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The Pioneers of Whole Food Nutrition

Throughout the last century in America, some very great minds strived to raise awareness of the power of whole foods, nutrition and the link between lifestyle and health. They were often ridiculed and ostracised by their peers.
 
Today, their work seems even more relevant. It is perhaps due to these researchers that many of the pioneering natural, whole food supplement companies are based in the States, Thankfully here in the UK, there is now a growing awareness of the alternatives to synthetic supplements
 
Excerpts are taken from the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health http://www.ifnh.org  who provide a wealth of resources for anyone interested in whole food nutrition
 
About the Foundation
 
The stewardship of the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research was given to the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health (IFNH).  It is the intent of IFNH to keep the spirit of Dr. Royal Lee and the Lee Foundation alive.  In the spirit of that mission IFNH has strived to re-publish many of the original copyrighted works held in trust by the Lee Foundation, including those by Drs, Melvin Page, Henry Harrower, Francis Pottenger and Antoine Béchamp, as well as other notable nutritional pioneers.   The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research under the guidance of Dr. Lee saved many of these early works from being lost forever.  It is the belief of IFNH that these classic works are as important today as when they were first published and that there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.  The answers to many of our health needs are well stated and documented in these earlier works.
 
Royal Lee, DDS. (1895-1967)  
 
Dr. Lee's family emigrated from Norway in 1845 and settled in the Milwaukee area. While in high school, he convinced the principal to allow him to teach an advanced physics course. Completing formal training as a dentist at the age of 24 from Marquette University, he focused on the connection between dental caries and improper nutrition. 
 
Dr. Lee became interested in nutrition at a very young age. By age 16, he had catalogued most of the nutritional references in print at that time.
 
Dr. Royal Lee was a maverick in the field of nutrition, providing the healthcare provider both with the tools to determine nutritional deficits, and the means to treat those same deficits.
 
Harvey W. Wiley, MD. (1844-1930)
 
In the 1880s, when Wiley began his 50-year crusade for pure foods, America's marketplace was flooded with poor, often harmful products. With almost no government controls, unscrupulous manufacturers tampered with products, substituting cheap ingredients for those represented on labels: Honey was diluted with glucose syrup; olive oil was made with cottonseed; and "soothing syrups" given to babies were laced with morphine. The country was ready for reform and for Wiley.
 
Born in a log cabin in 1844 on a frontier farm in Indiana, Wiley spent his early years helping plant and harvest the crops. His father, the local schoolteacher, saw to it that his children had a basic education and Wiley was able to go on to college.  He graduated with a medical degree at Indiana Medical College and a science degree at Harvard. By his late 30s, he was a professor of chemistry at Purdue University.
 
Then, in 1883, he was persuaded to give up academic life and move to Washington, D.C., as chief chemist in what is now the Department of Agriculture. His main task was to support the new agricultural industries, but he was also able to continue his private passion, developing tests for food purity.
 
In the 1880s and 1890s, pure-food bills were introduced into Congress--largely through his work--and all were killed. Powerful lobbies had already established themselves. So Dr. Wiley decided to bring his cause to the public, and with a budget of $5,000, he organized in 1902 a volunteer group of healthy young men, called the Poison Squad, who tested the effects of chemicals and adulterated foods on themselves. Women banded together, notably in the Federated Women's Clubs, for political clout. Major canners became supporters of the legislation and voluntarily abandoned the use of questionable chemicals. Finally, the battle was won on June 30, 1906, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drugs Act, largely written by Wiley, who had been appointed to oversee its administration.
 
The battle had been won--but not the war. Wiley had many adversaries in Congress and in the food and patent-medicine industries, and in 1912 he was forced to leave his government post. One of the headlines of the day read: WOMEN WEEP AS WATCHDOG OF THE KITCHEN QUITS AFTER 29 YEARS.
 
Before he left the government, Wiley had been sought to set up and direct the Bureau of Foods, Sanitation, and Health for Good Housekeeping. The magazine, begun in 1885, had already created the Good Housekeeping Institute laboratories to ensure the reliability of its editorial pages. Once Wiley was on staff, with his own chemistry laboratories in Washington, D.C., where he could monitor government activities, he continued his fight for pure foods from the pages of the magazine.
 
