Without HCl, pepsinogen would never turn into pepsin, and your body wouldn’t be able to effectively digest the proteins from the food you eat. On the other hand, without pepsin, HCl also wouldn’t be able to break down protein on its own, explains the ChemMatters article. Pepsin is classified as a protease enzyme because it helps break apart the protein from the food you eat into its smaller components, called amino acids.

You need it in order to properly digest the food you eat. University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have discovered a gene that helps control the secretion of acid in the stomach-information that could one day aid scientists in creating more efficient treatment options for conditions such as acid reflux or peptic ulcers. Researchers have discovered a gene that helps control the secretion of acid in the stomach — information that could one day aid scientists in creating more efficient treatment options for conditions such as acid reflux or peptic ulcers.

Your body isn’t able to absorb whole proteins, but when they’re broken down into amino acids, these amino acids can travel through to your small intestine where they’re absorbed and used to make other proteins that your body needs to stay healthy. Because of this advanced biochemical system, the hydrochloric acid in your stomach is able to perform its jobs without hurting you. From the stomach, food travels into your small intestine where it’s mixed with more digestive juices that come from the liver and the pancreas. Hydrochloric acid helps break down proteins, allows you to absorb certain nutrients and kills off foreign invaders, like bacteria and viruses that can make you sick.

As a consequence, these bacteria can survive acidic stomach conditions and pass into the intestinal tract, where they can induce gastroenteritis. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) plays an important role in food digestion. The acid is made by parietal cells in the gastric glands of the stomach lining.

The gastric glands secrete a liquid called gastric juice. Around two to three litres of this liquid are secreted each day. Gastric juice contains water, a protein called mucin, hydrochloric acid, pepsinogen, intrinsic factor, and other chemicals. In the stained sample of stomach lining below, the gastric glands are the indentations on the right that open to the outer environment (or the lumen of the stomach).

  • Beaumont left the army in 1832 and moved to Washington, D.C. There he met St. Martin once again, and performed another set of experiments on how various foods were digested in the stomach.
  • Do you like grapefruit juice?
  • This led to the important discovery that the stomach acid, and not solely the mashing, pounding and squeezing of the stomach, digests the food into nutrients the stomach can use; in other words, digestion was primarily a chemical process and not a mechanical one.
  • Every few hours, Beaumont would remove the food and observe how well it had been digested.
  • I think that it’s important that you consult your physician to find out what’s happening in your digestion system.

It requires the presence of a chemical called intrinsic factor, which is made by glands in the stomach lining. The intrinsic factor enables the vitamin to be absorbed in the last part of the small intestine, which is called the ileum. If the stomach fluid contains a lot of acid, the natural sodium bicarbonate production in the organ may not be of much help. Under these circumstances, a person may take antacid tablets, which often contain sodium bicarbonate. You need to discuss your symptoms with your physician and follow their instructions for dealing with your problem.

Over 50 percent of people worldwide are infected with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This infection can contribute to low levels of stomach acid and gastric ulcers. While everyday stress may not have much effect on the production of stomach acid, chronic stress can contribute to hypochlorhydria. An individual with hypochlorhydria is unable to produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach.

If there was no mucus at all in the stomach, its lining would be destroyed by the hydrochloric acid. The damage would then extend deeper into the stomach wall.

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