Corentin Louis Kervran

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Corentin Louis Kervran (1901 - 2 February 1983) was a French scientist best known for his defense of the unconventional belief in biological transmutation.[1]

Kervran was born in Quimper, Finistère (Brittany). He had received a degree as a physics engineer in 1925.[2] In WWII he was part of the French Resistance. He was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Director of Conferences of the Paris University, Member of Conseil d'Hygiene de la Seine, a Member of the Commission du Conseil Supérieur de la Recherche Scientifique (1966). He was the recognised expert on radiation poisoning for the French government since 1945. His use of the word transmutation led his scientific work to be associated with alchemy and alienated him from the majority of mainstream scientific community. The most readable English introduction to his work can be found in The Secret Life of Plants[3] in a chapter called "Alchemists in the garden".

To support his claims of biological transmutation, Louis Kervran cited several prior reports and conducted his own experiments. A French Navy study observed that Sahara oilfield workers excreted a daily average of 320 mg more calcium than they ingested without bone decalcification occurring.[4] Some strange cases of industrial accidents (1955) showing CO poisoning when no CO was inhaled led Kervran to postulate the dissociation of a nitrogen molecule into carbon monoxide through the displacement of a proton at low energy.[5] At January in 1961, he had reported this working hypothesis to the Conseil d'Hygiène de la Seine and the digestive report had been published in L'usine nouvelle in 1961.[6] His first treatise concerning to Transmutation-theory is titled "Bilan metaboliques anormaux et transmutations biologiques", which had been published in Revue générale des sciences.[7]

There are a few examples of his work being corroborated. In 1978 a report was issued by the U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Command proposing Magnesium adenosine triphosphate, located in the mitochondrion of the cell, provided the energy for the effects observed by Kervran and Komaki. "It was concluded that elemental transmutations were indeed occurring in life organisms and were probably accompanied by net energy gain".[8] However this work was never followed up, and lies well outside mainstream scientific understanding of biology.

Calcium anomalies in chicken eggshells[edit]

Kervran initiated his fascination for science with the apparent enigma of eggshell formation. As a youth Kervran had read a reference to Louis Nicolas Vauquelin's observations on the formation of eggshell in Gustave Flaubert's "Bouvard et Pécuchet". Kervran later succeeded in finding Vauquelin's original text on the apparent anomalous increase in calcium in a chicken whose diet is limited to potassium-rich oats. How did it continue to produce eggs with calcareous shells on a calcium poor diet on a soil entirely lacking in limestone?

Contemporary biochemist believed that chickens fed on the calcium reserve of their skeletons to produce eggs. Kervran did not accept this since chickens deprived of calcium laid soft-shelled egg until they ingested the potassium-rich oats, at which point they laid calcareous hard-shelled eggs. Kervran did not consider how the potassium could contribute to other chemical based biological pathways that lead to shell hardening.

In response to Kervran ideas Nuclear scientists stated if the chickens were to turn potassium into calcium at the rate of several grams a day, the released nuclear fusion energy of the order of 8 MeV would have turned them into atom bombs. Kervran rationalized this discrepancy by believing that the transformation of potassium into calcium (transmutation) happened at low energy. This became Kervran's thesis on which he staked his career. He developed a different model of low-energy transmutation that he called "frittage".

The scientists who collaborated with Kervran on many of his specialized experiments gradually referred to the thesis of transmutation at low energy as the "Kervran effect".

In the scientific community[edit]

Kervran was largely ignored by the scientific community with scarce literature citation and no effect on mainstream models of biology, although the quantum physicist Olivier Costa de Beauregard considered his work valuable. Neither is he well known for promoting a pathological science or pseudoscience although he received the Ig Nobel Prize for Physics in 1993.

Mainstream biology doesn't find any anomalies in the nutrient uptake and release of hens, plants, or any other organism. All biological functions can be explained through chemical diffusion and chemical reactions requiring no nuclear reactions. Kervran's claim that N2 was converted to CO does not consider the vast chemical pathways that can convert oxygen and carbon containing molecules into CO, or that the oil field works nutrient diet may have been misreported or mis-measured.

While scraping the sweat off oil workers certainly leaves room for measurement errors, the usual dismissals of Kervran's work that gratuitously asserts that chemists and medical doctors are incompetent are not acceptable. For example, the iron and steel industry supported some rather elaborate tests in England, Germany and Europe[9] all of which showed carbon monoxide in the blood of welders but none in the air. Thus, it's a true mystery.

However, there does not appear to be any evidence to suggest that Kervran's transmutations are the only or even the most fitting solution to the puzzle of CO poisoning. Obviously this situation is far too complex to be used as any proof of biological transmutations. Other experiments where Lavoisier's law is apparently violated are more suggestive, but given the assertion that these experiments must be performed on living subjects, the creation of an experiment that could give definitive proof of such a violation is exceptionally difficult.

The greatest problem with Kervran's theories is that the basic atomic reactions have never been observed in physics. To be sure, today, transmutations of elements are scientifically accepted as real and proved, but energies required to produce them are beyond biological levels in the extreme. Kervran's response suggesting neutral currents as sources and sinks of this energy remains to be shown. Basically until physics can demonstrate that low energy transmutations with neutrino beams or similar particles actually can take place between the single atoms in question, there will be doubt regarding biological transmutations. If a reaction cannot be demonstrated in a microscopic sense, then the biological macroscopic measurements will always be questioned.

