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Theobald Palm and His Remarkable Observation: How the Sunshine Vitamin Came to Be Recognized

The Department of Pediatrics, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Children’s Foundation Research Center, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38103, USA
Nutrients 2012, 4(1), 42-51; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu4010042
Received: 3 November 2011 / Revised: 4 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D)
The seminal discovery that sunlight was important in the prevention of nutritional rickets was made in 1890 by Theobald A. Palm, a medical missionary who contrasted the prevalence of rickets in northern European urban areas with similar areas in Japan and other tropical countries. He surmised that exposure to sunlight prevented rickets. Over the next 40 years his observation led to an understanding of ultraviolet irradiation and its role in vitamin D synthesis. This opened a new era of appreciation for the curative powers of the sun and “the sunshine vitamin”. While Palm’s observations were in some ways obscure, they had a potent effect on the development of photobiology. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; nutritional rickets; photobiology; sunlight; UVB wavelength rays vitamin D; nutritional rickets; photobiology; sunlight; UVB wavelength rays
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Chesney, R.W. Theobald Palm and His Remarkable Observation: How the Sunshine Vitamin Came to Be Recognized. Nutrients 2012, 4, 42-51.

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