The Wonders of the Duodenum

Have you ever thought about your stomach acid?

To digest the food it receives, the stomach produces acid that has a pH of between 1 and 3. For those students of pH, you know that that is VERY acidic!

An extremely acidic pH will normally burn anything it touches – including intestinal tissue. As digested food leaves the stomach toward its march to the small intestine, that acid must be neutralized.

An organ called the duodenum, located just outside the stomach and in the upper small intestine, produces and releases bicarbonate, a neutralizing compound with a pH of 8.1, which buffers the pH of the digesta so it does no harm along the intestinal highway.

The human body is a miracle of checks and balances to achieve that ultimate life goal of balance, or homeostasis. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to support our body’s efforts to achieve that balance by choosing the right diet, getting enough exercise and maintaining an adequate oxygen balance.