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Article
January 7, 1905

THE FOOD VALUE OF ALCOHOL.

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(1):44. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500280050012
Abstract

The question whether alcohol is a food or not will be answered in accordance with the individual point of view, especially as to the definition of what constitutes a food. Some argue that if, after ingestion, it is oxidized in the tissues, entering into their formation and repair and giving rise to heat and energy, it must be considered a food, whereas, if it be excreted unchanged, it can not be thus classified. Different observers have reached divergent conclusions on the subject, and the explanation must be looked for, in part at least, in differences in method, and in part also in differences in conception of the character of a food. It has been shown that alcohol is oxidized in the animal body, although, at the same time, it interferes with metabolism or oxidation of other substances, as indicated by lessened absorption of oxygen, decline in body temperature, degeneration of

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