1917 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine  
INTRODUCTORY Vitamin was first isolated from rice polishings in 1911 by Casimir Funk and shown by him to be the agent which prevented beriberi. It was also in this year that Mendel and Osborne did their comprehensive work on the feeding of single purified proteins to white rats. In the latter work it was established that in addition to nutrients the diet of a growing rat demanded the presence of certain substances hitherto unknown, and which these workers found present in protein-free milk and
more » ... n centrifuged butter fat. Funk had meanwhile not only extended his isolation of vitamin to other substances than rice polishings \p=m-\ among them yeast \p=m-\but had shown that aside from the effect on polyneuritic conditions the vitamin was an essential factor in growth stimulation. From these beginnings the development of the importance of vitamin as a growth factor has been rapid. Of all the studies, those of E. V. McCollum of Wisconsin, and his co-workers, perhaps deserve most attention. McCollum has summed up the dietary factor as follows: In addition to a suitable nutrient content, a growing ani¬ mal demands in his diet : 1. The presence of a "fat-soluble A" (his name for Mendel's butter fat factor). 2. The presence of a "water-soluble B" (his name for Funk's vitamin). The absence of any toxic factors. Experiments have shown that whatever the composition of vitamin, it is probably not a simple amin. The nomenclature problem would be easier to settle if the substance had been satisfactorily identified chem¬ ically. Unfortunately, all attempts to purify it or to isolate it in an approximately pure form have resulted in failure and in loss of power on the part of the vitamin-containing factor. This result has given rise to certain controversies and hypotheses that tend to confuse the general student of the subject. Funk, for example, claims that Mendel's butter fat does not contain a new type of vitamin, but is merely contaminated with the water-soluble vitamin he has described.
doi:10.1001/archpedi.1917.01910090034003 fatcat:am4e2lhu6nejjl7ythcgwekg5y