Substitution therapy for nutritional states is not new as far as the ancient Hebrews are concerned. It is a far cry from the manna of the wilderness to the nicotinic acid of the modern drug store counter. But illness due to the absence of nutritional factors in food was just as prevalent then as it is now. Wherever poverty has existed—whether it has been among the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt or among the share croppers of the Southern states, whether the toilers and peasants have subsisted on maize as their sole food or on cornbread, grits and syrup—in short, wherever an insufficient supply of nutritious food has existed and the diet has been lacking in the necessary vitamins, there has necessarily been a certain amount of deficiency disease.
Egypt was called the granary of the ancient world. Its lower classes subsisted chiefly on corn and grits. The vitamin B
BRIM CJ. JOB'S ILLNESS—PELLAGRA. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1942;45(2):371–376. doi:10.1001/archderm.1942.01500080115012
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