Health Talk Outline

A look at citrus fruits and health.

By IRA F. WHEELER, R.N., Florida Sanitarium and Hospital, Orlando

Subject: "Citrus Fruits and Health."

Introduction: Although the health-giving prop­erties of citrus fruits have long been recognized, it is only within the past few decades that they have become available to more than a small percentage of the world's population. A variety of citrus products of superior quality now come to market, are available everywhere, and have taken an as­sured place in the diet of civilized man. Delicious, refreshing, attractive to sight as well as to smell and taste, they appeal to both sick and well, adults and children, while their ready availability and comparatively low cost make them an important dietary factor. Hence, it seems appropriate to study these useful fruits.

Demonstration Material: Various types of citrus fruits—oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tanger­ines, limes—attractively and colorfully arranged.

1. Chemical Properties of Citrus Fruit. Rich in vitamins and minerals.

2. Outstanding source of vitamin C (as­corbic acid).

3. Fair amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and iron, traces of copper, magnesium, and manganese.

4. Calcium assimilation.

When vitamin C intake is sufficient, calcium storage is greater, growth is more rapid.

II. Value in Infancy and Growth.

1. Orange juice should " be added to infant diet after first month as protection against manifest or latent scurvy.

2. Milk poor source of vitamin C.

3. Citrus fruit juice usually well tolerated.

4. During period of maximum growth, vita­min demand great. Children of school age require approximately twice as much per kilogram of body weight as do adults.

5. Two fluid ounces, for small children, up to eight to twelve ounces at twelve years.


1. Lack of vitamin C may be a factor in dental caries and pyorrhea. (Cause of spongy bleeding gums in scurvy.)

2. Lack of vitamin C interferes with forma­tion of dentine, cementum, and enamel.

3. Citric acid stimulates oral secretions.


1. Vitamin C concerned with integrity of tis­sues and resistance to disease.

2. Frequent intake of vitamin C necessary. Utilized so rapidly that stores must be maintained by frequent intake.

3. Illness causes rapid assimilation of vitamin C.

4. Digestive disturbances can be caused by multiple vitamin deficiencies.


1. Citrus fruit juice in generous amount given preceding operation, because anes­thetic tends to lower vitamin content of body.

2. Lessens postoperative nausea.

3. Aids in healing surgical wounds.


1. Latent deficiency states not uncommon.

2. Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C and min­erals.

3. Vitamin C necessary to optimal health, re­sistance to disease, and promotion of growth.

4. Vitamin C necessary for good dentition.

5. Fruits an important part of the original diet planned for us by the Creator. "In grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are to be found all the food elements that we need."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. Ito.


Harms, B. H., "Preparation of the Dental Patient for Nitrous Oxide-Oz Anesthesia, With Special Refer­ence to the Preoperative Use of Orange Juice," Anesthesia and Analgesia, Vol. 6 (1937), P. 43.

Lanford, C. S., "Effect of Orange Juice on Calcium Assimilation," Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 130, 1939), p. 87.

Lanham and Ingalls, "Vitamin C Deficiency andWound Healing," Annals of Surgery, Vol. 165 (1937), p. 616.

Melliss, Minott, and Lawsend, "Scurvy in Adults, Especially the Effect of Food Rich in Vitamin C and Blood Formation," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 95 (1930), P. 443.

Rinehart, J. F., "Metabolism of Vitamin C in Rheuma­toid Arthritis," Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 61 (1938), P. 537.

Vitamins, The: A Symposium, American Medical Association, 1939.

Walback, S. B., "Fundamental Pathology of Vitamin C," Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 12 (1938), P. 414.

Wilbur and Snell, "Deficiency States Associated With Gastro-Intestinal Disease," American Journal of Diges­tive Diseases, Vol. 4 (1938), p. 720.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

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By IRA F. WHEELER, R.N., Florida Sanitarium and Hospital, Orlando

May 1945

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