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Image Awareness Healthletter
Date: September, 2003
I by Jim McAfee, CCN
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The Formula IV Story

Refining of Grains

Few factors have had the impact on modern life that the simple refining of grains has had. Refining of foods set the stage for the widespread malnutrition we see about us on every side in the modern world.


The steel roller mill was developed in Hungary in the 1880’s. This piece of equipment made it possible to grind wheat berries into a flour finer than had ever been possible. Fine white flour had always been a luxury of the elite, but it now became available to the common man.

In the making of white flour, the bran, germ, and other “rough” parts of the grain are removed and fed to animals. The fine white flour is used in pastries and bread for man.

It had been observed since the time of Sylvester Graham in the early 1800’s that the refining of grains caused a deterioration in health. Graham, a pastor, thundered to his audiences that “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”


The bran of rice began to be removed around the same time that the refining of wheat was perfected. White rice caused epidemics of beri-beri in the orient. The Japanese navy suffered so severely from beri-beri that they lost as much as a third of their naval personnel every year until white rice was removed from shipboard rations.


Less well known is the fact that the outer hull of the soybean is removed when tofu is made. The outer hull of the soybean has valuable nutritional properties.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Nutrition investigators such as Weston A. Price began to notice and document modern malnutrition around the time of the second world war. Price noted loss of physical stamina, reproductive problems, and dental deterioration in his classic Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Francis Pottenger, Price’s contemporary, demonstrated that malnutrition of animals could cause allergies, asthma, arthritis, fatigue, and glandular problems.

Jaroslov Heyrovsky developed the polarograph which made it possible to study glandular chemistry and the impact of nutrients in nourishing the glands.

By the 1950’s the results of malnutrition were so widespread that patients were flooding into the hospitals complaining of fatigue and exhaustion. This generation was the offspring of parents and grandparents who sawed forests and dug ditches by hand with little help from modern machinery. They sensed that there was something wrong. Physicians, however, could find nothing wrong with these people.

Documenting the Problem

Just prior to WWII Professor Jaroslov Heyrovsky developed an instrument called the polarigraph. This equipment made it possible for the first time to measure very small quantities of substances in solution including hormones in blood and urine. Heyrovsky won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1959 for developing this piece of equipment.

Researchers at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital were given a research grant by the federal government. They purchased a polarigraph and began conducting urine analysis of patients to determine if glandular or other abnormalities were responsible for the widespread fatigue patients were reporting to their physicians.

Studies indicated that patients often suffered from marginal glandular output or unbalanced glandular output.

Being able to demonstrate that there is a problem and being able to correct the problem are two different things. The researchers soon learned that vitamins, minerals, and amino acids did very little to improve the glandular measurements they were observing. The researchers actually tested 76 different supplements.

Developing a Supplement

Strangely, foods did not seem to be able to correct the problem either. The researchers did have one clue to the solution of the problem. Feeding experiments had demonstrated that both the pelts of mink and their reproductive capacity could be improved by the addition of wheat germ extracts to the diet.

When researchers began to investigate food processing, they learned that significant parts of wheat, rice and soy are removed in processing as we discussed earlier. They began working on a concentrate of the oils from these foods, seeking specifically the oils which might influence glandular function and cell membrane function. The result was “Tre-enen”— extracts from three sources (wheat, rice, and soy). Tre-en-en is Greek for “three in one.”

When tre-en-en was added to vitamins, minerals, and amino acids significant improvements were observable in the polarigraph studies on patients. The researchers found that younger patients responded more rapidly to the supplement formulation they had developed. Older patients also benefited, although the response was slower. Major benefits of the supplement formulation often required 8-12 weeks of consistent use.


Athletes given “tre-en-en” demonstrated more endurance in athletic competition.

The researchers next asked themselves the question, “Will the supplement we have developed benefit the healthiest segment of the population?” Tests were begun on athletes including the Iowa State College Football team and the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns went from a season of 5 wins and 7 loses in 1956 to a season with 9 wins, 2 loses, and one tie in 1957 when the supplement was added to the diet of the players. They also had 9 wins and 3 loses in 1958. Leo Murphy, the trainer, noted that prior to supplementation the team tended to let down in the second half of the game. With supplementation they seemed to get stronger in the second half. (Columbus Citizen, October 31, 1957)

It was in manufacturing the supplement for athletes that the many different nutritional components being used in the supplement program were concentrated into one tablet. This made it much easier and more convenient to use.

The Supplement Comes to Market

Donald Pickett, Founder

Wally was president of a Lion’s Club in Portland. His business was wholesaling coal. His wife suffered terribly with rheumatoid arthritis. One day a medical detail man visiting the Lion’s Club suggested that Wally move to southern California and enroll his wife in the research project. He did so and over a period of 2 1/2 years she went into remission. Wally began working as a medical detail man reporting on the research which was going on to doctors.

