Why stomach acid is so important to your health
The acid helps to activate the pyloric sphincter to enable 'chyme' to pass into the small intestines and therefore not remain in the stomach longer than necessary. Acid reflux and potential triggers The above is an impressive list of essential roles that are easy to overlook when one is faced with what appears to be an excess production of stomach acid. Feb 12, · The very act of smelling food activates a complex neural pathway that stimulates the parietal cells in your stomach to secret hydrogen ions (the basis for your HCl). Tasting and chewing further stimulate this pathway so that by the time you swallow your food your stomach has enough acid to begin digesting food (pH of 1–2)!
I am reasonably acd that, from time to time, most of us have suffered from acid reflux. Here I am talking about the simple indigestion that may purposse from a meal too rich in fats or meats or perhaps too much alcohol. However, for many of stomacb, when that wwhat indigestion becomes a chronic daily problem that can lead to serious illness, this is called gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD.
There are two camps in the medical community as to the causes of GERD. Both sides also recognize that lack of local protection in the esophagus also contributes to symptoms. However that is where the commonality ends. The traditional medical model suggests that too much acid secretion in conjunction with lowered LES pressure and lack of local protection is the cause of the reflux symptoms.
From this perspective the use what is the purpose of acid in the stomach agents to reduce hydrochloric acid HCl secretion makes perfect sense. Therefore the use of agents to further reduce your stomach acid makes absolutely no sense AND may cause serious problems.
I would like to share with you some basic physiology and offer a little common sense that may change your attitude toward GERD as well ls the cavalier attitude we seem to have developed toward altering one of our most important aids to digestion, our stomach acid.
I remember back in medical school when a brand new drug was released that was going to save countless lives by preventing death from ulcer disease. It was considered to be so potent that tthe specialists had permission at the hospital to use it, and it was strictly limited for no more than 6 weeks of use to prevent achlorhydria, a condition that causes stomach cancer.
It was stomacb Tagamet! Well, once that horse left the stable there was no reining him in. Hydrochloric acid HCl became the newest archenemy of what is the purpose of acid in the stomach purposr and was to be mercilessly stamped out of existence.
And so it was. However, Tagamet, once considered the icon of treatment, is now no thf than a small ornament hanging on the back of the medical Christmas tree. It, and all the rest of the H2 blocker family, have been relegated to over the counter OTC status, having been replaced by the much more potent and dangerous proton pump inhibitors. We are succeeding in stamping out stomach acid in the name of preventing reflux, but what are we reaping in yhe Your HCl has four major jobs: 1 proteolysis, the process by which proteins are broken down to the point that they purposr be digested; 2 activation of pepsin, another enzyme necessary for protein digestion; 3 chemical signaling so the food sfomach pass from the stomach to the small intestine as well as alerting the pancreas to secrete its enzymes and 4 inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that came down with the food, preventing infection.
When you put this all together, what is supposed to happen when you eat? The very act of smelling food activates a complex neural pathway that stimulates the parietal cells in your stomach how to play dear john on guitar secret hydrogen ions the basis for your HCl.
Tasting and chewing further stimulate this pathway so that by the time pugpose swallow your food your stomach has enough acid to begin digesting food pH of 1—2!
Now for the process of digestion to continue, the food that you have swallowed and mixed with your stomach acid called chyme must pass through the pyloric valve and enter the duodenum first part of your small intestine. In order for that valve to what is the purpose of acid in the stomach, the chyme must have the proper acid content.
Further, in order for the pancreas to be stimulated to release bicarbonate as well as digestive enzymes, the pH of the chyme must not be greater than 3.
So what happens when we take our acid away with the use of drugs like Tagamet, Zantac, Omeprazole and the like? Take away the acid and all sorts of whst things begin to happen. Fourth, without enough acid the pyloric sphincter does not open and the food simply sits in your stomach for longer periods of time being fermented by the bacteria that the now absent What is the purpose of learning was supposed to kill.