Selected works[edit]


  • Transmutations Biologiques: Métabolismes Aberrants de l'Azote, le Potassium et le Magnésium (1962) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A. (2nd ed. 1963, 3rd ed. 1965)
  • Transmutations naturelles non radioactives ; une propriete nouvelle de la matiere Paris : Librairie Maloine, (1963) OCLC 21388057
  • Transmutations à la faible énergie : synthèse et développements (1964) Paris : Maloine OCLC 35460556
  • A la découverte des transmutations biologiques : une explication des phénomènes biologiques aberrants (1966) Paris : Le Courrier du livre OCLC 30562980
  • Preuves Relatives à l'Existence des Transmutations Biologiques (1968) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A.
  • Transmutations biologiques en agronomie (1970) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A.
  • Preuves en géologie et physique de transmutations à faible énergie (1973) Paris : Maloine ISBN 2-224-00053-7 OCLC 914685
  • Preuves en biologie de transmutations à faible énergie (1975) Paris, Maloine, S.A. ISBN 2-224-00178-9 OCLC 1603879, (2nd edition, 1995).
  • Transmutations Biologique et Physique Moderne (1982) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A.

Books in English:

  • Biological Transmutations C. Louis Kervran, translation and adaptation by Michel Abehsera, 1989, 1998 (first published in 1972) ISBN 0-916508-47-1 OCLC 301517796 (extract of three of Kervran's books)
  • Biological transmutations, revised and edited by Herbert & Elizabeth Rosenauer, London, Crosby Lockwood 1972 (reprinted by Beekman, New York, in 1998 under ISBN 0-8464-0195-9)
  • Biological Transmutation. Natural Alchemy. Louis Kervran and George Ohsawa, George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, Oroville, California, USA 1971 (reprinted 1975, 1976) 48 pages.
  • "The Reality of Frittage" by Kazumichi Takashita,Sakumei-sha,Japan,2012 (


  • Bilans Metaboliques Anormaux et transmutations biologiques, Revue Generale des Sciences Vol. 67 (1960) July–August 1960, pp. 193–206.
  • Les intoxications par l'oxyde de carbone dans les ateliers de soudure ou de traitement thermique des metaux, L'usine Nouvelle, 1961.
  • Matiere vivante et transmutation, Planete No. 4,1962.
  • Un effet accélérateur du magnésium sur l'accroissement du phosphore et du calcium chez l'animal, Comptes Rendus de l'académie d'agriculture de France, séance du 13 Déc 1967
  • Bilans non nuls du calcium, du phosphore et du cuivre chez le homard, Revue de pathologique comparée 1969
  • Augmentation du calcium et du phosphore chez l'animal par une surcharge alimentaire en magnésium, Revue de pathologique comparée 1969
  • Increase in phosphorus and copper in the lobster after moulding, The Journal of the Soil Association Vol. 16 (1970) p. 21
  • Bilans du calcium, du phosphore et du cuivré chez un animal en milieu fermé enrichi en magnesium, Comptes Rendus de l'académie d'agriculture de France, séance du 25 fevrier 1970 pp. 671–678 (as part of "Additif au compte Rendu de la séance du 25 fevrier 1970", pp. 670–689.
  • Altérations métamorphiques de certaines roches applications a des mineraux alumino-siliceux notamment, Comm. 1er Congr. intern. sur la détérior des pierres en oeuvre 1972
  • A propos de l'agriculture biologique, Bulletin intérieur de l'I.N.R.A. No 74, 1973
  • Chimie et Synthese, Agriculture et Vie No 101, 1974
  • Geen leven zonder kosmische energie, (translated into Dutch by Engels, H.) [from:] Natura docet, Nederlandse Tijdschrift voor Natuurgeneeskunde 27 (3): 81-85 (1976)
  • Transmutations a faible énergie en biologie (Réponse), Rivista di Biologia (Perugia) Vol. 73 (1980) pp. 574–583.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kervran, Louis C. (January 1989). Biological Transmutations. Happiness Pr. ISBN 0-916508-47-1. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Tompkins, Peter; Christopher Bird (1989-03-08). The Secret Life of Plants. Harper Paperbacks. ISBN 0-06-091587-0. 
  4. ^ Louis C. Kervran Preuves en Biologie de Transmutations à Faible Énergie, Paris 1975, Maloine, ISBN 2-224-00178-9.
  5. ^ Kervran, C. Louis (1962). Transmutations Biologique. Paris: Librairie Maloine S.A. pp. 36–40 (see Fig. 10). 
  6. ^ "Les intoxications par l'oxyde de carbone dans les ateliers de soudure ou de traitement thermique des métaux",L'usine nouvelle,1961.
  7. ^ Kervran, C. Louis (1960). "Bilans Métaboliques Anormaux et Transmutations Biologiques". Revue Générale des Sciences 67 (July–August): pp. 193–206. 
  8. ^ Solomon Goldfein: Report 2247, Energy Development from Elemental Transmutations in Biological Systems -USAMERDC.- DTIC No. ADA056906
  9. ^ Kervran, C. Louis (1962). Transmutations Biologique. Paris: Librairie Maloine S.A. pp. 109 (bibliography). 

Further reading[edit]

  • Corentin Louis Kervran: "Hors-d'œuvre", an autobiographical note in Preuves en Biologie de Transmutations a Faible Energie Paris: Maloine S.A., 1975

External links[edit]