James Lind was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1716. This was also where he, in 1731, started his medical studies.
In 1739 James Lind started working as a surgeon in the British navy. This decision would turn out to be a defining one, not only for James Lind himself, but also for the history of medicine and mankind.
While he was working as a surgeon in the navy, he tried finding a cure for scurvy. The disease was a huge problem for the British fleet because, according to James Lind himself, scurvy caused more deaths in the British fleet than the French and Spanish armies.
By using earlier information about citrus fruits having a beneficial effect on scurvy, James Lind performed a systematic experiment in 1747, which is ranked as one of the first clinical trials in history.
In his experiment, James Lind divided the sailors afflicted with scurvy into six groups of two. Each group received the same diet, with the addition of every group being given a different dietary supplement of an acidic nature. For example, one group was given a quart of cider daily, another group was given six spoonful’s of vinegar and a third group was given two oranges and one lemon.
After six days of treatment, one sailor from the group that received two oranges and one lemon a day, was fit to work and the other had almost recovered. This experiment was the foundation of what would later be known, in 1757, as the clinical trial.
By conducting this first ever clinical trial, James Lind developed the theory that citrus fruits cured scurvy and after 1750, the discipline of clinical trials began to take its modern shape. Later on, his works advanced the practice of preventive medicine.
In honor of James Lind’s achievements and discoveries, we have chosen to name our organization after him.
We believe that James Lind’s introduction of clinical trials has had a huge significance to the development of new and improved medicines for patients suffering from chronic illnesses and diseases
At the James Lind Institute, we strive to promote efficient medicines of better quality, with the purpose of developing and improving treatments for our members as well as all patients suffering from chronic illnesses and diseases.
We believe that we, through the efforts and advancements made in clinical trials and research, are getting closer to achieving our goal.