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August 21, 1937

Current Comment

JAMA. 1937;109(8):590-591. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780340046016

VITAMIN A RESERVES IN HEALTH AND DISEASE  It is important to know accurately the quantity of vitamin reserves available in the human body and whether these reserves may be depleted by diseases other than the known deficiencies. The quantitative estimation of vitamin A in the tissues can be readily made by a strictly chemical method, using the antimony trichloride reaction.1 Moore and Ellison have employed this method in the analysis of 1,000 adult human livers and approximately 200 livers of children under 15 years of age. The average values obtained in forty cases of accidental death in subjects between 15 and 59 years of age was 220 international units per gram of moist liver. This contrasts with the vitamin A reserves in normal infants up to 3 months of age, which were found to be low—only 17 units. After the first four months the reserves rose to a much