Medicine: Vitamin Man

Singleminded research has taken Dr. Tom D. Spies (rhymes with fees) deeper and deeper into the dim regions of deficiency diseases. It has also led him to major medical discoveries. Last week in Science he announced a new one with a report that folic acid, part of the vitamin B complex, was a remedy for tropical sprue, a widespread disease in such teeming, undernourished lands as Puerto Rico.

Spies, with associates at San Juan's School of Tropical Medicine, thinks that the efficacy of folic acid also proves decisively that sprue (symptoms: diarrhea, mouth sores, lassitude) is a result of poor diet rather...