The object of this paper is to consider the acidity of the gastric contents of infants under normal and pathologic conditions; the influence of the diet on the degree of acidity, and the practical significance of the gastric acidity in relation to infant feeding.
There are various means of determining the degree of gastric acidity and of expressing the results. The titration of the gastric contents, following a test meal, has been the method most used in the case of adults, and the results are usually expressed in terms of "total hydrochloric acid," "free hydrochloric acid" and "combined hydrochloric acid." The results thus obtained are valuable for comparative purposes and serve to indicate, in a general way, the capacity of the stomach to secrete acid under standard conditions. This method has not been generally applied to the study of the gastric secretion of infants, as it is more difficult of