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From the "hungry acid" to pepsinogen: a journey through time in quest for the stomach's secretion.

Kousoulis AA, Tsoucalas G, Armenis I, Marineli F, Karamanou M, Androutsos G - Ann Gastroenterol (2012)

Bottom Line: Later on, the role of pepsin and pepsinogen was also judged to be important in digestion.In addition, the tremendous contribution of French scientists, experienced in the science of nutrition, must not be underestimated.It took centuries of research, and the involvement of many notable figures from many nations and countries, to form modern concepts of gastric secretion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: History of Medicine Department, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece.

ABSTRACT
The stomach's secretion has been a mystery for centuries. Even after the first indications of its function and role appeared, every formulated idea on the nature of the gastric liquid remained open to controversy. After the ancient Greek perceptions which identified acids as bitter-sour liquids, the physicians of the Iatrochemical School, under the influence of Paracelsus and the alchemists, were the first to point out the physiologic chemistry of secretion. Experiments on animals and humans during the 17(th)-18(th) centuries, which mainly included swallowing various substances and observing the process, enhanced knowledge, with Stevens and Spallanzani playing the leading part. Any existing objections ceased in 1823, when Prout clearly identified hydrochloric acid as the acid agent of the stomach. Later on, the role of pepsin and pepsinogen was also judged to be important in digestion. In addition, the tremendous contribution of French scientists, experienced in the science of nutrition, must not be underestimated. It took centuries of research, and the involvement of many notable figures from many nations and countries, to form modern concepts of gastric secretion.

No MeSH data available.


Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1759-1644)
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Figure 1: Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1759-1644)

Mentions: Alchemists and chemiatrists had made progress in the identification of many substances. Johan Thölde (1565-1614) is reported to have identified hydrochloric acid. By the middle of the 17th century, Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1579-1644) (Fig. 1), the founder of the Iatrochemical School, was able to write of an acid ferment in the stomach responsible for digestion. The Iatrochemical School based its way of thinking on the belief that each material process of the body was presided over by a special archeus, or spirit, named Blas. According to van Helmont’s doctrine, physiologic processes are of themselves purely chemical, being attributed, in each case, to the agency of specific ferment and, therefore, he proposed the existence of an acid ensurinum as a normal component of the human stomach, although he thought that it was derived from the spleen. The physiologic chemistry of van Helmont was divested of much of its mystic and spiritual overtones by the physician-priest Sylvius (1614-1672) who was in charge of the first chemical laboratory of Leiden, from 1658 to 1672 [5,6].


From the "hungry acid" to pepsinogen: a journey through time in quest for the stomach's secretion.

Kousoulis AA, Tsoucalas G, Armenis I, Marineli F, Karamanou M, Androutsos G - Ann Gastroenterol (2012)

Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1759-1644)
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3959394&req=5

Figure 1: Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1759-1644)
Mentions: Alchemists and chemiatrists had made progress in the identification of many substances. Johan Thölde (1565-1614) is reported to have identified hydrochloric acid. By the middle of the 17th century, Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1579-1644) (Fig. 1), the founder of the Iatrochemical School, was able to write of an acid ferment in the stomach responsible for digestion. The Iatrochemical School based its way of thinking on the belief that each material process of the body was presided over by a special archeus, or spirit, named Blas. According to van Helmont’s doctrine, physiologic processes are of themselves purely chemical, being attributed, in each case, to the agency of specific ferment and, therefore, he proposed the existence of an acid ensurinum as a normal component of the human stomach, although he thought that it was derived from the spleen. The physiologic chemistry of van Helmont was divested of much of its mystic and spiritual overtones by the physician-priest Sylvius (1614-1672) who was in charge of the first chemical laboratory of Leiden, from 1658 to 1672 [5,6].

Bottom Line: Later on, the role of pepsin and pepsinogen was also judged to be important in digestion.In addition, the tremendous contribution of French scientists, experienced in the science of nutrition, must not be underestimated.It took centuries of research, and the involvement of many notable figures from many nations and countries, to form modern concepts of gastric secretion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: History of Medicine Department, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece.

ABSTRACT
The stomach's secretion has been a mystery for centuries. Even after the first indications of its function and role appeared, every formulated idea on the nature of the gastric liquid remained open to controversy. After the ancient Greek perceptions which identified acids as bitter-sour liquids, the physicians of the Iatrochemical School, under the influence of Paracelsus and the alchemists, were the first to point out the physiologic chemistry of secretion. Experiments on animals and humans during the 17(th)-18(th) centuries, which mainly included swallowing various substances and observing the process, enhanced knowledge, with Stevens and Spallanzani playing the leading part. Any existing objections ceased in 1823, when Prout clearly identified hydrochloric acid as the acid agent of the stomach. Later on, the role of pepsin and pepsinogen was also judged to be important in digestion. In addition, the tremendous contribution of French scientists, experienced in the science of nutrition, must not be underestimated. It took centuries of research, and the involvement of many notable figures from many nations and countries, to form modern concepts of gastric secretion.

No MeSH data available.