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October 17, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(16):1375-1377. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570160041011

No fact seems now to be more satisfactorily established in the physiology of infancy than that the starch transforming ferments of the saliva and pancreatic juice are actively present in very young infants, even at birth; and that such infants are therefore early capable of digesting moderate quantities of cooked starch.

Jacobi, in 1876, recommended the use of starch in the artificial feeding of infants from birth, and contended that it was utilized. This view was both confirmed and denied. Kerley and Campbell, in 1906, found by testing the stools for starch that twenty-three out of thirty infants showed a good starch capacity. In the same year Kerley, Mason, and Craig demonstrated the invariable presence of amylolytic ferment in 161 tests on the stools of twenty-six breast fed infants, of whom twenty-two were under two weeks old.

The latest important and conclusive work is that of Hess (1912), who aspirated

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