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November 1958

The Preservation of Youth.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(5):851-852. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260220167028

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Maimonides is high in the ranks of physicians who helped bring to Europe some of Greek medical tradition by way of Arabic sources. A twelfth-century Jewish physician, he was distinguished as a court physician in Egypt and as philosopher, critic, and commentator. He had a keen historical sense and very high ideals of medicine. This book is actually a letter he sent to the sultan. It contains a great miscellany of advice—some sage, some curious, some we would now consider sheer quackery—but in many ways it is strikingly modern and up to date, considering its age of eight hundred years. Maimonides advises against eating much food in hot weather, praises exercise which he says removes the harm caused by most bad habits which most people have, extols the virtue of well-prepared whole wheat bread and scorns bread made of refined flour, and urges the avoidance of fat. He has some

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