Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/137

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129
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.

Sir Victor Horsley, the well-known London surgeon, said:—

"We know that alcohol lowers the temperature of the body. It can only do that by diminishing the activity of the vital processes. It also diminishes very greatly the power of the muscles, and it diminishes the intellectual power of the nervous system. To call an agent that causes such diminution of activity throughout the whole body a food is ridiculous."

An editorial in the Journal of the Amercian Medical Association said:

"The fallacy of the reasoning which would place alcohol among the foods is very apparent when we put it in the form of a syllogism: All foods are oxidized in the body; alcohol is oxidized in the body; therefore alcohol is food. As logically we might say: 'All birds are bilaterally symmetrical; the earthworm is bilaterally symmetrical; therefore the earthworm is a bird.' Oxidation within the body is simply one of several important properties of food, as bilateral symmetry is one of several important characteristics of a bird."

Schafer's Physiology says:—

"It cannot be doubted that any small production of energy resulting from the oxidation of alcohol is more than counterbalanced by its deleterious influences as a drug upon the tissue elements, and especially upon those of the nervous system."

The Bulletin of the A. M. T. A. for July, 1899, contained an article upon Prof. Atwater by Dr. J. H. Kellogg, from which the following is taken:—

"Starch, sugar and fats become foods or fuels only through their assimilation. Abundant physiological evidence attests that no substance can act as a food, or as a true source of energy, unless it has first entered into the composition of the body. It