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February 3, 1934


JAMA. 1934;102(5):374-375. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750050040015

The rapidly growing information with respect to the nature of the so-called deficiency diseases includes evidence that there are many instances of latent avitaminosis or subacute disorder not commonly recognized. Obviously, persons who give no conspicuous evidence of deficiency maladies may nevertheless be victims of the effects of less than optimal or of minimal necessary intake of essential dietary components. The harm done may be particularly insidious through not being recognized in the absence of the gross manifestation of unmistakable disease. Bacterial infections rarely present such subtle symptoms for any prolonged period, because the invasion of the harmful offender tends to become more and more threatening as the days go by. The symptoms soon develop into characteristic phenomena of specific maladies. Latent avitaminosis is something far more subtle. It more readily defies recognition except through painstaking special modes of clinical investigation. At the present time accelerated efforts are being directed