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pH Importance and What Happens to What You Eat?

The sight and smell of food stimulates water, or Saliva in the mouth. Saliva contains an Enzyme, called Amylase, which mixes with the food that is chewed. The body is unable to make use of Starch, but it can use certain sugars, even though both of these are Carbohydrates. Amylase breaks down the starches into a sugar that the body can use. (More and needed Amylase is provided by the Pancreas in the Duodenum). Food is propelled in the Esophagus by swallowing. The Esophagus is a tube approximately nine inches long, which empties into the Stomach. The Stomach is a hollow, pouch-like structure that lies beneath the Diaphragm, which is under the Ribs on the left side of the Abdomen. The Stomach measures approximately six to eight inches in length by three to four inches in width. Many people think that most foods are digested in the Stomach. This is not true, but Digestion does begin here. The Stomach's function is to churn food and break it into smaller particles. The normal Stomach contains Hydrochloric Acid, Pepsin, Mucin and the Intrinsic Factor, which is necessary to absorb Vitamin B-12. The Acid and Pepsin initiate Digestion and the Mucin coats the wall of the Stomach. Mucin and other factors protect the Stomach wall from Digestive action. Stomach Acid has effects on Meats, Cheese, Fish and other foods. It also helps Pepsin to change Proteins into Amino Acids. Very little of what is eaten is absorbed directly through the Stomach wall - only certain Minerals, Water and Alcohol. The Stomach empties directly into the Small Intestine through the Duodenum. The Duodenum is a segment of the Small Intestine, which extends several inches immediately beyond the Stomach. Bile from the Liver and Enzymes from the Pancreas, along with a physiologic Buffer, are secreted as needed into the Duodenum to mix with foods passing through the Small Intestine. These substances Hydrolyze fats and split Proteins and Carbohydrates. Proteins are changed into Amino Acids and fats are broken down into Glycerin and fatty acids. Starches and Sugars now become Glucose.

The Small Intestine of an adult is a muscular tube, which is approximately one-half an inch in diameter, but it is 20 to 22 feet long! It is lined with tiny, finger-like projections, called Villi. The normal pH of the Small Intestine is pH 7.0 (neutral) to pH 9.0 (alkaline). Liver Bile and Pancreatin from the Pancreas need this neutral-to-alkaline condition in order to work properly for you in the breakdown of fats and converting proteins to Amino Acids.

We do not absorb proteins in the form that we have eaten them. They have to be converted by enzymatic action into Amino Acids. In healthy Patients, Amino Acids are absorbed into the bloodstream through the wall of the Small Intestine. There, they are transported to cells in every part of our bodies. The Amino Acids are the fundamental building blocks of life; therefore, it is equally as important for your doctor to know the pH of your small intestine as well as the pH of your Stomach. Mal-absorption, Stomach gas, belching, bloating, flatulence and Irritable Bowels can be dealt with much easier by your Doctor when he can monitor and record the pH levels of both your Stomach and Small Intestine. (Our normal Office Practice focus is on Stomach Function only.)

A large numbers of people (more than 30%) over the age of 60 have very little or no Hydrochloric Acid in their Stomachs. The presence of Hydrochloric Acid and Pepsin in the Stomach is essential to initiate digestion of foods that we eat. Stomach hyperacidity, delayed emptying time, with subsequent highly acid Small Intestines, appears to be more common than the lack of acid (hypo acidity) in all age groups.

This Gastrogram depicts the swallowing of the pH Capsule, a normal fasting-acid presentation with an alkaline challenge, (which is a 5 cc dose of a saturated solution of sodium bicarbonate).

The Heidelberg Monitoring and Recording System display the pH on a Graph and simultaneously records it into a Patient Data File for future reference. What can be done to learn whether you have proper Stomach pH? Doctors now have available a unique ‘state-of-the-art’ diagnostic tool, the Heidelberg pH Capsule System, for Diagnosing Digestive pH insufficiencies.

How does the Heidelberg pH Capsule System work?

The Heidelberg pH Capsule is a high-frequency transmitter. It measures 7.1 mm Diameter, by 15.4 Length, encapsulated within a special Polyacrylate (plastic) pH Capsule covering, and it is designed to be swallowed.

The pH Capsule operates at an average frequency of 1.9 MHz. The power required to operate the transmitter is provided by a built-in, specially designed, physiologic battery. The Heidelberg pH Capsule is NOT RADIOACTIVE (Absolutely NOT). A miniature high-frequency transmitter, which is encapsulated for swallowing, continuously transmits the pH values from the Gastrointestinal Tract. The frequencies, which are transmitted by the pH Capsule, are picked up by the Medallion Transceiver (worn by the Patient). The Transceiver is a totally self-contained, wireless Transmitter. This converts the Transmitted data to DIGITAL SIGNALS which are Transmitted to the ,  Computer and is Displayed on the Monitor Screen in Graph form. On completion of your Test, the Technician will Print the completed Test, which may include the Physicians Diagnosis, and a suggested treatment Protocol. The completed test results, including the Physicians Comments, are kept in a Patient File Database, in the Heidelberg pH Diagnostic System for review.


There is a hospital procedure, whereby a nasal-gastric tube is introduced into the nose. The patient must cooperate by swallowing, to allow the operator to penetrate the tube into the stomach. This is a drastic and unpleasant procedure. A suction device aspirates (sucks out) some of the stomach juices and the operator determines the pH with a lab procedure. The ‘tube’ insertion causes reflex gagging, causing neutral duodenal juices to reflux into the stomach, compromising the pH Measurement, plus other problems. The Heidelberg Capsule eliminates the need for the "Stomach Tube". It allows your doctor the opportunity to simply and painlessly determine these vital pH data in his office. Other procedures require that the pH sensing device be attached to the Esophagus or Stomach wall, by means of a Esophageal tube insertion procedure.  The sensing device must also be removed from the Patient's Esophagus or Stomach, by reinserting the tube and extracting the sensing device through the Patient's mouth.