The research concluded in 1958. Wally and his wife told the researchers that they did not want to lose the availability of the grain and legume extracts because of the benefits in their own family situation. The head researcher turned the formulation over to the Wally and said, “If you take this supplement and share it with people, you will be doing something 16 times more important than we doctors do, because “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


Wally joined forces with another man named Don Pickett and began a company called “Neo-Life” which suggested the “new life” people would experience when they began using this revolutionary supplement.

Wally’s inclination was to sell the supplement to physicians and have them share the benefits with their patients. Unfortunately, physicians simply were not interested in working with nutrition.

Both rats had identical diets. The lower animal was supplemented with “tre-enen” grain and legume oil extracts.

Wally stepped out of the company at this point. Don thought about the marketing and realized that if the company were to be successful he would have to pay people to take the time to explain the difference between this supplement and the other 76 which had not been shown to be adequate in the 12 years of research conducted at the hospital. This is how the supplement, now called Formula IV, came to be sold person to person rather than sitting on a health food store shelf.

Animal Studies

Don Pickett was also responsible for initiating animal experiments in which rats were given the supplement.Rats given the Formula IV exhibited vastly superior health compared to animals given standard laboratory chow. Cardiovascular and overall development were significantly greater in animals given the Formula IV. Nutrient utilization increased 50% when the grain oils were added to the diet. The oil extracts actually improve the ability to derive nutrition from the foods we eat.

The Chain of Life

Roger Williams expressed the concept of the “Chain of Life” in his book Nutrition Against Disease. Don Pickett had the insight to see that this concept was a perfect description of what the researchers in southern California had accomplished. The Formula IV was the first supplement to contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and a substantial quantity of essential lipids and sterols (quality oils) which would support both cell membrane function and also glandular functioning. The “Chain of Life” presentation became a standard part of company training. Distributors emphasized that “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Almost all supplements, even today, lack the quality of oils found in Formula IV.

An extension of the “chain of life” concept was emphasis on nutrition being a cellular event. Nutrition is not what we eat, but what the cells actually receive. For proper nutrition to take place we must obtain adequate nutrients, digest them, absorb them, circulate them, assimilate the nutrients and eliminate waste products. Neo-Life supplements were designed with this nutritional concept in mind. All products were tested for digestibility. An artificial digestive tract was set up for these studies.

Fred and Jeanne Alldredge, the first GNLD customers.

The First Customer

The first meeting to promote the new supplement took place at the Crystal Ballroom in Salt Lake City. Don and Wally were hoping for a large turnout, but only a handful of people showed up.

Among the least promising of these was a little man who worked at a condiment factory. He had a secret, however. Fred Alldredge had a wife at home so stricken with rheumatoid arthritis that he had to go home on his lunch hour and turn her over. They had tried all kinds of vitamins, but nothing had restored Jeanne’s health.

Fred was low on cash, partially due to all the health expenditures he had with his wife. He wrote Don Pickett a bad check for 3 boxes of Formula IV. He figured he could get out and sell two boxes to pay for his own before Don could get to the bank. He was wrong. They had many good laughs over this incident through the years.

The product gradually restored Jeanne’s health, so much so that decades later she did not even show any rheumatoid factor in her blood. Fred went on to share the product with many people. In one month he sold $143,000 worth of Formula IV to those he came in contact with. This was around 1960 when that was a tremendous sum of money. (It would be several million dollars in sales in today’s currency.)

The product seemed to work for everyone who tried it. The company grew dramatically, its growth fueled by the stories of what the product had done for those who purchased it.

Lucille’s Story

It was during this time that we became involved with the company. Lucille McAfee fell down and broke her elbow. The doctor told her she had “bones like a little old lady.” This was quite a shock for a woman who was 44 years old. Lucille had seen her grandmother die of complications from a broken hip.

Lucille decided to try some of the “pills and powders” (Formula IV and Protein). She felt a sudden burst of energy which was quite a contrast to the years of fatigue she had experienced. She enrolled 27 of her “tired” friends as distributors her first month. When she returned to the physician to have her arm examined, he was impressed with how rapidly healing had taken place. He asked if she could obtain some of the supplement for himself and his nurse. This further fueled Lucille’s enthusiasm for the product.

A Worldwide Company

Don Pickett had a special affection for Neo-Life. He chose to turn the company over to two international businessmen, Bob and Jerry Brassfield, when he retired. Bob and Jerry expanded operations into over fifty countries. They merged their two companies with Neo-Life. Thus the name became Golden Neo-Life Diamite. Today customers in any of over 50 countries can obtain GNLD’s exclusive grain and legume concentrates or specially processed protein products.

