It is difficult to suppose that an effective protein digestion in the gastro-intestinal tract can take place only within the range of the optimal reaction for the activity of the digestive ferments. The ph of the gastric and intestinal contents often has been found to differ widely from the optimum. In regard to gastric digestion, Davidsohn, Salge and others, who did their work twenty years ago, found a low hydrogen ion concentration in the stomachs of infants and therefore denied the existence of any intensive peptic digestion in infancy. There are many others sharing this opinion, although there can be no doubt that even in earliest infancy hydrochloric acid and pepsin can be produced.
The buffer qualities of milk are said to lessen or even to prevent entirely the production of a sufficient degree of acidity, at least during a considerable part of the period of gastric digestion. During
FREUDENBERG E. PROTEIN DIGESTION IN INFANCY. JAMA. 1929;93(16):1208–1210. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710160022006
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