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November 4, 1939

RIBOFLAVIN DEFICIENCY IN HUMAN SUBJECTS

JAMA. 1939;113(19):1697-1700. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800440001001
Abstract

The possible relation of riboflavin deficiency to certain manifestations of human pellagra has been of interest to investigators of various deficiency diseases for a number of years. During 1935 and 1936 at least four groups of observers1 treated small groups of pellagrins with relatively minute doses of riboflavin with no evidence of curative effect. Our own experience with four patients treated with 3 mg. of lactoflavin a day for five days was entirely negative. Sebrell, Hunt and Onstott2 obser.ved no improvement in dogs with experimental blacktongue given relatively large doses of riboflavin by mouth. Nevertheless the close similarity of the mode of death of dogs with experimental riboflavin deficiency with that in fatal human pellagra and the constant finding of extreme fatty degeneration of the liver in the two conditions seemed to point to some significant relation.

No clinical sign of human riboflavin deficiency had been recognized until

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