In his 19 years as director of the bureau at Good Housekeeping, he led the fight for tougher government inspection of meat; for pure butter unadulterated with water; and for whole wheat flour, which growers were mixing with other grains. The bureau analyzed food products and published the findings; its "Tested and Approved" seal became the coveted symbol of responsible industry, and the Good Housekeeping Seal remains the pre-eminent consumer emblem.
 
In 1914, Wiley and Anne Lewis Pierce wrote a groundbreaking Good Housekeeping exposé on obesity cures, called "Swindled Getting Slim." The article described ways diet hucksters sold products, ranging from misleading to downright fraudulent, without getting caught by government regulators. In 1921, Wiley's crusading articles contributed to the passage of the Maternity Bill, which allocated Federal funds for improved infant care--and led to a reduction of the appalling infant mortality rate.
 
Remarkably prescient, Wiley in 1927 expressed his suspicion that the use of any form of tobacco might be harmful and that it might promote cancer. Because of mounting evidence confirming Wiley's early warnings, Good Housekeeping stopped accepting cigarette ads in 1952, 12 years before the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report detailing the health hazards of smoking. 
 
John H. Tilden, MD. (1851-1940)
 
Dr. John H. Tilden, the son of a physician, was born in Van Burenburg, Illinois, on January 21, 1851. He received his medical education at the Eclectic Medical Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, a medical school founded in 1830 as a protest against the allopathic and homeopathic schools of medicine of that time. He was graduated in 1872, with the degree of doctor of medicine. From the best information we can obtain, his father was a Dr. Joseph G. Tilden, who came from Vermont in 1837 to Kentucky, in which State he married.
 
Dr. John H. Tilden started the practice of medicine at Nokomis, Illinois, then for a year at St. Louis, Missouri, and then at Litchfield, Illinois, until 1890, when he moved to Denver, Colorado. In Denver he located in the downtown business section, in an office with other doctors. Later he established a sanitarium in an outer section of the city. This sanitarium and school he conducted until 1924, when he sold the Institution, for about half of what he had plowed back into its development, to a Dr. Arthur Voss of Cincinnati, Ohio, intending to devote himself to writing and lecturing. However, he soon became discontented without his school and after a period he bought two residences on Pennsylvania Avenue, in Denver, united them into one and opened a new sanitarium and school, having to borrow from a friend a part of the money with which to make the purchases. This probably was in 1926. This school continued until the Doctor's death, on September 1, 1940.
 
It was during the early years of his practice in Illinois, that Dr. Tilden began to question the use of medicine to cure illness. His extensive reading, especially of medical studies from European medical schools, and his own thinking, led him to the conclusion that there should be some way to live so as not to build disease, and in this period his thoughts on toxemia began to formulate and materially develop. From the beginning of his practice in Denver, the Doctor used no medicine but practiced his theory of clearing the body of toxic poison and then allowing nature to make the cure, teaching his patients how to live so as not to create a toxic condition and to retain a healthy body free of disease. An uncompromising realist and a strict disciplinarian, the Doctor wasted no time on those who would not relinquish degenerating habits, but to his patients and disciples he was both friend and mentor.
 
In 1900 he began the publication of a monthly magazine called "The Stuffed Club," which continued until 1915, when he changed the name to "The Philosophy of Health," and in 1926 the name was changed to "Health Review and Critique." His writing for his publication was almost entirely done in the early morning hours, from three until seven. The purpose of the publication was not to make money but to spread knowledge of the Doctor's teachings. In time it attained a wide circulation, not only in this country but also abroad, even in Australia, but it never produced revenue, for the Doctor refused to make it an advertising medium, as often urged to do by advertising firms. As his death revealed, after sixty-eight years of practice, the Doctor had accumulated only an exceedingly modest estate. His life was pre-eminently one of self-sacrifice and of devotion to service, searching after truth, with an indomitable will and with an intense fortitude to adhere to the truth when discovered. In his day the Doctor's thoughts received no support from the established medical profession but brought the strongest of opposition and condemnation.
 
Melvin A. Page, DDS. (1894-1983)
 
Dr. Melvin E. Page was born in 1894 in Picture Rocks, Pennsylvania. Dr. Page was one of the early pioneers in nutritional biochemistry. 
 
