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Article
November 18, 1916

THE RELATION OF DIET TO BERIBERI: AND THE PRESENT STATUS OF OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE VITAMINS

Author Affiliations

Captain, Medical Corps, U. S. Army WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1916;LXVII(21):1494-1497. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590210012005
Abstract

The title of this paper is very broad, and as a comprehensive discussion of it would carry me far beyond the limits assigned to papers of this character, I shall necessarily confine myself to certain phases of the subject.

At the present day, there is a general consensus of opinion to the effect that beriberi is caused by a dietary deficiency, or that it is a disease resulting from faulty metabolism, and is directly caused by the deficiency of certain accessory food substances that have been called vitamins. In a general way this opinion is based on the following facts:

  1. The complete failure of the adherents of the infection and intoxication theories to prove their case.

  2. The carefully planned and controlled human feeding experiment of Fraser and Stanton,1 in which they demonstrated beyond all cavil that beriberi can be experimentally produced in men by too exclusive feeding on overmilled or

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