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July 28, 1951


Author Affiliations

New York University College of Medicine, New York.

JAMA. 1951;146(13):1248. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670130070025

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To the Editor:  —In the editorial "Nutrition and Goiter" (J. A. M. A.145:824 [March 17] 1951) there appeared the statement "Also in the same country, monks who subsisted on rutabagas and tulip bulbs were found to have developed goiter." The authority given was Greer (Physiol. Rev.30:513, 1950), thus giving the reader the impression that Greer had himself made this observation. Actually, he relied on the report by Astwood of a communication said to have been made to the latter by H. P. Himsworth, of London, who is said to have seen the monks. A somewhat different account is given by Means (The Thyroid and Its Diseases, ed. 2, New York, n. d., p. 189). In that, an unnamed Belgian colleague of Dr. Himsworth is made accountable for the story and the monks are said to have had little but rape seed and cabbage.

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