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January 4, 1936


JAMA. 1936;106(1):64. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770010066024

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To the Editor:—  In the paper on the use of unsaturated oil in treatment of eczema by Taub and Zakon in The Journal, Nov. 23, 1935, the effects of linseed oil are compared with allergic effects of flax seed. It should be remembered in this connection that, although a man has died from eating one castor bean, children have been fed castor oil for years without ricin poisoning symptoms; in fact, the proteins, whether toxalbumins, allergic proteins or otherwise, are insoluble in oil, and if the oil is free from sediment it is free from protein. I have observed in a general hospital in the United States Army a lieutenant given 175 cc. of castor oil within two hours without toxic effects attributed to ricin. Furthermore, I have myself drunk 20 cc. of linseed oil a day for two years without any of the untoward effects described by Taub and

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