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Article
October 5, 1912

THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

JAMA. 1912;LIX(14):1294-1297. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270100062027
Abstract

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1912

IS FAT AN INDISPENSABLE DIETARY COMPONENT?  The proximate principles—proteins, carbohydrates and fats—are so indelibly associated with the nutritive requirements of the animal organism that it almost awakens a sense of the ridiculous to inquire whether these foodstuffs are all in truth indispensable to the body. Life without protein is equivalent to life without nitrogen, a manifest impossibility. Perhaps, in view of the recent feeding experiments of Abderhalden,1 in which the completely digested fragments of protein, the amino-acids, have been used with apparent success for nutritive purposes, we ought rather to speak of proteins or their constituent amino-acid complexes as essential for prolonged existence. The effect of a lack of carbohydrate is familiar to the physician in the

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