The value of malted milk rests on its non-fermentative constitution. The isolating, encapsulating properties of the malt, while preventing it from bacterial attacks, also prevents it from the action of the digestive secretions, which means that to a large extent the preparation passes through the system undigested and unassimilated. Its stimulating influence is due to its large percentage of "free" sugar, which always has an affinity for oxygen. It is this power of the sugar to attract oxygen from the system and conduct it into the digestive field that gives rise to a frictional glow and subsequent burst of liberated, functional vigor, throughout the organism. But, as in all cases of stimulation, the system itself has to pay for its sudden invigoration, in terms of future depletion, so in the case of malted milk the effort of the stomach and liver, to separate the malt from the milk, gives rise to a great expenditure of energy, without being accompanied by any adequate nutritional recom pense. It shares with common milk the quality of rendering any substance with which it is made to combine, difficult to digest; hence, it is safe to say that there is no advantage in the use of malted milk, which is not also obtainable in the use of ordinary milk. In either form it should be taken alone, and modified with lime water, in the proportion of one tea-spoonful to a cup.
Now as to the safety or unsafety of the milk preparation known as ice cream, it must always be borne in mind that it is a combination of cream, sugar and flavoring extracts, with a temperature at the point of zero. This at once makes plain the relation of ice cream to human digestion - its benefits as well as its dangers. For, as no digestion can normally proceed at a temperature short of 97° Fahr., it follows that taken as a dessert, at the end of a Sunday dinner, a dish of ice cream falls like a blighting frost over the digestive labors, bringing their operations to a deadlock if not speedily relieved by a rush of blood and nerve power to the digestive field, at the expense of the other organs and functions of the system. That the system must pay in full for the dissipation, in terms of muscular and nervous energy, is plainly indicated in the general drowsiness experienced after such an unwise indulgence.
Yet, the low temperature is not the only objection to ice cream as an element of a re spectable dinner. Its constitutional make-up of sugar and cream will by its very nature give rise to fermentation of the food with which it is combined, according to the inevitable law that obtains in the realm of chemistry - whether the processes of the latter take place in the human stomach or in the chemical laboratory; - that, whenever sugar is added to starches, to proteids or to fats, the result is an evolution of poisonous acids, arising in consequence of the inevitable digestive breakdown into processes of fermentation and decomposition.
However, there are times and conditions when ice cream is dietetically legitimate, whether enjoyed under the high temperature of the body - as in fevers - or in the high temperature of the season - as in the summer heat. But the condition - never to be ignored - is the empty stomach; and the isolation from any other foodstuff. As a further guaranty for safety in enjoying the luxury of ice cream, the liver and kidneys should be in normal working order.
If these conditions are complied with, ice cream may be an enjoyable dish, and beneficial to the extent it reduces the high temperature, and adds energy and proteid, in an easily assimilated form, to a fever-consumed system. The ice as a heat absorbent attracts the blood from the periphelial tissues of the body, and this tends to relieve the congestion and stag nation of the general circulation. But this benefit is altogether lost if the ice cream is indulged in the form of dessert at the close of a meal, when the stomach is in the throes of a laborious digestion. It is not so much the things themselves that hurt us, as the manner in which we enjoy them.