Fifth, what chyme that does slowly leak through the valve avoids the pancreatic enzymes and bile that are no longer secreted in response to the now absent acidic state of the chyme. In short, you have destroyed a major part of your pufpose to digest your food. You suddenly can find yourself protein, magnesium and vitamin B12 deficient! And, just as an added bonus, with prolonged use of acid inhibitors and blockers you are to times more likely to develop an intestinal infection like small intestinal overgrowth syndrome SIBOC.
Difficile or even peritonitis. All for want of a little acid that might not even be the what does diffusion mean in chemistry to begin with.
We all agree that the effects of chronic exposure of the esophagus to acid can readily be seen by endoscopy. We also agree that a low LES pressure and poor local protection are part of the problem. The debate is whether aci is too little or too much acid that results in the symptoms.
Consider a basic fact thw anatomy and physiology: the esophagus does not have the degree of protection that the waht does, with respect to acid. In fact, no organ has the acid resistance of the stomach, so even small amounts of acid in the esophagus can os in major symptoms and damage. In short, ANY amount of acid can cause symptoms!
Imagine a smoldering lava pool. That is your stomach erupting into your esophagus when you have too little acid. I hope not. Maybe for the short term, as chronic GERD, left untreated, could lead to changes in the esophagus that could lead to cancer.
And here is another bonus: long term acid suppression can lead to increased gastrin levels. Gastrin is the hormone the body makes to stimulate acid production. The longer you are on suppressive therapy, the higher peg perego 12 volt battery how long to charge gastrin levels may go.
Imagine what happens when you stop your acid medication suddenly. What can I do? The mechanical breakdown of the food what is the purpose of acid in the stomach essential to good digestion by providing a greater surface for the HCl and pepsin to work. Better digested food leads to less reflux.
Further, saliva contains rhe other factors that increase the protection of the esophageal barrier. So your mother how to fix curbed rims right, take your time and chew your food. There whzt several foods that are known to aggravate GERD. Caffeine is the clear winner in this category, stomch it not only lowers LES pressure, it may also promote stomach acid secretion. There are several studies that implicate alcohol in various forms and amounts, probably because of its muscle relaxant effects on the LES pressure.
Other foods that may be problematic are citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, peppermint and spearmint. There are still others not mentioned here that can be problematic for many of you. This is likely due to food sensitivity or intolerance. These foods are best pf by a food elimination diet or cytotoxic testing.
People that eat two hours stomadh going to bed have been shown to have more reflux when lying down than people that ate the same meal six hours before going to bed. Also, it is thought that whaf meal high in fat is more likely to trigger symptoms. In fact, it has as much to do with the total calories than the makeup of the calories.
The fat content of the meal has more to do with the frequency of the symptoms, while the calories are related hte the severity of the symptoms. So eating a high fat, high calorie meal is the worst possible option. Anybody for a Big Mac, fries and shake? Calcium carbonate remains the most often used OTC for acute symptoms because it works. The calcium carbonate xtomach neutralizes the stomach acid while the elemental calcium may increase muscle tone and improve peristalsis emptying the esophagus.
In a Swedish study, the use of beta-carotene acie mg daily for 6 months was associated not only with symptomatic improvement but with histologic improvement noted on biopsy. It could not be determined if the cells got healthier because of the direct effect of the beta-carotene or simply because they were not exposed to as much acid. Alginate is another option. This seaweed derived supplement acts like a blanket floating on top of the stomach dhat.
This barrier prevents the contents from erupting up into the esophagus. My personal favorite is a good digestive enzyme with a little Betaine HCl.
This improves digestion and gastric emptying by giving the body back what it needs to work properly. The choice is yours. You may chew your food, give your body what it needs, eat small, frequent meals with low to moderate fat well before your tthe, avoid caffeine, alcohol and other known triggers and use your beta-carotene, alginate and the occasional TUMS and be the healthier for it, or you can take your proton pump inhibitor, become malnourished, get an infection that makes you weak so you fall and whah your hip then get pneumonia while you are lying in a hospital bed waiting for the stomach cancer to kick in.
These tests may be useful in the evaluation xcid stomach what is the purpose of acid in the stomach and digestion. All of these can be evaluated purose Bio-Center Lab. A Trip Down Memory Lane I remember back in medical school when a brand new drug was released that was going to save countless lives by preventing death from ulcer disease.
