Considerable data have accumulated concerning gastric digestion in infants, especially from the end of the first month to the end of the first year. Of digestion in new-born infants, relatively little is known. In other respects, such as acid base equilibrium, basal metabolism and hemoglobin content, very young babies differ considerably from older infants. In this study, gastric contents were removed from unfed infants soon after birth. The purpose was to find whether the material resembled gastric juice. The pH was determined colorimetrically and the buffer value measured. On the fifth and the tenth day of life, a special test meal was given, which was withdrawn in one hour, and similar determinations made. The results obtained show striking differences between new-born and older infants, and have not only a theoretic but also a practical importance.
As early as 1874, Zweifel1 demonstrated the presence of pepsin in the gastric mucosa