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Article
August 20, 1960

VITAMINS—GOOD OR BAD

JAMA. 1960;173(16):1831-1832. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020340049015

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Abstract

The neologopoiesis of the term vitamin—vital amine—in 1912 by Casimir Funk was a milestone in medicine. Food cereal manufacturers, bread makers, soft-drink bottlers, as well as the manufacturing chemists, the pharmaceutical industry, and druggists have exploited to the maximum this vast field of interest. The vitamin content of processed foods has been used and abused as a promotional "gimmick" to such an extent that this, along with over-the-counter purchase of vitamins, has pushed vitamin sales figures above the $350,000,000 mark. The physician and his patient at times have appeared to play a secondary role in the drama when, in fact, their interest and financial means should have been paramount at all times. The prevention of a deficiency state or the promotion of maximum well-being through vitamins as naturally occurring constituents of food or supplements in selected clinical conditions needs no comment. But this is not always sufficient, according to the

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