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June 19, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(25):1912. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670510034016

Three fourths of the protoplasm of the body cells consists of water; the body fluids and secretions are even richer in this substance. After a little consideration, every one appreciates that water plays an important part as a "universal solvent"; at any rate, substances dissolved in it seem to react with greater ease and speed than when dissolved in other mediums. Consequently the physiology and biochemistry of living organisms include prominently the rôle of water. They deal not only with ingested water but also with that formed through the oxidative processes of the body. Thus, there are endogenous as well as exogenous sources of water. Its functions are not merely to act as a medium in which the chemical changes of metabolism occur; water also assists in the removal of waste products and the dissipation of heat. Rowntree1 has remarked that, in relation to the duration of life, water