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March 12, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(11):712. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490560022006

The number of theories advanced to explain a phenomenon or process in nature is often inversely proportioned to our understanding of that phenomenon. This is especially true in regard to the mechanism of sugar metabolism in the body, for we find here a long list of theories to explain it, while none of them is entirely satisfactory, and new ones are still being added. As early as 1886 it was observed that there are changes in the pancreas of patients who succumb to diabetes; and these observations led investigators to believe that the pancreas in some way regulates the consumption of sugar in the body. This view received a strong support in 1890 by the classical experiments of v. Mering and Minkowski. They removed the pancreas from dogs, and found that this operation is followed by marked glycosuria and other symptoms of diabetes mellitus. A partial extirpation of the gland