Thursday, November 21, 2019

Harry Goldblatt (1891-1977) and research of Vitamin D

Vitamin D became classified as a vitamin through a historical accident. It was in 1919/20 that Sir Edward Mellanby, working with dogs raised exclusively indoors, devised a diet that allowed him to unequivocally establish that their bone disease, rickets was caused by a deficiency of a trace component present in the diet.

The transformation of the vitamin D precursor (7-dehydrocholesterol) by UVB has been discovered in 1923 by Harry Goldblatt and Katherine Soames, research that was later developed by Alfred Fabian Hess and Mildred Weinstock.

Harry Goldblatt was an American pathologist whose research and experiments on renovascular hypertension were an important contribution to understanding and treating this disease. He was born in Iowa, the son of Phillip and Jennie Spitz Goldblatt. He grew up in Canada, received a B.A. from McGill University, and graduated from its medical school in 1916.

During the course of extensive nutritional research, in 1923 Harry Goldblatt and Katherine Soames clearly identified that when a precursor of vitamin D in the skin (7-dehydrocholesterol) was irradiated with sunlight or ultraviolet light, a substance equivalent to the fat-soluble vitamin was produced.

Goldblatt and Soames irradiated rat livers that had been excised from rachitic rats with ultraviolet light and found that when the irradiated tissue was ground and fed to other rachitic rats, there was a remission of the D deficiency, whereas the livers from unirradiated rats were not.

Harry Goldblatt (1891-1977) and research of Vitamin D

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