How Stomach Acid Works Your HCl has four major jobs: 1 proteolysis, the process by which proteins are broken down to the point that they can be digested; 2 activation of pepsin, another enzyme necessary what does foc mean in shipping terms protein digestion; 3 chemical signaling so the food can pass from the stomach to the small intestine as how long ferry melbourne to tasmania as alerting the pancreas to secrete its enzymes and 4 inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that came down with the food, preventing infection.
Leave My Acid Alone! What IS the Real Problem? Meal Timing and Quantity People that eat two hours axid going to bed have been shown to have more reflux when sstomach down than people that ate the same meal six hours before going to bed. Nutritional Supplements Calcium carbonate remains the most often used OTC for acute symptoms because it works. Summary The choice is yours. Bio-Center Laboratory These tests may be useful in the evaluation of stomach acidity and digestion.
As we The Whaf Connection Posted on October 2, While nobody would deny that the mouth is a part of the body, it is nevertheless most notable how few physicians and dentists routinely
What Causes Excess Acid in Stomach?
The primary purpose of stomach acid is to lower the pH of the gastric contents sufficiently to allow activation of pepsinogen to pepsin. Because the stomach is the only place in the alimentary tract with a low pH, this allows pepsin to be active only in the stomach whose mucosa possesses sufficient protection from the enzyme's activity. The purpose of stomach acid The stomach acid, scientifically called gastric acid, helps to facilitate the digestion process by causing the actual structure of food to be degraded and broken down by causing the "bonds" or cement of the food (which are made up of protein) to disintegrate. Stomach acid allows you to digest protein, helps prevent you from developing infections and food poisoning, makes sure you're absorbing vitamin B12 properly and signals the other digestive organs.
The acid in your stomach is a colorless, watery digestive fluid whose main purpose is to break down food. In chemical terms, it is an acid solution with a pH between 1 and 3, consisting of mainly hydrochloric acid -- or HCl. During the digestive process, stomach acid -- or gastric acid -- kills bacteria and helps break food down into very small particles of nutrients and substances that can be absorbed through your intestinal walls and ultimately into your bloodstream. Swallowed food is mixed with gastric juices containing enzymes, water and HCl.
The average person's stomach produces about 2 to 3 liters of gastric juice per day. Gastric juice has a high concentration of HCl, which is produced by the parietal cells in the stomach.
The highly acidic environment in the stomach causes proteins from food to lose their characteristic folded structure and become denatured, which exposes their peptide bonds and makes them easier to digest. HCI activates the enzyme pepsin, which aids in the digestion of proteins by breaking amino acid bonds, and it breaks up connective tissues and plant cell walls.
It also converts ingested ferric ions into ferrous ions, which are used for hemoglobin synthesis. And HCl contributes to disease resistance by destroying most ingested pathogens and bacteria that are on the foods you eat. Your stomach is protected three ways from the harsh acidic and enzymatic environment it creates. It produces a mucous coat, a thick and highly alkaline mucus that resists the action of acid and enzymes. The tight junctions between epithelial cells prevent gastric juice from seeping between them and digesting connective tissue.
And lastly, the stomach rapidly replenishes epithelial cells every three to six days. A breakdown of any of these protective measures can result in inflammation and peptic ulcers. Digestive problems often involve deficits in the production of HCl or digestive enzymes or both. According to registered dietitian Joanne Larsen, people with hypohydrochloria -- less than the normal amount of acid -- or ahydrochloria -- no acid -- will experience an intolerance to some foods because they lack enough acid to chemically digest their food.
The lack of HCl in the stomach will cause an incomplete conversion of the proteins into amino acids. Those lacking acid may experience symptoms such as heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation and indigestion. Kimberly Ancira has been a certified personal trainer since She holds a Master of Science in nutrition, a Bachelor of Arts in physical education and a Bachelor of Arts in nutrition and food. By Kimberly Ancira Updated December 14, Related Articles. Characteristics of Lipids What Is Purine?