The following record is not presented as in any sense a completed piece of work. It is admittedly incomplete. It comprises a scries of papers which have been published in the past few years on the influence of diet on the structure of the tissues. They are republished in the present form in the hope that the record may stimulate further investigation along a line of research which has already yielded the interesting and suggestive results here recorded.
It is many years since John Hunter demonstrated, in a specimen preserved in the Royal College of Surgeons, that in a gull which had been fed for a year upon grain the muscular coat of the stomach became thickened; and many other examples could be cited from the vegetable and animal worlds to illustrate the special effects of food variations upon growth and development. So far as the author is aware, however, there has previously been no systematic attempt to ascertain the nature of the changes induced in the tissues by diet. It will be observed that these changes have been found to be of a striking character, affecting many organs of the body in a somewhat complicated and inconstant manner. The published observations deal especially with the influence of an exclusive meat diet administered in the uncooked form, and it is of interest to note that similar results have been obtained in a more recent series of observations, as yet unpublished, on the influence of an excessive meat diet, which more closely approximates to the diet in use in the human subject (p. 612).
It was originally intended to make observations on the bacterial flora in the digestive tract, and also on the resistance of the animals to certain poisons under the different regimes, but this part of the research was not carried out. The recently published interesting and suggestive results of Ilerter and Kendall, referred to on page 17, and the still more recent results recorded by Reid Hunt on the effects of a restricted diet and of various foods upon the resistance of animals to certain poisons, indicate the importance of attention being directed to these lines of the investigation.
I have to express my great indebtedness to the different investigators who have collaborated with me, and whose results are incorporated in this record. I have also gratefully to acknowledge the assistance and encouragement continuously received from Professor Schafer throughout the whole series of the investigations.
The expenses of these investigations, which were begun in 1898, have been in great part defrayed by grants from the Moray Fund of Edinburgh University, and from the Carnegie Trust.
11 Walker Street, November 1910.
Chalmers Watson, M.D., F.R.C P.E.
A. Dingwall Fordvce, M.D., F.R.C.P.E.
G. W. Watson, L.D.S., and J. H. GlBBS, F.R.C.S., L.D.S.
F. Gardiner, M.D., F.R.C.S.E.
Andrew Hunter, M.D., and G. Lyon, M.D.
Malcolm Campbell, M.D., F.R.C.S.E.
C. 11 Paul, F.R.C.S.E.
B. P. Watson, M.D., F.R.C.S.E.