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May 30, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(22):1669. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660480059011

Among the more recent contributions of the science of nutrition to our understanding of the rôle of foods has been a better appreciation of what constitutes acid and alkaline conditions in the body. There are not a few dietary substances, notably certain fruits, that are demonstrably acid as examined in the chemical laboratory. At a time when so-called "acid conditions" were greatly dreaded as a possible pathologic entity in the organism, physicians were wont to proscribe the use of such acid foods for susceptible patients. This was particularly true during the period, a quarter of a century and more ago, when the much discussed uric acid diathesis became a clinical bugaboo as forbidding as it was misunderstood. The laity quickly acquired an interest in the mysterious condition that portended "too much acid" in the organism. Sometimes this actually resulted in a sitophobia, so far as acid foods were concerned.