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November 20, 1943


JAMA. 1943;123(12):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840470037013

Following the proposal of the now widely accepted theory of beta oxidation of fatty acids and the accumulation of supporting evidence, the view developed that there is an obligate coupling of oxidative reactions in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrate. The oft repeated aphorism that "Fats burn in the flame of the carbohydrates" was refined to the extent that 1 mole of dextrose was said to promote the oxidation of 2 moles of fatty acid without the production of ketone bodies. The latter compounds were tacitly considered products of the imperfect combustion of fat, without value to the organism and the removal of which was attended with more or less disturbance in the acid-base balance of the body and at times with actual tissue damage.

Further study of the metabolism of fat in the light of the implications of the theory of beta oxidation early indicated that other modes of