Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/400

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.



In the year 1900 Prof. Taav Laitinen, of the University of Helsingfors, Finland, published an account of experiments made upon 342 animals dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, fowls and pigeons—to determine the effects of alcohol upon the resistance of the body to infectious diseases. He used as infecting agents, anthrax bacilli, tubercle bacilli, and diphtheria bacilli. The doses of alcohol given varied with the animal. For his "small dose" experiments he used the quantity of alcohol given as a food or as a medicine, or both, in a neighboring sanitorium. The alcohol employed was, as a rule, a 25 per cent, solution of ethyl alcohol in water. It was given either by esophageal catheter, or by dropping it into the mouth from a pipette. It was administered in several ways, and for varying times; sometimes in single large doses, at others in gradually increasing doses for months at a time, in order to produce here an acute, and there a chronic poisoning; in fact, he produced the conditions consequent upon steady, moderate drinking.

His first conclusion from these experiments, most carefully carried out, is that alcohol, however given, induces in the animal body a markedly increased susceptibility to infectious diseases; and he maintains