[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 27, 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Medical Service of the Psychiatric Division, Bellevue Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, New York University College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1941;117(26):2245-2248. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820520041011

As the main system for the ingestion and absorption of foodstuffs, the gastrointestinal tract occupies a prominent position in the causation of vitamin deficiencies. Thus it has been pointed out that "any pathologic condition which interferes with normal food intake, normal digestion, normal absorption of the products of digestion, and normal utilization of these products by the liver, may produce secondary or conditioned avitaminosis."1 In addition, the gastrointestinal tract is one of the first systems to present objective clinical signs when deficiencies of certain vitamins occur.

An examination of the diets usually prescribed for patients with peptic ulcer, colitis and disease of the gallbladder shows that they often consist mainly of refined carbohydrate and are apt to be deficient in one or more of the vitamins. Patients with idiosyncrasies regarding food expressed in the diet they select will more often than not favor refined foods low in vitamins. On the