Academic Reading 16
VITAMIN from “VITAL AMINE”
The value of certain foods in maintaining health was recognised long before the first vitamins were actually identified. In the 18th century, for example, it had been demonstrated that the addition of citrus fruits to the diet would prevent the development of scurvy. In the 19th century it was shown that substituting unpolished for polished rice in a rice-based diet would prevent the development of beriberi. In 1906 the British biochemist Frederick Hopkins demonstrated that foods contained necessary “accessory factors” in addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and water. In 1911 the Polish chemist Casimir Funk discovered that the anti-beriberi substance in unpolished rice was an amine — a type of nitrogen-containing compound, so Funk proposed that it should be named vitamine — for “vital amine”. This term soon came to be applied to the accessory factors in general. It was later discovered that many vitamins do not contain amines at all, yet because of its widespread use, Funk’s term continued to be applied, but the final letter e was dropped.
1- The passage tells us that before the discovery of vitamins, ………………….
A) Frederick Hopkins advised taking proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals
B) polished rice was believed to be particularly healthy
C) citrus fruits were not included in western diets
D) some specific foods were already recognised as helpful to health
E) scurvy and beriberi were two major causes of death
2- According to the passage, the name vitamin is applied to “accessory factors” although ………. .
A) Casamir Funk didn’t find it appropriate
B) minerals are just as important
C) beriberi is caused by eating too much rice
D) some of them are not vital in diet
E) not all of them contain “amines”
3- From the information given in the passage, we can conclude that lack of a certain type of nitrogen-containing compound in a diet ………. .
A) may lead to the disease called beriberi
B) is still very common in many parts of the world
C) can be corrected by eating citrus fruits
D) does not normally cause any health problems
E) is common among those whose diet is rice-based