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consumes in large quantities, that he may, by the organic combustion of its carbon and hydrogen, create the heat he requires to resist intense cold. The South American, on the contrary, who is nearly always on horseback, and leads an active, muscleconsuming life, in a warm climate, feeds on beef dried in the sun, which affords him the nitrogen he requires to repair the waste of tissue consequent on his active habits. The dried beef, from which nearly all the fat has been removed, is all but sufficient, because the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere is constantly so high that little animal heat is demanded, and the little carbon and hydrogen he consumes, either as animal or vegetable food, are principally employed in the generation of force.

The Irishman and the Hindoo can live and thrive on a dietary in a great measure vegetable-the one on potatoes and milk; the other on rice, gee, and pulse-although inhabiting very different climates. But in both countries the amount of vegetable food required to sustain life is very great, especially in the colder climate. It is found that an Irishman wants many pounds' weight of potatoes, with milk, to keep him in health. The quantity of rice consumed by the Asiatic, although less in proportion, is also very great. Potatoes and rice containing a much smaller proportion of nitrogen than wheaten flour, a much larger quantity must of course be ingested, in order that the economy should extract the necessary amount of nitrogen which it requires

to repair its waste. Thus, in both instances, the digestive system is loaded with a larger amount of carbonaceous food than is demanded for the generation of heat and force by organic combustion. Were a small amount of animal food taken, instead of the superabundant farinacea, the true wants of the economy would be much better and easier supplied.

It is also worthy of remark that the Irishman shows, like all northerners, an ardent desire to increase his heat-producing powers by the addition of alcohol to his heat-producing food, which the Asiatic does not, because he inhabits a southern region. It would seem that the carbon and hydrogen contained in the food of the former scarcely suffice for the constant generation of heat necessitated by a cold, damp atmosphere. Hence, in part, the instinctive desire for alcoholic beverages. I say in part, because the craving for alcohol, although it may have its origin in an instinctive feeling, is apt to degenerate into a habit and a vice, independently of the requirements of the economy, owing to the stimulating and pleasurable sensations which it creates.

The working of these physiological laws, by which the demand and supply of the repairing and combustible materials of nutrition are equalized, may be observed in the various grades of our own social fabric. Thus the railway workman, or navvy, and the Thames lighterman are subjected to severe and continued muscular labour, and are constantly

exposed to atmospheric vicissitudes. Το meet the double expenditure of muscular strength or nitrogen, and of heat or carbon and hydrogen, they eat large quantities of meat, and drink large quantities of beer and porter, extracting the elements of muscular repair from the one, and those of heat-production and force from the other.

I was told by an eminent railway contractor, that when some of his navvies were first taken to work on French railroads, it was found that they could do in the same time double the amount of work got through by the French workmen, who lived in a much more sparing manner, and principally on bread and vegetables. The French sub-contractors were obliged, in order even partly to efface this difference, wounding to their national pride, very considerably to increase the dietary of their workand more especially to nitrogenize or animalize it. By adopting this course, the French workmen very soon increased their muscular powers. The materials for greater muscular development being given, and the muscles at the same time freely exercised, the organic nutritive changes became more rapid, the muscles increased in compactness and volume, and the work-power increased in proportion.


How vast the difference between one of these large, powerful, muscular men, consuming great quantities of nitrogenous food, and burning a large amount of carbon and hydrogen, rapidly using and

rapidly repairing his economy, and the thin, wiry, Arab inhabitant of the Sahara desert, who lives principally on dates and on camel's milk! yet each takes no more food than is required by his habits and by the climate in which he lives.

I would remark that when travelling in Algeria and Tunisia I found that the dates used as food by the Arabs are not the saccharine dates we eat as a sweetmeat, but a date all but entirely farinaceous. The Spaniards, of the province of Murcia, in which date palms are abundant, live to a great extent on the flour of these non-saccharine dates, which are exposed for sale in all the market-places.

Once these fundamental physiological facts respecting nutrition are known and accepted, we are no longer guided by crude fancies, but have sound scientific data to lead us in regulating the diet of individuals and of communities. Indeed, the importance of a thorough acquaintance with these facts, both on the part of the medical profession and of the educated public, cannot be too highly estimated, as it will tend to dispel many fallacies, many erroneous ideas respecting food which have general currency. How few there are who know or bear in mind that a large proportion of the food


consume must be composed of carbon and hydrogen, and is burnt in the capillary tissues to create heat and force-just as coal is burnt in a grate and that when food is denied the sufferer dies of cold in our climate more than of nutritive


How few there are who are aware that for nitrogenous food to really repair the waste of our tissues, all the various processes which constitute digestion must be fully and healthily carried out; and that the chyle, the result of these processes, if not properly elaborated, is in a great measure eliminated, thrown out of the economy.

The general impression, not only with the public, but with many members of the medical profession, appears to be that nitrogenous food and stimulants are synonymous with assimilation and strength. The undeniable fact that between the two lies a gulf, occupied by all the varied digestive processes, the imperfection of any one of which neutralizes the result-healthy nutrition-is thus overlooked. Other grievous errors also are committed through the adoption of this, the popular view of nutrition. A certain amount of nitrogenous food is required to repair the wear and tear of the tissues, but more than the amount really demanded by organic nutritive activity, so far from adding to its power and energy, becomes a positive becomes a positive encumbrance-an actual poison.

In infancy and youth a considerable amount of food, and especially of nitrogenous food, is required. On the one hand, the entire economy is growing, increasing in bulk and in volume; on the other, the functions of life are all rapidly performed. The brain is active, ever acquiring information, ever full of thoughts. The muscles are constantly in play;

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