This week we are celebrating International Clinical Trials Day.
May 20th was chosen to commemorate the first clinical trial conducted by James Lind in 1747 to determine the cause of sailors contracting scurvy.
James Lind was a Scottish physician and pioneer of marine hygiene in the British navy. He is believed to have conducted the first ever clinical trial.
He served as an officer on a ship where he had to face the commonly prevalent scurvy.
First clinical trial
Lind divided twelve sailors into six pairs and introduced different ingredients into each pair’s daily diet: cider, vitriol solution, vinegar, herbal infusion, sea water, citruses.
Only one pair of sailors recovered, those who consumed citruses. This experiment led Lind to discover the cause of scurvy – deficiency of ascorbic acid in the food.
Lind’s practice pioneered preventive medicine and raised awareness of how proper hygiene and nutrition affect people’s physical and even mental state.
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Intelligent Development Operational Programme 2014-2020.