Man's physical universe

xanabras

VITAMINS, ENZYMES, AND HORMONES 739

by feeding them rice polishings. Shortly after the Japanese Army

substituted brown rice for polished rice, beriberi disappeared.

Vitamin Research Has Followed a Well-established Pattern.

1. The proof that an abnormal or diseased condition results from

vitamin-deficient foods.

2. The preparation of vitamin concentrates such as rice-hull extract

from foods which are known to contain the vitamins in question.

3. The separation of pure vitamins from concentrates.

4. The analysis of these pure vitamins to determine their empirical

and structural formulas.

5. The synthesis of the vitamins in relatively large quantities.

6. The determination of the proper daily requirements of these synthetic

vitamins for optimum health.

Many Different Vitamins Have Been Discovered.

In the early stages of vitamin research, the vitamins were designated

by letters of the alphabet because their chemical composition was

unknown. These vitamins were classified according to their solubility

in fats and water as follows:

Fat-soluble Vitamins. A, D, and E.

Water-soluble Vitamins. B, C, and G.

A very large amount of research resulting in the isolation, analysis,

and synthesis of a number of the vitamins has resulted in these vitamins

gradually coming to be known under their chemical names. This

research has also shown that what was formerly known as vitamin B,

for example, is really a mixture of a number of water-soluble vitamins.

" vitamin-B Complex," refers to all the vitamins present in extracts of

yeast, rice polishings, etc.

nicotinic acid,

postulated factors.

This complex includes thiamin, riboflavin,

pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and at least seven other

It is generally agreed by experts that if half the caloric value of the diet

were derived from milk, eggs, meat, and meat products, fruits and vegetables,

and if half of whatever cereal products are eaten consist of whole grain products,

and furthermore, if there is sufficient exposure to sunshine to meet the

vitamin D requirements, there will be no danger of vitamin or any other type

of nutritive deficiency.^

The following chart summarizes, the most important information

available in 1941 concerning the sources and functions of the

vitamins.

'Supplement to the American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association

Year Book, 1937-1938. February, 1938, p. 79.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines