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On Carbohydrate Metabolism, with an Appendix on the Assimilation of Carbohydrate into Proteid and Fat, followed by the Fundamental Principles and the Treatment of Diabetes, dialectically discussed The Dynamics of Living Matter Geschmack und Geruch

Nature volume 74, pages 631632 (25 October 1906) | Download Citation



DR. PAVY'S new book on carbohydrate metabolism deals with a subject to which he has devoted a long life of study and original research, and his opinions are therefore entitled to the most careful consideration and respect. He treats the subject partly from the physician's point of view, for the disease known as diabetes cannot be properly understood until the nature of the metabolism which the carbohydrates undergo in health is a matter of certain knowledge. Those acquainted with Dr. Pavy's previous writings will be aware that he has never accepted the glycogenic theory of Claude Bernard, and in the present brochure he brings forward fresh evidence of what he regards as its incorrectness. Dr. Pavy also was the first to direct attention to the glucoside nature of the proteids, and this view is also amplified. Most attention, however, will be centred on the new doctrine of absorption he puts forward, and to the important role in this process which he assigns to the lymphocytes. He supposes that what first occurs is that these cells assimilate nutrient matter and incorporate it in their protoplasm, and subsequently carry it to the tissues. Among other facts in support of this view he directs attention to the great increase in the lymphocytes of the blood after a meal. One imagines this view will not be immediately accepted, partly because it is doubtful whether the lymphocytes are sufficiently numerous, or capable Of sufficiently rapid integration and disintegration to bear the burden of the large amount of material which has to be transported, and partly because the acceptance of such a theory will involve the rejection of much recent physiological work in which it has been shown that the foodproteids are broken down during digestion into the small molecules of the amino-acids of which they are composed. Dr. Pavy has produced an interesting and suggestive book, but he has made no experimental attempt to disprove the new ideas of complete hydrolysis of proteids in the intestine which are rapidly gaining credence.

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