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September 7, 1940

OCCIDENTAL BERIBERI WITH CARDIOVASCULAR MANIFESTATIONSITS RELATION TO THIAMIN DEFICIENCY

JAMA. 1940;115(10):832-839. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810360020006
Abstract

In 1936 we1 described the existence of "wet" beriberi with cardiovascular disturbances as a nutritional disease of regular occurrence in Boston and its vicinity. We presented evidence indicating that this disease is related to vitamin B deficiency and that administration of thiamin chloride or vitamin B concentrate benefits patients with this condition. Since this first report, further studies have been conducted on the clinical, physiologic and chemical characteristics of beriberi and on its treatment.2 We have induced cardiac disturbances in animals fed on a thiamin-deficient diet and demonstrated that their cardiac disturbances disappeared promptly following the administration of thiamin chloride.3 We have investigated the metabolism of the myocardium in vitamin B1 deficiency4 and made a systematic search to evaluate the role of certain intermediary metabolic products, such as lactic acid, pyruvic acid, methyl glyoxal, glyceraldehyde and adenylic acid, in the induction of cardiac disturbances.5

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