What Are Vitamins?
( Originally Published 1922 )
vitamins are essential life-giving elements of food stored by nature in the juices of fruits, in the stalks and leaves of green vegetables, in milk and in butter fats and in the outer covering (bran) and germs of the whole grain.
Here is how vitamins were discovered—very recently.
As super-civilization advanced man began juggling with the foods which God had placed upon the earth in their perfect state. This juggling was done to make them more pleasing to the eye, or more easily cooked. (The juggler becoming rich therefrom.) All went well until certain strange diseases began to break out among groups of men who were caught under circumstances where their chief food was this denatured food. The first of these was the Japanese army. The disease baffled science. After thou-sands of the Japs had died the disease was traced to the absence of certain vital elements in the beautiful white rice. An extract made from the outer covering (the polishings) which had been removed were fed to the men and they promptly recovered.
With this incident as a basic fact scientists immediately began exhaustive research and experiments on animals.
These efforts proved that in the polishing of the rice not only the minerals but two other vital elements hitherto unknown to Science had been removed.
Further research proved that these same elements existed in, and were removed by the milling of wheat, corn, rye, etc., and still further research located the same elements in other essential articles of food.
Animals developed disease when these elements were withheld from their food and recovered when given them. The sick were made well, or the well were made sick at will—by juggling with these elements.
The scientists who first gave these discoveries to the world were Funk and McCollum.
Although these substances defied chemical analysis Funk succeeded in isolating them—extremely minute crystals.
The name "vitamins" was given them and later they were further specified as "Fat Soluble A" and "Water Soluble B." A third "Water Soluble C" being added still later.
Fat Soluble A is found in milk, butter, cheese, the yolks of eggs and the germs of whole grains, Water Soluble B in skim milk, in whole grains, in the leaves and stalks of green vegetables, in the juices of fruits. ."C" thus far has been located chiefly in fruit juices.
Without these elements in the food, health cannot be maintained.
The eye disease which developed among the children of Europe during the recent war was proven to be the result of a milkless and butterless diet—the absence of Fat Soluble A.
Poor Little Kiddies!
Henry Ford says that some day there will be artificial milk. Mr. Ford may possess the ability to have created the Ford and other useful modern contrivances; but God alone through the mysterious forces of nature has and always will create the vitamins.
Nature accepts no substitutes.