach ulcers, influenza and children’s diseases, the survey would have been a very different story. According to the latest yearbook of that same department of agriculture those diseases are all a result of vitamin deficiency! But the American Medical Association has refused to admit as yet that they are deficiency diseases, and the experts testifying as here reported significantly followed the philosophies of the American Medial Association instead of the teachings of their own research workers! Why?

Meanwhile, organized medicine has succeeded in making it a criminal offense under federal law for anyone to tell the truth about the crying need for vitamins among the sick and ailing, or to tell those who have still retained their health how to continue to retain it.

How much longer will the rank and file of organized medicine, among whom you will find numberless men of the highest character and integrity, permit their association to be used for such an unspeakably hideous purpose?

How the New Food and Drug Law Delivers Over to Organized Medicine

What is the difference between a food and a drug under the new law? Here is the definition:

“The term ‘drug’ means (1) articles recognized in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, or official National Formulary, or any supplement to any of them; and (2) articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals; and (3) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals; and (4) articles intended for use as a component of any articles specified in clause (1), (2), or (3); but does not include devices or their components, parts, or accessories.”

Under these official definitions of foods and drugs, a food becomes a drug if it contains the nutritive essentials to prevent or cure deficiency diseases, and the maker becomes subject to prosecution if he tells the truth about its nutritional values, for there now is a penalty of one thousand dollars fine or a year in jail for the unfortunate person who tells the truth about such a “drug” before the consensus of medical opinion has accepted it (and that means the American Medical Association).

A food only remains in the food classification if it is incapable of preventing or curing a deficiency disease. The definition of a food now only fits the devitalized and denatured products that cannot support life in actual tests nor favorably affect any “deficiency disease.” If it can cure any form of starvation, a food is now a drug!

Can you conceive of a more diabolical scheme to hogtie the maker of real health-food products? Can you think of a better way to protect the business of the American Medical Association and its partners in crime—that list of manufacturers of corn syrup for babies, white sugar for candy, white bread for us all—who wangle for “Seals of Acceptance” (Seals of Death, more accurately) and buy full-page advertisements filled with propaganda in the publications controlled by that Association?

Did Congress intend to do this? Or did Organized Medicine write the bill to give itself that power and slip it over on Congress? We all would like to know.

By Dr. Royal Lee. The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, April 1940.

[Additional documents supplied by Dr. Lee:]

[Advertisement:]

Advertising page from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 113, Number [illegible], p. 43. Advertising Department.

“Publicizing Sound Nutrition”…

These days, one hears so much of the elaborate machines for propaganda, political and otherwise, that it may be at least refreshing to hear of a publicity program founded on scientific truth and actually devoted to the public interest.

Just such a program is now being carried forward by the Department of Nutrition of the American Institute of Baking.

Dedicated to the dissemination of truthful nutritional information about bread and baked wheat foods, this work is one with which we believe you’ll be in complete sympathy. For it aims at counteracting destructive influences against our national consumption of bread and kindred wholesome foods…waging a war of truth against unscientific publicity and food-faddist malignments that have seriously affected popular notions about bread.

Naturally, with this objective, the Department’s publicity has a certain amount of legitimate bias. It is propaganda with a purpose. But without poison. Its bias is in balance: its nutritional data are sound from every dietary respect, and consistent with scientific fact.

The campaign is now nearing close of its second year, with some notable accomplishments to its credit. For example, newly developed literature, accepted by the A.M.A. Council on Foods, has been widely distributed; news items and articles on foods and nutrition, constantly emphasizing the wise advice, “Consult your physician,” have been released for use in thousands of newspapers and magazines; material has been supplied for countless educational radio programs; reliable information, based on scientific research and consistent with medial opinion, has been furnished to the baking industry.

Championed in this nutritional propaganda are these simple facts…elementary to you, but revelation to a huge fraction of the American public:

—that no  food is a complete of perfect food

—that bread, light or dark, is a good wholesome food, outstanding as a source of readily assimilated food-energy, and contributing various other important nutrients to the diet

—that bread, in itself, is not “fattening”; that there no such thing as a fattening food; that the quantity, rather than the type, of calories ingested is the sole cause of overweight in normal individuals

—that bread in all its forms is a wholesome, economical food that deserves a prominent place in the diet of every normal person

—that bread can be and often is included in reducing diets, under the direction of a physician

Yes, we have an axe to grind. But we do submit, doctor, that in the baker’s boots you’d choose the same course. This is propaganda in the name of truth. Educational publicity that teaches sound, beneficial nutrition. In a word, propaganda without poison. Don’t you agree?

