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May 28, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(22):1705-1709. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680480015009

In discussing deficiency diseases, McCarrison1 says:

The term "deficiency diseases" is customarily applied to a group of maladies which are caused by the lack of one of the accessory food factors. This application, however, is too restricted and should embrace disorders also due to faulty and unbalanced food. The vitamins have been largely responsible for such a narrow outlook on the diseases which are either favored in their origin or initiated by an insufficient supply of these substances. By speaking of the antineuritic vitamin the attention is drawn to one system of the body, while others are ignored. But in experimental animals on a deficient diet without vitamin B there is loss of appetite, impaired digestion, diarrhea, colitis, unhealthy skin, low temperature, slow respiration, cardiovascular depression, progressive anemia and asthenia, long before nervous symptoms are produced. Do not these form a disease syndrome, in children especially, which is as