The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 1, Issue 9, pp 725–727 | Cite as

The bactericidal power of the stomach and some factors which influence it

  • Arthur Hanszen
Experimental Physiology


It is shown that the bactericidal power of the stomach can be influenced by a number of factors. This property is enhanced by the taking of a meal one hour before the drinking of infected fluids.

Meals with a high-buffering value help to hold, and slowly give off, acid which serves to kill bacteria ingested one or more hours after the taking of a meal. In order that the bacteria be killed, it is important that the gastric contents develop an acidity as high as, or greater than, pH 2.

After drinking contaminated liquids, the taking, within a short interval of time, of another meal, perhaps well buffered and somewhat alkaline, will tend to wash living bacteria, left behind in the nasopharynx or esophagus by the infected meal, directly into the bowel.

It has been found that banana pulp serves as a well-buffered meal to hold HCl in the stomach. The buffer values of a few other foods are reported. It has been shown that the sterilization of the gastric contents can be influenced also by the resistance which some foods show to acidification, that is, the so-called “acid deficit”.


Gastric Content Free Hydrochloric Acid Infected Fluid Sweet Milk Pure Juice 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1934

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Hanszen
    • 1
  1. 1.Chicago

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