It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that this magazine would not exist but for the work of the Polish-American biochemist Casimir Funk. Indeed, it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that Sight and Life itself would not exist but for his efforts. In 1912, Casimir [born Kazimierz] Funk (1884–1967) attempted to isolate from rice bran a naturally occurring substance that he believed might have the effect of counteracting beriberi. His original name for the substance he discovered, “vitamine”, has come down to us is the slightly altered form of “vitamin”. Funk played a decisive role in the development of an entire scientific framework of thought which the world now takes for granted. He was, one might say, the godfather of the vitamins movement.
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