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Recent History

January 16, 1933

Ten Lessons on Meat - for use in schools


"Pellagra is a disease which occurs in areas where the diet is lacking in fresh meats, milk, eggs, and leafy vegetables."

Meat and pellagra. 

Pellagra is a disease which occurs in areas where the diet is lacking in fresh meats, milk, eggs, and leafy vegetables. An adequate diet is the only effective method of prevention and cure of this disease. In early studies of this disease the cause was attributed to lack of sufficient protein of good biological value. The preventive action of fresh beef, which furnishes excellent protein, no doubt was responsible for this conclusion drawn by the late Dr. Goldberger and his co-workers. 

Further study by these workers in which a larger intake of protein in the form of casein failed completely to prevent the disease demonstrated that the potency of the beef was not due entirely to its protein. The results of such experiments have been interpreted as indicating that an unrecognized dietary essential is concerned with the prevention of pellagra. 

This factor, designated as P-P, according to these workers, might be effective with little or possibly no cooperation from the protein factor. The pellagra-preventive activity of yeast extract gave further evidence of the existence of this factor P-P. [65]  

Later studies associated pellagra-preventive factor P-P with vitamin B and revealed the multiple nature of vitamin B. Factor P-P, now designated vitamin G of the vitamin B complex, is contained in dried lean beef. Its presence in dried beefsteak and liver also has been demonstrated. The work of Hoagland and Snider has shown its presence in several dried tissues of beef, pork, and lamb. Eecent work by Sherman and Derbigny1  points to the possibility that both protein shortage and vitamin G deficiency may be concerned in the development of pellagra-like symptoms. They say: "In so far as the symptoms of shortage of vitamin G are regarded as pellagralike, such a vitamin theory of the disease should not preclude recognition of the possibility that the protein supply may also have a significant bearing on the pellagra problem." 

Day2  reports determinations of vitamin G in fresh tissues of beef and veal. This work found beef heart to be three times as potent as beef round steak; beef kidney 8-10 times; beef liver 10 times; veal round steak showed slightly higher concentration of vitamin G than beef round, and veal liver and kidney were about the same as beef kidney. 

From this study, as well as others, the potency of the glandular organs is shown to be higher in vitamin G content than the muscle tissues. When a diet consisting largely of salt pork and starchy foods is changed to one in which lean meats, milk and legumes are abundant, pellagra disappears.

Ancient History


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