The Fascinating History of Supplements!

By Neenah Payne

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

Note: Natural Blaze does not receive commissions from sales related to any products or services mentioned in this article; they are strictly presented only as personal recommendations from this article’s author.

In 2014, Jonathan Hunsaker produced The Truth About Cancer docuseries (which may have pioneered that format which is so popular now) and founded the Organixx supplement company in 2016. TeriAnn Trevenen was the CEO of The Truth About Cancer and is the Organixx CEO. Jonathan and TeriAnn interviewed Dr. Daniel Nuzum in the Organixx podcast Episode 1 The History of Supplements.

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Dr. Nuzum is the author of Detox for Life: How to Minimize Toxins and Maximize Your Body’s Ability to Heal and is the lead formulator of Organixx supplements. He is an NMD, a naturopathic physician, mechanotherapist, naprapath, medical massage practitioner, tui na practitioner and Native American healing practitioner. Dr. Nuzum has been formulating supplements for more than 17 years and is one of the leading researchers of fulvic and humic acid. His website is at:

Dr. Nuzum discusses the huge shift now as people recover the information, foods, and supplements we need to take our power back and heal ourselves. The podcast shows how radically The Flexner Report changed American medicine in the 20th century by allowing the drug companies to control medical education. The report restricted our access to herbal, holistic, homeopathic, and natural remedies for almost 100 years as the focus of American medicine shift solely to drugs and surgeries.

However, that era is coming to an end now as more people take responsibility for their health through lifestyle changes that include good nutrition, exercise, sleep, supplements, and detoxification which are among the Organixx INSPIRED “8 Pillars of Health.”

History of Medicine in Europe, Asia, and America

Dr. Nuzum explains that herbal remedies were the medicine used around the world for thousands of years. Marco Polo followed the spice trade routes from Europe to Asia in search of the valuable herbs. They were not just culinary spices – but also remedies. Columbus was on route to India in search of the legendary “wealth of the Indies.” Some of the herbs were literally worth their weight in gold!

Dr. Nuzum discusses the “Eclectics” in the 1700s in America who used herbal remedies that were based in large part on Native American medicine and did some surgery. That approach was maintained until the 1950s. One of those natural medicines is now called “Essiac Tea” – a remedy of the First Peoples of Manitoba, Canada. The tribes consuming that tea never had cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Herbs, spices, and other remedies were used for 4,000 years because they worked. Dr. Nuzum explains that every doctor had iodine in his bag and used it for many things – topically and internally. Cannabis was 70% of the medicine used along with cocaine, heroin, morphine, chloroform, methamphetamine, and mercury! Pharmaceuticals were 30% of the medicine used – but 20% of that was herbal and 10% was synthetic drugs. TeriAnn points out that today the tables of are turned with most of the medicine dispensed today being 80% synthetic drugs and 20% herbal remedies!

After The Flexner Report

Dr. Nuzum discusses the impact of The Flexner Report — a study of medical education in the United States and Canada written by Abraham Flexner and published in 1910 by the Carnegie Foundation. Many aspects of today’s American medical profession stem from The Flexner Report.

After The Flexner Report, the focus shifted from things that help you heal naturally like exercise, good sleep, and good nutrition. Instead, the focus was on drugs and surgeries. Until the report, most of the medical schools taught homeopathy. However, the report ended the homeopathic movement because the funding of medical institutions that weren’t teaching the use of drugs and surgery was stopped. So, 40-50 medical institutions closed. Within five years, only two of the 17 naturopathic medical schools were left. A similar thing happened to osteopathic schools and chiropractic schools.

Funding was cut for anything that was not drugs. There was no more funding for herbal remedies. Cannabis and other remedies became demonized. Drug companies threw supplements out the door. The drug companies funded the medical schools and got positions on the boards. So, the drug companies were able to slowly push out what had been standard medicine – which is now called “alternative medicine.” They presented their drugs as the only solution.

The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio was originally a homeopathic university and hospital. However, after The Flexner Report, the word “homeopathy” couldn’t even be used in the clinic! Fortunately, that is changing now! The Cleveland Clinic For Functional Medicine is part of the growing reversal of the trend begun by The Flexner Report!

The site says: “Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine is a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), led by Mark Hyman, MD, Chairman of IFM, founder of The UltraWellness Center, and New York Times best-selling author.”

In the 2017 video Two Years In: What’s Happening at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine Dr. Hyman explains how the collaboration began and is accelerating across the country now.

The Founding Father of the Modern Supplement Industry

The modern movement focuses on healing our bodies through lifestyle changes and taking supplements we need rather than relying only on drugs and surgeries. Dr. Nuzum explains that Dr. Royal Lee, the pioneer of whole-food based supplements, is considered the “Father of Holistic Nutrition.” Dr. Lee founded Standard Process Laboratories (SPL), a division of Vitamin Products Company (VPC), in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1930s.

The Story of Dr. Royal Lee is an 11-page ebook.

The ebook points out:

Catalyn, a unique, complex supplement made from natural sources, was produced by Dr. Royal Lee in 1929. Supplying multiple vitamins and naturally occurring minerals for complete, complex nutritional supplementation, Catalyn was designed to help bridge nutritional gaps in the diet. In 1929, Dr. Lee started Vitamins Products Co., and Catalyn began to be sold in local pharmacies and health food stores.

