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Stark, William

Stark, William

British physician
17471770

William Stark (17411770) was born in Birmingham, England, of Scottish parentage. He obtained his medical degree at Leiden, Netherlands, in 1769. Upon returning to London in June 1769, Stark began a series of dietary studies in which he was his own subject. At the start of his twenty-four experiments, he described himself as being a healthy, six-foot tall young man.

These experiments were performed in an effort to prove that a "pleasant and varied diet " was as healthful as simpler strict diets. Stark kept accurate measures of temperature and weather conditions, the weights of all food and water he consumed, and the weight of all daily excretions. Stark also recorded how he felt on a daily basis.

In his first experiment, Stark ate bread and water with a little sugar for thirty-one days. This experiment left Stark dull and listless. He consumed a more varied diet for a few weeks. When he felt better, however, the experiments resumed. Gradually, he added other foods to this regimen, one at a time. He added olive oil, milk, roast goose, boiled beef, fat , figs, and veal. After the first two months, his gums were red and swollen, and they bled when pressure was put on them. This was a symptom of scurvy , a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C that was fairly common at the time. By November, he was living on nothing but pudding, except for a pint of black currants in celebration of Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). Stark did consider testing the effects that fresh fruits and vegetables would have on his health, but decided instead on honey puddings and Cheshire cheese.

After eight months of experimenting, Stark died on February 23, 1770, at the age of twenty-nine. He did not discover anything new about scurvy, but, through his experiments and record-keeping skills, he showed to what extent human scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. Stark showed that simple diets that do not include fruits and vegetables are not conducive to health. He thus showed the value of a pleasant and varied diet by clearly demonstrating the consequences of a dietary regime lacking variety. James Carmichael Smyth published Stark's experiments eighteen years after his death.

see also Scurvy.

Slande Celeste

Bibliography

Saunders, Alan. "Martyrs of Nutrition." Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Available from <http://www.abc.net.au/science/sweek/bites/comfy.htm>

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Scurvy and Vitamin C." Available from <http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu>

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Stark, William

Stark, William (1770–1813). Scots architect, exponent of a refined Neo-Classicism. He worked in St Petersburg, Russia, in some capacity now unknown (1798), but most of his professional career was spent in Glasgow. Highly regarded in his own lifetime (by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), no less, among others), his buildings were distinguished, and included St George's Church, Buchanan Street (1807–8), the Court House, Gaol, and Public Offices, Saltmarket (1809–11—later rebuilt retaining the Greek Doric portico, one of the earliest on any public building in Britain), the handsome interiors of the Signet Library (1812–15—now Lower Signet Library) and Advocates' Library (1812–16—now Upper Signet Library), Parliament Square, Edinburgh, and other refined works. His sensitive Report on the planning of lands between Edinburgh and Leith was published in 1814, and contains analyses of what was later called townscape, as well as the Picturesque aspects of composition. His pupil, W. H. Playfair, later realized a plan influenced by Stark's Report

Bibliography

Colvin (1995);
Council of Europe (1972);
GMcW&W (1984);
G&W (1987);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Jane Turner (1996);
Williamson,, Riches,, & and Higgs (1990)

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