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October 18, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(16):1217-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610420045019

The demonstration that the nutritive welfare of the higher animals is dependent on an adequate supply not only of the familiar foodstuffs but also of certain as yet unidentified "food accessories," the so-called vitamins, has been stimulating in various fields of biologic science. The hypothesis of the rôle of vitamines in nutrition has been transferred to the growth of plants by Bottomley4 with results that speak strongly for an analogy between plants and animals with respect to the promoting factors. Subsequently the possible part that may be played by substances analogous in function to the vitamins of animal nutrition has been debated with respect to the multiplication of bacteria.

Bacteriologists have long recognized the difficulties attending the production of cultures of micro-organisms on synthetic mediums prepared from purified substances. Blood serum, tissue extracts and decoctions and other mixtures of largely unknown chemical make-up have been employed by preference as