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September 5, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(10):868-869. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570100054018

The belief that there is an etiologic relationship between water and pellagra is not new. Numerous and varied theories have been offered as to the nature of such a possible relation. Quite unique among these hypotheses, however, is the belief that drinking-water, because of the presence of certain chemical constituents, may be of consequence in the causation of pellagra.

A preliminary note on the relation to pellagra of potable waters containing silica in colloidal solution was first presented by Alessandrini and Scala1 about a year ago. In a recent monograph of nearly two hundred pages2 their views and work are presented at length. In 1909 Alessandrini3 began, in Italy, a series of epidemiologic studies on pellagra which led him to regard the disease as etiologically related to potable waters used in pellagrous sections. He first advanced the idea that pellagra was a filarial infection derived from such

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