Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

The History of the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research

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 when 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. The biochemistry and physiology of the human body has not changed.

What was the philosophy of the Lee Foundation?

Dr. Lee always believed that health starts from the ground up. Decades of research by those early pioneers in nutrition showed us that there is a link between people’s health and the impact of today’s lifestyle and food plan (diet). His findings showed that the research on nutrition done with whole natural foods could not be substituted by synthesized chemical by-products and yield the same result. He believed whole natural food to be therapeutic.

What happened to the Lee Foundation?

In 1941, Dr. Lee organized the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research under a state charter as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Lee Foundation was to engage in research and to coordinate and communicate nutritional breakthroughs from laboratories around the world. The Foundation was the world’s largest clearinghouse for nutritional information for doctors, agriculturists and homemakers. During its existence the Lee Foundation disseminated millions of pieces of research materials and hundreds of thousands of books on health and nutrition.

Unfortunately, in the late fifties Dr. Lee found himself, like many other nutritional pioneers, under attack for exposing the destruction of whole natural foods by the processed food manufacturers of this country.  His lectures and published materials pointed out the difference between synthetic vitamins in devalued foods versus whole natural foods and their nutritional value.  This resulted in protracted court battles with the FDA that ultimately resulted in placing a gag order on Dr. Lee. The final decision prohibited him from speaking publicly or writing on health, medicine and nutrition.  His research was ordered destroyed as well as many previous published works by the Vitamin Product Company and The Therapeutic Food Company.  Dr. Lee was forced to close both The Endocardiograph Company and The Therapeutic Food Company. He found himself branded a racketeer and a quack because of his uncompromising stance promoting whole natural unadulterated foods with their vitamins and minerals intact.

John Courtney, a lifelong friend and associate of Dr. Lee, made the following statement to Dr. Leo Roy after Dr. Lee’s death: “After Dr. Lee lost his appeals, he found himself forbidden from responding to his critics and barred from participating in his life’s passion for research on nutrition and health by his own country.  It just broke his heart.”

In 1961, Dr. Lee’s secretary reported from his Milwaukee research facility that FDA agents were taking wheelbarrow loads of research records and educational materials from the facility, dumping them in “burn barrels,” pouring diesel fuel over them and setting them on fire.  This continued for two weeks. It was an unbelieveable sight to see.

Thanks to Dr. Richard Murray and Allen McCone as well as other conscientious participants who believed in the work of Dr. Lee and other nutritional pioneers of that era, many of those early works have been saved and made available today by IFNH.

The art and science of clinical nutrition is based on the premise that the food we eat has an impact on the state of our health – Applied Trophology, Volume 24, No 1, 1983.

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International Foundation for Nutrition and Health

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