Beriberi or Inanition?

II. The Administration of Vitamin B1 to Rats Receiving Unbalanced Diets

Edward B. Vedder
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A connection between vitamin B and carbohydrate metabolism was claimed by Funk in 1914 (1), and Hartwell (2) in 1924 claimed a quantitative relation between protein and vitamin B. These and similar experiments were performed with yeast or other impure vitamin B concentrates, and it was thought desirable to conduct experiments to determine whether the pure crystalline vitamin B1 is concerned in the metabolism of protein, fat or carbohydrate, and further to produce inanition by using diets of fat and carbohydrate, though with an ample supply of vitamins, and to study possible changes in the nerves.

  1. 1. Eight rats of approximately 50 grams weight were fed on protein as follows:


    Casein, freed of vitamin B1 81

    Lean raw beef, twice a week 5

    Osborne and Mendel salt mixture 4

    Autoclaved yeast 10 (source of B2)

    Jewfish liver oil 0.5 (source of A and D)

  2. 2. Eight similar rats were fed on carbohydrate as follows:


    Cornstarch 81

    Osborne and Mendel salt mixture 4

Author Notes