That nutritional deficiency is associated with cardiac dysfunction has been recognized for almost sixty years. Kakke, which means "disease of the legs," was the subject of a paper by the Japanese author Takaki in 1886.1 To others this disorder was known as beriberi. The Hollander Eijkman2 and the Englishmen Fraser and Stanton3 offered proof of the relation of beriberi to the consumption of a diet of polished rice. The elucidation of the cause of oriental beriberi is correlated with the development of knowledge concerning the vitamins.
HISTORY AND CLINICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF BERIBERI
As is well known, beriberi was prevalent in the Philippines. Chamberlain4 reported that among 5,000 Philippine Scouts there were always 100 to 600 incapacitated from beriberi. Their diet consisted essentially of 12 ounces (340 Gm.) of beef, 8 ounces (230 Gm.) of white flour, 8 ounces of potatoes or onions and 20 ounces (560