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March 25, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(13):958. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580390028017

It is becoming more apparent that in order to be entirely suitable for the nutritive needs of the body, the protein component of the diet must yield a number of different amino-acids in sufficient abundance to prevent any deficit of these in certain processes going on in the organism. This is equivalent to saying that the animal body cannot construct some, at least, of the essential amino-acids anew. The well-known nutritive inferiority of gelatin, for example, is now properly attributed to the fact that it does not yield tyrosin, tryptophan or the sulphur-containing amino-acid cystin as the result of its digestive disintegration. Consequently, gelatin alone cannot supply the nitrogenous requirements of the organism.

Amino-acid deficiencies of this sort become particularly conspicuous during growth in which the construction of new protoplasmic tissue demands the amino-acid "building stones" or "Bausteine" required to form perfect animal protein either for the blood or for