Study shows highly acidic beverages not a gastrointestinal threat

Source of Article:  http://members.ift.org/IFT/Pubs/Newsletters/weekly/nl_073008.htm

July 30, 2008

A comprehensive new research review confirms that the upper gastrointestinal tract (GI) is naturally equipped to handle fruit juices, soft drinks, alcohol and other beverages with high acidity.

The research, published in the Journal of Food Science, concludes that drinking liquids that are typically associated with low pH provide little or no harm to natural protective mechanisms of the lining of the upper human GI tract. The author reviewed more than two decades of GI physiology studies focusing on research on the human digestive system from the esophagus to the small intestine.

“The human GI tract is built to withstand the acidity in commonly consumed beverages by having natural neutralizers for acid, cellular repair mechanisms and cells that prevent acid from reaching more sensitive cells. When these actions work in concert, damage is prevented and repair ensues if damage does occur,” says Dr. Ronald Kleinman, pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Consumption of low pH beverages in moderate amounts should not negatively affect the lining of the upper GI tract. Of course, the focus should be on consumption of foods and beverages that are nutrient rich and a diet that matches calorie intake to daily requirements.”

To learn more, visit the Journal of Food Science.

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