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To the Editor
—I have followed with great interest the series of articles bearing on the etiology of beriberi appearing in The Journal of late. The field seems to be about equally divided between the adherents of spoiled rice and polished rice, with the latter claiming the most attention because of scientific demonstrations.As yet I have failed to note where any writer has brought out the one obvious point which will harmonize the two theories. Rice spoiled under conditions of heat and moisture certainly does cause beriberi in many cases—but such rice is deprived of its protective protein (if such it be) by spoiling as thoroughly as by polishing. This is not the case in every instance, as some forms of molds may render rice unfit for food without much destruction.Beriberi is almost unknown in this part of Korea, the climate being too dry to cause extensive spoiling,
Harding MC. Destruction of the Protective Protein in Rice. JAMA. 1913;60(3):227. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340030057027
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