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Article
December 22, 1917

NEW EVIDENCE REGARDING THE FATSPLITTING FERMENT OF THE STOMACH

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(25):2119-2120. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590520041018
Abstract

Where does the digestion of fats begin in the alimentary tract? Until only a few years ago the digestive cleavage of these foodstuffs was supposed to be a function of secretions poured into the gastrointestinal canal somewhere beyond the stomach. An occasional investigation, it is true, had revealed the existence of small quantities of fatty acids in the contents of the latter organ after the ingestion of considerable fat; but it was not until the unexpected findings of Volhard published in 1900 regarding the existence of a fat-splitting enzyme in the stomach that the possibility of any significant gastric digestion of fats was taken seriously into consideration. A decade later von Fürth,1 in reviewing the literature on the probable first phase of fat digestion, concluded that doubtless the stomach contains a lipolytic ferment, and that physiologically the cleavage of fats begins at this point; but he believed that the

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