By joining the baking industry in active support of the Department of Nutrition of the A.I.B., and by its own researchers in the field of nutrition, General Mills indicates its complete accord and cooperation with this valuable work.

General Mills, Inc.
Minneapolis, Minn.

[Advertisement:]

Advertising page from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 110, Number 5, p. 33. Advertising Department

“White Bread is Wholesome”…

Here is an authoritative statement about white bread, a statement that is accepted by the Council on Foods of the American Medical Association:

“White bread is a wholesome, nutritious food. As such it has its rightful place in the normal diet of the normal individual. Its avoidance for fear of any harmful consequence or the fear that it is the cause of any diseased condition when properly used in the normal diet, is entirely without scientific foundation.”

An informative and interesting booklet for physicians describing the proper place of white bread in human nutrition will be sent you in request. All statements in this booklet have been accepted by the American Medical Association Council on Foods.

Department of Nutrition
American Institute of Baking
9 Rockefeller Plaza
New York

[Cartoon: “The Evolution of a Food Faker,” referenced in “Your Health—What It Is Worth to the Racketeer.” (See original document for cartoon image). Text accompanying cartoon as follows:]

This cartoon is published in an effort to awaken the public to the danger of following the literature and advice of food faddists or fakers when they should depend on a licensed doctor or dietitian for correct diet information. To anyone interested, we shall be glad to mail, without charge, a copy of Facts About Bread and its Rightful Place in the Diet—a booklet containing statements by the country’s most eminent nutritional authorities. Address Dept. 375, Washburn Crosby Company, millers of Gold Medal Flour, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

[Advertisement:]

Advertising page from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 102, Number 22, p. 47. Advertising Department

E.V. McCollum
Baltimore, MD

November 29, 1933

Products Control Divisio
General Mills, Inc.
Minneapolis, Minn.

Dear Sirs:

You ask me for a statement of my views concerning the place of bread in the American Diet in the light of modern nutritional investigations. I am glad to comply. The statements which follow are merely the high points brought out in my popular book, Food, Nutrition and Health, and, therefore, represent the ideas which I have emphasized for many years in my lectures and writings.

An adequate diet must provide proteins of high biological value, the eleven essential mineral elements, vitamins and the fatty acid linoleic acid together with an abundance of energy. Bread, in my opinion should form the principal source of energy in the American diet. I say this because any system of diet must be sound from the agricultural standpoint as well as sound physiologically. The United States has a large territory which is preeminently suited to the growing of wheat, and the well-being of many farmers can best be achieved through wheat culture. Wheat should, therefore, remain our principal bread grain.

All of air natural foods are deficient or looking in one or more nutrient principles, but the keynote to successful nutrition is not in eating a single food which is complete and adequate nutritionally but in making such combinations of our best agricultural products as will provide in one what is lacking in another.

In my opinion the American diet should consist of about forty per cent wheat flour, twenty per cent of dairy products, daily servings of leafy vegetables and an adequate supply of fruits. We are at present eating too much sugar, which crowds out foods from the daily menus which, if eaten, would be better for us. In the system recommended above, with sixty per cent of the calories of the diet provided by bread and dairy products, there is ample room for satisfying the appetite in the remaining forty per cent by fruits and vegetables of all kinds and of  small  increments of other cereals. This system will comply well with the agricultural resources of the nation. Bread should be regarded as an energy food.

I trust that the above will give you a satisfactory conception of my views.

Sincerely yours,

[Signature]

E.V. McCollum

[Document: page of references:]

References on Relation of Vitamins to Heart Diseases*

Bickel, G. “Role of B1 Hypovitaminosis in Cardiovascular Pathology.” Presse Medicale, Paris, 46:1916, December 28, 1938.

Bickel, G. “Vitamin B1 Deficiency in Pathogenesis of Cardiac Disturbances of Pregnancy.” Archives des Maladies du Coeur, 32:769, August 1939.

