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July 14, 1945

Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1945;128(11):822-823. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860280048016

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Abstract

LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)June 9, 1945.

The Treatment of Advanced Starvation  The conditions in German prison camps and in occupied countries have brought to the front the problem of the treatment of advanced starvation. At the Royal Society of Medicine Dr. H. E. Magee opened a discussion on this subject, particularly on the use of protein hydrolysates. He worked for several years on the physiology of absorption and found that as fasting continues there is a progressive diminution in the absorptive powers and protective functions of the intestinal mucosa. The columnar epithelium is progressively disorganized, exposing the intestine to irritation by undigested foods with resultant diarrhea. Parenteral feeding, by injection of amino acids to reconstruct the mucosa, is indicated. These should be used by the body as building materials but in starvation are apt to be broken down and used for energy. To protect them it is necessary

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