One must be aware that these experiments were conceived and carried out BEFORE Rene Quinton contemplated the use of seawater for human treatment and much before the several French clinics were using his protocol for mass therapy on children and chronically ill persons.
Although Quinton and his contemporaries referred in their experiments to dogs as 'organisms', you must forgive them, because, even in their daring experiments, they treated the dogs with kindness and no disrespect was implied.
THE ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS - USING ISOTONIC SEAWATER - conducted by Rene Quinton (see Chemistry of Seawater for explanation).
These experiments have been described, in detail, in Quinton's book -
"L'eau de Mer - milieu organique - (1912: Ed. Masson) Reprinted: Ed. ENCRE 1995" (see Bibliography).
The earliest experiments were made in 1897, with [abandoned] dogs, at the laboratory of Etienne Marey at the "Hautes Etudes du College de France" for the study of physiology and pathology, where René Quinton had begun to work.
All references to seawater infer that ordinary filtered and unheated seawater was reduced (diluted with [then] distilled water) to the isotonic 9‰ state of human plasma. Today, the dilution is accomplished with sterile but 'living' spring water.
GROUP 1 EXPERIMENTS (pages 165-168)
Partial drainage of blood - Intra-organic injections of seawater, via saphena vein, using normal adult dogs.
A first group of experiments was conducted where a volume of 66% (EXPERIMENT 1 not related here), 81% (EXPERIMENT 2 not related here) and finally 104% (EXPERIMENT 3 - see below) of a dog's body weight was replaced, over a period of fixed time, with a corresponding amount of isotonic 9‰ seawater.
Finally, (EXPERIMENT 4 - see below) a small dog was injected with 9‰ Marine isotonic plasma at three varying rates and reactions were observed and recorded.
The main discovery was that as long as the rate of injection kept pace with renal elimination, no traumatic reactions were encountered.
THIRD EXPERIMENT OF GROUP ONE (page 167)
An [abandoned] dog, was injected with 10 kilos, 400 grams of 9‰ isotonic seawater. This enormous quantity of water, representing 104% of the dog's [own] body weight, was injected over a period of 11 hours and 40 minutes. This was equivalent to the injection of 62.4 kilos of seawater into a man weighing 60 kilos.
Here follows the account of this experiment in René Quinton's own abbreviated words:
"The dog lay quietly in the morning, covered, his body weight was 6.5 kg, the rectal temperature [was] 39.7 degrees C. The temperature of the injection was about 35-40 degrees C. The rate of injection was 14.9 cc - the same as urinary elimination. During the 11 hours and 40 minutes of the injection, there was no agitation, no diarrhea, no albuminuria, and all the reflexes remained active. The dog kept his eyes on the operator and reacted to every caress. Occasional vomiting of a yellowish liquid (50cc total quantity). The rectal temperature declined in stages to 36.8 degrees C. and at the end of the injection [period] rose to 37.2 degrees C. By this time, the dog had absorbed 10.4 kg of [isotonic sea] water and had excreted 9.4 kilos of urine."
"One hour and ten minutes after the injection, the dog was back on his feet, moved normally except for a slight limp caused by the binding of his feet during this experience. At this time, his rectal temperature was normal at 39 degrees C."
The next day, 14 hours after the injection, the animal was remarkably gay, ran and jumped in the laboratory, ate two portions of meat weighing 600 grams and drank 100 grams of water. His urine, from the night, showed a slight albumin cloudiness."
The day after, and the following days, the dog continued to behave the same way: more energetic than before the injection, no diarrhea, no vomiting, normal albumin, not troubles of any kind."
FOURTH EXPERIMENT OF GROUP ONE (page 168)
A third [abandoned] dog was injected with a large quantity of [isotonic} seawater. A small dog that weighed 5 kilos, was injected with 3.5 kilos of isotonic seawater at injection rates varying from 67.3 cc per minute per 10 kg of body weight during the first 30 minutes, to 5.4 cc per minute (renal elimination) to 58.2 cc per minute in a short period of 90 minutes. The dog's stomach rapidly ballooned and the heart rate slowed perceptibly. The initial body temperature dropped from 38.2 degrees C. to 32.5 degrees, urination diminished. The corneal reflex disappeared.
