Elmer McCollum, US biochemist

Elmer McCollum, US biochemist

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Elmer McCollum (1879-1967), US biochemist and nutritionist. Elmer McCollum was a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, where in 1913 he identified a fat-soluble nutrient in butterfat and cod liver oil along with colleague Marguerite Davis. The nutrient was Vitamin A, which maintains the health of skin and mucus linings, supports the immune system and helps vision in dim light. He also showed that there is another essential dietary component, which he called 'water-soluble B'. He was later to find out they were not single compounds but complexes. At the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where he was professor from 1917, McCollum also collaborated in the discovery of vitamin D.

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