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Tadeus Reichstein: co-discoverer of aldosterone

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Tadeus Reichstein was born in Woclawek, Poland, on 20 July 1897, some 11 years later than his co-discoverer of cortisone, Edward Kendall. His family later moved to Switzerland, where he was naturalised and changed his surname from Brockmann. He studied Chemistry in Zurich; after graduating he worked for many years analysing the aroma and compounds in coffee and chicory, sponsored by an industrial firm. In the 1930s he moved to the Pharmaceutical Institute at the University of Basel, where he worked until his retirement. His official biography on the Nobel website reports:


"In 1933 Reichstein succeeded, independently of Sir Norman Haworth and his collaborators in Birmingham, in synthesizing vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  Otherwise he has worked on the glycosides of plants.
During the years 1953-1954 he worked in collaboration with S. A. S. Simpson and J. F. Tait (London), with A. Wettstein and R. Neher (Ciba Ltd., Basel), and M. Tausk (N.V. Organon, Oss, The Netherlands), and isolated and explained the constitution of aldosterone, a hormone of the adrenal cortex, which until then had not been isolated.
Reichstein also collaborated with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench in their work on the hormones of the adrenal cortex which culminated in the isolation of cortisone and the discovery of its therapeutic value in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. For this work, Reichstein, Kendall, and Hench were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1950."


Tadeus Reichstein died on August 1, 1996, aged 99. He was awarded the Nobel Prize on 10 Dec 1950.

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The Addison’s Disease Self-Help Group is the support group for people with Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency and their families in the UK and Ireland.The group was formed in 1984 and is a UK registered charity no. 1179825.

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