It was noted that during the slow injection rate the traumatic symptoms did not aggravate but normalized. As soon as rapid injection rates resumed, the re-appearance and aggravation of symptoms reappeared while renal elimination slowed.
As soon as the injection stopped [after 90 minutes], the body temperature rose, urination accelerated and the coronary reflex returned. The dog began to stagger about, his swollen stomach was no longer recognizable. He took several steps and collapsed. The shock had been too violent and he found it hard to recover. But by the eleventh day, the recovery was complete. The animal was extremely gregarious and exuberant in spite of his confinement for days in the basement. His body weight was still five kilos.
GROUP 2 EXPERIMENTS (pages 169-170)
Complete drainage of blood and replacement with an equal amount of isotonic seawater.
This experiment involved withdrawing a quantity of blood blood plasma of a [mongrel] dog, and replacing it with an equal quantity of 9‰ isotonic seawater. No special precautions were made to prevent infection. The dog was to be placed at death's door, so that this would be a final test for the curative power of seawater and would demonstrate whether the isotonic water was a perfect [replacement] copy of the dog's blood plasma. Here is the report by the observers:
"Dog of 12kg 400g. Withdrawal of most of his blood from the femoral artery, of 491 grams, during 4 minutes, without any [antiseptic] precautions, representing one twentieth of the [dog's] body weight. The corneal reflex halted. Presented with the impossibility of withdrawing any more blood, the injection of seawater at 23 degrees C. began and 532 cc (18.7 ounces) at 23 degrees C. were injected during a period of 11 minutes. The corneal reflex was restored. The untied animal was unable to walk, breathed with difficulty, with short breaths and remained stretched out on a blanket without moving."
"After 21 hours, the dog trots around the laboratory. The red blood cells have dropped from 6,800,00 before the treatment [experiment] to 2,900,000; white blood cell level is at 15,400 from a previous 14,000, the hemoglobin has decreased from 19 to 12. These results are a witness to the enormous withdrawal of blood, yet, the animal eats and drinks."
"The condition of the dog changed: the wound discharged puss, the body temperature rose to 40 degrees C., and the condition looked grave, the animal sad and depressed. Now it was to be seen whether the organism, impoverished by the withdrawal of blood could overcome the infection with the seawater and accomplish leukocytosis [manufacture of white blood cells}.
"Although the condition continued to look grave, the red blood cells were now at 3,020,000, the white blood cells at 24,000,000 and the hemoglobin at 16. Leukocytosis had been accomplished at a ratio of 1:484 vs. 1:125 before the procedure. That same evening, the dog ate 400 grams of meat."
Thereafter, the progress was rapid. On the eighth day, the dog became exaggeratedly exuberant, ran about wildly and this continued during the following days. The results showed that the organism had become revitalized by the seawater to a level that EXCEEDED that of the [original] plasma that had been withdrawn. Five years later, Sodium, named after the memory of the experiment, was still alive and well.
GROUP 3 EXPERIMENTS (Page 171- 173)
The definitive experiment was to extract white blood cells from fishes, a lizard, a man, rabbit, a dog and a chicken and mix them, each in turn, with varying amounts of seawater (up to 200 times dilution of a unit of blood with Marine Plasma) ) to observe when the white blood cells would cease living. This proved a total success. In all cases, the white blood cells, essentially simulating the cellular life of an organism, presented all the signs of vital normal life: adherence and amoebic movements.
It was found also that white blood cells were able to survive 25+ hours in non-sterile plasma solutions and upwards of a month in sterile solutions. This surpasses by far even the most optimistic artificial plasma solutions.
André Mahe, contemporary of René Quinton and author of the book: Le secret de nos origines - 2nd Edition, Le courrier du Livre 1962, writes...
"Now, Rene Quinton is confronted with an impasse, i.e. vis-a-vis the frightening keystone which is of course the experimentation. If my assumption is right, he thinks, while searching for examples of physiological evidence, one must be able to withdraw part of the blood plasma of an animal with impunity and then to replace this plasma by an equal quantity of sea water. In the same vein, one must be able, without danger, to inject the dog [he calls it an 'organism'] with a considerable quantity of sea water. Lastly, one should be able to make white globules, which do not remain alive in any artificial medium, live in sea water...
