Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

starch, on the twenty-fourth, and another on the twenty-seventh day; 
having lost during these periods from one-sixth to one half of their 
weight. But a goose which was fed with boiled white of egg cut 
into small pieces, although it maintained its appetite, and the food 
contained nitrogen, also died on the forty-sixth day, after having lost 
nearly one half of its weight. These experiments of Tiedemann 
and Gmelin, like those of Magendie above detailed, would be very 
conclusive if the same animals had been fed alternately on different 
substances that contained no nitrogen; for the experiments of Ma¬ 
gendie, which follow, show that animals are frequently not able to 
support a diet consisting invariably of one and the same substance, 
though it contain azote. (See Londe, Froriep’s Notiz. Bd. xiii. No. 
Necessity of variety in diet.—Magendie’s further experiments 
on the nutritious property of different substances afforded the fol¬ 
lowing facts:—1. A dog fed on white bread, wheat and water, did 
not live more than fifty days. 2. Another dog, on the contrary, 
which was kept on brown soldier’s bread, did not suffer. 3. Rabbits 
and Guinea-pigs fed on any one of the following substances,— 
wheat, oats, barley, cabbage, or carrots,—died with all the signs of 
inanition in fifteen days; while, if the same substances were given 
simultaneously, or in succession, the animals suffered no ill effect. 
4. An ass fed on dry rice, and afterwards on boiled rice, lived only 
fifteen days. A cock, on the contrary, was fed with boiled rice for 
several months with no ill consequence. 5. Dogs fed with cheese 
alone, or with hard eggs, lived for a long time, but they became 
feeble and thin, and lost their hair. 6. Rodent animals will live a 
very long time on muscular substance. 7. After an animal has been 
fed for a long period on one kind of aliment, which, if continued, 
would not alone support life, he will not be saved by his customary 
food being given to him: he will eat eagerly, but he will die as soon 
as if he had continued to be restricted to the one article of food which 
was first given. The conclusion to be deduced from the above facts 
is, that variety of the kinds of aliment is an important circumstance 
to be attended to in the preservation of health. The statement of 
M. Magendie, that for the nutrition of animals variety of diet is ne¬ 
cessary, and that restriction to one kind of food induces emaciation 
and death, has been fully confirmed by a comparative experiment 
instituted on three rabbits by M. E. Burdach. (Froriep’s Not. Oct. 
1839, p. 43.) 
Dr. Prout (on the Nature and Treatment of Stomach and Uri¬ 
nary Diseases,) reduces all the articles of nourishment, among the 
higher animals, to four great classes or groups: 1, the aqueous; 2, the 
saccharine, comprehending sugar, starch, gum, &c.; 3, the oily, in¬ 
cluding oils and fats; and 4, the albuminous,—the last the proximate 
principle of animals, and a modification of which is vegetable gluten. 
After a short account of each of these classes, he makes the following 
summary of the subject:— 
“Such are the four great alimentary principles, by which all the 
higher animals are nourished, and of which their bodies are essen-


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