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September 13, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(11):937-938. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820370033013

The elucidation of some of the roles which vitamins may assume in the utilization and metabolism of certain cellular metabolites has aided in a clearer understanding of the need for these dietary accessories for normal health and well being. The functioning of vitamin B1 as a coenzyme for carboxylase, and the presence of riboflavin and nicotinic acid as integral parts of certain cellular enzymes concerned with biologic oxidations, have intimately related these vitamins to essential cell processes. This evidence answers the perplexing problem of how a dietary essential functions and explains why it is an essential substance which must be supplied in optimal amounts in the food. Although the biochemist may point with pride to his explanations of the mode of participation of certain of the B vitamins in metabolic processes, it is still necessary to continue the search for patterns of body reactions into which the other vitamins