The History of Nutrition

A timeline of major discoveries in the science of nutrition.


- 1830
Adolphe Quételet creates the Body Mass Index (BMI)
Methods: Quantifying mean values of measured variables that follow a normal distribution


1912 -
Kazimierz Funk creates the concept of a vitamin
Methods: By experimenting with pigeons and brown rice extracts to discover that something in the rice prevents beri-beri



January 01 1929 -
Henrik Dam Discovers Vitamin K
Methods: By experimenting with chicks on a low cholesterol diet. When the chicks starting bleeding uncontrollably he fed them cholesterol and an extra substance, later identified as vitamin K.
Institution: Copenhagen University


- 1934 01 November
Clive McCay Discovers that Calorie Restriction Extends Life-Span in Rats
Methods: Feeding one group of rats a lower calorie diet than another group, and observing that the under-fed group lived longer
Institution: Cornell University


November 1936 -
Harold Himsworth classifies type II (insulin resistant) diabetes
Methods: By measuring blood glucose levels in patients
Institution: University College Hospital



July 1 1956 -
Denham Harman proposes the free radical theory of aging
Institution: University of California - Berkeley






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