Friday, December 28, 2012

Nutritional Anemia in history

The term nutritional anemia refers to a decreased concentration of hemoglobin or a decreased number of red blood cells in the blood that results from the lack of a substance obtained and replenished by ingestion of food stuffs.

Iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid are the primarily requirements for hemoglobin formation. An early study on the composition of blood was conducted by Robert Boyle in 1864.

Vincenzo Mengini a chemist and physician in Italy, demonstrated in 1747 that particles of dried, powdered blood were attracted to a lodestone, suggesting the existence of iron in blood.

The relationship among hookworm infection, iron deficiency and poor growth an cognition in children were describe in the 19th century and early part of the 20th century.

In 1824, James Scarth Combe described a pernicious anemia, a fatal nutritional anemia and suggested it could be related to a disorder of the digestive tract.

The understanding toward the etiology of pernicious anemia did not come until 1926 when George Minot and William Murphy, physician from Boston found that lightly cooked liver, which the prominent hematologist G. H Whipple had found to accelerate the regeneration of blood in dogs made anemic by exsanguinations, was highly effective as therapy for the disease.

Whipple, Minot and Murphy received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1934 for their discovery that liver treated pernicious anemia.
Nutritional Anemia in history
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