You’re pretty sure you know your body and you tell your doctor you’re just not feeling right. You’re tired, maybe a little depressed, a bit achy. Maybe your digestion is “off.” The list of foods you can’t seem to enjoy is definitely longer. Your doctor’s empathic, not at all dismissive of your symptoms, but after […]
Over the years of writing Health Tips, I was surprised to discover that one I’d written a few years ago about vitamin B12 deficiency had received the most comments and questions from readers. Since there have been some interesting developments in both the diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency, and since B12 deficiency remains so […]
In the eighteenth century, seasoned sailors found that by sucking on lemons they could avoid scurvy, a debilitating disease that often developed during long voyages when fresh fruits and vegetables were scarce. When the lemon’s key nutrient was formally identified in 1928, it was named ascorbic acid for its anti-scurvy, or antiscorbutic, action. Today ascorbic acid is widely known as vitamin C.
In l948, scientists were successful in identifying a nutritional substance in calf’s liver that could prevent pernicious anemia, a potentially deadly disorder that mainly affects older adults. The compound—vitamin Bl2 (or cobalamin)—turned out to be the last vitamin to be discovered.
The word “dandelion” derives from the French “dent de lion,” meaning lion’s tooth. The jagged edges of the plant’s shiny, smooth leaves account for its fierce-sounding name. In Europe the medicinal properties of this perennial (Taraxacum officinale) are so prized that it is grown commercially, but in North America dandelion is often dismissed as a bothersome weed. It wasn’t always so, however. Wise minds at England’s Hudson Bay Company, which was founded in 1670, made sure that employees in their Canadian outposts received shipments of vitamin- and mineral-rich dandelion roots to supplement an excessively meat-laden diet. Ordinary English settlers, too, planted dandelion in their window boxes and herb gardens.