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February 22, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(8):707-708. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820080047013

Most of the experimental work on the role of the various food factors in nutrition has been necessarily carried out on animals. Accurate descriptions of the symptoms which result from uncomplicated vitamin deficiencies in experimental animals are available, while comparable information bearing on human beings is often lacking or is incomplete. Although the knowledge gained from animal experimentation has contributed immeasurably to our understanding of the role assumed by various vitamins in human nutrition, investigations of this type alone cannot yield all the desired information. Recently experimental studies have been made in which human beings have served as subjects. Although such investigations are difficult, they are amply justified in view of the great practical value of the results.

Many investigators have studied the experimental production of a deficiency of thiamine in man. Jolliffe and his associates,1 for instance, maintained several subjects for a number of days on diets that