How Vitamin C got its name, and more shame for the A.M.A.

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How Vitamin C got its name, and more shame for the A.M.A.

Post Number:#1  Post by VanCanada » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:18 pm

The letter C first represented the "antiscurvy factor" in 1918 when experimental rat food containing the factor was labeled the C diet. In 1920 it became vitamin C. Its pure form was isolated from cattle adrenal glands by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1928). Thinking it was a new type of sugar but ignorant of its formula, he proposed naming it ignose. (The names of sugars end in ose.) A journal editor vetoed the flippancy; and godnose also. They agreed to name it hexuronic acid. It was reported to be the long-sought pure form of vitamin C in 1932. In 1933 Szent-Gyorgyi changed its name to ascorbic acid. In 1934 the American Medical Association's Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry decided the name suggested it was therapeutic, therefore was promotional, a no-no if a substance was to be included in AMA publications. In the January 5, 1935 issue of the AMA Journal the council advised that the term cevitamic acid be used in AMA publications. But scientists in Europe where most of the research was being done continued to use the term ascorbic acid. In 1939 the Council faced reality, junked its term and allowed ascorbic acid to be used in AMA publications.

- quoted from the Contents page of Vitamin C: how best to use it: how improper clinical trials have misled us!: separating fact from fiction to ensure proper use / Stephen Sheffrey, D.D.S. -- 2nd ed. (2002)

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