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November 3, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(18):1529-1530. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590450049021

The ordinary fats are regarded by chemists as glycerids; that is, compounds of glycerol (glycerin) and fatty acids. It must be borne in mind that as they occur in nature the fats and oils are never single chemical substances; indeed, they are seldom composed entirely of glycerids. Just as up to only a few years ago the proteins of nature were commonly considered as a class in their biologic functions, and distinctions between different types of proteins were rarely if ever made in a physiologic sense, so fats have until the present time been dealt with groupwise in practically all considerations of their nutrient or biologic significance. We know today, however, that the rôle of individual proteins in the organism depends on their digestibility and on the character of the amino-acids which they can yield. Certain of the amino-acids, like tryptophan, seem to be far more indispensable, for instance, than

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