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September 1952


AMA Am J Dis Child. 1952;84(3):309-315. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1952.02050030035002

THERAPEUTIC control of diarrhea have for many years included the use of a vast array of vegetable derivatives containing pectin and lignin. These complex carbohydrate substances have been clearly shown to exert a distinct effect upon the character of the diarrheal stool. This effect upon the appearance and consistency of the stool has been construed to indicate an effect upon the course of the diarrheal disease state. Inasmuch as the chief effects of the latter are fluid and electrolyte loss and a resultant alteration in intra- and extra-cellular fluid balance, an evaluation of the effect of such therapy in diarrhea should be based upon a determination of the degree to which fluid and electrolyte loss is inhibited rather than upon an alteration in the character of the stool. Such an evaluation of a controlled series of 47 cases of etiologically related infantile diarrhea designed to determine the effect of pectin