The acidic digestive fluid secreted by various glands in the stomach lining into the lumen of the stomach, primarily for the partial digestion of food as well as the eradication of many pathogenic microbes that have concurrently entered by way of the oral cavity
The gastric juice is made up of hydrochloric acid, pepsinogen and other digestive enzymes, intrinsic factor, gastrin, mucus, and bicarbonates. It has a pH ranging from 1 to 2. Its low pH is essential in activating many digestive enzymes and in destroying various pathogens. The gastric juice also contains bicarbonates to neutralize the acid and thereby regulate the pH level in the stomach.