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The sweeping assertions and unsupported dogmatism of the prohibitionist who. not content with basing his appeal Oh humanitarian grounds only, has denounced alcohol as a poison and injurious to its users, no matter how or when or in what quantities it is taken, have not Unnaturally given rise to equally as authoritative, if less dogmatic, counter assertions. Among these, the most recent, as it is the most modest, of testimonies on behalf of alcohol as a food will be found in the food number of the London ' Times ' published on June Bof this present year. As this evidence has not, to our knowledge, been published locally, it will be of interest to those who desire to follow this question with unbiassed minds. The influence of alcohol upon metabolism, as the chemical changes that occur in living matter are called, having now passed from tho field of speculation and controversy into the realm of ascertained fact, there is no longer any' justificatien in denying to alcohol the right to t'e regarded as a food. The chief property upon which this claim is based is that of partiallv paralysing the living cell, Ihcieby inhibiting the breaking down of the particles of fat or carbohydrate with which it is surrounded. The living cell normally preys upon these and pr«.tcid particles, and by breaking th*m down, hj enabled to make good the wastage cf tissue resulting from Its own Alcohol is in this respect a "fat-savor," though it is itself consumed in the process, yielding heat and energy to the body. Apart from their alcoholic contents, however, many spirits pos-?.;si great value nfc certain times by reason of their stimulating effect upon the he-art, brain, and oth»-- vital centres. Owing to its property of dissolving many organic substances, alcohol is of great value as an aid to digestion, and as a stimulant and restorer of circulation it occupies an unrivalled, position. Nevertheless, the use of alcohol must be regulated with a nice discrimination, for its effects are not always what they seem. It is unwise, for instance, to take alcohol before going out into the cold, for by doing so the blood will be driven into the surface blood-vessels and capillaries, and through their subsequent dilation an excessive amount of heat will be radiated from the body just when it is most required. It is right and proper, however, to take alcohol on returning from the cold, for it will then promote the circulation throughout the body of all the blood which contact with the outer cold had driven from the surface and the extremities away into the internal viscera. It is well to bear in mind that alcohol does not keep one warm. On the contrary, it lets out one's heat.

There is, unfortunately, no prospect of the controversy in regard to tho specifio action of wine upon the human frame ever being estimated above the plane of biassed speculation, nor is any lasting truce between the prohibitionists and the moderates and therefore, temperate party probable. The question, like that of one's religious beliefs, is an individual question, and not to be decided either by scientist or logician or statistician. At the same time, we cannot bub think that temperance in thought must prevail over intemperance in action, ann that in time the public consciousness will be educated up to a standard where and when the issue may be left to it without fear of the outcome.

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Bibliographic details

NATIONAL PROHIBITION, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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NATIONAL PROHIBITION Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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