February 24, 1934


JAMA. 1934;102(8):620. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750080046015

One of the lessons that physiology and clinical medicine have learned from the development of modern biochemical research involves the continual striving of the living organism to attain certain states of equilibrium. Cannon of Harvard has referred to this as the principle of homeostasis. Metabolism involves an interplay of unlike reactions that tends, in health, to maintain a steady state conducive to the welfare of the body; in disease there may be disruption of this chemical scheme with consequent detriment to well being. As McLester1 has expressed the situation, for the maintenance of life and the proper performance of function the cells must be surrounded by a medium that at all times maintains an unchanging reaction and fixed molecular concentration. He points out that the mildly alkaline reaction of the blood indicated by the foregoing figure must be maintained at all costs. Yet many products of metabolism are acid

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