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Digestion- The Stomach By Anna, Daniel, Jane and Shylah 10i Biology Importance of pH in the stomach. Kills harmful bacteria and parasites ingested with the food. • • Activates an enzyme called pepsin needed for protein digestion. • It helps absorb Vitamin B12 which is used in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and in the formation of blood. It reduces the food clumps into smaller particles, so that the intestines can absorb nutrients quickly and effectively. • How is pH maintained in the stomach. Gastric juice in the stomach keeps a pH level anywhere between 1 and 3. The pH scale is a way of determining how acidic a substance is. The larger the pH level, the less acidic a substance is. HCL (Hydrochloric acid) What is HCL? HLC (Hydrochloric acid) is a colour-less, highly pungent solution naturally found in gastric acid What does HCL do in your stomach? HCL helps with digestion in your stomach HCL kills bacteria that enters your stomach HCL also breaks down proteins in your stomach to prepare them for digestion HCL converts the inactive enzyme pepsinogen into the active enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is responsible for digesting proteins in your stomach What are gastric juice? Gastric juice is, thin, strongly acidic (pH varying from 1 to 3), almost colorless liquid secreted by the glands in the lining of the stomach. Combined in the stomach, gastric juice is made up of water, electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor. Food in the stomach is broken down by the action of gastric juice Function of Gastric juice The gastric juice functions to break down food in the stomach and kill bacteria (for chemical digestion) Hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice makes food soft and denatures many food proteins, helps to convert inactive pepsinogen into active pepsin and pro renin into renin, provides appropriate pH for protein digestion.