It is here that many researchers, even courageous ones, even those trustful in the accuracy of their assumption, would have taken some precautions. It had been easy, indeed, to carry out experiments in total insulation in order not to lose face if the experimentation contradicted the postulate. But Rene Quinton chooses the risk, defies it, and in facing the test, which is essential, refuses the subterfuges.
It is at the pathological Laboratory of Physiology of the High Studies of the Collège de France, the laboratory of Marey, where he is assistant, and in the presence of several researchers to whom he will present the proof of the postulates that he advances. We are in 1897.
In the group of experiments of which I will speak of initially, he proposes to withdraw from a dog, by totally bleeding it, part of its interior milieu, and to replace it by an equal quantity of sea water, reduced to isotonicity - I will come back later to this aspect which is also capital.
Then, the total and complete bleeding would cause the death of the animal if it is abandoned and left to its own resources. Moreover, the experiment withdraws not only a considerable part of the interior medium itself, but also the cellular part that sea water cannot restore to the animal. On the one hand, the respiratory function will be thus be affected gravely for lack of oxygenation. In addition, there will be at the same time depletion of all the white globules inherent in the blood, even at the moment when the operation on the animal, handled without special precautions, has to fight against the infection determined by the intervention itself. The total bleeding thus puts the animal at the door of death, and this represents the most unfavourable conditions to overcome victoriously if sea water is deemed to have the least toxic disadvantage. For the experiment to succeed in spite of so many unfavourable factors, it would be necessary that sea water be indeed a perfect analogy to the interior medium. Can one say that a failure, under such risky conditions, would have really proven an error of concept? Admittedly not, because the difficulties were so significant.
Let us return to the facts in all the dryness of the scientific talk, not without imagining easily pathetic situations, curiosity, the probable anxiety of the young scientist in spite of his competency which made Marey say: "Rene Quinton is a genius in doing experiments, and he knows how to choose the perfect experiment."
Later, a doctor, Doctor Tussaud, said that he obtained the same results as Rene Quinton while completely bleeding a dog and then injecting it simple physiological salt solution. But by pushing the investigation, one learned that the animal had survived only two months, and in the most extreme state of exhaustion, hardly able get around the laboratory. There is therefore no comparison to the results, the physiological salt solution being only a pale sea water substitute, besides, Rene Quinton will bring more evidence later and others after him will do so as well.
Perhaps I presented a light distorsion to the chronology, this experiment being classified, according to the enumeration of Rene Quinton, in the second group. But he forges ahead more for reasons of scientific exposure, and actually started by totally bleeding the dogs, to then resuscitate them thanks to the injections with sea water.
"I assisted personally, with Doctor Hallion, at the first experiment made by Rene Quinton with the College of France", wrote Charles Julliot later. "And I can still see, some thirty-five years later, the stupefaction of all three of us, when we saw the animal return to life and again standing on its own four feet after having come back from so far!"
I like this assessment of Rene Quinton, always so sure of himself, with this impatiently awaited result, and one imagines so well the amazement of the sorcerer's apprentices to see the unhappy dog fully resurrected!
The first group of experiments, which undoubtedly strikes less one's imagination, is however quite as significant for the biologists and physiologists. One proposes here to intravenously inject sea water, using a superior Vertebrate. If the interior medium of the animal is a marine environment, the sea water will have to behave in the organization like a vital medium, and not represent any toxic phenomenon there. The injectable quantity planned for the first dog is enormous here: 6 kg and 600 G, for an animal of 10 kg, this being 66% of its weight.
The temerity of Rene Quinton seems really unreasonable, since nothing prevented him from starting with amounts much lower. There is a kind of demon in this man, like a deviant who wants to rape the secret of nature not only by facing it but also by taunting the gods...
It is really not by chance that he stacks thus, once more, systematically all the chances against him. All indication leads one to believe that one will not introduce with impunity into an organism such a considerable quantity of foreign liquid, as vital as it seems to be! One will impose on the system an abnormal overload, abrupt or prolonged, according to speed, strong or low, of the injection. As for the kidneys, by which the elimination of the foreign liquid is carried out, one will ask for them an effort out of all proportions with their usual work.
