Some years ago I treated a child, aged 3 years, who suffered from a severe case of anorexia nervosa. She had reached a serious state of depletion and weakness from her self imposed starvation, refusing all food and regurgitating that fed to her by gavage. She finally accepted a banana, with the result that other food was taken in a more or less normal amount within forty-eight hours. There was a complete relapse when the banana was withheld, and food was taken normally only with bananas.
This experiment was repeated to test the validity of the observation, always with the same result, until a time came when her appetite was normal whether bananas were included in the diet or not. The action was such as is attributed to a hormone. It was natural, therefore, to test bananas in a case of celiac disease where anorexia was a prominent symptom.