HC Deb 05 February 1942 vol 377 cc1287-8W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that British hospitals in different parts of the country are receiving considerable numbers of patients, drawn from the civilian population and from the Fighting Services suffering from a form of gingivitis, a precursor of scurvy, the to vitamin deficiency; and whether, in view of the difficulty of providing natural vitamins in the dietary, he will consider exploring the sources of supply of artificial vitamins, the demand for which may rapidly exhaust present stocks?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware that there has been a considerable amount of infective gingivitis among the Services and some cases among the civilian population. I am advised that the evidence that this condition is due to dietary deficiencies is far from convincing and that there is some reason to think that it is purely infective. With regard to the last part of the Question, I am advised also that potatoes, carrots and turnips contain the vitamins necessary to protect against scurvy and I am not aware of any difficulty in providing these foods.