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Food Factors

In the Dutch East Indies in 1897 men on the plantations were falling sick with a strange nerve disease. They were unable to eat or hold their food. Their arms and legs became paralyzed and shrunken. So many were sick, that the hospitals had no more room for the victims of this disease, known as beriberi (the origin of the word is from a Sinhalese phrase meaning I cannot, I cannot, the word being doubled for emphasis). The Dutch physician Dr. Christian Eijkman was sent from Holland to try to find out how to prevent and cure this disease. Eijkman was immersed in germ theory. He was sure that beriberi was a bacterial disease. He brought chickens with him and hoped to cultivate the germ in them. But in this he failed. However during the course of 1896 these chickens came down spontaneously with a disease very much like beriberi. Before Eijkman could do much about it, the disease vanished. Searching for causes, he found out that a certain period of time the chicken had been fed on polished rice from the hospital stores and it was after that they sickened. Put back on commercial chicken food, they recovered. Dr. Eijkman also learnt that the favorite food of the people was white polished rice. This was prepared by rubbing off the brown outer coating of the rice grains. Dr. Eijkman decided to try an experiment. He fed a number of hens with polished rice until they became paralyzed. The hens were then divided into two groups. One group, the control, was kept on the usual polished diet. The other group was given not only polished rice, but t he outer brown rice skins as well. In a short time, the control group which ate nothing but white rice died of beriberi. The test group that received the brown rice polishings was cured. This was the first carefully controlled experiment showing that there was something in the food that could prevent a dangerous disease. Eijkman did not appreciate the true meaning of this at first. He thought there was a toxin of some sort in rice grains and that this was neutralized by something in the hulls. The hulls were removed when rice was polished, leaving the toxin in the polished rice neutralized. However, why assume the presence of two different unknown substances, a toxin and an antitoxin, when it was only necessary to assume one: some food factor required in traces? The outstanding exponents of this latter view were Hopkins and a Polish-born biochemist Casimir Funk. Each suggested that not only beriberi, but also such diseases as scurvy, rickets were caused by the absence of trace of food factors. Under the impression that these food factors belonged to the class of compounds known as amines Funk suggested these factors be named vitamins (life amines) and ever since the name was adopted.

Notes to the text

Protein Germ Toxin Polished Hull Scurvy Rickets

[pr ti:n] [d m] [t ksin] [p l  t] [h l] [sk :vi] [r k ts]

Protein Germene Toxin cur at, lustruit Coaj Scorbut Rahitism


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I. Comprehension check

1. Answer the following questions: 1. Which are the symptoms of beriberi? 2. What does the term beriberi mean? 3. Was beriberi a bacterial disease? 4. Which was dr. Eijkmans experiment? 5. Which are the causes of beriberi? 6. What did dr. Eijkman find out after doing the experiment? 7. Are vitamins important for our health? 2. Match the word with the definition: 1. germ a) a large farm, especially in a hot part of the world, on which a particular type of crop is grown 2. antitoxin b) (an) illness of people, animals, plants, etc., caused by infection or a failure of health rather than by an accident 3. plantation c) someone or something which has been hurt, damaged or killed or has suffered, either because of the actions of someone or something else, or because of illness or chance 4. vitamin d) a very small organism that causes disease 5. toxin e) a poisonous substance, especially one which is produced by bacteria and which causes disease 6. immerse f) a substance that stops or reduces the effect of a toxin (poisonous substance) in your body 7. victim g) any of a group of natural substances which are necessary in small amounts for the growth and good health of the body 8. vanish h) the food and drink usually eaten or drunk by a person or group 9. diet i) to become completely involved in something 10. disease j) to disappear or stop being present or existing, especially in a sudden, surprising way 3. Find in the text words for each definition:

1. To prepare land and grow crops on it, or to grow a particular crop c _________ 2. A type of bird kept on a farm for its eggs or its meat, or the meat of this bird which is cooked and eaten c__________ 3. A seed from a plant, especially a plant like a grass such as rice or wheat g ____ 4. The natural outer layer which covers a person, animal, fruit, etc. s _______ 5.To rub something using a piece of cloth or brush to clean it and make it shine p 6. Any feeling of illness or physical or mental change which is caused by a particular disease; any single problem which is caused by and shows a more serious and general problem s _____________________ 7. A test done in order to learn something or to di scover whether something works or is true e ____________________ 8. The condition of the body and the degree to which it is free from illness, or the state of being well h _____________________ 9. To remove the covering or the stem and leaves from some f ruits, vegetables and seeds h _____________________ 10. a disease which children who do not have enough vitamin D can suffer from, in which the bones become soft and not shaped correctly r___________
II. Vocabulary and Grammar

