The value of meat as an antiscorbutic


Meat exclusive of such visceral organ as the liver has been regarded as a food playing no role or at least a very insignificant role as an antiscorbutic. The inability of muscle meat to prevent and to cure scurvy is an idea which has taken root because of the experiments of the earlier investigators. These workers did not appreciate the importance of freshly killed meat in contradistinction to fresh market meat. Furthermore, they used the guinea pig as a test animal. This animal has a limited gastro-intestinal capacity. It can, therefore, be fed only a small quantity of a food biologically assayed for Vitamin C content. If this small quantity possessed sufficient Vitamin C to cure or prevent scurvy, the food was said to possess antiscorbutic potency. If, however, this small quantity did not contain sufficient Vitamin C to cure or prevent scurvy, the food was regarded as one devoid of antiscorbutic potency. More recent experiments with freshly killed meat indicate that quantities fed within the physical capacity of the guinea pig possessed decided antiscorbutic value.

The chemical method for Vitamin C does not have the disadvantages of the guinea pig bio-assay method.

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Levine, V.E. The value of meat as an antiscorbutic. Jour. D. D. 8, 454–463 (1941).

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  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Orange Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Fresh Meat
  • Scurvy