Abstract

Dr P. O’Neill said: If an association is shown between a human health problem and a high geochemical trace element level, what can be done about it? In the case of animals, supplements can be fed, if there is a deficiency problem, and, if there are toxicity problems, the animals are not reared. The solution for humans does not seem to easy.

The Author, in reply, said that changes in the human food situation can be of importance where there are deficiency as well as toxicity problems.

Dr I. K. O’Neill said that the author had shown a map of the distribution of muscular sclerosis in Norway; had any conclusions been drawn as to the relationship between an element’s distribution and this disease in Norway? Muscular sclerosis had been shown to have an inverse relationship with selenium abundance in Finland.

The Author, in reply, said that: The frequency of muscular degeneration is higher and the content of selenium is lower in the dry inland areas than in the coastal regions in Norway. Investigations on the possible influence of selenium on multiple sclerosis and cancer are anxiously carried out in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. In Norwegian coastal areas the frequency of multiple sclerosis seems to be comparatively low.

Dr J. E. Morris said that Professor Låg had traced the origins of geomedicine back into the late 19th century, but pointed out that Hippocrates of Cos, in his publication ‘On airs, waters and places’ had put the subject on a firm basis.

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