Monday, January 31, 2011

Vitamin B Discovery

The Englishman Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins is given credit for approaching the discovery of the vitamin concept, when in 1906, he determined that food contains essential ingredients beyond carbohydrates, minerals fats, proteins and water.

The term vitamin was first used for water soluble substance which was necessary for the nutrition of infants and which was separated from wheat germ, yeasts and milk.

In fact this term was used after the first discovery of anti-beriberi factor by Casimir Funk in 1912. The first vitamin B discovered was vitamin B1 by Funk that was extracted from police rice husk.

It was then isolated in pure and crystalline form by B.C.P Jansen in 1925.

Casimir coined the term ‘vital amine’ to describe the class of chemicals that he and other researchers were studying, and the word was simplified to ‘vitamin’ by 1920.

Three years after this discovery, Elmer Vernon McCollum and Marguerite Davis labeled it ‘water soluble B’ which British biochemist Jack Cecil changed to vitamin B in 1920.

Casimir Funk (1884-1967), a Polish born American biochemist, collected all published literature in the issue of deficiency diseases. He was the first to isolate niacin, latter called vitamin B3.
Vitamin B Discovery

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