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The Technique of Vitamin Assay

Nature volume 119, pages 216217 (05 February 1927) | Download Citation



W HEN it was found that a diet of pure protein, fat, and carbohydrate with salts and water was incapable of maintaining life in animals unless small quantities of certain natural foods were added, quantities too small to supplement the energy value or the content of the diet in the other known constituents, the foundation was laid upon which has been built in the last fifteen years a vast store of knowledge about the properties and occurrence of these unknown accessory food factors or vitamins. At first investigators were concerned with the qualitative distribution of each vitamin, as it was discovered: only later was attention directed to its quantitative estimation in different sources, as the methods of assay became more perfected. These lines of approach to an accurate knowledge are in use to-day, when a new vitamin is discovered, as is shown by the work of Evans and his collaborators on Vitamin E, or the reproductive factor.

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