Professor Pierre Delbet

His studies on health

Professor Pierre Delbet was born on 5 November, 1861 at La Ferté-Gaucher, near Paris. In the 1920s, he was one of the most eminent members of the French Academy of Medicine. He was Professor of Clinical Surgery, Professor of Oncology, researcher, founder of one of the first institutions in the world in the fight against cancer, author of 28 works on medicine, surgery, and the societal problems such as diet and palliative care.

On September 7, 1915, at the Academy of Sciences in Paris, Delbet announced that it was possible to significantly increase phagocytosis of white blood cells by using magnesium halide salts.

He then studied the links between magnesium dietary deficiencies and cancer, and carried out laboratory experiments on cancer progression, and studied cancer patients at the Necker Hospital in Paris; and confirmed the link between magnesium and cancer prevention.

Collaboration with Louis Robinet
In 1930, Louis Robinet, Doctor of pharmacy, suggested to Pierre Delbet that he conduct a comparative study on the levels of dietary magnesium in France and the incidence of cancer as established by the French civil service.

This study clearly demonstrated the link between soil magnesium levels, dietary magnesium levels, and cancer incidence rates among people consuming these foodstuffs – thus confirming the work of Pierre Delbet.

The exceptional nature of this study deserves to be stressed. By studying millions of people over several decades (or even a whole lifetime), it was possible to measure the relationship between magnesium and health.

In 1944, in his book “Politique préventive du cancer”, Pierre Delbet, not only warned the public, scientists and governments about the massive dietary magnesium deficiency in developed countries, but also explained the mechanisms involved and the major consequences for public health.

Still in the news
Fifty years later, in 2002, the French SU.VI.MAX study (one of the largest epidemiological studies on the effects of nutrition on public health ever carried out) confirmed the existence of massive dietary magnesium deficiency among populations in developed countries – confirming Delbet’s work.