Dustin, C.C., Weyler, H., and Roberts, C.P. “Electrocardiographic Changes in Vitamin B Deficiency.” New England Journal of Medicine, 220:15, January 5, 1939.

Eddy, W.H., and Delldorf, G. The Avitaminoses, pages 84, 92 93, 100–101. The Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 1937.

Evans, W. “Vitamin C in Heart Failure.” Lancet, 1:308, February 5, 1938.

Harris, L.J. Vitamins in Theory and Practice, pages 65–67. Cambridge University Press, London, 1935.

Hess, A.F. “Newer Aspects of Some Nutritional Disorders.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 76:693, March 12, 1921.

Howell, W.H. Text-Book of Physiology, page 970. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1933.

Jolliffe, N., and Goodhart, R. “Beriberi in Alcohol Addicts.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 111,5:380–385, July 30, 1938.

Levy, R.L. Diseases of the Coronary Arteries and Cardiac Pain, page 249. Macmillan Company, 1936.

Macleod, J.J.R. Physiology in Modern Medicine, 7th Edition, page 745. C.V. Mosby Company, St. Louis, 1935.

Marvin, H.M. “The Therapy of Dropsy.” Journal of the American MedicalAssociation, 114,9:757–763, March 2, 1940.

Mathews, A.P. Principles of Biochemistry, page 58. William Wood and Company, Baltimore, 1936.

Medical Research Council. Vitamins: A Survey of Present Knowledge, page 137. London, 1932.

Parade, G.W. “Vitamin B Researches. I. Relationship Between Deficiency of Vitamin B1 and Bradycardia.” Z. f. Vitaminforsch, 6:327–334, 1937.

Quigley, D.T. Notes on Vitamins and Diets. Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc., Chicago, 1933.

Sherman, H.C., and Smith, S.L. The Vitamins, Second Edition, Monograph Series, No. 6, pages 70, 81. Chemical Catalog Company, New York, 1931.

Strauss, M.B. “Therapeutic Use of Vitamin B1 in Polyneuritia and Cardiovascular Conditions: Clinical Indications.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 110,13:953–956, 1938.

Sure, B. Vitamins in Health and Disease, page 41. Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 1933.

Taylor, S. “Scurvy and Carditis.” Lancet, 1:973, 979, April 24, 1937.

Waring, J.I. “Nutritional Heart Disease in Children.” American Journal of Diseases of Children, 55:750, April 1938.

Weiss, S., and Wilkins, R.W. “Cardiac Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency.” Annals of Internal Medicine, July 1937.

White, P.D. Heart Disease, page 437. Macmillan Company, 1936.

Wiggere, C.J. Physiology in Health and Disease, page 960. Lea and Febiger Co., Philadelphia, 1934.

Williams, R.R., and Spies, T.D. Vitamin B1 and Its Use in Medicine. The Macmillan Company, New York, 1938.

Winans, H.M. “The Heart in Avitaminosis.” Tri-State Medical Journal, 2392–2393, December 1939.

*Compare with Letters 1, 3, and 4 at end of this document.

[Document: page of references:]

References on Relation of Vitamins to Diabetes*

Bartelheimer, H. “Vitamin C and Diabetes.” Deut. Arch. Klin. Med., 182:542–555, 1938.

Beckert, W. “Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus with Yeast.” Munch. Med. Wochschr., 85: 1231–1232, 1938.

Brazer, J.G.,and Curtis, A.C. “Vitamin A Deficiency in Diabetes Mellitus.” Archives of Internal Medicine, 65:90, January 1940.

Eddy, W.H., and Dalldorf, G. The Avitaminoses, pages 116–117. The Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 1937.

Gottlebe, P. “Vitamin B1 and Carbohydrate Metabolism.” Z. Klin. Med., 133:739–746, 1938.

Himwich, H. “Carbohydrate Metabolism.” Annual Reviews of Biochemistry, Vol. 7, 143–162, Stanford University Press, 1938.

Labbe, Nepveux, and Gringoire. Bull. Acad. de Med., Paris, 109:689–702, May 23, 1933.

Macleod, J.J.R. Physiology in Modern Medicine, Seventh Edition, page 744. C.V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1935.

