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To the Editor:
—I was very much interested in the article entitled "Vitamin B in Ophthalmology" by C. V. Veasey, which appeared in a recent number of the Archives (25: 450 [March] 1941). The author summarized the literature on this complex subject, in addition to reporting the results of his own work. It seemed to me, however, that several points warrant further comment.It is perhaps of academic interest only, but the statement that thiamine (or vitamin B1) acts as a catalyst in the combustion of carbohydrate is not in accord with present knowledge, since, as Lohmann and Schuster (Naturwissenschaften. 25: 26, 1937) have pointed out, it is not thiamine itself but a salt (thiamine pyrophosphate ; cocarboxylase) which is the catalyst for the decarboxylation of pyruvic acid.Veasey properly reiterated the claims that lack of vitamin B4 "prevents a specific paralysis in rats and is necessary for chicks"
Kinsey VE. THIAMINE (VITAMIN B1) IN OPHTHALMOLOGY. Arch Ophthalmol. 1941;26(1):129–130. doi:10.1001/archopht.1941.00870130147016