Human Metabolism with Enemata of Alcohol, Dextrose, and Levulose

Human Metabolism with Enemata of Alcohol, Dextrose, and Levulose

Human Metabolism with Enemata of Alcohol, Dextrose, and Levulose

Human Metabolism with Enemata of Alcohol, Dextrose, and Levulose

Excerpt

The ingestion of food, drink, and medicine is usually by way of the mouth. The material then passes through the alimentary tract where it is prepared, if necessary, for absorption into the blood-stream, or else carried entirely through the alimentary canal and rejected unchanged. Under certain conditions, the taking of material by mouth is not feasible and, indeed, is well nigh impossible. Such conditions are coma, unconsciousness, inability or unwillingness of the individual to cooperate (as in insanity), congenital or accidental obstruction of the alimentary canal, and during or after anesthesia. The material must then be introduced in some other manner, the various paths used being intravenous, intramuscular, intraperitoneal, and rectal injection.

Rectal injections of saline and glucose solutions in operative procedures are common, but these are in most cases empirical. Attempts have been made to introduce rectally many substances, but there is a great deal of confusion of ideas and, in much of the experimental work, lack of uniformity in results, as to the metabolic utility of rectal injection. Undoubtedly much of the earlier work on rectal feeding, particularly with reference to protein, is of little value, because of the lack of knowledge as to how or in what form the food material was absorbed. There is thus need for a thorough, scientific study of the metabolism when nutrient material is injected by rectum. The results of such study should be of immediate value to clinicians and nutrition experts who are obliged to resort to this method.

Aside from its practical application, there is another way in which such a study is of value. Rectal introduction is an unusual and abnormal method of making nutritive material available. It is conceivable that the path or paths in the animal body through which the substance is carried may be different from those when it is ingested by mouth; consequently the steps in the cleavage of the material may be different in speed and character from those when food is taken by mouth. The method of studying the metabolism by the introduction of substances in various ways may be considered as a differential, topographic, or regional method, which conceivably would give results of value in the interpretation of physiological and biochemical processes.

In 1913, the Nutrition Laboratory published a program, tentatively proposed, for an investigation of the physiological action of ethyl alcohol . . .

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