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September 28, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(13):1120-1121. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530130054006

Because of the flat contradiction which existed between the results obtained by the clinicians in actual practice and the more or less hypothetical conclusions of the physiologic chemists and experimental pharmacologists, the question of the utilization by man of inorganic iron given by mouth in the construction of hemoglobin has been the subject of zealous and often bitter strife. Although the practicing physician knew well through abundant experience that administration of inorganic compounds of iron had an almost specific effect in increasing the amount of hemoglobin of chlorotic patients, yet many physiologic chemists were not ready to accept this fact at its face value. Appreciating the limited power of the animal organism to synthesize complex substances from simple ones, they could not imagine that iron in simple inorganic forms given by mouth could be built into the enormous hemoglobin molecule. On the other hand, since they knew that in the

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