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January 8, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(2):102-103. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680280032014

The nitrogen and the carbon of the protein molecule evidently do not keep pace with each other in the disorganization that takes place when the nitrogenous foodstuffs are broken down for utilization in the body. The idea that a splitting of the protein molecule into a nitrogenous part and a non-nitrogenous part takes place is by no means a new one. Many years ago, Voit accounted for the comparatively rapid output of nitrogen and slow output of carbon after a protein meal on the ground that soon after absorption there was a splitting of the protein molecule into a nitrogen rich part which was rapidly dealt with, and a nitrogen poor part which was more slowly utilized.3 With definite knowledge of the amino-acid make-up of proteins and the identification of protein metabolism in large measure with changes in the component aminoacids, the removal of the nitrogenous groups has become