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March 22, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(12):766. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480120024003

While the chemical constitution and physical properties of ferments as yet remain obscure, their importance in various biological processes is being disclosed with increasing emphasis by continued investigation. There is no sharp line of division between the nature of physiological and pathological processes and fermentations; recent investigations show that ferments may exercise just as important activities in pathology as in physiology. From the standpoint of physiology we may divide ferments into two great groups, as suggested by Jacoby in a recent review of the significance of ferments in pathology:1 1, the ferments in the secretions, which prepare the food for absorption, and 2, the intracellular ferments, which preside over the oxidizing and other cellular functions. Referring to digestive ferments, Jacoby cites the observations of Pawlow, showing the close dependence of the secretion of the gastric juice upon so-called reflex nervous influences, as corroborative of the old clinical experience that