Publications of the McCarrison Society - On-line: Founders of Modern Nutrition

Dr Hugh Trowell

Dr Hugh Carey Trowell OBE MD FRCP 1904-1989

Shared credit for the identification of kwashiorkor, now known to be the most widespread deficiency disease in the world

Identified dietary fibre as the vitally healthy substance in plant foods which is missing from industrialised Western diets

Invented the term 'Western disease', linking many of the most important diseases, as caused by processed Western food

Challenged the idea that big humans are the most healthy, believing that slow growth and late sexual maturity is best

Dr Hugh Trowell was one of the greatest, most original and influential biological scientists of our time. A brief introduction to his life and work, by his friend and colleague Dr Denis Burkitt

Read more: Dr Hugh Trowell

Cleave - Surgeon Captain TL Cleave FRCP

Surgeon Captain T L Cleave FRCP

‘Long before the year 2000, time will have amply confirmed the Cleave hypothesis, and over-refinement of food will have become part of our history. His name will be added to the roll of the great men who opened up new fields of discovery in medicine.’

Sir Francis Avery Jones 

‘Like William Harvey, he was a born naturalist; his observations on the reaction of the human gut and metabolism to the onslaught of industrially refined carbohydrate food was part of his understanding of nature’s processes.’                       

Dr Walter Yellowlees

‘Cleave was one of the most revolutionary and far-sighted medical thinkers of the twentieth century, seeing far beyond the small vision of intricate details of individual diseases.’

Dr Denis Burkitt

‘Cleave saw that many of the diseases of civilisation could be explained as the consequences of eating refined carbohydrate, pointing out the crucial fact that refined foods are an artefact of technological civilisation.’

Dr Kenneth Heaton


Read more: Cleave - Surgeon Captain TL Cleave FRCP

Sir Robert McCarrison

Sir Robert McCarrisonSir Robert McCarrison (1878 - 1960) MA, MD, DSc, LLD, FRCP qualified in Medicine at Queen's College, Belfast in 1900. He joined the Indian Medical Service and was posted as Medical Officer to Indian troops guarding the mountainous Northern Frontiers. His research there on the cause of goiter won widespread recognition and in 1913 he was promoted to do research. In 1928 he became Director of Nutritional Research in India.

His researches were extensive; they included work on the newly discovered vitamins and on the contrasting disease patterns in the Indian subcontinent.He demonstrated how many common diseases increasingly prevalent in industrial societies were caused simply by diets made defective by extensive food processing, often with the use of chemical additives. He deplored the universal consumption in Britain and America of refined white flour, instead of halite flour, and the substitution of canned, preserved and artificially sweetened products for fresh natural food.

McCarrison's work was widely published in the medical press. He was honoured for his discoveries, but completely ignored by government and the medical profession at a time when medical thought was absorbed in the study of disease rather than on prevention and the promotion of health.

Publications include the Cantor Lectures (1936)

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