In 1919, Dr. Page began a successful dental practice in Muskegon, Michigan. where he became known as one of the top prosthodontists in the country. In a quest to learn why the mouths of his patients deteriorated.  Dr. Page studied Dr. Weston Price's work with primitive people and started his investigations at Mercy Hospital and at Hackley Hospital in Muskegon. He ran more than two thousand blood chemistries and discovered that no absorption of bone occurred (and no cavities) when the calcium to phosphorus ratio were in a proportion of 10 to 4 in the blood. The Department of Dental Research of the United States Air Force confirmed his findings of a calcium/phosphorus ratio to be correct 42 years later. 
 
His idea that diet and nutrition could cause a biochemical condition affecting the teeth, and the fact that he dared to suggest that patients should change their eating habits and eliminate white sugar and white flour from their diet was beyond acceptability. He was ostracized by his professional colleagues for his approach and so he temporarily terminated his research in blood chemistry at the hospital.
 
At the age of 84, this nutritional pioneer still walked a mile to and from his office almost daily. His treatment and philosophy was simple and logical.
  • The harmful effects of the use of white sugar and refined carbohydrates can't be ignored.
  • The harmful effects of using chemical additives and other food preservatives for the sake of “shelf life.” Upsets body chemistry
  • Using a whole food Vitamins concentrates, Minerals and Digestive Enzymes to supplement daily food intake might be necessary.
  • That milk is not the perfect food for everyone 
The Page Food Plan was developed during this time not because Dr. Page was trying to create a diet but simply because he noticed certain foods upset the body chemistry more than others.  His food plan was developed on the glycemic index encouraging patients to eat unlimited quantities of green leafy vegetables.  Ironically today Dr. Page is better known for his diet than for the anthropological measurements which are amazingly accurate.
 
In the early 1960s Dr. Page found himself and his method of practice under scrutiny from the federal government when he was indicted for practicing outside his scope of practice.  After a lengthy trial in which Dr. Page introduced over 3600 case studies and was able to substantiate his findings with over 40,000 blood tests as well as 35 years of research a federal judge found him not guilty.  The judge went on to reprimand the American Medical Association and the FDA for not trying to figure out what he was doing rather than harassing him.
 
Dr. Page was a member of the Academy 100 of the State of Florida, of the New York Academy of Science, and the International Society for Comprehensive Medicine. He was a life member of the American Dental Association. He was a Fellow of the International College of Applied Nutrition and of the Royal Society of Health (England). Recognition certificates from many associations and professional fraternities, too many to list, lined one complete wall of his office. He published numerous articles on his work in nutrition in such periodicals as the Journal of the American Dental Association, Applied Nutrition, the Western Society of  Periodontology, Nutrition and Health, Prosthodontics, and the Dental Digest and also Prevention Magazine.
 
Dr. Page was a true pioneer in his work and research. He went ahead with his ideas despite tremendous adversities launched by colleagues in the dental and medical profession, as well as the press and others who scoffed at his forward-thinking ideas. 
 
“Why does modern medicine find it so hard to look at, and accept, many of these simple truths?”   Dr. Melvin A. Page 1968
 
Francis M. Pottenger Jr., MD. (1901-1967)
 
Independent and original thinkers have always been at the forefront of crucial advances in medicine and dentistry. Common elements of their findings have included observation, imagination, integrity and common sense. Dr. Francis A. Pottenger was such a man. He applied the principles of nutrition and endocrinology early in his practice. Dr. Pottenger was a pioneer in using crude extracts of the adrenal cortex for allergic states and the syndrome of depletion. In his practice, he always highlighted proper diet based on the principles discovered by Weston Price.
He was known for his classical experiments in cat feeding because he discovered a disproportionately high level of high mortality among cats undergoing adrenalectomy. A chance observation about their food led to his experimentation.
 
More than 900 cats were observed during a 10-year period. Dr. Pottenger discovered that a diet consisting exclusively of raw milk and raw meat was the only adequate intake which insured the maintenance of optimal health for the cats. Cats on the all-raw diet showed good bone structure with wide palates and plenty of space for the teeth as well as excellent bone density, shiny fur, and lack of parasites and disease. They reproduced with ease and were gentle and easy to handle.
 
Cooking the meat, or substituting heat processed milks for raw, resulted in heterogeneous reproduction and physical degeneration that escalated with each successive generation. Kittens of the third generation did not survive six months.
 
