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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Digestion


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Digestion
Question: Is it true that the digestive juices that are secreted are alkaline or acid or combinations of both depending on food intake?

Answer: Stomach secretions are acidic. Pancreatic and liver secretions are basic. Once the food enters the small intestine it is neutralized by pancreatic secretions so that the resultant is close to body pH.

Blood Distribution
Question:We are writing because the students at our school are taking the HSPT11 test this week. Before the students go to take their tests in the morning, the faculty and administration fills them up on bagels and orange juice. We are wondering if it is true that when you eat, the blood goes to your stomach to help you digest your food and leaves your brain. Doesn't this mean that your brain doesn't have enough blood circulation around in it and that you can't think as well and therefore wouldn't be able to do as well on tests?

Answer: The blood does get rerouted to the GI tract post prandially. High sugar/carbohydrate diets like you describe would persist for a shorter amount of time. Protein and fat take longer to digest. No one has done effective studies on alertness, brain function etc. in this scenario that are clinically useful.
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