In 1912, Casimir Funk, Polish-born biochemist, proposed the “vitamine hypothesis,”
that is, the concept that the deficiency diseases—beriberi, scurvy, pellagra, and
rickets—are caused by the absence of specific chemical substances (in trace amounts)
in the diet. This proposal helped stimulate research in nutrition. Funk's investigation
of antiberiberi factor revealed that it was an amine. Assuming that all similar substances
were amines, Funk named these substances “vitamines” (vital amines or life amines).
Later, however, investigators determined that only the antiberiberi substance, thiamine
or vitamin B1, is an amine; thus, the term “vitamine” was changed to “vitamin.”
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
© 1994 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.