Hydrochloric acid: It is the digestive fluid formed by the stomach during the process of digestion. It functions by destroying harmful microorganisms present in the food particles.
Role of HCl in stomach
Hydrochloric acid plays a major role in the process of digestion. Listed below are the key points where Hydrochloric acid is involved in the process of digestion
- It creates a medium of gastric juice acidic so that the enzyme pepsin digests the protein and kills the bacteria present in them.
- Hydrochloric acid helps your body to break down, digest, and absorb nutrients such as protein.
- The hydrochloric acid found in the stomach facilitates the process of digestion by disintegrating complex large food molecules into simpler molecules.
- The acid activates the pepsinogen enzyme required to digest proteins.
Absence of HCl
When there is no hydrochloric acid in the stomach, the iron absorption process is hindered as iron is essential in the solution for absorption. The stomach is prompted to produce acid when food is consumed for the production of the gastrin hormone. Hence, the acid lowers the pH level in the stomach, switching off the gastrin production which otherwise would lead to hypergastrinemia.