During the last three years nearly 300 children suffering from acute malnutrition have been admitted to the Non-European Hospital, Johannesburg. More than 60 per cent of these infants manifested the clinical signs of pellagra.
In our experience vitamin therapy has not only failed to save the lives ofmore than 50 per cent of these children but in many instances we strongly suspected that it aggravated the disease and even hastened death.1 Trowell,2 prominent worker in this field, has also recorded the unresponsiveness of this disease to vitamin therapy, including nicotinic acid. In these circumstances, therefore, it was essential to seek some other method of saving the lives of children suffering from severe malnutrition.
Recent experimental work has revealed that in animals the liver is severely damaged by deficiencies or excesses of vitamins3 by diets containing low concentrations of proteins,4 by the presence or absence of certain
GILLMAN T, GILLMAN J. HEPATIC DAMAGE IN INFANTILE PELLAGRA: AND ITS RESPONSE TO VITAMIN, LIVER AND DRIED STOMACH THERAPY AS DETERMINED BY REPEATED LIVER BIOPSIES. JAMA. 1945;129(1):12–19. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860350014004
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