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Released in 1929, Catalyn is the first multi-vitamin formula ever made. This article will explain the history and philosophy behind this simple, yet powerful product.

Catalyn contains every nutrient that the body needs to function. When Catalyn was introduced, researchers had not yet discovered most of the vitamins and minerals we know today. Whenever they discover a “new” nutrient, spectrographic analysis reveals that it is in Catalyn.

Royal Lee, a dentist and an early pioneer in the field of nutrition, created Catalyn. He knew that it was unwise to try to improve on what God created. He knew not to isolate any nutrient from its natural environment of food. Vitamins occur naturally in foods as complexes of enzymes, trace minerals and other synergistic nutrients. This is the form that your body can use. If you take only a fraction of a vitamin complex, separating it from its natural cofactors, your body must provide the missing parts from its own reserves. This creates a deficiency of these cofactors. Dr. Lee’s philosophy was to find the food source of a nutrient and concentrate that food to a therapeutic dose.

As a dentist, Dr. Lee noticed that most of the chronic dental problems he saw were from nutritional deficiency. He concluded that if many dental problems came from poor nutrition, then other health problems could too. In 1926 Royal Lee set out to create a food concentrate that included all the nutrients the body uses to function. For three years he searched for the foods that, when combined, would provide the body with all of these micronutrients-not just those known of at the time.

Lee also invented a way to dry and concentrate these foods into pill form without heating them above body temperature. He knew that for foods to be useful they needed to be alive-with all their enzymes and other heat-sensitive nutrients intact. Enzymes start to denature, or die, at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To this day, the ingredients in Catalyn are not heated above body temperature. Lee’s patented low-heat vacuum-drying process takes the water out of the foods. This means that Catalyn, unlike nearly every other vitamin product, is a living food. Its vital energy is intact. In Chinese medicine, the energy of a food is at least as important as the physical nutrients in the food. Eating denatured or highly processed food is not nearly as beneficial as eating the whole food. So Catalyn is a whole food concentrate.

Dr. Lee said, “Whole food nutrition begins with the sun, water and fertile soil.” Most of the ingredients in Catalyn are organically-grown vegetables and grains. Dr. Lee knew that the trace minerals from the soil were the most important to the body. He wanted to grow his foods on the richest, most fertile soil in the country. Wherever he found it he would build his farm. He chose the Kettle Moraine, in what is now Palmyra, Wisconsin. It has the richest trace mineral supply, left from glacial erosion. Farmers water the crops from an artesian well that taps pure glacial water 580 feet below the surface. They use no chemicals on the land. They have never used chemicals to farm the land. There is very little land left in this country of which this is true. Most organic farms are converted conventional farms that were once sprayed, and depleted of their precious supply of trace nutrients.

Dr. Lee felt that deficiencies of trace minerals-minerals present in very small quantities-were the key to most chronic health problems. He recommended that everyone take three Catalyn a day. He did not believe in megadosing on vitamin preparations. His philosophy was to give the body concentrated food as a nutrient source. Then the body takes what it needs. A small amount of a food concentrate is better than a large amount of a synthetic or fractionated vitamin, which invariably disrupts body chemistry. Lee realized that it is foolish and futile to try to figure out what amounts of nutrients a person needs at a given time. Your body is made to get its nutrients from foods. If the diet does not supply what the body needs (and it doesn’t), then the body needs a food supplement, not a man-made synthetic, to fill the gaps and promote healthy function. For Lee, that meant three Catalyn a day.

Catalyn is an excellent source of all the vitamins and trace minerals. It does not contain the major minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorous) in sufficient quantity. Ideally, your diet supplies these minerals. However, most Americans are deficient in calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is the most common mineral deficiency in America. So it is wise to include additional supplements for calcium and magnesium in a well-rounded nutritional program.

Soon after Royal Lee released Catalyn in 1929, reports started to come in-wonderful and even miraculous results with just three Catalyn a day. Back then, the junk food was nothing compared to today’s. There were no hydrogenated oils, chemical preservatives, Nutrasweet, McDonald’s or rampant environmental pollution. The soil was richer, not yet depleted of its life-giving nutrients by industrial farming. So for modern Americans, three Catalyn a day is useful, but may not be enough. I take six a day, and more if I feel run-down.

