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November 17, 1934


JAMA. 1934;103(20):1540. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750460044013

Among students of metabolism it is an axiom that food materials or therapeutic substances are not effectively in the body until they have passed from the gastro-intestinal tract into the blood or lymph. Many factors ordinarily exert an influence on materials in the intestinal tract, and absorption and subsequent utilization are to a great extent dependent on them. The action of the digestive enzymes is, in the main, looked on as a sine qua non to normal nutrition; yet hydrolysis by the proteases frustrates the oral administration of insulin. In the presence of acid the absorption of calcium is favored, whereas an alkaline reaction in the intestine tends to precipitate calcium not only as the phosphate but also as insoluble soaps of the fatty acids of the food, thus doubly robbing the body of dietary essentials. In the opinion of certain students of the subject, the hypothesis that beriberi is

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