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April 17, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(16):1214-1215. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670420038012

General knowledge of the pathology of scurvy dates back to Lind's classic Treatise on the Scurvy, published in 1772. Hess1 has designated Barlow's publication in 1883, establishing the identity of the scurvy of adults and of infants, as the modern milestone in the study of the disorder, so that "Barlow's disease" is no longer looked on as a distinct entity. The theories of its etiology have been varied. For many years the potassium deficiency theory, suggested by Garrod, gained wide acceptance. That scurvy should be attributed to a lack of this element is, as Hess remarks, readily comprehensible in view of the abundance of potassium in the antiscorbutic foodstuffs, the fruits and the vegetables. The citric acid theory had "a short but popular career," as did the hypothesis including acidosis as the etiologic factor. Not a few persons have held to a theory of toxic injury, believing that poisons