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The original Vitamin B has since been separated into three components–B1 (B2 to some writers) or Vitamin G, considered as the anti-pellagra factor, not destroyed by cooking; B2 (B3 to some writers) also known as Vitamin F, the growth-promoting factor, not destroyed by cooking; and Vitamin B proper, the antineuritic or nerve-nourishing factor, which is destroyed by cooking.
It is this last component that we are now to consider. Besides its action in maintaining nerve tissue, it is also necessary to growth, cooperating with “F” and “G” in this function and probably with other factors as yet not thoroughly investigated.
Vitamin B is of vital importance in cooperation with Vitamin C in maintaining normal health of the entire endocrine system. Some observers report atrophy of the organs of internal secretion (in the case of pigeons rendered polyneuritic), while others report increase in size and weight of adrenals, thymus, pancreas, testes, ovaries, spleen, heart, liver, kidneys, stomach, thyroid and brain.
These contradictory findings are easily explained. If an endocrine organ fails to receive the proper nutrition, it is unable to secrete a functionally normal hormone. If the lack of nutrition is severe enough, the result will be atrophy, or death of parenchyma. If the deficiency is less severe, over a longer period, the tendency is for the nervous control (originating in the “test organ” of Sajous, the pituitary) to unduly stimulate the abused endocrine to excessive activity, and an enlarged but morbidly or insufficiently secreting endocrine is the consequence. The pancreas in diabetes is a classic example of the first type of reaction; toxic goiter of the second.
The degeneration of nerve tissue and the paralysis of beriberi are conditions of more severe deficiency of “B,” and are not of so great importance to us here in the United States. Pellagra, however, is due to more than Vitamin G deficiency alone, the “B” deficiency being responsible, no doubt, for the spinal cord degeneration that precedes the skin lesions and causes them to be bilaterally symmetrical.
Probably the most widespread effect of the universal partial dietary deficiency of “B” is constipation. The action of bran as a remedy for this condition is in no small measure due to the chemical effect of the “B” contained in it rather than to the mechanical action of the bran particles in irritating the intestinal lining into secretory activity (which latter effect cannot be considered harmless). If you do not believe this, try drinking water in which bran has been soaked as a remedy for that condition.
Loss of muscular tone is another important “B” deficiency consequence. The loss of appetite following “B” deficiency is due to the failure of the empty stomach to contract, because of this condition in the muscular stomach walls, in connection with the established fact that the contraction of the stomach causes the hunger sensation.
This same loss of muscular tone in the heart muscle makes “B” an important factor in many heart cases, as we mentioned in Vitamin News No. 1. It is also a factor in the constipation effect, as well as being a common cause of general lassitude and asthenia.
Going back to endocrine considerations, shooting pains in the gonads are frequent symptoms of the deficiency of both “B” and “C.” This condition is so common in women that it explains the contention of a prominent surgeon that the major proportion of appendicitis operations on women are traceable to misdiagnosed ovary pains. There is no demonstration of the effectiveness of “Catalyn” more striking than its action in eliminating this symptom.
In fact, “B” is of vital importance to the female sex. In pregnancy the endocrine hyperactivity requires an ample supply of “B” (with its complement “C”), without which goiter, lymphatic and tonsil enlargement, etc. tend to result.
It is the deficiency of “B” and “C” in our civilized diet that is responsible for the difficulties and distress of childbirth that we know is not present among the races of disappearing humanity that eat naturally. Proof of this statement lies in the consistent results obtained where “Catalyn” is used during this period, and as a control for the hyperemesis it is found to be very satisfactory.
Vitamins B and C are vitally necessary for normal lactation, and Dr. Barnett Sure cites the case of an infant that after two weeks’ administration of “B” concentrate, “Had changed from a thin, pale, spastic, restless, whining infant…to a happy, rosy-cheeked, smiling baby, whose appetite never seemed to be completely satisfied and whose gain in weight was remarkable.”
Cow’s milk is notoriously low in Vitamin B even when the feed supplied is relatively high in this essential, Therefore, “Catalyn” can be considered the most convenient and certain source of the more difficulty obtainable Vitamins A, B and C for the infant, as well as making the use of cod liver oil, etc. unnecessary through the “D” content, if supplied at the rate of not less than one half tablet a day.
Although the Vitamin Products Company is now preparing special tablets of some of the individual vitamins to permit the boosting of an obvious single deficiency where there is a necessity to supplement temporarily the administration of “Catalyn”, it is not considered desirable to commercially furnish special concentrates of “B” and “C” for the reason that so far no clinical necessity has developed for their specific use in higher concentration than is present in “Catalyn” alone. This is mainly because of the fact that “B” and “C” are so cooperative in action.
Tablets of both “B” and “C” concentrates are available, however, for experimental purposes on special order.