Kazimierz (Casimir) Funk

kazimierz funk

A postage stamp commemorating Kazimierz Funk issued in 1992 by the Polish post office.

Did you know that the discovery of vitamins is thanks to a Pole? Well, you do now!

Kazimierz Funk (or Casimir Funk as he is also known in English-speaking countries) was born in Warsaw in 1884 and was the Polish biochemist, generally credited with the first to formulate the concept of vitamins, which he called ‘vital amines’ or ‘vitamines’. Funk published his research in a book, The Vitamines, in 1912, where he proposed the hypothesis that diseases, such as rickets, pellagra, coeliac disease, and scurvy could also be cured by vitamins. In the same work he postulated the existence of other essential nutrients, which became known as vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, and D. Later in life he conducted research into hormones, diabetes, peptic ulcers and other diseases.

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