What Is The Role Of HCL In Our Stomach? – Acid in our stomach serves many functions, such as breaking down food and protecting us from infections.
However, acid reflux can be painful and uncomfortable, resulting in feelings of nausea and indigestion. Learn more about this important component of our digestive system below!
Purpose of HCL in Our Stomach
- HCL is an acidic liquid which has many purposes within our body:
- It breaks down protein rich food into amino acids for our body to absorb.
It increases solubility of vitamins so that our body can easily absorb them.
When we eat food, they’re usually broken down in small parts by our saliva. Then, once we swallow them, HCL will start digesting them in our stomach. This is because stomach acid helps breakdown macromolecules that are too large to be absorbed through cell membranes.
Once these macromolecules have been broken down into smaller particles in a process called hydrolysis, they can then be absorbed by intestinal cells and used as energy by your body’s cells.
Understanding Digestion Process
Once you understand how our stomach digests food, it’s much easier to grasp how HC works. As soon as you consume food, there are multiple processes that take place simultaneously. Some of these include:
- The stomach secretes hydrochloric acid (HC), a powerful digestive enzyme that acts on food matter, allowing for easier absorption into our bloodstream.
- Our liver produces bile, which helps digest and absorb fat.
- Both products combine with churning enzymes from saliva in our mouth to break down protein molecules.
Our body is equipped with its own arsenal of weapons to help us efficiently process food. We’re working on more articles about digestion in general.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition that occurs when your stomach acids escape from your stomach and back up into your esophagus. It’s a common problem that causes uncomfortable symptoms such as chest pain, bloating, heartburn, a burning sensation in your throat or behind your breastbone, sour taste in your mouth and nausea.
Heartburn is usually experienced after meals—especially during or after eating greasy or spicy foods—and may come and go over several hours. These problems can be irritating but are rarely life-threatening on their own.
Causes of Acid Reflux
To understand what causes acid reflux, we need to first understand how our body digests food. We eat and drink things all day long, but for most of us, eating just one meal is enough to cause discomfort in our stomachs. That’s because our bodies have a system in place that helps us digest whatever we put into our mouths. It starts when your mouth sends signals to your brain that you’re eating or drinking something.
Your stomach also sends signals to your brain, which relays them to your esophagus. If everything goes as planned, food travels down your esophagus and into your stomach without any trouble.
What are the symptoms of Acid Reflux?
Most people experience acid reflux as a gnawing feeling in the upper part of the stomach. Others have heartburn, also known as acid indigestion. If your symptoms are mild, you can treat them at home with antacids or over-the-counter medicines. But if you have persistent symptoms, or are taking high doses of antacids to relieve the discomfort, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Self-diagnosis can lead to serious health risks if your problem is caused by other digestive problems or a medical condition that requires treatment.
Do you suffer from heartburn?
According to a study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, heartburn is a common problem that affects 20 percent of Americans. Heartburn, also known as acid reflux disease (ARD), occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus causing a burning sensation in your chest. Sufferers experience heartburn once or twice a week on average. Heartburn symptoms can include: Nausea If you often experience a burning sensation in your chest after eating then it’s likely you suffer from heartburn.
Often times we ignore those signs because we’re caught up in our daily routine; but ignoring these signs can lead to an increased risk for other digestive problems such as ulcers, colitis and more serious issues like colon cancer. Your best option is to start looking at ways to reduce your chances of experiencing further issues, otherwise you could find yourself with an emergency situation on your hands.
Why does heartburn happen?
Heartburn is a type of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and happens when stomach acid leaks into your esophagus. It’s often caused by lying down after eating, bending over, or wearing clothing that is too tight around your waist. However, it’s not just heartburn that leads to GERD. Your body produces hydrochloric acid (HCl) to digest food in your stomach.
This strong acid protects you from bacteria in your intestines and kills germs on food you’re about to eat. But if you have GERD, some of that stomach acid can back up into your esophagus instead of moving down where it belongs.
How HCl acid helps with digestion
One of its main roles is to help with digestion and improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. The process begins in your mouth, when acids from saliva start breaking down foods like bread, pasta and potatoes into smaller pieces.
From there, food travels down your esophagus into your stomach for further breakdown. As digestion continues in your stomach, HCl acid churns at a low pH level—close to that of battery acid—to break down proteins into amino acids.
How to maintain optimum levels of acidity
Understanding acidity and how to maintain optimum levels of acidity is important for optimal health. To maintain acidity in your stomach, you must eat food with a high level of protein. This will help you digest your food better and it will also neutralize your stomach acids so that they don’t wear away at your stomach lining. Good sources of protein include poultry, fish, pork, eggs, and beef.
You can also consider taking a supplement to ensure that you’re maintaining proper levels of acidity in your stomach. Be sure to speak with a doctor before starting any supplements because some aren’t compatible with certain medications or other foods you consume regularly.
Foods that raise acidity levels
There are many foods that can raise acidity levels in your stomach, including: animal products; poultry; meat; dairy products such as milk and cheese; fish, shellfish and eggs. Foods that increase acidity levels should be consumed in moderation so you don’t experience any unpleasant side effects. One major problem with eating high-acid foods is they tend to make it difficult for you to digest other foods.
If you want to add variety to your diet without increasing your acid levels, try adding more fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy sources of fat. Another option is removing certain foods from your diet entirely, such as coffee or citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits.
Other factors affecting acid production
You may have heard that people with low stomach acid production, also known as hypochlorhydria or hypoacidity, often suffer from a range of health issues. While it’s true that some research has found that low stomach acid is linked to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), other studies have failed to find such a connection. Other factors can also affect acid production in your stomach, including over-the-counter antacids and certain medications.
Do you experience any of these symptoms? If so, you should consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis before altering your diet. Remember: There’s no way to test for low stomach acid by yourself; only your doctor can perform laboratory tests to determine whether or not you have a problem with HCl production.
Some Researches on Role of HCL in Our Stomach
HCL Role in Stomach – Some Researches on Role of HCL in Our Stomach There is a particular enzyme present in gastric juices. This enzyme is known as HCL or hydrochloric acid. Many of us get it confused with mucus but these are completely different from each other in their role and functioning within our body.
When we eat food, it is usually mixed with gastric juices. This mix starts in your mouth and goes through your esophagus to reach your stomach. Once it enters your stomach, hydrochloric acid in these juices breaks down any remaining food particles and begins to digest it further along with protein rich foods you may have eaten earlier.
This is what helps us break down all kinds of different materials, from fruits to meats.
So, do HCL supplements actually work when taken for stomach ailments like ulcers and heartburns?
In short, yes!