– VITAMINS –
In the early days of sea travel, seamen on long voyages lived exclusively on salted meat and biscuits. Many of them died of scurvy, a disease of the blood which harms the teeth and causes white spots on the skin and general exhaustion. On one occasion, in 1535, an English ship arrived in Newfoundland with its sailors desperately ill.
The men were saved by Iroquois Indians who gave them vegetable leaves to eat. Gradually it was realized that scurvy was caused by some lack in the sailors’ diet although nothing was known about vitamins at that time and Captain Cook, on his long voyages of discovery to Australia and New Zealand, established the fact that scurvy could be warded off by making the sailors eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
Nowadays, it is understood that a diet which contains nothing harmful may result in serious diseases if certain important elements are missing. These elements are called ‘vitamins’.
Quite a number of such substances are known and they are given letters to identify them; A, B, C, D, and so on. Different diseases are associated with lack of particular vitamins. Even a slight lack of vitamin C, for example, the vitamin most plentiful in fresh fruit and vegetables, is thought to increase significantly the possibility of catching cold easily.
The vitamins necessary for a healthy body are normally supplied by a good mixed diet including a variety of fruit and green vegetables. However, when people try to live on a very restricted diet, for example, during long periods of religious fasting, i.e. when people stop eating for religious purposes, or when trying to lose weight, it is 25 necessary to make special efforts to supply the missing vitamins.
A. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘them’ (line 6): ___
2. ‘such substances’ (line 15):
B. Mark the best choice.
1. Line 2, ‘exclusively’ means .
a) expensively b) only c) luxuriously d) rarely
2. Line 10, ‘warded off’ means .
a) encouraged b) observed c) supplied d) avoided