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February 6, 1937

Current Comment

JAMA. 1937;108(6):479-480. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780060045014

CALCIUM AND IRON IN BLOOD FORMATION  Many of the life processes of the organism are known to be the resultants of integrated chemical reactions. The student of comparative biochemistry is likely to view these as results of the adaptations whereby evolution has taken place. Thus the orderly oxidation of fat in the body ordinarily requires the concomitant combustion of carbohydrate; the utilization of iron seems to depend, in part, on the presence of copper; the efficiency of the respiratory pigment is conditioned by the presence of inorganic salts and, without free hydrochloric acid, peptic digestion does not proceed normally. With further investigation, more relationships of this sort will be uncovered. A recent study by Orten, Smith and Mendel1 has emphasized the close relationship between calcium and iron in the formation of erythrocytes and hemoglobin. With the albino rat as the experimental animal, it was shown that the characteristic and

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