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September 10, 1938


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Physiological Chemistry, Yale University NEW HAVEN, CONN.

JAMA. 1938;111(11):1009-1016. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.72790370004008

Other papers in this series discuss the chemistry of vitamin B1, the pathology of vitamin B1 deficiency and the physiologic function of this dietary essential. What can be said concerning the amount of this vitamin needed by man?

As beriberi is due to lack of vitamin B1, it is natural that the earliest estimates of the human requirement of this factor should have been in terms of the therapeutic value of certain foods. For example, Hulshoff-Pol1 studied the efficacy of katjang idjo, a native bean (Phaseolus radiatus), in the cure of beriberi. The practical result of this type of investigation was to focus attention on the importance of foods containing vitamin B1 and therefore their inclusion in the dietary. All work along this line prior to about 1911, when Funk2 introduced the word "vitamine," necessarily suffered the disadvantage that controversy still prevailed respecting the exact