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July 13, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(11):1230. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980110056010

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The gross clinical effects of severe vitamin deficiencies and protein inadequacies are well defined today, whereas the effects of marginal or subclinical deficiencies require considerable elucidation. It is imperative that there be a much more comprehensive understanding of the earliest manifestations of a deficiency state if recognition and proper management are to be forthcoming. More information is needed about the intermediary metabolism and the functions of many of the vitamins.

In this issue of The Journal (page 1224), Dr. Otto A. Bessey presents a comprehensive summary of one facet of the physiological action of vitamins—their role in the metabolism of amino acids.

The amino acids, whether from dietary sources or from endogenous tissue breakdown, serve three physiological functions: (1) as basic units in protein synthesis; (2) as participants, either directly or after modification, in certain special functions; and (3) as sources of energy. Dr. Bessey describes how the vitamins serve

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