O desenvolvimento historico da ciencia da nutrição em relação ao de outras ciencias




This work is a historical study about the development of scientific knowledge on nutrition, and its relation to the development of others sciences, specially chemistry and physiology. It studies the period from the end of the XVIIIth century - marked by the begining of modern chemistry and the rise of physiology as an independent science - to the early XXth century, when the concept of vitamin was formulated. This study was grounded on historical works concerning the development of the sciences of nutrition, physiology, chemistry and biochemistry. The study of those sources brought a wea1th of historical informations about the experimental researches and the theoretical conceptions about the nutritional process and requirements. These informations were organized in order to compose the history of the main concepts and experimental methods that defined the science of nutrition in the early XXth century. This history exhibits the way trailed by the researchers in this period and discusses their use of the scientific knowledge then available. In the limits of the above defined time period, this work provides a view from the rise of the early chemical conceptions (in a modern sense) about the animal nutritional processes to the determination of the laws that define the human energetic requirements and the acknowledgement that certain minerals, aminoacids and vitamins are nutricionally essential. The work ascertains that the development of nutrition science was historically conditioned by the chemical knowledge about the organic substances and by the chemical and biological knowledge about the metabolic processes. It also shows that the evolution of this science was liable to controversies, quarrels, attempts and errors, and many others difficulties during, the aforesaid period. The conceptions and experimental methods just developed in chemistry and physiology were soon incorporated to nutritional researches. Sometimes, the prevailing conceptions provided an obstruction to the understanding of certain questions. This was particularly clear in the discovery of the vitamins, which was made more difficult by the success of the germ theory of diseases, by the absolute faith in the available methods of chemical analysis and by the knowledge then accepted about nutritional requirements. The work also shows that in the early XXth century the science of nutrition was already endowed with its theoretical and experimental basis, and with its own experimental methods. These methods - feeding experiments and balance experiments - were already outlined in the early XIXth century, but during that century they incorporated the growing knowledge about chemistry, physiology and nutrition, acquiring their final form after an evolution that lasted for a whole century


nutrição - historia

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