It is not the experiments of Rene Quinton that I this time refer to, but to the experimentation file of Doctor Hallion, member of the Academy of Medicine, which I reproduce here. Not because of this distinction, but only because Hallion, wanting to know how far one could go in this way proposed by Rene Quinton, injecting a dog with 10 kg and 400g of [isotonic] seawater - 104% of its weight - in eleven hours forty minutes... exactly as if one injected a man weighing 60 kilos, from noon until midnight approximately, 62kg and 400g of sea water! Here is, accurately recopied, the summary of the Hallion-Carrion experiment report of which was communicated, as it had been done for those [experiments] of Rene Quinton, at the Biology Society:
"Crossbred basset hound. Calibrated weight ten kilos. Rectal temperature: 39.7 degrees C. Temperature of the injection: About 35 to 40 degrees C. The seawater injection's duration is 11:40 hrs. It reaches, at the end of this time, 104% of the weight of the animal.
... during the entire period of injection, no agitation, no diarrhoea, no albuminuria, all reflexes. The animal does not cease following the operator with its eyes and reacts to each caress. The rectal temperature, with only slight variations, descends to a low of 36.8 degrees C. At the end of the injection, it is 37.2 degrees C and the animal has received at this time 10kg, 400g of sea water, and excreted 3kg, 400g of urine approximately.
... the animal, put on its legs one hour, ten minutes after the end of the injection, walks around at once with all the appearances of a normal dog, except a light limp due to the binding of the legs, maintained during all the duration of the experiment. One hour, ten minutes later, rectal temperature: 39 degrees C. The following day, fourteen hours after the end of the injection, the animal, remarkably alert and gregarious, gallops and jumps through the laboratory. It eats, in two sittings, six hundred grams of meat and drinks hundred grams of water. The urine collected during the night has a slight albuminous cloudiness. The following day, 14 hours after the end of the injection, the dog continues to present the same aspect, sharper than before the experiment. Neither diarrhoea, nor vomiting, nor any disorder. Albumin decreases and then disappears."
Pushed by his experimental passion, Rene Quinton widens this first group while injecting a dog, this time abruptly, a considerable quantity of sea water, in order not to give the kidney time to eliminate it and to thus transform the organization into a marine water mass. For the poor animal, the dangers of such an attempt are appalling due to the enormous and abrupt overload which it imposes on the economy. In 90 minutes, one injects this dog of 5 kilos a quantity of 3,500g sea water. Quickly, there is an enormous abdominal distension making the animal unrecognizable, with cardiac deceleration, the temperature, from 38.2 degree c at the beginning, falls to 32.5 degrees C; renal elimination decreases. Then the corneal reflex disappears. Once the injection is finished, the temperature goes up, renal elimination accelerates, the corneal reflex reappears. Detached, the animal staggers. Its distension makes it unrecognizable. It takes some steps and collapses. The shock has been violent, and the animal has trouble to recover! But on the eleventh day, "... the animal, entirely re-established, presents a cheerfulness and an extreme exuberance, in spite of having been in a cellar for five days. Its weight did not vary, it totaled five kilos ".
Rene Quinton now approaches the third group of experiments, so hazardous that his Masters with the Collège de France, Balbiani, Malassez, Henneguy, impassioned by his research, advise him to steer clear of experimentation that could only result in total failure, even though such failure, given the apparently insurmountable difficulties of the task, would have been entirely insignificant. Rene Quinton himself does not believe in success either, he will admit later, but it is those who cheered him on who said: "It is not necessary to hope in order to succeed..."
At any rate, the white globule was the cell of choice, and, if the young scientist could prove its survival in sea water, the game was definitively won. All the other cells of the organism live only a local life, but the red globules, in spite of their appearance of mobility and their diffusion, are limited to a closed vascular system. The white globule primarily only see general life of the organism, in contact with all tissues, in the whole body. But its delicacy is such that it does not live in any artificial medium, and any artificial solution results in quick death. Only the natural liquids of the organism keeps it alive.
