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October 24, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(17):1229-1230. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730170041016

The significance of vitamin A as an essential of human nutrition can no longer be questioned. The demonstration of the occurrence of xerophthalmia as a dietary deficiency disorder has been firmly established. With the growth of our knowledge of vitamins and with the increasing enthusiasm for a better understanding of their rôle in the diet, reports of the effects of defective nutrition are being accumulated in growing numbers. The dramatic accounts of blindness resulting from unsuitable diet, such as Bloch1 of Copenhagen has repeatedly described, can now be duplicated from records in many parts of the world. They may be anticipated to recur in times of stress such as threaten to face many persons in the coming months unless conditions are materially improved. The phenomena induced in the laboratory in deficiency studies on experimental animals are as a rule quite drastic; they represent the outcome of rather severe conditions