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July 1, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(1):46-47. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450530052012

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The recent statements of the public press concerning the findings of Professor Atwater, the Government food expert, regarding the nutritive value of alcohol, are worthy of a passing notice. While some authorities have disputed it, the consensus of scientific opinion has always been that a certain amount of alcohol could be consumed in the body. Professor Atwater's findings are different from those of others only in that he finds a little larger quantity can be disposed of than some other hygienic authorities. He does not say that it is a healthful food or that it can be safely taken in a quantity sufficient to have any large effect in keeping the vital mechanism going. While it may be to some extent a producer of energy, its action even in small quantities, on special portions of the organism, may be deleterious. The experiments of Aschaffenburg in Kræpelin's clinic are in point

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