Dr Hugh Sinclair DM DSc FRCP
Sinclair succinctly sums up the issues:
“The deficiency of any nutrient which is essential for every tissue will eventually lead to abnormal function in every tissue. That is so incontrovertibly obvious that I am continually astonished by the eminence of the medical scientists to whom it must be forcefully restated.”
“The second is that when deprivation of an essential nutrient occurs, not all tissues will be simultaneously and equally affected, and not all individuals will react in the same way. Which tissue shows symptoms first will depend on the genetic inheritance of the individual and on his or her exposure to environmental factors and lifestyle events.“
‘One of the most remarkable men in England is Dr Hugh Sinclair, thebrilliance of whose lifetime work is now world-recognised’.
Woodrow Wyatt (Lord Wyatt of Weeford)
‘Hugh Sinclair is probably the most original, possibly the greatest, living dietetic scientist. He taught me that we should never take anything for granted, and to be open to every alternative explanation for a given set of facts’.
Dr Alec Forbes
‘In 1956 Dr Hugh Sinclair proposed that degenerative diseases which are common in westernised countries are caused by lack of essential fats. Much scientific evidence has now been accumulated to support his theory’.
‘Eccentric, brilliant, and for many years utterly misunderstood, Hugh Sinclair is one of the great figures of twentieth century nutrition’.
Dr David Horrobin
As Founder and Director of the Oxford Nutrition Survey, Dr Hugh Sinclair helped to win the Second World War on the home front. As Founder and Director of the International Nutrition Foundation, he became the world leader in understanding the vital importance of essential fats to human health. Inspiration to generations of distinguished scientists, loyal friend, original thinker, his deep knowledge, sharp wit, great intellect, and brilliant writing and speaking, make him one of the great scientists of our time. A tribute edited by Dr Mary Gale and Dr Brian Lloyd.
McCarrison Society Booklet
Sinclair wrote a prescient post script to the Society’s publication of Sir Robert McCarrison’s Cantor lectures, which start on page 97. It underlines McCarrison’s veiw-point that ‘food’ so nutrition is central to health, including look at what we mean by food.
Sinclair was closely involved in examining the effect of wartime famine in European populations; he interestingly observes
“When persons have to subsist upon diets deficient in aliments they tend to adapt by decreasing their expenditure of energy. They do less work; they appear slothful, and avoid unnecessary exertion and even gestures. Their requirement of aliments is thus decreased and their weight does not necessarily fall.”
and reflecting on the importance of nutrition in pregnancy states:
“That this world problem of nutrition is now tackled on an international scale is the result of the researches and preaching of men like Sir Robert. Freedom from want was the third point in the Atlantic Charter, and at the Hot Springs Conference in 1943 the seed was sown that developed into the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations with Lord Boyd-Orr as its first Director-General. We may conclude by quoting from the report of the Hot Springs Conference. ‘There is clear and convincing evidence of the association between faulty diet and ill-health. The ill effects of not eating enough of the right kind of food are manifold. In the first place, malnutrition leads to impaired vigour and lowered vitality, so that its victims cannot fully play their part as active and useful citizens.
Sinclair was arguably misdirected in considering that animal saturated fats were a significant health issue, but was correct in surmising that heavily processed fats were a factor in ill-health.
The publication of the lectures was organised by Dr Strigner a former Chair and long term supporter of the Society.