The study of changes in lesions where abnormal fatty acids are present has shown the importance of fixation of chloride ions in these substances. Considering its place in the periodic chart, chlorine is an element with het erotropic character. Consequently, it could be conceived of as being antagonistic to fatty acids, counterbalancing their homotropic character. This was confirmed by pharmocological study of fatty acids to which chloride ions were added at the double bonds. We were particularly interested in conjugated fatty acids in which effects of treatment with chlorine could be followed through spectral analysis.

When a mixture of conjugated fatty acids from cod liver oil was treated with chlorine, the peaks in spectral analysis progressively disappeared. (Fig. 124) This did not lead, as expected, to increased toxicity. Thus far, in early trials, the different preparations, from 9-10 dichloro stearic acid to the polychlorinated mixture of fatty acids from cod liver oil, have not shown effects greatly different from those of conjugated fatty acids upon tumor evolution, systemic analyses, and pain. No difference has been noted between the derivatives and their corresponding fatty acids in animal experiments or in research in humans. Experience with these products, however, indicates that they may induce milliar gastric ulcerations which we consider to result from the influence exerted by the fatty acids upon the gastric mucous membrane where they are brought by the chloride ions to which they are strongly bound. Research in this direction confirms the part which these fatty acids, solidly bound to chloride ions, take in the pathogenesis of the state of shock.

Influence exerted by chlorine gas upon the conjugated fatty acids

Fig. 124. Influence exerted by chlorine gas upon the conjugated fatty acids. A parallel decrease in the amount of all the members is seen. (0.002% in ethyl alcohol).

An over all analysis of the pharmacological activity of the fatty acids mentioned above shows a similarity in fundamental effects obtained with most of these preparations. This can be interpreted as resulting principally from the fact that all have in common, their lipidic character and the same polar group with acid properties—the carboxyl. As a result, these substances are fixed in the same position in abnormal entities, a fact which seems to represent the most important factor in their pharmacodynamic activity. The further biological differences seen between the influence exerted by the various members studied would be related to a secondary effect of these substances resulting from the intervention of the nonpolar groups. This finding —that the fundamental pharmacological activity of fatty acids is connected with the site of activity which is determined by the lipoidic character and the polar group present while the proper pharmacological activity is due to the intervention of the nonpolar group—has been of capital importance not only for understanding the activity of these substances but also for determining the path of our further research. Because of this, we investigated, in a second step, lipoids with other negative polar groups.