The lowest pH of the secreted acid is 0.8, but the acid is diluted in the stomach lumen to a pH between 1 and 3. Gastric acid activates pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin, which then helps digestion by breaking the bonds linking amino acids, a process known as proteolysis. In addition, many microorganisms have their growth inhibited by such an acidic environment, which is helpful to prevent infection. The resulting highly acidic environment in the stomach lumen causes proteins from food to lose their characteristic folded structure (or denature).
When you chew gum it produces an excess of useless saliva in your mouth. This makes your stomach think it’s hungry, or it’s getting food, because when you’re hungry more saliva is produced in your mouth.
Chronic hypochlorhydria may reduce bone density. A low level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach cavity can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori. The bacteria may travel into the small intestine.
The stomach wall is made up of several layers of mucous membrane, connective tissue with blood vessels and nerves, and muscle fibers. The muscle layer alone has three different sub-layers. The muscles move the contents of the stomach around so vigorously that solid parts of the food are crushed and ground, and mixed into a smooth food pulp. The entire digestive system is made up of one muscular tube extending from the mouth to the anus. The stomach is an enlarged pouch-like section of this digestive tube.
But protein isn’t the only nutrient that relies on the presence of stomach acid – HCl also helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals, too. Together, these substances give stomach acid a pH of around 1 to 2, which is almost as acidic as you can get on the pH scale. According to the February 2012 issue of ChemMatters, a publication produced by the American Chemical Society, your body makes two to three liters of stomach acid every day. Diagram depicting the major determinants of gastric acid secretion, with inclusion of drug targets for peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms or risk factors for low stomach acid production, speak with your doctor. They can help develop a treatment plan that is best for you.
After you chew and swallow your food, the process known as chemical digestion begins in your stomach. As food starts to fill and stretch your stomach, the stretching action stimulates your body to produce a hormone known as gastrin.
More acid production is the key. Since the stomach must make hydrochloric acid in order for digestion to occur inside it, it has methods to protect its lining from acid damage. The esophagus doesn’t produce hydrochloric acid or carry out digestion, so it lacks some of the stomach’s protective mechanisms and is far more sensitive to damage from acid. This damage causes the burning sensation.
pylori. They may also be caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce the amount of protective mucus made in the stomach. Aspirin is an NSAID.