Mathews, A.P. Principles of Biochemistry, 56–59, 101. William Wood and Co., Baltimore, 1936.

McCollum, E.V., and Simonds, Nina. The Newer Knowledge of Nutrition, Fourth Edition, page 223. Macmillan, 1929.

Medical Research Council. Vitamins: A Survey of Present Knowledge, page 133, 134. London, 1932.

Mosonye, J., and Aszodi, Z. “Modification of Islands of Langerhans Through the Vagus, By Means of Vitamins B1 and C.” Klin. Wochnschr., Berlin, 17:333, March 5, 1938.

Nelson, W.E., and Ward, D. “Diet in The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus in Children.” American Journal of Diseases of Children, 55:487–495, 1938.

Oshmia, M., Terashmia, T., and Matsutany, Y. “Influence of Cevitamic Acid on Diabetes Mellitus.” Mediziniscne Klinik., Berlin, 34:262, February 25, 1938.

Park, Ira O. “Preliminary Observations on Vitamin A Deficiency as Shown by Studies with Visual Photometer.” Journal of Oklahoma State Medical Association, October 1935.

Pfleger, R., and Scholl, F. “Diabetes and Vitamin C.” Wien. Arch. Inn. Med., 133:739–746 1938.

Quigley, D.T. Notes on Vitamins and Diets, page 54. Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc., Chicago, 1933.

Ralli. Annals of Dentistry, 5,3:129, 1938.

Rathery, F. and Klotz, P. “Does A Diabetic Polyneuritis Exist?” Bull. Mem. Soc. Med. Hop, Paris, 54:574–580, 1938.

Schroeder, H. “Relation of Most Important Vitamins to Carbohydrate Metabolism. “Zeitechrift f. d. Ges. Experimentelle Medizin., 101:373­–403, September 20, 1937.

Sherman, E.C., and Smith, S.L. The Vitamins, Second Edition, Monograph Series, No. 6, pages 81–82. The Chemical Catalog Co., New York, 1931.

Stepp, W., Kuhnau, J., and Schroeder, H. The Vitamins and Their Clinical Application. Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, Germany, 1936.

Sydenstricker, V.P., Geeslin, L.E., and Weaver, J.W. “Avitaminosis Occurring in Diabetic Patients Under Insulin Therapy.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 113,24:2137–2138, December 9, 1939.

Tuohy, E.L. “Geriatrics in Relation to an Adequate Energy Producing and Protective Diet.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 114,3:223–227, January 20, 1940.

Vorhaus, M.G., Williams, R.R., and Waterman, R.E. “Studies on Crystalline Vitamin B1: Observations in Diabetes.” American Journal of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, 2,9:541–557, November 1935.

Williams, R.R., and Spies, T.D. Vitamin B1 and Its Use in Medicine, pages 47–48 and Chapter 26. Macmillan Company, New York, 1938.

*Compare this with Letter 2 at end of this document.

[Letter 1:]

American Medical Association
Bureau of Investigation

Arthur J. Champ, M.D.
Director

535 North Dearborn Street
Chicago

March 1, 1933

Mr. Harold [last name deleted] 2115 W. Wisconsin Ave., Apt. 6
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dear Sir:

In re: [text deleted]

The exploitation of [text deleted] is obviously a crude piece of quackery. While it is stated in some of the pamphlets that [text deleted] Tablets contain in “concentrated form” vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F and G, in other advertising material the word “concentrated” is omitted. Nowhere in their advertising is given the amount of the various vitamins alleged to be present.

Claims made in a booklet that does not accompany the trade package are not subject to any restrictions under the federal law‑—the exploiter can lie to his heart’s content. It is only the statements that are made on or in the trade package that are subject to the restrictions of the National Food and Drugs Act. It would doubtless be found that the exploiters of [text deleted] make very few claims for their preparation on the trade package.

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

Very truly yours,
American Medical Association
Bureau of Investigation
[Initials]

AJC:JW

Do you want information on: A “patent medicine,” a medical fad, faddist or quack, a freak treatment or a medical fraud? Write to the Bureau of Investigation!

[Letter 2:]

Hygeia
The Health Magazine
Founded and published by the American Medical Association

535 North Dearborn Street
Chicago

June 20, 1936

Mrs. M. [text deleted] 1810 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dear Madam:

The Bureau of Investigation of the American Medical Association has written you under separate cover about [text deleted].

