What role does HCL play with regard to protein digestion and bacteria?
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) , which is strong enough to burn a hole through a carpet, is one of the stomach's secretions. It helps to soften food and kill any germs it may contain. [ The HCl in the stomach is so strong, in fact, that it would digest the stomach itself if it were not for another secretion: mucus. This thick, gooey liquid helps protect the delicate cells in the stomach's lining and
also moistens food. The cells in the stomach's lining still wear out, however, and are constantly being replaced. The entire lining of the stomach is replaced every three days. The stomach also secretes a substance called pepsinogen. This secretion reacts with the strong HCl in the stomach to produce the protein-digesting enzyme pepsin. This enzyme separates proteins into intermediate products of digestion, called peptone and proteose. It accomplishes this depolymerization through a process known as hydrolysis
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