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CHEM 181 (47)

woc 7- cod liver oil and vitamin d.docx

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McGill University
CHEM 181
David Harpp

pages 144148 COD LIVER OIL AND VITAMIN DAt the industrial revolution physicians noticed bowleggedness in children Ricketts This was because factory smoke often obliterated the sun and UV light is necessary to produce vitamin D in the body Vitamin D plays a critical role in the absorption of calcium necessary for bone formation o This connection to Ricketts however was not made until the early years of the 20th century This was when Dr Hess and Dr Weinstock of Columbia University laid the foundation for our understanding of the role of Vitamin D in bone formation with an ingenious experimentThey deprived rats of sunshine until they developed Ricketts Then they excised a piece of skin from the animals placed it in brilliant sunshine and then added it to the rats food The rats quickly recovered o Another study was done when Dr Mellanby in England suspected that something was missing from the English diet mostly porridge in the poor to cause Ricketts He fed dogs only oats and they got Ricketts therefore he proved something was missing from the oats Since not all porridgeeaters got Ricketts the compound missing must be present in other foods He assumed that it was in animal products and for some reason chose to feed cod liver oil to the dogs and they got better From then on cod liver oil was used to prevent Ricketts So he came upon a cure with the wrong assumptions the dogs had actually also been kept in the darkThe missing substance turned out to be Vitamin DOut bones are essentially composed of calcium phosphate the components of which originate in the diet But the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract requires the presence of a transport
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