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On the Digestive Ferments and on the Preparation and Use of Artificially Digested Food

Nature volume 23, page 169 | Download Citation



THIS little volume contains the three Lumleian Lectures delivered before the College of Physicians, London, for the present year. The subject is treated in a manner worthy of the reputation of the author. He gives a summary of what is known on the subject of digestion as a function common to animals and plants, treats of the general characters and properties of the digestive juices and their ferments, with an account of the action of each on food material. After many trials the author adopts three solutions for the preservation of his solution of animal ferment, full details of the preparation of which are given. The researches of Musculus and O'Sullivan as to the transformation of starch are given, with the very recent researches on the same subject by Brown and Heron. The subject of the digestion of starch is excellently handled, and any dyspeptic reader would do well to consider the facts and reasonings here so well and clearly given. The second lecture chiefly relates to pepsin and the digestion of proteids; digestive proteolysis; the milk-curdling ferment. The third lecture is devoted to the effects of cooking on food, preparation of artificially-digested food, peptonised materials, the clinical experience of the use of peptonised food, and on the use of pancreatic extract as an addition to food shortly before food is taken. These lectures, though at times technical, may be understood by the ordinary reader, who would often derive advantage from a general knowledge of their contents. As long as man must live on food so long will the proper digestion of that food be of extreme importance to him.

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