International Abstacts

Notes From Foreign Journals


Vitamin C

            The action of Vitamin C in progressive muscular atrophy has been studied by Hirata and Suzuki. In a series of 10 cases, they found that each of the patients was suffering from Vitamin C deficiency. Accordingly, these patients were given from 200 to 500 mg. of Vitamin C daily by intravenous or intramuscular injection.

Examination of the cerebro-spinal fluid during the course increase in Vitamin C content. Both subjective and objective improvements were obtained.

An especially favorable effect on a dynamia was noted, although, of course, no regeneration of already impaired muscle fibres occurred. Muscular metabolism, especially as regards glycogen, creatine-phosphoric acid and adenylpyro-phosphoric acid, was favorably influenced.

The authors are of the opinion that continued oral administration of large doses of Vitamin C provides that most efficient treatment yet available for this difficult condition. –Klin, Woch., 16, July 17, 1937, p. 1009



Cost of Dental Treatment

            As regards the national cost of dental treatment it is estimated that this figure is somewhere in the region of nine and a half million pounds a year. In arriving that this estimate the average income of dental surgeons is take to be between £500 and £750 per annum. Now when we bear in mind that much dental disease can be prevented often by very simple measures, it would seem to be a very easy matter indeed to reduce the cost for remedying dental disease, and to expend the greater part of it in measures having prevention in view. The same remark applies, though perhaps not so pointedly, to medical treatment. If every man, woman and child were examined dentally and medically at least twice a year the saving in the cost of ill-health would automatically be enormous. It is a great pity that the ordinary citizen does not realize that it is infinitely more advantageous to consult his medical advisor voluntarily when well than when ill-health overtakes him and he is then compelled to seek out his adviser whether he wishes to or not. He has the no option. How many sudden deaths could be prevented by preventive measures carried out before it is too late.

-Medical World



Infant Mortality

            The Norwegians and Danes share the same language and, to a certain extent, the same Viking ancestry; but the many fundamental differences between the two nations include a remarkable disparity in the infant mortalities. Why is it that during the last 100 years the infant mortality has been consistently much higher in Denmark than in Norway? In the five-year period 1841-1845 the Norwegian infant mortality was 10.6 per 100 live births, whereas the corresponding figure for Denmark was 13.6. This difference in favor of Norway was most marked in the five-year period 1891-1895 when the figure for Norway was 9.8, whereas it was 13.9 for Denmark. In the five-year period 1926-1930 this figure was 5.0 for Norway and 8.2 for Denmark. These figures show that in Norway the infant mortality has been reduced between 18.41 and 19.30 from 10.6 to 5.0, whereas the corresponding reduction for Denmark has been form 13.6 to 8.2

Correspondence in the Danish journal Ugeskrift for Laeger has apparently, deepened the mystery in spite of all the new light thrown on it. Dr. Johanne Christiansen has seen in this comparison clear evidence of the vitamin deficiency form which she believes her countrymen have suffered wholesale for many years. The Danes, she writes, consume about 20 kilos per year per head of vitamin-deficient margarine, only about 8 kilos of fish, little of which is fat fish, and only 86 eggs. The Norwegians, on the other hand, eat 50 to 60 kilos of fish, much of which is fat fish (herring, fish liver, roe and cod-liver oil). “good” milk and 124 eggs per head per year. Dr. Soren Hansen refuses to accept the opinion that the Norwegian superiority in the matter of infant mortality reflects their fish eating habits and their comparative distaste for vitamin-deficient margarine. Margarine was not introduced into Denmark ‘till the middle of the last century, and certain of the Norwegian counties where fish eating is most prevalent suffer from an exceptionally high infant mortality.

-Medical World



Dental Caries

Man is but the product of the soil on which he lives. South African pastures have all

been proved to be deficient in phosphorus.

In all four groups of the T’Zitzikama area, the environment is the same but the diet different. As from the observations recorded it would seem that caries is much more prevalent in those parts where the people have, to say, no marine diet. We admit that the highly carbohydrate diet eaten by most of the people under consideration may be a contributing factor, but our contention is that the main factor is a diet that is not rich in mineral matter.

In the Karroo, thought the soil rich in minerals, they are not well balanced and phosphorus is scanty. Along the lime belts north of Kimberley phosphorus is lacking and the people have caries.

One would like a dental survey of the Union to be made and correlated with the different soils on which the people live.

It is questionable how much of the calcium, etc., of the many products on the market today is taken up by the body. We believe that the tablets which we had made ourselves, containing calcium gluconate, dicalcium phosphate and iodine may prevent a catabolic waste of these minerals, but it is difficult to claim that the calcium and phosphorus thus presented will be assimilated.

The assistance of the Agricultural Department should be called in to help with the fertilization of the soil. The church should be called upon as well as the Education Department to educate the people to new habits of diet and living. The problem is not merely to provide for extraction of carious teeth to relieve pain, but to change the habits of the people, set up a system of fertilizing the soil, and what is more, get the people to eat what the sea offers.

-Excerpt from paper read at the National Congress of the Dental Association of South Africa, Johannesburg, December, 1936, per South African Dental Journal., per The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association.




            “Nutritional Value of Some Indian Diets.” The northern Indian, well-to-do and poor Hindu diets, are compared as a result of their effect upon rats. All three are low in Ca and P –the poor Hindu being rachitigenic. As a result, calcification was impaired in all three groups compared with the controls. It is stated that the composition of the teeth is not so readily altered by dietary means as is that the bones. Interglobular dentine was greater than normal, and showed a high degree of stratification, the predentine having many vascular inclusions. These diets also affected the breeding of the rats. Group C, on the poor Hindu diet, did not breed at all. Group A, on the northern Indian diet, showed low litter-weights and weaning-weights and number of young surviving to weaning. Group B, well-to-do Hindu diet, showed the same poor reproductive performance. The conclusion is that the northern Indian diet is superior to both Hindu diets, the poor Hindu diet being defective in all points. The mortality in Group A and B was nil, but in Group C, six died of pneumonia, and none survived more than 105 days. –Physiology Department, Rowett Institute, Aberdeen. –The British Dental Journal.



Vitamin D

            Summing up the results of extensive experiments, it may be concluded that a relatively high intake of Vitamin D can do much to diminish the incidence of caries if the Vitamin is given during the period of development of the teeth; that a beneficial effect may be obtained if it is given at a fairly late stage of development; and that even when it is given after the eruption of the teeth, the onset and spread of caries are delayed. –Nature, per Australasian Journal of Pharmacy, per The Dental Journal of Australia.