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July 2, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(1):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690010030013

Current writers reflect the conviction that the parathyroid glands produce a hormone that is indispensable to the organism. Its function is sometimes described as that of "mobilizing" the calcium of the body, a statement scarcely more illuminating than the outworn expression "diathesis" as applied to obscure conditions of disease. Probably a more specific description would at present allocate to the parathyroid hormone the regulation of calcium metabolism through the control, in some way, of the concentration of calcium in the circulating blood. The mode in which this regulatory influence becomes effective has been debated, the available evidences being inconclusive at present. The possibilities have been briefly summarized by Stewart and Percival,1 who state that "clearly the parathyroids may affect the absorption or excretion of calcium, or may exert some controlling action on the equilibria between the different forms of combination in which calcium exists in the blood and between