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Medical testimony on alcohol.

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Dr. Ezra M. Hunt says, “The impairment of function and the initiation and promotion of organic pathology in vital areas by alcohol is unsurpassed by any record in the entire field of medicine. The facts in this area are so indisputable and so well established in the field that they are no longer controversial. Changes in the stomach and liver, in the kidneys and lungs, in the blood vessels down to the smallest capillaries, in the blood down to the smallest red and white blood cells, in the degeneration of fibers and fats in almost every organ, in the impairment of muscular strength, in the impression on both nervous systems so profound as to be frequently toxic, are the results frequently shown. And these are not limited to those who are known to be unrestrained.

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Professor Youmans says: “It is clear that alcohol, far from being a protector of health, is an active and powerful cause of disease because it interferes with respiration, circulation and nutrition; now, are there other results?”

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Dr. F.R. Lees says: “It is only natural that under certain conditions alcohol should contribute to the process of obesity and produce fatty degeneration of the blood in drinkers, for on the one hand we have an agent which retains waste by reducing the nutritive and excretory functions, and on the other hand it is a direct poisoner of the blisters of the vital stream.”

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Dr. Henry Monroe says: “There is no tissue, healthy or diseased, which may not undergo fatty degeneration; nor is there any organic disease so troublesome to the medical man, or so difficult to cure. If we examine, with the aid of a microscope, a very fine section of muscle taken from a healthy person, we find it firm, elastic, bright red in color, and composed of parallel fibers, with beautiful crosses or stripes; but if we likewise examine the muscles of a person who leads an idle, sedentary life and indulges in drunkenness, we at once find them pale, flabby, inelastic, and greasy in appearance. Alcoholic anesthesia seems to produce this peculiar tissue condition more than any other agent with which we are familiar. Dr. Chambers says: “Three-fourths of the chronic diseases which medical men must treat are caused by this disease. The celebrated French analytical chemist, Le Canu, found that in one thousand parts of the blood of an intoxicated man, the fat content was as high as 117 parts, the highest estimate in a healthy condition being eight and a quarter parts, while the ordinary quantity was not more than two or three parts, so that the blood of an intoxicated man contained forty times the ordinary quantity of fat.”

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Dr. Hammond has partially defended the power of alcohol to contain food in his article, saying, “When I say that of all other causes alcohol is the most numerous in stimulating the brain, spinal cord and nerve disorders, my statement is one that my own experience has shown to be correct.”

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Another prominent physician said of alcohol, “It replaces growth with septicism. It helps time to produce the effects of age; and, in a word, it is the genius of degeneration.”

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Dr. Monroe says: “Alcohol, taken in small quantities, or diluted in large quantities, as in beer, causes the stomach to gradually lose its tone, and makes it dependent on artificial stimuli. Gradually, atrophy or lack of tone in the stomach sets in and leads to incurable health disorders. If a certain dose of alcoholic beverages is consumed every day, the heart tends to become hypertrophied, or enlarged throughout. In fact, it is painful to see how many people actually struggle with heart disease, largely due to the use of alcoholic beverages.

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Dr. T.K. Chambers, a physician in Prince of Wales, says, “Alcohol is really the most unhealthy diet. It impoverishes the blood, and there is nothing more likely to cause degeneration of the muscle fibers than it; in heart disease it is more harmful, for it quickens the heartbeat, causes congestion and irregular circulation of the capillaries, and thus mechanically induces dilatation.”

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Sir Henry Thompson, the famous surgeon, said, “Do not drink wine every day on any pretext that it is good for you. Treat it frankly as a luxury that must be paid for, some cheaply, some at a high price, but always. And, for the most part, the loss of health, or mental strength, or calmness of temper, or loss of judgment, is the price.”

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Dr. Charles Jewett says: “The late Professor Parks of England, in his great work on Hygiene, effectively refuted the long prevalent view that alcohol is a valuable preventive measure in bad climates, bad water and other unfavorable conditions. Professor Parks of England, in his great work on Hygiene, effectively refutes the long-standing and widespread opinion that alcohol is a valuable prophylactic measure in bad climates, bad water, and other unfavorable conditions; and an unfortunate experiment with this article, conducted in 1863 in the Federal army on the banks of the Chickahominy, proved conclusively that the use of alcohol not only does not protect the health of the body from harmful agencies, but rather gives them additional strength. The same lesson is given by the medical history of the British army in India.”

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But why should more testimony be presented? Is the evidence not complete enough? For those who value health; for those who do not want to lay the foundation for disease and suffering in later life, we do not need to provide any additional arguments to support complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. He will shun them as poison.