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March 10, 1934


JAMA. 1934;102(10):770-771. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750100036013

For the most part the dietary regimen of the average American family in ordinary times has become so nearly adequate under modern conditions of living that little consideration has been given to the possible existence of dietary deficiencies. It is, of course, well known that in certain localities the deficiency disorder described as pellagra at times becomes prevalent and that rickets has by no means become eradicated. Scurvy no longer is prominent in the conventional lists of diseases in this country, and characteristic beriberi is practically unknown. Accordingly, physicians have for the most part remained somewhat indifferent to the problems of avitaminosis except when these have been presented in an unmistakable, outspoken manifestation. McLester1 has well remarked, however, that the interest which vitamins hold for the physician is not alone in their relation to certain well defined diseases, such as scurvy, beriberi and rickets, but rather in the fact

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