The knowledge that copper belongs to the cellular level, because of the period to which its belongs, could explain this peculiarity. The organism does not have too much copper although the amount of it in the blood is increased. Neither does it have too little copper at the proper level. The abnormality resides in a qualitatively impaired capacity of abnormal cells to utilize copper. In tentative therapeutic application, we have to try neither to increase nor decrease the amount of copper but to obtain its proper utilization by the abnormal cells.

This view applies also to potassium. An increase of potassium in blood serum is seen in subjects with type D offbalance. With potassium belonging to the cellular level, the primary abnormality has to be sought at this level. In fact such a primary anomaly of potassium metabolism is seen in the cells for, in offbalance D, the cells are poor in potassium, possibly because the cation moves out of the cells as the result of being displaced by sodium. The increase in the amount of potassium found in the circulating blood thus can be interpreted as secondary, designed to offer the cells a sufficient amount of potassium to be utilized in attempts to overcome this offbalance. On the other hand, in abnormal offbalance A, when quantities of potassium are found present in proliferating cells, an abnormally low amount of potassium is found in blood (as low as 3.0 m Eq or less). As potassium is still excreted through the kidney, this low blood potassium is not to be interpreted as a quantitative deficiency but rather as a teleological response to the abnormally high utilization at the cellular level.

Periodic Chart Of The Elements 64

A study of potassium, presented under this aspect, is the subject of Note 2.

The relationship between elements, periods and levels of the organization explains a curious distribution of elements as seen in the following experiment. 1/10 molar solutions with pH, of dibasic phosphates of lithium, sodium, potassium, ammonium and rubidium were prepared. Each solution was injected intravenously into mice, 1/4 cc. per minute, until the animal died. The organs, and especially the brains, were immediately fixed in Bouin solution and studied histologically. For ammonium and rubidium, vacuoles were seen present in cells and especially in nuclei; for potassium, the vacuoles were present in the cytoplasm, while for sodium, only a pericellular edema was noted. No such changes were observed for lithium. Considering the diiension of the atoms, an opposite occurrence would have been expected with lithium penetrating most into the cells and rubidium the least. The fact that the heavier elements correspond to the lower levels of the organization, according to the concept presented above, explains the occurrence.

This could also be seen for the distribution of selenium and tellurium. We could show that while selenium accumulates in the cytoplasm, tellurium —which is the next heavier element of the VI series—is fixed preferentially in the nuclei.

It must be recognized that many problems result from exaggerated or reduced amounts of elements at compartments where they do not belong as characteristic constituents. The therapeutic effort, until now, has been to try to eliminate an excess or make up for a deficiency at any level. According to the view presented above, the main effort should be to try to correct the anomaly in the metabolism of the element at its proper level for this will lead to correction at other levels. We will consider, later, some examples of such effort.

The concept of dualism and of the place of elements in hierarchic organization has opened a new way to study the influence exerted by these elements in abnormal conditions as will be presented below.

The same type of analysis used for elements can be applied to the other body constituents. We will start with those which we believe to be the most important for the problem of the offbalances, the lipids.