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December 2, 1941

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The origins of the idea that there wasn’t enough vitamin C in meat to prevent scurvy came from the failure of meat to prevent scurvy in guinea pigs: the concentration of vitamin C in the meats tested wasn’t high enough for the guinea pigs who could only eat small quantities of meat since they are herbivores.





The value of meat as an antiscorbutic


Important Text:

The value of meat as an antiscorbutic

The American Journal of Digestive Diseases volume 8, pages454–463 (1941)Cite this article

Meat exclusive of such visceral organ as the liver has been regarded as a food playing no role or at least a very insignificant role as an antiscorbutic. The inability of muscle meat to prevent and to cure scurvy is an idea which has taken root because of the experiments of the earlier investigators. These workers did not appreciate the importance of freshly killed meat in contradistinction to fresh market meat. Furthermore, they used the guinea pig as a test animal. This animal has a limited gastro-intestinal capacity. It can, therefore, be fed only a small quantity of a food biologically assayed for Vitamin C content. If this small quantity possessed sufficient Vitamin C to cure or prevent scurvy, the food was said to possess antiscorbutic potency. If, however, this small quantity did not contain sufficient Vitamin C to cure or prevent scurvy, the food was regarded as one devoid of antiscorbutic potency. More recent experiments with freshly killed meat indicate that quantities fed within the physical capacity of the guinea pig possessed decided antiscorbutic value.

The chemical method for Vitamin C does not have the disadvantages of the guinea pig bio-assay method.

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Scurvy is a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Early symptoms of deficiency include weakness, feeling tired and sore arms and legs. It can be treated and prevented by eating fresh meat and vegetables.
Carnivore Diet
The carnivore diet involves eating only animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, marrow, meat broths, organs. There are little to no plants in the diet.
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