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(born Nov. 21, 1785, Lebanon, Conn., U.S.died April 25, 1853, St. Louis, Mo.) U.S. surgeon. He served many years as an army surgeon. When treating a trapper whose abdomen had been perforated by a shotgun blast, Beaumont collected gastric juice for analysis and showed that it contained hydrochloric acid, which supported his belief that digestion was a chemical process. He also reported on the effects of different foods on the stomach and established alcohol as a cause of gastritis.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Beaumont, William, visit Britannica.com.
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