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Article
May 30, 1903

THE PROTECTION OF THE BODY AGAINST ITS OWN DIGESTIVE FERMENTS.

JAMA. 1903;XL(22):1511-1512. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490220035004
Abstract

Among the "old questions that are ever new" is the immortal problem: Why does not the stomach digest itself? A recent revival in interest is now evident, due to new observations along two lines, one of which is the demonstration of the presence of proteid-digesting enzymes in all the cells of the body, the other the direct study of "antiferments." Since it has been shown that all cells are capable of digesting themselves, after death of the tissue that contains them, the question naturally arose why they were not similarly digested during life. One of the popular solutions of the problem of the stomach and its failure to commit self-digestion was that the alkalinity of the blood in the walls of the stomach prevented the pepsin from acting on them, since it required an acid medium. But the fact that pancreatic trypsin acts best in alkaline medium rendered this explanation

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