About ten years ago, Osborne and Mendel1 directed attention to the unexpected frequency of the occurrence of calculi in various parts of the urinary tract of experimental rats employed in nutrition studies. Careful investigation of the dietary history of the animals thus involved disclosed that in every instance they had been without an adequate source of vitamin A for some time. The calculi found by Osborne and Mendel were of the familiar phosphatic type, consisting essentially of insoluble phosphates of calcium and magnesium. These observations have given rise to the implication that in the lack of fat-soluble vitamins a general debility or lowered vitality may ensue, with a resultant invasion of the bladder and urinary passages by bacteria, production of alkaline urine, and consequent deposition of phosphates leading to calculus formation.
The experimental facts are more cogent than the hypothesis. They have been abundantly verified in Japan by Fujimaki
THE EXPERIMENTAL FORMATION AND TREATMENT OF CALCULI. JAMA. 1927;88(14):1080–1081. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680400036015
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