The experiment relates to Fish (tench), the Batrachians (frog), the Reptiles (lizard), the Mammals (man, rabbit, dog), the Birds (capuchin of China, hen). A unit of blood is taken from each subject and is diluted in sea water in order to observe either the continuity or the ceasing of life of the white globule in this new medium.
Total success: in all the cases, with all the tested species, the bathed white globules of the marine liquid continued to present the various signs of a normal life, adherence, refringence, and amiboïd movements. Thus, through all the various branches of vertebrates, the experiments of Group III also show the persistence of the original marine environment like being THE vital medium of the organic cells.
Rene Quinton and his entourage of scientists can now summarize. Into the first group, one injected an organism (please forgive them for calling a dog an 'organism - we know better today but during those days, scientists did not have to be politically 'correct' nor did they have the laws that protect or regulate animal experimentation) a quantity of sea water, equivalent approximately to three times the mass of its interior medium. As the kidneys eliminated at the rate of the injection, and that this elimination obviously related to the interior medium at well as to the liquid of injection, it so happened that at the end of the injection, a very significant part of the medium interior was eliminated and replaced by sea water. The new interior medium, bathing all the organic cells, was thus partly of sea water, introduced in the experiments. However, not only did this substitution not harm the general life of the organism, but the animal then was more alert than before the experiment. [Medical] Renal work can make it possible to appreciate the integrity of cellular life in the presence of sea water, since the renal cells of the Dog, eliminating in a normal state 150 grams of urine in twelve hours, eliminated some 10kg during the experiment, that is to say sixty times more.
In the experiments of the second group, the sea water injection practised immediately after the total bleeding, allowed leucocytosis to be victorious against the infection, namely the fast reconstitution of the [organism's] forces, the surprisingly prompt repair of the red globules. Sea water thus presented all the proof of the qualities which one could expect from the interior medium itself.
Lastly, in the experiments of the third group, the white blood cells, a perfect example of the interior medium, proved that sea water, substituted completely for the interior medium of various animals, allows the survival of one of the most delicate cells of the organism.
Was all this just a series of good luck? One can win the first prize in the lottery... but not ten times in a row, the theory of probability is not in agreement! And the identicalness (sameness) of the interior medium of vertebrates and sea water cannot be explained by a combination of circumstances, as certain people sometimes lightly suggest. The bird and the higher mammal do not live exclusively close to the sea or on the sea; they do not eat food rich in sea salt. Their basic food is vegetables, [grasses and seeds,] therefore very far away from the salty composition of the sea. The same goes for temperature. We are dealing here with a phenomenon of constancy with reference to cellular origin, with the conservation by the interior medium, in spite of new conditions, of the original marine environment.
Although he did not yet, at that time, establish the chemical evidence, Rene Quinton thus considers that his assumptions had become a law, the law of marine constancy, and it reads as follows:
Translation: "Animal life, that had originally appeared in cellular form in the seas, tends to maintain, for its best cellular functioning throughout the zoological species, its fundamental cells in a marine environment similar to its origin".
Original in French - "La vie animale, apparue à l'état de cellule dans les mers, tend à maintenir, pour son haut fonctionnement cellulaire, à travers la série zoologique, les cellules constitutives des organismes dans le milieu marin des origines."
Note: Rene Quinton evaluated the interior medium to be a third of the weight of an organism, and this is a proportion that is much lower than the current more moderate estimates.
And here it is said slightly differently... "Animal life, having appeared in cellular form in the oceans, tends to maintain, in its highest cellular functioning throughout the entire zoological series, the constituent cells of the organisms in the 'quasi' original marine [internal] environment."
Quinton implies that animal life has maintained within the entire body the original marine environment in its intra- and extra-cellular fluids. It is for this reason, for therapeutic applications, isotonic seawater has been found so incredibly compatible with animal/human plasma - even in exaggerated amounts - without other adjunctive products or procedures.
"Le secret de nos origines", author: Andre Mahe, published by the Courier Du Livre, Paris, pages 39-45 regarding the experiments.
For the primary reference, see: "L'eau de mer, milieu organique" by Rene Quinton, published by Mason 1905, 1912 and republished 1995.
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