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November 15th marks the passing of Elmer McCollum. McCollum was an American biochemist who introduced the letter designations for vitamins. He was working on a project to investigate why animals fed only wheat, oats or corn would not develop normally. He collected several wild rats to aid in this search and established the first lab rat colony in the United States. The wild rats did not work out as well as he had hoped, but purchased several white rats to continue the project.

He initially believed the rats weren't eating enough of the grains to maintain their health so he investigated the addition of flavors to enhance their diet. He found when either butterfat or protein free milk were added the rats did significantly better. Further investigations discovered a fat soluble nutrient. To distinguish it from Casimir Funk's previously discovered 'vital amine' that prevented beri-beri, he established the letter designation for vitamins. He labeled his fat soluble vitamin "vitamin A" and called Funk's water soluble vitamin "vitamin B".

He discovered vitamin D while investigating cod liver oil and established its antirachtic properties. Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.


July 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm
(1) minecraft crafting guide says:

Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological world all
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