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July 3, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780270035013

Knowledge of the physiologic rôle of the vitamins has been developed largely from studies of the pathologic changes resulting in experimental animals deprived of these dietary essentials. Investigations of this type have in most instances clearly defined the minimal amount of a particular vitamin compatible with normal health and well being. Although the range of vitamin requirement has been carefully delimited in laboratory animals, relatively little accurate information is available for the human requirement. This can be partially attributed to the inadequacy of data regarding the proportion of ingested vitamin that is actually utilized by the body. The efficiency of this process may vary widely among the different vitamins, and only extended investigations will make possible an accurate evaluation of the factor of utilization. Careful balance studies are needed. The chief difficulty of the latter type of investigation is the lack of a convenient method of determining the small quantities

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