January 11, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(2):127-128. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530280043010

We commented recently1 on the common failure to masticate food thoroughly, and called attention to Mr. Fletcher's remarkable powers of endurance, which he claims are due in part to his habit of thoroughly chewing his food. While advice on this subject is easy to give, in comparatively few cases is the advice followed. L. Meunier2 goes so far as to remark that he considers such advice useless and suggests that the physician must correct the insufficiency of saliva.

He aims to accomplish this by ordering the patient to eat the starchy food of the meal first, before the meat. Starch is digested during the first phase of gastric digestion, and this digestion is checked more or less by secretion of hydrochloric acid. When the carbohydrates are eaten first the secretion of hydrochloric acid is stimulated, and this makes digestion of the starchy foods later more difficult. He also

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