Infant feeding regimens formulated by pediatricians of representative institutions have been calculated by us to be acid-forming; that is, the dietaries contain an excess of acid-forming elements (chlorine, sulphur and phosphorus) over basic elements (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron) (table 1). Prolonged milk mixtures1 used in the feeding of very young infants, however, are all base-forming. The daily requirements of inorganic elements during growth indicate a preponderance of basic over acid-forming elements2 (table 2). This is actually reflected in the inorganic composition of the child's body, (table 3).
The growing young animal requires these inorganic constituents—acid-forming and base-forming—for the maintenance of a labile acid-base mechanism, for the normal contractility of the muscular system, the normal irritability of the nervous system, for the physiologic osmotic pressure relations, for the establishment of membrane equilibria (Donnan), acids and alkalis of digestive secretions, for the synthesis of tissues (bone, blood,
SAMUEL EL, KUGELMASS IN. COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF THE INFLUENCE OF ACID-FORMING AND BASE-FORMING DIETS ON THE METABOLISM OF RATS. Am J Dis Child. 1930;39(4):687-700. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1930.01930160005002