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

We are sending you attached an article on diabetes taken from Hygeia, The Health Magazine, and typical of health education material appearing in this magazine for the lay reader.

Yours very truly,
Hygeia
The Health Magazine

B:EL–3902

Prescribing By Mail:

There is a widespread impression that medical treatment can be prescribed by mail on the basis of the description of symptoms and signs by the patient. It is not possible to do this satisfactorily. Symptoms do not make a diagnosis. Oftentimes what appear to the non-medical person to be the same symptoms and signs in two individuals may be due to quite different causes.

Moreover, the wise physician does not prescribe for a disease; he treats the person afflicted with what is best for that person at that time. This can be determined in each instance only by a thorough knowledge of the previous history and of the symptoms and physical signs prsent in the patient. Even in the very few diseases for which specific remedies are knonw (such as quinine for malaria, and arsenical and mercurial compounds for syphilis), the dose and the frequency and method of administration moat be determined for each separate patient.

[Letter 3:]

Hygeia
The Health Magazine
Founded and published by the American Medical Association

535 North Dearborn Street
Chicago

July 31, 1933

Mr. P.J. [text deleted] 617 N. 23rd Street
Apartment 304
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dear Sir:

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

Extreme and prolonged vitamin deprivation might impair the heart along with all the rest of the body nutrition, but such extremes are not met with under ordinary circumstances.

With specific reference to [text deleted] we quote the following from our Bureau of Investigation:

“The exploitation of [text deleted]is obviously a crude piece of quackery. While it is stated in some of the pamphlets that [text deleted] Tablets contain in ‘concentrated form’ vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, in other advertising material the word ‘concentrated’ is omitted. Nowhere in their advertising is given the amount of the various vitamins alleged to be present.

“Claims made in a booklet that does not accompany the trade package are not subject to any restrictions under the federal law—the exploiter can lie to his heart’s content. It is only the statements that are made on or in the trade package that are subject to the restrictions of the National Food and Drugs Act. It would doubtless be found that the exploiters of [text deleted] make very few claims for their preparation on the trade package.

Yours very truly,
Hygeia
The Health Magazine

B:DL:2244

Prescribing By Mail:

There is a widespread impression that medical treatment can be prescribed by mail on the basis of the description of symptoms and signs by the patient. It is not possible to do this satisfactorily. Symptoms do not make a diagnosis. Oftentimes what appear to the non-medical person to be the same symptoms and signs in two individuals may be due to quite different causes.

Moreover, the wise physician does not prescribe for a disease; he treats the person afflicted with what is best for that person at that time. This can be determined in each instance only by a thorough knowledge of the previous history and of the symptoms and physical signs prsent in the patient. Even in the very few diseases for which specific remedies are knonw (such as quinine for malaria, and arsenical and mercurial compounds for syphilis), the dose and the frequency and method of administration moat be determined for each separate patient.

[Letter 4:]

Hygeia
The Health Magazine
Founded and published by the American Medical Association

535 North Dearborn Street
Chicago

July 31, 1933

Mr. P.J.W. [text deleted] 617 N. 23rd St., Apt. 304
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dear Sir:

In reply to your letter of July 21st, we comment as follows:

“Experimentally, it has been demonstrated that vitamin B deficiency produces an abnormal rhythm of the heart…is it not possible that some forms of cardiac disease are due to cumulative effects of vitamin B deficiency?”

Our reaction to this quotation is that there is a vast difference between experimental vitamin B deficiency produced by the deliberate feeding of animals on a diet which has been carefully freed of vitamin B and conditions as they exist in the average individual on an average general diet. Vitamin B is pretty widely spread in our ordinary foodstuffs and except in those regions where individuals are restricted by poverty or by custom to a deficient diet, such as the hog and hominy diet of some of our remote Southern rural regions, deficiency of vitamin B is not to be feared.

“Absence of another vitamin B fraction apparently leads to heart block and a remarkably slow pulse, and the puzzling question of edema (wet and dry beriberi) may be due to another fraction which in conjunction with torulin regulates the distribution of water in the body.”

