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June 20, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(8):710. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690080054016

One of the most widely used criteria of nutritive success or failure in experimental nutrition has been the change of body weight. Indeed, the entire concept of indispensability of a given dietary factor rests largely on the maintenance or failure to maintain an increase of body weight in young animals or a steady state in adults. This change in mass in experimental animals is tacitly attributed largely to tissue protein, a concept greatly fortified by the demonstration1 of the large loss of protein from various tissues of the body during relatively brief periods of inanition. Later it was shown2 that in a fast of seven days not only the body weight decreased but also a loss of hepatic protein and a decrease in concentration of various enzymes of the liver occurred. Although these losses in hepatic enzymes are greater than the loss of liver protein, they are related

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