Manifestations of vitamin deficiencies observed in 6,000 Tamil and 4,000 Malay children and young adults during a survey carried out by the Institute for Medical Research in the Federated Malay States included phrynoderma, Bitot spots
and angular stomatitis. They were more frequent in Tamils than in Malays. Phrynoderma and Bitot spots responded rapidly to administration of vitamin A or carotene, though in some patients with phrynoderma improvement was not attained unless also the protein intake was increased and vitamin B complex added. Angular stomatitis was benefited by administration of riboflavin or vitamin B complex. The clinical and histologie observations of phrynoderma in Tamils and Malays in Malaya were identical with those previously reported in Chinese, Ceylonese and southern Indians. A supplementary food ration, composed of soy beans, skim milk powder, dal and red palm oil, given to Tamil children on rubber estates not only increased the general state of health but led to a rapid regression of the manifestations of vitamin deficiencies.
MeSH terms: Avitaminosis; China/ethnology; India/ethnology; Malaysia/ethnology; Vitamin B Deficiency; Vitamins