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Article
April 23, 1955

LIFE SITUATION, BEHAVIOR PATTERNS, AND RENAL EXCRETION OF FLUID AND ELECTROLYTES

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Medicine of the New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Schottstaedt is now at Oklahoma University School of Medicine, Oklahoma City, and Dr. Grace is now a major in the U. S. Army, Fort Knox, Ky.

JAMA. 1955;157(17):1485-1488. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950340015005
Abstract

In a recent review, Homer Smith1 elegantly epitomized basic concepts relevant to renal function. He reaffirmed Claude Bernard's emphasis that the environment in which man lives is neither air nor water but the blood and body fluids that bathe all the tissues. This internal environment is characterized by an extraordinary constancy of composition, and it is by virtue of this fact that the animal achieves a free and independent life. Smith rates this concept of Claude Bernard's in importance with Darwin's concept of biological evolution. Indeed, the two ideas are linked, because the story of the evolution of the vertebrates is, in essence, the story of the evolution of the internal environment. It is the kidney that is charged with the maintenance of this environment, an operation that it carries out by the circuitous processes of glomerular filtration and tubular reabsorption. "Man's entire internal environment is, in fact, thrown

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