The pH in the upper gastrointestinal tract of young, healthy men and women was measured in the fasting state and after administration of a standard solid and liquid meal. Calibrated Heidelberg capsules were used to record the pH continuously over the study period of approximately 6 hr. In the fasted state, the median gastric pH was 1.7 and the median duodenal pH was 6.1. When the meal was administered the gastric pH climbed briefly to a median peak value of 6.7, then declined gradually back to the fasted state value over a period of less than 2 hr. In contrast to the pH behavior in the stomach, feeding a meal caused a reduction in the median duodenal pH to 5.4. In addition, there was considerable fluctuation in the postprandial duodenal pH on an intrasubject basis. The pH in the duodenum did not return to fasted state values within the 4-hr postprandial observation period. There was no tendency for the duodenal pH to be related to the gastric pH in either the fed or fasted phases of the study. Furthermore, pH in the upper GI tract of young, healthy subjects appears to be independent of gender. The differences in upper GI pH between the fasted and the fed state are discussed in terms of dosage form performance and absorption for orally administered drugs.