Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2003
Publication Date: 11/1/2003
Citation: Hunt, J.R. 2003. Two women who contributed to early vitamin and mineral research: Mary Swartz Rose and Helen T. Parsons. Journal of Nutrition. 133:3686-3689.
Technical Abstract: Two women who participated in research on vitamins and minerals in the early days of our professional organization are highlighted. Mary Swartz Rose was a founder and 5th President and Helen T. Parsons was one of 172 charter members of the American Institute of Nutrition. Rose, known for her pioneering teaching and service work in nutrition and dietetics, conducted research on food utilization, including early studies on food iron bioavailability and dietary iron requirements. Parsons, an enthusiastic investigator of the new vitamins, contributed to our understanding of species differences in ascorbic acid requirements and helped solve the biotin-avidin puzzle of the 'egg white injury.' Both deserve special appreciation in view of the obstacles experienced by women working in the academic sciences in the early part of the twentieth century.