Gabriel Bertrand was born in Paris in 1867. In 1900 he joined the Pasteur Institute, founded in 1886, to continue research on the treatment of rabies, initiated by the renowned chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur. In 1924 he became a member of the Academy of Sciences and in 1943 he became its president.
The results of his findings had an almost immediate impact on medicine, but required more time to be considered operationally in the agriculture and zoology fields.
It took the genius of Gabriel Bertrand to discover the extremely important enzymatic role of of trace elements. He even stated, in open contrast with the opinion of the time, that he thought that the metals and non-metals, analytically-speaking, were impurities, “the organism appears to be like an oligarchy where vast amounts of passive elements are governed by very few catalytic elements.”
Bertrand and his school demonstrated, with a considerable amount of scientific work, that trace elements were playing a catalytic role that is essential to life.
During the same period, Maurice Javillier made significant discoveries on phosphorus and magnesium. This research stimulated further studies in various countries of Europe and in the United States.
From studies to therapeutic application of the results was a short step and Jacques Ménétrier (1908-1986) made the first step; he is the one who can be considered as the father of Oligotherapy.
In the 30s Ménétrier was the one to develop the system of Oligotherapy, based on the intake of trace elements that can restore the balance of the biochemical exchange in human organisms and strengthen natural defenses. Ménétrier experimented with the Sutter preparation (manganese and copper) in TB, obtaining favorable results on a group of patients with well-defined characteristics.
Thus he introduced the systematic use of trace elements in therapy, defining catalytic oligotherapy, which is based on the use of trace elements as bio-catalysts in the treatment of functional manifestations and his biological model involves inserting in the body very small quantities of gluconate solution, with perlingual or parenteral absorption.
Ménétrier merit was also to have succeeded in establishing a correspondence between symptoms and functional and biochemical imbalances and thus their correction by specific trace elements.