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February 10, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(6):333. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860060031011

In 1942 Foster and her associates1 of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, found that a deficiency of thiamine increases the normal resistance of mice to inoculations of the virus of poliomyelitis. The incubation period is shorter and the incidence of paralysis and death rate are much less than in control mice maintained at the optimum level of thiamine. They subsequently found that a similar increase in antiviral resistance resulted from a mere restriction of food intake or from a restriction in the carbohydrate fraction only while maintaining the normal intake of all other components.2 At about the same time similar findings were reported by Rasmussen and his colleagues3 of the University of Wisconsin, who found that the decrease in susceptibility to poliomyelitis noted in mice on diets of restricted caloric value is less accentuated than that observed in mice which are deficient in thiamine. The