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April 22, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(16):1252. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740160036012

In a recent contribution to the current literature on vitamins, Hassan and Basili1 have shown that, contrary to accepted views, the juice of fresh Egyptian limes is as potent a source of the antiscorbutic factor as is the juice of lemons or oranges. This observation recalls the fact that lime juice was early regarded as an effective prophylactic and cure for scurvy. Indeed, in 1795, every vessel in the British navy was required to carry a supply of lime juice as a protection against this disease, which broke out regularly among the sailors on long sea voyages. However, after the advent of the vitamin hypothesis, when widespread assays for the antiscorbutic factor were carried out on natural food materials, it was observed that lime juice was definitely inferior to other citrus fruits in this respect. This is now explained by the observation of the Cairo investigators that the loss