Why Catalyn? Dr. Lee, 1937 – Food For Thought
Some of you are well aware that my first vitamin concentrate was triggered by a family tragedy when my mother was told she had probably less than three months to live. Her system was so weakened, right after getting the flu in the flu epidemic of 1928-29. I created a vitamin concentrate for her using whole foods. I later called it Catalyn. I’m happy to say that she is enjoying a vibrant healthy life at this point almost 10 years later.
According to the Gould’s Medical Dictionary, 1935 edition, a vitamin is: “substance belonging to a group of organic bases of unknown compositions, which is present in small quantities in food, and is necessary for the normal processes of metabolism.”
So today, it would seem it has become a fact that the existence and need for various vitamins only becomes apparent because of the development of certain diseases in humans and animals. These deficiencies become apparent and accepted when humans or animals receive a limited diet, creating these diseases in a clinical setting.
Therefore, you would think the philosophy that food has a therapeutic value would be self-evident, thus the existence of a vitamin can be proven by its physiological action as a whole food principle with good health.
Now chemists have claimed to have isolated certain vitamins by manufacturing synthetic forms of chemical matter. I believe the present state of science is not sufficiently advanced for us to accept these artificial products without further knowledge and awareness of their properties. These same scientists won’t guarantee these vitamins can offer the variety of minerals and vitamins found working together in whole foods grown in our garden. This fact will become more apparent as we discuss the separate vitamins.
Most vitamin research today is done by the pharmaceutical companies with one aim; to determine the chemical structure of a vitamin, with the only objective to reproduce a synthetically isolated vitamin cheaply. These same chemists turn a blind eye to the creation of natural vitamins in food and their relationship to health.
My work, on the contrary, with Catalyn has been aimed at locating natural food products high in the content of a desired vitamin or mineral. With this objective in mind, we have looked for methods of increasing the concentration of the desired vitamin or mineral to a point of getting a product of sufficient merit for the effective use in treating deficiency diseases and maintaining good health.
It is advisable here to distinguish between a natural vitamin concentrate and a synthetic isolate called a vitamin. To isolate a vitamin means to carry the concentration to a point that the product is chemically pure. Very few, if any, of the natural variety of food based vitamins can be isolated to the point of being chemically pure but all have been concentrated to varying degrees by nature.
The real problem for vitamin isolates is that chemical processing deprives the isolate of the added cofactors that gives a natural vitamin its potency. For example, vitamin B complex in its natural state is found in bran. Synthetically manufactured vitamin B complex in an isolated form is derived from coal tar, which to my knowledge humans have never consumed or found any health benefits from.
We can make a concentration of a natural vitamin, without knowing anymore about it than that it is soluble in some special fluid like water, by making an extract of some food product that contains those vitamins.
Bran water is commonly used for constipation and as a health drink. Part of what makes it healthy is that water from soaked bran has extracted the water-soluble vitamins in bran, like vitamins B and G. What is a concentrate? By evaporating the water we can obtain a much greater concentration in a dry form, provided we are careful not to expose the material to some factor that is destructive to these vitamins, such as too high a temperature.
Today, vitamin G is part of the vitamin B complex, and is insoluble in alcohol and water. So one part of the vitamin “B” complex is removed first with alcohol, and then the second extraction with water contains the “G” alone. These parts work together, or therapeutically can work separately, since vitamin B is a vasoconstrictor tightening the veins and arteries, and vitamin G is a vasodilator that can relax and open the veins and arteries.
Nature has already made a concentration of these vitamins in the bran of wheat kernels, by leaving a concentration of nutrients in the outside layers of the wheat kernel when the sap of the plant evaporates. The germ of the wheat, which is a part of the bran layer, is much higher in vitamins than the rest of the bran, and is commercially obtainable as a separate product from the flour mills. Vitamins A, B, E and G are all found in wheat germ, in quantities sufficient to be a source of making effective vitamin concentrates on their own.
The feasibility of making an “A” and “B” concentrate became apparent to me, and to test their therapeutic merit I made various tests on myself, friends and relatives.
The “A” concentrate was noted to be useful in treating irritability of the eyes. For some years, I had noticed that when driving an automobile for over an hour or two my eyes became very irritated and sore. This, I found, could be prevented by the use of natural vitamin “A” concentrate. A relative with severe cystitis was immediately relieved by the same means.
The vitamin B concentrate was noted to be a valuable remedy for insomnia, as would be expected from its known effect on the nervous system.
The “C” concentrate was found to be effective in the treatment of pyorrhea, which causes looseness of the teeth.
This experience brought out another fact: The best results were obtained when all of the concentrates were used together, like in nature. Further requests and reports were so encouraging that I needed a trade name, and “Catalyn” was adopted.
The reason for the adoption of a trade name was that my mother forced me by telling everybody she knew that they had to be taking this vitamin concentrate. The demand for it from people who had received samples from my mother was so great, that it became necessary to charge due to the cost of the product.
The reports from users indicated that excellent results were being produced in their individual health, showing improvement in a wide variety of diseases that heretofore had not been considered as being a result of vitamin deficiency. High blood pressure, heart weakness, kidney diseases and toxic goiter were consistently responding well to the “Catalyn” treatment. This can only show how deficient we are as a nation in the necessary vitamins and minerals.
At this stage, I realized that in order to get the product into the hands of the physician it would be necessary to have some unbiased laboratory tests made. With that end in view, I made a trip to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and called on Dr. Hart who was in charge of the Agriculture department. He had done a lot of research on vitamins, but said that he had no money available at the time to do such tests. He then referred me to Dr. Tatum, professor of Pharmacology.
Dr. Tatum said that he had the facilities for doing complete tests in the university hospital using patients with various incurable diseases. Unfortunately, he would be unable to do anything for me unless I could guarantee, in some definite way, that the sale of the product would be confined to the medical professional only. One of the other requirements in the guidelines was it had to be sold as a prescription, and that it would never be advertised direct to the public, all sales being strictly limited to being in accordance with the “ethics” of the medical profession. I realized today he was referring to the ethics of the pharmaceutical industry.
That bothered me, so I did not see my way clear to make an arrangement with Dr. Tatum, as I felt that there should be no strings attached on the sale of a food product that was used to get people healthy. Although, I could see such a limitation would be quite justifiable in the case of a drug, the misuse of which could do harm.
An interesting note from Dr. Lee’s sister on the origin of Catalyn: Dr. Lee became interested in nutrition somewhere around the age of 12. By the age of 16 he had catalogued most of the nutritional references in print at that time. The events leading to his discovery of Catalyn are quite profound.
In 1929 our parents were in Florida visiting when our mother came down with a strange flu, and was diagnosed with a bad heart. She was given six months to live. When Dr. Lee learned of the prognosis given to our mother he went immediately to work on what would later be known as Catalyn. He brought her this potent vitamin in Florida, where she quickly began to improve.
We moved her back to Wisconsin where she could see our family doctor, who also agreed with the prognosis giving our mother less than six months to live. Dr. Lee continued to give mother this potent vitamin formula of his and she lived for another 12 years to her 80th year. His great love for family, as well as his love for humanity in general, motivated him to discover other whole food vitamins supplements and eventually led to the formation of the therapeutic food company and the farms (now known as Standard Process).