Old experiments with rabbits and dogs provide powerful evidence for the Acidity Theory of Atherosclerosis (1)
Follows a summary about 2 studies from the beginning of the last century showing that acid-fed rabbits and dogs may develop atherosclerotic lesions:
1) Experiments from Oswald Loeb, a well-known professor in pharmacology and scientist from the University of Gottingen - Germany, have demonstrated in study published in 1913, that lactic acid-fed rabbits and dogs have resulted in atherosclerotic lesions in these animals (2). The book “Arteriosclerosis and hypertension, with chapters on blood pressure" (3), by Louis M Warfield, M. D. (Johns Hopkins), showed the following commentary about the experiments from Oswald Loeb:“Oswald Loeb produced changes in the arteries of rabbits by feeding them sodium lactate (lactic acid). His controls fed on other acids became cachectic, but showed no arterial changes. He further found that in 100 gm. of human blood there was normally from 15 to 30 mg. of lactic acid. After heavy work, he found as much as 150 gm. He considers that after adrenalin or nicotin injections, the function of the liver is so disturbed that lactic acid is not bound. The arteriosclerosis is actually due to the presence of free lactic acid in the circulation. He succeeded, also, in producing lesions of the intima in a dog fed for a long time on protein poor diet, plus lactic acid and sodium lactate.”
2) I. Adler, M.D., from the Laboratories of the New York Board of Health, told in his paper entitled “Studies on Experimental Atherosclerosis” (4), published in 1913, that a casual remark by Dr. P. A. Levene have suggested the simple procedure of adding dilute hydrochloric acid to the dog's food and thus producing a chronic hyperacidity. This led Adler to include acid-fed dogs in his experiments. He told in his paper that though only two dogs have thus far been fed with hydrochloric acid, presenting sclerotic affections, the possibility can not be denied, especially in view of the numerous negative results with other methods, that these positive results are not mere coincidences, but are probably due to the hydrochloric acid. Referring at the end of his paper about the acid-fed dogs presenting atherosclerotic lesions he stated “that the work is being continued, and definite conclusions would at this stage be premature; but perhaps it may be permitted, even now, to venture the statement that in all probability the theory which bases atherosclerosis on a purely mechanical etiology will not prove tenable. Whether mechanical factors come into play at all, and if so, to what extent, remains to be seen. It seems almost certain, at least in our present state of knowledge, influences, subject possibly to more or less nerve control, are dominant factors in the etiology of atherosclerosis. Perhaps it may be discovered also that cholesterin and its various modifications and combinations, while undoubtedly an element of importance in atherosclerosis of the rabbit and human beings, may not be the sole predominant etiological factor. “He finished telling that “If it should turn out that so simple a procedure as adding a certain proportion of hydrochloric acid to the food of dogs is sufficient to produce lesions of the blood vessels closely analogous, if not wholly identical with human atherosclerosis, a revision of our present theories will become necessary."
1. Carlos ETB Monteiro, Acidic environment evoked by chronic stress: A novel mechanism to explain atherogenesis. Available from Infarct Combat Project, January 28, 2008 at http://www.infarctcombat.org/AcidityTheory.pdf
2. Loeb, O., Ueber experimentelle Arterienveraender ungen mit besonderer Beruecksichtigung der Wirkung der Milchsaeure auf Grund eigener Versuche, Deutsch. med. Wchnschr., 1913, xxxix, I819
3. Louis M Warfield, M. D., Third Edition, C. V. Mosby Company, 1920, with full free text at http://www.archive.org/stream/arteriosclerosis00warfuoft/arteriosclerosis00warfuoft_djvu.txt.
4. I. Adler, ‘Studies in Experimental atherosclerosis - A preliminary report’, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 1913. Free full text at http://jem.rupress.org/content/20/2/93.full.pdf