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January 23, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(4):320-321. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730300050015

Prior to the twentieth century the writings and investigations of Liebig, Voit and Forster had indicated the essential nature of inorganic salts in nutrition, and the biochemical importance of calcium, phosphorus and other of the commoner elements had been established. Later, with the discovery of iodine in the thyroid gland by Baumann in 1895, attention was called to the elements present in the body and required for normal function in minute amounts. Shortly afterward, in 1900, it was demonstrated by Abderhalden that unmistakable evidence of anemia was produced in laboratory animals when they were limited to milk as the sole article of diet. The following year Bunge showed that milk is poor in iron. The fact that hemoglobin contains iron, together with the foregoing observations on anemia, led to repeated attempts to demonstrate the therapeutic value of iron in anemia of various etiology. The results, however, have never been unequivocally