Studies in the laboratory of the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Chicago have shown that citric and tartaric acids and the sodium salts of these acids have a marked tendency to prevent the development of rickets in rats on a rachitogenic diet and to cause healing when administered to rachitic animals. Incorporated in the rachitogenic diet in sufficient amounts, sodium citrate, sodium tartrate and sodium bitartrate furnished protection against the development of rickets. When equivalent quantities of the acids and salts were fed, it was found that the salts were slightly more effective than the corresponding acids.
When animals were placed on a rachitogenic diet until severe rickets developed and the acids or the salts were then administered along with the diet for periods of five or ten days, marked healing was evident.
The acids or salts which were to be tested for their antirachitic effect were
HAMILTON B, DEWAR MM. EFFECT OF CITRATE AND TARTRATE ON EXPERIMENTAL RICKETS. Am J Dis Child. 1937;54(3):548-556. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1937.01980030092006