Dr. Lee received so much support from consumers that he decided to distribute Catalyn nationally. Catalyn is still the key product for Standard Process, a testament to Dr. Lee’s legacy. Soon after Catalyn was introduced, the League of Nations issued a statement calling for improved nutritional education and a need for dietary standards….

Dr. Lee dedicated his life to finding solutions for all sorts of challenges, but his greatest passion was improving the nation’s health by providing high-quality nutritional supplements made with whole food and other ingredients and educating others about them. He was respected by many health care professionals and made an impact on the health of patients across the country.

Dr. Lee’s site points out:

The primary cause of disease is not germs, genes, or toxins. It is malnutrition.” It adds: “When Dr. Royal Lee died in 1967, he was hailed as the greatest nutritionist of the twentieth century. Yet, today his name and work go largely unknown. This is no coincidence. Dr. Lee’s basic message — that the ultimate cause of most modern disease is malnutrition brought on by industrially produced foods — threatened some of our country’s mightiest institutions. These powers actively suppressed Dr. Lee’s message and decades of early nutrition research supporting it.

Dr. Lee would spend his life fighting this suppression, all the while demonstrating the validity of his holistic nutritional philosophy through that most rare and precious form of proof — practical results. Dr. Lee’s legacy is inextricably linked with the story of early nutrition science and its unpublicized suppression.

Dr. Lee’s views put him at odds not just with organized medicine and the FDA but also with the food manufacturing industry. Lee’s work threatened the security of these commercial interests, and at their behest, government agencies were assigned to discredit him. Throughout his life, Dr. Lee would endure perpetual legal prosecution and shameless character assassination at the hands of these agencies.

It is small wonder that Alan Nittler, MD, in his 1972 book A New Breed of Doctor, would describe Dr. Lee as “the best informed person on nutrition in America and perhaps even the world.” Yet, all the research, case studies, and patient testimonials were not enough to thwart the powers aligned against Dr. Lee, and after three decades of ceaseless persecution and prosecution by the government, he lost a lawsuit with the FDA in 1962 by which he was ordered to stop accompanying his food supplements with literature describing their therapeutic value and to destroy all literature produced by his companies that the government deemed “misleading.”

Sadly, within five years, at age 72, Dr. Lee would be dead from a stress-induced stroke, his work and reputation tragically buried with him, left to a later generation to fairly evaluate. His wife and partner, Evelyn, survived until 105 years old, carrying on his mission to show the American people the importance of whole food nutrition through the Lee Foundation and the other companies he founded.

The Standard Process Whole Food Nutrient Solutions ebook is 156-pages.

Jonathan points out that modern medicine is wonderful for dealing with trauma — like broken bones, but the pendulum has swung so far in one direction that a correction is happening now although drug companies are fighting it. He says that we need to find the balance between drugs and supplements.

Dr. Nuzum explains that the supplement industry grew because health food stores carried nutritional products. The drug companies ignored supplements since they can’t be patented because they are food. Big Pharma focused instead of chemical drugs that can make them a lot of money.

TeriAnn points out that the health food movement has surged just in the last 10 years and is now massive. Dr. Nuzum agrees that people are regaining their power, the power to heal their own bodies. Jonathan says that more people are taking responsibility now for their health.

Dr. Nuzum explains that typically fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices — each plant — has about 300 phytochemicals. Today, there is a lot of research on the components of plants and mushrooms. Dr. Nuzum says that the same plant at different stages has different uses. For example, coriander is the early phase of cilantro – and they have very different effects.

Dr. Nuzum points out that 70-100 years ago, herbal remedies people were using were based on long-standing tradition, what people had been using for thousands of years. Now, the understanding of their uses is evolving with more knowledge about their chemistry.

Why We Need Supplements Today

Dr. Nuzum says we all need good supplements today for the following two reasons:

  1. Soil Depletion: Around 100 years ago, the US had 3-4 feet of topsoil. Now, the US has just 4-8 inches of top soil! Since plants extract nutrition from the topsoil, even organic plants cannot provide the nutrition we need because the nutrients aren’t concentrated enough in the soil.
  2. Nutrient Deficiencies: The Standard American Diet (SAD) now supplies only trace amounts of only 17 of the 73-90 essential nutrients the body needs every day. Dr. Nuzum says, for that reason, 20% of American children now suffer from an autoimmune disorder.

Quality of Supplements

Dr. Nuzum explains that not all supplements are created equal. He discusses the difference between synthetic and whole food supplements. The body knows the difference between food and synthetic chemicals. Initially, the body will accept the synthetic and try to use it, but will eventually reject it. Dr. Nuzum says that at the low end of supplements, vitamins are synthesized and minerals are extracted from petroleum products. Most ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is extracted from GMO corn rather than from oranges or other citrus fruits! So, it may be necessary to take 8,000 mg of that ascorbic acid to get a therapeutic benefit. At the same time, you are consuming a concentrated toxin!

Why Good Supplements Are So Important links to a video in which Jonathan explains the levels of effectiveness of supplements.

However, when Vitamin C is extracted from a lemon, it has the bioflavonoids which are some of the most potent antioxidants. So, 20 mg may have the same effect as 5,000mg of the synthetic Vitamin C. Dr. Nuzum recommends that people go to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a toxicology watchdog, to understand ingredients in supplements.

Episode 2 of the Organixx podcasts is Synthetic vs. Whole Food Supplements & Delivery Systems.
Episode 3 is Nutraceutical vs. Pharmaceuticals & Why Organic Matters.
Episode 25 explains the Top 5 Things to Demand in Your Supplements.

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