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The Constancy Of The Internal Environment

1535 words - 7 pages


By Alina Corina Nicorescu

Presented to

Name of your University

Introduction 3
The constancy of the Internal Environment 4
Biological functionality is multilevel 5
Bibliography 7

Claude Bernard was a French Physiologist who was best known for his works and discoveries during his lifetime in the field of digestive processes, the liver and the regulation of the supply of the blood though the vasomotor nerves. The most renowned and important discovery of Bernard was related to use of the secretions of the pancreatic tissues to break down the molecules of fat into smaller particles so as to aid the digestion process and the other specific ...view middle of the document...

We will start analyzing the statement by understanding its formulation and then we will understand the need of this concept in the living organisms.

The constancy of the Internal Environment
The metabolic theory of the cell, proposed by Theodor Schwann was generally ignored by the French scientists. This theory laid emphasis over the importance of the “Nutritive medium bathing the cell”. Bernard views the application of this concept in the fundamental problem of physiology, the existence of the relationship between the cells and their corresponding environment. Claude Bernard was the first scientist who proposed that the complex animals operate in two environments, namely, the external environment in which the organisms are living and the internal environment where the cells are functioning. This was the basis of the well known theory proposed by Claude Bernard in the 19th century: “The constancy of the internal environment is the condition for a free and independent life” (Noble, 2008).
The concept of the constancy of the internal environment was contributed by Claude Bernard which was the first systematic analysis of the functioning of an organism. Bernard was an exceptional experimentalist. Claude Bernard addressed a problem in the 19th century in which he reported that the organic molecules had been created by the chemists. It was a major development for the people because they knew that there exist only three classes of compounds that are completely separated from each other, namely, vegetable, mineral and animal. In 1784, Lavoisier showed that all the compounds that are derived from the sources of vegetable and animal always contain carbon and hydrogen, and most of the times it also contains nitrogen and phosphorus. This work bridged the boundary of the vegetable–animal chemical. However, the boundary between the non-living and living remained intact.
In 1815, Berzelius proposed that the organic compounds were produced by laws that were different from that of the inorganic compounds, that a specific vital force is unable to operate outside the living systems. There were several other discoveries which concluded the life can reduce itself to physics and chemistry. Such type of challenge was faced by Claude Bernard.
Bernard answered precisely that the living organisms cannot be characterized by the vitalism or chemical reductions. He further reported that though the individual organic compounds are well defined in their properties, but they cannot be considered as active elements in physiological phenomena. They should only be considered as passive elements in the organism. The reason behind this statement was explained as, “The living organism does not really exist in the milieu ext´erieur but in the liquid milieu interior.... A complex organism should be looked upon as an assemblage of simple organisms.... That lives in the liquid milieu interior.”
Claude Bernard also believed that there is no distinction between the principles...

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