March 20, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(12):998-999. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570380046016

Whether or not diet is likely to exert any specific influence in the direction of resistance to disease would probably be answered differently according to the momentary point of view of the referee to whom the question was propounded. Obviously, if the decision involved the comparative effect of food versus no food, it would be admitted promptly that inanition offers conditions which may profoundly alter the defensive powers of an organism. But even if energy is offered in abundance in the form of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, may we assume that the body ought to be enabled thereby to offer its most effective resistance to detrimental influences, provided, of course, that an adequate digestive apparatus insures the actual absorption and assimilation of the nutrients furnished?

Whereas one might have been ready to give an unhesitating affirmative answer to the foregoing question a few years ago, the advances in knowledge regarding

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