In 1928 Szent-Györgyi1 obtained from the adrenal cortex and from certain fruits an acid (cevitamic acid) which, he showed, had antiscorbutic properties. Shortly afterward the acid was identified as vitamin C.
The specific qualities of vitamin C in preventing scurvy led to intensive investigations of the relation of the adrenal gland to scurvy. Szent-Györgyi1 observed that the cut surface of the gland reduced silver nitrate. The staining is accomplished through the vitamin C contained in the gland, and the intensity of the stain can generally be used as a rapid indicator of the amount of vitamin C present. It was found that in guinea-pigs receiving a scorbutic diet the original blackening produced by silver nitrate on the cut surface of the adrenal gland begins to turn gray on the first day. When the diet is continued for six days, the intensity of the stain is so
CORNBLEET T. VITAMIN C AND PIGMENT. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;35(3):471–479. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01470210097009
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