La Prensa MedicaISSN: 0032-745X

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Concocting a More Effective Antacid

Objective: The purpose of this experiment was to test the effectiveness of two commercial antacids against several acidic solutions and to determine if a newly concocted antacid that was
comprised of both a metal hydroxide and a carbonate would be more effective than the current commercial antacids at neutralizing the pH of the solutions.
Methods: Six acidic products were chosen for this experiment: apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, tomato juice, coffee, and jalapeno pepper juice. Hydrochloric acid was used as baseline acid to test each antacid and then mixed with each one of the acidic products to produce “stomach contents”. The antacids used in this experiment were calcium carbonate (CaCO3),
sodium hydroxide (NaOH), sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and a suspension containing both aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH)3) and magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2). Each of the four antacids was
individually added to test tubes containing the acidic products and the stomach contents. A “new antacid” was created by combining equal parts of CaCO3 with NaOH. The effectiveness of this new antacid at neutralizing the pH of the acidic products and stomach contents was compared to the commercial antacids as well as CaCO3 and NaOH individually.
Results: Sodium hydroxide was the most effective antacid followed in decreasing order by sodium bicarbonate, the “new antacid”, calcium carbonate and the suspension containing aluminum and magnesium hydroxides.
Conclusions: The third most effective antacid was the “new antacid”, which was a combination of sodium hydroxide and calcium carbonate. Based upon these results, further experimentation
should be done to develop an antacid containing a metal hydroxide and a carbonate. Combining the individual alkaline materials into one product could result in a more effective antacid.

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