Edward Mellanby M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S.
Vitamin A Infection & nutrition
[Vitamin A was named the “anti-infective vitamin” in 1928 by Edward Mellanby (1884-1955) and Harry N. Green, both doctors at the University of Sheffield.]
See: Sandler, M.D., Benjamin P.
 Cod Liver Oil: The
Number One Superfood by Krispin Sullivan, CN The most fascinating part
of this little book is the chapter describing the experiments done in England by
a Mrs. May Mellanby. Her husband, Dr. E. Mellanby, was the author of over 400
studies and the first to control rickets with diet. Cod liver oil had been used
for centuries as a remedy but the specific application to rickets was first
demonstrated by Dr. Mellanby. (Control of rickets using UV-B light was
demonstrated almost simultaneously by investigators at Columbia and Johns
Hopkins University in 1921.) In his research into rickets in dogs, he discovered
the mineral-blocking effect of phytic acid in grains and legumes. Dr. Mellanby
demonstrated that diets containing high levels of cereals, especially oatmeal,
and lacking vitamin D, are the most effective producers of rickets. If vitamin D
is inadequate there is poor tooth development, but Mrs. Mellanby then went on to
prove that no matter how much cereal is fed, if vitamin D is adequate tooth
formation is normal. Mrs. Mellanby believed that as cereals increase in the
diet, vitamin D must also be increased to offset their anticalcifying
effects—think of the implications of this research on today's baby-feeding
habits, where infants are given cereals as their first food but denied egg yolks
until they are one year old!
Mrs. Mellanby also determined that vitamin D must be present from conception in order for proper tooth formation to occur. If vitamin D is absent during the early gestational period, the enamel cannot form properly, and it cannot be repaired by giving vitamin D later.
In her initial studies Mrs. Mellanby used dogs as the source of data but she later examined more than one thousand "baby" teeth from children. She divided these teeth into four categories—normal, hypoplastic (slightly underdeveloped), moderately underdeveloped and grossly underdeveloped. Only 149, or about 14 percent, of the total 1,036 were sound. About one-quarter were slightly underdeveloped, but nearly two-thirds were moderately or grossly underdeveloped.
It is more difficult to examine teeth in place, but of 266 adult teeth examined by Mrs. Mellanby, not one was sound. The teeth were extracted only for purposes of straightening the teeth, which means that they were erupting in a jaw that was underdeveloped. Thus, children with narrow faces most likely have underdeveloped teeth. Tooth structure and later decay are directly related. Prevention of cavities must start in the womb.
[Chapter 4: CHAPTER 4 NUTRITION AND INFECTION] NUTRITION AND DISEASE. THE INTERACTION OF CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL WORK by Edward Mellanby M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S.