Medicine & Public Health; Nutrition; Ophthalmology; Biochemistry; History of Medicine; Pediatrics; Public Health; Social Medicine; Vitamins
This book shows how vitamin A deficiency – before the vitamin was known to scientists – affected millions of people throughout history. It is a story of sailors and soldiers, penniless mothers, orphaned infants, and young children left susceptible to blindness and fatal infections. We also glimpse the fortunate ones who, with ample vitamin A-rich food, escaped this elusive stalker. Why were people going blind and dying? To unravel this puzzle, scientists around the world competed over the course of a century. Their persistent efforts led to the identification of vitamin A and its essential role in health. As a primary focus of today’s international public health efforts, vitamin A has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But, we discover, they could save many more were it not for obstacles erected by political and ideological zealots who lack a historical perspective of the problem.
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