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Good Health and Bad Medicine:
 Diet - Part 2

 Diet - Part 3

 Diet - Part 4

 Diet - Part 5

 Some Common Food Fallacies

 Teeth - Part 1

 Teeth - Part 2

 Teeth - Part 3

 Obesity - Part 1

 Obesity - Part 2

 Read More Articles About: Good Health and Bad Medicine

Diet - Part 5

( Originally Published 1940 )


The choice of a suitable preparation of vitamin D is difficult not only for the consumer but also for the physician. There are hundreds of products on the market sold in inter-state commerce and therefore subject to supervision and checking by the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration. An equal number are made and sold within state limits by local manufacturers, druggists and department stores and therefore not subject to federal super-vision. In only a few states are these local brands tested and checked for potency by laboratories of the state board of health.

The strength or potency of a preparation is usually measured in terms of the number of units per gram or ounce of a liquid preparation and the number of units per capsule or tablet of a concentrate. Unfortunately one cannot always be certain of claims of potency stated on a label. Laboratory assays are very expensive and only the largest companies can afford to maintain their own laboratories for assays. Smaller firms either get commercial laboratories to do the assays or else make their products from vitamin preparations sold to them by the larger companies and with potencies presumably guaranteed by these companies. In many instances no as-saying or checking is done.

In 1937, tests on 34 shipments of vitamin products by the Federal Food and Drug Administration showed that 24 of these did not have the vitamin potencies their labels claimed or fell below the official U.S. Pharmacopoeia standard. A number were otherwise misbranded or adulterated. It is very probable that misbranding or substandard potency is even more common in products sold in intrastate commerce.

In certain conditions of ill health or when the diet has to be restricted for therapeutic reasons, the use of other vitamin preparations may be desirable; but like other remedies, they should be prescribed by a physician.

Millions of American families suffer from nutritional deficiencies—mainly a lack of vitamins and minerals—because of poverty. The remedy for these people is economic: a higher standard of living, better wages, higher relief allowances so that better food can be bought.

Tens of thousands of American families suffer from lack of certain vitamins and minerals because of ignorance about food values. The remedy for them is diet education. In fact, the whole population would profit if it were taught to plan diets with an eye to health value as well as to appetite appeal. But teaching is not enough. When the indigent are no longer indigent, when medical attention can be obtained by every-one and when health education is obtained from health authorities and not from advertisements, only then will nutritional deficiency disappear in America.

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