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September 23, 1950


Author Affiliations

Nashville, Tenn.

From the School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

JAMA. 1950;144(4):307-314. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.62920040005006

THIAMINE  There is probably no other vitamin, with the possible exception of vitamin C, for which the need in man is more clearly demonstrated than thiamine, no other vitamin for which, with the exception of some question about intestinal formation, dependence on outside sources is so clearly demonstrated, no other vitamin about which so much is known of the intimate biochemical reactions in which it participates without knowledge of the mechanism by which a deficiency causes the symptoms, physical signs and functional and organic lesions that accompany that deficiency.The chemical nature, biochemistry and physiology of thiamine have been described in detail elsewhere, as has the chemical lesion of the deficiency.1 The effects of a deficiency are peripheral neuritis and congestive heart failure. In addition to these clearcut, unmistakable functional and structural disorders, there are, apparently, disturbances in the psyche2 and, possibly, in certain endocrine functions.3