FOREWORD by Linus Pauling to 'Every Second Child' by Dr Kalokerinos
presents the engrossing account of the attack, in large part ultimately successful, made
by Dr. Archie Kalokerinos on the problem of the very high death rate of Aboriginal
children in the part of
Through his work Dr. Kalokerinos has made a great contribution to the health and welfare not only of the Australian Aborigines but also of people everywhere in the world.
The idea that there might be a rather general deficiency in vitamin C was developed slowly during the twenty years from about 1949. In that year G. B. Bourne pointed out that the gorilla, which like man requires vitamin C in his food in order to keep alive, obtains in his daily supply of food a very large amount of vitamin C, about 5,000 milligrams, 100 times the amount usually recommended for human beings. In 1965 the American biochemist Irwin Stone presented several arguments to support the thesis that the optimum intake of vitamin C, the intake that leads to the best of health, probably for most people lies between 1,000 and 5,000 milligrams per day. One argument leading to this conclusion is that most animals manufacture vitamin C in their own bodies, and the amount manufactured corresponds to an intake by man of between 4,000 and 16,000 milligrams per day. It is interesting also that the Committee on Human Foods and Nutrition of the United States Academy of Sciences-National Research Council recommends only 60 milligrams per day for human beings, whereas the Committee on Feeding of Laboratory Animals, also a committee of the United States National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, recommends 2,000 milligrams per day for monkeys. It is likely that the second committee has more reliable experimental information to support its recommendation than the first committee, because it is possible to carry out controlled experiments on monkeys more easily than on human beings.
In the period between 1942 and 1961 several investigations were reported in which it was found that people receiving 200 milligrams to 1000 milligrams of vitamin C per day had fewer colds than people who were given an inactive tablet. During the last three years six more studies have been made of people who receive either vitamin C or an inactive tablet over a period of weeks or months, and they were observed to see whether the incidence and severity of colds were affected. It was found in every one of these investigations that an added intake of vitamin C leads to a decrease in the number of colds and also to a decrease in the amount of illness caused by colds. Moreover, it has been found that there is a decrease in the incidence of non-respiratory diseases, as well. We may conclude from these studies that an improvement in health may in general be expected to result from an increased intake of vitamin C.
The problem of obtaining a suitable amount of vitamin C is, of course, a far more serious one for the Australian Aborigines than for other people. I believe that the conclusion reached by Dr. Kalokerinos that the high infant mortality and generally high incidence of disease among the Aboriginal infants are to be attributed in considerable part to a low body content of vitamin C is correct. Moreover, it seems to be not unlikely that the Australian Aborigines have a special immunological problem, as described by Dr. Kalokerinos, and that in addition the deficiency in vitamin C is exacerbated by immunizations and inoculations, since it is known that immunization and inoculation lead to destruction of vitamin C. Dr. Kalokerinos deserves much credit for having made these discoveries.
LINUS PAULING, Ph.D.