The wide-ranging importance of nutrition in the practice of medicine is emphasized in three reports of the Council on Foods and Nutrition elsewhere in this issue (pp 101, 105, and 109). Although each report deals principally with folic acid, each illustrates the complex interaction which exists between drugs and dietary nutrients in general. Together, they indicate the importance of basic knowledge concerning nutrition for the understanding of disease mechanisms and hint at the vast potential benefit that may be derived from studies on the relationship of man to his nutritional environment.
Waxman et al (p 101) provide a penetrating insight into some of the complex interactions between amino acids, pyridoxine, folic acid, and vitamin B12. They observed, for example, that the addition of glycine to short-term cultures of human marrow cells induces a megaloblastic type of defect in normal cells and aggravates the metabolic defect in nutritional or methotrexate