Digestion pH

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 11/22/2011

Proper pH is necessary for efficient digestion; esophagus pH is 6.8, stomach pH is two, small intestine pH is eight and large intestine pH around seven.

What is pH and digestion pH

pH stands for Potential Hydrogen, degree of concentration of H ions in the substance or a solution.

  • pH value of 0 (strongly acidic) to less than 7 (mild acidic) is acid, molecules that give off H (hydrogen) maintain an acidic pH
  • pH of 7 means neutral
  • pH of  greater than 7 (mild alkali) to 14 (strong alkali) means base, molecules that attract H (hydrogen) maintain a basic (alkaline) pH
  • pH controls the speed of our body's biochemical reactions.
  • Acid pH is hot & fast and alkaline pH is cool & slow.

Let food be your medicine.
Let medicine be your food. - Hippocrates

What we eat and drink will affect where our body's pH level falls, and our body's pH will control the activity of every metabolic function happening in our body.

pH is behind the body's electrical system and intracellular activity as well as the way our bodies utilize enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
The pH varies in the digestive process from stage to stage:

  • In the mouth, the pH is in neutral (or close to neutral),
  • In the stomach, the pH is acidic at around two.
  • In the small intestine, the pH is basic at around 8
  • Finally, it reaches seven as it reaches the end (anus).

Esophagus pH - Near pH neutral Digestion process

The first digestion process starts at the mouth; it has a pH of 6.8 to 7.2 that is near neutral or mildly acidic/basic. This pH is causing by the salivary glands in the mouth; this pH range helps your food to start digestion from the mouth until it reaches the stomach through the esophagus by salivary enzyme amylase. It helps to break down carbohydrates into monosaccharide.

Stomach pH - Acidic pH Digestion process

At the time of food reaches the stomach, Stomach is at high acidic pH of 1.3, due to the secretion of hydrochloric acid. This helps to kill harmful microorganisms, denature protein for digestion, and help create a favorable atmosphere to the enzymes in the stomach. The stomach smashes the food into chyme and prepares it for the small intestine to further breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients.

Small Intestine pH - Alkaline (base) pH Digestion process

The chyme from the stomach moves down into the small intestine, secretes sodium bi carbonate to make it slightly alkali to the pH of 7 to 8. Further breakdown of protein and fat takes place, and absorption of nutrients takes place.