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September 9, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(11):899-900. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640110039014

In the days of the pioneer organic and biologic chemist von Liebig, the blood was looked on as a fluid consisting essentially of a solution of proteins and inorganic salts in which the red and white blood corpuscles are suspended. Considerable importance was attached to the "mineral elements," which were assumed to have some special nutritive functions. The justification for this becomes apparent without much further investigation when one considers the large part which calcium and phosphorus, for example, play in the structure of the bones alone. Progress in the science of biologic chemistry has since brought new information regarding other components of the circulating fluids of the body. The small but significant content of glucose, the diversity of so-called nitrogenous catabolites including urea, uric acid, creatin and less well identified compounds, as well as the gases of the blood, have claimed a good share of attention, so that not

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