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JAMA. 1936;106(12):1011-1012. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770120043017.
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More than twenty years ago, in one of their classic papers on the relation of growth to the chemical constituents of the diet, Osborne and Mendel1 wrote: "The animal cells need for their activities not only energy but also suitable constructive materials to replace the wear and tear therein. Furthermore, the cells are concerned in the elaboration of a great diversity of complex and little understood substances such as enzymes, products of internal secretion, etc., which unquestionably play an indispensable rôle in life and may require either special antecedent products for their construction, chemical activators of some sort, or minute quantities of readily overlooked rarer elements and compounds." These pioneer studies indicated that much better growth was obtained in the experimental animals when traces of iodine, manganese, fluorine and aluminum were added to the artificial salt mixture originally made to resemble the ash content of milk. The importance of


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