Document Detail


Accessory food factors: understanding the catalytic function.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21069437     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Despite the practical knowledge throughout the nineteenth century that citrus fruit cured scurvy, and that rickets and beriberi were diseases caused by poor diet, it was not until 1901 that animal feeding experiments led one investigator to propose the existence of 'accessory food factors,' a lack of which was determined to be the cause of some illnesses (Hopkins, 1949. In Joseph Needham and E. Baldwin (eds.), Hopkins and Biochemistry, 1861-1947: Papers Concerning Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, O.M., P.R.S., with a Selection of His Addresses and a Bibliography of His Publications. Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons Ltd). The discovery of vitamins has long been considered as a delayed discovery. This delay has been attributed to the power of the germ theory in physiology at the time. While the germ theory and theories of auto-intoxication certainly played a role in delaying the discovery of vitamins, I argue further that it is important to consider the difference made to physiology by understanding the vitamins' catalytic function. The profound difference made to physiology by the vitamins' catalytic function suggests that a vitamin concept had previously been systematically inaccessible to researchers working within the conceptual framework of Bernardian physiology.
Authors:
Robyn Braun
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the history of biology     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0022-5010     ISO Abbreviation:  J Hist Biol     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-09-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0202503     Medline TA:  J Hist Biol     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  483-504     Citation Subset:  QIS    
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology and Science, Technology and Society Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, robyn.braun@ualberta.ca.
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