With such success, Dr. Lee thought he had done his job-there was no other product needed. Soon he realized his work was not done; it had just begun. As complete as Catalyn was, it simply contained “a little of everything.” Lee saw the need for more specific products. From 1930, he began to develop a group of food concentrates designed to address the specific nutritional needs of people with a wide range of health problems. Though Royal Lee passed away in 1957, he left in his writings insights into health and illness that are far beyond what is widely known today. And he left the basis for what evolved into a group of more than 120 products based on the same philosophy that gave birth to Catalyn nearly seventy years ago. All Standard Process products are synergistic, just as foods are. Lee designed these products to work together, like a well-prepared meal.

As a practitioner of Chinese medicine, it is important for me to use nutritional medicine that is compatible with herbal medicine. High-dose synthetic drug/vitamins are incompatible with herbs, because fractionated vitamins disrupt the delicate balance of micronutrients found in herbs and foods. Since we have not even discovered most of the substances in herbal medicine, it is impossible to know how these phytonutrients interact with synthetics. Unfortunately, nearly every multi-vitamin available is a synthetic or fractionated vitamin product.

I was an avid fan of high-dose synthetic vitamins for a long time. I imagined that I would have less energy if I stopped the “strong formula” I was used to. How could three or even six small Catalyn, with ingredients that read like a grocery list, and with very unimpressive quantities of “stuff” listed on its label, equal the nutritional support from my four huge pills that contained vast amounts of vitamins? I wanted to find out. I stopped my mega-vitamin formula, cold turkey, and replaced it with six Catalyn a day. To my surprise, I did not suffer any adverse effects. Instead, after a few weeks, my energy, endurance and mental clarity improved. No surprise, really. All I did was take away the toxic burden of these synthetic nutrient/drugs, and put in their place a wondrous concentration of what God provided, and designed my body to use-good food.

We are just starting to learn about the complex interactions between two or more drugs. We know even less about how synthetic vitamins interact with each other and with drugs. Catalyn and products like it are simply a pure concentrate of what nature provides.

Researchers and practitioners who use synthetic or fractionated vitamins worry, just as doctors and pharmacists do, about toxicity from an overdose of their medicines. Synthetic vitamins are not foods, and they do not have a nutritional, or rebalancing effect on the body. Rather, they have a pharmacological or drug-like effect on the body. They often produce fast and dramatic results, just as drugs do. They also produce imbalances in the body, just as drugs do. Common sense says that too much of anything taken into the body, even water, is toxic. Common sense also knows that foods have much less potential for toxicity than drugs, or their cousins, high-dose fractionated vitamins. While many of Dr. Lee’s contemporaries began the movement to isolate and synthesize nutrients, he sought to preserve them in their natural state. The first fruit of that work was Catalyn. I am thankful to use Catalyn and its sister products, and recommend them to my family and patients.

Ingredients in Catalyn (* means Organically grown)

  • Carrots *
  • Alfalfa *
  • Wheat germ *
  • Nutritional yeast *
  • Mushrooms *
  • Kidney powder
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Wheat flour *
  • Oat flour *
  • Spleen powder
  • Liver powder
  • Rice bran *
  • Soy bean lecithin *

Catalyn contains all the…

  • Vitamins
  • Enzymes
  • Minerals
  • Trace Minerals
  • Amino Acids
  • Essential Fatty Acids

…that the body needs to function.

Michael Gaeta, BPS, is a New York State licensed acupuncturist, licensed nutritionist, licensed massage therapist and certified Amma therapist, and holds a diplomate in Asian bodywork therapy. He is a graduate of the New York College of Health Professions, where he has been a faculty member since 1993. Michael is a certified instructor and state representative of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia. Michael also serves as President of the Acupuncture Society of New York. He writes for local and national publications, and presents seminars nationally on practice management, nutrition, medical ethics, herbal therapy and Oriental medicine. He is also a pianist and composer. His passion is to give, love and serve through teaching, hands-on therapies and music. Michael founded the Hands-On Health Wholistic HealthCare Center in 1990.

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