Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.
Well, like you said it kills but how would you kill poison for example? If you swallowed a pvc pipe I don't think it would be killed or digested but anyway see this thread for what happens if say you swallowed cyanide.
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HCl is present in our stomachs...and in very high concentrations too.
However, there are other chemicals that act as buffers to keep from damaging our bodies. Anything made naturally by the body has its own natural counterbalance.
Whoever told you the HCL in our stomach kills EVERYTHING has no biology knowledge whatsoever. Here is a simple example: ascaris lumbricoides. It is a worm that lives in the human intestin. it passes through your stomach and it is not affected. very few posions can be neutralized by the HCL in your stomach
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
Actually Tamsicle, in normal conditions the acid in our stomach would attack the epitelial cells. That's why a layer of mucus protects the eppitelial tissue from the HCL and the enzymes
I was actually aware of that, but an acid that could destroy everything in it's path- well it was meant to be a humorous understatement. Wouldn't such an acid obviously destroy any mucus secretions? Hmmm....But thank you for the correction all the same!
HCl is not the end all be all acid. As far as the body is concerned, its just easy to manage and quickly achieves the pH that the stomach requires for protein degradation. Lots of things aren't affected by HCl and many things are quickly degraded. Its important to remember that acids and bases don't do any "digestion" or "eating". They create an environment that either protonates or deprotonates the molecules in a particular substance and changes the physical properties of the substance.
Thank you for exponding Jelanen. That was kinda what i was wanting to say. Alass, i am not a natural teacher...
"Hydrochloric acid (HCl) secretion assists protein digestion by activating pepsinogen to pepsin, renders the stomach sterile against orally-ingested pathogens, prevents bacterial or fungal overgrowth of the small intestine, encourages the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes, and facilitates the absorption of a variety of nutrients, including folic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, non-heme iron, and some forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Numerous studies have shown acid secretion declines with advancing age and impaired HCl production and secretion is seen in a variety of clinical conditions. While the underlying etiological factors leading to impaired or complete lack of HCl secretion are not well understood, long term supplementation is safe and may be effective in certain patient populations and clinical conditions."
Perhaps that was what was meant?
That is wrong on so many levels. The stomach at no point is ever sterile. Bacteria can live in all sorts of environments, not just the pH 7, 23C enviroment that humans find comfortable. Just off the top of my head, Helicobacter pylori absolutely LOVES the environment created in the stomach and enjoys causing ulcers. Also, the parasites trichinosis and tapeworm have to pass through the stomach to get to their favored parasitic places. Also, yogurt cultures seem to make a successful passage through the stomach to the small and large intestines where they can be put to work restoring your natural flora after heavy doses of antibiotics, but thats a story for another thread....
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