Beriberi began to become a disease of prominence in the Far East when polished or highly milled rice began to take the place of the natural brown rice. The difference between these two forms of the cereal lies in the fact that modern milling removes the embryo and a considerable part of the pericarp of the husked grain. Since the rice bran or rice polishings representing the removed portions contain substances essential to nutrition, a deficiency manifested itself through the use of the polished rice whenever it constituted a very considerable part of the ration. To the indispensable component of the polishings the name "vitamin" has been given. Beriberi has been the most characteristic instance of so-called "deficiency disease," because the origin of the dietary deficiency in an inadequate diet is now clearly understood, and because its most prominent symptoms can be both reproduced experimentally by an exclusive diet of
THE MILLING PROCESS AND BERIBERI IN WAR TIME. JAMA. 1918;70(14):1000–1001. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1918.02600140032013
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