There was an abundance of parasites and vermin while skin diseases and allergies increased from an incidence of five percent in normal cats to over 90 percent in the third generation of deficient cats. Bones became soft and pliable and the cats suffered from adverse personality changes. Males became docile while females became more aggressive. The cats suffered from most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine and died out totally by the fourth generation.
 
The changes in facial structure and beginning of degenerative diseases that Dr. Pottenger observed in cats on deficient diets mirrored the human degeneration that Dr. Price found in tribes and villages that had abandoned traditional foods. INFH
 
Weston A. Price, DDS. (1870-1948)
 
The moniker “Charles Darwin of Nutrition” has been designated to Dr. Weston A. Price. In attempting to find the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration of teeth, he took his knowledge outside the lab and toured the world to study human beings.
 
In the early 1930s, he studied isolated groups, such as secluded villages in Switzerland, Gaelic communities in the Outer Hebrides, Eskimos and Native Americans of North America, Melanesian and Polynesian South Sea Islanders, African tribes, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori and the Native Americans of South America. In all cases, Dr. Price found that the characteristics of beautiful straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies and resistance to disease were typical of the indigenous populations who were accustomed to traditional diets which were rich in essential food factors.
 
After analyzing the foods consumed by isolated primitive peoples, Dr. Price discovered that they furnished at least four times the water-soluble vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and at least 10 times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods, such as butter, shellfish, fish eggs and organ meats. 
 
Another part of Dr. Prices findings was that these primitive people living on their natural diet, not tainted from what he called the foods of commerce (white sugar and white flour) had little or no signs of degenerative disease or dental caries.  His studies were the first to point out that these isolated groups with only 0.1% dental caries consistently had blood chemistry readings of 10 parts calcium and 4 parts phosphorus.
 
These discoveries and conclusions are presented in Dr. Price’s classic volume Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, available from the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health. This book contains stunning photographs of handsome and healthy peoples and illustrates the physical ultimate degeneration of native human groups when they discard nourishing traditional diets and replace them with modern convenience foods.  
 
Harold F. Hawkins, DDS.  
 
Dr. Harold Hawkins a noted dental surgeon and a former Associate Professor of Bacteriology, University of Southern California, started his pioneering studies in pH, acid, and alkaline balance in the late 1930s.  He followed the work of Dr. Weston Price's published study on primitive cultures, documenting the impact of what he called the foods of commerce( Nutrition and Physical Degeneration).
 
Dr. Hawkins' research on nutritional biochemistry spanned the course of twenty years studying over eight thousand individual cases.  The individual corrections were accomplished principally with food, supplemented by a small percentage of vitamin concentrates.
 
Dr. Hawkins first published his work in a book titled Applied Nutrition in the early forties.  The book was later re-published by the Lee Foundation For Nutritional Research in the fall of 1947, and republished a third time with the consent of the Lee Foundation by the international College of Applied Nutrition mid-fifties.  Robert J. Peshek DDS. credits much of his early work in the two published volumes on balancing body chemistry to Dr. Hawkins.
John A. Myers, MD.
 
Dr. John A. Myers began his quest for personal health as a child after nearly dying of diphtheria at age three.  After graduating as a certified electrical engineer from John Hopkins University in 1927 he found himself still questioning many of the new science of medicine's hypotheses on health.  So Dr. Myers decided to return to his alma mater to pursue a medical degree completing his studies in 1935. 
 
After graduating Dr. Myers started applying his training in the use of measurement and control devices in engineering.  This afforded him a unique background enabling him to scientifically discern the functional controls in the metabolic aspects of disease.
 
He was particularly interested in the trace minerals and the interrelationships of the biochemistry of cellular function and the application of nutritional elements to improve the metabolism of body systems.  He used the teeth and the eyes, the most highly differentiated structures of the body, as measuring agents for evaluating metabolic response to treatment.  Dr. Myers was noted for his unique way of blending mineral components to control metabolic balance in the body. The Myers cocktail was a noted formula that boosted the immune system and many of his patients started their day with this formula.
 
Dr. Melvin Page used to always make the comment that you could always send the impossible patient to Dr. Myers who would get them well but never weaning them from his mineral formulas.
 
Dr. Myers was a member of numerous professional societies both in the United States and abroad. He was also a founder and diplomat of the International College of Applied Nutrition.
 
Visit the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health http://www.ifnh.org  who provide a wealth of resources for anyone interested in whole food nutrition
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