1. a) Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first: Example: I want to live in New York. I wish I lived in New York. 1. I want to have a swimming pool. If only__________________ 2. I want to live near the sea. I wish__________________ 3. I am working tomorrow. I dont want to. I wish__________________ 4. I have to pay tax. I dont like it. I wish__________________ 5. I want a girlfriend. If only__________________ 6. I didnt study at university. I regret this. I wish___________________ 7. I was horrible to my brother. I am sorry now. If only__________________ 8. I didnt take the exam. I should have. I wish___________________ 9. I crashed my fathers car. I regret this. I wish___________________ 10.I met my wife when I was 32. Earlier would ha ve been better. If only____ b) 1. Match the beginnings and endings: a) if I hadnt seen your advert in the Lonely Hearts column. 2. If you didnt have a lot of money b) unless he really needed it. 3. We wouldnt be together now c) we would still be rich. 4. If David hadnt stolen the money d) I would give it to the police. 5. He wouldnt have stolen the money e) I wouldnt have married you. 6. If he had hidden the money in my f) he wouldnt be in prison. house 2. Insert the following words in the text below: 1. If you hadnt gambled all our money

Tablets, hot, relieved, replace, painful, content, muscles, deficiency, symptom, salt Men working hard in (1)_____ moist atmosphere sweat much. If they (2)______ the water lost but not the (3)______, NaCl (4)______ is produced. A common (5)______ is wide-spread, intense and exceedingly (6)______ cramps of the (7)______ probably due to the harmful effect of the low Na (8)______ of the intestinal fluid. The cramps are (9)______ by drinking saline solution (0 .5 per cent) or by taking salt (10)_____. Nowadays such workers are given salt tablets prophylactically. 3. Match the idiom with its definition: 1. apple of her/his eye 2. bad egg 3. big cheese 4. cool as a cucumber 5. couch potato 6. hot potato 7. in a nutshell 8. in the soup 9. make ones mouth water 10. out of the frying pan and into the fire a) an important person, a leader b) a very lazy person c) briefly, in a few words d) someone or something that one likes a lot e) in serious trouble, in disorder f) look or smell very good, want to eat or drink very much g) a bad person, bum h) go from something bad to something worse i) a question or argument that is controversial and difficult to settle j) calm, not nervous or anxious

4. Fill in the gaps with the correct idiom from the box: 1. She quit the job because of some small problems but she has jumped __________ because now her problems are much worse. 2. She is really _______ now. She told her boss that she was sick but he saw her downtown shopping. 3. The issue of building the nuclear power plant is a real _________ for the local town council. 4. The restaurant is supposed to be wonderful and every time that I see the menu i t makes __________. 5. He is a real _________ and just sits around watching TV and staying indoors all day. 6. He is a __________ in his company so you should be very nice to him. 7. We went to the meeting and they told us _______ what would be happening to everyone next year.

8. That man is a ________ so you should try and avoid him if you can. 9. The little girl is __________________. 10. He is always _____________ and never worries about anything.
III. Writing

1. Translate the following passage into English: Vitaminele sunt produse alimentare necesare pentru men inerea func iilor vitale. Organismul omului i cel al animalelor nu sintetizeaz vitaminele, de aceea necesit s le primeasc sintetizate. Insuficien a de vitamine n alimente sau modificarea procesului de asimilare a lor duce la dereglarea schimbului de substan e. Organismele trebuie s primeasc vitamine permanent n cantit i determinate. Dar cantitatea de vitamine n produsele alimentare este variat i nu tot timpul asigur necesit ile organismului. . , . . . 2. Make up short dialogues on the following imaginary situations: 1. We are preparing for a TV program. The question to be discussed is vitamins. Interview a physician on this point. 2. You are a doctor. You are consulting a patient with a strange nerve disease. Cant it be beriberi? Ask the patient about the symptoms and diagnose his disease. 3. You are Dr. Eijkman. Youve made an experiment with two groups of chickens, one of which died. Share your impressions with your colleagues. 4. Arrange a competition entitled What do we know about vitamins? Divide the group in two. The team that utters the last sentence is the winner. 3. Write an essay on the following statement: An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away . ,