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Because of the huge number of papers published from 1945 to 1985 (~250,000 were abstracted in Nutrition Abstracts and Reviews), I have restricted coverage in the first section of this paper to those dealing most directly with the discovery of new nutrients, the effects of deficiency and the interaction of other factors affecting their availability.

This omits biochemical mechanisms of absorption and function except where they directly affect nutritional requirements. This is an important restriction because so many interesting mechanisms were worked out during this period, for example, the conversion of vitamin D to an active hormone and the role of vitamin A in the visual cycle. But space is a limiting factor here.

J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3331-42. (full text)