View from the Zoo

Several years ago I traveled to Reno to see the MGM lion. I asked if they could make him roar. The keeper said that I did not want to hear him roar. The roar of a lion can be heard five miles away.

I asked if they fed him any particular diet. The attendant said that they were very particular on the diet of the lion. Nutritionists had formulated an extremely nutritious diet designed to maintain the health of the animal. It contained large quantities of glandular tissues.

This recalled a passage from the work of Westin Price. He wrote, “Until recent years it has been common knowledge among the superintendents of large zoos of America and Europe that members of the cat family did not reproduce in captivity, unless the mothers had been born in the jungle. Formerly, this made it necessary to replenish lions, tigers, leopards and other felines from wild stock as fast as the cages were emptied by death or as rapidly as new stock should be adde by enlargement.”

“The story is told of a trip to Africa made by a wild animal specialist from the London zoo for the purpose of obtaining additional lions and studying this problem. While in the lion country, he observed the lion kill a zebra. The lion proceeded then to tear open the abdomen of the zebra and eat the entrails at the right flank. This took him directly to the liver. After spending some time selecting different internal organs, the lion backed away and turned and pawed dirt over the carcass which he abandoned to the jackals. The scientist hurried to the carcass and drove away the jackals to study the dead zebra to note what tissues had been taken. This gave him the clue which when put into practice has entirely changed the history of the reproduction of the cat family in captivity. The addition of the organs to the foods of the captive animals born in the jungle supplied them with foods needed to make reproduction possible. Their young, too, could reproduce efficiently.”

Price, Weston, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Santa Monica, Ca.: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., 1945, p. 332-3.

Lesson from Animal Husbandry

William Albrecht was a brilliant agricultural pioneer. He noted that a deer living on poor soil might weigh only 75 lbs while an animal native to a region with better soil might weigh 150 lbs. The quality of the plant life in the soil made all the difference to the health of the animals.

Albrecht was a little alarmed by modern animal husbandry. He noted that the feeding of animals with large quantities of grain and preventing them from exercise made them unhealthy. Since man ate these animals, their poor health contributed to a decline in the health of people.

Albrecht illustrated with the pig. He noted that while the animal increases from 50 lbs to 300 lbs the protein portion of the animal increases four times, but the fat increases 17 1/2 times. The practice of fattening livestock was “perverted animal physiology” as far as Albrecht was concerned. The only reason these animals were not overtly ill was that they were slaughtered at a young age.

Eating sick animals has the potential for harming the health of humans. Albrecht expressed this potential problem in the following words:
“...we fail to see that while there is the increased shrouding of every capillary of the blood vessels and every cell with a thickening layer of fat, the cells normally fed by the diffusion of the nutritives from the capillaries to them will become more starved. Their excretionary products will accumulate, since fat hinders the two-way ionic and molecular exchanges between the capillaries and the cells to give hidden hungers and excessive accumulation of metabolic wastes. Such conditions represent a lazy and sick body of our domestic animals.”

Albrecht’s observations have a variety of applications. For the pet owner, the application should be that a well nourished pet will be a healthy pet. For the pet owner, the observation should be made that his own health is dependent upon the quality of nutrition fed the animals upon which he dines. None of us, animal or human, can escape the consequences of a poor diet, or fail to benefit from a nutritionally adequate diet.

Albrecht, William, The Albrecht Papers, p. 372.

Silly Advertisements (But People Believe Them!)

I often get a laugh out of the advertisements for nutritional products which come across my desk. Here are some of my favorites.

"Proven on TV!" (What other kind of proof is there!)

"Cut Your Cancer Risk to Almost Zero--Without Changing Your Diet"

"Giving Up Bacon, Butter, and Eggs Can Kill You" (Eating bacon can kill you too--it’s the cancer causing nitrates)

"Why Men and Women In China Have Stronger Bones Than We Do" (Could it be the sunlight and exercise?)

"My wrinkles disappeared. Now my skin's as soft as a baby's."

"I lost 140 pounds--without going on a diet." (Maybe we need to eat more to lose weight!)

"Saved from Blindness by Healing Energy"

"Why send a sledge hammer to do a toothpick's job?" (A clever way of comparing nutrition and prescription drugs.)

Then there is the supplement that:
Stops leaky gut, autoimmune diseases,
increases bone density and muscle mass,
improves heart function and prevents heart disease,
makes the skin elastic,
causes hair to grow,
increases sexual function, liver, kidney and lung function.
It also helps you lose weight, regulates blood sugar, controls infection and pain, regulates the feel good chemicals in the brain, fights allergies, combats HIV/ AIDS, protects against cancer, reverses aging, stimulates cartilage repair, inhibits ulcers, provides a n t i o x i d a n t pr o t e c t i o n , recommended for trauma and surgical healing, and is quite phenomenal for fibromyalgia! (How is that for a start--an ad that appeals to everybody!)