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March 24, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(12):848. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640390036014

Although the existence of deficiency diseases has become well established in recent years and has been exemplified with scientific precision in the case of at least scurvy and beriberi, the precise processes whereby the characteristic pathologic conditions arise are far from being solved. The instances mentioned represent clinically recognized maladies. It is more than likely, however, that less well defined symptoms have thus far escaped detection in the syndrome of effects attributable to faulty nutrition. The physiologists have demonstrated that when the diet is deprived partially or completely of an essential constituent, animals under experiment soon manifest the deficiency by a retarded rate or cessation of growth, by restricted propagation and by a general unhealthy appearance, so that if some indispensable food factor is withheld for a prolonged period, organic changes of a marked character may ensue.

It is quite possible, as Zilva 1 has specially emphasized, that, besides the