Gastric Acid

Gastric acid is a digestive fluid, formed in the stomach. It has a pH of 1.5 to 3.5 and is composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl) (around 0.5%, or 5000 parts per million), and large quantities of potassium chloride (KCl) and sodium chloride (NaCl). The acid plays a key role in digestion of proteins, by activating digestive enzymes, and making ingested proteins unravel so that digestive enzymes can break down the long chains of amino acids.

Gastric acid is produced by cells lining the stomach, which are coupled to systems to increase acid production when needed. Other cells in the stomach produce bicarbonate, a base, to buffer the fluid, ensuring that it does not become too acidic. These cells also produce mucus, which forms a viscous physical barrier to prevent gastric acid from damaging the stomach. Cells in the beginning of the small intestine, or duodenum, further produce large amounts of bicarbonate to completely neutralize any gastric acid that passes further down into the digestive tract.

The presence of gastric acid in the stomach and its function in digestion was first characterized by United States Army surgeon William Beaumont around 1830. Beaumont was able to study the stomach action of fur trapper Alexis St. Martin due to the latter's gastric fistula.

Read more about Gastric AcidPhysiology, Role in Disease, Pharmacology, History

Other articles related to "gastric acid, acid, gastric":

Gastric Acid - History
... The role of gastric acid in digestion was established in the 1820s and 1830s by William Beaumont on Alexis St ... in his stomach, which allowed Beaumont to observe the process of digestion and to extract gastric acid, verifying that acid played a crucial role in digestion ...
Stomach Disease
... there are many other stomach diseases that don't include the word "gastropathy" such as gastric or peptic ulcer disease, gastroparesis, and dyspepsia ... and carbon dioxide which neutralises gastric acid and thus prevents its digestion ... Having too little or no gastric acid is known as hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria respectively and are conditions which can have negative health impacts ...
Phytogenics - Modes of Action - Effect On Secretion of Saliva and Digestive Enzymes
... known to increase the secretion of saliva and gastric acid, thus having a positive impact on overall digestive processes ... Especially in young piglets, the gastric acid production is inadequate, often causing diarrhea in the post-weaning period ... Therefore, inclusion of phytogenics, which increases the rate of gastric acid secretion is beneficial in terms of counteracting digestive disorders in this critical stage of life ...
Achlorhydria - Causes
... there is antibody production against parietal cells which normally produce gastric acid ... The use of antacids or drugs that decrease gastric acid production (such as H2-receptor antagonists) or transport (such as proton pump inhibitors) ... Gastric Bypass procedures such a Duodenal Switch and RNY, where the largest acid producing parts of the stomach are either removed, or blinded ...
Hoodia Gordonii - Medicinal Properties - Scientific Study - Gastric Acid Reduction
... Gastric acid production is inhibited by P57, the active molecule found in Hoodia gordonii ... The study found that standardized extract P57SD at 50 mg/kg reduced gastric acid output in the stomach by 40-60% ...