In a recent number of this journal1 Dr. D. R. Lucas has published certain statements in regard to the action of benzoate of soda which are so much at variance with facts as to call for criticism and correction. The circumstance that these statements have emerged from the laboratory of a leading university is liable to secure for them a hearing which would scarcely be accorded otherwise.
I have no intention of entering here on a detailed examination of the claims set forth in the paper to which I refer; but there are a few points on which I deem it my duty to make at least some comment, despite the fact that this task is highly distasteful to me.
At the beginning of the paper there is presented a table showing the influence of various drugs on the action of ferments. This table is based on data given many years ago by T. Lauder Brunton and is designed to show that benzoic acid exerts a relatively strong inhibiting action on emulsin, pepsin, etc. The generalization is then made that from these data it is evident
HERTER CA. SOME ALLEGED EFFECTS OF SODIUM BENZOATE AND BENZOIC ACID. JAMA. 1910;LIV(22):1774–1776. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550480001001e
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