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April 15, 1939

COMPLEMENT AND ASCORBIC ACID IN HUMAN SCURVY: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Author Affiliations

CLEVELAND

From the Institute of Pathology, Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, and Cleveland City Hospital.

JAMA. 1939;112(15):1449-1452. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800150021006
Abstract

Ecker, Pillemer, Wertheimer and Gradis1 showed that a correlation exists between the concentration of ascorbic acid in the blood serum of guinea pigs and the complementary activity of the serum. These authors further demonstrated that, in vivo, the relationship holds true until a definite level of ascorbic acid is reached at about 1 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters of serum. It was also found that serums treated in vitro with optimal quantities of ascorbic acid improved in their complementary powers and showed greater stability.

From these observations the suggestion was finally made that the complementing activity of the serums of scorbutic guinea pigs and of men may be used as a biologic index of vitamin C deficiency.

Since these studies have appeared, Chu and Chow2 independently also noted that a qualitative relationship exists between vitamin C intake and complement titer in human plasma. The authors stated that an

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