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May 21, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(21):1811-1812. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730470033016

Circumstantial evidence has occupied an extremely important place in the evolution of conceptions in physiology. Life is maintained through the maintenance of a complex series of so-called vital equilibriums in which both physical and chemical factors have significant parts. It can be expected that a disturbance of one equilibrium is accompanied by readjustments of factors maintaining a related equilibrium. It becomes almost impossible to adjust one regulatory mechanism without eliciting a response in several different directions. However, one can point out concomitant processes, essentially unrelated, which either by their chronological parallelism or by their ease of experimental study have been mistakenly associated in a causative relation. An example of apparent misinterpretation of such associated occurrences is the usual conception of digestive leukocytosis. First described in the middle of the last century, this phenomenon was early associated with the digestion and absorption of protein. After a meal the number of circulating