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Monopoly medicine prevents real healthcare May 27, 2007

Posted by Dreamhealer in Health.
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It was 260 years ago this month (May 20, 1747, to be exact) that a British naval physician began what some have called the world’s first clinical trial. At the time, the biggest scourge of the Royal Navy was not enemy cannon fire from the French or Spanish fleets, but scurvy, a disease that left sailors weak, bleeding and incapacitated, often killing them.
No one knew anything about vitamins then, and even less about vitamin deficiency. A 31-year-old naval surgeon, James Lind, hypothesized that foods high in acid content might help, so he tested 12 sailors suffering from scurvy and divided them into six pairs. In addition to their regular meals, he fed each pair different things, such as garlic, seawater, cider, vinegar, oranges and limes, and within a few weeks it was obvious which worked best: While the orange and lime pair regained their strength and went back to work, the others worsened. This discovery was of no small import; preventing scurvy contributed enormously to the massive strength of the British navy and Britannia would rule the waves for the next almost 200 years.
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