Pythagoras Discovery

     The roots of pharmacogenomics may date back as early as the 6th century BC when Pythagoras was said to have recognized that eating fava beans caused illness in some, but not all, individuals. [1]  In the 1940's, the immuno-chemist William Boyd noted that in contrast to Mediterranean population, native Britons almost never developed hemolytic anemia after ingestion of fava beans: he suggested a genetic difference as the probably explanation. [1]  It is now known that the hemolytic anemia associated with ingestion of fava beans …. is due to x-linked dehydrogenase deficiency [1]


[1] Davidson GR, Pharmacogenetics, PDG Medical Genetics (Ed), Elsevier, Oxford 2002.  P232 Text from Wolters Kluwer " Overview of Pharmacogenomics May 2018