Podcast #136:  James Lind

0bfceb3e-9d23-4b08-9827-435445eea9dbRun Time: 3 minutes

Author: Dylan Luyten M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  • Scurvy is a terrible disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Causes failure of collagen synthesis and breakdown of connective tissue, and ultimately, death.
  • British sailors were called “Limeys” because of the practice of taking limes to prevent scurvy.
  • James Lind is notable in the history of medicine because he conducted the first clinical trial in 1747 and proved that citrus fruit cure scurvy.
  • Interestingly, he did not understand how vitamin C actually cured scurvy. The concept of “vitamins” did not exist at the time, and he and the rest of the medical profession at the time thought that scurvy was a result of poor hygiene and food “putrifaction”, and that the citrus had an antiseptic function. Just goes to show that you don’t have to understand how something works to know, and prove, it works!

Link to Podcast: http://medicalminute.madewithopinion.com/james-lind/

References: http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/articles/who-was-james-lind-and-what-exactly-did-he-achieve/

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