Vitamins and the Choice Food

Vitamins and the Choice Food

PREFACE

AT the present time so much interest is taken in vitamins
that a short account embodying the evidence in support
of the need of these substances in nutrition will, it is
felt, be of some service, and may in particular assist those
who are responsible for the feeding of infants or for the
selection of food in schools and other large communities.

The subject of accessory food-factors (vitamins) has a
special significance, as it marks the entry of biochemical
research into the problems of health and growth. Chemical
formulae as yet play no part. The small quantity in
which these factors occur in the food-stuffs makes the
isolation of the chemically pure substances from the com-
plex chemical mixture, as it exists in nature, a very
difficult problem. While the chemical nature of these
substances is unknown, for the purposes of nutrition and
health the investigator must carry on his work with the
undetermined quantity which is present in a given food.
It is known that some food-stuffs contain, and others do
not contain, vitamins ; and that faults in the diet are the
cause of several diseases and of much ill-health.

Three lectures on vitamins were given by Dr. R. H. A.
Plimmer at the Marischal College, Aberdeen, in the summer
of 1920. Further lectures were given to suit the needs of
special audiences, and numerous requests were received
for a written account suitable for the general reader. This
short summary has therefore been written in the hope
that it may fulfil this purpose.

Prof. Gowland Hopkins's conception of unknown indis-
pensable food-substances was first formulated in an
address delivered to the Society of Public Analysts.

V. G. PLIMMER.
R. H. A. PLIMMER.

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. INTRODUCTION ....... I

II. BERI-BERI, THE RESULT OF HIGHLY-MILLED CEREALS 13

III. SCURVY AND THE ABSENCE OF FRESH FRUITS AND

VEGETABLES . . . . . . .28

IV. THE DISCOVERY OF THE ACCESSORY FOOD FACTORS,

OR VITAMINS ...... 44

V. DISTRIBUTION OF THE VITAMINS AND QUANTITIES

REQUIRED ....... 55

VI. CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF VITAMINS 63

VII. RICKETS AND A DEFICIENCY OF THE FAT-SOLUBLE

A-VITAMIN? ....... 72

VIII. KERATOMALACIA ' HUNGER-OSTEOMALACIA . . 84

IX. PELLAGRA ....... 90

X. THE QUALITY OF PROTEIN AND PELLAGRA . IOO

XI. THE EFFECT OF PARTIAL DEFICIENCIES IN THE FOOD 115

XII. ERRORS IN THE SELECTION OF FOOD . . .122

APPENDIX. DISTRIBUTION OF THE VITAMINS IN

FOODS ........ 139

NOTES ON FOOD-STUFFS . . . . .146

INDEX . . . . . . . .155

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

1. Transverse Section of Whole Rice Grain . . Facing 19

2. Transverse Section of White (Polished) Rice Grain 19

3. Polyneuritis in Fowl. First Day of Disease 27

4. Polyneuritis in Fowl. Severe Case. Second Day of

Disease ....... ' . 27

5. Polyneuritis in Pigeon . ..... 27

6. Same Pigeon cured by Treatment with B-Vitamin . 27

7. Case of Infantile Scurvy showing typical Position . 36

8. Weight Charts of Rats on Artificial Diet with and

without Milk ....... on 46

9. Weight Charts of Rats on Artificial Diet with and

without Milk ....... 47

10. Weight Charts of Rats showing Preliminary Growth

and Eventual Decline on Diet deficient in
A- Vitamin and Recovery on Addition of a Source
ofA-Vitamin ....... 50

11. Weight Charts of Rats showing Failure to Grow on

Diet deficient in B-Vitamin and Recovery on

adding this Factor ...... ,,51

12. Young Rat suffering from Deficiency of B-Vitamin . Facing 36

13. Weight Charts of Two Male Rats on Diets containing

A-, B- and C-Vitamins and A- and B- Vitamins
respectively ....... on 53

14. Weight Charts of Two Female Rats on A-, B-, C-

and A-, B-Vitamin Diets respectively ... 53

15. Guinea-Pigs suffering from Scurvy . . . .Facing 60
1 6. Deformity of Child's Skull in Rickets (front) . . 73
17. Deformity of Child's Skull in Rickets (side) 73
1 8. Severe Rickets in Puppy ..... 80

xi

Xll

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

FIG. PAGB

19. X-Ray Photograph of Wrist-Joint of same Puppy . Facing So

20. Growth Curves of Rats showing the Effect of with-

drawing and restoring Tryptophan to the Diet . on 106

21. Weight Charts of Rats showing the Indispensability

of Lysine for Growth ..... 107

22. Chickens on a Diet of high Lysine Content . .Facing 107

23. Chickens on a Diet of low Lysine Content . . 107

24. Weight Chart of Marasmic Infant showing Effect of

Treatment with B- Vitamin . . . . on 134

25. Weight Chart of Marasmic Infant showing Effect of

Treatment with B- Vitamin . . . . 135

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