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July 22, 1933


JAMA. 1933;101(4):286-287. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740290034016

Fifteen years ago, Osborne and Mendel1 called attention to the paucity of knowledge regarding the mineral nutrients. They asserted that there is no adequate experimental basis whatever to permit tenable statements regarding the indispensability or even the minimum requirement of any of the inorganic constituents of the dietary with the possible exception of calcium and phosphorus. A recent essay by Mary Swartz Rose2 on the nutritional significance of some mineral elements occurring as traces in the animal body again points out that for many years interest in the study of the mineral elements in relation to nutrition was temporarily overshadowed by the evidence of organic factors potent in growth; namely, the vitamins. The significance of iodine in small amounts had, of course, been realized since the beginning of the century, following Baumann's discovery in 1895 that the element is a regular constituent of the thyroid gland. Investigation as