Evidence for intestinal toxemia - An inescapable clinical phenomenon
- Alan Immerman
The formation and significance of phenol and phenol derivatives in the animal metabolism was formerly a very important subject’ of biochemical investigation. The papers by Baumann in t’his field are still models of successful research as well as of simple and clear expositi0n.l At that time and in fact up till a short time ago carbolic acid was extensively used as an antiseptic by surgeons; and the dark colored ‘(carbolic acid urines” were accordingly constantly available and constituted abundant evidence of t’he fact that externally applied phenol is absorbed. Similar urines were obtained when laboratory animals were poisoned by means of external applications of phenol. The absorbed phenol was at first supposed to be excreted with the urine either as alkaline salts (phenolates) or as free carbolic acid, but it was lat,er shown in Hoppe-Seyler’s laborat.ory that, although traces of phenolat,es or free phenol might at times occur, such traces were insignificant compared with the amounts of phenol present in the form of some combination which yielded free phenols only on hydrolysis with mineral acids. Clinical or experimental “carbolic acid urines” were by no means the only urines which yielded a positive phenol reaction when distilled with mineral acids. In fact all urines gave more or less phenol though the urines of herbivorous animals were particularly conspicuous in this respect.