Again we point out to you that extreme deficiency of the antineuritic fraction of vitamin B, either experimentally or due to the Oriental polished rice diet, does not obtain in American communities where the ordinary diet includes an ample supply of vitamin B.

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 them with commercial preparations is unnecessary.

Yours very truly,
Hygeia
The Health Magazine

Prescribing By Mail:

There is a widespread impression that medical treatment can be prescribed by mail on the basis of the description of symptoms and signs by the patient. It is not possible to do this satisfactorily. Symptoms do not make a diagnosis. Oftentimes what appear to the non-medical person to be the same symptoms and signs in two individuals may be due to quite different causes.

Moreover, the wise physician does not prescribe for a disease; he treats the person afflicted with what is best for that person at that time. This can be determined in each instance only by a thorough knowledge of the previous history and of the symptoms and physical signs prsent in the patient. Even in the very few diseases for which specific remedies are knonw (such as quinine for malaria, and arsenical and mercurial compounds for syphilis), the dose and the frequency and method of administration moat be determined for each separate patient.

[Document: page of references:]

Bibliography

(Referring to conditions mentioned in main article in interview with Dr. Sevringhaus)

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Martin and Heise. “Vitamin C Nutrition in Pulmonary Tuberculosis.” American Journal of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, 4:368–374, 1937.

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Otani. “On Vitamin C Therapy of Whooping Cough.” Klin. Wochnschr., 15:1884–1885, December,19, 1936.

Petter. “Vitamin C and Tuberculosis.” Lancet, 57:221–224, May 1937.

Price. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, pages 49, 54, 77, 326–351, 385. Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., New York, 1939.

Radford, DeSavitsch, and Sweeney. “Blood Changes Following Continuous Daily Administration of Vitamin C and Orange Juice to Tuberculosis Patients.” American Review of Tuberculosis, 35:784–795, 1937.

Ray. “Effect of Hyperthyroidism on the Metabolism of Vitamin C.” Journal Indian Chemical Society, 15:237–239, 1938.

Rinehart and Mettier. “Heart Valves and Muscle in Experimental Scurvy with Superimposed Infection.” American Journal of Pathology, 10:61–80, January 1934.

Rose. “The Therapy of Goiter and of Hyperthyroidism.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 111,6:555–556, August 6, 1958.

Shattuck. “Nutritional Deficiency and the Nervous System.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 111,19:1729–1734, November 5, 1938.

Sherman and Smith. The Vitamins, Monograph Series, Second Edition, pages 143–144, 163, 274,281–283. The Chemical Catalog Company, Inc., New York, 1931.

Sherwood. “Vitamin C and Chronic Arthritis.” Northwest Medicine, 37,9:288–289, September 1938.

Shurly. “Dietary Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis.” American Journal of Surgery, 42:174, October 1938.

Sure and Smith. “Hyperthyroidism and Nutrition: I. Vitamin B and Thyroxine.” Journal of Nutrition, 7:547, 1934.

Szent-Gyorgyi. “Therapeutic Properties of Vitamins.” Presse Medicale, 46:995, June 25, 1938.

Vaquette. “Disturbance of Vitamin C Metabolism in Pulmonary Tuberculosis.” Rev. Tuberc., 3:409–423, 1937.

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Wachsmuth and Heinrich. “Hypovitaminosis and Osteomyelitis.” Klin. Wochnschr., 17:269–271, 1936.

Walker. “Determination of Urinary Excretion of Vitamin C.” Virginia Medical Monthly, 65:475–478, 1938.

Wiggers. Physiology in Health and Disease, pages 839, 958–959, 969. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, 1934.

Williams and Spies. Vitamin B1 and Its Use in Medicine, pages 4, 7–8, 85. The Macmillan Company, New York, 1938.

Yu. “The Role of Vitamin C in Infection and Immunity.” Chinese Medical Journal, 52:403–412, 1937.

Zimmerman. “Newer Aspects of Nervous Disorders in Avitaminosis.” Confinia Neurol., 1:6–39, 1938.

Zondek. The Diseases of the Endocrine Glands, p. 162. William Wood and Company, Baltimore, 1955.

 

By Dr. Royal Lee, Box 267, Elm Grove, Wisconsin. April 1940.

Printed in U.S.A.

 

Patrick Earvolino, CN

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

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