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September 1937


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Physiology, the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1937;60(3):449-453. doi:10.1001/archinte.1937.00180030066006

EFFECT ON PERISTALSIS  Controversial opinions have been expressed as to whether vitamin B1 deficiency occurs to any appreciable extent in otherwise healthy persons under the conditions of dietary habits prevailing in the United States.1 It is evident that a more or less pronounced deficiency may develop as a result of drastic voluntary dietary restrictions or in pathologic conditions associated with inanition, impaired utilization of food or consumption of food poor in vitamin B1, e. g., gastric ulcer, chronic ulcerative colitis, colectomy or pernicious vomiting of pregnancy. Recognition of the deficiency is difficult, owing to the paucity of clinical symptoms. Beriberi is known to have developed in a patient with a short-circuited small intestine2 and in patients with other lesions responsible for gastro-intestinal disorders.3 A lack of vitamin B1 causes an impairment of digestive secretions and of oxidation of carbohydrates; it also lowers the tone