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August 2, 1890

DOES ALCOHOL CONSERVE TISSUE?An Essay Presented to the Committee on Dietetics at the Forty-first Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, May, 1890.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1890;XV(5):172-174. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410310012001c

Does alcohol conserve the bodily tissues in the sense of saving them alive, thus staying physiological decay? Or does it simply check the elimination of what dies and ought to go off? If the former, it is one of the marvelous boons to humanity; if the latter only, it is the worst substance which enters the alimentary canal; for, while other substances, in common with it, affect the nervous system, none other, like it, retards elimination and heaps up effete matters within.

But before studying this question, let us glance at the recent advances concerning the food value of this agent.

For what purpose do we eat and drink? First, for the development and repair of the bodily organism; and second, for the production of force—just the same as we put water and fuel into an engine. The idea of spirituality must here be excluded, whatever our religious notions may

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