What Is the Hydrochloric Acid Function in the Stomach?

When you begin eating, your stomach will produce a gastric acid, called HCL or hydrochloric acid. It is the largest component in your gastric juices. It is also the only acid your body produces. The rest are byproducts of metabolism. But what is the function of hydrochloric acid in stomach?

Functions of Hydrochloric Acid in Stomach

1.   Assist Digestion

In the stomach, your body’s digestion process begins when gastric secretions are released. These include pepsinogen, HCL, and mucus coating. Pepsin and hydrochloric acid secretion is the basis of good digestion. Generally, your stomach will have HCL to maintain the pH level (1-2) in the stomach. It will increase significantly after eating. HCL is critical in digesting and absorbing nutrients such as:

2.   Prevent Disease

Too Much Hydrochloric Acid in Stomach

HCL can become dysfunctional in cases when there is too little or too much of it. If you think there is a problem, you should get tested instead of simply treating it yourself. It can be tested with a blood sample or by checking stomach acid using a Heidelberg test. First, let's discuss the case of too much hydrochloric acid.


Some causes are irritants like alcohol, coffee, soda, aspirin, strong spices and fried foods. It can also be brought on by fatigue, worry and stress. Smoking and food allergies are also contributing factors.


Some signs you are having problems are constipation, undigested food in stool, heartburn, stomach aches an hour or so after meals, nausea, headaches and vomiting.


There isn’t a cure, but it can be relieved.

There are other therapies that aid in better function of hydrochloric acid in stomach, such as:

Diatery Changes



It is also important to note that both acupuncture and massage have been found to aid in digestive function.

Too Little Hydrochloric Acid in Stomach


Causes commonly include:


When the volume is inadequate, function of hydrochloric acid in stomach will be affected. Symptoms of low hydrochloric acid include:


Be sure to consult your doctor when looking to improve your HCL and digestion.

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